Archive for May, 2012

Movie Review Battleship (2012)

Battleship Movie Poster

Battleship board game to bored game

It survives a bad start to finish as an okay movie.

Deep within my childhood memories is the board game Battleship. You secretly arranged your ships on a grid and your opponent guessed where to send his attack. If he hit your ship too many times it sunk. It was like playing blind Checkers. Hasbro (the creators of the Battleship game) must have thought Battleship was another piece of nostalgia worth bringing back and centered an entire story around that one moment… when two fleets can’t see each other and attack based on loose data and intuition.

It feels as if the movie Battleship takes that one original concept and  thinks it’s enough to create a story around and then slaps on every movie cliché they can think of to fill in the rest. You’ll find yourself saying ‘didn’t I see this before?’ and before long, realize that you’ve been sucked into the Hollywood milk-that-remake zone. See, they got over with Transformers when they ditched the original spirit of the cartoon, turned up the single original idea of transforming vehicles/robots and added a horn-dog hero (the average American hormone-crazed teen), huge explosions, jiggling eye candy and an overly-loud soundtrack. Same deal here.

The majority of the budget went to the CGI, which is impressive. The alien designs are awesome.  The naval combat is rendered in amazing detail. The graphics just…um…rock. They skimped on the script and the creative story-telling department. Matter of fact, that department was closed throughout the entire developmental process. I won’t go overboard (!) since it’s meant to be a simple-minded summer blockbuster based on a distant childhood memory. If you like you movies loud and senseless, but fun to watch, go ahead, see this movie.


This next section is pretty much for those who have seen it or want specific details on this flawed translation. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I almost bailed 15 minutes in because it was so bad. It’s the horrible first act used to introduce the main character and give us the starting point on his journey from buffoon to hero. My first thought: why do they always have to make the hero an jerky a-hole? For me, he never shook that persona- even after they dressed him up and gave him a buzz cut. Insert overly hot chick played by Brooklyn Decker (she must be Meagan Fox’s blonde sister), running around with clown-boy Taylor Kitsch as unlikable navy washout Alex Hopper.

Liam Neeson is shown in the trailer but gets very little screen time. Rihanna does her thing and plays it straight as a non-sexy (aww-shucks) targeting officer. She’s actually the best thing about this movie and I’m only saying that because she’s believable in her role.

The aliens look like the soldiers in HALO (the videogame) and are one-dimensional fodder- even though they’ve been established as totally bad-ass early in the movie. All that coolness has been offset by the Hollywood cheap-out of a simple and stupid weakness that gives the good guys the advantage. It’s War of the Worlds and Signs all over again.

Here are a few highlighted horrible moments

1. The clown becomes a captain in two easy steps.

Okay, the captain and XO (Executive Officer) are killed and our buffoon asks who’s in charge?  The bridge crew has to tell him that he’s next in line. Because no one in the Navy knows the chain of command- especially the guy who’s third from the top. Right.

2. Give us an order so we can say No.

Next, a crewman says something like “Please, sir, give us an order we don’t know what to do.” And so- his first order is a suicide run. Everyone disagrees and his order isn’t followed. So far, so good as captain.

3. 1st contact with aliens and they send in the idiot

Yay. We are going to approach the aliens and make first contact. Who do they send? The buffoon, their best gunner (Rihanna) and the third guy. They all pile in a raft. Yeah, we only sent one boat AND we send the one character incapable of doing anything right. But wait, he’s now also the captain. Imagine who’s after him if he dies.

4. Who needs a gun or knife when we have this trusty flashlight?

They capture/find the first alien hostage/specimen and the room fills up with gawkers. No one thought to have any kind of weapon. Not even a lead pipe. Of course the expected foolishness ensues. See ID4  as a reference and every other movie when the assumed-dead monster springs back to life to wreak havoc.

5. Deploy, Search and Destroy

And more, the crew has to search the ship for a possible alien intruder and the ‘new captain’ is going to lead the search party. Right because he’s not needed anywhere else- better that he runs around with a machine gun. They must taking cues from Star Trek and be used to seeing Kirk do everything.

