Archive for the ‘Neil LaBute’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: DEAD KENNEDYS-“Nazi Punks Fuck Off” (ill.Gates x RIP KENNY Remix) (2020).

The Dead Kennedys are one of my favorite punk bands.  Lyrically (thanks Jello Biafra) they were always sharp and on point.  But musically they were also adventurous and interesting–their songs were never simple, easy punk.

This song is one of the few exceptions–it’s really fast (the whole song is a minute long) and the lyrics are kind of inaudible, which is a bit of a shame.  Really all you can hear is the screamed Fuck Off!

So this remix is by ill.gates (hilarious name) and RIP Kenny.  I don’t know anything about them (except that ill.gates is a Canadian EDM artist).

The remix is hardly a remix at all.  The original riff is present, but it’s mostly a lot of interesting trippy EDM beats and distorted vocals shouting “fuck off.”  The breaks in the song are, unexpectedly, the beginning of the original recording where Biafra says, “Uh, ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off,’ take 3.” They then distort this spoken line for each subsequent break.

I don’t think there are any other words.  Which means that ill.gates’ story about the song is more entertaining than the song itself.  But if this remix introduces more people to the Dead Kennedys that’s no bad thing.

RIP Kenny and I made this remix in 2019 and then spent an ENTIRE YEAR trying to track down Dead Kennedys and get permission to release it. Jello Biafra is not a big computer guy, so we had to actually burn a physical CD and mail it in… hilarious. Anyway, Jello eventually listened to it and gave us his blessing for an official release so long as we use the funds to oppose fascism. Sounds good to me.”
Al proceeds from this release go to the ACLU to support civil rights in the USA .

But heck, give to the ACLU, we need it.

[READ: August 1, 2020] “Layover”

This is a short story that is pretty much like a skit from a sketch comedy troupe.  Although without an audience, it’s hard to know if the story is funny.

Essentially, a man in an airport scopes out a woman (“now there’s a nice lay”).  He lets her pass and she flickers a smile at him.  Clearly she wants him.

When she asks him to pass a spork, he knows that she is his. (more…)

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woyzeckSOUNDTRACK: BUILT TO SPILL-There’s Nothing Wrong with Love (1994).

Theres_Nothing_Wrong_With_LoveThis is the second Built to Spill album.  They moved to a new indie label (Up Records) for this one.  For this album the line up changed to Brett Nelson, on bass and Andy Capps on drums.

For this album there aren’t too many long songs.  In fact many are 3 minutes or less.  And overall, the feel is more lo-fi, less experimental.  And yet it still sounds very much like Built to Spill.

“In the Morning” is pretty and catchy with some interesting guitar work that is downplayed in the mix. I like the rather surprising ending.  “Big Dipper” is insanely catchy with two separate styles of guitar solo at the same time.

“Car” is even catchier–one of their great early songs.  It’s got a great riff and verse.  And the strings add a lot to the song.  “Fling” opens with acoustic guitar and strings.  It’s a pretty song and only 2 and a half minutes.  “Cleo” is another slow song with some bursts of guitar greatness.

“The Source” has loud and quiet elements—big acoustic guitars and some crazy jamming moments towards the end.

“Twin Falls” is a stripped down and honest song.  It’s just him and his acoustic guitar (with some electric guitar soloing over the top) singing an honest, sweet ballad.

“Some” has slow and heavy elements as it tells a story about a guy. It’s the longest song on the dis and one of the few where Martsch just lets loose on guitar and wails (for a long time).  “Distopian Dream Girl” has a kind of sloppy feel to it (with the lead guitar being especially sloppy).  The lyrics about his stepfather looking like David’ Bowie are very funny. I love the way the mildly catchy verse turns into a big catchy chorus.

“Israel’s Song” has a groovy bass line unlike anything else on the disc.  And the disc proper ends with “Stab.”  The song opens slowly with some quiet electric guitar but it builds for 5 and a half minutes (the second longest song on the disc). By 2 minutes, the song has become a heavy guitar song getting faster and faster until it breaks into a slow guitar picked section with strings. As the song returns to that heavy fast section, it adds a long guitar solo–combing all of the elements of Built to Spill in one song.

Although this album isn’t as “experimental” as the first and doesn’t have too many weird sounds on it, they haven’t lost their sense of humor.  There is an unlisted track which is a “preview” of the next Built to Spill record.  It contains several snippets of “songs” that will appear next (a decent variety of styles, too).  Of course, none of these songs appear on the record and the date that they give for when it will come out is also false.  It’s pretty darn funny.  This album tends to get overlooked because their next full length was on a major label, but it’s still really solid.

[READ: September 26, 2015] Woyzeck

Karl Georg Büchner died in 1837 at the age of 24. In his short life he wrote 4 plays and all kinds of nonfiction.  Woyzeck was unfinished and has been adapted many times for the stage and film.  And now it is LaBute’s turn.

Neil LaBute is one of the most misanthropic filmmakers I know of.  His films are super dark, (occasionally funny–but always dark) and he’s not afraid to address controversial issues.  So he seems like the perfect person to adapt (and add to) this play.

In the lengthy introduction, LaBute comments that if you didn’t spend time looking for buried treasure as a kid “your childhood may have been even worse than mine and therefore I want to spend no time imagining it.”  He says that Woyzeck is such a treasure. (more…)

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