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We like contradiction, anything that contradicts December 30, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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Did you know that Miley Cyrus has a sibling who also makes music? No, not her over-tattooed brother with a weirdly long face, but her sister, Brandi Cyrus? No? Didn’t think so.

Brandi is part of all-female band Frank and Derol, which also includes Megan Park (star of the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I’ve never watched this so I can’t really say how good or bad it may be) on synth, tambourine and backing vocals, and Codi Caraco, another musician who plays piano and does lead vocals. The band originally didn’t even include Cyrus, but obviously her guitar playing skillz and backing vocals were needed in the mix.

She’s not, I was surprised to learn, a stranger to the music world, as she played guitar in her sister’s TV show Hannah Montana as well as on one of Miley’s tours. How impressive.

The first song the group wrote together was a Twilight-inspired track called Lights Out, with the hopes of getting it on to the New Moon soundtrack. But, as well know, that didn’t exactly pan out.

Wondering what exactly the name Frank and Derol means, I stumbled upon an interview with the band on Acid City. Lead singer Codi’s answer didn’t exactly shed any light on this:

“we like contradiction, anything that contradicts. and that name does. derol is also my dads name.”

Ah right. It’s a contradiction. Because everybody knows that the name Frank contradicts the name Derol.

They haven’t actually released anything and are still pursuing a record deal, but have toured with Brandi’s dad Billy Ray Cyrus. So, only having access to what’s up on their MySpace page (two and a half songs), I’ve picked out their track Back and Forth. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite good (and a million miles away from any of Miley’s stuff), with a sound that my friend Anna describes as “ethereal”. Judge for yourself below.

Frank and Derol – Back and Forth (download)
http://kiwi6.com/uploads/hotlink?id=vpd1g4kw

[Image: GaryLivingston.com]

Don’t call me baby December 29, 2009

Posted by Paula in Trashion, Webshite.
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I like to think that I dressed fairly well as a kid. As well as a kid could dress in the early nineties. If it was velvet, neon pink or came in the form of a scrunchie, I had it. And by god, did I wear it with style. But pictures like these, from Planet Awesome Kid, make me wonder if I could have tried a little harder. Think The Sartorialist mixed with a L’Oreal Kids ad, and you’ve got Planet Awesome Kid in a nutshell.

Parents are welcome to submit photos of their own “Awesome Kids”, as long as they provide details of where each item of clothing was purchased. Other photos are snapped by the site’s resident photographers, Andrew Adler and Amy Toland Way.

I wonder where their prime sites are for searching out potential mini-fashionistas. Creches? Showings of Disney movies at the local cinema? Playgrounds? Though there’s only so long you can lurk in a creche or playground holding a camera before being escorted off the premises. I would imagine…

Things change, Dawson, people change December 26, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Televisual, Webshite.
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From the same people who bring you Make and Deux comes another Tumblr (yeah I know, there’s a lot of that going on here lately…) that provides you with a daily inspirational (and often not-so-inspirational) quote from the seminal teen drama Dawson’s Creek. Why? Why not.

Click the image below, subscribe/follow, done. And may it never be mentioned here again.

http://dawsonscreek.tumblr.com/

And my head told my heart… December 26, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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How remiss of me not to post something about Mumford & Sons during the entire stretch of 2009. I stumbled upon them on Neon Gold Records’ blog way back in March (and I don’t say that in a HEY! I KNEW THEM FIRST kind of way) or so, and instantly loved their track White Blank Page. Not much happened after this, until October when I got wind that they were finally releasing their debut album, Sigh No More.

I haven’t heard anything quite like them in recent years, but apparently folk is back in, judging by the amount of people who’ve said to me recently that they love the group. They play Dublin’s The Academy on 18th March, but tickets unfortunately appear to be sold out at the moment.

While I loved their first single from the album, the vaguely Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) sounding Little Lion Man (which I was dismayed I couldn’t put on the playlist in Starbucks – due to its F-wordage), Winter Winds was instantly my favourite album track. And of course, it’s their latest release, just in time for the actual Winter Winds of Christmas. Ah, I see what they’ve done there.

Listen & watch below.

Also, check out Neon Gold Records’ blog for a free download of Little Lion Man.

