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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 67

Despite today is a really important day on a personal level we didn't want to miss the chance to propose you a new TOP TEN playlistMixing the rage and ferocity of Titus Andronicus or Cruising with the introspective music of Gliss or the superb new single, perfect R.E.M. style's , of Line & Circle . We invite you to ride the emotional rollercoaster of this new playlist. And remember, it's also available at our Soundcloud, so please join us! 

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42 Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49   Week 50  
Week 51   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65
Week 66

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"A Most Violent Year", how to make in the US

A Most Violent Year

Movies about gangsters are so abundant is almost a genre by itself, but 'A Most Violent Year' offers a quite different approach, one that you cannot qualify as surprising or really new, but brave and determined enough to be considered a rewarding and extremely solid film.

'A Most Violent Year' is a crime drama that revolves around corruption, ambitions and the means to fulfill them. But although what the title would suggest, that familiar pattern doesn't transform the movie into a film of Mob monsters, rampant violence with a cool soundtrack. Most of the movie deals with the inner turmoils and the tensions of being constantly under pressure, swinging within and without the thin red line of what's right and what's wrong.

Set during the winter of 1981, among the top crime-ridden years in New York City's history, the film follows the attempts of Abel Morales, played by Oscar Isaac in a magnetic, powerful performance, a former truck driver of a heating oil company, of becoming a successful business man, leading the aggressively expanding oil company he bought to his father in law, a well known mobster. But Abel, despite his bold ambitions and dubious accounting department controlled by his wife Anna, played flawlessly by Jessica Chastain, is determined to make his name while carrying his business with decency. In the middle of a turf war between the city area oil companies.

Abel's company is in a crucial moment, and in a major struggle as well. He's about to buy a vast area, a waterfront fuel yard, a facility that would no doubt will make a difference for his business within the market. But justice is investigating him and he's about to get indicted, so banks are about to withdraw their economic support, indispensable to complete the needed purchase. Moreover, his trucks are constantly assaulted, robbing the gas and making his drivers bashed. They demand being able to start carrying guns to defend themselves, a dangerous possibility which his business partner Andrew, played by always solid Albert Brooks, also considers necessary. Many fires to put out for Abel, who is even attacked at his new, flamboyant house. Something that makes Anna react, pushing him to accept "the family help". But Abel's wants to remain clean... in its somewhat ambiguous style (in my opinion).

Writer-director J.C. Chandor chooses to enroll the spectator into an icy and gloomy world of conversations in parking lots, dark offices and state-of-the-art but isolated houses. It's a study character looking to conquer the American Dream, a dream far from heroic, and that seems to imply, almost irremesibly, "getting dirty", within a superb period recreation. The pace is slow but nail-biting, and the action scenes are wisely disseminated here and there to make the movie evolve fluently while the atmosphere and overall mood keeps sombre, content and poignant. I have read several critics comparing Chandor's style with Sidney Lumet. I agree completely... and happily. A thrilling modern movie done in an old school way.  

Flaws? The style and tone dominates the film so much at times devours the character development. There's a lack of empathy with the main characters or, a demand for a bigger emotional implication. A bit more of Anna and Abel as mere humans and as a couple would have been interesting to see. My other doubt has to do with the movie end and some minor developments: the way the last bulk of the funds arrive, the crucial information that has been hidden to Abel... Kind of a lame resolution in an otherwise very good film.

SCORE: 7/10

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Discoverer 119: new indie findings

Recovering the Blog's pace, here's a new trio of discoveries for your listening pleasure!

Blank Realm. Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, this quartet comprised by three siblings, Daniel, Luke and Sarah Spencer plus Luke Walsh, formed in 2004. First release arrived in 2007, with album 'You Don't Know the Devil Till You've Seen Him in a Flower'. A very prolific band, aside from touring with the likes of Wild Flag, The Clean or the great Robert Forster, they have released 9 albums, 3 EPs and several compilations and collaborative works. Now they are back with 'Illegals in Heaven', out on September 4th on Fire Records. An album where their trademark psych-pop channels Flying Nun's spirit with 90s American alternative rock, achieving new melodic, fierce and jangly peaks. The realm of pop is here folks!


Static Daydream. Among the most exciting bands reaching my mailbox is the latest project of Paul Baker (Skywave, Ceremony), alongside his girlfriend and musical partner Jamie Casey. Beginning in 2012, their highly praised debut EP, 'The Only One' came out on Moon Sounds Records in 2014. Now it's time for their first self-titled album, out at the end of August on Saint Marie Records. 11 blistering tunes between noise and dreampop, melting thunderous guitars, drenched in reverb and crunching distortion, with harmonies, a ton of melodic hooks and ethereal landscapes. All you have to do is embrace the (not so static) daydream...


PONY. And we end our trip in Toronto, Ontario, with a four-piece active since 2013, when we heard their first tune and with a proper debut, available since this June at their bandcamp (pay what you want) in the form on an EP entitled 'CRUSHED'. Sweet, straightforward, unabashed and fun garage pop, combining jangly guitars, sunny vibes and tones of carefree attitude (girl pop power, yay!). A most exciting first step for a band we are going to take a close care.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 66

Back from our brief holidays with recharged batteries and eager to listen some new good music. For this week we propose you a very eclectic, diverse TOP TEN playlist ranging from the beautiful, moody tune of Ember Isles, exciting discoveries like Grubs and two legendary returns: the powerful "new" song of Bikini Kill (what a special joy to feature a Bikini Kill tune!) and the mind blowing comeback of Red Sleeping Beauty. As you can see, a lot to enjoy, so we suggest you to dive into the music. And remember, it's also available at our Soundcloud, so please join us! 

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42 Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49   Week 50  
Week 51   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 65

We told you before, these have been really stressful, replete days. So, a short break (call it holidays if you wish) is coming, a little time to relax, enjoy and drive. But before taking a few days off, we let you with another TOP TEN playlist full of discoveries from all over the world, from New York to Hawaii or to our beloved Antipodes. We promise to make lots of pics! Ok. Enough for now. Be safe and, remember, tunes are also available at our Soundcloud, so please join us! 

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42 Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49   Week 50  
Week 51   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 64

Back from our brief hiatus, that has included moving from our apartment and starting the serious search for another (without dying in the attempt), with a superb playlist! This week our new TOP TEN playlist is full of  gems like the latest song from Foals' forthcoming album, or the new music adventures of The Airplanes and Ought. Always without forgetting our dose of discoveries, with bands like Starrs and Soviet X-Ray Record Club. Enjoy the holidays and remember, it's also available at our Soundcloud blog page, so please join us! 

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40  Week 41  Week 42
Week 43  Week 44   Week 45 Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49   
Week 50  Week 51   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  Week 56   
Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 Week 61   Week 62   Week 63

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Inside Out", blue is the colour

Inside Out

It's very easy to get carried away with 'Inside Out'. Visually fascinating as always, inventive, pretty entertaining and, finally, a riskier, braver move by embracing a serious issue ('Up' was "there" too, but only for the first 10 minutes): an insight on emotions and growing up through the mind of a child. Anyone who knows me (or reads the Blog) is aware how reluctant I am in what regards to animation. The visual richness and ability to explore/add new effects and techniques is pretty amazing but, imo, it's killing storylines, plot developments and acting. 'Inside Out', I'm keen to say, proves I can be mistaken.

Riley is a very happy 11-year-old kid from Minnesota with loving parents and a passion for hockey. But things are about to change drastically as the family has to move to San Francisco. It's a 360º degrees turn for little Riley and her emotions are going to explode. And that's exactly what are we going to see, as her emotions are the real protagonists of the movie, which try to guide her on every step of the way: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. The quintet live in Headquarters, the control room located inside Riley's mind. Until the arrival to San Francisco, Joy has been clearly the leading emotion, but the struggle of change creates a serious unrest on the kid. A new city, a new place, a new school. The five emotions (excellent work of the voices, by the way) are dealing with a completely different scenario, where tension and turmoil appear. Sadness (the best character hands down, impossible not to love her) in particular keeps getting in the way, mucking things up, transforming pleasant memories into melancholic, sad ones. Things get even worse when Joy and Sadness accidentally get swept away into the far reaches of Riley's brain, a visually stunning, gorgeous landscape of the mind, where beyond the control room are several islands representing Riley's personality.

'Inside Out' then would turn into a more traditional adventure movie for kids, with Joy and Sadness trying to get back into Headquarters... if there wasn't for the fact the two emotions are moving throughout extremely sensible mind areas like Riley's subconscious, and because is a race against time: Riley's crisis are destroying her emotional landscape. There's a slight moment the word depression came to my mind while watching the movie and, although I would say Disney wins and the plot drags slightly from what it could have been, entering a more conventional, funnier "action" ground, far for the complexity it was promising, I can't complain really. The overall feeling is that Pixar wanted to target adults for almost its entirety this time, without forgetting children. Kudos for that.      

Because 'Inside Out' is a wonderful attempt to portray what's going on inside the head of a kid. The moments where we see the adults' head are as funny as revealing (wish there would have been more scenes), as behind the laughs and charming moments there's a rare depth that has to be celebrated. There's a commanding emotion inside all of us, guess formed by the years and experiences we have to face. Young Riley shifts from a life dominated by Joy into something else, with multiple and, many times, conflicting simultaneous emotions, where other colours aside from the bright yellow of Joy might be needed. Isn't that what growing up is about? Acknowledging life is complex? Learning than life has many contradictions, turnbacks and deceptions but it's still an exciting and worthy ride? It's a great lesson to be learnt, for children and adults as well.

SCORE: 7,75/10