Saturday, February 25, 2017

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me

In celebration for an event that I've waited years and years and years for, I have decided to write a lil bit on David Lynch's
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Why you ask? Well, because David Lynch and Mark Frost have decided to do a continuation of the original series, 26 years after the last episode. 

Lynch was recently heard explaining to the press that Fire Walk with Me was "required" as a mini refresher, as it chronicles Laura Palmer's last seven days. He acknowledged that the prequel movie is "very much important" to the mini-series that will come out.

In case you were wondering, the 18 episode mini-series will premiere on Showtime on May 21st, 2017. Many of the original cast members are coming back, including Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper (YAS). Another incredibly awesome thing about this is that Angelo Badalamenti is going to return as the composer. This is obviously great because he brought us this:

enough said.

As much as I want to talk about the original (and trust me, I'm already planning a few posts about that prior to the release in May), I think it's time to revisit
Fire Walk with Me.

The sad thing about
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, is that it was met with so many pitfalls even before filming had begun, that by the time it was released in 1992, it was absolutely slaughtered. Mark Frost wasn't on board because he figured a prequel isn't what fans wanted and some of the main characters opted out. The biggest blow came from Kyle MacLachlan because he didn't want to be typecast (which was a terrible move on his part because he later on went to do the absolute cringe-worthy Showgirls). He ended up with a very minor role, which to me is still better than no Agent Cooper regardless. 

Anyway, Fire Walk with Me is probably one of the darkest Lynch films ever made. It's disturbing, and nerve-wracking, and a lot more destructive than the show ever was. It's almost like Twin Peaks deserved to be put on the big screen, so people could finally come face to face with what was exactly going on in Laura Palmer's world. Although we've all known what happened to Laura through Cooper's investigation in the series, seeing it actually go down is absolutely jarring. 

Sure, some characters backed out. Sure, it wasn't as peppy and quirky as the show sometimes was, but this was Lynch's baby, and he made sure to add all the Lynchian touches that we've grown to recognize in his other films. There are bizarre dream sequences that seem to carry on and on, confusing the hell out of you. There is a mega-important club scene where all the dialogue is absolutely inaudible. There is also an alarming amount of very unsettling silences with shots that seem to be held for eternity. 

I highly recommend everyone take a trip down memory lane and watch Fire Walk with Me. It's become such a cult classic that has counteracted all the initial reviews, and such a must for any Twin Peaks fan. Lynch changed the way TV worked. He had the ability to create such place where you cared for these characters and cared for their entire world. Not to mention cinematic style. If it wasn't for Lynch, shows with that dark and twisted edge like Stranger Things and True Detective wouldn't be what they are today.

David Lynch is a genuine mastermind at transforming you and taking you into his world, and making you feel like you're in a disoriented dreamscape. If you think about it, Laura was a total junkie. The movie plays out like a junkie's paranoid nightmare and you're left in Laura's shoes, confused about reality and looking for the answers. This movie is perfect if you're open-minded and willing to engage in a terrifyingly complex and well-pieced together Lynchian dream.


PS; Can we also briefly discuss that Bowie had an absolutely brilliant cameo in this?! I don't know about you, but any amount of Bowie is an excuse to watch something regardless! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Analog Affair - Your Summer Road Trip Ruffians

Man oh man, this has been a killer few weeks in music. This time around we're swinging on over to the Pacific Northwest and catching up with Portland's alt-pop duo, The Analog Affair.

All my previous summers are played back in my head with a supporting soundtrack; something enthralling and anthemic to support all the ridiculous scheming and spur-of-the-moment escapades that seem to engulf my time. The sort of songs that you jammed over and over, because they seem to capture that moment that you just want to cling on to and never let go of. 

Vocalist Evan Baker and instrumentalist Cody Moser seem to understand this notion perfectly, and have made sure to carve out a certain raw and pulsating sound that's blended with infectious indie pop beats. Their sound has been featured in what seems to be an endless amount of leading brands worldwide, from Michael Kors, Belvedere Vodka, BBC, Samsung, Giorgio Armani, Swiss Airlines, and Hulu, to name a few.

I found it absolutely pressing to catch up with the duo, as I think it's very important that everyone hears this sort of engulfing sound, that I promise you will be on your summertime road trip playlists and unknown adventures. Perfect for fans of Chet Faker or Glass Animals, The Analog Affair are bound to get stuck in your head, and remain there to guide you on all the reckless lollygagging you're going to embark on.

I watched your music videos for Feel your Fire and Wild. They're both absolutely beautiful! The videos really captured childhood nostalgia, and give off the feeling where you feel completely and utterly alive. Like anything is possible. A lot of your music gives off that vibe too, and that's why the videos are so perfect. Even song names like Wild, Feel your Fire, Violent Young, and Ignite seem to all have this flair that makes you feel like a rebellious kid again. Which leads me to ask...what are you both inspired by? Are there any distinct places or people that inspire your music?

You nailed it on the head :)  We definitely tried to create an upbeat, raw and vivacious tone on a lot of those tracks.  Whether that was some freudian subconscious effort or simply compensating for the fact that we created those songs in a secluded/ separate way (up until recently we’ve always lived thousands of miles apart) and so we wanted to create that energy for ourselves. Either way, we had a blast doing it and we’re glad that so many people have enjoyed it.  Also, we have to give a huuuuuge shout out to Iver Jensen and Hannah Suni and their friends for their work on the videos.  They did a fantastic job crafting a narrative, putting their own twist on the music and bringing it all together.  Check out their work if you get a chance!

Any distinct memories from childhood when you were both rebellious hooligans? Anything with a total sense of joie de vivre?

Racing around the west side with ghetto friends on bikes finding rad dirt trails and jumps! And skateboarding until the break of dawn around town on local business properties.    

Speaking of childhood nostalgia, what did you guys listen to growing up? Anything surprising?

Evan: I had a healthy mix of a bunch of different genres:  INXS, Peter Gabriel, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Dave Mathews, U2, Tom Petty, Suzanne Vega, System of a Down, John Pring,  Mannheim Steamroller ;)  
Cody: I remember going out and buying albums by Boyz II Men, Sublime, Sugar Ray, and Third Eye Blind. And being into 90's hip hop.

I recently saw a photo you posted that said that 218, 540 Spotify users streamed 9.2 years of your music. Not to mention the hits on your youtube videos. How do you think the online world has influenced how you get your music out there? Do you think it's made things easier?

Up until now, we’ve really only existed online so it’s been second nature to us and has definitely enabled us to become what we are today despite always having lived so far away from each other.   We’re still constantly surprised at how our music has found a community on a place like Soundcloud, and especially Spotify!  Because we’ve mainly been an internet thing, it’s always so funny for us to hear when friends of ours have been recommended they listen to us by their random acquaintances not knowing that we’re the guys who make the music.  

Let's talk Portland. I'm heading there for the second time this summer and absolutely love visiting. It's totally bustling culturally! What are some key spots to visit? Some local gems we wouldn't know about? Can be absolutely anything.

Evan: Boba tea at Cartlandia, the Indian buffet at Namaste (across the river in Vancouver), themed DJ dance nights at the Good Foot, swimming and lounging on the Sandy River.
Cody: Roosevelt’s Terrariums, Tea Chai Te, KingPins Bowling Alley, The Hazel Room, Pistils Plant Nursery

Another thing we talk about on this blog is film. What are your favourite films? Anything we should check out?

Evan: We’re not exactly connoisseurs of fine cinema but do enjoy a lot of different styles - The Goonies, Snatch, Trainspotting, The Fall, Elf, Under Fire: The story of Tony Vaccaro.
Cody: I enjoy the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino.

I really wanted to talk about We Were Lovers. It's a song that really sticks out to me, as it's somber and absolutely haunting. Kind of a bit more melancholy and filled with so much emotion. What is it about? What inspired that song? Anything you were going through at the time?

That’s a great question.  The thing about our music up until now was it always was such a collaborative effort, with each of us having pretty defined roles, that the end result often ended up being something completely new from each of our individual emotions/intent.  We both fed off of and interpreted each other through music.  On WWL, lyrically and vocally speaking,  we were trying to depict the feeling of being completely raw and rough around the edges after having been blindsided by the end or a change in a relationship.  The verses are very calm, restrained, drawn out and polished and then the chorus suddenly explodes with raw emotion and a fair bit of chaos lyrically.  

You guys released a phenomenal LP back in July. When You Go is awesome. You guys sound like a well-oiled indie electro-pop machine! What's next on the agenda now that that's complete?

Thanks! We spent A LOT of time trying to polish the album and it was a great learning experience.  We’re both super interested in learning how to produce and engineer ourselves that When You Go gave us a great chance to experiment towards that end.  Maybe we’re just jaded, but we take pride in doing as much ourselves as possible.

