Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Random Goodie

....Because I've become a real slacker.  Part of it is having a job, part of it is pure laziness. 
This song gets me through the day.  Through long hours training.  Through watching the political/moral unrest throughout the world....this song gives me hope like nobody's business.  And it motivates me to keep pushing, even when I don't feel like it.  So, when life sucks....shake it out.  Good night, fellow Music Sluts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Album Releases: October 18th

As y'all may have noticed, I've been really busy getting on the job search (just submitted my Teach for America application so Yay!) and helping out with family stuff.  As much as I like to listen through all the albums Spinner puts up, every week I go through and pick a few and then I can't find the time to give full attention/review that they deserve.  A majority of the time, I will have a free hour the next week and a whole crop of new albums will have replaced albums I wanted to review, so I have to change my plans.  I will still try to do this, but I think better idea is that, addition to my own thoughts on albums, I'll list the albums that are released every week -- and there are a bunch, believe me -- and you guys can decided for yourselves which ones you're interested in, especially if the option I choose to review isn't your scene.  Sound good?  Okily-dokily....is it weird that I have no clue if I spelt that correctly? Whatever....

Albums Released on October 18th, 2011
  • One Pig by Matthew Herbert
  • Staring at the X by Forest Fire -- Note:  I downloaded a free sample song--"Future Shadows"-- off this album, and it's definitely worth a listen. 
  • The Drummer by Niki and the Dove
  • Virginity EP by The Bleeding Knees Club
  • Social Studies by Body Language*
  • Salt for Salt by Brown Bird
  • The Gift Horse by Brown Shoe
  • Rapprocher by Class Actress*
  • Sing in My Meadow by Cowboy Junkies
  • Everybody Breaks by Garrett Pierce
  • Gauntlet Hair by Gauntlet Hair
  • Lily & the Parlour Tricks by Lily & the Parlour Tricks* -- Note: Rockabilly!!!
  • Minefield EP by My Glorious
  • Wild One by North Highlands
  • Folly by Pree*
  • He Thinks He's People by Rob Crow
  • An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings by Sahy Uhns
  • Room to Run by States
  • The Place I Left Behind by The Deep Dark Woods
  • Years of Living Dangerously by Turf War
The ones with asterisks are ones I'm interested in reviewing if I have time.  Some of are really short (the EPs, for example) so those might also be plausible for me to do as well. 

To have a free listen and decide whether to buy, you can check these all at Spinner.  They're usually up for a week although sometimes the site facilitators put up the new albums on Monday.  Happy Listening!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mainstream Radio, This is Why You're Failing

I haven't been listening to the radio at all recently because -- basically -- I got a huge "Fuck you" when I suggested a change in the line-up. Not in so many words....they sugarcoated it by pandering to my ego and telling me exactly what I wanted to hear but, yeah, the message I got was that they couldn't give a flying f*ck about what their listeners think or want. 

Just a little background -- I felt like a hypocrit for writing off my local radio station without actually trying contribute and make it better.  So, instead of just continually bitching, I wrote a very pleasant e-mail making a few suggestions about adding local artists and not playing "Moves like Jagger" every other minute.  (Just for the record---I effin' hate that song.  It is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the music industry right now.)  This is the reply I recieved:
Hey! Thanks for the email and thanks for listening to ****. It's nice to get an email from someone who knows music. I can tell because you feel **** is getting stale. At the end of the summer, the charts start to slow, making the playlist seem to be in a slump. You picked up on this, therefore you are "music aware". I wish there were more like you.
    I listened to the songs and will give a few spins next week to see how it is received. Thanks for the tip.
    The local artist show has been kicked around the station for about a year now, they are looking for a sponsor for the show and discussing the platform (On line or on air) for a local spotlight. For example, if we did it online we would make it a weekly contest where the winner would get a spotlight play on the air.
 I listened to that radio station nonstop for two weeks straight and I didn't hear any deviation from the norm.  Lying bastard.  You can't decry your audience for not having taste when you simultaneously control the content they hear.  They didn't even give people a chance to say whether or not they liked the change of sound.

