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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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Under the Covers CD Under the Covers, Vol.1. CD Review

Aussie Ninja snuggles up with Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs

Publisher: Shock Records

Tue, 3 October 2006

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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I promise not to use the words 'groovy' 'far our man' or 'can you dig it' at any time during this review of a 60's cover songs album.

You know, a whole lot of things happened in the 1960s. But I wasn't alive back then so I don't have any tales calculated to drive you insane. So inept is my grasp of the '60s that I don't have even one long rambling incoherent and fantastic tale about people I can't remember in a place I don't quite recall.

Under the Covers features covers of popular '60s songs from acts such as: The Who, The Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Bee Gees, The Mamas and the Papas and others.

The cover songs are performed by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, or The Big Dude and the Hot Lady as I call them. Who are they? Yeah I'm still scratching my head too. The important thing is "Sid 'n Susie" know what they are doing which is more than I can say for myself in writing this review.

Under the Covers pic1
This album sits in a weird place. Balanced precariously on top of a pile of games and music, it seems inevitable that it will fall off. This leads me to the alarming conclusion that my home is running out of flat surfaces to stack music and DVDs upon.

On the one hand, people familiar with the original 1960's versions of these songs may be put off by these renditions - which can vary dramatically from the older versions. On the other hand people who have never heard these songs before - may find the album quite enjoyable. But, really, most of us will fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

Did I enjoy the album myself? You bet I did. But more for the vocal talents of the two performers, rather than for the fact that they're doing covers of famous and popular songs.

Cover songs can be brilliant at times. Sometimes a cover can even be done well enough that it will even eclipse the original version. Other times a song will be covered to death and the original may still be the best. Yes, the cover song is a strange breed. Often found lurking in the night, - sometimes in a karaoke bar - it displays its bizarre mating call and then disappears into the night.

Looking at the album as individual cover songs, they are all 'nice' but not spectacular. However listening to the whole album and just forgetting that the songs are covers [for those of us who can] makes for highly enjoyable listening.

If you like sweet sounding 60's music, then you will most likely enjoy this collection. The vocals are sung equally by both Matthew and Susanna - but overall Susanna has the stronger voice, which stands out on most songs. I'm not familiar with her music, but I would definitely like to hear more from her - preferably singing her own original songs.

The quality of this product is not really in question. Good songs, great voices, it all comes down to personal taste. Don't expect to hear hard rock, or overly negative themes here. Under The Covers captures the sweetness, innocence - and most importantly - the feeling of 60's music nicely. [Sammy's note: Not all 60's songs are supposed to be sweet and innocent though. This CD's twee, happy go lucky take on Dylan's "Its All Over Now, Baby Blue", for instance, is a drastically inappropriate misinterpretation which saps all potency from the song's lyrics. Sorry for sticking my fat head in, like usual, Ninja - but you know how much of a Bob Dylan fan I am. I just couldn't stop myself from commenting on that one. I mostly really liked this album too, by the way!]

Favourites? Their version of The Bee Gees "Run to me" is beautiful and just grabs my heart. The Marmalade's "I See the Rain" is another good one. The other highlight for me was the cover of The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning."
I've never heard any of the songs before in my life, so I have a different take than folks who would be more familiar with the originals. Overall, it's a decent collection of songs and I enjoyed them.

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

Sweet easy listening songs, with a 60s vibe

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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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