Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"A History Lesson Part 1 - Punk Rock In Los Angeles in 1984" DVD (director: Dave Travis)

This documentary utilizes footage culled from Travis's teenage bootlegs, and succeeds in presenting a fitting and faithful tribute to the era's nearly-forgotten punk roots. Sandwiching more recent-era band interviews with his fan-shot live clips, "A History Lesson" gives the impressions of the featured acts in their own words, so there's a proper historical perspective that some live videos lack. Included are the Meat Puppets, Redd Kross, The Minutemen, and Twisted Roots, all children of punk rock who broke some of the molds and helped give rise to the alternative scene of the 90s.

Sure, some of the live clips are grainy and the sound muddy, but this stuff would've been lost on VHS forever, so kudos to Travis for resurrecting it, and for giving us a unique and interesting document. Anyone with an interest in classic LA punk needs to see this, pronto. (MVD Visual)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Iceland: Beyond Sigur Ros" (director: Brett Gregory)

Here's a really lovely and enlightened short film (all of 30 minutes) examining the music of Iceland, featuring such names as Ólafur Arnalds. Seabear, Mugison, and a lot of lesser-known and diverse talents, from the death metal of Severed Crotch to the dance pop of Sykur. Filmed in glorious HD, this film isn't about Sigur Ros, but about the indie music scene in Iceland. It can be seen FREE at Serious Feather's site here.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Der Blutharsch - "Der Blutharsch (aka "First")" CD

A reissue of the 1996 debut album from Austrian composer Albin Julius, this one opens with bold and strident military marching music, but quickly moves more towards an ambient post-industrial sound by the untitled 5th track.

A frequent collaborator with Death In June, and other occult/Germanic-leaning groups, Julius seasons his gray-tinged soundscapes with World War II imagery and martial industrial moods. Samples of military music pepper the 6th track, which appears as a ghost among the tense and thick textured drones. Track 10 is an ominous and percussive cut reminiscent of early Laibach or Test Dept, whereas Track 13 is more Neubauten-like, with crashing percussion and simplistic melody.

Overall, an impressive release, and perfect for fans of heavy-handed percussive music with proto-military motifs. (Tesco Germany)

Der Blutharschspace