Friday, October 24, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 28

This isn't your average TOP TEN playlist, because some of the songs featured here are really special tunes. We insist on bringing you the new music of our beloved Arts & Leisure, but there's more than this. We're referring, of course, to the new, spectacular song of Sleater-Kinney (comeback of the decade?). And we have, literally, fallen in love with many of the songs listed below, in particular with Line & Circle. What a great discovery. Hope you enjoy the playlist as much as us. As always, it's all at our Blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15     Week 22  
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16     Week 23 
Week 3      Week 10      Week 17     Week 24
Week 4      Week 11      Week 18     Week 25
Week 5      Week 12      Week 19     Week 26 
Week 6      Week 13      Week 20     Week 27 
Week 7      Week 14       Week 21

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Premiere: Arts & Leisure are back!

Every time there's an email in my inbox from Ross Levine my heart starts beating in anticipation: good news are coming. The man behind Sacramento's label Test Pattern Records (also part of the great group Soft Science) has done it again. Our beloved Arts & Leisure are back with a new two-song 7" single! And he offered this humble blog to premiere it!!

The follow-up of last year's 'Choose Your Adventure', one of the Blog's favourite albums, will be released next Tuesday, October 28. Both tunes are as wonderful as expected, with that genuine way of putting some bite to the most delicate vocal harmonies and melodies, and viceversa, making buzz and power chords sounds delightful. California Goth Pop? I get the idea of the contrast between sunshine pop and goth, but honestly, can't see any hint of dark in Arts & Leisure music. They bring light and smiles to anyone willing to listen.

First song, 'Weekend' seems to be the quintessential Arts & Leisure tune. It's sweet, achingly sweet. The female/male vocals make it a bit more pushing and intriguing. And then, when you think the song is nice but maybe Arts & Leisure are playing within their "comfort zone" the pause arrives... And then comes the HANDCLAPPING! followed by a majestic guitar line, and vocals to die for. One minute and a half of stunning beauty.

'Over You' begins letting the guitars do most of the talking, making it a slightly more straightforward piece, but by the time the "Yeah Yeah Yeah" arrives our hearts have been already taken. Vocal harmonies are killer (do I need to say that Gerri White & Becky Cale's voices are irresistible?) after the gorgeous guitar interlude. Power pop in its prettiest version.

There are some, few bands, that you NEED. Arts & Leisure is one of them. So good they're back.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Wild Tales", I came for my revenge

Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes, Spanish Original title)

Pretty great expectations (an intriguing and disturbing trailer, excellent reviews) and the will of following the path successfully taken with "La Isla Mínima", moving for a little while from the indie stuff, made us choose "Relatos Salvajes" ('Wild Tales") as our next film. Not that lucky this time.

There's nothing exactly wrong with the film, to be honest. Just that, in my opinion it fails short, at times quite short, from what it promised. For starters, it was labelled as a twisted, very dark collection of comedic episodes. But with few exceptions, laughs weren't that abundant. Yep, I know violence does the trick for many. Again I left the theatre of feeling disconnected with the majority of the audience and the moments where they explode in guffaws.

Second, and as usually happens with this sort of episodic films, not every chapter of the six shorts linked by one single subject, vengeance, works at the same level as others, with a couple of them being close to mediocrity. Better to proceed one by one, so I can point flaws, but also virtues.  

Opener and shortest “Pasternak” is a more than fine introduction to the theme of the film. Director Damian Szifron condenses with brilliance what it could have been a silly sketch/joke, ending the tale before it gets too long. Don't want to spoil for you, because it would loose all its immediate impact. But have you seen that Simpsons episode where Bart and Homer get into a spaceship hoping they have saved themselves from the Planet imminent destruction but soon realise they are sharing flight with a very peculiar bunch of famous condemned people? Think on a more mundane but still improbable situation involving a pretty pissed person named Gabriel Pasternak.

First let down is “The Rats”, in which a waitress realises her sole customer is the monster who ruined her family life. It's far from being original, and all the fun is reserved to the laconic one-liners of her working mate, the cook proposing the deathly revenge in the name of all the s__ of a b____ out there. Also average, although flawlessly filmed is the next piece “Road to Hell”. This violent short is also classic in its concept. A wealthy young businessman (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is driving his Audi when he clashes with a redneck Peugeot driver. It seems a minor little incident but soon turns out to be an absurd trip to hell. Unfortunately, it's quite predictable.

Luckily, "Relatos Salvajes" is rescued by its two following numbers, both with a clear social comment included. “Bombita”, probably the best of the lot, has an excellent Ricardo Darin as Simon, a very common man with the exception of an unusual job. He gets extremely (and brilliantly portrayed) burnt-up by this capitalist, merciless, fake system. Until he says enough and puts in practice his knowledge to perpetrate his revenge. What a revealing piece. Even more serious is “The Bill”, where darkness leaves very little to zero space for humour. It's the deepest and more ambitious in scope short of the lot, one where Szifron wants to denounce privilege and power, saying that money is able to buy everything... and sometimes that is also a problem. What a missed opportunity the rest of the movie doesn't live up to these two stories.

Final chapter “Till Death Do Us Part” uses and, in my opinion, forces, all the jokes we have already seen at movies with a wedding. Yes, Szifron pack it with a flamboyant talent and an actress (Erica Rivas) that is so credible in her no-holds-barrier-anger as the humiliated bride Romina. But all the mess and chaos is pretty empty.

Half of the movie excels, the other half pales by comparison. I get that the "mad as hell" idea of the film can be rewarding and (that's harder for me) exhilarating for some of the audience. Plus the film is visually impeccable and, being objective, entertaining. Sadly, I think the director put something more enduring and rich in a couple of his stories. But that's only 1/3 of the movie. 

SCORE: 5,75/10

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 27

After two weeks without our TOP TEN playlist, we come back with a pretty diverse selection of bands. From the pop-punk style of The Pretty Greens and the agressive new material of September Girls, from the folk pop music of Lily & Madeleine to the retro-pop of Souvenir Stand, from Wild Balbina, the Spanish indie band proposal of the week, to the cover of 'Tire Swing' from Kimya Dawson by Kingsley Be Brave. As always, it's all at our Blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15     Week 22  
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16     Week 23 
Week 3      Week 10      Week 17     Week 24
Week 4      Week 11      Week 18     Week 25
Week 5      Week 12      Week 19     Week 26 
Week 6      Week 13      Week 20
Week 7      Week 14       Week 21

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hunting night with Boutade!

Just a quick post to remember you tonight is the night: Boutade's presents their long-awaited debut album, 'The Best Hunter'. Indie-rock facing the abyss, guitars lines built from the heart, songs from the ones who drowned, but finally learnt how to get out of the water. Come join us at Razzmatazz! 

Listen to the record and convince yourselves!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing Doble Pletina

Back to groups in our interview series. This week, we are lucky to have Doble Pletina, one of our favourite national bands submitting their answers to our questions. A quick and straight one, but full of pop brilliance anyway. These Go to 11!

Doble Pletina
Doble Pletina, the only tape deck
revival that makes sense
The Barcelona band started in 2010, originally as the duet formed by Marc Ribera and Laura Antolín, once the peculiar covering band Abrevadero called it a day. The buzz about their knack for pop melodies and their witty lyrics started to roll, in particular after releasing 2011 slow-burn hit 'Música para cerrar las discotecas'. After three singles between 2011-2012, in 2013 they released 'De lo Concreto a lo General' via Jabalina Records, crystallizing all the promise into a irresistible pop reality. Smart, fun, intimate and accurate music. Anthems for extremely good-tasted, sensitive and a bit shy pop lovers. Here we go!

