Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year end? Not quite.


So I guess Mookie will be giving you your snazzy year in review. I can still give you a few awesome tracks from this year, though. Some? Are definitely repeats of what's already been posted, but I won't assume you've been reading this all year. That would be pretty stupid of me.

Before all that? I do want to share another song - not from this year - with you all. As you know, I have been posting a little of the stuff Deerhunter has made. "Disappearing Ink" is definitely amongst my top songs for this year, by the way. Well, from last year's album Microcastle, Deerhunter released one stellar tune in "Nothing Ever Happened". The real highlight of the tune is the guitars and then the keyboards within the last minute to minute and a half. Epic shit. Don't believe me? Take a listen for yourself.


Download Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened

So how about those top songs? Well, these aren't really going to be much different than most of the lists you'd see out there, I'd imagine. First off, I have to say that the best video this year? We Have Band's "You Came Out" is the clear winner here. In case you haven't seen it yet? Here it is.



Now, on to what I deem the best tracks of the year. There really isn't a challenge on the best cut of the year. For real. Now, I'm not the biggest Animal Collective fan. They're a little hit or miss at times for me, which is probably a good thing. It keeps my mind clear to how I view all the tracks. Now, "My Girls" is just stellar in about every regard. So It's an easy choice as the top track of the year.



Download Animal Collective - My Girls

As for the rest of my top tunes? Well, I have to say it's a huge drop from #1 to #2. That doesn't mean these aren't good tracks, but Animal Collective I honestly think did something very unique and special in creating "My Girls". Since I don't really like making a list in order, I just want to put it out there that the next few tracks are among my favorites for this year.

The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea

Sunset Rubdown - You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)
Micachu - Golden Phone
Deerhunter - Disappearing Ink
YACHT - Waste of Time
White Denim - Regina Holding Hands
Atlas Sound ft. Panda Bear - Walkabout
Phoenix - Girlfriend
Shout Out Out Out Out - Bad Choices
Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream
We Have Band - You Came Out
Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky

And now the normal bullshit thing to say - BUY STUFF! Seriously! And hell, if not? Donate some money to Mookie, who runs this site. He busts his ass for you guys to bring you some awesome music, and I feel quite honored that he asked me to help him out. So yeah.....do that.


Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm in the streets fo real.


Did you get what you wanted for the holidays?

Me neither. I asked Santa for the Tom Tom Portable GPS kit with the VoiceSkin.com addition that makes your GPS unit give you directions in Snoop Dogg's voice.

That's fo rizzle. The big homie that brings us a totally new language voiced the directions to get you to just about anywhere. From the local drug store to the nearest joint to get you some munchies at 2AM.



But that's not what I got for xmas. Seems like wires done got crossed. Instead I gotta get it poppin' with his latest album Malice 'N Wonderland. It's no Doggystyle, Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus's debut album released in 1993.

Malice is Snoop's 10th album and sounds about 10 times as watered down. It's not that it's not good, it is...it's just not as raw as Doggystyle or that dope Dre single Deep Cover that Snoop was featured on. Maybe watered down was a bad way to describe it. It's 10 times as blunted. Stoner rap music is ok, but it's no replacement for a GPS unit.

At least there is some decent party anthems on here, my favorite has crunk superstar Lil' Jon in the cut. Check out 1800 ft.


Download Snoop Dogg - 1800 ft.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flat


This is gonna be one of those epic posts. Where I discuss in detail a song that for some reason is long forgotten. Sort of.

Anyone remember the Levis ads with the little yellow sock puppet? No? Here's a reminder. And hell. It is playing the song I am gonna post today.



That song was the epitome of awesome. For real. And the video? Was just as cool. Don't believe me? Well I have the video, also. So there!



Well, this guy seems to have suffered from the one-hit wonder phenomenon. He's since made more music, but to be honest? None has really caught my attention. Here's a really weird vid for the song "Positif" he made last year. Eh. Sorry. Not all that great.



Well, without making you watch any more videos.....well, actually, I will make you watch one more. About how fucking stupid the Snuggie is. Seriously. If you buy one? Kill yourself. Soon.



So yeah. Now here's "Flat Beat".


Download Mr. Oizo - Flat Beat

Now go buy stuff. It's Xmas. Hooray capitalism!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hot Damn! New Hot Chip!


Oooooh. New Hot Chip album is coming! February of next year, according to their site and the first single is the same as the album's title, One Life Stand. So how does this one sound? Well, this all depends on what you think of Hot Chip. These are guys that make solid blippy electro pop that simply makes you want to groove. If you don't want to groove? You're probably white. But that's okay. I'm not here to judge you. That's what your mother is for. Here's One Life Stand, their newest single.


Download Hot Chip - One Life Stand


Anyhow, their last album Made In The Dark featured a video that helped promote The Dark Knight. The song was "Ready For The Floor", and despite the wooden features of their lead man Alexis Taylor, it's a pretty cool video. That vid? Is below.



Well that song had a remix I had completely forgotten about by Jesse Rose. While I do love Rose, this remix starts off strong. Aaaaaand gets repetitive. Very quickly. It's in essence nothing more than a glorified DJ tool, but that's not such a bad thing. If you're a DJ. Or have a short attention span. Here's that nugget of goodness.


Download Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor (Jesse Rose remix)

Now go buy stuff. The lord commands you. And he left it a little "l" for a reason. Because if you need to be scared shitless to do good? You're a moron.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Happy!


Christmas.

It's not a holiday that I am terribly fond of. The one thing about Christmas I like is the music. There have been amazing covers of traditional Christmas songs and new holiday tunes throughout the years, and I want to share some with you.

The holiday season to me is about music. No surprise since music is such a big part of my life. When we are young, the Christmas Carol Standards are quickly ingrained to our psyches. Most of us can recite a few lines of any of the countless xmas songs out there. For me though, the covers and deep cuts of the holidays are what I want to hear.

If inALLcaps.com has a Christmas party next year, this is what you can expect to hear while you drink egg nog and nibble on Winterdoodles!

For any party, you have to start the music selection on the more calm/background tip. You want to get people in the mood yet create and environment for people to chat and mingle.


Download Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!

That's when you bust out the Sufjan Stevens Songs Box Set. It's an amazing collection of holiday favorites and originals, like "Sister Winter" and "Star of Wonder", by an amazing artist that you should already know about. If you haven't let me fill you in.

Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. His musical styles range from indie folk to symphonic orchestra to electronica.

The name "Sufjan" means "comes with a sword."

Ok. Well. It's something. I mean there is a lot to tell you in regards to Sufjan, but I gotta stay focused. Did you boogey to the elf dance? I bet you did!

The box set is 5 EPs that Stevens has made over the years for friends and family. Many of the songs are religious in nature as Stevens is a devoted Christian, but there are some fun carol-like songs in the collection. In fact during Stevens' international tour in the later half of 2006, he regularly performed the original song "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever" while releasing inflatable Santas into the audience. It's not quite as lively as the Elf Boogey.


Download Sufjan Stevens - That Was The Worst Christmas Ever

Once the party gets warmed up you can get into the more rockin' tunes!

How about a Ska version of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by one of our favorite Punk/Ska bands to watch live!


Download Less Than Jake - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

That track comes of the album It's a Punk and Ska Christmas Gone Wrong from Drive-Thru Records. It's a clutch holiday album for all of you that rock non-stop!

One of my favorite bands, of all fucking time, is Bad Religion. You would think a band with a name like that would not sing a Christmas song. Well you would be wrong!


Download Bad Religion - Joy To The World

I can't remember anymore
Of this crazy song
But hey it's chrismas time
But hell it's chrismas time
And he he, and ho ho ho
It's chrismas time


That's right. Bad Religion did a Christmas album for kicks in like 1992. It's super rare and hard to find. If you do find it...drop me a line. I gotta get a copy of it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The dice were loaded from the start

Have you listened to Sawdust yet?

You know, I once had a theory. The best songs are on the B side. I even got a customized license plate: B SIDE. But in the digital age it is hard to notice when a B side is actually offered on a single, let alone an album. And when a "B sides" album is released, we are conditioned now to view it with a skeptical "what are they trying to market at me now" eye.

The Killers released a collection of "B sides and rarities" (your eyebrow almost instinctively wants to raise in a sneer doesn't it!) two years ago, and they ultimately called it Sawdust.

I loved almost every unreleased single on "Hot Fuss", their first album. I thought it was a good one. As you know, The Killers ended up getting insane attention and adoration, and as will happen sometimes... Many of us may have decided to turn away from them. When Sam's Town came out, I remember standing at Zia trying to decide whether to buy it. I remember word for word what I said to Mookie: "I am just not interested in what else Brandon Flowers has to say right now."

Well, we didn't buy Sam's Town on that visit but of course we still ended up buying it soon after. I enjoyed it - there is just something about The Killers for me I guess - but Mookie thought it was Meh. He liked to listen to it on the exercise bike though.

I have to admit I don't remember paying attention when Sawdust was released, but I followed the news about the recording of Day & Age, which came out in 2008. I still didn't even pay enough attention to that album, either.

Let's make all of this right. It's time to take notice of Sawdust. Covers of Joy Division, Kenny Rogers, and Dire Straits. Uh-huh. Doesn't that sound like an odd enough collection of "b sides and rarities" for ya? A few new tracks. A few scraps from the cutting room of the previous albums. And it works.

Here you go. The Killers' cover of "Romeo and Juliet" from Dire Straits' 1980 Making Movies album. Well, from the B-sides and rarities 2007 Sawdust album. We're good, right?


Download The Killers - Romeo and Juliet

And just because I want you to go buy this damn album for someone you know who loves b sides as much as I do, I am not going to share any of the new tracks that they put on this ditty. But here is a version of "Sam's Town" that I love. Cuz I like living in Sam's Town, quite honestly. I see London, I see Sam's Town.


Download The Killers - Sam's Town Abby Road Version

Hey homeslices. There are only 14 days until Christmas. Even fewer by the time you read this. Buy something!




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rape Me!

So this is going to be more of a politically tinged post - and yes, with music. With laughs, also. If this post somehow made it to certain Republicans in the Senate? Well, I might be teaching the Irish jig down in Gitmo.

So Al Franken, we've been told, is just using his post to pass some outlandish things. I mean, according to some Republicans in the Senate? Attaching an amendment to a bill that holds people accountable for rape is just un-American. Seriously. Want proof? Below is a video on it. Not to mention the link I posted just above.



Man, I had some laughs out of some of the quotes those idiots laid out for us. My favorite, however, was by South Dakota Senator John Thune.

“I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”


Yes, because protecting rape victims just isn't very important Mr. Thune. Well, let's take a look at Mr. Thune. Below is a picture of the guy. What stands out the most is the size of this guy's forehead. I mean, seriously. Look at it.



I mean, it's sort of ironic that his state is the home of Mount Rushmore. Because Mount Rushmore could fit comfortably on his dome. I have proof below.



So I'll get to the music in a minute, because it's fitting for the topic at hand. I just had to share the letter I sent to this elected dipshit. I am curious if I'll get a response.


"Sen. Thune,

This is a quick note to tell you I applaud your courage. It's not every day that a man in such a powerful position can stand up to the temptation of using common sense. Your vocalization about the dangers that Al Franken has brought our country and its economy by protecting rape victims makes me want to stand up and salute not just one flag, but a few dozen. All at once. While draped in one. And painted from head to toe like one.

Because that's what a true patriot does. Defies logic and decency and shows women where their true place is. You, sir, are a true American hero. Never mind those that are dying overseas in a war that a chosen few with some silly stuff called proof have shown as illegal. No, they could learn from the book you clearly need to write. Because our country's literary history is that much less enriched because your words of wisdom aren't echoing in the ears of so many functioning illiterates.

Since much of your constituency may be lacking in a proper and formal education, you should instead release a series of coloring books. And in every picture where a Halliburton executive is violating a young woman, where that young woman's naughty spots are? You should have a gigantic picture of Satan. I mean, those things are MEAN. And caused these poor people to lose their minds and commit a sin. We know who the true victims are!

Regards (all while forcing others to salute our flag with me),
Walt Zink"


Anyhow, I promised that there would be music. Well, considering we're discussing rape, why not break out some classic Nirvana. Here's "Rape Me" from their seminal album In Utero. For added kicks? I've posted Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine's cover of the song, also.


Download Nirvana - Rape Me


Download Richard Cheese - Rape Me

Go buy stuff. It's uber-American. If not, John Thune will eat your babies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

its my song but I'm still trying to learn the words

Passion excessive passive agressive
the first one to strike, the last one to exit
castles unprotected, capture the princess
fasten the seatbelt, drive and count the inches


Well. It was Jeremiah Edmond who led me to discover this band. This band called Felt.

Well. Jeremiah is the drummer of Manchester Orchestra, a band that we love and have written about a few times on this blog. Jeremiah runs the record label Favorite Gentleman and the production company Fifth Story Music. This doesn't have a lot to do with Jeremiah except that I trust his taste in music. When he recommended a great hip-hop album in Felt 3, I decided I better check it out.

Now that you understand how this album was discovered, let me continue introducing you to the music and the players involved. Felt is a hip hop group consisting of Slug of Atmosphere and MURS of Living Legends. Both excellent hip-hop outfits separately, but I must admit that getting Murs and Slug together is something special.

The Felt project is currently on volume 3, A Tribute To Rosie Perez. Tribute to who? I look into the other projects by Felt and discover that the previous two volumes are tributes to Lisa Bonet and Christina Ricci. All chicks Murs and Slug have lust over but also have fallen off career wise. The group says it's a karma thing and we wouldn't understand. /shrug

Every album has had a different producer, keeping each album fresh and new. The Grouch produced the first volume. The Grouch is an MC and producer for Living Legends. Volume 2 brings Ant from Atmosphere to get the production done. Volume 3 goes outside the groups home bases to reach out to Aesop Rock! Aesop has always been on the forefront of Alternative Hip-Hop groups, so the synergy is totally there!

I gotta share a song from each album, just to make sure you buy all three.

Suzanne Vega is a track of the first Felt album. Vol 1 A Tribute to Christina Ricci. This is a a slow and dizzy, unsteady song. It's about not getting high, yet sounds super stoned! One thing to note is that on the first two albums two tracks were named after singers. On volume 3 though, it's actors. Kevin Spacey and Paul Ruebens! WTF!


Download Felt -Suzanne Vega

Life Vegas is just a fun party track off the second album. In fact, the whole second album is a light, fun, party album. I suggest you pick it up and buy your self some drinks for you and your friends and get it in the CD player!


Download Felt - Life Vegas

In the track Give It Up, it's Aesop Rock's work as producer that truly shines. When the guitars come in, it really has the feeling of a story being told. Fantastic production work that the the Felt boys have no problem running with when they lay down their rhymes.

Although, one might argue that what Aesop Rock brings is too dark for this particular project. Normally a light, fun, antic filled style is what the last two albums have been about. This latest Felt album is kinda twisted with rhymes of drug addiction and wrong turns and either is Aesop's fault, or was a part of the vision of this Felt album. You know me, I like it gloomy. Especially when the winter grey rolls in, I guess I'm just a product of too many high desert winters.


Download Felt - Give It Up

Check out this video from another track off volume 3, and then get your credit card out and click these links!




Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Would I Want? BAND!


This week features a new-ish track by indie sensation Animal Collective, as well as a fun little track by We Have Band.

Animal Collective have just released another EP, Fall Be Kind. Five more tracks appear here, and the track I'm talking about is easily the standout of the five. Another highlight is "I Think I Can", but I'm here to bring everyone "What Would I Want? Sky".

So considering the ruckus over Merriweather Post Pavilion, this little EP adds some fuel to the fire for the heralding that will no doubt come about when end of the year lists start trickling out this month. Man, that was a long sentence. So here's What Would I Want? Sky".


Download Animal Collective- What Would I Want? Sky


Next up is a fun one by London trio We Have Band. Really, the highlight of this track is more the video than the song. Think Michel Gondry done exponentially. Stop motion madness! Close to 5,000 photos were taken for this video, which had to be quite a pain to do at points. This track can best be described as some updated disco, and it's simply a track that you just have to kick back and enjoy. The video? Best of the year. No doubt about it.


Download We Have Band - You Came Out



Go buy stuff. Tis the season and all that seasonal pine smelling bullshit.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I savour hate as much as I crave love


The Foo Fighters have disbanded for the foreseeable future and Blue October makes you want to cut yourself.

Ok. I got something for you... Biffy Clyro.

2007’s Puzzle was the record that caught my attention, but there were three albums before Puzzle that I had to delve into once I discovered the band. Blackened Sky (2002), The Vertigo of Bliss (2003), Infinity Land (2004) were the albums I checked out next. Lots of potential, if not a bit rough on the edges. Still, it was a band I needed to keep an eye on.

