Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Style: House and techno
Known for: My versatility
Tune of 2008: Tocadisco 'Morumbi (Original and Popof Remix)' (Superstar Recordings)
Producer of 2008: Popof - he really did a great job this year.
First record you ever bought?Mano Negra 'Putas Fever' Weirdest thing you've seen all year? Being verbally and physically attacked by the audience at Creamfields Festival for not playing hits. Top gadget of 2008? iPhone 3G Most important thing you've learned this year? Take your time.
Music from Tocadisco
With remixes for everyone from Slam to Booka Shade to his credit, German DJ/producer Roman Boer, aka Tocadisco, obviously felt that the time was right to focus on his own productions again.
At the start of 2008, he released his long-awaited debut album, 'Solo', on Superstar Recordings, which won acclaim across the board.
However, Boer didn't intend to lose sight of the dancefloor: he originally made his name as a house DJ during the '90s and this year saw him release the 'Black Series' records, raw underground house tracks that re-connected to his roots.
Boer was also in action every weekend, playing clubs and festivals across Europe. He's been a regular guest at David Guetta's Fuck Me I'm Famous parties and at Sven Vath's Cocoon club.
"It's been a great year and the summer season was the craziest ever," he remarks.
He also feels that technology is driving changes in his music production - but that his low attention span also plays a factor.
"I'm still learn something new in the studio every day, but I'm always changing because I get bored very easily," he says.
True to form, Tocadisco is assuming a different role over the coming months: he has remixed the new Moby single, has a version of 'Sunglasses at Night' on the re-issue of Tiga's take on the '80s classic and is doing a version of Bob Sinclar's 'Ich Rocke'.
"After that I will take a nice, relaxing holiday and then I will start work on my next album," he says.
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By JON PARELES
Published: October 25, 2009
Surfer Blood, from West Palm Beach, Fla., was an emblematic band for the 29th annual CMJ Music Marathon, the five-day convention, showcase and stampede of bands that ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Determined to be heard by every potential dealmaker, tastemaker, blogger and music fan, Surfer Blood played about a dozen brief sets during the conference at clubs on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, and has another gig for good measure on Monday night in Brooklyn at Death by Audio.
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Joseph D'Agostino of Cymbals Eat Guitars. More Photos »
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Photographs by Josh Haner/The New York Times
Hercules and Love Affair, a project of the disc jockey Andy Butler, at Fillmore on Friday. More Photos >
Surfer Blood is self-starting and hardworking in the ways that fledgling bands have had to learn in order to survive. And its songs encompassed a broad stretch of CMJ’s 2009 musical spectrum: Velvet Underground and punk riffs, reverberating textures, African-style guitar filigrees, grunge crescendos, power-pop choruses headed for anthems and, yes, some surf-rock twang. All those sounds have been encouraged by college radio, Internet radio and indie-music blogs, and Surfer Blood strings them all together, skillfully and likeably. (All that’s missing is programmed dance beats and rapping.) The band’s CMJ blitz guarantees added recognition as Surfer Blood stays on the road for the next month and beyond.
The lure of CMJ, for virtually all of the 1,300 bands that played showcases this year, is simply the chance to be seen and heard. This year’s daytime program started with a bluntly titled panel discussion — “But How Will I Get Paid?” — that couldn’t fully answer the question. Attention may be all a musician can hope for in an era when recording companies are disintegrating, competition clogs MySpace, and the kinds of businesses that pay upfront for music — advertising and film and television licensing — are interested in isolated songs, not musicians’ careers. (At New York University, where panels were held, and in CMJ-mobbed places like Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side, musicians and managers were eagerly talking about those deals anyway.)
The competition clogs CMJ, too, so like Surfer Blood, many bands multiplied their chances to be seen, playing day parties and late-night shows that were unaffiliated with the conference but wouldn’t take place without it.
CMJ rightly claims to have offered early glimpses of best-selling, paradigm-shifting bands, from R.E.M. to Arcade Fire. But this year’s marathon didn’t yield an obvious contender. (With so many bands, however, the odds are good that hindsight will eventually change that.) Visa problems prevented appearances by the Very Best, a collaboration between a singer from Malawi and a European electronic production team, and Speech Debelle, the rapper who won the Mercury Music Prize this year. With the economic downturn limiting travel budgets, bands from New York and environs were as prominent as out-of-towners, although there were still visitors from Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Britain, Denmark and Iceland, the home of Mum, whose songs evolved with charming unpredictability from plinking Minimalism to upbeat rock.
Luckily, New York is still incubating magnificent, dramatically dynamic bands like Cymbals Eat Guitars — whose stately songs erupt in outbursts of strumming and screaming — and the Antlers, who envelop their ballads of wounded introspection in majestic swells of guitars and effects. Theophilus London, a promising rapper-singer who favors electro tracks, lives in New York. So does Sharon Van Etten, who sang stark, riveting songs about loneliness and yearning in a lustrous voice.
New York can also claim Hercules and Love Affair, the project of the disc jockey Andy Butler, who mustered a glittering stageful of singers (in silver lamé) and dancers — one of the marathon’s few events with production values — to perform blipping, percolating songs that took heartbreak to the digital disco.
College and Web radio, for all their delight in new and obscure music, are also havens of cultishness and a kind of musical conservatism, praising new bands that revive some cherished sound that the pop mainstream ignored. So a good part of CMJ looks backward or delves into niches.
That’s not always bad. The scruffy, punky new wave of bands like Answering Machine, Pete and the Pirates, and Parlovr (a Montreal band pronounced like “parlor”) was endearing; so was the straightforward but supercharged punk of Lovvers. These United States, a band from Washington, fully fit the definition of an alt-country band, complete with pedal-steel guitar, but it’s a superb one, equally at home with quiet, morose tales and galloping punky-tonk adventures.
