Hello there, I know there aren’t many followers in this blog but this is just a message to let you guys know that GdbyeBlueMonday will be on indefinite hiatus from this day onwards. Reasons include work, school and believe it or not, life in general. I guess this will be just an archived area so you are welcomed to unfollow as you wish. Thank you very much for your support thus far, I really appreciate it!
Wes Anderson is my favourite director. To say that I have been anticipating for this movie is an understatement. I finally saw the film yesterday and it was exactly like I expected and more. Whimsical, intricate and funny. And the soundtrack, oh the soundtrack.
I promise to exclude any plot-based spoilers in this review but I cannot not talk about the details that went into this piece of work. The cinematography is obviously based off vintage 60s films, with grainy quality and dramatic cut scenes, but you would not have expected less with the storyline set in 1965. The way the story was portrayed also gives the audience the feeling that they are reading about it from an old storybook. The cast includes several of Anderson’s long-time collaborators and I especially loved Jason Schwartzman’s role, who managed to stay the main focus whenever he appeared. It was a star-studded cast to say the least, with Tilda Swinton and Bruce Willis going head to head in one of the scene as well.
Of course, the two main characters done by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward were the biggest misfits of all. I had a hard time acknowledging the fact that they were only 13 years old and first-timers, as their acting convinced me otherwise. Their ability to show the characters as rebellious but surprisingly resourceful and sensitive really astounded me.
The soundtrack was mainly composed by Alexandré Desplat and Benjamin Britten, which included children vocals and also an introduction to the orchestra. My favourite, however, would be the feature of Françoise Hardy’s Le Temps de L’Amour. The sultry voice of the French singer was a rather interesting juxtaposition to the innocence of the main characters, almost funny even.
Moonrise Kingdom is one of Anderson’s most detailed work yet and even though I held high expectations, I was not disappointed in any way. This is definitely worth the watch.
Metric released their album Synthetica recently and I had the chance to hear them live when they performed at the Esplanade. The band started the set straight off Artificial Nocturne, with a wonderful display of lights to go along with. This was an unexpected opener in my opinion as I thought they would have gone with Youth Without Youth. However, that song followed after as the crowd visibly relaxed and started to chant along with Emily Haines.
Emily Haines. I can finally understand why so many of my friends are enamoured with her. The concert had no banter in between songs (save for a few ‘thank you’s) but Haines showed a good level of energy throughout, as did the rest of the band as well. The lead singer was jumping around lively, with her tambourine at hand for a couple of songs.
The set turned towards New Wave in the middle, like Gold Gun Girls. The band did not focus too much on it though, bringing in rockier crowd pleasers like Dead Disco and Help I’m Alive to keep the flow smooth.
The set ended off with Give Me Sympathy and the band finally addressed the crowd. The song was chosen as the ending to encourage people to reach for their dreams. Regardless of the reason, Give Me Sympathy was the softest and most delicate song of the set and a gentle way to end Metric’s stop in Singapore. Overall, I was surprised by their ability to play well live and also the effort the band put in to maintain the energy level. The local crowd here can get pretty dazed instead of enthusiastic at times, especially when a band is promoting a new album released less than a month ago but Metric did really well and I’m glad to have seen them live.
7 hours ago, The xx released a new song ‘Angels’ on their Facebook page, their first new song since 2009. It is the first single off their upcoming second album, Coexist and it is a very delicate tune. SImilar to their previous works, the song is subtle and minimal, the latter a word that follows the band around relentlessly. However, I think the song does show them branching out instead of going down the same path. Halfway through, the percussion enters in gradually but does not takeover as the backbone of the song. Instead, it turns subdued and pairs with Romy Madley-Croft’s vocals very naturally. If anything, the backbone seems to be the hollowness, which expands as the song goes on. I feel as if I am listening in on Romy’s thoughts in her head and that I ought to be ashamed but instead, The xx managed to make something so incredibly intimate comforting again.
Coexist is out on 10 September (Internationally) and 11 September (US) via Young Turks.
Another comic book adaptation review? Yes, another. Straight on the heels of The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man is here. I have to say, I was anticipating this remake, lest we forget how much second-hand embarrassment was involved in 2007’s Spider-Man 3… With a new cast, new villain and general new take to the storyline, fans of the franchise were definitely speculating about the quality of the film. Is Andrew Garfield too pretty to play Peter Parker? Will The Lizard be a CGI flop? Are they gonna keep the ‘Amazing’ in sequels to come?
Well, TASM is much better in terms of the acting as compared to the previous attempts. Garfield and Stone are the stars du jour these days but they do prove that they have something to show other than physical attractiveness. Especially for Garfield, whose managed to encompass the character of Peter Parker much more than his predecessor. To be fair, the movie is primarily about Parker and not about Spider-Man. The character is given space to grow in front of the audience, from an arrogant kid to someone who begins to grasp the idea of “With great power comes great responsibility”. As for Stone’s Gwen Stacy, I feel like the portrayal is peppered too heavily with Stone’s signature style of ‘awkward wit’ but it seems to work with the cinema audience I was with.
However, the plot of the movie felt too brief. Even though the length was at almost three hours, the transitions within the story were too abrupt and it felt like they were rushing to get to the fight scenes instead of explaining anything else at a proper speed. I would have love to see more of the interaction between Parker and his family, instead of the scenes being a plot device. Also, certain points in the storyline were left hanging with no continuation that I could see, even for future sequels, which made it seem even more shoddy than I would have expected. Given that they had three films prior and a whole catalog of comic books to research on, I felt that it could have been done with more thought.
