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Articles Archive for August 2010

Guide, Music »

by Rudy Klapper [31 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 929 views]
THE CRITIC: Ra Ra Riot’s “The Orchard” Catchy Album Of Baroque-Pop

I love it when bands surprise me. For someone who thought Ra Ra Riot were like a lesser Vampire Weekend with a string section after 2008’s so-so The Rhumb Line, I was ready to push through The Orchard and let it down gently. Then I listened to it, and lo and behold, a band I had written off ends up backhanding me across the face with one of the better albums I’ve heard all year. Previous fans of the band will no doubt be delighted to hear that singer Wes Miles still sounds like Ezra Koenig, if a little more prone to falsetto, and that the band’s bouncy brand of pop-rock is still very much in evidence (just check out that ADD bass line on uber-catchy single “Boy”). But whereas The Rhumb Line was all meaty melodies and festival-ready sing-a-longs, The Orchard feels like a proper album of baroque pop - the songwriting is noticeably stronger, the band takes their time around the tunes rather than jumping headfirst into hooks, and the lovely strings of violinist Rebecca Zeller and cellist Alexandra Lawn seem far more integrated into the affairs here rather than the gimmick they at times appeared to be on their debut.

Music, The Critic »

by Rudy Klapper [29 Aug 2010 | One Comment | 22,780 views]
THE CRITIC: Katy Perry Disappoints With Teenage Dream

Dear Katy,

I thought you were different. I used to think your sprightly personality, subtle sarcasm and jabs at more established musicians, and defined sense of style suggested a deeper dimension than your average pre-fab pop star. Despite admittedly simple, straightforward pop like “I Kissed A Girl” and “Waking Up In Vegas” along with lyrics and photos meant to stir up controversy and firmly place you into the bracket of commercial whore, I always thought there was more to you than your run-of-the-mill Ke$ha or Pussycat Dolls. You even sort of look like my future wife Zooey, and that’s always a plus…

Blog, Celebrity »

by Kelcey Bridges [28 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 1,766 views]
Top 5 Happily UnMarried Hollywood Couples

In Hollywood, pregnancies aren’t too shocking – neither are breakups quite frankly. But what is surprising is celebrity marriages. The Summer of 2010 can easily be dubbed as the “Summer of Commitment” in Hollywood, with upwards of nearly 25 celeb couples tying the knot. While it appears there is an influx of unions in Hollywood, there’s always a flip side to that fairy tale story. In Hollywood, where there’s a wedding, there’s a divorce lurking not too far behind. Still, there’s a fair share of celeb’s who are keeping wedded bliss at bay - opting to be fully committed to one another - even starting families together - without tying the knot. Here’s the Top 5 Happily UnMarried Hollywood Couples.

Music, The Critic »

by Rudy Klapper [23 Aug 2010 | One Comment | 837 views]
THE CRITIC: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s “Let It Sway” Is Stale Indie Pop Perfection

What made Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s debut album Broom such a delight was its simple charm and beautifully unassuming melodies. Sure, it was home-recorded in a pointedly lo-fi manner and slightly derivative of bands like the Shins and early Apples in Stereo, but there was something inspiring about these three Missouri kids pulling off some truly gorgeous indie pop with a miniscule budget. It meant the songs had to be good, not fluffed up with studio tricks, and they were. The songs on Pershing were just as solid, no doubt, but a more confident SSLYBY began to lose some of that production innocence and amateur sensibility that colored their debut, seeming instead to be searching desperately for that hit single to put them over the top. Now we finally have The Indie Band Making Good - Death Cab’s Chris Walla behind the boards, a honest-to-God studio to play with, and a summer release date, the perfect time to listen to a band as breezy and lighthearted as SSLYBY generally sound. Unfortunately, what they end up with sounds more like contemporary Weezer than something you might find at the back of your local discount record store, something that was perhaps not groundbreaking but definitely yours.

Blog, Celebrity »

by Kelcey Bridges [16 Aug 2010 | 4 Comments | 1,184 views]
Top 5 Things You Don’t Want Mel Gibson to Say to You: Movie Quotes Edition

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you have likely heard about the never ending rant saga that is Mel Gibson’s life. He’s had quite a few choice words for his ex, Oksana Grigorieva. While the tapes are…interesting to say the least, they aren’t very creative. One has to wonder what would have happened if Mel had pulled out some of his stellar quotes from his hit movies.

Blog »

by Erin Darling [13 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 941 views]
Weaving Movements Together For Charity At The Greek Theater

The Dolores Huerta Foundation’s mission is to inspire people to organize sustainable communities to attain social justice. Tonight, they’re doing that by bringing Zack de la Rocha and Carlos Santana to the Greek Theater. How do you celebrate your birthday when you’re an iconic human rights activist? Throw a huge benefit concert, if you’re Dolores Huerta. Weaving Movements Together is the most altruistic party you’ll attend this year. This star-studded concert benefits the Dolores Huerta Foundation, giving attendees the opportunity to listen to some of their favorite music acts while supporting their community. The line up includes Pete Escovedo, Lila Downs, the aforementioned Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine, and the original guitar hero, Carlos Santana. Danny Glover, Martin Sheen and Benjamin Bratt are also scheduled to make appearances at the event.

Music, The Critic »

by Rudy Klapper [8 Aug 2010 | One Comment | 718 views]
THE CRITIC: Avi Buffalo Leaves You Wanting More

Following a hype train can be a dangerous thing. Follow the right one and you can end up discovering something new and revitalizing, like a Surfer Blood or a Tallest Man on Earth. Follow the wrong one and you could spend hours convincing yourself to like the newest Black Kids CD because, well, dozens of bloggers can’t be wrong! When precocious Long Beach young ‘uns Avi Buffalo released their anticipated debut earlier this year, they had all the prerequisites for their own hype machine: hot single(s), Pitchfork approval, a fairly surprising rating on Metacritic (82!). I listened to one song, judged them as an early Shins knock-off and promptly forgot about them. That’s the problem with hype - too much of it and you go into the listen expecting something utterly mind-blowing, something that will live up to an almost mythic status all this blogosphere talk builds up yet rarely matches. Avi Buffalo is not mind-blowing, nor is it even one of the best debuts I’ve heard this year. Simply put, it’s great, solid indie-pop music, music that merely portends the arrival of a band that has more potential than most their age and some pretty slick songwriting chops.

Fashion »

by Erin Darling [3 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 787 views]
Fall Fashion Trends 2010: From The Runway To Your Closet

Enjoy your summer sandals while you can! Fall is quickly approaching and you’ll soon have to kiss your beloved bikinis and denim shorts goodbye. But with the conclusion of every season, comes the opportunity (or excuse) to shop for another. Keep these trends in mind while you start to eye new pieces for your fall wardrobe.