Top 10 Music & Film of the Week (2009)

Tags: 
  • TOP 50 MUSIC & FILM OF THE YEAR
  • 1. NOSTALGHIA-TARKOVSKY (1983)
  • 2. Metropolis-Lang (1927)
  • 3. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  • 4. Brazil-Gilliam (1985)
  • 5. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996)
  • 6. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)
  • 7. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958)
  • 8. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 9. Saxophone Improvisations Series F-Anthony Braxton (1972)
  • 10. Ascension-John Coltrane (1965)
  • 11. Vertigo-Hitchcock (1958)
  • 12. Twin Infinitives-Royal Trux (1990)
  • 13. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  • 14. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 15. Nashville-Altman (1975)
  • 16. The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady-Charles Mingus (1963)
  • 17. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964)
  • 18. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  • 19. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 20. Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart (1969)
  • 21. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 22. Persona-Bergman (1966)
  • 23. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Michael Mantler (1968)
  • 24. Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982)
  • 25. Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler (1964)
  • 26. The Wild Bunch-Peckinpah (1969)
  • 27. Chinatown-Polanski (1974)
  • 28. Mirror-Tarkovsky (1974)
  • 29. A Rainbow In Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968)
  • 30. The Survivor's Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 31. Dolmen Music-Meredith Monk (1981)
  • 32. Mu-Don Cherry (1969)
  • 33. Landscape In The Mist-Angelopoulos (1988)
  • 34. Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987)
  • 35. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971)
  • 36. The Godfather, Pt 2-Coppola (1974)
  • 37. Stalker-Tarkovsky (1979)
  • 38. Faust-Faust (1971)
  • 39. Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1971)
  • 40. Limelight-Chaplin (1952)
  • 41. Nail-Foetus (1985)
  • 42. Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1964)
  • 43. Modern Times-Chaplin (1936)
  • 44. Slow, Deep & Hard-Type O Negative (1991)
  • 45. Zardoz-Boorman (1974)
  • 46. The Lady From Shanghai-Welles (1947)
  • 47. Blade Runner-Scott (1982)
  • 48. Point Blank-Boorman (1967)
  • 49. Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976)
  • 50. Rashomon-Kurosawa (1950)


  • 12/14/09 - 12/31/09
  • 1. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) ...awe-inspiring...a very fitting end to the year...
  • 2. The Lady From Shanghai-Welles (1947) Damn, Welles just may be the greatest artist since Beethoven...even more incredible when one considers that almost all his films had significant studio interference. It's revealing of his potential that the only one that didn't get interfered with (Citizen Kane) may be the greatest film ever made and the one that had the most (Magnificent Ambersons, over 45min cut and restructured ending) is still one of the greatest. For comparisons sake just imagine if the same rock artist created and released Faust, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Third, Uncle Meat & Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. Impossible? That's essentially the equivelant to Welles' output of Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady From Shanghai & Mr Arkadin!!!...and that isn't even considering his other amazing films such as The Trial & F For Fake, not to mention the ones I haven't seen yet.
  • 3. Zardoz-Boorman (1974) ...unbelievably hallucinatory, inventive and mystifying...Boorman (and all involved) falling completely off the deep end...
  • 4. Nashville-Altman (1975) ...a staggering, overwhelming masterwork...a damning critique--make that, assassination--of the perception of 'America The Beautiful'...every single character is parasitically flawed and pathetic, often singing tragic songs that reveal their own lives and upbringings and personalities for all to see. The concert crowds are listless, bored, rudely unresponsive and selfish, the color schemes and cinematography are woefully degraded, uninspired, inartistic and dull, while the film itself is an indictment of cinema itself being its antithesis in form, dialogue, and structure. Due to its lack of cinematic staging, esprit and art direction, the drama unfolds with uncommon immediacy and harsh, unembellished reality, as if through the lens and condemnation of a real-life document of society, pitted as a microcosm of 'our great nation'. The incredibly natural and realistic finale effortlessly alludes to the tragic assasssination of JFK, its passive, 'amateur' photography, casually observing shot composition cast between stunning close-ups of the American flag and lead character Barbara Jean, before the whole world falls apart, then follows the crowd engaging in a grossly unsympathetic (yet inspired) sing-a-long chorus to close out the film on a note of utter disgust for a people so easily manuevered and forgetful, inclined towards robotic patriotism in a moment so tragic: "forget about what just happened, just keep us entertained".
  • 5. Marnie-Hitchcock (1964)
  • 6. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables-Dead Kennedys (1980)
  • 7. 8 1/2-Fellini (1963)
  • 8. Zen Arcade-Husker Du (1984)
  • 9. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre-Huston (1948)
  • 10. Avatar-Cameron (2009) ...see it in 3D for sure...it is visually astounding to the point of being eye-popping, with some of the greatest computer generated special effects sequences in film history...

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Marnie-Hitchcock (1964) 8.5/10
  • The Lady From Shanghai-Welles (1947) 9/10
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre-Huston (1948) 7.5/10
  • Avatar-Cameron (2009) 7/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Cobra-John Zorn (1980) 8/10 to 9/10


  • 11/30/09 - 12/13/09
  • 1. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelmann (1996)
  • 2. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  • 3. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)
  • 4. The Big Heat-Lang (1953)
  • 5. Apocalypse Now-Coppola (1979)
  • 6. Point Blank-Boorman (1967)
  • 7. The Seventh Seal-Bergman (1956)
  • 8. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958)
  • 9. Blade Runner-Scott (1982)

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Apocalypse Now-Coppola (1979) 8/10 to 9/10
  • The Big Heat-Lang (1953) 8.5/10 to 9/10


  • 10/27/09 - 11/29/09
  • 1. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) ...utterly miraculous...
  • 2. Twin Infinitives-Royal Trux (1990)
  • 3. Persona-Bergman (1966)
  • 4. Blade Runner-Scott (1982) ...wow...I'll have to explain a little why I think this is such a masterpiece sometime...stay tuned...I actually reviewed it as follows a few months ago: "a haunting, profound noir of spectacular, panoramic visuals and mysterious, tragic pathos. The whole presentation of it: the cellestial visual splendor, its rain-soaked squalor, its deep contemplations on human nature, its sensuous, shadowed romanticism, its choreographed physicality at times harsh and balletic, combine into a densely layered nightmare bordering on erotica."
  • 5. Landscape In The Mist-Angelopoulos (1988) ...deftly poignant and arresting...
  • 6. The Thin Red Line-Malick (1998) ...his most Tarkovsky-esque film...
  • 7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-Gondry (2003)
  • 8. Lost Highway-Lynch (1997)
  • 9. Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006)
  • 10. Remnants of a Deeper Purity-Black Tape For A Blue Girl (1996)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Landscape In The Mist-Angelopoulos (1988) 8/10 ...its still sinking in and could very well rate higher but for now that seems right
  • Convoy-Peckinpah (1978) 7.5/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • The Thin Red Line-Malick (1998) 7.5 to 8/10
  • Lost Highway-Lynch (1997) 9/10 to 8.5/10
  • Persona-Bergman (1966) 8.5/10 to 9/10




  • 10/13/09 - 10/26/09

  • NOTE: Over the last few weeks I thoroughly went through both my music list (9/10+) and film list (9/10+) and found a handful of changes needed on the film side of things, particularly when matching the films to the albums.

