Arcade Fire//Reflektor

Arcade Fire
Reflektor
Merge, 2013
85 minutes

REFLEKTOR

When I was in highschool we had Funeral. And it was good. I probably don’t have to tell you what it was like to be young or how important music could be. Or how nowadays you might occasionally reach for an album that meant the world to you a decade or more ago and just before you press play or drop the needle you stop. Maybe because it’s going to take you to a place that’s just too much for you to handle in that moment but more likely because it’s not. And how is that going to make you feel, knowing that something that could split you wide open at 16 is little more than a tickle at 25? In 2004, Arcade Fire was raw. Their sound was still big but it ached inside of its cheap frame, their magic bursting forth at the seams ready to light everything up. And they did. Continue reading

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My Dentist is a Horse

For Pizza, Brother Rapid & Tootie Bullshit…

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My dentist is a horse. And that’s fine. She wants to shave my teeth so I look more like her. I don’t like having my teeth shaved because the drill she uses is very loud and sometimes I breathe in my own enamel through my nose. I just don’t like the idea of parts of my own body ending up in my digestive system. It feels too much like cannibalism and I am firmly against cannibalism. Have been for quite some time. Because of her hooves, my dentist isn’t very good at holding the drill and sometimes she drops it onto my tongue where it wriggles around like a metal snake. I’m worried that someday I’m going to swallow it and shave off the lining of my stomach or tear a hole through that flap that opens and closes whenever I breathe in order to keep food from being sucked into my lungs. I imagine getting food in your lungs tends to happen more frequently this time of year what with Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas all being a combination of overeating and familial anxiety; a hellish cycle of guilt and indigestion. I just can’t afford to choke. Not this year. I’m going to Thanksgiving with my girlfriend and her parents. My girlfriend is not a horse and I’m very grateful for that. I’m not worried about Thanksgiving but I would be if I had a hole in my esophagus. That would be pretty embarrassing. Continue reading

The Dismemberment Plan//Uncanney Valley

The Dismemberment Plan
Uncanny Valley
Partisan, 2013

UNCANNEY_VALLEY

The glut of articles detailing the reunion of and subsequent new album by D.C.’s The Dismemberment Plan have tended to focus on the band’s somewhat improbable narrative. A quick summary: having amicably broken up after failing to produce a follow-up to Change (2001), the band began doing one-off reunion shows in 2007, much to the excitement of young fans that never got the chance to experience the band’s caustic wit and nervy post-punk live. In the past five years, the gaps between these gigs have gotten shorter and shorter until The Dismemberment Plan began to feel less like a reunion act that was back on the road because they’re bank accounts were hurting (see: current world tours for Pixies and Neutral Milk Hotel) and more like divorced parents who were ready to give it another try.  In fact, as these articles repeatedly remind readers, the guys behind The Plan didn’t need their old band at all. They were back because they actually just enjoyed making music with each other and had found some excess time and energy in their semi-professional schedules for a little noise making. Of course this ain’t your dad’s Crosby Stills and Nash cover band: festival gigs and charity benefits evidenced that D-Plan can still tear it up better than the legions of lethargic millennial bands that don’t even know they exist. The trouble with all the sincerity and feel good vibes going around is that some have managed to overlook whether the music itself, both within and outside of the band’s context, is actually any good. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire//Season Four//Episode 3//Acres of Diamonds

Written by Terence Winter
Directed by Allen Coulter
Originally aired September 22, 2013

BOARDWALK_S04_E03

“Acres of Diamonds” finds Boardwalk Empire trading in on some dubious clichés. I’m not sure if it would be better or worse if these clichés were occurring within the series’ least or most interesting plotlines but as it happens they are amidst the former lending the entire episode an unbalanced and inconsistent tilt. Perhaps worst of all is how “Acres” seems flush yet does little to move much of anything along plot wise or in terms of character development. Acres there are not but a few diamonds amongst the miles of rough are there to be found if you’re willing to look. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire//Season Four//Episode 2//Resignation

Written by Dennis Lehane & Howard Korder
Directed by Alik Sakharov
Originally aired September 19, 2013

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“Resignation” is a twitchy little thing, jumping eagerly from scene to scene. When you really break it down there are, as per usual, only about five or so subplots happening though it can really feel like a lot more as shades from other worlds occasionally drift in. For instance, the titular resignation does not in fact refer to Harry Daugherty, who gets only passing notice, but to a much less likely character. Still, essential moments (and characters) are given a drink and a chance to catch their breaths. A new player is introduced, one that effectively mirrors Gyp Rosseti and is no less threatening and another will detail the depth of their deception. All while the bodies continue to stack. Just another week in America… Continue reading