a couple of crossposts from mailing lists:
winnie’s december mix, like her others, are full of what i presume are the latest indie bands that i should know. in a lot of ways i feel that now that indie pop has been around for so long so many people are doing the same thing rather than moving forward, and it’s becoming easier and easier to reference bands’ sounds (e.g. the of montreal track sounds totally like a belle and sebastian ripoff to me). harpsichord, glockenspiel, violin, trumpet, and harmonica seem to be requisite instruments nowadays. as i’ve said before, i’m on the edge of being able to still enjoy this stuff, but i do still enjoy it, particularly the more wistful tracks (like the jose gonzalez and the national tracks from last time). this time the blissfully moody tracks i loved are the books, gravenhurst, okkervil river, and the rosebuds. each of these had little production details i loved, like the “whoo whoos” in the latter track; and the books’ has a bass guitar-centric sound (very pinback style) and bitty beats that i just love. i also liked the kings of convenience track quite a lot. this and the okkervil river track strongly reminded me of matt pond PA who i should listen to more of. i agree that the kathleen edwards track sticks out in the same way the imogen heap track stuck out last mix — a bit too mainstream sounding. i also thought the baby shambles was a bit too much of a clash ripoff, but maybe that’s just me. but it’s a good mix, esp. since i’ve been out of the indie music loop so much lately.
i like ang lee’s direction, and in brokeback mountain he didn’t disappoint. the vibe is much like crouching tiger, w/ gorgeous, hugely expansive scenery providing a backdrop to an intimate story. like that movie, this one also has a beautiful balance of sparse, spaciousness with explosions of energy, an aesthetic that i really, really love. the story could’ve easily been banal, but it was beautifully restrained, helped hugely by good performances all around and 2 particularly impressive performances by heath ledger (who i knew nothing of and who i just found out is australian) and michelle williams (who i also know nothing about although apparently she was in dawson’s creek). all in all a solid 9 out of 10.