Recent comments

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 hours 35 min ago


    Otis Blue was enjoyable but didn't really hold up all that well (in relation to 7/10+ works) ... Call Me was okay -- could be some nuances there; his voice has subtleties but (for me) not at all comparable to the explosion of outpouring (vocal and compositional) that is What's Going On. I wouldn't be surprised if it holds its own to the "erotic-persona" albums of Gaye, but What's Going On is one of the most overwhelming masterpieces in all of art (imo). There's a Riot Goin On was superb, however, and a very worthy revisit that I might have to return to a few times. Might be a 7/10 with potential for 7.5.

    I think we tend to agree more consistently on film and visual art, (and probably would on literature/poetry) but it's all good! :)

  • Best albums of 2014 (that I've heard)   4 hours 34 min ago

    Thanks, sounds amazing! I'll have to check it out!

  • Favorite Albums   8 hours 11 min ago

    Steve Reich might be a more apt comparison. Millions is certainly more structurally dynamic than Dysnomia though its polyrhythms and emotions/"contemplative evocation" are similar in a number of parts. Last listen of TNT (at least 3 years ago) I think I rated it 7.6/10 while noting its potential for a higher rating. Certainly one I'll revisit in the near future!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   9 hours 46 min ago

    Thank you! Otis Blue is an old favorite. By memory I'm skeptical that it would hold up very strongly for me today but Id love to be surprised by it. I've always gone back and forth on Riot -- not sure if its me or if the album is just uneven. The vocal to Family Affair is particularly superb and the drugged out grooves have a peculiar allure. And I've never really listened to James aside from hearing her standards; same with Armstrong. I think I heard Call Me years ago but sounds like I should revisit it!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   10 hours 26 min ago

    Unfortunately I'm not at all familiar with either.. :(. I do like really Mayfield on this though :).

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   10 hours 41 min ago

    it's a shame Otis wasn't around long enough to make it to the concept-soul era. He was on his way there with his first filler-less album, Complete & Unbelievable (I think Otis Blue is somewhat ruined by the Shake-My Girl-Wonderful World sequence even though it has his arguable peak of touching vocal nuances, I've Been Loving You Too Long). Any insights on Curtis Mayfield? How about Isaac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul (assuming you're familiar, don't Walk On By and Phoenix both sound fantastically dub reggaeish in parts)?

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   11 hours 7 min ago

    I'll take Al Green over Marvin Gaye. He has a handful of great albums (Call Me being my favourite of the lot), but his Greatest Hits is probably the best way in. I have no idea what particular collection I own because my track list isn't quite matching up with anything I see online, but the 1995 reissue seems to be a good enough place to start. He's delicate, tender and perfect. Him, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong are my favourite singers. I'd be remiss to elide Etta James, and while she is unremittingly great I must confess that I respond to her unevenly. She's my favourite when she's a powerhouse of dense emotion ("I'd Rather Go Blind", "The Sky is Crying", "At Last", etc). The Definitive Collection is a good one, if you're interested in her range.

    Oh, and while I'm here, Otis Blue and There's A Riot Goin' On, especially, are wonderful (the title of the latter is, incidentally, a response to What's Going On). Blues doesn't quite fit into R&B or soul, but it's close enough, so I'll just mention that A Man & the Blues, Born Under a Bad Sign, Blues After Hours and Hoodoo Man Blues are really great albums. It's a different kind of aesthetic, though, and there's lots to explore in the genre.

  • Best albums of 2014 (that I've heard)   13 hours 35 min ago

    How would I describe it? Like floating through a dream at the bottom of the ocean. It's incredibly peaceful but at the same time hints at something vast and tumultuous. It would be a good soundtrack for some of the final scenes of 2001.

    John Luther Adams an American composer, and that piece in particular won him a Pulitzer Prize. Musically I hear something along the lines of the work, though not the technique, of Steve Reich or Glenn Branca. What it does best is capture a feeling of awe, and I'm always impressed when a work of art can do that well.

  • Best albums of 2014 (that I've heard)   13 hours 53 min ago

    Wow, an 8/10! Never heard of John Luther Adams. How would you describe the album?

