Moody Montreal synth-sadness band MagicPerm put out an EP called Body Sounds in July. It sounds like K Records alum went on vacation in French Canada and smoked a lot of weed in grungy Plateau Airbnb flats.
After the release of his magnum opus Infinite Jest in 1996, David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) was widely recognized as perhaps the greatest writer of his generation. Entranced by Wallace’s genius, his success, and his modest life in rural Illinois, David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), a Rolling Stone writer whose own fiction work has garnered practically no attention, begs his editor to let him profile Wallace. With the piece approved, Lipsky flies from his cozy Manhattan apartment to the midwest, to shadow Wallace on the last leg of his book tour. With the tape recorder running, the two writers quickly dive into heady, intimate conversation. They bond, but their combined neuroses leads to awkwardness. Both are aware that Lipsky’s job is to shine a light on Wallace’s life and person, and Wallace – though he agreed to the interview – is desperately trying to be seen as a normal guy, and not become or be depicted as a literati self-parody.
James Ponsoldt directs with a light touch. The film is carried by its script – based on Lipsky’s memoir Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself – and the performances of its two stars. Segel’s performance is a career best. Wallace may be an eccentric, but Segel plays him with subtlety, where a lesser talent might have made him cartoonish (especially considering the headband he always wears). Eisenberg is typically nervy, which is expected but not especially impressive. The soundtrack is an appropriate selection of introspective 80s and 90s indie, complementing a score by Danny Elfman apparently channeling Brian Eno. Somehow Yo La Tengo didn’t make it on, but they would have fit perfectly.
Wallace and Lipsky’s conversation goes many places, but they are most interesting when talking about girls and sex. For the most part, I think the media flattens the perception of male sexuality. We’re often depicted as either emotionless sexual pigs or overemotional wimps, whereas many guys – or at least, in this case, overeducated white guys like Wallace and Lipsky’s characters – are more complicated. Wallace talks about wanting to use his fame to get laid, how the only gratifying thing about attention would be the evolutionary gratification a man gets when a room full of beautiful women assemble to listen to him speak. But the film shows that this sentiment (which sounds crass out of context) can exist without contraction alongside Wallace’s desire to be married and have someone to share everything with. Or as Lipsky says, to have someone to call when you get into the hotel.
In one of the best scenes, Wallace and Lipsky talk about a poster of Alanis Morrisette. Wallace says he likes her because he can (and has) imagine(d) her eating a big juicy hamburger or burrito or something, whereas most female pop stars or models seem too unreal to relate to or imagine in everyday life. Lipsky says that Wallace, now a famous writer, actually could call her up and ask for a date. Wallace tells him he’d be way too nervous, but if Lipsky wants, he can write in the article that he would, without question, say ‘yes’ to a date with Alanis Morrisette. That is, if she would like to call him.
The End Of The Tour can be likened to an intellectual bromance version of Before Sunrise. It’s a complex, realistic depiction of the modern male psyche, and how a certain breed of men relate to each other and the world. And Ponsoldt manages the depiction in a subtle, thoughtful and intelligent manner.
After years of dreaming about it, two weeks ago, I finally made the move to Brooklyn. Every day I wakeup and walk outside here, and I think, “Yes. I made it.” And I think my living here finally has led me to better understand the music of Brooklyn. So I put together a little mix with just nine of the amazing bands that this borough can proudly claim as its own.
There is kind of an overarching Brooklyn sound. It’s tattooed and bearded. Fearlessly experimental. Almost sunbaked and windswept. And the musicians are incredible, but smart and talented enough not to fall into cliched patterns or sound overly ‘professional’.
Ahh, that Maritime charm. These No Problem guys from Truro, Nova Scotia know what I’m talking about. Like how East Coasters are so cool that they’ll send bloggers free zips of their EPs out of appreciation…wink wink nudge nudge… (via Weird Canada)
It’s been a while, but Toronto’s mysterious “post-folk” bedroom artist Eiyn Sof (the project of one Melissa Boraski) has finally gotten around to putting out a new release. The Chthonic Tongue is a super minimalist work. Definitely not a collection of ‘songs’ by any stretch, the EP is much artsier and more ambient than what she’s released before. It requires a bit of patience, but solid if you’re in the right mood for it.
The Chthonic Tongue EP is out now on my friend Soren Little Brothers (aka Man meets Bear)’s label Ur Records.