Art Imitates Life

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the concept of art imitating life. Oscar Wilde wrote that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. In musical terms, I think of it as music mirroring life. I’ve heard songs in my life that reminded me of personal experiences I’ve had with others. Like, the experience of talking with someone I’m close to and then, suddenly, getting a sense the conversation has happened once before. I tend to have this happen in the middle of a big, dramatic dialogue unfolding between myself and another person.

I’ve Heard That Tear Stained Monologue

One of my favorite folk songwriter artists is John Hartford. Some years back, he wrote an interesting song with a long, odd sounding title. In fact, the song title is I’ve Heard that Tear Stained Monologue You Do There by the Door Before You Go. This song recently popped up in my vast mental jukebox and played for a few days. Here’s a version that was recorded by Mason Williams and includes some tasty fiddle and lead guitar picking. Mason and John were both colleagues back in the late 60’s on the classic Smothers Brothers TV show. Hope you enjoy the tune!

10 Movies I Enjoyed in 2016

1. Arrival (Sci-Fi) Nice blend of 2001:Space Odyssey and Contact. Interesting exploration of an alien, non-human language, interfacing with human/alien interaction.

2. Fences (Drama) Powerful story about parenting, disappointment, and getting on with life. Echoes of Death of a Salesman through the lens of black culture.

3. Doctor Strange ((Fantasy/Action) Well done interpretation of an old Marvel comic book series. Bit of a 60’s throwback mixed with mysticism.

4. Zootopia (Animated) Great story with engaging characters and plenty of witty dialogue. Animated movies just get better and better.

5. Sing Street (Drama/Music) Intriguing tale of youth expressing themselves via music in 80?s Dublin. Insightful look into the creative process of songwriting.

6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Fantasy) Here’s one for the Harry Potter fans of the world who enjoy spending time in the Wizarding world. Solid story line with the promise of a new series.

7. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Drama/Adventure) Good interplay between the old man and the boy. Think of it as reluctant mentor meets angry, curious young man, as they survive out in the wilds of New Zealand.

8. Rogue One (Sci-Fi) First Star Wars standalone movie with more to come. Story had interesting, likable characters. Helps make up for the last three bad Star Wars movies.

9. The Jungle Book (Fantasy/Adventure) Cool blend of the old school Disney animated version and live action. Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo the bear is perfect.

10. The Man Who Knew Infinity (Drama) Young Indian mathematical genius meets and works with old professor on WW1 era English college campus. Smartly executed depiction of culture clash. Inspiring connection between the Divine and human intellect.