THE SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS

This is the next film in a long line of movies based in the '70s that show the bleak and sick realities in a lighter atmosphere. The main character, Vivian, a teenager faced with breasts, bigger than anyone her own age, and the object of fixation by many men around her. The family leads a nomadic existence, dependent on the fortune of others to survive. The whole adventure is charming, touching, with a breast theme - enjoyable scenes include vibrators, sticky situations, and the drugged out cousin, played by Marisa Tomei. Bonus points if you can recognize the main character from her role on Pee-Wee's playhouse, or the rich widow from that Three's Company spinoff, "Three's a Crowd".
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Bob Mould, "The Last Dog & Pony Show"

Bob Mould gives us hissecond post-Sugar release, "The Last Dog & Pony Show" this week.Bob still has the gift of being a songster, and the songs are all solidon this release. "Megamanic," however gets my vote for the 'should havebeen left as a b-side' category as Mould twiddles the knobs on a'drum-n-bass' style music with Bob rapping over it (more frighteningthan amusing). If you're looking for a solid pop/rock record heavy onthe bright guitars and melody, this one's for you. 
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Godspeed You Black Emperor!, "F# A# infinity"

From Montreal, Canada comes my vote for best debut album of the year. godspeed you black emperor!,whose disc, "F# A# (infinity)" is the first CD issue of their debutrecord (previously on Constellation, now on Kranky). This nine-pieceband is described in their bio as drawing influencing sounds from EnnioMorricone, 17 Pygmies and Savage Republic, my impression is one of TheRachels and Angelo Badalamenti get an "spaghetti Western" soundtrackalbum produced by Steven Stapleton. There are three tracks in this +60minute disc, each song is of epic proportion with about five distinct"movements", the voices are only brief spoken-word, the otherinstrumentation consists of guitars, lush strings, bagpipes, drums andother various sound effects. Overall, a stunning debut record, by anystandards, and this is definately a band NOT to miss on their brieftour around the USA. Check the Kranky website for details.

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Delicatessen / City of Lost Children

This weekend at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, they were showing the two French surrealist films by the same people, Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. Delicatessen, while I've seen it before, was definately something different to see on the large screen. A dark, bleak and surreal view of a French urban wasteland, Delicatessen is one of those stories where the distinction between good and evil is a grey area. Cannibalism, an underground society, a circus performer, mischievous kids, the butcher, the mailman and many others make this an enjoyable spectacle. City of Lost Children, also by Caro & Jeunet, also takes place in a surreal, dark and bleak world. This one, however is more of a fantasy adventure and takes our main characters through the dark underground worlds of criminals and evil scientists (who kidnap children to steal their dreams) to rescue their orphan friends. Quite a wonderful film with a fairy-tale theme. Highly recommendable on a larger screen, however.
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"A Tribute to Spacemen 3"


While I'm not big ontribute discs, this one has really grabbed my attention. "A Tribute toSpacemen 3" features some wonderful tracks like Mogwai's pretty versionof "Honey", Bardo Pond's heavy sonic "Call the Doctor", along withLow's haunting "Lord Can You Hear Me Call?" and Bowery Electric's"Things'll Never Be the Same". My only real beef with this is thatthere's too many songs from S3's "Playing with Fire" and nothing fromother great albums like "Recurring", leaving me wonder how muchSpacemen 3 these bands really listen to.

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