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Archive for the ‘Woody Allen’ Category

30SOUNDTRACK: KAWABATA MAKOTO [河端一]-INUI 4 (2007).

a2911123677_16Kawabata Makoto [河端一] is the guitarist and mastermind behind Acid Mothers Temple. The band is hugely prolific. But he still had time to record solo albums. Often times without any guitar.

This was Kawabata’s fourth solo LP, now available on bandcamp

NUI 4 is the fourth volume in Makoto’s series of occasional solo releases for VHF. While widely and rightly known for ear-splitting Deep Purple style guitar demolition with Acid Mothers Temple, Gong, etc, Kawabata’s INUI works are highly personal and introspective, with lots of room given to cosmic atmosphere and acoustic instruments. INUI 4 is a single 68 minute track, a slow building and evolving multi-layered swath of acoustic & electric guitars, electronics, and hurdy gurdy. The final 20 minutes of the track features prominent “glissando” guitar, ala Daevid Allen, a very fine sound to be lost in.

This album consists of 1 hour-long song called RYO (01:07:51).

A piercing high note lingers throughout the track as a beautiful bouzouki melody plays and trippy space sounds swirl around.  The piercing note seems to fade into the background as soaring swirling sounds begin around 5 minutes with a kind of high whistling melody running through from about 8 minutes.

AS the song  continues, new sounds continue to enter.  At 15 minutes, warping and buzzing sound swirl in.  At 23 minutes, deep moaning sounds cycle through.  At 30 minutes swirling spaceship sounds float in.

Around 35 minutes a melody seems to come through the hazy distance (possibly from the hurdy gurdy).  Around 40 minutes a “beat” (made of possible reversed guitar chords) starts to come in.  This adds a kind of quiet propulsion to the sound as the soloing in the distance gets more intense (yet still quite).

Then at 46 minutes it shifts dramatically.  All the drones drop away and the song starts fresh with gentle swirling guitars.  Everything feels like it is ringing and chiming and it stays in this beautiful glissando style for the next 20 minutes.

Not a bad way to spend an hour.

[READ: September 13, 2019] “On a Bad Day You Can See Forever”

This story seems mostly like an opportunity for Woody Allen to throw in as many fifty-cent words as he can.  Which is kind of funny since it is about overpaying for renovations.

You’d never quite guess that’s where this story is going from the opening.  As it opens the narrator is at the gym and has just thrown out his back (“my spine suddenly assumed the shape of a Möbius strip”) trying to “tickle pink the almond-eyed fox” doing push ups near him.  Given Allen’s history, this is unfortunate to say the least.  Not the least of which is because this character is married.

But whatever, it’s a comic story, right? (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2015] Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical

bobI have been a fan of Woody Allen’s movies since I took a class on him in college circa 1991. I loved the movie of Bullets Over Broadway which was a fun period piece (1920s) that starred John Cusack and Dianne Wiest among others.  The script was punchy and funny and addressed issues of morality and art.  And there were gangsters too.

Who would have guessed that the 1994 movie would have been turned into a musical twenty years later.  Evidently Allen did not want it turned into a musical until the idea of using songs from the period was introduced (with modified lyrics) and then he agreed.

The show ran on Broadway for about five months, which seems like it must not have been well received.  And yet, it did garner 6 Tony nominations and there were many positive reviews.  I don’t know enough about Broadway to know if a five month run means anything.  The Broadway version starred Zach Braff and Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from The Sopranos).

The touring version of the musical is listed as Non-equity (I had to look up to see what that meant).  The long and short of it is that it means that you won’t have heard of anyone in the performance.  The director is also different.  I don’t know if that means things are very different from the original production.  I had read that typically a non-equity show has a lower budget, but I was quite impressed with the sets in this one.  The “train” was amazing, and I really liked the way they created the rooftop and the car and several other scenes. (more…)

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