Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Year In Trailers

Click the titles/links below to see the most curiosity piquing, buzz generating, ass kickering previews/trailers/teasers of the past year or so...

10) The Machine Girl
9) No Country for Old Men
8) King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters
7) Rambo
6) Superbad
5) The Dark Knight
4) Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)
3) There Will Be Blood
2) I'm Not There
1) Iron Man
0) Cloverfield/Untitled

And a special shoutout to Rodriguez and Tarantino for encouraging an appreciation for the significant cultural product and art form that the trailer is. The fake trailers released with Grindhouse almost got more attention than the films themselves. And Machete was definitely best. And (not) surprisingly, the second best came from a Canadian contest winner - Hobo with a Shotgun.

Monday, December 24, 2007


So 2007 eh, pretty darn good year for albums, I say.

Voila mes favoris...

10) The White Stripes - Icky Thump

Not the riveting prod that Get Behind me Satan was (Jack even lost the mustache), but nonetheless it includes some memorable tunes - both straight ahead and some with new curves ("Conquest", "Rag & Bone"). All in all, a solid addition to one of the most exciting rock catalogues currently in construction.

9) Liars - ~

Holy shit. Liars go mainstream, and at the same time stay completely vital and essential. Creepily beautiful and beautifully creeping, it combines their more straight-ahead post-punk tendencies with what I always wanted kraut-rock to sound like.

8) Kings of Leon - Because of the Times

These guys are slick. Oil on steel slick. The production on this album is precise and huge, and the songs mostly keep up. The vocals inevitably get annoying at times, but for the same reasons they lend this band a sense of purpose and style.

7) Vietnam - ~

Maybe the only album on this list that's not on a hundred other end-of-year lists. Vietnam's first full length has their Dylan meets Spaceman 3 sound fleshing out into a full blown ruckus. At times sweet, wild, asinine - everything that makes for solid rock n' roll.

6) Akron/Family - Love Is Simple

Not many bands could pull off such a flood of new sincerity; with songs like "Love, Love, Love (Everyone)" or "Love, Love, Love 2 (Reprise)". But A/Family does it with such ferocious naiveté that it's irresistible. Not to mention the jaw-dropping fragmentation and collage of sound and idea that raise this album up to the heights of their debut. Even my grandmother likes Love Is Simple.

5) Okkervil River - The Stage Names

Okkervil River made a very melancholy album with their last kick at the can (Black Sheep Boy is the kind of record you want to listen to but can't always find the occasion or mood), and now they've turn around and made one of the most irrepressibly listenable albums of the last few years. Triumphant and catchy as all get out. (Too bad the cover art is shit).

4) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Win and the gang went darker and little more succinct on their follow-up to their fucking smash hit Funeral. It's really a wonder that they didn't falter too, but the songwriting (eg. "Intervention", "My Body Is A Cage") on Neon Bible is so ace that it's almost a wonder this record didn't get more praise than the first. Too bad Regine didn't get a chance to sing more though.

3) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

It seems like a lot of people didn't care much for Ga5's predecessor Gimme Fiction. I am not one of those people. Still, this band has put together a seriously engaging string of records. And this latest one is the best yet. Classic rock with a contemporary brain.

2) Menomena - Friend and Foe

Straight off from the cover art, this album is an intricate and inspiring work of art. Each song carries new surprises... and these songs are fucking gooood. I'm probably most curious about Menomena's future trajectory than any other band on this list. Even if they stand still, it'll likely be brilliant.

1) Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

I've listened to this album more than any other on this list, but I still feel like I haven't listened to it enough. Pure joy has never been so complicated. Part !! of the best album tandem of this decade, along with Feels (as well as featuring the best back-to-back hitting tracks on any album this year in "For Reverend Green" and "Fireworks").

Honorable Mentions...

