Friday, February 24, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 7

I wanted to get a few more albums reviewed in this set but I was waiting for a few albums to come in the mail. They did not make it/have not made it to my door step yet. Maybe next week. We'll see what comes next week.

This is the third 7” release from indie punk band Bleached. It was released in limited quantities in 2011. There are just two tracks on this single. The record was supposed to come with a download coupon for MP3 versions of the tracks. For some reason ours did not. I didn’t think that was a big deal since we were at the show and got the band to sign the cover of the record anyway. I think it is a fair trade to have the band sign and not have a MP3 code. Thanks again Bleached for signing that record cover! The two tracks on this record are mind blowing too. The A-side track is called Searching Through The Past. It is very simple punk with great female vocals. This combination has been done before but this time there is something slightly different. I am not sure if it is the cheap sounding Fender bass guitar or the Sears Danelectro guitar that the lead singer plays but it makes the song so perfect. The lyrics help this song tremendously too. The B-side of this record is a song called Electric Chair. This song is very similar to the previous with exception to the bass line. It steps out of line and brings attention to itself in just the right way. The lyrics are just as good as the previous track but with more energy I think. It is a powerful song but not quite single material. I would totally play this track over the A-side at a party though. I love both songs and have been listening to them hard core since the concert last weekend. Based on just these two songs and the concert, I can recommend this group to anyone and everyone. Check out their web page with info on releases, videos etc. here.

This is the fifth album from Falling up. It was released in 2011. This album was released independently. The band held a fund raiser on the internet to get the album recorded. They needed $10,000 and received donations totaling $13,665. The album title is a complete different direction from the past album titles. The band stated that the title of the album “is a title/album/idea that sometimes we all must go through the darkest cave to find the brightest light.” There were two singles released from this album and a bonus track that was available to patrons that preordered the album from the bands web page. The first single is called Blue Ghost. The song still pushes the power of Falling Up with strong vocals and over produced arrangement but this song and most of the album seems to slow down and push the emotion card more so than in the past. The second single called Diamonds is an even slower track that loses the power and drive of the first single. This track has a great hook in the chorus redeeming the track greatly. The vocals in the verse are mostly spoken with directness but lacking intensity. The bonus track, Darkspeed, brings the band closer to true form. There are interesting guitar parts and synth backups with forceful and wonderful vocals. The album as a whole really drags. The music is good but not what I expect from the group. It is a darker album, almost a sad emotional album. I guess that I could have expected that with the song title and what the band said about the album title. I am glad that I have the album but I don’t think I could recommend this album to someone looking into the group.

This is the first album released from the Foo Fighters. It was released in the summer of 1995. I remember when this album came out. It was so awesome that Dave Grohl decided to continue writing music after the death of Curt and consequential disbanding of Nirvana. The first single released from the album as a promo only 12” single was Exhausted. I don’t remember ever hearing this on the radio but apparently it was featured on Eddie Vedder’s Self-Polution radio broadcast in 1995. What I do remember is the second single, This Is A Call, being played repeatedly on regular radio stations where I live. This song was obviously their first big hit. The song is really a thank you to Grohl’s friends, family and anyone else that has helped him or played music with him in the past. I though that the song was fun but did not get the whole thank you bit that it was meant for. The next single from the album is called I’ll Stick Around. This song is about Cobain’s widow with whom the other two members of Nirvana are constantly battling over royalties and song rights. It is another big hit for the group. The fourth single from this album is called For All The Cows. This track has a slow verse/chorus but there are short parts of the song is very hard rocking. It is a really great contrast in the song. The next single from the album is called Big Me. The most memorable thing about this track is the video. It is a parody for the Mentos commercials that were around at the time. It is a very funny video where they are pushing Footos as opposed to Mentos. The last single released was a promo only single just like the first song released. This song is called Alone + Easy Target. This song was originally recorded in 1991. Grohl played the song for Cobain. Cobain said to him after listening to the track, “Oh, finally, now I don't have to be the only songwriter in the band!” Grohl told him, “No, no, no, I think we're doing just fine with your songs.” The other track that I really liked and was never released as a single was X-Static. There is something special about this song to me. It may be the layered guitars with the simple competing guitar riffs that match and fill in the empty parts in each or it could be Grohl’s smooth vocals but this song is near perfection in alternative music for me. I should also mention that this whole album was written and recorded by Dave with the exception of X-static where Greg Dulli also played guitar. I think that this is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s especially after the hard hitting grunge effort started to fade a bit. I recently found a copy of this album on vinyl. I think it is a original pressing for only 30 bucks. I bought it as soon as possible because I knew it was a rare find. From what I have seen it is going for 100 bucks right now.

