Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let's Play Some Beirut, Brosef!

No, that's not exactly what I meant. I was thinking more along the lines of this little scamp.
The indie wunderkid we see here was born Zach Condon, although he's most recently recorded under the band name, Beirut. The other night I was watching IFC and I caught a short segment with Zach explaining how he wanted this whole album (Beirut's debut Gulag Orkestar) to sound drunk, like a meltdown. Seeing as I like nothing more than drunken meltdowns, I thought to check the album out, and it's nothing short of awesome. There's definitely a Neutral Milk Hotel vibe, but is that ever a bad thing? Besides, the two bands do have the common link of Jeremy Barnes, who pounded skins for both. If you stop focusing on the NMH similarities though, you can hear so many other sounds in this stuff. There's moments where you have an irish thing going on, and there's a big gypsy undercurrent, but then all of sudden there's these little Mariachi bursts, and the whole time it's apparent that this guy loves his Magnetic Fields. As well we all should. I could go on forever about this guy, but you listening to his songs is going to do a hell of a lot more than me rambling about them.

"Postcards from Italy" by Beirut
"Scenic World" by Beirut
"The Canals of our City" by Beirut

Kerrang! magazine put out a list of the 50 greatest punk albums of all time, and it's complete ass. First of all, they included Bad Brains Rock For Light over their self titled effort, even though a number of the tracks off of Rock for Light are just redone versions of songs on Bad Brains.

"Pay to Cum" by Bad Brains
"Banned in D.C." by Bad Brains

Then there's the fact that not one but TWO(!) Green Day albums made the list and they weren't even Kerplunk! or 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. While Dookie was the first CD I ever owned (my dad bought it for me when I was in the fourth grade), it is not the second greatest punk album of all time. I don't even want to talk about the fact that Nimrod clocked in at number 47, that album shouldn't be on a list of "Every Punk Album Ever" let alone a list of the best ones. Seriously man, "Time of your Life" was on that album. If something was played at more than 500 middle and high school graduations it should be disqualified from a list like this. They even had the gall to rank albums by the Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks below Dookie. Ridiculous.

"Alternative Ulster" by the Stiff Little Fingers
"What do I get" by the Buzzcocks
"Suspect Device" by the Stiff Little Fingers
"I Don't Mind" by the Buzzcocks

Then there's the fact that they put Never Mind the Bollocks... at number 1, but arguing that is a losing fight. I feel like I'm Will Ferrell in Zoolander when no one else realizes that Ben Stiller only has one look. Why doesn't anyone in the punk community stand up and admit that the Sex Pistols fucking suck??? God damn they were assembled by a manager with a specific goal of an image, for chrissakes they're the fucking Monkees. Except I like the Monkees better.

I could go on forever here (Putting not that punk albums on by Nirvana and Sublime when both had output with much stronger punk influence, same goes for Blink 182) but I'm gonna stop before I have a fucking brain aneurysm.

End transmission.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the connection between Bob Dylan and Dirt McGirt

So I barely ever post anymore because it's been the craziest semester of my life, and I have 2 weeks of straight library time ahead of me with ridiculous piles of work to do. But I've been listening to some cool stuff lately. First I'll start with something for Sean.

Secondary Modern - Elvis Costello
Watch Your Step - Elvis Costello
These songs were released one year apart on two fantastic albums. They sound really really similar. Still good stuff though.

Tainted Love - Gloria Jones
I just found out one of my least favorite songs ever is a cover from the mid-60s. This original is great. Interesting note about Gloria Jones: she has a kid with Marc Bolan from T. Rex, and she was the driver of the car that crashed and killed Bolan in 1977. (note: pic is of Bolan)

The Chills - Peter Bjorn and John
Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
Apparently high schools in Sweden have classes such as History, Math, and Perfect Pop Writing 101. Three words: drums sound awesome. Amazing production.

Kickapoo - Tenacious D
Like the man said: listen to this if you don't mind some cream in your jeans. I have always been a big fan of the D and I am psyched to see the movie. This song features cameos from Meat Loaf and Ronnie James Dio, so the awesomeness is baked right in.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Get Off!

So I think I discovered the next generation "I touch myself".

Her name's Olinda Cordova, she's a self proclaimed "Latin Pop/R&B Artist" and she hails from Denver, CO, a place I've always known to be a hotbed of spicy latin tunes. This lovely lady has recorded a gem of a song, titled "I Get Off". Now when I saw this, first I giggled. Then I thought, "that can't really be what it means, she must be talking about getting off a train or something". Nope. Ms. Cordova describes some lonely nights where she pictures my face (at least I think she was singing to me) and then she just gets off. Rock and roll. If this song was a little catchier it'd probably secure a place in the canon of absurdly inappropriate pop songs.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Floating down the river Styx with My Chemical Romance

So lately I've been catching this My Chemical Romance song "Welcome to the Black Parade" on the radio quite a bit. I have to say, whenever it comes on, I have a little more fun than I would expect from any mall rock song. Listening to it though, it's wildly obvious that the band has been enjoying Styx lately. "Black Parade" is an epic that carefully replicates the exact same formula that gives "Come Sail Away" its cheesy rock appeal.

You have the tender piano intro, the rousing drums, the "rockin'" section, the parallels to marching music, it's all there. For the most part, it's laid out in the same order too. To their credit, My Chem strays away from laying the schmaltz on as thick as Dennis DeYoung does. Is schmaltz even a word? It might not be. They progress from the balladry to the rocking fairly quickly, which does a lot to keep things interesting. As much as I might enjoy "Come Sail Away", the buildup does take forever.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is congratulations, My Chemical Romance. You've taken the model that was lovingly laid down by Styx and you've crafted a catchy/douchey powerballad. Is that even a compliment? I'm pretty sure it's not.

"Come Sail Away" by Styx

"Welcome to the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance

Also, Daryl Palumbo, the guy from Glassjaw and Head Automatica, has a new project in the works, called "House of Blow" along with one of the dudes from Hatebreed. Let's say you have Head Automatica and instead of being a band, it's a 10 year old kid. Let's say that 10 year old's single parent, Glassjaw, is just not around too often, so the kid ends up with a babysitter that he spends a lot of time with. Now let's say that the babysitter in question is Portishead. That little boy would grow up to be House of Blow.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fuck Thanksgiving.

I have never been a fan of this holiday. I'm not really much of a football watcher on my own, I have never really been very big on turkey, I don't shop, there's no Frank or Bing albums dedicated to it, there's just nothing in it that appeals to me. Since I don't enjoy the holiday and there's no fun pumpkin pie music, I ended up listening to Moss Icon.

"happy (unbounded glory)" by Moss Icon

After that, I sorta just started checking out some stuff I had never really listened to. Don Caballero, for example.

Usually a song title that long would turn me away instantly, but I'm glad I looked past that. This song's really all over the place. The percussion is mad primal, there are these odd bouncing melodies, metal guitars, and together it's all very spastic and funky.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In Which Kelly Clarkson ups her Shitkicker Quotient...

So according to the man (as in "damn the ___", not "you da ___"), former Minuteman and current stooge Mike Watt has already started laying down some bass tracks for Kelly Clarkson's next album.

"It's Expected I'm Gone" by the Minutemen
(sublime samples those drums for "get out")

"Corona" by the Minutemen
(I know you recognize the beginning of this song)

"The Red and The Black" by the Minutemen

I'm pretty sure I had a wet dream just like this, except in my dream Ted Leo was there too. Him and mike were back to back, with Kelly in between, all three of them leaning in and singing into one mic, a rock and roll sandwich. Ya know what, I think I'll hit the hay as soon as I finish typing this, and maybe then my dream trio can rock me on to morning once again.

"Since U Been Gone" by Ted Leo

I'm hoping something like this will figure into the dream too.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Out of my element...

So I headed over by Penn station yesterday to check out applecon, which was basically a bunch of vendors selling cheap and overpriced comics to the pimpled masses. Now I love comic books, but I have to admit I was in way over my head at this thing. Even though it was a bit intimidating and overwhelming, I did get to meet Adam West (who is every bit as ridiculous as Family Guy makes him out to be), Joyce DeWitt from Three's Company, some old Playboy models, someone from that show "Head of the Class", most of the cast of "The Warriors", and other assorted Z-list celebrities. Plus I copped a sweeeeet Silver Surfer T Shirt and a free DragonForce poster.

a pbr's worth a thousand words

Thankyou, Said the Gramophone.

Friday, November 17, 2006

technical difficulties

Okay, so I said a couple posts back that I was done with using and switching over to and that now you should just right click the links and save as. Well, apparently I was wrong and that won't work. So just click the links and it should take you to a page where you can download the song. I'm really getting tired of both of these websites and if any readers out there know of a better way to do this, do us all a favor and let me know. Thanks.

-the management.

I believe that is called al fresco...

So it looks like today is a big day for diminutive ladies of british hip-pop making potentially career damaging moves. Just a couple hours after I read about Lady Sov's breakdown, I came across an interesting little bit on stereogum about Lily Allen's, um, interesting little bits.

Just for those of you who missed it, that was Ms. Allen's boobie.

"Everything's Just Wonderful"(including my boob) by Lily Allen
"Everybody's Changing" (their shirts) by Lily Allen

Tune in next week when Cigar Box degenerates fully into an indie celebrity gossip rag, with features on the Conor Oberst sex tape (hint: it involves masturbation and crying), unflattering pictures of Julian Casablancas, and our ruminations on the possible reunion of Blake Sennet (Rilo Kiley/The Elected) and Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl).

Fuck The Pigs Friday!

Well, it's only 8:30 and today already sucks. I was rolled out of bed about 45 minutes ago because the police called my house to question me about throwing eggs at a man in Englewood, NJ. I don't even know where Englewood is, nor am I a 13 year old prick. Even when I was a 13 year old prick I didn't throw eggs at people. Fuckin' ridiculous. Anyway, I did get to laugh today at someone who probably does throw eggs at people.

