Man, where the fuck have I been? Right? Layin' low, bro 'n' hos, but like the groundhog deep in its hole, the wombmaster keeps digging his grungy paws through the mud and dirt in search of the ultimate cosmic poop. Hope everyone had a nice enough Mother's Day. I told mine I love her and stuff. To a close friend who recently lost his (just three weeks before Mom's Day), you're in my thoughts, brother.
Been immersed in the cosmic jism of creative energy as often as possible in 07, even if only from a spectator's view. Special Sonik Mentions of Affection to Sapat's fantastic Mortise and Tenon on Siltbreeze, a must hear for followers of Valley of Ashes, Bard Pond, Trad Gras Ochs Stenar lovers and other masters of the subtle drone buildup and hypno-prog. WELCOME BACK SILTBREEZE! And check this out! There's even a SILTBLOG which covers a lot of similar stuff as Womblife but does so more regularly and just plane better! Also on SB, totally digging Times New Viking, whose Present the Paisley Reich is a raucous blast of boy/girl pop harmonies, fuzz eruptions, no-fo production value and most importantly, catchy-as-cow-shit hooks.
Another Special Sonik Mention of Affection to the fine folks over at Not Not Fun, who recently spawned the second year of their essential split singles collection, the Bored Fortress Series. So far in '07 it features fuckin-a 33 RPM splits by Blues Control/Heavy Winged, GHQ/Ex-Cocaine, The Goslings/Yellow Swans and Dreamcatcher/Birds of Delay. Of course the sucker's closed already, but folks might wanna keep an eye out in your favorite record haunts and fileshare programs. The pick of the litter so far is Blues Control/Heavy Winged. The former conjures a dark swirl of percussive shwoops and thumps along with oceanic rumbles of organ and distortion. Heavy Winged brings the skull-driving repetitious sludge like Glenn Branca fronting the Melvins...really, really fucking sweet... Been going back to Heavy Winged's Echoes of Silence CD-R on Deep Water lately, which is still avilable if thirsting for more HW swag. Not Not Fun just dropped their first vinyl LP if I got my facts straight. Bet it's a good'un.
...which reminds me, sad to report that I will NOT be attending Foxy Digitalis's Bottled Smoke festival in LA over Memorial Day Weekend. Fucker's gonna be huge, too. The aforementioned Heavy Winged, Keijo, Fathmount, The North Sea, Xela and about 20 other bands all on one stage (well two actually). Most of it will take place at LA's Echo Curio. I really hoped to attend, but sometimes God's got other plans, in this case a family reunion and work. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Bottled Smoke CD-R series that helped fund this shindig. Just received the last batch in the male today, including volumes by Seht, Robedoor, The Futurians and Tarentel. Oh yeah, it's sold out. Ya snooze ya lose?
Some films and shows I've been digging lately:
The Sopranos on HBO -- Three more episodes of the final season then it's gone. This is the best show on TV, pretty much the best ensemble drama of all time. So many things--tragic, hilarious and confounding--have happened to this family and its friends, as the cancer grows more deadly from the inside with each passing year. There are decisions that were made years ago that still haunt the present. The last dozen or so episodes have yielded so much fruit about life today, addiction, sexuality, domination/submission, machismo, criminality/morality, fate/chance and the most dormant desires for positive growth in the face of negative stagnation. It's gripping and absurd. It's life. The Sopranos provides us with a fairly real glimpse into the workings of a criminal organization that, like in The Godfather or Mean Streets (or the Middle East or the White house), makes its struggles accessible to all who just want a piece of the pie and to keep their families safe in the process, while maybe also wondering "is this right? And if it isn't, what can be done to make it so?" In the case of Sopranos, it's too late for most of its parade of damaged souls. For the rest of us maybe there's still time.
Inland Empire -- David Lynch's 3 hour digital video mind melt about the danger's of Hollywood, sexual slavery and your own goddamned fantasies is a dark wonder of light and sound, as beautiful and ugly as any film I've seen in the last five years. Unforgettable in fact, with a definitive closing credits sequence (set to the music of Nina Simone) that will shake you and make you, let's admit it, proud to call yourself human. How often does that happen in a Lynch movie?
Little Children -- Director Todd Field must have learned quite a bit when he played the piano player in Stanley Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut. The characters in his movies have a tense underbelly of angst and neurosis, but on the outside they try their best to fit in to their environment and keep functioning. Little Children, which refers to much more than just the many kids in the cast, is a Raymond Carveresque story about pain in the unreal world aka suburbia, feeling lost, and dealing with it all by going deeper into the woods. Not necessarily a good family movie, but if looking for something as gripping as Happiness, but with a lot more heart and affection, this one's a worthy rental.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan -- I dig this movie for the most part as a good way to both humanize and lampoon idiot foreigners (and idiot 'Mericans too of course) and The American Dream. The DVD packaging and presentation is a marvel of faux cheese crappiness, with some truly excellent extras, my favorite being the parody of Baywatch that easily destroys the originals 5 year run in terms of cultural importance. The American TV promo spots, including a doozy with Martha Stewart on Leno, are also very funny and even kind of perverted in a fun and innocent "we make groop sexy time now?" way. Wah-wah-wee-wah!
Grindhouse aka Planet Terror and Deathproof -- As expected, this double bill hasn't done too hot at the box office, but I think it's still in some theaters. It's not even a real grindhouse movie since it has a big budget and all its cheese is purely by design, but that doesn't matter. It's a blast. Planet Terror is the best horror shlock Robert Rodriguez has ever helmed, and Rose McGowan has been waiting for a role like this all her life...ya know...one that fully utilizes her assets. Death Proof on the other hand is equal parts chatty annoyance and mind-blowing misogynist destruction, but with a twist. Kurt Russel's character, Stuntman Mike, would be a fucking hoot if he wasn't so authentically sociopathic. That's what Tarantino does best, takes cartoon characters and makes them three dimensional living/breathing human beings (or monsters). Special mention to the excellent faux previews that separate both features, especially Don't! and Thanksgiving (which beats anything guest director Eli Roth has done since Cabin Fever).
That's it for now, dear friends. Have fun in LA, those of you who can make it! Talk soon.
np: Times New Viking "New Times, New Hope"