Tag Archives: music

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Better Speaking

Our speaking talk is no good on the latest episode of Front Row with Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland. Straight from their Bucks 101 Radio show, the pair fumble a review of Atomic Blonde, mumble through the week in sport, and give a heads up about some news (as the dice dictates).

Continue reading Front Row with Owen and Paul: Better Speaking

Advertisements

2016 in Review: A Soundtrack

10-cloverfield-lane-jukebox

It’s been a while since we did a review of the year’s soundtracks, so we drafted in frequent collaborator Tony Black – and head honcho at the TV and film music podcast Between The Notes – who put down his microphone in favour of writing down his thoughts on the top soundtracks of 2016. Plenty to consider before you vote in this year’s Failed Critics Awards.

Let’s be honest, it’s not been a great year at the movies has it, 2016? Not if you’re a major blockbuster at least. Oddly enough though, the same can’t quite be said for the scores to many of those films, dodgy or otherwise. David Ayer, Zack Snyder or even Scott Derrickson may have let you down, but Michael Giacchino, Clint Mansell or Cliff Martinez have been right on the money with their orchestral scores to some of this year’s most disappointing or divisive pictures.

Here are five scores to the biggest (and not necessarily best) movies that have troubled your multiplex that I consider to be composers close to the top of their respective games:


5 – THE WITCH (Mark Korven)

Just like you probably hadn’t heard of The Witch before early this year, chances are you won’t have heard of Canadian composer Mark Korven. He’s a new kid on the block. Much like how Robert Eggers wowed us with his debut feature, Korven backs him up with a score that drips remote, screeching, primeval terror and the coldness of the austere Puritan setting in which Eggers tells his chilling tale. It’s not Sunday afternoon easy listening, but it’s one of the best horror/chiller scores in years.

Standout track: Caleb’s Seduction


4 – STAR TREK BEYOND (Michael Giacchino)

The new master and heir apparent to John Williams; it’s rare Michael Giacchino has a bad year. After a stonking 2015 scoring a raft of average movies with stunning music, he delivers this year both with Doctor Strange and even more so Star Trek Beyond. It’s his third score for the JJ Abrams spearheaded revival of the classic TV score and it’s possibly his best yet, a heady mixture of iconic, reworked themes with powerful, thrilling brass and an elegant sense of galactic scope. Plus you’ll always have a good laugh at the wonderful puns that litter the names of his cues, as if you needed more of a reason to listen!

Standout track: Night on the Yorktown


3 – 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Bear McCreary)

You’ve heard Bear McCreary, even if you don’t know his name. Trust me. He scored the excellent Battlestar Galactica remake and it’s his music that forms the memorable title track to The Walking Dead. He’s been much more television based (and continues to be) but in scoring the underrated, Hitchcockian sequel to secret blockbuster Cloverfield, he truly advances to the big leagues with a score one parts mythic, and two parts a gorgeous mesh of dark thriller & Jerry Goldsmith-esque creeping mystique. Even if you don’t love 10 Cloverfield Lane (and you should), it would be a surprise if you don’t end up a little in love with how it sounds by the end.

Standout track: Michelle


2 – THE NEON DEMON (Cliff Martinez)

Following previous partnerships with Nicolas Winding Refn on films such as Drive or Only God Forgives, Cliff Martinez perhaps reaches amongst the peak of his accomplishments with his remarkable and unique work on The Neon Demon. Now, not everyone took to Winding Refn’s garish horror about the fashion industry, but Martinez’s music drips with substance. It often sounds like diamonds falling onto a cold floor, infused with a sense of warped, pulsing disco, underlain with painful violins capturing the tragedy of Elle Fanning’s main character. It’s a stunning piece of work, and remarkable for the fact the standout piece, ‘The Demon Dance’, is a contributing from Julian Winding, the directors brother. If it’s not being played in clubs forevermore, it’ll be a travesty.

Standout track: The Demon Dance


1 – HIGH-RISE (Clint Mansell)

There’s a strong argument that Clint Mansell is the greatest composer on this list discussed today and, after listening to his score for High-Rise, it’s hard to provide a counterpoint. Ben Wheatley’s absurdist, neo-capitalist, period masterpiece and searing critique on Thatcherism may both be the greatest film of 2016 but also have a score to match. Mansell belies his roots as a Midlander growing up in the gaudy, concrete monstrosities of the 60’s & 70’s to deliver an operatic and creeping piece which matches Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s commentary. It’s full of brash violins, strong towering themes and an underpinning of controlled mayhem which Mansell explodes outward for effect at just the right moments. Of all these pieces, it’s the score that can be most listened to and enjoyed in isolation. Even in Mansell’s glittering career it’s a standout, possibly career best piece of work.

Standout track: The World Beyond the High Rise


In terms of honourable mentions, a shout out again to Giacchino for Doctor Strange, to Henry Jackman for The Birth of a Nation, the great John Williams for The BFG, Johann Johannson for Arrival, John Ottman for X-Men Apocalypse, Abel Korzeniowski for Nocturnal Animals and John Powell/David Buckley’s collaboration on Jason Bourne. There are more I’ve missed, undoubtedly, from even the honourable mentions, let alone the best of list.

So take a moment to remember than even in a hellish political year, or a largely average one for movies on the screen, the composers behind the music are still delivering work you’ll be listening to for years to come. 2016 does have one saving grace, after all…

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Going out on a High-atus

Front Row Logo

No, your podcast player of choice has not gone insane. You are receiving two entirely different episodes of Front Row with Owen and Paul within the space of three days. To make up for the very late publishing of the previous episode, we’re putting this one out early.

It’s also the final episode of Front Row for the foreseeable future. Series three has been a blast to record and produce. Both co-hosts Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland are hugely appreciative of all the input we’ve received from listeners during the live Bucks101 Radio broadcasts over the past seven weeks. It’s meant a lot to us, but like most good things, it has to come to an end.

At least temporarily. Owen and Paul explain the reason for the hiatus on this week’s podcast edition of Monday’s live show during the final roll-the-dice section. Elsewhere, Owen reviews adult-animated comedy Sausage Party, whilst Paul has a fully prepared sports round-up leading to a conversation about Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the England football team.

Thanks again for all your support over the past three series. Who knows, we may see the show reincarnated in some form or other. In the meantime, why not listen to the Failed Critics Podcast for more of Owen’s film reviews, or read Paul’s blog to keep up to date with his antics.

All previous episodes of Front Row can of course be accessed right here!

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: And You!

Front Row Logo

Quite possibly the longest we’ve ever left it between the live Bucks101 Radio broadcast of Front Row with Owen and Paul, and the eventual podcast edit of the show. In fact, in the meantime, we’ve even broadcast an entire other show. Sorry about that.

But this was a good one, we promise. Mainly, I suppose, because most of the content was decided by you, the listener, and not us! To tie into the fact that one or the other of Owen and Paul have been missing at least once this series, we thought the best thing to do would be to let you choose the music – and we had some crackers! Idgy Dean, I Start Counting, erm… AC/DC…

It wasn’t just music last week. We also talked a little about The Purge: Election Year, the (then) latest football results amongst the sports round-up and even managed to fit in enough time to roll the dice and rant about E4’s new barrel-scraping bottom-feeder of a show, Celebs Go Dating. Urgh.

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row[en]

Front Row Logo

Welcome to this week’s episode of Front Row with Owen and Paul– wait, let me start that sentence again.

Welcome to this week’s episode of Front Row with Owen.

That’s better. Unfortunately, Front Row co-host Paul Rutland couldn’t make this week’s broadcast of their Bucks101 Radio show (Monday, 2pm) and Owen Hughes left it too late to find a replacement so ended up running an entire episode on his own. Oops. Nevertheless, short though the runtime for this week’s podcast may be, we still squeeze in a recap of Ricky Gervais’ career thus far as well as a round-up of the previous week in sport – including the Olympics closing ceremony that nobody watched and one mind-boggling football statistic.

Rather unusually, the entire broadcast of this week’s episode of Front Row including the music is available to listen back to via Owen’s YouTube page until it is deemed to contravene some copyright law or other. You can watch on the embedded video below, or download the show as an mp3 from the link as per usual.


Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: BadmintohmyGod

Front Row Logo

Just like that time they tried to watch a football match at the same time as recording their Bucks101 Radio show (Monday’s at 2pm!), Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland are at it again this week as they outro the podcast with a bit of live Olympics coverage. Specifically the mens badminton quarter-finals, which Paul gets a tad over-excited about!

Also on this week’s episode of Front Row, there’s a little bit of music, a round-up of Team GB’s impressive haul out in Rio and a movie review of shark-vs-woman thriller, The Shallows. Also, to be a good friend, Paul put himself through Suicide Squad, which turned out exactly as you expected it might’ve.

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Evil ‘kin Evil

Front Row Logo

Better late than never? And only a day before the live broadcast of the next episode on Bucks101 Radio (1pm, tune in here), it’s the Front Row podcast!

This week hosts Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland discuss Olympics medalists and the start of the football season (which leads to another rant from Paul in roll the dice), whilst Owen reviews the latest comic-book action blockbuster, Suicide Squad, much to Paul’s delight. All of this while being soundtracked by the sound of passing motorcyclists. The joy’s of recording live radio in a tiny study with a window onto a busy road!

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Return to Owz

Front Row Logo

Welcome to the second episode of our third stab at this Front Row malarkey. Dan Morris has clicked his heels and returned to Kansas, or Wales, or Stoke, or wherever it was he was from, and it’s led to a poorly received, slightly odder follow-up, as we Return to Owz. Owz… like, Oz, but with ‘Owen’, because he’s back this week alongside co-host Paul Rutland.

Owen+z. Owenz… Owz… You know what? Never mind.

On last week’s Bucks101 Radio show (broadcast Monday’s at 2pm) both Owen and Paul delved into just why exactly it was that one of them walked out on a screening of Star Trek Beyond – an issue raised on the first episode of this series. We also have our regular sports round-up, replete with a preview of the Olympics in Rio – something you can watch Paul do again in a slightly more organised fashion for Buckingham News. We also roll the dice and end up extolling the virtues of more Netflix shows as Owen gushes over both Stranger Things and the third season of BoJack Horseman.

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with[out Owen, just] Paul and … Dan?

Front Row Logo

A new University term begins (yes, that’s right, we don’t get a summer break!) and it’s also a new hour-long time-slot on Bucks101 Radio for the third series of Front Row with Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland, every Monday from 2pm. With it comes our weekly bitesize podcast edition of the show as the duo chat about films, sports and whatever else their topical dice lands on.

Although the series kicks off in a slightly unconventional fashion as co-host Owen was unable to make the opening episode, so Dan Morris ably steps in to cover. With no specific movie review to speak of, Dan instead leads a conversation about the latest batch of trailers straight from San Diego Comic-Con, which in turns causes Paul to drag up a favourite debate on Front Row about comic book films in general.

The sports round-up also takes a slightly different slant as Paul questions why Dan supports Wales in rugby and England in football – and why that’s quite possibly the most unfortunate way around at the moment. Paul also lauds the achievements of Chris Froome after his Tour de France triumph.

Unfortunately, Owen is still in possession of the only dice in the Bucks101 Radio studio, so instead our final section of the show allows Dan and Paul to chat about the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go.

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Freaky Front Row

Front Row Logo

It’s finally happened. Front Row has gone all Freaky Friday. Owen Hughes put on his flip-flops and shorts despite the rain bucketing it down outside, whilst Paul Rutland stopped listening to Kate Bush songs for just long enough to record the final episode of their podcast for this series.

It wasn’t just their taste in music and attire that was switched in this Bizarro Front Row. Paul took over review duties to discuss BBC Storyville’s documentary The Lance Armstrong Story – Stop at Nothing. This left Owen to handle sports – and by “sports”, we mean “sport”. Specifically, coverage of the first round of matches at Euro 2016, including England’s draw with Russia, Payet’s opener and definitely not the hooligans.

Continuing the weird mix-up of roles, there’s no dice being rolled this week, just a double-headed coin being flipped instead. And, would you believe it, it lands on heads which means Owen and Paul get to discuss the Team Fire HOSE documentary that they’ve been working on for the past couple of months. You can view the full documentary below, or visit their YouTube page.

Thanks to everybody who has downloaded, listened, liked, shared or in any way interacted with us over the course of the second series of Front Row.

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Nice Guys?

Front Row Logo

It was a podcast that began just like any other podcast. Two guys, Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland, sat around a microphone, speaking into it. They opened the show with an intro. It recapped what was in the upcoming penultimate episode. Everything was there, as normal; a sports round-up, roll the dice, the latest film reviews. You name it. If you wanted it, they had it.

It was then that I began to get suspicious. Where was the music? What happened to last week’s roll-the-dice section? Why was I talking as if in the opening segment of a noir movie?

And then it hit me.

This was the week that Owen finally got to review the eagerly awaited Shane Black crime-noir comedy, The Nice Guys. And boy, did he love it!

Paul, on the other hand, had no idea who Shane Black was or why Owen was so excited about it, so instead led the sports round-up, including: A short tribute to the late, great Muhammad Ali; Andy Murray’s French Open failure; as well as a brief introduction to Friday’s European Championship kick-off in France.

In other news, with Bucks101 Radio over for the term and still experiencing technical issues, this week’s podcast (and next week’s final episode in the series) was not originally broadcast on the radio. Therefore, there’s no playlist for this episode. Sorry.

However, Owen and Paul now have a new email address that you can contact them on at OwenAndPaulProductions@gmail.com – and in more exciting news, you can check out the latest trailer for their documentary on the YouTube clip below. You can look forward to seeing the full documentary when it’s released on Friday.

After you’ve listened to Front Row, of course…

Right click to download the episode as an mp3

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Cover Issue

Front Row Logo

Welcome to this week’s episode of Front Row with Owen and Paul. Unfortunately, due to more technical issues, the live Bucks101 Radio show didn’t go out again this week. Not to worry, you can still catch all the best bits from the programme on this very podcast!

Well, all the best bits apart from the music. On the podcast, you still. Don’t. Get. The Music! Which this week saw Owen and Paul choosing cover versions of songs that you might not necessarily have known were covers. However, you can listen to all the tunes on our YouTube playlist below.

Before all of that, why not listen to Owen review the latest video game to be adapted into a feature film in Warcraft: The Beginning. Paul also brings his usual sports round-up including a look at those who made and didn’t make the England squad.

Playlist:

Right click to download the episode as an mp3