Friday, August 30, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 36

If your interested in Allo Darlin’ the lead singer, Elizabeth Morris, has put up a solo EP over at bandcamp. It is digital only and will cost you 3 GBP to get the four tracks.

Coming up next week will be the new Nine Inch Nails album, Hesitation Marks, and the latest Mumford and Sons record Babel amongst others.

Here we go...

This is a cassette only release that I got directly from the band. You can get it too with a little effort. At their bandcamp web page for this album, at the bottom of the page, there is a line that says they are selling the release on cassette tape and to get a hold of them to get a copy. There is no email on the page to get in contact with them. I had to go to their face book page and send them an email through there to get a normal email for the band. After that it was just to send them an email with a request for a cassette. They then sent me an email back with an email to send them the money through Paypal. The cassette came to me quickly, luckily with out damage.  The cassette itself was printed with their name and the track names for each side. The paper in the cassette case was simple, a one sided sheet copy of their booking phone number on the back and drawn pictures of each member of the band. I was very surprised to find that there were thirteen tracks on the tape.

I had asked if there was going to be a special color variant on the release through Windian records and if all thirteen tracks were going to be on the record. there was no response to these questions in my reply email.

The first releases from this record were on a 7” record through Speakertree Records. I talked about them earlier this month in Episode 34. I had this to say about the two tracks, “Both songs[,She Does Those Things to Me and Don't Need Your Love] have a super cool 60s vibe that seems to have not been duplicated in quite a while. Both songs are great. You can tell just by the titles of the songs that they are from completely opposite sides of the spectrum with regards to love but musically are similar in sound.”

I talked to my mom about the songs and she said that they remind her of Paul Revere and The Raiders. I have a specific song in mind but don’t know the name of the song or the band but I do know that they are from the 60s at some point.

I do know that there will be a second single released from Windian Records called Why Should I? It will be backed with Slave To Her Lies. Like all of the album that I just got on cassette, these two tracks are crammed with that 60s garage rock sound.

I am very excited to see if the album is going to have all thirteen tracks that are on the cassette or if it will be different tracks or just less tracks than what is on the cassette. I will probably buy the album either way though.

If your interested you can listen to the whole album on the bandcamp page, there is a link at the top of the review.

Somnambulist is the new album from Abandoned Pools. It is being released on Hype Music/MTV Networks. This is the fourth album from Abandoned Pools and on the heals of the third album, Sublime Currency, that was released last year. It was released digitally first in the beginning of July in 2013. It was then released on CD just a couple of weeks ago through the abandoned pools store. I waited for the CD to be released. As an added bonus the lead singer for the group signed the inside of the sleeve and it was a numbered copy of 100.  I believe that there will be more copies made but, I think, they will not be signed.

I have not heard of any singles being released from this album as of yet. I do have some favorites from the album already though. The opening track, Focus, starts off with a heavy bass drum that seems fuller than any sound that he has used in the past. This is really because of the electronic bass sound that is being used on top of the bass drum though. Then again it becomes fuller through the chorus part too. It then backs off again during the verse parts. If you didn’t realize this already this is a drum and bass track mainly. There are background strings and piano that fade in and out and sound very beautiful but the song is for the most part just drum and bass. It is not a fast paced electronic song though. It is a thoughtful song that shows you if you look for the meaning of your life you will find it.

Compass is another song that I really like from the album. It talks about finding friends and that some of those friends will leave your life and others will stand by you for a life time. Those friends that are there for your life are precious. Those friends should be the ones that keep you on the straight and narrow, Also, that you should be the same for them. This song doesn’t have any guitars either. The lead part is put together through stringed instruments. It is a faster paced song than Focus is but comes off very colorful with the strings instead of guitars.

The third song that I like off the album is called Pep Talk. This track has a big beat and heavy bass. This track also has both acoustic and electric guitars along with synth strings. It has an 80s sound that way but still sounds current because of the way that the instruments are mixed. The song is about giving yourself a pep talk to get yourself up and ready for the day. It is a very positive song to think about all throughout the day. It is very sort and repetitive though so it is easy to remember the words.

I also like the track called Arms Race. The reason that I like the track is that the strings in the back ground are short and striking but still round and smooth. I can only describe them as a shock but a non-painful shock if that makes any sense at all. The song is obviously about fighting and wars but the music is so beautiful. It is hard to not like a song, even if it is about war, if it is so pretty sounding.

This is the second album from Volcano Choir. It is officially released next Tuesday, September the third of 2013. This is an older project form Justin Vernon the man behind such other acts like Bon Iver. He has finally come back to the project since the groups first album Unmap back in 2009. The group slowly over the time between the last album and the release of this album put together writing sessions and recording sessions to put this new album together. There was no official time limit to get it done and this is why it took so long to get the album done. I am fine with this since it has turned out to be a very beautiful album indeed.

There have been two singles released from the album digitally so far. The first is called Byegone. I first heard this song only a few weeks ago while looking for new music. I watched the video for the song and thought that it was brilliant. It is of a lighted forest at night/dusk. The song is so simple that it works perfectly within a forest. The lights light up along with the music. The song comes of as organic and to film in an organic setting just makes sense. There are parts that remind me of other songs but it is so vague that I just get a slight nostalgic feeling but I can’t pinpoint it. It just makes me feel good. It also inspires me to write music. It is a positive thing I guess.

The other single digitally released from the album is called Comrade. This is also an elegant song but with digital trappings. There is a cool acoustic guitar slide that is repeated in the song that seems to grab my attention every time it is played in the track. It is a very natural sound and seems to be played in the brief silences of the song. It is a quick paced track but slows down a bit during the verse. the video is a lot of fun. It is of the group playing in a field on the edge of a forest in the middle of the night during winter. It gives the viewer a sense of being cooler. This is needed especially in the middle of the hottest part of the summer.

