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Friday, January 16, 2009

Alienhits Loves... Chris Lilley!

I wanted to start a new feature, hopefully once a week, that branches out from the normal music posts and focuses on either a person, place, movie, book, etc. that I consider to be 100% amazing. It's called Alienhits Loves..., and the first person loved on is Australian funnyman Chris Lilley.

I’m very hard to please when it comes to comedians. Most of the popular ones do my head in. They remind me of the types of people I had drama classes with in high school--attention hogs with little subtlety and no off switch. Yet Chris Lilley is different. I think I’d prefer to call him a funny actor, because his brand of comedy doesn’t rely on punch lines or constant “look at me” showiness, but instead on creating characters that are brutally believable.
Lilley has developed two shows in his native Australia--We Can Be Heroes in 2005 and Summer Heights High in 2007. Both are Office-style character-driven parodies with a real fly-on-the-wall “is this real?” feel to them. He’s as compassionate as he is unflinching towards his targets. From Pat the “professional roller” in Heroes to Jonah the troubled schoolboy in SHH, he crafts characters that we care about while laughing our asses off at all their foibles. Both series are among the funniest things I have seen in my life.
Summer Heights High is my favorite of the two, mostly because of Mr. G. A self-obsessed drama teacher who’s painfully unaware of his flamboyance and how he is perceived by the rest of the school, Greg Gregson (to use his full name) is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. For those who have seen the show, I urge you to check out the special edition DVD (unfortunately available only from Australia) for literally hours of deleted scenes that only serve to enhance the realism of the whole experience.
Lilley is developing a new show, his third, and I am waiting on pins and needles to see what he’ll come up with next. I’d love to see more of Mr. G and the hottest girl in year eleven, Ja'mie (like, seriously!), though I have faith in anything he comes up with. The man is a genius, and officially the funniest person on the planet.

A clip from We Can Be Heroes

A clip from Summer Heights High

Buy both DVDs here

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Axe Kid - Powered By Your Love

"Like lightning from above"

Axe Kid is a UK duo who have the potential to be very, very good. It's hard to tell now because they only have a few songs and they seem to be in that "new band" stage. But they have energy, ideas and chops to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. Check out Powered By Your Love, a hyperactive stew of pop, electro, punk and dance. This particular song reminds me a lot of To My Boy, which was one of my favorite UK groups of the past few years. It's definitely retro, with one foot in the realm of No Doubt and the other entrenched in early 80's new wave. Plus, they clearly know how to take an interesting promo shot.

Axe Kid - Powered By Your Love (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Hear more here.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 22nd can't arrive quickly enough!

Next Thursday, the 22nd, as part of the 30th anniversary of Sweden's Rockbjörnen, Melody Club will premiere their new single "Girls Don't Always Wanna Have Fun"!
I must say I am more than intrigued by the title. I need to hear this NOW.
Kissogram - I Am The Night Before

"Take your last breath and make you sigh"

A reader recently recommended German duo Kissogram to me and I'm so glad they did because these guys are great. They're everything I wish Franz Ferdinand was right now, because they sound like that group with a little more electro and creativity thrown in. They remind me a bit of Norway's King Midas too. I love pop bands that aren't afraid to be a little weird and experimental, yet at the same time never forget to create a catchy piece of music. Kissogram do just that, and it means that their most recent release had--of all things--a Bollywood influence. Imagine Franz Ferdinand with a Bollywood influence. I mean, can you even imagine that'd work? Yet it does. And it never works better than I Am The Night Before. The lyrics are pretty dark and the vibrato in bits kinda dodgy, but the strings are amazing.

Kissogram - I Am The Night Before (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On a related note to the post below, I fucking love this woman.

Jeppe - Johnny Come Home

"What is wrong with my life, that I must get drunk every night?"

The finalists for Denmark's Eurovision selection were recently announced and among them was Jeppe (formally of Junior Senior) with a song called Lucky Boy (not to be confused with his recent single Big Boy). Now that Junior Senior's broken up, Jeppe is starting out on a solo career of his own. Vocally, he wasn't my favorite of the two J.S. members, but his new stuff sounds very promising. His first release was a cover of Fine Young Cannibals' Johnny Come Home, released last year. I'd actually never heard the original but I love this version of the track. I hope that his Eurovision entry is even stronger.
In related Eurovision news, check out Surferosa's entry, U Look Good, on their myspace. Thoughts? It's pretty much typical Surferosa, which means I love it. Plus, their outfits rule.

Jeppe - Johnny Come Home (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. More info about Denmark's Melodi Grand Prix here--in Danish, of course.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chateau Marmont - Anything & Everywhere

"Could it be another way?"

Chateau Marmont are a French electronic band who has remixed great artists like Ladyhawke and La Roux. They have an EP coming out soon (it's already out digitally) and I just stumbled upon this track floating around on my computer, gave it another listen, and fell in love with it. I don't know where it came from or when I first downloaded it, but it's amazing nonetheless. The guys have been compared to another famous French band, Air, but this song at least is a lot more upbeat and poppy than most stuff coming out of France right now. They have an incredibly smooth sound and the melody of Anything & Everywhere is ridiculously catchy whitout being in-your-face. It balances indie and pop perfectly, and I hope it's a taste of what kind of music will be on the eventual full-length.

Chateau Marmont - Anything & Everywhere (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the EP here.)