Monday, October 03, 2016

October Reviews

These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.

Daily Projections: House and Carnival of Souls.  

The Stranger Film Openings: Let’s Do the Twist: Queer Film Festival (Strike a Pose, Torrey Pines, Pushing Dead, and Women Who Kill), Denial Has Strong Performances and Dialogue, and Dancer.

Slog/Film Opening count: 670 posts/reviews since 2011.
The Stranger Music Things to Do: The Julie Ruin, Kikagaku Moyo, Kingdom of the Holy Sun, Julia Dream, and Weeed, Jacuzzi Boys, Boyfriends, and Stallion, The Sonics, Tom Price Desert Classic, and Ayron Jones,
and Purling Hiss (unconfirmed).

Video Librarian: The Listeners, Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise, Something Better to Come, Grey’s Anatomy - Complete Twelfth Season [six-disc set], Classic Albums - The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds [Blu-ray], The Everly Brothers - Harmonies from Heaven [Blu-ray], The Catch  - The Complete First Season [two-disc set], Complete Unknown, The Passion Live, Circle of Poison, Coming Out, Dogtown Redemption, A Farmer’s Road, Llyn Foulkes - One Man Band, I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan, Look at Us Now, Mother!, The Trees, The Idol, Scorpions - Live in Munich 2012 [Blu-ray], The Tubes - The Musikladen Concert 1981, Equal Means Equal,
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live, and You and I 

Endnote: Image from The Criterion Collection.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Reviews

These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.

 Daily Projections: Hooligan Sparrow.

The Stranger Film Openings: The Hollars Is Another Dysfunctional Family Dramedy, A Darker Film Struggles to Breathe in the Comedy My Blind Brother, Cameraperson Captures the Personal and Professional Sides of an Accomplished Cinematographer, and A Man Called Ove Is a Swedish Gran Torino.

Slog/Film Opening count: 669 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires (this show was ultimately cancelled), Steve Gunn and Nap Eyes, and Jah Wobble & the Invaders of the Heart with Weeed.

Video Librarian: Dukhtar [Blu-ray], 50 feet from Syria, The 
Good Breast, Here Come the Videofreex, Lady Be Good - Instru-
mental Women in Jazz, Seven Songs for a Long Life, Trend Bea-
cons, Voices of Muslim Women from the US South, and Shame-
less - The Complete Sixth Season [Blu+digital/three-disc set].


Image credit: Jah Wobble and Mingus. Photographer unknown.  

Monday, August 08, 2016

August Reviews

These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: An Improv Troupe Faces the Future in Don’t Think Twice, You Really Must See Our Little Sister, Gentrification Is Not Easy in the Terrific Little Men, The Intervention Shows the Director Has Got the Right Stuff, R&B Star Usher Successfully Plays Sugar Ray Leonard in Movie About Panamanian Boxer, and Black Kids Rock Hard in Breaking a Monster.

Slog/Film Opening count: 666 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Marissa Nadler, Wrekmeister Harmonies, and Muscle and Marrow, Globelamp, Takashi Miyaki, DJ Mermod, and DJ Tomi, Parquet Courts, and Gap Dream (which was ultimately canceled). 


Video Librarian: Dugong & Din - A True Story of a Boy and His 
Sea Cow, Aquí, Ní Allá, Shout Gladi Gladi, Dear Eleanor, Endgame [Blu-ray], Wedding Doll, L’Attesa, No Men Beyond This Point, Songs My Brother Taught Me, Summertime, and Parched.

Endnote: Image from Sony Pictures Classics. 

Thursday, July 07, 2016

July Reviews

Royalty Hightower in The Fits.
These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Royalty Hightower Illuminates the Coming-of-Age Tale The Fits, French Cowboys, Islamic Terrorists, and John C. Reilly in Les Cowboys, NUTS! Tells the Story of an All-American Nut, and A 100-Year-Old Woman in Older Than Ireland Attributes Her Long Life to the Fact She Never Ate a Vegetable.

Slog/Film Opening count: 661 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Puget Soundtrack:
Fungal Abyss Presents The Devils

Video Librarian: The Damned - Don't You Wish That We Were Dead [DVD+Blu-ray], East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, The Nasty Terrible T-Kid 170 - Julius Cavero, Song of Lahore, The Winding Stream - The Carters, the Cashes, and the Course of Country Music, A Sinner in Mecca, Wondrous Boccaccio, Cornbread, Earl and Me [Blu].

Endnote: Image from Oscilloscope Laboratories. 

Friday, June 03, 2016

June Reviews

Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig in Maggie's Plan.
These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

Cinema Squabble: I guested on Episode #37 with podcast hosts Adam Gehrke and Sara Michelle Fetters to talk about Tickled, Neon Demon, Finding Dory, and other new releases.

SIFFBlog: SIFF 2016 Guests Include Shunji Iwai, Ti West, Martin Bell, and Erin "Tiny" Blackwell and More SIFF 2016 Guests: Megan Griffiths, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Paulina Obando.
The Stranger Film Openings: Talented Boxer Learns the Cost of Fame Is Your Soul in T-Rex, Rebecca Miller Loves Her Characters in Maggie's Plan, Kaili Blues Makes Magic Out of the Ordinary, Oriented Is a Timely Documentary About Muslim Gays in Tel Aviv, The Docu-
mentary Tickled Uncovers Emotional Pain
, and A Stoic Dachshund Waddles Through the Casual Cruelty of Humanity in Wiener-Dog.

Slog/Film Opening count: 656 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Elysian 20th Anniversary Show (with the Gits, the Raveonettes, Black Lips, DJ Riz, etc.), Heron Oblivion, Boogarins, and Low Hums, Jessy Lanza, DJ Taye, and Jimi Jaxon, KEXP Rocks the Dock: Erik Blood, Telekinesis, Summer Cannibals, and DJ Evie, and Deerhoof, Skating Polly, and Scarves

Video Librarian: Life Is Sacred, Nefertiti's Daughters,  
Regarding Susan Sontag, Melody Gardot - Live at the Oly-
mpia Paris [Blu-ray], American Masters - Janis: Little Girl 
Blue, Alan Jackson - Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks,  
Golden Gate Girls, The Spoils Before Dying, Belladonna of Sad-
, No Home Movie, and Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words.

Endnote: Image from Sony Pictures Classics.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May Reviews

Schoenaerts, Swinton, Johnson, and Fiennes in A Bigger Splash
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Mad Tiger
Asks the Question: Is the Leader of Peelander-Z a Genius or Mad?, Tilda Swinton Plays a Rock Star in the Magnificent A Bigger Splash, The US Is Finally Ready for Eiichi Yamamoto's 1973 Erotic Anima-
tion Belladonna of Sadness

Slog/Film Opening count: 650 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger SIFF Notes: The Memory of Fish, Sunset Song,  
Where Have All the Good Men Gone, The Violin Teacher, and As 
You Are. There may be more to come between now and June 12.

The Stranger already had a review for As You Are. Here's mine:

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte uses flashbacks and interrogation video to depict the friendship between two New York teens in the 1990s. The extro-
verted Mark (Charlie Heaton) meets the introverted Jack (Owen Camp-
bell) when their parents (Mary Stuart Masterson and Scott Cohen) fall in love. They become a triangle when they befriend Sarah (Amandla Stenberg) with whom they hang out and get high. Then jealousy enters the picture, and it all goes to shit. Though Joris-Peyrafitte is only 23, this is an assured debut that recalls Gus Van Sant in teen-thriller mode, so it's too bad it falls apart at the end. (KATHY FENNESSY)

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Dungen with Boogarins, Cate
Le Bon with Mega Bog, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, and Elysian 20th
Anniversary Show with the Gits, the Raveonettes, Black Lips, etc. 

Video Librarian:
Between Allah and Me (and Everyone Else), Pearl S. Buck - A Life, a Legacy, A Chance to Dress, College - The Other Costs, Feminism Insha'allah - A History of Arab Feminism, How to End Unhealthy Relationships, The Way We Talk, Live from the House of Soul - Antibalas, Theory of Obscurity - A Film about the Residents [Blu-ray], and Zydeco Crossroads - A Tale of Two Cities [Blu-ray].

Endnote: Image from Fox Searchlight Pictures. 

