Thursday, May 31, 2007


Some comp I picked up a long time ago had a Joe Strummer solo track on it that I really didn't like too much. I really love the Clash, and I didn't want anything to sour that, so I stayed away from Strummer's solo work for a while. Today, I happened to come across the (almost) titular track from the Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros album Rock, Art, and the X-Ray Style. I almost went to change it, but the hand percussion really caught my ear. The guitar is really subtle, taking a backseat to the percussion, and is very sweetly melodic. Strummer's vocals are gentle, but still keep his identifiable edge. I'm not sure if this will lead to me listening to more of Strummer's post-clash work (his cover of "Redemption Song" is just so terrible), but I'm definitely going to keep spinning this song.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

For those of you keeping score at home...

Kanye's take on "Young Folks" is not nearly as cool as his take on "Throw Some D's".

here we see him biting off the Phrenology cover...

Friday, May 25, 2007

New York, I love you but you're bringing me down

I mean it, New York. You're bringing me down. Of course I love reading your magazine, even if the trust fund smarm that saturates the real estate sections trickles out into the other articles on occasion. I really enjoyed everything you said about James Murphy and thanks to a little blurb in your magazine, I now listen to the Young Knives. Graphically, the magazine is fantastic and I always get a big kick out of the weekly approval matrix.

Except this week, that is. Honestly, New York, I am totally okay with you throwing the King of Queens on the lowbrow side of the charts. I mean, let's be real, Doug Heffernan is no Shakespeare. What burns me up is their location outside of the "brilliant" area, while the Gilmore Girls are placed smack dab in brilliance. Are you serious? Not cool, New York, not cool at all. Those girls could out chitchat a methfreak. Way to pick that over the hometown hero Doug Heffernan and his hilariously senile father in law.

I also noticed the other day that Jeff Tweedy strumming "I'm the man who loves you" by himself sounds a lot like Ani DiFranco's strumming "Fire Door". I'm not inferring he's jacking her song, it's just interesting how different the tune sounds without the rest of the band.

The new Lauryn Hill track is not at all what I was expecting it to sound like. I really like it though, kind of in the same way I like the Counting Crows song from Shrek 2. Maybe I'm just saying that because they're both soundtrack songs for CGI kids' movies. Maybe I just love CGI kids' movies.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Living with the Living

The more I spin this album, the more I'm falling in love with it and the more I feel like I was a dumb dumb for saying that the album wasn't much of a departure from Leo's previous albums. There are definitely certain songs that carry that same Pharmacists aesthetic, but there's a lot of movement in different directions here. I was kind of down on it at first, since I didn't enjoy the experimentation with "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb.", but "The Lost Brigade" is proving to me that Leo can move beyond his usual formulas with success. The swells when the vocals drop in are very well placed, the guitar cuts through like a knife, and the percussion is perfect. I've missed way too many free Ted Leo shows in the past and there is no way I'm going to let myself miss him at McCarren Park this year.

this weekend I drank 100 beers

I didn't drink that kind though, I drank this kind.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tej Leo / Pharmaceuticals

I'm having a big Ted Leo night, for no real reason in particular (maybe it has something to do with his sweet green shorts?). Not only am I finally giving his latest effort a good listen (well overdue), I've been checking out the Tej Leo album and the Mo' Living EP. I strayed away from tej Leo (?), RX / Pharmacists for a really long time because I heard it was weird and bad and the title just seemed to suggest absurd heights of pretension (pretension is only enjoyable when employed by myself or one of my cohorts). As it turns out, there are a lot of weird tape loops and effects experiments going on throughout the album, but there are some pretty cool moments tucked away in there. It's not something I'm going to throw on all the time, and it certainly doesn't have that Mellencamp-y "Timorous Me" vibe, but I'd be a liar if I said I regretted bringing it into my possession. The track "Walking Through" starts off rather discordantly, but it settles into a solid groove.

The first thing I thought of listening to Mo' Living was the beasties track "Time for Livin'". Aside from the obvious coincidence of the word "livin", there's a very similar aesthetic between the beastie boys foray back into hardcore and Leo's "Living with the Living". It's nice to hear Ted drop his pants and rock out with his wiener in full effect.

Moving from the song to Living with the Living, the album, there's a lot you could argue about. There's certainly not much (successful) movement away from the techniques that have made his previous albums so enjoyable. You could say that it shows a lack of imagination or creativity, but I'd have to disagree. Even if he's sticking to a style, this album still knocks it out of the park and it's really nice to see that Leo hasn't lost his touch after so many albums. I can't say that the album is perfect for me; "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb." seems to be the furthest from the "ted leo" sound (if there is one). It's maybe the best song title ever, and a real letdown of a song. That being said, there are plenty of high points to the album. "La Costa Brava" is sure to pop up on more than a few of my mixes this summer, especially with those ambling dreamy guitar lines, and "Colleen" has the perfect gait for seated car dancing. Plus "The Sons of Cain" has been one of my favorite songs since it started popping up on the internet a while ago.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Siren Fest

So a Sirenfest lineup was announced today and although my suggestions were completely ignored, it still looks awesome. I could do without Matt and Kim, but Elvis Perkins is my man, the New York Dolls will be a fucking blast, and the Noisettes are cool.

