Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 22

Here is my 1978 play list:


Alice Cooper

Billy Joel



The Cars

Cheap Trick

David Bowie


Eric Clapton

Gerry Rafferty

The Kinks

The Police

Pablo Cruise


The Ramones

Talking Heads

A Taste of Honey

The Who


From The Inside

52nd Street

Parallel Lines

Don't Look Back

The Cars

Heaven Tonight


Q: Are We Not Men


Good Will Hunting

20 Golden Greats

Outlandos D'Amour

Worlds Away

Greatest Hits


More Songs About Buildings and Food

A Taste of Honey

Who Are You


Nurse Rozetta

Big Shot

Heart of Glass

Don't Look Back

Just What I Needed



Uncontrollable Urge

Watch Out For Lucy

Baker Street

You Really Got Me


Love Will Find A Way

Fat Bottomed Girls

I Wanna Be Sedated

Take Me To The River

Boogie Oogie Oogie

Who Are You

Art Brut – It’s a Bit Complicated
This is the second album from the band. It came out in 2007. This was one of the many albums that I purchased that year. I had just found the local public radio station that plays the new indie music and I loved it. They opened my eyes to the music that was just under the radar. I started searching for new music rabidly. I think I spent 600 bucks in one shot in that spring. It was a great time for me. There was so much new music that I wanted and had just learned about. I liked this group because the music is super punk and the singer is not your regular singer. He talks more than sings. It was a different approach to vocals. Not many can get away with that style of vocals. The single from the album is called Direct Hit. The song was played on the radio, 89.3 The Current. I bought the album based on that one song. I ended up liking the album so much that I got the previous album as well. There isn’t much to say about the album except that the music is up beat and doesn’t have that negative feel. It is positive with nostalgic look backs in the lyrics. It is a good listen.

Beck - Sea Change
This is the eighth album from beck. It was released in the fall of 2002. Nigel Godrich, the famed Radiohead producer, also produced this record. This record has a more serious tone than his past records. It lacks the trademark samples and ironic lyrics. Instead he chose to use live instruments and sincere/simpler lyrics. The main reason for this is that Beck had just ended his nine year relationship with his girlfriend. There are four different covers digitally created for this album all created by Jeremy Blake. I like beck and the music that he creates. I bought this album when it cam out. I went through all four covers and decided which one that I liked best. I couldn’t bring myself to get all four. Four of the same album, that would be ridiculous. When I listened to the album for the first time I had no interest. It was not what I expected at all. I wanted the classic sample based albums that he had put together in the past. I wanted the super pop based sound that he was famous for. It was not until some years later that I gained some appreciation for the album. It is a sad album and deserves time in everyone’s play at some time. There are three singles that came off this album. The first single is called Lost Cause. This is my favorite song from the album. It features beck playing an acoustic guitar with slack jawed vocals. There are actually two different acoustic guitars being played at the same time. There are added sounds in the background that sound like a xylophone, some synth and reversed sounds. All of these sounds add drama to the song. There is something special about the chorus of the song. This is what really gets me into the song. I think it is that Beck has a doubled vocal in the chorus. The second single is Guess I’m Doing Fine. The song is about just what the title states. After the breakup he is doing fine. There was a video shot for the song but it was not anything special. The video shows beck playing the guitar and walking around the city. The third single is It’s All In Your Mind. This is the only song on the album that was not written after his breakup. It was originally written during the time of the album One Foot In The Grave. It is still a good song and fits in with the album. It is also good enough to be a single, so keep that in mind too. The album is emotionally draining but also warm and comforting. If you are already depressed it will not sink you any further. If you are not depressed it will take you down. It is a great album to fall asleep to though. There are a lot of people who would put this album in their top whatever lists. It is a great album but it will drag you down if you are not ready for it.

Oingo Boingo – Nothing To Fear
This is the second album from the group. It was released in 1982. The first song that I remember hearing from the album was the song Insects. It was a midi version of the song. I had to set the sounds my self. I guessed at what needed to be set. I was very wrong. I found a copy of the song to listen to after I had found the midi version. The sounded very different compared to what I thought. I like it much better with the original recording sounds. I really liked the buzzing insect sounds that the band came up with. This was the second Oingo Boingo album that I purchased. I found the album used on vinyl at a local record store. I thought that the graphic was really funny. I played this album a lot on my old turntable. There is a skip in one of the tracks though. When I got my new turntable it seemed to disappear. I fell in love with the album again after that. I always hated having to get up at the same point in the album to push through the skip and missing a couple seconds of the song. There was only a couple singles from this album. I remember hearing the big single on the radio. That song is called Private Life. The song did not get much radio play but just enough that I remember hearing it. The lyrics did not get through my head at that young age. Now that I hear it being at an age where I can understand what is being said the song has new meaning. He is singing about things that he has hidden in his life and that he doesn’t want to have them in his life any more. I can understand that but at the same time I would not give up or change anything that I have done in my life. The other single is Wild Sex (In The Working Class). It was not as much a single as it was a song that was used in the John Hughes film Sixteen Candles. It was during a scene in the dance sequence. I did not realize it when I saw the movie the first time, I did not see it when I was a kid, I was too young. I did buy the movie in the mid 00s. It was then that I realized that the song was theirs. I came to love the movies that John Hughes made though. At one point I thought that they were singing, “Want sex in the working class.” This was when I did not know the song or the band. When I found out what the title of the song was it made more sense but was still just as bad. There is one other song that I think should have been a single from this album though. That song is Running On A Treadmill. The song is about chasing after someone who is walking away. This person is making zero headway to catch up because they are running on a treadmill, i.e. running in the same place. I can totally picture this in my head, needing someone that has moved on. It sucks but I have been in that situation before. The album is a great picture of what the early 80s are in the fresh ska/New wave genre. I always thought to myself that if this is what ska is then why isn’t it more popular. Then, in the 90s, ska turned into something to pure and I couldn’t stand it. I still love Oingo Boingo but don’t like the 90s ska sound at all.

