Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day...

what a year it's been. i almost can't remember some of it. well, some things i have tried to block from my mind and others i gladly remember. it was a year full of pain and doubt. lot's and lot's of doubt. still, i'm alive and typing this right now. i don't have much to say about this year. for those who know me personally, i guess it's okay to let it slip by because to tell you what took place might be a bit shocking. i don't want to bring up such issues with anyone unless it's a deep conversation between those who love me. i will say this though, i just want to apologize to those i hurt. i never meant to do any harm to anyone of you. if i was at fault i'll take the blame. if i was a huge jerk, i'll take the slap. if i was ever, in any way, shape, or form in another frame of mind from some sort of abuse to myself, i'm sorry about that and ask that you please forgive me. and after saying these things i want to point out a few other things. i'm most thankful for my family and friends this past year. without you people i wouldn't be alive. i mean that. if it wasn't for the love and kindness i would probably not be here now. coming home from college back in late march was a very hard thing to do. i left school defeated and i also left someone i loved there too. once i got home i had no direction to go in. but, eventually i began to meet new people and connect with my family again and because of that i, slowly but surely, started to build myself up once more and am now grateful for it. i'm not the same person i was back there. i'm healthier and more alive. i'm often at times, more happy than i use to be. and even now, during certain moments where everything seems at an end, i can let go of old memories that plague my mind and hurt, and pull myself out of those dark places. i can actually be free from the pain of my heart!!! yes, this past year was a doozy, and i'll never forget it even though i try hard to. i guess i learned a lot of things that will stay with me for years to come. that kind of education you can't get anywhere else.

okay, so this is my last music post for the year 2009. some might take it seriously and try to post something huge, epic, and totally above and beyond what you might think of as "important" subject matter for a year end final post. heck, i could go about and make a tiresome "best of" list for the year or even the decade. i'm not gonna do that because many already have. i will say though, that these first ten years of the new millennium have been disappointing in many ways. first off the music isn't nearly as memorable to me as the 90's were. second, movies nowadays just suck. they suck and aren't original anymore. there are but a few i would mention here as being terrific, but alas, i'm not going to do that. and third, people in general aren't as great as they use to be. maybe i'm an old soul trapped in a young man's body, but what the heck happened to morals??? why are we all so focused on the flesh and venom that comes from our own mouths??? ugh, anyway that's all i'm going to say. for my last post of 2009, here is the awesome punk band, Dillinger Four.

okay, so according to what i just posted above, the music in the new millennium has been disappointing to me. so why is this band (and all the others i posted) considered good in my book??? well, i'll tell ya!!! the word here is, ORIGINALITY. all of the artists i post on have that great quality that separates them from the rest. okay, so i know some of you won't agree with me when it comes to a few of my selections, but that's totally fine. to find originality you have to listen hard and study the points of the artists. even their sounds might resemble the work of others, but there is a difference there that can be subtle and spread about in various places. also, the artists i post on take inspiration and show respect to those that came before them. so much aping happens in the music world today that it all becomes mush in my ears. but here, i can safely say that this isn't mush. it's actually a good listen and dillinger four are a part of that cannon.

these guys are major players in the orgcore world of punk. they only have four releases under their belt, but that doesn't mean they are tired folks. nope, they just take their time to make great music. they craft their songs like an artist might carve ice. there is a sense if maturity here despite the punk rawness of their music. these guys started way back in 1994 in minnesota and are still present today. many punks have seen them live, but many more haven't since they seem to be a sort of rarity when it comes to live shows. i'm not sure, but i think the last time i heard of them playing was at The Fest in gainsville florida. i still want to go to that and right here, right now, i'm making my first new years resolution to go to that festival next october. (that is, if we all are still here of course)

dillinger four have, well, four albums out there for ya. right here right now you can listen to them all!!! first is the debut record, Midwestern Songs of the Americas. second we have Versus God followed by Situationist Comedy. and last we have the album that took six years to happen, Civil War. some say that all punk sounds the same and that the genre is stale and even dead. that's not the case with dillinger four. enjoy!!!

happy new year...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Emo Is Dead

this here is a link to what i like to call, "the holy grail" of emo music. all that stuff i love and others love is contained here. this is really special, out of print, hard as all heck to find stuff. but still, there are lot's more bands of this style and nature that won't be found here, but this is your starting place. enjoy!!! oh, and pat your computer on the head because it might have a hard time with all this music!!!