This is the groups’ second full length album. It is the first album that gave them recognition. It was released in 2007. They are a Christian alterna-rock group. This is my big attraction to them. I was at one time looking for bands that were pushing the fact that they were Christian and musician. This is one of the bands that I stumbled upon in that search. The big single from the album is called Just Glide. This is the song that got me involved with the group. It is a very up beat track. There are piano, a gritty distorted guitar that sounds so good you could eat it as if it were chocolate, and really good harmonies that make this song sit in your heart like it was meant to be there all of your life. I am not sure if there are any other tracks that were released as singles from this album. Not that it really matters the rest of the album is recorded just as brilliantly as this single. There are a couple additional tracks that I would like to highlight though. The first song is called Lights. This song is a little bit slower than the first single but it uses the same elements from that song. It is a nice soaring track that has slivers of Coldplay in it. The other track that I want to mention is called You Are. This track actually reminds me of Ben Folds with the piano that sticks out of this song. There still has nice guitar sounds but they don’t stand out on top of the piano like the lead single from the album.

That is all I have for now...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vol.3 Episode 6.5

Veronica Falls with Opening acts Bleached and Cate Le Bon at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis MN 2-17-2012.

I had never been to the 7th Street Entry before. It is a secondary club to the famous First Ave in Minneapolis MN. I got there with my wife only to find that the doors were yet locked. I waited with five other folks who were waiting to get in. They were easy to talk to and we made jokes while we waited to get in. One of the couples waiting to get in had also been to see The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at The Triple Rock last year. I went to that same concert. I don’t recall seeing them there but small world. We reminisced about that concert for a minute before the doors finally opened.

I had imagined that the Entry would have been at least half the size of First Ave. I was completely wrong. It was actually about half the size of The Triple Rock. I wasn’t mad about this but taken aback by the size. This was the ultimate intimate venue, at least the smallest that I have ever been in. The bar was condensed too. I had a Colorado Bulldog for my drink that night. It was made with coffee creamers. It did not take away from the drink that much. I also know that First Ave has a full bar. I just want to illustrate how small of a venue this really is. The stage was just big enough to fit a four or five member band with a full drum kit. The spectator area was not much better. The venue for the most part is standing room only. The back part of the room is up a bit higher than the area in front of the stage. There is a waist high wall in the middle because the front part, in front of the stage is two steps down from the back part. I sat on a stool in front behind the wall so I could take notes as the concert went on.

The first band, Cate Le Bon, went on at 9:30. I had never heard of this group before so I listened with an open mind. They are a four piece group with a female lead. She also played the guitar and keyboard depending on the song. The members, except for the drummer, switched instruments depending on the song really. The music that they played was in two different genres, experimental and psychedelic. It was a very interesting set and I am glad that I was there to hear it but I don’t think that I will be running out to get any of their music any time soon.
The second band to play was named Bleached. They are another girl fronted band. The drummer and the bassist were both male but the two vocalists/guitarists were female. They played some great 90s style pop/punk music. To some folks it is 70s punk references but it still reminded me of the 90s group Go Sailor that Slumberland Records just put out a repressing of six months or so ago. My wife liked what they played so much that she quickly ran over to the merch table and bought the 7” record that they were selling. The group only has a few 7” records that have been released so they did not have a very long set. The songs that they did play were very enjoyable, so much so that I scoured the internet to find the other two 7” records. They will be on their way some time next week. Expect reviews of the Bleached 7” records in the near future!
The headliners, Veronica Falls, were on next. They got on the stage a little after 11:30. When they started playing they hit the nail hard on the head with some of their lead singles. The first track that was played was a fast paced track called Right Side of My Brain. It sounded just like the recording. I was amazed and excited that they could play well in a live setting. This was also a relief because I hate going to concerts when a given act just can’t come close to what they have recorded in the studio. Right after that first song they slowed it down dramatically with the song Steven. They then picked it right back up again with Beachyhead. Later, they did their first slumberland released single, Bad Feeling. They also played a couple of songs that I have only heard on the internet recently, Bury Me Alive and My Heart Beats. These two songs are very interesting and I hope that they release them in a physical form soon. They also played two songs that I had never heard until that night, Last Conversation and Teenage. The concert flew by with new songs old songs and even songs that they had yet to record and release. It was so cool. The crowd was actually quite full at this point. There were a few folks dancing and some hard core fans right in front of the stage bobbing their heads almost to the point of moshing. The songs are very fast but really?

