Doc Martian's Lounge: December 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A double scoop of Pinky Violence.

Sex and Fury
Female Yakuza Tale
Panik House Entertainment

Yeh. So you've gotten this far, so you've probably seen parts of this already, nude sword frolics, doomed lovers, the eternal brought a knife to a gunfight conundrum solved for Meiji-era film. Sex and Fury is a revenge story, other peoples lives intertwine, some with death, some with scars, not all on the surface, some with heroic acumen against people that have done wrong. This is the kind of movie you hope to wander into in the middle of the night in some brightly lit district. Fascinatingly constructed shots, like each image is intriguing or seems imbued with power. The plot whirls about 3 playing cards all to mark death. Her life was wrecked young, by men doing her family wrong, and so she faces down bad guys with a sword in her hand and not a whole lot of clothes. This is good. Strife in culture appears amid the new political mathematics of the Meiji-era, who is invested in who, and who is just tooting their own horn. You can't help yourself, there is no way out except the slaughter of the people necessary to end the bloodfeud. You can see it coming to an end, like everyone's wrapped up and Peter Falk is pacing the room muttering to himself. It has the Spaghetti Western thing goin' on where everyone dies except for the hero. Somehow though, it all seems par for the course, like the next day the same hero will be doing the same thing, or maybe next week. Great music though, like a country-psychedelic band with rock action going on interspersed with traditional Japanese folk tracks.

OK, that there's Sex & Fury but Reiko Ike is gunna strip down and whirl her sword around for another one and this one's even better, well... maybe not better, but more tightly scripted and sleazier. Where does Paris Hilton hide her drugs? Well, the folks at the Toei Company are certainly taking an opportunity to explore the possibilities on that. You know that scene where John Belushi is under the bleachers in Animal House, ok, imagine if Bluto wrote the picture and were determined to do something to tick off the peace corp era twats he went to school with. Now throw in lots of gratuitous nudity and a vendetta from a bygone day, now throw in some more gratuitous nudity, now a swordfight and chicks spattered in blood and some psychotronic film school stuff plus the usual spaghetti western camera angles and characters behaving badly and you've got yourself a great movie. Awesome packaging too, complete with a decal, although they should have decals of all the 3rd tier gangsters plus a group poster of the gals, or even action figures. Its that kind of movie, the kind where you can just imagine the marketing possibilities. Only it was before all that, practically in the Meiji-era.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


New Sounds of Exotica
The Waitiki 7

You've passed Exotic Rhythms 101. You can mambo and cha-cha-cha, and you do a passable birdcall. Plus, you know that the second rum barrel should NOT be administered to yourself on an empty stomach. Where do you go from there? The Waitiki 7's answer, their 2010 album New Sounds of Exotica. Their focus is on a little more depth getting thrown into the mix, and it sure does. Like the Grateful Dead when everybody left the stage except for the drummers. The Dead keep coming to mind in relation to Waitiki, a band with a strong live following, who have a noted preference for an intoxicant (in this case, rum!), as well as a devotion to musicality that many bands tend to ignore in their quest to rock out or chart or freak people out. Maybe its the jungle though. The lush sounds that the Rhythm Devils and Waitiki both present hearken back to the days when we all lived somewhere among a canopy of trees and scary animals (have you SEEN Abe Lagrimas, Jr.). Great album, filled with exotica standards and songs that are rapidly becoming Waitiki standards (they throw 1 or 2 like China Fan on most of their albums, like a groovy reminder that the album is part of a greater body of work that is slowly growing.)

All in all, this album gets 4.5 outta 5 stars, and that ½ star is only cuz its treading over a fair amount of already covered ground, but what are you gunna do, horn section? mass chanted vocals again? hoochi-koochi dancers? this one's a little more complex. Mighty good album, Like Laurie Anderson doing Mister Heartbreak after United States. You know their work, you appreciate it, its great to get down with on a Friday evening after you've survived another whirlwind week. But hmm, maybe its time for a double album with a theme. If you dig Hawaii, exotic rhythms, polynesian cocktails or just like smooth jazz with post-latin rhythms and vibes, you'll be in hog heaven.