Fool’s Gold, from Los Angeles, fused grooves and vocal styles from across Africa, one of the rare worldbeat bands that doesn’t shallowly imitate its sources. There was also an African apparition: Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone, wearing a straw skirt and singing and dancing to recorded tracks of what he said was a 500-year-old tradition called bubu music. The tracks were modern, and the beat, fast and skeletal and driven by bell taps, was unstoppable, demanding wider dissemination.
Yet hearing all the revivalists and category-fillers at CMJ — shoegazers, synth-poppers, heavy-metal bands — can also make a listener wonder if, as Simon Balthazar of Fanfarlo sang, “The great ideas are wearing thin.” (Fanfarlo itself got many of its ideas from Arcade Fire and Beirut.)
Two highly touted bands — the XX from England and Cold Cave from Philadelphia — are dedicated, and largely derivative, throwbacks to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when punk met synthesizers. The XX was decidedly understated, matching its austere, quietly morose songs, while Cold Cave deadpanned its way through glum songs with a dissonant wallop, singing, “I’ve seen the future and it’s no place for me.” But the Montreal band Duchess Says, whose songs also rode big drumbeats and repetitive synthesizer riffs — fat ones from a Moog — was a lot more fun. Its singer, Annie-Claude, had herky-jerk stage moves that she carried into the audience, even climbing onto a fan or two.
Live shows, unlike recording studios, encourage musicians to let their music crest. The Temper Trap, from Australia, plunged into anthems of self-discovery with the martial drive of U2, vocals heading for falsetto and instrumental buildups that were clearly aiming for arenas. More pensive groups let the music surge from within, among them Choir of Young Believers, a brooding Danish rock band, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel, a band from Denver that looks folky — with acoustic guitar and bass fiddle — but sings about regrets and insecurities in choruses that turned rousing.
Musicians’ oldest livelihood, performing and touring, is still their most dependable one, and the CMJ gantlet — playing half-hour sets to distracted audiences in low-fi clubs — lets bookers, agents and potential tour mates see what YouTube still can’t deliver. Stage presence makes a difference, even if the stage is the size of a wading pool and half the audience is checking e-mail. While CMJ had no guaranteed next big thing in 2009, and the current music business might not know how to nurture one if it did, there were enough worthwhile next small things to deserve their moment of hard-won attention.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009
With remixes out on labels like Mad Decent, Dress 2 Sweat (one of Fader’s Labels to Watch for
2009) and Seclusiasis, this is their first EP of original production. Their previous releases have
recieved support by the likes of Diplo, Sinden, Nick Catchdubs (Fools Gold) and Starkey.
Kicking off the release, ‘Valhalla’ begins with a sublime early 90’s club vibe that leads into a
growling breakdown, where a wild rolling synth line and Baltimore club drums take over and push
the track over the top. For the remix of ‘Valhalla’ we have San Francisco producer Ghosts on Tape.
With a forthcoming EP on Glasgow’s super hot Wireblock Records, Ghosts on Tape gets crazy with
swinging percussion, rolling subbass and swirling synths.
Next up is ‘Bump N Sniff VIP’, Tactic’s collaboration with New York City based MC Brik Mason.
Its a druggy banger with pizzicatto strings, chopped club drums and heavy synth programming.
Rounding out the release is the title track, ‘Tell Me’. Marching drums dance around the ethereal
synths and female vocal sample. Its lands somewhere between dubstep and breakbeat ‘ardcore circa
The Tell Me EP will be available 10/20/09 at all fine digital retailers including Beatport, Itunes,
Junodownload and Amazon.
go over to Mad decent blog to check it out.
99. Booka Shade
Style: Science-fiction house
Known for: 'Body Language', 'In White Rooms' and 'Charlotte'.
Tune of 2008: Nôze 'Danse Avec Moi' (Get Physical)
Producer of 2008: Dance: Claude VonStroke; non-dance: David Andrew Sitek from TV on the Radio.
First record you ever bought?'Le Freak' by Chic, bought secondhand outside a supermarket. Weirdest thing you've seen all year? Thousands of hardcore rock fans in Metallica T-shirts happily singing the 'Body Language' bassline at Lollapalooza festival. Top gadget of 2008? Yoga mat. Most important thing you've learned this year? How to do a headstand. It gives you energy and makes you see things from a different angle (in the truest sense).
Music from Booka Shade
While they released an installment of K7's 'DJ Kicks' mix series in 2007, German house duo Booka Shade, aka Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, aren't DJs per se. All the same, 2008 was still an important year for them and they put out their third album, 'The Sun and the Neon Light'.
It saw them represent a more mature take on the evocative melodies and subtle, twitchy grooves that dominated the debut, 'Memento', and allowed them to hone the songwriting skills they'd explored on second album 'Movements'.
One of the most exhilarating live acts in electronic music, they promoted the new album with one of their infamously gruelling world tours.
"The current world tour is shorter in the number of months but is more intense, because we sometimes play five concerts in one week," explains Arno. "We also played some of the biggest and nicest festivals in the world, including Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Exit and Benicassim," he adds.
Arno also feels that touring the world has inspired the Booka Shade sound.
"You get around, see places and meet people, it inspires you, you turn it into music, it's a constant development that creates our own universe," he says.
It's no surprise then that they're touring South America and Australia over the coming months, and in 2009 will start working on their fourth album.
Ryan 'Irish Rican' McLelland here -
I found BOONDOCK SAINTS a couple years after it had hit on video. When I was serving in the military the pilots who flew at night used to watch it incessantly before going off to fly in the helicopters and for some reason I always would walk in during Willam Dafoe's drag scene. This scene never made me want to actually sit down and watch the film. But something stuck with the pilots and the film, even calling themselves 'The Bastardos' after a throwaway line in the movie. One night they forced me to sit down and watch it and I was instantly hooked. Since then I've watched the movie once a month for the next six years.
There seems to be two very different camps for BOONDOCK SAINTS: the ones who hate the movie with pure disgust vs. the ones who love the movie and scream about it to the heavens. Sure there are some who think the movie to be 'okay' but those are the people who are few and far between.
