Monthly Archives

January 2019

#ObscureObject by Will Rivitz Music

Kid Koala | Music to Draw To: Io

January 29, 2019

Music to Draw To: Io is an hour-plus of carefully wrought, beat-light technical wizardry; it’s an album devoted to childlike wonder, so much so that it practically tells you as much in its title: “music to draw to.” As opposed to the more mature connotations of phrases like ‘making art,’ or even ‘to sketch,’ for these compositions, Koala wants you to know that he’s less concerned about rigid construction than he is interested in being exploratory.…

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#PopRocks by M.G. Mailloux Music

Future | Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd

As far as contemporary pop stars go, Future was always somehow simultaneously the surest, and the least sure, bet: In the context of current rap, his success makes perfect sense, fitting right alongside Drake’s and Kanye West’s, two artist’s who’ve nimbly adapted to the shifting aesthetic trends in their genre. But…

January 28, 2019
#ObscureObject by Michael Doub Music

James Blake | Assume Form

James Blake sings the quiet parts loud; now a decade into his career, his arc is best charted through the evolution, and presentation, of his own introversion. Blake’s early EPs operated as soundtracks for solo clubbing, while his subsequent reinvention into a singer-producer captured conflicted internal monologues and ruminated…

January 28, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

Green Day | Dookie

Before the eye paint, the brain-dead political anthems, and their embrace of radio-friendly sensibilities, Green Day was a raggedy assembled trio of stoner misfits with rockstar ambitions, similar to Hüsker Dü, and a sound in line with the Replacements. (Though lead vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe…

January 27, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Cockfighter | Monte Hellman

Any talk of this film would be remiss without mention of its legendary tagline: “He came into town with his cock in his hand, and what he did with it was illegal in 49 states.” Notwithstanding this audacious piece of marketing, Cockfighter was a…

January 26, 2019
#ObscureObject by Tanner Stechnij Music

The Delines | The Imperial

A rundown old car in a parking lot and two apartment complexes — one white, one a pale pink — are backdropped by an overcast sky. A rickety-looking telephone pole stands between them. This is the image used as the cover photo for retro-soul country outfit…

January 25, 2019
#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Revenger | Seung-Won Lee

Through its ongoing effort to inundate viewers with as much content as possible, Netflix presents Revenger, a mostly boring action movie starring Bruce Khan, a stunt man and former Jackie Chan double who hasn’t had an IMDb credit since 2005. Khan plays Kim, a former cop or agent or…

January 25, 2019
#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Hanagatami | Nobuhiko Obayashi

“Seen through the wrong end of a telescope, an ordinary scene becomes an ancient story. No, it’s not nostalgia! It’s heartache for all that’s lost.” This quote from Kazuo Dan’s 1937 novel Hanagatami, a coming-of-age story set in a coastal village during Japan’s pre-WWII invasions…

January 24, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Pavement | Slanted and Enchanted

Pavement’s debut album, a sui generis cornucopia of fuzz-box riffs and unwonted lyrics, opens with the best song the band ever recorded, maybe the best debut single of the decade: a three-minute, lo-fi emission of buzzsaw guitar and Dadaist lyrics (“My eyes stick to…

January 20, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

All That Jazz | Bob Fosse

“This is the feverish, painful expression of a man who lives in mortal fear of his own mediocrity,” concludes Dave Kehr’s negative Chicago Reader review of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s penultimate directorial feature. And it certainly is — that’s what makes it so glorious.…

January 19, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism