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Monthly Archives: June 2008

I love lists. And I love making compilations. So it is about this time of year I compile my first “Best Of” CD, usually for my friends Damien and Anna.

I will post the tracklisting in the next few days when I actually make it, but here is my top-5 albums so far in 2008.

1. Flight of the Conchords:

None of my friends will be surprised by this choice. I don’t exaggerate when I say I have listened to this 300 times. Now I don’t usually “get” musical comedy, but I seriously think this is genius. It is my favourite driving CD, and when I drive I sing along and I laugh. Sure people laugh at me when I am sitting at the lights, but I don’t care. Plus Ladies of the World gets my nod so far for most awesome song of the year. Redheads, not Warheads… Blondes, not Bombs… I’m talking about Brunettes, not Fighter Jets. I love it.


Flight of the Conchords – Ladies of the World

2. Third by Portishead:

If FotC didn’t exist then I would have listened to this even more. As it is, I listen to it a lot. What makes this album even more remarkable is it took 10 years, and it still shows Portishead as the most vital “electronic” band out there. The beats are awesome, and the track We Carry On just gives me goose-bumps.


Portishead – We Carry On

3. Consolers of the Lonely by The Raconteurs:

This is probably a bit biased. Maybe some other albums could have made it instead. But Jack White and co. kicked my ass when this all of a sudden turned up. Not only was it a surprise, but it was 14 awesomely great tracks. Not a dud in there. Maybe it is a touch too long, but that really only says it is too good rather than being filler.


The Raconteurs – Salute Your Solution

4. Narrow Stairs by Death Cab For Cutie:

If you told me that Death Cab would be vying for a spot in my top 5, I would have laughed. Not that I don’t like them, but I thought Plans was pretty average. But Narrow Stairs is a really great from start to finish. It has some of Death Cab’s best songs in ages on it. Only 11 tracks (a couple of short ones in there) but it just flows beautifully. Some of my friends don’t dig it, but I think they are all crazy like.


Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart

5. Get Awkward by Be Your Own Pet / Blood Visions by Jay Reatard

Sorry about the double up, but here is two pop-punk albums that I just love. Jay Reatard came out of nowhere. I heard a bit about it, chased it up, and then went “whoa! how awesome is this?!”. 15 songs, 25 minutes. Perfection. Be Your Own Pet are a bit more accessible, and I may have even listened to this even more. I quite liked their first album, but this just takes it to the next level. Like Jay Reatard, brevity is the key. And this is also 15 tracks of bliss, not a dud in there. In fact The Kelly Affair is probably the second best song so far in 2008. How I love Russ Meyer.


Be Your Own Pet – The Kelly Affair

and


Jay Reatard – Not A Substitute

Honourable Mentions: Sorry to Nick Cave, Black Mountain, She and Him, My Disco and Sigur Ros. You should probably all be on this list.

… muttler

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Sorry… just a side note. As I type I am actually watching the Joe Strummer doco The Future Is Unwritten. It is OK I guess, probably not as good as I thought it might be (I am two for two… I watched the Kurt Cobain doco About A Son last night and I thought that was pretty terrible… so pretentious!).

Anyway, I felt compelled to type, because Bono just popped his stoopid head up in yet another music doco. Three questions:

  1. Why do directors feel that Bono adds any gravitas to their music doco.
  2. Who the hell is he to comment in half these things (him in the Fat Possum doco made me sooooo angry).
  3. I have heard all the reasons why he wears those stupid glasses, but in this Joe Strummer doc, it was night and he was wearing them.

Bono, you are a jerk. And anyone who likes U2 is a jerk too. I am sure he cares what I think though.

… muttler

Those of you who know me know that I obsess over a few bands. There is Beatles, Pixies, Pavement, White Stripes, Wilco, and usually rounding out the half-dozen is The New Pornographers. Sure, you all know I love my picture of Neko and I, but ultimately I just can’t get enough of the Porno’s music. 4 albums, and they are all gold. In fact I would struggle even to name more than handful of songs of across all 4 albums that I don’t love.

Anyway, why all the pornography? Well, they are coming back to Oz, and even better, they are coming to my beloved Corner Hotel! Woo Hoo! They are here in mid-October and I promise you it will be awesome. Their show at the Prince a couple years back was one of those gigs that made me giddy with joy. So yes, I will be in obsessive mode the next few months. Tickets are on sale Friday so get on to it I tells ya.

… muttler

Well, looks like Jase has gone AWOL, so it is up to me to keep this sucker afloat.

This morning was the last morning of getting up at 4:30am. Spain were very much deserved winners. Before the game I was thinking “Can they choke again? Surely not”. Thankfully they didn’t.

Yep, I was on the Dutch wagon for a while, then Russia. Ultimately, after the debacle/awfulness last Euro that was Greece and their god-awful boring play, I was just hoping for a team willing to razzle dazzle to take the honours. So could this be the start of a Spanish dynasty? We’ll see I guess. They look good though.

… muttler

(Photo from theage.com.au)

Well, you have seen a few posts from me about Sigur Ros in the last fortnight. And here is one more. The band has their new album streaming on their website right now, a week or two before it is in stores. The full title being Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly). So I have got to live with it for a week or so now. And what do I think?

I am digging it. As indicated by the opening track (and free download) Gobbledigook, it is a lot more playful at times, especially the first 3 or 4 tracks. But is definitely an album of two halves, my only criticism of it is that it has a definite upbeat vibe in the first half, which then turns into more a mood piece in the second half. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I find I get really enthusiastic about the first half, and then find the second half tracks pretty much indistinguishable. But I don’t mean it in a bad sense… they flow beautifully and before I know it, the album has finished.

Regardless, it is a great album… just a little different to show Sigur Ros can be a little different, but still with quintessential Sigur Ros parts. Some tracks though, especially Festival, are going to blow our socks off live come August. Giddy up.

… muttler

On Sunday I rode the new Eastlink freeway here in Melbourne on my bike with my mate James-o. All I can say is if the planning that went into this even went into the building of the freeway, then the drivers of Melbourne are screwed. Yes, I know that thousands more people turned up than registered, but it was so poorly organised that it was still stuffed from the start, not to mention just plain dangerous. In the end James-o and I didn’t ride the whole thing… we were about 10km short, but it was just too crazy to finish.

Hey Eastlink people, how do you account for:

  • Having riders ride head on into each other and just simply being asked to “keep left”
  • Only using one bit of freeway (yes, I know you had cars parked on one side in parts, but that doesn’t explain why kilometers of virgin road was sitting there idle)
  • Have thousands of riders trying to cram into one lane each way down near the Frankston end… and then ask them to simply turn around
  • Having 65km riders, who were moving at a fair pace, hit all the casual riders back at about the Monash?

All in all very crazy. I hope too many people did not get hurt (the ambulance seemed to be somewhat busy). Anyway, I got to see some of the crazy new “art” pieces on the side of the road. The bird is awesome, the Hotel, not so sure.

… muttler

To be honest I have no set allegiances in this Euro, but I get excited about it nonetheless. And I have to say the Dutch have stolen my heart. For one they are playing absolutely gorgeous football, but secondly, how can you not love the team that beat Italy in their opening game? If Romania beat the Dutchies then both France and Italy are out, the two finalists from last World Cup. Ha! The Dutch game against France was especially awesome. Robben’s goal defied the laws of Physics. And I kept him in my dream team. Sweet!

Otherwise, it will have to come down to the Dutch, Portugal, Spain, and a dark horse like Croatia I think. 4:00am mornings are a killer though…

… muttler

What a quiet time on the Barricade.

There hasn’t really been many albums or movies or anything happening of late. Well maybe there has been and we have been too slack to write. I promise I will soon! It is exam marking time so that is taking most of my time and sanity away. But here is what you can expect some posts on over the next week (with some teasers)…

(Photo from http://www.euro2008.uefa.com)

  • Euro 2008… Dutchies beat Italy… woo hoo!
  • Southland Tales… oh my god… what an absolute train-wreck of a film
  • Mario Kart… the only thing more fun than playing Mario Kart is playing Mario Kart against friends
  • Flight of the Conchords… I am officially obsessed
  • Spiritualized, Songs in A & E… more songs about gods and devils

That is what is happening at the moment, as well as work and PhD.

A parting story. Apparently Metallica played an early mix of their new album to some music journos. Of course, they wrote about it on their blogs. So what does Metallica do? Forces them to take the posts down. So why did you play it to them in the first place?! Jerks.

… Muttler

This review of Indiana Jones is superfluous. For one it has been out a week and anyone remotely interested has seen it. Secondly, nothing I can say or do would change any ones desire to see it (or not to see it as it were). So why write it? As a child of George Lucas (Indy and Star Wars) it just seems the right thing to do.

Now I am not going to just gush on about it. Similarly, I am not just going to bag it and say that my childhood has been violated. Here simply is the good and the bad (minus spoliers). A point of reference for you… Raiders is gold, Last Crusade is OK, Temple of Doom is underrated.

The Good:

  • It is most certainly an “Indiana Jones” movie
  • There are some genuine laughs (jocks v greasers is comedy gold)
  • The spirit of the original movies is retained (for the most part)

The Bad:

  • The central plot device sucks (not saying what, it gives too much away)
  • Some jokes are way too “jokey” (monkeys anyone?)
  • Too long (some scenes just go nowhere)
  • The end

That’s it in a nutshell, you can make up your own mind. I can’t elaborate too much without giving away spoilers. Again why did I write it? Well, I am watching Raiders as we speak and it is just so awesome, so I guess I felt compelled to vent a little. The scene where you see Indy run over the hill being chased by all the natives near the start is just one of the most awesome shots ever. Damn it, the whole movie is perfect.

… muttler