Month: May 2017

2005, Music

Congotronics (2005) by Konono No. 1

It’s easy to see why electronic music fans flocked to this record, as it has all the danceable repetition of dance music but also enough exoticism to appeal to people who don’t just want to listen to middle of the road, safe dance music. It almost feels like music has come full circle: electronic composers …

1997, Music

The Colour and The Shape (1997) by Foo Fighters

I didn’t love their debut but grudgingly gave it an okay review because I figured it was better than most post grunge. Well this one is significantly better than most post grunge, in part because Grohl has assembled a real band to play his songs, and the band is better than Grohl by himself.

1987, Music

Scream Bloody Gore (1987) by Death

Apparently there is some debate as to whether or not this is the first death metal album. I haven’t head the other contender myself, and cannot speak to that. I also don’t know mid 80s Thrash enough to speak to it. Also, I’m no genre purist, so I’m not sure I care for anything other …

1987, Music

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987) by The Cure

This is a record with a couple of The Cure’s best singles and a few other decent songs and way too much other stuff. It’s crazy that Smith claims to have written another record worth of songs for this album. Isn’t it long enough already?

1982, Music

Junkyard (1982) by The Birthday Party

Junkyard is arguably every bit as loud, violent and theatrical as its predecessor. It is, perhaps, slightly more rooted in blues than Prayers on Fire but, beyond that, it’s pretty much equally unconventional. As fans of Cave and the Bad Seeds will discover, this band is much, much worse (in a good way).

1982, Music

Pornography (1982) by The Cure

I did not enjoy Faith, this record’s predecessor and the first Cure album I ever heard outside of their singles collections. I found it lacking in songs and seemingly caught between two disparate impulses. And from the get-go, the reassuring thing about Pornography is that it is absolutely not Faith. It barely sounds like the …

2016, 2017, Basketball, Sports

Your 2016-2017 Toronto Raptors

At this time of year I usually write a summary of everyone on the Toronto Raptors, their contributions and their shot-comings, and what the team should do going forward. Today, on the occasion of The Raptors getting swept by The Cleveland Cavaliers, I think it’s probably time to blow it all up:

1988, Movies

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have …

2017, Movies

The Fate of the Furious (2017, F. Gary Gray)

It occurred to me after I watched this latest of the Fast franchise films that these movies have the Bond license: back when Sean Connery and then Roger Moore made Bond films, these films could be filled with the most ridiculous nonsense and nobody cared. In fact, people celebrated them. You put that crap in another film and …

1957, Music

After School Session (1957) by Chuck Berry

Though it contains Berry’s patented guitar playing, which cemented the electric guitar in rock music for the rest of the century, and it contains a few of his early classics, it’s easy to view Berry’s debut as the least revolutionary of the debut albums from the first wave of rock and roll stars. Because, though …