  • 1. Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) ...upgraded to a 9 for the 4th time...should be permanent now...
  • 2. Dolmen Music-Meredith Monk (1981)
  • 3. Rashomon-Kurosawa (1950)
  • 4. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971)
  • 5. Suicide-Suicide (1977)
  • 6. Wings of Desire-Wenders (1988)
  • 7. Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965)
  • 8. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 9. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 10. A Rainbow In Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Run Lola Run-Vinterberg (1998) 7/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Face/Off-Woo (1997) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • The Magnificent Ambersons-Welles (1941) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Sunset Boulevard-Wilder (1952) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Breathless-Godard (1959) 8/10 to 7.5/10
  • Satantango-Tarr (1994) 9/10 to 8/10
  • Pulp Fiction-Tarantino (1994) 9/10 to 8/10
  • Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) 9/10 to 8/10
  • Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) 8/10 to 9/10
  • Days of Heaven-Malick (1979) 9/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Godfather-Coppola (1972) 9/10 to 8.5/10




  • 10/5/09 - 10/12/09
  • 1. Original Sin-Jim Steinman (1989)
  • 2. Cantos I-IV-Franz Koglmann (1993)
  • 3. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM]
  • 4. A Rainbow In Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968)
  • 5. Zen Arcade-Husker Du (1984)
  • 6. Dolmen Music-Meredith Monk (1981)
  • 7. All About My Mother-Almodovar (1999) [FILM]
  • 8. Spring Summer Fall Winter and Spring-Ki-duk (2003) [FILM]
  • 9. Pi-Aronofsky (1998)
  • 10. The Inner Mountain Flame-The Mahavishnu Orchestra (1971)


  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • The Inner Mountain Flame-The Mahavishnu Orchestra (1971) 7.5/10 could be an 8...Visceral and communal...like Jimi Hendrix joining in on a more condensed Bitches Brew, not to mention an amazing violinist tagging along.
  • All About My Mother-Almodovar (1999) 7.5/10 ...amazing performances cap a devastating circle of awkward relationships gone awry.
  • Spring Summer Fall Winter and Spring-Ki-duk (2003) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...remarkeable, poignant, precious...
  • Pi-Aronofsky (1998) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...after getting through 3/4 of it about 2 years ago I finally got back around to finishing it...a stunning psychological character study...

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Hero-Yimou (2002) 7/10 to 7.5/10 ...stunningly shot, each scene is a work of art, everything about it is purely and dramatically cinematic and epic.




  • 9/28/09 - 10/4/09
  • 1. Slow, Deep & Hard-Type O Negative (1991)
  • 2. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 3. A Rainbow in Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968)
  • 4. Nail-Foetus (1985)
  • 5. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996)
  • 6. Third-Soft Machine (1970)
  • 7. Once-Carney (2006) [FILM]
  • 8. Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006)
  • 9. Bat Out of Hell-Meatloaf (1977)
  • 10. Trainspotting-Boyle (1996) [FILM]


  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Bat Out of Hell-Meatloaf (1977) 7 or 7.5/10 ...haven't decided on rating yet...the title track is absolutely amazing, a few following tracks are fun and interesting, a couple other longer tracks are something to behold. Overall, an amazing production of overblown, falling-all-over-itself heart-on-sleeve romanticism & pop melodrama. It's clearly a precursor to Original Sin (also by Steinman) and also Guns & Roses' recent Chinese Democracy.

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • On The Waterfront-Kazan (1954) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • The Big Lebowski-Coen (1999) 7.5/10 to 7/10
  • Once-Carney (2007) 7/10 to 7.5/10


  • 9/6/09 - 9/27/09
  • Note: combined into a 3 week period because I've been away from listology for awhile...
  • 1. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 2. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)
  • 3. Satantango-Tarr (1994)
  • 4. Psychic...Powerless, Another Man's Sac-Butthole Surfers (1984)
  • 5. On The Waterfront-Kazan (1954)
  • 6. Hosianna Mantra-Popol Vuh (1973)
  • 7. Dolmen Music-Meredith Monk (1981)
  • 8. Following-Nolan (1999)
  • 9. Amelie-Jeunet (2001)
  • 10. The Game-Fincher (1997)


  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Satantango-Tarr (1994) 9/10
  • The Edge of Heaven-Akin (2007) 7/10
  • Tideland-Gilliam (2006) 7/10
  • Following-Nolan (1999) 7.5/10
  • Doubt-Shanley (2008) 6/10
  • Amelie-Jeunet (2001) 7.5/10 ...pure magic...

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Deliverance-Boorman (1972) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • On The Waterfront-Kazan (1954) 7.5/10 to 8.5/10





  • 8/31/09 - 9/5/09
  • 1. Chinatown-Polanski (1974) ...probably the most perfectly crafted, flawless film ever created...a deftly paced dreamy work of supreme, expertly controlled elegance and gradually unfurling, multi-faceted emotional complications...blossoming with tragic, poetic eloquence...essentially about a man attempting to uncover the truth while everyone he deals with is filled with unethical actions, lies, half-truths and shady ways, planting an escalating vine of suspense and paranoia until finally the whole mask comes off in the bleak, deja vu reality of the devastating, docudrama-esque finale.
  • 2. Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965)
  • 3. Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994)
  • 4. Zardoz-Boorman (1973)
  • 5. One Upon A Time In The West-Leone (1969)
  • 6. Cache-Haneke (2005)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • One Upon A Time In The West-Leone (1969) 8/10

  • Cache-Haneke (2005) 7.5/10


  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:




  • 8/24/09 - 8/30/09
  • 1. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) ...watched it a 2nd time just to be sure and there is no doubt in my mind that it's one of the very greatest films of all time, as well as the film equivalent of Pere Ubu's "Modern Dance".
  • 2. Nashville-Altman (1975) ...staggeringly emotional and thoroughly overwhelming...easily one of the most unique and powerful films ever made.
  • 3. Maborosi-Kore-eda (1995)
  • 4. Aliens-Cameron (1986)
  • 5. The Beat That My Heart Skipped-Audiard (2005)
  • 6. LA Confidential-Hansen (1998)
  • 7. You Can Count On Me-Lonergan (2000)
  • 8. Spirit of Eden-Talk Talk (1988)
  • 9. Angry Men-Lumet (1957)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Maborosi-Kore-eda (1995) 8.5/10 ...profoundly contemplative and sincere...it is a wholly realistic, aching and haunted meditation on life and death, with the unfettered, naturally lit presentation of the environment around a young woman becoming a moving still life of her state of mind following the tragic, inexplicable suicide of her husband. The film is essentially a methodical inner conquest from darkness to light, where the exterior world reflects not only darkness and loneliness but also a vividly real portrayal of how her pre-suicide husband was viewing the world just prior to death, death being his sudden yearning towards light; a viewpoint and condition now assumed by her in a solemn search for the reason for his tragic choice.

  • You Can Count On Me-Lonergan (2000) 7/10 ...amazingly heartfelt and realistic...

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Brazil-Gilliam (1985) 8/10 to 9/10...Wow, what a difference a few years makes. Already amazing the last time I watched it, it just catapulted into the upper pantheon of greatest films. Hilarious, frightening, magnificent, suspenseful, glorious and beautiful...

  • The Blue Angel-Von Sternberg (1930) 9/10 to 8.5/10

  • The Beat That My Heart Skipped-Audiard (2005) 7/10 to 7.5/10 ...stunningly executed...has a momentous adrenaline and immediacy to it...pulsates the veins...

  • 12 Angry Men-Lumet (1957) 7/10...filled with climactic moments and engaging, powerful performances...a statement for and against the American justice system...




  • 8/17/09 - 8/23/09
  • 1. Face/Off-Woo (1997)
  • 2. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 3. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958)
  • 4. LA Confidential-Hansen (1998)
  • 5. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 6. Midnight Cowboy-Schlesinger (1969)
  • 7. Adaptation-Jonze (2003)
  • 8. Nurse Betty-Labute (2000)
  • 9. Raging Bull-Scorsese (1980)
  • 10. The Seventh Seal-Bergman (1957)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Midnight Cowboy-Schlesinger (1969) 7.5/10
  • Adaptation-Jonze (2003) 7.5/10 ...amazing, with an astonishing performance by Cage (perhaps the most underrated actor I can think of)
  • Idiocracy-Judge (2006) 5.5/10 ...has some interesting ideas and disgusting prophecies as well as some hilarious dialogue and sequences...
  • Scarface-De Palma (1983) 7/10 ...an amazing performance by Pacino as well as some fine acting by the supporting cast holds it together up to and through the stunning last fourth, concluding with a bloody, violent finale.


  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • LA Confidential-Hansen (1998) 7.5/10 to 8/10
  • Face/Off-Woo (1997) 7/10 to 8.5/10 ...I hadn't seen it in about a decade and found it to be vastly superior than I ever remembered...overwhelmingly operatic, breathtaking, balletic...stunning...certainly in the running for greatest action film ever made...it's action sequences were an obvious influence on The Matrix as well as innumerable future action flicks that unfortunately don't come close to the delirious brilliance of Face/Off.




