Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One I meant to post a while back

Okay, so I am that guy that hears certain sounds in songs, and my mind clicks and starts thinking of other songs with the same sound. Or what song they ripped off for a sample. Or ripped riffs off from. I mean, I had that sort of moment with that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros track "40 Day Dream" and how close it smacked of Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues". Seriously. Listen to those two songs one after the other and try telling me they don't sound similar. Read that post here.

Anyhow, this is another of those moments. It's a post I've been meaning to write for some time now, actually. I am sure that many of you are aware now of The Phenomenal Handclap Band. The name is just purposely weird, like so many other band names. It may be why I initially passed on them. "Oh. A weird name. Like I've seen hundreds of times before in the last three months. How cute!" Well, I finally did get around to listening to some of their stuff. The song in question today is their breakthrough track "15 to 20". Now, when I first heard this, I had that moment. The one where I said, "Why do I feel like I know this from somewhere?" It wasn't my knowing it because I had listened to it before. I knew that much.

Well, after a little time, I had it pegged. Anyone that has listened to Soul Coughing - a now defunct band that was great live, by the way - would probably catch onto this one. Their first album, Ruby Vroom, is one that really never gets a lot of recognition. Some may say it did, but do you really hear people talking that much about it now and how it influenced other bands? Not really. Well, they have a track on this one entitled "Casiotone Nation", and while I seriously doubt that The Phenomenal Handclap Band ripped them off, it does sound similar in just the verse of numbers being spouted about. Again, I'm not saying it's a rip-off. Stating a slew of numbers is something anyone could do. It was just that nerd-out moment that I tend to have from time to time with music. So do your duty and take a listen.

Download The Phenomenal Handclap Band - 15 to 20

Download Soul Coughing - Casiotone Nation

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Proverbial Envelope

It starts with what sounds like an alien morse code transmission; Earth bound signals bouncing off the side of orbiting space debris. Snatches of voices found out in the ether cut through the machine fog, drifting across burbling analogue equipment lovingly kept working long after supposed sell-by date. By the time the click and thump of snare and bass drum arrive, the sounds are all-encompassing, swirling around you with dizzying, disorientating effect. Noises come untethered by constraints of volume, seemingly leaping from the speakers with a life of their own. For a band used to dealing in psychedelics, this time round The Chemical Brothers have really pushed the proverbial envelope.

The Chemical Brothers - Horse Power (Louis La Roche Remix) by louislaroche

The Chemical Brothers have always been a group that I loved. Every album has been an amazing ride for me. You can guarantee that when you put on a Chemical Brothers album that you are about to go to Another World. The groups latest album, Further, is no exception. On album number 7, Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands do one thing a bit different. There are barely any vocals on this album. That's ok though, because these 8 tracks are a living thing. From the albums first breath of static laced feedback on the track "Snow" to the climactic finish and death on "Wonders of the Deep", the album just makes your mind dissolve it's so good!

Download The Chemical Brothers - Another World

I've been a fan of The Chemical Brothers since 1997's Dig Your Own Hole. Fast forward 13 years and I am just as stoked about this album.

The band is also known for it's videos, this album has a special surprise...if you buy the LP version on iTunes, you get a video for every song on the album! Stand back! I'm going to Swoon! Check out this preview:


Download The Chemical Brothers - Swoon (Lindstrom and Prins Remix)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Seu good

Like that play on words? Har har. "Seu" good. It's for Brazilian singer Seu Jorge, who will be coming back to the States quite soon! He will be touring with Almaz. For info on the workings, please read here.

However, many people are like myself, in that they first heard of Seu Jorge when watching the Wes Anderson flick The Life Aquatic. Anyone that knows me knows what a massive David Bowie fan I am. The fact that randomly in spots we found Jorge singing old Bowie tunes while playing an acoustic guitar just made it that much better a film to me. Seriously. Who really can do justice to a lot of Bowie's classics? Especially in Portugese? Well, Jorge did it brilliantly. And that's not to say that his solo works outside of this are any sort of slouch. He's a huge star in his native Brazil, and as some folks I know put it? They'll gladly pay 40 dollars here to see him, as it's likely a lot more back home. So this makes me pretty giddy. Will he play any Bowie songs? Most likely no. Does that bother me much? Again, no. While his music takes a bit of time to get used to, there is a sort of beauty to it that transcends genres. It just sounds natural. If you don't believe me, take a listen for yourself. I've posted a handful of his tracks, including one of his Bowie covers, and a personal favorite of mine. Enjoy!

Download Seu Jorge - Bem Querer

Download Seu Jorge - Tive Razao

Download Seu Jorge - Queen Bitch

Monday, June 21, 2010

Punk rock changed our lives...

Sublime with Nowell
Busy day. Busy week. Buying a house, so I have been running around like a chicken with no head.

I do not want to neglect our great fans, so I will give you something quick and dirty.

There are some great summer tours this year. All of them making stops in sin city. Las Vegas, Nevada. The place I call home.

I wanna mention one I am most excited about.


When frontman Bradley Nowell passed away in May 1996 of a drug overdose, I was crushed. I was so emotionally vested in this band. Let me explain with a little story what I mean.

It was the summer of 1993, and a new guy moved in to the neighborhood. He was different from the rest of the kids on our street. He was from Long Beach, California ad he was huge! A big samoan guy, with a mohawk. He was a surfer and skater. Remember, I live in Las Vegas. Surfing was alien to us, and skateboarding was just becoming something you would see kids doing. This guy loved music and played the Bass, and we instantly became friends. We sat on the bus together, spent time at each others houses, perfected our graffiti techniques, and listened to music.

This guy gave me a copy of 40 Oz. to Freedom and it was forever to be a milestone in my life. It was perfect music. Catchy, Reggae, Dub, and Punk. Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. From the bass drum of "Waiting For My Ruca" to the hilarious closing credits I WAS IN LOVE!

Download Sublime - Waiting For My Ruca

I used to listen to it while working late, stocking shelves at the mega mart. It was usually quiet and I didn't see people for hours so I would start singing along with the Sublime CD in my Sony disc-man while working. Eventually a coworker would happen by and ask me, "What the fuck are you listening to?" I would tell them everything I knew about the band and then tell them "Listen...Just listen!" I assumed that they would listen to a song and go...oh fuck yea! I get it! that's awesome. Not one person got it. In fact I got a lot of, "That sounds awful." WHAT! I was so confused. I knew in my bones that album...that band was gonna be huge.

Fast forward a few years later and the song Date Rape begins getting some serious radio play. I might finally get the chance to see the band has they are about to tour on the heels of their then upcoming self-titled major label release. I am so excited.

Then tragedy...Brad Nowell OD's in San Francisco, and I am shit out of luck.
Rome Ramirez
Fast-forward to today. I see that Sublime is back on tour with a new front-man. Rome.

The remaining members of the band tried out a show with this new frontman in Nevada early 2009 under the name Sublime, and liked how things worked out. Shortly there after they joined the Smokeout Festival that same year to open for Cypress Hill.

Nowell's family released a statement that they were not too pleased about this though...

It was recently announced that Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and Sublime drummer Floyd 'Bud' Gaugh are 'reuniting' and teaming with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez in a band they intend to call 'Sublime.' Prior to his untimely passing, both Bud and Eric acknowledged that Brad Nowell was the sole owner of the name Sublime. It was Brad's expressed intention that no one use the name Sublime in any group that did not include him, and Brad even registered the trademark 'Sublime' under his own name.

As Brad's heirs, and with the support of his entire family, we only want to respect his wishes and therefore have not consented to Bud and Eric calling their new project 'Sublime.' We have always supported Bud and Eric's musical endeavors and their desire to continue to play Sublime's music. We wholeheartedly supported Bud, Eric and the many talented members of the Sublime posse that formed the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, soon after Brad's death, to honor him through their original recordings, live performances and Sublime music until they disbanded in 2001. But, out of respect for Brad's wishes, we have always refused to endorse any group performing as 'Sublime,' and now with great reluctance feel compelled to take the appropriate legal action to protect Brad's legacy.

Our hope is that Brad's ex-bandmates will respect his wishes and find a new name to perform under, so as to enhance the 'Sublime' legacy without the confusion and disappointment that many fans have expressed upon seeing the announcement.

The band is now called Sublime With Rome, which is still probably going to get them sued, but whatever. They are on tour, and coming to my town. They are even touring with The Dirty Heads which has a song featuring Rome on heavy rotation on most Alt-Rock stations.

Download The Dirty Heads - Lay Me Down

I can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Arcade Fire sucks

Yes, I said it. They suck. Have you heard this poor excuse for a new single? I mean, it's like their record label held them at gunpoint and said, "Listen, we need a hit, not for you all to do your best Bruce Springsteen impression and fail miserably." This new song "Ready To Start" off of their upcoming The Suburbs is pretty accurately titled. They're ready to start pissing me off and force me to kick a puppy or a homeless guy. It's seriously godawful and lacking of any real creativity. The beginning riff is a ripoff of something that I just can't think of right away. And that makes me even more pissed off.

