Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The worlds biggest necklace

I recently got a chance to see Todd Hayne's biopic 'I'm Not There' about about the many faces of Bob Dylan and it was quite the cinematic treat. If you havent heard about this film, Hayne's picked six different characters to portray Dylan throughout his career. Cate Blanchette's rebel Dylan appeared to be the focus and best portrayal in the film, yet performances by Christian Bale, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger also had standout moments. Personally, my favorite part was towards the end of the movie when Jim James from My Morning Jacket sang a most excellent version of "Goin to Acapulco".

With all this Dylan talk, I couldn't help but post one of my favorite live clips of ol Bobby. The year is 1975 and the song is 'Isis'...arguably one of the best written songs of that decade. This Rolling Thunder Review era gem not only displays the fire of Dylan but also showcases amazing backing musicians that any alt-country band of todays era are sure to compliment. Whether you're a Dylan fan or not, check it'll surely appreciate his knack for scarves and face paint.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Kevin Costners

First off, its their real name.

Second, they're pretty good.

The Kevin Costners hail from North France (i believe) and they have been together since 2004. You can tell by listening to just "We Ain't Steve Vai" that these guys are doing what they love. They remind me (a little bit) of a poppier "Super Furry Animals" for some reason. I think its the guitar.

From what I've read, they should possibly have their first album out by late January of 2008.

Give them a listen, at least give the first track a listen. Good stuff.
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Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Evens, a band I wish I would've known about sooner

The Evens are a Lo-Fi Washington D.C. based band. Members consist of Ian MacKaye, lead singer of Fugazi and Amy Farina. They are a very delightful band.

The majority of their songs include Ian singing and on bass, or baritone guitat which has a very distinct sound and Amy on Drums & Vocals. The way they harmonize is beautiful.

They're not as intense as Fugazi, but MacKaye & Farina are able to capture an amazing sound that is hard for me to explain.

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The Evens- Everybody Knows.mp3

The Evens- Shelter Two.mp3

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dear Mr. Jesus

You don't know what I mean yet, but you will by the end, cuz the end justifies the means. Know what I mean?

- Incredible imagery
- Phenomenal editing
- I like the repetitive nature and the decision to go with "just slightly off" sharp cuts
- Best use of child's voice since George Strait's Heartland

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Michael Jackson's Thriller turns 25

Micheal Jackson's Thriller turned 25 on December 1st.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ranked Thriller third on their "Definitive 200" list, which is a compilation of what they believe to be the greatest albums ever. At age 25, The New York Times called Jackson a "musical phenomenon," further commenting that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else."

Obviously, perceptions have changed since then. I'm not saying "we" or the "media" are wrong to shift our view on MJ , but simply noting that at one time he was on top of the world and now there will always be a negative conotation associated with him.

I dont think you have to like him to love this album. Some may be a little surprised for me to say that this very well might fall somewhere within my top favorite albums of all time. Just look at this track listing. What are yours?

  1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin

  2. Baby Be Mine

  3. The Girl Is Mine (featuring Paul McCartney)

  4. Billie Jean

  5. Thriller (featuring Vincent Price)

  6. Beat It (featuring Eddie Van Halen)

  7. Human Nature

  8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)

  9. The Lady in My Life

I included a couple of my favorite songs from this album below.

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Michael Jackson- PYT.mp3
Michael Jackson- Human Nature.mp3

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bye Jim, Mixtape

Someone I respect a great deal is leaving work to take a pretty amazing job opportunity in NYC. He's a guy I admire a lot. It's not only his work but also his taste in music / art, sense of humor and his collection of Western button down shirts. I made him a mix CD last week, however, it sounds a lot cooler to call it a "mixtape".

When I started putting this together it was going to be NYC themed but it became pretty tough and I wasnt into some of the songs I was coming up with. I was getting further away from something I liked in order to stay consistent. I decided to try choose songs that talked about change, leaving, and with a couple of random songs I thought he might like and that also flowed well. Mixtapes are fun for a few reasons, you get to find old favorites that might have gotten shoved to the back of the library, you get to choose the theme / flow, and then you get to await their response. Hopefully the response is positive.

Here is my mix to Jim... and since mixtapes are all about sharing...I attached a few MP3's

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Intro- (Text to Speech Note)

  1. Roxy Music - 2 H.B.

  2. My Morning Jacket - Golden MP3

  3. The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow

  4. Phoenix- North.m4a

  5. Spoon- You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (Random)

  6. Belle & Sebastian- We are the Sleepyheads

  7. Tokyo Police Club- Be Good (RAC Mix) (Random)

  8. The Sea and Cake- Sound & Vision.mp3

  9. Field Music- You're Not Supposed To.mp3

  10. El Ten Eleven- My Only Swerving.mp3

  11. Modest Mouse- heart Cooks Brain

  12. TV on the Radio- Province

  13. Kings of Convenicnce- Manhattan Skyline

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Rob is a busy guy

Rob Crow has been a busy guy as of late. This year alone, he's released (or been a part of) three full length albums.