Then there's director/writer Troy Duffy himself who has had his share of controversy over the years. Duffy landed the infamous movie deal with Harvey Weinstein and Miramax only to see everything he worked for get pissed away. He never got the bar bought for him, he never made the movie with Miramax, even after BOONDOCK got made it never found its way to theaters, and his group The Brood (renamed The Boondock Saints) saw their CD flop - even though it was a damn good debut album.
THE BOONDOCK SAINTS has been dying for a sequel. Any fan of the film, like myself, knows that the end of the film sets up the McManus brothers to become the vengeful eye of Boston. As cult classics go the original film is a monster success - especially when you think in terms of the sequel actually being made AND released in theaters nationwide. Troy will now have his day with Boondock up on the big screen - finally have the time to sink or swim with his creation. Will his sequel hold up ten years after the first film was made?
For those who aren't aware of the plot the Saints (Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus) are living the quiet life with their father (uber-killer and ultimate kickass artist Billy Connolly) in Ireland. When a copycat killer strikes a priest down in the same manner the Saints had done in their crime spree years earlier, it draws the duo right back into action. The city of Boston is left to wonder whether it is a copycat or the real thing - much to the chagrin of the three police officers who helped the Saints kill a mob boss in a court room.
If you want the full plot go see the fucking movie. If you want to know does the sequel hold up or disappoint - I'm glad to say the sequel does not disappoint. The sequel improves on everything that made the first film great. It's one hell of a non-stop thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last frame (which is a great last frame at that). You don't even need to see the first film to enjoy this movie which is fantastic. It can make fans of the first film happy while being coherent enough for anyone who has yet to see Boodock 1.
The Good? Clifton Collins Jr. has been in about seventy-six films this year and he's been great in every single one. There's no change here. Playing the new saint, a Mexican named Romeo, Collins brings the needed comic relief but also owns this new role. He fits so perfectly into this world that it kind of pisses me off that he wasn't in the first film. Julie Benz (the hottie from Dexter) plays hottie FBI agent Eunice Bloom - who is delicious eye-candy throughout the film. Benz replaces Willam Dafoe's character and unfortunately she is given a bit less to do in this film. When she is on-screen she surely is fun to watch. Nearly everyone comes back from the first film - even Rocco (David Della Rocco) appears in a flashback.
The Indifferent? Judd Nelson and Peter Fonda. They are in the film but are really just secondary characters. You don't care about them and simply hope the Saints come in to kill them.
The bad? There is A LOT of plot in this film. How can that be 'bad'? While not technically bad, the add-on of stuff that could have been kept until a third movie was added in. Of course there might not be a third movie so Troy Duffy probably felt he needed to pack it all in now. This causes the film to slow down at times but luckily it picks right up soon.
The fact that this film got made is amazing in itself. The fact that this film then looks amazing, sounds even better, with impeccable acting, and a phenomenal story is sort of like bringing a Playboy model as your date to the prom then getting laid afterwards with her and her twin sister. The film just doesn't satisfy fans but will certainly be a welcome start for a whole new film career for Duffy. It certainly is the action movie of the year and I'm hard-pressed to think of anything that comes close to All Saints Day. Fans of the first film will love All Saints Day and the haters may finally like the franchise for the first time. Now all we can hope for is a trilogy.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Style: Trance and Double EÂ² (Energetic Electronic)
Known for: A: Wearing mesh trucker caps. W: Nose scratching!
Tune of 2008: Oceanlab 'Miracle' (Anjunabeats)
Producer of 2008: Benno de Goeij
First record you ever bought?A: Westbam 'And Party' W: Diana Ross presents The Jackson 5 'ABC' Weirdest thing you've seen all year? We went to a fish-spa in Malaysia where you put your feet in a water basin and fish softly eat your skin. The bigger the fish the more scary it got! Top gadget of 2008? Some underwater-like blue lights in the studio. It gives an amazing effect! Most important thing you've learned this year? Do not travel on an intercontinental flight after you've had Indonesian rijstafel!
Music from Alex Morph & Woody Van Eyden
As separate DJs, Alex & Woody have been hovering in sight of the Top 100 for several years now. But it's their 'combined forces' approach over the last 12 months that has finally tipped the scales, pushing the pair inside the all-important countdown.
"We've been mates for over 16 years now and we've worked together on productions for 13 years," says Woody. "The DJing partnership started one night at The Honeyclub where we did an unplanned back-to-back set. It worked out great so we decided to push forward with our back-to-back format after that… and here we are!"
Their collective endeavors have clearly made a large impact with fans and promoters alike. It's a pairing that's seen them rock an impressive amount of festivals over the last12 months.
"We've done Gatecrasher's Summer Sound System, Coloursfest, Planet Love, Nature One, Intuition Summer Festival and over 50 club gigs, including Judgement Sundays," says Alex.
"Don't forget Love Parade," chips in Woody, "with 1.6 million people… that got a little bit stressful!"
Elsewhere the pair have found the time to notch up ten collaborative productions this year, while staying on top of their weekly Heaven's Gate radio show.
You’ll note from the dates below that Jay is opening for The Pixies in Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington D.C. There’s also a New Year’s Eve date supporting Spoon in Miwaukee.
