Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This blog was a long time in coming, yet, with all of that time, I couldn't figure out how to begin it. So, with Ira running for cover this month in Beijing to a sturdy doorway or table during a massive earthquake or in hiding from the Red Police in the midst of an angry student protest/riot, I settled with dedicating the beginning to him.
Now, with that done, on to real business...
Guy Richie is one of my favorite directors. Partly because he writes nearly all of his own screen plays. Mostly because of the way he uses camera work to aid in telling the story as well as to artfully display
situations normal people would never be in but would like to think that they would be in.
In 1998, Richie broke into the forefront of the motion picture business with a movie called Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, a masterpiece about "fast talking gangsters and stupid criminals,"debuting tough-guy actors Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones.
Only the first of several gambling/organized crime related works, "Lock, Stock" broke barriers for Richie and he seemed to be on the way to starting a Spielberg-esque cache of films for maturer audiences. Unfortunately, right before rapping on his new prospect, Snatch (2000), featuring Statham and Jones once again alongside Brad Pitt in a bizarre role, Richie met Madonna, whom, beautiful person that she is, sucked all of the marrow from his skeleton. They married, adopted some illegal aliens, blah-blah-blah... His creativity has, since then, been on a bit of a hiatus, with only a few short films and a detestable feature film starring his spouse. In 2005, Richie really tried to redeem himself with Revolver, again featuring Statham as leading man and mixing it up with supporting actors with veterans Ray Liotta and Vincent Pastore and hip-hop star turned actor, André "André 3000" Benjamin. Revolver looked to be a huge step for Richie, as he took his "Lock, Stock" mold to a trippy, action/thriller novel with a psychological twist. The combination proved to be too much for him to tackle all at once, though his creation in Revolver is visually beautiful and entertaining. It just seemed to lack cohesion and, dare I say it, direction... ah, well...
Things look up! A new English gangster flick from my buddy, Guy is set to be released October 31st of this year and I am super stoked! Yes, it is titled "RocknRolla" and, yes, just like every other movie coming out, it stars Gerard Butler (300), but I don't care, it also will exhibit the acting styles of rapper/entertainer Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges.
Uh... hmm. That doesn't seem too promising either, does it?
Still, I am excited. From everything I've seen so far (i.e. stills, short clips, descriptions...) it appears to be a comfortable step backward to the earlier Richie with a few hidden surprises for good measure. I haven't seen any nods to the old gambling staple yet, but it looks like bright, white shots will be used a lot as they were in Snatch. What we can really count on is there being at least one foxy lady near the beginning of the list of credits. Her name is Gemma Arterton, reportedly the soon-to-be redheaded Bond Girl for Quantum of Solace and the leading lady of the Prince of Persia movie, due in 2009 sometime. So, we can all look forward to seeing a lot of her, hopefully in more way than one, if you know what I mean.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(i really do)
Enjoy you're effing show.
I'll occupy myself with my library of rares b-sides acoustics and remixes.
Here's a random assortment, I will probably flood it tomorrow with more.
(post up if there's something you'd like to see, I probably have it)
(live and in charge)
Bulletproof...I Wish I was (Acoustic)
In My Mind (w/ The Pixies)
Subterranean Homesick Alien (Acoustic)
True Love Waits
Christopher O'Riley Piano cover. Super sexy.
Faithless The Wonder Boy
Paranoid Android (Early)
Skttrbrain (Four Tet Remix)
Like Spinning Plates (Reversed)
For the hell of it
Big Ideas (Acoustic)
There There (Demo)
Motion Picture Soundtrack (Early)
Motion Picture Soundtrack (christopher o'riley piano)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Radiohead, my favorite active band, is coming to St. Louis in just a few days. I've been scanning the set lists from every night of their tour hoping find my favorite songs included in the hefty list of two dozen that Radiohead has been averaging every night. "Idioteque" has been cropping up frequently, and Radiohead played "Paranoid Android" as part of their second encore a few nights ago in Charlotte. In recognition of the presumably mind-blowing concert I'm about to witness I'm posting a few live Radiohead tracks for you to enjoy.
Radiohead- True Love Waits (Live)
A studio version of this amazing acoustic song has never been released, although it is available on Radiohead's live album I Might Be Wrong.
Radiohead- Fog (Again) (Live)
Thom doing what he does best on this live version of a B-side.
