Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 36

Here it is, the all 80's post...

The B-52’s – Whammy!
This album was released in 1983. It is the fourth album from the group. This was a simpler album for the group. It utilized drum machines and synth sounds. It was a departure in sound scape from their first two albums. It still has the classic sounds of male talking vocals and harmonized soprano female vocals. This was the saving grace for most people that liked The B-52’s. This album was not received with open arms it seems as I have read some reviews of the album. I think it is a great album but very different from what I am use to from the group. I did not even know that this album existed until a friend of mine brought it up in conversation. The only reason that I own it is that I happened upon it at a local used record store. I was lucky enough to find it on used vinyl. The record is in great condition, probably because the original purchaser did not find it as good as the previous two albums. There were a few singles that were released from this album. The first is called Legal Tender. The lyrics talk of counterfeiting money. It also talks about the heavy equipment needed in order to make such a thing happen. It is not detailed enough to actually help someone learn how to counterfeit money but it is an interesting story about inflation and what people would do to get the money that they need in order to live. The next single that was released is called Whammy Kiss. This song has a really cool synth bass line that I really like. The sound of the bass is slightly distorted but is also very rounded in tone. The song is obviously about hard lovin’. The music is good enough to ignore the lyrics if you are not into sexual lyrics. The last single from the album is called Song For A Future Generation. This is the first song to have all five members of the band adding to the vocals of a song. The lyrics are a satirical look at heterosexual coupling. This is shown by the “dating agency” style introductions of each of the band members. This album, it seems, is always overlooked in their catalog. It is very unique. I am not sure that it should be in everyone’s B-52’s collection but I think that it should be in everyone’s new wave genre collection.

The Police – Synchronicity
This is the fifth album from The Police. It was released in 1983. As was indicative if the time, the band mostly lost the reggae sound in favor of a synth driven album. The new wave was pressing in on all music it would seem. There were four singles released from this album. The first is called Every Breath You Take. Sting wrote the song about an obsessive ex-lover. The fans of The Police did not see it that way. The fans saw it as something of a positive outlook that a lover may have of his significant other. Either way it is still a good song musically speaking. I remember the video for this song as nothing super special. It was filmed in black and white with the back ground being black. There is a small string section playing with the group in this video and later there is a guy cleaning a sky scraper window using scaffolding. The next song that was released is called Wrapped Around Your Finger. This song has lyrical references to the German legend of Faust and references to Scylla and Charybdis monsters of Greek mythology. I remember the video for this one particularly well. The band are in a room filled with candles on tall metal posts. The band is placed in the middle of these rows of candles separated. Sting is seen dancing between the rows of candles not playing his bass guitar at all. He is dressed in white with sunglasses. I don’t know what the sunglasses are for seeing as the room has no lighting except for the candle light. There are a couple of points in the video where he is seen holding one of the metal candle holders and knocking over some of the others with it. Then there is the end of the video where he is just blatantly knocking all of the candle holders over making a huge mess. I was always told to not make a mess or to clean up the mess. Here, he gets away with making a mess and not having to do the work of cleaning it all up. I think that this drove me nuts as a kid because he got to make a big mess and did not need to worry about cleaning it up. The next single is called Synchronicity II. The song is a reference to Carl Jung’s theory of Synchronicity. The lyrics tell of a man who is a husband, father and an employee. In each of these rolls he is very unhappy. He is looking for peace and clarity but because of his problems in each of his rolls he can not find what he is looking for. The video for this song I thought was so much more interesting than the previous songs video. It featured the band in a future that seems to be falling apart. I thought it was so cool looking. The drummer was placed at the top of a mass of drums placed at odd angles making it hard for him to hit any particular drum head. The cloths that they were wearing were torn and tattered. There was also a wind machine blowing random garbage and paper around the set. The last single to be released on this album is called King of Pain. This song did not have a video to go with it. The song is piano driven in the opening but the drums kick in with a simple guitar part being plucked on the strings. The chorus uses a nice distortion with a delay pedal on the guitar giving it a nice contrast. The album is probably the best that the group has done but it was, sadly, their last album as a rock group.

Spandau Ballet – True
This was the third album from the group. It was released in 1983. The album was heavily influenced by jazz, soul and R&B music. The first single from the album, the title track, is called True. This song was used in the John Hughes film called Sixteen Candles. I have become a fan of the 1980s films by John Hughes and this song has come to mean more to me that a hit single from the 80s. It is now directly linked, in my mind, directly to this movie. This song had a video that went with it. Sadly, the video does not reference the movie Sixteen Candles. The video is just the band playing the song with a purple background and lights that are simulating the movement of water. It is a great song but the video leaves something to be desired. The second single from this album is called Gold. The song seems to be about finding something precious and keeping a hold of it through out your life. The video has more of a story than the first single or it is at least more entertaining than the first video is. The story in the video seems to be about putting together a puzzle made of gold. The album as a whole is interesting but not a necessary album to have unless you are into the 80s dance/new wave sound. I can’t exactly recommend this one because there are only a couple of songs that are actually worth having. I think that if one were to download the title track, True, from this album that would be all that one would really need.

After The Fire – ATF
This album was released in 1982. It is a compilation album containing tracks from their first three albums. There was a new track included on this compilation called Der Kommissar. In the rest of the world this album was named Der Kommissar. The name of the album, ATF, was chosen as the title of the album by Epic Records. The only single that was released off the album was the title track, Der Kommissar. The song itself is a English cover of the minor hit from Falco earlier that same year. The ATF version was more popular in the US than the original Falco version. On the other hand, I do remember seeing the video for the Falco version on MTV when I was a kid. I like the ATF version better than the Falco version. I do not have the Falco version to compare the two at the moment though. I will say that I like the guitar sound from the ATF version. The problem is that both tracks were released so closely together that it would be hard to distinguish the two of them by my memory alone. Since I only have one of the two versions I can not give an accurate assessment between the two. I will say that this album has some really great sounding new wave music on it though, very poppy and up beat. I love it!

That is all I have for now...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 35

Sorry for the delay, I was sick this weekend. On with the show, or blog, or what ever.

Falling Up – Dawn Escapes
This is the second album from Falling up. It was released in 2005. This album is not quite as over produced as its predecessor, Crashings. However, there is more use of electronic sounds, strings and the piano. For me, the changes that were made on this album actually keep it very similar to Crashings. I like both of the albums very much though. This album, Dawn Escapes, is just a little bit less poppy than Crashings and not so focused on divine grace. On the other hand it is more poetic and uses conceptual ideas to offset this fact. The lyrics remain openly Christian making reference that God is the only source of salvation. The liner notes also make a point of showing that the lyrics reference scripture. I bought this album when it came out. The problem is that there is no radio station in my city that played this type of music, Christian rock. It is because of this that I have no idea what the single are on this album. Because of this I will list some stand out tracks for me. The very first song on the album as a resonance of a track called Bitter Sweet from their first album. It is not that I don’t like this. It is actually a smart move on a sophomore album. It shows that they are giving the fans what they want. It shows that the band can make new music and that they have room for growth. The next track that stands out for me is called Flights. The bass guitar in this song has a very unique distorted sound that has been applied to it. It gives it that gritty edge sound that I really like. In my playing of the bass, I have yet to achieve that sound, although I have not messed with my bass amplifier enough to push it that hard. I don’t want to break the speakers since they are not designed to be used with the amplifier. There is s nice tinkling guitar part that uses a delay pedal to help it get there. It is very pretty sounding. The next song that I think is very good is called Contact. This song is more slowed down utilizing the piano as the focal instrument. For me the song is about getting baptized as an adult. The chorus sings, “Erase, everything within you will feel erased.” With a slow “Erase, now” flowing behind that lyric. In my heart, via scripture as well, it means that anyone who believes in Jesus as the savior and goes through the ritual of baptism will have all of their sins erased. It is a powerful message if you so chose to believe in Christianity. The last song that I am going to go over is called Fearless. The song starts out with the drummer making triplets on the snare drum. It makes the start of the song sound off. But then it kicks into the song and smooths itself out. It is a really cool effect to use in music in my opinion. It also uses the harmony vocals that were used on their first album. It is a two part harmony that makes me feel so good inside. This is another song that makes use of water as a metaphor. They are basically saying that if you believe in Jesus and Christianity you should be drinking from the waters of life and you are sure to find yourself in heaven when you leave this world you are in. It is a beautiful metaphor but obviously works only in Christianity.

