Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Giant heads rule! Smashing Pumpkins and indie-flick "Frank" among week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Every week the entertainment biz drops a batch of new music and videos on the masses, and every week we help you decide what's worth your time, and what's best left behind. Let's do this. 


The Smashing Pumpkins, Monuments to an Elegy. With Billy Corgan the only remaining original member, we continue to learn that he was really the only Pumpkin that ever mattered. Monuments sounds exactly like what you'd expect a new Smashing Pumpkins album to sound like — old Smashing Pumpkins, but not as good. Still, if you love the band, this nine-song set makes for a decent addition. You can hear new tune "Tiberius" right here: 

Cracker, Berkeley to Bakersfield. It's a double album that collects the original Cracker lineup for the first time in 20 years on the Berkeley half (the rock half), while delving into the rootsy country and Americana that founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have dabbled in through the years on the Bakersfield disc. Here's a live vid a fan shot of "King of Bakersfield:"

Ghostface Killah, 36 Seasons. As a member of the Wu-Tang, he deserves some blame for their middling recent release. As a solo artist, Ghostface Killah remains a remarkably consistent hip-hop force, and this one proves that point yet again. Here's a tune called "The Battlefield:"


Obviously the biggest DVD release of the week is Guardians of the Galaxy, the winning sci-fi comedy that raked in serious coin this year while successfully straddling the line between action and slapstick. Even the soundtrack turned some young people who aren't old enough to know better into fans of garbage '70s soft rock hits. Chances are you've already seen that one, so perhaps you should give some of these smaller new releases a try: 

Calvary stars the brilliant Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) as a good priest in a small Irish town — but not good enough to keep one of his parishioners from threatening to kill him during a visit to the confession booth. It's more dark than comedy, but watching Gleeson do his thing is a treat — he just won a British Independent Film Award for this role. Here's a look: 

Frank was a Sundance hit, and it's inspired by a hard-to-believe true story of musician/comedian Chris Sievey, who created a character named Frank Sidebottom to lead a band with an unpronounceable name. The schtick, both in real life and the movie, is that Frank (played by Michael Fassbender) walks around his everyday life and performs wearing a large papier-mâché head. Take a look: 

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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...