Friday, May 22, 2020

Record Scores - I Don't Know, What's New With You?

BusCrates - Lost & Found 7" (Bastard Jazz)
BusCrates - On The Train 7" (Neon Finger)
Mark Hand - Under The Winter 12" (Soul Print)
Words A Game - Words A Game Lp (Coin Toss)
Good Dude Lojack - Szene EP 12" (Delicate Cashmere)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Ocular Optometrical: Best Films Of 2019

Movies I Saw That Were Released In 2019 (151)
3 From Hell / Ad Astra / The Addams Family / Alita: Battle Angel / All Must Die / Always Amazing / Always Be My Maybe / Amazing Grace / The Amazing Johnathan Documentary / Anna / Apollo 11 / The Art Of Self-Defense / Avengers: Endgame / Bad Dose / The Banana Splits Movie / Batman: Hush / Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / The Beach Bum / A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood / Between Two Ferns: The Movie / Black Christmas / Bombshell / Book Of Monsters / Booksmart / Braid / The Breaker Upperers / Brightburn / Burning Cane / Burning Men / El Camino / Captain Marvel / The Chain / Changeland / Close / Cold Pursuit / Crawl / Crown Vic / The Curse Of La Llorona / Daniel Isn't Real / Dark Phoenix / Darlin' / The Dead Don't Die / The Death Of Dick Long / The Dead Center / Deadwood: The Movie / Depraved / The Dirt / Doctor Sleep / Dolemite Is My Name / Doubles Vies [Non-Fiction] / Dragged Across Concrete / Earthquake Bird / An Elephant Sitting Still / Extra Ordinary / Eye Of The Beholder: The Art Of Dungeons & Dragons / The Furies / Glass / Godzilla: King Of The Monsters / Greta / Happy Death Day 2U / Hellboy / Her Smell / Hex / High Flying Bird / High Life / Hustlers / In Fabric / In The Shadow Of The Moon / In The Tall Grass / Io / Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus / The Irishman / The Isle / It: Chapter Two / Jay And Silent Bob Reboot / John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum / Jojo Rabbit / Joker / Jumanji: The Next Level / K-12 / Knives Out / Ladyworld / Leaving Neverland / Level 16 / The Lighthouse / Light Of My Life / Little Monsters / Little Women / Little Woods / Loners / Long Shot / Lords Of Chaos / Love Shot / Ma / The Man Who Killed Don Quixote / The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot / Mega Time Squad / Men In Black: International / Midsommar / Missing Link / Monos / Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary / The Nightingale / Ode To Joy / Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood / One Cut Of The Dead / Paddleton / Pain And Glory / Paradise Hills / Parasite / The Parts You Lose / Peanut Butter Falcon / Pet Sematary / Portrait Of A Lady On Fire / Possum / The Prodigy / Prospect / Rapid Eye Movement / Ready Or Not / Red Joan / The Room / Satanic Panic / Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark / Serenity / Shazam! / Spider-Man: Far From Home / The Sound Of Silence / St. Agatha / Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker / Stockholm / Stuber / Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound and Fury / Sword Of Trust / Tales From The Lodge / Teen Spirit / Terminator: Dark Fate / Tone Deaf / Toy Story 4 / Triple Frontier / The True Don Quixote / Uncut Gems / Us / Vault / Velvet Buzzsaw / A Vigilante / Villains / Wij [We] / Wilkolak [Werewolf] / Wonder Woman: Bloodlines / Wounds / Zombieland: Double Tap

These are my favorite 20:
20.) Greta
19.) The Nightingale
18.) Joker
17.) The Irishman
16.) Uncut Gems
15.) Prospect
14.) The Breaker Upperers
13.) Beach Bum
12.) Us
11.) Monos

10.) One Cut Of The Dead
09.) Midsommar
08.) The Lighthouse
07.) Dragged Across Concrete
06.) Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
05.) Her Smell
04.) Lords Of Chaos
03.) Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood
02.) Booksmart
01.) Parasite

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Record Scores - More Bricks In This Fortress Edition

C. Scott - Phase Shifting Cs (Soul Slime)
Idris Muhammad - Black Rhythm Revolution! Lp (Prestige)
Andres - IV 2xLp (Mahogani)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Record Scores - Physical Media In An Ephemeral World Edition

Myele Manzanza - Love Is War For Miles 12" (Sound Signature)
Daniel Carter, Tobias Wilner, DJibril Toure, Federico Ughi - New York United Lp (577)
Ten Years Lost - Hunting For Glory 12" (Apartment)
V/A - Self Discovery For Social Survival OST Lp (Mexican Summer)
The Dragons - BFI Lp (Ninja Tune)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Record Scores: This Ain't No Picnic Edition

