Friday, November 18, 2005

Amon Tobin

Here is Friday's music addition, 4 albums today so hopefully it will keep y'all busy while I can be a lazy arse over the weekend. If you don't know Amon Tobin, I'll just say that he is one of the more interesting Drum and Bass producers out there, using heavy layers of drums, and jazzy be-bop samples (screaming trumpets, horn sections, etc.) You may have played the VG "Chaos Theory" in which Tobin did the soundtrack, he has a great ability to create atmospheres of tension and suspense perfect for this thriller platform. Personally I'm still waiting for a film soundtrack but I'm patient. I saw Amon perform once in Montreal, and it remains a clear and distinct experience. I remember he was following a set by the incredible turntablist ninja and showman Kid Koala. After Kid Koala's amazing set which including hilarious theatrics with the decks, an eight deck "symphony", and live accompaniment, Amon took the stage and remained perfectly still for the whole set, moving only to chain smoke and spin his songs. BUT I have never experienced deeper, cleaner bass in my life. An attempt to lean against the wall was futile as my head literally bounced off it with every beat. Without further ado, Here is Amon's album catalogue (minus the Splinter Cell Soundtrack, and a Live album). Take them all, they'll inspire eyelid movies, total cerebral delight, brilliant stuff.

Amon Tobin - Bricolage

Amon Tobin - Permutation

Amon Tobin - Supermodified

Amon Tobin - Out From Out Where

Brothers from Another Mother

In previous columns I have written, I have espoused the virtues of International Movie Poster campaigns. With that in mind, I have decided to write a column devoted entirely to that subject.

This column’s posters will range from the brilliant to the ridiculous – I classify this one as bizarre. Staring at this poster kind of hypnotizes me, everything is just a little off center… and I am inexplicably drawn to Clint Eastwood’s neck. I guarantee you that if this was an American poster I would be drawn to Razzie nominated actress Sondra Locke’s chest. But that is not where my insanity comes from… is that really a car filled with people shooting arrows at a train? The doubt creeps into my brain… and then… is that woman off center… or am I? Next thing you know, I am thinking that those people at the bottom aren’t real, I start scrambling for something, anything that makes me feel safe… like Sondra Locke I find Clint… and I remember he’ll fix things… he’ll fix things good.

I think Kill Bill Volume 2 was an outstanding film. It didn’t have the kung-fu camp that Kill Bill Volume 1 had (with the exception of the Pai-Mei scenes), but that fight scene between Uma Thurman and Darryl Hannah is probably one of the greatest ever filmed. The brilliance of this poster is not found in the image, although it is quite striking, but the tagline compliments the film rather than just acting as a plot-teaser. In the end, Kill Bill is about: “Kill is Love”. That being said, I cannot just dismiss the image because it is doing something no American poster would ever do – it buries the star. Even if you could see Uma Thurman in this shot she would be covered with blood and only kind of hot. If you remember the US poster, it was basically a glamour shot. Man that is some heavy shit.

This poster for Dawn of the Dead gives me nightmares. I don’t know what else I can say about it, except that it is far scarier than any moment in the movie. I don’t know what the tagline that is dripping down the child’s face says, but I am confident it is scary shit. They tried to release this poster in the US, but received complaints that children may be scared by it. I’m confident children wouldn’t be that scared by the image, because they are more scared of adults than other kids. Adults on the other hand HATE images of creepy children. I actually thought this movie was okay, but the original was too good – I have the same worry about the Evil Dead remake.

Do I ever wish I could read Greek just so I could understand what the hell this amazing Manhunter poster is saying. In the last poster article I wrote, I showed an amazing US Manhunter poster that had the “It’s just you and me now sport” tagline, and I can only imagine that this tagline is just as kickass. In the perfect world it says something like: “Before he could return to the discotheque, Will Graham must travel deep inside the mind of a serial killer… and fuck it up”. I just can’t get over Grissom’s (and yes, he will always be known as Grissom) radical triple threat stance – he could shoot, he could dance, or he could take a dump. I also love the idea that a movie about a cop tracking down a serial killer shows the cop standing over a dead body - it just feels good and dirty.

Enemy Mine is a very underrated science fiction movie. I think one of the main reasons for that is that the US poster and DVD artwork just sucks. This poster on the other hand is pure ADD insanity. You got someone screaming dead center… a whole whack of spaceships doing weird stuff in the middle… writing all over the place… basically this poster is designed to make everybody feel like this movie is for them. I can guarantee that whatever the hell all that writing is, I do know the US tagline was: Enemies because they were taught to be. Allies because they had to be. Brothers because they dared to be.” Now to the uninitiated this probably sounds pretty soft… but if you have seen Enemy Mine, you know that this is deep shit. I am crying on the keyboard as I type this. If Terran and Drac can get along, can’t we all?

