Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 27

Here is my 1979 play list:


The B-52's

Bee Gees

Brownsville Station

The Cars

Cheap Trick

The Clash

The Clash


Fleetwood Mac

Gary Numan

Joy Division

Little Feat

Michael Jackson

The Police



Spyro Gyra

Super Tramp

Talking Heads

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


The B-52's

Bee Gees Greatest

Rock 'N' Roll High School


At Budokan

The Clash (US)

London Calling

Rock 'N' Roll High School


The Pleasure Principle

Unknown Pleasures

Down On The Farm

Off The Wall

Reggatta De Blanc

Greatest Hits

Rock 'N' Roll High School

Morning Dance

Breakfast In America

Fear of Music

Greatest Hits


Rock Lobster

Jive Talkin

Smoking In The Boy's Room

Let's Go

I Want You To Want Me

I Fought The Law

London Calling

Come Back Jonee

Sisters of The Moon



Down On The Farm

Rock With You

Message In A Bottle

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Rock 'N' Roll High School

Morning Dance

Take The Long Way Home

Life During Wartime

Don'e Do Me Like That

R.E.M. – Green
This is R.E.M.’s sixth album. The album was released in 1988. It is the group’s debut album on Warner Brothers records. The band decided to switch to a major label due to lack of promotional effort on IRS records. There were 4 singles released from this album. The first was Orange Crush. The title is a reference to the chemical that was used in the Vietnam conflict called Agent Orange. The lyrics tell a story of a high school football player that goes off to the Vietnam conflict and gets dosed with the chemical. I am not a lyrics person so I always thought of the orange soda called Orange Crush and the flavor of the soda. The second single is called Stand. The song is about finding a direction in life and of doing more than thinking about change. It is a great song and really gets one to think about what it is they are doing with their life. I remember the video for this song. It is just the group singing and standing in a line for most of the video. It seems boring but it is still entertaining. I ran across the 7” single at one of my local used record stores for five bucks. It was not a single that I needed but it is rare to find a vinyl single these days so I bought it. The next single is called Pop Song 89. This song was not as popular as the previous two singles. I remember hearing the single on the radio and seeing the video for it on MTV. The video featured some topless girls and the lead singer, Michael Stipe, dancing. MTV asked Stipe, he made the video for the song, to put bars over the girls’ breasts. He decided to put bars over all members’ breasts that were in the video, male or female. His view was that breasts are breasts. The last single is called Get Up. This song did not chart well in the US and was only released in the US as a single. The song is about Mike Mills, the bassist for R.E.M., tendency to sleep late during the recording of the album Green. He did not know the song was about him until a concert they did in 1990 when Stipe stated that the song was about his sleeping habits.

A couple of interesting notes about the vinyl edition of the album Green:
• R.E.M. labeled side one (tracks 1–6) as the "Air side" and side two (tracks 7–11) as the "Metal side."
• Track 4 ("Stand") is listed on the album as track "R."
• Track 11, unlisted on the back cover and unnamed on the disc, is copyrighted under the title, "11."
• On the back of the cover there is a sticker seemingly placed at random with the track listing.

This is a really great album that I thought that I would never find. I started looking at the third party used sales option on Amazon and found a fair copy of this album on vinyl for about seven bucks. I was excited to say the least. When I got the album the sleeve was in good condition. When I listened to the record I found that it was a bit noisy but still listenable. This was the last album that I wanted to fill out my R.E.M. collection. I now have all of the albums that they put out in the 80s on vinyl and the few that I wanted from the 90s on CD. I think that everyone needs to hear this album at least once and probably own the first three singles at the very least.

Saves The Day – Stay What You Are
This is the third album from Saves the day. It was released in 2001. This is an indie rock album or, dare I write it, an emo album. The album is actually considered a staple of the emo / pop punk genres. This is a strange album that produces a happily depressed feeling with me. I bought the album for the first single called At Your Funeral. The song is supposed to be about a metaphor on how you have an ego and in a way it can be killed. The lyrics suggest something else entirely. It is a very confusing song but easy to sing along with and has some entirely fun bouncy music to go along with it. I think that absolutely everyone should at least hear this song if they don’t ever listen to anything else in the emo genre. The video for the song was inspired by the movie Requiem For A Dream. They used motion control to speed up the scenes in the back ground. The scenes showcase three families as they grow in a one bedroom apartment. The video is also quite interesting. There was a second single that was released from this album as well called Freakish. The video for Freakish was actually very cute. It featured a few Muppet style puppets that were fuzzy. I can’t really call them Muppets because the characters in the video drink and smoke but they are so cute. The video is set in a bar with the lead singer at a grand piano singing. The puppets are dancing and mingling with the human patrons at the bar and eventually gather at the piano with the singer to sing along with the song.

