just kidding. Rather, has transmographied into it's new butterfly like form and can be found
or directly here.
SAY HELLO, (and that goes double for you, mr. or ms. nevercomments)
Don't come here anymore afterwords, cause nothing is going to change. This page is not unlike the empty Cocoon video case after the VHS has been removed from it's protective case and inserted into the VHS player of hosted wordpress bliss.
It's 3:30 am, and i've been working on setting this up for 4 1/2 hours. I did it all while laying in bed watching "Children of Men". Forgive me if i've stopped making sense.
Posted by Tanner M. at 3:19 AM
Over the weekend Jenny Jay and I headed a couple blocks down the street to the Roxie, Burlington's answer to the indieplex, to see Blade Runner, on the big screen. I was giddy - Blade Runner is one of those films that i was too young to have seen in the theater, and having watched it years back now on a degenerated VHS, i was now certain i was going to see this film the way it was intended.
I couldn't have been more right - like so many great films that i'll only ever have the chance to see on the small screen, Blade Runner was almost unrecognizable to me on the big screen; the scope, the score the grandeur - that i had been doing the art so wrong for so long by confining it to my tv set - it was enough to make me want to swear off the small screen for good.
The amount of detail that went into this film can finally be grasped when you see it in the theaters, everything, down to the magazines on the racks, the hair pins on the streetwalkers, - it's all there, and real - that the world the characters slog through is created not out of the lastest CG, but from real models, painstakingly detailed - gives the whole distopian future such a gritty truthful weight that no amount of CG outside of Children of Men have been able to tough since the whole business bought stock in Silicon Valley.
And don't get me started on the lighting. Or the music.
Bottom line is - if your a movie fanatic, keep your eyes on the roxy schedule, as judging by the size of the crowd for a mid winter 11:40pm showing we can hopefully expect even more great showings - Here's hoping for a back to back alien/aliens/alien3 triple play. We're lucky to have a spot showing indie films, and even luckier that they'd be willing to take the risk of showing older films, lets get out there and show them it's worth it.
Posted by Tanner M. at 9:52 PM
All right, you guys. This is a combination social announcement/call to arms for all readers of Highgate and their respective circles! Some of you may recall that a couple of weeks ago, I provided you with the coolest picture you saw all day, and proceeded to go on and on about Beach House's brilliant forthcoming effort, Devotion. And if you've paid attention to anything Tanner, Jay, or I have said about their very insular yet transcendent performance at Higher Ground last year, you probably feel at least slightly remorseful about the looming tragedy in your life that is You-Missed-One-Helluva-Trippy-Show,-G. For real. Victoria Legrand's droning organ and divine vocals transformed The Showcase Lounge into a veritable womb for the eight of us who were lucky enough to be there.
I went that night with a strong affinity for their self-titled debut, but I was ultimately skeptical that it would translate well in a live setting. To my surprise, most of the songs I was familiar with took on an added warmth, reaching emotional heights merely hinted at on the album. The intimacy only seemed to add to the overall energy, as if the gaps in the small room allowed that much more of the stage's orange glow to permeate throughout the space. Since the duo was opening for Grizzly Bear that night, the set was less than an hour, but I can say with some degree of certainty that it was the finest hour-long stretch of live music I experienced last year. Well, maybe Animal Collective, but since Beach House are coming to The Monkey House in March (!) for, like, six bucks (!), the edge goes to them. And this time around they're headlining, so we should be treated to healthy doses of both of their stellar albums. As a side note, Victoria not only brandishes a set of amazing pipes, but she's also a total sweetheart. I talked with her for a bit while she broke down equipment, and we discussed everything from the merits of Black Dice's Beaches and Canyons to her unrestrained excitement about the impending release of their second album. It was so refreshing, because she came off sounding much more like a schoolgirl describing her first crush than a jaded hipster who has Ryan Schreiber wrapped around her pinky.
So anyway, make sure you don't miss out on Beach House this time around. It’d be a real shame to have them come back to the area, only to be greeted by another empty room. They'll be playing the Monkey House in Winooski on Sunday, March 30. Papercuts will be opening, as well as a still-undetermined local act. (Please, Greg Davis!) Also, don't forget to pick up their sophomore album, Devotion, which comes out in late February. Give yourself ample time to fall in love with those tracks, and you'll be glad you did when you hear what they can do with them live. See you then!
Posted by Tanner M. at 10:58 AM
Has it really almost been a week since my last post? most likely. Where to begin... As of last week, I've gone into business for myself. Things being as they are I've got over 60 hours of work a week to divide between 4 clients, 2 of which are looking to be regular long-term involvements, which is what led me to decide to give freelancing a go.
