// Category Archive for: Current Faves

Movie Review: Doglegs

Published on June 29th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Documentaries, Matshifter, Movie Reviews, Movies, Pro Wrestling, Reviews |

By Sachin Hingoo

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Doglegs co-founder, and star of the film, Shintaro Yano (ring name “Sambo” Shintaro) strikes a fighting pose. © Alfie Goodrich

Japanese wrestling or “puroresu” is a tradition that goes back to the 1950s, and is most closely associated with a more realistic, hard-hitting “strong style” than we normally see in Western pro wrestling, which is far more choreographed. Strikes usually land for real, though the intention is still primarily to put on a show, not actually hurt one’s opponent. The style is tough on the performers, and those that thrive in the competitive landscape of “puro” are considered some of the best and most resilient wrestlers in the business. Still, the style is often hard to watch, given what we know now about concussions and other injuries that can be commonplace in puro.

You can imagine, then, how hard it is to watch a puro match, not between able-bodied athletes in peak physical condition, but with disabled wrestlers. Heath Cozens’ Doglegs, a documentary about an eponymous group of mostly disabled Japanese wrestlers, is certainly difficult to sit through, but is ultimately worthwhile for its ability to wring triumph from tragedy.

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Concert Review: Odonis Odonis At Velvet Underground

Published on June 28th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

Post Plague Record Release Show
June 24, 2016
Toronto, ON

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At last year’s NXNE, Odonis Odonis played a show with A Place To Bury Strangers and Iceage and despite both of those bands having huge reputations of being incredible live, the Toronto trio more than held their own. This past Friday’s show was even better. The band has an impressive light show to accompany their newer material and this time, they weren’t plagued with the technical issues that threatened to overpower last year’s Opera House performance. In fact, they almost literally blew me away. But more on that in a minute.

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TV Review: Outlander S2 E02, “Not In Scotland Anymore”

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Books, Current Faves, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

With the second episode of season 2, it becomes evident that Jamie is not fully healed, neither mentally nor physically. Jamie, Claire, and even Murtagh come to the realization that things in France are quite different from what they’ve experienced in Scotland.

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Movie Review: The Fear of 13

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Documentaries, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, True Crime |

By Tyler Hodg

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Some say life is stranger than fiction; The Fear of 13, a documentary by British filmmaker David Sington, is a whirlwind collection of unbelievable anecdotes told by Death Row prisoner Nick Yarris, which seem too crazy not to be true. Now available on streaming giant Netflix, the film publicizes humane perspectives of criminals, and those often unfairly tossed aside by society.

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Music Review: Vallens, Consent

Published on June 24th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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After several years paying her dues in various Toronto bands, Robyn Phillips was visited by a vision. Adopting the name of Isabella Rossellini’s character from Blue Velvet, Phillips began writing songs informed by this persona, eventually gathering other musicians to complete a full band. Vallens’ first album Consent is out today and it reveals that Phillips’ commitment paid off: it’s a stunning debut.

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Music Review: Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Earth

Published on June 24th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Tyler Hodg

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There is little that hasn’t been said about Neil Young over his 56-year long career (and counting), yet the prolific musician continues to give people reasons to talk; through the constant delivery of unique additions to his catalogue both musically and visually, and an unapologetically-high standard for passion, it’s no wonder he has been, and will remain, universally respected as an artist.

Young’s latest project sees him joined by Promise of the Real for a two-disc compilation simply titled Earth. The album, which features live tracks from his extensive repertoire and the pairing’s 2015 effort The Monsanto Years, is a 98-minute long collection of what Young describes as songs about “living here on our planet together.”

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Interview: Consenting To Dream with Vallens’ Robyn Phillips

Published on June 23rd, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Feminism, Interviews, Music, Upcoming Releases |

By Less Lee Moore

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Photo by Shelby Fenlon

We get a lot of music press releases at Popshifter and sometimes it’s a slog to sift through them, always hoping to have our ears dazzled by a new band but frequently being disappointed.

This is not the case with Toronto, Ontario’s Vallens, the brainchild of guitarist, singer, and songwriter Robyn Phillips. Vallens makes the kind of music that makes you sit up and take notice. The title of Vallens’ stunning debut album is Consent, a word with a lot of connotations—especially for women. Thankfully, the songs don’t shy away from such emotionally charged issues but explore them. Musically and lyrically, Consent is moody, mysterious, and captivating… and definitely deserves your attention.

In anticipation of Consent being released by Hand Drawn Dracula on Friday June 24, I thought I’d find out more about the talented Ms. Phillips.
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Music Review: Bloody Knives, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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I heard a voice, a whisper in the dark
And I followed it until I couldn’t see anything anymore.
–Bloody Knives, “Poison Halo”

When your band is named Bloody Knives, you’d better have the tunes to back it up. Fortunately, the Austin four-piece deliver the gory goods on their latest release, the viscerally titled I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

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TV Review: Lucha Underground, S2 E16-21, “The Prelude To Ultima Lucha Dos”

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Pro Wrestling, Science Fiction, TV, TV Reviews, Underground/Cult |

By Sachin Hingoo

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This arc of Lucha Underground is the beginning of the drive to Ultima Lucha Dos, the second season finale of the show. It’s where all the established storylines are set to climax and, in some cases, converge. Last year’s two-part finale was the best episode of Lucha Underground so far, and did a great job of setting the wheels in motion for Season Two. Ultima Lucha Dos should be at least as explosive, based on the pieces being put into place.
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Music Review: Odonis Odonis, Post Plague

Published on June 20th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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Has there ever been a greater musical misnomer than “industrial”? Initially coined as a response to the music being released by Genesis P-Orridge’s Industrial Records and the phrase “industrial music for industrial people” on the first Throbbing Gristle album (at least according to Wikipedia), it’s become a catch-all for any dissonant music that uses drum machines. What is great about drum machines, though, is that they provide such a perfectly sterile template for compelling melodies, the kind that you can either thrash or dance to.

While Odonis Odonis’s latest album, Post Plague, was inspired by industrial bands like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, it also owes a debt to films like Ex Machina and Beyond The Black Rainbow, as well as of-the-minute ideas about transhumanism and virtual reality.

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