T’bone
Mt. Trashmore
Clown Ethics Recordings

Chicago math rockers T’bone make complex grooves for the kids who just barely passed Algebra II. Mt. Trashmore tracks tend to fall into one of two categories: pulsating jams with fairly conventional structures and completely or largely instrumental exercises punctuated with bellowed non-sequiturs.  The trio–Ed Bornstein on drums, Pat McPartland on guitar, and Leland Meiners on bass–pack a lot of ideas into a song, time signature and key changes abound, but they went for the populist jugular on the lyrics. (more…)

This is my second post about Kevin Smith’s cinematic “swan song,” Red State. I realize I may be succumbing to the trench coat-clad director’s whims by spending so much of my time on it, but the movie practically screams out to the world “talk about me!”
I’ve already talked about the film’s uneven second half, but I’ve felt compelled to chronicle the film’s downfall. Like the collapse of the 2011 Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, there’s something magical and fascinating about the erosion of Red State. Strap in, this is a long one (but there are also lots of pictures!). (more…)

I haven’t felt the desire to write much lately–as the date line on the second most recent post will indicate, but Kevin Smith‘s supposed cinematic swan song, Red State, has stirred something in me. I have a real soft spot for art with rough edges. Red State definitely fits the bill. I find the film so interesting, I’m compelled to compose two write-ups on Smith’s foray into horror: this more conventional review, and a breakdown of one of the film’s pivotal scenes; which will probably drop in a week or so.
As I’ve already implied, Red State is a mixed bag of a film. A film with a broad scope and vision without the budget to bring it to fruition, a run time without space to show it as thoroughly as needed, and an auteur without the patience to give each aspect it’s due diligence. However, what Smith has almost always lacked in technical skill, he’s usually made up for with above average to even great dialogue and an obvious love for the project. (more…)

One of the hardest things about being attached to a smaller local music scene is when a promising act breaks up. It happens a lot. When Iowa City’s Molly Ringwald called it quits a year or so ago, I was pretty bummed. The flip side of that coin is that rarely do talented, interesting people stay off the stage for long. So welcome two-thirds of Molly Ringwald back into the fold, folks. Dustin Hamnes and Jake Mathesien find themselves part of a quintet making a similarly shaggy brand of music in Safe Words. (more…)

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