Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Everlasting Love

I love this song. I mean it, I love it to bits. It makes me happy no matter how trodden down my general mood might be, and makes me want to dance around naked with flowers in my hair. Uhm. Well. It makes me happy, ok? :)

One of the things I love the most about this track is how many times it has been covered, and how, no matter how lousy the cover is, the song still never fails to put a smile on my face. So, now I want you to spend some time discovering why, by looking through a couple of the very, very smile-inducing videos I've linked to in the below. Wait until the very end to listen to the quote version. And then come back and tell me it didn't make you want to sing your heart out! I'll never believe it :D

The song was written by Cason/Gayden in the mid-sixties, and debuted by Robert Knight in -67. One of my most cherished tracks is the Love Affair version from -68, however. After that, artists like Carl Carlton, Rex Smith, Sandra, Gloria Estefan and U2 have covered it, and on the Bridget Jones Edge of Reason soundtrack there's an artsy-fartsy version by Jamie Cullum, which kinda makes me smile even broader because he tries to be so different and the song still owns his ass when he kicks off the choruses.

If the below version should, for all intents and purposes, fail to put a smile on your lovely face, find the U2 version. And while you're at it, remember to give this life we're leading some credit, because it's pretty darn beautiful!

"Where life's river flow, no one really knows
'till someone's there to show the way to lasting love.
Like the sun that shines, endlessly it shines.
You always will be mine, it's eternal love.
When other loves are gone, ours will still be strong.
We have our very own everlasting love."
Love Affair - Everlasting Love, 1968
Ah, and turn up the volume, damn it! :-)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Same Deep Water As You

I have the prettiest, fanciest and loveliest laptop in the whole wide world and I shall never ever sleep again.

"I will kiss you,
I will kiss you,
I will kiss you forever on nights like this."
The Cure - The Same Deep Water As You (Disintegration, 1989)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fill It With Devils And Dust

Today I finally finished Jane Eyre. After a couple of weeks of relentless social activity I took the afternoon to myself to sit down with the book in the sun and finish off this peculiar story. Although I am often puzzled at how little is taught of English classics in Nordic schools, I must admit there is a certain pleasure in being able to read books like this, Wuthering Heights and Sense and Sensibility without knowing how they will end.

I fell a little bit in love with Jane, but she does sometimes carry on something chronic about trivialities that made me wish she would just get on with it! Might not have been a good idea to not read any modern literature between Wuthering Heights and this one. I will now disappear back into the wonderful arms of Paul Auster for a few days, as I've recently completed my collection of his works and hence have a book or two (as if I didn't already have more than fifty unread waiting) to get through.

Movies watched:
Madame Bovary (the 1949 adaption) - Good, very good. What a horrible hag of a woman, though! Selfish to the end. Hoping for a fairytale ending my ass, what about taking responsibility for your own putrid actions?

La Dolce Vita - Ah, I hate Fellini. Sure, Ekberg was gorgeous, but this movie is just one big yawn of an exhausted attempt at being interesting.

Rocket Science - Not really what I had expected, and I'm no big fan of the leading chick. The leading boy does his job well enough, though, and I got a couple of laughs from it although I kinda think I wasn't really supposed to laugh at those moments.

"What if what you do to survive kills the things you love?"
Bruce Springsteen - Devils And Dust (Devils & Dust, 2005)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Thousand Beautiful Things

Strangely enough Richard Marx' Greatest Hits have been the soundtrack of the last couple of days. Don't ask me why. Today I am giving Annie Lennox' Bare (2003) a listen. Have had it for years, but never listened to it before now. It's quite nice, I always liked her voice.

In addition to the long list of movies below I watched Singin' in the Rain this weekend. Hadn't seen it before, and unfortunately I have to say it disappointed me a little. I guess being a classic and all I assumed it would have something brilliant going for it, but most of the time it just annoyed me a little and I was happy to see it end. I think part of it is that the female actresses give me the creeps.

Over the last two days I've watched Gone With the Wind, also this for the first time. Now here we have, on the other hand, a proper classic. I love this movie. But the ending! What's up with that? And I don't think Scarlett is annoyingly spoiled, I think she's just confused and fighting like a cat to get a grip on her existence. Oh, and Miss von Teese must have had Vivien Leigh in mind when she perfected her public facade.

"To live,
to die,
to breathe,
to sleep,
to try to make your life complete."
Annie Lennox - A Thousand Beautiful Things (Bare, 2003)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

...Not By Begging On His Knees

For some reason I've been waking up really early this weekend although nightly activities should have sent me sleeping until noonish the next mornings. Helsinki nightlife on both Friday and Saturday is a bit too much, to be honest. (Getting old, are we?) The good thing about early mornings is that I get to catch up on my reading and movie watching. Well, to be honest the reading is going nowhere at the moment as I am in my second month of trying to get through Jane Eyre. It's not that it's a bad story, it's just waaay too long! I wish they would just get married and have it over with, but apparently there's some kind of objection to that at this stage so I guess I'll be going at it for another week or so.

You, Me & Dupree has been passed over on numerous occassions as I'm not the biggest believer in the Wilson/Hudson combination. Quite harmless, of course, and surprisingly it did produce a number of laughs. Also, the soundtrack is at times interesting, so all in all a pleasant surprise.

One of my pet peeves is movies that deal with abnormalities, fetishes, things about which you shouldn't really speak. Movies like Fur, Quills, 9 1/2 Weeks and Sex, Lies & Videotape, I don't know, I just love them. I can now add another film to the list, after watching Secretary, a study in submission with Maggie Gyllenhaal as the leading lady. The choice of lead actress in particular makes this movie enjoyable, as her voice and stature suits the role perfectly. The story deals with a self-cutter who replaces an addiction with another as she starts working as a secretary for a young lawyer with a penchant for ladies who do as they're told. Also, the soundtrack is put together by Angelo Badalamenti (of Twin Peaks/Mulholland Drive fame).

