Find us on facebook

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

'The Doctor', the birth of cool

The Doctor
Way before Lebron and Kobe. Before 'His Airness'. And even before Magic and Bird, there was Julius 'Dr. J' Erving, the most exciting player of the second half of the 70s and early 80s. An all-time player that won titles at ABA and, finally, at the NBA, a sensation, a culture icon, a basketball ambassador, and a figure genuinely revered everywhere. But also, somewhat of an eclipsed, overshadowed player, which imo hasn't received that much attention, needless to say overseas (I was an unborn-little baby when he was one of the biggest basketball stars, so didn't have the chance to watch him live). So folks, how excited I was to watch this documentary!

Made by NBA TV, the league-owned network, 'The Doctor' is pretty straightforward and clearly wanting to capture and show the epic and magic of his playing, as well as his human dimension through some deeply affecting tragedies suffered during his life, 'The Doctor' is an engaging documentary for everyone who loves this sport. It advances smoothly, with dynamism and an overall feeling of joy and respect, fuelled by the archival footage and the enthusiastic comments of heavyweights like Magic Johnson, Pat Riley, Bill Walton or Darryl Dawkins, who portray him as a shock to the system, and alien, a revolutionary for basketball, as well as a role model. Because he was a human highlight, someone who seemed to levitate on air, a slam-dunk artist, and some sort of pioneer who made aesthetics, looks and flair translate into the court, as well as off-court (that hair and ultra-cool wardrobe). He was the coolest cat. He was the 70s. 

'The Doctor' development is simple, but the conventional, chronological order, works flawlessly well. We get to know about his college career, where he wasn't, at least initially, considered to be that great of a prospect. Then we know about his first, teenager success and how he became a legend in town after exploding in the mythical Harlem courts of Rucker Park (comments by the great Tiny Archibald and streetball wonder Pee Wee Kirkland, by the way). Julius was coveted as an exciting player but doubts on how his flashy game could adapt to the pros. But he took the Virginia Squires and the New York Nets by the storm. He simply turned into the face of the ABA.

The documentary takes its time (arguably the most exciting moment of the film) to portray that peculiar coexistence,  constant collision that was really a one-sided battle, and contrast between the two leagues, and how Erving ended being the major attraction of the dying ABA. But when the NBA finally absorbed the latter, the Nets ended selling Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the final chapter of the myth began. Doubts about his adaptation to the league quickly vanished, but despite his star-status (in and out the court, being the lure of many commercial ads as well as NBA events) superhero games and otherworldly moves, he struggled to win a title, while the league entered into the unforgettable decade of the Bird-Magic rivalry... until Moses Malone arrived to the team and Julius finally found the well-deserved relief (that's the stressed word) with the 82-83 championship. It's amazing how even rivals seemed to cheer for Erving in these finals. Basketball owed the final recognition to Dr, J. His career slowly faded after that triumph, but his legacy (Michael Jordan and Lebron James acknowledging he was a major figure to imitate) is one of the most solid ever built in the game of basket.

Unfortunately though, 'The Doctor' falls pretty short in several areas, constraining itself to an extremely likeable hagiography that leaves out relevant information. We understand and, as touching highlights of the movie, value the personal side of Erving's life shown. But alongside the traumatic deaths of his young brother (when Erving breaks in front of the camera, it's hard not to get emotional) when he was a teenager playing at UMass, as well as the car accident that took away the life of his soon Cory in 2000, there's some related familiar turmoil "skimped" to us, such as the acrimonious divorce of Erving and first wife Turquoise, the two kids he had with other women when he was married to him, or the the drug problems of his ill-fated son. There's also some strange omissions in what regards to his professional career, like his first failed attempt to shift from the ABA to the NBA that resulted in an ugly feud involving the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Although as a documentary 'The Doctor' might be rated as a small underachievement, one has to admit I was deeply entertained (and moved at the aforementioned, sensible scenes) during its whole length. Granted, it lacks some depth and avoids controversy, but Erving fans or curious basketball lovers will for sure enjoy the story of the incomparable "human highlight reel".

