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If you can find this album then I urge you to make it your next. I really don't understand how it has been overlooked or forgotten here in 2010. Despite it's oddball lyrics and unconventionalities all round I think that the record is pretty accessible.
'Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone' is The Unicorns' sophomore album though seeing as their debut 'Unicorns Are people Too' was limited to just 500 copies and 4 of its strongest tracks were included on this release, 'Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone' is the band's obvious starting point and only 'true' album.
The album is fractured and lo-fi but everything negative you could think of about those two things just isn't present here. Everything sounds crisp and clear and rather than all over the place and ungrounded, the songs feel episodic and standalone whilst being held together by the album (as well as the band)'s recurring theme, death.
Many of the tracks on this album employ an eccentric array of instruments as accompaniment, including recorders, children's toys etc, which successfully accentuate the glow of imagination, exuberance and charisma that shines from this album, through your ears and into your brain.
The album opens with "I Don't Wanna Die" which begins the album with incoherent squeaks and 'behind the scenes' playing before snapping into the weird nightmare space circus intro and Alden Ginger's nasally vocals, backed by Nick Diamond's childish sound effects. Much of the rest is a series of space-themed sound effects over a chord sequence and a mini-crescendo at the songs end. The Song's an odd beginning to the album and fits in nicely, thematically, with the contradictory final track "Ready To Die". I sometimes get the feeling of being drunk when listening to this track.
Track 2 is the album's first fully realised pop-track. Like many of the album's songs, "Tuff Ghost" has a clear concept and sort of narrative. Alden and Nick sing about the stroppy ghost whilst the ghost (Nick Diamond) respnds "I don't want to hurt you
Ghost: well you can't cos i'm already dead"
The song has great hooks, a very cheap sounding organ as it's lead instrument and a pretty cool bass solo in it.
Following is "Ghost Mountain", which I think is a bit dreary. It is about a ghost again and tells a simple story about a group of friends climbing a mountain and being scared away by a ghost. It's not repetitive or anything, and it has more miscellaneous instruments than any other track, I don't really know why I don't love it to be honest.
"Sea ghost" is irresistible. It begins with a jolly recorder intro and swan dives into an awesome guitar riff and lyrics about the wrath of the sea or something (this ones not really about a specific ghost). There's about 10 great hooks in this song and it'll probably get stuck in your head all day making it one of the album's best offerings.
"Jellybones" is adorable and sugary sweet. It's literally about someone who has bones made of jelly. It has funky keyboard and a sing-a-long chorus. It ends with a happy yet melancholic ending an U-turn musically "but this is love so we'll survive".
"The Clap" is The Unicorns' rock track. It uses pretty much conventional instruments. It's short and to the point. The point is to clap your hands.
"Child Star" is the most reminiscent of the sound that the band had achieved for their debut, which was quite a bit darker. The lyrics for "Child Star" aren't dark but the minor chords and the through-the-teeth vocals are. The song soon changes into a hilarious frolic though and the band members, who are playing a former child star and a former fan of said child star who's heart was broken after being rejected from the fan club, begin to sing "I hate you!" to each other. Nobody but the Unicorns could have written a song like this.
"Let's Get Known" is a simple song about the band's early ambitions. It's pretty short and cute but, in keeping with the Unicorns bittersweet theme, begins with a weird sound-byte of a man talking about satanists.
"I was born (a unicorn)" is the band's post ironic theme song and probably their most accessible. The main riff is cheery and spiky and the call and response singing of Alden and Nick is at times funny. If you want a taste of the Unicorns give this a listen.
"Tuff Luff" is vaguely political lyrics-wise making the song the closest to reality on the album. It begins delicately and moves on to happily chanting "we're going down in smoking flames!", then going quiet and delicate again and then ends on some cool chambery drums and apathetically murmering "Save us" over and over. it's great!
"Inoculate the innocuous" is very weird and was probably written on drugs. I have no idea as to what it's about -
("bananas help me unwind
watermelon makes it awesome")
but the song is stangely beautiful and is a stand-out track.
"Les Os" is on the same level as "Sea Ghost" in terms of fast and awesome hooks. Nick's vocals are passionate and the lyrics "is this love of ours a lie!" are delivered with great urgency, but the sharp, thrashing guitar chords make this song.
"Ready To die" is polished and chilled with a sort of Hawaii feel. It's not a great track on it's own but it's a nice end to the album, wrapping up its recurring ideas (ghosts, the sea, death) in the lyrics and the fabulously abrupt ending is one of my favourite endings to any album.
The c.d. comes in a digipack hand-drawn in crayons by Nick Diamond. The c.d. is housed in a little pink envelope. How lovely this album is.
Crystal Castles debut is one of my favourite albums of the past five years if not my favourite. I have yet to hear a group that comes close to their sound, although perhaps the mention of Heartsrevolution, the yin to Crystal Castles' yang, is in order. The album was so good that I saw past the pair's annoyingly contrived, enigmatic and dangerous image. I obviously had high hopes for the 'sequel' and so bought it in its purist form; gatefold vinyl (I know I'm a hipster douche). I listened to it from start to finish in the dark for the entirety of it's rather hefty running time. Here's what I thought in a track by track sort of way:
Track 1 - "Fainting Spells" okay brace yourself. Ok this is good Crystal Castles are still as abrasive as ever. The track intimidates with a piercing hook, static and garbled Alice Glass vocals. Haunting sounds I can't place enter the soundscape, then BAM. CHORUS. Alice Glass yelps desperately
"I'll make you forget
With The taste of Lambskin
the bounty is yours
it tastes like medicine"
Hook now elevated burrows into the skull and terrifies me in the darkness.
Chorus again. The Drums are epileptic.
Synth Chords now play the hook, beautiful. ends playing static again.
This Song was their opener when I saw the band live. Alice crawled onto the stage like she was posessed and went mental during the chorus, covering her head with her army jacket. Incredible.
This Is probably my favourite track on the record but unfortunately does not surpass my favourites from the debut.
Track 2 - "Celestica" The first single from the album. The band's biggest hit yet (heard it on Hollyoaks once, not like I watch Hollyoaks) making Crystal Castles one of the weirdest bands to get flirty with the mainstream in recent times. The song is quite bland and very polished, contrasting with "fainting Spells". Some nice breezy melodies and a chorus that feels fresh make this pretty accessible for a CC track. Alice's vocals are clearer than they've ever been though straight pop singing isn't her most strong point. Ethan Kath somehow feels the need to slow the vocals down at one point which sounds stupid. Maybe he was trying to make the song less mainstream or something.
Track 3 - "Doe Deer" Crystal Castles II's 'XXZXCUZX ME". Short, VERY loud and very offensive. I heard this on the limited Doe Deer Ep before the album's release. It samples about 3 seconds of Alice's vocals in the song "Insecticon" which was re-mixed for the Doe Deer Ep though the old version, which was only available as a torrent in an album called "Thrash Thrash Trash" is much better.
track 3 throws you right in there with the somehow wrong sounding main riff blasting away, and then Alice chimes in with "DEATH RAY! DEATH RAYEEE!". This is obviously here to challenge the listener's threshhold and may scare some away but if you just embrace it it's pretty fantastic.
Track 4 - "Baptism". This song had been played at Crystal Castles concerts for quite a while and alays gets a great response from the crowd. It's a track that is quite club friendly. Some parts even sound a bit like the Clubland Ibiza songs I hear my brother playing. The chorus is almost sing-alongable as Alice shouts
"This is your Baptism
And You Can't forgive them!"
It sounds like they recorded her vocals in a church, as they're quite echoey. There is one bit that sends me into elation as the chorus ends and we bounce right back into the squealey verse and Glass sounds like she means every painful syllable.
Track 5 - "Year Of Silence" samples a Sigur Ros track though is almost unrecognisable when you listen to the track it's taken from ("Inní mér syngur vitleysingur"). This is another scary one (at least with headphones on in the dark). It is the sound of the apocalypse by way of a gigantic marching army of huge icelandic nihilists with weaponry that are chanting the dissonant foreign lyrics as they destroy. Intermittently there are beautifully melancholic gasps for air done on a synth.
