New column up this week at razorcake.org. I’m proud of this one. This is my 10th entry there. I have always been a little bit afraid to aproach this subject, but like all subject matter, reading and learning new things about this era of film excited me and inspired me to push myself a bit.
I’ll be hosting the opening of Gonerfest 18 Thursday night. The schedule has been a nail-biter in terms of bands having to cancel and people not to being able to make it. But whatever happens from now on, Thursday there will be a Gonerfest going on, so buckle up and let’s be respectful of people’s safety and personal space, which on the surface feels like a pretty un-punk thing to ask, but we may really be dancing into oblivion these days. ON the bright side, we’re left with is an amazing line up. We have a nice outdoor space with limited capacity, areas to get away from others, and various facilities, so at some point, we’re going to have to stop worrying and try to have fun.
Here are a couple of slabs related to Thursday night’s line-up. I’ll be there, so say hello if you feel like it:
Smirk – Self- titled Smirk play Thursday night at 7:15. They are responsible for an album of the year for me. The band’s self-titled record is a scorcher, opening on a quick burst of solid keyboard and power chord chugging. “S. Construction” comes out of the gate with an overdriven keyboard pushing a catchy rock guitar riff. “Violent Games” is a bit slower with a Dead Boys drawl. The guitars deliver classic punk riffs catching a nod at any speed. It’s a “don’t miss” for the lo-fi crowd. They have a new E.P. out on Total Punk Records this week as well. A band to watch out for.
Human Eye- 4: Into Unknown If there’s an overlooked release in the Goner catalog, it’s this record from Detroit’s Human Eye. This album starts off careening in and out of seriously thumping heavy riffs leaving behind a unique blend of psychedelic warble. The opening riff on “Gettin’ Mean” is worth the price of admission: heavy chords with overdriven solos peering through and settling on a seriously infections mid-tempo head-nodder. If you haven’t heard 4: Into Unknown, check out Human Eye Thursday at 8:00 and hope there are copies left at the store.
This album proves you can still throw acid-based chaos in the punk mix without being contrived. Oh the places we’ll go. Fashion Pimps & The Glamazons manages to stay on a comfortable path without being boring. All of the songs basically play at a similar chug-chug-chuga bass- driven pace, but every song is an attack on the senses. The vocals are either double vocals or have a strange effect on them. They are effective in their blasé delivery and No Wave leanings. The guitar melodies stab from of a dirge of bass and keyboard swirling creating alien melodies that become quickly infections. The keyboards flex organically occasionally with some great space age sound effects. They manage all this and still have a sort of old-school taint. It all comes together without sounding too mechanical or droney. I don’t know if it’s the green neon vinyl influencing me, but I could imagine them as the house band inside the trunk of a glowing Volkswagen Touareg.
One of my favorite all-time movies will be playing at the Crosstown Arts Weekly Film Series this Thursday, August 26th at 7:30. After Hours (1985) is a dark and silly movie with a stunning cast. It opened my eyes as a youngster and I tend to revisit it a couple of times a year. I even got to see it on the screen with actors Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette speaking afterwards at one of the best theaters I’ve ever been to: The Loft in Tucson, Arizona.
The Crosstown Arts Weekly Film Series is an awesome series with a great screen and snacks available. Make it out for this one.