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Recommendations: August 9, 2008
08/09/08 at 09:29 PM by Adrian Villagomez

The Dark Knight

Batman Begins introduced us to Gotham City as a realistic metropolis sick with corruption, and The Dark Knight finds the city aflame. Gotham City has never been this dark outside the pages of a graphic novel. There is a certain mood created and maintained by this film; it’s one comparable to being set in a guillotine, waiting for the unseen blade to fall. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating tension to experience, and it is where we are immersed for over two hours... [read full review]


Radiohead - OK Computer

Consumerism, unrest, 1984. The pop appeal of The Bends is replaced. This is an album you listen to all the way through, just as you would read a great novel from cover to cover. Do not skip chapters, do not question your vanity, do not evolve.

Listen: Amazon; iTunes

Music VideosRadiohead - "Paranoid Android"

Radiohead - "Karma Police"

Radiohead - "No Surprises"

Tags: music video, radiohead, recommendation
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Recommendations: April 27, 2008
04/26/08 at 09:17 PM by Adrian Villagomez

Ramones - It’s Alive 1974-1996 (review)

The Ramones are forefathers of punk rock. The first family of punk began in Forest Hills, Queens, New York back in 1974, and their long, dark hair and leather jackets are as recognizable today as their music. They played rock and roll hard and fast, and with the help of Joey Ramone's sometimes scraggly vocals, they carved out their own genre in music history. Their influence can be felt in countless bands, from The Clash and Black Flag to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day. But there was no wave to ride, and the Ramones had to tour relentlessly to turn confused onlookers into dedicated fans. It’s Alive 1974-1996, a two-disc DVD released last year through Rhino Records, chronicles the band's decades of touring and features "over four hours of rare and unreleased performances from around the world." Needless to say, this is a must own for Ramones fans.


Radiohead - The Bends

Radiohead are going to earn a spot on my 'favorite bands' list before long. Pablo Honey won me over with strong alternative rock songs like "Vegetable" and "I Can't," and The Bends finds the band branching out and taking more control over the direction of their sound. There's less appeal here for radio (fuck the radio), and the biting, distorted vocals found during the chorus of "My Iron Lung" isn't very reminiscent of the band's first hit "Creep." But the two tracks I'm most taken with, due in part to the lyrics, are "The Bends" (Anton's got 'em) and "Black Star." I've found that I quite enjoy when Thom Yorke longs to be somewhere or someone else ("I wish it was the sixties / I wish I could be happy / I wish, I wish / I wish that something would happen"). "Black Star" is beautiful. I love Yorke's voice and the changes in lyrics that make the song more depressing as it goes on. Next up: OK Computer.

Music VideosRadiohead - "The Bends" live 1994

Radiohead - "My Iron Lung" live at the Astoria, London

Radiohead - "Black Star" live at the Astoria, London

Tags: dvd, music, radiohead, ramones, recommendation, video
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Recommendations: March 30, 2008
03/29/08 at 08:56 PM by Adrian Villagomez

Léon (The Professional)

Three things make Léon great: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, and Gary Oldman. Reno plays the title character, a hitman (or "cleaner") by trade, whose life follows a set routine of work, drinking milk, and watering his rootless plant. Mathilda (Portman) enters Léon's life out of desperation, and she places the choice of love or death before him. Gary Oldman plays the other side of the law, a DEA officer who has no qualms about the drug related activities he partakes in. Léon is the story of their three lives intertwining and the changes they're faced with as a result. The relationship between Léon and Mathilda is the central thread of the film, though there's enough action (he's a hitman!) to easily recommend this to just about anyone. Why is Portman one of the best female talents in Hollywood today? She was kicking ass even at age 12.


Radiohead - Pablo Honey

Up until a few weeks ago all I really knew about Radiohead was hearsay. They're the greatest band on the planet, they're highly overrated, and some of my favorite Long Island musicians love one or two of their albums. I figured it was finally time to meet the band for the first time. Sure, I'd heard and enjoyed "Creep," but that's nothing more than single territory. I've been listening to their freshman album Pablo Honey for the past two weeks, and I've got to say, I'm digging the sound of these enthusiastic young men from Oxfordshire. I believe the first song to catch my attention off the album was "Anyone Can Play Guitar" in which Thom Yorke sputters out, "I wanna be, wanna be, wanna be Jim Morrison." Now I've moved onto "Vegetable" and "I Can't," which are my two favorite songs on the album at this point. Apparently the best is yet to come with this band (for me at least), but for now relive the first time with me.

Music VideosRadiohead - "Creep"

Radiohead - "Anyone Can Play Guitar"

Radiohead - "Vegetable" live @ The Astoria, 1994

Tags: leon, movie, music, radiohead, recommendations, video
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