Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The "VS." is what gets me every time

Here in Portland there's a station called 94.7 KNRK--"Alternative Portland," which in my opinion is kind of a redundancy; Portland is pretty damn "alternative" on its own--and on Saturday nights you can catch Squid's Modern Mix, which features mashups of modern songs with classics.

This is how I discovered such amazing things as:

Jimi Hendrix vs. Muse: "The Blackout Cries Mary"
The Rolling Stones vs. the Dandy Warhols: "Sympathy for the Warhols"

Both of which are FUCKING AMAZING.

Drumming diary: Whole Lotta Love

This week, on Rachel Learns the Zep...

Apologies for the long absence: I have been preoccupied with beating a legion of centaur-riding, flaming-chainsaw-wielding Betty White clones into submission. Or struggling through "Whole Lotta Love." Whichever sounds more impressive.

(<-----I love Portland.)

Anyway, I have emerged mostly victorious from the battle with WLL. It doesn't sound perfect, but it's about as good as it's gonna get, considering the giant, 36-measure drum solo in the middle and the fact that they go merrily skipping off count towards the end. GDIT, Zeppelin, hold a beat!

(From my notes ------------------->)

Next I'm learning "Your Time is Gonna Come," which is one of my favorite Zep songs, and not just 'cause I'm the vengeful type. It's an odd tune, incorporating an old-time church organ, an out-of-tune Fender, and some steel guitar lessons, along with some sweet harmonizing.

It's also one of the least-heard Zeppelin songs: they only played it once, and then not in full, at a show in Tokyo in 1971.

But oh, how epic it is.

The drum part calls for a second floor tom, so I'll have to squish both of those down to one as I have yet get my hands on the cashola for some new equipment. It looks like there's a fairly reputable notation available online, so thank god for small favors and wish me luck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Addendum to The Deep Freeze: Imaginary Women

Several different blogs have picked up my post about Christopher Nolan's woman problems. Which is exciting! And a little bizarre! At least, the post on OhNoTheyDidnt felt a little bizarre. o_O

Response has been all over the map, but a couple of readers took issue with my reading of some female characters. Specifically, they contend that Mrs. Jankis from Memento and Mal from Inception should not be counted as female characters because, as NerdGirl puts it:
But the film's established that memories are unreliable in dreams, so the remembered Moll (sic) isn't her either. She's a shattered reflection of the women Cobb loved. All that remains are the fond memories to torture him and the projection of his guilt who wants him to suffer – because he feels he deserves it. Which, come on – he does.

To which I respond, fair enough. Both of these female characters were (for the most part) memories and mental constructions in the minds of male characters. Perhaps that deserves a category separate from the Madonnas, Whores*, Antagonists, and Dead Wives that populate Christopher Nolan's films: Imaginary Women.

Unfortunately, I can't understand why the readers feel these could be used as a defense of Nolan. Far from it: these constructed women have absolutely no autonomy or agency. They literally do not exist outside of the minds of men. They aren't even real women! Natalie, the femme fatale from Memento, is IMO a stronger female character than Mal or Mrs. Jankis: she's manipulative and hard-edged, yes, but she is clearly a resourceful, intelligent survivor. And she's a real woman. So that puts her one-up on the other two.

And while we're on the subject of Inception...whoo boy. And people say I'm critical.

(*NerdGirl also took issue with me dismissing a female character in Insomnia as "a whore." I didn't. I said that she represented the "Whore" side of the classic Madonna-Whore complex that permeates so many of our media products, as based on the fact that the character spends about half her screentime coming onto one man or another and is given very little else to do. I just want to be clear on that point; I would never bandy about such a female-negative term in a non-academic sense.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Because nothing says enlightenment like a whiny, rich white woman who ditches her loving husband to learn from the wise, mystical natives

I have issues with Eat, Pray, Love. Fortunately, I am not alone. In fact, some people have enough issues to fill a BINGO card! Behold!

Credit to Dodai Stewart and Sadie Stein

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Haha, well, I'm not the only one who's talking about Chris Nolan's lady troubles.

By tenshinofushigi.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Another one of my Twitter stories has been featured on Thaumatrope! Woot!