Wed Oct 28 Paris,Maroquinerie
Fri Oct 30 Munich, 59 to 1
Sat Oct 31 Berlin, Lido
Sun Nov 1 Copenhagen, Loppen
Mon Nov 2 Oslo, Parkteatret
Tue Nov 3 Malmo, Mejeriet
Thu Nov 5 Prague, Matrix
Fri Nov 6 Vienna, B72
Sat Nov 7 Bologna, Covo
Sun Nov 8 Clermont Ferrand, Coop de Mai
Mon Nov 9 Brussels, Botanique Rotonde
Tue Nov 10 Birmingham, Bar Academy
Wed Nov 11 Glasgow, King Tuts
Thu Nov 12 Manchester, Roadhouse
Fri Nov 13 London, Underworld
Sat Nov 14 Bristol, Croft
Sun Nov 15 Liverpool, Masque
Mon Nov 16 Dublin, Whelans
Sat Nov 21 Chicago Aragon (with The Pixies)
Sun Nov 22 Columbus The Summit
Mon Nov 23 Pittsburgh Brillobox
Tue Nov 24 New York Hammerstein Ballroom (with The Pixies)
Wed Nov 25 Northampton Iron Horse
Fri Nov 27 Boston Wang Center (with The Pixies)
Sat Nov 28 Philadelphia Johnny Brenda’s
Mon Nov 30 Wash DC Constitution Hall (with The Pixies)
Tue Dec 1 Chapel Hill Local 506
Wed Dec 2 Athens 40 Watt Club
Thur Dec 3 Atlanta The Earl
Fri Dec 4 Orlando Backbooth
Sat Dec 5 Tampa Crowbar
Mon Dec 7 New Orleans One Eyed Jacks
Tue Dec 8 Houston Walters on Washington
Wed Dec 9 Austin Emo’s (Outside)
Thu Dec 10 Dallas Granada Theater
Sat Dec 31 Milwaukee Riverside Theatre (with Spoon)
Saturday, October 17, 2009
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By NATE CHINEN
Published: October 16, 2009
Them Crooked Vultures had already been bashing away for about an hour at the Roseland Ballroom on Thursday night when Josh Homme, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, finally issued a disclaimer. “It’s a lot of new music,” he said, mock apologetically. Then he added, mock hopefully: “It’s not often you get to hear a bunch of music and you have no idea what’s happeni
Right? Well, sure, sort of. An ensuing roar signaled complicity more than consensus: since playing its first show this summer, this hard-rock supergroup has spawned a cottage industry of video bootlegs online, giving fans time to get acquainted, even before a lick of music is released.
As Mr. Homme must have expected, lusty cheers arose in response to some of the titles he announced, like “Mind Eraser” and “Dead End Friends.” This crowd was hardly fumbling through the dark, even if that would have fit the menacing bluster of the tunes.
Beyond that, what sort of surprise could this have been? Them Crooked Vultures is unswervingly faithful to its pedigree: along with Mr. Homme, best known as the frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, it features Dave Grohl, the former drummer in Nirvana, and John Paul Jones, the former bassist in Led Zeppelin. That their output delivers a punch to the gut can only be seen as the fulfillment of a promise. The band doesn’t feel like naked derivation, but its parentage is hammered home with every fat and bruising riff.
Dozens of those cropped up in Thursday’s show, which was all the better for it. “Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I” amounted to a Zeppelinesque bombshell of heavy-gauge blues-rock; “Scumbag Blues” dropped some head-wagging funk, punctuated by a thumb-slapped bass interlude.
“New Fang,” one of the more buoyant tunes, hinted at Southern boogie rock, with slide work by the band’s rhythm guitarist, Alain Johannes. In roughly every song there was a heavy emphasis on chromatic tension, offbeat syncopation and tyrannical propulsion; Mr. Homme’s guitar solos were mostly brief and to the point.
His singing was just as brusque, even when he flipped into his sturdy falsetto. He’s a no-nonsense frontman, allergic to spectacle and averse to extraneous gestures. At times this made him seem dwarfed by his backing, as when he mumbled through a minor-key stomper called “Caligulove.” But then melody isn’t the core strength of this band anyway. That would be rhythm, which in the hands of Mr. Grohl — more often seen lately on guitar and at the microphone with his band the Foo Fighters — becomes a thunderous force.
What was missing on the whole was a semblance of vital messiness: the band had been too efficient, too terse, maybe even too tight. But a shuffle called “Warsaw” ended the show on the right sprawling note. Unraveling in the middle and racing to a feverish end, it caught the volatility that a band like Them Crooked Vultures tempers at its own peril. How it will sound on the band’s self-titled studio debut, due out soon, is anyone’s guess.
Friday, October 16, 2009
By: Roger Friedman
It’s been nine years since Michael Douglas has made a really good movie. Nine years — yup — it was in 2000 that “Wonder Boys” and “Traffic” were released. And then, well, it wasn’t such a good decade, except that he married Catherine Zeta-Jones and she won an Oscar for “Chicago.”
But all it takes is a good script, as it turns out, and people who are paying attention, to breathe life into a great movie star’s career. Brian Koppelman wrote “Solitary Man” and directed it with his partner David Levien. They’re the same duo who resurrected “Ocean’s 13″ after “12″ was an unlucky number, and have lots of other good credits. After seeing “Solitary Man” open last night in Toronto, I think Douglas should be sending them a case of Champagne.
“Solitary Man” is no easy film with easy answers. It’s funny and it’s tragic, but it’s beautifully written, directed and acted. Douglas’ Ben is an irredeemable womanizer who had it all: a Harvard education, millions of dollars, and a thriving BMW business, a wonderful family and friends. And then a mid-life crisis causes him to throw it all away, operatically, sensationally and ferociously. It’s a wonder anyone’s talking to him. Actually, few are.
Ben is surrounded by potential support from a doting daughter (Jenna Fischer, from “The Office,” is a total revelation — not the monotone Pam we’ve come to know), ex-wife (Susan Sarandon — splendid as always), best friend (a philosphical Danny DeVito), protege (Jesse Eisenberg), Mary-Louise Parker (ex-girlfriend). But it doesn’t matter. He’s determind to trash everyone’s lives.
“Solitary Man” has echoes of “Shoot the Moon,” “The Heartbreak Kid,” a little “Roger Dodger” and “Californication” — just to name a few influences. But it’s also its own success, with lovely, textured dialogue and a determination never to let Ben off the hook. Michael Douglas hasn’t looked or sounded this good since “Wonder Boys” (a personal favorite of mine). Indeed, in some angles he’s really starting to look a lot like his dad, Kirk Douglas. And you know he’s bringing a lot of himself to the role of Ben. At the Q&A after the screening, Koppelman said, “Most people who read the script thought this was the story of Gordon Gecko, or Michael Douglas. They were the only two people who could play the part.”
