Sunday, 31 July 2011

Music: The Search for Lollapalooza - Pt. 5

Last day!

Gold Motel

Genre: Summer Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 12:15 - 1:00 on the PlayStation stage.
Band Profile: Founded by singer Greta Morgan during the hiatus of her previous band The Hush Sound, Gold Motel brings Cali rock to the table featuring Chicagoans Matt Schuessler, Adam Kaltenhauser, and Eric Hehr. The band recently debuted its first album Summer House and has been touring in support since.
Personal Opinion: These guys give me the impression of a buzzed-up She & Him, which to me is a great combo. I am really impressed with their songwriting - which is a rarity for bands in the "up-and-coming" early festival slots. 

The Joy Formidable

Genre: Indie Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 1:00 - 1:45 on the Bud Light stage.
Band Profile: If you think Ritzy Bryan's voice is a little ... well ... odd, you'd be right, because The Joy Formidable, hailing from North Wales, brings the noise with their buzz guitars, screaming chants and epic sounds. After years of writing for fun, Ritzy and bassist Rhydian Dafydd finally decided to go professional, picking up drummer Matt Thomas and recording their first EP A Balloon Called Moaning. The band has been supporting the album since.
Personal Opinion: Oh the BUZZ. With their big guitars and unique vocals, I really predict that The Joy Formidable will truely become a formidable force for the future of rock (pun intended). Really remind me of Arcade Fire! Good stuff.

  • All the bands are fronted by girls today. How do you like them?
  • Any personal opinions or suggestions to share?
  • How's your weekend been?
Share a little, below!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Other: Prepare For Music Overload!

Hey guys, how are you all doing this fine weekend?

EDIT: By nothing I meant nothing of Lollapalooza! Haha. Don't fear, I am not leaving you!

As you might have noticed, I post just about every other day. I also wanted to finish my Search For Lollapalooza series, and plan on doing just that. The catch is that I have about 2-3 more installments to go, but only roughly 5 days to do this. After receiving comments from you guys, I got the impression that you preferred spacing out the installments, and while I think that was a good idea, it no longer can happen in my tightly packed schedule.

Therefore, the next few installments will solely cover the series Search For Lollapalooza, so I hope you understand that I would prefer to space them out, but due to time constraints, I must pack 'em in to get 'em in before the festival next weekend!

So how 'bout it? I post solely Lollapalooza up until my wrap up post, (hopefully I can get some pics!) and then after that, NOTHING for a LONG LONG WHILE.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Music: The Search for Lollapalooza - Pt. 4

And we are passed the halfway mark!

The Drums

Genre: Indie Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 4:45 - 5:30 on the Google+ stage.
Band Profile: Two best friends and musical partners Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham began their musical careers touring as the electro synth-pop duo Goat Explosion before admitting defeat (due to lackluster success). After moving to Florida, they changed musical directions towards a more guitar-oriented sound, moved to NYC, picked up drummer Connor Hanwick, and blossomed into a cult success.
Personal Opinion: For me, these guys are an off and on love, some of their songs are just gorgeous, while some are, well - not. Maybe they'll grow more on me, but at least it's a start.

My Morning Jacket

Genre: Southern Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 8:00 - 10:00 on the Bug Light stage.
Band Profile: Forming in Kentucky in 1998, My Morning Jacket began with a country-folk sound, but as the band's success grew, new influences such as electro, pop, rock, soul and just about everything else under the sun. Right now, the band is experiencing the apex of their career, following a MSG run, mainstream popularity, and classic television spots, namely an episode of American Dad dedicated to the band (had to mention it, haha).
Personal Opinion: At this point, if you don't know about MMJ, something is wrong with you. Just amazing things. One of the biggest bands out their right now. Ten, Twenty years down the line, I'll be proud to be able to say, "I went to a MMJ back in their prime".

  • So, what do you think about these two bands?
  • One day left, for those who know the line-ups, any day 3 suggestions?
Toss a comment below! Thanks.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Movies: CFotW - Apocalypse Now (1979)

Wooo, back to Cult Film of the *cough* Week *cough*.

