Song of the Day #4,828: ‘Stephanie Says’ – The Velvet Underground

Three years after the triumph of Rushmore, Wes Anderson returned with another brilliant work.

The Royal Tenenbaums follows the rise and fall of a family of geniuses, and the attempts by the flawed patriarch to reinsert himself into their lives.

Given double the budget of Rushmore, Anderson broadened his palette, assembling a large ensemble cast and setting the film in a slightly skewed version of New York. The effort paid off to the tune of $71 million at the box office and a Golden Globe for star Gene Hackman.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #4,827: ‘Concrete and Clay’ – Unit 4+2

Wes Anderson’s second film, Rushmore (1998), heralded his arrival as a major new voice in independent cinema. Bottle Rocket had made a small splash on the festival circuit, but this movie received widespread critical acclaim, decent box office, and awards season attention.

It also kicked off a renaissance for Bill Murray, who went from being known primarily for comic roles to a go-to choice for portrayals of wry sad sacks. Four years later, he would be nominated for Best Actor for his great work in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #4,826: ‘Alone Again Or’ – Love

In anticipation of Wes Anderson’s 10th film, The French Dispatch, due in theaters a month from now, I recently rewatched the writer-director’s entire filmography in chronological order. Over the next two weeks I’ll write a bit about each of those films and finish up with my ranked list.

Anderson’s debut, 1996’s Bottle Rocket, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. This low-budget crime comedy boasts few of the trademarks commonly associated with his films (symmetry; dollhouse art direction; liberal use of tilts, pans, and zooms) while introducing others (close-up insert shots, 60s pop music, Owen Wilson).

Continue reading

Song of the Day #4,825: ‘Now’ – Catie Curtis

Today marks the first appearance of Catie Curtis on the blog, and probably the first time I’ve thought about the Boston-based folk rock artist since I bought this album sometime after its 2001 release.

My memory is fuzzy but I believe it was my wife who discovered Curtis through an NPR interview and suggested we give the full album a listen.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #4,824: ‘Standing in the Doorway’ – Bob Dylan

Here’s a song from Bob Dylan’s great 1997 album Time Out of Mind, a “comeback” record that earned him the Album of the Year Grammy. Amazingly, this is the only Dylan release to ever win Grammy’s top honor.

‘Standing in the Doorway’ is a highlight of this elegiac album. It’s about the end of a relationship, but like most songs on Time Out of Mind, it feels like it’s just as much about the end of life.

Continue reading