by Greg Cwik

#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Film

Eyes Wide Shut | Stanley Kubrick

March 15, 2019
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Stanley Kubrick’s final film is one of the least-sexy films ever made about sex. Libidinous, yes, and full of naked bodies in salacious motion, engaging in lubricious acts — but also off-putting, too meticulous to be arousing. Eyes Wide Shut is a dreamy traipse through the nocturnal fantasies of a successful Manhattan doctor (Tom Cruise) who, married to a beautiful…

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#PopRocks by Greg Cwik Music

Weezer | Weezer (Black Album)

March 3, 2019
Weezer And Pixies Perform At Shoreline Amphitheatre

For those who still associate Rivers Cuomo with the confessional and unabashed awkwardness of Pinkerton, an album of estimable emotions that seems to have been released an eternity ago, Weezer’s Weezer (Black Album) could come as a special kind of shock; for everyone who’s been following the band for the last 20 years, though, it might seem like…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

PJ Harvey | To Bring You My Love

February 10, 2019
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PJ Harvey had already infiltrated the mainstream by 1995, thanks to two of her early singles (“Sheela Na Gig” and “50ft Queenie”) earning medium rotation on radio stations. Her clanging punk-rock trio were just accessible enough to appease fans of Pearl Jam, but just weird enough to etch out a niche of their own. Harvey’s first two albums, Dry and Rid of Me, rock in a fairly traditional way — Rid of Me even features a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” as…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Pavement | Slanted and Enchanted

January 20, 2019

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 all those shiny robes / You wear on the protein delta strip”), a bold and…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Lust for Life | Iggy Pop

January 13, 2019
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The first of the two albums that Iggy Pop and David Bowie recorded during 1977, The Idiot is, in a sense, a David Bowie album, just one with Pop providing lyrics and vocals: Bowie dominated the production, sort of using the sessions as practice, honing the aesthetic that would later define his Berlin Trilogy. The Idiot almost feels like a proto-Low; each song is impregnated with Bowie’s embryonic, Krautrock-inspired style; the precise, almost mechanical instrumentation; the lacerating, laconic guitars; and the same sordid, insalubrious energy.…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Galaxie 500 | On Fire

January 5, 2019
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Galaxie 500 is often labeled as a “shoegaze” band, which is understandable: their indolent, undeviating style (gently distorted guitars committing to one riff, one obsessive, rhythmic progression, and Dean Wareham’s sui generis singing, that indelible voice pervading each song like an unsound apparition) doesn’t feel like traditional guitar rock.…

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#StreamingScene by Greg Cwik Film

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema | Hsieh Chinlin

January 4, 2019
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In the early 1980s, as the West was succumbing to the avaricious allure of Reaganism, Taiwan was undergoing a profound, progressive transformation. The country began to democratize in the wake of the Zhongli incident, and became a global economic power, as trade unions proliferated and salaries rose across the country. The children of the ’50s and ’60s grew up and, having spent their youth combatting a flummoxing identity crisis inherited from their parents, they began to explore the tumult of the…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Marvin Gaye | Here, My Dear

January 2, 2019
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Despite his sultry, salacious crooning and all that iconic baby-making music (“Let’s get it on / Ah, baby, let’s get it on / Let’s love, baby”), Marvin Gaye was, in real life, not such a romantic. In modern parlance, one might call him problematic. He married Anna Ruby Gordy in 1963, when he was 24 and she was 41; the marriage was, by Gaye’s own admission, an attempt to break into the music industry — a business move. (He opined…

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by Greg Cwik Retrospective

Right Now, Wrong Then | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Distilled down to a one-sentence summary, the calmly melancholic Right Now, Wrong Then is the very essence of a Hong Sang-soo film: A bibulous director pursues an alluring young woman, and things go awry. With its sad, voluble characters drowning their problems in soju; its laconic narrative; those exacting zooms; the conversations between despondent men and women over coffee; the swells of ironically triumphant music; and the proleptic chit-chat — this film showcases all of Hong’s thematic and aesthetic affinities. And…

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