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Archive for the ‘Hamish Linklater’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: MIRANDA JULY-10 Million Hours a Mile (1997).

I only listened to this again after mentioning it below (I wrote about the book before the CD).  I vaguely recalled this CD, but I recall buying it mostly because it came from the unquestionable Kill Rock Starts and must have gotten a good write up in some alternative rag that I read.

Basically, this is a series of performance pieces, most of which are set to music (the music is spare and basic if it’s there at all).  She has multiple characters, most of whom are having a rough time. 

The one thing that is overwhelmingly noticeable to me is that just about all of her characters seems to have some kind of stutter or vocal tic, which I have to say may bring verisimilitude but is also rather irritating to listen to.

Indeed, I think this is where my opinion of July stems from (see below).  These are artsy pieces that were kind of the rage back in the late 90s– riot grrl takes of one-woman shows.  They were interesting and maybe good for one listen, but not much else. 

In hindsight, and seeing the kind of work that July has done since, it is easy to see that this is a collection of character studies like the ones that would inform her later work.

The rather strange thing is that the titles of the songs don’t match up to the performances (at least on Spotify or allmusic), I wonder what’s up with that. 

There are some interesting scenes laid out here, although I find July’s delivery to be off-putting–it’s in that sPOKEn WOrd styLE where THINGS are inFLECted in a TERRibly deLIBerate MANneR.  I KNOW that that KIND of emPHASis is meant to be…

….draMATic, but I’m rather glad that people have stopped doing it.

The eleven minute “How’s My Driving” is a decent example of the kind of things she does (although most of the pieces are more like 3-4 minutes).  In this piece, a man (July’s voice) goes to a peep show and talks to “Penny.”  Their plot line is a bizarre story in which the details of each reveal disturbing similarities until the ending is a Twilight Zone twist.  This is interspersed with a girl named Penny who talks about how she first started lying, although she says driving.  It’s an interesting although somewhat forced metaphor, but it’s enjoyable.  The stories intertwine, growing more and more intense.   Although it could probably be a bit shorter.

In “Hotel Voulez-Vous” a young girl (or boy) goes back in time to the titular hotel to convince her parents not to have her.  The execution is interesting but flawed.

“The F-A-T-E” is a cool story about letting fate be your guide, but the crazy voice-noises she makes are very off-putting and kind of take away from what could be a cool twisted tale.

I guess my opinion of this album work hasn’t changed all that much.  It’s got moments of interest but seems to be a little too coffee shop/navel gazing and being weird rather than good.  But hey, she was young then, right? 

[READ: December 6, 2011] It Chooses You

I have this weird kind of relationship with Miranda July’s works.  I am hesitant to read/view something, but I seem to enjoy it in the end.  I’m not sure why I am so hesitant, there just seems something off-putting about, if not her, then maybe the “fame” that surrounds her.  Like if she hadn’t earned her accolades.

I first found her back in 1997 when her 10 Million Hours a Mile CD was released on Kill Rock Stars.   So she was kind of indie cool.  And I guess she still is indie cool, but I guess it was the quality of the CD–it seems goofy at best, that makes me question the quality of her art.

But that may have finally changed with this book.

I began reading this book with that same sense of trepidation about her art–that I wouldn’t really like it.  Why?  Because, as with the CD, it’s seems to be all about her.  And I feel like a lot of her work is about her.  Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you think, aw who cares. 

What she’s talking about is her upcoming film, The Future (which has since been released).  She is stuck in massive writer’s block .  She hates her script and doesn’t want to look at it anymore.  So, as many people do, she starts flipping through the PennySaver(more…)

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