  • 8/10/09 - 8/16/09
  • 1. Blade Runner-Scott (1982)...a haunting, profound noir of spectacular, panoramic visuals and mysterious, tragic pathos. The whole presentation of it: the cellestial visual splendor, its rain-soaked squalor, its deep contemplations on human nature, its sensuous, shadowed romanticism, its choreographed physicality at times harsh and balletic, combine into a densely layered nightmare bordering on erotica.
  • 2. Dogma-Smith (1999) ...comedically delirious and confused, violently ferocious and hysterical...the finale is unforgettable
  • 3. Life Is Beautiful-Benigni (1998) ...works on a level between tragedy, sentimentality and comedy that would make Chaplin proud but perhaps disapprove of.
  • 4. The Lives of Others-Donnersmarck (2007)
  • 5. The Duchess of Langeais-Rivette (2007)
  • 6. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days-Mungiu (2007)
  • 7. North By Northwest-Hitchcock (1958)
  • 8. The Matrix-Wachowski Brothers (1999)
  • 9. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid-Hill (1969)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • The Duchess of Langeais-Rivette (2007) 7.5/10 ...pure poetry...immensely moving period piece with some of the most profound dialogue between star-crossed lovers you're ever likely to see on film.

  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days-Mungiu (2007) 7/10 ...deftly haunting with stirring, documentarian realism...

  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid-Hill (1969) 7/10 ...a well-crafted Western that concentrates more on the characters interaction than the action, and succeeds.

  • Notre Musique-Godard (2004) 6/10 ...taking a cue from Tarkovsky's Mirror, for the first 10 minutes it is one of the most stunning films ever made...the ending is rather subtle and beautiful as well...

  • The Lives of Others-Donnersmarck (2007) 7.5/10 ...thoughtful & profound, pitch-perfect thriller that gradually builds suspense, unfolding with uncommon care and grace. Following a period 5 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall where German citizens were still under surveillance by an organization called the Stasi, this powerful film unfolds deftly, much like a cross between Kieslowski's Red and Hitchcock's Rear Window.

  • Slumdog Millionaire-Boyle (2008) 6.5/10 ...exhuberant, winning story of perseverance via undying love...

  • Life Is Beautiful-Benigni (1998) 7.5/10 ...amazingly heartfelt, somehow recaptures the spirit of Chaplin amidst the holocaust. Has a beautiful old-fashioned look spritely and colorful (as in the good 'ol technicolor days) that feels like it was captured and played right in the theater. It's wierd to me that I hadn't seen this film yet. I've wanted to since 1998 but somehow never got around to it...


  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Dogma-Smith (1999) 7/10 to 8/10

  • The Matrix-Wachowski Brothers (1999) 7/10




  • 8/3/09 - 8/9/09
  • 1. Modern Times-Chaplin (1936)...incredibly moving, delirious, tragic, sweet, hilarious, hopeful...
  • 2. Days of Heaven-Malick (1979) ...extraordinary...one of the most unique and gorgeous of all films
  • 3. Psycho-Hitchcock (1960)...amazingly transforms from a satirical, manipulative horror spoof into serious art; from a cheap looking 50's rip off into the hyperrealism of modern film, and has the gall to keep going to and fro from that point forward--Hitchcock's grim joke, his murder of 50's cinema altogether. The film in itself is as played out, an actual sequence of film as a whole growing up into a more "adult" presentation.
  • 4. Limelight-Chaplin (1952) ...miraculous...
  • 5. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965)...somehow manages to be feverishly hysterical, emotionally draining and maniacally horrifying all at once.
  • 6. Pulp Fiction-Tarrantino (1994)
  • 7. The Godfather-Coppola (1972)
  • 8. M-Lang (1931)
  • 9. Rashomon-Kurosawa (1950)...an emotional powerhouse, with perhaps the greatest ensemble performance in film history
  • 10. The Devil's Advocate-Hackford (1998)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Giant-Stevens (1956) 7.5/10
  • The Devil's Advocate-Hackford (1998) 7.5/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence-Ford (1962) 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Limelight-Chaplin (1952) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Point Blank-Boorman (1967) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Pulp Fiction-Tarrantino (1994) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Days of Heaven-Malick (1979) 8/10 to 9/10
  • Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965) 8/10 to 9/10
  • Blade Runner-Scott (1982) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Modern Times-Chaplin (1936) 8/10 to 9/10
  • Psycho-Hitchcock (1960) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • M-Lang (1931) 8.5/10 to 9/10


  • 7/27/09 - 8/2/09
  • 1. Metropolis-Lang (1927)
  • 2. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)...even better the second time. Probably, the "Diamanda Galas of film", with a monumental performance by Dern.
  • 3. The Godfather Part 2-Coppola (1974)...an epic family tragedy, featuring an overpowering, monstrous performance by Pacino.
  • 4. Zardoz-Boorman (1974)
  • 5. The Professional-Besson (1994)
  • 6. The Wild Bunch-Peckinpah (1969)
  • 7. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 8. 21 Grams-Inniratu (2003)
  • 9. The Piano-Campion (1993)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • The Piano-Campion (1993) 7.5/10...while watching this I realized that I'd never seen the whole film before...
  • Zardoz-Boorman (1974) 9/10...one of the strangest films of the 70's...a surreal experience, one of those films that you keep questioning whether you're actually watching it or not. Yes, that really is Sean Connery. Boorman is quickly becoming one of the greatest directors to me.

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • Metropolis-Lang (1927) 9/10 to 9.5/10...not sure how I didn't see it before but it is blatantly obvious that this is The Black Saint & Sinner Lady of film (or for rock I guess it would best qualify as the Trout Mask Replica of film). Parable suggested this to me many months ago--I'm not sure why I missed it until now as it builds and climaxes and emotes in almost the exact same ways and to almost the exact same degree and at almost the exact same ratio to running time as Black Saint does. Incredible. Didn't think I would ever see this on film, even though I have owned the damn thing for years and have watched it numerous times! The greatest, most emotional and exhilerating film ever made. The only thing that will probably ever top it will be the restoration and inclusion of the recently found lost scenes.
  • The Professional-Besson (1994) 8/10 to 8.5/10...and it's a high 8.5, possibly a 9. The main reason for the upgrade is I finally saw the original version, the one that has an additional 24 minutes not seen on the initial American release. This one has a bit more emotional depth, making the last third a bit more devastating. Portman's performance is also much more filled out and astonishing in this one--and the two leads relationship, though awkward and uncomfortable at times, becomes more believable and impinging when they depart. One of the very greatest films of the 90s.
  • The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1979) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • The Godfather-Coppola (1972) 8.5/10 to 9/10


  • 7/20/09 - 7/26/09
  • 1. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)...Stunning. Terrifying. The darkest, most insidiously harrowing nightmare I've ever experienced in film...I'm not sure I've ever felt so shaken by a film as I was with Inland Empire.
  • 2. Deliverance-Boorman (1972)
  • 3. The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1979)
  • 4. Breaking The Waves-Von Trier (1995)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Breaking The Waves-Von Trier (1995) 8/10
  • Inland Empire-Lynch (2006) 9/10
  • Deliverance-Boorman (1972) 8.5/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1979) 8/10 to 8.5/10


  • 7/13/09 - 7/19/09
  • 1. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983)
  • 2. Fare Forward Voyagers-Fahey (1973)
  • 3. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 4. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  • 5. The Magnificent Ambersons-Welles (1942)
  • 6. Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976)
  • 7. In the Name of the Father-Sheridan (1993)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • In The Name of the Father-Sheridan (1993) 7/10

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED:
  • The Magnificent Ambersons-Welles (1942) 8.5/10
  • Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) 9/10 to 8/10
  • The Seventh Seal-Bergman (1957) 9/10 to 8.5/10