The Sadness...

a funeral is often a hard thing to witness, let alone be a part of family wise. i went to a funeral yesterday. it was for a man whom i have known pretty much my entire life. he was a rude, often times nasty man, but not at all like that later in life. for you see, he changed a lot, and i took notice of it. the last time i saw him he asked me how my life was. i told him about college and all the hardships i went through. he was caring for the first time ever to me, and he asked about how i handled it. he actually wanted to know about me and in the end he gave me advice and showed a nice attitude towards me. in my early years he would tease me and get mad because i was always being awnry with my dad. this all happened mostly at powwows and such. this man was a huge, bulking mass of over 300 pounds per square inch, and when he entered a room or raised his voice you took notice. still, when you look down into a casket and see someone lying there dead, you begin to remember all the past times that happened. it's only natural to do that, and it's only natural that you probably start thinking about your own funeral. the service was nice yesterday. we all gathered down in lawton oklahoma for the wake. it was held at a little comanche church. if there is one thing i always remember about funerals, it's the songs. the one's i often go to are all indian funerals, and with those come the beautiful native songs. those songs carry people's prayers and emotions through the service. you can feel the tenderness that comes from those that sing them. you listen and hear the native language of whatever tribe the song belongs to. you hear it and know that this is powerful stuff. it has it's own healing powers. it makes you emotional yes, but it also heals you too. when people pass on, your spirit is broken down. you need something to help you put it back together. friends, family, and worship do just that. my memories of this man who died were not that good before we got to the funeral. but after spending some time with the family and talking about life, i began to think hard on other events that we shared and i came to find out there some good ones like the one i already mentioned. sadly he has passed on, and the family is grief strickened, but not all is lost. the man is no longer in pain and suffering and his faith has led him to a much better place than where we live. i believe that.

this music post is a large one in honor of a large man i once knew. the band's name even relates to what took place yesterday. this is in no way disrespect. i'm not trying to be cruel, but instead trying to lighten the mood. the man who passed loved eating and was always the one to get us going to the buffet or fast food place. that's one thing i will always remember him by. the guy loved to eat and was a great person to chat with when "greasin'" as we call call it. the band was called Funeral Diner and they left their mark just as this man whom i knew did.

this was another screamo/skrams band whom i discovered through many websites and forum posts. people often referred them to me when i asked of bands in these certain genres. these guys were from half moon bay, california which is about 25 miles or so from san francisco. they were active from 1998-2008, so they lasted much longer than most bands of this style. they recorded often, but kept their catalog in limited quantities and today their music is often purchased at extreme prices on sites like whatever and who cares. the band had former members from other screamo acts like Portraits of Past and Takaru which is awesome to take note because those bands were great as well. their early sound was 90's style emo and hardcore then later evolving into more dynamic variations like post-rock and indie. in all, this band was highly praised and worth your time if you dig this sort of stuff.

today is a huge mega post. i have here, pretty much their entire discography minus the countless splits, and singles. some of those hard to get recordings have been collected into full length albums and a few of those are here. okay, so first we are starting with their ep titled, The Wicked, then moving along we have the full length Difference of Potential, then next we have Three Sides Dead. the fourth post is the lp titled ...Is Dead, then after that we have the ep Swept Under and then their last full length lp titled The Underdark. that's my personal choice right there. and finally in last place is their final recording. the ep titled Doors Open. i know this is a lot of music here. give some of it a chance if you wish. you might like it!!!

rest in peace...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Knife Fight...

battling my way through the hordes of people at my local best buy and walmart, i stumbled upon the holy grail, or at least something that was ten dollars cheaper than anywhere else. with my hands sweaty, i leaned forward and grabbed the last copy of Lost: Season 5 on bluray, and quietly took it to the trolls counter. after sacrificing my christmas money to the corporate demons, i descended from the electronics section and made my way to freedom from the dangerous catacombs of low priced stores. all was well once i made it to my trusty steed, "Jeep Grand Cherokee: 1996 edition". with my music coming out only on the left side, i made the journey home through the treacherous ice covered streets of oklahoma, and onto the horizon sky with my treasure intact. along the way i passed many more obstacles like the gargoyle known as "star bucks" and the hell beast that guards the "little caesars pizza" joint. over city tundra and past broken down horses trapped under many feet of snow, i eventually made it back to my castle safely. i departed from my trusty steed after patting him on the dashboard, and walked the last walk to the large metal screen door that keeps me and my family safe from the outside world. once in, i took off my battle armor jacket and soft beanie helmet and took a long rest in front of my television. i popped in one of my newly collected dvd devices and started to watch crude adult humor programming. my quest was finally over, and just in time for dinner.

i have never been to canada, but i hear it's an amazing place to see. all the forests and untouched land just begging to be explored. of course if i went i wouldn't travel too far. i don't want to end up like the grizzly man... anyway, our northern neighbors have produced some fine artists that make creative music for people who care. i know this because i listen to a ton of them!!! artists like Broken Social Scene, F*cked Up, Metric, Billy Talent, and today's profile band, Alexisonfire.

i first heard this band through my early days of music exploration once i got my first desktop. this was way back in 2002 or so. these guys started in 2001, producing their own ep and gaining an underground following. they describe their own music as, "the sound of two catholic high-school girls in a mid-knife-fight." in reality, it's post-hardcore screamo/skrams stuff which i just dig so much. it's chaotic, but technically beautiful and full of so much angst that you can't help but sometimes scream along.

since the release of their debut album, the band has gone on world tours and dropped three more lp's. oh, and for those who don't know, the band's name is pronounced (alexis on fire). he he so with that brief history run-down, here is the debut album which is self titled. this is where they started and you can tell that right away because the music is sometimes off, and sometimes sloppy, but oh man, it's full of heart and delicate care towards the source material. check this out and give our friends from the north a listen!!!

