By Tyler Hodg
Never has so much nostalgia been so perfectly packed into a five-song, seven-minute EP. Then again, how often does a compilation of re-recorded anime theme songs get released?
Any ‘90s child (or geek) will be delighted to hear the fresh air breathed into some of his or her favorite TV themes. Send thanks to Andrew Conroy and his punk-rock “supergroup,” consisting of Tom Thacker (Sum 41, Gob), Anthony Bleed (Die Mannequin), and Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger), for creating this amusing celebration of the golden age of anime shows. The themes for Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, and Sailor Moon are some of the catchiest songs to ever grace TV intros, so it comes as no surprise that Rain City Rockers’ Anime EP is delightfully mirthful.
Cherry Red Records continues to release some of the most fascinating compilations and reissues with a two-disc version of The Sweet’s debut album, Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be. The reissue, 28 tracks of music that range from bubblegum to The Sweet’s much heavier B-sides, is a mixed bag. On one hand, listening to the evolution of the band as they go from Archies-flavored pop to some quite heavy rock is fascinating. On the other, some of the songs are painful. Still, The Sweet were a great band, even when they were churning out silliness.
Back in 1986, I recorded Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s “Walking On Your Hands” from WTUL college radio in New Orleans. It was the only track I’d ever heard from this Leeds band, but one I listened to frequently. For whatever reason, I never managed to delve further into the band’s discography until now. Cherry Red Records’ recent three-disc release of See The Fire (Albums, Singles and BBC Recordings 1982 – 1987) is a wonderful introduction to a band that has a singular sound but doesn’t fit into any single musical category.
As a kid I grew up on a variety of different films. My mother loved horror, dad loved westerns and action flicks, my grandma was obsessed with dramas, and I loved everything. I’m thankful for the upbringing I had because it made me who I am today. Even though I was a cinephile by the time I was seven or so, I still missed a lot of films. Now I’m 30 and I’m still making epic discoveries on my own. Recently I discovered one of the best westerns I’ve ever seen, Compañeros.
By Less Lee Moore
From the lurid Frank Frazetta-style cover art to its evocative title, The Witch Who Came From The Sea seems like it might be a female-fronted version of The Beastmaster. As intriguing as that possibility sounds, the film is something altogether different and much more profound. Directed by Matt Cimber (Butterfly, Hundra) in 1971, The Witch Who Came From The Sea wasn’t released until 1976, and even then, ran afoul of the MPAA for what they considered gratuitous violence, nudity, and rather dark subject matter.
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!