Monday, December 31, 2012

Songs for Cineastes: 2012 Edition

Cate Le Bon (The Control Group)
Click here for the 2011 edition. 

Rather than a list of film scores or soundtracks, the following represents an assortment of music recommended for movie lovers such as myself. Some independent film fans prefer mainstream movie fare. Similarly, some art house aficionados prefer major-label music. There's nothing wrong with that; I just can't relate to it (and try to avoid giving the Man my money whenever possible). If you share my taste in movies, there's a good chance you might share my taste in music. Links lead to reviews and previews for Line Out.

The Tops:
1. Cate Le Bon - CYRK (The Control Group)
2. Julia Holter - Ekstasis (RVNG Intl.)
3. Tie: Neneh Cherry - The Cherry Thing
    and The Cherry Thing Remixed (Smalltown Supersound)
4. Niobe - The Cclose Calll (Tomlab)
5. Tie: Ty Segall - Twins and Ty Segall
    and White Fence - Hair (Drag City)
6. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Cobra Juicy (Rad Cult)
7. FRKWYS Vol.9: Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras
    Meet the Congos - Icon Give Thank (RVNG Intl.)
8. METZ - METZ (Sub Pop)
9. Django Django - Django Django (Ribbon Music)
10. Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber (Fat Possum)

1. Air - Le Voyage dans le Lune (Astralwerks-EMI)
2. Black Bananas - Rad Times Xpress IV (Drag City)
3. Frankie Rose - Interstellar (Slumberland)
4. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch (4AD)
5. Tie: Field Music - Plumb (Memphis Industries)
    and Play the Hits... limited ed. EP (Field Music)
6. Sic Alps - Sic Alps ( Drag City)
7. Soft Moon - Zeros (Captured Tracks)
8. Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)
9. Chrome Canyon - Elemental Themes (Stones Throw)
10. Redd Kross - Rehearsing the Blues (Merge)

Second runners-up: 
1. Cat Power - Sun (Matador)
2. Shintaro Sakamoto - How to Live with a Phantom
    (Other Music Recording Co.)
3. Moon Duo - Circles (Sacred Bones)
4. Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe
    (XL Recordings)
5. Blues Control - Valley Tangents (Drag City)
6. Holly Herndon - Movement (RVNG Intl.)
7. Matmos - The Ganzfeld EP (Thrill Jockey)
8. Beak> - >> (Invada)
9. Tyvek - On Triple Beams (In the Red)
10. Lavender Diamond - Incorruptible Heart (Paracadute)

Also worthy of note: Willis Earl Beal - Acousmatic Sorcery (XL Recordings), the Babies - Our House on the Hill (Woodsist), Erik Blood - Touch Screens (self-released), Ceremony - Zoo (Matador), Deep Time - Deep Time (Hardly Art), Dirty Three - Toward the Low Sun (Drag City), Martin Eden - Dedicate Function (Lefse), Elephant and Castle - Transitions (Plug Research), ESP - ESP EP (self-released), Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio (Blue Note-EMI), La Sera - Sees the Light (Hardly Art), Shawn Lee - Synthesizers in Space (ESL Music), Levek - Look a Little Closer (Lefse), Dent May - Do Things (Paw Tracks), Marisa Monte - O Que Você Quer Saber De Verdade (Blue Note-EMI), MV and EE - Space Homestead (Woodsist), Nude Beach - Nude Beach II (Other Music Recording Co.), Onuinu - Mirror Gazer (Bladen County-Bad Cop Bad Cop), Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold (Dull Tools), Robust Worlds - Emotional Planet (De Stijl), Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (In the Red), Mariee Sioux - Gift for the End (Almost Musique-Whale Watch), Standard Fare - Out of Sight, Out of Town (Melodic), Terry Malts - Killing Time (Slumberland), THEESatisfaction - AweNatural (Sub Pop), Tomten - Wednesday's Children (Flat Field), the Unthanks - Diversions Vol. 1: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons (Rough Trade), UV Race - Racism (In the Red), Various Artists - FAC. Dance 02 (Strut) Various Artists - We Are the Works in Progress (Asa Wa Kuru), Vex Ruffin - Same Thing Tomorrow (Stones Throw) [cassette], White Fence - Family Perfume Vol. 1 & 2 (Woodsist), Andre Williams - Hoods and Shades (Bloodshot), Woods & Amps for Christ split LP (Shrimper), and Young Magic - Melt (Carpark).

