Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dragon Tattoos and Mynabirds

This past Saturday night the horizontal rain drove my significant other and I indoors, but we had prepaid Ragtag tickets to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And so we were driven outdoors. It was the most crowded film I've seen at Ragtag so far. That's probably due to the heavy radio promotion the film's been getting on local stations and on NPR. Do I sense another Da Vinci Code?

(What's the code for really-overrated-book-that-may-be-the-worst-piece-of-crap-I've-ever-wasted-time-reading? Oh wait, that would be Twilight.)

Cringe. Perhaps.

It's hard to tell. The Swedish film is based on the first of a wildly popular trilogy of suspense/mystery novels from deceased author Stieg Larsson.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)
The phrase "wildly popular" raises all sorts of red flags for me, but I haven't read the novel, so I can't say whether it's the latest stack of book club fodder or if there's actually some good writing within. The film was intense. Sure, it followed suspense conventions and had a sexsational plot, but it was completely absorbing and chilly as its Swedish scenery. Oh, and Noomi Rapace's character is an ass-kicker.

Naturally, American filmmakers are going to Dan Brown things up with their own lame-ass version.

This is not to imply that things liked by the masses are bad. I love Harry Potter, but I hate Bella What's-Her-Nuts. It's all a matter of taste. Since the show last week, my partner in musical crime can't stop singing songs from Rogue Wave's Permalight. I wrote less than enthusiastic things about Permalight last week, but he bought the album and thinks it's fantastic.

I actually have this song stuck in my head:

"Numbers Don't Lie" by The Mynabirds

Download "Numbers Don't Lie" [mp3]

(Be forewarned: yet more rampant 60s nostalgia)

The Mynabirds are Laura Burhenn (formerly of defunct Georgie James) and Richard Swift. They recorded their debut album What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood (released April 27) in the hills of Oregon last summer. Their website says that they always wanted to make a record equal parts Neil Young and Motown. Who knew there was an actual 60s group, The Mynah Birds, featuring none other than Neil Young and Rick James? You can see where the Mynabirds get their moniker.


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