HENRY HANDBALL

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Not going to say too much about this as it’s probably the biggest sports news worldwide this week but I do want to express my astonishment at certain quarters who have been surprised at Henry’s conduct in this matter. Isn’t this the same Arse player who would constantly run to Spurs fans and taunt them whenever he scored in a NLD and get away with it? And isn’t this the same French player who cheated in the 2006 World Cup to get Spanish defender, Puyol (now his club captain!) sent off and earn France a free kick (from which they scored the winner!) Lest we forget… evidence below.

Thierry Henry is a cheat. Always has been. Glad to see that the football world is finally waking up to that fact.

LLOYD COLE LIVE IN SINGAPORE

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I arrived at the Esplanade Recital Studio in the early hours of Monday afternoon and was welcomed by the distracting noise of the Esplanade sound crew carrying out its microphone check. The purpose of my visit? To provide Lloyd with a couple of guitar stands! Anything to meet the man, I guess. He turned up, greying hair and slight paunch (like me, I guess) and proceeded to go about his sound check in a business-like manner. Armed with his two acoustic guitars, Lloyd sounded warm and pristine as the Recital Studio resounded with his baritone voice. Nice.

It didn’t take long for Lloyd to finish up what was required and Dinesh and I escorted him back to his hotel. Dinesh & I chatted for awhile before he had to meet up with his wife, Sylvia and by then it was two hours plus to the gig.

So there I was, macbook on my lap, in the Esplanade Concourse, typing out these words and trying to figure out how I will approach this review. I guess I could begin by referring to my love of Rattlesnakes, that magnificent debut LP of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. With literate words and folk-jazz arrangements, Rattlesnakes spent more than a fair amount of of time on my turntable in the early 80s. Or I could pontificate about how in the internet age, even obscure artists could turn their musical gift into a cottage industry of sorts. Or maybe I could write about how Chris Collingwood and Lloyd Cole are friends and live in the same area in the USA.

Whatever.

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I rather start with Tim Ellis. Tim is an Aussie Lloyd Cole fan who flew down to Singapore to sell Lloyd’s CDs. Mind you, Tim is a volunteer (!) and does so purely out of his love and passion for Lloyd’s music. Which to me says more about Lloyd’s music than a million press releases and glowing reviews. And… the 52 CDs that Tim brought with him were sold out during the half time interval between Lloyd’s two sets.

So here I am warm in the afterglow of Lloyd’s performance, listening to Lloyd’s recording of his Whelan (in Dublin) gig and whilst the CD is good in its own right, it cannot compare to a special intimate night with Lloyd as he shared songs from his early days with the Commotions, his middle period as a solo artist (and the Negatives) and his newer material.

Certainly, the songs he popularized with the Commotions eg Perfect Skin, Are You Ready to be Heartbroken (which Lloyd actually played twice for the folks who returned late after the break!!), Lost Weekend and the like, go down well with the sold out audience whilst latter-day solo material like My Other Life, Late Night Early Town, Old Enough To Know Better, Undressed, No More Love Songs, Unhappy Song, What’s Wrong With This Picture hit the spot every single time.

Personally, I found the set truly inspiring and its the sort of influential performance that make us musician-types wanna pick up a guitar and start playing. I am richer for having had the experience. Good enough reasons for re-visiting the music of this talented and distinctive singer-songwriter.

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Pix by Jonathan Kwa.

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – MARCHTWELVE

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(Answers by Joseph Roberts)

Who are Marchtwelve and how was it formed?

Marchtwelve are Joseph Roberts on guitars, Dewi Marie on vocals, Yuri Dahlan on bass, Helmi on drums and Beb on guitars. We were formed in March 12, 1999. It started out as The Marchtwelve Ensemble, but we dropped off the “ensemble” bit.

Who are the influences for Marchtwelve?

Starting out, we were pretty inspired by some late 90’s emo bands such as Texas is the Reason, The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, Ida, Denali, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Currently listening to a lot of Kaddisfly, Mutemath, Karnivool, and Mastodon.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Normally I’ll come up with the basic riff structures and melody lines for the song and I’ll work on it together with the band. Working on it means arguing with everyone in the studio. Dewi then does her vocals on top of the produced song. All arguments are left inside the rehearsal space.

Why do you play music?

Initially, it was for the love of the community we had back then. Everyone we knew and that knew us were playing music or involved in the scene in one way or another. There are revolving answers to this generic question, but all I can say is that I write music as a self realization of sorts.

Marchtwelve is in the process of recording a new album. What was involved in the recording process for the album?

In early June, the whole band flew up to Bandung Indonesia to record at Massive Studios. We were there for a week, recording 12-18 hours per day. The songs were all done and just needed to be tracked, but we re-did some part on the fly. The recording process involved a lot of satay kambing (goat), Richeese and Murtabak (indo style). And Special beer for me. It was a tedious but fun experience, a lot of artistic collision between members. We are heading back soon to complete the mixing and mastering process.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

Dewi often writes about daily experiences, based on relationships and friends. There wasn’t any specific theme behind the album, though if you’d run a word check on the songs, basic themes of love, emotion and desire come up.

Marchtwelve has played shows with many other bands in Singapore and the region. If you had a chance to collaborate with a band, who would it be and why?

On the local and regional front, I’d really want to collaborate with The Out Of Body Special from the Philippines. They’re pretty much doing what I’d want to play if I was a singer instead of a guitarist.

But would pretty much be set for life if I get to collaborate with Billy Corgan

What are the future plans for Marchtwelve?

Album release and playing regional shows next year. We are also working on our live sound and evolving into a more tight and comprehensive unit.

(Rebecca Lincoln)

Photograph is by Timothy Stuart Wee

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CONFESSIONS UPSIZED!

