Tag Archives: review

People often ask me: “What is the worst album you’ve ever reviewed?” Here is the answer.

 

Fenix

Amazingly, appallingly, astoundingly terrible

The cover of Tenacious D’s Rize Of The Fenix (and yes, that is how it’s spelt) features a picture of a penis stylized into the form of a phoenix with flaming wings. If you’re thinking ‘well, that sure as heck doesn’t bode well…’ then you can tell where I’m going with this. It’s honestly almost impressive how terrible this album is. And yes, it’s supposed to be a comedy album, but that’s the other problem. It just isn’t funny. There’s toilet humour galore, which would be fine if the jokes landed once every 20 minutes or so, but the truth is that the whole thing’s about as funny as the Armenian genocide. Even the dialogue interludes are appalling. They sound like a couple of stoned middle-aged men trying to re-enact scenes from Saturday Night Live. The whole shtick of having Tenacious D almost exclusively write songs about what it’s like to be in Tenacious D was entertaining enough on the first album, but on album #3 they are really just flogging a dead horse. And then kicking it. And then piling beer cans on top of its rotting corpse. To top it all off, album closer 39, which basically spends 317 seconds mocking women for being beholden to the passage of time, sounds as though it’s been written with the specific intent of pissing off feminist groups. This album gets one star for the sole fact that it features Dave Grohl on drums.

*

orginal Rave article here 

Ball Park Music review (for Rave Magazine)

 Ball-Park-Music-610x409

 

View and comment on this article on the Rave website HERE

Ball Park Music / Northeast Party House / The Jungle Giants

The Zoo – Sat Oct 15

The Jungle Giants open proceedings by serving up a sonic selection of fun and friendly guitar pop that is summery enough to convince an Eskimo to invest in a pair of board-shorts and a badminton set. Next, six-piece dance rock outfit Northeast Party House unleash a swathe of thick fuzz bass-lines and twin guitars drenched in delay. Some of their songs are uncomfortably reminiscent of Bloc Party, but the second half of their set reveals some original material that really lifts the roof. If these guys aren’t huge in the near future, I’ll eat my hat. Of course, my hat is a novelty hat constructed from nachos, but nevertheless…

Ball Park Music greet a rapturous crowd by opening with Literally Baby, the first track from their recently released debut album, before segueing straight into Rich People Are Stupid and then announcing, “Hi Everybody, we’re The Jezabels.” At the end of their first five minutes on stage tonight they’ve already displayed an impressive mix of skilled musical performance and ridiculous humour. By the time they hit All I Want Is You the crowd is more than ready to participate in a good ol’ fashioned clap-along, which is followed shortly thereafter by a trombone-led cover of Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People.

Throughout their set BPM give the impression that they are having even more fun than the crowd, (if that’s even possible). The band closes with the obscenely infectious iFly, Sam Cromack deciding to conclude a consistently brilliant evening by pouring a bottle of red wine on the crowd. It’s the kind of move that would be career suicide in any other line of work. Tonight, however, it seems nothing but appropriate.

JOSH DONELLAN

 

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO DYING IN INDIA BY JM DONELLAN, REVIEWED BY JM DONELLAN

It's
been a busy week. I've been flat out organising the interstate tour and
doing radio interviews (you know it's going to be quality airtime when
the guy out of the front of the station greets you with a joint in his
hand). My novel was finally released in Australia this week, and man,
Oprah will just NOT GET OFF MY CASE. Seriously. Yesterday she rang me
up and she was all like:

Oprah_winfrey

“Oh my god I loved your boooook!"

You
know, with that rising voice thing she does. Let me tell you, it might
be endearing to watch on your telebox but it is PAINFUL to listen to in
your ear. So I was like,

JMDonellan pic

"Listen Oprah, I'm actually on the last level of

Street fighter IV. Can you txt me later?"

Oprah1
“When can I get you on my show? I was going to have the Olsen twins on in January but their agent just called and said they'll be in rehab or prison or terrorist training camp or some crap. You free then?”

JMDonellan pic

  "Yeah Listen O-town I'm actually going to be in  Cambodia writing the next book in January."

Oprah2

“Well can I at least get a review to tweet to my peeps?"

JMDonellan pic

"Seriously, O-face, have you ever tried to beat Zangief on level 7? It's f**king hard. And trying to do so with an overexcited billionaire yammering on is making it a lot harder. Look, I'll write you a goddam review myself. Here tis:"

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO DYING IN INDIA

BY JM DONELLAN

(REVIEWED BY JM DONELLAN)

Look, I don’t know what the hell I was
thinking
when I wrote this. Didn’t I realise that no one reads books unless
they are about vampires or wizards? Perhaps I should have written a book about
a young vampire wizard on a quest to unlock an ancient mystery hidden within a
famous painting whilst pursuing romance with a sexy rockstar who leads a
double life as a crime scene investigator. That’d really get the money men
drooling.

EdwardCullen   +      Wizhat4c+ 220px-MileyCyrusApr09 

= best selling piece o' crap ever.

Everyone from the tweenies to gay twenty-somethings to soccer mums
would be trampling over each other to get to their nearest Borders to pick that
shit up. It’d probably even be adapted into a movie directed by an ex-porn star
struggling to gain some credibility.

I mean, look at the vocabulary in
this book. Kaleidoscopic? Prometheal? It’s like I expect people to use a
dictionary, or their BRAINS or something? This book doesn’t mention twitter
even once! Was it written in the middle ages? A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in
India
has been called ‘witty and poignant.’ Poignant? When was the last time
you saw an ultra-hip Gen Y scenester type the word poignant into their iphone?
Never. That’s when.

Hipster 

"Does 'poignant' have two umlauts or three?"

My main regret is that this book
took me three years to put together from having the first spark on the rooftop
on a hotel in the Himalayas to telling my publishers to ‘shove it’ when they
wanted me to tweak the final chapter so that it featured a sex scene occurring
in a helicopter as the heroes escaped the exploding casino. It makes me cry to
think of all the things I could have done in that time. I could have learned
jujitsu, how to juggle flaming chainsaws, or how to make a clarinet out of a carrot.

You
know, stuff that would impress girls, instead of sitting in front of a laptop
for weeks on end bathing in my own sweat and trying to think a better metaphor
than ‘more out of place than the pope at a sex convention.’ (Suggestions?)
I give this book sixteen
thumbs down. Which is slightly better than the rating I gave the Twilight
series, and slightly worse than the rating I gave for this guy’s moustache:

Moustache

"It's Movember all year round in my world bitches! PS: you can get the book here if you to write your own scathing review, or if you need something to hide your face from that creepy guy that always sits opposite from you on the bus. Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about."

VAMPIRES, ROCKSTARS, TWITTER AND MY BOOK (WHICH MENTIONS NONE OF THESE).

My
debut novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India, was released in America last
week. Although it won't see release here in Australia until next month, I was
obviously fairly excited to be a thrilling 683,960
th on amazon.com's sales
ranking. This means that there are exactly 683 959 books that are better
promoted, better written or just better in general than mine. Titles currently outselling my book include: the brilliantly titled The Clique #8: Sealed with a Diss: A Clique Novel (Clique Series),

Diss           Palin
         

and Sarah: How a Hockey mum turned the Political Establishment upside down. Interesting side note, the original title for this book was Sarah Palin: the hockey mum who can 'practically see Russia from her house.'

Since my book has been released it's received the glowing personal recommendations  of old housemates the grates and randomly shown up at the top of a list of travel books in Japan.

 Cover

Amazon.com
describes it as 'Part comedy, part tragedy, part henna-drawn thriller
peppered with romance and intrigue…a spiritual journey across the continents
of the soul.
' but there aren't any
vampires, wizards, references to twitter or religious cults being investigated
by dashing  yet  surprisingly inept cryptologists so I'm obviously out of touch with what the
(mainstream) public wants.

Case
in point: my original blurb for the book. My publisher rejected this on the
grounds that 'It's not nice to insult your audience on the back cover.' Why
not? Plenty of my readers will insult me I'm sure! I felt it deserved seeing
the light of day, if only on the internet, enjoy:

So, you’ve picked up this book from the shelf of a
bookstore or library or friend’s place and you are thinking to yourself: ‘perhaps
this particular novel shall distract me from the dull drudgery of my life?
Perhaps it contains the elements which I find desirous within a piece of
literary fiction?’

As it so happens, this novel contains five of the
following ten subjects, you are free to select which of these you hope it
contains and then peruse its contents to see if you are correct. For those of
you who elect to continue, welcome aboard. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.
To those who are about to return this book to the shelf or hurl it away in
disgust, perhaps you’d be better off with a Jackie Collins novel? You obviously
have terrible taste.

 A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India may contain
traces of:

1 Black humour

2 Philosophical discourse

3 Excessive references to Ricky Ponting

4 Travel

5 The threat of international terrorism!

6 Revenge

7 Car chases

8 Explosions!!!!

9 Politics

10 Love conquering against all odds (followed by
making out in the parking lot)

 In addition to being a source of literary
entertainment, A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India may also be employed as a
highly effective paperweight, moderately effective source of kindling or rather
ineffective weapon in hand to hand combat.

