cordelianne: (Cordy smile)
I GOT MY HAIR CUT!!! That was my big exciting project yesterday. My hair was almost mid-way down my back and now it’s chin length (or even a bit shorter). When my hair gets long, the curls weigh it down and it becomes flat on top. Also, the curls at the back seem to lose their curl and look weirdly straight compared to the rest of the ringlets. But now it’s all bouncy!! In fact, the haircut is remarkably similar to this picture. )

I also went shopping yesterday!! I actually really enjoy shopping and had a great time on Queen St. W (a cool shopping district in Toronto). It was a VERY productive outing in which I got:
- a birthday present for my friend whose birthday celebration I’m going to tomorrow
- chocolate for me, because chocolate is important
- 2 hoodies (I heart hoodies so much), one of them is sleeveless and pink!
- an adorable short jean skirt
- cargo capris
- The Angel action figure!!! It’s “the Ring” one in which he’s wearing a white tank top and leather pants. I approve of that outfit. I wanted the Wes action figure as well but restricted myself to buying one.

Last night while watching Conviction (and reading LJ – I am such a multitasker!), I was amused when a criminal had a tattoo with the letters CFL. I immediately thought: He’s a fan of the Canadian Football League? (My football fan friends would be so proud!!) In this instance it means Criminals For Life. I think it would be funnier if the tough criminal was actually a fan of the Canadian Football League!

Oh, I almost forgot! My friend and I attended a play last night, boygroove. Described as a musical theatre mockumentary about the rise and fall of the world's greatest boy band. More talk about boy band musicals. )

ETA: [ profile] savoytruffle reminded me of the Into Trouble community. It has stories about the BtVS/AtS boys in an AU boy band. I kept thinking about those stories when I was watching boygroove, especially the parts about the manager/producer, and because one of boygroove members is gay.
cordelianne: (Default)
Hello all!! It has been a stressful last couple of weeks in [ profile] cordelianne-land. It’s been mostly work stress and it should be over soon. I built up enough overtime that I took the day off yesterday and I basically accomplished NOTHING (well there was some LJ & fic reading and tv watching, but no apartment cleaning or laundry done). I didn’t even get enough sleep. *shakes head at self* I think my stress level inspired Tuesday’s Angel & Wes story so at least the stress has inspired some productivity!

So to ignore the stress and focus on more HAPPY things I offer you, or things that are making me happy:

1. She’s the Man: It’s the Amanda Bynes (yes the Amanda Bynes from What a Girl Wants and the tv show What I Like About You) movie that’s a teen version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Bynes plays Viola, the one who disguises herself as her brother. I have a huge weakness for teen movies, and an even bigger weakness for modernizations of Shakespeare. Throw in any form of gender bending and I’m there! Seriously. I actually will be going to the theatre to see it on Saturday.

2. Veronica Mars returns to its Tuesday 9pm timeslot on April 11th: Okay I’m not sure how happy I am about this (especially since Wednesday night is the better night for my friends and I to watch the show together), but I’m trying to see this as positive because it won’t be up against Lost anymore. It’ll just be up again House and Scrubs, at least Supernatural will have already moved to Thursdays at 9pm (on March 30th.)

A Spoilery question & thoughts about VM ‘The Quick and the Wed’ 2:15 )

Definitely good VM news: The actors who played George Michael and Maeby on Arrested Development are guest starring next week!!! VM has definitely become the place for actors from my favourite no-longer-airing shows to guest star!

3. Bones and David Boreanaz: I re-watched the yummy DB parts from last week’s fantastic episode because my friend hasn’t seen it so I had to show her!! Possible spoilers for Bones ‘The Woman in the Tunnel’ 1:16 )

4. In one week James Marsters returns to Smallville: He’ll be back on Thursday, March 30th at 8pm on the WB.

5. The new album, "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" by Neko Case: It's SO good!!

I would love to have included J.August Richards being back on television but I feel like he has a less of a role on Conviction than he did during parts of Angel seasons. And on Angel he could at least kick ass. I'm still “watching” the show (ie. not really paying attention until JAR is on the screen) but I don’t recommend tuning in.

