“The Blue Scorpion” Seduces Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone

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“As long as objects are valued more than lives, tragedy will forever be manufactured.”

Greetings travelers and welcome to The Fifth Dimension.

The latest chapter of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone tells the story of professor Jeff Stork (Chris O’Dowd), a man whose crumbling life begins to change when he discovers the seducing powers of his dead father’s gun, “The Blue Scorpion.”

As always, co-hosts Editor-in-Chief Michael Roffman, Editorial Director Matt Melis, writer Eleanor Edwards, and writer Samantha Kuykendall are your guides through the latest harrowing chapter in the Zone.

Stream the episode above and be sure to rate and review us on your preferred platform. Then stay tuned next week for this season’s final installment of The Fifth Dimension as we discuss “Blurryman”.

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Links

Trailer:

–Listen: Johnny Jewel at Italians Do It Better

–Previously on The Fifth Dimension: Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Tackles Immigration in the Incredibly Strong “Point of Origin”

The Twilight Zone in 10 Episodes: A Guide to Rod Serling’s Greatest Hits

–TV Review: Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Picks Up Where Rod Serling Left Off

–Follow co-hosts Michael Roffman, Matt Melis, Eleanor Edwards, and Samantha Kuykendall

–Stream the new episodes via CBS All Access

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Apple Sued by iTunes Customers Alleging Their Information Was Sold to Third Parties: Report

Apple has been hit with a class action lawsuit by customers who claim that information from their purchases on iTunes was sold to third parties, Billboard reports. According to a new report by Billboard, plaintiffs Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul, and Trevor Paul allege that Apple was collecting and selling their data to third parties despite “touting its supposedly pro-consumer positions on issues of data privacy,” as Billboard points out. The plaintiffs reportedly claimed that this practice was done in violation of their respective states’ (Rhode Island and Michigan) privacy laws. They are allegedly seeking over $5 million in damages, according to court documents viewed by Billboard. The suit was filed today (May 24) in California’s Northern Federal District.

Billboard reports that the complaint claims Apple “supplements its revenues by selling, renting, and transmitting with third parties information about the music that each customer purchases from the iTunes Store.” The suit reportedly claims that Apple discloses full names and home addresses of its customers along with other information pertaining to music they have purchased on the iTunes store. Read the full report here.

Pitchfork has reached out to Apple representatives for further comment.

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Synth repairman accidentally gets high after touching old LSD on a vintage ’60s synthesizer*

Vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer from Cal State University, photo via KPIX 5

What would you do if you found a 50-year-old dose of LSD laying around? If you’re Eliot Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Television, you get high on acid… accidentally.

Curtis recently undertook the project of restoring a vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer. According to San Francisco KPIX 5, the instrument had been sitting in a cold, dark room at Cal State University East Bay since the 1960s, so he lugged it home and began repairing it.

After opening a red-paneled module on the synth, he noticed there was “a crust or a crystalline residue on it.” Naturally, he did what any person tasked with fixing up an old instrument would do: spray some cleaner on it, pick at the residue with his finger, and try to dislodge it by scratching it off. But 45 minutes later, he started to feel some tingling. It was the start of a nine-hour acid trip.

(Read: Grateful Dead in 10 Songs)

Three individual chemical tests identified the substance on the synth as LSD. An anonymous LSD researcher explained what happened. It turns out that when stored in a cool, dark place, LSD can remain potent for decades. On top of that, there’s written evidence from Albert Hoffman, the first person to ingest LSD, that he believed it could be ingested through the skin.

What was LSD doing on the instrument in the first place? Nobody knows, but there’s plenty of theories. Look no further than Don Buchla, the instrument’s inventor. Not only was Buchla part of the ’60s counterculture at large, but his synths ended up on an old school bus purchased by LSD advocate Ken Kesey and his followers in 1966. During Kesey’s acid tests at Winterland on Halloween, electronic sounds interrupted an interview with Kesey. Additionally, Buchla was a friend of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead’s sound engineer and an infamous manufacturer of an extremely pure strain of LSD.

Those looking for a similar experience will have to look elsewhere. Curtis finished cleaning the vintage Buchla model for good — and this time around, he made sure to wear gloves.

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Rihanna hints at possible title for new reggae album

Rihanna has had her Navy itching with anticipation since teasing a new album back in winter. Now, in a new interview with T Magazine, she’s confirmed that she’s still hard at work on the effort — and that fans may be impacting the final product.

The Barbados Ambassador reiterated that the project is indeed a reggae record, though she refrained from giving any firm timeline for its completion. She added that she’s leaning towards calling the LP — which will mark her ninth full-length — R9, a name that her Navy has been drilling into her head.

“So far it’s just been R9, thanks to the Navy,” she said. “I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’ How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”

(Read: 10 Most Anticipated Pop Albums of 2019)

Elsewhere, RiRi once again touched on her deteriorated relationship with Drake. Last summer, she said the pop stars “don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either,” so it shouldn’t be surprising that she doesn’t see another “Work”-level collaboration in the near future. “Not anytime soon, I don’t see it happening,” she said of re-teaming with Drizzy. “Not on this album, that’s for sure.”

Another star collaboration fans might have to keep waiting for is one with Lady Gaga. The Navy has been pretty hyped about this possibility, but Rihanna says it isn’t in the works. Maybe the rumors started “because she followed me on Instagram,” said Rihanna. “It’s not in the books right now, but I’m not against it.”

Read more over at T Magazine (via Billboard).

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Buzzcocks, Thurston Moore, Others to Play Pete Shelley Tribute Concert

The surviving members of punk icons Buzzcocks are slated to perform a one-off concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall this summer. The event takes place on June 21, and will feature additional sets by the Skids and Penetration. A number of special guests will join Buzzcocks onstage to fill-in for late frontman and founder Pete Shelley, who died last year at age 63.

Guest vocalists will include Thurston Moore, Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible (the Damned), Peter Perrett (Only Ones), Tim Burgess (the Charlatans), Pauline Murray (Penetration), Richard Jobson (the Skids), and original Buzzcocks members Steve Garvey and John Maher. Music journalist Paul Morley will host the event, which was conceived as a tribute to Shelley as well as a celebration of his life.

Of the concert, Buzzcocks guitarist Steve Diggle said in a press release: “I’m looking forward to an amazing show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It’s going to be the perfect setting for us and our fans to pay tribute to Pete Shelley.” Find tickets for the event here.

Read Pitchfork’s Afterword feature “The First Sensitive Punk: Remembering Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley.”

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TV Review: Catch-22 Begins in a Nightmare and Spirals All the Way Down

The Pitch: The ostensible idea of military training is to break a man down. The normal end of that saying is “so you can build him back up,” but what Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel Catch-22 posits is that there’s no actual building up to follow. A man is given enough training to be fitted for a uniform and sent off to fight, and the war itself continues to break him down, and down, and down, until he’s either dead, a beast, or a walking shell with marching orders and a set of dog tags.

However, Catch-22 is also a comedy, in the way that a novel about the bottomless sadism of warfare can be funny. Previously adapted as a film in 1970, Catch-22 now comes to Hulu in the form of a six-part miniseries. Where the novel inhabits numerous characters’ points of view, the miniseries specifically focuses on Air Force bombardier Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a young man desperate to meet his mission quota and finally be sent home from the cyclical terror of his tour. After all, on the Mediterranean island of Pianosa, the men mostly just kill time in brothels, drink beer, and wait to die or go home, whichever comes first.

Each day he wanders the barracks in search of medical discharge, and each day he finds himself on a plane, staring straight down, dropping bombs in hopes of each run finally being the one that matters enough to make it all stop. But as Yossarian (or “Yoyo”) grows increasingly desperate for an escape, and the tyrannical Col. Cathcart (Kyle Chandler) begins to find every reason in the manual to keep Yossarian in an Air Force bomber, his psychological deterioration is mirrored by the increasing devastation around him.

War is Heller: That ominous description shouldn’t suggest that Catch-22 is entirely devoid of the gallows humor that makes its eventual descent into carnage all the more harrowing. It’s more to suggest that the series, directed and executive produced by George Clooney, Ellen Kuras, and Grant Heslov (each helm two episodes), decides from early on which kind of an adaptation it’s going to be. The war is nightmarish; the comedy, when it comes, vacillates between “Who’s on First?”-ian patter and infuriating bureaucratic paradoxes. Much of the series visually concerns itself with the image of Yossarian wandering in a state of near-total confusion; the humor similarly tightens like a noose around him.

Perhaps it’s because Catch-22 so thoroughly explores the terrors of Yossarian’s journey that the humor is generally far more effective when it’s laced with the despair and exhaustion around the company men. Heller’s prose directly draws the reader’s attention to the madness of everything happening; Catch-22 presents it as the deadpan byproduct of paper pushers or bloviating man’s men in the Dr. Strangelove tradition. (Chandler is in full Buck Turgidson mode here, and is a great deal of fun to watch even if the series never fully seems to work out what it wants from him.) Bitterness fares much better as a comic approach throughout Catch-22 than any of the miniseries’ others, perhaps because of the palpable exhaustion that co-writers Luke Davies and David Michôd bring to their rendition.

Yoyo On a String: Catch-22 might not be an especially devoted adaptation of its source material, but where it distinguishes itself as an update of merit is in its lead performance, and many of the others in its orbit. Abbott, as the increasingly hysterical Yossarian, delivers the kind of magnetic turn that elevates the series as a whole from a compelling but unfocused project to something that has to be watched, if only to appreciate what the actor does here.

If there’s one aspect of Catch-22 that wholly captures the existential despair of the novel, it’s Abbott, who leeches off small-but-noticeable facets of Yossarian’s affect, personality, and willpower each time he thinks he’s found his way out of the loop and winds up foiled. His ability to transition from raw vulnerability to inscrutable agony lends the miniseries its soul; as Yossarian begins to understand and acknowledge his own uselessness in the faith of death and, eventually, the forces of commerce and progress, he becomes less a man than a rat in a maze, more panicked each time when placed back at the start.

Yet it’s not simply a performance of nerves; Yossarian is at once the protagonist of this version of Catch-22 and still something of a cipher, particularly when the later episodes begin to push the question “how much can one man withstand?” to its farthest extremities. It’s in Abbott’s harrowing, shell-shocked gaze, which he so deftly manipulates for reactions of empathy, pity, rage, laughter, and mystery as the story presses on. In a miniseries full of brazen highs and the occasional concussive low, Abbott gives one of the year’s great television performances so far.

The Worst Way To Break: Where the series occasionally falters is in the way its illustrations of war’s toll on man occasionally shock for the sake of shock alone. A botched game of chicken in an airplane is appropriately grotesque; the violent rape of an Italian woman by an American is not, to say the least. (That it’s cross-cut with the savage beating of a dog, for maximum brutality, makes it by far the worst and most tone-deaf moment of the miniseries.) War is sickening, but as the casualties begin to pile up, the deadening effect on Yossarian isn’t matched by the filmmaking at points. The audience is expected to remain as increasingly numb as Yoyo, even as the series bathes itself in period-set musical cues and cathartic orchestral swells for maximum dramatic effect. For all the contradictions and rhetorical ouroboros pursued throughout Catch-22, the contradiction between what the directors attempt to convey in washed yellow light and what the adaptation is driving at is the one it never wholly reconciles.

The Verdict: Curiously, one of the most compelling moments in all of Catch-22 is a major extrapolation of a small incident in the novel. Milo (Daniel David Stewart) brings Yossarian into his burgeoning international wartime empire. In growing a so-called “syndicate” for the trade of food, alcohol, and eventually even live animals, Milo aims to bring Yossarian into the actual future, rather than the one he imagines, where maybe he gets to go home intact and rekindle his romance with the wife of General Schweisskopf (Clooney, in a surprisingly infrequent appearance). In Milo’s future, loyalties and national boundaries and even military responsibility are the province of suckers; there is one future law, and it is ruthless, opportunistic capitalism executed with a smile.

At its best, Catch-22 is rife with this brand of venomous observation. While its endless conversations about forms and signatures and dubious rank promotions don’t always have the satiric impact these scenes are clearly after, the miniseries occasionally transcends “war is hell” as a concept, and opens itself into a far more crushing treatise on how there may be no more perfect a soldier than the one who’s beyond repair. For one, he’ll never run away.

Where’s It Playing? All six episodes of Catch-22 are now available on Hulu.

Trailer:

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Summer Slaughter 2019 lineup features Cattle Decapitation, Carnifex, The Faceless, and more

The Summer Slaughter tour, billed as the “most extreme tour of the year,” has announced its 2019 lineup and tour dates, featuring a triple headlining bill of Cattle Decapitation, Carnifex, and The Faceless.

