Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas from Arctic Monkeys

Sorry that this is violently late and I've not posted anything this week, but I've been sick. This is Matt Helders (drummer) from Arctic Monkeys giving the annual Christmas message so in keeping with my blog, I'm posting it. I hope you all had a nice Christmas and I hope you enjoy!

Arctic Monkeys Christmas Message

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Friday Thing: Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) by Arcade Fire

I first heard a 5 second part of this song in a commercial for Later with Jools Holland and I found it so immensely catchy that I looked it up. Upon watching it I instantly loved it and I found that this is one of those performances that leaves you absolutely stunned. Halfway through I also realized Owen Pallett was playing the violin there too, and that's why this is here today!

Neighborhood #3(Power Out)

Monday, December 15, 2008

EMOTIVE-A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle
Label-Virgin Records
Status-Out as of 2004
Rating-4.5 Stars

Making a song about war isn’t enough. Making a song that sounds like war is better. Making a song that sounds like it’s been through the most vile of war is basically what A Perfect Circle has done for their third album emotive. Covering everything from Devo to Joni Mitchell, they take on some of the most glorified anti-war songs and warp them into a very dark anti-war masterpiece. ‘Annihilation’ is a great start for it sets the mood immediately. The xylophone-y instrument along with the vocals being whispered through a filter really keep you listening, even though it’s very simple. Though written by a band called Crucifix, the anti-war message is especially seen in the lines ‘It’s your choice, peace or annihilation’. ‘Imagine’ is the most twisted cover of a song I’ve ever heard. John Lennon would probably cry if he heard it: It’s creates an aura of extreme despair and loss of hope and it’s forcefully dark. It’s awkwardly a really good version too. Maynard’s voice is extremely melodic so it really flows with the song. ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding’: Aided by creepy nasally-falsetto vocals, it’s probably a lot spookier than Elvis Costello could ever imagine. The interpretation is so perfect and different, but it still gets the message across. ‘What’s Going On’: Upon one listen to this, if you don’t tear up or cry, you really have no soul. The use of a light, yet heavily distorted guitar with the far-away sounding drums and lightly-smooth vocals makes this such an overwhelmingly brilliant and beautiful version. The way they did the line ‘father, father, everyone thinks we’re wrong’ would even move Marvin Gaye himself to tears. ‘Passive’ is not really an anti-war song, but it definitely sounds like a classic A Perfect Circle song. It’s a little softer (for them) compared to Mer de Noms, but it still keeps with the angry mood. ‘Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie’ is a very bizarre. The breathy gimmies and I need more’s are a little hard on the ears and the filter the vocals are going through to make him sound sinister are a little too much. The way they do the lines ‘you say the world’s got problems, well I’ve got problems of my own, but not the kind that can be solved with an atom bomb’ is very effective, and I admit that the organ that goes with it also is effective, but the song is just not that pleasing. ‘People Are People’ starts out a little iffy, but once the vocals come in it gets significantly better. The parts where they talk about brainwashed ideals like ‘It’s obvious you hate me, though I don’t know why, I’ve never even met you, what could I have done’ are very effective because the vocals sound real creepy. Upon listening to Devo’s original version of ‘Freedom of Choice’ you would never understand how they could take the instrumentation and mess with it to beyond recognition and yet still not lose the basic integrity of the song. ‘Let’s Have A War’ is very creepy. The strange vocals mixed in falsetto is very creepy (that’s a very common word here, huh?). Like ‘Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie’, it’s not too pleasing. ‘Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm of War Drums’ is basically just a remix of Pet from 13th step. It’s immensely scary and weird, but that makes it all the better. Though it’s not really that great of a song, I’d strongly suggest listening to it through head phones wit your eyes closed: You’ll embark on an amazing bizarre-stereo-effected journey. ‘When The Levee Breaks’ is almost just as strange of an interpretation of a song as ‘Imagine’ was. It’s slightly eerie elevator music, that’s basically it. ‘Fiddle and the Drum’ provides us with a 4 part harmony; Maynard sings all four parts. It’s gives you a very revolutionary war feel, even with it’s lack of instruments. Just the sheer perfection of this song sends shivers down your spine. The last words ‘oh my friend, we have all come to fear the beating of your drum’ sum up brilliantly the whole album. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest anti-war albums of my time. Though none of the writing is original, with the exception of ‘Passive’, the bizarre yet cohesive song selection and the completely original interpretations really make you feelstunned. The gravity of the political statements will for sure leave you fearing Johnny’s drum.
"If you choose not to be involved with decisions that affect your life on a daily basis, in our opinion, you forfeit your right to complain about it later."-Maynard James Keenan

Recommendations: Imagine, What's Going On, Fiddle and the Drum
A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: I didn't put a video because they only have a video for Imagine and some of the scenes in it create a 'stronger' political statement than I think this blog is ready for. I will try to post more reviews soon being that I'm in the process of reviewing a few so please stay tuned, though I won't make empty-promises. Thank you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Friday Thing: The Meeting Place by The Last Shadow Puppets

Sorry for no reviews, I have two in the works so I'll post one or both tomorrow!

Upon hearing the beginning how could you not want to listen? This was one of a series of basic versions of a few of the shadow puppets song and I personally think that the simple combination of an acoustic and electric guitar help make it a very charming performance. I hope you enjoy these two!

The Meeting Place

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Friday Thing: White Chalk by PJ Harvey

This is one of the creepiest things I've ever heard. I was watching Jools because I wanted to see PJ Harvey's performance, and I must say it wasn't what I expected from her, but in a good way. I hope you enjoy!

White Chalk

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Roots & Echoes-
The Coral
Status-Out as of 2007
Rating-5 Feathers

With the oldest member being only 26, the Coral have come a very long way. This six piece is known for their guitar infused melodies with just enough bizarre sound to get anyone hooked. During guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones’s leave from the band, the group were faced an all time low. With that feeling and Bill’s return to the band, the Coral created the significantly more mature and serious album Root & Echoes. ‘Who’s Gonna Find Me’ is the perfect opening. It’s lively, powerful, and has just the right amount of creepiness to give it that edge that really keeps you hooked. The chorus alone gets so far grinded into your head, that you’ll catch yourself singing it days after. ‘Remember Me’ easily sounds like a song off of Magic and Medicine. The mystical and dreamy feel makes it a little weird, but generally it’s very catchy. ‘Put The Sun Back’ is one of the most beautiful songs of their career and possibly the decade. If you’re in that kind of mood, it’ll make you tear up: James Skelly even sounds like he’s trying to recover. It’s light, and the slight twang makes it absolutely moving. ‘Jacqueline’ sounds like a classic gloomy 60’s pop tune. It’s simply just a lovely song. The Beatles-y electric guitar that follows the verse is really effective in capturing the mood and for making memorable. ‘Fireflies’ sounds like a warlike-march type of song. It’s very nicely arranged and James’s vocals really grow on you. ‘In the Rain’ is powerful enough to be an ending. The shear power and feeling exuded by Bill in the opening riff truly makes the song. It’s very fast-paced which quickly knocks you out of that glum funk the previous three put you in. ‘Not So Lonely’ is also very dreamlike. The perfect combination of guitar, keyboard, and a lone voice really help you connect with message of not being so lonely anymore. ‘Cobwebs’ is violently nostalgic. No single word describes it better. It’s a very good skiffle-oriented song that truly sounds like he found it in the cobwebs of his mind, or at least his attic. ‘Rebecca You’ has a distinct sound but generally just sounds like a decent summary of all the previous tunes/noises/themes that the first eight created. ‘She’s Got a Reason’ is very dark, which helps bring out the lyrical idea. It’s a good lead into the finale. ‘Music at Night’ is a decent ending. It sounds just like your basic Coral, but with a Spanish flair. Though it’s about six minutes long, and it doesn’t vary too much for the duration, it’s very captivating and you never lose focus, which I must say is a pretty good feat. The strings that close the album leave you feeling awfully melancholy that the album is over. The Coral have come a long way in their career. With a newly mature, very solid album being added to their already skillful discography, it’s very surprising that they are still virtually unknown in the U.S. and still aren’t given the credit they are due in their home country. Releasing such fantastic album after 3 year gap since Invisible Invasion, they’ve truly managed to put the sun back in our hearts.
"We finally had the chance to stop and remember who we are."-James Skelly

Video for Put The Sun Back

Recommendations: Who's Gonna Find Me, Put The Sun Back, In The Rain
The Coral's Official Website
Note: Sorry for my lack of posting. I ain't making empty promises anymore. I hope you enjoy this review and I seriously suggest giving them a listen. If there's a picture problem contact me. Thank you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Friday Thing: Bittersweet Symphony by Coldplay and Richard Ashcroft

I first saw this performance watching Live 8 awhile back. I didn't know who Richard Ashcroft was at the time, but I thought it was really cool of Coldplay and him to do this song. It's definately a collaboration that doesn't happen too often. I hope you enjoy!

