Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Slow Burn of Summer...

Kinda got my head in a bunch of stuff these days, including finishing some new tracks. I'm going to post a rough mix of my newest joint here. Comment and lemme know what you think. Here are a couple of other cultural confections:

Finally saw Kathryn Bigelow's first film, "The Loveless" from 1981.

I mentioned her a few months ago in my Patrick Swayze post. The flick's been on my radar for awhile, since it was both her and star Willem Dafoe's first film. Besides a really cheap ending, it's an interesting riff on "The Wild One" and other 1950's youth-in-trouble films. It's also quite different from her subsequent films (most notably "Near Dark", "Blue Steel" and "Point Break".) While her preoccupation with the tribal rituals of men remains (this time in the form of biker gangs), the film has a subtle tone of irony and an attention to set design and costume that was lost in her films by the late 80's (although she does bring back humor with the dialogue in her latest film, "The Hurt Locker" - a must see). "The Loveless" also has a leisurely pace befitting it's setting in a small, rural southern town during a languid summer, a pace which she also moved away from in favor of a (albeit totally righteous) signature of tightly pace, taut thrillers with surprisingly nuanced characters. So it was interesting for me to compare and contrast this early work with those to come.

Went to a metal show last week in Williamsburg, and that apparently is not so much of a rarity anymore. Hadn't been to a real metal show for awhile (instrumental math shit doesn't count, even though it's also schaweet). My friend Joel astutely observed that the difference between "indie" metal (i.e. not all-ages shows in Bayridge; wish I had the balls to keep it that real) and more "traditional" metal is that the indie guys fully embrace their white trash roots and do so mainly with beer before, during and after the shows. So as opposed to say, Metallica, who still seem to be driven largely by angst and anger well into their middle age,

these indie guys want to rock the fuck out, have a good time and maybe be a little weird while doing it. Hence, Mastadon can be played on the same ipod as Belle and Sebastian, but Shadows Fall or God Forbid may get strange looks from your co-workers. Clearly, these delineations are pretty ridiculous, and most metal bands have shared interests before splintering into their chosen sub-genres (Sabbath, Zeppelin, Metallica, Death, Slayer, etc. are all required listening). But I would say that the players of indie metal (along with their cousins in the first wave and a few second wave screamo bands, particularly The Fall of Troy) are more open to integrating styles from the various subgenres of metal and creating their own sound. Of course, there are other indie metal bands that seem to emphasize the signifiers of the genre over any depth in the music (as exemplified by bands like The Sword).

At the show, I missed the first band but made it in time to see Children, who kicked serious ass.

Their songs seamlessly went through all forms of "heavy", from 70's stomp to pulverizing thrash while somehow maintaining a consistency in their songwriting. It was really great to hear a band who could equally embrace Thin Lizzy and Testament. My only criticism is their stage presence was a little lacking and their drummer didn't hit hard enough. The last problem was not apparent at all in the next band, Saviors, whose drummer was keeping it quite real with perfect double bass drum hits, no shirt exposing a mutitude of tats, and thunderous snare thwacks. These guys were totally pro and claimed the stage immediately. However, their influences were much narrower than those of Children, concentrating pretty much on early to mid-80s's British metal like Judas Priest, Motorhead and Iron Maiden. While fun for a couple of songs, it got overly derivative pretty quickly. But I hope Children play in BK again soon. They RAAWK!