Indeed the devil came & together
they went to the disco
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Jaume: Dover 'Devil came to me'
Marc: Mc Hammer 'Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ’Em'
Laura: UB40 'Promises and Lies'
Francina: Spice Girls 'Spice'

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
Jaume: First concert: S.A. (Sociedad Alkohólika) / Last one: Moodoïd
Marc: First: Smashing Pumpkins / Last: Los Ganglios
Laura: First: Elton John / Last: Los Ganglios
Francina: First: Els Pets/ Last: Daniel Lumbreras

Surprise! Not the song about a monument
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)Jaume: Hummm… maybe a TV  theme? (Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin)Marc: You want us to confess something like 'Agapimu by Ana Belen' or 'Ella o Yo by Rocío Jurado', right? 

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Jaume: The Pocket Piano Midi! It's so playable that sometimes I fall asleep freaking out with it in bed.
Marc: A couple of singing saws.

Your average wind instrument...
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Marc: Dory Previn  'Doppelgänger'

6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Jaume: Yo la Tengo

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Jaume and Marc: Spark’s 'Propaganda' is unbeatable.

High school's mandatory read

8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
Francina: Books AND Movies! I’m reading 'Mirall Trencat' now (my third consecutive Mercè Rodoreda’s book). The last movie I watched that I would recommend is 'Under the Skin'.
9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of
Marc: 'Es innegable'.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Jaume: A dead tag, like “punk”. 

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Marc: Hopefully still making songs
Jaume: Under a bridge...

Zillion thanks Doble Pletina!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Marshland", Criminal Spain

Marshland (La Isla Mínima, Spanish Original title)

I wanted to get out of the "indie world" for a second, that's why we ended watching 'La Isla Mínima' ('Marshland' as it has been titled abroad), a Spanish crime movie. Excuse me if sounds like immodesty, but what a fantastic choice we made.

Director Alberto Rodríguez has created a deeply solid (kudos to scriptwriter Rafael Cobos), engaging and visually fascinating genre movie. It moves at a very peculiar pace, hypnotised by the strange marshlands of the Guadalquivir river. The space is vast, boggy, scary and isolated. The light and weather its extreme, from heartbreaking colourful to muted and bloodcurdling. So is the people that lives there. Better said, tries to survive.

In this very peculiar environment, two young local girls disappear in September of 1980. And two homicide policemen from Madrid are sent to resolve the situation. The case assigned seems to be some sort of punishment. For Pedro (great Raúl Arevalo), a young, fresh-from-the-past of the dictatorship regime, convinced democrat, because he went too far on his critic of the military stratum, still too powerfully present on the country. For Juan (extremely absorbing and powerful performance from Javier Gutiérrez), for completely the opposite reasons. He's part of the past, a very sombre past, so better move him away from the capital and the arising new era. They couldn't be more poles apart. And the tension between the two couldn't be more evident. "The two Spains" have to work together to resolve what it quickly turns to be a brutal, repulsive crime. One where everyone is hiding. Because everyone knows.   

In a masterful work with only, very minor and superficial details that are questionable but doesn't really affect the cohesion of the film, 'La Isla Mínima' is capable of keeping the needed thriller tension (no spoiling) while is offering much more to the spectator. The intrigue is powerful and well developed. But in a very subtle way, as the movie develops, Rodríguez is dissecting a town and a whole country in a crucial time of its recent history. And his perspective is poignantly dark and strikingly revealing. The lack of values that drives the country to this perennial state of corruption, lies and negligence, resides not only in our past. But basically it's in US. The clash between the two mentalities is a terribly depressing one: it's a lost battle from the very beginning. Completely biased due to the human reaction against violence and vile crime. But also due to fear of losing opportunities (job promotion, chances to get out of town, easy money) and desperate attempts of achieving unconscious dreams. The result? A whole system of empty words about democracy, rights and dignity that masks A "do whatever it takes to achieve your goal and get away with it". Even supposed "good guys" become monsters in order to chase another one. The most disturbing parade, one in which justice is pointless, as it will never arrive to the top of social pyramid. Does it sound familiar to you?   

We left the theatre with an uncomfortable feeling in our stomachs. Sure, we discussed about the resolution of the thriller. But mainly about how Spain's democracy has fall short, very short of it's promises. All because too many abject human beings are still ruling the place. And the wheel keeps turning around. Very powerful movie.

SCORE: 7,75/10