Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Johnny Cash.....but not for the purists!

So I am sure a lot of you have seen the commercials for the new flick starring Woody Harrelson, Zombieland. If you've been stuck under a rock? I'll give you all the trailer.

Well, I was curious about the song in the commercial. I had yet to hear anyone really have the balls to do a remix of a Johnny Cash song. Well, there's a full album of this stuff. Is it any good? Well, the iTunes store has the album averaging only 1 1/2 stars. And honestly, I can understand some of that. I mean, this is Johnny Cash we're talking about! But Cash's son and Snoop Dogg (yes, Snoop Dogg) took up this project. Wonder how hard up Cash's son was for cash?

Well, the song in the commercial is for Cash's song "Country Boy" and is remixed by Sonny J. I must be honest, most of this guy's music is trash. It's like the big beat music Fatboy Slim made popular had a baby with a crack habit. This remix is pretty tolerable, at least.

Download Johnny Cash - Country Boy (Sonny J remix)

Now, the next couple I can actually kind of like. The first one is a remix by hip-hop guru Pete Rock. I'm not sure how, but he made Folsom Prison Blues sound pretty good. I'll let you guys decide.

Download Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (Pete Rock remix)

The last one for today is a remix of a pretty much unknown Cash song by me. "Rock Island Line" was originally done by Leadbelly, but done again by Cash in 1957 on his debut album. Well, it was remixed by an artist named Wolf, and it's more a frenetic track that keeps gaining steam throughout. Not terrible, but I really am not sure what to think of this.

Download Johnny Cash - Rock Island Line (Wolf Remix)

As a whole, this album unfortunately deserves the criticism it has taken. The old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly applies.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Progressive Pop

New. Well not to the music scene.

Miike Snow is a new band from Sweden. Two of the band members, Pontus Winnberg and Kristian Carlsson as Bloodshy & Avant, co-wrote and produced Britney Spears's Grammy-winning 2004 hit Toxic.

Don't give up on them yet though!

With added member Andrew Wyatt, they have become something of what I want to dub Progressive Pop. (™ bitches) Imagine pop star Prince (...or formerly known as) collected animals. No wait. I got that wrong. Miike Snow is Prog Pop because they sound like Prince and Animal Collective! I mean if Progressive Rock is essentially a genre that pushes rock's technical and compositional boundaries past what is traditionally called Rock, then how is Miike Snow not Progressive Pop?

Case in point? Let's dissect one of my favorite tracks off the album. A Horse Is Not A Home:

[Download Miike Snow - A Horse Is Not a Home]

Progressive rock typically has lyrics similar to its musical ambition, tending to avoid typical rock/pop subjects such as love or dancing. If you listened to the lyrics of the above song, you will notice the imagery and symbolism.

Oh god I think I'm dying,
And our drinks were just poured,
Look outside someone's waiting,
With a yellow horse

With a hole in the heart I was forced to ride
in morning traffic.
With a golden hand by your fortress side
but without magic.

Did you notice how catchy that song was? Piano and guitar driven pop. The music is light and approachable. Comfortable and accessible.

Probably one of the most blogged about songs on the album is Silvia. Check out the band performing this live on KCRW:

Another amazing song is also the bands first single. Watch the video for Burial here!

The group has roots in DJ and remix culture, so I have collected a remix by the band and for the band for your perusal.

[Download Miike Snow - Black And Blue (Capsa Remix)]

Loving the remix? The original is beautiful as well.

Here is a remix the band has done for another band you might know. Check out this remix of Peter Bjorn and John's song Don't Move Me.

[Download Peter Bjorn and John - Don't Move Me (Miike Snow Remix)]

Please pick up this album. If you already have it, leave us a comment and tell us what you think too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

But I just wanna love you dear

If you fall asleep down by the water
Baby I'll carry you all the way home

OK. You can sing that to me all day and all night and I will swoon and smile and love you forever.

Because it's just that simple.

"That's why we love the 1950s. It was the beginning of basic pop music. They did it from scratch and pulled these amazing, timeless melodies out of thin air."

The Drums is your new favorite feelgood postpunk summer music. Because summer is over and you hate to see things go. Floridans Jonathon Ecklund and Jacob Graham started this band just over a year ago, self recorded and produced around fifteen songs while living in central Florida and "with big dreams and a batch of songs they believed in" spent the beginning of 2009 saving money to move to New York City. Add a bassist and a drummer, and now they sound a little something like this:

Download The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

Down, down baby
Down by the roller coaster
Sweet sweet baby
I'll never let you go

Yes! Take me down by the roller coaster! I will follow you anywhere when you sing to me like that!

"Let's Go Surfing" is the digital single released by the band prior to the recording of the Summertime EP. The boys say they are influenced by The Smiths and The Wake. Even though The Drums claim that some of their music is about being "alone forever", really I don't get any sort of alienation and desperation from this music like the feelings that The Smiths helped us cultivate in the 80's. Then again, naming your band "The Drums" is about the most plainjane name (a la The Smiths) you could come up with during this the tale end of the ought-ten decade where google searches for anything but the most unique of names will gather far too many results.

Just try it! See what you find. If you want to get any information or buy their stuff you'll have to go to or their myspace page.

The Drums make me happy even when they're trying to be sad. My very favorite song is "Down By The Water." About their music, they say: "We only write about two feelings: one is the first day of summer when you and all of your friends are standing on the edge of a cliff watching the sun set and being overcome with all of your hopes and dreams at once. The other is when you're walking alone in the rain and realize you will be alone forever."

Visit their sites to get a hold of this music. In the meantime, check out some other feelgood or feelshitty music...Your choice.

And while you're there buy me this:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For those that have lost

Sunday I had a passing in the family, and so part of me figured I should try to find a song that fits the mood of what happens when someone passes and what type of feelings are there. I'm not sure why I thought of this song in particular, but I feel as though it's fitting. As for the music to buy? I would much rather that if you're reading this, you would help donate to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization, which helps to find a cure for breast cancer. My grandmother succumbed to complications from this after fighting it - along with other maladies - for almost six years.

So today's music is brought to you through unfortunate circumstances, but a part of the people closest to you that you lose becomes a part of you after their passing. It's their strength they pass along. So while the song "Hurt" doesn't really describe what this all entails, it does describe what we all feel when we do come to grips with our mortality. I've posted both the original by Nine Inch Nails, as well as the fabulous cover done by Johnny Cash.

Download Johnny Cash - Hurt

Download Nine Inch Nails - Hurt

And again, to donate to help find a cure, please go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure page! Thank you in advance to anyone that donates!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Playlist of My Life

Soundtrack of My Life is a free service provided by that creates a playlist with a song associated with a milestone in your life. Your first kiss, the day you got your license, that one time when you were incarcerated...

You input a date for each of these moments and the service automatically creates a playlist containing songs that were at the top of the charts in that period. When your playlist is created, you can listen to a small preview of your songs. If you register to, you can also share your tracks on social media or embed a widget with your playlist on your site.

So, here is Mookie's playlist, sans actual dates.

I figure it's more fun if you try to figure out the timeline based on the song!

The Day Mookie Was Born
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon

Great song...glad Dad didn't leave Mom though...

Memorable First Kiss
Roll With It - Steve Winwood

I can't remember her name, but I remember that this was the first kiss where I also got to second base. She was a beautiful dark-haired, olive-skinned girl who was far more mature than me at the time... even though we were the same age. If I knew then, what I know now...

First Drink
Justify My Love - Madonna
I am 100% confident that Madonna was not playing as I took my first unauthorized sip of the magic nectar. Alas, she marks the moment regardless.

Got My Drivers License
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
I failed it a few times before I finally passed. The second time I took it, I had a strong feeling that I had failed from the comment about not yielding at a red light right turn. My dad never came to a complete stop at right turn on a red light if it was safe to do so... So, when I saw some serious scribbling I decided it was time to give the examiner a crazy ride. I drove fast and took chances! I even skidded into the DMV parking lot. Needless to say my Dad just laughed when he looked at the examiner's face after returning to the DMV. I passed with flying colors on the third time by the way.

Frist Cigarette
To Be With You - Mr. Big

Actually...I'm pretty sure I tried smoking before this point in my life...but it was around this time that I finally inhaled properly. I know because I attempted to cough out my left lung. Ah...that light-headed moment, my mind dizzy with a real dose of nicotine, is a moment that I suppose I regret today, since I still have the habit. I won't smoke forever. I plan on quitting soon. I wanna be smoke-free by 35 at the latest. It gets harder the older you get. I know that for sure.

Graduate from High School
I Swear - All-4-One

[Download I Swear - All-4-One]

First time I kissed TLO?
London Bridge - Fergie
Fergie [ft. Marina] – "London Bridge (Bonde do RolĂȘ A+B by Luminfire)" [Direct — Left Click Only]
Meeting TLO has definitely been monumental in my life. Not only is she hot and and great in bed, but she shares my love of music. This blog would not have been possible or successful without her. That night outside the bar, I remember her being unsteady and panting for a kiss... What a great moment. I wish we had a great song to mark it, but sadly...Fergie it is. She is hotter than the Ferg, in case you were wondering.

Went to Jail
The Sign - Ace of Base

I guess it WAS a sign. I was heading in all the wrong directions. My life was a mess. Well, I cleaned it up. Was a turning point though. No doubt. By the way...I suggest not giving the big black man a "phone check". Things get tense after that.

Graduated College
Fallin' - Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is still hot right now. Maybe you have seen her at the VMAs with Jay-Z performing Empire State of Mind. She steals the thunder from Hova in this song in my opinion. It's an amazing song, but would have fell flat with out her vocals in the mix.

[Download Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind (featuring Alicia Keys)]

First Day Goes Live
Lollipop - Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major
We are growing every day! The hits and page views continue to grow! The emails and comments keep coming in! We have a facebook page and two new sites! ( and We got a few requests to remove tracks but even more bands emailing us to thank us! It feels good. We still want to hear more from you though. What do you like and dislike? What do you want more of? Leave us a comment!

Pearl Jam - The Fixer
I would like today to be a milestone. This post. Although it's not number one today, Pearl Jam's latest single is number two! (1st is Alice in Chains - Check My Brain...and I just don't think it's that great of a song.) The song might be an Obama versus Bush song. The song might be a fuck you to the labels. (This album of PJ is released on its own label, MonkeyWrench Records). Whatever it is, it's an upbeat rock song by one of my favorite bands! I just saw Pearl Jam at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival, and was very pleased. I even have a decent live recording of Animal from this show that I want to share! (What! Why not The Fixer? You can download it here from the blog if you really must!

[Download Pearl Jam - Animal (Live @ Outside Lands 2009)]

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And all your dumb rhymin' words

This. Is. An excellent. Record.

“People might be surprised that anyone is still working in a long format recorded medium considering the economic climate, current trends in dissemination and consumption, i.e. the internet and mp3 players...There is so much work being produced in this moment, in this, the age of readily available prosumer recording equipment and an internet hungry for content, not to mention the mountains of old songs that exist for most listeners who, in a lifetime, will only skim the surface of that magnificent library. People might be surprised that, with all that weighing against it, buying and listening to this album will be more than just pleasurable, more than just horizon expanding. "

Kyp Malone's new music venture is called Rain Machine. He has been writing and recording material for himself, even before getting together with the much-loved and respected group TV On the Radio. Malone joined TVotR in time to record their second record, 2003's EP Young Liars. While performing solo, Malone went by a few different names and eventually settled on Rain Machine. His first solo album, which is self-titled, comes out September 22 on Anti-Records.

The first two releases, "Give Blood" and "Smiling Black Faces", are excellent tracks but sandwiched between them on the record is my favorite, "New Last Name." It's a slow burn. Check it out:

Rain Machine -New Last Name

Oh no! Was it the line "All your dumb rhymin' words" that summoned Kanye or was it Malone's beard? Kanye has to interrupt everyone's big moment! OK what is it Kanye?

I'm really happy for you Kyp, and Imaletyoufinish, but Mookie has the best beard of all time! Of all time!

Well. Mookie is working on one sweet-ass beard. But Mookie's beard hasn't been stroked by Stephen Colbert yet. So until that day, I think Kyp Malone might have the best one. Here's a live shot of the very talented musician that we took when we caught TV on the Radio at OutsideLands:

Rain Machine showcases some of Malone's best lyrics and song construction yet. But I will give no opinion and insight on the words and themes he explores on this record. You simply have to experience it yourself. You can even pre-order the vinyl below. I can't wait to drop a needle on the actual record. That will make for quite a spritually revealing evening.

Choose your format: MP3, CD, or Vinyl...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So I've finally gotten around to watching a little known movie starring Marlon Brando called Burn! (or sometimes known as Queimada!). I found out about this flick after reading Howard Zinn's A Power Government's Cannot Suppress. All links for these will be below, by the way.

Well, the movie details the imperialism and colonialism that was rampant amongst so many European nations for centuries. And how puppet governments were propped up, rebellions were started, and more. It's not the original 132 minute presentation, which I would love to get my hands on, but once you figure out where the story is going, you will keep watching.

As for music? Well, this movie twice plays a piece by Ennio Morricone, who is best known for his music for such classics as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It's classical, yet isn't. The song "Abolicao" is an absolute masterpiece, and defies any sort of pigeonholing. Today's post includes this brilliant piece as well as a video of a live performance.

Download Ennio Morricone - Abolicao

Seriously. Chills. Brilliant song. Now. Do your part and buy something!

Monday, September 14, 2009

oil up those sticky keys

Like most people, I was initially confused by EMI’s decision to release remastered versions of all 13 albums by the Liverpool pop group Beatles, a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes. The entire proposition seems like a boondoggle. I mean, who is interested in old music? And who would want to listen to anything so inconveniently delivered on massive four-inch metal discs with sharp, dangerous edges? The answer: no one. When the box arrived in the mail, I briefly considered smashing the entire unopened collection with a ball-peen hammer and throwing it into the mouth of a lion. But then, against my better judgment, I arbitrarily decided to give this hippie shit an informal listen. And I gotta admit—I’m impressed. This band was mad prolific.

-Chuck Klosterman

Maybe Chuck is on to something? Maybe we should not look back into the rearview but into the future for a band that can re-ignite the fire in our hearts and minds?

Forget about the Beatles on Rock Band. Let's get the British band Arctic Monkeys for Guitar Hero!

OK. Maybe this isn't likely. But I will tell you, the new album, Humbug, makes me think of The Beatles' music! Are Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar), Jamie Cook (guitar), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals) the next Paul, John, George, and Ringo?. OK. Maybe even more unlikely. Only the future will prove if this band can reach that kind of status.

Their first two albums, although good, just lacked any true soul or strength. Judging by the radio play they got, I am sure plenty of people disagree with this statement, but Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare are completely overrated. Let's look back though: The Beatles lacked the same oomph with the early efforts on Please Please Me and With The Beatles, and I think their following records may have enjoyed some measure of success.

I think The Arctic Monkeys' "My Propeller" and "Cornerstone" (provided at the end of this post) are both reminiscent of the Fab 4. I think these two songs even sound like they could have been written by McCartney.

"Dance Little Liar" has such strikingly sharp drum work. I say Ringo could definitely have been behind something like that.

[Download Arctic Monkeys - Dance Little Liar]

Monkeys' frontman Alex Turner revealed that the band had listened to Jimi Hendrix and Cream while writing the new album. That explains a lot. Maybe they should pick up the Remastered Works of The Beatles to prepare for album 4?

Whatever influences and likeness is or isn't there doesn't dull the point that this latest release is more mature and darker than their previous work.
They seem less hokey and silly, and this transaltes into a serious effort on the part of the band.

Let's get to brass tacks. There was nothing wrong with the first album per se, but after hearing Humbug there is just such a vast difference in content and quality. The lead singer seems to have something interesting to say now, and he sings it with a more developed voice. Literally and figuratively. This new "voice" can be picked up in the rest of the band as well. The rhythm section and much of the guitar playing seems vastly more complex and interesting than their previous efforts. There are interesting effects and instruments being used, likely from heavy touring and closer bonds between the band members bringing more confidence to experiment. Making choices regarding who to work with on this album contributes to this new sound.

Such as...Josh Homme.

Josh Homme was brought on to produce this album and has been involved in projects with some great bands. Homme put his signature on albums for Them Crooked Vultures, Foo Fighters, A Perfect Circle and Queens of the Stone Age. Good band plus a good producer equals magic.

It might just be all the moons aligning and making all the right turns in the GPS of life and art, but lets hope that the boys can catch that lightning another 10 times.

Then our kids can buy their Remastered Works one day.

[Download Arctic Monkeys - Cornerstone]

Check out the Arctic Monkeys on Zane Lowe’s BBC show!

We want to throw our support to a good cause. Extra Life is a gamer charity effort to help raise money for pediatric cancer. Seriously, who here doesn't want to punch pediatric cancer right in the face?

Visit the site and donate to a team we are backing this year! You can send a couple bucks by clicking the DONATE NOW button here. Good luck guys and girls! Raise lots of money and be sure to stay hydrated!

Friday, September 11, 2009

In the truest land of opportunity

"Obviously, sometimes you can't shut your feelings off," says Keene. "If we're having a problem, we try not to bring the band into it, but we're all best friends, and everyone [in the band] understands." In that sense, the music (and friendships) can be therapeutic. When any Mean Creek member comes to practice feeling unhappy about something, he says, "More than half the time we leave feeling a little bit better."

The pair that is Aurore Ouinjin and Chris Keene shared their thoughts for a Boston Phoenix post on "Couple Bands" back in 2008. After playing acoustic folk and simply calling themselves Chris and Aurore (like Matt and Kim!) for a few years, they added a rhythm section and are happy with permanent additions Erik Wormwood and Mikey Holland. For three years now they have been known as Mean Creek.

And yes, they do take their name from the 2004 indie movie starring Rory Culkan about secrets and bullies. I don't actually see the connection, although I could easily throw words around like "melancholy" "dark" or "intense" and try to make them fit. You can find a melancholy song on any album. And to be quite honest I don't even know what in the hell they do sing about. But The Sky (Or The Underground) is a clean record with tracks that mesh, vocals that complement each other, and music that can be appreciated.

I do know what this song is about though. With its simple, repetitive chorus and verses that peacefully address a specific social problem it is a traditional folk song. Opening screeches and escalating bridges that threaten to rip your face off, though, expertly take this track into modern day and place this band at a House of Blues or a Slim's rather than your local Cuppa Joe Joint. Check out Not To Dream:

Download Mean Creek - Not To Dream

Buy their first album and be the first to review it for Amazon! Come on, you know you've always wanted to be the first to know about music. Now you can be famous too.

Then you can go over to iTunes and get the newest album. Hell, be the first to review it there too!! Look at you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bizzare Ride

Everyone here remember the Pharcyde? You're talking about a group that put out one of the top hip-hop albums of the 1990's in Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. I remember back in early 1992, I bought this on cassette along with a Run DMC tape. This one certainly stuck around with me for years.

There was one cut that stuck out besides "Passin' Me By". The track "Soul Flower" was originally done with the Brand New Heavies on Heavy Rhyme Experience, which is how I even found out about the group. Well, I lost my tape, and bought it later on CD, and suddenly, the version of "Soul Flower" had changed! It was still good, mind you, but very different from the original. Well, I am simply going to showcase some of the other remixes of this song here today.

First, the version off of the CD that was such a big change from the original Brand New Heavies version. This is such a good party song for folks to just play in the background. Awesome track that for people like myself? Brings back a lot of memories.

Download The Pharcyde - Soul Flower

Next up are three remixes off of a remix and rarity album of Pharcyde tracks. The highlight of the three here is the "Dogs B*ll*cks Remix", for sure. The other two are certainly good ones, but really can't hold a candle to the first one. A big winner of a track.

Download The Pharcyde - Soul Flower (Wrong Tree)

Download The Pharcyde - Soul Flower (Dogs B*ll*cks Remix)

Download The Pharcyde - Soul Flower (2 Tha 3 Mix)

Last up is a much more recent remix. It's the Gutter remix, and most of the song is strong.......until they add some other MCs by the name Verb and Wale. Seriously, if you're going to make a remix? Don't taint it if it's a classic. Good remix, but horrid addition of other MCs.

Download The Pharcyde - Soul Flower

As an added extra bonus? I've also tossed in the Hot Chip remix of "Passin' Me By". Enjoy all the cuts!

Download The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By (Hot Chip Remix)

And go buy stuff! If not, Barry Bonds will rub cream on you. And it won't be steroids!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Darkly, the dark hand met his end

We are constantly being influenced by our experiences. And we hope that this enhances the way we deliver music to you so you can go on and influence those around you as well.

Mookie and The Little One are unabashed Brand New fans. So of course we were blown away by the new record, Daisy. We've got some new fans on our facebook page, namely Bradley Ball, who want to know if this album is any good. We take our reviews seriously sometimes, so we are working extra hard on this one. Just for you!

How about if we play you a sneak-preview, one of our favorites: Track 7, "Sink". You can go purchase their single, "At The Bottom", when you're done.

Download Brand New - Sink

Early on, it was reported that this album would be called and one head can never die. We passed that news on to you in one of our podcasts. In fact we even joked that it would be called The Second Coming of Christ! The boys changed their mind on the album title after giving Track 9 the title "Daisy." It was also reported that this album would be focused on what the band enjoys playing live, and be more of a matter of personal expression. Apparently, this bothered some fans.

Really? Is that because all you ever want to do when you see Brand New live is chant along with vindictive lyrics? It's amazing to both of us, the commentary from "fans". It's embarrassing to be included among Brand New fans when we read the majority of these comments. One proclaimed, "If it's anything like My Favorite Weapon then they've lost a fan for life."

Well, It might just be marginally like My Favorite Weapon. Lead singer Jesse Lacey was quoted by SPIN as saying "...I feel like a song like "Shower Scene," which is literally the first song we ever wrote, is more in the vein of our new album musically, with the exception of the lyrics. It's a pretty straightforward, loud, drop-beat rock song and it's got this weird, like, off-kilter bridge, and it's pretty much exactly the way we'd want to write a song now." Note the WE: Vin Accardi wrote most of this album.

In this way, Mookie likens Daisy to Nirvana's In Utero. "This is likely because I have been listening to In Utero a lot lately. If you listen to Daisy, you will catch some heavy punk/grunge riffs that are expertly placed over heavy drum work and between sweeping elegant guitar work. It works in my opinion," he says. The track "Sink" we offer to you today is one of the tracks that most resemble a Nirvana track, with its quiet/loud/quiet format.

The Little One says, "It sounds like My Favorite Weapon if it were produced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez." Speaking of being influenced by experience. Mookie & TLO got to experience the mind-melt that is a live Mars Volta concert and are now fascinated with the work that Omar does to lay down a record. Matter of fact, he also produced Juliette Lewis' newest release. She's split with The Lipps and formed a new band called The New Romantiques with whom she recorded Terra Incognita.

And getting back to the mind-melt of a live show, what could be more right than Brand New trying to make a record that they would want to play live? It only makes sense. Lacey says most of their songwriting has been done on acoustic guitar, despite recording the songs (obviously) on electric guitar. Then you get a record that sounds nothing like your conception, and though the fans have absolutely loved albums like The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, it's gotta be frustrating to have this dichotomy of the end-product and the original brainchild.

We have seen Brand New a few times live, and we absolutely can't wait to see this album performed live. It's loud, and passionate. And yes, the sonic qualities you find on this record WILL result in a mind melt. Yes, we said mind melt again.

