Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pareles nails it

April 23, 2007
Critics’ Choice

ARCTIC MONKEYS
“Favourite Worst Nightmare”
(Domino)

The cynicism is as barbed as the guitar riffs on Arctic Monkeys’ second album, “Favourite Worst Nightmare,” and the guitar riffs bristle. Their 2006 debut album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” rode an Internet buzz fueled by the band’s giving away its songs before release, but the momentum came from the songs themselves. Arctic Monkeys arrived amid a wave of English bands that were rediscovering the terse melodies and hurtling, hard-nosed narratives of new-wave rock. They weren’t the first, but they were among the most musically gifted, with two guitarists (Alex Turner and Jamie Cook) who spar and mesh with constant tension and a rhythm section (Andy Nicholson on bass and Matt Helders on drums) that swings as it drives the music.

In the time between albums Arctic Monkeys have shifted their perspective from the nightlife, gigs, booze and flirtations of their debut album to a more encompassing disillusionment and sense of betrayal. “We’re forever unfulfilled, and can’t think why,” the band declares in “This House Is a Circus.”

Mr. Turner’s lyrics are so tightly packed that he sometimes delivers them as fast as a rapper. In the rush of rhymes, nearly everyone and everything is a cheat: lovers, hustlers, tabloid media, even nostalgic memories. “Balaclava” and “The Bad Thing” are pickups with a bad conscience from the start; “Do Me a Favour” focuses on the moment of a breakup. “Fluorescent Adolescent” mourns the way lust wanes — “Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness/Landed in a very common crisis” — while “If You Were There, Beware,” denounces the way reporters exploit suffering: “Can’t you sense she was never meant to fill column inches.”

The new songs are more melodic and even more meticulous than before. Arctic Monkeys have almost ruled out standard punk strumming. Instead they have zeroed in on the counterpoint of the two guitars, neatly separated on left and right channels and clawing fiercely at each other. The songs take pride in that bitter clarity. JON PARELES

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

9/10...."It's the most anticipated album since The Stone Roses' 'Second Coming'. And it's huge."


It's official. The new Arctic Monkeys' album is not a disappointment, contrary to what many had feared. I really didn't see any reason for worry...BUT, I wasn't much of a fan of post-"Whatever..." singles and EPs...I had hoped the band would lose the downy clowny slow sound....and they did!!!

The NME *adores* it. Check it out.

I have already heard the whole thing twice, thanks to the brilliance that MySpace *can* provide...I will be buying the proper album today, as soon as I can get my ass outta my job for 5 minutes.

First thoughts: it fucking rocks. that is to say, it's fast, furious and a lil' *metal*! I think it's cuz Jamie turned Alex on to The Eagles of Death Metal....The lyrics are as striking as ever, but far less literal this time around--and that's OK. It makes for a more intriguing, obscure listen the first few times...So far I've picked up a bit more sexual imagery and oh how I dig that. (my fave line so far, "You used to get it in your fishnets, now you only get it in your nightdress." mmhmm)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tori is a MILF, don't you forget...

So, the new Tori Amos single, "Big Wheel" kicks some major ass. I have never been so excited or surprised by a new kind of sound to come from her...but this is it.

Fitzy and I heard it on the Current and I honestly didn't even recognize it to be Tori...I had a suspicion, her voice is so distinctive. But the music was such a goddamn hoedown, I thought, "It can't possibly be...but wait..." yeah. like that.

Don't care for the video--it's actually quite obnoxious. It's like "Tori has fun with wigs."

But the song is getting to me more each time I hear it.

dig it:

Monday, April 16, 2007

when Bill Maher rules, he fucking rules. ("religion is bad. drugs are good.")

Thank you, Bill Maher...and you were on the goddamn VIEW!! "the greatest con in the world"? Carlin is smiling and so am I. Most excellent.

(dig how Rosie is sooooo *quiet*!! and then.......buh-blam..."how bout that AL FRANKEN"!!!!! yeeeeeeeeah!)


Sunday, April 15, 2007

*woman* power


(as opposed to "girl power." see: Spice Girls, mid-late '90s set back feminism 10 years. see: Pussycat Dolls, now. same thing.)

So, Grindhouse is *still* on my mind. I saw it last Friday, with Fitzy, matinee style (for free! thank you, Lo-Ran!) And boy, oh boy, I am still reeling from it, liking it more and more as it swirls around in my brain.

