April 29, 2008

Monolith Music Festival, back again, threatening the tired lungs of hip kids all over

Speaking of festivals, Monolith is back. I basically had the best festival experience at Monolith last year, and with a line up like they've got (which isn't complete but, in my mind, still boasts a better line up than Bonnaroo, Coachella, Sasquatch, etc.) it looks like this September (13th & 14th) is going to be just as amazing. Summer festivals, take note, Monolith is doing it right:

Saturday the 13th:
John Vanderslice
The Morning Benders
The Kills
Pop Levi
Holy Fuck
Blitzen Trapper
Cut Copy
Cameron McGill & What Army

The Fratellis
The Photo Atlas
Neko Case
Darker My Love

Mickey Avalon
A Place To Bury Strangers
Vampire Weekend
The Night Marchers
Del tha Funky Homosapien
White Denim
Silversun Pickups
The Presets

The Hood Internet

Sunday the 14th:
The Elms
The Rosewood Thieves

Chester French
The Cribs
Tokyo Police Club
Hearts of Palm
Tilly and the Wall

Grampall Jookabox
David Moore
Bright Channel
The Avett Brothers
The Ting Tings

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
The Heavy
Band of Horses

Airborne Toxic Event
TV on the Radio
The Giraffes
Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
The Bronx

April 26, 2008

Mile High Music Festival

It's been too long since my last update, but that's been because I've been hecka busy with school and with band practice (we had a first show just this last Saturday, so we've been practicing a whole heck of a lot). I've been too a couple shows recently that I'll be talking about and hosting live sets of just as soon as I've had enough to time to edit the recordings, but for now I just wanted to take a second to recognize a local festival that's going to be happening real soon-like.

The Mile High Music Festival didn't look all that appealing at first, boasting headlining acts that, while talented to no end, didn't really spark my interest. After further investigation, however, I discovered that there were quite a few less ... O.A.R.-ish than I had thought there would be. There is honestly a pretty diverse line up, that has be pretty interested in check this lil' event out (They've even got a good smattering of talented local acts):

Saturday, July 19:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Newton Faulkner
Andrew Bird
State Radio
Bob Schnider
Born in the Flood
Mike Gordon
Steve Winwood
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Lupe Fiasco
Jason Mraz
Citizen Cope
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
Josh Ritter
JJ Grey & Mofro
Hill County Revue
Eric Hutchinson

Sunday, July 20:
Dave Matthews Band

The Black Crowes
Colbie Caillat
Brett Dennen
Leftover Salmon
Tea Leaf Green
The New Mastersounds
The Photo Atlas
John Mayer
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Ingrid Michaelson
Flogging Molly
The Roots
Martin Sexton

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
Rose Hill Drive
Serena Ryder

April 18, 2008

Zebra Junction - Assorted Potatoes EP
Verdict: Like ()
I know I said I didn't have time to gab about the music, but these guys deserve a gab or two, especially since they gave me their EP like a month ago so I could gab about it. The EP was honestly a little weak, especially compared to some of the stuff on their myspace and Certainly compared to their live show. Their live show is like going to the theater. It's an experience and get together and grand ol time. Super fun band bound to put a smile on your face, but if you're going to get any music from them, get a full album. Again, the sampler is all right, but it's nothing compared to their amazing live show and full albums (I'm excited to hear the new one that I think I heard a bird say they were making)...
Zebra Junction - Cherry Wine
Zebra Junction - Vanity

Various - Bloody Buddies
Verdict: Indifferent (~)
With a list of artists that range from obscure to very obscure (Mochipet, Bloodysnowman, Build128, Xiu Xiu, Clipd Beaks, Ben Sandoval, Yoko Solo, Dino Felipe, Nommo Ogo, Pu22l3, Preshish Moments, Heartworm), one might not think that this comp. is out to break any records. Well, in my eyes, it kind of didn't. It was rather boring. Maybe I didn't give it enough time to sink in or wasn't in the mood. Either way, I expected more.
Mochipet - Bloody Dancer
Xiu Xiu - Dead Raver (Shhhhhhhhh Mix)
Bloodysnowman - Broken Floor
Clipd Beaks - Drug Wreck (Clipd Beaks Remix)

