Saturday, April 16, 2011

Show #55 April 16, 2011

For Angela...

- New Math Die Trying 7"
Good Day- The Click Five Greetings From Imrie House
The B-Side- The Innocents No Hit Wonders From Down-Under
Telegram- The Monitors Shake Some Action Vol. 3
I'll Cry Instead- The Monochrome Set Eligible Bachelors
King Of The Mountain- Three Hour Tour 1969
Dreamin' (Here He Comes)- City Thrills City Thrills EP
Love Me Or Leave Me- Rooney Calling the World
^Where Have You Been All My Life- Fotomaker Fotomaker
The Provider- The Outlets Whole New World
Bubblegum Factory- Redd Kross Third Eye
Automatic- Off Broadway Quick Turns
Changing With The Times- The Headboys The Headboys
Wanna Write a Letter- LMNOP Elemen Opee Elpee
*Rave On- The Real Kids Real Kids
*Red Rubber Ball- The Diodes Tired of Waking Up Tired
*Lipstick On Your Collar- The Saints 1-2-3-4 EP
*Mony Mony- The Wigs File Under: Pop Vocal
Tomorrow Night- Shoes Shoes Best
Need The Girl- The Agents Need The Girl EP
The Sky Is Falling- Owsley Owsley
My Problem (w/ Mark Mulcahy)- The Reducers Guitars, Bass & Drums
Merry-Go-Round (Love Is All)- The Hollywood Stars The Hollywood Stars
Too Dumb- Regular Guys Regular Guys E.P. 7"
>Cruisin' Music- Raspberries Starting Over
Oh No- The Shazam The Shazam
Someone Like You- Blue Shoes Someone Like You 7"
Thin Red Line- The Cretones Thin Red Line
Three Chord City- The Cold You 7"
Revenge- The Scruffs Wanna Meet The Scruffs
Rock N' Roll Song- Bobby Sky Titan: It's All Pop!
Charmless- The Popes Hi We're The Popes
New Strings- The Pods It's A Bummer About Bourbie EP
A Girl I Know (Precis of a Friend)- The Pleasers Thamesbeat

^Power Pop Peak: #81 Billboard Hot 100 4/22/78

*SacroSet: Power Pop Cover Songs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1974

I saw a very interesting documentary a few weeks back called The Five Obstructions. In the film, director Lars Von Trier (Breaking The Waves, Dogville) challenges his mentor Jorgen Leth to remake Leth's 1967 short film The Perfect Human five times, each with a different set of obstructions. Von Trier, who a lot of the time comes off like a bastard, has thought out some of the obstructions ahead of time (no cuts longer than 12 frames, shoot in "the worst place in the world" but don't show it on camera, remake it as an animated film) but some are just random bitch slaps (shoot in Cuba, no sets).

Leth is a pretty unflappable guy does his best to complete each task. The obstructions end up being a major factor shaping and even inspiring the work. In fact, as punishment for “failing” at one of the tasks Leth is told to remake the film any way he chooses, in other words with NO obstructions. Leth’s response to this particular obstruction is “that’s diabolical.” In the end, Von Trier admits that he failed in his attempt to ruffle his mentor's composure and that he, Von Trier, will likely never make a film as good as The Perfect Human.

In my experience playing guitar and writing songs for rock bands, I've never sought out obstructions. Let's face it, limited talent is obstruction enough- my guitar playing plateaued when I was about 19 and my songwriting never progressed much past verse-verse-chorus-bridge-solo-chorus-chorus-out. That's why I find a guy like Jack White so intriguing; he consistently puts artistic obstructions in his own path. Take The White Stripes: no bass player, a drummer with limited skills, a three color palette (white, red, black) for wardrobe and design, recording only on ancient analog equipment, etc. Yet, I would say Jack White is the only certifiable genius rock & roll has produced in the new millennium.

There's a great moment in the guitar documentary It Might Get Loud where they show Jack White on the porch of his farm house in Nashville making a "guitar" out of a coke bottle, a piece of wood and a guitar string. The film then cuts to U2 guitar player The Edge's roadie wheeling a refrigerator-sized rack of computer guitar effects into the band's rehearsal studio. It's a great juxtaposition- I'm not knocking The Edge, but in my opinion Jack White comes off way cooler, way more rock & roll.

Even though I've been appearing in plays and student films a relatively short time, I feel my acting abilities have already surpassed my musical talents. Experience has shown me that most major obstructions to a good acting performance are internal rather than external. I'll find myself getting locked into a certain way of doing something or, even worse, be thinking of what I need to do next and not listening to my fellow actors. Acting is a great metaphor for life- you have to be right there in the moment or the audience will sense you've drifted off, giving them permission to do the same. Anyway, I'm still learning. In fact, I've been cast in a new show that I'm pretty excited about. More on that in a future post.

Here are the links below to download this week's show (right click and "Save Target As"):
Hour 1
Hour 2

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