Musical Top Ten for 2013

artwork manipulation courtesy of Spin.

Of course we’re all about the movies around here. But we also have day jobs (some of us). And we also have to get to the theater in a car or bus with stereo/iPod jamming; which means the amount of actual minutes consuming music vastly outweighs our movie watching. So throughout the year we take note of what sounds get us from place to place, help us get through the daily grind and just generally enhance our well-being. In the past year, this is the aural landscape that we traveled through most frequently and at our happiest. Welcome to the RowThree Musical “Best Of” lists for 2013.

Scott Olson
Bob Turnbull
Andrew James
David Brook
Ryan McNeil

By all means, drop some of your favorites in the comments section below.
Welcome to 2014!

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Musical Top Ten for 2012

It’s not strictly the silver cinema for the RowThree staff. We do have some other interests as well. And since it’s that time of year, nothing easier than throwing together a quick top ten of quite possibly our second favorite art form around here: tunage. Adele might be artist of the year, but apparently the third row doesn’t see this. It seems Jack White might hold that prestigious honor with five mentions out of seven in the lists below; including two number one slots.

Outside of Mr. White, there are a couple of duplicate mentions below but for the most part it’s clear music distribution continues to outwit even some of the most die hard of music buffs as it’s virtually impossible to follow every single artist and new release out there. From local bar bands to stadium mega-rockers, it’s easy to find anything in any of the cracks the internet has to offer.

Here are the lists from some of the staff at RowThree. How about you? What have you got for us to listen to in 2013?

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Talk TV and MUSIC in the Third Row




We’ve tried every way we can think of for a place in which people can talk about TV shows, music and even books or sports within the confines of RowThree. We had a separate blog with guest writers for a time. It died a slow and horrible death. Then we tried a little chat bar at the bottom of the page and everyone seemed confused and no one was ever on at the same time. Within about a week we realized that wasn’t working at all and had to remove it. So then we just went with something as simple as an occasional post on a random topic that we felt was warranted. This is fine but we still found that random post comment sections were still getting “hijacked” with comments on the Olympics or comic books or concert venues. Hey, we love the enthusiasm, but we want someplace for you guys to be able to do this that doesn’t require you to guess where to post your thoughts or just pick a random spot to do so.

Why don’t you just implement a forum?, you might ask. Well long story short, we just don’t want to.

But we think (and hope) that we have finally found the solution to our MorePop struggle. We’re introducing “Outside the Realm.” These are posts having to do with Music and Television that are fairly specific. You can browse a list of posts until you find the topic you want to talk about and leave your thoughts in the comment section and hopefully get a conversation started. Outside of the realm can be found by clicking either of the two links at the very top of your screen marked “Music” and “Television.” Once there, this will make a lot more sense.

Here’s why we like this idea and hope it will succeed:
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David Lynch’s Crazy Clown Time Video is as Weird as You’d Expect

Anyone who knows anything about the world of David Lynch – his movies, paintings and music – will find it absolutely no surprise that the video for the titular track from his first solo album Crazy Clown Time is strange. Basically consisting of people acting out exactly what’s in the lyrics – including pouring beer, a woman taking her top off and a man setting his mohawk on fire. Yeah, it’s as strange (and awesome!) as it sounds.

An exercise of being straightforward with your music? Or just weird for weird’s sake?

I’ve been a big fan of David Lynch for a number of years now (he might be my favourite director at this point in time) and while, admittedly, that fandom might have clouded my judgement of his musical talents, I still found Crazy Clown Time an oddly addictive album. The title track isn’t anywhere near my favourite from the album (that would be Good Day Today) but it’s hypnotic in a very Mulholland Drive/Inland Empire-esque way.

Dive down the Rabbit hole by watching the video below:

MorePop Friday: Skydive Naked from an Aeroplane…

…Or a lady with a body from outer space. Mere child’s play to what The Crüe has in store for us this Sunday.

The internet these last few days has been abuzz with Super Bowl commercials. I don’t even need to watch the game this year. Usually I watch to see some of these fun ads and eat mini-wieners. These days I’ll just eat the mini-wieners as I’ve already seem all the good ones.

So in am effort to be more of a sheep than I already am and conform even further, how can I not post my favorite pre-Super Bowl ad right here on our movie site?