I haven’t given this album much time especially since I just got the free download from the record company today. I do know these two songs well enough to talk about them though. Based on these to singles I have high hopes for the album though.

That is all I have for now...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 35

Coming up later this week will be reviews of The Ar-Kaics first self titled album released on cassette only and the fourth album from Abandoned Pools called Somnambulist, previously released as a download but now available on the Abandoned Pools store for a limited time on CD. Maybe some old stuff maybe some new stuff. Wait to see what turns up!

Here we go...

In my search for information about Joanna Gruesome I came across this EP from the group on their Bandcamp web page. This EP was released before both the latest single and the Art Is Hard Family Portrait compilation that was on last weeks post. It was released in January of 2011. The EP has five tracks and three of the tracks are going to be on the new LP from Slumberland Records. One of them is on the Art Is Hard compilation. The fifth can only be found on this EP. For those of you who are interested the EP is up for pay what you want on the page. Because of these items I have now heard half of the album before it has been released. This usually happens when a new band comes on the scene. They have an albums worth of material, no more no less, and they want to get noticed. They then shop around and get a few tracks put out on vinyl, CD or download. When they finally get signed for a full length album half of the album is already out there. This isn’t a bad thing but it is a disappointment for those of us who find new bands before they are popular.

Anyway, the new single, Sugarcrush, from the forth coming album is on this EP. That means that this song has been floating around for quite a while now. The song is fast and sweet punk with soft female vocals as I have talked about last week they sound kind of like Golden Grrrls. The video for the song, there is one, looks like it is all old personal footage from the 60s or 70s with the way that the footage looks. The song is fun and the video makes me feel nostalgic. I think it is perfect.

Madison is the second song on this EP. I think that it is probably just as good as Sugarcrush maybe even better with a perfect mix of noise and clean tones on the guitars. The music is pop meets shoegaze. It is a very cool idea and I hope that they get lots of attention for the music that they created for this upcoming album.

The last track on this EP is called Yr Dick. At this point this track can only be found on this EP. It may show up as a B side somewhere along the line though. I would be happy with that since there is no physical version that I am aware of. I think that this is a good song but not a great song. It would be great as a B side.

For completeists get this EP. For people who are interested, its free , have a listen.

This is the fifth album from The Dodos. It was released this week, August 2013. It was released through Polyvinyl Records. This is new since previous releases have been through French Kiss and Wichita Records. The album has been released in multiple formats including cassette, download, CD and vinyl. There were 700 pressings on vinyl in what the record company calls glacier blue. It is really a baby blue with light black and white swirl. The vinyl also comes with a download code. The album was inspired by the third guitarist, Christopher Reimer, that came onto the group for a short period after leaving a band called Woman and his death at the age of 26. His style of playing the electric guitar influenced lead guitarist and vocalist Meric Long. Reimer influenced Long so much that he has nearly completely abandoned the acoustic guitar completely for this album. The album is very solemn and reminds me of their album Time To Die but darker. Maybe darker isn’t quite the right word. Maybe in the shadows is a better way to look at it. There is a kind of sadness that lingers and maybe that is the influence that Christopher Reimer left on the band. It is a great album with an interesting sound.

There has only been one single released from the album so far and it hasn’t seen its own physical release, it is a digital single. That means there is no B side. That song is called Confidence. The song has a soft start with vocals and layered electric guitars. It is not until after a minute that the drums start up in a simple but yet complex beat. After the chorus is sung twice the guitar changes with the addition of distortion. Later the beat changes and picks up speed. It becomes a higher tension track in the end of the song with the guitar edging up higher in pitch. It is a great song that utilizes the song build up idea.

I do like the song that follows Confidence a lot. It is called Stranger. It starts off with the tension that ended in confidence and defuses it in the first thirty seconds. This riff that makes the tension gets changed tonally after this diffusion, so, the pace is still in the track. this is very cool because at the end the drums pick up a bit more heaviness and the song becomes a bit more fuller than before. At the very end the drums drop out completely and it is just the electric guitars.

This is what seems to be for many a hard recording to find. It was released in 1993 in a split magazine called Monster! International magazine issue number 4/ Highball magazine issue number 2. As of 2011 you can still get this split magazine with the Man or Astro-Man? record. There is a short conversation at the bottom of the post for this release on the Man or Astro-Man? Ad Nausium blog with information regarding the purchase of the magazine. There is also an article in the magazine about the group at the time.

I originally found this online as a download. I was satisfied with this for quite a while but as I searched for more from the group I wanted to find this. I was very excited to say the least when I found Timothy Paxton still had copies of this magazine. It was a lot cheaper getting a new old stock copy than getting a used copy from ebay.

There are four tracks on this flexi-disc. Three of those tracks can be found on Destroy All Astromen. The one track that is unique to this release is called Creature In The Surfers Lagoon. The first track on the disc is printed as The Gargantua’s Last Stand. In most others it is listed with out the leading “The”.

The second track on the record is a cover of Link Ray's "The Shadow Knows," it features a dialog sample from the nudist epic Monster at Camp Sunshine.

The third trac, the first on the second side, is Creature In The Surfers Lagoon. This is the only reason to get this record. It sounds like the classic sound of great surf music. It is a lot of fun and I am glad to have the track.

The last song from this disc is called Espanto Del Futuro. This one is another classic from the group and even got an additional inclusion in another magazine. I still think that the band members saying, “scream…. scream…. scream…. scream….Aaaaaahh!” at the end is so funny.

