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.
“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.
Another week, another beloved and peerless musician has left us. In case you’ve been on some sort of Luddite retreat, you’ve heard the news that Prince has passed away at age 57. There are far too many good articles contemplating his death online to list them all here, but you might enjoy this one, in which I ponder what it means to lose our heroes, “The Beautiful Ones U Always Seem 2 Lose.”
Here are two vastly different new releases you might want to check out: Cherry Red Records has released Tiny Tim: The Complete Singles Collection (1966-1970) about which Hanna writes the following:
Hearing a grown man do a believable Shirley Temple imitation is always a beautiful experience, and “Mickey the Monkey,” a song from the perspective of a monkey in a zoo providing his story to the child listener, seems almost a comment on Tiny Tim’s own position as a novelty performer: “While you’re watching me, I am watching you, too / You’re as funny to me as I am to you.”
On a totally different segment of the musical spectrum is Trágame Tierra, the long-awaited follow up to Big Black Delta’s self-titled debut. Why this record isn’t blowing up I cannot imagine. I’ve seen only two other reviews for it, and one of them is the most ghastly and insulting thing imaginable, on a website whose name rhymes with “Consequence of Sound.” Ignore that crap, and just read about how great this album is.
Unicorn Booty’s got some music news for you on this week’s NOW HEAR THIS, including the Afropunk festival lineup and more.
Game of Thrones fans are gearing up for the new season which starts tomorrow and at Everything Is Scary, Tim Ford discusses the most frightening characters on the show. None of them is Cersei Lannister. If vintage sitcoms are more your speed, you can check out the first two episodes of the TV or GTFO podcast, in which our own Sachin Hingoo teams up with Gary Heather to talk about Perfect Strangers and Hulk Hogan’s Thunder in Paradise.
Movies? You want movies? We got ‘em. Well, we have reviews, at least. Dump those copies of Bride of Re-Animator in the trash, but not before picking up Arrow Video’s glorious new reissue, which Tim Ford assures us is the definitive edition. Sachin reviews a couple of Hot Docs movies, the new ten-part film essay from Werner Herzog, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World and the more-horrifying-than-an-actual-horror film Tickled. Women In Hollywood has their always-welcome list of women-centric, directed, and written films for the week, including the fantastic High-Rise, which I’ll be reviewing next week.
Unicorn Booty is the best site you’re not reading, unless of course, you are already reading it, in which case, yay! The excellent “A Trans Person Explains What’s Really Behind Transphobic Bathroom Bills” does exactly what the title suggests, but there is oh so much more good stuff in there. There’s also a rundown of why Harriet Tubman should be on the US $20 bill as well as some huge developments in world LGBT politics.
Oh, and if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, by all means, do not read this creepy assessment of H.P. Lovecraft’s uber-creepy short story “The Festival” by Peter Counter on Everything Is Scary.
“The Rondo awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, recognize the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation. This year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, an 18-year old online community, drew a record of more than 3,400 votes as fans chose among 35 categories.”
Well done, Rue Morgue!
If you’re looking for some new music this week, might we suggest checking out Popshifter’s exclusive stream of Bloody Knives’ I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, which dropped on April 15? It’s shoegaze, it’s goth, it’s got gorgeous vocals, and it’s loud as hell.
Also on the new music list is a live album from Professor Longhair recorded in 1976, the Nigerian music compilation Wake You Up! Volume 1, and eccentric pop singer Dinner’s Psychic Lovers. Meanwhile, on the Everything Is Scary blog, I discuss how Manchester duo Demdike Stare’s collages of sound and imagery provoke responses akin to nightmares.
Have you ever heard of Clela Rorex? She issued the first gay marriage license in Boulder, CO in 1975, thus helping to chip away at bigotry and homophobia.
Matt Keeley at Unicorn Booty discusses, in detail, how the recent trans episode of Powerpuff Girls is actually transphobic. But on the other hand, there’s also a heartwarming post about how Rihanna helped one of her gay fans come out. With all the news of homophobic celebs, it’s nice to read something positive.
In further TV news, Tyler Hodg has finished Season 10 of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. Despite being mostly disappointed with this season, he thinks that the finale was excellent and might even make you cry, in addition to paving the way for an even better Season 11.
Laury Scarbro is equally smitten with the most recent episodes of Outsiders and Sachin Hingoo feels much the same about Broad City. Speaking of Broad City, Sachin has a preview of the upcoming mini-series Time Traveling Bong, starring Ilana Glazer and Paul W. Downs. Rue Morgue gives Tom Noonan, who stars in the SyFy TV version of 12 Monkeys, the “Sinister Seven” and Biff Bam Pop recaps the premiere episode of Season 4 of Orphan Black!
