Archive for February, 2008

Gentleman Auction House – The Book of Matches

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


Fantastic indie pop from…here! Reminds me of a St. Louis version of Bishop Allen. A ridiculously catchy EP released in anticipation of the full length, Alphabet Graveyard, this includes 2 songs from the album (I’m guessing it’s “ABCDEFGraveyard” and “The Book of Matches”, but I really don’t know), a b-side, and 2 unreleased tracks. It’s pretty much impossible to get “The Book of Matches” out of your head, which overshadows the greatness of “ABCDEFGraveyard” right before it, and the appropriately titled closer, “A Parting Shot”, is beautiful and leaves a lasting impression.
Check Gentleman Auction House out now. It wont be much longer until everyone else has.

MP3: The Book of Matches

Live on Air: Saturday 2/23 10pm – 11pm: Live interview with DJ Locutus

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

That’s right everyone, I’ll be hosting a special show on KWUR.com or KWUR 90.3 FM (if you’re near U. City) with St. Louis’s own DJ Locutus, live in Studio.

Residing in St. Louis, Locutus almost exclusively DJ’s internationally in Europe and abroad. He’ll be playing in the place we all call home for the first time in ages, at I’m So Techno on Saturday, March 8 at Mercury (1025 Spruce St., STL) all for the magical price of $5.

I’ll be doing my best Charlie Rose/Anderson Cooper impression, and interviewing the man about DJ’ing here and abroad, his production work, DJ’ing as a postmodern art, and how he got to where he was.

If you can’t get to it, I’ll be recording it, and the podcast will be posted on the kwur.com blog.

peace all,
brian.
DJ Meatface
Director of Electronic Music – KWUR 90.3 FM

Oh yeah, here’s a bio:

Locutus has been championing the sounds of American techno both in the reemerging American dance scene and while performing extensively in Asia and Europe. His renowned DJ skills have been witnessed at the finest clubs, festival, and events around the world. Rather than pigeonholing himself like many DJs today, his sets blend a range of funky styles form house, techouse, electro, minimal, and of course techno. He brings back meaning to the word “mix”. He has recently put out prominent EPs for Ignition Technician’s DJ Special Needs, and was on remix duties for Notorius North. In addition he has highly acclaimed and charted releases on his own labels Bipolar and Polarized, and other international labels such as Konsequent, Surface, Tensionworks, Serie, Illtown, Ber Knuckle, Remains, Dark Print, Anode, Elypsia, and Azure. Not only has Locutus been able to share the decks and studio with some of the giants of techno, but it is commonplace to see his vinyl releases in the boxes of top jocks like: Ben Sims, Adam Beyer, Henry Chow, Chris Finke, Ignition Technician, Adam Jay, Dave Clarke, Suburban Knight, Sven Vath, Marco Bailey, Angel Molina, Frankie Bones, DJ Surgeon and others.

Album Reviews: Black Mountain, "In The Future"; The Raveonettes, "Lust Lust Lust"; The Mae Shi, "Hillyh"

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Black Mountain – “In The Future”
This freak-folk hard rock album sounds like what you thought rock should sound like when you were a 13 year old boy – balls-out, sweet riffs, killer drums, “And they called it Stonehenge…” As such, there’s a bit here that smacks of Lynyrd Skynyrd reactionary rock, but usually it’s just weird enough so you can rock out without shame.

Play: 1++, 2, 3++++(KICK ASS), 5, 6++(Sabbath!), 8+, 9++(Neat)

The Raveonettes – “Lust Lust Lust”
The Raveonettes are still basically just the best Jesus And Mary Chain cover band out there, and it’s frustrating to see them succeed without progressing one iota stylistically. Still, I’ll be damned if they can’t write a beautiful song with little more than amp fuzz and Sharin Foo’s bell-like voice. If you let it, this album will break your heart.

Play: 3, 4, 6+, 7+, 9++, 10+++(sweet bass line, percussion), 12 and 13+++ (will rip your heart out of your fucking chest)

The Mae Shi – “Hillyh”
Energetic, chanty, melodic LA indie pop that combines the sing-a-long playfulness of Architecture In Helsinki with the quirkiness and inventiveness of The Fiery Furnaces. Like your friends are having a beer and pizza party in your ear – great fun!

