Thursday, March 15, 2007

2007 Music Preview: This is Your Last Chance to Dance.

Elite Opinion is giving you one last opportunity to get in bed with the best albums and bands of 2007, before they hit. That means you can fuck now and brag later with gross impunity, but again, this is your last chance.

Here's the most anticipated albums to 2007 as brought to you by E.O.'s major writers, Dirty Frank and Captain Cornwallace The Longcock.

The Gospel According to Frank:

3/20 – LCD Soundsystem/ Sound Of Silver

If first single “North American Scum” is any indication, we’re in for more dirty disco-punk from James Murphy’s dazzling LCD Soundsystem collective. It’ll be difficult to match the brilliance of “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” or “Disco Infiltrator,” but this band is so eclectic that it’s not only possible – it’s probable.

3/20 – Modest Mouse/ We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

Listen to “Dashboard” and tell me that you’re not popping Xanax because the anxiety of waiting for this album is getting to you. Plus, Johnny Fucking Marr is in the band now. You have to be curious as to how that’s going to turn out. Two major label releases – two mind-blowing albums. Will this be number three?

4/3 – Kings Of Leon/ Because Of The Times

Will this be the album that finally makes the Followill boys as big in the US as they are in the UK? After hearing the leak, I’m going to cautiously say yes. Kings Of Leon is the rare band that has improved upon each of its releases and Because Of The Times may be their best yet.

4/3 – Jennifer Lopez/ Como Ama Una Mujer

My bad – this is actually supposed to be on Dave’s list. Sorry, bro. [Editor's note: Good one bastard. I heard she presses her albums with that massive juicy ass. True story.]

5/1 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/ Baby 81

After the triumphant departure in sound that was Howl, one can only imagine where BRMC’s going with this one. Salsa, maybe? I wouldn’t bet against them.

5/15 – Wilco/ Sky Blue Sky

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I’ll repeat – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That should answer why Wilco’s on this list. While A Ghost Is Born brought them back down to Earth a bit, they still made Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and call me simple but that’s enough for me.

So Sayeth The Captain:

May 29 - Circa Survive/On Letting Go

Everyone should want to hate Circa Survive. Lead singer Anthony Green inflicted massive damage to the wanning boarders between hardcore and pop punk with his prior band Soasin. And Circa Survive seemed to be the same sort of evil. Unfortunately, it's too fucking clever to hate. And to make matters worse, Anthony Green proved he's got the balls of a true artist by coalescing the stunningly jagged eclecticism of his side project, The Sounds of Animals Fighting.

If the daredevil experimentation of Animals Fighting and the deadly sharp pop wit of Survive's other work can find a mutual rhythm on this new LP, no one will be safe. Not on the radio and not in the underground.

April - 65 Days of Static/The Destruction of Small Ideas

Days of Static have carved themselves an immense and looming presence over two of the most fiercely competitive genres on the planet: post-rock and electronic music. Glitchy and apocalyptic, Static's albums sound like the book of revelation as read by R2d2 through an amp bigger than a house. Their new album could be a release that your kids will talk about. This band is a big deal.

September - The Dillinger Escape Plan/TBA

Talent run absolutely amuck.

When God crafted the earth, even he didn't use this much talent. It wasn't necessary. Coincidently, God didn’t use this much destruction or brutality when he flooded the earth, either.

The Dillinger Escape Plan: there are none faster, smarter and more legendary.

There just aren't.

Oh and Guitarist Ben Weinman has stated that this new album is more aggressive than their earlier work, which is like Elite Opinion saying that this year, we’re going to make a conscious effort to start using foul language and inappropriate references.

5/22 - Thrice/TBA

Since when would Elite Op support a band like Thrice?

“We have started writing and recording a 4 disc concept record, with each disc being themed sonically and thematically to correspond with the four natural elements - earth, air, water and fire. The final record will have somewhere between 20 and 25 songs, divided between the 4 discs.”

-Thrice Myspace Profile

Rampant, unwarranted, over-ambitious concept projects from mainstream pop acts will always, ALWAYS be endorsed by The Gun.

You might remember a little group from England pulled it off in the 60’s. Now no one’s saying Thrice is on par with those blokes...but what if?

Summer - Circle Takes the Square/TBA

This is it. The keepers of the throne.

With hard underground music spiraling out of control in a creative void, there is one band that shoulders the artistic weight of the entire scene. CTTS is like poetry penned with razor blades into the arms of supermodel.

Lyrical, beautiful, epic and brutal, there is more indie hope and hype on this album than is fair.

Square's new, sophomore album could be KID A for today's hardcore scene.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Gun Goes to see 300

300 is like an over budgeted holiday parade, on Novocaine. Good for a few sort seconds, but ultimately numb and oddly, slow.

Yes, this movie is one of the most beautiful and visually poetic war peices ever essembled. Unfortunately, 300's inherent optic majesty isn't quite enough to save this movie from itself.

The awkward and clumsy attempt to force a multilayer narrative into what should have been a straight forward 120 minute bloodbath neuters any real virility or edge the movie may have had. And while the film's production teams were clearly stellar, Zack Snyder handles the camera like a drunken uncle at a child's birthday party; all of the best action is shot out of focus, at the wrong angles and then cut abruptly and poorly.

Battles are reduced to stuttering montages of slow motion yells and plummeting blades and while every frame is gorgeous in its own right - in motion things never feel visceral or moving as a mammoth hand to hand slaughterhouse should.

Both movies like Saving Private Ryan and Braveheart portray action in a much, much more tangible and arresting way.

Still, the fusion of CGI and live action is unparalleled and the imaginative rendering of color and lighting is phenomenal. At the very least 300 is a departure from the norm. Additionally the soundtrack is like something out of the choirs of hell and the casting is rarely lacking. And for these reasons, 300 is worth viewing, because for all of its faults there are few like it and accordingly it deserves credit.

Even if the king of Sparta has a Scottish accent.


Elite Opinion gives this movie 3 out of 5 bullets.