Who Did It Better? “Superstar”

The Carpenters

OR

Sonic Youth

I have to agree with Jason Bateman’s character in Juno (2007) this is a masterpiece and one of the finest cover songs ever recorded. I love The Carpenters’ version, but Sonic Youth enhance the weird/haunting vibes of the original even further. But, what do you guys think? Let us know.

Mini Classic Film Reviews: Wizard Of Oz…

Full Title The Wizard Of Oz
Director(s): Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, King Vidor
Year: 1939
Comments: This needs no introduction, the wonderful, coming of age, fantasy movie about discovering you need not look further than your backyard to find inspiration and/or happiness. I would argue this is amongst the top five or ten films to revolutionize cinema forever.
Grade: A+

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Full Title: Spiderman 3
Director: Sam Raimi
Year: 2007
Comments: This is definitely the weakest of the three Spidey flicks, but it isn’t terrible. It is still a good action packed, entertaining adventure. The story is interesting enough to follow through and the aciting is okay. The villians (Sandman and Venom) are decent characters, but neither generate the kind of hatred or terror one hopes to find in his Comic Book villians such as the antagonists in the previous two Spiderman movies (Green Goblin, Doc Ock, respectively). Overall, pretty average, worth seeing if you are a fan of Spiderman and/or this genre, if not, then you may or not dig this. The film fails to move beyond its basic plot and doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Grade: C+

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Full Title: Juno
Director: Jason Reitman
Year: 2007
Comments: I don’t care what people say about this movie, I love it! I know it has received overwhelming popularity and mostly positive reviews, but I truly think this is one of the best films of the past decade, or at least one of my favorites (# 2 for the 2000s) and it seems like that’s where people lose me. As a viewer and in general as a fan of any kind of art, one of the most vital qualities, if not the most vital quality is how memorable it is. And Junebug is chock full of lasting images, quotes, scenes, characters, and one of the most endearing soundtracks of all time. I am always glad to hear that people who normally would never listen to obscure music now know and love artists like Sonic Youth and Kimya Dawson because of this soundtrack. Speaking of Kimya, her songs (as the other artists’ music) fit astonishingly perfect in the film; as if they were made solely to be heard with this film, which of course none of them were, all having been recorded prior to director Jason Reitman contacting Kimya about collaborating. So yeah, this is highly KLYAM Recommended. Wizard!
Grade: A+

CD Review: Remember That I Love You

Artist: Kimya Dawson
Full Title: Remember That I Love You
Label: K Records
Year: 2006

1) Tire Swing*- 10.0- One of my top ten favorite songs of all time! Very powerful for such a simple song. The guitar is merely a few plinks on a guitar, really just background sounds to Kimya’s ever endearing vocals. The lyrics provide great images of riding back and forth on a tire swing and forgeting “everything that had ever hurt our feelings.” I listen to this song almost every day and I never get sick of it, either I am crazy or it’s that catchy; I think it’s both.

2) My Mom- 9.7- Not quite as uplifting as the premier track, but certainly shares it’s catchiness. There’s a nice little bell sound, perhaps it’s a xylephone? I have no clue, but I dig it. Once again passionate vocals from Kimya. Lyrically this number describes, wait for it… Kimya’s mom and her state of health: dying in a hospital bed, “and there’s something in her blood, and there’s something in her leg, and there’s something in her brain.” You really feel for her and her genuine concern for her ailing mother. She naively commands ghosts to stop haunting her mom, so she can get strong; this is sad and humuorous all at once, a microcosm of Kimya’s discography (at least what I have heard).

3) Loose Lips*- 9.5- A cool protest song of sorts. “Fuck Bush and Fuck this war.” I can picture peaceful anarchsits screaming this song in the streets and dancing around burning flags, trying to persuade bystanders to join them. And when the cops come, they simply will start up again and “pretend nothing ever happened” as the song proclaims. It’s a moldy peachy version of an early Against Me! track I suppose. A fantastic sing along, to say the least. The “dupe” (or doop) thing tickles my fancy quite a bit.

4) Caving In- 9.3- The theme of her mom’s deteriating health arises again amongst other scattering thoughts. There’s a cool eastern guitar (probably not, but sounds sorta like it) in this track. This is sound, but not as good as the three that preceeded it.

5) Better Weather-9.3- Catchy as most of her tracks. In terms of music, for Kimya, as I have said before and she, herself as claimed, it’s all about the vocals. Most of the music is the same, not to say she doesn’t have range. In this tune, she delves into fatherhood, specifically her brother, who is now successfully raising his child. Uplifting :)

6) Underground-9.3- I think of 1960s radicals when I hear this song lol. One of the funniest lines appears in this song: “So, I tattoo instructions on my ass that say don’t ever put this body in a casket.” Kills me every time. She stresses that she DOES NOT want to live underground and who does?

7) I Like Giants*- 9.1-Nice and simple and catchy, like the others. I don’t have too much to say about this track. It’s a solid recording. I will note though, that there seems to be more going on then just guitar, or it’s better guitar playing? I don’t know. That xylephone (?) is back too lol.

8) The Competition- 9.2- Postive track about being special and saying “fuck you, I’m awesome, I don’t care what you think.” At some points, you feel sorry for the, young, poor, Ms. Dawson. Like, when people used to call her “fat” and told her that “she was better off dead.” Assholes. Well, it motivated her to make great music, so she proved them wrong. Yippie!

9) France- 8.9- Decent track, but nothing really stands out here to me. Though, I adore the lines, “David put that seven inch on…” “he said silly ass bitch that’s my favorite song.” David, you showed that silly ass bitch! Since, you got your song.

10) I Miss You- 9.1- An extremely brief, but really catchy tune!

11) 12/26*- 9.4- One of the sadder tracks about a massive earthquake in Indonesia on December 26. 2004. She then delves into the Iraq War and how it’s impossible to understand what these victims go through: losing their families, homes, etc. “A tragedy is a tragedy, no matter where it happens.”

12) My Rollercoaster*- 9.5- A superb finale about the ups and downs of this wacky world. Another fabulous sing along, well towards the end anyway, when abunch of folks sing the chorous and it gets real silly, but that’s the point. Just every day folks making music with their friends. Which brings me to my next point, where she incorporates lyrics from other famous songs like Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” and ” Metalica’s “One.”

Overall, I highly recommend this “Outsider” album. I always appreciate ass kicking alternatives to traditional pop music. Remember that I LOVE YA!!! ;)

* appeared in the terrifc film Juno (2007)

Chris