Monday, 26 January 2009

Frost/Nixon 5.5/10 Milk 8/10 Che part 1 5.8/10...

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a rash of Politico biopics crossing the Atlantic at the moment... full steam ahead are Milk, Che, and Frost/Nixon. All of them decent (to very good) movies, where political conservatism and revolutionary thought and action have been neatly commodified into large screen entertainment. Which isn't a bad thing if you ask me. I have just returned from a stint in the Cuban jungle and feel all the better for it.

Things always seem to make more sense in hindsight especially when real life events are given plot development and structure... There is of course W (Dubya) from the end of last year and The Baader Meinhoff Complex from Germany, and doubtless a few others that don't spring to mind at the moment. Yes, we are living in the age of the Politiflick... Where will we be going next I wonder?.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Celluloid etc 2008 Redux


So what a stellar year 2008 has been for movies... this year I have digested and chewed over more celluloid than I ever have, which is quite an achievement, as I am a pretty avid filmgoer/consumer of both underground and overground flicks. Also this year I have seen more foreign language movies at the cinema than in previous years, as I usually get my subtitle jollies via DVD.
My top 10 was so overcrowded that I had to be expand it to 15.
These movies were all released in London during 2008, apart from Wendy And Lucy which I saw at the 2008 London Film Festival.

1. There Will Be Blood
2. Import Export
3. My Brother Is An Only Child
4. Gomorra
5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
6. Mister Lonely
7. Funny Games U.S.
8. Linha De Passe
9. Hunger
10. Wendy And Lucy
11. Happy Go Lucky
12. Cloverfield
13. The Dark Knight
14. The Mist
15. Twilight

The rest in no particular order

No Country For Old Men
Margot At The Wedding
Be Kind Rewind
Private Property
In Bruges
Searching For A Midnight Kiss
Savage Grace
The Wackness
Somers Town
Waltz With Bashir

Friday, 26 December 2008

Vinyl etc 2008 Redux


So this has been an SY heavy, mothership and side project year... I'm a HUGE fan and have followed everything, so the list is bound to reflect this... I make no apologies either, so stay for the ride or adiós to you fairweather friends!. I actually thought before compiling this list that in comparison to last year, 2008 has been pretty thin on the ground for great sounds. I was obviously wrong. The 2 SYR releases alone have given me countless hours of oblivion within the Sonic soundscape, and have further established them, after over 25 years of watching... in solid black letters on the large, sprawling map of my psyche.
I am very happy to report that Mr Neil Michael Hagerty is still more than capable of producing albums that have the power to surprise and delight in equal measures... his howling hex keeps me very happy indeed. Neil I salute you!.

But also it has been a year of discovering new craziness... in particular Los Llamarada and U.S. Girls, both have restored my faith in the belief that there are plenty of people out there producing sounds that can make you stop in your tracks and rejoice. It's just up to you to search out and destroy.

1. J’Accuse Ted Hughes
- Sonic Youth
2. Inherit - Free Kitten
3. Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth
- Sonic Youth W/Mats Gustafsson
and Merzbow
4. Secret Earth - The Dead C
5. Hush Arbors - Hush Arbors
6. Gucci Rapidshare Download
- Magik Markers
7. The Door - Religious Knives
8. Gravel Days - U.S. Girls
9. Take To The Sky
- Los Llamarada
10. Sensitive/Lethal
- Thurston Moore
11. Earth Junk
- The Howling Hex
12. All The Stars In The Sky
(Locked Groove Record)
- Lee Ranaldo
13. Keffer/Gordon/Moore Cassette
- Keffer/Gordon/Moore
14. Multitopia - James Ferraro
15. The Holy Master - Poor School

The rest in no particular order...

Introducing... - U.S. Girls
Blindfold - Thurston Moore
Blues For Proposition Joe - Mirror/Dash - Kit split 7”
It’s After Dark - Religious Knives
Resin - Religious Knives
Hollywood Groupies Rule - Oscillator
Don't Move Your Finger b/w Corpse Solo - John Wiese
‘Could You Be Loved’ - Lambsbread
Jex Thoth - Jex Thoth
Newraytheonport - Gary War
Built For Lovin’ - Thurston Moore
One For Merz - Bark Haze
Maelstrom From Drift - Lee Ranaldo
Texas Working Blues - Christina Carter
Raccoo-oo-oon - Raccoo-oo-oon
Physicalities of the Sensibilities of Ingrediential Stairways - The Skaters
Cortney Love Killed Da Cobain - Paul Flaherty/Thurston Moore/Bill Nace
Ragas Of The Culvert/Total Loss Songs - MV + EE
The Second Original Silence - Original Silence
Fabulous Diamonds - Fabulous Diamonds
Clomeim - No Neck Blues Band
Monolith: Jupiter - Bark Haze and Traum
Pwtre Ser - Magik Markers
And Still, Wanting - Prurient
Kobold Moon - Fursaxa
Adult Life - Carlos Giffoni
Challenger - Burning Star Core
Uneasy Flowers - Autistic Daughters
U.S. Ez - Sic Alps
Too Old To Die Young - Tall Firs
Games For Slaves - Teenage Panzercore
Imperial Wax Solvent - The Fall
Rose/Thorn - Charalambides
Lie Down In The Light - Bonnie “Prince” Billy
For The Maples - Gown
Mister Lonely: Music From A Film By Harmony Korine - J. Spaceman/Sun City Girls
Freedomland - Jackie-O Motherfucker
Split 12” - Kemialliset Ystävät/Sunroof!
Chemical Chords - Stereolab
Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls
Astral Bleachers/Big Moment - MV/EE W/the Golden Road
Waiting In Vain - James Jackson Toth
X-Plural US - Various Artists
Countless Centuries Fled Into The Distance Like So Many Storms - Lee Ranaldo
Aftypiclipse (For Jazzfinger) - No Neck Blues Band
Mouthus - Mouthus (No Fun Vinyl only)
Osorezan - Mimidokodesuka
Ringlets (Rita Cavallini) / Asphyxiator/Asphysixiated Split - The Rita/Body Collector
A Blossom Fell - Christina Carter
Vaporizer / Feral Cousins - Emeralds/Tusco Terror
A Team Come True - Dreamcatcher
Plays Berkeley - Pocahaunted/Robedoor
Basement Psychosis - Bark Haze
“Western Mass Hardcore Rules OK” - Slither/Thurston Moore/Paul Flaherty split 7”

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Autumn Vodka Bobble...

...Just got home from seeing Hush Arbors play a sublime set at "In The Pines" in the Kings Cross area. I don't get out much these days so this was a real sunday afternoon treat, choc full of sunday roast vegtables and resonant hums, in a rain soaked late October autumn London. Captured beautifully here by the insanely talented Barnpaulsic. The new album on Ecstatic Peace is a real dark horse, that could possibly slip into my top 10 albums of the year.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Basement Watch...

God I love instore performances... I'm not talking major record store events, I'm talking about the hidden, out of the way smaller affairs that take place with twenty or so people crammed into a tiny space... where everybody is gagging with an intense love for the drone/electronics/music whatever you want to call it.
Cramming for soundwaves I call it.
I have just witnessed one of these gatherings... where a profound, densely layered, aural blitz was conjured up by Vodka Soap (Spencer Clark of Skaters fame) and Family Battle Snake
in my favourite basement seventh heaven that is Second Layer Records. This is as close as I'll ever get to the musical 'happenings' that seem to happen every other day in the Northampton/Easthampton MA orbit that I admire from afar via the internet. There is something so inspiring about sharing music in this way... It has nothing to do with money or fashion or record label bullshit.
These tiny jewels are where it's at.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Oxygen canister...

...So I encountered a real bonafide explosion the other day at work. Glass shattered, the structure of the building shifted... the core of my body realigned itself, my face cringed at the impact. The strange thing is that the actual seismic reaction was really rather beautiful... bladder relieving, terrifying, but still beautiful at the same time. For hours afterward I replayed the scene in my head over and over again, play, pause, stop, rewind.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Ciento Celluloid...

So this is a groovy little exercise... I have made a list of a 100 movies that I cherish to help fulfill the constant yearning that I feel to make lists of my favourite things. To make life more difficult I imposed the limitation of one movie per director. (not easy... believe me)... there is actually one blatant cheat in this list... see if you can spot it.

Also they are in no particular order because I wish to retain my sanity.

1. Five Easy Pieces - Bob Rafelson
2. Roma - Federico Fellini
3. Faster, Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill! - Russ Meyer
4. Night Of The Hunter - Charles Laughton
5. Pull My Daisy- Robert Frank/Alfred Leslie
6. The Virgin Suicides - Sofia Coppola
7. Ju-On - Takashi Shimizu
8. The Brown Bunny - Vincent Gallo
9. Gummo - Harmony Korine
10. Palindromes - Todd Solondz
11. Ken Park - Larry Clark/Edward Lachman
12. Irréversible - Gaspar Noé
13. Inland Empire - David Lynch
14. Chelsea Girls - Paul Morrissey
15. Nashville - Robert Altman
16. Mean Streets - Martin Scorsese
17. Accatone - Pier Paolo Pasolini
18. Rebel Without A Cause - Nicholas Ray
19. Stroszek - Werner Herzog
20. Thumbsucker - Mike Mills
21. Magnolia - Paul Thomas Anderson
22. The Last Movie - Dennis Hopper
23. Zabriskie Point - Michelangelo Antonioni
24. L’Intrus - Claire Denis
25. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Tobe Hooper
26. In The Mood For Love - Wong Kar Wai
27. Last Tango In Paris - Bernardo Bertolucci
28. Elephant - Gus Van Sant
29. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick
30. If.... - Lindsay Anderson
31. Vivre Sa Vie - Jean-Luc Godard
32. Breaking The Waves - Lars Von Trier
33. The Right Side Of My Brain - Richard Kern
34. Stranded In Canton - William Eggleston
35. Scorpio Rising - Kenneth Anger
36. The Blair Witch Project - Daniel Myrick/Eduardo Sánchez
37. Mio Fratello é Figlio Unico - Daniele Luchetti
38. Empire - Andy Warhol
39. Pink Flamingo’s - John Waters
40. Performance - Donald Cammell/Nicolas Roeg
41. The Servant - Joseph Losey
42. The Third Generation - Rainer Werner Fassbinder
43. Stalker - Andrei Tarkovsky
44. The Piano Teacher - Michael Haneke
45. Carnival Of Souls - Herk Harvey
46. Safe - Todd Haynes
47. Interiors - Woody Allen
48. The Science Of Sleep - Michel Gondry
49. From The Life Of The Marionettes - Ingmar Bergman
50. Repulsion - Roman Polanski
51. Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - Mike Nichols
52. Suspiria - Dario Argento
53. Bad Lieutenant - Abel Ferrara
54. The Last Of England - Derek Jarman
55. Videodrome - David Cronenberg
56. The Edukators - Hans Weingartner
57. The Wicker Man - Robin Hardy
58. Zombies: Dawn Of The Dead - George A. Romero
59. Broken Flowers - Jim Jarmusch
60. Planet Of The Apes - Franklin J. Schaffner
61. Reflections In A Golden Eye - John Huston
62. Spetters - Paul Verhoeven
63. The Honeymoon Killers - Leonard Kastle
64. Play Misty For Me - Clint Eastwood
65. Straw Dogs - Sam Peckinpah
66. Saturday Night Fever - John Badham
67. The Night Porter - Liliana Cavani’
68. Deliverance - John Boorman
69. Jacobs Ladder - Adrian Lyne
70. Johns - Scott Silver
71. Kings Of The Road - Wim Wenders
72. Les Valseuses - Bertrand Blier
73. Battle Royale - Kinji Fukasaku
74. Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf - Leos Carax
75. Before Sunrise - Richard Linklater
76. A Short Film About Killing - Krysztof Kieslowski
78. Dog Day Afternoon - Sidney Lumet
79. The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari - Robert Wiene
80. The Last Detail - Hal Ashby
81. Day For Night - François Truffaut
82. The Exorcist - William Friedkin
83. Badlands - Terence Mallick
84. Freaks - Todd Browning
85. Shock Corridor - Samuel Fuller
86. The Exterminating Angel - Luis Bunuel
87. Rocco And His Brothers - Luchino Visconti
88. The Lost Honour Of Katerina Blüm - Volker Schlöndorff/Magarethe Von Trotta
89. Grey Gardens - Ellen Hovde/Albert Maysles
90. Touch Of Evil - Orson Welles
91. Rushmore - Wes Anderson
92. Bone - Larry Cohen
93. Klute - Alan J. Pakula
94. Last Year In Marienbad - Alain Resnais
95. I Am Curious, Yellow - Vilgot Sjöman
96. Hana-bi - Kitano Takeshi
97. Midnight Cowboy - John Schlesinger
98. Pixote - Hector Babenco
99. The Evil Dead - Sam Raimi
100. La Haine - Mathieu Kassovitz

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Japanese edge...

There are times when I really miss Tokyo. I took these shots when I was having a love affair with the city at the beginning of the 00's

Monday, 28 July 2008

..... the screens

Once upon a time in London town there was a Sonik window.