Fortune’s Folly is Fucking Fantastic

“Ms. Calysta, one of these days you’ll be world famous, and I’ll tell everybody I know that I got to see those gorgeous eyebrows of yours in person.”

Every now and then these cool cats from a local band come into a store I work at. Being just down the street from a music studio, I get to see a lot of this. Sometimes these types come in with a shine to their eyes that will put a smile on your face. Most of them have a pretty good thing even if all they ever end up doing is play king of the bar, so I try to make time to catch their acts.

Over a patch of time I got to observe this unusually close knit group of folks who were happy to be alive and buying snacks. They made sure to mention that they were doing their favorite thing just down the road; making music.

“What are you guys called ?” I asked

Ms. Calysta took point without hesitation and stated ” Fortune’s Folly, we’re psychedelic pop!”

Woah…stop the transaction. Nobody just goofs around with psychedelic pop, that genre takes craftsmanship and dedication. I was then handed a band sticker, a work of dark art that resides on my travel mug to this day.

Although I am one to keep my expectations in check, I had a pretty good feeling about Fortune’s Folly. The time I was able to get around and see them was at Old Nick’s Pub. Located on the outskirts of the Whiteaker Community of Eugene Oregon, Old Nick’s is a decadent punk venue with great sound and dark atmosphere. You can spill a beer on the concrete floor, but not teeth.

I was delighted to have a brief moment with Ms. Calysta before the show started, as she has an undeniable charm to her. Subtle here, expressive there, overall she’s a real hard person not to like. Fortune’s Folly took the stage well after midnight. The floor had gathered with an eclectic crowd, the likes of which could have been their own center of attention anywhere else. The stage was set for a performance, and from the moment Folly began their set, you could feel something worthwhile was going on.

I would soon find out that Ms. Calysta was not just a pretty face, she was about 16 different types of amazing. She could have just straight owned it with her singing, projecting all the right notes. On top of that she added high energy one of a kind dancing, owning the stage and the crowd. It was more than a pleasant surprise to hear what a crisp, professional, polished sound this four piece band had. They performed like a well oiled machine, playing off each other’s strengths with no gaps or goofs. It didn’t  take too long into their set to realize that performaners this good aren’t going to be local for long.

If you ever get a chance to see Fortune’s Folly live, don’t hesitate. When they take the stage they don’t ask if you’re having a good time.

They demand that you do.

http://fortunesfolly.bandcamp.com/releases

Makara Heart Chisels Out A Gorgeous Musical Sculpture.

 

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I told myself…from the beginning…if these were all the memories and moments I would get…I’d be okay with that, and I would cruise on those images for the rest of my life.

On any given evening in the Whiteaker Community of Eugene Oregon, there is something good going on. People, places, and events will allow you to get lost in the culture of the night.

This sort of atmosphere can be magnified times ten during the annual Whiteaker Block Party. You could very well have the time of your life stumbling into someone’s basement party before you even have a chance to experience the local artists, crafters, food booths and musicians.

It was a hundred and five degrees during the 2015 Block Party, and upon entrance I was greeted, dare I say enchanted, with funky danceable keyboard rythyms, and a voice that did more than just catch the ears. It was a voice that spoke straight to the soul, a hint of pain, a hint of playfulness.

Standing off to the side, I soaked in the pleasureable tunes of Makara Heart. As much as I wanted to stay and take in all the goodness Makara had to offer, I thought if this is just the beginning of the block party, I’m going to be on one hell of a journey exploring all the great things the Whiteaker had to offer.

I destined further up to the food booths, eyed up the craft booths, witnessed one generation teach break dancing to the next, checked out some other music, and said my hellos. The entire time the soundtrack playing in my head was of the exoticl y crafted songs of Makara Heart. For a moment I was stunned by the fact that I could not shake how original and hypnotic she sounds. Was it possible that the first act I caught was the very best thing about the Whiteaker Block Party?

I ventured back to give her a second listen, and once again I became transfixed. After a couple more songs, and to be truthful, it could have been six songs as I was spirituality transported to a place where time did not matter, Makara stepped away from the keys.

She gave me a look from toe to head, ending her move with a flirtatious cheeky smile.

“What’s up? ” she asked me.

“That was great! ” I replied, using every ounce of restraint that I could muster in the moment, trying not to geek out and make it look like I’ve never been anywhere or seen anything before in my life.

We chatted briefly about her music and albums for sale, of course I had to buy one!

“What’s your favorite color?” Makara questioned.

Purple was my reply, and to this day, I don’t 100 percent know why I gave that answer. I’m a blue guy, dark blue at that. The rational, practical part of me wants to say that I told her purple so as not to tell a stranger what my favorite anything was. The romantic in me, the man who enjoys nothing more than to take in a good scene would say that I chose purple so as to promote conversation further down the road. One album purchased and I made my way.

I carry the imagery of this day around in a pocket inside my brain.

