If, like me, your knowledge of New Zealand cinema is limited to Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, then Housebound will both delight and surprise you. I went into Housebound with zero knowledge of the plot, but you should know that it’s essentially a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a red herring. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of movie it’s going to be, it turns into something else. Rather than being confusing, it makes the movie that much more fun to watch.
Even though it’s a movie that still feels fresh and influential, Beetlejuice came out almost a quarter of a century ago. It’s no secret that many of Tim Burton’s biggest fans feel like he hasn’t done anything in the last 20 years to rival it. Those people need to see Suburban Gothic immediately.
The cruelly and ironically titled Nothing Bad Can Happen is nothing less than a hard kick to the stomach. Katrin Gebbe’s debut isn’t a horror film, yet it still horrifies. Nothing Bad Can Happen stuns and unsettles the viewer like the also-incendiary debuts of Maury and Bustillo (À l’intérieur) or Du Welz (Calvaire), yet without the gore of the former and the surrealism of the latter.
The psychedelic era, short-lived as it was, produced some of the most memorable tunes of the late Sixties and early Seventies. It also spewed forth a lot of crap. Basically, if you had a flange or wah-wah pedal on your cheap electric guitar, and some decent harmonies from the bassist and keyboard player, you could churn out a great psychedelic song in about half an hour. The lyrics didn’t have to make sense. As long as you were blowing someone’s mind, or singing about blowing someone’s mind, you were set.
The Primitives have the distinction of creating—arguably—one of the top ten greatest “one hit wonder” singles of all time with their perfect ‘90s pop gem “Crash.” They’re back with Spin-O-Rama, their first album of entirely original material in 22 years. Fans of their brand of sunshine-infused, jangly guitar Power Pop will be thrilled with this new release.
Spin-O-Rama picks up the band’s sound precisely where they left off in all the right ways, combined with a Byrds-like and ‘60s garage band-tinged influence, along with hints of the Monkees. There is nothing here that quite hits the heights of their delightful earworm “Crash,” but the undeniably catchy single and title track “Spin-O-Rama” as well as shimmering upbeat tracks like “Lose the Reason” and “Petals” make up a solid album from start to finish. It should make old fans deliriously happy and create a large contingent of rabid converts.
Spin-O-Rama was released October 14 via Elefant Records.
By Tyler Hodg
In music, collaboration can often bring out the best in songwriters.The first offering from 3RDEYEGIRL features none other than Prince, who at this point is basically an honorary member of the band (4THEYEGIRLBOY?). Stylistically different than Art Official Age—Prince’s album featuring 3RDEYEGIRL which was released on the same day—Plectrumelectrum is a fairly straightforward rock album, with a few surprises sprinkled in. Ever wondered what Prince would sound with a hard rock band? Here’s your answer!
By Tyler Hodg
The ever-enigmatic Prince returns with not one, but two new albums with help from his friends in 3RDEYEGIRL. With the first of the two—Art Official Age—Prince’s ambitions were to incorporate creativity and artistic value back into music. He is able to achieve this, also revealing that there are no guidelines in music, despite what mainstream pop artists often deliver.
A couple of years ago my friend Jay handed me a disc with one word on it: Found. He said he saw it at a horror convention and it was something I would love. I watched Found that night and he was right.
How does writing an album on piano differ from writing an album with a guitar? For an answer, listen to indie/neo-folk singer Jen Wood’s new album, Wilderness. While her previous releases had been written on guitar, Wilderness is piano based and as a result, even at its quietest and most intimate, has a massive, almost filmic quality. The songs are deep and moving and meaningful, chronicling the last several years of her life.