Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 6

I know, the post has suffered a slight delay (that's what happens when you are in holidays, on a short distance trip but the wi-fi connection completely fails you) but here's our next round of our TOP TEN playlistwith the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately. As with previous sets, this is also available at the blog's soundcloud (come on and join us). Many posts to come!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Her", Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Mind


Thanks Spike Jonze for delivering one of the most special films this blogger has ever seen. Her is a unique tour-de-force. Sweet, wise and ahead of its time. Soulful and intriguing. Romantic and adventurous. Could be adding adjectives for days...

Her is a ridiculously smart and risky film. Smart because Jonze uses a just-barely-sci-fi setting, with a dreamy, pastel sun-setting but isolated L.A., the scenario in which he develops a profoundly deep and touching tale about human relationships in the digital age. And risky because the director is not afraid to take his time, making the movie a very peculiar one in terms of rhythm and tone (elegiac, dreamy). He's also brave enough to breath-in and breath-out. He demands an effort to the spectator (I admit the pace and the acceptance of the idea can be a bit too much for many), but the reward is mind-blowing, only comparable to, imo, to another undeniable contemporary masterpiece with whom Her shares quite a few resemblances, Eternal Sunshine of the Eternal Mind. Like Gondry's superb quest on memory and love Her connects with you in a way very few movies have.

Like Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine, Theodore Twombly can't move on from his failed relationship, once that a hopeless romantic like him always was fated to last forever. He's lonely and self-protective, despite his work as a personal letter's writer requires him to be a very special connoisseur of human emotions. But then technology, in the form of an artificial intelligence operating system named Samantha appears. And a dozen of paradoxes and questions too. Can we reach a deeper level of communication with an OS? Can a machine, perfected to adapt itself, created to please his/her user, to meet all our requirements, understands us, also at an emotional level? Can we develop affection, empathy and finally, love, without physical attraction? Could that qualify as a real relation? What is this thing called love, anyways? Spike Jonze builds a slightly deformed, exaggerated mirror, on which he speculates with the overgrowing virtual affairs: are they the inevitable evolution of relationships? Are we that far of that scenario in our tech-blooming society (please try not to check you Iphone for at least ten minutes)?

Of course, this thoughtful and ambitious amount of dilemmas wouldn't make for a great movie without a script and real actors that transform the ideas into compelling scenes. But to this date, if Jonze was known as a masterful director in what regards to create surreal, bewildering worlds and situations (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are), this time he has exceeded all expectations, penning an equally arresting and witty script, that flows gracefully from drama to comedy, entirely on his own, allowing actors to excel with the material they have. Joaquim Phoenix as Theodore just carries the movie on his shoulders, he's the perfect fit: vulnerable, needy, confused, introvert, annoying, possessive, frightened. So human and recognisable. Scarlett Johansson, never on screen, also does for a very surprising role (let's admit I was thinking who wouldn't fall in love with her a couple of times while watching it, but keep the secret). The director does an incredible job on capturing the intimacy of the impossible couple. If you don't feel for the characters, you are made of stone (or made of Iphone, even worse). Amy Adams is also impressive in her secondary but very relevant secondary role as Amy, Theodore's best friend (and something more) who is struggling with a "real" marriage that goes nowhere...

I have developed several theories about the movie and its near-perfect puzzle, the crossing of parallel lines between real and technological. But I don't want to spoil you the film (or bore you). All I can do is enthusiastically recommend you to go watch this film. An arresting, uniquely beautiful and rich movie. Masterpiece.

SCORE: 9/10

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Indie Anthology 41: essential songs

Yes, I'm getting a little more "political" lately (my personal situation and several last reads for Indienauta are probably responsible of that), so I guess the next chapter of the Anthology couldn't be devoted to any other band: the best overtly political jangle pop group, in my opinion...

Song: Keep and Open Mind or Else!
Artist: McCarthy
Year: 1989

Lyrics matter a lot to me. I'm not saying every single tune has to be about politics or show social commitment, but lyrics should have some substance, meaning, charm or interest (even if it's about some cheesy love affair). And without losing the point of creating the best songs one can. The Essex band, leaded by Malcolm Eden and Tim Gane (who would later form my beloved Stereolab along with Laetitia Sadier) penned a bunch of personal favourite lyrics, not shy of showing heart will always beat on the left, and wrapped in, arguably, some of the best jangle pop (masterful Gane's 12-string Rickenbacker) tunes ever. Like this "Keep and Open Mind or Else!", where the bouncy, engaging drums and the sweet melodic style is combined with killer verses like You should always try to see / Another person's point of view /You should never, oh never/ Think that you know everything or the An open mind / Oh why don't you keep? / It's the true side / Of the civilized. Defending the right to disagree and think by yourself in a 3:30 minutes pop gem. Meaningful lyrics, amazing tune. McCarthy, one of the most underrated groups in music history...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Discoverer 90: new indie findings

What a trio of amazing discoveries, I 've prepared for you today, so sure you'll love them!

