It's hard to keep up the weekly rundown of my favorite things when I forget about doing it after the first installment! Never fear, though, for last week's favorites are very much still in mind. Consider:
(1) I mentioned in the first Obsessions column that the Athens albums I reviewed a few weeks back remained in heavy rotation. Back then, Southeast Engine was getting the most spins, but the past seven to nine days have been utterly dominated by Russenorsk. The trio of undergrads play a brand of the epic, angsty indie rock that has provided many of this decade's finest records — think of the way Interpol repurposed Joy Division's dread, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's translation of Talking Heads' nervous tics and the lumbering emotional weight of Canada's heavy hitters like Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire. Their first full-length, Comforts, has been on constant rotation in my car stereo. At first, "Give Me the Devil" seemed like the record's clear standout, but lately the album's closing number, "Gaping Maw," has been leaving me slack-jawed. It's where the Joy Division influenced shines through most clearly — a slow, brooding track that builds into a simple but devastating climax. They're playing at Oldfield's on High this Thursday, March 12.
(2) Watchmen was brimming at the back of my consciousness all week long, but as indicated last Friday, my matinee showing left me cold. I already think the acclaimed graphic novel is ever-so-slightly overrated, so a film that falls short of the book's glory was probably bound to disappoint. Considering I'm just as hung up on Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan as I was last week, I would say Watchmen still qualifies as an obsession. I guess I would have preferred this as an HBO miniseries or something that would have allowed the story more time to breathe. And I desperately want more scenes with Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach — what a perfect synchronicity between actor and character.
(3) Of all the pop culture Watchmen has influenced over the past three decades, Lost is undoubtedly the most popular. It's no secret that I obsess over ABC's character-driven, mythology-heavy sci-fi drama, so maybe it's redundant to sing the show's praises here again. But this week's Sawyer-centric episode floored me. I love what they've done with the rogue con man, and even more than that, I love Josh Holloway's expert portrayal. He may be the most fully-formed character on Lost, and considering the wealth of great characters on the show (Benjamin Linus what what!), that's saying something.