Saturday, August 23, 2014
23 Skidoo were one of the early British industrial bands loosely associated with Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. Although I was a fervent fan of industrial, their sound was actually too commercial for me; it's very rhythmic - danceable - and intregates diverse ethnic sounds. And, indeed, as I checked them out for this entry, I read that their first album, Seven Songs, went straight to number 1 in the Independent charts in 1982. Still, I'd suggest they are worth a revisting after all these years.
Friday, August 22, 2014
I'm really not sure how popular this artsy alt-rock band, but I suspect they don't get much airplay. Their concert in Munich a couple of years ago was very well attended, though. Besides having one of the longest band names I know of (often mentioned as AYWKUBTTOD or simply Trail of Dead), they're arguably one of the best and most exciting live bands - and one of my favourites.
A famous novelist is "rescued" from a car crash by an obsessed fan.
Good psychothriller with some black humor and at least one topnotch performance, otherwise a little bit predictable.
Halliwell**: "Impeccably directed, tense thriller."
Maltin**1/2: "Extremely well acted, but the suspense ebbs and flows; there was much more nuance, and more interesting development of the relationship between fan and prisoner, in the novel."
Zeebee (Eva Engel) is an Austrian singer-songwriter who has been recording herself since the age of five, touring with Birmingham's Pigbag aged seventeen, releasing records on the Swiss label Off Course with her band D-Sire in the late 80's. Then starting to work as a ghostwriter, copywriting and taking flying lessons, raising two families and recording her musical ideas in her own studio in Austria. Besides performing as a solo artist she also is the singer of fellow Austrian Klaus Waldeck's band. her songs mix a variety of musical styles and often have a retro feeling to them, although they are produced with modern techniques.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Hoboken, New Jersey-based Yo La Tengo, founded in 1986, have explored the extremes of feedback-driven noise rock and sweetly melodic pop, shading their work with equal parts scholarly composure and fannish enthusiasm. Prolific and mercurial, they have ultimately transcended their myriad influences to ensconce themselves as a beloved institution of the indie community.(Allmusic.com) They are still around today.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A tough cop teams up with a professional skydiver to capture a renegade computer hacker on the run from the law.
Standard action thriller with a plot construed as excuse to add as many parachute stunts as possible.
Halliwell (no star): "A stunt-driven thriller, in which breathtaking aerial acrobatics do not make up for the absence of a suspenseful narrative."
Maltin**1/2: "Solid if predictable actioner...The scenario is preposterous, but there are enough dazzling airborne stunts to keep you entertained."
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
X-Ray Spex was far from the only female-centered British punk act, but they were arguably the best, combining exuberant energy with a cohesive worldview courtesy of singer and songwriter Poly Styrene. Formed in 1976 by school friends Marion Elliot (Styrene) and Susan Whitby (saxophonist Lora Logic), X-Ray Spex exploded onto the punk scene with one of the era's great singles, the feminist punk rallying cry "Oh Bondage, Up Yours." With Logic's sax stating the melody semi-tunefully and Jak Airport's guitar laying down a wash of distorted chords, Styrene's vocal, especially on the chorus, is a marvel. Along with the early Sex Pistols and Clash singles, this was one of punk rock's great moments.(Allmusic.com)
At the time I became a fan of Lora Logic and collected all the projects she participated with (she even worked with The Red Crayola!). Poly Styrene produced her last album Generation Indigo in 2011, but died (breat cancer) before it was released.