Love what I heard (need to hear more): A Place to Bury
Strangers - Onwards to the Wall (Dead Oceans), Flying Lotus -  
Until the Quiet Comes (Warp), Royal Baths - Better Luck 
Next Life (Kanine), Andy Stott - Luxury Problems (Mod-
ern Love), and Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II (In the Red).

Top Reissues and Archival Material: 
1. Various Artists - Listen Whitey! Sounds 
of Black Power 1967-74 (Light in the Attic)
2. Sensations Fix - Music Is Painting in the Air (RVNG Intl.)
3. feedtime - The Aberrant Years ( Sub Pop)
4. Royal Trux - Accelerator (Drag City)
5. Golden Calves - Collection (Woodsist)

Note: Can's Lost Tapes box set set is on my wish list.   

Love what I heard (need to hear more): Francis Bebey -
African Electronic Music: 1975-82 (Born Bad), Michael Chap-
man - Rainmaker (Light in the Attic), Alex Chilton - Free Again: 
The 1970 Sessions (Omnivore), Franco Falsini - Cold Nose
(Spectrum Spools), Lee Hazlewood - The LHI Years: Singles 
Nudes & Backsides: 1968-71 (Light in the Attic), Patrice
Sciortino - Chronoradial (Omni Recording Co.), Various Artists -  
Beat Frauleins: Female Pop in Germany 1964-68 (Grosse
Freiheit), and Leslie Winer - Leslie Winer &c. (Wormhole).

Songs I didn't all: Maroon 5 - "Moves Like Jagger" and Gotye - "Someone That I Used to Know." A great melody is a great melody is a great melody. I don't care where it comes from.

Endnote: A work in progress. More sounds and images to come.  
Movies for Music Lovers: 2012 Edition

Click here for the 2011 edition.

Some of these films premiered in the US in 2011, but didn't arrive in Seattle until 2012, in which case I deferred to local release dates. Some missed the city altogether, in which case I caught up via DVD. I wrote about many for Amazon, Line Out, The Seattle International Film Festival, SIFFBlog, and Video Librarian (the links lead to reviews, though Rust and Bone and Amour haven't been posted yet, since they don't open here until January). 

The Tops:
1. Patience (After Sebald) (Grant Gee)

In his haunting profile of an author's defining novel, Gee created a true work of art.

2. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr)
3. Shame (Steve McQueen)
5. Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard)
6. The Master (P.T. Anderson)
7. Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine)
8. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominick)
9. Hello I Must Be Going (Todd Louiso)
10. The Source (Maria Doumopolis and Jody Wille)

1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Love the adults, couldn't stand the kids. 

2. Compliance (Craig Zobel)
3. Skyfall (Sam Mendes)
4. Bernie (Richard Linklater)
5. Amour (Michael Hanecke)
6. Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranja)

If Laura comes at the trade from a different angle, Miss Bala serves as an inside-out response to Maria Full of Grace, which also centered on a sympathetic mule (and featured a strong central performance from another virtual unknown). From start to finish, Laura is neither action heroine nor passive victim, but rather stoic survivor.

7. House of Pleasures (Bertrand Bonello)
8. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
9. Dark Horse (Todd Solondz)
10. Lincoln (Steven Spielberg)

Second runners-up:
1. Tie: The Avengers (Joss Whedon) and 
Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
2. The Sessions (Ben Lewin)
3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
4. Looper (Rian Johnson)

Mostly for the boy from StephenKingLand.  

5. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg)
6. Flight (Robert Zemeckis)  
7. For a Good Time, Call... (Jamie Travis)
8. Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
9. Chicken with Plums (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)
10. Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh)


Also worthy of note: Anna Karenina, Before Your Eyes (Min 
Dit: The Children of Diyarbakir), Bonsái, Bullhead, Cirkus Col-
umbia, Cloud Atlas, Coriolanus, The Dark Knight Rises, The Do-
, Eden, Eye of the Storm, Goodbye (Bé Omid E Didar), The Hunger Games, In Darkness (W Ciemności), The Iron Lady, Policeman (Ha-shoter), Post Mortem, Rampart, Rebellion (L’Ordre et la Morale), Rent-a-Cat (Rentaneko), Roadie, Seven Psychopaths, Snowtown Murders, Sound of My Voice, The Slut, Summer Holiday (Boogie), Turn Me on Dammit! (Få Meg På, for Faen), V/H/S, We Need to Talk about Kevin, Your Sister's Sister.


