Monday, 28 June 2010

Go On RZA, Get It Out Of Your System, You'll Feel A Lot Better

Tweet Me from Pop Culture Care Package

I'm unsure if the kung-fu community has a New Year's Honours List, but if it does, then RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan must be somewhere near the top of it, just below Hong Kong Phooey and a little bit above Cynthia Rothrock.

Having spent lord knows how many years lacing his collective's tracks with references to the Shaw Brothers's movies, helping Tarantino score Kill Bill Vol1, rereleasing little-known kung-fu flicks and trying to get IKEA to introduce a range of 36th Chamber Of Shaolin bedroom units, he's now settled into what may be his ultimate aim - directing his own martial-arts epic, The Wu-Tang Clan Vs The Golden Phoenix, The Playlist reports.

It's been a long-term labour of love, ten years in fact, and there's no scheduled date for it, so it may well slip off the radar. The story is that RZA wants this to show Hollywood that he's capable of handling a movie. Judging by this new trailer, it may only show how many kung-fu films he's seen. Which we kind of knew anyway. Oh well.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Summer Bypasses Physical Plane, Instead Manifests Itself As This mp3

Tweet Me from Pop Culture Care Package

My inbox seems to be like some kind of info landfill sometimes, with press releases for neatly named indie bands rubbing up against other indie bands with perhaps not-so equally neat names, alternating with teasing come-ons for film screenings that, should I be interested in attending, I'll find the invite doesn't stretch to bloggers who share the same name and URL as me.

Two things will get through my snobbery firewall - the extremely woeful, such as the electric rock violin duo who took time out from fusing classical and pop music for an attempt to break the world violin speed record on the Alan Titchmarsh show, or the truly wonderful.

This week's something wonderful came to me from Sydney, Australia via the never-shit Hole In The Sky Records, home to Tame Impala and HITS founders, The Canyons. New signings Tortoiseshell's first single, This Girl, is proudly influenced by stuff like Talking Heads, ESG and Roxy Music, and is really fucking lovely as a result - a dreamy, winsome, summery Balearic chilled lament, glossed with icy strings and fullsome bass, and a blossoming chorus that has a real summery post-coital glow.

I would have been happy enough with that, but there's a dub by the Canyons in there too *does agog face* This Canyons dub is a thing of serious beauty, and reinforces the idea that these are people who have very special powers, powers that have rightfully earned them deals with both Modular and DFA.

Stripping away the 80s gleaminess and renovating it with cavernous depths, it becomes a heartbtreaking and warming moment of transporting bliss, not unlike those happy/sad old Charles Atlas ads where some sap is having a great time on the beach before some thug kicks sand in his face - only this time you realise you don't need to go to his gym to bulk up, as you have a cold beer,  a stunning sunset, a good woman and five minutes of Canyons heaven to see you through.

First listen may not do it, but that chorus will return to elevate you when you least expect it...

Download: Tortoiseshell - This Girl (Canyons Dub)