Fireflies. Lisle Mitnik is the one-man band behind Fireflies. Born and raised in New England but based in California, he's been around doing great music since early 2000s, solo or in delicious projects like Tiny Fireflies (check their wonderful EPs at EardrumsPop!), Very Truly Yours or Edine. As Fireflies he has released three "official albums" to date, "Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon" (2007); "Autumn Almanac" (2011) and the just out "In Dreams", via Jigsaw Records, a bunch of EPs (please do not miss the Covers Digital EP from 2009) and singles and four albums of home-recordings / demos. But let me go back to "In Dreams", because folks, this is one of the best records of the year. A humming, ethereal, gentle, delicate indiepop classic made in 2014 I cannot recommend you enough. Missing it should be considered a crime.
Should. Formed in Austin, Texas, initially under the name of shiFt, Marc Ostermeier together with Tanya Maus and his brother Eric debuted with EP "A Folding Sieve" in 1995'. After a 7" in 1997 came trio's first full length "Feed Like Fishes", in late 1998 via Words in Music. In 2002 the label re-released a expanded version of their debut EP, now a full album. In April 2011 arrived "Like a Fire Without Sound" while label Captured Tracks kicked off its Shoegaze Archive series reissuing again "A Folding Sieve" on its most complete version. And finally, since this March we can enjoy fourth record "The Great Pretend". Diverse and lush, dream pop, shoegaze, traces of post-punk, chiming guitars, propulsive drum beats and vocal harmonies coexist on an impeccable album full of rewards for the listener.  

The Skywriters. And we end in Philadelphia with this short -lived band now rescued from the twee-pop vaults. This quintet came out with a self released cassette tape, a CDEP, a Japanese 7” record, and a handful of compilation tracks on a career that only lasted from 1998 to 2000, with band members forming The Snow Fairies, Ex-Friends or more recently Scary Monster. But now the always reliable Jigsaw Records alongside with label Lost Sound are releasing a new compilation entitled "Skywriter Blue" that resumes the group's career. Fourteen songs of lovely twee-pop, full of the catchiest melodies, jangly guitars and adorable intertwined male/female vocals. Hard to resist.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bloodbuzzed at Indietracks 2014!

Not exactly a post, but I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer: Bloodbuzzed will be covering Indietracks 2014 for Indienauta and this humble blog! The indie press from Barcelona is going to the railroad, so excited!

What an amazing line-up already!!
Gruff Rhys │ Allo Darlin’ │ The Hidden Cameras │ Dean WarehamJoanna GruesomeWithered Hand │ The Popguns │ Rocketship │ Sweet Baboo │ Spearmint │  Thee AHs │ Axolotes Mexicanos │ Big Joanie │ The Blue Minkies │ Cosines │ Elopes │ Franny & Zooey │ The Just Joans │ Let’s Wrestle│ Laura J Martin │ Linda Guilala │ Los Cripis │ Lost Tapes │ MJ Hibbett and the Validators │ Night Flowers │ONSIND │ Slum of Legs │ The Spook School │ TeenCanteen │ The Very Most │ The Yawns │ The Wellgreen

PD: Any suggestion regarding flights, accommodation, distances is more than welcomed, thanks in advance!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 5

It's Friday, so the time for our next round of our TOP TEN playlistwith the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately, has arrived. As with previous sets, this is also available at the blog's soundcloud (come one and join us). Several discoveries, a pair of sure-fires & our first soundtrack tune, have a listen!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Indie Anthology 40: essential songs

Next chapter in our Anthology is another Sarah Records classic, a gem of a song on an album full of jangle-pop delicious pieces... chosen because of its lyric... One of these days when you want to shout out loud the world to go fuck up itself (sorry for the expletive language). Dedicated to all the scum out there.. Yours truly... with indiepop love.

Song: You Should All Be Murdered
Artist: Another Sunny Day
Year: 1992

"London Weekend"... what a great record! "I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist", "Anorak City", "Can't You Tell It's True?", "The Centre of My Little World"... Harvey Williams... what a truly underrated genius. But if I have to choose only one tune (at least today) it has to be "You Should All Be Murdered". Guitars full of sonic gentleness and an upbeat melody hiding (for all non-English speakers) a lyric full of bite and frustration with a world so full of people eager to let you down. Verses like "The people who have left me down without reserve / The people who talk too much/ The people who don't care", or my painfully favourite "The people who broke my heart so bad it never mends / The people who wrecked my life & all my so-called friends", before Williams let the guitars (one of the most beautiful ends I ever heard) do the rest of the talking. Unfortunately, now the lines ring so true. So does this amazing song.