Thursday, January 17, 2019

Where To Find The Good Stuff


DABDA, "Youth"

Kind of Sea and Cake-ish with some really excellent vocals and drums.

I used to hate K-pop.  These days, I find some of it tolerable if not perfectly disposable.  There is a lot of Korean hip-hop that I like, once you can ignore Psy.  That said, here's a great Youtube series featuring a ton of great South Korean indie-rock, sorta-jazz, electro, and even some experimental stuff: Onstage.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dance Hall Crashers

Can you copyright an ancient dance?  A South Korea dance troupe thinks they can, and the ensuing Intellectual Property battle is just beginning:
"Lee Hyuk-ryeol, Ubong’s son-in-law and the head of Ubong Lee Mae-bang Art Company, argues that the reason the organization registered copyrights for the dances was the 'preservation of the original' and to make 'clear recognition of the original creator' when Ubong’s dances are being taught and performed. However, the Society for the Preservation of Ubong Lee Mae-bang’s Dance claimed it was 'the beginning of seeking profit.' 
The National Dance Company of Korea was the first organization to find itself having to deal with the repercussions of the copyright. The money first became an issue. The company’s successful show 'The Banquet' features various traditional dances including Ogomu as part of the performance. After last year’s performances of 'The Banquet,' the National Dance Company of Korea is said to have received a fine for copyright violation worth 9 million won ($8,000). However, Lee denied charging the National Dance Company of Korea for copyrights, arguing that his art company only insisted on specifying the original creator of some of the dances in the show’s program. Lee claims that the 'National Dance Company refuted my request by saying that they’ll pay the fine if we can prove that the dance is a ‘creative work.’ 
'We’ve never sought profit,' Lee claims, while the National Dance Company said they will 'put the decision on hold until the country’s dance industry makes a decision on whether Ogumo is a tradition or a creation.'”
My general opinion is that for the most part South Korea would benefit from stronger and stricter I.P. laws in general.  However, this sounds more like straight-up abuse of the entire concept.

True Detective Season Three, With Minor Spoilers!

So far I'm thinking True Detective season three is pretty good.  The performances are strong.  Speaking as an 80s kid, there was something viscerally relatable about a boy's bedroom with Playboy mags and a Dungeons and Dragons module (a fake one!).  The triple-framing of 80, 90, and 2015 has worked so far (but could become really confusing if not handled correctly).

Relative to season one though, it does feel like it's playing it a bit safe.  There's plenty of room to go in the strange directions of season one, and I hope it does so sooner rather than later.

Toxic Masculinity Is A Thing

The Favourite Is Really Good

I saw The Favourite this past weekend and it was incredible.  It's definitely Lanthimos' most "straight" film, and it really feels like he knew he had three incredible actresses here and he was willing to step back from his usual weirdness and just let them do their thing.

I'm wondering in what direction he goes from here.  This will definitely put him into the big time, and I'm sure tamer, more mainstream, and bigger budget opportunities will come knocking for him.

It'd be a shame if he ever let up on his unique vision and deprived us of the absurd brilliance of The Lobster or the genuine familial darkness of Sacred Deer, but who knows where he goes from here.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Deep, Insightful NFL Playoff Thoughts

There are three interesting teams left in the NFL playoffs and then there are the Patriots, who are peaking at just the right time.

Fuck the Patriots.

The Perfect Is (Still) The Enemy Of The Good

Eva Wiseman thoughtfully deconstructs the cult of New Year's Resolutions and the greater Self-Help Industry:
"Is there a compromise? We could cut down on meat, drink mindfully, jog around the park, but with no ambitions of perfecting ourselves. That might be nice? What about if this year we seek approval, not from the internet, but instead only from those we love? What if this year, we forget about trying to live longer, and instead enjoy the moments of glee in our existing day-to-days? What if, instead of cutting all alcohol from our lives for a month, we instead interrogate the things that make us want to drink too much? What if, instead of looking inwards, we stare cleanly out across this cold landscape of gentrified possibility, making sure the annual efforts to fix ourselves don’t distract us from fixing the world? What if the change we make is the realisation… we might not be the problem?"
Amen, sister.