Slow Dazzle
Music

Slow Dazzle

In which the dada noodle of Wales re-teams with Messengers Manzanera and Eno (2/5ths of the original Roxy Music) for what is essentially Fear 2. Weathered by coke and booze, Cale’s brogue highlights the humor in tunes that poke loving fun at rock & roll of both the schlock and shock varieties, replete with backing … Continue reading

“I John”
Music

“I John”

“I John” is Elvis gospel at its most propulsive.  It’s sweaty—body music animated with the spirit of the Lord.  “Baby, Let’s Play House” may be the Hillbilly Cat’s most lasciviously fun moment; but “I John” is surely the holiest—if by “holy” we mean gospel that omits the softly prayerful, hymnal touch.  I like that.  I … Continue reading

“River Deep Mountain High”
Music

“River Deep Mountain High”

Leonard Cohen said producer Phil Spector’s music was post-Wagner.  Robert Christgau said it was vulgar.  Reflecting on his Spector collaboration from the mid-70s, Dion said it was funeral music.  To me, Spector’s music fits all these descriptions. There is something obvious, almost hubristic, about Spector’s infamous Wall of Sound approach.  Its goal is to move … Continue reading

Near Dark
Film

Near Dark

Near Dark is a vampire Western.  The first hour shows a farmhand’s seduction by, and ‘nitiation into, a roving, nocturnal gang of sh*t-kickers who happen to be bloodsuckers.  In the movie’s last third he escapes from the group. Full of gore and fiery explosions, the movie succeeds as an atmospheric mash-up, but it leaves you feeling … Continue reading