Howling Bells- Howling Bells: Review

Sunday, July 23, 2006

With a vocalist whose voice swings somewhere between PJ Harvey and Karen O, you’re probably going to be interested to hear Howling Bells. The Sydney quartet comprised of the Stein siblings, Brendon Picchio and Glenn Moule have been making waves in Britain, leading to them being touted a must see act at this years Reading and Leeds Festivals. But if this album created all the hype, expectations could be seriously shattered. Sure Juanita Stein’s voice is amazing, but accompanying her are a very unprovocative band.
Despite this, opener ‘The Bell Hit’ is a beautiful piece of haunting pop music, Stein’s voice flawless. Then it's mostly downhill; your forced to sit through a number of empty, repetitive songs, before ‘In The Woods’ and ‘I’m Not Afraid’ ensure you get a few moments of satisfaction. This debut album may not hold your attention for more than five minutes at a time, but when it does it’s simply beautiful.

35th Wellington Film Festival

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Calling all International film buffs. The 35th Wellington Film Festival starts on July 21st and I want your critic on some of the movies. Here is a list of movies I have short listed, plus some already recommended to me. All opinions positive or negative are welcome.
  • The Science of Sleep (France)
  • Ten Canoes (Australia)
  • Jindabyne (Australia)
  • C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada)
  • Lunacy (Czech Republic)
  • Heading South (France)
  • It's Winter (Iran)
  • The Road to Guantanamo (UK)
  • Bubble (USA)
  • Friends With Money (USA)
  • The Death of Mr Lazarescu (Romania)
  • In Between Days (USA/Canada)
  • Mutual Appreciation (USA)
  • Thank You for Smoking (USA)
  • A Scanner Darkly (USA)
  • Mind Game (Japan)
  • Twelve and Holding (USA)

And now for the Documentaries:

  • Black Gold (UK)
  • Black Sun (UK)
  • China Blue (USA)
  • An Inconvenient Truth (USA)
  • Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (USA)
  • loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies

So that's a mighty list. I hope you can help me to select the best from the bunch

Mazarin- We're Already There: Review

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

We’re Already There is Mazarin’s third album and it’s been a long time between drinks, their last A Tall Tale Storyline was released in 2001. Thankfully the band remained together, growing older and wiser resulting in the music press labelling it the best Philly indie rock album of the year, ahead of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Much Like CYHSY, Mazarin sticks to the same tried and tested formula. Gliding guitars, Twangy Drums and clearly delivered vocals. All pieced together they form a smooth evenly rounded sound. You only have to listen to ‘For Energy Infinite’ to hear the true craftsmanship which makes this album a winner. If you wear flannel jim jams to bed and sleep with a hottie under your pillow give this album it go. With Mazarin in your headphones you’ll definitely be cool skipping to work in the morning.

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