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Games
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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Ani DiFranco - Reprieve CD Ani DiFranco - Reprieve. CD Review

Hatchy needn't even ask me to postpone any punishment

Publisher: Shock Records

Sat, 28 October 2006

Hatchy by: Hatchy

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Reprieve is the latest release from American folk singer/songwriter Ani Di Franco. With several albums already in her catalogue Ani has delivered yet another album full of her unique emotionally and politically fuelled music. Remaining true to her style and like many of her other albums, Reprieve showcases her highly talented musical abilities and competent acoustic guitar work.

A gunshot followed by the soulful thrums of a double bass and gently pushed piano keys stir your ears before Ani's beautiful soulful voice emerges to greet you as you enter this album. This is the first song, Hypnotize, one I initially took to be a reflective song about travelling through a 3rd world country, but as it moves along the intent is really about the cultural hypnosis of those easily sold by the trappings of the western world in such places.

None of the songs on Reprieve are very up-tempo or feature big rock drum beats; there is actually very little percussion on this album. As a result, the pieces come across as being a little delicate and fragile. In the Margins is one such example, a soft and brittle tune. Although brief, it manages to offer up some lovely imagery through the lyrics, opening with Ani staring into the eyes of a Bald Eagle as it stares intently back at her. Her home country, the United States of America has always been her greatest muse and it is a place she has often expressed much alienation with as well. As Ani croons her way through this song, the music resonates softly behind her before being punctured at one point by the tingling strains of a harpsichord. Its fancy, aristocratic notes are a delicate touch that contrasts against the dulcet tones of double bass and strummed guitar.

Ramadan, orange alert, everyone put on your gas mask - Millenium Theatre. No Ani Di Franco album in recent memory would be complete without a few songs about the Bush Administration. I liked this tune, as it is a pretty good protest song for the modern times. Punctuated by clever lyrics and overlaid with a few sound grabs and what appears to be some pre-recorded political speeches, it appropriately ends in a big burst of static interference. There is a brief but pointed reference to the New Orleans floods and the melting polar ice caps as well; Ani has definitely not lost her knack for writing music that makes you think.

Ani DiFranco - Reprieve CD pic1
"I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha!" - most unexpected live cover song number 9
This album is more than just a series of political and social rants. Unrequited, is a nice song about love and the immaturity of not fully comprehending the emotion in youth. Often the hearts we break and the damage left behind is never appreciated until we can comprehend it though wiser eyes. Shroud embraces themes of youthful acts of rebellion and the wisdom that puts them into the light when the mind and body mature 'I realised that a tattoo was no more permanent than I am'.

My favourite tune is the one that shares its name with the album itself, a song about the A bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Inspired by a trip taken to Hiroshima the song conveys the experience of standing at ground zero at the single most violent act of warfare in human history. Accompanied by a the sobbing strains of a cello and gently plucked acoustic guitar the music creates the mood and sadness that surrounds the day that started the nuclear arms race. Ani draws an interesting parallel to feminism in relation to this event, I'm not so sure how it relates to thousands of people being vaporised in an instant though!

Reprieve is a wonderfully organic album, much better than the brassier and more jazzed up previous release Evolve. Not one to be a shrinking violet, Ani's lyrics never shy from voicing her political dissent against the modern world, yet at the same time the album shows that amidst the protest there is a space for beautiful and raw songs of love and emotion to exist. To this point she shows she has lost no knack.



by: Hatchy

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This is definitely an album of music to make you think, reflect and look hard at the world around you and definitely one of Ani's best albums to date. One I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall:
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Friends at work or school





Toons
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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