Tag Archives: Entertainment

Music To Your Eyes

Is it music that makes the scene or the scene that makes the song more memorable?After watching The Watchmen in all its splendor several weeks ago, I was really impressed by Zak Snyder’s weird and equally wonderful soundtrack.It was packed full of familiar classics and covers from the late 70’s and 80’s, including Jimi Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower, Dylan’s The Times They Are Changing, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Simon and Garfunkle’s The Sound of Silence and the bizarre inclusion of Nena’s 99 Luftballons.In the following weeks, I stumbled across the suburb indie The Wackness, with its equally appealing soundtrack full of urban beats. For those with a fondness for hip-hop, I strongly recommend you check it out. Highlights include Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest, Flava In Ya Ear – Craig Mack and The World Is Yours – Nas.My final boost of inspiration came from watching the classic Good Morning Vietnam and I began to compile a list of the most memorable movie songs ever.Now, this ended up being a lot harder than I first expected, so what started off as 10 was soon 20, then 25 and is now 30 songs. To make my choices easier, I prioritised in the order of good song, good movie, good moment and good artist.I’m still not 100% sure that this would be my ultimate list, but I honestly couldn’t think about it any more. In my opinion it’s pretty damn good, and makes a great play list even if you’re not into movies.I know that there are probably millions that I have forgotten, but I figured you guys would tell me what I’ve missed.So without further ado, and in no specific order – The 30 Greatest Movie Songs Ever Continue reading Music To Your Eyes

The Year in Review. Again. Except different.

After Chris and Peter’s excellent and admirable best-of lists, I figured I’d put a word in for some good stuff I’ve discovered this year. Well, there were already shitloads of people who knew about all of this stuff, so ‘discovered’ in a Christopher Columbus sort of way. Except nobody got hurt.First up is screenwriter John August. He maintains a site providing insider advice  for aspiring writers, drawn from his own experiences. As soon as you get there, you can tell he’s got writing chops – his prose is simultaneously clear, eloquent and precise while being conversational and friendly. Being about as much an industry outsider as it’s possible to be, I can’t speak to the accuracy what he says, but with credits on high-profile stuff like Burton’s Wonka and Big Fish, uncredited work on the likes of Iron Man, a recent directorial debut with The Nines and being the writer of the excellent Go, he’s got the experience. Get your wise words at Lost didn’t do much to help the case, with similarly aggressive marketing, but I gave that one a shot… and was fed so many red herrings that I switched off before season one was done. But MI:3 was the best action for years outside of Bourne… then in ’08 he spoke at TED, and it turns out that he’s an articulate, intelligent and charming chap with a great handle on his media and real vision. At some point, he’ll get a Guys Who Get It post, but for now, I’d really recommend JJ Abrams’ TED talk.Third thing I discovered was Tina Fey. Sure, she’s been great in 30 Rock for a few years now, but nothing compares to her pitch-perfect, hilarious and contemptuous imitation of Sarah Palin. One might say that Palin is an easy target since she’s a world-class idiot, the simplest of all the forest’s creatures stumbled into the headlights of a world far beyond her ken… but when Thumper goes for the nuclear codes, you run the little bastard down. Which is what Tina did. Roadkill was never so sublime.Okay, roadkill was never really sublime at all, but I wanted to see how far the metaphor would stretch for me. Not that far, apparently. Now I know for next time.Fourth thing I found this past year is that Ben Stiller is always one movie away from finally being funny, and since that movie is probably called “Ben Stiller: A Life in Retrospect starring Actorbot 4”, there’s just no point waiting anymore. Zoolander wasn’t everyone’s sort of humour, but at least it was someone’s sort. Have you heard they’s making Night at the Museum 2? The man’s a lost cause. He’ll never get another dollar of my hard-earned… er, bandwidth. Begone with him.Conversely, at number five, you have your Robert Downey Jr., a talented, charismatic chap who’s been waiting to be an A-list finest-actor-of-his-generation kinda guy and seems to actually be becoming one. We all know Iron Man kicked arse, directed by the also finally-arrived Jon Favreau, so I won’t belabor the point. Downey Jr. certainly  needs to kick some goals over his next few films to really cement his position, and he’s started already by being the only good thing about Tropic Thunder… fingers crossed that Ritchie’s Holmes and Joe Wright’s Soloist keep the momentum going.Number Six is sort of a posthumous mention for . What can I say? It’s fun and funny and clever and original and genuinely heartbreaking and the songs are catchy. The first ep starts a little slow, but by the time the lyric “With my freeze ray I will stop / The pain” comes along you’d have to have a heart of stone to not be enamoured. Neil Patrick Harris rocks, outshining the redoubtablell leave it there. Happy 2009!

2008 – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It wasn’t until now that I realised how slack I have been this year. After looking over the biggest releases of 2008, it struck me that I have seen hardly anything. So the following list is of the movies I did manage to watch, but keep in mind that I am yet to see some of the bigger releases such as Wall-E (Pete, I apologise but I will get there eventually), Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Wrestler.But for now, here are my best and worst movie and music lists for 2008,BEST MOVIES1.
Gone Baby Gone (Ben give up the acting, you’ve finally found something that you’re good at)2.
Iron Man (Downey Jr. is officially Man of the Year)3.
The Dark Knight (Heath… what more can I say?)4.
Burn After Reading (The Coens deliver a light snack after the heavy serving of No Country)5.
Shine a Light (The Stones & Scorsese deliver a film that rocks)6.
The Orphanage (Scared the shit out of me)7.
Pineapple Express (Funnier with each viewing. Closely followed by Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay as best stoner comedy)8.
Man On Wire (Mesmerising)9.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Even after falling short with Step Brothers and Drillbit Taylor, Apatow remains at the helm of Hollywood comedy)10.
Lars and the Real Girl (A man and his sex doll prove that movies don’t need sex, drugs or violence to tell a good story. Hands down the nicest movie of 2008)WORST MOVIES1.
The Other Boleyn Girl5.
Semi-ProSorry guys, I know I missed a couple of big ones, but I think I am just going to avoid ever watching Australia, The Love Guru, Max Payne, House Bunny, Speed Racer, 10,000BC, Disaster Movie or The Hottie and the Nottie. I just don’t think I can handle them.BIGGEST MOVIE LET DOWNS1.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull2.
The Quantum of Solace4.
Zack & Miri Make A Porno5.
Oracular Spectacular – MGMT2.
Ode to Sunshine – Delta Spirit3.
Attack & Release – The Black Keys4.
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend5.
Viva La Vida – Coldplay6.
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust – Sigur Ros7.
Santogold – Santogold8.
Apocalypso – The Presets9.
Feed The Animals – Girl Talk10.
Flight Of The Conchords – Flight Of The ConchordsBEST SONGS1.
People C’mon – Delta Spirit2.
Time to Pretend – MGMT3.
Crawl – Kings of Leon4.
Guarantees – Atmosphere5.
Something Is Not Right With Me – Cold War Kids6.
Psychotic Girl – The Black Keys7.
I Like It, I Love It – Lyrics Born8.
Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend9.
You Don’t Know Me – Ben Folds (Featuring Regina Spektor)10.
Jimmy Recard – DraphtBEST PERFORMANCES1.
Rage Against The Machine – Big Day Out (Melbourne)2.
The Hives – The Falls Festival (Lorne)3.
The Black Keys – The Palace Theatre (Melbourne)4.
Cold War Kids – Splendour in the Grass (Byron Bay)5.
Billy Joel – Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne)BIGGEST MUSIC LET DOWNS1.
Kanye West – For a horrible new album and a woeful performance at Good Vibrations2.
Kings of Leon’s new album Only By The Night3.
MGMT’s performance at Festival Hall (Melbourne)4.
The weather at Meredith Music Festival5.
The Kooks follow-up album KonkTHE MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 20091.    Watchmen (I just finished the novel. Can’t fucking wait!)2.    Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, Law and Downey Jr. I hope this is as good as it looks)3.    Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino and Pitt are bankable and Meyers is in desperate need of a hit)4.    Moon (Sam Rockwell flying solo)5.    Star Trek (Just ask Pete or Justin)6.    X-Men Origins: Wolverine (It’s taken four movies, but Gambit is finally here!)7.    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Gilliam directs Ledger in his final performance with the addition of Depp, Law and Farrell)8.    Avatar (It’s been on the cards for some time, but 2009 could be the year Sam Worthington takes Hollywood)9.    Terminator: Salvation (Bale has proved a knack for rebooting franchises, hopefully this one is just as good)10.   S. Darko (I don’t imagine this will surpass the original, but I can’t help but be a little curious)MOST ANTICIPATED MUSIC OF 20091.    Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown, Australia Day – Easily my favourite day of the year2.    The Strokes new album (unfortunately still TBA)3.    Girl Talk at the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival4.    Fatboy Slim at Good Vibrations5.    The return of old skool hip-hop – Eminem aside, old skool hip-hop could make a comeback with anticipated releases from Dr. Dre and OutkastSo there it is, my entire year in a nutshell.Thanks to my man Jordo for his music contributions, without him I’d still be listening to Smash Mouth.Pete, Justin and Dave – Thanks for taking me on, it’s been emotional.And for everyone else who actually reads my stuff, cheers guys!

