Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IBOPA- Ballads for Ben Padrone

An older band of Jamie Stewart's (Of Xiu Xiu).
Very fun genre hopping album, from swing to lounge to rock to hip-hop esque.
Really fun cd.
Stewart's unique sense of humor is perfectly intact.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Kleenex Girl Wonder - Yes Boss

From what i understand Kleenex Girl Wonder is mostly an "Italian Musician" named Graham Smith. Graham Smith is apparently not only The Strongest Man Alive, but also The Coolest Person Alive. I'd like to bestow a third title on him as probably one of the greatest lyricists i've heard. This album in particular is very strong lyrically, and i'm a sucker for songs with pretty words. A lot of these songs are relationship songs, or i guess love songs... maybe more heartbreak songs. I feel like heartbreak songs are kind of hard to do in this day and age, it's really easy for it to sound corny or whiny and a lot of times i just get angry when i'm listening and just switch off, i think i've mentioned this before. Smith gets away with it though and writes about really intricate and specific parts of relationships, and writes from both the victim's point of view as well as the aggressor. The album ends up being equal parts "i've figured you out" and "why are you doing this to me?"

I guess I made a lousy lover
I like things a little too precise

But that night I buried you alive
Our eyes met underneath the covers
Once or twice
And I saw a light
In your iridescent iris
That I longed to snuff out

So, since I'm ultimately spineless

And hard to shut down

I acted like a virus

Until you unwound

This bit from "I Will Own U" gets me kind of choked up. My new rule: if a song gets me choked up, it's a good song. I think what i like about a lot of these songs is they make me feel real emotions while at the same time they maintain an ego to them. It's the same kind of ego that shows up in rap lyrics. Smith songs are written like rap lyrics, and he doesn't go for the chorus verse chorus thing all that much. Each line just leads right to the next, this album is (again) especially relentless, you'll hear a man venting himself completely.

Maybe i remembered it's a business and an art form
So when you tell me it was wrong to lie

I retort that it was wrong to boil my blood to keep your heart warm

On an unseasonably cool august night
You cussed and kicked and screamed
And slammed my fingers in the car door
And told me you'd be fine if i crawled off and died

I feel like i could just do this whole review with quotes of the lyrics followed by me going "wow, right? like this is so good man". I've been listening to this album a lot lately and thought it'd be nice to share it. It's kind of a double album, but don't be scurred cause it's actually only 18 songs, the second album is like alternate versions of the songs on the first half. So you can pick and choose which version of which you like best, also this way you get to hear both pronunciations of the word "gyre".

And i'll do it a little different this time kiddos. I'm going to link you to his website where you can listen to the whole album as well as every other album he's done. Doing it this way cause i think i'd feel guilty the other way. Sorry.

Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Probably the least known (and least loved) of the many (and spectacular) ELO albums, TIME holds a special place in my heart. Relationships with friends were tempered over the hot, burning flames of this album and became that much stronger. Plus is really catchy, hooky, fun and futuristic.

TIME is a concept album, about a man from 1981 ("Way Life's Meant to Be" still makes balding 40 somethings cry apparently. More on that later) who gets taken from his home and is shown the future. But now, he can't be back.
The future is really awesome, but it really sucks what happened to the planet and such.

yadda yadda yadda he holds on tight to his dreams and something happens and hes back and shit is good. High concept unfolding at your ears is not what you're here for. You're here for the HOOKS.
Oh god every track on this album is solid (including the chill "another heart breaks"), and while it may not be as extraordinary as ELO's other endeavors, it's a reallllly solid, fun interesto-pop cd.

also "Twilight" is really awesome (and probably familiar to some anime super-nerds)

also this is the one that has HOLD ON TIGHT on it.
The one that he sings in french? you know the song.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SOFT CELL - Non-Stop Erotic Caberet

If you think that I seem to have huge wood for one hit wonders who actually have good albums, albums lately you'd be absolutely write.

This is no different.

I'm sure you all know Soft Cell's "Tainted Love". It's actually a cover of a MUCH older Gloria Jones song?

What you didn't know? Album is fucking legendary.
One of Trent Reznor's favorite albums (He actually covered "Sex Dwarf" on the "Pretty Hate Machine" tour. Look it up, there are videos.

This album encapsulates the soul of gay club scene of the early 80s and what it's like to be on ecstasy (See "Sex Dwarf").

Everything about this album screams sex and vulnerability. Indulge in your gay side and listen to this shit.



