RSS

Archive | January, 2015

Weekly Movie News Rundown

January 31, 2015

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Steve Jobs has started filming.  The Danny Boyle-directed, Aaron Sorkin-scripted movie is set to star Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels.

Rumors has it that Disney wants Chris Pratt to play Indiana Jones in a reboot of a the series.

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are set to star in Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters.

Liam Hemsworth has reportedly been offered the lead role in Roland Emmerich’s ID Forever (the sequel to Independence Day).

Luke Evans is no longer attached to the remake of The Crow.

Emma Watson is set to star in the live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast.

Peter Berg has replaced JC Chandor (A Most Violent Year) as the director of Deepwater Horizon.  Mark Wahlberg is still set to star in the disaster film.

David Leitch and Chad Stahslski (John Wick) may direct Chris Pratt in Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Noam Murro (300: Rise Of An Empire) is set to direct Blink, which is said to be about a paralyzed man who has to outwit his kidnappers with only his eyes.

Matthew McConaughey is set to star in an adaptation of Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, And The Greatest Race The World Has Ever Seen.

Christine Taylor will return for Zoolander 2.

Brad Pitt may star in Angelina Jolie’s Africa.  The movie will be based on ivory poachers in the 80s.

Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan will star in a remake of Frederic Jardin’s Sleepless Night.

Karl Urban has joined the cast of the Pete’s Dragon remake.

Jay Roach will direct Six Days Of The Condor.  The movie is said to follow five of the best CIA spies who are on the run after escaping a secret insane asylum.

Mission Impossible 5 has moved up from Christmas Day to July 31, 2015.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

January 30, 2015

1 Comment

The first month of 2015 is over, and I hope you are having a better year already than last year.  Has everyone already started their party-planning engines yet for SXSW? Bought but not cracked open the novel for that new genre-specific book club you joined? Gone to the gym for a week before realizing drinking heavily was still really important to your sanity? Tried out that hip new bar on the east side only to be confronted with the fact that you’re not young enough be to at the coolest places anymore and that you kind of detest the people that are? Cool, yeah, 2015 is going about the same for me.

Well, at least we still have music to tell us we’re cool, hip, and that people like us.  So below is my monthly bid for your affection.  Remember, you can hear songs like this live on the radio every Sunday from 2-3:30 PM on KOOP 91.7FM or koop.org.

SONG OF THE MONTH:  Run the Jewels – Lie, Cheat, Steal

Jamie and Mike were nice enough to release another video from Run the Jewels 2 yesterday, this time for one of the stand-out tracks on the album,  In case you missed it, here it is:

SHIT TO LISTEN TO:

:Lizzo – W.E.R.K. Pt. II:
:Zion I – Juicy Juice:
:Tink – Around the Clock (Featuring Charlemagne):
:J-Live – School’s In:
:KB the BooBonic – Farrah Flo$$it: (LOCAL – her Album Release Party is 2/15 at Empire!)
:Jay Electronica – Prowler 2 (Featuring Jean Grae and Joell Ortiz):
:Hudson Mohawke – Chimes:
:Hail Mary Mallon – Dollywood:
:Chali 2Na And DJ Nu-Mark – Comin’ Thru:
:Freddie Gibbs And Madlib – Shitsville:
:AnnaLove x Cory Kendrix – Wax On (Payton Long’s WE DA BEST Remix): (LOCAL)
:Bavu Blakes – Summer Saturday Songs: (LOCAL)
:Hologram Kizzie – The Responsibility:
:Vince Staples – Hands Up:
:Charizma And Peanut Butter Wolf – High School Love:

Continue reading...

Stream This

January 30, 2015

0 Comments

From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Two Gallants – We Are Undone

Title Fight – Hyperview
Mount Eerie – Sauna
Nite Fields – Depersonalization
Asaf Avidan – Gold Shadow
John Carpenter – Lost Themes
Choke Up – Black Coffee, Bad Habits
H Hawkline – In The Pink Of Condition

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Run The Jewels

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Bop English, Colleen Green, American Wrestlers, Diet Cig, Hurry

January 29, 2015

1 Comment

Music!  Enjoy.

:Bop English – Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control):  Here’s the first single from Bop English, a new project from White Denim’s James Petralli.  It’s expansive, quirky and instantly likeable stuff.  Constant Bop is due out April 14 via Downtown Records.

