recommendations

Recommendations for January 4, 2013

First recommendations of 2013. For the record, I posted 33 sets of recommendations in 2012; my goal was to do one a week, so I fell quite a bit short of that (I guess that’s about every week and a half?). We’ll see if I can keep it up better in 2013.
Toward the end of the year, I was posting almost mostly stuff to read; that was not a conscious choice, just how things turned out, but I thought I’d change things up and start the new year with some new music (and one list, of movies recommended by Martin Scorsese).
Song: “Ohm” by Yo La Tengo
It’s remarkable when a band stays together for 20 years; that they should be this good for all of that time is unfair to expect.
Song: “Hall of Game” by Aesop Rock
This is a previously unreleased track from the recording sessions for Aesop Rock’s Labor Days album. That a song this good did not make it on the album tells you what to expect from what did. (Note: you can stream the song at the page linked to here, but I am not embedding it because you can also get a free download of it there in exchange for your email. Also note that there is a link on the page to another old unreleased song, “Jinx Planet,” which no longer works; you can get that song here
Song: “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” by Active Child
This is an old gospel song, performed here with piano and Active Child’s usual chorus-of-himself vocal treatments. It is gentle and calm and lovely, and a good way to start the year..
Song: “Wise Man” by Frank Ocean
I was not quite as sold on last year’s Frank Ocean album as many were (it’s good, and sometimes great— but not always), but this song— written for the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained but not used— is fantastic. You can also download it from Frank Ocean’s website here.
List: “Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need to See to Know Anything About Film” by Rick Tetzeli
The New Year is, of course, a time for thinking about the things you wish you knew more about, or knew how to do, or just did. For me, that mostly involves a lot of lists of things I should do/see/read; here is one of them. It should be noted first of all that this list was pulled from an interview that Fast Company did with Scorsese about a year ago; he did not deliberately assemble it as a list, nor did he say that you must see all of these to “know anything about film,” or anything like that. They are movies he mentioned when talking about his career and its development, so it’s reasonable to conclude that they are films that matter to him for one reason or another. In any case, it’s a diverse list with both some obvious choices and some more obscure ones, and I have seen almost nothing on it. 

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