By Ben Van D
For many, Acid House is inextricably linked to a place and time—the dim, sometimes garish, and impossibly vibrant rave culture of the early ’90s. It harkens back to an intoxicated era of manic excess, quasi-spiritual tribe mentality, and devastatingly harsh comedowns. If you missed it, imagine Cirque de Soliel performing in 1960s revival costumes in an underground parking lot at twice the BPM through a set of broken speakers.
The songs on Croydon Municipal’s Popcorn Girls defy simple description. They range from R&B burners, to country tinged numbers, to Shangri-La’s-like teen tragedies. Their commonality? In the 1970s Belgian club scene, they were guaranteed floor fillers. There was a certain type of dance endemic of the time, a “slow swing” with a rather specific tempo. As a result, Popcorn Girls is a moody, stone-cold, slow groove from beginning to end.
I love all genres but I’m more partial to horror and that’s what I’m better versed in when it comes to film. There are some other genres that I’m quite knowledgeable about but I really lack when it comes to film from the ‘50s and ‘60s. There is just so much out there that it’s a little overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are companies like Olive Films that are picking the great ones and bringing them to the table, sparking renewed interest in the films, and giving them new fans such as myself.
Throughout the course of movie history we’ve seen films that should have been good but failed miserably. I’m not talking about films we thought were going to be good and they flopped. I’m talking about the ones where everything was set up with the right actors, script, director, producer, and any other suit in Hollywood. All these elements that can almost guarantee success are in place, but the movie turns out to be a disaster. Last night I watched Skidoo. I went in blind to this film other than knowing it had one hell of a cast and a legendary director. Otto Preminger was the man behind it so I thought this couldn’t go wrong, right?
If you’re looking for a fun new music podcast, might I suggest this one? 20th Century Nostalgia! From their Mixcloud page:
It’s 2014 and music is dead. We long for the glory days of 1920s blues, 1930s country, 1940s bebop, ’50s rock and roll, ’60s girl groups, ’70s punk, ’80s new wave, ’90s alternative, and everything in between. We focus on music and pop culture from 1900 to 1999—no later! Join us as we complain about the decline of pop culture and obsess over musicians who died before we were born. We post, discuss, and podcast about anything and everything, as long as it’s good (or funny) and from the past.
Their newest podcast “We R Thankful 4 Prince” is now up, just in time for the holidays!
By Tyler Hodg
It’s been 40 years since Supertramp released their globally successful album Crime of the Century, and to commemorate its anniversary, the band released a new vinyl box set featuring the remastered album, a 7,500 word essay, rare photos, and an audio version of one of their 1975 concerts. If you have a feeling the album will hold up after four decades, you’d be “bloody well right.”
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.
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.