6. The Aliens want our women, water or whatever.

Usually there’s some obligatory reason the aliens attack us. It been proven by scientists that anything anybody could want from Earth is more abundant in space and easier to get than fighting a war. I don’t even think this movie took the time to explain WHY the aliens are fighting us.

7. Tender targeting terminals taken from the Terminator.

A brief tirade on their cornball targeting system. In their alien Heads Up Display, threats appear in red and non-threats are shown in green. If you pointed a gun at the aliens, it would appear red and they would fight you. Run out of ammo and your gun might turn green and the alien would ignore you and keep it moving. It’s a cool idea ripped from the Terminator, which works in a logical cyborg way of thinking… context. As a humanoid alien invader, why would I suddenly disengage because my HUD no longer sees a threat? Makes no sense, but it does lead to lots of moments when a character should be killed and is spared in a let-him-go-he’s-harmless suspenseful moment.

8. Moth-balled, using depends, but still dependable.


An old battleship turned museum is reactivated and proves to be our last hope. I think we all know the condition of floating museums.  Unless you believe the planes in the Smithsonian Sky Exhibit might really fly if you just add some jet fuel.

I could go on longer, but even I get tired of nitpicking bad movies. And it is  bad for us earthlings too since five alien ships almost wiped out our entire armed forces. The main strategic goal: don’t let the aliens call home for reinforcements. The bad news: no one would ever  send out scout ships and not send more- even if they never heard from the first group again. So expect more aliens to come. I just hope when they do arrive it’s not in a Battleship sequel. I’m not a movie critic, I am simply critiquing a movie.

Movie Review: The Underworld series and Awakening (2012)

May 21, 2012 1 comment

Underworld (2003)

underworld movie poster

Under the world is another world of Vampires and Werewolves. They are at war

Basic plot: Kate Beckinsale plays a Death Dealer, a vampire vanguard tasked with the job of defending her particular house or coven of vampires from the vengeful lycans/werewolves. While doing so, she falls for a human who is unaware that he is the last descendant of a special bloodline. This makes him valuable to both sides of the war.

Director Les Wiseman takes the reins of a movie that hopes to combine the lore of vampires and werewolves and blend them into a slick and fresh action thriller. He succeeds. What elevates Underworld above your basic b-movie is the visual flair and execution of the combat between species and the assembly of interesting characters. Kate Beckinsale is a perfect casting as the beautiful and deadly lycan-slayer Selene.  Michael Sheen plays Lucian, the leader of the wolfpack and arch-nemesis of Viktor (well played by Billy Nighy). Kevin Grevioux plays the awesome side-character Raze, a powerful lycan who is Lucian’s 2nd in command. And yes, that is his real voice. The central bit of human bait is Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), he is the ultra-important vessel of special DNA. I put focus on these actors because it is their screen presence and the dimensions of their characters that hold our attention. Remember them; they are all significant.

The movie is not without flaws. Among the great moments that will make your rewind are a few scenes that slip into cheesy soap opera lameness. There is a balance between the drama inside the house of vamps and the drama out on the streets as Selene becomes the unshakeable detective looking to solve an age old mystery. It’s deception at the highest level and will impact all involved. That impact is rendered in some cool confrontations that touch The Matrix style, but can stand on its own among fight-choreography since the combatants are…monsters, in a way.

The movie ends with a dark future coming. It’s not so much a cliff-hanger as first chapter in an awesome new franchise. I remember thinking ‘please let them make more of these’. That’s a good feeling to be left with after seeing a movie. Best of the series.

Underworld Evolution (2006)

The sequel to Underworld, Evolution, starts mere minutes after the first and really ties up some unfinished business in a shockingly immediate way. Wow, what a way to start off. The first movie ended with our star-crossed lovers on the run from both sides and no chance of a peaceful future together. This one picks up with the awakening of the elder vampire Marcus [Tony Curran] and his quest to gain information from a buried memory deep within Selene’s subconscious.

Overall, this is a solid sequel and worth watching. The first Underworld was shot in very dark settings which gave the movie an air of mystery when it came to what all the creatures look like. That’s been traded in for evening and open air visuals that display the workable CGI. You find more plot twists and turns that change the story around and give you more history to sink your teeth into (had to do it, sorry). I rank this movie third of the series. “Darkness is still ahead”

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

Oh no! The Underworld franchise is going to take a shot at a PREQUEL with a new director (Patrick Tatopoulos, who did the creature design for Underworld: Evolution and many other movies) and minus the main heroine we’ve all comes to know and love. Combine this with the fact that Evolution flipped the history as a surprise twist, you have, almost no reason to (re?)visit the past. It doesn’t look good.

But Wait! A gang of writers, including Les Wiseman (to preserve his original vision), Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain have tackled the task with terrific taste. Kate Beckinsale Seline is replaced by the perfectly cast Rhona Mitra as Warlord Vampire Viktor’s daughter Sonja. In the original Underworld it was stated that Viktor adopted Seline because she reminded him of his daughter Sonja. It’s fitting that they added a new actress we are instantly drawn to. So far, so good.

One of the main benefits of crafting a sequel is to explore and develop characters and events we wish we knew more about. [Side note: I’m not so sure the clone wars benefited from this second look.] Michael Sheen, who played Lucian (the Lycan leader in Underworld), is given his due for the character weight he added in the first Underworld. Another great character that is delightfully fleshed out is Raze, the top Lycan soldier is back with more bite. Sorry for that one.  I was shocked to find out the incredibly deep and rich voice is the natural voice of actor Kevin Grevioux.

Burial Plots, of a sort.

It’s a big rewind to medieval or mid-evil days when vampires ruled the land and used the werewolves/Lycans as slave labor. It’s the story of their revolution, uprising, and forbidden love… It’s a tale of desperate and horrific acts that will start the blood-war that will rage on for generations. This is a great addition to the series and a special treat to see vampires as knights in shining armor defending their rule. Knowing how the story ends doesn’t detract from the drama and in a rare occurrence, shedding new light to the origins adds to the deepness of the overall franchise. This is a prequel well done. This movie comes in at number two. The original Underworld still holds the top spot and the sequel; Underworld: Evolution is dropped to number three.

Underworld: Awakening (2012)

Underworld Awakening Movie Poster

Selene does what she does best: Deals Death

Rarely does a franchise make it to part four before the Hollywood engine sucks dry any interest the die-hard fans might have had. Series master of arms and original Underworld director Les Wiseman is still onboard as a writer and the directing chairs belong to Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. Kate Beckinsale is back as Seline, the vampire death dealer, turned renegade and now, um… turned pop-sickle. I saw the trailer featuring Seline going up against…security guards and I was already sold. It looked like we were in for a bloody treat.

When we last saw Seline and Michael, they were once again facing an unknown future as star-crossed lovers on the run. The writers must have been given the title Awakening early in the process and asked to stick to it as a theme. I mean. Really stick to it. Humans awaken to the fact that two dangerous species walk the earth: vampires and Lycans. We ratchet up the action after Seline’s awakening 12 years later as she escapes and starts her own quest to find her companion Michael. There’s more awakenings, but spoilers here.

One of the big questions I had during the first Underworld was What exactly do the humans know about the war and existence of vampires and Lycans? Is it like Blade (Wesley Snipes Main) and there is some kind of truce or working relationship? I assumed there was since no one really seemed to mind all the blood shed and open fighting. Awakening explores the idea that humans are the newest and greatest threat and the war has expanded. Well, at least that was the set up of the trailer. In reality, all that humans verse vampires and lycans, which would have made an incredible movie, is actually just the set up that happens in a flash-back story mode. We start after The Purge where humans wipe every other species out and only a few remain of each hidden underground, which is pretty much how the first movie started off.

I’m overall, disappointed in this move and it lands at fourth and least favorite of the series. There’s just too much sameness to the overall movie. The gorgeous Kate Beckinsale still looks incredible dressed in black leather and still kicks major ass throughout, but we’ve seen that already. We’ve seen lots of that already. The whole movie is her chasing after someone or being chased after. Come to think of it, that’s been the entire plot of every movie. Underworld: vampires and lycans both scream get Michael Corvin! Evolution vampires scream: Get Selene! Awakening: humans scream get Selene as Selene screams get Michael. There’s a lot of looking for people and trinkets. Too much. And that’s really the problem of this latest installment; it’s too samey. It’s definitely time for a change. Maybe Selene can wear something different than the Underworld Death Dealer Night Mission Special. Maybe we need new weapons. Maybe it’s time to add a new enemy like (well rendered) Egyptian Mummies to complete the monster trio.

This movie feels like what happens when a franchise becomes comfortable with the fact that it is a franchise and is guaranteed more sequels. See Matrix part II and III and Star Trek: The Next Generation Movies as an example. There’s not enough emphasis on big turns and it becomes a work of artistic self-indulgence. At the end, we are once again left with a brooding Selene monologue about a dark future which hints at more sequels. Well not all that much happened in this one so I’m not so anxious about another episode. And that’s the overall feeling: this was another Underworld Episode. And if this continues, we will experience the Lethal Weapon effect. You will see it on cable and be unable to tell which movie it is because they all look and play out the same. You’ll be asking ‘Wait, is this the one with Jet Li?’ and watch for ten minutes to see if he shows up.

This is still one of my favorite series overall, but I really think a shake up is needed. I’d like to see a true sequel based on the wars, but seeing the few glimpses, I don’t know how much room there is expand on that decade of war. It could be time for new characters or least the addition of a few that could grow over the course of the movie and I don’t mean a growth in attitude or a change in opinion. This movie has left me curious to see what happens next and not excited to see what happens next. That’s not a good sign. There’s a bad moon rising for the Underworld Series if something isn’t done by the next movie. I am not a movie critic, I am simply critiquing a movie.

Movie Review Chronicle (2012)

May 21, 2012 1 comment

Movie Review Chronicle (2012)

Three friends discover an energy force that endows them with super-human abilities and changes their friendship. One is seduced by that power and embraces the idea that he is the apex predator. He is at the top of the food chain and feels no guilt for his actions, no matter how they may impact others further down the chain.

Chronicle movie poster

What if you suddenly became a god?

Director Josh Trank uses the hand-held camera technique to document the lives of three high school seniors as they become young gods after discovering an (alien?) force. There’s not much more to the movie than that plot summary so really, if you’ve ever wondered what if you gained super powers…and what would you do? The trick is to show us something that is so ordinary that it’s special and thanks to good writing by Max Landis and Trank, we get that. I’m not suggesting this is a greatly written movie, I’m suggesting that it has been written to steer us in a certain way that retains realism and believability.

Blair Witch showed us how effective documentary styled filming can be and Cloverfield showed us how it can be used to bring on the cheese. You always have that nagging voice in the back of your mind- asking about tape and battery time and you wonder if someone would really, really be filming this much. In this case it works well and the camera slides into normalcy and you forget its first-person and just watch the onscreen action. The special effects are well done and seem even more realistic when combined with the lo-fi camera grain.

Back to the writing. It’s important to note that what’s been written out is just as important as what’s been written in. There’s the cliché of the trio. We have a loner (Dane DeHaan), Mr Popularity (Michael B Jordan) and a too-cool-for-my-own-life pseudo-intellectual (Alex Russel). The reason they work well together is because each posses the qualities another lacks and it keeps them focused on group concerns: exploring their new powers and getting stronger.

In younger days, I and my friends would play ‘Adventure’ which was basically Dungeons & Dragons without the paper and dice. We would build scenarios and talk our way through our actions and create a story in real time. You do or say this and this is what happens after. You react and do that and here’s what happens next. In the earliest games, we spent our time exacting revenge on those that wronged us and getting the girl we wanted. Eventually thoughts about our real non-life seemed unimportant and we began to think about being super-heroes and fighting other beings with powers and becoming worldly beacons of justice. Really, we did.

