December 31, 2007

'07's Music to Love More Than Music: Love More, pt. 3

Coconut Records - Nighttiming
Sweet and fun, I'm just happy that I loved it before I heard that it was Jason Schwartzman singing.
Coconut Records - West Coast

LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
It took me a long time to really get into this album, because it wasn't the ridiculous dance party that the first one was. This, my friend Casey says, is it's charm, because it's not just a dance party, it's a real album. James Murphy set out to make an actual album this time, not just club hits, and, after listening to it with that understanding, the whole album grew on me, and now I love it. Ladies and Gents, the sensation across the nation, I give you, LCD Soundsystem:
LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum

Great Lake Swimmers - Ongiara
Super soothing. Probably the most relaxing album of the year. Slow bluegrass waltz's take up a pretty good portion of the album, which is fine by me. The lyrics have a lonely, but hopeful, feeling to them, which makes the album refreshing and ... nice. It's a nice album
Great Lake Swimmers - Catcher Son

The Beastie Boys - The Mix Up
You know, I never payed much attention to the instrumentals on the Beastie Boy albums because I was too busy thinking "they could, and should, be spitting hot fire over these phat beats." Yeah ... I'm kind of a nerd. Anyway, when I heard about this album, I was instantly intrigued. The first video released showed our fellas playing the instruments and just having a blast ... it was like watching an old video of you and some close family members just mess around and have fun. Jazzy and just about the coolest thing imaginable.
The Beastie Boys - 14 St. Break

Björk - Volta
Okay, we all know Björk is weird ... so weird she may have actually invented it. This release is no change (just think, if it was normal sounding, it would still be weird, because it would be Björk doing normal sounding stuff ... which is actually to weird to even imagine). Slapping sound effects together, breaking beats (and objects [then recording that sound and making music with it]), Björk composes quite the master piece. I'd have to say that, after 1 or 2 listens, I was hooked. I think it's her catchiest album to date. I can't help but listen to this track over and over and over:
Björk - The Dull Flame of Desire

Hot Hot Heat - Happiness LTD.
Indie Dance Pop Punk ... gotta love it. Every song just explodes out of your headphones/speakers. Probably the most solid example of how good Hot Hot Heat is.
Hot Hot Heat - Harmonicas & Tambourines
Hot Hot Heat - My Best Friend

Nurses - Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down
Like a mash up album between the National and Man Man ... kind of. It's just a spazzy, but really well thought out and well put together album.
Nurses - Lots...

Frog Eyes - Tears of the Valedictorian
Demented spirits have possessed musical instruments and recorded themselves ... that's the only explanation for this album that I can come up with. Frog Eyes has always been on the edge of greatness, never quite making the catchiest songs, or being the band to see, but with this new release, they've probably gotten the closest their spastic style will ever allow them to get. It's nuts, but oh my gentle jesus is it good.
Frog Eyes - Caravan Breakers, They Prey on the Weak and the Old

Múm - Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy
Like the electronic Björk side project, music by the Knife, Múm's magical masterpiece delights during every listen. It's calming and peaceful, worldly and playful.
Múm - Marmalade Fires

Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Like a rainbow heard through kaleidescopic ears, this album burst forth with such majestic force that one can barely understand what exactly is going on. Inventive. Reminiscent of well known phrases in other dimensions. Like Man Man's folky brother.
Sunset Rubdown - Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days

Handsome Furs - Plague Park
If this album sounds familiar, don't worry, it's not just you, there's a damn good reason for it. Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade decided to team up with his wife and start to make music ... in a literal sense. This White Stripes-ian effort, subtracting the blues and country influences and adding in more contemporary and peculiar ones, is rather minimalist, but comes together quite well I have to say.
Handsome Furs - Handsome Furs Hate This City

'07's Music to Love More Than Music: Love More, pt. 4

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times
Like Frog Eyes and Man Man and Sunset Rubdown and Ayreon and any other awkward but hella intelligent band of, really, any genre. It's like a heart attack and a stroke at the same time ... but if those things were good.
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - The Companions
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Angle of Repose

Over the Rhine - The Trumpet Child
One of the most incredible swingy jazzy Sinatra-y albums I've ever heard. It's smoky and sexy and mmmmm smooth.
Over the Rhine - Trouble
Over the Rhine - I Don't Wanna Waste Your Time

Vashti Bunyan - Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind
Oh man. Oh man oh man. If you don't know of this chica, you need to. She's probably one of the most important folk artists to have ever picked up a guitar. She's one of the most influential folk artists baring Dylan ... and anything she touches is gold, which is evident by this release.
Vashti Bunyan - Train Song

The Number Twelve Looks Like You - Mongrel
WHOA! Like getting two CD players, putting a Dimmu Borgir CD in one CD player, and an Esteban/Santana duet album in another, and randomly pressing play and pause on each player ... well ... it only sounds like that sometimes. Yeah, sounds confusing, but good god these boys know how to play music ... some people may think that these boys don't understand that certain styles shouldn't even be in the same room as each other, and that may be the case, but that makes me happy.
The Number Twelve Looks Like You - Imagine Nation Express

French Quarter - French Quarter
Just a small time boy from Arizona warming the hearts of people from here to the heartland with his Ben Gibbardish style voice and his indie-pop singer/songwriter style. He's one of the most talented little guys I've ever come across. See him live, and he might just do his version of "Stayin Alive."
French Quarter - Build Fires
French Quarter - Bold With Fire

The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution
Who would have thought that RATM's Rock n Roll guit-box player would be able to pull off Dylan-style activist-folk. Not I. But after hearing the SXSW live set, I was confident that it would be quite the awesomeness, and it was. His lyrics are probably the most political (who'd've guessed?) I've ever heard. His voice is a little hard to get past at first, but I quickly warmed up to it. Come on, how could Tom Morello do any wrong?
The Nightwatchman - House Gone Up In Flames

31Knots - The Days And Nights Of Everything Anywhere
Awkward smart rocking 70's style-ish indie rock straight from the heart. These boys know how to throw it down in more awkward ways than one, and each of those ways are new and inventive in new and inventive ways. Kind of a contrived way of describing it, but that's how it goes.
31Knots - Beauty
31Knots - The Days And Nights Of Lust And Presumption

Black Diamond Heavies - Every Damn Time
These guys sound like Tom Waits if Tom Waits was turned into two gorillas who then forced the keyboardist from the Doors to play swinging lounge punk. Seriously.
Black Diamond Heavies - Fever In My Blood

'07's Music to Love More Than Music: Love More Than Music

This is Part 4 of 4 of my best of. These are the albums that I had a hard time not hosting an mp3 of every song on the album.

Love More Than Music (<3>)

The String Quartet Tribute to The Arcade Fire's Funeral
There are few albums that give me the shivers, and the list of albums that give me the shivers as soon as I start the album is even smaller. The list, however, of albums that give me shivers as soon as I start it and continue to give me the shivers throughout the album no matter how many times I hear it is down to a handful ... and this is one of those albums. Now, truthfully, I'm willing to admit that this is probably only because I'm so totally in love with the Arcade Fire that pretty much anything they touch turns to gold. This album is probably no surprise to anyone who is familiar with string quartet tributes and even less of a surprise to people who have heard the album it's based off of. It is what it is, no more no less. It plucks my heart strings for reasons I can't explain, and, I dunno, maybe it will for you too. give it a shot:
The String Quartet - Wake Up
The String Quartet - Rebellion (Lies)
The String Quartet - Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)

Cloud Cult - The Meaning of 8

This album was a contender for album of the year. It is probably one of the most touching and painful albums I've ever heard. For those of you who don't know, the album was written about the death of the child of 2 of the band members. All ready you know this shits going to be heavy. With nearly every song directly about Kaidin's death (understandably so), one can't help but feel ... well ... straight up bad. It is a painful album, but that is what makes it so beautiful. Sure it's experimental, and it uses really awkward musical methods and all that jazz, but what makes it beautiful because, well, a work of art made to relieve pain is, more frequently than not, more touching. I dunno, I'm having a hard time describing it. Listen to it yourself:
Cloud Cult - Pretty Voice
Cloud Cult - A Good God
Cloud Cult - Your 8th Birthday

Winterkids - Memoirs
Small-British-Village Dance-Pop-Punk that just comes from out of freaking left field. Elements of Bluegrass and Folk give it charm, but the pure talent the band members have in regards to writing a song and playing instruments make it basically one of the best executed albums I've ever heard. The lyrics are a little juvenile, which is where it leaves some points (i.e. what puts it behind the album of the year), but, personally, I find the lyrics rather charming and easily relate-able (hey, we're all a little childish sometimes). Honestly, I expect a heck of a lot from these kids if their debut is this astonishingly fantastic.
Winterkids - Tape It
Winterkids - I'm Not Used to You
Winterkids - Who Am I Kidding?

Foot Ox - Ghost
Rounding out at just under 20 minutes, this lo-fi triumph is one of the most brutally honest albums I've ever heard. Every note is from the soul, every song sounding like a collaborative effort of every good hearted person in town. From the lyrics to the music, every part is straight up touching and real, basement production only helping. I'll keep this short and sweet like the album, because, sometimes, all you need is a few words:
Foot Ox - Carriers
Foot Ox - Wet Blanket
Foot Ox - New Boyfriend

The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Like the ghost of a fleet of war torn WWII fighter jets screaming through the sky overhead, The Raveonette's new album comes straight to your ears and utterly destroys ... if that makes any sense. The album is an ethereal tribute to 1950's pop mixed with a hint of shoegaze. The wall of noise hits about a minute and a half in and rarely lets down. The whole album seems to bleed together, but in a good way. It's one of those albums that you can get lost in for hours on end. I found myself playing it over and over and over again, initially feeling guilty because I had other albums to listen to, but then reveling in how absolutely amazing it is. So, freaking, great:
The Raveonettes - Hallucinations
The Raveonettes - Dead Sound
The Raveonettes - Aly, Walk With Me

Album of the Year (sm12<3>μsic):

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

I'm probably going to get a lot of shit for saying this is the best album of the year, especially since said it was too ... check that, I've already gotten a lot of shit for loving this album, because from the second I heard it I knew I would think it was the best album of the year, and, when provoked (or even unprovoked), I would say so. Granted, it's not nearly as diverse as Funeral, but I think it's much more intelligent.

Funeral for many people, including me, was instantly nostalgic. It reminded us of childhood and unrestrained hopefulness, instilling the listener with a sort of "whatever happens will happen, and I'll make it through, torpedoes be damned!" sense of self. It was a triumphant cheering anthem for the success of the spirit. Neon Bible, conversely, is angry, and dark, and boiling over with hatred and pessimism. It's the death of the child that was re-born in Funeral (what an awkward sentence). The band has never been more full of energy and spirit as they are on this album. they're no longer singing songs, they're screaming their souls out. They're no longer playing instruments, they're making their instruments bleed music. Neon Bible is one of the darkest albums I've ever heard, and it's also one of the smartest, because it's so subtle at times, and in your face when it needs to be. It's never over the top, it's spot on. It's everything I could possibly ask for from music.

The Arcade Fire - Intervention
The Arcade Fire - The Well and The Lighthouse
The Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage
The Arcade Fire - Ocean of Noise

Well Tthere you have it. I know I missed a whole bunch of really good albums, but This is all I had time to write about. Trust me, I didn't get a chance to mention even close to all the albums I like. I'm definitely going to do this differently next year.

December 24, 2007

"You're Innocent When You Dream"

I may not be the first to know, but I know this hasn't gotten a whole lot of press. Scarlett Johansson is putting out a Tom Waits cover album. I only have the karaoke scene in Lost in Translation to go off of, but, regardless, I'm pretty stoked. 2nd best album of 2008.

By the way, my end of the year wrap up post is going well ... it's going to be enormous.

December 16, 2007

"We Never Saw This Coming, Pride Comes Before Our Fall."

OH! I almost forgot! A day or so before my computer brokc (by-the-by, I'm on a family member's computer currently, which is why I'm able to post) I was looking up stuff on stuff (you know, general time-wastery) and I found out that Ayreon's new album, 01011001, is soon to be released! Jan. 23rd or 29th depending on where ya live. Can anyone say best album of 2008? because I can. seriously, look at the cast for this opera:
Anthony Lucassen (duh)
Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian, Demons & Wizards)
Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation)
Tom S. Englund (Evergrey)
Jonas Renkse (Katatonia)
Jørn Lande (ex-Masterplan, ARK)
Anneke van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique, ex-The Gathering)
Steve Lee (Gotthard)
Bob Catley (Magnum)
Floor Jansen (After Forever, Star One)
Magali Luyten (Beautiful Sin, Virus IV)
Simone Simons (Epica)
Phideaux Xavier
Marjan Welman (Elister)
Liselotte Hegt (Dial)
Ty Tabor (King's X)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Guitar, keyboards, synths, bass guitar, programming
Ed Warby (Gorefest) - Drums and percussion
Lori Linstruth (ex-Stream of Passion) - Guitar solo
Michael Romeo (Symphony X) - Guitar solo
Derek Sherinian (Planet X, Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Dream Theater) - Keyboard solo
Tomas Bodin (The Flower Kings) - Keyboard solo
Joost van den Broek (After Forever) - Piano and Keyboard solo
Jeroen Goossens (Flairck) - Flutes Ben
Mathot (Dis) - Violins
David Faber - Cellos
CanNOT wait for that shit.

RIP Colonel

Have you ever had as much fun as I currently am? My car, The Colonel, just died. It'll cost about $5000 to fix. Which means I'm going to be borrowing a car from my father until I can afford another car. My computer, the Beast, also just had a heart attack. It's under the knife as we speak, but it'll be a long procedure (this is why I've not been posting recently). I've learned from this that I am too attached to stupid little things ... but that doesn't mean I'm going to give them up, because they certainly make things a whole lot more fun. The whole point of this being that I'm going to take a break from this blog thing for another week or so. I'll be back just in time to reveal my "top albums" end of the year wrap up. I'm excited about it. You should be too. Til then, have a happy whatever.

December 6, 2007

"This is How You Make a Toothbeef Sandwich"

I randomly found this blog with this picture, and I had to share it. Yes, it says "Best Wishes Suzanne, Under Neat That, We Will Miss You."

In other news: So, Dan Deacon (who is basically always on my mind) has recently been used in a Greyhound advertisement, something Deacon never agreed to. This pissed him off because, in his words, "if [he] had [his] way [he] would see all their buses transport guns to all the people they have fucked over." I find this hilarious, because I've always pictured Dan Deacon as an overly loving guy, but, as it turns out, he's human, which makes me love him even more (actually, I'm reminded of one of the times I saw him where some douchbag started off the show yelling at Dan, and Dan simply told him that if he was going to keep that shit up, this was going to be a really bad show for him.) Dan Deacon, you rock. Oh yeah, and he recently made 40 minutes of music for Jimmy Joe Roche's film project "Ultimate Reality," which can be purchased here. Here's a taste:

Here's another masterpiece by Roche:

December 5, 2007

"Human Human Human," "Ways," "You're a Punk Bitch If You Don't Know 'Bout Boulder"

1) It's been a hell of a week and a few days. I've been up until 2AM, a few times until 5AM, doing homework, and it's not nearly as fun as Daft Punk makes it out to be:

Daft Punk - Human / Together / One More Time / Music Sounds Better With You / Stardust

2) Speaking of French electronic music, a group by the name of Spitzer recently contacted me and asked me to check them out, and I was rather impressed. They remind me of everything good about the idea of Daft Punk covering the Knife, but without sounding like a rip off of either. It's dancy as hell, which, as my readers might know about me, is something that I prize above many things. Look out, it's Spitzer:

Spitzer - Yacht Club

3) Speaking of Dancy music, someone recently noticed that the links to the 3Oh!3 songs I put up died out. So ... here they are again (as though these fellas need any more press than they're getting):

3Oh!3 - Chokechain
3Oh!3 - Don't Dance
3Oh!3 - Holler Til You Pass Out

November 26, 2007

"When My Dad Died the Worms Ate Out Both His Eyes."

So Julio had this little contest where he offered up 2 tickets and a 7" featuring Manchester Orchestra covering an Annuals song on one side, and Annuals covering a Manchester Orchestra song on the other. Two people responded, and neither of them sent Julio their name and address so, since Julio knew I knew one of the responders, he just put the tickets under my name and asked me if I could go and tell him how it was. I could, so I did, and it was awesome.

See my write up of the show over at his blog. I've got about 7 mp3's hosted, which all garner your attention

Hope your Thanksgiving was rad.

November 18, 2007

"I Love You Inside and Out"

Last Wednesday I received 2 free tickets to Feist, so I my buddy JJ ventured on down to the Ogden to see what our girl Leslie had to offer. I hadn't been to the Ogden since my Metal days (or, if you prefer, Metal Daze [Julio knows what I'm talking about ;) ]), so I was all ready expecting this to be a weird night. We got to the theater just in time to get a drink and get down in front, where I ran into a friend, Mackenzie, and her friend, Lindy, and within a minute my group of just JJ and I grew to 6 people (the extra 2 were just 2 random guys who were kind of cool at first) ... all of which rather stoked to see Feist. After a small amount of small talk, Jason Collett took the stage.

I was expecting that, since Jason, much like Leslie, hailed from Broken Social Scene, Jason's set would border on spectacular. In reality, it bordered on mediocre. It's sad when I'm more entertained by an act's stories about the songs than i am with their songs, but not as sad as the fact that the highlight of his set was when Feist came out and played drums. When the highlight of your set is when someone else is on the stage, then we've got trouble. It wasn't bad, but I just don't want to get caught up in the whole "hype them because they came from an amazing band and might be better later" cycle that I have been known to get into. I just wasn't that impressed.

Feist took the stage after a short wait doing her signature vocal looping effect while behind a white sheet, her silhouette matching that of the cover of The Reminder. After that, she stepped out, received the crowd, and began the next song as all the lights went out and two lights hit a disco ball, filling the Ogden with a most magical feeling. After that song the stage lights were brought back up and a shadow-puppeteer person located off stage made little shadow interpretations of Feist's songs which were projected onto the back of the stage. It was pretty much business as usual for Feist and her crew from the point on. At one point someone screamed out "Inside and Out!" and Feist played it, which encouraged everyone else to start screaming out the name of the song that they wanted to hear. I couldn't help myself, so I screamed out "Lovertits!" (a song Leslie did with Peaches, then re-did with Gonzales). This act, something JJ referred to as "obscure at best," caused everyone around me to look at me as though I'd just said something very sexist. To their confusion, Leslie laughed, played a few bars and sang a few lyrics from Lovertits, then laughed some more, and went into the next song. I was happy :).

But by the end of the night, I felt a little unfulfilled. I don't know what it is, because when I listen to live sets and studio recordings and remixes, I love Feist's work, but live ... everything just seemed half-hearted and not fully developed. I got the feeling that Feist has some growth to do still. But I'm happy I went either way. Here's a reason for you to be happy:

Band: Feist
Date: 2005-06-21
Venue: KCRW

Secret Heart
Honey (Tears)
Now At Last
Let It Die
Inside and Out

After the show JJ, Mackenzie, Lindy and I took a little trip to Pete's Kitchen to reflect on the show and get some awesome food. It was a great night made better by a show and by friends.

November 8, 2007

"But The Things You Do For Love Are Going To Come Back To You One By One"

Aesop Rock feat. John Darnielle - Coffee:

As many of you who read this blog with any amount of regularity may know, I'm pretty heavily obsessed with the Mountain Goats, and on Tuesday, I finally got a chance to see them live. Ever since I heard the Coroner's Gambit, The Mountain Goat's 2000 release, I was hooked. John Darnielle's hilarious awkwardly worded lyrics reminding me of me, his voice sounding all too much like that of Jim Henson's (to me at least), who, like many other people, was an integral part of my childhood, and the inventive topics and stories he sang about all gave him an easy access card to my heart, one that has not been revoked, and probably won't be for quite some time. John Darnielle and his posse coming to Denver has been loooong awaited.

This show really introduced me to an unknown aspect of why I enjoy The Mountain Goat's music: John Darnielle lives in an entirely different world than me, and has for some time. Not only because he's a self-made rock star, but in how he (seems to) see the world. This really comes through in his songs, which frequently just take one section of time from someone's life, and describes everything around that situation, often times without directly addressing the true topic of the song. And this boy's done this for more 500 songs. He takes such interest in small fragments of stories, and fleshes them out giving even the smallest detail previously-unforeseen importance. Best lyricist of our time. Period.

The Bowerbirds opened, and I really don't have very much to say about them. They didn't seem very confident, and the music seemed to be lacking because of it (and because of other reason). But they were inventive, and you could tell they were having a good time. I'd heard their album prior to the show, but it didn't really stick out to me as much as I had hoped it would. I do think that if they added a little more depth to their music, more life, then it might have been more fun. Maybe next time. Here are a few of their more lively tracks:

The Bowerbirds - In Our Talons
The Bowerbirds - My Oldest Memory
The Bowerbirds - Dark Horse

I did happen to record The Mountain Goats' whole set on Tuesday, and, while it's not the best quality, I think it's rather fitting, because John Darnielle's lo-fi stuff is what seems to be the foundation of his fame. But for those of you who don't want just the lo-fi stuff, here's some b-sides that are really pretty good quality:

The Mountain Goats - Collapsing Stars
The Mountain Goats - Attention All Pickpockets (feat. Kimya Dawson)
The Mountain Goats - Butter Teeth
The Mountain Goats - New Chevrolet In Flames

(Because John Darnielle isn't too keen on his new material leaking, in demo form or bootleg form, I'm not going to host the recordings I have of his new songs. Chances are that when you do hear them, they'll be of better quality than what my little recording device can pump out.)

