I first saw Leos Carax’s Pola X back when it first came out in ‘99 and barring one truly amazing scene it has pretty much slipped my mind. That is until I was reminded of it while watching the wonderful Scott Walker doc “30 Century Man” the other day. In the fury of hype over its “un-simulated” sex scene, something that seemed to be sort of in vogue at the time, I had completely forgotten about Walker’s heavy-duty score, which in watching it again makes the film. Don’t get me wrong, I love the depiction of the tortured artiste giving up his considerable wealth and comfort to pursue a dark, forbidden muse (a love affair with his estranged half-sister) but these 3 minutes of film are some of the most striking, vertigo-inducing I’ve seen. Yes, it’s ludicrous to have a factory-dwelling cult playing huge industrial noise symphonies on expensive gear conducted by a charismatic leader in an X-rated French soap opera, but I like it. Alot.
You have to hand it to Lou Reed. For five decades, the guy’s been on the cutting edge of the cutting edge, from the avant-garde rock of the Velvet Underground to ... developing his own iPhone app?
Yup. Reed, perhaps rock’s most decadent artist of all, has just released his Lou Zoom app and it’s available at the iTunes store and his website. What does it do, you ask? Well, it’s not really for rock and roll animals; it’s more an app for old people. The Lou Zoom basically zooms in on your iPhone contacts list, turning it into the high-tech equivalent of one of those large-number telephones your grandma has. The price: $1.99.
Watching the video for Bob Dylan’s “Must Be Santa” from his new “Christmas In the Heart” album, I must confess that my first reaction was “Who let the weird old guy into the party?”
I didn’t really have a second reaction to it…
On December 22nd 1985 The Minutemen‘s D. Boon perished in a van accident in Arizona. I can count myself as one of their early fans, having picked up their first E.P. on the strength of it being on Black Flag’s SST label. I was thrilled to find a local band that clearly loved Gang of Four and The Pop Group, even Captain Beefheart ! I saw them as often as I could and via their infinite kindness found my teen noise punk band Debt of Nature frequently opening for them. They even gave me my first appearance on an actual vinyl record. Below is the wonderful video for “This Ain’t No Picnic” wherein the boys, rocking out at the Sepulveda Dam (!), are attacked via air by a young Ronald Reagan. Resourceful genius.
I’m so glad Richard hepped me to the fact that it’s Frank Zappa day. It’s impossible to overstate how much FZ meant to me as a teen. Here’s my contribution to the festivities in the form of his 1967 masterpiece “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It”. I think I learned to both loathe and champion my mundane suburban surroundings via songs like this and much of his other work. But this piece has it all : filthy rocking, experimental tape work with nods to his serial composition and doo-wop heroes and of course naughty satirical humor. Viva Zappa !