Sunday, April 27, 2008

He is the most unknown, well-known director out there. That, of course, probably being a bit of an exaggeration, but one gets the point. He has directed only six films in the last 39 years, but damn are they good films. I am speaking of Terrence Malick the “Bad Boy” of Hollywood. I coin him as the “Bad Boy” due to his method of directing, and the fact that he made an amazing picture and decided to run away to France for 20 years before picking up the camera again.

Recently, I went to a viewing of Days of Heaven. A 1970’s, American film, shot in our neighbor to the north Alberta, Canada, which has two very well-known actors and a fire scene worth a montage in Andrew Dominik’s newest feature. It was, if nothing else, a very pretty picture full of lyricism and bursting at the seams with poetic justice. In the footsteps of John Ford, Malick uses nature as much to motivate the plot as the characters. The cinematography, by NĂ©stor Almendros, was directly influenced by the paintings of Edward Hopper, painter of Nighthawks (1942).

These two images are film stills from Days of Heaven, which are both examples of the use of landscape terms of plot. Also the images provide visual representation of the adaptation, on the cinematographers, of the Edward Hopper paintings.

A more artistic choice on the part of Malick, a common characteristic in his films, is the use of non-continuity editing and dialogue. Relationships are often never fully disclosed, there are questionable actions, such as a fight where it is never known if the opposing figure lives or dies. There are also cuts made that do not make sense, a shot of the two main characters embracing, a cut to a different character and when the camera cuts back to the two characters they are standing on opposite sides with no explanation why. As we have learned through recent award-winning films such as The Departed (2006) continuity has no part in the editing game. It seems that these “mistakes” are considered artistic choice. In this case one cannot credit or blame the editor. Malick always has the same continuity issues but never uses the same editor, cinematographer or writers. He is a true auteur in the French 1950’s, Andre Bazin sense of the word.

The most common complaint of the audience for this film is the use of a voiceover that is not traditional in the way it sounds. The character of Linda, who we never really know who she is in terms of other characters, has a thick “Chicago” accent and often sounds very masculine for being a young girl. The result of the voiceover has left the likes of Phil Solomon finding the feature less than inspiring. It really comes down to personal taste.

This film is worth checking-out. It was well cast, beautifully shot, simple film that established Malick as an artist and as a filmmaker. It is debatable if this transformation happened with Badlands (1973) or not until The Thin Red Line (1998). For arguments sake, I advocate that it started here with Days of Heaven, but as with any opinion I am open to discuss.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008


dickin it to the man.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A little bit in love

with this song right now.


If you want more: use yo blogger toolz. If you want to purchase her debut album, click this one, but good luck trying to figure out what you're typing into those Swedish forms. And and and she's playing South by Southwest. It's just so damn catchy. I must have watched that Lykke Li video 6 times this morning. And and and she's touring with multi-linguist El Perro del Mar in April. Another Swedish artist who I'm only an instant fan having heard at most three of her songs. I kinda missed Perro's first album. But if you feel guilty for doing so and feel a need to redeem yourself, we've got a second chance with From the Valley to the Stars out in the Union of States on April 22nd. You can listen to the single released last Wednesday on 7" here. Just let it stream, as it will indeed and undoubtedly ferry you down a pleasant soulful rockabye with occasional trumpet-adorned flower patches and silky wisps of that beautiful voice I fell in love with with "Dog", which can be heard on her myspace. I thought of Glass Candy's "Rolling Down the Hills" whilst listening to "How Did we Forget", only slower, more minimal, and loungier, if I can rightfully say that.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boris Yeltsin, I love you.

Despite your drunken bridge-stumblings and 2% end-of-term popularity rating, I mean, you were the first president of Russia, and without Russia, there'd be no Greg Estren. I miss him, dearly. Because of this, I think Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's name is warranted. Completely affirmed in fact of my own love for you. Admiration and interest in the least, but that's besides the point of this post. The point is, I'm a fan of the bands music, not really just their name. That makes me excited about Pershing, the soon-to-be-blasted-at-pablos-pizzeria new second full album. I've heard "Glue Girls", the first track off Pershing, and I hear a slightly faster, harder, if not subtly rockier sound. It has the same soft-tendered vocals and blippily-tweedy guitar, but closer to combining the poppier Spinto Band sound with something like Voxtrot. Raw. -er. I like it. Listen to it here. Or other stuff here. Be their friend. His friend too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pretty little new Silver Mt Zion album!

