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Day 299: M.O.P.E. by Ambassadeurs

17 May

Hey guys!

I’m a big twitter fan, if you don’t know already (if you want to hear the random ramblings of my crazy mind, you can follow me: @margasaur). I follow a variety of different people from comedians to photographers, from publications to websites, from well-known musicians to totally unknown musicians. It’s like my passion to discover these people.

Well, this morning, I woke up and checked my twitter only to find this awesome DJ following me and linking me to his music for free. Going by the name “Ambassadeurs,” Mark Dobson is a DJ from Brighton, UK! He is a DJ “who’s eclectic sound draws influence from Electronic, EDM, Hip-Hop, Dub, Field Recordings, Ambient and many other forms of music and continues to try and push the boundaries when it comes to production.”

His free song is pretty much amazing, so I wanted to feature it here! The song is called “M.O.P.E.” and it is super catchy! If you like this, go check out his other music on his facebook or you can follow him on twitter @AmbassadeursDJ! But for now enjoy “M.O.P.E.”!

Also, if you’re a twitter connoisseur like myself, follow these people: @PasteMagazine, @chopchopmusic, @johnroderick, @mshowalter, @robhuebel, @fleetfoxes, @Gibbstack, @mrdavehill, @michaelianblack, and of course @UOCulturalForum!

Day 297: A-Trak and the Willamette Valley Music Festival!

6 May

Hey everyone!

So if you’re in Eugene tomorrow and are super bored and love music, you should most definitely come check out the WILLAMETTE VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL. Yeah, this may be blatant advertising, but it doesn’t hurt to get it out there!

The line up is pretty freaking sweet:

A-Trak
Yeasayer
Baths
Donnis
Catwalk
The Globes
The Codi Jordan Band
Jared Mees & The Grown Children…. and that’s only the main stage! ALL FREE. There’s more info here.

Anyways, to get you guys excited, here’s some A-Trak… he’s so awesome and I’m so stoked to see him. His DJing is top-notch, as you can see from this clip. Enjoy it and check out this awesome fest!

Sorry for the super strange post… I am so beyond tired. See ya on Sunday!!

Day 295: The Room (aka YOU’RE TEARING ME APAAART, LEEESAAAAA)

4 May

The Room, written, directed and starring Tommy Wiseau

So, I didn’t get to expand on this yesterday, but I wanted to feature something (now) near and dear to my heart.

This last Saturday I got to attend a “The Room” party, which went from being a Rocky Horror Picture Show-like movie experience to a drunken crazy-fest. And, strangely enough, this is exactly how The Room (2003) needs to be watched: with a little bit of lighthearted silliness.

The movie is a disaster, to say the least. It’s full of plot holes, soap-opera lines, and melodramatic acting… not to mention how creepy all of the characters are (I’m looking at you, Denny!!). But what makes it so great is how classically bad it is, much like the other midnight movies out there (RHPS and Snakes On A Plane are just two examples).

After I signed up to drink every time a football was on the scene – which is ridiculous because this comes in the most ridiculous times – it was clear that everyone at this party was going to be either drunk or close to it by the end of this film. Boy, was I right!

By all means, I want to say that this movie is no Oscar winner, but the movie is classic. Whenever the main characters enter a room, they say “Oh hi _____” before getting to the point; Johnny (played by the strange Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote and directed the film) bellows out poorly-accented lines (“YOU’RE TEARING ME AHHHPAAAHHHHT LEEESAAA!”) and drinks scotchka; Denny is apparently an 18-year old drug addict that has serious parental-deficiencies as he lays in bed with Lisa and Johnny while they’re trying to get it on (mind you, Johnny wanted to adopt Denny); then there’s Mark, who’s Johnny’s best friend (and this fact is stated NUMEROUS times throughout the film) and seems like a cool guy until, you know, he sleeps with Johnny’s fiancée…. it’s like scene after scene goes by, making less and less sense.

But overall the experience was a blast. Those of us at the party pelted the make-shift screen with plastic spoons (and sometimes knives and forks) everytime the pointless spoon painting showed up in a scene, and we all yelled “GO! GO! GO!” as we travelled along with the stock footage of the Golden Gate Bridge… there were tons more, but that’s something you should find out for yourself.

I highly recommend The Room because it is an experience in itself. It may be considered the worst movie ever made (probably after Troll 2 (1990)), but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun. Especially if you don’t take it seriously (please don’t. That’s a fate worse than death!)

Here’s a preview for you to get stoked about, and if you live in Oregon, Wiseau is showing the movie in Portland towards the end of May! ENJOY (and beware!)

And thanks to Bryan for inviting me to watch this insane film. SPOON!

Day 265: Light & Day/Reach For The Sun by The Polyphonic Spree (+Hold Me Now)

6 Mar

WOOO! 100 days left!

The song I want to feature today is absolutely wonderful. I feel like it completely encompasses the theme I try to strive for this blog, and it’s such an uplifting song that I don’t think I can listen to it and not feel happy.

 

The Polyphonic Spree

The song is called “Light & Day/Reach For The Sun” by the now-21-member band The Polyphonic Spree. It has been featured on TV shows, commercials, movies, and elsewhere, and I do believe this song is designed to keep people optimistic about the world.

But before I put the song on here, I kind of want to rant. I became a Spree fan about four years ago (when their The Fragile Army came out), but I have heard of them since they were first a band back in 2000. But it wasn’t until now that I realized how beautiful these people are.

Tim DeLaughter was a member of another band called Tripping Daisies back in the 90s. When the band broke up after the unfortunate death of the guitarist (via drug overdose), Tim decided to create a new band with a few collaborating artists (a sort of response to this death). Thus, the Polyphonic Spree was born and is still going strong with over 20 members.

But why is this band so important? Their message is strong in every album: live life and see it in a beautiful light. Each song is well crafted with an insanely strong variety of instruments, and each message makes the band seem more and more peaceful. Maybe the white robes helped for a long time (they recently switched to military-looking uniforms with their last album), but this band stresses peace.

And I feel like they are one of the only peaceful bands out there. They teach people to love and enjoy life, is that so wrong?

I can never get enough of the Spree and their good message. It’s almost cry-worthy, it’s so beautiful. I’m definitely left speechless everytime I hear “Light & Day/Reach For The Sun.”

So if you ever feel down, depressed, hopeless and without light in this world, discover the Polyphonic Spree because they are one of the reasons why the world is such an amazing place.

Enjoy “Light & Day/Reach For The Sun” by the Polyphonic Spree.

Also, as a bonus, enjoy “Hold Me Now” by the Spree… I love this song (and video)

Day 263: Open Your Arms by Editors

4 Mar

Hey everyone!

You know when you have one of those days where you wake up and everything goes wrong? Yeah, that’s today for me.

But instead of dwelling on it too much, I’ve decided to take extra precautions today to make sure I try not to slip into some sort of sad mindset. Sure, I am a wee bit upset that today has gone by in a not-so-great manner, but I can think of at least one thing that makes my day a little easier.

“Open Your Arms” by Editors is kind of an old-school song (it came out on their debut album The Back Room in 2005), but it’s so beautiful and mind-boggling that I can’ ever turn my attention away from it.

I first discovered my love for this song back when I was in 9th grade… it set the perfect scene for me. I was on a field trip with the band (yeah, I’m that much of a nerd), and we were headed to Wenatchee, WA for some sort of festival… but in order to get there from where I live, we had to go through the Snoqualmie Pass. Thankfully it was spring, so the lack of snow was a sight for sore eyes, but it was still a gorgeous view. Then “Open Your Arms” came on, and I couldn’t help but cry.

Something about this song just makes the scenery so much more special. It’s as if the song was written by the mountains, forests, lakes, snow piles… the road, the signs, the clouds. Call me cheesy if you like, but it’s a beautiful feeling.

So I hope you enjoy “Open Your Arms” by Editors. If I may make a suggestion: just close your eyes, and listen.

Day 258: Catfish (2010)

28 Feb

Hey everyone!

Today is the big day: THE ACADEMY AWARDS!! Every year I sit and watch the big award show and leave somewhat disappointed… but regardless it’s awesome to see what’s going on in the minds of old people deciding these winners!

Anyways, in honor of the award show, I want to feature a movie that didn’t get nominated!

Last night I watched the  documentary Catfish (2010)  and I walked out of it completely shocked. It was incredible!

