Friday, 27 April 2012

CD's From My Collection: Cocteau Twins: Stars and Topsoil: A Collection (1982-1990)

Oddly enough this is the first time I've heard The Cocteau Twins. One of those bands I can't believe I missed the first time around. Heaven or Las Vegas (see below) for me is one of the perfect pop songs, as good as anything produced in the Sixties.

CD's From My Collection: Julia Holter, Ekstasis (2012)

This CD is lovely. A soothing balm of soft psychedelic electronica with heavenly vocals-Broadcast comes to mind but with a LA Sunshine Pop vibe. I heard this album being played in Sounds of the Universe (Soul-Jazz) record shop and had to get it.  

CD's From My Collection: Alcest, Les Voyages De L'ame (2012)

Metal meets Shoegaze with the emphasis on the dreamily hazy but noisy melodies of early Ride and My Bloody Valentine. Takes me right back to 1990. 


Saturday, 14 April 2012

DVD's From My Collection: The Devils (1971), Directed By Ken Russell

A manic film of such over the top excess it leaves you shell-shocked. But this is no crude exploitation flick but an art film, an indictment of religious hypocrisy and its close companion power politics. The sensory overload of its atonal soundtrack and graphic scenes of orgies and torture, combined with the sordid horrors of 17th Century France will be a bit much for some people. Others of course will love it for that very reason.

For more info on The Devils see Wiki entry here.

DVD's From My Collection: Kiss Of The Vampire (1962), Directed By Don Sharp

One of the best Hammer horror pics but without Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. A young couple on their honeymoon are lured by the sinisterly erudite Doctor Ravna into his vampire cult. The picture quality on this DVD is superb, bringing out the film's lushly decadent atmosphere.

For further info on Kiss Of The Vampire see Wiki entry here. 

Seen On The Big Screen: The Sorcerers (1967), Directed by Michael Reeves

Seen at BFI Southbank on Thursday 5th April. Swinging London horror/exploitation pic from Michael Reeves, director of the classic Witchfinder General. Shown as part of BFI's The Flipside and was introduced by Michael Reeves biographer, Benjamin Halligan.

For further info on The Sorcerers see Wiki entry here.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Book Review: Why Marx Was Right By Terry Eagleton

Recommended as a primer for anyone unfamiliar with the ideas of Karl Marx, probable the most misunderstood thinker in history. Terry Eagleton's  prose is erudite but accessible to the general reader, sprinkled with sarcastic humour, as he debunks the main arguments of Marx's modern day opponents. A serious weakness of the book though lies in the downplaying of the authoritarian nature of the Bolsheviks (Lenin and Trotsky) and its political structures, that eventually resulted in the tyranny of Stalin. There is no mention of the autonomous Marxist tradition (closer to anarchism) and he seems to dismiss (like Lenin) this side of revolutionary Marxism as an 'infantile disorder.'

An interesting review by Owen Hatherley in the Guardian here. This is also a review of Lars T Lih's biography of Lenin.