Friday, January 04, 2008

In which the Meridian goes bargain-hunting

Charlie Meadows offers to show us the life of the mind. Coolio! Where do we sign up?? (Click on the image to enlarge it; originally found here.)

Today I decided to visit Barnes & Noble for a little book-browsing and, well, didn't leave with any books. Indeed, that little notion flew out the window when I saw that they are having (until the 31st) a buy-any-two-DVDs-and-get-a-third-free sale. I am of fairly limited funds, but this Barnes & Noble has a bin of DVDs priced at $9.99; and even though I usually haven't found anything there I've just had to have, much less three things, well, one never knows, right? Hope springs eternal and all that.

The browsing began inauspiciously: the fact that all I can definitely remember seeing in the bin at first was The Rose gives you some indication that there wasn't a whole lot of cream rising to the surface. But then, in fairly quick succession, I found Barton Fink (the oddest of the Coen Brothers films, which is saying something), The Misfits (the last film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe), and--best of all--a two-disc edition of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. Here's a measure of my surprise in finding these films in the bargain bin: I kept looking at the price tags to make sure they hadn't been misplaced by some unthinkingly-cruel customer intent on raising the hopes of the innocent. But no: all were indeed priced $9.99.

So: those of you with a Barnes & Noble within driving distance, you know what to do.

I've recently bought some music that I'm happy with, too:

Azam Ali, Elysium for the Brave (samples here. Ali is an Iranian who has lived most of her young life in this country. This disc's music is firmly rooted in the musical traditions of her homeland but incorporates various western instruments and clubby production into a seamless, otherworldly, sexy swirl.

Toumani Diabat√©'s Symmetric Orchestra, Boulevard de l'Ind√©pendance (samples here). I have mentioned Diabaté's kora playing here before, most recently here. The Symmetric Orchestra is ostensibly Malian, but it is comprised of musicians from throughout western Africa, as is its repertoire. Because of the size of the group, its sound is smoother, less percussive in its feel, than that of smaller ensembles, but it's still every bit as reliant on groove. This group will soon be touring the States; in case you like what you hear, here is their list of dates.

AC/DC, Highway to Hell (samples here). The id has needs. Best to toss it a bone every once in a while.


R. Sherman said...

Speaking of the Coen Brothers, the EMBLOS and I are finally going to see No Country . . . tonight sans crowds of teenagers. Not exactly a romantic evening, but as you say, "the id has needs."


John B. said...

Randall, I was wondering just this morning if you were intending to go see it; I figured that if you had seen it you would have posted something about it.

As for me, I'm still wrestling with my squeamishness. I want to see it, but I've about decided to see it on the small screen when it comes out on DVD.

Sheila said...

"I'll show you the life of the mind" is a line oft-quoted in my household.

John B. said...

Sheila, it's indelible for me, too.

Sheila said...

Yeah. How could anyone erase:

"C'mon Barton, you think you know about pain? You think I made your life hell? Take a look around this dump. You're just a tourist with a typewriter, Barton. I live here. Don't you understand that? And you come into MY home, and you complain that I'M making too much noise."

I still think this is the Coens' greatest film, followed by "Lebowski," which is weightier than most everybody credits.

John B. said...

I've seen Lebowski only once; I need to see it again. But yeah.

To the interested/wary: I'm working on a post for Barton Fink. If I'm lucky, it'll be up later today.

Sheila said...

"I'm working on a post for Barton Fink."

Is it yours?

I don't know.