|Other Good Stuff
Here are some brief presentations of people and things that make the world more interesting. The main point of this area may well be to restore ones sometimes flagging faith in the innate interestingness of the world. With stuff like this, who needs cynicism?
Aggressive rock with a healthy dose of humour and even serious lyrical topics has for a long time been the trademark of what is still one of favourite bands.
For going on stage in shorts and t-shirts during an era when most of their genre colleagues sported absurd outfits, they immediately earned my respect. For evolving without losing their edge or energy, they have kept earning it.
» Official site
"Star Trek" had its charm, as do other shows, but sci-fi on the TV has never captured me like Joss Whedon's prematurely canceled series. When so many characters are all so vital to the story, or the Experience, something has to be very right.
In a future thankfully void of quirky aliens, a small spaceship crew tries to make a less than legal buck and survive in a dangerous solar system. With the addition of a trio of passengers, the concept of honour amongst thieves is explored in a crazily entertaining and often touching way.
Thankfully, so far at least one motion picture has come along to alleviate those horrible withdrawal symptoms.
» Perhaps "The" Fan Site
The impossible and wonderfully imaginative work of Dutch artist Maurits C. Escher (1898-1972) is art and light-hearted food for thought all at once. No doubt, you've seen some of his upside down stairways or patterns where the space between the objects gradually turn into objects in their own right.
» Official Escher site
Everybody likes the Simpsons. Me too! Although, I think the series could have ended long ago. I'd rather rewatch the old episodes (they can be watched at least ten times each) than suffer through some of the rather desperate stories that have come along in recent years.
Not only did Matt Groening create this historical show, he gave us Futurama. Once I really got the humour of it, I thoroughly enjoyed all seasons. Sometimes extremely funny, often involving on top of that.
The paintings of Edward Hopper (1882-1967) may seem idyllic at first glance. American landscapes and cities at their most harmless, right? But hey, what's that sense of melancholy, almost loneliness, that creeps up on you? I dunno, just some sort of proof of the neat ambiguity of his work...
I'm no art expert, but what I tend to look for in art is that vague concept of "mood". Hopper's paintings have a "mood".
» WebMuseum: Edward Hopper
Even without Fish (perhaps even more so) Marillion is a band that to me almost seems like a good friend. They're often dangerously close to mainstream, and sure they reuse some musical themes - still, they're unique. Their music and lyrics have, for lack of a less pathetic phrase, heart.
Someone singing in such a fragile voice shouldn't possible be able to make much such an impression with her music. But maybe that's part of the secret, though far from all of it. The songs range from almost jazz to tunes that soar above or float around all known genres.
The dark, almost morbid. streak running through many of the lyrics (case in point "Murder in Mairyland Park") is in my eyes just an added bonus - especially alongside such charming "trifles" as the classic "Another Story Girl" and the more recent "Butterfly".
"Soon after Christmas" may well be the best "broken heart" song ever written, by the way.
» This inofficial is actually much nicer than the official one
Long before the Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi was one of my favourite directors. The gory and madly inventive "Evil Dead" introduced me to a kind of camera work that I had rarely seen before, nor since. The humour and the apparent down-to-earth attitude of the man, as well as that of his longtime friend and fav actor Bruce Campbell, are other reasons to respect and honour him.
» Surprising amounts of info here
One has only to look at a picture of the residential house known as "Fallingwater" to see a lot of the themes that make Wright's buildings so special. I'm in no way an expert on architecture but even I can tell that the guy (1867-1959) was really on to something.
Apart from homes, Wright also designed places of worship and work, among other things.
» Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation