MUSIC Interviews : Alex & Ernie From Bison Face.

  1. Would you guys please introduce yourselves and explain your role in the band?

Ernie: I’m Ernie, I sing, play guitar and am the main songwriter.
Alex: I play lead guitar.

  1. Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?

Alex: Ernie and I met back in school where we formed our first band. Me and Jonny used to be neighbours and knew each other from the local scene. Arthur, we met down at our local after he overheard we needed a bassist.

Ernie: Bison Face started as just an outlet for all these demos I’d been writing g, but once Al moved back up from Brighton and jumped on board it became an actual thing. Played a few shows last year and recorded a single and a 5 track. The process has been slow but we’ve finally got an actual band together as of like, March?

  1. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

Ernie: It doesn’t really sit in one category, it’s mainly 90s esque grungey guitar driven alternative rock with smatterings of desert, shoegaze, noise, and some cinematic textures.

Alex: We make a mix of grunge and desert rock with elements of shoegaze and ambient.

  1. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?

Alex: The ability to express our individual flare and to see the synergy of this come about is what making music is all about.

Ernie: There is a moment when you learn a new song and everything clicks in a practice room, you feel like you’re riding this wave. When you nail a track you’ve written as a band it is the best.

  1. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

Ernie: I write about a lot of different things. Mental health, daily life struggles, love, loss, all that. Some dystopian themes creep in, I’m fascinated with space. Recently some of the injustice in America has crept up; I usually write about what’s affecting me in that moment.

  1. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

Alex: For me the biggest influences are Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead. We all have different musical backgrounds with a lot of overlap.

Ernie: My main musical influences would be Pixies, Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden, MBV and Sonic Youth. Growing up I’d say Nirvana, Led Zep and Blur had the biggest influence on me. At the moment I’m loving the new Retirement Party record ‘Runaway Dog’.

  1. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

Ernie: Our debut single Ladybird is available on all your friendly neighbourhood streaming platforms, and the video our friend Tom Sharp made for us is up on YouTube.

  1. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

Alex: It’s the opportunity to improvise and experiment with the songs in a live context, as well as being able to perform songs to a new audience and get our music involved in a new scene.

Ernie: Playing shows is the payoff for slaving away writing and rehearsing. You put all this hard work in, then playing a killer show and feeling that electricity is the cathartic release at the end.

  1. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

Ernie: I try not to be too head on with any particular issues, but if there is any message it would be to look after yourselves and look after each other. Life is great and life is shit in almost equal measure. Let’s have a good time.

  1. Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are your future plans for the band?

Alex: For now, we are focussed on releasing our first EP and then to get touring hopefully as soon as possible. After that it would be great to work towards recording a full-length LP and then play some larger tours maybe outside the UK and get some festivals down. We’ll have to see how the music scene changes post Covid.

Ernie: Yeah, I’ve spent the whole of lockdown just writing and demoing new material, so we’ve got a deluge of stuff to sift through when we’re allowed to jam again. But once the EP is finished I just want to play everywhere and anywhere. I miss playing live with the guys more than anything.

Love, Victor Is The Perfect Spin-off To Love, Simon.

Love, Victor – Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

Love, Simon wasn’t the biggest movie that came out in 2018, but it was it’s own little thing and I adored it. And I don’t think I was alone – it was just so damn adorable. From the sweet teen romance to Nick Robinson’s charming performance and the chemistry between the cast that featured the likes of Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Keyinan Lonsdale, Jennifer Garner and more, Greg Berlanti pulled of one of the sweetest films to come out in recent history. Based on the book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda ” by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon told the story of Simon, a closeted high-school student who starts chatting with a stranger on the internet and falls in love, but when his secret is threatened to be revealed, it sets him on journey to accept himself for who he is. It might not be the most innovative plot out there, but for big budget studio teen drama to have gay romance at the center and make big bucks at the box-office, is monumental in and of itself.

But if there was one major complaint about Love, Simon that a lot of people had, it was how the film really underplayed the struggles gay teens have to go through and instead focused the Greg Berlantis of the world, who had it “easy” because they had rich and liberal friends and family, and told a glossy version if the coming out tale. Well, the producers and creators at Fox heard your complaints and they are back with Love, Victor streaming on hulu right now.

Love, Victor is the perfect expansion for the story told in the first film. Michael Cimino leads the cast as Victor, a closeted homosexual teen from a small town in Texas with conservative Latin parents, who moves to a big city and starts to going to a new school Creekwood High, where he learns all about the legend of Simon Spier. Needless to say he feels immensely feels jealous of Simon for having ‘the most supportive parents ever’, and he reaches out to him on Instagram, telling to screw himself, because some people don’t have it as easy as him. But to his surprise Simon actually replies to his message, and begins an exchange of text between them as Simon guides Victor to realize to he is and what he wants. It is great storytelling device and helps connect the film with the series.

The series beautifully recaptures the sweetness of the original movie, and develops it’s themes further, courtesy of the extra run-time. Love, Victor gets the chance to flesh out characters like Victor’s parents, siblings and friends by devoting special scenes to them and their story-line throughout the entire show. And they don’t feel like filler subplots that are used to increase the run-time, in some cases I found the sub-plots to be even more interesting that the original story line involving Victor.

That’s mainly due to the writing of the show, which is flawless for the most part. There are some dialogues here and there and doesn’t feel as natural as it should, it feels like some old/ middle-aged person wrote what they think a young person might say in a particular situation – especially the pop culture references. But apart from that the writing is pretty solid, and in some cases the story really went places I didn’t expect it to.

Michael Cicimo is the perfect casting choice for the lead as he steals every scene he is in with his charisma, and his big endearing eyes makes you instantly feel for Victor. Rachel Naomi Hilson is another standout, her character Mia is given some of the most interesting things to do in the story and she does a great job playing them. But my personal favorite is Anthony Turpel as the over-excited neighbour Felix, whose relationship with Bebe Wood’s bubbly Lake, makes for some of the best moments on the show. The cast overall is pretty good and everybody is given some depth or something to do in the course of the entire show, like even the high school jock/bully played by Mason Gooding, has more to do than I initially expected. There are some really cool cameos in the series too, which I won’t spoil for you, but the they really do a good job with them.

Above everything else Love, Victor shows you how being gay doesn’t mean one thing and how the gay community, like every other community, is a multi-faceted community with a diverse group of people, each with their own struggles and hardships. Like the original film, this show aims to break many stereotypes about the experience of gay teens and break new ground in terms of representation, which I think it achieves. This show will surely inspire many teens around the globe to come out and accept themselves for who they are. And in my opinion, this show is a really big advocate for how the LGBT+ community is one of the most loving and accepting family one can hope to have. It is too early to compare the show with the movie, but I adored Love, Victor as much as I adored Love, Simon (which is a big achievement on the show’ s part).

So if you are a fan of the original movie or you’re looking to some way to kill time on the weekend, I’d suggest you to give Love, Victor on hulu a try.

And if you’ve already seen the show, do let me know what you thought about it in the comments below.

Movie Review: Artemis Fowl – Disney Takes A Giant Shit On Beloved Book Franchise

Artemis Fowl; Dir. – Kenneth Branagh

Rating – Horrendous. Piece. Of. Shit.

Disney’s Artemis Fowl | Official Trailer

Artemis fowl feels like some parent gave an infant a brand new toy set featuring random action figures to play with, but the kid pooped his pants before he could finish the story, so now we are just left with whatever game the toddler designed in the limited time before he pooped his pants. But no, this isn’t some fantasy a 9-year-old cooked up in his bedroom, this 125 million dollar budget Disney production starring big names and directed by a well experienced director, who has made good movies in the past – how this movie turned out to be such an epic disaster, is a total mystery to me.

To call Artemis Fowl a movie would be giving it too much praise, it doesn’t qualify as a movie. It’s a series of random footage stitched together to form something that barely emulates a feature-length movie. It doesn’t even have a story, it’s the type of movie where nothing really happens. A bunch of characters are introduced, they get together in the third act, some random shit happens I guess and the movie just ends there. There are no character arcs, no plot, no journey, no adventure – basically anything that has something to do with a story is lacking from this movie.

Sitting through the one and half hours of which movie (which definitely felt much much longer) was a torture to say the least, the movie was so boring I dozed off twice. I would not be able to tell you anything about the plot of this movie, even if I were to try, because it is fucking nonexistent. In the first few minutes we are like told how smart Artemis Fowl, and then his whole backstory and family background is explained in very exposition heavy dialogues by a counselor of sorts. It is like if in Batman Begins, Batman just straight up showed up in the first act and Alfred explained to him how his parents died and then about all the ninja training he did, in a single monologue, so that the audience gets to know who Bruce Wayne is. What’s worse is, none of those details matter, because the character of Artemis Fowl himself doesn’t matter and I really don’t know why they had to make such a big point about him being smart, it’s not like they use it in the story, because he barely does anything. Yeah, the titular character of the movie doesn’t do anything in story except just existing in the frame.

I know this an adaptation, so maybe the character is just boring even in the books. But no, I know that’s not true because I have some friends who are real fans of the book and really love Artemis Fowl. From what I’ve heard, Artemis is supposed to be this grey character who’s a criminal mastermind and he’s supposed to have this big redemptive arc over the course of the books. It’s as if the writers of the movie didn’t even read the books , they just heard what the books were about – a smart kid, fairies, dwarfs,trolls, etc, and then sort of build a plot around it that they thought would print money. But then the script supervisor came in and told the writers that he was supposed to be a criminal mastermind, so they just randomly add line at the end of the movie where Artemis says, “I’m Artemis Fowl, the criminal mastermind.”They took all the elements from the books and stripped them of anything that makes it interesting, even down to it’s protagonist. Also, I don’t really wanna be too harsh on kid, but the guy (Fardia Shaw) they cast as Artemis Fowl sucked so bad. He was s such an un-charismatic and dull presence, that even in this awful movie, he stood out as wooden.

Now, if we are talking about acting, let’s get to the two biggest names in the cast. Josh Gad plays this giant dwarf character, who also narrates the entire movie from a prison cell. He looks like someone trying to pull off a cheap Hagrid cosplay in comic-con while putting on a Batman. And yes, the whole movie is narrated in a Batman voice, and I honestly don’t get the point of the narration, it’s not like anything happens in the money. Josh Gad is not that bad technically, but his costume, voice and CGI face make it tough for me to say he was good. Also putting on a Batman voice, is Dame Judi Dench who sort of plays the fairy version of M from the Bond movies. She also has her own centaur version of Q in the movie named Foaly, which I know because he’s introduced like this – “Hi there, this is Foaly!”. Between this and Cats, Judi Dench really needs to fire her agent, or maybe she’s just gotten to the point in her career where she doesn’t care anymore, and is just building some bank for her kids.

There are also other characters introduced in the story but none of them matters in the end. There’s a side quest with this fairy who’s father is believed to be a traitor, so she wants to clear his name. She’s like supposed be the best friend that Artemis Fowl makes in this misadventure, and they try to have these friendship moments between them but it all just comes off as so cheesy and cory that you don’t even take it seriously for one second. But Artemis Fowl is supposed have this great relationship with his Butler and his niece, but don’t give two shits about them cause neither does the movie, they just exist in the background somewhere.

This definitely feels like a movie that was botched in the edit room. I mean, I don’t believe there’s a cut of this movie that’s any good, but the editing seems so sloppy and the plot doesn’t really flow from one place to another, which makes me wonder who’s fault is this that this movie tuned out so bad. Everything about this movie is bad, from writing to acting and visual effects, it’s almost as if everyone working on this movie wanted it to fail. Disney surely did, because they didn’t try to do any re-shoots, get any good editors involved or pay any money for post production and good visual effects. Instead they took this opportunity to quietly dump the movie on their own streaming, but I’m not sure what it says about their brand. It feels like Disney is saying Disney Plus is the place where we’re gonna dump all our bad movies and the good ones will be coming in theaters, and I don’t think that’s the look they want. I don’t think this movie is gonna bring any new subscribers to Disney Plus, and in case you are already subscribed, I’d suggest you skip it.

So, did you watch Artemis Fowl (if so, why?) and what did you think of it?

Do let me know in the comments!

Movie Review: Da 5 Bloods – The Topical Spike Lee Joint That The World Needs Right Now.

Da 5 Bloods; Dir. – Spike Lee

Rating – “It’s great” / worth adding to your collection.

Da 5 Bloods | Official Trailer | Netflix

Amidst all the crazy shit happening around the world, with Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee has officially announced that the Oscar race for 2021 has just began. Yes, it’s that good. This is without a doubt the most high quality film to be released during the lockdown, and it’s steal that you can just watch it for free at the comfort of your home right now.

The film opens with Muhammad Ali and closes with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two legends who are inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement and Black pride. Lee uses them to highlight another commonality: their strenuous opposition to the Vietnam War. For Ali, the objection cost him several productive years of his career and his heavyweight title; for Dr. King, this new focus was quite possibly the final straw that led to his assassination. The first words we hear are Ali’s famous explanation of why he refused to enlist. The last words we hear are from a speech King gave on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his murder, where he quotes poet Lagston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again.”

On the surface, Da 5 Bloods is a treasure hunt story, modelled on the template of “The Treasure of Sierra Madre” and of course, as he’s confessed, Spike Lee’s favorite film “Apocalypse Now”. There’s even a nighclub themed after Apocalypse Now in modern day Vietnam, andfilm fan will be able to catch the scene homages Spike Lee pays to Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

The movie tells the story of four war veterans who are back in Vietnam in recover their friend/leader’s remains from the jungle, but actually they have a hidden agenda underneath that the film reveals slowly. The men, who dub themselves as Bloods, have all got something going on with them – there’s the joker, Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), the level-headed medic, Otis (Clarke Peters) and the one who achieved the most post-war success, Eddie (Norm Lewis). Rounding out the quartet is the forceful, hot-headed leader, Paul, played by Delroy Lindo in one of the best performances to come out of a Spike Lee joint. The fifth blood of the title is not Paul’s son, David (Jonathan Majors), who unexpectedly shows up to join his elders’ crew. Delroy Lindo is just so good in the movie that if he’s not nominated whenever the Oscars are held next year, there’s seriously something wrong with the Academy. He has monologue towards the end of the movie, that was so good that it makes the movie for me.

Lindo’s character Paul, is the most affected by the events of the Vietnam war, the ghosts of the past are literally haunting him. He was one closest to their leader Norm nad looked up to him like a God, so in a way he feels the guilt of surviving while Norm did not. A deep thinker and a shrewd tactician, Norman has taken on almost mythical grandeur in his comrades’ memories. They refer to him as “our Malcolm and our Martin.” When the borders of the frame narrow and the color balance shifts to signify that we are back in the war, Norman is played by Chadwick Boseman , a perfect casting choice that underlines the heroism of the character, who is stamped with the likeness of Jackie Robinson and Black Panther himself from Wakanda. Boseman’s charisma can make feel even the most simple scenes heroic and inspiring.

A strong choice made by Spike Lee in the film is that the older actors also play their younger selves in the flashbacks, he doesn’t cast younger actors or de-age the actors like Martin Scorsese in The Irishman. It’s a choice that might through some people off, but it really pays off in my opinion. It goes on to show how the characters never left Vietnam and have been stuck in time ever since, and also the fact that Chadwick Boseman is the only young and charismatic presence, show how he never got to grow old like his contemporaries, and his ghost really lingers on in the present timeline.

Also another strong creative decision in the film that really pays off, is the decision to shoot the movie in different aspect ratio and and different type to film to give a sense of time and place. The flashbacks are all shot in 16 mm film with an aspect ratio of 4:3 which gives it a documentary-esque feel and the present-day jungle scenes appear to be like 35 mm IMAX film, but there’s no way to feel for me since we unfortunately can never watch the film in a theatre. The cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel (who also shot Extraction for Netflix this year) is gorgeous and beautifully captures the rich landscapes of Vietnam and Thailand.

From left, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters and Jonathan Majors in ‘Da 5 Bloods.

But Spike Lee being Spike Lee, this film has a lot to say and it says it effectively. In addition to the verbal commentary about present events vs. past ones, Lee also employs some sly visual representations of his points. David wears a Morehouse shirt throughout his jungle trek and it’s more than just a shout-out to the director’s alma mater. It’s a reminder that the college kids didn’t wind up in this location. “They put our poor Black asses out here on the front line,” says Melvin, “killing us like flies.” With the occasional jump to graphic documentary footage, we’re also reminded that the Vietnam War was beamed into the homes of millions of Americans via the nightly news, forcing them to see the atrocities in such an effective way that later wartime presidents forced a moratorium on images of war, as if out of sight meant out of mind.

You can really just dig into any scene from this movie and decipher meaning social commentary out of it. And which the amount of twists and turns in the script, it sure warrants repeat viewing. It talks about the turbulent times and complex issues Black soldiers faced in Vietnam, commentary on US’s current president, Race issues worldwide in general and so much much more. There’s scene in particular involving Hanna Hanoi and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that sent chills down my spine.

Simply, Spike Lee has done it again – he’s went on and made a very entertaining movie with deeply rooted ideologies that feel relevant even today. I mean, the movie almost correlates to whatever has been going through in the US over past couple weeks with all the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests going on. It’s a very timely movie and at the same time very timeless, so don’t make the mistake of skipping this one.

Da 5 Bloods is now available to stream on Netflix worldwide.

So what did you think of the movie if you have watched it, and what’s your favorite Spike Lee joint?

Do let me know in the comments!

Movie Review:The King Of Staten Island – Pete Davidson shines in Apatow’s Charming Coming-of-age Dramedy.

The King of Staten Island; Dir. – Judd Apatow

Rating – “It’s great” / worth adding to your collection.

The King of Staten Island – Official Trailer

Judd Apatow is known for making one type of film over and over – overlong stoner comedies about overgrown man-children, and helping commercially unproven comedians become huge stars by making films in which they embody lightly fictionalized versions of themselves. He’s made stars out of the likes of Seth Rogen and Steve Carell in the past, with films like Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin. This time it is Pete Davidson’s turn, and he fits perfectly in Apatow’s universe of slice of life light-hearted dramas. The SNL star’s brand of ‘I don’t give a fuck’ dark humor is a perfect fit for the coming-of-age tale of a man-child trying to figure his shit out.

This is not the type of comedy where you burst into laughter every five seconds at a penis joke, this movie takes it’s time, (like all Judd Apatow movies) but in doing so it beautifully flutters between scenes that genuinely bring a smile to your face and scenes that will genuinely touch your heart. I walked into this movie completely blind, I didn’t even see a single trailer for it, so the emotional story of the movie is what surprised me the most – this is the most heartwarming Judd Apatow movie I have ever seen. It reminds me a lot of Apatow’s cult TV show freaks & geeks, another charming coming-of-age dramedy, which still remains one of my favorite seasons of television. Maybe it’s because I’m in a similar phase of my life where I’m trying to figure my shit out, but as soon as Pete Davidson’s character walked into the screen, I immediately felt that connection with him. I need to give the movie props for making me care too – I was genuinely invested in the lives of these character and gave a damn about what happened to them, which is a hard thing to achieve.

Pete Davidson and Bel Powley in The King of Staten Island

Based on a script co-written by Davison and Apatow, The King of Staten Island tells the story of Scott Carlin who lost his fire-fighter father in a tragic accident when he was seven years old and has never been able grow up since, which is weird because Pete Davidson also lost his fire-fighter dad who died killed trying to rescue people from the Marriott World Trade Center on 9/11, so in a sense this a semi auto-biographical vehicle for Davidson. But while Davidson uses humor and comedy to deal with the tragedy in his life, Scott is a tattoo artist who dreams of opening a tattoo parlor cum restaurant, which he titles “Ruby Tattuesdays”.

Scott still lives with his mom (Merissa Tomei), while his ambitious little sister (Maude Apatow) goes off to college following her dreams. Both of them are worried about Scott’s life as he refuses to grow up or change. He hangs with his toner friends who are all a likable presence (especially Moisés Arias and Ricky Velez) and you will want to hang out with them. The exchanges between the friends is very realistic and funny in a true Judd Apatow fashion, and it sounds like what a bunch of dudes will be talking about as they smoke some weed. He’s also secretly fucking his childhood friend Kelsey (a brilliant Bel Powley) but Scoot is left so insecure by his father’s death that he is afraid to form any new relationship.

It’s a cozy environment that Scott has built for himself, until one day he tattoos kid in the wood and the kid’s dad (Bill Burr) starts dating Scott’s mom. Okay, Bill Burr is amazing in this movie, he is the perfect balance to Pete Davidson’s dry humor. Bill Burr also plays a fireman in the movie, a detail that doesn’t fit well with Scott as he starts making plans to break up his mom’s relationship, which sets him on a journey that ultimately helps him grow up.

This a masterfully shot movie, with great cinematography and production design, that truly captures the essence of Staten Island. All the performances are great and the chemistry among the cast is perfect and everyone has great lines in the movie. But it is Pete Davidson who ultimately carries this movie with his star-making performance. He maybe playing himself, but his sincerity and charm brings much gravitas to the character that makes you feel for him throughout the story, even when he’s making some pretty shitty decisions. Also the soundtrack of the movie is really unique, and helps set the mood for the story it’s trying to tell.

Is the movie longer than it needs to be? Absolutely. At a run-time of two hours and seventeen minutes, you do feel the length as the script meanders and the actors stretch scenes with improv. But it is also what grounds this movie and trust me, if you sit with it, the movie really pays off in the end. Judd Apatow loves making films about about middle aged men stuck in adolescence, and it is definitely funny to watch the misguided fools do stupid shit. But with The King of Staten Island, Apatow rises above his own storytelling techniques – you are not laughing at Pete Davidson in this movie for not being able to grow up, you rather feel bad for the dude. This movie gives you a sense of why certain people are the way they are – why some people do recreational drugs, why some people have their bodies covered in tattoos, why some people take pride in the comrade of firemen, and ultimately, why certain people come of age at different points in their lifetime, some much later than most.

Alright, so what did you think of The King of Staten Island, and what’s your favorite Judd Apatow movie?

Do let me know in the comments!

Music Interviews: Vanilla Sugar ON Exploring Personal Experiences Through Her Music & More.

1. Would you please introduce yourself and tell the readers what you do ?

Hi! I am Vanilla Sugar – I play guitar / synths, and sing!


2. How did you start with music?

I started this on a midi keyboard and an iMac.


3. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

I create very synth heavy music, with a hint of pop and metal.


4. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music?

I really enjoy vibing off the music once we create something that really jams. My favorite part is listening to it super loud in the car while driving home from the studio.


5. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

I like to talk about personal experiences a lot. I used to keep that to myself, but found that it helps me mentally to be able to be open about the darker part of me.


6. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

I am a very big fan of Grimes and Mindless Self Indulgence.


7. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

My new album is available on any of your favourite music retailers. I personally love listening to it on Spotify or Apple Music.


8. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

I love being able to see new parts of the world via music. I also really love being able to perform every night. It’s a truly freeing experience.


9. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

You are never alone. There is always someone who feels the same way you do; it never hurts to reach out.


10. Where do you see yourself in the future, or what are you future plans for your career? 

I am going to be touring this September – December in the US and the UK. I hope to see you at a show!

Album Review: EARTH – Radiohead Guitarist Ed O’Brien Comes to his own On This Nostalgic Debut.

EARTH; EOB (Ed O’Brien)

Rating – /Must listen if you’re a fan/

Even if you’re not quite familiar with him you’ve definitely seen or heard of Ed O’Brien somewhere – the tall guy who plays on the left of Thom Yorke in every Radiohead concert. For all of the radical reinventions Radiohead have undergone over the past 30-odd years—the shift to experimental electronica, the redrafting of instrumental roles, Thom Yorke’s ponytail—guitarist Ed O’Brien has always remained guitarist Ed O’Brien. Amid the flurry of instrument swapping and machine tweaking that occurs at a typical Radiohead concert, O’Brien is rarely without his six-string and trusty bank of effects pedals, while his backing vocals often provide a crucial melodic underpinning for Yorke’s flights of fancy. Thus, amid the flashy contributions of guitarist Jonny Greenwood and frontman Thom Yorke, it is easy to forget about Ed O’Brien, but it is his consistent contributions that holds the band together.That grounding principle carries over to his first proper solo album. Where Yorke and Jonny Greenwood have used their extracurricular projects to further explore dissonant techno and avant-garde orchestration, O’Brien’s debut as EOB revisits the late-’80s/early-’90s student-disco sounds that gave rise to his main gig. While his bandmates are going on about Flying Lotus and Oliver Messiaen, O’Brien is preaching the life-changing effects of Screamadelia.

It’s taken some time, but O’Brien has finally stepped out from the shadows with the release of his exceptional solo debut, Earth, under the moniker EOB. He’s noted in interviews that he felt he had to release the record, that part of him would “die” if he didn’t. That sense of urgency is felt all over Earth. The opener “Shangri-La,” is a triumphant scorcher sprinkled with percussion as O’Brien acknowledges feelings he didn’t realize he had before finding the song’s titular mystical harmonious place. Never has his voice sounded so prominent — so recognizable — until now.

Much of Earth is laidback and peaceful, centered around the cerebral “Brasil” and “Olympik,” which clock in over eight minutes, tickling the brain with swirling synths and dreamy lines about love and perfection. “A love supreme is all I need,” he sings on the latter. “To be waking up from the deepest sea.” Tucked right behind “Brasil” is the stunning “Deep Days,” an acoustic slow burner that acts like a respite to the lengthy track before it: “Where you go, I will go/where you stay, I will stay,” he pledges. “And when you rise, I will rise/and if you fall, you can fall on me.”

The sparse, fairytale-like “Long Time Coming” is another standout (“A lonely city girl/looks out into her world”), but it’s the album closer, “Cloak on the Night,” that serves as the LP’s gut-wrenching highlight. Joined by Laura Marling, O’Brien carefully lays down each line over twinkling acoustic guitar: “You and me all night long,” they sing in harmony. “You and me in this storm/holding tight.”

