Just when you thought a film franchise had gone down on a three part ship of dignity, out it crawls, again... "New Decade, new rules," Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have decided that 2011 is the year to reboot the Scream franchise. Oh no...
"There's something really scary about a guy with a knife who just snaps."
Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox are the only returning actors. Newcomers include Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell and youngest Culkin brother Rory. And the film's due out April 15 2011. My bet? It's gonna suck...
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Red Dead + zombies = all kinds of awesome... Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, the third Red Dead DLC, was released yesterday. And besides zombies and collectible horses of the apocalypse, the expansion also includes Sasquatch hunting (six years in the making)!
Iggy Pop’s selling insurance. Alice Cooper’s pushing Sony Bravias. Johnny Rotten’s telling you to buy Country Life British Butter. And even Van Coke Kartel’s plugging Essentiale. It’s a tough gig being a rock star these days.
“People aren’t buying records,” explains New Young Pony Club guitarist Andy Spence. So just imagine – it’s easy if you try – how hard it must be to keep a gold-plated roof over your nearest and dearest’s heads when you’ve been dead for 30 years.
“You get the biggest prize when you die, a really big one for dying in public" – John Lennon.
October 9 was John Lennon’s 70th birthday. If he had survived Mark David Chapman, 2010 would have finished him off for sure.
This year, with Courtney Love cheering her on, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono sold Lennon to Montblanc, Gibson and Citroën, released a hardback book of his artwork and rereleased remastered versions of the late Beatles’ solo material. For Lennon fans, the Citroën ad was one slur too many.
Click here for the full story on Channel 24
The Dissent of Man
"It's no use thinking that you're wrong, the past is dead and gone, it's best to move along and find your Avalon." For Bad Religion, Avalon is The Dissent of Man.
More Bad Religion? Who cares, right? Wrong! 31 years down and they sound better than ever. Helped by Joe Barresi's monstrous production and drummer Brooks Wackerman's subtle wizardry, The Dissent of Man growls with the kind of enthusiasm and purpose most new bands can only dream of.
The melodies are as smooth, intellectual and 'classic Bad Religion' as ever, but The Dissent of Man courses with modern energy. "Meeting of the Minds" is the hardest they've ever sounded. Wackerman, followed by Brett Gurewitz on guitar, punctuates every bar like the reincarnation of Avenged Sevenfold drummer The Rev.
Then, to balance things out, "Someone to Believe" kicks out an old-school Ramones jam, complete with Bad Religion-ified "gabba gabbas." Still, thanks to Wackerman's punchy drum sound and the album's muscular production, the song doesn't sound dated at all.
"Won't somebody please come up with something, 'cos Jesus just don't seem to be impartially working. And all of the rest are really down in the ratings. So everyone is going to keep on waiting... Waiting for peace at the end of the street."
As usual, Greg Graffin's lyrics are a classy, poetic cocktail of personal storytelling and acute social commentary. Instead of "fuck the system," Dr. Graffin sings lines like, "Hey scientist, please save us from our rainy days. Because your counterpart in the magic art is manufacturing judgment day." And he uses words like "halcyon" and "ad hominem." The kind most punks might have to Google to understand.
If you've been losing interest in Bad Religion over the years, watching from a far, gobbling up the singles, The Dissent of Man will reignite you. Blistering!
Bad Religion on MySpace
"Imagine John Lennon's childhood." Before John Lennon became a colourful doodle for World Peace, he was quite the little scallywag. Set in Liverpool in the '50s, Nowhere Boy looks at Lennon's childhood, before he became a Ben & Jerry's flavour and the soul property of Yoko Ono.
Raised by his aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott-Thomas), teenage Lennon (Aaron Johnson) discovers that his estranged aunt Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) is actually his biological mother. Naturally, he gravitates towards her and dreams of a reunited, perfectly normal childhood. But his new mum doesn't make things easy.
Caught between two women that love him, Lennon doesn't know where to fit in. Until he discovers Elvis Presley, the guitar and skiffle music. Then his mission is clear: "I'm gonna start a rock 'n roll group..."
Overseen by first time director Sam Taylor-Wood (who's 43 and engaged to 20-year-old lead actor Aaron Johnson), Nowhere Boy goes out of its way to not even mention the Beatles - besides Lennon's friendship with a young Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie Sangster) and a mysterious "George" character. Instead, the film follows the progress of Lennon's first band The Quarrymen and the brooding family melodrama that shaped him.
Overall, Nowhere Boy's a refreshingly unglamorous and down-to-earth glimpse at pre-Peace Guru John Lennon, enhanced by a great cast of small-timers. Things do get a bit "feel good" and quaint at times, but overall, it's a solid biopic that's well worth a watch.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Hurley kicks off with a catchy trio of feel-good power-pop hits that suggests, maybe, this isn’t going to be just another Weezer album. But the hits soon dry up and Hurley begins to wobble on tiny Pamela Anderson feet: top heavy (and maybe a little drunk).