All four tracks can be heard at this link.

This album was a freebie from Polyvinyl Records with my order for The Dodos new album Carrier. I gave it a shot and I liked what I heard. The album is the third full length from the group that is primarily Nate Kinsella. It was released in May of 2012. The album was released on limited white vinyl, CD and download that I am aware of. The album comes off as disorienting but somehow makes a picture if you step back from it. There are many orchestral sounds that seem to be clipped short in a digital way and formed into an interesting collage along with other sounds including electronic wave sounds and normal rock guitar sounds. The whole album is this way. Each song is different and stands out in its own way but each is also formed in this style to make a very interesting album all together. 

Thanks again to James B. and other contributors to Man or Astro-Man? Ad Nausium.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 34

Sea Wolf has a kickstarter up for a new striped down album. It is a multi-tiered buy in with a lot of cool extras. You can buy in as low as a dollar and up from there. I will probably do the limited color vinyl.

Polica have a new album coming out soon called Shulamith. You can preorder the album on their web page.

Veronica Falls have a new 7” single coming out for the song Broken Toy. The preorder is not up yet but the single will be released on October 22.

Here we go...

This is a 7” record/single that was pressed at 45 RPMs. It was released in December of 2012. There were 500 copies pressed. The “sleeve” is made of chipboard and was silk screened in black and pea-green. I say sleeve but it is more like a sheet folded in half. There was also an insert with credits and thanks. It is a two track single. Both of the tracks are included on the up coming full length album to be released on Slumberland Records. I had never heard of the record company that this record was released on. The company is called Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. That is a bit of a mouth full if you ask me. I thought the etching on both sides of the records was cute though. The A side reads, “Boo-Ba-Dee” and the B side reads, “Boo-Ba-Dee Enjoy It Right Now.”

The A side track is called Do You Really Wanna Know Why YrStill In Love With Me? The song seems to be styled after what Golden Grrrls have done with their last record with both high pitched male and female vocals singing the same thing at the same time. There is a lot of high pitched guitar noise going on at the same time. It sort of makes it hard to listen to at any kind of loud volume. It is still a good song though.

The B side track is called Lemonade Grrrl. I am not sure if this is a reference to Golden Grrrls or not. The song is more of the same sound as on the A side really but with a different beat. This track relies more on the female vocals than the A side track does. I kind of like it this way.

Both songs are fast paced and exciting even with the noise. I wanted to hear what was in store for me before I got the new full length. Now that I have hear a taste of what is to come I am very excited.

This multi-split release was put out on three different formats. It was released as a four track 7” record as an eight file download and as a limited CDR with the original 7” packaging and tracks. If you bought the item from the Art Is Hard Records Bandcamp page you also automatically get the eight file download. As of this writing there are no more 7” records but still are seven CDR packages available. You can get the download at any time. I did not find out about this set until I found out about Joanna Gruesome. That being said the record was sold out. I instead got the CDR package, more limited anyway. The download has a second track from each band. This means that each of the four bands has contributed two tracks. I guess it could be called a compilation then. You can listen to each track on the Art Is Hard bandcamp album page found in the link above.

The first track from Gum is called Cherryade. This track sounds like something that may have been a first draft from My Bloody Valentine with the bending of the chords that happens. The verse part is standard indie rock. The chorus is a bit louder but still very standard indie pop. The part that really stands out is the bending of the chords.

The second track form Gum is called Soon. This track is a bit slower from Cherryade. There is some feedback in the track so I can only assume that they were trying to push the sound as much as possible, a bit too far at times. I don’t think they meant to have the feedback in the track but they couldn’t tweak the sound to the right spot to eliminate it. The sound is not over bearing though and kind of works with the song. I just don’t think it was intentional.

The second band is called Playlounge. The first track from them is called Connor, Oh Burst? This is kind of a play on another musician’s name, Conor Oberst, who is a part of Bright Eyes. The song doesn’t resemble anything from Bright Eyes music. It is very punk, fast, fun and short.

The second song from Playlounge is called Revolution Summer. It is a bit slower than their first song on the split. I think I enjoy this song a bit more than the first because it is a bit slower. I think this is what makes it more listenable really. Both songs are super short, less than a minute and a half.

The next band is called Keel Her. The first track from them is called Norman. The drums are very muffled and the opening keyboard sound is super distorted. It really doesn’t sound that great. The guitar part sounds pretty good though. The vocals are multi-tracked and slightly distorted. This makes it hard to understand what they are singing about. I think that without the keyboard part the song would be good but not so with it in. It is very distracting.

Their second contribution to this split is called Wilson. The drums are still very muffled but make a good beat still. The vocals remind me of something that The Pixies could have done with the loud male and female vocals over the top of each other. The music behind the vocals is much better with this track. I could almost listen to it more than once in a row.

Last is the two tracks from Joanna Gruesome. The first track is called Sweater. This track has a super cool opening riff that I could sink my teeth into repeatedly. Sadly this track is not going to be on their new full length album Weird Sister. I think this track is so much better than the two that are on the above single. During the verse they are together and for the chorus the male vocals sing on their own the first time and the female vocals come in on the second time before going back into the verse. The guitar riff really makes the song though.

The last track is called Pantry Girl (Original Demo). This, like all of the other second tracks, is a bit slower. The guitar is heavily distorted with a deeper tone. There is also an acoustic guitar being played in line with the electric guitar that is not distorted. This gives a very cool sound. The vocals are all male on this track and, like most of the music on this split, you can’t understand most of what is being said. This isn’t a bad thing though. The vocals become more of an instrument of their own this way.

I am happy to have found this four-way split mini-album. I am not sure that I will be looking for any of the other three artists found here but I do like what I have heard from Joanna Gruesome. As I said on the single review above, I am very excited to hear what is on the up coming album from them.

Came Back Haunted is the first single from the new album Hesitation Marks. It was released early in June of 2013. It is though that the track is an acknowledgement of Reznor’s absence. The song has classic synth sounds along with an electronic bassline and some really cool guitar sounds during the breakdown. Some would say that this is typical NIN style. Although this is true for the most part, it still is a progression and is different from past music. I like the track, but then I like most music from NIN.

Copy Of A was the second single released. It was released in the early part of August, 2013. It was given away on for free as an MP3 and if you ordered the album from the store you could get it free that way too. The Amazon MP3 was at 254 kbps where as the NIN version was MP3 at 320 or a better format such as FLAC.
The track itself is very different from Came Back Haunted. The song features the use of the Swarmatron, an analogue synthesizer, which was most notably used by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the soundtrack of the film, The Social Network. Lyricly the song can be interpreted as trying to find ones identity in a sea of similarity. It could also be interpreted as nothing can stand out in a world where exact duplicates can exist without thought or understanding of where it came from in the first place.

Everything was just released this week on NPR and as a free download if you preordered the new album from This track is very different from anything that NIN has put out in the past. It is more rock than industrial and really fits in with the current indie/DIY music that has been put out in the underground music over the past year. This track makes me want to hear the new album even more than the first two singles that have been put out!

All songs are very good for NIN and I am looking forward to the new album because of all of these teasers.

This is the first single from The Ar-kaics. It was released reciently through a small record company that I like a lot called SpeakertreeRecords. They have been a starting point for me on quite a few bands. This group has a few more singles and a full length album as well coming out soon on another record company called Windian Records.

The record company had this posted about the group and the two songs from this single, “Patty, Kevin, and Johnny make troglodyte, teenbeat garage-punk with enough primitive grit to rival your favorite pebbles, nuggets, and back-from-the-gravers.  Their debut single unleashes two essential scorchers into the wild.

"She Does Those Things to Me" delivers a catchy 4-chord foundation before pummeling you with buzzsawing guitars, pounding drums, and a full-on throaty wail.  B-sider "Don't Need Your Love" is just as catchy, coated in lo-fi snarl with enough sentimentality and twang to really mean it.”

Both songs have a super cool 60s vibe that seems to have not been duplicated in quite a while. Both songs are great. You can tell just by the titles of the songs that they are from completely opposite sides of the spectrum with regards to love but musically are similar in sound.

If your looking for a super cool retro sound then look no further. They have it in spades.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 33

The new Joanna Gruesome album called Weird Sister is up for preorder on the Slumberland Records page. The limited version is on pink and white swirl. It is very pretty. This is their first full length album release. Previous to this there was a single and a couple of other tracks on a compilation. The two tracks on the single are on this album. The other two can be found on the compilation called Family Portrait on Art Is Hard Records. The 7” version of this release is sold out but you can still get the CDr or download versions from their soundcloud site. I will be talking about both of these releases next week.

Slumberland is also running low on the yellow splatter version of the new Weekend album Jinx. Get them before they are gone. While you’re at it get a copy of the Red EP too!

Free for a limited time is the second single, Copy Of A, from Nine Inch Nails new album Hesitation Marks. You can get it from Amazon MP3. If you preordered the album directly from Nine Inch Nails web site you can get it there through your receipt.

The fourth album, Somnambulist, from abandoned pools is now available to purchase on CD. There are limited quantities and all have been signed and numbered as an extra bonus.

Veronica falls will be putting out another single in the coming months. The single will be for Broken Toy. I am very excited to hear a new B side!

Here we go...

This is the second album from Empire Of The Sun. It was released last June (2013). I was introduced to this group last Record Store Day through the Astralwerks Music In 20/20 box set. I thought the track that was included in the box set was very good. The song was the lead single from their first album. I read that they were going to have a new album out at the beginning of summer. I didn’t allocate the funds to get it until August. I am very happy that I did so. I will have to get the first album at some point in the future if it is as good as this one is. I sort of stayed away from it for a while too as there were many comparisons of this album to the new Daft Punk album. After being able to hear the both of them on their own separately I am happy to say that they are completely different and should not be compared to each other at all. Daft Punk has chosen a completely different rout from the usual EDM (Electronic Dance Music) music that has been coming out. This album from Empire of The Sun is more four on the floor. To me they are two different styles of music and really should not be compared. There was a trailer for the album that was produced by a division of Bad Robot. There was also a fictional story related to the album described a world that is looked over by an Emperor and a Prophet.

There has been officially only one single released from this album but they are on the verge of releasing a second very soon. The first single released from the album is called Alive. It is a very uplifting song with a crowd chant style chorus that sings, “Lovin’ every minute cause ya make me feel so alive!” The verse parts talk about little things that someone does to make someone feel good about being around them.

The second single to be released very soon is called DNA. This track is totally four on the floor. The vocals are a little more on the side of Passion Pits normal vocals. The synth part reminds me of early 2000s electronic music but it is a very cool track that is easy to dance to.

There are a few other stand out tracks I would like to mention as well. These may end up being future singles or not. We shall see.

I think that the title track, Ice On The Dune,  has the potential to be a single but would probably be released later than earlier if that were the case. I feel the same about awakening. It is a great song with big sounds but doesn’t quite that that hook that makes for a great single.

I’ll Be Around on the other hand has a great opening hook in the guitar. The chorus is just as good. They sing, “So I made up my mind, I will be around for a while.” The line is sung a few times with slight variation to the first part. Some of those variations are, “You can bet on your life, time after time, this time tonight” etc.

