Monday, June 29, 2009



OH. WOW. Like I told my boy JoJo this morning, I may as well have just shoved a magic wand into my eardrum and cast a spell on my brain instead of actually watching this movie. This shit strives for and 200% attains a higher level. This isn't so much a film as something that has been floating around inside those parts of your head that have appeared dark and mysterious in CaT Scans since the day you were born, finally harnessed in celluloid and allowed to blossom into its full cosmic potential. There's no way you've ever seen a single movie comparable to this one, unless you actually saw "Zardoz" yourself and we're talking about the same movie but neither one of us can figure it out because you were 7 when you saw it and I was stoned when I watched it 2 nights ago. Eventually the conversation turns into an argument and we both leave exhausted and angry. Then we go to our respective homes and go to sleep. While lost in slumber, forgotten synapses inside of our minds start firing and before the morning light comes crashing through the windows to wake us, the oldest and holiest fibers of our psyches have recreated this movie in its entirety. Inside of both of our brains. Now there are two Zardozes. Holy shit.

"Synecdoche, New York"

HRMPH. I don't think I'm old enough to like this movie. Or maybe I haven't suffered enough artistic crises. Or maybe I was supposed to have a huge cock surgically implanted into my check and equipped with a powerful motor so that it could always be moving around in my mouth having virtually the same effct as that "i'm-sucking-a-dick" gesture that people do when the person who is speaking to them is laying down some serious bullshit. That's a good phrase for this movie, right there. Serious bullshit. Charlie Kaufman, crown prince of screenplays, has finally blown his massively built-up writer/DIRECTOR wad and it's just ended up a sticky mess on his stomach. He couldn't have created a better representation of awesomely pretentious neuroses-mired art school twattle if he had been paid to create a mockumentary of sophisticated and ridiculous film-snob asses. Hopefully that would at least have been blessed with a better director. I suppose it could get pretty good at the halfway point, but I straight turned the shit off after about 45 minutes of watching Philip Seymour Hoffman stress his way through his role as the obnoxious aging psychological doppleganger of my hypochondriac ex-roommate. PSH is my nig but you have seen him do all of this before and in much better films. A bevy of critics nutted all over this film though so it must have something going for it. Maybe the dialogue is well-written. I wouldn't know because I make it a point to fully avoid conversation with the kind of self-obsessed first-world-minded faux artistic intellectuals that float around in their own bubbles and sum up their worries with the line that is often repeated in this film and that should be etched across Kaufman's directorial tombstone: "I don't know what I'm doing."

"Cadillac Records"

This movie is sort of a taint. I mean "taint" as defined as the weird strip of sensitive skin between my nuts and my asshole. If this movie was actually my asshole, then it would be a whole lot darker and yes, I'll go ahead and say it: a tad bit more deep. On the other hand, it would reek of shit. Especially if it were my current asshole which is still recovering from a 3-day bout with food poisoning. Now if this movie were my nuts, then it would be a whole lot more polished (no shame in my game) and would certainly be filled with a lot more content. Especially if it were my current nuts which are still recovering from a 3-day bout with my girlfriend who was disgusted by my food poisoning. Yet as a whole, an encounter with it--much like an encounter with my nuts--would be a very pleasant and memorable experience. But this movie is not my asshole and it is not my balls. It's a taint. Not even my taint, and I barely know what I'm supposed to do with that one. So this movie is a stranger's taint. It's not the most offensive thing in the world (like an asshole) but it also lacks the full-swinging bravado and meaningful existence of a nice pair of balls. It's so middle of the road I might as well have just watched my hand for the whole 2 hours. Beyonce' is pretty good and is as hot as always, but Adrian Brody creeps me out and he looks like someone told Art Speigelman to re-do "Maus" but to draw all of the Jews as penises instead of mice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


