Music

Propagandhi: Still Cleaning Everything

It’s hard to believe but Propagandhi debut album, How to Clean Everything, is now 20 years old. If this doesn’t make you feel like an old, jaded punk rocker, then you probably grew up listening to crap music or are too young and are probably listening to crap music now.

Never fear, in conjunction with the album’s 20th anniversary, Fat Wreck have re-mastered and released the album in all its snotty, punk rock glory, and have even tacked on a few bonus tracks to go along with it.

For me, How to Clean Everything was one of the gateway albums to political and social consciousness in punk rock. Propagandhi have always been very loud in their stance against racism, homophobia, sexism, capitalism and religion- and the album was a wake up call during my formative years. The album was raw and had some sillier tracks (like the great “Ska Sucks”), but songs like “Anti-Manifesto” (listen to the remastered version above) and “Showdown” were my introduction to politically charged songs that were urgent, but melodic and accessible.

I’ve always liked their follow-up, Less Talk, More Rock, more than I did this record, but as debut albums go, it’s hard to look past this as anything but stellar. 20 years later, and Propagandhi are still cleaning everything. I may not agree with all their views as I did all those years ago, but listening to the remastered songs here lights a dormant fire, no matter how fleeting its flame.

Propagandhi’s How to Clean Everything (20th Anniversary Edition) is available via Fat Wreck. Buy this record. 

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Live Reviews

Live Review: Ash

Returning to Australia for the first time in years, Ireland alterna-rockers Ash turned the clock back at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel to play their acclaimed album, 1977, in its entirety. Not only were the band in exceptionally fine form, but the crowd, who looked like they were at the last Ash show (quite possibly on the original 1977 tour in 1996), were the most pleasant, down to earth and collected group of people I’ve seen at a show in years.

It was refreshing to say the least.

Racing through 1977, Ash proved that while they’ve been at it since the band members were 19, they were still as energetic and compact as they’ve ever been. Stand outs through the initial set were of course the Ash staples; “Girl From Mars” (still fantastic), “Angel Interceptor” and “Kung Fu”. Tim Wheeler was as unpretentious a rock star to have graced a stage in recent years as his genuine gratitude and enjoyment was evident through the set. With minimal banter between songs, there was little selling of merchandise or aggravating self importance, instead the band knew why they, and we, were there- to enjoy a great album from back to front.

As the band closed the album set, they wrapped up the pre-encore show with the terrific “Jack Names The Planets” and “A Life Less Ordinary”, before heading off for a quick break. The band returned to the appreciative crowd to close the night on Ash favourites from Free All Angels including “Walking Barefoot”, “Shining Light” and the terrific closer of the evening, “Burn Baby Burn”.

A tight and terrific hour and a half, Ash are a reminder of an era of music far removed from today’s YouTube generation. While it’s been years since 1977 and years since Ash’s brand of music graced the airwaves on a contemporary basis, the band are still as relevant and impactful today. Best of all? The crowd was almost all dickhead/hipster free.

Ash are playing one final Melbourne show at the Corner Hotel on August 29th. Tickets here.

 

ASH
August 22, 2013
Melbourne, AUS @ Corner Hotel

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The assassination of JFK will forever be one of the most haunting events caught on tape. The famous Zapruder tape, the focus of so much of the historical analysis of the event, is part of the new Tom Hanks-produced movie Parkland. Weaving in the plot behind the man who accidentally caught the assassination on tape, Abraham Zapruder, along with the frantic events at Parkland hospital that morning, the film looks to be a compelling drama that features a fine cast.

With Paul Giamatti starring as Zapruder, Parkland features the acting talent of Jacki Weaver, Billy Bob Thornton, Jackie Earle Haley and Marcia Gay Harden. Unfortunately Zac Efron is in it too. However, the trailer shows the film’s look at the events proceeding the assassination and a look at some of the less familiar characters of the narrative.

Parkland is directed by Peter Landesman and is set for release this September.

Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: We’re The Millers

If you’ve ever had to misfortune of seeing the 2006 Robin Williams comedy RV, you’d probably be hard pressed to sit down and watch We’re The Millers. On the surface, they’re near identical movies- a man trying to sort through the dysfunctional lives of his family members as they take a trip in a motor home. The difference being, that while RV was traditional, straight laced family humour, We’re The Millers is traditional, gross out toilet comedy akin to what has become the norm thanks to The Hangover and their kind.

Instead of a real family trying to sort out their difference, We’re The Millers sees Jason Sudeikis as low level drug dealer David Clark, stuck with no option but to be a drug mule for corporate douchebag (and hilarious orca owner) Brad Gurdlinger (played by Ed Helms). Concocting the ham fisted plan of putting together a fake family to transport the drugs in an RV as to not raise border patrol suspicions, he creates The Millers. His fake family includes a stripper (the phenomenally in-shape Jennifer Aniston), a runaway (Emma Roberts), and a goofy virgin (a really funny Will Poulter). When the Millers realize the amount of weed they are transporting across the border far exceed their expectation (“a smidge and a half” as Gurdlinger puts it), they are thrust into gag after gag of some pretty hilarious stuff.

The film’s crass approach and adult humour works well because the story is incredible simple. What RV lacked was any sort of edge, and with Sudeikis and Helms well versed in the kind of profanity-laced comedy, much of We’re The Millers comes across as contemporarily enjoyable. Much of the added laughs come from the great supporting turns by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn (playing fellow RVers the Millers encounter on their adventures), who add their brightly coloured palette of humour to the mix.

Through all the crude jokes, there is a touch of heart to the film, and as expected, the Millers are taught some valuable family lessons as the film concludes. It never quite reaches the offensive enlightenment we get with the original Hangover, and a lot of it is very conventional, but it doesn’t mean however, that the film isn’t enjoyable. The cast is extremely likeable and while much of it isn’t too surprising, there actually is more to the film than a sexy, underwear-clad Jennifer Aniston stripping underneath a literal shower of sparks. That part is nice however.

We’re The Millers is in cinemas nationwide.

[rating=3]

 

WE’RE THE MILLERS
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Ed Helms, Will Poulter
Released by: Warner Bros.
Website: werethemillers.warnerbros.com

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Melbourne may still be a while away from the beautiful grasp of spring and an eventual summer, but rock group Leez Lido aren’t waiting around for winter to defrost. The trio recently released the video for their single “Sunrising” which you can check out above.

Garage rock fans, and Australia in general, may have found a new act to keep their eye on. Check out the goings on from the Leez Lido camp on their facebook page.

The joys and perils of being lost in your late 20s and early 30s, the familiar obstacle for many and the premise for the new Kristen Bell-starring The Lifeguard.

Bell plays Leigh London, a New York reporter who leaves her big city life to move back to her family’s Connecticut home in an attempt to reconnect with herself, her past and her future. Co-starring Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Party Down), the film is directed by Liz W. Garcia (who also wrote the film) and is currently available as a VOD title. The Lifeguard will see cinema release August 30th.

You can watch the trailer above and a short clip from the movie below.

Clip:

One of the most talked about shows on television will make its return in the coming months, and while this weekend is Breaking Bad weekend, Showtime’s Homeland is making its case for September.

Picking up where the events of season 2 left off, the trailer for the new season gives us a glimpse of what is in store. What will happen to Brody and Carrie as they begin their lives as fugitive and possible accomplice? What of Brody’s daughter? And will Brody survive season 3? Set to the sorrowful tones of The Cinematic Orchestra’s “To Build A Home”, the trailer paints a fluctuating picture through the spectrum of emotions we are all sure to see in the new season.

Starring Damian Lewis, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, Homeland Season 3 premieres September 29th.

Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: Pain & Gain

If there is one thing Michael Bay can never be guilty of, it is of not giving the people what they want. Based on a ridiculous true story, Pain & Gain is every bit the as glossy as it is muscle-bound; so inflatedly Bay that the ludicrous premise and wild characters are perfectly blended amongst the genuine, simple tone of its heart. Yes, it’s got heart.