THEE SILVER MT ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA & TRA-LA-LA BAND (official site) have a new one coming out next month, the 25th of March, and from reading the beautiful description Constellation Records gave out in concurrence with this release, as they always give out with items in their catalog, I couldn't give a proper statement or description about it were I to listen to it multiple times gathering every little detail about the 4 works (can't use songs) on the new album. That's something I plan to do anyway, maybe I'll write about it. whatever. It's going to be called 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons and it seems as though the first 12 tracks will be 4 to 5 second long "untitled" silent tracks. The music starts with number 13. I'm not sure what's behind this, but I guess you should probably just accept it. Read about it all here. I wish that astronaut was the album art, but it's not. the real album art can be seen with this link. !!!. I'm looking forward to new recorded material by anything Constellation puts out, as getting to one of these shows mostly goes under my nose. Either way, preorder this mother here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Graveface records might be one of my new favorite labels. With a band roster including guys like Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Octopus Project, and The Appleseed Cast, there's no reason not to be ordering as much possible music from them as you can financially sustain. BMSR's Dandelion Gum double LP comes out in March (it's pink!) along with a 7" sometime in the spring. Along with that, expect a new album from Black Moth collaborator Ken Fec, who goes by Power Pill Fist, it's supposed to come out February 23rd though if you preorder through the site, you'll get it in the amount of time it takes to ship with its included beard stickers, and most likely some collectible Pac-Man stickers and a holographic Pittsburgh Steelers sticker. Also included will be a dvd with bright-colored polynomials pulsating to the incoherently harsh but similarly-BMSR electrosynth noise beats. Just play them both at the same time (a lot like Wizard People, Dear Reader), haha. It arrived in my mailbox today, and instantly got to my good side. If you're a fan of Black Moth, you're a fan of Ken Fec, and you'll most likely enjoy Kongmanivong, though I will warn you it's a bit harsher than anything you've heard from Fec, and as it is a completely separate entity from Black Moth, its strange, bass-driven, nuclear hazard alarm soundscapes will either draw you closer to this artist or let you know to stick to strictly BMSR releases. I loved it. I'd say at least give it a solid listen-to.

Also making me very happy with Graveface is the planned release of the long-awaited new Kid Dakota, who has told of the foreboding story of westward expansion through atomic bomb testing and Moscow-bound pilgrims named Ivan in 2004's The West is the Future. The new album will apparently be called A Winner's Shadow and is due out March 25th. Very fucking excited. Pick up either So Pretty or The West is the Future here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sail On

Like the soft, almost lullabied rocking of a small sailing vessel, similarly sway you The Boats from Philadelphia, setting you to sleep not with their tender-hearted stories of unexpected reunions or of cutesy encounters with beautiful girls, but with their soft mesh of folk, southern/surf and strumrock that imitates the fabric of a homemade blanket found in a baby's crib. That woefully-skilled aesthetic that sets them in a category not easily identified, being almost the kind of music you'd expect people from all sorts of backgrounds to connect with. It's not a selfish, gimmicky, or contrived sound at all, it's sincere, and unapologetic for its pure rawness and amazingly well placed yelps and screams.
The Boats have been around for a while, and after a break that deprived many from anything new from these guys, the wonderment left after listening to their debut album was all you could envelope. It became a favorite over time, and the lack of track listings and presence of any activity only added to the mystique of The Boats, of which I knew almost nothing. Only hoping for a new Boats record kept me from not checking up on them every couple of months. I checked up on them about two weeks ago and read a nice little blog on their myspace telling of new Boats recordings. I'll let you read it yourself.
I don't know what their situation is, or why the hell they haven't been signed (causing the start of their own record label Future Furniture), but I know for certain there are plenty of waiting fans like me, just getting antsy to buy this new album. It was expected to come out this winter back in August, but regardless of the date, hype, or lack thereof, I have the full intention of getting this. Go listen, buy some of their songs off snocap (which ends up being the only place you can get any of the new recordings), and just enjoy. It's good music.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Temporary Listenence Unlimited.

