Archive for June, 2010

The Thin Red Line to Receive the Criterion Treatment

Malick fans rejoice: The Criterion Collection, known for its special feature-laden, artfully packaged editions of “important classic and contemporary films,” is releasing The Thin Red Line on DVD and Blu-ray on September 28th of this year. This will be the second of Malick’s films to receive the treatment–the first being 1978’s Days of Heaven–and it’s an act sure to please the vocal minority that has long championed this film, which to date has seen only the most basic release on DVD. Not included, I’m sad to say, is the supposed five-hour-long version of the film with cut scenes featuring the likes of Martin Sheen, Mickey Rourke, Viggo Mortensen, Bill Pullman, and narration by Billy Bob Thornton. Full list of disc features after the jump.

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Album Review: Godflesh – Streetcleaner (2010)

This is far from a lazy cash-in from Justin Broadrick, even if it does tie in neatly with his decision to re-ignite Godflesh after eight years. Streetcleaner never got the production it really deserved. Whilst not necessarily the finest Godflesh release (in my opinion, anyway), it’s arguably the one with the most primitive negative energy seething within it–a quality which, due to the way the album was produced at the time, could be sensed but never really felt.

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Cynic: Back Home

After three flights, Sean, Paul, and I are back in Los Angeles after 20 days in Europe. We left Gothenburg around 6am and landed in L.A. at 7pm–I’ll leave it to you to figure out the time difference. Tymon and Robin cheated and flew to Holland instead. Cynic and crew will spend the next month recharging before going back out on their first ever headlining US tour, which will see them performing Focus and Traced in Air in their entirety and more.

Obviously, I’m a little behind on the tour blog. Between having no internet for the past week, being super busy, my iPhone WordPress app freaking out/losing several of my drafts, and being lazy, I haven’t been able to do much in the way of site updates. Over the next couple of days, I’ll be playing catch-up and posting the second half of the blogs as well as new photo galleries from myself and some friends we met on tour. If I didn’t talk to you but you have some pictures from any of the shows on this tour, feel free to email me and I’ll post them here.

Album Review: Male – German for Shark

German for Shark passed as a big beautiful blur on first listen. Discounting the selection of remixes at the end, it’s actually quite a brief release, with big blocks of sound surging forth and fading into one another without too much pause for breath between each piece. The result is a gorgeous dreamlike montage, with vibrant snatches of ideas forming and melting quickly into something completely different just minutes later.

Male manage to fuse the various instrument components–cornet, guitar, vibraphone, saxophone, percussion, electronics, tapes–into a landscape which is both dynamically and atmospherically diverse, somehow retaining a strong sense of continuity and seamlessness all the while. Not only are these pieces beautifully arranged, but the sonic environment is also cleverly re-arranged in a manner which sustains a writhing, ever-morphing narrative from start to finish.

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Cynic: Day 10

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Imagine a classic Italian village and you’ll get an idea of where today’s show was. Our driver Tide (pronounced TEE-day) had to maneuver our bus through the incredibly narrow streets and steep hills to find the Mephisto Rock Cafe, where Cynic was supposed to play. After the technical nightmare that was the night before, we were a little worried about going to a tiny venue in a small town, but we were met with a very helpful local crew at what ended up being a pretty cool, club They even found us a new power supply for our lighting controller.

This wine-cellar-turned-metal-club looked more like a cave than a venue, but in a good way. After taking a look around, it was time to load in our gear, which ended up being pretty complicated. After several attempts at getting the bus and trailer through the streets and around the tight corners, we decided to just park at the bottom of the hill and have the local crew shuttle the gear to the club. Continue reading

Cynic: Day 9

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Gorizia, Italy was something of a disaster: it was, at once, one of the best and worst shows of the tour. On one hand, we had so many technical issues that we almost forgot about how ridiculously hot it was; on the other hand, it was a packed venue filled with very excited, passionate fans banging their heads and singing along to every song. Ultimately it was a great night, but the entire day leading up to Cynic’s set was a nightmare.
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Artist Visit: Tiki Jay

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend time with Tiki Jay, one of L.A.’s most renowned underground artists. We spent our time in Hollywood, where he and his crew worked together to print his new run of hand-pulled silkscreen posters and stickers on both bleached and unbleached newsprint, as well as some really high quality vinyl. This was the first run of his very first set of screens, making it a rather interesting learning process for all of us. After a few hours of sweatshop labor in the ungodly heat of the studio space, they had their routine down solid, cranking out print after print in a kind of assembly line fashion. It was a sight to see. Continue reading

Cynic: Day 8

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When I stepped out of the bus and saw the Swiss countryside, I thought we must have stopped somewhere for gas or for our driver to rest. Then I realized the little cafe next to our bus was actually the Bad Bonn.

Before I even had a chance to sit down, the bartender offered me a drink and said that food was on the way. Bad Bonn was quickly becoming my favorite stop on the tour.
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Cynic: Day 7

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I recognized the plaza where The Nachtleben was immediately, having been there almost ten years ago while visiting family here in Frankfurt. I thought it might be fun to come back to Frankfurt, but didn’t expect to actually remember anything.

The venue was basically the basement of a cafe on one of the corners of the plaza, a small room with an even smaller stage and a bar. It was a small place, but seemed to be the premier venue for metal/rock bands. I saw stickers in the dressing room for everyone from Anekdoten to Katatonia, as well as posters and listings for such artists as Dick Dale and Jello Biafra. Continue reading

Cynic: Day 6

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I woke up in Paris to Markus, our tour manager, telling me it was time to load in. Once I stepped outside and saw how nice the weather was in Paris, I forgot about how tired I was and was happy to load in gear first thing in the morning.

The venue, smaller than the one in Lyon, was a pretty cool club–imagine a French version of the Troubadour in L.A. with chandeliers a la the El Rey (where Cynic will be starting their headlining US tour on July 22nd). The techs there were pretty cool and we got everything set up quickly and easily, a first for this tour. During sound check the lighting tech showed me some cool stuff on the three boards I had to work with tonight. Continue reading

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