by Greg Cwik

#StreamingScene by Greg Cwik Film

Shirley | Josephine Decker

June 5, 2020

Describing Sofia Behrs Tolstaya, a diarist and photographer who remains better known as the wife of Leo Tolstoy, Elizabeth Hardwick wrote: “With her mangled intelligence, her operatic, intolerable frenzies of distress, she comes forth still with an almost menacing aliveness, saying it all like a bell always on alert.” One might describe the writer Shirley Jackson — or at least the depiction of Jackson in Josephine Decker’s Shirley — in a similar manner. Though the film, a work of fiction…

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#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Chromatics | Closer to Grey

Johnny Jewel’s music is imbued with an eldritch air of nostalgia, the coupling of retro synth-pop and filmic ambiance bringing to mind images of a late night drive along a caliginous road; his production gleams like a rain-slick street, and the recalcitrant synth lines…

October 14, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Miles Davis | Bitches Brew

When Miles Davis released his seminal 1969 album In a Silent Way, its newfangled, neoteric sound — which Lester Bangs described as “space music” — polarized the musician’s fans. The Jazz purists, much like acoustic Bob Dylan die-hards, were flummoxed by the jarring change even…

October 1, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Serge Gainsbourg | Histoire de Melody Nelson

One of the horniest albums ever recorded, Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson is a 28-minute exhalation of libidinous longing. The album tells a Lolita-like tale, partially autobiographical, of the middle-aged musician’s fantasies about, and consequent seduction of, a 15-year-old girl named Melody Nelson, whose bike the man…

September 7, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Bon Iver | i,i

A man (bearded, crestfallen) traipses into the woods, where he holes up in a small cabin and writes music about his heartbreak — agonizingly vulnerable, earnest, intimate music, with whispery confessions and guitars so fine and fleeting they could be feelings themselves. Then, the…

August 19, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Brian Eno | Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks

Released in the summer of 1983, one year after Steven Spielberg’s E.T and four months after Ronald Reagan unveiled his plan for “Star Wars,” Brian Eno’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks is an album at once rooted deeply in its space-obsessed epoch, and yet timeless, ephemeral. It was…

July 22, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Thom Yorke | Anima

“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then,” Philip K. Dick wrote in A Scanner Darkly. Thom Yorke, modern music’s paranoid soothsayer, has, since OK Computer in 1997, often been called “prescient” for his neurotic, cryptic lyrics, so obsessed with systems of communication, with…

July 15, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

The National | I Am Easy to Find

The National have been making music for about 20 years, and, while their style has developed over those two decades — becoming more ornate, with electronics adding layers of malaise — the sad ex-Brooklynites have a reputation for being ‘consistent,’ meaning they shy away…

June 15, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism