Some people are born to be rock stars. Jerry McGill was one of them. He was talented, devilishly handsome, and had the kind of charisma that can’t be faked. He recorded a single for Sun Records, and it was a minor hit in 1959.
I love punk rock, always have and always will. When I was younger I had a tough time fitting in because I was awkward. It took me a while to understand that I needed to be myself and people would accept that a lot more quickly than any alternatives. During my middle school years I became really good friends with some punks and they told me to just be myself because that would be best for me. Fred, Nick, Iggy, and Daniella accepted me for who I was, a nerd. Well, a pretty badass nerd.
Among the first run of American New Wave bands, the story of Game Theory is among the most quietly heartbreaking. While the ambitious musical and lyrical output of creative mastermind Scott Miller was never destined for an arena-sized audience, a combination of questionable management and bad record deals kept their music from an audience larger than the most ardent true believers.
Omnivore Records’ lush and expansive reissues are bringing Game Theory’s shimmering, melancholy pop to the widest audience it’s received to date. Dead Center, the second album they’ve repackaged and remastered, finds the 1983 iteration of Game Theory at an interesting point in their musical evolution. The production sounds more polished than on the home-recorded Dead Center, with a stronger low end and a greater sonic balance. Their arrangements show a greater sense of ambition, as well as the musical skill to back it up.
Every time I hear someone complaining that rock and roll is dead, I cringe. This proclamation is usually accompanied by a rant against Miley Cyrus or whatever Top 40 artist is being hyped at the moment. Which leads me to wonder: is the concern that rock and roll is dead, or that it’s no longer at the top of the Billboard charts?
Any handwringing over the fate of rock and roll quickly falls apart in the presence of Ty Segall. For one thing, he’s clearly beholden to his forebears while still sounding vital and original. He also puts out a lot of music on a frequent basis. And he releases honest to goodness singles. Granted, a lot of bands release singles these days, especially via iTunes, but what makes Ty Segall’s singles special is that they come with B-sides, which, if we’re going the traditional route, is way more rock and roll because it evokes the format in which rock music ascended the charts: the vinyl 45.
By Tyler Hodg
November 29, 2014
In support of their latest effort Commonwealth (review), Sloan arrived at The Phoenix in Toronto on November 29 to deliver a lengthy, energetic rock show—and man, was it ever good.
Although the band is originally from Halifax, Sloan has been based in Toronto for quite some time now. The group played two sets for the excited, hometown-ish crowd and departed from the stage proving they are still one of the best rock acts in the world. “The Commonwealth Tour” saw the band travel across North America for 22 shows, with this show concluding their venture.
OK, full disclosure: as a sort of sommelier of the strange, I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a. Fantastic Planet) until recently. But never fear, because this should prove to even the most jaded, freaky, boogie children that it’s never too late to discover something mind blowingly cool. If you haven’t seen this gorgeously animated Science Fiction philosophical allegory, seek it out immediately. Do not pass go; do not collect 200 dollars.
I feel privileged to watch The Death Kiss. Kino Lorber is awesome for putting together this transfer and working with the Library Of Congress to give this film the best release it has ever had and a full-on 35mm restoration. Wow.
Mardi Rustam directed Evil Town, a film that I’ve loved since I was little. Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know this director did anything else. Then Gorgon Video decided to lay down the law with their new release Evils Of The Night.
I knew something in my life wasn’t right. I knew I was missing some weird, key component to happiness. I now know that Evils Of The Night is the one thing that completes me.
Norwegian cinema has yet to disappointment me. They’ve caught my attention with horror films such as Manhunt, the Cold Prey series, Dead Snow, Trollhunter, Bitter Flowers, Dark Souls, and a few others. Last year at Fantastic Fest a little film called Ragnarok was announced and all I knew about it going in was that it was from Norway. Nothing else mattered.
By Tyler Hodg
Lyrics are often the easiest way for a listener to develop a connection to a song. They can be manipulated to convey whatever meaning you desire and can bring a new perspective to the notes that they accompany. Brian Altano (IGN, The Comedy Button) defied the importance of lyrics to create an instrumental album that explores the notion that words aren’t the only way to make music a personable and thought-provoking experience. The result is Misanthrope, and it’s truly a remarkable ride.