I got a couple of items from Veronica Falls at the merch table too. I bought a copy of their Covers EP, which had only been released as a 12” record through Rough Trade records. I patiently waited to have each member of the band sign the copy of the Covers EP. They were at the pub next door so I did not catch them all at once. I had to keep my eyes pealed to see when they each came into the venue and run over to them and interrupt them in what they were doing to get a signature. I really feel bad about doing this but there isn’t really any other way to get the job done. On the other hand, I am probably the only person in the venue that did do this. It lets them know that they do have fans to though. Six of one half a dozen of the other I guess. I also bought a copy of the Veronica Falls/Brilliant Colors split on cassette; this is the only way to get it. The cassette was not mixed well but I will let it go considering that I did not have some of the tracks on it and that it was hand numbered and limited to 100 items. I got number 83/100. There is no track listing on the cassette or on the paper sleeve in the cassette case. When I listened to the cassette the following day I could figure out all of the Veronica Falls tracks but I don’t know anything about Brilliant Colors.

All in all I had a great time. Thanks to all three acts, in particular Bleached and Veronica Falls for for signing the items that we bought and for doing this concert. Thanks to First Ave/7th Street Entry for the space and time. Come back soon and put more music out!

Veronica Falls set list:
Right side of my brain
Bury Me Alive
Bad Feeling
The Box
My Heart Beats
Found Love In A Graveyard
Last Conversation
Wedding Day
Come On Over

Starry Eyes (Rory Erickson cover)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vol.3 Episode 6

I am going to see Veronica Falls tonight at the 7th street entry tonight. I will put up a review of this concert as soon as I can. I am very excited to go and see them play live. They have put up a couple new tracks recently that have not been given a physical release. I am hoping for some self released goodies at this concert.

This is the fourth album from blur. It was released in 1995. For me this album was a rehash of the previous album, Park Life. The music is good but depressing and boring if you are not in the right mind set. I haven’t been in the right mind set to listen to this album for a very long time. I am in the minority though regarding this album since it is one of their better selling albums. There were four singles released from this album. The first single from this album is called Country House. The song is about one of the groups’ managers who left their record label, Food Records, to go live in a country house to get away from the pressures of the big city. It was with this release that the start of the battle of brit pop was started. This “battle” was between Blur and Oasis. They tried to incorporate Radiohead into this battle as well but they did not want any part of it. Blur won this battle as Country House attained the number one spot in the charts. The next single released from the album is called The Universal. This is a science fiction themed track with ideas taken from a couple Stanley Kubrick movies. The music video is a tribute to A Clockwork Orange. The cover of the single is a tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The song itself is lacking in lyrical substance but it works with the song. It is not heavy in futuristic ideas but the sentiment is there. This is why they put up such graphics for the song, to better convey what they wanted to say with the song. The third single from this album is called Stereotypes. This was meant to be the first single released from the album but the band changed their mind for what ever reason. The song is very upbeat and I could see why they may have chosen it as a first single. I don’t really know why they changed their minds. The song seems to be about a woman who runs a B&B who went through a divorce and is looking to satisfy her carnal needs with other men who spend time at her B&B. It is an interesting concept. The last single released from this album is called Charmless Man. The title of the song could be, but is not confirmed, a play on the song called This Charming Man from the band The Smiths. Lead singer had stated that this was the end of brit pop for the group. The follow up album took the group in a completely different direction musically for the group. If you have in interest in brit pop of the 90s then this is a great album but otherwise don’t worry about this album.