Go Sailor – Go Sailor
This is a short lived twee pop group out of Berkeley. It is a compilation of their three seven inch records and songs that were on compilation records that were originally released in the mid 90’s. My current favorite independent record company has culminated all of these songs onto a twelve inch record. It is a perfect snapshot of where the indie music was at in the mid 90’s before the internet was the primary place to search for music releases. The music that they put out was simple. There were no extra effects. It was a three piece band with a high pitch female vocalist. The music that they put out was very infectious. They made the listener want to listen to what they had to say weather it was surface level easy to listen to songs or in-depth music about long distance relationships. This grouping was originally released on CD in 1996. Slumberland records have started a new Slumberland Archive series which will feature almost exclusively vinyl only releases of great musical and historical interests. This is their first release in this archive series. On the back of the jacket of this album are all of the covers of the seven inch records and compilations so that if you are really into them you can hunt down the original music if you so chose. For me this is a really fun album with just enough sugar to listen to a few times in a row. It is a very pretty album. Now go get it! You can still get it on CD, probably used if you look hard enough and it shouldn’t be too expensive. If you are still not sure you can listen to at least one track on the Slumberland website.

Led Zeppelin – Coda
This was the last studio album from Led Zeppelin. It was released in 1982. It is a collection of outtakes from previous recording sessions spanning over their twelve year career. The album was released two years after the band had broken up following the death of drummer John Bonham. The title of the album has meaning for that band at that time. The definition of the word coda goes as such in reference to music: a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close (first definition from There are only eight songs on this album. There were no official singles released from this album. There were three tracks that did get radio airplay though. The first of those three is a track called Darlene. This song was recorded during the In Through The Out Door sessions. It was left off the record because it would not fit on the record. The song has a real cool guitar/piano solo on it. It is another song about getting the girl though so it is not a stand out track for me. The second track that was aired on the radio was Ozone Baby. This was also a track left off of In Through The Out Door. This song is an up beat track about the love of someone or something. It is a good song and plant makes use of a harmonizing pedal on the vocals making the song sound just a little bit more unique. The last song that got some air play on the radio stations is a song called Poor Tom. This song was originally recorded in 1970. The song is supposed to be about a laborer who murders his unfaithful wife. There is a reference in the song that Tom was the seventh son. This may have meant that Tom saw that his wife was going to be unfaithful. It is said that the seventh son in a family is clairvoyant. It is an interesting turn in the lyric at any rate. The title Poor Tom could be referencing lines from John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden or William Shakespeare’s King Lear. These are unconfirmed that I am aware of.

Servotron – No Room For Humans
Servotron is a science fiction based group formed in 1995 and ended in 1999. They claimed to spread the word of robot domination. This was their first full length album. I just happen to find it used at a Half Priced Book Store. The groups’ influences are along the lines of DEVO and Kraftwork. Half of the members are from Man or Astro-Man? so you can see why I picked it up. The album has 14 tracks on it all about robot domination or human extinction but in a comedic way. I will just go over a few of my favorites here since I have no idea what or if there were any singles released from this album. I think that this song is so funny. The song is called I AM NOT A (Voice Activated Child Identicon). It is a song about the cyborg child TV show called Small Wonder. The chorus of the song goes, “I am not V.I.C.I., I am no small wonder.” The name of the cyborg was V.I.C.I. but the tonality of the vocalist makes the song so much funnier because it does sound monotone and little kidish like the girl in the show. The other track that I find very funny is a song called Red Robot Refund (The Balad of R5-D4). This is a reference to the red astro droid that malfunctioned when the Jawas were trying to sell bots to Unkel Owen and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope. The lyrics to the song go on to explain that if it weren’t for R5-D4 malfunctioning the rebellion may not have won the attack on the Death Star. The last song that I love from this album is called Gammatron. Gammatron is the name of one of the “robots” in the band. It is a song about how it is wrong for Gammatron to have human feelings. The other bots in the band saw it as a weakness to be anything like a human.

I also recorded three tracks, drums, bass and rhythm guitar, for a song that I have been working on for the past few weeks. Yeah!!

That is all I have for now...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 34

Warning: all of the items in this list are very limited. Some may already be out of print.

Man or Astro-Man?/Chrome – Gearhead Magazine #5 Insert
This is a split seven inch record that was released in 1996 with Gearhead Magazine issue number five. There were 7000 copies of this seven inch record. There are two tracks on this record. The A side has the Man or Astro-Man? track called 400,000.37 Miles (Breaking the Sanity Barrier). The track was named as such to honor the odometer reading of their original touring van. The song starts out with a slow build of a jet engine then cuts into the song. The song is classic MOAM? space/surf style. At the end of the track there is a clip of a guy talking at a race track about the hazards of racing. The announcer at the track cuts in asking for a meatball for the upcoming race. I have no idea why a meatball would be needed in a race. The sound clip is very funny and probably taken out of context. The B side of this Seven inch is from a band named Chrome. The track is called Torque Pound. I have never heard of this band. The song that was put on this record is pretty good though. There are no words on the song but there are vocals. This song has a cool late 60s sound. Each side of the cover has a different picture of a car. Each band got information about their song put on one side of the cover.

Man or Astro-Man?/Teenage Cavemen – Kill Geeksville
This is a split seven inch record that was released in 1994 on Worry Bird records. The actual title of this 7” is Man or Astro-Man? meet Teenage Cavemen. The reason that most call this the Kill Geeksvill record is that in the bottom left corner there is a box with the words Kill Geeksville written inside. Some say that Teenage Cavemen was a side project seeing as members of Teenage Cavemen were in some way related to MOAM? on future releases of their music. I don’t really see it as a side project considering that all members of Teenage Cavemen were not involved with MOAM? at the time except the drummer. I don’t believe that this was the drummers’ band. There for it is not a side project for MOAM? Each band put two tracks on this record. The first track on the A side, the MOAM? side, is Bombora. This is a cover song originally from Surfaris. This is a great surf song with lots of bending of notes that is typical of surf music. The next song is called Surf Terror. This song starts out with a clip taken from a movie. In the clip they are talking about a monster that lives in the water but may be able to walk on land for short periods too. The song has just as much surf in it as the cover of Bombora. The B side songs start off with the track Phantom Stranger of Your Heart. This seems to be of that gritty 60s simple rock or something of the early punk sound of the mid 70s. It is a real cool sound, maybe likened to what The Stooges had but with more of a pop sound. The second track from Teenage Cavemen is called Sidekick. The sound is very similar to the first track from them. All that they did was change some of the words around it would seem. It is still a good track though.

Man or Astro-Man? - Postphonic Star Exploration
This record was released in 1995. It is a five inch record with two songs on it. That is right folks I said 5” record. There were not many of these records made. I believe that they were all made in the early to mid 90s as a way to combat the CD. It was not really much of a fight considering that you could only get two songs on a record of that size. The record is just so darn cute though. I know that there are at least a few other bands out there that have put out five inch records too. This record was released on either black or clear green vinyl. The one that I found was on black, the more common pressing. I was just happy to find it honestly. Both of the tracks found on this record can be found on What Remains Inside A Black Hole, the Australian B side album. The A side has the track Polaris. The song features some great sounds from a Theremin. The song itself is a great sci-fi surf rock song. The B side track is called War of The Satellites. This track has a very fun guitar riff on it. It is a very short song though. I would recommend getting the Australian album before hunting this tiny record down unless you are looking for unique items.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – The Body
This is the latest single from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. It is obviously released in 2011. There are two tracks on this yellow/orange colored vinyl. This is a European only single released through PIAS. You can purchase the single through the bands website for a reasonable price considering that it will be shipped from overseas. The A side is The Body. It is a great song from the album Belong. It has some very catchy lyrics. The B side of this record has the track Tomorrow Dies Today. This song was released on the Japanese version of the album Belong along with three other B sides. One of which has not yet been released to the rest of the world. This song is called Steel Daughter. I am hoping that this will be released on the next single for the US. Slumberland Records has told me that there will be one more single released from Belong this fall. This song is just as good as the A side of this record. It is just as infectious as the A side track. The song is not as strong as The Body but still as good.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak (Twin Shadow RMX)
There is a free remix of the song Heart In Your Heartbreak from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. The remix was done by the group Twin Shadow, who has bee touring with TPOBPAH periodically through their touring around the world this year. If you go to the TPOBPAH website there is a link to download the song at the top of the front page. The remix is very interesting. This version of the song uses an 80s style hand clap that stands out like crazy. There is also a piano that is used in the remix. I like the piano sound. It is a refreshing take on the song. I am a big fan of the remix. I would love it if they put out another remix album.

Philip Selway – Running Blind

This is a four track EP released only on vinyl or download. The four songs were songs that were played live on his tour. He wanted to capture them after the tour was finished. You can get the EP directly from his website now but they are limited pressings on vinyl. They are slow songs that are very depressing but very good at the same time. I don’t really have much to say about them since they are not on the top of my list to be listening to at the moment. I wanted to bring up the EP since he is the drummer to my favorite band Radiohead.

Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie RMX/Bloom RMX
This is the second remix vinyl in the Radiohead remix series. It features different artwork than the first release but only slightly. There are two remixes of bloom and one of Morning Mr Magpie. The strangest thing about this record is that one side of the record is at 33 and the other is at 45 RPMs. This release was delayed in the US and I think it is for this very reason that the delay happened. This is just a guess and I can not prove it in any way shape or form. There has been a lot of complaints about the quality of these remixed tracks. I haven’t had a problem with any of them yet, especially if they are listened to back to back. I love the music that this group produces. I wish that they would put out more than just two B sides from the album but I like remixes too as I stated earlier with the Pains remix. The other interesting thing about this set is that the two Bloom remixes are remixed by the same guy. He apparently has an alias as a music writer and has remixed the track two different ways, once as himself and once as his music alias. I think that is very cool.

Radiohead – Feral RMX/Morning Mr. Magpie RMX/Separator RMX
This is the third installment from the Radiohead remix series. The cover art on this one differs greatly than the previous two in this release. The first and the last tracks on this on are just about as perfect as can possibly be. The second track, not so much. The second track is good for breaking up the two on the ends though. The first track never had any actual vocals so this was an easy one to remix in my opinion. The remix for this track was not sloppy at all though. It is beautiful perfection I think. The second track seems very rough and is nearly difficult to listen to on its own. Besides, I already have a good remix version of Morning Mr Magpie from the second remix record. The last track, Seperator, was remixed from a very good electronic artist named Four Tet. This is the best yet from this series of remixes. The track uses some really cool soaring/modulated synth keyboards that make the song unbelievably beautiful. It is my new favorite remix from this series bumping the Little By Little remix done by Caribou from the first record.

At the time of this post you can still get the two Pains of Being Pure At Heart releases, the Phil Selway EP and the Radiohead remix LPs. All Man or Astro-Man? stuff is for the most part out of print. Although, I have heard rumors that they are writing new material.

That is all I have for now...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 33

Trying to play catch up here still.