Bittersweet Symphony

Sunday, November 23, 2008

JIM-Jamie Lidell

Jamie Lidell
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

Known by his live performances for being an extremely active one-man band/beatbox, for his smooth soulful voice, and his work with Beck, Jamie Lidell is one interesting person. Taking a detour from his previous electronica-inspired ‘Multiply’, ‘Jim’ heavily represents his soul-side. ‘Another Day’ wakes you up with a pure positive aura. Even if you aren’t into soul, this song can’t help but make you smile. The simple bright piano and patterned clapping capture your ear by making your mood strongly increase. The song screams ‘This is the first day of the rest of my life!’. ‘Wait For Me’ is also very optimistic, but more soul oriented. The lyrics are a little over-repetitive, but you can appreciate that it’s a good song. ‘Out of My System’ is very 70’s, making it different from the last two. Maybe he just had to get it out of his system. ‘All I Wanna Do’ is basically the midway break most albums have. Though very slow, his voice builds to gain a large amount of passion keeping the song alive. ‘A Little Bit of Feel Good’ is my personal favorite. The lively tone and the use of horns during the chorus compliment the vocals with perfection. ‘Figured Me Out’ nicely balances his electronic and soul abilities, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. The keyboard is downright fruity and pretty irritating. ‘Hurricane’ is like an electronic version of ‘Old Brown Shoe’ by The Beatles. The experimental-ness is very likeable, especially how he still keeps the structure intact. ‘Green Light’ is another slow song, but this time it sounds like the eighties. It’s very bee-gees and too soft-disco for my liking. ‘Where d’You Go?’ has the basic feel of the first two songs, so if it were more original it’d better. Some high-points are where he goes ‘This is why I cry’ which is awkwardly very entertaining. ‘Rope of Sad’ ends the album with a very dreamy/spacy rope of sad, what ever that is. It’s very nicely arranged, but it’s more melancholy than you’d expect the album to end. Overall, this album was surprisingly good. Taking a huge risk by changing your music drastically can end one’s career, but if anything in this case, it shows he’s got talent for how successful it was. Even if you’re not into soul, like me, you understand that this album is marvelous and that it’s very easy to like.
“I’m proud of the songs because they show me as the person I am. Jim, the guy that makes optimistic music, the songsmith, I just really needed to get that out of my system.”-Jamie Lidell

Video for Another Day

Jamie Lidell's Official Website
Note: I know I've been not keeping up with my reviews and I promised reviews last week, but I didn't so I apologize. This is a very short review: I tried to make it short and too the point therefore making it a quicker read. I hope you enjoy and I'll get atleast another review out this week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Friday Thing: Won't Get Fooled Again by John Entwistle

Yeah, I know it's by The Who, but this performance is strictly John. Known to me as the world's best bass player, this performance shows it best. This was an extra on the Kid's Are Alright DVD. Though just a bass line, you don't get bored watching him. Pure excellence, really.

Won't Get Fooled Again (Isolated Bass)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

YOU ARE HERE-Thenewno2

You Are Here-
Status-Out as of 2008
Label-HOT Records
Rating-3.5 Feathers

Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon, Zak Starkey: These are just some of the few children of Beatles who’ve made a name for themselves, despite their famous fathers. What could make George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, any different? Well, actually, a lot. He and drummer/friend Oliver Hecks released their first EP entitled ‘EP001’ through their website and iTunes back in 2006. Though not on a major record label, Thenewno2 have major talent. Their debut ‘You Are Here’ is sure to interest you. ‘So Vain’ is not all too great, but it does stand out. It’s little bizarre, a bit too weird for my taste, and it doesn’t seem like they can decide between tempos hence making it a mess. ‘Another John Doe’ is a better representation of their sound. Dhani shows very high vocal quality, as seen in how his voice becomes another instrument. It’s a nicely paced song and just experimental enough to keep your ear. ‘Back To You’ starts out with random sound bytes taken from radio and mish mashed together making it a very effectual opening. The rest of the song is pretty good, but the quasi-chorus is a mess. ‘Give You Love’ is a nice simple song, with a nice melody. Oli’s abnormal drumbeat goes very nicely against the dreamy keyboard and about half way, the filter really gives it a nice kick. ‘Bluesy’ is flat out uninteresting. The heavily processed-faint guitar doesn’t really serve much purpose and the electric drums just sound stupid. The vocals aren’t exactly great either. Watching water slowly evaporate from a boiling pot of water is more captivating. ‘Yomp’ pulls you out of that vapor-watching trance just by the first note. It’s very retro and jazzy with a Thenewno2 flair. ‘Hiding Out’ is very strange. The quiet falsetto voice Dhani’s using sounds very, very creepy. It’s like he’s ‘hiding out’ under your bed ready to getcha! Though probably not it’s intended purpose, they’ve managed to once again make an over processed, overly dull song. ‘Crazy Tuesday’: How a song like this is on the same album as the last song is beyond me. The starting combination of a guitar, cello, and ukulele is brilliant. In this they’ve reached a perfection with the electronica in a sense of the not too hot, not too cold. The structure and soothing instrument combo really helps you rest easy from the last song. ‘Idle Lover’ is not that bad, it’s just a little too mellow. It would have been helpful by this point in the album if it were a little heavier. The only thing that really saves it the ending bit. ‘Shelter’ is also a bit too much on the mellow side, but generally it’s well composed and tad more lively. ‘Wind Up Dead’ at first sounds like a Thenewno2 collaboration with Beck, but it quickly turns into a very EP001 sound. The drum beat helps give it that kick you were searching for creating a nice ending. Overall, this album has been what I’d expect them to be on a grander scale as opposed to a four song EP. What makes this different from any other Beatle-kid band is that they sound absolutely nothing like their father. Dhani and Oli managed to distance the band pretty far from George’s style of music and what the world would expect of him. Though there are a few sleepers, this album was a pretty good representation of their musical ability. George would’ve been proud.
"It’s very hard to take a step in any direction musically without referencing something The Beatles have done." -Dhani Harrison

Video for Another John Doe

Recommendations: Another John Doe, Yomp, Crazy Tuesday
Thenewno2's Official Website
Note: This album cannot be bought in stores, it's only on iTunes which I think's a little silly. Yeah, I know i've not posted a review since last week, so I'll try to get out two more this week. Also, being that the picture is indeed not mine, I'll take it down if it has to be. Comments are much appreciated, and I hope you've enjoyed this review!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Friday Thing: Cheap and Cheerful by The Kills

I saw this performance while watching the same episode of Later as the one with Vampire Weekend. I'd never heard of The Kills before I saw this and I don't know why I liked it. Possibly just the heavy industrial sound was something i'd not heard before and it's weirdly catchy. I hope you enjoy!

Cheap and Cheerful

Friday, November 7, 2008


The Rhumb Line-
Ra Ra Riot
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

After the release of their Ra Ra Riot EP, Ra Ra Riot toured the U.S., on their own, which in my opinion, is pretty good. June of last year however, saw the death of drummer/lyricist John Pike. Shortly after, the band decided to continue on and later that year they got signed. In August of this year, they released their first album, ‘The Rhumb Line’. Though describing their sound as ‘A frothing cauldron of gruel’, this album is anything but. ‘Ghost Under Rocks’ pounds of the record with a pulsing bassline. It’s the perfect way to start it because it’s unbelievably epic, similar to that of ‘The Map of the Probelmatique’ by Muse, but it’s got a subtle hint of desperation too. This song really haunts me, especially the lines ‘here you are you are breathing life into ghosts under rocks like notes found in pocket’. The sheer power of this song certainly doesn’t dwarf the integrity of ‘Each Year’. It’s has a fast paced, yet mellow sound that keeps your attention. The strings really compliment the guitar giving it a classic indie feel. ‘St. Peter’s Day Festival’ is a nice slow paced rest from the last two. The vocals give the song life, but the obscure drum/string arrangements force you to listen that much closer. ‘Winter ‘05’ is really soothing. It reminds you of nice times: A soft winter day, a snow covered field, etc. The muffled drums, strings, and slight jingle bells are pure genius. It’s like a softer, subdued ‘M79’ by Vampire Weekend. ‘Dying is Fine’ kicks in like a pile of bricks. It’s nice bubbly feel gives the album a little kick. Even though half way through it goes into a melancholy string piece, the general aura is that of joy, but slight despair. The lines ‘You know that dying is fine but maybe, I wouldn’t like death if death were good, not even if death were good’ are also very haunting. ‘Can You Tell’ is a sappy love song, set to an indie beat. It’s not too noticeable, but it’s overall not hard on the ears. ‘Too Too Too Fast’ is quite the annoying one. The synths are absurdly irritating. All the weird electronica vocal and keyboard things they do are very terribly irksome. The song is only mildly saved when the sound of the strings take over what the synths were doing, but the song is just extremely tedious to listen to. ‘La Oh’ is alright; generally a little tired. My attention waned about a minute in, but atleast Alexandra and Rebecca really have the whole cello/violin thing down. ‘Suspended In Gaffa’ is a nice change to the last two. When he goes into the falsetto range, it’s very comical. Though I don’t know what Kate Bush’s version is like, you can still get the feeling that this is a very sound cover. I can imagine them conquerring an old-english loch area and I can see them afterwards parading through the streets in medieval garb playing this song. ‘Run My Mouth’ ceases the album a little disappointingly. It’s a bland type of sound, not too mellow, not too firey. It’s not really that bang you hope they’d go out with being that the introduction to the album was so powerful. They kinda save it by climaxing at the end, but it wasn’t really effective. The album was a very nice debut. The first couple of songs were very appealing, but as the album went on, it got a little worn out. The general sound is that of winter: there’s not really another proper way to describe it. Seeing as what the band went through and that they’ve managed to create their own sound while having actual band members playing the string section, they’re destined to have a strong career ahead of them.
"Mathieu and Allie both deferred their studies on their own accord. I'm pretty sure they were both waiting for the slightest excuse to leave school...and when things with the band started to pick up a little bit, they were happy to re-direct their attention."-Milo Bonacci

Video for Ghost Under Rocks

Recommendations: Ghost Under Rocks, Winter '05, Dying is Fine
Ra Ra Riot's Official Website
Note: Hey, I told you I was gonna post this, and I did! I plan to keep with this schedule of 2 reviews and a Friday Thing once a week, atleast. Expect Thenewno2, Oasis, Darker My Love, and the like sooner or later. Thank you for reading and thank you for your comments.

The Friday Thing: Memories by The Last Shadow Puppets

This'll be one of the very few performances I'll post where I was actually present to see this exact performance. The Last Shadow Puppets did a couple of covers at the concert, one of them included this song, by Leonard Cohen. This performance was awe-striking and I was basically standing in that general vicinity too. I hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 3, 2008


The Rascals
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-2 Feathers

After the demise of The Little Flames, drummer Greg Mighall, bassist Joe Edwards, and guitarist Miles Kane created their own project, The Rascals. Hailing from the Wirral Peninsula, they created their debut Rascalize, the highly anticipated release after The Little Flames breakup. The Little Flames were known for their immensely catchy tunes and almost innovative style: Something bad must’ve happened along the way. Leading off with the title track ‘Rascalize’, words can’t properly describe what’s wrong with it. It’s lacking a proper structure, and generally, it’s a little dumb. With warnings of ‘All aboard the adventure!’, you been alerted that maybe this isn’t a journey you really want embark on. ‘Out Of Dreams’ gives you a semi-false sense of hope because it’s a very good song. It’s my favourite Rascals song, and definitely one of their better ones. When you first hear it, you think it’s a little repetitive, but give another go and it gets a whole lot better. ‘Bond Girl’ is alright. The instrument part is very nice, but the vocals don’t fit at all. They sound like he’s trying to sing ‘Wild Thing’ with different words whereas the rest of the band is doing something completely different. ‘The Glorified Collector’ sounds like a 60’s psychedelic pop tune gone a bit too trippy that ‘started with years full of drugs’. ‘Fear Invicted Into The Perfect Stranger’ is a lot better than the last two. It fits better with the flow. To give a frame of reference, it sounds heavily influenced by The Coral’s Magic and Medicine, which in my book, is a very good thing. ‘Does Your Husband Know That You’re On The Run?’ sounds a bit like ‘Out of Dreams’(s) alter ego as seen through ‘the hopes and the dreams and the rest will follow’ and in its darker sound. If they slowed it down a second or so, it’d be perfect and if they got rid of 50% of those really annoying guitar-odysseys, the song would be significantly better. ‘I’d Be Lying To You’ sounds like a deranged underground 60’s pop tune. So far, it’s one of the very few songs with real potential, a set structure, and proper hooks. It’s quite catchy, I must say. Another song that’s just as noticeable is ‘Freakbeat Phantom’. It’s a got a more mellow pace, that still moves, and it’s got just the right amount of hooks to make it stick out in a very good way. They’re musicianship is much more clear, as seen through Greg Mighall’s absolutely brilliant drumming. ‘People Watching’ starts out very promising, but quickly turns into a bad jam session with random drum-rolling and a guitar that doesn’t stay in one place. The lyrics aren’t exactly too genius either, with uninspiring social views such as ‘People watching is one of my favourite things to help pass the time’. Great. ‘Stockings to Suit’ starts out headache-y, but gets less wincey after about 30 seconds. The only part really worth mentioning is that Mile’s voice is shockingly melodic. ‘How Do I End This’ is really not that appealing. They managed to limit the overdrawn guitar odysseys, which is a plus, but it’s generally not ear-pleasant. Throughout, it seems like they need a little help figuring out how to end this. I’ve an idea! Switch the song. ‘I’ll Give You Sympathy’ show’s that they’ve truly saved the best for last. Just when you’re about to lose hope, you hear this semi-hopeful bombastic guitar riff that makes your ears perk up. Quickly it turn’s into a real basic, mellow sound that keeps with the basic feel of the rest of the song. If most listeners actually stayed listening at this point, their ears would’ve have received a very nice gift. As one can see, this album was quite the disappointment, to say the least. After hearing the few songs they offer as videos, you are deeply mislead to think that this album is going to be fantastic. They’ve all exhibited great potential to do great work as seen in Greg’s intricate drumming, Joe Edward’s galloping bass-lines, and Miles’s work in The Little Flames and The Last Shadow Puppets. Also, the songs that are good are really good, but the songs that are bad are just a bit too painful. Hopefully with more maturity, and a new sense of what actually goes, their next album will be the album that meets expectations. Until the day and the time, we’ll see them there.
"You know that feeling when you're 14 and you first get into tunes? Well we have that same feeling now. We're just really excited with music.”-Joe Edwards

Video for Out of Dreams

Recommendations: Out of Dreams, I'd Be Lying To You, Freakbeat Phantom, I'll Give You Sympathy
The Rascals Official Website
Note: Just letting you know, in the U.S. you can't go out to the store or iTunes to buy this album. You can only purchase it on the internet here. Similar deal with all Deltasonic bands. Annoying. I know. I hope you enjoy this review, I really wish I wrote a good review on it, but it was disappointing so I really couldn't. Also, I'm skipping the Oasis review for now so expect a Ra Ra Riot review sometime shortly, I promise. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


