The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday October 23rd


Selling some Avett Brothers

If you don't believe that Concord's The Avett Brothers have really broken it big time, you will after watching this entertaining little clip for "Slight Figure of Peach." The premise of selling their album over a crappy version of QVC is fantastic, and the dichotomy between the flashes of the band's frenetic energy and tame on-TV persona is hard not tot take as savvy, self-aware acknowledgement of the band's transformation since jumping onto the national stage.

Hollywood Hopefuls: XionProductions

For this week, I have something a little different. This guy impersonates a wide array of movie/ television characters, as well as real life prominent figures: Napoleon Dynamite, Pedro, the South Park boys, Yoda, George W. Bush, Seinfeld. Everyone will be able to recognize something, and the beauty is that he manages to do over forty characters in less than ten minutes.    The quality is varying: George W. Bush and Jack Nicholson didn’t work for me, while South Park was spot on. The comments are mostly negative, but it nevertheless got over 2 million views, quite impressive when you’re not Lady Gaga or Beyonce these days. Besides impressions, XionProductions (real name Nick, 29, US) works as a videographer. Or at least he aspires to, and YouTube is his test audience. But for XionProductions, it’s quantity over quality, so unfortunately my prediction is that this guy will never make it to Hollywood either, besides as a tourist. 

Misheard It Here: One Hot Minute

Up this week for clarification are a few songs I consider personal favorites, mostly because I felt the need to give some love to one of my favorite artists—they are back in the studio after all (finally).The Red Hot Chili Peppers have always had a dynamic nature about them, and thus the short-lived addition of Dave Navarro served to only further mix things up. Although the result, 1995’s One Hot Minute, was a mediocre drug trip at best, it isn’t entirely unvalued. None the less, I felt the need to reveal the meaning of two delicate songs dedicated to two iconic individuals.Click above to read more.

Taking out the trash

Heavy Trash - Local 506 - Nov. 20 New York slapback masters Heavy Trash made a stop at Local 506 Friday alongside Elliot Brood. Dive was on hand to snap some pictures.

Dive TV for Nov. 23

There's some very...interesting videos out this week. I'll start out with the video that provides the least amount of head-scratching, and then we'll work our way up the crazy scale. And the winners of the "least-crazy" title (unsurprisingly) goes to prep-tastic Vampire Weekend. The song is "Cousins," and it will be on their upcoming album Contra, due out this January. The boys spend their time here playing their instruments frantically on a moving platform going down the world's longest alleyway. Cute and quirky things happen in between. Which actually sounds similar to the idea of every other Vampire Weekend music video. But it still beats doing homework! Watch below: Click above to see more.

Movie Review: My One and Only

Never before have I wanted to walk out of the theater five minutes into a movie. Never before have I finished a movie and genuinely thought about how much better my life would have been had I spent the last two hours licking envelopes. Never before have I considered giving a movie zero stars.But here I am, and now I face the difficult task of explaining to you just how bad “My One and Only” is. At first I thought that maybe I should do the Mr.-Pretentious-Pants, big-shot critic thing, and try to be very nuanced in my dissection. To take a jackhammer to its adamantine shell of s--ttiness, so to speak, and try and dig something redeeming out of the rubble.But I can’t do it. Obviously somebody somewhere can, seeing as it has an 80 percent “fresh” rating among top (i.e., professional) critics on Rotten Tomatoes. But I’m not one of those people, and I cannot at all imagine what is running through their heads. Have they lost it?Click above to read more.

Screen Time for Nov. 20

What an utter disappointment this week is turning out to be in movies. First the Chelsea drops "The Road" from their schedule entirely, after having had it slated for an opening on November 25 (they're notoriously poor planners in that regard). Then two of the most important living directors, Werner Herzog and Pedro Almodovar, release movies in limited markets that of course don't come to Chapel Hill. And to top it all off the three new wide releases this Friday are all over-hyped confirmations of convention that look mediocre at best and downright draining at worst.On that note, I will take this opportunity to encourage you to go see "New Moon," the second movie installation in the "Twilight" series of vampire-hottie fantasies of sexual awakening for adolescent girls (and post-adolescent girls who I suppose still haven't sexually matured). It's wide release, so you can surely see it anywhere there are desperately single girls wishing that some strong, cold man would come around and suck their life-force out through their jugular. It's directed by Chris Weitz, who is returning from his critically-panned attempt at the first "Twilight" movie, and this one isn't looking much better. Weitz has had success in the past (my favorite film of his happens to be "Antz," and I also found his stab at the conceptually difficult "Golden Compass" to be admirable and under-rated), but it's unlikely that this will be counted as one of them. After all, what can you really do with a story whose linchpin is the principle that hot guys are hotter when they look like preter-natural underwear models?Which begs the question: why am I encouraging you to go see this film? Well, you see, I'm not really. It's a joke. There just isn't anything actually worth writing about this week. Sad, huh?