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
This is the fourth album from Elbow. It was released in 2008. It is their most successful album to date. There are three singles from this album. The first is Grounds For Divorce. The lyrics for the song were written when the lead singer was going through an unhappy relationship. There is a fun simple chant that would be great at live concerts. The next single is called One Day Like This. After this album won the Brit Awards this song was used for many sports and TV shows in the UK. The last single from this album was The Bones Of You. There is something very special about this song for me. It is simple and complex at the same time. The use of acoustic guitars, distorted bass and rim shot driven drums is so unique and unusual for me. The lyrics also hit home for me. The singer talks about having someone so close but so far away at the same time. It was during this time that my now wife was on deployment with the army in the Middle East while I was back here in the US. It was not that hard on me then but when I think back on it now it brings tears to my eyes and I get choked up. They use a really cool sounding distorted bass guitar used through the whole album. This is part of the attraction to this album for me. The use of the acoustic guitar primarily is also different for my tastes. There is an electric guitar used but it is used so sparingly that it pops out when it is used. It is just nice to have the electric guitar used so seldom on an album. The lead singers’ voice is warm and soft. Yet another thing that is different from most music that I really like. All of these things combine to make an extraordinary album. This is for sure an album that everyone should hear at least once to make a fair decision as to whether it is for them. I loved it so much that I bought it on CD and Vinyl!

Gorillaz – Gorillaz
This is the Gorillaz first album. It was released in 2001. I am a big fan of the band Blur. The lead singer from Blur, Damon Albarn, went on, after Blur broke up, to form Gorillaz. Damon has a big fascination with music ideas that are not rock based but trying to make them fit into a rock mold. It is a great idea and usually works. There are four singles that came off this album. The first and most famous is the song Clint Eastwood. The song uses the chorus, “I’ve got sunshine in a bag.” This is a line taken from the movie The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. This is a movie that stars Clint Eastwood the actor, although, the actor is never mentioned in the song. The video is probably the way that most people in the US heard/saw the song. It is very creative, showcasing each member of the band. Incase you did not know the band are all cartoon characters. The core of the band are Damon Albarn, who I have already mentioned, (music) and Jamie Hewlett (Cartoon Artist). The next single is 19-2000. The version of this song that was released for the single was actually a remix of the song called 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix). This version of the song is a bit more up tempo than the version that is on the self titled album. This version of the song is included on the remix album called G-Sides. It also appears on the extended version of the self titled album. The video for this song features the group driving in their Meyers Manx Dune Buggy on highways that appear to be very rollercoasterish in style. It is s very fun video indeed. The third single is called Rock The House. This song uses various samples from jazz and hip-hop with a cool horn sample that keeps the song on the up and up. The band was not exactly happy with the song but it was still released as a single. The last single is called Tomorrow Comes Today. This song was featured on the EP that was also titled Gorillaz. It is generally a good song but nothing really stands out except the drums for me. I really liked the album when it came out. I heard the first single and loved it. I had to have the album. After I heard the whole of the album I had to have more. I bought both the G-Sides album and the collaboration album between Gorillaz and Spacemonkeyz. The latter was not as good. The former was a blast and a lot of fun to listen to.

Three Days Grace – Three Days Grace
This is their first album. It was released in 2003. They are a three piece hard rock band from Canada. This album has three singles from it. The first is called I Hate Everything About You. The title of the song is very descriptive for what the song is about. The video for the song depicts three different mini stories. The first is about a boy who finds his girl cheating on him. The second is about a girl who breaks up with her boyfriend. The third is a story about a boy who is beaten by his drunken father. At the end of the video we see each of them on a hill, the first boy throwing a framed picture of his girl at the hill, the girl throwing her love notes at the hill and the abused boy throwing a bottle of his fathers’ alcohol at the hill. All three of the children are doing this in complete anger. The next single is called Just Like You. The lead singer had this to say about the song, "It's about being told how to live your life. When we were growing up, we saw it sort of first hand. A lot of our friends were pushed into doing jobs their parents were telling them to do. It's about being pushed around and told how to live your life and standing up for yourself." The third and last single from this album is called Home. For me this song is about being a child and wanting to be living on your own. It may be about living in an abusive family and the child or even one of the spouses just doesn’t want to be apart of the family any more because the lives of the family members living together does not make a positive living environment. I don’t personally think that my life with my parents while in school was bad but it wasn’t that great either. I really like this album because of the guitar sound that is used. If you have ever been shocked by AC current, and who hasn’t, then you know the sound of the guitars that are used. If you could translate the feeling of AC current into sound you would have what the sound of the guitars in this album sound like. I actually used the first two singles to help me get over the divorce that I went through. I had to force myself to get over my first true love. I did not want the divorce, she did. Because of this, I had to teach myself to stop loving her. I did this in part by using these two songs. I did also use other songs but these were two of them that helped me get over her.

R.E.M. – Monster
This is the ninth album from R.E.M. It was released in 1994. The sound of the album was a different direction for the band, especially if you consider the previous two albums. They created this album with a tongue in cheek idea of a rock album. There are five singles from this album. The first is called What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? The reference to the title was to a unprovoked beating of Dan Rather by two people. One of the assailants attacked because he thought that the media had taken control of him. They were both heard to be repeating the fraise, “what's the frequency, Kenneth?” The next single is called Bang And Blame. This was a hit song when it was released. For me, I did not think it was that great of a song. Everyone can’t be happy with every song. The verse section of the song is maybe a bit to slow for me. The music for the song is very good. The echo on the verse part of the song is a lot of fun but the lyrics drag the song down for me. The third single from this album is called Strange Currencies. This song was almost left off the album because of the similarities to the song Everybody Hurts from the album Automatic For The People. The band decided that the lyrics were too good to leave off the album and reworked the rhythm to make the song different enough to include it on Monster. Stype had this to say about the song, “when somebody actually thinks that, through words, they're going to be able to convince somebody that they are their one and only.” The next single is called Crush With Eyeliner. The song has a great over the top guitar riff that uses a delay guitar effect perfectly. Just the guitar sounds on this song are enough to make anybody happy. The video is pretty funny. It features a group of Japanese kids mimicking the lyrics to the song with instruments and all. I guess you could call it extravagant karaoke. It is really great, you should look it up on you tube!

That is all I have for now...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 32

I am very excited to say that I have some really great things to write about coming up in the future. I wan to write about them now but I have still not gotten them in the mail yet. I will tell you that they are coming from all three of my favorite bands, Radiohead, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Man or Astro-Man? There is still quite a bit of music that I still have to review from both Radiohead and Man or Astro-Man? that I have but have not gotten to. Maybe I will do some single reviews like I did with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart in the past. Anyway, on with the show!

Air – Premiers Symptomes
Originaly released in 1997 and re-released in 1999 with a couple bonus tracks. This is a collection of their first singles that were released. I picked up the 1999 re-release because I wanted the last track. The title of the album is a reference to the Serge Gainsbourg song of the same name. This is the duo’s first release. It was originally released before their first album Moon Safari. All of the songs on this have an atmospheric feel but there is still a good beat pushing the songs. For me this collection of songs is in a totally different direction from everything else that they have created. If I was forced to give up all of my music from Air except one album this would be the one that I would choose. The case for this album is very unique as well. It is set up like the Japanese mini LP with a card sleeve that slides into a second card sleeve. The outer card sleeve is die cut with holes that read the word Air. The inner sleeve is covered in colored dots. When the inner sleeve is slid into the outer sleeve the word Air becomes nicely colored. Each of these single songs in this collection is truly a work of its own but they also fit nicely together as an EP. I am not sure if this was intended but it works well. They are all very laid back in tempo except for the last track called Breaks On. It has a faster beat than the rest and is probably why I like it so much. After hearing all of these slowed down tracks it is a little refreshing to hear something to bring you back up to pace. I also love the use of the Rhodes keyboard in most of the tracks. There is something about that keyboard that makes me so happy. It could be the references to 70s or it could be that the original sound of the Rhodes is just that soothing in my head. Some people may not agree with me but the pretty bell like tones that come from an electromechanical keyboard, like the Rhodes, just does it so well for me. I like this album a lot and it is nice to have some chill out music on to decompress after a hard day. This is one of the albums that I would choose to do just such a thing.