Having the opportunity now though to spend more time playing together and rehearsing rather than mixing in our own respective home studios, we’re slowly coming to realize that it may be a good thing to outsource the engineering so that we can focus more playing shows instead!  So we’ve been meeting up regularly to rehearse in time for a few shows this spring and summer around Portland.  You’ll have to come by when you’re in town and catch one! We’re also working on a new batch of songs.


Catch up with more Analog Affair-related news on their Facebook, website, or grab their most recent LP on iTunes!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cannons - A chit chat with LA's boogie champions

It's not every day you find a band that you become totally immersed in. A band that makes banger after banger, and that you'd gladly play at any party. The type of music where putting it on shuffle isn't Russian roulette; everything will make you a groovy, sweaty mess. 

This is the sort of sound that comes to you from LA-based nu-disco act, Cannons. Lead singer Michelle Joy, guitarist Ryan Clapham, and drummer & keyboardist Paul Davis have carefully crafted their own sound that's inspired by 80's synth, 70's R&B/soul, and current electronic/deep house influences. It's clear they have impeccable taste musically, as what they've blended together is guaranteed to fill a dance floor, or be on everyone's summer beach playlist.

Cannons live in a different world altogether. A world that you're looking at through a kaleidoscope, where landscapes are always lush, and the drinks always free poured. I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with the trio, and picking their brains on everything from cult films, their inspirations, hidden LA gems, and TLC.

Everyone, I am so pleased to introduce to you, Cannons.

First and foremost, how did you three meet?

Ryan and Paul grew up on the same street in Santa Clarita and had been making music together since they were kids. I met them online in 2013 when I was new to LA from Florida and just looking for some people to make music with in the area. We wrote the first song without ever meeting and without any expectations, just to test the waters and our sounds just kind of melted together perfectly. Shortly after that first song we decided to meet up and start writing together and haven’t stopped because it’s too much fun and we suddenly had people asking for more.  

You guys are heavily inspired by 80's synth and 70's soul/R&B. What are your favourite artists of both eras? 

Depeche Mode, New Order,  Roxy Music, Billy Idol, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, 80’s Georgio Morder

Stax Records, Motown, 70’s Zapp, Rose Royce, Wilson Picket, The Jackson 5, Isaac Hays, The Temptations

In terms of modern day synth and R&B, who are you listening to?

La Priest, Majical Cloudz, Jim James, Harriet Brown, Chromatics, Anderson .Paak, Frank Ocean, Bryson Tiller

You guys are based in LA. I'm curious about your favourite hidden gems in the city. Could be anything! 

Overlook on Mulholland Drive, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Dirty Laundry Bar, played The Soho House West Hollywood last summer which was a pretty awesome spot too!

Your music is absolutely captivating. It's takes you away into this lush dreamscape, making you lust for endless road-trips or hazy summers. Where do you all draw inspiration from that's not musical?

Films, relationships, heartbreak, dreams, love, longing

Speaking of summer, any ideas for this one coming up?

Just focused on finishing this album up right now and moving on to attacking some other ideas we have brewing and playing shows. 

The cover you did of TLC's Creep was phenomenal. You gave it such a groovy, synthy edge that was super refreshing to hear. What else do you want to cover?

We already have a few started! Some Depeche Mode, Billy Idol Eyes - Without a Face, Wilson Picket - Its a Groove

I also noticed last week on your Instagram you posted a Kings of Leon cover! That definitely needs to be released in full. 

Yes, we just started it for fun one night and never finished it! We need to though, its a fun song.

Your songs and style are beyond sexy. Let's hear what your personal, go-to beats are for getting in the mood. 

In Your Room - Depeche Mode
Wilson Picket - Its a Groove

Another thing we talk about on this blog is film. Since you guys are drawn to the 70s and 80s, let's hear what films from those eras you'd recommend watching.

Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life, E.T, The Holy Mountain, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, The Lost Boys, The Burbs, Willow, 

Big Trouble Little China, Top Gun, Evil Dead, Suspiria, The Fly, Robocop

Any plans for a show in Vancouver any time soon? Or a tour?

No plans yet but we hope to soon!

I recently read that you'll be releasing new material this month! What are we to expect?

We are currently wrapping up our first album!  

Last but not least, favourite post-show beverage?

Jameson, a balanced rose and Chris’s Graduation Tequila. 


If you guys are like me and can't get enough of Cannons, head on over to their Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, or website for some more future boogie grooves.
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