Friday, May 24, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 20

Whirr have a new EP coming out in the beginning of July. It will have four songs and will be released through Graveface records.

You can now preorder the expanded edition of the new SigurRos album. It will have two extra tracks on an additional 10” record.

Surfer Blood have a new album called Pythons to be released in early June. I am very excited for this one.

Sun Records has partnered with Third Man Records to repress Sun Records 7” 54 RPM singles. The first three are available for purchase now. You can get them as a set of three or separates. Rufus, Johnny Cash and Prisonaires are the artists for these three singles. 

Here we go...

The original release for this single was in 1956. The single remains faithful to its original issue on Sun Records. It replicates the classic logo and label design along with the Sun record sleeve.

I recently purchased this single because I love the track Get Rhythm. It is my favorite out of anything that Cash has ever released. To my surprise, when I got the record in the mail, the record in the box was for Prisonaires. I wrote an email to the record company as soon as I could. I hadn’t heard anything the following day so I called Third Man Records and left a message. They sent the Cash single to me for free and didn’t require that I send the other back. I was very happy with this. I did ask if they could send the third one with the replacement but they couldn’t do that with out causing themselves too much hassle. I will buy the third one at some point in the near future.

Get Rhythm is the A side for this single. Most people thought it was the other way around as I walk The Line is a more popular track. It was actually released the other way around. The song itself has a cool train style beat. The muted guitar that is played in this track is an arch-top guitar and is the reason that I own two of these types of guitars. It is just a perfect sound over and above a standard round or square shouldered acoustic guitar. Cash’s voice is near perfection as he was a younger man at the time of the recording. The song paints a great happy picture of a boy shining shoes and the conversation that Cash has with the boy

The B side of the single is, as I mentioned earlier, I WalkThe Line. This song also has that cool train sounding beat. The guitar is the same with this track as well but it doesn’t stand out as much. The focus on this song is the vocals and there meaning to a significant other.

This was originally released in 1953. This is the second of the first three repressings done with Third Man Records for Sun Recordings. The single remains faithful to its original issue on Sun Records. It replicates the classic logo and label design along with the Sun record sleeve.

The A side of the single is called Baby Please. The song is a blues track that talks about a man who has fallen in love with a girl but she is still not interested after all of the pleading that he has done. It is a simple song with just an acoustic guitar and upright bass. All five members were prisoners but joined together to form this doo-wop group.

Like the Cash single the B side for this single, JustWalkin’ In The Rain, was more popular than the A side. This track paints the picture of a man walking in the rain in a depressed mood because he has lost his girl. They don’t sing about what happened but instead the song reminisces about the times that he had with the girl and how the people feel that he walks past. It is an interesting sweet song with much the same sound as the A side; acoustic guitar, upright bass and five part male vocals.

It is said that this group is one of Elvis Presley’s favorite groups. I can’t say if this is true but it is etched into the run out of the record.

This was a single released in 1997. I came upon this single at a local used record shop. I saw that it was put out by Sympathy For The Record Industry and had to have it. I have a few other singles put out by this record company. The most important of those is the 5” record that Man or Astro-Man? released. I thought, “How could I go wrong?” To my surprise, when I got the record out, I found it was orange. I love colored records. It was a great find for only a couple bucks.

The A side of the record is called Do The Zombie. It is a fun punk track that sings about a night with a full moon and the night that the zombies came out. The song reminds me of The Monster Mash only faster and more fun.

The B side of the record is called She’s Fallen In Love With A Monster. This one has a surf feel similar to The Munsters Theme. The song is a bit slower than the A side but the lyrics are better understood. I can live with that trade off for sure.

Garagemonsters – Powerhouse (Feat. Clint Ruin, The Pizz & Buttstain)
This is another single from Sympathy For The Record Industry. Powerhouse was released in 1989. I got this one at the same time as the single from The Eyeliners. This single is not colored but instead is single sided with the B side being etched with the graphic on the back cover of the sleeve. I only have one other single sided 7” and that one is not etched. This one looks as if it was hand etched but I can’t be sure. I don’t know who the three featured artists are on this track either.

The A side track is called Powerhouse. The song reminds me of the old Warner Brothers Loony Toons cartoons because the orchestra music that is played is also used with those cartoons. There are other noises but this is what stands out for me. It is a song that I could listen to over and over though.

This single was released in 1983. It is one of my favorite songs from Bowie. This is probably because I was a kid when this track was released and had a great influence on me during that time. I also had access to MTV and saw it quite a bit there.

I picked up this single just recently when I got the two Sympathy For The Record Industry singles. I was a bit disappointed that the original sleeve was not there. On the other hand the record sounds spectacular for a 30 year old record.

The A side, Let’s Dance, sounds like I am in the studio listening to the band play it live. It is one of the best sounding singles I think I own right now, next to that new Johnny Cash repressing anyway.

The B side, Cat People (Putting Out Fire), does not sound quite as good. It is a good song but the sound is like it is just coming from my stereo. It is amazing the difference one side to the other can make.

This is another single I picked up at the same time as the Sympathy For The Record Industry singles. This one was released in 1987.

The A side is the song Holiday. I loved this song as a young adult. I use to imagine being grown up with my own family and going on vacations (holiday) with my family. We would go to the warm exotic areas of northern Africa. I always thought of Morocco for some reason. This song still takes me to those areas in my head. It seems a bit odd to me because when I listen to the song for the song it reminds me of space travel really.

The B side of the record is called Dark Ages. This song is a bit more grounded. The female vocals sound like Tori Amos but have low tone male vocal support during the chorus. It sounds absolutely beautiful.

That is all I have for now...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 19

Vampire Weekend has a new album called Modern Vampires Of The City coming out this Tuesday. XL Recordings had a limited white vinyl edition available from their web store.

Daft punk also have an album coming out in the next two weeks called Random Access Memories.

Here we go...

This is technically the fourth album that the duo has put out, if you count the Christmas album that they put out that is. I don’t usually count Christmas albums though. This was released on May 7, 2013 through Merge Records. You can get the album as a download, CD, Vinyl or cassette. The first 500 units of vinyl in the USA were pressed on what the label calls robins egg blue.  I have a copy of this colored vinyl and it is more like blue and white marble. In the UK/EU the limited version was pressed in peach.I am a fan of 7” singles and am very disappointed that Merge have not released any yet for this album. There were two from the second album and one from their first. I like the B sides the most. Even if they put out some CD singles I would still be happy with that.

There are fourteen songs on this album and only one single has been released from it as of yet. There is a second track that is available to listen to on Soundcloud though. Of the fourteen songs on the album Zooey Deschanel has written eleven of them. The remaining three are cover songs. Over all, this album is a blast to listen to. I liked the first to albums but this one is even better. There is something bouncy and happy with this album that wasn’t present on the last two. Like I said, I like all three albums but this one is somehow better than the last two.

The first single released from the album is called Never Wanted Your Love. It has a fun rock beat with strings in the background. I think that the bass line is a lot of fun too. The guitar is very sparse on the track but it reminds me of some of the music from France in the 70s. It is a very fun song with intelligent lyrics.

The song that is up on Soundcloud and Youtube now is called I Could’ve Been Your Girl. This track smacks of late 50s rock with a good current beat. There is still something about the guitar work that is special in this song too. It is a sweet song that all the young teens, especially the girls, should love. The song is so pop but indie pop so the cool kids in school can still keep their indie credit.

I just hope that M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel continue to make this great music. I understand that M. Ward has a solo career too but this music is so good.

This EP was put out in spring of 2005. It was named after the groups sound engineer who worked with them during the 2004 tour. This was their last release with Barsuk Records. This was a difficult EP to find when it was released but with time it has become easier to find.

The first track on the EP is from The Photo Album and is called We Laugh Indoors. The song is easy to swallow with the repetitive line, “I loved you Guinevere, I loved you…”

The second track that I liked from the album is called Why You’d Want To Live Here. It is about LA and comes from The Photo Album as well. The song has a good steady beat that doesn’t really change through the song.

The third track from this EP, Lightness, comes from Transatlanticism. It is a good song that is exceptionally slow. I do like the song though because of Ben Gibbards use of ululations in the song. It makes the song just a little bit more special.

The next song is called Photobooth. This song comes from a previous studio EP called The Death Cab for Cutie Forbidden Love EP. Most fans call this one the Forbidden Love EP though. You can hear a small part of the crowd scream when the song starts up. Those are the super fans because they bought the EP and know this somewhat rare track.

The next track is also from Transatlanticism and is called We Looked Like Giants. It is an extended version of the track as it was recorded live.

405 is a track from the album We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes. It is a guitar driven track without anything else except vocals from Ben. It is a nice track but simple.

