Gobbledygeek episode 335, “Annihilation: For Those That Follow,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Self-destruction. Division. Separation. Annihilation. These are the frivolous, lighthearted concerns of Alex Garland’s latest film, a mind-expanding sci-fi trip that finds Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny exploring “Area X,” a mutated piece of land encompassed by the full-on-double-rainbow-all-the-way that is the Shimmer. What’s going on here? What’s causing it? Does an answer even matter? Paul and Arlo dig into Annihilation’s writhing, metastasizing guts to discuss the beautiful, macabre work of production designer Matt Digby; the organic/electronic discomfit of Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s score; how Garland’s approach intentionally places the viewer at a distance; and that goddamn bear. Plus, Paul watched something called the Olympics; Arlo wants to help The Breadwinner make some dough; and Paul gives Arlo shit, what else is new.
Next: the episode we teased last week! For a musical Geek Challenge, Arlo must watch Kenn Anakin’s 1982 “classic” The Pirate Movie and Paul must endure Jacques Demy’s 1967 classic (no quotation marks necessary) The Young Girls of Rochefort.
(Show notes for “For Those That Follow.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 334, “Black Panther: Hail to the King, Baby! (feat. Phaicia McBride),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
First-time guest Phaicia “Fe” McBride joins Paul and Arlo as they take a direct flight to the African utopia of Wakanda, courtesy of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. King T’Challa’s first feature film marks the 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it also marks a long overdue watershed moment for mainstream black culture. The gang discusses why Black Panther is so important and exciting; how the film takes the MCU in exciting new directions, particularly with its nuanced villain; how rare and wonderful it is to see so many female characters with agency, skill, and personality; why Ludwig Goransson’s score (and Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack, at least according to Arlo) is a true sonic statement; and how some of the fight sequences bring to mind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Plus, Arlo’s obsessed with a bizarre lo-fi mobile game called InstLife; and Paul goes full steampunk ahead with Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.
Next: despite what they say at the end of the episode, Paul and Arlo are actually getting ready for Annihilation.
(Show notes for “Hail to the King, Baby!”)
There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.
AJ: 10. POM POM by Ariel Pink
AJ: 9. MORNING PHASE by Beck
We’ve already discussed our favorite films, TV series, and comics of 2012. Now, to round things out before the impending season 4 premiere, we’ll “discuss” our favorite albums. “Discuss” is in quotation marks because, as we’ve frequently noted on the show, we are really, really bad at knowing how to talk about music. So we figured we’d let the music speak for itself.
Enjoy and check back on Sunday for the season premiere of GOBBLEDYGEEK!
PAUL: 10. SOME NIGHTS by fun.
Key track: “Some Nights”
AJ: 10. LONERISM by Tame Impala
Key track: “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
Hey, Mr. AJ is a new column in which I plan on writing some things about the new music I hear. They’ll be brief reviews, divided into sections: MAXIMUM GOBBLING for the masterpieces; GOBBLE IT for the merely great; WORTH GOBBLING for other good releases; GOBBLE? for those albums which aren’t really good or bad, just sort of okay; DO NOT GOBBLE for the shitty; and RUN, DON’T GOBBLE! for the awful. Got it? Now, don’t ask me again.
by Tame Impala
I’m a Beatlemaniac, so I see the Beatles everywhere. Bear with me. On their debut album Innerspeaker, Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala manage to do what the Olivia Tremor Control did on 1996’s masterful Music from the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle; without compromising their creativity or their own unique vision, they capture the spirit of the post-Sgt. Pepper, pre-Abbey Road Beatles. Specifically, both albums remind me of the more freewheeling psychedelic cuts on Yellow Submarine, like George Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much.” Indeed, lead singer Kevin Parker’s voice reminds me of Harrison’s in that soaring, nasally way, which also makes it at times resemble John Lennon’s. But as I said, this is no rip-off, and Tame Impala sound like their own band, embracing the hazier realms of psychedelia that the Fab Four rarely did. It’s misty, delightful music that lulls you into another world with its spiraling distorted guitars, insistent drums, and far out yet pleasingly retro production techniques. Innerspeaker hasn’t made its way to the States yet, but whenever you get the chance, take a listen. You’ll be glad you did.