If
you want to buy the book to use for any of the above purposes you can get it
from here:
amazon.com and preview it online here: google books

 IMGP2907

If
you prefer the anachronistically tangible experience of using your legs to
enter a store and talking to a human to make your purchases then you can order
it at any bookstore in Americaville or Canadatown. If
you like the book and want to write a glowing review I would be eternally
grateful. If you hate it please send all scathing literary criticism to my
personal email address: dan.brown@doubledaybooks.com

 


SOUNDS OF SPRING REVIEW (simulcast from 4zzz)

You’d
be forgiven for thinking that 2009’s Sounds of Spring was a government
conspiracy to lure all the violent bogans in Brisbane into one concentrated
area for scientific observation. Whilst shirtless, ass-grabbing, beer
can-hurling jerks are an unfortunate certainty at just about any festival,
today it seems like they constitute the vast majority of the crowd, by way of
illustration:

SOS 09

Astronomy
class

One
of many elefant traks artists on the S.O.S. bill. Astronomy Class deliver a
solid, high energy set. Bass lines from here ‘til new year underpin fluid flows
and rapid rhymes. This is a group that obviously loves what they do and they
crowd responds enthusiastically. Although, just quietly, most of the people in
the tent appear so blitzed that you could just place one of those toy monkeys
with a cymbal and a motorised disco ball in front of them and tell them it was
the chemical brothers and they’d be happy.

Hermitude

Hermitude

Another
elefant traks act, this is a duo that not only takes the cake, but remixes it
into a delicious funk and hash laced truffle. This is top level instrumental
hip-hop. Fuzzed up, dubbed out, spliced up beats and scratches all cut up with
the samples that matches. It’s not every day you see a group that can
seamlessly blend dubstep, dancehall, salsa and aussie hip-hop all within the
time it takes to prepare a pack of maggi noodles. Hermitude pull out some crowd
pleasing scratch technique and keytar solos that leave an already ecstatic
crowd nearly catatonic with glee.


The
Fauves

Stalwarts
of the underground rock scene (I was going to say indie, but that word has been
inconveniently re-appropriated) the Fauves are a solidly entertaining act.
Bouncy basslines form the backdrop to some very catchy melodies and hilariously
self-effacing banter; both in lyrics and between songs. If you want to quit
your job, start dating a girl who works in a comic book/record store and start
a band then this is the perfect soundtrack for your misadventures.

British india  

British
India

Obviously
a band that is well suited a festival crowd, British India tear straight into a
riotous set that has punters singing along at the top of their soon to be
dust-encumbered lungs. The radio singles are the obvious highlights; ‘run the
red light’ in particular is well received. The band don’t waste a lot of time
with banter, but make use of the ol’ live version breakdown/build up and give
the crowd more they want in spades. A mid set power cut only serves to enamour
punters even more when the amps click back on. The band rip through a selection
of old and new material, before departing to thunderous applause.

Panics

The
Panics

The
WA based 5 piece draw their material tonight almost entirely from the excellent
‘Cruel Guards’ record. Making their way through the uplifting JJJ favourite ‘Don’t
fight it,’ the majestic ‘Get us home’ and the sombre but enchanting title track
of their recent album. ‘Ruins’ would have been a set highlight for me, if not
for the couple who instead on furiously macking in front of me. Just a note to
you two lovebirds: singing along to a song where the lead vocal hook is: “I
don’t know what we’ll become / I just know that I’m not the one / Yeah I know
that I’m not the one.” with absolutely no trace of irony whilst staring
sickeningly into each other’s eyes may have been hilarious if it wasn’t so
tragic.

Little birdy

Little
Birdy

Fellow
Perth pop-rockers (what the hell do you call people from Perth? Help me
wikipedia help me!) Little Birdy take the stage next, opening with catchier
than syphilis-on-a-convict-ship single ‘come on, come on.’ A black and white
clad Katy Steele leads the band through a wide selection of material old and
new including ‘Relapse,’ ‘Beautiful to me’ and other helium voice drenched pop
melodies. The songs form a strangely sweet sonic backdrop to the arrival of a
dust storm that makes the sky resemble the set of Apocalypse now.

The
Butterfly Effect

The
Butterfly effect deliver everything you’d expect and then some, their set is a
sonic wall loud guitars paired with Clint’s distinctive melodic roar backed by
a solid rhythm section. No strangers to the festival stage, the Brissie quartet
have the crowd in the palms of their sweaty hands. Regardless, all I can think
whenever I see this band’s name is how pissed off they must have been when that
2004 Ashton Kutcher movie came out.

Unfortunately
at this point I was forced to depart due to the least rock and roll end to an
evening possible: severe and heinous reaction to tiny dust particles that
caused my brain to feel as though it had been invaded by two morris dancing
elephants. I’ll make up for it by getting into a fight with a bouncer Lady
Sovereign style next weekend, I promise.