A year and a day ago, LCD Soundsystem performed for the last time at a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden, and one of the coolest yet affecting groups had left us with memories and three albums that still capture the full spectrum of light, from strobe lights to sunlight, channeled by the everyman intellectual who could be the Beatles one second and Prince the next but who never resembled anything but himself, and who said everything, not just about himself but about the love and life and all those vague, esoteric concepts, and did so in a way to which anyone could relate. They will be missed, and “it’s the end of an era, it’s true,” but we’ll still be dancing ourselves clean to LCD Soundsystem long after Daft Punk has stopped playing at our houses and we’ve lost our edge. Because LCD Soundsystem’s music and legacy never will.

Owen Pallett has written the last of his trilogy of music-theory-steeped analyses of pop songs, and it’s on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”:

About that hook: Gaga has till now never used a “raised seventh,” which is unusual for someone who writes exclusively in minor keys. Now she does. In this chorus there is a changing accidental—the seventh note of the a-minor scale appears both as a G-natural and as a G-sharp.

Now, this raised seventh does something that would make Tchaikovsky proud. The melody appears twice per chorus, but over two distinctly different chord progressions (VI-VII-i-III the first time, VI-VII-V-i the second). The first time, “bad” appears as G-natural, leaping down a fourth to “romance.” The second time, “bad” appears as a G-sharp, leaping down a tritone.

That G-sharp wants to go upward. It wants to rise to the A, resolving the cadence as a music school freshman would have done. But Gaga goes down, leaving that “bad” leading note hanging. Why? Because she herself is bad. Further accentuating the badness of that “bad”: That interval, the tritone, is historically linked to sexual desire and the devil. Whether or not Lady Gaga is familiar with the specifics of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony is irrelevant; she has scored a textbook-worthy usage of Western music theory’s favorite signifier for EVILDOING.

moma
moma:

Vincent van Gogh was born today in 1853. He painted The Olive Trees as a daytime companion to the more well-known work, The Starry Night. [Vincent van Gogh. The Olive Trees. Saint Rémy, June-July 1889]

It’s weird, because I felt like less of a hipster (actually, not really—real hipsters dig Rothko) after watching the Doctor Who episode with Van Gogh, knowing that more people would appreciate his work, but at the same time was happy as a Doctor Who fan that there was a Van Gogh episode (and it was a pretty good one to boot). Why must you complicate life so, Moffat?

moma:

Vincent van Gogh was born today in 1853. He painted The Olive Trees as a daytime companion to the more well-known work, The Starry Night.

[Vincent van Gogh. The Olive Trees. Saint Rémy, June-July 1889]

It’s weird, because I felt like less of a hipster (actually, not really—real hipsters dig Rothko) after watching the Doctor Who episode with Van Gogh, knowing that more people would appreciate his work, but at the same time was happy as a Doctor Who fan that there was a Van Gogh episode (and it was a pretty good one to boot). Why must you complicate life so, Moffat?

zachillios

I never could finish Final Fantasy X—there was just this part where I was stuck and didn’t know how to pass. So I gave up. This was a long time ago, back when I used to play video games. Still, I can remember how enthralled i was with it, and how immersive it was in both gameplay and narrative—something I didn’t consciously think about but kind of just felt, sitting on the edge of my seat (on the sofa, to be exact). It was quite simply breathtaking.

So imagine how I felt when I heard the news: it’s been remastered along with its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, as an “HD” version for modern consoles. I didn’t realize that it was that beloved by other people that it would warrant this treatment, especially because of the breadth of the Final Fantasy catalog. Curiosity led me to look at critical rankings of the Final Fantasy games and, sure enough, it was near the top. Even as a kid I had good taste, I thought. But really, a good game is a good game.

