Friday, 8 January 2010

I Need 5 Minutes Alone

I got this album today after ordering it from Amazon for a very cheap £16. But was it worth £16?, I hear you ask, well, you'll have to read my in-depth definitive review to find out!

Pieces - I Need Five Minutes Alone, 1997


The Peesez Monologue is a silly intro, set up the album and made me think instantly of Bucketheadland 2. It sounds like Herbie singing Silent Night.

Pieces seems like it would be more at home on one of Buckethead's solo CDs, a looped, distorted riff and an electronic drum beat, along with what sounds like soundbytes from a bad horror film.

Danyel is the first song I heard from this album, and I remember it well: The same day that Lebron and Lebron's Hammer were released under the album title of Home for the Haemorrhage. There was a YouTube link to a video that claimed to be the only recording of Buckethead singing. This made me think that Buckethead was just having a joke on, writing a song about a porn star, and then singing, not very well (but I've heard worse). This track is the same chords as Wishing Well from Colma, but with Brain adding some bongos in the background.

Ginger is where the album takes a completely different turn. It swaps from the slow calmness of Danyel to something that I think would be one of the easily-forgettable tracks from In Search Of The... It is mainly Brain repeating a loop, and Buckethead doing some strange noises.

8 Diagram Pole Fighter is just Buckethead doing fast bursts of... fast, and a delay effect on the guitar. Again, something easily forgotten from ISOT.

Scoop Rack picks up the pace again. Buckethead doing some bass, and Brain doing drums that sound similar to Funnel Weaver. This one has a nice chorus/repeated bit in it. Eventually the track gets faster, it changes into a similar sound to before only more complicated and busy. OK, but a bit repetitive.

I'll Wait is Buckethead singing again. Except it isn't really singing, more saying the words "I'll Wait..." repeatedly over the top of a few chords. Probably written while Buckethead was told it would take about an hour for his pizza to get delivered.

Carl Junghole sounds like the blueprints to a future album like the Elephant Man's Alarm Clock or Inbred Mountain. Some seriously deep muffled bass notes on this that when turned loud can move furniture. Buckethead and Brain doing fast bits... Not much more I can say.

Twice With the Sledge sounds like it would be an EMAC style song to me, going along with Beaten With Sledges, but it would actually be more at home on Colma. I'm surprised this didn't get carried over like Wishing Well/Danyel did. I like this one.

Hazelnut Cream Pie reminds me of something like Chicken Boy from Giant Robot [NTT]. Pretty bare, not much to it. As it progresses it sounds like something that was recorded but then scrapped when Electric Tears was being made because he couldn't think of a backing loop to put with it. The song picks up in the second half when the slow drum beat kicks in. Either way, I like this one too.

Slapatron is one of the better tracks. Buckethead playing Bass while Brain Bongos. That's pretty much it for about a minute until some chords come in in place of the Bass. Then is ends pretty suddenly. I think Brain might have suffered a heart attack.

Bobafi Crucify is not too great. It is somebody rapping but I can't make out what they are saying, if anything at all. I also don't know who it is, possibly Brain. I think this one will eventually score highly on the 'Skip List'.

General Butterfly, I think, is a great way to end the album. It's slow, reflective and leads perfectly into Buckethead's next release, Colma in 1998. It is the same as Ghost Part II from Colma. Buckethead is talking in this one, except I can't really hear what he's saying because he is whispering and is a bit breathy. I can pick out occasional lines where he is talking about Butterflies and Mermaids and how someone left him and never came back. I looked online for lyrics but got a load of rubbish French sites...

Overall, I quite like Pieces as a whole album, but it is difficult for me to pick out individual songs and say; 'I like that one', and I think a few tracks on here won't get much air time on my iPod or CD player. Its an experimental album, and it let Buckethead do some tests before making a full album like Colma compared to what he had been known for (Bucketheadland, Giant Robot).

5.5/10

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Strangest Video on the Internet

I think I might have stumbled across one of the oddest, randommest (?) videos ever to have existed. It is basically a montage of very odd clips from seemingly everywhere, from Japanese game shows, Kung-Fu films and 80s TV Infomercials.
I don't think I can explain anything else.

If anyone reads this, I don't want to see anything you class as weirder than this, or any videos for that matter. Remember: Don't open it up around Pinchy. He does that nervous tick thing when he sees that stuff. The Buns of Steel video really hurt him...

Friday, 1 January 2010

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

*There may be a few spoilers in this 'review'.*

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a fantastic film. Based on a true story, it is about a guy called Jean Dominique Bauby, or Jean-Do, and the story begins with him waking up in hospital, and we find out that he has suffered a massive stroke and has developed a rare condition known as 'Locked-In Syndrome'. This is where your mind, thoughts, brain etc. work perfectly well as though nothing has happened, but the majority of your body is paralysed. In this case, only his left eye could move. The story is about how he is learning to live with the effects of this disease, and how he can learn to cope with lying in a hospital bed all day.
He then finds a way to speak to people by using a special version of the alphabet, which lists the letters in order of frequency in words. Somebody then reads out each letter and he will blink when the right letter is reached. Using this technique he manages to talk to his family, to the doctors and eventually write a book based on his experiences called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Each day he would have a writer come into the hospital and write each letter individually, and when she was not there he would plan and organise the next section to be ready when she arrived the next day.

It is one of the best films I have seen since The Orphanage. The fact that is is also based on a true story about an actual guy who actually wrote a book using his left eye makes it better.
Overall, it is a film I would recommend, and is great if you can read or speak French. Even if you can't, watch it anyway.