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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-02-13 - 11:15 a.m.

I had no idea til I turned on the news this morning that this was a record snow fall. It just felt like...snow.

My favorite hysterical catchphrase from TV news was how we had UNMATCHED SNOWFALL INTENSITY.

As the snow was making its unmatchedly intense descent to earth, I was viewing Paradise Now, which really is intense.

On the one hand, it's not much of a story, just a very simple political argument rendered somewhat crudely. But it is such a rare glimpse into the day to day reality of Palestinians that the drama is secondary. Each of its characters--one of every political stripe, from oblivious to moderate to radical--is tremendoulsy sympathetic. It humanizes suicide bombers, even as it ultimately decries their acts.

I find every Eels song, even the more humorous ones, heart-breaking, but the interesting and oft-times weirdly sexy production and arrangments help to mitigate the bathos.

There is no such buffering on Eels with Strings, the live album recorded at Town Hall. Here we have E sounding ever more Tom Waits-like (I hate that), and the string section a-wailin' in the background, making every song an ordeal.

This is definitely for Eels completists only, or for people I don't like who are contemplating suicide.

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