How We Get Through: June 2017

Films

Submarine Kid

A few months ago I made a slight adjustment to my “to do” list. I started adding names next to them so I would remember who to thank for suggesting them. I really wish I started that sooner, I want to find whoever suggested this film to me, and slap them very very hard round the face. Why? Why would you put me through this? Very Channel 5. Extremely bad dialogue. Can’t tell if it’s too American for me or whether it just doesn’t work as a film.

Under The Shadow

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I liked it but can understand why some wouldn’t. It doesn’t become a traditional horror film until the closing section. Until then it’s horror on a more personal level. Wonderful blending of a war-time drama and horror that doesn’t depend too highly on the usual tropes of one or both genres. Never seen anything like this before in my life, but I really wish I had. Side note, I’ve now seen two Iranian films, both of which have strong female leads, is Iranian cinema better at female representation than Western cinema? Or is it because women are treated as second class citizens there it makes them better characters so the quality of films are likely to be higher, which increases my chances of seeing them?

The Final Girls

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Genuinely emotional, a lot more than it should be. It’s basically a horror film about a group of people who get sucked into a horror film. It’s done by a team who obviously really love the genre, and love film-making in general. Lots of fun little moments in it, from the closing credits appearing in the sky above them, everything changing colour when they appear in flashbacks etc. It’s really good and I wish I made it first.

The Skeleton Twins

Turns “two characters lipsynching” into one of the most emotional, character developing scenes you’re likely to see. Funny, but very very dark.

Let’s Pollute

Bit preachy, very one note and simplistic. Talks about how people are selfish because they work somewhere different from where they live, as if getting a job in a Tesco the town over means you should move house.

The End Of The Tour

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I think part of the reason I like this is because of how great the dialogue is. It flows beautifully, as was described here;

“a funny and heartfelt road movie that meditates on fame, creativity, and loneliness, through the indepth and witty conversations of its protagonists. Whether you know David Foster Wallace’s work or not, this is an accessible and great film”

7:35 In The Morning

This was on my watch list as the writer/director also made Colossal, which I loved. You can kind of tell it’s the same guy by the story, the visuals are pretty bland though. Much like Colossal, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a short film about a guy who holds an entire restaurant hostage so he can sing to a woman about how much he likes her. Keeps on the line between silly and frightning in a way that’s very hard to do.

We Need To Talk Kevin

VERY film student-ey. Spends so long laying on symbolism that it forgets other things.

Spy

Jason Statham is amazing in this. Plays his role to perfection. Everyone else is still good, but not as good as him. I’d love to see more of him in a sequel. When I first saw it I expected this to be a one joke film “haha, a fat woman as a spy”, but was actually really really funny.

Gifted

A lot less Nicholas-Sparks than I thought it would be. Bit formulaic but it plays to the formula very well. Chris Evans is very good in it, but is overshadowed by Mckenna Grace, who is very very good, probably one of the best performances this year. Is it just me or are child actors getting better? Manages to do a performance which is funny, moving, and hits all the right spots in terms of body language and facial acting. Great performance. Jenny Slate was also REALLY good in it, but wasn’t in it as much as she should have been.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Has some continuity issues but still very good. Kind of sad to think both leads have sadly passed on. They had amazing chemistry here, you don’t really tend to get acting double acts anymore. You have “groups” that work together, but that’s normally in a certain directors films as opposed to just always together. It’s a shame as that kind of thing can really help sell a film “oh, I loved the last film I saw those two in”. It also means unscrupulous marketers can change the title of the film in foreign markets so it looks like a sequel. Which is always hilarious. “yes, the first film ended with them both being shot to death, but here’s a sequel, where they have different names and characters, but they look the same. Now give money.”

Wonder Woman

I explained my thoughts on this here. Spoilers; LOVED IT! Even the closing credits were amazing. They were like a water colour painting. Haven’t seen any this good since A Monster Calls. I like when films take the time to attempt to do something with the credits, it shows a real dedication to what they’re doing.

X+Y

The moment where where he tries to do the monty python reference is really awkward and cringey, if anything it’s worse when you know it’s coming. Only just realised how heartbreaking some of the performances were, Sally Hawkins in particular.

Books

The Stars Tennis Balls

Always takes me forever to get through the opening chapter of this for some reason. Shame as the final third is absolutely superb, it just takes a while to get there (about two thirds of the book I’d guess).

Books Of Blood

The biggest issue this book has is that it starts with Fear, which is one of the best horror short stories ever written. Anything after that would just be disappointing.

Albums

Maps

Can’t remember how I heard this band (probably the Figure 4 Leg Rock podcast), great EP, available for free, which is my second favourite price to pay for things. Trigger Happy in particular is one of my favourite songs I’ve heard this year.

Panic Prevention

The moments in songs are usually better than the songs themselves. Although “Sheila” is pretty damn fine. Listed on my itunes as “Chavvy Acoustic Punk”, because I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it.

Look For The Woman

B-sides are remixes, which is always okay. But the song itself is amazing.

Punk Rock Is Your Friend Volume 6 (Hardcore Is Your Friend Too)

I miss samplers like this. Epitaph, Burning Heart, Kung-Fu records etc all used to do really cheap albums showcasing their bands. Doesn’t really happen anymore, probably due to the rise of streaming etc. Is a shame as these were great ways to get into bands. You pick them up barely knowing any of the bands and before you know it you’ve found your new favourite band. I got this for one reason and one reason only; new Tsunami Bomb song. They were one of my favourite bands at the time and I was obsessed with them (how I felt when they split is how the rest of the world feels when celebrities die) so the chance to hear something new excited me, made me look forward to a new album by them. Sadly they split soon after, but I’ll always have that song, and no more new ones, ever *cries*.

Just The Way I’m Feeling

Relatively pedestrian, listened to it today and I still can’t remember the b-sides.

Goodbye Blue And White

It’s a Less Than Jake album with at least two Slayer covers. Weird.

Stopgap EP

Probably the most American pop-punk band that’s ever come from England. Just an EP meant to tide people over until their new album came out a few years ago. Has some good stuff on it but the best song by a mile is the cover of “Everytime You Go Away”. I do loves me some covers.

(Re)Bleed American

Similar to our re-recording of The Black Parade (as seen here and here) which, considering MCR are now planning something for the anniversary of it probably could have been better timed. For those of who didn’t read those this is simple: I pick an album and then pick the bands I’d like to cover each song. For this week I picked Bleed American (re-titled Jimmy Eat World after 9/11), which celebrated it’s fifteen year anniversary this week. So, here goes.

Bleed American – Fall Out Boy

Fast, raucous and the sound of a drunken house party. This song mainly needed to have the guitar strong at the front, and a strong enough vocal performance to carry this off. So I found FOB to be the perfect choice. On the downside I was going to pick Patrick Stump to do one of the later songs, had to go against that for this, and can’t have two Stumps, that way madness lies.

A Praise Chorus – Less Than Jake

One of the only songs I owned before I had the album (live version on a compilation) so will always have a special place in my heart. I was going to pick an acoustic band to cover this song as I feel that would make a good version and turn it into a kind of sweet piece of music, would add an extra level of emotion to it. Then I listened to it again and pictured someone singing it and doing that weird “jumping with your shoulders” thing at certain points of the song, then realised the jumpy dancy nature of it. As such I thought I should play up that aspect of it, and there’s only one way to do that: MORE HORNS!!! Then LTJ voices were in my head and it just meshed perfectly.

The Middle – Regina Spektor

Weird choice I know. This song is ridiculously peppy and brilliant, so you’d expect me to pick another pop-punk band for this, maybe Green Day, maybe Sum 41, maybe even go slightly ska and go with Reel Big Fish. But I feel that musically they would all sound too similar and would just be “lead vocalist” karaoke. This song is in my top 100 of all time, so if I hear it covered I want to hear something new done with it, I want to hear a completely different version. Maybe a female vocal version? Maybe a female vocal version done on a piano? Maybe Regina Spektor? Yeah, Regina Spektor. Her voice is haunting and beautiful, and to hear her sing this would add an entirely different layer to it and could end up being quite emotional.

Your House – Say Anything

Again, to add emotion. But not a “weepy weepy cry cry” emotion, Max Bemis voice is perfect for that bitter angry sarcastic misanthropic tone. So if anything this will do the opposite of what my previous choices have done, instead of adding emotion, this will change it, it will make the entire song seem angry instead of sweet, but also like he’s broken by the entire experience. Was also considering Saves The Day for this, as his voice would also be perfect for a Jimmy Eat World song.

Sweetness – Tegan And Sara

Mainly because this version would be danceable as hell. It would seem slightly less angry but it would be the perfect song to put a smile on your face and an extra skip in your step as go through your daily routine waiting for death.

Hear You Me – Amanda Palmer

Because I’m not letting you get through this album without crying your eyes out, and what better choice than this song? And what better way to do it than an empty voice at a piano just completely draining you of everything until you’re an empty husk of who you used to be.

If You Don’t Don’t – Desaparecidos

Hot damn I love Conor Oberst, his voice has a kind of shakey uneasy vibe to it, like he’s about one incident away from completely breaking down or going insane, you can’t tell which as it sounds like both at once. As such it would be perfect for this song, but I couldn’t go with Bright Eyes as musically that would be a terrible mix, so I went with his other band, Desaperecidos. Musically very different from Bright Eyes but equally amazing in parts, them covering this song would be the soundtrack to a thousand stroppy teenagers.

Get It Faster – Bright Eyes

I know, more Conor Oberst, I’ll go sit in the corner and think about what I’ve done. And now I’m back and here to tell you why you’re wrong to judge me. Because this would be amazing! Now for this I’m thinking of specific type of Bright Eyes, the kind of weird death-disco/digital-folk from Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. This song revolves around the slow build up and then the vocal release, and few people accomplished this as well as Oberst did on that album.

Cautioners – Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Because it’s practically a Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly song already, just written and performed entirely by someone else.

The Authority Song – Marina And The Diamonds

This is purely because I’m curious as to what it would sound like. It could be a complete disaster, it could be the best thing since sliced bread warmed up with cheese and Worcestershire sauce.

My Sundown – My Chemical Romance (With Full Orchestral Backing)

Now when I say My Chemical Romance I mean full-on Black Parade My Chem. When they were at there most bombastic, their most theatrical, and (some would argue) their best. Them doing this would be the perfect closing to this project, it would be big enough so that the compilation felt like it had a closer, a grand finale to the audio trip through the album. The orchestra? Well that will just make it better, will make it seem bigger, will make it seem more draining, you will listen to this and feel exhausted by the end of it, which this album needs, as the original is (dare say it) kind of a bland way to close it.

So that’s this over, what do you think ? Where did we go wrong? Where did we  go right? What would have been better?

Re-Recording The Black Parade (Take 2)

You know the drill, and you know why. So in the words of the Virgin Mary “let’s get on with it”

The End – The Mars Volta

When I read the previous one this one annoyed me because of how great the choice was; mainly because it would work similarly to Eulogy off England Keep My Bones. As such I had to try to take it in a different direction:

Instead of it being acoustic-ey and building up. I decided to go with a choice that would just be balls to the wall insane, and would probably end up being about 5 minutes long. Just a Spanish Jam sequence of insanity. If you haven’t heard of The Mars Volta and you’re too lazy to watch the video above I’ll try to describe them for you: the sound of an acid trip whilst driving through the dessert.

Dead – Horrorpops

For this I focused mainly on the slight twang underlying the song. So I went with these guys:

They have the twang, they have the right drummer for it, and admit it; it would be pretty cool to hear female vocals do this song wouldn’t it?

This Is How I Disappear – Peeping Tom

I should probably start with explaining who Peeping Tom are. It’s basically Mike Patton from Faith No More, being very cool. This is one of my favourite albums I own and has some truly amazing songs on it. I can see his version of this song being a bit slower, a bit darker, and a bit more (I shan’t mince my words here): f*ckable.

The Sharpest Lives – Less Than Jake

My first choice for this was Survival Guide (mainly because I’m still in mourning for Tsunami Bomb) but couldn’t find the song that would showcase it well enough. I then realised that that would mean WAAAAAY too much slow synth based stuff this early on. So changed my mind. Other ones that went through my head were Jimmy Eat World and Biffy Clyro. Then I just thought: TRUMPETS!

 

Welcome To The Black Parade – Cobra Starship

Now this is just mean. This song is so MCR that it would be almost blasphemy. So this can only really be covered two ways: 1) a slowed down cover like Ben Folds would too. 2) Someone just going all out and bombastic as possible. Now contrary to popular believe I prefer the second. You need someone to just attack this like a circus ring leader mixed with a serial killer. So who better than Cobra Starship? Now I know, i’ve put a lot of synth stuff in this, but this is different: it’s dance-synth

I Don’t Love You – Ben Folds

Mainly because I imagined it in my head and it made my brain cry

House Of Wolves – The Used

Ok, so file this under the “never going to happen” section. But admit it, it would be pretty cool wouldn’t it?

Cancer – Ke$ha

I know! I know! Calm down! Stop throwing things! Hey! Hey now! Which one of you threw a sink? That could have really hurt! Yes, I know this is controversial, probably the most so on this list. But believe me, she can f*cking do it. I have a Bob Dylan tribute album containing songs by Bad Religion, My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem etc. All very respectful bands. But my favourite song on it? F*cking Ke$ha. Makes me tear up every time.

Mama – Paul McCartney

Now I was tempted to go for Gogol Bordello for this. They would have matched the crazyness, and then some. I admit, I was also tempted to go with Dead Kennedys because it would have been intense as hell. So I just went awesome.

Sleep – Coheed And Cambria

Oh man I have to do this? But this song sucks. I don’t like sleep (which makes sense as I’m an insomniac). So yeah, erm, Coheed and Cambria I guess? At least then the guitars will come crashing down and wash upon you like a tsunami bomb.

Teenagers – Billy Talent

Intense guitars, a chorus made for shouting by a crowd of thousands, and a bitter sarcasm running through the entire thing. Who else could it be?

Disenchanted – Bright Eyes

Because it’s the only thing that could make this sound more emotional and brilliant

Famous Last Words – Fall Out Boy

Don’t know why, I just feel this would seem kind of cool and brilliant.

Blood – Helen Arney

Because ukuleles make everything better.

BONUS SONG

Because I really really really want My Chemical Romance to cover this.