Play: 1++(vocal melody!), 2++++(lyrics awesome!), 3+++(Rawk), 4++, 5, 7, 8+, 9++ (sing along, kids), 11, 14++(sweet)

Subversive Cinema: Godard’s Rolling Stones Film

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Sympathy For The Devil a.k.a. One Plus One (England/France, 1968)

On the eve of the May 1968 student revolts in Paris, Jean-Luc Godard would leave for London to make his first English film. Godard, who was increasingly becoming politically radical, claimed the film was his last “bourgeois film”.

Godard had originally agreed to make a fully-financed film about abortion in England; the plan fell through when abortion laws changed. Demandingly, Godard told the producers he would still make an English film if they could get either the Beatles or the Rolling Stones to participate. Eventually the producers provided Godard with 180,000 pounds and a Rolling Stones commitment.

The filming was plagued with problems: the Student revolts were going on in Paris, the Rolling Stones’ studio caught fire, and Brian Jones (who would die a year later) was arrested.

The film was originally supposed to tell a parallel story about creation and destruction. While the Rolling Stones were creating “Sympathy for the Devil” (from the 1968 LP, Beggars Banquet) in the studio, a love-triangle between a girl named Democracy, a Nazi Texan, and a militant black man would develop. Democracy’s eventual suicide would provide the destruction angle.

Not surprisingly, Godard threw the narrative out the window. The final product is an abstract mixture of the Rolling Stones recording sessions, Black Power, graffiti, and Marxist ideology.

To make the film more marketable, the producers added a completed version of “Sympathy for the Devil” to the soundtrack at the end of the film. Godard strongly disapproved. As Gary Elshaw explains, “throughout the film, the spectator is shown the process of the Rolling Stones recording the song, but part of Godard’s scenario for the film is a lack of any kind of closure for the issues represented in One Plus One. Therefore, to include the full version of the song is in contradiction with the meaning of the film.

This new version was titled Sympathy for the Devil, while Godard’s was titled One Plus One. To much confusion, both were released simultaneously. Personally, I can’t help but compare this film to the Beatles 1969 recording studio film, Let It Be.


My favorite part of the story:
“When the film premiered at the London Film Festival on November 30 1968, Godard asked the audience in attendance to ask for its money back…Godard also asked the audience to contribute their refunded money to the international committee for the defense of Eldridge Cleaver, who had gone underground two days previously. After many in the audience rejected Godard’s proposal he stormed from the cinema calling the audience “Fascists,”"

Sympathy for the Devil is available on DVD from Abcko films.

Most of this blog entry was ripped off of Gary Elshaw’s M.A. thesis “The Depiction of late 1960′s Counter-Culture in the 1968 Films of Jean-Luc Godard”. The full text is available here.

-Klax

Another one from the Jackson Vault: The Most Expensive Movie Ever Made

Monday, February 18th, 2008

So it’s not really the most expensive movie ever made. At the time that it came out, though, it was the most expensive film per minute, ever. The 17 minute 3D feature made for Disney Themeparks cost between 18 and 30 million dollars. What the hell am I talking about? Captain EO. It was produced by George Lucas, directed by Francis For Coppola and stars, that’s right, Michael Jackson. The thing is a special effects circle jerk. Using lasers, laser impacts, smoke effects and starfields that filled the theater, it basically felt like being inside Star Wars. That is if Star Wars starred Michael Jackson and Alfie.

The basic story is that Michael Jackson (Captain EO) and his crew of aliens and robots are on a mission to deliver a gift to the wicked queen the Supreme Leader (Anjelica Huston). Her planet basically looks like the scene where Luke destroys the Death Star, right down to a recreation of the part where he flies through the canyon while being chased by tie fighters. The starships look different, but its really the same scene.

When the team meets the Supreme Leader they win her over with a funky song and dance number and end up converting her into a beautiful princess and her planet into a paradise. Its what you would get if Michael Jackson wrote a movie (although he didn’t actually write this one, you know he loved it). The film played for about 12 years in various parks before being discontinued in 1997. It is currently unavailable on DVD or VHS, and certainly cannot be viewed in all of its 3D glory.

Here it is, sans 3D effects. It is certainly not as spectacular as it was, but it is frickin hilarious and should be viewed anyways.

Part 1

Part 2

Stay tuned for more gems from deep in the Jackson Vault