Monday, September 26, 2016

John Carpenter's Utopian Facade


New Dillinger Escape Plan - Symptom of Terminal Illness

As you can no doubt tell from my previous post, I have a really hard time admitting I like anything Metallica has done since the 80s. I do not have that problem with DEP. If October 14th is the release date of what will truly be their final album, we will be losing not only one of the greatest live bands ever (of course they can't possibly perform the way they do on into middle age) but also one of the most interesting evolutions in heavy music.

Either way, end of not, this track is awesome and like nothing I would have expected from them.

Another new, Good Metallica song

If CERN's P.A. is on the fritz, a new, GOOD record by these guys might herald the end of all things

What the hell has gone wrong with the time/space continuum? Someone please go check CERN's particle accelerator and make sure we haven't phased our Universe into another, better one. I mean, TWO new, GOOD songs by they who shant not be named? Wow. I'm still not holding my breath, and whether or not the new Metallica album is good or not probably won't affect my life in any way shape or form. But maybe it will.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Youth in Bloom - Crescent Waves

Very cool, shoegazey track with just the right amount of a nostalgic vibe that harkens back to the 90s. There's a definite resurgent zeitgeist of this stuff recently. Or at least there is in LA where Part Time Punks has turned me onto a lot of great new bands doing this kind of slightly retro sound. Anybody else out there feel this way too? If so, recommend me some bands.

If you dig, the digital E.P. is only $5 on their bandcamp HERE and the vinyl is $10 HERE.

Mike Mendez's Don't Kill It

Ever since The Convent Mike Mendez has been a director who I keep my eyes peeled for new projects from. After just posting the trailer to The Last Heist not so terribly long ago now we have another film from him, this one with none other than Dolph Lundgren playing a demon hunter! If anyone else was running this show I'd probably avoid it, but I'm pretty sure this will be great.

Goat Girl - Country Sleeze

Love this. Has there ever been a crappy band on Rough Trade? Order the 7" here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra - Blood Moon

When this video began I thought for sure I was going to hate it. I've been waiting for Giraffe Tongue Orchestra's first record with bated breath and usually I'm already that anticipatory toward something I hold off watching or listening to anything until I can hit the entire record as a whole. Well, the album drops this Friday but I couldn't wait when I saw this in my inbox this morning, courtesy of Mr. Brown. And like I said, from the opening thirty second or so I thought I'd made a mistake.

Suffice it to say this is why we don't judge books by their covers - or videos by their opening moments. I was laughing out loud by 2:15 in.

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, by the way, is the new band that features the following humans:

Ben Weinman (founding member of Dillinger Escape Plan)
William DuVall (Alice in Chains)
Brent Hinds (Mastodon)
Pete Griffin (Family Guy, Dethklok)
Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta)

Yeah, that's why I've been waiting with bated breath. Drops Friday - go snap that little bastard up at your local independent record store. I'll be hitting LBC's Fingerprints after work.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

For The Love of Comic Books...

... is a new column I started on Joup. It's the replacement piece for Thee Comic Column and meant to be considerably more interactive with my fellow writers at Joup. In this inaugural edition I talk about Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser's new series from Image, Kill or Be Killed. It's awesome. Read my thoughts here.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pearl Jam - Porch on SNL 1992

I'd never seen this before. Not the biggest Pearl Jam fan - love first and most of the second record, pretty much stopped after that. I've always respected them as a band though, even if it's a once in a blue moon event for me to actually throw one of those two records on to listen to.

Until recently. I spoke about the reasons why I am currently indoctrinating myself with music from my high school years in this week's edition of The Joup Friday Album. Both those first two PJ records fit into that, especially the first one and especially this song. I got chills watching this a minute ago, so I had to jot it down here for posterity's sake. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dumb Numbers video Stars David Yow, features Kimmy Robertson

So good to hear David Yow on vocals again. Even better to see his performance on the screen. I laughed out loud several times, loved 'Lucy''s cameo and will be utterly surprised if this doesn't clock in as the best video I see this year. I was unfamiliar with Dumb Numbers before this but after a little digging around I found this and have realized I can no longer live without this band.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Opeth - Sorceress

Opeth is amazing. And though I haven't been able to get into anything the band has done since they began down the prog path on Watershed, I still enjoy keeping tabs on them. This new track is no different. I probably won't buy the record, but I'm glad Opeth is still out there challenging themselves and making great music. This is the title track from their new record, out 9/30.

And actually, before I go I want to drop a link. Directly after I just stated I would probably not buy Sorceress I read Max Frank's opinions on the record over at Metal Sucks and I have to say, it might just be the reference to Davis and Friedkin, or the comparison to Fleetwood Mac, but now I think Sorceress might be the first Opeth post Watershed that I really try to sink my teeth into.

Unholy Cow! New Ghost (and it's AWESOME)

This band gets better and better. Can't wait to see them next month!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - One More Time with Feeling

Last night I went to Hollywood's historic Egyptian Theatre to attend the premiere screening of Andrew Dominick's new film One More Time With Feeling, the documentary that follows Nick Cave's creative process for the new album Skeleton Tree, out today. The film is dark and beautiful; a true document of a family's grief in a time of unrelenting tragedy.

