Time to Say Goodbye

2014 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for us. Unfortunately, this means that this will be our last post here at By Way of Beauty.

All things must come to an end, and our little blog is no exception.

Sin and Consequence in Cormac McCarthy’s "The Counselor"

Posted by Wesley on December 11, 2013

For about a year, I was looking forward to catching The Counselor, the new crime thriller based on the first original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy (perhaps the greatest living American author), and directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien), one of the many filmmakers linked to a screen adaptation of McCarthy’s celebrated masterpiece Blood Meridian.

Everything about the film seemed to ensure a memorable night at the movies, including boasting an all-star cast of Hollywood heavyweights and a thematic continuation of the recently expired and much beloved series, Breaking Bad. (Lovers of the show were sure to spot Dean Norris, who played Agent Hank Schrader, appearing briefly in the trailer.)

Early in the week of its release, however, when reviews began to roll into Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a lousy 37% on the site’s splatometer, the consensus seemed to be that The Counselor was just a glamorous cart-load of crap.

I must concur with the dissenting few, critics such as Richard Roeper and Manohla Dargis at The New York Times, who have praised The Counselor as a remarkable film. It was intense, provocative, and quite in keeping with McCarthy’s signature erudite style, expressing his disturbing insights into the darker realities of our human nature.

Free Music Friday: Josh Garrels - "The Sea In Between"

The soundtrack for the lovely documentary The Sea In Between (rent or buy it here), the fruition of Portland singer Josh Garrels' winning collaboration with the Brooklyn collective Mason Jar Music, is now available for free download at Noise Trade.

We post a lot of free songs and albums here on the blog (formerly on "Fresh-Cut Friday," now rebranded with a more appropriate title), some better than others - but trust me, you don't want to miss this one. The album is split evenly between rousing orchestral arrangements and ethereal acoustic numbers, but all of it is graced with an intimate expression of wonder and longing that's rare in live music - a testament, perhaps, to the silent majesty of Mayne Island. (The entire album was recorded outdoors - from the heart of the woods to the shore of the ocean.) Garrels' wavering, soulful falsetto in songs like "Little Blue," "The Original Spacefan," and "Ulysses" make the perfect soundtrack for those cold, still winter nights spent by the fire. (Hey are you still reading this? Go download it!)

And there's even better news: "All tips will go to the production of Josh Garrels' next album, in which he'll once again be collaborating with the Mason Jar Music team. His new work is currently underway, and is charted for release in 2014."

Happy Friday!