• Wild Beasts – Boy King (2016)

    wild-beasts boy kingI’ve been a loyal follower of Wild Beasts since I heard Two Dancers. They are from the U.K. and they have a fairly unique style that encompasses many facets of the rock landscape. They also have two vocalists, one with an airy falsetto and one with a deeper baritone.

    This new album, Boy King, is heavy on the synth pop and it’s delicious. The songs are so infectious and riddled with carnal testosterone-laden subtext. Hell, the title itself is a hidden gem, not to mention the cover.

    As the opener, Big Cat, says: “You can look, but don’t touch.” The whole album is like window shopping wet dreams. Each song is a little peak at something salacious, but hidden enough to make you wonder: “Hmm, what is under that blanket?”

    The production is absolutely superb. It sounds so crisp and yet kind of fatty analog style like it was produced in 2085 (it’s a time paradox). There are meaty beats and fuzzy synths with such clarity. I actually looked up the guy who produced it, John Congleton, and I’ve listened to some other albums he’s produced (St. Vincent). He’s kind of the shit.

    Basically, this album is amazing and I’ve listened to it close to 15 times. It doesn’t get old and it keeps pumping along like a moist well that never dries up. You can interpret that however you choose.

  • Not For The Squeamish

    31days-ofbloodandgoreThis will be the 7th annual event. I’ve already begun the selection process and I’m excited about the options available this year.

    I’m going to work very hard to do all 31 reviews. I must do it for the sake of completeness.

    As always, I’m open to suggestions if anyone would like me to review something special.

    Below you’ll find my tentative list:

    1. Nightmares (1983)
    2. Cat’s Eye (1985)
    3. Zombie (1979)
    4. Don’t Go In The House (1980)
    5. Monster in the Closet (1990)
    6. Xtro (1983)
    7. Open Grave (2013)
    8. Slaughterhouse (1987)
    9. Uninvited (1988)
    10. 1408 (2007)
    11. Plutonium Baby (1987)
    12. Maggie (2015)
    13. Intruders (2016)
    14. Demons 2 (1987)
    15. The Beyond (1983)
    16. House II: The Second Story (1987)
    17. Murder Party (2007)
    18. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    19. Disturbing Behavior (1998)
    20. Intruder (1989)
    21. Night of the Creeps (1986)
    22. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)
    23. Contamination (1980)
    24. Dead Snow: Red vs Dead (2014)
    25. The Others (2001)
    26. Dracula Untold (2014)
    27. Ouija (2014)
    28. The Witch (2015)
    29. Crimson Peak (2015)
    30. Freaks of Nature (2015)
    31. Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

  • The Exclusivity Needs To Go

    iPoopMusic streaming has become a huge money-making service for the companies that had enough sense to set up shop early on. Though there was resistance from the music labels (there always is), the general public has spoken and streaming is here to stay.

    The problem is that there are too many services and there really isn’t any actual competition. They all charge virtually the same price and they don’t offer that much variance in their song catalogs. Each one has their own little feature differences and promotional deals for new customers.

    I subscribe to Google Play, because I like that I can upload my own music to fill in the gaps where they don’t have certain albums/tracks. I don’t like how there is minimal distinction between music I’ve uploaded and music that is in their catalog. It’s especially annoying when an album has double the number of tracks because the MP3s I uploaded have slightly different track lengths.

    The thing that really grates my cheese about all of this is the exclusivity nonsense that is increasing in prevalence thanks to Apple Music. For some reason, Apple Music is the platform that gets 1-2 week early releases. Partly, it’s Apple trying to gain subscriptions from people who can’t wait. It’s also the record labels hoping that people will just buy the music instead of stream it, since it is also usually available in the iTunes store. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but I don’t think I’ll ever be subscribing to Apple Music (beyond the free 3-month trial, suckerz). In the end, I’ll just wait or break out my peg-leg. It’s just sad that this has become a thing. Of course, if the tides turn and Google Play starts getting exclusives, I probably won’t give a shit.

  • The 90s Are Alive Again

    AfteCrystal Popsir searching far and wide, my dreams have come true. I’ve found the holy grail of a 90s kid: Crystal Popsi.

    Way back sometime in 1992 or 1993, I remember going to this food fair thing they would do in downtown GR. Meijer was the main sponser and we’d go every year to get free samples and coupons. That year, they had a big table set up for the new “Clear Cola” from Pepsi. I got little sample cup and I liked it. It was a unique flavor that I hadn’t tasted before. Something about the whole package was magical. I went back for seconds even though you aren’t supposed to do that.

    I’m pretty sure we bought a couple two liters before it went off the market within a year. Since then, I’ve seen little blurbs about the old pop. I even watched that guy drink an old bottle and puke it up.

    Then they did the little sweepstakes giveaway last December that I missed even entering by like 4 hours. 🙁

    When I heard it was coming back Summer 2016, I nearly crapped my pants. I waited and waited and resisted buying the overpriced sweepstakes bottles on eBay.

    Last Monday was the official release date. I went to various retail outlets and turned up empty-handed. Meanwhile, dozens of people on Twitter were posting their bountiful finds. Some even purchasing the entire store stock they could find (a**holes). On Tuesday, I had 8 bottles in my hands (I left some for the other nutballs).

    The first sip was oh so amazing. It was the exact flavor I remembered. It’s only going to be around for 8 weeks, but they will be glorious.

  • The Remixes Are Coming

    new1sAhoy there, faithful follower(s). This is an announcement. We have decided to re-release the New 1’s remix album to all major music streaming/download services.

    In 6-4 weeks (approximately), you will be able to stream the New 1’s on Spotify, Google Music, Apple Music, and Tidal (thanks, Jay-Z and Becky with the good hair).

    Basically, we have to create new cover art (everything was lost in a fire). AND we have to consult with some lawyers to make sure we won’t be sued by the Army of Dons. Freedom of speech, baby!

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

    10 cloverfield laneIf you’ve seen Cloverfield, prepare to watch something slightly less seizure-inducing. This sort of, but not really, sequel takes place almost entirely in an underground bunker. Much of the psychological thrilling comes from the mystery of what could possibly be going on in the world above.

    The cast is pretty minimal and they all shine in their own ways. John Goodman is always so amazing and I love how his rage just takes off at any given time. The character he plays is mostly the bad guy, but you sympathize with his attempts to do the right thing.

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the main character, who is thrust into one frightening situation after another. She’s the one who wants to know what’s out there and she’s not content to trust John Goodman’s explanation of the outside world’s demise.

    The payoff is the finale where our main character learns the truth and must accept the bittersweet future.

    While I think Cloverfield is a better overall package from start to finish, I do like that the camera is stable in this movie. The psychological drama mixed with mysterious tension keep the viewer hooked. I would definitely recommend this for a night in with some popcorn and Red Vines.

  • 11/22/63

    112263I’ve always found Stephen King to be an amazing writer. His ability to craft a story is like no other. From horror to sci-fi to any genre he feels like. After reading Under the Dome, I was really excited for the supposed 10-part series on CBS. Then it had to suck AND be super popular, so they made two more seasons of dreck. Thanks, CBS.

    It was with great apprehension that I approached the new Hulu series 11.22.63 based on the King novel. The plot is about a guy who is shown a portal by a friend that takes the traveler to 1960. The friend suggests they attempt to save Kennedy from the assassination in 1963. Well, the past don’t like to change too much, I reckon.

    I’m about half way through the 8-part series and it’s really good. Much better than I was expecting, and actually feels like a Stephen King story. James Franco and the rest of the cast is perfect.

    If you have Hulu and like Stephen King or rewriting history, you should check this out.