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   13 hours 56 min ago

    To each his own! If I change my mind, I'm sure you'll be the first to know/notice it!

    In the meantime, if you discover another R & B/Soul album that is more significant than What's Going On (emotionally/singularity of expression), I'd be interested to know (this is to anyone reading this).

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   14 hours 23 min ago

    I'm pretty sure I already see why it's a 9/10; I just disagree with the path that it takes to get there. I think we have different criteria. I also think you're unknowingly smuggling extra symbolism (attached to classical music and soul melodies) that isn't really in the album. But my mind is definitely open to being changed, by anybody or by further listens.

  • Favorite Albums   19 hours 49 min ago

    Great! I hope you end up liking it as much as I do.

    My favorite Tortoise album used to be Millions Now but TNT took over its place over time. Both are awesome. What do you think about TNT? Dysnomia reminds me of Steve Reich and that freaky section near the end of Sister Ray where rhythms morph into one another.

  • Favorite Albums   1 day 6 hours ago

    Re: Top 30 keep changing positions ... totally understand

    Re: Dysnomia, I almost never listen to albums in parts (exceptions are really long ones that I occasionally have to break up, such as Escalator Over the Hill or Have One On Me...), so doing the whole thing in one shot is no problem. I'm really digging it as of my most recent listen and can see its potential. I'll keep listening to it. If it ever gets even close to Millions Now Living Will Never Die for me, I'll be very pleased.

    Re: Rock Bottom ... Who knows, it might be even better than you remember :)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   1 day 6 hours ago

    The only potentially useful point I might add to what I've said is that What's Going On seems much more amazing to me now than it did earlier on in my music listening, so if it is indeed a true-9/10, that may be a factor in play here.

    I would also say that one of the (several) reasons for revisiting the albums I've listed from 7.8+ is to ensure whether or not albums such as What's Going On and Innervisions still hold up alongside all of them -- along with any others that recently enjoyed huge, sudden upgrades in rating and ranking (Laughing Stock, Forever Changes, Beggar's Banquet, Rumours, etc...). I really have no problem downgrading them if they don't hold up, so we'll see... One of the major attributes a "serious music listener" should have (imo) is a willingness to change one's mind if necessary no matter how strong a previous assertion may have been (when upgrading or downgrading). That can be a big hump for some to get over, but I don't feel one should worry too much about it.

    Another reason for revisiting all of them is to re-acclimate myself to the nuances of my ratings scale and get it all properly ordered and established to "prepare" me for what may be my very next endeavor: finishing up all of Scaruffi's rock-8/10's. For the last few years I'd primarily been intensively involved with paintings/visual arts and -- before that -- intensively involved in cinema, with only some interspersed mini-dives into music along the way, so I'm just really getting going again with it.

  • Spam Patrol   1 day 13 hours ago

    ========== Spam Patrol ===========
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  • Favorite Albums   1 day 16 hours ago

    Yes, the worldwide edition.

  • Favorite Albums   1 day 16 hours ago

    Well there are a bunch of albums that make up the top 30 spots on my list and keeping changing positions over time. Dysnomia recently joined the bunch and I think it's going to stay. I don't know if it's better than A Love Supreme or VU & Nico but I think it's just as good. At the moment it interests me more than either of them because I've already worn them out.

    An interesting thing about Dysnomia is the continuity of the whole album. There's a natural flow to everything that happens throughout the whole thing. It's always a good idea to listen to the whole album without pause. The overall feeling I get from it is more than just suspense or trance ... it's catharsis.

    I haven't listened to Rock Bottom since a few years ago when I was in love and the album made so much sense. I kinda never get the urge to listen to it these days. It's a first class masterpiece though.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 days 3 hours ago

    I've already described it in previous posts (the earlier ones on your page). Just revisit those if you're interested. Maybe I'll write a more thorough review sometime later.