On Thursday, I went to see The Last Shadow Puppets in New York City, which apparently became sold out during the past week. I got into the city around 5:00 and went to get a bite to eat. At around 6:00 we decided to just go straight to the venue and see if we could get in. When we got there, there were already people waiting in line, but at least we were part of the first third there. After standing, for about an hour and a half, mind you it was 30º, they finally started letting people in. We ran up 14 flights of stairs to the top where the ballroom was. We immediately bought shirts and staked out a place in real close to the front, being that it was general admission standing. After a half an hour of waiting, the time had come: 8:00. After about a half an hour more, we just assumed the opening act, Stephen Fretwell, just forgot to come, but like a ship in the night, he comes on at around 8:35. He introduced himself as ‘Hi, my name is Stephen Fretwell, not The Last Shadow Puppets’. Though very angry that he didn’t come on at the set time (8:00), I can’t say he was bad. His songs were a good combination of pop, indie, and folk. It was just him and his guitar. He had quite a wit about him too as seen when someone yelled ‘I love you!’ he quickly said ‘If I could see you, I might love you too’ and he kept saying we were all ‘very kind’. He did five songs, my personal favorite was his last one ‘Emily’. He was done at around nine and I just assumed the Puppets were only minutes away, but no. All the guitar techs/microphone techs and such came out. For a half an hour, they plucked/spoke/banged around, and quite frankly, they were too picky being that the show was supposed to start an hour and thirty minutes ago. The orchestra were the first to come on. When the house lights finally turned down, the crowd freaked. They began to play the basic theme of the album and Miles Kane and Alex Turner came out. I was awestruck and said to myself ‘Are they really there?’. We were positioned about 5 feet in front of Miles and 15 or so feet from Alex. They were both wearing jeans and a leather jacket, but Miles came on these black, slight-aviator sunglasses. They weren’t exactly hard on the eyes, if you know what I mean. They immediately went into ‘In My Room’ which was very suiting to start. It was so much more powerful than it was on the album that it surprised me. Afterwards they moved into ‘Age of The Understatement’, which was one the best performances I’ve ever seen. The way they worked the crowd fit the mood of the music perfectly. ‘Only the Truth’ was extremely well done. They got the tight opening parts down which helped make it one of their cleanest, yet heaviest performances. ‘Separate and Ever Deadly’ was the most interesting performance. Miles said 'This is Separate and Ever Deadly'. Alex said 'What did you say?' and Miles replied 'I fucking said Separate and Ever Deadly' and everyone clapped and screamed. They nailed the beginning, but right after the slight break in the middle finished, Miles came in a second too early thus making it sound very off. He proceeded to stop the band and say ‘I fucked it up’. He then said that he wanted to redo that bit to get it right but Alex said ‘You really want to enjoy that handsome maverick bit’. It was very funny! It was kind of charming how he decided to explain it to the audience Alex what he had done. I had heard that they were playing ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ at the gig previous to this one, but I hadn’t expected them to play it here. Miles’s part sounded much more into it than John Lennon ever did. For the encore, their version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Memories’ was my favorite performance. Miles got so into his part and the way he awkwardly lazed around the stage really made the performance. They closed with, clearly the fan favorite, ‘Standing Next To Me’. In general, the show was everything I expected it to be and more. I never dreamed I’d be standing that close to either of them or that I’d actually be able to hear this live. Though I was standing a few feet next to amp, I still got the idea that the quality of sound was almost recording quality. The only complaints I do have are that more people seemed to be piled on Alex’s side (surprise(I was on Miles’s)), the way they made you wait in the beginning was mildly ridiculous, and the orchestra were a decibel or two too loud. Next time they come around, I strongly suggest seeing them, I know I will!
Set List:
In My Room
Age of the Understatement
Calm Like You
Black Plant
Only The Truth
Gas Dance
Little Red Book
Separate and Ever Deadly
Hang the Cyst
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
My Mistakes Were Made for You
In The Heat of The Morning
I Don’t Like You Anymore
The Chamber
The Time Has Come Again
The Meeting Place
Standing Next To Me
Note: I got the first picture from here and I got the 2nd picture from here. I hope this review gave a decent review/picture of what I'd seen. I have to get something out: I read 3 reviews of this show and I disagree with all of them. One (male) reviewer said that if you were a women, and you saw Miles make eye contact with you while performing, you would've thought 'What and asshole!' but, I know for a fact that that reviewer doesn't know how a woman's minds works.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Friday Thing: I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys

As usual, while watching a repeat of Later With Jools Holland, I saw this performance a became completely beside myself. This is the first Arctic Monkeys song I heard, when the video came out for the first time, so seeing this performance made me happy, I guess. This is their first television appearance/performance and possibly the best, ever. I hope you enjoy!

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A LARUM-Johnny Flynn

A Larum-
Johnny Flynn
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

Upon first hearing, you’d visualize an old crooner, nearing his sixties, who’s been around, seen the world, knows a thing or two about life. Well, I guess he doesn’t have to be 59. In reality, Johnny Flynn is a 25 year old, blonde-haired, Londoner releasing his first album. With the help of band mates, The Sussex Wit, Johnny has created A Larum which has a folk/skiffle-sound with just enough originality to appeal to the young and the old. Opening with ‘The Box’, you are immediately enveloped with an old-timey folk sound that quickly welcomes a warm voice that you’ll learn to love. ‘The Wrote and the Writ’ is a pure folk song. The lone acoustic accompanied by a lone cello gives it a somber, melancholy-yet-hopeful feel. Phrases like ‘circle since been broken like the priest before me is breaking bread. I’m being asked to drink the blood of Christ, and soon all eat his flesh’ show that he is religious, but he also has a certain lyrical wit that makes him sound insightful, but not phony. ‘Tickle Me Pink’ is possibly the only song of his that would appeal to the masses. The simple bass line, playful melodies, and very dark drums really help this song stand on it’s own. The chorus ‘Pray for the people inside your head for they won’t be there when you’re dead’ will stay in your head so long that, in contrast, will still be there when your dead. ‘Brown Trout Blues’ is nothing too overwhelming special. I give him credit for creating a convincingly bluesy song. To give a good description, I can imagine him playing this next to a fireplace. Though with the use of an extreme amount of banjo, ‘Eyeless in Holloway’ really doesn’t sound like a country song. It’s gloomy feel is a nice change in the album for the fact that it doesn’t sound like it’s getting optimistic anytime soon. ‘Shore to Shore’ is a pure folk again, but it’s a little to repetitive for my liking. One thing I must add is he awkwardly says that Jesus seems like a ‘damn nice guy’. ‘Cold Bread’ sounds very sixties to me. Like if they were playing a documentary about the Vietnam protests, and they were showing various pictures and video clips of the protests, this would be the song that be playing in the background. Overall, it’s a very good song. ‘Wayne Rooney’ sounds a little fruity at first, but once his voice kicks in, you forget the fruity guitar almost instantly. It’s almost a lullaby type sound. ‘Leftovers’ sounds a tad too much like ‘Wayne Rooney’, but more upbeat. The only real problem I have with it is that the drumming is way too pop-sounding. ‘Sally’ has the integrity to be a good song, but the huge violin sound, equipped with a ton of double stops, is way too awful for me. The cello, when backing the vocals alone in the verses and the bridge, is really great: A work of genius. But the violin really annihilates the whole song. ‘Hong Kong Cemetry’: It’s not like it’s just a sad, dark song, it’s really depressing. His voice is going through a filter similar to the one used in ‘If You Were There, Beware’ by Arctic Monkeys, which gives it an eerie feel. It’s his most experimental song on the album, and I must say, it’s one of the best. ‘Tunnels’ is not too original compared to the last song, but it’s not too bad. It just doesn’t stick out. ‘All the Dogs are Lying Down’ is a nice angelic tune that turns a little more full-blooded about halfway which makes it very exciting and appealing. ‘Shore to Shore (reprise)’ closes the album very nicely. The lone organ that lasts only for about a minute really gives the album proper closure. Though many folk artists come and go and never really go very far anymore, Johnny Flynn has a certain wisdom artistic mentality that is sure to produce works that are bound to astound. With talks of his next album being very different from this one, you know he’s not the kind to repeat himself. Though there are a couple of iffy songs, the rest of them truly make up for it. If your born with a love for the wrote and the writ, you're going to ache for this record.
"I guess I started writing poetry and stuff, and then decided to set it to music."-Johnny Flynn

Video for Tickle Me Pink

Recommendations: The Wrote and The Writ, Tickle Me Pink, Cold Bread
Johnny Flynn's Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, as usual. I was planning to have three reviews out this week because of my one review last week, but I lied. I was only able to get two out this week. Next week, I plan to get two reviews out. One them by Oasis, but not their new one. Also, I added recommendations because all the cool music blogs do it. Tell me what you think and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Friday Thing: Shame by PJ Harvey

When I first heard this song, I was watching a Glastonbury 2004 special, and I couldn't help but think that I hope I'm like that when I'm her age. I couldn't find the exact performance, so I found it being performed on Later With Jools Holland, which was just as good. This is a great performance and, you must say, she owned the stage. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thirteenth Step-
A Perfect Circle
Status-Out as of 2003
Label-Virgin Records
Rating-3 Feathers