I really only knew of this fellow from Pinback, but apparently he's in like 10 other bands. The three albums he's released this year are are below. Theres is a sample from each, to boot.

I haven't had a chance to listen to all three in depth but they're all very similar. His voice is obviously the same, maybe he just gets tired of hanging out with the same band members all of the time.

Rob Crow (solo album)- Living Well: January 2007

Other Men- Wake Up Swimming: March 2007

Pinback Autumn of the Seraphs: September 2007

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Pinback- Bouquet.mp3
Other Men- Other People.mp3
Rob Crow- If Wade Would Call.mp3

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Power of an Instrumental in film

They've been the butt of many jokes, but why? Is it because of Trey Parker and Matt Stone? Is it because deep down we really do enjoy them and are kind of embarassed to admit it? They can be cheesy but they can also be the most memorable parts of a movie.

Here they are-
My favorite instrumentals from movies.
As you'll see, the favorites are from the 80's. I couldnt think of many others for as of right now. Donnie Darko has a great montage but even it takes place in the 80's.

Movie: Rocky IV
Artist: Vince DiCola
Song: Training Montage (this is the actual song title btw)
Year: 1985

He's running through the mountains and training like a caveman, while the evil Soviet, Drago is enjoying his training in a state of the art workout lab run by evil scientists.
Sidenote, Eye of the Tiger doesnt do it for me, sorry. Maybe it should but i get nothing. This Training montage does.

This onbe is more of a montage than an instrumental because time passes and there is major progress.

Movie: Sixteen Candles
Artist: Kajagoogoo
Song: Kajagoogoo (Instrumental)
Year: 1984
Its the opening credits after Sam realizes her entire family has forgotten her B-day. It goes through the normal settings of a High School campus. It takes me back to a day when it was still acceptable to wear sweat pants in public.

Note- I couldnt find the actual video so you'll just have to enjoy the live version.

Move: Ferris Buellers Day Off
Artist: The English Beat
Song: Rotating Heads (March of the Swivelheads)
Year: 1986
He's running home to get in bed before his parents get home. Love the hell of this. I want to reanact this scene so bad but not sure if anyone knows how to do the slow-mo shots nowadays.

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The English Beat- March of the Swivelheads.mp3

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I came across this guy last week, Copy. His latest album "Hair Guitar" came out earlier this year so I'm a little late to the game there. He's out of Portland, OR of all places. Not many good musicians from there. He's all electronic which might turn some away but I encourage you to give it a shot. The beats are great, oh and a big fan of the tickling of the electric ivories. As some may say "I heart Keyboards"

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Copy- Closet Face.mp3
Copy- Zipper Problems.mp3

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wilco and Andrew Bird

Last night was one of the best concert experiences I've had in a long time. Andrew Bird opened up for Wilco at the Kc Crossroads outdoor venue. I've heard good things about this place but had never been before. My expectations were blown away. I was picturing a slab of concrete with a wooden stage. I was wrong. Its like a well kept backyard but with interesting sculptures placed throughout the area. Its not too big but still plenty of space for 3,000 people to occupy. The stage is also just as big and easy to view as any other outdoor venue I've seen. Of course, the company didnt hurt either, it was my wife and I, a co-worker and two former co-workers who are excellent people.

The opening artist Andrew Bird was very fitting. It actually felt like Fall last night. Cool, crisp and colorful. His music flowed well with that. I've only heard a few of his songs but I think seeing this gentleman play live is the best way to really get it. He's a one man band playing the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel, and some of the most beautiful whistling I've ever heard. I've searched for some videos of his live performances and I think this one below is a good example. This guy uses a multi-track system to sample and loop his own performance. He records snippets while playing his violin, then will play a "loop" of that sound while picking up the guitar or glockenspiel to play over the loop. Needless to say, he's a very talented musician and has the vocals reminiscent of Jeff Buckley.

And of course, Wilco. This was my first time to see them live and from talking to other people who have seen them multiple times....I was told last nights show was the best they've seen. Tweedy and the rest of the band were happy, smiling and even said "This is easily the best audience we've had this tour". Another comment, which is on the video below from last night's show is...."You are an infectious crowd, I didnt want to have fun tonight". I think those are pretty good compliments for an audience to receive.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Seagrams, Golden Wine Coolers (Wet and Dry).

Oh the sweet 80's. I always love finding a diamond in the rough. Below are a few commercials for the Seagrams, Golden Wine Cooler campaign of the mid 80's. Featuring none other than Bruce Willis. This doesnt have much to do with music but I have some things coming down the pipe....

The first is my personal favorite but the others are worth a watch.

Not bad eh? I love the deep bravado "my, my, my, my"

This next one is pretty slick too.

Mr. Seagrams. He's my Kinda Guyhiii + a holiday clip

This one is kind of strange.....

One with Sharon Stone

And the finale. He sure is confident...thanks to Seagrams.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Long Time No Post

I'd like to apologize to my 3-5 readers out know who you are. I haven't been a very responsible blogger lately. I've been busy with work and havent been able to set aside time for a post.

So what I have been listening too? Some good stuff. A band that I still cant get enough of (even since my last post) is The Joggers. I'm trying to ween myself off of them but nothing is working. Their album has been a sta ple while traveling and while squeezing some time in for an occaisonal run. Their drummer is a bad ass, and both guitar players are always doing something unique on each song. Give the song below a listen, it should rock your socks off....if you're wearing socks. Otherwise, it will make you want to twist the night away.

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The Joggers-Since Youre Already Up.mp3

I also heard a few weeks ago the The Helio Sequence just finished their new album and currently has a release date of January 28th '08. It should be a good album to shake off some "holiday lbs" too. Below is the Harmonica Song from 2004's Love and Distance. You gotta love the "Life is a Highway-esque" (Tim Cochran) Harmonica Solo. Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face.

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The Helio Sequence- Harmonica Song.mp3

Also, how much has Apple spent on the Nano spots??? "1234" by Feist seems like its been playing in every commercial the point that it kind of takes the focus off the product. However, I've heard of lot of people ask the question: "whats that song in the new Nano commercial?". I would be willing to guess that there isnt a large spike in Nano sales just yet, but I would be interested to know how many times this song has been downloaded on Itunes? Maybe its to drive traffic to Itunes now, and by the time Christmas comes around, those kids (without Ipods) are nagging about wanting to take their music with them. Look who just solved the Apple model....or completely bombed in trying to do so.

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Either way, I do like this song but as whole, I'm just "so so" on Feist. I think she has a beautiful voice but I have to be in a very, very mellow mood to get into it. I like her more when shes with Broken Social Scene. If you havent downloaded it yet give it a listen up above.

As these albums if you like the songs....they're just samples, baby. (disclaimer).

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I love finding something unexpected that takes you by surpsise. Its a Breath of Fresh Air. for a few moments I feel like I've uncovered something know one else knows about. Then, minutes later I remember its not 1999. Nowadays, the second any artist releases an MP3 the entire album has been leaked, people have already reviewed the album, and its old news. Many of the music blogs I (admitedly) visit are like this.

I'm over the constant knowing of bands that arent known by anyone yet. It becomes more of a quanity vs. quality thing. That, and I have less free time than I used to. I've been trying to only focus on stuff that actually make my ears light up.

Last night I came across a band I'd never heard of via myspace. Its the Joggers. What grabbed my attention was the intricate guitar but the way they're were able to keep an upbeat, poppy sound.

I'm sure you can tell by these pics?

Give these songs a listen. The first is off their latest album (2005) With a Cape and a Cane. The second is a Yes cover. The third is a live song that I dont know the name of.

Joggers: White Madam.mp3

Joggers: Long Distance Runaround.mp3

Joggers: New Song (Live).mp3

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sluggish Sunday

I refrained from using Lazy Sunday but really thought about it.

Some very good friends are moving to NYC on Monday and last night was their going away party and I couldnt be more excited for them. At the party, we all stayed up pretty late had several drinks and had a great time. It's 2:45pm on a Sunday and this is the first time I've done anything productive. Just wanted to post a song I thought was fitting because -
A.) Its from the Walkmen, a NYC band.
B.) This song sounds like a Bob Dylan song (pretty sure Jason is a Bob Dylan fan).

The Walkmen - Another One Goes By.mp3

All the best of luck to you guys. If ever in doubt of what to say when walking around the big city...just use - "I'm Walkin here!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Planet of Ice

The new album from Minus the Bear came out yesterday. Gotta say it, MTB is one of my favorite bands out there. They became one of my most recent favorites after their 2005 album, Menos el Oso. I had a few songs from 2004's - They Make Beer Commercials Like This but something about Menos sparked something, it opened up something so fresh for me. They're heavy on the guitar taps and sequencing but they do it in very, very a beautiful way.

So, the new album?
I've listened to it several times and I LOVE it. But really, I enjoy most if not everything this band does. With Planet of Ice I think they took some chances and stepped out of their norm. Yes, this album has its share of mathmetical / tempo changing which is what they do well....but on this one they calmed things down a bit and even threw in a little of the "classic rockesque" guitar. Oh and by the way, I've never been a huge guitar guy but Dave Knudson to me sounds like he could be one of the most talented guitar players out there right now. Guitar folks, please tell me if I'm wrong there?

