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Chat with Britt Govea, Co-Producer of Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners

Posted by Miss Ess, June 4, 2010 02:25pm | Post a Comment
Songs For Beginners is Graham Nash's first solo album, initially released in 1971. It's a revelatory, universally-themed record that celebrates the betterment of the world through improvement of self. Be yourself, Graham encourages us! And through that truth, the world will flourish around you!

It somehow seems so fitting that just a few weeks ago, Graham's daughter Nile Nash, along with founder and director of all things (((folkYEAH!))), Britt Govea, released Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners on the always amazing Grass Roots Record Company. The record features covers by Alela Diane, Vetiver, Brendon Benson (Raconteurs), Sleepy Sun, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Mariee Sioux & Greg Weeks (Espers), Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) and more! You can hear samplings of tracks from the beautiful album below:



Britt was kind enough to answer my questions about the release and how it all came together. Check out the interview below!

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Ah, the Complexities of Sex and the City 2

Posted by Miss Ess, June 2, 2010 03:58pm | Post a Comment
sex and the city 2

When I went to see Sex and the City 2 this weekend, as a fan of the series, I was expecting the film to be a fun romp, reuniting me with the Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, their significant gays and others, and including somewhere in there Samantha grotesquely throwing herself on some guy  --stanford blatch anthony marentino and that's exactly what I got! Bad reviews, be damned -- I enjoyed the heck out of myself watching the ladies and their over the top travels in Abu Dhabi! Plus, the gay wedding just may have been the gayest thing I have ever seen, and I am a proud resident of the Castro!

This show, and thus its subsequent movies, was never gonna be Schindler's List, people! This is Sex and the City! There's not a lot of heavy hitting drama...more like heavy hitting shots of World Cup soccer players in tiny swimwear and heavy on the Manolos too, with maybe some fairly superficial questions about the nature of love and relationships tossed in between. I liken watching any SATC to reading a trashy magazine like Cosmo. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, a tad racy, and majorly frothy -- plus majorly fun to do once in a while for fairly mindless entertainment and a laugh!

The plot in SATC 2 is just as vapid as the show's were when it was on the air, except with the fabulosity factor upped: the women are sent on a sumptuous, all expenses paid vacation to Abu Dhabi and we are along for the twists and turns of the journey -- most of which involve masses of opulence, scantily clad men, gloriously impractical fashions, and gaping at burkas, with an ex fiance thrown in for good measure. SATC is nothing if not eye cansex and the city 2dy, and in that regard, the film delivered.

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Persepolis - Nothing As It Seems

Posted by Miss Ess, May 14, 2010 12:34pm | Post a Comment
Persepolis is the most affecting animated picture I've ever seen. (Yeah, it beats Bambi.)

persepolis

It's about the life of a young woman (and co-director and writer of the film), Marjane Satrapi, growing up in Iran during the revolution, and about the price one must pay for freedom. Sure, it does what it sets out to do and what is generically expected of a film of this subject matter, showing the (presumably Western) viewer that at the core the divide between our livespersepolis and that of those living in Iran isn't as great as it's perceived to be, and that we all crave the same basic things, but it does this in a genuinely innovative and moving way.

Persepolis takes a disorienting, complex event in history and makes it personal. The deaths, explosions, loss of dignity, loss of basic human rights -- we see each of these happen individually to members of Marjane's family, her friends, herself, and through that, both the impact and understanding of what happened is heightened.

It's a serious topic, but the filmmakers allow for the inclusion humor and lightness often as well, especially around the universal adolescent experience of rebellion. Despite the Western cultural ban in Iran, Marjane writes "Punk is not ded [sic]" on the back of her jacket and buys contraband Iron Maiden tapes, picking up her tennis racket and headbanging around her room.  persepolis

The animated format packs a great and specific amount of detail into each frame, and also allows for an at times realistic and at times fantastical graphic focus on both Marjane's real life and what she imagines (chats with god and Bruce Lee-esque martial arts skills!). Using drawings instead of real shots enables Persepolis' creators to take a scary, overwhelming time and make it less difficult to watch as well as bring in a touch of whimsy where appropriate -- from simply a hand peeking out from rubble after a missile launch to jasmine flowers floating across the screen via Marjane's grandma's bra (yup).

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Ghost World - Walking Amongst the Living Dead

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2010 04:01pm | Post a Comment
I had completely forgotten how good a movie Ghost World is, and I also can't believe it's been almost 10 years since it first came out in 2001!

ghost world

I don't think I had seen it again since then, and watching this film again with 9 years more life experience under my belt was enlightening in a way. I kinda can't believe this film ever got made, with its explicitly outsider view of the world and brash bitterness.
ghost world steve buscemi
That said, Ghost World, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, is hilarious and accurate when it comes to commentary on our ever-more conglomerated modern world and the rough task of even attempting to remain an individual within it. Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Becky (Scarlett Johansson) have just graduated from high school -- free at last to blossom further into the budding creative types they already are! But is it possible to grow up and not sell out? I love Enid and Becky's dry, honest take on the people and places that surround them, and how the film portrays adolescent boredom and minutiae in all its pathetic, short-sighted and unabashedly self-assured glory.

When they meet 78 collector Seymour (fully embodied by Steve Buscemi), Enid's world opens up further. She learns about integrity and idiosyncrasy in a way that the surrounding city itself can't teach, with its hip hop jukeboxed "50's" diners and "sell up" policy-laden multiplexes...

My favorite character in the film is Enid's caftan-ensconced, spiky haired art teacher, who has aghost world ileana douglas background in performance art (of course!), played to consummate perfection by Illeana Douglas. In fact, anyone who has sat through a high school art class will no doubt twitter in recognition of and amusement with its particular players, portrayed flawlessly here.

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True Blood - Southern Gothic on a Whole New Level

Posted by Miss Ess, May 5, 2010 05:06pm | Post a Comment
true blood poster

These days, my latest crush is on True Blood. At the urging of friends, I began with Season One a few weeks ago and am almost the whole way through it now. Seeing as I am starting at the very beginning here and the show's third seasontrue blood sookie bill begins in a few weeks on HBO, I know I am kind of late to the game on this, but this whole vampire obsession thing that's been going on these days has had me pretty baffled and disinterested up till now, I must admit. Is it that since it feels like our world is going to hell and a handbasket, more and more people are turning to fantasy worlds, however they can get em, something they can really sink their teeth into? I'm not sure.

I do feel quite sure that the vampire trend in particular is not going anywhere anytime soon, and I do know that in particular I love watching True Blood for the same reason I love watching a show like Mad Men: its world is so incredibly detailed and mesmerizing that I find myself lost in it. Total escapism. So for me in this case, that fantasy theory holds, I guess. I just never was into the whole vampiretrue blood lafayette scene really before. I still don't really think I am, actually, I just like this show.

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