If you’ve spent anytime in New York or just have a good grasp on Japanese/American pop culture, than you know all about Takashi Murakami. His art has graced the fashion/music industry, going on a decade now. In his, ever increasing need, to reinvent himself, he’s debut this trailer for his new movie Jellyfish Eyes. MITNG spoke about this movie a couple of months ago, but we didn’t have a trailer then and now that we do, it regretfully reminds me of the 2010 Mamoru Hosoda anime Summer Wars, only with live action. In Takashi’s defense, Summer Wars was a complete rip off of his art. So I guess they are even now? Here’s the synopsis.
Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside with his mother in the wake of a natural disaster. After returning home from his new elementary school one day, Masashi discovers a flying jellyfish-like creature whom he befriends and names Kurage-bo. Masashi soon discovers that all his classmates have similarly magical pets, known as F.R.I.E.N.D.s, which are controlled by electronic devices that the children use to battle one another. Despite their playful appearances, however, these F.R.I.E.N.D.s turn out to be part of a sinister plot.
Jellyfish Eyes is on a limited run in the U.S., as you might’ve expected, and will be hitting up most of the modern art museums and art house film venues across the great land of ours.
Dallas, TX – May 1 (Dallas Museum of Art)
Boston, MA – May 1, 10, 11, 12, 25, and 26 (Institute of Contemporary Art)
Seattle, WA – May 2, 3, 4 (Henry Art Gallery)
Washington, DC – May 22 (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden)
Chicago, IL – May 25 (Museum of Contemporary Art)
Los Angeles, CA – May 30 (The Theatre at Ace Hotel)
New York, NY – June 1 (Film Society of Lincoln Center)
San Francisco, CA – June 5 (Asian Art Museum)
Gods, they’re always trying to teach us something. “Us” being humans, but what do they try to teach each other and how the heck do we find out what’s being said ? I think Paul Pope has taken the first steps in bringing their world closer to us and he does so with astonishing flair. Illustrator/writer Paul Pope (Adventure Time, The Invincible Haggard West) scores another hit with Macmillan Publishing’s release Battling Boy!
I’m a newbie to the works of Paul Pope, but thumbing through Battling Boy, his artwork is what will inevitably grab your eyeballs. His illustrations aren’t your usual run-of-the-mill high gloss shit. It’s real and he achieves this realness by being honest to himself. That same honesty makes a smooth transition into his writing and what we end up with is a solid story about living honest in an hyper exploitative world. Strange talk for a super hero story, but Paul delivers some serious social commentary with Battling Boy.
Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead.
Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.
IT’S TIME TO MEET AN ELECTRIFYING NEW HERO.
Leaning heavily on eastern philosophies, the premise of Battling Boy won’t escape the informed or for that matter, the spiritual. Our young hero most cope with being the son of a God whose going through this epic ‘right of passage” all by himself, but I don’t think even his father /God, knew what was in store for the neophyte. This is when it get’s fun. Pope introduces us to a host of very interesting character’s and all with an original spin on them. The villains are thugs despite their supernatural exteriors and like thugs, they are very flawed. Pope makes use of their shortcomings and presents them as lemmings that Battling Boy must knock around in order to learn. The drama is all fun and games until the end, when Pope presents something more sinister than what we’d been seeing throughout this action packed graphic. Battling Boy is everything, action,comedy,morality etc and he gives it all to you on a new plain of existence. If your down for something fun and original, pick up this book!!
This is a clever video for Major Lazer a.k.a Diplo and Pharrell William’s new track “Aerosol Can”. It features tagger Mike Giant tearing up white walls with the lyrics to this song. It’s cool and anytime I don’t have to actually see the artists face I can definitely appreciate it. Aerosol Can is one of the songs on Major Lazer’s EP Apocalypse Soon. The EP also features Sean Paul, Machel Montano and Mr. Fox.
This video was directed by Kyle dePinna
After that lack luster Dexter finale, this trailer for Michael C. Halls latest thriller “Cold In July”, is just what the doctor ordered. Directed by Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are, Stake Land), Cold In July is one of those thrillers in the vein of History of Violence, but with a little Nicolas Winding Refn thrown in there for good measure. A down home revenge story that gets completely out of control, but it looks like one hell of a ride. The story is based on the cult novel written by Joe R. Lansdale.
Cold in July is directed by Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are, Stake Land), who also co-wrote the script with Nick Damici. How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) puts a bullet in the brain of low-life burglar Freddy Russell. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Sam Shepard), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and IFC Films will send it to limited theaters on May 23rd.
Some people, when they want to advertise for their company, go on Groupon or Facebook, but not the New York based advertising firm Leroy and Clarkson. No, they gathered some serious funds and put it all into a really well done spoof of the AMC hit MAD MEN and called it DON-O-MITE. Don, as in Don Draper, and it doesn’t stop there. Every single character from the original series got the Soul Train treatment and, not for nothing, it is seriously funny. It reminds me a lot and I mean a lot, of Black Dynamite, but it’s still very well done. Let me know what you think.
