Friday, April 27, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 16

Last weekend was Record Store Day 2012. I had a great time even if I was not able to go to the record store that I intended to go to originally. I wanted to go to The Electric Fetus in Minneapolis. By the time I rolled out of bed in the morning I realized that it would have been too late, 6:30 AM. I did drive by the store to see how big the line was, at least 70 people, before moving on to my second choice. I ended up at Down In The Valley in Golden Valley. I was second in line at 7:15 AM. The kid in front of me biked down from Plymouth. He got there at 7. Our local public indie radio station (89.3 The Current) stopped by to say hi while we waited. I got a pin and a can cooler. The store did not open until 10 AM so there was a little bit of waiting and getting to know the folks on either side of me in line. The kid in front of me just started to collect records and had two records before the store opened. I was very proud to find that one of those records was the Capitol re-release of Radiohead's first album, Pablo Honey. Anyway, here we go...

This was a non album single released for the Converse three artists one song marketing campaign. It was released in February of 2012 as a download dubbed the radio edit. For Record Store Day (RSD) 2012 the full length version was released on a 10” record. Originaly, one could only listen to the full length version on the Gorillaz web site.  It was pressed as a single sided record. I was actually disappointed with this because they could have put the radio edit or etched a graphic on the other side. Either way the rest of the song that I hadn’t heard is still interesting if lacking in lyrical content. Teaming up with the Gorillaz on this track is Andre 3000 from Outcast and James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. Andre has most of the lyrics and all of the rapping on this track. The things that he can do with his voice are amazing and he shows what he can do all over this track. James Murphy produced the percussion and played the bass on this track and he does a magnificent job with that as well. He, James Murphy, also sings the chorus and plays the strange keyboard during the chorus. Really, The lyrics are very funny. The content after the radio edit would end is really lame if you are just listening while doing something but if you listen to the words that are being said it is really funny. I really like this song and was worried that I would not get the vinyl release. I ended up going to a local record store that happened to have two copies are a good price, about ten bucks. 

Pretty In Pink soundtrack
Originally released in 1986, this was a re-released for RSD 2012. It was pressed in a limited quantity. It is actually numbered on the back cover. It was also pressed in hot pink vinyl. This was very fitting given not only the title of the movie but the content as well. If you are into the 80s high school movies I would recommend this one for sure. Any way, There are some really great singles that came from this soundtrack. I don’t know what the release order is for these singles, not that it really matters with a soundtrack. The first single is called If you Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. This song was written specifically for the soundtrack. It is the biggest charting single from the group in the US. It is one of my favorite songs from the 80s. It is simple and elegant. The next single is called Pretty In Pink by The Psychedelic Furs. The song was originally released on the second album from the band called Talk Talk Talk. The song inspired the making of the film and the title of the film. The song was re-recorded for the soundtrack. The song features a horn section that was popular in the early 80s. The vocals for this song are very unique. They seem strained and quiet, giving the feeling that something is not right but they are striving to make it right. The next single from the soundtrack is called Shell Shock by New Order. This song was recorded just for the soundtrack for the movie. The song was inspired by the John Robie club hit called One More Shot. John Robie was given production credit for Shell Shock next to New Order. I like New Order and the song is good but there are better songs on this soundtrack. The next single from the sound track is called Round Round by Belouis Some. This song did not chart at all. The song really isn’t that great. It is just rock. The track that was not released as a single and should have been in my opinion is the last track on the soundtrack, it is called Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths. It may not have been released as a single because the song is so short, less than two minutes long. It is another beautiful song from such a famous band that may not have been that popular at the time. It was originally a b-side track to the song William, It Was Really Nothing. The song was also used in the soundtrack for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is truly a great sound track as is most of the John Hughes soundtracks.

Empire Records soundtrack
Originally released in 1995, This album was released for the first time on vinyl for RSD 2012 on clear orange double vinyl. This was also pressed in limited quantities and is numbered on the back of the jacket. There are some really great songs that were released from this album. The first one that I remember is Til I Hear It From You by Gin Blossoms. The song was included on the bands album called Congratulations, I’m Sorry in Europe only. It was only found on the Empire Records soundtrack in the US. It is a classic pop song. It is not a song that I really like but it fits the soundtrack. The next song that I remember hearing on the radio is called A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins. This song was originally from Edwyn Collins album Gorgeous George. It is a soul inspired track that uses a drum sample from Len Barry’s 1965 song called 1-2-3. It is a really cool song that reminds me of the mid to late 90s. I did not like much music during this time so, although this is a good song, it reminds me of all the bad music that was being pushed at us, the public, from big corporate music. There are some other songs that I really like from this album but I am not sure if they were released as singles or to the radio. The first track that I want to highlight is called Free by The Martinis. This song reminds me of a mellow song that The Breeders would have written. I actually thought that it was them the first time I heard it. The lead singers’ voice sounds very close to Kim Deal. I would guess that the similarity is in the Guitarist who was a part of the Pixies which is the first group that Kim Deal was with. The next song that I like from the album is called Bright As Yellow By The Innocence Mission. This song originally comes from their album called Glow. Glow was the groups third album. The song seems to shine like the sun with beautiful female vocals and slow tremolo guitar. The song Circle Of Friends by Better Than Ezra doesn’t stand out as much as the others but is still a good song. I really liked their first and second albums and this is a touch of that sound. The last track that actually works for me on this album is a supper poppy punk song called Ready, Steady, Go by The Meices. There is not much to say about them except that they rock. If you are looking for a good compilation of what was happening in the 90s music scene this is a good place to start. The album is a bit long with fifteen tracks though.

In the recent past I reviewed an internet only nine track album from Violens. Five of those tracks have been pressed in to a 10” vinyl album called Fragment #1. This has been put out by a French record company called Monopsone. They are a nice group of folks that sent me the record quickly and easily. I actually got the record faster than the 7” from California here in the US. Fragment #1 is part of a three piece series from Monopsone. I have no idea who the other two groups are so I did not buy the other two fragments but the bands are Zaza (Fragment #2) and Epic45 (Fragment #3). Like I said before all five tracks are a part of the download only album called Nine Songs – 2011. It is nice to have physical copies of albums though. I am not sure if that is me personally or if it is a part of my generation where you did not have an album unless you could hold it in your hands. The 7”, that I just got today, is also composed of tracks from that Nine Songs – 2011 album. The song Totally True, the A-side of the single, is a super catchy tune that has tendencies toward the current crop of shoegaze bands out there today. The B-side, Something Falling, is just as good as the A-side in my opinion. It is a bit slower than Totally True but flows just as nicely. This single was a Slumberland Records release. It was pressed on a hazy clear vinyl. I am happy to say that Slumberland will be releasing the groups second full length in the beginning of next month too. There are only a couple of tracks that will be included on the album from the Nine Songs – 2011 download album making the new album mostly new material. I am very excited about this. I am pretty tired of that download album at this point.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 15

All right folks, tomorrow is Record Store Day 2012. If you can visit your local record store and buy something! I will be at the Electric Fetus early tomorrow. There are a few things on my list but I may be pushed to only pick up one thing that I absolutely have to have. Here we go...

This is the third album from Smashing Pumpkins. It was a double album released in 1995. There were six singles released from this album. The first single released from the album is called Bullet With Butterfly Wings. This song will always have a special spot in my heart. This was released just as I was starting college after high school. It means the end of the last free summer for me as the single was released in the fall of 95. I still had that angst built up from high school but the freedom felt from finally being done with public school but knowing that I will have to go through college where there are no summers off. It was interesting time for me. it was the ending of tired stories and new ones starting. The next single released from the album is called 1979. It is my absolute favorite song from the group, even above Today from the previous album. This song has mostly singable lyrics with a fun echo in between lyric lines. There were also loops and samples used in this song. This is also part of what I really like about the song. The song is one of the most important tracks on the album Billy Corgan has said in the past. The song has a really fun poppy beat for a heavy alternative band at the time. I think that this is also part of my draw to the song. I liked the song so much that I bought the CD single. The B-sides of the single are just as good as the song itself in my opinion. The third single from this album is called Zero. Zero is a heavy track that has singable lyrics as well. The lyrics don’t really mean anything to me so I can sing along and not really care what is being said. The single for this song has a special 23 minute track that is snippets of riffs that were not used in the songs of Melancholy and The Infinite Sadness. It is interesting if for just that fact. The next single released from the album is called Tonight, Tonight. This song was overplayed so much on my radio stations that I couldn’t listen to it for over 20 years. I think that the first time that I have listened to it all the way through was to write this review. It is a nice mellow song with heavy inspiring drum rhythms. It also has smooth vocals from Corgan, even with his high pitch wail it still comes off as smooth. The fifth single released from this album was a promo single called Muzzle. It was a song about Corgans’ perception of what people thought of him. Either way it is not the greatest single on the album. The last single released from this album is called Thirty-Three. I received this single as a gift from my x-wifes brother. We were really good friends at the time and he knew that I liked this band a lot. He did not understand at this time why. It was not until five years later that he got into this album. All I could say was, “I told you so.” I think that all of the B-sides of the singles released from this album are just as important as the whole of the album and should all be listened together as a full album. I think that this album has a lot of garbage in it but the singles make the album very memorable. If one can’t stand to listen to the whole album at least listen to the singles. I don’t blame you if you can’t. It is a double album after all.

