chthonic [2021)

So Pauly Deathwish comes out with a Sonic Youth cover.

“Schizophrenia”.

Sounds like Sade and Yoshimi-era Lips.

Like mental illness is no big deal.

Strange.

Almost bossa nova.

Like an elevator music rendition.

I dig it, though.

Bachelor pad music for hipsters.

Sounds like the chord progression is totally different.

This bloke gonna be locked up with Stravinsky in Boston.

Kinda Herbie Hancock doing Nirvana.

William Shatner.

But then that fucking piano comes in.

Like “Time” from Aladdin Sane.

Fucking hell.

Beautiful and fucked up.

Ratchet up Conlon Nancarrow.

Something Charlie Parker about this.

Impossible arpeggiator.

Talking the Kim Gordon lines.

Muted.

Lou Reed.

Leonard Cohen.

This is good shit.

Gets all ’80s.

Public Image.

Finally Thurston and Ranaldo drop in.

Shit gets real.

The harmonies on this song are insane.

Like Messiaen.

Definitely fits the scordatura.

Something Brian Wilson about this progression too.

Like fuzzed-out Smile.

My fiancee dumped me 12 days ago without even telling me why.

Four year relationship gone.

NEXT SONG!

Suzanne Ciani.

Real guitar?

Sounds a little Built to Spill.

Very circumspect.

Great harmonies again.

This dude didn’t cheat his Fux.

Creeping automation.

Ambient.

What will it do?

Some sad shit like Godspeed.

Silver Mt. Zion.

Hats get going.

In a Silent Way.

Bass drum drops in.

It is obvious Pauly loves “A New Career in a New Town”.

This vibe resurfaces in many of his songs.

But THIS song!

Very “Mayonaise” by Smashing Pumpkins.

Like Glenn Branca with a better childhood.

A long instrumental.

Slow, simmering fire.

Anger.

Sadness.

Mixed together.

Catharsis.

SLOW-LY building.

Arpeggiator about to get wild again.

Mothersbaugh.

Fuzz bass drops in.

Soft Bulletin.

Wow.

What a guitar tone!

Sounds like a fucking harmonica.

Great lo-fi…Devendra Banhart vibe.

But this is straight Velvet Underground.

BRMC.

An instrumental with ooohs and ahhhs.

Bottom drops out.

Drums chugging away like Primal Scream.

Fucking glockenspiel!

A’ight, mate.

Interesting touch, there.

Little bit Mercury Rev.

See You on the Other Side.

Chugging away.

Guitars enjoying themselves.

Ghost of Sterling Morrison.

Tune called “Catharsiss” [sic].

Must be some weird Godard reference.

And the last song of this maxi.

Similar start as track 2.

Strange flange/phase Shepard scale weirdness.

Truly chilled-out, mellow bathtub guitar.

Like Yo La Tengo.

Those fucking pricks.

Why did they block Pauly Deathwish on Twitter?

That’s uncalled for.

Bloke’s just a struggling musician.

But they are holier than thou.

Well, Pauly’s played Maxwell’s in Hoboken too.

YLT never hit a vibe this good except on “Pablo and Andrea”.

Fucking unblock Pauly Deathwish, you losers.

Twitter.

Cymbals Eat Guitars vibe.

Very chilled out.

A little “All Cats Are Grey” feel.

Good guitar noodling.

In a Verlaine/Lloyd way.

Why did my fiancee dump me?

She won’t even tell me why.

12 days ago.

The day before thanksgiving.

Drums kick in.

Good beat.

MBV would have gone for this.

Similar guitar underneath.

A little J. Mascis.

Living with my parents.

Are you in therapy?

Haha.

FUCK THAT.

Yes, I review my own albums.

Because no one else will review them.

And because I have put out 16 albums in one year.

I don’t have time for people to catch on.

I worked hard on this shit.

I’m the same age Alan Vega when he started.

About to be 45.

Old as fuck.

So, I have a lot in common with Pauly Deathwish.

I feel his pain.

His fiancee dumped him too.

12 days ago as well.

She also didn’t tell him why.

She just started ignoring him like he was some piece of shit.

So I feel totally justified in helping Pauly out with this review.

To help get his music a wider audience.

Young Heart Attack feedback.

Radiohead clank.

“Creep”.

Back to the Badalamenti synths.

She just turned off her heart.

Maybe she doesn’t realize how much she is hurting me.

But I think she’s just a vindictive bitch.

-PD

drugs [2021)

We are finally catching up with Pauly Deathwish.

Here on his sixth album, drugs.

Good psychedelic surf start.

The romance must have seemed possible.

Christian trappings.

A great opening track.

Psychedelic Christianity.

Think of those private press releases from the ’60s and ’70s.

I’m hearing the joy and gravity of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

The breakdown of this song “An Ocean of Cough Syrup” is where it’s at.

Maybe a bit of Kevin Ayers.

Wasted innocence.

After the party.

The party at the end of the world.

Certainly song lyrics reminiscent of Wayne Coyne.

Sonic Youth.

Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Pop psych.

Monkees.

Maybe the romance has faded.

Tabloid.

Even Dire Straits.

Walk of life.

Track 2 with acrobatic chord changes.

Music school.

Straight-up Fort Leavenworth presentation.

A pop song about biological warfare, economic warfare, psychological warfare, and divide/conquer.

This is some serious shit.

Not sure whether to call Billy Bragg or Glenn Greenwald.

This is the kind of shit that wins Nobels.

So maybe we are hearing the new Dylan here.

Imagine if Thom Yorke actually had something to say.

The bends.

Lift.

Leonard Cohen.

John Cale.

Anthemic.

This dude is definitely right-wing.

I guess you could say.

Imagine if Bob Dylan was actually in the John Birch Society.

That’s what you get here.

Hey, take it or leave it.

Ezra Pound!

But this dude is all about ‘merica.

And i got no problem with it.

Climax.

Constitution of the USA.

Time’s up.

“memes at the ready”.

Information warfare taken into the realm of head music.

Songwriting.

This guy is a danger…to the lame liberal establishment.

THIS MOTHERFUCKER HAS RELEASED 7 ALBUMS THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!

Kraftwerk.

Jon Spencer.

Martin Rev dipping Copenhagen.

Ministry?

Butthole Surfers?

Dabbling.

“Latinas for Trump”.

Wow.

Track 3 is a trucker song.

Set in Switzerland.

With production like Nigel Godrich.

It’s a long track.

But enjoyable.

Drum machine and acoustic guitar.

And funky clavinet.

Jerry Reed.

Amos Moses.

Yodeling!

FUcking hell.

Haven’t heard this since Jerry Lee.

Dwight Yoakam.

Chris Isaak.

But this is the kinda shit cognizant about There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

Spaced cowboy.

Travelogue of Swiss sites from cinema history.

I have a feeling this guy would drink Klaus Schwab’s blood.

This conspiracy platter is fine listening.

Variety.

French/German.

No Italian.

Except Cortina d’Ampezzo.

No Romansch.

Motorik.

NEU! meets Gram Parsons.

Who is/was this “Swiss Alps Truck-Driving Gal”?

Cosmic funk.

Like French band Air.

Great bassline.

Dancy filler track of highest quality.

Mike Lindell needs to hear this shit.

mark_packet.

recieve_good.

What if Wayne Coyne and Dave Fridmann actually made songs that spoke to something larger?

They’ve hit it occasionally.

You gotta have Jesus in your heart.

Brian Eno first four records spun out again and again.

Cornelius.

Stereolab.

And WHAT THE FUCK?!?

Delta blues?

Country blues???

Yes, indeed.

“COVID-19 Blues”.

Like late-period Dylan.

Seriously.

If Dylan passes, this dude is next up.

I know it sounds implausible.

Communism used to be risqué.

Now the tables have turned.

Paul Joseph Watson needs to hear this shit.

The human condition.

Dr. Steve Pieczenik needs to hear this song, “COVID-19 Blues”.

This is Stax.

Muscle Shoals.

Atlantic.

Booker T.

But with that San Antonio twist.

Pauly Deathwish from the Alamo city.

Augie Meyers.

Flaco Jimenez.

Is Trump still the President? ūüėČ

When was this written?

Why that move to Bedminster?

Cabinet meeting.

A unifying song.

Like “Dixie”.

Ask Abraham Lincoln about “Dixie”.

Masked and anonymous.

QAnon line as money shot.

Sweet harmonica.

Linn drums.

Beck.

Loop.

It don’t matter.

This record rocks the Walmart parking lot.

GUITAR SOLO!

Jimmy Vaughn.

B.B. King.

Richard Manuel tickling the ivories.

Band brown album.

Call Q.

Call Mojo.

Call Uncut.

Side two for all you vinyl lovers.

“Let’s Get Creative”.

Floyd delay.

Sexy song.

J. Spaceman.

Jeff Tweedy.

Kid A.

Really special production.

Which just goes to show that anything can be done with an iPhone.

Except privacy.

Tim Cook cocksucker.

In shitty record store.

Radiohead were our Beatles.

Or their Beatles.

Now many friends have left.

You can’t say White Lives Matter.

Can someone please tell Pauly Deathwish this?

Not that he SAID it.

Because he didn’t.

Trail of Dead.

Which makes sense.

Read this motherfucker’s bio on Spotify.

No slouch.

I happen to know some extra details which I may divulge at a later date.

Lots of training in music composition.

Multiple touches with Nadia Boulanger.

Sexy song.

T. Rex.

Bolan.

Jonny Greenwood.

Scott Pilgrim.

Edgar Wright needs to hear this shit.

No cap.

Dead ass.

Trans.

Neil Young.

Dead Man.

Thurston Moore needs to hear this shit.

Funny mention.

Watch the water.

August 20.

Rollerskate Skinny appreciation society.

St. Johnny.

Boo Radleys.

First Stereolab album.

Grandaddy.

Harvest drums.

Like it!

Like a Sonic Youth country album.

Made in a barn.

Nothing Ween about this shit.

Except for the trucker song.

Which is funny as fuck.

This dude definitely a QAnon.

“Midnight Rider”.

Paul Revere.

One if by…two…

Mercury Rev.

Suzanne Thorpe.

Applied memetics.

Oh shit.

First Eno record.

Desert island.

THIS is impressive.

Turns out to be motto of 4th Psychological Operations Group (4thPOG) at Fort Bragg.

The PSYWAR just got real.

Vietnamese ghosts amplified.

But this is Chinese.

China bio attack.

Fauci through China.

Focus on Peter Daszak and his absurd opera-singer brother.

There is going to be hell to pay.

Q-uantum of solace.

PCAPs.

Obviously, Pauly Deathwish loves the instrumentals from Bowie’s Low.

This is a constant touchstone.

Trance.

Meditative techno.

Ugh.

When the bass drops in on “Verbum Vincet ’72”.

Who was Q?

Who is Q?

Was Q a psychological operation?

From whence might it have emanated?

Roger Waters.

Hell to pay.

Criminal networks wiped off the face of the earth.

Peking opera.

Sue me.

LeBron James is a worthless cocksucker.

I think I would get along with this Pauly Deathwish guy.

8964.

We have it all…in Utah.

“Bluffdale” like Marquee Moon.

Meets chiptune.

Super Marquee Moon.

Even a bit of John Bonham.

Good drum sound.

Dubstep?

Riots worldwide.

No vaccine passports.

Here’s where BLM and MAGA come together.

Don’t vax us, man.

A unifying event.

The real racists are the totalitarian Democrats.

Am I doing this right?

Pepe Lives Matter needs to hear this shit.

Klaus Voorman bass.

Leave it in.

Smacked out of your gourd.

Phil Spector murdered by the Rona.

Lee “Scratch” producing The Clash.

People want to sleep forever.

Sleep through this global nightmare.

Gotta wake up.

But the reality is crushing.

So God gives us solace here and there.

Black ark.

Meandering.

Oar.

Moby grape.

Hal Blaine back in the barn stoned on some world-class shit.

Nodding.

Space-age.

Astral weeks.

Nick Drake.

Ending album on serious note?

“Cotton Ball Soup”.

Will the masses win?

Against the vaccine passport bastards?

Montreal.

Where’s GYBE?

No heroes can be found.

Where’s Thom Yorke?

Radiohead?

Bob Dylan?

WWIII.

iTunes.

Spotify.

-PD

zenith [2021)

Jesus and Mary Chain.

Black tar.

Caramelized sugar.

A dangerous confection.

Hit to Death in the Future Head.

Summer is here.

I hear.

Vacuum cleaner solo.

Theremin.

Race cars.

Boys peel out.

High-speed boats.

And again with the UPC scan.

Breaking up on reentry.

Serious audio fuckery.

And from this right into kung fu.  Peter Sellers on Bowie’s Low.  Trance.  But really what we have here is excellent counterpoint.  Lunatic Harness.  Polyrhythms.  Album breaks down soon.  Fast.  Abruptly.  Mental block regarding Wuhan origin.  Harmonic outline you would never find in China.  Terry Riley.  A Rainbow in Curved Air.  Eno.  Visconti.  And the others involved.  A beauty that inspired Philip Glass.  This is what we have.  Low and heroes.  Symphonies.  Glass.  Riley.  Minimalism.  Album called zenith.  Track two already hits “Nadir”.  What’s the arc here?  Arc-en-ciel?  Arkansas?  Immediately pensive.  Very unnerving.  Pop rock track.  Into existential oblivion.  Abrupt modulation.  Uncomfortable.  Eccentric.  Was there a thought process behind this?  Commerce ruins everything.  Imperfect masterpieces.  The rules of the game.  Radiohead.  Joseph Arthur?  Sparklehorse.  The Magnetic Fields.  Gay baritone.  Sad sack confessional poetry in the world of Berryman’s Dream Songs.  Brian Jonestown Massacre.  The Verve.  Strung out in heaven.  J. Spaceman shooting up while praying.  Don’t knock it…  Drug addiction is real.  Mental problems are real.  Here we are.  2020 fucked us up.  And now we wait for the next shoe to drop.  Smashing Pumpkins.  “Silver Fuck”?  Into Sonny Rollins?  Epstein.  Gene Ammons.  Hard to tell it’s (not) real.  Which parts?  Yes.  No.  Fooling the ear with Dave Fridmann.  A totally schizophrenic record so far.  Here we go!  “Belgian Lace, Pale Black Mascara…”  This is more like it.  Rollerskate Skinny.  Martin Rev.  Lots of counterpoint here.  Fux me up.  Disney xylophones.  Internal rhyme-sanity.  Dylan puking up brilliance.  Always Roger Waters with the bass.  Always The Wall.  Pompeii.  Hail to the Thief.  Again and again.  Trying to break new ground.  And it does.  Yerself is Steam.  Album starts to make sense after five tracks.  1 & 5.  This is not bullshit.  I don’t know about the jazz.  I don’t know about the monotonous instrumentals.  Absolutely “Car Wash Hair”.  Suzanne Thorpe would be proud.  Seems to be talking about tits.  A good ride.  Drum machine chugging away.  Can still have a good groove.  Wild Acoustic Chamber Orchestra.  W.A.C.O.  Woodwinds and glockenspiel.  Boces.  What the fuck is this shit?  O.K. computer.  Sounds like some QAnon stuff.  I feel Carlos Santana coming on.  This is what Assange jams out to.  Lots of plays at Fort Meade.  Salsa.  James Brown.  Puerto Rican funk.  As AOC goes to jail.  Serious national security issues for lyrics.  Fictional charges?  Tracers everywhere.  This theory involves an actual conspiracy.  Criminal conspiracy outlined.  By players.  Event 201.  Short circuit.  Johnny 5 is alive.  Legalistic funk.  QAnon wet dream.  FISAgate.  “Spy Gate”.  Somebody send this to Sean Hannity.  Obamagate.  Where is John Durham?  Ryan Dark White knows the truth about Rosenstein.  How many coup attempts by the Left?  Back to Billy Corgan.  Ok, so we have an Alex Jones connection.  Early-’90s goodness.  Butch Vig.  Dream pop.  James Iha.  Bet this guy knows the real story about the Standard Hotel(s).  Great lyrics!  Must be some inside jokes here.  But HOLY FUCK!  He nailed the “Holes” trumpet solo.  Deserter’s Songs.  God damn it.  How did they do this?  The liner notes say Pauly Deathwish has also produced all four of these albums.  Kind of a Jimmy Page thing going on.  Great drum sound.  Yo La Tengo.  “Mayonnaise”.  Siamese Dream.  Benjamin Britten reference?  Slick!  So this guy basically had a music education on par with Jack Nitzsche.  And then went for scumbag rockroll like Phil Spector.  Gotta respect this weird marriage.  This fascination with grunge.  Dinge.  And the facility to clean it up like a chandelier.  Very fucking impressive.  No record label.  Kinda sounds like no funding.  No budget.  The Delgados.  Hate.  The Great Eastern.  More Spiritualized telephony.  The Wall.  Which is to say, Bob Erzin.  And as dark as Berlin.  Which is to say, Bob Ezrin.  Neil Young vibe.  Tonight’s the Night.  Some dark-ass shit.  Nick Kent, where y@t?  IV Thieves.  Coulda done this.  What if Chris “Frenchie” Smith had produced this?  This kid like a protege.  I hear the moniker (stage name) was bestowed by Frenchie Smith.  Strings good.  Eastern European orchestra.  Must have cost a small fortune.  Arcade Fire.  French cinema.  Romantic-era harmony.  But pierced.  Sophisticated.  Absolutely Floyd.  “In The Flesh”.  Last track on Harvest.  Words between the lines.  The promise of the ’60s went to shit in the ’70s.  Where’s QAnon?  Where’s Nakasone?  Where’s CYBERCOM?  Keith Alexander on Amazon board.  Velvet Underground feeding back.  Les Rallizes Denudes.  Primal Scream.  “Swastika Eyes”.  ADAT.  DAT machine.  Sampling.  Stereolab.  Back to another standout track.  “Chaconne”.  Will Smith in the summertime.  Some slick shit.  Messiaen.  Jonny Greenwood.  Lyrics world-class.  All those sand paintings.  Write and destroy.  Suicide girls.  Thom Yorke’s brain doesn’t have this facility.  He’s a great stylist.  Definitely an homage.  And to Godard.  Snow white and psycho.  Heavy shit for Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane to check out.  Not far from Faust IV.  So sweet.  John Paul Jones.  Ramble on.  Charlotte Gainsbourg.  Keren Ann.  Last track noisy as fuck.  Lo-fi.  Tom Waits.  Sticks together.  Some sad shit.  Music from Big Pink.  Mournful trombone(s).  John Simon.  “Bird on a Wire”.  They don’t make records like this anymore.  David Bowie not dead.  Great phrasing.  Sinatra.  Mark Linkous.  It’s a Wonderful Life.  Believable bass.  Upright citizen.  Bayou curious.  Noise floor drops out.  Some perverse humor here.  An “album”.  It is.  Ten songs.  Ten different directions.  Some tracks stick together.  Like a deck of cards shuffled.  Lots of variety.  Circus peanuts.  The orange ones.  Pure sugar.  Chewy.  Strange texture.  Lots of melancholy here.  What’s this bloke so sad about?  Tell Thurston Moore.  You gotta hear this shit.  Pauly Deathwish’s 4th album (this summer!).  Is this guy trying to set a Guinness record or something?  And he already has a 5th one out.  Christ!

-PD

MZFPK [2021)

Breakfast cereal video game.

Pauly Deathwish’s 3rd album.

I am behind.

I can’t keep up with this guy.

Out of the gates like Flaming Lips.

30,000 feel of despair.

The gash.

Right into Isao Tomita.

Doing Debussy.

Marching.

Martial.

Fantastic noises.

Like first Stereolab album.

Here Come the Warm Jets.

Cheyenne Mountain jams.

I can no longer see what I’m typing.

  • What if I type in white? ¬†Ahh, yes. ¬†That does the trick. ¬†But it ruins my style. ¬†Louis-Ferdinand would not be happy. ¬†Totally Air. ¬†Pocket Symphony. ¬†Who is Kevin? ¬†Shields? ¬†Ayers? ¬†Fairlight. ¬†Synth clouds. ¬†Rich chords. ¬†Very sophisticated harmonies and arrangements. ¬†Cornelius from Japan. ¬†This sounds very modern. ¬†OH FUCK! ¬†Groove is in the motherfucking heart. ¬†Vogue! ¬†So on track two, we are straight up on a catwalk. ¬†But it could be Alan Vega or Martin Rev. ¬†Kinda Sun City Girls. ¬†Zoviet France. ¬†Fridmann never gets this crazy with bass. ¬†Wayne is driving it weirder. ¬†This was, from what I hear, done with ZERO budget. ¬†Is this a dance album? ¬†First you have poetry. ¬†Then you are prose. ¬†Amateurs. ¬†Into¬†Odelay. ¬†That was a good drum break. ¬†The Strokes. ¬†Fuzzy vocals. ¬†Paliament/Funkadelic. ¬†Sly Stone! ¬†Later Stereolab. ¬†Tim Gane processing. ¬†Counter melody! ¬†For fuck’s sake. ¬†Somebody listen to this bloke. ¬†Whoa. ¬†What is up with this chorus? ¬†Roland Kirk? ¬†Like in Switzerland? ¬†Definitely hitting some Os Mutantes twee. ¬†Lo-fi as fuck. ¬†Great Godard tongue in cheek. ¬†Apparently about Neil Young and Rick James being in a band together when they were young and still in Canada. ¬†Yonge Street? ¬†Beats. ¬†Drake needs to hear this. ¬†Bit crusher lisp. ¬†Spiritualized at the grocery store. ¬†Swipe barcode. ¬†Song peaks at end. ¬†Masterful mix. ¬†A true climax. ¬†Savage mastering on every album. ¬†Whole mix jumps. ¬†It works. ¬†Needle skipping. ¬†American Supreme. ¬†Claustrophobic. ¬†COVID. ¬†Sad. ¬†Scared. ¬†Apocalyptic. ¬†The concept of the gaze in cinema. ¬†Bass drops in. ¬†Feel it in your sex organs. ¬†A sexy song. ¬†“Cobra Strike”. ¬†This is unequivocally a dance album. ¬†EDM all up in here. ¬†Lots of panning. ¬†Spliff it. ¬†Micro gestures. ¬†Pandemic planning. ¬†How long will it last? ¬†Soul-crushing. ¬†Zombie metaphor. ¬†Shaun of the Dead. ¬†Masterpiece. ¬†Beatle drums. ¬†First Velvets album. ¬†Rat trails. ¬†“Black Angel’s Death Song”. ¬†“The New Pollution”. ¬†Dr. No. ¬†Walther PPK. ¬†What does this kid know? ¬†He can’t possibly know, can he? ¬†Pure phase. ¬†Visconti. ¬†Lanois. ¬†Acid jazz. ¬†Nick Cave. ¬†Montage, mon beau souci. ¬†Flaming Lips. ¬†Jeff Tweedy drawl. ¬†Jesus and Mary Chain team up with The Cure. ¬†Disintegration. ¬†Heartbreak here. ¬†Who broke his heart? ¬†Bleeps and bloops. ¬†Robot noises. ¬†Heartbeeps. ¬†Jazz funk ’70s experimental upright. ¬†Great lyrics. ¬†Superimposition. ¬†Steenbeck! ¬†Fucking great lyrics on “Snip Snip”. ¬†Oh, damn. ¬†Glockenspiel at just the right time! ¬†Icy. ¬†Air. ¬†Virgin suicides. ¬†Dazed and confused. ¬†Blonde. ¬†Braids. ¬†Like glazed bread. ¬†German. ¬†Texas. ¬†Floating world. ¬†Old world. ¬†No one to smoke a doobie with and stare up at green trees. ¬†No tits. ¬†What is wrong with this world? ¬†Rambo. ¬†Fort Bragg. ¬†Delta. ¬†Boykin. ¬†Intelligence Support Activity. ¬†Send me. ¬†George Crumb. ¬†Black angels. ¬†Jungle echoes. ¬†4thPOG. ¬†Ghosts. ¬†PSYWAR op. ¬†Make it loud. ¬†Romeo foxtrot. ¬†Shall we dance? ¬†Charlie don’t surf. ¬†Death on the dance floor. ¬†Public Image Ltd. ¬†Modes of limited transposition. ¬†Messiaen. ¬†Primal Scream. ¬†Standing with Johnny Rotten. ¬†#Trump2021 . ¬†But this is more about big tits. ¬†Giant opals. ¬†Garth Hudson. ¬†Telegraph. ¬†Total loss. ¬†Persona non grata. ¬†Window still missing. ¬†Swastika eyes. ¬†Paul Weller. ¬†XTRMNTR. ¬†Shoot speed. ¬†Kill light. ¬†Eyes owned 2020. ¬†The ugly had a chance. ¬†Masks work…if you’re ugly and need to get laid. ¬†Back with another block rocking’ beat. ¬†Private psychedelic reel. ¬†War metaphor. ¬†Is this about election? ¬†No. ¬†Too early. ¬†Look at liner notes. ¬†Living in COVID times was like a world war. ¬†War just beginning? ¬†Got my pina colada. ¬†Fuck it! ¬†Arizona. ¬†Living boldly. ¬†Masks have lost. ¬†Two weeks. ¬†Could have been a contender. ¬†Circuit bending. ¬†Talking about big titty schizophrenic. ¬†All footwork ruined. ¬†Toys. ¬†Falling apart gremlin workmanship. ¬†Awkward line about Thora Birch. ¬†Explicit warnings a little lazy. ¬†Getting a bit Lenny Bruce up in here. ¬†Russ Meyer. ¬†Second line. ¬†Double time. ¬†Crazy drums. ¬†Smooth as Sade. ¬†Tambourine is the star. ¬† One organic element. ¬†Wrote a song. ¬†She didn’t care. ¬†Wrote her 200 songs. ¬†She didn’t care. ¬†One has zero plays globally. ¬†She never bothered listening to it. ¬†Some things not meant to be. ¬†Liberals and conservatives. ¬†Go and create. ¬†Lobster. ¬†Work wasn’t. ¬†Bought her every flower imaginable. ¬†Thousands of dollars on flowers. ¬†Yoshimi laser warfare. ¬†A piano not standard. ¬†Some Tori Amos bullshit. ¬†Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. ¬†Only the finest pianos. ¬†Internationally famous. ¬†Neither deserve it. ¬†Pulled the plug at the wrong time. ¬†Would he have still kept the same track listing? ¬†Maybe so. ¬†Heartbreak to rehash. ¬†Goes by quick. ¬†Good drum programming. ¬†James Bond future theme. ¬†Brian Wilson. ¬†Phil Spector. ¬†Absolute Nigel Godrich. ¬†Cinematic. ¬†The album that never was. ¬†But this one is worldwide, motherfuckers. ¬†Third this summer. ¬†And a fourth already out. ¬†I can hardly keep up. ¬†I need to review movies. ¬†Doesn’t Pauly Deathwish know I don’t have time for Galaga? ¬†Falling apart. ¬†Short-circuit. ¬†Charlotte Gainsbourg. ¬†Flashback to Bucolic. ¬†
  • -PD

Introversion [2021)

Teenage Fanclub.

That glow in The World’s End.

But a sadness.

THE sadness.

Emily Dickinson.

Unrequited.

Unattainable.

My Bloody Valentine.

Sloshy grunge hats.

Edge echo.

Chris Bell.

I Am the Cosmos.

Yerself Is Steam.

Slowdive.

Rutti.

Brian Eno.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Tom Petty.

You don’t know how it feels.

J. Spaceman.

Abbey Road.

Air.

George Martin.

Beck.

Badfinger suicides.

Loser.

Spiritualized.

Royal Albert.

I can only give you everything.

Rick Danko.

Loping.

The Delgados.

Dave Fridmann.

Black magic warded off by honesty.

Good timing.

Divine.

Sigur R√≥s.

Nigel Godrich.

Pocket symphonies.

Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Serge on the way.

Lenny Bruce, even.

Hit to Death in the Future Head.

Wait at least until track three to break it down.

Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.

Gorecki.

Arvo Pärt.

Deserter’s Songs.

Absolutely.

The confusion of ridiculous counterpoint.

Aaron Copland.

Tonal, yet dissonant.

Thick Billy Corgan.

Siamese Dream.

Definitely a sadness here.

Dawn Upshaw.

Tabula rasa.

Death.

Immense Mellotron.

Tchaikovsky.

Abrupt modulation.

Sugar plum.

Lou Reed.

Ennio Morricone.

Cinema Paradiso.

All you need is hate.

Upstate.

Chaliapin.

Basso profundo.

Jussi Björling.

DvoŇô√°k.

Memorial day.

The Inflated Tear.

Columbus, Ohio with duct tape.

Debussy.

Posing with a bass clarinet.

Primal Scream.

Get Duffy.

Rock ferry.

Smokey Robinson.

Sad clown.

Dead clown.

Kinks.

Grasshopper.

Suzanne.

Woodwind quintet.

Did I ever write one?

Yes, I did.

César Franck.

Saint-Sa√ęns.

Organ symphony.

Or is it contrabassoon?

Nadia Boulanger can tell you.

My teacher’s teacher (twice over).

The Left Banke.

LSD.

Herb Alpert?

Hummel.

Handel.

Strawberry fields.

Stereolab.

Unequivocally.

Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements.

A little lo-fi.

Vocal doubled.

Vox continental.

Great hook.

Changes that pull at your heartstrings.

More melancholy.

A fucking marimba solo?!?

Are you kidding me???

Makes sense.

Pauly Deathwish collaboration with Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes.

Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Gordon knew him as Death.

I have become death.

96 Tears.

Farfisa.

Partials.

Tim Gane tone.

Faust IV.

Doogie Howser?

Scary.

Impending.

Suspense.

Rock bass.

Ozzy.

Black Sabbath.

Amazing Grace.

Pete Townshend.

Front.

Back to J. Spaceman.

Dirty ass rock and roll with pristine horns.

Expensive drugs.

Sophisticated changes.

√Čminence grise?

Is this the artist we’ve been waiting for?

Rodriguez?

R. Stevie Moore?

Wesley Willis?

Sounds like Jack Nitzsche.

Major Velvet vibes.

Suck-ceed twice.

Dylan with P-bass.

Mick Taylor.

Too much attitude.

Keith Richards.

Let it Come Down.

Shakespeare.

Fucker kicked the bucket.

First to be vaxxed.

Maricopa.

First Suicide album.

Bossa nova.

The Soft Bulletin.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.

Gimme some lovin’?

Steve Winwood?

How old?

La Monte Young.

Slow changes.

First rehearsal tapes.

Alan Vega.

Martin Rev.

New York City heroin.

Warhol Factory torn down.

Across from YMCA.

Trump dances.

Great throwaway lyrics.

George Harrison.

Sound of universe.

Spacemen 3.

Savage tone.

Revolution.

Direct into mixing console.

Fried signal.

White album.

Sonic Youth.

Derek Bailey.

Lou ecstacy.

Late Lou.

European son.

Blood pressure rising.

Brutal.

Frankie Teardrop.

I think I’m in love.

Dub bass.

Will the circle remain unbroken?

When I had dinner with Roky.

13th Floor.

First Velvets album.

Heroin.

Drug rush.

Invincible.

But you gotta buy it.

Dirty Baltimore.

Cop shoot cop.

Cheree.

On the jukebox.

Eat at the gas station.

On tour.

First time in Texas.

American Supreme.

Iceland.

13 Angels.

It’s definitely Bowie.

New career.

Same town.

New old.

Old is new again.

Mercury Rev.

Savvy programming.

Dynamics.

Break beat.

A fuck ton of flutes.

Flute loops literally.

Bowie sax.

Little fluffy clouds.

Every drop.

Gay glam chorus.

Tony Visconti.

Don’t underestimate.

Pere Ubu.

First album.

Méliès.

Boys peel out.

Boces.

Inspector Clouseau.

Phone.

French ambulance.

Pants.

Gives me pants.

Videogames.

Cutting hole.

Pink Panther.

Herbert Lom.

A Shot in the Dark.

Grandaddy.

Under the Western Freeway.

Weeping willow.

Under that.

With Sean Mackowiak.

Square waves.

WarGames.

Tympani.

Rollerskate Skinny.

Dublin.

Kevin Shields.

Comes back loud.

One song mastered soft.

Definitely Low.

The main influence of Pauly Deathwish’s debut album.

Honegger.

Pacific 231.

Chariots of fire.

Vangelis.

Such a groove.

Nancarrow.

Polyrhythm.

Immense sadness.

By the side of a freeway.

Under an underpass.

Not like RHCP.

Much darker.

Like Godspeed.

Philip Glass.

Eno.

Blackstar.

How did a Trump supporter make this album?!?

I thought all Trump supporters were redneck morons???

This is way fucking better than Ariel Pink’s dabblings.

This sounds like a debut album.

Songs saved up.

Like The Strokes.

Cinematic as fuck.

Glitch Radiohead.

Trail of Dead.

Makes sense.

Because Pauly wrote the string arrangement on IX.

Dark.

Killers.

Disco compression.

Distressed.

These lyrics!

Johnny Rotten.

Trump 2021.

Snot on the crowd.

Arcade Fire.

Makes sense.

Lost Bayou Ramblers lost sessions.

Montreal studio.

This was all made on an iPhone?!?

Guy Debord.

Aladdin Sane.

Time.

Rick Wakeman?

Olivier Messiaen.

Major 7ths in uppermost range of piano.

Almost indistinguishable from octaves.

Eerie.

Slight.

Only for the sensuous ear.

The Wall.

Waters delayed bass.

No nonsense drums.

Humble Pie reference?!?

Ha!

Great lyrics!!

Predating new Bob Dylan album.

Check SoundCloud timestamp.

This is definitely the QAnon anthem.

This hook should be on a million conspiracy videos.

“10 Days of Darkness”.

Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya!

My end is my beginning is my end.

Grinderman.

No pussy.

Early-’90s.

Nirvana’s wake.

Finnegans Wake.

Great debut album (if I do say so myself).

Usual suspects.

Spotify.

iTunes.

Pauly Deathwish.

-PD

Full Metal Jacket [1987)

America is at war.

With communism.

With China.

And with those who collaborate with China to suppress freedom.

Some of those communist agents have risen to the highest levels of U.S. government.

It is not a stretch to say that America is now run by communist China.

Which means people like myself–people who like to have their votes actually count–are placed in a very delicate situation.

I am no longer under any illusion that my vote counts.

My vote was stolen by Eric Coomer.

My vote was stolen by Ruby Freeman.

My vote was stolen by Fulton County and Wayne County.

My vote was stolen by Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee.

My vote was stolen by Maricopa County.

My vote was stolen by Phoenix.

My vote was stolen by Las Vegas.

My vote was stolen by Arizona and Nevada.

My vote was stolen by Chinese hackers.

My vote was stolen by the CIA.

My vote was stolen by the Deep State.

I could go on and on.

My vote was stolen by Mark Zuckerberg and his pathetic wife Priscilla Chan.

My vote was stolen by Mitch McConnell and his pathetic wife Elaine Chao.

And her pathetic sister Angela Chao.

And the Bank of China.

My vote was stolen by China.

China who gave the world COVID.

On purpose.

America is in a war.

It is undeclared publicly.

I’m not sure our military is even smart enough to realize we are under attack.

Because many of our top brass appear to be corrupt.

My vote was stolen by Michael Hayden and John Brennan.

My vote was stolen by Gina Haspel and Avril Haines.

My vote was stolen by Bill Gates.

My vote was stolen by James Mattis and John Kelly.

My vote was stolen by Colin Powell and James Comey.

My vote was stolen by Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok.

My vote was stolen and given to Joe Biden.

My vote appears to have been stolen by Mark Milley.

My vote appears to have been stolen by Chris Miller and Ezra Cohen-Watnick.

My vote was stolen by Mike Pence.

My vote was stolen by Brett Kavanaugh.

My vote was stolen by Amy Coney Barrett.

My vote was stolen by John Roberts.

My vote was stolen by Chris Krebs.

My vote was stolen by Christopher Wray.

South Carolina is where cars crash into trees.

Where drunks wreck their hoopties.

Fucked up on malt liquor.

Cheap wine.

Fuck it.

Beaufort.

You’re almost in Georgia by that point.

But you gotta go inland to find the Georgia Guidestones.

So transparently talking about global depopulation.

But still on the South Carolina border.

Heading towards Alabama hit Atlanta.

CDC.

Depopulation.

CNN.

Suppression.

Fake news.

Was it Ted Turner built the Guidestones or some other worthless fuck?

Some worthless piece of shit like Bill Gates.

Parris Island will get you to Jekyll Island.

Straight shot.

Where those filthy bankers plotted the Federal Reserve System in secret in 1910.

111 years ago.

Two world wars.

A Cold War.

Vietnam.

Afghanistan for us and the Soviets.

Iraq twice.

And now we can never get out of debt.

All goes back to 9/11.

False-flag.

I liked R. Lee Ermey.

Some might say.

Like liking Darth Vader.

But I don’t think so.

Because Stanley Kubrick is a (very talented) propagandist.

True, war is disgusting.

True, Vietnam was depressing.

But now you see what we were fighting against.

Was it misguided?

Perhaps.

But now Chinese communism has conquered our nation (with the installment of Joe Biden).

And so now the heroes of Vietnam–our American Vietnam vets–are truly heroes after all.

To stem the tide.

To buy us time.

And our politicians (and military brass) have pissed it away.

But mainly our politicians.

And our filthy intelligence (CIA) community.

America is not shit.

At its heart.

But Stanley Kubrick and all his commie fag friends want you to believe it’s so.

But we will not tolerate that.

We respect Kubrick’s talent.

But politely disagree with his artistic premise…that America is shit.

Wrong!

D’Onofrio breaks your heart.

And it is more schoolmaster bullying than anything.

Very British.

But it’s all plausible.

Yet Kubrick has to shoot it like The Shining.

Yeah, war will drive you crazy.

And real training should be the same intensity as the war you’re going to.

Otherwise, it’s worthless.

America is at war.

Now.

Already.

China doesn’t declare war anymore.

They just sneak around and poison you.

And fuck with your weather.

And buy off your politicians.

I love jelly donuts.

We’re not all cut out for the military.

But when the enemy invades the homeland (as China has done to us), all bets are off.

I am a digital soldier.

Born To Kill.

Matthew Modine good here too.

The terror.

In the eyes.

Kubrick was a genius.

An evil genius.

Yes, war is bad.

But Kubrick was a communist.

So, for him, a communist world was better than a war.

For me, a war is better than a communist world.

Because at least we got the chance of coming out the other side with some freedoms.

Freedom, motherfucker!

That thing I am using right now to write this blog.

That thing that guarantees I can insult the government.

I can make my views known.

I cannot be violent, but I can unleash a shitstorm of invective.

And my government is supposed to not be able to stop me.

Because they are constrained by our Constitution.

Political speech.

Is protected speech.

I wish no harm to anyone listed above.

Even if they have literally taken communist Chinese money (like Joe Biden).

I don’t wish them harm.

But I can’t vote them out.

Not anymore.

Which puts me in a very delicate situation.

Which necessitates that I study war.

To fight China myself.

Because my government has become (in many ways) one with China.

My loyalty is to the USA.

My loyalty is to my country.

America.

Joe Biden’s loyalty is to money.

And those who give him money.

He and his family have profited handsomely off of Chinese dealings.

And Ukrainian dealings.

China has released a plague upon us.

This is not the time to make friends with China.

But Joe Biden doesn’t understand that.

He just understands corruption.

He just wants his pockets lined.

And Joe Biden’s handlers don’t care about the plague.

For them, it’s just another opportunity to make money (off of vaccines).

And really, they worship the plague…because the plague let them dethrone Trump.

It was the only way.

To get the mail-in ballots.

But some, like Bill Gates (and Avril Haines), are quite obviously more privy to a deeper plan.

A plan to cull the herd.

Unfortunately for them, the rapper Pitbull is onto their Event 201 bullshit.

So it is not looking good for Gates and Haines re: stealthiness.

Do you remember Charles Whitman?

Lee Harvey Oswald?

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman does.

Them’s the facts of life.

The Virgin Mary.

Mary Jane Rottencrotch.

A man can only be pushed so far.

How many people voted for Trump?

What do the rotten bastards say?

69 million?

That’s no small potatoes.

Based on post-election polling, I’m guessing the current number of Trump voters who believe the election was stolen sits at about 46 million people or more. Maybe closer to 50 million. And this is assuming the 69 million total is correct (which it cannot, in reality, be).

But I am not here to lay out the evidence.

I have done it before.

I am sick of doing it.

Research it yourself.

Nothing could possibly happen on Tet.

Never has before.

There couldn’t possibly be a military coup.

Never has been before.

Except in just about every country on Earth (America not withstanding).

But what we have had are:

–a Revolutionary War (which birthed the country)

and

–a Civil War (which tore the country in two).

It was a rebirth.

China (and Russia) would like nothing more than to see us go through a civil war.

China because they want to beat us.

Russia because they still hate us.

But Russia respects us.

Not our leaders, of course.

But us.

Those of us fighting against the New World Order.

China owns the New World Order.

Or vice versa.

It is symbiotic.

Russia is on the sidelines.

More or less self-sufficient.

But a little nervous.

About their neighbor China.

And about the disintegration of the U.S.

Of course Russia wants the E.U. to collapse.

But the E.U. deserves to collapse.

Because it is Chinese communism in disguise.

It is the pet project of the globalists (the Bilderberg set).

Adam Baldwin is also the most real thing here.

But D’Onofrio breaks your heart.

And mine too.

Fat boy.

We fucked up.

But we all get the punishment.

Gotta accept Jesus.

It’s not communism.

It’s grace.

It’s mercy.

It’s harmony.

Order out of chaos (some say).

Sure.

But not cynical.

You gotta offer a choice.

God is the ultimate capitalist.

Free will.

A free market of souls.

Take your pick.

Look around.

Choose the Devil.

Or choose God.

Feel evil.

And feel good.

Make your bed.

Kubrick always goes a bit squiffy just when he could nail it.

Same in The Shining.

That stupid maze scene at the end.

More funny than scary.

Ruins a masterpiece.

Blood in slow-motion.

Empty filmmaking.

Kubrick doesn’t know…why…he’s doing what he’s doing.

Which is why this film is NOT as good (nor as important) as Apocalypse Now.

But Kubrick gets very close.

There’s a lot of Strangelove in this.

The irreverence of Joker.

A little bit of Cries and Whispers.

The gook sniper.

Kubrick is going for juxtaposition.

A nuke and Vera Lynn.

A war crime and the Mickey Mouse song.

Quite aware.

Marx and Coca-Cola.

Learn your lessons now, boys!

-PD

Good Morning, Vietnam [1987)

Things are sad here.

This is a war.

Pieczenik has outlined it as both biological warfare and psychological warfare.

Morale.

How to keep morale high?

Maybe you love someone.

Or maybe you’re just attracted to them.

But as you see them leave in a hurry, you wonder whether it might be the last time.

Are we winning?

Are we gonna make it back home?

Everything is shot to shit.

Destroyed.

The DJ is lonely.

Daft.

But quite possibly a genius.

And so you can see how Robin Williams might have committed suicide.

The Great Pretender.

Tears of a Clown.

Death of a Clown.

Drugs have taken hold.

Not the gentle breasts of the opium den, but the annihilation of heroin.

Even the General smokes.

Because you don’t know how many days you have left.

One minute you’re fine.

The next you get blown up by the Vietcong.

Or the virus gets in your lungs.

