Friday, April 11, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 13

The Ar-Kaics will have two new 7” records released this month. One on Steady Sounds Records. The songs Make It Mine, the A-side, and Movin On. The other on Hidden Volume Records. The songs Sick and Tired, The A-side, and Cut Me Down. They are also working on finalizing the details, artwork and such, for their full length album on Windian Records. There is also still slated another 7” on Windian Records. So much music that they are putting out. I am very excited for them.

Insound Has a special Death Bundle featuring their first album the new album, yet to be released, and a compilation album for just under 50 bucks after shipping.

The Silversun Pickups are making an apperance on Video Game High School next season. One of my favorite internet shows and one of my favorite bands, exciting.

Don't forget, Record Store Day 2014 (RSD 2014) is next weekend. Lots of very cool releases coming out next Saturday. I will be at my favorite record store early to get everything I want.

Here we go...

This album was released this past Tuesday (4/8/2014) officially. This is the groups sixth album not including the remix albums. The deluxe version comes with a copy of the Evil Voices EP. It has a gloss and foil cover sleeve. This version was also only pressed to 500 copies. I have been into this group since I first heard the single I Disappear from the album Wet From Birth. I still need to get the back catalog though. The album has the sound from the band that I have come to expect but seems to come off a little bit lighter. The album doesn’t seem to have that mind blowing single that Wet From Birth did or Faciinatiion did. That doesn’t make it any less of a great electronic rock album though.

Evil Voices is a vinyl only tour EP that was originally only pressed to 1000 copies. The EP was also included in the deluxe version of the Doom Abuse album. The EP is only four tracks long and two of the tracks are included on the Doom Abuse album.

Evil Voices is the first track on the EP and exists on the new album so I am calling it the first single from the album. It is the song that packs the most punch on the album with a super cool sawtooth synth bass open. The song kicks in after that and just keeps going. The chorus packs that same bass synth sound that just kicks my butt. This is probably my favorite song on the album. I also like the break down and the bass synth solo part with the high pitched noises that are created.

Unseen Hand being the other track that is included on the EP and on the album, I would consider to be the second single from the album. It is a fun poppy track that comes off a little lighter than Evil voices. It doesn’t really do much for me because I expect more heavy rock than a pop track with sci-fi tendencies. I could get use to this type of a track from them though.

The third single is called Help In The Head. This is the first album only track that the band has put out as a single. I kind of like this track, it has the hard rock feel that I like from the band. It also combines that pop feel that I like. The song also talks, as you can get from the title of the track, needing doctoral help for the psycho problems in ones head. it is an interesting way to say that you need a shrink or worse.

At first I wasn’t sure about this album but it is starting to grow on me. I would recommend this album along with anything from their back catalog to anyone who is looking for something new in the world of heavy metal or electronic.

This is a remix EP released back in February on Cold Spring records. It was released after the members of Coil had passed away. The EP features five remixes of four songs, two versions of Eraser. These remixes are pre-laptop generation. This release has been a long time in coming. Fans new of their existence but they were never released. I always thought that I had the track that was used in the movie Seven but apparently the version on this EP was the version. There is a colored vinyl version of this record but I was too late to get a copy. It was sold out by the time I had the money to get a copy. I also just got my copy in the mail this week, so there must have been a pressing problem for me to not have gotten the vinyl copy until now. The digital version has only four tracks but the CD and vinyl have five tracks. That extra track is called Eraser (Baby Alarm Remix). All five of the tracks are stripped down versions of the original with very cool atmospheric sounds in the back ground. It is exactly what I would have expected as I have many different remixes from the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) back catalog.

The first track, Gave Up (Open My Eyes), is the only track that really has a good beat to it. It is really unexpected for me as I would have expected that all of the songs would have a stripped down slower beat feel. I guess it starts on a high note and comes down from there.

The second track, Closer (Unrecalled), was supposed to be the version used in the movie Seven. I always thought that it was Closer(Precursor) but I guess I am wrong. Neither version was ever included on the soundtrack for the movie Seven but the song can be heard in the credits and in another part of the movie, I can’t remember where though.

The other tracks are good and remind me of when I listened to The Downward Spiral during the year after it was released but it is primarily nostalgic for me. The music isn’t new enough to take me somewhere else. They are remixes from back in the day so I wouldn’t really expect a mind blowing experience.

This is the seventh album from The B-52s. This album was released in spring of 2008. I gave this album a miss for a long time. I finally broke down and got a used copy for cheap. It had been 16 years between the release of this album and the previous album, Good Stuff. I have always liked the music that they have created and still can’t figure out why I didn’t get this one. I guess that the music just didn’t fall on my radar. I had heard the first single but maybe at the time was not impressed.

The first single from the album is called Funplex and is the title track. The song is about shopping at the mall really. It has a great poppy sound that I really like. I can’t figure out what it was that I didn’t like about this song. It hat the guitar sound that I have come to love about the group and the fun vocals from all three members. I don’t get what I didn’t like other than I am not a teen ager anymore. It is still a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by all ages.

The second single is called Juliet of The Spirits. This song is a bit slower and has a nice plunking bass line with drums that push the song along. The song reminds me of something that could have come from the 80s but with current sensibilities. It is a good song but not a great song.

The album is a log of pop fun and if you like what the group has done in the past you should like this album too. 

This is a 10” single released from Blackest Ever Black records. It was released in January of this year and is limited to 500 pressings. The tracks are considered to be Ambient and or experimental. I got this EP as a freebie because the owner of the record company never sent out the Weekend record that I reviewed last week. As an apology they included this record. As it turns out this is a very interesting couple of songs. I probably never would have bought them on my own but I really like the first track.

The A side is a song called Thus They Sang In The GoldenAge. There is a lot of echo on the lead part which sounds similar to a saw being played but with heavy echo processing. There are other back ground sounds going on to help progress the song but it is a no frills ambient track.

The B side is a bit more jarring. This one is called Up ToThe Skies. The lead part is a saxophone playing a trill and a heavily echo processed one note. There are also some backing saxophone parts but this is all that is on the song, Saxophone and echo processing.

Note: who ever uploaded these two tracks got the track names backwards.
I am thinking about doing a double post the week with RSD 2014. That is all I have for now...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 12

Slumberland Records has announced that they will be releasing the first single from the new Pains of Being Pure At Heart album. I jumped off my seat with excitement after hearing this news.

The Wizard Of Oz will have a soundtrack pressing for Record Store Day in emerald green vinyl. It is an interesting release.

Here we go...

This is a greatest hits album from the group. It was released on the 25th of March. It features an unreleased track as the lead of song on the album. The last three tracks on the album are the rare Attic Demos. The album comprises a total of 19 tracks; because of this the album is a bit too long for me. The album also comes with a DVD of various video footage of the band.

The previously unreleased track, Fake Your Death, is not my favorite by any means. It doesn’t have the sound that has made them popular at all. It is just too grand and arena rock style for me. It is like they were going for something that was bigger than they actually were. Maybe this is a part of the problem with the group and why they broke up. They were getting too big for their britches. Either way the rest of the album is a great walk through all their big hits.

This single was supposed to be a part of last weeks singles post but didn’t arrive in time to get it on the post. This is also a picture disc that has the same type of graphic as the Future Foe Scenarios 7” single. This one is not limited by number though. It was only released in the UK though. The song was released as a single nearly a year after the album it comes from was released.

The song Well Thought Out Twinkles is probably one of my favorites from the group. The song is filled with controlled distortion. It is a very fast track that I can listen to over and over again. All I can really say about this song is listen to it and you will probably agree that it is one of the best underground hits ever.

The B-side is a slower song called Mercury. This is another track that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. it is a good slow song but doesn’t keep my interest. The drums are simple, the bass is repeating and there really isn’t a hook in the song that keeps my interest.

I cant say that this single is a necessary item to get. The album that the song comes from, Carnavas is more worth your time.

Black Hearted Brother have a new digital only EP out as of the first of April.
I actually preordered this EP from Amazon. This is the first time I had ever preordered a digital anything ever. I felt kind of dumb preordering a digital album because it is not like they will be out of a digital product ever. This leads me to what I wish would have happened. I wish they would have released this EP at least on CD so I could have had a physical copy, even if it was on CDr.

Anyway, the EP features an edited version of Got Your Love from the album The Stars Are Our Home.

It also features a non-album track called Don’t Take The Weight. It is a slower track that keeps with the theme of the album with the synth sounds and drum hits. The tone of the vocals fits very well with the music. It actually reminds me of the way that Damon Albarn sings on the slower Blur tracks. It is very relaxing and the sounds that swirl around the vocals are dizzying and intoxicating.

The last two tracks are remixes of Got Your Love and are very long. The first of the two remixes, Ricardo Tobar remix, has a lot of noise and becomes distracting and hard to listen to, not my favorite. The second of these two remixes, Ultramarine remix, comes off as somehow more of a shoegaze sound than the original. It is pure genius. The vocals have a spacious echo on them that sounds like your taking a walk through a heavy mist in the forest. The echo on the drum sound adds to the feel. The piano part rings out clear as day and gives me the feel that the sun is about to come out and burn back the mist. I really like this remix and hope that there will be more from black hearted brother in the future. It is hard to say as the members have their hands in so many other pots.

As I have found out after getting this album, this is not the band named Weekend that Slumberland Records have been supporting. Instead this is a band called Weekend that originally released music in the early 80’s. I will admit that I was suspicious that Slumberland’s Weekend had even been together in 81’. I had not found anything on Discogs about this release until after I got it in the mail. Once I had gotten the album and listened to it I was very happy. The music has a light sound that is reminiscent of today’s indie music. I guess what is old is new again. This is the first time that these select songs have been released on vinyl. This set of songs has been previously been released on CD and had also been tacked on to a reissue of the groups first album, La Varieté.

The first track on the album is called Drumbeat. The lyrics don’t come in until the last half of the song and are vary sparse. They are very pretty though and are like a light snow on a frozen landscape. The music is also sparse, the drums are electronic but the guitar is smooth and sexy.

The second track, Red Plaines, reminds me of the tiki music that was popular back in the day. There are no lyrics to this song and this actually works to some extent. The riff is repeated a bit too often for me. It is a good song but I wish it was a bit shorter.

The third track is called Nostalgia. This track has a similar feel as the previous track except it has lyrics. The vocals are very pretty again with this track. I also like the muted guitar part. This song fits a style that I really like.

The last track is called Summerdays (Instrumental). This track is very long and if you have no interest in music that runs into and loops over itself this may not be the track for you. This nine minutes of smooth music that works very well for me. The vocals only add to the song but I could just as easily due without them.

All in all, this demo album is very nice. If you’re into 80s or current independent music this may be the album for you.

With the announcement of a new album from The Black Keys, a new single has been released called Fever. You can get an instant download with the preorder from The Black Keys web page. The song is fun and takes the group in a new direction. The first time I heard the song I was a bit hurt because it was not the sound that I was expecting from them. On further listens I have opened up to the idea that they can branch out into different avenues of old school blues music and use keyboards in a star roll for example. The song lets the bass take the lead for the most part on this track too. I think that Danger Mouse taking the producer position helps to advance this group in those new ways again. I am very excited to get my hands on this album when it is released!

That is all for now...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 11

The Black Keys have also put out the first single in support of the new album. It is called Fever and may see a spot on next weeks post.

Other than that there is not much new news that I have felt was noteworthy since the last post a few days ago.

I have gotten in the new album from The Faint two weeks early though. Excited to hear it, just got it in literally today. Thanks to Insound for that one.

Here we go...

This is one of two EPs released last year. It was originally released on Melters Records. It has recently been re-relased through Slumberland Records. Slumberland has released this on Cassette and on translucent red vinyl. I think that the cassette is translucent red too but I can’t pinpoint any text stating this. What I do know is that there will be a full length album out on slumberland later this year. This EP is super short clocking in at just over 12 minutes long. I am still not sure if this is punk genius or complete laziness in music history.

The shortest song on the album is the lead off track, Nowhere To Go. It is a whole 48 seconds and totally reminds me of a snip-it from a Weezer track. I think this is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

The second track is called Change My Ways. This also has a lick of the Weezer sound. in the guitars. It is a longer song but not by much. The vocals are multi-tracked giving the vocals more presence.

The sixth track, Sick Ass Riff, is another short track but you get a nice acoustic solo part that is completely unexpected considering everything has been distorted guitars up to this point. It is a nice quick break from the distortion.

The Way Things Are follows in the multi-tracked distorted guitar theme that seems to run through the EP. The guitar solo on the track is truly brilliant. I think that I can pick out three separate guitar parts but there could be more that that.

The last song that I want to mention is another acoustic track called Wondering Boy Poet. My favorite lyrics are when he sings, “This is not reality, this is just formality.” It reminds me of my job that pays the bills. It is another short track at 47 seconds but the lyrics are genius and the acoustic guitar is a welcome change.

If you like punk and 90s alt music this is the best combination of both styles of music that I have ever heard.

This is the second album from Withered Hand. It has been released through Slumberland Records in the US and Fortuna Pop! in EU. The EU limited version is gold metallic vinyl, like the 7” single that was released, in a gatefold black sleeve. The US limited version was pressed on gold and black splattered vinyl with a chip board sleeve. Slumberland offered a special bundle that included the first album from Withered Hand, Good News. Since I still have yet to hear anything from Absolutely Kosher Records, the company that put out Good News on vinyl in the US, I decided to get the bundle from Slumberland Records. I still can’t express how annoyed I am with Absolutely Kosher Records that I still haven’t heard anything from them since November of 2013. When I first heard that this album was going to be released last year and heard a couple of songs from the album I was really excited. I was so excited in fact that I researched the group and got a few singles from them.

The first single released from this album is called BlackTambourine. It features Pam Berry of seminal 90's US noise-pop band Black Tambourine on the track Black Tambourine. The song is sweet and fragile at the same time. The electric guitar is clean and clear with the acoustic just underneath supporting the electric guitar. The electric guitar solo on the other hand is distorted but fun and short. The vocals work so well but come off a bit sappy.

The second single from the album is called Horseshoe. I had this to say about this song recently in Vol. 5 Episode 8, “It is mainly an acoustic based track with organ and piano floating in the back ground. The drums come off very big sounding and take over most of the track. The drums are simple but big. There is also electric guitar but it is kept simple to focus on the vocals. The vocals are the star of the show next to the big drum sound. It is a good song that I can get use to hearing quite frequently.”

The song Heart Heart was previously released as its own 7” EP in 2012. I talked about this one in Vol. 4 Episode 50, “It is a great crowd chanter if the crowd is smart enough to catch when to yell the words as it is done musically by every other word not by full phrase. The song is a lot of fun.” The version on the record is a little different though. This new mix has the piano part further forward on the mix. I am not sure if I would like this version more had I not already heard the previous mix.

This is a really great album. It does get sappy in some parts but for the most part it is a happy loving album. I just hope that the group comes to my home town so I can see them play live.

This is the first full length album from Nothing. It was released early in 2014. Previous to this album they had released three EPs one of which was on cassette. I found out about the group from one of my favorite bands, Whirr. The album was released through Relapse Records. The vinyl version of the record was released in many different colors; black, white, half black/white and clear. The clear version is the most limited version and the black and white version was for the deluxe package. I had no idea what the band was going to be like so I opted for the standard black version. I think that the group are a great band for noise rock but not exactly the best. It is very hard to match the likes of My Bloody Valentine for example. But, for the new crop of Shoegaze music that has come about in recent years they sound very good. The first few times that I listened to this album I listened at quieter volumes. The last time I listened to the album I turned up the volume a bit and found the music to be somehow better. I am not sure if it is that I have gotten to know the music and then to have the volume louder somehow engages me more or if it is something else within me that I can’t describe.

There are no official singles from the album. This seems to happen with Indie groups. It is like they know that there will be no radio play so why bother putting something out as a single. There are some great songs on the album though. One of my favorites is called Get Well. The vocals are what make this song for me. The music is just a hard rock song but the male whispered vocals make the song stand out as something to listen to. It is just perfect.

I also like the slow song on the album, Guilty Of Everything, for the clean guitars and the continued breathy vocals. The music for the song reminds me of the song Under The Bridge from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think that it is the drums that lead me that way. The song changes direction a bit when the full band plays during the chorus. It really just gets louder during the chorus though.

The third track that I really like is called Beat Around TheBush.  This is also a slower song but the distortion on the guitar is near perfection. It has that alternating current feel to it. The vocals also continue with that breathy style that seems to run through the whole album. This is a consistent sound through the album keeping the group grounded even though I call the vocals airy they have also got this earthy quality about them. I guess you could call the vocals airy but swirling with lose dirt, like a dust bowl.

Anyway, this is a great album that I have enjoyed listening to over the past few weeks. I waited so long to write about this one because I wanted to be sure that it was something that I liked. So, it kind of grew on me.

That is all I have for now...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 10

It has just been announced that The Black Keys will be releasing a new album called Turn Blue on May 13 of 2014. They have also just released the first digital single called Fever. The cover is a very dizzying blue and purple swirl. You can preorder it at The Black Keys web page with or without a T-shirt. It is produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys so it should be a very good album. 

Sea Wolf is still working on an acoustic tour. He will be in my home town on April 27th but Tickets are not yet on sale and it is on the Sunday night after my vacation. I may not be able to go because of this. I also don't know how much the tickets will be yet either.

Here we go...

This is a single released in support of Carnavas in 2006. It is a picture disc. I am not a fan of picture discs usually because this style of record manufacturing has inherent noise. This is because the picture is paper and the vinyl is pressed over that. The vinyl that is on top of the paper is very thin and has the potential to have the grooves go down to the paper. The only reason to do a picture disc, it’s pretty. This single is limited edition of, possibly, 1000 pieces. It was released in the UK only. It comes in a clear plastic sleeve with a sticker. The white bar on the sticker has the number of the order that the record was pressed in. There are four digits, leading people to believe that there may be a total of 1000 pressed.

The A-side is Future Foe Scenarios. The song has a lot of guitar noise. Underneath all the noise is a great melody. I think that this is what attracted me the most to the group. I like noise and I like a good melody. The vocals are also very interesting. it has been said that they are big fans of The Smashing Pumpkins and try to emulate them as much as possible. I think this is the case with the vocals as they are on the higher side of the male vocal range. This is the same with all of their songs. I don’t have a problem with this either.

The B-side is called Table Scraps. The song is a slower song than the A-side of the single and doesn’t have the same noise either. The only thing that is noisy on this track is the bass guitar; it has a distortion pedal on it. Every other instrument is clean sounding. I cant say that it is a pretty song but it is interesting still.

