mitchco a go go

Archive for January, 2010

It’s depressing me to see you struggle

29 January 2010

The final of three singles released by Pinback, “Penelope” is from 2001.

Weirdly nostalgic for 2001 over the past few months. What was your favorite song that year?

My Girl

27 January 2010

I’m always up for trying out a new TV show, so when a friend told me that she had a great suggestion, I was psyched. When she then told me to check out some Korean “soap operas” (a genre with which I have no familiarity), I was slightly less psyched, but still game. I’m not too big on American soaps, what with their melodramatic heterosexual romances, white middle class woes, and BO-RING costumes, but figured that this might be different. Her first recommendation was a series called My Girl (“Mai geol” in transliterated Korean), which I started watching this weekend.

I’m not sure if My Girl is an accurate reflection of the genre at large, but it’s pretty freaking fantastic. The heroine, Joo Yoo-rin, is a well-meaning, sharp-witted (though occasionally clumsy) young woman, with a talent for perpetrating hilarious “victimless crimes.” She also dresses like an Ewok designing for Delia’s:

Joo Yoo-rin

Joo Yoo-rin, in a "dressier" outfit

She’s quick on her feet, has a flair for the absurd, and is generally sort of impossible not to like. Her main love interest, from what I can tell from the first episode, is going to be the dashing and handsome director of a large chain of hotels, a young man named Seol Gong-chan: Read the rest of this entry »

People of Earth, when you dance

26 January 2010

Realism by The Magnetic FieldsI got the new Magnetic Fields album, Realism, last night (thanks, Nonesuch!). I listened to it once while falling asleep, and I’m on my second listen through today. At 33:17 in length, it’s a zippy little burst of an album, with crystal-clear production. First impressions of 5/13 of the tracks:

  • “We Are Having a Hootenanny Now” is the sort of form study, nearly drained of content, at which Stephin Merritt excels. I love the multi-part vocals, with Merritt’s canyon-low creak holding down the bottom, and Claudia Gonson’s light-as-a-feather voice floating over the top.
  • “The Dolls’ Tea Party” features what sounds like a great toy piano and banjo combo, and I love the refrain.
  • “Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree” is unparalleled in its 60s sound, coming across almost like an alternate universe early Cat Stevens.  And has this great couplet: “Stop mumbling and cheer up/Put down the book, pick beer up.”
  • Is “Always Already Gone” a nod to Derrida? I think Stephin Merritt is perhaps the last great Post- structuralist, so I wouldn’t be surprised. What a beautiful idea, applying it to a ballad.
  • And of course, of course, I completely love “The Dada Polka.” Listening to this last night, in that liminal place between waking and sleep, I was giddy and grinning during it. I love the weird underlying sound effects during the pauses, like the void is about to sweep in and take away the musicians, and the return of layered group vocals like in “We Are Having a Hootenanny.”

I love The Magnetic Fields so much that it’s almost a palpable relief to have more music by them released into the world. And this album is a great little taste of more of that TMF genius. I’m going to relisten to Distortion, the companion album, over the next few days, and hopefully attempt a side-by-side review later this week.

Oh, No, Where Did The Groove Go?

25 January 2010

Sparks in 1974 and 2007

Sparks in 1974 and 2007

What band was an early favorite of both Björk and Morrissey, has released twenty-two studio albums, and celebrates their fortieth anniversary this year? If you already know the band, I’m sure you could guess from those last two facts alone that it’s Sparks, the manic, ever-creative ever-adapting duo comprised of the Mael brothers, Ron and Russell. I could probably write an entire blog about them, with such an insane output and wide-ranging devotees, but that would be exhausting. Instead, here are a couple of songs that I love. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten minutes later, it was dry-hump heaven

8 January 2010

My friend Peggy is kind of a genius sometimes. Like when she told me that every couple of months she checks in with Sarah Haskins “Target Women” shorts:

Haskins deconstructs advertising in the truest sense of the word: she dismantles the ridiculous tactics used by advertisers to manipulate women (and sometimes men) and reveals them for the pathetic attempts at pseudo-psychology and bald finagling that they really are. This is feminism at its finest, welding wit with anger and intelligence with accessibility.

And also, it’s hilarious. You can watch these at parties. Well, at least I’ve watched them at parties. Maybe my parties are different than yours. Hey, want to come over later and watch some Sarah Haskins? Then maybe we could play pin the tail on the patriarchy. And pour one out for Mary Daly. Sounds good? Awesome. See you later.