Friday, January 9, 2015

*MY MAMA WAS RIGHT - THERE'S BLUES IN THE NIGHT...



It's another stinking new year and I guess I'm still here in some minimal capacity, so from time to time I might be posting some random bits of inspiration and stimulation as an attempt to combat winter madness...

Here's a classic FRANK SINATRA track that I love entitled "Blues In the Night", which seems quite befitting on another dark, arctic Chicago evening...

*CAN HE PENETRATE THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL - TIME ITSELF???

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I grew up loving the classic 1960 version of THE TIME MACHINE starring ROD TAYLOR and YVETTE MIMIEUX, so it was sad to learn this morning that the iconic film actor had passed away two days ago at the age of 84...

Of course he was also known for other great movies like THE BIRDS, GIANT, THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT and even INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS back in 2009, but I'll always cherish my childhood memories of this guy traveling through time, kicking some Morlock butt and scoring the sexy blonde Eloi babe... Respect, my friend.

ROD TAYLOR - R.I.P.
January 11, 1930 - January 7, 2015

Sunday, December 28, 2014

*MIND LIKE A STEEL TRAP, OPEN AS A MILK CRATE - ELOQUENT ELEPHANT THAT NEVER FORGETS...



One of my favorite new voices to emerge in Hip-Hop over the past year is HOMEBOY SANDMAN, a talented rapper outta Queens who has already churned out a handful of stellar releases on the esteemed label STONES THROW...

His latest album is entitled HALLWAYS and finishes with the killer track "Enough", which features guest appearances by J-LIVE and KURIOUS, two fellow New Yorkers also blessed with the gift of rhyme... Check out the video!!!

*HONEY I'M RARE AND YOU KNOW IT - BUT I SEE YOU'RE SPECIAL TOO...



Upon first hearing the soothing R&B sounds of LION BABE, it's inevitable to make comparisons to ERYKAH BADU... But seeing how the latter artist isn't exactly churning out albums these days, I feel like some new talent is always welcomed...

Earlier this month a self-titled EP was released online and is comprised of four lovely tracks including the song "Jungle Lady", which already has a video featuring the New York-based songstress roller-skating and dancing her way to a potential casting call for the new MAD MAX reboot... Enjoy!!!

*HOLD THAT CUP LIKE ALCOHOL - DON'T YOU DROP THAT ALCOHOL...



I thought BEYONCÉ's self-titled effort from 2013 was easily her best album yet, so it only seemed right that a Platinum Edition was released this Winter with a bonus disc of six new tracks, including the club banger "7/11"...

Now if you haven't seen it yet, check out the awesome video above which features the undisputed Queen of R&B scrappin', yellin' and mixin' it up with some of her back-up dancers, in what appears to be a fly hotel room or pimped-out mansion... God damn, I love this woman!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

*MEANWHILE IN THE BLACK LODGE...

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*WELL, RIGHT OR WRONG I SING EITHER WAY...

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This next video is about as festive as I choose to get around this time of year, but I do sincerely hope everyone had a nice holiday and enjoyed a little bit of peace today... Take it away fellas!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

*I CAN'T REMEMBER - THE MAN I WANTED TO BE...



With 2014 quickly coming to a close, the new year is already promising some pretty exciting theatrical releases on the horizon including KNIGHT OF CUPS, the latest offering from legendary filmmaker TERRENCE MALICK...

The star-studded cast for this contemporary drama looks absolutely bonkers, so check out the beautiful trailer and get psyched for something phresh and new from one of America's finest directors...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

*THIS PLACE IS HORRIBLE - SMELLS LIKE BALLS...

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I'm finally ready to post my picks for the best films of 2014 now, even though INHERENT VICE still hasn't opened yet here in The Chi, but I'm fairly certain that I'll love it so it's automatically getting the #2 spot in advance...

Feel free to click on any image below for maximum viewing pleasure... Ok then, here are my choices for------------->

THE BEST FILMS OF 2014


                                   15) YOUNG ONES (dir. Jake Paltrow)


                                 14) THE DROP (dir. Michaël R. Roskam)


                          13) MAPS TO THE STARS (dir. David Cronenberg)


                              12) INTERSTELLAR (dir. Christopher Nolan)


                          11) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (dir. James Gunn)


                                  10) FOXCATCHER (dir. Bennett Miller)


                                      9) GONE GIRL (dir. David Fincher)


                                    8) NIGHTCRAWLER (dir. Dan Gilroy)


                                     7) THE ROVER (dir. David Michôd)


                           6) ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (dir. Jim Jarmusch)


                       5) THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (dir. Wes Anderson)


                                     4) ENEMY (dir. Denis Villeneuve)


                               3) UNDER THE SKIN (dir. Jonathan Glazer)


                           2) INHERENT VICE (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)


                  1) BIRDMAN or (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
                                      (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
                            (Original illustration courtesy of Ryan Gajda)

Monday, December 15, 2014

*IF EVERY ROAD, COMES BACK TO YOU - COME BACK TO ME...



