The Birthday Party, “Mr. Clarinet”
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).
The Lost Art of Cassette Design by Steve Vistaunet
Starbuck, “Moonlight Feels Right” (Top 40 debut: 5/29/76, chart peak: #3)
Start the week right with a dude in a tight, chest-baring black jumpsuit playing a marimba solo at 1:54.
While I do recommend checking out the marimba action, I do think the preceding lyrics and Moog fills make for an appropriate intro.
You say you came to Baltimore from Ole Miss
A class of ‘74 gold ring
The eastern moon looks ready for a wet kiss
To make the tide rise again, ha, ha
- 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):
- D Generation
- Matthew Sweet
- Afghan Whigs
- Rocket From The Crypt
- Drive-By Truckers
- Misfits (the singer and drummer split mid-tour, so it was Jerry, Doyle, the opener’s drummer, and a line of fans who were made to stand next to Jerry - DON’T TOUCH THE MIC - and shout one chorus each)
- some band I believe called “Wheat.” or something, where the was only like 12 people so I wound up taking two easy chairs in the balcony and making a hammock out of them like a boss/dick.
- and yeah, tons I don’t remember.
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.
— 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.
Bettie Serveert, “Co-Coward”
John Miles, “Slow Down” (Top 40 debut: 5/14/77, chart peak: #34)
Just when you think this song can’t get any more “high speed car chase,” he brings out the talkbox.
(Would be on Raging Boogie: Late ’70s Bronze!)
This week The New Girl and The Mindy Project both featured supporting performances from Happy Endings cast members and hilarious “worst/best date ever” bits by guys who were in Go who remain awesome and hot. Each show also had a throwaway joke involving tearaway pants.
So yeah, this ain’t the week to tell me we’re not in a TV golden age.