Archive for April, 2015

Mune

April 13th, 2015 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

mune

Six piece Toronto dream-pop peeps Mune just  unleashed this cool song via Exclaim. It’s off an album called Falling Through that they’re dropping June 6th. Not only is my longtime peer Eytan Tobin a member of the band, but their album was produced by another great Toronto indie scene fixture, Beliefs/Candle Recording‘s Josh Korody. With a cast like that you just can’t go wrong.

Salt Of The Earth

April 7th, 2015 | Film | 0 Comments

the-salt-of-the-earth

Salt of the Earth is German director Wim Wenders‘ incredible documentary (co-directed with Juliano Ribeiro Selgado) about the life and work of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Selgado. The film is the first I’ve seen of Wenders’ documentaries. I never knew that Wenders, like fellow German director Werner Herzog, actually directed a lot of documentaries in addition to his fictional feature films. And not only is Wenders similar to Herzog in that respect, but the two seem to share a fascination with those who live their lives close to edge of human experience. In Salt of the Earth, Wenders’ subject Selgado journeys to remote locations in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Siberia and other places, to study humans and animals whose lives radically differ from the most of ours in the West in their constant proximity to nature, death, and suffering.

Selgado was born on a farm near a small town in Brazil. He went to university to become an economist, and while there he became involved in leftist student politics and met Lelia, the woman who would become his future wife. In the late 60s, he and Lelia fled Brazil for Paris, for fear of political oppression. There, Selgado decided to abandon his work as an economist and become a professional photographer. Though he began this career simply by taking pictures of sports stuff and weddings, he soon garnered attention when he travelled to Africa and later South America to photograph the struggles of those living there, including various native communities in the latter.

After many years of travel and work, including photographing the Rwandan Genocide and the burning of the oil fields in Kuwait, Selgado was exhausted from the sheer amount of human suffering he witnessed. On account of a decline in his father’s health, he returned to his family farm in Brazil. There, with his wife and family, he was able to revitalize the forests surrounding it that had been nearly completely destroyed from years of environmental abuse. The effort inspired him to turn to nature photography, in which he found solace and hope for humanity after years of despair as a result of witnessing so many atrocities.

Between the artistry of the photographs, the study of Selgado himself – portrayed as something of an angelic, Buddha-like old man – and the monumental world events he witnessed, all of which are depicted in the film, Salt of the Earth is at once beautiful, tragic, epic and astounding. I’ve never been a big fan of or expert on photography, but I’m not sure anyone could remain unmoved by Selgado’s photographs as shown in the film, with all the stories and commentary that accompany them. And like Selgado himself, the tone of the film is never overbearing, but calm, understated, contemplative, and of great depth.

Nedelle Torrisi

April 4th, 2015 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

nedelleOn Thursday I handed in a legal paper I’d been working on for weeks, went to classes, then left school to begin my Passover break (which we get instead of March break cuz my school is super Jewish). I hit up my friend Almo and we went wandering around Brooklyn for the rest of the afternoon. First stop was my favourite record store: Academy Records in Greenpoint. I was digging through the crates when I came across a record with a really cute girl on the cover. Her name was Nedelle Torrisi. The album was called Advice From Paradise, and there was also something on the album that said some guy who worked on an Ariel Pink album was on this one too. I tossed it on the little tester turntable they have at Academy and immediately fell in love.

Like fellow Los Angeles resident Ariel Pink, Torrisi clearly shares an obsession with the smooth sounds of 70s/80s mainstream pop, though her tastes lean more towards the slickness of 70s divas, ABBA and  The Bee Gees than Pink’s beloved 80s idols. Glistening synths, syrupy-thick harmonies, and the meticulous studio musicianship of the era make every song a model of nostalgic revival that sounds especially wonderful with headphones. Like Pink though, but with a lot more subtlety, there’s a self-consciousness in how this is handled. You can hear it in a synth that’s are a little too prominent in the mix, or drum pad hits that sound a little too campy.

After hearing “Psychic Returns” and “Double Horizon” I was head over heels, gladly forking over $15 for the album. Later, I Googled Torrisi and discovered that she’s been musically active for a long time as a member of projects like Crypticize, The Curtains and Nedelle and Thom. The album’s title is also the title of a love advice column she writes for Flood Magazine twice a month. And, the album, Advice From Paradise, actually isn’t even really new. It was released online in 2013, only recently being put to vinyl by Ethereal Sequence/Drag City.  Despite being out for almost two years now, there doesn’t seem to be much written about the album, the biggest piece being a 2013 post in Rookie. But luckily, now that she’s made it to Gold Soundz, her and Advice From Paradise‘s days of obscurity are over. 😛