Thursday, December 27, 2007

Land Before Time: The Big Freeze DVD
Disney Sing Along Songs: Enchanted Tea Party DVD
Incredible Salad (recipe by Larry Dolman)
These Are Powers "Terrific Seasons" CD
Faust s/t CD
Basalt Fingers s/t CD

DVDs were Christmas presents for you-know-which, the two smaller Dolmans. The Land Before Time thing is one of many made-for-DVD sequels in a cuddly animated dinosaur franchise. By late age 3 Young Phil was begging for dinosaur depictions, so we started him on those CGI recreations by BBC (in the style of their Planet Earth series, so you know they're good), I think it's called Prehistoric Planet. He loved those and was in awe of them but it's weird, after watching 'em for almost a year he's getting a little fed up with all those meat-eaters. If that was a pun, it seriously wasn't intended, but the point is the movies are too real and starting to scare him with all the "roars." The Land Before Time stuff is a well-earned break -- it has a couple scary allosaur appearances but the overall tone is chill friendship/family/quest-type stuff. Claire was a little bummed about the dinosaurs and wanted equal girl time so I put in the Princess Tea Party DVD, a highlight reel of songs from movies featuring princesses and those lovable girls who become them in dreams. I am really not a Disney fan but you often have to give in to the quality of their craftsmanship, and there are some classic characters on here (even from the new stuff, like that ridiculous parrot in Aladdin), and not even all of the music is terrible. Snow White singing "Someday My Prince Will Come" way back in 1937 definitely sounds like a dream, thanks especially to the strange fluttering voice of one Adriana Caselotti. I'm always a little disappointed when I resort to the DVD babysitter -- I try to do it no more than once a week, though it's inevitably more in the winter time. I had to do it tonight so I could make the Incredible Salad before the greens went bad, a week's worth of spinach, red kale, green lettuce, red cabbage, daikon radish, and carrots, all tossed together. I mean, can you believe this blog? This isn't what you signed up for, right? At least it's real. After those movies were finally over and the salad was finally winding down, the first record I put on was the new These Are Powers, in honor of them playing here in town in a couple days, New Year's Eve at the Empty Bottle. (Opening for some band I've never heard called The Black Kids.) They've definitely made a good record. Not all songs have stuck after a couple listens, but they all seem to have an intriguing depth and there are at least 3 or 4 that make big strides from their excellent debut 7-inch. "Make Visible" is an early standout, with a great creeping prepared bass guitar field and A#1 guitar hook with doubled vocals. Also, the 20:20 long "Drawing Water" (which I believe is Side Three of the LP version, with an etching on Side Four) holds up very well throughout. I'd like to have this on vinyl but the CD is cool with gatefold digipak featuring great repros of their former drummer Ted McGrath's spindly/explosive artwork and lettering.... alright kids are in bed and it's time for the weird stuff... haven't sat down with the first Faust album in gosh, I'm going to guess six years, but that's because I listened to it so much 1998-2001. And I had still forgotten how crazy this shit was. Take "Meadow Meal" alone -- it's the shortest of the three songs on the album, but how many universes happen in there? Desolate back-porch wind-chimes that are actually electronic echo-chatter that moves quite a bit more intricately than, say, similar material on AMM's (great but slightly overrated and later improved upon?!) first album, that's one universe, then a silly amazing prog song with call-and-response vocals about "the wonderful wooden reason to stand in line, keep in line," a dirty-prog guitar and organ raveup, more of the verse, a solid minute or two of a big thunderstorm, and then, off in the distance while the rain still falls, a celestial organ solo coda. What were they smoking? (Marijuana -- ed.)

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