Band: The Mountain Goats
Date: 2007-11-06
Venue: The Hi-Dive, Denver, CO

Wild Sage
Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?
Craters In The Moon (New)
You Or Your Memory
Young Caesar 2000
September 15th, 1983 (New)
Maybe Sprout Wings
Love Craft In Brooklyn (New)
Dance Music
Going to Georgia
We Were Patriots
See America Right
Encore Cheering + Banter
No Children
This Year
House Guest (Nothing Painted Blue Cover)

One of the best shows of the year. Not the best I don't think, but definitely up there.

October 31, 2007

"I Know You Want The Candy"

So, today is Halloween, which means 2 things: I'm currently dressed up as a lion, and will continue to be so for the remainder of the day, and The Raveonettes are playing a show in Denver and, because of other responsibilities, I can't go and am, therefore, kind of bummed.

The new Raveonettes album, Lust, Lust, Lust, is beyond good. It might be because I'm all of a sudden in a Velvet Underground-y mood, but I'm thinking it's more because the new album is freaking unbelievably well composed, everything more spot on than all but about 2 albums released this year. The feedback is magnificently manufactured, the vocals are hopelessly haunting, and other such alliterations that allude to the fact that this album is not only their best, but one of the best albums of the year. And I have to miss their show tonight. Bum ... mer. Oh well. If you have a chance, see them, if you can't, then see them next time ... you'll be sure to spot me there.

Some tunes off of Lust, Lust, Lust, the new album:
The Raveonettes - Hallucinations
The Raveonettes - Black Satin
The Raveonettes - You Want The Candy

Visit their myspace for even more awesome tunes from Lust, Lust, Lust

October 30, 2007

"I'd Do Anything For You"

So apparently the president of Indonesia has released an album... let me be the first to say I want a piece of that, and if anyone knows a way to get it, send that info to me.

Also, apparently a certain band, whom I will not name (though I thought of doing so purely for ironic purposes), has been getting so much hype that it has forced a fairly prominent blogger to take a stand, and I'm not the first to agree with him and bashfully admit that I've taken part in over hyping. Sorry folks, I'll have to start giving no more than seven thumbs up from now on (hehe) (but, seriously, maybe I am part of the problem ... haha, still funny to me though).

In other news I just realized that all those live sets I've come across were recorded by the same guy, Hoshwa, for 5432fun! (whom I gave mad props to), which means that I can't go on a hosting frenzy, because I'd essentially be stealing all his hard work and claiming it for my own, and that'd be lame, so I'm only going to host a few, and I'm even going to link directly to where he's uploaded the files, so as to give him as much credit as he is due, because he's a rad fella. Anyway, here's a live set by my lady-friend Brittany under the moniker Married in Berdichev! and my buddy Nick AKA Transistor Radio Sound (both of these acts, if you didn't all ready know from previous posts, are Denverites, and Rhinoceropolisites. Like the last time, some of the titles are just assumed, so don't take them literally. But since it's the music that matters, that really shouldn't be an issue)

Band: Married in Berdichev!
Date: 2007-03-24
Venue: Storke Tower Library, Santa Barbara, California

I Love You
I Need to Stop Listening
Sweet Sweet Summer
I'd do Anything
Water Balloon
In the Woods
Those Woods

Band: Transistor Radio Sound
Date: 2007-03-24
Venue: Storke Tower Library, Santa Barbara, California

Setup / Intro
I Know
So Strong
Where Did the Stars Go?
Planet Earth
Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh

October 25, 2007

"Shout, Shout, Let It All Out"

Did anyone else notice that the new Michael Jackson album, which is so new that it has yet to even be titled, has supposedly leaked? From what I've read about the new album, what has leaked is most likely just a few versions of a few B-sides and possible demo versions of possible new songs. Whatever the case, if these demos are any indication as to what the finished product is going to sound like, then prepare to be unconcerned, because not only are the tracks forgettably boring, but some of them are about the quality of the majority of the songs you'll find on Acidplanet (come on, we all know that, while there is some stellar material on that site, the majority is BS).

Here's the tracklist:
Gangsta (No Friend of Mine) (supposedly w/ The Fugees)
Let Me Let Go
Someone Put Your Hand Out
I Need You (w/ 3T)
Ride With Me (W/ Rodney 'Darkchild' Jenkins)
Get Out of My Mind
Mamacita (w/ Santana)
Why (w/ 3T)
What More Can I Do? (English Version)
What More Can I Do? (Spanish Version)
What More Can I Do? (Spanglish Version)

All I have to say is that it's probably the creepiest album ever ... check that, I've got more to say:
Most of the beats are either cliched or straight up ugly and forgettable, which you actually have to have a certain amount of talent to pull off, so maybe I should be giving MJ props. "Gangsta", "Someone put your hands out", "Biggerman", and "Why" forgettable and just dumb. "Let Me Let Go" and "I Need You" are about being in love, which, from the scandal that surrounds Michael, just makes the songs sound like desperate attempts to make him seem like a normal guy who's in love ... which I have a hard time believing, and this is coming from a guy watches no TV or reads any rag-mags. "Ride With Me" has the most awkward beat I've ever heard, which is basically all that were was to the song. If there is anything that supports the case that this "leak" is just a compilation of demos and old B-sides, then the song "Ride With Me" is it. The "album" rounds out with 3 versions of his 9/11 benefit song "What More Can I Do," which follows the example of every other song similar to it, and just ends up sounding like the "Super Bowl Shuffle" but geared toward people in need (actually, Do They Know It's Hallowe'en is pretty good)

There were 4 almost shiny moments in the "album" though. "Shout" had good verse, but the chorus was a rip off of every other song named "Shout." "Get Out of My Mind" had an interesting beat, but it was still mostly dumb an cliched. "Xcape" is another one that is actually pretty good, except when he squeals or writes lyrics regarding relationships ... that's just so awkward to think about. "Mamacita" is probably the only good song on the leak, and, while I'm no expert on R&B, it's seems like a pretty competent song all around.

So you can see I'm not just pulling your leg, I'll give you a sample:

Get Out of My Mind
Ride With Me (Seriously the worst beat EVER!!! You need to hear it to believe it.)

I really REALLY hope this is no indication as to what he's doing in the studio, because I'd really prefer not to have it turn out like Brittany's new one (i.e. awful).

October 24, 2007

"Whether You're a Brother, or Whether You're a Mother"

There were times when I wished that the Denver scene were more like the Phoenix/Tempe scene, because the Arizonians that I've come across have all been exceedingly friendly, allowing as many people as they could to get up and play with them, forming multiple "side-projects," and just being some of the greatest people you could ever hope to meet. That wish lasted about 4 seconds before I realized that Denver is as intimate as the Phoenix scene, with members of basically every local band doing side projects with each other (The Wheel, the various incarnations of Transistor Radio Sound) and the bands supporting each other during hard times (Magic Cyclops Support Show). What spawned the desire to have a scene like the Arizonians? Seeing acts like French Quarter, Foot Ox, Alas, Alak, Alaska, Yourchestra, Andrew Jackson Jihad, and many others who hail from our southern neighbor-state who come through and warm our hearts with their songs of joy, woe, good times, and bad. No set of studio recordings could ever compare to the warmth felt by seeing these bands, especially when they play in our humble city of Denver, along side our own set of wonders.

So I went out and tracked down some live recordings of some Arizonians and of our own Denverites, and this is one of the shows I've come up with (the titles in parenthesis aren't known, so those are just the best guesses made by the recorder, Hoshwa, for 5432fun! [mad props]) :

Band: French Quarter
Date: 2007-04-25
Venue: Biko Garage, Isla Vista, CA

(Randy's House)
Bold With Fire
Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees Cover)
(Song About Smoking Cigs)
(You and I)
Build Fires
(Home Away From Home)

I'll have more goodies later. This is gonna be a good "series."

October 21, 2007

"What Lesson Were You Trying to Teach? Was It 'Happiness Is Always Slightly Out of Reach'?"

Denver is the love of my life, and one of the biggest reasons for this is a little place that goes by the name Rhinoceropolis. Rhinoceropolis is run/lived in by some of the sweetest, most charming folks in Denver. These people open up their house weekly (some weeks it's almost nightly) so that a smattering of the underground scene can get away from the craziness that is living in (or, possibly, around) this world. Part sanctuary, part art house, part a great many other things, Rhinoceropolis has become like a best friend to me ... a best friend who knows everyone cool and talented, and invites those people over for a good time, and that is exactly what happened last Tuesday.

Every time I go to Rhinoceropolis, I attempt to bring as many friends as possible, not because I don't like to go the shows alone (2 summers ago that's basically all I did ... now since I know the people who live there so well it'd be nearly impossible to feel like I've gone there alone), but because I think everyone needs to experience the gloriousness that is Rhinoceropolis. Because of it's location (it's a little hard to find), and the late hours the shows usually go to (they usually start around 9 or 10PM and end 1 or 2AM), it's hard to get my friends to understand how crucial these shows are to their culturing. This time I was able to convince my friend Sean, who had gone with me once before, and understood the importance of the shows at Rhinoceropolis, and Royce, who had heard me hype up the shows, and was eager to get in on it.

We arrived early, so we chatted with the bands and the people who live there, looked at art, and generally BS'd with each other and the other random people who were there. Time passed, and finally Brittany of Married in Berdichev! (one of the residents of Rhinoceropolis) went over to her equipment, said she was starting, turned the main room lights off, and began. Married in Berdichev! started out as a side project for the Mannequin Makeout lead singer, but, from the lack of MM shows, I'm left to assume that it has morphed into her main project. I've mentioned her in older blogs, but, to refresh memories, Married in Berdichev! is mainly an A Cappella project, where Brittany utilizes a looper pedal, building off of beats she makes with her voice, and then singing over them. She has long since abandoned solely using her voice, and has picked up multiple mixing pedals and random instruments, looping them into the song by recording them with the microphone. She has been experimenting with a sort of "wall of noise" sound for a few months now, and all I can say is that it is by far her best material. Her performance was a mixture of her "wall of noise" material, and then her pop songs, which she said she only performed so that the touring bands got a taste of what else she could do. Always a treat. I wish the recordings I have by her matched the intensity of her live shows.

Married in Berdichev! - Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening
Married in Berdichev! - It's Hard Replacing
Married in Berdichev! - Nose Knows

Alphabets, a new project by the multifaceted Colin, was up next. I recognized Colin from his other projects and stints as an additional member of some of the other local bands, but this was the first time I'd ever seen him perform solo. His music was dance-oriented distorted noise which, really, couldn't seem to get loud enough. Don't get me wrong, I had the ear plugs in and was glad for it, because it was hella loud, but the bass just didn't seem to hit as hard as it should have. His stuff was interesting and weird, two things which I certainly love, but, as of now, I can say I'll be happy when his stuff progresses a little.

Alphabets - They Must Be Invisible
Alphabets - I Can Feel the Earthquake
Alphabets - Tropics, Billions

The Blank Tapes was the first touring band to play. I'd spoken with Matt (the man behind The Blank Tapes) prior to the show about this and that, at one point talking about Paleo, and through this I discovered that Matt is a genuinely good guy, which I really think shines through in his songs. Unlike Foot Ox and French Quarter, one couldn't instantly associate with his lyrics, but his music spoke for itself, pacifying and conciliatory, but still full of passion. Opening Paleo style (standing and singing un-mic'ed playing a ukulele), then going on to perform Scott H. Birim style (playing guitar and using his feet to hit a bass drum and high-hat), the Blank Tapes was a great beginning to the rest of the evening.

The Blank Tapes - This Is What's Inside

The Blank Tapes - Why Must I Fall In Love
The Blank Tapes - Part The Clouds

Foot Ox was the first of the Arizonians to play. Since Foot Ox was basically just Teague and his guitar, his set up took all of a minute or so, and we were quickly back to sitting in a semi-circle, in a story-time fashion, and listening to Teague rattle off his short tales of woe and regret. Channeling folky guitar-punisher's of the past, Foot Ox wailed some of the most touching, if not down right arresting, lyrics I've heard in a long time. "You're staring at your sleeping 3-year-old daughter, just remember she can't survive on Top Ramen and tap water," the title of this blog, "We are a split personality parody, you're lacking in sincere sincerity," lines pertaining to crying out birds that pick away at the crier's bones, "." Apparently playing nearly every song he could remember (which were not hard to fit, as the majority of his songs are under 2 minutes), his leaving the "stage" was met with general woe, but excitement for the other acts.

Foot Ox - Carriers
Foot Ox - Wet Blanket
Foot Ox - New Boyfriend
Foot Ox - I Take My Life Seriously

Alas, Alak, Alaska, the stage name of Jocelyn Noir, was up next. She set up the Blank Tapes' bass drum and high hat (which were only utilized for a song or two), wrapped herself up in the random Christmas lights that were on the ground, set up the mic, and just laid into her set like hobo to a steak. Her almost dead-pan delivery and continuous flow between songs, stopping only twice to coordinate with Stephen of French Quarter, who occasionally provided backing vocals, put me in a somnambulistic state, lulling my senses and putting me adding to the euphoric state started by The Blank Tapes. Loved it. The weirdest of the 3 Arizonians, but just as good.

Alas, Alak, Alaska (unfortunately she was the only one I didn't get any music by, but here's her myspace, which has 4 wonderful songs)

3rd of 3 Arizonians, French Quarter was the closer for the glorious evening. Stephen (the main/usually-only member of French Quarter) went on so close to right after Alas, Alak, Alaska that no one bothered to turn the lights back on or get up or anything. Looking back, I'm honestly suprised I didn't mention him on my blog the first time I saw him. It's not the fact that he sounds surprisingly like Ben Gibbard, or the fact that he does a most terrific cover of "Stayin Alive" (I am SO not kidding), but that no matter the season, no matter the make up of the audience, when he performs, you feel like it's just you, him, and 4 or 5 friends on a camping trip, trading ghost stories, stories of past loves, and dreams of how the world could be. His songs are depressing and hopeful. French Quarter is why I hate the friends I have who don't believe me when I tell them they need to join me at Rhinoceropolis.

