Saturday, January 30, 2010

An honorable mention

Precious would probably be tied with my number 10 movie of 2009. I've mentioned to people who have both seen the film and read the book that I like the film better. Most look at me like I have two heads. The main difference between the two is that the book gives you an internal view of Precious' life while the film puts the audience in the role of the outsider looking in on a tragic yet hopeful life. I found the outsiders view much more touching and heartbreaking. No matter how much the viewer wants to help her, there is no way in. We watch helplessly as Precious deals with hardships we could never imagine, and are that much more uplifted when she manages to eek out a victory from the mouth of defeat. Precious is about overcoming adversity, those placed on us by society and by those who should love us the most. Deep down we'd all like to think we can deal with the worst that life has to throw us and seeing Precious do it gives us a thrill. Precious is by no means an easy film to watch, but through the bleakness there is one thing that shines. Hope. And that is why it such a triumph.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brad's top 10 films of 09

If you went to the movies in 2009, it was good to be a kid. From Spike Jonze's uncompromising take on Where the Wild Things Are to Pixar's latest triumph, Up, the films aimed at children where better this year than any in recent memory. Adults weren't completely left out in the cold thanks to films ranging form the funny (The Hangover)to the deadly serious (The Hurt Locker). Call it the dawn of the Obama age or maybe we all just needed a little cheering up after losing our jobs, all in all the films of 2009 showed a return to optimism. Here are my top 10 films of the year.

The Hurt Locker

Time may very well prove the The Hurt Locker is to the Iraq War what Apocalypse Now was to the Viet Nam War, the definitive film about the conflict. What make this film so powerful is its honesty. It does not pick a political agenda to convey, it just portrays the war from the eyes of those that live it. Tense, gritty and unapologetic.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

If you are among the folks who think that Hipster darling Wes Anderson directing a stop motion animated adaption of a Roald Dahl novel is a dream come true you are right. If half the films using real actors had the heart soul that this little cartoon does I would never leave theaters. I challenge you to find an adult who wouldn't enjoy Mr. Fox's adventures trying to save his home.

The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom manages to be fun while also being a metaphor for the search for identity. It's always fun to learn if you are being entertained at the same time, hell that's one of the reasons I love film. It's no wonder I liked this one so much.

500 Days of Summer

I like my fair share of indie rock and have felt my fair share of pain over women. This movie is tailored made for my sensibilities. Normally I hate love stories with a, pardon the pun, passion. But ever so often one come along that knocks me for a loop because I see so much of myself in it. This year it was 500 Days of Summer.


Moon is a rare thing. It is a science fiction film that is more psychological than futuristic, examining what makes us human and not relying on effects or mindless action. I'd say this film is the best of its kind since Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sam Rockwell gives a great performance as an isolated astronaut stuck on a moon base. It's not the CGI that makes for great sci fi cinema, it's the human condition.


I expect a lot out of a Pixar movie and so far I have not been disappointed. Up is another near perfect movie. As with Moon, what stands out about Up is its humanity. And its emotional range. Up is funny, sad, nostalgic, bittersweet, innocent and joyful all at the same time. Many movies claim to have something for everyone, Up truly does.

Star Trek

J.J. Abrams did the impossible. He made Star trek cool again with a hip new cast playing classic characters and a plotline that paid homage to the original and pushed it forward for a new audience. The success of this film has some critics calling it the first film of the Obama age, leaving the brooding films of the Dubya years behind it. Truth is Star Trek has always been about the hope for a better, more hopeful tomorrow. It just so happens that now more people are willing to believe it is possible.


I have to admit that one of the reasons I like Avatar so much is that my expectations were low going it to it. What I saw blew my mind. Since I've seen it I've been telling people "even if you don't like science fiction, see this in the theater. It is like no other film you've ever seen". But it wasn't just the visuals that sold me. When it comes to the story this film is all about balance. James Cameron my push the medium of film forward with new technology every film he makes, but his genius is that he knows how to tell a story. The love story could have been overwrought and saccharin and the battle scenes soulless and tired, instead you feel for these characters. As I write this Avatar is the second highest grossing motion picture of all time. It deserves it.


Watchmen is one of my favorite books, so I reacted with excited and trepidation when it became certain this film was going to be released. I am happy to say it met my expectations. I never expected such a faithful adaption (I can live without the squid at the end). I know the great failure of this film was that it failed to make converts and fans out of people who hadn't read the book. I don't care about them. I was in my own personal geek heaven watching this and commend Zach Snyder on doing the Herculean task of getting the unfilmable graphic novel on to the screen with as little compromised or cut out.

Inglourious Basterds

QT has done it again. Years in the making, Quentin Tarrantino had talked in interviews almost since the days of Pulp Fiction about the WW2 masterpiece he wanted to make. Finally the wait is over. A masterpiece? Maybe not quite, but it is audacious enough to be the most fun had at the movies all year. Inglourious Basterds is full of Tarrantino's trademark dialogue and ingenious use of music, but still feels epic. And if Christoph Waltz is not nominated for a Oscar for his portrayal of twisted "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa there is no justice

Brad Filicky

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The late Alice Coltrane's favorite grandnephew, Flying Lotus, is one of IRT's favorite acts of the current day. And as we wait in anticipation for the impending April 10, 2010 release of his next album on Warp, Cosmogramma, we suggest you head over to FlyLo's amazing Brainfeeder Web site and check out the free download of a 38-minute continuous mix of hits, faves and rarities from the Los Angeles DJ's last ten years of crafting bugged out beats. And better yet, it was mixed by one of our other favorite new cats, The Gaslamp Killer, who we hope comes out with something official in 2010, because this dude's beats are pure fire! Enjoy! And get it while the getting is good. -Ed.

Flying Lotus vs. The Gaslamp Killer at the 2008 SXSW

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It is with great sadness that I forward the news in regards to the passing of Jack Goldberg, owner of the amazing New Paltz, NY, record shop Jack's Rhythms. Mr. Goldberg died last night after a long and valiant battle with brain cancer.

I knew Jack for many years and considered him to be a good friend of mine. I spent the majority of my late high school and college years frequenting Jack's shops, both the one in New Paltz and the old Woodstock location back when I interned at WDST. I remember first going there to pick up "live imports" of Pearl Jam and U2 concerts, but then once I started thumbing through the rest of his inventory, I soon discovered a cornucopia of new and different types of music that would forever change the way I listened.

It was through my years shopping at Jack's stores and having endless hours of insightful conversation with Mr. Goldberg that I learned to appreciate music in all of its forms. It was shopping at Jack's Rhythms where I first discovered John Fahey, electric Miles Davis, Syd Barrett, Sun Ra, the Melvins, Yo La Tengo, Captain Beefheart, early Funkadelic and, of course, Jack's beloved John Coltrane to name but a few. Whenever I would stop into his store, even up until just recently, he would perenially greet me with a warm smile and some intriguing chats about what's in heavy rotation on our respective stereos.

Jack truly was the dean of my music education, and I hope he knew how much I appreciated his friendship and wisdom these last twenty years.

For anyone who ever visited Jack's Rhythms in New Paltz when Jack was behind the counter, the following YouTube video should not be much of a surprise, perfectly depicting the friendly and intellectually invigorating atmosphere that wafted through the air the minute you walked through that old wooden door. And now that his dear friend, longtime employee and occasional IRT contributor John Lefsky runs the store, we can be assured that the vibrant, communal spirit that exists in this legendary record shop on Main St. continues to course through its proverbial veins.

Rest in peace, my old friend. You will greatly be missed. -Ed.

For a touching and insightful piece on Jack's Rhythms, please check out Zan Strumfeld's wonderful feature originally published in the New Paltz Oracle on November 20, 2008.

Jack and some customers talking baseball in the summer of 2007:


Fresh off the Matablog:

Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement comes out on March 9, 2010. This fully remastered 23-track compilation will be available on MID-PRICED double LP, CD and digital album formats. The tracks span the entirety of Pavement’s career from 1989 to 1999, from the scratchy and mysterious sounds of their early vinyl-only releases to the rich, multilayered warmth of their final recordings. Although the compilation does not include any unreleased material, it definitely digs deeper than the hits.

Simultaneously, Matador will be re-releasing Pavement’s complete Matador LP catalog (the 5 albums including the “Watery, Domestic” 12″ EP) on vinyl. (The premium deluxe vinyl we have released on the first four albums will continue to be available.)

Quarantine The Past
lands in stores as Pavement embark on their first live appearances since the fall of 1999. Dates begin in New Zealand on March 1 and continue through Australia and Europe over the spring and summer, with 4 dates in New York’s Central Park next September. More US shows will be announced shortly.

Pavement 2010 dates announced so far:

Mon Mar 01, 2010 – Auckland – Auckland Town Hall
Thu Mar 04, 2010 – Sydney – Enmore Theatre
Fri Mar 05, 2010 – Sydney – Enmore Theatre
Sat Mar 06, 2010 – Meredith – Golden Plains Festival
Sun Mar 07, 2010 – Adelaide – Thebarton Theatre
Mon Mar 08, 2010 – Perth – Metro City
Wed Mar 10, 2010 – Brisbane – Tivoli Theatre
Fri Mar 12, 2010 – Melbourne – Palace Theatre
Tue May 04, 2010 – Dublin – Tripod SOLD OUT
Wed May 05, 2010 – Glasgow – Barrowland Ballroom SOLD OUT
Fri May 07, 2010 – Paris – Le Zenith
Sat May 08, 2010 – Amsterdam – Paradiso
Mon May 10, 2010 – London – Brixton Academy
Tue May 11, 2010 – London – Brixton Academy SOLD OUT
Wed May 12, 2010 – London – Brixton Academy SOLD OUT
Thu May 13, 2010 – London – Brixton Academy SOLD OUT
Fri May 14, 2010 – Minehead, West Somerset – All Tomorrow’s Parties SOLD OUT
Sat May 15, 2010 – Minehead, West Somerset – All Tomorrow’s Parties SOLD OUT
Sun May 16, 2010 – Minehead, West Somerset – All Tomorrow’s Parties SOLD OUT
Tue May 18, 2010 – Brussels – Ancienne Belgique SOLD OUT
Wed May 19, 2010 – Berlin – Astra
Thu May 20, 2010 – Praha – Palac Akropolis
Fri May 21, 2010 – Vienna – Arena
Sat May 22, 2010 – Munich – Muffathalle
Mon May 24, 2010 – Rome – Atlantico
Tue May 25, 2010 – Bologna – Estragon
Thu Jul 01, 2010 – Roskilde – Roskilde Festival
Fri Jul 02, 2010 – Roskilde – Roskilde Festival
Sat Jul 03, 2010 – Roskilde – Roskilde Festival
Sun Jul 04, 2010 – Roskilde – Roskilde Festival
Thu Aug 12, 2010 – Oslo – Oyafestival
Sat Aug 14, 2010 – Gothenburg – Way Out West Festival
Tue Sep 21, 2010 – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage SOLD OUT
Wed Sep 22, 2010 – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage SOLD OUT
Thu Sep 23, 2010 – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage SOLD OUT
Fri Sep 24, 2010 – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage SOLD OUT

More info at:

And yes, a deluxe version of Terror Twilight is planned for next fall, to complete the deluxe editions of each Pavement album that we have been issuing every two years.