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News Blast (5/13)

“News Blast” is a new feature where I will highlight some of my favorite news items, whatever they may be, of the day. And what a day to start…

Aziz Ansari, the hilarious comedian from many web videos, and now starring in Parks & Recreation (and being the only reason to watch), went to see the little film not a lot people have heard about yet called Star Trek. He went to see it, like many of us, at an IMAX approved theater. Or so he thought. He goes on a brutal profanity laden tirade citing the reasons why the new “IMAX” screens are anything BUT (much smaller screens/unimpressive sound), even calling out the CEO of IMAX to a televised debate. Awesome.


Arcade Fire recently put out a live DVD, Mirior Noir, and now are releasing a limited edition version with 100% of proceeds going to Partners In Health in Haiti. Details below:

“Strictly limited to 250 copies. All proceeds to Partners In Health.

Miroir Noir Feature + Additional DVD with Extra Material (including Saturday Night Live and Arcade Fire at The BBC).

+ Accordion Folded Panorama and Artcover, Linen Bound Package, Signed by Arcade Fire.

+ Exclusive Limited Edition Hand Silk-Screened Poster Numbered.”

If you have a spare $250 lying around, might as well give it to a good cause, and it’s tax refundable! I broke out my abacus, and when they sell out, it amounts to $62,500 for the charity. Not too shabby for a couple limited edish DVD’s/posters.


Any LOSTie knows the 2-hour finale is tonight, but to encourage discussion of your theories, look to none other than Aint It Cool News’ last LOST post of the season. The comments range from insightful, to insane, to just plain hilarious.

That should tide you over for a while. Jacob is Daniel Faraday. I’m just sayin’.

– Ant


New Posts on the Way…

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

I have been reciting this old proverb daily for the past couple months. It applies to many things lately, does it not? Obviously the economy, but personally for me, buying (or the PROCESS of buying) a house, this blog, and getting out of my current situation. Although, good things ARE on the way, more importantly for you, the readers, I plan on posting regularly again. Starting now.

New music and film commentary, along with interesting things I see throughout the day, and perhaps some personal posts (see below).

Random thoughts:

As I was sitting between my cousin and a Celtic fan getting unmercifully pummeled in the face (well, a couple sections away) at a Magic playoff basketball game, I realized something: the little things matter the most. I had family in town this weekend, my aunt, two cousins and their kids (1 & 3). Things I have been putting on a pedestal lately seemed so trivial and meaningless. The stress of finding my “perfect” house, usual 20-something insecurities, filthy habits of roommates, fair-weather friends: all deemed pointless. What does matter is family, the friends that ARE there, the simple things like listening to your favorite album on a rainy afternoon, spending a Friday night at home with a good book and a cup of green tea, or even simply watching a movie with your brother. We live in a complacent society, where all of our media outlets focus on everything negative, where good deeds are back page news. I guess the whole meaning of this is to point out the positive, hug a friend (tell them they’re awesome, the cat’s pajama’s, etc.). Enjoy the simple moments. We take everything for granted; we expect too much, get let down too easily, but never focus on when things DO go right. I probably sound like a babbling idiot, but I have felt like glorified zombie this year up until now. At risk of sounding like a complete nerd (who am I kidding), I will quote Steve Jobs (who is quoting someone else), “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”

-Ant (follow me on Twitter @Cerv0)

Listen Up! New Music…

Finally. I know you have been waiting: My first installment of new music recommendations for 2009. In short, it’s been a pretty good start.

