Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shannon Cook

Rarely Heard: Fifty Foot Hose - If Not This Time

I stumbled upon Fifty Foot Hose only just recently and their name made me curious. In their day they were certainly considered 'psychedelic', but while listening to them I'm reminded of something more like Henry Cow.
"Fifty Foot Hose were one of the most unusual '60s San Francisco psychedelic bands, in part because they weren't really that psychedelic. Like a few other acts of the time (most notably the United States of America), they were trying to fuse the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas. Only one album resulted from the ambitious enterprise, and that record (Cauldron, 1968) still remains unknown to all but hardcore collectors. Although an erratic work, it was intriguing for its mix of jazzy psychedelic rock tunes with electronic sound effects that anticipated future models of synthesizers, but sounded fiercer and more primitive" (

Justyna Gustak

A day in the life, Dec 29

A day in the life, Dec 29, decorated window

Kate Moss irrégulière

From my vaults: Betty Davis

Inna Smolina

New York

Kate Bush

First Lines: Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye

3017 AD

"Admiral's compliments, and you're to come to his office right away," Midshipman Staley announced.

Carmen Kass

ph: Serge LeBlon

A day in the life, Dec 28

A day in the life, Dec 28, Christkindlmarkt is over

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

ph: Simon Upton

R.I.P. Luise Rainer

Amanda Moreno

Gosford Park (2001)

The lives of upstairs guest and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.
A morality play with a large and good cast of characters directed with great professionalism and taste.

Halliwell****: "Witty, acute, splendidly acted dissection of a way of life at the point of its disintegration; it captures not only the antagonism between the working- and upper-classes, but also their complicity in the continuation of a decadent social system."

Maltin**1/2: "Great cast and telling details can't mask the film's superficiality, made worse by a poky pace and overlength. Balaban (who conceived the idea for the film with Altman) plays the producer of Charlie Chan mysteries; too bad no one remembered that those films run about an hour and a quarter."

Carolyn Murphy

ph: Mario Sorrenti

New Stuff: Nirvana

I really don't like Nirvana, but this album is a classic in its own right - and Ursula likes it.

Iwana Matthesen

ph: Tobias Schneider

Citizen Kane (1941)

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

It's a classic and a milestone in cinema history, a work of perfection and audacity, but it's also still very entertaining as well.

Halliwell****: "A brilliant piece of Hollywood cinema using all the resources of the studio; despite lapses of characterization and gaps in the narrative, almost every shot and every line is utterly absorbing both as entertainment and as craft."

Maltin****: "Welles' first and best, a film that broke all the rules and invented some new ones...The cinematography (by Gregg Toland), music score (by Bernard Herrmann), and Oscar-winning screenplay (by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz) are all first-rate. A stunning film in every way...and Welles was only 25 when he made it!"

Sherita Dehon

ph: Yachin Parham

New Stuff: Neil Young

Slowly closing the gaps in my Neil Young collection...

Sarah Engelland

The Ladykillers (1955)

Five diverse oddball criminal types planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

Hilarious black comedy is an instant classic and an exemplary display of British humor at its best.

Halliwell***: "Witty black comedy, shot in muted colours, which approaches the grotesque without damaging its acerbic humour or sense of fantasy; it is one of the few films where death is both shocking and funny."

Maltin***1/2: "Droll black comedy...Guinnes scores again (even his teeth are funny) with top-notch supporting cast in this little Ealing Studios gem..."

Amanda Langberg Hermansen

New Stuff: Johnny Cash

With shock I recently discovered that for some reason i so far hadn't purchased this second album of the American Recordings series yet.

Christy Turlington

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

The fourth entry in the series is mildly entertaining family fair, but doesn't offer anything new.

Maltin**1/2: "Jam-packed with jokes, relatable story ingredients, and large-scale action that is well staged...but the freshness of the series is gone, and even Scrat's perpetual acorn hunt seems shopworn."

Who's That Girl?

Photographer: Billy Name

Monday, December 29, 2014

Julee Huang

Rarely Heard: Experimental Audio Research - D.M.T. Symphony (Overture To an Inhabited Zone)

"Experimental Audio Research (commonly shortened to E.A.R. or EAR) is a loose collective of experimental musicians formed around Peter Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom), formerly of Spacemen 3. While Spacemen 3 were a relatively traditional rock and roll band with strong experimental leanings, E.A.R. is essentially a free improvisation project, creating instrumental music characterized by lengthy, droning textures and slowly evolving structures.
The line-up often included Sonic Boom (Spectrum, Spacemen 3), Kevin Martin (God), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), and Eddie Prevost (AMM)." (
When i first heard about the line-up I was instantly intrigued and have at least 3 of their albums, but it seems there have been many more. The tune is very quiet, so you might want to turn up the volume:-)

Kayla Clarke

A day in the life, Dec 27

A day in the life, Dec 27, a plane in the sky

Mariana Santana

From my vaults: Bette Davis

Lily Moffett

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New York

Sasha Pivovarova

ph: Jason Kibbler

First Lines: Robert A Heinlein - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to examine, license, inspect - and tax - public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.

Paulina Knebel

ph: Massimo Pamparana

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Excellent direction, cinematography and storytelling (despite being drastically cut); however, there are at least two unnerving performances among an otherwise stellar cast.

Halliwell****: "Fascinating period drama told in brilliant cinematic snippets; owing to studio interference the last reels are weak, but the whole is a treat for connoisseurs, and a delight in its fast-moving control of cinematic narrative."

Maltin****: "Brilliant drama...Welles' follow-up to CITIZEN KANE is equally exciting in its own way, though film was taken out of his hands, recut and reshot by others."

Svieta Nemkova

ph: Brad Triffit

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Classic British black comedy with English understatement as dry as it comes, for my taste a bit dated, though.

On second view: I still agree, though admittedly still mildly entertaining.

Halliwell***: "Witty, genteel black comedy well set in the stately Edwardian era and quite deserving of its reputation for wit and style; yet the effect is curiouly muffled and several opportunities are missed."

Maltin***1/2: "Peerless black comedy..."

Cyd Charisse

R.I.P. Joseph Sargent

Alba Moreira

A day in the life, Dec 26

A day in the life, Dec 26, objet trouvé

Lonneke Engel

ph: Gilles Bensimon

New Stuff: The Wire

Kylie Minogue

An Unfinished Life (2005)

A down on her luck widow, desperate to provide care for her daughter, moves in with her father in-law from whom she is estranged, because he gives her the fault for his son's death.

A deliberately simple tale is well produced and the cast in great form, but the movie is slow-paced and not too exciting.

Maltin***: "Warmhearted, embracing story about family ties and the need for forgiveness. It's a treat to watch Redford and Freeman as two old codgers with an unshakable bond of friendship."