Top 10+ Music, Movies, and Visual Art of the Week (2021)

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Facetious



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  • #661
  • Posted: 11/23/2021 07:31
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Thoughts on Baby Driver?
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AfterHours



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  • #662
  • Posted: 11/23/2021 18:43
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TiggaTrigga wrote:
Do you feel like Rock & Roll from Led Zeppelin is actually good? I always felt it was just an underwhelming boogie kind of song.

...And thoughts on/description of When the Levee Breaks?


Yeah, it's good. It doesn't detract from the quality of the album, but doesn't add a lot to it either. Basically a continuation of their "epileptic" rock that began with songs like Communication Breakdown, but now more standard/professional/perfected. It's a band at the peak of their technical prowess, perfectly in synergy with each other, making classic music, but not really pushing the envelope.

When the Levee Breaks ... A peak of their psychedelia/near-psychedelia ... the writhing and wailing, monumental/apocalyptic trench of guitar and echoing harmonica, with cataclysmic rhythm section, plus Plant's "psychedelic", cavernous, "teetering" bluesy vocals (then hysterical, wailing during climaxes).
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homelessking





  • #663
  • Posted: 11/25/2021 03:32
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It's weird that Scaruffi compares Spring Heel Jack to Foetus in his Disappeared review. I don't see where he got that from at all
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AfterHours



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  • #664
  • Posted: 11/25/2021 22:03
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Facetious wrote:
Thoughts on Baby Driver?


Don't have too much substance to add to Scaruffi's review... Just would reinforce that it utilizes an awesome arsenal of cinematographic visual schemes/tricks/editing to create and illuminate a fairly original protagonist with psychological-hearing issues that is both (situational, personally) comic and suspenseful, colorful and rather dark, serious and "comic book". The chases are indeed adrenaline pumping and the film excels in propelling much of it through a madcap-stylistic-editing "clockwork mechanism" of narrative development and increasingly outrageous chases/escapes/climaxes. I agree with Scaruffi that it goes a little bit overboard and semi-cliche (though nevertheless fun/exciting) during its final act, and in the process loses some of its suspense/tension (because it leaves reality a bit too far behind to maintain that edge that, before, it was walking a line just fine enough to hold). I also think that the film walks a very thin line of style over substance that may detract somewhat from it becoming a more personal/emotionally resonant film that is instead possibly too overloaded on novelty to make as much of a lasting impact (its emotional depth may ultimately be a bit precarious; I'm unsure of how it will hold up on repeat viewings with far less suspense as to what happens). Therefore I was slightly more hesitant on rating it a little higher (like the 7.4 Scaruffi gave it) and left it in the lower 7.3s below other films that are also highly stylistic and propulsive and loaded with novelty but develop from it into more emotionally resonant works (like Trainspotting) or Fincher's Game, less stylistic but more powerful and ultimately quite personal and moving (the ending is still among the most metaphorically multi-leveled and powerful of the decade) and only felt it was marginally above 7.2 films like Requiem for a Dream (mainly due to being more original thematically and less predictable in narrative trajectory) or Wright's others (like Hot Fuzz or Scott Pilgrim) or Fight Club. Still, that all said, when I think about the film experience, it seems better in thought and a 7.4 is tempting, but I'm not quite sure it plays quite as well in practice, where 7.3 seemed more precise. Will have to revisit at some point though, and, btw, Uncut Gems as well, which is still under consideration for upgrade (after most recent viewing I would probably say 7.2 or "high" 7.1) and as you probably noticed, Scaruffi gave 7.3 as we (sort of) predicted may happen (or maybe you actually predicted this outright, I forget).
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Last edited by AfterHours on 11/26/2021 21:42; edited 1 time in total
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AfterHours



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  • #665
  • Posted: 11/25/2021 22:27
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homelessking wrote:
It's weird that Scaruffi compares Spring Heel Jack to Foetus in his Disappeared review. I don't see where he got that from at all


I think all he said was "a storming, Foetus-like power that crushes a steady flow of sonic debris". I don't think he is comparing the whole sound world or their art to Foetus in a super specific sense, mainly just the "storming, Foetus-like power" of it, of several of their more propulsive and intense tracks or the climaxes they reach (while also crushing the effects or "sonic debris" that emerge, alter one into the other, and appear/reappear throughout the "verses".

Also, I would add that the album is a marvel of "abstract-expressionism" that seems indebted in part to Neu's (more "impressionistic") sound world that is easy to miss. Similar to how Neu's debut masterpiece seems to feature allusive lost or trapped human characters trying to emerge or call out from its musical environment, most of (perhaps all of) the tracks of Disappeared feature lone effects/instrumentation that seem to allude to human characters lost or overwhelmed inside a technologically immersed society or similar vision (the restless instrumentation surrounding such lone effects is more "environmental") such as the repeating "background screams" emerging out of the first track; the "lone, mysterious quandaries" of track 2...etc.

So while Foetus is far more expressionist in a more detailed, "visual/cinematic", explicit sense, where Thirwell is a desperate, sado-masochistic, "evil" and madcap character dropped in what might be compared to a Mad Max-ian post-apocalyptic world, one could draw something of a parallel between his character among its threatening/expressionist/outrageous musical environments and the "lonely or lost characters" of Disappeared among its more abstract, allusive, less explicit "technocratic" musical environments where said "characters" are bordering on a loss of personality or soul, crying out among an overwhelm of the techno-computer age. Neu and Amon Tobin would certainly be a more immediate parallel for me, but it's not particularly far fetched if that's what he was also getting at.
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AfterHours



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  • #666
  • Posted: 11/26/2021 04:36
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@homelessking ... this is the gist of what I was referring to with Neu! (and -- to some degree -- Disappeared as an extension of this) just in case it wasn't so clear or in case you missed my reply back when you asked about that album...