Hearts of Palm - The Bridge EP
Verdict: Like ()
It pains me to say that I only liked this album, because live these cats can throw down. Formerly known as Nathan & Stephen, this band is known for their amazing live shows and lovely atmosphere, so for me to say that the songs just didn't translate well onto tape just makes me sad. I'm certain that, regardless of how good this EP is, the band will get stronger and bigger and more loving (if that's even possible) and record a full length that will just blow everyone away. Until then, here's their full EP:
Hearts of Plam - Full EP (ZIP FILE)
Hearts of Palm - Valentine
Hearts of Palm - No Water
Hearts of Palm - Give 'Em Hell
Hearts of Palm - Goldfish

Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Verdict: Like ()
Glenn Danzig once said something to the effect of "you can only write Mother once." Case in point: Gnarls Barkley.
Gnarls Barkley - Run
Gnarls Barkley - Whatever
Gnarls Barkley - A Little Better

Mindless Self Indulgence - Never Wanted To Dance EP
Verdict: Didn't Like (ø)
The last stuff I actually liked by MSI was their album You'll Rebel To Anything. I thought it was a poignant and pertinent commentary on today's society, along with being a fun album to listen to. Maybe I was young and foolish then, or it might be that by now I'm sick of how much ... merchandising has been done in the name of MSI. Well, that and the fact that their music has gone from interesting and awkward to, dare I say, Pop Crap? Yes. If this EP or single or whatever it is any indication to what the new album will sound like, then put me in the "I used to like them, before they sold out" category. I hope it doesn't come to that though. That said, there are glimmers of hope within each remix, which I can only hope are good signs. Skip this release though.
Mindless Self Indulgence - Never Wanted To Dance (Electro Hurtz Mix by Combichrist)

The B-52's - Funplex
Verdict: Like ()
They haven't changed much, but that (sometimes) just goes to show you how ahead of the game they were, because they sound a lot like some of the stuff that's been coming out recently.
The B-52's - Ultravoilet
The B-52's - Deviant Ingredient
The B-52's - Dancing Now
Witch - Paralyzed
Verdict: Like ()
Witch - Mutated
Witch - Eye
Witch - 1000 MPH

Caesars - Strawberry Weed

Verdict: Indifferent (~)

Simply: I was was straight up board for the first 3 songs, so I stopped listening.
Caesars - You Nailed Me

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Verdict: Love More (<3)
Dancey and Reckless, this duo is the most moving mustering of mad music making skills that I've come across in a while in regards to making music that is not only inventive and strange, but full of life. I can't think of a time of the day that I don't want to listen to this album.
Crystal Castles - Untrust Us
Crystal Castles - Alice Practice
Crystal Castles - Through the Hosiery
Crystal Castles - Crimewave (vs. HEALTH)

Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk It Off
Verdict: Like ()
Sorry, but it wasn't as good as the last album. Granted, the last album was no triumph, but this one just sounds a little less inventive.
Tapes 'n Tapes - Hang Them All
Tapes 'n Tapes - Anvil
Tapes 'n Tapes - Say Back Something

Jarboe and Justin K. Broadrick - J2
Verdict: Love (<)
There's no doubt that the Swans were one of the most influential bands of all time, and side projects from members of that band only go further to prove this theory. Adding a Jesu/Godflesh/Final band member can only make things better. Supurb.
Jarboe and Justin K. Broadrick - 8mm Sweet Bitter
Jarboe and Justin K. Broadrick - Romp

The Ghost Orchid - Untitled
Verdict: Love (<)
I feel bad, because sometimes I'm in a chill mood, and when I listen to albums that are chill when I'm in those moods, I rate them higher than albums that might be better, but that I listened to when I wasn't in the mood. It's possible is all I'm saying. Maybe this fit my mood, or maybe it really is a nice album. Either way I enjoyed it.
The Ghost Orchid - Horseshoes and Handgrenades
The Ghost Orchid - Living Daylights

