Archive | June, 2011

Ya Mo Burn This Place To The Ground: Friday Night Videos

25 Jun

Just because I’ve been doing my silly impression of him today. An all Michael McDonald version of Friday Night Videos.

I Keep Forgettttttin

The making of I Keep Forgettin

Yep had to put up Ya Mo Be Theeeeeeere(produced by Quincy Jones no less…)

And OMG someone finally put the FULL Rick Moranis does Michael McDonald from SCTV.(where he does the rug ad as McDonald and Ride Like The Wind spoof.)

Kurt Vile:American Genius?

21 Jun

I’ve been trying to figure out if Kurt Vile is a genius all week, because while I certainly liked Childish Prodigy, finally taking time to sit down with Smoke Ring From My Halo has told me that he very well might be one. Critical comparisons with Tom Petty didn’t seem so apt until I heard this release. Part of the greatness of this album comes in the form of a production and tone that resembles Full Moon Fever and Learning to Fly era Petty, but his lazy slurred vocals and assured swagger keep the album rocking even at it’s most mellow. There’s none of that indie “we’re oh so deep and epic” attitude that has spread like a plague through a multitude of “rock” releases. These are just random thoughts I felt like mentioning, I’m not doing a full review.

But, since some of you like a good review here it is.

Check this album out, it is one of the best of the year thus far. Easily. Kurt Vile is an American genius who might be able to finally kill synthesizers dead with austerity and acoustic guitars.

There review over.

Hey You What’s That Sound: Foster The People-Torches

20 Jun

Let’s keep it real, sooooooooo many people are talking about Foster The People(women primarily) and I’m not sure why.In fact they are playing here in Austin and I believe they’ve already sold out Emo’s way in advance, which is certainly an achievement. The hype about this band is so insane that I’m going to cut through it in the interest of fairness and giving the music an actual chance.

First, all of the big three songs from their EP are here, Helena Beat, Houdini, and Pumped Up Kicks. I think that’s a good thing, I always get frustrated with bands who make me track down another release when realistically they could just place those tracks on their debut.

And those three songs aren’t bad, but they aren’t necessarily good either. In fact much of the overtly unmuscular, clear production strips the guitars of any personality and leaves the dance moves far too stiff away from the icy coolness that the ace dance tracks have. The lyrics all fade together with pitchy vocals that reminded me of Mew or Passion Pit, without any of the occasional genius of either band mind you.

Honestly, I don’t really dislike any of the songs on this album, in fact if they came on the radio it would provide a relief from the epic fail array of Arcade Fire singles. But, you also know it’s pretty bad when you hear the beat to Houdini and instantly wish you were listening to a Billy Squire song that has the exact same beat.(Because we all know Billy Squire was in fact pretty much shit.)

The whole Foster the People album and phenomenon reminds me of Phoenix, except that Phoenix had at least paid their dues by releasing a few albums that werent that well received and played with Air for a few years.(They also had released “If I Only Feel Better” early in their career, which was unstoppable.) Maybe another apt comparison is Supertramp, another band who specialized in pitchy vocals and doing everything their peers had already done in a perfectly ok way.

Anyway that’s beside the point, the album is so safe and semi-catchy, there’s little for me to really pick out as noteworthy or something you must here. But, if this band isn’t headlining fairly large tours of their own or opening for Maroon 5 in the next two or three years I will be shocked at how the world has wised up against such mediocrity. Anyway, the band is better than I figured, but again that also doesnt mean they are particularly good either.

Friday Night Videos Returns…#1

18 Jun

Deerhoof-Running Thoughts. Yes they have a new album out, but I’ve been more in the mood for this song as of late.

Ricardo Villalobos-I Try To Live(Can I Live) Simply put this is how you make interesting electronic music and DJ, it’s an old classic, but good.

M.A.R.R.S.-Pump Up The Volume

Sample based awesome rocked the 80s, still owns it today. Also love the Space footage. One of the ones I remember from back in the old classic FNV days.

