Monday, August 13, 2007

Starry, Starry Night

Tonight was the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. It was a really great spectacle, and it still has a few nights where there will be a lot of meteors streaking across the sky, so I suggest you get out and see them at a spot without a lot of light around about 11. And in honor of the time spent staring up at the night sky, here are some great songs having to do with or about stars:

My sophomore English teacher got me really into early 90s indie rock, especially Built to Spill. I had already been listening to Pavement, but these guys, the Silver Jews, and Yo La Tengo’s presence in my musical tastes are a direct result of that guy. This was the first BTS song that really hooked me, and rightly so. It’s got a great melody, and Marsch’s lyrics are childish (referring to the Big Dipper as a “brontosaurus laying on its side up in the sky”) and tender at the same time.

Built to Spill – Big Dipper

I definitely feel that Echo & the Bunnymen don’t get the respect they deserve for the great records they made back in the 80s. The Smiths get all the critical praise, The Cure got the album sales, but Echo was always my favorite of those three. This song comes from their first album, Crocodiles, which was definitely their most raw sounding, before they started messing around with more instrumentation in the studio. I don’t think this is one of their absolute best, but I still really like it. Echo is one of my favorite bands, so you’ll definitely see more of their stuff on here in the coming weeks.

Echo & the Bunnymen – Stars are Stars

Ok, so this only has a little bit to do with stars, but it’s such an awesome song that because the word is in the title I have an excuse to post it. Off of Radiohead’s second album The Bends, the entire album was like the band waving goodbye to the traditional rock music they were expected by fans and labels alike to keep making for the rest of their careers following the success of “Creep.” As we all know, they went down the rabbit hole of creativity to incredible artistic success, but the amazing thing here is that they were equally adept if not more impressive in their farewell to more traditional alternative rock music.

Radiohead – Black Star

In movie news, Rush Hour 3 topped the box office with a weekend total of just over $50 million.

However, I’ve read in a few different places that the total has been inflated a bit so the movie could get a little press out of opening over fifty mil. Here’s one movie-goer that hopes the actuals turn out a bit lower. It’s the summer of threequels to be sure, and not all of them have been good, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that the only person in America that really needed this movie was Chris Tucker.

UPDATE: Final numbers put it at 49.1 mil, which is still way too much, but at least it's not 50. Also check out a great post on /film here about how the opening is being received by the media. It's a great comparison to M:i:3, and a wonderful display of how Brett Ratner for some reason is getting cut more slack with all the crap in his back catalogue than Tom Cruise is with all of the great performances in his career.

No comments: