Friday, April 30, 2010
Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut came out of nowhere and was immediately a hugh success, containing the popular singles A-Punk, and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. What's more interesting though has to be their sound, not exactly pop, not exactly rock, but maybe both, even combined with and international folk. The album was considered one of the best of the year, some even said one of the best of the decade, which it very well may be. Their second album, Contra, was released in January to similar reviews, and even had a music video with Lil Jon, and Joe Jonas.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I'm sure we're all familiar with the question asked to the new Dallas Cowboy, Dez Bryant, about wheter his mother is a prostitute. The story caused quite a controversy, and moved the questioner, Jeff Ireland, to apologize. This of course is the right thing to do, and I hope he did it sincerely, as well as thank Mr. Bryant for not punching him in the face.
But today I was watching Sports Center, and I heard some more interesting comments on the matter.
DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA Executive Director, says on the matter: " We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen, During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions help by team personnel. NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man."
That of course is a very true statement, as you wouldn't ask someone if their mother was a prostitute during an interview. But Matt Millen the former GM had other ideas...
He says: "The general view in those rooms, are, there are no questions that are out of bounds. Because what you want to find out... and the reason is simple, because when you step onto the field in a National Football League, there are no question that are out of bounds... What you;re looking for in those things, is how a player reacts and handles things."
Chris McKendry then asked: "And you don't think that question crossed the line? There's not another way to find out if a player has a short fuse?"
More or less, Millen's response was that the player will hear that question on the field, so it's ok for the executive to ask in the office.
But wait, it's one thing to have players talking trash to each other during a game, but it's another to have a potential employer ask you that, seemingly having it weigh a part in the decision to hire you or not. So, no Matt MIllen, it's not ok, maybe that's why you don't have a job title that includes the word GM in it. I mean look at your awesome draft record. You drafted Joey Harrington, when Dwight Freeney and and Albert Haynesworth were still on the board. Or maybe you couldn't call their names, because the didn't want to play for the person who just asked if their mom is a prostitute. Not cool Matt Millen.
Teen Titans #82 was released yesterday, another issue by Felicia D Henderson continuing her Static Shock story arc. There wasn't much substance to this issue, so a quick summary.
The Teen Titans were captured by Holocaust, leaving Connor, Bart, and Cyborg to take him out. After a loud angry, angry fight, the Teen Titans are rescued , and collectively throw Holocaust far within the Earth. After Static takes care of some personal business in his hometown, the Titans get on a plane, with a fat man dressed man in a superman shirt, who reveals that he has powers and flies out the T-Wing with a sickly Raven.
Alright, so that wasn't that much to talk about in this is issue, however, there is a lot to say about the issue itself, namely the writing. So here's the thing, I don't know why DC has so much faith in Felicia D Henderson. She fills the page with what she believes to be witty banter, only to come out ridiculously cheesy and almost pathetic. She doesn't seem to have a good idea about the voice of the characters she writing, having them act rude, sometimes even paranoid, for no particular reason.
What's even worse than her dialogue, is her plot progression, which sometimes leans on incoherent. The ideas she has aren't bad them self, just poorly executed.
The only good thing about the issue, was that it was only twenty-two pages long, and then led to a decent Ravager second feature that ended nicely. I'm not terribly familiar with Henderson's other writing endeavors, but I think she should have stuck to TV.
I looked into the sales a bit, and have noticed that they have been declining harshly as of late, with the last numbers being 25,759 for March. It's sad, because Teen Titans has a pretty decent group of characters, and could be a great book, but right now, that only DC book worse in my opinion is Outsiders. Hopefully the company will soon realize that there is a demand for these characters, just not with these creators attached to them.
