Before we get started, figure out the pun in the band name The Mary Onettes. Okay? Done all the groaning and eye-rolling you wanted? Now we can get down to business: the Swedish indie-pop group is all set to release Hit the Waves, their third album, on March 12. Have a go at the admittedly oceanic title track below.
If you ever wanted to live inside your own John Hughes movie soundtrack—for my part, I don’t know that I could have that many emotions—this should put you at least halfway there. Vocalist Philip Ekström is claiming influences ranging from Whitney Houston to Vangelis, so you know: the ’80s.
But with their typical shimmer and melodrama shaped by producer Dan Lissvik (who has also worked with Young Galaxy), “Hit the Waves” becomes more than nostalgic pastiche—just not so much more that it stops being fun.
For the past several months, Swedish artist dimbodius has been teasing a new full-length album, one apparently eight years in the making. Sisyphus’ Surrender, due to be released November 14, is a follow-up to his While We Fall of 2004, and already has a handful of stellar singles to recommend it. Today marks the release of another infectious track, “Come Weigh Me Down,” along with a stripped-down video.
From the titles alone you might guess that dimbodius has the arch and melancholy humor of the guys from Hurts, an English band that does a great Scandinavian sound, or droll countryman Jens Lekman. And the music itself has some of the cold precision of Jonathan Johnansson, even while leaping to the operatic heights enjoyed by electronic duo The Sound of Arrows.
If none of those names mean anything to you, let’s just say they amount to slick, sugary, hook-happy pop that doesn’t skimp on lyrical complexity. And on that score, it’s some of the best of its kind around right now. Just try not to fall for that chiming, swoony, splendor when “Sharleen” hits a chorus. Bet you start reenacting scenes from the John Hughes canon instead.
Oscar’s tribute to John Hughes last night was one of the show’s highlights, if for nothing else than its aggregation of grown-up child actors. Macaulay Culkin talked about the director’s gift for working with young talent, Matthew Broderick confirmed that he’s still known chiefly for Ferris, and Judd Nelson, as ever, looked like a douche. The Hughes legacy has proven an especially enduring one, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s interest in his unproduced screenplays.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a draft of “Grisby’s Go Broke” has been circulating Hollywood of late. The script follows the downward spiral of a wealthy Chicago family who loses everything and moves to the sticks. Rumor was that Paramount, with whom Hughes made Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink, was already looking to buy the property, but that proved false. I’m wondering if the failure of Hughes last produced script might not be one reason. Although he went uncredited, and the script was re-written by Seth Rogen, Hughes was the man behind the odious Owen Wilson vehicle Drillbit Taylor. No one needs more of this:
● Shaq curates an art show—this is as rad as it sounds. [Vice] ● A portrait of Alec Baldwin, with very delicate lips, commissioned by his brother Stephen, up for auction on eBay. [Perez] ● A Wilco themed sandwich shop opens in Toronto. [Pitchfork]
● Paramount has reportedly purchased a John Hughes script, called Grisby’s Go Broke “about a dysfunctional Chicago, Illinois family who lose all their money when the economy slumps.” [Jam!] ● Evil Dead, reduced to 60 seconds of bloody claymation. [Vulture] ● How Charlie Sheen and a Gawker commenter birthed a new word, “prehab.” [NYTimes]
Iconic ‘80s director John Hughes died yesterday at the tender age of 59. Hughes did more than make great movies. He emboldened a generation to let their freak flags fly, and made sure all of us angsty teen girls knew there is more than one way to be cool, loved, and beautiful — and that even the pretty girls have bad days.
We can credit Hughes with launching the notable careers of Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, among others, whose roles in Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985) defined and redefined the teenage experience. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter yesterday, Ben Stein had this to say: “He made a better connection with young people than anyone in Hollywood had ever made before or since.” Stein, who played the monotone economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, also said, “He was to them what Shakespeare was to the Elizabethan Age.” And so he was.
Of the many characters Hughes created that just got me, it was Ally Sheedy as consummate dirty-haired outsider Allison Reynolds that first drew me in and made me feel like I wasn’t so hopeless. I loved her pre- and post-makeover (though it would have been a little cooler if she got the hot jock in all her goth glory). More than 20 years later, Hughes’ films continue to be the standard against all which teen movies are compared; his outsiders, his freaks, and his beauties are timeless characters that we’ll never forget.
● Actors like Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, and Steve Carell in the exclusive $20 million club have had to swallow their pride recently and take pay cuts in order to act in Hollywood films. [StudioBriefing] ● After years of frying and dyeing her hair, Lindsay Lohan may be going bald; but knowing Lohan, if that’s the case, she’ll start her own line of wigs. [Showbizspy] ● Nancy Meyers has unveiled the trailer to her new romantic comedy It’s Complicated. As always it’s about a zany older woman (Meryl Streep) having an affair with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) while juggling a relationship with her equally zany architect (Steve Martin). [Apple]
● Jermaine Jackson says his job now, beyond just being Michael Jackson’s brother, is to spread the word of MJ and carry on his humanitarian causes. [LarryKingBlog] ● Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick reminisce about their teen melodrama svengali John Hughes, who died yesterday of a heart attack. [People] ● The guest judges set to replace Paula Abdul are coming down fast; Katy Perry has been added to the roster, which already includes Victoria Beckham.[Rpulse]