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by Brian Parks

4 Sep 2009

Has it really been 12 years since Beavis and Butthead went off the air? And please, don’t even try to tell me you haven’t missed them…

Series creator Mike Judge brings back the boys to promote his new film Extract, which stars Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, and Mila Kunis. Early word is good on this one, apparently a return-to-form of sorts after the disappointing Idiocracy.

Extract comes to a theatre near you on September 4th.  Judge still has not released an official statement regarding any upcoming Beavis and Butthead projects, leaving many wishing he would.

Huh-huh. I said “wood”.

by Bill Gibron

3 Sep 2009

For Mike Judge, the world is divided into the fringe - and then everyone else. His movies don’t center around young urban professionals living angst-filled lives in the big city, or high powered businessmen transacting trepidation from their unsure international connections. No, for the man responsible for a couple of backward adolescent metal heads named Beavis and Butthead, the marginalized members of society offer a far more appealing source of inspiration. The working Joes, the suffering single mothers - these are the people he wants to party with. And in his latest live action film, Extract, that’s exactly what he does. Within the small Texas town where flavoring manufacturer Joel Reynolds has set up shop, an entire universe of karma, pro and con, is about to unravel - and Judge can’t wait to show us how it happens.

Things are not going well for our eager entrepreneur. He is married to a woman who uses sweatpants as a barrier toward sexual intimacy and his workers run the gamut from the socially awkward to the borderline retarded. One day, wannabe floor supervisor Step suffers a horrible accident that almost costs him his testicles. Simultaneously, Joel gets a buy-out offer from General Mills. The potential lawsuit turns the deal from certain to unsure. Still, our hero is convinced he can work things out. Into his life walks smoking hot temp Cindy. Seeing her as someone who sympathizes with his plight, Joel gets bartender buddy Dean to set up his wife with a gigolo. That way, when she cheats, he can be with Cindy blame free. What he doesn’t know, however, is that this new girl is a con artists, using Step to set up Joel for a huge multimillion dollar settlement.

by AJ Ramirez

3 Sep 2009

I say this with utter, unwavering conviction: Hüsker Dü is the most criminally underappreciated alt-rock band of the pre-Nirvana era.  While contemporaries like R.E.M. and Sonic Youth have joined the rock canon, Hüsker Dü (which consisted of vocalist/guitarist Bob Mould, vocalist/drummer Grant Hart, and bassist Greg Norton) remains relatively unknown, and is often forgotten in the modern narrative of the development of the American underground scene in the 1980s.  This is especially troubling since Hüsker Dü was the group responsible for pioneering the sonic hallmarks traditionally associated with alternative rock: the potent mix of distortion and pop melodies, the angst-filled lyrics, and even the rhythm of the guitars.  Music journalist Michael Azerrad gave the group its due in his 2001 history Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, and the band does make sporadic appearances on various “Best albums of the 1980s” critics lists, but it’s nowhere near what it actually deserves.  Bluntly, Hüsker Dü‘s best albums deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as alt-rock classics like Nirvana’s Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, and the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa.

Of all its records, Hüsker Dü‘s New Day Rising is its best and most consistent, bursting with hooks and driven by a sheer urgency that overwhelms the listener.  Recorded in July 1984, New Day Rising was the first of two albums the Minneapolis band released on Southern California indie label SST in 1985.  The group’s preceding release, the justly acclaimed double album opus Zen Arcade (1984), blew apart the conventions of hardcore punk into a thousand searing pieces in methods that ranged from one-and-a-half-minute acoustic numbers to fourteen-minute punk-psych epics.  Zen Arcade‘s legend looms large in the Hüsker Dü discography; what is generally overlooked is that the group’s follow-up album naturally had to figure out what to do next.  SST’s edict that the group’s next release be restricted to a single disc actually benefited the trio. What the Hüskers did on this album was summarize the lessons learned on Zen Arcade into a concise 40-minute package, in the process closing the door once and for all on its punk incarnation and setting the template for the sound of alternative rock well into the next decade.

by Katharine Wray

3 Sep 2009

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
The Snake
(The Control Group)
Released: 25 August

Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ video for “My Heart” is both colorful and imaginative, matching with the band’s sound. Directed by fellow Swede Sarah Fisk, the animation is as engaging to watch as the song is to hear.

SONG LIST
01 The Island
02 There Is No Light
03 Chain Of Steel
04 So Soft So Pink
05 Places
06 Great Lines
07 Today/Tomorrow
08 Liar Lion
09 Who Ho Ho Ho
10 My Heart

by Ashley Cooper

3 Sep 2009

The 1998 comic Whiteout is brought to the big screen. U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is the sole law enforcer in Antarctica, and is assigned to investigate a brutal murder three days before the sun sets for six months, marking the beginning of the Antarctic winter. As her investigation deepens into the first such crime in the region, she enlists the help of a U.N. operative (Gabriel Macht). With the brutal winter on her heels and the killer closing in, Stetko uncovers secrets that were buried under the ice. Secrets that someone believes are worth killing for.

Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short and Tom Skerritt all star in Whiteout, which opens to wide release on September 11th.

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