Tag Archives: Music

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Bloggerfan

This is not a review, I cannot stress this enough…

This is instead, a recounting of my thoughts and feelings following my viewing of Edgar Wright’s newest film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Why is this not a review then? well to be perfectly frank, because I am entirely too biased to review this movie.

First off, I love Scott Pilgrim, as you may know if you read this post I wrote a while back. Secondly, I love Edgar Wright, both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were fantastic movies in my eyes. Thirdly, there is hardly an actor in the film I didn’t already like before seeing the movie, from Michael Cera right down to Jason Schwartzman…so yeah, you can see why I wouldn’t be exactly a reliable review to go on.

However I will go on to write about how and why I loved this movie, because frankly it’s my damn blog and what better things have I got to do on a Sunday morning?

So, the movie. Set in the heart of downtown Toronto Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the story of a slacker in his mid twenties who has fallen in love with quite literally the girl of his dreams, and in order to win her heart he must first defeat her 7 evil exes. you still with me?

So the movie is based on a series of comics written and illustrated by Torontonian Bryan Lee O’Malley. The comics themselves were unique and original for their blend of video game themes, hipster scene setting, and manga inspired art. The story is covered over 6 volumes and over the course of the story the characters grow and mature, leading to what I felt to be one of the most satisfying endings in a series of graphic novels.

As for the movie, Wright does a fantastic job of staying true to the style of the comic, blending comic book sound effects cleverly with stylized video game references and sounds (like some classic 8-bit Zelda) as well as a soundtrack filled with the lo-fi garage and indie sounds which O’Malley was inspired by when writing the books themselves. The result is a fast paced off-beat adventure that plays out as a sort of romantic action comedy…thing. Though some elements of the comics are omitted and the chronology happens a little different from the graphic novels, the movie resounds as one of the purest adaptations of a comic into a film in my eyes if for nothing else for holding true to the feel of the comic. Wright does a fantastic job of keeping the story larger than life while keeping the characters very grounded, as in the comics, the story is about taking a relatively mundane love story and turning it into something exciting and surreal by portraying it through a sort of generational mind’s eye. Ultimately, the movie captures this feeling every bit as well as the comics did.

If I were to complain about something, it would be that the movie tries to cram a little too much into too short a timeframe. The end comes off feeling a bit rushed as they race to find a conclusion within the 112 minutes they had to pull 6 years of storytelling off. It’s still good, but it’s frenetic and doesn’t linger on any particular thought too long. I can’t say this is a film for everyone, this is the sort of movie you have to go in with a pretty open mind, if you’re coming in a skeptic, you’re probably going to stay skeptical. It’s the kind of movie that will either sweep you off your feet, or leave you completely nonplussed, wondering what the hell just happened. If you’re the kind of person who waits for the Oscar nominations to come out before deciding what they’re going to rent (and you know who you are!) then you almost certainly will not like this movie. Is is serious? no. Is it gripping? no. Will it entertain you? quite possibly.

While I’m on my tangent I’ll do a quick little mention of all things Scott Pilgrim that have been released recently.

First, Scott Pilgrim volume 6 came out last month and as I have said it was excellent, the conclusion to the series proves to be in my mind O’Malley’s finest effort. The characters have developed extremely well and the finale is one of truly epic proportions.

Next the game, Along with the movie was a downloadable release on the PSN and Xbox Live for Scott Pilgrim vs The World the game. The game is a true homage to the old school beat-em up. With an all 8-bit art style the game looks like something you would have played on a Nintendo and has all the staples of the genre. The game supports up to 4 players of local co-op and sports an level up system which provides a surprising amount of depth for such a seemingly simplistic game. Dabblers be forewarned though, the game is hard as hell, and without co-op it can be absolutely infuriating as you spend a good 20 minutes hazarding a level, only to die and start at the beginning all over again. However all in all its a great experience and a true throwback that still manages to keep it fresh. This screenshot should say it all:

I know, cool right?

and lastly the soundtrack, yeah it’s awesome…get it…and all that.

as usual I’ve droned on entirely too long…I’ll shut up now.

Update: you can get a little tidbit of Scott Pilgrim here by checking out Scott Pilgrim vs The Animation


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The Kings of Denmark

So admittedly, I really haven’t written in a good while. Furthermore, I haven’t written on music in a really good while. Nonetheless here I am, returned from the proverbial grave to enlighten you magnificent handful of readers who choose to edify my ego by reading. This entries focus goes squarely on one album I have been meaning to write about for some time. Actually, to be fair I wanted to write primarily about the band but since they have recently released an album I’ll make that my excuse. It’s hard to really claim any sort of special knowledge of the band, nor can I claim to have known of them before they were huge. However, the funny thing is, this ultra famous band is one that chances are you have never heard of, nor have you ever heard any of their singles. That band is Kashmir.

just a casual impromptu picture of the members of Kashmir

Now the reason you will have never heard of Kashmir, despite their receiving numerous critical accolades and awards is because they are a Danish band, and I guess Danes don’t seem to make it big here in North America. Still though, all their songs are in English and their style is so foreign that it would jar you to hear their music. In fact, many have likened their sound to Coldplay and Radiohead, which is probably fair though I think they stand a bit apart from those two bands. The bottom line is that this band is really interesting and dynamic and if you ask me it’s crazy that more people aren’t aware of them. If you want band’s full store you can check it out here. For now, let’s move on to their newest album, Trespassers, which was released this past February.