Even though it probably won't be appearing on my year-end list for best films, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM still has a lot going for it... First up is the casting of the exquisitely beautiful and equally talented, ginger-haired actress JESSICA CHASTAIN, who I've been quite infatuated with since first seeing her in THE TREE OF LIFE...

Then of course there's the blissed-out original score by SON LUX (aka Ryan Lott), a NY-based musician primarily known for his many Electro releases... The track "No Fate Awaits Me" features dreamy guest vocals by FAUX FIX and even though it's the second song on the official soundtrack, it actually appears much later in the film at a choice romantic moment... Let this goodness wash over you...

Monday, December 8, 2014

*OUTSIDE OF ME, IN SPITE OF WE - I SHOWED YOU THE DARK...

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As per usual, this next list is always a real sum bitch to narrow down, but I did the best I could here and ended up with thirty stellar releases that I was genuinely impressed with this year... That being said, here are-------->

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2014 (...THE REST)

                                    20) MELVINS "Hold It In" (IPECAC)


  19) TRENT REZNOR & ATTICUS ROSS "Gone Girl (soundtrack)" (COLUMBIA)


        18) INVENTIONS (Matthew Cooper & Mark T. Smith) "Inventions"
                                           (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE)


             17) BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE "Piano Nights" (IPECAC)


            16) THOM YORKE "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" (SELF-RELEASED)


                                    15) FKA twigs "LP1" (YOUNG TURKS)


                              14) DUM DUM GIRLS "Too True" (SUB POP)


          13) ANGEL OLSEN "Burn Your Fire For No Witness" (JAGJAGUWAR)


            12) CLIFF MARTINEZ "The Knick (Original Series) (soundtrack)"
                                                (MILAN RECORDS)


                                  11) BRYAN FERRY "Avonmore" (BMG)


                             10) WARPAINT "Warpaint" (ROUGH TRADE)


              9) MICA LEVI "Under the Skin (soundtrack)" (MILAN RECORDS)


                             8) THE ACID "Liminal" (MUTE/INFECTIOUS)


                           7) DEAN BLUNT "Black Metal" (ROUGH TRADE)


    6) EDWARD KA-SPEL & PHILIPPE PETIT "Are You Receiving Us, Planet
                                               Earth?" (RUSTBLADE)


                       5) EARTH "Primitive and Deadly" (SOUTHERN LORD)


                  4) JANE WEAVER "The Silver Globe" (FINDERS KEEPERS)


                    3) LANA DEL REY "Ultraviolence" (UMG RECORDINGS)


                    2) ST. VINCENT "St. Vincent" (LOMA VISTA/ REPUBLIC)


                                   1) FUTURE ISLANDS "Singles" (4AD)



HONORABLE MENTIONS & STRONG CONTENDERS

ANJOU "Anjou" (KRANKY)
BEAK> "+" (INVADA)
BONGRIPPER "Miserable" (GREAT BARRIER RECORDS)
GOAT "Commune" (SUB POP)
JJ "V" (SECRETLY CANADIAN)
LEYLAND KIRBY "Breaks My Heart Each Time" (APOLLO)
LIARS "Mess" (MUTE)
MAX RICHTER "The Leftovers (Original Series) (soundtrack) (WATER TOWN)
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM "Celestite" (ARTEMISIA)
ZOLA JESUS "Taiga" (MUTE)

I KNOW YOU'RE LATE, BUT I NEED ANOTHER TASTE...

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So even though this blog looks like it's been left for dead, I would still like to post a few year-end lists this month, highlighting my favorite albums and films of 2014... First up are------->

THE BEST HIP HOP/R&B ALBUMS of 2014

                              15) DIE ANTWOORD "Donker Mag" (ZEF)


            14) BLACK MILK "If There's a Hell Below" (COMPUTER UGLY)


           13) BLACK KNIGHTS "Medieval Chamber" (RECORD COLLECTION)


                        12) SHABAZZ PALACES "Lese Majesty" (SUB POP)


           11) GHOSTFACE KILLAH "36 Seasons" (SALVATION/TOMMY BOY)


                       10) THEOPHILUS LONDON "Vibes" (WARNER BROS.)


             9) GIRL TALK & FREEWAY "Broken Ankles EP" (DATPIFF.COM)


                       8) TREE "TheMCTREEG EP" (SCION AV PRESENTS)


       7) PRINCE & 3rdEYEGIRL "PlectrumElectrum" (NPG/WARNER BROS.)


               6) HOMEBOY SANDMAN "White Sands EP" (STONES THROW)


  5) KID CUDI "Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon" (REPUBLIC)


                     4) ROME FORTUNE "Small VVorld" (DATPIFF.COM)


               3) FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB "Piñata" (MADLIB INVAZION)


              2) THE ROOTS "...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" (DEF JAM)


                      1) PRINCE "Art Official Age" (NPG/WARNER BROS.)