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Archive for the ‘Mazing’ Category

How “new” and influential were Neu? Brian Eno’s ambient music was inspired by Michael Rother’s innovative use of texture in his guitar/electronics and Conny Plank’s innovative use of space in production. Subsequently David Bowie was influenced through Station to Station & Low/Heroes–in fact, “Heroes” was directly inspired by Neu’s song. The “motorik” groove had a deep effect on Joy Division (and on punk and post-punk, in general.) Later Radiohead would cop the Neu style during their own experimental phase (Kid A/Amnesiac).

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The most futuristic album ever made. THE perfect driving song.

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Dark, deep, and searching, some of the greatest lyrics ever written. This song captures the modern human condition in photographic intensity.

“Yes, one hand on my suicide/One hand on the rose/I know you’ve heard it’s over now/And war must surely come/The cities they are broke in half/And the middle men are gone/But let me ask you one more time/O children of the dust/These hunters who are shrieking now/Do they speak for us?/And where do all these highways go/Now that we are free?/Why are the armies marching still/That were coming home to me?/The age of lust is giving birth/But both the parents ask the nurse/To tell them fairy tales on both sides of the glass/Now the infant with his cord/Is hauled in like a kite/And one eye filled with blueprints/One eye filled with night”

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Heard those sickeningly sweet Christmas carols too many times in the retail store and had an unending headache? Watched those advertisements for saccharine Hallmark-style TV movies or maddeningly mediocre dumb comedies, romances, and family films at the local multiplex and wanted to tear your hair out? Sick of the holidays already and Christmas hasn’t even happened yet?

Here are five holiday films for those of us who don’t like the holidays.

The Gold Rush

Alaska, 1899.
Thanksgiving is spent eating shoes in a dilapidated cabin on the edge of a windswept cliff. Your cabin mate hallucinates that you are a giant chicken, due to hunger, and tries to take an axe to your head. New Years’ Eve is spent all alone pining for a woman who makes fun of you while you dream of dancing bread rolls.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Pacific Northwest, Turn-of-the-20th Century.
You’re just trying to start your small business (the American Dream), a brothel and gambling house in a tiny mining town called Presbyterian Church. The only woman you’re close to is a hooker who ignores you in favor of her opium pipe, and the big businessmen from Sears & Roebuck want to buy out the whole town. You refuse, of course, and the result is that bounty hunters are now gunning for you.

Blast of Silence

New York City, 1960.
It’s Christmastime and you’re in on the train from Cleveland with a straightforward assignment: a hit on a big-wig mobster. Of course, you’d like to live a normal life like everyone else but that’s impossible. One of your only contacts is a greasy fat slob who’s ready to rat on you and the only girl to ever show you attention rejects you. Plus, the Man now wants a hit out on you.

Black Christmas

Montreal, Quebec, early 1970s.
It’s winter break and the sorority is missing one of its members. A young girl has gone missing, as well. While everyone else is going home or leading normal lives, you’re stuck in this town telling your boyfriend that you want an abortion. The relationship is over. Also there’s a homicidal maniac stalking your sorority.

The Ice Storm

New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973.
It’s Thanksgiving break and you’re home from college. Your father awkwardly lectures you on masturbation and is sleeping with the neighbor, your parents’ marriage is on the skids and sliding further downward at a rapid pace, your little sister is sexually experimenting, and your two friends are pill popping. And it’s only going to get worse from there.

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Where The Geese Go

Hearing the geese high above in the night sky as they fly south for the winter and November draws to its close. Reminds me of one of my favorite songs.

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“For here we stand–hand to hand/Fighting for the promised land/Then you try to warn me/That there’s only one combination/One new sling/The same old rock.”

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