• Heroes Season Premiere

    I was really happy this past Monday, because for the first time this year, I was going to be able to blog right after seeing a TV show live, something I have not been able to do since starting school.
    I ended up going to bed bitter and disappointed. It was really my own fault; Heroes had been going nowhere fast all last season, but I had heard good things from Comic Con. I really don’t know why it merited a ten minute standing ovation. The group that I watched with stayed in stunned silence for two minutes then shuffled out.
    It seems that I was not the only one dissappointed. The premiere attracted 9.8 million viewers, in stark contrast to Dancing With The Star’s 21 million. To repeat: The Heroes season premiere had less than half the viewers than a regular season episode of DWTS.

  • Mad Men

    I am completely aware that I am the billionth person to say this (and the billionth-and-first person to say so on their blog centered on pop culture and television), but the AMC television show Mad Men is top notch. I am not going to go into too much detail on the show, I’m sure you’ve heard of it -if not, a quick Google search will remedy that- but suffice to say, the writing is top-notch. I am constantly anywhere from a day to a week behind on the show, but every episode that I watch contains at least one line of exceptional power or craftsmanship. If you are into highbrow TV, this is one show that you can’t miss.

  • Back blogging after moving. I will be going to see TV on the Radio at the end of the week at the Roseland Theater, so I thought it would be a great time to revisit their 2006 release Return to Cookie Mountain.
    One of the consequences of the invention of recorded music is the decline of the influence of time on the process of music creation and interpretation. Before recordings, any music that became popular would become either: 1) a piece that fades from popular memory, but then is resurrected later by a different artist, 2) a piece that becomes a ‘standard;’ all artists are expected to know it from memory, or 3) simply forgotten.
    With the advent of recording technology, anyone can listen to sounds of the past, and that kind of musical exploration is no longer restricted to the realm of composition students. The indie movement of the past ten or fifteen years owes a lot to different styles of the (admittedly recent) past, from Garage Rock to Nu Wave. In this climate, the first two things that we pick up on as listeners are: What are their influences? and How are they interpreting them?
    This is exactly why TV on the Radio is one of my favorite bands. More remarkable than their influences is the sheer number of them. The first things one hears are the punk-influenced arrangements and instrumentation and the hip-hop/noise pop production. Other overtones include: glam, doo wop/a capella, electronica, soul, and even carousel polka/waltz. All of these get mixed and reinvented into a glorious, rich sound that can move fast while feeling slow, and move slow while feeling fast. From a musical standpoint, they are constantly recording interesting chord progressions that defy expectation and tickle the ear.
    I am really looking forward to Friday’s concert, and if they come close to reproducing their studio sound, it will be great.

  • Love Will Tear Us Apart

    A couple weeks ago, I had the interesting experience of having a complete, 72 hour immersion in the mythology and history of the British punk/new wave band Joy Division. My introduction to the band is almost completely via their only charting hit, Love Will Tear Us Apart. I was captivated the very first time that I heard the song by its combination of melancholy and low vocals with a pulsing, frenetic excitement in the song itself. The heart and soul of Joy Division, and therefore Love Will Tear Us Apart, was frontman Ian Curtis. Released this year were two related movies, a documentary, Joy Division, and feature film, Control.

Matthew Eilar

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This is my personal blog. I’ve been blogging since 2008, and self-hosting this blog on Linode since 2020.

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