All this thinking gave me an idea. No, I’m not going to buy this new version. (I don’t even have the relevant consoles.) But I’m thinking of playing the game again and perhaps—no definitely—finishing it this time, and then blogging about my experience as both a former gamer and a current total non-gamer. Like, I don’t care if you care. I just want to do it. So watch out, because I’m going to be (blitz)balling hard.

nprfreshair
nprfreshair:

 David Edelstein reviews the big budget Bible epic, Noah: 

But a big part of the Noah story is spectacle, and this one is a feast of computer-generated imagery. None of the animals are real—which has won the appreciation of animal-rights activists. But none of them are particularly well characterized, either. I didn’t expect Dr. Doolittle amid the apocalypse, but would a few baahs and moos and a friendly giraffe have really killed the mood?


(Not really an Edelstein fan. But I’m going to bounce off this snippet anyway.)

You know what else has “really killed the mood?” Faux-controversy. There’s a dualism to this already rotten criticism that reeks not only of over-sensitivity but also of plain, stinking hypocrisy.

Side A: Disclaimers

Paramount has already decided to appease religious critics by placing a disclaimer on its marketing materials. Specifically:


  "The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."


Side B: Semantics

The word “God” is replaced by the title “Creator” in Noah, which set off a spark in certain corners of the punditry world, the names of which are obvious. Now, apparently the first has not fulfilled it duty—nowhere near. However, I’m sure that there would be controversy if Paramount did not include those disclaimers, given the politically-fraught nature of modern cultural discussions. And, actually, shouldn’t the first not only clear up most of the controversy surrounding accuracy but also nullify the semantic uproar?

I heard someone recently say that Noah—and its liberal Hollywood overlords—wanted to have their cake and eat it too by profiting off a biblical tale while trying to unbiblify (if you’ll pardon the term) it to appease non-religious audiences. First, I should note that certain Muslims are just as outraged as certain Christians, and for reasons just as silly. Second, the religious groups got their disclaimer. So, why should they complain that the name of their Lord is changed? Especially considering the disclaimer’s inane last sentence: “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis”—so yeah, people can look up the actual story and read the “more appropriate” terminology. Do these fundamentalists not believe that moviegoers, not even the faithful, will, after watching the movie, read the Bible? Or do they not believe that people understand the story? “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”

So let’s just calm down and direct our anger towards a more valid and important question: Where are the baahs and moos?

nprfreshair:

 David Edelstein reviews the big budget Bible epic, Noah: 

But a big part of the Noah story is spectacle, and this one is a feast of computer-generated imagery. None of the animals are real—which has won the appreciation of animal-rights activists. But none of them are particularly well characterized, either. I didn’t expect Dr. Doolittle amid the apocalypse, but would a few baahs and moos and a friendly giraffe have really killed the mood?

(Not really an Edelstein fan. But I’m going to bounce off this snippet anyway.)

You know what else has “really killed the mood?” Faux-controversy. There’s a dualism to this already rotten criticism that reeks not only of over-sensitivity but also of plain, stinking hypocrisy.

Side A: Disclaimers

Paramount has already decided to appease religious critics by placing a disclaimer on its marketing materials. Specifically:

"The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."

Side B: Semantics

The word “God” is replaced by the title “Creator” in Noah, which set off a spark in certain corners of the punditry world, the names of which are obvious. Now, apparently the first has not fulfilled it duty—nowhere near. However, I’m sure that there would be controversy if Paramount did not include those disclaimers, given the politically-fraught nature of modern cultural discussions. And, actually, shouldn’t the first not only clear up most of the controversy surrounding accuracy but also nullify the semantic uproar?

I heard someone recently say that Noah—and its liberal Hollywood overlords—wanted to have their cake and eat it too by profiting off a biblical tale while trying to unbiblify (if you’ll pardon the term) it to appease non-religious audiences. First, I should note that certain Muslims are just as outraged as certain Christians, and for reasons just as silly. Second, the religious groups got their disclaimer. So, why should they complain that the name of their Lord is changed? Especially considering the disclaimer’s inane last sentence: “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis”—so yeah, people can look up the actual story and read the “more appropriate” terminology. Do these fundamentalists not believe that moviegoers, not even the faithful, will, after watching the movie, read the Bible? Or do they not believe that people understand the story? “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”

So let’s just calm down and direct our anger towards a more valid and important question: Where are the baahs and moos?