Tag Archives: The Big Lebowski

Poetic Memory: Murder By Death (List)

Photo credit: Vagrant/GregWhitaker

Since Murder By Death took their name from a 1976 spoof that actually guest starred Truman Capote, it wasn’t surprising when their Poetic Memory came back consisting mostly of (goofy) movies. Everything from Big Trouble to Bogus Journey is represented in their list, so the next time you embark on a long trip, you’ll have all the materials you need to effectively plan your van viewing.

The Indiana alt-rockers just released Good Morning, Magpie on April 6, and it’s a gooder. They’ll also be playing the Casbah on April 11. Ha Ha Tonka and Linfinity — two other excellent bands — will open the show. We posted Linfinity’s Poetic Memory yesterday; Murder By Death’s list is below. Continue reading…

‘We Got the Sky To Talk About and the Earth to Lie Upon’ (MP3)

Steve Earle - Townes

An understatement would be to say that Townes Van Zandt was troubled. Another would be to say that he wrote some of the greatest—and darkest—songs of his era.

Steve Earle has undoubtedly seen a dying Van Zandt reflected in his own mirror: while Earle claims to have kicked the drugs and avoided a painful, early demise, Van Zandt never managed to escape the self-destruction that defined his persona and made his music so sadly beautiful.

In honor of his friend, Earle named his son Justin Townes (if ever there were a namesake to not live up to), and now he’s recorded an album of Van Zandt covers, aptly titled Townes. Because these songs were written by Van Zandt, it’s possible that this might be Earle’s best release since Transcendental Blues—if not ever—but that’s beside the point (and I haven’t heard the CD). Continue reading

Burn After Reading

Ethan and Joel Coen (not to be confused with Etan Cohen, cowriter of Tropic Thunder, and Joe Colen, my porn name) put the audience in a privileged position with Burn After Reading. So much so, in fact, we feel that we are in cahoots with the brotherly duo.

This dark comedy oozes tragic irony, which the Sarcasm Society, if they can be believed, defines as the “form of irony [in which] the words and actions of the characters, unbeknownst to them, betray the real situation, which the spectators fully realize.” We know more than the characters and sit uncomfortably at times, and elatedly at others, as bits of information are misunderstood or imperceptibly slip by the characters in an intolerably cruel way.

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