So I was stoked when Biffy Clyro released Only Revolutions early this November. The title, and maybe the message of most of the album, comes from the love story written by author Mark Danielewski. The book, and Simon's recent marriage and experiences. He explains:

“I got married last year so a lot of the lyrics are about me and my wife,” he explains. “It’s kind of a relationship record in that sense and a record about life. The track ‘God And Satan’ for instance questions what’s there for us when we die. Everyone has lost someone close to them and whenever that happens you do start to question your own existence and you do start to think maybe there is no grand picture after all. But while we’re here, we might as well try and make people happy and make ourselves happy. It sounds defeatist but I’m almost happy that there is no happy ending. As far as I’m concerned your happy ending is happening right now.”


When I read this snippet from an interview with the band in Clash Magazine I immediately opened iTunes and played God And Satan.

The song opens with this lyric:

I talk to God as much as I talk to Satan cause I want to hear both sides.
Does that make me cynical?
There are no miracles and this is no miraculous life.


Don't take my word for it...Listen to it yourself!


Download Biffy Clyro - God And Satan

Can you hear a little Grohl and a little Furstenfeld? I do. I think the vocals remind me of Blue October but the music makes me think of what I love about The Foo. The rest of the album is just as fantastic as this acoustic track. Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age provides some shredding guitar work to the third track on the album. A song called Bubbles! It starts of poppy and ends up melting your face.

“We spent a lot of time with Queens Of The Stone Age when we toured the States and Europe with them and we got on with Josh really well,” says Simon. “We knew we’d be in LA recording so we said we’d give him a call. Sure enough he came over at midnight one night after tucking his kids into bed and played guitar on ‘Bubbles’.” “It was really cool and he really caught the gist of the song,” adds Simon. “I think he just listened to about ten seconds and he was like (adopts booming American accent), ‘I got it, I got it.’ It was total pinch yourself stuff and even now although he’s a really good friend, we’re still like, ‘It’s Josh Homme, I can’t believe we know you’.”


Biffy Clyro are about to go mainstream in my opinion. This is not a bad thing, but familiarize yourself with the old stuff and the new stuff so that you can maintain your coolness with the other less informed people in your life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

King Khan rules over you


I've just recently discovered the oddity known as King Khan. Recently, on tour with BBQ (real name: Mark Sultan), the Khan was arrested for having certain fungi in possession. His tour manager was also arrested, having an invalid license.

No matter. They still make some quirky era-inspired tracks. Depending on whether he's working with BBQ as King Khan and the BBQ Show or with the Shrines (as, yes, King Khan and the Shrines), you'll get a pretty varied era-specific sound. Here's where I get to have the fun of sharing the tracks I like.

First up is what I think is the best of the bunch. It's off of the latest King Khan and the BBQ Show album entitled Invisible Girl. This is reminiscent of late '70's punk at its glorified high. Just think of the Ramones, and you'll get a good comparison. This track, "Lonely Boy" is loads of fun, and while only around two and a half minutes, packs a lot into it.


Download King Khan and the BBQ Show - Lonely Boy

Next up is something hearkening back to the '50's off of King Khan and the BBQ Show's self-titled album. "Fish Fight" is a romp, and Chuck Berry is written all over this one. This is the sort of stuff that the Amazing Royal Crowns were going for, also, but the stripped down sound that these guys have makes it a big winner.


Download King Khan and the BBQ Show - Fish Fight

Lastly is from King Khan and the Shrines. This is really one of the only ones I dug off of What Is? and has a completely different sound from their usual '60's guitar inspired riffs. This makes me think of the Rolling Stones, and I think you'd clearly see why I think that. Rolling grooves and very mellow. Definitely a big winner.


Download King Khan and the Shrines - The Ballad of Lady Godiva

As always, buy this stuff. Or else turkeys will come by and smack you around a bit. They will! I swear!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Since I Drove My Girl Away, or I Can Feel Your Arms

Yes, there are two titles for this blog post. Here's why...


It's getting to be wintertime.

It's getting cold.

You need a soundtrack for this.

And maybe some wine.

And a fireplace, and another body.

You got all that?

I mean, I can help you with the soundtrack part. But you're on your own for the rest.


And if you don't have all the rest, fine then. I've got the perfect emo album to listen to while you watch the rain hit the window. Life is always hard for the belle of the boulevard.


Download Dashboard Confessional - Belle of the Boulevard

It's about that time for Chris Carrabba to give us a new album. It's a double album, so why don't you go ahead and listen to Side 1 for your angst-filled lonely drives and Side 2 for those evenings with wine and fires (No! Stop! Romantic wine and fire. No setting fires!). Alter the Ending is a collection of 11 tracks performed with the energy and devotion we know and love from Dashboard Confessional, and the same 11 tracks repeated in acoustic form.

No new and eye-opening themes or lyrics. In fact, Chris seems to watch the sun go down a lot. But it's OK. I like the way he has described this romantic occurrence throughout his past work, and watching it "burn down into cinders" is not a bad picture to paint is it? And really, you'd listen to this guy sing about his bowel movements. Admit it.
What! Don't be annoyed. This is a fluff piece for a fluff band that you love to love or hate to love or love to hate but it makes you feel SOMETHING! I listened to Them Crooked Vultures hoping to review them for this post (maybe you weren't aware how much I love Dave Grohl?) but it made me feel NOTHING!

So Dashboard Confessional is what you get, since their album was released on November 10. And it's kinda like winter. And you want to get cozy. Or you want to be sad and alone. So here's the next track I will share with you. Just don't cut yourself.


Download Dashboard Confessional - Water and Bridges


What. I like it when people shorten old idioms. Water. Bridges. Deal.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Love Lost


So is anyone else out there a big LCD Soundsystem fan? I am guessing a lot of heads are nodding. Good. This post is about a track I somehow seemed to pass over. Now, are any of you all that nodded in agreement a fan of Joy Division, also? I am guessing there will be a fair amount of heads nodding to both, correct?

Well, when LCD Soundsystem released the EP for their track "All My Friends" (which was covered by Franz Ferdinand, albeit not on this EP), they also made their own stamp on an old Joy Division track called "No Love Lost". Usually, most artists fail miserably when attempting to cover an older artist or band. Especially when that artist or band has a pretty big cult following. This is where I think many fail - they work to "re-create" a track everyone knows. So why not go the route of LCD Soundsystem and try to cover a lesser known track?

Now, I can hear some people yelling, "We all know this Joy Division track! It's not lesser known! I hope your genitals fall off!" Well, first of all, my genitals are crazy-glued on. So neener neener. Secondly, not everyone knows the entire Joy Division collection or how much blow they did on some night in 1977. If you do? That's creepy. Very, very creepy.

Anyhow, LCD Soundsystem did a pretty good job on this cut, and I am leaving both the original and the cover here for your listening pleasure. Now, I need to go eat something. Until next week!


Download Joy Division - No Love Lost


Download LCD Soundsystem - No Love Lost

And buy this stuff. If not, you're getting nil for Christmas. True story.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I think it's time we part ways.


The new Weezer album is practically unlistenable. I did some searching around the blogs and I am not the only one to feel this way. What happened to this once favorite band of ours? Ever since Pinkerton, I've tried to convince myself the subsequent albums were good. They haven't been.

They do have some great singles off the "Green" and "Red" albums, but in this day in age you need to come with a great album else we will just buy your singles off Amazon or iTunes. If you are ok with making sales a $1 a time, then fine. Although most bands don't make money off albums and instead make money from touring and merch.

Even so, not all the singles have been great. Catchy does not equal great. Like you - I can' help but to sing along to that monstrosity Pork and Beans.

Shall we take a listen? You'll have to play this from your own collection as DCG, Weezer's label, does a great job of removing the songs posted on the internet.

Everyone likes to dance to a happy song/With a catchy chorus and beat so they can sing along/Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the chart/ Maybe if I work with him I can perfect the art.


Garbage. Sure it's catchy...and it's on the radio so often you are forced to love it. Alt-rock and pop radio I might add. It's a magic formula that Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo has, like a mad scientist, been working on in a deep dark lab somewhere. Really. In 1998, Cuomo spent a good year secluding himself in an LA apartment with black walls and covered windows disconnected from the world. He spent the year, like the geek he is, trying to figure out the formula to pop/rock success. He deconstructed all the popular songs he loved. He has a three ring binder of analysis's of every Nirvana, Green Day, and Oasis song. Trying to mathematically dissect the formula of these songs that he loves. He even calls it the Encyclopedia of Pop.

All this studying, tweaking, and anti-social behavior to produce what? Raditude?

I can't even get through this new album. One of the worst songs might be Can't Stop Partying. Take a listen.


Download Weezer - Can't Stop Partying

Not even Lil' Wayne can save it. In fact it might be better if it was just Wayne rapping on the whole song.