There is something about Rose McGowan and her dark, glamorous 1940s look: those ripe, red lips, that femme fatale stare, and that killer body that is more distinctive than any other current starlet around today (sorry Scar-Jo, I love you, but you don't have that *darkness* and *danger* that comes with the Rose Treatment.)



She kicks off Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" by treating the viewer to a full-on-attack of sensual excitement with a very believable erotic go-go-go ("not cry, cry, cry") dance (with a pole, a-hem) that is both a come-on and a challenge. But, of course, she *does* cry at the end of the sequence, and we are left wondering why...does she feel powerless? Despite the power she carries as she enchants spectators with her swerving hips and tassel-framed ass? Or is it that she's just sick and tired of doing the dance? The old question remains (to Diablo Cody, et al.) who holds the power in a strip club, anyway?? It doesn't matter, cuz it fucking works. She is as mysterious and actually complex as action/zombie/horror movie characters get, if you ask me. Word.

Although the viewer may be adapting the traditional, fucked-up "male gaze" that objectifies the female bod, it is hard to ignore the *strength* behind the moves and the look of Rose, that is the character of Cherry Darling...

Of course, the bizarre EMpower trip comes later, after a car crash slices off one of her beautiful gams, she ends up wielding a machine-gun extending from the stump of a leg she has left. Even though some may have felt...hit over over the head with the obvious, I love the idea of watching someone so defeated, a dancer missing a leg, fiercely acquire a whole new (better) sense of power and control. To watch as Cherry uses her stripper--I mean go-go dancer moves to deftly use her gun-leg to defeat zombies is one of the most thrilling sights I have ever seen on the big screen.

To me, it's all about how woman can turn body-objectification on its head by using their bodies for a purpose that empowers them. Erica and E-Beth--my kickboxing friends know this.

Speaking of women using their finely toned and muscular bodies for ass-kicking purposes...that brings us to Quentin Tarantino's brilliant "Death Proof." By the end, gender almost gets pushed aside. It's basically an equal playing field--stunt women bodies and a car--oops, I mean an Alpine White 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T with the 440/375 HP engine (whew) against a stunt man and his Crazy Psycho Slasher Death Car. The major showdown ends up being fought by two female movie stunt workers (one is Zoe Bell, the real Bride in Kill Bill! that is, Uma's stunt double...) pitted against a *perfect* psycho played devilishly handsomely by Mr Kurt "Overboard" Russell. In other words, there are no "typical" woman victims, here.
JMo informed me that the men in her crew of peeps that saw the flick thought it was lame how Stuntman Mike "turns into a pussy" at the end of the film. I absolutely love how Tarintino depicts him crying in agony, sloshing a bottle of booze over his wounds and down his throat, because he is rendered an utterly *powerless* victim. It's good to see that kinda shit on screen.
It ain't like this is the first time we've seen that kinda shit, though. There are "Thelma & Louise" moments, to be sure. Think of the rat-faced truck driver that the ladies delight in torturing after his lewd harassment. You picked the wrong "bitches from hell" to fuck with... I couldn't help but think when poor ol' Kurt Russell has his sights set on the movie set worker chicks with brains, brawn and bad-ass-itude. (dunno, sorry. heh.)


And "Death Proof" is full of those Tarintino dialogue that I can't help but love. The exchanges and banter that he's known for (that may annoy some...of the people I love) are what gets my ears to perk up and my mouth to spread to a grin. Smart, sexy, articulate Ladies who smoke dope, love "dude" movies, and do all their own stunts. Welcome to the (patented) World of Tarintino. Yowza.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

go see Grindhouse. Now.


because it freaking rules. and you will never be able to see 'em like this again--together, with all the fake previews on the Big Silver Screen.


more to come....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Only Ones SHOCKER!!

Believe it or not...they are reuniting.

I might have to sell everything I own, or something...but I'm seeing them. Oh, yes. I am.

'Junkies today are disgusting'

Is this the most drug-addled band in history? As 1970s hellraisers the Only Ones reform, Alexis Petridis unravels a tale of smuggling, drive-by shootings - and great music
Thursday April 5, 2007The Guardian

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

a perfect example

that first impressions are *NOT* always accurate. (when it comes to music, anyway)

I am being thoroughly blown away by Regina Spektor. Someone I have been reading about for a long, long time. Someone that Mary Lucia has tried to get me to love, when she plays her quite a bit. Months ago, I heard this song, "Fidelity" when I was waking up, on my alarm clock radio and it startled me (it's a really surreal time to hear anything, let alone new music). I heard affectation, a lil' Bjork/Tori Amos imprinting and it turned me off. So, I turned it off.

That was really stupid.

So, yesterday, Mary played her again. And my ears perked up, and I thought, fuckit--I gotta give this Russian another chance. I got her record, "Begin to Hope," and it's eclectic and eccentric and really polished. I had read that she had an amazing voice that sounded like a trumpet...and it's true. Kinda like Ella and Sarah Vaughan had those amazing ranges and horn-mimic things goin' on...

And now, well, I am in love with her. Really in love. It was the song "Fidelity" is what started it. Listening to the words...she managed to write a pretty, simple love song about the resistance to falling in love. And it's amazing. The repeated line, "it breaks my heart," is one of my fave phrases---- that mix of pleasure and pain and awe. And the way she sings about the thoughts/voices/distractions and "all this muuuuu-sik" in her head...just...breaks my fucking heart, it's so true and real and precious.

whew.

I also think the video is weird and fun:



She still gives me the Tori vibe, which isn't a bad thing, but it can be a lil' distracting. Don't get me wrong though. She is her very own. Very much so.

Oh, and I think she's garr-jus. And cute.

yes

From The Caucus on the NYT web site:

April 4, 2007, 11:22 am
Campaign Cash: Obama’s Total Rivals Clinton’s

By Jeff Zeleny

Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced today that it had raised at least $25 million in the first quarter of the year, a tally that is tantalizingly close to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fundraising in the same period.

The campaign says that more than 100,000 people sent contributions during the first three months of the year. Half of those people contributed through the Internet, the campaign says, which made up $6.9 million of the total amount raised. And 90 percent of the online contributions were donations of less than $100, the campaign announced during a conference call for donors this morning.

“This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems,” Penny Pritzker, the campaign’s finance chairwoman, said in a statement.

The Obama campaign first released the news to the Chicago Tribune this morning. The campaign has been sitting on the figure throughout the week – after the Clinton campaign announced its $26 million take on Sunday – hoping for maximum exposure. And, of course, its own headline.

Now, the Obama campaign will get both, particularly because at least $23.9 million of the money is targeted for the Democratic presidential primary. It remains unknown how much money Mrs. Clinton raised only for the primary. Her tally included contributions earmarked for the primary and general election campaign.

Stay tuned as the temperature rises between these two Democratic rivals.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

aslk;uhtajkshfgjkhadghafhdgkjfhdk



I acknowledge that this isn't that great of a song. I also acknowledge that I am still reeling that this actually exists. That is a whole mess o' sexxxy, my friends. I just fucking adore these women. Everything about them...yes. Their style, voices, et al. oh, and their respective bootays. lo-war-dee, the hotness.
iiiiyyyyy (as Shakira might moan)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I know I am late on this train


but, Wolfmother totally sound like the spawn of The White Stripes and Spinal Tap.

"Woman" *really* sounds like "Big Bottom"!!! the melody and the lyrics, dude: "she's a woman/ you know what I mean." And afterwards, I just wanna shout out, "talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em"!!!

But (of course?) I dig it.

Why I am I so late on this train? I do not pretend to know. I mean, Fitzy and I *saw* these characters at Lolla in August. I wasn't that into it. I think we needed to be closer. I did think that Jack White might have been on stage with them at one point (he wasn't, but he was at Lolla) just because I think that
Andrew Stockdale really evokes White (even more than Plant, yes).

Strangely, I knew I had to revisit the "Woofmother" (as Miss Kate Sullivan would say) from watching Fox! I was veering from my normal tee vee diet, and I found myself totally engaged in "House." I now believe this has to be one of the most awesome, fucked-up shows on network tv! I fucking love it. They used "Dimension" in a horrific, Iraq-war dream that Hugh Laurie's character was having and it rocked so hard, I had to get me some Woof. It makes me laugh (that's the Tap) but it also makes me want to crank it so loud, my neighbors complain (that's the Stripes).

Word.