This time, I leave you with a vision of hope. I really want to see this movie, and this poster makes me even more excited. When you see the US poster, which will have Scarlett Johanson looking hot and Josh Hartnett flexing, that in some countries they choose a cool image over hot stars.

I can't even talk about this final poster - it scares me too much, so I am just going to pretend it doesn't even exist.

OC: Anger Management

Once again another near revolt has occurred with my sister and girlfriend having discovered that OC won't be playing next week due to American Thanksgiving, clearly a blatant move by the NFL to ruin their lives...And now few thoughts on last night's OC.

Peter Gallagher is beaming about his new album, every scene ends with a smug little grin that says, "this is my day job, if you didn't hear I sing with the News now," and the rosey cheeks, I think he might even be wearing blush. Peters line "Catch me with a microphone in my hand" is obviously about his album, nice plug.

A general theme, almost rhetorical question: Why is Marisa so intent on having close guy friends that she can relate to, and why is she completely blind to the consequences of sleepovers, snuggles and long talks/walks on the beach? These guys are her crack/cocaine. BUT lets not forget Ryan was one of these guys, she's been freebasing him for 2 years.

Wow so Julie is pure evil...the money hungry bitch everyone thought she was... or is she
Nope, a big fat killer ace up her sleeve, she rockets off the space bitch AND adds the trash talk to boot.
"This town's only big enough for one manipulative bitch"
You messed with the wrong socialite - welcome back Julie Cooper

Best Shot of the Show:
Close-up of Ryan's fist clenching as Volchok carves "Little Bitch" into the Cohen's Land Rover. Please the symbolism in that one shot almost makes this an art film. Also, the "Lil Bitch" is an argument ending reason for the benefits of swearing on TV.
What I need to see:
1. Summer needs more rage blackouts, its been way too long
2. More Volchok
3. Taylor can't give up on Seth, I smell some great psycho action from this story line.
Taylor dressing, walking and talking like Summer, a la Single White Female.
Taylor standing in the rain under Seth's window, as her hand-made paper mache replica of
Mr. Oats slowly falls apart.

Best New Addition:
Obviously Volchok, this character is so Rad. He is almost at arch-villain proportions in the episode. He knows how to find the heroes any time any place, he has a gang of thugs who don't speak, and he kidnaps the dame. I working furiously on developing some sort of drinking game around this guy, between his killer lines and antics I'll find something. And don't forget last year Volchek almost killed a guy "Last year, some guy snaked his wave, so Volchok went up on the pier and dropped a kitchen sink on him. I mean where did this guy even get a kitchen sink?"

Final Notes:
Not be outdone by Peter Gallagher's shameless self-promotion, Ron Howard somehow got his hands on story approval for this episode. Nice ad for the rerelease of Cinderella Man" as Ryan, otherwise known as Mini Russel Crowe, punches the bag until his hands bleed.

This Week's Music
Episode 307 "Anger Management" - Soundtrack

Last Week's Music
Episode 306 "The Swells" - Soundtrack

Mischa Barton's slip up from last episode

Thursday, November 17, 2005

California Dreamers

n 1: a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation [syn: invention] 2: the creation of something in the mind.
Now most people wouldn't go near a comparison between the harmonized, doo-wop stylings of the Beach Boys with Faith No More front man, Mike Patton's experi"metal" side project Mr. Bungle; but I'm a gonna.
The Beach Boys started the early 60's as essentially a boy band, pumping out incredibly harmonized surf tunes (although none of the band really surfed, Dennis a little). Little did anyone realize that Brian Wilson was quickly turning into a musical mad genius of Beethoven-esque proportions. With the release of "Pet Sounds" arguably the best produced album off the sixties, The Beach Boys were set to face the Beatles for the belt of World Pop Domination. Unfortunately due to a number of reasons (basically Wilson went mad in his lab) the much anticipated "Smile" was never fully realized (For those interested Brian Wilson released a completed version of Smile last year with an entirely different band, and a terribly scratchy voice, but it is still a very nicely produced album). What came out instead was a fragment of the original vision in "Smiley Smile". However, this fragment is still mind blowing in terms of the experimental boundaries Wilson is pushing. A very interesting listen, and not to be over looked EVER, it also has the super single "Good Vibrations", and the amazing "Heroes and Villains".
Wild Honey was released just after "Smiley Smile" and is almost an opposite in terms of stylistic directions. A very bare bones, straight up pop rock album, BUT I think It may be one of the best Beach Boys efforts ever. "Aren't you glad", and "I was made to love her" stand as two of my favorites, but the album as a whole is the kind that you can keep in your car forever and listen to without getting sick of it. Hence the desert island selection. Both albums were rereleased on a single disc, with a few remixes and bonus tracks from the smile sessions. That is what I present to you now.
Beach Boys - Smiley Smile -------------------- Beach Boys - Wild Honey

