Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In Rainbows

Radiohead, the group that most people consider the best band in music today. I myself for one am a devoted Radiohead fan and have been for years. The music, concepts, themes, emotions all trigger something within many listeners which turn us into Radiohead fans. Since the debut of "Pablo Honey" and more specifically the track entitled "Creep", Radiohead has always been in the eye and ear of many music lovers. For those fans of the acclaimed band, we have a new album, a new sound, a new image. We have "In Rainbows".

"In Rainbows" is the follow up to "Hail to the thief" and Radiohead's seventh album in their discography. The 10 track album has literally been in the making since what many call Radiohead's masterpiece "OK Computer". The track "Nude" featured on the new album was being played regularly during the touring of the "OK Computer" which is ten years prior to "In Rainbows". Not only does this new album have the guitar driven, lyric heavy songs like "OK computer", it has song's that take that sound and build on top of it. The song "Bodysnatchers" which is a live favorite sounds like it would also have been in the "OK Computer" era. A song that simply captures the sound and vibe that first drew music fans to Radiohead.

The album is completely filled with beautiful pieces of music and some of Thom Yorke's best lyrics. The opening track "15 steps" is a beautiful mixture of pop music and an artist at work. In this day in age we have hardly any musicians that understand of the concept of artistic entertainment. We either have very artistic music which isn't anything to dance to, let alone bob your head or we have the musicians which all of us have heard on the radio which just play music for a paycheck. The producers write the songs and they do as they are told. Radiohead was never brought up that way and I know for a fact they won't conform to this new "style" of music.

Themes, Emotions and the creative sound of this album are all carefully blended together like a rainbow itself. It never shifts gears and doesn't have any song that comes completely out of left field, the album is amazingly structured even though none of the songs sound anything alike. Everything from "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" which may be Radiohead's most amazing achievement lyric and music wise to the hauntingly beautiful closing track "Videotape" which is guarantee to stay with you long after the song has ended are all completely different sounding songs. This is Radiohead's best structured album hands down.

The Production of the album has been talked about since the release. The sound is amazing for a download, it surpasses most Cd's in a technical aspect. Jonny's Guitar and ambient sounds have never sounded better. His older brother Colin's bass is just beautiful, you can literally feel the bass traveling from his strings to your ears and into your brain where it resides. Ed's haunting guitar is the last jigsaw falling into place making everything full and rich. As for Thom Yorke's voice and song writing, it has never been better. Everything is top notch which leads me to Mr. Phil Selway.

This is Phil's album completely. Every beat of the drums is absolutely perfect, Phil has always been an amazing drummer but on this album we get so many subtle offbeats and drum rolls that are just jaw dropping. The brilliant track "Reckoner", not to be confused with the previous and more rock track also entitled "Reckoner" has some of the most amazing drums on any album I've heard. The faint Snare rolls in the background towards the last third of the song are just genius. Also I must say I have never heard anything like the drum patterns that are playing in the last parts of Videotape. A drum pattern which adds a beat after every roll, I was literally floored.

"In Rainbows" is genius. An album filled with nothing but amazing songs and top notch production. Radiohead may have well gave us their masterpiece. I also say that in a literal sense due to the revolutionary "Pay what you want" album price that they gave to their fans. More lightening's of this album will provide us the answer if this tops "OK computer" as Radiohead's Crowning achievement, for myself it's already on par with it. How can you not love the slowly paced melody and rock out ending of "All I need"? How about the beautiful and lovely "House of cards" which i will admit didn't sit well with me when i first heard the live recording but Radiohead seemed to make it into one of their most beautiful song's in years. Last but not least the very mysterious "Faust Arp" which no one knew about is literally one of the most brilliant things Radiohead has ever done on acoustic. "Faust Arp" would make Red hot Chili Pepper's John Frusciante wish he would have written that song. "In Rainbows" is a perfect album which will definitely go down as a great step forward in marketing for music but more importantly a huge step forward for the greatest band in the world.

Thank You Radiohead.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ebert, we love you.

