Thursday, 28 February 2019

Flavours of the Month: February 2019...

Diving into Netflix, a phoenix rising, and killer convos are just some of what's been setting the tone of my February 2019...

Click "READ MORE" below to see this month's looks, sounds, vibes & flavours...


Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes - four-part true crime documentary about one of America's most notorious serial killers. Stylishly presented, the show dips back and forth between the succession of grisly crimes committed by Bundy and a series of taped interviews conducted with him while on death row in 1980 and 1989. One of the most intriguing elements is the clash between the image of himself that Bundy projected versus the horrific truth. This is further compounded by the retracing of Bundy's life, which involved various periods of time working for political campaigns, with many signs pointing towards this former childhood reject with a speech impediment yearning for control and importance as he remodelled himself in adulthood, all the while living an ultra-violent secret life. The use of stock footage, news bulletins, and video from the courtroom not only provide a great sense of context (e.g. how disconnected and slow law enforcement was in the 1970s, the transient nature of hitch-hiking culture etc) and reveal a great deal about Bundy himself from his barely contained arrogance and narcissism to the cult of personality that he wrapped himself up in.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Season 5

Netflix Comedy Specials
- Jim Norton, Bill Burr, Tom Segura, Dana Carvey, Greg Davis, Marc Maron, Joe Rogan, Christina P, Jerry Seinfeld.

Cropsey - a chilling documentary about the disappearances of several children on Staten Island during the 1970s and 1980s, cases which were linked to the notorious Willowbrook State School/asylum and one of its workers.

Secret Scotland with Susan Calman - 'famous people visiting places' have become a popular type of show of late, whereby an affable presenter does a travelogue. This one sees the Scottish comedian explore some of the lesser known aspects of Scotland's history, all the while approaching it with oodles of good humour and a bouncy, cheery personality. Plus, it's nice to learn a little bit more about my home nation and 'top up my Scottishness' as-it-were.

Stranger Things: Season 1 & 2 - finally catching up with The Duffer Brothers' mixture of Amblin/Spielberg 'weird shit happening in small town suburbia' and the horror/sci-fi/coming-of-age tales of Stephen King, all wrapped up in a cosy dose of 1980s nostalgia. While the second season doesn't quite hold the same zip and focus as the first season, it has been a real pleasure to dive into the world of Hawkins and its populace. You get wrapped up in these characters, and one of the things I like most about the show is that it takes the time to explore the more 'everyday' aspects of their lives, be it trick or treating, young love, or the stresses of attending a seasonal dance. We don't just see these characters within the context of the main plot, we see them in their normal lives as well (the "one month later" sequences at the end of each season have been a nice way of easing the viewer out of the chaos and giving them, and the characters they have come to love, a reward).


CKY "The Phoenix" - the band's first album without co-founder and lead Deron Miller. After an eight year gap the band returns with Chad I. Ginsburg taking over as lead, and despite some trepidation heading into this album, this is a bloody strong outing with tracks like "Replaceable", "Head For A Breakdown", and "Wiping Off The Dead" proving to be lyrically intriguing and toe-tappingly catchy. It's been quite a while since I've bought a new album and played it this much without switching for another CD in the disc tray. I am seriously fucking impressed with "The Phoenix".

ODESZA "A Moment Apart" - the opening theme music for Forza Horizon 4. The soundtrack to the game is hit and miss, and naturally that'll come down to personal taste, but objectively speaking there are some utterly garbage tracks on there. This, however, is without a doubt one of the really good ones.

John Carpenter "Assault On Precinct 13 (Main Theme)", "Night" - both appear on the soundtrack to Gaspar NoƩ's film "Love", with the former hauntingly re-purposed for an extended sequence in a sex club, which gives the terminal decline of a relationship a vibe that is akin to a strange mix of body horror, addictive inevitability, and a compromised soul tearing itself apart.


Eyes In Your Window - I decided to revisit an old script and give it a quick polish. An awful lot of red ink scrawled across every page of the previous draft later and I've bashed it into good shape.

"Hell's Angels" by Hunter S. Thompson - the gonzo journalist's 1966 examination of the Californian biker gang. His style hadn't truly been unleashed at that point in time, so it can feel a little too formal here, a smidge too stodgy there in the first portion, but once he kicks into the first person 'Gonzo journalist' gear you can see the emerging vibe of HST's writing on display. This 2011 edition has a wonderful cover design by tattoo artist Dominique Holmes.

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