Earth is at it’s best when it’s at it’s subtlest – it has that dreamy quality that transports you memories hanging on the brink of nostalgia. To me, nostalgia seems like the main theme of this project, it is what Ed O’Brien is drawing from, even going back to early sound of Radiohead, a sound that the band has mostly disregarded now. There are few tracks in this projects that take a total left swing from the familiar Radiohead sound, but to me those are this album’s weakest points. Like the song “Banksters”, which is good song and I do see myself to occasionally listening to i, but it feels so left out in the whole album that it hurts it in the end.

With Earth, O’Brien becomes the fourth Radiohead member to branch out and release a record of his own, following Yorke, guitarist Jonny Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway. It leaves bassist Colin Greenwood as the only person in the band yet to step out on his own. The success of all these extracurricular releases, including Earth, suggests that when he does, it’ll be worth waiting for.

Fav Tracks: //Shangri-La/ Brasil/ Long Time Coming/ Mass/ Sail On/ Olympik/ Cloak of the Night//

Least Fav Track: /Banksters/

So what did you think of this album, and what is your favorite solo project from a Radiohead member?

Do let me know in the comments!

Doom Patrol season 2 Trailer – DC’s weirdest superhero ‘Family’ will return on HBO Max.

Doom Patrol | Season 2 Official Trailer | HBO Max

Doom Patrol released the trailer for season 2 of the show, giving us a bunch of details about what to expect from the series moving forward and also potential threats the heroes will be facing in this season. Based on Grant Morrison’s super trippy and wacky comics run, the first season was season of Doom Patrol was really well received by both critics and audiences alike, thanks the weirdness of the plot and characters that set it apart from other superhero TV shows.

The trailer quickly re-introduces us to the superhero ‘family’ that is all set to return in this season:

Diane Guerrero as Jane: The dominant personality of Kay Challis, a young woman who developed 64 distinct personalities from trauma she experienced as a child and received powers for each personality following an experiment she was involuntarily subjected to.

April Bowlby as Rita Farr / Gertrude Cramp: A former actress whose cellular structure was altered into a gelatinous state after being exposed to a toxic gas. Her powers allow her to change her body shape, but also cause her to struggle with maintaining a solid form.

Matt Bomer and Matthew Zuk as Larry Trainor / Negative Man: A former United States Air Force  pilot with a negative energy entity living inside of him.

Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan as Cliff Steele / Robotman: A cyborg and former NASCAR driver whose brain was transplanted into a robotic body after a car crash destroyed his own.

Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder / The Chief: A medical doctor responsible for treating the members of the Doom Patrol and giving them residence in his mansion.

Joivan Wade as Victor “Vic” Stone / Cyborg: A young, ambitious superhero who received cybernetic enhancements from his father Silas following an accident that lead to his mother’s death.

The Chief’s daughter Dorothy Spinner ( an obvious reference to Wizard of the Oz) will also return this season, and by the looks of the trailer it appears like she will be the big threat the Doom Patrol will be facing this season. Dorothy is one of the strongest beings in DC Universe, with the power of creating people from her imagination, so it’ll be very interesting to see how the show deals with her powers. Although there have been no confirmations on whether Mr. Nobody will return for this season, he is noticeably missing from this trailer.

“Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the members of the Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder a.k.a. the Chief (Timothy Dalton), while confronting their own personal baggage,” HBO Max said of Season 2. “And as each member faces the challenge of growing beyond their own past traumatic experiences, they must come together to embrace and protect the newest member of the family: Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), Niles’ daughter, whose powers remain a mysterious but real threat to bringing on the end of the world.”

Season one of Doom Patrol is currently available on HBO Max to stream, so you can catch up on the first season before release of the second season. Also, getting promoted from being a DC Universe show to HBO Max original means Doom Patrol now has the potential to reach a much larger audience. And honestly, this show deserves it – it’s so good!

So are you excited for Doom Patrol season 2, and what did you think of season 1? Do let me know in the comments.

Why Bill And Ted Returning Has Me Excited.

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC Official Trailer #1 (2020)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and it’s sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, is that rare piece of film memorabilia from the 90’s that somehow has still survived in the general consciousness of moviegoers. But I wasn’t alive when the first movie came out and I never got to see the movie in theatres. But thanks to the popularity of Keanu Reeves, (I just love that guy) I wanted to see some of his early work, and thus stumbled upon Bill and Ted. I saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure right after I saw John Wick 3 in the theatres, and the experience was most excellent. It shows Keanu’s range dude – from a hard-boiled mass murderer to one of the most lovable idiots in movie history.

ALex Winter and Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted Face the Music

Bill and Ted is a movie that can only exist in the ’90s, simply because it just won’t be made today. It’s a completely silly idea, filled with cheesy lines and a plot that doesn’t really go anywhere, and any studio today, will reject the film in the pitch itself. But thankfully, there was a time when movies like this were made, because they are just so darn fun. Like Bill and Ted themselves, these are most chill movies to watch and just forget about all your problems for the time being. And I swear it has some of the most quotable dialogues of all time – I haven’t been able to stop using Bill and Ted references in between conservations since I watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Finally, after like almost 2 decades the third movie in the Bill and Ted franchise is coming out, with both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves returning to their iconic roles. It is so refreshing to see a movie that’s just so chill, playing in the theaters. And to be honest, that’s all I need right now, with the stressful stuff happening around the world. Do I have the same amount of memories and nostalgia attached to property like most fans? No, but surely wanna see where they take these characters now that they have grown up and have families. But I’m cautiously excited though because, in the past, most of these sequels made after decades of the original film, have been completely shit (looking at you, Dumb and Dumber To). But the first trailer of Bill and Ted Face the Music launched today, and from the looks of it, it looks just as excellent as the previous ventures. It doesn’t spoil anything about the movie, but gives us a basic idea of what to expect from the movie – a crazy adventure with some crazy comedy. And who doesn’t want to see Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves go on an excellent adventure? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this really is one of my most anticipated movies of the year now. Bill and Ted might just be what we to ease ourselves in these times of global catastrophe.

So are you excited for Bill and Ted Face the Music, and what’s your favorite oddball 90’s comedic duo? Do let me know in the comments.

And till next time, be excellent to each other, and Party on dudes!

Music Interviews: Tradmrkd’s Eddie Flinn on themes of ADOLESCENCE, being inspired by Green Day, and more.

Hi I’m Eddie Flinn from Tradmrkd

  1. Would you guys please introduce yourselves and explain your role in the band?

We are Tradmrkd and we are a 4 piece from Aberdeen, in the north east of Scotland. The band is made up by: Eddie Flinn, on vocals; Finlay Cardno, on bass; James Riddoch, on drums; and Corey Finnie, on lead guitar.


2. Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?

The original members of the band are Eddie and Finlay. They began the band back in 2014, just to mess about with their other mate. They were in the same year at school. In 2018, they decided that they wanted to try and take the band further, so they looked for a new line up. That is when Corey and James came in. Corey we knew through mutual friends as he was a year above Finlay and Eddie at school. They bumped into each other on a night out and started talking. James went to college with Finlay and was the only decent drummer we knew of.


3. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

We are a punk band. More focused on pop punk than the others. The best way to describe our sound is, similar to 90s Green Day. I think in the future we will lead more into rock and roll type music but pop punk gives a good foundation to place ourselves upon.

4. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?

The one thing i enjoy most about the music making process is, when the song just spews out of you. It all seems to come naturally. It is one the better feelings, there is no stress. The song just feels natural and i think you can tell in the music itself that it came out naturally.


5. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

Although I do write about love, its not my favourite theme to explore. I think, for me, my favourite theme is adolescence. Lyrics about adolescence and growing up seem to come out easier than in a love song for me. I also like exploring random things. Like normal day to day things, like being clumsy for example.

6. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

For me, song writing wise and wanting to play music, Green Day was undoubtedly my biggest influence. It all began when i was 6 when I saw the American Idiot poster. My curiosity brought me into the world of Green Day, of which I have never left since. Without Green Day, I wouldn’t be doing music and if i was, my songs would be completely different.


7. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

You can get all our released demos from our SoundCloud; Tradmrkd. We are also releasing our songs on YouTube. You will find our channel if you search, Tradmrkd band.


8. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

Getting to see different places and just the straight up buzz you get when you are on stage. Nothing beats playing live. When the adrenaline kicks in, you never want to come off. That is another great thing about touring, once you finish one gig the next one isn’t a long wait away.


9. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

I don’t intentionally try to deliver messages through my songs. I just write what I like hearing. I like giving deep meanings in my songs and leaving room for interpretation from the listener, so they can have their own connection with the song.


10. Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are you future plans for the band?

We hope to have an EP out by the end of 2020. That is goal 1. For other goals, it is just to play as many shows as possible and to grow our community as much as we can. To stay up to date with what we are up to, follow our socials.

Understanding Life with Art

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