Love, loss, anger and betrayal are just some of the harrowing, movie-ready topics underneath the folds of Lana Del Rey’s return to music in 2014. Having only been on the market for a few weeks now, Ultraviolence has already topped the charts across the globe, debuting at Number 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart upon its release and sweeping the US by storm.
If you’re after a town that’s huge with all of the high street stores you could imagine, whilst still retaining the quintessential English feel, then Leeds in Yorkshire, England is that place. Leeds, in a 2011 survey of the urban area, had over 1.7 million people living there! They operate a one-way driving system through town, which I suppose was implemented to help people but to me seems to make things a little harder than they should be! With the smaller English streets though, and roads that turn into pavements, it seems to keep the traffic in order.
International Supermodel of the World RuPaul has been wowing us with her musical prowess since the early ’90s, so it’s a given who the Splinters choice for best drag musical act of recent years may be. Her most recent album, Born Naked, became her most successful on the Billboard charts in years and has spawned many a recording career. And whilst it’s hard to look past sonic gem-makers like Divine for drag-related dance-pop from the late ’70s and early ’80s, it was the music of RuPaul that paved the way for so many drag queens that would come after her.
So this issue we’re gonna shake things up a bit and focus on Australian bands for a change. The internationals ain’t goin’ anywhere, and I’ll give ‘em a burl next time! Geelong three-piece rock/pop/grunge/punk combo SPIDEY have dropped their new full-lengther Disappointingly Weird, and it’s a corker. The lo-fi recording works in the record’s favour, as a crisp, clean recording would diminish the warm tone that permeates the album. Another thing I dig about this record, is that it wasn’t what I expected.
A funny thing happened a month or so ago: we had a week where no new movies were released. Well, there were new movies out there somewhere, if you were willing to travel to Melbourne to one of the smaller or arthouse cinemas, but as far as big new releases at the mainstream cinemas? Nothing. The plan had been for the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Sabotage to be released that week, but after a lacklustre box office performance in the USA distributor Roadshow decided to cut their losses and send it direct to DVD.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the origin of the blues down in the south of the USA. The other major style of blues arose in Chicago at the time of the Great Depression. The depression began in 1929 and there is argument as to when it finished. Those at the top of the heap say it lasted about five years, but for most people it didn’t end until World War II in 1939. Being a soldier was the first full-time job many had. I could go on about conservative politicians blaming the unemployed for being unemployed, but that’s an old song.
Ave Satani! Hail Satan! And of course his demonic little offspring, Damien Thorn. When people think of director Richard Donner they tend to think of 1978’s Superman, but only two years before that he directed one of the greatest horror films of all time – 1976’s The Omen. With Friday the 13th having recently passed I was planning on watching one of the Friday the 13th sequels and writing a thematically solid column, but before this could be done I found my wife had never seen The Omen. That was enough of an excuse to purchase the trilogy on Blu-ray.
The blues is often seen as a resort of the older person, preferably with a black t-shirt and Harley Davidson. In my last column I talked about the origin of the blues in work songs decades ago in the south of the USA. There’s actually a large number of younger people getting into the blues, often as a result of participating in the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society’s ‘Youth in Blues’ program, or our local ‘Blues Boot Camp’ organised by Wayne Jury and with a high quality set of mentors including Chris Wilson, Tim Neal, Sarah Carroll, Sandy Brady, Dave Steel and David Park. Recently, one such graduate, Jarrod Shaw, was a headliner at Sleepy Hollow.