French Quarter - Bold With Fire
French Quarter - In June
French Quarter - Stay

The show ended rather late into the night, but it was more than worth it. Rhinoceropolis, and, I suppose, Denver ... well done ... well done. I'll be hosting a French Quarter live set soon. Be on the lookout.

October 15, 2007

"Have Fun, and Be Safe With It. Just Kidding, Fuck Shit Up!"

So the other day I heard that UNC was having a free concert by the Forecast, so, being that I'd never seen them before, and it was free, and I had nothing better to do, I found myself at the show. The whole thing was part of UNC's homecoming shindig, and there was, thusly, an event tied to the show. The event was an attempt to break the world record for largest pillow fight, something I'm pretty sure they missed by a long shot.

Playing before the pillow fight was Greeley's own Set Forth, a band that is to music what top ramen is to food. What Set Forth does is takes other people's music, strips it of all inventiveness and interesting qualities, and then performs it as though they know that what they're doing is wrong, but they can't stop themselves from doing it. After the show they had the audacity to "apologize" to their "fans" because they didn't know they would only be able to play 4 songs, as though they thought everyone was there for them. You know, I probably wouldn't be so hard on them if they weren't so arrogant, and, say, if they actually tried to create music that was even remotely innovative. Seriously, the boys are good musicians, and have potential, but the direction they're heading in is just ... well ... lame. Moving on...

I walked around the campus with a friend while the pillow fight commenced, and rounded my way back as the sounds of music drifted through the buildings. The Forecast were all ready tearing it up as I approached the stage. The crowd was depressingly small, which doesn't say much about the UNC community (seriously people ... free music ... why were you not there?). The sound wasn't mixed astonishingly well, but it wasn't bad enough to warrant leaving. It's probably hella hard to get this little outside theater sounding good. I'd not really listened to the Forecast to any depth (when I had heard their albums I had them on as background music), but they delivered what I expected: hard, fast, energetic, and overall feel-good variation on the pop-punk/hardcore sound. I wouldn't pay to see them, because they're not different enough to really warrant my interest for too long, but they were fun to see nonetheless.

The Forecast - Freebird 2: This Time It's Personal
The Forecast - I Lost Everything on Re-Entry
The Forecast - Late Night Conversations
The Forecast - APR

Switching gears slightly: The Forecast put me in the mood for something similar, but more my style, and after the show I found myself gravitating to the songs I have by Be Your Own Pet. Be Your Own Pet is just a raucous good time. Don't believe me? listen for yourself:

Band: Be Your Own Pet
Date: 2006-08-27
Venue: Reading/Leeds Festival, Reading/Leeds, England

Girls on TV
We Will Vacation
Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle
Lets Get Sandy
Fire Department
Damn Damn Leash
Chicken Wings
Threshers Flail

In going with the Oct. 15th Blogger Theme, I'd also like to point out that Be Your Own Pet encourages people to ride bikes. Well, I'd have to say that I think that's a damn nifty idea, and I encourage people to walk, ride bikes, skate board, long board, rollerblade, or whatever ... if not because it's better for the environment, then because it's better for you. Just think: I wouldn't have gotten front row seats at the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem show if I hadn't trained the weekend before by walking up and down Red Rocks at the Monolith Music fest. Haha, okay, enough of that. Enjoy your week people.

October 10, 2007

The Arcade Fire is the "Led Zeppelin" of Our Age

(there were many CO bloggers at the show, and I'm sure if you go to their sites, they'll have even more amazing pics. this one came from Wyoming Beat, a wonderful blog)

1) After accessing Jimmy Eat World's wiki page, I've found out they do not have a new lead singer after all ... did any one else think they did after hearing their new album?

2) Helloween's new album leaked, and I'm one of very few people I know who actually care. In case you're wondering, it rocks, and I can't wait to buy it. You should to.

3) Radiohead's new album dropped, and it's good. ... duh.

4) The Darjeeling Limited ... movie of the year. Period.

5) I like lists when I get tired, and I'm finally going to blog about the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem show ... right now:

Monday rolls around, it being 1 day after Monolith, and come 2:00PM I'm back in my car, driving to Red Rocks, a route now well known. One thing lead to another, and I found myself finally arriving at the venue around 3:00PM. While walking to the (short [thank god!]) line, Julio comes walking up and says hi (apparently we got there at the same time ... fancy that shit :D). So Julio, his buddy John (who I also met at Monolith), some people I think John and Julio knew, and I just chilled out in line and BS'd about music. Sometime around 6:00PM they "opened the doors" (i.e. allowed our line to walk up the path to the gate), and basically the whole line bolted up the ramp, a few people from the back mixing in with a few from the front (much to the dismay of the rather unfit members of the front of the line). Being fit as hell, I secured my place basically at the front of the new line, Julio and co. right behind me. Gate opens, I jet, run up the long way (i had thought they closed off the short cut), bolt down the stairs, and find myself 3 rows from the front, right in the center. The only people in front of me were people who had been there as volunteers and were guaranteed spots front and center. My spot was the best in the house, in my opinion (by the way, I'm not usually a front-row-whore, but if you read anything I wrote about Monolith, then you understand that, at Red Rocks, unless I'm up to my eyes in noise, I'm not going to have a real great time., and the only way for me to be submerged in noise at Red Rocks is to be hella close). Yay for fitness. I am proud that I not only waited there for enough time to justify the good spot, but I didn't push anyone over or fight anyone for my spot.

Then Win came out and did a short little meet-and-greet, and then scurried back stage again. The dude has big hands and a warm style. Win for President. Aaaannnnyway, there was still a lot of time before LCD Soundsystem was to go on, and I wanted to check out the merch table, so I got to know the people around me, made temporary friends with them, and got them to watch my spot and my stuff. I went down, saw that the LCD shirts were really quite tame and not my style, and there was really only one Arcade Fire shirt that appealed to me, so I bought that and took a gander at this kind of righteous blue hoodie. The hoodie was pretty expensive, so I told myself that if, after the show, I still wanted it, I'd get it, and I went back to my seat, where I sat and chatted with the people around me for a bit, once or twice going and talking with Julio and co., who were in the front row, but all the way to the left.

Lights dim, show begins. I honestly have a hard time telling you about LCD Soundsystem's set. They were good ... so good I was worried that, realistically, few acts could follow it. You know those dance moves I got from Ghostland Observatory? I definitely put those to good use. Their music put me in such a trance. I was all at once the sexiest person I have ever been, and the most outragously weird dancer I have ever been (I suppose that's not that big of a stretch, is it? haha), and all because of the funky tunes of LCD. I bet that, for the first time since Daft Punk came through, the mountains shook like a poloroid picture. For god's sake the band had a dude who, at first, only played the cowbells. They had a freaking cowbell xylophone apparatus. Right on LCD, right on. The only let down was that, because of the altitude, James Murphy couldn't get as screamy, because he was afraid he would pass out. I'm glad he kept calm enough to perform, and was spirited enough to live up to my expectations. The live set I posted by them no longer works, so I'm going to re-post that shit right here, right now (now all I wish is that I had another live set by them):

Band: LCD Soundsystem
Date: 2005-09-04
Venue: Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland

Beat Connection
On Repeat
Daft Punk is Playing at My House
Losing My Edge

Franz Ferdinand-All of my Friends (LCD Soundsystem Cover)
LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations (Shallow Version)

