Adored: Diary of a Porn Star
Corsaro Productions/Wolfe Video
Adored: Diary of a Porn Star is the tragic-comedy recounting of the life of fictional Italian gay porn star, Riki Kandinsky (Marco Filiberti). With his curly flaxen locks and perfectly shaped eyebrows, Riki seems to be the porn star embodiment of Cupid/Eros from classical Greek mythos, complete with the soul of a Romantic-era literary hero. Much of Riki's story is centered on his evolving relationship with his brother, Fredericko (Urbano Barberini), whom he reconnects with when their semi-estranged aristocratic father suddenly dies. Riki confesses his career to his brother, who although initially horrified, quickly comes around to loving and respecting his brother (and his brother's work). Riki represents an optimism and love of life that Federicko, crushed by his bourgeois life, does not possess. Riki's saintly status is sealed when there is the young boy that Riki rescues after the boy's mother is suddenly killed in a car crash. The boy awakens genuine, and previously unexpected, paternal feelings in the famed porn star. Alas, that's not how the boy's relatives see it, and an ugly custody battle ensues. The message of this film is the achievement of redemption, and with it, a sense of immortality. One of the final scenes of the movie is Riki receiving a standing ovation at the Gay Olympics while his loved ones watch from TV screens with pride, representing recognition and social acceptance.
Get Yr Blood Sucked Out
The title of Portland-based husband and wife duo Viva Voce’s Get Yr Blood Sucked Out might give you the impression that they’ve taken a turn for the vampiric. This isn’t quite true—the psych-tinged indie-pop outfit have moved in a more traditionally hard-rockin’ direction, though not without incorporating a certain dark mystique. The dusty, spooky, southern-tinged stomp of “Believer” starts off the disc, and it’s strikingly reminiscent of some of Love and Rockets’ early output. “When Planets Collide” amazingly combines chunky, stoned riffage and wailing solos with Anita Robinson’s vocal whisper without a hint of awkwardness. Get Yr is held together by a core of Pavement-inspired songwriting that allows for genre-bending exploration without losing consistency outside of a few superfluous moments. The uninspired chorus to “We Do Not Fuck Around” sounds cribbed directly from Rivers Cuomo, and is one of the only stumbling blocks on a smoothly flowing yet eclectic release.
—Matthew A. Stern
If you look at the cover art of Lost Time, the final album by the disbanded group 12 Rods, you will see a selection of cartoon-like animal heads blindfolded, a reflection of the anonymity of this band. 12 Rods are a presentation of geek pop at its finest. One of the best things about this genre is that you get catchy songs you can sing along to as well as cerebrally challenging lyrics. While not "traditional" geek-pop in the vein of, say, They Might Be Giants, with track titles like "Twenty-Four Hours Ago from Right Now" and "Fake Magic 8-Ball" you know you will be in for a treat. Whether it's the pulsating keyboards of "Twenty-Four Hours Ago" or the power-punk of "The Time Is Right to Be Wrong," it's hard not to fall in love with the ingenuity of these guys. I love a band that can penetrate your soul one minute and be unabashedly silly the next. 12 Rods is one of those bands.