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Friday, September 4, 2009

Matt's Picks- Best of Summer 2009

So my summer is pretty must over at this point (wah) but I thought I pick a few highlights of my four month vacation. All in all pretty productive few months, visited the South, worked in Europe, chilled on the West Coast, now back in Europe for a while. Here are the highlights:

Best Albums of Summer 2009 (in no order)

1) Trapped Under Ice- Secrets of the World
Baltimore natives and current pit-masters really set it off this summer with their LP follow up to 2008's Stay Cold. The new TUI is one of the hardest records I can remember coming out, and the LP proves that these guys can write new material but still keep it interesting. They toured with Terror, Madball, etc. on the 10 for 10 tour this summer, and I'm sure they will be touring for the rest of the fall too. If you are a fan of heavier music, this album is a must listen.

2) Title Fight- The Last Thing You Forget
This three song EP is a great follow up to 2007's Kingston, showcasing the maturing Title Fight's mastery of blending pop punk with 90's emo and melodic sounds. From slow pensive instrumentals (the B-Side) to innovative vocal melodies and trademark tempo changes, I'm sure this EP swill serve as a warm up for what is sure to be a great LP in 2010.

Best Summer Blockbuster:

Inglorious Basterds
When I heard about Tarantino's new flick, I wrote it off as another rehash of some obscure exploitation film, but once I started to see a few trailers, it definitely sparked my interest. World War II movies are some of my favorites, and the fact that he had assumed the guise of a spaghetti western director for this one definitely added an interesting spin. After the seeing the film, I can definitely say it's Tarantino's finest work to date. Sure, the midnight premier theater was filled with pseudo-film buff nerdsters know-it-alls (average Tarantino fans), but that didn't ruin it for me. Blending elements of spaghetti western and classic film noir, Tarantino managed to produce not only his most entertaining film, but also the most visually pleasing. For my money, my favorite scene, showcasing the director at his best, was the rendezvous at the pub. It was a classic Tarantino roundtable dialogue, but this time there was a surmounting tension, and the feeling that anything could happen at any time. Finally after a 20 minute set up scene of pure dialogue (in subtitles!) Tranatino hits the irony button and shows a less than 5 second shootout. Classic! The giant face in the smoke at the end too was also very ill.

Best Show of 2009:
Cold World-> Floorpunch @ This Is Hardcore Festival (August 15)

Although I saw many great sets this summer, my personal favorite would have to be the back to back Cold World set into the Floorpunch set at This is Hardcore in Philadelphia. Despite the insane heat, Cold World put on probably the best set I have seen them play (at least in the last 3-4 years). The sold out crowd was going nuts, constant dives and sing alongs, overall just a great atmosphere, people just going off for fun, which is tough to find at most shows these days. After Cold World played to an insane reaction, I was going to take it easy and watch Floorpunch from the back, having already seen the first 2 of their 3 reunion shows this summer. Of course though, they had to go and open with Jeff Perlin actually dueting Breakdown songs (All I Ask + Safe in a Crowd), and people just lost it. The rest of their set was awesome, also got a great reaction with plenty of pit action. Best back to back sets of the summer, hands down.

Honorable Mentions for Summer 2009 "Best Of":
1. Arnold Palmer Lite tall cans
2. Title Fight Secret Show
3. Breakfast Burritos @ Beach Liquor in Carpinteria, CA
4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop on Blu-Ray

EDIT: Just listened to the Blueprint 3. Fuck the haters, shit's fire.
Key tracks: Empire State of Mind, Run this Town, Off That, So Ambitious

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