This is the fifth 7” released from Man or Astro-Man? It was released in 1993. There were 3000 copies pressed on black vinyl. As the group has done in the past, the sides are not labeled A and B. They are labeled Secret Agent Side (SA) and Double Agent Side (DA). Some copies of this single had an additional Man or Astro-Man? fan club insert. The 7” is supposed to be a sound track for a movie called Mission Into Chaos. This is a fictional movie created by Coco though. There was a contest for anyone who could find a copy of the film. Since the film did not exist fans submitted films that they made. There was a winner of the contest. The winners name was listed in the follow up to this single. The name of that single was Return To Chaos. There are five tracks on this EP, two on the SA side and three on the DA side. The first track on the SA side is called Name of Numbers and the second is called Of Sex and Demise. The track names on the DA side tracks are Maddness In The Streets, Within A Martian Heart and Point Blank.  All created specifically for this EP. The tracks were later used on other albums, singles and EPs.

This is the second album form The Black Keys. It was released in 2003. The group was compared frequently to The White Stripes because of the similarity in music genre styles, blues-rock/garage-rock. They are also a two member band like The White Stripes. There were three singles released from the album. The first single, Set You Free, has become a classic because of its inclusion in the movie School of Rock. For me the song is not that spectacular. I think that the only reason that it gets recognition is for the simple fact that it was included in that movie. The second single released from the movie is called Hard Row. It is a little bit more interesting than the first single but still, it doesn’t make me want to listen to it over and over. The last single released from the album is a cover of the song Have Love Will Travel. This song has something special. It has heart and super musicality. There is one other song that I think should have been the fourth single from this album. That song is called Everywhere I Go. It is the seventh track on the album. It is another cover song but this one was originally written by Junior Kimbrough. Dan Auerbach kept the original sloppy verbal delivery that Junior had as a vocalist making the song sound very original, a very difficult task indeed. Junior died in 1998 and this is one way to help keep his music alive and passing it on to a new generation. This is a good album but not a great one. I like the blues sound that the group puts out but it may not be fore everybody.

This is Andrew W.K. first album. It was released in 2001. This album is instantly recognizable by its cover art. This cover was very controversial when it was released. There was a black sticker over the blood when it was released in 2001. When I did the research on the album in the past I found out that it was not his blood but in fact it is pigs blood. He did try to get a bloody nose but it did not work as planed and they had to come up with a different way to get the blood on his face. Previous to the regular singles that were released in support of this album an EP for the 8th song on the album was released. That song is called Party Till You Puke. The EP contained three different versions of the song plus three songs included only on the EP. The song itself is fast paced dance rock music. The song uses standard rock instruments along with a synth sound over the top. It is a lot of fun dance punk rock music. The first actual single, and the reason that I bought the album, is called Party Hard. It is the first song from Andrew that was a big success in the charts. The song has a great formula with standard rock instruments but also using piano and synth sounds. It is another great hardcore punk rock song. The second single from the album is called She Is Beautiful. This song leads off with a great guitar solo and slowly adds other instruments making another fast great punk track proclaiming that girls are beautiful like it states in the title of the song. The videos for both of these singles are really quite entertaining. Andrew is a very creative man and plays his parts in both of these videos very well. I would recommend that every one hear this album at least once and watch the two videos for the singles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 14

I finally feel brave enough to do this. So here it goes...