Oh.  And he straight up lied about the change of new music slowing down at the end of summer.  I know for a fact that more albums came out during one week of September than the entire month of July.  And more awesome stuff is coming out soon (Hello Vanaprasta!)  I'm tired of this sh*t.  Internet radio all the way, baby.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sorry I've been A Super Slacker

Hey Music Sluts,
I apologize for the two weeks hiatus I took from posting.  I've been using this time to gather my thoughts, get my sh*t together, and decide what I want to do with my life.  Just a few things you missed, in music and otherwise --
  • REM broke up.  Sad panda.  They were awesome and they will be missed.
  • Vanaprasta played a couple shows in Scottsdale, AZ.  Although I had plans to go see them, Scottsdale is like 3 hours away and I just didn't have the funds to take a 6 hour road trip to see a band, even though I really wanted to.  The good news is, though, that it seems like they're getting a lot of attention, so the future prospect of seeing them play live has become more tangible because, with more fans come more accessible venues, so here's to hoping.
  • A ton of great albums have been released these past two weeks, not least of all was Grouplove's Never Trust a Happy Song.  Blondie, which I love and has been a major influence in the shaping of my musical taste, also released a new album. Definitely check those out if you can.
  • The West Memphis 3 were freed.  I learned about them during an English class and, having researched the history, I'm so happy that they've been released.  If you don't know of the case, you should understand it is one of the greatest miscarriage of justice in recent years and really gives one a reason to reflect on the fairness of the judicial process. 
  • Occupy Wall Street is closing it's second week and is gaining momentum, sparking similar protests in 50 cities in the U.S. and around the world.  I'm really surprised because I honestly thought it was going to fizzle out after a day.  I've been following the protests pretty regularly and I'm curious to see if anything is accomplished by the General Assembly.
  • My career options, as I found out, are not as dire.  Apparently, my sh*tty eyesight was not such a big deal for a certain federal career and I've been informed that if/when I'm hired, I'll be going in as a higher pay grade than usual.  Although I'm happy, I've been conflicted with whether or not I really want to be on that career path so I've been exploring Teach for America.  I'm really excited about TFA and will be putting in an application soon.
  • I've finally submitted a story I wrote -- a story I'm very proud of, btw -- to a major literary journal.  It might take awhile to get a reply, so I'm taking that in stride and trying to remain optimistic.  Meanwhile, I've been working on The Novel and a couple other short stories that have my brain running at all hours of the night.
Those last two were kind of personal and off topic, I know, but just so you know I haven't been shirking my blogging duties just because I'm lazy. 

Another Song I really think you should hear

Sail
by Awolnation

I've been listening to 98.7 LAs best alternative a lot more often, due to some mitigating circumstances that I will fill you in on later.  This song has been played quite bit so it must be fairly popular on the coast and the more times I hear it, the more I'm blown away by the sound.
The motley crew that is Awolnation
It's a fairly simple song lyrics-wise -- repetitive in a way that allows you to focus on the beauty of the music.  The intro is very zen-like....kind of New Age to the point where, at first, I was like "Are they playing Enya?" Nope....something just as awesome but in a different way...  It's another one of those songs that you have to allow to wash over you and not linger on the technical aspects, which are beautiful in their own right.  My favorite part of the instrumentals is the discordant piano playing, which disturbs the otherwise serene ambiance with just the right amount of darkness.  I'm looking forward to hearing more from this artist.  Please have a listen.  Video is, bien sur, after the jump.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Song du Jour -- Today calls for the Beatles

Revolution
by The Beatles


As you may know, happening right now in Manhattan is Occupy Wall Street, an Anonymous Ops event/protest.  I only watched a few minutes of the live feed on AnonOps but, considering how many people are out there today in support and the need for police forces to be out, I find it oddly suspicious that none of the major news networks are covering it.  Sure, they have a little bit in the ticker saying that a protest is going on but this thing is becoming global.  It is news, so they should be covering it, rather than devoting time to Scarlett Johannson's nude pictures and Brad Pitt's failed marriage--if for no other reason than it's far more interesting and relevant.  And if things become violent, it could become bad news--really bad news.  I may disagree with alot of the methods Anonymous has used to gain attention for their cause, but I'm still interested in how far this will go.  Ignoring it won't make it go away.  In fact, it might even make things worse, because it might seem that the media--who usually claim to be on the side of truth -- is trying to alienate protesters. 