You might be saying, "What about that cute single off Raditude? That's a good song!" You mean (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To? One geeky love song is not enough to save this album. This album is bad. Even the god damn title irks me. (Thanks for nothing Rainn Wilson)

I have accidentally typed Ratitude about a dozen times.

I'm not spending anymore money on this band after dropping 9.99 in this shit economy on this sub par album. When the band has had enough of selling out, I'll be back.

Besides, another great band dropped an album the same week Raditude was released. Dashboard Confessional has come out with album number 6, called Alter The Ending. It's an amazing album that also includes an acoustic version in the deluxe edition. The funny thing is, that both Raditude and Alter The Ending were produced by Butch Walker. What a small world. Luckily for us, the end result is day and night when comparing the two albums. With Raditude you can polish a turd, but it's still a turd after all.


Download Dashboard Confessional - No News Is Bad News

Fuck it. Just buy them both...

Friday, November 13, 2009

And storms will surely come

There’s many who’ll tell you they’ll give you their love,
But when they say “give” they mean “take.”
They’ll hang ‘round just like vultures till push comes to shove.
They’ll take flight when the earth starts to shake.


Guitarist/lyricist/vocalist Dustin Kensrue has yet again provided a deep and resounding message in Thrice's sixth studio album, Beggars. In fact, this time around, they tweeted the entire recording process. Watch this video and check out what qualified as their "studio" for this album.



Someone may say that they’ll always be true,
Then slip out the door ‘fore the dawn.
But I won’t leave you hanging on.
Another may stay till they find someone new,
Then before you know they’ll be gone.
But I won’t leave you hanging on;
No, I won’t be that someone.


Yes, this entire album is completely an observation of the human condition, and it takes several spins before it really hits you over the head. This. Is. A. Masterful. Album. In the video above, Dustin touches on the fact that they've done a hybrid between recording live and recording piece by piece. The end result absolutely glows with all the energy of a live performance.

And come what may, I won’t abandon you or leave you behind
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
And come what may, I will be standing right here by your side;
I won’t run away, though the storm’s getting worse and there’s no end in sight.


Dustin's voice carries a pure velocity. He means it. It just doesn't get much better than this. Check out "The Weight":


Download Thrice - The Weight

And what of the name of the album? I really enjoy the message he conveys through many of the tracks asking just who you think is in charge? Just what lies do you tell yourself so you won't have to do the right thing? And hey... You never hurt anyone. This means you've led a good life, right?


"I think we are at most times deluded in thinking that we are totally responsible for our circumstances, but in the end almost everything is beyond our control to a high degree and we can’t even be sure we will wake up tomorrow. Whether you believe that God created you for a purpose, or that the world is governed by blind chance, everything in life is a gift at its core; we are beggars all."





You must buy this album. It really hits the mark that Thrice has been trying to clobber all this time. I could write another entire post on the tracks "In Exile" and on "Doublespeak." Nevermind the fact that the title track wraps the record up beautifully.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A bit of a sidetrack on what to post


So I had a grand plan on what to post this week. After a long Sunday night in which I went to see "Little" Louie Vega play, I was dumbfounded by the number of songs I hadn't heard in literally years. However, as the typical man with a problem involving his attention span, that has changed. Last night I heard a track that made me rack my brain to find out what it sounded like.

The band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros seems to have made quite the splash amongst the indie rock gods that be. Their strange overly melodic songs are reminiscent of a mish-mash of older artists ranging from David Bowie to Billy Joel to the artist I will make comparisons to here - Elton John.

The track "40 Day Dream" is the first off of their debut full length album Up From Below. It's an epic beginning to an album that signifies what the band is about. Full sound melding different genres in music ranging from folk to blues to rock. It's an unbelievable track, to say the least. It elicits quite the emotions from me, personally.

Well, when I first heard it, I heard the chorus as well as the tempo of the song, and I was absolutely kicking myself wondering why it sounded so familiar. It isn't that it's directly similar to the song I'm about to give you all, and I may also have been thinking of a different song.

Well, I kid you not that I woke up this morning out of a total slumber having realized what it sounded like to me. I can't even say if it was my subconscious helping me while asleep, but that would be great if it was. The song I instantly woke up with in my head was Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", and I am going to leave everyone here with both to compare the two for themselves. All music is most certainly influenced by music of the past, so my comparison here is certainly not a slight against the band. In fact, it's quite the opposite! Enjoy!


