Monthly Archives

January 2015

#KickingtheCanon by Andrew Schenker Music

The Mekons | The Mekons Rock N’ Roll

January 30, 2015

Damning rock n’ roll for its racist and imperialist legacy while having the gall to simultaneously rock like hell, “Amnesia” stands at the thematic center of The Mekons most thematically compelling record. The ninth of the fourteen songs on The Mekons Rock N’ Roll (on the UK release, anyway; the band’s US label A&M trimmed two tracks against the group’s wishes), “Amnesia” traces the history of the eponymous genre from the slave ships that “brought rock n’ roll to America” to its…

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#KickingtheCanon by Carson Lund Film

A Summer’s Tale | Eric Rohmer

Some of Eric Rohmer’s sharpest skewerings of male psychology take as their focus guys defined by disjunctions between appearance and intention — take, for instance, the exceedingly suave manipulator in Claire’s Knee, or the willfully standoffish oaf from La Collectionneuse who nonetheless craves affection. In this regard, Melvil Poupaud’s Gaspard,…

January 26, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Blackhat | Michael Mann

Blackhat opens with a CG-animated representation of a block of data infiltrating a computer network. A tiny glowing grid sliding along a superconducting surface with what seems very much to be purposeful intent. But in and of itself it has no autonomy. It is…

January 25, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Jason Gubbels Music

Tangerine Dream | Phaedra

The daughter of Minos and wife of Theseus has long fascinated many a romantic soul — Euripides, Racine, Swinburne, and Lee Hazlewood all wove the name of Phaedra into their offerings (Hazlewood via the 1967 Nancy Sinatra-aided schlock classic “Some Velvet Morning”). Edgar Froese’s reasons for…

January 24, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Jonathan Keefe Music

Trisha Yearwood | Hearts in Armor

Her self-titled debut may have spawned four top-ten singles, but it was on Hearts in Armor that Trisha Yearwood properly announced herself as one of the finest country artists of her generation. Informed by the end of her first marriage, the album explores both the subtle and the…

January 23, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Heat | Michael Mann

One is tempted to think of Heat as a culmination, a kind of halfway point in the career of its director, Michael Mann. This isn’t entirely accurate, since the crime genre has been a vested interest of Mann’s both before and after Heat; one could just as easily place…

January 19, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Sam C. Mac Music

Iris DeMent | My Life

Defined by no genre so much as she is her deep roots in Arkansas, and an uneasiness toward her Pentecostal upbringing, Iris DeMent is still more-often-than-not filed under country, thanks to an affected twang (she left the south at age three) and to her music’s distinctly blue-collar…

January 16, 2015
#KickingtheCanon

The Film Canon (1960 – 1999)

A Note on Selection and Organization Criteria: The films in our canon were categorized according to the year of their U.S. theatrical release and the distributor behind it—except in cases where a.) the time between the film’s international release and its U.S. one exceeded five years, or b.) the film never…

January 15, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Bob Dylan | The Times They Are a-Changin’

If The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan proved that Bob Dylan could do anything and everything, The Times They Are a-Changin’ proved that he could hone in on doing one thing very well. It’s less about breadth than depth, in other words, with Dylan removing most of the humor, romance, absurdity, and…

January 13, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Rod Stewart | Every Picture Tells a Story

Though it’s a truth that’s now largely forgotten, at least among the young and the terminally hip, Rod Stewart was once a pretty righteous cat — foremost among interpretive singers and endowed with gangbuster rock and roll bonafides primarily, perhaps, from his role as frontman for the Faces,…

January 9, 2015