The holidays are a time of friendly gatherings, a time of joy, a time of cheer, blah blah blah…but, have you ever had one of those kinds of Christmases or holidays? There’s so much storytelling surrounding these traditional celebrations, but what if you don’t feel much like celebrating? There’s a story there too.
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.
Last week I all but abandoned you for traveling the old country, so this week I’m coming back with a musical journey across our great nation of the USA. First up of course is the Northeast – the nearest and dearest to my heart. I was born and raised in Connecticut, same as my dad, while my mom still sometimes shows hints of her old Massachusetts twang, even more apparent when visiting any of her seven siblings, most of whom are still residing in Cape Cod. From Boston to Philadelphia to New York City, whether you’re looking for a snowy winter in Vermont, or watching the leaves change driving down the Merritt Parkway through Connecticut – the northeast doesn’t disappoint. It boasts both the country’s onlyStew Leonard’s stores, as well as the Liberty Bell and Empire State Building. How can you beat that?
Other Suggestions: “Chelsea Morning” Joni Mitchell
Man, “Shipping Up To Boston” – what a great use in The Departed, right?
There was one track I was really bummed I couldn’t find. Franz Nicolay – formerly of The Hold Steady – is doing his own solo thing now and released a song on his most recent EP called “New England.” It’s with The Dresden Dolls and is amazing. Listen to it on his myspace page or catch him at the Bootleg Theatre on April 16. Details here.
Lastly, because I rediscovered the absolute JOY of this movie musical during my epic flight home from Europe -and because art that go balls-out to be sappy, silly and fun for the sake of it should never be discredited – here is the video of the day to get you ready for the morning tomorrow: