Friday, January 21, 2011

Record Review: OFF! - First Four EPs

In many respects Keith Morris remains the voice of first-wave American hardcore. Ian MacKaye may be more ideologically righteous, H.R. more cross-culturally versed, Bob Mould and Grant Hart more technically nuanced, and the late-great D. Boon more politically engaged and unpredictable. But as the voice of late-70s era Black Flag—and later, as frontman of the Circle Jerks—Morris helped define the genre’s then-burgeoning dynamic of youthful rebellion and pent-up aggression. As far as I’m concerned, “Nervous Breakdown” is not only the inception point but also the epitome of hardcore punk, and 33 years later it remains every bit the contentious clarion call it was as the Panic moniker gave way to Black Flag in late 1978. Much of this has to do with Morris, of course, who delivered one of the era’s most lasting and invigorating vocal performances on the band’s debut release, embodying the restless fury that Southern California was then breeding in its adolescent community. That Morris only lasted a couple years in Black Flag is no surprise; what has continued to impress, however, is the man’s resilience and dedication to the movement that spawned this suburban blitzkrieg in the first place. After many failed attempts at officially reuniting the Circle Jerks as an actual recording entity over the past couple of years, Morris instead opted for an entirely new band. Operating under the awkward banner OFF!, Morris’s new group traffics in two-chord, one-minute hardcore like it never went out of style, and as its title suggests, their first widely available release, First Four EPs, gathers the entirety of their output to date.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Panda Bear - "Atiba Song"

From the age of about 12 to 17, my life was essentially skateboarding and skateboarding alone. If I wasn't out riding after school then I was at home watching one of hundreds of skate videos that I bought, dubbed or otherwise procured in any fashion then available to me. In fact, my first exposure to many of what were to become my favorite bands were facilitated by these very VHS compilations. Needless to say, indie-rock (not to mention skateboarding) has changed quite a bit in the last decade, but part of the ongoing 80s/90s nostalgia fad will, for me at least, forever be wrapped up in the first time I heard Chavez's "You Faded", Palace Brothers' "I Am a Cinematographer", Misfits' "London Dungeon", and "Wrong" from the recently reunited Archers of Loaf, on these various skate videos.

In other words, not much looped-based psychedelia found it's way onto these vids, but as technology has progressed, so too have tastes and the odd accompanying visual aesthetic. This sea change is pretty blatantly evident in this excerpt from a new skate video by Ty Evans and the titular Atiba Jefferson (via Altered Zones). Soundtracked by an exclusive new track from shape-shifting Animal Collective member Panda Bear, the clip marries montage skate footage to Noah Lennox's woozy, wordless sampedelica. This is just one more reason to get amped for Tomboy, Panda Bear's ridiculously anticipated new album (now coming April 19th) and follow-up to 2007s scene-altering Person Pitch.

Friday, January 14, 2011

R.I.P. Trish Keenan

Utterly tragic. Via Warp:

"It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9am this morning in hospital. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care. Our thoughts go out to James, Martin, her friends and her family and we request that the public respect their wishes for privacy at this time. This is an untimely tragic loss and we will miss Trish dearly - a unique voice, an extraordinary talent and a beautiful human being. Rest in Peace."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Essentials (Film): The 1990s

• 1940s •1950s • 1960s • 1970s •
1980s • 1990s • 2000s

Close-Up / Abbas Kiarostami (1990)
Goodfellas / Martin Scorsese (1990)
The Match Factory Girl / Aki Kaurismäki (1990)
Metropolitan / Whit Stillman (1990)
No, or the Vainglory of Command / Manoel de Oliveira (1990)
No Fear, No Die / Claire Denis
Nouvelle Vague / Jean-Luc Godard (1990)
To Sleep with Anger / Charles Burnett (1990)
White Hunter, Black Heart / Clint Eastwood (1990)
Barton Fink / Joel Coen (1991)
La Belle Noiseuse / Jacques Rivette (1991)
A Brighter Summer Day / Edward Yang (1991)
Days of Being Wild / Wong Kar-wai (1991)
The Double Life of Véronique / Krzysztof Kieślowski (1991)
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf / Léos Carax (1991)
My Own Private Idaho / Gus Van Sant (1991)
Raise the Red Lantern / Zhang Yimou (1991)
Van Gogh / Maurice Pialat (1991)
Actress/Centre Stage / Stanley Kwan (1992)
Husbands and Wives / Woody Allen (1992)
Lessons of Darkness / Werner Herzog (1992)
Life, and Nothing More… / Abbas Kiarostami (1992)
The Long Day Closes / Terence Davies (1992)
The Quince Tree Sun / Victor Erice (1992)
Reservoir Dogs / Quentin Tarantino (1992)
A Tale of Winter / Éric Rohmer (1992)
Unforgiven / Clint Eastwood (1992)
Abraham’s Valley / Manoel de Oliveira (1993)
The Age of Innocence / Martin Scorsese (1993)
The Birth of Love / Philippe Garrel (1993)
Blue / Krzysztof Kieślowski (1993)
The Blue Kite / Tian Zhuangzhuang (1993)
Calendar / Atom Egoyan (1993)
Carlito's Way / Brian DePalma (1993)
Caro diario / Nanni Moretti (1993)
Dazed and Confused / Richard Linklater (1993)
D'est / Chantal Akerman (1993)
The Last Bolshevik / Chris Marker (1993)
Madadayo / Akira Kurosawa (1993)
Naked / Mike Leigh (1993)
A Perfect World / Clint Eastwood (1993)
The Piano / Jane Campion (1993)
The Puppetmaster / Hou Hsiao-Hsien (1993)
Short Cuts / Robert Altman (1993)
Smoking/No Smoking / Alain Resnais (1993)
Sonatine / Takeshi Kitano (1993)
Ashes of Time / Wong Kar-wai (1994)
Chungking Express / Wong Kar-wai (1994)
Cold Water / Olivier Assayas (1994)
Crumb / Terry Zwigoff (1994)
Exotica / Atom Egoyan (1994)
In the Heat of the Sun / Jiang Wen (1994)
JLG/JLG / Jean-Luc Godard (1994)
Joan the Maid / Jacques Rivette (1994)
Pulp Fiction / Quentin Tarantino (1994)
Red / Krzysztof Kieślowski (1994)
Sátántangó / Béla Tarr (1994)
Through the Olive Trees / Abbas Kiarostami (1994)
U.S. Go Home / Claire Denis (1994)
Vive L'amour / Tsai Ming-liang (1994)
Before Sunrise / Richard Linklater (1995)
The Bridges of Madison County / Clint Eastwood (1995)
La Cérémonie / Claude Chabrol (1995)
The Convent / Manoel de Oliveira (1995)
Dead Man / Jim Jarmusch (1995)
Fallen Angels / Wong Kar-wai (1995)
From the Journals of Jean Seberg / Mark Rappaport (1995)
God’s Comedy / João César Monteiro (1995)
Kicking and Screaming / Noah Baumbach (1995)
Maborosi / Hirokazu Koreeda (1995)
Safe / Todd Haynes (1995)
Showgirls / Paul Verhoeven (1995)
Ulysses’ Gaze / Theodoros Angelopoulos (1995)
Underground / Emir Kusturica (1995)
The White Balloon / Jafar Panahi (1995)
Bottle Rocket / Wes Anderson (1996)
Breaking the Waves / Lars von Trier (1996)
Crash / David Cronenberg (1996)
Drifting Clouds / Aki Kaurismäki (1996)
Fargo / Joel Coen (1996)
Goodbye South, Goodbye / Hou Hsiao-Hsien (1996)
Irma Vep / Olivier Assayas (1996)
A Moment of Innocence / Mohsen Makhmalbaf (1996)
Secrets & Lies / Mike Leigh (1996)
Boogie Nights / Paul Thomas Anderson (1997)
The Eel / Shohei Imamura (1997)
Fireworks / Takeshi Kitano (1997)
Happy Together / Wong Kar-wai (1997)
The Ice Storm / Ang Lee (1997)
Jackie Brown / Quentin Tarantino (1997)
The Life of Jesus / Bruno Dumont (1997)
Mother and Son / Alexandr Sokurov (1997)
Princess Mononoke / Hayao Miyazaki (1997)
The River / Tsai Ming-liang (1997)
Starship Troopers / Paul Verhoeven (1997)
The Sweet Hereafter / Atom Egoyan (1997)
Taste of Cherry / Abbas Kiarostami (1997)
Xiao Wu / Jia Zhangke (1997)
Dr. Akagi / Shohei Imamura (1998)
An Autumn Tale / Éric Rohmer (1998)
Flowers of Shanghai / Hou Hsiao-Hsien (1998)
Histoire(s) du Cinema / Jean-Luc Godard (1998)
The Hole / Tsai Ming-liang (1998)
Inquietude / Manoel de Oliveira (1998)
Khrustalyov, My Car! / Aleksei German (1998)
Rushmore / Wes Anderson (1998)
The Thin Red Line / Terence Malick (1998)
All About My Mother / Pedro Almodóvar (1999)
Being John Malkovich / Spike Jonze (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut / Stanley Kubrick (1999)
Magnolia / Paul Thomas Anderson (1999)
Rosetta / Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne (1999)
Sicilia! / Jean-Marie Straub & Daniele Huillet (1999)
Time Regained / Raoúl Ruiz (1999)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Podcast: End of Radio #31 - The Best Albums of 2010

"Closing out 2010 with their annual list of the best albums of the year, your End of Radio co-hosts Jordan Cronk and Brian Webster attempt to contextualize many of the themes, fads and random narratives which made up what many consider to be the best year for music in years."