I bought this album when it came out on CD. I loved it. I was not big into the emo sound at the time but I really liked this group. The only other emo band that I liked was Sunny Day Real Estate. They only put out 2 albums that I am aware of. Yes, I have both of those on vinyl too. I purchased the Saves The Day back catalog not long after getting this Stay What You Ate because I liked the music so much. I also purchased a repressing of this album a couple years ago. I don’t listen to the album as much as I did back then, ten years ago now, but I still remember the feelings that the album gives me when I listen to it today. I think that the album is even better on vinyl; this is just an opinion though.

The Cars – Heartbeat City
This is the fifth album from The Cars. The album was released in 1984. In my opinion it is their best album. There were six singles released from this album, most of which were in the top ten between 1984 and 1985. The first was the song You Might Think. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV. It was a very funny video with a girl that the lead singer was after. He would pop up in the most ridiculous ways through out this girls’ day. The video utilized, what was at the time, digital imagery. The next single from the album is It’s Not The Night. I don’t think that there was a video for this song and the song did not chart as well as the first single. The songs tempo was a bit slower and had a little less instrumentation than the first single. The third single is called Magic. This song charted very well. This song also had a video associated to it. It had the lead singer standing on water. The video takes place on the property of some expensive house with a pool in the back yard. The lead singer is walking on the water in said pool during parts of the video. During other parts of the video he is almost being mauled by the crowd that has gathered to watch him do his “magic.” The song is great but the video is a little bit lame. The video is still good to see once. The next single is called Drive. This is a classic 80s slow dance song. The use of the 80s synth sounds are perfect. I just love that grainy smooth synth sound. It is just a classic sound that reminds me of my childhood. The video is not that great, although, it does feature a very pretty woman through the video. The song is about asking if someone needs help but is really saying that no one is going to help except me (the singer). For me this song is very calming. It is the fourth track on the album setting a great rhythm and slows the album down a bit before taking it back up in tempo. The next single released from this album is called Hello Again. This is another fun song that charted well for the band. It also featured a video that aired on MTV in heavy rotation. The video features the band in a dancing bar for most of the video. Toward the end of the video the lead singer is sitting at a classic operator desk moving the wires around to connect incoming calls while he is singing the title of the song over and over. The last single from this album is called Why Can’t I Have You. Although this song had a video associated to it the song did not chart as well. This song was another slow song. The lyrics were about a guy wanting a girl that was not interested in him. That being said I can understand why it did not chart well. Who wants to hear about some dude whining about wanting a girl that has no interest in him?

I like this album even with the sad songs. It is a great album that I think everyone should listen to at least once.

Bon Iver – Bon Iver
This is the second album from Bon Iver. It was released in 2011. The album was released with wide positive reception. The album is very similar to the previous album with the exception that Justin Vernon did not record the music on his own. He now has a backing band for this album. This means that the album sounds fuller than the previous album but still retains the presence that was on the first album For Emma, Forever Ago. It is a sweet album with music that is based on places as can be seen with the track names. Vernon continues to use the falsetto that he used for the previous album. The sound of his vocals is not ear splitting but calming and soft. Vernon has also started using more than just acoustic guitars with this new album. The sounds created from the instruments, including electric guitar and lap guitar, are also calming and warm. The graphic on the cover of the album also reminds me of a calming serene place to be. The first single from the album is called Calgary. The song could have been a part of the first album with the exception of the soft fuzzed out electric guitar that is on the track. The addition of the electric guitar gives it the newly expanded sound that will keep fans like me coming back for more. Over all the album is not anything new from Bon Iver but it is exactly what fans wanted, more of the same stuff with a slight expansion in tone. I would recommend listening to the first album and then if you like what you hear there then check out the second album.