The problems there being that i haven't the slightest idea of what it takes to organize this sort of venture. Luckily that's where having alot of smart friends comes into play. I'm gonna be picking alot of brains in coming weeks. For example, I've collected (and billed.) a few times already, and upon payment i realize that no taxes have been withheld, while that makes a payment look extra special, it also makes me think about how much I'll be paying in quarterly (thanks for that tip Jay.). If i don't start setting a percentage aside, preferably in some kind of high interest bank account, i could be in a bit of financial trouble.
Next is getting things like a printer/fax/scanner - I've been needing one of these for a while, so nows a good time to pick one up. Printing invoices and all that important stuff. Setting up a business through the state, that means going to Montpelier and signing some papers, and then printing companies start sending me pens with the company name written on them in generic times font. I know the score. sort of.
I've been reading some great books on the matter over the last few months, mostly supplied to me by Jay (if didn't already know by now, Jay's has a bit of experience in the design/multimedia industry.) , two i highly recommend are Hillman Curtis's: MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice of a New Media Designer and my current read Karlssonwilker's Tell me Why: The first 24 months of a New York design company - Both are a brilliant reads, full of wit and insight into an industry already jam packed and bursting with people like myself, trying to snag clients, make a name, make a living and ultimately have some fun. It's pretty inspirational stuff, on different levels, one being to see their work and read their wisdom, and i'd say even more so for myself, to read about their mistakes, about the clients that dropped them, or projects that never made it to completion. That these guys fuck up and don't always hit the mark was shocking to me, somehow I've always imagined that these top tier firms never screw up... that they do, makes me think i might have a chance... slight as it may be.
Beyond the work and the papers, i need to start developing a website for myself, something that I've been dancing around for a while now, mostly because I'll have an idea of how i want it to look, write it down, consider it for a while, dissect it, deconstruct it's contents, rearrange it, and by the time i think i might have something i either get sick of it or see something else that shoots me off in another direction... the idea of creating a website that represents my ideas professionally as a web designer is an exciting and extremely scary idea. Now that it's become necessary I'm gonna have to bite down on something and chew... having to do it, actually makes it alot easier to, oddly enough.
Anyway - with any luck providing the floor doesn't fall out and the sky come crashing down, (which in this industry happens, all the time.) you should be seeing alot of changes to Highgate, namely that i'll be moving. Unfortunately some douche from the south named, sadly, Tanner Moore, has already gone ahead and registered tannermoore.com (check it out, for a larf.) so i'm gonna have to see what else i can find. Perhaps a catchphrase? we'll see...
Posted by Tanner M. at 10:41 AM
Hey everyone. Sorry that it’s taken until now to post the latest Aether Everywhere set and download (Jenny’s been checking her computer every couple of hours, folding her arms, and stomping away), but both Tanner and I had pretty hectic weekends. OK, so mine wasn’t really all that hectic, but since I was recently informed by my supervisor that, no, a hot pink Marc Bolan t-shirt (and the like) is not acceptable attire for work, I had to go get me some new threads.
Aaanyway, this past Thursday, we featured Ghost’s Snuffbox Immanence from 1999. A lot of people consider this to be their “classic” album, and I’d agree with that (although depending on the day, Lama Rabi Rabi gives it a run). We then spun a bunch of like-minded Japanese psych tracks, ranging from Ghost’s side work with Damon and Naomi (the rhythm section of Galaxie 500) to Nobuzaku Takemura, whose Steve Reich-meets-Markus Popp “Kepler” is reminiscent of Snuffbox’s “Daggma.” Hope you enjoy, and tune in Aether Everywhere this Thursday at 10 for some Elephant 6 action! - JOSH
(ps. This is one of my favorite setlists, i love all of these songs, and some of the artists are some of my all time favorite players, do yourself a favor, download this one, pop it into your ipod for that ride on the train, walk in the winter woods, or drive down the coast - also check out my mad photoshop p0Wnage! -tanner)
1) Damon & Naomi w/ Ghost - “I Dreamed of the Caucasus”
2) Keiji Haino - “I Don't Want To Know”
3) L - “Troll”
4) LSD March - “Kimi Wa Tengoku”
5) Maher Salal Hash Baz - “What's Your Business Here Elijah?”
6) Susumu Yokota - “Sleepy Eye”
7) Nagisa Ni Te - “Me On The Beach”
8) Boredoms - “(two circles)”
9) Nobukazu Takemura - “Kepler”
10) Boris w/ Michio Kurihara - “Fuzzy Reactor”
11) Masaki Batoh - “Spooky”
12) High Rise - “Outside Gentiles”
Posted by Tanner M. at 8:09 PM
My childhood dog Bean died today. My father called me and told me that she had had three seizures this morning and was having trouble breathing so that i should come up to Highgate as soon as possible, because she needed to be put down.
When i showed up to the Vets office my dad's truck was parked in front and his black lab Ebony was sitting patiently in the drivers seat. I popped Oldham into the cab with him and greeted my dad. As soon as i saw my dad i started to tear up, he had been crying - I gave him a hug.