  • 7/6/09 - 7/12/09
  • 1. NOSTALGHIA-TARKOVSKY (1983)...Immortal. The most overwhelming, stunning, soul-baring cinematic experience I've ever had. So impossibly life-changing, so miraculous and inexplicable and so unbelievably moving that I openly wept twice. Through the last few years I've been on an artistic journey of sorts, a search to find the greatest films of all time, a search to find films that could somehow, some way equal those I've been fortunate enough to come across in the field of music. The crown jewel of this search would be to find the equivelant to Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom, as I've always thought it to be seriously unlikely that a filmed "Trout Mask Replica" yet exists (or ever will). I've previously gone through various claims where I've thought to have discovered just that, all incredibly amazing films in their own right: years ago it was for just a moment Resnais' Hiroshima, Mon Amour, then on two separate occasions it was Tarkovsky's Mirror which held the position until recently, and then for the second time, but the first in well over a year, just last week Hitchcock's Vertigo rose to the occasion, and I can say with complete and utter certainty now that none of them were the one; they each had qualities and characteristics and elements and themes that associated with Wyatt's masterwork, but none of them captured the entire experience, and repeat viewings always generated their "downfall" to a lesser rank. But this is it. Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia. The film equivelant of Rock Bottom, no question about it. I didn't think I would ever see it captured so full-fledgingly. I am so fulfilled now and so thankful that this film exists. I simply can't describe to you how emotional it was for me to see this unfolding on screen.
  • 2. Chinatown-Polanski (1974)...I've seen this film innumerable times but never has it been so revelatory as it was last night...I didn't think there was anything left for me to see in the film, but boy was I wrong. In retrospect I realized that I haven't even been fully watching the film up until now. Before this I've always considered it an exquisitely well made, powerful work--one of the most "perfect" films ever made, all of which I still feel--but never was each shot and scene so poetic and eloquent, which only made the build up and fury into the more intense sequences that much more powerful. The camera flows and moves around so effortlessly that before this I'd never really even noticed it (Polanski is a master at presenting stunning and beautiful sequences with straightforward realism and plain beauty, yet un-intrusive cinematography). But once I saw it from the viewpoint of the director and camera man and realized how much each scene is a perfect composition of directorial finesse, how the film is a remarkable tone poem, it became an astonishing experience on a level I couldn't have previously imagined. The film is a miracle of delicacy and composition. Believe it or not, just behind (or within) the perfectly realized period piece of it all, right there in the perfectly controlled and composed scenes the viewer is looking at, is actually the presentation of a lost period in history, a longed-for, mournful dream. The film looks just like real-life but is executed like a dream. If you look closely enough (and you have to follow the elegant movements of the camera and understand the overall presentation and composition of the scenes, as they unfold and accumulate, to fully understand it) that realism, like removing a nearly transparent mask, is suddenly just a veneer, and the images magically become the presentation of a dream, an elegy, and eventually, nightmare. Astonishing.
  • 3. Vertigo-Hitchcock (1958)
  • 4. Wings of Desire-Wenders (1988)
  • 5. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest-Forman (1975)
  • 6. Raging Bull-Scorsese (1980)
  • 7. Blue Velvet-Lynch (1986)
  • 8. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 9. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  • 10. Wild Strawberries-Bergman (1958)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • My Left Foot-Sheridan (1989) 6.5/10
  • Paranoid Park-Van Sant (2007) 7/10
  • Sophie's Choice-Pakula (1982) 6.5/10
  • NOSTALGHIA-TARKOVSKY (1983) 9.5/10

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest-Forman (1975) 7.5/10
  • Chinatown-Polanski (1974) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Touch of Evil-Welles (1958) 9.5/10 to 9/10
  • Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Vertigo-Hitchcock (1958) 9.5/10 to 9/10
  • Blue Velvet-Lynch (1986) 9/10 to 8.5/10
  • Wild Strawberries-Bergman (1958) 9/10 to 8/10
  • Persona-Bergman (1966) 9/10 to 8.5/10


  • 6/29/09 - 7/5/09
  • 1. Vertigo-Hitchcock (1958)
  • 2. Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler (1964)
  • 3. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958)
  • 4. Not Available-Residents (1974)
  • 5. Synecdoche, New York-Kaufman (2008)
  • 6. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 7. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 8. Dream Theory In Malaya-Jon Hassell (1981)
  • 9. For Alto-Anthony Braxton (1968)
  • 10. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)

  • NEW ALBUMS/FILMS RATED:
  • Synecdoche, New York-Kaufman (2008) 8/10
  • Up-Pete Docter (2009) 6/10

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • The Birds-Hitchcock (1963) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Fargo-Coen (1994) 7.5/10 to 7/10
  • 12 Monkeys-Gilliam (1995) 8/10
  • Mirror-Tarkovsky (1974) 9.5/10 to 9/10
  • Vertigo-Hitchcock (1958) 8.5/10 to 9.5/10


  • 6/22/09 - 6/28/09
  • 1. Saxophone Improvisations Series F-Anthony Braxton (1972)
  • 2. Mu-Don Cherry (1969)
  • 3. Cantos I-IV-Franz Koglmann (1995)
  • 4. Symphony #7-Beethoven
  • 5. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Michael Mantler (1968)
  • 6. The Survivor's Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 7. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971)
  • 8. Apocalypse Now-Coppola (1979)
  • 9. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973
  • 10. The Birds-Hitchcock (1963)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • Saxophone Improvisations Series F-Anthony Braxton (1972) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Mu-Don Cherry (1969) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Apocalypse Now-Coppola (1979) 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Birds-Hitchcock (1963) 8/10 to 8.5/10


  • 4/6/09 - 4/12/09
  • 1. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964)
  • 2. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelmann (1996)
  • 3. Y-Pop Group (1979)
  • 4. Out To Lunch-Eric Dolphy (1964)
  • 5. Survivors' Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 6. Fire of Love-Gun Club (1984)
  • 7. Yerself Is Steam-Mercury Rev (1991)
  • 8. Spiderland-Slint (1991)
  • 9. Approximately-Guillermo Gregorio (1995)
  • 10. Down Colorful Hill-Red House Painters (1992)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • Approximately-Guillermo Gregorio (1995) 7.5/10 to 8/10...and rising...ever so gradually it's unfolding as something truly extraordinary.

  • 3/30/09 - 4/5/09
  • 1. THE BLACK SAINT & THE SINNER LADY-CHARLES MINGUS (1963)
  • 2. Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart (1969)
  • 3. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Michael Mantler (1968)
  • 4. Y-Pop Group (1979)
  • 5. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelmann (1996)
  • 6. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 7. Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 8. Lullaby Land-Vampire Rodents (1993)
  • 9. Yerself Is Steam-Mercury Rev (1991)
  • 10. Approximately-Guillermo Gregorio (1995)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED
  • Approximately-Guillermo Gregorio (1995) 7.5/10...one of the most challenging albums ever made (probably an 8.5 or 9 challenge level). I have barely scratched its surface, so I suspect my rating will rise dramatically as I continue discovering it. It's calculatedly free structurally, like a cross between Koglmann (Cantos I-IV), Braxton (Saxophone Improvisations Series F) & Coleman (Shape of Jazz To Come) and also obliquely, academically melodic like the Violin Sonatas and Partitas of J.S Bach. Its' a bewildering combination emotionally: uniquely bleak, spare, deeply contemplative, archaic and aurally spiritual somewhat reminiscent of Popol Vuh, Messiaen's Quartet For the End of Time along with fragments of a host of experimental 20th century classical composers. Clearly a startlingly original and lyrical work that I just haven't connected to enough personally yet but will keep working at it as long as it takes.

