October 17, 2014

More or less constant stream of Good Stuff happened at work – today was my early deadline for project proposals for next summer, and I got some really interesting ones. Had a great conversation with a potential sponsor who wants to do something in collaboration with an intern team at a major customer. Interviewed an awesome student. Got good news about some interns accepting full-time offers. Hung out with one of my all-time favorite former interns, Lauren Schaefer.

In between all of that fun, I was spurred by a ridiculously high Pitchfork score to seek out & listen to Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy for the first time ever. I’m not even sure if I had ever consciously heard any Jawbreaker before. By the early ‘90s I was living in Raleigh & was pretty heavily immersed in North Carolina music culture. It’s weird, though, since I had a lot of friends who were ~5-6 years younger than I was, and I know for an absolute fact that Jawbreaker were hugely important to them. I was kind of a purist at the time, I guess.

To be honest, I found it difficult to pay close enough attention to the record to draw any detailed conclusions. I found it surprisingly generic-sounding, but that’s possibly because I’ve been exposed (mostly indirectly) to a lot of bands who were heavily inspired by Jawbreaker. Mostly I was thinking “yeah, that’s definitely a 90s punk singer vocal archetype.” But also “these songs are all kinda slow, and that rhythm section is pretty flabby.” Like seriously, give me ’94-era Ballance & Wurster over these dudes any day.

But at least now I know where Resol’s guitar sounds came from.

After dinner we watched the 2nd part of Lonesome Dove. This is a fairly recent widescreen Blu-Ray edition, and while I can’t be sure (and don’t feel like figuring out how to check), it seems like they widescreened it by cropping the 4:3 TV framing. The closeups seem awfully close up. I wonder if they just didn’t frame it well for widescreen when they were shooting it & wound up with too much clutter on the sides of the screen.

The HD transfer looks pretty good, so I’m assuming they went back to some reasonably high-quality master. Tis a mystery.

Also a mystery: They showed this stuff on TV? I’m pretty sure I read the book shortly after its publication in ’86, and certainly before the miniseries. And since I’m not sure I had a TV in ’89, I don’t think I have ever seen the miniseries before. Last night there was dirty talk about Robert Duvall’s junk shrinking up in a cold stream, and then a closeup of a scalping of a [still living] bandit.

It’s bleak, unsurprisingly crappy in its depiction of Native Americans, has a higher body count than I expected, and kind of engrossing despite feeling TV-dated. I can see why Robert Duvall called it his favorite screen role ever – he gets to be as goofy as he wants to be for 6 hours, basically. He does some good work in between the hammy bits, though.

October 17, 2014

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