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Monthly Archives: August 2008

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

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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

So I saw Death Cab For Cutie the other night at the Palace Theatre. They were OK, but more on that in a sec. Let me tell you a story.

So it was sold out and packed. It was one of those crowds that makes you feel pretty old… it seems the Death Cab crowds are getting younger and younger (certainly a lot different to the first time I saw them in a half-filled Corner Hotel around Photo Album era). I had a pretty good spot on some steps overlooking the main crowd and a nice view to the band. Then they turn up.

This makes it sound quite dramatic, but it was just a slight inebriated, over-excited young lass, and her boyfriend (I am guessing). After upsetting a few people in front of me in trying to secure a good spot she conveniently ends up one step down, just next to me. I wasn’t fussed… she looked like she was here for a good time with a nice combo of drinks and Death Cab.

So the band starts and she is singing every word. Yep, EVERY word. Normally I would get a little agitated, but it honestly didn’t worry me. In fact I quite liked it as for the most part the crowd was pretty sterile (more on that later). She certainly was enthusiastic. Anyway, we are about 3/4 of the way through the set and she keeps falling back on me. Not in a dancing way, but in what seemed like a passing out way. So, doing what I though was the right thing, I get the attention of her man and do a bit of silent hand gesture to let him know she is falling back into me and I am keeping propping her up. What do you think I get?

I get the what’s your problem look. Assuming he doesn’t understand what I mean, I try to explain over the band that she is constantly falling back on me. I get told to find somewhere else to watch the band. Still being polite I say, no guy, you misunderstand me, is she OK? I get told, she’s fine, don’t stand so close to her or move somewhere else, although not quite that politely. He says a few more things about it being my problem and goes back to the band.

So what is the point of this story? Well, not sure. But it did get me agitated and saddened all at once. In trying to say hey, is she OK, I copped a mouthful. I will come back to this in a bit.

I can hear you all… I don’t care, how were Death Cab?! Well, they were OK. And I mean OK in the most just OK sense of the expression. Nothing they did was terrible. We got some polite “Hello Springfield!!” banter, but it was pretty workmanlike from the band. I am thinking back now and I can’t really recall much that inspired more than a meh. Again, not to say they sounded bad, but some spirit seemed a bit lacking. Maybe it was the crowd… for a young bunch they were pretty uninspired. I Will Possess Your Heart got a nice welcome, but there was a really conspicuous absence of the new album for mine. I certainly know my favourites weren’t played. Maybe the new tracks could have injected some energy.

So this all sounds quite negative, but it should be far from it. It wasn’t bad. This just brings me back to part of my story. I can’t say I have left many gigs this year all woo hoo! like. I did really dig the Breeders the other week. But the last few I have kinda dug but been a little underwhelmed. I am starting to think it may be me. In fact I am sure it probably is. Am I getting over gigs? Maybe… I certainly am passing on bands at the moment that I would have 100% seen in the past. And people are frustrating me more than ever, part of the reason for my main story. But there is always going to be bands I drop everything to see… so maybe I just need to go to the odd gig and leave it at that.

Wow… what a soul searching post. Maybe I’m tired. But don’t worry… I am sure I will see the New Pornographers in October and my sunny outlook will come back. AC and Neko will cure all.

… muttler

P.S In thinking, maybe the Pixies come down has finally happened. At the time, I proclaimed their Palace gig as the greatest gig ever. I still do. And I also said it was no point going to any other shows as it can never be as good. I am certainly still getting the buzz every now and then. Sufjan Stevens and LCD Soundsystem both certainly did it for me at the start of the year. But maybe the golden days are done? Maybe I just need to either lighten the hell up or toughen the hell up?! Probably.

P.P.S If you were that jerk guy at the gig, I hope your gal was OK, but boy are you a jerk.

Note: Ben’s mutton-chops not to proper scale here

So the last one was this… http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0829482/

Any one who reads this might be surprised by that one, but I really dug that movie.

I will keep trucking with this until someone actually guesses one. Here is the next. A hint… a pretty iconic 80’s movie.

That’s a big twinkie!

Do you know?

… muttler

I thought as much. No one reads this blog! The last guess the movie quote was so easy. For those of you who didn’t know it, it was http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118715/.

This one is from a recent movie to see if anyone can guess. Now I didn’t expect to like this movie at all, but I laughed, and laughed hard. I dug it way more than any movie like this really has a right to be. It just goes to show that even a suss genre can be done really well. One of the best debut performances ever too. So here goes (apologies for the crude nature, but it really is funny)

Nobody has gotten a hand job in cargo shorts since ‘nam!

.. muttler