This is a promo single released with the last album, Neck of The Woods. It was given away at retailers selling the album or with an online purchase at the Silversun Pickups web store. Some retailers had overstock on the single. The copy that I got has some bad record noise. I did my best to clear it up on the computer when I recorded it but I can still hear it. I don’t know if this is the case with all copies of the record though. The copy that I got was also housed in a clear plastic sleeve. I was very discapointed that it was also packing tape sealed. When I opened it, it left a sticky residue that I had to get off, very annoying.

The A-side is the single as it appears on the album. I had this to say about the song in Vol. 3 Episode 18, “The song starts out with a simple two chord flow that turns into a four chord run. It is really cool but doesn’t sound like the group until the chorus hits. I like when a group tries new things just not so new that the group alienates its fans. This single is perfect and will make fans very happy. At least it makes me very happy any way.”

The B-side is a remix of Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) remixedby Math Bishop. This version has electronic drums giving the song a more danceable feel. The bass guitar has been replace by a synth bass sound that is more bouncy. There has also been added a high pitched plinking sound that seems to fit the song well. There is also a background soaring synth that has become common in pop music but still fits well in the music.

This is not a necessary single unless you’re a collector. I do recommend hearing the remix if you can find it though. It is very good.

This is a CD promo single for Substitution. It was released in 2009 in the UK. The copy that I have has a sticker on the front with promo information about the album and the single. This is the only version of this song put out as a single. This is a very good song so it is a little bit disappointing that it didn’t get a regular release.

The A-side track is the album version of the song. It has a nice flow and a good riff. The vocals blend so well with the music. The song just gives me that warm feeling. The music is very simple but complex at the same time. This is one of their best songs from that album and that is why I got the single.

The B-side track is the instrumental version of the song. There are no vocals at all. Listening to this version just shows how perfect the music for the song is. I could listen to this on repeat over and over.

This is a compilation CD EP that was released in Japan. It was released in late 2013 and compiles the B-side tracks from the four main singles from the new album Sun Structures. By getting this EP I have probably saved myself a few hundred dollars trying to track down the vinyl singles.

The title track, Shelter Song, is the first song that they released way back in 2012. This is the song that introduced me to the group. It is very beatlesesque sounding. I really like the pairing of the distorted guitar with the clean jangle sound of the second guitar. I really like the music that this group has put out and am glad that there was a B-sides collection available, even if it was only released in Japan.

The second track, Prisms, was originally the B-side for the title track. It is a pretty song that makes use of the flute in the song. The song overall is very fluffy and uses vocal harmonies making the song so easy to listen to. Not my favorite song on the EP but still very pretty.

The third song is called Colors To Life. This is a track that is already on the new album. I think this track was included because it was going to be a single or just to introduce people to their music. It is still good music so it doesn’t really matter to me.

The fourth track is called Ankh. It is the B-side to Colors To Life. This track has a fun almost electronic bouncy drum track. The song also has an over the top synth sound that actually reminds me of something that Faith No More would have used in a song. It is almost like a circus sound but not quite.

The last track is called Jewel of Mine Eye. This track is the B-side to Keep In The Dark. The song isn’t as fun as the other couple of B-sides. It is just kind of bla. It has a good marching beat but that is really all that I like about it.

If you are into the group this is the cheapest way to get the B-sides from the singles that have been released.

Simple and Sure is the first single for the new album. The music for the song is happier than the music that has been released from the group in the past. It is for sure more pop and I think that is what Kip is aiming for. The specific parts are more bright and different as his backing band line up has changed since the last two albums. I look forward to hearing the rest of the album and seeing them in concert.

Coming up is some new music from Slumberland Records and a good shoegaze group recommended by the band Whirr. That is all for now...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 9

As of the 20th of March the list for Record StoreDay 2014 (RSD 2014) has been released. It is 13 pages long this year and seems to be filled with a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t buy. There are always a few gems that I do want and will easily spend some money to get them.

The preorder is up at Insound for the new album from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart called Days of Abandon. There are 500 copies on bone white vinyl if your into that kind of thing.

There is also a preorder up at Insound for the new album from The Faint called Doom Abuse. There are both deluxe and standard editions. The standard edition will cost a few more bucks though.

here we go...

This was the first album released from US3. It was released in late 1993. The album was focused on a lot during this time because of the use of live jazz musicians and the use of samples from Blue Note jazz records. It was unusual during this time to have live musicians playing on a rap record. This was because it was so much cheaper to just use samples. Because of these unique sounds that the group was able to create it grabbed not only my attention as a teenager who played jazz for the school but a large part of the world.

