by Ryan Meehan
Tuesday was Garret’s birthday and I happened to have the night off so we went and checked out the Osaka Japanese Grill in Bettendorf. Everything on that side of Bettendorf is very strip-mallish in a Chicago suburbs type of way. It looks very suspect to someone like me, like I’m going to wake up and have to start tenth grade all over again in Downers Grove.
I went as the eighth wheel of a party that contained three couples. I don’t know why after all these years I still find myself awkward in those situations. Not to be a dick, but you’d that I’d be used to that sort of thing at 32 years old. Since it was Bivens’ spirit year anniversary and I was invited I had to be there. It was a Tuesday night, so we couldn’t drink but I’m sure we’ll take care of that Saturday.
by Ryan Meehan
As FOH’s resident death metal authority, I’ve taken it upon myself to keep up with the death and black metal circuit by way of doing these reviews. I’ve become a little detached from the actual scene itself, but it sure beats carrying equipment up flights of stairs when the end result is maybe fifty people showing up if you’re lucky.
Thank my sweet horns those days are over. Now I get to basically just sit here at work and sift through the wreckage of what’s left of those two genres. Death metal itself is a very odd horse because there aren’t a whole lot of options when it comes to where you can take the vocals. Pretty much everything has been done, and it’s not like there was a lot to work with at the outset. You have your deep growl, your high paint-peeling black metal scream, and (although rare) your occasional early-era Fear Factory melodic low register voice.
On Tuesday, March 13th Tampa Bay death metal legends Cannibal Corpse released their twelfth studio album “Torture”. It was given as a gift to me by someone who knows his metal. He gave me a brief preview of the record, devoid of any kind of spoiler.
Victor Villarreal (Owls, Cap’n Jazz) has a new split 7″ with mOck out on Joyful Noise Recordings. The 7″ features a brand new song (rumored to be this one) featuring a special guest female vocalist. This is a European pressing and is limited to 300 copies so order yours while you still can. Link
- Victor Villarreal: Suspended Nerve
- mOck: Arms and Tales
While watching Happy Together, Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong drama that won him Best Director at Cannes in 1997, I was struck by the deep emptiness of the protagonist Fai, and the subtle ways Fai allows, and in some cases even encourages, his lover’s abusive behavior. It’s a brave film to explore the psychology underlying victimhood, and it takes a gifted director to allow reflection without sacrificing empathy.
This is, of course, dangerous territory. Victims are often blamed for being abused, and abusers are often excused for their behavior. It’s a delicate tightrope, which partly explains why it’s so rarely addressed in cinema with such brutal honesty. We go to movies to be entertained, not reminded of the darkest natures inside of ourselves, let alone the fragile boundaries we hope protect us from becoming victims – or abusers ourselves. Continue reading
A few of us here at FOH are Criterion Collections lovers (just take a look at our header photo). Pouring over the extras and drooling over the remastered prints excites us more than the average person. While Criterion makes some missteps from time to time link, link, I think they do a heck of a job selecting their films.
In a dream world Criterion would call me up and have me pick out a few films for them to polish up so here is my list: