Monthly Archives: October 2008

I'm Hallucinating A White Christmas

Wayne Coyne

by Tim Williams – A&SB Contributor

You don’t know it yet, but a certain moving picture is lurking in the dark corners of the Internet, waiting to worm (warm?) its way into your heart, and kick It’s a Wonderful Life to the curb. No, it’s not Italian Spiderman Part II. You may, however, be able to hogtie it, push it down, into some snakewater, and then illegally watch it on your computer.

This would be a travesty of justice. And not just because the Flaming Lips’ giant plastic concert bubble is starting to show its age and could use a tune-up. Also because The Flaming Lips need to make enough money on this to fund another movie.

Yes, it’s Christmas on Mars, and the universe has never felt so alive. I would summarize the plot for you, but all you need to know is: It’s the resulting explosion that would occur if David Lynch and Frank Capra had teamed up to make the musical adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Frontman Wayne Coyne has admitted as much, although with the caveat: “It’s sometime in the future; Mars has been sort of conquered, and there’s a space station on it, but the space program has gone into decline and these people are kind of stuck up there. The whole thing ends up very dilapidated, very un-futuristic, un-2001. There’s an element of confidence among the scientists, but the overall view is that things seem kind of doomed.”

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Forgive Durden – Razia's Shadow: A Musical

$12 Buy | Stream

From the first tones of the opening track “Genesis,” an epic makes itself apparent. Forgive Durden’s latest album, Razia’s Shadow: A Musical, is just that – an ambitious piece performed as stagecraft and backed by instrumentation reminiscent of the orchestra pit.

What stands out most, however, is the endlessly imaginative writing of Thomas and Paul Dutton, who construct a world, inflict it with love and tear it all down over the course of 13 tracks.

Indeed, Razia’s Shadow is a reminder that the best music isn’t all that different from a good book. Each builds a landscape in your mind with full characters that are enriched – not confused – by an endless smattering of new detail.

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Justice – A Cross The Universe

So have you gotten a chance to check out Justice? What about getting the time together in your hectic schedule to see them live? Even better… What about being cool enough to be “back stage”? Probably not. Thanks to multi-award winning directors and intimate friends of the band Romain Gavras (“Stress” director) and So-Me (“D.A.N.C.E.”, “DVNO”, Justice will have a live DVD/CD/Documentary hit shelves on December 9th, just in time for you to buy it as a gift for your preferred religious holiday. This documentary covers their 3 week US March tour and shows you every gory detail of life on the road of this Grammy-nominated French duo. Check out the trailer after the jump.

JUSTICE ON MYSPACE
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Calexico – Carried to Dust


by Alex Truong – A&SB Contributor

The duo of Joey Burns and John Convertino have been known for the range of instruments contributing to their eclectic sound. Calexico’s latest album, Carried to Dust, aspires to capture part of the struggle of the writer’s strike that has just barely left our recent memory. Part of is it a sort of folksy, adventurous tone that utilizes a lot of instruments (including an accordion!) to achieve its soulful chillness. The sound is distinctly latin-southwestern with a definite nod to Calexico’s last albums, but the tracks come out not nearly as soft and lulling as their work with Iron and Wine.

They define themselves quickly in tracks like “Crystal Frontier,” and then elaborate on that vision with tracks like “Going to Acapulco with Jim James.” Sure, the album is a collection of horn-heavy strife-ridden anthems, and the loose affiliation with an otherwise get-over-yourself type of protest comes off as a little pretentious. Despite the message, the tracks are solid and definitely worth a listen. Check it out if you’re willing to chill for a bit, but don’t want to fall asleep.

$10 Buy Carried to Dust | Calexico on Myspace

Pompeii. Pumpkeii. Pumpkin.

Pompeii’s latest effort, Nothing Happens For A Reason – out now on Eyeball Records, is available for streaming here. We promise you that this record is a great accompaniment to Fall activities such as: pumpkin carving, leaf crunching, beard growing, cave-cricket fighting, violent crimes, apple picking, squirrel dodging, pie baking and hot cider drinking. Delicious. Nothing Happens For A Reason is riddled with warm tones, delicate hooks and some of the finest album artwork I’ve ever seen (judge this book by it’s cover) by the talented Elizabeth RIccardi.

For fans of: Death Cab For Cutie & Explosions In The Sky.
$10 | PURCHASE | STREAM

The Hot Box – Extended Play

The Hot Box - Minneapolis

$4 | Buy Extended Play

Yeah, I know you. You’re that person who has people over and winds up scrambling around looking for that old Jock Jams CD. Still, you figure it’s better than your friends, who seem to have Beyonce, Lil’ Jon and 50 Cent on continuous loop. Indie music is great and all, but let’s face it, you need some tunes that go down a little better with those shots of Admiral Nelson. That’s where The Hot Box comes in.

The Minneapolis-based instrumental rap group’s debut EP Extended Play puts Jordan “Vision” Sandvig’s inventive lyrical screeds over a ridiculously talented five-piece. The result is six tracks you’ll be humming in the shower for weeks.

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