Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Must All of My Childhood Be Destroyed?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

There's finally a teaser trailer out for the new reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, produced by the explosion-happy Transformers dude, Michael Bay.

Megan Fox captures the facial expression of everyone watching this trailer
  • Megan Fox captures the facial expression of everyone watching this trailer

Check it out:

According to io9, the turtles' origin story has been revamped. Instead of the turtles starting out as an accidental genetic mutation because of radioactive ooze in a sewer, they're now a result of genetic experiments by Shredder (the original baddie) and reporter April O'Neil's dad. Hmm. 'K. I recall April O'Neil being smart alec and cool in the movies, and I'm worried that Megan Fox's version will be wimpy. And I don't even want to get into the redesigned turtles. I get that it's hard to anthropomorphize turtles, which highlights how the original comics and movies were done so well. But to make them giants with baby-Shrek faces? Ugh.

As someone who grew up loving the TMNT movies and cartoon—Michelangelo was my favorite—I remain concerned that Michael Bay is going to crap all over my childhood.

  • <3

(Okay, I'll concede that the original turtles look goofier than they do in my memory.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jazzoula: Basement Boys, Joan Zen Band and The Swedish Acquisition kick-off the four-day fest tonight

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 12:58 PM

As Monty Python once said, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” but at Jazzoula this week we can all at least expect The Swedish Acquisition. (And I don’t mean shopping at Ikea.)

The UM jazz group features musicians like Ben Haber of The Hasslers and Jordan Wiegart of the Front Street Jazz Group. They kick-off the four-day event tonight along with another UM band with a much tamer moniker, Gilcrest Point, as well as with the Joan Zen Band, Missoula’s Youngest Divas and the Basement Boys. The Basement Boys includes Jeff Stickney, who is being inducted into Jazzoula’s Hall of Fame. Other inductees include Chuck Hurt and Bill Haffey, who as a Latin high school teacher taught me to say things like “In vino veritas.”

The Basement Boys will perform at Jazzoula
  • The Basement Boys will perform at Jazzoula

In a way, Jazzoula is a prologue to the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival—an event put on by UM's College of Visual and Performing Arts and School of Music and features jazz musicians from across the country. (This year it's Fri., March 28 through Sat., March 29. Visit UM's festival website for more info.) But Jazzoula has a more intimate feel: It's set in a downtown church and gives audiences a chance to appreciate the solid jazz talent we have here in our valley so far from the usual hubs you think of with the genre. You might see Missoula's jazz scene emerge in small doses, like during Jazz Martini Night on Sundays at the Badlander, but for four days this week you get an immersion the likes of which you’ll rarely see any other time of year.

Jazzoula runs tonight, Mon. March 24 through Thu., March 27, at St. Anthony's Parish, 217 Tremont Street. Doors open at 6 PM and music begins at 6:30 PM nightly. $12/$9 students and seniors per night and $25/$20 students and seniors for a four-day pass. Tickets at Rockin Rudy's and at the door. Visit Jazzoula's Facebook page for the full lineup. Don't forget to check out Jazzoula After Hours Sessions at the Top Hat Sat., March 29, at 10 PM, after the Buddy DeFranco festivities.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dear "My Husband's Stupid Record Collection": Women Can Rock, Too

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

So there's a woman named Sarah O'Holla running a blog called "My Husband's Stupid Record Collection" where she listens to the records they've been toting around their entire married lives. (I found this via Megan Seling, a supremely awesome music writer and miniature-things-baked-into-cupcakes-baker over at Slog.)

  • Warning: this could be violent and dangerous

O'Holla's writing is funny and totally hits the mark sometimes, like here, about garage rock, "It makes you want to dance in a cool way, like a little jolty and stiff." And she's stoked about an Au Pairs record with a fertility temperature chart on it: "I think because when music, especially rock music can be so male-centric and often misogynist, it’s so refreshing to see something 'just for women' put out there, with no explanation, and no connection to the album other than the fact that women are writing this music, playing this music and singing this music."