Sampling Paul Simon's classic, 50 Ways to Leave a Lover, Kid Cudi takes the smooth track, adds a subtle beat and a soft flow, and manages to make it fresh. Cudi and his crew seem to be pretty good at that though, as they take tracks from all sorts of genres, and manage to make them into legitimate hip-hop songs. The mixtape is full of great transformations , like The Prayer, which samples Band of Horses' The Funeral, and Save my Soul, which borrows from Gnarls Barkley. His debut album, not even a year old, was a great record, and he already has a follow up planned to be released this year.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
David Hine and Jeremy Haun are taking over Detective Comics for a couple of months, finishing up their work on the Arkham Asylum plot now that the Black Mask has revealed to be Jeremiah Arkham. The first part of this two issue arc, gives us great insight into the mind of Jeremiah Arkham, revealing how dangerous he can really be. Spoilers now:
The issue is told from the viewpoint of Jeremiah Arkham, as he attempts to explain his deranged actions as The Black Mask. He takes us back to the time when Hugo Strange was impersonating Batman, and the conversation that followed after he was taken to Arkham Asylum. Jeremiah talks about the confidence he had as a doctor, how he was in control of the asylum, as well as his destiny. But now, he's in an orange jumpsuit as well, wandering around the cafeteria of the asylum, seemingly with no control over anything anymore.
As he looks for a seat in his own cafeteria, he runs across a former patient named The Mortician, whose name stems from the fact that he would try to preserve him victims, making zombie like corpses. The Mortician himself looks like a zombie come to life, and he begins to tell Jeremiah about how the food always includes a certain bodily fluid provided by the inmates. Jeremiah does not take this info well, and we begin to see his insanity as he asks for The Mortician to swap trays. In very vivid detail, he describes how he will torture The Morticians grandson, his only remaining family, if the trays are not swapped. The Mortician nervously complies, as Jeremiah, who is fully aware of his actions, acknowledges his schizophrenia.
In front of the Gotham City Precinct, a man with a gun is holding a hostage, demanding Batman. Batman soon swings in, releasing the hostage, and roughing up the man with the gun. The man's name is Conrad LeBlanc, a corporate financier, and we find out his motives for the hostage situation. Before the Black Mask was arrested, LeBlanc has a bomb surgically implanted in his chest. The bomb has no timer, and can only be disarmed by a code known by The Black Mask. Of course like any good villain, The Black Mask is willing to give up the code, but only if LeBlanc uses his unique position to move money around into some accounts owned by him. LeBlanc realized he was running out of time, as the transactions he set in motion will go into effect in two days. Batman is of course willing to help, but not before LeBlanc reverses the transactions.
Back in the Arkham cafeteria, Batman, a security guard, and a freshly released Alyce Synner, are watching Jeremiah from above, as Jeremiah has quickly gained control of the asylum, with all the inmates surrounding him. Batman believes that Arkham is too dangerous to mingle with the other patients, saying that he should be put into solitary, with the other high-risk inmates. The security expresses disbelief that Jeremiah and Black Mask are one in the same, but Alyce notes that Jeremiah is a true schizophrenic, not carrying on any memories from one personality, to the other. Of course, we all know that Alyce is not so innocent herself, having been a pawn of The Black Mask during the takeover of Arkham.
After apologizing to Alyce, for the misleading intel that caused her incarceration, Batman then asks her for help in retrieving info from The Black Mask, to which Alyce agrees. So Batman gets a one on one with Jeremiah, where he begins to ask for the code to disarm the bomb. Jeremiah tells Batman he can't help, but in narration, he reveals that he's aware of his actions as both personalities. Batman tries to bait Arkham into getting angry, but Arkham of course is a psychologist, so he uses his carefully chosen answers and questions to get Batman to take him to the chamber of the Three Beauties.
Batman, Aaron Cash the security guard, and Jeremiah, are headed to the chamber of The Three Beauties, where Cash asks if this is a good idea. But Batman send Jeremiah is first, saying that Jeremiah has ten minutes to prepare the Beauties to answer questions. As Jeremiah walks in the chamber, he replies that Batman will regret this idea.
Inside the chamber, Jeremiah sees the Beauties and the mysterious Jester. The Beauties won't look or respond to Arkham, and the Jester reveals that The Beauties are disappointed in Arkham, but he soon gets the Beauties to quickly forgive the repentant Jeremiah. Jeremiah walks towards them, and he is quickly terrified and filled with rage, as he sees that his Beauties all have the face of him. Jeremiah grabs a knife, and stabs all his Beauties in the face, while The Jester watches, smiling in the corner. Jeremiah repeatedly yells that he will not the mocked, as Batman walks into the room. With the bloody mess at his feet, Jeremiah turns his anger at the Caped Crusader, asking why Batman did not stop the murders.
