The Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready For Freddy” video at Cinepunx

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If you’ve not read Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree, you can be faulted for thinking that the Fat Boys were just another novelty group, the likes of which littered the ’80s. However, for thems what know, the Fat Boys actually started out as the Disco 3, winning a talent competition sponsored by Swatch in the early ’80s, and gaining popularity through a series of MTV commercials.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on The Fat Boys & A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at Cinepunx. Published 7/6/16

Review of Suit of Light’s “Break Open the Head” at Modern Vinyl

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On the Maltin on Movies podcast, renowned critic Leonard Maltin frequently uses some iteration of the phrase, “Nobody sets out to make a bad movie.” And some variation of this concept could easily be applied to Suit of Lights’ fourth album, Break Open the Head. You’ll wonder if the band sat around, and had a discussion wherein they thought, “Hey: our lead singer has a thin and reedy voice. Why don’t we place it as prominently in the mix as possible?”
Read the entire review of Suit of Light's Break Open the Head at Modern Vinyl. Published 7/5/16

Review of Moment’s “Thick & Unwieldy From All Our Layers” at Modern Vinyl

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Man, if I’d heard Moment when I was 19, I’d have been a fan for life. The manner in which Moment connects the disparate elements of East Coast punk rock from the late ‘90s and early ‘00s is amazing to say the least. It’s melodic, but rough-edged, and there’s this combination of catchy, hook-laden choruses with breakdowns which absolutely fascinate.
Read the entire review of Moment's Thick & Unwieldy From All Our Layers at Modern Vinyl. Published 6/5/16

Femi Kuti Q&A at the Pitch

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"If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.” The quote is attributed to early 20th-century feminist and radical Emma Goldman, but it could as easily have been uttered by Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti — or by his son Femi Kuti. With his band, the Positive Force, the 54-year-old carries on his father’s legacy, emodying the genre’s potent mingling of rhythm and fiery political thought. Kuti and the Positive Force have been making music for three decades now, and they bring a massive, moving show. I reached him by phone in San Francisco, ahead of his July 8 KC show.
Read the entire Q&A at the Pitch. Published 6/5/16

June’s Cine Local at the Pitch

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"The music videos released in the last few weeks are as exciting visually as they are musically. Starting with hip-hop turntablism from Midnight Marauders, then moving into a string of amazing rock 'n' roll from the likes of Psychic Heat and the Philistines, then back to hip-hop with Verbal Contact and Lincoln Marshall, there's something to appeal to all tastes as of late. Check out the amazing eye candy in store for you with this month's Cine Local."
Watch all of the videos at the Pitch. Published 6/1/16

Review of Cliff Martinez’s “Neon Demon” score at Modern Vinyl (with Alan Miller)

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"Cliff Martinez. You could argue no modern day composer rests within the same level of 'cool' as the one giving us Drive, Only God Forgives and The Knick in a span of less than 5 years. And “Drive” in particular made Martinez’s work one sought after by record collectors, a Mondo pressing big for that status. His latest, and third collaboration with Nicolas Winding Refn, is The Neon Demon, a dark, possibly sadistic look into the fashion world. Here, we have MV writers Alan Miller and Nick Spacek taking a look at the score, going track by track with their thoughts."
Read part one, "Dominant Twinkles." Published 6/8/16 Read part two, "Pure Stalker Theme." Published 7/1/16

Review of Thee Oh Sees’ “Live In San Francisco” at Modern Vinyl

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"Okay, okay — I get it. I’ve been listening to the music of Thee Oh Sees, off and on, for six or seven years now, and every album has been hailed by friends as being the next best thing since their last. I’m always fairly ambivalent and don’t get the appeal. 'See them live,' say my friends. 'That’s the real deal.' I’ve been mostly disinclined, because if I don’t like an album I streamed for free, why in God’s name would I pay $15 and stand on a concrete floor to hear them play those same songs? Again, I get it now. Thee Oh Sees’ Live In San Francisco had me pretty much convinced as to the band’s live effectiveness with its four sides of intense rock ‘n’ roll, but then there’s a DVD which comes with the set, and you watch the band, and it’s another level of intensity."
Read the complete review at Modern Vinyl. Published 7/1/16

Review of Wells Fargo’s “Watch Out!” at Modern Vinyl

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"Wells Fargo’s Watch Out! is the reason one joins a record subscription service like Vinyl Me, Please. It’s an excellent album, but so far outside the mainstream, one might easily overlook it. And the music within is so fascinating that having it delivered to your door, without having to give the effort attached to discovery, seems like a reward for having recently done something right."
Read the complete review at Modern Vinyl. Published 6/22/16

Review of Young Mister’s “S/T” at Modern Vinyl

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"Young Mister is the project of songwriter Steven Fiore, who — as I’m told by the press release which accompanies this self-titled LP — spent six years writing with the Universal Music Group. While there, he wrote songs for the likes of Howie Day and Ryan Cabrera, and this is supposedly Fiore 'shedding his skin and stretching into new musical territory.' Unfortunately, this territory is kind of dull."
Read the complete review at Modern Vinyl. Published 6/29/16

Contributed to “TERMINATOR 2: 25 YEARS AFTER JUDGMENT DAY [TWO CENTS]” at Cinapse

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"Two Cents is an original column akin to a book club for films. The Cinapse team will program films and contribute our best, most insightful, or most creative thoughts on each film using a maximum of 200 words each. Guest writers and fan comments are encouraged, as are suggestions for future entries to the column. Join us as we share our two cents on films we love, films we are curious about, and films we believe merit some discussion."
Read the whole piece and Nick's 200 words at Cinapse. Published 6/1/16