& Peace - soundtrack to Vib-Ribbon
Right. Now I'm sure you're thinking, has this insane woman finally
flipped her wig totally? What the hell is this, including a Playstation
game soundtrack in a playlist? Fear not, fine friends, my
wig is not flipped. Laugh & Peace is a fairly well-respected
J-pop duo, and they enlisted the help of Yoko Fujita, the squeakiest
singer this side of Minnie Mouse, to make what is a completely awesome,
catchy, pure bonkers mini-album for the game. The words are Japlish,
the hooks are brain-bending, it is the cutest/maddest thing on the
planet. Everything I always wanted J-pop to be.
- eponymous debut album
Japanese psyche-folk-rock with the occasional outbreak of Tuvan
throat-singing. Melancholic, ethereal, totally loopy English-but-only-just
lyrics, sublime as a summer shower. This is their first album and
sets out the philosophy for all the rest in one beautiful, luscious,
emotive recording. The perfect music for a walk in the woods in
- Ágætis Byrjun
In the absence (as of yet this year) of a new Sigur Ros album,
this one is staying in my chart for a second year running. The new
material sounds wonderful, though, so hurry up and release it, please!
;)= Soaring, majestic, incandescent, timeless, heartachingly divine.
Black and the Catholics
I had quite a time picking which one I was gonna plug for this
year, but in the end I plumped for this little beauty. Songs like
'Western Star', 'Skeleton Man', 'Billy Radcliffe' and '85 Weeks'
are true feel-bad masterpieces. Rock and weird punk and twisted-up
stuff in a way that only Frank can make it all sound so right and
evil and fun.
- Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung
You know, a lot of negative things have been said about this
particular album. But after much consideration, I'm pretty sure
this is my favourite of the back catalogue, despite its rather unflattering
artwork. This appears to be the exact moment in time that DAAU said
'Oh sod this classical stuff, let's go all-out bonkers and do a
little bit of everything', only on this one, they seem to have kept
a quasi-mystical thread running through, unlike 'Life Transmission'
which is a lot more straightforward.
- Sack Full of Silver
... and again, after much consideration, this one definitely
wins out in my favour. This at the time seemed like quite an uncharacteristic
release from TWR - there were songs which were almost ballads, but
not quite. And the whole flavour of the album is a very bitter one:
just listen to my all-time favourite TWR track 'On The Floe' and
you will see exactly what I mean. Guitars as cold as the Russian
steppes and all topped off with that Guy Kyser voodoo growl, at
once menacing and vulnerable. Sheer genius from one of the most
unfairly overlooked bands ever.
- No More Video (DVD/VHS)
Yes, yes, OK, I know this one isn't actually
an album at all, per se (although there is of course the compilation
album 'No More Loud Music' as well) but hell's teeth, it's more
than worth a very large recommendation on this here page. All
the videos ever made by dEUS collected together in one very tasty
little package, including a few that you've probably never seen
if you live outside of Belgium. But what's with this water theme
running through all the early vids?! Anyone got any idea? Mandi's
favourite moment = Tom and Stef in the bath having a water-fight
on 'Hotellounge' - very cute and very funny. Miss it at your peril.
of a Down - Toxicity
Best album of 2002 without the shadow of a doubt. How the hell
do you sum up this album? Armenian-flavoured nu-metal-punk with
all kinds of Cardiacs-esque twists and bends and time-change mayhem
with a snappy and unafraid political dynamic. Bizarre, inventive,
creative, searingly furious and occasionally extremely funny (especially
on the delirious 'Bounce', a paean to pogo sticks). It doesn't scan,
it doesn't make any sense, it's nothing like anything you've ever
heard before, and it's bloody brilliant.
- Bee Thousand
Fwiw, 'Universal Truths and Cycles' is growing on us slowly.
But at the moment, I'm playing B000 a lot. This reminds of of every
good reason I have ever pawned my granny to follow the mischievous
old sods round the country. Hooks that become so embedded in your
brain you will never again extricate them, quirky and clever
lyrics, Bob Pollard's beautiful voice and truly superhuman songs.
Essential listening for anyone who likes an intelligent, timeless,
hook-laden guitar-pop song with a great choon.
Now this might seem like an unlikely choice for one so deeply
un-metal as myself. But this band are absobloodylutely awesome!!!
;D It's Teutonic, gloomy, doomy, stompy, shouty, gothy, industrial,
loud, growly and clompy all at the same time. I know all my friends
are going to laugh their asses off at me, but I think Rammstein
are SO funny and SO brilliant. Flamethrowers, burning mic stands,
burning suits and pseudo-sodomy with giant spurting phalluses -
what's not to like? ;D
(Japan, DVD/VCD, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)
(Yep, another Japanese film - so, it's still our site, and the
Japanese film microsite I'm making is, erm, still under construction,
possibly until about 2007 at this rate... :( )
This is a fantastic film delivered to me via Poker Industries (check
our links list for
details). A really, really creepy film involving a small town, a
website featuring webcam pictures of dead people, mysterious disappearances,
red-taped rooms, and odd black marks on walls; and yet at the heart
of the film lies a profound philosophical discussion regarding the
nature of loneliness and its effect on people. Beautifully shot,
eerie, resonant, and may well have you keeping the lights on when
you sleep for a few days after viewing.