Burlesque film review

Just like my previous blog post, this one finds itself a little too long for Twitter!

Disclaimer: I do not write film reviews very often, and when I do, they are usually documentaries where spoilers are not much of an issue. With that in mind, there are spoilers within this review. In the case that spoilers may be an issue, skip to paragraph five, as it contains no spoilers, and then come back to read the full review after having seen the film!

I will admit it, I did not go see Burlesque for the acting or storyline, or anything that makes a great film. In the end though, it was not that bad. A film whose story, rags to riches so to speak, has been told many a times before. And the film is full of plenty of clichés, and predictability. Such as the scene where the ‘bad’ girl Nikki (Kristen Bell) is going to make a scene of Christina Aguilera’s character Ali, however it was easy to tell as the scene progressed based on prior events in the film, Cher telling Ali character, they (the clientele) pay to see us dance to the music not sing, that that would be Ali’s big turning point in the movie.

Around a little more than halfway through the film when everything is working out well for Ali it had that feel good feeling. In the end of course everything does work out, but the story has clichéd moments that feel like they bring the film down a little.

The moral of the story to me, it is a very rare that someone goes from being a nobody to the big thing that quickly, if one is truly a prodigy so to speak, it can happen, but it is rare. And we cannot jump over periods of our lives with montages. As this is fairly evident, I bring it up for personal reasons, I am learning guitar, and working on some electronic music as well, and as a beginner, I know it takes a lot of hard work, however the film provides a feeling motivation to get going (and keep going!). I may only know a few chords, and still have much work to do, but those are the building blocks. Slowly but surely, staying positive. That being the main reason I wanted to write this review.

Ali, Christina Aguilera’s character, and Jack both have the similarity of being aspiring to do what they love (and moving to Los Angeles in hopes of finding their dreams). He writes music, while she dances and sings. Although it is not much more than accompanying aspect to the storyline for Ali, he eventually (no doubt with the help of Ali) finally finishes a piece of music that Ali sings as the final scene (throughout the film his music is never ‘ready’).

Musically, I do not listen to Christina Aguilera too often, but I do like her, and I know she can belt out music at times. This film is well suited in that aspect for her. And her acting was fairly believable. It was the aforementioned turning point, and other parts where she is performing within the film where she shines. I am not a Cher fan, but when she did sing, one of the times was fairly cliché, as mentioned earlier, regardless, it seems she can still sing.

On the Burlesque soundtrack Christina does have a few good numbers, notably “Express”, the slow “Bound to You”, and the re-working of Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People”. The latter, save for the obvious beat, riffs and the title reference, is reworked enough to make it hard to realise it was Marilyn Manson’s song. And adds a nice positive, upbeat spin on it.

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Another Beatles post

While I am presently working on a couple of new posts, one being a long delayed LP of the Week, I thought I would post this, as it is a little too long for Twitter (actually I will still likely post a Twitter abridged version).

The purpose of this post is to show the three Beatles albums not on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list.

The first, in chronological order, is With The Beatles, from November 22, 1963, their second studio album. I am of course referring to the original 12 UK releases.

Next is Beatles for Sale from December 4, 1964. It is their fourth album.

Lastly is Yellow Submarine from January 13, 1969. Their tenth album.

Rolling Stone did include one U.S. Beatles release, Meet The Beatles!, which was released January 20, 1964.

Therefore 10 Beatles albums made their list.

I am a fan of The Beatles, however I would like to see other bands and music get the treatment theirs does. No doubt some of it is out there, just a little harder to find.

Music Video of the Day recap weeks 16 and 17.

Trying to catch up on MVOD recaps on here. And filler till I write-up a proper post. Week 16 is a normal week, it followed a Canadian week (week 15), and preceded unreleased week (week 17).

#106 (December 3, 2010)
One Day As A Lion – Wild International

Only heard of these guys a few months prior to featuring the music video. They are basically Zack de la Rocha and former The Mars Volta drummer, Jon Theodore. They also have a keyboardist, but for live shows. I have not heard their self titled EP yet, but it definitely sounds like it will be promising!

#107 (December 4, 2010)
Hesta Prynn – Can We Go Wrong

Hesta Prynn is one-third of the female hip-hop, indie group, Northern State, who have in the past drawn comparisons to the Beastie Boys. Stylistically they may not be exactly the same, but it is not an unfair comparison, in fact, a compliment really! Anyway, this is from her debut EP of the same name, Can We Go Wrong. Quite different from Northern State, but still very good!

#108 (December 5, 2010)
Robbie Williams – Millennium

When this song was released, it was the soundtrack song to a mountain I went snowboarding at once with my sister. Not a snowboard friendly mountain, as it has plenty of bumps all over it. Remains a great Robbie Williams solo track, easily one of my favourites from him for sure. I have yet to hear his return to Take That!

#109 (December 6, 2010)
Jamiroquai – Light Years

Another great snowboarding song! Awesome video (tied for first for my favourite snowboarding music video of all time! There is only a few that I know of anyway!) And awesome song, would be awesome to ride down the slopes to (at a reasonable volume of course, to be able to hear other outside noises)!

#110 (December 7, 2010)
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Catch You

I first heard this when the single was released, and then I waited until Trip the Light Fantastic was released to listen to it again. Reason being it was so good, I wanted to wait to hear it along with the whole album. It was worth the wait. Great song, great album.

#111 (December 8, 2010)
Coldplay – Violet Hill

First single from what was accepted as a terrific Coldplay album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. I first heard this going to Ottawa to see Nightwood for the first time!

#112 (December 9, 2010)
The Explosion – Here I Am

True punk rock from Boston. Of course they do not exist anymore, but they certainly had a good run. This video was directed by John LaCroix of Boston hardcore band Ten Yard Fight, who also do not exist anymore.

#113 (December 10, 2010) Unreleased music week begins
Fefe Dobson – Don’t Let It Go to Your Head

Lead single from Fefe Dobson’s album Sunday Love (circa 2005), that never saw the light of day. It would have been her second album, but everything happens for a reason (as Fefe has said about it), and now we actually have her second album, Joy. It kept getting delayed, until it was finally shelved.

#114 (December 11, 2010)
Rah Digga – Party and Bullshit

Again, this was going to be released on what would have been Rah Digga’s second album, Everything Is A Story, in 2004, but for whatever reason (record label politics), it never came out. Also, we now have her second album, Classic, and it is a good one!

#115 (December 12, 2010)
Nina Sky – On Some Bullshit

This is a really sweet song, it remains in limbo. Nina Sky self released an EP, The Other Side, this past year, which was free when it came out, similar to In Rainbows, now I think it is available for $5. So “On Some Bullshit” was not on the EP obviously. It was supposed to be released on the album, The Other Side, which has been delayed drastically, and now they are having issues with their label Polo Grounds Music. They apparently want to be released from the label. They have encouraged fans to contact the label to help them out. I very much hope it does get released so I do not have to rely on the music video to hear the song! And to hear other songs that would be on it of course.

#116 (December 13, 2010)
Eve – Tambourine

Another very delayed album for reasons unknown. It was originally set to be released on Here I Am in 2007. Now it is titled Lip Lock, and looks like it will be released around May!

#117 (December 14, 2010)
Olivia – So Sexy

Her second album, Behind Closed Doors, was never released as her affiliation with G-Unit ended before it was released (according to Wikipedia). I suppose it had G-Unit collaborations and tie-ins on it. Also according to Wikipedia, she has a new album that is supposed to be released at some point, Show the World.

#118 (December 15, 2010)
Olivia – Twist It

Bonus Olivia unreleased video!

#119 (December 16, 2010)
Eve – Give It To You ft. Sean Paul

Bonus Eve unreleased video!

New artist profile – Jessie J

Odds are good if you are reading this, you already know who Jessie J is.

I only know her from her single, “Do It Like a Dude”, however, it seems 2011 should be a big year for her from what I have been reading. Winner of Sound of 2011 for one (last year Ellie Goulding won, other past winners include Little Boots, 2009, and Adele, 2008).

It is hard to tell from “Do It Like a Dude”, however, according to her Lava Records bio, “Jessie J is not just a great pop artist or a great R&B artist, or even a great hip-hop artist. The British-born, Essex-bred vocalist is malleable enough to encompass several genres, while displaying vocals reminiscent of Motown-era greats.” “Big White Room“, the first song she wrote, gives a better idea.

Jessie J (Jessica Cornish) would go on to be the main songwriter of Miley Cyrus’ big hit, “Party in the USA“. Apparently also inspired by Jessie J’s life.

Speaking of, “Do It Like a Dude”, it is an interesting track to say the least, a mix of pop, hip hop, and a little grime too. Catchy too of course.

Her second single, “Price Tag”, is supposed to be released around March, and her debut, Who You Are should follow sometime after that. I am looking forward.

Edit (January 21): There is quite a few various Jessie J videos on her Vevo page at YouTube, including an acoustic version of her upcoming single, “Price Tag“, Live on Jools Holland (in HD too!). Discovered thanks to:

https://twitter.com/#!/MrHudson/status/28392828841234432

I have not heard the studio version yet, but I look forward to hearing it, along with an accompanying music video!

Edit (February 1): The video for “Price Tag” (ft. B.o.B.) is out now!

More best of 2010

I knew I would forget some, so here is a few I missed, and honourable mentions. Honourable mentions for albums perhaps deserving the honour of being included in the best of 2010 list, however I have not listened to the releases enough to know if I would include them or not.

KT Tunstall – Tiger Suit

I am surprised I forgot KT Tunstall’s new one, as it is probably my number one if I had to choose. I wrote the review quickly after listening only a few times, and I have found it only kept getting better. It is a great album, fairly minimalistic, with less inclination to glossy pop she has done before, and more a folk approach. As KT calls it, “nature techno”! Of course, KT continues to write great songs too, some of this album being inspired by being a part of the Disko Bay Cape Farewell Project in order to witness the impact of global warming on the Arctic.

Sia – We Are Born

Sia’s first album that finds her foraying into pop, and staying there for most of the album, and it is good!

Honourable Mention:

Goldfrapp – Head First

The Roots – How I Got Over

John Legend and The Roots – Wake Up!

Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can

Land of Talk – Cloak and Cipher

Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now

Best Coast – Crazy For You

Music Video of the Day recap weeks 11 – 15.

It is about time I updated the Music Video of the Day feature from Twitter. I have not embedded the videos, as that would be annoying with so many videos in the post. It includes two theme weeks, Hip Hop week, and Canadian week. So alas…

#71
Kid Cudi – Make Her Say featuring Kanye West and Common

Sweet Cudder track from his first LP, sampling Lada Gaga’s “Poker Face” from The Cherrytree SessionsEP.

#72
The O’Jays – Love Train

During the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, this was what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert agreed upon song wise! Initially Jon wanted “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam), and Stephen wanted Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”.

#73
Misfits – Scream

Hallowe’en MVOD! From the terrific Famous Monsters! The video was directed by George A. Romero!

#74
All Saints – I Know Where It’s At

For All Saints Day. As I said on Twitter, obviously not about them, but good excuse to have one of their videos. This is their first single. A very nice urbanised Spice Girls. And in the end, they put out more quality content than the Spice Girls.

#75
The Cardigans – Erase/Rewind

From Gran Turismo in 1998. Very nice album, with more electronic, and darker feel. “Erase/Rewind” is a perfect example. Their favourite game now has its fifth version out!

#76
Melissa Auf der Maur – Follow the Waves

First solo track from Melissa, and now she recently released her second, Out of Our Minds. “Follow the Waves” is an excellent, solid song to this day.

#77
Mýa – Fallen

Really really good Mýa song. And the video was shot in Toronto, at least many parts of it.

#78 (Hip Hop Week #1)
De La Soul – Buddy

The start of hip hop week, the first themed week on the Music Video of the Day feature. Cannot go wrong with De La!

#79 (Hip Hop Week #2)
Public Enemy – Can’t Truss It

I had a hard time choosing a PE track, so in the end settled on this from Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black.

#80 (Hip Hop Week #3)
Eric B and Rakim – Don’t Sweat the Technique

The first track I heard from them, and no doubt they have many great tracks, this remains my favourite! (I first heard it in a skateboarding video, and it works well with skateboarding footy!)

#81 (Hip Hop Week #4)
Slick Rick – Children’s Story

Exactly what I said for De La, cannot go wrong with Slick Rick!

#82 (Hip Hop Week #5)
Gang Starr – Positivity

If one word could summarise Guru, and Gang Starr, positivity could be the one.

#83 (Hip Hop Week #6)
Afrika Bambaataa – Looking for the Perfect Beat

Now this one goes back! Classic hip hop electro track!

#84 (Hip Hop Week #7)
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message

One word, classic!

#85
Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl

I just made her sole album, Complex Simplicity, the LP of the week, and soon after, saw the video for “Be Your Girl” for the first time.

#86
Simon Wilcox – Mommies & Daddies

First song I ever heard from Simon (she is Canadian by the way). It is actually from her second album. And now she also has a third out. She deserves more recognition that she has received. She also does a fait amount of behind the scenes music work, such as songwriting. Wikipedia says she did Victoria Bergsman’s part on the Kooks’ cover of “Young Folks”.

#87
Kathleen Edwards – The Cheapest Key

Another awesome Canadian track, from the terrific Kathleen Edwards! She is of course referring to musical keys.

#88
Laura Marling – My Manic and I

I realised after the fact, this does not seem to be an actual music video, just a promo, still seems pretty good, and a good Laura Marling track from her debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim.

#89
Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice

I finally watched Shut up and Sing for the first time, hence choosing “Not Ready to Make Nice”. Regardless, very nice single from what is still the Chicks’ most recent effort, Taking the Long Way.

#90
Client – Can You Feel

I had just discovered Client soon before posting this. I still have to listen to them more, but they sound good, especially for fans of Ladytron and the like.

#91
Britney Spears – Radar

Probably my favourite song from her ‘comeback’ album, Blackout.

#92
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Not sure if I had seen this prior. Of course I knew the song though, a very good one at that! Stewart Copeland, another drummer/reason I want to learn to play drums! From their third album from 1980, Zenyattà Mondatta. Sting has a ‘The Beat‘ shirt on in the video! They are also known as The English Beat. I am not too familiar with the history of ska dancing, but I think they are skanking in the end!

#93
Pennywise – Homesick

Lyrically, I am not too sure if it is the exact message, but the video is about the ill effects of gun violence. Worth checking out for the message alone.

#94
Hole – Celebrity Skin

First single from Celebrity Skin. And their last album before a 12 year absence. Of course, Courtney did release a solo album in 2004, America’s Sweetheart.

#95
Fefe Dobson – Stuttering

Excellent Fefe Dobson song! Second proper single from the delayed Joy. Her new album by the way seems to be around $8 for the physical copy everywhere in North America, definitely worth it!

#96
Sade – Soldier of Love

Like I said on Twitter, she is still going strong! I slightly prefer Lovers Rock, but still “Soldier of Love” is nice 2010 Sade track! Hard to believe the gap between Lovers Rock and Sade – Soldier of Love was longer than Love Deluxe and Lovers Rock (10 versus 8 years!).

#97
Miranda Lambert – Kerosene

Her breakout single after being the third place contestant on the first season of Nashville Star. She is up for five Grammy’s this year. I think she will win her first Grammy this time around!

#98
KT Tunstall – Hold On

This was the night I saw KT Tunstall, excellent concert, and of course, all her music rules!

#99 (Canadian Music week #1)
Rush – Closer to the Heart
Bonus #MVOD Newer rendition of Closer to the Heart featuring Bubbles and Ed Robinson

The start of Canadian theme week. There is plenty of staple Canadian artists I am missing, but Rush are definitely one to be included! Also, I had just recently seen Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. Definitely worth seeing. They will be in town April 20th!

#100 (Canadian Music week #2)
Sandbox – Curious

The bonus video from above features Bubbles, from the critically acclaimed Canadian hit series Trailer Park Boys. Mike Smith is the actor who portrays him, and Sandbox was his band before Trailer Park Boys.

#101 (Canadian Music week #3)
Sloan – Money City Maniacs

A modern band that must be included in Canadian rock lists! Not sure how they feel of the comparison, I would not really use it, but for the sake of comparison, they could be the modern Canadian Beatles!

#102 (Canadian Music week #4)
Tegan and Sara – Monday Monday Monday

Great sister act! Yet another solid track from them, and this one is from 2003!

#103 (Canadian Music week #5)
Sarah McLachlan – Loving You Is Easy

No doubt many of the videos I link are regionally blocked somewhere. The Vevo video for “Loving You Is Easy” is blocked in Canada! So I linked two different versions for global watching on the Tweet after the MVOD one:

Anyway, took a few listens, but I got to quite enjoy the first single from Laws of Illusion.

#104 (Canadian Music week #6)
D-Sisive – First Winter

I do not know too much about D-Sisive, but this is a new video from him, and I follow the director of the video on twitter, Marc Andre Debruyne.

#105 (Canadian Music week #7)
Shad – Yaa I Get It

Closing out Canadian Music week, a very talented rapper, Shad. Caught him live at last year’s Jazz Fest, really good live too!

2011 Albums preview

So here is a few upcoming 2011 albums that I know of. Artists/bands are in bold. Known, or approximate release dates are shown first, followed by releases with unknown release dates as of yet. No doubt I am missing plenty. Leave a comment, or mention me on Twitter, @tmmblog with any omissions.

Emma’s Imagination – Stand Still (January 10)
Adele – 21 (January 24)
Joan As Police Woman – Deep Field (January 24)
Marsha Ambrosius – Late Nights & Early Mornings (January 24)
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (February 14)
Dr. Dre – Detox (February?)
Christine Fellows – Femmes De Chez Nous (March 1)
Melanie Doane – The Emerald City (March 1)
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys! (March 7)
Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby (March 8)
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now (March 7)
Wynter Gordon – With the Music I Die (March)
Britney Spears (March)
Lady Gaga – Born This Way (May 23)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (May/June)
Fiona Apple (Spring)

Unknown:

Amerie – Cymatika Vol. 1
Marina and the Diamonds
Coldplay
Garbage
No Doubt
Solange
Siobhán Donaghy
Beyoncé
Bjork
Ani DiFranco
Brandy
Queens of the Stone Age
Alanis Morissette
Ane Brun
JoJo
Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch My Throne
Jennifer Lopez – Love?
Rush – Clockwork Angels
Amy Winehouse
Keshia Chanté – Night & Day