That is all for now...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 26

David Bowie – Space Oddity
This album was released in late 1969. It was the second release from David Bowie. Most fans and critics consider it his first regular release. There are two singles from this album. The most popular of which is the title track Space Oddity. The track is mostly an acoustic track with the additional use of an instrument called a Stylophone. It is a pocket electronic organ. The organ fits in the palm of your hand and uses a stylus to play. The song is about the classic character made famous by Bowie named Major Tom. The idea for the song is inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although it is not hinted at directly, the song is supposed to be referencing the character, Major Tom, taking heroin. It is referenced in a song that Bowie later wrote, from the album Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, called Ashes To Ashes: “We know Major Tom was a junkie.” I remember seeing a video for this song on MTV in the 80s. It is basically Bowie sitting cross legged on a stool in a studio with an acoustic guitar. There are some clips of a camera going through the studio viewing various pieces of recording gear. Bowie is dressed up in what he started wearing for The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust so I could only guess that the video was recorded in the early 70s. There was a second single from this album called Memory of A Free Festival. The track was a big failure in the US as there is basicly just Bowie and an accordion. The song slowly builds but doesn’t gain enough steam to really dance to. There were a few singles released after this album that were not included on the album. They did not chart very well either. All in all, this is a good album. I got the 40th anniversary vinyl release recently for ten bucks off the regular price. This is really the only reason that I got the album. It was the last album that I have been after from Bowie but I think I would have been just as satisfied if I had gotten it on CD. I say this because it is a repressing and not an original pressing. I think that if I had found an original pressing I would be happier but as it is it is still a good copy.

U2 – Zooropa
This is the eighth studio album from the group. It was released in 1993. The album explored the themes of technology, media and oversaturation. The album was originally intended to be an EP but the band ended up with more material than they anticipated and it became a full length album. There were three singles released from the album. The first single is called Numb. The song features The Edge speaking in monotone with various samples and sound effects used through out the song with Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. singing backup vocals. This was the first song from U2 that I really liked. There was something more experimental about this song than the usual U2 sound that I was not really interested in. I was after music that did not sound standard to me in music at this time. I also started getting into Radiohead with the release of their first album, Pablo Honey, and single, Creep. I bought this album on cassette because I thought of cassettes as disposable media. I was not sure that the album would be good enough to keep. As it turns out I loved the album. I did not get the album on CD until recently though. The video featured The Edge sitting down and talking the lyrics of the song. It is a black background with people walking between him and the black backdrop. Various things are done to The Edge through the song. The video is boring but entertaining at the same time. The second single from this album is called Lemon. I did not like this one as much as Numb. It was still catchy though. The song features Bono singing in falsetto through most of the song. The song is supposed to be dedicated to Bono’s mother’s video recordings. The video for the song was filmed in black and white. It was set up to pay tribute to Eadweard Muybridge and his device called the Zoopraxiscope. It is a device that allows the capture of fast motion on film. The third and last single from this album is called Stay (Faraway, So Close). It is a good relaxing song. The song is also based on the movie of the same name. This album also features a duet with Johnny Cash as the last track on the album. I am a big fan of “The Man In Black” and this song does not disappoint. I love this album because of the experimental sounds that are used within. I loved this album before I even cared about U2 or any of their other albums. I say this mainly because I disliked Achtung Baby so much. Both albums have great music but I would turn to Zooropa before Achtung Baby 99% of the time.

U2 – Pop
This was the follow up to Zooropa. It was released in 1997, four years after the previous album. This album continued the groups’ transition into a new style of music utilizing sounds from alternative rock, techno, dance and electronica. The album also used new production styles including the use of samples, loops, sequencing and the use of drum machines. The first single from the album is called Discothèque. The song reminds me of the cool electronica that was coming out at the end of the 90s from so many other artists of the time. There are a total of 5 singles released from this album. I am not a big fan of any of them. I will make a mention of the fifth single from this album, If God Will Send His Angels. This song was included on the soundtrack for the movie City of Angels. This is a good movie. Some would consider it a chick flick. Either way it is a good movie if you are all out of movies to watch.

Urge Overkill – Saturation
This is the fourth album from Urge Overkill. It was released in 1993. This is another album from around when I was getting into music. This album was a marked attempt at trying to make a hit album. This was attempted because the group had just signed to Geffen Records. It was a very good attempt in my opinion. That I am aware of there are only two singles from this album. The first is called Sister Havana. The second single is called Positive Bleeding. The album is a great album. It has a unique take on the classic rock sound with that great 90s flair. I can’t remember sitting around and listening to this album but I do remember the album well enough to sing along. It was defiantly a summer time album for me. It has a hot sticky summer time feel.

That is all for now...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 25

Here it is V2 EP25. This marks somewhere around the halfway mark. This one may offend some and my give better understanding to who I am. I hope this will not turn anyone away from this blog. Enjoy.

The Hives – Vini Vidi Vicious
The Hives are a Swedish garage rock revival group. This album is their second and most popular. It was released in 2000. They like to wear suits when they play. It is kind of a changing theme. It is not always the same suit either. If you check out all of the different album covers you will get my meaning. Obviously, the title of the album is a play on the famous Julius Caesar quote, “Vini Vidi Vici”. There were three singles that were released from this album. The first was Hate To Say I Told You So. This song was the reason that I got into the band. At the time I had MTV2 and they were still playing music videos. I remember when MTV played music videos. It is really sad to say that about to TV stations that are supposed to be dedicated to playing music. Anyway, the song has a similar chord progression to the song by the Kinks called All of The Day And All of The Night. This probably adds to the popularity of the song. This song was also included in the compilation album called Music from and inspired by Spider-Man. The song was obviously not from the movie or inspired by the movie, it was written before 2000, but it was a popular song at the time, 2002, and so was included in the compilation. The video for the song was very simple. It was the band playing in front of a two tone, beige on top and grey on the bottom, screen. There were added 60s psychedelic video effects added to the video as the group played. It made for a really cool retro feeling video for the song. The second single released from the group is called Supply and Demand. It is a good song but did not have the same flow as the previous single. There is not much info on this song as to even it charting success or I don’t have access to that information. The latter is probably the truth. I still like the song though. The third single from the group is called Main Offender. The song is essentially a recreation based on the song Have Love, Will Travel by The Sonics. The lead singer has stated that the song by The Sonics is one of his favorites. This song is also playable in the Rock Band video game. This is one of my favorite albums. It is very fast paced and easy to jump around to. Totally by accident, I ran across a record store on line that was selling copies of this album with a slightly bent corner for five bucks back in 2008. Although I already had the album from its debut US release in 2002, I couldn’t pass up such a great deal on a record that I loved. I have purchased all of their regular albums to date. I am excited for the up coming next album, scheduled for later this year. The only album that I did not pick up from them was the “greatest hits” album that was released at the same time as Vini Vidi Vicious was. I did not get it because it was just tracks from the two albums and I figured that I would be getting the previous album at some point because I liked Vini Vidi Vicious so much. I did get that first album too by the way.

Joe Boyd Vigil – Toonami: Deep Space Bass
DJ ClarkNova – Black Hole Megamix
I have had the music bumpers for the original Toonami run since cartoon network had them on their sight in the early 2000s. I loved these tracks but the network never said who created them. I knew that there was supposed to be a CD in the works from the network supporting the music that was created but I fell out of touch with the cartoons after a few year of watching. I still listen to these tracks on a reoccurring basis. It was because of Toonami that I own quite a few box sets of anime cartoons. Only a few of these bumpers are actually included in the Deep Space Bass collection that Toonami put out. I am glad that I downloaded the whole list of the bumpers and that I still have them after my hard drive crash last year. It was only recently that I found out who the writer of the music is. The writer is Joe Boyd Vigil. He has not only put out these drum and bass bumpers that I love so much but he has also put out the CD that I wanted to get through Toonami and an additional two CDs that was released on iTunes and Amazon in 2007 (I can’t seem to find them anywhere though). It is because of Toonami that I wanted to get some recording software. There was one track in particular that I really enjoyed called Strings. It is literally a repeating loop for about a minute and a half. This is actually all that the original bumpers that I downloaded are. It is just that the song strings appeals to me more than the other 10 tracks. I wish that I had known about this CD when it came out. As it stands I had to download the tracks off Deep Space Bass. I am glad to have them but it is always nice to have a physical copy. The tracks that I already had from the original Toonami downloads are expanded a little on Deep Space Bass. It is nice to hear the songs the way that they were intended. It is also great to have more music from an artist that I like. It is too bad that I found out about the album so late but I am still happy to have the music at any rate. There was also a CD that was never released from Toonami. It is a set of 21 songs that are new, old and current. The album was remixed by DJ ClarkNova. The tracks are not even named properly. It was leaked onto the internet and is currently being hosted by a Toonami fan site. If you are interested it is a legal download of all 21 songs. I think that it was the heads of the Toonami unit at Cartoon Network that leaked the album knowing that it would never see the light of day. It is because of Toonami that I purchased the anime box sets that I have. The ones that I have are Cowboy Beebop, Gundam Wing, Outlaw Star, Trigun, and Blue Sub 6. I am sure that there are others but I just can’t remember all of them. These are for sure the important ones though. I know, they are the strangest names for cartoon series but just say to yourself that they are from Japan and it should all make sense to you then. There are still some cartoons that I would like to have that aired on the anime time slots back then. They are becoming harder to find since they are not being advertised any longer on Toonami. I think that these cartoons and the music that that they brought with them are one of the happy points in a dark point in my life. I want to thank you Toonami for giving the fans of anime a way to see the things that we loved so much.

