Friday, August 28, 2009

The Friday Thing: Hyper Music by Muse

In anticipation of Muse's new album 'The Resistance', I've been watching real old (for them) Muse performances. As most Muser's would agree, Origin of Symmetry is Muse's best album. It's filled with non-stop highlights. Hyper Music is one of 11 great songs, and I have to say, it's freaken massive live. As you can see here an in more recent performances on Jools Holland, the studio is very confining for their sound, but in this case, their sheer talent just oozes all over the place. Enjoy!

Hyper Music

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Humbug by Arctic Monkeys is out today. Go get it!

Pretty Visitors performed at the Web Transmission

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2-Darker My Love

Darker My Love
Status-Out as of 2008
2nd Studio Album
Rating-3 feathers

Darker My Love, named for a song by punk band TSOL, got their start in LA, with members hailing from such bands as The Distillers. After the release of their virtually unknown eponymous debut, Darker My Love are back with a vengeance. Their second album, 2, is that call to arms. Whether they deem it as a “hitchhiker’s guide to getting through LA” or “a manual to help you deal with daily existence”, they may just be embellishing a smidge.

Firing off with ‘Northern Soul’, they are very clearly confident with their sound, which is somewhat refreshing. Sure, the vocals sound a little too generic, but the bass, drums, and guitar thunder at you with thumping promise. ‘Blue Day’ shows a little less ferocity, but its sound is very similar to the previous. The vocals fade dramatically, and the chorus of “Isn’t it strange?” is pretty irritating. ‘Two Ways Out’ is surely the stand out track from the album. The instruments all offer the same distorted sound that the previous two songs did, but somehow it feels different. Perhaps it’s the classic indie vocals or the bright ‘ooh ooh’s’. Either way, it’s a great guitar indie tune with a thick distorted guitar to give it that Darker My Love flair. Though until this point, they’ve only demonstrated their heavy sound, ‘White Composition’ brings to the table that midpoint break. Its lovely jazz inspired guitar and drums bring to mind a wet, drizzly day, while the psychedelic vocals and organ flourishes fit the mood so perfectly it makes you almost delighted. Past this point, the shear innovativeness halts, and the generic self-indulgent guitar solos commence. ‘Add One to the Other One’ sounds like an impromptu recording session. The 1st two minutes are an overdrawn spacey jam where nothing happens. At all. The vocals come in for 30 seconds, and leave when a similar heavier jam session is induced. ‘Even In Our Lightest Day’ is similarly unbearable. The vocals bring nothing to the song, just an endless drone and nothing interesting or even remotely catchy shows itself. This over repetitive self-indulgent pompous streak continues through five songs in total and doesn’t cease until the finale. I’m not saying that ‘Immediate Undertaking’ is a whole lot more interesting, but it does provide something you can focus on. It too is a bit drone-y, but the acoustic guitar strumming along with a Beatlesque psychedelic electric guitar melodies create a feeling of slumber and tiredness. Sure, the vocals give you that in it of itself, but at least the instrumentation brings you some closure.

Darker My Love have succeeded in the sense that they’ve created a very obvious sound. I can envision ‘Two Ways Out’ and ‘White Composition’ being immediate favorites of all those who come across this group. As an album, however, I was very disappointed. The first half of the album is great: they suck you in further and further with each song offering a new element to their sound. But, once they enter into the realm of self indulgence your perspective on 2 dies hard. Darker My Love show great promise, but for now, I’ll keep this ‘manual to deal with daily life’ out of my daily life.

“Yeah, it’s cool. It’s hot.”-Jared Everett

Video for Two Ways Out

Recommendations: Northern Soul, Two Ways Out, White Composition
Darker My Love's Blogger Blog
Darker My Love's Myspace
Note: I won't be having a review out until Saturday, maybe. But, I will be reviewing Humbug by Arctic Monkeys as my next review. Be sure to go out and buy it when it comes out Tuesday! Also, apparently Raditude was named by Rainn Wilson. Weird...

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Friday Thing: We're Not Gonna Take It by The Who (Woodstock)

As some of you may know, the Woodstock Festival was arguably the most important festival in the history of rock, preaching the idea of 3 days of peace and music. As some of you may not know, Woodstock's 40th anniversary was this past saturday until this past Tuesday. Though I was not around in 1969, I still understand how massive this festival was, and in celebration I chose The Who performing the end of 'We're Not Gonna Take It'. This performance is freaken awesome and is the essence of what Woodstock was. It's even better to know that it was performed this massively at 4AM. Can you imagine: While the sunrises hearing The Who chanting the words to 'Listening to You' over and over?

We're Not Gonna Take It

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weezer is...Raditude?

Raditude? Are they serious? They are pretty 'rad', but Raditude? I personally feel they could've just named it Weezer and assigned it a color rather than give it some not so rad made up word for a name. I don't know which is better, Raditude or The Rascals 'Rascalize'.