Family Force 5 – Business Up Front/Party In The Back
This is a funky hardcore Christian rock band. This was their first album released in 2007. They claim that their genre is Christian crunk Rock. The music is really a mix of genres including but not limited to punk, rap, R&B, funk, electronica and metal. I purchased the diamond edition of this album giving me a few extra tracks and an alternate cover. The big single form the album is Love Addict. It was an instant hit on the Christian radio stations. I liked it a lot. What made me buy the album was one of the songs that is included on the Diamond Edition. That song is called I Love You To Death. It has that heavy agro metal sound but it is totally a Christian sound. It makes me want to sing along with the song. It also makes me want to write music. I guess you could say that it is inspiration for me to write music. It has a great drum beat and some basic music but it makes me want to write something just as good or better. It would be easy enough. I guess that is what gets me. It is so simple and so complex at the same time. I actually found out about this album through a friend that I was really close to at one point in the mid 2000s. I listened to both of these songs and after hearing the later of the two songs the album was instantly on my list of albums to buy. The rest of the album has its points. It is a high energy “crunk rock” album after all. You can get the three tracks that are included in the diamond edition as a separate EP for just under three bucks. You can also get the regular album for just under 10 bucks. You can also just buy the two tracks that I mentioned buy them selves. I would at least recommend the two tracks if not getting the whole album. It is that good. I don’t think that it is for everyone but I do think that everyone should hear the album at least once.

Linkin Park – Meteora
This is the second album from Linkin Park. It was released in 2003. I find it really sad that this band has only put out four albums in a decade. The music that they put out is really fantastic but I want more. This album is a great piece of work but Radiohead makes great pieces of work along with putting out tons of b-sides. I am complaining a little but it may just be my lack of knowledge on the Linkin Park b-sides. There are five singles that came from this album. All five went to number one in the charts. The first is called Somewhere I Belong. I remember the video being so bizarre. There was fire, anime figures and water. It all fit together but was just flashes of this or that. The music is great. The guitars are just on the edge of that really cool distortion, sharp and edgy but nice at the same time. The next single, Faint, starts out with synth violin sounds. They are used through out the song with stabs of distorted guitar. The chorus is all distorted guitar. It was a fresh look at the use of strings in hard rock music. I was just starting to get the feeling that my relationship with my wife was going down hill. This song was the antithesis of how I felt about her. The lines that really spoke to me went like this:

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored

The third single is Numb. My x-wife had mentioned that this was her song about how she felt about our relationship. I guess that I could see it. She was numb to the relationship. She wanted out so badly that she did not want anything to do with me any more. As much as I pushed for us to work it out she just didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. It really hurt me that she could just turn off the love like that. The next song was From The Inside. This song apparently did not chart very high. It is the slow song from the album. The fans wanted the hard edge heavy rock songs. This song was just a little bit slower than what the fans wanted. The next single is Lying From You. This is the song that brought me to the realization that the relationship between my x-wife and I was going to end. The chorus really hit the nail on the head. It reads like this:

Lying my way from you
I wanna be pushed aside so let me go
Let me take back my life, I'd rather be all alone
Anywhere on my own cause I can see
The very worst part of you is me

The last single from the album is called Breaking The Habit. The video for this one was animated in a similar style to the animation secne in Kill Bill the movie and Directed by Joe Hahn. The style of the animation is a form of anime. There are lots of floating pensile lines and huge city scapes. It is a really cool video. This album is an important one and holds a lot of memories that I don’t want to go back to. I am glad that I have the album but because of the memories I choose not to listen to it very often.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 21

Bjork – Debut
This is her first solo album. It was released in 1993. The first single was Human Behavior, it is also the first track on the album. I remember seeing the video for this song on MTV. The drums that are used on this song are perfect. It is basically a drum and bass song with her vocals on top. The video depicts a teddy bear running through the forest and Bjork in the teddy bears belly. There is no blood and guts but she is warm and cuddly in the bear’s belly. It is really an interesting thought. After hearing the song a few hundred times on MTV and on the radio I had to have the album. The album was a big hit with 5 singles being put out. This album came out when I was feeling the desire to start finding better music. There is always so much music being put out it is easy to branch out and find something new. It also helps when there are competing radio stations in the area. I had two at the time, Rev 105 and The Edge. I preferred Rev over The Edge. Rev was not so heavy and played more of the UK pop that I started getting into. The next single was called Venus As A Boy. This song is a bit slowed down. It reminds me of a summer night spent staring up at the stars and wondering what is out there that we, human kind, have not seen or explored yet. There was also a non album track that was released in the middle of this album called Play Dead. This track was later included on the albums future releases. The next single was a big hit across the world and had many remix versions put out for the DJs. The song is Big Time Sensuality. It does have a great beat for dancing. The video was cute too. It was her on a flat bed trailer being filmed as the truck drove through a city. She really had fun with the video it seems like. She danced and sang to the camera. It is a fun video. The song in the video is a remix version, not the one found on the album. I remember the video but not the version that in the video. I have listened to the album so much that I had forgotten that it is different. It was not until I looked up the video on YouTube that I actually realized this. Violently Happy was the last single from this album. It is another dance influenced that also had a bunch of remixes put out. There was a video put out for this single too but I don’t remember seeing it. My favorite song from the album is called There’s More To Life Than This. This was a live recording and it is plane to hear in the recording. You can hear the crowd and clinking glasses. She has her own mic through the song. The other parts are through the sound board. At one point in the song she goes out side and sings part of the song. You can tell because the rest of the band is dimmed down as she sings this part of the song. The song is very up beat and happy. This is probably why I like the song so much. This is yet another unique idea from bjork.

Blur - Park Life
This is the third album from Blur. It was released in 1994, My senior year in high school. I was big into the UK pop in that time and this album is my high point of that music. The first single from the album, Girls & Boys, put me over the top. To me it is about loving someone and making love to that someone. The song went deeper than that but I did not want to see farther than that. I can sing the whole song word for word when the song is on making it more fun to listen to in the car. None of my friends cared for the song so I usually sang the song on my own in the car on a cassette, of course. I would tape the CDs so that I could listen to them in the car. I hated the cassette adapters that were being put out. They always malfunctioned after a certain amount of use. The track only reached the 50s in the US top charts but I loved the song so much with that super pop appeal. There were four singles released on this album. The first was Girls & Boys. The second was To The End. This track was the slow dancing track. It is a great track with the strings in the background. It did not get much air time in the US but that is probably because it was too slow. The next single was Parklife. The verse in this song is spoken. At this time the band was in competition with Oasis. I was not a fan of Oasis. They did not put out anything that I thought was fun. It was all depressing and bland to me (sorry folks there will be no Oasis reviews in this blog). Apparently, when Oasis won the UK version of album of the year they sang this song replacing the word Parklife with Shite-Life. How sad is that. They are so low that they make fun of another competitor’s song instead of just thanking the voters and fans. The last single from the album is End Of A Century. The song seems to focus on the upcoming end of the 20th century. They obviously hit is right on the head when they stated “End of a century, it’s nothing special.” It was nothing special. I think that the second song on the album could have been a single too. That song is called Tracy Jacks. It isn’t the greatest song on the album but it is upbeat enough that it could have been a single too.

Incubus – Morning View
This is the fourth album from Incubus. It was released in 2001. This is the best album that they have released in my opinion. It has that warm blanket feel that makes you feel good. The first song was the second single, Nice To Know You. It really sets the tone for the album. It has a rock edge but also still has a great feel. It is not a super fast rock song but flos along at a good clip. The actual first single was Wish You Were Here. This song reminds me of being on the beach at night in Hawaii. The air is warm, the sand is dry and the sky is black with bright stars shining down. One could sleep on the beach and it would not make a difference. It is so comfortable on the beach at night. I wish that everyone could visit at least once in their life time. It is really a great place, at least in the tourist areas. The song Warning was released as the third single. It is a good song but it did not touch me in the same way that Wish You Were Here did. There are some cool guitar sounds going on in the song along with some cool DJ sounds. I think that it may be that it is too slow for me to get into enough. The song Circles was released as the fourth and last single. This song is a quicker harder song that has a cute little “blink, blink” sound clip that the lead singer does. He sings that everything moves around in circles in the chorus. After I met my wife I found out that she is a huge fan of Incubus. I now have a copy of this album on vinyl too. I would prefer this copy over a CD or MP3 copy every day of the week.

Man or Astro-Man? – A Spectrum of Infinite Scale
This is the last album from Man or Astro-Man? up to this date. The group has gotten back together but there are only rumors of a new album from the group. The album was put out in 2000. This was the first album that I got from them. I wish that I had heard about them sooner than this. I would have loved to have gotten into them when they were putting out new material. This album is their most experimental album of all of them. I originally bought this album on CD. The normal CD jewel case came in a paper slip case. I think that this was the first time that I had seen a CD come in packaging like this. Later I bought the album on vinyl. The vinyl came as a double 10” set in clear yellow. This set also came in an outer slip case. I have never seen a record come in an additional paper slip case. I also still have the original plastic wrapper that the record set came in. This is their seventh full length album but I consider it their sixth because Intravenous Television Continuum is basically remixes and cover songs. For me this album is a complete departure from their regular surf material. This album also came out when I was into the heavy rock sound so what I hear it the heavy rock influences more than the surf sounds that they usually make. It is still wordless music. There were no official singles released off this album but I have heard that the song called A Simple Text File was popular and played in the UK a lot. This song is literally an Image Writer II printing out a file. I couldn’t tell you what it is printing out but the group challenged them selves to make it musical. I guess that this album is not the happy surf rock record that the beginning of their career was. I think that this album could have gone up agents the last At The Drive-In album and The MOAM? Album would have kicked its but. The only reason that the At The Drive-In album had so much popularity is because of the lyrics. Lyrics don’t make the music in my opinion. If the music is awesome then the lyrics don’t even matter. That is why this album wins. It also takes more ability to make a great album with no lyrics. I try to make music like this but I don’t see it as a job so my music couldn’t stand up to this kind of creativity. They are still a great influence on my music as is Radiohead.

As a side note, the group also put out an album called A Spectrum of Finite Scale. This album was only released/given out at their concerts during this tour.

Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
This is the fourth album from NIN. It was released in 2005. The album was produced by Trent Reznor and long time collaborator Alan Moulder. This is the first studio album since 1999. The delay was caused by his abuse of alcohol and other substances. Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, played drums on seven of the 13 tracks on the album. I think that he really helped the sound of the album. I can hear a difference in the drumming compared to the previous album, The Fragile. The album was a huge success and put out three singles. The first was The Hand That Feeds. The bass line drives the song and is very simple. IMO, this is what drove the song to popularity. The video features the touring band playing in their practice space. There are glitches that happen in the video while the band plays as a result of the pan and scan method of recording. The glitches can be labeled as distortion, pixelization and interlacing. The second single, Only, uses a hard edge drum kit. It is very clear in the sound. There is also a slightly distorted bass guitar that sounds really cool along with the normal guitar and classic NIN piano. The video for this one is very cool to. It takes place in an office with a pin platform. Trent and the group are imprinted on the pin pad as the song plays. I think that they also appear in a distorted computer screen at given points in the video too. The last single is Every Day Is Exactly The Same. This song reminds me of a single from the previous album called The Day The World Went Away. I have played them back to back and the themes are close. I still like the pair of songs but they are similar. I see what this song is about every day at work. I have a set routine at work and it goes the same every day. The problem with this ideal is that one will get in a rut if they truly believe in it. It is for this reason that I try to see the differences in each work day. I don’t need to fall into a depression simply because I am over looking the things that make a day different from the other. But I can see the things that are the same and, I am happy to say, I can see the things that are different in my day to day life. This is what keeps me sane in this weird world that we live in. The song has a monotonous sound to it. I think this is on purpose to emphasize the song title. The song also drags a little to add to the sound. There are other songs on this album that could have easily been set up to be singles. The title track, for example, With Teeth, could have been a great single. This is also one of the tracks that Dave Grohl recorded drums for. The drums are so tight and the listener can plainly hear that they are recorded drums not samples that you can really tell that it is Dave playing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 20

Combustible Edison – I, Swinger
Combustible Edison are a lounge act that that saw some popularity during the mid 90s. This particular album is their first full length released in 1994. I had been getting into the lounge and swing music at the time. My friend introduced me to them. It is some good music that follows as closely to the original tiki/lounge acts of the 50s and 60s such as Esquivel and Henri Mancini to name a few. Just like Man Or Astro-Man?, this group stuck very close to the standards of lounge on the firsrt couple albums and on the last they experimented a little, expanding their sound. Some of the music was also used in the soundtrack for the movie Four Rooms. This is one of my favorite movies but is nearly unwatchable because of the graphic scenes depicted in one of the stories.

I can remember going to the local lounge club in the city. There was actually a DJ who had stacks of lounge music that he would spin. The DJ would wear thick glasses and wear a Fez. He fit the scene. I did my best to fit the scene as well, wearing the reproductions of the 50s shirts that were being sold in the stores at the time. I still have them actually. I like to wear them golfing now. Going to this lounge club I remember having my first scotch on the rocks. Actually it was my first drink ever. The club was incredibly dim lit. The only light sources were the tiki god lights where the DJ stood and the lights behind the bar. I don’t think that there was a second level at all. I can’t remember what the DJ called himself but I remember getting emails from the guy telling me when and where he would be DJing since he played records at a few different places around town aside from playing at the Lounge club. The lounge club was only on a couple days during the month at the start of the new craze. It did not last very long and soon it became once a month and then the not at all. I lost interest after a few years of going out once in a while. I still like the music but did not have a need to go out to a club to hear the music. It was really great to hear the original lounge music and there are still some albums that I would love to have but I have been into the rock and punk of the 60s and 70s at the moment. I want to get back into collecting the lounge music but there is just not much out there at the moment. It has become very rare to find.

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
This is a triple album released in 1970. George had so many songs saved up because The Beatles (Lennon and McCartney) did not let him contribute much. The third disc in this set is actually a jam session that is quite fun to listen to. Some fun gems in the recordings on that disc. The production on the album was done by Phil Specter and his well known wall of sound style. It is not that I don’t like this sound it is more that some songs don’t really need the wall of sound approach. I was lucky enough to find a good copy of this box set of LPs for a very reasonable price from my favorite used book store. The set still has the poster and original record sleeves all in good condition. The only single from the album, My Sweet Lord, charted at number one. I remember this song from my youth even though it was released way before I was born. I guess that good songs are recognized as good songs long after they have been released. The Beatles and their solo careers have created some great music. Apparently there were some legal issues that came about when the single was released. The song is to similar to a released in 1963 by Chiffons song called He’s So Fine. There were fines involved and in the end George ended up owning the song and the record company, Bright Tunes, so that he owned the rights to both songs and thus ended the copyright infringement. Anyway, the album is a great one. Some say the best in his career. If you want just his best of or greatest hits get Let It Roll. If you want to hear more from him after that I think that this is a great start.

Daft Punk – Discovery

This is the second album from the group. It was released in 2001. This album is their most popular releasing six really great electro/punk tracks. There are only two musicians in this French group. Since they started the group they have tried to keep who they are a secret sort of. If you really wanted to know the answers are out there. When they are acting the part they have helmets on that make them look like robots. Each helmet is different/unique from the other. If there is a reason for this I don’t know but it sure looks dang cool. They also did the soundtrack for the new Tron movie and have a short cameo in the movie. They were the two DJs in the bar scene. The whole album is really great. There was a cartoon that was created that used each track on the album. The videos that came out for the singles were actually clips of the movie. It featured a group of musicians that came from space. They played their instruments and saved the universe. I have never actually seen the movie but that is what I get from seeing the videos for the singles that came out for the album. This album was a light for me during that difficult time that I have already Witten about many times. It is really a fun album. I remember dancing as much as I have ever danced listening to this album. All of the songs are very up beet and are in general celebration songs. They are meant to be a good time for everyone. I don’t know how they accomplished this but it works so well. I can envision a party in the streets for everyone to hear and having just a blast with out a care in the world. The music itself is electronic in nature but certainly based on classic rock roots. This album is defiantly on the “everyone must hear at least once” list. The album is a bit long though. It doesn’t help that the last track is ten minuets long. I can’t usually make it through that last song unless I am reading. When I am reading the repetitive sounds become great background noise. I read a little slower than most people do so the electronic beats actually help me to create a soundtrack to what ever book that I am reading. When you watch a movie everything happens so quickly and you may only get a 30 second clip of a given song. But when you read things fold out slower so I need more music to help get into the mood of the book. This is why I like to have the music on when I read. It helps to paint a musical sound scape to accompany the book that I am reading. I like this type of album on when I read books. There was a series of books that I would only listen to when I read. Now that album reminds me of that series of books. It is not this album though. It is a different one that I have already written about, Stereolab – Dots and Loops. I would listen to that album when I read a trilogy from Shadowrun. It was originally a roll playing game but there has been a series of spinoffs. One of which was a series of books. Most of the books were one offs but I really liked the one trilogy called Secrets of Power. That stereolab album seemed to go with the whole series quite well.

