Friday, August 27, 2004

Ye-ah!

Lil John

I've always hated those club anthems, like the dubious "in the club" style stuff that I had to hear all the time while I worked as a bouncer at the Pat. But i gotta say, there's something about Lil John that gets me worked up. Don't get me wrong, it's poor music, lacking in imagination and creativity, but for some reason, the synths and handclaps, coupled with the "YEAH!"s dropped by Lil John work me up into a drunken fervour. I just lose it...

"Yeah! Okay! What!" - Lil John

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Update

I'm 2 days from football camp, which effectively means the end of my summer, so i thought it apt to give a little update on some things that i've been enjoying since my last post:

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Classic band, who had many hit singles throughout the late 60s and early 70s, but their entire repetoire was strong. Great swampy sound spread over blues structures. John Fogerty's voices is strong and harsh, and his guitar playing is simple yet a pleasure to listen to.
Recommended listening - "Green River", "Working Man", "Commotion"

Conan O'brien 10th anniversary DVD - Pick this up, it's only 13 bucks afterall. It's got the entire special, which featured the likes of Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Ben Stiller, plus it has many extra scenes and clips that are worth seeing. I watched everything on the Dvd in the first sitting.
Recommended viewing - "Conan's boy band 'dudz a plenti'", "jack black's song to Conan"

The Thrills - An unlikely mix of the carpenters, sloan, beach boys all under the modern rock asthetic. Very nice stuff, I wish i had picked this up a long time ago.
Recommended listening - "Santa Fe", "Deck Chairs and Cigarettes"

Apple Twist Vodka - I'm not usually a fan of sweet alcoholic drinks. We usually drink beer or rye, but Sam and I decided to try this out, mixing it with some sparkling lemonade. The result was a most pleasant change up to our usual hard drinks.

Cold Shots - Not bad, these are supposedly for shotgunning, which is what we were doing with them. They are cheap at least- you can buy 8 for 10 bucks.

True Romance - A pretty good script by Tarantino but just ok directing from Tony Scott. Good acting from Christopher Walken (who is menacing without being silly, like he almost always is now) and Dennis Hopper, but some poor performances from Christian Slater and the like. This movie is quite good, but is just too lacking in many areas to ever really be a great movie. Also worth mentioning is the terrible "Finding Nemoesque" music that plays throughout innapropriate moments of the movie. One more thing- Brad Pitt is hilarious as the couch inhabiting stoner.

That's about all I can think of.

"When I stand by a fire my hair turns gray" - Sam Corbett

Thursday, August 05, 2004

the Kinks

For anyone who has listened to the Beatles over and over, is tired of the Rolling Stones and is looking for another great band from the similar vein and era, my advice is to try the Kinks. Centered around the song-writing and singing of Ray Davies, along with his brother Dave on lead guitar, they were a great band who's career spanned from the early 60s to the present.
I've always liked them on the merits of some of their individual songs, such as their hits "You Really Got Me" and "Lola". This weekend I added a couple more of their full length albums to my collection and I was glad I did so. Their earlier work is, like the rest of the british invasion, very much like the early beatles, but they manage to have a more rock 'n' roll edge. As they progress into the late 60s they evolved as many bands did, and included elements ranging from psychedelia to country.
The one thing that sets the Kinks apart from other bands, however, is their sense of humour. They didn't take themselves too seriously, and as a result, the music is fun and carefree, even when dealing with dark topics.

Reccomended Kinks:
Albums - "Something Else by the Kinks" (1967), "Lola vs. the Powerman & the Money-Go-Round pt. 1" (1970)

Songs - "All Day and All of the Night", "the Contenders", "Nothin' in the World can Stop me Worryin' "Bout that Girl", "Lazy Old Sun".

"I wish I could be like David Watts" - Ray Davies

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Kings of Leon

"Youth & Young Manhood"

This is a stellar album. Southern flavour meets the Rolling Stones format, making for one of my favourite albums, not just of recent times, but of all time. I love the raw energy that's created by the gritty vocals of Caleb Followhill, who's slurred singing is complimented by the bare-sounding guitars that riff and boogie behind him. It's also what he's singing about that I love too: dusty southern settings, hookers, liquor, backdoor men. These songs are set in a world foreign to me, but one i find compelling and worth singing about.
The Kings of Leon get compared to bands like ZZ top, who they resemble on some of their more guitar-boogie numbers. But this band, I believe, is unique. They, like many other great artists, draw their influences from a multitude of precedents, yet manage to form their own sound.
This is music that makes you want to drink Jack Daniels, drive a beat-up truck, smoke cigarettes. Any time the music makes me want to be like the guys who are making it, I know it's good.

Track listing (ewan comments in parentheses):
1. Red Morning Light (Great hard charging opener. Fantastic in setting the musical and thematic tone of the album)
2. Happy Alone (Love the way he sings "High Heels" and "Cherry Lipstick")
3. Wasted Time (nice boogie, great slurred vocals)
4. Joe's Head (favourite track, love the lyrics "this is just the way of the world joe said, had to put a bullet into his head", just conjures up a whole story beautifully)
5. Trani (nice change of pace, love the screamed vocals at the end)
6. California Waiting (straight forward but good tune)
7. Spiral Staircase (dirty and rollicking = good!)
8. Molly's Chamber (one of their best, great chorus)
9. Genius (another straight forward track)
10. Dusty (slows it down again, surprisingly sweet)
11. Holy Roller Novocaine (excellent closer, great chorus, drives album hard)

"On our knees we'll feast on a sex show" - Kings of Leon

A weekend of much liquor and sun...among other things.

Got back today from a weekend at Candle lake. It was preceeded by a house party on thursday night, so that makes 3 days in a row of straight drinking. Needless to say, i'm fairly tired, but not really hung over. Aiden was hilarious this weekend, he was probably the most famous guy at the overflow camping ground we were staying at. If you want more details on the weekend's events, you'll probably see more about it here.

Here are my thoughts on a couple things...

The Village:
I've been anticipating this movie since 40 minutes into M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs", a movie that I absolutely loved on the first viewing- something that doesn't happen often. Usually I take a while to warm up to things, such as Shyamalan's "Unbreakable", which is one of my favourite movies all-time.
The Village is getting not particularly good reviews (most notably one star from Ebert), and I don't think people are going to like it too much.
At first, i was a little bit dissapointed, but like all of his movies, Shyamalan has been in my head ever since i saw it. His movies are always so engaging and exciting, no matter what the subject matter was. I think I'm really going to warm up to the Village, in a similar way that I did to Unbreakable. It is, regardless of plot twisting or scariness, a very compelling hour and 45 minutes. The Village is below Signs, Unbreakable, and the Sixth Sense in terms of the plot-twists, etc, but it ranks among Shyamalan's best work on the emotional, character level, as well being based on interesting social ideas. I think Shyamalan will make better movies than the Village, many in fact, and I think when the dust settles, and people don't have to worry about plot-twisting and surprises, The Village will be respected for its well crafted story-telling, and subtle social commentary.

I give it 4 stars out of 5.
6th sense 4/5
Unbreakable 5/5
Signs 5/5


One last thing- Big Happy Birthday to my man Anton!

"They say it's your birthday!" - the Beatles