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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Click here to read the article on WVAU.org. Published January 4, 2012

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a live performance of a movie score, much less heard of the concept, until now. In late November, English band 65daysofstatic took their alternative score of the 1972 sci-fi flick “Silent Running” to the Duke of York Picture House in Brighton, Britain’s oldest continuously operating cinema.

The band premiered their revamped “Silent Running” soundtrack at the 2011 Glasgow Film Festival, as part of a series in which several artists composed and performed alternative scores to old films. 65’s take on the environmental space odyssey, the film that inspired the director of Pixar’s 2008 hit “WALL-E,” was so well-received the band decided to take it on tour, playing cinemas all over the UK. After further popular demand, 65 recorded their score, initially only released on vinyl and digital download in mid-November.

As a bit of a movie score geek, this was an exciting, intriguing new experience. How would 65 pull off exactly matching the pace of the film to their sound? Are you supposed to sit like when at the movies or stand like when at a gig? And where do you even look – the band or the screen? Answers: Lots of practice; sit; and both, the band played directly under the screen, so all that was required to switch your focus was a slight shift of the eyes.

The primary focus of the performance was the film, which was logical considering how the music so closely depends on the mood of the plot and pace of the editing. The band even made sure the audience was paying attention to the film, softening the volume when important dialogue kicked in so the audience wouldn’t miss out on major plot points.

The composition was in the same vein as Academy Award-winning “The Social Network” score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross: a recurring, sweet piano theme floated over distorted, industrial guitar riffs and racing, determined drums. The range in styles and sounds featured throughout the soundtrack also shows off the band’s versatility. In the 90 minutes of movie, 65 seamlessly weave in and out of melodic piano, galactic electronica, “Twilight Zone”-esque synths and epic post-rock swells.

65daysofstatic managed to hit that perfect balance of composing a soundtrack that had all the qualities, served all the functions and unmistakably sounded like a movie score, all while maintaining their distinctive sound and staying true to their experimental, glitch-rock roots.

Here’s the trailer for the vinyl release of “Silent Running,” featuring music from the score:

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The last of the “Year in Review” and “Best of 2011” lists have just about finished rolling out. Now it’s time to look ahead and see what 2012 will have to offer.

4. Tim Cook’s Apple reign
Now that it’s been a few months since the passing of Apple’s iconic co-founder, former chairman and CEO, Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook has the opportunity to push through the company’s major loss and make his mark on the company. iFans and speculators are curious to see how Cook lead’s the innovation of company’s newest technologies and how he stacks up to Jobs.

5. Baby Jay-Z and Beyonce
Ever since Beyonce appeared at at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in August flaunting her burgeoning baby bump, entertainment news, fans and almost the rest of the internet have been abuzz with baby speculation. The name and the sex of the baby, as well as what clothes mommy and daddy, who have been married since 2008, will eventually dress the prince or princess of R&B and hip-hip in are among the popular topics talked and tweeted about. In late December Twitter, followed by the blogosphere,exploded with rumors that Beyonce had given birth, but the rumors went unconfirmed and were later deemed false.

11. Rising star: Azealia Banks
2011 was the year of Nicki Minaj, the outrageous R&B, rap and hip-hop popstar known for her various vocal stylings and vibrant costuming. Up-and-comer Azealia Banks, a 20-year-old from Harlem, is now drowning in Minaj comparisons from all the indie authorities like Pitchfork and NME. While it may be unfair to say Banks is the new Minaj, as the latter surely still has much steam left in her career, the hype surrounding Banks mimics the buzz that surrounded Minaj when she was breaking onto the music scene just before her monster hit “Super Bass” dominated the radio waves in 2011. Besides, banks music has a whole different vibe than Minaj’s: Banks manages to blend rap, electro, house and hip-hop, all while letting her sassy, but relaxed edge shine.

12. The world is going to end. Again. 
Last year Harold Camping, a believer of “Rapture,” unsuccessfully predicted the world’s demise to occur in May and October of 2011. This year, the Mayans in 2000 B.C. predicted the end of the world to be December 21, 2012, when their calendar ends. While it could possibly unfold like the 2009 movie “2012” and John Cusack will in fact save the world, based on the track record of previous world’s end predictions, it’s safe to say we’ll make it to next Christmas. Probably.

Click here to view the full list and photo gallery on Newsday.com