Other than my outing to see She’s the Man, I’m planning to keep my weekend void of socializing and instead I will write fic, go shopping, write fic, read fic, and catch up on tv watching. Chocolate may be involved as well.

ETA: This just cheered up and made me cry happy tears: Fandom is ...

ETA #2: More good news: Bones is renewed for a second season!!!
cordelianne: (Default)
I've never been that hip about music. I was the kid who grew up in Kingston and didn't know who the Tragically Hip were when I started high school (the Tragically Hip are Kingstonians like me). I used to only find out about a hip, cool or ground-breaking musician/band if one of my friends clued me in. But now I can actually pretend that I'm tuned into the music scene, all thanks to television.

I recall the days when it seemed like only Dawson's Creek would prominently use songs in montage sequences but now it's become commonplace. Television is now one of the key advertising venues for new albums or singles, and it's getting way less subtle than previously (which is impressive because Dawson's Creek had many good qualities but subtlety was never one of them). Did you enjoy the song you just heard in this week's episode of The O.C. or Smallville? Wait until the episode's over and we'll tell you the artist, album name and suggest that you buy the album on our website.

Sure it's starting to feel that television episodes are just advertisements for new albums or singles, and that we don't need well-written conclusions if we end with a music montage, but there's also some positives. A lot of cool music is reaching a wider audience. So even though major artists like REM (who I like, don't get me wrong) practically sponsored an episode of Smallville, the increased focus on music means that smaller artists and bands are also getting noticed by viewers.

Here's some musicians I've been introduced because of television (keeping in mind that I'm really really out of it about music):

- Franz Ferdinand: So technically I'm already a fan of Franz Ferdinand because I own and love their self-titled debut. However, I kept hearing this awesome song on television shows and was dying to know the song title and artist's name. After fruitless searching on the internet, I had a brainwave and realized the addictive song I'd heard in the first few minutes of the Threshold premiere and in the promos for Everwood is the new Franz Ferdinand single "Do You Want To." As a result of the song's connection to both tv shows, I now am excited about buying the new album this Tuesday (October 4th!!!).

- Death Cab for Cutie: Sure Seth Cohen's coolness has faded as the seasons of The O.C. pass, but Death Cab is blossoming. I didn't think it could be possible but I actually like Plans more than Transatlanticism. Also I noticed that Death Cab has been high on the charts which means that they're reaping the rewards of their television exposure.

- Postal Service: Okay, I actually had been loving Postal Service before hearing "Such Great Heights" on Veronica Mars, but it was only after seeing it on VM that I bought the album.

- Avril Lavigne: Now even I had heard of Avril Lavigne, but hearing her song "Take Me Away" on Joan of Arcadia made me a fan. I loved "Take Me Away" so much that I searched the internet to find out who the artist was, and was taken aback that it was Avril Lavigne (I'd been avoiding Avril because I wasn't impressed by her pseudo Punk thing). I now own the album that "Take Me Away" is on and enjoy quite a few other songs.

- Kim Richey - I bought the Angel soundtrack CD mostly because of her beautiful song "A Place Called Home" (the other reason for the purchase was motivated by my Buffy/Angel verse fandom). This is a good example of excellent use of a song montage to end an episode because the song perfectly evokes the character's grief and the solitary state of the characters on the show: "Someday I'll go where there ain't no rain or snow. Dream of a place called home." I don't think that this lyric is played in the episode ("Shells"), but it also perfectly describes the journeys of all the characters, including Fred: "I'd rather walk a winding road, rather know the things I know, see the world with my eyes, no regrets, no looking back, no good-byes." The reason this song worked (other than that it's an awesome song) is that it wasn't a gimmicky montage (yes I'm talking to you One Tree Hill, The O.C. and Smallville), rather it perfectly fits into the episode.