The last song on the EP is called Blacking Out The Friction/Brand New Love. I found myself mesmerized by the second half of the song and I couldn’t figure out why. After listening to the EP for a couple of days it dawned on me. Brand New Love was originally recorded by Sebadoh and released in 1992 on the album Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock. This, however, is not where I recognized the song from. Two years before this EP was released an album by the electronic metal band Deadsy had a cover of this song on their album called Commencement. I loved this heavy version of the song so much. To go back to a different lighter cover of the song was very interesting indeed and it is a live version of the song to boot. This song seems to work well in both environments. I am happy to have heard and now have a copy of both of these cover versions of this song.

This is one of the many 7” singles that Man or Astro-Man? (MOAM?) have released. This two track single was released in 1995. This record was released by a record store in Tempe, AZ called East Side Records. The original cover was misprinted as simply Haystack along with other text in the wrong font and size of text. The label on the center of the record also had some text errors. The B side track was incorrect. It was supposed to be credited to Supernova but was misspelled as Supernove. The “S” on the record company title was also cut off on all versions of the record where it read East Side Recrods. There are also some units that are paired with mismatched sleeves or records. Some have corrected sleeve but still errors on the record or vice versa. I have the copy that has the most correct information. I would love to get my hands on a text error record and sleeve but am not interested in spending an arm and a leg to do so.

The A side of the record has a song called Radio Fission. This track was reworked and later released on Experiment Zero as Television Fission. The song obviously has the same feel as the EZ rework of the song. It is fast fun and slightly dark. I love the tones of the lead guitar that is used.

The B side was a cover of a track from Supernova called Calling Hong Kong. I have no idea what the original song sounds like from Supernova. This version reminds me of something that would come from a Saturday morning cartoon from when I was a kid though and that I exactly what I love about the song. I could get even more specific and say that it reminds me of the cartoon work of the likes of Gigantor or The Justice League from the 70s.

Even if I don’t ever get a copy of the single with the errors, it is still about the music and I like these two tracks a lot.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 18

The new She & Him album will be out next Tuesday. I got my copy today because I ordered it directly from Merge Records.

Still waiting for the third single from Man or Astro-Man? to get to my place. It has shipped but I haven’t seen it yet. I have also not seen an option for download at either iTunes or Amazon yet either.

You can, however, preorder the full length LP from Man or Astro-Man? from Chunklet now. You can get it in black or clear vinyl or there is a T-shirt bundle as well with the clear vinyl. You can also get the download from Amazon or iTunes.

The Rilo Kiley B sides album has been released. You can get it on download, CD or double vinyl. I have seen that there is also a version of the vinyl that comes with the CD and a limited cassette with tracks that can only be found on the cassette and nowhere else. It is interesting but I am not that interested in the group.

Here we go...

Phisical versions have yet to be released but you can get the download of the album now at iTunes or Amazon or any other etailer for that matter. This is the groups ninth long awaited album. The album obviously features tracks from each of the three singles that were put out before the album was released (I still have yet to receive the third single but it is in the mail). It is an evolution and a step forward from what they have created in the past but still has the original building blocks that the group started with. The album is $17.99 whether you get black or clear. There is also a bundle that comes with the clear version and a T-shirt. You save a dollar on the bundle.

This is what Chunklet has for the write up on the preorder page, “Man or Astro-Man? have returned to earth for the human masses and after years of hibernation they are now unveiling their finest recorded work to date. It has been nearly 12 years since the band last released their intergalactic sonic wave forms, and the new album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1 is here now with a striking validity that the band is unquestionably as both tuneful and energetic as they ever have been. The record combines ever-familiar Astro audio tones and the well-established playing ferocity that MOAM? are known for, but yet now, there is an undeniably evolution to the band that is both intuitive, logical and well crafted. Defcon is here and is here with imminent purpose.”

The album features five songs from the three singles.

From Vol. 3 Episode 48, “…The first track is called Communication Breakdown Part II, as of this point there is no part one to this song. The group likes to make titles of songs like this. For example, on their last full length album, A Spectrum of Infinite Scale, they have the title of a song called: Obligatory Part 2 Song In Which There Is No Presently Existing Part 1, Nor The Plans To Make One. I can only assume that there will be no part one to Communication Breakdown Part II. The song starts with an electronic wind down. The song kicks in at a low point in the wind down. It seems like a slower song and sort of drags along. Surprisingly this song has lyrics. There was also a track with lyrics on the previous album. This means that the full length will have two tracks with lyrics on it. This has been a rarity in the past. Maybe there will be more than just the two tracks on the album that will have lyrics? Anyway, the song is about losing contact with head quarters via their only contact, the radio. It is a simple song, not their best, but a good song still. I think that the music, when they include lyrics, suffers a little and becomes not so interesting. Maybe if they had a extra person dedicated to lyrics and other instruments it could work. On the other hand, I really like what Starcrunches (Lead guitarist and vocalist) voice sounds like when he does sing.

