Archive for the ‘Edward Bulwer-Lytton’ Category

greatSOUNDTRACK: PHINEAS AND FERB-“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (2010).

pfholidayThis song takes the music of We Wish You a Merry Christmas and modifies it to fit the show.  Several characters get a verse, with my favorite coming from Isabella:

Oh, come tell me what’cha doin’ / All my relatives just flew in /From Mexico and Jerusalem / For the holidays
Both Christmas trees and menorahs / It can be confusing for us  / When we break into a chorus / Of “olé” (¡Olé!) and “oy vey” (¡Oy vey!)

Although I usually find Doofensmirtz’ lines to be the best, I don’t care for his verse–it is forced and not terribly funny.  But that is more than made up for with the end as it revisited the beloved figgy pudding:

All: We wish your every endeavor
Makes this the best Christmas ever
And we’re all so glad that we will never
Mention figgy pudding…

Dr. DoofenshmirtzOh, great. Well now we’ve mentioned it.
Major MonogramYou know, no one would have noticed if you’d have just kept your mouth shut.

We recently added the entire Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites album to our Christmas music collection.  Thanks, Swampy.

[READ: end of 2011-beginning of 2012] Great Expectations

I started this book over a year ago–Christmastime 2011 and I finished it in January of this year.  And I imagined writing a grand, eloquent post about the book, so I bided my time, and have now delayed for almost a year and have basically forgotten everything significant I thought about saying about it.  Never put anything off in the hopes that genius will strike.

So I read this book because my former coworker Stephanie talked about how much she liked it.  I had never read any Dickens before (possibly Tale of Two Cities but that would have been in High School and doesn’t count).  And Nick Hornby raves about Dickens in the pages of The Believer, so it seemed like a time to try him out.  Back when I was in college I joined a book club and received The Oxford Illustrated Dickens–30-some volumes of all of Dickens’ work in beautiful hardcover editions.  And I have lugged them with me to all my homes.  And now I have finally read one.

I was as surprised by how surprised I was by the story.  I knew the very basic outline and character names (thanks South Park), and from what I knew of Dickens, I thought I had the whole story figured out pretty early on.  But no, there was more afoot than I would have ever guessed.

So, the story: Phillip ‘Pip’ Pirrip is a blaksmith’s apprentice.  He was orphaned as a young babe and is currently living with his (terribly mean) older sister and her husband, a kindly blacksmith named Joe Gargery.  One dark and spooky night (as only existed in 19th century England), Pip is out in the swampy foggy graveyard visiting his parents’ graves when he hears a fight.  Two convicts have escaped from a prison ship and are fighting amidst the marshes.  The “winner,” spies Pip and threatens him–unless he brings a nail file and food, he will kill the young boy.  Pip is freaked and runs home to steal one of Joe’s files and a piece of pie that his sister has baked.  The next day the police capture the criminals, and the one whom Pip helped gives Pip a long look and says that he stole the pie, which lets Pip off the hook from his sister’s wrath.

Meanwhile, up the road a piece, there’s an old dilapidated house with an old dilapidated woman living in it.  She is Miss Havisham.  The delightful thing about Dickens is that Miss Havisham is crazily over the top and yet, because of the time it was written, she is totally believable.  (She may indeed have been based on someone Dickens knew).  No one like Miss Havisham could exist now–she would be institutionalized in a heartbeat, but back then, this woman could be head of a household and have servants and simply be spoken of as a bit odd.  For odd she is. (more…)


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glist1SOUNDTRACK: DEERHUNTER-Microcastle/Weird Era Continued (2008).

deerSomehow, I can never remmeber what this disc is going to sound like when I pop it in.  Once it gets going the songs are all familiar and very good, its just that initial listen, where I forget that the band is rather delicate and poppy.  I tend to forget this because well, the bands name doesn’t sound delicate, and the album artwork has skulls all over it.  So, to put it on and hear pleasant keyboard songs is alwaya  bit of a surprise.

The guitarsd are jangly and have an almost 60s folk rock sound and yet the drums are very electronic  (I presume its a drum machine) and the vocals stick out as rather unlike the 60s style.  There is also a wonderfully low budget/hazy quality that pervades the disc.  It sort of envelopes the disc in a layer of cotton keeping the sound consistent and sometimes narcoleptic.

And yet despite that sort of sleepy feel, the catchciness of the songs shines through.

The last few songs of Microcastle especially provide a really strong set of songs.  And they lead into Weird Era very nicely.  For although it is clearly the same band, Weird Era is a very different disc.

It is a far more rocking/noisy affair.  And although there area  number of very short instrumental pieces, for the most part, the songs are catchier and a bit more fun.  Ideally, mixing the two discs together would provide an overall more well rounded listening experience.

[READ: September 15, 2009] Glister 1-3

This is a strange little series from Andi Watson.

I’ve enjoyed just about everything he’s written/drawn, mostly for his artistic style, but really because of his off-kilter and wholly fascinating sensibilities. So what makes this series so odd is the rather almost-sloppy style he uses for the backgrounds and other characters.  Maybe it’s not sloppy so much as “fuzzy” which lend an air of spectralness to this supernatural tale.

The other thing that is odd about the series is that everything suggests that this will be a long running story.  The story has a convoluted set up and a weird plot (and Issue #1 even includes an unrelated sub-story).  The inside back cover also has all manner of things that suggest we’re in for the long haul: a letter-writing address, a contest to design a teapot, etc.  But no, the series ends after three issues. Weird. (more…)

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