The first three songs sound so focused. So primed for worldwide domination. Then “Unspoken” shows off Weezer at their clumsy, overly sentimental best. But after that, things come undone fast.
The fumbling Rivers Cuomo sentiments are still there, they’re just forgettable. Starting with “Where’s My Sex?” which showcases some of the worst lyrics ever written – socks, sex… it doesn’t matter. What makes thing worse is, Cuomo needed help from songwriter Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Pink, OneRepublic) to make the song sound so awful.
Click here for the full review on Channel 24
Weezer on MySpace
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Pioneering New York hip-hop band Public Enemy is touring South Africa (well, Cape Town and Jo'burg) this December. That's right, Flavor Flav, Chuck D, Professor Griff and the Security of the First World, right here in the 'Motherland.' I wonder what The S1W will make of the Third World.
Part of the tour includes Chuck D conducting a series of hip-hop workshops, where he hopes to "impart his wisdom and knowledge."
3 & 4 Dec: The Alex, Braamfontein
7 Dec: The Assembly, Cape Town
8 Dec: Atmospheer, Cape Town
Tickets go on sale at Computicket from Monday October 25
Click here for the event on Facebook
Like Futurama and Family Guy before them, the Drawn Together gang's hoping a straight-to-DVD movie can reignite their cancelled franchise. One thing Drawn Together can never be accused of is subtlety. And, freed from the bleeps and constrains of any censorship (whatsoever), the humour's off-the-wall nuts and disturbing. Even more so than usual. From self-referential gags and necrophilia to outright South Park-burning. The jokes are a bit light but still, if you've ever wanted to see Foxxy Love topless...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Sainte Catherines
This is not the Sainte Catherines last heard on Dancing For Decadence. Frontman Hugo Mudie sounds like a broken man, singing about staying home, eating nachos, no friends and growing old (alone). Still, the music may have lost its fast, hard-rocking edge, but the heart-breaking feelings remain.
Opening track "We Used To Be In Love" sets the mood, kicking Fire Works off with a less riffy, more subdued and sombre mid-tempo sound that took a while to grow on me. But the more you listen, the catchier it gets.
"Better Like This" sounds more familiar. Still, the sound's washier, moodier. And out of nowhere, the solo kicks in on classical guitar-sounding nylon strings. Okay, biggest surprise so far...
Until "Chub-E & Hank III" goes a little hipster. And as far as new sounds go, Fire Works could have done without the indie hand claps. Still, when the song gets going, the irritation's negligible.
"So Long & Thanks For Nothing" (a jab at Fat Wreck, perhaps?) takes Sainte Catherines' moodier, slowed-down sound into massive, wall-of-noise territory. And Mudie's cutthroat Leatherface vocals wash perfectly with the band's regretful woh-oh-oh-ing.
"Back to the Basement That I Love" blends Sainte Catherines' alter-ego Yesterday's Ring's more country, knee-slapping harmonica sound with gentle folk-punk riffs. And musically, the song sounds nothing like Dancing For Decadence. Mudie's voice is the only giveaway.
It's been four years since Sainte Catherines put out a full length and things have changed. Fire Works bypasses the band's hard-hitting melodic-hardcore roots in favour of a more atmospheric, slower sound that's subtler and less urgent than I was expecting. The biggest change is the drumming - less tight, less frantic... It's the reflective sound of years on the road and the pain of mortality. It's a grower. And "Fuck Off Cancer!"
Click here to order Fire Works from Anchorless Records with an official Sainte Catherines hockey puck. Blame Canada...
Monday, October 18, 2010
What started in June's rapidly come to a close. The Converse Optimistic Rebels Film Festival's almost done. So... check out the site and get voting for your favourite Rebel across the five categories (Art, Music, Comedy, Life, Learn). And help him/her win R40,000.
click here to watch and vote.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Woh, this one caught me by surprise. Remember Big Willy, fun loving trombonist and beer funneler for Leek and the Bouncing Uptones and Fuzigish and hair-flinging beast bassist for local God lovers Architecture of Aggression? Well this is his new solo project, Gone Our Division.
Honestly, I don't know what to say about first single "Wipe Those Tears." Other than, "Who knew?" Is that him singing? Man, pretty epic stuff...
The official blurb (with fixed type-os):
"William Bishop has been working towards launching his solo project since he chose a career in music... Classically trained, he was exposed to rock music in 1999 when, still in high school, he joined Leek & The Bouncing Uptones... William has now reached one of his primary objectives, which is the release of his first solo work "Wipe Those Tears," under the pseudonym Gone Our Division."
Gone Our Division on Reverb Nation
Gone Our Division on Facebook
"We thought it would be silly to use some chicken blood or something like that, they don't need to sacrifice their vital fluids any more than I need to."
Outspoken Flaming Lips oddball Wayne Coyne's clearly run out of Vaseline. To commemorate the Lips' appearance at this year's Austin City Limits Festival, Coyne printed an extremely limited edition ("there's only one, let the bidding begin") poster using his own blood.
Check out the video. It's actually pretty funny: "Did I put any paper under there?"
