Friday, October 30, 2009

The Friday Thing: The Age of the Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets

It's been exactly a year since I was fortunate enough to see The Last Shadow Puppets live. As I look back on the night, I cannot get over how immensely awesome it was, and how good of a band they really were. During this song especially, the audience was so whipped up jumping around and practically everyone was screaming the song. I chose this performance for two reasons. One is that it's one of the best live performances I've ever seen. The second is that it embodies the epicness of the performance I saw, even though this one was on TV. I hope you enjoy!

The Age of the Understatement

Spoon is...Transference!

Spoon's 7th album "Transference" is due out January 26th, 2010. Since I reviewed Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga over the summer, I haven't been able to stop listening to it, so now I'm very excited! Spoon have yet to disappoint, so I doubt this next addition will be any different. I'd advise any one to give a listen to them if you haven't already.

01. Before Destruction
02. Is Love Forever?
03. The Mystery Zone
04. Who Makes Your Money
05. Written in Reverse
06. I Saw the Light
07. Trouble Comes Running
08. Goodnight Laura
09. Out Go the Lights
10. Got Nuffin
11. Nobody Gets Me But You

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Friday Thing: Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger

I heard this on the radio earlier this week, and that made me think of the video. If you don't know, "Flagpole Sitta" came out in the late 90s and sounds like one of the quintessential 90s songs. About 3 years ago, an office for the company Connected Ventures filmed themselves 'performing' the song. If you haven't already seen this video, you must. It's the best lip sync ever. Period. How could you not want to work there? I hope you enjoy!

Flagpole Sitta

Friday, October 16, 2009


The Resistance-
Label-Warner Brothers
Status-Out as of 2009
5th Studio Album
Rating-4 feathers

Several months ago, Muse announced that they were making an album that was going to be so orchestrated that “[they’ll] be knocking on classic FM’s door” and “it could actually be kind of classical act basically, and move away from rock all together.” Now known as “The Resistance,” Muse’s 5th effort, is backed by a desire to take America with an unfortunately more attainable sound.

The first half of the album is not as orchestral as they made it out to be. ‘Uprising’ is a solid start to the album, but it is not great. It sounds just like Goldfrapp; they even said so themselves, which is not a good thing. It is the least complex song I have heard them do. It is a very bad representation of what they have come to be known for, and it should have been three minutes shorter. When the last “hey!” in ‘Uprising’ is uttered, and the atmospheric sound comes in, you know ‘Resistance’ is going to be epic. When the bassline and drums come pounding in, you’ve already forgotten about the desecration of their talent, ‘Uprising’. With simply amazing vocals and powerful instrumentation, the song comes together beautifully to reach a powerful, epic end. However, the lyrics are atrocious. When one hears the album name, little do they know it would be because of the line “Love is our resistance.” Really Muse? Is that all you can come up with? ‘Undisclosed Desires’ is a wimpy song and I would have never guessed that they would resort to this. The only good part is the orchestra’s impressive pizzicato arrangement. As a string player, I know how hard it is to arrange and make pizzicato sound good, and this arrangement is brilliant. ‘United States of Eurasia’ starts out dramatic, with moody strings, a piano, and solo vocals. But then out of absolutely nowhere, it turns into a bombastic Queen song, which just as suddenly turns into a stylized ‘Kashmir.’ It is pretty shocking, to say the least, but I guess we now know who their inspiration is. ‘Unnatural Selection’ is the heaviest, most Absolution-esque song on the album. The guitar is nice and thick with the angry vocals crying for ‘revolution’ and ‘protest’. If that wasn’t enough to remind you of the old Muse, the breakdown is so overwhelmingly reminiscent of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ and ‘Showbiz’ that any die-hard fan will hit repeat several times. Those who appreciate that fact will adore ‘MK Ultra’, which is essentially a cleaner ‘Unnatural Selection’, but about conspiracy theories. ‘I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S’ouvre à ta Voix)’ is more abominable than ‘Undisclosed Desires’. It is a fun song, but it is really a murder of their talents. The only good part comes when he sings in incoherent French, but that is quickly negated when they come back for round two of the appalling part. If anything redeemed the album, it is the glorious three part symphony entitled Exogensis, starting with ‘Part 1: Overture’. This movement is wonderfully dramatic, and would not be out of place on ‘Origin of Symmetry’. The instrumentation and vocals fit in brilliantly with the heavy verbose string line. ‘Part 2: Cross-Pollination’ is just as heavy on the instrumentation, but it is the song that gets you riled up chanting ‘You must rescue us all!’ It’s a shame ‘Cross-Pollination’ is so short, but ‘Part 3: Redemption’ makes up for it. Words cannot hope to describe ‘Redemption’ properly. It is second to ‘Blackout’ in the line of the most beautiful thing Muse has ever done. It builds so gracefully, with sweeping strings and perfect, melodic vocals. It ends the album leaving you completely uplifted.

