As DMD’s official geek, I feel it’s my duty to write an entry about LOST, which says goodbye forever tonight…. (Sky 1, 5am, I’ll be there).
Lost has been a part of my life over the last 6 years. And that’s quite a lot of time. I remember watching the pilot when it came out in the US and not feeling too interested about it. And then I remember suddenly falling in love with it half way through the first season. The characters (so memorable, so well written), the dialogues, the way it talked about society, the sci-fi vs religion bits, the continuos wtfs, the ability the writers had to create a whole new and strange universe that had so much sense in that island,… For me, Lost was the best TV series ever made after Twin Peaks. TV Magic. And now it’s gonna be over.
I quite liked it when it was announced that Lost would only last 6 series. These days it’s really easy to get series (and film franchises) extended forever unnecessarily just because of money reasons, and I didn’t want that to happen to something I liked so much. Something that was so special.
Surely Lost was never perfect. Some seasons were better than others. Some characters were better than others. Some situations were better than others. But it always had an authentic feeling about it, and was really good at surprising (the end of series 3 is one of the best things EVER to be done in TV history). However, I won’t deny that the current and last season has been extremely disappointing. In a way I feel that it’s got to a point where none of the things that happened before matter anymore (dear science, where are you?), and I don’t like that. One of the things that always fascinated me about Lost was how intelligent the writing was, and I haven’t felt that in series 6.
However, this is not stopping me from feeling so excited that I’m starting to think I won’t get any sleep tonight. After so many years… who wouldn’t want to know what happens in the end? So yeah, my alarm clock is programmed, and I have bought pop-corn and everything. And we’re only 7 hours away… and counting…
The lovely Peggy (from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) and Connor (from The Drums – who we’ve never officially met but I’m sure is lovely too) are throwing a party and we’re DJing. Peggy is jetting into town for a day or so and wanted to get some friends together, so we’re taking over the downstairs bit of The Old Blue on Tuesday 25th May. woo HOO!
The Pains are busy working on their new album, getting ready for the festival season, releasing a new single ‘Say No To Love’ and a video for the title track of last years ‘Higher than the Stars’ EP. Exciting!!
As I mentioned earlier, Viv Albertine gave us guest passes to Matt Groening’s ATP when she played for us at GGG. So Mireia and I set off on a bus adventure all the way to Minehead on Saturday afternoon. (Laura couldn’t make it as she was playing with her band The Racket.) Now the thing about guest passes is that you’re only allowed into the festival on the day that the artist is playing and you also don’t get accommodation… so although Mireia and I were sure we’d sort something out, I did have flashes of us sleeping on a park bench in the rain.
First obstacle was a security guard that got on to our bus at the entrance barrier, asking for tickets. When we said we were on the guest list he looked at us sceptically and ordered us to the production office. We wandered in that general direction, hid behind a bush until his back was turned and then legged it as fast as we could into the festival grounds, half expecting him to chase after us with a baton and a whistle. The first stop was the pub where we bumped into Andrew Milk and Billy Wetdog and were promptly sorted out with wristbands for that night. AMAZING!
A musical highlight from the first night came in the form of Baltimore’s sugar rush experimental noise pop band, Ponytail (pic above). Mireia had seen them at Primareva last year but it was a first for me. SO MUCH FUN and SO GGG, I’ve decided to make it my life’s work to get them to play for us. Bumped into Merida La La Vasquez and by chance her friend had two beds spare and totally sorted us out! Woo! No park bench for us!
As we didn’t have proper wristbands we didn’t want to chance going from stage to stage where they’d be checked, so we stayed in centre stage, missing Thee Oh See’s and having to sit through an incredible dull The XX set. But aside that tiny inconvenience we had the best time EVER.
After a reasonable early-for-ATP night (i passed out mid-conversation apparently) we got up, sorted out our real passes, so as not to feel like refugees anymore and took a stroll up to Minehead town centre for a fry up. Minehead is cute but tends to smell of old people, so it took us a while to find somewhere that didn’t make me want to barf. We settled on this place..
The first band of the day were Boredoms performing Boadrum, quite a way to start the day! 7 drummers on stage, an 8 neck guitar, a wall of lap steels and a crazy dreadlocked Japanse maestro with a sampler keeping it all together. And that apparently was a stripped down set?! On 07/07/07 they gathered 77 drummers to perform on Brookyn and on 08/08/08 they up it to 88 in LA.
Here’s a video I found of Zach Hill’s entrance at ATP. Gives me goosebumps…
We headed over to Reds to catch Viv’s set and gave our ears a rest from all that drumming, stuffed our faces with pizza and ice cream, lay on the floor listening to Daniel Johnston and then the beautiful sleepy Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions (Mazzy Star and Colm Ó Cíosóig of My Bloody Valentine). After a lovely afternoon nap, we headed back to Reds to secure our spot for The Raincoats and Trash Kit double bill!
Joanna Newsom was running 25 min late upstairs and they wouldn’t let The Raincoats start till she was done, so Gina Birch came out to entertain the crowd with some jokes, and sang us an Acapella Simpsons version of Do-Re-Me that went somehthing like:
Dough, the stuff that buys the beer
Ray, the guy that sells the beer
Me, the guy that drinks the beer
Far, a long way to get beer
So, I’ll have another beer
La, I’ll have another beer
Tea, no thanks I’m drinking beer
and that bring us back to
Once they got the go ahead it turned into one of the most memorable gigs I think I’ve ever seen. It’s a well know fact that they have always been a bit shambolic live, they even joke about it themselves, but they absolutely smashed it. We jumped around and sang along, Gina and Ana chatted with the crowd (even joking with Andrew that he had won a prize for guessing a song after hearing just three chords, the prize being Ana De Silva.) We didn’t want it to end, but alas it had to, with their amazing cover of The Kinks “Lola”. They’re back at ATP next weekend though and playing at The Scala soon, so no need for goodbyes just yet.
Trash Kit, who we were jumping around to the Raincoats with us, were on stage next. I’ve managed to miss every single gig of theirs in London, but Chris Upset the Rythym gave us their album and it’s a thing of beauty! So I was really excited to see them and they turned out to be everything I’d hoped for and a perfect way to end a perfect festival. Andrew tried to organise a stage invasion but after the first person jumped over the barrier and got tackled by 3 hefty security guards I think everyone had second thoughts (sorry Ben!). They’re playing GGG in June and we’ve promised them a stage invasion then, so make sure you join us!
After a sweaty 45 min of pogo-ing we rounded everyone up and went back to Trash Kits chalet for ATParty times. Then Billy got a text saying CocoRosie were having a party at theirs so we set off, with some dodgy directions, to find it. We did a circle round the block and in that time managed to pick up about 20 people including Matt Groening’s sons (who btw look exactly like Simpson characters) and so decided to go back to Trash Kit HQ and party there instead.
Best weekend ever… and the most amazing things is we get to do it all again for ATPavement!!!
Another GGG has gone to pass and as expected, we had a ball. This month’s line up was beyond our wildest dreams, with an absolute musical legend gracing our stage, Viv Albertine and our favourite all-girl post punk trio Wetdog supporting.
Wetdog are acer than ace, they played for us ages ago and we were super stoked to have them back. Their songs are total floor fillers and DMD DJ favs so it’s no surprise they had everyone dancing within minutes. They’d just got back from a US tour, where they played with the likes of Vivian Girls, Blank Dogs and the amazing Happy Birthday, so we picked up some hot tips for our upcoming DMD New York adventure. We’re DJing one of their shows at The Victoria soon so if you missed them come to that!
Renowned for being the main guitarist and song writer of the Slits, Viv Albertine’s first ever band was with Sid Vicious, Keith Levene (PiL), Palmolive (The Raincoats/The Slits), she went out with Mick Jones and is now signed to Thurston Moore’s record label Ecstatic Peace. But name dropping aside, she has led a fascinating and, we’ve come to find, hard life and her new solo project tells the tale. It’s a bitter, brutally honest and hilarious story that captivates you from start to finish.
In person she is absolutely lovely, down to earth and was genuinely interested in what we’re doing with Dance Magic Dance and why we’re doing it. Not to mention that within minutes of meeting she offered us her guest passes to Matt Groening’s ATP. Holy CRAP! We thought we were dreaming. Thanks again Viv, you’re the best!
We all have guilty pleasures when it comes to film, and mine is probably teen flicks. I am very aware that 95% (?) of all teenage orientated movies that are released every year are pure and utter rubbish, but every once in a while, there’s a gem. A film that’s actually funny, that doesn’t treat you like an idiot, that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And then, those movies are ACE.
Most people think that the only good teen flicks were made in the ’80s, but I completely disagree with that. Yes, some pretty awesome films were shot in the decade we were born, but ever since there’s been quite a few classics. Here’s my Top 15 which I hope will prove this!
THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985)
Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…
The Breakfast Club is the mother of all teen flicks and was obviously directed by the genre’s father: John Hughes. Five kids have to spend a very boring Saturday grounded at school, where they realise that, despite their looks (the cute girl, the nerdy boy, the bad guy, the weirdo, the sports boy), they all share the same worries. The movie has killer outfits, killer dialogues, a killer dancing scene and, of course, Simple Mind’s Don’t You Forget About Me. What else could you ask for?
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986)
Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is probably the most popular 80s teenage film and a proper CLASSIC. Ferris Bueller is the kid we all wanted to be but never really were (because we were more like Cameron, at least I was). He’s cheeky and he always gets what he wants… Which of course means that he has more fun in one day than we’ll all have in the whole of our lives.
PRETTY IN PINK (1986)
This is an incredibly romantic moment, and you’re ruining it for me!
Pretty In Pink is my favourite 80s teen flick, probably because it has Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy in it. She’s the coolest teen actress EVER (did I ever tell you she was one of the ‘reasons’ I started dying my hair red?). He’s the cutest boy EVER. The film also features some totally amazing outfits (did I ever tell you that for some time in my life I only wore pink?), yet another epic dancing/karaoke scene and is also named after a great Psychedelic Furs song.
It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.
Heathers is a dark twist to all the 80s teenage films, as the whole movie is a bit of a ‘high school serial killer’ thing… But hey, that’s ok when the killers are Christian Slater (ok, I confess, I fancied him when I was a kid) and Winona Ryder (ok, I confess, I think she’s totally cool). The film also stars Shanon Doherty (pre-Beverly Hills 90210) and some of the most amazing perms and blazers you’ll ever see.
Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.
Turns out the Nineties were AWESOME when it came to teen flicks, Clueless being the first of many amazing films. Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless features the one and only Alicia Silverstone (of many Aerosmith videos fame), the unfortunately gone Brittay Murphy and Paul Rudd (who’s a bit of a cult actor when it comes to American comedies). The movie is full of HILARIOUS moments and some pretty wicked outfits (yes, I am aware that I talk about the clothes of every single movie that I mention in here… but come on, look at the pictures!).
I saved Latin. What did you ever do?
Rushmore is the first -but not last- indie title of this list. It was directed by Wes Anderson and features Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray (of course). The film is pure Anderson, from its (beautiful) looks and soundtrack to the bittersweet dialogues and dysfunctional-friendly tone. It’s the first Anderson I saw and it already made me fall in love with him. One day I’ll marry Wes.
I killed Liz. I killed the teen dream. Deal with it.
Jawbreaker is, like Heathers, a darker read of the teen flick. Two of the most popular girls at high school kill the third one by mistake (yes, you guessed right, they kill her with a candy) and since the nerdy one finds out, they decide to have some makeover action so that she doesn’t tell. The film is hilarious in a very dark way and has awesome cameos from Marilyn Manson and The Donnas (they’re the prom band, ain’t that cool). Oh, and the opening credits music is Veruca Salt’s Volcano Girls (that’s a Girls Girls Girls staple you know).
CRUEL INTENTIONS (1999)
Everybody loves me, and I intend to keep it that way.
Cruel Intentions is a teen re-run of the very morbid Dangerous Liaisons (which at the same time was kind of a remake of Les Liasons Dangereuses, based on the book by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos). Two step-brothers get a little too excited over some betting action and things, of course, go bad. The film cast some of the most famous young faces at the time in Hollywood: Sarah Michelle Gellar (who will always be Buffy), Reese Witerspoon (who’ll be mentioned again below), Ryan Philippe (whom I never thought was hot and who actually married Witherspoon), Joshua Jackson (who will always be Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) and Selma Blair (who has a very strange filmography).
NEVER BEEN KISSED (1999)
I’m not Josie Grossie anymore!
I wasn’t very sure about including Never Been Kissed in this Top 15 as it might be considered more a rom-com than a teen flick, but in the end I decided to do so because it has some of the best 80s high school Flashbacks ever and well, because most of its characters are teens. Oh, and it stars Drew Barrymore who’s one of my heroes and any excuse to mention her is good.
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (1999)
You don’t buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it.
10 Things I Hate About You is the film that made Heath Ledger popular. The movie was based on Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew and also starred Julia Stiles (who didn’t become popular) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s actually turned into one of the most interesting young actors nowadays.
BRING IT ON (2000)
Courtney, this is not a democracy, it’s a cheerocracy. I’m sorry, but I’m overruling you.
Bring It On is so ridiculous that it’s genious. So genious that the only thing I can say about it is Spirit Fingers.
LEGALLY BLONDE (2001)
Oh, I like your outfit too, except when I dress up as a frigid bitch, I try not to look so constipated.
Legally Blonde is amazing. There’s even a musical based on it (a musical that maybe I wouldn’t mind seeing…). The movie tells the story of Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), a silly pretty girl who decides to follow her boyfriend to Harvard’s Law School, where she realises that there might be more to life than being cute (‘more to life’, lucky her, includes Luke Wilson). The film is full of memorable moments, memorable outfits (yet again) and, of course, some bending and snapping!
MEAN GIRLS (2004)
I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m so popular.
Mean Girls is the film that made Lindsay Lohan cool. Kind of. Once again it’s a makeover story about a new girl in high school (Lohan, of course), that becomes the popular girls’ little project… only to get more popular (and therefore bitchier) than them. The movie was based on the self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes and written by Tina Fey, who also plays the ‘cool teacher’. So yeah, Mean Girls is actually REALLY funny.
Look, I did what she said with the brick. I didn’t know it was bad, but The Pin’s on it now for poor Frisco, and they’re playing it all on me.
Brick is the second indie title of this list. It was made with no money and written, directed, edited and blah blah blah by the very young Rian Johnson (who then did The Brothers Bloom which was booorrrrriiiing). The movie was categorised as neo-noir as it tells a classic noir story… that takes place between lessons. It’s really well written (in fact, it has its own strange and mysterious language) and very well acted too (Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really great here). I remember that when I interviewed Edward Norton aaages ago he told me it was the most interesting thing he’d seen lately, and he was right!
WHIP IT (2009)
I can grow the balls…
A few lines above I mentioned that Drew Barrymore is one of my heros. Last year she directed one of the awesomest movies I’ve seen lately: Whip It, a film that for some reason was not as popular as I think it should have been. I’m totally sure that in a few years this will be a cult title. The movie tells the story of teenager Bliss (played by the trendy Ellen Page), who finds out that roller-skating is the best thing ever and secretly joins a roller derby team (while her mum signs her up for Beauty Pageants). The coolest thing about Whip It is not its lack of pretentions or the geeky musical winks but the fact that here, girls kick ass (check Juliette Lewis’ Iron Maven character, that’s pure and evil rock’n’roll).
This is the best movie I have seen in a really long time.