No doubt, the poster will be bought on eBay by some nutty Flaming Lips fan.
This October 23, Flamings Lips host the fourth March of 1000 Skeletons, an annual Halloween parade through their hometown Oklahoma. Check the Flaming Lips website for more info.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Legendary UK street artist Banksy's controversial new opening sequence for The Simpsons Season 22, aired in The States on Sunday, is hitting the net harder than Lindsay Lohan. The extended couch gag, set in a South Korean sweatshop (where Simpsons animation is now outsourced), has already been banned from YouTube by 20th Century Fox. Here's a version I found on Vimeo.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
Side One Dummy
The best thing about Fake Problems, the thing that really sets them apart, is frontman Chris Farren's religion-referencing mental battles with guilt and excess, and heaven and hell. The dude hangs it all out there. And even when he's down, you're tapping your feet and humming along.
"And they're not gonna be happy 'til everybody's clapping along..."
Fake Problems' sound is hard to place. Like a nerdier, introverted, indie-pop take on early, folk-punk Gaslight Anthem. And even then, they never stick to formula, venturing off into Vampire Weekend, Surfer Blood territory, mixing dark and thoughtful lyrics with happy-go-lucky riffs and hypnotic grooves.
"The first time it felt like I was gonna die, but I've gotten pretty good at telling myself it's fine..."
But whatever Fake Problems is up to, Farren's Gerard Way-tinged, insecure twang retains that familiar "Fake Problems sound." From Surfer-Blood-meets-Señor-and-the-Queen slower song "The Magazines," to the hipster indie grooves of "5678" (which goes well with It's Great to Be Alive opener "1234").
It's only album number three and it's been a constant evolution. From more straight-forward, folk-punk beginnings to the experimental growth and expansion heard on It's Great to Be Alive (2009) and the less-country, more Afro-pop, surf-rock-soaked Real Ghosts Caught On Tape.
It's more accessible than usual. But again, Fake Problems come off sincere and extremely likable.
Fake Problems on MySpace
Side One Dummy
So a friend and I were reminiscing the other day... Somehow we ended up talking about '90s Australian show Pugwall. Remember Pugwall? Peter Unwin George Wall? The Orange Organics? Jenny Fleet? Bazza and Orfo? Marmaloid? No?
"Just how old ARE you guys, exactly?"
Naturally, my first instinct was, "To the Wikipedia!"
I logged on, followed the links and braced myself for "Jason Torrens was an Australian actor..." Almost certain I'd click "Personal Life" and read of young Jason's tragic, premature demise.
But wait, young Jason didn't die in a blaze of drug-addicted glory the year Pugwall was yanked from circulation. He went on to star in Neighbours (compulsory for Australian actors) and Newlyweds (score!).
And check him out now, playing drums for Melbourne hard-rock band Bugdust. Not quite The Orange Organics, hey?
The Orange Organics!
There you go, random fact for the day. Anyone care? Nope!
Pugmania - "The only semi official Pugwall website"
Bugdust on MySpace
Saturday, October 9, 2010
The tokoloshe may look like Stitch but the new "Evil Boy" video, produced and featuring DJ Diplo, as well as Evil Boy himself Wanga, is pretty crazy. Zef futuristik. First impressions come off homophobic but the story, from what I can tell, is a twisted, high budget, Die-Antwoord-meets-Die-Flintstones (and HR Giger) take on ritual circumcision and the stigma surrounding it, with plenty of zef ref from Ninja and Yo-Landi. Not quite as striking as "Enter the Ninja" but nuts all the same...
"Evil Boy" will be on the big Interscope/Cherrytree re-release of $O$, due out any day now...
Check out Boing Boing's story behind the video
Thursday, October 7, 2010
So, Quebec delinquents The Sainte Catherines finally decided to release a new album - about time! Fire Works is due out October 26 on Anchorless Records. Listen to "We Used to Be In Love" on their MySpace profile now. Or click here to download it for free from saintecatherines.com. Also, check out the sweet studio footage I found lying around Vimeo - "Fuck off cancer!"
Friday, October 1, 2010
Once upon a time, RAP stood for rhythm and poetry. Die!, the latest by Brooklyn “death-rapper” Necro, due in South Africa at the end of the month, contains neither. Instead, it sounds like one long WWE entrance theme.
Lyrically, Die! reminds me of a scene from "A Hero Sits Next Door" (Family Guy Season 1 Episode 5). Walking into the kitchen, Brian Griffin mistakes a police scanner for a regular radio.
Radio: "We have a gang shooting on Third and Main. Three wounded, one dead."
Brian: "Is it me, or is rap music just getting lazier?"
The difference between classic horror films and modern torture porn is subtlety. Good horror films affect us psychologically. Gross out, over-the-top gore fests, like Saw 78 and Hostel 15, give horror flicks (and fans) a bad name. Likewise, Necro’s take on zombies, horror and death is just as insulting. He sounds like a serial killer, not a horror movie fan.
Click here to read the full review on Channel 24
Necro on MySpace