Considering my mix this week was inspired by Josh Ritter’s “Another New World,” I suppose it’s only appropriate that I went on a bit of a journey to make it. At first I was thinking that I would stick to American poetry references that were vaguely about adventure and exploration – immediately settling on “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Just as quickly I decided that “Woods” by Bon Iver needed to be on it. Then, however, I found myself veering farther away from the poem, focusing more on the theme of discovery and the unknown. I tried to stick with songs tonally similar to the Bon Iver track, but it was hard to commit to one genre so thought I would at least strive for an “offbeat edge” for a common thread. And so, like any long journey (at least any journey of mine) I probably got lost a few times along the way, but I’m pretty please with where I found myself in the end.
Some songs tell stories just as vivid and intricate as any film or TV show. The Storyteller Series highlights those special pieces of music with lyrics that captivate the audience from beginning to end.
After weeks of hype and buildup, “Inception” is finally in theatres. Many people I know rushed to see it this weekend, including myself. And the verdict? Ultimately, mixed. Too much hype? Too slow? Too thick? Except for the last moment, which I won’t reveal here, but I found bothersome – I thought the film was a marvel. Stylistically cool, amazing editing, action that kept you at the edge of your seat, and frequently baffling writing. They just kept raising the stakes until I myself felt like I was experiencing everything with the characters. Most of all though, I was impressed by the richness of the world Nolan creates. What would the plane of your subconscious look like? Who would be in there? What would they do? He thoroughly and creatively capitalizes on dream experiences we’ve all had to answer those questions and set the rules – having a dream within a dream, waking up from the sensation of falling, etc.
Right before I went into the film, I found myself struggling with the last few songs on this nightmare mixtape. It was a hard one, especially since a week before even starting it the perfect nightmare song fell into my lap via Strangers in Stereo. It was “Cola” by Beaty Heart and it fit all my criteria: dreamy, strange and builds into a terrifying climax. But then I couldn’t find anything to match it. First off, I had a hard time finding songs about nightmares that sounded the way I wanted. Tonally I didn’t want to go too electro, or veer into noise rock, or into ambient shoegaze – though I was tempted. I sought the artists that represented the cross section of all three. If you know any seriously let me know, because I had an impossible time.
With pretty much everyone I know on the edge of their seats awaiting the opening of Christopher Nolan‘s next (hopefully) epic masterpiece, Inception, on Friday – it seemed only fitting to do dream-related mixtapes this week. After all, that is the only thing we really know about the film other than it seems to have some sort of crime-solving angle and features a slew of stars. Dreams are a pretty fascinating phenomenon if you think about it – they’re often so complex, with a totally different set of rules than waking life (and from dream to dream), you feel completely engrossed in them, and yet when you open your eyes every little piece seems to evaporate instantly, sucked back down the drain to your subconscious. So rather than expound further, here are a few cool facts I found about dreams (then a mixtape of course)…
I know most of you scoffed when you heard that a movie titled “Hot Tub Time Machine” was actually coming to a theatre near you. The only reason I even saw it was because a friend somehow got nine passes to a free screening of the film a few weeks before release. I thought it was some sort of joke, but still – free is free and everyone went, rolling our eyes the whole way. Of course, none of us would have been there if it had cost money. We sat through the entire thing (all 99 minutes of it) and when the lights came up, all turned to each other hesitantly, almost embarrassed:
“Guys, did you think…was that…that was actually really funny”