Thursday, March 29, 2007

The fall of the Bro-Man Empire

There are times when every man needs to just go out with the dudes, throw some high fives all around, and drink some beers in rapid succession. Now on these occasions, there are certain songs that will just help you bro-down with greater ease.

Do I even need to explain this one? Go find someone to high five, STAT.

This song has the perfect opening, it gives everyone a second to let their ears perk up in recognition, then enough time to throw their fists up for the rock. Plus, it's a guarantee that most of your companions will only be able to sing along to the "Oh Yeah! All Right!" parts, making it perfectly bro-tastic.

Rockin' Organs, Sweet Guitar Licks, and the Great American Pastime. John Fogerty gives us it all. He's like a Bro-Man Deity.

Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg invented the high five, with input from Silvio Dante. True story. Get ready for handclaps, fist pumps, and high fives galore when "your papa says he knows that I don't have any money!".

I have no idea why this song is so ripe for brodogging, but I've been through more than enough frat parties to know that it is. One of a handful of eminem songs that I can enjoy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

until that day, accept this as a gift

I got the Godfather game for Wii, so I've barely even sat at my computer in the past two weeks. This game may in fact be the death of my real life social life and my internet career.

I've listened to this new Dizzee track like 3 times in the last ten minutes and I have no idea how I feel about it. Sampling "It Takes Two" is always a good thing, I guess. It's mad weird that he keeps saying pussyhole though. I don't know if that's a British thing or what, but that word just makes me uncomfortable. I'm good with pussy, it's just that addition of "hole".

New Ted Leo is pretty cool too. At first I thought it was another Jimmy Cliff cover, but nope, it's an original. I really enjoy the way Ted Leo does reggae.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tiocfaidh Ár Lá

To paraphrase my brother, If I can't be black during Black History Month, then everbody doesn't get to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Damn right.

Happy St. Patrick's Day nonetheless.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm just all about covers these days

Usually when a band does a "punk rock" version of a song, it's terrible. No matter what I thought when I was 13, once you've heard one punk cover of a doo-wop/70s radio hit/bubblegum pop song, you've heard them all.

With any rule, there are exceptions. The first thing that comes to my mind is Indecision's cover of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven". It's great, they basically left the song exactly the same, cheezy keyboards and all, just added some distortion and hardcore vocals. Those keyboards really make the whole thing.

My other exception to the rule is Seaweed's version of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way". I'm sure I mostly love it because of Clerks.

The song's structure really does make for a good punk song, though, and the guitar work is quasi face melting.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I hate when I do this

How could I have written a post about great cover songs and left this out?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Whitest Rapper That Could

I just stumbled across an advance of Brother Ali’s newest album “The Undisputed Truth” due out April 10th on Rhymesayers and so far so good. For those who don’t know, this guy’s been putting out tapes since roughly 2000 and on his own until 2004. This is his second album through Rhymesayers and no, you’re eyes aren’t deceiving you – he’s a genuine albino. His rhymes are mostly reflective and laid out in stories. Live, he rock's no hypeman and doesn't miss a word and some of the accapellas he lays out are ridiculous. He’s actually goin’ on tour next month which I would love to catch, check his myspace for the dates.

From what I’ve read Ali’s been through a lotta shit since Shadows on the Sun was released in 2004 and from what I’ve heard so far, he’s got a lot to say. Tracks that caught my ear are Faheem, Lookin’ at me Sideways and Letters from the Government. They’ve got the depth I expect from his better tracks and the way he structures his rhymes can be very engaging. Ant nails it with the production leaving me to wonder why he couldn’t have pulled out something this soulful for the last Atmosphere release, but I digress. Check the attached clips and decide for yourself but from the few run throughs I gave it this has the potential to be another quality Brother Ali release.

Brother Ali - Faheem

Brother Ali - Letters from the Government

Brother Ali - Lookin' at me Sideways

Brother Ali - Prince Charming (shout out's to youtube)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Juding Books by Covers?

I really like cover songs. Even if the cover is terrible, I still find it interesting to see how someone else is interpreting the song. There are even some rare occasions where I like the cover more than the original. These are 3 examples.


"Dancing In the Dark"
covered by Pete Yorn

I know it seems blasphemous to say that Pete Yorn could do a song better than Bruce Springsteen, but the lyrics to this song are some of the Boss's most heartwrenching and he made a mistake when he threw those cheezed up synths on top of it. These lyrics needed an eeyore and he gave them a tigger. Pete Yorn and his mournful piano are that eeyore.

