Cinematic Music with Pauly Deathwish
Season 1 Episode 1
Cinematic Music with Pauly Deathwish
Season 1 Episode 1
Recommended if you like Leonard Cohen.
The bird on the wire.
“The Movie”–Jim Morrison
“Came So Far for Beauty”–Leonard Cohen
“Pink Moon”–Nick Drake
“Into My Arms”–Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
“Speed of Sound”–Chris Bell
“Lord Let it Rain on Me”–Spiritualized
“Bird on the Wire”–Leonard Cohen
So Pauly Deathwish comes out with a Sonic Youth cover.
Sounds like Sade and Yoshimi-era Lips.
Like mental illness is no big deal.
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.
But then that fucking piano comes in.
Like “Time” from Aladdin Sane.
Beautiful and fucked up.
Ratchet up Conlon Nancarrow.
Something Charlie Parker about this.
Talking the Kim Gordon lines.
This is good shit.
Gets all ’80s.
Finally Thurston and Ranaldo drop in.
Shit gets real.
The harmonies on this song are insane.
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.
Sounds a little Built to Spill.
Great harmonies again.
This dude didn’t cheat his Fux.
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.
Arpeggiator about to get wild again.
Fuzz bass drops in.
What a guitar tone!
Sounds like a fucking harmonica.
Great lo-fi…Devendra Banhart vibe.
But this is straight Velvet Underground.
An instrumental with ooohs and ahhhs.
Bottom drops out.
Drums chugging away like Primal Scream.
Interesting touch, there.
Little bit Mercury Rev.
See You on the Other Side.
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.
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.
MBV would have gone for this.
Similar guitar underneath.
A little J. Mascis.
Living with my parents.
Are you in therapy?
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.
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.
A silver mt. zion.
Arizona into the Rockies.
Music of wide open spaces.
Charles Mingus checks in.
Was QAnon bullshit?
WFMU seems to think so.
And all their hipster listeners.
Missing the Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
My Bloody Valentine.
Automatic for the people.
Rightly asking if this guy, Pauly Deathwish, is Borat.
Elvis working at the truck stop.
Into French philosophy at a Barnes & Noble.
The great philosophers.
Taking on Philip Glass.
Poor girl with grey teeth.
Addicted to Kardashians.
Smoking candy cigarettes.
Brutal, cold world.
No fall back.
Wanna lock me for blood pressure.
It ain’t no cakewalk.
Tech moves fast.
Better than nothing.
You have a printing press.
The Innocence Mission.
Porgy and Bess.
A thousand planes.
Two ambient instrumentals to start this album.
Setting an amber tone.
Time is a luxury.
And Miles comes in.
Like music from Big Pink.
Very much of the Deserter’s Songs type.
And Coltrane leaps in.
A little noodling.
And WHAT THE FUCK.
Now we are in Blue Hawaii.
On a jukebox in Nashville.
Sawdust on the floor.
Just spit that tabaccy anywheres.
It really is Elvis.
We’re in east Texas with George Jones.
Bona fide redneck interpolation.
“Daisies on Your Doorstep”.
And back to EXPANSIVE verb.
Phil Spector would have loved this.
The plandemic that killed Phil Spector.
Biggest celebrity to buy the farm.
Buy the farm?
Or sell the farm?
During this whole plandemic.
You have no publicity.
I block all reposts.
I wanna EARN it.
Dissolve into what?
More Mercury Rev homage.
Drums from “Desperado”.
Another lonely bloke ended by “Holes”.
Favorite song ever.
Back to regularly scheduled programming.
Knife in the Water.
John Cale droning away on the viola.
Definite Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci nod.
Again The Innocence Mission.
Neil Young big time.
Stooges meet Beach Boys meet Messiaen.
But the Bowie knife is orange.
Made in Germany.
Kanye West and Wayne Coyne drop in.
When you can sing, but you get raped by auto-tune.
Loosen that shit up.
Going all Arabic on me.
Clouds of sound on almost every track.
A very ambient album.
Peaches DJ Berlin.
Roger Waters again.
Straight into Bjork.
Does she umlaut?
Sounds of a Mac.
James Bond in Rio.
Spy guitar for reprise.
Rhythm of the saints.
Beethoven emperor concerto.
A masterful track.
NOW WE’RE TALKING.
Papa Trump back in the house.
For the apocalypse.
L.L. Cool J.
Jesus fucking Christ.
Vengeance is his.
Everyone given a chance.
A fair chance.
I hear a single.
Ramthun came through.
About fucking time.
There’s a riot goin’ on.
Tears of a motherfucking clown.
Having the French horns get groovy.
Sketches of Spain.
The Soft Bulletin.
Christ coming down from the clouds.
Like a ton of bricks.
Don’t call it a comeback.
Not all the way.
Rocket pans across stereo field.
AND ROSE AGAIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.
Jesus more space than NASA.
Really a masterpiece of sample placement.
This is like a fucking lost Roland Kirk album.
Concerto for Booty and Orchestra.
Can never spell.
No more spelling.
Adieu au langage.
Ties together album.
Last track coming on like Faust.
Built to Spill.
In memory of a bloke who bit it.
End of Night on Earth.
You will live forever, my friend.
I never knew you.
You aren’t forgotten.
Thought of you put in this track.
Yerself is steam.
Great album by Pauly Deathwish.
We are finally catching up with Pauly Deathwish.
Here on his sixth album, drugs.
Good psychedelic surf start.
The romance must have seemed possible.
A great opening track.
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.
After the party.
The party at the end of the world.
Certainly song lyrics reminiscent of Wayne Coyne.
Yummy Yummy Yummy.
Maybe the romance has faded.
Even Dire Straits.
Walk of life.
Track 2 with acrobatic chord changes.
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.
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.
But this dude is all about ‘merica.
And i got no problem with it.
Constitution of the USA.
“memes at the ready”.
Information warfare taken into the realm of head music.
This guy is a danger…to the lame liberal establishment.
THIS MOTHERFUCKER HAS RELEASED 7 ALBUMS THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!
Martin Rev dipping Copenhagen.
“Latinas for Trump”.
Track 3 is a trucker song.
Set in Switzerland.
With production like Nigel Godrich.
It’s a long track.
Drum machine and acoustic guitar.
And funky clavinet.
Haven’t heard this since Jerry Lee.
But this is the kinda shit cognizant about There’s a Riot Goin’ On.
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.
Except Cortina d’Ampezzo.
NEU! meets Gram Parsons.
Who is/was this “Swiss Alps Truck-Driving Gal”?
Like French band Air.
Dancy filler track of highest quality.
Mike Lindell needs to hear this shit.
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.
And WHAT THE FUCK?!?
Like late-period Dylan.
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.
But with that San Antonio twist.
Pauly Deathwish from the Alamo city.
Is Trump still the President? 😉
When was this written?
Why that move to Bedminster?
A unifying song.
Ask Abraham Lincoln about “Dixie”.
Masked and anonymous.
QAnon line as money shot.
It don’t matter.
This record rocks the Walmart parking lot.
Richard Manuel tickling the ivories.
Band brown album.
Side two for all you vinyl lovers.
“Let’s Get Creative”.
Really special production.
Which just goes to show that anything can be done with an iPhone.
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.
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.
Edgar Wright needs to hear this shit.
Thurston Moore needs to hear this shit.
Watch the water.
Rollerskate Skinny appreciation society.
First Stereolab album.
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.
One if by…two…
First Eno record.
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.
Obviously, Pauly Deathwish loves the instrumentals from Bowie’s Low.
This is a constant touchstone.
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?
Hell to pay.
Criminal networks wiped off the face of the earth.
LeBron James is a worthless cocksucker.
I think I would get along with this Pauly Deathwish guy.
We have it all…in Utah.
“Bluffdale” like Marquee Moon.
Super Marquee Moon.
Even a bit of John Bonham.
Good drum sound.
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.
Hal Blaine back in the barn stoned on some world-class shit.
Ending album on serious note?
“Cotton Ball Soup”.
Will the masses win?
Against the vaccine passport bastards?
No heroes can be found.
Where’s Thom Yorke?
Cobra and phases.
Emptying a sampler.
Always Flaming Lips.
A twist on bass.
The church of Michael Ivins’ hair.
He wrote this.
Bold start to Pauly Deathwish’s 5th album.
Watch for upcoming single.
Hit to death.
Tribute to Jack Johnson.
Steve Gadd slow nerve action.
Tom and Richard.
Hippies cool at CBGB.
Are you experienced?
Paul Simon never sounded this tough.
Always too cool.
But the lyrics give him a run.
Another COVID album.
McAfee didn’t uninstall himself.
A dentist chair in Florida.
Soros’s scumbag Rubin.
Forgot a fuck.
Not for kids.
Not safe for work.
John Paul Jones keys.
Frustration key of E.
The pitched song.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Remember this connection.
Hal Blaine on Harvest.
Trying to make it pay.
Hotel to Tango.
Stopped in Oklahoma.
Back when concerts were played in Austins.
Tonight’s the night.
Neil in Ontario.
A Canadian pastiche.
The only artist to review his own albums.
Because, you know, fuck it!
9/11 will come out.
Everything building to a head.
First Zeppelin album.
Black mountain side.
Jimmy’s eyes glowing magenta.
They tell me he’s evil.
But you gotta know the story of the blues.
I tried to sell my soul to the Devil.
But I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Jesus protected me.
Satan wasn’t buying.
Down in the basement of the Gunter Hotel.
I tried to sell my soul for the world.
But God didn’t let it happen.
Thinking it was bad enough.
Only through Jesus am I saved.
The worst among sinners.
Trying to gain the whole world.
Willing to forfeit my soul.
God is good.
And I can out-produce Jimmy Page.
Because God is my guide.
I have a dirty mouth.
Go and sin no more.
We’re in a fucking war.
We gotta put Jesus first.
On the battlefield.
Out greatest stealth.
I don’t know how to make copies.
And my black neighbors don’t know how to use the internet.
Joe Biden can get fucked.
But me, I like women with big tits.
Alex Jones quote.
I don’t wanna be a part of this sick cult.
We need God on the battlefield.
Mercy is waiting even for Jimmy Page.
Turn from the evil ways.
Recognize King Jesus.
The sky is crying.
Second jazz tune.
Straight off blues.
The Monk solo.
Dissonant as a motherfucker.
Is a joke?
Watch for first cover.
Straight into a QAnon song.
Flynn, in fact, did not go to jail.
Bob Marley gets all conspiratorial.
Obama gets arrested at his own birthday party.
Strzok blocked on Twitter.
A bunch of cunts?
Not Seth Keshel.
The real deal.
Will the FBI be shut down?
Department of Justice is the very heart of the Deep State.
Rosenstein is linchpin.
Bill Barr was miss.
Cymbals Eat Guitars.
Each given a chance.
Music like this hasn’t been made in 30 years.
Bowie would be proud.
The debris from the Nirvana signing.
The truly good bands.
Some Boo Radleys here.
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Black (Oak) Ark.
A disgusting record collection.
Lovingly preserved in filth.
Vinyl still good.
Cop shoot cop.
Strong statement against Antifa.
This guy is bold.
Dylan tongue cheek.
Only person to listen to this.
Give the anarchist a cigarette.
This is a fucked up record.
Calling David Lynch.
Gonna be hard for the Left to write off this guy.
This dude troublemaker.
Trail of dead.
We know you, but do you know us?
Deep Pieczenik research.
And the beloved NSA.
More accurately: CYBERCOM.
Not yet split?
Nakasone double duty?
Who could bring down?
Two QAnon songs in a row.
Macca bass line.
Welcome to the revolution.
The jazz and blues build up into rock and roll.
Fort Meade on repeat.
Cheyenne Mountain Alerts.
Air Force Cyber.
Rhythm of the saints.
Tettix Wave Accumulator?
Berry Gordy trippin’ balls.
A Lisbeth Salander ballad.
FBI + CIA.
But serves to delineate.
Interior and exterior.
Smarter than Strzok and Page.
Too fucked up to catch Velvets.
I hear you.
It’s a bitch.
Thom Yorke knob twiddler.
Eno in Roxy.
The big sleep date.
Noir and chill.
The harder they fall.
Shoot the piano player.
We are here in San Antonio.
We are making the best of it.
Eating ZZ Top nachos.
Beer drinkers and hell raisers.
A real jalapeno.
Australia to steam like teapot.
Comes with new iPhone.
An anthem like U2 ain’t written for a bit.
This is Dublin territory.
Sexy God believers.
And Jack Nitzsche.
But Bono can sing opera.
A good dude.
Needs to drop the carbon bullshit.
Global warming is giant fucking hoax.
Just like COVID.
The Edge knows.
Grow some balls.
Stop kissing the Pope’s ass.
