Friday, March 27, 2009

WILCO - new album and DVD

The newspapers may be full of doom and gloom but this should bring a smile to your face: Wilco are brining out a new record.

The title and tracklisting are still to be decided but the songs are finished. They will see Wilco return to the experiments of the studio, rather than the live, organic feel of 2007's SKY BLUE SKY.

Rolling Stone was lucky enough to listen to a very early version and concludes that "the disc gives off a strong country vibe, with lots of pedal steel and acoustic guitar. Standout cuts include the mournful ballad "My Country Disappeared," the Being There-style rocker "Sunny Feeling," a duet with Feist ("You and I") and the band's new unofficial theme, "Wilco, the Song," which features the chorus "Wilco will love you.""

YOu can read their article HERE.

The release date is slated for June, and if it is anything like their string of fantastic albums (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost Is Born, Sky Blue Sky) perhaps 2009 won't turn out to be such a bad year after all.

Also, Wilco are releasing a tour DVD - Ashes of American Flags. It's getting screenings in cinemas accross the states( you can see the schedule here)after winning the award for Best Cinematography at the Big Sky Film Festival in Missoula, MT.

The DVD is available for pre-order on the Wilco

Monday, March 23, 2009

Grand Slam at last!

On Saturday, after 61 years of waiting, Ireland finally won a Grand Slam at the six nations. The final game was against the pre-tournament favourites, Wales at their home in Cardiff.

It was such a tense and nerve-shredding experience, going down to the final seconds of the game, but the result was a good one.

The Irish Times sums up the dying moments below:

Two minutes to go.

Ryle Nugent: “Horan . . . Wallace . . . Ireland in position . . . this MUST be it . . . this MUST be it for Ronan O’Gara . . . drop . . . at . . . goal . . . Grand Slam . . . at . . . stake . . . HE’S GOOOOOOT IIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!”

“YEEEeeeeEEEESSssssSSSS!!!!!!!!!!,” said Tony Ward, leaving us wondering which side he was supporting.

“WHOOOooooOOO HOOOooooOO!!!!!,” said Ryle, ensuring he’d never again receive a welcome in the valleys.

“OOOOOOOOOH!!!,” said Tony, so high pitched it sounded like he’d actually popped.

“WOULD. YOU. BELIEEeeeeEEEVE. THAT,” asked Ryle.

Us: “NOOOOOOOoooooo!” (“But we’ve still got two minutes to go,” whispered Tony, so hushed it sounded like he’d just fainted).

By our calculations two minutes = 120 seconds, which, in the scheme of things, isn’t all that much, except when it’s 120 seconds of excruciating, unendurable, insufferable hell.

Sixty seconds later.

“No penalties,” pleaded Tony, his voice going all tremolo.

“No penalties now,” screamed Ryle, his voice long since gone tremolo.

One second later.

Ryle: “Penalty to Wales.“Wales have a penalty to win the Triple Crown and break Irish hearts,”

the penalty was awarded with the time at 79:11; Stephen Jones struck the ball at 80:07; it neared the posts at 80:10. That was almost a whole minute.But all the while, through that lifetime that was those 59 seconds, you knew, come what may, you’d remember it forever, good or bad.

They crouched, they studied, they exchanged a quick glance, and perhaps prompted by Tony’s strangled cry of “yeeeeEEEEEeeeessssSSSSssssss” they kept their flags lowered, and you exhaled so violently a hurricane would have seemed like a breeze.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ben Kweller - Changing Horses review

Ben Kweller
Changing Horses

Ben Kweller is one of those guys that can write a tune with a melody that just burrows into your head so you'll sing it all day. On his eponymous 2006 effort almost every track was a perfectly crafted pop song.

Like a lot of artists, Kweller feels that to mature he has to turn his hand to other genres. So Changing Horses is aptly named as a turning point. He puts down his electric guitar and trades it for a pedal steel and a measure of suppin' liquor. This is a full blown country affair, brimming with multi-part melodies and twang.

Does it work? At times. 'On Her Own, 'Fight' and 'Sawdust Man' find the winning combination of Kweller's adolescent voice, acoustic guitar and catchy melody. Elsewhere it sounds as if a country band are re-interpreting some of his demos and employing a honkey-tonk man to play over the top.

Kweller found success by brining his indie-pop style with infectious vocals to student dorms. While changing horses is an interesting diversion, it's not where his true talent lies.

Rating - 7/10

Listen to Changing Horses in full for free at Spotify.

Paste's 10 most re-watchable movies

Paste Magazine has produced a nice feature on the top 10 movies that you can watch and watch and watch.

Their top 10 is as follows:

10. Goodfellas
9. Napoleon Dynamite
8. Pulp Fiction
7. Spaceballs/Robin Hood Men In Tights
6. Casablanca
5. The Princess Bride
4. The Ten Commandments
3. Animal House
2. Groundhog Day
1. The Shawshank Redemption

What do you think? I have never seen Spaceballs, Animal House or even The Ten Commandments or Casablanca. Perhaps it should read the most watchable films.

Read the full post (including trailers) here