Sunday, September 30, 2007

Liars - Liars

After three very concept-heavy records, Liars seem to have a very simple goal with their fourth album: playing and doing what they damm well please. Of course that, coming from a band known for the many twists presented throughout their short but immaculate career, this means touching so many different genres and things to the point of near-schizophrenia. From hard-rock to shoegazing, punk to pop, late 1980's Manchester-inspired sounds, trip-hop experiments, new wave tricks, industrial atmospheres, garage rock and a lot of Sonic Youth influences, "Liars" gives us an effective tour throughout their limitless musical tastes. The main point that takes it all to a higher level being that everything is done with a very personal/Liars point of view, a mutant approach to song-writing and production and, most of all, an unique and visceral energy that sounds like it couldn't come from anyone else. (7,5/10)

Liars - Plaster Casts Of Everything (video)

MySpace page
Official Site

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lo-Fi-Fnk - Boylife

Although originally released in 2006, only recently I've discovered Lo-Fi-FNK, a duo coming from Sweden consisting of Leo Drougge and August Hellsing. "Boylife" is their first album and is another irresistible take into the electro-synth-pop universe, this time seen from the eyes of two scandinavian indie-kids. Meaning that we have infectious upbeat anthems, retro 1980's synthesizers and keyboards, addictive melodies and a generally shameless pop attitude, but also a candid and enthusiastic approach that seems genuinely naïve (and all the better for it). With songs about glistening parties or growing up that actually sound clever and a natural and youthful energy, "Boylife" could very well be considered the positive side of last year's darker (and brilliant) "Silent Shout" by The Knife. (9/10)

Lo-Fi-FNK - Steppin' Out (video)

MySpace page
Official Site

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Black Kids - Wizard Of Ahhhs (demo)

Think fireworks, joy of living, intense moments, excitement states, religious catharsis, shivers sent down your spine, and you get the idea. With only a few songs so far available throughout the internet, Black Kids have been one of my latest obsessions, with their fresh take into the whole indie-rock sound/scene. Apparently their live shows can be life-changing experiences, but in the meantime and while you don't get the chance to see them, do yourself a favour and go download 4 of their anthems at their myspace page. One of them is called "I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you" and besides being the coolest title ever, it's also getting really close to become my favourite song of the year. (8/10)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Music Videos # 60

Late Of The Pier - Bathroom Gurgle

In more than one way, this video reminds me a lot of Klaxons and their Myths Of The Near Future concept, building an intriguing dark imaginary that features broken glasses, primitive body-paintings and an enigmatic warrior, while actually being a huge step forward. As for the song, produced by Erol Alkan, it includes so many diverse things that I don't know where to start. Electro-glam-new-wave-techno-synth-rock? "Music to have asthma to"? Mark my words, these kids are gonna be huge.

Myspace page

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kanye West - Graduation

There's still some justice in the world after all. Kanye West has outsold 50 Cent in first-week sales of their new albums in what has been called "the sissiest rap battle ever" (and now apparently 50 Cent will have to retire, if he wants to keep his word...oh well...). Ok, maybe "Graduation" doesn't have that novelty appeal of "College Dropout" or the grandiose strings-induced-goosebumps of "Late Registration", though it probably is his most consistent record yet. But most of all, dude still knows how to search for lost samples and incorporate a multitude of references (this time even including european-techno or krautrock) to create an orgasmic mix of kaleidoscopic sounds that surpass the usual hip-hop frontiers. (7,5/10)

Kanye West - Stronger (video)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers

Pitchfork's new darlings A Place To Bury Strangers are really something. Branded as "the loudest band in New York", they're actually taking the shoegazing revival scene into a whole new level, incorporating its typical self-absorbed attitude with more industrial and aggressive sounds, which somehow remind me a lot of "Songs About Fucking" from 1980's underground project Big Black, mixed with a hint of gothic philosophy. Surrounding those distant and cold melodies (think Jesus and Mary Chain or Joy Division) and analog synthesizers, there's layers and layers of guitars, reverb, static noise and distortion, all so loud, poignant and sharp to the point of leaving everyone's ears bleeding. Apparently, aggressive noise can be a beautiful thing. (8/10)

A Place To Bury Strangers - To Fix The Gash In Your Head (video)

Myspace page

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Music Videos # 59

Cajun Dance Party - Amylise

After months of huge hype (much centered around the fact that they're only 16 years old), Cajun Dance Party seem to finally reach their full potential and justify all the media buzz, releasing an explosive song destined to top many year-best lists. Love all the infectious energy and massive enthusiasm felt everywhere, while the strings add an extra touch of urgency that sends this song into the stratosphere. Hell, they even have colorful baloons in the video. Massive.

