Archive for August, 2013

Blue October: Sway

Posted: August 31, 2013 in Music, Op-ed, Reviews
Tags: , , ,

“Cause we feel high as fuck and everything is good”

Before sitting down to write this review I decided I’d see what other fans thought of it…there are some pretty pissed off people out there. “Fans” claiming this isn’t Blue October and that a happy Justin equals bad music and asking wheres the Blue October from Foiled. Wow. If you enjoy “cookie cutter” music then perhaps you should try pop and not a band that, in my opinion, evolves with each album. Anyway lets review an album.

One of the things I love most about this band is the emotion that each album delivers. You can feel everything that lead singer Justin Furstenfeld was going through when the songs were written. The album leads of with “Breath, It’s Over”, haunting vocals, beautiful strings and great way of saying, “we’ve been through some shit but the bad times are over, lets have some fun.”

I’m not gonna waste your time friends by trying to do a track by track breakdown because I honestly enjoy every song. The title track “Sway” reminds us to enjoy the little moments in life because “we only have an hour or so”. From the driving baseline on “Hard Candy” to the amazing vocals on “Not Broken Anymore” this album delivers for old fans and will hopefully attract some new ones. All in all I give Blue Octobers Sway a rating of: Buy This Album.

I’ll be catching Blue October next week in Atlanta as they tour in support of their new album. They are truly one of my favorite bands to see live, have seen them many times before and they put on a hell of a good show. Till next time friends, stay entertained and thanks for checking us out.

-D

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Let me start by saying I am not, in any way, shape, form, or fashion, a Baz Luhrmann fan. I despised his take on Romeo & Juliet. Moulin Rouge really wasn’t all that bad and I didn’t even bother with Australia. For some reason, most likely the fact that I will watch anything featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, I decided to give The Great Gatsby a chance. In retrospect…I couldn’t be more happy that I did.

For those uneducated on the subject, Gatsby tells the story of aspiring writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who moves to New York to work on Wall Street and write the great American novel. Somewhere along the way, he gets caught up in the past and lifestyle of his very wealthy Jay Gatsby portrayed expertly by Leonardo Dicaprio. Caraway is also drawn into the quite literal affairs of his cousin Daisy, with whom he is in love, and her husband Tom Buchanan. He is thrown into all types of situations from small apartment parties with Tom’s lover, backroom gatherings with the rich and powerful, and Gatsby’s own legendary gatherings. For those familiar, the ending is represented expertly and beautifully. For everyone else, I won’t spoil it for you.

Baz Luhrmann paints a vivid picture of the roaring 20’s, even if it is inaccurate at times. Luhrmann has a way of making everything bright, colorful, and always grandiose. The images alone make this film worth watching. The stark contrast of bustling 1920’s New York and developing 1920’s New York makes for some interesting scenery.

The music, which interestingly enough is mostly modern that being another signature of Luhrmanns, was produced and arranged mostly by hip hop veteran Shawn “Jay-z” Carter. The soundtrack does include quite a bit of music from the roaring 20’s, but also quite a bit of Jay-z’s music spanning most of his career. The imagery combined with an interesting soundtrack make this film a truly unique experience.

A good, solid script backed by a very strong ensemble cast make for a pleasent viewing experience. Baz Luhrmann paints an interesting and original picture here. This one is well worth your time and money.

5/5
-Heath
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It has now been ten years since the release of A Fire Inside’s (AFI for short) masterpiece album, Sing The Sorrow. This flashback review is inspired both by the fact that they have an album releasing in just under two months, and that I just recently got my hands on the uber limited edition hard bound book version of the album being reviewed. Their soon to be released album, Burials out October 22, promises to be yet another masterpiece but that is another subject for another time. Now on to the subject at hand.

Sing the sorrow, released in 2003, was both a familiar sound and a radical departure for the band. Almost gone were the days of furious hardcore rhythms and throat tearing screams. In their place were soaring, searing alt-rock melodies and lead singer Davey Havok singing his heart out more than ever before and really showing dynamic range. Electronic elements really began to creep up in a big way on this record as well.

Songs like Girls Not Grey, Death Of Seasons, and This Celluloid Dream provided starkly contrasting sounds from both each other and tracks on the bands superb previous two albums, Black Sails In the Sunset and The Art Of Drowning. This album also served to prepare longtime fans and recent converts for what was to come, the darkly melodic, new wave influenced Decemberunderground and the darkly upbeat (if that even makes sense) Crash Love.