Set in the sunset tones of Miami circa 1995, Pain & Gain tells the story of two well meaning, but frustrated bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie playing real life convicts Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal) chasing the American dream. Feeling trapped by their lifestyle but looking up into the stars, they concoct a ham-fisted plan to kidnap and rob a rich Miami businessman (played with menace by Tony Shalhoub). Along the way, they meet hulked up ex-con Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and stripper Sorina (played in true exquisite Michael Bay fashion by model/actress Bar Paly), adding to the oft bumbling, hilarious, but all too serious crimes they commit along the way. This includes murder and dismemberment.

Yet as serious as the matter at hand, Bay’s saturated direction, fast paced action, slow motion tracking and some nicely placed T&A means you’ll spend most of the film laughing and having a great time than worrying about the victims of this terrible crime. You get a lot of shots from below (placed conveniently anytime a nice looking lady is wearing something skimpy), recycled shots from Bad Boys, and thankfully, dialogue that is required to be both dumb and stupidly hilarious.

Wahlberg as Lugo leads the charge as the less than intellectually astute ringleader of the heist, and while his muscles have stopped blood flowing to his brain, he is the most driven and forward moving character in the film. Give credit to Johnson, who amongst all his brute force, shines as a character that ends up being funny, warm and endearing in the end. We’re surrounded by a motley crew of recognized faces- from cameos to second stringers- Bay has compiled an extremely likeable cast that features Ken Jeong, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris and Rob Corddry. All of whom never detract from the humour, spills, and pace of the film.

As the film concludes, there is an air of satisfaction to it all; the story is complete and we end up genuinely caring about those involved (yes, even the boneheaded criminals- which has drawn some controversy).

It’s been awhile since Bay let his ability to craft humour, action and sex in a likeable fashion without a great deal of computer enhancement. We forget that he’s good at the kind of buddy comedy humour he perfected in Bad Boys, and Pain & Gain is by far his best movie since (although one can argue the original Transformers movie has something to say about that). You can’t help think that Bay is still very much on top of his game.

Pain & Gain is bulked up, ‘roided, and pumped. It’s a little bit Bad Boys, a little bit Miami Vice, and a whole lot of funny.

Pain & Gain is now playing in Australian cinemas nationwide.

 

PAIN & GAIN
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Bar Paly, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub
Released by: Paramount Pictures
Website: painandgainmovie.com

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Film, Sight & Sound, Trailers

WATCH: CBGB trailer

One of rock n’ roll’s most legendary clubs is getting the big screen treatment, and the first trailer for it has now made its way online. CBGB is the story of Hilly Kristal’s famed CBGB nightclub that vaunted to fame a gamut of punk, rock and blues bands through its history. Starring Alan Rickman as Kristal, the movie is a historical record of the names and acts that came through and made CBGB’s home- including Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and Patty Smith.

While their music is featured, we get to see the Hollywoodized renditions of these noted characters, including Watchmen star Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry, Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone, Mickey Summer as Patti Smith and Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop.

Check out the trailer:
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

This movie is either going to be really good, or really bad. As someone who has seen the fair share of CBGB-related documentaries, it feels as though the true historical legacy of the club and the bands will always be more interesting than a film version. The last one we saw, Burning Down the House: The Story of CBGB, was pretty good.

After much fanfare, the club closed its doors in 2006. If you’re wondering what the place is now, here is a photo we snapped in June of 2012 while we were hanging in the bowels of the Bowery. This photo makes us very sad.

photo

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The second trailer for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World has been released. The new trailer features more exposition into the sequel’s story; the reluctant teaming up of brothers as Thor and Loki fight a new evil. The film is the second instalment of Marvel’s ‘Phase 2’ following on the events of The Avengers.

Starring Chris Hemsworth (check out this photo our writer found of Thor in a mall in Indonesia), Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, Thor: The Dark World is set to premiere November 8th.