Monday, August 24, 2015

Vampires and Sluglords: Recent Viewing/ Listening, August 2015


Media I've been consuming lately...

FILM

Dracula (1931) Spanish language version; shot on the night shift during the shoot of the Bela Lugosi version, on the same sets. Overall a better film IMO-- I'll write more about this one in the future for sure.

Dawn of the Dead (Original + 2004 remake)
Do I Sound Gay? (documentary)
Amy (the Amy Winehouse documentary; very much worth seeing)
Inside Out-- one of Pixar's best. See it!
Minions: I expected it to be dark and brooding, but boy was I surprised.
Hot Girls Wanted (documentary)
Twin Peaks-- refreshing my memory before the new series comes out.

30 Days of Night: Definitely better than the comic, and as it turns out the author of the series was trying to get it made as a film from the git go. Not the greatest thing I've ever seen, but a way above average horror movie and enjoyable enough. Mostly wanted to check it out to catch up on my appreciation of Brian Reitzell's original scores, and it didn't disappoint in that regard. The vampires are limber, well choreographed and quite terrifying. I was most interested in the art direction of the town itself and how it was constructed/ rendered, which is amply recounted in the DVD extras.

And by the way, as far as the graphic novel series goes I highly recommend 30 Days of Night, Vol. 8: Red Snow. It's a tale set on WW II's Russian front in winter, and it utilizes its setting resourcefully to provide an interesting twist on the vampire mythos.

MUSIC

Juxta Phona & Offthesky: "Escape Kit"

Love this stuff. Glitchy and blurpy; somehow murky and crisp at the same time. Hard to categorize, but the prefix “post” and the word “dub” have to be in there somewhere. Pole meets Lee Scratch Perry? Regardless of the tools used, the sound has a blunted analog flavor but a sophisticated digital feel. And no vocals-- an added subtraction I wish more artists would incorporate!

Talvihorros: "Eaten Alive"

General strategy: pretty, chimey melodies backlit by shifting soundscapes of gently sculpted, protean white noise. Sometimes gets sinister and slow with pulses of (what sounds like) analog synth. Sigur Ros-ish sometimes, but better. Sometimes John Carpenter stops by to jam. Great sense of phrasing; tension/ release. Should be writing soundtracks if he/ she/ they’re isn’t/ not already.

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton: "Knives Don't Have Your Back"

I've been listening to lots of Metric lately, geeking out on the elegant simplicity of the songs plus the impression that the person singing them is really smart. So I decided to delve deeper into Emily Haines' work. And I've been pleased by this album. Introspective songs, material that reminds me of Lisa Germano's late 90s output ("Slide", "Excerpts from a Love Circus") in its compositional integrity and production subtlety. Sometimes spacey in a way that reminds me of Syd Barrett or Clint Mansell's soundtrack for "Moon". Not all tracks kill, but enough do that it's worth the exploration.

The Sluglords: "Sluglords Forever!"

Used to have this on vinyl as "Trails of Slime" back in the day. Straightforward but still somehow ornate punk from this legendary Bay Area band. Found it recently on emusic... Same material plus live and bonus tracks. Good to hear this stuff again.

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