Track 6 - "Empathy" is quite accessible and once again showcases Alice Glass' singing voice. I haven't liked this track since I imagined a music video for it (a booty shaking bikini kind of thing like Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker") and realized that a rapper could make a pretty good song out of it.
Track 7 - "Suffocation". More of Alice Glass' singing, though she may as well have just hummed the tune. A trademark Crystal Castles bassline mixed with what sounds like an airier Celestica knock off. Nah, bit sh*t really, just filler.
Track 8 - "Violent Dreams" is very trippy and eerie. It sounds like a strobe effect. Samples Stina Nordenstam's (I've never heard of her either) "A Walk In The Park". the song is monotonous, encapsulating and atmospheric. Does what it's supposed to though not going to get put on anyone's playlist.
Track 9 is "Vietnam". Sounds Evil and Nihilistic and then the chorus comes in and sounds like a modern update of the labyrinth theme from Sonic 3 but a little creepier due to some helium voices.
Track 10 - "Birds". This song's quite good. It has some pretty badass guitar in it and some old-skool scratchin'. Alice Glass shouts something about a womb or something from about 100 feet away it sounds like.
Track 11 - "Pap Smear". A pretty Catchy song in which you can actually make out the lyrics after maybe two listens. Alice has good Flow and there are cool glitch bits which are cool. Dance like the Jackson 5 for maximum enjoyment.
Track 12 - "Not In Love". Is the album's low point. With the combination of stupid distorted vocals from Ethan bloody Kath and some video game music that sounds like it's been poorly transferred and some out of tune space synth make a pretty sh*tty bit of moosic. Could fit in a bad japanese anime for a love scene though.
Track 13 - "Intimate". plinkity plonkity plinkity plonk. Marble madness music? sure. Crappy 80s Sci-Fi soundtrack? maybe. Eagerly anticipated sophomore album?NO! This is an instrumental track.
Track 14- "I Am Made Of Chalk". A wonderfully textured and strange instrumental closer that sounds like loads of cute little alien animals being born. Fantastic stuff.
Overall the Album has some holes and is definately a grower that is not quite as original and consistent as the pair's debut. It does however create a pretty clear atmosphere which the album's artwork represents quite nicely.
For the first season of Flight Of The Conchords Bret and Jermaine already had so many great songs that they had spent the past decade creating. They were able to whittle these songs down to the funniest to make a really great series. Unfortunately, for season 2, the band had a limited amount of time to write new material and it kind of shows. The songs are not as special as the last time around but there's still some that are memorable such as 'hurt feelings', 'we're both in love with a sexy lady', 'you don't have to be a prostitute' and 'I told you I was Freaky'. Despite this, it is nice to see more of Murray and Mel in this season and the rest of the show is as funny and much like the first season, the humour of which is sort of murmery ironic eccentric nerdy and deadpan thing, though I feel like I'm not giving the show justice. If you've seen season 1 then why are you even hesitating about buying season 2? You didn't like season 1? What's wrong with you? Didn't see Season 1? It's excellent, definitely buy it its a classic.
The Dvd is a bit scarce on extras though its good that they tried especially seeing as there were fewer episodes this time around. It's cool that every episode is also available in other languages because you can listen to the songs in different languages which is amusing.
I expected this to be amazing. Part Chris Morris (Brass Eye, Day Today, Four Lions) part Charlie Brooker (Screenwipe, Screenburn, Tvgohome) and part Mighty Boosh (not that arsed about them being in it). The series was good enough that I wanted another series, especially with the way it ended, but I didn't think that the series had much of what I loved about Morris and Brooker.