This commie Pope is a fucker.
Pauly can play guitar!
Album builds up to last song.
Even last song builds up.
Jesus and Mary Chain.
A dangerous confection.
Hit to Death in the Future Head.
Summer is here.
Vacuum cleaner solo.
Boys peel out.
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!
It starts just like Charlotte Gainsbourg.
But there is something different.
A shruti box?
A little distorto guitar.
A little Yo La Tengo.
Built to Spill.
Guitar carries it for a second.
And then into an Amon Düül II warble.
Like Marc Bolan.
Most annoying sound in the world.
Into Pink Floyd.
Circa The Wall.
Almost a premonition of impending doom.
Calm before the storm.
J. Spaceman telephony.
Floating with no highs and no lows.
Strong opening track.
Immediate Delgados shift.
Great counterpoint for a pop musician.
But if you check this bloke’s CV…
You’ll know he went through Fux.
Gonna have to say Elliott Smith.
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Megan Childs violin.
Around the warm fire.
Strings open up.
Orchestral bass that Lou loved.
This guy’s a bastard.
Is this a breakup album?
I thought the last one was a breakup album?
Into Gorwel Owen.
The last GZM album.
Money never runs out.
Cheap air organ.
A very apropos album title.
Spring water Scotch.
And then the Great Reset arrives.
Like a fucking spaceship.
What is this glitch business?
Thom Yorke blasts upon the scene.
Drums James Brown.
Caught by Lee “Scratch”.
Guitar all mangled.
Bert Jansch out of fucking nowhere.
Track rejected by Bond franchise.
Acoustic to electric.
Now it’s Serge.
More Brian Wilson.
Van Dyke Parks.
Still a sadness.
That the old world is passing away.
Right into some Leonard Cohen shit!
How the FUCK was this recorded?
Sounds like 2″ tape.
how has this Pauly Deathwish released three albums in two months?
I can’t even keep up with this guy.
Like a Christmas album.
See You on the Other Side.
A review in the liner notes.
Record pillaging wizard.
Lots of fucking glockenspiel on this record.
But it’s nice.
Like Ennio Morricone.
Again with sugar plum.
Fresher than the sweetness in water.
Light, British, airy.
Is this the single?
A little neo-psych Hendrix moment.
It’s definitely GZM.
Repetition until transcend.
Stereolab first album.
Definitely some breakup here.
Lots of drum machine.
Drum and bass.
Definitely holds up with Radiohead.
How the fuck was this made?
PD tells us that it was all made on an iPhone with only a Telecaster.
That is some serious trickery.
This is COMPLEX music.
Mixes sound polished.
Some Chinese stuff.
Noise floor fucked for the first time ever.
It’s THAT good.
How was this made?
This heralds a new talent.
But this bloke is 44.
Tour sponsored by Ensure.
Not hearing a sophomore slump here.
Two albums in two months.
Review third forthcoming.
This dude is emo as fuck.
I dig it.
This guy is a mystery.
What is his deal?
This sounds more like a cohesive album that Introversion.
Introversion sounds like a debut album…in all the best ways.
Songs saved up.
A greatest hits.
Go big or go home.
This album deals much more in subtlety.
Not every song here is a home run.
This album breathes.
More Beach Boys vibes.
But mentally sharp.
A spark of genius.
A little bluegrass.
The old world is passing away.
Incredible String Band.
Back and forth.
And across to Ireland.
There’s the single.
“Makes Me Wanna Stay in Bed”.
Hate is all you need.
Coming in from the cold.
Delayed bass from The Wall.
Good fucking song!
All Is Dream.
Hard following up.
Emma Pollock solo.
With Alun Woodward singing.
The Great Eastern.
Let It Come Down.
A Rush of Blood to the Head.
This bloke is serious as fuck.
I’m sensing a Jandek promotional strategy.
Final track Richter.
Big symphony night.
Excitement of New York Phil.
The fucking french horns!
A story in dynamics.
A folk album.
Dear Ilinca Călugăreanu,
You have made a beautiful film.
Which the world needed to see.
And the title made me think it would be imperialist propaganda directed at North Korea.
But I could not have been more wrong.
Because Romania has touched my heart so many times.
And so I am glad to add another name to the list of auteurs.
Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cătălin Mitulescu, Cristian Mungiu…
And now Ilinca Călugăreanu.
