By Tim Murr
Gabby Gaborno; Photo © Riff55
The Pacific Northwest’s Dark Palms return with a four-song EP that expands the group’s sound in fantastic ways. Smoke opens with a title track that sounds like Black Sabbath by way of Hüsker Dü with a Funhouse Stooges digression. “Heroes” has a push and pull rhythmic thing going, almost as if the song is fighting against being buried alive. “Salton Sea” is more of a straight-forward rocker, like it could have been on the band’s previous release, Hoxbar Ghost Town, but there’s an aged quality to it, like a hot rod running against a desert wind.
The album closes with “Margarita And The Master” which borrows its title from the Mikhail Bulgakov novel about the Devil visiting the atheistic Russia. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on the lyrics and if they actually reference the novel, but the song conjures an interesting notion. All four tracks are damn good and Smoke is a great companion to the group’s debut from last year.
Ah, Werewolves In Siberia, one of the most kick-ass synth-wave projects out there… This album hits Bandcamp today to coincide with the release of Death Race 2050. You get three tracks: the title track, plus two versions of “Frankenstein, The Indestructible,” one with a sample from the original film and one without. The trailer looks like a direct sequel to Roger Corman’s original Death Race 2000, and it looks fucking awesome. The EP is pretty great itself, as one would expect from WiS.
A while ago during my hiatus from Popshifter, Gabby Gaborno, lead singer of the Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic, passed away after years of struggling with health problems. He was a great singer and frontman and both bands are well worth your time to seek out if you’re unfamiliar with them. From interviews I’ve read Gabby seemed like a really cool, nice guy. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
We’re halfway through 2016 and it’s already been a pretty good year for horror. Films like Robert Eggers’ The Witch, Mike Flanagan’s Hush, and anthology horror Holidays have already given us our fix to get us through the winter, but the second half of the year has some of the horror releases I’m most excited for.
There are only a few episodes left in this season of Broad City, and when it wraps, I know I’m going to be fiending for more Ilana Glazer. Well, god save the kween, because she and Paul W. Downs (Broad City’s Trey) will star in a three-part miniseries called Time Traveling Bong that premieres right after Broad City’s season finale on, naturally, 4/20.
At 2008’s After Dark Film Festival, I was part of an audience that went completely wild for a trailer for a nonexistent full-length feature from the demented minds of Adam Brooks, Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Brooks, and Conor Sweeney–collectively known as Astron-6. That film was called Lazer Ghosts 2: Return To Laser Cove and ever since then, asking people at these events about their favorite Astron movie is a bit like a secret handshake. If you already have a favorite, and especially if you share mine (it’s 2014’s The Editor), we’re probably going to be friends whether you like it or not.
I only knew of Steven Soderbergh’s TV drama The Knick by name but it was a series of tweets from filmmaker Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring) that got me interested in it.
Major American studios have proven they have no desire to make decent horror movies anymore. It’s all superheroes around here, buddy, and if you haven’t jumped on that bandwagon, then it’s Pixels for you.
By Tim Murr
I’m always excited for a new Ridley Scott movie. I saw Alien the same year (1980) I saw Jaws and Jaws 2, which was two years before I saw The Empire Strikes Back (my first Star Wars film). So despite having Star Wars toys for most of my short life, my first sci-fi love came from Scott’s shocking, atmospheric, and dark film. When I was a kid, there weren’t many directors’ names I knew, but I knew George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, and Ridley Scott. Of those three, the only one I still get excited about is Scott.
By Tyler Hodg
With the second season of HBO’s True Detective nearly upon us—June 21 to be exact—unanswered questions about the show continue to accumulate. Little information about the plot and characters portrayed by Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams has been revealed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; ambiguity can preempt expectations one might have, as there isn’t much there on which to base opinions. The latest trailer for the upcoming season gives a decent visual of what’s in store—and it’s safe to say that it we are all in for a pretty sweet treat.
This year looks to be a fantastic one for movies across multiple genres, and we’re only at the end of January. No doubt more will be added to this “must see” list within the next few months, especially when the Toronto International Film Festival announces its schedule. The films below are listed in order of release dates; where no release date is available, they are listed in alphabetical order.