Robert Wm. Gomez's

Change Becomes Us by Wire (10/10)

Format: 
CD

For this record the band finished recording songs that they had been writing back when they broke-up in the late 70's. There are live versions of these songs from that era on Document and Eyewitness, but I wasn't very familiar with those recordings. This isn't a complete throwback and the tunes are firmly within the sonic range of their post-2000s incarnation. Had this come out in 1980 I suspect it would have been far more experimental which may have been spectacular, but it may also have been Dome. As it is, I would still consider this to be among the band's best work.

Strays by Wire (9/10)

Format: 
CD

I got this CD as a bonus from ordering Red Barked Tree directly from Wire mail order. The disc opens with re-recordings of a couple of Bell Is a Cup era songs, "Boiling Boy" and "German Shepherds." Stripped of their electronic dance arrangements these songs are great straight up rock tunes—A hint at what was to come next.

Guardians of the Galaxy (8/10)

Probably my favorite of the recent Marvel to film movie productions. It helps that it wasn't an idiotic superhero movie. Fortunately the focus is mostly on the characters and dialogue. However, like most modern CGI fests, the movie loses me during the big set pieces where I can't tell what the heck is going on half the time. That said, a surprising amount of the action at least seems like it was done on a set with real people.

Jodorowsky's Dune (6/10)

Although the subject matter is interesting, I didn't get much out of the documentary that I didn't already know from the trailer. The film follows the doomed pre-production of a 70's version of Dune. It consists mainly of anecdotes about how each of the creative people behind the production was recruited by the director and inspired by his crazy vision. The film's thesis is that this would have been one of the most remarkable films of all time, but it just felt like it would have been a typical 70's scifi preach-fest with trippy design.

Hell's Ground (7/10)

Mondo Macabro has been pretty consistent in their DVD releases. Lots of trashy and weird genre films from outside of Europe and America. While technically not a Mondo Macabro DVD release, Hell's Ground was co-produced by them. It has a lot of the trademarks of one of their films: gore, low-budget production and groovy world music.

Falling Up the Stairs by James Lileks (7/10)

I know Lileks mostly as a humorous conservative commentator and a connoisseur of cheesy 50's pop culture. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Fortunately, the book leans more on the humor side of his writing than the politics. Politics come mostly in the form of the main antagonists being a group of PETA-like activists, but, for the most part, this is the story of a small town news reporter trying to regain his bearings after losing his girlfriend and his job.

Red Barked Tree by Wire (10/10)

Format: 
CD

It took a while warm up to this record. Not nearly as aggressive sounding as the most of post-2000's Wire, Red Barked Tree's songs are much more well-thought out and structured. "Adapt" has a great dreamy quality, "Clay" feels like a lost track from Chairs Missing and "Bad Worn Thing" is probably my favorite song on this disc. Excellent.

Object 47 by Wire (9/10)

Format: 
CD

While it starts out on a high note with "One of Us," Object 47 doesn't quite live up to the promise of Read & Burn 03. The songs are pretty conventional and lack that touch of "art rock" which made Wire so unique. But still, this is, by just about any measure, more exciting than most of the rock that is churned out these days.

O.K. Connery (5/10)

This mediocre Eurospy movie is based entirely around the stunt casting of Sean Connery's younger brother Neil in the title role. It has some style and a fun title song but the film is mostly just plods along from one silly plot point (can-can girls overtaking a military caravan!) to another (deadly, unstoppable hypnotism). The few highlights in the film include a raid with the heroes dressed in overalls and a bazooka and knife wielding nun.

Drupal, Pathologic and Corrupted URLs

I've been having some technincal issues with this site lately. Strange links to content within the site have been appearing at random. I would insert a hyperlink to an archived post and then, days later, I would come back to see that the URL has been rewritten with a random sub-domain prefix. My domain would appear as www.wqw.robertgomez.org or similar.