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New Digital Cumbia Releases from ZZK Records

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 14, 2008 12:48am | Post a Comment

ZZK Records
out of Buenos Aires, Argentina have just released 3 full albums from some of their artists that they featured on their debut compilation CD, Digital Cumbia Vol. 1. The first comes from Fauna, a group that consists of two bassists/producers, Federico Rodríguez and Cristian Del Negro, better known as Catar_sys and Color Kit. Their debut, La Manita de Fauna (Fauna’s Little Hand) is a mixture of Cumbia Villera, Dancehall and Reggaeton. Their Ragga vocals not only remind me of the Cumbia Villera groups, but of other Latin Alternative staples such as Todos Tus Muertos, El Gran Silencio and Sonido Nacional. That’s not a criticism of Fauna, it just seems that they have traveled the same route as those groups mentioned above in order to get where they are today.

Track of note: "El Zombie (with Princesa)"

Another ZZK release is from Chancha Vía Circuito, entitled Rodante. This group epitomizes the Digital Cumbia flavor. They use the güiro and various percussion instruments synonymous with traditional Cumbia and mix it with Dub and minimalist techno. Sometimes it’s reinterpretations of Colombian Cumbia; other times it’s Cumbia Villera out of the ghettos and back into the lab. It is as smart as it is danceable. For that reason, Rodante is slowly becoming one of my favorite releases of the year.

Track of Note: "Pachamama (with Poeta Inka)"

Coming soon will be El Remolón with Pibe Cosmo. El Remolon's prior release, Cumbia Bichera, was a excersise of their minimalist techno skills over their Cumbia skils. However on this release, Pablo Lescano from Damas Gratis (with keytar in tow) makes an appearance, which should shift the balance a little more to the Cumbia side.

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My Best Friend Is A Vampire

Posted by phil blankenship, October 13, 2008 06:13pm | Post a Comment
My Best Friend Is A Vampire starring Robert Sean Leonard  My Best Friend Is A Vampire directed by Jimmy Huston

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HBO Video 0144

Don't Open Till Christmas

Posted by phil blankenship, October 12, 2008 03:57pm | Post a Comment
Don't Open Till Christmas directed by Edmund Purdom  Don't Open Till Christmas vestron video

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Vestron Video VA 4372

Photographer Bob Gruen's solo exhibition

Posted by Whitmore, October 12, 2008 01:18pm | Post a Comment


One of the most respected photographers in Rock and Roll history is native New Yorker Bob Gruen. He has been one of the leading documenters of the rock world since the 1970’s, working with the likes of John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash, Elton John, Kiss, Patti Smith, Tina Turner, Blondie, Muddy Waters, Rolling Stones, Madonna, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie, Aerosmith, & Alice Cooper. In 1989, he documented the trip to Russia of the Moscow Music Peace Festival featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. In 2006 he released a feature length documentary about the New York Dolls called All Dolled Up, which captures the band during their early performances in New York and their 1973 west coast tour. He has also published several books of his photographic work, including last year's ROCKERS; 2005’s John Lennon – the New York Years; The Clash, Photographs by Bob Gruen from 2004 and his first book Chaos, the Sex Pistols, published in 1991.

For the next month, Gruen’s first-ever solo show in Los Angeles will be on exhibition at the Morrison Hotel Gallery located at 7517 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood (near the Guitar Center). Included are about ten photos from his latest book just released in September -- New York Dolls: Photographs by Bob Gruen, compiling over two hundred images of the iconic Dolls. The exhibition at the Morrison Hotel Gallery runs until Nov. 11.

Home Movies: Rachel Getting Married (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 12, 2008 09:25am | Post a Comment
            Life sucks, Brendon. That's your lesson. Go enjoy it. -- Coach McGuirk

So, I'll go ahead and use the fussy distinction of my esteemed colleague, Mr. Brightwell, and call Jonathan Demme's new film cinéma direct, rather than cinéma vérité. It's grueling enough to deserve the trachel getting marriedhree accent marks, however. Unlike the use of the shaky-cam in Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, Demme and his cinematographer, Declan Quinn, always keep the camera in the objective, 3rd-person tense. They also thankfully keep it more transparent than the nauseating narcissism of Paul Greengrass's camera work. While moving room to room, the audience floats along, but when the wedding party guests are talking, Demme and Quinn fix the shot, even remembering that modern cameras can re-focus on stuff in the background without having to move. Contrariwise, I remain skeptical of any definitive ability to distinguish between direct and vérité when it comes to fictional films. The direct documentary is akin to the transparency of classical Hollywood, I suppose, but expert editing, grainy textures, and perfect-looking people tend to call attention to the artifacts in a realist drama. Whatever you call it, Rachel Getting Married is realism at its squirm-inducing most direct.
 
Jenny Lumet's script rarely hits a wrong note in analyzing a particular bourgeois Connecticut family's power struggles that are inherent to most families. Whereas my family get-togethers center on frito-pie and football, Rachel's wedding involves Indian attire and cuisine with Robyn Hitchcock and Cyro Baptista supplying the entertainment. All attention is being paid to Rachel until her younger sister, Kym, shows up with a weekend pass from court-mandated rehab. What follows is the gentrified version of the Oedipal Complex. The sisters compete for dad's affection using what they have: Rachel is the perfect daughter with some undefined perfect job, perfect friends (successful musicians and writers) and a perfect fiancé, whereas Kym is the classic second-child fuckup, with drug addiction being her defining characteristic. As with the thespian drug addicts in Hollywood who regularly meet at a little café on Vine, just South of Sunset Blvd., Kym's addiction isn't so much a cry for help as an egotistic need to be noticed. Hers is the kind of bottoming out that leads to a memoir featured on Oprah or as a writer of forgettable sitcoms; i.e., dependency as a privilege of the leisure class. Her sister isn't any less egocentric or any more likable: just as Kym is trying to get the family to acknowledge the way they all play into her addiction, Rachel interrupts with the announcement that she's going to have a baby. Score one for sis, and the cycle repeats. Mom got sick of their shit some time ago and left to live her own life; every narcissistic flower has roots. Dad's so castrated that he's always on the verge of singing, "mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey."
 
Anne Hatheway Rosemarie DeWitt Rachel Getting MarriedBill Irwin Rachel Getting Marrieddebra winger rachel getting married
 
The squeamishness comes from the way the mise-en-scène makes you one of the guests, eavesdropping on conversations that you shouldn't be hearing. As with real weddings, you're sometimes placed at the center of attention only to recede into the background in another scene. Sitting through a friend's wedding is bad enough, but two hours at a stranger's is debilitating. And Demme's film is so formally precise that you really feel like you're there. After twenty minutes of family friends talking about the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner, I felt like covering my eyes when Kym brings attention back to herself by bringing up her drugged exploits in a 5 minute toast to her sister. It's not as uncomfortable as Capturing the Friedmans, but I don't plan on ever sitting through either film again. In scene after scene, the family refuses to properly address a past tragedy that structures much of its current crises, but the familial dynamic is never simply reduced to the tragedy. Anyway, kudos to the filmmakers for creating pitch-perfect quotidian misery. This is a good character study, even if I don't see much of a point to realistic character studies. Life itself already has enough pointless empathy without aesthetic realism giving us more.
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