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A month after Taken by Cars and Chicosci shook up the *SCAPE Youth Centre Lab, *SCAPE is back with Confessions UpSized, featuring The Giant Sound of the South, Urbandub and Angulo from the Philippines, together with some of our most talented local bands.

The Giant Sound of the South will be back on Saturday after playing an overwhelming set last June 6 at Rock The Sub at the Substation. For the past few months, Urbandub have been in the studios recording their fifth studio effort, The Apparition, to be released under MCA Music Philippines.

Apart from this, the band has been playing numerous shows like the Sonic Boom 3rd Anniversary and a number of large-concerts scattered across the whole country. With the recent typhoons in the Philippines, they’ve also taken time out to play intimate shows like Sonic Shutdown to raise funds and gather supplies for the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that have devastated the metro and neighbouring provinces.  All of these, while also playing at a host of other corporate events and bar gigs around Metro Manila.

On Saturday, they’ll be playing some choice cuts from their massive fifth salvo, The Apparition, and a host of other songs from old albums, 2001’s Birth; 2004 NU Rock Awards’ Album of the Year, Influence; Gold-Record hitting, Embrace and the 2007 crossover hit, Under Southern Lights.

With a large and still growing following in the Philippines, Angulo have managed to make a name for themselves through the sheer amount of hard work and dedication they’ve put it to band. With regular performance with some of the biggest and most prominent production houses in the Philippines, they have played for some of the biggest shows in the Philippines, including Fete de la Musique, Myx Mo!, Pulp Summer Slam, MTV Summit and they were handpicked to open for New Jersey-based post-hardcore pioneers Thursday during their Asian Tour.

Following a successful debut release, Blur The White Lines in 2008, they’re back in the studios to record a new album, which promises to be more experimental while enabling them to broadening their niche market without alienating existing fans. Their second album would push the band further in their ability to showcase what Angulo are capable of achieving musically.

On the local front, we have some of the freshest talents playing alongside Urbandub and Angulo. Marchtwelve are back, having played numerous acoustic shows, Baybeats in 2007 and more recently, for Rev Up On Orchards in conjunction with STB for F1. They’re currently working on a full-length album, with recording happening in the middle of the year. Their debut album would be released sometime in March or April 2010.

West Grand Boulevard are no strangers to the scene, having played numerous show in Singapore and the Philippines. The quintet have played numerous shows in the Esplanade, including a Late Night @ Esplanade show at the Recital Theatre Singapore and Baybeats 2009, School Invasion Tours and the School Invasion Finale Tour and 98.7’s Life’s A Beach. They’ve also played in the Philippines for Sonic Boom 2nd Anniversary in 2008 and a Philippine tour earlier this year before ending the tour playing for Sonic Boom Sinulog Blast Off! 2009. After taking time out to record their full-length album, their album would be out by end of the year.

Following a China tour in June and self-releasing their Phoenix EP in July, Caracal are back with a fresher perspective and a larger sound. Following their China tour, their Phoenix EP was self-released in July 2009, consisting of songs from the band since their beginning in 2006. The long awaited EP is available at Straits Records Shop, *Scape and directly through the band. Back home, they’ve played for GNITE! Music Festival 2009 at Republic Poly, Electric Ballroom at Homeclub and the Nudge Charity Carnival at Sentosa Cove.

Silhouette’s immunity to categorization has allowed their music to evolve and not be based on a specific genre. With roots in modern rock and alternative music and with Incubus as a significant influence, Silhouette is a band that has garnered a lot of attention within the scene in recent months. Their music reaches out to people through personal emotions and feelings that a lot of bands fail to capture in their music. Their EP, Discover, was launched in January and the band is currently back in the studios working on their debut album with Leonard Soosay of Snakeweed Studios, whose passion and ability to see the bigger picture with his ears has benefited many local bands within our scene.

Come prepared to experience an unforgettable evening with Urbandub, Angulo, Marchtwelve, West Grand Boulevard, Caracal and Silhouette. Take it from me; you won’t be disappointed with the stellar line-up for Confessions Upsized. See you on Saturday!

Details:

Sat 21 Nov, 630pm till late

*SCAPE Youth Centre: Lab

$18 presale tix at www.onetickethub.com

$24 at the door including goodies!

(Rebecca Lincoln)


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Angulo

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Marchtwelve

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West Grand Boulevard

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Caracal

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Silhouette

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Latest Music Video of Urbandub’s song, The Fight Is Over.


POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – VERMILLION

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(Answered by Hafyz Tajuddin)

Who are Vermillion and how was it formed?

Initially, Egan, Roslan and I wanted to start a studio band. We got our first two demos done in TNT studios early 2007 but later decided to expand into a full band. We added Melvin Tee on bass and Adam Hammerson, after many changes to our drummer.

Who are the influences for Vermillion?

Most of what we put on the music as the “backbone” of the band will be metal, hardcore and punk, but we like to challenge ourselves musically. We’ve added more variations of rock, which brings out our essence. We’ve put Botch, Castles (previously known as Dear Arson), early stages of Comeback Kid, Every time I Die, Normajean, Pantera, Sick Of It All and Sky In Euphoria into Vermillion to make it our own.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Egan and Roslan on guitars, Adam is on Drums and Melvin for Bass. Lastly, my microphone and I go way back in time.

Why do you play music?

I may not lead the most dramatic life but in my brain, it’s War and Peace everyday. I may never express everything on tunes but I am sure that music has always been a positive form of release for many younger generations and me.

You’re in the process of releasing an EP. What was involved in the recording process for the EP?

It works both ways, sometimes I have a rhythm in my head and sing it out then Ross and Egan will play through the guitars. Other times, whatever comes out from my mouth only sounds good from my mouth. Then it would come to the next part, “Compromising”. I will always try my best to write the song at the same time the music is still in process so that whatever changes that are needed can be done there and then.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

I hate writing in a very direct manner. Elaborating on that will be I will always avoid writing the obvious and I don’t really feel any importance to make every line rhyme with the other. However, I cannot deny that sometimes, I do write direct lyrics. So far, what I’ve written is based on perspectives of the events happening to me and around me with many twists of words.