Saturday, April 02, 2016

April Reviews

Ursula Parker and Logan Miller in Take Me to the River.
These are 
the reviews
and other 
pieces I'm 
on this 

The Stranger Film Openings: Demolition Has Oscarless Jake Gyllenhaal Playing a Normal Guy, The Gimmick Excels in the Postmillennial Noir Too Late, Girl Must Sell Sex to Pay Debt in Sold, Chantal Akerman's No Home Movie Is About the Death of Her Mother, but It's Not Depressing, It’s Punks vs. Skinheads in Green Room, and Women Realize That Men Hold All the Cards in Fireworks Wednesday.

Slog/Film Opening count: 647 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Killer Mike, Bilal, Shap-
rece, and DJ El Mizell
, Lush, and Tortoise and Life Coach.

SIFFBlog: Matt Sobel's Take Me to the River.

Video Librarian: Growing Apart - The Politics of Family Separation, Code Girl, I Smile Back, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! [Blu-ray], Enrique Bunbury - El Camino Mas Largo [Blu-ray], American Masters - Carole King: Natural Woman [Blu-ray], and The Criterion Collection - A Poem Is a Naked Person. 

Endnote: Image from Film Movement. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Reviews

These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Hello, My Name Is Doris Is Harold and Maude for Millennials, The Bronze Is a Good Film with a Very Acrobatic Sex Scene, and Very Old Christopher Plummer Goes After a Very Old Nazi in Remember.

Slog/Film Opening count: 641 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: 2016 John in the Morning at Night: The Dandy Warhols, Young Fathers, Battleme, and Guests.

Video Librarian: Big Dream, India's Daughter, Life After 
Manson, Slash - Raised on the Sunset Strip [Blu-ray], Por-
trait of a Serial Monogamist, The Dicks from Texas, Live 
from the House of Soul - Charles Bradley with the Men-
ahan Street Band, Women Aren’t Funny, Turn It Up!  
A Celebration of the Electric Guitar [Blu-ray],
and Miss You Already [Blu-ray].


Endnote: Image from Roadside Attractions.

Monday, February 08, 2016

February Reviews

These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

KCTS 9: Screening films for the 2016 season
of Reel NW. Ti-
tles TBA.

The Stranger Film Openings: A Remarkable Life in Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words and Austerity Equals Impotence in Arabian Nights.

Slog/Film Opening count: 638 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Julia Holter and Circuit des Yeux, the Budos Band and Guests, Parquet Courts and Guests, Basia Bulat and the Weather Station, Audio Social Dissent 2016: Wolf Eyes, Tim-
my's Organism, Regression 696, and Video
, and Dengue Fever, Branden Daniel and the Chics, and Kingdom of the Holy Sun.

Video Librarian: 1 Way Up - The Story of Peckham BMX, I Am 
Thor [Blu-ray], Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl, This 
May Be the Last Time, Big Stone Gap [Blu-ray], and Honky.

Endnote: Image from Alt Film Guide (no photographer credited).

Thursday, January 07, 2016

January Reviews

Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years.
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

KCTS 9: Screening films for the Northwest Showcase, aka Reel NW. Titles TBA.

The Stranger Film Openings: Charlotte Rampling's Performance in 45 Years Is Great, but Her Comments About Race and the Oscars Are Offensive and Ignorant and Bad Cop Discovers...The World of Kanako.

Slog/Film Opening count: 636 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants, and Boyfriends, the Tom Price Desert Classic, the Riffbrokers, and Tales from the Birdbath, Ty Segall and the Muggers, CFM, and Bread and Butter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lower Dens, and Hibou.

Video Librarian: Being Canadian, Circle Unbroken - A Gullah Journey from Africa to America, Dreams Rewired, Hand Made with Love in France, Lady Antebellum - Wheels Up Tour [Blu-ray], The Mama Sherpas, Sinatra - All or Nothing at All [Blu-ray], Some Kind 
of Spark, The Ritchie Blackmore Story [Blu-ray], Jaco, Scorpions Forever and a Day [Blu-ray], and Roger Waters - The Wall [Blu-ray].