  • 3/23/09 - 3/29/09
  • 1. A LOVE SUPREME-JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
  • 2. Twin Infinitives-Royal Trux (1990)
  • 3. The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady-Charles Mingus (1963)
  • 4. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelmann (1996)
  • 5. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 6. The Survivors' Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 7. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 8. Faust-Faust (1971)
  • 9. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)
  • 10. Cantos I-IV-Franz Koglmann (1992)


  • 3/16/09 - 3/22/09
  • 1. CANTOS I-IV-FRANZ KOGLMANN (1992)
  • 2. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelmann (1996)
  • 3. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  • 4. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964)
  • 5. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velovet Underground (1967)
  • 6. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 7. Not Available-Residents (1974)
  • 8. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)
  • 9. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 10. Neu!-Neu! (1972)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED
  • Cantos I-IV-Franz Koglmann (1992) 8/10 to 9/10


  • 3/9/09 - 3/15/09
  • 1. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO-THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (1967)
  • 2. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)
  • 3. Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler (1964)
  • 4. Good-Morphine (1992)
  • 5. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 6. Perfect From Now On-Built To Spill (1997)
  • 7. Children of God-Swans (1987)
  • 8. Nail-Foetus (1985)
  • 9. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 10. Atlantis-Sun Ra (1967)


  • 3/2/09 - 3/8/09
  • 1. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO-THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
  • 2. The River-Bruce Springsteen (1980)
  • 3. Fontanelle-Babes in Toyland (1992)
  • 4. Good-Morphine (1992)
  • 5. The Good Son-Nick Cave (1990)
  • 6. Surfer Rosa-Pixies (1988)


  • 2/23/09 - 3/1/09
  • 1. LITANIES OF SATAN-DIAMANDA GALAS (1982)
  • 2. Fontanelle-Babes In Toyland (1992)
  • 3. Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart (1969)
  • 4. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)
  • 5. The River-Bruce Springsteen (1980)
  • 6. Parable of Arable Land-Red Crayola (1967)
  • 7. For Alto-Anthony Braxton (1968)
  • 8. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 9. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 10. Hosianna Mantra-Popol Vuh (1973)


  • 2/16/09 - 2/22/09
  • 1. UNIT STRUCTURES-CECIL TAYLOR (1966)
  • 2. The Survivors' Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 3. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  • 4. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 5. Faust-Faust (1971)
  • 6. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996)
  • 7. Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982)
  • 8. Bitches Brew-Miles Davis (1969)
  • 9. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 10. White Light/White Heat-The Velvet Underground (1967)


  • 2/9/09 - 2/15/09
  • 1. IMPROVISIE-PAUL BLEY (1970)
  • 2. Dimensions & Extensions-Sam Rivers (1967)
  • 3. Children of God-Swans (1987)
  • 4. Afternoon of a Georgia Faun-Marion Brown (1970)
  • 5. Starsailor-Tim Buckley (1970)
  • 6. Dream theory in Malaya-Jon Hassell (1981)
  • 7. Isn't Anything-My Bloody Valentine (1988)
  • 8. The Firstborn is Dead-Nick Cave (1985)
  • 9. Evangelista-Carla Bozulich (2006)
  • 10. Amsterdam-The Lofty Pillars (2001)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • Mu-Don Cherry (1969) 9/10 to 8.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED
  • Dimensions & Extensions-Sam Rivers (1967) 8.5/10...amazing early album by Rivers, like a brainier version of Ornette Coleman (Shape of Jazz To Come)
  • Isn't Anything-My Bloody Valentine (1988) 8/10...an epitome of shoegaze...stunning walls of noise against dreamy escalating melodies
  • The Firstborn is Dead-Nick Cave (1985) 8/10...finds Cave searching through hellish, dreary, drunken blues wastelands, a tremendous follow up to From Her To Eternity
  • Evangelista-Carla Bozulich (2006) 7.5/10...finally heard the whole thing...one of the best albums of the decade...amazingly organic, a creeping, introspective, atmospheric nightmare...
  • Afternoon of a Georgia Faun-Marion Brown (1970) 8.5/10...stunningly eerie and evocative...
  • Amsterdam-The Lofty Pillars (2001) 7.5/10...profoundly moving, breathtaking and stately, finds a perfection and balance that crosses between Leonard Cohen and Simon & Garfunkel and occasionally Bob Dylan.
  • Disappeared-Spring Heel Jack (2000) 7.5/10...a stunning fusion of stylistic ventures...
  • Children of God-Swans (1987) 8.5/10...like Wagner it's both monumentally demonic and overwhelmingly spiritual.


  • 2/2/09 - 2/8/09
  • 1. THE SURVIVORS' SUITE-KEITH JARRETT (1976)
  • 2. Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982)
  • 3. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  • 4. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996)
  • 5. The Good Son-Nick Cave (1990)
  • 6. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971)
  • 7. For Alto-Anthony Braxton (1969)
  • 8. Mu-Don Cherry (1969)
  • 9. Novus Magnificat-Constance Demby (1986)
  • 10. Ocean Songs-Dirty 3 (1997)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • The Survivors' Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976) 8.5/10 to 9/10...a miracle...


  • 1/26/09 - 2/1/09
  • 1. LITANIES OF SATAN-DIAMANDA GALAS (1982)
  • 2. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971)
  • 3. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 4. Bitches Brew-Miles Davis (1969)
  • 5. Neu!-Neu! (1972)
  • 6. Excerpts From A Love Circus-Lisa Germano
  • 7. Survivor's Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  • 8. Haphics-Doug Thereault (2006)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982) 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971) 8/10 to 9/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Beast-Nathan Michel (2005) 6.5/10...a very interesting album that feels like a cross between Frank Zappa & Syd Barrett lite.
  • Haphics-Doug Thereault (2006) 7.5/10...a very difficult album to rate as it is quite amazing but feels a little anti-climactic in the end (feels more like an EP than an album). This album is UNRELEASED and is unlikely to ever get released, unless I have something to say about it ( : Just so happens a sound engineer friend of mine knows the artist and has one of 5 or so copies ever created. And oh, it might be the best album of the decade...at some points it seemed like it could be an 8 or even 8.5...like a cross between Stockhausen & John Zorn...I think. In many ways it is utterly incredible...we'll see how it goes with more listens.


  • 1/19/09 - 1/25/09
  • 1. THE MODERN DANCE-PETE UBU (1978)
  • 2. Faust-Faust (1971)
  • 3. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  • 4. Chinese Democracy-Guns N' Roses (2008)
  • 5. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  • 6. Parable of Arable Land-Red Crayola (1967)
  • 7. Irrlicht-Klaus Schulze (1972)
  • 8. Trust-Low (2002)
  • 9. Marquee Moon-Television (1977)
  • 10. Lisbon-Keith Fullerton Whitman (2006)

  • REVISITED & RERATED:
  • Chinese Democracy-Guns N' Roses (2008) 7.5/10 to 8/10...And so it's come full circle back to my original gut feeling. Should've trusted it to begin with. Simply put, this album is amazing. Mark my words this time: this is one of the best albums of the decade. I've listened to it enough (5 times) that I'm sure of it now. No joke.
  • Low Kick & Hard Bop-Solex (2001)...7/10 to 7.5/10...Like a child tentatively examining and discovering a new toy, Solex tries to keep up and manage the shapeshifting arrangements.
  • Fontanelle-Babes In Toyland (1992) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • A Picture of Nectar-Phish (1992) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Electric Ladyland-Jimi Hendrix (1968) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Radio Ethiopia-Patti Smith (1976) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Tago Mago-Can (1971) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Daydream Nation-Sonic Youth (1988) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Streams-Sam Rivers (1973) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Improvisie-Paul Bley (1971) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Down Colorful Hill-Red House Painters (1992) 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Novus Magnificat-Constance Demby (1986) 8.5/10 to 8/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven-Godspeed! You Black Emperor (2000) 7/10...the first time I've heard it in its entirety and it's an excellent album...the first few tracks are marked by lonely beautiful melodies and delicate, roaming ambient textures before rising into epic crescendos while the closing "Antennas To Heaven" (the most significant work on the album) unfolds in a mysterious, contemplative, amoebic fashion that seems to gradually unveil from within itself a dying galaxy or spiritual "organism".
  • Lisbon-Keith Fullerton Whitman (2006) 7.5/10...mesmerizing


  • 1/12/09 - 1/18/09
  • 1. SEEDS, VISIONS & COUNTERPOINT-IVO PERELMAN (1996)...Unbelievable. It's been 1.5-2 yrs since a new rock/jazz album hit me this hard (Escalator Over the Hill). I've hardly listened to anything else and the week is almost over.
  • 2. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 3. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  • 4. The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady-Charles Mingus (1963)
  • 5. Y-Pop Group
  • 6. Geek the Girl-Lisa Germano (1994)
  • 7. Blonde On Blonde-Bob Dylan (1966)
  • 8. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  • 9. Irrlicht-Klaus Schulze (1972)
  • 10. The Good Son-Nick Cave (1990)


  • 1/5/09 - 1/11/09
  • 1. SEEDS, VISIONS & COUNTERPOINT-IVO PERELMAN (1996)...damn
  • 2. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964)
  • 3. Ascension-John Coltrane (1965)
  • 4. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  • 5. Geek The Girl-Lisa Germano (1994)
  • 6. Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler (1964)
  • 7. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  • 8. The Black Saint & the Sinner Lady-Charles Mingus (1963)
  • 9. Irrlicht-Klaus Schulze (1972)
  • 10. Faust-Faust (1971)

  • REVISITED & RERATED
  • Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966) 9/10 to 9.5/10...uhh, nevermind...it's a 9.5...

