The Choir’s Burning Like the Midnight Sun was released to positive reviews in June, ending a five-year recording break that followed 2005’s O How the Mighty Have Fallen. Rather than have listeners wait another several years for more material, the band closes out 2010 with de-plumed, a collection of re-recorded, acoustic renditions of songs from past albums. Band members Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong are touring in support of the new albums, and their set list includes de-plumed‘s introspective variations as well as the stories behind the songs.
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A video director known only as Weirdcore assembled this new video for the much-talked about GAMES, a duo comprised of Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never and Joel Ford of Tigercity. Apparently culled entirely from Youtube footage, the video looks like it took the most surreal of corporate training videos and made them even more bizarre, a perfect accompaniment to the song’s more Patrick Bateman qualities (i.e. the sample of adult contemporary schlock from the ‘80s).
Last week marked not only Veteran’s Day but also the 235th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. In light of that, let’s take a look at some great “war movies”, some of which you might have never heard of before.
The Great Escape: based on real events, it features an all-star cast as officers who inventively bust out of a German POW camp for officers. The real message of the movie is about friendship, however, as the various men involved risk life and limb to help one another. Though the movie has many light-hearted moments, it is also quite a tear-jerker.
Oscar has an affinity for Australian actors when it comes to giving up the gold: Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, and Geoffrey Rush among the recent winners from down under. Animal Kingdom‘s Jacki Weaver, who is appearing in the Sydney Theater’s production of Uncle Vanya, is positioned to be the next performer to uphold the tradition this year for her bravura turn in the noirish film.
Playing Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody, the cunningly sweet matriarch with a heart of steel, Weaver seems to be shoe-in for an impending slew of trophies and critical hosannas. But will Academy voters bite? History is on Weaver’s side, Aussie heritage aside, playing a variation of the bad mother trope has won the top prize for Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden), Shelley Winters (A Patch of Blue), and most recently, Mo’Nique (Precious). If I were a Best Supporting Actress contender, I’d watch my back.
Check out this exclusive scene from Animal Kingdom to see Weaver in full-throttle action. It would work perfectly as an Oscar clip as well.
Henryk Górecki, the celebrated Polish composer whose compositions ranged from discordant avant-garde works to conventional harmonic arrangements, died on 12 November 2010, in Katowice, Poland. He was 76.
A noted pioneer of minimalist compositional techniques—though he adopted a more florid mode of expression when he began investigating religious themes in his later works—Górecki was perhaps best known for his 1976 work Symphony No. 3, or the “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.”
Though a somber piece that explored such issues as war and loss, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” became an improbable crossover hit in 1992 when a recording of the more than 15-year-old third symphony was released to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. The recording, put out by the record label Nonesuch, cracked into Britain’s top 10 pop music chart and went on to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide.
Though Górecki was often at lager heads with his country, perhaps most famously when he resigned in 1979 from his professor of composition post to protest the then communist government’s rebuff of a visit by Pope John Paul II, the composer was awarded Poland’s most prestigious award last month, the Order of the White Eagle.
In a remembrance posted on Nonesuch’s website, the Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington, who worked with the composer in his later years, stated the following: “There is no one who can replace Henryk Górecki in the world of music. Many others have created beautiful, passionate, even exalted music. But Henryk found a way forward and beyond, through thickets of styles and fashions, that resonates of the single human being in communion with the power of the universe.”