Endnote: Image from Sundance Selects.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Movies for Music Lovers: 2015 Edition

Jack O'Connell couldn't be better (and look more right) in '71
Click here 
for the 2014 

I'm not sure whether this is a first or not, but I'm pretty sure I listened
to more new records than I saw new movies in 2015--and I saw over
250 of the latter (not counting concert films and music documentaries
that never played theatrically)--so if you notice any notable omissions,
check out the list of films I missed below, and you'll probably find
them there. If not, feel free to give a shout. All of this isn't to say that
I didn't have a fantastic time at the movies this year. I did. I always do.

The links lead to my reviews for The Stranger, Portland Mercury, SIFFBlog, and the SIFF program guide (some also appeared in East Bay Express). My reviews for Video Librarian live behind a paywall.  

Sidse Babett Knudsen in The Duke of Burgundy
Top 10
1. '71 (Yann Demange)

The best film about The Troubles since Steve McQueen's Hunger. And for those who know nothing about the politics, it's still a great thriller in Odd Man Out-goes-digital mode. Surprisingly, the filmmaker isn't Irish--and nor is his protagonist--but a Brit of Algerian extraction. '71 is every bit as essential as In the Name of the Father and Bloody Sunday 

2. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland)
3. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
5. Carol (Todd Haynes)
6. While We're Young and Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)
7. White God (Kornél Mundruczó)
8. Girlhood (Céline Sciamma)
9. The Mend (John Magary)
10. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako)

11. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
12. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson)
13. Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson)
14. Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
15. Hard to be a God (Alexei German)
16. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller)
17. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
18. Tu Dors Nicole (Stéphane Lafleur)
19. Creed (Ryan Coogler)
20. Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad)

Note: I count home-video debuts as new releases, since I review so many of them. I caught Tu Dors Nicole on a Blu-ray that I reviewed for Video Librarian, though it also played SIFF's French Cinema Now festival in 2015. Other films I caught on video include Amy, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Mississippi Grind, Mommy, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, and Z for Zachariah.

Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years

Second Runners-up
1. 45 Years (Andrew Haigh)
2. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven)
3. Tangerine (Sean Baker)
4. The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt)
5. Mr. Holmes (Bill Condon)
6. Mommy (Xavier Dolan)
7. Heaven Knows What (Ben and Josh Safdie)
8. The Martian (Ridley Scott)
9. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour)
10. Jobs (Danny Boyle)

Top Documentaries
1. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
2. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi)
3. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution (Stanley Nelson)
4. The Wolfpack (Crystal Mozell)
5. Best of Enemies (Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon)
6. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
7. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)
8. Iris (Albert Mayles)
9. Sunshine Superman (Marah Strauch)
10. Courtship (Amy Kohn)

Laurie Anderson at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Also worthy of note: 808, All Things Must Pass, The Assas-
sin, The Automatic Hate, Be-
ing Evel, The Big Short, Black Coal, Thin Ice, Borrowed Identity, Boy Meets Girl, Cherry Tobacco, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Color of Noise, The Critic, Dope, A Fuller Life, Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Good Kill, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Hafu, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Jaco, Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows, Joy, Korla, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Listen to Me Marlon, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau, Love Between the Covers, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Mississippi Grind, My New Girlfriend, My Prairie Home, Name Me, Mr. Turner, Of Girls and Horses, People, Places, Things, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Queen of Earth, Queens and Cowboys, Results, Revenge of the Mekons, Room, Saint Laurent, The Salt of the Earth, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Sicario, Slow West, Song of the Sea, Spectre, Spy, Straight Outta Compton, Trainwreck, The Tribe, Unexpected, The Walk, We Monsters, Welcome to New York, Wet Bum, When Evening Falls on Bucharest, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Wild Canaries, Z for Zachariah, and Zero Motivation.

Yana Novikova of The Tribe at the Northwest Film Forum. 

