Thursday, November 2, 2017

Van der Graaf Generator discography

Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed, and continue to perform as of 2016.
The band formed at Manchester University, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969. When they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (February 1970), and after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One (December 1970), stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton, saxophonist David Jackson, and drummer Guy Evans. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971.
After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972. They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and frequently touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band finally united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since then, the band has continued as a trio of Hammill, Banton, and Evans, who record and tour regularly in between Hammill's concurrent solo career.
The group's albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers (a trait they shared with King Crimson, whose guitarist Robert Fripp guested on two of their albums), and guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton's classically influenced organ, and, until his departure, Jackson's multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, and its members have contributed to his solo albums, he is keen to stress that the band collectively arranges all its material. Hammill's lyrics frequently covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature. His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career. It has been described as "a male Nico" and would later on be cited as an influence by Goth bands in the 1980s. Though the group have generally been commercially unsuccessful outside of early 1970s Italy, they have inspired several musicians, including John Lydon and Julian Cope.
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Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler whose lives cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star. The storyline is often called a modern take on Mark Twain's classic 19th-century novel The Prince and the Pauper.The film was written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod and was produced by Aaron Russo. It was released to theaters in North America on June 8, 1983, where it was distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film earned over US $90 million during its theatrical run in the United States, finishing as the fourth highest earning film of the year and the second highest earning R-rated film of 1983.Denholm Elliott and Jamie Lee Curtis won the awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively, at the 37th British Academy Film Awards. The film was nominated for several additional awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 41st Golden Globe Awards.
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Maudie (2016)

Maudie is a 2016 biographical romantic drama film directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. A co-production of Ireland and Canada, the film is about the life of artist Maud Lewis, who painted in Nova Scotia. In the story, Maud (Hawkins) struggles with arthritis, memory of a lost child and a family that doubts her ability, before moving in with a gruff fish peddler (Hawke) as a cleaning lady. Despite their differing personalities, they marry as her art gains in popularity. The film was shot in Newfoundland and Labrador, requiring a recreation of Lewis's famously small house.


It was selected to be screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and won a number of awards at other festivals. After festival screenings and wider releases, Maudie received positive reviews. The fact that the film was shot in Newfoundland was the subject of controversy in Lewis' native Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, the popularity of the film sparked a resurgence of interest in Lewis' art.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Un Cuento Chino (2011)

Chinese Take-Away (Spanish: Un cuento chino) is a 2011 Argentine comedy film written and directed by Sebastián Borensztein. The film was the highest grossing non-US film in Argentina in 2011.
  • In Buenos Aires, the bitter and methodic Roberto is a lonely man and the owner of a hardware store. Roberto collects bizarre worldwide news in an album as a hobby and his acquaintance Mari has an unrequited love for him, but Roberto is always evasive. One day, Roberto sees a Chinese named Jun being expelled from a taxi while he is watching the landing of airplanes in the airport and he helps the man to stand up. Jun does not speak Spanish and shows a tattoo with an address on his arm. Roberto heads to the spot with Jun and discover that the place belonged to Jun's uncle that sold it three and half years ago. Roberto goes with Jun to the police station, to the China's embassy and to a Chinese neighborhood to seek out his uncle but it is a fruitless search. Roberto lodges Jun in his house and after a series of incidents, he finds a delivery boy to translate Jun and he learns the dramatic story of his life.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Homesman (2014)

The Homesman is a 2014 historical period drama set in the 1850s Midwest, directed by Tommy Lee Jones. The screenplay by Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver was based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. The film stars Jones and Hilary Swank and also features Meryl Streep, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Hailee Steinfeld, John Lithgow and James Spader.
The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and received a North American limited release on November 14, 2014 by Roadside Attractions. The Homesman has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating average of 7.1/10.
The title refers to the task of taking immigrants back home, which was typically a man's job to carry out.
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

CAN (Discography)

Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968 by the core quartet of Holger Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group cycled through several vocalists, including Malcolm Mooney ('68–70) and Damo Suzuki ('70–73), as well as various temporary members. Drawing from backgrounds in the avant-garde and jazz, Can incorporated minimalist, electronic, and world music elements into their often psychedelic and funk-inflected music. They have been widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene.
Can had occasional commercial success, with singles such as "Spoon" and "I Want More" reaching national singles charts. Through albums such as Monster Movie (1969), Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973), the band exerted a considerable influence on avant-garde, experimental, post-punk, ambient, new wave and electronic music.

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CAN - Biography

June 2011 marked the 43rd anniversary of the founding of Can when Holger Czukay (bass), David Johnson (flute), jazz drummer Jaki Liebezeit and beat guitar player Michael Karoli met in classical conductor and piano player Irmin Schmidt's Cologne apartment in 1968. Their first gig, a collage of rock music and tape samples, took place at Schloss Nörvenich (Castle Nörvenich, near Cologne). The show is documented on the audio cassette Prehistoric Future.
The nameless collective had established its first studio, Inner Space, at the castle when American sculptor Malcolm Mooney, visiting Irmin and Hildegard Schmidt, joined the band. His intuitive drive led the musicians toward a unique take on rock music and the track Father Cannot Yell originated from one of these early sessions. David Johnson, who by then had become the band's sound engineer, left at the end of 1968. Around this period, the lack of a name was solved by Mooney and Liebezeit who came up with The Can.
The first Can album, Monster Movie (1969), defined Can music. Played and recorded spontaneously and driven by repetitive rhythms, the album was recorded directly on to a 2-track machine and then extensively edited. Soundtracks featuring film scores from 1969 and 1970, was the next album. Just after the record was released, Malcolm Mooney left the band and returned to the U.S. The Mooney era is extensively documented on Can - Delay, released in 1982.
In May 1970, Japanese singer Kenji "Damo" Suzuki joined Can after being spotted by Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit busking in Munich. The very same evening he performed with the band at the Blow Up club.
In December 1971, Can founded the Can Studio - known as Inner Space until 1978 when Can soundman René Tinner took over running the operation - in a former cinema in Weilerswist, close to Cologne. All subsequent Can albums were produced there except Rite Time. The studio has now been painstakingly disassembled and is being reconstructed to scale as a working exhibit at the German Rock'n'Pop Museum in Gronau, near the Dutch border.
The period 1970-2 was a breakthrough time for the band with Tago Mago (1971) impressing critics in England and France as well as Germany. Ege Bamyasi, released in 1972, featured the track Spoon, the theme tune for the crime thriller Das Messer and also the band's first chart success in Germany. The track, which was the first time that Can used an early version of a drum machine, led to a Goldene Europa TV award in recognition of Can's soundtrack work. Ege Bamyasi also included the music from another TV crime series in the form of Vitamin C.
The success of Spoon inspired the band to try to reach a wider audience which led to the Can Free Concert. The event was filmed by Martin Schäfer, Robbie Müller and Egon Mann for director Peter Przygodda at the Cologne Sporthalle on February 3rd, 1972. British music weekly Melody Maker wrote: "Can are without doubt the most talented and most consistent experimental rock band in Europe, England included." French magazine Rock & Folk portrayed Can's music as "one of the most impressive musical experiments offered by contemporary bands."
Future Days (1973) was the last Can album with Damo Suzuki. First Michael Karoli took over the vocal duties, followed by short interludes with a succession of singers, among them Tim Hardin. The recording of Soon Over Babaluma that same year marked the end of the era of recording straight onto 2-track. Landed (1975), was the first Can LP to be produced using multi-track technology. The album led Melody Maker to call them "the most advanced rock unit on the planet."
Double album Unlimited Edition (1976) was an extended version of a release that had quickly sold out as Limited Edition two years earlier. Among the tracks were the multi-facetted experiments known as the Ethnological Forgery Series (EFS). Flow Motion, also released in 1976, featured the disco hit I Want More and saw the band performing on UK primetime hitshow Top Of The Pops. The following year Can was augmented by ex-Traffic rhythm duo Rosko Gee (bass) and Reebop Kwaku Baah on percussion.
Holger Czukay had retired as a bass player and on Saw Delight was in charge of "special sounds". His new instrument was a shortwave radio receiver; while his idea to create new impulses for the musical process via radio signals didn't fit within the new Can structure, it became the basis for his first solo album, Movies (1979). The next Can album, Out of Reach (1978), was recorded without Czukay, who had left the band in May 1977, during the final Can tour. On the last show of the tour, in Lisbon at the end of May, Can performed in front of 10,000 fans. The double album Cannibalism (1978) was not just a "Best of ...." compilation, it was in fact, an early indication that Can's reputation would continue to grow.
The British avant-garde and several punk acts were deeply inspired by Can. Speaking for many, Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks) is quoted on the Cannibalism cover: "I never would have played guitar if not for Marc Bolan and Michael Karoli of Can". At the end of 1978 the band released Can. Meanwhile Michael Karoli built the Outer Space Studio studio in France, close to Nice. It was there in November 1986 that the original Monster Movie line-up got together again, with vocalist Malcolm Mooney to record Rite Time. The album was released in 1988. The band assembled again at the Can Studio with the same line-up minus Holger to record the track Last Night Sleep for Wim Wenders' film Until the End of the World.
In May 1997, the remix CD Sacrilege provided further evidence of the durability of Can's music. For this tribute, prominent representatives of the techno, dance and ambient scene reworked 15 classic Can tracks. Ironically, the importance of Can's contribution to the wider musical pantheon was summed up by Andrew Weatherall who refused an offer to remix a Can track for Sacrilege: "I love to remix other people's work. But Can? No way. You don't touch music that perfect. There is nothing to add or take away."
The band's chosen means of celebrating its 30th anniversary in 1999 was characteristically original. Eschewing a reunion tour as too obvious, and, more importantly, as being against the spirit of the group, the Can Box and the Can-Solo-Projects tour were the ways in which the group marked the occasion.Can Box includes recordings from the period 1971-77, a tri-lingual book featuring a comprehensive group history, interviews, reviews and photos by Hildegard Schmidt and Wolf Kampmann plus a video with both the Can Free Concert film by Peter Przygodda, and the Can Documentary by DoRo-film.
The Can-Solo-Projects tour, which featured Holger Czukay & U-She, Jaki Liebezeit's Club Off Chaos, Irmin Schmidt & Kumo plus Michael Karoli's Sofortkontakt!, started on March 19th 1999 in Berlin at the Columbia Halle. The tour was so well received that a second leg was organised for September 1999. This went ahead without Holger Czukay who was obliged to pull out at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.
Can worked together for the last time in August 1999 at Irmin's studio in Provence with Jono Podmore, to record a cover-version of The Third Man theme (from the film of the same name) for the Pop 2000 compilation released on Herbert Grönemeyer's label Grönland/EMI.
On November 17th, 2001, Michael Karoli died after a long fight against cancer.
In March 2003 Can received the most prestigious prize that the German music industry can offer: the Echo award for lifetime achievement was presented at an awards ceremony in Berlin. Herbert Grönemeyer, one of Germany's most famous artists, made the official speech while Brian Eno sent in a short, witty film about the group. The prize was handed over by the Red Hot Chili Peppers whose guitarist John Frusciante also spoke of his appreciation and respect for Can's music.
The remaining members of Can are all active as both solo artists and collaborators.
By Gary Smith

CAN