Wasting Light:Back to the Basics
By Alvi Ahmed
Foo Fighters' seventh studio album has been heralded by The Observer as a “back to basics sort of record”. Why you ask? Well mainly because front man Grohl has done it all. From headlining Wembley stadium, hanging out at the White House, to playing with almost everyone he has ever admired and sitting on the drum stool for Nirvana. So you can imagine the appeal for a man like Grohl to go back to the basics. And that is exactly what he and his band Foo Fighters did in their latest album “Wasting Light”.
The first two tracks “Bridge Burning” and “Rope” successfully deliver a punch as soon as you hit “play”. It's not the kind of punch that will make your nose bleed, it's the sort of punch that will make you go “Hell, yeah”, like when you first listened to Metallica's “Kill 'Em All”. “Burning Bridge” is a good track, but it's easy to forget. “Simple” is the only word that'll describe the opening track, you have to grow into it in order to really appreciate the track. “Rope” on the other hand, is a song straight from rock and roll heaven. The song is upbeat with hard riffs, the bass line is thick and groovy, and the drumming is insane. The guitar solo was disappointing, but it is easily the second best track of the album.
“Dear Rosemary” is an old school slow burner. Although the song is mediocre at best, Dave Grohl saves the song by adding a little bit of edge in the chorus, which is the only good thing about the song. The track is solid instrumentally, but the guitar work is very similar to “Steady as she goes” by The Raconteurs.
“White Limo” is thrashy and is nothing like a typical Foo Fighters track. Grohl tried a little too hard on the vocals and honestly the track sticks out like a sore thumb.
Moving on to the best track of the album and one of the best songs that the Foos created; “Arlandria”. The song is ridiculously catchy. And you will find yourself singing the song almost everywhere. Instrumentally, the track is flawless and the absence of a guitar solo makes it even better. The song is entirely based on super catchy guitar riffs and a “happy” up-tempo drum beat. The bass line is weak comparatively but does a fine job complementing the song. Even Lady Gaga fans will have to appreciate this song.
“I should have known” is heart-felt and direct and is about a very close friend of Dave's who died of an overdose. It is a tugging, beautiful song but the main highlight of this track is when old Nirvana band mate and bassist Kris Novoselic makes his presence felt in the song. You have to listen to the song to know more.
The album is definitely a hit amongst rock and roll fans all over the globe. Although some may say the band is “artistically diminishing”, they should listen to their previous albums. As Dave said, this album is about fun and when you listen to the songs you will know that the band had a blast recording the entire thing. Easily the heaviest album created by the Foos so far, it should be in the collection of every hard-rock fan there is.
Reference: google and amazon.com.
How hard is it to find a Bangladeshi humour blog? Well, it requires a good amount of effort to find a decent one. So when the higher powers of Rising Stars assigned me to review a good Bangladeshi humour blog, I wondered where to find one as I didn't think I had seen one before (but that could be just me). Google searches yielded nothing. Searching “Bangladeshi blogs” only led me to political blogs by expatriate Bangladeshis or blogs that had been abandoned long ago. And that's when suddenly I found Rantages.
Rantages claims to be the only humour site in Bangladesh. They even guarantee your laughter.
Rantages, as the name suggests, is about ranting. They rant about everything. They even have an article named “We Rant” (Rantage 39). Starting from rants about the evil of The Jonas Brothers (Rantage 3: Jonasfail) and other Disney popstars to rants about Indian TV serials (Rantage 38: StoryofAHindiTVSerial) to the big teams of the recently concluded cricket world cup (Rantage 40: Cricketfail).
The first thing to commend about Rantages is the site design. It's very nicely laid out. With a list of their recent posts, a button to take you to a random post and pictures of said recent posts, all are there to keep you interested. Their top navigation bar has links to different pages in the site where you can learn about the writers of Rantages and even a link if you wish to write for Rantages yourself.
For a site that started in mid-2009, they have only 40 articles. This is not a good sign as they don't post very often and thus lose visitors after a while. With a team of more than 10 writers, one would think they would be able to post newer content more regularly.
Also, some of the articles leave much to be desired in the funny department. For example, Rantage 14 “Complainfail” just seems like random swearing tossed together in paragraphs or in dialogues to make an article. It's alright if you're looking for humour that requires little to no attention, but it gets old fast.
But there are also some real gems. The best article I read was possibly “Rantage 36: Genzamfail” by Teh Goat Lord, the founder of Rantages. It's shorter than most of the other articles and is hilarious. It tells about the “History of Genzamz” and the “Fejbuk GrupzzZZzz” of these “Genzamists”.
If you're bored on the inter-webs and want some “deshi” humour, Rantages is worth a check out. It's very opinionated and some people might be offended at some of the things they say, but just remember it's all in good fun. If you can take a joke, Rantages will entertain.
MARY AND MAX
Stop motion films are massively underrated. We love computer animated films to death. Yes, Pixar and Dreamworks do an excellent job polishing those movies up, but somehow equally hardworking and creative people who make stop motion movies manage to stay out of the spotlight. Only once in a while do we see them collecting their Oscars for shorties, but most of the time they are just left in oblivion.
The stop motion movie Mary and Max comes from one of these people, Adam Elliot, who won an Oscar for his shortie Harvie Krumpet a while back.
This oddball story about friendship begins in 1976 in an Australian suburb, where an ignored and often bullied eight-year-old girl is utterly confused by the world around her. She ponders over fundamental questions like 'Does a sheep shrink after a rainfall?' or 'Where do babies actually come from?' without any success except the one time she is told that babies come from beer bottles in Australia.
Mary decides to write to someone to compare her theories. And she randomly picks Max Horovitz from New York City. Max is a lonely 44-year-old with Asperger syndrome and severe obesity who lives on chocolate hot-dogs. Max gets an anxiety attack the first time he reads Mary's letter but replies anyway; which starts an unlikely friendship.
As the years pass by, Mary becomes older, Max's waistline becomes bigger and their friendship becomes deeper. They learn more about each other, and they learn more about themselves.
The movie boasts an impressive cast; with Barry Humphries, Eric Bana, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette. The music score only makes it better. The brown and grey background enriches the story in the most unpredictable of ways.
The verdict? Every RS reader should take the time to watch such an incredible work, especially when it's done in stop motion. Sure, it's not a very recent movie (released in 2009) and the story might get a bit weak in the middle but the beautiful message of friendship is apparent all throughout the movie.
We sometimes take animated movies to be tales of emotions sugar-coated for kids that are not to be taken too seriously. This certainly does not fit that category. It's very quirky in its ways but bold in its messages, it laughs with the characters but sometimes you wouldn't be too sure whether it's laughing at them or not. But the movie is a sympathetic one, and most certainly a heart-warming one.