Archive for August, 2010

Colleen Green

August 19th, 2010 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Pitchfork caught this cool California chick first but I just wanted to spread the word. Colleen Green is a fuzz rocker and she’s awesome. Check out the song “Worship You” below. It’s off an 8-song cassette called Milo Goes to Compton. I wanted to buy one but they sold out…making me very sad…

Colleen Green – Worship You

Freedom Or Death

August 18th, 2010 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

I like my music like I like my women: moody, dark, and synthetic. And I like Freedom or Death.

Freedom Or Death – Lost In Dances

Scott Pilgrim and I: A Love Story

August 14th, 2010 | Features | 0 Comments

Don’t worry, I’m going to try to stay away from spoilers, so if you haven’t read Scott Pilgrim and are thinking about reading it or seeing the movie, don’t be afraid to read this.

Three months ago I didn’t know who or what Scott Pilgrim was. I was cozily living my life, when I started seeing people posting the trailer of Facebook with comments like, “This is gonna be the best thing eva!” After seeing the words, “Scott Pilgrim” too many times to ignore, I had to click on one of the trailers.

…And I watched it…

…And it looked really, really awesome…

It had video game references, dudes in rock bands, kung-foo fights, a love story with a chick with cool hair and it looked like a comic book. So basically it was everything I loved rolled up into one package. Whatever this was, I wanted it right now, and then more of it.

I wikipedia’d Scott Pilgrim and found out that it was this graphic novel series written by this guy Bryan Lee O’Malley and the entire thing is set in my hometown of Toronto. A week later a had time to go and sit down in the big Chapters/Indigo by the Scotiabank Theatre and I read through the first Scott Pilgrim. It was good, cute. I wasn’t in love with it yet but I definitely wanted to find out what happened next.

They didn’t have the second one at that store so a couple days later, I went over to the huge Chapters/Indigo by Yonge and Dundas and sat down and read through the second book. And the more I read, the more I fell in love with the story.

I had a huge stroke of luck and my pal/TdotComics prez Alice Quinn lent me books 3-5. And yeah, I just got more and more obsessed.

Not only are the books witty and an awesome hodgepodge of geek culture, but the love story around which everything revolves is amazingly sweet and one of the most realistic I’ve ever seen. We’re surrounded by so many two-dimensional or simply ridiculously unrealistic romances that when anything kind of gets it right, it’s a small miracle.

The chemistry between the Scott and Ramona makes sense. Ramona is this very emotional, complicated girl. She’s not 100% sure who she is. She’s always trying to find herself, and with every new boyfriend, she tries to enter and be a part of their world, find some place to belong. That’s why her ex-boyfriends are of a good variety, and her resume includes emo kid, skater/tough guy, vegan band guy, stylish older guy, etc. This is also reflected in her changing her hair every one and a half weeks.

Now, Scott Pilgrim, as a character, is not someone I would like in real life. The casting of Cera in this case was appropriate, because Scott Pilgrim is this shallow, uninteresting, lazy, unmotivated character. He’s almost like a non-character, and if I had to pick any actor in Hollywood to play a young guy totally devoid of character, I would probably pick Michael Cera.

So back to what I was saying before about why Ramona really likes Scott Pilgrim.

I’ve seen many an awesome, deep, emotional girl fall for a guy who looks about as interesting as a dixie cup. Why? Well, in this case, these blank guys, I think, act as blank canvases for these girls. These girls have so much emotional stuff to figure out in their own world, that these blank canvas guys kind of just allow them to do that, reflecting these girls back to themselves without interjecting any of their own reality. I could be wrong, but that’s just a theory I have and I know I’m not the only person who thinks this might be the case.

As you’ve probably figured out, it’s Ramona’s character that made me fall in love with the Scott Pilgrim series. However, despite my contempt for Scott Pilgrim himself, I do admire and relate to the way he feels about Ramona and how persistently (though clumsily) he pursues her. He’s like really in love and it’s cute. I know I’m like a cynical blogger, but everyone’s got their soft side…

So yeah, that was what really hooked me on the comics. And then of course there’s all the video game references and band stuff. I don’t know if I can go into that cuz it’s just like way too much, but I’ll just say if you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda (preferably Ocarina of Time), there’s a lot of stuff you’re not going to get. That game in particular gets a lot of nods and if you ask me it’s the greatest game of all time so, yeah, you should play it. If you’ve got a Wii you can get a Gamecube version and play that. If you have never played this game, your life is missing something.

Now, the movie: it’s awesome. Shot as though it was made for an audience with ADD, director Edgar Wright still makes sure to give us time to get to know the characters, and the fact that they’re played by such phenomenal actors and actresses as Anna Kendricks (Twilight, Up In The Air), Aubrey Plaza (Funny People, Parks and Recreation) and Kieran Culkin makes a big, big deal. Alison Pill (Milk) also stood out as Kim Pine, the pissy, deadpan drummer in Scott’s band Sex Bob-omb. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers was a perfect choice, and her definitive, relatively deep voice imparts her intelligence immediately, something crucial to the character. Shout outs as well to Ellen Wong for going all out as ridiculous high school chick Knives Chau.

The first three fourths of the movie are very true to the comic while the last bit changes things significantly. It works but it’s a little shakier than the rest of the movie. Jason Shwartzman gives Gideon Graves a bit more character than he has in the graphic novel, which is good, but the entire subspace aspect of the graphic novels, which is crucial to understanding exactly how Gideon controls Ramona, is almost entirely glossed over.

That being said, if you’ve read the graphic novels and understand some of the things they only kind of briefly mention or allude to in the film, everything will make more sense and work better. And really, the few flaws the film has don’t compare with how many things it gets right. Video game culture is portrayed amazingly well, and between the visual references, 8-bit music, the way a lot of text is displayed on screen, and the way the aspect ratio changes during certain scenes, a lot gamers may very well come in their pants with excitement at what they’re watching.

Then there’s the music which is awesome. Not a big surprise when Nigel Godrich is your composer and the songs in the movie are written by Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric. The song “Ramona” (which I just wrote about in my Beck Band of the Week thing) is definitely the best, though the Metric song (played in the movie by Clash at Demonhead) is also pretty good.

If you haven’t read the graphic novels, seen the movie, or don’t really know anything about Scott Pilgrim, I highly urge you to fix this. The poignancy at the center of the story is what I think has made this little book by a comic book dude from Ontario such a phenomenon and I highly recommend it to everyone who’s ever played video games, played in a band, read comic books, or liked a girl.

Quiet Lights

August 6th, 2010 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Brooklyn dream-poppers Quiet Lights sent me over some stuff and lo, the stuff was good. I present to you, the stuff…

Neon Canyon

August 5th, 2010 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Canadian shoegazers Neon Canyon just released a second EP that’s even better than their freebie first (which was also really good). Check out this solid cut off the new release.

Neon Canyon – Bricoleur