Most people did, didn’t they? Mine was to request a splurge gun fight for me and my friends, just like in Bugsy Malone. I still can’t understand why such a simple and televisual idea wasn’t picked, but there we go. Perhaps it’s for the best.
I haven’t got loads to say about this, just that right now I’m really into the psychedelic concept albums of the title, and I’m hoping to build up what might be a decent list. Your suggestions would be much appreciated.
Year: 2021 Director: Pablo Larraín
What I was expecting:
1.) A solid biopic with a decent-enough performance from the Pope of Mope, Kristen Stewart — basically a big-screen version of The Crown.
What I got:
1.) An intense, claustrophobic, hallucinatory psychodrama, more Mulholland Drive than The Crown.
2.) A prowling camera that turns Sandringham into The Overlook Hotel and the Royal family into the sinister, watchful islanders from The Wicker Man.
3.) A performance from Kristen Stewart that is definitely excellent and intuitively leans into the unexpected weirdness of the whole thing, but still didn’t impress me quite as much as Emma Corrin in The Crown.
4.) A film that often gets in its own way, conveniently forgetting Diana’s own aristocratic roots in its rush to emphasise her outlier credentials, overlooking the fact that she spends almost no time – over Christmas! – with the two boys to whom she is supposedly devoted, and inadvertently inviting you to share the Royal family’s frustration at her frankly flaky behaviour.
5.) A sublimely skronky score from Jonny Greenwood.
6.) Beautiful, understated supporting turns from Sally Hawkins, Sean Harris And Timothy Spall.
7.) A film that, impressive though it often is and » Continue Reading.
Year: 2021 Director: Garret Price
I knew prior to this documentary that Woodstock 99 was a bit of a shitfest, but I had no idea just how big a shitfest it was. To paraphrase Marilyn Manson (who amazingly was not on the bill) I wasn’t born with enough capital letters to emphasise just how much of a SHITFEST Woodstock 99 turned out to be. We’ll go easy on the details, because much of the pleasure of the film lies in staring at your TV open-mouthed with incredulity for an hour and 50 mins. Let’s just say that in terms of WTF moments it really is the gift that keeps on giving. Think the Fyre documentary turned up to 11. Think Lord of the Flies with boobs and backwards baseball caps. Apocalypse Now where Willard is dispatched to kill Colonel Fred Durst.
But there’s a Hepworthian ‘here’s the thing’ here, because this is a festival that from your place on the sofa looks like an actual vision of hell on earth. Women are being mauled. People are dropping like flies. The place is clearly a cesspit, literally and metaphorically. And yet where is all the footage of traumatised and shell-shocked festival-goers? » Continue Reading.
I realise that good forum form is to write a mini-essay introducing the topic, but the truth is that I’m far less interested in my own thoughts than in yours. The idea is that if you could be in the, say, top three of any sport in the known universe, what would it be? If it’s football, you can be Ronaldo. If it’s tennis, you can be Djokovic… Maybe swimming, motocross, table tennis, whatever. You get the picture.
Personally I’m feeling the tennis. But I’m also torn between that and F1.
Anybody want to report their booty? I made a bit of a day of it and dragged the kids out. The youngest was bored shitless and mainly played on his phone, but the eldest was very much into the whole idea and bagged The Boy With the Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian. As for me, I somewhat overdid it and came away with…
Warpaint — The Fool Weatherall Mixes The Cure – Faith picture disc Primal Scream – Dixie Narco EP Poly Styrene – Translucence Ultravox – Vienna (Steven Wilson Mix)
I had also hoped to buy the Tom Tom Club, the Wu Tang/Texas remixes and the Dennis Bovell, but couldn’t. However, I got the Texas and the Dennis Bovell from the 6pm online sale at Resident, so the only fail was the Tom Tom Club.
A fun day. Was (Not Was) on the drive there. Wales v Switzerland on the drive home.
Leicester Bangs on Shake The Foundations
The 49 entrants in part one are the individual tracks featured in the boxset Shake The Foundations. Please see the link for a list of the match-ups. You join us during Round One…
Year: 1951 Director: Elia Kazan
Damn. My NY resolution is to consume more of the classics in one form or another, and the project began strongly with films of A Man For All Seasons (1966), The Crucible (1996), Cleopatra (1963), The Scarlet Letter (1995) and Far From the Madding Crowd (2015), all of which I’ve got a kick out of for one reason or another.
Things came to a screeching halt with Streetcar. I always thought I liked Tennessee Williams and remember enjoying the play at Leicester Haymarket in the early 1990s, but this? Non merci. Could I really dig the Demi Moore box-office poison of The Scarlet Letter more than a movie commonly considered to be one of the greatest ever made, a film Woody Allen calls ‘total artistic perfection’?