Trespassers is actually the band’s sixth full length release, so like I was saying this isn’t a group that came out of nowhere, and is the bands first album in 5 years since they released No Balance Palace in 2005. To my mind, it is probably the most balanced and consistent album of their to date, with each song managing to keep my attention while a few standouts really managed to grab me. Manta Ray and Still Boy stood out to me as the most powerful tracks on the album, with Pallas Athena probably being the weakest effort made. The sound is generally a sort of melodic rock sound, with a sort of taciturn mood for the most part. While this could aptly describe every album of theirs to date, what I felt really made this one stand out was a certain undercurrent of optimism which seemed to pervade pretty well every track on the album. I’m no musician so to comment on the instrumental competence or production qualities would be pointless, though I will say that I think Kasper Eistrup’s vocals are some of the most moving you are likely to hear on any album, which ring with a sort of sincerity and vulnerability which you so rarely seem to find. All in all the album sounds very good, and very polished.

I can’t talk about this album without at least mentioning the album’s music video for the single Still Boy. My first experience with Kashmir was actually through a music video, where I happened to stumble upon the video for Rocket Brothers. The band seems to have a tendency to make videos that have a linear narrative and some sort of morality or theme to them. There aren’t any cuts to the band rocking out or anything like that, more just a short movie with the track acting as the score to the story. for Still Boy, the video depicts a crazy homeless man trying desperately to bring to life a doll he has built in his sort of cardboard workshop. The video is powerful, and really compliments the strength of the song, but rather than describe it it’s probably best I just show you:

Thanks to Kashmir for making the video available on YouTube through their band’s channel.

I’m not really sure what more I can really say, the album is excellent and if you haven’t heard it you really should. It’s hard to really recommend this band to any one type of music listener, they have that sort of general palatability which I typically loathe. However I have to admit there is a sort of distinct character to these guys which is very charming and they really do have a sound that sets them apart.

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New Music for listenin’s

So yes I only just posted a new update yesterday after a horribly long hiatus but I am just so damn excited to be back I need to post more crap!

Actually in all seriousness it’s really more of a log jam of topics that I want to talk about that has me wanting to get on top of my updates so I can get back to talking about new things that nobody cares about.

I am dedicating Today’s post to music, two new albums have recently been released that I was actually on top of and got immediately upon their release, a momentous feat on my part and so I need to share with everyone my thoughts and evaluation of the albums because frankly I am a music genius and I know very definitively what is good and what isn’t! So gather round my disciples and hear me well as I regale you yet again with more expert analysis on pop culture.

First album up is Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra. Following up on the unprecedented success of their self-titled début it’s fair to say that great things were expected. The band’s unique uniquely blended indie pop sound is an upbeat cross of African inspired drum beats with classically inspired melodies in an amalgam that sounds distinct unto itself. The album opens strong with what I consider possibly it’s best song Horchata, which is some sort of love ballad to the drink of the same name, and a ballad of loathing of wintertime. While this may seem irrelevant it’s important to note the lighthearted and easy-going tone of the song as it seems to carry throughout the entire album. The songs have a fast paced off-beat tempo with quick-firing vocals laced with fun and clever lyrics. Since getting the album I’ll confess to listening to it countless times, the album is entertaining from start to finish with a lot of high points such as Horchata, California English, Run, and Giving up the Gun being notables in my opinion. The album strikes me as a better and more consistent album than their first, I would recommend it to any fan of the band as well as fans of the indie pop genre.

Vampire Weekend's second full length album

The second album to recently be released was Spoon’s fifth full length album Transference. Spoon has at this point reached the status of indie rock legends after their work being featured in movies, television, commercials, and pretty much anywhere where people appreciate good music. I have followed spoon for a long while now and have always enjoyed their past efforts, with their last album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga they had released a strong effort with a good portion of the album being really great songs and only a couple of misses (the ghost of you lingers goes down as their worst song to date in my opinion) but ultimately a truly great contribution to their body of work. Transference is a tough album for me to gauge, while I enjoy the album well enough it’s not quite what I was expecting from them. This time around Spoon seem to have kept the album very subdued, consisting of tracks that build up very slowly and keep a pretty deliberate pace, with the exceptions of Got Nuffin and Trouble Comes Running which take the tempo up a notch the album is pretty slow, certainly for Spoon’s standards. The tone of the album certainly keeps to the band’s style, with their punchy beats hitting hard and frontman Britt Daniel’s distinct vocal style as present as ever I wouldn’t go so far as to say the album is a massive deviation from their past efforts. Really every album spoon has made has had at the least flashes of the tone this album portrays, this is simply a consistent collection of their more down tempo style. It’s a good effort and its by no means a discredit to the band’s excellent name. However, I will say that it didn’t take me the way past albums have, it’s simply solid by Spoon’s standards.

Spoon's fifth album transference

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