I didn't see the series until 2010 whilst searching Brooker to buy 'The Hell Of It All' (highly reccomended) and perhaps the series' age and contemporary nature has worked against this being a long lasting piece of entertainment or social commentary but even though I was only about 14 in 2005 when the series aired I'm pretty sure that the 'media types' that the show supposedly eviscerates weren't anything like their portrayal/parody in the series. Yes there are some pretty good observations such as the trashbat.cock website, that gives two middle fingers to banksy lovers, and their love of ironic stuff (tiny little bikes). But I think that Barley and the sugaRAPE staff are made too moronic and chavvy for their pretentiousness and desperateness to be cool be believable enough. Some characters work of course such as the infuriatingly conceited artist that takes photos of celebrities p*ssing and Julin Barrat's character, who is convinced he is above all the idiocy, but the series could have been made better by reducing the purile silliness that made a lot of the characters unbelievable and irrelevant.
Morris always puts a lot of care into his dvd releases and Nathan Barley is a real treat as a physical product. The disc is housed unconventionally in a lovely digipack kind of thing without any special features or details on the back (and this is a show that supposedly denounces up themselves media c*nts), which, when you open it up, contains the disc in a little card pocket and a pretty thick booklet with 'artwork' by Nathan Barley which is very funny. The disc is presented really well and a nice change from the usual tacky dvd menus. A lot of the special features are mere stills which are a bit rubbish on a screen including some TVGoHome exerpts (you won't want to hurt your eyes reading them on a TV get the newly reprinted book) but thee are some nice surprises throughout, including the option to watch an episode redubbed with ridiculous voices.
This show is one that deserves to be seen on dvd rather than downloaded or on TV and is a good addition to any collection. The 18 certificate is pretty unjustified, save for one episode that has some weird pedo bits in.
I'm not sure that I've expressed my qualms with the show too well but although they take up a large chunk of the review the show is still very funny and deserves to be seen
Firstly, I absolutely loved this book, but I only read it after I had seen the film and I would say that the movie is superior to the book. the story is fleshed out much more and the alterations in the storyline (changing Enid's primary love interest to Steve Buschemi rather than the boring geek kid in the book) improves on the original.
What's more is that the graphic novel is not in full colour but in black and white but with a sort of mint green colour everywhere making everything look cold and eerie and lonely, differing from the original series which changed the colour used each issue.
The narrative of Ghost World is fairly loose and not it's main attraction. What makes Ghost World special is the Dialogue (the film's adapted screenplay won Daniel Clowes an Academy Award), the apathetic, melancholic atmosphere and the celebration of the quirks of outsider Enid, whom the book's focus is on throughout.
The book is pretty short and could probably read in about an hour but I was completely absorbed the entire time. The cover is beautifully vibrant and detailed and this is a nicely polished collection of the series.
Ghost World does alternative comix proud and should be one of the first to get your teeth in if your new to the growingly acceptable world of comix!
Not that it matters how the individual volumes fair, because if you've read 'Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life' you will surely have gone on to read the entire series, but this volume is probably my favourite and it's contents are also mostly absent from the Film.
If you haven't picked up vol. 1 then I urge you do so soon. Buying the whole series may put you out of pocket a bit but it is well worth it as they are very re-readable and rewarding.
The book can be read in under an hour unless you savour each page, which will reveal joyfully obscure video game and band references.
Before I saw the film I was put off by the series thinking that it's tweeness and 'hipsteryness' would irritate me and almost put off seeing the film after reading the pathetic tagline; "an epic of epic epicness" but alas, I saw the film and it was my favourite film of the year! (I am an 18 year old gamer and pretty much right on target for the film however so keep that in mind). I then played the xbox Live game and it was one of the best 2D games I had ever played (better than streets of Rage). After that I picked up the books one by one and knew that I would be in love with this series for ever and ever.
Note: I have heard that the Oni Press (Canadian and USA) versions of these books are superior to the 4th Estate (UK) version due to some edges being cut off or something. I didn't notice anything but I think the Oni Press covers are a little nicer.
Scattered throughout this book's pages are photographs, diagrams, pages filled with random numbers and pages on which words squeeze together so that you can't read them. These have little to no purpose, waste paper and hide the fact that "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is annoyingly sentimental, poorly structured and contrived. Foer's aim clearly is to stack up awww points by way of the following:
innocent Nine year old boy suffering a loss - 500 pts
Old, Lonely, eccentric but friendly man befriends said boy - 859 pts
Dad dies in 9/11 attacks. Was the BEST HUMAN BEING AND FATHER WHO EVER LIVED - 1000 pts
and extraordinary acts of human kindness and tragedy throughout showing how beautiful and precious human life can be etc etc building life up so that when the reader remembers 9/11 they get ANGRY and sad it's just astoundingly manipulative.
