Thursday, December 9, 2010

Disturbing the Sleepers

The following is an article commissioned for a local magazine, but not used due to editorial change. It is published here in its submitted draft form. 

I’m at the cover shoot for this edition of LMG – ten in the morning on a Saturday (what the hell?), and the guys from The Sleepers are faffing about with ropes and lights and what have you. Obviously they’ve been there for hours already, skinny bastards, looking spritely and fafferish, as if they’d just stepped out of a day-spa.

I try to manipulate the manic-looking guitarist Nic Roos into making me tea. Time goes by.  And eventually I notice that the shoot is happening with just four guys in the frame. Odd.

When the band’s management eventually arrives, a question is asked, the penny is dropped, and a whole bunch of internal headscratching begins...


So it is in the summer of 2010, that two important musicians in the Cape Town underground rock scene have left their respective bands, and in so doing have left two very different voids to fill. One of the lads is a drummer – and his story will be told elsewhere. The other is a vocalist – a singer – Syminn Snodgrass, (former) frontman for the Sleepers.

The staff-deficient bands in question are going to have very different anxieties around how to replace their respective members. In the case of the drummer, the bands may be looking for someone who can carry the technical (and physical) load of the music.

But the vocalist is a different kettle of rarefied fish altogether.

To whit – try this pop quiz: What were the names of the singers for INXS, The Cure, The Pixies, and The Spiders from Mars? If you scored four out of four, you’re fairly up to scratch on modern rock trivia. 

Now name the drummers (or bassists) in the classic lineups of INXS, The Cure, The Pixies, and The Spiders from Mars. If you got one, you’re in the equivalent of the rock n’ roll MENSA*. 

And that, with no disrespect to drummers, bassists, keyboardists and guitarists, is the big difference between the muscle and the style; The musicians in the band may be the engine, but the guy (or girl) out front is that little ornament on the hood... the one that shows off your shine to the outside world, and hopefully the thing that turns heads as you cruise down that boulevard of rock n’ roll dreams (Look, just follow me on this, ok?).

Traffic lights

The Sleepers are standing at a traffic light, and they're waiting for something to happen. There is no ornament on the hood anymore. All that remains is the impatient rattle of a monster engine underneath it.

The Sleepers are like a v12 hemi – if you’ve ever seen them perform you’d know what that means. When the pedal hits the floor on this band, it’s the one of the sweetest-sounding roars you’re likely to hear.

It’s just that right now, that engine sounds like it’s slightly mistimed.

“You know, it’s funny,” says Adam Hill (the guitarist who normally stands on the right of the stage). “I’m usually very clear on how to express my feelings on matters. This, though, still feels very fuzzy to me...

“Bands sometimes tend to live life in a bubble. What they hope for in their musical life doesn’t always get reflected in reality. I guess reality hit very hard when Syminn left.”


Fellow musicians know enough to never ask about the reasons and details behind musical divorces. It’s like asking a separating couple what their bedroom life was like. No matter what the answer, it’s an offside question, because, quite frankly, it’s none of your business.

But you can ask what the feeling is once the room is empty.

Adam is appreciative of all that was good: “Obviously, we’ve lost momentum. Just having someone that has a clear idea of the way he works... Sy’s personal and lyrical contribution was a way to diffuse the complexity of what Nicolai and I do as musical input. We’ll definitely miss that.”


Whoever was doing what, it was working. The Sleepers have oh-so-smartly slow-burned their way into a critical space that is hard to doubt. In that respect they’ve chosen their name well, because between you and me, they’ve surpassed many of their more – erm – obvious peers over the time they’ve been together.

They’re one of the most unique-sounding outfits on the scene, and one of the consistently best-performing, but they’re also one of the most overtly nit-picky about getting whatever they do precisely right.

Sleepers shows are increasingly well-attended, and particularly their Hallowe’en events have become a traditional annual highpoint for fans. Yet the band has a very obvious hunger that seems to grow with every new sub-project.


Amid all the goings on in Sleeper-land, there’s a new recording in process, just weeks after their free live EP “Luminaire One” was released to the web. It’s going to be a task to find this work ethic and those creative traits in a new “ornament”.

How would they begin to engage that process? For one, there will be tryouts. The plan, according to the band at the time of writing, is to embark on a period of open auditions over the December/January period.  Syminn will be on hand to honour commitments up to and including Ramfest 2011, at which time the new voice will presumably step in.

Open minds, open roads

 “We don’t necessarily want someone to emulate Syminn,” Says Nicolai (The guitarist on the left side of the stage). “I’d be more interested in someone who brought something of themselves, but was interesting and unique.

“It’s a tough thing to pre-think; do you bring in someone with experience? Or should it be somebody new and fresh? Collectively, I think we have quite an open mind, but hopefully it’ll end up being someone with experience, but who can also learn and adapt quickly.”

So it’s an open road, people. An opportunity is there for someone who fancies himself the shiny hood ornament of a bright red v12 hemispherical combustion low-rider band. 

But whoever takes Syminn’s spot will have to be willing to shine up good. The Sleepers do not do things by half measures, and they don’t seem to have any intention of skipping many more beats on their way down that concourse.

Not when there are heads that still need turning. 

PS: * The singers were Michael Hutchence, Robert Smith, Black Francis/ Frank Black and David Bowie (or Ziggy Stardust, if you will);  the respective drummers were Jon Farriss, Lol Tolhurst / Andy Andersen / Boris Williams, David Lovering and Woody Woodmansey respectively.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where the hell have I been?

Economic Pattern of the Long TailImage via Wikipedia
Developing a new bloody portal is where... but the hump is mostly over, save for a few adjustments on the editorial process front...

The 'long tail' of readjusting to a new website can be tricky, as we've also acquired ownership of the news element of Entertainment, which is a major new consideration in everything we do. news is a major part of my job as well now, and I feel this is probably the best way to collapse the function into the (small) team of eds.

As music, I have a somewhat less structured content flow than movies, but not as seat-of-your-pants as TV and Gossip, whcih Sam, our editor on that desk, is a master at i have to say.

All that leaves less time to make fancy, schmansy blog posts that are properly spell-checked and cleverly constructed. I write this at the start of a new work day and hopefully I can do it every morning...

And also I'm picking up habits from some of my favourite blogger peers... like dropping Capital letters to start sentences - you can blame a couple of  bloggers (see list to the right) for that.

let these be my free pages hence...

yes, you read right... free pages

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Karate Kid (2010)

Kesuke MiyagiImage via Wikipedia
Morita immortalised the part of the wise, old Asian mentor, and Ralph Macchio, though prone to overacting a bit in places, was endearing and convincing as an awkward out-of-favour kid with issues (single mom, new city, etc).

Add to that John G. Avildsen's talents for emotive framing and that training montage, and you have a movie that's practically cinema's gift to Saturday afternoon TV.

The Karate Kid 2010, on the other hand, is at the outset a commercial enterprise, hoping to cash in on an audience that's likely never seen the original. For them, the movie will work well enough, even at a surprisingly generous running time of 131 minutes.

But for those of us who saw the original as part of a double feature at the Cineplex for about R5.50, it comes off as a slightly less honest translation of a book... where the Japanese are the Chinese, and the back stories of the characters are slightly unfocused in the employment of better film technology some 25 years later.

read more

5 Artists Every Idols Performer Must Hear

Idols presenter ProVerb lists 5 artists that every entertainer in the business should be listening to.

Read the story here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Expendables

The ExpendablesImage by Paul Lowry via Flickr
Never mind the plot. The basic idea of The Expendables is overpowering. Get some of the toughest guys from the action movie world together, build a plot that will involve lots of explosions – of both stuff and of people – and have some fun.

That it does, as everyone from Sly, through Willis, Rourke, Li and even Eric Roberts seem to really love being B-movie badasses. There's no need for them to act in this movie, because it essentially collides all their respective action movie roles into a flattened collage of popcorn and Coke.

But there's an unexpected flag in what should have been a straight sprint to the box office. The key fumble in the mix is that the subplot involving the big, tortured lug played by Dolph Lundgren is more intriguing than the main thrust of the story.

To paraphrase, in one scene, a bit of dialogue goes: "What's (Lundgren) doing?"
"He's hanging a pirate"
"No, really what's he doing?"
"No really, he's... hanging a pirate."

Friday, September 10, 2010

New writers are like happy pills

ANTALYA, TURKEY - MAY 23:  Singer Tom Jones ar...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
One of the great pleasures of working in this business for me (the content production business) is when job shadowers get to do a task for you and what you get back is much more than what you expected.

Job shadowers are high school or varsity students who get to spend couple of days with us to see what we do. Usually, when they get to me I just give them an assignment and say "do this". Of course I try to give them a little guideline (I'm not evil).

