Trailers

Trailer watch: Jackie Chan stars in Police Story 2013

One of my earliest memories of watching Jackie Chan as a kid were his Police Story and Project A movies. While I was too young to fully comprehend just what was going on, I enjoyed both immensely as two different styles of the Jackie Chan filmography. While the latter was a great laugh, Police Story was Hong Kong action filmmaking at its finest.

Now, almost three decades since the original, Police Story 2013 sees Jackie Chan return to his darker, action roots in this remake. In this version, Chan plays a mainland China police officer investigating a kidnapping.

Police Story 2013 will showcase a new side of Chan, who cut his hair short in order to look more like a reliable and responsible mainland Chinese police officer. “My character this time is much calmer than those from before,” said Chan, “and I don’t make a single silly face in this movie.”

The film premiered early this year at the Beijing Film Festival and will open in China this December. No word yet on international release.

 

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Music, Sight & Sound

Listen to new Lights & Motion songs

Deep Elm recording artist Lights & Motion is gearing up for the release of his new album Save Your Heart and is now streaming the first two tracks from the epic outing.

Lights & Motion is musical savant Christoffer Franzen, a self-taught, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, engineer, mixer and the namesake of this extravagant post-rock project. The deeply personal project is Franzen’s musical extention of himself, one he hold closely to the heart;

[quote]”A year in the making and a many lonely nights have crystallized themselves into my new album Save Your Heart. In January, I gathered the courage to release my debut Reanimation and I haven’t stopped since. In fact, I’ve barely left the studio all together. This isn’t just music to me. This IS me. This is me doing the thing I love and sharing the things that I am most afraid of. Save Your Heart is about not giving up on those things that make you lose track of time, feel alive and realize there is something that you were born to do.”[/quote]

The album is due out November 12th and the first two tracks are available for streaming below.

“Heartbeats”

“Ultraviolet”

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Sight & Sound

Listen to Bad Religion’s Christmas album

As weird and distressing it is that the band that so boldly features the crossbuster logo decided to record a collection of Christmas songs, it is moreso that after listening to them, you realize they aren’t so bad.

Bad Religion’s Christmas album. Yep, it happened. It’s out now on Epitaph and you can stream each track through the YouTube playlist above. The songs include their renditions of traditional Christmas songs “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, “Come All Ye Faithful” and “Little Drummer Boy” to name a few. The set also includes the Andy Wallace mix of their Recide For Hate song “American Jesus”.

I really wanted to hate this but I don’t.

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Trailers

Trailer watch: Keanu Reeves in new 47 Ronin trailer

Looking like the Eastern-tinged rendition of 300 (except decidedly less crap), 47 Ronin stars Keanu Reeves as a member of a band of samurais (ronins) seeking revenge for the death and dishonour of their master at the hands of ruthless shogun. The story is a fictionalised account of the Japanese tale of the “forty-seven ronin“.

The film was originally set for release November 2012 but was initially pushed back to February of this year, before getting its final delay to December 25, 2013.

Costing an estimated $175 million to make, the film was shot in Budapest and the United Kingdom by relative newcomer and first time feature film director Carl Rinsch. It’s not a bad budget to work with for a first timer, whose previous directing credits were limited to three short films.

Pacific Rim star Rinko Kikuchi and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Pearl Harbor, Planet of the Apes) co-star alongside Reeves.

Check out the trailer below:

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Interviews

The Warmest Heart Attack: An Interview with Gameface

Vocalist and songwriter Jeff Caudill has spent a great deal of his life writing and recording songs with his band Gameface. They started making a name for themselves with their melody-charged, pop-tinged punk debut Good (1993), before going on to record albums for Revelation Records through the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Unafraid of fusing punk urgency with catchy choruses and heartfelt content, the band proved to be the perfect crossroads between punk, hardcore and the original formation of emo. In 2003, after the release of their Doghouse album Four To Go, the band members went their separate ways but never kept too far away from music.

In 2012, the band reformed to play selected shows and not long after, signed to Equal Vision Records. Now on the doorstep of their first recorded material in years, a new 7”, and a decade removed from their last album, Southern California’s Gameface are back doing what they love most.

