PRINCE OF PERSIA

Based on the popular video game and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina, Prince of Persia – the movie – hopes to tap into the same audience that forked out millions for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. After all, Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer is also behind Prince and thus, we can expect loads of adventure, romance and special effects. Personally, I tend to balk at video game adaptations (weak stories mainly) and the trailer looks underwhelming. Guess we’ll will have to wait and see. Prince of Persia opens on 28th May.

SOUND + VISION

Lady Gaga Telephone Parody (ft Beyonce): Key of Awesome #17

This parody of Lady Gaga’s new music video – Telephone – is simply hilarious and “tells” you all you need to know about the controversial vid. The song itself is rather witty as well. Love it!!!

ALMOST CHARLIE

From Words On Music

Berlin’s Almost Charlie has released its debut music video its acclaimed new record The Plural of Yes.

Love Condensed is an animated short film that follows the protagonist on an otherworldly journey rich with symbolism and images both eye opening and heartrending.

“Love Condensed” is the first single off The Plural of Yes. The album, a cunning blend of gifted melodies and chamber pop atmospherics, is the offspring of a transatlantic songwriting duo who, to this day, have never met (singer/guitarist Dirk Homuth in Berlin, and lyricist Charlie Mason in New York City).

With The Plural of Yes, Almost Charlie puts its stamp on one of 2009’s essential works in indie-pop. Homuth is a connoisseur of timeless pop craftsmanship – distilling the heady years of AM-radio splendor, from Bacharach to The Beatles, into 13 addicting indie-pop coated pills.

####

IMOGEN HEAP

Airing on Jan. 13 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, “Embedded” goes behind the scenes with the UK’s queen of ethereal electro-pop, Imogen Heap, as the singer/songwriter performs her new album “Ellipse” live for the first time.

More info at Embedded.

Imogen Heap will be performing at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Monday, 29th March at 9pm. Tickets available at SISTIC.

MAPLE MARS

This is a video of New Day from Maple Mars’ forthcoming album Galaxyland, due out in March on Kool Kat Musik.

Written by Mark Radice in the 1970’s, Maple Mars’ version features Mark playing piano, arranging strings and co-producing with Rick Hromadka.

Enjoy!

PRESTON 1 SPURS 5

After the last two games, any win would be a welcome change for Spurs. A resounding away victory in the Carling Cup was the result last night and certainly its a tremendous boost ahead of the home Premiership game against Burnley. Five goals shared among three stikers with Peter Crouch taking possession of the match ball with a delightful hat-trick. Also encouraging sign was Michael Dawson playing 80 minutes, which considering Spurs’ current defensive crisis is great news. Hopefully, this victory will be the catalyst for a good winning run before the North London derby.

COYS!!!

MARVEL GOES ANIME

You definitely can’t discount the influence of Japanese anime on Western film and TV, animated or otherwise (Matrix anyone?). Oh and of course, the success of Animatrix and Gotham: Dark Knight projects has proven this fact clearly. Which probably explains Marvel’s own foray into the anime arena with their latest ventures with Madhouse, one of the top anime studios around, which will produce 4 anime series to be released in 2010.

Teasers for the 1st two – Wolverine and Iron Man – have surfaced online and are embedded below.

Whoa! Is that Wolverine? Other than the fact that he has claws, how is this guy Wolverine? Hurm.

Now this is more like it. Way cool graphics.

Comments, anyone?

Thanks to Twitch and /Film for the heads up.

DISTRICT 9

DIST9_TSR_1SHT_3

Here’s an interesting sci-fi premise.

Twenty-eight years ago, aliens make first contact with Earth. No hostile attack or giant advances in technology resulted. You see, these aliens were neither conquerors nor benevolent gods but were simply hapless refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them. However, there is great interest in making the aliens’ weaponry work, which requires alien DNA. Enter: Wikus van der Merwe who contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA into an alien-human hybrid. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable, for he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Van der Merwe becomes ostracized and friendless and comes to hide in District 9.

This is the unique vision of South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s debut film – District 9 – due to be released in Mid-August. With producer Peter (Lord of the Rings) Jackson on board, District 9 promises to be intriguing especially as it is set in a future South Africa and will no doubt carry echoes of its Apartheid past.

Trailer below.

ERIC BRACE

full_62074

ERIC BRACE Tranquility Base single (Red Beet)

For any young boy growing up in the late sixties, the space race was an exciting one.

Space race?

Yes, back then, the USSR and the USA were competing to see who would be the first to put a man on the moon. It seems so quaint now, but I still remember being positively enthralled even as an 8 year old boy in Singapore to watch Neil Armstrong take that first step on the lunar surface.

Lo and behold, that event is now 40 years past and Eric Brace, lead singer of country-rock outfit Last Train Home, has just released a single and video to celebrate and commemorate the first lunar landing. The single is available at iTunes and the video is below. Check it out.

LING KAI

Here’s a video that Singaporean singer-songwriter (and youtube superstar) Ling Kai has just posted online. Its a new song called Perfect Today and features an off-camera kazoo. Yeah, really. Ling Kai will be opening for Aimee Mann at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 29th August at 7.30pm. In the meantime, enjoy…

SURROGATES

surrogatesexclusivetease

Another sci-fi thriller based on a graphic novel? Bring it on, I’d say!

Here’s the (official) word – In the film, FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The murder spawns a quest for answers: in a world of masks, who’s real and who can you trust?

This Jonathan Mostow-helmed Willis vehicle will hit the cinemas on 25th September and you can check out the trailer below.

