‘Pacific Rim’ Effects Video

The visuals of this clip are provided by Mirada Studios, about the making of the prologue from Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.  Those effects are pretty impressive, though what seems to be lost amongst all that visual wizardry is the music behind the trailer, which is provided by Ramin Djawadi (pronounced Java-dee).

The track is called “Gipsy Danger,” and it’s on the ‘Pacific Rim’ soundtrack.

It’s an awesome piece of music.

A ‘Horse’s Mouth’ Worth Looking Into

The Horse’s MouthThe old proverb says “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” though Cy Curnin’s latest solo release “The Horses’s Mouth” is well worth closer inspection.

The album, produced by Curnin and Nick Jackson, is thematically more optimistic than 2012’s “Solar Minimum.”

Though I don’t imply that “The Horse’s Mouth” is the first time that I have praised Cy Curnin’s hypnotic vocals, since I have been a fan of his band, The Fixx, since I saw the video for “The Shuttered Room” in the 80’s.

Though this time Curnin is less nuanced about his feelings, trading metaphor for stating his feelings outright, and it’s an interesting change.

I tend to be repeat “Karma Mama” (which at times feels similar to Nenah Cherry’s “Woman”), “The Good In You” (which has Jann Arden, of 1994’s “Living Under June” and 1997’s “Happy,” which was anything but, on backing vocals).

Though it’s not all goodness and light.  “Been There, Done That,” while not necessarily pessimistic, does hint at darker times, via the ennui implied by its repetitive spoken word refrain of “I’ve Been There, Done That.”

The Fixx’s song “Fatal Shore” was under consideration for the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and it seems that Curnin has a natural propensity for creating potential Bond themes, which “All Over” would be perfect for.

While different from his solo albums and work with The Fixx, “The Horses’s Mouth” is evocative of both, and well worth buying (Please do not steal this album.  This isn’t a release from a big conglomerate, but from Cy himself.)

NPR: The Austin 100 At SXSW

I am a huge music fan, though I have noticed that I tend to get somewhat set in my ways, which makes it hard for me to discover new music.  That’s why I am thankful for NPR offering the opportunity to download–FREE–100 mp3’s from artists that are headlining at this year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

At the moment I am listening Tyagaraja with “We Will Meet Again,” and I have to say that I really like their country-flavored rock stylings.  In fact, it reminds me a bit of Patty Griffin.  The next track “Among The Grey” by Cheyenne Mize, reminds me of “The Breeders,” mixed with a dash of  “Romeo Void” at their most atmospheric and “Big Country” for the guitar bombast.

Bond Is Back In ‘Skyfall’

Some are also calling “Skyfall” the best Bond ever.  I assume that that’s more than a little bit of hyperbole because some of the 007 films that I enjoyed most were not necessarily the best in the series.  For instance, of the Sean Connery Bond films, was never a huge fan of “Dr. No,” “From Russia, With Love,” or “Thunderball,” though I was particularly fond of “Diamonds Are Forever.” and “You Only Live Twice.” 

George Lazenby, for me was always an afterthought as Bond, mainly because by the time I became aware of him I was already well-versed in the exploits of Connery and Moore.

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A ‘Beautiful’ Conundrum

A few days ago I posted that The Fixx had released their first studio album, “Beautiful Friction,” in almost a decade, and it definitely worth the wait.  It’s different than anything they produced before, and is interesting and thought-provoking in the way that The Fixx has always been.

I purchased my copy from eMusic, and it included 11 tracks;  I checked out Kirtland Records, The Fixx’s label, and the copy available there too had 11 tracks.

So imagine my surprise to learn that the album offered on iTunes has not 11, but 12. There’s an extra track called “Wasted,” and if you happen to be a completist (I intend to purchase the CD so that I can get the liner notes) like I am you might want to check it out.

I don’t know if it’s available anywhere other than iTunes or the CD, though you can get the track for $.99 via iTunes without buying the album again.

‘Beautiful Friction’ Rubs In All The Right Places

The latest album from The Fixx, Beautiful Friction, is their first studio album in nine years, and it’s good to hear that they’re back in fine form, though with a caveat:  This is not your father’s Fixx because this is some of the most guitar-heavy music to ever come from the band.

The album was produced by Nick Jackson (IT), who produced “Solar Minimum” and the upcoming “The Horse’s Mouth” for Cy Curnin.  The most  interesting thing is that the album doesn’t sound anything like his, or the Fixx’s, for that matter, prior work; which probably has more than a little to do with it being one of the most immersive albums that the band has created.

Under the production of Rupert Hine, who did the majority of their releases, The Fixx were somewhat restrained, and just a tad pretentious–listen to the track “Phantom Living,” from the album “Phantoms” and tell me it’s not full of itself, which I don’t mean as an insult because The Fixx may not have been the biggest band out there, but the ideas and moods they tried to get across through their music put many more popular bands to shame.

“Beautiful Friction” is an album that sneaks up and surprises because, against all odds, The Fixx are not only back together, but they go to places that you might not have expected them to based upon their past output.

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Beautiful Friction

The Fixx’s first new studio album in nine years, “Beautiful Friction,” will be out July 17 though Amazon has samples of many of the tracks, and I have to say that it’s definitely a departure for them.

I am also glad to see that the band has gone back to George Underwood, who did the covers this latest album, as well as their past albums, “Reach The Beach,” “Calm Animals” and “Phantoms.”

The album cover is from one of his paintings named “I Talk With The Spirits.”

‘The Thing:’ The Musical (Or The Oddest Thing I Have Heard In Awhile)

I learned about this little bit of oddness from a poster at Aint It Cool News, who calls themselves justmyluck.  I don’t have any idea how they heard about it, but it’s quite possibly the most brilliant, high-concept piece of music that I have heard in many moons.

Enjoy the weirdness.

Red Sky At Night

Now that MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) is on more or less stable ground (after filing for bankruptcy in the latter part of 2010) the studio appears to be preparing the next outing of James Bond.  For the moment the new film is known as James Bond 23 (the ’23′ representing the 23rd film in the series).

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Online Casting Call for Tupac Shakur Biopic

Tupac Shakur

Film director Antoine Fuqua (Training Daddy, Brooklyn’s Finest) launched an online casting call a couple of months ago in an attempt to find an unknown (but compelling) actor to play the late, great, Tupac Amaru Shakur. According to CNN, in order to audition, aspiring actors should visit InSearchOfTupac.skeetv.com and upload a five-minute video of themselves reciting a monologue from one of Shakur’s courtroom appearances and a one-minute performance of a song by the rapper.