I really didnt know what songs to sample here, I chose Knights which has the familar sound and Dr. L Ling which is a little more guitar heavy. I think this new album will entice fans new and old. Check it (Snapping my fingers)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot Fuzz

Last night my wife and I watched Hot Fuzz on video. We had seen this in theatres earlier in the summer but loved it so much we had to see it again. I think I'm about ready to claim Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright as my favorite comedy duo of the '00's strictly because of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz alone. Back to HF, I'm already a sucker for Point Break, Lethal Weapon, Alien Nation, and just about any other buddy cop movie out there. Well, almost any buddy-cop movie. I'm sure there are a few that might be buddy cop "turds".

The reason Hot Fuzz is so good is because its able to do 3 things well

1.) Make an action packed buddy cop movie

2.) Spoof a buddy cop movie

3.) Make a very funny movie

Shaun of the dead was able to do the same thing. Yes it was a spoof, but it was also action packed, a little scary, and sad. So, go home rent the movie, watch the movie and give it some thought. Another good thing about this movie is the soundtrack (Nice Segue). One of the first songs I heard reminded me of an old favorite from high school, Jon Spencer. It had been a while since I'd listened to them. The Eels and the Kinks are also featured.

I dont own the song from the movie so i couldnt post, but I have posted two songs from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion '94 album, Orange. I never have seen this group live but it seems like it would be out of control.

Give these songs a listen, you will either love it or hate it.

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Ditch mp3

Full Grown mp3

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Last Little Life - EP

One of my first posts ever was about the new Rentals EP coming out soon. Well, its been out for a few weeks now so thought I could touch on that a little more. The EP is only 4 songs, so it doesnt take long to get through. The first song (Last Romantic Day) is so, so and reminded me of where they left off....with Seven More Minutes (their second album), which is a little less synthesizer and a little more mature. Mature isnt always a good thing.
The second track "Little Bit of You in Everything" is much better (in my opinion) and reminds me of the first Rentals album that I know and love so much. However, I think my favorite song so far is "Life Without a Brain" (track 3) which also sounds like Return of the Rentals.
Not sure how much you can read into an EP which has 4 songs, but I like 2 of the 4 very much. Hopefully a full fledge album will be out soon.

Below is the video for "Waiting". Great song.
You may notice Maya Rudolph (from SNL) in this video. Hint-Green Sweater. She was briefly in the band as a keyboard player and vocalist.
Here is a new track from the EP and an older tune.
The old tune is the demo of "Waiting". It's a little rough but its still good.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Roy Rules!

I try to post music only topics but I just cant right now.
I know this is old but I came across it today and I love it. Its kind of like a music video I guess.

I hope you enjoyed.

Here is something Roy-like.

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Royksopp - Sparks mp3

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Could it be the album of the year? I'm not sure yet, but with only 5 months left in '07 it may be in consideration. Its been out for almost a month and I wasn't as pumped about the release as many long time fans were. I'm by no means a long time Spoon fan and didnt really get all the hype. I'm am now in the process of gathering their entire collection.

I was a fan of "The Underdog" on the new album (track 7) after the initial listen but the other songs just didnt jump out at me. Thats the Ipod hitmaker side of me to blame. Anyway, I finally listened to the entire album this weekend in honor of their Lollapalooza appearance (which I didnt make...btw Shane and Reuger I'm jealous) .

Back to "The Underdog" (track 7) this is very reminiscent of Sloan's "Everything you've done wrong" and maybe even a little Billy Joel-esque. Its got to be the horns on that song that do it for me. Great stuff. I also love the fact that this song is basically a Finger to the former label that dropped them years ago. Just a, nice reminder about how Elektra was more concerned with quick sales and big hits versus allowing the band to be creative and build their fan base.

The other songs I cant stop listening to are "You've got Yr. Cherry Bomb", "Don't you Evah", and "Finer Feelings". You've got Yr. Cherry Bomb also uses the horns ( I think there's even a damn Sax in there). This song has a Motown feel to it at times and I could'nt be happier.

"Don't you Evah" the following track starts with a great bassline followed by a lazy dangling, Sonic Youth-like guitar. Okay, enough with the name dropping.

Give the tracks below a listen if you'd like and start filling out your ballots for Best of '07. I'd like to see other nominees. Please share!

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Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
Spoon - Don't You Evah

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse plays in Kansas City tonight.
I'm excited. I haven't been to a concert in months and its been years since I've seen MM.

I do enjoy their latest album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank and look forward to seeing them play with live with the new addition, Johnny Marr. I still cant get believe hes part of the band, very cool.

However, I've decided to post some old tunes though....
here are a two oldies but goodies. The first is from Building Nothing Out of Something. The second is from This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing to Think About.
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Bear Colony

This album (We Came Here to Die) by Bear Colony, isnt new by any means. It actually came out February of this year. One of their songs came up on my Ipod while taking a jog last night. I was lacking motivation, I was tired, my stomach hurt and I just wasnt feeling it at all. I considered turning around and going home.

Here's where it gets cheesy. When their song came on it got me super excited, I think goose bumps were involved. The energy of the music (electro drum machine beats on top of guitar) really helped but the singer and lyrics seemed very inspired. After getting home I wanted to learn more about these guys..

Interesting story-

This (Arkansas based) band is the brainchild and heart of singer/songwriter Vince Griffin. Two years ago, this guy (Griffin) was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and stayed in bed for months. From what I've read about this disease, there isnt a cure or medical procedure in most cases. While he was in bed.....he and ten of his closest friends started writing this album. Wow! Oh yeah, the Crohns disease was mis-diagnoses. He's fine now.

I understand why it sounds so inspired now.

(Ew, goosebumps again with that closing line).

Seriously though....give these tracks a listen and go buy the album.

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Bear Colony - Sharks (MP3)
Bear Colony - Hospital Rooms Aren’t for Lovers (MP3)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My top five favorite all time songs (for today) & Scientology

Yesterday over lunch I was skimming through the Itunes music store. .
I noticed Jason Lee had a celebrity playlist and was interested to see what this guy likes. He seems like a cool guy, I mean c’mon he used to be a pro skateboarder and has been in some pretty good movies. I liked his playlist for the most part, I later looked on Wikipedia to get a little more Lee info. Holy Shit! Didn’t know Lee was a Scientologist. I’m always kind of let down when I find out people I like are Hubbardites. Ex: Jason Lee, Beck, Chaka Khan. Is that wrong?

Anyway, Lee’s celebrity list got me thinking about my favorite songs.
My hilarious Headline above explains it all. My favorite songs are always leapfrogging each other and sometimes changing. These changes are based on my age, seasonality, work schedule, personal life, and sometimes the newness of an album. Maybe all this changing makes me a bit shallow, but I don’t really care (insert laugh track).

Here are my top 5 right now (today) in no particular order.
Whos got some to share? C’mon just drop em don’t think about it.

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*The Sea and Cake - Up on Crutches
*George Harrison – Give Me Love
*Pavement - Range Life
*Radiohead - Optimistic
*Modest Mouse – Spitting Venom

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pavement vs. Weezer

Yes, the Headline is shocking but please read on.

Several weeks ago, a couple of friends and myself were discussing music/bands over a few drinks. One thing led to another and next thing you know we're discussing Weezer. I think it all started while a gentleman (hired help) in a bar was acoustically strumming Island in the Sun by Weezer (which, is on a not so stellar 2001 Green Album). Naturally, if Weezer comes up, mention of the Blue Album will soon follow. It did. I was the first to plead my case and say how great the Blue Album is and go on and on about what a great, great album it is and how every track is a winner. Then the question came up - "Well, is it better than Wowee Zowwee?" or maybe Pavement. I kind of felt uncomfortable discussing the two bands together (both kind of the same in some ways, but also so so very different).

Anyway, next thing you know Jim E and Jim V decide to put the two albums head to head. I always like a good music debate and I wanted to be involved at least to add some color if needed.

Quickly, a little background on both bands before we go any further.

Not that they need an introduction but Pavement is a legendary indie rock band from Stockton, CA and known by every skateboarding kid thats ever slid on a pair of vans. They formed in 1989 and continued through the late 90's. They are among one of the first rock bands of the current age to gain a moderately wide degree of success without the support of a major label. A very influential band throughout the late 90's and even today. Since the breakup, Stephen Malkmus solo efforts have been very well received. Personally, I love everything hes done since Pavement (sometimes even more than Pavement...there, i said it). Despite not having tons of commercial success, Pavement does have two albums in Rolling Stones, 500 greatest albums of all time.

You know who they are. A nerdy looking Rock band based out of LA. They formed in 1992 and are still intact today despite losing a few original member (one being Matt Sharp of The Rentals). Their first album commonly referred to as the Blue album received a lot of attention due to Undone (The Sweater Song) and Buddy Holly. Both videos produced by Spike Jonze. Also, this album was produced by Ric Ocasek. This album is rated 297 out of Rolling Stones, 500 greatest albums of all time.

So, back to the question "What's better, Blue Album or Wowee Zowee?"
When it first came up my first thought was to go with the under overall favorite of the two, I already decided in my head that it would be Wowee Zowee.

After listening to them both that next week I changed my mind.

Here is why-
Wowee Zowee has SOME great songs on it, and band versus band I will choose Pavement all day long! But, Wowee Zowee has 18 songs on it and I'd say a handful of them are not necessary at all (maybe should've put them on a B side). It seems like they decided to throw everything recorded onto this album and not waste the tape. I've read from other members they were smoking a lot of pot at the time and just thought everything was that good. Pavement is an amazing story, a lot of what I love about them was their attitude, and the fun in discovering the genius behind the distortion and high pitch Malkmus' screams.

As for the Blue Album, when this album came out (in '94)...I was 15. It was different than anything I was listening to at the time. It was post grunge, and not so deep or serious. It was bedroom rock at its finest. You listen to the album now and its still great. Every track is a winner in my ears. Yes, its more polished but I dont think you blame a band for that.

As I look back now, I feel Weezer carried a little of the same attitude as Pavement but it was more packaged and definitely more marketable.

So, as an album - I vote a band I vote Pavement.

What are your thoughts?

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Pavement - Father To a Sister of a Thought (MP3)
Pavement - Grounded (MP3)

Weezer - My Name is Jonas (MP3)

Weezer - Only In Dreams (MP3)

I need something. There it is, The Clientele

I havent listened to much of anything this week, just havent set aside any time to do so.

Although, yesterday on my drive home from work I came across The Clientele on my Ipod. Man, I like these guys. Its great pop music and every listen for me is a guaranteed smile. I've only listened to 2005 Strange Geometry and the most recent God Save The Clientele but both are very very good.

Heres how I'd describe them, breathy vocals, strumming 60's reverb guitar, pop beats, and complex string arrangements in the back ground. That description doesnt sound fun at all.
Really though give them a listen if you havent heard them before. I think anyone would like these guys, even my mom would.

Also, and dont let the fact that they have a song in the movie- The Lake House turn you off.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Love to Admire

Interpol's new album came out this Tuesday, I've been anticipating this one for a while. Some folks like 'em, some say they're Joy Division rip-offs. I dig it.

Yesterday, I had a chance to listen to the album in its entirety. So far, I like it. Its not a giant stretch from their last two albums but from my first couple of listens I will say its just as good as the first album. Their second effort Antics was okay but it just lacked the energy of the Turn on the Bright Lights. Of course, there are great songs on Antics but the album as a whole didnt do much for me.

Vocals on the new album sound better than ever (hell, I even like the album artwork better- see above). The pressure is off on this one, and it seems like they found their focus again. The final song is one worth mentioning and listening too. It sounds like an electric Mariachi guitar on top of a guy singing his heart out. Its a cool song and a great ending. Our Love to Admire sounds best when you listen all the way through. The flow from song to song is excellent.

Its ironic. I'm saying "Its one of those album to listen all the way through" and yet I post singles to download. Hopefully they're good representations of the album. Go buy it.

Right Click, Save Target as to download

Interpol- Rest My Chemistry MP3
Interpol- Scale MP3
Interpol- Lighthouse MP3

Monday, July 9, 2007

My thoughts on Sky Blue Sky

I've heard several people's thoughts on this album, I've read a few reviews and opinions are all over the board. Some look at this as a dissappoinment verus their previous work, some say its the best album the Eagles never made which I think is supposed to be a compliment. I personally dont like Eagles comparisons one bit.

Anyway, I was listening to this album this past Saturday night and realized I have a ginormous crush on it, I mean really strong feelings. I think I'm falling for it.
Let me rewind a few weeks back (insert rewinding tape sound effect here).

My initial listen i skipped through every track looking for something with a pulse, I thought it was boring. The second listen I had drank a few beers and was sitting on my front porch swing on a cool June night before a storm (I realize how completely picturesqe and lame that sounds) but this is when I started to get it. Then, over fathers day I drove to OKC for the weekend to visit my folks. I must've listened to this this album 3 times, I was hooked.....something about it seemed so happy, yet sad, and very fresh to me. Its definitely not a party album. I think this album grows on you the most if you're completely relaxed, by yourself, and just have some time to kill.

Maybe this album isnt as good as their previous work, I really dont know. Maybe its less experimantal, but I really dont think it was meant to be. I'd much rather have a laid-back, genuine, true album versus something forced, with no feeling. I think that would be a disappointment.
Right Click and Save Target as to Download

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Lets not forget about the French......

On the topic of Independence Day, (see last post) I thought it would be appropriate to give a shout out to the French. Many people regard the French as being rude or too proud, even folks who have never set foot in the country.

I think this. There are polite people and rude people. Different cultures behave differently, maybe French just keep to themselves a little more. Yes they're are a proud country and they should be. We're a proud country too. Yes, the French do expect visitors to try and speak their language. (that sounds very familiar)

My point is......we should always stay in good company with the French. They were good pals when were trying to become a country. Its partly because of France that we are a country today. They had a Navy, and they defeated the British at the Battle of Chesapeake. The British surrendered at the next battle (Yorktown) because of this.

Sorry about the silly rant. So, what the hell does this have to do with music?

Well, what better way for you to give our French friends a high five then by listening to some French artists. There is no better way.

On a sidenote, I looked and looked for a song by Gerard Depardieu but couldnt find anything. Instead I had to settle for Phoenix, Stereolab, and The French Kicks.
The French Kicks are in no way from France but they have French in their name and I really enjoy them. Besides, you can't give the French all the credit.

Give me some feedback. Did I come on to aggressive?

The French Kicks - So Far We Are

Monday, July 2, 2007

Fourth of July

Wednesday marks our country's 231st birthday.
I thought it would be fitting to share a few songs from Lawrence, KS based band Fourth of July. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I just found out about these guys last week. Maybe I'm not as cool as I used to be? Anywho, I've listened to the album "On the Plains" and I'm enjoying it very much. For me, it’s reminiscent of early or mid 90's indie rock (Built to Spill, and even Pavement at times).

The band consists of Brendan Hangauer (vocals, guitar), Patrick Hangauer (bass), Kelly Hangauer (keys, trumpet, vocals), Brian Costello (drums), Steve Swyers (guitar), and Adrianne Verhoeven (vocals) formerly of The Anniversary.

So go on, get your "4ofJ" celebration started right by giving these guys a listen.

Fourth of July - Long Gone MP3

Fourth of July - Be Careful MP3

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Celebration of OK Computer

This past week, a friend of mine has been sending out (via email) daily notes / observations about this timeless Radiohead album. In case its not on your calendar, this week marks the 10 year anniversary of the album (OK Computer). Each day, Jim Vranicar has written on a different topic, and he's done a nice job. He probably should've created a blog just on this topic Who knows, maybe he will?

Anyway, he's given me permission to post his daily words from the past week on here. Again, I didnt put this together but just copied what he produced. Jim, if you read this....nice work. I've been listening to the album all week.

Below is a Preface by the Author, Jim V.

"To celebrate the creation of this timeless
album, I will send out random quips about OK Computer over the next several

"I suggest you set aside some time to reacquaint yourself with OK
Computer. It’s as good today as it was the day it was

Monday 6/25/07 (Volume 1) Today’s topic - Reaction to OK Computer Prior to the Release:

  • When the album was first delivered to Capital Records, their first reaction to OK Computer was “commercial suicide.” “They made a prediction of how many copies they planned to sell before they heard the record. And then they heard it and cut the prediction in half,” Jonny Greenwood

Tuesday 6/26/07 (Volume II) Today’s topic - The OK Computer Recording Process & Vibe:

  • The first third of OK Computer was recorded in early 1996 in a converted apple shed near Didcot, Oxford shire. In September, they began recording the rest of the album at St. Catherine's Court, a historic mansion near Bath, England owned by actress Jane Seymour (Bond girl in "Live and Let Die" and lead role in "Dr Quinn-Medicine Woman").

  • The band thought the mansion was haunted. Thom Yorke said - "It was heaven and hell. Over the first two weeks, we basically recorded the whole album. The hell came after that. The house was... ...oppressive. It started making things difficult. It started doing things like turning the studio tape machines on and off, rewinding them." (Spin Magazine) "I swear there was a claustrophobic ghost in the house. There was fear everywhere, coming out of the walls and floors," said Ed Obrien. (The New York Times)

  • The band made use of the various different rooms and atmospheres throughout the house. Isolation from the outside world encouraged time to record at a different pace, making working hours more flexible and spontaneous.

  • When asked if sequencing the tracks was difficult, Thom Yorke said, "Difficult would be an understatement. I was going to sleep at 2am and getting up at 5 because I'd have a new sequence in my head. At one point or another, almost every track was thought of as a leadoff candidate. But in the end, Airbag

Wednesday 6/27/07 (Volume III) Today’s topic – The Concept Behind OK Computer:

  • About the Title: "We were in Japan prior to the recording of the album. On a promo trip in a record shop, this one kid shouted at the top of his voice 'OK COMPUTER!' really, really loud. Then he had 500 people chant it at once. It sounded amazing," Thom Yorke

  • About the Sound: 'Bitches Brew' by Miles Davis was the starting point of how things OK Computer would eventually turn out. "Bitches Brew has got this incredibly dense and terrifying sound to it. That's the type of sound that was in my head when we went into the recording studio," said Thom Yorke. What got to Yorke about Bitches Brew? "The first time I heard it I thought it was the most nauseating chaos. I felt sick listening to it. Then gradually something became incredibly beautiful about it. It has that sound of a huge empty space, like a cathedral. Like building something and watching it fall apart. That's what we were trying to do with OK Computer."

