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11 Best Films of 2012 as Chosen by Me

Posted by Charles Reece, March 24, 2013 10:16pm | Post a Comment
I'm real late with this list, so I decided to just put it up sans commentary. In no particular order:

killer joe poster
Killer Joe - William Friedkin

something in the air poster
Something in the Air - Olivier Assayas

damsels in distress poster
Damsels in Distress - Whit Stillman

the hobbit poster
The Hobbit - Peter Jackson

sound of my voice poster
Sound of My Voice - Zal Batmanglij

holy motors poster
Holy Motors - Leos Carax

killing them softly
Killing Them Softly - Andrew Dominik

project x poster
Project X - Nima Nourizadeh

lincoln poster
Lincoln - Steven Spielberg

Some Records That I Liked in 2012

Posted by Charles Reece, January 28, 2013 12:50pm | Post a Comment
I'm going to get back to my top 11 film list, but I'm interrupting it for the standout music of 2012, which was really a bunch of reissues of stuff that wasn't so readily available before (and because most of these reissues are limited, the music will continue to be not readily available in a few years).

possession score lp
Andrzej Korzyński - Possession (Finders Keepers)

The recent interest in the cinema of Andrzej Żuławski is a joke, but as far as it goes, Possession is probably this halfwit auteur's pretentious masterpiece, a risible prime example of Eurotrash art horror. Although the film oeuvre deserves to stay forgotten, Korzyński's electo-orchestral score is brilliant, and certainly the best argument for the director's faddish resurgence.

the beyond score lp
Fabio Frizzi - The Beyond (Mondo Tees)

One of the top 5 horror scores of all time. It doesn't get any better than the choral cues on this record.

halloween iii score lp
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Death Waltz)

Forget how shitty the movie is and how disappointed you were upon first seeing it; this is the best score Carpenter ever did. With Howarth as his co-composer this time around.

Le Triedre fertile
Pierre Schaeffer - Le Trièdre fertile (Mego - Recollection GRM)

Really, the whole line of GRM electronic reissues should be on here, but my favorite so far is Schaeffer's first and only fully synthesized album. At a proper volume, his tones will turn your skeletal structure to warm honey. The sound quality of these LPs is as good as you'll ever hear.

dockstader electronic volume 1
Tod Dockstader - Electronic, Vol. 1 (Mordant Music)

Dockstader's never made a bad album. He's one of the best electronic composers, always creating a full aural environment. Here he proves himself to be one the best composers of library music, too.

One of my favorite films from 2012: Lincoln

Posted by Charles Reece, January 20, 2013 10:16pm | Post a Comment
lincoln poster

Intellectual critics tend to hate Steven Spielberg's films, and Lincoln is no exception. The nastiest laceration I've come across is from one of my favorite social critics, Thomas Frank


Spielberg & Co. have gone out of their way to vindicate political corruption. They have associated it with the noblest possible cause; they have made it seem like harmless high jinks for fun-loving frat boys; they have depicted reformers as ideological killjoys who must renounce their beliefs in order to succeed. This is, in short, what Lincoln is about.

It is true that the film dramatizes Lincoln's greatest achievement by showing the less than pure, even immoral, underbelly of the politics involved: the cajoling, lying, shaming, threatening and bribery. In doing so, it also argues that a radical "killjoy" like Thaddeus Stevens has to publicly repress his own views in order to get things done -- in this case, passing the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery. (Imagine radical voices not being heard in this country! Hard to believe.) Frank condemns the film for what it doesn't show: those times when such morally compromised methods lead to or support political corruption. But he never really gets around to the fundamental point here: politics is always compromised, even when on the side of angels. And contrary to his take, the film does make distinctions in compromise: Lincoln goes beyond the law with the intention of freeing the slaves (who are legally enslaved), but doesn't compromise with the Confederates in order to end the war when it wouldn't serve his (very moral) goal of changing the law. And, more importantly, the film shows us what's needed when democratic compromise breaks down. Adam Smith argued that slavery could be more easily ended under a "despotic" rather than "free government" when it was the "freedom of the free" that was "the cause of the great oppression of the slaves," that is, when "every law is made by their masters, who will never pass any thing prejudicial to themselves." [quoted in Liberalism: A Counter-History, p. 6, by Domenico Losurdo] Sure enough, it was extra-legal measures that vanquished slavery: a war and Lincoln's temporary dictatorship (e.g., his suspension of habeas corpus). For this, his critics called him a despot. They weren't entirely wrong, but he proved to be the kind of despot we needed. We haven't really had Abe the Dictator presented to us in the movies, for which I found the film -- whatever creative license Tony Kushner took with the script -- refreshingly honest.

10 Records You May Have Missed in 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, January 11, 2013 01:39pm | Post a Comment

We’ve already done our fair share of end-of-the-year lists, but with all the hooplah about Kendrick Lamar this and Beach House that, we were bound to miss a few records that some of us really loved. Below are 10 you can download from Amoeba.com.

 

Iris Dement - Sing The Delta

Iris DeMent$9.98

Dement’s woozy voice and salt-of-the-earth lyrics have please roots country fans for years, and in 2012 she released one of her best collections yet, Sing the Delta. She can sing a blues ballad to break your heart (“Before the Colors Fade”) or a rollicking country rocker (“The Night I Learned How Not to Pray”) with equal ease, her voice carrying a remarkable tone that pierces through like a biting wind chill.

 

 

 

 

Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe

Bobby Womack$9.98

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Amoeba Music Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For 2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 7, 2013 06:48am | Post a Comment

JovanottiTOP 15 WORLD MUSIC NEW RELEASE BEST SELLERS FOR 2012

1. Jovanotti - Italia 1988-2012 (CD only)
2. La Santa Cecilia - El Valor ((CD only)
3. V/A - Original Sound Of Cumbia (CD/LP)
4. Tim Maia - Nobody Can Live Forever (CD/LP)
5. Los Miticos Del Ritmo - Los Miticos Del Ritmo CD/LP)
6. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Area 52 (CD only)
7. Cafe Tacuba - El Objecto Antes Llamado Disco (CD only)
8. Ondatropica - Ondatropica (CD/LP)
9. Chicano Batman - Joven Navegante (CD only)
10. Los Cafeteras - It’s Time (CD only)
11. Anoushka Shankar - Traveller (CD only)
12. Ana Tijoux - La Bala (CD only)
13. Jenni Rivera - La Mas Completa Collecion (CD only)
14. Yuridia - Para Mi (CD only)
15.  Carla Morrison - Dejenme Llorar (CD only)

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