In great cliffhanger fashion, this is where the story ends, to be continued next month. This was such an intriguing penultimate chapter, to the very interesting Arkham Asylum saga, by the very talented Hine and Haun. Now in a recent interview, Hine say that in this two-part finale, we will found out who's beens pulling Arkham strings since the get-go. At this point, I'm leaning towards Alyce, since she's been involved with Black Mask for a while. But of course, we have no idea who this Jester character may be, but it almost alludes to the Joker being involved somehow. Whoever the puppet master is, it will be a great reveal in the final chapter next month.
Tokyo Police Club exploded on the indie scene in early 2006, with the release of their first EP, A Lesson In Crime. With only seven short songs, (eight if you bought the vinyl) , the canadian garage rockers managed to sell the entire indie community, having them wait impatiently until 2008, when the released their debut LP, Elephant Shell. The record was short, (twenty seven minutes) , yet methodical, the indie rockers once again have us waiting excitedly waiting until this summer when they release the sophomore album, Champ.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Hot Hot Heat's sound isn't one that's exactly unique, just recognizable, or noticeable. Continuing the sound from their debut album, they come out in their second album, Elevator, with loud vocals, quick, repetitive guitar rhythms, and a fast, catchy drum beat. You Own Me an IOU shows that sound off more than others on the album, as it right off the bat puts that guitar in our face, picking it up from the previous song, Goodnight Goodnight. The whole album is really good though, as well as the follow up Happiness LTD. There new album, Future Breeds, will drop this summer.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Take Hudson's emo lyrics, with Kanye's beats, mixed with a little bit of electronica and alternative, and Mr Hudson's second album is born. It's a really interesting concept, with great results for the british musician that was one of pop's biggest surprises last year. This song, Central Park, is almost reminiscent of Radiohead maybe even Postal Service or Dntel. I'm not sure if this album has been released in the states yet, but you should find a way to check it out.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Snow Patrol finally got their break in 2003, with the release of their third album, Final Straw. This album got them international recognition, bringing significant airplay to singles Run, and Chocolate. But to me, the first song off the album, Hot To Be Dead, is their best, with it's many witting lyrics of a deep conversation.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Scottish rock band, Glasvegas, didn't even even have a record deal in 2008. What they did have was a great sound, a couple of big singles, and multiple record labels begging to sing them. But they finally got their deal in early 2008, and in the fall of the same year, they released their self titled debut. It was the beginning of what would be a great year for them, as they would win and be nominated for many awards, and even got a spot in the 2009 Lollapalooza lineup. This song, Geraldine, was one of their most popular last year, and in my opinion, their best.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Best Coast is an LA based project, fronted by Bethany Cosentino, a fun loving, pot smoking singer-songwriter. Their music is fun, silly, and this is gonna be a great summer song. Plus, the music video features Ronald McDoanald. How cool is that? Look for their debut album this fall.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
In a word, Dead Man's Bones is... strange. A project featuring actor Ryan Gosling, his friend Zach Shields, and the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, it's a different type a musical journey. A sci-fi like journey, that based heavily on an organ, almost like a guy with a cape who keeps brains in a jar play it. Nonetheless, this song is definitely neat, unique, and probably sounds different than anything you've heard in a while.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This months issue of Green Lantern was the first since Blackest Night ended, and the first since Brightest Day began last week. It's a issue that is setting the stage for things to come, and a prologue of sorts to the new Green Lantern ongoing, Emerald Warriors, and the upcoming Green Lantern arc, White Lanterns. So, let's recap.
This issue begins in Belle Reeve Prison, where Hector Hammond is being communicated with telepathically by an unknown being. Hector is jealous, sad even, because he tasted Hal Jordan's thought during Blackest Night, where Hal was once again a hero. The unknown being talking to Hector is revealed to be on the lost sector of the planet Ryut. We can't see their face, as it is covered by a raggedy cloak. They're wrapped in bandages, with green chains on it's ankles, and it's also note worthy that they being is quite short, and when it speaks, it's word balloons are yellow. It talks about the hurt the universe has endured with the Blackest Night, and that a new day, The Brightest Day, is upon them. It claims to have written the green lantern prophecy, and that it protected the universe before the guardians. As it enters a chamber, it says it will protect the universe again. The chamber contains seven large stones, each containing a lantern emblem. The most interesting thing in the chamber though, is that Parallax is chained to the stone holding the symbol of the Sinestro Corps.
