There have been a lot of great artists coming out over the past few months and I've gathered a list of 10 artists/bands I think you should be aware of if you've yet to hear their music.
If you haven't heard of "Nickelback" yet, turn on yer damn radio! Their album "Silver Side Up" has been resting happily under Billboard's top ten for some time now. Their hit single "How You Remind Me" has been playing for a hell of a long time on the radio and if you haven't heard it yet, smack yourself around for a few days. Their second song out right now is called "Too Bad" and is a nice switch from all that reminding me.
"The Calling" is another band you should've heard of by now. Their hit song "Wherever You Will Go" has been featured in several commercials, with their music video playing on MTV and VH1 like crazy, as well as on the radio. If you like 'em, go get their CD "Camino Palmero."
Any Rock fans would know about "Hoobastank" by now. I, personally, love their song "Crawling in the Dark" which is their hit song out right now. I saw them on TRL(Total Request Live for the musically impaired) and they explained that "Hoobastank" means "Hop-scotch" in some other language. I could be mistaken, however. Their CD is also called "Hoobastank" for those interested.
You may or may not have heard of "Pete Yorn." His song "For Nancy" hit the radio a few months back and the video has been played on MTV, as well as VH1, and it's really a good song. The album is called "Musicforthemorningafter" and it's spelt just like that. He was featured under Virgin Megastore's recommendations last summer.
Nickelback isn't the only canadian band on my list. "Default" has an album out called "Fallout" and it features the song "Wasting My Time." Once again, you may or may not have heard of them but I actually like them more than Nickelback, but that's just my opinion. An interesting note about Default's video "Wasting My Time," if you look carefully during the fight scene, one of the guys looks exactly like the lead singer to Nickelback. I haven't been able to confirm that yet but I'm pretty sure that goatee and hair is his. If Default happens to have another hit single I like, I'm definitely gettin' their CD.
Alright, enough with a bunch of guys on the list. I'd much rather watch "Michelle Branch" in one of her videos. Again, if you haven't heard of her, slap yourself around. Her song "Everywhere" has been playing forever now as well as her video for it. BUT she has another song out now called "All You Wanted" which I think is great. She's a talented singer as well as guitarist and I recommend you check her out.
"Vanessa Carlton" is another new artist with her song "A Thousand Miles" out right now. Vanessa is a very talented pianist who has a surprising resemblance to Michelle Branch. The music video for this song has Vanessa and her paino strapped to the back of a truck as she plays/sings her song while she's driven around the country. It's much cooler than it sounds, I think. Her CD "A Thousand Miles" will be released Feb. 12 2002
Next up is "Kylie Minogue." A beautiful singer with her CD coming out Feb. 26, 2002 and it's called "Fever." Her song "Can't Get You Out of My Head" has been playing on the radio with her video on MTV and VH1 but VH1 seems to really like playing her video. She was on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and, even though Craig is a very tall guy she's still noticeably small.
"Phanton Planet" is a band coming out which features actor Jason Schwartzman on the drums. In a recent interview(not by me), Jason said that acting and playing the drums are each an important part of him and he doesn't prefer one over the other. The band's CD is also coming out Feb 26, 2002 and is called "The Guest." Until then, check out their song "California."
Just earlier this week I've learned of musician "Jack Johnson." He was a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly (An excellent show) and played two of his songs. Sadly, I only remember one BUT the one I remember is now getting played on the radio. That song is called "Posters" and is featured on Jack's CD "Brushfire Fairytales." I've taken a little time and found his songs are very calming with a unique charm to make them very groovy. Jack also happens to be a surfer.
The last one isn't a new artist but a returning artist. Remember back in 1998 when the radio stations wouldn't stop playing the song "Torn?" Well, Natalie Imbruglia has returned after 4 years with her new CD coming out on March 5, 2002 called "White Lillies Island." She has a song and video out right now, off the CD, called "Wrong Impression." The song should get her out of that awful "One-Hit-Wonder" status. When I was gathering info for this article, I stumbled upon an interesting coincidence. It turns out Natalie and Kylie Minogue both used to be Soap Opera stars over in Australia. Even more surprising is they both happened to be soap stars on the same soap. The soap was (and possibly still is) called "Neighbors." Oh and Natalie grew out her hair as well.
So that's it for music news. There are many more new bands out right now so turn on your ears and pay attention. "Jimmy Eat World" is a band worth mentioning if you haven't heard of them but sadly I had no info on them so they didn't get put in. Until next time.
Movies For 2002
Somewhere around 100+ movies will be released in the U.S. this year and guess how many of them are either a prequel/sequel or a re-make. Quite a few, I should say. I have 110 movie titles and paragraph descriptions in front of me but instead of telling you each and every one, I will give you the ones that you're more likely to care about.
If you're a fan of Jackie Chan, he has three movies coming out this year. "The Accidental Spy" where Jackie plays an "ordinary guy" who falls into the family business of espionage, "The Tuxedo," who'll co-star the beautiful Jennifer Love Hewitt, is a spy movie and then there's "Shanghai Knights," the sequel to Shanghai Noon, starring Jackie and Owen Wilson. The duo will visit England in this movie.
"Blade 2", the sequel Blade, comes out in March where Wesley Snipes will return to battle a new breed of wampires. "Collateral Damage" stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a firefighter whose family was killed by terrorists and now he seeks revenge. Britney Spears makes her movie debut in "Crossroads," a movie following 3 friend's roadtrip.
"Full Frontal" is Steven Soderbergh's "unofficial sequel" to "Sex, Lies and Videotape" and features Julia Roberts and David Duchovny. Bruce Willis plays a colonel plotting to escape a Nazi POW camp in "Hart's War." Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin star in "Murder By Numbers," about two homicide detectives tracking a pair of brilliant killers.
Campus Comedy, "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" takes you back to "Animal House" turf in March. "Queen of the Damned" stars the late Aaliyah as the vampire queen in Anne Rice's latest adaptation. Another highly anticipated adaptation is "Resident Evil" starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriquez as "commandos" battling zombies and monsters. Coming out in March.
"Rollerball" is an updated remake, starring Chris Klein, LL Cool J and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. And The Rock in "The Scorpian King" (which has been stated as NOT a sequel to "The Mummy" but a spinoff) about an assassin for hire in ancient Egypt. An H.G. Wells adaptation, "The Time Machine" stars Guy Pierce, about a scientist who travels 800,000 years into the future.
Mel Gibson stars in "We Were Soldiers," about an early Vietnam War battle. "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" stars Eddie Murphy as a lunar-club owner of the future and takes on the moon mob. Shagadelic Mike Myers returns in "Austin Powers in Goldmember," co-starring Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles. "Blood Work" starring Clint Eastwood, is about a retired FBI profiler tracking a serial killer.
"The Bourne Identity" is about an amnesiac spy, played by Matt Damon, in the thriller based on Robert Ludlum's novel. Al Pacino and Robin Williams star in "Insomnia," a tale of murder in rural Alaska. Two other great actors, Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, pair up in "K19: The Widowmaker" about a soviet sub commander at the center of a Cold War crisis.
Previews for the upcoming sequel, "Men in Black 2"
are just starting up as Will Smith and, yes, Tommy Lee Jones return to fight off the scum of the universe. "Minority Report" stars Tom Cruise, with Steven Spielberg directing, about a sci-fi tale of psychic cops who arrest killers before the crimes are committed. Adam Sandler stars in a remake and meets Frank Capra in "Mr. Deeds."
For all the little girls, and a few guys, out there, "Powerpuff Girls: The Movie" hits theaters in July where the superheroes will fight off evil Mojo Jojo. Another cartoon show heading to the movies is "Scooby-Doo" but this will be a live-action version starring "I know what you did last summer" stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Toby Maguire stars in the comic book adaptation of "Spider-Man" where Spidey will take on the Green Goblin, coming out in May. Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen star in "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones" set 10 years after Episode I, where a teenage Anakin comes closer to the dark side. For the kids, the sequels "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" and "Stuart Little 2" will both be coming out this summer.
Tom Clancy's new adaptation "The Sum of All Fears" stars Ben Affleck as a CIA analyst who foils World War III. "Triple X" stars Vin Diesel in this film about an extreme sports spy tale. Director John Woo directs "Windtalkers," a story about Navajo code-keepers in WWII, starring Nicholas Cage.
"Analyze That" is yet another sequel coming out this year, that reunite Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal in the comedy sequel to "Analyze This." The 20th adventure of James Bond stars Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, coming out later in the year. Chow Yun-Fat plays a monk with no name in "Bulletproof Monk" where he seeks a new protector for a powerful ancient scroll. Tom Hanks will play an FBI agent that chases master deciever, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg's new thriller.
The adaptation of the comic "Hellblazer" brings you "Constantine" starring Nicholas Cage who consorts with demons and angels to solve a murder. I don't quite understand it but Ice Cube will star in the third "Friday" film called "The Friday After the Next" where he and Mike Epps have their Christmas presents stolen by a "ghetto" grinch.
Two of the best selling stories of all time had their movies premiere last year and they'll do it again this year with "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Harry Potter will get a rematch with Voldemort in his movie as Frodo Baggins will continue his quest to return the evil ring from "whence" it came in the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both movies are set to come out Winter this year.
"The Hunted" stars Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro in William Friedkin's cat-and-mouse thriller about an assassin and a tracker. I certainly didn't expect to hear about this but the sequel to the movie "Desperado" is also set to come out this year. Antonio Banderas returns as gunslinger El Mariachi in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." Salma Hayek will co-star.
A "Silence of the Lambs" PREquel will bring Anthony Hopkins back once again as Hannibal Lecter with the equally creepy Edward Norton to co-star. Trekkies will be suiting up to go see "Star Trek: Nemesis" where Patrick Stewart and the starship Enterprise will find danger during a peace mission with the Romulans. And finally, Madonna will star in "Swept Away" with Guy Ritchie directing the remake of the Italian castaway romance.
Those are, what I think, the Top Movies for 2002. I can't wait to see 'em.
(Here's a list of the top movies for the month of December 2001)
Oceans Eleven This is a remake of a Rat Pack classic directed by Oscar winner, Steven Soderbergh. This movie has an all-star cast, which includes big names: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and more! Its about a group of crooks that plan to pull a big heist on three major Vegas casinos. This film is rated PG-13 and definitely sounds like a movie to see.
Vanilla Sky A remake of a 1997 Spanish film, called Abre Los Ojos(Open Your Eyes), directed by Cameron Crowe. Its about a womanizer who falls in love with a mysterious woman and dumps the wrong girl. His life turns into a surreal un-reality when the girl he dumped takes revenge. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz. This film is rated R and sounds worth seeing.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring If youre a Lord of the Rings fan, you cant possibly miss this movie. The story is about a hobbit named Frodo Baggins, with a group of other heroes, who fight the Dark Lord Sauron to save their world, Middle-Earth. The cast includes Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and more. This film is rated PG-13 and I think it's a movie that any fan of Fantasy should totally see.
Kate & Leopold A 19th-century bachelor, also the Third Duke of Albany, is transported through time by a portal, into our time. A modern-day girl named Kate and the Duke (Leopold), fall in love. The cast includes Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman. This film is rated PG-13 and doesnt sound all that good to me. If youre a big fan of Meg Ryan or Hugh Jackman, go ahead and see it. If you dont like romances, dont bother getting up.
The Majestic The story takes place in the early 1950s and is about a blacklisted screenwriter who suffers amnesia after a car accident. He finds himself in a town with a new life. The townspeople believe he is a WWII soldier, who they thought was dead, that has returned home. The amnesiac begins to fall into his new role and gets a job at the local movie theather, The Majestic, but his old life begins to catch up with him. The cast includes Jim Carey, Laurie Holden and Martin Landau. This film is rated PG and is worth seeing, especially if youre a Jim Carey fan.
Ali A highly anticipated film that follows the life and career of boxing legend, Muhammad Ali. The movie tells about the good and the bad of the boxers life and is directed by Michael Mann. The cast includes Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight. This film is rated R and is worth seeing if youre a fan of either Will Smith, Muhammad Ali or boxing.
My Movie Pick of the Month goes to...Oceans Eleven because of its great cast and its great storyline.
I just watched Notting Hill on Sky and it was probably one of the best films i have seen - i know it's pretty old now but i advise anyone who has not seen really should, it's a romantic comedy!
Ghost's Review of the Microsoft X Box...
My friend has received an Xbox for Christmas and I've had the great opportunity to play it. He got the game "Halo" with it and it is excellent. First, let me review the Xbox and then I'll review Halo.
The Xbox is Microsoft's first game system and it is outstanding. One of the best things about the system, I think, is you never have to buy a memory card like most of the other systems out there. Your games are saved directly into the Xbox. If you've seen the controllers, you've noticed how large they are but even though it may look uncomfortable, it has an excellent grip and it's easy to use. The Xbox's graphics and sound are absolutely fantastic. The size of the system itself is actually quite large but the size of the system really shouldn't matter. Only it's performance should matter and that is certainly well done. The Xbox is a great system, overall.
"Halo - Combat Evolved," is without a doubt, the greatest first person shooter game I have EVER played. Everything about this game is absolutely flawless. It truely is "Combat Evolved." You play a super soldier who has to complete missions involving killing lots and lots of aliens. There is even a storyline to the game which makes it even greater. If you care to know the story, play the game or look it up on the web but I'm not going to go into explaining it. The details in the game are stunning. The characters, weapons, vehicles and the surrounding areas you're in are the best I've ever seen in a game. From the space ships right down to the blades of grass, everything is perfect. You can even see the wrinkles in the Marine's uniform.
There are several types of vehicles, including tanks, which you can either ride in, drive in or operate the mounted guns. There are numerous weapons but I must say, not as many as I'd prefer. There are military guns, alien guns, a sniper rifle, rocket launcher and two types of grenades. There is also a nice variety of different aliens. The bigger they get, the harder they are to kill. The controls are something to get used to as well, but once you do, the game is perfect.
The most fascinating thing about the game is the Artificial Intellegence. You'll occasionally lead a group of Marine soldiers. They are cautious and self thinking soldiers. They look for the enemy, they shoot at the enemy, they'll get closer if they can't quite hit the enemy and so on. The aliens have the same intellegence which makes this a very interesting game. I was playing it and having a stand-off with an alien. I was close to killing him when he ducked out of the way, behind a rock. I waited for him to pop back out, like a normal, stupid villian in games but he was smart and made me walk around the rock to get him. He managed to shoot me but I still finished him off. That was a true amazement. An A.I. that can actually have common sense is wonderful.
Gameplay goes like this. You can play it in one-player on four different modes: Easy, Normal, Hard or Legendary. You can play Co-Operative so that you can play the main game with another person. And of course, every first person shooter has to have multiplayer but, still, Halo rises above the rest and you can have up to 16 players on Multiplayer. Of course, this would involve several TVs as well as several Xbox's but still, that's amazing.
Overall, Halo is the greatest game I've ever played. It does not cease to amaze as it is pure genious. I give Halo, as well as the Xbox, a 10 out of 10.