Overall, as a blockbuster, TASM is a decent one of the lot. A good start to a remake of a franchise with amazing effects and a competent cast. Hopefully, the sequels to come will pay more attention to details and allow the cast and special effects to really bring out the story.
Yay! Grizzly Bear is back, with their new song, Sleeping Ute! First off, I would like to say that I have been waiting for a follow up for Veckatimest since that album was released. It is exciting to think what could possibly come after such a beautiful piece of work. Some people might have been chewing their fingernails down due to the anxiety of possible disappointment but obviously, the Brooklyn group could do no such thing.
The song starts off with a catchy and slowly builds around it, into something majestic. Daniel Rossen’s voice comes in, sounding weary but enthralling at the same time. It continues on with rough guitar scratches but also melodic strums. For a second in between, I nearly thought I was listening to a St. Vincent tune. (They should really do a collaboration soon) However, it was definitely Grizzly Bear when the bridge entered, with the light and smooth sounds and ends off with Rossen. The overall experience was just enchanting and I have a feeling there will be always something new to discover every time you listen to this song.
Grizzly Bear’s new album is due on 17 September.
Have you ever heard music done so well that it transports your mind and soul into some other place you have never been? Sigur Rós specialises in that sort of music. The band returned to the scene with their new album Valtari very recently and the world welcomed their delicate sound back with open arms. The whole album was streamed live on Sigur Rós’s website, transformed into an experience called “Valtari Hour”. If you have missed the stream, NPR has it up as well.
Ekki Múkk was the first single released. The song is very ‘Sigur Rós’, in a way where it has the signature elements of the group’s consistent work like the famous “Fyoo”-ing and heavy ambient background. Jónsi’s smooth falsetto glides over easily, alongside with the violins and piano which are like small little audio ripples across the tune. Ekki Múkk is calming and moody at times but it holds depth and promise of revelation. What I personally adore is the dragging of the beat by the piano chords and Jónsi’s voice near the end. It is the second song off the album but to me, it feels like you are at the end of a year and looking back at the happenings before. Valtari is the album we have been waiting for, I hardly think it disappoints and Ekki Múkk, though not my choice of a single if I can have it, is gorgeous and transcending.
Valtari is out May 28.
Creating music these days has gotten easier, as long as you have the right equipment and access to the internet you can pretty much make it as a musician. Of course, what is most important is also the quality of the tunes you put out. Marcel Everett is someone who shows that you can become name-dropped if you have the talent.
The 16 year-old, who comes from Orlando, Florida, has been featured and mentioned by various popular websites like thefoxisblack and XLR8R for his amazing musical creations. One of which has been on constant replay on my iPod. ‘Love Isn’t Made’ is a well-produced track that at first listen, sounds like something Pogo/Nick Bertke would do. However, as the track goes on, you realise that Everett seems to have the skills and abilities similar to quite a few of the top producers out there on the scene. I personally feel like his work would fit well along with Jamie XX’s or Four Tet’s. ‘Love Isn’t Made’ is light in terms of melody but rather crisp on the percussion side. Sort of ambient but much more immediate than what you would expect.
XXYYXX’s self-titled album is available on his bandcamp profile but I would definitely love to see this guy get the major amount of exposure he deserves.
EVERYONE’S BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FILM FOR THE PAST 2 MONTHS! So I thought I should give it a chance. The Avengers is Marvel’s Justice League, comprising of big favourites: Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, The Black Widow and Hawk-Eye. It is definitely an action-based film, there is hardly a second without some form of fighting. I shall try not to spoil the story for those who have yet to catch this but you can probably guess the vague notion of it. A problem arises, the team is formed but with such a big amount of ego involved, they have to go through their own personal obstacles too.
What I would like to talk about is the good acting in the film. The plot to me, personally, was a bit lacklustre, the characters were not explored to their full potential. The actors and actresses, however, were able to pull the most prominent features in the characters’ personalities and save the show from being another generic blockbuster. I particularly liked Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of The Hulk/Bruce Banner, especially the antsy part of Banner and his preference to be left alone. Robert Downey Jr. of course does Iron Man as he always has, delivering his arrogant and cheeky lines with a good dose of sarcasm. The villain, Loki, was also an interesting one. Tom Hiddleston’s facial expressions in the movie is not unlike Heath Ledger’s Joker but Loki is more calm-crazy than hysterical.
The effects were great and at certain times, I felt like I did not know where to look because of so much going on. (note: I did not watch the film in 3D but digital instead.) Overall, I think that The Avengers is worth visiting the cinema for because you just will not get the same atmosphere watching it in front of your laptop screen. It is also more fun if you have someone to go with! Its not a film for you to dwell on much after but really just for a good experience.
For the upcoming action fantasy flick, Snow White and The Huntsman, Florence + The Machine has contributed a song for the soundtrack titled ‘Breath of Life’. Its nothing surprising to be honest, Florence has always preferred to use the ‘big’ sounds for her tunes but if you were to compare this song to her other works, it is a tad more theatrical. Florence’s strong vocals seem to blend easily with the instruments and at certain points she sounds regal and prophetic even. With the orchestral touch, its not difficult to feel like you are a part of the song and movie. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can come off too much, ‘Breath of Life’ can get too grand and the ending was very much anti-climatic. However, for a first-time soundtrack contributor, Florence has done her job well and I feel that with more practice, she could be the Billboard version of Danny Elfman.