There were three singles released from this album. The first is called I Got It Goin On. This song has a fun funky bass groove that the trumpets follow on the solo bits. I am not usually a fan of organ parts but when the organ plays with this song it seems to work well. It is a rap song and the back ground music gets repetitive after the first couple minutes. This means that they need to keep me interested with the lyrics and it takes a lot to get that to happen.

The next single is the big hit, Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). The most famous sample used from the album was on the hit single Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). The sample used was from the song Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock. There is something special about this sample as it keeps me interested all the way through the song. They don’t use the exact same part of the sample over and over and this helps the song in a major way. The sample stabs that are used remind me of bits that were used from the late 80s adding to my interest as that was when I was introduced to rap music. All these things combined to make one major hit in my music background. The vocals don’t really mean much to me but there are points where I catch a few words as I fade focus back and fourth from the music to the lyrics. All said, a very great song.

The third single from the album is called Eleven Long Years. The song has a good beat but loses me completely with the lyrics as it is partially in a different language and partially sung with a heavy accent reminding me of Bob Marley or something similar. The music, on the other hand is genius. The trumpet solo is completely awesome. I could have just had the music with the trumpet playing over the whole thing as the trumpet sound is near perfect, so much style.

This is not really a necessary album but Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) is something that you should listen to at least once.

This is the sixth album from Gloria Gaynor. It was originally released in 1978.  The copy that I ended up with is the re-release that has the hit single, I Will Survive, at the longer version of eight plus minutes. The first release of this album originally had the song at about four and a half minutes. The longer 12” single version replaced the shorter version after the song became a big hit.

There were three songs released from this album as singles. The first single released from the album was the cover song called Substitute. The song is a typical disco track that heavily uses layered instruments ranging from strings to conga. The lyrics talk about stepping in for someone’s lover if they are away for a period. It is a fun song and shows what was in store for fans of disco from Gloria.

The second single, I Will Survive, is the big hit. Wikipedia has this to say about the song, “The song's lyrics describe the narrator's discovery of personal strength following an initially devastating breakup, delivered with increasing confidence and backed by a stirring instrumental accompaniment. It is one of the most famous disco songs of all time and remains Gaynor's biggest hit…The song is also frequently recalled as a symbol of female strength and as a gay anthem [more reciently].” The song was originally released as the B-side to Substitute. DJs started flipping over the single and playing that.

The third single from the album is called Anybody Wanna Party. This song was a hit on the dance charts but didn’t really go anywhere in any of the other charts. This song is good but doesn’t seem to have that groove that pulls at my heart.

Over all the album is very good if you’re into disco music. If you haven’t heard I Will Survive you should. The song is very important in music culture.

This is the soundtrack for the movie Spaceballs. This album was released to coincide with the movie. It features songs used in the movie along with three tracks from the score for the movie. The album was released in 1987. I finely, after saying to myself I want that album so often, bought the album. It was not the movie that put the desire to get this album in my head. It was because my sister, who was a dancer for many years in our public school days, did a lyrical dance to The Spinners song Spaceballs from the album. It is such a great song and will always remind me of not only traveling to competitions to support her but hearing the same song over and over as she practiced the dances over and over in the basement of the house.

I can’t find anything stating what songs were put out as singles but I think that the song from The Spinners was released as a 7”. I would consider that to be a single for sure. The song is a great dance track that I have gotten to know very well. It is perfect 87’ pop/dance. It doesn’t really stand up to today’s music as the song is heavily laden with synth sounds of the time but I have lived with it for so long that the song has found a place in my heart and I couldn’t live with out it.
That's all I have for this week. It may be a double post next week though, a singles post and a regular post...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 8

SXSW has been happening this past week and there are some very cool indie bands that are being showcased (Withered Hand, Tony Molina and The Pains) as well as some mega stars that should not be showcased (Lady Ga Ga). I am unable to attend but Anthony Fantano was able to go this year and had a sit down at one point with The Pains (A little bit jealous).

K Records will have a special compilation released for Record Store Day. Some very cool bands are going to be on that pink vinyl release.

Here we go...

This is the first album from Darkside. It was released in the fall of October, 2013. The music style has been called electronic downtempo. The album was recorded over the course of two years between Jaar's home in New York City, Harrington's family barn in Upstate New York, and a space in Paris where they would stay between tours. The band announced the album's completion on August 20, 2013, with Jaar and Harrington inviting fans via Facebook and Twitter to listen to the album with them at a small venue on New York's Lower East Side. The band had to do two listening sessions to accommodate all of the people who showed up.

The first song to be released from the album is called Golden Arrow. It is an electronic opus that runs eleven plus minutes. There are no discernable lyrics but there are vocals that have been manipulated but are still recognizable as human sounds. It is an interesting track that doesn’t exactly make me sleepy but I don’t want to get up and dance either.