And I haven't even begun to mention the other narrators which often left me feeling lost and wondering what they were doing existing apart from to say something vaguely poetic and wet.
Don't buy this based on how OK everything is illuminated was, it has so much less charm than that. Maybe buy the book if you're old and have grandchildren. You're probably one of the few people that might like this book.
Having read Jimmy Corrigan and thus being led to issue thirteen (comics issue) of Mcsweeneys which was edited and designed by Chris Ware I was a little dissapointed that none of the comics in this collection were really any good. They act as a sort of taster for a lot of the big hitters (Daniel Clowes, Jaime hernandez, Art Speigelman) as well as introductions to some newcomers. The stories are nearly all pretentious, cutesy or surreal b.s. or some combination of the three, although i suppose that's all that the space allows. Going from comic to comic, style to style can be quite hard to keep up with but good if you have a short attention span. I was also a bit dissapointed that I recognised a lot the sections as just excerpts from existing material, such as Black Hole by charles Burns, who also produced a nice inner title page especially. this just seemed like an advert for the graphic novel and couldn't work as a standalone piece.
The book is to it's credit one of the most beautiful Designed I have ever seen. If You have seen the cover art for Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth, you'll know the deal, you can open it up into a huge double sided poster packed with detail and little gold foil bits!. The sook also comes with two little supplement books containing comics that are more suited to being really small.
Concluding the review is this: Buy the book because it's not that expensive given the number of pages to pennies ratio and it looks amazing. Also, it will give you lots of little tasters of lots of different artists, many of which have produced some fantastic work. unfortunately, seeing their works in little spurts doesn't really do it justice and I never quite felt satisfied.
This is the only McSweeneys I have and have no idea how it compares to the other issues.
The term 'indie' may be extremely vague over here in 2010 but i think one can be quite sure that the music that you hear in 5th avenue is not indie. Dubstep and house dominate the night if anything though there is always a hefty chunk of rock (as in rage against the machine, white stripes etc) in there, which always gets the best response from the crowd.
The club has two floors and one dancefloor, which is always very much in full swing by about 11pm. The 1st floor is not so much a floor because most of it is a balcony surrounding and overlooking the dancefloor.
The drinks have risen in price over time I believe and are probably unjustified when compared to other clubs in the viscinity. The same goes for the entry fee, which varies from £3-6 or free for ladies on fridays and free if you manage to get your photo taken and uploaded to the venues site, in which case you get given a little card that entitles you to a queue jump, though in my experience, the queue's tend to go down pretty quickly, probably due to the aggressive door staff who I've seen be less than reasonable quite a few times.
In my experience the clubs patrons have been very pleasant and there isn't much of a drug culture going on unlike Sankeys, in which people take drugs openly. Queues go down fairly quickly as there are three bars operated by students I assume.
Smokers have to pay £1 to gain a wristband from the bar which entitles you to four trips outside. That's 25p a fag and you will be harrassed by hat and flower sales people on the other side of the fence.
F.Y.I. Flyers allowing you to offers such as a free drink on saturday or money off entry on friday are available on the street corner next to a cash machine up the road from the entrance.
This is a review for the recut and extended edition of sin city which is loaded with groovy extras, such as Robert' Rodriguez' 10 minute cooking school that tells you how to make breakfast burritos, multiple commentaries , the option to watch each story in it's original form and much much more. Also, it comes in a very dashing tin case
The film itself to my mind couldn't have been better. The perfectly cast cast is fantastic all round and as an adaption , the film succeeds in capturing the mood of the books. Not like you have to have read the books at all to enjoy the film, although no doubt you'll be tempted to after seeing the film, though the film is so good it almost makes you want to wait for sin city 2 so you can experience the stories for the first time on the big screen, where I think they're in their best form.