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED
  • Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996) 9/10...holy crap...something like a synthesis of Anthony Braxton (Sax Improv), Roscoe Mitchell (Sound) + Ornette Coleman (Free Jazz) and perhaps Albert Ayler...

  • 12/29/08 - 1/4/09
  • 1. THE DOORS-THE DOORS (1967)
  • 2. Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart (1969)
  • 3. Symphony #9-Mahler
  • 4. Symphony #9-Beethoven
  • 5. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  • 6. Irrlicht-Klaus Schulze (1972)
  • 7. Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  • 8. Parable of Arable Land-Red Crayola (1967)
  • 9. Art & Aviation-Jane Ira Bloom (1995)
  • 10. Twin Infinitives-Royal Trux (1990)

  • REVISITED & RE-RATED
  • Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966) 9.5/10 to 9/10...not any less incredible than before. Rather, after numerous listens over the last few weeks The Doors & VU & Nico each seem slightly better at this point, causing me to rethink Unit Structures' rating to a very high 9 just behind those two, instead of a "low" 9.5 just ahead of them.

Seems you've got GYBE! at least 1 rating too low :P

I can definitely see what you love so much about it. I think it's a great album ( :

I'm amazed by your opinion on Chinese Democracy. I've only listened to it as background music but I think it was anything special. What magic do you see in it?

First off, I advise listening to it as foreground music. Loud.

The compositional density of the arrangements is the key. There is a tremendous overload of instrumental flourishes and nuances happening on virtually ever track. It becomes increasingly overwhelming throughout the album. Just like any album (especially the great ones) you have to listen to the whole sound of it, not just the main line of activity.

The naive, ambitious emotional overtness of it becomes rather incredible after a few listens.

Why all the sudden drops in albums Afterhours? Having a musical crisis?

Nope, just listening to some 7.5s, 8s, 8.5s made me rethink their positions. It's only a slight drop, from low 8.5's to high 8's (really just 8.3 to 8.2)

any chance of sharing Haphics? if it is 1 of 5 then i doubt anyone with the desire to own it (possibly me), could own it (or can i buy it?)

and i do not understand the EP reference. EP just means the amount of time of a particular release: 15-25 min. if "Satz: Ebene" was released as itself, it would be an EP: 24th min. if you add the second track, then it is an LP: 29 min. would "Satz: Ebene" be any less climactic without the other two tracks to you? an LP is any release of 25-50ish min - whatever fits on one vinyl disc. those who have named their albums EPs with over 25 min of material are either stupid, ignorant, or...stupid. it is a misuse of the language, and very black & white language at that.

a somewhat famous example of this stupidity/greediness is that of Frances The Mute where the record executives tried to pay Mars Volta the EP rate (for 5 tracks) when the album almost fills a CD which is much more than vinyl, so the band split up "Cassandra Gemini" arbitrarily into 8 tracks (totaling 12) so they got paid for their work, though they should have been paid for 2 LP prices at that length, but it is only 1 CD....

I don't know if I can get a copy or not. I'll see...

The EP reference is meant to mean that it doesn't (after 1 listen) feel like an album, rather a collection of 4 similar (though amazing) tracks that don't seem to really build off one another or reach a collective climax. It just sort of ends inconclusively after the 4th track.

if you cannot get another copy, could you share it?

have you had any luck getting another copy of Haphics to buy?

It's not for sale as it has never been released. I have one of the artists' personal copies. I'm not sure at this point whether I'll ever be able to get another copy or not.

AfterHours, please could you host that album on MegaUpload?:)

I'm not going to do anything like that without the artists' permission. Sorry, he hasn't released the album or anything. I'll talk to a friend of mine and see if there's anyway to share it.

I always thought of Tago Mago as being an 8.5, what made you take it down to an 8? I agree with all your other adjusted ratings in late January (from what I can discern). I'm also very excited to check out these new 8+ (especially Litanies of Satan). peace and love my friend.

I always thought of Tago Mago as being an 8.5, what made you take it down to an 8?

Good question. Simple answer: I re-listened to it and found that, despite how amazing it is, there was a little too much of a gap between it and the 8.5's (especially the higher ones) to justify it being in the same ratings band. It's just not quite as overwhelmingly emotional as albums such as Downward Spiral, Starsailor, Flying Teapot, Piper At The Gates of Dawn, Third Ear Band, etc. But specifically, all the drop is, is just from an 8.3 to 8.2 so it wasn't a significant demotion whatsoever. The album is incredible. The ones above it are just more incredible.

I'm also very excited to check out these new 8+ (especially Litanies of Satan).

Litanies of Satan is too awe-inspiring and terrifying for words. One of the greatest masterpieces in the history of music. I am 99.9999% certain Scaruffi will upgrade it to a 9/10, and as a matter of fact, think his 8/10 rating for it is a typo. Parable pointed out to me that he lists the album as a 9 on one of his best albums of the 80's lists.

http://www.scaruffi.com/ratings/80.html

Now that I've been blown to smithereens by the album on a level WAY ABOVE any 8/10 could possibly reach I am sure the 9 is the correct rating, NOT the 8 on her artist profile page.

http://www.scaruffi.com/avant/galas.html

I haven't heard her self-titled follow up but I suspect Scaruffi may have inadvertently switched their ratings, meaning the 2nd album is supposed to be an 8/10 and Litanies of Satan is the 9/10. If I get the chance I'll email him and see what he says.

I'm definitely looking forward to it, and I'll let you know what I think when I find it. I have listened to Plague Mass (recommended by bc1991) and it disturbed me deeply (and not in an intriguing way, ie Twin Infinitives), no that album actually hurt my ears.

Lately I've been revising some of his lists for him and told him about that inconsistency (among many others). He then switched the two again on the decade list, so I presume he really rates Litanies 8/10 and s/t 9/10. But, messy as his (believe me, I know, after revising those lists) he might've just checked the artist page and copied them without thinking. He could've still interchanged the ratings on the artist page (I like Litanies of Satan better, too, by the way).

I haven't heard the self titled one yet (except 1/2 of it, the amazing Tragouthia track or whatever it's called) as it's only on vinyl and I can't find a legal link to hear the whole thing online. In any case, there is no doubt in my mind at this point that Litanies is a 9/10. So far I've heard it about 15 times so it seems unlikely (though it's always possible, opinions can change of course) to drop off the list now, especially all the way down to an 8/10. At this point I would confidently predict Scaruffi will make it a 9/10 when he redoes his rock list (whenever that will be), but I do think he'll rank it behind the self titled one, probably between Irrlicht and Parable of Arable Land, whereas I predict the self-titled one to rank just behind Twin Infinitives (I say this because Ivo Perelman's Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint seems to be its equivalent and that's where I rank it). Only time will tell I guess...

but I do think he'll rank it behind the self titled one, probably between Irrlicht and Parable of Arable Land, whereas I predict the self-titled one to rank just behind Twin Infinitives (I say this because Ivo Perelman's Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint seems to be its equivalent and that's where I rank it)

??? What are you, psychic? Maybe I'm just stupid, but:

1) Why are you making assumptions about Scruffy's appreciation of Litanies of Satan in relation to an album you haven't even heard yet?
2) Why are you making assumptions about Scruffy's appreciation of an album you haven't even heard yet in relation to Twin Infinitives?
3) What the Hell does the Perelman album have to do with this? I have no idea whatsoever why you said 'I say this because' there.
4) Why do you even suppose he'll go along with you on these points? Why shouldn't his ratings be 'correct' as they are?