I haven’t seen anything about an official release but I have seen a video for the song Paper Trails. If it is a second single for the album it is a very good track. The guitar sounds perfect. The vocals are uniquely backed buy the bass guitar and sound deeper than deep. This is probably one of the coolest effects for vocals that I have heard in a long time. This track has actual words in the vocal parts making it more interesting I think. The drums are very quiet in this track. I really like the staccato rhythm guitar parts. The solo guitar parts are just as cool with their jazzy sounds. I think I would recommend this track over Golden Arrow for people that haven’t heard anything from the group before.

This is a very interesting album with lots of fun twists and turns but from a chill perspective.

This is their third album. It was released in January of 2013. I am getting to the album a bit late, over a year late actually. I had heard the first single over the past year and thought that I liked it but I just didn’t have enough interest in the song to get it until just recently. I had had enough of hearing the song and saying to my self, “That is a pretty good song.” So, I finally broke down and bought it on vinyl.

The first single is called Shuggie. The chorus of the song reminds me of the early sounds of David Bowie and the verse sections remind me of The Velvet Underground. Since both David and VU were together during the time that I am thinking of the two different styles of song actually go pretty well together. It is hard to get over how much that the song sounds like the two other bands though and detracts from the song just a little bit. This song is the reason that I got the album though so I must be able to live with the similarities to some degree.

The second single from the album is called San Francisco. This is not really my favorite song from the album. It sort of tells a story but doesn’t really go anywhere. It is more like fragments of stories. I get into what he is singing then the story completely changes with no resolution to what he was just saying. The chorus isn’t all that interesting either. The one thing that the song has going for it is the VU sound that the song carries with it.

The third single from the album is called No Destruction. This song reminds me of something that Lou Reed has done in the past. I just can’t quite put my finger on what song exactly that I am thinking of. I really like this song because of the Lou Reed references.

I can’t say that this is a great album but if your into Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground or David Bowie this album may be for you.
This is the first 7” single in support of the new album from Withered Hand called New Gods. It was released on gold vinyl and limited to 500 pieces. The color looks solid when you look at it but is somewhat translucent with a light behind the record. The record was released on Feb 10, 2014 or 25th of Feb depending on where you look.

The A side of the single is called Horseshoe. It is mainly an acoustic based track with organ and piano floating in the back ground. The drums come off very big sounding and take over most of the track. The drums are simple but big. There is also electric guitar but it is kept simple to focus on the vocals. The vocals are the star of the show next to the big drum sound. It is a good song that I can get use to hearing quite frequently.

The B side is called Not Another Sunny Day. This song starts off with the drums and the electric guitar. The drums are not nearly as big sounding as Horseshoe. This song is a bit more quieter. It is an easer song. The song reminds me of The Velvet Underground song called Who Loves The Sun, not musically but lyrically. That is one of my favorite songs from The Velvet Underground and this song sits well with me because of the link that I have made with the VU song.

That is all I have for this week...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 7

I have decided to go to the Temples show instead of the Weekend show next month. I decided this because I have not seen Temples but have seen Weekend. That and I just can’t swing the days off. I have also not been to First Ave in quite a while too.

I will also be going to see The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart next month. They will be at the Triple Rock again but there is supposed to be a slightly different line up in the band. I am excited to hear the changes in sound.

I am also shooting to take my 13 year old son to his first concert this year. His favorite band, Linkin Park will be at our state fair this year (the end of August). Expensive tickets but something special for his first concert.

Record Store Day 2014 release info is starting to leak out. There is finally going to release the cover album for Nirvana’s album In Utero. Whirr will have a track on it.

The Dodos will release a 7” record for RSD2014 with a couple special tracks on it too.

I wish I had some really great new music to review but things that I am expecting are delayed.

Here we go...

This is the groups fifth album. It was released in 1991. It was a major break through album for the group. The musical styles of Blood Sugar Sex Magik differed notably from the techniques employed on the Chili Peppers' preceding album, Mother's Milk, and featured little use of heavy metal guitar riffs. The album's subject matter incorporated sexual innuendos and references to drugs and death as well as themes of lust and exuberance. Guitarist John Frusciante quit the band mid-tour in 1992 (not returning until 1998) due to his inability to cope with the album's popularity. Blood Sugar Sex Magik is recognized as an influential and seminal component of the alternative rock explosion in the early 1990s. I bought this album on cassette when it was new simply because I didn’t have a CD player yet. I have yet to get it on CD and probably will never do so because I can record any analog content to digital.

There were five singles released from this album. The first single is called Give It Away and was the reason that I got this album. Radio stations refused to play the song initially because they said that it lacked melody. Video channels such as MTV put the song in heavy rotation propelling the song in the charts. Radio stations then relented and started playing the song too. The song for me is an amazing percussive track that makes it unique.

