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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

With its dazzling trailers, full of renowned actresses and flashy dance sequences, accompanied by Fergie’s rendition of “Be Italian” and a new song written for Kate Hudson, Rob Marshall’s stage-to-screen adaptation of the musical Nine is certainly eye-catching.

Inspired by Fellini’s film 8 1/2, Nine is the story of Guido Contini, an Italian director played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and the many, many women in his life, primarily his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his lover Carla (Penelope Cruz) and his muse Claudia (Nicole Kidman). Standing on the other side of forty, Contini faces failure after a long and successful career, suddenly faced with the disintegration of his latest movie and his marriage alike. Judi Dench and Sophia Loren round out the cast in this star vehicle as Contini’s mentor and mother respectively.

With only two weeks left before its Christmas day release, Nine seems full of promise. The soundtrack, recently released digitally, however, suggests otherwise.

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The power of Gaga compels you!

lady-gaga

Hi, my name is Stefanie and I’m addicted to Lady Gaga.

I have to admit, I’m a recent convert. I held out for a long time, because, let us be frank, her hair, her Kermit suits and her pantslessness, they did not convey to me the impression of “serious artist.” It’s only in the last few weeks that I’ve found myself falling unsuspecting prey to the Gaga loop — an endless cycle of playing her songs on repeat and, when iTunes tries desperately, for my own good, to make me listen to something else, quickly clicking over to play “Paparazzi” for the twelfth time running — but I’m pretty much sunk. It’s a recent change, but, I suspect, irreversible.

Because say what you like about the woman — that her hair scares you, that she doesn’t own pants, that you disagree with her stance on feminism, that she’s the bastard lab baby of Anna Wintour and Miss Piggy — but damn, does she know how to write a pop song.

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No, Kanye. This is not okay.

No, Kanye. This is not okay.

In recent history, there are few celebrities who immediately come to mind when we think of the ones we consider controversial. Kanye West, with his past declarations of George W. Bush not caring about black people is most decidedly one of them. And while we all got a good laugh out of Mike Meyers’s surprised face back then, this time, he’s gone too far.

Tonight, at the MTV Video Music Awards, as Taylor Swift started her nervous acceptance speech for her first VMA ever, Kanye West walked on stage, took the microphone from her and declared Swift’s fellow nominee Beyonce to have the best video of the year.

Mr. West, this is unacceptable. Saying something in your own public forum is one thing, but to ruin a 19 year old’s moment in the VMA spotlight to declare your dissatisfaction with the outcome of the award? It’s rude, disrespectful, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Yes, we understand that because you put out an entire album of your auto-tuned voice, you believe that you can do whatever you like and say whatever you want, but that’s most certainly not the case. You’re not the voice of my or any other generation, and quite frankly, I’d rather you just shut the hell up for a while. Go find a mirror to admire yourself in.

The VMAs are most certainly not the Grammys, and it may as well be a long-standing tradition that something crazy will happen, but there’s crazy and then there’s this:

That sir, is not how you become a doper person.

Here’s the article at MTV.com, complete with video just in case You Tube yanks it.

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While there are surely dozens of things that go into the making of good film or television, it’s certain that just the right song can make or break a scene. The right soundtrack can not only compliment any given scene in sound, mood and words, it can bring out new sides to the characters, evoke emotions, tie scenes together and forever cement a moment in your memory. There’s no one in the business who does it better than Alexandra Patsavas.

Patsavas’ work as a music supervisor has spanned projects too numerous to be named, and even now she juggles four or five hit TV shows with movie soundtracks, but she first became truly known for her work on The O.C., where she impressed the creators so much, she was brought back for subsequent series Chuck and Gossip Girl. Her skill for matching music to mood is unparalleled, as is her talent for discovering musical gems from previously unknown artists and bringing them to the screen.

But there’s only so much you can say to convey the depth of her ability. It’s better just to let her work speak for itself, and to that end, we here at PCR have voted on our fifteen favorite musical moments from her career.

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Something for ‘Everybody’

ingrid_michaelson_“I don’t believe in anything but myself.”

So begins Ingrid Michaelson’s latest CD, Everybody. While it becomes quickly evident that Everybody provides an exploration of the themes of love, this early warning echoes through the rest of the album. These aren’t songs of selfishness, however, or narcissism. They’re tales of lost love and of the need to find oneself, either in love or outside of it.

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MOVITS! Album Review: Äppelknyckarjazz

Did you start bobbing your head when the video started?

Snap your fingers, maybe? Clap your hands? Tap your feet?

Come to a complete stop when the rapping started?

I did, but not for the reasons you’d think: I stopped out of sheer delight. I thought, how has this never happened before (or if it has, how have I never come across it)? How are two styles on opposite ends of the musical spectrum working so well together?
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By now everyone and their goat-loving brother has already reviewed the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Consequently, this will not be a review of the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Rather I thought I’d focus instead on the music of Harry Potter.

Someone once said that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. So before we start, let me assure you that I just came from a recital wherein I performed an interpretative dance about the Empire State building. Ted Mosby naturally loved it.

But that’s besides the point.

In the novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneSorcerer’s Stone for all of you Americans out there — Albus Dumbledore says, “Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here.” It’s perhaps not the most famous quote from the series, but it’s one I find especially appropriate in regards to the films’ scores. There’s a certain novelty in simply listening to the soundtracks as opposed to actually watching the movies; you can forget that they cut your favourite line or that they horribly miscast Character X or oh, dear, what is going on with Tom Felton’s hair? If music speaks of potential and of ‘only ifs,’ then the three composers attached to the franchise thus far have done one helluva job painting the picture of what could have been.

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