Punch Brothers - Punch
Verdict: Love (<)
Every bit of this album told me that these guys really really really knew what they were doing with their instruments, but for some reason (maybe it was my mood), I just didn't get as engrossed in it as I thought I might. Still, damn good.
Punch Brothers - The Blind Leaving the Blind Mvt 2
Punch Brothers - The Blind Leaving the Blind Mvt 4

The Matches - A Band In Hope
Verdict: Love More (<3)
This may be considered a guilty pleasure of mine, because I really wouldn't otherwise seek out this style of music ... a little too pop-punk-Blink182-influenced-y for me. But for some reason I just love the Matches. Pop geniuses. Not for those afraid to have fun. Also, however, not for those looking for the most intelligent addition to the music pool.
The Matches - From 24C
The Matches - Yankee's in the Chip Shop
The Matches - Wake The Sun

Sword - Gods Of The Earth
Verdict: Like ()-
Sounds a lot like Blind Guardian. Thing is, we've all ready got one of those. Maybe I've just lost the faith as far as metal goes, and it has to be astonishing to even garner much of my attention. But is that a bad thing? I think maybe not.
Sword - The Frost-Giant's Daughter
Sword - To Take the Black
Sword - The White Sea

Retribution Gospel Choir - Retribution Gospel Choir
Verdict: Like ()
I think I was expecting this hugely epic album, and, instead, it's just average, so I didn't think too much of it.
Retribution Gospel Choir - They Knew You Well
Retribution Gospel Choir - Somebody's Someone
Retribution Gospel Choir - What She Turned Into

Man Man - Rabbit Habits
Verdict: Love More (<3)
Man Man is one of the most outlandish acts I've ever come across, and this shines through in everything that they do, this album being no exception. Like an electric circus,full of hip kids, on fire, stuck in a 1950's swing/pop scene, which is, on occasion, very sad to be stuck there, but working with what it's got.
Man Man - Top Drawer (I've been waiting for a studio version of this for so long. They've been playing it live for practically forever)
Man Man - Poor Jackie
Man Man - Whalebones
YMCK - Family Genesis
Verdict: Like ()
Chiptune is such a strange idea to me, even at this point. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. It's a mood thing I guess. When I heard this, it was just so annoyingly cute (but charming because of this), that I couldn't stop listening. Granted, it's not the best thing ever, but when I was in the mood for it, it hit the spot.
YMCK - 錆びた扉の第8天国 (Sabita Tobira No Dai 8 Tengoku)
YMCK - 8番目の虹 (8 Ban Me No Niji)
YMCK - フィナーレ (Finale) ~Welcome to the 8bit world~
Mochipet - Microphonepet
Verdict: Love (<)
Really Really killer first track, and the rest of the album follows suit, but nothing that really took me and shook me all night long. Decent and amazing the first few times.
Mochipet - Tangle (Featuring Salva And Epcot)
Mochipet - We Put It Down (Featuring Dopestyle, Pro The Leader, And Opio Of Hieroglyphics Oakland)
Mochipet - Banana Split (Featuring E Da Boss & Bicasso Of Living Legends)
Kites - You and I In The Kaleidoscope EP
Verdict: Love More (<3)
At times, larger than life, but always always touching and genuine. Like a pal who just happens to be a king on the side, but comes to your sunday night football get-togethers.
Kites - Heroes and Villains
Kites - Easy Now
The Canadians - A Sky With No Stars
Verdict: Indifferent (~)
This was another one of those "I listened to about 3 songs and got bored" kind of situations.
The Canadians - Summer Teenage Girl
This Is Ivy League - This Is Ivy League
Verdict: Love (<)
It's strange. Sometimes the project sounds ironic, like on the song Viola, but other times sounds entire genuine, like on Celebration. Sometimes they leave us floating awkwardly in the middle with songs like The Richest Kids. A quaint and perplexing side project for a Cobra Starship band member.
This Is Ivy League - London Bridges
Command.Dat - Command.Dat (Demo)
Verdict: Love (<)
Glitchy, Chiptune, 8-bit Death Metal? Yes. I probably like the concept more than I actually like the music, but there you have it. Here's his full demo:
Command.Dat - Do Modt
Command.Dat - Do Say
Command.Dat - Do Emote
Command.Dat - Do Rape
The Pharmacy - Choose Yr Own Adventure
Verdict: Like ()
The Pharmacy - Adeiu, Adeiu
The Pharmacy - Mirror

