catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 19 :: 2007.10.19 — 2007.11.02


Grant’s recommendations 10.19.07

MUSIC: In Rainbows by Radiohead

Radiohead’s new album starts off with a beat that might suggest the band has finally regained the energy of earlier days, but the album quickly settles back into typical Thom Yorke doldrums.  But that is not to say this album should be dismissed.  The sounds are quite gorgeous when you’re in the mood for a little self-pitying on a cold rainy day.  Perhaps the slow stretching pace of the majority of the album is the kind of space necessary for exploring the moods digital sounds can create. Radiohead fans from the early years might have to adjust to the fact that Radiohead is no longer a rock band, at least not on their albums.  Once that is clear, sit back and stew blissfully in Yorke’s perpetual pessimism.


FILM: You and Me and Everyone We Know

The freshness of the dialogue in performance artist Miranda July’s first film took me by surprise when I first saw it.  After a recent second viewing, I was convinced of the director’s mastery.  The language of the film is quirky, but always dense with meaning.  July is able to find beauty and meaning in the most mundane situations of modern life.  Her main characters work in a shoe store and drive the elderly around, but we soon realize that putting shoes on feet is a profound way to change someone’s life and much wisdom can be discovered in an “elder cab.”


BOOK: A Natural History of The Senses

Despite the academic sounding title, this best-selling book from 1990 is anything but a chore to read.  Diane Ackerman takes her reader on a journey through the five senses.  Every page floats from one astounding fact about how we smell, touch, taste, hear and see to another, peppering scientific findings with the personal experiences of a dedicated sensual researcher.  The narrative presents an overwhelming feast of descriptive language and, though written from a Darwinian perspective, it’s impossible not to see God’s handiwork described on every page.


MUSIC: La Candela Viva by Toto La Momposina

Momposina is a Columbian singer I first heard on a compilation CD on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label.  It took me ten years to finally get around to buying the entire album, La Candela Viva, and it is astounding.  If you’ve never heard Afro-pop before, this might be a good place to start.  The rhythms of her backing percussion ensemble are refreshing after a constant diet of hip hop and funk beats.  On La Candela Viva, listen for the shaker beating out the time while seeming to defy time behind Momposina’s commanding voice.  I’m not sure what she’s saying, but I am moved by the melodies and passion in the same way southern gospel music moves me.  This music comes from much further south, and it is equally worth checking out.      

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