I like the Dickian premise and the echoes of Matrix and Terminator franchises won’t hurt either. Expect reviews of the original graphic novel and the Flesh and Bones prequel soon.

MARIE DIGBY

gawk away… apparently she’s performing in Singapore soon…

…still there’s more…

BIG FRESH

l_bc5e6df19dd12e1b0f29b2453931e680

BIG FRESH B.F.F. (Big Fresh Forever) (Garden Gate)

I hate bands like Big Fresh!

Why?

Well, I’m annoyed by the level of pop magnificence they somehow manage to concoct in these home recordings. I detest the way the band creates these decidedly lo-fi albeit inventive pop gems with such seeming ease and much aplomb. I abhor the cute litte psychedelic touches, the electronic bleeps which make the songs all precious and spacey.

OK.

Let me put it in another way. I find it positively inspiring that so much has been achieved with (allegedly) so little. This is the bloody mythic core of pop tunesmithery – throwing the collective consciousness of pop cool (e.g. the Move, Syd-era Pink Floyd, Smile-era Beach Boys, ELO, XTC, Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, Fountains of Wayne, Blur, even MGMT et al) into the melting pot and mixing it up!

Nothing is sacred as Big Fresh explores corny old school synths (Entertainment), psychedelic-folk (Joy Bombs #1), luscious surf harmonies (W.L.U.V.), Rhodes-channeled whimsy (Satan, No) and falsetto-tinged dirges (Heat Death of the Universe), in the supreme hope that we will cotton on to the buried treasures locked into every groove, melody line and instrumental choice. And we will…

Check out Big Fresh’s Myspace page and the video of Lost and Found (not on B.F.F.).

WAYNE COYNE’S BIG ASS FANS

Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne talks about his big ass fan. Really.

And if you like the music in the background, you can pick it up here.

The song is Vortex Punch by Big Fresh.

Cool, huh?

More about Big Fresh in the days to come.

…still there’s more…

MY ONE & ONLY 2008

Here it is, a video teaser for the upcoming watchmen@midnight Ep. 

Featuring James Lye (electric guitar), Brian Koh (bass), Low Han Quan (drums), Esther Low (keyboards, vocals) and Kevin Mathews (vocals, acoustic guitar).

Special thanks to Fong Cheng, Felicia and of course, Ric.

… and there’s more …

PoP CLASSIC SONG

DEBASER (off Pixies’ 1989 album Doolittle)

Bizarrely, I had Rolling Stone to thank for my introduction to the weird world of Pixies. After a hiatus of three to four years, I returned to rock music in earnest in 1989. Sometime in early 1990 in one of those “best of” issues, I came across Doolittle and Pixies. And the opening track was – Debaser – and immediately I was hooked by the sheer energy, the incongruous sweetness of Kim Deal’s vocal and of course, Black Francis’ visceral delivery. That last 30 seconds always gets me jumpin’! Believe me, there would have no Nirvana without Pixies…

“Girl is so groovy…”

NOW PLAYING

SUNDAY AFTERNOON (off Rachael Yamagata’s Elephants/Teeth Sinking Into Heart album)

Never really cared for Rachael Yamagata before – even though she’s even performed in Singapore (but thanks to our very own Rachael), I’ve been listening to this lovely torch-blues song virtually non-stop. It’s deep and visceral and, carried over with that gorgeous emotive voice, rather irresistible. Here’s a live version I found – dunno why but I actually got a Pink Floyd vibe from this. Album review to follow…

“There is blood on my feet as I’m walking away…”

PoP CLASSIC SONG

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY (off the Bee Gees’ 1977 album, Main Course)

The Bee Gees were one of the first pop bands I ever became a fan of – loved their late 60s/early 70s hits like New York Mining Disaster 1941, Melody Fair, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart etc. They seem to disappear in the mid-70s but in 1977 they reinvented themselves as an R&B outfit. Main Course would contain both sides of the Bee Gees sound – classic chamber pop as well as the nascent disco-infused pop. Nights on Broadway is a brilliant hybrid of both as the opening muscular R&B morphs into a gorgeous ballad and then drives to an ecstatic denouement. Fantastic!

“Blamin’ it on…”

PoP CLASSIC SONG

WAITIN’ FOR A SUPERMAN (off the Flaming Lips 1999 LP, The Soft Bulletin)

The Lips’ Soft Bulletin is my favorite album of the 1990s. Sheer pop perfection. Waitin’ For A Superman is the most poignant song that Waybe Coyne and company have ever written. That fragile chorus always brings tears to my eyes… is help on the way? Sure hope so…

“it’s just too heavy for a Superman to lift…”

PoP CLASSIC SONG

LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME (from Bruce Cockburn’s 1984 Stealing Fire album)

Criminally unknown outside his native Canada, Bruce Cockburn possesses one of the finest discographies out there in rock history. 1984’s Stealing Fire may just be his crowning achievement and this song stands out as the best of a sublime bunch. Our good friends U2 even lifted an entire line for God Part II – “got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight”. These lyrics still resonate today… Sheer genius!

NOW PLAYING

HAPPY AS CAN BE (off Cut Off Your Hand’s EP of the same name)

Visa reviewed this a couple of days ago and I’m really digging its retro new wavy style. Robert Smith and the Cure’s inspiration features heavily of course but I like the whole package. COYH is based in New Zealand, which basically means that they’re pretty close enough for an astute promotor to bring down to our neck of the woods for a couple of days…