Love Me or Hate Me... I'm still cute as hell.

According to the folks at pitchfork, Sovereign had a bit of a breakdown out in L.A. last night. It was so bad apparently that she was dropping to the ground and bawling, unable to complete songs, a total mess basically. Given my general feelings for Lady Sov these days, plus my own shitty day, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the story. Honestly as I write this now, I feel like a bit of an asshole, but hey there's nothing like someone else's trauma to cheer you up about your own trials and tribulations.

On the other hand, I did finally hear a track I like from her new album.

If I pose at weird angles, I might look like Nelly Furtado

"Those Were the Days" by Lady Sovereign

Thursday, November 16, 2006

File under X... or E.

I was pretty disappointed when I missed the Knife's Webster Hall show a little while back. I have really been digging on the Knife a lot lately and Webster Hall is basically the coolest place ever, so I was pretty excited for the show, right up until it sold out. I heard that their live performance was kind of lackluster, lots of using the laptop and such, but that didn't really ease my pain any. I stumbled across some youtubery today of them performing live and now I'm even more bummed about missing the show.

Trippy as balls is what that looks like, I think I need to head out to foreign lands so I can catch one of their shows.

Mixed, Remixed, Remixmixed.
I've been enjoying the Ratatat remix a lot lately, even spinning it a little bit more than the original. In general, Ratatat is doing good things for me these days. I'll definitely be elaborating on them and 9 beats in the future. As for the Trentemoller Remix... eh. I suppose it's tolerable., but I'm not feeling it nearly as much as either of these other two.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

914! Styles P

This video is nothing special, except for Styles P's backup dancers in the beginning.

Is it just me or is it kind of silly to say your flow is like crack when you're standing in front of Haring's "Crack is Wack"?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!

So I finally got around to listening to a couple tracks off of Albert Hammond Jr.'s solo album. With the first song I put on ("In Transit"), my knee jerk reaction is just to say, "It sounds like the Strokes," but then I remember that the Strokes don't exactly sound like this anymore. "In Transit" is an enjoyable song. Technically speaking, Hammond has a better singing voice than Casablancas, but that means it lacks the gritty edge. As I sit here, I'm really enjoying the song, but I can't shake the feeling that it's soon going to fade into my memory. That being said, I just moved on to "Everyone Gets A Star" and he's already starting to grow on me. Maybe I can just pull a "Ministry of Truth" move and replace First Impressions of Earth with his album in the history books. "It Never Rains In Southern California" and "Call an Ambulance" even move beyond the Strokes sound and go into a "beatles/something familiar that I can't put my finger on" thing. The only thing here that I don't really like much is this track "Scared", but hey, he's doing fine everywhere else.

In summation, thumbs up Al.

"In Transit" by Albert Hammond Jr.
"Everyone Gets a Star" by Albert Hammond Jr.
"It Never Rains In Southern California" by Albert Hammond Jr.
"Call an Ambulance" by Albert Hammond Jr.
"Scared" by Albert Hammond Jr.

Note: I've been having problems lately using, so I'm giving a whirl. The only difference for you the reader is that now you just need to right click and save as. Carry on.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fuck You Friday/Saturday Morning!

This is some black beans, doggie.

Is it too soon for me to say that I kinda like the song "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls? Do I have to wait until it's like 10 years older before it's acceptable?

"Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls

All the guy wants is to be loved and to be Paul Westerberg, is that really so much to ask? Maybe it is. One thing I do know, it is never a bad time to mention how awesome the Rezillos are.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

hi, my name is

I think My Name Is Earl might be the best show on TV right now.


Today a friend IMed me and asked if I ever listened to the doves. By coincedence, I was listening to "The Cedar Room" at the very moment when they asked me. It's the only song that I've ever really listened to by this band and my phase of listening to it all the time ended back in my freshman year of college. So yeah, it's kind of odd.

"The Cedar Room" by the Doves

The ensuing conversation led me to seek out some more music from these British fellows.

I feel like I've heard this before...

Ah, yes there it is. So maybe they had a little help with that chord progression, so what? They picked a great genre to jack from. Up the Girl Groups.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

enon, white, hustle.

One thing I've never mentioned here is how much I like enon. Actually, I should say I like High Society by enon, I've never really dug too deeply into their other albums and what I have heard didn't thrill me as much as the High Society stuff.

I caught them for free once with the douchipster, but the show was actually kind of disapointing. I remember being really bummed that they didn't play my favorite song.

In case you didn't make the connection, "Window Display" is my favorite song of theirs. They did play "In This City" though, if I remember correctly, and I remember it being a good time. For whatever reason, I've also never mentioned how cool I think Barry White is. Maybe I've just been assuming that it was a given.

Listen to that production. Funky. That's really all I can say.

I guess while I'm on this rambling roll, I can mention how I like Apostle of Hustle. Like Enon and Barry White, there's a very interesting attention to detail in their production. There's no extraneous sound in any of it, even if it may sound overly layered at time, every single note is well placed.

These two songs couldn't be more different.