In the mood for gaming? Although Tim Ford at Everything As Scary thinks Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked is less scary than its predecessor, he still gives it a fair shake.
There is much to discuss on the movie front. The casting of Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming film adaptation of Japanese Manga Ghost in the Shell has many crying “whitewashing” (and for good reason). Jeffery X Martin looks at the Death Walks Twice Giallo box set from Arrow, I am gravely disappointed in new horror flick 13 Cameras, and Women and Hollywood has a list of women-centric films playing near you this week.
Finally, if you haven’t heard of Doreen Valiente, that should change. This VICE article points out that this mother of modern witchcraft was also a pro-choice spy.
“Jews! Jews! Jews! JEWS! JEWS! JEWS! JEWS! JEWS!!”—Jews
Last week was the heaviest episode yet in Broad City’s run, and it seems that Ilana and Abbi felt that we needed a break after all that sobbing and drama. Enter “Getting There,” a tried-and-true Broad City madcap adventure through New York City, this time to the airport as Abbi and Ilana are headed for a destination that’s kept under wraps for most of the episode. This is the first half of the two-part season finale and if it’s going where I think it’s going, next week’s episode should be a real banger.
“Am I at the farmer’s market? Because this is so juicy!”—Bevers
If there were any doubts—and I certainly had a few over the last couple of episodes—that Broad City was capable of a real, emotional epiphany and a story that evokes genuine feels from its viewers, “Burning Bridges” dashes them on a New York City sidewalk. Beyond the jokes about piss tests and securing a chair in Battery Park without inadvertently tearing off an amputee’s artificial leg, the events of this episode rocked me to the core because it’s a reckoning for Abbi as a character, while also giving us one of Ilana’s most layered performances on the show yet. No celebrity cameos are required here, because the BFFs are the only stars that “Burning Bridges” needs.
Photo credit: Loma Vista
Hey, have you seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yet? Did the onslaught of haterade scare you away? Read Tim Murr’s review and reconsider your negativity, man.
Lots of MRA types have been guzzling the haterade after watching the trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One. Here, Film School Rejects praises the oft-misunderstood “Mary Sue” qualities of the trailer, and many other movies. At Rue Morgue, Alex West gives Scream’s Gale Weathers some long overdue credit in “The Final Girl Chronicles.”
There are a lot of blockbusters and superheroes getting (deserved) attention these days, but sometimes you want something with fewer explosions. So if Canadian film Sleeping Giant is playing near you, please go see it. It’s a low-key but emotionally riveting film.
Meanwhile, on TV, Tyler Hodg is reviewing the tenth season of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. I recapped the shocking season six finale of The Walking Dead, but Laury Scarbro (Yay! Welcome back!) has even more thoughts and feelings about it.
Two killer episodes of Lucha Underground and one (hilarious, natch) episode of Broad City are dissected by Sachin Hingoo and then… we try something completely different. Anime n00b Tyler tackles Brotherhoood Final Fantasy XV, currently watchable on YouTube.
Oh Iggy Pop. Where would my life be without you and your music? I attempt to explain in my concert review from the April 9 show at Toronto’s Sony Centre. Iggy and David Bowie go together like well, peanut butter and chocolate, so here are five times that David Bowie literally helped save the world. (I never get sick of talking about David Bowie.)
MOAR MUSIC! Melissa Bratcher talks about how Janiva Magness’s new album Love Wins Again made her cry and wonders if The Lumineers are doing OK. Brian Baker rides the waves with Shark Toys’ Outsider Sect LP, and Tim Murr goes full metal with Graves At Sea, Tombs, and the folk-metal stylings of Kralthazar.
There’s still so much more going on in music and Unicorn Booty knows you need the info. This week’s “Now Hear This!” dishes on Beyonce, funny feminists, Snoop Dogg and Janet Jackson, and the sad struggles of Ke$sha.
Until next time, Popshifter fans!
Dear Janiva Magness, thanks for making me cry.
On her follow-up to 2014s Original, Janiva Magness is letting it all out. She’s happy (her self-penned liner notes are completely delightful), she’s in killer voice, and her continuing collaboration with producer Dave Darling is positively fecund. Love Wins Again is a worthy successor to Original, with heartfelt songs of love and hope, and songs of heartbreak.
Bleached’s follow up to 2013s Ride Your Heart lets their intentions be known right out of the gate. Welcome The Worms is a heavy, swaggering album that conjures up sunbaked Los Angeles (and the attendant debauchery) and destroyed romances. That’s all wrapped in furiously catchy songs that are just delightful.