Apocalypse Now
Date: 1979
Genre: War, Drama
Director: Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather Trilogy, American Graffiti)
Starring: Martin Sheen (The West Wing), Marlon Brando (The Godfather, On the Waterfront), Robert Duvall (The Godfather, Deep Impact)
Concept: A washed out soldier (Sheen) is sent on a highly dangerous mission during the Vietnam conflict to assassinate a crazed ex-commander (Brando) who has become a godly figure to an up-river tribe.


Why You Should Watch:
  • This film could possibly be best described as the Forrest Gump 'Vietnam section' without the fluff and a lot more realism.
  • Apocalypse Now is hailed as one of the last great war epics made before the age of digital effects. Every explosion in this film, from the bullet shots to the burning of whole jungles, was actually done in the filming process.
  • Showcases acting by some of the greats, as Apocalypse Now ended up being a final 'hurrah' for many of these legends.
  • Has an amazing soundtrack that really captures the age in which the film was made, thankfully before the cringe-worthy movie soundtracks of the 80s.
  • Great story that you can really throw yourself into. Good laughs, awesome action, and lots of suspense and mystery.
The Trailer:

Wanna go river-boating?

  • Have you ever heard about or seen this film before?
  • If so, what's your opinion on it?
  • Good or bad performance by Brando?
  • Anything else?

Hope you enjoyed this, and please leave a comment!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

TV: Shows You Need to See #3 - An Idiot Abroad

Show: An Idiot Abroad (2010)
Genre(s): Travel, Comedy, Documentary
Star(s): Karl Pilkington, Steven Merchant, Ricky Gervais 
Concept: You've all seen travel shows where some good looking, all-around knowledgeable people go to a location around the world and experience some of the highlights of that region. Now imagine this - a simple minded person (Karl Pilkington) is forced to go to a foreign and sometimes dangerous land, is thrown into the culture against their will, and in turn mandated to complete difficult, horrifying and sometimes disgusting tasks related to the culture by his never seen but terrorizing planners (Steven Merchant and Ricky Gervais) before being allowed to leave.
Number of Episodes: 8 episodes in the first season, with a second season in the works.

Why You Should Watch:
  • I would say that this series was the first time I truly "got" Ricky Gervais. I had previously tried to get into the UK Office, and Extras, but I never seemed to break into his mind-set. But just going through this series, I think I really got a good grasp on his humor and will definitely go back to his other series.
  • If you love travel shows, this is literally the best thing you'll see in your life. It will change you outlook on travel shows within the first episode, and will make the old style travel shows seem so ancient and boring.
  • For fans of the Ricky Gervais podcast, this show is just a visual continuation of the trio after they are given money to spend for fun.
  • An all around unique show which for all intents and purposes, creates a totally new TV experience by combining travel, documentation, and true comedy in an unusual but awesome collection. You really just need to see it for yourself.

Those keen will recognize Steven Merchant as the voice of Wheatley in Portal 2.

  • Have you ever heard/seen this show?
  • Like/Dislike?
  • Excited for the second season, with the theme of completing "bucket list" activities.
  • Any other shows you would suggest?
Let me know below!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Music: The Search for Lollapalooza - Pt. 3

Part 3, let`s go!


Genre: Summer Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 12:00-12:45 on Saturday at the Sony stage.
Band Profile: Like out of a movie, each band member met during a worldly art school residence in Greece. Two of the members, Christian and Hannah, are from Brooklyn, Sean is from London England, and Andrew and Ryan are from LA. After their residency finished, each went back to their homeland, but realized what an opportunity they had. They then all went to LA to record their first self-titled EP GROUPLOVE.
Personal Opinion: They've got a great start, that's for sure. A solid EP is always a good thing, and that's probably why they've gotten the Lolla invite so early in their career. 


Genre: Eletro Pysch-rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 3:30-4:15 on Saturday at the Google+ stage.
Band Profile: Comprising of four members, Dom is named after the lead singer, Dom, and is accompanied by drummer Bobby, bassist Erik and guitarist Cosmo. Coming from Massachusetts, the band got its break after numerous references in the indie mag Pitchfork.  
Personal Opinion: This band is probably the greatest find so far in my Lollapalooza search, as I can't find anything wrong with them. It's just so good. Really excited for this one.

