Music Recs #16: Favourite Live Bands

In a perfect world, Slipknot and Trivium would have played one of their finest shows in Singapore earlier this week. But this just hasn’t been the best year. In March, the gig was cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the planet to a standstill.

It was a disappointment, but our generation lucked out in other ways. At least, we have YouTube! And for now, watching my favourite live bands on screen will have to do.

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails stopped by Singapore on their Wave Goodbye Tour in 2009, and thankfully, it wasn’t a permanent farewell. The night presented the best concert I’ve ever been to, without the shadow of a doubt. Aurally and visually stunning, their rock show doubles up as an impressive light display. The energy is indescribable, and this video is the closest one can get to the experience off-site.

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#QuarantineAndChill: Free (legal) entertainment and education online.

Not everyone can afford a dozen cable channels. Thankfully, the Internet provides. Here is a list of my favourite free and legal platforms, where you can access movies, music, books, and lessons from the comfort of your homes.

The services are available in Singapore where I live, and mostly accessible in other countries. This is for anyone out there, who may be under quarantine or staying home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Be safe, and stay sane!

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Movie Review: Horse Girl (2020)

Horse Girl (dir. Jeff Baena, 2020) – Sarah experiences increasingly lucid dreams that begin to trickle into her waking life.

3/5

Sarah (Alison Brie) takes comfort in her mundane routines. She works at the arts and crafts store, spends time with her childhood horse Willow, and enjoys the rest of her night with her favourite supernatural crime show, Purgatory. It is an ordinary life that takes a sudden turn when she begins to experience surreal dreams. Inexplicable time loss soon has her questioning her reality that loses its sheen and threatens to shatter.

In the story of her mental breakdown, Horse Girl shares one writer and close DNA with I Heart Huckabees. Both riff on themes of existentialism, questioning the random laws of the universe and the consequently absurd meaning of life. But Jeff Baena’s latest film turns out a much darker take than its comedic predecessor.

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Movie Review: The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (dir. Leigh Whannell, 2020) – Convinced that her abusive ex-partner faked his suicide, Cecilia works to prove that she is not going mad and that he is still after her.

4/5

In Leigh Whannell’s re-imagining of The Invisible Man, the invisible monster is not a merely a literal depiction. More subtle than a science experiment gone wrong, the evil lies in the intangible form of abuse that is not always perceptible, but often hides in plain sight.

The gaslit victim is Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), who shares a seemingly perfect relationship with tech mogul Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). But behind closed doors, Adrian is a different man. He undermines her, making her believe that she is inadequate and vulnerable without him.

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Movie Review: Color Out of Space (2020)

Color out of Space (dir. Richard Stanley, 2020) – The Gardners begin to experience a series of inexplicable phenomena after their farmhouse was struck by a strange meteorite.

4/5

Howard Phillips Lovecraft never lived to see the fruits of his labour. During his lifetime, his works were almost exclusively confined within pulp magazines. In 1937, he succumbed to intestinal cancer in poverty at the young age of 46, before his books ever saw the light of day.

Yet today, it is impossible to talk about horror without the mention of H.P. Lovecraft. His Cthulhu Mythos made a profound impact on pop culture, particularly the literary genre, influencing the likes of Clive Barker and Stephen King. In film, his stories made Stuart Gordon’s career that began with two genre masterworks, From Beyond and Re-Animator.

At the Mountains of Madness, which he believed to have done “more than anything to end [his] effective fictional career”, ended up inspiring one of John Carpenter’s best works. This long line of successors sees Richard Stanley join in with The Colour Out of Space, or as the American filmmaker would have it, Color out of Space.

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