This is the second album from Cream. It was released in 1967. This album finally got the group into the American consumers view. There were only to single released from the album. Although, I remember hearing more than the two released singles from this album being played on the radio. I personally couldn’t wait any longer to find this record used and bought a repressed copy a while back from the Back To Black record company. There have been a few people on the music/audio boards that don’t like this company but I have purchased at least a hand full of their albums and have had no problems with their sound quality. The first single from this album is Strange Brew. This song was originally going to be a blues track called Lawdy Mama. The producer, Felix Pappalardi, took the tapes and, with the help of his wife, rewrote the song to be Strange Brew. It is said that the rewrite created a pop song without losing the groove of the original song. The second single released from the album is called Sunshine of Your Love. The music for the song was written after Clapton and Bruce attended a Jimi Hendrix concert. The lyrics were written with the help of Pete Brown, a poet and collaborator with the band. Clapton wrote the bridge that includes the title of the song. Clapton used a 64 Gibson SG through a wah-wah pedal and out through a Marshal Amplifier. This sound has been sought after for a long time. The most recent attempt at the sound that I can recall is Radiohead on the track Bodysnatchers from the album In Rainbows. Thom Yorke comes close but the tone is too dark to be all that close if he was attempting to recreate it at all. I remember hearing the track Tales of Brave Ulysses on the radio. At least the track sounds like something that I have heard in the past. The song was pressed on vinyl as a 45 RPM single but not world wide. I take this to mean that it was a single available to the radio stations but only available as an import for purchase. So, I probably did hear it on the radio. The other song that I remember hearing is called SWLABR.  The songs title is an acronym meaning She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow. The song talks about a woman who is in and out of the narrators’ life. To him she is perfect but with imperfections. It is kind of an oxymoron but such is life. The music is what I really love about this track. Clapton is using that 64 Gibson setup making the song sweet like candy. I think that everyone should hear this album if not the tracks that I have highlighted in this writing at least once. It is such a classic band with the roots of psychedelia at its heart.

This is the first solo album from Frankie Rose. It has been released in the end of winter 2012. This album is a different direction from the previous album that has been put out from her called Frankie Rose and The Outs. Frankie Rose has been a part of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls. Her solo album is released on Slumberland Records. This album has a very 80s sound layered in reverb harking back to The Smiths and The Cure early work and the late 80s shoegazer sounds. The first single came with a 7” vinyl release. This first single, Know Me, has a great start off drum beat with the guitar kicking in right after.  The guitar has a wonderful reverb drenched sound that is poppy enough to dance to. This song is so much fun and a great choice for the first single. The 7” has a remix of this track for the B-side. I have talked about this already though. The next single that has not been given a physical single release yet (lets work on this SLR) is called Night Swim. This track has clear sharp layered vocals that swim in echo and reverb. The guitars are piercing but floating guitars that cut through to your heart. There is also a beautiful sound bending violin that floats in the back ground adding to the delicately beautiful track. The next, nonphysical, release from this album is called Gospel/Grace. This track has been given the video treatment by Hanna Lew. The video has a very DIY spacey Sci-Fi video-scape that fits with the track perfectly. The song itself is very futuristically clean, otherworldly in sound. The latest track that has been released, also with out a physical accompaniment, is the title track to the album, Interstellar. This track has a sound that is ambient in nature. It reminds me of tracks from the David Bowie album Low but brought into the 21st century. It is very slow in tempo but makes up for it in beautiful sound-scapes. The primary coral vocals are unforgettable and simple on this track. I think that there should be a fifth single released from this album too. That song is called Had We Had It. It is track six on the album. This song has a stand out bass line with muted guitars in the verse. The guitar gets the lead part after each verse is sung. The bass line always sticks out through the whole song. I love that by the way. The chorus of the song bursts forth with beautiful synth sounds that remind me of the pictures that I have seen of the Milky Way stars. It is just wonderful with a slow synth wind down at the end of the track. This is a great album that every one should listen to. I think you still can at too.

This is the seventh album from Incubus. The album was released in 2011. This album was released after the longest hiatus that the band has had. The band felt that they needed more experiences in life before they could continue to write more music. There were two singles released from the album. The first single is called Adolescents. This track was chosen as the first single because it got the best response from fans. The track was a last minute track added to the album because the band wanted eleven tracks. This track was one of a hand full that were in the unsure list. It is a nice sounding track with the classic Incubus sound. It does have that nice warm blanket sound though. The second single released from the album is called Promises, Promises. This track was a promo single only. I think that there may have been a 7” copy pressed but there was no CD single that I have been able to find. This track is even slower than Adolescents. I am not saying that this is a bad thing but most fans of this band are looking for the hard rock single. This may have been the down fall of this album. Then again this may have been a step in a different direction on purpose. If it was on purpose there may have been a lot of lost fans. The critics were not fans of this album that is for sure. Most gave the album a three to four stars out of five. I pre-ordered the album and got a free bonus track called Surface To Air.  I like free tracks and was happy to get this extra bonus. The track plays just as the rest of the album does though. I can’t say that the album drags but if you like this band for their hard rock sound, don’t bother listening to this album.

