Monday, January 31, 2011

Current Obsession: Bowie's Station To Station

Just got the Deluxe 3CD Edition of Station To Station by David Bowie. To say I am binging on this currently is an understatement. Bowie claims to have no memory of writing or recording the album, as he was in the midst of a massive drug addiction and spiritual breakdown at the time. This is incredible considering the album that was created during this haze of disillusionment. And make no mistake, Station To Station is nothing short of a masterpiece - taking on themes of drug addiction, Kabbalah, Christianity, Nietzschean philosophy, Grail mythology, occultism, and the Stations of the Cross. The lyrics were told from the point of view of The Thin White Duke, the last character Bowie would take on in order to write from a unique perspective.

Musically, the album is the bridge between the blue-eyed funk of his previous Young Americans period, but wrapped in an odd electronic, European plasticity which would come to fruition during the Berlin Trilogy period that was to follow.

It's breathtaking stuff, and the remastered sound is peerless. The album already sounded superb, and now it sounds even better. Pick it up, it's essential.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Undercity Is Urb Ex Heaven

UNDERCITY from Andrew Wonder on Vimeo.

is a brief documentary featuring the urban explorations of Andrew Wonder. Whether heading into legendary locations like the "lost" subway platform in Manhattan, or to the top of the Williamsburg Bridge to view the Brooklyn at 4 a.m., Wonder is fearless in his desire to bring the audience in contact with the forgotten subterranean jewels to be discovered above and below NYC.

I have long loved urban exploration, and this entertaining documentary is a great look at why urb ex adventurers risk their lives in order to experience history in a visceral way.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Microdot's Brian Cannon Interview Is Rare

Brian Cannon of Microdot designed some of my favorite album covers of all time in the mid to late 90's. As I've previously noted, I was a huge Anglophile back in the BritPop wars, and Cannon was responsible for many of the ephemera that covered literally ever single inch of my walls.

Mr. Cannon rarely gives interviews, and I was just pleased to catch up on how he is these days.

Read it here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dracula Poster Is Spectacularly Beautiful

This amazing poster from Mondo is a take on the classic, Bela Lugosi version of the Dracula movie poster. Wow, this is a great print.

Buy it here. Or buy one for me...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Glasvegas Back With Brilliant "The World Is Yours"

The new comeback single from the aforementioned Glasvegas is here. What is a surprise though is how much of a new direction the single - The World Is Yours - truly is. Surging, Stephen Morris-type drumming defines the track, a massive change due to the departure of drummer Caroline McKay. If this is any indication, this will be a very different album from their spectacular predecessor, their magnificent eponymous debut. Once the initial surprise wears off, the track really shines after repeated listenings. Actually, it's totally brilliant, the best new song of this year.

The album hits American shores April 4th. And needless to say, I can't wait. Consider my appetite sufficiently whetted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dilla Is Killa

I don't know who Dilla is, but this poster is awesome. Don't know you made it either, but woah, so good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Is England Is Powerful, Timely

With the recent snowstorm covering much of South Carolina, I have been able to catch up a little on my DVR stuff that has been building up for awhile.

From that queue comes This Is England - Shane Meadow's semi-biographical film about growing up in early 80's Britain. Set in 1983, the height of Thatcher's England, with massive unemployment and an unpopular war combine to create an atmosphere of despair. In that atmosphere frustrated members of the populace begin to attack the immigrant population as the cause of unemployment. I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between the period/place and the current climate in America. Eerily familiar - so much so it is disturbing.

The film is defined by the kitchen sink realism and the staggeringly authentic performances from the ensemble cast. Lightning rod skinhead Combo (played by the criminally underrated Stephen Graham) tears through the scenes like a bull in a china shop, destroying all around him. But it is the performance of the young Thomas Turgoose as main character Sean that carries the film. Having never acted before, Turgoose is startling as a 12 year old boy who has lost his father.

This is not good film making, but great film making, and is essential viewing for any film lover. It is also a timely reminding of what economic collapse can lead to.

Terrifying and brilliant.

The Future Is Unwritten Is Seminal

As most of you know, I am an out of control, over the top fan of The Clash. Joe Strummer - the frontman of The Clash - has long been one of my biggest heroes, not just musically, but for life.

I finally got to see the Julien Temple directed Joe Strummer documentary The Future Is Unwritten. Wow, it did not disappoint. Taking in archival footage and current issues with such luminaries as Mick Jones, Topper Headon, Paul Simonen, Bono, Steve Jones, Johnny Depp, Martin Scoresese, Bobby Gillespie, Damien Hirst, Jim Jarmusch, Anthony Kiedus, Matt Dillon, Don Letts, John Cusack and Steve Buscemi - to name just some of the eclectic mix of individuals whose life and work (regardless of medium) were profoundly effected by Strummer. But this is a warts and all style documentary, that doesn't pull punches or shy away from touching on the flaws of the man as well.

It's Strummer himself that gets that last word, and it's profoundly heartbreaking. While not as epochal as Temple's previous Sex Pistols documentary - The Filth and The Fury - it is a deserving tribute to a great man. Watch it. It's fantastic.

BTW - the above is not a trailer for the film, rather a cool introduction to the Clash for those unfamiliar. Enjoy.

Portable Homeless Shelters Are Genius

I recently read about the wearable homeless shelters invented by Detroit CCS student Veronika Scott. Not only do they work, but Veronika spent every cent she had in order to create them. They are really amazing.

Currently Ms. Scott is attempting to raise money to create more of them for the massive homeless population of Detroit.

Awesome - check them out here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Duncan Jones Back With "Source Code"

was one of my favorite films of last year, and it's visionary writer/director (and David Bowie's son) Duncan Jones provided an incredibly promising first film. His new film - Source Code - looks very, very intriguing.

Trailer above - enjoy.