Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nunzio Fattini - Album Primum (2011)

You're not gonna find this on Altered Zones or Gorilla vs. Bear. Fanuelle is an elusive artist and likes to keep his sounds underground. I have been waiting 6 years for some new material from one of the most innovative and talented pop musicians currently making music, Matthew Fanuelle. His self titled album is probably my favorite release of the of the 2000s. It's definitely in my top 5. So for those of you who are familiar with him might have been wondering what he's been up to lately after his disappearance several years back. Well thanks to Anh Do from Owley Patrol and The Tyde, I was informed today, much to my dismay and excitement that he has a new project under the moniker Nunzio Fattini. His debut album under his new incarnation isn't quite as good as his album as Fanuelle, but its still better than anything else to come out this year so far. The only gripes I have are minor ones, and they involve the quality of the recordings on his free album download. There are splotches and skips galore and some of the tracks cut off short. I'd imagine if you were kind and well off financially you could buy the album off iTunes and it would sound smoother than a baby's bottom, but I can't afford to right now, so I'm stuck with the damaged version for now. Another thing worth noting is he's changed his sound a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way. I do miss the "synthiness" of his previous efforts, but the new direction is good too. This is definitely a record you shouldn't miss and he's working on a follow up album which should be released sometime this year as well. Highly recommended stuff here.

Rating: 9/10


Monday, May 23, 2011

Mamoru Oshii - Angel's Egg (1985)

This film is a classic 80s "progressive anime" and nothing short of magical and mesmerizing. The project, a collaboration between popular artist Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii, is surreal with a thick dose of psychotomimetic minimalism and existential vibes. There's very little to the dialogue and plot, but it's not needed as the film's visual mechanisms are so powerful. The film centers around a young pseudonymous girl, who is the keeper of a mysterious egg. She spends her time collecting bottles and artifacts in a gothic, dead city until a strange and mysterious man, whose name also remains a mystery, arrives in the dark town one day riding a machine and wearing a cross-like sword on his back. The dynamic between the two characters is very ambiguous and thematic (maternal and paternal symbolism can be derived from the film on a number of levels, as well as creation and filicide to name a few) and is the main device of the narrative. Because of its subtleties and basals, this film is not for everyone, but it's worth checking out for it's dream-like visuals alone. But beyond that veneer lies a highly isolated, psychedelic look at religion and existentialism interspersed with science fiction and fantasy. Definitely one of my favorites.

Desolation Wilderness - Turquoise and Gold

Thanks Jason!

Pulp - Babies

Thursday, May 19, 2011

David Bowie & Pet Shop Boys - Hallo Spaceboy

Underground German experimental electro goddess and jack of all trades artisan, Janine Rostron aka Planningtorock is releasing her latest album in 5 years come May 17, titled simply 'W.' You can stream here

Monday, May 9, 2011

End of the week art round-up part IV (several days late)

Featured artist: illustrator Aubrey Beardsley

I could post hundreds more, but it'd be easier to go here and browse though the collection already compiled. One of my favorite artists.


Between midterms, work, and hedonistic indulgence I have been very busy lately, which would explain the lack of updates. After this week, I should be resuming my usual daily posting routine. Things to expect: Interviews John Maus, Dan Treacy (!) and a full week dedicated to all things Felt. Be vigilant!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

St. Christopher - Selected Discography

I love this band, but I'll have it admit, much like scotch to the novice drinker, it's an acquired taste. St. Christopher is one only a handful of pop bands who has always remained genuinely fresh (and often eccentric to the point of being considered obtuse in terms of musical composition). It goes without saying that they were one of the more experimental groups in the Sarah canon, and in the indie-pop genre in general. Efflorescent, pointillistic melodies swing hand in hand with Glenn Melia's clearly audible voice that sounds like it's being channeled through an elongated tube, creating an echoing effect of resonance that has become a St. Christopher trademark quality.

It's interesting how few influences you can find in Melia's songs; it's like looking for a needle in a haystack(Okay "She Looks Like You" of Lioness sounds a little like a Pulp song, but aside from that its all pretty anomalous. This rare originality is something that may turn some listeners off because although its unmistakeably pop, it's so unlike the usual power chord pop formula. Lyrically Melia sings about being in love and likewise being loveless, much like his Sarah labelmates. Melia was at his prime with early Sarah singleS such as You Deserve More Than a Maybe, All of a Tremble, and Say Yes to Everything, along with his fantastic debut album Bacharach. So if you're unacquainted with the band, start with the aforementioned releases and branch out from there. If you go in with an open you ear, not only will you not be disappointed, but you'll be surprised at how much St. Christopher's sound will grow on you.

Collection includes:

You Deserve More Than a Maybe (single, 1989)
All of a Tremble (single, 1989)
Antoinette (1990)
Say Yes to Everything (1991)
Bacharach LP (1990)
Lioness LP (1996)
Lost at Sea (The Sarah Recordings) (compilation, 2007)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hal Hartley - Fay Grim (2006)

Reading up on this before I saw it, I had some mixed feelings about this one. It's a sequel and a retcon to Henry Fool. I was weary that it would be ruin Hemry Fool by straying so far from the initial genre as this film is nothing like its precursor despite revolving around the same characters. It's an espionage thriller, where as Henry Fool was simply a drama about friendship between two unlikely men. Seven years have passed since the events in Henry Fool, and this time around the film is centered on Fay Grim, played by the absolutely stunningly gorgeous Parker Posey. Posey's austere acting syncs with the suspenseful tone of the film as does the rest of the casts'. A CIA agent, played by Jeff Goldblum coerces her to try and track down the notebooks of Fool's "confessions" which, retconning largely on Henry Fool, are actually encoded documents that could endanger the United States security. The sequel sheds a lot of light on Henry's background and gives his character a very interesting history.

In exchange for Simon Grim's release from prison Fay becomes bait for Goldblum's character and ends up traveling to Paris where she finds herself in the middle of an international conspiracy with government spies for several countries on the hunt for Henry's notebooks as well endangering her life and leaving her not knowing who to trust. She eventually ends up with all of the books and heads to Istanbul to find Henry once she finds out he is alive and his whereabouts. I'm not going to go into further plot details because I don't want to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it, but I'll say that it ends like a Hal Hartley film and I was left wanting more, but in a good way. So my initial worries about the film were set to rest, and Hartley manages to pull off an unexpected genre twist with this sequel. It works, and is an engaging, suspenseful film throughout, proving that Hartley is a director who can take big chances and follow through with the execution. If you haven't seen this, watch Henry Fool first, and this afterward; they're both unique films with great character development, smart dialogue (especially Henry's in both films, even if he only has a small part in Fay Grim) and unconventional plots that manage to keep your eyes glued to the screen.