Rufus Harley - A Tribute To Courage Lp (Atlantic)
Strikkly Vikkly - Strikkly Vikkly Vol. 1 Lp (Brainlab Groove)
Fatal Flyin' Guilloteens - Danger West 7" (Peek-A-Boo)
Kai Alce - Kai Alce Interpretations 2x12" (Kai Alce)
VA - NDATL Special Edition 2019 12" (NDATL Muzik)
V/A - 3K2018 12" (No Label)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Record Scores - Popular Music For Popular People Edition

Iris DeMent - The Way I Should Lp (Warner Bros)
Nelson Riddle - Sea Of Dreams Lp (Capitol)
Skatalites - Stretching Out 2xCD (ROIR)
Colored Music - S/T Lp (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want)
Johnny Dyani - Afrika Lp (Steeplechase)
Grand Piano - Lost In The Diamond Labyrinth (Grand Piano)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ocular Optometrical: The Female Gaze In My 2018 Film Year

Last year, with conversations around movies turning towards representation in filmmaking, i did a quick check of my favorite movies of the year. Of my top 20, five were directed by women. This wasn't a very rigorous analysis, but it was interesting to consider.

This year I went an ounce deeper. I went through the 153 movies I saw that were released in 2018 and found that 25 gave directing credits (lone director or co-director) for women, and 35 gave writing credits for women (lone writer, co-writer, story by, or based on a book by).

Personally, I think those percentages are significant, and demonstrate that there is plain institutional gender-bias in filmmaking that we'd all benefit from challenging further. However, I don't think my personal criteria for picking out movies to consume makes any definitive point there. Even though I saw a sampling well above the average number of films, I chose not to watch movies for all sorts of subjective reasons. I favor some genres & subjects more than others. I like & dislike actors, directors & writers. Some shit just looks bad. I also don't want to suggest that there's any qualitative advantage for women vs men (or vice versa) as filmmakers. There's no ideal quota. I just think 16% and 23% are low enough to argue that we're missing out on unique visions & stories. Above all else, it's a miracle that art ever gets made and we should cherish it all on some level.

Accepting that my investigation is rudimentary and scientifically insignificant, I want to suggest that the investigation itself was valuable. I chose all of these movies to watch this year, and I thought about their plots, the characters, the camera work... I weighed the reputations of writers & directors and my histories with their catalogs into how I felt about the films I saw. It was still surprising to actually go through the list and verify which movies had a woman's perspective. It's interesting to weigh the differences between the violent crusades of Mandy or Upgrade written & directed by men, and Revenge or You Were Never Really Here made by women. It's informative to know that Eighth Grade, Flower, I Kill Giants, Thoroughbreds, and The Witch Files, movies about young women finding & growing into their identities, were written & directed by men, and consider how well they inhabited the experiences of their characters. The dark Lars Von Trier film The House That Jack Built that featured a serial killer who largely victimized women, had a story-by credit for Jenle Hallund. Does that recontextualize the motivations of the film? Among the blockbuster superhero writing committees, Venom was the one with a co-writing credit for Kelly Marcel. Where is that evident in that film or conspicuously absent in Ant-Man And The Wasp?

At the end of the day, the conclusions I reach might be dubious, might be more indicative of my own preconceptions or any bad faith I project onto the film industry than anything else. Honestly, I'm writing this pretty fresh from scrubbing through the credits for the films, without a lot of analysis. It's just additional data that could reshape my thoughts about these movies, and I thought it might be interesting to others.

25 With Directing Credits For Women:
All About Nina / Between Worlds / Bird Box / Blockers / Blue My Mind / Clara's Ghost / The Feels / Galveston / Generation Wealth / The Kindergarten Teacher / Leave No Trace / The Long Dumb Road / Mary Shelley / Never Going Back / On Body And Soul / The Party's Just Beginning / Pornocracy: The New Sex Multinationals / Revenge / Skate Kitchen / Social Animals / The Spy Who Dumped Me / The Strange Ones / Summer Of '84 / When Jeff Tried To Save The World / You Were Never Really Here

35 With Writing Credits For Women:
All About Nina / Back Roads / Bad Genius / Between Worlds / Blue My Mind / Burning / Clara's Ghost / Crazy Rich Asians / Duck Butter / The Favourite / The Feels / Generation Wealth / The Hate You Give / The House That Jack Built / Island Zero / The Kindergarten Teacher / Leave No Trace / The Little Stranger / The Long Dumb Road / Lost Fare / Mary Shelley / The Mermaid: The Lake Of The Dead / Molly's Game / Never Going Back / Ocean's Eight / On Body And Soul / The Party's Just Beginning / Revenge / Skate Kitchen / Social Animals / The Spy Who Dumped Me / The Strange Ones / The Tribes Of Palos Verdes / Tully / Venom / When Jeff Tried To Save The World / Wildlife / You Were Never Really Here