Let iit Snow December 25, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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[Originally published in flashback‘s December 2009 issue]

First, let’s get one thing straight. Miike Snow is not one musician, it’s actually a group of three. And that misspelling of ‘Mike’ is no typo. Yes, this is slightly confusing, and Pontus Winnberg, one third of the band, is well aware of this.

“Yeah, we get that a lot and I guess it’s our fault because we called the band Miike Snow. We try to put it out there as much as possible. It was kind of randomly picked, the name, but we also liked the fact that it could be anything – it could be a guy, a DJ, a band – whatever. So I guess we just have to deal with that problem for a while.”

The trio are made up of Swedish production duo, Pontus and Christian Karlsson, and American singer/songwriter Andrew Wyatt. You mightn’t know it but you’ve almost definitely danced along to a song created by Pontus and Christian in the past.

Better known as production team Bloodshy & Avant, they are the brains behind well-known tracks like Britney Spears’ Toxic and Christina Milian’s AM to PM. They’ve also worked with artists like Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Sugababes.

But, at least for the foreseeable future, Miike Snow is the trio’s priority.

“It is definitely a full time thing for us. It’s probably going to stay that way, I mean we have shows booked until October next year and they keep coming, so I don’t think we’ll have time to do anything else but this.”

A full-time band may not have been in the grand plan for the production duo, but after meeting Andrew, their priorities changed.

“I guess it was just the timing and the fact that we met Andrew. When we met Andrew we cleared our schedule. We hadn’t done it earlier because we hadn’t really cancelled everything in our schedule because it takes up a lot of time.”

(more…)

An ugly coincidence December 24, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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As everyone knows, actress Brittany Murphy died tragically last week after she went into cardiac arrest. She was found in the shower by her mother.

By dire chance, the movie Deadline is currently on DVD release in the US and its poster (partially pictured above) depicts Murphy seemingly dead in a bath tub.

The company RedBox, who distribute the film through their 19,000 rental machines throughout the US, are now working to remove the posters from every one of their units and change the DVD cover.

The company said it started removing the artwork following the actress’s death on Sunday, but it will take 7 to 10 days to get rid of it all.

“To my knowledge, it was art that we had scheduled at all of our locations,” said Laura Dihel, a spokeswoman for Redbox.

Brittany’s funeral will be held today, on Christmas Eve, which was, apparently her favourite time of year. R.I.P.

Tumblified December 22, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Webshite.
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Make and Deux is now on Tumblr. Click above to go there. Now.

http://makeanddeux.tumblr.com/

Mulled Wines and Good Times: Paula and Trudi’s comprehensive recipe December 19, 2009

Posted by Paula in Misc.
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[Originally published in the Chrimbo edition of Flux, and co-written by the lovely Trudi McDonald]

A couple of weeks ago we made the brave decision to cook for ten of our friends. As it was (fairly) close to Christmas at the time, we decided to go all out. We downloaded at least a hundred festive tunes onto t’iPod, though we ended up listening to the same ten Love Actually ones on repeat anyway. We decided to serve up some mulled wine before dinner too, because that’s what adults do.

Not only is our kitchen no more than a thin strip of lino with an oven and sink, but cooking has never been a strong point for either of us. This was all a bit of a challenge. We can hardly make toast between us, and are both stoney broke meaning our home-brewing had to be done on a very tight budget.

Not to worry though, mulling your own wine is easy, cheap and fun. And it leaves your kitchen smelling of Christmas. If you’re thrifty like us, you can leave the half-empty saucepan sitting in your kitchen for a few days to allow the smell to really permeate the room. No more €3.99 Glade Festive Scents needed this holiday season.

Don’t fear if you don’t have many resources at your disposal. Mulling can be done anywhere there’s a large saucepan and a hob. And some festive cheer.

What you need is:
(serves 8-10)

2 bottles of fruity red wine (any red wine will do really, we used €5.85 bottles from Aldi)
One large orange
10 + cloves
Cinnamon
Allspice
Cinnamon sticks
Cupful of brown or plain sugar (we used half and half)
Nutmeg (optional)

Large Saucepan
Large spoon, or ladle if you’re that way inclined
i-Pod with festive tunes, or Ryan Tubridy’s dulcet tones on the Late Late Toy Show

1. Stud the orange with the cloves, and cut into thick slices.

2. Pour the wine into the saucepan and heat on a low to medium heat (around 2 or 3).

3. Add clove studded orange and all other ingredients to taste. Just throw (or place) them in the pot, you don’t need to do any extensive measuring or chopping. If you are making it for friends, best to but an extra bit of sugar in to counteract the bitterness of the wine, and don’t put too much cinnamon in because it can be an acquired taste.

4. Leave gently heating for 20 minutes. It will take a while to heat up, but this is all part of the plan. Whatever you do, DON’T LET IT BOIL. This is the cardinal sin of mulling, according to Trudi’s mammy. It removes the alcohol from the wine and makes it taste bad, so be careful.

5. The orange will become infused with wine and everything will smell delicious.

6. After 20 minutes of mulling, turn the heat up for two or three minutes just to heat it up a little before serving. But if you see bubbling, rewind immediately. Bubbling is a sure sign of boiling.

7. Serve, using ladle, into cups and get into the holiday mood.

Mulling wine is a skill that will impress mammies, daddies and friends alike. How many university students can use the phrase, “Yeah, mulled it freshly myself only moments ago”? It is so easy to do and an inexpensive way to get into the Christmas mood. GO FER IT.

Portman and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies December 19, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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Last week, Natalie Portman signed on to produce and star in the movie adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith/Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And I am extremely excited at the prospect.

If you haven’t heard of the book (which is unlikely, as it’s topped the bestseller lists of 2009), it’s basically Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice with the added subplot of a zombie plague sweeping England. The novel’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet is, in this version, transformed into a trained zombie fighter. Jane Austen may be turning in her grave, but her novels are now in the public domain, which is how Quirk Books, who commissioned the series, are getting away with it.

The selection of Portman is quite encouraging – she’s proved she can do period dramas in The Other Boleyn Girl, and she’s not afraid to laugh at herself, as shown by her gangsta rap on Saturday Night Live.

I really must get around to reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I bought it months ago and it has been sitting on a shelf in my room gathering dust. Bad form.

It’s all very Up in the Air December 19, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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I was lucky enough to go along to Paramount’s press screening of Up in the Air on Thursday, which has been getting a lot of buzz this week following its six Golden Globe nominations.

Generally a George Clooney movie is a safe bet (unless it’s Leatherheads), and after hearing good things my expectations were high. Due to some miscommunication, Cineworld started the film 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so I’ll have to wait til next month to see the opening, but what I did see of the film was amazingly good.

Based on the book by Walter George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer whose job essentially involves jetting around the United States to tell people they’ve been fired and make them think it’s a good thing. When Natalie Keener (played by the wonderful Anna Kendrick), a naive but idealistic young associate who pioneers the firm’s new system of downsizing – firing people over a webcam chat – comes on board, Ryan shows her how to fire people and tries to prove that the face-to-face approach works best.

George Clooney is predictably good in the film, but the role isn’t really out of his comfort zone at all – a just about-middle aged charmer who can’t be tied down by marriage and the like. Anna Kendrick is the real revelation of this film however, and deserves every bit of her Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Previously seen as Jessica in Twilight and its sequel New Moon (and given a grand total of about 5 minutes screen time combined), she finally has a chance to shine here as the hilarious and clueless but loveable Natalie.

Vera Farmiga (who has also received a Golden Globe nom for Best Supporting Actress) is excellent as Alex Goran, Bingham’s regular ‘booty call’ who lives a similar jetset lifestyle. As she says, she’s like Ryan, “but with a vagina.”

The film is a good companion piece to this year’s also-excellent Away We Go, asking questions about what makes a home and what makes a good relationship. The changing landscape of different parts of the United States keeps things visually dynamic for the duration.

Jason Reitman directs and co-writes the film, best known for his previous work on Juno and Thank You for Smoking. It should also bring his reputation back from the knock it got after he produced this year’s Jennifer’s Body, which was slammed by critics but loved by me.

There’s an unexpected twist at the end of the film which caught me by surprise, although I won’t spoil it here. The ending is quite a fitting one, although there’s a lot of loose ends left untied, and a lot of things left (pardon the pun) Up in the Air. Now, just to see those pesky opening 20 minutes…

Up in the Air comes to Irish cinemas on 15th January 2010

[Images: 1 2]