Music is king, again
Not a lot to report, but since the events of last month, I’ve been really fortunate to have some truly outstanding music around. The newest member of my To Buy list is Zero 7‘s album, Simple Things (which has been getting a lot of airplay on KCRW, thank goodness; I’ve also heard a couple of tunes from the album — and other heavily-played-by-KCRW tunes — on the CBS series CSI). I also dug out some CDs I hadn’t heard in a while, and remembered why I fell in love with them in the first place: especially David Gray‘s White Ladder, and Emmylou Harris‘ Wrecking Ball. And of course, Richard Buckner still has a couple of his own CDs in my player, as has been the case for over a year now. Just the other day, I couldn’t get over how talented Buckner is, and how powerful his albums are. I know I’ve been raving about him ever since I heard "Faithful Shooter" back in the fall of 2000, but if you’ve been reading and still haven’t listened to him — please, please do yourself a favor and check out his music. It’s amazing just how much he’s influenced my own music appreciation, performance and composition in the past year.
Concert recommendations: Thanks to my friend Jason, I know that British songweaver Beth Orton is playing the >House of Blues in Hollywood on Tuesday, 28 May (KCRW presents the show)… and I mentioned this before, but next month, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart return to McCabe’s on Friday, 21 June. Of course, I’d be thrilled to attend either show, but I’m not sure yet.
Since I’ve mentioned CSI: Did anyone catch the pilot for the spin-off series, CSI: Miami-Dade? It ran as last week’s episode, and introduced the Miami unit, with David Caruso heading the group — and including Emily Procter, who plays the recurring Ainsley Hayes on The West Wing (I hope Ainsley doesn’t get written out of the show permanently, but alas, TV is so unpredictable sometimes). It actually wasn’t a bad pilot. But I still think one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen is the one for Alias, which was very impressive. Its season finale wasn’t bad either. I credit J. J. Abrams for completing a very well-written and -plotted debut season of the series, and for finding Jennifer Garner to play the lead role. If you hadn’t already guessed from my list of recommended TV shows, I do think that Alias was my favorite show for the 2001-02 season, beating out Gilmore Girls and even The West Wing.
One last television-related note: The X-Files finally ends its historic run this week. The series was such a huge part of my life back in my college days, and influenced and sometimes even overwhelmed me — thanks to its innovative and expressive writing and acting. Remember, at the height of its power, the show won some major awards. I have mixed feelings about its conclusion, but I definitely agree that this is the time for it to end. I actually think an earlier farewell would have benefited the franchise, but from what I could tell, this last season wasn’t so bad (not as bad as the eighth season, I think). The series finale is a two-hour send-off called, not surprisingly, "The Truth," which features the return of Mulder on screen. I hope David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson close it out with a story that is worth the integrity of the series as a whole. Chris Carter and The X-Files really did change the landscape of network television, and yeah, it all happened on Fox. Who would have thought?
Woe is e-mail: If you haven’t read this space for a while, and you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me lately, it might be because of a recent problem I experienced with a hard disk. Basically, if you sent me e-mail anytime before 14 April, and haven’t heard from me since then, please send me a line. Thanks. And thanks again to everyone who helped me out by sending copies of relevant messages.
Quote for the time being:
Faith pours from your walls, drowning your calls;
I’ve tried to hear; you’re not near.
When I saw your face
Shining my way — pure timing.
Now I’ve fallen in deep, slow silent sleep;
It’s killing me, I’m dying…
To put a little sunshine in your life
– from Badly Drawn Boy’s "The Shining" on The Hour of Bewilderbeast