I think you're making this much more complicated than it is.

Simply put, I think he'll rate it (Diamanda Galas s/t) similarly to Seeds Visions and Counterpoint because the half I heard of Diamanda Galas s/t seemed very equal in its emotional significance.

That should answer or eliminate your other questions if you go back through my original answer with that understood.

I've been reading a bit more of your page and, simply put, it's pretty freaky how you tend to make music listening into a science. It almost seems as if you think you're compiling an objective list here. ;)

I've taken points up such as this years ago and I'm just not interested anymore. To each his own I guess...

did you read Scaruffi's review on Chinese Democracy yet?

yep, he gave it a 6/10.

its still at an 8/10 for you right?

yep, either that or a 7.5...I go back and forth on it.

ok cool

Interesting thoughts on Nostalghia. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I've always tentatively placed it as Tarkovsky's fifth best. Of course this means it's merely very astonishing and beautiful, Tarkovsky in my mind being cinema's only definite genius. For me, none of his films are lower than second tier. Visually it ranks as highly as Mirror (and much higher than 95% of the films I love), but it didn't ever get a complete grip on me in the same way Stalker, Solaris, Andrei Rublev and Mirror did. You've definitely made me want to watch it again, though. Hopefully within the next week.

Yes, definitely see it again. It has so much depth, I can't wait to do so myself!

Oh boy, another Tarkovsky masterpiece. I wasn't expecting that. I'll have to go through all his films in the next few weeks, starting with Nostalghia. Nice to hear it knocked you out.

And not only a masterpiece, but a masterpiece even among masterpieces. In short, the greatest film I've ever seen. I look forward to your own views and insights, whether you end up agreeing with me or not--I really enjoy your film log and follow it frequently.

Glad to see Chinatown is getting better for you. It's a remarkably deep and perfect film.

Just rewatched Nostalghia; it's an incredible film, and I really can't argue with you for placing it so high -- but it just didn't move me in the same way. It's incredibly profound (ended up discussing it for two hours and there's still some meat left on the bone) and beautifully, beautifully shot but it didn't leave the same impact on me as Mirror. It wasn't that it was lacking in any sense of the word; the flashbacks were particularly stunning and those classic Tarkovsky long takes still manage to give me the chills -- it just didn't match some of his other work. However, I think it might have surpassed Solaris.

By the way, it's faaar superior to Rock Bottom =).

Wow, far superior to Rock Bottom? What's its equivalent then? Beethoven's 9th played backwards and forwards simultaneously?

I am glad you enjoyed it so much. Mirror is perfectly worthy as well so no arguments there.

My mind will change in roughly 13 seconds regarding all my selections but let me give these comparisons a shot...

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme = Gustav Mahler's 9th = Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror
Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity = ... Richarad Wagner's Tristan und Isolde = Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia
Charles Mingus' The Black Saint & the Sinner Lady = Dmitri Shostakovich's 15th Symphony = Robert Altman's Nashville
Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come = Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem = Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour
Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures = Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps = David Lynch's Inland Empire

Shit, I can't do this. In all cases I think the music is superior to the film (and for some reason I can't cram rock albums into the equations). And Scaruffian rock tastes don't interest me at all really, whereas his jazz listings are pretty on point. Of his top .. 28 rock albums I only really love Van Morrison, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, the Doors and Bob Dylan.

We both share and disagree on these. I can see your point on all your views though--they all make sense to me.

I think Mirror is either Hosianna Mantra-Popol Vuh/Approximately-Gregorio or A Rainbow In Curved Air. There's still a chance it's Rock Bottom/A Love Supreme as well, but I feel the above two are closer at this point.

As Spiritual Unity is Lorca (or possibly Desertshore), I'd say it's The Godfather Pt. 2, or perhaps Vertigo or Persona, and if it's Desertshore then Passion of Joan of Arc or Traveling Players.

I don't think there is a Black Saint equivalent in film, and if there is I have to see it. It would have to be catastrophically emotional and overwhelmingly explosive and intensely, continually climactic. The closest would probably be Metropolis though I think that is clearly the equivelant to Modern Dance by Pere Ubu.

I see Nashville being Escalator Over The Hill.

Not sure about Shape of Jazz To Come. Von Stroheim's Greed would be my first thought.

I think Unit Structures is Citizen Kane. For rock it would be Faust, though I don't feel it's out of the question at all to propose Inland Empire as the Faust/Unit Structures equivalent. Part of my second viewing was spent wondering if it was a 9.5 instead of a 9.

At this point I'd say Inland Empire is equal to Seeds Visions and Counterpoint and/or Diamanda Galas' self-titled album (though I've only heard 1/2 of the Diamanda Galas one so that's an educated guess).

The only one I don't see at all is Shostakovich's 15th being compared to Nashville. I don't really think there is a film equivalent to it but the closest in my opinion would be Mirror, Citizen Kane, or perhaps Nostalghia.

Might I point out that both of you come off as delusional nutjobs? I've always been suspicious of this queer business comparing film/album equivalents, although when I finally gave it a try I too found it surprisingly enthralling (as there is a method to madness after all). But still I don't get it. How can a film equal an album? It boggles my mind.

haha...

I honestly don't see what's so difficult about the comparison but it's possible it seems easier for me because I've heard the albums on my list a gazillion times--so much so that my concept of them is fully formed and I can easily translate this to other art forms. I'm not saying you don't share the same degree of concept as I because I don't have clue how many times you've listened to them but I am proposing it as a possibility.

Possibly. It's just that I've never seen a movie that reminded me of an album, in terms of "oh my goodness, this feels a lot like that movie." Otherwise, I can make vague connections based on themes mostly. Maybe I'll develop it in time, as it seems a lot of people are making the connections.

When I get the chance I'll detail how I draw my conclusions in my author comments section of the "equivelants" list. That might make it easier for others to latch onto.

Scratch that comment on Metropolis. It's corrected in my latest update of my top 10 music and film of the week.

Nice to see Metropolis, amazing film. Also, Boorman is a great director, from the 1 film I've seen of his: Point Blank. Highly recommended if you haven't seen it.

Point Blank may be my favorite of his...not sure yet. I want to see it again. On last viewing I gave it an 8.5/10. Deliverance is up there as well. And then there's Zardoz, which is from another planet. All 3 are 8.5-9 range (at worst, Deliverance and Point Blank might be high 8's), which is extremely impressive to me.

Yeah, Point Blank was great. I gave it a 7.5, though I wouldn't dare rate it any lower than that and can see it being somewhere in the 8s. Oddly enough, I've never seen Deliverance even though I know it's a fairly popular film supposedly because of its homosexual rape scene. I've made a note of Zardoz and will hopefully see it sometime. I've read about it and it sounds insane (which is right up my alley).

While it's hard to defend Idiocracy as a great--even good--film, I'd recommend that anyone see it. Its prophecy is very plausible and the juvenile humor and rather simple plot are justified by the intellectually moribund American culture it presents. (Though, oddly enough, WALL-E may have been an even harsher satire of a corporation-run world)

I agree...though I still have to see WALL-E.

Even Scaruffi seem to agree with the premise given his recent tweets:

Will the next age be about building smarter and smarter minds? Or will we simply becomevery dumb beings guided by machines in everything?about 23 hours ago

We build smarter and smarter machines, and dumber and dumber minds. It is inevitable that machines will become more intelligent than minds.about 23 hours ago

We have invested less and less in minds, because we don't need them as much as we used to. We have "intelligent" machines to replace them.about 23 hours ago

Man, do I love that Chinatown review!

Thanks ( :

Re: Bat Out of Hell. I loved seeing Scaruffi validate my obsession with that album. Beats Springsteen at his own game. Best bombast ever.

Indeed, though I personally think The River is superior.

scaruffi collected the best of the 2000s movies into one page with a consistent rating...

http://www.scaruffi.com/cinema/chro000.html

Thanks, I was hoping he'd do that soon. I agree with him on a lot of them. Need to rewatch Hero (I have it rated as a 7)

Small note: Run Lola Run is by Tom Tykwer.

I have a question regarding this whole way of looking at art and judging it via emotion.

I do believe that emotion is significant in art, but is it the be all and end all?

For example, in Dancer in the Dark, the final moments came close to cracking my heart of stone; but what does that mean? Does leaving me shaken in the ensuing minutes make it a masterpiece? I think it just shows an artists ability to tap into, or, more precisely in Von Trier's case, assault a viewer's unconscious sentimentality. It's undeniably emotional; but it doesn't reform your thought process, or change your imagination -- whether it be about anything, cinema or life. Emotions are important, but they're easy enough to manipulate; visceral responses aren't the hardest things to provoke. But what about the mind? Is the intelligence of the work taken into account, is what an artwork reveals about life at all a factor in the final judgment? Where do you stand on works that make demands of the mind? Similarly with something like the work of Stan Brakhage, his sort of cinema isn't exactly emotional (to me), but it's astonishing in that it reshapes the way the world is looked at; or does that not mean much to you?

I'm just trying to get an understanding of what you like-minded Scaruffiests ( =) ) come from.

Personally I think music is especially good at communicating emotions, feelings, moods etc. probably better than any other artform. and I would contrast music with literature, which is good at dealing with ideas. A good book often contains a surprisingly complete and profound look at life, however I wouldn't describe it as a particularly "moving" experience, at least when compared to a really good piece of music. Film, on the other hand, is somewhere between music and literature. It can deliver strong emotional impact and deal with incredibly interesting concepts. That scene in Dancer in the Dark is a good example. It's absolutely heart-breaking and shocking yes, but it's also kind of funny considering she brought it all on herself through her foolishness and naive fears. I think both emotions and ideas are important and I find that a work of art needs to be interesting before I'll let it play with my emotions (I'm the same way with women). Also, I somehow doubt that AfterHours and I get the same thing out of the music we listen to, nor do all Scaruffists feel the same way about art. There's my unwarranted two cents.

First of all, how do we define a Scaruffist?

Second, no matter how we define one, there's bound to be some discrepancies in thought as Elston noted. I think there should be too. Not that there should be a deluge of various protestant faiths from Scaruffi's quite Lutherean break from the Catholic church of mainstream rock criticism, but you see what I mean....

I like to think that resonance is the most important quality of art, by which I mean a lasting presence and effect. While this word is usually used in the context of emotional impact, I think it also covers intellectual intrigue and historical significance, among other important measures of worth. It is broad enough to handle different and individual responses. Its limiting factor and true focus is whether the art can still be significant and valuable (not just relatable or understandable or explicable) to someone. I like to think that great art does last a long time (if not forever) because there is something in it that can really resonate with people, even if the responses and interpretations change over time.

Some of these thoughts are based on my recent understanding of textual analysis (which kind of reminds me of Gadamar) that a Text is different texts depending on historical moment. In other words, what Antigone is today is different from what it was in ancient Greece, but the sign it's great art is that we can still dig it (the only true constancy).

I hope that makes sense.

BTW, great shout out to Brakhage. I wrote a paper on his films back in college.

A Scaruffist is someone whose favourite albums are predominantly Scaruffi picks and other than that I guess it varies. Some people think he is a master historian and philosopher. I don't personally, I just think he has an exceptional taste in music. also, I don't read his website but I have enjoyed just about everything he has recommended. I think he is one of those music critics who is an absolute must for anybody. Even people who don't particularly love his picks still think he is interesting. If you were to make a list of rock critics I don't see who else could top that list. Maybe Lester Bangs (?) because his writing is perhaps more literary or something (I don't know much at all about Lester Bangs). But even going through Scaruffi 8's I'm finding all kinds of amazing works. Not to mention his Classical (and Jazz) section!

As for Brakhage, I do not get that guy at all. I saw a few of his films and they pretty much did nothing to me. They looked neat.

So has Antigone never left then?

to me scaruffi is the fast-lane to great music. just like many people i started collecting music via recommendations of friends and magazines. later via artists that my favourite artists liked and/or were inspired by. but this is a slow process. finding out about scaruffi a couple of years back accelerated this process enourmously. now i listen into maybe 100 records every year, most of scaruffi's picks (30) plus other critics favourites (30-40) and, of course, still recommendations by friends (20).

while i might not agree with the ratings of scaruffi between different artists. seldomly he greatly underates of overrates albums by the same artist with respect to eachother. so with scaruffi, it is usually easy to listen to the best albums of a new artist first.

I'll have to tag in on this conversation when I get the chance...

Completely agree about Lady from Shanghai. One of my all-time faves. I am ALWAYS in the mood to watch it and usually will see it through beginning to end each time. There are so many brilliant lines of dialogue, camera angles, lighting, editing choices, and the whole funhouse sequence at the end is simply genius. But then the courthouse scene too had me in stitches. Great film. Welles just demands respect, clear and simple. Most entertaining filmmaker of all times.

Absolutely agree with you. Welles is the maddest genius of them all.

Yeah, Lady from Shanghai is damn incredible, used to be a top twenty film for me. Heavy praise though, saying he's the greatest artist since Beethoven. Although I unflinchingly disagree completely I can still see where you're coming from. Mr. Arkadin is a film I struggle with. It isn't bad, a Welles film is still a Welles film, but it's hard for me to see past the studio fuck ups (unlike the Magnificent Ambersons, where it isn't as obvious, discounting the last scene of course). That and the fact that it was made on a budget that couldn't get Elston drunk really holds it back. There is a certain greatness to it (as there is with all Welles), but I certainly wouldn't put it in the upper echelon.

My word. I will have to revisit Lady From Shanghai and also seek out this $4 production.

Indeed ( :

Mr Arkadin has so much content and weirdness going on (like most Welles), it deserves multiple viewings. I plan on getting back around to it very soon.

Re: greatest artist since Beethoven, I did say 'possibly'. He certainly has very serious competition with the likes of Brahms, Wagner, Mahler, Shostakovich, T.S. Eliott, Kafka, Klimt and others...

You said everything I'd ever like to say about Nashville, one of the finest satires of American culture of all times. It's not just about the country music scene, as you can see, it's an uncompromising expose of the hypocritical, sheeplike masses. I completely agree with these comments:

Due to its lack of cinematic staging, esprit and art direction, the drama unfolds with uncommon immediacy and harsh, unembellished reality, as if through the lens and condemnation of a real-life document of society, pitted as a microcosm of 'our great nation'.

For this reason, I think Nashville is also the finest example of American neorealism. Like the Italian school, it comes off like photojournalism, the evening news, or even a layman's video. Unlike the Italian school, however, it is not interested in solidarity and bringing people together to rebuild their war-torn country. No, it's to point out that whatever solidarity we have is the worst kind, a pact of ignorance and deceitfulness, joining in vulgar comforts and emotional slogans, not a single critical thought amongst them. If as an American, you don't get the searing slap across the face of the finale, you really are as gone as this movie says.

All that said, Merry Xmas! (I really am in a good mood, honest!)

I really liked Avatar too. Perhaps even more impressive than its eye-popping visual effects was its humanity and belief in storytelling. That's so rare in action films these days. Either Cameron is just that good or everyone else has forgotten how to make you care about the characters. Not a bad love story either. Oh, and I want me one of those dragons.

What an imperialist thing to say. Why don't you just get a fucking Mexican and ride him around eh? Jesus. Mind you I haven't seen the film and have no idea what your talking about and won't get to see the film because i'm nowhere near a movie theatre but still. fucking americans with their dragons and colonialism. they want everything with slaves and shit. fucks.

Oh, it's so much better when it is a Mountie riding on a horse, isn't it? Silly Canadian.

You fucked with Mexicans, Blacks & Indians. We only runined the lives of Indians and nothing more. Suck on that one. aka Morality x3 above yours.

Oh, Elston. Just admit it. You wish you were American.

Yes. Yes I do. My country of origin is so dull that I have to resort to such tactics. I also apologize for spamming AfterHours' weekly list with unrelated banter.