I’m not ashamed to admit that a lot of my history lessons, of late, have been through graphic novels. I find that lately a lot of authors are using this medium in order to tell the world their stories and although most are a blend of fact and fiction, there’s no denying some of the irrefutable truths about our past. Such is the case with author Max Brooks (World War Z) latest endeavor The Harlem Hellfighters. It’s an exhausting and brutally real account of a world unlike our own, but was once very real.
In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on—and off—the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.
Having seen a lot of movies that cover such topics, it’s approach wasn’t a huge surprise. Most African Americans are well aware of the struggles our boys went through to become soldiers back in the days and because of this, I found it tremendously difficult to hone in on the books true voice. As a forty year old black male, seeing and reading about the indignity the 369th infantry faced on the front lines and abroad, was like watching a Netflix film. Been there done that. Not a lot of new ground to be broken here, but I will say this, it is a great read for someone completely unfamiliar with this part of history and other stories of black infantry’s in American wars, but for me I was a bit disappointed in the lack of clever dialogue. Unlike Max’s masterpiece, World War Z, THH is a graphic novel through and though, what I mean is, flash was substituted for substance. It’s very thematic in it’s approach and although he claimed that this was a labor of love that he’d been sitting on for decades, it didn’t quite feel that way for me. To me THH would have been better as an actual story and not a graphic novel. This is one of those rare cases when I feel like turning this story into a graphic novel, dumb down a very important part of American history. That being said, I understand his reasoning for doing it. One, to make it appealing to a young demographic and two, to pitch this as a film, which incidentally, Sony Pictures has already picked it up and Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter under their Overbrook company, will produce it. You can checkout that story here.
There are some good things about this story like the illustration by Canaan White, whose work with Marvel is unparallelled. His art takes this story one step further with “in your face” violence and believe me the story wouldn’t have been nearly as good without it. While reading, I was often times reminded of Dave Gibbons work in The Watchmen. Canaan incorporates a lot of the eye-bulging and entrail-flying, that I saw in that beloved 80′s graphic. On the downside, I did find it hard to follow the characters and yes, I know, not all brothers look a like, but they kinda did in this graphic or at least their stories were so inconsequential that the marriage of character and art got slightly blurred from time to time.
I know I’m coming down on this book HARD, but it left me half cocked. I’m sure when it’s turned into a film they’ll fill in some of those holes left by Max, but as for the read, it’s worth it. The story does tend to go off in different directions a lot though. It felt as though Max desperately needed to squeeze these historical tidbits in, but forgot to focus on the characters. Honestly, the book felt like I was watching Forrest Gump. Especially the pages where Max and Canaan are telling us about the role blacks played in every war. It was kinda funny.
I recommend this book for it’s art more than the story, but as I said before, it’s a stellar read for the uninformed.
If you are interested in some other World War graphic novels we reviewed CHECK THESE OUT!
ONWARDS TOWARD OUR NOBLE DEATHS: http://wp.me/p2ge4g-CG
ALAN’S WAR: THE MEMORIES OF G.I. ALAN COPE: http://wp.me/p2ge4g-zh
Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards is “hands down” one of the most talented musicians of our times. This New England native continues to change her style and isn’t afraid to move into new directions with her sound. On May 5th the Tune Yards will release their new album Nikki Nack through 4AD, but they’ve released an awesome jam off of it to wet our appetite for the time being. Wait For A Minute is a little less weighty than most Tune Yard jams, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stellar. Merrill is laid back on this track, but still funky and unpredictable. Let me stop talking…just listen to it.
Okay, so I got pretty giddy inside after watching this beautifully edited trailer for Zach Braff’s sophomore film Wish I Was Here. It’s an easy sell seeing as how it somehow involves a young girl (with a debilitating disease), her fanboy little brother and a granddad played by the legendary Mandy Patinkin, on his deathbed in a hospital and the whole thing is set to The Shins “A Simple Song” . I’m checking right now for the official synopsis to see how much of what I just said is true and…..I wasn’t that far off, but here’s the official synopsis. It’s a bit long winded, but then again, so is this trailer.
Zach Braff stars as a thirtysomething family man wrestling with his disapproving father, an elusive God, and adult responsibility. Pursuing acting has landed him and his wife (Kate Hudson) in a tough spot, so when his grumpy father (Mandy Patinkin) can no longer pay for the kids to attend Jewish Yeshiva, Aidan opts for homeschooling, much to the chagrin of his hyperdisciplined, religious daughter (Joey King) and the delight of his less-than-studious son (Pierce Gagnon), The film premiered at the Sundance 2014, hits theaters in NY and LA on July 18th, and expands on August 1st.
A great website Dangerous Minds , just posted an amazing short film on their site. It’s called The Delian Mode, it’s about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire who created by splicing magnetic tape together what musicians can do today with a press of a button. Her most notable credit is the iconic Dr. WHO theme. This film came out about four years ago and received a lot of awards, but unfortunately I’m just hearing about this film, as well as this pioneering woman. I hope you can forgive me. It’s interesting watching and learning about what this woman did and how she created, with tape, what musician “nowadays” still struggle to wrap their minds around with computers.