  • They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?: 1,000 Greatest Films: 2003 edition onwards   2 days 8 hours ago

    Hi guys, I've now updated the list for the February 2015 version.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 days 11 hours ago

    Is the concept of What's Going On much deeper than "Love is necessary" or "Come together," or am I continually missing something? I do pay attention when I listen to it but it always falls into that simple theme, and it seems impossible to see it as more deep. It never stops being simply a masterpiece of that surface concept. I would argue that it has little to do with spirituality but simply with compassionate social commentary. A deeper spiritual concept would be self-transcendence, for example, which is associated with Buddhism and psychedelics. Most scientists and philosophers would find this area of research more profound than, say, the civil rights movement, in part because it has already happened. If someone released an album today simply about racism, as if that commentary were new, it would be panned, no matter how much talent or bare emotion is in the work. Of course one can feel the profundity of self-transcendence while listening to What's Going On, but it would be more in the person's mind than in the art.

    I will add that when you describe the album in terms of romanticized and transfigured states it doesn't answer my first question - I see it, but I'm not really sure what is so great about that.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 days 12 hours ago

    I'm always open to change with each new listen, but currently I dont know of a single artist in the history of music that can/or has, done what Gaye has accomplished with What's Going On. I doubt that the most sophisticated artists of all time -- anyone from Mahler to Spring Heel Jack, could compose those "floating" songs/medley without a tremendous effort and, further, make them sound so transfigured, let alone find another voice/vocal performance such as Gaye's. Now -- if how many listens from now? -- it no longer proves to be, or if after going through the history of R & B/Soul (if I ever do) -- that is no longer the case, then perhaps what I've said will no longer seem true and Ill change my mind, but currently: I would strongly suggest re-listening to them with increased attention to the entire sound and conveyance of emotions. The same can be said -- to a somewhat lesser degree -- for Innervisions. Michael Jackson, among others, have certainly tried to sound/convey that one! Innervisions also elevates its songs to romanticized states and transfigurations but whereas Gaye's is more of a single visionary stream-of-conscious, Innervisions continuously climaxes between theatrically colorful romantic street-life reproductions, stunningly vibrant and felt hymns yo God/love, spiritual ascensions/"rave-ups", to outright comedy all the while under a vivid spell of immaculate, nuanced, penetrating soul. Comparing it cinematically, Innervisions doesn't seem far from the artistic value of, say, a Chaplin film or one of Wilders romanticized/"disguised" (with melancholy/pessimism) comedies.

    Just understand that I am not rating them so high lightly/haphazardly/carelessly. Who knows if it will ever change? Only works of very rare emotional weight and caliber rate that highly in my criteria. Ive listened to hundreds of spiritual works of all types/genres and can assure you thats not the issue. "If" an issue exists, it might be that I am somewhat inexperienced with R & B/Soul (relative to rock/classical) and that further discoveries in that field might make them seem less impressive.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   2 days 13 hours ago

    Update 5
    Dashforcover rose one place to 4th. Bpchicky climbed 2 slots to take over 7th. Two of our number, nukualofa and mamushka have dropped out of the 1 film per day level. Puzzgal and guardianryoga conspired to ease julesyoung into 13th place and formed a tie at 11th. Tatum stepped quietly into 15th while kgracetasticsake leaped two slots to 20th and Lendoxia slid smartly into 21st. We had 5 who did not log any films this week at all.

    As a group we logged 129 movies over last week for a total of 1214 films. The next update will be 15 March with 74 and 148 being the numbers for 1 and 2 films per day, respectively. Happy viewing and see you in two weeks!

  • List of Oscar nominated actors and actresses by date of death   2 days 13 hours ago

    Available on Netflix for the ten last
    Bold means Oscar nominated role
    Bold caps means Oscar winning role
    * means recommended movie


    - The Forger, 2012
    - The Walker, 2007
    - Diamonds, 1999
    - Ready to Wear, 1994 *
    - All I Want For Christmas, 1991
    - Misery, 1990 *
    - How to Marry a Millionaire, 1953 *