Now lets look way into the future...
Mike Patton, also a mad genius and an incredible vocalist, comes from a very different time and place then the fuzzy and warm Beach Boys. Mr. Bungle was Patton's original band before joining Faith No More (after turning down the band's initial offer), other projects include the experimental and terrifying Fantomas, a new band Tomahawk, and collaborations with the likes of superproducer Dan the Automator and Bjork to name a few. His voice is by far and away his most impressive tool, at any given moment able to scrape algae of the sea floor and instantly caress the wings of angels in heaven. Dramatic?Perhaps but so is his music. "California" is my favorite and most accessible Bungle album out there, not to say that the others aren't good, but they take a while to get used to. This album touches almost every genre, from a Beach Boys-esque "Sweet Charity" to what is almost a Russian-Jewish wedding dance on "Ars Moriendi", of course all songs are streaked with a dark, almost sinister stain. When the songs aren't rocking they become emotional ballads "Pink Cigarette" is a melancholy tale of lost love and suicide will shiver your spine forever. Although California gets heavy at times, the orchestration is so complex and intricate that anyone who appreciates music will appreciatete this. Give it a gander, you won't be disappointed. As a sidenote, a dream collaboration for me would be a Mike Patton, Amon Tobin soundtrack for a film noir movie... Just think about it.

Mr. Bungle - California

Once upon a time I was falling in love....

I’m don’t know what to say. I want to talk about the Raptors, but everytime I open my mouth I vomit. I search frantically for any consolation… just last year the Bulls started the season 0-9 and made the playoffs, maybe, just maybe… then I watch one of the games. The Phoenix Suns started the 1996-1997 season with 13 straight losses, the Raptors only have 8 (but 6 of them were at home).

I didn’t watch last night’s game, so when I got home I watched the highlights. Down twelve at the end of the first quarter… here we go again. According to (the name comes from a great quote from legendary play-by-play man Chick Hearn “Magic faked him into the popcorn machine... he's got salt and butter all over him") it wasn’t until every member of the starting lineup (except for Chris Bosh and Mike James) were off the floor before the Raptors had a stint where they outscored the 76ers (including putting together an 9-1 run).

The second quarter was pretty much a draw, and remarkably Jalen didn’t play one minute.

By the end of the third quarter, the Raptors had it down to 8, interestingly, as soon as Jalen was taken off the floor they went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 74 before letting Iverson build it back up.

The fourth quarter looked good, but a bad bounce on a Mike James lay-up sealed the Raptors fate – and they continue to be laughed at by the whole league (yes, even the Hawks).

Over at 82games, they track the best and worst 5-man units based on whether they won or lost their time on the court…

The Raptors top 2 units (based on at least 20 minutes together):

James-Calderon-Peterson-Bosh-Villanueva (+14, 4-0)
Calderon-Peterson-Bonner-Bosh-Villanueva (+1, 2-2)

The Raptors bottom 2 units (based on at least 20 minutes together):

James-Peterson-Rose-Bosh-Aa.Williams (-23, 0-2)
James-Peterson-Rose-Bosh-Villanueva (-6, 1-4)

Some conclusions I draw out of this list:

1. Jalen Rose is a bum. He simply cannot play key minutes for this team. As incompetent as Sam Mitchell is, it looks like he may understand this now as Jalen was not on the court during the big minutes last night.

2. Bosh + Villanueva = the future. I know they play the same position, but these two ar already our best two players – PLAY THEM TOGETHER SAM!

3. Peterson is everywhere and anywhere. Inconsistent, but can be outstanding – a good 6th or 7th man on any team.

4. Calderon = very good… but can he adapt. From the Raptors games I have watched, it seems that Calderon has taken everybody by surprise, he is quick and smart. However, when he is on the floor the opposition is giving him everything. Once they actually start to play to his weaknesses will he excel (see: Jackson, Jimmy) or flail miserably (see: Bonner, Matt)

One final question: When is it acceptable to start looking at to see who the Raptors will get if they have the worst record in the league? And in case you are wondering Rudy Gay is projected to be the number one pick next year… great name!

I can't wait to chant RUDY, RUDY, RUDY

Random Facts, Fool!

Every time Mr. T pities the fool, a pornstar regains her virginity. Then proceeds to lose it to Mr. T.

To see 30 other facts about Mr. T, click here.

