Lulu, the new collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica, opens with a sparsely strummed acoustic guitar, Reed’s distinct voice, and a question: Will this misaligned collaboration surprise with unexpected merit? Once James Hetfield enters with his amplified chin-rock croon over a wall of guitars turned up to eleven and Reed sings the charming lyric “I would cut my legs and tits off when I think of Boris Karloff,” you have your answer. No. No it cannot. Continue reading…
Green is a self-taught animator whose unusual tales explore the nuances of life, death, and everything in between — even Santa Claus. Gravity is his latest work, and it’s based on the true story of Leonard Wood, a man who built an entire “healing house” for his cancer-stricken wife. For the film, the ever-creative Green constructed a full-scale town in his back yard: “five houses, a handmade working piano, a huge glowing moon, and a giant, wooden, fully functioning God.”
And just as Gravity isn’t your typical film, Sunday night won’t be your typical screening. As an added bonus, Green has put together an all-star band — including Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Howe Gelb — to play a live soundtrack to the film. Having seen Green perform on multiple occasions, I can say with certainty that the show will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
This fall, Vic Chesnutt will tour to support At the Cut, his latest effort. Chesnutt’s touring band will feature Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) and members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Silver Mt. Zion. The album (also featuring Piccioto and Co.) is a follow-up to 2007’s North Star Deserter, which SPIN called “disturbingly palpable dread-folk.” At the Cut comes out September 22 on Constellation Records.
At the Cut was recorded by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) in Montreal. Its opening track, “Coward,” was written for director Jem Cohen’s Empires of Tin, and the song’s success evidently inspired Chesnutt to create a whole new album. The album will be released on CD and LP with artwork curated by Jem Cohen.
Chesnutt has released 15 critically acclaimed records; my favorite is West of Rome (especially the remastered edition). Songs from Rome have been featured, many, many times on the Owl and Bear podcast. Chesnutt has also been covered by a number of artists, including R.E.M., the Smashing Pumpkins, Sparklehorse, and even Madonna. He was also subject of the 1992 PBS documentary Speed Racer and he appeared in the Oscar Award-winning film Sling Blade. Quite an interesting fellow, this Chesnutt. Saw him perform back in 2005, and it was an affair to remember.