While I am not a fan of Electronica, Mikey Young manages to make synthesizers not annoying, which is quite an accomplishment these days. “Billions of Tears” is very relaxing, with a nice foresty mystical vibe, like it makes me imagine stop-motion films of plants growing up from seedlings, with a little bit of that laser-sounding part in the middle of Baba O’Reilly thrown in. Nice music for getting a massage. -ET
Manuel the Band lists John Mayer and the Dave Matthews band as influences, and only soulless monsters would do that. This is music for boring, prematurely middle-aged office drones to make out to whilst pretending to be experiencing deep feelings . It’s ostensibly “Indie Rock,” whatever that means these days, but it’s so bland and inoffensive that it’s almost offensive. I mean, I WOULD be offended, but after four minutes of this millennial Muzak I can barely summon the energy to type this, much less work up a good rage. It’s not stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears bad, more like I-can-feel-my-soul-withering bad. I can totally picture this blasting out of the window of a Range Rover as it circles a Whole Foods parking lot . . . forever. -AF
“Furie” (2019, Well Go USA) Though she’s at odds with her village because of her job (debt collector) and her status – she’s a former criminal with an illegitimate child – Veronica Ngo (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) finds that her past has also given her the right amount of grit to put paid to the traffickers that kidnap her daughter. Vietnamese action-thriller from veteran writer-director Le-Van Kiet rises above its well-worn revenge-driven plotline by virtue of Ngo’s performance – she nails both the maternal and enforcer sides of her character – and ferocious fight choreography by Yannick Ben (“Ghost in the Shell”) and Kefi Abrikh (“Jason Bourne”) drenched in neon-noir hues by cinematographer Christopher Morgan Schmidt. Well Go’s Blu-ray/DVD set includes interviews with Ngo, Kiet, the stunt team and co-star/extreme athlete Phan Thanh Nhieh, who plays a cop trying to keep up with Ngo. Continue reading →
Directed by and starring Polyanna McKintosh, “Darlin’” is the sequel to the 2011 Lucky McKee horror film “The Woman,” which is based on the Jack Ketchum novels “Off Season” and “Offspring.” If I had known that before watching “Darlin,'” I probably would not have been interested, because my kind of horror does not typically include inbred cannibal clans. As a standalone film, however, “Darlin'” is mesmerizing and astonishing with quite a bit of character, sympathy and black humor to go along with the occasional gruesome violence. Lauryn Canny is riveting as the titular feral teen girl, dropped into the middle of a strict (and corrupt) religious environment.
“Darlin'” begins when two naked and filthy women wander towards a hospital and the young one, wearing a bracelet that says DARLIN, is accidentally struck by an arriving ambulance. She is admitted as a mysterious patient, cleaned up by the kind nurse Tony, but eventually transferred to a conservative Catholic school for troubled girls. The older feral woman, played by the terrific McKintosh (the Woman from the McKee film), starts tracking her down, murdering and/or eating people all along the way. But pausing to befriend a handful of homeless women! She is a survivor from the group of feral cannibals in the Ketchum novel, and in “The Woman,” her character is subjected to horrific abuse before she gets her revenge.
Darlin’ slowly learns to speak and befriends some of the other girls, and unwittingly tempts the sexually abusive Bishop (Bryan Batt). But she takes literally the concept that the devil is inside her and becomes obsessed with getting it out. Maddie Nichols is charming as the sweet-natured Billy, who sneaks out to smoke joints and listen to forbidden, secular music. There is this great moment where Darlin’ tells her seriously, absurdly, “I’m afraid my insides are going to come out and kill me,” and Billy stares at her for a second before replying, “Shit, why do you think I smoke so much weed?”
Saturday, July 13th, was a special night at Elinor, the bar at MADE by Millworks in Long Beach. It was MADE’s owner Michelle Molina’s birthday, and she threw a party. There was cake, of course, and great art on exhibition in the gallery from ceramicist Kathryn Heaton and others. But the topper of the night was live music from the killer double bill of John Doe and Jesika Von Rabbit.