Now you might be thinking, “This is Andrew so he’s totally going to post the dogs barking out The Imperial March.” But you’d be wrong. And of course Old Spice has been a champ for the last couple of years. But remember, I’m a child of the 80s who dreamed of being a rock star. So ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to the carnival that is Mötley Crüe (and bronco rhinos, flaming face kicks, giant sandwiches and lumberjacks)…


MorePop: Samantha Morton Directs “The Kills”

So I’ve become a pretty big fan of “The Kills” as of recent. Especially after seeing them live last fall. Also, I’m kind of a Samantha Morton fan. And looky here… the two have collaborated; with Morton directing “The Kills” latest video for The Last Goodbye. I can’t believe this band has been around for ten years already, but damn if they’re not still going strong. This video is a little bit different direction than their usual fare.

“The Last Goodbye” offsets the hard-edged sound Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are known for with haunting vocals and a nostalgic piano loop. “I wanted to make it completely different from anything we’d normally do,” explains Hince. “I used an octagon keyboard from the 60s which takes flexi-discs with real bands playing and mixes them together.” For the video — an experience Hince and Mosshart usually find unfulfilling and frustrating — the duo enlisted the talents of Morton, who made her directorial feature debut this year with The Unloved. Shot in monochrome on crisp, silvery 35mm, the video reflects the beautiful simplicity of the track, with an old-school photo booth providing an intimate backdrop for Mosshart’s intense and heart-warming opening performance followed by a series of touching to-camera poses reflecting the musicians’ longstanding, spirited friendship. “Life goes on,” says Mosshart of the touching ballad. “It starts off being the end of the world but then ends up alright.”



MorePop: Our Favorite Music of 2011

Our collective 2011 film lists will be coming up soon, but most of us are pretty big music fans, too, so we wanted to share some of the things we’ve been listening to the most in 2011. Rules for inclusion are pretty lax; soundtracks, cover albums, it’s all fair game. There’s a great deal of diversity among our lists, but we managed to come up with a collective Top Ten, arrived at by some fancy math and the requirement that the album appear on more than one list. Even so, most are only on two lists, with a few on three, and one Miss Florence Welch landing her sophomore album on FIVE of our lists.

10. Last Night on Earth by Noah and the Whale (Listen on Spotify)
9. Wasting Light by The Foo Fighters (Listen on Spotify)
8. Smother by Wild Beasts (Listen on Spotify)
7. Bon Iver by Bon Iver (Listen on Spotify)
6. Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will by Mogwai (Listen on Spotify)
5. Mission Bell by Amos Lee (Listen on Spotify)
4. Young the Giant by Young the Giant (Listen on Spotify)
3. Elsie by Horrible Crowes (Listen on Spotify)
2. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes (Listen on Spotify)
1. Ceremonials by Florence + the Machine (Listen on Spotify)

Every entry on most lists has a music video or live performance video linked, which will open in a lightbox when you click it, plus a link to Spotify when the album is available there. In addition, there’s a playlist of almost everything on Spotify here, with our favorites right up top.

What were some of your favorite albums in 2011?

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More Pop: Celebrating 31 Years of R.E.M.

Thirty one years and 15 albums later, R.E.M. have called it quits.

The decision comes as a bit of a shock. Though the releases over the last few years have failed to live up to the band’s previous success, the (now) trio from Athens, Georgia have continued to forge ahead, growing and re-shaping their sound, delivering variations of R.E.M, each slightly different than the last. The changing sound hasn’t been easy but fans have continued to listen to the band that was part of the 1st wave of alternative sound.

My introduction to R.E.M. came via radio and, appropriately enough, the single “Radio Free Europe.” I loved the song so much I went out to the now collapsed Sam the Record Man and came home with tapes of a few early albums. I was in love and the romance lasted for a decade.

When “Monster” came out, I stopped being the hardcore fan. I wasn’t really digging the new sound and by that point in my teen years, I’d moved onto NIN and the industrial scene but over the few years, I have continued to came back to the band that kept going without me. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about R.E.M.: when I come back, there’s always new material. They’re the reliable band that’s always there with something new for me to discover except that now, there will be no new discoveries.

That doesn’t mean it’s over. Over the last three decades, R.E.M. has released a number of perfect albums. CDs (or digital albums as the case is now) that I can put in and listen to on re-peat for hours at a time. For me, R.E.M. was at its peak with the back-to-back releases of “Green,” “Out of Time,” and “Automatic for the People” but every time I listen to a new album (or an old one) I re-discover a song. This much greatness makes it difficult to dwindle down a list of songs but after a week of revisiting their extensive discography, I have picked my list of 10 favourite songs. They’re not all popular singes and as much as I love “Losing My Religion” or “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” I’ve left these off my list in exchange for some less popular singles.

There will be one final release: a compilation album titled “Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011” is scheduled for release in November. The album will be the first to collect songs from R.E.M.’s I.R.S. and Warner Bros. tenures, as well as three songs from the group’s final studio recordings post “Collapse into Now.”

My favourites are below; be sure to share yours.
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