Category Archives: Awesome Things

Rambling Word Vomit: Annihilation trailer

This is a quick, non-riff-related, aside that I felt compelled to publish for some reason. A couple weeks ago a trailer for a movie entitled “Annihilation” was released. You can watch that below.

Now the reason for my rambling is that this movie (in title) is based off of the first book in Jeff VanderMeers Southern Reach trilogy. Out of all the sci-fi I’ve read recently, this series is damn near the bottom of the list when it came to film adaptations I thought would happen.

While some stuff I’ve read makes sense for the screen and has even ended up there already (see; The Expanse), Southern Reach and Annihilation in particular, is such a mindfuck that I thought there was no way in hell it would get made. The book is a creepy and unsettling combination of Lovecraftian horror and conspiracy.  It generates questions page after page, half of which there will never be a concrete answer for. This is not a series where you get a nice, rational end result. It’s a series with many things left to interpretation and in some cases, unresolved mystery.

Shot as a lower-budget art flick? Sure, that could have worked. Hell, half the effects they tacked on in the trailer aren’t present in the book. I can only really see this going two ways; either it (somehow) nails the source material and tanks financially or it manages to bastardize the original work so much it sells to the general public.

Either way I guess I’ll have to watch it and find out next year. If you’re into creepy and confusing reading, I highly recommended the entire Southern Reach series.

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Moving Pictures: KEN mode – The Terror Pulse

The Winnipegian noise-rockers KEN mode just released a new video for a track from their most recent album, “Entrench”. That record holds a spot on my 2013 year-end list and the song that became the target for this video is easily one of my top tracks from the release.

The video is directed by Christopher Mills who was also responsible for the video for “Secret Vasectomy” from the same album. I didn’t really dig that video all that much but this new clip is fucking excellent. Using a really strange and distorted animation style that blends stop-motion, kindergarten art and 2.5D characters, the eclectic and psychotic nature of the video sits comfortably with the carnage KEN mode are pumping out.

It’s jerky, angular and mildly discomforting, blurring the line between a coherent visual and just pure brain static. The pacing is also spot on, with the animation spurting along at the same conflicted pace as the music. It starts out following some vague story of the band being implanted in their van, which then turns into a space ship. Then some other weird shit happens involving a psychedelic kindergarten art show, giant skeletons swimming through a forest and some little blue pills, among other things.

Glance your googlers below.

Uneducated Criticism

         

Here’s another longer-read piece about a subject that just started bouncing around my head last night. The idea started when I was writing an album review and found myself being somewhat critical of the band, saying that I felt an element was missing and that the band hadn’t quite found it yet. This brought the question to my mind of do I actually have a right to be critical of a musician?

So hear me out on this. For starters, I have zero technical knowledge about music. I know there are these things called “instruments” that get plugged into these big, magic boxes and then wonderful noises come out from said boxes. I have a vague idea of what the magic is, thanks to living with two electrical engineers, but for the most part I just stand there slack-jawed, like a caveman finding a shiny mineral for the first time. How those instruments are played? No damn idea, it’s a skill I never learned and never really have a desire to learn.

All that being said, I’ve listened to music for long enough where I can pick out certain things during songs, I can listen a little bit deeper than I used to and most of the time I can verbalize what I’m hearing, even if it has no technical grounding. Now I have no illusions that all critics are musicians, I know the industry of criticism is mainly founded by listeners, not creators, with the depth of personal knowledge varying from person to person.

Continue reading Uneducated Criticism

In the kitchen: Genre-frying

The following piece, if it even turns out to be coherent at all, is an attempt to transcribe a lighthearted theory that popped into my head over the weekend. The theory is an expansion on my constant food-to-music references and made sense to me, at least at the time. Also I would like to clarify that the intention of writing this is not to belittle any one genre, or say that certain genres can be only be appreciated as parts of a greater whole. Obviously this is hugely subjective, as all music is, and should be taken as an abstract theory by a nutjob on the internet, nothing more.

The album that inspired this careening train of thought was Old Man Gloom’s latest, “NO”. It’s a blistering combination of noise and sludge metal, vile low-end riffs and guttural maelstroms of distortion and noise. This hybridization of so many different elements is what led me to consider the following; What if you consider genres as the ingredients of a meal, with the final product being more than the sum of its musical (genre) combinations?

Specifically, it was during the opening assault of “Common Species” where I first thunk this thought. The track contrasts a bellowing but straightforward sludge “chorus” against several various noise “verses”. This led to me mentioning to my girlfriend that I don’t enjoy noise as a genre on its own but it makes other genres sound super fucking cool. Just the same as a bottle of hot sauce can make a meal pretty fucking spectacular but you wouldn’t exactly want to go chugging the whole thing would you?

Continue reading In the kitchen: Genre-frying

IMDB’s Top 250 Movie Mashup

Thanks to a mister Jonathan Keogh we now have an awesome mashup video of IMDB’s top 250 movies. Using nothing more than some creative imagination and a mashup track provided by DJ Faroff it’s a great watch even if you aren’t into movies. If you are you’ll get double the enjoyment as you frantically try to guess each movie as it skitters past your eyes.

After a couple watches and with no Googling, I got:

Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, The Matrix, Clockwork Orange, Kill Bill, Beauty and the Beast, Forrest Gump, Grand Torino, The Blues Brothers, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Platoon, V for Vendetta, The Dark Knight, Scarface, 2001, Sin City, The Holy Grail, Jaws, Reservoir Dogs, The Thing, Pans Labyrinth, ET, Rocky Horror, UP, Terminator, Toy Story, Alien, The Big Lebowski, Goodfellas, Inception and The Bridge Over the River Kwai.

Along with a bunch of others I had seen but couldn’t name.

Anyway you can watch the video below before some scum sucking motherfucker decides this infringes some rich assholes copyright and gets pulled off Youtube. Until then, Enjoy:

Late Video Fees: Trash Talk, Nekrogoblikon & High on Fire

Here’s a hodgepodge of videos that were released in the last 30 days or so but I only got my lazy ass around to talking about now.

I had previously mentioned that Nekrogoblikon were working on a video for their track, “No One Survives”. With a recipe including porn star Kayden Kross and a full goblin costume thanks to Monster Effects everything pointed towards a killer video and they most certainly did deliver. It tells the story of Goblin, a middle aged goblin horde retiree who now works as a white collar grunt for a mildly successful accounting firm. Deep down his heart years for his female co-worker but the nefarious Brad is standing in his way.

Goblins, blood, middle-management and a well-crafted sense of humor, what else do you need?

NYC’s Trash Talk are easily one of my top hardcore bands. The blistering combination of aggression, brutality and ear-shredding riffage always kept me entertained. They’ve been receiving their own fair share of attention since they recently signed to Odd Future Records (Tyler the Creators label). Some people seem to think this melding of hip-hop and hardcore is breaking some sort of taboo but I think it’s awesome we’re getting collaborations from two artists at the extreme ends of their genres.

Anyways. The new video in question is “FEBN” from their soon to be released album, “119” due out on October 9th. Trash Talk have always had a high standard when it comes to videos and the newest offering is no exception. Shot in black and white it uses a couple tricks to play it off as one continuous shot of skating, partying, fighting and general mayhem. The song itself is a crunchy back-alley brawler, hyped off speed and looking for a fight.

Last up is stoner metal stalwarts, High on Fire. Taken from their newest record, “Der Vermis Mysteriis”, the video for “Fertile Green” is a trip and a half. Telling the story of Jesus’  bad-ass biker twin who drives around on his Harley and fucks shit up. There’s also some deeply thought provoking stuff about time and space packed in there but if your like me you’ll be too busy staring slackjawed at the pretty colors and visual effects wizardry on display. Enjoy.