i gotta be making my way hhhhooooommmmeeee...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Calling All Peeps...

this just in, christmas is over and the new year is about to happen!!! take up your glasses and tip your waiters, because this is the end people!!! times are gonna change and hopefully for the better. but really, in all seriousness, i'm glad to still be alive. this past year was probably the hardest yet, so i'm really REALLY looking forward to something new. i have plans that hopefully will happen. big plans!!! i just got's to take it all one day at a time.

oh, pitchfork news. what will young hipsters with no sense of direction do without your music reviews??? today i have one of 2009's best reviewed artists. she's young, pretty, and full of lots of talent. she was born in tulsa oklahoma (which i just found out) and currently resides in new york. here today is St. Vincent.

yeah, so i took up pitchforks high praised review and checked this girl out. i was very surprised at what i heard. she's making very moody music with great pop flavor. she's a multi-instrumentalist and did pretty much everything on her recordings. here's a bit of trivia for ya!!! she used to tour with the Polyphonic Spree and was also in Sufjan Stevans touring band!!!

the best way for me to describe her music is a bit electronic with a dash of pop brilliance, and mixed with bleak lyrics and then topped off with soft vocals. it all works very well and makes me wish i would pick up a guitar and make something as good.

today i have just one of her albums here. it's her second lp titled Actor and this is the one that's helping her make the indie scene rounds. recently she did a duet with Bon Iver on that teen vampire romance franchise sequel soundtrack, but eh. dig this album and enjoy!!! (p.s. the track "Actor out of work" is brilliant.)

You're a supplement, you're a salve
You're a bandage, pull it off
I can quit you cut it out
You're a patient, I am love

You're a cast on looking on
You're an actor out of work
You're a liar and that's the truth
You're an extra, lost in the scene

You're a boxer in the ring
With brass knuckles underneath
You're the curses through my teeth
You're the laughter, you're the obscene
Uhhh uuuuh

You're a supplement, you're a salve
You're a bandage, pull it off
I think I love you, I think I'm mad

You're a cast on looking on
You're an actor out of work
I think I love you, I think I'm mad
You're a boxer in the ring
With brass knuckles underneath
I think I love you, I think I'm mad

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter Wonderland...

oklahoma was declared a natural disaster zone this past holiday weekend. we were snowed in and didn't make it to anyone's get-together's. it was okay though. we were in good spirits for the most part and christmas day was good because i just laid around all day and watched some classic christmas programs. The Nightmare Before Christmas was on the disney channel and i guess it still holds up, but eh.

i'm thinking about sneaking out later tonight to go visit my other grandmother. she's stuck at her apartment and needs some company. i sure she misses my two little cousins who are currently residing in indonesia. i hope they had a fun christmas away from the states. i know i wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here.

short and sweet is this post today. here is an old school emo band from the 90's i forgot to post on. they were short lived, but left some really great tunes. often seen touring with Jimmy Eat World back in the day, this band hailed from denver colorado and existed from 1993 to 1997. the band was called Christie Front Drive.

the band cited influences like Superchunk, Buffalo Tom, Jawbox, and Drive Like Jehu. they released only two full length albums and several split ep's with bands like the mentioned Jimmy Eat World and another one of my favorites, Boys Life. in 2007 the band reunited with all the original members and played during the denver fest at the marquis theater.

skipping all the splits, here are their two essential releases. first is the Anthology lp which was a collection of early 7 inch records and singles. the second lp is called Stereo by the fans and it contains their last recorded output. be sure to give these guys a listen and keep your ears open for a few of my favorite songs like "drive" and "valentine".

i better check on the dog...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last Hurrah...

this will be my last post until saturday. i'm spending the next two days with my family and i don't think i will get around to the computer anytime soon. it's almost 7am here in oklahoma. the weather is about to change from wet and windy to cold and snowy. the forecast mentioned heavy snow tonight in the metro area. i believe this will be the first white christmas we've had in years. i'm looking forward to it.

the spirit if christmas is here. i just wish everyone could enjoy it. there are some in my family who would rather it be over. i don't know why they feel this way, but i can only assume. it's rather sad that it happens like that, but there's nothing i can do. still, despite those circumstances, i'm happy and it took a lot for me to get out of my awful rut from the past couple of weeks. my energy is there and my sleep is much much better. i can actually enjoy the entire day now instead of just sleeping it in!!! out there across the states i have several friends. right now i just want to wish you all a very merry christmas. it's times like these when we think of others more than ourselves and i can't help but think of all those i love and care about. i miss all of my old college schoolmates as well as some others whom i have met over the summer and such. i even miss some really special people who are close to my heart. (you know who you are!!!) they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. i have to agree because my heart is bursting with love and hope.

tis the season for great feelings and wonderful moments. going back to my childhood, i can distinctly remember all those nights watching the christmas specials on television. for me, the ones that always stood out were, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, It's A Wonderful Life, The Grinch, and my personal favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas. let's just skip that awful Star Wars Holiday Special shall we??? heh heh

over the years the show has never stopped being a tradition and even today i still see people cuddle up close and watch poor charlie brown and his little tree drop their heads. i always wondered why charles schulz treated charlie brown with such depressing outcomes. i think it goes back to people's childhoods. not everything was picture perfect, this i know. but, even though things seem bad for poor chuck, in the end the peanuts gang come along and cheer him up with christmas spirit and charlie brown get his point across on the true meaning of christmas.

which is something most people tend to skip or forget entirely. yes, christmas is about the birth of jesus christ. not santa, frosty, or mr hankey. do you all remember the scene where linus takes the stage and gives the speech about christmas??? well for it's time back then, i don't think this would have been considered controversial because people had better morals than they do today. if this little cartoon was made today, it wouldn't get it's chance to speek. it would get lambasted and blacklisted and probably burned in a first pit and run over by those dumb escalades and hummers.

christmas is always the time of year where things should be at their peek. the year is just about to end and all of the events that we survived through are going to be behind us and a new future is ahead. i look back on this year with fractured memories. i say that because it's true. some of the events that took place are broken to me. i wish i could not remember some, but i know they will forever be with me. my last year of college is the hardest to think about. i so wanted to make my last year the best year ever, but instead it turned into the worst situation and eventually led me to the hospital and then back home defeated. i still graduated in may, but the damage was done and i went back a former shell of myself. but, there was hope for me. this hope came in the form of my family and friends and most importantly, my wonderful church. getting to go to church has saved my life. no matter what mood i am in, or what i am thinking about, my church and the people in it have saved me from the brink of death. it has been a great blessing to finally find a place where i belong and am loved and cared about. i didn't really find it out west, but instead found it back home where it was the entire time.

tis the season for forgiveness and love. i have had to bite my lip several times in order to keep the peace. in all, i just want happiness and love amongst all my friends and family. to forgive someone is a trial that we all have to do sometime. to never forgive and stay bitter forever is more hard. i try my best through all the heavy storms to be a good person. i just hope i am.

i have here A Charlie Brown Christmas the soundtrack. it's a fantastic timeless collection of music made by the wonderful jazz pianist vince guaraldi. you all have heard these songs somewhere. standout tracks include the peanuts theme song "linus and lucy" my favorite one which is called "skating" and then the wonderful "o tannenbaum". if you are feeling nostalgic, check out this classic album.

merry christmas everybody...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fairytale Of Oklahoma...

it's that time of year again. the snow is falling, the chestnuts roasting, and the presents hiding. yes, it's christmas time and everybody is, hopefully, in better moods than they have been the past few months. i know i am, and i'm really happy right now because it seems my family has put aside their problems in order for us all to get together and celebrate this wonderful time of the year.

oh, and for a much different subject, i saw Avatar. being native american has led me, as well as most others who are also native, to decipher the differences between what's racist and what's probably not when it comes to indigenous perspectives. no, i'm not a full blood, but that doesn't really hinder me from knowing something when i see or hear it. i'm not going to go into a full on argument over the movie avatar, but i will make two points. the first point is this; go see this movie for all it's technical aspects. this really is the next evolution in film making with regards for computer effects over live action. the blending of the matters is quite stunning, and for the most part, you can't tell the difference between the two. this movie is a site to behold and i give it thumbs up for that. bbbbbuuuuuuuttttt, my second point is the other half. being a writer, it has become my job, (and habit...) of knowing good writing when i see it. on paper, the story of avatar must have felt good, but i'm thinking james camron was too full of special effects on the brain instead. at best, this movie is a sort of super duper combination of many films we have all probably seen before and isn't breaking any ground when it comes to the narrative. like i'm sure all the people and critics have said, this movie is Dances With Wolves, Ferngully, Pocahontas, and The Smurfs and rolled into one. and i also couldn't help but think back to several of james camron's movies, like Titanic, Aliens, and True Lies when watching certain scenes in this flick. so, where's all this racism i was complaining about. it's not hard to see it because they do a good job of shoving it in your face. the ideas in this movie read like this to me: "we need to have the bad guys act racist in order for the crowd to hate them and also question our current united states government. oh, and we also need to make references to old times like how all those native americans were killed by us during the cowboy days. oh, and last, we need to have all these underlings make a huge dramatic comeback at the end and savagely kill off all the white guys and get the crowd cheering." yeah, it's just like that. you all have seen this before. i have seen this before. it's nothing new and nothing original. once all the hype has died down, i know for a fact, that this movie will probably become the butt end of many jokes to come. if saturday night live hasn't done it yet, someone else will. (*cough* rifftracks *cough*)

okay, so going back to the christmas mood again, i wanted to post something that's feels a bit more festive to me. the following band has been around for many many years and have developed a huge cult following. they make wonderful music with heartfelt lyrics, not to mention, also having one of the best christmas songs ever. here today are The Pogues.

"what a bunch of ugly looking people..." i have heard that quote before. maybe in my mind, but also maybe from someone else. no, it's not nice to talk like that, i know. anyway, looks aren't important when it comes to the music, and these guys deliver. led by singer shane macgowan, who resembles spud from Trainspotting, the pogues came along at the right time. forming in 1982 after the breakup of several other bands, the pogues made a name for themselves quickly by their style of irish/folk music. to top it all, they played their tunes with the ferocity of punk rock. this was unheard of back then and totally original in every way. it's actually rather stunning to hear on first listen because it's just not something you expect. of course i can't mention the pogues without mentioning The Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly, both of whom are directly influenced by this band. seriously, if it wasn't for the pogues, those bands may not exist.

in their glory years, the pogues toured frequently and also partied heavy. shane macgowan is actually quoted as saying that he starting drinking by the age of four. he was a binge drinker and often performed live intoxicated. this all eventually led to the band firing him. joe strummer from The Clash took up vocal duties for a little while until long time member spider stacy took over until the band broke up in 1996.

in 2001 the pogues reunited with shane and did a few small dates. in 2004 and every year after that, the band has toured and have never been better. shane macgowan has dried up and gotten dentures since then. in 2008 i went to new york during spring break with some college friends. the pogues happened to be doing a three night stay at the paladium ballroom, and all during st patricks week. i missed this opportunity and i still kick myself today for not going. it would have been EPIC!!!

okay, so i have here two albums by the pogues. first is the elvis costello produced lp Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. second is their most popular album, If I Should Fall From Grace with God. this last album has the fantastic christmas song i was mentioning. it's called "fairytale of new york" and it showcases the brilliant lyrical talent that shane has. be sure to give the song and these guys a listen. it's great upbeat music that makes you want a pint and some friends near you.

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

Monday, December 21, 2009

You are (not) alone...

i recently got the first volume of the new redone Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series feature films. it's titled, You are (not) alone. Evangelion 1.01. surprisingly, it's quite good and not what i was expecting from the series. from the first time i watched the television series i was hooked. i have been telling those who do not know of it for a few years now. i, of course, got into it all after the initial hype came about back in the late 90's, early 2000's. it has since become one of my all time favorite television series ever, anime or not. I can't say that about much because in order for something to draw my attention that respectfully, it has to dive deep into my inner thoughts and soul. this series did just that.

i can't describe the series because that would take waaaaaayyyyyy tooooooo llllllooooonnnnnggg to do. instead i will just say that these new movie versions of the show make it all seem more sharp and focused. the original structure is revamped and flows at a much faster pace than the original television show. of course this is a movie, so audiences don't want to spend all day in the theater. (i could!!!) oh, and all the dramatic heaviness of the original show is here, but done much more nicer. it's not as cut and dry as i remember it being before. of course during it's original run, the director of the show was going through depression, so his actions and thoughts came through the characters he created. like i said, it's still here, but just not as intense which is probably a good thing. what really got me into the series was the drama within it. i was going through the hardest time of my life when i first watched this show, (during college) and i guess that's what made me connect to it. today i'm much much better, but still it's hard not to think about those old times i lived, and this show is a reminder of such things. despite that, it's still amazing to watch. so much anime comes out that is just shallow and not thought provoking. i believe this was one of the last few that actually had the guts to be something more than a merchandise empire.

okay, enough with that. now it's time for music!!! how about a little old school punk again??? for your listening pleasure, here is Hüsker Dü.

one of the few punk bands from saint paul, minnesota during the 80's, husker du were another one of the odd balls out of the bunch because they didn't really compare to their peers. they instead went a different way and played their own style of punk with a ferocity that might remind someone of buzz saws and metal grinders. they were thrashy without being metal, and indie without being hipsterish. (ugh, hipsters...) led by lead singer bob mould, the band payed crazy layered pop songs and injected the punk rock attitude along with it. bassist greg norton and drummer grant hart were the rest of the trio.

releasing several albums on sst records before being the first punk band to hit the majors, husker du would go on to inspire so many bands to come. they were one of the bands responsible for making the alternative genre, (i guess...) and their legacy lives on. they are broken up now and not much is going on in terms reunion shows, but mould would later go on on to form the awesome band Sugar and have a great solo career.

today i have my favorite albums by the band and two that are considered their absolute best. first is the amazing double album Zen Arcade and second is the pop masterpiece, New Day Rising. the last is another of the top 500 greatest albums of all time. so with that i hope you all have a nice day and jam some rippin' tunes!!!

It's a celebrated summer... (or winter!!!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The stars of track and field you are...

tonight was a great night. i went to my church christmas pageant and saw tons of people and witnessed an excellent performance . i felt a little bad before getting there though. my attitude was testing me, like always, and i found myself not wanting to go. still, i knew i made a promise to my two grandma's that we would all go together, so i tried my hardest to overcome my depressing emotions and have a good time, which i did. tonight, i wanted to beat my depression and be helpful and friendly and loving for my friends and family. i'm glad it all worked out. the actors were the church members and they killed it!!! after the performance we three went out and had some mexican food, so in all, it was a good night. i just wish good times happen more often...

and good times can still happen if we let them i suppose. i guess that's why i want to post some delicate pop music. here is a group widely respected in the indie rock/college world. they make some of the best love/life/love songs and remind me so much of The Smiths in some ways. in any case, i think it's time for me to introduce Belle and Sebastian.

being the huge music nerd that i am, i sometimes find a certain movie or read a certain book/article that contains music of interest for me. i love to go back and look up the artists who might have sparked my interest. this is what happened here with belle and sebastian. it was the movie, High Fidelity with john cusack and jack black before he hit it big time. there is a scene in the record store that john owns, where he asks the bald co-worker what music is playing in the background. the man says, "it's the new belle and sebastian. do you like it???" john nods his head and then they go back to shelving lp's and such. next comes jack black, striding into the room and stopping in his tracks. he says something like, "what the heck is this???" while pointing at the ceiling. the other guy tells him its belle and sebastian and jack black shakes his head, then goes over to the tape player, takes out the cassette, and tosses it to the ground replacing it with more upbeat loud music. john cusack get really angry and rushes over to shut off the player. "what are you doing man??? go ahead and listen to your old sad bastard music then..." jack says. john says some stuff then quotes a line that came straight from the high fidelity novel (a great read!!!) which i love and have quoted myself several times. "i don't want old sad bastard music, i just want something i can ignore." something to ignore...

belle and sebastian can be something to fill in the background yes, but they can also make you feel good and at ease. their beautiful sense of melody and patience pays off in the more "quiet" songs they chime about. but there are also some tunes that build up to high marks and show off the pop brilliance that this group has made. the band has been around since 1996 and are from scotland, and the music they make showcases a great sense of awareness and public opinion. follow me??? well i believe that it's usually the more quiet ones who speak the loudest when they know it's their time. and with that, belle and sebastian speak very loudly. their lyrics touch so many, and it's understandable as to why they have this huge following. heck, the best music of our lives touches us in so many different ways that we can't even begin to describe the sensations that take place upon our first listen. high fidelity didn't make me a fan of the band, but instead it made me aware of them. it got me interested in why you would want something to ignore. i have chose not to ignore this band, but instead to embrace them. if you know the story in high fidelity, i guess john cusack might have been in the right when he said those certain words. i mean, heck, the guy just lost his girlfriend!!! i'd feel pretty bland and depressed myself... ugh, and i was...

anyway, i have here their first three albums. album number one is called Tigermilk. its a great little pop ditty and has one of their best songs ever called "electronic renaissance". album number two is called, If You're Feeling Sinister, and is often considered their best work by many critics and even the band itself. every song on that album is pure gold, and it all flows so nicely. a great album to listen to. and third and last is The Boy With the Arab Strap. this is the other one that is considered their best. it's usually a tie between the 2nd and 3rd lp, but it's all good. oh, and the song that john was ignoring comes from this album. it's called, "Seymour Stein". please give these people a listen and don't forget to enjoy the good times.

Make a new cult every day to suit your affairs
Kissing girls in English, at the back of the stairs
You're a honey, with a following of innocent boys
They never know it
Because you never show it
You always get your way
They never know it
Because you never show it
You always get your way

Have you and her been taking pictures of your obsessions?
Because I met a [boy] who went through one of your sessions
In his blue velour and silk
You liberated
A boy I never rated
And now he's throwing discuss
For Liverpool and Widnes
You liberated
A boy I never rated
And now he's doing business

The stars of track and field, you are
The stars of track and field, you are
The stars of track and field are beautiful people

Could I write a piece about you now that you've made it?
About the hours spent, the [worldliness] in your training
You only did it so that you could wear
Your terry underwear
And feel the city air
Run past your body

Could I write a requiem for you when you're dead?
"She had the moves, she had the speed, it went to her head"
She never needed [anyone] to get her round the track
But when she's on her back
She had the knowledge
To get her into college
But when she's on her back
She had the knowledge
To get her [what she wanted]


well, as of right now, i can't seem to get any good connection to the call of duty modern warfare 2 servers. even though i have full signal strength, i still only get one bar, and with that comes miss after miss after miss after miss... I HATE IT!!! i absolutely hate it. there is something very wrong here, and i need to get to the bottom of it. i just hope i can find an answer somewhere in the internets...

just to make a quick post, i have here some really energetic music. they are a classic bunch, and held up in high praise for their awesome style. they were short lived, but like always, the best usually are. here is the almighty Operation Ivy!!!

one of the most influential punk bands ever, operation ivy got their start in albany, california. often held as the pioneers of ska-core or ska-punk, operation were way ahead of their short time. yes short, because they only existed from 1987 to 1989. members include lead singer jesse michaels, guitarist tim armstrong, matt freeman on bass, and dave mello on drums. after the band broke up, tim and matt went on to be one half of the band Rancid, which is another story all together.

looking up the cats online can be a tough one. it seems there is a serious lack of footage of them playing around... oh, and they got their attention by frequenting the local venue 924 gilman street, which is located in berkely california. this is where they got huge along with other gilman bands like Crimpshrine and Mr. T Experiance. their last show was may 28, 1989. at that show a little unknown band called Green Day would be opening up for them. in future years, green day would always do a cover of the operation ivy classic, "knowledge" at their earlier live shows.