    - The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, 2014
    - Lee Daniels' The Butler, 2013 *
    - The Big Wedding, 2013
    - The Face of Love, 2013
    - World's Greatest Dad, 2009 *
    - Old Dogs, 2009
    - Shrink, 2009
    - August Rush, 2007
    - License to Wed, 2007
    - Man of the Year, 2006
    - RV, 2006
    - The Big White, 2005 *
    - The Final Cut, 2004
    - House of D, 2004
    - Noel, 2004
    - Insomnia, 2002 *
    - One Hour Photo, 2002 *
    - Bicentennial Man, 1999
    - Jakob the Liar, 1999
    - Patch Adams, 1998 *
    - What Dreams May Come, 1998 *
    - GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997 *
    - Deconstructing Harry, 1997 *
    - Flubber, 1997
    - The Birdcage, 1996 *
    - Jack, 1996
    - Jumanji, 1995
    - Mrs Doubtfire, 1993 *
    - Toys, 1992
    - The Fisher King, 1991 *
    - Dead Again, 1991 *
    - Hook, 1991
    - Awakenings, 1990 *
    - Dead Poets Society, 1989 *
    - The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 1988
    - Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987 *

    - The Ultimate Gift, 2006
    - The Notebook, 2004 *
    - Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, 2002
    - Space Cowboys, 2000
    - Twilight, 1998
    - The Castaway Cowboy, 1974
    - The Great Escape, 1963 *
    - Move Over Darling, 1963 *
    - The Children's Hour, 1961 *

    - A Thousand Words, 2012
    - Video Girl, 2011
    - Baby Geniuses, 1999
    - Cop and a Half, 1993

    - The Night of the Grizzly, 1966
    - The Sons of Katie Elder, 1965 *
    - The Carpetbaggers, 1964 *
    - Houseboat, 1958 *
    - Sabrina, 1954 *
    - Down Three Dark Streets, 1954


    - Snow White and the Huntsman, 2012 *
    - Made in Dagenham, 2010 *
    - Doomsday, 2008
    - Outlaw, 2007
    - Hollywoodland, 2006 *
    - Paris, Je T'aime, 2006
    - Mrs Henderson Presents, 2005 *
    - Son of the Mask, 2005
    - Unleashed, 2005
    - Vanity Fair, 2004 *
    - Beyond the Sea, 2004
    - Den of Lions, 2003
    - Maid in Manhattan, 2002 *
    - Enemy at the Gates, 2001
    - Cousin Bette, 1998
    - Hook, 1991
    - Mermaids, 1990
    - Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988 *
    - A Prayer for the Dying, 1987
    - The Long Good Friday, 1980 *
    - Zulu Dawn, 1979 *

    - Erik the Viking, 1989
    - Leave 'em Laughing, 1981
    - The Black Stallion, 1979 *
    - Pete's Dragon, 1977
    - It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, 1963 *
    - Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961 *
    - The Last Mile, 1959
    - The Bridges at Toko-Ri, 1954 *
    - The Big Wheel, 1949
    - Love Laughs at Andy Hardy, 1946

    - A Most Wanted Man, 2014 *
    - God's Pocket, 2014
    - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2013 *
    - The Master, 2012 *
    - A Late Quartet, 2012 *
    - The Ides of March, 2011 *
    - Moneyball, 2011 *
    - Jack Goes Boating, 2010
    - Pirate Radio, 2009 *
    - Doubt, 2008 *
    - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, 2007 *
    - Mission: Impossible III, 2006 *
    - CAPOTE, 2005 *
    - Along Came Polly, 2004
    - Cold Mountain, 2003 *
    - 25th Hour, 2002 *
    - Punch-Drunk Love, 2002 *
    - Almost Famous, 2000 *
    - The Talented Mr Ripley, 1999 *
    - Flawless, 1999
    - Happiness, 1998 *
    - Patch Adams, 1998 *
    - Next Stop Wonderland, 1998
    - Boogie Nights, 1997 *
    - Scent of a Woman, 1992 *
    - Leap of Faith, 1992

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 days 14 hours ago

    I get that you simply have a different taste in spiritual albums but I am suggesting that the spirituality of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder is less sophisticated, such that the difference would disappear and the preference would reverse given a shift in knowledge rather than a shift in artistic opinion or attentiveness. If that is true then of course it isn't a matter of listening to the album attentively. If it isn't I admit I'm sorely mistaken either about those albums or about spirituality (or about art), which I doubt.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 days 14 hours ago

    Agreed. On that note, I'd say that varying between different art forms is the most rewarding and effective measure, which could easily include literature and/or studying philosophy/science/religion.