here from Damnably, and if you're Austin in March, seek these girls out.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Friday, December 28, 2018
All that being said, i did manage to catch a lot of great movies this year, many of which explored similar themes on post traumatic stress. Hmm. Anyway, here are my top ten...
Holy shit, a "new" film from Orson Welles! Originally shot over several years in the 1970s before being lost for a bevy of different reasons, this oddity of free flowing cinema was finally assembled and completed by Welles's friend and fellow filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and is up on Netflix for us all to watch right now. And it's a fascinating watch, that at times can come across as pretentious (teenage film student me would have been gaga for it), but also gives us a glimpse into Welles's psyche and his contempt of the Hollywood system he felt betrayed him.
I did not expect to like this movie nearly as much as i did, but John Francis Daley's and Jonathan Goldstein's "Game Night" works so well, an action-comedy hybrid that actually has jokes and suspense. Also, Jesse Plemons totally steals this movie from everyone else, which is no small feat as it has a great cast.
It was a pretty awesome year for horror in general, but we also got not one, but two remakes that somehow managed to be great, despite the odds leveled against them. One of those was David Gordon Green's "Halloween," a sequel that retcons the last 40 years of other sequels to tell a straight-to-the-point scary story that also works in themes on PTSD and living with that trauma. It gets kind of brutal too, which honestly is what we all deserve from a slasher flick. And it was Carpenter approved, the artist even supplying the score. I'm now patiently awaiting a boom of '80s horror icon retcons. It should be fun.
Despite the glowing reviews and recommendations for Lynne Ramsay's "You Were Never Really Here," the story of a contract killer with PTSD who rescues girls from sex trade, i didn't really get into it upon my first viewing. But then a month or so later, i re-watched it and was aghast at how much i missed the first time around. I didn't remember anything. Then it occurred to me that i fell asleep watching it my first go, along with a snoozing 2-year old laying across me. These kinds of things happen when you have kids. You pass out when you sit for a minute. I sure am glad i watched the film the second time, because it is excellent from top to bottom.
Wow. What a creepy, dread-inducing, slowburn of a horror movie, that meditates on grief and familial trauma (there it is again), with an ending that's sure to be an all-timer for genre fans for years to come. Horror buffs and old stalwarts alike were shook by Ari Aster's debut film, really a true marvel of filmmaking. I can't wait to see what he does next. And Toni Collette deserves every award for her performance.
Alex Garland's track record on literally everything he does is phenomenal. Whether it be as a novelist, a screenwriter, a video game developer, or a director, he hits it out of the park every single time. This year's "Annihilation" was no different, a beautiful, alluring, and terrifying sci-fi movie that didn't get near the love it deserved. Let this guy make anything he wants.
I just had to include this one. In all likelihood, i can see myself revisiting it more than any other film on this list, because i have kids...and they love it. Much better than its predecessor, it's kind of a weird movie, a stuffed to the gills epic that's a culmination of everything that came before it, the groundwork being laid the last 10 years by another 20 films. There's no 3-act structure, as one usually gets in a tent pole summer blockbuster, the villain is the protagonist, and the ending hits on an emotional level it has no business achieving. As a comic book fan, i knew exactly what was going to happen, as did many of the folks watching in the theater with me, but we were all dead silent at the Russo Brothers' film's end, Thanos's snap maybe being the collective cultural moment of the year. And next April, we get to see how it all wraps up.
The best action film i've seen all year, maybe ever. Timo Tjahjanto's ode to blood, guts, and fisticuffs left me speechless, high on adrenaline, and pumping my fist in the air. Stop everything you're doing, and watch it right now.
The other horror remake this year that defied all expectations, Luca Guadagnino's version of the Argento classic, completely mesmerized me. It's one of those films that i can't help but think about and think about days after viewing. Tilda Swinton is amazing. Thom Yorke's score is amazing. The cinematography is amazing. The whole damn thing is amazing. And really, what's probably most amazing is how it's got me wondering which film a like better now, the original or the remake. I never thought that could happen in a million years.