As a whole, this album wasn’t so terrible. It had some really horrific songs (ie. Uprising, I Belong to You), but it also contained some of the best songs Muse have ever created (ie. Redemption). Muse are fading ever so slightly, but still have not let their fans down, and The Resistance shows both aspects. Any fan will embrace this album as a continuation of ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, but I still highly doubt this will be the one to break them in America.

"We're the biggest band America doesn't know anything about."-Dominic Howard

Video for Uprising

Recommendations: Resistance, Unnatural Selection, MK Ultra, Exogensis: Pt. 1-3
Muse's Official Website
NOTE: Sorry, this review is like a month overdue, but hey, atleast it's completely honest because I let it soak in for a good long time. I bought it the day it came out in the US, honest. I hope you enjoy! Logos by Atlas sound is due out on Tuesday, so if I can get, that'll be my next review. Thank you for your support and understanding.

The Friday Thing: Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire

Earlier this week, my favorite music/concert channel was playing the Coachella movie, a movie of a bunch of interviews and performances from the Coachella festival. After some ungodly acts, the started playing Arcade Fire. I have to say they are one of the best live bands I've ever heard, and this performance proves that further. Sure Will and Win Butler seem a little out of it, but that just adds to the weirdness that I love about Arcade Fire. Enjoy!

Rebellion (Lies)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Video for Cornerstone by Arctic Monkeys

The video for 'Cornerstone' by Arctic Monkeys, the second single off of Humbug was released today. There's only two good parts: When the song says the walls are wet, and Alex rubs his hand against the wall then shakes it out as though it actually got wet. The second good part being when he bends down and pops up closer to the camera. It's a dumb video, but I prefer it to 'Crying Lighting''s video anyday.


Friday, October 9, 2009

The Friday Thing: The Modern Age by The Strokes

I used to get this music channel, and one of the shows they'd play was 'Montreux Jazz Festival'. They had one with The Strokes, and in that hour they only played three songs, one of them being 'The Modern Age'. Admittedly it's a good performance, not a great one, but I'll tell you, the 1st time I saw it, it officially made a Strokes fan. From that moment, it became my favorite song of there's, and maybe if you watch this it'll have the same effect! Enjoy!

The Modern Age

Btw: I'm in the process of writing the Resistance review. Expect it in the next 3 days, and I really mean it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NEW: Horchata by Vampire Weekend

On Saturday, I noticed on Vampire Weekend's website they had what appeared to be countdown. Well, the countdown ended today to unveil the 1st song of the band's 2nd Album 'Contra' entitled 'Horchata'. I'm really liking their sound. It'll take a few listens to completely embrace it, but otherwise it shows great promise for a hopefully great album. Listen to make your own opinions and if you really like it, it's up for free download on their site. Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Friday Thing: All is Love by Karen O & The Kids

I'm not the kind of person who goes crazy over new movies (ever), but upon seeing the trailers for Where The Wild Things Are, it looks really really sweet. I must see it. In one of the commercials, they played this song which I later learned was created by Karen O (the Yeah Yeah Yeah's front woman the woman in charge of the WTWTA soundtrack) and The Kids (the Kids are her backing band including the likes of Bradford Cox of Atlas Sound and the other Yeahs)entitled "All is Love". It's such a wonderfully cutesy song and I think Karen O did a great job. I can't get enough of it. Enjoy!

All is Love

Where the Wild Things Are trailer (featuring 'Wake Up' by Arcade Fire)

(Yeah, I know, not a live video, but I wanted to post about this. Oh yeah, about that Resistance review...)