DID YOU READ

Exclusive Premiere: The Amazing “Gentle Stream”

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When you name your band The Amazing, you have a lot to live up to. Luckily, the Swedish indie outfit delivers on their own titular aspirations offering up winsome psychedelic rock with a Laurel Canyon bent. Their album “Gentle Stream,” which came out overseas late last year, has finally been released stateside on Partisan.

The album shows The Amazing at their best, blending muted psychedelia with a dark retro sound, which ends up sounding equal parts Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Tame Impala (who they are touring with this month). The Swedish quartet — fronted by two members of famed Swedish psych rock outfit Dungen — easily traipse between appealing acoustic ballads filled with drawn out guitar solos and evanescent rhythms and thoughtfully-arranged hard rocking numbers built on dense melodies, intricate layers and frontman Christoff Gunrup’s swirling vocals. The result is an updated easy going folksy prog rock played with a modern sensibility and no pretenses. If you’re going to pick up only one album this month, it would be hard to go wrong with this one.

Watch the video for their new single exclusively here. The Amazing “Gentle Stream”:

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Check out The Amazing on tour:

11-05 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11-07 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg *
11-08 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
11-09 Boston, MA – Royale Night Club *
11-10 New York, NY – Webster Hall *
11-13 Chicago, IL – Metro *
11-15 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
11-17 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre *
* with Tame Impala

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Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

Exclusive Premiere: Glen Hansard “You Will Become”

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Glen Hansard has done a lot of incredible things during his long and storied career as a musician. He’s made a name for himself with his work with the influential Irish band The Frames. He’s developed a devoted following with his duo The Swell Season. He even won an Academy Award for his song “Falling Slowly” from the movie “Once.” But the one thing Hansard hasn’t done is release a solo album. Until now.

After twenty years in the business, Hansard finally achieved that goal and released his first solo album, “Rhythm and Repose.” The album is filled with Hansard’s renowned emotive lyrics, there are songs about unrequited love, desperate longing, mistakes made again and again, and the pursuit of happiness. The songs are quiet, but powerful, with Hansard channeling his humble angst through a filter of maturity and well-earned wisdom. While fans of The Frames may find Hansard’s usual intensity muted on his solo work, the album is a solid slow burner.

Watch the exclusive premiere of the video, directed by Hedi Rose, for Glen Hansard’s track “You Will Become”:

GLEN HANSARD TOUR DATES
*Eddie Vedder tour

October 31-November 1 /// Las Vegas, NV /// The Pearl at the Palms*
November 4 /// Phoenix, AZ /// Comerica Theatre*
November 6 /// Albuquerque, NM /// Kiva Auditorium*
November 7 /// El Paso, TX /// Plaza Theatre*
November 9-11 /// Austin, TX /// Bass Concert Hall*
November 12-13 /// Houston, TX /// Jones Hall for the Performing Arts*
November 15 /// Dallas, TX /// Music Hall at Fair Park*
November 16 /// San Antonio, TX /// Lila Cockrell Theatre*
November 18-19 /// Tulsa, OK /// The Brady Theater*
November 21 /// Memphis, TN /// Orpheum Theatre*
November 24-25 /// Jacksonville, FL /// Moran Theater*
November 27-28 /// Orlando, FL /// Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre*
November 30-December 1 /// Ft. Lauderdale, FL /// Broward Center*
December 3-4 /// Clearwater, FL /// Ruth Eckerd Hall*

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Exclusive Premiere: Sassparilla “All The Way In”

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When it comes to bringing the sound of Americana to life, it’s hard to top Portland, Oregon-based outfit Sassparilla. Whether you call them folk-punk or psychobilly or just rockabilly with a seriously Portland twist, Sassparilla makes modern music drenched in a vintage feel. Whatever you dub their sound, the band — Kevin Blackwell (vocals, lead guitar, national resonator guitar), father-son combo Ross Macdonald (harmonica) and Colin Macdonald (bass), Naima (vocals, accordion, washboard), Justin Burkhart (drums), and Ben Stewart (bass) –makes undeniably fun bluesy-folk rock with a punk-sensibility. Their rollicking music evokes bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Black Keys, The Pogues, and Mumford and Sons, and like their forebears and contemporaries, Sassparilla lends itself to dancing, whether fueled by moonshine or just a burning desire to move to the punk-tinged bluesy folk.

Their new 9-track collection of rockabilly roots-pop, “Magpie,” was released yesterday on Portland-based independent record label Fluff & Gravy Records. Accompanying the new album, the band has created a video for their song “All The Way In.” Watch it now:

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