Album Reviews, Highlights, Music

Review: Jimmy Eat World – Invented

Jimmy Eat World have always come across as artists whose authenticity isn’t tangled in the typical blueprints of critical music appreciation. Their appeal, one long standing and global, rests on values outside of these norms (the kind the Robert Christgaus and Lester Bangs of the world harp on about) oft associated with socially affecting music. Yet one could argue that Jimmy Eat World have indeed been on the forefront of a socially viable brand of music. It is because their music is about moments and not about revolution, about heart and not art, that the praise languished upon them is from the thousands of people who fill their venues through an emotional connection and not by some witty journalist with a furrowed brow.

Their music, from Static Prevails and Clarity, to Futures and Chase This Light, is described by the one word critically acclaimed music cannot be; “beautiful.” It is not angular, or blunt or transient. It is patient and refined. Invented, their latest, is by all accounts, beautifully executed sentimentality. Histrionic in its words, its aural accompaniments are all about chasing that uncontrollable chemistry that happens within each and every one of us. The best place to begin is at the very apex- the title track “Invented”. It is the moment in which the long awaited build reaches its crescendo and over its seven minutes plus, the shimmering acoustics and the whispered vocal hum become a firework of sharp guitars, dynamic percussions and that unforgettable emotional incandescence we’ve seen in “Table For Glasses” and to a more compact extent, “For Me This is Heaven”. In “Littlething”, they embark on the kind of lyrical introspection that has become the hallmark for the band. Writing words on frosted windows with lines like; “Just a little thing / buried in the other things / burning away, from inside / could you be with me tonight?” to the backdrop of orchestral harmonies and melodies best suited for moments when snow is falling on your driveway.

“Evidence” plays out like a mid-paced “Big Casino” while the first single, “My Best Theory”, is the band at its most unorthodox. Its skittering beats and rhythmic dissonance is the closest they’ll ever get to angular songwriting. In “Movielike”, they dissect the realities of big city life for all those who seek fortune and happiness within its monolithic walls; “Nothing movie-like / Nothing magic / People just tire to fight the constant battle / Waiting to see a sign? / Then you’ve seen the best already.” And while its content is anything but, the song itself is in sharp contrast to its disappointed outlook, and in essence, very much like its namesake.

Introspection, life and love are the cornerstones of the Jimmy Eat World manifesto. Be it sad heart musings (“Cut”) or recollections on those pioneering instincts of post-school restlessness (“Coffee And Cigarettes”), their connection to listeners continues to be this bond. They are the principal protagonists of their genre and Invented is its most important expression since Something to Write Home About. Beautiful and stellar, these Jimmy Eat World songs always sound like they’re written amongst the stars. (Interscope)

AUDIO STREAM: “Movielike”
Jimmy Eat World – Movielike (from the album Invented)

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Film

Trailer watch: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt in ‘Wild Target’

The trailer for British comedy Wild Target has made its way online. The movie stars the great Bill Nighy as Victor Maynard, an assassin whose life is shaken when he is inexplicably drawn to his intended target (Emily Blunt).

Directed by Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny, The Whole Nine Yards), the movie co-stars Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Rupert Everitt and Eileen Atkins. You can check out the trailer below.

The movie looks promising; superb comic timing (Nighy looks brilliant), aesthetic flair (Blunt) and both subtle and over the top laughs. We will for now, ignore critical reception thus far, and trust the quality cast and its “Britishness” to get it over the line.

Originally based on a 1993 French film, Wild Target opens in North American cinemas October 8th.

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Film

Stephen Fry joins cast of Sherlock Holmes sequel

British actor, comedian Stephen Fry has joined the cast of the upcoming Sherlock Holmes sequel. Reports coming in have confirmed that Fry will play the other, lesser known Holmes, Mycroft (Sherlock’s less famous older brother).

The sequel will see Robert Downey Jr. return as the titular character while Guy Ritchie will once again helm the project. Slated to start shooting later in the year, Fry had this to say about his upcoming role;

I’m playing Mycroft in the sequel to the Sherlock Holmes film Guy Ritchie directed with Robert Downey Jr., and that sort of part is fun, but just once in a while to play a genuine all round sort of lead figure with complexity and tragedy and wit and all the sort of things that Oscar [Wilde] had was a once in a lifeftime thrill.”

We have read and re-read that quote and we are honestly unsure whether he’s thrilled about playing Mycroft or whether he’s saying playing Mycroft is the nice break he gets from playing more in-depth characters. On another note, no one on Earth has been named Mycroft for several hundred years now.

Nonetheless, Fry is a great addition to the cast. We look back fondly at our favorite piece of Stephen Fry casting; as General Melchett.

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Film

Peter Jackson angry at Aus/NZ unions for delaying ‘The Hobbit’

Filmmaker Peter Jackson is up in arms over Australian/NZ unions calling for a boycott of the planned Hobbit movie, slated to film in New Zealand. The Australian Labour Union has expressed concern and has called for actors and workers of the movie to forgo work as it is a “non-union production.”

The Age is reporting that some of the film’s cast, including Sir Ian McKellan, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett are on board with the boycott. Jackson however, has stated he will not take such threats lightly and may move the production of the film from his home land New Zealand all the way to Eastern Europe.

Deadline Hollywood has Peter Jackson’s full statement in which he has written;

This is a grab for power. It does not represent a problem that needs a solution. There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit — and now the Union is targeting us, despite the fact that we have always respected SAG conditions and residuals.

I can’t see beyond the ugly spectre of an Australian bully-boy, using what he perceives as his weak Kiwi cousins to gain a foothold in this country’s film industry. They want greater membership, since they get to increase their bank balance.”

The much delayed movie is the long-awaited prequel to Peter Jackson’s cinematic masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was to be directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) but due to scheduling conflicts, dropped out of the project. Filming was to begin next year but with this delay, who knows.

Enough of this nonsense. Just make the film already.

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Music

Katy Perry spoofs Sesame Street debacle; good or bad?

In response to Sesame Street banning her appearance on the show due to “cleavagegate“, pop star Katy Perry recently appeared on Saturday Night Live to spoof the incident.

Her segment on Sesame Street was dropped because of excessive cleavage and in her appearance on SNL, she is seen wearing a low-cut, cleavage busting bright red Elmo t-shirt.

Perry appeared on the Bronx Beat skit alongside Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler playing 16-year-old public library volunteer Maureen DiChico, who has “grown” since the hosts last saw her. You can view the video below.

On the New York Daily website, comments have come flooding in regarding the video with one reader stating;

That’s right, Katy. Keep showing us what men think is important about you.”

Does Katy Perry care about being taken seriously as an artist? Or does she know what sells her and her music? Do parents and young women care about the influence Perry has? Does an SNL skit like this have any bearing on the bigger, more important social issues regarding sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry or is it just fun and games?

One thing we do know for sure however, is that this comedy skit itself is hideously unfunny.

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Music

Senses Fail debuts new song “The Fire”

Post-hardcore/emo rockers Senses Fail have debuted a brand new song from their upcoming album The Fire.

The new album is slated for release October 26th via Vagrant Records and was produced by Brian McTernan (The Loved Ones, Hot Water Music, Strike Anywhere). The Fire is the follow-up to 2008’s Life Is Not A Waiting Room.

The title track is a continuation of the Senses Fail sound; modern emo in a hail of crunching guitars, vocal harmonies and the return of guttural screams. The song can be streamed in the video below while the album can be pre-ordered here.

Senses Fail will embark on the ‘Out With the In Crowd Tour’ with Bayside starting October 19th. Tour details can be found here.

If you are crazy enough to read an interview we did with Buddy Nielsen back in 2002 (!!), please click here.

AUDIO STREAM:

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Music, Videos

Video: Jimmy Eat World – “My Best Theory”

Just days away from the release of their much anticipated new album, Jimmy Eat World have unveiled the trippy new video for the single “My Best Theory”. Directed by Ron Winter (Devendra Banhart, Bag Raiders), the video borrows a little from the Daft Punk school of video making and is perhaps the most conceptual of recent Jimmy Eat World videos. Lead singer Jim Adkins had this to say about the video’s concept and meaning behind the song;

The song is about finding your individuality in a world where extremes are more and more presented as your only option. We thought taking a science fiction approach would be a great way to demonstrate breaking free of what may be expected from an individual. We loved director Ron Winter’s work and thought he was the perfect choice to help.”

You can check out the science fiction themed video above. The band’s new album, Invented, is out this Tuesday.

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Music

Weezer announces first dates of Blue Album/Pinkerton tour

The first few dates of the anticipated Weezer ‘Blue Album/Pinkerton’ Tour (or as known around these parts, “The Good Weezer Tour”) have been released. The tour’s itinerary is pretty thin at the moment with just a handful of dates announced so far, however, we expect more to be confirmed shortly.

A two-night stand in Los Angeles and San Francisco have been announced for the tail end of November. The band will play the Blue Album/Pinkerton show and will include a “greatest hits” set to go along with it (I suppose this is where you can hit the bathroom or get a beer or three).  Prior to the dates, Weezer are scheduled to perform at this year’s Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans. Tour dates below.

Weezer recently released the surprisingly decent Hurley.

Tour dates:
10/29 New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Festival
11/26 Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Memories Tour)
11/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Memories Tour)
11/29 San Francisco, CA @ Nob Hill Masonic Center (Memories Tour)
11/30 San Francisco, CA – Nob Hill Masonic Center (Memories Tour)

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Film

Kate Beckinsale returns for next Underworld

What a coincidence, we just mentioned how much better Kate Beckinsale is at playing female action leads than almost any other actress and we get news that she will indeed return for a fourth outing of the Underworld series.

Having skipped out on the last Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (save narration), it was announced today that she will indeed return to reprise her role as vampire Selene. Details are scant for now and it appears that director/husband Len Wiseman will return to the fold but only as the movie’s producer and not director. Scriptwriter J. Michael Straczynski (Ninja Assassin) will write the project. It appears the project is slated to commence March 2011 but thus far, no director or additional cast members have been announced.

No matter how average this movie is, it will most likely end up better than the possible Black Widow spinoff.

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Music

Rival Schools to tour with Gaslight Anthem; new album due 2011

Post-hardcore supercollective Rival Schools have lined up a slew of dates with the Gaslight Anthem through the early days of October around the United States.

The shows start with at the tail end of September at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall before hitting the states of Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Texas. The band wrap up the short run with a solo headlining gig in Texas October 10th supported by Fake Problems and Look Mexico.

In bigger news, the often-discussed, much delayed, sometimes-cancelled second LP from Rival Schools has now been given a tentative release date of “early 2011”. The follow-up to 2001’s United By Fate was originally scheduled for a 2003 release, but the dissolve of the band led to the scrapping of the album.

Now 9 years later, Walter Schreifels, Sammy Siegler, Ian Love, and Cache Tolman are back on the road and working on new material having recently performed festival stages through the world. A new track, “Shot After Shot”, is expected to be released in November with an accompanying video to follow. Anticipation continues to grow for their long awaited new album, now there’s nothing left to do but wait.

Tour dates:
w/ Gaslight Anthem (except*)
09/30: New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
10/02: Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
10/03: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/04: Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
10/05: Gainesville, FL @ 8 Seconds
10/07: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/08: Dallas, TX @ Palladium Showroom
10/10: Austin, TX @ Red 7* (w/Look Mexico & Fake Problems)

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