“All Hell” is an appropriate title for this episode, as in all hell is breaking loose, finally. Things are really coming to a head now, with all roads leading to Shay Mountain. The coal held within the mountain notwithstanding, it seems that everyone is out for Farrell blood, even the Farrells themselves.
By Tim Murr
I have waited months to write this review. Why? Because I’ve had access to Dark Palms’ debut album, Hoxbar Ghost Town, since last year. I fell in love with this beast right away, but I couldn’t share it with anyone! No one could know the joy and energy I was devouring while waiting for it to officially drop. Now, friends, the time is yours, to join me on this journey into the weird, dark heart of this post-punk, Americana-goth adventure!
With their welcome return, Paging Mr. Proust, the Jayhawks have made an album that will stand the test of time. Packed with lovely melodies and sumptuously lush harmonies, but lacking the obvious twang of their previous outings, Paging Mr. Proust is essential. Frontman Gary Louris (joined by longtime Jayhawks Karen Grotberg, Marc Perlman, and Tim O’Reagan) has created a very literary, confident album that opens strong and never stops.
By Tim Murr
Last year Windsor, Ontario’s Corrupt Leaders unleashed a sick grindcore EP called Grindmother, named for vocalist Rain Forest’s mom who provided guest vocals on the album. A video of this wonderful 67-year-old woman singing grind core went viral, leading the Grindmother to record a single and now her debut album, with guitars provided by her son and Tyson Apex on drums.
The Zero Boys is a horror/action movie from 1985 that raises the bar of ineptitude stunningly high. You would have to try with all your might, and maybe someone else’s, to come up with a film this insipid nowadays. It may be a testament to the filmmaking talents of director Nico Mastorakis that a movie as totally brain-dead as The Zero Boys is as entertaining as it is.
As tends to happen, music cycles back on itself with alarming regularity. In the early 1980s, psychedelia raised its brightly-colored, paisley-swirled head from slumber and awoke to a new wave in Britain (and in the States, but that isn’t what this is about). These weren’t New Romantics, they weren’t post-punks, though you could argue that everything was post-punk at that point. No, they were the New Psychedelics and for a brief glimmer of time, they revived Chelsea boots and Mary Quant skirts and that oh-so-specific sound. To quote New Psychedelic band Firmament and the Elements, “Was it good? Yea, verily.”
By Brian Baker
At one point, during the film Green Room, “Welcome to the meatgrinder” is uttered.
No other phrase can sum up the misadventures of an out-of-town punk quartet—with left-of-the-middle politics—as they take on a last-minute gig at a white supremacist roadhouse outside of Portland, Oregon.
Green Room is director Jeremy Saulnier’s third full-length feature and much like his cult favorite Blue Ruin, it’s a lovely shot of adrenaline directly into the scrotum called fear.
“Shabbat shalom, motherfuckers.”—Ilana
When an episode of Broad City, set almost entirely on an airplane, starts with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in an absolute fever dream of an airline safety video, you know it’s about to pop off. And pop off it does, because with Abbi and Ilana in the air, en route to Israel, there are no punches left to be pulled in this finale. I can safely say that “Jews on a Plane” is the perfect bookend to a near-flawless season of Broad City and is easily my favorite episode of a comedy show in which a person’s homemade tampon is mistaken for a bomb.
“It’s a saying here in Chile when something terrible happens and you want to disappear from the face of the earth. Is there a similar sentence in English?”
–Username kiesha, regarding the phrase “trágame tierra” on WordReference.com
Sometimes upbeat, happy music doesn’t cut it. Sometimes there needs to be that murky undercurrent of melancholy or it just feels fraudulent. So much of modern pop music is missing that yearning quality; there is not enough darkness to temper the glittering, brittle, and frequently hollow light.
Big Black Delta, the musical alter ego of one Jonathan Bates, knows this. Big Black Delta exploded into my musical consciousness in 2012 with an EP that was like nothing I’d ever heard before or since. The self-titled full-length release that followed it was a tour de force of varying sonic landscapes: ridiculously, almost hysterically hooky, while at other times shockingly contemplative, or even sinister. It was one of my Top Ten favorites of 2013.
I think most of us are familiar with the “Wikipedia hole,” where you’ll go to the site to look something up and find yourself entangled in a long series of links to related-but-unrelated entries, only to forget what you came for in the first place. A rabbit hole like this is the only way I can describe Tickled, because it’s a documentary that begins with the most benign and banal of subjects and ends up as a three-continent-spanning pursuit of, well, I’m still not sure. The characters along the way have a Lynchian surrealness to them, never as repulsive and pitiable on the surface as they are under the skin, which is really saying something because some of them are pretty gross externally, too.