There’s a lot of buzz about Douglas reprising his Gecko role in “Wall Street 2″ this fall. This is tricky, because it could turn out to be self-parody. We’ll see. But “Solitary Man” is fresh and original, a total surprise from left field. It’s an indie release, so it needs a distributor. But there’s a best actor nomination in there for Douglas and an original screenplay nomination for Koppelman, at the very least. And it was nice to hear Johnny Cash singing Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”
PS: The film is produced by Steven Soderbergh, who came to cheer Douglas on, as did Matt Damon and wife Lucia.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Oct 11, 2009
tell your friends about Clues:%20Still%20A%20Mystery%20Machine%20Full%20Of%20Lumps%20And%20Fire%20recorded%20Oct%2011,%202009 tell your friends…
Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Shawn Biggs
Alden Penner is a normal dude and an utterly strange dude as well. When the Canadian was playing in Unicorns, the band shot publicity photos of themselves in a bathtub full of hair and in a massacre scene featuring horrific splatterings of blood on everything in sight. You can guess which one ran in most newspapers. After a break-up of that band and a silent hiatus - that was accompanied by murmurs and odd hints of new projects and music - he brought Clues to the world earlier this year, playing one of its first ever live shows at the Noise Pop festival in San Francisco later one February evening, following the taping of this one-song "session." They'd made a long drive in from close to 10 hours away, all through the night to get to where we were and over an hour and a half in the studio, they played a version of "Let's Get Strong," from their as-yet-to-have-been-released at the time self-titled album. It's a pretty song that sounds spiritual, in a way, remarking on the failings of destiny and all those people involved with their false destinies, struggling to get close to them because of some inner and outer weaknesses. It's empowering when he ends the song with a couple winking piano notes and sings, "I've got wings, but they're not meant for viewing," suggesting a privacy that should be held by the energies within, whatever gets us through our days without crumbling into heaps of lumps and elbows. It's a touching song and those come randomly on "Clues," a record that goes for oddball and goofiness in the same way that Unicorns did, but always finding a way to bring it back to center and countering with real human sentiments as well. Penner and crew were wild in San Francisco, sometimes clunky but always interesting, asking the recurring question of, " Who here wants to sleep in the dragon's mouth? Who here wants to feel?" making it feel as if it were a question like, "Who here wants more soup?" It's in making the strangeness enlightening that Clues give us the pieces of themselves that they're willing to divulge.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the newest October special horror run of A Movie A Day!
[For the entirety of October I will be showcasing one horror film each day. Every film is pulled from my DVD shelf, recorded on the home DVR or streamed via Instant Netflix and will be one I haven’t seen. Unlike my usual A Movie A Day or A Movie A Week columns there won’t necessarily be connectors between each film, but you’ll more than likely see patterns emerge day to day.]
ROAD GAMES mixes a few of my favorite things. These are Australian genre films of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, be it MAD MAX or BMX BANDITS, young ‘n hot Jamie Lee Curtis, road-set thrillers and prime-of-his-life Stacy Keach.
I’m also a fan of director Richard Franklin. His PSYCHO II is a very underrated sequel which never really gets its due because it has to follow up Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant original.
Hitchcock is an obvious influence on ROAD GAMES with Keach being the wrong man this time instead of Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant. Keach plays an American ex-pat working as a Truck Driver in Australia. In the first 20 minutes we essentially just get Keach talking to himself to a voice on the CB or his dingo, Boswell.
If it wasn’t for seeing a naked girl getting strangled by a gloved man we wouldn’t know we’re in a thriller. Keach’s stuff plays out almost like a comedy, but that’s smart. Keach is a likable guy and his character, Quid, is allowed time to curry the audience’s favor.
Franklin also uses this time to introduce us to the road travelers. Anybody who has ever been on a long road trip will recognize the familiar characteristics Keach points out… the miserable family, the too-careful driver hauling a ridiculous load, etc. You’ll also recognize the weird familiarity you feel on these long drives when you’re leap-frogging the same dozen or so vehicles over the course of a few hundred miles.
Whether Keach ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time or if the killer has had him in his sights before we start the movie I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Keach is drawn into this killer’s world and we’re along for the ride.
One of the interesting things to me about this film is that Quid isn’t the typical lead, especially for this type of film. He’s not trying to prove his innocence (right away at least), he’s not trying to stop the killer so much as he’s using his theories about the man in the green van and what the fuck was he burying out in the desert?!? to keep himself occupied as he hauls a freezer full of pork from one side of Australia to the other.
Quid’s decisions struck pretty true to me. I’m sure his actions in the movie, especially in the first half, are how I’d react if it were me. Talk is easy, speculation is easy, but there are a million reasons why this one guy isn’t the dude they’re talking about on the radio, the new Jack the Ripper.
Jamie Lee Curtis comes into the picture rather late, over 40 minutes into the film, as a hitchhiker that is intrigued by Keach’s theories.
I quite liked the romance that develops between the two of them. It’s nothing overt, just a common bond that sparks a bit more than it probably sure given the age difference.
If I had a bone to pick with the movie it would be in a decision to take this film into a happy-ending territory. Maybe I had HITCHER on the brain and was anticipating a bleak ending, but it seemed to me that Franklin and screenwriter Everett De Roche was setting up a darker conclusion.
I could be very wrong, especially when you consider the Hitchcock influence, but it seemed like all indicators were pointing to Keach getting the shit end of the stick. He doesn’t get off scott free, but it’s certainly not the fucked up downer I was expecting.
Final Thoughts: This flick is very entertaining and the chemistry between Curtis and Keach is awesome. It’s a great turn for Keach and with all the landscapes we see it’s almost like Outback-pornography. Also, fans of the cultastic STUNT ROCK keep your eyes out for the killer’s face. You’ll recognize him as noneother than Aussie stuntman and star of STUNT ROCK Grant Page!
Now, in thinking up my recommendation title the obvious choice was THE HITCHER. It’s a very similar story, but trade out Stacy Keach in a hero role for Rutger Hauer in a villain role, Jamie Lee Curtis for Jennifer Jason Leigh and add in C. Thomas Howell for good measure.