Something about my father; he is at the same time both deeply emotional and emotionally... ineloquent, (for lack of a better word.) so that it's always seemed to me, that when he does express his feelings, they come from a deep well, or reserve and that he cries for more reasons than there are apparent in that moment.
So i gave him a hug, and we went in to see Bean, who was on the Vets bench with a little doggy oxygen mask on her face, lightly sedated. I wanted to cry, but i didn't. I gave her a long pat and pulled some dried up dirty off of her ear, and scratched her head and bent down close to her face and told her she was a good girl. I patted her some more, my dad said his goodbyes and i gave her my final goodbye, a bunch of little snorting sounds that i used to make to her, and she to me. The vet gave her her shot, turned off her gas, and within a few seconds she was dead. I cried a bit then.
The vet asked if we wanted a cadaver bag, but my dad just scooped her up. I didn't know what he was going to do with her, though i should have. Ever since my dad was young he'd been burying his dogs in the pine forest out behind my childhood home. There were alot of dogs buried out there, 3 of his Airedales, one i remember named Missy, my sister's German Sheppard, Pepper. My dad's beloved lab Ginger, oh, and one of our old cats, either buttons, or shadow. Now Beaner was gonna join them in the pine forest menagerie.
When we pulled up by the woods edge i saw that my father had already dug a deep hole, deep enough he told me, so that some other dog won't dig her up... luckily the ground wasn't frozen yet. He handed me her little beagle corpse and i crawled down into the hole and set her down. We debated whether we should have brought a blanket to wrap her in, but in the end we decided that it didn't matter really, and that this way she would go back to the earth as quickly as possible.
It was hard to start shoveling the dirt over her... she was still warm when i set her down, and i was worried she was still alive. I waited a minute, then shoveled on the dirt, i waited till i absolutely had to to bury her face. After a bit my dad took a turn shoveling, and after about 20 minutes or so, we had her buried well enough. My father said he'd go back later and cover the ground over and flatten it out with his tractor. I remember thinking over and over again, that it was a great thing to have people that would carry you down into the ground and shovel dirt onto your corpse in the middle of January.
Afterwords we stood there a moment, my dad and I agreed she was a good dog. We didn't stand there much longer, as it seemed then it would have been overly sentimental, besides, while we were burying her i had plenty of time to think fondly on her, and how it's this sort of tradition, physically laboring in the memory of someone, that allow for us to let go - i felt somewhat better.
Afterwards we went and got some lunch at the Swanton house of Pizza, we split a small works and talked about this and that. Dad told me this story about how only yesterday Bean, always wily in that hound dog way, found Ebony sleeping on her bed, and had devised a plan to get him off by going over to my dad and acting like he had food, begging and pawing at his leg - when Ebony jumped off the bed and rushed over, Bean had ambled over and reclaimed her spot.
We also talked about a plot of land he wanted to buy in Shawville, and how - my grandmother, on my mother's side, used to run this very restaurant, back in the 70's - only back then it was a diner, not a pizzeria, nothing else was really the same - it had been remodeled almost completely but that the trellis above our heads that spanned across the whole ceiling and which was wrapped through and through with all sorts of fast growing vines, was in fact build by my father and my great grandfather.
Posted by Tanner M. at 3:34 PM
As JB and I say, don't this just boggle tits. I don't even know where to begin - But please, for your sake, for your children's sake watch this... and laugh. Laugh harder than you've ever laughed before, for your sanities sake.
Sorry for the redirect, this is the only source i could find that is still able to host this video - L Ron is hunting these vids down as if they make Tom and Scientology look bad... wait a second....
A little Def of 'brevs and acros' for yas:
• KSW: Short for Keeping Scientology Working, a policy written by Hubbard in the 1960s that requires all Scientologists to follow his words and his rules exactly.
• Orgs: An abbreviation for "organizations"; describes all churches of Scientology throughout the world.
• David Miscavige: He is the current leader of Scientology. He's the equivalent of the Pope to the Catholics.
• Out-ethics: Any behavior that violates any of Hubbard's rules of conduct.
• Put ethics in someone else: Make others conform to Hubbard's rules of behavior.
• Criminon: Scientology front group that tries to recruit through the prisons.
• SP: Suppressive Person. Anyone who doesn't like Scientology and/or criticizes Scientology.
• PTS/SP: Another bogus Hubbard term to define behavior that goes against Scientology rules.
• LRH technology or "tech": All of the Scientology policies, rules, mandates, and procedures.
and if you don't have time to watch the whole sha-banger, this about sums it up, in 23 seconds.
So does this actually.
