Monday, June 30, 2008

It's perfect and worth it...

im in ur side / stealin ur heartz


When I am dead tired, I ramble. So I will spare you a lot of reading today.

American Analog SetThe song today is by the band American Analog Set, an indie band from Austin. As far as I can tell...they have fallen off the map. At least under this name. The last album they released was in 2005. They have not toured since the beginning of 2006. Which is a shame. In the genre of subtle, hypnotic pop (is there a name for this genre specifically?) they are kings.

I submit for your approval:

punk as fuck.

I'm on your side
And we're always right
It's perfect
And worth it

You're on my side
And we're always right
It's a circuit
It gets worse yet

I'm on your side
And we're always right
It's a circuit
It gets worse yet

So leave me to die in the comfort
Of my own home
Of my own home
Of my own

Is it about a relationship that is SO great it sucks?

I don't know. That what I think. But there is a line in the song that we have taken as a motto.

I'm on your side
And we're always right

In regards to this means that we are on the side of the musicians. means we are on the side of the listener/reader. means we stand behind you. We SUPPORT you.
...we buy your music and we share it with our friends.
...we go to your shows and buy your merch.

...and the title of the song kicks ass too... Isn't it beautiful to create something, or be a part of something that you can say is "punk as fuck"? True to the DIY ethos of punk... we did it our own way and we still are, every day. It's perfect, and worth it.

Most of the bands we love and we feature are punk as fuck.

Download American Analog Set - Punk As Fuck

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You're an Angel. And your words cause little earthquakes.

When words move you so much...

Damien Rice said "still a little bit of your words I long to hear..."

Chris Carraba said "...but I believe in you so much, I could die from the words that you say."

I even wrote a poem myself once, about the words that fall from the mouth of someone very important to me. Can you imagine being told your words cause little earthquakes? I think that is the song ("Thank You") that had me hooked and smitten with The Little Heroes. I've been listening to them for a few seasons now and they are definitely a band you want to get into. Hopefully their second album will start the recording process this fall.

It's very moving to me when a punk song can be a love song. When a punk band can turn into a folk band. When a love song can be about a lover, or a child, or a parent. And I think that's what does it for me with TLH. It feels like all of that. Check out "Thank You":

Download The Little Heroes - Thank You

The lyrics and the way they are delivered are so earnest, it reminds me of Jack Johnson and makes me wonder if they actually do it better. "I hold you, you hold your breath."

I hope the boys don't mind that I stole this pic from their myspace page.

The band was created by bassist Trevor Pawlewicz and guitarist Jon Miller (who also plays keyboard on many tracks) and in fact, that duo did originally form a punk band in high school and toured with such acts as Built To Spill, At The Drive In, and another one of my favorites, Less Than Jake. Miller can be credited with keeping the momentum going, recruiting drummer Adam Caldwell from a band they played in together and later reuniting with Pawlewicz. Once they found lead singer James Lombardo, the songs were brought to life with his soulful voice.

It was late 2006 when their single "September Falls" got college radio airplay, which they supported with a west coast tour. By the time spring of 2007 had turned to summer, they had been a featured "free download" on different sites and were able to brag about being featured on MTV reality shows. The Little Heroes have definitely done a lot of pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and seem to be loving every step of the journey.

"Cinematic Americana" is the name of the album, put out by indie label Wednesday Records. I want you to buy it today... Click here right now!

Speaking of MTV, despite the band's apparent lack of a music video (so far), someone in production over there is definitely a fan. The song "New End Game" played recently during the MTV Movie Awards (as Ellen page accepted her golden popcorn.) Check it out here.

Download The Little Heroes - New End Game

Monday, June 23, 2008

Somewhere comfortably between FEAR and LOATHING

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles
And warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages
Tied up with string

These are a few
Of my favorite things...

We were somewhere around the
Rio Hotel and Casino, on the edge of the Strip...

when the drugs began to take hold...

My lawyer and I descended upon the Voodoo Beach pool to partake in some debauchery. Well. A free show hosted by Area 107.9, Fosters, and SpyOnVegas.

"What are we doing here?" said my attorney, after vomiting out the window of the white Cadillac convertible we had rented for the trip.

"We are meeting the Presidents of the United States of America." I replied while frantically trying to locate the salt shaker that had rolled under the seat. "I'm sure they wanted a Doctor of Journalism at the event so that it can be properly covered."

We scampered through the casino, trying to figure out where they put the godforsaken pool. I had to fight off the impending FEAR and resort to speaking to a security guard for directions while my attorney whispered in my ear: "Ignore this terrible drug..."

Finally! The pool at last! It was hot. I was pouring sweat.

My blood is too thick for Nevada.

I've never been able to properly explain myself in this climate.

"We must find beer!" I shouted to my attorney.

We shuffled through to the cabanas...luckily our press credentials allowed us to sneak into the Area 107.9 tents to consume a half dozen cold Fosters while we waited for the clock to strike 9PM. Show time.

At 9:05PM we took our place among the deranged and drunken crowd in front of the stage. It was like being in the middle of a reptile zoo!

Apparently you can save some money, and not provide an opening band, if you give the people 10 beach balls to play with. Luckily I am an expert at dodging beach balls. But wait! Something not bouncy, not buoyant, and quite disturbing suddenly hit my leg. I turned to my Cuban attorney, "What is that? Someone just threw that at me! Was it intentional? An accident? My god man, what is it?"

We both bent down to examine the object. It looked like a frisbee sized piece of sod that someone must have ripped from the lawn in a drug-fueled rage and flung into the air.

"Get rid of it man! It's bringing me down!" I shouted to my attorney.

He grabbed the offending chunk of grass and flung it toward the pool while muttering, "I mean, what is going on in this country..?"

Finally a representative of the radio station came on stage to lead the crowd in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance before POTUS took the stage. They opened with Tiki God, a good choice considering the surroundings.

The trio rocked out many songs, a nice set list derived from gems off all their albums. I wish I could tell you what the encore was like...but my short term memory is shot.

I was torn about what MP3 to provide you all with. There is much to choose from. I mean...6 albums people! But in the end...I present you with the last song on the latest CD. How's that for a deep cut! The song is called “Deleter,” a song that is very different than any song I have ever heard on a President's Album. This song has horns and a bona fide soul singer. It's true! Fysah Thomas joins Chris on vocals to be the very first guest appearance on any POTUS record!

The whole record is great could not go wrong by purchasing "These Are The Good Times People". It rocks. It's catchy! It makes me wanna boogie! It makes me wanna crank it by the pool while drinking sangria. You will want to sing along. You will smile while you do. I know I get smiled at when I get to crooning "Ladybug." Try it and let me know what happens to you!

Download Presidents Of The United States - Deleter

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cause love means going this far

Why endcap surfing at Target OFTEN pays off

I love being the one who discovers music. But I also love being impressed when Padre gets grabbed by something and it turns out to be amazing. Isn’t it sweet when “I don’t know, looked cool, thought I’d check it out” turns out to be one of your favorite artists?

The music on this CD, which was actually Lovedrug’s second effort, is so clean, crisp, and searing. Singer Michael Shepard delivers the lyrics in such a dire way that it ensures all of your emotions will be touched. The music itself gets inside you and absolutely pulls at your heart. But it may not have been until the live show – yes, amazingly, within weeks of discovering the CD, Lovedrug came to town on Plain White T’s Every Second Counts tour – that I could fully appreciate how piano chords eloquently round out Lovedrug’s unique sound. The band also toured with Sparta and Straylight Run, another show we were blessed to catch.

Ghost By Your Side

I don’t have many CD’s that are excellent both for Mood Music… yes you know what I’m talking about… and Road Music. The elements required for these two separate situations are very specific. Lovedrug nails it. It wasn’t right away that we realized “Everything Starts Where it Ends” was the sophomore CD, but you can be assured I went out to buy the first one immediately upon discovery. It’s called “Pretend You’re Alive.” Also full of excellent music. There is no lack of poignant lyrics that spill from Shepard’s plume. It was very difficult to decide which tracks to share in this post since so many speak to me, especially “Thieving”:

“Would you believe me if I told you that I’m surfacing for just one thieving moment to steal your heart?”

“I think all music is spiritual,” Shepard says when pressed about the Christian element to his music. I will guarantee you that in this music, such an element is so subtle that it is lost on most listeners. It’s only there because it’s part of him, and every good artist gives every part of him or herself to the art. And just as a great background in literature assists in connecting to references in pop culture, a background in Christianity allows me to pick up some of these subtleties as well.

For example, Shepard explains the story behind “Black Out” off “Pretend You’re Alive” as a vampire watching a city, when really I wonder if all the references to “I Am” suggest an observer who is a bit more of a deity.

With such passionate music, I would expect no less than a very passionate, and possibly disturbed, man behind it. The entire crew seems to contribute to the myspace blog, but Shepard’s posts are often bizarre, ethereal, and confusing as he describes events such as a visit to Minneapolis, a fire in his house, a trip to Tibet, correspondence to a Ms. Baxter, and other observations that sometimes sound like hallucinations (he should really consider using Twitter!)

Good news has also been discovered in this blog, though: At 10:31 AM today it was announced that album three is finished!

I’m excited to share with you my passion for Lovedrug. Check them out, I want to know what you think.

Enjoy "Happy Apple Poison"

I want to make you happy
But I've fallen, I'm sorry
I thought my wings could hold me up
with angels not demons
you don't know how cool you are
to find the ways to love me without shame

Buy Lovedrug...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cause every nice young girl needs an angry young man

Billy Boy On Poison
Why you should ALWAYS catch the opening band.

What can I say? I have discovered some amazing bands because I choose to make time to catch the openers and chat with their merch guys too.

On June 12 I was already stoked to go see the recently reunited Stone Temple Pilots. The opening band on the bill was relatively unknown so I made sure to at least catch a few songs.

Well, the band was called Billy Boy on Poison. After my initial reaction ("Is the lead singer wearing a dress? And did he just flash me?") I decided this band had some talent.

He sorta sounded like Cobain while screaming the lyrics on stage, and that was enough to keep me engaged as it was. But after listening to the studio work, I don't know if I was totally wrong or if the recorded versions are just a little too cleaned up.

But regardless...

I liked what I heard. This band is HOT and they are going to be quite popular in the near future. The lyrics are clever and simple; the front man has a great voice and can scream with the best of them!

Even for all the berating the audience traded with the band, I still thought they interacted well with the crowd. Sorta. The repeated flash of underoos by Davis LeDuke, the lead singer, is what may have brought them this close to inciting violence with these STP fans who were growing increasingly anxious to see their beloved Scott Weiland. The gay bashing catcalls and remarks started to sound ironic, though, given that Wieland has had his gay moments in the past. (i thought it would be easy to find a link on the interweb about his gay escapades...but it seems his lawyers are top this might be bullshit. But i bet it is true...)

I checked Billy Boy’s blog and found a post about the band being very excited to record a song with Robert and Dean of Stone Temple Pilots. That sounds like an exciting collaboration... And is quite possibly evidence that I have called this one expertly and you'll be hearing a lot more from Billy Boy on Poison.

Enjoy "On My Way" from the EP Sweet Mess