Before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino had directed eight films. Eight classic films. Eight films that his fans adored so much. From the confused rage of Reservoir Dogs to the chilling bitterness of The Hateful Eight, there were highs and lows, but ultimately we are a generation that bore witness to the creation of a timeless collection. The ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was arguably his most polarizing. Hardcore fans, as well as the general public either loved it or hated it entirely. Today it will be argued that it is his greatest film. Perhaps not in the way we all expected, but even still, this holds true. To honor the ninth installment in his collection, nine brief points will be argued for this case.
King Buffalo is a three-piece band that formed in 2013 out of Rochester, NY. They are self-proclaimed heavy psychedelic, desert, blues, stoner rock. Their songs are trance-like and hypnotic in an atmospheric sense.
The guttural feeling of familiarity, empowerment, and dread are ever present, as they always have been, within Deap Vally’s latest album Femejism. A couple of self-described valley girls out of California, Julie Edwards and Lindsey Troy have been musically taking on the patriarchy over the past 7 years, beginning with their debut album Sistronix from 2013. Featuring “Gonna Make My Own Money,” a powerful track as the name suggests, is of a conversation between a daughter and her parents. Women around the world will be familiar with this expectation from their family, being told their whole lives they need to marry a man who will support them, a rich one if they can. Deap Vally spins this story on its head and insists they will be self-sufficient, make their own money and buy their own land, burying the stereotype of a damsel in distress needing a man to save them. Breaking out of Sistronix for me is “Walk of Shame” which takes back the stigma of a woman making her way home from a one-night stand, owning her sexuality and walking with pride and her head held high. Stories like this of shattering old-school societal expectations of gender norms and sexuality on Sistronix prove provocative, empowering, and enlightens the audience—even younger generations of women—to the true power and autonomy of a woman, and specifically these women. None of these themes change from Sistronix to Femejism, they only get more intense. Once I found out that the drummer Julie Edwards, was not only pregnant during most of the recording but she also toured and played shows for Femejism while pregnant, it became more clear than ever that these women are not just down to earth but they love their craft enough that they will stop at nothing to share their intense messages with their hard hitting grooves.
On an absurdly chilly Monday in April, a day that you would not expect people to be out and about at a bar, the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen St. W was bustling. The night was going to consist of three very contrasting bands. A country band, a heavier rock band, and an upbeat pop rock group. Upon arriving the first act was already on stage, the country act supporting lead vocalist/songwriter, Stacey Hunt. She oozed a country pop essence akin to artists like Faith Hill and Jewel. The songs had a bubbly relatability and her band was talented and supported her fully. Her voice did not waver or crack once, and her vocal control was undeniable. The music was pure country pop and overall incredibly enjoyable as a live performance. The venue seemed filled with her fans and supporters. The excitement was palpable, and they have great promise as a country band. The second act that went on was called Defcon Brown, they were a three piece band with music similar to bands like Nickelback and other early 2000s rock bands of the like. The subject matter was moody and dark. The crowd of country fans diminished significantly during their set, but despite this they played fully and contently.
On March 30, the Danforth Music Hall was blessed with a night of transcendent musical energy. Upon entering the floor, about 20 minutes before the opening act, the crowd was small and dispersed and chatting amongst themselves.
Weird Al Yankovic has been one of the most successful musicians in the humor genre to date. His parodies are international successes and his clever renditions have given him much deserved musical recognition. What is interesting about Weird Al, is that while you’re laughing at the lyrics, you come to realize that the music is actually quite good. No matter what song he is doing the supporting music is solid. Sometimes Weird Al used session musicians to the extent of Ray Manzarek of The Doors doing keys and helping him on the stylistic parody, "Craigslist," whose release was just after the case closing of the “Craigslist Killer.”