Stereolab – Sound-Dust
Sound Dust is the seventh album from Stereolab. It was released in 2001. It is a very pretty album from the group with flutes and strings paired up with the usual groove that Stereolab is known for. There was only one single released from the album. That single is called Captain Easychord. The song is a piano driven track with English lyrics. There is also a really cool lap guitar solo in the song. I don’t really like the lap guitar because of its heavy use in current country but in this case it works really well. The song is not super up beat but certainly drives along. The song basically says live what must live and die what must die. This reminds me of my grandfather on my wife’s side who is currently 96 and slowly dyeing. His memory is fading, he hurts all the time all over and just wants to sleep most of the time. I honestly don’t have much sympathy ever since I met the family all they have wished for the man was that he passes on. OK, I have a little bit of sympathy but it is mostly that he would just pass on. He was an abusive parent just like my grandfather was to my dad. Maybe that is why I just don’t care. I know all too well what an abusive parent is and I don’t want those types of people in my life no matter how young they are. If it were my choice they would still be in New York, sorry moms, Either way you look at it, it is not my choice. What is my choice is how often I see them. When I see them is usually on the holidays. The other thing that I have a problem with is that they need to be the center of attention. They are the oldest people in any group that they and I have been in, of course they are the center of attention. I hate that, not that I want to be the center of attention. Hardly, I would rather be at home relaxing. I don’t even want to be seen. So, when I hear that they were saddened that I did not say “Hi” and talk up a storm with them I get quite pissed off. I don’t care. I don’t need them; they are extra baggage on her side of the family in my opinion. I don’t have any grandparents living at this time. My last grandmother died a couple years ago. For me it is very hard to care about people that are not in my life consistently. I don’t even like to talk to my father for mainly the same reason. When I get old, please, just put me in a home with my stereo and music to listen to and let me be. Although my grandfather was verbally and physically abusive, my father was and still is to a greater extent a verbally abusive parent. I see my self as lucky that he did not bring the physical abuse with him to his parenting though. I don’t want or need that in my life and choose to cut it out as much as possible. Yes, this does mean that my son does not get to see his grandparents as much but I would rather not have my son abused as I was. I see my father abuse him the same way that he did to me and this is a good enough reason to eliminate them from his life in my opinion. You can disagree with me if you want to, I don’t see why you would, but it is my choice.

Jill Scott – Who Is Jill Scott (Words And Sounds Vol.1)

Lets start with the question that is posed in the title of the album. Who Is Jill Scott? She is an American soul and R&B singer-songwriter, poet, and actress. The album, Vol. 1, was released in 2000. She has something different in her style that I like. I am not an R&B fan but her musical style has something special. This album brings back some emotions that are not so good feeling. The albums she creates are always heavy in emotions. They are usually about love and anger from her point of view on men. The first time I heard/saw a song from her was on MTV2. It was the single A Long Walk. She is getting to know a man. It is filmed in black and white and slowly turns to color. They are just taking a walk around the hood. It was really educational for me being a white kid. I think that part of what appeals to me is her smile. It just makes me want to smile right back even though she is not here with me. The other thing I love about this album is the instrumentation. I love the Rhodes keyboard for one. It is used all over this album. If you have not heard this instrument, if you are interested in music I don’t see how you could have not heard one, it has a smooth rounded bell like tone. Stevie Wonder used this keyboard in a lot of his music in the past. I also love the fact that although she uses beats in her music she has a live backing band. You can tell what is played by a real band and what parts are created beats. I really like the combination of synthetic sounds and real instruments. The way that she does it is fresh and flows together seamlessly. Her band is a big part of what makes her albums work so well. That I am aware of she has had the same group since her first album, Vol. 1. The album has a good flow. I think that everyone should hear this one at least once in their life time. I take that back. I think that everyone should hear any of her albums at least once. It is not that they all sound the same but they all sound that good. Her albums are a celebration of love and life and everyone can appreciate that. She has 2 albums, one a regular album and the other still has information forthcoming, coming out this year, 2011. I am very excited for both of them. I was able to hear the new album, The Light Of The Sun, early on NPR’s First Listen. I was blown away by the musicality alone. I have only listened to it once and can’t remember anything about the stories that she is telling on this one but I can only assume that they are also about life and love. I plan on getting both of these albums, you should at least hear the regular album