Reel Deal: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

The last time we saw our beloved swashbucklers, Jack Sparrow was swigging rum on a dinghy heading for the Fountain of Youth, while Elizabeth and Will Turner (if you cared as much as I did and sat through 11 minutes of “At World’s End” credits to see the bonus scene) have been reunited after ten years of Will’s service to The Flying Dutchman. Ah, but the story continues… sort of. The fourth installment of the Pirates series will include several changes from the previous three. You POTC lovers should brace yourselves for these details…Click above to read more.

Brew-Ha-Ha: Brown Ale

I cheer, you cheer, we all cheer for good beer.If you’re drunk that phrase would probably run something more like this: I beer, you beer, we all beer for good…beer.Yes, beer can make us happy, but that doesn’t mean it makes us poets. However, it can make otherwise ridiculous or inscrutable things totally palatable. One of my favorite expressions ever is the pithy old saying, “A pint can do more than Milton can, to justify God’s ways to man.” Believe me, I’ve tried them both, and it’s true.With that bit of beer-lore out of the way, we can now turn to actual beer. I hit two local bars/breweries this week to see what craft brews they had on tap. Coincidentally, both the Carolina Brewery and Top of the Hill have fairly different, though both rather bland brown ale offerings at the moment. Of the two I preferred the Brewery’s, but that might have been prejudiced by the fact that the atmosphere at Top O’ repulses me. Like the hierarchical pretensions implied in its name, I find it high on expense and low on significance. I also have an inside girl at The Brewery, one Catherine S., who makes the bar tender I had at Top O’ look like a jackass, and downright ugly to boot. But, taking my cues from Fox News as always, I’ll report and let you decide. I apologize for not getting any pictures.Click above to read more.

Mixtape Round-Up: November 13-19

Pretty pleased with this week's crop of mixtapes, you should be too.Bam! I'm gonna hit you real quick with the highlight of the week. Atlanta's Pill has been going in hard on every track he's been releasing of late and gaining a pretty big Interwebs buzz because of it. Well deserved buzz I must say. Pill has that crossover appeal between street and lyrical that all heads can appreciate. Ced L. Young gets most of the production credits on this tape, but don't get confused, Pill is the star on this. I can't even talk about this anymore, just download it.What's Good?: "Gymnastics," "Run up to Me" Feat. Freddie GibbsTracklist and Download link for 4075 - The RefillIf I hadn't been on such a Pill tip of late, this would have been the runaway favorite for mixtape of the week. Emilio Rojas teams ups with DJ Green Lantern to put together a hell of a mixtape. Producers such as Keelay and Zaire, Sean C and LV, Boi-1da, Nottz and 6th Sense all line up to grace the tracklist and back Emilio's vocals. The half Latino spits straight fire on tracks but can also slow it down. Emilio has definitely taken note of what the Internet likes and he has something for everyone.What's Good?: "Sympathy for the Devil," "Tonight"Tracklist and Download link for The Natural Where's Brooklyn at? As much as I love the name Brokn.Englsh, I like the group's music more. This trio brings both the soul and energy in their lyrics and make you feel good. I said Emilio Rojas was a student of the Internet, Brokn.Englsh is a student of the culture. This album bleeds Brooklyn hip-hop and sounds like a soundtrack to the city. Shit, it's a soundtrack to anywhere that deserves good hip-hop. Also doesn't hurt that I like the album art.What's Good?: "Cherry Popper," "I Will" Feat. Pardon the StrangerTracklist and Download link for The Drawing Board

5 Questions: Dynamite Brothers

 For this week’s 5 Questions, Dive assistant editor Linnie Greene spoke with Shane Hartman, bassist for local rock trio Dynamite Brothers who celebrates the release of new album Again at The Cave on Friday. With the brand new record about to hit shelves and a musical career that spans more genres than a record store, Hartman divulged some of his band’s unexpected, ultra-funky influences and explained why, when Hollywood came calling, The Dynamite Brothers answered. Diversions: Again evokes numerous sounds and comparisons. Who are some of your influences?Shane Hartman: Too many to list. The three of us are the core of the band, but all three of us have a wide range of influences, pretty much any and everything. As far as stylistically where we try to go with it is kind of a rock ‘n’ roll thing, but heavily influenced by 60s and 70s soul music, — Sly and the Family Stone, Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, The Chambers Brothers, I could go on and on, but definitely a heavy dose of '60s and '70s soul and funk. Also a little jazz thrown in. We are a rock band, so we like rock ‘n’ roll of course—anything from The Beatles to Captain Beefheart. All of us have played several kinds of music, anything from jazz to reggae and ska. Actually Mitch and I used to play with a kind of Reggae funk band called the Platinum Heavyweights. Duke Ellington says there’s two kinds of music: “Good music and bad music.” We like the good stuff.Click above to read more of the interview.

Movie Review: The Fourth Kind

“The Blair Witch Project” is one of the most successful horror films of all time thanks to the fact that it marketed its premise as real events. “The Fourth Kind” aims to follow in its footsteps, but its poor execution ultimately has more in common with a particularly hokey episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.”“The Fourth Kind” claims to be based on the true story of Dr. Abigail Tyler (portrayed by both Milla Jovovich and “herself”), a psychologist in Nome, Alaska, who found an extraterrestrial explanation for the high number of disappearances in the area.Despite the ostensibly fact-based premise, apparently a Dr. Tyler never actually existed, and the Anchorage Daily News found that the missing people in the area were more likely a result of chronic alcoholism and heavy snowfall.Nonetheless, the film presents its story as the truth, along with purportedly authentic interview tapes from Tyler. One of the movie’s biggest weaknesses is the overreliance on “actual footage,” from Tyler’s patient interviews to police dash-cam video.Click above to read more.

Cross it off

The xx - Local 506 - Nov. 17 Critically acclaimed and incredibly emotional Brit indie poppers The xx stopped by Local 506 on Monday. Dive was around to snap a few pictures.

Local Song of the Week: "Can't Stop Falling In Love"

Ah, radio rock, how you are sorely missed in our culture. There's something about an electric riff, a uncontrollable heartbeat rhythm and everyman lyrics about the inescapable allure of women that's just hard to resist. And while this sort of throw-it-all-to-the-wind single is almost as good as gone on our current FM dial, Chapel Hill's Dynamite Brothers bring the goods in large amounts. A perfect example of their expertise in the genre is "Can't Stop Falling In Love." Just try to resist this bright, pounding, rock 'n' roll song of the week. I dare you.Download "Can't Stop Falling In Love" here.

Interesting CD Releases for Nov. 17

This week at the record store you'll find two vert interesting new releases: one, an attempt to get a once promising career back on track, the other, what looks to be a promising start by some fresh talent.After 2007's underwhelming Curtis and its well-publicized sales lost to Kanye West's Graduation, most everything about 50 Cent's career was in doubt. Following lukewarm reception for the second record with his G Unit collective last year, 50's back to put his deep, smooth flow back to work on Before I Self Destruct, a record that will hopefully right the ship. Lead single "Baby By Me" harnesses a smooth hook by Ne-Yo and charismatic sex talk to create a good little laid-back club jam, but it's going to take more than that to let 50 retake the thrown he once occupied at the forefront of the rap game. We'll have to see if this one has the goods.Playing a mix of big, bold, sunny psychedelic pop that sounds like it's straight out of 1967, New Jersey's Real Estate build on the shoulders of greats such as The Beach Boys and The Beatles. This week, the up-and-coming band releases its self-titled debut, which just received the enviable honor of being named as "Best New Music" on Listening to the four tracks from the record that the band has up on its MySpace a few things become apparent. One, they are in no way bashful about sounding retro. Two, they have a considerable talent for making immediately catchy pop melodies that drill into your head quickly and deeply. Three, they're one of the most charming new bands to come along this year. If the record can keep all that up for its  full length, it will be something special.Alight guys, that's all I've got. Come back next week for some more new tunes.

Sign of the times

Times New Viking - Local 506 - Nov. 13 Ohio's rising s--tgaze stars Times New Viking stopped by Local 506 Friday. Dive was on hand to snap photos of the band as well as the opening bands, New Zealand's Axemen and Raleigh's Whatever Brains.

