Cartoon comedy for ...
David Bowie Is: ...
‘Festival Of Steve’ ...
Appreciating the sheer ...
‘The Hangover III’ ...
ShockOne’s #01 debut ...
Where does talent from The Voice go once they’ve been eliminated in the live rounds and not necessarily won the ‘big gig’? To LA, in the case of Emma Birdsall, one of last year’s finalists who has been keeping her feet on the ground, gaining inspiration in the city of Lost Angels.
Birdsall’s also kept busy posting her discoveries in one very pretty blog, called Life With Birdsall which you can check out here. But that’s not to say she’s not been making music.
Indeed the girl has just cut a beautiful song called Never In A Million Years, which Cream readers can download for free on her website. The song is like what jazz would sound like if it went on a date with pop. Enjoy!
Animated films are not what they used to be. Once upon a time, they were the stuff of fairytales: all sweet as pie, save for the odd poison apple thrown into the mix. Now, the main ingredient for a successful animated film (read: franchise) is irony – and plenty of it.
Despicable Me 2 is even more loaded with facetious humour than its predecessor, and it seems the sharp tongues are not reserved merely for the main characters. Even the ‘Minions’ get to deliver cutting repartee. In fact, dig deeper into a discourse that sounds like gibberish on first impression, and you’ll realise the writers of the sequel have cultivated a clever ‘multicultural’ tactic for their Minion-speak. Listen carefully, and you’ll note the cross-lingual dialogue isn’t too far removed from even Anthony Burgess’ droog-speak in A Clockwork Orange.
From that dystopian sub-text to this one, DM2 is still very much a story of good-versus-evil, only our protagonist Gru is now opting more for the former – especially with three adopted kids to look after. Yes, he’s gone all sensitive daddy-style until, that is, he gets hired by an Anti Villain League to sniff out some new bad guys.
But while DM2 is packed with clever sarcasm and wit to boot, there’s also a solid amount of slapstick, which kind of throws audiences back into basic comedy mode. Oh well, it is a cartoon movie, after all, and I suppose there’s got to be something inane for the littler kids to laugh it.
Despicable Me 2 hits cinemas June 20.
Click here to view the trailer.
Coffee table books don’t get more aesthetically pleasing than this.
David Bowie Is is the definitive tribute to one of the world’s greatest music icons, gender deconstructionists and pioneer of the visual arts.
Bowie’s career has so far spanned 50 years and – in the musical realm alone – the guy has impressed, selling over 140 million albums, let alone countless sales of singles the world over.
But David Bowie Is goes way beyond the music behind the man. Beautifully laid out, it traverses Bowie’s influences in the fashion arena, in the visual arts, and across electronic multimedia.
With essays by the likes of Christopher Frayling (focusing on Bowie’s connection to film), Howard Goodall (on musicology), Jon Savage (commenting on Bowie’s relationship to his fans), and Camille Paglia (the artist’s influence on gender and pop cultural decadence), there is plenty more here than just pretty pictures.
On the pictorial note, though, costumes are very much the main focus, with detailed presentations of some of Bowie’s most iconic outfits – from the wild orange-laden Ziggy Stardust attire, through his spaced-out Pierrot look (that appeared in his Ashes To Ashes video), to the military-style suits worn on his Serious Moonlight Tour, this is a wardrobe well worthy of gallery-like presentation.
Keeping in mind that this is the first book to be granted access to Bowie’s personal archive of performance costume, ephemera and original design artwork, and fans can be rest assured there are plenty spectacular rarities within.
The release of David Bowie Is, the book, coincides with David Bowie Is, the exhibition, at London’s famed Victoria & Albert Museum – an exhibit that can only be described as one so rich in depth of content and interactivity, it makes rock’n’roll exhibitions that have come before it pale in comparison.
If you can’t make it to London to see the real thing, David Bowie Is, the book, is as good a substitute as any.
David Bowie Is, the book, is available in deluxe hardback through Bloomsbury, RRP $69.99.
David Bowie Is, the exhibition, runs at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London until August 11, 2013.
