Saturday, July 31, 2021
(CCMA 2021) This exhibit, held kind of insanely at the College of Dupage's art museum, has been criticized because the town did a bunch of Frida Fever weird things, and because possibly the auxiliary parts of the exhibit (including the children's area, complete with a docent in Frida drag and one of those things where your stick your faces into Frida and Diego's cutout picture) seem weird. While I actually think the curatorship and even the family activities at the museum seem pretty deftly executed, and have no comment on the Frida-fying of an affluent suburb, the actual art on display here is incredible and eye opening. The exhibit opens with an historical context section that walks you through Kahlo's life and career with recreations of her outfits and her bed in which she was confined so often and some actual artifacts and archival magazines in which she appeared, and the most eye opening parts of this were examples of Mexican popular art that really informs and contextualizes some of her work. But the heart of the exhibit, the paintings and drawings, are so wild and varied and special that it is revelatory even to super fans. There is one with a spider web rendered so magnificently that it is hard not to be floored. There are sketches and studies of women that capture magnificent beauty with profoundly lusty appreciation. There is a painting of a dead child that can be stared at for eternity. There is genuine surreal insanity. I loved seeing this, and anyone who reduces Kahlo to the greatest purveyor of pain or to a fashion genius will have their opinions expanded. If you can't make it the catalogue does a great job presenting the works.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 9:31 AM
Friday, July 30, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 10:09 AM
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
(Hershey) An absolute triumph in that I did not realize fruity cereal was so distinct a flavor and I did not know it could be captured so well and who thought it would work perfectly as a crispy candy bar? And I cannot think of any reason I would want to eat another one of these again. But it's a winner!
Posted by Roctober Productions at 8:14 AM
Monday, July 26, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:27 AM
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 12:13 AM
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
(Blackbird, 2020) This is a Willie tribute/85th birthday party concert, with Don Was leading the music. For some folks this entire thing must be magical, but I don't have huge investments in MargoPrice, Chris Stapleton, Avett Bros, Tedeschi and/or Trucks, but still appreciate how much they appreciate Willie. Everyone does fine on this thing (even Dave Matthews...even Jack Johnson singing a song he write about Willie) but the real treat is around a dozen tracks with Willie on them. Is there anything I want to hear more than Willie and George Strait sing "Good Hearted Woman?" Not really, and it was decent, if not thrilling. Willie and Emmylou have great chemistry, and Willie and Jimmy Buffett singing Jimmy Cliff is probably almost as good as Willie and Jimmie Cliff singing Jimmy Buffet (we will have to wait for 90th B-day for that one). With Willie songs you can't lose, and with his seasoned voice and the tangible sense of camaraderie he brings to all collaborations this is obviously worth a listen.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
(High Moon, 2021) This is a small batch of bluesy outtakes, alternate takes, and one track from the 1974 "Reel to Real" LP, which is not a particularly known, coveted, or beloved release, but these Arthur Lee grooves made me go back and take another enjoyable listen. Damn, it's bluesy in here!
Monday, July 19, 2021
(Grand Royal/Universal, 1995/2021) This Record Store Day reissue of this 1995 7" blpown up to an expensive 12" by adding 5 mkinutes of incongruous bonus tracks is still OK. Mid-90s hardcore not as funny as their 80s hardcore which was not good enough for them to remain hardcore is fun but not essential, and adding the Cibo Matto lady's pretty Doors cover just confises matters, which is not a bad flex.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 10:53 AM
Sunday, July 18, 2021
(Guayaki.com) I am not even sure what this is. When there are a lot of words in some new drink's name and it's not obviously an energy drink that looks like drinkable Axe Body Spray and there's some health phrases thrown in I assume it's some nasty tasting kombucha. But this, upon drinking and still being confused, seems to be some nasty tasting tea of some sort. It tastes nasty.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 6:47 AM
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Friday, July 16, 2021
(Kama Sutra, 1973) I have a music fan buddy who is a tireless SNN advocate (no, not Hot Dog the surfer) and while "Hot Sox" floats my boat I am hard pressed to find much in most of their nostalgic grooves to convince me. But this album does have an audience participation dance contest teased throughout the whole album, and it makes less sense on vinyl than you can imagine. But Bowser's crowd work is pretty primo. If they unearth an all dance contest album by them I'll be on board.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 10:57 AM
Thursday, July 15, 2021
(MPCA, 2002) This movie features Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz as buddies who plan to go on one of those cruises where broke, fat losers get to have lots of sex with beautiful young women (you know, those cruises) but by pissing off (spoiler) gay lovers Will Farrell (slumming in a picture blow his standards) and Artie Lange (slumming in a picture BELOW HIS STANDARDS!) they end up on a gay cruise, because gays love to punish straights by making them ruin the experiences of gay vacationers. It is vaguely surprising that something so bizarrely homophobic and unfunny in its gay jokes is less than 20 years old, but also weird that this 21st Century flick features 1980s bare boob jokes (a rescued-at-sea Swedish bikini team does topless jumping jacks). TBH, the topless DVD menu is the best-produced part of this painful viewing experience. This movie genuinely makes I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry seem like Moonlight.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 5:50 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
