What a lovely film Words & Pictures is. Clive Owen plays an arrogant literature teacher and Juliette Binoche is his equally arrogant art-teaching rival. Their inevitable romance is more sarcastic than sweet and the personal demons of the two teachers threaten to make their mock “war” real. The best parts of the film are the literary quotes (by everyone from Shakespeare and John Updike to Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson) and various forms of art (from paintings and charcoal drawings to cartoons and cyber art) that are woven into the story. It’s an enjoyable, artsy, indie rom-com.
Cross My Heart Hope to Die is an exquisite new music/art project whose new EP, Vita E Morte, was just released this week. Cross My Heart Hope to Die features trippy, noirish music by producers DJ Muggs and Andrew Kline and sultry vocals by singer Bevi. The sound falls somewhere between trip-hop and Goth rock, which I love. Their live performances also showcase multi-media art installations by curator Sean Bonner.
Yes, you read correctly: Throwing Muses have reunited and recorded a new album! Throwing Muses will release Purgatory/Paradise, their first album in a decade, in digital format on November 12th and in physical format on December 3rd. The physical set will include a deluxe 64-page art book along with the 32-track CD. If you’re too young to know who Throwing Muses are, they were one of the best and most influential female rock bands in the late 1980s/early ’90s. They were originally led by singer-songwriter stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly. Hersh is the band’s solo frontwoman now. You can stream the track “Sleepwalking” and watch the freshly released video for “sunray venus” below.
I’m glad that Toronto band Valued Customer has given me the opportunity to get all fanboyish over James Joyce. On my first time through Finnegans Wake, I’m reveling in the language. Sure, I have no idea what’s going on most of the time but it sounds so good. And that is why I love this song. “Hush caution echoland” quotes some of the most delicious phrases from Joyce’s confounding final novel. The title itself is a pun, one of hundreds of anacronymic variations Joyce uses to play with the initials of his protagonist, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. The ingemination of samples from Joyce’s own musical recording of an excerpt from the novel elevates this track to a work of genius in my opinion. So pool the begg and pass the kish for crawsake.
On a related note, I also adore the Finnegans Wake-inspired work of artist Stephen Crowe in his Wake in Progress.