That's all for now...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 24

Joy Division – Still
This album is not a regular release from the group. Joy Division only released two albums. This is a compilation/live album. It is a double LP recording. The first LP is rare studio tracks and the second is live recorded music that is also consists of rare tracks recorded at their last concert. The album was released in 1981. I went to one of my favorite used record stores reciently and found a copy of the original vinyl set for 30 bucks. I couldn’t pass this up. The records are in great shape and just needed a good cleaning. I only recognized the one track called Dead Souls from the studio recorded songs. Yes, I already have this song on the greatest hits CD that I have but I love to have the music on the intended format or original release (how ever you choose to look at it). The copy that I picked up is an original Factory Records pressing. It was pressed in Portugal as there is a sticker on the back that says Made In Portugal. This is a rare find in my book. This is mostly all new music for me with the exception of the regular album tracks and the cover of the song Sister Ray by The Kinks, also a live song. This is the version of the album with the bonus track on side three called Twenty Four Hours. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know how many pressings had this. I do like to have extra music though. I will say that the songs were left off either of the two albums for a reason. They were not that great. I will say that there are some real cool sounding bass guitar parts on these songs though. The bassist for the band tends to play more in the middle of the neck of the bass so the sounds are easier to hear in my opinion. It is to bad that they will never be given the chance to be the great songs that they should be. If you don’t know the story of Ian Curtis there are a few options available to you. You could check out the Wikipedia or you could look up either the documentary or the movie that was made about the group. I purchased the documentary as I did not like the movie as much. I rented both of them at my local Blockbuster before they went out of business. Soon after I rented them they went on sale to purchase as used DVDs. I made the clerk help me find the movie since they only had 2 copies of it when it was available to rent. We searched the whole building in order to find it. I only paid five bucks for the DVD. I felt bad for making her go through the whole store just to find a documentary but I really wanted to own that one. I think that I have watched it twice including the time that I rented the movie. It is done so well and I learned so much about the band though. They were not portrayed in a bad light even with what Ian had done with his life. It is the movie that really why I got into the group. I had memories of the single Love Will Tear Us Apart but it was the doc. that got me into more of the music.

Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys
This is the seventh studio album from the group. It was released in 2011. It is their latest release. I purchased this album in advance on vinyl. I got the record and was very disappointed to find that the album did not come with a download code. Also, when I listened to the album the first side has some noises on it. I really hate it when a new record has blemishes on it. I did like that it was a double vinyl set with only a few tracks on each side. The album was mainly written by the lead guitarist, Chris Walla. He said that the songs were written mainly based on a feeling and trying to put that feeling into music. This is how I tend to write music my self. They always try to recreate the band with every album but also try to keep the vision of what Death Cab For Cutie is all about. I think that they accomplished that idea very well. They did not do a OK Computer to Kid A like Radiohead did in 2000 for example. The album has the sounds of the previous album but it seems to be a happier album than Narrow Stairs is. This could be because of the recent marriage that the lead singer had recently. The group also took cues from the Brian Eno album Another Green World. The group would take two weeks at a time to record parts of the album. This was done mainly because Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla both have families to think about. To just move out to a recording studio for months at a time would be unrealistic in their eyes with those families waiting. They also recorded in multiple different studios for this album. This is abnormal for the group but with the need to work around the family thing the norm needed to be changed. The first single from the album is called You Are A Tourist. The song is about loving someone with that desire, that emotional drive that is so hard to say no to. This is really a good album. There are some great drum beats along with some great vocals. It is a more key board driven album than their past albums but there is still the cool guitar sound on the top of the songs. If you need indie guitar based music you may fall a little flat with this one. But there is still the few songs that have that distorted guitar sound, so you will not be let down.

R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant
This is R.E.M’s fourth album. It was released in 1986. I took a foray into the Amazon third party market. I was looking for this album and found a seller with a high percentage approval rate with a good description of the condition of the record and at a reasonable price (12 bucks). This album is hard to find in my area for some reason. I have found most of the other albums from the group through the local used record stores but I couldn’t find this one for some reason. It is not like this one was a rare pressing by any means. Any way, when I got the record it was in great condition. There was little wear on the outer sleeve, a little record wear and one corner fraying just a little bit. I cleaned the record and was good to go after that. The record is very clear, no pops or clicks at all. The album was intended to be a more upbeat idea to the previous record, Fables of The Reconstruction. The title of the album is a reference to a English idiom but more specifically to a line in an Inspector Clouseau movie called A Shot In The Dark. The lines go like this:

Inspector Clouseau opens car door and falls into a fountain.
Maria: "You should get out of these clothes immediately. You'll catch your death of pneumonia, you will."
Clouseau: "Yes, I probably will. But it's all part of life's rich pageant, you know?"