Perhaps there is a reason for the dearth of coverage -- perhaps CNN, Fox, and MSNBC only do fluff pieces on the weekend....or maybe their bosses just don't want them getting deep into the fray.  The point is that my generation is hopping mad and the economy sucks and the government is essentially non-functioning at this point for many reasons.  I could go into all the historical data on why a revolution in America isn't so far-fetched right now but that would be a long rant and I want to get to the song du jour, which features the always appropriate Beatles.  They have a song for f*cking everything, don't they?  And it's reminiscent of the "Make Love, Not War" times that defined a decade.  For my part, I'll be at the Bisbee Blues Fest, supporting music and community togetherness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bisbee Blues Festival 2011

Since the day is coming up quick, I just want to remind anyone who has stumbled upon this site that this Saturday, September 17th, is the 7th Annual Bisbee Blues Fest held at Warren Park.  This is a great local event that has done great things for the Southeastern Arizona music scene.  This is first year I'll be able to attend and I will be volunteering as a beer girl, so you're welcome to stop buy and say Hi from 4-8, which is when my designated shift will be.  I'll be the short girl.  Additional information is listed below.




Artists Featured
  • Coco Montoya
  • Big Daddy D and the Dynamites
  • The Bryan Dean Trio
  • Dylan Charles and the Border Crossers - local band
Location
Warren Ballpark
Arizona St. at Ruppe Rd.
Warren District Bisbee, Arizona 85603

Times
Gates open at noon and the play schedule is as follows:
  • 1:00pm -- Dylan Charles and the Border Crossers
  • 2:45pm -- The Bryan Dean Trio
  • 4:30pm -- Big Daddy D and the Dynamites
  • 6:30pm -- Coco Montoya
Hopefully, we won't be rained out.  Looking forward to seeing other SE AZ blues fans!

More info -- https://thebisbeebluesfestival.com

Song du Jour -- The Black Keys

Tighten Up
by The Black Keys
Nerds reading comics at a Ye Olde Time Gas Station
Peiter Van Hattem/Epitaph Records
I've been hearing this song everywhere lately -- in Pac Sun, on I heart Radio.....--okay, only two places I guess.  But it's awesome so I'll overlook that.  I love the Black Keys and especially this song because it's just the right mix of Indie and Blues.  Apparently, the upsurge of searches for Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" has led people to this track on youtube and it's fairly popular -- only 18 people out 2,000 who actually rate videos dislike it.  I'm guessing those people are big fans of (insert terrible musician here).  A little tour FYI -- it looks like The Black Keys are finishing up in America with a show in Atlanta, GA on the 24th and then they'll kick off some European dates in January.  A lot of those dates will, in fact, be in the United Kingdom so I hope my British friends who read this (according to my stats, there's a fair amount)  will be able to check them out live soon.

My day in a nutshell -- woke up at the crack of dawn to drive my dad to the airport in zero visibility fog, The Boyfriend finally bothered to call, and my sister has some sort of weird eye disease.  Cute video that involves childhood crushes after the jump.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free on iTunes This Week -- "Colours" by Grouplove

Remember that song that I told you was a must listen last night?  In a happy twist of fate, it is also the free single of the week on iTunes, so if you enjoyed it and have an iPod, you have no excuse not to cash in on this.  As an added bonus, their debut album (which came out today) is being offered for $8.99.  A dollar off may not seem like much but every little bit counts, right?  They have other stuff for free, as well, though nothing I'm particularly psyched about. 

The album, Never Trust a Happy, is also available on Spinner for a listen.  I may or may not have time today or tomorrow to go through it and write up my thoughts.  That's a little up in the air, right now, seeing as how I have a phone interview in an hour and --hopefully, assuming all goes well -- a date with a plane bound for New Orleans so I can do a face-to-face.  And, as much as I'm digging Grouplove, I'm really hoping I don't have time this week.  :D

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pardon Me but....YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS SONG

I was listening to 98.7 LAs Best Alternative while picking up my sister from her culinary class today and the DJ was pimping this track, saying it was his "favorite new song."  Assuming it would be the next thing he played, what I heard was "meh...it's aight" and continued about my business.  Then, I start hearing this track that is badass and -- true story -- even though I was still driving, I had to check who it was by.  Lo and behold, it was the song the host was pimping.  I stand corrected -- it is not "meh."  In fact, it's pretty damn awesome, so awesome that I felt the need to share it as soon as I got home.  Well, not as soon as -- I stopped to have some greek yogurt.  But I'm here now and you must listen.

