Sunday, January 27, 2008

Review of Bisected Neko

After flirting with a handful of major labels,
the dead decide to stick to epitaphs,
returning with Bisected Neko. The often
enigmatic satyr challenges himself
with some of the most supple, seductive, and accessible

singing and songwriting of his career, "Posthumously,
the dead acquire a mythic status" he sings,
"potions, pills and medicines to ease
your painful lives. They refuse to keep
within any normal limits. They will fill you."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Review of Flying From Austin to Indianapolis

around 2pm one weekday a friend
and i running errands were famished and
he suggested flying from austin to
he said that ul-
timately we'd derive pleasure from to-
tally manufactured experience-
s hence the rise in theme parks and virtu-
al reality and the facts behind
the vietnam war the cuban miss-
ile crisis and the civil rights movement
an impatient ballet of subversions
and expectations centered in gender
power commerce violence and language all
coated with dripping wet sound rank this mi-
nor success with hooky background music

Review of Flying From Indianapolis to Austin

Flying From Indianapolis to Austin might
have been OK but our sexy waitress dropped

the platter on our table. So R. Hamilton asked,
"How many times do you think we're going

to have to do this?" I wouldn't have minded
knowing that myself! What at first blush

sounded like unhealthy entrenchment turned
out to be a brilliant study in duality, as R. Hamilton

and friends, seemingly in conversation with one another,
weighed the respective pulls of decadence and dependability.

Certainly flawed, Flying From Indianapolis to Austin
had its fair share of moments, leading viewers into corners

of insight. The tassels of poetic convention circa 1955
came undone here, left in tatters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Review of Wal-Mart at 3 AM

Wal-Mart at 3 AM has become so ingrained
in American pop culture that it's easy
to forget what a weirdo it was, personally

and musically: not just perfecting the sound
Wal-Mart pioneered at 2 AM, it expands it

in predictably unpredictable ways.
The difference is is that battles
against orcs, trolls, thieves, and zombies

were resolved by completing puzzles rather
than swinging a sword. But Wal-Mart at 3 AM

wasn't all darkness, either, and has since
gone down in the rock history books as an
all-time classic, and rightfully so.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Review of Java Haute

Java Haute is based on a true story, which would
be fine if it wasn't autobiographical: there is
a crushing sense of failure at all turns, but

that has never been as disheartening as it might
sound. A flamboyant, hard-drinking, ruthless, and
womanizing world adventurer comes face-to-face

with the one antagonist he cannot conquer:
heterosexuality, that infinitely dangerous
terrain, will be a place he enters gingerly and

with more than a little regret. Participating in
the economy can feel like a requirement

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Review of ShangrilaMUSH

Figuring the easiest way to get
noticed was to be as wild as possible,
on ShangrilaMUSH, Cathryn has fallen
back in love with language. There are
several surprises included along the
way, like wild shots and water and
sand traps, but her heart-piercing,
plaintive voice is used to excellent
effect, driving home the primary
sentiment: "Until you remember the
feelings of / A real, live, emotional
teenager / then you think again."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Review of Wonkette

Wonkette has always been about the agonized,
ecstatic relationship of individuals and
institutions, and works as well as it does by
keeping everything believable and as natural as
possible, even when certain comedic situations
approach ludicrous territory: "I'm in love. Her
name is Wonkette. She was left back. Twice. Once
I almost touched her shoulder in the middle of a
pop quiz." Now that’s a joke clever in its
knowingness about corporate synergy! Cute but not
overly cuddly, there's an authenticity to the
relationships in Wonkette that makes it a comedy
worth meeting.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Review of ABC/Facebook New Hampshire Primary Debate Two Parties One Night

ABC/Facebook New Hampshire Primary Debate Two
Parties One Night is a substantially
simplified version of the two
previous offerings. Sure, you
can opt to get to the point
of any conversation you're
engaged in, and there are
plenty of options to
select that will let
you do just that,
but diplomacy,
winning the
Space Race,
and a

cultural victory are all equally viable options.
It’s a gameplay style that always keeps you on
the edge, unaware of what your opponent is
preparing at his or her own castle.
"The ABC/Facebook New Hampshire
Primary Debate Two Parties One
Night is very nearly worth the
price of admission by itself,”
opined a friend recently. “And
with one of the best villains
since SHODAN. There, I said

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Review of Exotic Thai Cuisine

Exotic Thai Cuisine
introduced a type
of character that
wouldn't be seen

much in the
big-budget, action-packed 1980s:
the working-class hero.
In this story,

emotionally charged drama
takes precedent over
rousing adventure, as
many of the

characters are dealing
with some kind
of loneliness or
loss. A tirelessly

creative child being
raised in a
strict Christian home,
R. Hamilton found

his creativity frowned
upon. Exotic Thai
Cuisine, a glossy
variant on the

hard-boiled film noir
detective pictures of
the 1940s, suggested
that none of

this was new.
Released in 1979,
Exotic Thai Chisine
foreshadowed a generation

of films that
critiqued the shallowness
of mass culture.

Review of Education Student Services

A mixture of Pygmalion, Diva, and one of John
Woo's choreographed action pictures,
Education Student Services is a bizarrely
inspired, darkly comic fantasy. The
aristocrats are well-skewered by the delightful
R. Hamilton, excellent as the cynical but
smitten reporter, in a performance that won him
his only award. The major star of Education
Student Services is perhaps set/costume designer
E. Isbell, whose visual contributions
immediately impacted European and U.S. fashion
trends. Like many of us, Ms. Isbell
struggles to discern whether her true self is
defined through her own actions or through
her relationships with others.

Review of Bergen Poem and Squash

Bergen Poem & Squash is more
interesting in historical pe
rspective than for the quali
ties it places on the screen
. At the time of its release
, the director had not had a
success in over a decade and
had been vilified as a Commu
nist by McCarthyite zealots
whose pressure tactics would
soon result in the revocatio
n of his U.S. passport. Spar
e us. While the titular trio
's quest seems simple, Leon
renders the proceedings epic
through the constant intrusi
ons of a chaotic, war-torn u
niverse. No, what Bergen Pom
m & Squash achieves goes abo
ve and beyond these exploits.