Friday, August 11, 2006

Reviews and Interviews: Nomeansno, Rob Wright, Tom Holliston and more

(Note: I do HAVE pictures for this, but Blogger is being stubborn about accepting them today, and I can't seem to work the juju of it. Will keep trying).

The second in a series of Nomeansno articles I'm writing is up at Razorcake, featuring bits of a fascinating interview with the very articulate Rob Wright. (As of this writing there's a bit of a glitch in the title -- it should read "...and the Passion of Slugs." But no big deal, the article is all there!). Of course there's also my Discorder article, while it's up; and in September a very brief item will appear in Canada's This Magazine, featuring brief quotes from Tom Holliston and John Wright. The bulk of my Rob Wright article has not been used, however, and is currently being prepped for publication in a major punk 'zine in the States, whose name I will not mention until such a time as publication is confirmed... Hoping it gets into print in time for the September-October US tour.

In the meantime, if you're drooling to hear the new Nomeansno offering, All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt (to be released in Canada on August 22nd), and want a VERY tasty appetizer, you might want to head on down to Red Cat Records while Tom Holliston's solo CDs are still in stock (mebbe phone ahead and check; if they aren't there, they'll get Tom to bring more in. Mailorder folks may also want to explore Coolforever, where Tom sometimes works -- or so I'm told on the Nomeansno board. I completely concur with Satan Stole My Teddybear's John Chedsey that these are excellent albums -- I can't link to his reviews per se, but search them out for a better idea what these albums are about; they've more to do with classic rock'n'roll, twisted through a goofily humorous and very media-critical sensibility, than they do with punk or the sound of Nomeansno (although Tom was much more heavily involved in writing the music this time out). I must admit, though I'm not that much of a Show Business Giants fan -- finding them to be more of a novelty act than anything -- I absolutely love Tom's three solo CDs (so far my fave tune is "Trophy Wife," mostly for the couplet, "I'm living in limbo/ someone send me a bimbo" -- this is great art, folks).

I don't plan to use it anywhere else, so I figure I'll offer one final Rob Wright quote here, about his tastes in cinema:

"I like the Italian neorealists. I like Antonioni… I’ve gotten into DVDs serious, the quality of restorations in some of these movies is just gorgeous, it’s just amazing. I follow that pretty standard arty sorta thing. I avoid all Hollywood movies."

Since I've been a big Cassavetes man for a long time now (and since Cassavetes was influence by the neorealists), I asked Wright if he was fan.

"Somewhat, not lately. I sort of liked him a lot when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. But right now it’s mostly the Italians and Werner Herzog, people like that."

Of course, if anyone wants to check out Mr. Wright's tastes, there's an Antonioni retrospective at the Cinematheque. Of the films upcoming I'd recommend Red Desert and Zabriskie Point (see below); I'm also really looking forward to the short documentary's they'll be playing, but I haven't seen any of them previously -- the Cinematheque, as always, are doing a great thing bringing these here. Probably the most timely, politically relevant neorealist work, though, is Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers, which played there last month; you can rent it on DVD, if you missed it.

I'll keep y'all posted when the next Nomeansno news breaks.


D.M said...

Hallo Allan
Just read the razor cake interview. Brilliant. Good to gain a little insight and background to the philosophy behind the tune. I agree with a lot of what Mr. Wright speaks about in the passage about the song "Slugs are burning" he hits the nail on the head.
Now I'll have to imapatiently wait and wonder until I buy a copy.

Take care.

Allan MacInnis said...

Actually, apparently "Slugs are burning" is on the band's Myspace page, if you can find it...