Sunday, May 31, 2009

Egg breaking revival

Tear Gas - 1971 hard blues rock

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 2009 rock album

No downloads here - just a comparison of images.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Culpeper's Orchard

Culpeper's Orchard was a Danish psych / rock band [with folk influence] from the 1970's. Their sound has hints of Led Zeppelin, Cream and Genesis. Check it out.

Here are choice cuts [from YouTube] of the first album Culpeper's Orchard - 1971.

Mountain Music Part 1
Hey You People
Teaparty for an Orchard
Ode to Resistance
Your Song & Mine
Gideon's Trap
Blue Day's Morning
Mountain Music Part 2

Monday, May 25, 2009

Magazine cover

This week's New Yorker cover was done on an iPhone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Ramases - Space Hymns.
Ramases was an early 1970's band that produced [I think] only this one album in 1971.
And it's a good one. Sort of a psychedelic, freak folk rock album done by Martin Raphael - who made a living as a heating salesman in Sheffield, England. He and his wife, Selket, put this album together and in a short time it obtained a cult following.

Here are a few tracks to listen to available on YouTube.

Life Child
And The Whole World
Quasar One
You're The Only One
Earth People
Jesus Come Back

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some 09 Movies

Here is what I have seen recently. In order of preference.

Revanche - A terrific thriller from Austria about a criminal bent on killing the cop who killed his girlfriend. Has a gradual pace and builds beautifully and then shifts focus very subtly and effectively.

Il Divo - An impressive, impressionistic Italian film about a former Prime Minister who may have had connections to the mafia and the murders of his rivals. This is not a traditional biopic and it's all the better for it. Very well assembled. I'm not sure if the director or the editor or the cinematographer gets the bigger applause so I'll salute all three.

Lemon Tree - A [rich] Israeli couple move next door to [poor] Palestinian woman who happens to have a lemon orchard they think will be a hideout for terrorists who want to kill them. So they arrange to clear cut the orchard. This is a well made and engaging film that gets into the personal emotions of the Israeli Palestinian conflict even if is a bit predictable and, at times, heavy-handed.

Adventureland - Young man gets job before going to college in a theme park where he does drugs, falls in love and has a great summer. Despite the fact that many jokes fall flat this is a good film because of the believability of the characters, their situations and the 80's East Coast milieu. It captures youth and falling in love about as well as any youth film out there.

Séraphine - French film about [real life] sightly crazy painter Séraphine de Senlis. Great first hour that carries on a bit long into the second hour as we watch the woman make bad decisions and descend into madness - a place where, unfortunately, most dramas about painters go.

Departures - Japanese film about a cellist who becomes an undertaker preparing bodies for their 'departure'. Sensitive film with some good early scenes about rituals but it gets too sentimental midway through. I like the rock metaphor but it only adds some interest to the story. Also what's up with most of the recently departed being women?

The Limits of Control - Laconic hit man (Isaach De Bankolé) - who lives on paper and espresso - goes to Spain to kill some bigwig [Bill Murray] in this flatter than a pancake drama. I'm a fan of Jarmusch's existential, dead pan style but I had no connection with this film at all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

70's classic

I've always wanted to hear this album. Some guy is streaming** it on a website called Vinyl Archives.
Buckingham Nicks

**[Note this only plays the full album on a Windows Media player. If you only have iTunes it will only play the first song, which it downloads].

Also available here to listen to no matter what you have.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cannes 2009

The 2009 Cannes competition lineup:

Abrazos Rotos” (Broken Embraces), directed by Pedro Almodovar
Antichrist,” directed by Lars Von Trier
Bright Star,” directed by Jane Campion
Enter The Void,” directed by Gasper Noe
Faces directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Fish Tank,” directed by Andrea Arnold
Kinatay,” directed by directed by Brillante Mendoza
Les Herbes folles,” directed by Alain Resnais
In The Beginning,” directed by Xavier Giannoli
Inglorious Basterds,” directed by Quentin Tarantino
Looking For Eric,” directed by Ken Loach
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo,” directed by Isabel Coixet
A Prophet,” directed by Jacques Audiard
Spring Fever,” directed by Lou Ye
Taking Woodstock,” directed by Ang Lee
The Time That Remains,” directed by Elia Suleiman
Thirst,” directed by directed by Park Chan Wook
Vengeance,” directed by Johnny To
Vincere,” directed by Marco Bellocchio
The White Ribbon,” directed by Michael Haneke

When possible I've tried to include the trailer.

Friday, May 01, 2009


"J.G. Ballard began as a hardcore SF writer. His very early short stories, on familiar themes such as overpopulation, societal decay and so on, are as good as anything in the genre.... There followed four novels of glazed apocalypse": [Martin Amis]

Where the world was destroyed by:

The Wind from Nowhere (1961) Wind
The Drowned World (1962) Water
The Drought (1964) Heat
The Crystal World (1966) Mineralisation