so as you can see, this band was highly influential. today i have the one album that is the only thing out there for people to have from the band. it's titled Energy, and it consists of pretty much their entire discography. it was originally released on the now ghost like label, Lookout Records. in 2007, the album was remastered and re-released through tim armstrongs label, Hellcat Records and Epitaph Records.

in that re-release, jesse wrote a message for the people to read: "Music is an indirect force for change, because it provides an anchor against human tragedy. In this sense, it works towards a reconciled world. It can also be the direct experience of change. At certain points during some shows, the reconciled world is already here, at least in that second, at that place. Operation Ivy was very lucky to have experienced this. Those seconds reveal that the momentum that drives a subculture is more important than any particular band. The momentum is made of all the people who stay interested, and keep their sense of urgency and hope."

just a bit of the bands philosophy for ya!!! so go ahead and try this out. energy has become one of my favorite punk albums and summer albums as well. it's just youthful, energetic, angsty punk music.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

You're Undercover Funny...

well tonight was a fantastic night. i got together with two of my cousins as well as my step brother and a few other friends and went to the north side of oklahoma city to quail springs mall. we all went to watch the live rifftrax christmas special, and oh man, it was so much fun!!! the riffs were spot on and the old 1950's christmas specials were, to put it bluntly, really creepy and in desperate need of a riffing or two. my buddy jennifer, who i work with every summer on the indian falls creek splashes newspaper, also came tonight and gave me her old tom servo t-shirt!!! it's vintage and hard to find, so i'm a lucky dog!!! oh, and i also got a new jacket as well. it's leather and has an inside hoodie type thing that is spot on my style. and for one more thing to mention, the taco bell at the mall made me two perfect cheesy gordita crunch tacos with all the trimmings, which is something taco bell never does right!!!

since i'm in a rare good mood, i think it might be awesome to post some goofy fun music that isn't as serious as i usually post one here. i want you all to give me a chance here and dive in to the greatness that is, Atom and His Package.

here is a solo artist that makes synth punk music. he's got nasally vocals and quirky lyrics. heck, he's even got an emo side to him, but don't let that turn you away because the music is upbeat when listened to despite the lyrical content.

his real name is adam goren and currently, he's a chemistry and physics teacher. yeah, this guy is a total nerd and one who has a masters no less. i wish he was still around, playing basement shows and such, but the guy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, so he cut the live act down and now teaches full time. but, he did get his act back together and played at the Fest 7, in gainsville florida which is a goal of mine to attend one year. oh, and if you were wondering what, "the package" is, then you are possibly dirty and thinking dirty thoughts!!! ha ha, um yeah, so anyway the package is his QY700 music sequencer which he uses when he played live. that and his acoustic guitar. really, this guy is super talented and had a lot of guts to tour around the world and play all by himself. GUTS I TELL YA!!!

give in to the fun that is atom and his package and listen to these two albums here. first one is titled, Making Love, and second is, Redefining Music. not everything has to be serious, and i take that seriously... enjoy, and have fun!!!

you're only funny when i'm not around...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Didn't Know...

tomorrow night is an event to behold. me and some buddies are going out to the movies to watch "rifftrax" live!!! it's the christmas special, so it's only happening this one time only. special guests include weird al!!! if you don't know what rifftrax is, well you might want to click on this link here. yeah, so hilarity will ensue and good times will be had. i can't wait!!!

i have been up all day today, so i got some much needed beading done. while i was doing my work i listened to my music like always, and for today's post i want to brag on a wonderful 70's power pop band that not many know about. actually, you might know of them because their song "in the street" was used for the theme song for That 70's Show. the song was a cover version done by Cheap Trick. but besides that, here is the real band. they are called Big Star.

here is a band that has a very heavy cult status. usually bands with huge cult followings are something to watch out for because you wonder why they are held up in such high regard, and big star are one of those bands. forming in 1971 in memphis tennessee by members alex chilton, chris bell, jody stephans, and andy hummel, big star were way ahead of their time in regards to their musical style and lyrical content amongst all the popular bands of the 70's. these guys are often considered the predecessors of the alternative music scene of the 80's and 90's. in their first era they resembled the british invasion bands such as The Kinks, The Beatles as well as The Byrds and The Beach Boys here in america. but with the influence they took from those artists, they morphed the sound into their own and also included nihilistic themes and dark imagery. bands that haves stated big star as an influence include The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, R.E.M., Primal Scream, The Posies and Velvet Crush.

the band only released three records in their 70's era, breaking up in 1974. after the first album, chris bell and andy hummel left the group, but bell contributed some song to the second lp. chris bell has also become a sort of cult figure in the music world as well. he went solo after he left big star and many years later a collection of his solo material was collected into one complete album titled I Am the Cosmos.

often compared to the solo work of john lennon, chris bell made heartfelt pop songs about longing and want. it's very somber stuff and fits right up my alley when i consider how much i love solo acoustic work like Beck, Nick Drake, and Elliot Smith. sadly, bell would later die in a car wreck in 1978.