In this case, I handed young Shirvonne my "Guide to writing our CD reviews" and a CD and said... read this, listen to this and write it...

DIFFICULTY: The CD I handed her was what i call an A-list review – meaning an artist that has following and is known, and will be read by fans.One Mr Tom Jones of Wales, and his new release Praise and Blame.

I'm going to take the credit for what happened... my guide, my teaching methods, my brilliant skills as a nurturer... all these things...

Because the result I got back was pretty darn decent for a first timer. Praise me. I am good.  Seriously, though, great job Shirvonne. It may not be 1972 Rolling Stone yet, but hey, it's a pretty good kickoff to (hopefully) a career in varied writing platforms (not the kind you wear) and styles and formats.

And to get back to the point, it's great feeling when you can tell someone that the first time they've done something was a pretty good effort. Makes that part of the job worth it. Word (260).

Here's the review: Tom Jones - Praise & Blame

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ProVerb on ProVerb

Had a chat with local superstar ProVerb for Channel24 and got to ask him some cool stuff. He's a real nice guy  and has his head pretty sorted. And a real friendly dude as well. Win.

If this video doesn't work properly here, check it out here

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Director Philip Noyce has a talent for action flicks with a touch of political intrigue to them – The Jack Ryan movies with Harrison Ford are testament to this. Noyce has a knack for making a suspenseful action film move along at just the right clip, and never jolting the audience into hectic changes of pace or plotting.

In a certain regard, Salt is a little more ambitious than Jack Ryan's adventures. It doesn't – can't, really – appeal to a sense of "it could happen" like, say, Clear and Present Danger did. Covert ops in South America? Totally believable. Sleeper agents whacking the US prez? Wo'eva!

Instead, Salt is like the bus from Speed... once it leaves the stop, it never drops below 55. And despite the fact that you'll need a healthy dose of 'Brain Missing' to get into the movie, you'll find yourself nodding along amicably through most of it once you get on.

full review here...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My 'combat mission' on a Huey

Today I hitched a ride on a Vietnam-era Huey, apparently the only licenced commercial Huey around, in Cape Town. it was Courtesy of Cadbury SA, who had arranged for local personality Good Hope FM DJ Guy McDonald to fulfil his lifelong dream to be a helicopter pilot. While he didn't actually take the stick, we were treated to a thrilling hour-long flip around the city by The Huey Helicopter Co. pilot Francois. Here are some photos, and you'll find a link below to a video of the thing...

PS: I'll try to pop some more photos up through the week...

Check out a video of the afternoon here...  

Have to say, it might not be for everybody, but this is one of those experiences I can say will open up a view new perspectives... It was thrilling enough doing fairly quick strafing runs in windy conditions, but I can only imagine what it would have been like running into a 'hot LZ'. The mind fries...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to the page... a case for pen and paper

pen and paperImage by LucasTheExperience via Flickr
It’s two days early, but it’s Monday, so I figured, what the hell… On September 1 I start a new chapter of sorts, what with the old band retiring, my new job starting, and a number of other new things happening… so I decided to also commit to a daily blog entry. And with it, this little piece of totally random spaghetti…

My desk at work seems to be having battle of wits with my writing pad. There’s definitely a cold war going on, and my emotional state is the battleground. In other words, my office desk is an embodiment of an eighties pop song about dating politics.

Something strangely ironic is happening in relation to my writing both for work and for this blog. I find myself reverting back to note-taking the old-fashioned way – pen(cil) and paper.

I’ve been noting thoughts and ideas down to paper more and more lately, and it’s as if this methodology is slowing me down enough to actually properly organise thoughts… making for hopefully more sensible writing.

Another advantage is that you can take a pen(cil) and paper anywhere you like – to the kitchen, to the lounge, to the break room at work… and you don’t have to wait for a machine to boot up the right application to jot down a thought.

This is actually the source of the trouble. I can’t actually seem to do this at my desk. So I actually have to go walkies every once in a while to kill another tree.

A third (or is it fourth) plus is that I tend to erase less when I handwrite something on a piece of paper. Word processors have made it so easy to scratch a thought, and some may argue that there’s so much clutter in the world anyway, that the ability to erase something utterly is a good thing…

But I tend to feel that there’s value in your “first thoughts”. Even if you never use them as you initially got them, they serve a purpose for me – sometimes even to point out a direction I don’t want to go.

