It’s Good News/Bad News time. The good news is that I am submitting a chapter to an upcoming book anthology. The bad news is that the deadline is quickly approaching and I need to finish!
This means that Popshifter will be going on a bit of a break until June. In the meantime, please enjoy the following articles that you might have missed over the last couple of weeks.
What about movies? If you’re looking for something to see this weekend that is the exact opposite of The Nice Guys, you might try Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise. Tyler Hodg enjoyed the videogame adaptation of Rachet and Clank, while Christine Makepeace was appalled by the sexism in documentary All Dolled Up.
If you want music recommendations, look no further than Popshifter! Melissa Bratcher enjoyed the self-titled debut of Big Star’s Jody Stephens with Luther Russell, a.k.a. Those Pretty Wrongs; adores by Ominivore’s reissue of two albums from The Blind Boys Of Alabama; thinks the latest album from Gregg Martinez, Soul of the Bayou, is a charmer; and is thrilled by the way On The Ropes shows that the Honeycutters keep getting better.
Tim Murr thinks Black Absinthe could be as big as AC/DC after hearing Early Signs of Denial; Tyler fondly reminisces about Sloan’s album The Double Cross on its five-year anniversary and praises Royal Tusk for adding some spice to the frequently stale genre of rock on DealBreaker; and Eric Weber describes his history of discovering Divine’s music in his review of the Cherry Red Records anthology, Shoot Your Shot.
Finally, Sachin Hingoo catches us up with what’s happening on Lucha Underground.
By Eric Weber
The time was 1991; the place was Wax n Facts in Atlanta, Georgia.
Flipping through the packed cardboard box, my jaw dropped when I saw the huge white letters emblazoned across the top of the record sleeve: DIVINE.
I quickly snatched it up, examining every inch of the album. I couldn’t believe it. Divine: Greatest Hits. He had hits?
Ben Wheatley adapting a 1975 JG Ballard novel into a film starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, and Luke Evans? It sounded too good to be true. With three planned screenings at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival which were then reduced to two, and rumors of six hour lineups for the second screening’s rush line, it was not an exaggeration to suggest that High-Rise was one of the most hyped films of last year.
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.
All stills courtesy of DVDBeaver
A genuine curiosity, even for B-movies, The Stuff was one of the first horrors I was ever exposed to when it randomly came up on cable one night when I was a kid. Though it may not be scary (a pretty terrible metric for the quality of a horror film anyhow, since everyone is scared by different things) to anyone but althaiophobics, it definitely had a way of getting under my skin. Its singular style and off-beat premise sucked me in almost immediately. It has a much brighter palette and tone than most horrors, and has a charming slapdash quality about it that makes it feel like it’s always just about to go off the rails. Of course, you’ll realize at some point during the film that it was never on rails to begin with.
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.”
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.
By Tim Murr
The follow up to 1985’s cult classic comedy gorefest Re-Animator, 1989’s Bride of Re-Animator, was a wild and rollicking film, amping up the craziness and gore with comic book flair. Directed by Brian Yuzna (who also directed the next sequel, Beyond Re-Animator) on a very short time frame, Bride picks up several months after the “Miskatonic Massacre” that ended Re-Animator.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Tiny Tim’s death, providing a good opportunity to revisit his heritage. By now, his place as a cult artist and important archivist of old songs is assured, and most of his work can be found on some compilation or other. This compilation from Cherry Red, however, collects his singles from his breakthrough or “peak era” as they call it, from 1966 to 1970. It represents his journey towards being a mainstream artist, and his attempts to remain one. That specific idea is a new one for a Tiny Tim compilation, and definitely interesting.