Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 48

There is apparently a Japanese The Pains of Being Pure At Heart cover band out there. It is cute. Check them out.

Along with The Dodos new album will be of course a tour. I will be attending the stop in my home town on the 7th of March.

Family Force 5 have done a Christmas single for the song God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. It is a fun version of the song. you should check it out for yourselves.

Kind of funny but the Foo Fighters have copied the now famous line from Chunklet, “Vinyl is killing the MP3 industry”, with out any mention of Chunklet.

Daft Punk are releaseing a box set on vinyl for the Alive 1997 and 2007. It is a bit expensive for just two albums though, $130.

The Nerdist talked with OK Go recently. You can hear the conversation at The Nerdist.

I did preorder the vinyl version of the Switchfoot album The Beautiful Letdown. This is one of my favorite albums ever. I think I got a copy in limited color too.

Remember this Friday, the Friday after Thanks Giving, is Record Store Day Black Friday. I want just a few items this year. I will be making a post about how my day went and what I purchased for music on the day.

Here we go...

This is a new album from the duo who started the group, James Hoare (Veronica Falls) and Jack Cooper (of Mazes). I can’t seem to find much information about the group. It is very underground at the moment. I heard about the group through a music blog and bought it that day. I have liked every thing that James has been a part of. This isn’t different but at the same time it isn’t really much of a change from his other projects. This album pulls from the music sounds from the late 60s and early 70s just like his previous projects have. With this album we do get to hear a few different vocalists though and this does keep my interest while listening. They did do a short tour of the Midwest to the east coast here in the US but did not make it to my home town during the tour. The album was pressed, limited, on solid red vinyl, CD and DL.

There was one single put up at Stereogum called Ten Street. The song has a garage rock feel with super fun guitar solos. Pickup notes are used all over the guitar parts. This is not usually something that I make note of but the pickup notes are so clear and put in the right places. It adds so much to the song somehow. The big guitar solo is actually a guitar duo and both are using the same distortion sound that brings me back to the 70s sounding guitar distortion. The very end of the song is a slow piano that actually reminds me of the end of the Faith No More song called Epic where they played the song on the piano at the end to a fade out as well.

It is a good song and a good album. If youhave interest in a modern take of the sounds of the late 60s and early 70s then this may be the album for you.

This album has finally been released. The official release date was October 24th of 2014 but there were some delays getting the vinyl out to customers. I didn’t get my copy until last week. Actually the album was fraught with delays. The band had recorded the album at the beginning of the year and didn’t have a record company to support the album. They actually asked fans for ideas on record companies because they had run out of avenues to pursue at one point. They did obviously find a record company to push the record. The vinyl was pressed on solid pink and translucent blue, 100 copies each, before going to standard black. I got a solid pink copy simply because I already had a few records on translucent blue. The album has a slightly different sound from their debut album and I kind of like it but at the same time it feels like there is something missing.

There were two singles released from the album. The first is called Skate or Die. It hits hard at the start with a super catchy synth and guitar rif. When the vocals start the synth drops off but the rif continues on. The chorus changes key but stays close to what the original rif is. It is a great song that gives a nod to the new wave and synth pop sounds of the 80s.

The whole album is really a great album filled with punk and new wave/synth pop sounds. If you like those stylesthen this is probably a good album for you.

This is an EP that supports the latest album from The Pains called Days of Abandon. There was supposed to be a few more singles after the single for Simple And Sure but they fell through. Kip knows the fans want to hear everything that they have put together so when the other singles didn’t come together he decided to push out an EP with the rest of the B sides from the recording of Days of Abandon. This is what is on the 10” vinyl EP, four B sides and a demo version of Kelly. I was lucky enough to have seen the pains while they were touring with The New Pornographers. I bought a second copy of the EP and had him sign it. I will probably give my second copy to my father-in-law to keep it in the family.

Of the five songs on this EP two have been pushed as quasi-singles. The first of those two are Poison Touch. This is a song that was supposed to be about Taylor Swift. I can see a correlation but I think that it is more about the sound that she puts on her albums than being necessarily about her specifically. The song is super new wave stutter step and has female lead vocals to boot. It is a sweet, fun and just plain new wave pop sounding. It is my favorite song on the EP for sure.

The other song that has been pushed is the demo version of Kelly called the Winter Station Demo. I think that if Kelly had been given an official 7” release this track would have been one of the B sides along with one of the other B sides on this EP. This demo version has Kip singing the lead vocals instead of female vocals that ended up on the album. The synth part is also a bit different on this version but not by much. I honestly can’t decide which version I like better. I think they both have their merits but at the end of the day I think that Kip made the right decision changing the vocals to female for the full length album.

I am so happy to have these new songs. I like to have everything that a group puts out. I like having the B sides and remixes that a group puts out whether it is an EP or a series of singles. I instantly bought this just for that reason. I am only missing the split single from early in this group’s career. I have a digital copy of this missing song but I would like to get a copy of the 7” record someday.
That's all for now...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 47.5

The New Pornographers with opening act The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at First Avenue in Minneapolis MN on November 12th, 2014.

I don’t usually go to concerts in November or December because I have work obligations through both of these months that take up all of my time. I usually end up working ten to fourteen hours a day. This is also why the writing of this blog takes a nosedive during these two months. That being said I couldn’t miss one of my favorite bands play at a great venue like this. This is the first time that The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (The Pains) have played at First Avenue (1st Ave). The other venue that they have played at was The Triple Rock Social Club. I hope that they get to headline at 1st Ave some day.

I took my wife with to see The Pains. Because of my additional work schedule, we ended up getting to the venue fifteen minutes late. We missed the first three songs because of this. The doors actually opened at 7 for the concert and The Pains went on at 8. We got there at 8:15. I was disappointed that we got there late. I did hear the end of Kelly as we were walking in though. When we got into the venue it was totally packed. The concert was sold out. It had to have been even worse when The New Pornographers started their set. I wouldn’t know as we got out of there soon after The Pains were done playing.

Once we got settled in a spot to watch and listen to the concert, the balcony on the right side, I realized that there was not a keyboard and there was a new female vocalist. She had an interesting “R” sounding vocal style. I liked the style as it gave a different sound to the music. Also, without the keyboards, Kip, The lead singer for most of the songs, had to focus on the lead guitar parts to cover for the missing keyboards. This also gave a whole new dimension to the music. I think it is very cool to hear different ways that the music can be played.

After the set, we went down to the merch table and saw Kip right away. He must have gone directly from the stage to the merch table. I had sent a twitter to him earlier asking if he would be there to sign a CD for me. He said he would be happy to sign what ever I had. I brought my copy of their first release as a band on their own label, Painbow Records. He was blown away to see a copy of this CD as there weren’t that many pressed. He signed it, “To Painfully PurelyHim Love Kip” I also bought a second copy of the new 10” tour EP and he signed that as well. I want to get all of my Pains collection signed but I don’t want to be the guy that brings his whole collection to a concert to have the band sign every single item. So, I’ll settle for bringing an item with to a concert when they come through town.

I am always excited when the Pains come to town even if they are opening up for a more popular band. I will go to see them no matter what is going on in my life. I like them that much. Now maybe next time it could be scheduled for a summer show? I think every show in Minnesota the weather has been cold. Could you work on that for the next tour Kip?

Thanks to The New Pornographers for having The Pains open for them. Thanks to First ave for having both groups. And, thanks to The Pains, Kip and the ghost members, for playing the music that I love so much.

Set List:
Until The Sun Explodes
Heart In Your Heartbreak
Simple and Sure
Come Saturday
Young Adult Friction
Coral and Gold
Life After Life
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 47

It looks like Weekend will be starting to record for a new album. They have a December recording session set up.

If you haven’t seen it yet you should stop what you are doing and check out the new video for I Won’t Let You Down from OK Go.

James Hoare got together with another friend to create a third group called Ultimate Painting. They have put out an album on a small record company called Trouble In Mind. I don’t know much more than that.

Cream bassist Jack Bruce has died at 71. "A great musician," says band-mate Eric Clapton.

Here we go...

This album started over at Pledge Music. This company is similar to Kickstarter with the exception that you get all of the money raised even if the goal is not made. This still gives the artists something to get the project going even if they don’t meet the goal. OK Go did make their goal and I got my copy of the album recently as well. I opted for the vinyl copy signed by the band. The album is a double LP with one record pressed in translucent green and the other in translucent blue. The group signed the front cover of the album and each member signed over their picture on the album. As a member of their Pledge campaign I also got a special remix of The Writing’s On The Wall by the drummer of the group.  The album over all is just as smashing and harsh as the previous album, Of The Blue Color of The Sky, but not as in your face. It is still dancy but not as hard core. If the previous album turned away any fans they will come back with this one.

So far there have only been two singles released with this album. The first single from the album is called The Writing’s On The Wall. Vocalist, Damian Kulash, said that the song was written around "that moment in a relationship when you realize it’s coming to an end and that it’s inevitable", where there is the "feeling of having something coalesce and fall apart, like chaos and order". He said the song is written to be "melancholic and jubilant at the same time". I had this to say about the track in Vol. 5 Episode 22, “The song smacks of early 80s sounds from Joy Division/New Order (Yes, I know that Joy Division never really made it past the 70s but posthumous tracks were released in the 80s).  The song is bass guitar lead with the guitars and synth adding to the songs background. The vocals are almost on the same level as the bass, just a little bit above the bass. This is a really great track that pays homage to a couple of my favorite bands. I can’t wait to get my hands on this album.”

The second single from the album is called I Won’t Let You Down. This track is so much fun. I talked about this track when the EP Upside Out was released. I wrote about it in Vol. 5 Episode 35. Here is what I had to say about the track, “I hear The Jackson 5 all over this track. It is a great style that I am happy that they brought back. I like the strings from the disco era combined with the muted guitar sounds and added synth parts to make it current. All of these things combined with all of the members of the band singing in the song like The Jackson 5 did on their big hits. It all works so well and makes me happy listening to the song.”

As with all OK Go Songs You have to check out the videos. They are on the links for the song titles. The rest of the album as just as good so go get it!
OK Go – Of The Blue Color Of The  Sky (Extra Nice Edition) database access music
The music that you get access to through the OK Go Database is the digital album Twelve Remixes of Four Songs and the contest winners through the five weeks of remixes of White Knuckles, which equals an additional 13 remixes of the song.

The official release of Twelve Remixes of For Songs contains Sixteen tracks but four of those are the studio versions of the four songs. Since those four songs are already on Of The Blue Color of The Sky they are not included in the download of this database version. If you really wanted to have them in their right spots you could make copies of them from the album and add them to their right places. The only duplicate track from this Twelve Remixes of Four Songs is the Passion Pit Remix.

The remixes from the contest winners is very interesting. It is a little overwhelming listening to the same song remixed thirteen different ways though.

This is the ninth album from Switchfoot. This album coincides with the release of their surfing/music documentary movie of the same name. The album was released in January of 2014. I didn’t get the album until after I watched the movie for free on Netflix. It struck me and I decided I needed to have the album. This album didn’t go through the normal creation process that the previous album have done. The songs were mostly created during the filming of the movie and were there for given the freedom and space needed to allow the members to create instead of just the lead singer to bring something that the group works on together. This gives the album an new feel and somewhat of a new direction. It is a new feel for the group and gives a deeper emotion to the music I think.

There were three singles released from this album. The first is called Who We Are. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman said, "This song takes me back to when our band was first starting out – driving around California stuffed into a minivan with guitars and drums, ready to take on the world. Armed with nothing but a few songs and a wild hope, we were dumb enough to think that it could work. Maybe that's the only way that the world has ever changed, by people dumb enough to try. So here's to everyone who's young and dumb enough to ignore the crowd and believe in who they are." The song features vocals of Switchfoot members' children. One of the scenes in the Fading West film shows the recording of the song, with vocalist Jon Foreman sitting in the studio on the floor, conducting the children's choir. It is absolutely adorable.

The next single from the album is called Love Alone Is Worth The Fight. This song is a sweet slow opening to the album but at the same time is hard hitting with one of the best messages I have ever seen or heard. The group always claims that they are not specifically a Christian group. But with songs like this it is hard to believe that they don’t have a Christian heart and mind. I have always followed the belief that God wants to love us and for us to in turn love him and our fellow man the same. I always feel horrible when I sit down and think about not only my self and my sin that gets in my way of doing just that but that everyone has the same problem in some way. This is a great song that makes me think about things like this.

The third single from the album is called When We Come Alive. It is a slower song but gives energy and power. The song sings, “We are fire … when we come alive”. It is an empowering song designed to do just that. It is a beautiful song that the world needs. We especially need songs like this for people who are mentally beaten down. I was verbally beaten down but when I look at some of these underground people trafficking problems that we have in this world. the people that get free from them need songs like this and people that can bring them back up and properly integrate them into their societies.

This is a great album with everything that people should hear in music today. Get a copy, it will help you live better.

The album was released in October of 2014. Slumberland records and Fortuna Pop! put this out on DL, CD and LP. The LP was pressed on limited light blue and white vinyl. The sound on this album is slightly different from the second album. I think it comes off simpler but earthy while still keeping the lovely airy female vocals. It is a sweet record that I find hard to listen to. I think I just need more time to get into it. It is a bit difficult for me as I am use to this sound coming with male vocals and a lot less electric guitar. I like it and want to hear it though.

There have been two singles that I am aware of digitally released from the album so far. The first was Bright Eyes. This is a bit of a duet with Elizabeth Morris and Paul Rains, both members of the group. It is not a reference to the band with the same name. It is a sweet romance track that is a lot of fun. I probably would have been into the song when I was in high school or earlier if it were on the radio or what ever.

The next single from the album is called Romance And Adventure. This track reminds me musically of Veronica Falls. The song is about remembering romance and realizing that the relationship is over and the things you did with that person can’t be done anymore with them. It is a sad idea but one must consider that life moves on and you must too.

This is a good album with interesting twists. I wish SLR would put out the singles for this album the way they did for the last album. I may need to hunt them down from Fortuna Pop!

That is all for now...

Vol. 5 Episode 46

The Dodos will have a new album out sometime next year. The video that has this announcement only says out 2015.

There are six different color variations of vinyl colors for the new Restorations album called LP3

The Joanna Gruesome/Perfect Pussy comic book split is up for preorder at Slumberland Records now.

Kanine Records will have their band September Girls album Veneer up for sale for Black Friday Record Store Day.

She & Him will have a new record called Classics just in time for Christmas. It also looks like they have changed record labels too. This one will be released on Columbia. You can get it from their web page.

Here we go...

Brown Brogues/Eternal Summers – Brain Melter/Window Split EP
This is a split cassette that was put out for Cassette Store Day only in the UK/EU. I was happy to hear that Cassette Store Day had come over to the US but disappointed that the releases were so different in both regions. I had to wait a week after Cassette Store Day to buy a copy of this online from one of my favorite UK record stores, Norman Records. I think that the packaging for this Cassette is awesome. It is a charcoal grey paper sleeve that is open on one end. There is silver printing on both sides, a graphic for both bands. There is also in insert that has the track listing for each side. The cassette itself is also split. One side is blue and the other is yellow.

The Brain Melter side of the cassette sounds like classic punk music recorded on a four track In their living room. I know, I have done this before. The first track is called You Don’t Know. It is fast paced and what sounds like distorted guitar, drums and vocals. The music is super simple but still fun, even if it sounds like it was recorded in black and white.

They then take a shot at classic R&B sound with a muted guitar and minimal drums but with rough vocals on the track Don’t Dance With My Girlfriend. I don’t feel like it goes over that well. It is a valiant effort though. I think that the next track called Still of The Night, with its bluesy overtones, works so much better. This may be because of my exposure to The Black Keys though.

The last track from Brown Brogues is called Where My Mouth Goes. This totally reminds me of music that I recorded with my band when I just got out of high school. It is really sad because we were not good at all and never could have gotten a record contract but 22 years later groups are doing the same thing and getting contracts.

Anyway, the second side of the cassette is the Window side. Eternal Summers had released Window as a digital only single previously. I was happy that there was going to be a physical release for this song. This is the reason that I got this split EP really. The song is a slow jam that I really like. It has an ethereal float to it that reminds me of staring at the night sky in the middle of summer. It is very pretty and the tape hiss only adds to the songs night time sky watching feel.

The rest of the songs for the window side of the EP come from the groups’ latest album. All of the tracks are great and most of them have been released as singles from the album already. You can check out what I had to say about the album these songs come from, The Drop Beneath, in Vol. 5 Episode 37.

This is a single that was only released in Europe for some reason. Since getting the new album, Hungry Ghosts, I have gotten into the band a little bit heavier. I have since found out that a lot of their singles were only released in the UK/EU. I find this dissatisfying. I really like the group am curious that Capitol would only advertise this group across the pond. Did they think that they had enough popularity already here in the US that they didn’t need to advertise here but felt they needed to push harder in the UK/EU or was it reversed and they thought they needed to push harder there because they were more excepted across the pond. Either way, I have more music that I can explore from OK Go and I am excited to get a hold of these new tracks. This is a 7” record on white marbled vinyl. There was also a purple single sided 7” vinyl but I wanted the B side track.

The A side is the first single from Oh No called A Million Ways. This was not my favorite song from the album but it did get me to buy the album when Oh No was released. I have been into this group since their first album. What I didn’t like about this song was the background vocals. It is not that it isn’t creative to count out the numbers; it just didn’t make me feel good like they have done in the past. There are other songs that I really liked from this album though.

The B side of the single is the song This Will Be Our Year. This is a cover of The Zombies song. It is a slower song that is bass lead with guitar and Rhodes keys. It is beautiful slow and down to earth. This, for me is classic OK Go and it is somewhat of a rare track. It can also be found on The Extra Nice Edition of Of The Blue Color Of The Sky and on Twelve Days Of OK Go.

This is the latest released from the Halloween super group. The physical version has not shipped yet. The pressing plant is being slightly uncooperative. The sleeve will be like the book & 45s that I got when I was a kid. It looks like so much fun. I am excited to get my copy to look through the book and see what strange things Ryan has come up with for this year. Because of the delay the two tracks that are on this release have been given to those who have preordered the record as a digital download.

The first track is called Pulling The Rivers Teeth. The vocals are the standard pushed vocal from Ryan Graveface. The style works for the group and I wouldn’t expect anything less. The music comes off eerie with the use of cheap sounding synth that reminds me of my youth. The drums are the sounds of that same cheap keyboard from my youth but programmed better. The song is creepy but fun.

The second and last track from the single is called A Long Day At The End of The World. This track uses the same drum sounds but still programmed better than the standard cheap keyboard tracks. This song also makes use of banjo and acoustic guitars. This gives the song and the and a new aspect that I didn’t expect. There are still the keyboard and other distorted sounds. There is also live drums that come in later that work in tandom with the electronic drums giving a cool effect. Over all I think that this track shows a slightly new direction for this group.

I hope they continue and that we get more volumes through the next year. I would hate to get a new volume, if this is the start of a volume series, once a year.

This is a four track EP from the group. It was pressed on translucent blue vinyl. It was released in 2010 on Paper + Plastic. I wasn’t sure I was going to get a copy of this record. I finaly found a copy for a reasonable price. The color of the vinyl was just a bonus I feel. The band has almost stuck with the lifeless song titles with this EP as well.

The first track is called Title Track. It is not that I hate the naming conventions that they use but more that they are meaningless to the songs. It is the whole, “we don’t have a  name for the track so we will just call it something that would be fitting for a star track on an album.” They have done this with other singles as well. For Example: the single called A/B features songs called A and B to coincide with the sides of a single. There is no emotion or meaning for these titles and gives me a bit of a disconnect to the music. The music is still good but I have less of a connection to it.

