New Release Tuesday :: My Top 5 :: September 30, 2014

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New Release Tuesday :: My Top 5 :: September 30, 2014

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1. Playland :: Johnny Marr

Three-Sentence Review: Addictive and incredibly listenable, Playland has taken me by surprise, exceeding any expectations I had when I pushed play. This album completely trumps and takes over Moz’s disappointing release this year in its musical relevancy and cutting edge feel. The album plays like a fantastic mix of some of my favorite mid-to-late 80’s bands (Love and Rockets, Flesh For Lulu, New Order) and some of the more recent alt-rock bands I’ve loved (Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, Palma Violets).

Initial Favorite Track(s): Easy Money, Dynamo and The Trap

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Easy Money

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2. Queen of the Clouds :: Tove-Lo

Three-Sentence Review: I’ve mentioned a few times in this space that 2014 is the year of the musical female artist, and this album from Swedish pop singer Tove-Lo continues the trend, and then some. I like my dance music a little dark and rough, and I love it most when the lyrics are well-written and honest, not just a catchy hook, and Queen of the Clouds has all of that, especially with songs such as my first listen favorite, The Way That I Am, Thousand Miles and the Summer hit, Habits (Stay High). Tove Nilsson’s voice reminds me of a darker Robyn, and her songs a more literate Kesha – I’d love to hear some of these songs stripped down and performed live.

Initial Favorite Track(s): The Way That I Am, Thousand Miles and Habits (Stay High)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.5

Habits (Stay High)

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3. Blue Planet Eyes :: The Preatures

Three-Sentence Review: Blue Planet Eyes is reminiscent of MTV-era 80’s pop songs with big hooks and electro-energized rhythms fronted by a rock/punk/power voice the likes of Joan Jett (just a little poppier, like if Joan had joined the Go-Go’s), which is who Isabella Manfredi reminds me a lot of. Business, Yeah is soulful and sad, reminiscent of Alison Moyet (back to that 80’s comparison again). Somebody’s Talking, my first-listen favorite, reminds me a lot of The Ting Ting’s, especially their We Started Nothing album-era.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Somebody’s Talking, Cruel and Business, Yeah

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.5

Somebody’s Talking

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4. Carry On the Grudge :: Jamie T

Three-Sentence Review: After a five year between albums break I was so excited to be spinning a new album from Jamie T this week, and yes, it was definitely worth the wait. The album, as a whole, is more emotional, less rap and rowdy, and complex in a way that improves with each subsequent listen. Sometimes Jamie’s voice strikes a chord that reminds me so much of Pete Doherty (Libertines, Babyshambles), and at other times it veers into something uniquely his own, and steps and stones away from predicted comparisons to The Cribs, Klaxons, and yes, The Libertines.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Don’t You Find, Turn On the Light and Zombie

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.5

Zombie

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5. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (Remastered- Deluxe Edition) :: Oasis

Three-Sentence Review: Over the last two years Oasis and I got back together after having a rather nasty break-up at the same time a big relationship had a nasty break-up (you know how sometimes a band goes with the ex? Well, this was the one to go). The thing is, it certainly wasn’t the music’s fault, even if the Gallagher boys are a bunch of asses a lot of the times, they certainly made some gorgeous music. I was so very ready for a remastered/re-release of this album, so full of beautiful songs and songwriting that just hit me in the best way, what a way to get over it and not look back in anger, this new release/re-release is worth everyone giving it another go – musically speaking, that is.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Don’t Look Back in Anger, She’s Electric and Champagne Supernova

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Don’t Look Back in Anger

Posted in Album Reviews, Albums, Lists, Music, New music, New Music of the Week, New Music Review, New music Tuesday, Reviews, Top 5 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Final Girls in Horror :: Top 25 :: 25-21 :: October’s Spooky Monday Movies (well, its ALMOST October)

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Final Girl’s in Horror :: Top 25 :: October’s Spooky Monday Movies

What is a final girl? Well, according to Carol Clover’s 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, argues that although slasher movies seem to delight in the sadistic torment of female victims, they are actually providing the audience a point of identification with the last woman standing, which Clover identified as the “Final Girl.” Since this is the spooky month of October around here I thought I’d give over “Movie Mondays” to celebrate the best of the “Final Girls” in horror. Each Monday in October (yes, I know it is technically September still, but this is October week) I will present five of some of my favorite “Final Girls” of horror films.

25. Natalie Simon, Urban Legend (1998)

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Natalie Simon, played by Alicia Witt, is the main character of the film Urban Legend, and is the Final Girl. Natalie delivers the final shot to the female killer, though whether that final shot is fatal is a spoiler I am not going to reveal. Natalie is not only the final survivor, but she is also the audience’s point of identification, and view, throughout the film.

24. Erin Harson, You’re Next (2011)

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Erin Harson, played by Sharni Varson, is the survivalist Final Girl of You’re Next. Erin was raised on an Australian survivalist compound, is good with an axe, mached and other household found makeshift weapons. She is the Final Girl you’d want with you if you suddenly woke up in a horror movie.

23. Suzy Bannion, Suspiria (1977)

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Dario Argento’s classic Italian horror Suspiria kicks off our list with our next Final Girl Suzy Bannion, an American ballet student, enrolling in a prestigious German dance academy. Strange things are afoot at the academy, and Suzy is the last dancer standing when everything goes to Hell. This is no Black Swan, though, Suzy is fierce and able to defend herself from witches, and a best friend turned enemy.

22. Sarah Carter, The Descent (2005)

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Sarah Carter, played by Shauna Macdonald, is the main protagonist of The Descent series, and one of the six women who descended into the Appalachian Cave System and were pitted against cannibalistic monsters known later as “The Crawlers“, who Sarah survives in the first film. She is the point of audience identification, and her weapon of choice is a pickaxe.

21. Francine Parker, Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Though in the original cut of the film our Final Girl from 1978’s Dawn of the Dead took her own life, it is in the final cut that Francine Parker, played by Gaylen Ross, does become our Final Girl, taking flight to escape the zombie overrun mall. During her whole battle to survive she is also quite pregnant.

Who is your favorite of the five above? Do you have a favorite you are hoping will be featured next?

Posted in final girls of horror, Monday Movie Moments, Monday Movies, Movies, Top 25 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments