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GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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True Live- Mintons CD cover True Live- Mintons EP. CD Review

Hatchy hips and hops and blows the house down

Publisher: Shock Records

Sat, 24 December 2005

Hatchy by: Hatchy

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Hip-hop has always been a bit of a contentious area for me. I liked Public Enemy and Cypress Hill as a kid and recently, really got into Jurassic 5. But for the most part I have avoided the genre because I got tired of the ridiculous grandstanding of most of the artists. Boasting about ghetto life, GAT size, homies and bitches all repeated ad-nauseum on MTV, it just wore me down. And it has caused, to some degree, a generation aware only of one element of the music style despite there being other, better ways to interpret it.

True Live, on this EP, have re-captured all that is good about hip-hop. Using solid classical, jazz and funk rhythms all supported by some stylish beats and percussion it is original and refreshing. Microphone duties are performed by front-man RHyNO and he gives it real punch and style with some funny, witty and insightful rhymes. Does it work? It definitely does, fans obsessed with the bling bling machismo MTV hip-hop image need not apply, lovers of good music set in a modern style probably should lend an ear.

True Live are Melbourne based and the members have been around the scene for a while. Every member has graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts. They can all name-drop some serious experience as well; Roni Size and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra just to name a couple. True Live aren't some garage outfit looking for clever hooks sampled from bad 80's pop songs, nor are they trying to re-create classic hip-hop like The Sugarhill Gang or Grandmaster Flash. They're just good at what they do, and they have the years and experience to back it up. There is a real organic feel to the music, and plenty of intent and soul behind the lyrics. Sometimes it's also just nothing more than a bunch of guys having some fun, so you can kick back and really enjoy it.

True Live- Mintons CD screen1
RHyNO- still gets his arse kicked by Spider-man
"Minton's" is really diverse, there are a lot of different musical stylings packed into the songs that make it up. The opening track Question This starts with a brooding, classical intro then immediately cuts into a layered beat accompanied by frequently swirling melodies. The title track Minton's displays prohibition era jazz styled beats and melodies backed up with some funny and clever rhymes (the melodies reminded me a little of my parents old Benny Goodman records!) There is a bit of clapping and back-up singing as well added for good measure. My favourite track, coming in at number three on the EP, is Bounce. It is funky and suave using great beats and string arrangements. The rhyming is good and it flows seamlessly with the music. I really liked the chorus, "if you feel it coming and you don't understand, shut your filthy mouth and throw up your hands" To me, it takes a swipe at all I dislike in commercial hip-hop, so no surprises at all as to why I like it! The last of the original tracks is Evolution, it sports a great piano solo and is a little more laid-back than the other tracks on the EP. The final track, an out-take of the song Minton's, has more of a live spontaneous feel than the original take and the tempo is upped a bit to. If anything, it suggests that True Live wanted to show-off a bit of their improvisation skills by including this one.

True Live have only recently played at Meredith but you can also catch them playing at other music festivals over the summer. Although I have never witnessed a live show of theirs before, recent reports suggest that they are a cracking live band to watch as well. With such obvious talent in their make-up, witnessing an improvisation session on stage would be worth it alone.

True Live have succeeded in crossing musical boundaries seamlessly while still keeping true to the styles and conventions of hip-hop with Minton's EP. It's classy and clever, sometimes serious and sometimes funny, there really is quite a lot of music packed into this modest little EP. If you're a fan of hip-hop, jazz or funk then this is one EP to earmark for a listen next time you go to the record store.

by: Hatchy

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More articles by Hatchy

For a music genre that has, for a great deal of its history, made money out of sampling other artist's music, it is great to hear a band go to these lengths to produce such a diverse and original release.

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More Music

Braindead Lovers
Southern Culture on the Skids - Double Wide and Live
True Live - The Shape Of It
Po' Girl - Home To Me. CD Review
Mekon Presents - Something Came Up. CD Review

Where are you most likely to get information about your favourite music?
The internet
The radio
TV Music Channels and/or shows
Friends at work or school

ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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