Myspace page

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Music Videos # 58

Róisín Murphy - Overpowered

Ever since leaving Moloko, this girl seems to be getting more and more intriguing (and interesting too, I may add). After a first solo-album full of Mathew-Herbert-oriented experiments, this time it looks like she's heading into a more electro-pop direction. While we're all anxiously waiting for the full results (her label promises "a heady mix of electronic dance anthems, soul-stirring pop songs, deep, dark funk and quirky lyrical genius"...), here's the first single / video from her forthcoming album. Cool outfit.

Iconic Images # 3

Björk photographed by Jean Paul Gaude, Mixte magazine, October 2007 issue

Masters Of Horror

This last weekend, during the MOTELx - International Horror Movies Festival of Lisbon, I ended up seing what will certainly turn out to be two of the best movies of my personal cinematic 2007. Funnily enough, they were originally made for television, as part of the Masters Of Horror project, which consisted of autonomous 1-hour episodes directed by prestigious horror-movie cineasts and first shown on cable in the USA, during 2005.

John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns (dir. John Carpenter)

Why I loved it:
- The whole huge terror-densing atmosphere built around...a search for a movie!?
- Many references that will be loved by all the cinema enthusiasts out there.
- An homage to all B-Series classics. Hell, with so many means, even some of the acting still kinda sucks and the movie only gets better because of this spirit.
- Who of us doesn't end up desperately wanting to see "Le Fin Absolue Du Monde"?
- It's a classic John-Carpenter-at-its-best, period.

"In this film by legendary horror director John Carpenter, a wannabe film producer named Kirby Sweetman (Norman Reedus) obsesses over a lost cinematic treasure. Called LE FIN ABSOLUE DU MONDE, the film was screened only once because its premiere turned the movie theatre into a madhouse of killing and violence. As Kirby goes to great lengths to track down this notorious film, he starts to have hallucinations of dangerous proportions. Will the rumors surrounding the film destroy him, or will he find it in time to use it as a weapon?"

Homecoming (dir. Joe Dante)

Why I loved it:
- Don't think there's ever been such an acid and caustic critic towards the Bush administration as this one.
- Huge sense of irony with loads of second-meaning quotes and situations.
- Is this a horror movie, a comedy or a documentary?
- Never too much to mention the Bush thing: even Michael Moore movies are 100% politically correct when compared to this.
- You end up on the zombies side.

"A horror film with a political message, HOMECOMING comes from director Joe Dante (GREMLINS, THE HOWLING). With a war going on abroad and an election coming up, the Republican party is anxious about getting enough votes to seal the deal. But when they wish for the soldiers who died in the war to come back to life and speak on their behalf, they never expect it to actually happen. Rising from their graves, the undead men and women set out to tell their own version of events, and to get revenge by voting out of office the party that sent them to war."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Strategy - Future Rock

And here's another good example of what you can achieve when putting together so many different references and, almost by accident, ending up with something new in your hands. The title "Future Rock" may be a little bit exaggerated, but Strategy's music couldn't sound more actual. Once again, and like Joakim, the main comparison is Studio's "Yearbook 1", but if Joakim used the same methods reaching totally different results (darker, creepier, moodier, colder), Strategy's approach is almost identical to Studio's (and if there's any complaint to be had, that's basically the only one). Meaning we have long and warm electronic digressions full of groove, with acoustic appointments, sporadic (altered) vocals and an overall nostalgic and indolent feeling, where the sun can be felt in almost every second, while you end up dreaming only of positive things. The press, always hungy for new classifications, has invented the term "Balearic", and considering the associations this word brings to mind (holidays, the sea, relaxing in the sunset on a desert island) this time they're not really that far from the truth. (8,5/10)