Missed or haven’t seen yet: 99 Homes, About Elly, Advantageous,  
Amour Fou, Arabian Nights, Ballet 422, Blackhat, Bone Tomahawk,  
Breathe, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn,* Cemetery of Splendor, Chevalier,
Chi-Raq, Clouds of Sils Maria, Court, Eden, Experimenter, Franco-
fonia, The Good Dinosaur, Grandma, The Hateful Eight, Hitchcock-
Truffaut, Horse Money, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, The Hunting Ground, In the Shadow of Women, Inside Out, The Iron Min-
istry, Irrational Man, Jackson Heights, Janis: Little Girl Blue, Jauja, The Kindergarten Teacher, Li’l Quinquin, Love, Magic Mike XXL, Man from Reno, Maps to the Stars, Moana with Sound, Mountains May Depart, Office, Nasty Baby, No Home Movie, The Pearl Button, The Revenant, Ricki and the Flash, The Royal Road, La Sapienza, Seymour: An Introduction, Shaun the Sheep: The Movie, Son of Saul, Suffragette, Taxi, Tokyo Tribe, Trumbo, Truth, We Come as Friends, Welcome to Me, What Happened, Ms. Simone?, What We Do in the Shadows, Where to Invade Next, Wild Tales, The Wonders, and Youth.

* I saw Brooklyn on 1/2/16. I liked it, but this should come as little surprise since I also liked John Crowley's Boy A, An Education (which featured an adapted screenplay from Nick Hornby), and every performance Saoirse Ronan has given, from Atonement to Hanna.  

Final thoughts: Some of these films, like Son of Saul, haven’t opened
in Seattle yet; others never will, but many have appeared on other top
10 lists. Though I’m not interested in seeing everything, all are signifi-
cant in some way, and I plan to catch up with most in the next year or two. And yes! I missed the latest films from Cronenberg and Assayas. How does that happen when they’re two of my favorite filmmakers? It happens because whenever I have free time, I’m broke, and whenever I'm not broke, I have no free time. I reviewed hundreds of videos this year, many of them fairly obscure (films designed for the educational market and the like). It keeps me occupied, but it also makes it hard
to keep up with the movies everybody's talking about, from the new James Bond to the new Star Wars. Also, Frederick Wiseman has had an arrangement with PBS for as long as I can remember. I always wait for the broadcast premiere to catch up with his documentaries.

Endnote: Jack O'Connell image from Roadside Attractions.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Songs for Cineastes: 2015 Edition

Lamont Thomas of Obnox. 
Click here 
for the 2014 

I probably spent more time listening to new music in 2015 than any other year, and that includes my days as a music director (when staffers helped me to plow through the deluge of records and CDs we received each week).

On average, that means several hours a day every day listening to new singles, EPs, and full-lengths. Although I don't rank them, I also watch-
ed a lot of videos and listened to a lot of mixes. I receive most of this material from labels and publicists, but I'm a freelance writer, and I di-
vide my time between music and film, so I don't get everything, and I don't have the time or money to hear it all, so you're sure to notice notable omissions. To that end, I've included a list of records at the end of this post that might have made my list if I had heard them in their entirety. In those cases, I heard a song or an excerpt, but didn't have access to the full-length in time. Some of these titles, like the Har-
monia collection are now sold out (at least according to Other Music).

As ever, ranking is somewhat arbitrary, except for #1. I love to rank things, but I kind of hate it, too. Plus, my feelings change with time; not radically so, but enough that these titles would probably remain the same, but the order in which they appear would look different. I can never really predict what will stand the test of time. I mean, sometimes I can, but not always. If something--anything--gets overplayed, it tends to grate on my nerves after awhile, and I notice flaws that weren't ap-
parent before. Or if they were always apparent, I focus on them more than I would otherwise. You could call it a flaw in my construction, and I wouldn't beg to differ, but it's part of the reason why independent releases will always give me more joy than major-label productions.

Note: Links lead to my previews for The Stranger (the paper's staff
published their lists here). Unnumbered lists are in alphabetical order.  

Top 10
1. Obnox - Boogalou Reed (12XU)

A new discovery for me. I'm not familiar with Lamont "Bim" Thomas's previous work, and nor did I hear the other two albums, Wiglet and Know America, that he released this year. I only know that Boogalou Reed--ridiculous title and all--rocked harder than anything else I heard (including that incendiary Wolf Eyes record), and I look forward to hearing more from Thomas in the years to come. As with Kamasi Washington's The Epic, this is a record and an artist that received very little love from Seattle in 2015. We can and should do better to support such talented, uninhibited artists. The fact that they're musicians of color makes their absence from local publications and airwaves seem even more unfortunate.  

2. Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated at Last (Castle Face)
3. Shamir - Ratchet (XL Recordings)
4. Twerps - Range Anxiety (Merge)
5. Kamasi Washington - The Epic (Brainfeeder)
6. Jane Weaver - Silver Globe (Finders Keepers)
7. The Cairo Gang - Goes Missing (God?-Drag City)
8. Bitchin Bajas & Natural Information Society -  
    Automaginary (Drag City)
9. Föllakzoid - III (Sacred Bones)
10. Wolf Eyes - I Am A Problem: Mind in Pieces (Third Man)

11. Joanna Newsom - Divers (Drag City)
12. Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs (Drag City)
13. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier (4AD)
14. Shopping - Why Wait and Consumer Complaints (FatCat)
15. Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl -
      We Are Not the First (RVNG Intl.)
16. Destroyer - Poison Season (Merge)
17. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)
18. Boogarins - Manual (Other Music Recording Co.)
19. Six Organs of Admittance - Hexadic II (Drag City)
20. Royal Headache - High (What’s Your Rupture?)

Second Runners-up
21. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, 
       and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop)
22. Moon Duo - Shadow of the Sun (Sacred Bones)
23. Meg Baird - Don’t Weigh Down the Light (Drag City)
24. Slim Twig - Thank You for Stickin’ with Twig (DFA)
25. Ultimate Painting - Green Lanes (Trouble in Mind)
26. Jacco Gardner - Hypnophobia (Polyvinyl)
27. Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart - Suuns and 
      Jerusalem in My Heart (Secretly Canadian)
28. Metz - II (Sub Pop)
29. Micachu & the Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad (Rough Trade)
30. Circuit des Yeux - In Plain Speech (Thrill Jockey)

Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux. 

Local Superstars
1. La Luz - Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art)
2. The Sonics - This Is the Sonics (Revox)
3. Pony Time - Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True (self-released)
4. Wimps - Suitcase (Kill Rock Stars)
5. Childbirth - Women’s Rights (Suicide Squeeze)
6. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial (Matador) 
7. Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles - Holy Rollers (Suicide Squeeze)
8. Chastity Belt - Time to Go Home (Hardly Art)

Top Reissues
1. Various Artists - Ork Records: New York, 
     New York (Numero Group)
2. Karin Krog - Don't Just Sing | An Anthology 
    1963-1999 (Light in the Attic)
3. Zeus B. Held - Vinyl Collection (Medical Records)
4. Various Artists - Don't Think I've Forgotten: 
    Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (Dust-to-Digital)
5. Frederick Michael St. Jude - Gang War (Drag City)
6. Elyse Weinberg - Greasepaint Smile (Numerophon)
7. John Carpenter - Lost Themes (Sacred Bones)
8. Six Organs of Admittance - Dust and Chimes (Holy Mountain)
9. Beat Happening - Look Around (Domino)
10. Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy: 
     10th Anniversary Edition (Jagjaguwar)

Note: I forgot to add Laddio Bolocko's Live and Unreleased: 1997-2000 (Quarter Records), so just think of it as #11.  

1. White Magic - I'm Hiding My Nightingale (Leaving)
2. Ty Segall - Mr. Face (Famous Class)
3. Susanna - Songs Revisited (SusannaSonata)
4. Parquet Courts - Monastic Living (Rough Trade)
5. Amen Dunes - Cowboy Worship (Sacred Bones)

Top single
David Bowie - "Blackstar" (Sony)