It would be a while before I gave this purple tinted cd a listen to. The cover is very striking, her picture is haunting and fragile. The album sat on my shelf in front of my other music, and in a casually strange way I felt that she was looking over my other wares, protecting them from the harm of a cruel and clumsy world. “Fellas, you’re going to be okay,  Makara is here to protect you. ”

Once I was able to clear my mind and give the music it’s proper due, I was absolutely taken back by the beauty of the songs. The name of the album is Bittersweet Memories, and it is absolutely gorgeous. The musical structure has an unusual listen ability to it, pulling you into the stories being told. You are given the essence of something you didn’t know you wanted to absorb.

As most artists cringe upon how others interpret their work, which is basically their soul, I will let you know that my writing skills are what would barely quality as amateur. I just know great when I hear it.

The songs are about love, love lost, beauty, and a whisper of something deeply personal and moving. I was overcome with the thought that I was so fucking sorry to hear that her heart got broke.

I told myself from the beginning, that if these were all the memories and moments I would get…I’d be okay with that…and I’m not.

That’s the poetry and romance of life.

The best is yet to come for Makara Heart.

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/fb_share/5301166

https://www.facebook.com/Makara-Heart-Music-1669580113303856/?pnref=lhc

https://www.facebook.com/ReinCarnival-Music-1258286064198833/?pnref=lhc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turbo Kid Will Put A Bloody Smile On Your Face.

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A post apocalyptic future deprived of water and automobiles is the setting for Turbo Kid, which may be playing at an independent/ art house cinema near you. A young male scavenger who goes by the name of The Kid, spends his days trading artifacts and tools for questionable water and his favorite comic books. It’s not lost on the rough looking locals on how the Kid is able to survive in these times, as he doesn’t have the frame nor the temperament to do much much beyond hole up in his dwelling and munch on ancient candy.

While rummaging about, the Kid meets up with an enthusiastic young lady named Apple, who’s just looking for friendship. Although this wasteland is somewhat portrayed as tongue and cheek, true friendship may be as hard to come by as clean water. On the opposite end of the spectrum, is the maniacal water baron, played by veteran bad guy Michael Ironside, complete with an eye patch and menacing duster.

In this version of a junior league Mad Max, bicycles are substituted for burly vehicles, and although that doesn’t lead to as many bike related stunts as one might hope, you’re not likely to complain about the end result. Turbo Kid is a fun, poppy, and surprising gory event to take in. It’s unusual innocence at times in comparison to the harsh background that the story takes place in, provides for a rich and touching piece of entertainment.

Judging by the trailer alone, Turbo Kid is far too fun and weird to miss out on

Because You Watched WolfCop

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Well I couldn’t not watch a movie called WolfCop, and now that I have, my Netflix has created a list of movies for me titled ‘Because You Watched WolfCop’. It’s almost as if Netflix is taunting me, implying,” look motherfucker, you’re the one who wanted to see this mess.”

WolfCop is the story of a half assed police officer and full blown alcoholic, who done got turned into a werewolf. Keeping expectations low, I was significantly surprised by how mean the gore was, and once the movie got rolling I thought that I had discovered a gem. Like any good Werewolf Cop would do, upon transformation, he of course tricks out his police car in an very amusing and over the top fashion.

The first half to three quarters of this movie is pretty solid horror/comedy/gore. Therein after, I would have to guess that the filmmaker ran out of ideas, money, or likely both. This movie goes from showing us WolfCop’s brutal transformation, and completely tearing up ass on the bad guys, to some cheap looking Scooby Do ending. While WolfCop was on a high note, he should have just turned to the camera and made his own found footage jam the rest of the way, because it is unbelievable how fast the movie turns to liquid shit and just lingers there with it’s waves of stink. Overall it’s a very frustrating movie to watch, with zero payoff to the story that it builds up.

You can see WolfCop on Netflix right now if you want, or, you can see any number of other movies on there that are actually worth watching.

Smile The Pain Away

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In Joe, Nicholas Cage plays a blue collar head woodsman of a small crew of laborers in the south. A cigarette is never far away from his mouth, and a tug off a bottle of hooch is how he caps his workday. Gary is the 15 year old pseudo leader of his drifting family who approaches Joe for day labor. At 15, Gary has a lot of life ahead of him, however the circumstances of his life now are being dragged down by a mean drunk of a father who will literally do anything to stay loaded. The players in and around Joe’s life give some back story to his brooding character, he’s been “up in it” as they say, and they will vouch for Joe as “good people” without hesitation.

This 2013 drama is directed by David Gordon Greene, who had a sloppy hit with Pineapple Express. His first film, All The Real Girls was not only Zoey Deschanel’s first notable work, it also features some cinematic originality that isn’t readily available in today’s age of the remake and the comic book movie. One of the ways Greene is able to make this story stand out despite it’s overtones of the Hollywood classic, Shane, is the casting of non actors in significant roles. The voice and mannerisms of the characters allow the story to tell itself at times, and provide background and legitimacy for Cage’s Joe.