After an album like Mer De Noms, A Perfect Circle was put in the perfect position to make an album that was a lot heavier, hence recruiting a larger number of Tool fans as fans of there’s instead, they went down a new, more experimental/progressive path that is Thirteenth Step. Starting with ‘The Package’, the album clearly has a different feel than it did for their debut. It almost sounds like the beginning to Our Love To Admire by Interpol. It becomes much heavier half way through which makes it feel more complete. It’s a decent lead in, but it’s not really my favourite. ‘Weak and Powerless’ is far from what the title suggests. It has a soft aura but with a heavy feel. It has a really good feel so it thoroughly helps the pacing of the album. ‘The Noose’ is such a terribly beautiful song. I mean, you think it’d be pretty vile being called ‘The Noose’ and everything, but it’s very soft and Maynard’s vocal delivery just makes it perfect. After hearing such a nice-twisted sorta song, it would make you ‘more than just a little curious’ for what’s going to happen next. ‘Blue’ is another lyrically twisted song. It seems to be about a woman sitting suffocating to death while the narrator is just staring at her. They are very clever in their writing as seen in such lines like ‘call an optimist, she’s turning blue’. Cutting to the chase, it’s a very good song. ‘Vanishing’ is a very dreamy, semi-upbeat tune, but it’s not that great. The whispering of ‘disa-ppear’ at the beginning gives it the A Perfect Circle flair that you’ve come to know. Right before your attention span disappears, ‘A Stranger’ comes in. It starts out nice, with clean guitar and pleasant strings, but it quickly turns into a drone that makes you lose consciousness of the world around you, which is never good. ‘The Outsider’ sounds a perfect cross between their new sound and their Mer De Noms sound. It has very good placing on the album for the fact that it comes in right before your about to hit your r.e.m. state. ‘Crimes’ seems like a bit of a mess. Lacking vocals and proper melody really just makes it just an unpleasant filler. ‘The Nurse Who Loved Me’ is extremely weird. It has a trippy dreamlike melody equipped with a kind of harp sound. I guarantee that at the end you’ll be thinking, did I just hear what I think I heard? ‘Pet’ is by far the heaviest song on the album, and my personal favourite. It’s a very deranged lullaby as seen through lines like ‘Lay your head down child, I won’t let the boogie man come’. Also, after ‘they don’t care about you’ he whispers ‘like I do’: It’s the creepiest thing that has ever graced my ears. To give frame of reference, it sounds similar to the tune of ‘Thinking of You’ from the debut. ‘Lullaby’ is a continuation of Pet, but so much more nightmarish. It starts with a faint whisper of ‘go back to sleep’ which quickly dissipates into a 70’s drum sound with someone imitating the main theme found in the previous. ‘Gravity’ is really not a great ending. It repeats the same thing several times and it gets pretty tired quickly. It doesn’t give you that zest for more. Overall, this album was a nice follow-up to their debut. What they managed to accomplish is creating a sound that was new and completely original. But, what they weren’t able to accomplish is creating something that leaves you wanting more and that surpasses their previous work. In general, they have the appeal of an indie band, but the sound of a metal band, so they hopefully won’t disappear any time soon.
“Because I think reading is a thinking process, and I would prefer that people feel the album first, and just let it sink in. Because you might get something out of the music that you might not get from thinking about it, and watching the words go by. I usually put the lyrics online a month or so after the release of the album, but it's better to feel them first.”-Maynard James Keenan

Live video for The Outsider

A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: Last week I only posted one review, so this week I'm going to try getting 3 out, this being the 1st of three. I posted a live performance of a song rather than a video because I really didn't like any of the videos made for this album, but this performance really gives you an idea for who they are. I hope you enjoy. I didn't realize how off center the picture was so ignore it. Thanks for your time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Friday Thing: Monster by The Automatic

I saw this performance on Later...With Jools Holland (shock) the other day. This song was the best of the night in that I don't really like the Dixie Chicks, The Dresden Dolls, or any of the other bands that performed. Though I usually wouldn't listen to bands like The Automatic, I caught myself singing this song the next day so I gave it another go and here we are today. I hope you enjoy!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

ROOM ON FIRE-The Strokes

Room on Fire-
The Strokes
Status-Out as of 2003
Rating-4 Feathers

With a sudden rise to fame, and a way over-hyped album as their portfolio, they’d probably try to take advantage of their new-found fame, but shockingly they didn’t. ‘Room On Fire’ does sound like The Strokes, but it seems like they’ve developed the passion/feeling that their debut was severely lacking. “Whatever Happened?” fires up the album. It reminds me of winter, like a snowy city. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. The lines ‘But no one comes in and yes you’re alone’ and ‘I’ve got you to let me down’ really do it for me. My only problem with it is that is soundsl ike it should be the ending to the album rather than the beginning. ‘Reptilia’ is the first song I ever heard by The Strokes. It’s full of hooks, very retro guitars, and vocals that already have more ‘feeling’ than any song off of Is This It. ‘Automatic Stop’ offers a much slower, calmer pace than the previous two. Though a little repetitive, it’s still very satisfying. ‘12:51’ is the perfect song for this album. It has just the right pace and it has a guitar effect that makes it innovative enough that it right sucks you in. ‘You Talk Way Too Much’ starts out pretty boring but it really wakes up when the vocals come in. It’s alright, but nothing too memorable. ‘Between Love & Hate’ is not that great. It really hate the drums, I meant it. They sound too much like a drum machine. It sounds like it could’ve easily been on their last album, which isn’t that good of a thing. ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ sounds like it could be used at the end of a movie or something. It’s just got that sort of sound and it much more entertaining than the previous song. ‘Under Control’ too sounds like it was off of Is This It, except worse, much worse. It’s the average, non-descript, monotonous sound that got tired real fast. ‘The Way it is’ has the same general gist as ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, except it’d be when the character in the movie has a slight epiphany and acts on it. It’s a very nice song. ‘The End Has No End’ starts out loud but gets mellow quickly, but not boring. It has a nice pace and captivating vocals, especially about half way through when it sounds like he’s pouring his soul into the words. ‘I Can’t Win’ has a very retro sound. Like ‘The Way it is’ and ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, it sounds like the end of a movie, but this is when the credits are rolling, but it’s not a stupid pop song. It’s a decent ending to a very good album. Though most people and critics may not agree, I think that this album was better and a step up from their first. They seem like they thoroughly care about the music and they don’t repeat the same riff over and over again. They’ve matured quite a bit and if they were able to top their first album, I’ve got a feeling that they’ll only get better.
“And I wish I could write a song where all the parts work. When you hear a song like that, it's like finding a new friend.”-Julian Casablancas
The Strokes Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, but like I said two a week and one Friday Thing from now on. Also, you may notice I don't have a video. I looked on Youtube and all the embedding was disabled for all their songs so I'm kinda peeved. To give the post a bit more life, I made the quote a different color. I hope you enjoy this review and I'll be doing an A Perfect Circle review again this week. Thank you for your comments!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Friday Thing: Baba O'riley by The Blue Man Group

The Blue Man group, as most people know, are known for their obscure performances and multi-instrumental abilities. A while ago, I saw a show of theirs entitled 'Inside the Tube' on PBS. I was absolutely estatic after this cover performance of Baba O'riley by The Who (my favourite band). What's so great about it is that they make it completely Blue Man without obliterating the song's structure. And you gotta love the Pete Townshend honoring windmills! This performance is one of the coolest things you will ever see! Enjoy!

Baba O'riley

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Favourite Worst Nightmare-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2007
Rating-4.5 Feathers

