Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's greetings

About a week ago, I read (and subsequently became obsessed with) this article which basically explores the similarity of shark behaviour to that of a serial killer. Apparently, great whites stalk their prey rather than it being a random attack. For example, sharks have swam past other swimmers to take out a person closer to shore or have knocked other swimmers or surfers out of the way to get to a person when it would have been easier to eat someone closer. More scary, they get all Ted Bundy about it and hunt the same spot and observe their prey from a distance before attacking.

What does this mean? Well, it means that Jaws 4: The Revenge is probably the most misunderstood and awesome movie of all time. In a nutshell, the plotline of Jaws 4 is that the family of Brody (Roy Scheider in the original movie) is being picked off one by one by a vengeful shark. They even go from Amity to the Bahamas and the shark follows the family and keeps killing them! Good times.

Currently, Jaws 4 ranks a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and of the reviews listed, "No review available" was probably the most favourable thing written about it. However, in light of the new research, it's obvious that what I thought was one of the stupidest movies of all time is in fact a brilliant analysis of shark behaviour and adds a cautionary tale to anyone who has ever eaten fish and chips. Sharks know - alright, they just know and if you stray into their kill zone, you're history. Good job I don't swim in the ocean. Enjoy your summer at the beach!


Monday, December 13, 2010

And the name of my first novel is...

You heard it here first...


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some songs of the year...

Some songs that weren't on the albums I listed below (for the record - my favourits song was Superchunk's My Gap Feels Weird).

Cee Lo-Green - Fuck You
So many levels of awesome it's hard to comprehend I could put this on at my staff Christmas party and no one would notice. Did I do this? Possibly.

Kate Nash - Do-Wah-Do
I do love my girly pop and this song just makes me smile.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - You Won't Let Me Down Again
I never really got on board with this collaboration because really, I just want lot's of Mark Lanegan - ta dah!

Kanye West - Power
I'm a fan of Kanye but I've only listened to his album a couple of times so while there's some awesome stuff on there, I'm yet to make up my mind on how good it is. However, I think this song (as well as Runaway) is brilliant.

How to Destroy Angels - A Drowning
This song is great ipod fodder for when you're out and about. Low key but engaging putting you in that aloof mood to deal with the general public. The other thing I love about this band is that it's essentially Nine Inch Nails with a female singer which seems to drive NIN fans barmy and somehow, I find that very enjoyable.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Best of the year - the final bit...

Jonsi - Go
Jonsi is responsible for one song that always makes me cry - this one. However, my interest in Sigur Ros has waned of late but this album is uniformly excellent. There are still a few weepy numbers but there is a vibrancy and buoyancy to this album which is infectious and weird. Comparing Jonsi to Bjork is redundant (I don't want to put them in some Icelandic ghetto) but there is something they both share - total awesomeness.

Grinderman - Grinderman 2
A lot of people talk about Grinderman as an outlet for Nick Cave's angry id which has been repressed by the Bad Seeds increasing sophistication and his penchant for stately ballads. I think that's kind of bullshit because a) Grinderman is made up of Bad Seeds and b) the Bad Seeds can still be fierce both live and on record. This album sounds like the boys messing around in the back shed and as Cave is learning guitar as he goes - Grinderman sounds like the greatest non-adolescent garage band in history. Furious and dirty, this is the sound of Cave re-learning to write in a new form which is fun and detached from his stately history. It's not an angry id, just the sounds of a naughty boy thrashing his guitar in his bedroom.

Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Broken Bells is that guy from the Shins and the dude who did the Jay-Z/Beatles mash up. It is excellent.

Antony and the Johnsons - Swanlights
I generally have two reactions to foreign films: I'm totally entranced or I look at the screen like a monkey trying comprehend physics. For a long time, I was a perplexed monkey when it came to Antony but good timing and the right circumstances made me finally understand the equation. As such, I've been working my way through all his albums over the last year and Swanlights has come as a welcome edition to my listening spree. At times, it's almost as if the songs are secondary to the voice but there is a deep current of beauty and surprisingly, anger running through this album. The highlight for me is the duet with Bjork where two of the most idiosyncratic singers on record trade lines like they're channeling operas from Mars.

Other notable mentions:

You Am I - You Am I: their best album in years.

The Corin Tucker Band - 1000 Years: Not quite Sleater-Kinney but it's still a solid album.

Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer: Fuck You is a great song and more than makes up for that terrible Band of Horses cover.

Bonobo - Black Sands: Some early '00's electric throwback but really nice.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk: Yeah, that's some good shit there.

Bullshit album of the year.
Sorry Sufjan, but you've gone from orchestral pop magic to obscurist electronic nonsense. May the Age of Adz be brief.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The best of the year part 2

Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises
My heart broke a little this year when I read Mark Kozelek's long term muse, Katy (from Katy Song) had passed away. Having being a big Red House Painters fan, this seemed particularly sad as it had coincided with my falling in love with his music again. There was no denying Carry Me Ohio was an instant classic, it's taken me a long time to really catch onto Sun Kil Moon. Admiral Fell Promises is slightly different as it is largely Kozelek playing Spanish guitar by himself, singing these immaculate lullabies. At times, the guitar lines get a little Spanish-cheesy but everything is anchored by that voice - unmistakable and always haunting - which elevates even the simplest song to a place of beauty.

Spoon - Transference
Spoon is another band that never made much sense to me until I heard Got Nuffin. Then it all clicked into place and the skeletal beats, meandering bass lines and hipster cool suddenly made sense. Go, you hipsters, go!

Sleigh Bells - Treats
Uh-oh, another hipster band. Heavy beats, scorching guitar lines, girly vocals - what's not to love? A bit repetitive but sounds good really, really loud.

The New Pornographers - Together
Last year was officially the year of Neko Case for me so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'd start exploring the New Pornographers. While I'm yet to be fully converted, I'm totally infatuated with this album because it's Neko doing indie pop with this weird bombastic cello sound which reminds me of ELO (and I don't see this as a bad thing). I keep getting busted whistling along to Crash Years when it's on my ipod - I can't control myself once the whistling begins.

Final four to come later...