Chivalry isn’t dead. It’s reclining in a maroon tufted leather wingback club chair, having its tailor-made shoes polished, sipping on an aromatic espresso, flicking through the pages of an Oscar Wilde novel. And all in an impeccable 3-piece suit complete with silk pocket square and antique fob watch. The lucky bastard…
Festival of Steve celebrated it’s inaugural event at the tail-end of May, at the exclusive Kelvin Club, a private members guild dating back to 1865, full of sumptuous leather lounges, softly shining chandeliers and dark mahogany wood. Harking back to an era where men took time and consideration for their appearance, this old-world charm has seeped back into the famed laneways, corporate offices and laidback bars of Melbourne. The ‘gentleman’ is back and he definitely knows how to dress, and more importantly however, knows exactly where to find modern yet custom-made aesthetic bliss, thanks to the expertise of some standout bespoke stores.
Amongst the debonair shops that are changing the face of men’s fashion in Melbourne, Lord Coconut boasts the title of Melbourne’s only male jewellery store, stocking over 40 predominantly local designers, showcasing everything from re-purposed watch cufflinks to sterling silver ribcage rings.
Thom Grogan (otherwise known as the tailor that makes up the trio from Captains of Industry) has become the new in-house Needleman at the renowned Phillips Shirts, established in Australia back in 1952. Grogan’s tailored shirt collection, aptly titled Mr. Phillips debuted at Festival of Steve, and with the ability to allow clients the personalised choice of fabric, buttons, collar and cuff, it is an art that will happily be cultivated by those searching for a quintessential tailored shirt.
Rohan Browne, the creator of niche bow tie and kerchief company, His Handsome Self, is all about allowing his clientele to embrace their inner captivating character, with an outward wardrobe that screams success and confidence. Sourcing the finest materials and hand crafting all designs in Melbourne, his Handsome Self really is the finest compliment to any dapper get-up.
Not only did Festival of Steve exhibit clothing and jewellery stores, the likes of which included Pugnacious George, Carl Nave, Charlie Tinker and V&J Menswear, as well as the above mentioned, there was also super savvy bookstore Embiggen. Flaunting some exquisite titles such as Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, The Russian Prison Tattoo Encyclopaedia and Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed, it was hard not to want to possess a library of all the books housed at this Little Lonsdale Street store.
Jerome Miller from Meltours was also in attendance, and I can vouch for his wonderful tour of Melbourne’s bar scene, from first hand experience. Melbourne can be an exclusive place, full of secret laneways and secluded hot spots, but Jerome can lead you right into the action and to get you into some of the hottest drinking places going!
Beggar Man Thief, that much loved store on Clarendon Street, was assisting the gents with a complimentary shoe shine service, as well as a striking collection of shoes from the likes of Lacoste, Opening Ceremony, Church’s and Feit.
Clementine’s fine foods and gifts were also on display, including one of my favourite initiatives, Rooftop Honey – and this time, the batch of uber modern test tubes came from St Kilda. Highly recommend sampling these wonderful locally produced honeys!
And finally there was amazing nosh from Jack’s House – I sampled the Wagyu beef brisket roll with horseradish cream – absolutely delish, especially when coupled with a full-bodied shiraz from the bar, whilst lounging in one of the leather couches listening to the sweet blues tunes of Brooke Russel and the Mean Reds band.
All in all, a marvellous concept and very well executed. I very much look forward to the festival rolling around again, but til then keep your dashing selves in good and respectable order, and remember the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
For more info on Festival of Steve, click here.
Yes, Baz Luhrmann’s kaleidoscopic interpretation of The Great Gatsby is jam-packed with pastiche, but nobody does the classics-deconstructed-to-the-Nth-degree thing better than our Baz.
Critics who preach the credibility of realist cinema might find fault with Luhrmann for his unabashed lack of ‘shooting things straight’ but even they might admit the guy has been clever to develop a genre all of his own, even if the sources of his films are often already-well-pillaged literature.
That said, the director has kept a lot of the essence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel intact, even holding onto great chunks of the original dialogue. Where he goes wrong is when he makes his characters repeat familiar lines relentlessly (one more “Ol’ Sport” from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby and I might have groaned).
Though The Great Gatsby has been incorporated in high-school curriculums the world over for decades, for those who mucked about in English class, the gist of the story is this: a dude named Jay Gatsby – who comes from an impoverished background – encounters a rich drunk who teaches young Jay the ‘finer’ things in life. Jay meets a young beauty by name of Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan) whom he falls head over heels for, but she is insistent that the man she’s going to marry has plenty of money and security (enter Joel Edgerton’s bigoted Tom Buchanan). Eventually Jay manages to amass so much wealth that he’s throwing parties every weekend, inviting the who’s who of Long Island and Manhattan (as well as hundreds of fabulous nobodies). The only reason he’s throwing these shin-digs is to hopefully lure Daisy to one of them, where at he’ll confess his undying love for her.
Set in the hey-day of New York’s 1920s jazz scene, the story has a lot to pull from so far as historic context goes. North America was going through an economic boom following World War I; the prohibition of alcohol ironically lead to bootlegged booze being sold cheaper; faster music was catching on; and decadent parties, both underground and overground, were de rigueur.
Director Baz Luhrmann – always a fan of a great big bash – depicts this decadence in glorious colour and lavish mis-en-scene that, even while the movie as a whole stands out like a spoilt rich kid amid today’s tough economic climate, it does serve as a fun escape for viewers. Or, as narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) says, throws us into something “like an amusement park”.
Indeed, in the 3D version of the film, the viewer’s perspective sways and swerves as if on the biggest of theme park rides – occasionally to the point of sensing vertigo.
But it’s the soundtrack that is the ultimate star in the film, with Luhrmann luring Jay-Z in to manage the music (he’s also an executive producer of the movie). Not only does Jay-Z bring to the table a sound that perfectly blends the then and now (always a genius in the sampling department), the musician and business mogul practically embodies the character of the great Jay Gatsby. Note: poor guy makes it big; throws plenty of parties; raps about bling and booze; you get the picture…
If, cinematically, The Great Gatsby is one over-stylised spectacle of cut-and-pastiche, sonically, its soundtrack is the single smartest mash-up of retro and rap.
On one song, Bang Bang, rap artist will-I-am manages to merge elements of the Charleston with snippets of a Nancy Sinatra classic and a chorus of ‘bang, bang, bang’ that sounds like having come from the lips of Britney Spears.
Elsewhere on the soundtrack, Beyoncé covers Amy Winehouse; Emili Sandé covers Beyoncé; Lana Del Rey is fed through ProTools a dozen times; and the hippest of the hip are present: Gotye, Sia, Jack White, Florence & The Machine – it appears no hundred dollar bill was spared when it came to roping in the music industry’s latest and greatest.
All up, The Great Gatsby is an aural and visual delight that, while it mightn’t go down in the annals of cinema history as one of the most profound films of all-time, is certainly bound to become a (post)modern classic in itself.
See it for the grand spectacle that it is, and know to expect more artifice than original art. You’ll then appreciate it more than those realist putter-downers did.
The Great Gatsby hits cinemas May 30. To view the trailer, click here.
The soundtrack Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby is out now through Universal Music, available on iTunes.
After the first Hangover film featured a baby in tow – adding more chaos to our bad lads’ stack of troubles, and with the second having featured a cheeky monkey, I would have liked to have seen the third (and supposedly final) of the popular franchise incorporating a genuine canine into ‘The Wolfpack’. A cute puppy would have done it. Then they could have called the flick The Hangover III: Hair Of The Dog. Genius!
Indeed, there are no cutesy animal shenanigans in the latest Hangover instalment but instead in-yer-face animal cruelty. The opening scene sees loveable dumb-ass Alan (Zack Galifianakis) proudly towing a giant, real-life giraffe along a freeway when – whoopsies – the creature’s tall neck whacks into a bridge and its head gets torn off only to land smack-bang on the windscreen of an unsuspecting driver.
Sure, it’s likely that no animal was actually hurt in the making of the movie (thank you CGI) but the lack of sentiment is certainly evident and we’re pretty sure animal activist groups like PETA and the RSPCA would be up in arms about it all. But it has to be said, the scene – although somewhat sickening – is very, very funny.
Once you get past the anti-animalia antics (there’s also a scene where ‘cocaine-addled’ roosters are abruptly handled), audiences should find the endless escapades in The Hangover Part III well worth the laugh – a laugh for every cent of the admission price, practically.
The topsy-turvy plot sees evil criminal Chow (introduced to us in the first movie) escaping from an Asian prison, all Shawshank Redemption-style, only to end up in Mexico with a request sent out to gullible Alan to meet him south of the border to “catch up”.
In reality, what Chow wants to do is con the Wolfpack into committing his dirty crimes for him.
What follows is a cat-and-mouse game that sees the boys ending up in Vegas once more, pathetically trying to get into famed Caesar’s Palace from the roof so as to nab Chow and bring him to justice (it’s either that or death to one of their friends by a hefty Mafioso played perfectly by John Goodman).