Posted by Tanner M. at 2:20 PM
If I thought Buffalo '66 was original, I'm also the first to admit that it doesn't even hold a candle to Sympathy. In my book, this Korean film from director Can-wook Park is revelatory, not only for its crisp execution of cinematography, or sumptious mise-en-scene, but it's all around-ness. yes, the ever-allusive all-aroundness. This is a film that delivers in all capacities visual and emotional. With all its blood and anger and hatred, without any sound, any dialogue even, this is one of the most beautiful films I've ever watched. But that is unfair, as the entire picture, sound and story included, are exemplary. Please see this films if you haven't and you love movies. I will say, Lady Vengeance is not for the weak-spirited or stomached, prepare yourself for terribly vivid violence, stylized, but severe.
6.) Zwarteboek (Black Book) (2006)
Last year was a big one for Jenny and Paul Verhoeven - my coming out year if you will. Tanner schooled me in Total Recall, RoboCop and the uberimpressive Starship Troopers (and for all of those who hate on the latter, shame on you, it takes guts to make a film that relies on beautiful, vapid actors and satire, especially one about nazis!) Black Book, for me, is the creme de la creme of these pictures. This WWII picture about a Jewish singer (the impressive and beautiful Carice van Houten) who escapes death and becomes a spy who falls in love with a Nazi may, on the outset, seem too campy and improbable to be worth watching. Not so my friends. This is a beautifully vibrant picture, supple and lush, that skillfully blends the horrors of war with boobies. In all seriousness though, I find Black Book to be among the most upsetting (and rewarding) movies I saw last year. It's intelligent, unusual, and downright entertaining. One of the criticisms of this film is it's pulpy nature, leaving many viewers feeling that it lacks depth or heart and is too reliant on Verhoeven's love of all things naked. But let me tell you, seeing van Houten naked is at times titillating, but at others disturbing, and others still it'll downright make you nauseous. And if you still don't believe that Verhoeven is capable of making a truly touching picture, one that doesn't rely on guns or dolled up sci-fi or Sharon Stone, than watch it for Carice van Houten's breasts. She has the nicest breasts I have ever seen.
(And this is coming from the girl with the nicest breasts I've ever seen. Sorry mom. -Tanner)
5.) It Happened One Night (1934)
Perhaps you, like myself from time to time, watch the old timies and think 'well sure, i suppose it was good back then' but can't help but feel undeniably detached from the picture because it's simply too dated. I assure you, this is NOT the case with It Happened One Night, Frank Capra's thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy about a wealthy heiress who runs away only to meet a handsome reporter looking to publish her story. You'll never guess so I may as well clue you in: they fall in love. Sure, it may sound pat, but this film not only remains one of the finest of a genre that has turned to tripe in the past fifty years, but also swept the 1934 Oscars, winning for Best Picture, Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Director, and Best Writing. The acting is superb, and much like the script to an audience members utter delight, very intelligent. What's that, did she say a smart romantic comedy? I did! Perhaps that what I liked most about this movie, outside of Colbert's anti-heroine spitfire and Gable's washing of the entire screen with smarmy charmy goodess, the pure brains. Like many films of the day (Grand Hotel and the later His Girl Friday are great examples if you're interested), It Happened One Night uses snappy, witty dialogue. It's quite fun to get jokes that aren't dumbed down and run right past you - oh - there's one, don't miss it!
Alexander Andrews: Oh, er, do you mind if I ask you a question, frankly? Do you love my daughter?
Peter Warne (Gable): Any guy that'd fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.
Alexander Andrews: Now that's an evasion!
Peter Warne: She picked herself a perfect running mate - King Westley - the pill of the century! What she needs is a guy that'd take a sock at her once a day, whether it's coming to her or not. If you had half the brains you're supposed to have, you'd done it yourself, long ago.
Alexander Andrews: Do you love her?
Peter Warne: A normal human being couldn't live under the same roof with her without going nutty! She's my idea of nothing!
Alexander Andrews: I asked you a simple question! Do you love her?
Peter Warne: YES! But don't hold that against me, I'm a little screwy myself!
How can Clark Gable talk about hitting women daily and still be so damn magnetic? Watch the movie!
Posted by Tanner M. at 7:55 PM
This past Thursday night, the moons sadly did not line up for Aether Everywhere. Tanner and I once again ran into some, um, studio access issues, and those of you who were listening may have noticed some not-so-psychedelic, not-so-Japanese music emerging from your speakers. So no, that was not us playing Salad Days, Marie and Marie’s bowling buddies. Shudder.
You’re obviously not getting your download and trippy picture (well, at least not one with “ae 4” plastered across it) this time around, so deal with it. You’ll just have to wait one more week for us to unleash the Asian facemelters on your (sweet, sweet) asses.
As you may (or more likely may not) have noticed, I never got around to posting a year-end list for my favorite albums of 2007. It’d be easy enough for me to blame Paul Sorvino for this, but she’s already been my scapegoat for too many things this past month. Instead, I blame Jenny. (I learned it from watching you, OK?) But just in case you’re wondering, my favorite album was The National’s Boxer, and my favorite song was Dan Deacon’s “Wham City.”
In lieu of a list, I’d like to share my excitement for a release scheduled to come out next month. Chances are, if you’re reading this post you’re at least mildly familiar with Beach House’s self-titled album from a couple of years ago. For those of you who sleep with a vinyl copy under yer pilla , or who were one of the five or so who got swallowed whole in Higher Ground last year, I have good news: Their new album, Devotion, is frickin’ fantastic.
The duo somehow manages to go exactly where I’d hoped they would. They retain the dreamy intimacy (read: sparse arrangements drenched in reverb) of the s/t, but build on its strengths by pushing happy buttons much more often. You know how they’d unleash those brief, sudden crescendos in a few of the songs, with Victoria Legrand and her droning organ emerging from their cocoon (i.e. “I’ll wait for you, I’ll wait for…” in “Auburn and Ivory”)? We’re treated to at least one of those moments on almost every track. The song structures are also more complex, with some interesting instrumental flourishes (shakers, etc.) rounding out the sound, but again, without forsaking their narcotic M.O. Noticeable, too, is Victoria’s more powerful delivery, which should put to rest the stupid and unfounded notion that she’s merely a Nico wannabe.
All in all, if you’re into hazy, perfect melodies, get excited. The album’s out on February 26th, and here’s a download of its first single, “Gila.” (Update: Posted! -tanner.)
Posted by Tanner M. at 10:22 AM
Oh, baby where to begin... I've had a long week, just when unemployment was starting to seem a bit monotonous, i get some serious return on all the resumes i sent in, 4 interview in a week is alot for me, and involved going to old gold and buying some new clothes, you know slacks and button up shirts - instead of slacks though i bought this great pair vintage Lee stretch jeans/slacks... don't roll your eyes, the tags had fucking John Madden on them - you know you're wearing sweet pants when john madden is rocking them out while excitedly explaining his latest genius football maneuver, (this is back before he didn't care to wear anything besides his own vomit and a smile.)
These new potential job developments were very fortunate as i also received a letter from the state letting me know that they were going to be doing an audit on my unemployment claim as apparently my former shyster employers worked some voodoo magic and kept me on the payroll for two weeks instead of cutting me a proper severence check. So according to the records i collected unemployment AND worked, HOLY MOTHER OF CHRIST!
Anyway, so i spent a few days figuring out how to use a fax machine and sent off my various papers to the government, my caseworker "Bradford" informed me that he'd get back to me in about a week.
*One week Later*
I find this this letter from the state, i sit down, it's two pages, typed, and as far as i could tell, written in english, But for the fucking life of me, i couldn't make heads or tales of what it was telling me - i felt like a fucking monkey trying to use an etchie-sketch. Fuck that, i felt like I was trying to use an etchi-sketch. I couldn't make heads or tails, the first read through it made me think, "Balls! I'm fucked." i then i gave it to Jenny to read who after alot of head scratching and lice picking looked at me and said "I think this means your fine babe..."
That's 1 for 1... I needed another opinion, so i gave it to my friend who works for the fucking United States Government, -he'd surely understand all this legal bullshit. He took the document, and began to scan the page with intent, lips pursed, eyes narrowed, head nodded - somewhere off in the distance a bell tolled... "Looks like you owe the government some money..."
"See here... this means....*upper lip scratch* you owe them from Dec. 29th back to when you started... how much is that..."
"What?! 4 weeks of unemployment, but even if i do count my severence pay that's only 2 weeks! This is an outrage - This is Bullshit!"
I fell backwards on my bottom stunned, i looked around for a moment to make sure jenny was watching, and began to wail. Realizing that Jenny was too busy writing her 18,000th revision of her "favorite movies list", i decided the best course of action would be to appeal my situation and write a letter to the state, a really sarcastic letter. I won't transcribe the whole thing but i'll include a few lines to give you the flavor...
"Hello The Vermont Department of Labor,
...after being asked when the last time i worked was, i began to receive my unemployment checks. All seemed right in the world for an unemployed man around the holidays, all that money i payed into the government with every paycheck, was now going to help me make it through the holiday season so that come January and a the new year, i could find gainful employment again...
...my government seemed to be on my side, and my faith was restored in mankind...
...How wrong i was it seems, now, and according to the woefully arcane letter i received via my caseworker Bradford
Gwinn, as of this letter i hold in my hand, it would seem that i owe the state quite a sum of money. Now given the circumstances i can see how there was some confusion here, with my severence from my dangerously shady former employers...