"We Will Become Silhouettes"
covered by the Shins

There's nothing wrong with the Postal Services version, it's a very enjoyable song. The shins version is just a GREAT song.


"On With The Show"
covered by the Get Up Kids

So this isn't even really a great get up kids song. The thing is, as a Mötley Crüe song, it's not even listenable.

Baby(s), I Love Youse

Congratulations to the 3 loves of my life on your Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction. I don't care if you're all around 40 years my senior, I'm still willing to settle down with any/all of you. Specifically Ms. Nedra Talley. I'm watching the webcast of Ronnie's acceptance speech right now, way to shout out Joey Ramone and Franky Lymon. I bet those dudes are totally high fiving in rock and roll heaven. And damn, you can still belt out the tunes and move it too. Estelle's stand in is pretty foxy too.

Stay tuned for the youtube clips, I haven't found any yet. The show does stream here though. Plus you can check out a cool Ronnie Spector solo single at Art Decade.

Monday, March 12, 2007

El Aes, Def Swim

Apparently keeping up with the Green Hornet is impossible but I'll try to make my posts semi-regular around here to spice things up a bit.

The Def Jux family has some new shit for yah ears. First off Aesop Rock has been working on his album None Shall Pass and reportedly getting close to polishing that off. In the meantime there are a couple clips of that up on his myspace page with some dope production from Blockhead on a few and 45 minute “All Day” mix he just produced and released in collaboration with Nike. When I first heard about it I thought this has got "sell-out" written all over it but after giving it a listen and reading Aesop's description of the project I was pleasantly surprised with the concept. The idea was to make a continuous track given a set of rules encompassing tempo, changes in the beat, etc so someone can use it as a mix for when they go running. My lazy ass isn't goin’ for a jog anytime soon but the beats are dope and his rhyming blends things together and it’s a good listen either way. I get why Aesop would jump on this but Nike? I still haven’t figured that one out.

Onto the founder of the label himself - Mr. El Producto. His new album I'll Sleep When You're Dead is due out March 20th and I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy. Compared to Fantastic Damage it’s a new ballgame but still reminiscent to the last release. Heavily layered samples rule throughout and El still holds down the mic with his familiar but matured flow. Buncha features on the album including Mars Volta, Cat Power, Trent Reznor and a few familiar Jukies. It’s a dense piece of work that’s been taking me a few plays to get my head around but for the production work alone I’d recommend it.

Finally Def Swim was released a couple weeks back, a free download from Definitive Jux and Adult Swim. It’s got 10 tracks including features from both upcoming albums mentioned above along with new stuff from Cage and a few others. I’m not quite sure of the aim of Adult Swim lately with all of these hip hop partnerings but I’m sure it works well for the label/artist. I honestly haven’t given it the best listen yet so I can’t really comment on how good it is overall but you can’t go wrong with free.

Here’s a couple links and clips for yah to check out the above mentioned –

El-P - The Overly Dramatic Truth (live at the Plug Awards)

Aesop Rock - All Day Mix Snippet

El-P Myspace Songs

Def Swim

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Just a Friendly Reminder

Winter's generally not really a time of year that I listen to much hip hop. It's not like a rule I have or anything, it just always seems to work out that way. So since I'm really listening to a lot of kinda dreary music lately, the site sort of follows the trend. Case in point,

I just want this to serve as a reminder, or maybe a reassurance, to all of our readers out there across the globe, that I still think
Ghostface is cool as fuckin' hell.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Greatest Place on Earth

MC Abstract Douchipster alerted me the other night to a Ted Leo documentary being shown on Starz about his set at Sirenfest. I couldn't really stand the way the whole thing was shot, so I eventually turned it off, but it did have some awesome performance clips, especially the one that reminded me how fucking awesome "Biomusicology" is. I want to give Ted an award for best song ever on that one. Or maybe a gold star sticker.

Just watching the piece of the doc that I did made me start thinking about Siren fest. The only one I made it to was 2005, and it was a blast. I was pysched about seeing Q and Not U and Spoon, but even if I wasn't, worst case scenario is that it's a day at Coney Island.

I mean, how can you beat a day at Coney Island? Last year, I didn't go because of the lackluster lineup (scissor sisters, tapes n tapes, and art brut can all suck it), but talking to the Douchipster we decided it's really worth it to go whatever the lineup may be. All that said, I'd still prefer a good lineup to a shitty lineup. You also have to take into account the space limitations at Coney Island. You can't have a band who's going to bring in the obnoxious hoards of people, because you still need room to breathe. So with all that in mind, here's a couple bands I'd put in the top of my fantasy lineup.


