Hazmat Modine co-songwriter Wade Schuman sums up his band perfectly saying, “I think our band is like a really good NYC diner. The food comes from every tradition you can think of, but in the end it’s really the ultimate American comfort food.” Hazmat Modine’s membership includes musicians of various ages, races and backgrounds, a true melting pot, just like New York City, and their music draws from a host of American traditions including early jazz, the American popular songbook, blues, country, R&B, as well as a variety of world beats. It’s makes for exciting music that is always open to new influences and change. Hazmat Modine’s third album, Extra-Deluxe-Supreme, is meant as something of a document of their 10-year history and their adventures traveling the world, absorbing new influences and spreading American roots musics far and wide.
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For a show on the lowliest broadcast network with next to no coverage in the mainstream entertainment press, Supernatural has attained its status of an epic cult hit because of its exceedingly memorable characters. Looking beyond the core cast of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester, Castiel (Misha Collins), and Crowley (Mark Sheppard), the show built an universe full of lovable helpers (hunters, angels, prophets, etc.) and distinctive, occasionally likable villains (demons, monsters, gods, and witches). It’s an actor’s dream, where even guest stars that appear in a handful of episodes end up with their own fanbase and Funko Pop figurines.
Before Michael Curtiz came to Warner Brothers in the ‘20s and became one of Hollywood’s most reliable directors of prestigious productions like Casablanca (1942), he cut his teeth on dozens of Hungarian and Austrian silent features as Mihály Kertész. Miraculously, an English print of his long-lost A Tolonc (1915), listed on Wikipedia as The Exile and on this Blu-ray as The Undesirable (the title on the print), was discovered in the basement of New York’s Hungarian House cultural center. Digital restoration reveals an astoundingly sharp image, perfect in textures and background details like dishware patterns and signs, now beautifully tinted and with a lush new score by Attila Pacsay.
The heroine of this “woman’s film” is a formerly abused wife (Mari Jászai, identified in the titles as a “famous tragical actress of the Hungarian National Theatre”) who has spent 15 years in prison for killing her husband: a premise that still feels relevant. The story of her release is cross-cut with the narrative of her grown daughter (Lily Berky, giving the film’s most natural performance), who gets a job as a servant, puts up with the checker-suited husband’s advances, and falls in love with the strapping Magyar-garbed son (Várkonyi Mihály, who came to Hollywood as Victor Varconi).
East Tennessee’s Derik Hultquist did what lots of musical dreamers do… he headed straight to Nashville after graduation. Like most, he worked the odd jobs to support himself while working hard on developing his songwriting as well as discovering his true singing voice. Hultquist has released a number of EPs over the years as his music progressed and now, after 10 years in Nashville, he is set to release his full-length debut album, Southern Iron, coming June 17th via Carnival Music/Thirty Tigers. Southern Iron is a well-crafted set of Hultquist’s original songs living in the country/pop sphere with songs that occasionally feature elements of psychedelic and roots rock.
Pryor Stroud: In “Vapour Trail”, Lone dexterously melds a muscular hip-hop beat with a fidgety, chrome-coated electronic melody, forging a unique sound that seems, at once, anchored in cracked concrete and suspended in the clouds. As the track progresses, the reduplicated, half-legible vocal sample begins to assume a hypnotic quality—that is, it begins to pull you deeper into the track without announcing its intentions. This opens up a set of questions: where is Lone taking us? Where does this vapour trail lead? [7/10]