This time next week we shall be on a scheduled team get-away, somewhere in the wilds of Norfolk. Don’t be surprised if episode 38 comprises of a postcard of Blakeney beach and a recipe for a decent crab sandwich. We badly need the break. Our brains are mush, our souls are weary. We need time by the sea and the solace of old friends.
But today we can still offer up some treats. Racing samurai, the biggest potato hotel in the world and the musical stylings of Brushy One-string await.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
About those racing Samurai, then. This overview on Outlaw Vern on Bernard Rose’s Samurai Marathon does exactly what it should—it makes you want to see the dang movie! Rose has always been an eccentric voice, best known for his wildly original horror Candyman (the remake of which, out now is, shall we say, dividing opinion). Samurai Marathon, based apparently on a true incident, is an extremely tough movie to pigeonhole. Best to watch and get carried along.
Ella Quittner’s piece for Food52 on the world’s biggest (ok, fine, only) potato hotel is not just hilarious. It speaks to how we’re trying to re-engage with the world after 18 months in a bubble, what that experience has done and is continuing to do to us. It’s a mood, is all we’re saying. A mood with a giant fiberglass potato in the middle of Idaho.
Don’t be fooled by the title of Jon Irwin’s article. It’s a delightfully meandering but beautifully directed bit on creativity and discovering how to use the tools which help you find your voice. The indie games sector is home to some remarkable feats of story-telling. Like our beloved Ninth Art, games can play tricks with narrative that are simply unattainable through any other means.
The dictionary definition of Schadenfreude states that it ‘is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.’ Much as we hate to indulge, this history of the spectacular failure of a libertarian free-town project brought on all those feelings. Especially when the bears show up…
The Music Desk was introduced to the stylings of Brushy One-String a couple of years ago. His tunes bring the connection between African music and the blues into clear view. It’s pretty cool what you can do with a resonant box, a single wire, a song to sing and a voice to sing it. Good vibes ahead!
There were episodes of squeelation reverberating out of the Film Desk this week as the first trailer for The Matrix: Resurrection dropped. It looks great, a smart rebuild of the story of Neo, Trinity and Morpheus and a further exploration of the nature of reality and perception. One for days like these, we think. A great feature of the trailer is the brilliant use of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit. For Far Out Magazine, Grace Slick explains how she wrote this iconic soundtrack of the counter-culture.
Another cause for excitement on the Music Desk (who really need to calm down a bit, their poor old bones can’t take the strain, you know) is the release of Low’s new album, Hey What. It takes their exploration of electronic textures and broken machine noises and marries the rattle and hum to impeccable song-craft and beautiful harmonies. It takes a little while to get used to but seriously, Hey What is worth the effort. For the Quietus, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker talk about the record and how their music has changed since they were the quietest band on the grunge scene.
How do you start a story? The opening sentence can grab your attention, but the opening paragraph is the lure which draws you in. The mighty Raymond Chandler understood this very well. Crime Reads explores his skilful way with drawing back the curtain.
And finally. Dorian Lyndsky’s article on the dying art of the hatchet job has been gaining traction recently. It’s becoming more difficult for writers to express how they feel about a film or band or even game without that property’s fan base roaring out of the gates to rain opprobrium and insults down on them. We don’t necessarily agree with some of the criticism levelled at our beloved Ted Lasso this season, but we don’t feel the need to send out death threats either. Critics gotta criticise, people!
We return to Low for our Exit Music. Days Like These (there’s a title that resonates in the face of The Situation, huh?) sums up the album in one dose. Beautiful, thrilling and terrifying. It sums up the rage and fear we face as the world shifts constantly under our feet. And yes, it’s supposed to sound like that.
See you next Saturday, sonic explorers.