Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Exquisite Corpse

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had this conversation:

Random person: “Blah blah blah like in in Nightmare Before Christmas blah blah blah”

Me: “I’ve never seen Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Random person: “What are you, a crackbaby?”

But truthfully, I’ve never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve been advised many times to remedy this, and people have even offered to help, but it hasn’t happened yet. Dunno why, just hasn’t. But now, at least, I have seen Corpse Bride.

First off, Corpse Bride is amazing to look at. I couldn’t believe it was all stop-motion clay animation (remember, I’ve never seen Nightmare so my best frame of reference for claymation is Gumby and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer). The Gorey-gothic visuals and character design were wonderful, as was the animation. The whole thing was a feast for the eyes – at a few points, I even stopped listening to the dialogue so as to concentrate on taking everything in with my eyes. Which is just as well, because the story, while sufficiently cute and charming, is kind of rote and uninspired. A film that looked as good as this really deserved a script up to the task. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a musical or not – there were only a handful of songs, and none were especially good at all, some were actually bad. But despite these reservations, it’s still a fun (if short) film – just not a classic.

Paste has an interview with Mike Johnson, one of the animation gurus behind Corpse Bride.

Christmas comes early for shoegazers this year. On November 14, Sanctuary will be reissuing all three Slowdive albums, including the long out-of-print and expensive Pygmalion. But that’s not the best part – both the Souvlaki and Just For A Day reissues will come with bonus discs chock full of rarities and EP-only material. This is the treasure trove of stuff that people were hoping would have appeared on the Catch The Breeze compilation earlier this year. The tracklists are as follows:

Just For A Day:

1. Slowdive

2. Avalyn 1

3. Avalyn 2

4. Morning Rise

5. Morning Rise

6. She Calls

7. Losing Today

8. Holding Our Breath

9. Golden Hair

10. Shine

11. Albatross

12. Catch The Breeze (Peel Session)

13. Song 1 (Peel Session)

14. Golden Hair (Peel Session)


1. Some Velvet Morning

2. So Tired

3. Moussaka Chaos

4. In Mind

5. Good Day Sunshine

6. Missing You

7. Country Rain

8. In Mind (Bandulu Mix)

9. In Mind (Reload Mix).

Half of the Souvlaki bonus tracks appears on the North American SBK edition, so that’s not quite as exciting (I still have to have it, of course), but the Just For A Day material is pretty much worth selling a kidney for. I don’t know if the albums themselves are getting any sort of remastering spit-and-polish, nor if there will be new liner notes, but either way – my cup runneth over.

And an extra early Christmas gift for me and me only – I finally got a copy of Ride’s Going Blank Again on LP. It’s en route from the UK right now. Double vinyl, baby. Sweet.

Carl Newman wonders to eye if maybe starting an east coast/west coast feud with Broken Social Scene might not be a solid career move for The New Pornographers. PopMatters also has an interview.

Pop (All Love) quantitatively and conclusively determines that Franz Ferdinand are the best band in the world. QED.

The week in shows at Torontoist. I was exhausted when trying to write this last night. It took forever and it shows.

np – Slowdive / Souvlaki

By : Frank Yang at 9:26 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. torr says:

    Where’d you find that list of the extra tracks that will be on Souvlaki? I don’t see that one listed at the slowdive site you linked to. Thanks!

  2. Frank says:

    If you do a search at for "slowdive", it’s got the bonus track listings for each disc. Prices aren’t too bad for double-disc sets, either.

  3. Gary Campbell says:

    The extra tracks on the Just for A Day disc were (at one time) a bonus disc called "Blue Day" that came with select copies of Souvlaki.

    At least that’s how I ended up with them on CD. It’ll be very interesting to see if they’re remastered… the Blue Day versions were never of the highest quality, but I seem to remember once hearing that most of the early Slowdive releases were actually their demos. Creation tried to reproduce the sound of the demos with the band in a studio, but gave up and just released what the band had originally given them.

  4. Ryan Waddell says:

    I’ve never seen Nightmare Before Christmas either. I watched maybe 5 minutes of it, got sick of the singing, shut it off. See also: Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    However, I still would like to see Corpse Bride. Eventually. :)

  5. goingblankagain says:

    slowdive reissues….best news I have heard in months!

  6. Andy says:

    Damn! I wish someone had told me my "Pygmalion" CD was worth a fortune – great though it is I like the idea of selling it for $50 and buying 5 new CDs! I guess the reissue will make it a little less valuable…

  7. Frank says:

    I originally paid $30 CDN for my copy of Pygmalion. I’ve subsequently found three used copies for under $10 each and sold them on ebay for between $30-$40 US. I feel no shame.

  8. Rachel says:

    The Corpse Bride was cute, and I’m glad I saw it for the Tuesday night $4 discount price. I would probably see it again at a friend’s house for free. Nightmare Before Christmas is one that I’ll watch over and over again. If they rereleased it in the theaters, I would go and pay full price to see it again. It’s worth the watch.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people who genuinely love music have such issues with "musicals." What is that all about?

  9. anonymous stop-motion animator says:

    Just so you know, the term "claymation" was trademarked by Will Vinton and specifically refers to the art of animating clay. There is no clay in Corpse Bride, nor was Will Vinton involved. Therefore, the better term would be "stop-motion animation" – the general term for moving things one frame at a time. Now you know. :)

  10. Yan says:

    Replace the words "Corpse Bride" in your review with "Nightmare Before Christmas" and it works just as well. So you pretty much _have_ seen Nightmare.

    Going Blank Again is a lovely album–especially in OX4 when the chugging carnival ride gets taken over by a high, sweet mandolin.

  11. Mike P says:

    I have Blue Day, and it does have those tracks Gary mentioned above, but the "In Mind" remixes (on the new re-issued Souvlaki) have never been released except for rare 12" and cd singles. I have one.

    If you like the ambient group "Global Communication" (remember them…?) this is their remix of Slowdive.

    A thing of beauty guys & gals. Buy the Souvlaki re-issue just for this track.

  12. Anuar says:

    Re the Slowdive reissues, Just For A Day & Souvlaki will be 2 CD sets ! The tracks listings are on Sanctuary Records site.


    Sadly, Pygmalion is NOT a double CD set, I wonder why ? I thought there are demos or out-takes of this album owning by some people !

    Nevertheless, even Sanctuary doesn’t say whether this would be a double set or just a single set.