Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Since I first saw "Dead Man", I've always loved Jim Jarmusch's films. The characters, dialogue, atmosphere and array of Tom Waits songs make them engaging and particular. I recently watched "Night On Earth", a 1991 film, which is (I think) only available on DVD through the Criterion Collection, making it a bit pricey.
Well, I just got Netflix so it was my first pick. "Night On Earth" features five short stories about the connections made between drivers and passengers in five taxis in five cities around the world. It takes place in Los Angeles, NYC, Paris, Rome and Helsinki. While overwhelmingly funny, there are some poignant moments that make it more than a comedy.
I highly recommend this film. Roberto Benigni's segment alone is worth every penny.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
When I starting veering from punk to hardcore in high school, Bridge 9 Records was making a name for itself with awesome records from bands like American Nightmare, Shark Attack and Carry On. Around the same time, Deathwish Inc. was putting out the more metal-inspired side of things, which I paid less attention to.
Over seven years I've watched a majority of hardcore recede from a scene of truth and individuals to a circus of flat-brimmed hats and tough guy attitudes. One of the only punk record labels that I've seen evolve and make an effort to branch out and put out new sounds is Deathwish Inc. I cannot compliment DW enough; they've released AWESOME bands like Rise & Fall, Life Long Tragedy, Pulling Teeth, Cursed, Breather Resist and Knives Out. These bands exist outside of the coffin that hardcore made for itself in this decade. They took hardcore back from the messageboards and reminded us all that no matter how dissonant, music is art. The packaging and artwork make me excited to buy music. It's no wonder it's run by a member of Converge.
I'm so fuckin thankful and stoked right now.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I rarely make the effort to get into new bands anymore, regardless of their genre. It's not that I think "it's all been done", there's just decades of music that's already been released and I'd like to focus on where everything from today came from, as opposed to where it's going. Traditionalist, I know.
It's not that I'm not into progressive music, it's just that I see a lot of today's music as idle and unoriginal. Unless the grandchild is Refused or Hot Water Music, why not focus on the grandparents? They were much more interesting. It was all their idea anyway.
Now, all of this of course comes with exceptions. I've been drooling over two new(er) bands for a while now. The first is Narrows, a band with only a single song available (http://www.myspace.com/narrowsnoise). The catch is that it has members of Botch, TAAS, Unbroken and many others. Botch's singer is back, this time with the brainchild of TAAS's awesome riffs, Ryan Frederiksen. I am so excited for this band to release their first 7'' on Deathwish later this year.
The second exception is Baltimore's Pulling Teeth. Their newest full-length, "Martyr Immortal" is the perfect batch of hardcore, punk and metal. P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I don't think they've created a new genre or anything but I just can't stop listening. Their doomy imagery, harsh vocals and riffs make me giddy inside. (http://www.pullingteethmd.com/)
Monday, April 14, 2008
I recently found 7 Seconds' 1986 LP, "New Wind" on sale so I picked it up. As someone who grew up on "The Crew" I was expecting short, fast and lo-fi. Instead, the opening track "The Night Away" greeted me with long, slow and (still) lo-fi. I let it drag out hoping for a change in the rest of the songs and overall I think I got it. Although the songs are all longer and slower than most Seconds songs, it definately has some strong points. Standouts include "Grown Apart", "New Wind", "Man Enough To Care" and "Put These Words To Music."
The harmonies are surprising and honestly, some of these songs really aren't that great. Regardless, "New Wind" proves that although this is probably my least favorite 7 Seconds record, they can't put out a truly bad one.
I heard that in the liner notes for the original pressing of the LP they thank U2 for "inspiration". That might tell you something. Also, I found some evidence that they toured on this record with Youth Of Today and Verbal Assault.