On Shaky Legs, But Not Jumping
Oct 13, 2009
tell your friends about An%20Horse:%20On%20Shaky%20Legs,%20But%20Not%20Jumping%20recorded%20Oct%2013,%202009 tell your friends…
Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's the fragile moments that give the harshest shivers, the violent ones that could make you worry that you're losing it, that things will get worse before they ever get better. Kate Cooper and Damon Cox of the Australian band An Horse bow at the alter of these kinds of fragile moments, finding them to be the intoxicating ones that will eventually make you strong if they don't wipe you out before then. Cooper sings about the aspects in life after they've come to a boil. We don't really get too much of the back story in the songs on the band's EP "Not Really Scared," but she swoops us into the middle of the firestorm, at the place where she's out on the ledge and looking for company up there. She wants to share the experience of the elevated winds rushing across wet cheeks and the pulling at clothes, pulling at hair and losing it up there where the pigeons are perching and cooing, where the window washers get frightened. The scenes that she and Cox reveal are scary situations that may never return to a satisfying normal. It makes a lot of sense that Canadian band Tegan & Sara have taken such a liking to this guitar and drums two-piece as there is the same immediacy and the same hectic urge to wonder and an even more hectic need to know why all of this shitty shit is happening and keeps happening. It never seems to subside and then suddenly, the room stops spinning, the faces stop blurring and a calm tries to happen, just momentarily, where things don't seem to be all that bad and it's when you hear Cooper considering her new line, "I believe in horizons now." It feels as if there might be a little flower poking out of the snow, but whether it will survive is still questionable. An Horse music is a sunny day in dead cold of winter, as if there is potential in the snow drifts and there's a light at the end of the bleakness. It all feels warm if you don't stand too close to the windowpanes and you don't look straight down. As Tegan & Sara sings on a song from "So Jealous," "I feel like I wouldn't like me if I met me," Cooper strikes a similar sentiment on "Scared As Fuck," offering, "I got scared that you might be a better me than me." It's such a personality conflict that could only come from a self-planted seed of doubt and apprehension. It's about a self-love and confidence that is lacking and yet is an adorable bit of humbleness and humility. It's not a give up on me feeling, but one that is just going to keep getting battled through and worked with as Cooper sings, "I'm trying to get you over it…I'm trying to be brave."
An Horse Official Site
CANT :: ghosts
The CANT/Arthur Russell split 7" is limited to 1000 copies, and was recorded/produced by Taylor in his church/studio in Brooklyn. Get it here before they're gone.
Goodwill Good Buy of the Week
This week, as it just begins to turn chilly in the DMV, we have 3 gorgeous vintage coats. All three are in outstanding condition and up-to-the-minute trendy. Jackie-O styling, swing coats, fur collars, cute buttons…
1. Chocolate brown suede ¾ length coat with fox fur (?) collar. We are pretty sure the collar is fox, although we could not find a tag saying specifically what it is. This coat is as soft as any suede I have ever touched. It is in perfect condition except that the bottom button is missing. However, there is an extra button attached to the sleeve, so it just needs to be sewn on, and the coat is ready to go. This beautiful coat has tags from Montgomery Ward from the 1960’s! I can’t stress enough how gorgeous this coat is in real life. Fabulous!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I am so glad the oversized clutch is still going strong for Fall 2009. I was afraid this trend would die off quickly, but there were tons and tons of them in the Fall fashion shows. I love them because regular-sized clutches are not nearly big enough for me, so the oversized ones are perfect. And I really dig how Seventies they look. As far as I’m concerned, anything Seventies is okay with me.
Here is an insert from Brooklyn Vegan Blog.
"Beth Ditto started singing from somewhere in the ether, and when she finally set foot on stage, the crowd went berserk...but quickly reigned themselves in so as not to miss a single second of Bethtastic vocal goodness. The band's universally loved frontwoman sported a new shorter 'do in Kool-Aid red or Sunkist orange (depending on the lighting), She wore form-fitting black, knee-length dress covered in silvery glitter sparkles that shimmered as she shimmied around the stage to the beat, giving the impression that Beth Ditto is not the centre of the universe, but the universe itself...and we mere mortals are all just playing at her game." [I Was at the Show]
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. BLACK DYANMITE has been kicking around at festivals since its official premiere at Sundance in January, and it's finally making its way into theaters this coming weekend. The critical reaction, even just among people that I know who have seen in over the last nine months, has differed about as much as you can imagine. Some people say it's a masterpiece that isn't so much a parody as it is a full-blown tribute with a few jokes thrown in to acknowledge some of the ridiculousness of the blaxploitation genre. Others seem to hold it against the movie that it takes itself seriously, but I honestly don't get that at all.
As I mention to star and co-writer Michael Jai White (best known for playing SPAWN in the film version of the Todd McFarlane comic book, and appearances in THE DARK KNIGHT and a fantastic cut scene from KILL BILL) and director Scott Sanders in our interview conducted last week, the film could have gotten away with just being a kick-ass action movie, without any jokes, and I would have thrilled. But it's the humor that informs us that its creators are well versed in so many of the great films that they are honoring with BLACK DYNAMITE. I don't think too much more is required in terms of introduction; most of what you need to know is covered right here in our conversation. I'll have a full review of the film on Friday, but know that I really was impressed with the attention to detail and the creation of a fully realized character rather than simply a caricature. And Michael Jai White's skills as a martial artist really sell the whole package. I had a fantastic time watching this movie. Enjoy Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders…
BTW Mad Decent/Def Jux sign Brik Mason..
Friday, October 9, 2009
Ivan Reitman Back For GHOSTBUSTERS 3!! But In What Capacity?? + A Plot Snippet... -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.
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October 06th, 2009 @ 3:27 PM - Paris
Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli ushered in a new era for the Roman house Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Paris with their first ready-to-wear hit collection. Theirs is a surreal and mysterious Valentino, not a bad metaphor for these uncertain times where fashion really needs emotion to stimulate desire and consumer demand.
