Compact Capsules by Dan Ferguson
Contrary to what has become the shuffle set era in popular music as brought on by the Ipod explosion, Neko Case's albums of recent years have not lent themselves to the "small bites." Middle Cyclone is no exception. It is an album meant to be swallowed whole where flow from song to song is essential in admiring its cinematic elegance. From her song structures to here lyrics, Case has never been one to follow convention. Her big voice, as well as her stylistic footprint, is all over Middle Cyclone which finds her poetry delving as deeply into things of earthly matters as she does those of the heart. And for you Ipod types, she has a big surprise for on the disc's final track. Visit www.nekocase.com.
Hell On Wheels DVD
Indie Pix Films
What with Providence Roller Derby season just around the corner, there's no better primer for the fishnets and fisticuffs action to come than the documentary Hell on Wheels. Newly available on DVD, it chronicles the birth of one of the trailblazing scenes for the reintroduction of this outsider sport of sorts, Austin, Texas. Whereas there's plenty of hard hits and provocative felines, Hell On Wheels is as much a soap opera of the clash of egos and the lessons learned by a collection of women who had little to no experience starting such a venture and who, despite the split into two leagues, in the end laid the blueprint for similar leagues from Providence to Memphis to Tucson. Visit www.hellonwheelsthemovie.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)