My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Movies I've watched recently:

  • Manchester by the Sea (2016) - IMDb 3/10

    2017-04-16 15:28
    * * *

    Just because the film naturally carries a containment of sorrow and gloom, it does not explain its complete dreariness. It's got bits of chronological experimentation and nice views of the sea, but otherwise, this is forgettable. See Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm" instead.

    0.3
  • Fifty Shades Darker (2017) - IMDb 1/10

    2017-04-15 18:28
    *

    I actually thought this film would not be as bad as the first one, but obviously, I was wrong. This is overwrought in no sense of the word, and if it were human, it would be incarcerated indefinitely. This film actually violates basic human rights in ways the first one didn't, so I guess that's what this new version brings to viewers. In no way is this erotic, interesting, or entertaining. The people involved in this should look themselves in the mirror and not make a third film, which _will_ be made.

    0.3
  • T2 Trainspotting (2017) - IMDb 6/10

    2017-02-22 22:58
    * * * * * *

    This is more a film, I think, which is about aging and repeating your past than anything else. Sure, the characters are older, but I cringe a lot as Boyle has chosen to have them repeat some of their "fave lines" from the first film, 21 years later, for no apparent reason. The slow parts move best, for example, where Renton visits his father, despite that one being sappy. The "new girl", basically a Renton, doesn't bring much to the table. However, Robbie Carlyle steals the show; where Ewen Bremner's "Spud" previously did, by being a comedic maestro with his movements and druggy cadence, he is now converted into a caricature of himself - and yes, I am aware that druggies who have been on dope for more than two decades tend to turn into caricatures in more ways than one - while Begbie offers more. A lot more. Carlyle's acting is so strong that even Begbie's most obvious characteristics - e.g. as displayed where his son stands up against him by wanting to go to college to learn hotel management instead of joining his dad in a life of crime - turn interesting. He's a tour de force. Still, while this film is interesting and entertaining, it is too much of a parody of itself to become a truly interesting introspective. And the plot turn at the end was really a bit too tell-tale and boring to me.

    0.3
  • Medicinen (2014) - IMDb 1/10

    2016-12-12 19:00
    *

    A car crash where your newborn child dies would be a less hurtful experience than watching this film. I'm kidding, but there is some truth lodged in that statement. This film is very "inspired" by "The Devil Wears Prada". By this I mean Nutley and his writer cohorts have concocted a story about an abhorrent person - played by Bergström, despite many doubts on my site as to what "playing" could be, according to herself - who starts ingesting a medicine that seems to change her life. Naturally, this medicine is a sugar pill. The medicine is also the only thing which is sweet about this film. The script is so poorly written that any, and I repeat, _any_ breathing thing - or dead - could easily excrete something which would improve and best this depressing piece of scatological experience, which all should avoid at all costs. Actually, I could go on forever about how bad everything from the direction to casting, acting, the soundtrack and segues are, but I will not. I refuse to. This is on par with Nutley-Bergström's "Angel", which also marked a new milestone in the string of eulogies to Swedish cinema that seems to be their goal. I'm angry to know the couple seem to use films as an excuse to a) go abroad and senselessly film scenes that have none or very little function for a film and b) have Bergström cry and copulate. Don't see this, even for "fun", which was why I saw it. I will never, ever see this film again, and I hope Bergström-Nutley never, ever make another film, write one nor act in one for the sake of humanity.

    0.3
  • Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) - IMDb 4/10

    2016-11-26 17:10
    * * * *

    This film stretches beyond a regular action film and even really dips into the true meaning of the word apocalypse, but that's the most positive thing about it. Miike has been taking some major leads from Shakespeare, considering he lived a few hundred years ago, this film is truly not very original. Having said that, it's missing in atmosphere. It doesn't pace well and lost me a bit after 30 minutes and did not win the loss back. Having been Shakespearian before that, this film segues into being laughable and filled with fight (as most films by Miike are). Not recommendable to anyone who doesn't want to dabble in martial arts action-cum-half-assed weird dreaming, having fallen asleep with "Macbeth" on your face.

    0.3

Playlist #26 + extras

I’ve made a new playlist. It’s Friday, bitches!! Get up! Info follows below the embeds.

I’ve no idea from where I got word to check that Ronstadt/Neville track, and as a whole I don’t think it works, but the start…their voices, especially Neville’s, just…work. The lyrics are like the song as a whole; parts of it are emo, parts good. I mean:

Look at this face I know the years are showing.
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going.

I don’t know much but I know I love you.
That may be all I need to know.

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters.
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered.

I don’t know much but I know I love you.
That may be all I need to know.

Unintentionally, I framed it with Scout Niblett‘s duet with Will Oldham that’s sweet; the simple reverbed guitar with the strings and their intermingled voices; it’s basically a Niblett track in essence. Reminds me of Songs: Ohia.

ShitKid is Åsa Söderqvist; she’s so far released EPs and the LP has just been announced. This track – “Sugar Town” – is fucking great. Poppy, drugged, simple.

Avantgardet is a strange creature. Even though they seem real/fake back and forth, their songs can be very strong. Even if you don’t understand Swedish, the melodies on this track, “Hög i gränder“, are something sweet.

