Monday, January 26, 2009

Icarus and Ulysses

I was listening to Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2008 earlier, and there was a track called "Upon Viewing Brueghel's 'Landscape With the Fall of Icarus'" by a band called Titus Andronicus. Apart from striking me as probably the most ridiculous name for a song that I've heard in a long time, it made me want to see this painting for myself. So here it is:

The great thing about this work of art is the fact that Icarus is so small, you can barely see his legs poking out of the water near the stern of the ship. The total indifference of the farmer just makes Icarus' death so pointless. It reminded me of this short story by Borges, called The House of Asterion, which totally flipped the perspective in the old myth of Jason slaying the Minotaur. Borges' short stories are so face-punchingly awesome; if you have the chance to buy one of his collections, you really should.

While we're on the subject of Greek mythology, I just heard a track from the new Franz Ferdinand album, called "Ulysses". I was literally listening to the track over on The Hype Machine, when I was looking at, and they had just posted the video of the same track. In their words, the "video makes this song 10,000 times better." I think the track is pretty great on its own, especially the crunchy synths that kick in at about the 40 second mark. Pitchfork have given the new album a decent review, so hopefully we'll all be hearing a fair bit of this album this year:

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