If you’re looking to keep up-to-speed with all things Web 2.0, then you could do worse than read Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. Like, say, Wikinomics, it’s replete with information about the power of the internet and mass-collaboration. However, it also pays attention to the problems of the new, social dynamics. Perhaps the key text on all of this.
It’s been out for a month-or-so now, but Muse’s live album Haarp is still a frequent port-of-call on my iPod. Like marmite, the Devonshire three-piece are a love-hate thing – their angsty, bombastic, cosmic-rock just isn’t for everyone. For the initiated, though, this album showcases the energy of their rightly-renowned live shows, as well as Matt Bellamy’s soaring guitar solos.
I’m also enjoying The Age of Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets, the joint side-project of Alex Turner (The Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals). It’s several steps removed from the Monkey’s raucous celebration of “booze ‘n’ birds” on Sheffield nights out. Here the sound’s more Burt Bacharach-meets-Ennio Morricone, and the subject matter more mystical. It works.
It’s also prompted me to check out the work of The Rascals. No album yet, but two EPs – Out of Dreams and Suspicious Wit – both with a pleasing early-nineties indie vibe.
Eureka have recently released Antonioni’s La notte (1961) as part of their indispensable Masters of Cinema line. The middle segment of the Italian master’s loose “alienation trilogy” (the other entries are L’avventura and L’eclisse), it is perhaps cinema’s most trenchant analysis of modern ennui and dislocation. The black-and-white photography is ravishing, as too are the central performances by Marcello Mastroianni and the immortal Jeanne Moreau.
For a good bit of gory fun, 30 Days of Night is well worth a viewing. If – like me – you’re a sucker for horror films, then the description “John Carpenter’s The Thing, but with vampires” will be all you need to know.