Tuesday, June 30, 2009
No need to worry about losing me to Hollywood...yet. Last week's episode of Hammertime on A&E was in fact about The MC Hammer/Vanilla Ice show in Provo. However, I was not featured on the show. (I watched it twice to make sure.)
It was weird, but cool to watch a filmed version of a show I saw in real life. (I don't remember it being as spectacular as the TV edits made it out to be.) Watch the full episode here. It's episode #3.
The Lemonheads - Varshons. Only interesting for established fans.
Iron & Wine - Around the Well. A b-sides record that's better than most A-sides.
So Many Dynamos - The Loud Wars. Emo boys meet prog.
Laura Gibson - For those who love trees and girl music.
The Dear Hunter - For those who love dungeons and dragons.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Um, I just sent an email to Snoop Dogg. He's coming to town on July 20 and IN was able to track down a press contact for me. Mr. Dogg is only doing email interviews. This is relieving because, though I'd love to have the experience of talking to him on the phone, I'm sure the anticipatin/stress of it would have killed me.
I had a bunch of things I wanted to ask him, however, I was instructed "please keep them related to the tour and avoid asking about his personal life (or they won’t get answered)." I was also told that, regardless of what I asked, he may not get back to me. So, we'll see, I guess.
A few of Paige's truths were shaken during our weekend trip to the ranch.
1. To protect his sensitive paws from the rough terrain, Jenny's dog was wearing "doggy shoes." Paige's response: Dogs don't wear shoes!!!
2. A sheep herder was driving his fourwheeler around with his sheep dog standing on the back rack. Again Paige exclaimed: Dogs don't ride motorcycles!!!
3. She also learned that while keyboards are generally awesome, it's not cool when your little brother smacks you in the eye with one. In my mind I heard her say: Keyboards don't double as attack weapons!!!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
On the opening track of their fourth album, French quartet Phoenix name-drops 19th-century composers like it's hot. Hey, whatever gets the party started, right? The record begins like an open invitation to the indie dance floor. "1901" has all the jangly guitars and fuzzy synths and "Fences" has the requisite disco beats and falsetto vocals.
However, the album is not just about booty shakers. "Love Like a Sweet Sunset Part I" is a slow-building instrumental shoe gazer and its sequel, "Part II," adds soft, lyrical melody and Thomas Mars' hopeful tenor.
The rest of the tracks throw in a bit of everything -- swelling orchestral grandeur, driving bass lines, and bright vocals. Over the album's 10 tracks, the band never misses a beat. This is easily one of the most enjoyable releases of the first half of 2009.
Stream Most of the the Album Here
For fans of: Rooney, Air
Rating: 3.5 of 4
Saturday, June 13, 2009
It's my fault that Paige walks around singing "Around the world, around the wor-uld, around the world, around the..."
I'm guessing Traci is the reason Paige rides her trike down the street, and--before she turns back around--pulls her books out of the little basket on the handlebars and reads for a while.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Speaking of censorship, Paige would probably be upset if she knew I wasn't sharing the new Matt & Kim video with her. I'm withholding it for two reasons:
1. The fact that the whole video is Matt & Kim walking naked through Manhattan.
2. Kim is so dang muscle-y.
I can barely handle watching the video myself due to reason #2. But if you decide to check it out, stick around for the ending.
I did put "Lessons Learned" on Paige's last mixtape, so she's happy enough.
I'm now in the business of making mixtapes for Paige. One of them features an edited version of "Hollaback Girl." I've noticed Paige was getting better and repeating lyrics when I heard her singing "The shhh is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S." No more "Hollaback" for three-year-olds.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
311 - Uplifter
Eels - Hombre Lobo
Taking Back Sunday - New Again
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
The War on Drugs - Wagonwheel Blues
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity Live
Telekinesis - Telekinesis!
Ben Harper & Relentless7 - White Lies for Dark Times
The Aggrolites - IV
The Rentals - Chapter 1: The Story of a Thousand Seasons Past
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
Prototypes and Painkillers
So Cal punks Strung Out give fans much more than just the odds-and-ends on this compilation disc. In addition to old demos and cover songs, “Prototypes and Painkillers” makes a home for 17 year’s worth of material that has ended up on various split 7 inches, Fat Wreck Chords samplers, and limited edition CDs.
Had the band been a bit more discriminate in their 25 song track listing, they easily could have put out a 12-song album to rival any of their studio releases. As it stands, the record has plenty of polished moments, while still showing just how far the band has come since their early days.
“Protypes” also shows how many great songs the band wrote in the early 2000’s. Standout tracks “Don’t Look Back,” “Your Worst Mistake,”and “Lost Motel” all came from the “An American Paradox” sessions. The album also features a very impressive acoustic reworking of “Velvet Alley” from “Paradox.”
Though is album is intended for long-time fans, there’s plenty for those Strung Out newcomers to get excited about.
Strung Out - Lost Motel
For fans of: 10 Foot Pole, Guttermouth
Rating: 3.5 of 4
Now We Can See
What’s awesome about the Thermals? Oh, so much. Hutch Harris’s deadpan vocal delivery and pounded power chords. Kathy Foster’s 1-2-3-4 drums and cool synth lines. And most of all, the band’s youthful irreverence.
What’s wrong with “Now We Can See?” The passion seems to be missing. Though the songs are pretty good, they are devoid of the righteous rebellion that makes The Thermals so great. That’s not to say this album is a throwaway. “I Let it Go” and “Now We Can See” are great, catchy tunes. “When We Were Alive” is a fuzzed-out punk rock gem and “When I Was Afraid” is perfectly moody.
Harris’s lyrics also continue to impress. One of the highlights comes on “When I Died,” when he sings “The earth was too hot/The air was too thin/I took off my clothes/I took off my skin/I crawled to the sea/That was calling for me.”
But much like tracks “At the Bottom of the Sea” and “Liquid In, Liquid,” the album struggles under a heavy weight of resignation. Let’s hope these 30-year-olds get over their musical midlife crisis.
The Thermals - I Let it Go
For fans of: The Hold Steady, Against Me!
Rating: 3 of 4
I like NOFX for the same reason I get sucked into CSI:Miami—even if you only check in once every couple of years, the story still makes sense. You get an hour of entertainment and then you’re free to get on with your day.
With their 13th studio album, the band also celebrates their 25-year anniversary (and encourages fans to use their CDs as coasters). This NOFX episode is all about singer Fat Mike’s raging alcoholism and drug abuse. Fortunately, these addictions haven’t dulled his razor-sharp wit. He jokes about going to the bar at 6:00 a.m. (“First Call”), forgetting all the good times (“I AM an Alcoholic”), and asking Tegan or Sara (he’s not sure which) where he can score pills (“Creeping Out Sara”).
The rest of record contains standard NOFX fare—hating corporate America (“We Called It America,” “Suits and Ladders”) and Jesus (“Blasphemy,” “Best God in Show”). There is, however, a rare moment of sincerity (“My Orphan Years”) when Fat Mike laments the passing of his parents.
After 25 years, NOFX are enjoying the best of both punk rock worlds—musically they’re tighter than ever and socially they still act like 15-year-olds. Here’s to another quarter century!
NOFX - Creeping Out Sara
For fans of: Lagwagon, Pennywise
Rating: 3.5 of 4