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Grant Theft Auto*

After more than a year spent in quarantine and after having binge-watched almost every decent series and movie in Netflix, I have chosen YouTube as my last resort for watching something interesting and worthy of my limited free time. And while its "watch-for-free" material does not reach the artistic levels of other on-line video content platforms, like Vimeo, still hidden gems like Slacker can be discovered.

For those who have never heard about Slacker I would begin by saying that it is a movie that is fully corresponding to its title. Having no actual plot but rather consisting of short scenes/dialogues amongst its protagonists which are intercepting and are following sequentially one after the other, all taking place within a single day. And while I am not the biggest independent cinema aficionado, Slacker despite its lack of storyline managed to capture my (usually) short span attention. I am not in the position to appreciate the movie for its technical virtues and for sure the acting is pretty much close to amateur standards, however what Slacker provides to the viewer is an illusion of "proximity" by letting her/him watch casual moments from lives of normal people. For me however, one of the key appealing factors of this movie is its total lack of any intention to transmit any message and become preceptive...

Interesting trivia : In one of the movie scenes and also depicted in the official movie poster, we find Teresa Taylor the drummer of Butthole Surfers ! Possibly one more reason to add Slacker in the list of my favourite movies of the 90s...

Since I went down to the 90's memory lane, another album that I am constantly listening during the last weeks is New West Motel by The Walkabouts. Like in the case of Chris Cacavas their country and folk influenced rock (Americana) has been proven during the years more successful in Europe and specifically in countries like Germany or Greece rather than their homeland. Placing the electric guitar in a lead role and enriching their melodies with violin they may have not managed to reach the commercial success of other Seattle bands, however they are still around providing us some soul satisfaction with their melancholic songs.

We are technically in the middle of the year and I have to say that I have hardly identified more than a handful of albums to fill my year-end-Best-album list. I do not claim that there have not been good or even great albums released this year but I miss the surprise element. Be it the overproduction and oversupply that the lockdown-era has created (where bands release anything/everything from their "vaults" in order to compensate an income that would normally come from live concerts) or be it my personal saturation, I still remain unsatisfied with what 2021 has offered so far...There are two exceptions though...

Promises, the collaboration between Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points and The London Symphony Orchestra an album which I personally consider that it will take its place as a piece of classical music of the 21st Century and

Cavalcade, the second album by black midi which I must admit caught me off-guard with its combination of prog and noise. I still need time to digest what is composed and played here but given how this year has gone so far, I find it hard to believe that it will not be part of my final list...



*The Blog post title is taken from the same-named song contained in the album New west Motel by The Walkabouts

#Slacker #TheWalkabouts #ButtholeSurfers #FloatingPoints #PharoahSanders #TheLondonSymphonyOrchestra #blackmidi

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