in the words of Rolling Stone magazine, big star created a "seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations". as i always seem to mention nowadays, all three big star albums are located in the Rolling Stone top 500 greatest albums ever made and rightfully so. when you first hear their music you wonder "why the heck did these guys never take off???" i thought the exact same thing. as it turns out, their record label never really backed them 100%. it was hard times for a great band and an issue i still see today with artists that need to recognized more often. this is truly TRULY great music to listen to. many bands back then made genuine emotional music, but most of the time it was hidden behind too much over production and pop flare and dazzle. big star just seem like real dudes who wanted to get to the point and not hide behind all the glitz and glamor. like my recent post on the band Settlefish, big star are just as important for you all to listen to. (in my opinion of course!!!)

today i have all three big star albums as well as chris bells solo album. in recent years the band has reunited and made new music, but as stated all over, the band made three perfect albums during their cult status years and really, those are the ones i want to represent here for you. by all means, i don't want to take anything away from the artists i post on here. i just want you all to check these out because not many know about certain music and of course you can't listen to the radio anymore because the radio is terrible tripe. so, the first album here is titled #1 Record. this is the groups first batch of material and includes the song "in the street". second we have my favorite album by the band titled Radio City. the song "i'm in love with a girl" was recently used in the movie Adventure Land and made a really great scene. and last for big star is Third/Sister Lovers. this album was completed in 1975, after the band broke up and because of the lack on interest in record labels, never released to the public until 1978 after the first two albums were released in the uk to great applause. third/sister lovers is the darkest and moodiest of the three albums and often considered the masterpiece from the band. look for the fantastic cover of The Velvet Underground's song "femme fatal". and finally, in last place, we have I Am the Cosmos by chris bell. again, this is one reflective album showcasing a young man during depression, trying to reach out and make his own art in the face of trial and tribulation. dig it...

that this could happen to me...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Super Late...

i usually never post a blog this late, but on tuesday after helping my dad with some stuff, i went to take a nap and didn't wake up until after 11pm. now i'm wide awake and can't get back to sleep unless i take some nyquil or sleeping pills which i probably shouldn't. anyway, i have been thinking about this post all day and meant to do it earlier, but oh well.

the music i love the most is always different each day. for some reason i have been playing the tunes of this one band the past week and weekend, so i guess that leads me to want to post about them. they are called Settlefish.

this band formed in 1998 in bologna italy and is lead by canadian singer jonathan clancy. i first read about these guys in the very back of an alternative press issue. they were showcasing their specific album list that they always do in the last few pages. the topics usually are something specific, and this time i think it was about great emo albums and maybe something to do with traveling. anyway, this issue named a few bands i have never heard of. bands like Texas is the Reason, Seaweed, Cross My Heart and settlefish. i of course wrote these all down and looked them up when i got back to my computer. i loved everyone of them differently, and each one spent many days and nights being jammed through my thick headphones and ipod. recently, like i mentioned, settlefish have been getting much needed listening time.

what can i say about these guys??? for one, they make great emotional music without all the fuss and glamor. this is elegant stuff and full of the mathy/twinkly parts that just ooze with the addictive flavor i seem to enjoy of late. the band compliments the singer quite well and the lyrics are just downright awesome and inspiring. i really REALLY hope that those of you who might read my blog check this band out. for sure, you will discover something great and ready to be played.

with only three albums to date, the band is of a small scale and not known much over here except by those who cling to this type of genre (me...) and dig deep through the fields of music to find new discoveries and holy grails. i have read on many sites and blogs about this "mecca" of great music out there that is just waiting to be discovered. i hope my blog can help you reach that special place. okay, so let's start right here with their debut album, Dance A While, Upset. this is just a great emotional piece of music that crunches with each guitar string pluck and drum beat. the singing is raw and a bit off key which i think is just lovely. the bands other albums won't sound this immediate again, but of course, that is not a bad thing at all. with their second album, The Plural of the Quoir, settlefish reformatted their style and made an excellent indie pop record. this albums just drools with fine craftsmanship and even more of that twinkly sound. song lengths have been cut shorter in order to make the focus up front and personal. this is a band showcasing their own knack for creative goodness. and in third and last we have Oh Dear! which is the next evolution of the band. take everything that was great from the first two records and mix it together and there you have it. really REALLY great stuff here.

like i said, this is awesome music and i hope that you all take my advice and give it a good listen. write me up to tell me if you like it or not. it's okay to post your opinions on anything here. i encourage it!!!

Abandon your safety belt
Horizon could be possible
Just to emancipate yourself
From the mess we're in
And i've locked the brakes for good
Now debate can finally start
About decisions edging rough
Now recreate a universe
It's like a second skip of blank
It's like a moment of bliss
Free falling towards active
Transitions won't escape me

And i've locked the brakes for good
Now debate can finally start
About decisions edging rough
Now recreate a universe
It's like a second skip of blank
It's like a moment of bliss
Free falling towards active
Transitions won't escape me

I shot the breeze
Avant garde alignment is
A freer form of cloud
To reshape and now remould
To remould and now reshape
Into a splash of water

Horizon could be possible

It's like a second skip of blank
It's like a moment of bliss
Free falling towards active
Transitions won't escape me

I shot the breeze
Avant garde alignment is
A freer form of cloud
To reshape and now remould
To remould and now reshape
Into a splash of water bubbles