Back in Coast City, Hal and Carol are having a drink, awkwardly having a conversation, while trying to avoid the one they know they should have. They quickly get bored, but Carol has an idea, and the next page, they're racing their jets, while trading jabs. Hal finally asks though, "Do you love me?" and Carol avoids answering by replying with questions about Hal's relationship with Cowgirl. Before the conversation can go any further, they notice a yellow object heading straight toward them. They split, but Hal's plane is demolished by an always cocky Sinestro. Hal and Carol are now in their Lantern forms, and begin to attack Sinestro, while pointing out that less then a day ago after Blackest Night, an intergalactic truce was agreed upon. Sinestro claims that the treaty still stands, and the reason he interrupted, was because he found the White Lantern, and the lantern is asking for Hal.
In Metropolis, Lex Luthor is examining the remains of a charred Black Lantern. He says after the Blackest Night, all the Black Lanterns burst into flames, leaving very few remains, and no rings, which is a shame because he wants one. Larfleeze barges into the lab with his new guardian and orange constructs, hungry with greed as always. Larfleeze wants to know what people on Earth want, because then he will can take it. Luthor replies "power" which Larfleeze already has. Luthor pauses, thinks, smiles, and then says "land." Larfleeze is now excited, "WHAT IS LAND? I WANT SOME."
In the Coast City cemetery, Saint Walker, Barry Allen, and other volunteers are burying bodies. After every grave, Saint Walker stops, and recites a eulogy prepared for every individual person.
On the planet Ysmault, Atrocitus is being recruited by an unknown individual who radiates green. The green person wants to fight against the guardians, and the Green Lantern Corps, all while preserving life. Atrocitus is contemplating the offer, we see the recruiters: Ganthet, and Guy Gardner. Guy is loving the idea, and says that if they all team up, he could no longer be friends with Hal, to which a smiling Ganthet replies "I Know."
The last panels are Hal flying, wondering out loud where the White Lantern came from.
It tells us to follow the adventures of Guy, in the Emerald Warriors, the adventures of Ganthet in the Green Lantern Corps, and of course Hal Jordan in Brightest Day.
This issue did a good job of closing off Blackest Night, while helping last week welcome us into the new are for all things Green Lantern. Johns of course, always has secrets up his sleeve, leaving us clues as to what's coming next in a fun, mysterious way. The only problem I have with Green Lantern is Doug Mahnke. Not saying that he's not a great artists, just that everything always looks very posed, and he puts way to much emphasis on everyones chin. Still, it was in all a great issue, and I'm looking forward to discovering the secrets behind the White Light.
If I had to pick my favorite Blue October album, I'd probably end up going with History For Sale. It's hard to decide for me, with all of their albums and songs being written with a heavy heart, that so much emotion and energy is pouring out of every one. This song is actually one of their more upbeat, possibly even happy ones, with enough reservation to remind you who it's coming from.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In 2007, master producer TImbaland released his second studio album, an album very much anticipated, and full of guest stars. Now depending on who you ask, this album was really cool, or not that great. I enjoyed some of the album, as Timbaland made some fresh beats, and recruited guest stars that were out of his genre to make a unique sound. This track, featuring She Wants Revenge, shows a collaboration between hip-hop, and synth pop. Check it out.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Kings of Leon continued to impress with the 2007 release of Because of the TImes. It received many positive reviews, and ended up on alot of end-of-the-year lists. Some considered their previous two albums "loud", but on this one, it feels like they found a way to rock out while toning it down a bit. The first track, a seven minute tale of teenage pregnancy, is a perfect example of that.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Temper Trap, are a alternative rock band hailing from Melbourne. Now, their album has received reviews of varying degrees, some good, others quite bad. But the album has a couple of very memorable songs, one of which being the main single, Sweet Disposition. This song is absolutely one of the best feel good songs around, and has it's place in any fun moment you would like to hold onto.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Austin based indie rock group, Okkervil River, released their fifth album in 2008. It was a second part, to the previous years album, The Stage Names, and continues the themes of pop culture, celebrity suicide, and the chaos and the self deception of the rock and roll lifestyle. Lost Coastlines continues that theme of a band lifestyle, likening it to a treacherous boat at sea. An interesting folky song, diving into the deep waters of an obvious meaningful subject to the artists.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Brightest Day is the sequel to the maxi series Blackest Night, picking up the story of the twelve resurrected ones by the white light. It's was a giant sized issue, so there's plenty to cover.
