Secretly Canadian 2010
Every now and then I get into this mood where the “extended hook” is very pleasing to me. That’s one reason Teenage Fanclub gets me—they like to do this thing where they have one repeating chord progression at the end of a song that lasts for two minutes or more. This could be spawned out of pure laziness, but I couldn’t care less. Sometimes, it’s just what I need—one solidly repeating thing that sounds so cool, it could go on forever. This seems to be the modus operandi of Brooklyn’s dream pop darlings Here We Go Magic, and though they haven’t mastered it, they could be well on their way. Read the rest of this entry >>
In 2007, this Syracuse band put out one of that year’s most revered records, “The Rhumb Line”. I was an avid listener of that album, but only for a few of its songs—their “hit” “Dying Is Fine”, the anxious lament “Can You Tell”, the fiery opener “Ghost Under Rocks”, and the should-have-been dance hit “Too Too Too Fast”. I could never get myself into the rest of the album. The other songs don’t reach the bar set by these four stellar tunes, and that Kate Bush cover of “Suspended In Gaffa” just reeked of filler.
But, it seems the rest of the world creamed over Ra Ra Riot’s first album, which is fine—more power to a band who at least KIND of knows what they’re doing, I thought. However, I smelled trouble with the sophomore effort, “The Orchard”. Read the rest of this entry >>
TBD Records 2010
There are a lot of bands around right now diving head first into the carefree, fist-pumping pool of classic rock, usually while dressed in T-shirts of their favorite punk bands. But while most would simply tread water after such an endeavor, The Henry Clay People thrash around stubbornly, like ducks fighting over soggy bread crumbs.
If it’s difficult to discern whether this is an insult or a compliment, maybe that’s because I’m not sure either. Read the rest of this entry >>
Grandfather "Why I'd Try"
A really cool band from Brooklyn called Grandfather just finished recording their debut full-length, titled “Why I’d Try”, at Electrical Audio with none other than the man himself, Steve Albini.
Actually, I had him at #4 on my list of The Top Ten Record Makers of Today, but once you get into the top four, everyone is so close in skill and brainpower they can all contend with each other. One thing is for sure–Albini remains unmatched in his ability to transfer the sound of a band in a room to tape with hardly any disturbance whatsoever.
Knowing this about Albini, and that Grandfather’s lead vocalist is also their drummer, I’m really excited about possibly getting to see them perform one day. They have that progressive style that Albini champions and boast huge, dissonant guitars and a pummeling rhythm section. But, Grandfather also seem to know the meaning of a pop hook.
The band has self-released “Why I’d Try” on CD and limited edition vinyl. Fortunately, they are offering the entire album as a free download as well (with artwork and everything–classy!). All of this can be found right here at their website. Any fan of Albini, or just good rock music, should check it out immediately.
Neil Young has released nearly 50 albums in his 50+ year career. So obviously, he has to have a good amount of crap in his catalog. Last week, I counted down what are, in my humble opinion, The Top Ten Best Neil Young Albums. This week, I’ll have a little fun with one of my favorite songwriters and poke a little at some of his biggest missteps. Read the rest of this entry >>
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Tagged 9/11 anthems, Alan Jackson, Booker T and the MG's, cerebral palsy, Coke, Crazy Horse, Geffen Records, Neil Young, new wave, Pepsi, R.E.M., rockabilly, Star Wars, The Blue Notes, The Shocking Pinks, vocoder, Warner Bros.
The Man himself
Neil Young is one of my three favorite songwriters of all time. He represents a lot of different moods and mental states in my opinion, but the one overall quality I love about Young is his stubbornness–no, obsessiveness–to be nothing but himself and what he wants to be at that given moment. Granted, this can make for horrible as well as amazing moments. For now, I’m focusing on the amazing ones–here are the Top 10 Best Neil Young Albums. Read the rest of this entry >>
Canada’s Arcade Fire—one of the world’s most beloved modern rock bands—put out their new album “The Suburbs” today on Merge Records. After a few strategically released mp3 downloads to stir the pot a bit, the band’s third album—the follow-up to two of the most talked –about releases of last decade—should be able to accomplish what “Neon Bible” just missed, and debut comfortably at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. Read the rest of this entry >>
Caldo Verde 2010
It seems Mark Kozelek wants us to believe he just breathes all of his songs—that they are effortless, sporadic chunks of creative masturbation he can toss off whenever he so pleases. This may explain the stitched-together nature of Sun Kil Moon’s fourth album, “Admiral Fell Promises”, and the stone-eyed, monotone delivery of its weighty themes. It could also have something to do with the fact that every song is stripped down to the key ingredients of Kozelek’s work—his voice and guitar.
Downtown Records 2010
One Haven Music 2010
It seems Power Pop might actually be undergoing a sort of resurgence. WhatwhatWHAAAT? How can this be? I mean, for something to have a resurgence, it must have been popular in the past at some point, right? OK, so maybe a different word is necessary. However you describe it, those old Beatle-esque jangle-pop sounds are coming back into music again, and I like it! Well, most of it. Read the rest of this entry >>
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Tagged Downtown Records, Elizabeth "Z" Berg, Geffen Records, girl groups, Mark Ronson, One Haven Music, Panic! at the Disco, Pete Thoms, power pop, Tennesee THomas, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Hollies, The Like, The Pipettes, The Searchers, The Velvet Underground, The Young Veins, The Zombies, Tony Berg, Vivian Girls
Who says there are no more good music videos? Check out this hardcore Spanish rapper scantily dressed in KISS and fighting off the thugs that surround her ferrari. It is good to know that music all over the world sucks (and rules simultaneously) as much as it does at home. Seriously, this has to be one of the best videos I have seen in ages. It could stand alone on its artistic merit, but once the costumer came up with the KISS idea, platinum baby…Double Platinum.
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Tagged awesome, Bad Rodriguez, chick rappers, KISS, Mala Rodriguez, MTV, music video, No Apologies, No Pidas Perdón, rap, rapper, Spain, the dead girls