Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am Iron Man

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:45 PM




Pace yourself because there's a lot more coming down the pike than one superhero. In other words if you rush to see Iron Man because you think it'll be great you could be rushing to judgement. In a movie shot in late 1967 and early 1968, Le Gai Savoir, Jean-Luc Godard's "return to zero" film he has a pretty woman reading a poem in front of a wall adorned with large images of the following: Batman, the Hulk, and Spiderman. None of those mutated heroes were well known outside culture mongers and kids reading comics in that era. Flash forward about 40 years. Those iconic images are what sell current movies, in fact they're all present this summer if you replace Peter Parker with Tony Stark. Name a filmmaker working now with a film that has a single frame that identifies the zeitgeist of 2048.
No, films now aren't as heavy (there are always exceptions). Just as the Iron Man that had his genesis in the 60s was far more complex (drug addiction) than the "family friendly" version played by Robert Downey, Jr. in the film opening Friday. For today's Iron Man the deepest it gets is a kind of spiritual epiphany that allows him to justify killing people with his weapons. Industrialist Tony Stark (Downey) could be a bastard combination of Shaw's Andrew Undershaft and pop spy Matt Helm the way he profits from arms and dispatches evil doers. Maybe in the sequel (Downey has signed for three) Stark donates his profits to Greenpeace.
Here is my main problem with Iron Man other than it's lack of cinematic hoopla (Where is Sam Raimi when you need him?) Other superbeings are legend (Thor) or atomic mutations (Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four). The reality of their powers is more sci-fi than attached to the physics of our present world. But Iron Man lives in the world of real science and his powers are all inventions in a lab, or cave as the case may be. So when Iron Man files from Malibu to Afghanistan the reality is it took him a day to fly at jet speeds, yet the film makes it look as exhausting as driving down the street to the store. Iron Man makes a small ring out of the element palladium that he uses to power his suit. Fine, only the entire movie seems constructed out of voodoo science.
I didn't have a bad time at Iron Man, but the seen it done that attitude I left the theater with bemoans ever wanting to see this on DVD or care about sequels. Stan Lee turns up in a cameo where he's transformed into Hugh Hefner.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Live Reviews - Peter Brotzmann & Han Bennink plus TDU

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:04 AM

Why does is man attacking his drum kit? It's Free Jazz drummer Han Bennink and, believe you me, this is par for the course.

This week we cover his performance with Peter Brotzmann as well as a pit stop with local improv dudes The Defenestration Unit. (Link)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Golden Axe Tonight at Rudz for Mike Simms Benefit

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:54 AM


Piss. Shit. The bad news is that neighborhood fixture Mike Simms has incurred some legal bills after he was pulled over the other night by HPD while riding his bike. The good news, however, is that Jedi-masters Golden Axe will be playing a benefit for him tonight at Rudz (4/28). Golden Axe is a rare treat these days as guitarist Warren is touring with Valiant Thor. So, despite i being utterly-fucking-preposterous that our homie Mike was apprehended while riding a bike, the silver lining is that the grand potentates of clutch-time-shenanigans will be coming through for their boy to raise funds for his legal woes. So come on out, it's only 5 bux and it's for a happy-happy joy-joy cause.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Papermoons

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 9:55 PM

Papermoons' new teaser song for their upcoming album is pretty sweet so naturally that means I have to ramble on about how awesome it is. (link)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Music Preview for the week of 24, April 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:53 PM

Despite Blogger eating my homework, I was able to reassemble a succinct list of good stuff this week. And this week is a good one with enough ying and yang to amuse and befuddle. There is Ifest (coolsauce) and Buzzfest (weaksauce). Free Jazz that will cost ya but on the other hand Steve Earle and Allison Moorer (Right) will not. Plus lots of cool stuff like Papermoons, Buxton, Elf Power, Pong, Black Black Gold and more. Whatever you do, don't sit on yr ass. (link)

Photo: Joe Mabel
See Wikipedia for GDFL information (Link)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Live Music Reviews This Week - Speeding Motorcycle & Deadbolt

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:24 PM

Sunday night's Speedy Motorcycle Review and Friday Night's Deadbolt show all in two paragraphs. (link)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

HIMC Presents: USA vs Al-Arian 2/26 7pm @ Rice Cinema

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:00 PM


Co-sponsored by the Houston Palestine Film Festival

”USA vs AL-ARIAN”
is an intimate family portrait that documents the American-Muslim family Al-Arian's desperate attempt to fight terrorism charges leveled by the US Government.