As for '(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To', it's no where near classic Weezer. The song is catchy and leaves you in a good mood like any poprock song would, but it still shows signs of mistake that was 'Trouble Maker'. Though this song isn't entirely bad for Weezer's now overtly mainstream sound, it's still not what they have come to be known for. Even though this album has slight promise, I can't say I'll be buying it.

(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To

Album out: October 27th

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Friday Thing: Gwn Mi Wn by Gruff Rhys

Earlier this week, I was watching the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concert special again to watch Noel Gallagher and The Coral perform. After that, I wanted to see the other acts and after about 40 minutes, Gruff Rhys came on. I recognized him from Super Furry Animals, so I watched it. I absolutely love it how he only needs himself, a loop machine, and a bunch of 'found' objects to make such a masterpiece. It's very Jamie Lidell or Joeseph Arthur. I'm a sucker for one man bands, I know, but the fact that he's able to have the head to make so many layers on the spot like that. It's a very nice song, and it's great that you don't have to understand welsh to enjoy it!

Gwn Mi Wn

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Skeletal Lamping-
of Montreal
Status-Out as of 2008
9th Studio Album
Rating-2 Feathers

Only a year after their highly regarded ‘Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?’, of Montreal, an indie pop band originating from Georgia, released their follow-up ‘Skeletal Lamping’. With a funkier tone and lyrics bringing up a myriad of ‘fantasies, ruminations, and observations’, ‘Skeletal Lamping’ is quite a trip.

As a concept, the album was meant to be heard as one whole piece. 100+ short little songs: thousands of ideas some how classified into 15 separate songs. Starting with ‘A Nonpareil of Wisdom’, they delve right into the weirdness with a pumping bassline and quirky vocals which soon turn into a three minute long guitar solo simply involving the guitarist methodically crashing down on the strings. Though self indulgent, it’s actually very interesting to listen to. Upon hearing the 1st line of ‘Wicked Wisdom’ (it’s a smidge to inappropriate for this blog), how does it not set the mood for a moderately humorous and fun song? Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t. The song loses it’s poppyness within the first minute and then it becomes downright sleazy, with the line “when we get together it’s always hot magic” repeatedly sung over and over. ‘Touched Something’s Hollow’ and ‘An Eluardian Instance’ compliment each other very well. With ‘Touched’’s dramatic Imagine-style piano breezing into ‘Eluardian’’s bright horn fanfare, it’s an awkwardly appealing mixture with each song still offering of Montreal’s famous indie poppyness and danceability. Past this point, most of the songs are pretty odd, to say the least. Almost none of them have a full on structure and they all sound like random minute long songs just sorta pasted together. Also, each one lyrically becomes increasingly more sexually explicit like ‘Platis Wafer’, which is seven minutes of pure self-indulgence and one of the many where I just wanted it to end. To be honest, the only song worth mentioning past this is ‘Id Engager’. It’s one of the few songs on the album where they actually had a solid concept and it’s an obvious ‘song’. It has a very theatrical tone, with random screams thrown in and a thick bright bassline quickly encasing a mood of weird indie dance music.

As a whole, this album was a bit of a mess and very dirty, to say the least. I get the fact that the album was supposed to be hundreds of little compositions, but they generally seemed haphazardly put together. There was little cohesion, except in the albums general theme: I don’t know if it was just me, but every song on the album was seemingly about sex. Not only was this distasteful, but it made certain songs just a little too uncomfortable. As you can see, ‘Skeletal Lamping’ is not for everyone. Die hard fans will embrace it with the idea of ‘It’s just of Montreal being of Montreal’, but casual fans will be perplexed and severely turned off. On the surface, it’s a fun record to hop around to. I’ll give it that much.

“We feel that there’s no reason to produce another object that just sits on a shelf. We only want to produce objects that have a function and that can be treasured for their singularness. A CD has little value, as an object, and the conventional, right angle plagued CD packaging, we’ve been forced to endure forever, has nothing new to offer us either.”-Kevin Barnes

Video for Id Engager

Recommendations: Touched Something's Hollow, An Eluardian Instance, Triphallus to Punctuate!, Id Engager
of Montreal's Official Website
Note: Sorry, but I honestly did not like or fully get this album, hence the two rating. I thought the quote was appropriate for the fact that have you seen the packaging? I thought the packaging for Merriweather Post Pavilion was boss, but this packaging is this huge fold out thing. It's so beyond not a jewel case (or even a soft case for that matter). I do like of Montreal, but I don't think Skeletal Lamping was for me. I'll be working on Tapes 'n Tapes next and then probably Darker My Love. However, if Humbug comes out before I'm done reviewing either, I'll have that out. Enjoy and I appreciate the comments!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Resistance and Uprising cover art!