Yes, it is only right that a young female director should bring us this story.
Ms. Călugăreanu, born in 1981.
Because this film is very much about the 1980s.
And the situation in Romania.
Chuck Norris is merely a placeholder.
A meme which has undergone a certain détournement.
But there is no substitute for communism in this tale.
if you tell people to do one thing…and you’re really heavy-handed about it,
they will almost certainly do the opposite.
At some point.
And Ms. Călugăreanu’s very persuasive hypothesis is that videocassettes brought down the Ceaușescu regime.
And so there is very little way around this impasse without talking political economy.
First, let us address the very astute current Russian minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky.
The esteemed Mr. Medinsky has famously (?) called Netflix “U.S. government…mind control”.
Or at least that’s how The Washington Times (who needs the Post?) framed it.
But let’s investigate.
Let’s have Mr. Medinsky’s words and not just a CliffsNotes, elevator-pitch summation of them.
He says [translated],
“And, what, you thought these gigantic startups emerge by themselves? One schoolboy sat down, thought for a bit, and then billions of dollars rained down from above?”
That is pursuant to the funding which helped birth Netflix (and, presumably, other American companies with what Mr. Medinsky feels is a global, insidious reach).
He continues [translated],
“It turns out that that our ideological friends [the U.S. government] understand perfectly well that this is the art form that is the most important…”
And Vladimir Lenin himself knew it!
Mr. Medinsky then seems to evoke the Leonard Cohen of “Tower of Song” when he says [translated],
“They understand how to enter everyone’s homes by getting into every television with the help of Netflix…”
Leonard Cohen (God rest his soul) said it thus:
“Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor.”
What a lyric!!
And that was in 1988!!!
So our director, Ilinca Călugăreanu, knows that of which she speaks.
Because the grip of Ceaușescu was beginning to slip.
But let’s give Mr. Medinsky one more say [translated],
“And through this television, [they get into] the heads of everyone on Earth. But [Russians] don’t grasp this.”
Now why was Mr. Medinsky so upset?
Well, because Netflix undertook a vast expansion this past summer.
Indeed, the article from which I’m pirating these quotes (yes, translations are intellectual property) dates from June 23, 2016.
The same article notes pointedly that Netflix’s expansion into Russia, plus a vast number of new territories, means that the streaming service is now available in 190 countries worldwide.
Wait a minute…
How many countries are there, you might ask? 196. Or 195.
Poor Taiwan, they just can’t catch a break.
So then you might say, well…what the fuck?!?
What countries is Netflix NOT in???
It appears those countries are China, North Korea, Syria, and…Crimea?
Suffice it to say, the international “community” is not unanimous in their appraisal of Crimean statehood.
Is it part of Russia?
Is it part of Ukraine?
What do the words Republic of Crimea even mean if its not an independent country?
Which brings up the specter of “frozen conflict zones”.
I’m guessing that Netflix might be unavailable in Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.
But I digress…
Because we are on to more specific matters.
There are at least two major ways in which Americans can view the Romanian communist period as it has been depicted in motion pictures.
First, Americans can sympathize with the repression of the Romanian people.
Any doubters should do a little digging on the PATRIOT Act.
Indeed, the psychosis of surveillance (which is mentioned in Chuck Norris vs Communism) could not field a more forbidding bogeyman than the National Security Agency.
And so, dear peoples of the world, would you feel more or less safe living in the same country in which the NSA is headquartered?
Second, Americans could extrapolate Ms. Călugăreanu’s hypothesis to mean that countries such as China will eventually implode as a result of the fulminating combination of repression and technology (even, perhaps, with a starring role for entertainment).
All of that is to say that movies COULD bring down China or North Korea or even Iran.
[Notice the non-Netflix countries…Syria is without, but apparently Iran does have the service.]
Which is to ultimately say, Mr. Medinsky’s fear is completely warranted.
What is at stake in Russia?
The fall of Putin.
A sea change in leadership.
And I will be quite frank.
There is no doubt that Netflix’s catalog is heavily biased towards globalist propaganda.
One of the most glaring areas is India.
I can’t tell you how many watery, transparent premises there are on Netflix which are some permutation of a young person rebelling against a repressive culture.
It’s almost like they’re churning these formulaic films out in a factory.
Boy marries girl from lower caste. Mayhem follows.