The song Old Flavours is totally single worthy. The bass line for the song is so awesome. It supports the whole song with multiple synth parts on top of the bass line. There is even a sound that is reminiscent of something that Fleetwood Mac had done in the 70s. It is just huge.

The last song that I really like from the album is called Surround Sound. It has a big bass sound that works well. The vocals are somewhat unintelligible but sonically make the song work with the bass line very well.

This is a good electronic album. If you’re interested in electronic music then give it a shot. If your not then give it a pass.

Man or Astro-Man? / Huevos Rancheros – The Various Boss Sounds From Beyond The Far Reaches…And Them Some!

This is a split single released in 1994 on Get Hip Records. It features two tracks from both Man or Astro-Man? (MOAM) and Huevos Rancheros. This is one of the last few items that I am missing from my collection of MOAM music. I was lucky enough to find this 7” record in the rare color of Coke bottle clear green. It looks very cool. The outer sleeve for this release is just heavy card stock folded over. The inside of the card stock has printed a listing of other releases from Get Hip Records. It is an advertisement for the company really. The plastic sleeve that the record came in has a pink sticker that reads Color Vinyl.

Man or Astro-Man? contributed the two tracks called A MouthFull Of Exhaust and Rovers. I always thought that A Mouth Full Of Exhaust was cute because of the coughing that happens in the middle of the song. At the same time it is cool because of the references to racing or driving fast. It makes me think of what it may have been like for my father who grew up during that time where cars and cruising were the thing to do in your off time. Rovers on the other hand was kind of a spacey styled song with an interesting sound clip that is heard a few times during the song. A mouth Full Of Exhaust can be found on Destroy All Astromen. Rovers can be found on either of the Australian releases; What Remains Inside A Black Hole or Beyond The Black Hole.

Huevos Rancheros contributed the two tracks called Whiteout In Wyoming and Hotel Loneliness. Both of these tracks are good but nowhere near the power that MOAM puts into their music. That doesn’t make it any less valid as surf music goes though. It is just a bit more mellow. I actually enjoy these two tracks just as much as the MOAM tracks.

I am very happy that I found this 7” for a fair price. I don’t think that it is very sought after but it is still good music.

This is the third album from The Smiths. It was released in mid June of 1986 on Rough Trade Records in the UK and Sire Records in the USA. The album cover, designed by Morrissey, features Alain Delon from the 1964 film L'Insoumis. This was a largely unknown album for me growing up. I remember having a friend or at least a girl that I had a crush on during one or two summers while I was still camping with my family. She was really into the current goth scene at the time and was enthralled with both The Smiths and The Cure. I was never all that into either group at the time. I think that this was simply due to the fact that I only listened to the top 40 station and they didn’t get played all that much on that station. Now that I am older I can appreciate the music that both bands put out. I have no idea what happened to the girl. People seemed to appear and disappear frequently in my life during the time that I went camping with my family. We always went to the same campground as family owned the grounds but other people were only somewhat regular there and there were others that were there every weekend like we were.

There were three singles released from this album. The first single is called The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. Morrissey had this to say when asked by Margi Clarke if the song was about Oscar Wilde, "No that's not true. The thorn is the music industry and all those people who never believed anything I said, tried to get rid of me and wouldn't play the records. So I think we've reached a stage where we feel: if they don't believe me now, will they ever believe me? What more can a poor boy do?" It is really quite a lame song but for the time period it fit in well. It was never on my radar because it wasn’t that interesting of a song.

The second single is called Bigmouth Strikes Again. From Wikipedia, “The lyrics describe the protagonist's frustration of being hounded by others for his comments, to which he replies "I was only joking". During the song, the protagonist compares himself to Joan of Arc as the flames rose to her Roman nose. The proceeding line, "and her Walkman started to melt'", is often changed by Morrissey in live performances, to the more technologically-current "and her iPod started to melt". The high-pitched voice in the background is actually Morrissey's voice altered to a higher pitch. The backing vocal is credited to "Ann Coates", a reference to the Manchester district of Ancoats.” This is my favorite track from the album as it is more bouncy and danceable then most of the other songs on the album.

The last single from the album is called There Is A LightThat Never Goes Out. This single was actually released after the band had broken up in 1992. This is another track that never hit my ears until I bought the album a couple years ago now. It is a good song but not as good as Bigmouth. It just doesn’t have the attraction for me to make me want to listen to it over and over again.

It is a good album but not a great album. The reason that I bought the album is that it does have history for me because of that girl I had a crush on during those two summers. She was so cool and introduced me to some new music. I never dug into that new music until about 20 years later but it never left my mind.
This is the first album from Mumford & Sons. It was released in early October of 2009. The album was titled after Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing and the title track also takes lines from the play. I got into them late as I was more interested in acts like Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes. I finally realized what I was missing with the third single from the album called The Cave. Uppon hearing that track I went out and picked up the album. I have yet to get the second album though. With all of the popularity that the group has suddenly gotten, I stayed away from the album. I think I am nearly ready to get it though.

There were four singles from the album. The first single from the album is called Little Lion Man. It was lauded by many to be one of the best songs of 2009. This does make use of the swear word fucked in the chorus. He sings, “And it was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear?” I can understand the emphasis that is needed to show the emotion. It is a very good song but it is hard to let kids listen with the swear word included. I don’t really want my kids to hear the bad words but I also want them to hear the music the way that the artist intended at the same time. It is a tough call.

The second single from the album is called Winter Winds. It reminds me of something that Beirut would write and sing. I think that it is the use of the long notes that the accordion and horns play that gives me this feeling. I have never liked what Beirut has created and this song is not one of my favorites either. It was released as a single so it must have made someone happy listening to it.

The fourth single from the album is called The Cave. There is something special about the opening riff. It runs through the whole song through multiple instruments and is supported by multiple instruments. The chorus holds just as much interest even though it is simplified to make a great hook. The lead vocals sound amazing. They are not gravely but do still have a slight grit. They remind me of something that The Avett Brothers would have sung (yes, I should have more from them too).

The last single from the album is called Roll Away YourStone. This one did not chart as well as the others. The song is just as fast as the others, actually a bit faster I think. It is a fun song musically but doesn’t seem to have the hook that the others have. I like the song though.

If your into the new folk music that is out there and have missed this one, give it a shot!

That is all I have for now...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 32

Graveface Records has finally gotten through all of its court proceedings regarding the flood that happened three years ago. It was about the old office/warehouse that the owner was renting. The company that he was renting from was required to have flood insurance but didn’t. It took three years but the owner has finally gotten the stocks that were in the warehouse. In an attempt to recoup the lawyer fees he has set up a fundraiser. It is a multitiered buyin but most of the stuff that is up in the tiers has been out of print for quite a while. Every level of the buyin gets a special Marshmallow Ghosts single. Check it out here.

Slumberland has just announced that they will be releasing an album from a reciently formed group called Black Hearted Brother. The group features Neil Halstead (Slowdive , Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Seefeel, Locust, Scala) and Nick Holton (Coley Park). It promises to be a space styled shoegaze foray. You can listen to the first release, (I Don’t Mean To) Wonder, from the upcoming album, Stars Are Our Home, over at

Here we go...

This is the fifth album from The Faint. It was released in early August of 2008. This is the groups first time that they put out an album on their own. It was released on blank.wav records. I bought this album on CD when it was released. I was very excited about it because of the amazing sounds that they created on their previous album, Wet From Birth. I thought this album was very good but didn’t quite measure up to the previous album. I was a little let down really. It was just recently that I ran across this album new, still sealed at one of my local record stores for seven bucks. Even though it was not my favorite album from them I couldn’t say no to a double vinyl at that price. I haven’t listened to the vinyl yet but plan on doing so soon.

There were only two tracks from the album that were released as singles. The first single is called The Geeks Were Right. This was a fun single that I recall my local radio station played when the track was new. What I really like about this single and some of their previous singles is the distortion on the bass guitar parts. This bass line in particular is so distorted that I can’t tell if it is a synth sound or a bass guitar with a distortion pedal on it. I know that they aren’t afraid to use samples and synth sounds though so it very well could be. The guitars are standard rock distortion and sound good too. The drums keep the beat but are nothing to write home to. The vocals are very cool and along with the bass make the song what it is. It is a good song and should be listened to by rock lovers and electronic lovers for sure.

The second single is called Mirror Error. I didn’t even know that this was a single released from the album until I did a bit of research for the album. The vocals are what make this song any kind of good at all. They are double tracked and seem to be sung as part of a chord to the song. The bass on this track doesn’t really stand out as much and is a sign wave sound that rolls off for the most part. The drums are more interesting as they have added an electronic snare sound instead of the real thing. It is a good song but I don’t understand why they chose it for the second single.

A track that I really liked from the album is called FulcrumAnd Lever. It is a story song about a group of kids that put together a launcher of some kind. The protagonist gets into the slingshot mechanism that was placed in a tree. He is launched up in the air higher than the houses in the area. When he lands the story gets weird, as does the music. It is not expressly said but I assumed that he has at least broken a leg possibly worse as he ends up in the hospital as the lyrics tell us. The vocals are double tracked on this track as well adding to the slight creepiness to the song. The bass follows the vocals for the most part adding to the odd sound of the song too. If you like the first single then I would recommend this track too. It is one of the coolest tracks ever.

This is the second album from STP. The album was released in early June of 1994. While Purple still features strong elements of hard rock and grunge like its predecessor, Core, the album displays the band developing a more unique sound influenced by other genres, such as psychedelic rock, country vibes and ragtime elements. This was a very influential album from when I was a senior in high school up to when I graduated from High School. It seemed to me that the singles from the album were spread out through that whole time period. When the album was released it was revealed by the band that the album was called Purple. The name was never printed, in English, on the album. Some called the album untitled because of this. I can’t remember where I heard or read that the album was called Purple but I always seemed to know this fact. I later learned that the Chinese character on the cover is the symbol for the word purple.

There were five singles released from this album. The first was Big Empty. The first time I heard the song was in the movie The Crow. It was played during the car chase scene in the middle of the movie. The song is a slower song so I am not really sure why they put it in the car chase part of the movie. The song can also be picked up on the soundtrack for the movie. It is one of the best soundtracks of the 90s in support of a film I think. It was also played live for the STP MTV Unplugged series. It is a good song and follows the loud soft loud style.

The second single released from the album is called Vasoline. The song's odd sounding intro was created by Robert DeLeo, who ran his bass through a Wah-wah pedal to get the said effect. After this intro the song kicks in with a cool sounding distorted guitar. I would love to make this sounds but have not yet found it with the equipment that I have. The vocals have that cool Weiland sound that really matches the guitar sound that I like. This is my favorite song from the album for sure.

The third single from the album is called Interstate LoveSong. This song has some very cool country styled riffs mixed with the standard rock sound. It is very unique in that way. Weiland had stated that the song was about honesty or the lack there of and relationships with girls and drugs. The song is probably one of their best ever and was in the charts for weeks upon its release.

The fourth single from the album, Unglued, was actually a promo single with no physical release. This song was more like the music that was on their first album but not quite as hard. I like the song but it just didn’t have the hook that grabs you and makes you want to keep on listening to it over and over.