Hey You What’s That Sound?: Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Rome

17 Jun

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi “Rome” (2011)

There are a few facts that I want to lay down about this album before getting into the details.

1. Norah Jones is a truly brilliant singer who is defined by an earnest wistfulness that commands even songs that she hasnt written.(check out the excellently compiled Featuring…Norah Jones album for an array of examples)

2. Danger Mouse has segued from unknown Atlanta producer into respected industry veteran beautifully.

3. Post White Stripes and supermodels Jack White does whatever he wants because he’s a musician’s musician, who always puts it down.

All that being said the new Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi album is a spaghetti western influenced soundtrack to a seventies European film called “Rome” that doesn’t exist. Over 5 years of work and star turns from the aforementioned Ms. Jones and Mr. White have resulted in one of the best releases of the year.

While pages from the Lalo Schiffrin and Ennio Morricone playbook are certainly visible, there are moments on this record such as “Black” that resemble the muted melancholy of the excellent and underrated Danger Mouse production “The Good, The Bad, & The Queen.”(which is arguably the best Gorillaz album, even though it doesn’t have their name on the cover.)

The best way I can describe this album to you the reader in a way that will make you want to get it is that it sounds like an Air album. In fact the instrumentation and mixing sounds reminiscent of their recent release “Love 2,” however I do want to say that the overall feel of the album reminds of that far too brief era when Air was one of the best bands in the world. While this record may not hit the heights of Moon Safari, it does match some of the grandeur created by Air’s own Virgin Suicides score. To me “Rome” harkens back to that recent era of lounge influenced music that could create a certain ambiance around your daily life. You could put on albums by artists like Air, St. Germain, or Thievery Corporation in the background of a chill party or while driving around in your car and every time the retro vibes and the pan-cultural magic they created made the world seem instantly more electric. Honestly this album hit me that way. So while I could easily go into full breakdowns of excellent songs like “Season’s Tree” or “Two Against One,” I would instead recommend just checking this fantastic album out.

Rock and Roll Kills Braincells? (thanks NME)

15 Jun

Just a quick link that is worth your read

http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=125&p=10369&more=1&c=1
NME has done a hilarious series of blogs, “Does rock and roll kill braincells?” which involves quizzing rock stars about random bullshit they’ve said and done in the past. It is also making me chuckle too much during class. This one is about Johnny Lydon of PIL/Pistols fame. Anyway, sometimes you have to huzzah the work of other blogs!

Baaaaasketball

13 Jun

Yes I owe a review of the new Danger Mouse album, but since the Mavericks are playing to win the championship you have to wait! However you do get the legendary Kurtis Blow!

Missed Opportunites

10 Jun

Saw Super 8 tonight, and it was ok. But, I feel it was a missed opportunity by the filmmakers to not include the song Super by Neu! Or maybe I just feel any time you aren’t rocking to Neu!  is a missed opportunity.

Nellie McKay returns…again

9 Jun

So according to stuff I’ve read on the internets, there is now a cabaret style show starring Nellie McKay about a woman on death row called “I Want To Live!” This idea sounds far more like Nellie than her most recent release Home Sweet Mobile Home, which had asense of earnestness I liked. However, I just wondered if that album really showcased the Nellie McKay we all fell in love with. She had always been so sassy and irreverant, and now she had an occasionally wistful album where she performed raggas about love. Well it seems that this new show could be a return to the classic Hollywood theatrics and hypermodern hilarity that worked so well for her on the excellent Obligatory Villagers. So I’m going to encourage my New York peeps to check it out, since she doesnt seem to want to tour at the moment.

old school Nellie

Your favorite danceable grandma

7 Jun

More videos…basically I’m stuck in class, this is the only thing getting me through because it is now on repeat in my head. I just hear the random electro part and her sayin “Who’s that gigolo?” remixing at will like every 10 seconds. Song=great.