When you spend the most formative years of your life listening to angry music, a lot of things can become clouded. For starters, your definitions of "anger" may become seriously skewed. When I was in the 3rd grade I bought myself a cassette copy of Metallica's self-titled black album. Yes, longhairs in sleeveless t-shirts, I know that was the beginning of the end for the band. But I was in 3rd fucking grade. I thought it was awesome. Countless hours were spent in the bedroom of my double-wide trailer, jumping off of the furniture and air-guitaring my adorable little fingers off. As I grew older I realized that the world is a shitty place and got into some significantly more despondent tuneage, such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry and a whole lot of other crap that I think sucks now.
Then high school happened and my sense of loathing towards both myself and the world around me transmogrified into a stubborn, unrelenting disdain for my peers. Self-righteous angry music was my new thing, and bands like Minor Threat both inspired and supported my budding sense of superiority. There were a few blows to my rock-solid audio repertoire, of course, whenever some pretty young thing stepped onto the scene and scrambled my adolescent brains into thinking it would be okay to buy a goddamned Promise Ring album every once in a while, but that is beside the point.
The past decade of my life has been one of constant self-discovery and I have not only begun to feel a great deal of shame for the ultimately pointless negativity of my past, but have accordingly opened my ears to musical phenomena I would have immediately and unreasonably shunned during my period of ignorance. Of course, I still listen to a large variety of what can still best be described as angry music. I tend to be a bit more discerning these days, however, when it comes to that shit. Within a staggering number of heavy music subgenres, there unfortunately seems to exist a greater measure of garbage than genuinely good stuff. I suppose it all depends on where you draw your distinctions, and despite being 100% bummed out by it, I am understanding of the fact that some (stupid) people really like Pantera and--shudder--the godforsaken Blood Brothers. And a whole lot of other audio putrescence that I don't feel like getting into.
The zenith of angry music, for me at least, is without a single shadow of a doubt the final album by Detroit-based Thoughts of Ionesco. A chronically drug-saturated gaggle of unsavory individuals, this band seemed to transform their guitar strings into sutures and use them to sew a huge, pulsating set of balls onto the beast that was 90's metallic hardcore. Each of their albums is a good musical example of what any real person goes through at the worst moments of their lives. But while their earlier efforts remain admittedly steeped within the dismissive confines of the genre, it was the band's swansong "For Detroit, from Addiction" that forcibly shoved its desperation into my brain, by way of bleeding eardrums. An inscrutable dark mass of an album, it careens carelessly throughout the gutters of human emotion, seemingly being clung to throughout the journey by all forms of hatred, alienation and seething penitence like so many parasites in a cesspool. And yet it somehow manages to lift its head up for the occasional breath of fresh air. If the Necronomicon was a dictionary, under the entry for "catharsis" would be a digital download of this album. Rooted in the violent aggression of impossibly loud, noisy rock, there are moments of murky clarity throughout its running time that seem to belie the overwhelming notion of disgust. These come in the form of somehow hopeful howls from the "falling off of a ladder" vocalist, a single haunting acoustic track that sounds like it was recorded in a haunted Spanish cemetery, a surprisingly well-integrated flirtation with dub song mechanics, and the most out-of-place usage of a saxophone since the Gay Danzig scene in "The Lost Boys."
Chemical problems/imbalances eventually led to the flaming demise of this self-loathing juggernaut, and that is the only way it could have ever made sense. Their music was entirely dependent upon their hatred for both the audience and themselves, so self-destruction was not only inevitable but seemed to be in perpetual motion from their very inception. This final album exists as a monument that honors not only the band's own legacy (they were infamous for the often unforgivable outbreaks of violence and general bad vibes of their live shows), but the entire concept of angry music in general.
There are two types of people in this flawed-but-persistent world who will never give this album a chance: snobbish Pitchfork-reading assholes who fail to see the value in music so shamelessly celebratory of its own apish nature, and straight-up apes in Slipknot t-shirts who feel the incessant urge to "pound" anything that displays even a subtle tinge of genuine emotion. No matter. The first group will continue to strive for the highest levels of mundanity, too obtuse to understand the dualistic concept that without darkness there can be no appreciation of light. And the second group will barrel along too bull-headed to ever realize that they are, in fact, the biggest pussies of all.
As for the rest of us, I guess the best thing we can do is take any piece of art for what it is, attempt to tap into the feelings and experiences of our own lives that may help us better understand where that art is coming from, and ultimately make our own judgements: Thoughts of Ionesco - For Detroit, from Addiction.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


"Vanishing Point"

