D é N O U E M E N T S

Young Adult Soundtrack is Alt-heavy!

“She’s so swishy in her satin and tat/ In her frock coat/ and bipperty-bopperty hat/ Oh God, I could do better than that.”

That’s Bowie hailing the “Queen Bitch” in Young Adult trailer. In this part of the world, we will get to see the Jason Reitman- Diablo Cody kiss-and-make-up baby Young Adult probably next year after its wide bid for the Oscar race. However, the details for the soundtrack of the movie has been listened and can be purchased online beginning December 6th. However, the tracklist for the album has been released and seems to be fitted for the nostalgic statement the film promises to slosh on our babies of the ’90s faces.

The story of the movie has its heroine Mavis Gray (Charlize Theron) stuck in the past, reminiscing her prom-queen confetti days in high school. She returns to Mercury (a fictional somewhere in Minnesota) years after everyone in her yearbook has gotten married and her ex-boyfriend, the balding, not-the-jock-but-more-like-a-coach-now type Buddy Slade is with kids while she recently just got divorced. And she schemes to get him back.

The Young Adult list includes Lemonheads, Veruca Salt, The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, 4 Non Blondes and Dinosaur Jr. Aside from the originals, Juno composer Mateo Messina worked on some of Alternative Nation greats turned instrumentals like Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow,” Beck’s “Where It’s A?,” Foo Fighters’ “Big Me” and Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.”

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Natureboy: Pariah (MP3)

“Pariah” is the first single from Natureboy’s eponymous debut released for the first time outside Europe last November 15. The track shows off Natureboy’s stately acoustic folk talent made lusher by layers of instruments and most importantly by the evocative vocal work featured on the track, a very distinct voice that sounds arresting yet comforting at the same time. This collaboration of robust vocal work and guitar backed up by cinematic moods of synth, loops and sampling are all over the record which compels me to devote more time listening to the record in full, current favorites  are “Famous Sons,” “Curses Fired” and “Dither.”

Natureboy is Sara Kermanshahi, a first generation American of Iranian descent, originally from Seattle and settled in New York in 2007. The move ignited her vision for Natureboy after a stint in House On A Hill together with Masterface‘s Cedar Apffel, now her label mate on Bleek Records.

Natureboy has performed with other independent well-knowns like Magnolia Electric Co., School of Seven Bells and Marissa Nadler and has set out a European tour conquering stages in Paris, Berlin, and Copenhagen back in 2010 which first got a taste of her self-titled debut. Currently, she is working for her sophomore record to be released in February next year.

You can check out “Pariah” below and DOWNLOAD the track here.

Band Links:  Bandcamp. FacebookBleek Records.

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Kapowski: “Section 8”

There’s something innately eerie about Kapowski’s “Section 8″ video. It could be the dehumanized butler or the grey pearl-loving weak woman with a weird intolerance to robot-made tea. Whatever it is, Perez Brothers’ take on Kapowski’s new single reek of suburban dread that makes the video perfectly attuned to Jesse Rimler’s corrosive vocals and ‘Section 8’s” subtle Casio beats that hook listeners the second it plays.

The music video was filmed in Oakland and described by the Hart and Devon Perez as Melancholy homage to Woody Allen’s Sleeper.”

Kapowski is an Oakland-based band that for several years tinkered with several projects before their new debut Boy Detective which includes “Section 8.” The quartet is composed of Jon Gondo, Jesse Rimler. Michael Coleman and Sam Ospovat that infuse piano, organ, drums and bass with an obvious absence of the guitar. Boy Detective is scheduled for release February 2, 2012.

Band Links: Facebook. Blog.

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MELANCHOLIA: The Truth Only The Crazy Know

A newly-wed oscillating in her own depression  on the day of her wedding and an orbiting planet that spell doom to the rest of civilization are the forces that keep Melancholia riveting til the end. Melancholia will not convert non-fans of the controversial Danish director Lars Von Trier but rather makes it harder for fans to rank it among his greats, Dogville, The Idiots, Manderlay, Antichrist and so on. In what seem to be lookback at his Dogme days, Von Trier flickers in romanticism by his cinematic use of Wagner and indeed, burst into mega proportions.

The film is cut into two perspectives with each dedicated to sisters Justine and Claire played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The prologue before these chapters are slo-mo images that exaggerates different portions of the film, visually compelling eight minutes of Melancholia that act as harbingers of what the rest of the film will be like.

Justine drags herself to her wedding way which she describes as “having wolly thread pulled into my legs.” Kirsten Dunst in a star-making performance portrays a lead that is easy to feel disdain to and pity the next. Justine’s impossible fits of depression make the first half a dark comedy treat leading to dragging situations as I think the director tries to augment the lack of reverence evident from Justine’s parents toward her obvious emotional shakiness. I was torn whether I sympathize with her state or I feel for the groom Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) and Claire who organized the wedding hiring the “most expensive wedding planner in the world,” played by scene stealer Udo Kier. Justine’s impenetrability can be read as Von Trier’s intention from the beginning, not to portray depression in description but from the perspective of the one going through it, not diagnosed but rather a splatter of misses framed in a formal, bureaucratic set-up like a wedding.

(To be continued)

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Sean Pecknold Directs Fleet Foxes’ “The Shrine / An Argument”

The team behind the video “The Shrine/ An Argument” gives an advice. They ask people to watch it in HD and with headphones or speakers (ahm, yeah?) and in “full screen if you really want to get crazy,” they promise.

It is safe to say that the promise delivered. Fleet Foxes’ 8-minute opus is met with Sean Pecknold’s (vocalist Robert Pecknold’s brother) outstanding interpretation of the song that shines with little triumphs as you listen to the words closely while staying focus on the visuals. Ears glued to the sounds, eyes to the screen; the narrative unfurls with strong connection on each while paying homage (if intended or not) to Where the Wild Things Are and The Dark Crystal at some scenes. Rich in colors and eyeing richer textures especially in landscapes, the video features a wandering antelope witnessing a sacrilege of his kind and his fate that comes next. Ultimately rewarding is the ending, the underwater scene of a two-headed dragon-snake hybrid tearing the deer into halves revealing his “soul.”

Sean Pecknold’s Grandchildren project has worked before not only in a few of Fleet Foxes vidoes but also with the band’s Subpop labelmate Beach House for “Used To Be”, with Grizzly Bear in “While You Wait for the Others,” and made a personal favorite How OId Are You? where he documented Robert Pecknold’s tour opening for Joanna Newsom in 2010.

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