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Kill Bill, Vol. 1
By J. Isaac Conde, 17, South Gate HS

Kill Bill is an incredible film which starred Uma Thurman as "The Bride," a former assassin who gets revenge on some of those who tried to kill her family at her wedding.

The soundtrack has incredible 70s music mixed in with techno and scored orchestral music. Even though the artists aren’t contemporary well-known singers, they are fantastic because their music is different. I’m glad I took a chance and actually listened to the soundtrack. After all, I ended up buying it.

When Uma Thurman fights her opponents, kung-fu action gets exciting with the selected music in the film. The melancholy tune played on the pan flute found in the song "The Lonely Shepherd" captures the pain Uma Thurman carries. The audience can connect to Uma Thurman because they know that she has suffered and wants revenge.

Writer/director Quentin Tarantino is known for creating films in a 70s style, and his music, which has a lot of remixed funk, like "Run Fay Fun" and "Crane-White Lightning" reflects his passion for that era.

One of the best songs on the soundtrack is "Green Hornet," an amazing mix of drums and hornet effects. You first hear it when Uma Thurman and "Oren Ishii" (Lucy Liu) arrive at the same restaurant where they fight. If you’re a film freak who enjoys bloody betrayal in a well-done psychotic film, which is followed by awesome music, the Kill Bill: Volume 1 soundtrack is right for you.

Rage Against the Machine: Live at The Grand Olympic Auditorium
By César Delgado, 17, Foshay Learning Center

Rage Against the Machine‘s final album and DVD Live at The Grand Olympic Auditorium (right here in Los Angeles at the corner of Grand and 17th Street) was recorded during their final two concerts and contain songs that span through their entire politically charged careers.

The album contains some of my favorite songs from each of their four records. For instance there’s "Killing in the Name" that deals with conformity off Rage’s self-titled debut. "People of the Sun" concerning Mexican struggles from Evil Empire; "Clam like a Bomb" regarding the limits most people can be pushed to from The Battle of Los Angeles and the remade song "How I could just kill a Man’" off their most recent album Renegades.

These are 16 electrifying tracks that are sure to make you feel the raw emotion poured out during the concert. The quality of the live performance is as good if not better than the studio versions; songs are elongated due to the bands side comments and exuberant fans.

The band’s music has always been subversive, going against mainstream rhythms and typical lyrical agendas found in everyday bands. The name Rage Against the Machine says it all; I mean you wouldn’t expect them to sing about the heart break hotels or pimps and their mistreatment towards women. You expect them to sing about unjustly acts and brutality around the world. Both elements, political and musical, work together to escape into a uniquely captivating sound that ensures their reputation for intensity.

This album is for those who believed that the rock n’ roll scene didn’t have anything more to offer, brace yourselves because Rage Against the Machine’s live compilation has arrived and is chock-full of thought provoking concepts to wrap your mind around.