This was Nikka Costas’ first release in the US on Virgin Records. She has released a few albums throughout the 80s and the 90s internationally. This album was released in 2001. There were three singles released from this album, two of which were promo only releases. The first single is called Like A Feather. This is the song that I first heard from this album and from Nikka ever. I fell in love with the beet right away. The whole album has mega soul, more so than anything that Joss Stone has ever put together. The music is very funk and soul oriented. Put together so well that when the album is started it is very hard to press stop. The second track that was released as a single from this album is called Push and Pull. This track is slowed down a little bit but the bass line pushes the music along weather it wants to go or not. Her voice is fragile but strong at the same time on this track. I wonder how she does this with her voice. It is this way through the whole album. I could listen to her music for days because she can do such gorgeous things with the sounds of her voice. From the strong gravely sounds to high pitched wails and strong punchy female lead vocals. There is really something special about her vocals. Anyway, the last single from this album is called Everybody Got Their Something. It is the title track of the album. This track as that same funk soul sound that Like A Feather has but on a different side. Her vocals are not so gravely on this track but nice and fluffy. The album as a whole is a great eclectic ride from the 60s to the 90s. I can recommend this album to everyone and everyone should hear it at least once in their life time. Buy it used if you have to but hear it as soon as you can! You can buy it used off Amazon for a penny + shipping right now!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 5

Here is a set that I have been meaning to review for months but other stuff kept coming up. I have finally got around to them and here they are. Remember if you are interested in any of these the link will take you to the US Amazon store. On the other hand most of this could be gotten for cheap at a used record store.

This is the third album from Bananarama. It was released in 1986. The track Do Not Disturb was the first single from this album. The band did not really like the track. The lyricists forced the track on the album though. The vinyl for the single was issued as three different shapes, the faces of each of the members of the band. They each came with a display for the records. The single was released in the UK, Australia, Germany and Japan. The second single from the album was Venus. This track was not originally a dance style track. The members of the group were met with resistance from the producers who liked the non-dance version. The group persisted and the producers finally relented and mixed a dance version. It became a smash hit because of this. This is for sure the track that I remember hearing on the radio. It has been used in commercials frequently keeping the track in my mind though too. The next single released from this album is called More Than Physical. Because of the commercial success of the previous single, Venus, this track was given a similar dance style mix. This did not really help the track though and it did not chart as well as Venus did. The next track, called A Trick Of The Night, is a ballad and is the last single released from the album. The album as a whole is pretty good. I got the album just for Venus but was pleasantly surprised with the content of the album.

This is the seventh album from Billy Joel. It was released in1980. I remember just about all of the singles off this album. I have a big liking for Joel. I have just about everything I can get my hands on up to Storm Front. He lost me after that album. I am not sure if it is the fact that I remember hearing his music on the radio or if it is just that I got into his music in the late 80s because of a friend that I had who was into his music. Either way I still really enjoy his music even if I don’t listen to it all of the time. The first single from this album is All For Leyna. The lyric tells a story of a guy who has a one night stand with a girl named Leyna and then becomes obsessed with her. It was not a world wide release and did not chart that well either. The next single, You May Be Right, was a big chart hit in the US but not so much in the UK. This is another track I remember hearing on the radio as a kid. It is a very fun track that I very much enjoyed growing up. The third single from this album is called It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me. The song takes a cynical look at the music industry. It is sort of a back and forth between producer a musician where the musician feels that the music will speak for itself over what he wears or drives etc. This was another big hit for Joel. The next single, Don’t Ask Me Why, slowed the pace down a little with more of a folk sound and Latin style drums backing the track. It was still a good charting track but not as well as the previous two tracks. The track Sometimes A Fantasy was the last single released from the album. The track is supposed to be about a man who is away from his significant other and wants to have phone sex. I totally did not pick up on this as a kid and if I had not read it on the internets I wouldn’t have believed it at all. When I think about this track I think about it as a kid of about five or six years of age and sex just does not fit into that mind set. The only exposure that I had to fantasy was that of the movies, mainly Star Wars. So, I think of things like robots or dragons and things like that and ignore most of the lyrics all together. The album is a great first half and then slows down a bit on the second half. If you are a fan and do not have it all ready defiantly get it.