  • Radiohead have maintained that although the songs have common themes including speed, technology, modern life in the UK - any clear 'story' is unintentional and they do not deem OK Computer to be a concept album.

  • However, the band maintained that the album is meant to be heard as a whole. Ed O'Brien said, "The context of each song relative to the others is really important. It's not a concept album but there is a continuity there."

Thursday 6/28/07 (Volume IV) Today’s topic – The Acclaim:

  • Q Magazine's #1 Album of All Time (2003) "For all of Radiohead's growing pains...their aim--to take British pop to a heavenly new level--is true..."

  • Spin Magazine's #1 Album of the last 20 Years (2005): Spin's Chuck Klosterman: "OK Computer manages to sound how the future will feel. ... It's a mechanical album that always feels alive, even when its words are spoken by a robot."

  • Pitchfork Media's #1 Album of the '90's (2003): "OK Computer is like tossing David Bowie, old U2 and lots of Pink Floyd into a blender and pushing the 'kill' button. This is an album of unadulterated genius."

  • Time Magazine's #13 Album of All Time (2006): "OK Computer is a spooky, atmospheric, intense and paranoid rumination of modern life - the kind of thing that would be insufferable if it didn't float along on a procession of gorgeous melodies."

  • New Music Express' #16 Album of All Time (2003): "OK Computer is the album that establishes Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding guitar-rock bands of the '90s"

Friday 6/29/07 (Volume V) Today’s topic – JV's Final Thoughts:

  • Radiohead isn't easy.

    And they aren't for everybody.

    To really understand Radiohead, one must build a personal relationship with each of their albums. Each requires the commitment of time. Time to read the jacket cover to cover. Time to listen to the albums through headphones. Time to read interviews of what was going on in Thom Yorke's head when we put such challenging lyrics together.

    With the exception of perhaps their debut release Pablo Honey and maybe The Bends, Radiohead albums aren't very approachable. This is definitely true of their last four releases beginning with OK Computer and Kid A and Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief.

    Not a best friend can be found among the bunch.

    As I began to think of how I would wrap up this celebration of OK Computer, I was pretty dead set on raising some eyebrows by proclaiming that I'm not even sure OK Computer is their best album. I was ready to give rationale as to why The Bends, Kid A and maybe even Hail to the Thief might be better.

    But then I allowed myself to get real close to OK Computer again. Last night, with headphones on ears and CD jacket in hands I listened to OK Computer in its entirety.

    Oh my God.

    Upon completing this most personal of listening (something I haven't done with this album in several years), I again see why OK Computer continues to be critic's darling even 10 years after its release.

    But what I still can't figure out is how it became so popular with the masses. Relatively speaking anyway. It has sold over well over 2 million copies and sits on a pedestal among both rock critic's and fan's "best of's".

    Guitarist Ed O'Brien put it best when describing how popular this album became, "There's a lesson to be learned from this album's success. It underlines the fact that radio and record companies underestimate what the general public are capable of listening to. This is not above people's heads. We're people and we connect with it. And other people connect with it too."

    I honestly don't know how many of you truly give a rip about Radiohead or OK Computer. I'm sure you've rolled your eyes more than once as these emails came out. And that's okay.

    All I ask you to do is this. If you own OK Computer and can get your hands on either the CD jacket or a lyric sheet... ...listen to it in it's entirety sometime soon. And if you do, please send me a note and let me know what your reaction to it is now - 10 years later.

    (hey man slowdown. slow down. idiot slow down)

I agree with the final thought. I listened on and off all week but yesterday I listened to the complete album with no interruptions. What a great album to rediscover.

The Return of The Rentals....literally.

I read a few weeks ago The Rentals had been recording a new album but I didnt put too much thought into it, I'm not sure why. I just kind of figured it would unravel and be an unfinished project....(negative nancy).

Well, I was wrong. This morning, after my morning cofee I visited their website and found out an EP will be available August 14th but digital release sais June 26th on The new song "The Last Romantic Day" is streaming here

I enjoy this track. It starts off sounding a little David Byrnish and then seems to pick up where Seven More Minutes left off
This should give fans of The Rentals something to look forward to. Its been a while.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Time....

I'm going to attempt my blog career by discussing music, mainly indie. Thats vague but anything from Folk, pop, rock and the occaisanol punk band. Not sure how often but will do my best to drop an mp3 or two of a new band I'm listening to at that time with some insights or observations I've made.

Pretty crazy idea, right?