:Colleen Green – TV:  Those of you who’ve long desired something to help explain your love of TV, this one is for you.  Be sure to thank Colleen Green by seeking out her new album, I Want To Grow Up, when it gets released on February 24 via Hardly Art.

:American Wrestlers – Kelly:  The press release for this song says it has “shimmering charm” and I totally agree.  I’m definitely interested in hearing whatever else American Wrestlers have to offer.  Look for the act’s self titled debut on April 7 via Fat Possum.

:Diet Cig – Harvard:  The lyrics in this new one from Diet Cig become increasingly direct, so by the time it ends my face is always completely cringed.  I like that.  In fact, I want more.  The Over Easy EP will be released on February 24 via Father/Daughter Records.

:Hurry – Shake It Off:  I came across Hurry in Pitchfork’s “tracks” section the other day, and I’m really pumped that I did.  This song of theirs is power pop perfection.  You can find it on Strength In Weakness, a six band split benefiting United Cerebral Palsy.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Amira And Sam (Noah)

January 29, 2015

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Drafthouse Films has a history of releasing exciting, interesting films from directors we’ve never heard of. I’m watching this for two things: the Drafthouse seal of approval and the one, the only Martin Starr.

The Reality:

Amira & Sam is a charming, at times clunky, indie-rom-dram-com that looks past the tropes and cliches of modern day Hollywood romance pics, to dig just slightly deeper into the current state of America. Sam (Martin Starr) is a military veteran (and stand-up fellow as the film tells us over and over again) who’s unemployed and a little lost. Amira (Dina Shihabi) is a spunky, Muslim woman who lives with her uncle and, makes money by selling DVDs of shitty movies on the street, and struggles to maintain her traditions while pushing against them at every turn. Through a handful of fairly believable circumstances, the two meet, and then are thrust into each other’s lives where events occur, love blossoms, and so on and so forth. Like the title predicts, Amira & Sam is at its very best when the film is strictly about Amira and Sam. Martin Starr is an underrated and under-used actor who’s able to fill the role of Sam with a sort of stoned melancholy, punctuated by bursts of goofy humor. His Sam, though it’s overly hammered upon us time and time again, is believably good-natured, an American soldier who’s returned to a world he just doesn’t understand anymore. Dina Shihabi is nothing to shake a stick at. She manages to express a hard-edged, emotional wall, but illuminates enough of the cracks that the character comes off as an agreeable mix of feistiness, idealism and adorable cuteness. The slow unveiling of their enjoyment, and then love of each other is so sweet and tastefully done, you never really want any thing else to happen. Yet, this is a movie, so there’s a cluttering of this sweetness with a sub-plot about Wall Street and Amira’s legal issues and Sam’s family. It doesn’t detract from the film, because you keep wanting to see how these two are going to interact in new situations, but it could’ve been leaner, and more focused, and ultimately a better movie, if director Sean Mullin had just let his two leads strut their impressive stuff. If anything, the moments with Amira and Sam raise the film above some of the tired genre tropes, but in doing so, reflect on the presence and quality of them.

The Lesson:

Give Martin Starr more roles!

The film will be on VOD and in theatres in Austin on January 30.

Continue reading...

Sweet Spirit, Nic Armstrong And The Thieves (Jennifer)

January 28, 2015

0 Comments

photo by Steven Michael Ruud

In my personal life, I’ve been a bit distracted this month with getting ready to move to another apartment. If I’m not completely exhausted this weekend, I still hope to catch some live music.  Even if you feel like you’re dragging your feet, you can’t help but feel energized and maybe inspired at a Sweet Spirit show. Their sound ranges from rock to punk to country to doowop to Motown and they seamlessly bring those styles together for a loud and fun show. Fronted by the “wonder twins” of the Austin music scene, Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen (who are also bandmates in A Giant Dog), I’m blown away by their strong performances and songwriting talent. This sextet is one of the tightest bands around. They’re just so damn good. Their debut EP is tentatively scheduled for a springtime release so you’ll need to catch a live set of theirs to get your Sweet Spirit fix in the meantime. They have a show at The ABGB this Saturday with The Ghost Wolves. It’s a free show but don’t forget to put a little something in the tip jar. Get there early; parking can be challenging to find at this popular spot.

