Friday, October 27, 2006

Indie vs Commercial

The Black Keys

Saw the current Sony Ericsson advertisement for the Cyber shot phone couple days ago and found the song featured quite familiar, then I realized it was The Black Keys' Girl Is On My Mind. I was paying more attention to the background music than the image, now I can't even recall a single thing about the advertisemnt except for the song. The Black Keys is frequently compared to The White Stripes because of the play on the band names and both are blues-rock, two-men bands. I learnt of The Black Keys and heard a couple tunes few years back, I love The White Stripes' bluesy rock, but I just don't know why I never intend to explore any other The Black Keys' material other than Girl Is On My Mind and another one or two songs. Anyway, Girl Is On My Mind is indeed a catchy number and has been getting more spins on my playlist upon hearing it on the Sony Ericsson advert.

Goldfrapp's song Ohh La La had been used in an advertisement of a local mobile phone service provider, quite a rare feast here in Malaysia. Both The Black Keys and Godfrapp are rather obscure in this part of the world. These adverts are definitely gaining more commercial recognition for those bands, let's hope more great things happen to good indie acts which definitely deserve better exposure.

The Black Keys -
Girl Is On My Mind

Goldfrapp - Ooh La La

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Movie Galore

Holiday is fun, it gives me a ridiculous amount of time to do things I love to do for a long time. I watched three movies yesterday. Three very different movies in a day, the first one being a rock mockumentary, the second one was a thought-provoking science-fiction, and the last one was a offbeat and unusual comedy. Here I like to share with you some of my after-viewing thoughts and some soundtracks.

Brothers Of The Head (2005)

Brothers of The Head (2005)
Such fresh and unique approach used in this film. If I hadn't knew that this movie is a fake documentary, I might have believed this was actually a true story of Siamese twins who became rock stars. The movie is an adaption of a same-titled novel about conjoined brothers Tom and Barry Howe form a rock band called The Bang Bang playing some energetic punk, doesn't this sound engrossing enough? Like any rock n' roll film, there are inevitable sex, drug and eventually self-destruction. The well crafted 70s footage and the documentary style of storytelling are convincingly authentic. The music is undeniably a vital element to the film, the songs are raw yet catchy, and they really sound like they were from a 70s punk band. The fragile relationship between the pair of twins somewhat reminds me of Carl and Pete from The Libertines, one who just want to write good music and the other is the mischievous, paranoid one. If you like 7os punk, if you like to see how freaks-gone-big, then this cult faux documentary is for you.

I can't seem to find any Mp3s by The Bang Bang, but please do check out their music on Myspace. Pure good. The first song the twins learned to play,
The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko (2001)
Was quite surprised seeing this movie on local TV, since they usually show only B-movies or old blockbusters. After reading so many rave reviews for this movie, I can finally say I have watched it. I have heard a lot about the twisted bunny, so I was not even a little scared or shocked when the bunny appeared on screen, I don't know if this have spoilt my watching experience, but I doubt so instead this movie was mind-blowing. I have never seen a movie like this. The movie is very much thought-provoking, after it ended I can't stop putting the pieces together over and over to get the conclusion for this film. The only other film I watched this year that got me brain-cracking was "Brick". The story follows Donnie Darko who is told by a giant bunny named Frank that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds, the next morning he finds that a jet engine has crashed his bedroom. The remains of the movie shows how Donnie's coming to term with the ghoulish bunny and the fact that the world will end. Multiple interpretations exist for this film because it is never fully explained and leaves open many possibilities. There is certain complexity and depth with this film that baffled me, I think I would definitely watch more than once in hoping to catch more out of it.

Gary Jules - Mad World

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
A light-hearted adventure comedy. Well-written script, solid cast, wonderful quirky characters, beautiful yet odd CGI effects, excellent music, this film really impressed me. It follows Steve Zissou, a oceanographer on the shooting of his documentary about an attempt to track down a "Jaguar Shark" which has killed his closest friend cum colleague, Esteban. The story revolves around the happenings to the ship/documentary crew during the voyage. This comedy is silly, but there are no run-of-the-mill slapstick jokes, in fact it is loaded with dry humour which is not for everyone, but if once you get it, it is actually very hilarious. Some of the memorable scenes include the funny and exaggerated action sequences of pirate attack and hostage rescue. After watching the film, I read about a very different approach of watching it and I am certainly amazed. Remember you had a childhood gang with a leader (Steve), when a new boy (Ned) came in, some kid (Klaus) was jealous, and the voyage implies your childhood adventurous dream, all these also explain why an old man asking for signature of child's sci-fi books, why there is a letter from small boy, why Steve said "that's my favorite age" (11 and half), this movie is really a wonderful tribute to childhood. A great movie one should't miss.

The Zombies - The Way I Feel Inside
David Bowie - Queen Bitch


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Double Trouble

Damon and Paul

Damon Albarn's back, but not with Blur or Gorillaz this time. The Good, the Bad and the Queen is a supergroup which consists of the frontman of Blur and Gorillaz, The Clash's bassist Paul Simonon, former Verve member and Blur and Gorillaz guitarist Simon Tong, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen. New album titled The Good, the Bad and the Queen, produced by Danger Mouse, is set to hit the shelf in January 2007. Meanwhile, a single "Herculean" will be released on 30 October 2006 and deleted on the same day.

I am rather disappointed after listening to the new single, as it is rather bland, or I am just being too greedy expecting Albarn to go back to Blur's sound at its high. Maybe it will grow on me, or let's hope the album would be better. And one thing that bothers me is that Albarn seems to be preoccupied with all his side projects, when are we going to hear Blur's new album?

The Good, the Bad and the Queen - Herculean

Carl and Pete

Pete Doherty and Carl Barât reunited for Strummerville charity Clash cover of Janie Jones. However, they didn't record it together, and the track's official list of contributors includes Babyshambles, Dirty Pretty Things, The Rakes, Mystery Jets, The Holloways, We Are Scientists, The Paddingtons, Larrikin Love, Cazals, The Noisettes, Good Books, Lady Fuzz, The Kooks, Jack Penate, Laura Marling, Maccabees, Lisa Moorish, Light Speed Champ, Jamie T, Jeremy Warmsley, Statik, Guillemots and Kid Harpoon (Phew!).

Babyshambles & friends - Janie Jones

Check out the video and see who you can spot!

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