New music from Jimbo Mathus is always cause for celebration. The former (and soon to be current again) Squirrel Nut Zipper makes music that is deeply steeped in the South. It’s a melange of influences—gritty swamp rock with a hot hit of blues, a dash of gospel, bluegrass, and more than a little honky tonk—and it comes out sounding exactly right. His latest, a nine-song EP called Band Of Storms, is more of what makes Mathus great. He may wear his influences on his sleeve, but the sound that he has is pure Jimbo Mathus.
Even Tommy Shelby wants to see more diversity in TV.
Did you know that April 8 is the day in Queer History that all homosexuals were cured? Hahaha, we’re just kidding. It’s actually the day that homosexuality was removed from the DSM.
And speaking of queer folks, here’s an open letter to the TV industry about why we’re so fucking sick of straight white dudes.
In other TV news, Sachin Hingoo bids farewell to Broad City until next season with the hilarious “Jews on a Plane” and Laury Scarbro reveals how all hell breaks loose on Outsiders in the appropriately titled episode, “All Hell.”
May is the month when the long-awaited Season 3 of Peaky Blinders arrives on our TV screens. Did you know David Bowie was a fan of the show? Try to keep your eyes from leaking when you read about what he sent to the show’s lead actor, Cillian Murphy. (Here’s a recent, wonderful, career-spanning interview with Mr. Murphy that includes some lovely photos.)
Everyone is talking about the talking animals in The Jungle Book movie but don’t forget about Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin, called Green Room. Brian Baker took the plunge and reviewed this ultraviolent, ultra-brilliant film. You might forget about Hardcore Henry after you see it, though, as Tyler Hodg remarks in his review.
Meanwhile, on the home video front, Jeffery X Martin tackles the “bad crazy” with Arrow’s reissue of Niko Mastorakis’s The Zero Boys, Sachin has warm fuzzies over the white foam in the Blu of ‘80s schlock horror The Stuff, and Melissa Bratcher is delighted that Bayou Maharajah, the doc about infamous New Orleans piano player James Booker, is finally available for everyone to see.
Bone Tomahawk was my favorite movie of 2015 but I’ve never seen one entry in Charles Band’s bizarrely legendary Puppet Master series, so imagine my surprise (and delight?) to learn that the director behind Bone Tomahawk is helming the Band-less Puppet Master reboot. Modern Horrors has the deets.
Oh, and if you’ve always wanted to delve into actor Sho Kosugi’s career, The ScreamCast can help with their most recent podcast, “A Show on Sho.”
It’s been just over a week and we’re still trying to come to terms with a world without Prince. Here’s a stupendous 2009 article from the L.A. Times about the side of Prince that most people in the public rarely saw. Then, lighten up with this hilarious YouTube video, a compilation of all the times that Prince threw shade.
We have a ton of new music for you to check out this week: Tim Murr raves over the David Lynch aura of Dark Palms’ Hoxbar Ghost Town and insists that Grindmother’s Age Of Destruction is not a novelty album; Melissa calls The Jayhawks’ Paging Mr. Proust “a record for the ages” and marvels at the depth and breadth of Cherry Red’s latest comp, Another Splash of Colour: New Psychedelia in Britain 1980 – 1985; while X comforts us with the fact that at least Rob Zombie is good at coming up with song and album titles.
Could it be that Ke$ha is finally free? Find out about this and the “boycott Beyonce” movement on Unicorn Booty’s latest installment of NOW HEAR THIS!
Since tomorrow is a Monday (groan!), here is something that might make the day go a bit faster: a list of 11 hilarious and slightly political celebrities that you must follow on Twitter.
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.
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.
James Booker collected nicknames like some people collect vinyl. The New Orleans piano great has been called (by himself or by others) The Piano Prince, The Ivory Emperor, the Black Liberace, and the Bayou Maharajah. Filmmaker Lily Keber went with the latter, Bayou Maharajah, as the title of her documentary, now being released on home video.
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.