17 February 2009

Things I Like RIGHT NOW

Feed The Animals by Girl Talk – I’ve always heard amazing things about musical-collage artist Gregg Gillis a.k.a. Girl Talk, but I hadn’t gotten around to listening to him until recently. I just downloaded his latest album (available here); thankfully, he lives up to the hype. His “songs” – mash-ups that combine dozens of unlicensed samples – are a music nerd’s dream. Not only does Girl Talk produce hits as dance-worthy as the latest Beyoncé track, but he’s also creating a musical artifact of sorts – a catalogue of what’s hot in music. Each moment is meticulously worked and spliced. It’s a bit heady at times, but its beats have a mass appeal that is undeniable. Is Girl Talk the future of pop music? If so, I wouldn’t be too disappointed.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – It’s been quite some time since I’ve been as moved by a work of contemporary fiction as I was by Ishiguro’s gentle and emotional masterpiece. A universal tale of lost childhood and wistful remembrance, Never Let Me Go is simultaneously a slow-burning reflection on the past and the fleeting nature of life and a compelling page-turner that will have you wondering what is ahead from the first page. Ishiguro has an amazing mastery of these two modes of narration. The power, passion and emotion with which the reader emerges upon completing this novel are unrivaled in this modern era. It is a must read, and I can’t wait to see what Ishiguro comes up with next.

Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle – I know this one’s a bit overplayed, and it might be just at the moment of receiving too much praise to the point that it has become overrated, but I greatly enjoyed the movie-watching experience that Danny Boyle created with his most recent film. Sure it’s all a bit chanceful and the highs are too high for the lows which are too low, but I found it to be a both a great bildungsroman and a spot-on commentary on films, filmmaking and the modern spectator. Boyle gave the spectator exactly what he wants to see and made a great movie, i.e. a series of moving images, music, characters and story that pleases. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of movies that would make great books or plays but fail to measure up to the medium. Plus, how could I deny my love for a movie that uses M.I.A.’s music so aptly (even if she’s Sri Lankan).

“O…Saya” A. R. Rahman & M.I.A.

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