Also worthy of note: Benjamin Clementine - At Least for Now (Capitol Records), Cold Beat - Into the Air (Crime on the Moon), Deradoorian - The Expanding Flower Planet (Anticon), Django Django - Born Under Saturn (Ribbon Music), Drinks - Hermits on Holiday (Heavenly Recordings), Bill Fay - Who Is the Sender? (Dead Oceans), Flying Saucer Attack - Instrumentals 2015 (Drag City), Gardens & Villa - Music for Dogs (Secretly Canadian), Don Howland - Life Is a Nightmare (12XU), Stone Jack Jones - Love and Torture (Western Vinyl), Jessie Jones - Jessie Jones (Burger), Idjut Boys - Versions (Smalltown Supersound), Mike Krol - Turkey (Merge), Lady Lamb - After (Mom+Pop), Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Manhattan (Rough Trade), Mantles - All Odds End (Slumberland), Rhett Miller - The Traveler (ATO Records), Peacers - Peacers (Drag City), A Place to Bury Strangers - Transfixiation (Dead Oceans), Public Service Broadcasting - The Race for Space (Test Card Recordings), Michael Rault - Living Daylight (Burger), Shannon & the Clams - Gone by the Dawn (Hardly Art), Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer (Carpark), Summer Twins - Limbo (Burger Records), Richard Thompson - Still (Fantasy Records), Thundercat - The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam (Brainfeeder), Turn to Crime - Actions (Mugg and Bop), Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar), Ryley Walker - Primrose Green (Dead Oceans), Wand - 1,000 Days (God?-Drag City) and Golem (In the Red), Jamie Woon - Making Time (Blue Note), WX - WX (Castle Face), and Yo La Tengo - Stuff Like That There (Matador).

James McNew, Georgia Hubley, and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo at the Neptune.
Need to hear more: Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida (Trouble in Mind), Duke Ellington & His Orchestra - The Connie Plank Session (Grönland), Fuzz - II (In the Red), Girl Band - Holding Hands with Jamie (Rough Trade), Harmonia - Complete Works (Grönland), King Midas Sound/Fennesz - Edition 1 (Ninja Tune), Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly (Aftermath-Interscope), Cass McCombs - A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc. (Domino), Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa (World Circuit), Mueller_Roedelius - Imagori (Grönland), Peach Kelli Pop - III (Burger), and Smokey - How Far 
Will You Go?: The S&M Recordings, 1973-81 (Chapter Music).

Endnote: Obnox image from Público (no photographer noted).  

Thursday, December 03, 2015

December Reviews

The young cast of Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Mustang.
These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: The Danish Girl Fails to Strike a
Blow Against Hollywood's Heteronormative Hegemony
, Success
Is a Miracle Mop in Joy
, and Mustang Has a Kick-Ass Heroine

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Mike Krol, Rupert
Angeleyes, and Acapulco Lips
, Okkervil River, and
La Luz, Gazebos, and Sick Sad World.

Slog/Film Opening count: 634 posts/reviews since 2011.

Video Librarian: Love Between the Covers, The Placebo Effect, The 
Polygon, Private Violence, Resistance, Tap or Die, UnSlut, The Year 
We Thought About Love, Rock 'n Rhythm Collector's Set: The 1955 
Rock 'n Roll Revue and Rhythm and Blues Revue [two-disc set], Rage 
Against the Machine - Live at Finsbury Park [Blu-ray], Giving Up the 
Ghosts - Closing Time at Doc’s Music Hall [Blu-ray], Just Let Go - 
Lenny Kravitz Live [Blu-ray], Kurt Cobain - Montage of Heck [Blu-
ray], Katy Perry - The Prismatic World Tour Live [Blu-ray], Black 
Stone Cherry - Thank You, Livin’ Live Birmingham UK [Blu-ray + 
CD], The Color of Noise [Blu-ray + DVD], Advanced Style, Rebel Scum.

Endnote: Image from Variety by way of Cohen Media Group. 

Monday, November 02, 2015

November Reviews

Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight.
These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Sex, Lies, and the Catholic Church in Spotlight and Even a Little Kink Can’t Save Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea.

Slog/Film Opening count: 631 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Micachu &
the Shapes
and Yo La Tengo and Dave Schramm.

Video Librarian: Pat Metheny - The Unity Sessions [Blu-ray], Sis-
ters - Seasons One & Two [seven-disc set], Soul Boys of the Western 
World - Spandau Ballet: The Film, Tu dors Nicole [Blu-ray], What’s 
Going On - Taste Live at the Isle of Wight [Blu], Barefoot in the Kit-
chen, A Courtship, Nazareth - No Means of Escape [Blu], Gone with 
the Wind - The Remarkable Rise and Tragic Fall of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Endnote: Image from Open Road Films.