I always find it amazing when I hear music that’s created in a bedroom studio. It always has a cozy, warm aesthetic that’s much more listenable than any other genre I find. Perfume Genius and Youth Lagoon have really captured the essence of bringing the music from the bedroom (or a friends) to life. With the release of the weird, but very good Wondrous Bughouse, I’ve felt the need to rekindle some of that lo-fi feel in my daily music listening. A musician that brings together this idea greatly is Candy Cigarettes.
Lane Mueller is a solo, self-taught musician out of Portland that has been releasing songs under the alias of Candy Cigarettes. Already playing in festivals around his hometown (The monstrous Kaleidoscope Festival in Eugene, Or), his deep baritone voice is rare to hear in the dream pop genre he’s playing. What makes him special as well is how he can jump from a Matt Berninger rumble to a Ben Gibbard, Postal Service, style of singing. Because of his smaller scale and bedroom feel, it’s obvious the quality cannot compete with some of the bigger players in the business, but it adds to the feel of his music. The tracks I listened to, “Tomorrow”, “Stockholm”, “Call Her Friend” and “My 45″ all fall under the same lo-fi sound, but are extremely different in their own qualities.
I’m torn between “Stockholm” and “Call Her Friend” as my personal favorite track from Mueller. It’s easy to tell what emotions he’s trying to convey from his diverse range of sound. “Stockholm” begins as a lonely, National influenced track that bursts into a riff resembling “Entertainment” by Phoenix. I hated that song on it’s own, but Mueller takes the idea of the riff, and creates it into a great ending for a sad, revealing track.
“Call Her Friend” was not a track I wanted to hear from the opening guitar riff. it’s too Garage Band like, but I gave it a chance and I found it to be Mueller’s most creative work. I hear an early Death Cab for Cutie influence, but with more desperation with the backing vocals droning off, leading into an outstanding electronic section. The song has so many different noises coming from different angles, but Mueller utilizes the silence of the chorus with the background vocals to create amazing tension and connection with the listener. I also found the bridge and fade out to be very solid, with the exception of the blues guitar that doesn’t fit. Nonetheless, great track.
“Tomorrow” was the song that I first heard, and it did really capture my attention. It’s the definition of bedroom music, and that’s not an insult in the slightest. I’m saddened by the fact that many people haven’t been introduced the Candy Cigarettes, or other bedroom artists of the same nature. Mueller’s bio describes himself as “Carved name amongst the elders of Portland’s highly proclaimed music scene”, and it makes scene. This track in particular has huge potential to be a radio hit with a bit of clean-up. My same comment goes as the blues guitar doesn’t fit the overall feel of Mueller’s music, but nonetheless it doesn’t detract from the great ideas.
Lane is among the many talented solo musicians who are striving to have their name heard. Some are pretty established, like Mueller, while others haven’t shown a single soul their creations. All we know is it can be a work of genius if we give it a chance. Thanks to the age of social media, we can experience the greatness of millions of musicians, and see their minds flow. Just listen to “Weary Is”, and tell me the closing piano notes don’t make you feel something special. Candy Cigarettes, much like Washed Out, is a unique project that only needs that single opportunity, and at 21, Lane Mueller will be given many.
It is because films like this that I love Halloween! Directed by CGI animators Miguel Ortega (Jack The Giant Killer, THOR) and Tran Ma (Alice In Wonderland, G.I. Joe) The Ruby Green Pumpkin is a delight in that way that years from now you’ll be asking yourself “remember that one Halloween story…yeah that one. Wasn’t it awesome!” The story is a cleverly woven limerick about a woman/witch who lives in this wondrous world and gives candy to all who come to her door, dressed mind you. She dispenses these goodies from her ruby green pumpkin year after year. The story goes on to show all sorts of folks coming to her door for goodies and dressed in their Halloween best. It’s all pretty cheery until the three boys arrive, now I won’t spoil it for you, but that’s where the Tim Burton light heartedness kinda wanes, but still stays beautiful. My hopes is that every kid in the world gets a chance to see films like this, cause they are just plain good and filled with that level of simple story telling that’s hard to find nowadays.
The Green Ruby Pumpkin is a magical and fun short film that captures the enchantment of Halloween. It was a passion project that was created by two Senior visual effects artists. Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma. This Entire project was shot in the living room. watch the making of HERE
Currently Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma are working on a Lovecraft-esque feature called The Ningyo.
A 1909 period film about cryptozoology. The search for mythological or unproven creatures. A Faustian tale about loosing oneself in the process of achieving our goals.
A Ponce De Leon type adventure involving deep sea diving and underwater caverns.
Dr. Marlowe, a paleontologist and professor, finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, the mythical Japanese creature, could be found. The legend claims whomever consumes its flesh will attain remarkable longevity. He presents the project to his peers, who mock and dismiss him as a fraud. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.
You can see our other visual effects work MONSTER SCULPTER
- Pumpkin Planning!! (thewellcraftedhome.wordpress.com)
- Perfectly Pumpkin Cocktails (manhattanwithatwist.com)
- Pumpkin Décor: Beyond Carving (seanpurcellphotography.wordpress.com)
- Where’s My Pumpkin Pie!? (thecarlosshow.com)
- Free Pumpkin Stencils for Carving or Etching, Just Print & Carve (thecrochetcrowdblog.com)
- Balloon Pumpkin Patch (thepartyconnection.wordpress.com)
I’ve seen fan-made trailers like this before, but most never see the light of day, but this bit of magic compliments of Julian House at Intro-Partnership is what Cinephiles, like myself, drool over. This trailer alone, is enough to warrant a screening at The Cinefamily. It has that 60′s psychedelica/horror vibe and when you read the synopsis you’ll understand why.
A Field in England is directed by Ben Wheatley from a screenplay co-written by Wheatley and Amy Jump. The story follows a small group of deserters fleeing from a raging battle through an overgrown field. As they are captured by O’Neil, an alchemist, they are forced to aid him in finding a hidden treasure he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group descends into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia as it becomes clear the treasure might not simply be gold. The film opens in the UK starting July 5th and the United States later this year.
Animated short “How to train your Robot” does in two minutes what “Real Steel” couldn’t do in an hour
This is an exquisitely crafted short by the Platige Academy that demonstrates, first hand, what simple story telling is about. It’s starts with a well thought out idea and solid concept, then you find those whose vision fits the one your trying to create and then hope to God you guys get along and luckily for them they did or didn’t…who knows? What I know is that this is one solid short with one hell of a pay off. Your gonna love this!
Quick shout out to Geek Tyrant for posting this.
The main reason for independent music’s rise to fame is that it’s different. The musicians claim they have a ‘fresh’ new idea, and they’re ‘not like other bands’. Sadly, the reality is that Indie music is slowly becoming more stale by every release. This isn’t because of the high popularity of the genre’s umbrella-like term, or because it’s cool to pretend that we don’t care, but it’s because the mainstream media is jumping on every act around. *GASP*, yes indie music is mainstream music. Let’s admit it already. From The Lumineers and Mumford’s folk sound to Passion Pit’s indie pop stardom, it’s everywhere. Now before you decide these bands are utter shit, let me remind you that it’s only a handful that cash in early with their checks. Even the bands I’ve mentioned still have their dedication to music (so far). The heart of indie music is found in the local media. In a city like Vancouver, where we’ve been overrun from the next big band, it’s hard to stand out. Occasionally there’s a band that sets the tone for what’s expected, and that’s constantly We Are The City.
Hailing from Kelowna, BC and now residing in Vancouver, the band’s claim to fame is winning the prestigious Peak Performance Contest and releasing a killer debut LP and EP. I’ve been following this band closely because everything I’ve heard in the studio and live is absolutely amazing. Their debut release, In A Quiet World, is my top rated album from 2009, and 2011 proved to be great with their ultra cool EP, High School. For anyone unaware of this band, they’re a combination of sound is scattered. At times I hear Local Natives mixed with King Crimson, and others I hear The Antlers mixed with Archers Of Loaf. It’s a unique sound that I’m sure will be a major influence in the local scene. They provided me with a snippet of a sophomore release, and I was very excited to hear that their new album, Violent, has finally arrived.
First things first; this is completely different from anything the band has done before. What In A Quiet World had with their catchy prog-rock, and High School had with their experimental pop, Violent feels down right depressing. The album still contains the disjointed and tight sections that We Are The City are famous for, but they’re a different style here. Gone are blitzing structural shifts and in are the continuous drum sections and droning guitar riffs. From the get-go, “Bottom Of The Lake”, has a lush flow of notes on the keyboard, and a 2/4 drum lick that doesn’t stray away for the entire song. I have to say, I was kept on hold waiting for the song to shift, but I never got that. To my surprise though, I really enjoyed the opening without the complex compositions the band is known for. The only song on this album that has that classic feel is “King David”. It’s 7/4 time signature brings me back to my 2009 listening days. We Are The City has matured and they’re wanting us to know that. “Legs Give Out” has a slight In A Quiet World sound, but it never hits the crescendo that songs off the previous album did.
I’m not mentioning that I dislike these songs, but they definitely require a mental shift to grasp the fact that We Are The City aren’t the band they used to be. They’re more mature, down to earth, and experimental. The first four tracks provide a throwback feel to older albums, but it’s when “Friends Hurt” comes in that it really sinks in that the band has changed. What a perfect soundtrack for that realization, because the entire song revolves around despair and sadness. The band literally fucks with emotions like it’s nothing, and I give them huge credit for that. The second half of the album feels very experimental, with it’s almost minimal feel and usage of sound instead of hooks. The songs tend to drone on, creating a thick atmosphere that feels like Animal Collective gone acoustic. Tracks like “20 Ft. Up” and “Punch My Face” are good examples of the developing sound. Same with “Everything Changes”. It’s long chords and drum machine contain such a dynamic sound for a basic song. That’s the magic of We Are The City. They’re music, even though it sounds very complex, is quite simple. The complexity comes with the structure of songs. They change dynamics so quickly and contrast the previous sections like a post-rock album. Still, the band is a progressive rock band no matter what the locals might say about them.
I’m still sold on the song “Baptism”. It’s definitely the album’s lead single (If it were to have any), and shows how much the band has progressed in the past two years. Inner conflicts almost split the band, and they even resided in a tiny house close to mine to get away from the never ending mess of stardom. Drummer, Andy Huculiak is easily one of the best drummers for a band in Vancouver, and the way he manages the back beat has me jealous every time I hear him play. The song plays out like fuzzed out version of previous lead singles by the band, and takes a piece from Flaming Lips’ iconic Embryonic. The sound is so aggressive without having that upfront punch. It’s sound resembles a ballad until the signature We Are The City ‘second of silence’, and that’s where the song takes shape. It’s distorted, massive, and bursting from the seams like noise rock song with a massive melody.
The band has such goofy and down to earth lyrics that it’s so easy to get lost in them alone. They constantly feel like underdogs and are so likable, even with their accessibility being quite lower than other bands of the same sound (Local Natives, Cold War Kids). Now, the band still has that sound of self-despair, but what made the past albums run so smoothly was the themes that surrounded the band. The group doesn’t seem set on what they’re trying to accomplish with Violent, and maybe that’s the point. When a band is almost on the way to self-destruction, that’s where the most honest work comes out. Much like Weezer’s ultimate Pinkerton, it was the best work by the band at the worst time. So to speak, Violent is no Pinkerton, but the comparison in themes really resemble one another. Violent also feels like a slow cooker, and so far I’m not 100% sold on this new sound, but before I know it, it’ll be on my playlist non stop. The album is yet to click, but I know it will soon. Nonetheless, be sure to check out this sophomore release by the amazing band.
Here’s the first promo for the album that contains the song, “Baptism”:
Finally, here’s the actual studio version of the epic “Baptism”:
The music of Daughn Gibson is melancholy enough without placing odd visuals to it, but what director Saam Farahmand has done is placed Daughn Gibson himself and Daughn’s music, in the misty woods with birds, pitbulls and pasty young girls and voila…magic. A lot of “questions”, run on throughout this interesting piece. Is it about gun control and forest fires?I don’t know people, stop asking me stupid questions. It’s indie and enigmatic and, for all intents and purposes, could be the most profound bit of film I’ve ever seen, if I can decode it. Let me know what you think. No seriously, let me know.
Another Hell stars
Here’s a DAZED article that features an interview with the director.