Category: music


YOUTH directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, 2015)

1youth3“Youth is wasted on the young”, quipped Oscar Wilde, or was is George Bernard Shaw?

Whoever made this observation, knew something of the poignancy and sadness of growing old.

All Paolo Sorrentino’s films to date have featured elderly characters struggling to come to terms with the realisation that the best years of their lives are almost certainly behind them. Youth , despite its title, is no exception.Paradoxically, it is more about facing up to the inevitability of dying than the carefree pleasures of our ‘salad days’.

At its heart is the friendship between a retired composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) a film director who believes that he still has at least one great film in him. Continue reading

GIRL IN A BAND – A MEMOIR by Kim Gordon (Day Street Books, 2015)

The somewhat reductive title is surely intended to be ironic since Kim Gordon’s autobiography is most certainly far than that of just another  ‘girl in a band’.

This is evidenced by the fact that the postscript defines her as an “artist, musician, producer, fashion designer, writer and actress”. Not only that but she is even a little dismissive of her musical prowess : “I’ve never thought of myself as a singer with a good voice or even as a musician”, she reveals.

Most of the time her desire to be a name in contemporary art world seems more important than being a rock star.

Despite this, Gordon is best known as founder member of post No Wave , pre-Grunge and super cool experimental rockers, Sonic Youth. This is a band who, she writes,“could only have come out of New York’s bohemian downtown art scene and the people in it”.

But anyone seeking a straight bio of the band will be disappointed by her non linear recollections. What dominates the plot is her relationship and marriage to Thurston Moore, the rise and fall of which parallels that of the band they founded together. The first chapter is entitled ‘The End’ and refers both to Sonic Youth’s final concert and the messy marital breakdown. Continue reading

A PSYCHEDELIC GOAT

GOAT Live at Bronson Club, Ravenna, Italy 8th May 2015

goat bronsonMasks can have a transformative power. They can help mere mortals turn into superheroes, they can embolden the sexuality inhibited to initiate erotic games or they can help transform a modest Swedish psychedelic band into a charismatic stage act.

In concert all the members of Goat wear non-matching masks or burkas.

The focus of the live performance is on the two vocalists impressively decked out in full witch doctor regalia. Their voices are screechy, high-pitched female chants – although one of the two was (if I’m not mistaken) a man. The all-singing, all-dancing duo jump, strut and strike shamanic poses while the five-piece band stand stoically behind them grinding out a relentless set of rhythms. Continue reading

KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK directed by Brett Morgen (USA, 2015)

€12 is a bit steep for the price of a cinema ticket but this was billed as an ‘event’ rather than a straight movie so in the spirit of the theme I thought ‘What the heck!’

The montage of the movie’s title comprises a plethora of mostly unseen home movie footage. This gives the dubious privilege of watching Kurt Cobain grow up in public, starting out as a cute kid and ending as a jaded junky.

Debates will rage about when it all started to go wrong. Was it when his parents divorced?, Was it all down to his addiction to hard drugs? Was it his inability to cope with Nevermind’s overnight success? or Was it mitigated by his relationship with Courtney Love?

You could make a strong case that it was all or none of these.

The reality is that Cobain seemed to be born with a suicidal gene and the images essentially serve as a chronicle of a death foretold. You only have to see the scrawled writings and drawings to see how he lived and died as a tortured soul that those around him witnessed but were incapable of curing. Continue reading

WHITE HILLS IN RAVENNA

WHITE HILLS live at the Bronson Club, Ravenna, Italy – 23rd April 2015

White Hills got a cameo spot in Jim Jarmusch’s Vampire flick ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and being a cult band in a cult movie is as close to superstardom as they are likely to get.

Undeterred by a lack of mass following, they continue to put out great albums, the latest Walks For Motorists (which I reviewed for Whisperin’ & Hollerin), is well represented in the show tonight. From it, they kick off with the punchy No Will which morphs into the motorik drone of Lead The Way. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 601 other followers

%d bloggers like this: