fresh | day old | links | e-mail | guestbook | diaryland

2003-12-28 | 10:10 p.m.

corduroy licorice was trying out for a part in a play about rodney king and had to read the riot act as a part of his audition.

***

movie review:

i went to see the romantic, civil war epic cold mountain this weekend since it seemed like a christmastime thing to do. i wouldn't rave or anything, but i think i got my $9 worth just by hearing jude law talk with an americun drawl.

the battle scenes were big, the romance was tragic, the acting was pretty good. in fact, the trials of the civil war were so palpable--from battlefield muck to fence-building grunts--i'm surprised i didn't find dirt under my fingernails when i walked out of the theater.

nicole kidman looks amazingly beautiful, as does jude, although both seemed to have trouble keeping their accents consistent. renee zellweger was fine, but presented perhaps one distracting serving too many of star power.

one thing i did like about the story was that the two lovebirds marveled several times about how they fell in love and stayed in love over several years of separation all while barely knowing each other. it was good to hear that rushed romance rut being acknowledged on film. it also seemed to sum up the film's message: how an idea or ideal can drive a person to endure things and act in ways that they never imagined they would, both in war and in love.

***

and without further ado...

nictate's top 10 albums for 2003

1
rufus wainwright
want one

my dears and darlings, much like beck's sea change album from last year, this disc made an almost addictive daily appearance on my boombox. on first listen, i thought it might not wing its way into my heart as much as rufus's previous album poses. after a few months, poses seems to pale a bit in comparison with this more mature, emotionally satisfying creation.

as the cover art suggests, rufus is a knight in shining armor when it comes to sing-your-heart-out pop. symphonic flairs, witty lyrics and painfully sweet melodies make this album a cherished soundscape of giddy highs and heartfelt lows. lovely. lovely. lovely.

2
the shins
chutes too narrow

where did these guys come from? albuquerque, evidently. but i mean, wow with a capital WOW. for a pure pop lover like me, this album was like a heady injection of unadulterated joy joice. my only criticism is that it's only 10 songs long, but what a tightly produced, irresistibly thigh-slapping earfest it is. they rock, for real.

3
grandaddy
sumday

2003 spoiled me when it came to smart pop, i tell ya. grandaddy was new to my ears this year and i'm better for knowing them. sweet swirling melodies sweep you along while smart-as-a-whip lyrics make you grin in spite of yourself. like your granny told ya, "listen to your grandaddy." you'll be glad you did.

4
radiohead
hail to the theif

because it's radiohead. c'mon.

5
fountains of wayne
welcome interstate managers

more sharp pop? oh, stoppit. i can't take much more of this aural pleasure. these dudes are smart, funny and damn good with hooks. tv zero gets credit for introducing me to their candy-coated goodness.

6
cody chestnutt
the headphone masterpiece

i decided to buy this dude's record because his music on the soundtrack was one of the few aspects of an indie movie called charlotte sometimes that i liked. the angsty songs from the movie are tucked among a buffet of homemade-sounding musical offerings, from lo-fi to stevie wonder-ish. it's all over the place, in a good way.

7
the polyphonic spree
the beginning stages of...

i know it's kinda trendy and VW commercial-y to like them, but if you want to buy a year's worth of sunshine for under $15, this is the CD for you. this 27-or-so-member choir/band creates an amazingly solid vibe of 60s-hair the musical-up with people harmonic radiance that refuses to allow frowns or forhead furrows to exist in their presence.

8
elvis costello
north

"costello and krall kissing in a tree..." it's pretty damn obvious from this love letter of an album that elvis costello is head over heels in amor, and it looks good on him. sounds even better. purist costello fans may turn up their noses at his return to the burt bacharach well of heart-in-the-throat romanticism, but i loved that collaboration and simply lurve hearing such a talented artist pour his old soul into such a rich tribute to the mushy stuff.

9
belle & sebastian
dear catastrophe waitress

as light as a feather, as titillating as a wink, as sweet as a spoonful of honey. b & s, pure cane sugar.

10
outkast (andre 3000)
the love below

andre 3000 reminds me of the artist formerly known as prince with his amazing ear for infectious grooves and melodies that affect the nervous system in all good ways. like elvis costello, andre 3000 is serving up a valentine to love--but this cupid gots boot-knockin' attitude and how. this album (one-half of a double album from outkast) definitely feels like an experiment and a few of the test tubes blow up in his face, but overall it's a damn good time--especially the maddeningly enjoyable "hey ya!"

<----        ---->


take a peek at these - (c) 2000-2003 nictate:

health tip
2005-03-16

health tip
2005-03-16

moving house
2004-11-19

quibbling with quitherfeather
2004-11-17

catcher in the wry
2004-11-16