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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Killabite - killaBYTE

"I've done a lot of wild things, it would thrill ya"

I posted about Killabite some months ago, and the song I shared (Follow Me Home) became something of a surprise hit in Sweden. I'd like to think I can spot a hit when I hear it, and I was right with this one (not to toot my own horn or anything!). The band has now been working with such Swedish luminaries as Max Martin, Alex Kronlund and Patrick Berger (of Robyn fame) on their debut album. That's a dream team if I've ever heard one. And here's the next taster from their sessions. killaBYTE (odd title, yeah?) is a slightly off-kilter electro track with a simple, yet effective melody. It's like a mix between Robyn and the Knife, neither as poppy as the former nor as experimental as the latter. It definitely hits a sweet spot right in the middle. This is a band I'm very excited about. The vocals, in particular, borrow the best from so many 80's icons. There's a lot of Stevie Nicks influence at the beginning, until it morphs into something more modern for the chorus. All in all, a winner. Now bring on the album!! (Oh, and the video will premiere later this week. It's pretty slinky.)

* No post tomorrow, as I'll be on the road and away from the weekend, but next week's gonna be fun! All five days I'll be combining music with my upcoming book, SKYSHIP ACADEMY!

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the track here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Movie Review: Captain America - The First Avenger

For awhile I've wanted to steer this blog to a little broader of a focus. It will always be primarily music based, but throughout the next few weeks I will be trying out some new features, including movie reviews. I'm a movie freak (especially during the summer) and I just can't resist chatting about what I've seen.
I have a simple rating system, with four possible "grades."

Must Go
Rent It
Run In The Other Direction

Captain America: The First Avenger

Growing up, I was a huge Marvel Comics guy. Like many comic geeks, my battle line was well and truly defined. It was Marvel all the way… no DC (except Batman… sometimes). And even though I’m “grown up” now, I still anticipate each Marvel movie release with great excitement. After all, throughout the past few years, they’ve had a pretty dynamite track record.

And they’ve done it again. Despite loving (and knowing every little aspect about) the Marvel Universe as a kid, Captain America was never one of my favorite characters. That being said, they’ve just made the perfect Captain America movie. I’m not saying it’s a perfect movie, but I can’t imagine anything better being fashioned from this character’s story. It easily ties X-Men: First Class as my favorite comic book movie of the summer.

The film works so well for so many different reasons. For one, it has an ultra appealing lead actor and a main character with equal parts heart, humor and symbolism. It also features a charismatic (and truly badass) villain in the Red Skull (played by the always reliable Hugo Weaving). This was one of my main quibbles with Thor earlier this year, and definitely Green Lantern last month. A hero’s only as good as its villain. Bonus points for the make-up job. Very, very cool.

Best of all, the movie’s old-fashioned in the best possible way. True, the vast majority of the story takes place in the 1940’s (and the parts that don’t are pretty dang awesome), but like X-Men was, this is a heavily stylized setting, amping up reality to create a comic-book vibe that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet honors the story’s roots at the same time. Most tellingly, the story itself has a good old-fashioned feel to it. The inevitable crash boom bang parts are there, but they’re sandwiched within a story with characters you actually care about. One of my fears going into the theater was that this was going to turn out to be a boring trudge through history. Not so. I had an absolute blast. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie ups Captain America tenfold in the superhero pop culture pantheon. He’s like Superman, but relatable. Oh, and stay for the end credits.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wolf Gang - Stay And Defend

"What to do? Who to see?"

After months of waiting (and several push backs of the release date), Wolf Gang's album is out! It's a wonderful mix of old-school glam, electro and indie-rock. He really succeeds when it comes to lush, catchy hooks. Most songs have a grandiose sound to them, befitting his stage name. They're epic, but in a subtle way. The singles are the immediate standouts (I've decided that Lions In Cages is probably now my favorite), but there are some amazing album tracks as well. Stay And Defend out Mikas Mika. It's got that jolly piano-pop feel but some interesting vocal arrangements and production as well. There's definitely a psychedelic MGMT influence at work. It's a perfect example of what to expect on the album, as the sound throughout is very consistent. Beyond that, I feel a lot of potential. After a strong debut, I bet the second album is going to knock it out of the park.

Wolf Gang - Stay And Defend by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Pnau - The Truth

"You say you lost your lover"

Dance duo Pnau's new album came out over the weekend in their native Australia. The anticipation was high and, even though I wasn't in love with the last one beyond the singles, when I first listened to Soft Universe I was blown away. As I've settled with the album, I've come to the realization that my initial thoughts were just a little too rosy. I still wholeheartedly recommend it, especially for fans of electro, but it's lost some of its luster with repeated plays. However, I was shocked when I discovered that I've never mentioned this track on the blog before. As the album's first single, this has been out since the beginning of the year. And through the months, it has only grown in my eyes. The Truth may just eclipse Embrace as my favorite Pnau song (I really consider Embrace as more of a Ladyhawke song anyway). The chorus is monumental, epic stuff. it's exactly the rock-influenced, gargantuan sound I wish they would stick with. It's got that surging, running-through-endless-wheat-fields sound that's a hallmark of my favorite pop songs (think the Ark's Calleth You, Cometh I). Keep an eye for this to be brought up again in my year-end countdown. I've really become quite obsessed with it.

The Truth by Pnau

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.