A filmmaker who's Chinese, 22, and gay talks about his work and love life with an unseen friend behind the camera. We also watch four of his short films. "Hysterio Passio" conjures images of men's passions. In "Matricide," a lawyer asks a young gay Chinese why he killed his mother on Christmas morning. In "Key in the Heart," a heroine (an Asian man in drag) pursues vampires. In "Fall, 1990," college students meet their roommates, and Jimmy, an edgy scholarship boy without a family, is slowly brought to an understanding of love by the callow Byron. "Flow" begins with a satiric look at the vectors of viruses and ends with a chat with our fictive filmmaker's hip mother.
From 1974 through 1980, Johnny "Guitar" Watson was on a tear no one, including George Clinton or Bootsy Collins, could equal. While the P-Funk machine began to run out of steam by 1978 - with the exception of the Brides of Funkenstein - Watson kept churning out the weird, kinky funk well into the era of Rick James. Love Jones, his last fine record for quite awhile, had all the trademarks in place: the choppy, heavily reverbed and wah-wahed guitar that had made Watson a blues sensation, the sci-fi keyboards, the handclap that Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards ripped off for Chic, the expandable horn section that intertwined with the guitar riffs, and the punched up basic basslines that kept the funk a simple but ultimately moving thing.
This is a fine compilation of Jackie Gleason's output for Columbia. Gleason's objective was to make "musical wallpaper" that should never be intrusive, but rather conducive. He was not musically literate, but never had a problem articulating what he wanted to hear from his orchestra. The music here is quiet, melancholy, and often somber, played at mostly moderate to slow tempos. Each selection seems to flow into the next, achieving Gleason's goal of unobtrusiveness. Collectors may be more interested in seeking out the original LPs that comprise the material here, but for those looking for two CDs worth of some of the most relaxing music ever recorded, this is the place to start.
The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred toward violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs. Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the goings-on of his Montague cousins, but after he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a Capulet at the end of one very wild party, the enmity between the two clans becomes the root of his angst. He relies heavily – and with serious consequences – on his rebel gender-bender of a friend, Mercutio (Harold Perrineau Jr.), and Father (not Friar) Lawrence (Pete Postlethwaite) for protection and support. Romeo is, of course, exiled, and it looks like Juliet will be forced into an arranged marriage with the bland Paris (Paul Rudd). It ends, as Romeo and Juliet must, when Romeo hears a tragic piece of misinformation and brings his suicide wish to what was meant to be Juliet 's temporary tomb.
These chamber works bring Sony's adventurous, timely Ligeti series to a natural pinnacle. Long the challenger of stylistic stasis and customary demonstrations of excellence, Ligeti has outdone himself here (as he did with the fantastic Mechanical Music release). The Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1982) challenges its players to stay in step with each other even while expanding virtuosity to the breaking point. Marie-Luise Neunecker plays such full horn parts that they roll flow over the tonal bounds, as does Saschko Gawriloff's violin and Pierre-Laurent Aimard's piano… –Andrew Bartlett..
A Sunday in Autumn (1994). Jon Mark uses his electronic keyboards to produce a CD filled with incredibly evocative music. The melancholy and reflection that flow through every song on this recording are indicative of the time of year when trees go bare, the air grows cold, and winter begins to appear. Some of the songs are tinged with bittersweet memories, others are more minor-key and somber.
Asia Journey (1996). Blending his unique warm and melodic yet still distinctly ambient keyboards with a subtle yet tangible Far Eastern texture, Jon Mark has once again delivered the goods. This man can, apparently, do no wrong…
An important man in the German electronic scene, Zurich-born musician and producer Thomas Fehlmann brought several diverse acts to Germany to record and collaborate. Beginning in the early '80s, his group Palais Schaumburg fused dance rhythms to the experimentalist flair of '70s German rock. A Detroit-Berlin cultural exchange through the Tresor label originally brought Underground Resistance to Germany, and Fehlmann did his part by recording separately with Blake Baxter, Eddie Flashin' Fowlkes, and Juan Atkins (as 3MB). A longtime association with another electronica institution, the Orb, gave him a chance to record and produce the group in Berlin…
Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements.
California may be the largest state in the Union, but it's only one state nuzzling one ocean, with only so many people living near the coastline, and a small minority of them have attempted to navigate waves on a board, much less possess the fetching physique to do so in public. Obviously, then, surf music isn't for surfers. If it were, Rhino would put out a greatest-hits EP instead of a four-disc box set. Cowabunga! is all the permanent-wave stuff most people will ever need.