Jeff Buckley – Grace
He is one of the greatest vocalists to have ever lived. Many other artists believe this as well. Many of these artists strive to have the vocal capabilities that this man had. This was his first album. It was released in 1994. It is the only complete album that he had the chance to put together. (He died in the middle of recording the second). The album did not have great sales on initial release but has slowly gained and has now sold two million copies world wide. It has also gotten the “Legacy” treatment that many albums have been receiving as of late called Grace Legacy Edition. There has also been a live release of the albums songs called Grace Around The World. It has live tracks from when he played on MTV and other such live recordings. I get the songs Grace and Last goodbye mixed up because they are so good. I cry every time I hear the both of them. I remember the video for the song Last Goodbye. It was not anything special but it was on heavy rotation on MTV when I had the channel. I always feared that this would be why I would break up with my girlfriend who ended up being my first wife. As it turned out the lyrics to this song seemed to fit exactly the way it happened, it is really sad. The marriage would not be over until the early 00s but it was always a fear that she or I would hit some wall that we could not over come. I had no idea that the wall could not be overcome because of her stubbornness and not simply because it was something that neither of us could get around though. That is what really got me, was because she was unwilling to try. I did everything that I could think of to try to work things out. It was just not enough to get her to think differently. I even started to go back to church again. I think that this may be why she had not gone to a church again until recently, but that is just speculation on my part. The only official single released from the album is Last Goodbye. There was a surge to put the Jeff Buckley cover of the Leonard Cohen song called Hallelujah into the charts to best the cover of the same song from the X Factor artist Alexandra Burke. All of the fans of Jeff and of the song believe that his version of the song is superior to all that have released the song as a cover. The Jeff Buckley version of the song went to number two for that Christmas in the UK to beet her out. It also went to number one in the iTunes download charts when Jason Castro of American Idol fame sang the song too. All of this competition happened in 2008. The version that Jeff did was just him singing with his electric guitar. He has such a delicate hand and smooth delicate voice on the recording that it is no wonder that fans of both him and the song love this version so much. The album is soft and sweet but with a hard edge at times. I would liken it to a wool blanket. It is so warm but a bit itchy at times. It really keeps you on your toes but you can sleep with it on at the same time.

I looked up the lyrics to post and found that people are posting about lost girlfriends and boyfriends still with regard to this song. That is some power, wow.

Lyrics for Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley):

This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die.
But it's over
Just hear this and then I'll go:
You gave me more to live for,
More than you'll ever know.

Well, this is our last embrace,
Must I dream and always see your face?
Why can't we overcome this wall?
Baby, maybe it's just because I didn't know you at all.

Kiss me, please kiss me,
But kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation.
Oh, you know it makes me so angry 'cause I know that in time
I'll only make you cry, this is our last goodbye.

Did you say, "No, this can't happen to me"?
And did you rush to the phone to call?
Was there a voice unkind in the back of your mind saying,
"Maybe, you didn't know him at all,
you didn't know him at all,
oh, you didn't know"?

Well, the bells out in the church tower chime,
Burning clues into this heart of mine.
Thinking so hard on her soft eyes, and the memories
Offer signs that it's over, it's over.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 19

Man or Astro-Man? – Destroy All Astromen
This is a compilation album from the group featuring the b-sides from their 7” records. There is 23 tracks on this record. Some fans call this album their second album. There is so many tracks that there is no reason not to. Technically, it is not since all of the tracks were previously released only as b-sides. It is on black vinyl with a yellow and orang/red graphic in the center of a robot with a beer on one side and that same robot with a pack of cigarettes on the other. As is with all of their albums, the music is very surf oriented with sound clips of old sci-fi shows. There is also a cover of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Love Theme. This is the reason that I bought this album. There are also many covers of old surf style tunes including two from The Ventures; Joker’s Wild and The Heavies, and one from Dick Dale; Taco Wagon. The one thing that I love and hate about the band is that they released extra tracks on vinyl only. Since they released most of the albums in the 90s they did not press many of the albums. This makes finding the albums on vinyl very difficult. They kind of did it backward compared to most of the popular bands of the 90s who put the extra tracks on the end of CDs. I like that they had an appreciation for the analog sound but there are so few records pressed in the 90s that it gets really hard to track down Man or Astro-man? albums at reasonable prices. I did find a small record company in Canada that has quite a few of the albums that I am still looking for. Maybe I will be able to get a few when father’s day rolls around. I am only missing a few albums from the group at this point and I haven’t reviewed a few that I own yet here either. I love the song Out of Limits. The title is a pun on the title of the TV show called The Outer Limits. The opening to the song is the Close Encounters of The Third Kind sound done with a guitar played by one of the members. It sounds real cool being played on a guitar that is set up for the surf tone. I have this song on a couple of records now but it is a great track and I don’t mind hearing it more than once. All of the songs on this album are less than three minuets long. Just under half of those are less than two minuets long. This is how they get 23 tracks on a vinyl LP.

Man or Astro-Man? - Intravenous Television Continuum
There is not much out there about this band. They have released a lot of material. There are a couple of fan sites out there that try to catalog all of the releases. I think that there is more information out there it is just hard to come by. This album was released in 1996 in two different colors, clear or opaque purple. My copy is on purple. When I took it out of the sleeve the first time I saw what looked like a chunk of something stuck in the vinyl. I gave it a first listen on that side to be sure that it would play. It turns out that it is just a gold fleck of vinyl that got into the press. The record plays fine without any issue. The album is technically the third release from the band and contains alternate mixes of previously released songs and covers of television show theme music. Some of the covered themes are from the likes of The Jetsons, My Favorite Martian and the Munster’s Theme. This album also has the song Out of Limits. This album was still earlier enough in their career that the music was not so experimental and still had a great surf rock sound. For the most part the group stuck with the basic band sound. What I mean is that they used drums, guitar and bass guitar. Later in their career they started using keyboards. They have always had an affinity for using odd instruments like the Theremin and Tesla coils. They have also always used samples of dialog from b-movies.

Man or Astro-Man? - Made From Technetium
This is the fifth release from the group. The album was put out in 1997. It was around this time that they started to experiment with the sound that they were creating. They did this by writing their own version of surf music and not covering other artists’ music. This was started in the previous album, Experiment Zero and was carried forward through the rest of their career. I did not realize this but they are one of my big musical influences. Not that I create music that follows the surf style but in that I create music without intending to use lyrics. I love the music. For the most part this group does not have a singer. There are a few tracks that Star Crunch, the lead guitarist in the band, will sing on but I can probably count them on one hand. I like the experimentation that that is used through the album. The idea that surf rock can be bent and experimented with is really cool to me. The music on this album has a surf/punk/rock sound that I can get into. They are still using the movie dialog clips but not just at the beginning of the songs now. They are mixed into the songs and are sort of used in place of lyrics. It makes the songs that much more interesting.

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
This is the second full length from Fleet Foxes. It was released in 2011 on a double vinyl or CD. I have only given this album a few listens. I like it a lot. The group still has that 70s light rock sound that I like. It is similar to the sound that Grizzly Bear has been putting out for the past four or five years but a bit more poppy. The group does not intend to put out pop music but that seems to be what they are good at. They released this album on record store day on white vinyl. I think that there were 200 copies of this version so I did not even bother looking for it. They also released a double A-side single for record store day. I was not as interested in that so didn’t bother looking for that either. This album seems to have a bigger sound than either the first release or the first EP. I am not sure that I like this bigger sound yet. It could also be that the tracks on this album are a bit more compressed than the other two. All three come with a download code from SubPop records. I did not record these tracks from the records. I probably should. The songs would probably be easier to listen to. I like creating MP3s from the records but at the same time it is such a hassle to have to sit down and cut up the recorded tracks in a piece of software.

Family Force 5 – III EP
This is a three song EP that has been released in 2011. The Three songs are; Wobble, Dang Girl and You Got It. The EP is a prerelease to the upcoming third album. This EP is only being sold on the Tourantula tour and at the FF5 web store. There are only a total of 3000 copies made. They are still available at this time. The cover is a new photo of the group with some added art photoshopped into the picture. The first two tracks are big crunk, as they call it, rockers. A great couple of dance tracks. The third is a slowed down 80s style male RnB track that works as a cool down track after to two huge sounding dance tracks.

The Who – The Who Sell Out
This is the third album from The Who. It was released in 1967. It is supposedly a concept album and formatted as a collection of unrelated songs interspersed with radio announcements and PSAs. Supposedly, it takes place at a pirated radio station called Radio London. The track I Can See For Miles was the only single from the album. I do not own an original copy of this album. I found a repressed copy at Half Priced Books. It was sealed so I can only assume that it was overstock. The book store often gets sealed and unsealed overstock records and resells them at reasonable prices. The copy that I picked up is on 140g clear blue vinyl. The poster from the original pressing was not included. The original pressing was special because of that poster (500 mono and 500 stereo copies had this poster). The record itself sounds fantastic. I have heard records that are quieter than this one but it is still a good sounding record. I had only heard the single from the band and was surprised to find out that the other members of the group shared in the lead singing duties on this album. I like the group but to me they have always had a wishy-washy way of writing and playing music. This album is no exception to that rule. It is not an album that I would listen to on repeat over and over like other bands that I really like. I got it because I wanted to have the classics in my collection. This is one of those 60s/70s rock classics that I am after. Don’t misunderstand me, there are some really good riffs that the group comes up with but the music that they create as a whole is just not that great.

All right, that is all I have for now...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 18

Here is my 1977 play list:


Bay City Rollers

Billy Joel

Captain & Tennille

David Bowie

Elvis Costello

Eric Clapton

Fleetwood Mac

The Guess Who

Iggy Pop

Kenny Loggins

Little Feat

Mink Deville

Munich Machine


The Ramones

Sex Pistols

Steely Dan

Talking Heads


It's A Game

The Stranger

Captain & Tennile's Greatest Hits


My Aim Is True



The Greatest Of

Lust For Life

Celebrate Me Home

Time Loves A Hero


Munich Machine

Greatest Hits


Never Mind The Bollocks...




It's A Game

Only The Good Die Young

Love Will Keep Us Together

Breaking Glass

Watching The Detectives


Go Your Own Way

American Woman

Lust For Life

Celebrate Me Home

Rocket In My Pocket

One Way Street

I Wanna Funk With You Tonite

We Will Rock You

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

God Save The Queen

Deacon Blues

Psycho Killer

Tool – Undertow
This is a really great album released in 1993. This is the groups’ first full length album. The first album was an EP. This is considered to be a heavy metal album but for the most part it is just a heavy sounding album. There is none of that typical metal screaming for the most part. The vocals are all intelligible and understandable. There are three singles from the album. The first one that was released is called Prison Sex. The video for the song was filmed in stop motion animation. It is a very disturbing but interesting video. The song is about being molested in a confined manner. I can not find the story that this song is actually about but I have read about it in the past. If I can remember correctly, it is about a little girl that is repeatedly tied up and molested by a relative. I can not remember if it is an uncle or a closer relative than that though. The next single is called Sober. The guitarist for the band has said that this song is about a friend that is only creative when he is under the influence. This seems like a cop-out to me. Then again, I have never felt creative under those circumstances. The last single from the album is Four Degrees. I don’t remember haring this song on the radio. Not that it is a bad song it just did not get much air play in my area. The original CD of this album featured a cow licking its rear under the CD tray. The CD tray was the usual solid brownish grey. You had to take the tray out to see the graphic. In other countries the tray was clear. I had the CD for a while but got rid of it. I bought the recent vinyl repressing. This picture is not part of the packaging for the vinyl.

I can remember enjoying the album; it is a good album, in my bedroom. It was at this time when my parents allowed me to stay home on the weekends instead of going up to the campgrounds with them every weekend in the summer. My sister and I would stay home a few of the weekends. She would go out and party. I stayed home and cranked my tiny stereo. This was one of the albums that I had on, staying up until I couldn’t stay awake any more.

Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream & Other Delights
This was an album that was in my mothers’ collection. It was released in 1965. It is an album that has no lyrics. I love these albums because I can focus on the instrumentation more than lyrics. It is the groups’ fourth full length album and probably their most popular. Herb used mostly session musicians for the albums in the past. It wasn’t until this album that he had to put together a static group so that he could start touring. The cover art for the album is just as important as the album itself. The cover is considered a classic pop culture icon. The cover has been parodied by many artists since its release.

It was not until I found my mothers record collection that I got this album. I only took a few of her albums at this time though. I recognized the cover and thought that it would be an interesting listen. I played the album on my cheap record player at the time. I fell in love with the album. I was still living at my parents’ house at the time. My mother loved that I was playing her old records. She liked hearing the old music. I liked hearing the old music. There is also something special about this album. It is done so well. I think that everyone should hear this album at least once for sure.

White Stripes – Elephant

This is the fourth album released from the White Stripes. It was released in 2003 on V2 records, if that means anything to anybody. It is the first album from the group to be released on a major label. The album was recorded in two weeks. The first single was Seven Nation Army. The riff used in the song is not a bass guitar as most people would think. The sound is actually created using a Kay hollow body guitar with a guitar pedal from Digitech. Since the group does not use a bass guitar I figured that he, Jack White, was using a guitar with some kind of pedal. I did not know what exactly until I did some research to find out. I liked the song so much when it came out that I sat down with the song on repeat to figure out how it would be played on the bass guitar. It is a very easy riff and I figured it out fairly quickly. I played with the song for quite a while after I figured it out. The next single from the album is I Just Don’t Know What To Do With My Self. This is a cover originally recorded by Tommy Hunt in 1962 and made famous by Dusty Springfield in 1964. It is a good version but I still like Dusty Springfields’ version better. The third single is called The Hardest Button To Button. The song has a repetitive drum beat that draws you in. The music video for this song features the two members of the band playing the song in various points and locations. The interesting thing about the video is the fact that multiple instruments pop up every time the drums are hit. For example when a drum is hit another one appears out of thin air. It makes for a fun video. The last single from this album is There’s No Home For You Here. This song did not get much airplay on radio stations. The song is a good song but it was a bit over the top for the casual fan.

I remember getting this album while I was living in my second home. I remember going to a dairy queen for some reason. Anyway, my second favorite song from the album is the song that Meg White sings. It is so simple and so elegant. We also never hear megs’ voice on any of the albums except this song really. It is a refreshing change from Jack Whites’ vocal style.

The Police – Outlandos D’Amour
This is the first album from the Police. It was released in 1978. The album was originally a flop because of low exposure and bad reception of the first couple of singles in the UK. I remember hearing the first single, Roxane, on the radio as a kid. I had no idea what the song was about but the music is very catchy. The song, I later learned, is about prostitution. The next single, Can’t Stand Losing You, is another great song. The original cover of the 7” has been banned in some countries as it features a man that has hung himself. There was an alternate cover that was released because of this. The third single from the album is So Lonely. The group used ideas from reggae and from punk to write their music. This is plainly visible in all three singles from this album. Like I said, I remember the songs from being played on the radio but I was so young when these songs were put out. I like the songs on the album and that is why I own the album now.

Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous
This is the third album from Rilo Kiley. It was released in 2004. I did not find out about the album until 2005 or 2006. The song that got me interested in the music that they created is Portions For Foxes. The story that is told in this song very similarly matched a relationship that my best friend was in at the time. The girl that he was dating is a very nice person but she led him to a place that he did not need to be in. He wants to be a good Christian but she wanted him physically and he couldn’t resist. At least that is my view of the relationship. The chorus sings that she is bad news. This is what she was to him in my opinion. She is a good person but in the relationship she was bad news for him. I have no idea what the singles were off this album except for this song. This memory is so big in my head that it doesn’t matter to me if there were any other singles. The rest of the album is good and very enjoyable to listen to but it is a bit overshadowed by this song and the memory that I have associated to it. I also use to take this album with me on local bike rides. The album as a general timing that fit my riding speed. This was always a fun time because I could I could think about what ever while riding on my own. As a last note on this album, my wife had never heard the studio version of Portions For Foxes before she met me. The version of the song that she had heard and liked was an acoustic version that was recorded at 89.3 The Current. It was included on 89.3 The Current, Live Volume 2. A compilation of live tracks recorded at the radio station that they put out every fall. We have been collecting them since their founding member album. They have put out 6 so far.

The Who – My Generation
This is the first album from The Who. It was released in 1965. There are some great singles from this album starting with the title track, My Generation. This is one of the greatest and most well known songs from the group. They are obviously not singing about my generation but my parents’ generation; it is 1965 after all that they are singing about. It is written about the rebellious British youths called mods and their feeling that the older people just don’t get it. The next single, A Legal Matter, deals with teenage divorce. During current times this leaves no impression on me. In an age where people are getting married later in life this song lyrically does not apply at all. It is still an interesting song musically though. The third single, The Kids Are All Right, Is a good classic rock sound. Although it was not a huge hit it is a staple in the groups’ cannon. This along with the first single called out to the mod crowd. The last single from this album is La-La-La-Lies. It is also a good song but the chorus leaves something to be desired. It is basically the song title. It is a fair song that is boosted by Moons’ drumming.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 17

Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields
This is a four track EP from Broken Bells, Danger mouse and James Mercer. The fours songs are tracks that the duo did not feel fit on the first full length that they put out. I agree that they did not fit on the album but the songs in this collection are still just as good. The EP was released at the end of March. The artwork is in the same vein as the full length, leading me to believe that they were recorded during the same session as the self titled album. The four songs are really quite good. They give me a good happy feeling when I listen to them. They make me want to hear more. I really hope that they make more music together. Both artists are associated with other bands. Mercer is the lead singer for The Shins, a popular indie rock group, and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), who seems to have his hands in multiple projects at the same time from Gnarls Barkley to this project, Broken Bells. My only problem with this album is the cost. I wanted to buy the vinyl release of this EP but it was over 10 bucks. I can’t spend 10 bucks for four songs from a band that I don’t like enough to get the singles, especially when there may not ever be another full length release from the group for sure. The CD was over 5 bucks too.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – 89.3 The Current Live Session 4-26-2011
As you all know, The Pains are my new favorite band. I went to see them in concert last Monday, as seen on post 2.16. I found out the next day that they went over to my favorite radio station, 89.3 The Current, and recorded a quick set before they went on to do their next concert. The current was streaming this little set on the internets through their webs. I have a neat little unit that I have talked about in the past called the i-Key. I hooked this little gadget up to my computer and recorded the out put from my computer onto the i-Key. Now I have the three song set that The Pains did at The Current. Two of the songs I already have from the Daytrotter session but the third is why I recorded this set. The songs are Belong, Heart In Your Heartbreak and My Terrible Friend. I hope that I have not done anything illegal and thank you to The Current for making this available for geeks like me.

Pete Yorn - Pete Yorn
The fifth release from Pete Yorn. After the weak release from his fourth album, Pete enlisted the help of Frank Black (The Pixies) to produce the fifth album. The album was released in late September 2010. The first single and first song on the album, Precious Stone, has inklings from the song Pass Me By with his backing vocals. The second song, Rock Crowd, is a song about just that, the rock crowd that he sings to during every concert. It is a fun pop song that could easily be a single for the album. The chorus on the song is about crowd surfing. It is a really fun song. The third song, Velcro Shoes, could also be a single. It is another fun song about, you guessed it, Velcro shoes. I really like this album. It has reminders of his first three albums but it still has something new at the same time. The use of Frank Black really gives this album that kick that the fourth album was missing. I could see this album recording my feelings in this present day. Then I could write about it again in five or so years and say that this album has memories of me writing this blog. Well, maybe that would be a little boring, writing about an album that reminds me about writing about an album. This would be a little redundant, Yes?

Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine: 2010 Remaster
I have been debating about getting this remaster for a while now. I finaly disided to get the remastered album. The album was remastered by Tom Barker and Trent Rezner (Nine Inch Nails). Here is the skinny from the Wikipedia page for the album Pretty Hate Machine:

On March 29, 2010, the master recording rights of Pretty Hate Machine were acquired by the Bicycle Music Company and on October 22, 2010, Trent Reznor announced that a remastered re-issue of the album would be released by UMe and Bicycle Music Group on November 22, 2010. The re-release includes new cover art by Rob Sheridan and the bonus track "Get Down, Make Love", a Queen cover originally found on the "Sin" single.

Leading up to the re-release of the album, a website was put up for fans featuring content from videos and tours for Pretty Hate Machine. The videos for "Head Like a Hole" and "Down in It" featured newly remastered sound, the uncut video for "Sin" (a remix for the video was used, which did not lead to the song being remastered) and two early live video segments, one with interviews.

I was not sure that I would like or even see a difference between the two versions. From my comparisons the remastered version sounds so much better. It is not a mind blowing difference but it is a lot easier to listen to. The parts that were difficult to hear now stand out in the sound field more and the harsh sounds have been rounded off a little. I have already reviewed the original version of this release so I won’t rehash the album again. I did already have the Sin single. It is nice to have a remaster of that b-side, Get Down, Make Love. It is a good song.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
This is the second album from the electro dance punk group. It was released in the middle of March 2011. The album is not all that different from the first album. Some would say that this is called the sophomore slump. For me, this works completely. I couldn’t get enough of the first album so to have a second album of similar stuff is just fantastic. I will say that there is more acoustic guitar used on this album. This is a welcome change from the first album. It puts more of a contrast on the songs. An acoustic guitar paired next to digital sounds and heavily distorted guitars. It is other worldly. I love it! The first single, The Monkeys Are Coming, features a vocal sample from an internet meme featuring an American man ranting to a group of skateboarders. It is really quite funny to hear the sample in the song. The second track on the album features the classic hip hop sample of “Woo! Yeah!” There are some other samples that are used but they don’t stand out unless you know the source. This group is part of the reason that I started getting back into the electric noise sounds in the past 5 years. They have not disappointed me with this album that is for sure.

Zwan – Mary Star Of The Sea
This album was the result of The Smashing Pumpkins dissolution in 2000. Billy Corgan got a few of his favorite musicians together in 2001 to create this album. It is a smooth album with roots in The Smashing Pumpkins sound. I don’t think that Billy was finished writing music that sounded like the famous group. As we have seen he really wasn’t. He is still making music under the band name today. The group, Zwan, only put out this one album. There were two singles from this album. The first is Honestly. I have used this song in creating many mix discs for friends. They always ask if this is The Smashing Pumpkins and are surprised to find out that it is not but they obviously know that it is Corgan on vocals. The other single from this album is Lyric. This song is about music, quite simple. The cover reminds me of something from the flower power age, black and white with rainbows coming out in all directions.

I can remember living in my second house when this album came out. I was getting into minidisc. I had recorded this album onto a recordable from CD. It had just snowed about a foot. I popped this album on and went out to start shoveling the snow. I had a short driveway. I started with the sidewalk. Wow, it was some heavy wet snow that I was shoveling. I worked hard and enjoyed the music. It put me in a good mood and helped me get through all that heavy snow. I had listened to the album enough at that time that I could actually sing along with most of the lyrics. I really did not care if anybody else heard me. I was in the zone. I also remember taking pictures of that fresh snow before I had started shoveling. I have no interest in taking pictures of people. I love pictures of buildings and nature. I think that this may be because people are so common to me. If I can get an artistic picture of anything I am happy. As long as people are not involved in my photography I am usually happy with a photo.

I have more to write but I had to get what I had up. I will probably get more up in the next couple days.