Considering that 98.7 called it new music and it's an LA station, it's a safe bet that my friends in Middle America -- whose musical pain I empathize with deeply -- haven't heard it and possibly, haven't even heard of the band.  Well...you might've...apparently the track is featured on Madden 12, so in theory, my dad and his football lovin' friends probably heard it before I did.  Ironic, isn't it?  Anyway, usually I give a long-winded rant about the merits of the song -- the lyrics, the vocals, the blah blah blah -- but, this time, I'll spare you my incoherent ramblings and let you just enjoy it. 

Without much further ado, I give you -- "Colours" by Grouplove

Friday, September 9, 2011

Song du Jour: Aly & AJ

Walking on Sunshine
as sung by Aly & AJ
I'm so happy!  I have a really exciting job prospect in my favorite US city.....New Orleans!  I've talked to the person in charge, and I've sent in my resume.  Sometime in the next week, there will most likely be a phone interview and if that goes well, they will fly me out for a tour and face-to-face interview.  I can not begin to explain how badly I want this job -- not only for the obvious reason that I've been having a hard time finding employment after graduating but because it's in a field I have a lot of experience in and have a strong passion for.  I have a really good feeling about this oppurtunity and I'm very confident/optimistic about my chances.  Of course, there are some logistics to work out -- mostly having to deal with moving across the country and issues with The Boyfriend -- but I'm sure things will work themselves out when we come to those bridges.  So, once again -- Huzzah for me!!!
Someone has to say it...
Those are some intriguing boots Aly has on.

Naturally, the song that most adequately reflects my mood today would be "Walking on Sunshine" and I chose this version because I have a lot of respect for the Michalka sisters both as musicians and as actors and it's a reasonably good cover.  "Please Please Please (Let Me Get What I Want)" by The Smiths would also have been appropriate but seeing as how it was Song du jour only a few short weeks ago, I vetoed the choice.  And, mais bien sur, the video will follow after you click.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smartphone Radio Apps: i♥radio

As I've said before, I can't drive without music.  Counterintuitive as it may be, music helps me focus more on the tasks I'm accomplishing.  Now, although the previous sentence is very true, it is also a fact that when I'm using my iPod, I have a tendency to fiddle around with it -- browsing through songs, going back to favorite sections, looking at album art -- which is extremely dangerous to do while driving.  For this reason, I rarely use my iPod while driving.  Strictly for long trips where I know I'll be in areas without 3G coverage, which is practically everywhere along I-10 between Tucson and Cruces.  As a result, I rely heavily on the kindness of the local radio stations.  And here begins my plight.

Fundamentally, I enjoy listening to the radio.  I like the witty banter of the hosts, I like the idea of someone -- theoretically, a "DJ" which in my book should be like a music expert -- pointing out new music I haven't heard before and setting a flow for my day, and I like being able to request a song I have a capricious whim to hear, especially if I don't want to buy it.  That being said, I can't stand it anymore --my local radio station sucks.  It's total and complete sh*t....and I'm trying to be nice.  There are essentially five music channels in our town - pop, oldies, country, christian, and classical.  Usually, I listen to the pop (i.e. the "modern" music station) but lately, I've been finding myself switching to the classical and oldies stations more often.  This has spurred my quest to find the best (and hopefully free) radio app for Android.

I've been working with Jango, which was fine for awhile but now it's f*cking up to the point where there is no reason to even have it installed anymore.  In comes i♥radio to the rescue!  Now, for those of you who on the off chance haven't heard of it, i♥radio is an app that allows the user to stream live radio shows from across the country.  Now, I know what you may be thinking -- with actual radio comes a sh*t ton of advertising.  The thing about the app is that a fair amount of the stations available are truly Internet radio -- independent or contracted DJs hired to play shows specifically for the Internet.  On these particular stations (I've been listening to LAs 98.7) the amount of advertising is very limited and the listener does get to enjoy long blocks of music (as long as perhaps an hour long) before you hear a short ad space that is probably advertising the i♥radio app anyway. 

In my experience, this is kind of like getting my cake and being able to eat it.  I can enjoy the selection quality a DJ offers -- because, if you haven't noticed, Internet radios that rely on a program to generate a selection tend to be repetitive -- while at the same time not having to hear ads every three songs.  And, take notice -- this is just the current version of the app.  A new and improved version is supposed to be released around the time of the i♥radio music festival on September 24-25th in Vegas, an event that has a substantial amount of industry and celeb support.

