I haven't really had the chance to post any random things here for a while. Lots of exams, revision and then lots of drinking have hindered the process. Hope you like the small changes that i've made like the blog and site of the month bit i've put on the sidebar. This will change every few weeks or so, or when i find something that i think deserves recognition. I also hope you've enjoyed the gig reviews i've put up recently, theres one more to come. Anyway a few things have come out in the past weeks that i felt compelled to write about.
'The Warning', Hot Chip's new album, came out and is everything i hoped it would be. It seemed to have be leaked onto the internet a few months back but i constrained myself and only downloaded a few tracks and they wet my appetite completely. Compared to their last album 'Coming On Strong', which had a few dull moments, this album never strays below an 8 on my musical attention scale (10 being 'oh my god i never want this album to end' and 1 being 'this album is worse than watching a slideshow... of paint drying') from the moment the beat drops in on opener Careful to the last seconds of No Fit State. The band have expanded on the mellow side of their sound, And I Was A Boy From School being the perfect example of this, meaning this album is ideal for lazy days in the garden, sun on your back, beer in our hand but they also haven't forgotten how to party. Over And Over's infectious beat has filled dancefloors of indie discos across the country for the past couple of months, its a tune which makes you want to dance, the more and more you move to it. All in all, its a wonderful lp and will be the soundtrack to my summer
The latest Scott Pilgrim graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim And The Infinite Sadness came out the same week as 'The Warning', so it turned out to be a pretty good week. If you don't know, the books are set around our slacker/freeloader/hero Scott Pilgrim, who in order to date the girl of his dreams, Ramona, has to defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends, while also having to deal with his own ex-flames and practice with his band Sex Bob-omb. The style is heavily influenced by manga and old nintendo videogames, even more so in this latest episode and is full of little details that crack me up, like the recipe for vegan shepards pie (thats in the second one actually) and the way the ex-boyfriends leave coins behind when defeated like characters from Mario. Its so off-the-wall and entertaining that i've read it about 4 times already, its a darn shame we have to wait a year for the next one. For a taster, check out the free one, which has been uploaded here. Just found this awesome interview with Scott Pilgrim creator Byran Lee O'Malley at Fluxblog. Happy reading!
I saw the film Brick about a month back and it was one of the best cinematic experiences i've had in while. The film is a homage to 1930s film noir detective stories, it contains all the usual characters from the uber-cool detective and femme fatale to the man who knows everything and the mobster. The twist here is that the film is set in a modern day high school, where each character is part of different sections of the seedy teenage underworld that adults have no idea about and it works really really well. The story follows Brendan played by Joesph Gordon-Levitt, an outcast, who becomes our detective, when his ex-girlfriend calls him pleading for help and subsequently disappears. Brendan makes it his job, almost his passion, to find her and has to associated himself again with the high school world of jocks and cheerleaders that he snubbed. Not knowing too much about film noir, the film struck me more as a teen movie (thats a movie about teenage life, not one of those crappy Hilary Duff films). It depicts the world that parents and teachers know little about with a great deal of accuracy and Brendan's intense obsession with his first love encapulates how deep the hole is the first time you fall for someone. The biggest praise i give this film is that it never feels unnatural, even when i hadn't understood the conversation for a couple of minutes due to characters nonsensical 1930s vernacular, it seems to feel right. The twist at the end left me a little bit unsatisfied but i came out of the cinema wearing a huge grin, having seen something very unique but yet at the same time very personal.
Heres some tracks associated with each one:
Hot Chip - Careful (pretty obvious)
Tom Petty - American Girl (apparently would be played over the credits of a Scott Pilgrim movie)
Velvet Underground - Sister Ray (on the Brick soundtrack)
Buy these silver flat dougnuts, they sound so good:
Hot Chip - The Warning
Velvet Underground - White Light White Heat
p.s. if anyone has a copy of Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree i'd love to hear it