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by Nathan Pensky

6 Jan 2011


One sometimes wonders whether we need a new film category: the “Blockbuster Cult Classsic”. Of course, Cult Classics in the more conventional sense are films that were critically and popularly panned upon release but went on to make inroads to the collective consciousness, either through appreciation of their awfulness or critical re-assessment. But the question is, do films create “cults” only when initially unpopular? Or is “cultishness” defined by certain kinds of popularity?

One should immediately distinguish between “fanboyism” and “cultishness”. The kind of cult meant here is that of film buffs whose guiding criteria is quality, not nerd enclaves more concerned with esoterica for its own sake. Tricorder-bearing Trekkers and bow-slinging LOTR enthusiasts can definitely be described as “cultish,” but that’s another question for another day.

No, “Blockbuster Cult Classic” would signify a film that sold big at the box office but was not received to its fullest critical or popular potential until well after it had left theaters, a film that was always popular but achieved new heights only after the passage of time. Of course, films are constantly rising and falling in the estimations of the taste-makers. But some experience this roller coaster ride more than others, and many among them were huge ticket sellers and critical darlings.

Films like Ghostbusters, Casablanca, or The Godfather were extremely popular and well-received upon their releases but arguably didn’t achieve “cult” status until way later. Anyway, just a thought. Any other suggestions out there for “Blockbuster Cult Classics”?

by Stephen Rowland

6 Jan 2011


Country music legend George Jones was hospitalized in Nashville on Wednesday, after a routine checkup.

Specifics are vague, but the doctors wanted to “monitor” him overnight, and Jones should be released Thursday, 6 January. “No Show” Jones (sorry, George!) lamented in a joking fashion that he wanted to stay in the hospital longer, so he didn’t have to drive back home in the cold weather that is ravaging the Nashville area currently.

The 79-year-old Jones has quite a history with alcohol, but this hospitalization seems fairly innocuous.

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992.

by Jessy Krupa

6 Jan 2011


Partially because of the Tiger Woods scandal, The Masters golf tournament brings in huge ratings, with 47% more viewers than the last year. Phil Mickelson was the winner, receiving his third Masters title.

by Eric Allen Been

5 Jan 2011


Almost a decade after the Dirtbombs released their collection of reinterpretations of golden-era soul and funk songs called Ultraglide in Black, the Detroit-based garage rockers are set to let loose a follow up to the covers compilation. This time around the quintet will be paying homage to early Detroit techno classics on an album entitled Party Store

The Dirtbombs tackle on the nine-track full-length the three major pioneers of Detroit dance music, covering Juan Atkins and his Cybotron electro releases “Alleys of Your Mind” and “Cosmic Cars”, Derrick May’s seminal Rhythim is Rhythim track “Strings of Life” and Kevin Saunderson’s crossover anthem (recorded by his group Inner City) “Good Life”. In addition, they offer up a tribute to Detroit’s first techno record, A Number of Name’s 1981 future-disco classic “Sharevari”, and Carl Craig’s future-jazz techno cut “Bug in the Bassbin” (Craig, who released the track under his alias Innerzone Orchestra, plays modular synth on the 21-minute cover).   

by J.C. Sciaccotta

5 Jan 2011


Our brains are all on television! In this mind-bending animated video from Manhattan instrumental hip-hop DJ Blockhead, the animals are loose and TV rules the world. The laid-back soul of “The Music Scene”—from the Blockhead’s latest Ninja Tune release of the same name—provides the soundtrack for a trip through a post-human New York equally parts stimulating and scary.

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