Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Brilliant new video essay from Dan Olson. Big surprise that it’s not really about flat Eartherism… but it’s also exactly about that. #video

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The National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra (I didn’t even know we had one, but there we are!) in a special performance for the socially distanced Hotter than July festival. (I’d prefer if it were strictly instrumental but that’s just me.) #video

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Dan Olson breaks down a prime example of the wrong way to construct a film. But there’s still a question left unanswered: if so much of The Snowman’s issues derive from lack of time and/or budget, why was the film so rushed in the first place? What marketing or other constraints dictated the poor creative decisions, and why? That’s the untold story I want to know. #video

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Harris Bomberguy and Shannon Strucci essay the concerns with rewriting cultural history that the concept of the ‘director’s cut’ provokes. And there’s more than could be explored; for instance, how much is Coppola’s ‘final cut’ of Apocalypse Now derived from a creative motive (a need to right ‘wrongs’) or a profit motive (successful wine business aside, he hasn’t made a relevant film for decades, but people still love Apocalypse Now, so…). #video

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Posting this more for its latter-half review of Midsommar — and its very fair criticism — than its brief intro to folk horror, which is conspicuously absent the films of Ben Wheatley as a recent contemporary take of the folk horror genre. #video

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Jushin Thunder Liger’s final match in Mexico Arena México, from Friday 19 July. Nice of CMLL to put the whole show on YouTube, as well. #video

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An affecting portrait of the voice of combat sports, Mauro Ranallo. #video

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This is the ‘John Oliver thing’ I was referring to previously: an acerbic takedown of WWE’s dodgy labour practices for the week that’s in it. #video

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Forty-plus years of Super Sentai tokusatsu covered in about eight minutes. Interesting to see how blatantly toy-oriented the Japanese shows are compared to the western adaptations. #video

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Olly with an excellent breakdown of the philosophy behind antifascism, one that also serves as a takedown of the naivety of certain journalistic quarters in the face of racist rhetoric and manipulation. #video

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Just a short clip of Jawbox in rehearsals for their upcoming reunion tour. Which I won't be seeing. Sad face. #video

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Sometimes all you need in your life is some baby capybaras. [c/o TKSST] #video

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Palm are my current music obsession. There isn’t much live footage of them on YouTube but the above is a great example of what they do. #video

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Here it is, the first Meat Puppets song from the original lineup in over 23 years. Sounds like it’s from that era, too, with a touch of Up on the Sun psych in the solos. By the way, here's a bonus live set from June. #video

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This is very niche, but my kind of niche. #video

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Wire, performing songs from their classic first three albums live on German TV’s Rockpalast in 1979. #video

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If this is what the new Low album (Double Negative, out in September) actually sounds like, it might be the best thing they’ve ever done. #video

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Olly’s videos, like this one, are excellent stuff — and indeed represent Kant’s moral philosophy in praxis. #video

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Here's a nice look back at Mad Max 2 from the Red Letter Media guys (even though they prefer Fury Road, or don't mention Waterworld even once) and one that makes me want to reappraise a film I only gave two-and-a-half stars on my last watch a few years ago. #video

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An hour in the driver’s seat from Nagano to Kanazawa by Shinkansen bullet train. This is my jam. (Be advised: there are a lot of tunnels along the first half of the journey.) #video

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The new Parquet Courts is out today, and it reminds me of the Minutemen more than anything else I’ve heard from them. Not that it sounds like the Minutemen in any specific way. (And not this particular song, which owes more to the Big Boys than anything else.) #video

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The Sage of Pedro keeps it real for surf-turned-culture zine What Youth. #video

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Joe Carducci and Mugger talk SST and things at a bookstore in Brooklyn. So curmudgeonly on Carducci’s part, but he’s an avowed romanticist for the (or rather, an) American working class mythos, so adjust your filters for his insight. #video

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I’m pained by the notion that Studio Ghibli is considered a genre unto itself, let alone anime as a whole. (It’s a medium, not a genre!) But gripes aside, this is a fine list for the uninitiated, with a spread that spans drama, action, romance and more avant storytelling. #video

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A short documentary about an incredible trove of letterpress blocks for movie advertisements dating from the early 1980s to before the Talkie era, happened upon by chance by two friends antiquing in Nebraska. It really makes stark what might be lost in the move from the tangible to the digital in media. [c/o Kottke.org] #video

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Lindsay Ellis’ video essay on why Bright doesn’t work is worth your time. #video

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The Fractured series may have come to a close, but John Mulvaney’s not done with his engaging profiles of bands in their creative milieu — this time across the Irish Sea with British doom metal crew Solstice. #video

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WWE profiles indie darling, wrestling mega-nerd and NXT returnee Kassius Ohno. Thinking of Ohno as a player-coach, as Johnny Gargano comments here, seems like a perfect fit as this stage of his career. #video

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Adam Savage geeks out as he cuts a record at Jack White’s Third Man headquarters in Detroit. Whatever your opinion on Black, one can’t doubt he’s a genuine nerd about the craft of recorded music. #video

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Black holes could delete the Universe, apparently. But they’re also the ultimate hard drive. My head is spinning. [c/o Kottke.org] #video

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The Meat Puppets play ‘Swimming Ground’ and ‘Maiden’s Milk’ on Phoenix local TV while promoting Up On The Sun. Still astounded at how fast Cris plays those bass melodies. #video

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Mark Korven composed the soundtrack of The Witch, and created that film’s eerie music with the Apprehension Engine, a device he envisaged along the lines of an acoustic Author & Punisher. [c/o Lowbrowculture] #video

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Bill Wurtz covers the history of the entire world in under 20 minutes. [c/o Kottke.org] #video

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If you haven’t yet seen Year of the Dragon or To Live and Die in LA, get that sorted before watching this great discussion of two of the 1980s’ finest crime films. (Be forewarned, the video is NSFW.) #video

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This animated short did the rounds a month ago so you’ve probably seen it already, but I like it so it’s here. [c/o io9] #video

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Midori Takada’s 1983 LP Through The Looking Glass. Prompted by this short profile in the Guardian upon its recent reissue, which has promptly sold out. And it isn’t available digitally, for some stupid reason. So here you go. #video

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Wired tasked a neuroscientist to explain a new concept in his field at five levels of understanding — from a peer to a five-year-old. [c/o Kottke.org] #video

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The latest episode of Fractured “gets down and dirty" with Limerick-based death metallers Zealot Cult. #video

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This video gets a bit too cute in its definition of passable (focusing on certain film tropes ‘passing’ for genuine human interactions, but ignoring that such tropes have an important role to play in the medium). Still, the bigger point stands; I’ve seen far too many passable movies lately — and been permissive about it, too. My film diet needs greater nutritional value. #video

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