In times of great distress (to paraphrase), comedians are needed.

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

Willy Wonka said that.

As he grabbed Veruca Salt’s impudent mouth.

Cash is getting low.

Grapes of Wrath.

But we hang on.

With our radios.

And our MacBooks.

To have a zany DJ.

A “maniac”!

Yes.

On a boring street.

In a tense environment.

Theater of war.

Conflict.

Bittersweet.

Perhaps with more knowledge comes more sadness.

But the heart needs to heal.

The psychic energy has been vomited up.

The emetic was psychological.

Autobiographical.

And now I feel wasted.

Limp.

Fatigued.

But hopeful.

I will press on.

I am 43 years old.

There are good things about me.

I recognize what society sees as my shortcomings.

But I am on ice.

And yet it is temporary.

I was never cut out for the military.

And neither was Adrian Cronauer.

But there are many subgroups in the military.

Many ingenious ways by which to put creative individuals to work.

If the totality of war is fully understood.

Outcast.

Freak.

Break the rules.

Skirt the rules.

Play.

Emphasis on play.

Whimsy.

Quixotic.

Cronauer is a bit like Alex Jones.

Which makes sense.

When one sees the admiration Steve Pieczenik has for Alex Jones.

Not just anyone can get in front of a mic and do that.

We get a bit of Stripes here (rehashed).

Do the right thing.

Make true friends.

Long-lasting connections.

Be a good person.

Watch how your life achieves harmony.

Censorship.

Gimme Some Truth.

The pointless pursuit of the unattainable.

Sadness in human history.

In a foreign land.

Where no shops are open.

Where there are no places to congregate.

Our job is important.

We fall into a niche which is not easily defined.

The creators.

Of content.

And happiness.

The most electric scenes here directed by Barry Levinson are those of Robin Williams at work.

Spinning records.

Dancing.

You can feel the energy.

He plays off the reactions of his crew.

And the camera captures the frenzy with a shaking electricity.

Back in the real world, we must decide whether to go on being DJs and clowns.

Many dead ends.

And a broken heart.

A heavy heart.

But God says, “I got you, dawg.”

And we take this as gospel truth.

 

-PD

Till det som √§r vackert [2009)

This is a perfect, imperfect film.

Like Russell’s paradox.

And I hope director Lisa Langseth won’t go all Frege on me and jump out a window.

Ah!

You know…

I have spoiled nothing.

And my words are almost completely inconsequential.

But similar things have been said about La R√®gle du jeu.

And I disagree with that.

In 1939, Jean Renoir made an unqualified (perfect) masterpiece with that film.

I qualified it only to distinguish from my initial example.

And so Pure (the title of this Swedish film which is currently on Netflix in the U.S.) is much like Asia Argento’s almost-masterpiece Incompresa.

I will be quite blunt.

Lisa Langseth stretches in almost the exact same dimension that Argento did with her fine film.

But the real similarity is acting perfection.

For a young child, Giulia Salerno was magnificent (really!) in Argento’s film.

And so Ms. Argento had the secret weapon.

A (very young) actress capable of cine-magic.

Ms. Langseth was blessed with more-or-less the same thing.

But even better.

[perhaps because the actress was a little older and more experienced]

Alicia Vikander makes Till det som √§r vackert go.

I mean, really…this is an acting performance unlike any other.

And so my only gripe with Ms. Langseth, the director, is that she stretched the story TOO FAR.

But that’s ok.

Because, you know what?  Maybe I’m wrong.

Langseth and Argento both seem to be trying to tell every story they’ve ever lived…IN ONE FILM.

Argento is the guiltier party.

For most of Pure, Langseth sticks to a taut plot.

Buttressed by Vikander’s exquisite acting, the sum total is ecstasy.

And so, I find myself reacting against the Hitchcock tendency in two films.

Some directors NEED a good dose of Hitchcock.

Wes Anderson, for example.

That guy is so saccharine…that when the fingers come off in Grand Budapest, we finally have a filmmaker.

But Langseth and Argento are telling GRUELING stories throughout (in Pure and Misunderstood, respectively).

And so the heavy bass note…the one which when slammed births the 9th harmonic…it doesn’t work here.

Because the tritone.

To progress through the harmonic series.

And resolve on a tritone.

It takes a special auteur to do such.

And these two ladies are not the dodecaphonists to do so.

They have not worked out a coherent system to justify their heart-ripping atonality.

But fear not.

Pure is so, so, so worth watching!

This is as close as a film can get to masterpiece while still being flawed.

And it’s so very close, I’m wondering whether the flawed one is me.

[no doubt]

Let me correct the record (ouch…David “Scumbag” Brock)…

We get noodles with ketchup.

I mean, this film is Gummo real.

So I want to give some BIG compliments.

Till det som √§r vackert is the best Swedish film ever made by anyone not named Ingmar Bergman.

In fact, it’s BETTER than several of Bergman’s films.

Shall I name names?

Pure is worlds (WORLDS) better than Fanny and Alexander.

Bergman was in poseur mode.

That flick is so overrated.

And Lisa Langseth totally smokes (eats the lunch of) Bergman.

Further, Till det som √§r vackert is (in my humble, masculine opinion) the greatest feminist film since 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days…and in some ways EVEN BETTER than that timeless masterpiece.

And so, in general, I bow down in worship to Pure.

We have homelessness.

We have mental illness.

We have resilience.

Naturalism.  Grit.  The bird-soul of music…

The only thing we needed was an editor.

To say.

Cut.

About 20 minutes before the end.

Because Ms. Langseth wants to give us redemption.

She just seems to have her Raskolnikov in the wrong pocket.

It’s ok.

I’m the daftest son of a bitch on the planet.

One last thing…

This movie moved me so much.

The bulk of this film.

Did something to me.

Therapeutic.

And sublimely enlightening.

And so I thank God for Lisa Langseth and Alicia Vikander.

God bless you.

Thank you for making this kind of art.

As Nick Cave sang,

“It’s beauty that’s gonna save the world now”.

-PD

◊ó◊™◊ē◊†◊Ē ◊ě◊†◊ô◊ô◊® [2015)

[WEDDING DOLL (2015)]

This may be the most important film I’ve ever reviewed.

And it also may be the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen.

Cinema challenges us to drop our prejudices.

And so, this is the first Israeli film in Hebrew I’ve ever written about.

We must give each side their chance.

And we must stop seeing each other as “sides”.

To the best of my pathetic ability, I am going to attempt to describe a work of cinematic art that I have no right to enjoy.

Wedding Doll is a film which may change your opinions of Israelis.

I must keep my mind very focused to do it justice.

Because our aim is art.

My aim.

Our aim is beauty.

And my main aim is love.

We learn from our peers and our forebears what is right and cool.

We take on archetypes.

We try them on like hats.

Or like dresses.

And we feel comfortable in these metaphorical garments.

Because someone has blazed the path before us.

But the great humans take a step on their own.

If I take faltering steps, then I give the glory to God who has guided me even in such meager efforts.

Let me tell you about this film which celebrates harmony in our tearstained world.

First of all is due all credit to the director:  Nitzan Gilady.

His direction is on par with the great Kiarostami.

But it is equally on par with the great Ingmar Bergman.

It is that good!

Our story takes place in the Negev Desert.

And it behooves us out of an abundance of humanity to place the Negev in a new perspective.

This film does just that.

We see the Makhtesh Ramon.

A crater caused by water erosion.