(Prince Estate, 2021) I don't know exactly what this is, but they say it's a collaboration between the Prince people and a French soccer team, somehow someway. So basically it is a reissue of "Partyman" back w/ a 3rdeyeblind-era live-in-Paris version of a Time song that fucking kills. So if they want to put out more 45s where, for example, some volleyball team sponsors "Bat Dance" b/w an unreleased live Vanity 6 cover, or whatever, keep it coming! I, personally, am going to now listen to this and party like no other can.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 6:23 AM
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 11:07 AM
Monday, July 12, 2021
(Yoe books, 2020) Quattro is doing God's work with this book, exhaustively researching the lives of mostly very obscure artists from the golden age of comics, an era in a field where there was little respect or documentation for even the bigger artists, and these ain't the bigger artists. Telling the tales of the Black men (dudes only this go 'round) who toiled at the bottom of the ladder of an industry where the ladder only went up the 2nd rung is fascinating, and the elbow grease to find out anything about these cats (even that they existed) is impressive. The exception to the obscurity is Matt Baker, who while the general readership did not know his race, was a successful artist due to the amazing sexiness of his Phantom Lady, which was as close to onlyfans as youngsters got those days. Also relatively well known is the team behind 1947's short-lived All Negro Comics, which might have lasted longer than the few seconds if it did not face the sadly inevitable discrimination (they could not get paper to print issue two). Invisible Men features the stories of figures whose comics careers could have been lost to history, like Alvin Carl Hollingsworth who did a few great horror comics in the early 50s before becoming a magnificent illustrator in the late 50s through the 70s. Calvin Massey also had a revered art career, but only after having toiled in the pages of 4th rate horror comics in the 1950s. Alfonso Greene, who went to school with Alex Toth and did some nice work before getting arrested in an armed gang kidnapping something or another, would likely be lost if not for this fine tome. The best part of the book is that full stories are reprinted by each artist, and while few actually feature Black characters (there is a Lena Horne biographical comic, and Baker's Voodah was a brown skinned Tarzan for a little while, til they started coloring him lighter) all feature spectacular Black talent.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 4:59 AM
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 4:29 AM
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 5:14 AM
Friday, July 9, 2021
Club 57: Film Performance and Art in the East VIllage 1978-1983 by Ron Magliozzi & Sophie Cavoulacos
Thursday, July 8, 2021
(Sam Hot, 1988) While not as classic as his "Brown Baby" album, outside trombonist Thomas, along with Jim Roberts playing keys that transcend the odd original material, produces some pleasantly strange sounds on this surprisingly non-rare artifact.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 8:17 AM
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:59 AM
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
(Fine Print, 1970) Certainly this falls into the Golden Age of undergrounds, and Crumb's drawings and joke telling and story telling and weirdness and characters (Mr. Natural, Bo Bo Bolinski, Honeybunch, and pro Junior included) are all kinda great. But boy there is a lot of graphic child sex!
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:51 AM
Monday, July 5, 2021
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:28 AM
Sunday, July 4, 2021
The 1980s saw thrilling action taking place on the pages of American comic books. Developments in retail, exposure to overseas comics, and a robust economy briefly gave the illusion of a level playing field, where independent publishers shared shelf space with Marvel and DC, giving bold voices a platform, and inspiring innovation at every level of the industry. The Other 1980s celebrates stars and also-rans of indie comics, renegade innovators pushing the mainstream’s boundaries, and a few notable turtles, horses, and elves. Costello and Cremins are the ideal scholars to curate this collection, both unashamed to show fan-ish enthusiasm, while never brushing away the era’s blind spots and terrible takes concerning issues of race, gender, sexuality, and toy tie-ins. This book will make you take a serious look at the abjectly ridiculous, will send you on deep dives into quarter bins (trade reprints omit letters columns, ads, and paper dolls. . . .the best parts), and will become uncollectibly dog-eared after multiple re-readings. It is the first academic collection I’ve read that made me wish the essays were longer.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:24 AM
Saturday, July 3, 2021
(Third Man, 2019) The always interesting Blue series (Third Man's Dr Demento/Ripley's Believe It Or Not alcove) presents a perfect D tune: blazing acoustic guitar, lotsa profanity, interpersonal drama, and a (Jack White-enhanced) bit! Do blow it, it being $5, on this awesome single.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 7:15 AM
Friday, July 2, 2021
(Abrams ComicsArts, 2020) This book is ridiculously good. While it doesn't have the jawdropping personal insight to go along with the research of Derf "Jeffrey Dahmer Fan Club - Charter Member" Backderf's Dahmer book, the artwork and design is so elevated that it kore than makes up for it. This is a complicated, multifaceted, terrible, inevitable story and to a profound, fantastic way to tell it is in comics form, utilizing the medium's strengths to give voice and humanity to multiple fascinating figures. Again, the drawings, especially depicting the moments before and during the violent climax, are SO good. This was my favorite GN of 2020 by far.
Posted by Roctober Productions at 9:47 PM