The last single from the album was also a promo single with no physical release. The song is called Pretty Penny. It is a stripped down track with bongos and acoustic guitars. This is a major departure from the music that they had previously made. Weiland had said that this was his favorite song from the album. It is such a stark contrast from what they had created in the past that it really sticks in your head after listening to the track. It is also good enough that I want to listen to it for quite a while. I would have totally bought a half hour jam version of this track if it had existed somewhere.

This is a fantastic album that everyone should listen to. If you haven’t already then do so soon!

This is the fifth release from Icehouse. My local record store had this album in stock for the past year or so. I did not want to pick it up because of a visible scratch on one side of the record. Every once in a while I would go into the store and pick it up look at the scratch and put it back. I finally decided to pick the record up. I was very surprised to find that the scratch is silent. The record itself has noise but the scratch is silent. I bought the record for the single Electric Blue. I later found that John Oates co-wrote the song with the lead singer of the band, Iva Davies.

The album put out five singles, mainly in Australia, but five singles none the less. The first single released from the album is called Crazy. It has a good bass line with drums that follow along. The guitars are simple but help support the song as well. There are also some synth keys floating around in the back ground. The vocals are dated 80s style. It is a good song but not quite good enough for the US charts.

The second single is called Electric Blue. This is why I got the album. John Oates had said at one point that if Icehouse didn’t use the track it would have been a Hall & Oates track for sure. I had a piece of metallic blue plastic on a band trip at one point and I had wrinkled it up so that the light would refract interestingly. I did this, obviously, to commemorate the song. It looked really cool to me as a teen-ager.

The third single from the album is called My Obsession. It is a good song but just doesn’t have that hook that makes me want to listen to it like Electric blue does. I guess it is similar to the fluff that Hall & Oates wrote before the 80s. It is good but not quite good enough.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 31

Hot Chip have a new EP out called Dark & Stormy. You can get it at your local record store or online.

Not much new in my music world right now so, on with the show...

Man or Astro-Man? – Possession By Remote Control
This is the first released from MOAM. It was released in 1992 and was way ahead of its time. It was released on translucent blue vinyl only. There were about six variants that were pressed on solid grayish purple. This was because of the previous pressing. These six records also had a variant in the sleeve where the name of the record was not printed at the bottom of the cover graphic. There were 800 copies pressed at 33 and 1/3 RPM. The outer sleeve was a folded card. The inside of the card was a single graphic that spread across both halves of the card.

The back was a picture of the band playing live with a short paragraph stating this, “Transmissions are coming through! TV's are everywhere. You're supposed to watch them. You must watch them. Spewing their enchanting radiation on our children, there's no turning back. They're here to stay for the glazed eyes of generations to come. But their influence extends beyond the family room. They're affecting our young people in all ways. As seen here on this record, Man or Astro-Man? are captive slaves to the idiot tube. Completely enraptured by the uncompromising rays, they have become mindless teens playing the music that the cable god orders them to. And now with the channel changer, sometimes called a flipper or zapper, all hope is lost for the boys. Possession by Remote Control is the music of zombies controlled by distant and unknown broadcasting centers. In no case has anyone ever spent such a gross waste of time on a device such as television. But just wait until they get a satellite dish!”

From Astro-Man ad nauseam, “The alien-holding-a-guitar graphic on the front cover was a cleverly shopped image of a space man taken from the lobby card for a 1957 sci-fi film called Invasion of the Saucer-Men. In the original image the alien was holding some sort of a space tool.”

There was also a few different inserts that were possible to get with this record. I point you over to Astro-Man ad nauseam for more information about it.

There are four songs on this EP. Those song titles are EricEstrotica, Landlocked, Adios Johnny Bravo and  Joker’s Wild. The first track, Eric Estrotica can also be found on their first full length album and seems like the same recording. Landlocked can also be found on Destroy All Astro-Men. The version on Destroy All Astro-Men sounds like the same version found here also. Adios Johnny Bravo can also be found on the compilation called What Remains Inside A Black Hole. This compilation can only be found on CD that I am aware of and seems a bit cleaned up from Possession By Remote Control. The last track, Joker’s Wild, can also be found on Destroy All Astro-Men. I believe this is also the same version.

Where I am going with this is that if you are interested in these songs or in the band, go after the regular albums then after the compilation albums. You will find that most of their music can be gotten that way. There are quite a few other B-sides that can be only gotten by the original pressings but you will have most of their music.

Special thanks to James B. and other contributors of Astro-Man at nauseam for the detailed information on this 7” and others like it.

This is the third album from Dessa. It was released in late June of 2013. Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis hip hop collective Doomtree. I had hear a couple of tracks from this album both at a local record store while I was flicking through some records and on my local radio station. I liked the beats that I heard and expected the record to be mostly vocals and electronic music. This was not the case. It has taken a few listens to decide if I like the record or not. I am siding with the record being good because it is actually musically more than just some rap beats with vocals and spoken word. There is some very good musicality and most of these songs could be released to the radio and get good air play.

There are two singles from this album so far. The first single is called Call Off Your Ghost. This is the track that sparked my interest in the album. The drum beat is all electronic. It really reminded me of the Music that Foxes has put out. I know that Dessa has been around longer than Foxes but I heard music from foxes first. I think that the vocals on this track are different than what Foxes has done in the past though.

The second single is called Warsaw. This song is dirtier than the first single. The bass line is solid but very noisy distorted. The drums are clean electronic and fun. The vocals are more spoken word on this track. I have never been a big fan of rap or spoken word for that matter. That being said, I can listen to this track when it comes on but I will not be listening to the track repeatedly.