So far so good, k. But when she gets to Anthrax, she basically sums up everything that has ever made me want to pull my hair out:

It’s oddly beautiful, but I feel like it’s really hard for girls to get to know this kind of music. I would NEVER want to see this band live, even though I’m really liking the music. It would be too violent and too dangerous, and that sucks. And yet I’m not blaming the people who feel the need to get “caught in a mosh,” upon hearing this. It’s probably exhilarating, but sitting on the couch listening to it is fun in a totally different way. Why does music have to be such a division of the sexes sometimes?

Um, speak for yourself.

Firstly, it's ridiculous to assign music as being for men or women, especially based on how loud or aggressive or violent it is. Men and women can both be aggressive and loud and violent. Or soft and gentle. Or a mix of all those traits. Nobody fits the definitions of the gender binary perfectly.

Secondly, not all metal/rock shows look like this:

If anything, they're closer to this:

I get why people are put off by aggressive, loud rock and metal shows, particularly if you're smaller or shorter. It's fine to watch from the sidelines.

But for the most part, energetic, aggressive music has meant the whole world to me, as a human being needing an outlet. And not every pit is the same; I will stay the hell away from karate-kickers at Code Orange Kids shows, for instance, but I'll dive right in for Kylesa or Tacocat. [All bands with women in them, BTW.] Mosh pits are also the one place in this world where being a tall, heavier chick is actually an asset. I can hold my own.

So it drives me nuts when people don't think girls can or should like aggressive music, although probably the worst derision comes from within the ranks; that is, punk and metal dudes who look down on chicks who want to be involved in it. To them I say: this is stuff I like, and I like it in my own way, and you don't get to tell me how to like it.

K, rant over. P.S., been listening to S.H.I.T.'s Collective Unconscious 7-inch on Iron Lung Records today and it rules.

P.P.S. and Helms Alee, a heavy-as-fuck band with ladies in it, is playing the ZACC tonight. Their music is pretty to listen to while sitting on a couch, *and* while fist-pumping with sweaty people.

A previous version of this post appeared on Missoula Punk News.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Get ready for Walter Kirn's reading tonight with this book trailer rant

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Walter Kirn
  • Walter Kirn

Montana-based author Walter Kirn uses social media to rant about the expectation of literary authors to sell themselves on social media. The YouTube video called "Video Killed the Literary Star" addresses author Gary Shteyngart in a funny open letter.

Shteyngart made a trailer for his memoir Little Failure featuring actor James Franco. Kirn, author of Up in the Air, which was made into a movie starring George Clooney, recently released his own memoir, Blood Will Out, which we reviewed this week. Kirn uses the video tirade as his own book trailer. Gem lines include, "I grew up in this country, unlike you, and we had a very solid separation between the culture of highbrow thought and literature and the 'I Love Lucy' stuff. We liked it that way," and "Twitter, I don't mind at all. You pop in an ambien, lay down on the couch and say whatever shit comes into your head."

Kirn reads from Blood Will Out at Shakespeare & Co. tonight at 7 PM. Free.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Holland Tunnel Orchestra: The sound of a German camera found near the Gulf of Alaska during the Age of Nixon

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 4:35 PM


If you take eight atmospheres and pile them on top of each other, things get heavy. And if you combine the attitude of Clare Torrey's vocal coda from Pink Floyd's "Great Gig In The Sky" with the openness of Etta James' scatting in "Feelin' Uneasy," heavy things start to lift up. Add some early morning clear acoustic guitar and slide a flute through it like a tiny pelican. Perch the tiny pelican on a low apartment building whose bricks are fashion drums from 1967. Using a high end German camera, take a picture of everything so far. Paste the picture on a blank head, and attach it to the spirit-body of Manfred Eicher. Inexpicably, and self-referentially, place the Eicher doll in front of a mirror, and then put the little tableau in a concert hall.

You still with me? Good. Now — Flatten the concert hall with a drone. Just flatten it. Look at it from the side. It looks like a line. At the end of the line is a bell, as on a brass instrument, and out of that drips another drone. A blue drone. Wait! You've forgotten to breathe since you were holding that expensive German camera. So, you breathe. You look up through the layers of morning. You begin to feel less uneasy. You were a blue minority, now you are a Major in the Dutch Tunnel Band in the sky. Your first order is to start the music again.

Here's the first track.

Click on the back cover thumbnail to see who plays what.


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