As I continue a hostile takeover of my own long-dormant blog, I had the idea to do a weekly post to highlight four things I loved this week – gonna see if I can keep it to one film, one wrestling match and two albums (one old, one new), all of which will be under-the-radar stuff. As in, this week I watched “The Usual Suspects” for the first time, and listened to Don McLean’s “American Pie” album for the first time, but you already know about those things so there’s no point in exercising my knuckles to tell you about them.
Of course, things won’t always align like that and I’m sure I’ll straight up forget to do this +50% of the time, but whatever it’s my blog I can do what I want here.
#1. Diane Coffee – “With People” (2022)
This album came to me via recommendation, as I, just like everyone else, seemed to have completely missed it dropping. Diane Coffee is an ex-drummer of Foxygen and appeared on the second Run The Jewels album. I admittedly have not really kept up with their solo work over the years, but their name never dropped off my radar, so to see the criminally low play counts on their new album on Spotify was shocking. Folks, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an eclectic indie mix, complementing tuneful music with off-kilter vocals, like a more energetic Hamilton Leithauser. A guest spot from Deep Sea Diver really seals the deal, too. There were a couple really great new releases I checked out this week, but this one is the most undeservedly overlooked. We’re talking album of the quarter stuff, here.
Other new releases I recommend: Black Dresses – “Forget Your Own Face,” Moonlight Sorcery – “Piercing Through the Frozen Eternity,” black midi – “Hellfire”
#2. “I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang” (1932)
I’d been meaning to check this flick out ever since the ending action sequence made the rounds on twitter a few months back. I’ve seen a share of 30’s movies now and one issue I have with most dramas is inconsistency – segments of action followed by long stretches of nothing, etc. It might be worth noting that two films that kept me consistently engaged were this and “Scarface” – both films from 1932, and both starring Paul Muni. This one follows a WWI vet as he’s wrongfully arrested for simply being in a restaurant when it gets robbed. Once he’s thrown on a chain gang, he commits an actual crime of busting out and going on the lam. It’s years until he’s found, as he’s changed his identity and become a man of his local community, but a wicked government throws him back in prison and then lies about how long they’re keeping him there. It’s dark and it’s cynical, and both getaway scenes are brimming with genuinely thrilling action. I really don’t know why this film – and it’s cool, helpful title – are not talked about more often.
Other films I watched for the first time this week: The Usual Suspects (1995), Zombieland Double Tap (2019), Willy’s Wonderland (2021).
#3 Kasey Kirk vs. Danny Demanto – ICW No Holds Barred 24 (4/1/22)
Realistically, I don’t know if I’ll spend the time writing about matches each week, because I don’t really pore over old footage at all and just stick to a handful of American promotions (Impact, GCW, ICWNHB, H2O, sometimes AEW, and a few other indies I’ll check out if the cards are good). I spent some time this week catching up on ICWNHB shows – my favorite deathmatch promotion. I’ve been with them since early on in the chains rebranding at the top of 2020, but they spent much of that year & 2021 being a cool, ho-hum deathmatch company with a couple noteworthy moments (60 minute ironman match, new title). In 2022, Demanto’s org has suddenly made a major push for recognition on the independent scene, with nearly every chains event being well worth your time, if you can stomach the violence. Coupled with that is the sudden push to give Kasey Kirk a spotlight as a singles competitor and not just a valet/interferer for her husband Brandon. She’s already defeated John Wayne Murdoch, Joel Bateman, and her own damn husband (in a very fun match I saw in person!) so for her to go up against, and beat, the head of the company – well it just made sense. Kasey and Danny don’t hold back – I mean, it’s Danny Demanto – as the violence escalates to thrilling and uncomfortable levels. 2022 has felt like a solid year for women in deathmatch wrestling, and this match is a highlight of that.
#4. Repulsion – “Horrified” (1989)
If you’ve for some reason continued to read this far, then you may already be familiar with the sole studio album from the band Repulsion. There’s more than enough gaps in my knowledge for me to call myself a metalhead – I mean, I kicked this piece off writing about Diane Coffee – but I closed one this week. The album was a massive influence on a generation of (largely worse) death metal, goregrind and grindcore groups. The tracks are direct in their filth, with song titles like “Splattered Cadavers,” “Bodily Dismemberment,” and “Festering Boils.” If there’s a body part, there’s a song. This album also sets the tone for grindcore moving forward, at 18 songs and 29 minutes. There’s a certain something in the production of this album that feels particularly grimy – every song sounds very rough and muddy without being overbearing. It feels like something that’s been mimicked a thousand times but never copied. “Horrified” won’t win any new fans to metal, but it should be a mandatory listen for anyone trying to trace the roots of grindcore et al.
Other older releases I enjoyed for the first time this week: Don McLean – “American Pie” (1971), The Buggles – “The Age of Plastic” (1980), Spoon – “A Series of Sneaks (1998), Oathbreaker – “ErosAnetros” (2013), Lingua Ignota – “All Bitches Die” (2018)
That’s four things I enjoyed this week! I’d like to keep this going weekly, or perhaps I’ll do one monthly as this took longer than I expected. If you actually read any of this, thanks! That’s very nice of you! I hope you feel an urge to check any of these out if they’re up your alley. Feel free to send me any recs of stuff you think I may enjoy as well!