Brutal Knights - Feast of Shame; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Lound Thunder; The National - Boxer; Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil; Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare; The Hives - The Black and White Album

Hypothetical Honorable Mentionees (the truly great thing about the phenomenon of the year end list, is the potential tip or reminder to check out something you've missed. here are some albums i'm excited to give more of a listen to in 2008)...

Bruce Springsteen - Magic;
Celebration - The Modern Tribe
Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
No Age - Weirdo Rippers
Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English
Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Radiohead - In Rainbows
M.I.A. - Kala
Vieux Farka Toure - ~

2007 Best Songs (according to Pop Gunning and a survey of 300 fisher cats)...

10) Fall Out Boy - "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race"
9) Bright Eyes - "Four Winds"
8) Kanye West - "Stronger"
7) Patrick Wolf - "The Magic Position"
6) Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
5) Black Kids - "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"
4) Black Lips - "Bad Kids"
3) Battles - "Atlas"
2) The National - "Fake Empire"
1) Animal Collective - "Fireworks"

Dried Fruit Xmas

There's something about christmas tv/movies, where the worse they are, the better they actually are.

There's a few exceptions, including this claymation ditty and maybe National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

It's all sentimental dreck, so I say please lay the dreck on thick please. It's a molasses time of year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Les Vampires

Vampire Weekend. The next band to further entrench "indie" as an unquestioned category for non-mainstream pop rock.

Definitely offering something more resonant than fellow blog darlings Tapes N' Tapes, not quite the firebrand the Strokes were when they first came out, but all in all, a pretty fucking great little combo.

Their self-titled album isn't available until January 29th in NA, but you can preview a couple tracks here (right click links below) as well as on their myspace.

Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
Vampire Weekend - I Stand Corrected (Live Radio Session)

I'm pretty stoked on these guys, even though it's not usually my thing. And that's seems to be the common reaction, ie. this band could be huge. And they definitely made a case for their hugeness when I saw them last week at the El Mocambo in Snowtown, Ontario. Great vocals and stage presence from the lead singer (somewhat of a less awkward Michael Cera) and songs that trick you into thinking they're annoying, but then make you realize they're just cute, concise, and catchy as all get out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I like Star Wars too...

Here's some fan art [or, for short]... a collage of sorts assembling all the Star Wars movies into one wonderful, silly, mess of weirdos.

I'm not sure how I feel about in general, but I have to at least appreciate the time put in. [I think my position is changing though, as I'm actually thinking of re-editing I'm Not There into the staggeringly cool film it should've/could've been (but wasn't)].

One thing's for sure about this piece of, dude really loves Grand Moff Tarkin...

ps. Where's Greedo / Alec Guiness's Obi Wan?


I know you've been holding your breath for... a TDK update (and maybe a new PG posting).

Here it is...

And check out what Michael Caine has to say about the new Joker...

"Now, we have had Jack Nicholson, who is one of the greatest Jokers and one of the greatest characters in this kind of movie. I have worked with Jack and I know him really well. You do not really want to follow Jack into anything. Unless it's a nightclub...Heath Ledger stunned me. Jack played The Joker as sort of a benign nasty clown -- like a wicked uncle. Heath plays him like an absolutely maniacal murderous psychopath. You have never seen anything like it in your life. He is very, very scary. [...] Wait until you see it, it's incredible."

Apparently there's going to be a new teaser for The Dark Knight before some remake of Charleton Heston's The Omega Man called I Am Legend - that hits Imax screens this weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Animal Collective - Fireworks

If you haven't already, go listen to Strawberry Jam - you don't want to be the last one, do you?

"An Orchestra of Amazing." Indeed!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bears Rule!

Envy the bear...