Girl goes to human rights court. Happily ever after…
Boy rebels against father’s traditional ways [read: religion].
I mean, at a certain point it’s just pathetic.
But we must hand it to Netflix for some (SOME) of their selections.
Actually, I have found a good many gems on the site.
But it is a very biased (and historically-uninformed collection).
In general, history doesn’t exist for Netflix.
Unless that history is the Holocaust.
Then, of course, there are a plethora of scenarios to “inform” you about the Nazis.
Make no mistake (my best Obama voice), the Nazis were bad.
But do we need 10 fucking films about the Holocaust?
And if Schindler’s List is the zenith of the genre, God help us…
But I digress again…
Chuck Norris vs Communism is a very beautiful film.
It’s about rebellion.
It’s about the little things we do to assert our existence.
And in this case, it’s about a translator (a voiceover dubbing artist) who reached the hearts of innumerable Romanians.
Whether it was Chuck Norris, or Jean-Claude Van Damme, or Sylvester Stallone, Irina’s voice made the dialogue come alive in Romanian.
But it was a subversive activity.
“Imperialist” films were not allowed in Romania.
But Romania was falling apart.
To take the interviewees of our documentary at their word, their lives sucked…without “video” night.
But we must be clear.
Everything (EVERYTHING) about this enterprise was illegal in Romania.
First, the videos had to be smuggled across the border.
Then they had to be copied and dubbed (voiceover).
Then they had to be distributed.
Then some brave schmucks took the risk of screening these films on their TV sets (for a few lei, of course).
But it was dangerous business.
Especially if you were the kingpin.
So it is then strange to meet this kingpin of video piracy face to face.
Not the guy with the panpipes.
No, this was Teodor Zamfir.
Made a pretty penny.
But the fascinating thing (by Călugăreanu’s hypothesis) is that he completely changed Romanian culture.
The seeds of revolution were sown by Dirty Dancing, Last Tango in Paris, The King of Comedy…
And especially by the action films.
Rocky, Rambo, Lone Wolf McQuade…
And so, if you want to piss off a communist (or socialist, or whatever they’re going by these days), you can go with the familiar tack,
“Didn’t they already try that? Wasn’t it an immense failure?”
I don’t know.
But I don’t doubt the faces of those who lived through Ceaușescu.
No national cinema has been nearly as effective as the Romanian in communicating to the West just what life under communism was like.
And so Romania becomes our lens into the Soviet Union and its satellite states.
I know there are Russians who fondly remember communism.
Let’s be clear: capitalism can also suck.
Change and upheaval can be deadly.
They say, “Watch the price of eggs” (to demonstrate how a free market dictates prices).
But we see a very similar discontent in the Middle East.
Is this democracy?
Yes, America has made some mistakes.
And so we should watch everything with a critical eye.
Be your own critic.
Be like Emerson.
And then double back.
Live by palimpsest.
Because you are the ultimate philosopher.
For your life.
I can’t tell you.
And you can’t tell me.
We have to learn.
It must be the right time.
To receive a particular lesson.
I draw courage from Irina Margareta Nistor.
But most of all, I draw courage from the Romanian people.
Perhaps my country’s Hollywood crap (the stuff I took for granted) was just the stuff necessary in the dark times.
Entertainment. Ass kicking. Escape.
But the Romanian cinema of today inspires me beyond words.
And so let us remember, whether we are capitalists or socialists, the price paid by the people of Romania in December 1989.
Was it 1,100 people?
It’s troubling that nobody knows for sure.
But even if it was a thousand people.
They didn’t just get trampled by goats or run over by garbage trucks.
It wasn’t a bloodless revolution.
At least 1000 people.
They saw their moment.
They seized on a moment.
They capitalized on their opportunity.
There was something which impelled them not to just sit at home and listen.
I salute these brave souls who went out into the streets.
For a thousand people to have died, it seems rather inconceivable that there wasn’t an attempt made by the government to “restore order”.
That’s the line which can’t be crossed.
That’s when a government has lost its legitimacy.
Some stories are twisted.
And full-blown civil wars do erupt.
But it appears, in the end, that repression lost.
And repression, censorship, and heavy-handed tactics (whether adopted by socialists or capitalists) should, by historical lesson, be most strictly avoided.
It is human nature.
The people will not tolerate being treated like livestock.
And something as seemingly inconsequential as VHS tapes can tip the balance.