So how about this? I write a faux letter of sorts to the Arcade Fire.

Dear Arcade Fire,

Please stop making this music. As I write this, my ears are bleeding and I'm taking four different prescriptions to keep the seizures your music causes at bay. You are not a gay clone of Bruce Springsteen. Enclosed, please find the picture of a dead bird. This bird did not die by being hit by a car. No, I happened to have my windows open playing your atrocious new single, "Ready To Start", and it simply fell from the sky. If I believed in a God, I would take this as a sign to stop playing your music. Please go back to the days of Funeral and make me feel as though you care about what you make. Thank you.

Walt Zink

Now, unfortunately I will be posting this poor excuse for a song.

Download The Arcade Fire - Ready To Start

Monday, June 14, 2010

your boldness stands alone among the wreck

weep for yourself, my man,
you'll never be what is in your heart
weep little lion man,
you're not as brave as you were at the start

One of my good friends shared an album with me on Friday that really caught me off guard. It's rare that someone shares music with me that I haven't heard about. It's rarer still to have someone suggest a band to check out that is as successful as this band has been.

Mumford and Sons has sold out just about every show on their U.S. tour. They are playing just about every major festival in the states. In the U.K. their debut album, Sigh No More has gone Platinum.

rate yourself and rake yourself,
take all the courage you have left
wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

Check out the video for one of the best songs off the album in my opinion:

but it was not your fault but mine
and it was your heart on the line
i really fucked it up this time
didn't I, my dear?

It's one of those songs that, after the first time you hear it you just put it on repeat! I love the F-Word and I love the banjo!

I was immediately curious what the lyrics of the song were trying to convey. I had some ideas, but I looked it up anyways. Check out what Marcus Mumford himself has to say about Little Lion Man:

"It’s a very personal story, so I won’t elaborate upon it too much. Suffice to say, it was a situation in my life I wasn’t very happy with or proud of… and sometimes when you can’t describe a feeling with your own words, it’s almost easier to express in a song. And then, when you get asked about the songs, it’s quite difficult to explain. It’s a conundrum — you don’t want to seem self-indulgent explaining yourself; it’s always awkward. Which is weird again, because it’s never awkward actually singing them. I suppose the song should stand on its own and people draw their own interpretation from the words."

Mumford and Sons reminds me a lot of The Snake, The Cross, The Crown (or TSTCTC for short), another band I love. Since it appears that TSTCTC are breaking up, I guess I am doubly thankful for having someone recommend Mumford and Sons, as I have a hole to fill.

Download Mumford And Sons - Roll Away Your Stone

Cause you told me that I would find a hole,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals


Download Mumford And Sons - Little Lion Man (Ben Lucid Remix)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are we on our way?

You can totally hear how they were inspired by Scott Stapp. And that's a beautiful thing.

...Wait, WAIT! I kid, I kid. My steel trap brain search engine on the blog brings me to recall the 2008 interview we did with Detox Retox where the smarmy chaps were generous enough to share with us their musical inspirations. So how about if we show some love in return and tell you about their new EP which comes out on Tuesday?

The EP Movement is a collection of six songs recorded with the help of Ra Ra Riot's Andrew Maury. Every song is like a feel-good jumpstart. I have no better words for it. In case you haven't noticed, summer is basically here. I know. It's annoying to be reminded of it on every magazine cover and on every one of your goddamn friends' FaceBook status updates, but look. You have a lot of baloney you've got to deal with in life, so you need to decide there is a time each year that you are going to grab by the balls and declare as yours. It just has to be that way. So make it summer, and you won't have to make excuses for it. Just say, "It's summertime, dude," and you're off the hook.

That's the mood I get in listening to Movement. It's summertime, dude. And if I want to take off for this weekend without clearing it with anyone, oh, a-guess a-what? See ya bitches!

Check out "Caroline", probably my favorite out of the six. But they've all got something that makes me boogie in my seat while I type this. I may have even busted out a makeshift "sprinkler" move. Shh. Don't tell anyone.

Download Detox Retox - Caroline

..And it's just an EP! But seriously, it gives me hope in the freedom summer can give. I don't know what it is. The damn thing isn't even about summer.

This is my favorite of the few pics you can find anywhere of the group. Colonel K, on his blog, describes the sound: "Detox play punk-pop that sounds like a mix between Silent Alarm-era Bloc Party meets the Police before everyone’s egos went out of control. Toss in a few flourishes of power-pop and the occasional gang vocal breakdowns and you get the kind of musical tension that guarantees that no two songs sound alike." Hmm. I guess I need to see them live.

So, seriously boys. Where's the love? Pretty sure you've never toured west of the Erie Canal. How many Warped dates did you do? Boys, boys, long time no text.

For the rest of you, here you go. It's time to get in the mood.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So after a long few weeks I've finally come to the conclusion that most people just don't get it. We live in a country right now that holds idiots like Glenn Beck up as a hero. A man that got booted off of more than a few radio stations for making incendiary remarks lacking any intellect is hardly a hero. And save me the tea party crap. A party formed out of misguided anger will eventually eat itself and its metaphorical young, to boot.

Well, I'd rather bring you all someone that actually is a hero. Well, at least to me. I get sort of tired of the aforementioned Beck and his ilk claiming there's some left-wing bias in the media when anyone with the smarts of a toaster oven can readily tell you that eight out of ten - if not more - radio programs are right-wing run. Same goes for print media. The reasons why are a completely different reason.

Well, these people tend to act as though they're getting bullied. That they're the minority. Bullshit. The minority are actually the ones that have a conscience. That despise war. That have reason. All you have to do is look at major polls done by people like those at Rasmussen to understand what sort of a country we live in. When a full two-thirds of our country supports the immigration law passed in Arizona, then people like myself are the minority. And I like to be loud and push back.

The guy that I claim as a hero here is none other than John Lennon. His song "Imagine" is pretty easily one of the top five songs all-time. Seriously. Try arguing with that. Anyhow, I've got the original up here today for your listening pleasure, as well as a couple of covers. One is by David Bowie, with the other done by A Perfect Circle. For anyone that doesn't know, Lennon did the background vocals on Bowie's "Fame". Nice tidbit of information. So here you go. Go nuts, people. And if you're a Glenn Beck fan? I'm laughing at you on the inside. And outside, actually. Why hide how I feel?

Download John Lennon - Imagine

Download David Bowie - Imagine

Download A Perfect Circle - Imagine

Monday, June 7, 2010


I was looking over the lineup for outside lands this year and began researching all the bands I had never heard before. And there was a lot. It might one of the most indie alternative-fringe lineups in history.

One of the bands I discovered I instantly fell in love with: Electric Six is a band that likes to use the words "night," "party," "drugs," and "girls." Electric Six sounds like an electro dance jam band abortion of a sex romp between Tenacious D and the White Stripes.

I listened to Switzerland, the bands third album, over and over on my commute home, nearly crashing on the interstate while trying to lookup the song lyrics so I could sing along.

This song is particularly clever and catchy:

Have you ever smelt the clothes her sexy clothes?
Have you ever got to know her
Like I do?
Have you ever reversed roles?
Gave up control?
Stayed home and let your woman
Support you?

I buy the drugs
I light the fire
I am your main supplier
I am your man and I buy the drugs

I can be the jump start for the car parked in your mind
Cos' You left the lights on all night long
We can drive for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles away

Download Electric Six - I Buy The Drugs

Even as great as this band is, I am still not sold on this years Outside Lands Music and Arts festival. The lineup is good...not great. It's gotta be great to justify the money to get to San Francsico. If you sure to catch Electric Six. Maybe the best band on the lineup!

Download Electric Six - Dance Commander (Benny Benassi Remix)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More LCD Soundsystem

So I have to be honest in that I have been a bit lazy with trying to find new music. I've been listening to the new LCD Soundsystem as of late to see how I feel about it. Well, "Drunk Girls" and "Pow Pow" did little to really make me want this new one, but I did take a pretty good, long listen, and have to be honest in that those two tracks were probably the weakest off of This Is Happening. That should say something, to be quite honest.

Here is what I consider to be the strongest track off of the album. Well, there are a couple other stellar ones. "One Touch" and "Home" are well up there, too. The former really smacks of their last album Sound of Silver in a lot of ways. Pretty DJ friendly track, to boot. This one sounds more like a sad country song if you listen to the lyrics. "All I Want" is, to me, the best of the lot on this new album. Think of a serious dosage of Joy Division invading the skull of James Murphy and you've got a pretty good idea of the sound, here.

Take a listen and decide for yourself. I've also included a live video that someone was good enough to take.

Download LCD Soundsystem - All I Want