adrian is rad


new CDs

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:18 am

I went to Amoeba today, which means I spent a lot of money on CDs.

CDs I’d heard a lot but didn’t own

  • Pinback Summer in Abaddon[1]
  • Elliot Smith From a Basement on a Hill[2]

CDs I don’t have but I have a pretty good idea what they’ll sound like and I’m pretty sure I’ll like

  • Iron & Wine Passing Afternoon (EP)[3]
  • Beulah Demo[4]

CDs that I’d heard good stuff about but hadn’t heard at all

  • the Castinets Cathedral[5]

Fueling my recent Motown/ early R&B obsession

  • Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend[6]
  • V/A EMI Music Publishing Presents Classic Songs of the Motown Era[7]


  • V/A Selections from the Best of Broadside 1962-1988[8]
  • V/A Smithsonian Folkways American Roots Collection[9]


[1] solid 3rd album from computer pop wizards
[2] made my top 17 of 2004. final album from this often depressed singer-songwriter
[3] turns out it’s not an EP (which would be Woman King, which is coming out in February). Rather this is the CD single with the last track from Our Endless Numbered Days. The other two songs on it are solid.
[4] lofi demos of what appears to be most of the Yoko album, which was basically ruined by the production.
[5] a well-reviewed disc on sufjan steven’s asthmatic kitty label.
[6] sam cooke is awesome. Among his fantastic songs are “You Send Me”, “Cupid”, “A Change is Gonna Come”, “Chain Gang” and “Don’t Know Much About History.” Not Motown (his music was put out, I think, by Abkco) and somewhat of an anomoly by writting his own songs.
[7] 4 discs of great music, from the Jackson 5 to Stevie Wonder to the Four Tops to the Temptations to Marvin Gaye.
[8] Put out by Smithsonian Folkways (always a good sign), this is a promo disc for a compilation of the magazine Broadside which published (in sheet music form) many of the greatest folk revival songs. People like Dylan and Phil Ochs and Pete Seegar submitted songs
[9] just a sampler of part of the great American music section of S/F.

Million Dollar Baby

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:06 am

I saw Million Dollar Baby last night. It’d been getting good reviews so I thought I’d check it out.

It’s good enough to warrant the praise. I remember after I saw Steamboat Bill, Jr. at LSC (with Marty Marks on the piano) with Wally, afterwards he wanted to leap and bound up the side of the student center, like something Buster Keaton would do. A good movie will make you do that. Today I want to jump rope and get some gloves and a bag.

Another sign of a good film is that it sticks with you. This one is so far. I’m still mulling it over.

The acting is top-notch. Hilllary Swank gives a fantastic performace. The sort of performance were she’d been living the life of the character all her life and someone asked her to do it in front of camera and she said “It’s all the same to me, boss.” Clint Eastwood. He acts almost by not acting. His performance is straight and without frills, yet that’s what it makes it so great; and that’s what keeps this movie real when it threatens to degrade into sentimental mush. Morgan Freeman’s performance as friend-cum-narrator is good, but not as nuanced as Eastwood or Swank.

The story could have stopped at other points or moved in different directions, but the success of the movie is in large part because it doesn’t take the easy ending. Not all the questions are answered. Much like Nowhere in Africa this movie benefits greatly from not telling the audience what is right or wrong, but to lay out a complicated story and leave it to the audience how to feel.

The screen play needs to be applauded as well. It’s told as one story line—no flashbacks, no starting the movie in 1958 and then jumping to present or whatever. Those sort of tricks would have hurt this movie.

Eastwood directs as well and he does a masterful job of minimalist film making. The movie, as well as his performance, are stripped down and presented without Hollywood tricks. It’s all there for you to see and that’s alright because it’s all good.

The film’s not perfect, but the reasons why are pretty nitpicky and I think many of you wouldn’t notice them unless I point them out, so I won’t.

I need to check out Eastwood’s other movies as a director.

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