Israeli shoegazers Vaadat Charigim return with a slightly darker album than last time. Sinking As A Stone, their sophomore release, drops May 5th on Burger Records. They’ll be playing some shows around the US that month, including one May 22nd at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, so you can probably expect to see me there. Below is the first single “Ein Li Makom” (“I don’t have a place” or ‘there’s no place for me” in Hebrew).
You can also check out Gold Soundz’s interview with Vaadat Charigim from a while back here.
Polish director Andrzej Zulawski‘s characters are almost always doing at least one (if not more) of the following: screaming, fighting, having sex. His films are full of B-movie hallmarks like excessive violence and nudity, all quite unnecessary to the flimsy plot. And Possession is a movie that, on it surface, is about a woman screwing a squid. Despite this, there’s a deep European intellectualism at play beneath everything. What the philosophical message behind the squid-f$cking is, I really couldn’t tell you, and I’m not sure if Zulawski himself could. But anyone who understands film to any degree will recognize that Possession is something else, and definitely not a b-movie – it just sounds like one.
Mark (Sam Neill) is a spy who’s just returned from some mission or something to find that his wife Anna (the gorgeous Isabelle Adjani) is not all that happy to see him again. “Can’t you see that you disgust me!” she shrieks at him, stumbling around their claustrophobic apartment, knocking everything over and creating a constant mess of the place. Mark gets the picture – there’s another guy. Apparently it’s not the new agey kung fu master Heinrich (Heinz Bennent) who’s captured his wife’s attentions, it’s someone else – so who is this guy that’s got her so head over heals crazy in love?
Desperate to find out, Mark hires a private eye to look into the matter. And what he finds is that Anna’s been shtupping what looks like a giant, vaguely-humanoid squid.
Though Possession starts a bit slow, once it gets going it becomes something incredible. It’s an insane movie, but its insanity is cogent, contained, and focused, rather than all-over-the-place, like in Zulawski’s (also excellent) The Devil, for instance. In both, though, Zulawski is trying to get at something about choice and evil; how humans are driven into the arms of the truly nefarious. Perhaps this is what also led him to focus La Femme Publique around the filming of Dostoevsky’s The Devils (also translated as The Possessed), which explores similar ideas of evil and nihilism.
These are very real concepts that exist in reality, but Zulawski must express them in biblical or mythological terms to display their hefty weight; the woman who sleeps with a squid is meant to exemplify the depth of depravity to which the human soul is capable of sinking. Indeed, that may be the philosophy behind Possession: the monster isn’t always the one making love to the beautiful woman, but rather, the beautiful woman making love to it.
Since moving to New York, I’ve become almost aggressively Canadian. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but America’s gross racial inequality, debates about stupid stuff like gay marriage, abortion or contraceptives, and everyone’s constantly complaining about the cold when there’s barely any snow on the ground will do that to a person. So yeah, as much as I love New York, I do miss Canada.
As is the case whenever you move from one place to another, you take some of your home with you and hope you can show the best of it to the new people you meet. You hope it’ll help you educate them of the world and culture you come from, that they’ll appreciate it, and maybe this will help them understand you a better. For this reason, I’m starting a new feature called Records From Canada targeted at those in my new place of residence, the US of A. The plan is to expose these Americans a bit more to the wonderful music of the great white North, that often gets overlooked this side of the border.
My first post is about an album I’ve loved for a long time, ever since it was sent to me in an email from the band itself: Cannon Bros‘ 2011 album Firecracker/Cloudglow.
Cannon Bros is a boy & girl guitar/drums duo from Winnipeg, Manitoba that plays very charming, disarmingly honest indie pop-rock. While others might not pick up on it, to me they sound very Canadian, so much so that when I served in the IDF I used to listen to them (and Snailhouse) when I felt nostalgic for home.
But Canadian-ness aside, Firecracker/Cloudglow is just a great and insanely catchy album from start to finish, that’s also fairly substantial on an emotional level. For example, when you listen to tracks like “Left In A Hurry” or “Let It Go”, you can tell that these are songs that come from a real place, and very likely real-life events.
I’ve contact them since I first heard the album and last I heard they’re working on a follow up. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.
Alberta may be pretty low on my list of favourite provinces, but there’s definitely been a lot of great music coming out of ‘the Texas of Canada’ in the last couple years. Lo-fi pop crew Thighs further cement this fact with their song “Skulling” off The Pink House compilation. (via Don’t Need No Melody)
p.s. apparently there’s also a punk band called Thighs from Toronto, but it doesn’t seem like this is the same band…