Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gothic Rock Greatest Hits - A Websnacker Exclusive!


The Very Best of Gothic Rock Hits - Goth Rock, Dark Wave & Gothic Metal Mp3s

I had planned this Gothic Hits compilation to coincide with Halloween (Oct 31) but thanks to my terrible time management skills, it has taken me 3 weeks to finally bring it to fruition. In fact, this is my first music post in the last 45 days so I will make it special.

For many “Gothic Rock” is an acquired taste with a bad reputation! At heart, "Goth Rock" refers to the musical style invented by second-generation British Punk bands like the hugely popular The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the post-punk Joy Division (the predecessors of New Order) – gloomy, melancholic music that embraced darkness and excessively gloomy imagery but the Gothic style is actually quite broad and has serious cultural antecedents in the work of writers like Mary Shelley and Horace Walpole. The pop "Gothic" style has deeply influenced our culture and is today represented in the music of a wide variety of bands, from Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry’s Dead Can Dance to the more popular Marilyn Manson. At its worst, Gothic music is pathetically hackneyed, a collection of clich├ęd lines about lost vampires, blood and arcane creatures of the night. At its best, Gothic rock and its subgenres can be frighteningly morbid, darkly romantic and melodiously tuneful all at the same time.

And here’s your chance to sample this great often neglected genre. Featuring some of the very best Gothic tunes – from plain vanilla gothic rock and gothic metal to dark wave, electronica tinged gothic synth pop plus a little symphonic dark metal too, you’ll hear them all. And I have intentionally kept it as accessible as possible!

Included are some of my personal favorites too - “Cry Little Sister” by the talented English singer-songwriter - Gerard McMann (from the “Lost Boys” Soundtrack), “Kaiser Star” by the Danish indie dark rock act - Ruined By Martin (or RbM) and “Heaven’s A Lie” by Lacuna Coil, the famed Milanese Italian gothic metal band of Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia.

Other acts featured here include Mono Inc and Wolfsheim, both from Hamburg; Within Temptation, the Dutch metal/alternative rock band; Switchblade Symphony, the San Francisco ensemble; Sisters of Mercy, the English gothic rock band and Sirenia, the well-liked symphonic gothic metal band from Norway. I have a penchant for Finnish music so have added 3 acts – HIM, the Helsinki rock band of Ville Valo; Amorphis, a Nordic melodic metal band and Nightwish, the symphonic dark metal band famous for “Nemo” from the soundtrack of the underground horror thriller “Cave” and perhaps Finland’s most successful band export.

14 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:50
Playlist length: 1 hour 7 minutes 53 seconds

1. Amorphis - Silent Waters (4:50)
2. Gerard McMann - Cry Little Sister (Lost Boys Soundtrack) (4:47)
3. Him - Join Me In Death (3:36)
4. Hungry Lucy - Bound In Blood (5:19)
5. Lacuna Coil - Heaven's A Lie (4:46)
6. Mono Inc. - This Is The Day (5:18)
7. Nightwish - Nemo (Cave Soundtrack) (4:19)
8. Noctorum - My Museum (4:59)
9. Ruined By Martin (RbM) - Kaiser Star (4:07)
10. Sirenia - Save Me From Myself (4:14)
11. Sisters Of Mercy - Temple Of Love (8:07)
12. Switchblade Symphony - Dissolve (remix) (5:44)
13. Within Temptation - Jillian (4:48)
14. Wolfsheim - I Won't Believe (2:59)

Free Mp3 Download - 85.66 MB Single Zipped Folder – Megaupload link

THIS IS A NON-COMMERCIAL FAN MIXTAPE. IF YOU LIKE THESE ARTISTS, PLEASE BUY THEIR ORIGINAL MUSIC & PROMOTE THEM. You can buy original CDS/DVDs & Mp3s of the above artists at www.emusic.com, www.amazon.com, www.itunes.com, other online stores or your nearest music and movie retailer.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

14 Legendary Facts of the Great Keralite Lungi!


Everything That You Didn't Know About the Lungi

A funny satirical post on Malayali Men and their love for the venerable Lungi. This was originally forwarded to me and makes a hilarious read!! I have tweaked it a bit though and have added a little flavor of my own. Do note that the typos are intentional and No Offense Meant at anyone.

1. Just as the national fruit of Kerala is the Coconut, her national dress is the "Lungi'. Pronounced as 'Lu' as in loo and 'ngi ' as in 'mongey', a lungi can be identified by its floral or window-curtain pattern. Lungi is as simble and 'down to earth' like the Malayali wearing it. Infact, a Lungi is the beginning and the end of evolution in its category. 'Mundu' is the white variation of lungi and is worn on special ogasions like hartal or bandh days, weddings and Onam.

2. Wearing something on the top half of your body is optional when you are wearing a lungi. Lungi is a strategic dress. It's like a one-size-fits-all bottoms for Keralites.

3. The techique of wearing a lungi/mundu is passed on from generation to generation through word of mouth like the British Constitution.

4. If you think it is an eazy task wearing it, just try it once! It requires resilient techniques like breath control and stomach and waist yoga.

5. A Lungi/Mundu when perfectly worn won't come off even in a quake of 8 on the Richter scale. So, leading defense companies are exploring Lungis as a strategic legwear for soldiers!

6. A Lungi is not attached to the waist using duct tape, staple, rope or velcro.It's a bit of mallu magic whose formula is a closely guarded secret like the Coca Cola and Pepsi chemicals.

7. A lungi can be worn 'Full Mast' or 'Half Mast' like a national flag. A 'Full Mast' Lungi is when you are showing respect to an elderly or the dead and a "Half Mast" indicates disrespect, aggression or plain Keralite macho!

8. Wearing it at full mast has lots of disadvantages but a major disadvantage is when a rabid dog or a elephant in "musth" runs after you.

9. When you are wearing a Lungi/Mundu at full mast, the advantage is mainly for the female onlookers who are spared the ordeal of swooning at the sight of hairy legs.

10. Wearing a Lungi 'Half Mast' is when you wear it exposing yourself like those Malayali sex movie starlets. A Malayali can play cricket, football or simbly run when the lungi is worn at half mast. A Malayali can even climb a cocunut tree wearing lungi in half mast. "It's not good manners, especially for ladies from decent families, to look up at a malayali climbing a coconut tree"- Confucius (or is it Abdul Kalam?)

11. Most Malayalis do the traditional dance 'Kudiyattam'. Kudi means drinking alcohol and yattam, spelled as aattam, means random movement of the male body. Note that 'y' is silent. When you are drinking, you drink, there is no 'y'. Any alcohol related "festival" can be enjoyed to the maximum when you are topless with lungi and a towel tied around the head. "Half mast lungi makes it easy to dance and shake legs" says Candelaria Amaranto, a Salsa teacher from Spain after watching 'kudiyaattam' .

12. The 'Lungi Wearing Malayali Union' [LUWMU, pronounced LOVE MU], an NGO which works towards the 'upliftment' of the Lungi, strongly disapprove of the GenNext tendency of wearing Bermudas under the lungi. They claim Bermudas under the lungi is a conspiracy by the CIA to belittle a Keralite and Indian invention. Besides, it's also a disgrace to see a person wearing a bermuda with corporate logos like of under his lungi. What they don't know is how much these corporates are limiting their freedom of movement and expression.

13. A Mallu wears lungi round the year, all weather, all season. Lungi provides good ventilation and brings down the heat between legs. Perhaps, that's because a Mallu is scared of global warming more than anyone else in the world. After all, a lungi/mundu can be worn any time of the day/night. It can double as blanket at night or can be used as a swing, swimwear, sleeping bag, parachute, facemask while entering/exiting toddy shops, shopping basket and water filter while fishing in ponds and rivers.

14. It also has recreational uses like in 'Lungi/mundu pulling', a pastime in households having more than one male member. Lungi pulling competitions are held outside toddyshops all over Kerala during Onam and Vishu. When these lungis are decommissioned from service, they become table cloths, TV covers or put to some other use in a Keralite household. Thus the humble lungi is a cradle to grave appendage.

Long live the Lungi! For more info on the Lungi, check out the wiki page.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movie Review - Cats & Dogs (2001)


A Cats Vs Dog Pet Movie Like No Other!

Cats rule! Dogs rule! No matter where your loyalties for the furry critters lie, you will enjoy this hugely enjoyable power struggle of the pets directed by Lawrence Guterman.

Lou is a secret agent wannabe. Unfortunately he is just an inexperienced Beagle puppy and new pet of the Brody household. Fortunately for him, the bipedal head of the household is a scientist (Jeff Goldblum) and a frenzied breakaway faction from the feline fraternity wants his formula. Professor Brody is close to a breakthrough in defeating the allergic reactions millions of humans have to dogs. This will upset the balance of pet power and mean more dogs would be chosen as pets over cats. Since every dog has his day, Lou is recruited to be an agent for the canine contingent.

The evil flat-faced Mr. Tinkles, a long haired Persian cat with Hitler-like qualities, is intent on world domination and the maniacal moggy won’t let man’s affinity for pooches stop him. He intends to corrupt the formula and make all humans allergic to dogs.

It’s up to Lou and the team of well-equipped four-footed agents to try to prevent the cats from taking over the world. He has the backup of a wide range of experienced canine agents, all intent on keeping the formula from falling into furry paws. Echoes of James Bond and all his gadgetry resound as hi-tech battles rage in suburbia.

Sharp-edged satire, which might offend some, but is still very funny, claws its way into a rally scene between Mr. Tinkles and his ally. World Domination pamphlets and a parliamentary session (incredibly accurate and not dissimilar to many human parliaments) complete with canine reporter Wolf Blitzer are just a couple of the chuckle-inducing scenes.

The film includes a great rip-off of a classic scene in "The Matrix", when Mr. Tinkles sends ninja cats to break into Professor Brody’s lab! And the fur really flies in a hilarious scene when the cool canines have to prevent The Russian (posing as a small defenseless kitten) with his deadly fur balls, from stealing the formula.

The special effects are excellent — apparently the producers filmed hundreds of dogs and cats, able to perform a variety of actions in front of cameras and then, interspersed the footage with close-up shots of realistic pooch and pussy models, specially created for certain scenes or facial expressions.

Forgetting the old adage, "never work with animals", Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Lovitz, Charlton Heston and Susan Sarandon have at least put their mouth where the money is and lent their voices to this fun film. A great watch for the entire family!

Free DVDRIP Download link - Megaupload

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Manchurian Candidate, 1962


Undoubtedly, One of the Most Suspenseful Political Thrillers of All Time

It is claimed that Frank Sinatra kept ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ - 1962's most outstanding movie and one of his most memorable – out of circulation (until around 1989) simply because of the film’s disturbing political fantasies.

I have fond memories of this John Frankenheimer's dazzling adaptation of the Richard Condon novel which I saw again (probably for the 19th time) last night in DVD glory. I saw it first, sometime in the late eighties/early nineties when I was in school. In those days, my familiarity with Hollywood cinema was fairly limited – mostly sci-fi, horror and action films – mostly Spielberg, Lucas, Stallone, Schwarzenegger and a little bit of world cinema.

The name ‘Manchurian Candidate’ was such a misnomer to me. With no imagery, poster or a tape cover at my neighborhood video store, I rented it hoping it was a martial arts fest probably starring Jackie Chan or at least one of those many Chinese (English dubbed) kung fu/karate flicks. Even my videovala was convinced it indeed was a nice actioner. Boy, I was so wrong. That afternoon, I ended up fast-forwarding the entire movie waiting for Jackie Chan or his elusive Manchurian cousins to come on screen and destroy some baddies!

It was not until I entered high school that I actually savored the full grandeur of the novel and the movie and since then I have watched it so many, many times.

Now, 47 years after the assassination of JFK and 38 years after the Watergate scandal, in an age when all sorts of political machinations are possible and even expected, this Oscar nominated film is still just as gripping. Anyway, it's more likely that royalties bookkeeping had more to do with Sinatra's decision in in delaying its video release than tact or political compulsions.

While the 2004 remake of the same name starring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight and a terrific Meryl Streep was equally good, it’s the 1962 original (ranked amongst the 250 best movies of all time) that still lives up to its cult reputation. Starring Frank Sinatra, Janet Leigh, Laurence Harvey, Henry Silva, James Gregory (as a Mc-Carthyesque clown) and most spectacularly, Angela Lansbury as the most frightening mom in American film history, ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ is a combination of visual pyrotechnics, nail-biting suspense, political paranoia and black humor that was years ahead of its time. 48 years after its release, its still is a great watch and that’s an achievement.

Free Video Download - StageVu Link
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