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Two new Grant Sabin films coming May 1

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Benji the Cat co-stars in the new music video for “Creature,” from Briffaut’s 2019 album A Maritime Odyssey. - COURTESY SAM COOKE, STEVE BESSETTE, KENDALL BESSETTE
  • Courtesy Sam Cooke, Steve Bessette, Kendall Bessette
  • Benji the Cat co-stars in the new music video for “Creature,” from Briffaut’s 2019 album A Maritime Odyssey.

In a recent interview with Consequence of Sound, the ever-prolific Faith No More frontman Mike Patton shared his music and movie recommendations for being housebound. Now, Patton’s fans will already know that the singer works at a feverish pace, collaborating with dozens of groups at any given moment and usually releasing multiple LPs per year. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s staying busy on the writing and recording front, but the COVID-19 pandemic could force him to forgo an entire year of touring between different projects, which takes a huge toll on a musician at any level.

One of Patton’s keys to staying sane? Watching lots of films. Particularly sword-and-sandal classics like Richard Fleischer’s Barabbas, lengthy gangster epics, or Sergio Leone’s sprawling Westerns — films that help you pass the time with their expansive runtimes.

Now, local musician Grant Sabin’s new complementary pair of short films obviously won’t have the sweeping runtime of a Ben-Hur, but the musician’s foray into filmmaking should certainly give viewers plenty to chew over with the films’ delightfully off-kilter imagery. Sabin is releasing Picture: A Journey Underneath and Erutcip: A Journey from Underneath, for free on Friday, May 1.

The films were both shot with an iPhone — I always appreciate a consumer-electronics DIY spirit — and Sabin’s hypnagogic editing and playful manipulations of space, framing and temporality recall David Lynch’s short films, but the moments of more abstract imagery and immersive soundscapes also bring to mind the avant-garde British filmmaker John Smith. The score, provided by bohemian folk duo Roma Ransom, is engrossing both forward and backward. Sabin’s musical output is, of course, already highly respected by local listeners, but the imagination on display with his first set of short films (his longer short film with Michael Schmitt, Cough, is also an intriguing watch) suggests that he’ll soon be receiving equal kudos in a new medium.
Elsewhere, you’ll find more quality viewing material in Briffaut’s new music video for “Creature,” the grand, monolithic closing track from their 2019 LP Maritime Odyssey: Heaven Is Only a Boat Race Away. Since Bandcamp is once again waiving its revenue share for all sales on May 1 to help support artists and labels impacted by the pandemic, that would be the perfect day to pick up both Briffaut’s latest effort and frontman Daniel James Eaton’s solo folk LP as Oscar Shorts, Quarantine.

If you haven’t already heard Quarantine, Eaton’s stripped-down folk storytelling is in fine form, applying a Woody Guthrie-like, traditional folk approach to narratives ripped “straight from the headlines.” Occasionally, Eaton dips his toe into Dylanesque surrealism, as on the beautiful, lilting “Parsimony,” but his bare-bones arrangements come vividly to life in the stark, almost brutal reading of current world events, as on “Coronavirus Blues,” “The Mosque Murderer” and “Khashoggi and the Crown Prince.” A trio of covers of Guthrie himself closes out a strong set.



Also well worth your attention on the May 1 Bandcamp special are a pair of releases that dropped on 4/20, which may have gone overlooked as we all sat alone in our homes, tearfully recalling the splendors of 4/20s past.

Hip-hop collective 8Grand, comprising emcee G-Stylez and producer D.R.K., have released a hypnotic new single “zRO,” which marries the riff from “House of the Rising Sun” with driving trap beats to sharp effect. Doom/sludge metal purveyors Dust Lord, meanwhile, unveiled their debut full-length LP Machine Cult, which wonderfully captures the band’s crushing sound. If I were you, I’d definitely pick up a copy on the fantastic-looking clear/purple vinyl before they are sold out, and get to stimulating your brain by playing “Iron Effigy” at a very high volume.

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