The issue begins with a newly resurrected Boston Brand, standing over his grave with a sledge hammer. He begins to describe himself, about how he didn't really care about life until he lost his. After he's done destroying his tombstone, he notices a little bird, that has died after falling from it's nest. He picks the bird up, the the white ring on his finger activates: LIVE! The bird is now alive, and as Boston puts t back into the nest, the ring does something strange. HELP ME, it asks, and then teleports Brand away.
Mera is shown waking up in bed, inside a lighthouse, and as she gets dressed, she walks outside to see her husband, Arthur Curry, staring into the ocean. He begins to lament about why he is back, but Mera trying to change the subject jumps into the water. She asks for him to join her, but Aquaman declines, and as he says that he has a bad feeling, we see a reflection of his black lantern counterpart in the water. Boston Brand is shown watching them from behind some rocks, wondering why the ring brought him there. Just as he's about to speak, the ring once again teleports him away.
He appears in Iron Heights Penitentiary, outside the cell of the Reverse Flash. Barry Allen rushes in, and knocks on the cell of Digger Harkness, the resurrected Captain Boomerang. Barry vibrates himself into the cell, and warns Digger that he knows what kind of person he is, and that he should just quit so that Barry doesn't have to run a catch him like they always do. But Digger has a unexpected response, that he doesn't know why he, and not his son, or others were brought back, but he's not gonna to just sit around contemplating it all day. Barry asks is that's a threat, to which Digger replies no, it's a flash fact.
We now go to St, Rock, Louisiana, to the Stonechat Museum where the Hawks are. Hawkman is quizzing Shiera, showing her artifacts while she tells him what life that is from. Boston Brand appears in the room, as the Hawks begin to get frisky, which is when Brand realizes that he is invisible to the people around him. Hawkman begins to bum about how he doesn't know which day will be his last with Sheira, but Hawkgirl replies how that's an even stronger reason to live happily in the present. The scene with the Hawks is interwoven with a group of men in white snowsuits, who are in South America, searching the Peruvian Andes Mountains for something. Back in the meseum, a shard given to Shiera by a Star Sapphire, begins to shoot a beam at the Claw of Horus. The Claw points up, and as Hawkman puts it on, the fly out at the direction of the claw. Back in the mountains, it is revealed what he men were searching for and have located, the original bones of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
In New York, Maxwell Lord has set up shop in the abandoned JLI embassy. He is giving himself plasma injections, which is used to dilute blood to prevent bleeding out. He goes to attempt his biggest push yet, trying to achieve an unknown goal, while noting that it will make or break him. He begins, and starts to bleed profusely from his eyes, nose, and even mouth, before finally collapsing. This is when Boston appears, and as he watches Max lay on the floor, he say that Max is always dangerous, because he always has a plan.
Boston now shifts to Mars, where the Martian Manhunter is using to heat vision to do what likes like mining. Hal and Guy visit, bringing gifts: a large basket of chocos (the martian's favorite cookie) , and of course milk. J'onn begins to take the lanterns on a tour of Mars, and the Martian reveals that he found a deep aquifer which he plans to use to make Mars live again.
On Oa, Jade is reluctantly being a guinea pig for Natu, having all sorts of test ran on her. Jade confronts Natu, saying that she knows the reason she been held for day there, is that Natu is worried about Jade getting back In Kyle. (I just read that line out loud, and it sounded like something from Gossip Girl. Sorry about that) Kyle appears, and begins to comfort Jade, about all that she did while she was a black lantern, and about how there are a group of people who couldn't be happier now that she's back. Natu watches them, and is clearly worried about the spark Jade Kyle still have, but Kyle eventually flies off with Natu. As they do, Jade notices a white lantern emblem in front of her, and then it quickly disappears, making Jade wonder if she's seeing things.
