under construction! Don't be alarmed, new layout coming soon...yeah right

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

YouTube Video of the Week: "My First Halloween"

In Thousand Oaks California there exists a lovely musician calling herself The Pennsylvanian. She is an inspired classic singer/songwriter and I find the few songs I have of hers getting stuck in my head often (search out “A Present” and “A Real Shame”). A few days ago she posted this video on her Myspace just in time for the Halloween season (In Santa Barbara, Halloween started last Thursday!). Being a filmmaker myself and also hungry for good Halloween songs I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s hilarious and cute and the ending will have you on the floor with laughter. Happy Halloween everyone!!

The Pennsylvanian on myspace

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mp3 of the Week: “No Regrets” by Real Live Tigers

I played a show with Tony Presley a few months back and I was unexpectedly drawn into his deep soulful voice from some other world. This song comes off of the out of print EP Hospital Songs released by Pop Monster Collective. This first track has minimal acoustic guitar and a quiet, deep bluesy vocal from Tony that creeps up on you as you listen. Slowly you realize the songs meaning and by the end you are left stunned. Immediately you’ll put it on repeat to make sure what you just heard was real. The words, “I’ll be damned, they were right…” will obsessively haunt you at night.

Real Live Tigers-"No Regrets"

Real Live Tigers on myspace
Pop Monster Collective

James Eric: Tonight The Moon (2007)

James Eric and I are a lot alike. We both have blogs, write songs, make films and we are both very passionate at what we do. It is James Eric’s passion that will win you over. Based out of Chicago, Illinois this one man show was nice enough to send me his “greatest hits” album. It is a compilation of tracks from his first four albums, but you would never really know if you weren’t familiar to his music. So when I popped in Tonight The Moon I was greeted with a wonderful sonic trip that felt like a cohesive album instead of a random collection. The opener “Purple Heart” readily sucks you in and is appropriately epic in scale, a dirty psychedelic trip that recalls a Beatle-ish-sound mixed with Modest Mouse. I’m really feeling “You Know” right now. A great example of how passionate James is, I really like singing the line, “When will my mind just shut up!” The next song “Emma Lee” is a masterpiece in pop songwriting. A great one name refrain, it is another classic song in a great line of songs about that girl and won’t get out of your head, ever. The song “Someday” is sweet, low-key and thoughtful with a wonderfully tender and humorous music video to go along with it featuring dolphins. No really, watch it here. “Live Through Me” has a beautifully simple chorus and is sentimental without being schmaltzy. Overall this compilation album from James Eric is chock full of wonderful production values, definitely an atypical headphones record that rewards constantly with great well-crafted folk/pop songs.

James Eric-"Emma Lee"

James Eric on myspace
James Eric's DIY music Podcast

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bunnygrunt:The 1000% Hot EP (2007)

The first thing I felt was surprise when I listened through Bunnygrunt’s The 1000% Hot EP. And then I sang every time after that. Having never heard of Bunnygrunt before (shocking I know), I immediately became excited by the level of diversity in these four tracks. They go by so fast that you’ll have listened to them three times or more in no time. I get the feeling these folks must be amazing live. “1000% Not Creepy” is fast and energetic with plenty of “ba-ba-ba-ness” to knock your socks off. “Tonight You Belong To Me” a cover, is possibly my favorite song on the EP (Another song that sounds like an old phonograph record). I’m a sucker for ukulele and this song is so “ukulele” and sweet that my teeth hurt due to its sugary goodness (*Edit I was informed that it was played on a mandolin. I feel foolish to have mistaken the two because I play both , but I still stick to my guns and say that the song is "so ukulele it hurts). Okay, okay, “Where Eagles Dare, Pt 2” may be my favorite song off this EP. Karen Reid’s voice isn’t immediately eccentric, but is intimate and familiar enough to invoke some chills off this closer track. One of the things I’m left feeling after this EP is over is that I really want more. I feel like I was missing out on a great band, but no more! Get The 1000% Hot EP and starting singing along.

Bunnygrunt-"Tonight You Belong To Me"

Bunnygrunt on myspace
Buy the EP and other Wee Pop! Records releases here

Tinyfolk: Pizza Under The Sea EP (2007)

A note on Wee Pop! Records. They are in their own words “a brand new label dedicated to limited run, lovingly hand crafted, assembled and numbered, wee tactile packets of lo-fi POP!” When I first heard of them on Retrolowfi I knew they were right up my alley. The reason I love lo-fi music in general is because the kind of care and love that goes into every aspect of production. And Thor and Camila from the UK have lots of love to give everyone.

But, now on to their fifth release!

I love Tinyfolk. Let me just put that out there. From the moment I heard “Love Is A Thing” I knew I wanted to hear more. You can imagine I was excited when Wee Pop! Records sent me his new EP Pizza Under The Sea to talk about. A few weeks ago I reviewed Tinyfolk’s 2007 album Bill and this new EP is sort of an aside to the recent stylings of Russ Woods, sort of. This EP also acts as sort of a single cd because of the presence of “Really, Really Blue: A Tale of Unrequited (Perhaps) Romance and Lizardry” which is on Bill. This EP also acts of a mini-collection of b-sides, covers and songs that have appeared on compilation records. So what does all this do for these six songs? Well, they are cute and diverse, but still retain the charm of Russ’s unique voice. "Mourning Dove" a lovely song with a clever title is quick and furious, over in fifty-eight seconds, but Russ finds a way to use "Nuclear Fission" as a rhyme and that's pretty cool. "A Waltz" is a song that sounds like its title and tells a story that many people might relate to or one day might relate to. It also sounds like its being played on an old phonograph. I always wanted to know how that effect was achieved. My favorite track besides “Really, Really Blue…” is “Do Animals Get Lonely Late At Night?” It is a sweet song that continues Tinyfolk’s obsession with critters. A nice companion to Bill, get the this EP, you won’t disagree.

Tinyfolk-"Do Animals Get Lonely Late At Night?"

Tinyfolk on myspace
Buy the EP and other Wee Pop! Records releases here

In Rainbows Available Today...in one way...

So I ended buying Radiohead's 7th album In Rainbows digitally because I won’t wait until it’s released and stores and I can’t afford the box set right now. I paid about 8 bucks for it because (being released in a DIY format) I felt it appropriate to give how much I’d give any lo-fi band I come in contact with. Plus Radiohead is one of the greatest bands like EVER. So I’m about to embark on a listening journey with Thom, Johnny and the boys and see what they have up their sleeve this time.

Buy It Now!
My intial reactions when the story broke
In-depth Preview at Pitchfork

YouTube Video of the Week: “Boots of Spanish Leather” Cover

I spend about as much time on You Tube as I used to spend watching television as a child. Yet, I believe it is a lot more proactive and we are able to see so many things that no one ten years ago would have been able to see. So in honor of this information democratization I will try doing a You Tube Video of the Week.

For this first week I stumbled upon a wonderful cover of Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather". The song was released on The Times They Are A-Changin' in 1963 and this song was one of the only non-political songs on the album. It is a sad song and Anthony da Costa's interpretation of it really brings out a new dynamic and powerful punch to the song with his expressive voice. Check it out!

Anthony da Costa on myspace

Bender’s Got A Score With Those Who Canceled Futurama

Futurama is by far my favorite animated show. Unlike The Simpsons, South Park or Family guy, Futurama relied very heavily on character development. The more you watched the show the funnier it got because you knew the characters and you knew how they interacted with each other. Over time they grew and changed and their relationships changed and I really cared for them. Plus all the 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars jokes are really funny. Using the year 3000 as a metaphorical place to comment on our modern times was a brilliant idea from Matt Groening and I’m really happy they are reviving the series. The first in a series of four DVDs is Futurama: Bender's Big Score which will be released November 27th, 2007. Enjoy!