Daft Punk is playing at Coney Island, (A CONEY ISLAND) with the rapture. BEST CONEY ISLAND SUMMER EVER!

your time is up. my time is now

The new go! team single is fucking awesome. Very reminiscent of Ladyflash, which happens to be my favorite go! team track. The trumpets on the back are also kinda reminiscent of another great tune.

In other top stories, Druglas passed a blockhead track my way that I wasn't familiar with. Great dialogue sample and great organ on this one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Albert Hammond/Junior Boys at Hiro Ballroom

So, last night found the McAD and I at Hiro Ballroom to hear the Junior Boys DJ and to catch the Albert Hammond, Jr. set. The Hammond set was fun enough, but there were a couple big problems. First off, I was really enjoying dancing to some Jackson 5, when someone decided to cut it off so the band could get on stage. Wack. Then there's the issue of being all "ooh I'm gonna distance myself from the strokes and not play any strokes tunes". So instead he covers a Frank Black song (not a pixies song, but a frank black song. maybe a commentary on solo careers? who knows.). For as much as I could bash it, it was a fun set. But it was like drinking a miller lite when you're really craving an MGD.

The Junior Boys were fun, but they were kinda just rocking some house stuff, nothing that I really recognized. We did dip out during their set several times to drink cheap beers ($7 for one bottle of beer is just never okay), so maybe we missed something. I don't think so though.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

More Empirical Evidence that Vocoders Rule

I started writing this piece about songs that use vocoders versus songs that don't, and how the songs that use vocoder will always turn out better. A half hour later, I haven't done much of anything besides bob my head to wild amounts of daft punk and I can't think of any way that this half hour could've been better spent. My original argument had a lot to do with the fact that "Pop the Glock" by Uffie is a really fun head bopper and the fact that her non-vocoder material is kinda wack. Now, although her flow is suuuuper corny, I'm really finding myself enjoying her other tracks more and more. The production really doesn't hurt things, even if she comes off sounding like Tila Tequila most of the time.

So if you've just listened to those s
ongs and aren't convinced that the vocoder on "Pop the Glock" makes her sound a million times cooler, than you need to sit down with these next few tracks. They'll remind you how cool the sound is and for a bonus they'll shake your bouncy booty.

"Around the World" by Daft Punk
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk

On two political sidenotes, if you're not familiar with the blog Fight to Survive, it's definitely worth checking out. It's a blog maintained by Iraq war veterans, started during their time in Iraq. It's not always a particularly pleasant read, but I think it's important to see that there are folks who have witnessed Iraq's "liberation" firsthand, and still think it's wrong. My second sidenote is that I was calling into the John Gambling show late last week and the call screener asked me if they could call me on Friday to talk to Sean Hannity. Apparently they try and arrange for liberal callers so Hannity can have someone to argue with. So if you tune in during the earlier part of the show, (770am at 3 o'clock in the NYC area) you just might hear Sean Hannity going back and forth with the green hornet. Or they might not call me. We'll see.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

this n that

The breetard passed the new ergs! album my way the other day. I have to say that it's not really as instantly catchy as some of their older material (like "Everything Falls Apart Again"), but there are definitely quality tracks here. From my initial spins of the album, "See Him Again" is the first track to really stand out from the others.

On a totally different note, I've been feeling electronic music lately. I got six free song downloads with my rock the bells tickets, so I went ahead and picked up some Gui Boratto and Felix da Housecat in the iTunes store, along with an excellently titled Ghislain Poirier song. The Gui Boratto track comes off of a remix album for City of God. The tune really doesn't convey anything related to the amazing film, but it's a cool spaced out track that manages an interesting balance between the Brazillian influence and the house sound. The Felix da Housecat track is really a lotta fun, but like a lot of house it really takes a while to really get moving. That's the nature of the beast though, so I can't really front on it for that. The Ghislain Poirier track shakes the booties, as his tracks are apt to do, and does some crazy backwards sampling tricks that work out real well in his favor.

I also picked up the Bright Eyes guest spot from the new Dntel album. This production makes me really excited for a new Postal Service album. The Conor Oberst vocals aren't hurting my opinion of it either.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Grandma, Take Me Home

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been thinking / reading about Nirvana a lot (Did you know that with the length of his shotgun, he would've had to pull the trigger with his toe, yet he was found with his shoes on?). I'm not sure what's brought it on, but I've been enjoying it. Like most kids my age who were kinda sad in middle school, I was a pretty big Nirvana fan up until my high school years really took off. I remember catching the video for the song "Sliver" on some countdown show on Mtv (I think it was like the cast of Buffy's favorite videos or something... I wanna say Allyson Hannigan picked it?) and I just thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, all gritty and whatnot.

I enjoyed Nirvana before that, but "Sliver" was the first lesser known track that I really got into. I dug out my copy of Incesticide tonight and I still enjoy this track as much as I did when I was 13.