That's the music. Now, the lyrics. Mookie is also being influenced by reading the 33 1/3 series of books and the latest is "OK COMPUTER", written by Dal Griffiths. Mookie learned that sometimes just the use of certain words along with certain chords can invoke a strong emotion.
I've called this style of songwriting 'anti-lyric', where words are more like prose than like poetry, characterized more by the singularity of the words themselves rather than the way they fit in to the song as a whole.

"I had never really thought of that before, but it feels right in describing how I listen to the lyrics in songs." Mookie's favorite song so far seems to be "You Stole", for its beautiful angry/sexy guitar riffs.

The use of literature and poetry has always blown us away, and Brand New took it a step further this time. This interview that Lacey gave to SPIN was probably one of the best printed in a long time. He shared his hobby of collecting weird things, such as a collection of tapes from an estate sale. In it, he recognized a hymn he used to sing in church, and a scratchy recording of this hymn ("On Life's Highway") brackets the record. The band has always been interested in putting strange things on albums, and you can find more sound bytes placed here and there throughout the tracks.

One in particular is what is becoming one of The Little One's favorites from the album, "In A Jar." Mookie keeps telling her that every song is made up of the same four chords. He's been really getting into the guitar playing lately. But TLO can hear none of those chords in this track, and she likes it that way. This song has changes in tempo that the band has made legendary and obscure Biblical references that always delight - this time, coupled with other adages and historical references too.

These references are nothing new to the band... You can find parables, verses, poems, and such woven into all of the albums. But what should be most appreciated is how steadily this has progressed into a stronger message from a clearer head.

When I listen back to all of that stuff, I see mistakes I made, but also the sparks of something I was doing that was eventually going to be great. It's all very strange. We talk about it a lot. When we're just sitting around alone, the four of us -- we think about how this whole thing is so strange, and it just never stops being completely weird. --Jesse Lacey

Katrina's anniversary is quiet.....too quiet.

This is one where I will just unload on the ineptitude of the past administration under George Bush. Keep in mind, my opinions aren't necessarily those the others who write for this blog have, and I openly and candidly state that.

It's been four years now since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and much of the gulf. The anniversary came and went without much fanfare. While I am not saying we should stop what we're doing 40 years after the event, the fact remains that New Orleans is still in rebuilding mode, and has a long way to go. From the blatant mishandling by FEMA's Michael Brown, to George Bush's vacation cut short to simply frown out of a window of a plane for a photo-op - many things could have been avoided, but they weren't.

Click here for CNN's coverage of the anniversary.

So, are we going to learn our lesson? We're approaching the middle of another pretty strong hurricane season, and the levees in New Orleans are still inadequate at best. The necessity for a city like New Orleans hails more back to the days of steamboats on the Mississippi, as it functioned as a trade port. Along with St. Louis, these two cities made up much of the commerce of the mid-west. The fact that the people of New Orleans - a city below sea level - has survived the beatings of countless hurricanes this long is a testament to the will of the people who call it home.

That said, it's time that we understand what the future holds. Bush failed to recognize this. Sapping the economy of precious dollars that could have been used to fix and finish levees or boost our continually sagging education system in order to fight an illegal and immoral war in Iraq isn't the answer. The man simply cared about a purported legacy, and left the people of New Orleans to fend for themselves. I don't know about you, but this is why I want to remember this tragic natural disaster. To learn from it and understand the consequences of your actions. Especially if you're the president.

Two songs today. One is one I made using samples from a radio interview with New Orleans' mayor Ray Nagin not long after the hurricane hit back in '05. The other? Well, it's a bit unintentionally related. Former North Carolina band Archers of Loaf created one of my favorite songs, a song entitled "Chumming The Ocean".

If you would like to donate, please check out the ratings for one of the many local New Orleans not-for-profits here. Charity Navigator will help steer you in the direction of a not-for-profit where you know your dollars will make a difference.

Download Walt Zink - Never Be The Same

Download Archers of Loaf - Chumming The Ocean

And buy stuff! For real!