Directed by music video director Kara Blake under the name Philtre Films, The Delian Mode pays homage to someone most people know very little about, but whose works are responsible for the way we listen to music today. Below I’ve embedded the trailer for The Delian Mode, but you can watch the entire film HERE at Dangerous Minds.
The Delian Mode is a a short experimental documentary revolving around the life and work of electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, best known for her groundbreaking sound treatment of the Doctor Who theme music. A collage of sound and image created in the spirit of Derbyshire’s unique approach to audio creation and manipulation, this film illuminates such soundscapes onscreen while paying tribute to a woman whose work has influenced electronic musicians for decades.
The film features interviews with Brian Hodgson and Dick Mills of the now defunct BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the founder of Electronic Music Studios Peter Zinovieff, musicians Peter Kember (Sonic Boom), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ann Shenton (Add N to X) as well as other friends and colleagues of Delia.
Life sucks, I understand. Many of the most important decisions come at an age where the brain hasn’t fully developed to make rational decisions. The irony behind setting out on a plan to make the life defining choices when the maximum potential for making the choice hasn’t been reached yet is unbelievable. At 19, deciding whether to spend the incredible amount of money to attend college or not isn’t a pleasant choice. We’ve all been faced with blindly following our paths because some elective course in high school “..sorta interested me?”. We’re also at the age where our kids, younger brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces are heading full speed into these choices. What captures me is how they cope with it. I naturally turned to music as an escape from my future. Pavement, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and especially Archers of Loaf were my leaders in deciding the key moments of my young life.
It’s been growing stale, having the same old bands breaking up, and ultimately forced into replaying old albums. Cloud Nothings have been one of the few bands that capture the essence of the 90′s alternative rock scene, and doing so accurately. They’re aggressive, in your face, and lo-fi. With the release of the incredible Attack On Memory 2012, I finally heard something that defines the term nostalgia. It’s now 2014, I’m two years older, and Cloud Nothings have released the follow-up album, Here and Nowhere Else.
How is it? Well, it’s even better. At a speedy 31 minutes, the band packs an insane amount of content in. Their aggressive, distorted sound is very tight. Hearing that Steve Albini didn’t produce this album scared me a little, but it helps to have a change of pace. The production is still top notch (which means it’s even shittier for the sound). The drums strike resonance that blare into the listeners ear like a gun shot. Opening with “Now Here In”, they charge full speed in using every technique they’ve grown in this very song.
Dylan Baldi has surpassed any expectations set out for him when he started this solo project. They noisey, grungy singer has developed a perfect voice that’s comparable to Stephan Malkmus of Pavement. He’s a defining character in indie rock who let’s loose on songs like “Quieter Today”, which showcases the bands tempo-changing noise rock, and “Giving Into Seeing”, the loudest of the eight songs. They play within a certain distinct sound, but keep the overall sound fresh with “Psychic Trauma”, which many first time listeners will love. They noise pop opening of sweet sounding chords jumps right into a screaming match between the guitars, drums, and Baldi’s amazing voice.
Like Attack On Memory, they keep the addition of a longer song alive with “Pattern Walks”. It feels better placed in the track listing now, as the listener is eased into the monster that is this song. Sprawling seven and a half minutes, it doesn’t change much. Whether it’s a change of hook near the end, or an instrumental section, the bass driven track flows smoothly (if ‘smoothly’ correctly describes Cloud Nothings) from section to section. Baldi also mentioned that he was planning to make this album darker, and it’s very noticeable. There’s no light anywhere on these songs. Even the single, “I’m Not Part Of Me”, has sucked out any form of positive energy and transferred into musical rage. It’s beautiful.
I have to admit, Cloud Nothings have challenged themselves to grow as a band and musicians, and they have. Even as song-writers, they’ve improved. Baldi’s lyrics strike a chord for a stronger element on Here and Nowhere Else. On the final track, “I’m Not Part Of Me”, Baldi keeps the simplicity of 90′s alternative lyrics, but strengthens the words by using such incredible energy to leverage his disbelief of a broken relationship by writing, “Leave it all to memory of / What we did when we were young and / Now you could just leave me on my own”. He’ll connect with a lot of fans for what he sings instead of how he sings.
To many people picking up and trying out Here and Nowhere Else, they’ll dedicate many hours, car rides, lonely walks, and tough nights to Cloud Nothings. They’ve released an album that resonates with a younger age group of indie rockers the same way Sonic Youth or Pavement defined an entire decade of music. Dylan Baldi won’t understand the impact of releasing an album like this, as for him, this album is him releasing unset emotions through an art form. For the many who give this a try, it’s a defining album that showcases itself in the listeners darkest times. Hopefully, it brings them the escape that many of us needed in the toughest challenges we’ve faced so far. At the end of the day, though, Cloud Nothings are just a band with an amazing album.