Despite being decade-long staffers at Valentino, they are intent in radically remodeling the brand’s oeuvre. Where their first couture collection in January was very much the restoration of the old guard, their latest runway outing was an insurrectionary moment.
Valentino once stood for class and an opulent display of wealth, but this new Valentino was all about sensitive chic with a mysterious spin.
Rather than ripping up the Valentino DNA, however, they have reinvented it. This was clear from their first four looks, which were short, volume cocktail dresses in faille with huge bows that managed to stay just on the right side of extravagant.
Chiuri and Piccioli have been at Valentino for too long not to respect the house’s canons, but they took some bold risks when using sheer fabrics, a famed Valentino signature. They went with bolder, more visible fabrics and then threw on a lot of erratically placed crystals, mesh or metal touches, making the look very evocative. The pair hit their stride with a series gilded frocks, in a broken grid pattern that had a charming ghostly quality.
There was also just the right dose of commercial product, in particular dresses with multiple ruffles and suits, the standout being a mauve leather suit with miniskirt and bomber jacket that was a real eye opener.
“We wanted to inject emotion into fashion and into Valentino. Images that move you,” explained Piccioli in the backstage post-show.
The staging was well-executed, too, consisting of a silver wooden runway and huge, pale gray walls on which were projected beautiful images of orchids, the same flower that figured prominently in prints throughout this show. A custom-made soundtrack featuring the plaintiff tones of cult band Anthony and the Johnsons was suitably atmospheric.
If there were any doubt that this was a quiet rebellion, then note that there was not one drop of Valentino’s signature color – red. It was an evocative revolution at Valentino, but not a red one.
Books of The Times
The Kingdom and the Power, All Self-Made
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By JACOB WEISBERG
Published: October 8, 2009
When Michael R. Bloomberg became mayor of New York City on Jan. 1, 2002, there was every reason to expect him to fail. A cosseted tycoon with no political experience, he had essentially purchased the office with a $74 million check. He had no place in the city’s ethnic stew, no gift for relating to ordinary people, and little news media presence. His clumsy, often arrogant comments were shot through with the Ross Perot fallacy that political problems are easy compared with the really tough ones businessmen have to deal with.
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Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Money, Power, Politics
By Joyce Purnick
Illustrated. 252 pages. PublicAffairs. $26.95.
Excerpt: ‘Mike Bloomberg’ (October 9, 2009)
Times Topics: Michael Bloomberg
The Sunday Book Review on ‘Mike Bloomberg’ (October 11, 2009)
How the former chief executive overcame these liabilities to become a popular and effective mayor has the makings of a wonderful metropolitan fable, a reverse Cinderella tale in which the princess throws away her glass slippers and gets serious about sweeping the floor. Part of his success would seem to derive from a well-concealed modesty. Mr. Bloomberg knew what he didn’t know and learned from his mistakes, even if he seldom acknowledged them.
He brought in high-quality people, listened to them and looked after them. Another aspect of Mr. Bloomberg’s success, surely, has been the substantive core of his amateurism — his naïve view that politics is a problem on the way to policy and not the other way around. Because he wasn’t trying to get anywhere else, he didn’t shrink from making sound, unpopular decisions like raising property taxes or banning smoking in bars. Nor did he avoid clashes with entrenched constituencies like the teachers’ unions, transportation workers or the antediluvian overlords in Albany.
Joyce Purnick, a former columnist and metropolitan editor for The New York Times, gives us the basics of this story in a straightforward, biographical chronicle, “Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics.”
Her account begins with Mr. Bloomberg’s unexceptional middle-class childhood in Medford, Mass., glances over his formative years as a salesman at Salomon Brothers, charts the rise of his eponymous company after he was cut loose from Salomon with a $10 million parachute, and offers a few mildly salacious tidbits from his years as a divorced man about town in the 1990s.
Her narrative grows more animated when she arrives at the 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns, which she covered as a reporter and columnist. It becomes more excited still when she tries to establish, not very convincingly, that Mr. Bloomberg nearly ran for president as a third-party candidate in 2008 and, more persuasively, that he held off declaring his decision to run for a third term until it was too late to put New York’s term-limits law to a public referendum, which he probably would have lost.
While Ms. Purnick’s recounting of Mr. Bloomberg’s early gaffes and fumbles may interest political trivia buffs, she underplays the far more interesting issues his mayoralty raises about New York City and about urban governing in general. How did Mayor Bloomberg achieve further reductions in crime, which many people assumed couldn’t happen after the large gains of the Giuliani years? Has he improved the city’s fundamental fiscal position or just postponed crisis for a few years? On such policy questions, she has little to say.
To a large extent, this is a book undermined by the principle of journalistic neutrality. Because she is not willing to grant the premise that Mr. Bloomberg has done a good job as mayor — or to challenge it either — Ms. Purnick pre-empts any deeper inquiry into the reasons for his successes and failures. Too often, she resorts to the “critics complain” formulation or takes the reporter’s dodge of casting decisions in terms of political perceptions.
Too often as well, Ms. Purnick levels pallid accusations of personal hypocrisy. “His stubborn insistence on banning the use of cellphones in public schools mystified and angered New Yorkers, more convinced than ever that the mayor, personally BlackBerry-addicted, was out of touch with day-to-day concerns of students,” she writes. This hardly counts as a critique of the policy. When it comes to Mr. Bloomberg’s most important education initiative — mayoral control of the schools — she falls back on the conclusion that he and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have exaggerated their successes. Well, who in politics hasn’t?
Lukewarm about her subject, she faults him for being dull. The result is a lifeless portrait. “He is not warm, beloved, or glib in a profession that demands all three,” she concludes, adding, “And that is okay with him.” We finish knowing a bit more about Mr. Bloomberg, but not knowing him any better.
I suspect that an author who managed to penetrate deeper inside the mayor’s head would find it a far more interesting place. So too would a writer more attuned to the social comedy of a city ruled by its richest resident.