I know it's been a while since I've done one of these reviews, and this one is a little bit paltry as I've only had time in the past few weeks to watch one movie. Thank god it was a good one and thank fucking god I was high. There are a whole lot of things about this movie that I just plain did not understand. Is the blind black DJ telepathic? Is the naked girl on the motorcycle the same girl that was almost raped by that fat cop? Why does our hero's car disappear at the very beginning of the movie only to later be shown--at the exact same moment--not disappearing and eventually exploding when it collides with two huge tractors? I guess after typing all of that out, it seems that I really only have one big question about this movie: what the fuck just happened?
If you're a fan of American cinema from the 70's (and if you're not, you really should be) then you'll be surprisingly willing to let a lot of shit sliiiiiiide while you watch this one. Regardless of the steady advances made by nerds in the fields of computer generated imagery, high-speed film editing, robot dicks and a whole lot of other what-have-you, nothing will ever quite match the visual exhilaration of watching an actual Dodge Challenger tear through the ragged terrain of the American southwest before launching over a hill and nearly colliding with a collection of seriously steel-bulked police cruisers. Something about the fact that a lot of people almost had to die in order to make it adds an undeniable level of credibility to any film. See also: any argument over the validity of early to mid-career Jackie Chan performances. Danger=balls=compelling cinema.
That being said, I have very little idea what this movie was about other than cars driving dangerously, helicopters showing up at random and doing very little of anything, gratuitous (in the strictest sense of the word) breasts, speed worship and a vaguely anti-authoritarian sense of adventure. Luckily I am a seriously cool dude, and all of that is more than enough to keep me entertained while my weed wears off and I remember that homework is a thing that actually exists and I should probably go do it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


If there is anything in the universe that smells better than fresh garlic cooking in oil, then it must be the pussy of an angel or some other legendary shit that I will never get the chance to experience. But fuck angels, anyway. I can plant garlic in my own backyard.

I am cooking up some pasta and listening to Bastard and not wearing a shirt and realizing that this summer, so far, has been some bullshit. I've only been to the river once, and the experience was almost ruined by the nagging presence of a filthy dreadlocked white girl who a) came out of nowhere with a bloody kneecap and a filthy bottom, b) did NOT get me high, c) would not get out of my girlfriend's face and d) kept talking about "going out west" to get away from "society" like it wasn't 1849 yet. I haven't gone to a single house show because I don't seem to like bands anymore and I never hear about them anyway. Plus my mustache and my general air of semi-confused disinterest make me look like a NARC. I haven't consumed one single shitty beer on a rooftop, seen one single stranger's titty, or taken one single epic bike ride to nowhere. There have been a few cookouts and they have been of the standard tightness, but for the most part this is already shaping up to be one of the lowest-rated Richmond summers over my entire 9 years living here. Perhaps the strangest aspect of this one in particular--and most likely the catalyst for it's dismal performance--is the fact that I am in school. What the hell?

Summer school is nuts because it's awesome. I've been taking Spanish 102 for only 3 weeks now and I've already learned/memorized more than I did over 4 years of the shit in high school. Granted all of this knowledge and comprehension will immediately start to dissipate after just one week of not going to class everyday, it still feels cool to go the 'books en espanol' section of Barnes & Noble and kind of understand the first few paragraphs of everything you pick up. After a lot of thought (maybe like 5 mins worth) I've decided that the best way to truly test my newly-acquired skills would be to throw myself directly into the lion's den. Excuse me, la guarida del león.

2012 is fast approaching. Cancer is rampant and seemingly unstoppable. The economy is crumbling. Pimp C is dead. Corporations have already staked claim on the untapped oil reserves beneath the melting polar icecaps that are going to drown us all. The Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. Varg is out of jail. Harlan Cole Hutchison is getting a goddamned credit card. And I'm going to use that credit card to purchase two tickets to Chile. One for myself and one for my skeptical non-believer dumbface of a girlfriend. We are going to South America. We are going to shit our pants at the majesty of it all. We will sandboard in the desert with other douchebags. We will battle gigantic insects in the great forests. We will eat bull's balls with manly gauchos. We will dance the night away in the corrugated city of Valpraiso. We will stare at the not-so-distant fjords in the southern tip and hum Immortal songs together. And if the world should come crashing to an end, so be it. We will ride that shit out 100% baller style: sitting atop llamas and sipping matte' and nodding our heads respectfully as the Andes cry out to us "Look at me, motherfuckers! I am the long-forgotten spine of a dragon!"