In February 2003, university professor and pro-Palestinian civil rights activist Sami Al-Arian was arrested in Tampa, Florida, charged with providing material support to a terror organization. For two-and-a-half years he was held in solitary confinement, denied basic privileges and given limited access to his attorneys. While the Bush administration considered this a landmark case in its campaign against international terrorism, Sami Al-Arian claims he was targeted in an attempt to silence his political views. The film follows Sami Al-Arian’s wife Nahla and their five children throughout his 6 month-long trial. It is an intimate family portrait that documents the strain brought on by the trial, a battle waged both in court and in the media.

April 26th at Rice Media Center

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This week's Music Preview...

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 10:46 PM

This is the kind of week where you can get your Ayn Rand fetish on with these guys from the Great White North in a huge venue then, the day after, get your pop fetish on with Daniel Johnson's Speedy Motorcycle at the much more intimate Rudz! Yup, that's right big or small it's gonna be a good week to get your Ya-Yas out.

Anyhow, Negativeland, Indian Jewelry, Monocles, Hasbeen and a whole lot more stuff to see this week including the McKenzies who were my favorite "Who the hell is this? They're awesome!" band of last week's block party. (Link)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fiddlesticks! Is Cafe' Artiste out of business?

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:50 PM


I have driven by this Houston mainstay several times in the last 2 days to find the doors closed. Knowwhatthefuckhappened? Rumor is that several employees have been applying at other coffee shops in the hood. Now, we all know Artiste's food was mediocre and the art was uber-baby boomer-esoterica ala' Spyro Gyra, but they are one of the only spots in town that offers drip brew. Please let us know any info on this travesty.

posted by Omar

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Recap of the Spring 2008 Westheimer Block Party

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 11:07 PM

Why do Craig Warmth and Blackie look so pleased as punch with themselves? They were at the Block Party of course. Read about the first five hours of the Block party and cringe with jealousy if you missed out. (Link)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Skyline Network's ADR gives his picks for the Block Party

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:43 AM

Houston scenester, sex kitten, DJ, and blogger ADR posted his pics for this week's Block Party on the ubiquitous Skyline Network. Compare and contrast his list with yours. (Link)

After you have perused this dapper dresser's picks, make sure to also note his preview of the KTRU outdoor show (Link) and his "aces" announcement of the upcoming Hootenanny 2 (Link)

Thanks for the props ADR, You "Selfish Asshole" you. ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This week in Music (for the Week of April 10th 2008)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:10 AM

This week is pretty much nutters. A classic example of how Houston Music's either feast or famine and this week it's feast - we're talking gluttony.

Despite the orgy of great shows - KTRU's Outdoor Show, Born Liars, Scout Niblett, Whorehound, etc. - allow us to be a bit cocky and say this week it's all about us and the Westheimer Block Party. So, read on, make your plans, and seek out the nearest vomitorim. (Link)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Did we mention Trail of Dead Tickets are on Pre-sale?

posted by Free Press Houston @ 7:56 PM


Click here to buy pre-sale tix for ...And you will know us by the Trail of Dead, Health, The Dimes, Spain Colored Orange, and By End of Tonight for th evening of April 12th. Tickets will go fast, so get on it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Live Review: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Clue to Kalo, and Hearts of Animals

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 9:41 PM

This week we answer various important questions about Sunday's show at the Mink Backroom like "What really freaks out Owen Ashworth of Casiotone?", "How does Hearts of Animals sound without her crunchy distortion?", and "Was that dude writhing on the floor on something or not?" (Link)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Special Report: Punk Rock Starbucks gets shut down by The Man

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 10:55 PM

Uh Oh see the guys on the left? That can't be good.

Check out our special coverage of Punk Rock Starbucks: The Show At The End Of The Universe with pictures and a three minute video report. (link)

Friday, April 4, 2008

THIS JUST IN KICK-ASS SHOW AT 5PM TODAY ...er I mean ...SATURDAY !!!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:50 AM


HOLY CRAP!

Nicky from Something Fierce just posted this on Hands Up!


"show at the end of the universe TODAY SATURDAY at 5PM
2050 w grey.
that's right.
t the starbucks across the street from the
starbucks. there will be a pretty rad show.
featuring
alarma!!!! (you know that band with that girl and those two dudes.)
be my doppelganger (punk rock gods from indiana)
something fierce (those kids you run into at rudz every so often)

also a special appearance by food such as hamburgers and hot dogs come hang out.
get a frappucino and listen to some cool music."



UPDATE: Due to rain this is scheduled to happen tomorrow (Saturday) - be there!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Please Vote For This Radiohead Remix

posted by _ @ 2:07 PM






Shine A Light

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:55 PM


Rolling Stones fans will eat Shine A Light up, especially in the IMAX version. Definitely on a par above typical Stones performance films with its deft attention to close-ups and instrumentation and somewhat below such Stones docus such as Gimme Shelter and CS Blues, this Martin Scorsese helmed effort finds the best of the best being finely manipulated by the best.
Perhaps not oddly the rock acolytes drawn to this film, like the type of fans attracted to Stones concerts, will vary from those who want to rock out at full volume to those prone to discomfort because someone is standing or tapping their foot too loudly on the floor.
A prologue reduced in screen size and mostly in black and white shows Scorsese and Jagger sparring over the phone as to whether Scorsese can have access to the set list well before the concert, the amount of lights to be used, and even a meet and greet with Bill, Hillary and Hillary’s mom. Just when this behind the scenes conceit seems about to run out of steam the show begins to start, a running production assistant hands the set list to Scorsese and the screen image explodes to full screen as the Stones launch into Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
The next two songs, Shattered and She Was Hot, find the band missing a cylinder but this is a film that allows the good and the bad. Clinton next to Champagne and Reefer and cherubic Mick next to aged Mick. The songs bounce back with All Down the Line, slow down for an acoustic As Tears Go By, and raise eyebrows with the less known Some Girls. Three songs feature guests: Jack White, Christina Aguilera, and Buddy Guy. All the songs are heard and seen in their entirety with the exception of Connection, part of a Keith Richards two-fer that starts with You Got the Silver. Connection cuts between a laughing angel-faced Richards in 60s newsreel interviews and the present day Richards. His face, etched two stories tall in cinematic glory, looks stone chiseled with wrinkles. One great shot captures Richards in a spotlight silhouette as he spats out a cigarette butt, the spit and ashes twinkling around his form like a halo. A few times during the film Scorsese cuts to prime 1960s and 70s interviews (BBC, Japanese and Australian television) that show a exuberant side of the glimmer twins people under 35 might not be familiar with. With one newscaster Jagger sports the kind of mischievous grin one would associate with Eddie Murphey in wise acre mode.
The show seems over before you know it although Start Me Up is always an indication things are coming to an end. After the concert there’s a brief segment where a tracking shot of Mick leaving the stage merges into the Goodfellas tracking shot, through more than one backstage door and finally spilling out to the street where the camera is greeted by flashbulbs (King of Comedy) and Scorsese himself directing the camera up and away until the image shows the complete lower part of nighttime Manhattan glittering under a full moon.
If there’s any doubt to the integrity of the production look at the list of cinematographers (a few of them award winners) who manned the various cameras. Concert rock films have evolved into outer space since the terrestrial days of The Doors Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

This week in Music (for the Week of April 3rd 2008)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 1:43 AM

Let's see here, International Noise, Casios, Oranges, Giant Wiggin Crane Jewels, Nirvana references, Neil Young references, Hello Kitty, Crocker House & Short Shorts, Metal badness, and folky goodness! Oh it must be another week in Houston!

The Music Preview Moves to the music section this week. Read on and be enlightened!




Photo - Uncredited from Laundry Room Squelchers' Myspace

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trail of Dead Tickets on Pre-Sale

posted by Free Press Houston @ 7:35 PM


Click here to buy pre-sale tix for ...And you will know us by the Trail of Dead, Health, The Dimes, Spain Colored Orange, and By End of Tonight for th evening of April 12th. Tickets will go fast, so get on it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

This month in the Free Press - Richard Ramirez

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 3:47 AM

He doesn't call it Noise or even music but prefers to call it "sound art", Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo are fans, and when he's not making challenging sounds he's making challenging fashion. This month the Free Press chats it up with Noise/Experimental artist Richard Ramirez. Read more...

Photo by Jovan Hernandez