The next track on the EP is called Linear Notes. This title again seems like it has nothing to do with the song. The music is good and super creative with the growly vocals that I like from the group though. It just bothers me that the title of the song has nothing to do with the song.

The next to songs don’t have that song title disconnect it seems or I like the songs more than the first two. Either way, the next two songs seem to work out a bit better for me.
I really like the vocal style, gravely and growly, but it makes my own throat feel like I need to clear it if I listen to them for too long. An EP is a perfect length for this reason.

This is a double post weekend, so, that is it until the next one is up...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 45

There is a new video up for The Pains of Being Pure At Heart song called Kelly. Check it out, give them your love.

The list is up for Record Store Day Black Friday. Check it out and check out the Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette for Guardians of The Galaxy. I am so getting that!

Here we go with a short but long post...

This is the first single from Let Me Run. It was released in 2008 on Devildance Records in association with XOXO Records. It is a 7” record on white vinyl. This single was released to support the album Meet Me At The Bottom before it’s release. This is completely different from the band released CDr EP from 2011. There was also a limited numbered version of this single that had a different cover. This different cover more closely matched that graphic that would be the cover for the full length album Meet Me At The Bottom. Both tracks that are on this single, Like A Fish and  Don't Stomp, I Battle, have been released on the full length album. I just wanted to get everything that I could in relation to the band as they have now broken up. I really liked what they created as a group and I stuck with them even if they never got out on tour as far as my neck of the woods. They primarily toured the east coast only. I really like this group and I am happy to have a copy of this single to round out my collection of their music.

So, a long time ago I briefly mentioned the standard release of this album (my first year writing, episode 25). I have recently picked up this version of the album and will give it a proper review now.

This is one of the groups first releases on their new label, Paracadute. I believe they bought the album back from Capitol so that they could put out this release. This is a two CD version with access to extra downloadable content from the record companies’ web page. I have not had a chance to listen to all of the downloadable content yet, there is a lot, but it looks like it is mostly remixed songs. Some of those remixes are done by fans and some by other artists and professional remix artists. Those tracks from that download content may be talked about at a later date but I just want to talk about the content of the two CDs that came on this Extra Nice Edition.

The album was released in early January of 2010 through Capitol. It was then re-released through Paracadute on April first of the same year with two extra songs. The new independent label took over all responsibilities for the album from Capitol around the same time. I bought the standard CD version when it was released through Capitol but didn’t get the Extra Nice Edition or the Capitol released vinyl until recently. The Extra Nice edition was released on November second of 2010. This version of the album has a second CD with 22 tracks. The first third of the second disc is rare versions and cover songs. The second third is demo tracks and the last third is an interview. It is talked about that the sound of the band has changed to have a sound that resembles Prince. They have embraced this idea citing that Prince is a major influence from their childhood.

For me the important tracks are in the first third of this second disc.  The first track is an acoustic version of Skyscrapers. I think this gives the listener a better view of the basics of the group. It strips back all of the electronics and lets you hear exactly where the band is at musically.

The next track is the song that the group included on the soundtrack for Twilight: New Moon called Shooting The Moon. This is a good song but doesn’t really get me moving. I also already had a copy of the New Moon soundtrack so this wasn’t really new to me.

The next track, Louisiana Land I had never heard before. It is an acoustic track with a chord progression that reminds me of The Velvet Underground track called Sweet Jane. This OK Go track spins away from what Sweet Jane is but the essence is still there and makes it a bit distracting listening to the song.

The next track is the marching band version of This TooShall Pass from the video that was done for the song. I like this version of the song mainly because I played in pep band and marching band in high school. The video that goes with it is a lot of fun too.

The next two tracks are both covers. The first is a cover of the Pixies song Gigantic and the next is a cover of the Zombies song This Will Be Our Year. Both are great covers.

The last track that I find important on this second disc is a remix of the song This Too Shall Pass by Passion pit. It is called the Sunday Hangover Remix. It has a lighter feel to it than the original version with the addition of high pitched synth and some drums added and subtracted at certain parts during the song. I like it, it is a lot of fun in a new way.

Now, let’s get to the singles on the album. There are a whopping eight singles released from this album. The first single from the album is called WTF? We all know what the initials mean, if you don’t ask an adult. The song starts off and runs with some amazing distorted guitar that runs through the whole song. It escalates on the guitar solo that just melts my face it is so hot. The song is just a bunch of awesome and caught me by surprised after hearing the song that was included on the soundtrack for Twilight: New Moon.

The second single from this album is called This Too ShallPass. This single has a big beat that works so well for me. The song is not as heavily distorted as WTF? and includes the use of piano and other electronic sounds. The group is famous for the Rube Goldberg machine video that accompanied the song on its release date. There was also a second video that was also released on the same date. This video employed the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. Obviously this is the alternate take that is included on the second disc of this expanded album that is talked about above.