LCD left the stage, and their things were slowly carted off after them. At this point some people started to, in the semi-confusion that comes with the between-set-bathroom-breaks-and-food/beer-gathering shuffle, try to sneak up and crowd the heck out of the people who, well, straight up got there first. I'm usually the kind of person who will push new comers out of my spot if I've got room, but really, we were packed pretty tightly, and these people didn't care at all, and seemed to think that because they were enormous, they could get away with anything. I asked if they were planning on staying in front of me for Arcade Fire's set, and they looked back at me, scoffed, and said nothing. I was incredibly confused, because I knew these type of people existed, but because I was having such a good time, I didn't think that anyone around me would be THOSE kind of people (jerks that is). And while I'm no novice to making one's presence known at a concert (I used to be really into Death Metal), I wasn't about to start throwing elbows at one of the best shows I've ever been to ... plus these guys were twice my size (not a relatively difficult feat, mind you, but still impressive) and, even if they weren't, I HATE to fight, for so many reasons (think of all the reasons fighting is dumb and you've probably got the jist of it). No sooner did they scoff and turn around did everyone around me started yelling at them to leave, and one of my temporary-concert buddies, who was three times my size, just grabbed a shoulder of one of the guys and used him to shove the other one out of our way. The two guys left without another word, and the stage because to flicker and light up.

There were 6 or 8 stage large stage-light-looking things which acted as small projectors or, dare I say, television screens. Old black and white footage of a religious figure talking giving the "in order to get into heaven you must give money, so call this number and you'll be saved" schpeel, which lasted a good minute and a half. Then, slowly, the image of the Neon Bible began to show on the back of the stage, with the roar of static coming in (again) [lol], accompanied by the sound of pages flipping. 6 or 8 red, vertical, lights slowly turned on, giving the stage a kind of "prison in hell" motif. Then the band took the stage, and burst into Black Mirror.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Arcade Fire is the Led Zeppelin of our age.

It is hard to even think about without swelling up and getting emotional. Memories of outrageous stage antics come back to me most readily, like band members coming up to metal the stage barrier and hitting it with drum sticks to the time of the song, splintering their sticks, then running back to the stage, where they would hit strategically placed cymbals at the crescendo. Semi-terrifying images projected onto the back wall. the fact that the what was coming out of the speakers wasn't only sound, but pure emotion, blasting through me in ways I've never experienced. I feel awkward admitting it, but good god ... that show ... god it was astonishing. They were the most genuine band I've ever seen ... period. Now, I know people are used to hearing about this, but, at that time, I had no idea that this went on: after they played the last song in their main set, Rebellion (Lies), the entire crowd continued to sing the hooky backing vocal part until the band came back on stage. We freaking crooned the band back on stage. Not clapped, not yelled, not cheered, but crooned. It was religious. It gave me hope for humanity. All of Red Rocks (the place was full) coming together and singing ... it was like we were trying to get god in on the act. The Arcade Fire came back out, and gave Red Rock's it's "happy ending," if you will.

Maybe the best show of my life. Almost needless to say, I went back and bought the blue hoodie.

See them. Dear god see them. I can only imagine that the next time they come through they'll be playing the Pepsi Center, and, even though I hate the Pepsi Center, I will pay for the ticket, and I will see them, because I will never miss a (reasonable) chance to see them ever again (unless they become nazi's or something. EFF that noise. But I don't think that'll be happening).

Here are some rare tracks (loosely) by The Arcade Fire:

The Arcade Fire - Broken Window
Norah Jones - Ocean of Noise
Foo Fighters - Keep The Car Running
The Arcade Fire - Poupee de Cire Poupee de Son

If you're really interested in hearing more of them, go to The Great Arcade Fire Post, quite possibly the best resource for the Arcade Fire's rare-ass music. Plus the other stuff on the blog is really great :).

Man, good to get that off my chest. Not as well written as I would have liked, but whatev. I'm still super busy, so posting will be sparse, but full of words :). Expect a post on The Forecast and then, after that, French Quarter and Foot Ox.

October 2, 2007

I Was Kind Of Harsh To These Last Few Bands...

Monolith Fest day 2 wrap up:

Nathan and Stephen were the only band that I saw on the ... quaintly titled "Rock Room" stage. These local guys remind me of a Christian hardcore version of the Polyphonic Spree. These boys and girl danced and sang their way through the hearts and minds of the packed room. There were few bands at Monolith with more intensity than Nathan and Stephen, every spark of their spirit floating out with each note. I'd seen them a few times before, but this show is definitely the top of the pops.

Nathan and Stephen (their myspace)

From there I rushed down to the acoustic stage just in time to see William Elliot Whitmore take the stage. After announcing his gratitude for so many people showing up (apparently his set was one of the biggest draws for the Acoustic Stage), he told us he would only be playing requests. Feeling a little out of place, I awkwardly felt ashamed for not knowing his material better, because as soon as the thought that maybe no one there knew enough of his songs, everyone around me started requesting songs. William loves a good crowd of people who just want to sit around and hear him do his thing. He was probably one of the most outwardly appreciative artists that I saw at Monolith. If you don't have a grasp on his sound, just think of Roscoe Holcomb style banjo, Skip James style wailing, but with more soul than any man ought to rightfully have.

William Elliot Whitmore (daytrotter set)

Art Brut. Hmmm... have I mentioned that I'm not a real big fan? I'm thinking I have. But, I recognize a live band that needs to be seen when I see one, and this is one of those bands. Basically, all I can say is that they're better live ... but not by much. Though, come to think of it, I really enjoyed the version of Direct Hit they did, and the banter that preceded it (the only song to go #1 in Space).

Art Brut (everything you'll ever need by them)

I was talking about Earl Greyhound with some people prior to seeing them live, and one line stuck with me: "I liked the album when it came out in 1968." I don't, and will never, claim to be any sort of expert on classic rock, but now, after seeing Earl Greyhound, I understand the sentiment behind the statement. Maroon 5 in the 60's/70's is what came to mind when I saw them. They really just felt like a rock band, through and through. I was bored, but, like I said with the Laylights, maybe I'm just to into looking for something innovative and inventive. Truthfully, their staleness wasn't what really turned me off, it was their bass drum. The damn thing was enormous, and just too bassy. It drew attention away from everything else, because every so often there would be this big annoying "Bloosh!" which didn't mix well with any part of the song. That shit annoyed me.

Not entertained by Earl Greyhound, I decided to go see Cameron McGill, someone I had previously decided to skip over because I had seen him last year at the South Park Music Festival, and I didn't want to see too many bands that I had all ready seen. But, seeming how there was nothing better, I decided to see how the old boy was doing. He is doing well. His music grabs you, sits you down, and makes you pay attention. He has lyrics that make you think "well I know what that means to me, but what does it mean to Cameron, or that guy over there, or that girl over there?" He has apparently been writing like a mad man, pumping out albums faster than Jandek, and the new songs I heard him perform only prove that he is only improving. Near the end of his set he brought up Leslie from Leslie & the Badgers to sing a few songs. He might as well asked Jenny Lewis. (that's a compliment). She was amazing. Check her stuff out too.