In New York again, Ray Palmer and Professor Stein watch Jason Rusch cry on the couch. They are at a wake for Gehenna Hewitt, the recently killed girlfriend of Jason. Ray and Stein discuss how the two halves of Firestorm have both been wrecks since Blackest Night, when Ronnie Raymond walks in the door. Ronnie walks over to Jason, trying to say something comforting, but really just ends up pissing Jason off. Jason goes in for a punch, but before he can connect, they merge, becoming Firestorm in the small room, while arguing within each other. Boston watches from that back, saying that for now they will function as Firestorm, at least until on them kills the other.
Nxt we're in Kahndaq, where the resurrected Osiris is being warmly greeted by his people. He has the stone figures of Black Adam and Iris in front of the people, and he is cheered as he grabs them, flies off, and tell the nation that he will be back with his family, bringing in a "Golden Age" of prosperity and power.
The last two are Hawk and Dove in Arlington, Virginia, out on a stakeout, trying to bust arms dealers. Dove is doing surveillance of sorts, but Hank is not so patient, busting into the van occupied by the arms traffickers. He takes them down, violently, leaving the van in flames. Dove tries to explain that he shouldn't attack like that, leaving such a huge violent scene, but Hank disagrees, saying that is the first of his preemptive strikes. Boston again watches in the shadows, noting how violent and reckless Hank is, before being teleported to his final destination.
He is in the rubble of Star City, and begins to recap the horror that took place in the destruction. The ring once again speaks, HELP ME. It then says HELP THEM, and Boston is painfully shown again the twelve he visited. The trees around him begin to shake, and the rubble is lifting, before we finally see that Star City is healed, completely fixe, with a star shaped forest in the center. Boston tries to converse with the ring asking what it wants as he tries to pull it off. Brand is perplexed as to why he's the only one with a white ring, and becomes even more so when the ring replies: HELP ME LIVE.
The epilogue takes place in Silver City, New Mexico, where the white lantern is in a crater in the middle of a road. Two men begin to climb inside, but stop when they notice something above. Sinestro is hovering high, saying "Ah, there you are."
The issue was a great setup for the Brightest Day saga, with Johns and Tomasi writing a very well crafter plot. I just hope they keep the story intriguing, instead of having a these heroes running everywhere wondering why they are back. Either way, Brightest Day will be the center of the DCU for a while, so we're gonna have to keep up.
I'm not sure if there's ever been a better debut album, than The Postal Service's, 2003, GIve Up. The band consists of two artists, who have conquered their respective genres. Ben Gibbard, who fronts the indie band Death Cab for Cute, and Jimmy Tamborello, who is the man behind the indietronica project, Dntel. The Postal Service is everything great about these two artists, with Gibbard's sharp lyrics and vocals, with Dntel's, dreamy beats. The album also features lots of guests, including this track, Nothing Better, featuring Jen Wood.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
This song was originally released in 1985, on the album The Head on the Door. It had multiple mixes, one being released on the album Staring at the Sea, another being released on Mixed Up. This version comes off the compilation album, Galore, and so far it's the latest version of this classic song to be released.