Get Some Satisfaction


While most kids grew up with Sesame Street and Gumby, I was raised by the likes of Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Keith Moon and Eric Clapton. And while those kids sat in front of a television, I was usually in the lounge strumming AC/DC on a cardboard guitar, while my sister kicked drums behind me.As with all music buffs, my parents had the most influence on my current musical preferences. And while this cannot explain my fondness for hip-hop, when a friend asked if I preferred the Beatles or Rolling Stones, there was never any doubt – my mum loves the Stones and so do I.This opinion was set in stone after I hired Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese’s rockumentary that follows the Stones over two shows in New York during their  2006 “A Bigger Bang” tour.Shine A Light is categorically a concert film, straying from the typical documentary formula and leaving narrative at the door for a good show.Having used their music in no less than four of his films (the track Gimme Shelter alone features in Goodfellas, Casino and The Departed), Marty portrays the Stones through the eyes of a fan and his genuine excitement and admiration for their music and stage presence transfers to the screen.Historic footage and interviews document the band’s rise from humble beginnings. The contrast between the baby-faced Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and the drug-worn performers we see today is a true testament to how long these legends have been around.The pre-concert conversations between Jagger and Scorsese are fascinating, capturing two masters of their respective crafts, each trying to create the ultimate experience.And when the lights finally flood the stage and Keef swaggers out, strumming Jumpin’ Jack Flash, fans and critics alike will have no doubt that they are in for something big.Jagger emerges, prancing around the stage as a man in his twenties. His flamboyant gestures and sexual innuendos would be creepy for a man in his mid-sixties, if not for the iconic presence and menacing smirk.Richards defies belief, and while heavy drug and alcohol abuse have taken their toll on his looks, his ability with a guitar remains in tact. Richards is in it for the music. When he perfects a riff, a cheeky grin extends across his already lined face, which gives you the feeling you’ve just witnessed something special.At the ripe old age of 61, Ronnie Wood is the band’s youngest member. While easily holding his own on guitar, Wood enjoys entertaining the crowd, working the stage like a seal at the zoo.Charlie Watts looks completely lost most of the time. It is not until after each song, that he smiles to himself and winks to the camera with a sigh of relief, that you realise that he is just far too into the music to register what’s going on around him.Special guest Jack White holds his own against Jagger, lending his vocals and guitar to Lovin’ Cup. White is obviously a fan, and it is great to watch him hold back a childish grin as he plays next to his idols.Christina Aguilara’s incredible vocals on Live With Me make a powerful impression on the crowd and Jagger basically uses the three minutes she is on stage to touch her as much as possible.The show’s biggest highlight comes from legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy. Their rendition of Muddy Waters’ classic Champagne & Reefer is phenomenal. Richards and Guy bounce off one another as the crowd and the rest of the band’s ensemble watch in awe.The good thing about reviewing concert films is that instead of providing a plot summary, I can just give you the track listing; so here it is,Jumpin’ Jack FlashShatteredShe Was HotAll Down the LineLovin’ Cup (with Jack White)As Tears Go BySome GirlsJust My ImaginationFar Away EyesChampagne & Reefer (with Buddy Guy)Tumbling DiceYou Got the Silver (with Keith on vocals)Connection (with Keith on vocals, incomplete)Sympathy for the DevilLive With Me (with Christina Aguilera)Start Me UpBrown Sugar(I Can’t Get No) SatisfactionShine A Light (heard, not seen, during the end credits)It was disappointing that my favourite track Paint It Black didn’t make the final cut, but rest assure that it features as a bonus on the DVD.After 46 years, the Rolling Stones have surpassed generations of wannabe rock-stars and talentless boy-bands to become one of the greatest musical acts of all time and ultimately, Scorsese reveals how and why.For fans of the Stones, Shine A Light is essential viewing. For everyone else… well… I’m not sure why you would hire it, but if you weren’t a fan before, you probably will be.4/5 starsADDITIONAL VIEWINGU.S. Empire posted this great list of the top ten concert movies; you can check it out right here.Scorsese’s The Last Waltz made number two on the list, and I encourage everyone to check it out. The film follows The Band’s 1976 farewell concert and features guest performances from the likes of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood and Neil Young.


Sure, it’s got overacting and bad dialogue and silly costumes and embarrassing alien marriage ceremonies and Wesley Crusher, but at day’s end, I still dig me some Trek. I like the old kitschy one with Shatner’s unique brand of swagger. I like Next Gen with its weighty pretentious pondering and its weighty pretentious captain. I like Deep Space Nine with its overblown prophesying and mawkish romance. Hell, I even like the one with the holographic doctor and that insufferable Neelix guy.The movies, though, should always have been much better than they were. I mean, I’ll watch them, but more because I really like spaceships and rayguns than the quality of the flicks themselves. Wrath of Kahn is probably the only one that stands up on its own… although I confess to a soft spot for the comedy stylings of the Star Trek Christmas Special. Oh, and that zero-G japery in Check him out:


Graphical Representations of Songs

After mentioning Flickrolling on the last podcast, the lovely listener Chris emailed me with a few more sublime graphical representations of songs. These are probably as old as the hills, but they were new to me. 


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!


Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

there are hundreds more over at the flickr song chart pool.