The Skin Storm | Sex In Film

By DDR | Their Bated Breath Has any film in the last 49 years, since the dissipation of the Production Code, truly taken on the singular topic of sex and made it transcendent? Is there a film that manages to encompass the erotic, the rich tapestry of sexual thought, the outward complexity and introspective nature of…

The Constitution NYTs-Style

I’ll say it again. Everyone should get the Sunday NYTs, while you still can, for that special section on the U.S. Constitution (annotated by famed historians, politicians, etc.) It’s stunning. On the cover is an illustration of the head of George Washington above the fold, below is Donald Trump. (Seems more than an apropos quick-scan…

OK, Computer, Boot Up Kid A

Quick Radiohead story … The celebration of the 20th anniversary of the band’s record OK Computer (and the subsequent OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017 remastered release) made me think back to when I first heard Radiohead and why, despite the legendary status of the LP, I listen to their other albums more … (Hold off, diehards, I come…

Nina Miranda | Freedom Of Movement

Singer Nina Miranda, best known for her airy, seductive Brasilia-London band Smoke City back in the late 1990s has released her first solo record, Freedom of Movement, and it’s featured as the Bandcamp “Album of the Day”. Many music fans will remember her previous incarnation via the song “Underwater Love”, but for me, Smoke City…

Saudi Arabia Deal | A Farewell to Arms

Quick thoughts … So, what is the Saudi-arms deal about? Well, this is one aspect of what former President Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his famed “military establishment” speech on Jan. 17, 1961: “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic,…

Perfume Genius | Die 4 You

This is the first Perfume Genius track I’ve heard off “No Shape”, which I mean to get to in its entirety soon. It’s a gorgeous track, with hints of low-key Sade sexiness, all elegant and falsetto. The video is a beauty too, Mike Hadreas’ vulnerable and breathy high falsetto accented by Dali-esque chairs in frozen…

Future Islands | Ran

The 4AD-signed band Future Islands and their charismatic lead singer, Samuel Herring, are following up the smash hit LP Singles (2014) with a new single entitled “Ran”, the first song streaming from off the upcoming 12-song record The Far Field. The single should have Future Island fans dancing like Herring, above, like his memorable performance of…

The Music I’m Listening To Now

By David D. Robbins Jr. Artist: Tei Shi What: A new single “Keep Running” Info: Continuing a trend from female artists in 2016, Tei Shi is decidely taking this track into a pop direction and it sounds terrific. I love this conceptual twist between running away from a relationship and time. Listen to the song…

Frost, Trump & Constitution On Fire

David D. Robbins Jr. The swearing in of the forty-fifth president of the United States will be without poetry in more ways than one. Befitting the inauguration of Donald Trump, it is apropos this negation of verse at today’s ceremony comes only a day after The Hill newspaper published a story about a myriad of…

Certified Copy: The Quest For the Real

By David D. Robbins Jr. | The Fade Out “Certified Copy” by Abbas Kiarostami IFC Films (This film appears on Criterion’s channel, Filmstruck, today with supplements.) Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy” is about life and art, truth and fiction, change and stagnation, love and marriage. The film calls into question the value of things. It’s an…

David Bowie | No Plan, the Last Video

And the posthumous David Bowie surprises keep coming, this time appropriately on what would have been the artist’s 70th birthday. A plaintive, reflective music video for “No Plan” was posted on the official Bowie YouTube page, directed by Tom Hingston. The song is apparently one of three of the last Bowie compositions (that had not appeared…

Dirty Projectors | Little Bubble (Video)

A new video for the song “Little Bubble” from Dirty Projector’s creator Dave Longstreth, with directorial assistance from Adam Newport-Berra. It’s the second track released by Longstreth since September’s single stream of “Keep Your Name”. The main lyric, “We had out own little bubble for awhile”, seems like a elegiac note at a romance’s end, or I’m…

TBB’s Best Songs of 2016

By David D. Robbins Jr. 25. Wildhart “Shake Off” 24. Warpaint “So Good” 23. Charlotte Cardin “Big Boy” 22. ILOVEMAKONNEN “Side 2 Side” 21. Unloved “Cry Baby Cry” 20. Kanye West “Real Friends” 19. Mitski “Crack Baby” 18. Wet “The Middle” 17. Frankie Cosmos “Fool” 16. Julia Jacklin “Sweet Step” 15. Danny Brown ‘Downward Spiral”…

DDR Recommends: Begin 2017 With …

By David D. Robbins Jr. A feature where I whittle down the world a bit for you, each week or so, by recommending some of the best topical links scattered across the internet … Let’s begin 2017 with two items I always look for on that last day of the year … 1. NYE 2017…

Happy 70th to Poet Patti Smith

Happy 70th birthday to poetic badass and musical legend Patti Smith. “Birdland” is one of my favorite all-time songs. I could listen to it every day. I always wait for the wonderful, sad escapist verse where Patti belts out “where I am not human …” and the exquisite way she sings “a” in “It’s a…

TBB’s Best EPs of 2016

Massive Attack Album: Ritual About: Dark, twisted, mesmerizing — and as engaging as ever. Vince Staples Album: Prima Donna About: “Smile” is one of the best tracks of the year. Burial Album: (Split) Young Death / Nightmarket About: Feels like a cool extension of everything that made “Rival Dealer” majestic. Wet Album: (Split) The Middle/Turn Away About:…

DDR Recommends: Lest We Forget …

By David D. Robbins Jr. A feature where I whittle down the world a bit for you, each week or so, by recommending some of the best topical links scattered across the internet… 1. “Christians for a Moral America Pray for George Michael’s Death” By John Shore | The Huffington Post | 11-29-11 Yes, it’s good to remember…

TBB’s Best DVD/Blu-Ray Releases of 2016

David D. Robbins Jr. This is the list I submitted to the wonderful website DVDBeaver for its annual “Best of” compiling. (Which I might add, is the best list of its kind, featuring just us regular schmoes, a number of quality film critics, like Jonathan Rosenbaum and more.) This year it was “Pioneers: African-American Cinema” that stood out…

TBB’s Best 25 Albums of 2016

25. OLGA BELL Album: Tempo About: I love artists who can experiment with their sound on each record but the music always remains true to her voice. 24. CHOCOLATE GENIUS Album: Truth Vs. Beauty About: One of the few artists where it honestly pisses me off more people don’t know his work. Man doesn’t make bad records.…

DDR Recommends: Coates Is Back

By David D. Robbins Jr. This is the first of what will be a running feature, where I’ll whittle down the world a bit for you by recommending some of the best articles, podcasts, photos, videos and/or other links scattered across the internet. 1. “My President Was Black” By Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic |…

A Few of My Favorite Books of 2016

By David D. Robbins Jr. ▶ “What Belongs to You” by Garth Greenwell (Fiction) ▶ “Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers On Stage” by Robert S. Bader (Film history) ▶ “The Girls” by Emma Cline (Fiction) ▶ “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith (Fiction) ▶ “Zero K” by Don DeLillo (Fiction) ▶ “The North…