Yes. Perhaps it coming so soon after the latest lockdown announcement was to blame, but two hours of Vivien Leigh’s nails-down-a-blackboard screeching and Marlon Brando breaking things proved a stressful and exhausting experience, offering no insight into the human condition other than ‘these people really need to calm down’. Having recognised a chunk of sampled dialogue, I paused the film in order to locate and play the » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
During last night’s Tim’s Twitter Listening Party for Kompromat, the host asked for four-word reviews of the album. One of the tweeters came back with ‘Electronic Gothic Social Commentary’, which just about sums things up. The country’s most criminally overlooked band (copyright: me) have a history of making records that simultaneously surf the zeitgeist while at the same time maintaining a timeless quality. Their last album, The Shallows, found them exploring the interface of humanity and technology. On Kompromat (the word meaning compromising material used for blackmail and / or political ends), they let loose on a post-truth world of Brexit, Trump, Assange et al. Thankfully it’s not nearly as on-the-nose as I’ve made it sound, but it’s still very much an album of its tumultuous time.
Broadly speaking the music is electronicky post-rock, the epic sweep of past albums replaced by a claustrophobic, paranoid feel. Brian Eno said of Iggy’s The Idiot that the production is like being encased in concrete. On Kompromat the feel is that of the dimly lit interrogation room. Meanwhile, lyricist David Martin has a habit of stringing together aphorisms in a way that lends them an intimate quality, » Continue Reading.
I’ve posted about the excellent Is It Rolling Bob? podcast before. Here are the two guys involved (Lucas Hare and Kerry Shale) in conversation with Mark Ellen and David Hepworth. It’s as lively, garrulous and free-ranging as you might expect.
The Guardian are currently listing the best-ever UK number one singles, with today’s entry, number 12, being Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor. But what do you think will be number one? Fancy a prediction? Care to try your hand at a top three, perhaps? With fingers crossed that these haven’t been mentioned already (I don’t *think* so) I’ll kick off with…
1. Two Tribes 2. Ghost Town 3. Going Underground
I can’t help but feel the Guardian will want something a bit more modern in there, though…
It’s actually a question about one disaster movie. I’m trying to remember a black-and-white film about a bomb on a London bus. It was pretty much a forerunner to all those big star-studded epics of the 1970s, eg Airport, where you’d get all the individual backstories coming together for the big disaster payoff. Indeed, in this film the bomb going off was pretty much where it ended.
Does this jog any memories? I’ve Googled but to no avail.
If I said to you that I wanted an alternative to Music (née iTunes) that would retain all the playlists and star ratings that I’ve spent the last 15 years building up, but be at least twice the speed and three times more intuitive to use, what would you say? It definitely needs to be totally compatible with the old iTunes so I don’t lose any of my stuff, and it definitely needs to be able to handle large libraries (mine is 2.33TB).
Does such a thing exist?
The MAC OS upgrade Catalina looks amazing and seems to have sorted out a few bugs I had. HOWEVER, it has completely buggered my iTunes. Admittedly I have a large library. 2.24 terabytes. But it worked fine before. Since the upgrade the new ‘Music’ app simply sits there with ‘artwork loading’ or ‘activity in progress’ displayed while my machine slows to a crawl around it. If I leave it for any length of time, (hoping it’ll sort itself out) it just crashes in my absence.
Yes, I know, I should have waited…
Yeah, yeah, so it’s all about the omissions, right? I’ve split mine into two groups. In the first group — Group A — are the more personal, idiosyncratic choices that I love but wouldn’t expect to make a list such as this. In the second group — Group B — are the films that I also love that I thought should have made the cut.
Drive Angry Dawn of the Dead remake Dig! Man on Fire The Descent Mission: Impossible III Eden Lake Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Moon Kick Ass Crazy Stupid Love Haute Tension Lucy John Wick A L’interieur Mandy Wolf Creek 2 The Raid Warrior 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Thor: Ragnarok (cough) The Greatest Showman
Apocalypto The Fountain Dark Knight Rises Young Adult The Revenant Silver Linings Playbook Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant Three Billboards Destroyer Booksmart
I’ve lost something. It’s a booklet about the work of the horror film director Norman J Warren, which I bought at a film festival around thirty years ago, and then had signed by Warren. I’ve just bought a new blu-ray boxset of Warren’s work so I decided to hunt out the booklet only to discover that it’s not in its usual place – a place that it has been for literally as long as I can remember – and doesn’t seem to be elsewhere either. I’ve been looking for it on and off for about a week now, hoping it’ll turn up sandwiched between records, books or magazines, or maybe in a box otherwise bulging with bills and receipts. As each ‘it might be here’ brainwave comes to nothing the possibility that it’s been turfed out by accident becomes increasingly more likely.
