Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Your Consideration - THE MIST (2007)

I've decided that the For Your Consideration segment is gonna be the post where I talk about a movie that has largely been forgotten but should be appreciated. Today, we talk about The Mist. (Warning: This whole damn post is a spoiler.)

In THE MIST, a mysterious fog envelops a small town forcing a group of people to take refuge in a supermarket.  Thomas Jane plays the father of a young boy, and he and the boy are just two of the townsfolk trying to survive as monsters and all sorts of weird stuff come out of the mist and attack the people.  The monsters are passable as scary, but there is a heavy reliance on CGI.  The director, Frank Darabont does a great job of creating a spooky atmosphere, and the creatures are pretty effective when in the mist and only somewhat detectable.  The other "scary" part of the film is the people in the supermarket.  A crazy, religious lady starts preaching about the end of the world. Within days, people think she's a prophet.  This was actually harder to swallow than a mysterious mist filled with monsters that come from another dimension.  By film's end, she's telling her congregation that God and the mist demand a human sacrifice, and her people are cool with that... I mean, granted, I've never been stuck in a supermarket with a crazy lady during a crazy fog, but I'd imagine that it'd take more than a couple days to go batshit crazy.

Anyways... the movie screams "paint-by-numbers," but it isn't.  The characters are mostly one-noted (hero guy, good girl, stupid guy, jerk guy, etc) but aren't badly written, and the acting is mostly top notch.  There isn't a heavy reliance on "gotcha!" scares, but you knew who was going to die.  I would say that it is a good-not-great horror film.  So, why am I devoting a post to this movie?  BECAUSE THE END IS THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME, INSANE, NON-HOLLYWOOD-PAINT-BY-NUMBERS THING I'VE EVER SEEN.  More after the jump.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth - "Are you Jimmy Ray?" by Jimmy Ray

For this edition of the Terrible Song from My Youth, I submit... "Are you Jimmy Ray?"  by Jimmy Ray.

It's another one of those songs that I can't listen to straight through.  The beat... the tune... all that ain't too bad, really.  It's the lyrics.  The entire song is self-fellation.  And that's not good because you watch a self-fellation once for the novelty.  Like, "Wow, that dude sucked his own cock.  Now, I've seen everything."  After that, you move on and don't look back.  I mean, later you might go to the store and see the self-pleasuring dude, but you snicker and walk away briskly.  You don't spend significant time with him.  Jimmy Ray seems to have tried to make a music career out of self-fellation.  To me, he will forever be known as the dude who REALLY likes his name and thinks he's dangerous.

This is speaking very generally, but the classics are about something (a GREAT argument can be made for "I am the Walrus").  They have a purpose.  This song is nonsense.  The classics are universal in themes or emotion.  This song is about Jimmy Ray.  "Jimmy Ray" applies to less than 1% of the world population, and I'd imagine that the dudes named "Jimmy Ray" in this world aren't listening to this dude... unless they're on death row, and it's the only thing on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NEW- Radiohead "Staircase" (LIVE)

Freshly Picked: Washed Out

From my current obsession, some leisurely music for your ears to absorb and thank you dearly for.

StePhest Colbchella '011

I don't know if yall have been paying attention to the Colbert Report, but he's having a mini music fest this week featuring some pretty badass guests including Bon Iver (yes, yes, we know. Enough already.), Florence + the Machine, Talib Kweli and the Black Belles as well as an ongoing interview with Jack White.  Keep reading to watch the performances... Does that make any sense?...

Film Review - GREEN LANTERN (2011)

I went through a tiny comic book phase in 1997-1998.  I was a DC guy.  For all the non-nerds, that means I liked the DC comic characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) more than Marvel characters (X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor).  And really the only reason why is because Superman was kind of my nickname.

My second favorite character was Green Lantern (the Kyle Rayner version... God I feel like such a dork right now.)  The power fascinated me.  He had a power ring that was able to construct anything he thought of.  Being a kid with a giant imagination, I thought that that would be the coolest power ever.  I always thought that a Green Lantern movie would be something awesome, but I knew that a movie about a second tier superhero might not sell that well.  Fast forward to 2011 where Superhero movies are still the rage.