The second song on the single is called All Systems To Go. I really like the soft tones that are used to start this song out. They remind me of the racing video games that I played in the 80s. It is a soft beep, beep, beep, beep where the last beep is in a higher tone to signal start. Coco The Electronic Monkey Wizard (the bass player) uses the electronic vocalizer that they have used in the past to get the words for this song. The system says the title of the song, All Systems To Go, along with other words that seem unintelligible with the music playing over the top. I think that it may be counting down from nine but I am not sure. The song is very interesting but kind of mellow for the group. I would think that this song and the previous song were written at about the same time because they have a similar flow. I have done this in the past. What I mean is that I have written a song and still have other ideas that I want to get out at the same time. This leads to two songs that have a similar feel but are still different music.”

From Vol. 3 Episode 35, “The first song on this single is called Defcon 5. The song starts out with an analog saw tooth wave and crashes into the song. It isn’t a hard smack you in the face song. It is a steady surf track that pushes the listener along on a smooth ride. The new member of the group, Avona Nova, adds so much to this track with out even trying. There is a special flourish that happens on the verse part that I love. Avonas’ playing is the only way that this could have happened. There are no words on this track but I think I like it even more than the other stuff they have put out. This could be because it is just new music though.

The second song that is on this single is called Anti-Matter Man. This is one of the few tracks with lyrics that the band has put out. This track is faster than Defcon 5. There is something special about Starcrunchs’ vocals in general. I am sure that he doesn’t like to sing and that is why there are so few tracks with vocals that the group has put out. Maybe this is why they mean so much to me. The songs with vocals also seem to be simpler in composition when they have lyrics but I actually like it that way. I also know how difficult it is to play and sing at the same time. All I can say is Go Starcrunch Go!”

The fifth track that comes from the single series that is also on this album is called Disintegrate. This song features guest vocals by Liz Durrett who is a folk styled artist. She gives a different flair on the track. This is another vocal track for MOAM? The track is very hard hitting and enjoyable. I think that this track is as close as they have ever gotten to a pop track that could be played on commercial radio. It is very cool so see the changes that have been made over the twelve year hiatus. I hope that this means that they will continue to make music in the future but with out a twelve year gap on the next album.

This is the fifth album from the group. It was released in 1988. This has been one of the album that I have been after from my late 80s list. I found it a while ago but haven’t made the time to talk about it yet. I really only wanted it for the song Perfect World. I liked that song a lot when I was in school. I had no idea that there were five singles, including Perfect World, that were released from this album. After having time to listen to the album I have found that I like most if not all of the album. I think it should have gotten more credit than it has. It did break the top twenty (Number 11) in the charts but I think it is a better album than that.

The first single from the album was Perfect world. The song is about people believing that we live in a perfect world but still knowing that this world is not perfect. It is a hard one to wrap your mind around if you think about it too much. It is classic late 80s pop in my opinion and, because of the movie Back To The Future, I had been subjected to the group repetitively through the radio. To hear new music from the group was a good thing and made me like them even more.

The second single from the album was Small World (Part One). This is the first song on the album. I think it is the synth/keys that really date this style of music. Those sounds made the mid to late 80s. It is not a bad thing; it just means I need to be in the right mood to listen to the music. It is so cheesy, even the guitar parts and horn parts are dated. I still like the music. It is still very creative just dated.

The third single from the album is called Give Me The Keys(And I’ll Drive You Crazy). I like the chorus with the tongue in cheek title written into it. It is funny the first few times you hear it. I had never heard this song until I bought the full album. It kind of reminds me of something from the Beverly Hills Cop movie. I am not sure if that was what they were going for but that is what I feel about the song. The lyrics remind me of something that The Cars would have written. It is a lot of fun and I am happy to have the track.

The fourth single is called World To Me. It is the slow jam from the album. This is really cliche for 80s bands to do; put out a few good rockers, then but out a heart felt slow song so that the kids at the school dances can get together. There were no regulations for school dances in my district. I would dance cheek to cheek with who ever I was dating at the time. It was really the only way to get that close to a girl when I was that young. I still hated the slow jams though when I listened to music at home.

The last single from this album is called Walking With TheKid. This was a moderate rocker with guitar and bass driving the track. It is a cute song about father and son having a great time getting into odd situations but keeping it clean at the same time. It is a fun song but did not chart well because it wasn’t really common in what people wanted to hear in a song.

It is a great album if you haven’t heard it you should give it a try.
That is all I have for now...