Showing posts with label alex cameron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alex cameron. Show all posts

Thursday, September 19, 2019

video review: 'miami memory' by alex cameron

Yeah, can't say I'm not a little underwhelmed, but it is still good.

Next up... yep, it's Peggy - stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

album review: 'miami memory' by alex cameron

It's funny, I saw a tweet a couple days ago by someone who had been watching my past couple reviews, specifically those of the Highwomen and Rapsody, and who remarked that given my current upcoming slate of projects to cover, the discussions of feminism and toxic masculinity were going to surge to the forefront yet again. And to do any of my upcoming reviews properly - given my current docket includes JPEGMAFIA and Chelsea Wolfe and Jenny Hval and eventually I'll get to Tropical Fuck Storm - the political discourse is inevitable.

Now granted, I'm not going to deny it can be dense or draining or frustrating - I've seen the subscriber drop-off after certain, more political reviews, so I get it, especially given that I don't tend to be as funny as your average critic who can lean into the memes and wittiness alongside my analysis. But hey, this could be a good test, given how the artist himself has always embraced some of the parodic side of his work: Alex Cameron! I'll be honest, the fact that his cult following has inflated the way it has is a real treat to see - I was kind of lukewarm on his debut but by the time I got to Forced Witness a few months late, I was astounded how much wit, melodic flair, and dissection of "traditional masculinity" was wedged into his retro 80s pop rock sound. I still that album as an absolute delight and one of the sleeper best of 2017 - and in retrospect, it's only grown on me since. And I'll admit a certain wry fascination with Alex Cameron: his shambling theatricality, his blend of pop sounds and willingness to embrace satire that most guys will never have the balls to seize, all with a real earnest intensity that I have to respect, to the point where it should surprise nobody he's dating Jemima Kirke, who you might recognize as Jessa from HBO's Girls! So for me to say that I was excited for Miami Memory was an understatement, even if he had a tough project to follow - so what did we get?

Friday, December 8, 2017

video review: 'forced witness' by alex cameron

Yeah, this was a lot of fun. I know I'm late to the punch on it, but you definitely all want to check this out, it's legitimately great.

Next up, something I've been anticipating all year... or maybe a movie, not sure yet. Stay tuned!

album review: 'forced witness' by alex cameron

I'm not sure there's an easy way to begin this review, because to do so I need to explain Alex Cameron as an artist and the high-wire act he's walked throughout his career over the past ten years - and I'm not sure there's a way to do that without feeling like I'm walking through a hall of mirrors. Don't get me wrong, I like it when artists make art that is commenting on the artistic process and entertainment industry, but it's also the sort of ouroboros, Charlie Kaufmann-esque approach that can get a little exhausting to the audience.

So to lay some groundwork, Alex Cameron got his start in the electronic group Seekae but in the 2010s began developing his solo act, and the 'persona' that he initially adopted was that of a failed performer... but not exactly one that was fully self-aware that he had failed, and infused with some 80s-inspired alpha machismo and 'cool' to boot. Much of his debut Jumping The Shark was infused with this character, balancing wonky electronics with slick touches of 80s synthpop, actively taking the piss out of any sense of cool this character might have... but also playing it just straight enough to reclaim a little of it to a cult audience. From there he developed relationships with indie bands with a flair for retro grandiosity like Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and even Brandon Flowers of The Killers, which got him a record deal with Secretly Canadian and a few writing credits behind their last album. And yet with this persona it also led to a collaboration with fellow Australian musician Kirin J. Callinan on a little song called 'Big Enough' on his record Bravado this year... which took his cult status and fused with a meme and his popularity got considerably bigger. And considering on his new album he was looking to explore similar themes of masculinity that Callinan had touched and had roped in both Brandon Flowers and Angel Olsen of all people for support, this was a record I had to hear... even despite, again, getting to this entirely too late. But hey, was it worth it?