Skip navigation

Hello. My name is Muttler. You may not remember me, but I used to post here. I haven’t been here for a while. A long while in fact. Any one who was semi-regular at visiting is probably long gone.

Anyway, Jase and I were talking about a resurrection to the blog. Maybe doing something a little more “themed” rather than random musing and crap.

To close this chapter of StormTheBarricade I thought I would try and summarise my top 10 albums of the year. This will be close to definitive, but I am sure there will be something I forget. So here goes. I am sure Jase will not agree with anything.

1. Flight of the Conchords – S/T

I have already gushed over this one. I have been listening to this for what, like 9 months? No, I haven’t stopped. It is still gold. The Conchords are the highlight of the year, in music, TV, and anything else.

2. Portishead – Third

Spoken about this one too. Amazing return.

3. TV on the Radio – Dear Science

I really didn’t get their previous album. I know everyone loved it, but I just couldn’t penetrate it. But as soon as I heard this I was hooked. This is an amazing album, with nary a dud track. But I still can’t dig Cookie Mountain.

4. Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward

I haven’t stopped listening to this either. What I thought might be a throwaway purchase has been a stayer. The perfect power-pop-punk album. “The Kelley Affair” might be single of the year.

5. Deerhunter – Microcastles

I had heard lots about Deerhunter, but not really given them a crack. But with this being an RRR album of the week, it got its hooks in. Maybe my favourite discovery this year.

6. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours

Local boys done good. People who know me may be surprised to note that The Drones were not in my top 5, or are even in the top 10. While I like their new one, I don’t love it which is actually a real disappointment. But it is OK I guess, cause Eddy Current gave us the best Oz album of the year. Drones… I still love you, but this album kicks ass.

7. Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely

Have talked at length about this. Jack White you can do no wrong (actually you can… that song for James Bond was terrible!)

8. Sigur Ros – Med Sud…

Yeah, their live show was disappointing for me this year, but this album is still great.

9.King Khan and the Shrines – Supreme Genius

Can anyone get away with calling their album “The Supreme Genius of…”. Well King Khan did, and he can. This is 16 all-killer, no-filler tracks.

10. Pavement – Brighten the Corners (reissue) + live album

Ha! This is cheating. But it did come out this year, and came with the bonus live album on vinyl that was meant to come out a decade ago, but only in the last week saw the light of day. I love Pavement, so I don’t care if it is cheating to include this. This album is still a 6 star album from 6 star band. Pavement ist rad.

Honourable mentions: Death Cab (I just got a bit tired of you), Jay Reatard (all 3 albums), Mogwai, Deerhoof, Breeders, She & Him, Black Mountain, Nick Cave, Spiritualized, Beck

There you go folks. Jase and I will try and be back. We promise. I think we have lots to argue about in a public forum such as this.

… muttler

The handful that read this will know that the Barricade has been an area for tumbleweeds. Jase has gone AWOL and I have been too for the most part. Between work, trying to get a PhD done, visits to hospitals, epic bike rides, soccer, AFL, etc etc, it has been hard to find time for anything.

So here is a catch up post, with some brief highlights and lowlights:

Movies:

Tropic Thunder… what a disappointment. I was geared up to love it, but felt like I missed the joke. I think I laughed 3 times… actually it was 3 times… I can count them.

Hellboy 2… I didn’t get this either. I won’t say it was bad, I just didn’t dig the vibe of it. I am not a massive Hellboy fan, but thought this would be OK, but it was just meh

Music:

– New Kings of Leon… what a shame… I dig KoL. But not this one. To me it sounds like 11 times the same song. I will give it more of a crack, but I can’t see this one getting high rotation.

– New Mogwai… this just sounds like Mogwai. So I really dig it.

King Khan and the Shrines… an “on a whim” purchase in Missing Link. Man did I make out like a bandit. The new album “Supreme Genius” is GOLD. I knew a bit about them, and had some tracks from a split LP they did with the Dirtbombs, but man, this is 16 awesome party tracks. Has not left the car in days. Get it now!