This is gonna be kind of a weird review because I find myself reviewing the criticism more than the movie.  Why?  GREEN LANTERN wasn't THAT bad, and everyone needs to calm the fuck down with the hyperbole.  24% on rotten tomatoes?  For serious?   Fantastic Four was bad.  Batman and Robin was terrible.   Green Lantern is a serviceable, ambitious superhero movie that had its share of problems... but didn't suck THAT much.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bon Iver album review

We may reach our quota on blog posts about Bon Iver by the end of this week. With the highly anticipated follow-up to his 2008 success For Emma, Forever Ago coming out tomorrow, we’re in full Bon Iver mode here at MSD. Compared to the last album, Bon Iver is more uplifting and heartwarming even with the theme of broken hearts still in place. I especially love the use of all the instrumentation here. We’re so used to hearing Justin Vernon’s stunning vocals with only an acoustic guitar to accompany him but with a pedal steel guitar, saxophones, violin, and piano keys in tow, the music has a lot more production value and sounds amazing. Bon Iver is another remarkably beautiful & emotionally-driven album. With each song, Vernon brings the listener in with thought-provoking lyrics and impressive arrangement.

And on a rather peculiar note, Justin Vernon recently stated in an interview that the first song he wrote for the album was “Perth” back in 2008. He was working with a guy in music when that guy’s best friend died, who happened to Heath Ledger. From there, the album was born.

Below is the visually gorgeous but sort of confusing video for "Calgary"

It Begins

Lauren and I would like to announce that the site is finally up and running.  Ladies and Gentlemen... 

Welcome to motorcycle sidecar drama.

And if you were even moderately amused by this, check out our self-indulgent blooper reel.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whipped Cream of the Day

• A chilling trailer for the new season of Dexter.

• Best commencement speech ever.

• The last of the last Harry Potter trailers we’ll probably see before July 15 (!!!).

• I think a riot is the closest thing to a zombie uprising we have; just a bunch of brainless people (from Canada) causing mass destruction.

NEW Florence + The Machine from her performance at the Greek Theater in L.A.

• A pretty hilarious gag tour rider from the Foo Fighters.

• “A soundtrack for sippin Robitussum & Alize in an abandoned Cathedral, covered in a velvet blanket with a sexy stranger on a dark night.”- Mr. Caribbean, on this wonderfully mashed up mixtape of Drake & James Blake appropriately titled, James Drake

• A new fun, dance tune from Hercules & Love Affair. Download and listen here.

• I’m partial to this one from Lil Wayne's which has been called an extension of Eminem’s “Stan” (where Em lets out his anger to a lunatic stalker fan via yelling and screaming). In “Dear Anne (Stan Pt. 2)” , Weezy uses a more calm approach as he addresses a fan who wrote him while in prison and promises to do better.

• Panda Bear’s latest music video, “Surfer’s Hymn” is a sober but happy tribute to all the fallen surfers taken by the water.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jack Reflects on Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

With Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore album officially coming out next week, I felt it'd be appropriate to devote a post or two to this great artist.  If you don't know, Bon Iver is Justin Vernon. (I was never really clear if it's a stage name or pseudonym.)  After a particularly tough time in his life, he retreated to a cabin in the woods and wrote the album, For Emma, Forever Ago.  It's a pretty cool story, but I'd just be plagiarizing wikipedia if I went into more detail. (...Can you plagiarize  wikipedia?)  It was released in the US on February 19, 2008.  And it's amazing.  For Emma, Forever Ago is in my top 5 desert island records and the subject for today's post.  (More after the jump)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Film Review - SUPER 8 (2011)

I had the pleasure of catching SUPER 8 at the IMAX theater this weekend.  I liked it a lot.  And the more I think about it, the more I like it.  I think it was a near-perfectly constructed summer movie.  In SUPER 8, a group of kids making a zombie movie on a super 8 camera get caught up in a train crash while filming.  And then things get wonky around the little Ohio town because of something that the train was carrying.  More after the jump...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth: LFO's "Summer Girls"

For today's terrible song from my youth, we go all the way back to 1999...
LFO's "Summer Girls"


Now, late 90s boy band music was good shit. The good stuff... Your N'syncs and your Backstreet Boys... They had professional writers who knew how to write stuff that would stay with you. And the groups featured a collection of performers with talent.