...It would seem then, that because i was kept on the pay roll for 2 (two) weeks at the syndio company, and i collected 2 (two) weeks of unemployment at the same time, that infact, i owe you two (2) weeks of unemployment, if you see fit. What i don't understand is how you equate those two weeks to all time from the week ending the 29th of December previous... if i'm doing my math, that would seem more like 3 weeks... do you have a calculator handy?
...There were alot of mistakes made here, my old employers were good at working the books, the people on the hotline weren't so good at following their scripts and catching this before it was too late, and i admit that if i had extrasensory perception, i too could have helped avoid this mess...
Tanner M. McCuin
---- So i sent that off, fully expecting to get the double edged sword of bureaucracy and debt shoved up my butt. I looked at my meager finances, cursed the gods, cursed the lack of gods, and waited.
This afternoon i recieved a phone call from a lady at the appeal office in Montpelier.
"Yes" i said with as much snark as one can put into a yes.
"I'm so and so from the Vermont yada yada appeals department..."
"... i'm calling you about the appeal you filed yesterday regarding your claim."
"Well, there was a bit of confusion here... as according to your records you don't owe the state any money."
"Ohhhhhhh......... *sssshit...* hehe. really!?"
"you know your letters are really confusing..."
"Yes sir. So was yours. Have a nice day."
Sooooooooo there you have it, my tale of man vs government. Sort of...I WIN!
Anyway, where was I? Was i making some kind of point with all this some sort of moral or cautionary message? Whatever, i'm gonna go buy another computer monitor or something. I just got a new job so i can kiss all this nonsense goodbye, at least until next time.
Posted by Tanner M. at 5:44 PM
Okay, so it's a little late, but let me tell you all right now, i have been agonizing over the prose for my best movies of 2007 list. And i still think it's tripe. I mean, how many times can i say a film brilliantly acted or masterfully directed or, oh no, touching? A lot apparently. But nevertheless, the list was constructed and you all should read it, if only to break up the Aether Everywhere set lists. (I am proud of you though babe, despite the jab!)
Tanner said i sound like Leonard Maltin. I hope that some of you disagree, but alas, it may just be true. Regardless of my feelings about the posts, i do hope you enjoy reading the installments about my "adventure at the pictures" last year.
What's that, they didn't all come out in 2007? Well you're right! You can find those lists all over this great big internet, what i'm offering you is a genuine random selection of excellent films that span the decades, but affected me profoundly in 2007.
Thanks to Tanner are due: for his patience, and the space. (and his washboard like abs. -ed)
10.) Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
This Joseph L. Mankiewicz film, with a Gore Vidal screenplay based upon Tennessee's Williams' decadently veiled stage play, may be nearly fifty years old, but I believe it's every bit as disturbing and intoxicating today as it must have been upon its original release. The film centers around a wealthy widow, played to perfection by an eerie and solemn Katherine Hepburn, coping with the mysterious death of her son, suddenly . . . last summer. She is deeply troubled by her niece Catherine's deteriorating mental health and employs the expertise of experimental lobotomy specialist Dr. Curkowicz (Montgomery Clift). Catherine, played by a young, mesmerizing Elizabeth Taylor, was the only witness to her cousin's death and is tormented by the details surrounding the event. Her deranged Catherine is intelligent, provocative, and sensual, but simultaneously gentle and naive, an absolute treat of a performance really. You can just bet ol' Mama Hepburn wants to keep this smart, sexy southerner quiet so as not to expose . . . what? Sexual intrigue, in a Tennesee Williams play, you don't say! . . . perhaps you have some ideas, but even if you guess the result (which I, to my pleasure, did not), Mankiewicz's skillful direction creates an atmosphere of sheer creepy as the film draws to a close. Its a bit dated, but well worth a watch.
9.) Buffalo '66 (1998)
So I hear what some of you may be saying, I'm so late to hop on this train that the station been's closed since Vincent Gallo made a movie worth watching! And I hear you, having now seen the film I can tell you that I reprimanded myself for not seeing it sooner (I partly blame a New York Times review of Brown Bunny and an intense dislike for Chloe Sevingy). Gallo very adeptly exposes the grotesque and touching in a way that makes the viewer sit back and wonder how, when you really get down to it, your life is much different. His Billy Brown is both moving and digusting, much like the film itself, one moment repulsing the viewer, the next demanding genuine concern. Christina Ricci (with a very voluptuous frame and virtually no airs), Angelica Houston (the consummate professional, in, what I find to be a very disturbing role), and Ben Gazzara round out the perfectly cast ensemble. See this movie, but don't expect a big smile at the end. Well I take that back. If you enjoy the power of pictures to constantly reinvent the true-to-life genre, this one may have you grinning ear to ear.
