“I am attempting to change after years of destruction
Don’t be alarmed
I’m still stupid, awkward, anxious, and a terrible bore
But I’m excited these days
It’s the strangest sensation
I only wish I were younger, so I’d have more time to explore”
I think most people have a band that they feel almost every song was written either about or for them. For me that band is Motion City Soundtrack. There is maybe two songs they have released that I don’t love. It doesn’t take too much digging to discover that the lead singer (who writes most of the songs) has had issues with mental health and addiction, and so many of the songs seem to deal with the impact that has had on his life and relationships. It doesn’t take too much figuring out then to understand why I relate to so many of their songs.
“Branded, marked, and paper-thin
This angry scene went marching in
To war with scores of 90 proof
Found nothing but the ugly truth
A decade of wastage an instant and everything’s changed
Woke up feeling thirty-five
Though grateful that I’m still alive
Another chance at normalcy
To chase the dream and now it seems
The days run away like wild horses over the hills”
Every album of theirs is something I anticipate and get all giddy about….except this time. I just kept forgetting about it. Probably something to do with the fact that I spend little time sitting and doing nothing any more. I bought it not long after it came out and just never listened to it. But I finally synced & updated my ipod so yesterday on the way to burlesque class (and back again) I listened to it over and over and over again and, not surprisingly, fell in love with every single song.
“I am all motors and gadgets
Organically designed to last a finite length of time
Locked in this rotary motion, the wheel spins round and round
I comprehend it all but still can’t make a sound
I know there’s something wrong within my faulty brain
I lack the proper behavior
My temper-addled tongue can’t seem to force it out
The words that linger inside me”
Most of this album seems to be about him finally moving on in life – healthy – which, again not surprisingly, I am totally relating to. So many of the songs have lyrics that just sum up everything so perfectly. But I think “Floating Down the River” is my new “anthem”. I just keep playing it over and over again. Then I have to go and play my other favourites over and over again.
“I’d like to tell you all my bad ideas
I hang them with the good to dilute the awful truth
I’ve been asleep for nearly fifteen years
All dreams I’ve never had outweigh the life I’m not yet living
I’ve felt along the walls of here and there
But nothing ever seemed quite right
So I kissed off into the night
There was a thought, there was a bleeding thread
But nothing ever lasts that long within the confines of my head”
I am continuing to read the “Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries” series set in the 1920’s in Melbourne. I absolutely fell in love with the TV show and decided I would try the books. Now some word of warning if you are going to read them…weirdly enough, I would suggest watching the show first. Some of the dialogue seems a little forced and weird…until you see the amazing Essie Davis (as Phryne Fisher) act it out. She is absolutely amazing and once I went back to the show and watched her doing the same lines from parts of the books I was reading I could get it right in my head. Now I am addicted.
A with most book-to-screen conversions the tv show condenses different stories, changes characters slightly (and eliminates others entirely). I also found the tv show to be quite “tame” in regards to Miss Fisher. In the show they show her with a different man almost every episode but don’t show much…the books can be a bit more….descriptive. She is also a bit darker in the books (IMO) sending a prostitute who looks like a young girl (but isn’t) off to jail to visit a paedophile as a “reward” for him confessing. That part made my hair stand on end (I am a survivor of child sexual abuse…so that sort of thing I find confronting), but at the same time I really did feel that was in line with the book character. I believed it was something she was willing to do…get down and dirty to solve the cases.
Newsroom is the show we are currently hanging out for to air each week. (not sure if it is airing in Australia…we get it “alternatively” from the US online) Another masterpiece by Aaron Sorkin. If there is one thing he is an absolute genius of its the monologue. Other shows have great dialogue or comedic timing or cast rapport….Sorkin does amazing monologues. We fell in love with Sorkins work with the show “Studio 60” (which if you go and watch it before newsroom you will see the similarities) starring Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) & Matthew Perry (Friends)…it unfortunately didn’t last past the first season (which is a shame as it was brilliant writing, amazing cast chemistry and wonderfully shot). It started with the same sort of opening monologue…actually almost identical…except in Studio 60 he is the head writer of a comedy sketch show sick of the censors ruining his show, in Newsroom the monologue comes from a reporter who has his own news show.
Newsroom has the same great cast chemistry, the same great writing (including amazing monologues) and is shot beautifully. After Wills (Jeff Daniels) monologue on America not being the greatest country in the world all of his staff quit, leaving him with one girl. Maggie (a former assistant) who stays out of loyalty (or stupidity as her dick of a boyfriend puts it…he was one of the people who quit to work on another show) and the guy who updates the blog (Dev Patel, the star of Slumdog Millionaire). Leaving his boss played by Sam Waterson (Law and Order star) to hire Wills ex girlfriend, MacKenzie, as his executive producer who brings along her assistant Jim (who then falls for Maggie). Will has become so obsessed with popularity and status that he has stopped really reporting the news, MacKenzie decides to change all of that. One of (IMO) the genius moves of this show is setting it two years ago, meaning the news they are reporting on in the show is what really happened. Unlike The West Wing, which i most cases went more into a fictional events. Some of it goes way over our heads though as we haven’t been all that interested in US events….I don’t recognise a lot of the politician names or locations…but it is still incredibly watchable and given that all our “usual” shows are currently in the off season we are so glad to have something decent to watch.
If you can’t get your hands on “Newsroom” see if you can get “Studio 60”. They are both awesome to watch…especially if you like your TV to be a bit more “intelligent”.
This is where my glowing reviews end. After my 36 hours solo at the Windsor I met up with Aly for dinner & a movie. Seeing as how I finally got to see something *I* wanted to see (that wasn’t a comic movie or a kids movie) I had high hopes. I love quirky, offbeat indie films. This one, not so much. I felt it was trying too hard to be “quirky”. The opening scene had like five minutes of footage of Michelle Williams feet & knees. Which just screamed of “I’m trying so hard to be artsy”. The story itself wasn’t terrible…but it also wasn’t anything to write home about. I found Michelle Williams character sooooo annoying (again I felt they tried to hard to make her “quirky”) with lots of baby talk and an entire scene where she called a guy a “Gaylord” for going to the lake for a walk each morning before work. I actually found that scene totally mortifying. I am not comfortable with people using being gay as an insult. Seth Rogen played her cookbook writing husband. Sarah Silverman played his alcoholic sister. Luke Kirby plays the guy she meets while away (at her job writing travel brochures) who happens to live across the road, works as a rickshaw driver (trying so hard to be quirky) and who she falls for. I found the whole movie to be over acted, poorly written and trying way to hard.
That being said…it was nice to go see something at the movies that wasn’t a kids movie to see with a lovely friend. So it wasn’t a total wash…it actually ended up being a nice night out.
That is all for this weeks instalment of Media Monday.