This is the eleventh album released from the group. It was released in 1969. I have always been afraid to review the history of The Beatles. I chose this one because I identify the most with it. Like all Beatles albums there are high points and low points. There was officially only a double A-side single released from this album. The two songs on that 7” (45 RPM record) are Something and Come Together. Something was the first A-side single that Harrison was credited with. It is a great ballad about attraction to a girl. The guitar solo is top notch in my opinion and speaks just as well as the lyrics and Harrisons's voice does. It is a beautiful song and pulls at the heart to feel for the speaker of the song. The other A-side, Come Together, is perfect rock in my opinion. This song remind me of being very young, a toddler. This song is something that reminds me of our, my family’s, old green truck. The color was a metallic forest green with pinstripes done by my mother. The bed of the truck was hard wood. I can’t remember what year the truck was. If I had to guess it would be a 40s or 50s era truck. It was very cool. I don’t think that we had it that long because it was not conductive to a family environment (two kids and parents). The song itself is a beautiful piece of art that I could listen to for a long time. I have listened to it on repeat at times. The song was inspired by a political campaign against Ronald Regan by Timothy Leary. The musicality and creativity in this song is just mind blowing in my opinion. The boomy bass with the super clear guitar and the Rhodes keyboard make for absolute perfection. Other great songs include Star’s Octopuses Garden, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Here Comes The Sun and more. Octopuses Garden was written when he took his family on a vacation on Peter Sellers yacht. It is a fun song that fits for the kids. It is a lot of fun but can also be found on Yellow Submarine. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) was the formation of two different styles of music. The first part being good ol’ blues rock with that super cool bass solo between verses. There is a cool guitar solo in the middle of the song that mimics the verse. This is a great progressive track that The Beatles put together. They seem to dabble in a little bit of everything. I think that this is a part of their big popularity. People say that they did everything. Well, I think that they made genres because there were none there in the first place. Where as now the genres have become so fragmented and people try to pigeon hole every new band. That is great but what happens when a group defies all of this fragmentation? I hope that some group actually does this and soon. Anyway, the white noise at the end of the track is created by a Moog and cuts the song off with dead silence. It is an awesome way to end a side of an album. The start of the second side has a bright and shiny track called Here Comes The Sun. It is a happy uplifting track that musically imitates the rising of the sun. This is Harrison’s second track on the album. It was written one sunny day in Eric Claptons’ back yard. It was not released as a single but did receive a lot of radio air play. The Medley track is basically a few short tracks linked together. They are good tracks and should be noted separately in my opinion. The first is called You Never Give Me Your Money. It is a good track and takes up most of the Medley. It is a great rock and roll on that part of the Medley. Sun King is the next part. It is a bit slowed down and is very relaxing to listen to. Mean Mr. Mustard is the third part and it is kind of interesting but not one of my favorite parts. Polythene Pam is the next part and has that classic rock sound. I can’t say anything other than that. It reminds me of the early 70s rock and roll I guess. The fifth part is called She Came In Through The Bathroom Window. This part follows the classic rock sound that the previous part did. The next part slows down. It is called Golden Slumbers. It is OK but there are better parts on this album and this medley for that matter. The next part is called Carry That Weight. The song is probably a fan favorite for the big sound that the part puts out at its climax. The last part is called The End. It extends the big sound from the previous part with a fun drum solo. The only part of this album that I really don’t like is the song Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. It just doesn’t sit right with me. Remember that, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