Vermillion has opened for Avenged Sevenfold and Misery Signals. How did it feel opening for them and did they give you any good advice?

Opening for Avenged Sevenfold and Misery Signals were the most overwhelming moments of our lives. Sadly we didn’t have the chance to talk to them in person but honestly, getting advice would not be the main thoughts in our heads if we managed to have a conversation with them.

Vermillion has played shows with many other bands in Singapore. If you had a chance to collaborate with a band, who would it be and why?

Definitely Castles (previously known as Dear Arson). I’ve always been inspired by them and working with them would just “RE-Inspire” me tenfold.

What are the future plans for Vermillion?

Our current EP is scheduled to be release in KL on the 26th of December and 16th January in *Scape.
Even as we are waiting for the EP to be out, we’re already preparing ourselves to complete a full-length album, which is planned (by will power, determination and a whole lot of time management) to be out late 2010. Do keep track of our official online sites for the up-to-date updates.

(Rebecca Lincoln)

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SPURS 2 SUNDERLAND 0

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How did Spurs beat Sunderland last night? Well, simply put, we scored two goals and the Black Cats did not manage even one. This, despite Harry Redknapp’s best attempts to sabotage a must-win home game which ultimately puts us back into the top four of the Premiership.

Spurs started the match with Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon still unavailable and so Redknapp opted for Crouch/Defoe upfront and a midfield diamond (ala Chelsea) with Keane as the point and Palacios, Jenas and Huddlestone covering the middle of the park. No place for Niko Krancjar again – although he has demonstrated he has more to contribute that either Jenas or Huddlestone on the left side of midfield.

This resulted in a torrid first half with Spurs barely managing to string any attacking plays together. In fact, they only had two shots at goal, one which rather luckily found the back of the net. Assou-Ekotto was given the freedom of the flank to float a good cross which Crouch knocked down and Keane bundled over the line after his first effort was blocked by Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon. How Sunderland did not score in that first half must have truly frustrated manager Steve Bruce.

Clearly the Spurs formation was not working but instead of bringing Krancjar on for Keane at the start of the 2nd half, Redknapp reverted to a traditional 4-4-2 but with Keane on the left side of midfield. This was a disaster waiting to happen and when Gomes was adjudged to have fouled Darren Bent in the box, it looked odds on to be the beginning of the end for Spurs. However, all the pre-match publicity about Bent’s return must have got to him as he totally fluffed his penalty kick and Gomes was able to celebrate a memorable save. For Bent, it capped a miserable day for him as he did nothing to prove that Redknapp was mistaken to release him from the Spurs ranks.

Finally with 30 minutes left on the clock, Kranjcar replaced Keane and immediately Spurs looked a different team and after Kranjcar found Defoe lurking with intent just outside the Sunderland box, Defoe held up play well to set up the erstwhile ineffectual Huddlestone who finished with power and aplomb.

Game over? Not according to Sunderland who manfully pounded the Spurs goal but found Gomes in impervious form even when his defenders were losing their heads around him. Undoubtedly, the man of the match, Gomes showed enough awareness, assurance and agility to justify his acquisition from PSV Eindoven last close season.

With Manchester City once again dropping points, Spurs sneaked into the top four – totally unmerited if based on this performance – but with Modric and Lennon returning soon, Spurs fans can at least take heart from the fact that winning when you’re playing poorly is the mark of a winning mentality, which – whatever his faults may be with choice of tactics – at a minimum, Redknapp has injected into this Spurs team.

PREVIEW: SPURS v SUNDERLAND

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Darren Bent returns to White Hart Lane as one of the Premiership’s top scorers with his new club, Sunderland, perhaps with a point to prove. But for Spurs, this game represents more than that. Since Luka Modric was injured against Birmingham, Spurs has lost 4 of the last 7 (yes, 3 of them to the “Big Four” mind) and has in fact not scored in the last 2, which for Spurs is alarming when you consider the attacking talent available.

Not only that, but the pathetic display against the Gooners last week has left a bad taste in the mouth of Spurs’ fans and threatens to derail the now-dimming bright start the team has made to the season.

Sunderland, as I had predicted, has turned out to be a dark horse in the premiership so far this season, and will prove a stern test for a Spurs team bent (sorry) on winning. Spurs will have to play to their strengths (attacking, of course!) and hopefully, get rid of those annoying (and disastrous) individual errors which plagued the last two defeats.

Good news is that Jermain Defoe will be back after suspension to add pace and guile upfront – and should be paired with Peter Crouch, unless Robbie Keane has a clause in his contract preventing him from being dropped. In addition, Aaron Lennon is 50-50 on returning from injury which will be a tremendous boost. Probably, Bentley will start and Lennon will come on in the second half. For the rest of the midfield, Kranjcar must return and Bale should be given a chance too as Jenas and Huddlestone have looked decidedly ordinary of late.

Spurs have a relatively good record against Sunderland (last season’s defeat nothwithstanding) and should shade this contest. But expect Spurs to make it difficult on us fans until the final whistle. As usual.

COYS!!!

JEREMY

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JEREMY Journey to the Center of the Heart (Jam)

Jeremy Morris is another powerpop stalwart that Power of Pop has had the honor of reviewing for close to a decade and I must admit that this latest release from the ever prolific Mr Morris may be his best yet! Sure, Jeremy never quite strays from the formula viz. jangly Byrdsy guitars, sunshiney melodies, happy positive lyrical concepts and a vocal approach that is halfway between Lennon and McGuinn – but if that’s what you dig, well, Jeremy delivers consistently EVERY time.

Extremely 60s-centric in material source, songs like the gorgeous title track, the chiming Vanity Fare, the reverent Church of Byrds (a brilliant evocation), the raucous (for Jeremy anyway!) No More Lies and the dreamlike Sailing Homeward are reasons enough to give Jeremy’s latest a go.

For fans of the Beatles and the Byrds (circa ’65), Journey to the Center of the Heart is indispensable!

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+/- {PLUS/MINUS} LIVE IN SINGAPORE

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+/- {PLUS/MINUS}

w/ Amateur Takes Control

Date: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009

Doors open: 7:30pm

Venue: HOME Club, The Riverwalk, B1-01/06 20, Upper Circular Road, Singapore 058416

Tickets: S$40 (Includes 2 Standard Drinks) Available for purchase online from KittyWu Records.

Tickets at the door on event day: $50 (Includes 2 Standard Drinks)

ROXY MUSIC

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MORE THAN THIS: THE STORY OF ROXY MUSIC (Eagle Rock)

If you’re a serious rock scholar, then it would be amiss for you to ignore the undeniable influence of Roxy Music on what passes for modern rock nowadays e.g. the post-punk revival, dance pop & electronica. Which makes this DVD an essential purchase for every PoP visitor.

Filled with interviews with the main players viz. Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Brian Eno, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson and well-known fans viz Bono (U2), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Martyn Ware (Human League/Heaven 17), Siouxsie (the Banshees), Niles Rodgers (Chic), More Than This is a brilliant summary of and introduction to the genius of Roxy Music.

Evolving from an art-rock combo to a slick & sophisticated commercial force, the group (with its creative nucleus of Ferry, Manzanera and Mackay) would end its recording career in 1982 with a high, the amazing tour de force that was Avalon. Apparently a new album is in the works but in the meantime, check out this DVD and pick up those 8 wonderful Roxy Music albums.

Some of my favorite Roxy Music below.

Remake/Remodel from the eponymous debut album.

Editions of You from the For Your Pleasure album.

Love is the Drug from Siren

Oh Yeah from Manifesto

More Than This from Avalon

ARSENAL 3 SPURS 0

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Back to back defeats has taken the shine off Spurs’ bright start to the season. One might argue that Spurs were unlucky against Stoke last week but against the Auld Enemy, Spurs let down their fans with a pathetic display. After more or less shutting up the vaunted Arsenal passing game for 40 minutes, a lapse of concentration results in a Van Persie goal at Gomes’ near post. But even more criminally, Spurs switch off at the kick off and Fabregas beats a slew of Spurs defenders to convert a quick second.

Game over? Well, considering that Spurs recovered from 2-4 down to salvage a point last season and the fact that in their last game, Arsenal threw away a 2 goal lead against West Ham, the game was still there to be played. Unfortunately, Spurs continued to plod along without any thrust and to rub salt into the wound, again lost concentration and fatally hesitated when the referee waved play on and somehow the cross beat both Gomes and King for Van Persie to finish.

Was the scoreline flattering to Arsenal? In a sense, because Arsenal did not play well enough to deserve it but certainly Spurs played badly enough to warrant being beaten by that score. No doubt, Spurs missed Modric, Defoe and Lennon but really the players Spurs had on the pitch should have done much better. Much better.

Disappointing but rather typical and expected at the end of the day.

WOLFMOTHER

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WOLFMOTHER Cosmic Egg (Universal)

“Rock n roll is here to stay/It will never die”

Okay, I’m gonna make this short and to the point. It’s hard to be less than impressed by Wolfmother’s new album (their sophomore effort) being as it is, nothing more than a fascimile of all the Led Zep and Sabbath albums they’v e been listening to. I mean its well and good to be influenced by your heroes but surely this is too derivative for comfort? And isn’t 10,000 Feet a piss-poor attempt at mimicking Kashmir? C’mon!

Are we so starved of “genuine” commercial hard rock now that critics welcome with open arms any half-baked, two-bit hard rock band? I mean, if this had come out in the 70s, Wolfmother would not have made a dent on a rock scene that included such dynamic bands as Deep Purple, Free, Budgie, KISS and of course Led Zeppellin and Black Sabbath.

But seriously folks, whilst Cosmic Egg isn’t a bad album per se – tracks like Far Away and Violence of the Sun do possess certain redeeming features – its just not “original” or “distinctive” enough in my book to merit any high praise.

PREVIEW: ARSENAL v SPURS

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The big one. Spurs do not have a good record away to the Arse, so a point at the Emirates will be a point gained. On the team front, Defoe is suspended and Modric is still injured, whilst King and Woodgate will have late fitness tests to determine if they can start.

The big story, of course, is the return of ex-Arsenal player David Bentley. After his goal of the season contender in the corresponding fixture in 2008-2009, it looked like good things were in store for Bentley. Unfortunately, that goal was the highlight of Bentley’s season as his form dipped sharply and he was relegated to a bit player in the Spurs squad.

Well, with the injury to Lennon and an encouraging performance in the 2-0 Carling Cup win over Everton (highlights below), Bentley is expected to start against his former club with a thing or two to prove. With both teams locked on 19 points (although the Arse have a game in hand), it’s yet another early test of this Spurs team’s realistic chances of doing well in 2009-2010.

I reiterate – a point would be good enough for me. But a win…. would be legendary. COYS!!!

BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS

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Bucketfull of Brains is the only other place to find my music writing. Intrigued? Well, BoB is a great indie fanzine focusing mainly on powerpop and alt-country bands and artists. Like most other indie zines, its had a hard time financially in the last couple of years so here’s an earnest plea from editor Nick West.