Coldplay – Every Teardrop is A Waterfall EP
This was released in 2011. It is an EP that was released before their fifth album. It is only a three track EP (most singles that I get have more songs than this). The title track is based on the song I Go To Rio written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson. The song Coldplay has written uses the same chord structure as I Go To Rio. Both songs are great songs. Coldplay has given credit to both Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson for the song. The lead singer has written that he was inspired by the song as it was used in the movie Biutiful. I have never seen the movie and don’t know anything about it. The next son on this EP, Major Minus, has a great guitar part. It soars through out most of the song but there are points in the song when the guitar is muted with a series of eights notes on the first string that really grabs your attention. The last song, Moving To Mars, is based on a documentary about two families that are forced to move from Burma to the UK. The song has the same name as the documentary. All of the songs on this EP are very good but could have been better. I am not sure but the band may be resting on its laurels if this is an accurate example of what they will be putting out on their next album. I purchased this EP as a download only. I did this because I wanted to get all of the songs in one shot. Also, because I did not want to pay an arm and a leg for the physical single (10 bucks I believe for a new CD).

Daft Punk – Human After All
This is the third album from this duo. It was released in 2005. This album was recorded in a very short six week time period. It is an incredibly short time period considering that the band has taken more time on the previous two albums that they have put out. The band considered this album to be the favorite of their three studio albums and regard it as "pure improvisation." The album's brief creation and minimal production had been decided upon beforehand as counterpoint to their previous album Discovery. The album was primarily created with two guitars and a drum machine. The album was not created with the intent to make one feel good. The actual intent was to convey fear and paranoia. This is not the case with me of course. This album makes me feel very good in fact. The electronic sounds that are used on top of the guitar sounds are very cool in deed. Putting the vocals into a guitar sound help this fact for me. It makes me want to bounce with the beat but it envelopes me like a blanket, keeping me warm, at the same time. There were a few singles from this album too. The first is Robot Rock. This song features a sample from the song Release The Beast from the band Breakwater. The next single is Technologic. This song can be called incredibly repetitive. It is this repetitiveness that makes the song so brilliant. The lyrics are an electronically transposed vocalist speaking technological commands in time with the song, i.e. "Plug it, play it, burn it, rip it, drag it, drop it, zip, unzip it." The third single is Human After All. This song was not released with an accompanying music video. The last single from this album is called The Prime Of Your Life. The guitar on this album seems to have this bubbly sensation. Every little tick of the pick on the strings is picked up in the effect that is used. It really sounds very cool in the track. This album came out when I was dating the rebound girl after my divorce. I remember forcing her to listen to this album and that she just hated it. She put up with the album only because she liked me. I couldn’t get enough of the album an had it on constantly whether she was there or not. I don’t think that my son remembers that this album was on so much but it may occur to him later in life like the music of my childhood has with me.

R.E.M. – Chronic Town

This is the first release from R.E.M. before their first full length album. It was released in 1982 on IRS Records. It was repressed in the last year or two. I was lucky enough to find an IRS Records copy used at one of my favorite record shops. It is in great condition. Wikipedia states this on the web site for the EP:

On the original vinyl release, R.E.M. labeled the A (or first) side (tracks 1–3) as the "Chronic Town" side and the B (or second) side (tracks 4 and 5) as the "Poster Torn" side. Both are lyrics in the band's song "Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)"

I believe that the site has it wrong. I have a copy of the original EP and it lists the tracks 1,000,000 and Stumble first on the back of the cover. I take this to mean that this is side one not side two as the Wikipedia site for the EP says. This was a great showcase for what the group would produce in the future. I think that the track that stands out on this EP is the song called Gardening At Nite. This song reminds me of a faster version of Night Swimming, which was released ten years later. They are both great songs. This EP shows what R.E.M. is and what they will be all in one EP. It is very good to listen to.

I am sorry that this was put out so late. I was hoping to get those records in the mail but they did not come. As a result I waited to long and finally decided to get on with other things that I have in my list to review. So, that is all I have for now...