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Why Don’t You Play in Hell?: Where’s Dante When You Need Him?

19 October 2014 10:15 AM, PDT

While viewing Sion Sono's Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, at times I couldn’t tell if the Japanese director was a deliciously inept fan of Tarantino and Jerry Lewis or a bizarro pro gleefully upending a genre or two or three. Not until I checked out his credits on IMDb -- over 31 features -- and sat down with two of his earlier features, could I assume here’s a gent at top of his game, whatever that game might be.

Sono's The Land of Hope (2012), for instance, is a poignant, well-acted, straightforward drama detailing a nuclear plant’s rupture after an earthquake and its devastating aftereffects on the lives of a small town’s residents.

The “unforgettable” Strange Circus (2005), a Grand Guignol of an entertainment, chronicles a school principal’s incestuous relationship with his twelve-year-old daughter, whom he sometimes encases in a cello case with peepholes, so she »

- Brandon Judell

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John Coltrane's Latest Offering

17 October 2014 9:25 PM, PDT

</p> <p> <em>Mr. Judell has written on film for </em>The Village Voice<em>, </em>indieWire.com<em>, the </em>New York Daily News,<em> </em>Soho Style<em>, and </em>The Advocate<em>, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs's </em>Spike Lee Interviews<em> (University Press of Mississippi) and John Preston's </em>A Member of the Family <em>(Dutton). He is also a member of the performance/writing group FlashPoint.</em></p> <p> <iframe border="0" frameborder="0" height="60" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=cultcatc-20&o=1&p=26&l=ur1&category=mp3&f=ifr" style="border-style: none;" width="468"></iframe></p>" target="_blank">John Coltrane </p> <p> <em>Mr. Judell has written on film for </em>The Village Voice<em>, </em>indieWire.com<em>, the </em>New York Daily News,<em> </em>Soho Style<em>, and </em>The Advocate<em>, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs's </em>Spike Lee Interviews<em> (University Press of Mississippi) and John Preston's </em>A Member of the Family <em>(Dutton). He is also a member of the performance/writing group FlashPoint.</em></p> <p> <iframe border="0" frameborder="0" height="60" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=cultcatc-20&o=1&p=26&l=ur1&category=mp3&f=ifr" style="border-style: none;" width="468"></iframe></p>" target="_blank">Offering: Live at Temple University </p> <p> <em>Mr. Judell has written on film for </em>The Village Voice<em>, </em>indieWire.com<em>, the </em>New York Daily News,<em> </em>Soho Style<em>, and </em>The Advocate<em>, and is anthologized »

- SteveHoltje

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Steve's Review Roundup for October

16 October 2014 9:12 AM, PDT

Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp)

Though the length of Richard D. James's absence from the electronic scene has been overstated by people who neglect his less famous aliases, it Has been almost a decade since we got new music from him, and yes, the release of Syro is a welcome surprise. It is less abrasive (by my tastes, at least) than the aggressive beats found on his previous Aphex Twin album, Drukqs (I'm thinking of the blast-beat assault of 'drill-n-bass' tracks such as "Omgyiya Switch 7"); like Drukqs, Syro offers a wide variety of styles, but the whiplash factor is absent; there are no juxtapositions of frenetic computerized beats and beatless ambient piano pieces here. 

Instead, the album flows. Drukqs was hard to listen to; Syro is downright ingratiating -- funky at times, occasionally even sexy or at least sensual. Even though the fastest track comes right before the closing ambient track, »

- SteveHoltje

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Song of the Week: David Bowie - "Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)"

14 October 2014 6:51 AM, PDT

As David Bowie and Tony Visconti continue work on a new album, the enigmatic rocker will release a career-spanning greatest hits package entitled Nothing Has Changed due out before Christmas featuring two new songs, the one above and "Tis A Pity She's A Whore," both recorded this past summer. Is "Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)" , a collaboration with jazz arranger Maria Schneider's big band, the track were Bowie finally gets his Anthony Newley meets Gil Evans meets drum-n-bass on? You decide...

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- Dusty Wright

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