Speaking of melody, but in the extreme, Elliott Smith fucking ruled; this song, “Everything Means Nothing To Me“, has somehow always told me a lot about him. As to whether that’s true or not is something completely different. I love how Smith could build a track from nothing and basically built songs that are so strong that his reputation as one of the best songwriters this side of the millennium is cemented.

The playlist turns to the harder side with Urochromes – a band that tries too hard but whose efforts work regardless – Hanin Elias (bless her forever) and Stooges, but with Jennie Abrahamson‘s sweet, solemn, 1980s-ish synthy track and her smooth, Robyn-esque vocals – that’s some good shit. Framed by an ambient track and Sun Kil Moon‘s “Philadelphia Cop” where he remembers David Bowie and chastigates Sean Penn, comparing his “friend” with Anders Breivik:

Bowie’s face kept repeating over, and over, and over, and over again
A video of one of my earliest heroes laying in a hospital bed
And more and more, Sean Penn shaking hands with El Chapo
That motherfucker killed ten times more people than Jim Fucking Jones
That motherfucker killed more people than that
Plus Waco
That motherfucker killed more people than that crazy fuck did on the Norwegian island Utøya and Oslo

Also Sun Kil Moon’s angry as usual:

You got the brains to be the next Norman Mailer
You got the longevity to be the next Elizabeth Taylor
You got the class to be the next James fucking Spader
You got the swagger to be the next Stiv fucking Bator
But are you sitting on the toilet staring at your phone like a perfectly tailored, made-to-order puppet

I ain’t no one’s puppet, I ain’t no one’s puppet, I ain’t no one’s puppet, I ain’t no one’s puppet

I ain’t no one’s fucking puppet, I ain’t no one’s fucking puppet, I ain’t no one’s fucking puppet, I ain’t no one’s fucking puppet

I’d tell him to chill the fuck out and sit the hell down but I’ve got a fair guess coming on what he’d tell me.

Here’s a track NOT included in the playlist – SHOCKER!!

Even though the sound is pretty much shit, it’s just lovely to see the band playing it live, with the track’s growth.

On that note, here’s Nick Cave on meeting and working with Blixa Bargeld (the singer in Nebauten) and how the latter hid how he actually knew English but didn’t want to speak it. Fucking brilliant:

OK, back on the playlist track: the band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever has released an EP that’s about the best melodic indie I’ve heard since Voxtrot.

I can only highly recommend hearing the entire EP. It’s been some time since I last heard a record that’s been so strong throughout.

And we’re ending with Primal Scream‘s cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s “Darklands“, one of my all-time fave blues tracks. Dunno if it’s such a cover as Bobby Gillespie (frontman of Primal Scream) used to be part of JAMC, but still. Psych!

I ended the playlist with Broder Daniel. As Henrik Berggren, the frontman, is actually going to release his solo album1 this must have sprung into my little mind. To me, this is kind of…a hommage to concrete suburbs that we dream of escaping when we’re young. The reverb, the guitars, the voice. At the 03:18 mark into the track, Berggren sings his fucking heart into the mic, and it shows. This could very well be my favourite Broder Daniel track, and I’ll let it ring out.

  1. Which, to indie Swedes, is about as belated and sung as “Chinese Democracy” and My Bloody Valentine’s albums of “late”.[back]
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Sleep + music

Slept for a bunch of hours in a row last night without waking up. Can’t express how good that felt.

Now: riding the train to work, listening to Body Count’s latest album – speedy rap/thrash – while starting to read Fuminori Nakamura’s “The Thief“.


OK, I must admit, hearing Body Count do their own version of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” is cute and pathetic at the same time. Why is that almost only applicable to metal?

Zzz.

OK, now it’s time to sleep standing up while listening to one of the best psych bands in a long time, Manchester’s very fine Gnod. And by that way, check out their latest album cover, which displays the album title quite nicely:

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Kids reacting to (hearing) Nirvana

“This is a calm song. No, IT’S NOT!”

If “grown-ups” would be more in-tune with their emotions, not filter what they think as much and have an open mind like these kids, I think society would, on the whole, be a much lovelier place to live in.

The reactions! The lyric reactions, the way the kids interpret Nirvana as a whole after one, three and five songs – it’s really inspiring to me!

And fun. And funny. The kids strike me as thoughtful, immediate, thinking, analysing, rocking, and sweet, which to me is what Nirvana was about.

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Waking up at 4am: from Clapton to Hanson

Woke up at 4am. Not being able to go back to sleep is not really an issue at all, but the combination of these two things really is:

  • inexplicably having Eric Clapton’s “Tears in heaven” looping in my head – WHY?
  • even more inexplicably having the image of Eric Clapton’s murky dad style from that unplugged gig that revived his career suddenly burned into my head, and did he intentionally try to fuck up the coolness that people like Kurt Cobain, James Dean and The Log Lady granted the cardigan?

Even weirder – but far more welcome – is how that horrid song, during my writing this, I started morphing into Hanson’s “Mmmbop”. Yes please. More of that sunshine pop, let it forever melt away the old maniness that is Clapton, yes, California sunshine – I’ve never been to California but the prejudiced image from that Hanson video will do – mmmbop, a-dawa-doo, doo – somehow it segues into Hanson’s other single, “Where’s the love?” which is not as good as “Mmmbop” but has some good harmonies and an ok pop chorus.
This early morning experience actually turned out quite well.

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