- The Dandy Warhols - Thanks to Buffy and VM I not only know who this cool band is - it was awesome to understand why my film prof talked about The Dandy Warhols in his lecture on postmodernism - but I also enjoy them.

- Modest Mouse - Another indie band that's been working for years and is finally getting noticed thanks in part to exposure on shows like The O.C. "Float On" always makes me feel better if I'm down about the state of the world.

- Damien Rice - My discovery of Damien Rice was a serendipitous television event. I initially mistook "Delicate" for Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" that was played in the season finale of The O.C. Season One (please remember that I am really really unhip about music), so decided to check out Rice's whole album. I then realized that I'd heard him on Joan of Arcadia and as I sorted out my confusion I became a huge fan of Damien Rice.

As much as I also really love Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" (see I now am more knowledgeable about the song), the song is becoming a cliche. It was used in the ending montage of House's 2nd season premiere (lessening an otherwise excellent episode), and it isn't even the 2nd time "Hallelujah" has been used in the final montage of an episode. According to Daniel Fienberg at

"The effect [of "Hallelujah" playing on House's premiere] was probably similar to when Buckley's cover of Cohen's "Hallelujah" was used for heartbreaking closing montages on The West Wing, Without a Trace and The O.C. all within the past couple years. The song pops up again for the same purpose in the new movie Lord of War. ... Buckley's recording of the song is the perfect showcase for the late singer's fragile voice and it's made all the more haunting by his premature demise, but seriously, this abuse has got to stop. Playing "Hallelujah" has become the equivalent of showing a dead kitty cat. Need some gratuitous tears? Cue up the Buckley. Why bother working for it when you can let the soundtrack do the work. ... Forget about saving Katie Holmes. Save Jeff Buckley."

This very similar observation was also made by Dalton Ross in the September 23/05 issue of Entertainment Weekly, who additionally observes that Lost, Six Feet Under and Resucue Me have also succumbed to music montage. Ross suggests that "Keep this cliche up, and viewers may start creating their own montages - by channel surfing."

Sure television columnists - like Feinberg and Ross - and people obsessed with tv - like me - have noticed the music montage cliche and over-dominance of music on television shows recently, but have most other viewers? Do the people who tune into a few shows a week get upset that there's often music montages or that only Beck's music is played during an episode of The O.C.? Do they care about the extended/gratuitous U2 concert on Entourage? Perhaps, like me, people are pleased that they're also getting some exposure to music in an interesting way (instead of mindlessly watching music videos for hours on end, not that I've ever done that, ahem) and maybe discovering some cool new musician or band that'll become their new favourite. For example, I think it's neat that Saigon, an up and coming hip hop artist who's about to release his first album, is being showcased on Entourage as an up and coming hip hop artist.

So if I start hearing Arcade Fire or Stars on television shows (I think that a Stars' song may already be in a commercial), I'm going to be excited that excellent Canadian indie bands are getting more exposure. Hey, Canada's already getting name dropped by Green Day (they mention Toronto in "She's a Rebel") and Death Cab (Calgary's mentioned in "I Will Follow You Into the Dark"), so let's also get more play for the numerous excellent musicians of Canada! As a friend pointed out about Death Cab's popularity, they've worked really hard so it's nice that it's paying off and they're getting recognized. Let's hope that the increasingly spotlight on songs on television pays off for more deserving artists.

So I say, bring on the music montage, bring on the purchasing plugs at the end of episodes if it keeps introducing excellent and hard-working artists to a wider audience. Of course, that doesn't mean that every episode has to end in a cliched music montage, I also want to keep getting well-written episode endings, like on Gilmore Girls, that rely on good writing to create an effective and compelling conclusion. .... Now please imagine that a heart-warming yet intelligent song is playing to conclude my entry.


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