Tag: Experimental

2009, Movies

Carcasses (2009, Denis Côté)

Carcasses is part of that trend in Canadian independent film in the early years of the 20th century to mix documentary style with fictional or plots, sometimes with people playing themselves. (I say Canadian trend because most of the films I have seen that do this are Canadian films from this time, or thereabouts.  I …

1972, Music

Neu! (1972)

Neu!’s debut album finds them stuck somewhere between the early electronic explorations of Tangerine Dream – and, I presume, early Kraftwerk, the band Neu! split off from, which I have never heard – and the motorik of CAN and Faust and bands like that. It’s an odd juxtaposition that I might struggle with were it …

1982, Music

Ice Cream for Crow (1982) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

If you have come at the Captain through his earliest works, this record might feel like not much or a man settling into his mid life. It’s far less radical than his most radical work of the early ’70s, wherein he basically pioneered the intersection of blues and free jazz and other things.

1967, Music

Smiley Smile (1967) by The Beach Boys

If you read a lot of music criticism about the ’60s, like I used to, you have heard about Smile ad nauseum. If you read a lot of indiependent music criticism at the turn of the century, like I used to, you have also heard about Smile ad nauseum. You’ve heard about Smile to the …

2016, Movies

Hotel Dallas (2016, Sherng-Lee Huang, Livia Ungur)

This is a thought-provoking, at times very amusing, but very artsy examination of the affect of the TV show Dallas on Romania during the communist era, with ruminations on memory, change, media representations of reality, and other things. Yes, there’s a lot going on here. Perhaps too much. But for the most part the movie …

1996, Music

Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996) by Tortoise

Whether or not Post Rock actually began in 1994 with [i]Hex[/i] is something we can argue about, but you could say that Post Rock, for Americans, started with Tortoise. Now, I’ve never heard their earliest albums, but it’s hard not to look at this record – with its suite-like 20 minute opener, and its genre …

1970, Music

Weasels Ripped my Flesh (1970) by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Zappa takes his musique concrete collage obsession and applies it to a live album. It’s nowhere near as radical as the Mothers’ records at their apex – as this is mostly a collage of songs, rather than song fragments, jokes and the like – but it’s still hard to recall another live album of this …

2014, Music

Geocidal (2014) by tetema

Mike Patton has long been one of my favourite rock musicians. And I think he has also made some objectively great music; at least six albums he has been involved with I would put on my “core” list of important music a neophyte should listen to. (For your reference, those albums are, in chronological order: …

2012, Music

Bish Bosch (2012) by Scott Walker

Walker continues his unique path – nobody else makes music like this as far as I know – which seems to my ears to be some kind of combination of the singer-songwriter of the folk and rock traditions with someone who listens to way too much serialist and horror film music (and also no wave …

2012, Music

Laborintus II (2012 Ipecac) by Luciano Berio, performed by Ictus Ensemble, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Mike Patton

I should eat this up. This is a work written by my favourite Italian composer of the second half of the 20th century (and with Busoni and Puccini, a contender for my favourite Italian composer of the 20th century) performed, in part, by my favourite male rock singer of all time (and the Greatest Male …

1968, Music

The United States of America (1968 Columbia)

This stuff is mind-blowing. Almost as out there as Zappa and the Mothers (at their very weirdest) or the Velvets (at their very artiest) and not quite as crazy – and far more artsy – as Beefheart was about to get. It’s too band the sound isn’t exactly great, as apparently these guys were very, …

2005, Music

Frances the Mute by the Mars Volta (2005 GSL)

The more I listen to the Mars Volta the more I become convinced that they are pretty much the only mainstream band keeping the spirit – if not the sound – of progressive rock alive. They manage to combine relatively adventurous ideas – whereas early prog rock usually borrowed from Romantic music or mainstream jazz, …

2006, Music

Four Guitars Live at Luxx by Lee Ranaldo, Carlos Giffoni, Thurston Moore and Nels Cline (Important 2006)

Pretty directionless. And there are many times where I can’t really distinguish all four players. This is the kind of thing I would gladly waste 45 minutes on if it was live, but as a home listening experience it just doesn’t work. Still better than top 40 though. 5/10

2010, Music

Dirty Baby by Nels Cline (Cryptogramophone 2010)

A soundtrack to an art exhibition is certainly an interesting / odd concept. I like the possibilities even though I don’t know anything about the actual installations. The first disc actually stands alone as an album. I don’t really need to know anything about the art to appreciate the music, though it is neat to …

1997, Music

Zaireeka (1997) by the Flaming Lips

In the CD players (this time around): 2 of the four discs of Zaireeka by the Flaming Lips. In case you don’t know, the album is 4 separate discs of the same “songs” and you are supposed to create your own listening experience using 2, 3 or 4 discs played at certain times. Right now …