Chronicle could follow that same ambition process, but we are narrowly focused on this trio and the early days of their enhancement. High School life is still most important, and should be because that is all the characters know. We don’t get answers for where the energy source came from and do not explore any of the hinted at tangents -like the world and government reaction to some of the incredible events the trio is at the center of. There’s a built in break for using the hand-held documentary style because you can say: if it wasn’t filmed by this guy then we can’t show it to you. That’s broken up in some nice shots where surveillance camera footage is spliced in at key moments.

Of course in any movie, you can criticize the actions of the main characters and figure you could have done better in their position. One character needs cash and so he robs the local (presumed) drug dealing a-holes. That’s not enough so he robs a gas station. At first I thought with those powers why isn’t he making tons of cash or if you’re going to rob something, rob an ATM or bank…but these are simple characters acting on impulse. This is a simple movie trying to explore what some would do if they suddenly became infused with super-human powers. Sometimes we come back with complex answers when in truth; it might all be as simple as this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and the ending had a much bigger climax than I expected. I am not a movie critic, I am critiquing a movie.

COP SHOP Reunion on 5-19-2012 Smithtown New York

The Cop Shop has been one of hip hop’s staple in Long Island in the 2000′s. Weekly in store events, autograph signings, you name it, the Cop Shop had it. Sadly in 2009, they closed its doors. Luckily for us, Eddie has decided to throw an event to bring it all back for one night only. I hope all of you can make it because i sure will be there. For more information head over to their Facebook page.

The Avengers (2012) Movie Review

The Avengers (2012) Movie Review

TheDynamicUniverse Movie Review The Avengers

The Avengers have always felt like a motley grouping of superheroes. There was always the power-class problem. How do you find baddies that can be handled by an enhanced human (Captain America), a invincible berserker (The Hulk) and a god (Thor)? After that, you have the clashing of personalities and each characters own history and lore to consider. It’s a tough challenge for anyone to write a story that accounts for this much diversity among the characters. Writers Zak Penn and Joss Whedon (+screenplay) have done a remarkable job in adapting the comic book franchise, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, into a blockbuster film. It’s a treat for both the older fans and younger audiences that might not be well versed in all things Avengers.

The film easily tackles all of the individual storylines and movies and gives enough head-nods to the previous events in each hero’s past to keep the continuity on point. Each hero is given ample screen time and shown doing what they do best. The two members without their own films are the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Each character is well developed and makes a solid addition to the core line up. In a nice touch, secondary characters are also given weight as SHIELD’s Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is surrounded by team of capable individuals.

The Plot surrounds Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) outcast adopted-brother Loki (well acted by Tom Hiddleston) enlisting the help of an alien army in his bid to exact revenge and rule over earth. A team of earth’s mightiest heroes must answer the call to avenge despite their individual differences and motivations. This movie seems purposely written and paced with an awareness of other superhero movies and more importantly what has worked and what has not. We can dispense with some of the set up since you have seen their individual movies and should be up to speed on how we got here. The combat sequences are wonderfully choreographed and play to each characters strengths and exhibit great insight as to how they might interact if trained to do so. There’s a moment when Iron Man used Captain America’s shield to deflect his beam and take down several baddies at once. There are times when one character rushes in to save another at the last minute…and those scenes work because there are also moments when you expect help to arrive and it doesn’t and a hero is left to get themselves out of a jam.

The X factor

You can’t really do too much thinking about superhero teams without considering the X-Men. They represent another iconic assembling of superheroes and find themselves with a recent series reboot. The last outing X-Men: First Class (2011) really disappointed me with the climatic battle. It just wasn’t exciting. They teased us with the warheads being stopped by Magneto, but never gave us any real action sequences to Marvel at. I couldn’t help myself, sorry. The Avengers delivers quivers [ouch, I know]. You will get to see every combination and pairing of hero as teammates and as adversaries. This is a fanboy dream come true and it serves to show how formidable each Avenger is and shakes up the usually boring ‘heroes being recruited’ part of the film.

Action Acting

The script takes advantage of the actors and their onscreen alter-egos (meant both ways) and gives us great dialogue and lines to enjoy. It’s great to see each character interact and trade bards, display wit and take cheap shots at each other. This is one of those movies where the funny lines are actually funny and the audience literally applauded for many of the scenes. How often does that happen? This is what I would pretty much call a perfect superhero movie. It’s not weighted down by melodrama and doesn’t feel the need to prove its merit by tackling larger issues. It understands, it’s an action filled superhero movie and is content to be exactly that for its entire 143 minutes.

There’s a lot more to say about the Avengers. There’s the fine casting job of the new Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). I think we have room for another Hulk movie. There’s the great CGI work for both the Hulk and all of SHIELD’s toys. There’s a similarity of the final battle sequence to The Transformers Dark of the Moon (2011) and there’s the promise of what this new franchise could bring in regard to sequels and spin-offs. We’ll end here and simply say; if you’re a reader of comic books, a fan of superhero movies, you need to run out and see The Avengers. I am not a movie critic, I am simply critiquing a movie.

Movie Review Haywire (2011) main: Gina Carano

Movie Review Haywire (2011) main: Gina Carano

Haywire Poster (2011) Starring Gina Carano

Wired for action, but not as haywire as it could have been.

Okay, okay I admit I did a bad thing by missing this movie when it was in theaters. I’ve watched Gina Carano in many Mixed Martial Arts events and always thought she would translate well in a movie as a kick-ass agent of destruction. We were teased by her cameo appearance in 2009’s B-classic Blood and Bone as a street fighter. Tell me when she gave Isaiah Bone (main: Michael Jai White) her number- you weren’t hoping she’d be seen again.

And so, when a trailer emerges that shows Gina Carano doing the CIA-MMA combat style, you have to get amped. The trailer also showed Michael Douglas so you felt that the good acting was going to be handled by an able veteran. Add Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas and you have a can’t-miss bundle. Well it has just arrived on rental and DVD so now I’m getting my chance to see Gina in action.

Plot Ploddings


At about the 36 minute mark I realized I had no idea what was going on, why and who any of the characters were. I had to check myself to see if I had checked out and stopped paying attention and missed some clues. No, it’s one of those movies where they leave it blurry and bring it into focus at the very end, which doesn’t quite make sense since the overall plot is as simple as it seemed in the trailer: super agent is double-crossed and sets out on a mission to find out why and at the same time – seek revenge. It doesn’t work to keep us in the dark about something we already knew walking in.

Cut to the chase

Let’s get to the action and choreography since that’s supposed to be the meat of this flick.  In true fanboy service, you will get to see Gina Carano as freelance agent Mallory Kane pull off several bread and butter MMA moves- including the triangle, Muay Thai leg kicks and the superman punch. The only problem is; all the best moments are pretty much shown in the trailers. The early scenes are well edited and frenetic enough to warrant the name haywire, but later they begin to feel like set ups. It’s as if the director looked at the clock and figured it was time for a mini-fight scene and placed the characters in, oh just enough peril to have a quick fight. By the time the climatic confrontation (Which you won’t know is going down until the credits roll) occurs you’ll be hoping you can see something different. Unfortunately the action plays out the same as the first fight and only the quick jump-cuts make the fight seem any different.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve slipped from watching an action movie to watching an action reel meant to prove Gina Carano is a great action-hero fit. We have long shots of her running (for almost no damn reason), which proves she can run and look cool [like James Bond] and we have her in several outfits showing off her curves. She is also allowed to play it sexy, aloof and cool in a few quiet moments. Her action-acting resume is accepted. In much the same style as Hanna (2011 main: Saoirse Ronan) there are several scenes set to music as if we are watching a music video. And that’s another bothersome point. It feels as if director Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic, Erin Brockovich and Solaris +) was more concerned with getting a cool shot and placing the camera in an interesting place than following any kind of logical course of action for our heroine to take. To his credit, he may be a saving factor because removing those cool camera angles might have left some scenes looking very boring and plain. I mean, she’s jumping over roof tops, but with no real sense of danger and no discernable reason to be doing so. She’s not exactly trapped and the pursuing baddies aren’t even sure where she is. So what’s she doing besides looking awesome?

