Monday, July 21, 2008

Bats and Wolves and the Apocalypse (Oh My!)

There's been a bit of belt tightening around the old homestead these days, a condition that has opened my eyes to how much life in this city revolves around spending money. Turns out all there really is to do in L.A. is eat and shop and drink, which means there aren't a whole lot of options when you're trying to conserve money (and gas) by cutting back on these delightful pastimes.

One benefit to this is that I've been reading at a furious pace lately, catching up on a number of books that had been sitting idly on the shelf for far too long. I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy this weekend, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. It's a beautifully written story, but good GRIEF is Cormac McCarthy bleak. I'm actually just basing this assessment on The Road and the movie version of No Country For Old Men, but judging by those two examples, I'd say that The Joker from Dark Knight has a rosier outlook on the human condition.

Speaking of which, I was SUPER excited about the new Batman movie, despite the fact that all the billboards planted around town of Heath Ledger looking maniacal kind of freak me out. It didn't disappoint. I really liked Batman Begins, and I love Christan Bale in the role. But the movie completely belongs to Health Ledger. Even after all the hype I was totally blown away by his performance. It definitely does add to the creepiness of the character to know that the actor died so soon after making the movie, but mainly it's just sad to reflect again on how incredibly talented he was. If for no other reason than his indelible performance in Ten Things I Hate About You back in the late 90s, I will always remember him fondly.

And just so you don't think my weekend was all gloom and doom, I also saw the excellent band Wolf Parade in concert. (I realize that movies and concerts, and $10 drinks at said concert, don't really fit into the new ethos of fiscal responsibility. I plan to do better next week). There are two kinds of concert-going people that I simply don't understand:

1. People who sit.
and
2. People who stand still.

It seems to me that the whole point of going to see live music is for the experience--to let the lights and the music and the collective rhythm of the crowd wash over you. Apparently, in this area I break rank with my fellow white people because I MOVE at concerts. I tap my foot, I bob my head, I flail my arms around wildly. Yes people...I Dance Like No One Is Watching. Because, really, is there any other way?

8 comments:

oubliesurlacarte said...

People who stand still

I'm with you on that one - it's bad enough at a rock show...but when people stand still for a dance act it's just mind boggling. The number of people who stood still for the whole !!! set this weekend at Pitchfork was ridiculous. Why would you go see !!! if your intention was not to dance? It's like Seinfeld's girlfriend who says "that's funny" instead of laughing...

Noelle said...

I loved The Road, but not the Batman movie. Maybe it's because I prefer to deal with the aftermath of destruction rather than the act of it? Or maybe it was just my frame of mind...

And yes, I prefer to move at concerts, but it usually takes me about 30 minutes before my inhibitions melt away.

Kelli said...

So much to discuss.

The Road. Bleak yes, but utterly powerful, too -- I mean, I read that in January and it's rare I go a week without thinking about it. Plus, somehow McCarthy was able to weave the tiniest bit of hope into a completely hopeless world.

I just saw The Dark Knight last night and as I was watching the credits role began crafting what I'd blog about re: Heath Ledger, his immense talent, and the loss of all that could have been...

Lauren said...

The Dark Knight was fantastic, wasn't it? Not only was Ledger's performance brilliant, but Aaron Eckart did a brilliant job as Harvey Dent/Two Face. What I liked most about the film was that it had a great story with superheros...rather than a superhero movie with some sort of plot holding it together. It was definitely creepy though!

neetu said...

Just looking at the name !!! makes me want to dance.

Seriously, I cannot believe there is a band named !!!. wtf.

Sarah said...

Ha, I love that the name !!! makes you want to dance. It's pronouced "chick chick chick", btw, and is supposed to represent the sound of drumsticks being tapped together, if I remember correctly.

Also, I believe that Wolf Parade is best enjoyed while dancing dorkily and singing along to the lyrics. I am also tempted to profess my love for Spencer Krug during the quieter moments, but am usually pretty good at restraining myself.

Matt said...

I would like to point out that *I* stood still for the entire show and I looked very very cool.

In fact, after the show, Spencer Krug approached me in the lobby and was, like, "Hey man. Me and some of the guys were just talking about how cool you looked out there." I nodded graciously. "No man, I mean it," Krug continued. "One of my buddies in !!! played at Pitchfork last weekend and he said they could hardly concentrate on their music 'cause some guy in the audience (wearing a UC Irvine t-shirt) kept flopping around like some beached dolphin." Then he asked me to join the band! I demurred, of course. "After all," I explained, "I don't even play an instrument." Krug seemed disappointed, but ultimately I think he understood. On my way out the door, I signed his headband. I think it made him feel better.

Sarah said...

Bwahaha! Matt, you kill me.