Sing The Sorrow was a bit of a surprise to fans and critics alike upon its release even though the band showed potential for an album like this on its previous two releases. It was and is a phenomenal album that won over new fans and critics alike. It is my favorite albums from one of my favorite bands. 5/5

-Heath
@dhbates87

Hey guys,

Just wanted to say thanks for your support of the blog. We have gotten some really positive feedback and we greatly appreciate it. We will do our best to stay on top of new releases of all entertainment mediums. Thanks again.

Best regards,
Heath

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I admit it, I was late to the train on this one but the important thing is that I finally got around to watching V For Vendetta for the first time…and I loved it. I have to thank my good friend Heath, after he learned I’d never watched it he gave me his dvd copy, thanks brother.

This was one of those movies that for whatever reason I just never got around to watching. It was always on my radar, I mean after all its Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, The Wachowski Brothers (well at the time they were still brothers, I guess now they’re The Wachowski Siblings), John Hurt and action, explosions, classical music and head shaving. Lets dive in.

Hugo Weaving gives an amazing performance and conveys a good bit of emotion, which really says a lot considering his face is completely covered by a Guy Fawkes mask for ninety-nine percent of the film. I’ve always considered Mr. Weaving as one of my favorite actors and his performance here reconfirmed that. Then theres Miss Natalie doing her best to join the ranks of actresses who look sexy with their head shaved and along the way does a wonderful job as the reluctant but eventual sympathizer/sidekick Evey. John Hurt, Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves, Stephen Fry, there are so many great actors in this film and they all deliver great performances.

Based on Alan Moores graphic novel of the same name its a story set in the future where England is being ruled by a High Chancellor with a very stern “its my way or my men will come and make you disappear way”. Terrorist/hero V is determined to free England and maybe get a bit of revenge along the way. Evey gets caught in the middle. Some good fight scenes, some explosions and Hugo Weaving using very nearly every V word in the English language all come together to form what I thought was a fantastic film and I hate that I waited so long to watch it.

Amazing performances, great story and shaved heads are the reason V For Vendetta gets a rating of: Add To Your Film Library(if you haven’t already). Stay entertained friends.

-D

Zombies. The Walking Dead. The Undead. Geeks. Whatever you call them, America has a fascination with them and so do I. It started the same way most every zombiephile got started, with a man named Romero and a little film he made by the name of Night of the Living Dead. After that film sunk it’s teeth into my brain I was infected for life.

Before I get to involved writing about The Man, I have to remind myself that I came here today to talk with you about a book. The New Dead. A zombie anthology. Nineteen authors, each bringing their own spin to the idea that dead isn’t always forever.

I sought out this book for two authors, Joe Hill and Max Brooks but was pleasantly surprised by the rest. There are stories of love in the time of zombies, a retelling of the biblical story of Lazarus from his point of view, a story told entirely through twitter posts and even a little necrophilia. Digging into this book each time I kept finding it harder to crawl out, each story warrants its own review but for now let me say, if you love zombies, you’ll love this book.

A great read for fans of the genre and surprisingly good and emotional for a collection of stories revolving around reanimated corpses. Its short, its sweet, its my first book review and I give The New Dead a very strong rating of: Buy it for your bookshelf. Stay entertained friends.

-D

I was first interested in viewing Oblivion solely based on the striking images used on the posters. They gave the impression of an Earth long after some type of worldwide disaster/human abandonment. I’m not much of a Tom Cruise fan but he has made enough films that I liked to give this one a chance and…I’m very glad I did.

The premise is surprisingly original for a larger budget Sci-Fi/action film. It’s not the same old rehashed plot point with slightly different variables. As you have probably seen from the promotional materials, the film takes place some years after a major disaster on planet Earth and humanity bailed for greener pastures. Tom Cruise is one of two people stationed high above Earths surface to monitor the security of several very large energy converters. Naturally, things go awry and a monkey wrench is thrown in the whole system.

Tom Cruise’s performance is surprisingly good in this film. Ironically, he is more down to earth and natural than he has been in a long time. Morgan Freeman is a highlight, as always. I won’t specify who his character is as it may ruin some key plot points. Olga Kurylenko also earns an honorable mention for her very key role.

Oblivion is backed by a great cast, directed very adeptly. The script is solid, featuring an incredibly unique and original plot that is the exact opposite of derivative. This is an all around good film and is worth the time and money.
4/5

-Heath