End Love was released as the third single. This song has a definite Prince vibe through out the song. It reminds me of that 1984 prince sound let alone the general pop sound of that time period. The song is about the end of a relationship and the heart ache that follows. The video is nearly 200 hours of footage compressed into a four minute video. It is quite amazing the amount of effort that the band puts into making their videos. It just shows that they have as much creativity and drive for creating videos and other arts as they do in making music.

The next single is called White Knuckles. This track is even heavier on the Prince influence. It is awesome how much a group can sound like another group but still retain the original sound of who they are. The music is simple but big and fun. The guitar solo in this track is also just face melting but very repetitive. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The different distortion sounds on the track are also just killer. I am not sure what it is that they do for their distortion but I really like the original sounds that they come up with. With this track the video is absolutely adorable. They employ the cup stacking art but make it bigger and employ the use of highly trained dogs to take the video up a notch. Absolutely genius video, give it a watch.

The fifth single from the album is called All Is Not Lost. This is not really a slower track but maybe has more breath in the music giving it a slower feel. It still has that big sound that the previous tracks have had but seems to provoke more emotion from me giving me the feel of a slower more meaningful song. I like the song and how it makes me feel. Even the guitar solo makes me feel a little more emotion than I have on any of the previous singles. The video for the song is also special as the members of the group and performing members of Pilobolus 7 have created a video together dressed in sea-foam green jumpsuits. The video was commissioned by Google Chrome as a Chrome Experiment for HTML5.

Last Leaf is the sixth single from the album. This song is an acoustic song that talks sweetly about waiting for the person that you love. Damian sings about waiting for ever if needed for that person to come back. It is super emotional with just his vocals and an acoustic guitar. It is a lovely song with great verbal visuals. The video that accompanies the song brings those verbal visuals to a new simple level. The video was shot in stop motion on toast. Each piece of toast is laser etched with a graphic. It is fun and simple and emotional at the same time. Watch it, you’ll love it.

The next single from the album is called Needing/Getting. The song starts off with a fast picked intro that shows where the song is going to move to. It then kicks hard into big drums and heavily distorted bass guitar. It is absolutely fantastic. The song talks about wanting to be with someone in a romantic way, classic rock and roll in my book. The song is done well though and makes me feel good at the same time reminds me of being a young adult and having these desires to be dating girls that were out of my range. It is really cool how some songs can bring out the strangest feelings from when I was growing up. Anyway, the video for this one is very different as the group doesn’t actually play any instruments; they drive a car that plays the instruments. It is so cool!

The last single from the album is called Skyscrapers. This is a slower song from the album with a great synth bass line. The drums are a bit subdued as it is a slower more emotional song. Damian is asking that the skyscrapers forgive him as he couldn’t see what was right in front of him. I get the feeling that he had a partner that he could have had the hole time but he kept looking for something else, something bigger and as a result lost what he already had. This happens to people a lot. I am sure that it has happened to me but I can’t think of anything specific at the moment.Again, the video is very intelligent. It features a couple dancing the tango and as the background changes the outfits that the dancers are wearing change as well. It kept my interest to say the least.

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I think that I am even happier now that I have this Extra Nice Edition. There is so much more music and an interview to delve into. There is also that extra bit of downloadable content that I haven’t even gotten into yet as well. If you haven’t heard the standard album yet then do so. Also, this version is only twelve bucks on Amazon right now! Go get a copy while there are still some on the shelf!

That is all for now...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 44

You can now remix the OK Go track called I Won't Let You Down from their new album Hungry Ghosts over on Blend. You do have to have an account and software to handle the stems. There is freeware out there if you really want to mess with the music.

Weird Al Yankovic has a cute cut up interview with prince from the 80s. Check it out, it is very funny.

Jonsi has updated his Spotify play list with new songs if your interested in that.

OK Go's lead singer, Damian, has a track by track commentary if your interested in that as well over at PureVolume.

Here we go with another singles post...

We Are Scientists/Surfer Blood – Tour Split 7”
This is a 7” that will be sold only on the tour that is happening right now. It is on clear vinyl and comes with a download code. The record also comes with a tour poster. The two songs that are on the single are both new/have never been released prior to this release. I picked this up when the tour came through St Paul MN. You can read about my experience at the concert in Vol. 5 Episode 43.5.

The A side is from We Are Scientists. The song is called Distillery. I don’t have much history with WAS. I knew just the few songs that The Current played and those tracks didn’t really impact me and I have never taken time to get into them. I did take some time to watch some videos that they had put out on YouTube after the concert. They still don’t interest me enough to pick up some music from them. That being said, the song on this record is really good. It is slow but the bass lead track is heavy and mellow. The bass has slight muddy distortion that reminds me of a warm rain. The guitar is only on the chorus and is kind of playful like jumping in puddles in that warm rain. The vocals are comforting even if they are talking about being far away. I like this track it doesn’t seem to be anything like their popular singles though.

The B side is from Surfer Blood. This song is called NW Passage. The song sounds like it was recorded on a 4-track recorder. I can look past this as this is a group that I really like so they get a sort of free pass on things like that. This song is good but isn’t as catchy as some of their other singles. There just isn’t that something that grabs me and pulls me into the song. It is good and I am glad to have it in my collection of Surfer Blood music but it isn’t that song that stands above the rest.

This is a single released in mid February of 2013. I got this as a freebie from Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records with my order of the Trust Fund/Joanna Gruesome split EP. I hadn’t heard anything from them before this record. They kind of remind me of Surfer Blood vocally but musically remind me of Vampire Weekend. It is a great combination of styles I think.

The A side track is called Piggybacks. The bass has a fun stutter walk with this song. It is also clean sounding. This is kind of refreshing with the popularity of using pedals on the bass guitar. The electric guitar is also clean sounding, maybe some reverb to give it some bounce. The vocals use some super bouncy reverb though. It seems to work incredibly well on this track though.

The B side is called The End of The Day. It is a slower track only by a few BPM from the A side. It is a good B side track because it is only just a bit slower than the A side. I really like the arpeggios played on the guitar with this track. I am not sure that I like the bouncy reverb on the vocals as much with this track but it is still good.

This is surprisingly one of my favorite singles that I have received for free. I am actually going to get their EP based on this single.

This is a new three track single from June Brides. It was released through Slumberland Records and Occulation Recordings on the first of September. It is supposed to have come with a full color insert and a badge. My copy did not come with a badge. I am not actually disappointed about this though. I would rather have the music anyway. This is another unexpected release from The June Brides. Maybe we will see a full album in the future?

The first song is called Being There. This song is sung by Phil Wilson. The song is fast and jangly, pulling from their past and making the music current. I am still not a big fan of the muted horn in the music but it at least seams to work well in the songs here. The walking bass lines are fun and the jangly guitar playing brings me back to the late 80s/early 90s R.E.M sounds. I like this track a lot.

The second track is the title track, She Seems Quite Free. This track is also very quick paced and uses that muted horn but sparingly. There is an odd static thing that happens in the dead spots. This seems to only be in the chorus though. I am not sure if it is there on purpose or not though. It is slightly annoying for me because I end up listening for it and not listening to the song. I like the song with the exception of that one distraction.

The last track is called I’m Undone and is sung by guitarist Simon Beesley. This is a good driving song. Not driving a car song but there seems to be a driving force behind the music or the music is a driving force. It is another fast paced song that is very fun. The problem that I have with the song is that the vocalist seems to be flat through 50% of the song. I don’t really want to hear the song very much because of this even if the music is good.

If you need some jangle in your life then get this record. If you want some different jangle than you are use to this is your 7” record.

This is a split EP between these two bands. The EP has no actual title. It was released on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records at the end of September 2014. I had no idea what to expect from Trust Fund as I had never heard anything from them before but bought the EP based on my interest in Joanna Gruesome. I am happy to get anything from them really. I am still waiting for Slumberland Records to release the split single from Joanna Gruesome and Perfect Pussy. This EP has three songs from each group. I thought it was interesting that the A side of the record has Trust Fund but the download has the Janna Gruesome tracks first.

The first track from Trust Fund is called Reading TheWrappers. It kind of reminds me of the late 90s alternative music with the lead singer of Passion Pit singing the vocals. Not only that but there is also a female vocalist that adds to the picture. I really like this feel. This song starts off with some clean guitars and then half way through the guitars get all dirty with distortion. It is super fun and hits on the good points of that late 90s sound.

The second track is called Scared. This one starts off with bass and vocals. The guitar is distorted but played mainly in the higher registers to match the vocals. The bass is super fun but very simple and the guitar is used mainly after the vocal lines and is cool and complex. The chorus sees the guitar in a lower register and heavily distorted. It is awesome and easy to bop along to.

The last song from Trust Fund is called No Pressure. It is a slower song that makes me think of songs from the 50s but with a modern twist because of the vocals. They talk about today rather than the things from the 50s if that makes any sense at all. I guess they couldn’t do three fast songs. That would be to much to expect.

The first song from Joanna Gruesome is called Jerome (Liar). I get the feeling that they are honing their craft with this track. They are singing lyrics in a controlled fashon and don’t do much screaming with the exception of a few words after the chorus. This is the best fast paced song that I have heard them create to date. They just keep getting better and better.

The second track is called Satan (Desire Edition). This is a slower track and I like it. There is no screaming on the track but there is some distortion on the vocals at the high point in the song. This song is slowly picked and almost brings some emotion out from me. It is sweet, slow and moving.

The last track is called Coffee Implosion. It is another slower song but this one has some moderate screaming but still limited. The track also employees an organ sound through the chorus. This isn’t unheard of but is somewhat rare for the group. This is a moderate rocker that is just a good jam.

I will be looking into what else Trust Fund have released. I am also excited for that Joanna Gruesome/Perfect Pussy split still yet to be released. Come on Slumberland, what’s the hold up?

