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.