In the height of their success and after touring the world, Arctic Monkeys' bassist Andy Nicholson decided to leave the band due to exhaustion. Nick O’Malley, of Sheffield’s ‘The Dodgems’, became the full time bassist. Together, creating a new darker style, they wrote and recorded ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, the follow up to their debut. ‘Brianstorm’ fires up the album with a frantically heavy bassline and drum line that suck you in immediately. About a guy named Brian, who’s ‘calm, collected, and commanding’, he basically transfixes you with his appearance and mien. This song has just the same effect on you. ‘Teddy Picker’ starts with a simple but effective guitar riff. Alex Turner’s vocals are clearly going through a filter, but it makes the song that much better. With lyrics like ‘Assuming that all things are equal, who'd want to be men of the people when there's people like you?’ shows that he hasn’t lost his lyrical charm. ‘D is for Dangerous’ sounds like a weird dance tune that’s almost completely a departure from their usual style. Featuring alternating vocal duties between Matt and Alex, you learn to love it. Matt Helder’s drumming style, seen especially here, developed a funkier sorta tone than its usual heaviness. ‘Balaclava’ sounds flat out unusual. The way the vocals go and the pumping bassline, it’s one of their darker/heavier songs. Alex screams for the first time, which I thought was interesting. The ending bit with the drums and bass sound like a marching band, which I think is cool. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is very poppy. The mixture of a twangy guitar and a guitar lick adds to the overall light feel of it. Though it’s more in tune with the basic pop song, it has an Arctic Monkeys flair to it that makes it great. ‘Only Ones Who Know’ is a break from the heavy into a more dreamlike and airy sound. With echo-y singing and words about Romeo and Juliet, it’s enough to make you go to sleep, in a sort of lullaby way. ‘Do Me Favour’ is so moving. Nick O’Malley’s bassline is dark on it’s own and Alex Turner sounds like he’s going to weep at any moment. The lyrics, seemingly, talk about a bitter break-up. The mood goes from murk to anger. With lines like ‘do me a favour, and ask if you need some help! She said, do me a favour and stop flattering yourself!’ force you to believe they are absolute genius. ‘This House is a Circus’ is less shady than the previous. The higher register vocals are very effective. With surreal experience’s happening to the narrator, he’s ‘struggling with the notion that it's life not film’. Blending with the previous song, ‘If You Were There, Beware’ is extremely creepy. It’s very bizarre sounding and the words too are strange. With powerful guitar interludes, and a flat out weird end bit where the guitar and vocals go through a weird filter, it’s enough to make you think ‘That…was…AWESOME!’. ‘The Bad Thing’ is very light and poppy compared to the previous three. I couldn’t stand it at first, to tell you the truth, but it really grew on me. It talks about a married women cheating on her husband who blames her motives on other factors: ‘She said "its the red wine this time.” But that is no excuse.’ ‘Old Yellow Bricks’ starts with a bass drum and a hard guitar riff. The way Alex sings it creates immense hooks. With Jamie Cook’s eerie guitar lick in the back, it creates an oddness in favour of the last few songs. ‘505’ is a great end to such an experimental album. Featuring Alex on synth and Rascal/Puppet Miles Kane on lead guitar, you know this is going to end the record with a bang. The call and answer between Jamie and Miles is so perfect it’s daunting. If they kept the same tone that ‘Whatever People Say I Am’ had, this work would’ve never came close to the success that they’d previously seen. With more worldly experiences and a slight change of style, they created an album completely different than their first but just as good. When you listen to this, you don’t fully realize that it’s the same loud teenagers because this album is more mature. This is our favourite worst nightmare.
“I don’t think the new stuff will shock people – I don’t think anybody expects us to do the same as the first album but with strings. That’s what bands do a lot of the time, isn’t it? We’re not old enough to do that yet!”-Alex Turner

Video for Fluorescent Adolescent

Arctic Monkeys Official Website
Note: I've come to the conclusion that I will get out at least two reviews and a Friday Thing every week. This is my last Arctic Monkey's review until their third album comes out. I hope you enjoy and thank you for the comments! Also, the formatting is all screwed up for this post and I tried a million times and it won't fix itself so sorry about that.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Black Holes and Revelations-
Status-Out as of 2006
Label-Warner Brothers
Rating-4 Feathers

Muse has made a name for themselves over the years through such albums as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. Classified by their progessive-electronica-metal mix, they’ve developed a sort of legacy as one of the best bands Britain has to offer. With a ‘fresh’ political view point, the three have created an album called Black Holes and Revelations. ‘Take a Bow’ sets the tone for the album immediately and very directly. Though the keyboard gets a tad irritating, the speed of it helps it. The concept of anti-war/anti-establishment starts very early on with the lines ‘you bring corruption to all that you touch’ and the oh-so uplifting ‘you will burn in hell for your sins’. ‘Starlight’ starts with a very clean, very catchy piano that creates a lot kinder, more heartwarming feel. It basically screams ‘I need to be loved’ which is appropriate because it is a love song. ‘Super Massive Black Hole’ has a very different feel to it than the last. Though it doesn’t really have anything to do with super massive black holes (the black hole believed to be at the center of every galaxy), it has a very creepy sound. The combination of Matt Bellamy’s falsetto voice on top of a deranged dance beat, it makes you a bit unsettled and you wonder why they’d put this directly after ‘Starlight’. ‘Map of the Problematique’ starts with a very forceful guitar that coaxes you right in. The piano adds an epic-spacey sort of feel. If it didn’t have vocals, I could easily see this being on the Halo soundtrack. ‘Soldier’s Poem’ is the first break you get from the frantic/heavy sound. It’s quite the twisted song, let me tell you. It, on the surface, sounds like a nice soothing jazz band song that you may hear in a fancy restaurant. But then you listen to the words. With such lyrics as ‘Do you think you deserve your freedom?’ or ‘there’s no justice in the world and there never was’ in keeps it with the anti-war theme. ‘Invincible’ is also a calm song. I really don’t like it at all because everytime I hear it, I can imagine Jarvis Cocker singing it. The only good part about it, really, is the drumroll-y drumbeat, which gives it a slight Revolutionary War feel. ‘Assassin’ is also a bit of a problem. At first, it sounds like a very annoying version of ‘Take A Bow’, but it quickly takes a turn for the worse. It’s very annoying metal sound accompanied by very violent message makes this song a turn-off, and I mean, you’ll want to turn it off. ‘Exo-Politics’ is a breath of clean air after you’ve endured the last two. What one may like about it is that the chorus sounds like it could’ve been written during their Absolution days. ‘City of Delusion’ has a very Western feel. The strings and the guitar help create a sound very different than what you’ve been hearing throughout the album. In tune with ‘City of Delusion’, ‘Hoodoo’ sounds like the part of the movie where the cowboy meets his cowboy nemesis in a barren ghost town street. About two minutes in is where the suspense kicks in when the two start walking (in slow motion) towards one another. The end of the song depicts the point where the two are contemplating one another’s body language so they can figure out who’s going to make the first move. Story aside, the song is alright. Not too special, but the visual it creates was well worth it. ‘Knights of Cydonia’ is perhaps, right now I think, their most well know song in the U.S. From the first note to the last note, the epic journey never tones down. The lyrics paint a picture of a man riding into battle. The part where they chant ‘No one’s gonna take me alive!’ is probably one of the most catchy, motivational, if you will, things I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect ending to a very interesting album. In general, the album has a very good balance of songs, each with it’s own political message. Though some songs have almost no place on the album, the lyrics stay very cohesive throughout, which makes it very effective. Their objection and opinions to what’s going on in the world makes them very appealing towards youthful audience, so clearly it is not their time to Take a Bow.
“We realised that emotion, the vibrations that you create, are as important as your technical skills. We had just discovered something: music is a matter of emotion.” -Matt Bellamy

Video for Starlight

Muse's Official Website
Note: I want to explain why my posts aren't extremely frequent. I buy all my CD's in person. I don't like to download er anything; I like the physical thing. I try to listen to a full album and write this song by song review, and to me it's worth it. I hope you enjoy this review and I plan to have reviews out by The Kings of Leon, A Perfect Circle, and Arctic Monkeys within the next week or so.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Friday Thing: Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis

I heard this song for the first time watching a 2004 edition of Glastonbury on TV. At first I though it was a cover of Imagine (the piano was a tip off), but I quickly realized it wasn't. What I loved about this is how in unison the crowd is when they sing the chorus. It's such a poignant sounding song, but the crowd is what sends shivers up your spine. Enjoy!

Don't Look Back in Anger

Friday, September 26, 2008


Costello Music-
The Fratellis
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-4 Feathers