AfterHours wrote:
Not quite sure where to start as I don't know what you might be missing and especially as I haven't listened to it much in the last few years...

But it is very essential to recognize that one is listening to impressionism in Rock music. All the tracks are allusive rather than explicit, to environment, action, personal expression. The songs are essentially states of consciousness, trances (driven by the hypnotic, mechanical and cold, motorik beat). The songs are not really songs but are each a "consciousness", states that express the neuroses, psychological tensions, anguish that could be said to be "boiling underneath the surface" (anguish of the guitars, droning effects, the tension between instruments). This anguish, neurosis and psychological tension is being impressed upon the mind continuously throughout the album and is a pretty overwhelming rendition of the effect of the industrial and computer age on the personality and, one might say, individuality and spiritual awareness, of modern man. One can perhaps look to a film like Blade Runner to see a somewhat similar filmic equivalent to this aspect of Neu's expression (obviously Blade Runner is visually expressionist whereas Neu is much more abstract and impressionist, with only Negativland acquiring much expressionism). But in the sense where the environment of Blade Runner has a constant trance-like and hypnotic and devastating effect on the characters and the meaning and humanity in their lives, and isnt just an external environment but strongly impresses upon and reflects their existential and internal struggle, Neu's musical environments are expressing a fairly similar idea (I use Blade Runner because it is a very expressive example most should be able to see, and assuming or hoping you are familiar with it).

More specifically, there is a vaguely peaking spirit of humanity meekly gesticulating or meekly crying out in each track, yearning to break through. Listen to Hallogallo again and you'll hear it in the guitar and its effects; this is in each song, a sort of "captured" voice being hauntingly expressed through the instrumentation and its phrasing. You will find that the album progresses closer and closer to a human voice or human character or human determination breaking through, more or less as it progresses from track to track, becoming less impressionistic and more expressionistic; early in the that tracks you mention, this is more "hidden" more "trapped", more overwhelmed by the industrial or computer age demeaning the value of what it is to be human.

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TiggaTrigga





  • #667
  • Posted: 11/27/2021 18:58
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Would you agree with this statement about It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?

"The album overall uses dissonant samples and sounds (there are literally multiple songs that use high-pitched brass sounds) and funky, "call-to-action" instrumentation to create the perfect accompaniment to their messages/politics and, in and of itself, musically express emotionally-charged (and politically-charged) bursts of energy that is either preachy, cautionary, or both. Basically each song does this/gives this same effect; they just do so in somewhat different ways (instrumentation, sample choices). The album is basically a series of this burst of energy. This album is the artistic culmination of the spirit of hip-hop and its beginnings (using samples to create a musical collage)."
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AfterHours



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  • #668
  • Posted: 11/27/2021 21:23
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TiggaTrigga wrote:
Would you agree with this statement about It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?

"The album overall uses dissonant samples and sounds (there are literally multiple songs that use high-pitched brass sounds) and funky, "call-to-action" instrumentation to create the perfect accompaniment to their messages/politics and, in and of itself, musically express emotionally-charged (and politically-charged) bursts of energy that is either preachy, cautionary, or both. Basically each song does this/gives this same effect; they just do so in somewhat different ways (instrumentation, sample choices). The album is basically a series of this burst of energy. This album is the artistic culmination of the spirit of hip-hop and its beginnings (using samples to create a musical collage)."


Seems pretty accurate off the top of my head
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TiggaTrigga





  • #669
  • Posted: 11/28/2021 02:39
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AfterHours wrote:
TiggaTrigga wrote:
Would you agree with this statement about It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?

"The album overall uses dissonant samples and sounds (there are literally multiple songs that use high-pitched brass sounds) and funky, "call-to-action" instrumentation to create the perfect accompaniment to their messages/politics and, in and of itself, musically express emotionally-charged (and politically-charged) bursts of energy that is either preachy, cautionary, or both. Basically each song does this/gives this same effect; they just do so in somewhat different ways (instrumentation, sample choices). The album is basically a series of this burst of energy. This album is the artistic culmination of the spirit of hip-hop and its beginnings (using samples to create a musical collage)."


Seems pretty accurate off the top of my head



Yeah, I always thought of hip-hop to be a form of collage music (as most of it uses a sample(s) as a foundation of its music), and this album seemed to be the best in hip-hop to following this musical philosophy, so to speak, or is the highest form of hip-hop collage music.

Though their follow-up does this really well, too. Their debut album -- not as much (but it's still decent)
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AfterHours



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  • #670
  • Posted: 11/29/2021 22:57
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TiggaTrigga wrote:
AfterHours wrote:
TiggaTrigga wrote:
Would you agree with this statement about It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?

"The album overall uses dissonant samples and sounds (there are literally multiple songs that use high-pitched brass sounds) and funky, "call-to-action" instrumentation to create the perfect accompaniment to their messages/politics and, in and of itself, musically express emotionally-charged (and politically-charged) bursts of energy that is either preachy, cautionary, or both. Basically each song does this/gives this same effect; they just do so in somewhat different ways (instrumentation, sample choices). The album is basically a series of this burst of energy. This album is the artistic culmination of the spirit of hip-hop and its beginnings (using samples to create a musical collage)."


Seems pretty accurate off the top of my head



Yeah, I always thought of hip-hop to be a form of collage music (as most of it uses a sample(s) as a foundation of its music), and this album seemed to be the best in hip-hop to following this musical philosophy, so to speak, or is the highest form of hip-hop collage music.

Though their follow-up does this really well, too. Their debut album -- not as much (but it's still decent)


Good points!
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