Timothy Gabriele: I’m a sucker for some indie pop MOR. This one’s got just the slightest glint of twee in its plinky chorus that makes it a hair shy of precious, but it’s bouncy and catchy enough to forgive this. “Ready to Shine” is a bit of a misnomer. This track doesn’t belong 20 feet away from the back porch and the wine coolers, but situated there safely guarded from youthful energy or the righteous violence against a cruel and hurtful world it’ll do just fine in the lowlight. [6/10]
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It’s October and it’s Friday, which can only mean it’s time for Indie Horror Month to begin! This year we’re starting out with another mobile game or at least a game that I played on a mobile device. It’s also available on PC, but surprisingly the mobile version is the better experience.
When Cleveland, Ohio’s own The Lighthouse and the Whaler released their first album in 2009, they arrived with a sound that was very much derived from what “modern indie” had become: buoyant melodies, lots of acoustic work, pointed lyricism, etc. The band, formed by Michael LoPresti and featuring his brother Matthew (as well as current members Mark Porostosky and Ryan Walker), had a live energy which was immediately relatable, but their debut album did what most debut albums did: established the group and their sound, but not much happened in terms of waves.
This three-DVD set conveniently gathers six hard-to-find films that French filmmaker Agnès Varda made on California visits in 1967-1968 and in 1980. Beautifully restored, they look sunny and gorgeous, and bear her distinctive sense of curiosity, intelligence, color, and craft.
In 1967, Varda arrived in America with her husband, Jacques Demy, who was making the film Model Shop for Columbia. The first disc has two short documentaries she made in Northern California. Saturated with color, light, and whimsy, Uncle Yanco (1967) is an impromptu profile of her father’s cousin, an artist in a houseboat colony of young bohemians in Anaheim. By re-creating and filming their “first meeting” several times, Varda calls attention to the artificial aspect of the project. We have the option of hearing a largely French soundtrack or an English one narrated by Yanco and Varda.