The Movie Trail for Nov. 17

Michael Haneke’s “Caché” was one of the most incredibly compelling (and also one of the most maddeningly inconclusive) dramas I’ve seen in years and 2007’s “Funny Games” was a disturbing thriller with little respect for the fourth wall. So when I saw the trailer for Haneke’s latest effort, “The White Ribbon” I was pretty excited. It’s already receiving plenty of accolades and has even been chosen as Germany’s submission for Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars. The trailer may seem slowly-paced and old-school, but I’m pretty confident that this pre-WWI tale of a small German village will be one of the most unsettling drama/thrillers of the year. According to Haneke the movie’s theme is “the origin of every type of terrorism, be it of political or religious nature.”Click above for more trailers.

Slimming down

Langhorne Slim - Cat's Cradle - Nov. 15 Laid-back rocker Langhorne Slim rolled through Cat's Cradle Sunday night. Dive was there to snap some shots of hima nd opener Dawes. Enjoy.

One-Hit Wednesday: "Party All the Time"

Eddie Murphy - "Party All the Time"   Sometimes famous people don’t know how to stick with what they do best. “Party All The Time” is just another example of a star who started thinking a bit too highly off themselves. Comedic, Eddie Murphy, reaches new heights with this 1985 hit. The song hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the major hit of his music career. I wouldn’t exactly call this jam a career. But that’s neither here nor there. I guess he couldn’t stick to Beverly Hills Cop (1,2,and 3) and bananas in the tail pipe. He just had to branch out and ruin it for all of us.  In case you don’t know this jam, repeat “My girl wants to party all the time” ad nauseam and I’m sure you can get it. Eddie laments that he buys “you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger/ Diamonds on your finger/ Still you hang out all night/what am I to do?” Poor Eddie is whipped. If you have tried everything in the book, including diamonds, I’m not sure that you can keep her around. Couldn’t one of his friends let him down easy.  Since no one was there to tell him how bad the leather track suit gracing the cover art for the single was we couldn’t count on anyone to let him know to let his party animal go. The best he could do after this single was some Michael Jackson video appearances and the Shrek tunes. Give him a round of applause. I have to admit he sounds better on the Shrek soundtrack (ex. “Believe”) compared to the forced high pitch voice he uses on “Party All the Time.” But where would we be without stars who decided to hit the record booth? In twenty years, I can only imagine what someone would say about “Party in the U.S.A.” To each generation, it’s own. But I happily rest, “Party All the Time” in the time capsule.

Misheard It Here: "American Pie"

There are multiple reasons why “American Pie” is up for clarification this week. Maybe it is the fact that I heard it in Ram’s Head Dining Hall following the UNC football victory on Saturday. Or maybe it’s because the song gives me a new sense of patriotism. So, in honor of me hearing the only Don McLean song that matters, here comes an abbreviated breakdown and my musings: Hopefully, it is well known that McLean’s intention was to memorialize the tragic plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (JP Richardson)-- according to McLean that is “the day the music died.” However, that is not entirely true. The refrain: Bye, bye Miss American Pie  Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry  Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey 'n' rye  Singin' this will be the day that I die. This will be the day that I die. As for the refrain, it simply reeks of American pride as well as a continuation of McLean’s fondness of Holly, his music and the 50’s decade as a whole. I always thought the lyrics were a bunch of strewn lines, but it seems they had definite intentions. American Pie? The sweet music of the 50’s. This will be the day that I die? A famous Buddy Holly song. What better way to epitomize the beloved red, white and blue? Ultimately it breaks down to this: if you don’t eat apple pie, drive a Chevy or love Buddy Holly, you must not be an American.  Additionally, it seems McLean decided to take us through a history of other musicians—ones that he deems are not as worthy as Mr. Holly. It almost plays out like a game of four square, with Dylan as the jester, Elvis as the king and the Rolling Stones as jack. Then, throw in some Satan (Jimi Hendrix or Mick Jagger, take your pick) and some Sergeant Peppers, and you’ve got a complete story. Or perhaps it’s just his way of slighting some other revolutionary musicians. While Don McLean may have faded from music’s memory, if you find yourself near that jukebox in Ram’s , give the old tune a listen and impress those around you with your new found (or not) knowledge. Don McLean, "American Pie"