This is the eights album from The Doobie Brothers. It was released in 1978. The album fits that classic rock sound that I remember as a kid. This is really a nostalgic album for me. There are three singles that were released from this album. The first is Dependin’ On You. It did well in the charts but it is not a song that I recognize from my childhood. This doesn’t mean that it is a bad song but may mean that it was not popular where I grew up or the DJs at the radio station did not play it much. The song has a slight disco feel that I can grove to though so I don’t know why it would not have been played on the radio frequently. The next single from the album, the title track, is called Minute By Minute. This track uses a cool electro-mechanical keyboard. I love electro-mechanical keyboards, especially the Rhodes keyboard. This song makes use of one of these popular keyboards heavily. The vocals are so smooth that I could float away on them and find myself on a desert island and not know how I got there. The next single from the album is called What A Fool Believes. This track features a piano and a synth in the lead instrument parts. The vocals on this one are just as good as the previous track. This song was also recorded previously on band members’ solo albums but this version is the one that most will remember. There is something special about this track though and always brings me back to my childhood. I can remember hearing this on the radio that we had in the kitchen. It was my mothers’ old combination player. It played records, 8-track tapes and had a radio in it. We hardly ever played records on it and never played 8-trakcs on it. We had a lot of 8-tracks but never played them. It was mainly used as a radio and played when we were away from the house to keep the animals complacent. But more than that, when the TV was off the radio was on. It was an interesting way of life I guess.

This is the first release after their first album and the first EP that the group put out. It was released in 2010 on the Paper and Plastic record label. There are 6 tracks on this EP. I don’t think that there was a specific single released from the EP. They are a small New Jersey band that had a sound that was similar to The Gaslight Anthem. With this EP they still have some of that sound but it seems to fade a little. It is like they are starting to find their own sound. I like that they are still finding themselves. They have a great alternative rock sound that I have always been interested in. The sound is becoming a form of punk. I have always loved punk. I really liked the third track, Catch You When You Fall. It is good punk song craft. The song lyrics are about a guy that wants the best for a girl in a bad relationship. He is also in love with her and, of course, wants to be her new boyfriend thinking that he would somehow be better than the other guy. It is a good hopeful idea that doesn’t always work out. The fifth track on the EP is called Thank You My Dear. This is a slowed down track providing slight contrast to the previous three tracks. It still has a big distorted guitar sound but makes you think because it is slowed down. The last track on the album has a funny name, Brocomotive. It is just a regular punk track but with a funny name. The Ep is good for a group still finding themselves. I enjoy finding a new band and seeing their progression. This is a step in the right direction for the group and I hope that they keep evolving.

This is the groups second EP. It was released in 2011. I got both of these EPs at the same time. This second EP was actually self-released by the band. The CD I got was actually a CDr. They were kind enough to also send me two patches that matched the logo on this second EP. I actually talked to Trevor, from the band, via email and he cut me a deal. I got the two EPs for the price of one. I can’t thank him enough for such a great deal. I don’t think that there was a single released from this EP either. I will say that the band has evolved even more in their sound. It seems that the mimicking of the sound from The Gaslight Anthem has seemingly disappeared. I like this very much. They still have their punk roots though and I think that is where they should be. They have seemed to pick up a little of that emo sound though. It is not exactly piercing but they do seem to have a higher pitch to the vocals. I am not saying that I don’t like it. Actually, I welcome it. I just hope that other fans don’t turn away from them because of it. It actually reminds me of Sunny Day Real Estate but a little faster. I like it a lot. This is another six track EP. I really like the track called Broken Brother. It doesn’t really stand out as much as it is a good punk track. I also like the track Grabber. It has that sort of call and response sound that a crowd could really get into with the backing band yelling on the track. It really works well and would be great at live concerts. Side note: The band have finished recording their next full length album and are in the process of mixing it now. They are hoping for a summer release. I am very excited about this.

This is the fourth album from Pinback. It was released in 2007. This album is one of the most perfect new pop rock albums that I have ever heard. It is a proper album that needs to be listened to from start to finish. Not exactly a headphone album but one that desires to be listened to on a stereo in an open environment. The songs all seem to run together into perfection. I believe that the first single released from the album is called From Nothing To Nowhere. It is also the first track from the album. This track is very quick moving. The duo have made a great song to start off an album. This song hits you in the face and makes you see what they have done on this album so that you are prepared for the sound that flows across the album from start to finish. The second single that was released from the album is called Good To Sea. It is a play on words or a pun as some of us like to call it. It is a pun because the chorus sings, “It’s good to see you, it’s good to see you go.” It starts off with a cool synth with echo. This sound runs through the whole song really. The main part of the song is very staccato but still fun and pop sounding for an indie group. Amazon still has a couple of copies of this album on vinyl for a very reasonable price. I may just have to get me a copy as I like this album that much. The group will be touring over this summer as just the duo. They also have a new album coming out soon that I am very excited about. There is not a release date yet but soon, and that is enough for me. As a side note, the first release of this album came with a second CD with an additional three tracks. Two of which were recorded during the Autumn sessions. I think that if one were to get the vinyl there is a download coupon that comes with these extra tracks.