The apostrophe is left off on purpose as all R.E.M. songs and album names do not have them. The top of the album cover is a photo of Bill Berry, the drummer and the bottom is a picture of a pair of bison. The bottom of the cover alludes to a environmental theme and to Buffalo Bill. I had never seen the cover of this album until I started looking for R.E.M music a couple years ago. It was at this point that the group was gaining fans that were outside of the college rock scene. The first single from the album is called Fall On Me. I remember this song being on the radio. This does show that they were getting more fans outside of the college rock arena. The second single is Superman. This is actually a cover of a song written in 1969 by The Clique. This cover of the song was one of my favorite R.E.M songs. I was too young at the time to go out and buy the single at the very least.

Man or Astro-Man – Your Weight On The Moon
This is the first 10” EP from Man or Astro-Man? The album was released in 1994. The vinyl was released in 4 colors; black, pink, silver-grey and glow-in-the-dark. I got my copy in silver-grey. I would love to get a copy in glow-in-the-dark. It was hard enough finding the copy that I have so I don’t know if I will ever find a copy of the glow-in-the-dark. There are 10 tracks on this album and it still only lasts for just over 26 minuets. The songs are classic MOAM? The music is the hearty surf rock that they are famous for. If you like the surf rock sound then this may be an album for you. If you are a sci-fi geek and like music then this is a group for you. The names of the tracks are even in a sci-fi theme.

Man or Astro-Man – 1000X
This is MOAM?’s second 10” EP. It was released in clear or black vinyl. My copy is black. I don’t think that clear is that great but it is better than black. I am just a little bit disappointed that my copy is not clear but I will also not make efforts to find a copy that is clear. This EP was put out in 1997. It follows then that the songs on this EP are a bit more on the experimental/alternative sound. I found my copy of this EP sealed. What an exciting moment that was. Most of my MOAM? material was found after the music was out of print, so to find a copy of any of this still sealed is always an exciting experience. There is only seven songs on this album. The EP is only about 20 minuets as well. This is mainly because the songs are a little bit longer than the groups strictly surf beginnings. From all of the reviews of this band from other fans they always seem to compare them to Devo. I don’t understand why this is. They are nothing like the electronic punk group. There are a very few songs that even use lyrics. There is one on this EP and one on Your Weight On The Moon. That is four out of 17 tracks between the two EPs if you get my meaning. I like both groups quite a bit but I would never think to compare them. I like this EP for its alternative music roots. It has a style that MOAM? did their best to avoid. That style was what ever was popular at the current time (alternative genre). I think that is why these songs were collected together and not put on a regular album. I think that this should be an EP that is only heard after you have heard the earlier works. It puts a different spin on what they were after and what is changed.

Here is a list of the song titles from both EPs.

Your Weight On The Moon
Rocketship XL-3
Special Agent Conrad Uno
Electrostatic Brain Field
Taser Guns Mean Big Fun
Space Patrol
Happy Fingers
Destination Venus

The Miracle of Genuine Pyrex
Specify Gravity
Like a Giant Microwave
Man made of CO2
Universe City
100 Individual Magnets
With Automatic Shutoff

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 23

Cream – Fresh Cream
This is the first album from the group. The album came out in 1966. I recently picked up a copy of this album repressed from 2008. The first track on the US version is I Feel Free. This song is actually the second single released from the album. The first being Wrapping Paper. When I listened to the first track, I Feel Free, I could swear that there was something wrong with the track. At about the 30 second mark there was something missing. I thought that I had to be wrong because I was never a super fan of the group and I was relying on my memory from when I was a kid. I went so far as to download the track from the internet. This downloaded version sounded exactly the same. This last weekend I found a copy pressed from Atco in 1967. This is the regular American release. I thought that finding an original copy would be where the truth would be found. The Atco copy looked really clean so I picked it up. As it turns out there is an extra beat in the original version. It is such a minor issue though. Who knows how long this glitch has been in the system. I think that most of the fans have gotten used to the glitch and don’t know that the record companies have done this to the current master tapes. I don’t think that the problem was on purpose but it is there in current releases today. The 2008 repressing that I picked up has five extra tracks on it. The original pressing has ten tracks on it. This new 2008 pressing also has a new logo on the cover. The title, Fresh Cream, is formed into the shape of a dollop of cream. The original logo for the title was rectangular and had a green boarder around it. The track I Feel Free was not included on the UK version. Instead Spoonful was on the album. It is for this reason that I Feel Free is listed as a bonus track on the 2008 repressing. There was a Swedish version that had two extra tracks. Those two extra tracks are also included in the 2008 repressing. Those two tracks are called Wrapping Paper and The Coffee Song. The last two bonus tracks on the album that were never included on any version in the past are You Make Me Feel and Lawdy Mama.

Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
This is the groups’ first album. It was released in 1979. The album did very poorly upon first release. With the release of the 1980 single Love Will Tear Us Apart, the album gained more popularity. Here is some info from Wikipedia about the album:
The front cover image comes from an edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, and was originally drawn with black lines on a white background. It presents successive pulses from the first pulsar discovered, PSR B1919+21—often referred to in the context of this album by its older name, CP 1919. The image was suggested by drummer Stephen Morris and the cover design is credited to Joy Division, Peter Saville and Chris Mathan. The back cover of the album contains no track listings, leaving a blank table where one would expect the listings to be. The original release came in a textured sleeve.
The original LP release contained no track information on the labels, nor the traditional "side one" and "side two" designations. The ostensible "side one" was labeled Outside and displayed a reproduction of the image on the album cover, while the other side was labeled Inside and displayed the same image with the colors reversed (black-on-white). Track information and album credits appeared on the inner sleeve only.
I learned about the group as a kid with the single that is Love Will Tear Us Apart. It was not until a few years ago that I found out that they put out two albums. This album is not a great album but it took the music industry in a new direction. Well not single handedly but this along with many other albums that were pushing the boundaries of popular music. It is a good album but a rough album. I like it and think that everyone should listen to it at least one time.

Oingo Boingo – Only A Lad
This is the first full length album from Oingo Boingo. It was released in 1981. The album is incredibly complex using changing time signatures, key changes and borrowing from jazz and classical music. This album marked a change in their music style to bring them into the new wave genre. The first single, Only A Lad, was actually released on the preceding EP. This song gained popularity with the help of the KROQ radio station. The next single from the album is Little Girls. There was a video made for this song. The video is just as vague as the lyrics are. If you read into the lyrics you could think that he is singing about a character that likes to have sex with little girls. I can’t prove that this is the truth but the music is fun if you can get over that little thought. They also did a cover of the song You Really Go Me, originally done by The Kinks. It was done in a style similar to the cover of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction originally written by The Rolling Stones and covered by Devo. They are both great covers but I prefer the cover done by Devo a little better. I originally bought this album on vinyl through an Ebay seller. The listing said that it was a playable record but may skip. I bought it when I was just learning about used records. When I got the record in the mail I was excited. I opened the package and pulled the record out. I was very disappointed and angered to find that the record was actually cracked on one radius. There was no way to play the record. I was so mad. I later found a good copy that I could look at before I bought it. It is because of this purchase that I have done my best to stay away from Ebay all together.

Beck – Gamboy Variations (Hell Yes Remix)
This is considered a remix album released in 2005. This EP goes by multiple names in the fan world. Those names are Hell Yes (obviously), Ghettochip Malfunction, or GameBoy Variations. The EP has four tracks that come from the album Guero. Each of the for songs are remixed using 8-bit or 16-bit video game sounds. Each of the songs are given a secondary name. The first track is called Ghettochip Malfunction. It is a remix of the song Hell Yes. This is the title track for the EP. This track is so cool. There is one point in the song where beck and a girl with an Asian accent is listing off words and a computer voice sounds back the words. Beck reads off the ling, “Hell yes” and the electronic voice repeats back, “Be-ach” in the late 90s black colloquialism. Every time I hear that I laugh. The second track is Gameboy/Homeboy. The song that it is remixed from is called QuĂ© Onda Guero. This is not my favorite song but it is done very well. The next track is called Bad Cartridge. The song that it is remixed from is called E-Pro. The original song is actually the first single from the album Guero. The last song on the EP is Bit Rate Variations in B Flat. The first two tracks are remixed by someone that goes by the name 8-bit. The last two tracks are remixed by a guy that goes by Paza. I actually have a few EPs by Paza so I know his work. I got them for free from a page called The 8 Bit Peoples ( They are a group of people that creates music using only the low bit rate soundcards from the early videogame consoles. It is really brilliant that someone can come up with great music in such limited confines. And yes, The guy on the cover is shredding with a first series Nintendo Gameboy plugged into a Marshal stack.