Saturday, January 22, 2011


Once upon a time (aka the 1980s), Zellers was a major player in the discount department store game in Canada. They were the Wal-Mart of their day, until, that is, Wal-Mart expanded into Canada. Nowadays, Zellers stores are like ghost towns, virtually devoid of customers and staff. You can still occasionally find some decent deals at Zellers, but good luck finding a cashier to sell you anything. You know the old service industry joke, "this job would be great if it weren't for the customers"? Well, if you happen to work at a Zellers store, then you're living the dream.

Rating: Dollar Daze%

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SYR3: Invieto Al Cielo by Sonic Youth

I forgot to mention that each of these albums is written in a different language. This one's Esperanto, everybody's favorite fake language! This one has the tracks that are the least song-like in the first three SYR albums. The first and last tracks are about 30 minutes each of noise noodling, with no melodies ever really entering into the equation. I'm just being a completionist, in case you couldn't tell, because I'm not really expecting anybody to rush out and grab these side projects. Here's the title track!


Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's newest film, Black Swan, is a bit of a head trip. I'm not sure if I can even explain it all that well without venturing into spoiler territory. The film centers around Natalie Portman's character, Nina, who has been cast as the lead in a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The production requires Nina to master the roles of both the White Swan and the Black Swan. Her struggle with the dual roles begins to seep into her off-stage life, with sexy (but mostly freaky) results. While that doesn't really tell you all that much about the film, it should be noted that the performances from the cast (especially Natalie Portman) are all excellent and Aronofsky's visuals are striking.

Rating: 79%

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Behind the Music: Megadeth

For years, VH1 produced a television series called Behind the Music which chronicled the stories of various bands and popular artists. If you ask me, the single greatest episode produced for the series was the episode featuring Megadeth. As laid out in the episode, the story of Megadeth is an epic tale of envy and excess. A veritable roller coaster ride of personal triumphs and self-destructive drug binges. There's also plenty of life lessons that can be taken from the special. "If you're gonna snort three hundred to five hundred dollars worth of cocaine and heroine a day, every day, then you're gonna have money problems." Truer words were never spoken.

Rating: 90%

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SYR2: Slaapkamers Met Slagroom by Sonic Youth

This is the second in Sonic Youth's SYR series, in case you couldn't use context clues to figure that out. This one seems like it is comprised more of songs that couldn't be released on a regular album, since two songs are 20 minutes long, not that that ever stopped Sonic Youth before. Of course, both of those songs ended up being shortened and turned into songs with vocals on A Thousand Leaves, so what do I know?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

SYR1: Anagrama by Sonic Youth

This is the first album in Sonic Youth's pretentious/arty SYR series, in which they attempt to do musical experiments too weird for their albums. I guess that means, in this album's case, the same sort of songs with no words? Everything is 7 minutes or shorter, and there's only four tracks, which means it's about 22 minutes long total? It's fun, but I'm sure glad we have iPods/mp3 players now, because they all came in little cardboard sleeves that basically guaranteed you the disc would be scratched to infinity before you got done with it.