Set in the tumultuous 1960s, Across the Universe is a surreal look at love, loss, and self discovery centered around the music of the Beatles. Although many of the musical sequences are dizzying dreamlike fantasies, the film is grounded with sobering moments of reality, including one standout scene set to Let It Be. Director Julie Taylor deftly cuts between scenes from the 1967 Detroit riot and a family receiving news of a soldiers death to illustrate the simultaneous devastating effects of the Vietnam War and civil unrest. The song itself is a tribute to the simple vocals of the original recording and the soaring gospel version recorded by Aretha Franklin. The first clip is an inspiring behind the scenes look at the filming process and Carol Woods’s original audition, the second is the actual sequence in the movie
If I could bottle up the confidence of one person, it would be Lizzo. And if that confidence had a color, it would probably match the tangerine she is wearing in this Tiny Desk concert appearance for NPR. As Stephan Thompson puts it, Lizzo arrived for soundcheck “dressed to the nines, and ready to sing her face off.” Which she certainly does in this performance.
I just discovered Matt Maeson’s Cringe while listening to the radio on my way home from work last week. You know you’ve found a new favorite when you turn up the volume the first time you hear it.
I love watching videos by 2Cellos anytime I need a pick me up. The Croatian duo is known for reworking pop songs and theme songs into classical music, and have a talent for keeping each piece fresh and entertaining without the benefit of lyrics. Plus they always look like they are having a blast.
I’ve mentioned here before that I have a writing soundtrack full of songs from the classical music scores of different movies and TV shows. One of those songs is Benjamin Wallfisch‘s Every 27 Years, the eerie piano tune that opens and closes the film. Lilypichu’s rendition here is staged as a simple homage to the 2017 film, and definitely has me looking forward to chapter 2 this August!
Of Monsters and Men‘s new single Alligator is quickly becoming a summer anthem for me. I appreciate that they’ve traded their folk music sensibilities for a more electric, rock sound, and I love the way the hazy lyrics evoke more of a feeling then attempt to tell a clear cut story. I see colour raining down Feral feeling, swaying sound But I don’t know what you want I am open and I am restless Help me feel it out, let it all come out Wake me up I’m fever dreaming And now I lose control I’m fever dreaming Shake it out It’s just what I’m feeling And now I take control I’m fever dreaming (I’m fever dreaming) Oh so quiet when they laid me in the stream And the starlit sky grew before my eyes Twenty-two women stood by the banks and cried Oh, I Wake me up I’m fever dreaming And now I lose control I’m fever dreaming Shake it out It’s just the way I’m feeling And now I take control I’m fever dreaming (I’m fever …
I’ve been listening to Sia’s piano recording of Elastic Heart a lot lately. I love this version because it really showcases the raw power of her voice and the emotions she pours into this song. It’s a break up song, but it reminds me a lot of how I feel about the submission process. Most of the time the publications I submit to don’t even respond back, and the perpetual waiting for that response can feel worse than an actual rejection. But I keep pushing forward, hoping that if I keep trying with thick skin and an elastic heart, I can find the right place for my work. Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart But your blade it might be too sharp I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard But I may snap when I move close But you won’t see me fall apart ‘Cause I’ve got an elastic heart
Netflix’s science fiction drama Dark is known for its twisting time travel plot, but it’s the other parts of the shows production that add extra layers of depth to its story. From the distinct color pallet carried by its set design, props, and costume departments to the music used, you can see the thought that is put into every aspect of the show.
Growing up my sisters and I would spend a lot of time in the summer visiting our grandparents in Rhode Island. When it was really hot, we watched movies in their basement. They had a ton of bootleg Disney and Peanuts movies, but I remember watching Betty Boop shorts as well. The one I remember the most involved sick cars (which I found for this post!) When I rewatched it this week, I realized I had forgotten how strange and surreal the shorts actually were. I guess I just never noticed when I was younger how weird each scenario Betty is placed in, the strangeness amplified by the jaunty music each short is set to.
The moment I heard K Flay’s Bad Vibes on the radio I new it was going to be my new summer anthem. I’ve been feeling a little worn out from all the negativity I’ve been hearing and reading lately. Whether it’s the over-critical reactions to movies and TV shows to incessant harping and petty fighting about politics and the news. I’ve had enough. I’m determined to find as many places and events to enjoy and take inspiration from as possible.