29 February, 2008

Breakdown

This is so brilliant. These things are sometimes kind of dumb, but in this case it's hilarious and so well executed:



I could really go for watching American Psycho again sometime soon. And maybe a re-read as it's one of my favourite books.

(Found via Alex A on facebook!)

28 February, 2008

I'm calling to procure a hasty abortion...

As films go, Juno is an odd beast. For me at least. Because I approve of Jason Reitman, having laughed uproariously at Thank-You for Smoking. Meanwhile, J.K Simmons was almost the best thing in that film. Ellen Page is clearly a talent, and add the homeliness of having Arrested Development stars kicking around, there's not much to dislike, surely?

And I enjoyed parts of it, sure enough. I laughed a few times, if only inwardly. It's a well-made film, and very much in the vein of the Alexander Payne/Wes Anderson school, unconventional, but not unwelcoming. Cosy comedy that can get away with a bit of sentimentality.

But that's the whole problem for Juno; a film that casts itself as so desperately counter-culture can't survive buckets of lovey-dovey montage ("obvious" music usage was a major irritant throughout) and a complete mire of emotional clich├ęs. Which, sure enough, is what we end up with.

I was turned off in the first twenty minutes by the fact that EVERYONE appears to quip. Hearing "honest to blog?" uttered is bad enough, but that's comparatively just a minor crime. Some lines led me to hair-tearing. The Oscar-winning script, and its writer, are surely enough receiving plenty of attention, and much of that is negative.

It's hard to say why Diablo Cody is receiving such criticism now. It's arguable that jealousy comes into it. After all, if her film hadn't grossed $150mil at the box office, we'd probably be OK with it, right? But while her supporters claim she's simply paying the price for sticking out from the crowd, I'd submit that while that may be the case, no film script should draw so much attention from the rest of the movie. Or make me retch so much, for that matter.

Cody's script was wonderfully parodied in Bob Mackey's SomethingAwful.com article, which is getting circulation. I'd have to confess that while I was far from sold on first viewing, seeing that truly drove a stake through the heart of Juno, for me.

26 February, 2008

Papier Tigre, Nottingham, 1st February

Finally gonna get a few choice snapshots up here. Nantes' stunning indie-rock trio Papier Tigre visited Nottingham at the beginning of the month. Yet another great band highsoc's been involved with this year, I felt proud. Although I'd put very little actual effort in myself, it has to be said.





Find out more about these guys (they're dead good like) and others through Collectif Effervescence.

In The Time We've Got

Just stumbled across the video for one of my favourite recent songs. Enough to get me interested in boxing:



Hrishikesh Hirway's project, The One AM Radio, blends wonderful, delicate songwriting with shimmering instrumental arrangements and passages you can really lose yourself in.

If that wasn't enough, through video and packaging and images it's all topped off with a delightful visual aesthetic. Well!

I'm still desperately in love with the album, This Too Will Pass, and it's been months, literally. I need to check out his other albums.

24 February, 2008

Band Entropy

A word to the wise. If you form a successful band, you're going to want your picture to be everywhere. Pick a name that's striking and individual enough that google image search will send your cheery faces straight to the screen of every office-chair journalist and wannabe NME-hound out there.

A pity I publish this piece of advice a little too late for Islands, because when I look for pictures of the band, I have to trawl through to page 8 for their first, out of date, pic. This expansive indie-rock group almost inevitably hail from Montreal, and as they finish touring Europe during the remainder of this month they'll be dragging behind them good times, a rocking stage-show, a few cracking tunes from hit album Return to the Sea, and already-dedicated fans.

I was fortunate enough to catch them at Stealth versus Rescued tonight. It was an extremely accomplished show, and sounded as good as the Stealth soundsystem ever has. With two guitars, a bass, two violins and occasionally a keyboard, I'm surprised the whole thing didn't explode under the strain.

The strings and guitars give plenty to watch, and even the impression of two frontmen. The songs from the first album sound great, even the rap-less "Where There's A Will There's A Wishbone". "Rough Gem" didn't materialise, but with all those other hits still glistening, they got by.

They deserved better than the terrible PA system, and a slightly lacklustre crowd, but such is the way with SvR, what with half the people getting in free anyway. I'll look forward to seeing them, the sooner the better, somewhere they can really do themselves justice. That I was so impressed really is a testament to their vigour and ability onstage.

Even better news, the new tracks seem to bode well for the new album, Arm's Way, which is due April 21st. Fingers crossed and ears peeled.

15 February, 2008

Some Sort of Revelation

Valentine's day not such a big issue. I am, however missing home. And Sasha in particular:



Took a lot of effort that evening, trying to get her still enough and to look at the camera. Worth it.

Been listening to a lot of Pseudosix and Death Cab for Cutie while working late. Thanks for stopping by. I've not really launched this blog properly yet, I'm too busy. But I'd love to know why you ended up here, so do drop a comment.

02 February, 2008

When the Sun Sets the Clouds on Fire

As promised there will be photographs:

The whole reason I love train journeys.

Cacophone

This is a new blog, entitled cacophone, because I frequently make awful noises. Let me qualify that statement; "I" refers to Unfire. That is me. It doesn't take a lot of work to find the name society assigns to me on a day-to-day basis, I'm just not typing it here. Not now anyway.

I like taking photos, writing, listening to all sorts of music, playing football, watching sports in general, film and reading books. In time I hope I'll be able to provide information about these so giving them generalised labels now would be pointless and potentially misleading.

The first thing I'm going to do is provide my maiden readers with the lyrics (as far as I can hear them) to the title track of the album "Bayani" by excellent Seattle hip-hop duo Blue Scholars. Consider it a gift. It's possibly my favourite track off the album, which is well worth checking out. And I wouldn't even say that hip-hop is my area of expertise.

Well I couldn't find lyrics for this track anywhere else online, so I'm going to put them here. I think they're mostly right and I really like them:


Turn off your radio, Turn up your stereo

Northwest rock, rock on, What’s the scenario?

Four years ago two students skipped a class

When they crafted an album, Some called it a classic

But we’ve grown past, It was good while it lasted,

Now it’s time to put that education into practice,

Beats, rhymes, rice be the breakfast of champions,

We hold the whole town now,

Together with the plan to hold the mic with compassion

Like Ruby did Malcolm,

Travelled down the coast since we dropped the last album,

That plus one is how long we’ve been war-torn,

It’s the return of the hard-knocking hardcore

From hard rock to hip hop,

The migration of flocks who once mocked what we ride for

It’s side war,

From sidewalks to billboards and stores

Telling all poor people that “the world is yours

But this money is ours, you can get a little back,

You start putting in hours, you can widen the gap”

But you can see it in the towers standing next to the squatters

Who be wandering the city in search of a job offer

The first generation in the US of A to be paid less wages

Than the ones that came before

The wicked waged war in the desert terrain,

24 short bars could have measured the pain

So now I, greet the neighbour daily

He’s on his porch smoking

Overhead thunderclouds move in slow motion

Came across an ocean in hope of some better days

Expatriated citizens of third world decay

Where children translate for their parents say

Get a landscape where the working class can escape

These languages twisted, tongues get unravelled

Can’t understand each other in this modern day Babel (/babble?)

Now we’re trying to get a piece of what the city broke down,

Barely claiming families but quick to claim the town,

Recognise it’s serious but ain’t afraid to clown,

Trained for confrontation there’s no other way around,

These sacred ground desecrators, they try to decimate us,

They hit the ballot like the mayor’s gonna save us,

And it pains me to say this, but pain is what made this,

It’s gonna take more than just rain to change this.

(Just some rain to change this.)