Jesika Von Rabbit performed for an hour as part of her regular quartet. Von Rabbit’s music features a unique mix of modern keyboards and rhythms with guitar twang straight from the desert and lyrics reflecting her surrealistic sensibility. One of the highlights was her version of the Culture Club classic Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, delivered in a countrified arrangement that went right to the song’s cheating heart. Ms. Rabbit will be back at Elinor to DJ this Sunday night, July 21st, part of a busy summer itinerary that includes appearances at Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven’s Campout at Pappy & Harriet’s on August 2nd and at the Tiki Oasis in San Diego on August 7th.
This week Livation welcomes The Adjacents to perform live on KXLU! The band formed in 2012 in Hawthorne, CA and is a 4 piece with a pop/punk style.
Their influences range from Fugazi to the Pixies to Black Flag and on. The band is Louis Medina on guitar/vocals, Anibal Colmenares also on guitar/vocals, Jesse Sanchez on bass and Jack Flynn on drums.
The Adjacents go on between 12:15-12:30, a live interview follows. Livation is on every Wednesday night at midnight (PST) through to Thursday’s wee hours. Listen live at 88.9fm in Los Angeles or stream it live at kxlu.com everywhere! You can also listen on the KXLU phone app.
Jeff and Steve McDonald of Redd Kross. Photo courtesy of Steve McDonald
Today Steve McDonald of Redd Kross shared his excitement about their new release, “The Party Underground” from the upcoming Beyond the Door album. The song weaves in 60s influences with Cowsills-style backup singing and a beat that makes you want to do the pony.
“Today is a special day for me because Redd Kross releases a new song from our forthcoming album #beyondthedoor into the world. The track is called “The Party Underground” and I wrote it all by my lonesome. It’s a celebration of the world of underground music, a place I’ve inhabited either as a fan or a creator my entire life. This picture is from our first year of gigging, taken at a place called the #KingsPalace which was later renamed (to the more known) #Rajis. I’m 12 and @jeffmcdonaldrk [Jeff McDonald] is 15 or 16. The 2nd picture is part of the artwork for our new album (Isn’t it beautiful!?!).
Embrace your scary nighttime desert apparitions when goth, dark wave and more arrives this Wednesday night at SPELLBOUND, a dance party which will have its inaugural night in the Joshua Tree area. Phantasmic desert kisses await you! Or will they be real?
Spellbound at the Landers Brew Co., 1388 Golden slipper Lane, Landers, CA 92285. July 17 at 7:00 – 11:00 pm, lot parking available.
Turn It Up! swag graphics by Solvej Schou, logo by DJ diA Hakinna
Turn It UP! This new women’s collective hosts its first public event, a fundraising concert on Sunday, July 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. at The Echoplex.
The line-up includes Solvej Schou, Phranc, and The Groans. It will also be the debut of the Turn It Up! House Band, featuring bassist Abby Travis (Sumo Princess), drummer Tosha Jones (the Randies), keyboardist Gere Fennelly (Redd Kross), and guitarists Blare Bitch and Sharon Needles (both from Betty Blowtorch), with vocalists Lisa Kekaula (Bellrays), Nina Diaz (Girl in a Coma), Drew Arriola Sands (TrapGirl), Kristine Nevrose (the Tissues), Alice Bag, and Adele Bertei. DJs diA Hakinna and Mukta Mohan will woman the turntables. Valecia Phillips of KPFK’s Feminist Magazine Radio hosts. Swag available at the merch table!
Calling all film buffs, Video Vortex is set to arrive in downtown L.A. this year! The soon-to-be-opened Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles (summer 2019) has just announced that an L.A. branch of the video store & bar—already located in San Francisco as well as Brooklyn and Raleigh, NC—will open up next door, offering free movie rentals. Video Vortex will also contain an arcade and board game space, but most importantly, it’ll have over 40,000 movies available from the Alamo Drafthouse collection.
The cinema, which will be located at 700 w. 7th Street, is also partnering with the film nonprofit, Vidiots Foundation, so there will be special events and screenings with proceeds going to the foundation. The first of these is the series “Tales from the Video Store,” in which filmmakers, critics and other guests will talk about their histories of video store shopping and discoveries.