Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boomkat Soundtracks The City

After a few more ridiculously intense weeks of school, I sat down with a guilty-pleasure amount of ice cream last night and watched the latest episode of The City, "Hit It or Quit It." For those who don't know, The City is a spin-off series of The Hills, and follows ex-Hills cast member Whitney Port as she navigates herself through the fashion world in New York, working for designer Diane von F├╝rstenberg. While not as popular as it's big sister, I find this season of The City more interesting than what The Hills has offered lately.

You can watch the whole episode below, and while you're at it, I want to point out the song "Burn" by modestCompexity favorite Boomkat plays at about 15:30 in to the episode. Although Boomkat's Taryn Manning is a west coast girl, this song really feels like New York, and it makes the perfect background music as they do a fly-over of the Big Apple. Unfortunately MTV banned the YouTube clip I made of the scene in the US, but for all you foreign readers, you can follow this link to watch the scene.

Boomkat on MySpace

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Northern Kick Off One Tree Hill

Any casual follower of this blog already knows how big of a fan of Great Northern I am, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear their song "Houses" play during the entire opening montage of last night's episode of One Tree Hill, "Your Cheatin' Heart."

The propulsive track, which appeared earlier this year in 90210, has that ever-present forward moving momentum, which makes it the perfect song to kick off an episode. Rachel Stolte's powerful, smokey vocals give an ethereal quality to this song, as the driving beats and bass line make sure you feel its presence. I think by the time 2009 is all said and done, Remind Me Where the Light Is will be my favorite record of the year, and "Houses" is definitely my favorite song off the album, so I'm happy to see it getting so much love, especially since One Tree Hill's music (which used to be absolutely phenomenal) has been going down hill lately.

For some reason, I can't embed the video, but if you click on the image below, you can watch the entire opening montage.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grayson's Anatomy

Last night's season finale of Drop Dead Diva, cheekily titled "Grayson's Anatomy," was a great way to cap off a stressful weekend full of studying for exams. Since I last blogged about Drop Dead Diva, I've gone back and checked out the entire season, and I can officially say that I'm hooked. I love the parallels/juxtapositions that are set up for Deb/Jane, and the show also has some of the best dialogue of anything going right now. Highly under-rated, and I think if this show was on ABC instead of Lifetime, it would have a HUGE following. One great positive is that the finale got excellent ratings, and the show has gained more followers each finally there's a new show I love that won't get cancelled.

One great example of the Deb/Jane dynamic was shown in the season finale, as Grayson sits at a pub and talks with Stacy and we learn that Grayson has been losing sleep. The reason? He has been thinking of Jane (a fact which he accidentally reveals to Stacy, only to instantly play it off as nothing). I can't help but think that his dreaming of Jane is because subconsciously he connects with the part of her that is still Deb...and this really sets up the next season for some interesting drama.

One other great thing about the scene is (surprise!) the song playing in the background. The band is Castaneda, and the song is called "Piece of Mind," a clever little play on words from this super-hip California indie outfit. They are a band that does a great job of mixing new wave, pop, and punk sounds into their own indie rock smorgasboard, and really sound great on mix tapes alongside bands like The Killers, Tokyo Police Club, MGMT and The Strokes.

Overall, I've been very happy with some of the great song choices that they have made for Drop Dead Diva, and I hope next season continues to have more great story lines, dialogue, and songs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Whip It!

School's starting to actually heat up (i.e. it's mid-term time) and the weekend couldn't come fast enough right now. While I bury myself in the books, I do have one item of fun on the agenda for the weekend, and that is to check out Whip It. The latest Ellen Page movie features everyone's favorite snarky girl of the moment pursuing a roller derby career. It is Drew Barrymore's debut as a director, and based on the trailer, looks like a lot of fun.

Beyond the movie's great cast and the hilarious premise, the soundtrack looks amazing. Drew Barrymore has described it as her mixtape to us, and this only confirms to me that she is awesome. Some of my favorite artists, including The Raveonettes, Tilly and the Wall, and Peaches make an appearance on this indie-all star soundtrack, but I'm especially excited about the inclusion of "Unattainable" by Little Joy. This song was easily in my top 5 of 2008, and I'm really hoping that I hear it in the movie, too. For those of you who don't know, Little Joy is the side project of Fabrizio Moretti (drummer of The Strokes - fun fact, he used to date Drew Barrymore). Check back after the weekend, and I'll hopefully update this post with my recap of the film.

UPDATE: I saw the movie, and as expected, enjoyed the hell out of it. They did use "Unattainable" in the film, too which was great - after Bliss (Ellen Page) has her first roller derby performance, she goes to a party, and puts this song on. A more pleasant surprise was that I actually liked Kristen Wiig's character - she was nothing like her annoying nervous character on SNL or in Knocked Up and had great on-screen chemistry with Ellen Page.

And here's a breath-taking live performance of "Unattainable." I've watched this video hundreds of times and it still makes the hair on my arms stand straight up.

Little Joy on MySpace

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Blind Side and Three Rivers

I'm not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but a few years back I read a book called The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. While half of it is technical football stuff, which I skipped over, the other half is a heart-warming story about a family that took in (and eventually adopted) a down and out star high school football player named Michael Oher. This book is now being made into a movie, which is due in theaters late November.

I hope the movie stays very true to the amazing story, because it is one that needs no Hollywood embellishments. Oher's father was murdered while he was in junior high, and his mother was addicted to crack. He bounced between foster homes, and different schools (try 9 in 11 years) and repeated grades. When he was 16, he had a .9 GPA and had yet to have a permanent address. However, after hearing about the tough life he had, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, a white family with a daughter Oher's age (and this was definitely controversial to some in the still racially-tense south), took him in and gave him a home and tutoring. Eventually, he graduated high school and went on to play college football, and just this year made it into the NFL and is making millions.

Here's a look at the trailer for this inspirational story about perseverance, acceptance, and ultimately triumph. In addition, about 45 seconds in they use an instrumental cut of the song "Kill the Messenger" by one of my well-documented favorite artists, Jack's Mannequin. Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin also has an inspirational story to tell (he is a cancer survivor), and I thought it was very fitting to use the song in this trailer - hope to hear it in the movie, too.

In other Jack's Mannequin news, the premiere episode of Three Rivers debuted last night on CBS. You may recall that the previews for Three Rivers featured the music video for Jack's Mannequin's "Swim" in a cool spliced up montage with footage from the show. Unfortunately, now that Three Rivers is out, CBS has taken the preview video down.