8.) El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone) (2001)
Five years before becoming Mexico's little sweetheart in the eyes of American film junkies with Pan's Labyrinth (which I'm smitten with by the way), Guillermo del Toro directed another true blue masterpiece about children and their fantastic visions in 1939 Franco war-torn Spain. The story centers around a little boy named Carlos. After his father's death, Carlos is sent to live in a remote orphanage thats other residents include an abandoned, functioning bomb in the courtyard and the ghost of a murdered boy. The ghost Santi, visits Carlos almost nightly, endlessly repeating the message "many of you will die." del Toro's film continues much as Pan's does, in the realm of the supernatural (relating to children) and the gritty reality of war, lust, fear, and violence (us pesky adults). I shouldn't be too glib, this is a decidedly dark film, scarier and creepier than Pan's (just ask Tanner about my nail marks in his arm); it is violent and angry, but it's central character's sweetness, and the gentle nature of all the boys, those that live, those that have died, and those that will die by the film's end, give El Espinazo del Diablo an unmistakable depth upon which I will heap endless amounts of praise. Like Hans Christian Anderson on acid, with subtitles.
Posted by Tanner M. at 10:58 PM
This past Thursday, Aether Everywhere had its first year-end extravaganza. We featured cuts from Tanner’s and my favorite psychedelic(ish) albums from 2007--Tanner’s was Burial’s Untrue and mine was (surprise, surprise) Panda Bear’s Person Pitch--and then we rounded it out with other tracks that made our heads go, um, woh-woh-woh-woh-etc. this year. Hope you likey:
1) “Take Pills” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/This song isn’t naughty, you guys! Panda thinks the anti-depressants are a-ok (yes, yes they are), but he just doesn’t want to take them anymore, and this is a plea for his mother to join him after the passing of his father. Song’s quite a bit deeper than the title implies, no?
2) “Bros” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/The one that everyone went bonkers over this year, and with good reason. The way he messes with the vocals really messes with my head.
3) “Good Girl/Carrots” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/Last spring, I spent an entire day skiing the back country with only this song cued up on my iPod. Yay for tablas! Yay for iPods!
4) “Wham City” – Dan Deacon Spiderman of the Rings/Such an incredibly upbeat, Muppets-y song, and yet he manages to infuse a melancholy synth line through the middle third that destroys me every time.
5) “Spring Hall Convert” – Deerhunter Cryptograms/Nice and shoegazey, this one sounds like it’s trying to perpetually launch you into the stratosphere. Let it.
6) “Sundialing” – Caribou Andorra/Comparatively more stripped down than most of the others on Andorra, it sports reverbed flutes and a killer drum break.
7) “Everday” – The Field From Here We Go Sublime/Easily my favorite electronica track from 2007.
8) “Gronlandic Edit” – Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?/Nervous breakdowns make for great neo-psychedelic madness! The way he harmonizes with himself is, well, downright special.
9) “Archangel” – Burial Untrue/The unanimously cherished track from Burial’s masterpiece, featuring some sultry vocals and lots of vinyl crackle.
10) “Endorphin” – Burial Untrue/Ambient and beatless, but still fits in perfectly with Burial’s singular vision. The title and the hi-NRG synth washes suggest his longing for the halcyon days of the endless rave.
11) “Etched Headplate” – Burial Untrue/Let's play follow the bass line - as it slinks and growls along through the London underground. A great example of how the anonymous figure behind Burial's music has somehow managed to paint strikingly detailed and emotive portraits of modern living, British or otherwise, through the brush strokes consisting of sampled and twisted voice, deep sub-base, lonesome and isolated hi-nrg synths and deadwood 2-step breakbeats.
12) “Familj” – Dungen Tio Bitar/Dungen continues to blow minds with gorgeous harmonies and vintage production. Ignore Pitchfork and check out Ta Det Lugnt’s more-than-worthy successor.
13) “Radio Edit” – Studio Yearbook 1/The Swedish duo lays down a seriously hypnotic groove, and if you can tear your attention away from the lockstep rhythm section, you’ll find wonderfully evolving patterns swirling around it.
14) “Lousin’ Time” – Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips/Great stoner rock groove that chugs along insistently with echoey vocals. Around the halfway point blistering acid lead takes off and sends this one off into the distant murky sky.
15) “Whoever Brought Me Here…” – Oak EP/Gorgeous ambient drones brought to you by Burlington’s very own nu-new agers. Featuring ex-Nest Materialist Sara-paule and mixed and mastered by tera-drone specialist Greg Davis.
16) “The Pulse” – Holy Fuck LP/With two dudes behind drum kits, this is the type of kraut-infused goodness that plasters you to the back wall. Those of you who saw them at Higher Ground last year, opening for and out-rocking Wolf Parade to the point of embarrassment, know exactly what I’m talking about.
17) “The Changing Wind” – Mammatus The Coast Explodes/Bizarre offering from the proto-psych/metal outfit, signed to Holy Mountain’s roster. A bit more sedate than some of their other stuff, but not without its share of deranged vocal chants, disturbing sound effects, and slightly warped female vocals.