I also watched the film adaption of Alessandro Baricco's Silk. I've not read the novel, as his Without Blood almost bored me to death when I read it a year or so ago. Keira Knightley, pretty although she may be, does little to lift this film. I have difficulties with Michael Pitt after seeing him in Funny Games, so he didn't really work either. The two Asian ladies portraying the far-off ideal woman and the closer-at-hand prostitute, are quite lovely and add to the visual strenghts of the movie (because beautiful it is, no doubt about that). The dialogue is quite modified to portray a less erotic image to the movie goers. A shame.

The Island (Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) is another one of those movies that I've been passing over several times in my hunt for entertainment. Perhaps I should stop doing that, as this one again surprised me positively. It's kind of a mixture of Lost and Aeon Flux, and I even think Johansson did an ok figure. I must still be the only person on the planet who actually enjoy some of her songs but not really her movies, though. In fact, the best thing I've seen her in is Timberlake's video for What Goes Around Comes Around, and I suspect that to be mostly because the mood of the video reminds me of Bowie's The Heart's Filthy Lesson.

My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days is a French piece of overly artistic crap from 1989 that is "deeply affecting" according to Rotten Tomatoes, "deeply disturbing, boring and shitty" according to me. Not worth the time it takes to watch it.

Speaking of disturbing, a week or so ago I watched The Dreamers, the movie where Michael Pitt (again) hooks up with a couple of French twins. Apparently it's a well known fact that this movie deals with siblings that are a bit too close, but I didn't know and hence it gave me a bit of a start when they started being overly familiar with each other in a not so modest way. Could be interesting and quite down my alley of unmentionable topics, but the acting isn't very good and the menstruation scene in the bath was a bit... unsavory.

Apparently Once will be featured at the outdoor cinema Engel in a few weeks, and I might be interested in catching that. Also, me and David have been talking about doing the beer tram somewhere early July. Give me a shout if you're up for either.

"If you want a lover I'll do anything you ask me to.
And if you want another kind of love, I'll wear a mask for you."
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man (I'm Your Man, 1988)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Why are the things that should be easy sometimes so difficult? And, at the same time, why do the peaks that at first seem insurmountable sometimes turn out to be the easiest to climb? I guess if I did have that roadmap it would all make sense, but at least without one you never get bored, right?

Next week I'll be going to Paris again. It's been more than a year since the last time I set foot in that lovely place, so I'm looking forward to roaming french streets again, with a slightly different mindset this time around. There shall be wine, there shall be flowers and there shall be fun. Hopefully also light, but sometimes when even God asks for that it seems nature is unwilling to comply. Finland has returned to the gloomy grey of late winter over the last week, with temperatures lingering around 5-7 degrees C. A bit too chilly for my liking, but I guess it'll pass.

My mind lingers on Iran. It seems everyone's going there now, except me. Not that I am complaining, I should be more than resourceful enough to get a move on myself, but it'll have to wait. For now. My mind is infected with travel bugs, and the multitude of possible locations is almost making me dizzy. How lovely would it not be to be a travel writer, or just simply unafraid enough to get up and leave? If my roots are not set, why am I so wary of pushing off and floating free? Ah, well, it'll come.

You know the version of Dream A Little Dream Of Me by The Mamas & the Papas (1968)? Well, the song was, of course, not theirs. It was written in '31 by a German called Gus Kahn who also wrote songs like It Had To Be You, My Baby Just Cares For Me and I'll See You In My Dreams. Although I love the wonders of the modern world (well, at least some of them), I cannot shake the romantic notion of an American Colonial porch in New Orleans with an old, scratchy record player transmitting the husky voice of Louis Armstrong. Perhaps we lived other lives in other times and that is why we have such unexplained affinities for certain phenomenon.

"Sweet dreams 'til sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams, whatever they be,
dream a little dream of me."
Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald - Dream A Little Dream Of Me (1950)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Want You To Trouble Me

I did a lot of this and that over the last week and a half, shortly summarized it pretty much comes down to music, beer, laughter, travelling, training (and bruising of the brain), working, swimming, sun worshipping, eating, more laughter, friends, love and warm(er) air (than usual).

I have a couple of basic issues to report:
- 30 degrees C in Finland does not mean that the water is warm.
- Peacocks (even Brittish ones) make a hell of a spectacle when they start screaming at night.
- People who work in factories think that the creativeness of Sales&Marketing people is bizarre.
- I'm cancelling my summer holiday trip to South America as there's been a change of plans.
- There are no Shell stations in Romania.

I watched Constantine for the fourth time on Sunday. Although Tilda Swinton's rendition of Gabriel is worth the watch, the movie is _not_ all that good. Anyway, this was the first time I noticed that APC's Passive is on the soundtrack, and it made me a little confused as it doesn't really fit in there. Oh, and Gavin Rossdale plays one of the demons. I've never reflected on that before either. Cute, that one, and I especially like the sleeziness with which he delivers his "finger-licking good".

Matchbox 20 made a brief re-appearance in my life this weekend as I listened to their More Than You Think You Are over a couple of days. I had a massive crush on Unwell back when it came out, and Downfall is also worth a listen. It's a pity Rob Thomas doesn't quite live up to his potential solo.

Fundamental question:
When faced with something scary, do you stay and face it, or do you turn your back and run as fast as you can? Lamb for slaughter or cowardly lion?

Oh, and I can't believe they just _lost_ a plane. How does that happen?

"Be my savior,
and I'll be your downfall."

Matchbox 20 - Downfall (More Than You Think You Are, 2002)