Monthly Archives: February 2012
Trust is Elvis Costello’s fourth album with the attractions. It may not live up to the present hype surrounding previous albums My Aim Is True and This Years’ Model, but it is certainly at least as good as Armed Forces if not an improvement from Get Happy. Here’s Why:
The previous Costello albums were built on big hits but a solid range of songs that overall conveyed his solid lyrical and thematic genius on occasion. However, Trust highlights Costello’s talent for taking the lyrics of a song and making them sound like an instrument. Case in point is “From a Whisper to a Scream.” Costello carries his voice literally from a whisper to a scream, and the song’s pitch and instruments follow accordingly. Other highlights include the nightlife adventure ballad “Clubland” which you can interpret as you will. Another personal favorite is “Different Finger”, which highlights Costello’s tendency to drift into songs which might as well be themes for modern western films, at least if they decided to bring back cheesy spaghetti westerns. Trust me.
Casino Royale: The original James Bond action feature…NOT! This super spy-spoof was not only what you wouldn’t expect from the James Bond series, but went entirely against everything you would expect from such a film. When you think of spy films, you wouldn’t generally include cast members David Niven, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, and Ursula Andress; although Andress is in Dr. No. The film begins with a conversation between David Niven (James Bond) and his former employer M. As it turns out, the only way to bring James Bond out of retirement and back into employment to rescue the failing spy industry is to blow up his home! James Bond comes back into the employ of the British Secret Service, and his first task is to run amuck creating new spies whom all have his name and bear his same anti-spy facade; no smoking, drinking, or even sex! The film centers around the many Bonds attempting to defeat LeChiffre, and ultimately digresses to bad guy Dr. Noah (a reference to Bond villain Dr. No), who turns out to be James Bond’s nephew Jimmy Bond (played by Woody Allen). The end leaves you confused…wait i can’t even remember what happened! But seriously, watch the movie, you will not be disappointed with this excellent parody of 60′s spy phenomena, as it relates to James Bond and beyond.
Released in the aftermath of Amy Winehouse’s death this past year, Lioness: Hidden Treasures lives up to its name. The album is a combination of upbeat hip hop beats and low-down soulful grooves. The album is what we would expect from Amy, a classic sounding soul voice that can be combined with new styles, a bit of the new and the old. It is well worth hearing, and you won’t find it difficult to listen to if you have read at least this far into the review, so hah.
Some particular songs that you might want to focus on when you are listening to the album are Valerie, and The Girl from Ipanema.
It is not that these songs are anything particularly special, after all Valerie is one of her most remembered songs, and the second has been recorded many times before by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz. Yet for those reasons they are the most important to pay close attention to and listen to over and over. Her most soulful and popular hits are; if you believe that certain songs form the basis of a new genre or the foundations of a future one, crucial in forming what we and future generations of music listeners will hear. It would be especially worth listening to on vinyl if you can find the means to do so.
Today i watched a film from the agent 077 series of spy flicks titled From the Orient With Fury. This was the second in a series of Italian James Bond knock-offs and it certainly did not disappoint, that is if Bond-ish cheesiness is your measure of a sucessful spy film. Ken Clark portrays the role of agent 077 with naivete, constantly managing to get caught by the bad guys and yet always avoiding death miraculously. At least 3 women that i can remember of fall into Dick Malloy’s (agent 077) hands throughout the film, though he finds it difficulty to be alone with them for any significant amount of time without being interrupted by the enemy. It is a fast paced film, and Malloy comes prepared for every situation with special gadgets which are not limited to: mini belt camera, morse code suspenders, camera recorder, and a 1955 Chevy Bel-Air equipped with machine guns. Much of the film takes place in Istanbul and Paris, and a number of beautiful camera angles attempt to capture the cityscapes of both locations. In case you were wondering what agent Malloy’s task in the film was, it is to stop the bad guys from forcing a professor to build his deadly ray gun. I would recommend the film to anybody who is a spy film buff or is just becoming interested, because it is never to early to start appreciating the diversity of films equipping themselves with gadgets in the wake of the 60′s spy phenomena.
So i found this copy of Mark Ronson and the Business Intl’s Record Collection in-store after being indecisive about purchasing it online for a significant period of time. The LP was released in 2010 and this copy is the first issue. One of my favorite things about it is the song titled The Bike Song. It reminds me and i hope you too, of the great benefit and excitement that biking brings to young or even mature life. I feel like it embraces the spirit of our generation, especially here in the United States, and perhaps resounds more with the baby boomer generation in the sense that it is a call to those who will never grow old. Record Collection, which was a collaboration between Simon LeBon (thus the Duran Duran sounding voice) and Mark Ronson also brings to mind other epic songs, as it praises the beauty of record collecting as a hobby for any generation. After all, what would music archives be without a record collection?