In the end, I feel the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts. You have many underutilized, bankable actors, a great physical actress and a plot as simple as it gets. Sure there are scenes with creative camera work. Sure there are moments when MMA-lovers can cheer at the screen and call out the techniques being used, but overall this movie represents a first step in what I hope is the budding film career of Gina Carano. I can easily see her as a Bond villainess or arch nemesis in the next Charlie’s Angels. Although our heroine says early in the film that she doesn’t like loose ends, this movie leaves us with a lot of loose ends. Hopefully, action superstar Gina Carano gets a chance to tie them up in her next movie role. Worth renting, not owning. I’m not a movie critic; I’m simply critiquing a movie.

Fallout Shelter Radio Show Episode 01 AVXP Music Showcase

The Fallout Shelter Radio Show Podcast on PodoMatic

Fallout Shelter Radio Show Episode 01 AVXP Music Showcase.

itunes pic
This is Fallout Shelter Radio where hosts Drew Spence, Griffin Avid, Xodus Phoenix and Domino Grey play anything with a Groove that makes the needle move. From Electronica to Experimental Hip Hop we drop the beats. Guest DJ drop in and mix for you. Show airs first on Friday Nights 8 -10 PM (EST). This is the one of the podcast archives.Episode 01 Playlist Follows

Domino Grey: Last Night, Night Zone, Let My Spirit Run Free, London Ferry, Enter The Slots, Desiree Desire, Stirrer’s Pot, Melody Diagnosis, MY Heart never Skips a Beat [Dynamics Plus Remix]
Domino Grey: Faint Murmurings and Light Musings.
Dynamics Plus: Lonely Angel Remix
Nae B and Shea the Doll: Why Can’t We Fall in Love, Baby Please, Askin Me For.
Shea the Doll: I Aint Mad At You.
Fallout Shelter: Food For Thought, Sexy Dress, Kool Intentions

Domino Grey Video for Primal Themes and the Beating of Wings

The video is finished for “Primal Themes and the Beating of Wings” from the Butterfly Affect EP Facial Recognition Technology. I had put this song in rotation for airplay and saw it performing great right along with “We Can Go Dancing” and “Just Look at Me”. I figured it would be one of the simpler videos to shoot so I went with this song first. It’s a pretty straightforward story and uses the dual layers of the butterflies and my fascination with a beauty I meet at a butterfly garden. Spacely Rockit filmed all of the butterfly shots- the close ups and our interaction and a producer friend filmed all of the close studio shots, here in Fallout Shelter Studios. The young lady in the video is Kenya Concepcion.

Domino Grey Primal Themes Print from the Dress that um, didn't make it in the video.

A nice print that Kenya didn’t pick as her favorite.

The part of the dress that sold Kenya into picking it for the Primal Themes video shoot

A better print for Domino Grey Primal Themes

Primal Themes and the BEating of Wings Dress Fitting

Kenya tries on the dress and approves the look

Domino Grey Primal Themes Shoes that match the dress

Kenya finds shoes that match the dress.

Domino Grey Primal Themes- Right before the shoot, makeup was done

Kenya beautifies to become a butterfly

One of our favorite butterflies lands and flaps.

Primal Themes co-star…The Orange one!

The EP is available for purchase here. Thank you for watching.

Domino Grey Interview with Indie Music Promo

Electronic music for fans of Juno Reactor, Underworld

James Moore May 2, 2012

Electronic artist Domino Grey is most certainly a “child of rhythm”. This Long Island native has been building up a strong fanbase with his dance/electronic/club style that he infuses his own philosophy and emotionality in, much like cult heroes Juno Reactor and Underworld. We’re excited to have an exclusive interview with Domino. Among the topics discussed are the state of modern electronic music and the possibilities of expression within the genre.

Welcome to Independent Music Promotions, Domino. As someone who tends to look through to the deeper nature of things, I appreciate the richness of your music. What are your main intentions as far as people’s experience of your work?

Thank you for having me here. I’d like everyone to enjoy my music on the surface and be able to groove to it. Beyond that, I’d like to add a story or backing theme- something you can hold on to, should you choose to look for a higher meaning in the music. If it’s only beats and rhythms, how expressive can I really be? You’ll never know who I am, as a person, unless I become super successful, therefore I need to take every opportunity to inject my personality.