No debate, Panos Cosmatos's "Mandy" is my favorite movie of the year. And why shouldn't it be? An unhinged Nic Cage performance, hypnotic visuals, some heavy metal animated sequences, Linus Roache as a cult leader, an evil, demonic biker gang who look like cenobites, a chainsaw fight, and the forging of a battle axe, along with Johann Johannson's final film score make for pure cinematic bliss. Teenage me would have gone apeshit for this, as would 20-year old me and 30-year old me. Hell, 40-year old me went apeshit, and i'm only 39. If you've neglected to see it yet, every single one of you needs to get this movie in front of your eyeballs now. Oh my god, i love this movie.
I know this year was trying for all of us, but when you need that break from reality for a couple of hours, these films have got you covered.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
here from Slope Records (vinyl is sold out).
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Monday, December 24, 2018
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Saturday, December 22, 2018
here or here.
here from Secretly Canadian.
Friday, December 21, 2018
Check em out.
Aside from unearthing some early demos from the artist, the good folks at Sacred Bones also reissued Julee Cruise's sophomore effort this year, 1993's "The Voice of Love." And for the first time on vinyl too. Any music we get from Cruise is always a treat, and it's nice that this oft neglected record is getting its due. It's just as wonderful as its predecessor, 1989's "Floating into the Night," and deserves your attention.
Every single year, Waxwork seems to outdo itself, issuing soundtrack after soundtrack that totally one-ups whatever came before. 2018 was no different with "Dawn of the Dead," and "It," and "Manhunter," and "Profondo Rosso," and more. But i think my favorite has to be this 50th anniversary release of the soundtrack to George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead." The whole thing is beautiful, from packaging to art to vinyl color (Ghoul Green!) to the sound of it all. Highly recommended.
Austin noise rock legends Cherubs' 1996 compilation "Short of Popular" got a much deserved reissue this year from Sonic Surgery Records. A collection of outtakes and singles, originally issued by the beloved but now defunct Trance Syndicate Records, these little nuggets of chaos demand to blast your eardrums and rattle your bones. Now, let's get that first album reissued too.
One of those Holy Grails of record collectors, the wild, frenetic, and hypnotic "Les Esclaves" LP from French jazzy psych pop band Popera Cosmic, which has been out of print for nearly half a century, made its triumphant return this year, remastered for the masses. The record, made with the help of members of Space Art, Guy Skornik (who would later make all kinds of wonderful sounds for Alejandro Jodorowsky), a teen-aged Jean Michel-Jarre, and Jean Rollin orchestrator Paul Piot, is a sonic freakout that influenced folks like Serge Gainsbourg and Magma. And thanks to Finders Keepers, we get to listen to it too. Love, love, love this album.
Mexican Summer's Anthology Recordings has a damn near flawless record when it comes to reissues and compilations, and this year's "Unusual Sounds," a collection of library music that ranges from funk to new age to jazzy psychedelia is no different. I've had it on repeat since it came out, and you should to. It's one of the best albums to come out this year. Listen to the whole thing below starting with Keith Mansfield's "Funky Fanfare," and then just let it ride.
And that wraps up my music lists for the week. You've got a lot of stuff to listen to. Get moving.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
And there you go. Each one of these would look great on a wall somewhere (that Sudan Archives one in particular). I'll be back again tomorrow with a handful of 2018 reissues that ruled.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
A little jazzy psychedelia to kick things off.
Recommendations from the late, great Trish Keenan of Broadcast. The gift that keeps on giving.
1960's Danish pop group with a provocative single? Sign me up.
I knew this song because The Brian Jonestown Massacre has a version of it with French artist Soko on vocals. I had no idea it was a cover. Thanks Finders Keepers!
This song kicks so much ass i can hardly stand it.
A crazy awesome version of the Donovan classic. This song is a banger.
Came across this little gem while hunting around on YouTube. I recognized it because it was sampled in a song by Geoff Barrow's Quakers project back in 2012. My 2-year old loves it.
I heard this record for the first time this year and have been on a thus far fruitless search to obtain it. This song is my favorite.
For fans of Ennio Morricone for sure.
I had no idea that the legendary punk rock band had covered this classic jam by Love until hearing it on the radio one morning while driving to work. It continues to make my day, reverent of the original but still completely of itself. It might be better than the original.
Listen to all of these. They're great. I'll be back again tomorrow with my favorite album art.