(As I continue to finish up my 2013 Music Year in Review post, figured I’d squeeze in one of these to share some stuff I’ve enjoyed recently.)

Seen

Four Flies on Grey VelvetFour Flies On Grey Velvet

2014 is “The Year of Argento” for me, where I work through his entire filmography in mostly chronological order. Of course, I’ve already screwed that up a bit, in that Four Flies… is his third movie (and the third movie in his “animal trilogy”). The music is fantastic, courtesy of Ennio Morricone. Apparently, though, the music was a source of contention between Argento and Morricone, making this the last movie where they worked together until the mid-90s. Italian prog-rockers Goblin would take over soundtrack duties.

Trademark Argento visuals and a mostly comprehensible plot make this as enjoyable as any of Argento’s gialli, goofy ending aside.

Heard

artworks-000054301670-rre2s3-t500x500[1]DJ Moneyshot: Solid Steel & the Hour of Chaos (alt: Mixcloud)

There are a lot of very good mixes popping up all the time, but very few that could be deemed “instant classics.” This one, though, may be one of them. I went in expecting a solid mix of tunes from PE’s legendary album but what I heard was so much more. It’s a blend of PE’s music with the samples that inspired and interviews with the Bomb Squad about the production and the creation of the album. What makes it really special, though, is that it provides the musical, cultural, and political context for the album. Beyond just playing sample sources, DJ Moneyshot seamlessly integrates the music and speeches that inspired the productions. If there’s a college-level hip-hop class that requires listening of It Takes a Nation of Millions…, they should offer extra credit to those that follow it with this mix.

Essential.

Read

Time & Again coverTime & Again by Jack Finney

I was on a bit of a time travel kick late last year and was looking for a recommendation for a movie I may have missed. Naturally, I went to Joe G. from Exhumed Films for a suggestion. Rather than a movie suggestion, though, he shared this 1970 novel about a man chosen by a hush-hush agency to travel to 1880′s New York City as part of a government experiment in time travel. What drew me most to this book is that it doesn’t try to be outlandish. No need to embellish the idea of time travel — the experience itself is enough. No crazy machines, no “Butterfly Effect”-type changes to history (indeed, an alternate theory is introduced in this book that looks as time as a stream and simple changes as sticks in the stream unlikely to truly interrupt the grand flow of the river), and no implausible plot twists.