Radiohead- Killer Cars (Live)
This Bends-era B-side may take on new meaning with Radiohead's global warming activism. I've had this song on-repeat since discovering it a couple days ago. This seems like a perfect sing-along song with its easy to understand lyrics and sweeping vocals.
Radiohead- Reckoner (Live)
Probably my favorite track off of In Rainbows. The percussion intro and Thom's beautiful falsetto make this a classic.
Radiohead- Lucky (Live)
If Radiohead plays this on Wednesday "it's gonna be a glorious day."
Calico Horse- Idioteque
I couldn't find a live version of this insane song, so here's a nice acoustic cover and a video of Thom spazzing out.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wilco – Sugar Baby
Wilco – James Alley Blues
Wilco – Passenger Side (Alternate Version)
Wilco – No More Poetry
Wilco – Monday (Alternate Version)
Wilco – Kingpin (Live at the Val-Air Ballroom)
Wilco – Olé Olé (Live at the Val-Air Ballroom)
Friday, May 2, 2008
Bixby Canyon Bridge – Alive. There it is, that signature Chris Walla ambient drone. It is almost the exact sound used at the beginning of Transatlanticism. In fact there are some parallels between “Bixby” and “The New Year.” At first it is not very apparent. Gibbard’s vocals take center stage for the introduction of Narrow Stairs. Layered upon the lyrics is the guitar, light drums, and then comes the familiarity found in “The New Year” with heavy drums beats, distortion, and the energy that shapes a great opener (shameless plug: check out our list of Great Openers, including “The New Year.”)
I Will Possess Your Heart – Groove. I have had this song for a while. The bass-line and the antagonistic guitar and piano make this song. And the length. Oh, the length.
No Sunlight – Catchy. Despite the song resounding a chorus about there not being sun, the feel definitely makes me think of summer days, car rides, and camping.
Cath… – Rocker. I keep thinking about how this album is supposed to be different, and it is so far, but I keep getting vibes from previous DCFC songs. This one reminds me of “Tiny Vessels.” Hmm, similarity to Transatlanticsim…
Talking Bird – Slow Dance. I would dance with my sweetheart to this song, and then at the end realize “oh shit, we aren’t meant to be together.” Which I am starting to get the feel that this is what the whole album is shaping to be about.
You Can Do Better Than Me – March. Sort of reminds me a Spoon song. Super short and earnest. The title says it all.
Grapevine Fires – Plans. Plans’ sound meets Walla’s activism meets “We Will Become Silhouettes.” It seems a little odd because this song has political tones to it, and Gibbard has never been known to express opinions via his music, but you know who has: Walla. Musically, the song is interesting with the electric organ and the drumbeat that sounds familiar to all the drums on Plans. I am not criticizing the drums, I love them, they are familiar, that is all.
You New Twin Size Bed – California. Why does the song have to sound like all those other California-toned songs? It is just the damn acoustic guitar. OK, lets put that aside for a bit. The electric guitar is great, almost like “My Name is Jonas” (check out our Great Openers!). The production on this song is great. It really brings out the instrumentation and lets us experience one of the goals of Narrow Stairs: to let us know that Death Cab is a collective of great musicians, not just a gifted songwriter.
Long Division – Expected. This is what I would have expected the next album to sound like a few months after Plans dropped. Familiar guitar sweeps and more distortion embody the song. When I say expected I am not thinking negatively at all.
Pity and Fear – Whatthefuck!? – Hell yes. This is what they meant by different. When I first heard this song via NPR, I thought it was a Radiohead song until that unmistakable voice came over the headphones. The electronic bongos signal a change, but hey, this is the second to last song…isn’t it a little too late for that? I don’t know because this is one of the best songs off the album, and it will take some more listens to have an opinion about placement. But one thing is for sure, it ends hella sweet.
The Ice Is Getting Thinner – Confirmation. Just as the song confirms my suspicions that the album is essentially about a breakup, it confirms that the guys are into something new. Ben on solo electric and then Walla (assumption) on slide guitar, the song provides to be the best choice for the closer, and in fact is a really, really great song.
I would post these, but I don't want Atlantic on my back, so here are some bootlegs off Narrow Stairs.
Proper review to drop on May 13th.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
With finals week quickly approaching and studying consuming all my time, I decided to take a break from all the schoolwork and make a muxtape about the stress and insanity of final exams. I attempted to construct a sort-of chronological mixtape that spans from the beginning of the finals crunch to the sweet release of summer break. Enjoy, and good luck on your finals if you have any.
Finals Week Muxtape