Monthly Archives: February 2010

there is nothing like someone new

I’m moving to Albany next Friday.

I keep saying it, but it still seems unreal. The last few weeks have been teeming with Major Life Changes: I got a new job (in journalism! Finally! Huzzah!), I bought my first car (the brightest of bright reds), and I’m moving back to a city that I love and miss to move in with someone I love and miss. (I’m also pretty sure the laptop — or at least its hard drive — is lost and gone forever. Sigh.)

Frightened Rabbit‘s “Nothing Like You” has been another breath of fresh air,  soothing me amid the stress of all these changes and captivating me for the better part of last week, swirling still about my head six days after it first caught my ear.

This latest single from their forthcoming album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, is nothing short of miraculous, joyously buoyant and ever so catchy. I dare you to watch this delightfully DIY video (far superior to its glossy counterpart) without cracking a smile:

As one YouTube user put it, “I can’t understand how this band aren’t a total chart destroying, globe-shagging phenomenon.” Indeed, these Scots have been pumping out great, slightly-under-the-radar albums since 2006, particularly 2008’s fierce, lovely The Midnight Organ Fight. But shout-outs in the pages of Esquire and repeated plays on shows like Chuck prove that the world is starting to take notice.

The greatest thing about “Nothing Like You” is that it’s essentially a scathing rebuke of an ex disguised in a shimmering pop package, topped off with a ribbon of jangling tambourines. The video depicts various band members and company bopping about to this chorus:

She was not the cure for cancer / And all my questions still asked for answers / But there is nothing like someone new/ And this girl she was nothing like you

All my Major Life Changes are exciting and terrifying, and as much as I try to assign them meaning, they will probably not end up as grandiosely Life-Changing as I assume them to be.

But there is nothing like something new — job, car, roommate, song, or otherwise — and I can thank Frightened Rabbit for that realization.

are you aware the shape i’m in?

Two weeks ago I made the unpleasant discovery that I suffer from migraines. Yesterday, I was crippled by the worst one yet.

Pushing away my dinner plate and fumbling up the stairs to my room, I sought respite in my warm bed and a cool washcloth over my eyes. Not wanting to fall asleep at seven o’clock, I tried to think of CDs I could put on that would keep me awake without feeding the beast raging through my skull.

Bingo.

I missed the boat on these guys when they released I and Love and You back in September, but upon hearing the title track earlier this year, I was instantly hooked.

These tunes fit in snugly with my favorite folkies, Josh Ritter and Ryan Adams, and are exactly the kind of music I love for rainy days, heartfelt singalongs with my steering wheel, and yes, soothing migraines. (And maybe wedding fever.)

Hours later, my migraine had long subsided, but this album was still pleasantly buzzing between my ears. I and Love and the Avetts.

deaf, dumb, and blindsided

Well, the honor of receiving a Best Picture nomination is now officially meaningless.

Thank God for Oscar nominations to break me out of my blogging hibernation. The Academy Awards are my favorite television event of the year, an obsession dating back to 1997/1998 and the domination of Titanic at both the box office and the Oscars. (Gimme a break, I was twelve. And oh my, was Leo DiCaprio dreamy.)

As luck would have it, my baser instincts eventually blossomed into a general love of all things movie-related (and okay, maybe glamourous, too), and this appreciation for cinema honed my burgeoning critical eye. As I got older, I started buying in to Oscar Hype, eagerly gobbling up Entertainment Weekly‘s predictions and handicapping every awards season, weighing their opinions against my own.

My years-long devotion to these awards is why today’s nominations are so shocking — or rather, one nomination in particular. With the Best Picture field open to ten films this year in lieu of the traditional five, there were bound to be some surprises. But while the Academy is known for an odd choice here and there (and being a wee bit out of touch), The Blind Side‘s selection as one of the year’s best is truly baffling.

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the film. But that’s because it looked awful. And critics I respect thought it was pure, unrefined, dumbed-down sap. So yes, I find it difficult to believe that The Blind Side deserves this nomination. And while I know it doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning (as Roger Ebert observed, there are only five real nominees), shouldn’t someone over at the Academy — along with its 6,000-plus members — be embarrassed? I know I am.

Although maybe I’m just upset because (500) Days of Summer was completely snubbed. Hard to tell.

(And as always, Videogum puts it all into perspective.)