SCORE: 6,25/10

Monday, July 30, 2018

Discoverer 166: new indie findings

Another too long hiatus in our latest discoverer series about to be broken with a trio of exciting bands in between pop and folk. Veterans and most promising newcomers with a tone of arresting guitar lines, heart-melting melodies and warm, inviting vocals for your ears only. Join us in our music trip!

Dropkick. We begin in one of the realms of indiepop, Scotland, to meet this seasoned band, originally formed in Arbroath, by brothers Andrew and Alastair Taylor alongside school friend Ian Grier. Their debut album surfaced in 2001 and, since then, Dropkick have released thirteen albums as three EPs, as well as extensively toured UK and overseas (great to know they are quite loved in Spain). The band's line-up has changed several times, but the current quartet, stable since 2017, comprising Andrew and Ian plus Mike Foy and Alan Shields, has "clicked all cylinders" with latest album 'Longwave', out since February-March 2018 through our dear friends at Pretty Olivia (wynil) and Sound Asleep Records (CD). Echoing Teenage Fanclub with a hint (or two, or three) of Californian sun-soaked legends' (aka The Byrds, get knocked with the vocal harmonies) sounds, as well as some alt-country reminiscences, there so much craftsmanship, so much pop sensibility and dexterity to not realize 'Longwave' is an enduring classic awaiting to be listened. It's all about pop and soul, foks...
Sun June. Quite a long jump to meet this quintet from Austin, Texas, which formed around 2014, when Laura Colwell (vocals, keys) and Stephen Salisbury (guitar) met while editing movie footage for prestigious director Terrence Mallick, with the pair beginning to write tunes together at Eastuy Studios when Malick was out of town under the moniker of Jeff. As demos kept coming it also did their line up, recruiting Michael Bain on guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass. Recorded in 2017, and after firing up the blogosphere excitement with previous singles, debut album 'Years' was released this June through Keeled Scales, an intimate, moody and captivating record blending pop immediacy with folkier vibes and a melancholic, sepia tone that's so warm and familiar it makes you wonder if Sun June hasn't been already your soundtrack for those introspective (not depressing or somber) moments when you want to be 'just in your own'. A rare gem of a debut.

Haley Heynderickx. And we move north, to Portland, Oregon, to meet the great Ms. Heynderickxn, a young American singer songwriter who debuted in 2016 with EP 'Fish Eyes' and now has delivered the impressive album/minialbum? 'I Need to Start a Garden', out via Mama Bird Recording Co. since March 2018. Folk with an immediate catch to the listener yet a mystery that keeps unresolved, also revealing a hell of guitar player (that fingerpicking style, damn!). A record to delve in, Haley is not afraid to flirt with some doo wop (the lovely 'Oom Sha La La'), as well as offering poppier, rockier, even some "indie" eccentricity (those screams) while delivers a collection of quite meditative lyrics, showing this is an artist with an incredibly bright future and potential ahead.   

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 197

After the 'most important eclipse of the century' (well, not in Barcelona, thanks to pollution...) and with the head set on organizing some new trip (you know, always planning) today we bring you our latest TOP TEN JUKEBOX. A playlist with the usual discoveries and bands in "our radar" (Sea Pinks and Drahla killing it) but with a couple of special hits. The latest of songstress Kirstin Hersh and the final tribute to the much-beloved label Fortuna POP!, with a cover of Comet Gain's 'You Can Hide Your Love Forever' (an all-time favourite of this humble blogger) which might be among the coolest recording collaborations ever, with over 20 bands getting involved. A lot of love involved. Have fun and remember, all the songs are available at our Soundcloud. (Join Us!

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 196

Some research suggest that when people reach 'certain age', in general, they don't look for new music. They claim that most people prefer the groups they have grew up with when they were teenagers'. Other argue lack of time or having too many options. That's not our case. And, in order to keep proving that there is still a lot of varied music to listen, here is our new TOP TEN JUKEBOX  full of great discoveries for all tastes (and ages, of course). Have a great weekend and remember, all the songs are available at our Soundcloud. (Join Us!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 195

Mid-July and, with many of you either on holidays or seriously counting down the days 'til the days off arrived. Whatever the case, here we are, ready to help you a bit in your crusade to cope with the high temperatures, everlasting workloads and summer-search options, thanks to our latest TOP TEN JUKEBOX. And it's one full of refreshing news. with the new sounds of Fanclub or Hypoluxo, and the stunning comeback of the legendary (and Blog favourites) The Chills. So, check the ten gems below, enjoy, make plans and remember, all the songs are available at our Soundcloud. (Join Us!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Best Songs of the Year far

Without wasting any more time, and after the records & EPs list, here are our 40 best songs of the year to date! As usual, they are not ranked, just listed in alphabetical order, with the sole limitation of just allowing one tune per group. The result is, in our opinion, a terrific collection of music that needs to be vindicated and celebrated, so we encourage you to hurry up and enjoy the playlist below.

All the Mains Are Down- Math and Physics Club
Barcelona- Burrito Panza
Boys in the Better Land- Fontaines D.C.
Bug- Renata Zeiguer
Cruel Wind- Night Flowers
Dawning- DMA’s
Dirty Cigarettes- Quiet Slang
Dylan & Caitlin- Manic Street Preachers
Erasure- Superchunk
Espionage- Preoccupations
Future Me Hates Me- The Beths
I Was a Fool- Sunflower Bean
Isn't It Obvious?- D.A.Stern
Knickerbocker Street- Clint Michigan
Look Out from Your Window- The Innocence Mission
Me and McAlevey- Walter Martin
Middle America- Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
More Than This- Amaya Laucirica
Need a little time- Courtney Barnett
Night Shift- Lucy Dacus
Omm Sha Lala- Haley Heynderickx
On Division St- Nation of Language
Once In My Life- The Decemberists
Player- Juliana Daugherty
Pristine- Snail Mail
Punch Drunk- Martha Ffion
Rodeo- QTY
Sabes la noche- Hazte Lapón
Sure- Hatchie
Take Today- Totally Mild
The Rover- Interpol
These 3 Things- Ought
Una Mujer Venezolana- Blacanova
Untold- Red Red Eyes
Vital Sign- Olden Yolk
Waiting For You- Hurry
Warrior - Air Waves
Wasting Time- Young Scum
What’s Chasing You- Marlon Williams
(You’re Better) than Ever- Illuminati Hotties

And if you want to check the previous years, click on 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 20152016 and 2017 selections!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Best Records and EPs of the year 2018... so far

Time flies and we have passed the equator of this year, which means that it's time to unveil our 25 best records and EPs of the year so far! As in previous editions, the list appears in alphabetical order (the proper, ranked, final list arrives in December) including the bands & artists that have been blowing our minds & ears the most in the last six months*. We hope you like our selection (you know, this is a work in progress) and we recommend you to stay tuned because our favorite songs from this first half of 2018 will be unveiled soon.

All at Once- Screaming Females
Asunción- Sr. Chinarro
Birds of America- Lake Ruth
Clean- Soccer Mommy
Every Little Thought- Hurry
God’s Favourite Customer- Father John Misty
Historian- Lucy Dacus
Hope Downs- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Horology- Red Red Eyes
Longwave- Dropkick
Lost and Found- En Attendant Ana
Lush- Snail Mail
Maps- Soft Science
Ocala Wick- Gobbinjr
September Love- Stephen’s Shore
Silver Dollar Moment- The Orielles
Sugar & Spice- Hatchie
Sunday Best- Martha Ffion
The Yetis- The Yetis** 
This Is Glue- Salad Boys
Tú Siempre Ganas. Parte 1. La Vida Adulta (Instrucciones de Uso​)​- Hazte Lapón
Where We Were Together- Say Sue Me
Wild Notion- Night Flowers
Years- Sun June
Vessel- Frankie Cosmos

More lists? Click on the years to check our 201120122013201420152016 and 2017 selections!

* the list comprises releases from January to June 2018
** although it was originally released in 2014, we have included it here as we have discovered them thanks to the 2018 re-release by our friends at Discos de Kirlian