More info on the series's revival

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bottle Rocket Finally Getting A Criterion Release!

Huzzah! If you are like me and love Criterion Collection then get excited because Wes Anderson’s debut feature, Bottle Rocket, is getting the treatment it deserves. All of his other films have been released with lush wonderful dvds with extensive and interesting special features. Bottle Rocket’s DVD as of now is pathetic. It was released back in the day when “widescreen” and “chapter selection” were considered special features. However, knowing Criterion it’ll be awhile before it gets released, probably a year or so. But, it’ll be worth it.

Original story on MTV Movies Blog
Bottle Rocket on IMDB

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mp3 of the Week: “Only This and Nothing More” by Rambling Nicholas Heron

I first heard of him through the Pop Monster Collective sampler cd I received when I bought Tinyfolk’s Bill. Only now did I find that sampler again and the first song to play was Rambling Nicholas Heron’s “Only This and Nothing More.” It starts up with a very simple bass line then jumps into a very sweet song. His voice is smooth and soulful with an adorable Swedish (I believe) accent. I don’t know what it is about this song, but I feel safe and happy. An accordion/melodica adds to the foreign pop vibe that I am really digging right now. The song is more importantly available on his new record Snug And Cozy Like Before off of Pop Monster Collective. I just ordered it a few days ago and I can’t wait to fall in love with it.

For now enjoy the song and as a bonus watch this cute music of the song as well.

Rambling Nicholas Heron-"Only This and Nothing More"

Rambling Nicholas Heron on myspace
Pop Monster Collective

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sweeney Todd Trailer Shaves It's Way Onto Screens

I'm not a huge Tim Burton for a few reasons, but I maybe I like him more than I realize. Regardless I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and watching this trailer gets me excited for this film based on an award winning musical. It seems like it was made for Burton. Plus Alan Rickman as a bad guy is pretty sweet.

Check it out!

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on IMDB

Monday, October 1, 2007

Be Prepared To Deal With The SiCKO (2007)

No matter what your politics are or what you think of Michael Moore, he is a fantastic filmmaker. SiCKO, a documentary on the healthcare system in the United States, is one of the most moving pieces of cinema released this year. He is less on camera than some of his other films, but he hilariously allows himself to be the fool as he travels all over the world discovering that the US is behind in many many ways. I could tell that many of the audience members including me were moved, some to tears, some to increasing anger at how the system we live in is no longer a democracy, but a government run on our fear. A lot of people attack the level of “accuracy” of this and any of his films have, but honestly there are no unbiased forms of documentaries or unbiased anything. As soon as you feel something you’ve made a decision; or as soon as you haven’t, you’ve made a decision. I’ve run off into politics, but it’s impossible not to be moved by this film either way. Michael Moore is a successful filmmaker because he creates dialogue and a debate. I know this film isn’t one hundred percent accurate, but as an intelligent member of society I do a little research, I read a few facts, I try not to eat something if I don’t know what it is first. Why this film has made me even more incensed at the American Government is the fact that it only reinforces my own fears and observations at what is going on around us. Regardless, see this film or don’t, but please do something.

The Trailer:

SiCKO main site
A Factual Checkup on SiCKO

WTF!?! NEW Radiohead album OCTOBER 10th

I'm still spiraling around and around because of this...I don't know what to make of it yet.

Here is the pitchfork article that tipped off into insanity.

Here is a great write up about in retrolowfi by Chris.

New Radiohead head album October 10th, called In Rainbows.

I'm being a bit dramatic, but the music world is buzzing in these late hours on a Sunday night. I see how I'm feeling tomorrow.


I've calmed down a bit, but I am still excited, we'll all have to wait and see what happens.

Check out this update on pitchfork about a "normal" edition of the cd that will come out sometime next year.