The Right Ons - 80.81
Verdict: Didn't Like (ø)
Decide for yourself I guess:
The Right Ons - Pretty Sick
The Right Ons - Get On Up
The Right Ons - Do Your Thing, Babe

Vincent Black Shadow - More Deeper
Verdict: Like ()
Not to be confused with Vincent Black Shadow. I really do enjoy these kats. Here's a review of the outrageous things I've said about their live show.
Vincent Black Shadow - Shamanix
Vincent Black Shadow - Wooden Kimono
Vincent Black Shadow - Volume One

Naid - Varanasi
Verdict: Love (<)
Mega Chill.
Naid - Mangalam
Naid - Aigiri Nam
Naid - Gothenburg

Kid Dakota - A Winner’s Shadow
Verdict: Like ()
Probably one of those albums that you really like after seeing the band. I can't wait until I see them w/ Cloud Cult
Kid Dakota - Stars
Kid Dakota - Chutes + Ladders

Bess Rogers - Decisions Based On Information
Verdict: Like ()
Popish Indie Folk Rock. If that's what you're into, you're into this.
Bess Rogers - See Me? See You!
Bess Rogers - I Would Never
Bess Rogers - Sunday
Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
Verdict: Love More (<3)
The kind of album that, if you were to be walking around and listening to it, it would start to rain and you'd be down with that, and then you'd notice that not only is it not windy or cold, but it is still warm and sunny. It makes everything all right. Perfect for walking and being happy.
Tokyo Police Club - In a Cave
Tokyo Police Club - Juno
[EDIT: I've been kindly asked to remove the following tracks. But you should check them out when you can get a hold of them]
Tokyo Police Club - Centennial
Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave
Tokyo Police Club - Your English Is Good