The second single is called Under The Bridge. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis wrote the lyrics to express a feeling of loneliness and despondency, and to reflect on narcotics and their impact on his life. Kiedis initially did not feel "Under the Bridge" would fit into the Chili Peppers' repertoire and was reluctant to show it to his band mates until producer Rick Rubin implored him to do so. The rest of the band was receptive to the lyrics and wrote the music. I like the music for this song but the lyrics are so depressing. This combined with the over playing of the song really turned me off to the song. It just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth even now.

The third single from the album is called Suck My Kiss. Kiedis had this to say about the song, the song was about oral sex and how one boy at his school always seemed to go on about getting it. It is a funky song that I liked but didn’t seem to be the best song in the singles that they put out for the album.

The fourth single from the album is called Breaking TheGirl. The song is a melodic ballad that refers to a turbulent relationship between frontman Anthony Kiedis and his former girlfriend, Carmen Hawk. It is a sad song but the music works so well it is just smooth to listen to. It is a very good song.

The last single if called If You Have To Ask (nudity in the video). This is a funky track that just didn’t have what it took to break through. It didn’t get much air play on the radio or on TV. It is not a bad song it just wasn’t popular.

This is a great album but there is a ton of music on the album. This makes it hard to listen to all the way through.

This is the fourth album from Toto. It was released in 1982 and has been certified triple platinum. The album had an amazing seven singles released and there were only ten songs on the album. I remember the big singles but don’t remember the others as well. They are all good songs though. When this album was new I had no idea who they were but liked what I had heard on the radio. I guess they were considered arena rockers and I didn’t really get into that music much. Listening to the music now, I can appreciate the music more.

The first single from the album is called Rosanna. From Wikipedia, “The song was written by David Paich, who has said that the song is based on numerous girls he had known. As a joke, the band members initially played along with the common assumption that the song was based on Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro at the time and coincidentally had the same name.
The drum pattern is known as a "half-time shuffle", and shows "definite jazz influence".  Featuring ghost notes and derived from the combination of what Jeff Porcaro calls the "Bernard Purdie half time shuffle" (Purdie shuffle) and the "John Bonham beat" (from "Fool in the Rain") with the well-known Bo Diddley beat.”

The second single from the album is called Make Believe. The track is lead by a piano track that reminds me of something that Billy Joel could have written. It is a good song but for me is taken down by the use of synth sounds. I guess that is what you get from an arena rock group who uses all the tools available to make music slow or other wise.

The third single is called Africa. The song is about a boy trying to write a song about Africa but he has never been there and has only seen pictures. The song is lead the whole way by synth sounds and is a slow song. This, for what ever reason, worked very well for the band as the song went to number one in the charts around the world. This is the reason that I got the album, so it did an number on me too.

The next single is called Afraid of Love. The song is more of a rocker than the previous singles. It features standard rock instruments; guitar, bass and drums. It is still a slower song but works pretty well as it is still an arena rock track.

The fifth single is called Lovers In The Night. This is a jazzy piano driven track with an over lay of a rock feel. It is another love track so there seems to be a rock feel in the track too. It is a good track but didn’t have the big hit success that some of the earlier singles had. Not a favorite of mine but still a good track.

The next track that was put out as a single is called I Won’t Hold You Back. This is another slow ballad track that could put me to sleep. It is not a bad track and has its place but I usually just want to hear a pumping track and this is just not it.

The last single from the album is called Waiting For YourLove. This song has a good groove. It almost has a disco feel to it. It is a slower song but there is just something about disco that makes me feel good. Behind the two or three big singles from this album this one is one of my favorites.

As sappy as this album comes off, it is an important album in music history. If you don’t have it get it! If you are a singles person then just get Rosanna, Africa and Waiting For Your Love, great songs.

This is the twelfth album from Cameo. It is a great album with awesome funk and R&B sounds. The first single, Word Up!, was the reason that I got the album and is a song that I had forgot about until Korn had covered it in 2004. I thought that was a complete failure. The cover version brought the song back to my memories and about six years later I found the album at one of my local record shops.

There were three singles from the album. The first is Word Up! I remember hearing the song on the radio so it was a big hit for sure as I only listened to the top 40 channel at the time. There was a music video for the song but I don’t remember ever seeing it on MTV. The song is very funky and makes me want to move.

The second single is called Candy. The song compares women to candy repeatedly through the song. I am not a big fan of this but what I do like about the song is the saxophone that plays through a majority of the song. The guitar that comes in and out of the song has a very cool sound.

The third single from the album is called Back And Fourth. The song has a cool funky synth part that I really like. The chorus has a fun call and response style vocal part that adds to the funness of the song. I feel that this song is better than the second single but over all, all three songs are very good.
That is all for now...