Playing the role of Gary’s father Wade, is an actual factual bum by the name of Gary Poutler.

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Wade has the slur of a longtime alcoholic, and displays both a playful and volatile spirit throughout the film.

Joe’s right hand man on the woods crew, Junior, is played by another non actor, Brian Mays. Weather Junior is teaching Gary the ways of work, holding court during a laugh filled break with this co-workers, or arguing with Gary’s father Wade, Mr. Mays is able to convey a presence to the audience as if he’s been there before.

While you may not understand every word out of their mouths, you’re certainly able to get their intentions. It is amazing that this flea market cast were able to hit their marks and come off as professional and entertaining. Having these guys as compliments to Cages’s character of Joe really makes this balanced piece of storytelling. Joe likes his work, his drink, his smokes, his dog, and his womens. It seems that these interests are a big part of what detaches Joe from liking himself, and it never seems like he’s too far away from doing something to his life that wont be able to repair.

As far as Cage’s performance goes, it is legitimately one of his best. It’s fair to question by what right does Cage have to dangle this kind of talent in front of us and then go off and play an Irish Samurai. The scene in which Cage briefly washes his face with hard alcohol before setting someone straight is quick, subtle, and tells you so much about Joe in less than a second. His back and forth with 15 year old Gary, teaching him to smile through the pain, comes off as exceptionally relatable. Joe’s struggle with those that are testing him, paint both an immediate picture of who this man is, and a much broader sense of what he’s done in the past.

Director Green’s camera work and editing really help here, as this movie doesn’t have the arty feel of All The Real Girls, nor the glossy Hollywood sheen of Pineapple Express. Although Joe has been pegged as dark and gloomy, the style of direction here is subdued and leans more towards neutral. There’s a whole lot about Joe that’s worth watching, and at no point does it talk down to the audience,  the story at hand just allowed to sort of unfold.

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Resolution Will Stick in Your Craw

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When a thirty something man receives footage of his longtime pal engaging in questionable drugged out activity, he decides to put business and family matters aside in order to do whatever it takes to sober up his friend. By chaining him to the abandoned cabin that his friend is holed up in, he means well and is determined to be the rock in the relationship until the withdrawal symptoms and paranoia subside. However, the paranoia is slowly escalated for the both of them as mysterious objects, strangers, and folk tales end up painting a picture of a story they may not want to see the ending to.

Resolution is a horror story, and one of the things that makes it stand out is that although it does have a smattering of the typical horror story cliches, it moves at it’s own pace, to the point that you nearly forget that your watching a horror movie and end up getting really involved with the characters and the story at hand.

Without giving away too much, this movie from 2012 is different, it’s a little awkward, and if you’re able to stick it out you’ll be rewarded with one intense and memorable experience.

The Babadook

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Amelia is a struggling single mom coping with the death of her husband, and with the fact that her son’s grasp on reality and behavior towards others is becoming questionable. One quiet night Amelia reads a strange book to her son as a bedtime story, only to discover that what resides in the pages isn’t exactly the material either of them thought it would be.

This book brings on a slow developing living nightmare experience for the both of them.

The Babadook is a tight Australian horror film that leans towards psychological horror for the most part, however when it needs to step up it’s game and provide the goods that horror fans are used to seeing, that game is legit. What make this movie work so well is the fact that a certain rythym of storytelling is established early on, making for a unique overall viewing experience. With that in tow, the movie could have been plenty watchable had the story taken place in any other genre.

The Babadook features exceptional acting, and gets playful enough with the narrative that you second guess what’s happening as the story unfolds. It’s creepy and disturbing atmosphere will linger about in your consciousness well after the initial viewing.

Calling Bullshit on the new Mad Max

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Mad Max Fury Road is exactly the Mad Max sort of movie we’ve all been waiting to see, minus the exposition, characterization, and sense of unpredictability that made the Mad Max films good to begin with. The latest installment is a fun, action packed ride to watch for sure, but at the end of the day, that is all that it is.

I was fortunate enough to see this with my people, late at night, we are dressed the same, as if we were on our way to our favorite low key coffee shop or pub right after the showing. Our reactions were all about the same as well…”Yeah, I don’t know about that.”

Worth seeing yeah, worth ten dollars, nope. The action is spectacular, and director George Miller deserves some credit for having that much game left at his age.  In the end, I am left disappointing enough to not even want to bother seeing the new Terminator or Star Wars. Loud glossy goop and nothing of any substance to offer for further viewing pleasure.Snowpiercer was a better Mad Max movie than this.  Sure, Fury Road will be around and out there forever, so why bother making the effort now when you can see The Badadook, What We Do in the Shadows, or It Follows and make the event a time to remember and pass along to others.