And that's what's poppin'.

Friday, June 5, 2009



I could write a handful of paragraphs about the continually overheard argument that revolves around the validity of a drug-peddling misogynist's art, the useless opinions of any major publication's film critics when discussing the merits and shortcomings of a hip-hop biopic, or the fact that Tupac Shakur was always a douchebag regardless of the fact that my older brother uncharacteristically worshiped him. Instead I'll just sum up this review by saying that the movie was very, very enjoyable and did an excellent job of romanticizing the life of a man whose motives were probably never as genuine as they are made to seem, which certainly doesn't devalue any of his output (he was tight as fuck) or take away from the fact that an entire community was inspired by him. So basically this is "Braveheart" for black people. P.S. Lil' Kim's boobs.

"The Night Porter"

Another "lost gem" given the royal treatment by Criterion so a world full of real people will never, ever watch it. If you've ever dated a girl with crappy dad issues and a collection of Marquis de Sade books that she has never read and will never read, then you already know how wack and boring weird sex can be. Let the self-important sadsacks of the world waste their time channeling unfulfilled desires and deeply-buried emotional trauma into their bedroom politics, thus ruining the fun of a good fuck. The rest of us will deal with our shit like actual adults so we can get back out there, clear-minded and pragmatic and ready to get our dicks wet. If skeletons give you a boner or you really enjoy yawning, you might like this movie. I fell asleep three times and decided to watch the next one instead.

"The Ninth Configuration"

YUSSSSS. William Peter Blatty is the shit. "The Exorcist III" is an underrated sleeper and apparently this movie bombed when it was released because it "thoroughly perplexed" audiences. Simpletons. To discuss this shit in any great detail would be a great disservice to anyone interested in checking it out, but rest assured that your laughter and your anxiety attacks will flow in equal measure while you watch. Basically it's the best movie that William S. Burroughs never made. Nuts.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Kotchy & Shunda K - "Le Passion, Yo"

I'll be the first to admit that the majority of the hip hop I listen to is some seriously ignorant shit. That's just what I like. I can certainly recognize genuine talent in most aspects of life (real recognize real), but I'm more a fan of braggadocious storytelling, wild party anthems and terrifyingly misogynistic coke-rap than I probably ever will be of straight-up preachy shit with a positive spin and a nauseatingly omnipresent conscience. I'm always interested in hearing about what kind of girls the Beatnuts are fucking and all of the different ways Vinnie Paz wants to kill everyone. I like music about guns and drugs and sex and money, and Mos Def just sounds like Sting to me.
But I spent my entire day yesterday popping adderall so I could study for my Spanish exam at work, and that felt pretty awesome so I kept taking them throughout the night. This of course resulted in my complete inability to ever fucking fall asleep, when combined with the mockingbird right outside of my bedroom window made me want to swallow bullets. So I just picked a random album on iTunes and gradually dozed off into a dream world inhabited by gigantic sets of chattering teeth, no less than four big-assed & inhibition-free chicas and one asshole bird that kept reciting his rutina diaria to me through the glorious aural majesty of tweeting in espanol. The album I chose was "Below the Heavens" by Blu & Exile and as I slid into my short lived slumber my final thought was "this was probably the best hip hop album of 2007." That realization in no way means that it was my favorite hip hop album of 2007, just that it was the best. I barely even listen to the damn thing.
But while on the concept of groundbreaking shit, I'd like to share with you some of the most self-important and saccharine-coated music I've heard in a long time that somehow I am still really into. I never got into Yo!Majesty that hard, and I think Shunda K just sounds like some segment about lesbian slam-poetry on yet another inevitably disappointing episode of HBO's "Real Sex," but these beats by Kotchy are killing me, doggs. The first song alone makes me want to snort up the entire Milky Way and fuck a statue. Underwater. At first I thought it sounded like "D'angelo eats mushrooms and goes to Baltimore." Now it's sounding more to me like "Justin Timberlake as gang-banged by Parliament." Either way, I am FEELING IT. It's about 100% different than what I normally listen to, but give it a chance and if that first song doesn't at least make your girlfriend horny then you are dating a Mormon. Don't do that.