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Friday, August 12, 2011

Studio Killers - Ode To The Bouncer

"Let me in or I'll get physical with you"

This is one of those songs that's been on my "needs to be posted on alienhits" list for a long time. I absolutely love it, but for whatever reason haven't come around to sharing it until today. While the trio's various webpages shroud their whereabouts in mystery, I believe this is a Danish/Scandinavian band. Correct me if I'm wrong, but even if they're actually from "London" and "Hawaii" as we're meant to believe, they have an extremely Danish sound. In fact, this track takes equal parts from two of my favorite Danish bands, Oh No Ono and Private. It's an incredibly catchy mix of plastic pop and dance, with influences both retro and futuristic. I don't think a better song has been written about bouncers. And if you haven't watched the video (below) yet, it's a must see. So creative/clever/funny/cool! Now if they'd only release a follow-up single. I want more.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the single here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars - First Three Chapters

Just a quick note to let you know that you can now read the first three chapters of my debut YA novel, on sale September 8th or available for presale here. If you like sci-fi/adventure/action, this one's for you!

Click to read the chapters here.


Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Okay, so I went from "why did this movie need to be made?" to "this actually looks pretty good" in the past few weeks, but now after seeing it I'm leaning more towards my initial impressions.

A lot of critics and viewers have seemed surprised that Rise of the Apes is as good as it is. That was part of the reason I started getting excited to watch it. And I think it is that good... for awhile. The first third is totally solid, setting up an ethical conflict with a lot of potential. Even more than that, the special effects are to be applauded. They're easily the best thing about the film. The motion capture technology (and acting work of Andy Serkis, who helped bring the apes alive) is nothing short of astounding. These creatures definitely don't feel digital, particularly the main ape, Cesar. In fact, he gives the central, most memorable performance in the film.

The problems start to appear in the sluggish second act. To me, at least, the inciting incident came a little too late and the aftermath (involving a horrible animal "shelter") eats up much of the movie (too much, imo). Sidenote: If you're a Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) fan, it's kind of fun to watch him attempt an American accent (which he sort of succeeds with). Then we get to the conclusion, which is where I finally made up my mind about the movie. The problem is, it's so inevitable that you're just waiting for it to come. And when it finally does, I was left a little underwhelmed. I mean, once you see the movie, you'll understand why Cesar was so angry that he needed to lash out at the humans (you'll be right there with him, trust me), but the whole "ape uprising" seemed a little drastic and out-of-nowhere to me. I don't know, maybe it was just me.

Even with all of these nitpicks, I'm still mildly recommending the movie. The opening third (and the effects) are so good that it makes it a solid rental. I don't think I'll ever watch it again, though. B-


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

"Baby you light up my world like nobody else"

As anyone whose read this blog for awhile knows, I was completely obsessed with last year's season of UK X-Factor. It was reality tv gold in so many ways, and I can't see any season matching it. One of the biggest reasons was the quality (and diversity) of the contestants. I'm glad to see Cher Lloyd doing so well in the charts, even though I despise her debut single. But she wasn't the act I was supporting the most anyway. To preface this, I'm not usually a fan of boybands. Their overly manufactured nature just doesn't appeal to me (I guess they're not really designed to appeal to me, anyway). But you can't deny when something special is happening. The formation of One Direction last season was definitely something special. Rarely has a group fit so well together. Look, personality, sound... it all worked from the beginning and still works now. It's a boyband I'm actually interested in! Today marks the debut of their first single and, like everything else, it works too. In fact, I'd be shocked if this didn't hit number one and stay there. Sometimes you hear a song, so poppy and cheesy and catchy, that just screams "number one single." A track like this is hard not to sing along to, regardless of your taste in music. It's like early Mcfly mixed with Glee mixed with a modernized The Monkees. It's completely ridiculous and cheesy, but don't we all need a bit of that sometime? And it's total boyband in the best way possible.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Preorder the single here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Fixers - Swimmhaus Johannesburg

"You're running so fast"

I heard this on the radio for the first time over the weekend and was instantly hooked. Researching the band further, it seems that this is a bit of a departure for them, aimed more at the dancefloor than their past work. They've yet to release a full album, and I'm hoping that when they do, it'll veer towards this sound. Swimmhaus Johannesburg might not be the most obvious pop song title, but once you hear this, you'll be unable to pry it from your head. the melody's completely strong and the warped vocals very interesting, but I think it's the touches of guitar that I like the most. The whole thing has an experimental vibe about it, but doesn't sacrifice accessibility. I think this will serve the band well. I can see them pulling a Foster The People and jumping from indie to mainstream pretty quickly.

Fixers - Swimmhaus Johannesburg by cooldelta

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the EP here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Martin Rolinski - Blame It On A Decent Matter

"What makes the wrongs right"

BWO is back! Well, not really, but they might as well be now that we've heard this song from their departing frontman. In a summer where Swedish pop has been more than disappointing, this is just the jolt that I needed. I'm so glad that Martin chose to keep the basic BWO sound for his debut single. His voice, coupled with dancefloor synths, is always unstoppable. It's, without a doubt, one of my favorite pop voices of the last decade. Now the song title... that's a different matter. As is often the case with English songs written in Sweden and performed by Swedish artists, the word choice is a little confusing (no finger pointing here... they do a lot better job than us Americans would probably do in a different language). I'm not sure what Martin's rattling on about in this track, but there are plenty of BWO songs like that, so it's easily overlooked. Besides, it's always interesting to try and decipher what a song's supposed to mean. But what matters here is the sound. And it's exactly what I've been craving.

Martin Rolinski - Blame It On A Decent Matter by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy BWO's greatest hits here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.