PS: The Journaling link below leads to a pretty interesting “sell” on keeping a journal, but also encourages you to take their “depression quiz”. It’s a women’s sight. Possibly Christian-themed. Just saying…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A special encore request

Because it was Speedway who asked, we couldn't really say no, and because the last show was effectively a private fundraiser, somebody said we should at least afford the general friends and fam to catch it one last time.

I think we'll try to play everything here... well, as much as we can remember...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Classic: Crowded House - Woodface

Cover of "Woodface"Cover of Woodface
Crowded House's third studio album is largely credited with catapulting them to superstardom. Not that Crowded House (1986) and Temple of Low Men (1988) were poor albums by any measure, But Woodface's yield of five enduring singles remains universally crowd pleasing today, some twenty years later.

Strange to think that whereas most great albums are made by a band under strain (in-fighting, 'creative differences', etc.), Woodface was partly borne out of Tim and Neil Finn's reconnecting after many years of estrangement.

Perhaps it's the resulting explosive songwriting collaboration between the Brothers Finn, or the signature production touch of Mitchell Froom (Mr Suzanne Vega to you), or one of those inexplicable 'something clicked' moments in a band's career; Woodface spreads its tight 48 minutes over a generous 14 tracks, the first seven of which offer a masterclass in writing the 3:30 pop song.

full article here

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The A-Team (2010)

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from to...Image via Wikipedia
It's a big ask to bring (a much-loved 80s TV vehicle) into cinema some 20-odd years later. Do you go for a nostalgia trip, or do you try to bring new audiences to your "franchise"? Director Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) does the clearly insane and attempts to go both ways at once. 

You almost won't mind the occasionally dodgy CGI, or the hilariously unlikely action scenes. Or even the endless montage-esque editing style (it's like the whole movie is a build-shit-out-of-spare-dialogue sequence).

Nope, you won't mind at all, because the actors seem to be having an illegal amount of fun hamming up the action and mugging for the camera, and nobody else in the cast really needs to do much more than let the movie happen around them - which, in the case of The A-Team, works like a charm. It's a chuckle-a-minute nod to old quirks and idiosyncrasies, and it's a bullet train of high-octane action, speed-of-light editing and big explosions.

(PIC: Ye Olde A-Team... bigger than MacGuyver)

full review here...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Din;t Rolling Stone used to be music culture magazine?

I ask because this is the latest cover of the ol' RS... and I'm just... I dunno.

I like True Blood - it's a great show. Most of me fwenz like it too cos they agree that it's dark and sexy and all the stuff certain other Vampire-themed films and tv shows aren't. There be no glowing undead in this show.

But - you know - it's a TV show, and its connection to music is at best tenuous.

Or maybe I'm wrong in still thinking that 'Stone is or was a music culture magazine? Maybe another childhood memory was nothing but a lie? Maybe nothing of what we remember about our formative years was anywhere near what they were in reality?

I feel lied to.

Monday, August 16, 2010

White Guys at Zula - the end of an era?

Three More White Guys will be at Zula Bar in Long Street, Cape Town on Saturday August 21, 2010. We're doing to raise money for Camps Bay Prep.

This will be an interesting date, as it may well be the last - as in last - time this band pays its old set. I've long been lobbying for a change of direction in this band. It's been seven years and I think its time to try something new.

It may sound like a big deal to retire songs that are so ingrained and expected from a live set, but I really don't feel all that attached to them any more. Mostly, I think, because playing what audiences demand and expect for so long closes the door on so many other ideas and opportunities.

I think I, personally, have become sort of stagnant creatively, and coming from a time when I played so many different roles in so many different projects in rather varied 'genres', it's a bit soul destroying to feel like you've given up the effort to try something new.

So I've told the Guys, we need to retire this. Alternatively, the new material has to go to a new project. That's second prize, because I don't really want to start out at step one with a new group again.


The Facebook event for this item is here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The King of Fighters

The King of Fighters (film)Image via Wikipedia
What's with combat movies and women? While the guys get to wear hockey masks, fur coats and leather jackets, the women have to settle for corsets, catsuits and impossibly short minidress-and- suspender combos. Even Chun-Li had tights, dammit.

Look, far be it from a guy to complain about Maggie Q and Francoise Yip (Canadian!) showing a bit of leg, but some realism would go a long way in a movie like this. Speaking of which (spoiler alert!), there are only two instances of blood in the movie – when Francois Yip gets semi-filleted near the start of the film (she survives), and right at the end, when suddenly everybody's showing the signs of about 75 minutes of non-stop ass-kicking. In between? Nothing. Not a bruise. Not even on the faux-lesbian couple who started the movie in towels.

full review here...