Download Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream


Download Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

And yes. Buy this stuff. If you don't, you will get a phone call from your mother telling you you were actually adopted. True story.

Monday, November 9, 2009

the future's cloudy and gray


so can I lie in your grave at the edge of the end of the world

where I will sit with my love, in its fluorescent swirl

eat us up, break it down to the tiniest cell

in a room with a view and a window to hell

with those who bury bodies into barrels of fun

will be marched through museums that display what they've done

they'll be shot up through the sky by the cannon of sin,
and we'll reluctantly let them in


Max Bemis is an evangelist for my generation. His sermon delivered with song and lyric.

I'm a Say Anything fan. From their first release Junior Varsity to their latest self titled release, I just enjoy all of this bands albums. The albums are filled with sing-a-long anthems. Shameless and A Walk Through Hell are some examples of his earlier work.

Easily a favorite of mine from the album ...Is A Real Boy is Admit It! A song you can crank up and belt along with Max.

You're free to whine. It will not get you far. I do just fine, my car and my guitar, guitar go!



Download Say Anything - Admit It!

The album In Defense Of The Genre was a double album of...well...of mostly filler. I am of the opinon that if this double album was pared down to a solid single release, it would have been a more successful endeavor. The anthems are still here, you just might have to skip around the album. Check but Baby Girl, I'm A Blur.


Download Say Anything - Baby Girl, I'm a Blur

I got my hands on the latest album before the November 3rd release date. It reminds me more of ...Is A Real Boy than Defense. My first real listen to this album was driving back home from a long day at work. I enjoyed the album, but the last song. Track 13. Like any good preacher, it ends with a big and resounding AMEN!


Download Say Anything - Ahh...Men

Ahh...Men is a stellar song. Chanting, passionately sung lyrics, a song with a strong and heavy message. I knew right away this song was important to Max. Even while navigating the busy streets in rush hour I knew this was an important song.

I'm rarely wrong about these things:

@ummAndrew asks what the deepest song I've written is; probably ahhh men because it concerns god the afterlife redemption eternity etc


Don't be a sinner and steal this album off the torrents, buy this album. Else face hell and brimstone.

Amen.

Friday, November 6, 2009

But we all fade sometimes, I believe

When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.



"I know I can survive. I just don't wanna have to."


Jack's Mannequin's EP, Dear Jack, was released this week in conjunction with the film of the same name. The band was formed as a side-project piano-based rock band by Something Corporate frontman Andrew McMahon.

And then McMahon was diagnosed with Leukemia.



Just find the horizon, I promise it's not as far as you think.

I loved Jack's Mannequin's first album, Everything In Transit. My favorite track from that album was "Dark Blue". I do enjoy the night when it is that perfect shade of dark blue. And I don't slow down enough to experience it. The song means even more to me now after experiencing the EP. I realize that "Swim" was released on the second album, The Glass Passenger, but somehow I missed that record. Enjoy Dark Blue, and if you haven't heard of this band before, then consider yourself cordially introduced.


Download Jack's Mannequin - Dark Blue

You can visit the band's MySpace page to get the film or the EP. Or check out their website for all kinds of other goodies, including this tee which I know you will want to buy for me!

Seriously, I was able to get hit with this EP just at the right time. It's been quite a week for me. I know we all have them. But you do realize, don't you... That you do have to keep swimming.





Jack's Mannequin will support Weezer on six dates beginning in December, and then headline 13 shows in February and March.
December 2009
1 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom (w/ Weezer)
2 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom (WRXP radio show)
3 - Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom (w/ Weezer)
5 - Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Center (w/ Weezer)
7 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena (w/ Weezer)
9 - Baltimore, MD - UMBC Fieldhouse (w/ Weezer)
10 - Philadelphia, PA - Susquehanna Center (w/ Weezer)

February 2010
5 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
6 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
7 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
9 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
11 - Sacramento, CA - Sacramento State University
12 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
13 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater
16 - San Antonio, TX - The White Rabbit
17 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
19 - Kansas City, MO - Beaumont Club
20 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
24 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room

March 2010
5 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVa

The version of "Swim" on the EP is a Music Box edition. Instead of piano, the music box tones cast an underwater-aquarium light on the same message: "I'm not giving in. I swim." Check out the original music video for the first release of the song below. And get inspired, and get motivated, and swim with me.



Jack's Mannequin "Swim"

Jack's Mannequin | MySpace Video