That is all for now...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 13

Very excited about the first record in this post. Still disappointed that they, Veronica Falls, haven't released an EP or something more than just a single. I know that there are at least four songs that they are currently playing live and who knows how many more hidden gems under the surface. I will settle for the non-album single for now but always want more from this group.

This is a new single from Veronica Falls. The song was released at the beginning of this month. The song was actually available to hear on the internet via Slumberland SoundCloud music site months ago now. I had actually recorded the song from the internet way back when it was released so I could have the song right away. I did not see this as a problem because I was and did buy the physical single when it was released. The A-side of the single is My Heart Beats. This song is very happy and up beat, like most of their songs are. To me it is about finding the right person to live your life with. It asks questions like, “If we could dream together?” They still have that great 40s guitar sound that drew me to them in the first place. The B-side adds a new dimension to their song craft. For this song they have added an organ or a Vox style keyboard to the mix. The b-side track is called Killing Time. It is a slowed down track that talks about having a friend stay with them for a while. It even goes so far as to say that if they would stay they could go out and spend some money together. It is a very beautiful song with the organ and guitar playing together with their signature simplified drumming. I would recommend this single to anyone. It is a non-album single though so if you are a collector get a copy as soon as you can. Also, collectors be warned it is a colored 7” record, black and white swirl, very cool.

This is the first album released from The Other Ones. There was a second album released but did not chart at all. It was released in 1986. I remember Hearing the first single on the radio with enough frequency. I had actually recorded the single onto cassette a few times. This is how I finally got around to finding out who they were. I went through a section of home recorded tapes and documented what bands were on them and what songs were played. When I did my search on the internet to find out more about the band I found that there was not much information to be had. I did find just a little bit though. The first single released from this album is called We Are What We Are. This song I had never heard before I got the album. It is a slower song compared to the second single from the album though. I guess I could say that I vaguely remember the chorus for the song but not much more. The lead vocal is a strong female vocal that could stand up to any of the majors out there today though. Her voice reminds me of Annie Lennox a little. The second single released from the album is called Holliday. This is the song that I remember hearing on the radio. It is the first song on the album. It has a great beat for a late new wave group. It is a very surprising release given that it was 1986 when this style of music was sort of fading away. I guess a great dance track will stick anywhere. The album as a whole is interesting but I don’t think that this is an essential album for most people.

This is the only album that has been released from the group Acceptance. It was released in 2005. I found out about this group when they were still together. I went to a Christian concert downtown with like five different bands. When we were going into the concert there were various street teams out there pushing other bands that were not on the bill that night. I took as many pieces of paper from those folks as I possibly could. The following day I went through my pockets to fink out what I had picked up. One of the groups was Acceptance. The graphic of the EP that they were pushing looked interesting so I looked them up. I liked what I heard and bought both of the EPs that they had put out. It wasn’t too long after that they put out this album. I was very excited because I liked the music that they had already put out. I wasn’t disappointed with this album either. This album released three singles. The first single is called Permanent. It was also released as a single from the previous EP called Black Lines To Battlefields. This song has a hard edge to it. The song is fast and fun. The lyrics are inspirational stating that “It’s permanent! Nothing is Permanent. We’ll be watching your back!” To me it means that God is permanent but physical objects are not. At least that is what I get from it. The second single from the album is called Different. This is a song that is a little slower. It uses piano guitar plucked and bowed violins and drums. The song talks about being different in many ways and normal in the general view of things. It is a great song musically too. It makes you think about the life you live and where you want it to go. It is an introspective song designed to make you think about life. The last single released from the album is called Take Cover. This is the first song on the album. It is a more up beat song than the previous track. The song is really about giving the warning. Making sure that the people you love know what is coming. It is a good song. It is just too bad that the group broke up after this album. The lead singer had decided that he wanted a normal life. The others in the band joined other groups or created other bands. Nothing has been done with those other bands though.

This is the third album from Muse and the first full album that I heard from them. It was released in 2006. I found out about them from the movie Twilight. Yes, I read the books and have seen all of the movies. I don’t consider myself a “Twi-hard” mainly because I am not a 12 year old girl and it is a stupid name. I am a big Radiohead fan and just by admitting this I am probably being frowned upon by other Radiohead fans. There has always been a conflict between Radiohead and Muse fans. This is mostly to do with the fact that Muse sounds so much like Radiohead on their first few albums that most Radiohead fans refuse to listen to them for that reason only. Anyway, I heard my first Muse track while watching the movie Twilight. The song is called Supermassive Black Hole and was used in the baseball sequence in the movie. This is also the first single released from the album. The song uses some really cool big beat with super dirty sounding guitars. The lead singer uses falsetto to contrast the dirty guitars making for a great sounding song. The next single released form the album is called Starlight. This is a smoother song than the previous release. The bass guitar is distorted but there is clarity in the piano part that floats above the bass. The guitars come in later and are also very clear, no distortion. The vocals are very clear and nice sounding male vocals. It is a nice song but not a dance song like Supermassive Black Hole is. The third single from this album is called Knights of Cydonia. This is the last track on the album. The song is named after the region of Mars named Cydonia. Most people know it as “The face of Mars.” This song has a galloping feel to it. It doesn’t impress me much though. There is something that is very bla about this track. It has great inspirations but that doesn’t make a great song. The next single released from the album is called Invincible. This is the first track from this album not to chart above the twentieth spot. Part of this reason is that it is a slower song. I have been noticing a trend with slower songs. They don’t seem to be very popular. They are well loved but not all that popular.  The song does swell but keeps the same tempo. The last single released from the album is called Map of The Problematique. The title is a reference to a science fiction book called The Limits To Growth. There are also more references to mars in the lyrics. Specifically the first lyric in the song, "fear and panic in the air" which may be a reference to Mars, in that the red planet's two moons are named Phobos and Deimos, who were the Greek gods of Fear and Panic. This is an interesting sci-fi album. Does everyone need to hear it? Not really.

This is the second album from Stone Temple Pilots (STP). The album was released in 1994. I first heard the first single from this album on the movie The Crow. I loved that movie. I remember buying a t-shirt in support of the movie. It said on the back, “Believe In Angels.” Every time I wore that shirt someone would ask me where I got it. I can only assume that this version of the shirt was hard to find. There was a second shirt that did not have words, just a graphic on it. The first single was called Big Empty. This is a good song and fit the movie surprisingly well. It is an acoustic song with soft lyrics. The scene in the movie they are driving a car so the first set of lyrics fit. The chorus has an electric guitar but the verse fades back to an acoustic. It is a great song with clear strange lyrics. It is easy to sing to though. The second single from the album is called Vasoline. This is my favorite song from the album. The opening of the song has a cool sounding vibrato on the bass guitar. This was accomplished by using a wah-wah pedal on the bass. This is another song that was super easy to sing along with. There is something about the way that the lyrics were written that made it very easy for me to memorize. This is mainly why I like the song so much. The song is supposed to be about we as people being scrutinized by some other source. Whether that is people watching people or some other concept is unclear. The next single released from the album is called Interstate Love Song. It is the groups biggest hit to date. It is a slower hard edged song that really sticks in your heart and head. The music has a country-western feel to it which probably adds to its popularity really. There were two promo singles released after this. They are Unglued and Pretty Penny. Unglued was reminiscent of their first album with the hard grunge feel. The song was played on Lettermen at the end of 1994. Pretty Penny is another acoustic song with bongos for the drum track and an acoustic guitar and bass with vocals. The song is easy to listen to but easily forgettable after the song finishes. This is an album that everyone should hear at least once. It is a super album that deserves as much or more respect than it has gotten.

I am very excited to say that I received the two EPs from Let Me Run today and they will be reviewed in the near future if not the next post.

That is all I have for now...