The thing is, I’m taking the loss of this booklet badly. I’m being a bit of a baby about it, if I’m honest. I’m sure it was quite rare (I can’t even find an image of it on the whole of the internet), I’ve had it for years, it was very precious to me and it was signed » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
The sound of various weapons being field-stripped are the basis for this experimental dub album that lands like an ambient meditation on gun control (‘righteous pacifist dub statement’ it says here), a shit-scary horror film soundtrack and a skincrawlingly unsettling sound installation. Never has dread sounded more dread.
And yet, at the same time, it’s very palatable. Perhaps because of its dub DNA, or the fact that while chiefly made up of field recordings it’s not at atonal or difficult, but for a determinedly experimental album, The Guncontrolla is really very listenable indeed. Over the course of about 30 mins it develops and increases in intensity, with the first side – vinyl only, I think – being made up of dungeon-like sounds treated to echo and reverb interspersed with dialogue samples from The Harder They Come. Flip over and things get a little busier, though no less sepulchral or foreboding, with samples from Falling Down added to the mix. Overall, the word is cavernous, and that’s an adjective I like.
What does it all *mean*?
That guns are bad, but dub is good.
Goes well with…
I think it’s great.
I enjoyed the excellent Mod exhibition at Leicester’s New Walk over the weekend. It made me wonder if there’s a person among us who hasn’t had ‘the scooter phase’ at one time or another. You may even have acted upon it and got yourself one – and props if you did – but it’s the ‘phase’ bit I’m wondering about: that fortnight or so you spent poring over the classified ads for secondhand Vespas, wanting to look like Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia or Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley — and it never going further than that.
Likewise, is there any one here who hasn’t had a Metal phase? You must have lusted after a leather jacket, surely? Haven’t we all at one time decided to build up an impressive collection of novelty erasers but only got as far as five or six? And who can say they haven’t pledged to keep a diary but fallen at the first hurdle? Actually, on second thoughts that might be even more common than scooters and Metal.
Your thoughts please. Are you a craze refusenik or an enthusiastic adopter of fads?
This lovely picture hangs on my wall, but although I can recognise some of the artists represented, I’d really like to put a name to them all. So far I have: Fela Kuti next to Johnny Cash. Bob Dylan to our left of the trunk. Zappa to our right, Robert Smith and Leo Sayer on the far right. Oh, and I wonder if the little angle up top is supposed to be Sabbath and the UFOs probably Parliament / Funkadelic.
Any more would be greatly appreciated.
This is pretty great.
I warn you — you’ll be Low.
What does it sound like?:
The last time that Jay Glass Dubs drifted through my transom was his collaboration with Leslie Winer on a mini album called YMFEES in 2018. Leslie Winer, of course, is the ex-model and pal of William Burroughs dubbed ‘the godmother of trip hop’, thanks largely to her 1993 album, ‘Witch’, a much overlooked classic featuring a cast list that includes Helen Terry, Ian Cassimir, Jah Wobble, John Keogh, John Maybury, John Reynolds, Karl Bonnie, Kelly Lovell and Kevin Mooney, among others.
But we’re not here to talk about Leslie Winer, save to say that I loved YMFEES and its spare, minimal take on dub, and was thus intrigued to hear this first follow-up solo album from Jay Glass Dubs. It doesn’t disappoint. One of the many genres listed on Discogs for this album is ‘dungeon synth’ and hearing it for about the fourth time, the phrase ‘Four Tet gone evil’ popped into my mind. I’m not sure I can improve on those as a pair of descriptors, but for more details apply to the second track, ‘Animal Estate’, where dub techno — cavernous, spacious, sepulchral, all the adjectives you need to describe this » Continue Reading.
Sunscreem! I always loved the first album, 03, but it’s their second one, Change Or Die from 1996 that’s got me this time round. It does a thing I really like, where the tracks transition into one another so that it sounds ‘of a piece’, and it has themes and motifs that recur throughout, like little treats rewarding you for listening to the whole album. What else? Oh yes, it’s got trippy 303 wig-outs and anthemic singalong bits; it’s uplifting and life-affirming in a goofy, group-hug sort of way; it’s incredibly well thought-out and beautifully sequenced and yet never loses sight of the fact that at heart it’s an exuberant pop-dance album, and I love, love, love it.