Coming off years of intense, in-demand DJing, you might think that Holden would make a fairly straightforward dance record; instead, as he says in an interview, “The LP was meant to be like an alternate universe where the sprawling inventive madness of the ‘60s and ‘70s hadn’t been out-evolved by punchier, more functional and direct music—a sort of utopia for the non-competitive idea.” There are certainly tracks and passages here that could be danced to, but much of The Inheritors is altogether more atavistic; the beginning of “Sky Burial” feels like it’s dragging something up a hill, for example. Much of what’s here does feel like ritual music, and only some rituals involve dancing. For every moment like the galumphing squall of “The Caterpillar’s Intervention” or “Gone Feral”‘s loping beat that makes you want to move, there’s another like the densely psychedelic “||: A Circle Inside A Circle Inside :||” or the wide-open skies of “Blackpool Late Eighties” that seems to demand some other form of contemplation. —
My review of Holden’s excellent The Inheritors is up today at PopMatters. One sign that it’s been an excellent year in music for me; as much as I love this one, I couldn’t quite squeeze it into my top ten. I approached the record with a certain amount of trepidation, mainly because it’s 75 minutes long; unlike most albums of that length, I think he manages to justify it. I did notice in picking out a quotation for this post that I broke one of my own rules just after this section, and sure enough that part makes me wince. Learning, always learning… (via imathers)
Ian’s post contains a thing I wish more people would do (acknowledge and accept the imperfection of their work) and a thing I wish I’d do (enjoy new albums in 2013). I’m almost afraid to hear this album in case I have some kneejerk “don’t need it/reminds me of…” response, especially since I’m a “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” type 90% of the time. While I’ve enjoyed a good number of hit singles, this has been the most depressing year for me yet as far as LPs go, with not a single platter permeating my silly, cynical short-attention span. Not even Electric Six, which is the biggest heartbreak of them all (fyi, this is my first public acknowledgement of this fact, outside of a reply tweet to a direct question on the matter) (in fact, by publicly saying I don’t like the new album, I hope my self-critical impulses will drive me to revisit and enjoy it) (I mean, when a humor-centric band’s ninth album feels wholly inessential and self-imitative, isn’t the noteworthy thing that it took that long?) (sigh).
- broken social scene
- medeski martin + wood
- henry rollins
- tons of other things i don’t remember
My Crowbar good times list (which has zero overlap besides the last one):
Three I distinctly remember not seeing: Maceo Parker (despite being told I’d be on the guest list for the Centre Daily Times), Insane Clown Posse (I’d written the preview for the CDT but had no plans to see them - which is good because the duo apparently canceled day-of when they saw how small the stage was), and Superchunk/GBV (a legendary Halloween show referenced in Our Noise and the Watch Me Jumpstart DVD,which was actually when the club was called Tattoo and I was a new-in-town high school freshman).
I wonder if OTB will ever be able to post about music at Penn State without me puking up my own memories. Probably not.
John Boorman was incredibly kind. I felt absolute misery on one occasion when I’d seen a film of his and then we met for drinks and I tried to avoid the subject of the film, and he told me years later that he understood my agony. — Pauline Kael in Afterglow. While there are multiple Boorman films she didn’t like (loved his spirit and craft, hated his “ideas”), I’m guessing this is about Exorcist II: The Heretic. If she had just seen Zardoz, I doubt she could have resisted bringing it up, at least in a “you’re crazy for this one” way.
This is one of the most ridiculous, overblown, self-important movies ever, reduced to a single barcode. See all those peach-colored parts? That’s skin, baby. If you haven’t seen Zardoz, do so. It includes:
- The opening line (after an introduction): “THE PENIS IS EVIL. THE GUN IS GOOD.” (Said by a giant stone head, who then vomits guns.)
- Sean Connery (in his second movie after being James Bond) in a red diaper with red bandoliers.
- An incredibly dumb explanation as to why the movie is called Zardoz.
- A hilariously bad, and logistically confusing, ending scene of Sean Connery & his bride growing old together, and then turning into skeletons.
- A scene in which Sean Connery punches through a clear plastic sheet as a crowd gasps “NO! It cannot be done!”
- In the words of John Boorman (the writer/director, who had just won nominations for the mediocre movie “Deliverance”): “too many ideas”
I believe that it stands in that upper echelon of enjoyably bad movies, along with The Room, Birdemic: Shock & Awe, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.
I really need to see The Emerald Forest, because Deliverance/Zardoz/Exorcist II: The Heretic/Excalibur/The Emerald Forest/Hope & Glory may be the most bananas run of films for a director ever. Pioneering pulp director (see 1967’s Point Blank) cashes in his unexpected Oscar/box office cred to make one of the most baffling films ever (that list above is just the tip of the wackadoo iceberg), then tries to make amends with Hollywood except his brain is still dancing around in its underwear on Mars. His name now double poopie with the suits, he realizes his “ideas” come over better when attached to the Arthurian legend. Does well enough that he gets to makes a Powers Boothe movie in the jungle I haven’t seen (embarrassing to admit I haven’t seen a Powers Boothe movie). Then makes a beautiful, lively yet (dear god, especially for him) earthbound memoir about childhood in World War II. His next movie is a romcom starring Dabney Coleman (haven’t seen), so it’s not like the rollercoaster stopped there, too.
One thing all these movies have in common is that, when they start, it feels like you’re missing five minutes of exposition. Usually you catch up within ten, at least as much as you need to. Boorman rules.