This is the second album from The Cars. It was released in1979. I remember that my father had this album on cassette. I don’t remember ever hearing him play the album though. I am not sure why he never played the album when I was around. It could be that he just never listened to the album I guess. At any rate I remember that we did own it. There were only a few singles released off this album. The first is called Let’s Go. This track has a great synth line that I really love. This is another track that I remember hearing on the radio. The strings in the background also make this track something special. The song appears to be about a boy that wants to date a girl who refuses all of his advances. She would rather be out on the scene than be pined down to one boy. The next single from the album is called It’s All I Can Do. This track is straight up romantic pop. The cars are famous for writing track like this. It is not as good as the first track for me but it is still a good track none the less. It is a pretty good album over all. The cover art work was done by artist Alberto Vargas. He is a famous artist that did paintings and drawings of pinup girls for Esquire and Play Boy magazines in the 40s and 60s. The band pleaded with him to do a cover for them. He was retired by this time. His niece was a big fan of the group and convinced him to take on the job for the group.

This is the third album from Green Day. It was released in 1994. There were five singles released from this album. This is the groups’ best selling album to date. I first found out about the group upon the release of the first single from this album, Longview. The track was their first single to top the modern rock charts. The video was played consistently on MTV also helping the song chart at the top. The song is about severe boredom, doing nothing but masturbating and smoking marijuana all day long. The next single released is called Welcome To Paradise. This song was originally released on their previous album, Kerplunk! The song was re-recorded for Dookie. The song is about the members of the band moving out of their parents’ homes and into an abandoned house that they lived in without paying rent. The third single released from the album is called Basket Case. This is another one of my favorite track from the album. The song is about the lead singers’, Billie Joe Armstrong, struggle with anxiety. This was before he was diagnosed with panic disorder. The next single released from this album is called When I Come Around. This one is their highest charting single next to the later track Boulevard of Broken Dreams. I really like the bass line for this tracks along with the bass lines for Basket Case and Longview. This is probably why I got into the group in the first place, amazing bass lines. The last single released from the album is called She. This track was released as a radio only single. The album as a whole is very good. I would recommend this album to anyone and everyone. You all should hear this one for sure.

This is the fourteenth album from prince. It was released in 1992. There were five singles released from this album. I remember a girlfriend having this album. I borrowed it and recorded it to cassette. I remember it being a great album but a very long album. There are also different versions of the album that have been released. I found a copy of the standard version of the album on CD. I have the songs that I want though and am happy with the version that I have. The first single from the album is called Sexy MF. The song cause a lot of controversy because of the chorus line, “Sexy motherfucker.” Because of this there was an edited version created for radio, MTV and a clean version of the album. The song takes from R&B and funk styles. There are also some great horn parts and a sax solo in the song. The next single released from the album is called My Name Is Prince. This is funny because not long after the release of this album he changed his name to O(+>, an unpronounceable symbol. The track has a very cool dance beat to it. The track also uses samples from songs that he has previously written and recorded. Those songs are I Wanna Be Your Lover, Partyup, and Controversy. The third single released from the album is called 7. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The harmonics used under princes lead vocals makes me feel warm and fuzzy in side. The lyrics are also very easy to memorize as well. I am sure that this helps the single too. The next track, called Damn U, did not chart as well. This is a super slow romantic R&B track. There is a certain style that people expected in the 90s from Prince and this track just wasn’t it. It is still a good song done very well but not what the public wanted at the time. The last single released from this album is called The Morning Papers. This is another slowed down R&B track that also did not chart very well. I like this track a lot better than Damn U though. Although this album is on the long side, this is a failing of prince on many albums, it still contains some really great tracks that should be heard even if you are not a fan of Prince.

This is the eights studio album from The Who. It was released in 1978. This is the last album with drummer Keith Moon. He died about three weeks after the album was released. There are technically three tracks that were released as singles. The First two were released as a double A side single. The A side was Who Are You and the AA side was Had Enough. The single Who Are You is the groups biggest single to date. It was given resurgence with the use of the track on the show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This is the reason that I started to hunt down music by The Who. I thought to my self that if a band could create a song that is this good they have to have other gems that I have probably heard in the past but can’t remember. The AA side to this single, Had Enough, just doesn’t do it for me. It is more on the wishy washy side of The Who’s catalog. I could do with out it all together. The last single from this album is called 905.  The lyrics describe a cloned human implanted with memories instead of having an actual childhood, and was created to serve an unspecified purpose and is unable to do anything else. He knows though that at least at the end of his life his soul will be free from his manufactured existence. The song uses some really cool multiphonic Polymoog synthesizer sounds that I really like. Unfortunately, this doesn’t save the song. It is still not as good as the first single. My suggestion is to just buy the first single and leave the rest of the album behind.

That is all I have for now ...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 4

This is a special EP of tracks that were left off of previous albums or demo tracks that fans are clamoring for. The EP was released in 2011 but I have yet to see my copy of the EP. From what I have read, the physical disc will be in the mail on March 1, 2012. The company that is putting this out is called Pledge Music ( The company puts out direct-to-fan music. The EP cost eight bucks but a certain number of people need to buy the EP before it would be made. This EP met that mark and then some. There are five tracks that are included on this EP. Two demo tracks of previously released songs, Kountry Gentlemen and Numb. This version of Kountry Gentlemen is a little bit layed back than the version on their first album. It is not so in your face. Conversely, the demo version of Numb is just a bit more in your face. I like both of these songs and hearing slightly different versions of them is just delightful. Then three unreleased tracks one of which is very rare and never before recorded. Those tracks are: the frequently sought after Color of Water and Master of Disguise. Color of water is a great track about what life is like after finding God. Master of Disguise is just a fun song to me. I think there is a meaning but it is not staring me in the face. The last track is the super rare (until this was released anyway) Gold, this track on the slow side for FF5. They have written tracks like this in the recent past. There is a track like this on their last album III. This song references what the city that God intends to bring down to the earth after the judgment of all happens.

This EP was released in the fall of 2011. It supports the Codes and Keys full length album that was previously released in 2011. The EP consists of seven remixed tracks from Codes and Keys. Each track was remixed by a different person or group of electronic indie artists. The first track, Some Boys (RAC Maury Mix), is by far the best on the whole disc. For me this track gains with the minimalist 80s drums and live bass line with cool synth stabs from the key boards that are used over the top of the track. It keeps the DCFC sound over all and that is what I like best about the track. The second track, Doors Unlocked and Open (Cut Copy Remix), was not officially released as a single but was the first released in the seven weeks previous to the official release of the EP. This remix stinks of late 90s techno music. There is nothing original on this track. Because of this it brings me a nostalgic feeling at the same time. I loved techno music from the 90s. The third track is called Your Are A Tourist (The 2 Bears Remix). They really lost me with this track. This track sounds good until the vocals start up. They have been pitch adjusted up from Ben Gibbards normal tone. This is a major part of the sound of DCFC. The song is completely wrong because of this. The next track, Underneath The Sycamore (Dillon Francis Remix), has n awesome saw tooth bass line but the high part sounds like one of those credit card sized keyboards. Again, I don’t get why anyone would do this to such good music. The fifth track, Unobstructed Views (Unicorn Kid Remix), uses sounds from the 90s techno era as well as using sounds from the 8bit music craze that has been happening in the underground for a few years now. The two sounds kind of clash though and the track falls short because of this. I am sure that you can see where the rest of this EP is going. I can’t recommend this EP to the fans of DCFC let alone the average music enthusiast. It is not even mentioned on the DCFC Wikipedia web page. Other than the first track on the EP don’t even bother.

This is the first single released from Frankie Rose. It was released as a green 7” from Slumberland Records in 2009. It is a little known sinlge. The A side of this single, Thee Only One, is a super distorted track that is so fantastic. The song is very simple and smacks of the surf sounds back in the day. The B side of this single, Hollow Life, is also found on the album Frankie Rose and The Outs. It is a slow track that uses vibey pipe organ and echo/reverb on the vocals. It is a very pretty track.

This is the first single in support for the new album, Interstellar. This song is super 80s shoe-gazer sounding. It has classic 80s pop drums and a simple bass line. There is something really special about her voice on this track mixed with the lead guitar. It is so sweet, like candy. I could listen to just this track for hours. On the flip side to this 7” is a remix of Know Me by Le Chev. This remix somehow makes the A side of this 7” even better, enhancing the drums to a mid 80s electric drum kit with classic sounding synth bass part. The track seems to have been slowed down but the vocals are still the same. This track makes that sweet candy into your favorite sugar based candy like Fun Dip or Lik-M-Aid or something like that. It is just too perfect. I couldn’t believe that they could make something perfect better but they did somehow with this remix! As a side note, the 7” is ivory and gray. It is a very pretty record indeed.

This is the first and only album that Frankie Rose has done with The Outs. It was released in 2010. There was no official singles released from the album but the first song from the album was released as the B side for Thee Only One. Her web site has the track Candy up on the music page. I found out about this album because of the new 7” single for the song Know Me. This album has a different feel from Know Me. It is more crystallized it seems to me. It still has that surf sound that I like with the use of the reverb and echo pedals all over the music. Still enjoyable but a little bit bright too. This is another Slumberland Records release. They have been putting out some great music over the past few years for sure. They are responsible for my third favorite band, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart amongst other lesser favorites including Veronica Falls and Gold-Bears. Keep it up SLR!

This is the second album from Justice. It was released in the fall of 2011. This album is not as poppy as the first album was. I was a little bit disappointed about this on the first listen of the album. I quickly got over this problem though. The other thin that I had a problem with about this album was that it sounded so much like the electronica that I was listening to in the early to mid 2000s. I kept thinking to myself that if I wanted that sound I could just go back to those albums that I was listening to at that time. But I kept listening to the album anyway. It started to grow on me. There are only a few tracks with actual lyrics on them too. This seems to limit the album with the release of singles. I want the group to be recognized by the masses because I like electronic music and want it to stick around for a while. There have been three singles released from this album since its release. The first single is called Civilization. This track is filled with sounds that Daft Punk have used on the album Human After All. That being said, the track is still a lot of fun. I actually wish that Daft Punk had made more music like this. It is just kind of weird that another band has taken on that sound. The next single, Audio, Video, Disco, is the title track for the album. It is also the last track on the album. This track seems to be the lame track on the album. It moves along but it drags at the same time. It could be the way that the vocals are done or it could be just me. It doesn’t help that the length of the track is listed at over ten minutes. This is misleading because there is a bonus track at the half way point of the track. The bonus track isn’t that great either so it isn’t helping the song along. The third single is called On’n’on. This track has what I have been looking for from this album. It is a darker album but this track has a very cool bump and the lyrics are kind of fun. The lyrics go, as the song title says, on and on but it is done is such a way that you don’t want the song to end. I am not sure that I would recommend this album to anyone but if you are into electronic music give it a shot.

This is the seventh album from Nada Surf. It was released just a few weeks ago, 2012. This is a great new album from the group. They did not do anything drastically new on this album. Some times I just want more from what is expected though, this album delivers exactly that. The album starts off with a great track called Clear Eye Clouded Mind. The chorus for the track uses the title of the album. The song is a great loud buzzing track that reminds me of the late 90s power rock. The second track on the album, Waiting For Something, was released as a single and a free download before the album was released. The song has a sound that reminds me of Weightless from the previous album Lucky but with more energy. I think that this could be said about the album as a whole. It has more energy than most of their previous albums. This is a good thing but I also don’t think that there is enough uniqueness to put them over the top and be recognized by more than the underground. That being said, I really like this album. It is not an album that I would fall asleep to but one that I could enjoy while reading. The second single, When I Was Young, which was released, was also released as a free download. This song reminds me of the first track from their album Let Go called Blizzard of 77’. Both songs talk about thins that have happened in their past and have the same slowed down tempo. I think that they give me a nostalgic feeling at the same time. The last important thing about this album is that if you had bought it at your local record shop there was a free 5 track acoustic EP to go with the record. On top of that there is a free B-side, The Meaning of It All, which is available at the NPR web site. This bonus track is an acoustic only track that has the sound of another track from Let Go called Fruit Fly. This is a great album that I hope gets more listens not only from me but from all of you out there.