Monday, April 12, 2010
DeVotchKa's music career could be considered unorthodox at best. Starting off as the backup band for burlesque shows, they later toured with Dita Von Teese. They later toured after they self released a couple albums, slowly gaining a faithful underground following. They finally got their break with the 2004 release of How It Ends, having their songs appear in movies, and commercials. Their sound is very unique, being classified a gypsy punk infused with indie rock. The results are a great band, with a distinct sound, yet one that can be very accessible. Off of 2008s A Mad & Faithful Telling, is my favorite song of theirs, The Clockwise Witness
Sunday, April 11, 2010
In 2005, a little known indie band from Seattle released an on tour EP. Both were called Band of Horses. A highly anticipated debut album was released in early 2006, and hype immediately surrounded them. Lots of different descriptions were used for their music, ranging from folk indie rock, alternative folk, and even alternative country. Whatever it is, it's awesome, and the first track off the debut album is all you'll need to fall in love with them.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Having not released an album since August of 2006, Hellogoodbye, over the last couple of months, have been releasing short EPs. Now they realize that it's past time for them to put put another album, but due to a dispute with their record company they had to scrap an entire album of written and recorded material. This song comes off the last EP, When We First Met, which is actually the name of their last single. This track is toned down, a style they pull off easily, and is an opposite of sorts to the quickly paced, When We First Met.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Interpol's, Our Love to Admire, was a self described departure from their previous albums. I don't think many fans noticed the "departure" too much, as it had the same dark, moody guitars, and catchy drum rhythms they're known for, with the only noticeable difference being a keyboard involved in the songs. Needless to say though, the album is great, and the first track goes right back to the familiar sound we love.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The second, and final album by Neutral MIlk Hotel was released in 1998. It was released to incredible reviews, and is widely regarded as the best indie albums of all time. Their sound is still fresh, and can still be heard in bands like Brighteyes, The Morning Benders, and Local Natives. If you haven't listened to the album yet, you need to, so get started off with the title track, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
According to Wikipedia.com, Brodmann Area 10, or BA10 refers to the frontal cortex or the frontopolar region. This area is believed to play a part in the strategic processes involved in memory retrieval and executive function. That's where the title of this book comes from, and it's quite fitting. The story's a very neat concept of science and sci fi. Trying to achieve superhuman enlightenment through accessing that area of your brain. Sounds cool, right? Of course, the only way to achieve this, is drilling a hole in you're head. Are you still cool with that?
Area 10 is a great book. It tells the story of a detective, hunting down a mysterious serial killer. But this killer, who goes by the name Henry The Eighth, isn't just any ordinary serial killer, he likes to decapitate his victims. So naturally, the NYPD is trying their hardest to find this guy.
So enter detective Adam Kamen, who is working his tail off to find a lead. Well one day, he happens upon a crime in progress. This man is killing his family, by putting a screwdriver right through their foreheads. In a freak series of events, Mr. Kamen ends up with a screwdriver in his head. This injury, while strange, is not lethal, and this leads him on a whole other journey.
After recovery, Adam cannot sleep, and begins to hallucinate. As he tries to work this case again, he finds that jumping back in is harder than expected. As we learn more about his past, his mental stability gets questioned, as well as his motives for working this case so closely. As he dives deeper into this madness, he learns about the ancient practice of trepanation, the practice of gaining enlightenment through brain manipulation.
Christos N. Gage writes a great, intriguing story full of fun twists and turns. An artist Chris Samnee could not have been more perfect for this job, with his inks, sometimes beautifully haunting, perfectly reflecting the mood and insanity of this story. I would highly recommend this book, and hope all enjoy.
Wow. So over the last couple of weeks, there's been alot of questions in Batman and Robin. Why wouldn't have Bruce known about the secret cave after the earthquake? Who is El Penitente? Is Oberon Sexton actually Bruce Wayne? So with all these in mind, let's dive into spoilers.
So in Mexico, El Penitente is fresh off whipping himself. Of course, El Penitente is spanish for The Penitent One, one who punishes them self. So he's getting dressed, while asking a father to bless him so he will be clean, so Christ will protect him. Outside, DEA agents are raiding El Penitente's home, shooting his henchmen. He walks through the gunfire, not very concerned at the shots, even as the priest gets killed. We now see his face, while not confirmed, he definitely appears to be Dr. Hurt, as he says the mask of El Penitente has served it's purpose, and it's time to go home to Gotham.
Dick is still in the secret cave, examining the painting on the wall, which appears to be new within a year. He's tell Alfred he's going to step on the bat symbol in the middle of the floor, which revels a door, but Alfred tells him to proceed with caution as he takes note of a commotion taking place in the Wayne Cemetery.
In the cemetery, Oberon and Damian are being confronted by El Penitente's men. They introduce themselves, and attack, which Oberon takes them all down, except one. Damian, still not entirely in control of his actions attack the remaining one, still worried that something is wrong with him.
Talia is now shown, wearing some kind of helmet contraption to which a team of doctors are using to link Damian's spine with Talia's movements. She begins to mention that this was just a demonstration, and the an old enemy of Dick's should administer the "Death Stroke," as a shadowy man in the back replies.
