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!