What is it about electronic music in particular that lends itself to spiritual, evolutionary or philosophical themes so well?

It’s that creative freedom that’s so rooted in the form. You can do anything you want and what you choose to do will create the aesthetic. Songs can slowly evolve for ten minutes …or more. You can have these radical and sweeping changes. The mood can be subtle and nuanced or bold and drastic. You can even mix and match these motifs in the same composition. Electronic music is just so free and open, from an artistic perspective.

How did you train yourself to produce your music and what advice would you give to up-and-comers?

I learn best by trial and error. I’ve found that a lot of music does not lend itself well to being reverse engineered. Some great ‘sounds’ are based on playing techniques and not sound design. It’s not always about making or finding a cool element, but instead playing sounds in a cool way. And so, I experiment. I try different things and see what happens. There’s a delight and freshness to not knowing what happens next.

A technician once told me that there’s not a lot of fun in building electronic instruments because at some point you know what the results of your work will be. There are no more joyous surprises. I would never want to understand or master the production process so much so that I rob myself of its random gifts.

I would also say to anyone who considers themselves to be a work in progress, to continue seeing yourself that way, but start making records now. Create your music while you are still learning and expect to keep learning…forever. I hear a lot of artists and producers saying ‘someday I’ll be good enough and then I’ll…” You could be good enough today. The bar is set at; do people enjoy my music? If the answer is yes, then you need to start the journey. Confidence and experience is built from doing. Your first record doesn’t have to be your best, but you should still put forth your best effort on your first record. Man, you got me wordy and preachy on that one. Sorry.

Tell us about the biggest influences and inspirations that inspired you to play music.

I would hear music and think about what I would do if it was my song. I kept thinking that artist should do this or I wish someone would make a song like that and then I just figured I should be the one to start doing it.

Who in the current music scene do you most admire most and why?

I must admit I don’t know a whole lot about the scene right now, But I’m going to say Adele- only because she seems like the underdog who has done the most with the least. She doesn’t feel like an engine, she feels like a genuine artist with an engine behind her. I like that.

How do you feel about the music industry and the issue of music downloading/file sharing? It’s either an issue or a great thing depending on who you ask.

It’s weird how someone will rip an artist off, but still uses that artists name in every sentence as their favorite -like they are the biggest fan. It’s even more hypocritical when that artist is mentioned as a badge of hipness. “I’m into this persons music so deeply” but you didn’t BUY any of it. I hear justifications for stealing like “I support the artist, not the corporations, man…” It’s not your responsibility to balance out whatever deal the artist willingly signed up for at their music label. Your $upport means more than the 2 cents per album. It’s about showing their profitability and in turn causes the label to continue to support the artist. This also generates opportunities for the artist far beyond record sales. Stop pretending that you’re too smart to buy into the system and admit that you’re a cheap bastard that likes getting crap for free.

What releases do you have on deck for 2012 and what are the main concepts behind them?

More Butterfly Affects. I intend to pretty much repeat the release cycle from 2011. There’s a follow-up for every major release planned.

Your music would lend itself well to both music videos and festival performances. Any plans to engage in these in 2012?

Yes. I am working out the details of my live set and also filming videos for many of the singles. You will definitely enjoy what we are shooting.

Electronic music has been getting a lot of attention lately, a heavy amount of it geared towards dubstep. Do you think there’s a lot of public confusion about electronic music because of all the subgenres?

I find it confusing too! I thought this record is like Electronica and House combined so I’m going to call it electro-house. A DJ friend flipped and said you can’t do that! Electro-house is a real genre, they’ll go crazy and hate you! Sheesh. I’ll leave all the classification to the caretakers and purists or intellectuals or whatever we’re calling them nowadays. Party people don’t care about that stuff and I don’t care either. I’ll make what I make and those in the know can decide what box my songs belong in. That’s it? Okay. Thank you very much for this interview.

(Photos by Ian Goldberg)