Archive for June, 2014

The Dance Of Reality

June 30th, 2014 | Film | 0 Comments


Jodorowsky’s latest film, The Dance Of Reality, really isn’t much different from the rest of his best-known films, especially The Holy Mountain. A lot of the trademarks of Jodorowsky are present in abundance: deformed and disfigured people, midgets, unpleasant nudity, long tangents away from the main narrative of the film, etc. This isn’t a problem though, as no one makes films like Jodorowsky, and he doesn’t have that many, so each quality addition to his oeuvre is a welcome one.

Though the film is supposed to be autobiographical, and indeed it does focus a lot on the childhood of the young Jodorowsky and what it was like to grow up as a Chilean Jew back in the day, the main focus of the film is on Jodorowsky’s father. A diehard communist of Jewish-Ukrainian origin, Jaime Jodorowsky (played by Brontis Jodorowsky) dresses like Stalin and keeps a picture of the Soviet dictator on the wall in his store. He values strength above all, and tries to instil this and the ability to withstand pain ‘like a man’ in his young son, Alejandro. At the same time, with his communist friends, and his buxom, operatic wife, he behaves as a dictator with an iron will and hand.

Like the main characters of El Topo and The Holy Mountain, Jaime will find himself whisked along on a long, strange journey, after a failed attempt on the life of Chilean dictator, Ibanez. But ultimately, his journey and the encounters he has with the characters he meets along the way will soften his heart, and he will return to his family a changed and better man.

In Jodorowsky’s not-so-subtle, but strange and strangely beautiful way, he illustrates the beauty of the human spirit in his portrait of a brusque man who finds himself aided in his quest by kind but unfortunate people, like the horse groomer whose death and replacement won’t even be noticed by his master; the female midget who loves him and takes care of him, waiting until the day his memory returns and he must leave her, never to be loved again; and the righteous, religious old man who works to make chairs for the church and takes him in despite his ‘deformity’ and gives him work, food and shelter.

As with all Jodorowsky’s films, The Dance Of Reality requires a bit of patience to sit through the director’s indulgences and beloved disturbing imagery, but if you know Jodorowsky you already know that. What you get in return is a visually and spiritually bountiful film experience that reminds one, like only Jodorowsky can, that we are all human and we all need to be loved, no matter how weird we look on the outside or the in.

Heaven For Real

June 30th, 2014 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments


Quirky, arty Halifax rockers Heaven For Real make music that for some reason I want to describe as ‘sticky’.

Man meets Bear

June 27th, 2014 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments


Kitchener-based weird folkie Man meets Bear is the project of Soren Little Brothers. Soren and I actually actually played a small coffee shop show in Toronto a couple months ago, and the guy is…like…You know in movies or books or whatever the guy who’s lived in all the most exotic places, hiked to the tops of all the most beautiful mountains and has Facebook photo albums so incredible you’re all like ‘Whaaaa?’ He introduces a song by saying it was his attempt to write in the Ojibwe language then plays a gorgeous little song on acoustic guitar with pre-recorded nature sounds in the background to provide the atmosphere. He’s that guy.

His latest album, Waagaaskingaa explores “some of the ecological concepts which come up in his research, as well as the mythology of Ontario, presenting a lattice of biology, spirituality, Ojibwe language, and other aspects of the Ontario landscape.” It’s kind of crazy – us Canadians (and the rest of the world) think we’re like the most boring country on Earth, but dig a little deeper into the soil and you’ll find more than you expect. Just listen to the long, beautiful, very much Canadian trip that is Waagaaskingaa and you’ll see: it is nothing if not a work of depth, both sonic and spiritual.

Greys // If Anything

June 26th, 2014 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


I just got back three days ago from a two month trip across the US. That’s why this blog hasn’t been updated in a while. It’s good to be back home in Torontopia 🙂

So – this record came out a little more than a week ago. Greys are a cool hard-punk band on the incredible and ascendent Buzz Records, a label that’s put out a lot of awesome stuff in the last couple years like Odonis Odonis and HSY. I’ve actually written about them a lot, but in case you missed those posts, yeah, they’re cool. They kind of have a monopoly on Toronto’s hard/noise/punk scene. Greys’ new album If Anything is another gem in the label’s discography, a relentless, vicious assault of noise, underneath of which some interesting hooks and melodies are wading in the mire. If that sounds interesting, you can stream the album below or on their bandcamp (where you can also buy it).


June 25th, 2014 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments


There’s a dude in Manchester making moody, jangly guitar-pop under the name Horsebeach. He’s got a self-titled album dropping July 28th. He sent me some tracks. I liked them.