It's gonna be all hot and sweaty out anyway, so why not listen to a band that makes me hot and sweaty everytime I put them on?


So they've had to cancel shows before because of tour exhaustion, that's okay. Coney Island is nice and close to home. Plus I really want to see Beirut live.

Two Gallants

The whole southern piss rock thing vibes well with the heat. So maybe it'll be a very different kind of hot afternoon than they'd have south of the Mason Dixon, but there'll still be tons of fresh lemonade.

The Features

I just want to see the Features and if I have a chance to see them, then ride a roller coaster, instead of seeing them in some shitty venue, well that would be awesome.


There's never a bad time for breezy synth pop, but the summer is certainly a great time.

"Here Comes a Special Boy" by Freezepop


I saw Feist open up for Bright Eyes, and the lady is quite a performer I'd have to say. I missed the beginning of her set though, so it'd be nice to catch her again.

On your radio dial

I've been a casual fan of the Peak since it started broadcasting almost three years ago. I mean, it was still typical rock radio fair, but it was a good mix of classic rock with more contemporary stuff, plus they were never a station to just stick to the singles. Whereas most radio stations will play "Rock The Casbah" till your ears bleed, I remember catching "Clampdown" and "Lost in the Supermarket" on the Peak on more than a few occasions. Sometimes they'd even spin a Smiths track. Apparently now they're trying to move even further from mainstream commercial radio, including live music and studio cuts from regional acts, plus more Indie rock. I caught the tail end of "Phantom Limb" tonight as I was driving around at work, then heard the DJ say he'd be spinning some Kings of Leon within the hour. I went and checked their website's playlists and saw that they've actually got some pretty cool stuff in heavy rotation, like PB&J and Albert Hammond, Jr. Plus it's not even like they just play Phantom Limb, they've got a couple other Shins tracks going through rotation too. Although it'll be hard to steer myself from Conservative talk radio I enjoy so much, I'm definitely gonna be listening to the peak more these days.

Each one of these tracks has been played on the Peak at least once in the past day or so:

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Some friends of mine are now writing for their own sports website. I like watching the Mets and reading the headlines about them, and I think the Steelers are cool, but that's really the extent of my interest in sports. So if you're more interested in sports than I am, you should check out Back Row Opinions (Get it, B-R-O?).

Songs I Like By Bands I Don't, Pt. 1

The Rolling Stones

old guys.

I've always been against the rolling stones. Even when I was young, I just thought Mick Jagger was fucking lame. Sometimes, it's beyond me how anyone out there doesn't fucking hate him.

It's not even just the tights and knee pads, I was never really crazy about his voice either. It just never hit me right. Plus Keith Richards is a pretty good guitarist, but damn sometimes his licks are just plain boring. So there's all that, plus they're so goddamn old looking. I mean, I know everyone says that, but you have to understand, I don't remember any time in my life when they didn't all look like they were pushing 70. All that being said, there's still exceptions to every rule.

I've liked this song for as long as I can remember. I didn't realize that it was the stones, however, until I saw the movie The Fan, with Robert DeNiro. Even though I was pretty young (way too young to have watched that movie) I still felt conflicted that a song I liked was by the rolling stones. I think one of the big things that made me like the song at first was that he said "sex".

"I am Waiting"

Good song. Jagger's vocals don't really bother me so much here, he's just kind of straight up singing, not making annoying Mick Jagger noises. The real reason I like this song though is that it was in Rushmore. Everytime I hear it, I picture Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman doing bunnyhops on their bicycles.

"Moonlight Mile"

This is another one that I really love because of its association to non-stones related pop culture. I might not have liked this song if I had heard it for the first time on the radio, but in the context of the last episode of Sopranos season 6, it was perfect.

"Beast of Burden"

Now this is one time where I just have to take my hat off and say, with no excuses, damn rolling stones, you have done a fine job. Mick Jagger's vocals fit perfectly here, but the real star of this goddamn show is Keith Richards. His guitar wanders all over the track, without ever losing the groove, and the sound he squeezes out of that thing can't be described as anything but "pretty".

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I Love You, Jesus Christ...

A good friend of mine is out in Scotland right now and since him and I discuss music on a fairly regular basis. Figuring he would enjoy it, I sent him In the Aeroplane Over the Sea tonight. I've been in a big "listening to albums front to back" phase lately, and this is one of those albums that's really perfect for that. In listening to the album as I sent it, I just started looking around for information on Jeff Mangum, since I hadn't really known too much about him and Neutral Milk Hotel. I came across this article by Kevin Griffis that I really enjoyed, called "Have You Seen Jeff Mangum?". It goes through bits of interviews, band history, personal reflection, lots of good stuff.