Cameron McGill - Love's Worst Day

Spoon was another band that fell victim to the lack of intimacy that I felt while watching a majority of the main stage bands. Everyone else seems to think they did really well. I'd go by what they say, because I'm just a bit biased to wanting my sound loud and in my face.

Bored with Spoon, I went upstairs to wait near the front of the New Belgium stage in anticipation for Cloud Cult. At one point I debated going downstairs and seeing Au Revior Simone, but since I'd been anticipating seeing Cloud Cult for the last year or so, I wasn't about to miss out on my amazing spot. Honestly, I have trouble describing their set, because throughout all of it I was screaming the lyrics, jumping up and down, and tearing up. Religious experience doesn't even scratch the surface. This is why I love music. Cloud Cult re-introduced me to myself. Cloud Cult is magic.

Cloud Cult - The Deaf Girl''s Song

I got to The Flaming Lips performance a little late, but I was okay with that, because nothing was going to keep me from seeing everything Cloud Cult had to offer. I got kind of close, so the whole "lack of intimacy" thing wasn't as bad. But, in truth, I just wasn't close enough and it just wasn't loud enough. Probably the most touching moments of their set (not counting everyone at Red Rocks singing Yoshimi) were when Wayne Coyne talked to the audience. At one point he talked about this interesting little instrument ... but I think that I want to keep that experience to myself. If you want to read about it somewhere else, feel free, but I'm not going to be the one to ruin it if you plan on seeing them any time soon. They were good, no doubt, but not exactly the show I had expected. Definitely worth it to see them though. Here's the newest Lips:

The Flaming Lips - I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow

And then I went home, and slept forever, and then I got up, and went to class, and then went back to Red Rocks to see The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, but that's a tale for anther day. Until next time peps.

September 27, 2007

"Usually I Play This For A Bunch of Drunk People In A Bar, But Because We're At A Festival, I Expect EVERYONE To Put Their Boob In My Drink."

Did you hear about this shit? If not, check it out. Wes Anderson is basically a god. and, if not that, a damn good director, and probably a good person to boot.

Go see Darjeeling Limited when it comes out (Jan 8th I believe...).

Also: Radiohead's new album is ready for pre-order. Here's a hint: you can pay nothing for it. But since they're doing all this out for their own pocket, I recommend paying the boys for their hard work.

One more thing: Gorillaz D-Sides announced

But now, on to music:

Day 2 of Monolith started out with me getting there hella early. So I went and gave a little visit to the vendors and browsed their various wares. First I stopped by the WOXY.COM booth and chatted with Matt Shiv for a good half an hour. He's quite the awesome dude if I may say so myself. After that I came across a booth selling Xiu Xiu shirts, Sunset Rubdown shirts, Frog Eyes shirts, and a few other equally as awesome shirts. Unfortunately they had no smalls. The Home-tapes Records booth next to them did, and I purchased a Shedding shirt and a Slaraffenland shirt, as well as picking up a sampler (which is actually damn good). While ending my transaction Laylights began to perform, and my day truely began.

I'd last seen the Laylights last year at the South Park Music Festival, and, like Everything Absent or Distorted, they have grown in the past year. But, unlike Everything Absent or Distorted, they haven't grown a lot. Regardless, however, they were a lot of fun, and playing first was some damn good press. I don't foresee them going very far however, because their sound is a very basic "we're just gonna play some local indie rock music." But maybe I'm just looking to hard for music that's weird and innovative.

Laylights - Sheets & Drapes

Laylights finished up their short set fairly quickly, so I moseyed on downstairs at a relaxed pace (my legs weren't killing me at this point, thank god, but I wasn't in any rush to destroy my ability to fly up and down the stairs to get to the next big thing). Via Audio were just finishing up setting up when I arrived at the WOXY.COM stage, which I, so far, had not been disappointed at, so I was fairly excited to see what the WOXY.COM stage had to provide this day. Via Audio reminded me a lot of Great Northern, but with a You Say Party! We Say Die! danceyness. The super inventive drummer, guitar player clearly influenced by Buckethead, and young Feist-ish girl on vocals made them someone to stand up and notice.

Via Audio (Live on the WOXY.COM Stage)

I rushed upstairs as soon as I could pull myself from Via Audio's tractor beam to see Bob Log III, someone I'd been waiting to see for a long while. He was in the middle of a song when i got to his stage, but it was easy to get right into the moment. He sat there with one of the oldest guitars I'd ever seen, hitting a bass drum with his right foot, and hitting a crash cymbal with his left. Occasionally he would activate a sound pad, which would add drum effects to his undenyably good guitar parts. After drawing the song out longer than anyone would have thought possible, he, seemingly as bewildered as the audience, exclaimed "How'd I do that!?", making reference to the fact that he is a one man band. Oh technology, what would we do with out you. From there Bob Log III had as much fun with the audience as they had with him. He somehow got a good number of women to stick their breast in his beer, wooing them with his hit "Boob Scotch." He got some of those same women to sit on his lap while he played a song. He reminded me of a more relaxed Scott H. Biram. Loved it.

Bob Log III - I Want Your Shit On My Leg

The Little Ones were playing just over the barrier on the main stage. I don't remember if I pointed this out before, but a lot of the bands on the main stage were remotely disappointing, mostly, if not purely, because I just didn't feel close enough, and it wasn't loud enough, and ... well ... it just wasn't intimate enough; something I'm very used to when I go to concerts. The Little Ones were no exception. They were super chill, Rooney-esq even. They sent out this "feel good" vibe. I just wasn't that interested... Sorry guys, maybe next time.

The Little Ones (Daytrotter Set)

And with that I was back down to the WOXY.COM stage for another "must see." I had been pining to see Forget Cassettes for months, so to finally experience their live show was ... magical. Their set was Unforgettable. They were orchestral, they were beautiful, they were inventive/innovative, they were some of the most talented musicians to perform at Monolith. These guys too had a sort of Great Northern feel to them, but in a different sense then with Via Audio. They made music that drain your heart of color, while filling your soul with fire. I straight up loved Forget Cassettes, and will be seeing them every time they come through.

Forget Cassettes (Live on the WOXY.COM Stage)

I went back out to the main stage, regardless of the fact that I knew I probably wouldn't like it because of the lack of intimacy, to see Margot & the Nuclear So & So's. Margot & co. are a part of this new wave of (what I like to call) Orchestral Indie Rock. They, like the Arcade Fire or the Polyphonic Spree have this big big big sound, huge crescendos, touching melodies, and just an all around haunting sense of "holy shit this sound is bigger than anything"-ness. Unfortunately, they played the main stage, and I hella wasn't close enough to enjoy it, so, instead of staying and listening and being pissed off that I wasn't enjoying it enough, I went and got something to eat and wait up in front of the New Belgium Stage.

Margot & the Nuclear So & So's - Quiet As A Mouse

Matt & Kim
. Oh how I do love thee. I've seen them more than a few times, and every time ... every time it has been stupendous. This time was NO different. They continued to be the smile-en-ist people on the planet, emanating love and happiness. The only real problem was now I've heard the same songs quite a few times... all I'm saying is that I'd like to hear some new material. That didn't take away from the magic that was Matt & Kim on the top of Red Rocks, with the sun majestically coming over the clouds at just the right time.... beautiful. Please move to Denver Matt & Kim.

Matt & Kim - 5K

I'm on the home stretch! More Soon!