I don't know why LFO was released on us. First, the songwriting is crap.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Whipped Cream of the Day

· I’m a sucker for good weather footage and this takes the cake. It’s by a couple that were smack dab in the middle of the Joplin tornado and stopped in the aftermath to help—it’s got major heart.

· Jack White & Karen Elson are turning in their fancy rings and throwing a party in honor of it. Where’s our invitation?

· My favorite song off Panda Bear’s Tomboy now has a video to go with it.

· Watch out Mary-Kate, you could end up like these girls if you hang out with Kanye for too long.

· Two new songs from Beirut! “East Harlem” & “Goshen

· Washed Out’s Ernest Greene can do no wrong as shown by the two singles "Eyes Be Closed" & "Echoes" off of the highly anticipated Within & Without (July 12).

· A video of the oh so beautiful “I Don’t Want Love” performed by The Antlers.

· A haunting, bass & synth filled cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” by Mr. Little Jeans (an actual Ms.)

· A whole site dedicated to the most wonderful, mouth-watering dessert ever created by man.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trailer

I never read the books. I know nothing of the story... but I'm interested. Why? This is a hell of a trailer. Featuring a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" by Karen O and Trent Reznor... obviously?

Also, the not-safe-for-work international poster (after the jump)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crazy Random Playlist: Songs for Dr. Kevorkian's Waiting Room

Last week, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the doctor who assisted at least 130 people in committing suicide, passed away at the old age of 83. Now let me be clear... This blog does not aim to make any sort of social commentary or take any stance on the issue of assisted suicide... Not yet at least. Not until we're famous. No, I bring up all this up because his death brought one very simple question to my mind:

What music would he play in the waiting room?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Film Review - X-Men: First Class (2011)

When I first heard about X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, I thought that it was just Hollywood's latest lame attempt to beat a dead horse: take a dead franchise, put young, attractive people in it, make them all stupid and teenagery and then add explosions. I was expecting X-Men in high school, and by the end of it, people would be Team Xavier or Team Magneto. Gladly, I was wrong. This is a good piece of comic book movie.

Casting was hit or miss,

Friday, June 3, 2011

Album Review: Eddie Vedder - Ukulele Songs

Eddie Vedder has always been one of my favorite vocalists and lyricists. His voice always seems to carry the weight of intense emotions and a heart-on-his-sleeve vulnerability. And his words are (rather simply) poetry. The music becomes especially powerful when it's stripped down. (Best example: Pearl Jam's unplugged performance of "Black.")

So, when I heard that Eddie Vedder was releasing a solo album featuring mostly himself and a ukulele, I was interested. What's more vulnerable than an under-appreciated rock god playing the Cousin Oliver of stringed instruments?

Now, I don't have the foggiest idea of how to review an album, but I do know that I really like it. It's been personally cathartic to listen to the breezy, light upbeat melodies played on the ukulele coupled with dark, sad lyrics about longing, love, loss, jealousy, acceptance and sadness. I was sold by "Sleeping by Myself." (Tried to include a link to that gorgeousness, but it's been taken down for copyright something or other.)

Through no fault of its own, Ukulele Songs will be a forgotten album. Though he will be touring with Glen Hansard (from The Frames and The Swell Season... Lordy, I wish they'd come to Austin) in support of Ukulele Songs, this album will be thought of as a novelty...a sideshow to whatever Pearl Jam does next. Which is unfortunate because at times, Ukulele Songs is exquisite.