catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 20 :: 2008.11.07 — 2008.11.21


Grant’s recommendations 11.7.08

MUSIC: Deerhoof’s Offend Maggie

The San Francisco band’s newest release is as accessible and catchy as any I’ve heard.  When I first heard Deerhoof, I was excited by how difficult it is to pin them down, with their creative song structures, unique melodies and a vocalist with a different take on melody.  Yes, Satomi Matzusaki’s bright, thin vocals may get old to some listeners, but it allows the guitars and drums to really stand out.  And the guitars and drums are what I like best about Deerhoof.  The band is considered an indie band, but their riffs and beats are sheer classic rock.  The Who is certainly a big influence, but the psychedelic California sound is prominent, too.  Don’t be turned off by the art-schoolish initial impression.  Deerhoof’s Offend Maggie is rock music through and through, and it sounds great-something that cannot be said for many indie albums these days.


FILM: The Holy Mountain

Chilean film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky created, wrote, directed and acted in this 1973 film about a fool who is called The Thief.  He is revived by a bunch of “little people” in the desert, then mistaken for Jesus by crucifix salespersons dressed in Roman soldier outfits and nuns’ habits.  The Thief enters the top of the tower of power in the middle of the city trying to find gold.  There he meets a master alchemist guru (Jodorowsky) who washes him in a fountain with a baby hippo and tells him to excrete feces into a jar which is then turned into gold.  The alchemist teaches the thief about the seven people who have the most power in the world.  Each one leads corporations or wings of government representing different aspects of institutional life.  The thief is finally joined by all of these people and they begin a quest to reach the Holy Mountain and immortality.  The film is very graphic, certainly a product of the free love psychedelia of late 60s and early 70s culture.  The set design, costuming and just about every shot is magnificent in its detail and magical mystery.  One of my favorite scenes comes early on when the conquest of Mexico is portrayed by lizards (the Aztecs) and frogs (the Conquistadors) dressed in period costumes.  Animals were certainly harmed in the making of this movie.  Despite its political incorrectness, there is a revolutionary, recklessly spontaneous, creative energy to this film.  It runs a little long, but if you like surrealistic films in the manner of Fellini or stories about mountain climbing like St. John of the Cross’ The Ascent of Mt. Carmel and you appreciate the value of shocking images and outside-the-box storytelling, you just might like this movie.

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