You recently said that getting back together as a very natural process, did you all want the same things when you first go back together? Does this feel like the next chapter or starting over?

Jeff Caudill: Yeah, it was natural in that it took a long time to actually happen. It took the last few years to really understand the reasons we gave it up in 2003. We had to put all that to rest before we could pick up our instruments and really move forward. Now we’re all back on the same page and we all have the same expectations. That’s important because that was one thing that destroyed us before. We’re very fortunate to even have this opportunity at all so our only real goal is to make great music again. This band means a lot to us. It’s really a gift to have it back in our lives.

During Gameface’s hiatus, what kept you all busy? Jeff, I know you’ve been writing and performing as a solo artist and in Your Favorite Trainwreck, does this mean those projects are on hold?

Yeah, I never stop. For better or for worse I just can’t stop making music. I’m proud of all that I have done with my solo projects and the YFT album…but Gameface is different for me. Gameface is my guts. I know the other guys feel the same. They’ve done other bands and whatnot but there’s just something about Gameface that couldn’t be replicated with anyone else.

Gameface is my guts. I know the other guys feel the same.  – Jeff Caudill

Equal Vision is a great fit, what was the reasons for signing with EVR? And were Revelation interested in doing new Gameface material?

EVR was at the top of our list from the beginning. They come from the same place in the scene that we do. Their label has found a way to grow and stay relevant and maintain itself for over 20 years and that’s impressive. The label roster is really diverse and the staff is great. We’re really fortunate that they believe in our band like we do.

It’s been a decade since we’ve had Gameface music, are the reasons why you write songs now still the same as back then?

Yeah. That never changes. I write about my life, as a way to deal with things and share and express myself. I write about myself but for others – hoping to connect with people that feel the same things and need an outlet.

Your new song, “Come On Down”, has some personal and important meaning behind it. Did this become the catalyst for the rest of the new material, the creative spark so to speak?

Yeah. I wasn’t sure Gameface was going to write any new material. I figured we’d do some reunion shows, play the “hits” and that would be it. But that song changed everything. An avalanche of new songs followed after that one. It was that Gameface feeling all over again.

Listen to Gameface’s new song “Come On Down”:

 

What are the plans for the next few months, is it all new album or will you be out on the road?

Just recording the album and making sure it’s as great as we think it is. We’ll start playing in 2014.

Have you guys ever been to Australia?

We haven’t but would absolutely love to go someday. If you’re offering, we’re already packing ; )

Looking back at your discography, are there particular songs or albums you’re still most fond of?

There’s a decent list of songs that I feel are the standouts in our catalog. The ones I like most may not be the ones you do but I think there are some obvious ones… “My Star”, “Only Souvenir”, “Laughable”, “Gibberish”, “Mean”, “Friday Matinee”, “Only Chance We Get”, “The Pirate Song”, “Chasing The Sun”, “How Far is Goodbye?”…

This question is a little self indulgent on my part, but the song “How Far Is Goodbye?” has always been a favourite. Do you remember why you wrote this song or whether this was about a particular person or place?

Yeah, as I was saying a lot of the songs are pretty autobiographical and that one is no exception. The song is generally knowing when it’s time to move on from a group of friends that you are obviously not happy being around. I drew references from a few times in my life where I was living somewhere and with people that were ultimately holding me down. I don’t like to be very specific when I talk about my lyrics mostly because I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s interpretation of them. Sometimes their vision of what the song says is way more interesting than mine. But when we get to Australia I’ll tell you all the details about this one.

 

Gameface’s new 7″, Come On Down, is available from Equal Vision Records starting November 5th. A new album is due in 2014. Photo by Kip Terry

 

Bonus video: “How Far Is Goodbye?”

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Sight & Sound

The Temper Trap remix Brave Face tune

Melbourne’s pop rock giants The Temper Trap have given a leg up to one of the local boys as the group have remixed Brave Face’s track “Something Old Something New”.

The remix takes Brace Face’s classic 50s/60s pop and turns it upside into some downbeat electronica reminiscent of Massive Attack. How’s that for some sweet disposition?