That is all for now...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 43.5

We Are Scientists with opening acts Eternal Summers and Surfer Blood at The Turf Club in St Paul MN on October 9th, 2014.

I wanted to take my wife to this concert but she had to work. I then asked my best friend if he wanted to go and he declined. I thought about asking my father-in-law but just wasn’t feeling it. So, I only preordered one ticket for myself. This made going to the concert very cheap. My mother-in-law came over to watch the baby. She is the first person that we call when we need a babysitter and it seems like she always says yes. I don’t want to say that we depend on her for it but she loves spending time with the baby.

Doors opened at 7 for the concert. I got there just before 7:30. I hadn’t been to the turf club since First Ave took it over this past summer. There were some minor changes that I noticed right away. The video games were gone, not that I would have missed them. They were not all that popular of video games anyway. The sound board used to sit on a small raised area with a wood pedestal for the sound board to sit on, that was gone. It looked like the soundboard was on a table with a black cloth over it now. It seemed like the stage was bigger but I could have been mistaken. At the back of the stage was a mural of horses racing which could have lead me to believe that there was more space on the stage. The speakers were upgraded and or updated. Patrons used to be able to get to the lavatories from both sides of the stage; they are behind the stage. Now you can only get to the lavatories from the left side of the stage as the other side has been walled off. There may be just more storage behind that wall now as there is a new door in that spot next to the stage. So, some minor changes have been made but the feel of the venue hasn’t really changed at all. I forgot to check if there were changes to the basement so that will wait for another visit.

Before getting a seat I went to the merch table to see what they had for sale. I knew that I was going to get the tour split single from We Are Scientists and Surfer Blood but I didn’t know what else was going to be there. It seemed like I had, in one format or another, everything from both Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers. I was happy to see that the Kanine compilation, Non Violent Femmes, from Record Store Day was available and I hoped that they were selling. Surfer Blood also had all of their big releases up for sale including the punk version of Pythons that was released for Record Store Day. Both records were on limited run for Record Store Day. They also had the split single that I wanted. I bought it for ten bucks and it came with a free poster. it was a little after 7:30 at this time and I just found out that Eternal Summers was not on until 8 so I ran the single and poster out to my car and came back.

Apparently Eternal Summers had been to Minneapolis one other time. I may not have been into them to have known that they had been here before. I was happy to be here now to see them play. There was a malfunction on the guitar for the first song. The high E string was broken at the start of the first song and singer/guitarist Nicole Yun didn’t see it until she started playing that first song. She switched to her other guitar right after the song. I was disappointed that she wasn’t able to play the guitar because it had a great deep sound. She switched to a Fender Telecaster of some form. The bassist, Jonathan Woods, played a four string Epiphone Thunderbird that sounded amazing. I have wanted one of these guitars for a while and this just added more fuel to that fire. I am not a drummer but I thought the drums sounded pretty good and I have always liked Daniel Cundiff’s style though.

Eternal Summers played a few new songs that may be on the upcoming album that they are working on. All of the other songs were the best of the bunch it seemed like. I believe that all of the songs played were singles from previous albums except for the three songs that I hadn’t recognized before. I wish their set was longer because they have such an extensive back catalog. I mean, they have three albums, a B-sides record, an EP and a couple of singles that have B-sides not on the B-sides record. That makes a lot of music that they have released. They could have been the headliners with that big of a back catalog. I guess that I hope to see them again in the future as a headliner because I want to hear more music from them in a live setting. Keep it up guys!

After a bit of some set up/tear down from both Eternal Summers and Surfer Blood and some volume adjustments for Surfer Blood they were ready to go. Surfer Blood hit the crowd up right away with Floating Vibes and segue right into Twin Peaks. I was also very surprised to hear one of my favorite songs from the band, Miranda. That song also segues into Voyager Reprise from the same EP. The lead singer, John Paul Pitts, got down off the stage to sing and walk through the crowd on Drinking Problem and had the lead singer for We Are Scientists play guitar. Pitts then dedicated the next song, Catholic Pagans, to the lead singer/guitarist of We Are Scientists, Keith Murray, for his birthday. I really liked the clarity of Pitts vocals for this set. I am not sure what is so different about the way he sings/mix of his vocals but it truly is amazing.

Since I came to see Eternal Summers and Surfer Blood and had no back ground with We Are Scientists I left after the Surfer Blood set. Sorry We Are Scientists you have never been on my radar. I will say this, if after listening to the A-side of this tour single I have an interest I will check it out further on YouTube and see what happens. It was a great concert for me, even if I didn’t stay for the whole thing. Thanks to The Turf Club for having these great bands

Eternal Summers set list:
Jammy (new song)
Viper (new song)
You Kill
Structure (new song)
I Love You
Never Enough

Surfer Blood set list:
Floating Vibes
Twin Peaks
Squeezing Blood
Weird Shapes
Voyager Reprise
Take It Easy
Drinking Problem
Catholic Pagans
I’m Not Ready
Say Yes To Me
Demon Dance

I picked up the set lists for both bands from We Heart Music, although there were errors in the set list for Surfer Blood.