  • What's your opinion these bands?
  • Any suggestions for bands that I have missed?
  • More right now, or take a slight break? 
Let me know below!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Movies: The Harry Potter Decade

Back in at the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in November 2001, who would've thought that our older selves, ten years down the line, would still be lining up in theaters worldwide with just as much anticipation as before?

It's hard to describe the influence both the Harry Potter movie series and the Harry Potter book series has had on our lives. To many, the books were the gateway to reading adventures, opening paths in life that might have not been there previously. Friends were met, laughs were had, and tears were shed. Then the movies came along, and presented the wonder of J.K. Rowling's epic series to the silver screen, both reinvigorating the young-adult film industry and reigniting reading culture with such ideas like "reading the book before seeing the movie". 

So as the release date ticks closer and closer to reality (mere hours I am told), it comes to a sudden realization that this Harry Potter decade is about to end. From 2001 to 2011, there's always been a Harry Potter film to expect. They just don't make series the same. It still amazes me to this day that they, save for the passing of Richard Harris (Dumbledore in the first two films), a character was never once recast, a feat that will most likely never been beaten again in this Hollywood age of "two/three movies and (the actor is) out".

All this said and done, I know that in the end, it always had to end, and with that I can leave the film happy about its accomplishments, and be happy that I was a apart of the Harry Potter generation.

  • Will you be seeing the film?
  • Midnight release or a later time?
  • How do you feel about how the films have been made?
  • Anything else Harry Potter related?
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Music: The Search for Lollapalooza - Pt. 2

How's everyone doing?
Well, let's get right on to the second installment of TSfL!


Genre: Dubstep/Electro-house
Lollapalooza Show Time: 6:15-7:15 on Friday at Perry's.
Band Profile: Hailing from LA, Sonny Moore, via the alias Skrillex, has bloomed into a household name since the mainstream success of Dubstep in the top40 charts, a genre in which he is seen as a founding father. Using the classic methods as well as new-age promotions such as YouTube, Skrillex has amassed a staggering audience, and has influence on many key modern artists such as Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and the Black Eye Peas with his exploding sound. 
Personal Opinion: What's not to love? Skrillex has been taking mainstream dance for a spin (no pun intended) with his energetic approach to mixing, heavy beats, and slick melody. He's definitely going to be a highlight of the festival, and I look forward to catching his set.

Crystal Castles

Genre: Electronic
Lollapalooza Show Time: 7:15-8:15 on Friday at the Sony stage.
Band Profile: Consisting of two members, music man Ethan Kath and singer Alice Glass, this Canadian duo have skyrocketed into the indie-electronic scene with their otherworldly soundscapes. Beginning as only a sound experiment, Kath, without Alice even knowing, began posting clips online of his mixes. When things got serious, Kath reunited with Alice, and from there they've been touring and writing together as Crystal Castle.
Personal Opinion: I'm usually not a fan of "soundscape" styles of electronic, but there's something about Crystal Castles that grabs my interest. Maybe it's the melody, maybe it's just how they view themselves as a band as oppose to a DJ-type thing. I don't know, but whatever it is... I like it!

  • Well, what's your opinion on the part 2 selection?
  • Any suggestions yourself?
  • Should I continue to do this series all together, or should I break it apart more?
Let me know below!!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Music: The Search for Lollapalooza - Pt. 1

I am trying my best to get a post out every other day or so, but sometimes time doesn't work with you!

Anyways, I had mentioned previously that I would be attending this years Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Illinois from August 5th to 8th, and because of this, I have set a personal goal of checking out each band before the trip to figure out my ideal concert experience. 

So, I plan on doing a little series which I will be calling The Search for Lollapalooza, previewing the bands that I find interesting, and hopefully get a good understanding of the festival layout!

Young The Giant

Genre: Light Rock/Folk
Lollapalooza Show Time: 1:00-1:45 on Friday at the Bud Light stage.
Band Profile: Formed in 2004 as The Jakes, this Cali band's "made it" moment happened when they won a contest to open for the King of Leon in 2009 at the Chicago House of Blues, and ever since has been creating buzz through the release of their debut self-titled album and frequent song-drops on MTV and other TV networks.
Personal Opinion: I'm liking their style, but I think they need to bring a bit more energy to the table if they want to become big. As their set is one of the first of the day, I expect them to get a good crowd as the first day of a festival is usually the best day to play an early gig.

The Naked and Famous

Genre: Psych/Future Rock
Lollapalooza Show Time: 1:30-2:15 on Friday at the Sony stage.
Band Profile: A New Zealand band, The Naked and Famous have skyrocketed into the scene, having only recently released their first set of songs and have gained quite a following in such as short time. 
Personal Opinion: New bands are always hard to figure out, as they don't have much to judge from, you don't know a lot about them, and you don't even know if they'll be around in a year. But I guess that's the fun part, isn't it? Some people compare these guys to MGMT, and I can see where that comes from. I would just hope that The Naked and Famous can continue to expand their influences and develop a unique path.

  • Any Opinions on these two bands?
  • Like my new series?
  • Anyone else going to a festival this year?
Let me know below!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

TV: Shows You Need to See #2 - Battlestar Galactica

Show: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Action, with hints of comedic relief (Oddly the same as LOST)
Concept: In an alternative space-faring human history, mankind builds the Cylons, a robotic race, which breaks free of human control and wages war against its creators. After years of system-wide war, a truce is called and the Cylons flee to the other side of the known space. Decades pass with no sign of Cylon existence, so humankind begins to dismantle their armies in the seemingly everlasting peace, but are ambushed  in a surprise attack by the Cylon armies. Can humankind survive?
Number of Episodes: 73 episodes over four seasons, as well as multiple mini-series.
Why You Should Watch: 
  • If you ever watched Star Wars, especially the original trilogy, and wished that somehow you could see what it was like to be a part of the rebel resistance, outside of the main Jedi plot, you'll connect with this show, as the premise is roughly the same.
  • People sometimes get scared away because of the whole "space" thing, and while there are lots of Sci-Fi ship battles and things of that sort, I put this show as one of the best character drama's out there, so don't judge it solely on its overall premise.
  • Similarly to LOST, this show has a massive backlog of canon and extra information for the people who love to "delve" into a series.
  • Very unique and inventive story arcs, both short term and long term - There is a plot and they aren't just floating around in space fighting a new enemy every episode like TV's Star Trek.
  • A very realistic take on space Sci-Fi, no big lasers and super-reflective shields - very gritty space action.

  • Well, have you ever seen BSG?
  • Your opinion?
  • Any suggestions for related show?
Let me know below!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Movies: Transformers Review

It is 5 explosions for every drama-flick twist, or 6? 

Well, for this very reason, I want to start off this review by saying that it is impossible to compare certain films with others, and the Michael Bay directed Transformers series is one of them. Therefore, when reviewing Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, I will simply create a comparison from its two predecessors, Transformers (2007), and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).

I'll start off saying that T3 is not the best film you have ever seen, but it's also nowhere near the worst. It has its highs and lows, big explosions, action, drama, and romance - everything good in a summer blockbuster, but falters in one critical point, in that the third film in the popular franchise does not have an anchor, or that certain something that keeps the audience grounded among all the movement and plot twists.

In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker still stayed our teenage farm-boy throughout his journey through the stars, and Indiana Jones at heart was still America's quirky professor, but in T3, Shia LeBeouf's Sam Witwicky has all but lost that innocent underdog teenage scoundrel persona of the first film in exchange for his "I'm better then everyone because I'm special" self-opinion and the unrealistic ability to score the hottest girls in the world.

Because of this, we as the viewer no longer care in the same way about Sam, and when the audience doesn't care as much, the film turns from being a world class character adventure coupled with amazing visuals and killer action into a hotbox of robots and destruction.

I will however give credit when credit is due. The film really stepped up in its destruction of Chicago. It truly made the city feel like a battle-zone, and effectively used the landscape to create imaginative battle sequences that are the best yet from the series.

Therefore, in terms of plot, I would put T3 above T2 but below the original, as it still felt like the writers first wrote the best ways to blow things up, and haphazardly threw in connecting story lines, but improved whatever plot the second film did or did not have. However, in terms of action, I would rate T3 as definitely on par, and maybe even better then both T1 and T2, upping the awesomeness with unique and original fight sequences and visually stunning shots that vastly overshadow all the previous films attempts.

  • Are you going to see the film?
  • Have you already seen it?
  • What did you think?
  • Do you think a fourth will be made?
Let me know below!