Yes, all the usual suspects are here, including blue-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt Phil (Bradley Cooper) who pretty much instigates the whole thing by suggesting that Alan be sent to a retreat for rehabilitation (of course they’re detoured), and dodgy dentist Stu (Ed Helms) who gets his hands on enough illegally prescribed drugs that even Chow can sniff them from across a smoky karaoke room.
Familiar and predictable in parts? Sure. But that’s why audiences love comedies like this. We see the gag coming but just don’t think the guys on the big screen will actually do it. In The Hangover Part III the dumb dudes do it again and again. And again.
The Hangover Part III is in cinemas now.
Click on the image top of story to view the trailer.
One of the early pioneers of dubstep, ShockOne, aka: Karl Thomas, released his experimental anthem Adachigahara’s Theme back in 2009, quickly becoming a favourite in underground club circles.
Hailing from Perth but based in the UK, the artist has since gone on to deliver a string of successful singles that have become Beatport and iTunes number ones, with some of their videos hitting the million view mark on YouTube.
Add to this support from industry taste-makers including Pendulum, Knife Party, Matrix and Futurebound, and we’ve got a sure dance music winner on our hands.
Now, ShockOne is back in storming form, with a killer debut album, Universus which features the tracks Chaos Theory (big on bass), Harmonize (an uplifting drum’n’bass workout with an eastern tinge) and Lose Control (complete with vocoder vocals). There are plenty more, too, all in all making an album that’s good enough to have already hit number one on the iTunes Album and iTunes Dance charts.
Hear it and realise why.
One of the first records this scribe ever reviewed was LL Cool J’s I’m The Type Of Guy back in 1989. Yes, yes, I’m showing my age. Since then, the J has gone on to wreak havoc on MTV and Youtube, win a couple of Grammys and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Indeed, he’s the first rap artist to have amassed 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. And that’s impressive, to say the least.
Now LL Cool J returns with a new album, Authentic, which features a most diverse array of collaborators. Underscoring the album’s roots of “being born out of a true love of all music”, contributions come courtesy of Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Seal, Travis Barker, Eddie Van Halen, even ’70s R’n’B groovers Earth, Wind & Fire.
Says LL, “Collaborating with these myriad artists was an amazing experience and this album got me back to my roots and [so] is for fans across all generations who love real music too.”
Celebrating his 30th year in the music industry and spanning the genres of hip-hop, rock, club music and ballads, Authentic lives up to its name. Antonino Tati
Authentic is out through 429 Records / Universal Music.
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is one of those rites-of-passage films that leaves you feeling good, despite its plot focusing mainly on the downs of growing up. A moving tale mostly of love, loss and fear, its bottom line message that friends will always be there to get you through the tough times makes the movie’s main theme one of hope. And, by golly, if that doesn’t perk you up, the darn-good soundtrack sure will. Featured are tracks by artists as diverse as David Bowie (Heroes), Dexy’s Midnight Runners (Come On Eileen), New Order (Temptation) and Sonic Youth (Teenage Riot). Plus there are tracks by The Samples, Galaxie 500, The Innocence Mission, The Smiths (every shoe-gazer’s favourite), Cracker, XTC, the Cocteau Twins and Michael Brook rounding out one of the best soundtracks of late, albeit with a retro bent.
When it comes to reading up about the best of classic and up-and-coming music artistry, Cream would regularly turn to two publications, one on either side of the Atlantic. For British music and pop culture, we’d peruse The Face – now sadly defunct but, oh, how we’re glad we’ve kept every single copy for posterity’s sake.
For American, we’d turn to the ever-trusty Rolling Stone magazine.
The fact that the Australian edition of Rolling Stone recycled some of its big US brother’s content didn’t faze us too much, since the bulk of the mag has always honed in on excellent Aussie music.
Now, to celebrate four decades of the title in Oz, 150 of the greatest covers spanning four decades of Rolling Stone Australia will be touring the country and can be first seen at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum from this Saturday 20 April to Sunday 7 July 2013.
With the ever-so familiar masthead, designed by psychedelic artist Rick Griffin, and stunning photography by international luminaries like Annie Leibovitz and local pixmen, the collection is as much a museum-like experience as it is a pop cultural trainspotting exercise.
Cover features include Midnight Oil, Blondie, Madonna, Michael Hutchence, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Bono, The Beatles and even a naked-and-chained Miranda Kerr.
The exhibition is free.
For more information visit www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/museum.
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