A week ago, Muse 'unveiled' their cover art for the highly anticipated 'The Resistance'. As compared to their previous covers, it fits in well being that they aren't known for their classically 'normal' looking covers. It's very fruity from afar, but if you click it to zoom in, it's very intricate: each hexagon looks like it's been drawn in, and then the man is actually walking towards the earth. Pretty cool.

This is the coolest coverart ever. Made for the cover of the single 'Uprising', it is the strangest things I've come to see. It doesn't match the songs mood at all and I'd never expect it, but c'mon! It's an army of teddy bears coming out of the ground. That's so sick and only Muse would do it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Friday Thing: Taste by Animal Collective

A while ago, I was 'youtube-ing' all the songs from the album Merriweather Post Pavilion, and when I looked up 'Taste' I came across a really strange version. I'm assuming they did this song live for awhile, but came up with a really clean different version for Merriweather. This performance was one of the things I came across, and I absolutely love it. It's VERY strange, and very different than the album version, but that makes it even better. I think Animal Collective should try more things like this utilizing objects found on the street to do some songs, because is this not awesome?


Thursday, August 6, 2009


Oracular Spectacular-
Status-Out as of 2008
1st technical Studio Album
Rating-3.5 Feathers

The Management came under the radar by opening for of Montreal back in 2005. Since then, and after a name change to MGMT, they have released their debut album ‘Oracular Spectacular’, quickly becoming hailed as “the band to watch” for 2008. Taking you through spacey-guitar riffs to the tune of psychedelic synthesizers, is easy to see why ‘Oracular Spectacular’ is the subject of recent hype.

This journey begins with a first step, and that first step is ‘Time to Pretend’. Chronicling the life of a stereotypical rockstar backed by moody synthesizers, and with an opening synth line effective enough to give you goosebumps, can you believe they didn’t choose this as the finale? After the pretending stops, MGMT goes on to prove that they know how to write a dancefloor filler. ‘Electric Feel’ is a space-rock influenced disco tune, and except for the disco feel it’s a great song. It’s not your typical dance song, but the thick bassline will be enough to help you develop a nice groove. After your trip to the late 70’s, ‘Kids’ comes in and brings you back with all its glory. The opening synthesizer is boss, and when the heavy backing synth comes in you have to get up and bop around, it’s simply impossible not to. With the basic synthesizer arrangement, punctuated by the sound of screaming kids and the main swooping synth line, you know MGMT’s created the perfect dance song that’s shockingly not on Top 40 charts. After the wonder comes the strife, also known as ‘4th Dimensional Transition’ and ‘Pieces of What’. ‘4th Dimensional Transition’ sounds like they tried to equal the drama of the previous songs, but failing to do so and adding that obnoxious quasi-tribal drum was a mistake. ‘Pieces of What’ is completely inconsistent with the album’s general sound. The whiney croon backed by a tinny acoustic guitar just sounds wrong, especially when they add the airy backing vocals and spacey synths at the end which even further just don’t go. ‘Of Moons, Birds & Monsters’ brings you out of your misery, taking you on a trip through an epic odyssey of sci-fi, simple guitar lines, and ambient synthesizers all ending with reverb strongly reminiscent of Muse. Past ‘Of Moons…’ the basic idea of the album fades, and the final two songs are passable. A great disappointment.

As a whole, MGMT are what they are hyped to be: masters of subtle space rock and neo-psychedelia. They’ve shown they can write works of genius, but they’ve also shown they can write a few easily-forgettables. They show extreme promise, and with their electric feel, there is still Time to Pretend for MGMT.

“We redid a lot of our songs that sounded too polished. Dave [the producer] ended up running the tracks through this thing that crushed them and made them sound really gross again. They're a lot better now.”-Ben Goldwasser

'Official' fan video for Kids

Recommendations: Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, Kids, Of Moons, Birds & Monsters
MGMT's Official Website
Note: Is that not the best lip synch, other than this, that you have ever seen in a music video? It's better than 99.9% of 'official' videos. I didn't put the official video for 'Kids' because the toddler crying makes me depressed. The lip synch in that sucks too. I mean, the video for A-Punk is better lip synched. I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for an of Montreal or a Tapes 'n Tapes review!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thom Yorke and Bon Iver=Twilight?

Remember how at the Grammys last year, Radiohead performed? It was great. Remember how you heard, after the Grammys, that Miley Cyrus felt entitled to meet Radiohead, but Radiohead refused to meet with her? That was really awesome. However, Thom Yorke has just negated that fact. Of all people, Thom Yorke is writing a song specifically for the Twilight 2's soundtrack. Folkie/Indie Bon Iver is also joining in on this. This is really terrible. I understand, maybe they need the money, but c'mon! Of all movies, they pick Twilight. Not so awesome.

15 Step performed at 2008 Grammys

Source: Stereogum