– New Okkervil River… see Mogwai review above (but substitute the word “Mogwai” for “Okkervil River”)

Gigs:

– Nope, none.

TV:

Arrested Development… I am late on this one and finally caved since everyone says “you will love it”. I am half way through season one. Can’t say I love it. I like it, but not love it. There is something a little self-conscious about it for mine. But I like it enough to keep watching.

Other:

– Jase got me into Mike Allred and Madman comics in a big way. While I can’t say the current issues of Madman are amazing, they are still really interesting, and he is a great artist and a great writer. Allred’s X-Force I really dug too. And Dead Girl is just way too cool.

So that is it I think. New Drones is out tomorrow. Woo hoo! The big one of the year for me. I will be at the record store at 9 (well, close to that). And Wall-E tonight. Giddy up… the wait for this has been toooo long.

… muttler

… although it was one of my friends and we had been talking about the movie not that long ago. But well done Batman! Last one was Ghostbusters for all you playing out there.

… muttler

Regular readers will know I have written about Pivot before. First they were one of those unexpectedly great support acts you don’t expect (supporting Battles). Then they signed to “influential” UK label Warp. I also saw them support Sigur Ros earlier in the month, although I don’t think I really wrote about them. Anyway, after waiting for the vinyl to arrive in my local, I finally have the new album, O Soundtrack My Heart.

I love this album. It is a “wacky” electronic album with live instruments, but not too wacky. It is an “accessible” electronic album, without being too accessible. So yep, we are in Battles territory, but a shade more easy for the listener. Unfortunately it is probably not going to be accessible enough to do massive sales, but I think it is certainly going to be on lots of lists at the end of the year.

I think what I am loving most is that there is no obvious single… each track is as cool as the next. I don’t have hooks running around in my head or anything (yet), however when each new track surfaces I think “sweet, I dig this one!”. What makes it even better is that the are Oz boys doing good.

So after not many awesome albums coming out recently, I am pretty chuffed to get this one on the record player. Finally, another one in my top ten (but Mogwai and Drones are coming soon so fingers crossed for those).

… muttler

Ah, my beloved Melbourne Victory. How good it is to see you again after more than a year. Yes I was a member last season, and yes I went to nearly all the home games. But did I see the Victory play the way they did last night? Not since we destroyed Adelaide in the Grand Final season before last.

Sometimes a rout in sport can be no fun. Not last night against defending champs the Newcastle Jets though. This was one of those games of such brilliance from your own team, that you love every minute of it. Our attacking plays were just so sweet that to think it is only 3rd game into the season a man like me can get very very excited. We have a theory that Danny Allsopp only fires every second year, and maybe that means we can win the title every second year. Well, he has 4 in 3 games. Not getting premature or anything, but I’m liking this season already.

… muttler

(from http://www.melbournevictory.com.au)

Yes, yet another “let’s get it out there quickly on the interwebs” release is the new album by Bloc Party. Called Intimacy, this is an odd one. For a fiver (quid that is), you can get your hands on it now from their website. It is coming out in physical form with extra tracks in October, but what we have here is effectively a full length album anyway.

Anyway, I call it odd, because at first listen I wasn’t sure what to think. Pitchfork didn’t really like it (but then you have to take any review of theirs with a grain of salt), but then the EG in The Age did. So while I was doing some work today I gave it a few spins. And you know what? I think I don’t mind it.

If you think you are going to get part 2 of either other albums then you are a little mistaken. What we are getting is a little bit of Silent Alarm, but a lot more Flux (the bridging single between albums). If you have heard lead single Mercury, then be prepared for a bit more of that. As I mentioned I wasn’t sure what to think, but I like this direction. No it might not scale the heights of their debut, but this is a nice step in staying on the forefront of British music I reckon.

… muttler

I wonder if the cover art will change? Surely…

Wow. I haven’t had one of these in a while. It used to happen a bit more frequently… the movie that comes out of left field to knock your socks off. Being John Malkovich was one, Fight Club was another, Amelie, and especially Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Here is another to add to the list: In Bruges. Repeat viewings will have to see if it really does join that list, but after 2 watches I have to say I love it.

Why it is has taken so long to arrive at our shores I really don’t know. I first saw it a month or so ago on DVD, as it came out in the US a few months ago. We only just have advance screenings now. Having seen it on the big screen now, it really is criminal we waited so long, but now it is here, life is good.

If you haven’t heard of it, it is not really a surprise. Being relatively low budget, and a UK production filmed in Belgium, it is never going to get big notice. But it getting wide release here so nobody has any excuse not to rush and see it. It has previous “it” boy Colin Farrell in it which gets it some publicity points, but don’t let that put you off… he is comedy gold in this film.

Concerning 2 hitmen lying low in Bruges, it is comedy, melancholy, and profanity all wrapped in one. I can’t really say too much more regarding plot… that would spoil the experience. The movie has such a low key charm and understated sense of humour, that I was a little worried seeing it with an audience they would not respond, But at my local multiplex the crowd lapped it up.

So I don’t want to say anymore. You will see comparisons to Lock Stock and Pulp Fiction bandied about, but those are lazy. This has a charm all of its own. If you get easily offended by quite profane language, or politically incorrect jokes about dwarves and the mentally challenged, just a word of warning… although those are the funniest parts of the movie. Two big Muttler thumbs up.

… muttler

What? I hear you ask. What the hell is Equinox?

Well, it is a very very dodgy movie from 1970, but for some reason championed by the Criterion Collection. Well it can’t be too dodgy if Criterion put it out, I hear you say. It must be some foreign art-house filum. Nope, guess again.

Equinox is an ultra low budget schlock sci-fi horror movie about some youngsters heading into the woods to meet their Professor, when they stumble upon some kind of enchanted book. All kinds of shenanigans then ensue. So what makes it notable?

It was made for only $6500 (yes it shows), and it features the some of the worst post voice dubbing I have ever seen. Acting is gloriously awful, and the whole thing is unintentionally hilarious at times. But it also features some great stop motion effects by Dennis Muren, who has since gone on to win a gazillion Oscars.

So yes it is dodgy. But it is all at once the worst and best movie I have ever seen. Movies like this are exactly why Hollywood sucks. Yes, 99% of people will see this and think it stinks. But 1% will see it as some joyous, fun film making, and actually quite inspirational visual effects. I’m in that 1% for sure.

Oh, and check out Criterion’s 2 disc set. Who would have thought a movie like this could have 2 awesome discs. Kudos to Criterion for recognising that genius comes in all shapes and sizes.

… muttler

The new Drones track The Minotaur has been out for a few weeks now, and man is it sweet. Jase, James-o and I heard it when we saw them a couple of months ago. The album Havilah is out in about a month here in the fair old land of Oz… other countries may have to wait a little longer. But having heard most of it at the last Drones gig, I promise you it is going to be awesome. Yes, I promise.

But until then, check out the clip. Boy this is an odd one. Not sure what to think of it.

Oh, and the Drones are doing some album launches in October. We here in Melbourne get them in the opulance that is the Forum. Nice.

… muttler

Classic photos redone with Lego. While the idea is not new, this shoots for really iconic photos. Some are actually a little confronting. The comments alternate between “Cool, Lego!” and “These images are cold-hearted and patronizing”. I actually kinda agree with both. Have a look and make up your own mind. Maybe this is a bit of a personality test… your opinion of the Lego version of the 1963 shot of the monk on fire probably says a lot about who you are.

http://www.wired.com/culture/art/multimedia/2008/08/gallery_legophotog

… muttler

From wired.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.