18) “Sailing to Byzantium” – Liars Liars/Ultra trippy, with Angus Andrew in glossy falsetto mode. Tanner shared two noteworthy observations with me the other night: This captures them further honing the production skills they adopted in that crazy compound out in Berlin, and it could pass for a distant cousin of Portishead’s “Glory Box.” Agreed and agreed. Those who stupidly crapped on this album, accusing it of being a failed return-to-form attempt, are sadly missing the point. Don’t listen to ‘em, listen to this.
19) “Gift Wrap Yourself, Slowly” – Porn Sword Tobacco New Exclusive Olympic Heights/It is utterly captivating to hear someone do so much with so little. If you're a fan of PST's first release and longed to hear more inline with his dub influences, give this record a chance.
20) “Shell of Light” – Burial Untrue/A beautiful and fitting way to send you all off into the aether. The turning point of untrue, where he allows shards of light to begin to filter in through his dense london fog - Until next week…
Posted by Tanner M. at 1:14 PM
I was sitting with my grandmother this afternoon; she was telling me about her childhood, i forget how we got onto the subject. When she was a girl, living the town of Bedford just over the border in rural Quebec, she remembers that all the boys and all the men had gone off to war, and that in their absence she and her friends had to do some of the jobs that the boys in town more often did. She recalled spending many hours tending gardens, filled with Cabbage. She also remembered that they hung blackout curtains in all of their windows.
There was a POW camp of sorts setup on the edge of their town, the german soldiers were required to help with the labor, and as my grandmother recalled, they would also feed these men, in their own homes. She recalled some of them were not very nice, and once as a young girl she walked into the kitchen where 4 or maybe 5 prisoners of war, were standing waiting to eat breakfast, and "They just stared - burned right through me it seemed like."
But the men were mostly kind - and my Grandmother remembers one man inparticular, vaguely, at least, - who worked on the cabbage, who spoke excellent english, and was rather funny. He was a lawyer she recalled, and well spoken. It seemed fairly obvious for her disjointed story and the far away look in her eyes that my grandmother developed quite a crush on this particular German soldier.
She told us about how, after the war - he went back to Europe, but that he wrote to her, such lovely letters - so lovely infact that she was embarrassed to write back to him. Years later, she told me, he died in an avalanche. She thought it was tragic, that he had gone through, "all of that" to have died in such a way.
"There is a spectre haunting Europe..." - Karl Marx
On the drive back home i thought about that story alot... and of concept i'd been hearing lately. Hauntology, and while i hadn't gotten a formal explanation of this concept, i felt on an instinctual level that i knew what this was; at least as it pertained to music and sound.
Often when i'm driving back from my home town, or walking alone in the wintertime I'm approached by what seems like a ghost, it flitters around behind my minds eye, in my periphery and fills my brain with sensations of not quite there memories layered like a chopped onion; these emotional fragments who's sources in time i can't quite locate but feel so achingly familiar all the same; yet i'm sometime convinced that they've never existed at all.
The music I'm drawn towards and what seems to intensify, or at least - compliment these feelings, is of a newly developing genre in music described as "Hauntilogical" based on a term coined by Jacques Derrida.
All of this is no surprise to me actually, as it seems like I've always been inextricably drawn to this thread, so to speak. My literary obsession for the last 4 years has been almost exclusively the work of W.G. Sebald, who's almost entire literary body consists of dream like sojourns into his past, the past of others, and through history in general.
Anymore attempts to describe this feeling, at least for myself, leave me without the right words. And i gather the more i read, that this is in essence the nature of the concept. That of vague sensation - at it's root for me, it's more of a gut feeling, an indescribable pull when i hear, feel, or see something in a certain light, on a certain day.
K-Punk wrote on his blog, "Why hauntology now? Well, has there ever been a time when finding gaps in the seamless surfaces of 'reality' has ever felt more pressing? Excessive presence leaves no traces. Hauntology's absent present, meanwhile, is nothing but traces...."
W.G. Sebald wrote in The Emigrants: "I was just laying aside a lausanne paper I'd bought in Zurich when my eye was caught by a report that said the remains of the Bernese alpine guide Johannes Naegeli, missing since summer of 1914, had been released by the Oberaar glacier, seventy-two years later. And So they are ever returning to us, the dead. At times they come back from the ice more than seven decades later and are found at the edge of the moraine, a few polished bones and a pair of hobnailed boots."
Listen: Conet project, Ariel Pink, Philip Jeck, Burial, Tim Hecker, Biosphere.
Read: W.G. Sebald, Karl Marx, Jacques Derrida, K-Punk (1,2,3), blissblog, jahsonic, dissensus.
Watch: any suggestions?
Posted by Tanner M. at 4:49 PM