When a new band launches their way onto the scene, and they’re from Scotland, you may think that their sound may be equipped with bagpipes, maybe a tin whistle or two. Well, not quite. The Fratellis, three Glaswegians who got their start in a pub, however, do use horns and basic guitar to create an old-fashioned pubby sound that is ‘Costello Music’. It launches with ‘Henrietta’ which is a very twangy brit-poppy sort of song. The horns and the guitar create such an unmistakably captivating sound and energy that truly makes it a great beginning. ‘Flathead’ is definitely not boring; it even sounds like they’re having a blast playing it. The pub type of feel and backing vocals really help it fall into cohesion with the rest of the album. ‘Whistle for the Choir’ is not original, at all. It’s calm, quiet, and a bit dumb. The structure and chord progressions sound like they’ve been done several times before. ‘Chelsea Dagger’: Even if you’ve never heard of The Fratellis, I can guarantee you’ve heard this one. It sounds like it could easily be sung at a soccer game or chanted in a pub. The scat chorus is what makes the piece so enticing. ‘The Gutterati?’ is a bit messy. The vocals are extremely in-your-face, which is a major turn-off. It sounds too all over the place so it makes it almost un-listen-able. It’s the shortest song on the album, but it definitely feels like the longest. The only nice part is how at the end they break out into cheers and start clapping, which adds to the pub feel. ‘For the Girl’ is alright, but the electronica la-la’s and guitar really kill it. It honestly ‘makes you sick in a bad way’. That part detracts so much from the rest of the song, that that’s all you can think about. ‘Doginabag’ which, after you’re done throwing up from the last song, calms your stomach with a nice mellow feel. They could’ve improved it by making his vocals a little more low-key. ‘Creepin Up the Backstairs’ is a tad little bit darker sounding, but it’s so much better than the last couple of songs. When they get into the ‘creepin up the backstairs’ bit, the song reaches a sound much needed in the previous songs. ‘Vince the Loveable Stoner’ sounds like surf music with a Scottish twist at first, but the happiness stops there. The chorus is very, very drab and dull which completely annihilates your attention span for the rest of the song. ‘Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night’ is very reminiscent of ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ by The Clash. The bridge is very similar to that of ‘Flathead’ too. The song is alright, not great, and too long. ‘Baby Fratelli’: They managed to create a wall of sound when the chorus come through, but what’s nice is that wall doesn’t sound like one weird drone. The basic guitar riff is quite catchy, but when every one starts yelling ‘and it’s alright!’ is very goose bump inducing. ‘Got Ma Nuts From a Hippy’ develops a different sort of sound than what was heard before. It becomes this sort of dark-retro type thing that sounds very similar to the album Magic and Medicine by The Coral. ‘Ole Black’n’Blue Eyes’ is alright. It’s not very satisfying in the sense that you hoped this album would go out with a cliff-hanger, something that makes you want more, not something that makes you think this is the last. The only real good thing about this song is that he actually figures how to control his voice so that it actually fits the tone of the song. In general, the first half of the album is more powerful and more of what we’ve come to expect of The Fratellis, but overall, they’ve still managed to create their own, very unique sound. Though there are few ear bleeders in their, by and large there are enough hits in there to land them on the map. They have a promising future in their mist, if they can duplicate this ‘Superior Sound Recording’.

"It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do since I was, like, 15."-Jon Fratelli

Video for Henrietta

The Fratellis Official Website
Note: I'm very sorry for my lack of posting reviews being that this blog is meant for CD reviews. I plan on getting out more reviews soon and quicker than I have been. Also, I noticed the one's I've wrote recently were a bit dull compared to my first few so I hope you like the writing in this one. Thank you!

The Friday Thing: Slow Hands by Interpol

When I saw this performance on TV of Glastonbury 2005, I was very pleased when I heard the opening notes to one of my favourite Interpol songs: Slow Hands. Just looking at how much Daniel and Sam get into the performance really makes the whole thing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Slow Hands

(sorry for the lack of reviews)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MER DE NOMS-A Perfect Circle

Mer De Noms-
A Perfect Circle
Status-Out as of 2000
Label-Virgin Records
Rating-3 Feathers

A Perfect Circle originated in California when guitarist Billy Howerdel recruited Tool singer Maynard James Keenan as the singer for his new band. Now deemed as ‘Tool’s side Project’, A Perfect Circle balances a combination of metal with sounds in tune with art rock. Mer De Noms goes on with ‘The Hollow’. It’s heavy drumbeat that quickly moves into a heavy guitar riff truly pulls you in. What’s nice about it is it won’t deflect ‘calm’ music lovers for the fact that Maynard’s voice is very melodic. ‘Magdalena’ is calmer than the previous, but the bass keeps it heavy. Whatever filter it is that his voice is going through really gives it a nice effect. ‘Rose’ is very industrial sounding. After the ‘I am I will’ part comes, it gets less industrial and more dark. The strings at the end sound awfully weird, but they help in transitioning into the next song. ‘Judith’ is perhaps one of A Perfect Circle’s better known songs. The song is about how Maynard’s mother is so religious that even after she had a severe stroke, she continued to be very religious. He, however, is angry at both God and her because he doesn’t understand how He could let something like this happen to her even though ‘it’s not like (she) killed someone’. The song is similar to ‘The Hollow’ but a bit heavier and a lot angrier, and Billy’s backing vocals help add to the going mental mood. ‘Orestes’ is much calmer and softer than the last song, which gives it a lighter feel. It’s alright, but it sounds a bit nasal and I don’t like the repetitiveness. ‘3 Libras’ is also quiet like the last, but the gist is a little warmer. The chorus is more powerful than the rest of the song, which makes it very enjoyable. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is a bit too lengthy for me. They try to make it a calm powerful sort of deal but it doesn’t really work. The end is real nice, however. ‘Thomas’ sounds a bit off. It’s all over the place structure wise. It’s commanding, but not great. ‘Renholdër’ is very spacey, in a mysterious dreamlike way. It’s very artsy, not quite in tune with the rest of the album. ‘Thinking of You’ is one of those songs that when you have a nightmare, it’s the song playing in the background. He sounds downright creepy and the part where he’s whispering ‘thinking of you’ all breathy really sends you into a paranoid state. ‘Breña’ is more serene than the last and helps you regain your composure from the last song. ‘Over’ finishes off the album with a solitary Maynard backed by a vibraphone-like instrument and a grand piano. It ends the album nicely, but I’d hoped that the album would end with a wham rather than a ping. Although they’ll probably be the only thing close to metal that I listen to, they have one of those very appealing sounds that was missing before they came on the scene. Even though there are a few moments that make me realize why I’m far from a metal fan, there are enough times in there that make think they’re proficient at their craft. They’ve got quite the journey ahead of them.

“I can’t tell you where it comes from, it just comes out.”-Billy Howerdel

Video for Judith

A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, I'm going to try to get out at least two a week and The Friday Thing. I hope you guys like this review. Your comments are very much appreciated! Stay tuned for The Fratellis, The Strokes, Muse, and more!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Friday Thing: Mansard Roof by Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend, though somewhat surrounded by hype, is not all that well known. Those who heard them seem to absolutely love them. I chose this performance because when I saw their set on this episode of Later...With Jools Holland (Mansard Roof, Oxford Comma, A-Punk), I went out the very next day and purchased the album based solely on this performance. Their sound just pulled me in and I had to hear more. I hope you enjoy!

Mansard Roof

(I'll have some reviews out this week)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rick Wright (1943-2008)

I don’t really know how to properly write an obituary, but here goes nothing. Richard ‘Rick’ Wright of Pink Floyd died yesterday at the age of 65 from an undisclosed cancer. Rick Wright is best known for his keyboard arrangements in the psychedelic-progressive Pink Floyd. In my opinion, some of the best examples of his keyboard genius can be heard in such songs as ‘See Emily Play’, the majority of Dark Side of The Moon, ‘Set Controls for the Heart of The Sun’, and ‘Arnold Layne’. One of the lesser known members of Pink Floyd, Rick seemed to stay neutral in the feuds going on between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. To me, he seems like one of those extremely underrated musicians who was not given enough credit for the perfection of his craft. Rick will be missed by friends and fans, and he will be missed by the music industry as a pioneering keyboardist.

Though he's not playing keys in the video, he's the one in the hat who 'starts-up' the others.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

IS THIS IT-The Strokes

Is This It-
The Strokes
Status-Out as of 2001
Rating-3.5 Feathers

With the release of the ‘Modern Age EP’ this New York band became one of the biggest things around which sparked record label wars and a great schism between fans over their newfound hype. Soon after this release, they signed to RCA and released their debut album ‘Is This It’. ‘Is This It’ commences the album. The beginning electro-sound effect thing is pretty catchy, but it quickly turns to an old-time-y drum beat. Due to the fact that the song is a tad dull, it doesn’t really set the proper tone for the album. ‘The Modern Age’ is by far my favourite song on the album. Tough it’s a bit repetitive, the twangy delivery is definitely a plus. The semi-strange guitar solo in the middle of it adds a sort of flair that it was previously missing. Even though the song is good, ‘Soma’ like the others,is very redundant. You must be thinking by this point on the album ‘Do they like to pick on riff and play it over and over without end?’ The basic tune is alright, just nothing special. ‘Barely Legal’ also has recurring melody, but it’s infectiously catchy. What really makes the song is the quasi-chorus bit where he starts ‘And all together it went well’. ‘Someday’ is a retro-twangy tale about ‘the good old days’, ‘when (they) was young’. It’s one of the better songs off the album, but as I said, the basic song structure doesn’t really vary too much. You cannot deny the hooks, though. At first, you think ‘Alone Together’(s) going to be great, but when he sings, the instruments backing the vocals are downright obnoxious. As he said, ‘we all like it a little different’, and I must agree. ‘Last Nite’: now that’s one of those songs where if you haven’t heard it by now, you’re very far from reality. It’s a real poppy tune, which you can easily see how it’s the hit of The Strokes’s career, but I personally feel it’s just a bit long. ‘Hard to Explain’ is not very good, especially the god-forsakenly annoying drum-line. I cannot stand it mainly because it sounds far over processed and it sounds like a drum machine, not proper drums. Julian’s vocals are unquestionably the only reason why this song ever had hopes of becoming a hit. ‘When it Started’ sounds like a rock band that was trying not to let the 80’s influence effect their music. The unfortunate part is that it did over come this song, but in a clean, simple, and almost likeable way. It surely sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the album, but it’s a lot better than the previous. ‘Trying Your Luck’ is nice and calm, but as usual, it’s too repetitive. After listening to it, you don’t realize you were supposed to be listening to something, which doesn’t lead to that great of expectations. ‘Take It or Leave It’ is the absolute perfect way to close this album. The guitar line, though very simple, is the work of a brilliant man. Julian gets extremely into it, which helps the album go out with a bang. As you can see, I’m one of those fans who proper understands that the band deserves a big chunk of the hype that was surrounding them, but who doesn’t understand why they were the ‘next big thing’ for a while. The Strokes really just have to learn to vary their song structure a bit, instead of, in the words of Jim Morrison, make it ‘recurring eternally forever’. Their sound is very original and retro, so let’s hope this isn’t it for them.
"It's so easy for people to jump to the wrong conclusions when they've only heard one three song EP. While we are really appreciative of some of the comparisons we have been given, it is not the full picture. Hopefully when the album comes out people will realise it isn't just some New York thing and that it is a lot more universal than that."-Fab Moretti

Live performance for Last Nite

The Strokes Official Website
Note: As you noticed, I didn't put on the official videos for the video things because I really didn't like any of them, at all. I chose the performance for Last Nite from Later With Jools Holland because I thought it was really good and the Official video for Last Nite was a live performance anyway. Over the next few days/weeks I'll have a review put for A Perfect Circle, The Fratellis, and the next Strokes album. Maybe i'll have others. Stay posted and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Friday Thing: Time is Running Out by Muse

Back when this song first came out I was enthralled by it. I don't know why. This performance is absolutely fantastic. The way they've managed to get the crowd so hyped up and their stage presence makes for a very entertaining performance. Even the awkward screams he does through out make the crowd go crazy. I hope you enjoy!

Time is Running Out (The guitar bit at 1:36 is my favourite part)

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Friday Thing: Can't Exist by Joseph Arthur

While I was watching an older episode of 'Later... With Jools Holland', this guy came on about halfway named Joseph Arthur. He's one of those artists who records all the sounds right then and uses looping machines to create a unique, electronic, and very entertaining feel. This episode of 'Later...' also saw the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Tinariwen, and The Hold Steady so for him to stick out from these, you know he's sure to impress. Enjoy!

Can't Exist

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Leave Before The Lights Come On-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-3 Feathers

Instead of coming out with another single from the debut, Arctic Monkeys have released a completely new song with two covers and decided to call that a single. ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ tells the story of two people who ended up together and don’t know why or how. As usual, Alex Turner has such a captivating way with words. Matt’s drumming is brilliant and the way Alex sings the song adds to the emotional part of a seemingly hopeful sound. It sounds like it could have easily been on ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’. ‘Put Your Dukes Up John’ is a cover of the song by The Little Flames. Compared to The Little Flames version, it’s much more upbeat sounding and the part where the rest of the band chant ‘Change your tune and change your hair or you’re not going anywhere’ sounds angrier and bit more forceful. Though it sounds similar to original, they still made it their own and gave it an Arctic’s flair. ‘Baby I’m Yours’ is also a cover, but of the song by Barbara Lewis. Featuring the singer of The 747’s Oisin Leech on lead vocals along with Alex, this song has a very soft and fuzzy feel to it. It sounds a lot more clean and slightly over processed compared to the original. The fact that it’s a bunch of young men singing a song sung by a woman shows they’ve got guts. When you first hear it, you think you might have the wrong disc in or something due to the fact that it definitely not what you’d expect. Now, only if you’re a die hard Arctic Monkeys fan would I suggest you buy this album. Being that the title track is the only ‘original’ song, only people with refined tastes would truly appreciate this. To rate it honestly, I'll give it a 3 for that fact that the covers are nothing special and the original stuff isn't anything innovative or new; it's just three sound songs.
“'Leave Before the Lights Come On' feels very much like it could be on the album. So we're going to put that out as a single. I remember it's the last song that I wrote about that sort of time, going out and that. My life's not really like that any more."-Alex Turner

Video for Leave Before The Lights Come On

Arctic Monkeys Official Website
Note: Sorry for my not recent posting and sorry for all the Arctic Monkeys reviews in this blog, I really like them. Someone suggested that I review this so I gave in and did. This'll be one of the few singles reviews I do for the fact that album and EP reviews are much more fun to write. I hope you enjoy, and BTW, isn't the video creepy?

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Friday Thing: Freakbeat Phantom by The Rascals

The Rascals are one of those bands that aren't anything ultra-special, but are really good nonetheless. Compared to the studio version of 'Freakbeat Phantom', this performance is just as good if not better and you can tell that they like what they do for the fact that they get really into this performance. Enjoy.

Freakbeat Phantom

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Our Love To Admire-
Status-Out As Of 2007
Rating-2 Feathers

After creating the genius work that was Antics, Interpol changed record labels and used three years to create the very long awaited Our Love To Admire. You may think it’s impossible to top such a career-changing album. You might be right. ‘Pioneer to The Falls’ begins the album very nicely. Just when you think the mini-guitar rant is going on a bit too long, the vocals come in. It’s a bit calm, but not too long, although due to the calmness, it doesn’t really suck you in. ‘No I in Threesome’ is one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s a tad more upbeat than the previous, but it’s pretty calm. Paul’s voice fits the song so perfectly. The song sounds like a more mature Interpol, so I’m glad they decided ‘It’s time to give something new a try’. ‘The Scale’ is pretty dark sounding compared to the last two but it’s very long and very boring. After you’ve passed out, ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ wakes you up with its fast paced beat and it’s kicking sound. They really should have put this song first on the album because it would have sucked in even those who hate Interpol. When the song is over, you’re dying for more. ‘Mammoth’ starts out seemingly loud and nice but it actually gets a bit quieter and it gets really monotonous. It’s like no really, ‘Just spare me the suspense’, I don’t think I can take it anymore. ‘Pace is the Trick’ is extremely quiet at the beginning; as in you don’t realize it’s playing, probably because you’ve lost your train of thought from the last song. Pace is the trick to making a song good, and this song is far too slow to captivate anyone. The only thing that gets interesting is the vocals, but the guitar just repeats the whole time. ‘All Fired Up’ sounds different than any other Interpol song I’ve heard before. The drums developed that short drum roll thing and the guitar has a different distortion on it than what we’re used to. The way he sings it is also different. I must say, I really like it; it’s a different sort of sound, which is exactly what I was hoping for with this album. ‘Rest My Chemistry’ has a very subdued Jazz feel to it, which gives its own sound, but it’s pretty uneventful, and lengthy. ‘Who Do You Think’ is pretty catchy, and so much better than the previous few songs pacewise. What’s nice about it is it varies, which is what you’ve been hoping for. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is very quiet. The vocals are odd, but the rest of it is very dull. The end bit sounds like dreamscape, if you actually realize it’s playing. ‘The Lighthouse’ is very dreamlike and the little guitar blobs throughout sound like the beginning bit of ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere’ by The Who. By the end of the song, I completely lost my concentration and began to focus on other things. Clearly not the best addition to their catalogue, but you can think of this album as a transformation period: a period between their old sound and their new. For fans like me, it’s our love to admire for the fact that we continue to love this band, despite the bit of mediocrity that they tend to come out with.
‘We never want to stay within a certain parameter—we always want to keep moving forward, and I think we have. You don’t really want to keep making the same record over and over.’ Daniel Kessler

Video for No I In Threesome

Interpol's Official Website
Note: This is the last I'll be posting of Interpol until their forth album comes out godwilling next year. Though I gave them a 2, I still really like them and that probably won't change. Also note, I have the special edition version of this album hence the black cover. The normal version has a lion attacking some sort of elk/deer thing, just letting you know. I hope you enjoy the album or review! Thank you for reading!