How in the world can this happen? I missed a lot of great releases last year, but I guess a big part of blogging about music is not necessarily the speed at which you put something down upon, rather what you actually have to say about the music. Well, it may be really late, but I've recently acquired two-and-a-half albums released by Temporary Residence Limited in the fall of '07. When I say two-and-a-half, it's only because the first disc in a two-disc deal was mysteriously missing from the sleek cardboard quadro-fold case in which it came. Hopefully I can come into contact with the first disc of Tarentel's Ghetto Beats on the Surface of the Sun. From what I've heard on disc 2, this is extremely cosmic music. With titles such as "A Crystal the Size of Our Moon in the Heart of a Pulsating White Dwarf", and "Cosmic Dust" (heard off their myspace), the odd, often warped or electrically stimulated soundscapes take names fittingly. "Mirrors, Gardens" along with the following track remind me of a BBC Goosebumps-equivalent series called Moondial as if it had been made by robots. I can't say a whole lot more beyond only having half the release which actually came out in 4 volumes through 2006-2007. Hopefully Temporary Residence can send the first disc to me cuz I needs to hear it.


The other two albums recently sent to me via postal service were Sleeping People's Growing, and Maserati's long-awaited (by me) Inventions for the New Season. I'll start with Maserati, which finally released "This is a Sight We Had One Day From the High Mountain" on an album. Watch super feet go!, and rest in the unexpected blissfulness you'll experience after viewing amazing music with amazing visuals. You can find the video on youtube, or in my other post, titled trl, which should be right below this post, anyway. Track 1, "Inventions", starts with an eerie wind blowing across what might be a deserted Colorado town out of Red Dawn or something. It then picks up into a Stevie-Knicks-type bassline that actually makes it a lot more fun to listen to, if I can rightfully say that. Another one of my fav tracks off this was "Synchronicity IV", which ends in a nice tribal drum-a-thon at about 6 minutes in; are those bongos I hear? maybe. The entire album comes off as a little more light-hearted and hopeful compared to The Language of Cities or even "Towers Were Wires", off the Cinemechanica/We Versus the Shark/Maserati split EP. This'll be playing in my reading time a lot this upcoming semester I'm guessing. Buy any Maserati release here.


Now: Sleeping People. Dudedog, this shit's crazy, and I mean to say that in a Zurek voice. Besides the accumulation of all the broken strings and splintered nails that this album undoubtedly shed, nothing is more rough than tracks like "Grow Worm" at 47 seconds, or "People Staying Awake" throughout, speaking in a nonmetal sense of the word rough, of course. These tracks are welcomed in the midst of the pleasing mesh of smooth off-signatures along with the sharp blips of guitar and effect pedals alike. The chimes in "Underland" would set you to sleep if not for the creepy and barely audible symbols and wind blowing in the background. The entire album up to the final track would have you believe it is an instrumental album if not for the verses sung in "People Staying Awake", which come around at 3:48. Stay up, stay up, stay up, and they don't make it hard standing up to find out if that really is the last song, because you want more. Overall great listen-to, buy this, if you want to be mentally stimulated while listening to uncommon but beautiful musical prowess.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Expect a full report from me in the near future.
For now, enjoy this great video. Go! Super feet! Go!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Local show this Weekend!

anybody in or near junktown
should hit it up. aaron's rap team
will be performing along with some
killer acoustic folk/electronic kids.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Me Versus We Versus the Shark

I've got a beef. A beef against We Versus the Shark. With whom I fell in love with in 2005 with Ruin Everything, a sporadically spastic, adrenaloid-infused and injected straight into your brain occasionally poppy enough for Lance Bass to enjoy. Well, they're doing a cover album for 2008 titled Murmurmur, which is actually rather awesome. But there's one problem with it that I'll get to later. This is what they'll be doing:
"Starting today, January 1st, and finishing up on December 1st 2008, each month we'll be posting a new MP3 to Quote Unquote Records of other people's jams. Some of the songs are by artists who have gained accolades in some circles but remain obscure in others; a few will be Athens bands we're excited to big-up. We here at We Versus the Shark believe that "interpreting" (whatever) other artists is a good way to learn about structure, melody, and other things we're generally confused by. Enjoy "Murmurmur."

Basically they're releasing a 12-song LP of covers by bands you may or may not have ever heard. The first of which is Pattern is Movement's "Right Away". This is great news. I suddenly got really excited about it. First great thing to look forward to this year, happening the minute I wake up from a treacherous night of debauchery, vomiting high-schoolers, and hooking up in your best friend's bedroom. Now to the beef: it's going to take the whole year to receive this album. While I can't complain about an entirely free full-length of covers, I don't really feel like waiting around every month for it to come. I loved the Ep of Bees EP though, Murmurmur will be good I'm guessing.

Listen to the first track released earlier today below.

Right Away- Pattern is Movement (We Versus the Shark cover)

expect a new full-length album this spring.