You can read our review of Brave Face’s EP right here.

Have a listen to the Temper Trap remix:

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You can listen to the original version on Brave Face’s bandcamp.

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Sight & Sound

Listen to the new Polar Bear Club song “Upstate Mosquito”

Rochester/Syracuse post-hardcore band Polar Bear Club have released the first song from their upcoming new album Death Chorus titled “Upstate Mosquito”.

The album is due November 19th on their freshly signed-to label Rise Records (who have signed almost every band under the sun in the past few years). Death Chorus is the follow up to their 2011 album Crash Battle Guilt Pride.

Are you feeling this new jam? What happened to their vocals? Where’s all the gruff?

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Trailers

Watch the first X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer

A few days ago we previewed the short Instagram teaser for the trailer, now the much anticipated first trailer for the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past has been released. The film bridges the two X-Men film franchises, bringing together the stars of the original trilogy with the successful prequel X-Men: First Class. Returning from the original trilogy are Patrick Stewart , Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page and Hugh Jackman, joining the cast of First Class (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence et al). Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage joins the cast as Boliver Trask.

Officially, the synopsis of the film is as follows;

[quote]”The X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in a battle that must change the past – to save their future.”[/quote]

X-Men: Days of Future Past is directed by Bryan Singer and is due May 23rd, 2014.

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Album Reviews, Headlines

Review: Signals Midwest – Light On The Lake

lightonthelake1There is just something painfully beautiful about the music of Signals Midwest; Cleveland’s answer to the melancholia of punk’s late 90s and early 2000s where bands like Small Brown Bike, Appleseed Cast and American Steel carved their niche.

Signals Midwest are like those bands in a way, but unlike the sometimes heavy burden of an Appleseed Cast song, much of Light On The Lake gives the listener a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope in these tunes, and while singer Max Stern seems to write with a heavy heart, the emotional resonance of these songs is set to more than just one tone. Take the song “St. Vincent Charity” as example; it starts off in the bleakest of Midwestern emo colours; downtrodden, midtempo and coated with Stern’s striking voice. Yet a few minutes into it, the band have taken us from the doldrums to a distinctly more upbeat, Frank Turner-esque folk vibe, before barrelling full steam ahead in more traditional punk rock mannerisms. It’s utterly fantastic.

“The Desert to Denver” is a great example of the band’s relentless and razor sharp amalgamation of fury and emotion. They tend not to settle on one musical journey and as songs like “An Echo, A Strain” (with its soaring whoah-ohh choral treatment) and “Caricature” (with its light American Football-esque opening) prove, they aren’t interested in being pigeonholed into one genre or style.

There is grace and there is chaos in music, and Signals Midwest, guised in punk rock roots, have painted one of the most interesting and compelling records in recent times. If beauty in music is found in songs like “Greater Plains”, then its counteracting movement is exhibited in “A Room Once Called Yours”. There is frustration, sadness, anger, urgency and poise in this Light On The Lake, and the results are engaging to say the least.

Highly recommended.

[rating=4]

 

Listen to “St. Vincent Charity”:

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Signals Midwest’s Lights On The Lake is out now via Tiny Engines.

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Sight & Sound

Listen to Strung Out’s cover of “Soulmate”

With Fat Wreck’s A Tribute To Tony Sly, the label has given fans a chance to hear many different interpretations of Sly’s work by many of his close friends and contemporaries. It’s a great cause and a way for fans to remember some of the great songs Sly wrote through his years as frontman for No Use For a Name.

To help spread the word of  the release, Strung Out’s rather magnificent cover of No Use For A Name’s “Soulmate” is now online for you hear.

Has anything ever sounded so glorious?

No one does melodic urgency as good as Strung Out and with “Soulmate” being right up their (velvet) alley, this cover is a perfect amalgamation of the great qualities that both bands possess/possessed.

A Tribute To Tony Sly is available starting today via Fat Wreck and proceeds from the release will go to the Tony Sly Memorial Fund.

If you were ever a fan of No Use For a Name, buy the record as the digital download is only $10.

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