Missed (or haven't seen yet): Arbitrage, Barbara*, Bestiaire,
Chronicle, The Color Wheel, Consuming Spirits, Damsels in Dis-
tress, The Day He Arrives (Book Chon Bang Hyang), The Deep Blue Sea, Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), Goodbye First Love (Un Amour de Jeunesse), The Grey, In Another Country (Da-reun Na-ra-e-seo), Keep the Lights On, The Kid With a Bike (Le Gamin au Vélo), Late Quartet, Les Misérables, The Loneliest Planet, Middle of Nowhere, Neighboring Sounds (O Som ao Redor), Oslo, August 31st, A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære), A Simple Life (Tao Jie), Sister (L'Enfant d'en Haut), Starlet, Zero Dark Thirty.

Television notables: Boardwalk Empire - Season Two, Downton Abbey - Season Two, Game Change, The Good Wife - Season Four, Revenge - Season Two, and Vegas - Season One.

* I caught a screening on Jan. 5. Adding to my Best of 2013 list.


They've done better: Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights), Bobby and Peter Farrelly (The Three Stooges), William Friedkin (Killer Joe), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), and Woody Allen (To Rome with Love...which I enjoyed in spite of myself).

Top documentaries: 

Caught few of the big non-fiction films, but saw the small ones most others missed.

1. 5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi)
2. The Chilean Building (Macarena Aguiló)
3. The Boxing Girls of Kabul (Ariel Nasr)
4. Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson
and Hipgnosis
(Roddy Bogawa)
5. Paul Williams: I'm Still Here (Stephen Kessler)
6. Pink Ribbons, Inc. (Léa Pool)
7. Girl Model (David Redmon and Ashley Sabin)
8. Marley (Kevin Macdonald)
9. Bad Brains: A Band in DC (Benjamen Logan)
10. Chely Wright: Wish Me Away (Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf)


Also worthy of note: Barbershop Punk, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Dish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Family Portrait in Black and White, Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, Last Days Here, Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess, Made in India, Step up to the Plate, Tales of the Waria, and Winter Nomads (Hiver Nomade).

Missed (or haven't seen yet): Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Beware of Mr. Baker, Brooklyn Castle, Bully, The Central Park Five, Detropia, The Gatekeepers, The House I Live In, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, The Queen of Versailles, Searching for Sugar Man, This Is Not a Film, and Under African Skies.

Reissues and rediscoveries: 
1. World on a Wire / Welt am Draht (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
2. A Man Vanishes / Ningen Jôhatsu (Shohei Imamura)
3. Tie: The Connection and Ornette Made in America (Shirley Clarke)
4. Movie Orgy (Joe Dante)
5. La Vampire Nue / The Nude Vampire (Jean Rollin)

With live Demdike Stare score at this year's Decibel Festival. 

Yes, I did see: Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Endnote: A work in progress. More sounds and images to come.   

Saturday, December 01, 2012

December Reviews

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

Amazon Theatricals:  
Playing for Keeps (with
Gerard Butler and Jessica
Biel), Rust and Bone (Jac-
ques Audiard directs Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts), and The Guilt Trip (with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand).

Line Out: Mikal Cronin Signs to Merge Records, METZ Digital Single: "Dirty Shirt," Vex Ruffin: Getting Wiggy in Chino, The Haunting Sounds of Holly Herndon, Django Django: Video, Remix, and Tour Date, Chrome Canyon's "Pluze" and the Season of Lists, Blues Control Takes Their Show on the Road, More KCMU Schwag from Way Back When, NYC Duo's Sampledelic Dream Sequence, Sun Araw Reunites with the Congos, and Trux's Accelerator.   


Video Librarian: Call the Midwife - Season One [two-disc set]
Delete - The Art of Forgetting, Just Around the Corner, Produced 
by George Martin [Blu-ray], Liberal Arts, Freddie Mercury - The 
Great Pretender [Blu], Gary Moore - Blues for Jimi [Blu], Sky-
dancer, Words of Witness, I Am - SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden, So - Peter Gabriel [Blu], Chely Wright - Wish Me Away, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, John Cage - Journeys in Sound [Blu], Greg Allman - I'm No Angel, Paco de Lucía and Group - Live at the Germeringer Jazztage, Half the Sky - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.


Endnote: Rust and Bone image from Sony Pictures Classics.