Alfred is still com-linked to Dick, and tells him about the scuffle going on inside the cemetery. Dick is now in some kind of underground railroad, no joke. He notes that Bruce must have known about all theses passages, especially after the earthquake. Alfred says that not all of the mansion suffered severe damage, but that he needs to intervene on the cemetery quickly. Dick discovers a large half man-half bat statue, which Alfred points out is called Barbatos, which is the name of the creature supposedly summoned by Thomas Wayne in 1765. Alfred begins to lose his connection though, as something is blocking out the signal. Dick finds a gate, and goes in...
Back in the cemetery, the henchmen are quoting things from some sort of mythology, particularly, Barbatos. Oberon takes the main one down again, and Damian begins to notice something peculiar about Mr. Sexton. Damian notes that Oberon claims to be a writer from England, but says that Talia's headquarters are in England, which means that Damian is quite familiar with accents. He says that Oberon's is fake, and is not who he says he is. He asks a question that we've all been wondering: Are you Bruce Wayne? Oberon doesn't respond, only saying that he's there to investigate the Domino Killer. But Damian won't give. "Who are you?" Again deflecting, Oberon asks for help opening this vault, saying that the henchmen are looking for something long buried inside of it.
Talia is still watching, and now has the shadowy man from before connected to the machine controlling Damian, which he then uses to attack Mr. Sexton.
Suddenly, Dick explodes from the vault, his costume in rags, while exclaiming that he found "it." Damian begins to attack Dick, all while asking for help realizing that his mother is controlling him.
The last scene is Slade Wilson shown connected to Talia's machine, controlling Damian, and asking for permission to terminate Dick.
Now that was a crazy ending. The mystery continues to deepen and more questions arise, such as: What is Deathstroke's role in this story?, and Who, Who , Who is Oberon Sexton? Yes I put triple who for emphasis, because that one is just puzzling. So the last question is What did Dick find in the vault?
The story is getting better, and the conclusion is sure to be spectacular, hopefully answering all our questions.
Say Anything's third album, In Defense of the Genre, is a beautiful train wreck. It tells the story of Max Bemis losing his mind, and subsequently having to go to a mental hospital in Houston. Bemis's lyrics are brutally honest, not holding anything back. This song is smack dab in the hospital, and features Paramore's Hayley Williams.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
While being a relatively young band still, The Morning Benders have proved themselves in a short period of time. In 2008, they released Talking Through Tin Cans, which got rave reviews, and iTunes even named best alternative/indie album of the year. Last month, they released Big Echo, their second studio album. They're still getting big reviews, especially at SXSW and are now included in the Lollapalooza lineup this summer. Looks like it's going to be a huge year for them.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Off their third album, Even If It Kills Me, Motion City Soundtrack's Last Night is a very interesting song. It's not so much the story, but it's how the story is told. The story is told from end to beginning in a Momento like way. The album itself is probably their best work still, as they found the perfect way to blend the punk, pop, and quirky lyrics their known for.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
This band is definitely a strange one, their sound being described as psychedelic, probably what we would just call plain weird. But their music is fun and catchy, and while their whole album isn't brilliant, I would absolutely recommend 40 Day Dream, and Home.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
In 2003, Death Cab for Cutie released Transatlanticism, which in my opinion, is the best of their albums. Of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't think Plans was phenomenal, or that Narrow Stairs wasn't good as well, I just love Translatlanticism. It kinds of defined their sound, with catchy, moody, songs with stories told. Among the favorites on the album itself is the fourth track, Expo '86. If you haven't heard this album, you're missing out.
Friday, April 2, 2010
In 2007, Silversun Pickups released the Remixes EP. It was a collection of five remixes of their two singles, and it turned out very well. They even got The Postal Service's Jimmy Tamberello to remix a couple of songs. Little Lover's So Polite is my favorite song of theirs though, and it ended up being my favorite remix as well.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Off the third release of their first album, You Are The One carries an interesting sound. Sometimes described as electro punk, eighty's revival, or synth-pop, the album entertains the whole sound, which is full of catchy beats and vocal distortions. Would definitely check it out.