Like most liberal billionaires, Mr. Bloomberg is a hypocrite for pushing social equality while using his cash to buy extraordinary power and privilege. If bottomless wealth frees him from the conventional temptations of politics, it inclines him to buy his way out of tight corners, as in negotiations with the big municipal unions, where he has overpaid relative to what the city can afford. Living so long in a coddled bubble has left Mr. Bloomberg philanthropically minded but less engaged by the specific problems of the city’s poor than by livability issues like traffic, transportation, public safety and clean air.
New York’s billionaire mayor may be, as Ms. Purnick says, sui generis, but as a rich man seeking fulfillment in public life, he represents a growing trend. Despite the recent catastrophe of American finance, heroes of capitalism, who have presumably graduated from the motive of economic self-interest, hold a priestly allure. Being ordered about by a self-made Bloomberg or Jon Corzine doesn’t have the same class implications as being scolded by a Rockefeller or a Bush — which may be why ungovernable New Yorkers have come to tolerate the mayor’s paternalism. He may whine about our diets, our manners, our carbon emissions. But after eight years, many New Yorkers seem to agree that it’s nice having a sugar daddy to take care of you.
Beyond a Simple Fashion Statement
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By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: October 8, 2009
In David Rosetzky’s video portrait of Cate Blanchett in “Dress Codes” at the International Center of Photography, this Australian actress looks startlingly ordinary, if not frumpy. She wears clunky boots, unflattering slacks and a sagging black tank top. So attired, she moves around a raw, cavernous offstage space, picking up a chair, putting it down, sitting on it, getting up again, occasionally moving her hands in small, dancelike gestures. All the while we hear her talking intently, on the voice-over, about the craft of acting.
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Courtesy of Yto Barrada and Galerie Polaris, Paris
Dress Codes at the International Center of Photography includes this work, “The Belt, Step 1 to 9,” by Yto Barrada. More Photos »
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At one point Ms. Blanchett dons a loose, sleeveless dress; another top; and a well-worn bomber jacket, creating the impression of someone traveling without benefit of luggage, wearing all her clothes at once. She stretches out on the floor, then rises and sheds the added clothing. Finally, to tinkling vaudeville music, she does some nimble soft-shoe steps. This piece seemed pretty mousy for an exhibition about garments in recent photography and video. But then I realized that the lack of sartorial display was a kind of deprivation that made me embarrassingly aware of my own superficiality: I’m afraid I like famous movie stars, especially female ones, to dress the part.
“Dress Codes” is the third triennial mounted by the International Center of Photography. It is also the third and final phase of the center’s Year of Fashion, hence the theme. Perhaps predictably, this show isn’t as good as the previous Year of Fashion exhibitions: exhaustive surveys of the fashion work of Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon; the extraordinary “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now”; and a display of works from the center’s collection called “This Is Not a Fashion Photograph.”
But triennials and biennials, being dedicated to new art, are harder to do well. “Dress Codes” is better than most shows of this kind; the good work outweighs the weaker.
The exhibition raises the question of whether biennials and triennials should have themes or just select the best work within their designated area of concern; its answer is to stretch its theme so thin that it all but disappears. You begin to feel that just about anyone working with a camera could have been included. After all, most images of people involve some form of dress, and where there is dress, there are dress codes.
Clothing is a language that we study carefully and read almost reflexively, like the expression on a person’s face. What we wear is an interface between our bodies (and our selves) and the world, a form of privacy and perfection as well as a public statement. In the catalog these points are illuminated with quotations isolated on pink pages.
From Oscar Wilde: “A history of dress would be a history of minds; for dress expresses a moral idea; it symbolizes the intellect and disposition of a nation.”
From Diane Arbus: “Everybody has this thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way, and that’s what people observe.”
And from the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel, writing in 1908, comes a brilliant progression of observations on the human desire for recognition and esteem within one’s social environment (which dressing, nicely, partly reflects). This desire can transmute into a need for “attention that others do not receive,” then into the desire to be envied, and finally into the will to power. Nathalie Djurberg’s colorful clay animation “New Movements in Fashion,” from 2006, captures something of the violence that an obsession with clothes can cause, but it’s only the will to power as shared by five garment-grabbing women.
More seriously, “Tagged,” a 2003 three-channel video by Julika Rudelius, a German-born artist based in Amsterdam, documents young, Dutch-born Arab men discussing the importance of appearances while modeling the designer clothes that consume most of their — or their family’s — meager earnings.
“Dress Codes” confirms that the camera arts are alive and well and are being deployed by artists who alternately extend or subvert traditions of portraiture, still life, documentary and storytelling, often adding permutations to the surprisingly vital postmodern strategies of photo appropriation and setup photography. The important influence of the Pictures artists, who emerged in the early 1980s and were often women, is tacitly acknowledged by the inclusion of Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Martha Rosler, Laurie Simmons and Silvia Kolbowski. A few of these, especially Ms. Sherman, are doing some of their best work right now.
The inclusion of others feels reflexive and obligatory. Important as she is, Ms. Rosler, for example, should take a time-out and come up with fresh ideas; her incongruous juxtapositions via photo montage — here, men in Dolce & Gabbana suits inserted into a flaming Middle Eastern battlefield — have developed little since the 1970s.
But inclusions that feel obligatory are not limited to women: Stan Douglas — another ubiquitous presence in shows of this kind — is represented by a gorgeous, and seamless, composite photograph, “Hastings Park, 16 July 1955.” It shows a crowd of people in period dress and attests primarily to the skills of wardrobe, hair and makeup crews.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
PS Mad Decent/Def Jux/Vice Records sign Brik Mason.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Look. i am not one to jump on someone new......sike. I am. fuck it . Yall late on this cat. He is bubbling up the charts of the underground and he got a team behind him. reminding me of a dude without a pause. Oh and he skateboards. ha. I know there are some cats the skate and rhyme as well. But they need some help. Shit i am a BMX cat myself. But i will whip out the vultera once in a while.