When Vin Diesel was born, the nurse said, "Holy crap! That's Vin Diesel!" Then she had had sex with him. At that point, she was the third girl he had slept with.

To see 30 other facts about Vin Diesel, click here.

Chuck Norris once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45 minutes having sex with his waitress.

To see 30 other facts about Chuck Norris, click here.

The Domino Tournament of Champions

Week One saw Lady Jay as Dominus Maximus blowing everyone out of the competition by winning an insane 7 rounds.
Week Two kept the Ring of Destiny in the girl’s possession as Serbalicious was victorious… making it a total two-week domination by Team Nerd.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jazz in Five Songs

This album was recorded live, 2 years before Chet Baker's fatal fall from an Amsterdam Hotel window sill. To say he was a tortured genius may be an understatement, like many great artists Chet was afflicted by a serious addiction, in his case heroin. So much in fact that by the end of the 1960's he had lost all of his teeth and had to retrain his embouchure, essentially learning how to play again. Two interesting anecdotes; When Chet first hooked up with Charlie Parker, the "Bird" asked him to play a tune in C minor, Chet stared blankly back having no idea what he was talking about, never having learned to read music. Chet is famous for his velvet voice and can be found on Valentine CD mixes worldwide (My Funny Valentine), but he never meant to be a singer. He was essentially forced to sing because his manager/agent knew he was so good looking, so to pull in the ladies he turned Chet into a crooner. This album is very mellow, you can hear the weariness in Chet's trumpet reflecting his hard life, but oh damn is it soulful.

Another amazing trumpet player with a soft spot for heroin and an unbelievable life is Miles Davis. Arguably the most famous jazz player of the last century, partly due to his phenomenal skill, partly due to his innovation as a musician and composer. This album is one of my all time favorites and stands alone in Davis' extensive catalogue. A collaboration with Gil Evans, "Sketches" transports you a fantastical Spanish land. My recommendation with this album, throw it on, get a little drunk off a bottle of Spanish wine, light up a smoke and read some Hemingway short stories about Bullfighters.

Is This The Real Life... Or Is This Just Fantasy

Check out this amazing video... I love the internet.

Basketball, Ali G and a Little Treat

Crazy busy today, but I wanted to give all of you devoted readers some good stuff to look at when you are bored today.

First, check out these Spike Lee directed Ali G ads for the NBA on TNT - they are very nice. For some reason a sixth ad is only available here - so check it!

While on the Ali G train, this is pretty funny stuff, I love how calling Madonna a transvestite (which is what he did at the MTV Europe awards) is worse than all the smack he has talked on his shows. Those Kazach's love Madonna!

Finally, an extra special treat from Gorillamask. Red, if you read this post, I mean no offense.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Funny Rap

Sometimes Rap gets too serious, sometimes you just can't feel a line like "Blam, Blam, my gun goes Blam", sometimes you just want to get down to some funky beats and funny rhymes. Here are 2 guys who have been around a loooong time and are still great. Timeless if you will.

Prince Paul:
The latest from this minstrel story teller, is all instrumental. Prince Paul has been producing hip-hop forever, collaborating on some serious Hip-hop from De La, to Gravediggaz, to Handsome Boy modeling school. Always with a trick up his sleeve. His rap opera, "Prince Among Thieves" is one of the best concept albums ever.
The Diabolical Biz Markie:
If you've never heard "Just a Friend" you're from another planet. Biz initially wanted to promote this record as an R&B album. The first time I heard Biz sing/rap I was sure he was retarded-still not sure. I think this record cover is where Dwight Howard got his gag. (see "NBA Starts Tonight" - Posted 11-01-05)
Biz Markie - The Biz Never Sleeps

I Have a Confession to Make...

This morning, Frank Steel and I ruined Lady Jay's tuna sandwich.

Worst Album Covers

Some great work all over the internet today, including this hilarious look at the worst album covers of all time (via Pitchfork).
These are my favorites:
Sumomofo warns: don't try and find any downloads, these are just photos, enjoy the art-don't steel

It's Miller Time

The beer hunter has provided a service everyone is Toronto needs. God bless the internet (via Gorillamask)

Run With The Kittens

Ok this is another demand for all those who have not been, or have not been enough, to move your ass and come out to the Cameron Public House (408 Queen St. W, Toronto). These cats are hot, and have just released their debut CD and have a big live following in town. The CD is a good first effort, unfortunately just a little slick and overproduced. To get a real idea of what this band is all about you have to - HAVE to, see them live. Each week is a different theme, you can expect insane costumes, characters, and hijinks, but most amazing, is that each guy in the band is a great musician... What they do need however is a good manager...Chauncey... So in order to tempt and entice anyone out there to come and see a truly original live act here is a single, solitary live track to get those juices flowing.