And if that's not enough black bear cuteness for you, check out this more cowardly version...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fall Listening Schedule

August 28


September 11
Animal Collective Strawberry Jam
Hot Hot Heat Happiness Ltd
Simian Mobile Disco Attack Decay Sustain Release
Kanye West Graduation

September 18
Akron/Family Love Is Simple

September 25
mum Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, Let Your Crooked Hands Be Holy
Stars In Our Bedroom After the War

October 2
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Magic
Sunset Rubdown Random Spirit Lover

October 9
Band Of Horses Cease to Begin
Beirut The Flying Club Cup
Fiery Furnaces Widow City
The Hives The Black and White Album

Other Autumnal Releases...
Be Your Own Pet, British Sea Power, Cursive, Daft Punk's live album, The Mars Volta The Bedlam In Goliath, Tapes 'N Tapes, The Weakerthans, Wolf Parade

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lock Up Your Rats

Fishers are real.

I saw one. The other day while driving 30min outside of Kingston, Ontario, I saw one scamper across the highway. Too fat to be a fox and too boring to be an armadillo.

Also known as "fisher cats", these weaselish devils have been told to snatch up household cats and eat out the stomachs of cattle while they sleep.

Yamma Mamma!

They also apparently have a cry resembling the screams of a tortured human baby. Sources say they can jump down out from trees too, so watch your back next time your searching for the porn you buried behind your cabin last summer.

And yes, this is Reason no.188 why sprawl is a very bad thing. The day I hear of a fisher in my neighbourhood, is the day I move to far away.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Weekend Songs

We're nearing the end of summer, so here are some sticky treats
that will make you feel good about summer's past and future.

Animal Collective is every summer noise (late night streetcars, the ice cream truck song, heat bugs, echoing fireworks) tickled and tangled together with melody and jam - This is a new one from their new one - Chores from "Strawberry Jam". Due out Sept 11. [Future Buy]

Spoon is classic rock for the summer nowist. I can't remember a band with three such consistently catchy singles off three such consistently awesome albums. Scary-happy thing is, I think this new album might be better than the last two. If you haven't heard The Underdog off "Ga5" yet, then your summer might extend until October. [Now Buy]

The Stills is summer hammock music for amateur astronomy clubs. Still in Love Song is off their 1st record when they were overrated. Check out their new album, "Without Feathers", which is totally underrated. That shit's some of the most enjoyable easylistening rock since "Full Moon Fever".

Have a sticky and sweet weekend.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hudson's Rap Album Sells 78 Copies In First Week

"Pioneer Press -
Timberwolves guard Troy Hudson's first rap album, "Undrafted," sold 78 copies in the first week after it was released on July 17."

I wonder why...

Maybe we should ask these guys?

July 18, 2008

Mark the calendar.

It seems I'm a bit behind all of this. But, "The Dark Knight" - the sequel to the impossibly perfect "Batman Begins", is filming in Chicago right now and they've released a teaser and a bunch of photos. Enjoy.... (And yes, that's Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Kate Holmes as Rachel Dawes - yes, phew).

The Batcycle, newly dubbed "the Batpod"

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent (ie. Two Face)

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Joker (Joker's Gang?) in Disguise

Joker and Rachel Dawes

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Le Kool


After hearing his new single which "reappropriates" Daft Punk, I'm all for Kanye jumping on the Justice/Simian Mobile Disco/French Electro Bandwagon.

Kanye West - "Stronger" MP3 [Buy]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tiny Thoughts

I don't find many things more annoying than a flashing digital clock, once the power's gone out. Why can't they improve the technology on alarm clocks/microwaves/stoves so the clock is self-calibrating and never loses the time even after being unplugged? I'm no scientician, but c'mon... put a battery in there or something. What are all the people who were supposed to be developing the flying car working on now? The new line of ipod-Tamagotchis? The friendship bracelet-hoolahoop? The flying car????

But really, if i've learned anything from movies, I've learned that inventors are total fuck-ups, and so they obviously would be late all the time, and if they fixed this clock mess, they would have one less excuse.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Required Viewing

Gilberto Gil e Os Mutantes - Domingo no Parque

This makes you smile.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let's Get This Party Started (Right?)

To establish the right tenor of this blog, we should turn to the maniacal genius of Nic Cage (in scenes from the 2006 crapterpiece The Wicker Man)...