“This is the cover of Bucketfull #73. It features Lucky Soul, The Drones, John Wesley Harding. Adventures In Sound, Rob Symmons, Roky Erickson, Peter Holsapple, Big Star, along with all the usual stuff. It will be published very soon.

But it’s been something of a struggle to get out. Not from content which we’re overflowing with, but finance. For reasons too convoluted and drawn out to rehearse here, though we will put a resume up on the blog shortly, we have been broke and hand-to-mouth (if that) for the last two years or more. How we’ve been able to survive is through our loyal subscribers, many of whom have stuck with us over more than a decade. But most of their current investment is dead, either spent on previous issues or the basic infrastructure of BoB .

So we’ve thought about what we can do to get a bit more cash. In fact to gather enough reserves to ensure we can pay for the next three magazines without even needing to solicit advertising. After doing a bit of basic maths we’ve realised that this is possible to achieve with 400 new subscribers. We suspended subscriptions about 18 months ago due to the uncertainty of continuance but we’re now reopening them in a revised fashion.

So from now Three Issue Subscriptions are now open. For the UK it’s £8.50, for Europe £11.50, and USA and ROW £14.50. You can start with #73, or with #72 (the Jesse Hector cover). Please pay by PayPal (it is easy to sign up for, as a number of our friends can now attest) to the usual email (bucketfull@blueyonder.co.uk).

The reality is that if you’ve ever thought of subscribing to Bucketfull Of Brains now is the time to do it; certainly in England it’s going to cost around the same as three beers. We do sadly have to pass on carriage costs to our overseas readers, but in most places it is the only way you’ll be able to get it for a while.

Lastly we would ask you to circulate this on to all and any remotely relevant mailing lists or contacts you have or have access to. It’s our 30th anniversary year and we would like to see 31, and while we wouldn’t be quite ready to call ourselves an institution our continued existence does keep the editors out of one.

Thanks for your support over the years.”

Go on, support the BoB…

SAY ANYTHING

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Say Anything was significant for being Cameron Crowe’s debut film as director and John Cusack’s breakout movie as well. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything… as the greatest modern movie romance.

Well, Say Anything 20th Anniversary Edition arrives on Blu-ray Disc (for the first time!) and DVD on November 3.  Starring John Cusack, Ione Skye and John Mahoney, and with an eclectic soundtrack featuring the classic In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel as well as Cult of Personality by Living Colour, Taste the Pain by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stripped by Depeche Mode and more, it is a must-have for movie and music lovers alike!  You can sample the soundtrack here.

JON AUER/CHEAP STAR

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JON AUER/CHEAP STAR Two for the Money (Z&Zoe)

Here’s a cool tidbit from France. A split CD between the legendary Jon Auer (the Posies, of course) and French powerpoppers Cheap Star. Six cool tracks altogether, three each from Auer and Cheap Star make Two for the Money a nice acquisition for fans of 90s powerpop.

Cheap Star’s contribution is steeped in 90s jangle pop and college rock, informed by Neil Young, the Byrds, REM, the Posies et al, which maintains your interest without relying on being (too) derivative. Jon Auer, on the other hand, comes across like the master with his acoustic-based, electronic keys-infused tracks full of sophistication and populist charm.

Any music that Auer produces is worth your time…so come and get it.

Jon Auer’s Myspace

Cheap Star’s Myspace

PREVIEW: SPURS v STOKE

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A week before the North London derby, Spurs face emerging Stoke City at the Lane with the opportunity to start the match against the Arse above them in the table. On paper, of course, those three points should be there for the taking. Last week’s game at Pompey highlighted Spurs defensive frailties – though King was majestic as usual – yet Spurs still got the victory.

So, if nothing else, Harry Redknapp seems to have shaped this Spurs team into winners and despite rather middling performances at times, manages to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Mind you, this is much better than playing well and losing! Stoke will provide a stern test of course but are less dangerous on their travels, thus Spurs must take advantage.

With Defoe suspended, Crouch has the opportunity to impress once again. The key question is again, Robbie Keane. The Irishman has – notwithstanding his four goals against Burnley in the last home game – been poor by his own standards and surely, fit-again Pavlyuchenko must be knocking on the door for inclusion.

Stoke has strengthened its squad rather smartly with Huth, Tuncay & Diao coming in and their impressive start to the season (9th in the table!) is a tribute to manager Tony Pulis’ ability. Therefore, it will not be an easy game by any means but if Spurs can get a grip on the match with their quick passing attacking play and hit Stoke early, it could be a rout. If not, and the ponderous, plodding Spurs turn up, then it will be a close one.

COYS!!!

A SIDE SHOW

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This weekend, we’ll be in for a musical smorgasbord coming from *SCAPE as an eclectic variety of bands from the Philippines and Singapore come together for *SCAPE PRESENTS A SIDE SHOW.

Having graced our sunny shores in August as part of the Baybeats lineup, Taken by Cars will be back with fellow Pinoys, Chicosci, this Saturday at *SCAPE’s Lab for a show presented by *SCAPE and Wake Me Up Music.At Baybeats, Taken by Cars wowed the Singaporean audience with their fun and upbeat music from their first album, Endings Of A New Kind. Citing their musical influences to Electro, Indie and New Wave, you can’t go wrong with music this good, especially when The Fire Fight’s front man, Josh, danced to most of their songs.

Having recently released their 5th album, Fly Black Hearts, Chicosci are back in Singapore for the 3rd time and better than ever! Their popularity in the region and the Philippines has been growing since they started out, winning for them Favorite Artist of Philippines from MTV Asia last year.

They’ll be sharing the stage with our local favorites, Plainsunset and The Fire Fight, representing our best in punk rock and indie respectively. With successful tours in the Philippines, Plainsunset are back with their exhilarating stage performances and their inspiring songs.

Following the SOLD OUT launch of Henri, our favourite quartet have been gigging regularly, having played for Ben Sherman, Gap and the Esplanade.

It’ll be an interesting mish mash of music featuring a few of the best bands Singapore and the Philippines have to offer from their respective genres. I look forward to the musical smorgasbord, and interviewing Chicosci before the gig.

Details:
Sat 24 Oct. Doors open 730pm
*SCAPE Youth Centre: Lab
$18 entry
Limited tickets!
( CONTACT _Con-3936AC451 \c \s \l Rebecca Lincoln)

Taken By Cars
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Chicosci
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Plainsunset
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The Fire Fight
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Latest Music Video of Chicosci’s song, Diamond Shotgun.

Latest Music Video of Taken by Car’s song, Shapeshifter.

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – THE CAMERAWALLS

The-Camerawalls

(Answers by Clementine)

Who are The Camerawalls and how was it formed?

The band comprises of Ian Sarabia, Law Santiago and myself. It was formed after my stint with Orange & Lemons (a short lived local pop sensation), with an ardent desire to channel whatever creative juices left in my system with the help of two long time friends and aficionados back in 2007.

Who are the influences for The Camerawalls?

Our obvious influences include The Beatles, The Smiths and various guitar pop bands from the 80s and 90s.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Ian occasionally co-writes and shares eureka moments with me but spends more time behind the drum kit. Law is our silent lucid bassist. I’m the melody maker and chief songwriter of The Camerawalls. I do vocal duties and perform the following instruments on our recordings: acoustic/electric guitars, the indigenous octavina and banduria.

Why do you play music?

Aside from the usual rationale like money and fame, we play music as a creative outlet to give a home to our songs, including exciting ideas and musical prospects. Performing also refines our act and gives us a lot of contacts. We see it as a profession but at the end of the day, we do it because it’s fun. Our music will eventually stagnate if we do not play it. Personally, I do this as a legacy. When you’re worn out and old, it’s nice to look back 20 or 30 years knowing you did something special, if not great.

Your previous album, “Pocket Guide To The Other World,” released in July 2008, was well received in the Philippines. Any plans to record another album? And if there were plans, any idea what it would sound like? Would it be very different from “Pocket Guide To The Other World,”?

We just recorded two new songs intended for a compilation album under Lilystars Records, my indie record label, entitled “The Sight of Love” and “Longevity.” It’s just a matter of time before we release it, maybe before Christmas when everything gets back to normal after a couple of deadly typhoons, which placed the Philippines under a state of calamity. A new full-length album is also in the works come 2010. It’s not a habit of mine to repeat what I did from previous works, so it’s safe to say that the sound would definitely evolve.

What was involved in the recording process for the album?

Normally, the lyrics come first. It’s much easier to put proper dynamics, melody and arrangement to a song when you already know what you will be singing about.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

For “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld,” the lyrics are very personal. It was mostly related to current experiences and sentiments during the times we were developing the album and the band. Some of the lyrics hide facts behind profound words while others portray real emotions. We try to be real as much as we can and challenge ourselves in the process.

How much has changed since the album was released?

A lot has changed. We are happier now, more confident and very open to different musical stylings. We are still promoting the debut album and doing a lot of small gigs. Being indie gives us limited exposure and attention. A lot of people haven’t heard of us yet and we try to reach out to as many people as we can. And we hope this Power of Pop interview will make a difference. 🙂

Do you have any plans to play in Singapore?

We were once invited to play in Esplanade by a local promoter from the Philippines a few months ago but our bassist encountered problems with his passport so we were regretfully unable to make it. Given another opportunity, we won’t say no to playing in Singapore or the neighboring Asian countries.

What’s the future plans for The Camerawalls?

Our long-term plan would be to release and record 10 albums. 1 down, 9 to go. We also want to perform in at least 20% of the total number of countries in the world. There are more or less 195 countries in the world, which gives us a figure of around 40 countries. 1 down, 39 to go. 🙂

(Rebecca Lincoln)

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MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH (THE LAWYER’S CUT)

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MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH (THE LAWYER’S CUT”)
(Eagle Rock)

Anyone who is a serious student of pop culture would be aware of Monty Python – a group of British comedy writers-performers who changed the face of comedy in the late 60s and the 70s. Consisting of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, the late Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam first came to prominence with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a BBC TV series that ran from 1969 to 1974. After the demise of the TV show, the group moved into film and produced the critically acclaimed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the controversial Life of Brian and the Meaning of Life.

Almost the Truth is a 6-part comprehensive documentary series detailing the history of the Pythons. The doc includes interviews with all the Pythons (even the dead one – as the box irreverantly states) along with prominent folk who have been “touched” by the Pythons work viz. Dan Ackroyd, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green as well as snippets of the TV show and the movies.

Now into their 60s, the Pythons are separately interviewed to give the skinny behind the origins of the group, the popular sketches and of course the movies. Its all good fun, of course, and an excellent reminder of why there is still so much fuss made about Monty Python. If you’ve never even heard of Monty Python, then this DVD is a good introduction and once your appetite is properly whetted, go and check out the complete TV series and the three movies (which are all available on DVD). You will not regret it…

PREVIEW: PORTSMOUTH v SPURS

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All the press has been about Harry Redknapp’s return to his former stomping ground. But really, its all about the need for 3 points at polar opposites. Pompey need points to get off the bottom of the table and Spurs will be desperate to maintain their good start.

From a Spurs perspective, this has to be a must-win with Pompey having lost every single home match thus far this season. But with the obvious hostile reception to be faced by ex-Portsmouth players like Defoe, Crouch and Kranjcar, not to mention Redknapp, of course, much will depend on whether the Spurs team will rise to the challenge or wilt under the pressure.

Spurs have been exceeding all expectations with their recent form and although Palacios will not be starting, I think the Spurs team will indeed give a good account of themselves and hopefully bag another 3 points.

COYS!!!

THE POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – RIVERMAYA

Rivermaya

(Answers by Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar and Jayson Fernandez)

Who are Rivermaya and how was it formed?

Rivermaya is Mark Escueta (drums, vocals), Mike Elgar (guitars, vocals), Japs Sergio (bass, vocals) and Jayson Fernandez (vocals, guitars).

Mark: In 1993, our original manager wanted to form a show band but that didn’t work because we had written original songs so the direction of the band changed because of that. When we open for The Eraserheads, the band mates and I chose the name Rivermaya for that gig and it stuck.

Who are the influences for Rivermaya?

Mark: Collectively, Radiohead, The Beatles and U2 influence us. Personally, when I was starting out, I listened to a lot of the music from The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Toto.

Jayson: Pop-rock music, Linkin Park and Queen.

Mike: When I was much younger, I listened to Incubus, Van Halen, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and a lot of guitar-based music.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Mark: The decisions we make as a band have to be unanimous. The team makes decisions for everything, like how songs would sound like. Anyone can do anything but our decision-making is always unanimous. Most of us are multi-taskers who are open to opinions and inputs from the others. We value the opinions of each other and try and come to a compromise if needed. I also do the graphic designs for the band.

Mike: We’re all team players.

Jayson: I do the t-shirt designs.

Why do you create music?

Mark: We love to play own musical instruments (Mark started playing the drums at 11 years old and Jayson singing in public at 6 or 7 years old). We enjoy what we do and love performing live and doing music. As a band, we have great chemistry, which makes it easy to create music. We always try to create something new every time, and it keeps it fresh and always exciting. Music is our personal expressions about life and experiences we’ve faced.

Jayson: I can’t live without it.

Mike: I discovered music at 6 years old and started playing the guitar at 10. We’ve sacrificed a lot to live our dream.

Are there themes for each album that’s released and how do you decide what goes into a new album?

Mark: There are no central themes which each album we release; the theme usually comes as the songs come together. Each person comes up with songs that are based on a certain mood and our releases are also dependent on what came out previously. We try and make albums that are different from the previous ones.

An example would be when we released a tribute album of ’80s Filipino bands that were very talented but overlooked during their time. We rerecorded their songs as a way to share our rich musical history with the current generation. Technology is better now and has helped played a big part in helping us to stay true to the ’80s vibe. We also split the vocals duties between the members for our last album, which is not a common occurrence.

How long does it take to produce an album?

Mark: A lot of it depends on how quickly the individual sounds are done. The fastest time we’ve taken to record and rehearse and album has been 2 months. The songs are roughly written before hand but sometimes, it can take you 2 years to record an album.

Mike: It can take 5 months just to record the album alone!

Why release a free album online?

Mark: For our 6th album, we released it online for free. It was something we’ve always wanted to do and a lot of musicians think it’s the way it’s supposed to be, music being heard by a large group of people. The biggest challenge was not earning so there wasn’t a marketing budget and there were problems along the way. Technology was a big help and it was a great feeling throwing albums into the crowd.

Did you start out expecting to be big?

Mark: Nope, we started out as a college studio for a hobby. It’s still a hobby that we enjoy with all the performances in small clubs and playing during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. Our music enables people to enjoy themselves and at the end of the day, work ends up being play.

How does it feel playing regionally for festivals?

Mark: it’s an honour to be invited to perform there. It’s different from the usual gigs because we get to meet other artists and learn from them. Sharing cultural differences has also been fulfilling when meeting other people from other regions. Music is a universal message and it’s worth what one went through. Because of that, it inspires us to write new songs and create new albums.

Your music has been featured on Star World for Heroes. Are you fans of the show and how did it happen?

Mark: We were surprised and we didn’t know it had been chosen to be the on TV until people started texting and we saw it for ourselves. It coincided with promotional activities for our song, ‘You’ll Be Safe Here’ with Warner Asia Pacific. During that time, it took several English songs to come up with an Asian Compilation album. The music video for that song was shot in Jakarta and it received a lot of airplay in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. That song started it off when it was performed during the MTV Asia Awards 2006, where Kelly Rowlands introduced us! We did rounds promoting album in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, and had TV guestings as well, which was great!

How different is it playing here and back home?

Jayson: Different preparations are needed whenever we play in a different country.

Mark: We have to prepare more English songs because of the audience here but we still play Filipino songs and there’s still the element of fun.

Mike: There are lots of similarities between playing here and back home, be it the similarities in performances or the way we do things. A major difference is the people who don’t speak Tagalog. We worked hard and people have noticed us because of the effort we’ve put in. Performing overseas feels special, it’s something that’s unattainable back home and there is more appreciation for Tagalog songs. Overseas, we perform songs that are not usually played back home.

What are the future plans of Rivermaya?

Mike: We recently just released an album and we’ll be doing album promotions and a video over the next few months. We have plans for a Philippine tour & a few other places. We want to continue making music as a band.

Mark: We’re thinking of ways to make it available elsewhere.

Jayson: We’re in the midst of promoting the new album.

(Rebecca Lincoln with Ranne Sanedrin)

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THE BEATLES BOX OF VISION

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The Beatles Box Of Vision® is the deluxe companion to the newly re-mastered Beatles CDs, and will be available as the ultimate Beatles gift in the UK and Europe this Christmas from www.BoxOfVision.com and www.HardDaysNightShop.com, plus select retailers.

Click here for the official full colour UK press announcement.

Officially licensed by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd., the stunning collection, previously only available in North America, includes the following Beatles’ collectible content: The first book in the box is the LP Sized Album Artwork Book includes 200 pages of the Beatles’ LP artwork – the first time all the Beatles’ UK and US album artwork has been collected together in one LP sized book. The Album Artwork book includes front and back covers, gatefolds, inserts and the complete LP booklets from Magical Mystery Tour and many more.

The second book, ‘The Catalography’, is an extensive, all-new, full-colour guide jam-packed with photos, text and track-listings providing the first-ever side-by-side presentation of the U.K. albums and their U.S. counterparts.

The third book is entitled the ‘The Box of Vision Storage Book” – a highly collectible, unique and stylish way for Beatles fans to organize and display all 32 discs of The Beatles’ core catalog. Beatles fans will have the opportunity to insert CDs and booklets from their existing Beatles collections or the recently released digitally re-mastered versions.

Ideal for fans, collectors and Christmas gift giving, all three Beatles books are housed in an elegant black, linen-covered box with silver embossed Beatles logos and faux Beatles LP spines. The 13” x 13” box features the iconic image of The Beatles photographed by Robert Freeman.

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – THE AMBASSADORS

the_amba

Who are The Ambassadors?

Bai: The Ambassadors are Bai Nuñez (vocals, guitars), Joseph Agura (bass, backing vocals), Dennis Suarez (drums) and Chris Janulgue (guitars, backing vocals).

How was The Ambassadors formed?

Bai: We were friends in high school and liked punk rock from the 1990s.

Why do you play music?

Bai: Without music, my life would be incomplete.

Joseph: My grandfather was once in a band and that inspired me to be in one.

Dennis: Music was something I inherited from my great, great, great grandfather who used to play in a disco.

Chris: It’s one of the things I do very well.

What are The Ambassador’s influences?

Bai: 80’s pop, 90’s punk rock, everything.

Joseph: Anything heavy.

Dennis: Punk rock.

Chris: Pinoy rock, and the common influence for the band being punk rock.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Bai: It was my first time as a vocalist because the previous vocalist left after the third album. It was the first for all of us so it was different for all of us. Chris was also a recent addition to the band.

Chris: I was a friend for a long time with the band mates while I played for other bands before joining The Ambassadors.

What’s involved in the recording process of the latest album?

Bai: It starts with basic chords and then lyrics are added. It’s then introduced to the band mates and additions are included. Like any band, there are conflicts over areas such as food but we’ve learnt to be open-minded and compromise. It was the first album that was recorded in Manila so that itself was a different experience altogether.

How much has changed since the last album?

Bai: The songwriting process because the lyrics take on a different style. We started with chords, and then added the lyrics, and it was the first album with effects. The lyrics are about personal experiences and struggles as a band and of life experiences. We moved away from writing love songs for the album.

How does it feel playing in Singapore?

All: We enjoy playing here and we love the food! We played here last year for 3 days with Urbandub.

What’s the difference playing in Singapore compared to the Philippines?

The crowd’s different, there are new faces, the stage equipment’s different from what we have back home and everything’s very professional.

What’s in store for The Ambassadors in future?

Bai: We recorded the video for our song, ‘At The Hospital’ and it’s already out on channels in the Philippines. We also hope we’ll be able to come back again to play a show.

Chris: We definitely want to come back.

(Rebecca Lincoln)

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CALIFORNICATION: THE FIRST SEASON

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CALIFORNICATION: THE FIRST SEASON

As cable TV allows actors, writers, producers and directors to throw off the restraint of mainstream viewing sensibilities and delve into um meatier subject matters, the quality of TV is now easily outstripping film in many ways. With the luxury of time to develop characters and plots – not to mention the freedom to express human behaviour without censorship concerns, talented creators have in the past couple of years produced such wonderful shows as The Sopranos, The Wire, Dexter, Battlestar Galactica, The Tudors and others.

Californication is a dramedy detailing the misadventures of troubled writer Hank Moody (David Duchovny), whose move to to LA, coupled with his writer’s block, complicate his relationships with his ex-girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone) and 12-year-old daughter Becca (Madeliene Martin). Along the way, Moody has to deal with Karen’s fiancee Bill (Damien Young), Bill’s daughter Mia (Madeline Zima), his agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) and a bevy of one-night stands.

Bascially, Moody is an addict – drink, drugs, sex, cigarettes, you name it, Moody does it. And he’s an asshole as well. Cynical as hell and not afraid to speak his mind. Which is a superb receipe for loneliness. And that is Moody’s main problem – he’s hollow and empty inside and he tries to escape from his personal hell by filling it with every hedonistic whim possible. The one thing that keeps him alive is his family – Karen and Becca – and even that is slowly slipping away due to Karen’s impending marriage to Bill and the formation of a new family nucleus, which excludes Moody.

This first season of Californication is pretty much self-contained and it seems to resolve Moody’s dilemmas at the denouement with a pseudo “happy ending” but throughout the season, you will be assaulted with vulgar language, debauched conduct and twisted intentions but despite all that (or because of it) Californication has more heart and soul (and morality!) than the movie of the week on the Hallmark Channel. It succeeds because the creators do not flinch from telling “realistic” stories as they see it and permitting the plots to flow through to “logical” conclusions. Bottom line is that the series is about family, relationships and the meaning of “love” in a world without soul.

The performances are all top class, Duchovny gives Moody a likable charm despite his flaws (which are Legion), McElhone plays Karen with a sensitive steel and smoky appeal, Martin provides a depth and maturity that belies Becca’s relative youth whilst Zima (whom I remember as a little girl on the Nanny) plays the sex-crazed 16-year-old Mia who haunts Moody’s every misstep.

Oh, and I almost forgot, as if all that wasn’t enough… the music selection is simply note-perfect! E.g. the Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want during Moody’s opening dream sequence, My Morning Jacket’s version of Rocket Man at the outro of the pilot and Steve Earle’s Reconsider Me and many more nuggets

Remember, folks, there’s loads of naked people coupling and nasty talk throughout this series so if that upsets you then Californicaton is not for you. Be warned!

Season one promo below…