Though it has suffered some backlash that is to be expected to come with Michael Cera's recent rise to stardom. Michael Cera may be being somewhat typecast but his quiet, murmery persona is absolutely perfect for this role and makes his alter-ego, Francois all the more hilarious by way of contrast. The film may not be laugh out loud hilarious all the way through but it has its moments and never misses the mark.
If you're thinking of watching the film in hopes of a memorable performance from Zach Galifinakis then don't get your hopes up. He's not in it for very long and doesn't have many lines but Steve Buschemi and Justin Long give fantastically subtle, quirky and memorable performances.
Having seen all of Michael Cera's films at some point or another I would say that this is my favourite role of his as well as his most mature, though that isn't saying much. There are some annoying 'indie comedy' connotations throughout the film such as a cutesy claymation but thankfully doesn't have an irritatingly hip soundtrack like the one in Nick and Norah's infinite playlist.
Extras are quite light but a commentary with the director and star is nice.
Firstly, if you saw this series on tv and are thinking of buying it on dvd, you're better off buying the episodes on itunes with the original music intact because it's really not the same without it (the dvd replaces the songs it couldn't get with stuff that has a similar mood)
Secondly, although it seems as though there are a lot of extras, their running time isn't as impressive and they don't offer anything even of remote interest, with the exception of the ancillary storylines which originated on the net for free anyway.
Finally for the review...
I was the exact same age as these characters and was going to college about half an hour away from the show's setting, so I think I can say with some conviction that like the previous series', the broad strokes with which the tenns' lifestyles are portrayed in are somewhat similar to a lot of the people I knew, although i definitely think the series has taken a step back from the first series' characters which seemed far, far more real and were far, far more interesting and likeable.
For a drama that claims to be on the same level as it's teen viewership, it is astonishing how insulting it is to them, and I'm not talking about how cunty 90% of anyone on screen at any time is, i'm referring to the extent to which the show patronises its audience, portraying all adults as silly, eccentric buffoons reminds me of in primary school when someone would make a cheeky remark about a teacher and we would giggle because it was against the rules, it's insulting!
First things first, if you were a bit meh about the first volume of American Dad then don't be put off because like family guy at some point, American Dad is getting better with age (at the time of writing vol. 5 is the latest dvd release). Unlike Family guy American Dad is built around narrative rather than interchangeable gags giving us much more time with the characters, which can only be a good thing. Though the show doesn't have as much heart as the simpsons, probably because all the characters are just a wee bit unbelievable and over the top when compared, there is still fantastic storytelling throughout and with Family Guy looking like it's beginning to lose it, American Dad is sure to surpass it in popularity.
This series contains episode from series 1 and 2, which is why it is called volume 2 not series 2 and is why the vol. 1 boxset is shorter than the rest.
The Dvd has about a disc's worth more episodes than a family guy boxset and for the same price so buy it now ok!
also, like every fox animation series, every episode has commentaries and there are over 60 deleted and extended scenes.
Forget the recently released Family Guy season 9 boxset, it's the worst yet. If You've yet to pick this series up then for god sake what are you waiting for? Too busy watching 'The Wire'? Stop kidding yourself, this series contains bare bush, alien domestic abuse and peanut butter conspiracies just to give you a taster, and no cutaways! Giving you more story more depth and some of the most darkly satirical moments of any series (I'd liken a lot of this stuff to Cartman's mr and mrs Tennorman chili moment)
If for some reason you've never understood Family Guy then it's pretty unlikely to enjoy this show, and if you love the simpsons and furiously dismiss any other animated family sitcom as an inferior rip-off, please give American Dad a chance. It's setup may be similar but it's intentions and subject matter are not at all the same. Whereas the Simpsons is a Sitcom that happens to be animated, somehow making the characters more relatable and lovable, American Dad is more like an adult looney toons combined with an action comedy or something.
The Dvd has about a disc's worth more episodes than a family guy boxset and for the same price and also, like every fox animation series, every episode has commentaries and there are over 60 deleted and extended scenes.
This series is criminally underrated. Pick up the first series today