“Reality is a state of mind. To the banker, the money in his ledger book is allv ery real, though he doesn’t actually see it or touch it. But to the Brahma, it simply does not exist the way the air and the earth, pain, and loss do. To him, the banker’s reality is folly. To the banker, the Brahma’s ideas are as inconsequential as dust.”—A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray
I find it interesting that the same culture that has and (arguably) still does defend the lifestyles of wallstreet executives and bank owners and politicians is the same culture that has decried the character of Ebenezer Scrooge for more than a century and a half.
I’m not going to lie, I have stayed pretty far away from current movies this year, opting instead to view many older movies that I’ve over looked. So, I have only seen 2 of the movies on this list. Sad, I know, but here is a list all of which are on my movie list and all of which should be checked out by you.
Before I start reviewing The Chariot’s live show, I have to make one thing clear: The Chariot has a ridiculous following in Georgia. I have no idea what their fan base is like in other parts of the country, but people in Georgia treat The Chariot’s shows like they’re homecoming, as if they’ve been away from the state for years and years and this is the only time they’re coming back to the state for another decade. So I’m not sure how much of this will apply to anyone who sees them anywhere else, but it can at least give you an idea of their potential if they do build up a fan base.
The Chariot hails from Douglasville, Georgia which is the equivalent of Chickenshit Nowhere USA. I’m assuming because they are their only claim to fame, the people of Douglasville go a little crazy whenever they put on a show. Also, it seems like every venue in Georgia has a relationship with them and thus allows them to do pretty much anything they want during a show. What follows is a literal recounting of a typical Chariot show in Georgia:
-The bassist, Jon “KC Wolf” Kindler's, bass will very very very rarely be in his hands; instead, it will often be 10 feet in the air because he has thrown it with about as much force as he can muster and launched it up there only to catch it with one hand on the way down. How he manages to still make music with this arrangement is beyond me.
-Singer Josh Scogin shows how much he hates having working legs, and spends large portions of the show on his back crowd surfing. Conversely, he shows how much he loves having working legs by climbing on anything he can.
-Any amp that is less than 10 feet tall will be climbed upon both by every band member in turn and by several crowd members, each of whom will then project themselves off of it into the crowd.
-If there are exposed rafters, scaffolding, or anything at all sturdy hanging from the ceiling, they will be crawled along by everyone stated above.
-At least one dog pile will occur.
Every show here. Every single one. How they have the energy to do it, I don’t know, but I’m glad they do because it is always worth it. During the final song they played when I saw them last, the singer, one guitarist, and the bassist all jumped into the crowd at the same time. Dog piling ensued.
Even if I’m not a big fan of their music (which I honestly haven’t actually sat down and listened to despite having seen them several times), I will always support them because they put on a phenomenal live show. If they come to your town, go see them. Even if the shows aren’t as crazy as the ones in Georgia, if people go expecting insanity, then the band will at least have something to feed off of.
This past weekend I went to see Listener, Vanna, The Greenery, Former Thieves, and The Chariot in Atlanta. I had a realization that I don’t like the hardcore scene in Atlanta; I hadn’t even considered that because it’s been so long since I went to a shitty hardcore show. Now, Vanna sucked. Sorry if you’re a fan of them, but not my cup of tea. In the least. But this isn’t a review about Vanna, I just felt like it was necessary to say that; this is a review for the band Listener.
Listener is a duo who live across the country from each other. The Georgia/Nevada natives mix spoken word poetry with simple indie music, also known as “talk music”. Dan Smith does not have the typical voice for spoken word. He’s got a heavy southern accent and a strange meter to his poetry that makes it very different from many other spoken word poets. So his voice may be difficult for some people to get into because it’s odd. But he’s an incredibly passionate performer. The great part about his voice being so odd is that his personality shines through. Dan Smith is the kind of person that you like just from watching him do his sound check. He’s got a glowing and honest personality that makes him really friendly and enjoyable to watch. He also relates really well to the crowd, talking to people and letting them ask questions. His lyric writing skills are pretty phenomenal as well. “Wooden Heart" is a fantastically crafted extended metaphor:
We’re all born to broken people on their most honest day of living and since that first breath… We’ll need grace that we’ve never given I’ve been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts and it’s not only when these eyes are closed these lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach, but they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weather and my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north, stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets better but it won’t won’t, at least I don’t believe it will… so I’ve built a wooden heart inside this iron ship, to sail these blood red seas and find your coasts. don’t let these waves wash away your hopes this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember
Musically, Listener falls in line with Mewithoutyou and La Dispute circa the Here, Hear EPs. They are not a band that everyone will like but they are a band that everyone should try out.
I know IMDB isn’t always the most reliable thing, and that there were talks of making a movie before that got scrapped, but 2013 seems like a pretty reasonable release date for a movie in discussion right now.
I don’t know if the book would make a good movie; it could come off really really cheesy, but I’d watch it anyway.
“The question is, how can a writer observe the amenities if he has no idea what his general reader is like. The reverse is common enough, most certainly, but just when is the author of a story ever asked what he thinks a reader is like? Very luckily, to push on a make my point here - and I don’t think it’s the kind of point that will survive an interminable buildup - I found out a good many years back practically all I need to know about my general reader; that is to say, you, I’m afraid. You’ll deny it up and down, I fear, but I’m really in no position to take your word for it. You’re a great bird-lover.”— J. D. Salinger, Seymour: An Introduction