Rivers of Nihil, Nekrogoblikon, Lorna Shore, and Brand of Sacrifice will support, along with the winner of Headbang for the Highway contest. The tour begins July 20th in Denver, running through August 14th, ending in Los Angeles.

Cattle Decapitation also gave an update on the progress their new record, due out on Metal Blade Records later this year.

“We are in the studio right now recording the follow-up to The Anthropocene Extinction,” frontman Travis Ryan said in a video message from the band. “We’ll be playing a few new songs on this tour, so we’ll see you there.”

Tickets for the tour go on sale Friday, and the full itinerary is below.

Summer Slaughter Tour 2019 Dates:
07/20 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
07/21 – Lincoln, NE @ Royal Grove
07/22 – Iowa City, IA @ Wildwood
07/23 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
07/24 – Joliet, IL @ The Forge
07/25 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
07/26 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theater
07/27 – Montreal, QC @ Heavy MTL Festival
07/29 – Cleveland, OH @ The Odeon
07/30 – Dayton, OH @ Oddbody’s
07/31 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
08/01 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
08/02 – Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom
08/03 – Easton, PA @ One Centre Square
08/04 – Baltimore, MD @ SoundStage
08/05 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
08/06 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
08/07 – Greenville, SC @ The Firmament
08/09 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
08/10 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
08/11 – Austin, TX @ Come And Take It Live
08/13 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
08/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ 1720

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Morrissey Wears Far-Right Political Party Pin on “Fallon”

Last night (May 13), Morrissey played his cover of Jobriath’s “Morning Starship” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” During the performance, he wore a pin featuring the logo of the For Britain Movement, a far-right UK political party founded by anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters. He has also come under fire for wearing the pin at recent concerts. (The For Britain Movement has thanked Morrissey for his support on its website.) Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Morrissey and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for comment.

Morrissey has been vocally supportive of For Britain in the past. In a 2018 interview, he said, “I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters. It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless. For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say ‘you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.’ People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”

On May 24, Morrissey will release his new covers record California Son, which features collaborations with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and more. Broken Social Scene’s Ariel Engle, who guests on the album, has said she was unaware of Morrissey’s political views when she agreed to sing on the LP. “The inflammatory things he says are not my politics. I think he’s completely out of line,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been had, but it’s my fault.”

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R.I.P. Doris Day, legendary actress and musician dead at 97

Legendary actress and singer Doris Day has died at the age of 97.

According to The Associated Press, Day died Monday at her Carmel Valley, California home surronded by close friends.

 

At the peak of her popularity in the 1950s and 60s, Day was the biggest female film star and ranked sixth all time among box office performers. At the 1989 Academy Awards, she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures.

Day was also an accomplished musician, who released 29 albums over the course of her life. For her efforts, she was bestowed a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers.

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David Gilmour releases Live at Pompeii concert film for free on YouTube

In July 2016, David Gilmour returned to Pompeii for a special two-night concert event. His appearance came 45 years after Pink Floyd staged a similar production, the footage for which was heavily featured in the band’s iconic Live in Pompeii concert film. In 2017, Gilmour’s full performance was released as a concert film and companion live album.

Gilmour’s Live at Pompeii was originally screened in movie theaters for one night only, and has subsequently been available on DVD and Blu-ray. Now, though, Gilmour is streaming the entire performance for free on YouTube. Watch it below.

 

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Setlist:

Set 1:
5 A.M.
Rattle That Lock
Faces of Stone
What Do You Want From Me (Pink Floyd song)
The Blue
The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd song)
A Boat Lies Waiting
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd song)
Money (Pink Floyd song)
In Any Tongue
High Hopes (Pink Floyd song)

Set 2:
One of These Days (Pink Floyd song)
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Pink Floyd song)
Fat Old Sun (Pink Floyd song)
Coming Back to Life (Pink Floyd song)
On an Island
The Girl in the Yellow Dress
Today
Sorrow (Pink Floyd song)
Run Like Hell (Pink Floyd song)

Encore:
Time (Pink Floyd song)
Breathe (Reprise) (Pink Floyd song)
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd song)
Beauty

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