Unique to Israel and Egypt.

And Makhtesh Ramon (makhtesh meaning “mortar grinder” in Hebrew…as in mortar and pestle) is the perfect analogy for this film.

In a mortar, things are ground up and crushed by the pestle.

Useful, lifesaving things like medicine.

But for the characters in our film, their circumstances are crushing them.

And like in life, some substances will be healing…and some poison.

Perhaps God is the great pharmacist.

I believe that to be so.

But let it be known:  there is not a single mention of God in this film.

And that is fine.

Because God speaks through his creation.

Let me please tell you about the wonderful actors who make this film sheer magic.

Above all is the astounding, stupendous, beautiful genius Moran Rosenblatt.

Her character, Hagit, is 24.

She is obsessed with getting married.

But she is also “special”.

It is a sad story.

She was apparently the victim of a head or neck injury at a young age.

At the hands of childhood bullies (it is intimated).

So she is developmentally disabled.

I hope I have worded it the right way.

Because no person deserves more deference than this character.

Rosenblatt makes her come alive as the most joyous, glowing human being imaginable.

But sadness is all around.

Hagit has unreasonable expectations of life.

Considering her situation.

Especially regarding employment.

And I can certainly understand.

She has a dream.

Her wedding dolls made out of toilet paper are miniature works of art, but she longs to be a fashion designer and work in a bridal shop.

As is the case with every human, we often cannot see our own limitations.

We push.  We dream.

And sometimes we are crushed by the cold reality of a world which doesn’t understand.

But one guy understands.

And he is Hagit’s coworker at a factory.

With just two employees.

A toilet paper factory in Israel.

What could have been maudlin in the hands of a lesser director is transformed into pure poetry by Nitzan Gilady.

But he needed the genius of Moran Rosenblatt.

And she needed help.

Roy Assaf is wonderful as Omri.

Omri watches out for Hagit the best he can.

He has good intentions.

Perhaps he is not perfect, but he brings Hagit so much happiness.

And yet his best efforts are unsustainable.

Only God can perform miracles.

Fortunately for Hagit, she has a mother who would go to the ends of the Earth for her.

Assi Levy plays her mother, Sara.

This is a lady who cleans rooms at a local hotel.

A very small town.

In the desert.

And a lady who sits by the washing machines and hot dryers perhaps in the basement of the same hotel.

Washing bedsheets and blankets and towels.

Sara devotes her whole life to her disabled daughter.

[the father is not around]

Hagit is simply not able to be on her own.

As much as Hagit wants that, the world is too cruel.

And Sara knows this.

She is protective of her little flower Hagit because her daughter is so kindhearted that she makes an easy target for unsavory individuals.

I will not tell you the plot twists.

I’ve probably said too much (to paraphrase Michael Stipe).

But this film is a masterpiece.

It is currently available on Netflix in the U.S. as Wedding Doll.

I have done my best to preserve the Hebrew title at the top.

If it is not visible, I apologize for the website template limitations.

My words cannot adequately do justice to the brilliance of this film.

And thus I will just leave you with its title.

◊ó◊™◊ē◊†◊Ē ◊ě◊†◊ô◊ô◊®

-PD

Vi √§r b√§st! [2013)

IF you want to see a bogus, bollocks feminist film, watch Free the Nipple.

But if you want to see the real thing…a really empowering, touching story, then check out We Are the Best!

IT’s in Swedish.

So you’ll have to use your brain.

And your eyes.

Unless you speak Swedish.

But it will be well worth your time.

Vi √§r b√§st! isn’t trite acting from a bunch of pseudo-provocateurs who just want to take their shirts off.

Nej.

This is the story of three 13-year-old girls.

None of them fit in.

Everyone tells them they’re ugly.

One of them is ostracized for being a Christian.

[now THAT’S punk!]

But it’s the story of three girls who come together and do the greatest thing possible:  form a band.

Music!!!

And let me just say this:  the acting is fucking fantastic!

Mira Barkhammer plays Bobo.

For me, she is the star of the film.

She is the outcast of the outcasts.

No make up.

No cool haircut.

She’s searching for her identity.

But she’s so smart.  So truly unique!

She wears these little wire-rim glasses.

From one perspective, this film is her search for what’s behind the mirror.

Director Lukas Moodysson made a masterpiece here.

Bobo…

The name…

I think of Boris Diaw.

The whole scenario is aw-kward.

But so beautifully so!

And yet Bobo is not perfect.

Far from it.

It’s a team effort.

And teams, especially when they are ad hoc and organic, are inherently dysfunctional.

The actress who puts the dys in dysfunction here is Mira Grosin.

But she too is so wonderful in this film!

She is the inspiration.

The first one out on the limb.

The rebel.

The loudmouth.

She inspires her other two bandmates to fly their freak flags high.

But the most enigmatic is Liv LeMoyne:  the Christian.

Director Moodysson is so deft in his handling of this dynamic.

LeMoyne’s character [Hedvig] has long, beautiful blond hair.

[At this point it is appropriate to address a strange form of class relations in Sweden:  hair color.]

When I used to think of Sweden (which I did rarely), I would imagine everyone as a blond.

Perhaps the American vision of Sweden is a socialist paradise of blond bikini models.

At the very least, blondness seems to be the defining characteristic in the American popular imagination regarding Sweden (as far as I can tell).

This isn’t a scientific study, you understand…

But it is important to point this out.

The snottiest (in the stuck up, snobbish sense) characters in this film are mostly blonds.

The little girls who call Bobo and Klara [Grosin] ugly.

It is really heartbreaking.

These two BRUNETTE girls endure such humiliation throughout this film.

And so it’s no wonder that they want to start a PUNK BAND!

But they can’t play.

Like, not at all…

Their first halting efforts are in the vein of The Shaggs.

No, worse.

And that’s where the Christian comes in.

Hedvig is an accomplished classical guitarist.

It is, indeed, much like the story of Garth Hudson’s joining The Band.

Lessons.

So to speak.

Bobo and Klara are astounded at Hedvig’s talent.

They lament that they’ll never be as good as their gifted new friend.

But Hedvig is all encouragement.

It is [pardon the expression] a match made in heaven.

And so three misfits (for different reasons) band together (literally) and take on the cock rock ridiculousness of bullies like youth-center-rehearsal-room-“stars” Iron Fist.

The message is astounding.

I haven’t seen a film which does such honor to the idea of feminism since 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

But there’s no ulterior motive here.

This isn’t a George Soros production.

This is the real thing.

Just three young people (who happen to be female) wanting to make some noise in their world.

And we see how beautiful punk music is.

IT’s a catharsis.

Like Sonic Youth.

And we remember the true geniuses of the genre (like my hero, the late Alan Vega).

But we also remember the maxim:  “three chords and the truth”.

Hedvig’s got the chords.

[Ah…harmony!  What a concept!!!]

But Klara has the attitude.

And Bobo has the intellect.

They learn from each other.

“Here.  Stay on this note.  Good.  Now move to this note.”

“Punk is about rebellion.  It’s not about the school talent show.  We’ve got to keep going.  It’s a fight.”

“You really need to change your hair.  Do something fun!  Express yourself!  Cut loose!”

Those are my translations of action, not dialogue.

But I can’t stress enough how great these three actresses are in this film.

Mira Barkhammer in particular is a prodigy.

But, as in the story, the trio is inseparable.

And for this kind of cohesion, we have but one place to look in thanks:  the auteur.

-PD