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th did not even have a completed ...Image via Wikipedia
What better way to celebrate today than take a look back at one of slasher horror's most enduring franchises? It's the Big Mac of the film business – cheap to make and cheaper to digest. Awful to the palate in general, but somehow always an option when you need to clog your mental arteries. Here's the story so far:

Friday the 13th ( 1980)
Mrs. Vorhees sets about knocking off horny teenagers because years ago her son Jason drowned. Because two Camp Chrystal counsellors were having sex instead of watching him. Kevin Bacon gets it in the chest. (Body count: 10)

Friday the 13th pt 2 (1981)
Jason is alive! And after killing Alice (who killed Mrs. Vorhees at the end of part 1), he decides to defend the camp from all and sundry. Five years later, cue (wait for it) a group of horny teenagers ready to die in inexplicably suspenseful ways. SH SH SH HA HA HA! (BC: 10)

Friday the 13th pt 3 (1982)
Jason heads to a farmstead, where he hides in a barn and counsels a number of hapless horny teens out of their misery. Significantly, he nicks a hockey mask off one of the kids, and a legend is born. Jason takes an axe to the cranium. (BC: 12)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
In a cunning twist, producers hint that this will be the last Jason movie ever. Jason has miraculously survived the axe to the head, as the unfortunate coroner would have testified had he survived the first ten minutes of the movie. Feeling homesick, Jason returns to Crystal Lake where – surprise! – a group of horny teenagers invades his space. Fed up, Jason seeks out the neighbours. Crispin Glover acts weird! Corey Feldman kills Jason! (BC: 14)

read the full article here...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kylie - Aphrodite

AphroditeNot that Aphrodite is intolerably awful. It just isn't 22-plus-years-in-the-business good. All up-tempo and club-targeted with breathy, girly vocal lines about nothing really interesting bobbing around near the top, it's an album that's custom-made for a flashy stage show – you can almost hear them thinking in the studio: "This will look great on stage!"

The album's production reeks of Madonna's last Stuart Price-produced efforts (Confessions on a Dancefloor in particular), echoing that producer's muscular beats and basslines to great effect in places. For a number of reasons – lack of invention among them - Kylie's melodies don’t work as well, which really should be the case in pop that is as apolitical and candy floss as this.

full review on

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YouTube - Terminator Salvation: Deleted Scene

Came across this completely random piece of Interweb funny. And decided to add a new content element/tag to this blog... something along the lines of celebrating the great, funny or just plain ingenuous moments of the web that made us proud... to be Interweberiffic.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ellen DeGeneres, ex-Idolmaker

Ellen DeGeneres at the 1997 Emmy Awards (cropped)Image via Wikipedia
Ever since Ellen DeGeneres joined American Idol, some critics have been saying that she isn't qualified as a judge because she doesn't have appropriate skills or knowledge of the music industry. I could say that of most record executives. Or of the industry as a whole.

Because if record executives knew what they were doing,you wouldn't be purchasing CD albums in record stores any more. You'd be walking into "CD Stores" and asking for a digital compilation of songs - singles - that would make up a custom disc (or flash drive). But I digress.

Point is, looked at in a certain way, DeGeneres is actually perfectly qualified as a judge for American Idol, because she's potentially what all of us are - a consumer. At worst she's not able to really let performers have it when she hates them. At best, she's nowhere near as cynically industry-serving as any other judge might be.

And it seems as I write this that they've settled a deal with J-Lo to replace her. And Idol just feels a little more like America's Next Top Model.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Barney Simon's Radio Revolution

Each of the discs has undeniably different appeal to social sensibilities, though this is more than likely accidental – the fact is that the Afrikaans and English artists seem to have generally different motivations in their music. Disc one feels more like a long drive up the coast to discover your country. Disc two is background music to a loud house party attended by your college mates.

At any rate, the result on the compilation is another fascinating way to experience SA rock as a microcosm of the country's varied "markets". Radio revolution allows the listener to hear just how compatible they really are in their differences. Fans SHOULD indeed be listening to all these artists on one radio station.

Macy Gray - The Sellout

Macy GrayImage by ViaMoi via Flickr
If there is a worst moment on The Sellout, it's the guitar solo on "Kissed It", which is blamed on Velvet Revolver, who serve as backing band for this track. Here and there are a couple of lazy lyrics or melodies, but these hardly dominate the album.

