Saturday, December 31, 2005

Here Comes Everybody!

Happy New Year!

Play it safe.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Favorites of 2005 - Music Music Music - A Year in Review

1. "Keep Breathing" - the Durutti Column (Fulfill/Artful)
2. "Confusing Outsides" - Martial Canterel (Genetic Records)
3. "Another Day on Earth" - Brian Eno (Opal)
4. "Dreams Made of Paper" - Arbol (lejos discos/emilii records)
5. "Snow Borne Sorrow" - Nine Horses (samadhi sound)
6. "Tales From Turnpike House" - St. Etienne (sanctuary)
7. "Les Retrouvailles" - Yann Tiersen (Labels)
8. "Small Explosions That are Yours to Keep" - Mitchell Akiyama (Sub Rosa)
9. "CHASM" - Ryuichi Sakamoto (KAB America) *
10. "Musique pour 3 femmes enceintes" - Marc LeClair (Mutek_rec)

Honourable Mention:
"From Fuji to Roma LIVE" - [Swedish] Death Polka (Chat Blanc)
"Kiss Me Again and Again" - Polmo Polpo (intr_version)
"All My Bad Thoughts" - The Montgolfier Brothers (Vespertine & Son)
"Symbol" - Susumu Yokota (Lo Recordings)
"Eco" - Skipsapiens (Mutek)
"Dropsonde" - Biosphere (Touch)
"The Dreamhouse" - Windy and Carl (Kranky)
"Cathederal Oceans III" - John Foxx (Fulfill)
"Music of the Future" - Desmond Leslie (Trunk)
"Idyllatry" - Peter Principle (LTM)
"Dead Letters to Lost Friends" - Desormais (intr_version)

"Stilllysm"- Various (Stilll)
"Kiss The Future" - Mark Stewart (Soul Jazz)

"Lyceum + Singles" - The Orchids (LTM)
"Striving for the Lazy Perfection" - The Orchids (LTM)
"Unholy Soul" - The Orchids (LTM)
"Like The Others" - Winston Tong (LTM)
"100 Years of Music: Live in Lisbon" - Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reninger (LTM)
"Subliminal 1979-1982" - Eric Random (LTM)

Note: The date for Ryuichi Sakamoto's Album "CHASM" is 2004. However, it is new to me so I have made an exception and included it on my list.
Recent Obituaries of note:
Guitarist Derek Bailey - John Fordham remembers him in hisGuardian UK Obituary.

Also, Salvador Dali's Secretary and exploiter.

Best Wishes to All! Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone.

Keep an eye on this-- next week my top discs of 2005 will appear.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Tonight on "Off the Cuff" - the Durutti Column : Keep Breathing

The latest effort from Vini Reilly & Co. has arrived! I will play it on my radio show tonight. I've heard that its a real return to form for the Durutti Column. Its in my hands now. Get ready to hear portions of it from 7-10pm EST on WZBC 90.3fm live webcasting
via can be found on WZBC's website.

Stay tuned.


(Artful / FullFill)
6 February 2006 [official release date]

1. Nina
2. Its Wonderful
3. Maggie
4. Helen
5. Neil
6. Big Hole
7. Let me tell you something
8. Lunch
9. Gun
10. Tuesday
11. Agnus Dei
12. Waiting

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Orchids - A Look Back.

For cracking good pop you can't do much better than the Orchids. The classic Sarah Records band has finally come back into the picture for Act II. James Neiss's Les Temps Moderne (LTM) label just reissued all of their old releases. It is so good to hear their songs on CD with all of their non-album tracks in one place. The Orchids started in Glasgow in the mid-eighties-- dire years for any kind of independent pop. They were heavily influenced by other Scottish favorites like Josef K, Orange Juice, the Go-Betweens, essentially the Postcard Records stable of bands, as well as early Primal Scream. One touchstone band for The Orchids was the Wake, which was on Factory Records and later Sarah Records as well.

Their mini-album LYCEUM, here re-issued with early singles as bonus tracks-- including the songs from Bob Stanley's Caff label, is eight pitch-perfect songs of pure indiepop bliss. From the brilliant opening of "It's Only Obvious" with James Hackett's strident vocals to the ecstatic joy of "Caveman" with its oblique political references, and the genius chorus of "The York Song", this disc will put you in a happy mood. The bonus tracks available include the pure pop of "I've got a habit"-- with the line "I'm drinking Iron-Bru and I'm thinking of you", the song "Apologies" with its "Sha-la-la yeah" chorus, as well as an anti-poll tax song, "Defy the Law". This disc is a solid purchase for jangly indiepop lovers of all kinds.

Up next is UNHOLY SOUL + SINGLES, it sees the band experimenting more with synthesizers and samplers on occasion, getting more into echoing the finer points of Sixties pop. A few of the tracks also have the soulful vocal talents of Pauline Hynds, this is the disc that has "Peaches"-- with Pauline singing "Get yourself high, feed your soul, set yourself free", one of the tracks that introduced me to the Orchids as it also appears on the Sarah 100 compilation "There and Back Again Lane". The Orchids are clearly moving towards a more psychedelic sound, as the influence of Madchester tends to leak in on UNHOLY SOUL. This is also evident on the wonderful paring of "The Sadness of Sex (Pt 1)" with its dirty guitar and whistled chorus and "Waiting for the Storm", the latter being a nearly 8 minute epic of programmed beats and samples-- it nearly feels like Coldcut's remix of Eric B and Rakim's "Paid in Full". This album oscillates between jangly Sixties pop and electro pop that at first blush may seem slightly incongruous but really works as a whole the more you listen to it.

Their final album was STRIVING FOR THE LAZY PERFECTION, released here with their Thaumaturgy single plus some demo tracks. Their experiments going forward and backward that came through in UNHOLY SOUL are further magnified in this release. It opens with the noisy guitar of "Obsession No. 1" and moves to the programmed bliss of "Striving for the Lazy Perfection", finally nearing an end with the haunting "I've got to wake up to tell you my dreams" then sliding into "the Perfect Reprise" with its recollection of the earlier track. Pauline Hynds also appears on this album to bring a feminine touch to a handful of songs. This disc has its jangly songs like "The Searching" and "Welcome to my Curious Heart" but it primarily leans toward electronic pop. The classic track "A Kind of Eden" is here, which was the Orchids' contribution to Elefant Records MONTECARLO compilation. My favorite track on this disc has to be the pretty electro-pop of "Avignon", which contains a sample that was also used on Acuarela Records' mainstays Emak Bakia's second album "Despues". The electro tracks on this disc also remind me of a pop-friendly Ultramarine.

Too many good songs are on each of these releases to do without one. LYCEUM provides a good introduction and will please any lover of good lo-fi pop, UNHOLY SOUL builds on the earlier template with more instrumentation and female vocals, STRIVING FOR THE LAZY PERFECTION further carries these experiments out to a heavenly conclusion. I've been told that the band has reformed and is currently working on new material. With a potential release in 2006, LTM's reissues provide the perfect refresher course for one of the most overlooked and consistently excellent indiepop bands out there.


66 minutes, features the 1989 mini album Lyceum plus their early singles.
Full tracklist: It's Only Obvious, A Place Called Home, Caveman, The York Song, Carrole-Anne, Hold On, Blue Light, If You Can't Find Love, + I've Got a Habit, Apologies, Give Me Some Peppermint Freedom, Defy the Law, Underneath the Window Underneath the Sink, Tiny Words, Walter, What Will We Do Next, As Time Goes By, Yawn, An Ill Wind that Blows, All Those Things.

70 minutes, Originally released in 1991.
Full tracklist: Me and the Black and White Dream, Women Priests and Addicts, Bringing You the Love, Frank De Salvo, Long Drawn Sunday Night, Peaches, Dirty Clothing, Moon Lullaby, Coloured Stone, The Sadness of Sex (Pt 1), Waiting for the Storm, You Know I'm Fine, + Bemused, Confused and Bedraggled, Pelican Blonde, Tropical Fishbowl, How Does That Feel, Sigh, Something for the Longing, Farewell Dear Bonnie, On a Sunday.

67 minutes (18 tracks) Originally released in 1994, The five bonus tracks are culled from the 1992 single Thaumaturgy plus demo tracks.
Full tracklist: Obsession No. 1, Striving for the Lazy Perfection,The Searching, Welcome to my Curious Heart, Avignon, A Living Ken and Barbie, Beautiful Liar, A Kind of Eden, Prayers to St Jude, Lovechild, Give a Little Honey, I've Got to Wake Up to Tell You My Dreams, The Perfect Reprise,+ Thaumaturgy, I Was Just Dreaming, Between Sleeping and Waking, It's Ours, The Letter.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ghosts of Christmas Past - Tonight

I'll be back on the air tonight playing new music and old favorites. I have several releases from the new Belgian label Stilll: Off the Sky - "it is impossible to say just what I mean", Arden - "conceal" (Arden is Jeuc Dietrich, Jurgen Heckel (aka Sogar), Christophe Bailleau, Jerome Deuson (aka Amute), Mitchell Akiyama and Sebastian Roux), and Stilllysm, the label compilation featuring works by the aformentioned artists as well as Peter Principle, Benjamin Lew, Ghislain Poirier, Aoki Takamasa, wixel and others. I have also finally acquired Ryuichi Sakamoto's album from 2004 "chasm", which has a lot of interesting tracks, along with a few new interpretations of "World Citizen". Last, but not least, selections from Les Disques du Crepuscle's "Ghosts of Christmas Past" compilation will be scattered throughout the set.

That's WZBC 90.3 fm from 7-10pm (1900 to 2200) EST.

Please listen.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Fairness Doctrine

The December 1, 2005 issue of the New York Review of Books has an excellent essay by Michael Massing on the current state of the American News media titled "The End of News". The paragraph below is the one that's been stuck in my mind for the past couple of weeks.

"An even more consequential, though much less visible, change took place in 1987, with the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine. Introduced in 1949, this rule required TV and radio stations to cover "controversial issues" of interest to their communities, and, when doing so, to provide "a reasonable opportunity for the presentation of contrasting viewpoints." Intended to encourage stations to avoid partisan programming, the Fairness Doctrine had the practical effect of keeping political commentary off the air altogether. In 1986, a federal court ruled that the doctrine did not have the force of law, and the following year the FCC abolished it."

Michael Massing's full essay can be found online here. The abolition of the Fairness Doctrine contributed greatly to the current political climate in the United States of America.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Journey's End EP - The Montgolfier Brothers

The Montgolfier Brothers - Journey's End EP (Vespertine and Son, 2005)

This latest release from Manchester, England-based group, the Montgolfier Brothers, heralds a true return to form. The Montgolfier Brothers is the brainchild of Mark Tranmer, who also records as GNAC, and RPM Quigley, otherwise known as 'At Swim Two Birds' or simply 'Quigley'. This is their first release of new material since "the World is Flat", which was released on Alan McGee's London-based Poptones label, this is also their first release on the recent "Vespertine and Son" label. Musically, they have always been inspired by the quieter aspects of work by French film soundtrack composers such as Francois de Roubaix, Michel Legrand and Philippe Sarde. Being from the Manchester area, the work is also heavily influenced by the heyday of such independent labels as Factory Records (longtime home of the another influence, the Durutti Column) and Les Disques du Crepuscule, the Montgolfier Brother's sound being more akin to the latter than the former in many respects.

The Journey's End EP opens with dense organ lines then minimal acoustic piano taking over the central theme, representing the steady march of time, a reflection on the loss of a dear friend. RPM Quigley's trembling, Manchester-inflected accent bringing a distinct Northern quality to the emotional content of the song. Journey's End is filled with vivid impressions of memory and existence, it focusses less on evoking the past, then the feeling of absence itself. It is a song that strikes the perfect tone for reminisence, never approaching the maudlin or bathetic. The second track, Bridestones Revisited, which comes across as rather similar to GNAC as if rewritten for a chamber ensemble, the sound is developed and expanded upon. It begins in a nearly baroque manner with organ and the occasional flute, with a clear emphasis on woodwinds primarily, the opening into echoes of guitar and piano. The third track, Koffee Pot Blues, retains the quiet mood of Journey's End, as it builds on a theme introduced by organ and flute, with a hint of Tuba and French Horn in the distance-- as if in remembrance or regret. A cello begins to play, driving the piece forward, with an acoustic piano finally picking up the main theme. However, it isn't until an electric guitar comes into focus that I recognize this theme as originating in Journey's End, the opening track. It is a march of sorts, an invitation to a journey. RPM Quigley sings "Sit and tell your problems to the Window, drown them in the sweet and stagnant tea.." It is an invocation for contemplation of time past. Again, he tells us "Always time for open-ended journeys, cast unintended looks at passers by..." He refers to the memories constructed by faded urban spaces. The distant history imbued in city life. This is a more poetic piece than Journey's End, as it it told through the production of concrete images, calling upon the senses to release memory. The EP ends with Koffee Pot Brass, a shorter version of Koffee Pot Blues, it begins with a harp-like sound, then ominous use of an organ in the foreground, meant to inscribe a solemn brass band, perhaps playing at a military funeral or some such affair. In many, was this is a denser version of 'Koffee Pot Blues' as RPM Quigley's vocals start almost immediately and use of the harp acts to emphasize an etheral quality inherent in his vocals.

For sheer consistency in mood and design, look no further than the Montgolfier Brothers to conjure heartfelt moments for rainy days. This is a perfectly composed EP. I cannot wait to hear the album.

Journey's End 8:09
Bridestones Revisited 3:57
Koffee Pot Blues 9:55
Koffee Pot Brass 4:37

Friday, November 18, 2005

Rip it Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds

The best new book about contemporary music history I've read is Rip it Up and Start Again: postpunk 1978-1984 by British music journalist, Simon Reynolds. Arguably the most exciting time in music since the late sixties, the postpunk era finally gets its due. This near complete version of postpunk independent music and how the subsequent labels, distribution methods and venues to deliver the new sounds came about (--and were gradually devoured by major labels and each other). This is a book that had to come out. This kind of music was only available for such a brief period of time before being trampled underfoot by a horde of commercially produced imitators. This is the music created by the generation that came of age in the mid-seventies. The sounds created were so new that independent methods were the only way to communicate their existence. People deliberately eschewed courting major labels in the name of having absolute control over their music. Reynolds chronicles all the successes and failures of the most consistently inventive (both sonically and visually) group of young artists and businessmen that tried to make a lasting impact on modern life.

To a certain extent, the simultaneous movements on both sides of the Atlantic (the book primarily deals with the United Kingdom and the United States-- deliberately leaving the project open for companion works discussing similar activity in Europe, Canada, Latin America and Japan) have left their mark on what passes for culture today. The timing of the book's release could not be more welcome, as a number of the labels mentioned recently celebrated anniversaries (Rough Trade, Mute and Les Disques du Crepuscule, among others) while primarily re-issue labels like James Neiss's Les Temps Modernes (LTM) have made a bulk of the long deleted music metioned in the book available to a wider audience. (The most recent of which being the double disc compilation of Eric Random's work titledSubliminal 1980-1982.)

Apart from filling in the gaps of my education in this expansive and somewhat personal study, this book helps to show the relationships between the people involved in the culture industry at that time. The book is really about a network for the production and dissemination of culture, that presented a near viable alternative to current methods of perception. It is not just about the artists and musicians involved but also the contributions of the label owners, journalists, and the public. Shifts in taste, budget, politics, and -- to a large extent -- technology, acted to create a unique cultural product. The emergence of so many young artists into the cultural arena at that time was astounding. A record label, such as Manchester based Factory Records was hyper-conscious not only of the quality of the music but also its packaging, often delaying releases for weeks so its delivery could achieve visual perfection. The goal amongst all these labels was to craft a--whether conscious or not--brand identity, to manipulate the public into the fold. This created a wonderfully red-hot tension between the musicians, the labels and the public resulting in the furious activity this book describes. It is this same commitment to quality and artistic integrity that fans of this period discuss to this day with the intensity of an erotic fever-dream.

Multiple criticisms can be leveled against the writer for spending too much time on certain groups and not enough time on others. While this is a valid concern, I do not see any glaring omissions in this work. This book is not only for anyone who wants to know about certain bands but it is also for those who want to understand the systems of interaction between the events discussed and how so many disparate elements influenced each other. In doing so, it provides a survey of the influential acts of the period.

One must never forget the lessons learned here of how it can be done. Applying these notions today one immediately sees distribution methods rapidly changing by the hour. Radio is still primarily dominated by commercial programming (check stopcbcpop for a current example of this). The template created by college radio in the United States (there is no such thing as an "independent music chart" in the United States--not to mention the absolute absence of a ministry of culture.) has been modified and turned into so-called alternative programming on commercial stations after someone recoginzed the viability of this demographic (circa mid-1980s). Today, the market is even further entrenched in this petty commercialism.

Then again, the knife cuts both ways, new independent labels are born daily. Nearly everyone involved in culture has a website or e-mail as technology enables things to change yet again. Disenchanted consumers of fine music are able to trace cultural activities that were previously inaccessible. In this sense, "Rip it Up and Start Again" is a worthy reference to the early days when it was all done via telephone, SNAIL mail, live performances and radio programmes (today, one is tempted to add music blogs to that list).

Our culture is on the mend, we desperately need free thinking creative people to wake up the underground once again.

Rip it Up and Start again
by Simon Reynolds
ISBN: 0 571 21569 6
Format: Paperback
Published: April 21, 2005
Pages: 608pp
Price: £16.99

Also due for publication in USA late January/early February 2006.

check out Simon's blog in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Second Aspect of the Same Thing

I'll be on the air tomorrow night on WZBC, 90.3fm, filling in for Brian Carpenter.
That's Wednesday, November 16 from 7-10pm (19:00 - 22:00)EST.

Expect to hear a lot of music from Philippe Sarde, Francois de Roubaix, Ben Watt,
Quigley, the Montgolfier Brothers, and various artists from the Les Disques du Crepuscle stable. Oh, and of course, quite a bit of the Durutti Column, as their new CD, "Keep Breathing" will be released in early December on Artfull records.

Please listen and enjoy.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Old Favorites from last week

This was my last playlist as a 29 year old.

Nine Horses “wonderful world” from snow borne sorrow (samadhisound)
SFT “deum de deo / so long, isolated sunshine / youngtoolong” from SWIFT. CD
Ryuichi Sakamoto “1919” from 1996 CD ALBUM (Gut 1996)
Philippe Sarde “Cour d'immeuble” from Le Locataire (The Tenant) (1976)
Egberto Gismonti / Nana Vasconcelos “Don Quixote” from Duas Vozes
Bruce Gilbert “Epitaph for Henran Brenlar” from the shivering man
Emak Bakia “Smile in your mind” from Jane CD ALBUM
The Durutti Column “Lullaby 4 Nina” from Tempus Fugit CD ALBUM (Kooky 2004)
Les Hurleurs “Hotel Varlin” from Ciel D'encre (Barclay 2000)
Deadly Weapons “Jayne Mansfield” from Deadly Weapons LP ALBUM (NATO)
Howie B “Five Days” from Freezone 3 CD COMP (SSR 1996)
Nine Horses “snow borne sorrow” (samadhisound)
Peter Principle “Scissors Cut Paper” from Idyllatry CD
Wio “To Chose is to Lose” from (K-RAA-K)3 Festival 2002 CD COMP
Wim Mertens “DARPA” from Strategie De La Rupture (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1991)
Arbol “Summer and You” from Acuarela Songs 3 CD COMP
Susumu Yokota + Rothko “Reflections and Shadows” from Distant Sounds of Summer CD
Steven Brown “sous quelle etoile suis-je ne?” from a tribute to polnareff CD
Martial Canterel “Ascent” from confusing outsides LP ALBUM (genetic music 2005)
The Wake “Recovery / Host” from Assembly CD
David Kristian “brief notes that wept red” from The City Without Windows / La Derniere Voix OST 12-INCH (Creme Organization 2004)
HYPO “relax max msp / the perfect kill” from Random Veneziano CD ALBUM (Active Suspension 2004)
Eric Random “Dow Chemical Co.” from Subliminal 1980-1982 (LTM 2005)
Tuxedomoon “Luther Blisset” from Cabin in the Sky CD ALBUM (Crammed Discs 2004)
The Durutti Column “Jacqueline” from Valuable Passages LP COMP (Relativity 1986)
The Durutti Column “the Missing Boy” from Valuable Passages LP COMP (Relativity 1986)
Seigen Ono “Julia” from Comme Des Garcons CD COMP (Saidera 1989)
Locust “Folie” from Morning Light CD ALBUM (R&S Records 1997)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Birthday Maakies

I know this is just coincidence but, Tony Millionaire has an interpretation of an Ode by Wordsworth as this week's cartoon.

A fine start to the day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Five Days

In the midst of my radio show, keeping the sounds moderately coherent. Five Days to weigh the consequences of all my decisions so far. Hidden Resources, that sort of thing. Distributed access over a period of time. I run my fingers over multiple textures until I find the few that excite my sensibilities. People ask and I try to explain, but like so much in life, its a matter of subjectivity, a matter of personal preference. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I never sit down and take things at face value, or attempt to move forward by discarding my dignity. Perhaps that's unpractical, why not just submit to convenience at every possible turn? Is it so much a meditation on the nature of work or the passage of an object through space that affects people so much? Striving for coherence in belabouring the act, what is left, a few pictures, picking up vibrations, the need for the perception of distance and cover. Marks in the sand. The flow of water. The constant pieces I must pick up every day in order to stay relevant, ony just. No, that's not it at all. You must know this already. I haven't even begun yet. Existence as the accumulation and assimilation, more or less, of knowledge---disparate and obscure, however you like to put it. The ones who feel alienated clearly don't work hard enough perhaps, otherwise they must legitimately involve themselves in other all consuming tasks. After all these years, and all I've heard out there, the pressure to conform exists for some. It would seem the opposite should occur, things are more eclectic, not less. I highly doubt the concept of safety is fully responsible for this either. Probably just laziness. Then again it is so easy to criticize. I've spent a lifetime swimming in rhetoric only to construct very little. Belligerent and determined, resurrecting the old for one last play.

Five Days left.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Busy Week - the end of the 30th year

It has been a moderately busy week at work so I haven't had time to finish any detailed posts lately. As far as I know I will have my current radio show back again tomorrow night from 7-10pm on WZBC.

Recently, I finished reading a first edition of Martin Esslin's book on the Theatre of the Absurd (cover depicted above is of the most recent edition). What's interesting about him is that he studied in Austria and then went to live in England during WWII. During the war he became a radio programmer for the BBC's European Service. This ties in to his general theories of the Theater of the Absurd by applying its principles not only to the stage but also to radio. Some of the authors mentioned solely created works that are meant to be heard, and not seen. The atmosphere and general concepts deriving from this use of the radio reminds me of certain horror films where the best thing about them is the sound design. The slight exception to this is Robert Wise's "The Haunting", which is well known for its excellent sound design, because it is supported by a strong story and cast.

In other news, I purchased David Sylvian's recent project NINE HORSES. It is his collaboration with burnt friedman, Steve Jansen and others (including Ryuichi Sakamoto and Stina Nordenstam). I haven't had time to listen to all of it but most of what I've heard is in a uniquely pop vein.

The other bit of music news I have concerns two new releases on Montreal-based label intr_version. Désormais has a new album out called "Dead Letters to Lost Friends" and Avia Gardner's new album is out called "More Than Tongue Can Tell". This is exciting news, expect to hear me feature these releases on my radio show in the coming weeks.
The last bit of their copy reads like this:
désormais is playing in montreal at zoobizarre, tuesday, november 8th (6388 st-hubert, they (we) will be accompanying chicago's voltage. death from above 1979 for those who are way past vice? hella for the ladies? anyone? http:// - you decide.

The last bit is for the local people. I'm nearly approching my thirtieth birthday (November 8). Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend.

Say 'hello'.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Carnets de Lettonie by Christophe Blain

French comic book artist Christophe Blain, known for his work on Le Réducteur de vitesse (published by NBM in the USA as 'the Speed Abater') and his Isaac the Pirate series, has come out with a new book. The European publisher Casterman just released a graphic journal of his trip to Riga, Latvia for a comic art festival.

Carnets de Lettonie
Auteur(s): Christophe Blain
Date de parution : 24/10/2005
Dimensions : 19 x 26
Pages : 80
Prix : 14,50 €

Interesing and moody landscapes from his visit there last March and June.

DjDurutti on Rosa Parks

Respect to DJDurutti for this excellent post.

Look it up.

Members of Pulp and Radiohead in the new Harry Potter film

I know I'm behind the curve on this one, still its pretty cool.

Canadian band Wyrd Sisters filed a lawsuit delaying the release of the new Harry Potter movie due to confusion over a certain band's name that appears in the film.

Apparently this is true the band in the film remains as follows:

Jarvis Cocker .... Band Lead Singer
Jonny Greenwood .... Band Lead Guitar
Phil Selway .... Band Drums (as Philip Selway)
Steve Mackey .... Band Bass Guitar

As for the rest, the usual suspects are involved along with the addition of David Tennant as Barty Crouch Junior. Tennant isn't that well known to audiences in the United States. I know him from his role as the inspector in Blackpool and he is now the new Dr. Who. He is a first class actor, to his credit I hope this brings him more exciting opportunities.

David Tennant

Here's looking forward to this one.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Emile de Antonio - finally on DVD!

Home Vision Entertainment is finally distributing excellent prints of Emile de Antonio's films on DVD. Most of his films are only available to watch in various university film archives across the country. A few of the prints available are in mediocre condtion-- so it is with great pleasure that I look forward to the release of a number of his works on DVD. Due in November is "Point of Order", his look at the McCarthy hearings, a welcome accompaniment to George Clooney's latest effort "Goodnight and Goodluck", which cronicles the mind-numbing, middle-american, tactics that Joseph McCarthy used during his witch hunts. Emile de Antonio's work "In the Year of the Pig", describes Chi Minh Ho as a hero in the Marxist mold, and deftly chronicles the madness of war and government corruption. His films will leave you thirsting for some kind of contemporary equalivalent to his expert use of the documentary form.
The copy reads:

In the Year of the Pig

Home Vision Entertainment
Directed By: Emile de Antonio
Starring: Harry S. Ashmore, Kenneth P. Landon, Gerald Ford, Robert McNamara, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George S. Patton IV, Joseph Buttinger, Chi Minh Ho, Joseph McCarthy, Madame Nhu

“One of the most powerful antiwar films ever made.”

–One World Film Festival, Czech Republic


Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio’s Oscar®-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war’s historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, Underground) assembles period interviews with journalists, politicians, and key military personnel and international newsreel and archival footage to create a scathing chronicle of America’ escalating involvement in this divisive conflict. The savage and horrific images speak for themselves in perhaps the most controversial film of de Antonio’s career, and the film he cites as his personal favorite."

Friday, October 21, 2005

A new retelling of ancient myths

I noticed this item of interest thanks to our friends at the CBC today.
Margaret Atwood, Karen Armstrong, A.S. Byatt, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe and Chinese writer Su Tong are also working on the series.

The article begins:

The story of Penelope, as imagined by Margaret Atwood, is among the first titles to be released in an international series of books that retell ancient myths.

Publishers from around the world are collaborating on the open-ended series, in one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the industry.

The first five books of the series were released at the Frankfurt Book Fair Friday. Prominent writers from around the world have been recruited to write for the series.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Atwood is a retelling of Homer's story from Penelope's point of view.

Click above for the full article.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

we have a plan

Jon Henley in Paris reports in the Guardian UK (full story click above) today that UNESCO is doing someting to protect culture! This is exciting news!

" A commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation late on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text and the body's general assembly, meeting in Paris, is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

The US, supported only by Israel, filed 27 amendments in an unsuccessful bid to water down the resolution, criticising it as "flawed", "ambiguous" and "protectionist". France, which has long defended its right to a "cultural exception", could barely conceal its delight. "We are no longer the black sheep on this issue," said the culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, adding that the text was "a clear recognition" that cultural goods such as film, TV programmes and music are not "merchandise like any other" and should be treated separately in world trade talks.

Even Britain has abandoned its traditional allies in Washington by backing the majority line on the 40-page convention. This states that cultural goods and services have a "distinctive nature" and that states have a right "to maintain, adopt, and implement policies and measures they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory"."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Passenger (Professione: Reporter)

The best of Michelangelo Antonioni's English-language films is finally seeing the light of day. Apparently a new distributor has rights to the film. The first time I saw this masterpiece was in the mid-1990s in Brussels, Belgium, under its original title "Profession: Reporter". Marxist Film Theorist, Peter Wollen, wrote the screenplay, based on Mark Peploe's story. Searing stuff about loss of identity, the media and gun running. It is a somber tale of a man who's life falls apart. The film starts in Northern Africa, with flash backs to Germany and London, then its second-half filled with beautiful landscapes of Northern Spain, and Gaudi's park in Barcelona.

This film has been next to impossible to see and/or acquire in North America as distribution here was embroiled in some kind of legal hold up. (If anyone knows the inside story on this, I'm all ears. Perhaps it had to do with the sex scenes between Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider?)

The film is an utterly sublime statement on the decay of modern life.

It is one of my favorite films period.

The copy from the link above reads:
The last, and in many people's opinion the best, of the three English language films made by Antonioni for MGM release, The Passenger has been out of circulation for many years and was not available for the National Film Theatre's recent Antonioni season. This newly-restored print, however - from new owners Sony - is well worth the extra wait, not least because it is Antonioni's original cut, previously unseen. The script offers up a story which is almost Hitchcockian, but of a kind adaptable to Antonioni's very different metaphysic. David Locke, a journalist, impulsively decides to take over the identity (or at least the passport and diary) of a stranger called Robertson who has mysteriously died in a shared hotel room somewhere in Saharan Africa. Following Robertson's itinerary, he meets up with a girl (the 'passenger' of the English title) and the pair are pursued across Europe by the police and some shadowy Africans for whom Robertson had been a gun runner. Characteristic Antonioni themes, such as the instability of identity and the fragility of relationships, are explored with unparalleled subtlety, and the film's finale is simply sublime - spectacular as in Zabriskie Point and emotionally intense as in L'avventura or The Eclipse.

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen
With Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Country Italy-France-Spain
Year of Production 1975
Running Time 125 minutes
Sponsored by TCM

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Durutti Column - "Keep Breathing"

My favorite band has a new album in the works...and many other goodies!

Press Release From The Durutti Column

Durutti's new LP " Keep Breathing"
`A musician of unassailable daring and integrity.' The Independent

'The best guitarist in the world.' City Life, Manchester

'Vini Reilly is just a great guitarist full stop.' John Frusciante,
Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Next Saturday, 22nd October The Durutti Column, featuring guitarist
Vini Reilly, drummer Bruce Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist Kier
Stewart, will be playing their first gig including material form the
soon to be released album "Keep Breathing".

The gig is a "near home" performance at Bury Met Arts Centre. More
tour dates are listed below.

The album features 12 brand new tracks, recorded and written by Vini
Reilly and arranged by Ben Roberts.

Reilly famously, has criticised his previous recordings, claiming, "
It's all rubbish". This album though has received his own critical

"It's a great album", he says " For the first time in 25 years, I'm
pleased with my own album, I want it to succeed, and feel its good
enough to do that".

Whilst " Keep Breathing" will be released on a major label, The
Durutti Column also release their own material on Kooky Discs. Most
recently the classic Amigos Em Portugal Live album, was re released on
CD for the first time. The 2004 album Tempus Fugit has sold out its
initial pressing of 2,500, Both albums and more Durutti Column
rarities are available through the bands own website
(click above)

In total The Durutti Column have released over 20 albums, numerous
singles and are currently editing their first DVD which will be
available next year.

LIVE DATES for 2005 so far are:
22- Oct The Met Bury 0161 7617107 tickets £10 advance
26-Nov Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh 0131 220 6176 tickets £12 advance
27-Nov The Arches Glasgow 0870 2407528 tickets £12 advance
28-Nov The Lemon Tree Aberdeen 01224 642230 tickets £10 advance
02-Dec The Cluny Newcastle 0191 2304474 tickets £10 advance
04-Dec Ronnie Scott's London 08700 600100 tickets £16 advance
05-Dec Komedia Brighton 01273 647100 tickets £10/12 advance

Thursday, October 13, 2005

2005 Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Harold Pinter

The gritty playwright finally did it.

In my book, his work on the films "The Servant" (1963), "Langrishe, Go Down" (1970), and, especially "The Homecoming" (1969) is excellent.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Maisonneuve - Media Scout --- Taster

Below is a sample of MEDIA SCOUT, the daily news briefing of Canada's Big Six, provided as a service from Maisonneuve. Maisonneuve, Canada's Eclectic Curiosity magazine, is a publication defies description but is always full of excellent and thought-provoking articles.

Click above for the Maisonneuve Media Scout FAQ.


by Philippe Gohier
October 11, 2005

In an exclusive interview in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Industry Minister David Emerson concedes that there have been serious problems in the enforcement of the rules that govern lobbyists at the Federal level. Lobbyists are supposed to register and to publicly disclose their business dealings with the government. Despite steep punishments, from up to a $25,000 fine to jail time, what’s apparently missing, at least according to Emerson, is an independent agency to actually enforce these rules. The seriousness of the problem was highlighted when it was discovered that former Royal Canadian Mint president, and former Chrétien cabinet minister David Dingwall had worked as an unregistered lobbyist five years ago. This revelation, along with allegations of luxurious spending on the taxpayers’ dime, forced Dingwall to resign from the Mint recently. Of course, neither revelation was enough to prompt the government to withdraw its commitment to seeing Dingwall off, generous severance package in hand.

In Emerson’s comments is the tacit acknowledgement that the culture of entitlement that seems to be commonplace in Ottawa is threatening to undermine the government’s legitimacy. After all, Dingwall was just one example. Along with the Dingwall incidents (it really was two separate breaches of ethics, despite the Liberals’ attempt at blending them into one), there is, of course, the well-publicized sponsorship scandal, and the less publicized misuse of government Challenger jets by MPs, as revealed last week by CPAC and Le Devoir. Should the government want to peer into the future, and witness the rot that results from cozy lobbyist-legislator relationships, they need not look any further than Texas. The Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff scandal that is rocking the Republicans on their home turf should be proof enough that enforcement of strict lobbying guidelines is smart long-term policy.

THE NATIONAL: No broadcast due to the lockout of employees.
CTV NEWS: “International aid is now pouring into the earthquake disaster zone along the border of India and Pakistan”
GLOBE AND MAIL: “Quake aid balloons”
NATIONAL POST: “'Kashmir is a graveyard'” (not available online)
LA PRESSE: Kashmir desperately waits for aid (not available online)
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Canada sends $20M for quake relief

Ottawa ups its aid to the earthquake-devastated Kashmiri region. Canada threatens to shirk the US by expanding Chinese energy exports. Hundreds, maybe thousands, are buried by mudslides in Guatemala following Hurricane Stan.

Fallout from the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region dominates the Big Five’s leads. The Globe, The Post (not available online), and the Citizen all front news of a dramatic increase in Canada’s aid to the region. As estimates of the death toll surpassed 30,000, and news of 2.5 million people left homeless by the quake spread around the world, members of Montreal’s South Asian community responded to Ottawa’s initial offer of $300,000 by heckling Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew when he said the feds would wait before sending any more help. Ottawa has since reworked its aid package, and increased it to $20 million.

Sikander Hayat Khan, prime minister of Pakistani Kashmir, has called the devastated region “a graveyard” after the quake that measured a whopping 7.6 on the Richter scale. “We have been either digging ground to recover bodies or digging to bury them,” he said. According the Globe, UNICEF estimates that one in five people affected by the quake is a child under the age of five. For comparison’s sake, the US has donated US$50 million and has diverted military equipment and supplies from the war in Afghanistan to help with the recovery. The oil-rich nation of Kuwait so far leads the pack with a pledge of US$100 million in aid. News of India’s pledge to help the more severely affected Pakistani side of the Kahmiri border has fuelled speculation that the disaster may help to ease border tensions in the region. The Globe reports that there is “hope that the various factions can put aside differences to deliver aid to stricken survivors.” Although, so far, “the ones winning hearts and minds are Kashmiri separatist militants.” Within hours of the quake Kashmiri separatists had begun the most visible and ongoing aid operation in Indian Kashmir.

The Globe, The Post, and the Citizen go inside with news that Canada is looking to shore up its trade relationship with China to put more pressure on the US in the fight over softwood lumber. Revenue Minister John McCallum, who stepped into the natural resources portfolio last week when John Efford went on sick leave, is in Beijing to discuss possible energy exports with Chinese officials. Although McCallum initially denied any linkage to the ongoing trade dispute with the US, he later relented, saying that “it shouldn't be lost on anyone that if the US doesn't respect NAFTA, it does lend urgency for all Canadians to diversify our exports.'' The Globe’s John Ibbitson says that, despite it being popular public policy to expand trade with China at the US’s detriment, such a move would be motivated by “sheer mendacity.” Ibbitson claims that for Canada to follow through on its veiled threat to offer China preferential treatment in energy exports, it would have to withdraw from NAFTA, prompting a reaction that could range from a complaint at the WTO to, Ibbitson suggests somewhat facetiously, outright invasion. A National Post editorial today supports the Federal government’s apparent willingness to “to diversify our customer base if the Americans show they can't be trusted to abide by their trade obligations” but nonetheless laments the damage that’s been done to the NAFTA agreement. Claiming that “there is still time for this breach of faith to be fixed,” the Post hopes the Bush administration will pay attention to Paul Martin’s warnings last week in New York.




CTV News, The Post, and La Presse (not available online) go inside with coverage of deadly mudslides in Guatemala in the wake of Hurricane Stan. There are reports of up to 1400 missing, and up to 2000 are feared dead after ten days of torrential rains turned the towns of Panabaj and Tzanchaj into “mass graves.” Rescue workers have been forced to abandon their efforts, and had little hope of finding any more survivors five days after the towns were buried under several metres of mud. The UN has pledged $22-million in aid to help the recovery effort, and Japan, Mexico, Spain, Cuba and Canada have also promised help to repair damages expected to be in the range of US$800 million. An estimated 3.5 million people were affected by the storm, more than a quarter of Guatemala’s total population. The Globe, meanwhile, publishes a piece about the effects the recent spate of natural disasters, from the tsunami to Katrina to Stan and the earthquake in South Asia, is having on aid agency workers. The aid agencies are “worried that their staffers are burning out and that less publicized crises are being overlooked.”

Philippe Gohier is a Montreal-based MediaScout writer for Maisonneuve Magazine.

Sign up now to receive MediaScout, Canada’s definitive morning news briefing, e-mailed to your inbox every morning at 10 AM.

What is MediaScout? Read our MediaScout FAQ.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Playlist from September 30, 2005

Dead Hollywood Stars “dreamland's burning (fnga mix)” from masonic: hymen records (Hymen Records 2002)
Desormais “Broken Images and Packets of Light” from Iambrokenandremadeiambroken... CD
Peter Principle “scissors cut paper” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM
The Durutti Column “Red Square” from Vini Reilly CD ALBUM (Factory Once 1996)
Jay-jay Johanson “Rush” CD SINGLE (EMI Sweden 2005)
Pascal Comelade “valse de la demoiselle aux yeux verts” from el primitivismo SINGLE
Francois De Roubaix “Le Saut de l'ange” from Anthologie Vol. 1 (Play-Time 1999)
Ultramarine “geezer (remix by sweet exorcist)” from Companion
David Kristian “Owl Howl With Hoots” from Sweet Bits CD ALBUM (2004)
Twine “Strobe” from S/T CD ALBUM (Ghostly International 2004)
Steven Brown “Modern Times” from composes pour le theatre et le cinema LP ALBUM
Eric Random “Dow Chemical Co.” from Subliminal 1980-1982
Legowelt “Chokolectrik” from Deep Tics
Martial Canterel “Ascent” from confusing outsides LP ALBUM (genetic music 2005)
The Passage “drugface” from seedy (Cherry Red 1997)
John Foxx & Louis Gordon “concrete, bulletproof, invisible” from Shifting City (Metamatic 1995)
Tuxedomoon “In the name of talent (Italian Western II)” from Ten Years in One Night (live) LP ALBUM (Materali Sonori 1989)
Peter Principle “Desolate Idyll” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM
Steven Brown “Chinatown” from composes pour le theatre et le cinema LP ALBUM (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1989)
Coti “sine shadows” from [metamoria\> (vibrant music 2001)
Skipsapiens “compresion infinitesimal” from eco (Mutek 2005)
Vitamins for You “Luxury and Hope” from Saturday Morning Empires CD COMP
Hans Appelqvist “gumman” from Starving But Happier! CD COMP (2003)
Koji Asano “Spring Estuary II” from Spring Estuary CD ALBUM (Solstice 2005)
Pascal Comelade “your labios as tulips” from el primitivismo
Opto “11.45 p.m.” from 2nd CD ALBUM (hobby industries 2004)
Susuma Yokota “The Plateau Which the Zephyr of Flora Occupies” from Symbol (2005)
Arbol “Summer and You” from Acuarela Songs 3 CD COMP
David Sylvian “a fire in the forest remixed by readymade FC” from the good son vs THE ONLY DAUGHTER CD ALBUM (samadhisound)
Yann Tiersen “Quimper 84” from la valse des monstres
Jay-jay Johanson “time won't heal” from Rush CD SINGLE (EMI Sweden 2005)
Harold Budd “Children on the Hill” from From Brussels with Love (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1981)
Eric Random “sense so lightly” from Subliminal 1980-1982

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Alena Akhmadullina - printemps - ete 2006

Fashion designer Alena Akhmadullina's latest comprises a unique runway show with animal masks and outfits inspired by Russian folktales.

dignity with a sense of humor.

Haruki Murakami at MIT - TONIGHT

This should be interesting. I've never seen him speak in person. I have read a majority of his texts. I also own Jay Rubin's metatext "Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words" that Harvill Press put out a few years ago in the UK. He is a fascinating author of contemporary fiction that tells odd stories of investigations into modern life in Japan.

I'd recommend arriving at least an hour early.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Amateur d'art - lunettes rouges

The above blog gives an interesting perspective on contemporary art.

en francais!

Friday, September 30, 2005

New Material for Tonight

My radio show is from 7-10p.m. EST.

Tonight I've got the new Peter Principle CD "Idyllatry", the new Eric Random compilation on LTM and the new Jay-Jay Johanson single RUSH ...

be sure to listen in.

OTC playlist from last week

Luke Haines “Oliver Twist” from The Oliver Twist Manifesto
Coti “P. Circolare” from Lido/Lato CD ALBUM (Poeta Negra 2004)
Eric Random “Dow Chemical Co.” from Subliminal 1980-1982
Karl Biscuit “La Morte” from Secret Love CD ALBUM (Crammed Discs 1984)
David Kristian “sound absorber” from music from the mermaid room CD ALBUM (Wikkid 2003)
Steven Brown “The Lorelei / Overture” from Decade
Howard Shore “Crash” from Cannes Film Festival 50th Anniversary Album CD
Eric Random “6.55” from Subliminal 1980-1982
Mark Van Hoen “you and me inside” from playing with time CD ALBUM (Apollo 1998)
Peter Principle “The Cloisters” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM (LTM 2005)
Encre “Hassan” from Flux CD ALBUM (Clapping Music 2004)
Anorak “Ambyam” from Starving But Happier! CD COMP (2003)
The Durutti Column “lips that would kiss madeleine” from Lips That Would Kiss Madeleine (form prayers to broken stone) (Factory Benelux)
Jacques Derrida “Destruction and Necessity” from The Night Watch COMP
Wim Mertens “Maximizing the Audience” CD ALBUM (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1984)
Howard Shore “Welcome to Annexia” from naked lunch CD ALBUM
Opto “5.10 a.m.” from 2nd CD ALBUM (hobby industries 2004)
Mitchell Akiyama “Mort Aux Vaches” CD SINGLE (Staalplaat 2005)
David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto “WORLD CITIZEN - i won't be disappointed (Long Version)” from WORLD CITIZEN - i won't be disappointed CD SINGLE
Tuxedomoon “The Laboratory (parts 1 & 2)” from The Ghost Sonata
Deadly Weapons “King Cobra” from Deadly Weapons LP ALBUM (NATO)
Francoiz Breut “la chanson d'Helene” from vingt a trente mille jours CD ALBUM (Virgin France 2001)
Susumu Yokota “l close the door upon myself” from Symbol CD ALBUM (Leaf 2005
Ian McCulloch “September Song” 10-INCH SINGLE (Korova 1984)
Desormais “Broken Images and Packets of Light” from Iambrokenandremadeiambroken... CD ALBUM (intr_version 2003)
Piano Magic “Artists' Rifles” CD ALBUM
Peter Principle “Emotions” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM
Eric Random “Regret and Despair” from Subliminal 1980-1982
Young Marble Giants “Final Day” from Colossal Youth (Les Disques Du Crepuscule)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

the Baltimore City Paper Comics Contest

The entries are up for this year's Baltimore City Paper Comics contest, click the heading and check out all the new comics!

A prior winner was The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch.

Renoir / Renoir at La Cinémathèque française

Martin Scorsese, Wong Kar-wai and Souleymane Cissé were among the guests Monday at the opening of the new exhibit "Renoir/Renoir" at 51, rue de Bercy, the new location of la Cinémathèque française.

The building is open to the public today.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Crammed Discs Blog

For up to the minute information about one of the best Belgian independent labels out there. Check here for info about the Congotronics series, Konono No. 1, Bebel Gilberto, Cibelle, DJ Dolores, Celso Fonesca, and more.

As well as older artists like: Honeymoon Killers, Tuxedomoon, Aksak Maboul, Ben Lew, Sonoko, Hector Zazou and so many others.

Cronenberg, Morentsen, Bello, Harris, Hurt...A History of Violence

Briefly: David Cronenberg's latest film "A History of Violence" is one of the best pieces of filmmaking I've seen in a while. It works well on so many levels as it deals with a social problem. The film itself is lean, there is no excess fat, everthing included is necessary to the story. Questions less of identity and more about social justice, and by extension commerce come into play. Also of note, the film was shot entirely in Canada. It is primarily set in a small town in Indiana, but it could be any middle class small town, not precisely in the U.S.A. either. Having said that, it still seems that the film is critiqing certain American ideals. Also of note is the violent inserts, during the cafe scene a man's jaw is shot off, this is to indicate the consequences of that violence, not to revel in it. The only antecedent to something of this type I can immediately think of is photographs of soliders in military hospitals during World War I (yes, its that graphic). The other point that a number of reviewers have made are the two sex scenes, one very gentle and the other quite rough, contrasting two sides of the same characters. The entire cast was very strong and the pacing just right for a film that addresses some tough social issues.

The team behind this film have been doing a number of press interviews, one with the director was recently printed in the Boston Globe, Maria Bello in the Montreal Mirror, and Viggo Morentsen was recently on Charlie Rose giving an excellent diagnosis of the current state of affairs in the U.S.A.

Friday, September 23, 2005

OkCupid! Politics Test results

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(10% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Last week's playlist

Playlist from last week: September 16, 2005

Hans Edler “langt bort” from Elektron Kukeso CD ALBUM (boy wonder 2004)
Coldcut “Peter in Space” from Warp Back to Earth 66/99 (Bungalow 1998)
Desormais “Broken Images and Packets of Light” from Iambrokenandremadeiambroken... CD ALBUM (intr_version 2003)
Arthur Russell “This is How”
Zazou/Bikaye “Bingawe” from Guilty! (Crammed Discs
David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto “Bamboo Houses” from Various: I Like It CD
Tuxedomoon “In a manner of speaking” from Holy Wars CD
De Portables “Valentine” from Rosegarden CD ALBUM ((kr-aa-k)3 2001)
Mark Tranmer “scoop of ice cream moon”
KG “S.P.E.C.T.R.E. 2 (musique pour mangas erotiques)” from Gooom Tracks Vol. 2
The Associates “Message Oblique Speech” from Fourth Drawer Down
David Coulter “Shinju (Pot Etude #3)” from INterVENTION CD
John Cale “Paris 1919” from Fragments of A Rainy Season (Hannibal 1992)
Penguin Cafe Orchestra “the sound of someone you love who's going away and it doesn't matter” from music from the penguin cafe CD ALBUM
Dream Makers “Helen's Song” from From Brussels with Love CD
Pascal Comelade & Richard Pinhas “here come the warm jets”
Calexico “Sequoia” from Aerocalexico CD
The Wake “uniform” from Assembly CD
AER “As You Wander Round” from Touch 00 CD
Herman Dune & Julie Doiron “Have you seen the moon?” from Performance #1 CD
Yann Tiersen “Secret Place” from Les Retrouvailles CD
Coti “Beben G.” from Lido/Lato CD
Martial Canterel “ascent” from confusing outsides LP
The Durutti Column “Jaqueline” from LC
Thomas Brinkmann “Olga A1” from Touch 00 CD
Locust “Folie” from Morning Light CD ALBUM (R&S Records 1997)
Kohn “bruce willis is my hero; he keeps on saving the world” from Bruce Willis
Goldfrapp “Number 1” from Supernature CD
Ryuichi Sakamoto “Bathroom (Love is the Devil)” from US CD
Colin Newman “Better Later Than Never” from It Seems
Mark Stewart “Liberty City” from Kiss The Future CD
Konono No. 1 “Kule Kule” from congotronics CD
YeEmebetatchen Selamta “about the futility of life” from ethiopiques 11

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Brazil - TONIGHT at the Brattle 8pm

This evening my most favorite film of all time is playing at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. The theme music for my radio show comes from this film. I love the references to Orson Welles' "The Trial" and Eisenstein's 'Odessa Steps' sequence. Again, this film is-- while ostensibly a critique of life under Regan and Thatcher and the bureaucratic nightmare (and having social commentary, science fiction, romance, adventure, drama, comedy, and a Christmas film)-- staggeringly prescient in so many ways. The scene in the restaurant, for instance, when Sam's mother's friend, asks him "Why don't you do something about these Terrorists?" and Sam Lowry repiles: "Its my lunch hour. Besides, Its not my department."

This screening is brought to us in conjunction with the Huntington Theater's performance of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing".


Thursday, September 22

Special Engagements
The Huntington Theatre Company and the Brattle Film Foundation Present
Brazil at 8:00
(1985) dir Terry Gilliam w/Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin [142 min]

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Greg Pak work at Inkwell Auctions for aid to Hurricane Katrina Victims

Reposting from a Greg Pak e-mail:

"Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and a slew of other comics professionals including Robot Stories director Greg Pak are auctioning of art and comics at as a fundraiser for the Red Cross to assist Hurricane Katrina victims. Please consider bidding -- all net proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

Link indicated above.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Joann Sfar discusses the Rabbi's Cat - TONIGHT

Pantheon Books again leads the way in breaking contemporary comic book artists into the mainstream. Joann Sfar's book tour finds its way to Cambridge tonight. This should be fun!

The copy reads:

JOANN SFAR discusses The Rabbi’s Cat

Harvard Book Store is pleased to announce that on Monday, September 19th Joann Sfar will discuss his new graphic novel The Rabbi’s Cat.

Produced by one of France’s most celebrated young comic artists, The Rabbi’s Cat tells the wholly unique story of a rabbi, his daughter, and their talking cat, who is a philosopher brimming with scathing humor and surprising tenderness. Rich with the colors and textures, of Algeria’s Jewish community, The Rabbi’s Cat brings a lost world vibrantly to life—a time and place where Jews and Arabs coexisted—and peoples it with endearing characters, and one unforgettable cat.

Tonight at 6:30pm

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hitchens v Galloway - the report from our man in Brooklyn

Tom Gilmore reports on the debate between Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway.

"I was sitting front row in the balcony and had a pretty good bird's
eye view of what they called 'The Grapple in the Apple.'

It was very lively, as I think everyone expected it would be. The
crowd seemed very evenly split in who they supported and, as things
like this go, nobody was there to have their mind changed. Rather,
they were there to see their side supported by the most colorful and
passionate mouth-piece for their views. Strong points from both men
were always greeted with a chorus of cheers and boos. I even thought
some of the crowd was moving close to blows at certain points. I think
New York has quite a few Hitchen types - pro-war liberals, or socially
liberal conservatives, whichever works for you, because they're
ultimately the same - more seem to reside here than I expected. Unless
of course they were all in attendance last night.

Galloway's jabs were more immediate -- and let's face it, who didn't
go for the jabs? -- and he seemed like the more seasoned debater. Even
Oona King, whom Galloway defeated in the last election, conceded that
Galloway won the debate in terms of oratory skills. Galloway accused
Hitchens of doing the impossible -- turning from a butterfly into
slug, and this was probably the best of the night.

Hitchens' on the other hand seems to work better on paper - and his
style of attack was occasionally lost in front of the audience.
Galloway seemed more comfortable and much smoother, whereas Hitchens
was sweating madly before the thing even started and his hands were
visibly shaking. At first I thought he must be nervous but then he's
always speaking in front of people so, no, it couldn't be nerves, it
had to be the drink. He kept trying to steady one hand with the other,
but then they'd both start shaking. Galloway's style was direct and
aggressive and you could understand everything he said despite the
thick Scottish accent. Hitchens on the other hand mumbled and his
pitch varied and you sometimes had to strain to follow his point. I've
seen him do the same thing on television - it's almost like he's
making a point he thinks should be obvious to everyone thus the
cocksure delivery.

Galloway said you shouldn't be surprised by 9/11 or 7/7 when you
consider the US's murderous history in the Middle East. Hitchens told
him he'd picked the wrong city and the wrong month to make that point,
to which he received a mighty round of boos.

I think Hitchens' biggest error was in continually returning to what I
think is an obscure point and it seemed largely lost on the crowd --
Galloway's supposed involvement in the Oil for Food scandal. Not many
people have followed the small details nor are they intimately aware
of Galloway's alleged connections. But Hitchens thought if he could he
paint Galloway as friendly w/ dictators it would follow that he could
easily discredit the rest of his argument. Hitchens' supporters take
it as an article of faith that Galloway is guilty as charged by
Hitchens (although Hitchens is the only one who has charged him) and
the net is already buzzing with people mimicking Hitchens' accusations
-- Galloway is "the piggy eyes of fascism" says Hitchens; yes, he is,
say his supporters with their arms in the air. Yet the Bush
administration, Hitchens' heros of the moment, are known to be close
with Uzbekistan's dictator Karimov and I have yet to hear Hitchens
address this, to name but one example. What he accusses Galloway of
he'll excuse in Bush and the neo-cons.

Towards the end Galloway hinted at physically assaulting Hitchens, to
which Hitchens welcomed the threat. Galloway called him a popinjay
once again, to which Hitchens said, That is true, I am a popinjay
according to the original Websters definition of the word. The insult
was funnier the first time, and Hitchens' retort was less funny still.

For one of the last questions, Amy Goodman asked Hitchens if he found
himself treated with more kindness by the media now that he'd become
pro-war. He flat-out refused to answer the question -- he even said he
thought it was a dumb question and he didn't want to answer it --
presumably because it makes him uncomfortable. Look at him though --
he's on every single network all the time, and this surely wasn't
happening before his conversion. He's become a celebrity from his
pro-war stance and he's enjoying the attention.

At one point Galloway seemed so bored by Hitchens that he started to
shine his shoes. Similarly, Hitchens took a cigarette and lighter out
and acted like he couldn't wait for Galloway to shut-up so he could go
outside and smoke. It's this small detail that almost encapsulates the
night; it was a show as much as anything. But behind this is of course
a very serious issue -- the most serious on the table at the moment,
which is the one thing both sides will agree on. The striking
difference between the sides, I think, is this: The pro-war people
have won, they're still winning, and they'll continue to win for as
long as we can tell. Does anyone really think the troops are coming
home anytime soon? So why are they so defensive? A handful of people
are loudly making the case against the war right now and the pro-war
crowd, in reaction, acts like they've been backed up against the wall.
I suspect they're so defensive because they know, as everyone does,
that things are going horribly in Iraq. And they also know that public
support for the war is in decline. It comes down to this - the pro-war
crowd doesn't have to spend their time doing anything other than
attacking anyone who speaks against the war. No, their work has been
done for them by the 2 most powerful nations.

Who won? Like I said, I think Galloway relishes the public debate and
seemed more at home. But Hitchens' supporters will obviously tell you
Hitchens won. They're both characters - clown-like at times - but I
also think both are dead serious about their positions, and about each
other. I don't think Galloway is the perfect spokesman for the
anti-war movement, but right about now he's the making the case
against war louder than just about anyone else. And I'll take his
position over the respectable but cautious anti-war Democrats who say,
"Well, maybe we should start bringing the troops home around October
2006," a date we know from experience will soon be January 07 and on."

Thanks again to Tom Gilmore for the report.

Robert Wise passed away - age 91

I first learned about the scope and diversity of his work while reading about his early days at RKO, where he directed and edited some films Val Lewton produced. An excellent book about this period is: "Fearing the Dark" The Val Lewton Career
by Edmund G. Bansak Foreword by Robert Wise
ISBN 0-7864-1709-9
53 photographs, bibliography, index
581pp. softcover 2003 [1995]
more information about this book is at:

from the Guardian Unlimited:
Robert Wise, Hollywood legend, dies at 91

Xan Brooks
Thursday September 15, 2005

Guardian Unlimited
Robert Wise, director of The Sound of Music, died yesterday at the age of 91. The four-time Oscar-winner was reported to have suffered heart failure and passed away at the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles.

Wise's Hollywood career spanned seven decades. The youngest son of an Indiana meatpacker, Wise came to Hollywood as a teenager and took a job as a message boy at RKO studios. In the 1930s he worked as a sound effects editor on the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals Top Hat and The Gay Divorcee. In 1941 he edited Orson Welles's landmark Citizen Kane and collaborated with Welles again on the 1942 drama The Magnificent Ambersons.

Wise made his directing debut with the cult 1943 horror film Curse of the Cat People and worked in various genres throughout his career. However, he remains most closely associated with the musical. He won an Oscar for co-directing West Side Story alongside Jerome Robbins and picked up another for his 1965 blockbuster The Sound of Music.

His last major film was 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture, after which he slipped into semi-retirement. He was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute in 1998, and directed a TV-movie, A Storm in Summer, in 2000.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005,3858,5286192-3156,00.html

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

broadcast 27 - Katrina's Wake

Yes, that's me in the role of the Conspiracy Theorist in the most recent broadcast of the Theory of Everything. (link can be found to the right of the screen) The unfortunate thing is most of what I say really has already been said by various websites on the internet.


Friday, September 09, 2005

plans for le weekend

Still recovering from a busy week. It looks like the coming weekend won't be a picnic either. I hope to check out the Harvard yard sale tomorrow and possibly catch a film later in the day. Sunday night is my friend Vin's birthday, which may entail a visit to River Gods for various festivities. This week's edition of the Montreal Mirror has Brazilian Actor/Musician Seu Jorge on the cover, I believe he is due to play a the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston soon. Also, Nouvelle Vague are on tour. It may be a good idea to catch them this time round because the will perform a number of covers to be on a forthcoming release (Blondie, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, New Order and Bauhaus and the Smiths). It would appear that Bossa Nova covers are definately in style. I also want to check out the Degas exhibit at the Sackler museum. That reminds me, the Harvard Film Archive's new calendar starts tonight. They'll be doing a retrospective of Louis Malle's work for most of this month. I'll put together a 'highlights' of the schedule shortly. Also of note: the lastest issue of the New Left Review has a book review by Jonathan Rosenbaum of a new compilation of French Film Critic Serge Daney's work. I must get a hold of that shortly.

I'll be on the air tonight playing mostly older material. The new Goldfrapp "Supernature" disc is already out in Europe to stellar reviews. Hopefully the disc will be released here shortly.

Bonne chance!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

George Galloway, MP US TOUR - starting in Boston!

Stand Up and Be Counted: No to War and Occupation
The George Galloway US Tour
September 13-24: Boston, New York, Toronto, Madison, Chicago,
Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.

All the details are here:

BOSTON: September 13, Faneuil Hall, 6:30pm
Tickets available at Ticketmaster for $10
Ticketmaster by Phone - 1-866-468-7619 ask for the George Galloway,
MP Tour

Seating is limited to first 900!

on Tuesday Galloway heads to New York City for a debate with Christopher Hitchens.
My friend Tom Gilmore will be there to cover the scene.

George Galloway is Respect party Member of Parliament for Bethnal
Green and Bow in East London. He recently electrified the United
States with his appearance at a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations hearing on May 17, when he turned the proceedings into
a condemnation of the war in Iraq. CNN's Wolf Blitzer described
Galloway's speech in the Senate as "a blistering attack on US
senators rarely heard" in Washington.

Galloway's new book is Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington (The New
Press) and will be published and timed for national release in
bookstores in conjunction with the tour.

National Tour sponsored by: The New Press, International Socialist
Review, Center for Economic Research and Social Change, the National
Council of Arab Americans

Boston Co-Sponsors: Traprock Peace Center

THE BEAST (LA BETE) coming to Coolidge Corner

An upcoming midnight screening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts is The Beast (La Bete) directed by Walerian Borowczyk.

I first saw this film at the Harvard Film Archive a few years ago. Having seen a brief clip on UK television regarding Jarvis Cocker of the band Pulp, describing this as the first Erotic film he'd ever seen in a proper seedy cinema. Jarvis recalls how it was the first time he'd seen a woman's breasts in motion, 'reacting to gravity'. This film is definately a cut above a lot of what's out there, despite its dubious history. It is also one of the funniest films I've ever seen.

Saturday, September 17, 2005.


from the distributor, cult epics, website:

"Once upon a time in the 18th century a beast lived in the woods of an aristocratic estate. And this beast, possessed of a giant phallus and an insatiable lust, set upon the beautiful young lady of the house. Two centuries later, the tale of the beast would return in the dreams of an American heiress contracted to carry the male descendant of the same crumbling aristocratic family and their secret.
Controversial rework of The Beauty And The Beast, which was forbidden for 25 years."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Articles about Hurricane Katrina

The best I've read so far:

We are on our own
by Darryl Pinckney,16441,1561997,00.html

the latest:

Team Bush's Bad Day in Wyoming
by Peter Preston,16441,1562733,00.html

Left to sink or swim
by Gary Younge,3604,1562649,00.html

The Guardian Unimited's Special Report on Hurricane Katrina:,16441,1560620,00.html

And a prescient word from Mike Davis:
from September 24, 2004
Poor, Black and Left Behind

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina & The Arts

here is a repost from the ArtsJournal:

Hurricane Katrina & The Arts

Some Ways You Can Help

I am writing from Swine Palace, the professional theatre company affiliated with the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am hoping you can pass on to your readers information regarding an arts-related unified disaster relief effort. As the reports from New Orleans continue to come in, it is clear that South Louisiana faces a dire situation as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Here in Baton Rouge, we are expecting our population to double in the next few days as more evacuees and displaced citizens are relocated here.

Currently, Swine Palace is working on a number of ways to service the many evacuees in Baton Rouge and further participate in the disaster relief efforts. As such, we would like to appeal to our fellow arts organizations across the country to participate in what we are calling the Arts United for Hurricane Relief program. We are asking that organizations consider ways to solicit hurricane relief donations. Some of the ways that they might participate is by placing a donation jar in the their lobby, including an insert or ad in the program, including a link on their website or possibly donating the proceeds of a special performance. There are a variety of funds to which the proceeds can be donated including the American Red Cross (, The Hurricane Katrina Displaced Residents Fund or the Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund both of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation ( or the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund of the LSU Foundation. We are certainly not asking that any organization jeopardize their own funding efforts, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated. We are currently setting-up a link on our website ( which will provide additional information, links and downloads as well as a list of all the organizations that participate. In the meantime, organizations who would like to participate can contact me at 225-578-9274 or

Thank you for your assistance.

Kristin Sosnowsky
Managing Director
Swine Palace Productions
Reilly Theatre
Tower Dr. - LSU
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Also of note, at Mass MoCA all the proceeds from the Sept. 4th concert will go to Hurricane Relief.
Sun September 4 7:30pm
Dance Party

New Orleans R & B
Walter "Wolfman" Washington
Mixing up funk, soul, and blues with the classic Big Easy R&B sound, Walter "Wolfman" Washington storms into town to raise the roof and lower inhibitions at a dance party not to be missed.

"A mess of straight-up soul music the way they used to do it. Sweaty funk grooves, a busy brass section huffing and puffing, late-night love songs, and heartfelt vocals that follow no script because the Wolfman is just feeling it too much." -Boston Phoenix

Courtyard C or Hunter Center $14 in advance/$17 day of show

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Hotel Venus

Japan Times article above.

Interesting Japanese film directed by Hirota Takahashi, with Korean dialogue and set in Vladivostok.

IS this touring any festivals in the U.S.A.?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Factory Records DVD Box Set

Finally checked Liberation's website for the first time in a while.

It led me to the article below and this discovery. Must investigate further.
Musique. Le label compile l'imagerie rock des années 80.
La chaîne du froid de la Factory
Par Philippe AZOURY
vendredi 01 juillet 2005 (Liberation - 06:00)
Umbrellas in the Sun
Crepuscule/Factory Benelux DVD 1979-1987. LTM. 1 DVD, 24 €.
Factory Records DVD Box Fac 429.
Double DVD, 24 €.

The films that got away by Scott Foundas

Good article by Scott Foundas on the film distribution nightmare.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Article on The Plague in America

Excellent comment from Mark Morford this week:

Bring out your dead -- the plague is already here
By Mark Morford at the San Francisco Chronicle

"[A] misguided, lost and carnal individual... filled with vexation and ignorance of God [who will] gladly cheer the anti-christ."
-- Christian Resource Network

Morford writes like a man possessed by demented angels. His twice-weekly column routinely features jaw-dropping, unflinchingly liberal prose so biting and sweet and innovative it amazes us that a mainstream daily would keep this guy on the payroll.
-- Detroit Metro Times

About the Author:

Mark Morford is a columnist for He is also a yoga teacher and fiction writer and an outstanding parallel parker and fervent wine devotee and former smoker and former LA rock-god wannabe and careful insinuator and occasional unfair mudslinger and frequent skeptic and sporadic true believer and paradoxical contrarian and tattooed love-monkey and vehement non-conservative and casual coffee drinker and ardent dog lover and medium sleeper and comparison shopper and funky subtle prurient neo-pagan gleaner of screaming delicious naked nuances.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

more Brainstorm tonight (River Gods Central Sq. Cambridge)

I'm doing the early set from 8-10pm. Expect to hear the New Music and lots of older goodies, "Ascent" by Martial Canterel next to "XOYO" from The Passage. Be sure to stick around for James Kraus and Benjamen.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yann Tiersen - Montreal in November

1/11/2005 YANN TIERSEN MONTREAL (Québec) - La Tulipe

2/11/2005 YANN TIERSEN MONTREAL (Québec) - La Tulipe

Two mid-week shows. Its doubtful that I'll make it up North for the concerts. One never knows, though as my birthday is also in early November.

And that review is still forthcoming...

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Business of Books by André Schiffrin

I have finally got round to reading André Schiffrin's excellent book on the impact business practices have had on publishing in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. This book is required reading for anyone who cares how knowledge is disseminated to the public. Market Censorship and Focus Groups effectively kill any ideas that appear fresh and new. It is only through independent publishing houses and booksellers that unique ideas and different perspectives on life are allowed the time of day. From my perspective, of working in college radio for 11+ years, the public needs access to varied arenas to nurture alternate views. Too often, people assume the only kind of music that's out there is played on the larger commerical stations. This kind of mass marketing of ideas and sounds crushes public taste by 'dumbing it down' and not allowing it to develop. People need to have the opportunity to gravitate towards sounds and ideas they prefer. It should be a fundamentally organic process, not something which is force fed to people. How can one determine what appeals to himself or herself if he or she does not have access to a variety of choices? People are effectively crippled if they cannot discuss matters sensibly. How can a person make an informed decision if he or she is denied information? André Schiffrin's book deals with all of these ideas by his personal journey through contemporary publishing. He has produced an essential text for studying the way the culture industry works.

from the Verso website (

The Business of Books: How the International Conglomerates took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read
André Schiffrin

Postwar American publishing has been ruthlessly transformed since André Schiffrin joined its ranks in 1956. Gone is a plethora of small but prestigious houses that often put ideas before prof it in their publishing decisions, sometimes even deliberately. Now six behemoths share 80% of the market and profit margin is all.

André Schiffrin can write about these changes with authority because he witnessed them from inside a conglomerate, as head of Pantheon, co-founded by his father bought (and sold) by Random House. And he can write about them with candor because he is no longer on the inside, having quit corporate publishing in disgust to setup a flourishing independent house, the New Press. Schiffrin's evident affection for his authors sparkles throughout a story woven around publishing the work of those such as Studs Terkel, Noam Chomsky, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Juliet Mitchell, R.D.Laing, Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson.

Part-memoir, part-history, here is an account of the collapsing standards of contemporary publishing that is irascible, acute and passionate. An engaging counterpoint to recent, celebratory memoirs of the industry written by those with more stock options and fewer scruples than Schiffrin, The Business of Books warns of the danger to adventurous, intelligent publishing in the bullring of today's marketplace.

"It is at once a riveting chronicle of the qualitataive rise and fall of the American reader and a very personal book." – Village Voice

"Andre Schiffrin is an old-fashioned New York publisher, the sort that loves and believes in books. Not just best-sellers, but little books with big ideas." – The Times

"André Schiffrin presents a sombre portrait of American publishing where the pursuit of profit has strangled alI creativity." – Nouvel Observateur

André Schiffrin was, for thirty years, Publisher at Pantheon. He is the Director of the New Press, which he founded in 1993. He contributes a regular column on publishing to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

re: Go-Kart Mozart review --

Thanks for the correction, I should have said that Manfred Mann covered "Blinded By the Light" in the 70s.

"Mann formed a new jazz-rock group called 'Manfred Mann Chapter Three'. The latter quickly evolved into 'Manfred Mann's Earth Band', a synth-driven rock 'n' roll band which scored a U.S. No. 1 hit in the 1970s with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light," popularizing the then unknown singer-songwriter." -- off a Manfred Mann website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Go Kart Mozart - Tearing Up the Album Charts

Go Kart Mozart
Tearing Up The Album Charts

Go Kart Mozart makes music in the style of brit-pop. The band hails from Birmingham and was founded by Lawrence Hayward. Their name comes from a line from the lyrics of Blinded by the Light, a song by Manfred Mann. Lawrence is primarily known for his work in the band Felt from the ‘80s. After the Felt years, he formed a pop band that lasted for three albums called Denim. His latest, Go Kart Mozart, has just released its second album “Tearing Up the Album Charts”. Lawrence is a bit of a cult figure in the UK music scene, having been referenced and praised by the likes of Pulp, Belle and Sebastian and St. Etienne, among other bands. He still remains kind of a misfit and a recluse.

“Tearing Up the Album Charts” captures his love of suburbia and pop music in an uncanny way. It is a clear homage to glam music of the ‘70s and carries on in a DIY appropriation of that style—all catchy guitar riffs and keyboard solos. One song on the album, 'Fuzzy Duck' is a litany of '60s and '70s obscure band names taking in Bacon Fat, Plastic Penny and Ultimate Spinach. This should ground the listener in the appreciation of trash culture that Lawrence revels in. He explores the jaded and empty spaces of suburbia through short pop songs that rarely exceed two minutes. The entire album lasts precisely 33 minutes, which is perfectly respectable for a pop disc. Most of the songs come from Lawrence’s personal experience as mediated through the prism of popular culture. That said, most of these songs deal with being unemployed and going out getting wasted on drugs. Crystal Meth abuse is the subject of “At the DDU”, while “Donna and The Dopefiends” has to do with the relationship he has with his female drug dealer. The interview at the bottom of this review mentions that the song “Transgressions” is about a trend for spraying Lynx body lotion on to your tongue for a cheap high. Lawrence also discusses ‘70s pop ephemera, the song, “Listening to Marmalade” regards the ‘70s band “Marmalade” in a fond light. An album like this is a nostalgic speed freak’s trip through the underside of decadent nowhere towns in the UK.


Track Listing:

Glorious Chorus
Summer Is Here
Electric Rock & Roll
Listening To Marmalade
At The DDU
On A Building Site
Fuzzy Duck
Delta Echo Echo Beta Alpha Neon Kettle
Donna & The Dopefiends
England & Wales
City Centre

Tonight -at River Gods in Central Square (Cambridge)

Another night in -- I will DJ the late set tonight, from 11pm to 1am or so. DJ SO is starting the night off, with Brainstorm co-ordinator James Kraus doing the lynchpin set in the middle. Benji is in Beijing on Business. I hope he returns from China with more than a bootleg of an American 'Country' singer's album.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cancelled - Jay-Jay Johanson

Unfortunately I receieved an e-mail last night saying the NYC show is cancelled. I don't know if he's still playing concerts in Canada or if the entire tour is due to be rescheduled. As things are now, my plans for Monday are in limbo.

Heart of the Festival - Cannes via agnes b. - French Film Festival in Boston

This DVD can be found in agnes b. stores and online. It is a 56 minute documentary accompanied by two shorter visual documents (slightly over 20 minutes in length each) compiled and arranged by Gilles Jacob, the president of the Cannes Film Festival. To my knowledge, this will be shown several times at the upcoming French Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I don't know if agnes b. is one of the sponsors of the festival or not. However, considering that this film is on the schedule, it seems like a good fit to offer the DVD for purchase in the Museum Store. Agnes b's film production company, Love Streams, has produced a good stable of contemporary, independent films (Gaspar Noe's "Seul Contre Tous", Claire Denis' "Trouble Every Day", Patrice Chereau's "Son Frere" and Emilie Deleuze's "Mister V"). I intend to look investigate shortly.

The Boston French Film Festival starts this Thursday, July 7, 2005.
36 Quai des Orfèvres
8:00 PM
Opening Night Film
36 Quai des Orfèvres by Olivier Marchal (2004, France, 110 min.). A box-office hit in France, 36 Quai des Orfèvres pits Daniel Auteuil against Gérard Depardieu in a taut, atmospheric thriller set in the shadowy world of a Parisian police force fighting organized crime. When their superior tells them that his choice of a successor will be based on who can bring down a gang currently causing havoc, he sets off a brutal competition between the two division heads, Vrinks (Auteuil) and Klein (Depardieu). Each has his connections into the gang world, and doesn't hesitate to use them against the other. Beautifully photographed in rich, dark tones with slivers of silvery light, 36 Quai des Orfèvres is both an homage and an updating of France's strong tradition of crime films. In French with English subtitles. Description adapted from the Film Society at Lincoln Center.
Tickets: MFA members, seniors, and students $12; general admission $15.

The copy from the agnes b. website reads:

The "Heart of the Festival" DVD
This DVD is an anthology of the greatest moments of the Cannes Film Festival narrated by its president, Gilles Jacob who lifts the curtain on historical backstage secrets and events of The Cannes Film Festival in an exceptional compilation of three segments which, thanks to their star-studded cast, form a passionate and moving history of the Festival. Its myths and rites, its legendary participants, prizes and unexpected happenings are both touching and hilarious. Its evenings of elegance and glamour and its magical and surprising encounters are featured. This DVD offers a unique opportunity to enjoy and enjoy again, to witness unforgettable images of major stars and to hear the greatest moviemakers in the history of cinema discuss the secrets of their art. "I love movies; I say it from my heart! I am very happy to share my passion through this outstanding DVD collection," says agnes b. "The Heart of the Festival" DVD, part of the "I Love Movies" Collection of agnes b. Total running time is 160 minutes, format for all zones.