Cotton Jones – Paranoid Cocoon

cjAfter some success with former band Page France, Michael Nau decided to go solo to slow things down a bit. His offerings with Cotton Jones have a simple, folky psychedelia that seems to be so palatable these days. I was trying to describe this band to one of my friends, and the first thing that came to mind was, think: Devendra Banhart without all the quirky vocal meanderings. Essientally, Devendra Banhart lite. But then enter Whitney McGraw, the perfect sweet voice to counter Nau’s low and breathy croon. Think 60-70’s pop here; complete with melodic “whoa’s” and “oh’s”, some funky or acoustic guitar, shaking bells, and whistling. This album was a great out-of-no-where surprise for me. Check out the track “Gotta Cheer Up“, recently getting the single treatment on NPR and college radio.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – S/T

the-pains-of-being-pure-at-heartI will be frank. You have heard this before. In the 60’s & 70’s with The Velvet Underground, and again, probably more so, in the 80’s with My Bloody Valentine. There have been so many bands that TRIED to recreate the magic of these influential bands, but ultimately fail and fade into obscurity. We have heard these sounds and chord progressions before, but damned if they aren’t done perfectly, and properly pay homage as well as adding their own personality. With drenched guitars, driving percussion, and understated vocals,  you will feel like you’re wearing your members only jacket while driving your Nissan Bluebird to jazzercize. Listen to their catchy tune “Young Adult Friction” here.

Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP

bon_iver-blood_bank_bFour new songs from some outtakes of his album For Emma, Forever Ago, the new EP covers mostly the same ground, but adding some electric guitar and vocoder to the mix. A lot of people loath the latter, but it actually works on the EP closer “Woods”, a haunting song about seclusion and needing a break from it all. The most important and impressive track is “Blood Bank“, a musically simple song that focuses on the melody and the message (sound familiar?). When “Beach Baby” comes in with the traditional Hawaiian steel guitar solo, you can’t help but squeeze out a wry smirk. Vernon took some chances with these songs, but they pay off, and that’s what keeps me anticipating a new LP.

More to come when I get another couple minutes!

– Ant

Concert Series: Calexico Live At Paradiso

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After Calexico’s collaboration with Iron & Wine, the excellent EP In The Reins, I was intrigued how a band could back up Sam Beam, adding even more intrigue and depth to the already profound and wispy dream-like sound of Mr. Beam’s solo material. Calexico’s new album, Carried To Dust, has already solidified its position on my year end top 20 list, and sure to be many others. Not having the pleasure of seeing them live as of yet, this video just confirms their obvious album talents. Enjoy!

– Ant

Muxtape Gone For Good. RIAA Strikes Again.

Muxtape was a fantastic resource for music lovers and fans of the now declining art of the mixtape. It enabled users to upload their own mixes for other users listening pleasure. Cue the RIAA; they always have their glass up against the door. Any site getting major traffic that is giving music away for free, whether it be music people “own” or not, is going to get shut down these days. Fact is, they keep shutting down site after site that actually propel the industry. The general public is much more knowledgeable about various music ever since Napster, which would have otherwise been unknown without our cosy Internet portal. One by one these sites are dropping like flies; it’s quite a shame when the music community suffers because of it. The digital rights war rages on.

– Ant

White, Jack White

All puns aside, news has been released that Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) will be part of an unlikely duo, teaming with Soul/R&B star Alicia Keys to perform the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace.

“The male half of the White Stripes, who wrote and produced the tune, called “Another Way to Die,” will also play drums. The film’s soundtrack is due out Oct. 28, while the movie itself, the second 007 flick featuring hunky blond Bond Daniel Craig, hits theaters Nov. 7. …White and Keys’ collaboration marks the first time a duo have tackled the Bond song, which hopefully will be more “Thunderball” (Tom Jones = suave and sophisticated) than “Die Another Day” (Madonna = Pierce Brosnan getting his ass kicked in a Korean prison).”

Now, when you think of Alicia Keys, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not the phrase “bad ass”, but she has bolstered her bad assery by merely being involved in 1) Making music with Jack White and 2) Being a part of the new and improved Bond series, in which Bond is more likely to exert bloody revenge for a fallen lover than worry about spewing off some cheesy line about the way he likes his cocktail.

Quantum Of Solace is in theaters November 7, 2008.

Quantum Of Solace is in theaters November 7, 2008.

– Ant