Great Northern - Sleepy Eepee
Verdict: Love More (<3)
Just an incredibly entrancing band. Their music sweeps you up and loves you.
Great Northern - Summertime
Great Northern - Shaky
High Places - 03/07-09/07
Verdict: Love (<)
I've been a fan of High Places for a while now, so to come across a collection of tour 7" and B-sides is just heavenly.
High Places - Sandy Feat (7" Version)
High Places - Banana Slugs/Cosmonaut
High Places - Granola
The National Bank - Come on Over to the Other Side
Verdict: Love (<)
The National Bank - Home
The National Bank - Taste Of Me
The National Bank - Make It Burn
Boys Noize - Oi Oi Oi Remixed
Verdict: Love (<)
Dance. Duh. Not as good as the original, but a remix album rarely is. Still fun
Boys Noize - & Down (Siriusmo VS. Boys Noize Remix)
Boys Noize - Shine Shine (Apparat Remix)
Boys Noize - Let's Buy Happiness (Proxy Remix)
Portishead - Third
Verdict: Love More (<3)
Maybe one of the most interesting and smart albums of this year, though one may not notice on their first listen through.
Portishead - Silence
Portishead - Machine Gun
Portishead - Small
Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
Verdict: Love (<)
Deep, engrossing sound. Most lovely indeed.
Goldfrapp - Clowns
Goldfrapp - Eat Yourself
Goldfrapp - Road To Somewhere
Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
Verdict: Love (<)
Gutter Twins - The Stations
Gutter Twins - All Misery/Flowers
Gutter Twins - Seven Stories Underground
De Novo Dahl - Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound
Verdict: Love (<)
Dance-y and lovely and ridiculous and just a raucous good time. Definitely a good follow up.
De Novo Dahl - Be Your Man
De Novo Dahl - Shake Down
De Novo Dahl - Make Some Sense
Travis Sehorn and the Pebble Light - Ovum Bloom
Verdict: Like ()
Travis Sehorn and the Pebble Light - Christopher
Travis Sehorn and the Pebble Light - Opening Blossoms
Travis Sehorn and the Pebble Light - Lyn
Bryan Scary & the Shredding Tears- Flight of the Knife
Verdict: Love (<)
Reminded me a lot of Queen, but if Queen were to have come about recently
Bryan Scary - Flight of the Knife (pt. I)
Bryan Scary - Mama Waits
Bryan Scary - Venus Ambassador
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - #3
Verdict: Love (<)
A little hard to get into at first, but once you get used to their ways, the album shines with an adorableness thats hard to forget.
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - Funeral Face
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - Trees and Squirrels
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - Loop Delicate My Heart
In Flames - A Sense of Purpose
Verdict: Like ()
Gosh. I just have to wonder what happened to In Flames. I loved them. I was even with them when they got a little poppier with Reroute to Remain, which is still one of my favorite albums by them. Soundtrack to Your Escape, their next album, actually has my favorite song by In Flames on it. Then Come Clarity came out. And it was trash. I hated it. HATED it. This is their first album since then, and I still respect their old stuff, so I was willing to give this one a shot. The reason I "Like" it is because its a step away from Come Clarity, which is anything but bad. But in truth I feel shitty saying that I "Like" it, because it's still not what I really want to hear. I applaud them for branching out, and I suppose people move in their own directions, but I just don't like the idea that In Flames and I may have to break up soon.
In Flames - Disconnected
In Flames - Sober and Irrelevant
In Flames - Abnegation
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - Sunday At Devil Dirt
Verdict: Love (<)
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - Seafaring Song
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - Come On Over (Turn Me On)
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - The Flame That Burns
Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin - Pershing
Verdict: Love (<) +
Overcoming their terrible name, one song at a time.
Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin - Dead Right
Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin - The Beach Song
Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin - Oceanographer
Neon Neon - Stainless Style
Verdict: Love (<)
There's something undeniably rad about Gruff Rhys, and that sort of thing really helps out when you're doing another side project from your all ready awe-inspiringly successful band. Boasting a slew of guests, Boom Bip and Gruff Rhys collab is honestly quite fun.
Neon Neon - Raquel
Neon Neon - Dream Cars
Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderaan
Spiritualized - Songs in A&E
Verdict: Love More (<3)
Phew ... this album ... this shit is heavy. Jason Pierce has reached that point in his life where his voice is just utterly depressing, probably no matter what he says or sings ... which enhances this album to no end (though, admittedly, sometimes his voice resembles Rod Stewart's). I'm not usually a lyrics guy, but with some of these songs, you can't help but change your ways a little ("think I'll drink myself into a coma").
Spiritualized - Death Take Your Fiddle (AMAZING song)
Spiritualized - Sitting On Fire
Spiritualized - Baby I'm Just a Fool
Autistic Daughters - Uneasy Flowers
Verdict: Love (<)
I think my prior thinking that this would be a death metal band influenced my liking of the album, because I was all set for something harsh, and I got the soft sounds of Autistic Daughters. Turns out I was in the mood for just that. Clever band, if anything.
Autistic Daughters - Rahana's Theme
Autistic Daughters - Bird in the Curtain
Willits + Sakamoto - Ocean Fire
Verdict: Like ()
Ambient noise stuff at its ... well ... ambientnoisiest. Only recommended for those of you who are into that kind of thing.
Willits + Sakamoto - Towards Water
Willits + Sakamoto - Chi-yu
Willits + Sakamoto - Ocean Sky Remains