Monday, May 19, 2008

Free Jazz/ Punk Rock

*(Lester Bangs with The Clash)

A brilliant unpublished piece by the great Lester Bangs. He wrestled with his demons in full public view. His imitators make movies now days. His fans make music.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Capsule review: Iron Man

Were there any hidden layers in the big-screen version of Iron Man? The story certainly lends itself to that purpose - a tale about a man who makes weapons and then stops making them because he realises they kill people and then makes a new weapon which in the end nearly kills him - but I have my doubts. Had the makers equated Iron Man with irony rather than heavy metal, we might have landed up with something more emotionally satisfying. As it stands though, the movie is a weird mixture of fast cars, churning guitars, loud clanking noises, sheep-brained propaganda, more loud clanking noises and in the midst of all this, trying to make sense of proceedings, a bunch of former Oscar nominees. Robert Downey Jr plays his superhero as mocking and flawed (recent Batmen should take a cue) and has a teasing chemistry with Paltrow, who lights up the screen. As for the rest, Jeff Bridges has seen better days, Terrence Howard reprises his accent from Hustle and Flow, and there are a bunch of Arabs from Central Casting. Expect nothing but standard superhero fare and you may not be dissapointed. But its a bit sad that no one seems to be interested in reaching for the kind of artistic vision displayed in Hellboy or the first two movies in the Batman series.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Treasure, sunken

Its a very I-will-tell-you-insignificant-details-about-my-mundane-life type blogger sort of thing to do, but yesterday was kind of remarkable, and I'd rather write about it in the hope that any readers who may be lurking out there do not apply the same weird standards which I do while judging blog posts. More to the point, yesterday i found, in an old dusty cupboard, tucked underneath the spare bed in the spare room, books which I had loved, lost and given up hope of ever finding. For starters, on top, covered in dust and cobwebs, was my Gatsby, with its fantastic foreward stretching almost as long as the novel itself. I found my old Gerald Durrells, including the ones in which he is writing about his family, the funniest reads north of Paul Colhelo. There also emerged a Garrison Keillor, showing a touching determination to keep re-entering my life until I finally read it, and an Anne Rice, reminding everyone that you don't need to read like porn to be erotic. And most astonishingly, there was my copy of Rats Saw God, ostensibly teenlit but actually the greatest book ever written since... (Aaargh. Too much hyperbole). A varied treasure, from a treasure chest of variable quality, arriving months before Thanksgiving, and too late in the day for me to go and light a candle in the local synagogue (I'm kidding. Garlands. Temple).