Nic Armstrong And The Thieves are another favorite of mine who are also playing a show the same night. They’ll be at a new venue, Indian Roller, with Jesse Vain and The Happy Hour Holiness Movement. I’ve been a admirer of Nic’s songs for almost a decade and I remain an enthusiastic fan to this day. The Pocketless Shirt EP is the most recent release. British Invasion and Britpop inspiration (Nic is the real deal from Nottingham, England) infused with 21st century vim and vigor. It’s a musical shot of whiskey in your cup of tea. Free show – Nic Armstrong at 10pm, Jesse Vain at 11pm.

Continue reading...

Derek Ted (Noah)

January 28, 2015

0 Comments

I’ve been digging around for a while now, trying to find a band that I can pin my writing hopes on. A band that might ascend the pile of other bands all glued together in a fist-fighting pile, trying to see who’s going to be the next whatever-the-fuck-it-is that will define San Francisco’s music scene. It hasn’t been pretty, a lot of dirge-y, pseudo-metal bands or trios of tatted up 20-somethings trying to relive a musical era that their parents couldn’t even get into. Even more so it’s been strange to realize that as a music writer I just can’t listen to music for the sheer enjoyment of it anymore. I have to listen if a certain band is still good, or if the hot band everyone’s talking about actually lives up to the hype (and then I have to sit and ponder my relationship with hype and what that means for the way I listen to music) or if the self-released cassette I have wedged in my jacket is going to sound good and if it sounds good is it because I like the music or because I think it’s cool to like the music. And on and on and on and on. That said, Derek Ted, the solo nomenclature of one Derek Schultz, the frontman of Owl Paws, is pretty great. Not in a way I have to defend or somehow connect to another movement and open my eyes wide and flail about with my hands when I say, “Can’t you see? They’re like a new (blank)!”. No, no, just good in a way that a guy with a guitar and a big old head full of ideas and music can just sit on a hard stool in a tiny bedroom studio with those little styrofoam peaks of insulation and he can strum the guitar and close his eyes and sing into a microphone. Later on down the road there might be a little reverb added to smooth out the tuneless bits, but it’ll play well on a dark night, when it’s just getting cold, and proto-metal and nu-soul just aren’t doing it for me. At this point while reading you might interject the word “real” or “earnest” or “genuine” but that’s not what I’m really getting at. I’m just happy to hear someone content to play a guitar, very well, and sing, very prettily, and not have to overthink the whole damn process. Clearly, we can all leave the overthinking to me and mine.

Continue reading...

Mikal Cronin

January 27, 2015

0 Comments

Over the weekend I was looking at what’s been released and what’s still on the way, and I found myself feeling great about music in 2015.  Then yesterday the magnificent Mikal Cronin announced his third full length, and I decided that it all has to be too good to be true.  There’s just no way we’re going to get to check out everything.  The world will probably explode any moment now.  Either that, or some weird thing like “Obama bans music” is near.  Oh well.  I say we at least try to wear out Cronin’s catchy new single before anything happens.  Enjoy.

:Mikal Cronin – Made My Mind Up:

MCIII is due out May 5 via Merge.

Bonus Video:

Continue reading...

Guest Mix: Kam Franklin Of The Suffers

January 26, 2015

0 Comments

This month’s Guest Mix is from Kam Franklin of The Suffers!  The band just played a handful of sold-out shows in support of their new EP, Make Some Room.  If you’re not on their bandwagon, you should be.  Enjoy.

Hey!  Kam here.  In celebration of The Suffers’ EP release, I chose to pick a selection of artists that have worked with, supported and/or inspired me.

3d Na’Tee – Do It For The Gram

The Suffers played the ADD52 showcase with 3D Na’tee at SXSW last March. The encounter was brief, but we were incredibly impressed by her flow. She is 100% real, and the world needs more of that. She’s absolutely stunning, but raps like a beast. Prepare yourself.

Equals – Sweat House

This selection makes me particularly happy because there are so many different connections within the band.  I went to high school with the guitar player Simon McDonald, and I used to be in a ska band with the (now ex) bass player Alex Guzman. It seems like so long ago, but the time away from them has only led me to admire them and their body of work even more so. This song is gorgeous.

Fat Tony – No More

This song was put together by a collective of men that I consider to be family. It was written by Fat Tony, produced by Jose Gorbea (aka iLL Faded), and features a guest vocal appearance by Buckamore. All three men are just starting to get the real attention they truly deserve, and I’m excited about everything they have ahead of them.

The Very Best – Hear Me

I have a long history with these guys. For those that are unfamiliar with them, The Very Best is a collaboration between London based producer Johan Hugo and Esau Mwamwaya from Malawi.  I went on their first American tour with them years back, and have been following their career ever since. Hear Me with Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio is their first release since their 2012 record MTMTMK.


Lyric Michelle – Weekend (la di da di)

Lyric is one of my favorite lyricists and poets. On this track, I feel like she’s calling out so many people that have been acting up. Anyone that has chosen to drink or smoke their troubles away instead of dealing with the real issues will definitely understand where she’s coming from with this one. The song has so many different levels that may get missed the first time around, but that’s okay. That’s what the internet is for! Repeat this one if you miss the message the first time around.

 

RX Bandits – Ruby Cumulus

There are few bands I love more than RX Bandits. They main reason I love them is because their music and live show inspired me to step out of my box as a performer. They do what they want to do, how they want to do it, and I respect the hell out of that.


Chllngr – Without Yours (Featuring Josiahwise IS THE SERPENTWITHFEET)

At one point, Steve Borth was in RX Bandits. At the time that he was exiting the band, I was slowly falling in love with them. Since I was so eager to hear everything this camp was putting out, be it together or solo, I kept up with his music.  Years later, he created a brand new project that I’m absolutely obsessed with called Chllngr. The harmonies are beautiful, and the soulful but synth-hop production in everything is just ridiculous. He is a truly a creative genius, and this project is wonderful.

BLSHS – Gave It Away

Blshs is a Houston based synth-pop trio that makes the kind music that distracts me from whatever it is I should be doing. Michelle’s voice is gorgeous, and the band is just all around amazing. In my opinion, the best thing about them, aside from their music, is that they support everyone that supports them. In an industry that is known for not being very nice, that kind of behavior goes a long way.

 

The Tontons – Ruins

This is my favorite song off of the most recent Tontons album. It’s very simple, but the song is incredibly moving. It features Asli Omar on vocals with Adam Martinez on acoustic guitar. I like that they kept the video just as simple as the song. Their music is usually much more aggressive, so it was really nice to see this side of them.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Toro Y Moi, Big Bill, The Babies, Turbo Fruits, FIDLAR

January 26, 2015

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:Toro Y Moi – Empty Nesters:  If anything, you have to applaud Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) for keeping things fresh.  His last album was fairly disco/funky, and now his new one seems to be aiming for more of a blissed-out (but still danceable) indie pop sound.  What For? will be released on April 7 via Carpark.

:Big Bill – Sweet Boy:  Big Bill are a quirky garage rock act that’s been a real bright spot in Austin for the last year or so.  This track is probably my favorite selection off of their recently released Second Bill EP, which you should snatch up now via Bandcamp.

:The Babies – Got Old:  “I was 21, I was 33.”  I relate to this lyric a whole lot more than I’d like to.  Big thanks to The Babies for crushing me.  I guess.  This is from a two-song single that’s currently available via iTunes.

:Turbo Fruits – The Way I Want You:  The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney produced this new one from Turbo Fruits.  It features lyrics that are a bummer and a sound that’s thoroughly 90s rock, so I like it a lot.  No Control is due out April 20 via Melvin/Thirty Tigers Records.

:FIDLAR – If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow Cover):  Yes, FIDLAR covering Sheryl Crow is just as fun and obnoxious as you’re thinking it must be.  Now crank the volume, hit play and let it take you.  This is just a one-off, so grab it while you can.

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

January 24, 2015

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) is reportedly up for a role in Doctor Strange.

Simon West (Expendables 2) is set to direct a remake of The Blob.

Noam Murro (300: Rise Of An Empire) is rumored to be a top choice to direct Aquaman.  Karl Urban is also said to be up for a role in the film.

Simon Pegg and Doug Jung are writing the script for Star Trek 3.  Justin Lin is still attached to direct.

Jake Gyllenhaal has reportedly passed on the opportunity to replace Tom Hardy in Suicide Squad.  Jon Bernthal (Fury) and Joel Edgerton (Exodus) are rumored to be next in line.

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Rooney Mara (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Kate Mara (House Of Cards) and Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) have reportedly tested for a role in Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spin-off film.

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has replaced Frank Darabont as the director of The Huntsman, which is the prequel to Snow White And The Huntsman.

Julia Roberts is set to produce and star in a movie based on Batkid.

Tye Sheridan (Tree Of Life), Sophie Turner (Game Of Thrones) and Alexandra Shipp will portray the young versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Kaya Scodelario (Skins) may star in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Larry Charles will direct Nicolas Cage in Army Of One.  The movie will be based on Gary Faulkner, a real person who took it upon himself to find Osama Bin Laden.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Stream This

January 24, 2015

0 Comments

From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Doomtree – All Hands

Cotillon – Self Titled
Emmy The Great – S EP
The Dodos – Individ
Ty Segall Band – Live In San Francisco
Natalie Prass – Self Titled
Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again
Young Ejecta – The Planet
Suburban Living – Self Titled
Invisible Familiars – Disturbing Wildlife
John Reis And The Blind Shakes – Modern Surf Classics

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Ex Hex

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: The Boy Next Door

January 22, 2015

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Jennifer Lopez has sex with the boy next door.  Shit gets weird.  This could be bad-good.

The Reality:

J.LOL

As I sat waiting for The Boy Next Door to start, all I had on the brain was J.LOL.  I just knew that the movie was going to be an innuendo-laced, Skinemax-esque good time, and I couldn’t wait to cleverly sling J.LOL around while blatantly celebrating the superstar for following up her divorce with an R-rated flick that’s centered around her banging a young hot dude.  Because screw you, Marc “I Need To Know” Anthony!

But no.  Instead of getting to have some fun throwing around the immensely stupid joke that is J.LOL, I had to jam it into the opening paragraph because The Boy Next Door is just an all-out awful film.  Imagine a mix of those laugh-track-less Big Bang Theory vids, the lamest Lifetime-movie cliches and the smell of burnt hair, and you’ll have an idea of what I experienced with The Boy Next Door.  Avoid it at all costs.

The Lesson:

What ever happened to the Jennifer Lopez that was in Out Of Sight?  She was great.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: St. Vincent, The Cribs, Walker Lukens, Mew, Jose Gonzalez

January 22, 2015

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:St. Vincent – Bad Believer:  Because you asked for it (that was you, right?), a deluxe edition of St. Vincent’s self titled album is on the way.  The bonus material consists of this snazzy new track, a b-side, a remix and a two-song single that was put out on Record Store Day.  Should be neat.  Look for it on February 9 via Loma Vista.

:The Cribs – An Ivory Hand:  Believe it or not, it’s been nearly 10 years since The Cribs put out the very Franz Ferdinand-esque track Hey Scenesters.  And to think that way back then I figured they were just cashing in on a popular sound and wouldn’t be around long!  Ha.  This solid pop rock tune is off of For All My Sisters, which will be released on March 23.

:Walker Lukens – Every Night:  The Austin-based Walker Lukens went with Jim Eno (of Spoon) as the producer of his new album, and it would appear as though that was a great move.  This first single is infectious as hell.  Keep an eye out for Baked Goods later this year.

:Mew – Satellites:  While I can’t claim to be the world’s biggest fan of Mew, I’m still fairly excited about/interested in their upcoming LP.  Accessible prog rock is good for the world.  The band will release Plus Minus on April 27.

:Jose Gonzalez – Leaf Off/The Cave:  Singer/songwriter supreme Jose Gonzalez has put together his first solo effort since 2007′s In Our Nature.  The guy is an incredible artist, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it’ll be a fantastic album.  Vestiges & Claws is due out February 17 via Mute.

Continue reading...

True Sincerity (Jennifer)

January 21, 2015

0 Comments

True Sincerity made its publishing debut last year. The journal is the brainchild of local music writer and photographer Bryan Parker, who also runs Pop Press International. On Friday, January 30 there will be a party at Cheer Up Charlie’s to celebrate the release of its second issue. The journal includes interviews with local musicians and has other individuals that are involved in the local music scene.

The party will feature music from MarmalakesFeverbonesGold Beach, and Linen Closet. This event will also include a screening of a mini-documentary about producer Danny Reisch, owner of Good Danny’s studio. Danny has worked with numerous local and national artists, and is a touring musician.

Danny and Bryan’s enthusiasm, hard work, and love for local music is appreciated. Be sure to show them some support on January 30!

Continue reading...