In turn, he put me on to a track by Beirut that I hadn't heard; an alternate version of "Scenic World" from the Lon Gisland EP. The electronic elements are completely removed and the whole cheery mood of the song is changed into a much more mournful vibe. It's a really great contrast to the other version.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Fuck new wilco, forget about a new wham wham wham album, there's a much more important release on my horizon.
Just finished listening to the track "Like What I Got" from the forthcoming release and the beat is fantastic. It's really no "still tippin'" production wise, so I'm hoping that the album's got something better for us, but even if it doesn't, I'm excited. It's been far too long since the release of "Who Is Mike Jones?" and apparently there's a beef squashing track with Jones, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, and Lil' Flip. I can't fucking wait.

Human Television

Last night I realized that not only can I watch NYC TV at work, but I get it at home too. If it wasn't for this gem of a channel, I'd never get to watch cool music videos somewhere other than a computer. I also never would have gotten into this band, Human Television. They have a great floating sound, and very Johnny Marr guitars. It's the kind of stuff you could dance around to just as easily as you could lie on your back and enjoy. Check out their myspace for a couple tracks that I'm not posting here, they're all really worth listening to.

x gonna give it to ya

I usually start out my posts with saying how long it has been since I last posted. I'm not gonna do that any more. Hopefully people know to expect about one post from me a month. Sorry, I am just lazy. Although it's now March, I thought about writing the best-of list from last year, and I still might.

So about a year and a half ago, I randomly got this song "Take Ecstasy With Me" by the Magnetic Fields. It became a favorite, and eventually led me to start getting into the band (although a year before that i had bought the album I and hated it, now I love it). I started to download random Magnetic Fields songs and was falling in love with this band. I finally bought the album Holiday (because it had my favorite song on it), and was shocked to realize the version on the album was not the one I had been enjoying. The mp3 I liked was sang by a girl, while the album version had Stephen Merritt (who could never be mistaken for a female).

The other day the Green Hornet asked me if I had heard the !!! version, and I assumed that the version I had was that one, so I said that I had. Today, upon further review I realized the version with the girl (Susan Anway) was the Magnetic Fields and they recorded it for a Merge Records 10th anniversary compilation. Today, I bought the !!! version on iTunes to make sure I had the correct one, and it's really good.

So what is the deal with this song? As usual a Stephen Merritt song, gay undertones ("we got beat up just for holding hands"), but basically a love song. All three versions have a great propulsive beat going, but !!! take it to another level.

Take Ecstasy with Me (album version) - Magnetic Fields
Take Ecstasy with Me (Susan Anway version) - Magnetic Fields
Take Ecstasy with Me - !!!

While we are on the topic of ecstasy (does it sound like I have an issue with this drug or what?), here's the awesome New Order song "Ecstasy"

Ecstasy - New Order

OK, one video then I'm gone. I have no idea of the origins of this video, but for some reason it is hilarious. I think this guy actually takes himself seriously. I kind of enjoy the beat.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I'll be your new companion on this here cigar-box and a heartfelt thanks in advance for perusing my ramblings and tandems bout the wide world of music, etc. as I see fit.

Quick rundown, I met the Green Hornet through a friend of a friend of a special friend, did some unspeakable things and the rest is recent history. But enough about me, onto the music.

This past Tuesday saw the release of halo 22 from Nine Inch Nails, a DVD showcasing their winter/spring 2006 tour. First post I'm gonna take the semi-easy out but still attempt to be objective - I saw NIN 5 times spanning their latest 2005-2006 America run...That said this DVD does do a very good job of capturing the heart of what Trent and Co. were going for theatrically. The set list includes all the old and recent hits, and a few rarities, with the visuals being impressive with the band sounding tighter than ever considering a recently formed ensemble.

Compared to NIN performances of yesteryear this seems reflective given the raging destructive days circa The Downward Spiral/ Closure, but is that a bad thing? All bands grow up, with few continuing to producing creative and progressive music yet I'd argue this is one of them. All in all I'd suggest it to anyone remotely interested in NIN with $12 in their pocket, and kudos for trying to push the envelope with multiple releases on BlueRay and HD-DVD, hopefully my broke ass will get to see those one day.

Until next time, I leave you with these live NIN tidbits -

DVD footage

Ruiner (2007)

The Becoming