There are a couple of unexpected gems on this album too. The down tempo track called I’m Going Down is super cool. The chorus works very well with a great hook. Fighting Fish is a high point especially since it is a rap song. And last, The Lamb hits hard with a super heavy bass line and electronic drums.

This is the fourth album from Faith No More. It was released in early June of 1992. It was the final album with Jim Martin and the second for vocalist Mike Patton. It is the groups best selling album to date. This was a very influential album for me. It was way out of normal even for grunge standards at the time. I found something special in the vocal style of Mike Patton and have never heard anything to rival him since. I even went so far as to get albums from his other band, Mr. Bungle. I loved the rubbery effect that he has with his vocals bouncing from nearly classical to scream to just a deep throaty sound. He has such awesome range and style. Billy Gould’s bass playing I always thought was amazing too. He ranged from the simple to the hard core flash. It was always amazing to me.

The album spawned an amazing four singles with a fifth being released on a special sampler. The first of which was Midlife Crisis. The song starts off with a drum intro that kind of sticks in your head. The synth comes in with whispered vocals. The bass then kicks in with the guitar in the chorus. The guitar has a nice sounding distortion, not to overpowering. The verse vocals are not exactly whispered or screamed either but come off as strained none the less. It is a cool sound for a vocalist I think. Mike Patton was heard to say that, “The song is based on a lot of observation and a lot of speculation. But in sort of a pointed way it's kind of about Madonna... I think it was a particular time where I was being bombarded with her image on TV and in magazines and her whole shtick kind of speaks to me in that way... like she's going through some sort of problem. It seems she's getting a bit desperate”

The second single is called A Small Victory. This track as an Asian influence to it. The song is about wanting to win at everything and the realization that you can’t win every thing but still letting that idea bother you. There are a lot of samples used in this song and has a very danceable vibe to it. The video shows this as the band hired Marcus Nispel to direct the video. It really is one of their most up beat tracks and a great song to listen to.

The third single from the album is called Everything’s Ruined. This track is very drum and bass driven. This is one of the songs that has always impressed me with the bass playing. It is not the mellow plucking that most bass players are known for. It is very sharp with that disco slap bass sound. But the style has been changed just to fit in a rock group. The chorus has this amazing vocal hook that I like so much. This is one of the greatest songs that the group has put out.

The last single that was included on all versions of the album except for here in North America was a cover of Lionel Richie’s Easy. I live in North America so I had to hunt down the Songs To Make Love To EP to get this song. The band as a whole did a fantastic job recreating this song the way that Richie did. It really is amazing how close that they came to an exact replica of the original song. The only difference is that a group did the cover instead of session musicians. There are real small differences between the two versions. Obviously, the vocals are different but the sound of the guitar is slightly different. I would say that it is fuller than the original. Also the synth is added to fill out the background. I almost like this version better than the original.

There were two tracks on this album that did not go out as singles that I really like a lot. The first is a song called Kindergarten. It is a song about starting school and looking forward to the next twelve years and how far away it is to get to graduation and the end of school. These were thoughts that went through my head as a kid. Now that I am out of school I look back and think to myself, “why couldn’t I just enjoy my time in school?” I guess that this is just a part of man’s lot in life, to constantly wish that something could have been different or that we could skip a section of time only to wish later that we had taken the time to enjoy it.

The other track that I really liked from this album is called Be Aggressive. It is a faster track that the keyboardist, Bottum, wrote as a joke at Patton’s expense, enjoying the potential humiliation a straight vocalist would subject himself to onstage. That being said, the song is supposedly about a gay blowjob. I never listened to the lyrics with this track except for the chorus really. I had no idea until I looked up the song meaning what the song was about. I still think it is a good song though. My view may have changed just a bit though now that I know what the song is about. The group has always bent gender rolls and talked about sex so it doesn’t change my view of the band itself.

It is musically a great album and should be heard at least once by everyone.

This is the ninth album from Hall & Oates. It was released in late July of 1980.
This was a slow one to make hits but it did and I had to have the album because of the hits that the album put out. The album marked the change in direction that the band took that helped to get them their success in the early 80s. This was also the first album that they produced themselves. There are also a few variations in the covers of the albums. The originals were black and white photos with the sound wave graphic embossed; later versions were different pictures without the embossment and still later were a color picture with out the white bar down the center.

There were four singles released from this album. The song Everytime You Go Away was actually covered by Paul Young in 1985 where it went to number one in the charts. This is where most people know this song from. The first single from the album is called How Does It Feel To Be Back. The song didn’t chart very well. The song is very forgettable but still better than most of the soft rock dribble that was out at the time.

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ and is a cover of the original song by The Righteous Brothers. It was a minimalist version compared to The Righteous Brothers version and the difference in style garnered the group some attention. This was needed attention with the next single.

The third single is called Kiss On My List. I remember hearing this on the radio as a kid and liked the way that the song sounded. It was easy to sing along to and as a young kid that was important as I did not have a huge vocabulary. More importantly it was an easy hook to memorize both verbally and musically. I really liked top 40 music in the 80s and, for the most part, top 40 music was good music to listen to.

The last single from the album did well in the charts. The song is called You Make My Dreams. Most people label it as You Make My Dreams Come True. The multilayered guitar really makes the music stand out. The bass playing on the opposite beat for part of the song makes the music pop that much more. It is a sweet song about a girl that makes her man happy, simple as that. It is a good song that is really just as good as Kiss On My List in my opinion.

This is another great album that Hall & Oates has released. You can get it for cheap from your local used record store, just a couple of bucks really.

That is all I have for now...