"Anderson is like Dave Brubeck, who I'm listening to right now." That is a line from Roger Ebert's review on Wes Anderson's new film The Darjeeling Limited and I couldn't agree more. This is why you are the best critic around.

When the play begins, please lower the volume and let Brubeck take over.

(The opening Snare should hit right when Max let's go of the microphone)

Read Ebert's full review.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A girl made the dude eat vomit...and?

Audition (Takashi Miike,1999)

This is a film that many have recommended me. Friends and critics loved this film and couldn't stop talking about it. I decided to watch the film for myself and those people can't be more wrong. Most people know the plot so I'm not going to get into details. Guy holds audition, girl that he picks is insane. Well, that's actually pretty much it.

Takashi Miike starts off with a premise that can be a passable horror film but yet fails in every aspect. The film starts off very slow and boring but Miike himself says that he deliberately structured it to be boring. No filmmaker wants their film to be boring, that's literally one of the stupidest things you can say and do. What he needs to accomplish because he obviously wasn't trying is to build suspense between the characters, make the characters interesting to watch, feel for the characters. Miike takes a ordinary nice guy that has a son and wants us to feel for him. Just because he's a nice guy doesn't give him character, Miike also has his wife die in the first scene to add more sadness and it doesn't work.

Audition then goes into shock horror, not jumps but shock. Miike believes that having a girl vomit into a bowl and making her slave eat it is horrifying. For myself, i didn't even find it disgusting like so many people have. I just watched the scene play out and i told myself "was i supposed to be disgusted by that?", i suppose if the audience is weak enough then they would find that scene disgusting and just because of that call it a masterpiece. That's the only reason why i could see anyone calling it a good film because there's obviously nothing else to it.

So many people cherish Miike for gross out scenes like the one i described in the paragraph above and i honestly don't see why. It's not that i don't get it because i obviously do but there is no basis for it. The scene comes literally out of left field and not only that, they have dream sequences that also come out of nowhere. Come on, he even has a dream sequence within a dream sequence. There's no reason for the dreams either, he tries to give explanation in the commentary but he doesn't even know what he's talking about.

Grade D-

Two Amazing films.

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)

The best film of the year by far. Everything in the film works, the colors, direction, characters, writing and music. I absolutely loved this film and it will be hard to top. Also after going back and watching Se7en and Fight Club which were my two favorite Fincher films, Zodiac comes out on top. I would also love to see a double feature with Zodiac and Memories of Murder which is a Korean film that basically has the same plot. Both are amazing and can't be compared because they take them in two very different directions and then come to the same conclusion. Flawless films in my opinion.

The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)

A film that is so well structured, not one line of dialogue is wasted. Everything that is heard in this film has to be heard, everything that is seen has to be seen. The best scenes within the film are when our Main character just puts on his headphones and listens to the people he is observing. We listen with him, we notice every little creek in the wooden floors, our ears are open for dialogue that is important to our main characters observation and many films these day's cant take you to a place like that. Right when he removes his headphones we then start to observe him and feel what he is feeling. Our main character hardly says a word of dialogue but yet we know exactly what he's thinking. Amazing film.

Please take off the mask little mike, you look awkward.

Halloween (Rob Zombie, 2007)

This film fails on so many levels it's just hilarious. We get the same premise as John Carpenter's Original but with unnecessary back story, profanity and music. Instead of writing my write up on this film, i will show you. The video below was is literally exactly what Rob Zombie's Halloween is. It's hilarious and cringe worthy.

Yeah...I really wanted to like this film because i loved his previous effort "Devil's rejects" which i found absolutely entertaining but this just blew up in his face.

Grade D

Note: i actually saw the screener version of this film but I've heard the one that hit theaters is actually worse...sorry Zombie, better luck next time.

Pretend like nothing ever happened...

"In Rainbows" is the title of the new Radiohead album. If you know me personally you know that i am a huge Radiohead fan. You can get the album at for as much as you want. Yes, you can pay as much as you want.

I have already purchased the discbox set which brings exactly what the picture shows above. It cost around $82.00. For Radiohead, i would have paid much much more.