Not when there are laugh-out-loud moments like on the retro-funky "That Man" (..."I was so happy 'bout the love that I found till I went to the library and I saw him – mm mmm – Say oh yeah, oh, yeah I want THAT man!").

Indeed, the tunes and their structures are sort of clichéd, but that makes them excellent singalongs for groups of galpals driving their top-down Renaults down freeways to winelands, or the beach, or to clubs like Tiger Tiger, whatever gangs of women in their 20s do these days. Scary.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Faye Wong is quite the hotness

I have to say that I'm not usually as overly-drawn to Asian women as some of my friends are (in an internet fantasy kind of way, that is), but I've just looked at a story about Faye Wong, the "Queen of Mandopop", and my goodness! At forty, this lady is quite the hotness! Even for me, Mr. Dead-From-The-Neck-Down-This-Past-Year!

And she's not a bad singer, either. Heard the theme from Ginal Fantasy VIII, "Eyes On Me", and it has far more dignity and is far more listenable than anything Celine Dion's ever done.

So yeah: Faye Wong 2 - 0 Everybody Else Named Celine Who Has Ever Done a 'Love Theme' From a Movie or Video Game.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Delidave vs eracode - Straight Outta Kloof Street

In Cape Town, as in any city, we have a number of youth subcultures. We have our legions of sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads... and even a couple of Ferris Buellers. And in the city centre, there's a particular area around Kloof Street that could be seen to be the trendy, upwardly mobile part of town in terms of socialising, eateries, fashion, and trendoidism.

If you spend some time Kloof Street and the immediate surrounding area, you're likely to spot a particular species of local. I would find it hard to describe to you if you'd never spent time here, but that's where my friend - we shall call him Delidave - comes in...

See, Delidave mentioned in passing that he had an idea for a spoof/homage of the original "gangsta rap" music made famous by the likes of NWA. Dave had taken a fancy to the song Straight Outta Compton in particular, and showed me a few lines of a lyric he'd been working on that would 'parody' not the song.

Except that he was going to talk about the Kloof Street Trendoid. Which I think is hilarious. As it turns out, the song also doubles as a great tourist info guide. Which is also hilarious. Put more succinctly, and in the spirit of the piece:

So check it out. Delidave come down one day talkin crazy 'bout some idea he got for an ho-mage like to the original dope pimp rhyme stuff from back in the day. Sayin' how he gonna come at it with a NWA shout out n' all. I'm down with that, and I offer to lay down some production level Industrial Sound and Magic from my eracode project. Result:

Delidave vs eracode
Straight Outta Kloof Street

And Delidave's inspiration, the otherwise incomparabale NWA - Straight Outta Compton.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A mildly irritating dream on Elm Street,

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film)Image via Wikipedia

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton
Director: Samuel Bayer

It’s a shame nobody’s ever thought about killing Freddy by making him watch one of his own movies. This "re-imagining" might have done it. The technical shortcomings of the film are one thing (Lights, anyone? Did no-one think to hire any lights?), but the basic execution of a horror flick without horror or self deprecation is unforgivable. No surprises then, that it’s from Michael Bay’s production house.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Paul McCartney keeps it real, Sharleen Spiteri kills the cat - wk 26, 2010

Paul McCartney @ FedEx Field, Landover MD, Aug...Image via Wikipedia
Titles click to full reviews

Paul McCartney
Good Evening New York City
Actually, (I'm Down) more than suggests that Paul McCartney is still just a lad who loves rock n' roll. The up-tempo rockers are his obvious delight – cue Back in the USSR, Helter Skelter, and a superb I Saw Her Standing There, featuring a walk-on Billy Joel, obviously taking a break from the backstage jol. But the highlight by far is a rendition of Paul's Bond song Live and Let Die. It’s the one point of the show that looks like money's been spent on it, delivering energetic performance, a crap load of pyro, and a suitably shocked (and singed) front row.

Sharleen Spiteri
The Movie Songbook
The collection opens with big-ass pop and disco arrangements Xanadu and If I Can't Have You, dropping suddenly into a jazz-combo version of God Bless the Child, and then onto a classical pop-bent with Sounds of Silence. What follows is a smorgasbord of variously-approached "classics" that vacillate between "mildly disappointing" and "rage-inducing sacrilege". What's new, Pussycat? Here's what's new – a trip to the vet, who has a nice needle to show you!

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