Saturday, September 24, 2011

Left Spine Down - "Caution" album

This Vancouver electro-punk act has been around for a few years and has shared some members with Front Line Assembly. But LSD is more rock song-based, not industrial dance-oriented. I liken their sound more akin to Mindless Self-Indulgence. "Stolen Car", for example, is a sneering punk song with electronics. Decent work, but not something I'd seek out. (Metropolis Records)

Left Spine Down site

"Sex Psychedelia Collection" 2xDVD

This 2-disc, 4-movie set compiles some of the freakiest, most far-out post-60s/early 70's-era porn I've ever seen. Let's begin the rundown, shall we?

"Ramage (Mobility Cathexis)" is an odd and disjointed art film that somehow attempts to be hardcore, as well. Or is it a porno that aspires to be an art film? I dunno, but it fails, regardless. Dreamlike and surreal imagery and narcotic narration are interspersed with seemingly nonsensical sex acts. The straightjacket scene is fascinating and odd. Dig the Carl Stalling meets Beefheart meets Les Baxter soundtrack.

"The Last Bath" is a tale of a young photographer who hitch-hikes a ride with a pair of lesbians, who treat him very well. But all may not be as it seems. Could this be a suicidal fantasy, or real life?

"The Bat" takes the cheesecake prize. A caped vampire figure (a large and hairy man who calls himself "The Bat") stalks the San Francisco streets for strange. He seduces them into compromising situations, and they unwittingly become his hoes. All the while, a girl in a bee costume is trying to undo his evil ways. She gets caught at a wrong address with a pair of horribly stereotyped Native Americans, who engage "Queen Bee" in their own threesome. Sound campy and cheesy? It is. Amusing, if embarrassing, really.

Finally, "It Came From Love" isn't far behind in the cheesecake contest. A poorly-lacquered frog/fish-head alien travels to Earth to capture breeding human couples to repopulate it's own failing planet. Absolutely campy Z-grade cheese here, though some of the copulation scenes (thankfully NOT employing masks) are well-done and enjoyable.

Truly, this is a set for collectors of low-budget grindhouse/porn film oddities. Entertaining, overall, but not easily recommendable. (After Hours Cinema)

"Nico Escondido's Grow Like A Pro" DVD

Presented by High Times, this extensive, informative, and fun tutorial shows, first hand, all the best ways to grow your herb, courtesy of internationally-respected horticulturist and writer Nico Escondido.

Visiting medicinal gardens in Colorado and California, Escondido demonstrates successful growing techniques and green-friendly ways to maximize harvests without undue environmental stress. As well, he looks at growing conditions, ventilation, fertilization, pest control, and every essential aspect of farming. As a host, he's knowledgeable, likeable, and charismatic. In short, even for non-growers like me, this is a lively and entertaining watch. At around 2 hours, this is superb, and essential for true aficionados. "Grow Like A Pro" may be the most comprehensive documentary on medicinal marijuana production ever produced. Get this! (High Times Productions)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Con-Dom - "The Eighth Pillar - A Confession Of Faith" CD

Originally released in 1992 by a small French label, this 5-track album by English noise artist Mike Dando is 41 minutes of old-school industrial. This is raw and primitive noisemaking, of a similar vein as early Throbbing Gristle or SPK. "Seven Pillars Of Wisdom" opens with an ominous gray static, punctuated by declarative and reverbed shouts with cascades of ghostly drone. "Triumph" is more gray static with similar violent tendencies. "Confession Of Faith" pulses for almost 17 minutes with odd and seemingly random sounds, including a choir, what seems like engine noise, drones, TV & tape voices spliced in, and declarative vocals. "The Eighth Pillar" closes it out with a collage of distant bells, howling winds, and calliope sounds in the distance -- at once lovely yet haunting. A fine album with plenty of mystery and sinister darkness to wile away the late late hours to. (Tesco Germany)