Friday Music: EMA, Boris, Nothing, Mogwai

Erika M Andersons’ previous album, Past Life Martyred Saints, was one of those albums I liked & admired, but didn’t love. It was dark, moody, and emotional, and something I should have adored, but it just didn’t click for reasons I can’t fully explain.

There are no such problems with Future Void*, which is one of the best things I’ve listened to in 2014. It’s noisy (opener Satellites) fun (grungey pop So Blonde), and emotional (3jane, which is almost certainly going to appear on some soundtracks.)

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Karen Stintz runs for mayor, announces she has no idea how to identify a mayor

“We thought we were getting a responsible leader.”

That’s what newly-registered Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz had to say about electing Rob Ford at the Toronto Board of Trade.

It’s safe to say that Rob Ford has surprised a lot of people during his time as mayor. No one expected him to be videotaped smoking crack, hanging out with convicted criminals in parking lots late at night, or waging a public relations war with the chief of police.

But let’s not pretend there weren’t any signs pointing to the possibility Ford might not be entirely mayoral.

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American Hustle has style, but can’t back up its ambition

American HustleAmerican Hustle opens with a balding and pot-bellied Christian Bale performing the intricate ritual of arranging his combover. There’s some obvious symbolism in his character, Irving Rosenfeld, pretending to be someone he’s not: He’s a con man, leading desperate people on with the promise of loans that will never materialize in exchange for some very real fees. As his partner and lover, Amy Adams masquerades as an English noblewoman with ties to British banks.

But the scene, full of glue and merkins and hairspray, also hints at one of the film’s weaknesses: It is very concerned with how it looks. The film is set in the late 1970s in New Jersey and Long Island, and director David O. Russell wants to make sure you know it. This was clear from the earliest promotional posters, which showed off the clothes, hairstyles, and, in the case of the female cast members, cleavage of the era. Continue Reading

How to start the year

New Year’s Resolution: Begin every day with Please Mr Kennedy, from Inside Llewyn Davis. It’s entirely delightful.

(Note: Not an actual New year’s Resolution.)

The best song about Blade Runner in 2013

This is a surprisingly lovely song by Grumbling Fur that appropriates Rutger Hauer’s final monologue from Blade Runner.

If you’ve forgotten, the original:

We know why Rob Ford lies. What’s everyone else’s excuse?

While Rob Ford’s flaws, both political and personal, have been well documented, he’s rarely lacked political support. While some city councillors have abandoned his bullying, ignorant leadership he’s maintained support from plenty of politicians who have spent so much time looking the other way it’s a wonder they can still move their necks.

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