Monday, January 17, 2011

Daikaiju - Self-titled

A couple weeks ago, I was binging on a bunch of Japanese music when I came across Daikaiju. Yeah, so they're from Huntsville, Alabama, and yeah, I only discovered this fact minutes ago, but that's not the point. The point is that Daikaiju is really, really good at making surf rock in the same vein as Man or Astro-man? with a ball-load of reverb and psychedelic influences.

recommended if you like man or astroman, dick dale, etc.

soif rahk

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay

Fiddles. There's something about them that just gets my shit rock hard.
If you have a fiddle in your song, I'm diggin' your song.
Then play "Celtic Soul Brothers". THAT HOOK! THAT FIDDLE HOOK
It's like the goddamn Pied Piper, I'd follow that nigga ANYWHERE.

Here's a CD that got played over and over and over and over again in the 80s, however from only one spot of the record.

"Come on Eileen". That's essentially the only reason anyone knows this band. Not knocking the song, it's a great song, but the record it comes on is AMAZING. Poppy hooks, witty lyricism and a wide range of instruments(HORNS N FIDDLES ERRYWHERE) all come together to make this sophisti-pop masterpiece.

Now a lot of music buffs will j/o over "Searching For the Young Soul Rebels".
Personally, I love this CD a lot more. It seems to have more energy, more soul!

BTW I personally changed the ID3 tags in these files so that they aren't fucked up like every other copy on the internet so i gotu bro.

come on Eileen feel the noize

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Black - The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape

Big Black was the loudest scariest meanest angriest band ever. Because that's what they intended to be. There's nothing about any of the members of Big Black that speaks to any sort of "talent" or "skill", and i wouldn't have it any other way. I listen to Big Black not to be impressed by any sort of tricky guitar solos or the like, i listen to Big Black just hear something loud in my ears and then to feel that ringing that sticks around in my skull after i pull my headphones off. In my high school years, i often thought that if i were to ever go deaf i'd want it to be because Big Black blew my ear drums out. Big Black is such a sonic high point in my personal music listening history that every other 'angry rock band' that has come after has been "not as good as Big Black". I try to listen to metal bands that attempt the same loudness, meanest, the same rage, but really nothing can touch this shit as far as i'm concerned. There's something different about Big Black for me, my appreciation is almost physical, whereas everything else can only linger in the cerebral. It's like tensing a muscle, like shock therapy.

Rich Man's Eight Track is a compilation, i'm putting it up because it has a lot of good songs on it, but you should really just listen to all of their everything if you like even one song. I've included a live version of 'Cables' that is different from the one that's supposed to be on the disc, because it's better. That track in particular was a very important piece of noise to me. Something about the way the bass kicks in, the drums and Albini's scream "i don't know why we come here" punctuated by a stab of feedback. That moment is one of my favorite things in music period. You can barely hear him screaming, which somehow makes his screams more powerful. Almost like he's not actually on mic, like his voice is loud enough to crack through the rest of the sound and be heard for miles still. And it doesn't matter what he's screaming, you can't make much out anyway, it's all about how loud he's screaming it.

The lyrics to Big Black songs are almost always fucked up, there's some real dark and tragic backwoods stuff going on.

You are not mine
You ugly thing
You ugly thing
You are not mine
Not my face
Not my seed
Not my child
You are not mine
You are my monster
Steve talking about the story behind 'My Disco'

All of this stuff is actually separate from the listening experience for me, it's something i appreciate about the music, but doesn't factor in when i'm actually listening. It's like looking at a photo of a car accident, and then reading the caption and accompanying article laying out all the gruesome details. But the real meat is in the photograph, that's what sticks with you, that's what you see when you close your eyes, that's why you're even bothering with the article. The sound is the photograph.

The last 3 tracks before the very last are the 3 most perfectly placed songs on an album ever. The songs themselves are of course perfect, but the fact that My Disco, Grinder, and Ready Men were all put together in that order is fucking genius to me. They almost blend into one long god-like track, it's kind of incredible. When i make mix cd's for people, and i think about including any of those songs, it feels almost criminal to not give them the other two to compliment it.

I think there's something to be said for a band's intent, especially when it comes to this band. These fuckers didn't "compose" music, they just played really loud and really fast and screamed at each other until what could be called a song would happen. They didn't even bother getting a drummer. It sounds like they're breaking their instruments. It sounds like there's blood involved.

It's safe to say attending a Big Black show will be at the top of my list of things to do when i get my goddamn time machine.

"guess i just needed the bang"