The premise of the movie is as follows: Yaniv Schulman is a photographer, and one day he is contacted by a six-year-old girl who painted a beautiful version of one of his photos. He begins to become friends with this girl and her family, ending up in almost a long-distance relationship with the young girl’s sister. As new developments turn up (his new passion to talk to Megan, the sister), the documentary changes meaning.

But when things begin to seem a little off, the filmmakers begin to dig deep in the meaning of YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and texting to find the real truth about this family.

It’s not scary (like the preview tries to portray), in fact it’s actually really fascinating. But what made it so intriguing was the charm and tense feeling you get when watching it. I found myself both creeped out and completely enthralled. It’s amazing.

I warn you, though, it is really intense… the ending is slightly expected, but also really incredible.

Here’s the preview…. if you’re interested, be sure to check it out! I want everyone to see it.

Day 253: Giving Up The Ghost by Radiohead

22 Feb

Yes, I know I’ve been featuring Radiohead a lot lately, but OH MY GOODNESS IS THIS CD GOOD!!!!

I’ve always been a huge Radiohead fan… ever since I was a little kid even! I grew up listening to OK Computer, The Bends, Hail To The Thief, and (of course) my favorite Kid A. Their last CD In Rainbows is in my top 10 favorite albums list, and it is still one of the best CDs I’ve ever heard!

I actually got to see Radiohead on their last tour, and while I checked that off my bucket list I will never forget how incredible it was. Just summing up my whole existence in one concert… it’s breathtaking.

So as I listen to The King Of Limbs, I feel all these emotions, just diluted down. The new-ness of this CD is still a little difficult for me to get used to, but I’m managing. And just when I thought that I’d lose hope for loving this CD as much as Kid A or In Rainbows, I heard “Giving Up The Ghost.”

I can’t even say anything about it, except that if this song was a person I’d already be in love.

Enjoy “Giving Up The Ghost” by Radiohead (and buy The King Of Limbs here)

Day 249: NEW RADIOHEAD!!!

18 Feb

Hey everyone!

BEST NEWS EVER FOR TODAY AND EVER.

So, a band I’ve featured a few times on this website (aka Radiohead) had announced on Monday that they were not only done with their new CD but that they were going to release the digital version of it on this Saturday (aka tomorrow). Needless to say, I kind of freaked out when I heard the news… the last update they made was back in July of 2010, so this of course was a huge shocker to me.

Well, more good news came from the band early (and I mean EARLY) this morning when they decided to release their new album a whole day early. Yeah, that’s right. The King Of Limbs (2011) is now available here (if’n you’re like me and want to buy it… the hard copy comes out on March 28th!

ANYWAY, NPR streamed the whole album this morning, and even at only about 35 minutes, the CD is solid work!

I love it already and I’ve only listened to it twice.

You guys are in luck! I’ll post a link to the site that has the whole album streaming right now, so go check it out! (My favorite song is called “Morning Mr. Magpie”)

If you’re too lazy to go check it out on your own, watch this creepy video for their song “Lotus Flower” (featuring the lovely Mr. Thom Yorke!)

ENJOY!!!!

Also, I’d like to mention that I really appreciate all of my family and friends who are getting me through some hard times. It really doesn’t take much to make me smile, but it does help a lot. Thanks everyone :)

Day 187: Pulling Our Weight by The Radio Dept.

18 Dec

Hey guys (again).

I wanted to feature one of my all time favorite songs, but first a mini story behind it.

Back when I was still in high school, I used to volunteer at this improv theater in downtown Seattle (Jet City Improv… check it out! SO MUCH FUN). Anyway, it was some of the best years of my life with all of the actors and other volunteers, especially in the winter time.

Every single night for about a month, the person working the technical booth would throw on a burned CD for music in between each act. For the winter months, it was one CD that had a bunch of assorted songs of every genre. But there was always one song that made me fall in love whenever it came on the speakers, and I had no idea what it was called or who it was by.

Every weekend for almost 2 months I would sit there, hear that song, and just feel so in tune with the world around me. It became the theme song to the best months of my life, and it always stuck in my head.

Eventually, I couldn’t take it and the tech person made me a copy of the CD. Once I had a copy, I finally figured out that the song was called “Pulling Our Weight” by the Radio Dept. It’s gorgeous and simple, almost sounding like it waltzed out of the lo-fi 80s.

So while this song may not mean anything to many people, it defined my happiness for those winter months. It is music at its finest, and I love it so.

I hope you enjoy “Pulling Our Weight” by The Radio Dept.! (also, watch the music video… it’s really neat!)

Day 185: The Living Wake (2007)

16 Dec

Hello everyone!

Tonight I watched the movie The Living Wake, and I wanted to feature it today. Which means I love it. A lot.

I actually wrote a legitimate review of it, so here goes nothing…

I remember the first time I saw the preview for The Living Wake (2007), starring Mike O’Connell and Jesse Eisenberg. I’m pretty sure I watched it about fifteen times and then proceeded to show it to my neighbors and other random people living in the dorms with me. There was something about this boisterous man and his strange companion, tackling the issue of death, that struck me so hard. I wanted to see it immediately, but I knew that was not going to happen any time soon.

Alas, I was correct. But tonight, I finally had the chance to sit down with it.

Instead of doing an average movie review, I kind of want to highlight the points of this movie that caught my attention.

But first, a plot synopsis. And the trailer

K. Roth Binew (Mike O'Connell) and Mills Joquin (Jesse Eisenberg) on their Rickshaw in "The Living Wake

K. Roth Binew (Mike O’Connell) is a boisterous man, a failed artist on all fronts, and a dead man. He has been told that he has a rare, vague disease that is set to kill him, and he has one day left to live. With his formally-mute, biographer, man, and only friend Mills Joquin (Jesse Eisenberg), he is on a quest to discover the true meaning of life by embracing all around him. Together, the two get into hijinks that causes and uproar in the town, followed by the Living Wake, a show put on by the two as a way to welcome death. It’s full of humor and weirdness, kindness and sadness, but overall it is an amazingly well-crafted film on all fronts!

So here are my random thoughts on the film:

1.  The best part of this film is the language. To this moment, I am still incredibly unsure when this film is supposed to be taking place (my guess is the 1940s), but K. Roth’s language is so obscure that it provides an added hilarity to the already strange situation. He calls a liquor store clerk a “liquorsmith”, discusses random insights of wisdom with Mills and other unfortunate beings, and talks about his life with great knowledge. I was so fascinated by his word choice that it was often the reason I was laughing so hard in the first place!

2.  At one point, he said that he took a job being a benevolent dictator of an ant farm. Does there need to be more proof than that?!

3.  Jesse Eisenberg is definitely a big name, now with Zombieland (2009) and The Social Network (2010) under his belt, but this movie is just mystifying. He is soft-spoken, often backing up the main character with the right amount of intensity. Mills  was kind of the yin to the yang that is K Roth, providing the also quite boisterous but lesser look on the whole situation. Plus, with such a soft face like Jesse Eisenberg, it’s such a pleasure to get to know and love a character. On another day (possibly tomorrow) I’d like to discuss Jesse Eisenberg in a main spotlight, mainly because I have a lot to say about this actor!

4.  Both of the main characters, even with their extreme flaws, were incredibly touching. By the end of the movie, I was constantly hoping that the whole thing was just a joke, that K. Roth was going to trick these people and continue on with his life. Sure, he’s kind of an asshole, but his personality was so attracting (not in a sexual way) that I couldn’t help but love him! Mills was so sweet and silly that I don’t think anyone could be mad at his character.

5.  I was shocked with the strange, sad twists it took periodically. It kind of reminded me that while this is a comedy, this is still the last day of a dying man. Something so comedic has to take a turn for the worst sometimes. But even through the sadness, I thought it was well balanced and enjoyable.

6.  The film was shot beautifully. I wanted to be wherever they filmed it, and the scenes were often set in this yellow-ish tint that gave it that old-timey feeling.

7.  The soundtrack is incredibly enthralling even in it’s simplicity. In fact, I left the DVD menu on in the background to listen to the soundtrack! Hopefully it will be available soon!

8.  This is definitely a movie I’d like to watch twice in a row, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to add it to my favorite movies list.

Check out a promotional video below!

(as a bonus, here’s another promo they did for the film)