Skeleton Tree was on sale a day early at the select theatres that participated in last night's screening. Of course I purchased a copy and listened to it on my drive home after the screening. Both the album and the film are massive, world-rending documents of Nick Cave at this point in time and space. There is so much pain, so much chaos in the wake of his loss, and brother it's stitched in wounds across both these two pieces of art.

You'll notice I keep coming back to the word 'document' while referring to the film and now the album. There's no other word for either, and while that's to be expected of the film - as it is a 'documentary' - my reference to the album in the same capacity deserves some explanation.

In 2014's film 20,000 Days On Earth Cave talks about his creative processHe talks about and shows us his office - an integral part of the creation of every album; a room within which Cave gestates his ideas; a room that eventually becomes both a shrine and a tombstone to the album of the moment. A room that he eventually finds easier to replace than to strike back to zero. At the time this window into his process felt like an enormous revelation for me, and yet in retrospect it was really no real surprise at all. Cave's output is almost more literary than musical and as such I'd always indirectly imagined him growing into the space around him while creating*. Seeing it in 20,000 Days on Earth (pictured above) that space felt very womb-like; apropos, as his ideas eventually do shatter their chrysalis and emerge into the world as albums, books, movies. All the output from Cave and his band we know and love, all of which have previously had one thing in common - the final product a much-slaved over work of intricate perfection.

Skeleton Tree is not this AT ALL.

Skeleton Tree is a document - a beautifully flawed "capture" of time and emotion; a raw, emotively heavy excretion of pain and suffering and a sudden uncertainty expressed by Nick Cave and his world by Nick Cave and his world. Everyone involved is in pain, everyone involved is overcome by emotion, and everyone involved does not quite see what the next chapter will bring. A hard-won certainty - at his life, his career, his process, his mind and his family - is gone and Cave stands on a precipice that seems both devastating and sickeningly exhilarating. Andrew Dominik is a friend of Cave's and as such was allowed unprecedented access to both his process and grief. Thus, One More Time with Feeling is a hard watch. It is also a must for fans of Mr. Cave's. This is a man's soul laid bare through his process and its resulting art, and it is beautiful in the way that cemeteries, death and sorrow so often are despite the fact that from our perspective we are unable to see them as such.

Godspeed Nick Cave. My heart - a mere whisper in the darkness surrounding your world - goes out to you and your family.


 *An image I believe first struck me when I first attempted to read his novel When the Ass Saw the Angel - a book I did not finish and have been meaning to come back to now for about eleven years. Might be time.

In A Valley Of Violence

I feel as though I have been waiting for the new film by Ti West forever. I remember feeling the same way for The House of the Devil and despite that wait resulting in particularly insane levels of expectation I was not disappointed. I seriously doubt I will be for In a Valley of Violence, despite the presence of possibly my least favorite actor of all time (I won't name names, but here's a hint). Ti West's new feature film is out October 21st. I am posting this trailer here but would like to note that I have not and likely will not watch it. I want to go into this one as blind as possible.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Swans Live

Last Friday night I saw Swans live at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. This tour, supporting the group's newest record The Glowing Man, is the last in the current line-up Swans founder/mastermind Michael Gira has been utilizing to record a truly stellar run of albums that have completely re-invented/re-invigorated the group over the last few years. I'd not seen Swans live before - I've really only gotten fanatically into them since 2012's The Seer - and I wanted to be sure I did before this iteration ended. It was at amazing; in every sense both an ordeal and a learning experience.

You simply cannot understand the sonic experience of Swans live until you see them. You just can't. When you hear things like 'they play dangerously loud', even if you're not necessarily discounting the statement as hyperbolic, you still just cannot imagine HOW LOUD it is.

Pain. Yes, pain.

And while this is a bit of a bad thing, it is also awesome in the truest sense of that very over-used word. Awe-inspiring. 60% of the experience Friday night was observing the physiological reaction my body was having to the sound waves unleashed upon it. Then there was the psychological reaction, and the emotional. It was, in a very real sense, an altered state. A magickal one. At that volume the music has a palpable physical presence - you know what it's like when something alien invades your personal space? That begins to approach the presence I'm talking about. It was, incredible.

If you have the chance to see Swans before this tour is over and you want something unlike anything else, please go. Michael Gira is a true artist/shaman/catalyst and we need to support people like him, so they continue to do the things they do. But I would add, if you do go, bring ear plugs. You may choose to forgo using them, but at least give yourself the option.

The video is not from the show I saw, but I thought it a good example of what the band looks and sound like live. Without the volume I describe above, of course.

Mike Caputo's Island Exotica

Mike Caputo is a friend of mine from waaay back in the Old School. Great guy. I haven't seen him in years but every once in a while social media leads to an interaction and I'm always thrilled by the life he's leading in Hawaii. Caputo is the original free spirit, balancing our middle-aged responsibility with an eternal sense of fun and, more importantly, happiness. He surfs, he shoots photography, has an amazing IG account where he posts series of photo shoots that recreate classic movies (his Big Lebowski series is my personal favorite) and now he even makes short films.

Here's the first one Mike shared with me. I love it.

Island Exotica: Super 8mm Surfing from Mike Caputo on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 1, 2016