Sugar KurtzI was all totally jazzed about Searching for Sugar Man. The movie sits right in my wheel house. Some Afrikaner music nerds get all every-man-detective and go looking for answers regarding a mysterious American singer/songwriter by the name of Sixto Rodriguez–who went by the fairly uncreative nom de plum Rodriguez. I remained totally jazzed over the two days I watched it. However, in the day (and change) that has elapsed since I finished it, I’m left feeling pretty empty. (more…)


I’ve already blown a couple hundred words on what a good year for music it has been. I had composed a little rant about how, despite the high quality to be found across wide-ranging genres, there really wasn’t a clear high-water mark, and then Stephen Hyden went and wrote a longer, better piece about that very phenomenon in the AV Club. So that sort of boned this introductory paragraph about how difficult it was to crown a number one without a cultural swing (whether generic or broader) to join or rally against. Enjoy this really great top 10 even if it is devoid of material which made Zeus quake or stirred fears of revolution in the late Kim Jong-Il. (more…)

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…)

[This is, of course, not another G.O.O.D. Friday cut, and therefore not another review of a GF cut, but I already had this heading and all, so deal with it.]
Kanye West is half a year removed from downright dominating Twitter with his weekly leaks, but he’s a spotlight fiend. Before we could entirely come down from all the critical hysteria over West’s fifth magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (a title that still sounds like he stole it from Panic! At the Disco), we were already hearing rumbles about an EP or album-length collaberation with Yeezy’s boss, mentor, and “big brother,” Jay-Z. (more…)

It’s been five years since Ed Gray last laid tracks to tape. That resulted in one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years, the lo-fi stunner The Late Gray Ed Great. The long-awaited follow-up to Gray’s 2006 masterstroke, Old Bending River is considerably more polished. Before you start bellowing “sell out” or some such nonsense, that doesn’t mean Gray is penning tunes for Train or Matchbox 20; River is still dark and gruff, it’s just recorded on some better microphones. (more…)

Next Page »