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…)

Advertisements

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…)

We’re already over halfway through 2011. I wanted to highlight a few fine records I’ve gotten into so far. I wrote up a list of my favorite Iowa City releases for Little Village Magazine already, so I won’t be rehashing that, I’ll just single out some stellar releases and unnecessarily pigeon-hole and qualify them cause, why not?

Liturgy
Aesthetica
Thrill Jockey

From about ages 13 through 16, give or take a year or two, metal and hard rock ruled my radio. Discovering Radiohead around 16, marked the beginning of a pretty precipitous decline in head-banging and a more regular move toward “the standing still.” After a violent shunning of all things stupid, loud, and crude–my dismissive stance on metal and hard rock–for the early part of college, I allowed myself to enjoy the louder things in life. I have, since my junior year of college, found a few records that really up the decibel level and also appeal to my “more refined” tastes. (more…)

We’re already over halfway through 2011. I wanted to highlight a few fine records I’ve gotten into so far. I wrote up a list of my favorite Iowa City releases for Little Village Magazine already, so I won’t be rehashing that, I’ll just single out some stellar releases and unnecessarily pigeon-hole and qualify them cause, why not?

Mike Birbiglia
Sleepwalk With Me (Live)
Comedy Central Records

This is a no-brainer. I haven’t heard many comedy albums in 2011 (not for lack of material, but for lack of finances), but I have a hard time imagining a comedy recording that I’ve yet to hear from 2011 with as much heart and laughs as deep as Mike Birbiglia‘s latest release.
Sleepwalk With Me is not a stand-up record though. Birbiglia has been touring with this one man show for a few years (compiled the stories into a book as well) and finally committed it to record for posterity. (more…)

We’re already over halfway through 2011. I wanted to highlight a few fine records I’ve gotten into so far. I wrote up a list of my favorite Iowa City releases for Little Village Magazine already, so I won’t be rehashing that, I’ll just single out some stellar releases and unnecessarily pigeon-hole and qualify them cause, why not?

Peaking Lights
936
Not Not Fun

Madison, Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights became a reggae band so gradually, I hardly even noticed. But now that they make the coolest, lemonade-sippin’, flip-flop-wearing drone music in the Western Hemisphere, you just have to have this thing spinning when things get chill, the sun starts going down and you begin to ironically roast vegan marshmallows–yeah I laid it on thick there, sorry. (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…)