This app is definitely worth a try if you're looking for a free music app for your smartphone.  It's available for Blackberry, Androids, iPhones, and Windows 7 Phones.

Song du Jour: Joan as Police Woman

Magic
by Joan as Police Woman


Today's song du jour I downloaded awhile ago from Fuse.  This song has both great music and incredible lyrics.  The music is, on the surface, pretty simple and straightforward but it has a lot of depth.  First off, the most noticeable element is the use of tambourine shaking on top, following the melody.  Then we have the guitar, whose twanginess hearkens back to the 70s.  And then, we have the excellent bass guitar, which is unobtrusive but still powerful.  It's buried underneath the layers of instruments so, at times, you forget that it's there but if you were to remove it, you would lose the darkness that it infuses into the entire track.  The lyrics tell about a woman who is looking for love ("the magic" if you will) but her exterior walls, her trust guard, keeps others away.  She just want to be herself but sometimes that gets in the way, which is a situation I'm sure we've all encountered.  The verses are filled with a lot of mythical references, and you'll probably be forced to look them up.  It's not necessary but it opens up another stratum of meaning for the lyrics.  Don't feel bad -- even I had to remind myself what "leviathan" means.  Also, it doesn't hurt at all that Joan Wasser has a great, husky voice.  "Magic" is the first single off her latest album, The Deep Field.  Click for a video after the jump.

Warning:: The music video contains body builders wearing speedos.  Thus, it is extremely weird and creepy in a way.  Go ahead and watch if that's your scene.  Otherwise, it's perfectly okay to close your eyes while listening to the song.  You have been warned.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ode to the Directorial Works of the Talented Matthew Gray Gubler

Check out that snazzy tie...
Who has two thumbs and is incurably boy-crazy?  This girl!  I would like to take a moment (and a posting) to wax poetic on the virtues of my current celebrity crush, Matthew Gray Gubler.  Now, I realize this a ludicrous waste of time for someone who has short stories to polish and submit, but when you look at that face, can you blame me?

To begin,  I first encountered his acting work, naturally, through my interest in black comedies -- namely "How to be a Serial Killer," which is brilliant if you can see the humor in it.  Not long after that, I got caught up in his performance as Dr. Spencer Reid in "Criminal Minds."  I enjoy the show because, as opposed to some other procedural dramas that focus on the interpretive-side of psychology, the viewer sees the application of behavioral theory in an accurate way -- even if it stretches the truth of FBI bureaucracy a bit.  Some argue that forensic profiling, statistically, has had limited success and can sometimes be horribly off the mark, but I still enjoy learning about it.  Of course, in terms of television shows, I think "Lie to Me" most accurately portrays the benefits and boundaries of applied behavioral science.  But I digress.

Perhaps you didn't realize this, but Matthew Gray Gubler is a director.  He has an actual degree in Film Directing from NYU.  I don't know about you but I think that's awesome.  Now, you may be asking yourself "Hmmm....that's strange....I thought this was a f*cking music blog" so I will concede and say that you are correct, sirs, and there is a connection....Matthew Gray Gubler has directed a music video, in addition to a few episodes of "Criminal Minds."  As tenuous as this connection is, I'm going to say it counts.  It totally counts.  And it wasn't just some random band's music video either....it was for The Killers and it is moderately amusing (okay...at times, it's downright bizarre), as I invite you to view below.


Other than being a director and an actor, he's paid his dues as a model for Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, and American Eagle and as the voice actor for Simon in those god-awful "Alvin & the Chipmunks" films.  But that's okay....he's only 30-ish and he has his whole life ahead of him.  Matthew Gray Gubler also sketches occasionally and, if you watch "Criminal Minds" at all, you've seen some of his sketches featured during the show.  His website is incredible, hilarious,--in short, mind-blowing--and you can check out some of his short films and sketches.  Check it out at Gublerland.

Song du Jour: DEV

The Cure
by DEV
I can't remember where I found this track, so I apologize but I do think it warrants a listen, especially if you like rap.  Now, before we start, I am not even going to fool you into thinking I'm some kind of expert on rap.  I have some on my iPod and I'm familiar with old-school stuff but, make no mistakes, I do feel horribly under-qualified to write about it.  That being said, I would like to think I know a good rap when I hear it.  As I've said before, a well-written rap should be distinguishable from poetry only in that, when spoken, the rhythm and flow of the words becomes paramount.  Like with poetry, rhyming is nice but it's not a must, and unexpected rhymes throughout --like start-spark and parade-grave in "The Cure"-- that hints at phonetic similarity provides a smoother connection between lines rather than using a word just because it has the right ending. 

This song laments the devolution of the rap genre--positing that it has become more about the money and less about the art -- which I've noticed is becoming a recurring theme, especially among new artists.  The merit of this underlying theme,along with the perceived hints that public education is meant to contain creativity, is up for debate.  DEV also didn't use any cuss words in this rap, which always impresses me.  It's not that I'm against cussing -- my family will tell you have the most irreverently foul mouth possible -- I just feel that if you really have something important to say, you don't need them to get your point across.  Besides, it gives The Man a reason to censor you, which, make no mistake, they are hoping to do.  Personally, I think overall the lyrics come off as very intelligent, but that's something you can decide for yourself.  Just as a Note:  This artist is not well-known so if you search for him on Google, you are going to get a lot of hits for Dev from Far East Movement--even the last.fm page is confused.  Putting the name in all caps won't help and neither will putting in keywords like "rapper" and "the cure."  This, as you can imagine, was very frustrating so we're lucky to have video and an image this week.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have strange men in my house--they're here to texture my walls.  Wow...that sounded more like a sexual innuendo than I had planned.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Updates: The Stems and Vanaprasta

'Sup Music Sluts--Through my numerous sources, I've learned of some new information about some music I've been hyping lately.  Just a short FYI before we head into the weekend.
  • Remember the Crosses EP I was encouraging y'all to download (for free!).  At the time of it's release, the band didn't have an actual name so I just labeled it something like "Chino Moreno Side Project" or something like that.  They are calling themselves The Stems but cross symbols are used instead of actual Ts.  This kind of gets frustrating when you're doing searches on Google for them because most of the websites pull up another The Stems from Perth, Australia.  It doesn't really matter, yet, because they don't have much press out but it's still annoying.
  • Vanaprasta is releasing their debut LP, Healthy Geometry, on November 1, 2011.  If you follow them on twitter, you probably already know that they're really excited about it.  As am I, boys...as am I.  Still no word on the exact date of their show in Pheonix but, if I hear anything, you know I'll share it.
Vanaprasta

2011 VMAs: The Long-Awaited Breakdown

I just thought she was getting fat...
I think I've done enough procrastinating on this and it's forced my hand.  I have to be honest -- I didn't watch the VMAs this year.  Even the lure of Chelsea Handler hosting the awards could not convince me that my time wouldn't be spent better working on short stories or building websites.  For the record, I dislike most award shows.  I am of the opinion that award shows are mostly just celebrity strokefests or, in cases like the Oscars or the Grammys, an attempt for the stars to convince the adoring masses that they have taste in their respective arts.  As much as I love Arcade Fire, you can't convince me that their winning Album of the Year had nothing to do with the fact that those voting probably had no idea who they were before the Grammys and therefore, Arcade Fire must be the most artistically deserving nominee, regardless if it was true or not.  Same with "The Hurt Locker."  A word to celebrities:  Award Shows are NOT the appropriate venue to express your political beliefs. 

I have a special aversion to any award shows with the words MTV or Teen's choice attached to them because, let's face it, the vast majority of the people who watch/vote for those ones have no creativity or desire to explore new options.  Which is why it was complete bullsh*t that Twilight won everything at Teen's Choice this year.  If I were Emma Watson, whose performance as Hermione -- her acting choices for which I didn't agree with very often -- was infinitely better than Kristen Stewart's lifeless Bella Swan, I would be pissed.  So, in general, if teenagers are the majority of the voting populace, it's probably best to just write it off as mindless tomfoolery and save the primetime spots for something worth watching.  Unfortunately, network executives don't share my views.  But....since they are kind of a big thing in the music world, I will touch upon a few highlights.
  • OMG!  Beyonce is pregnant! --  What?!  One of the top grossing celebrity couples in the world who have been married for several years is going to have a baby?!  You're f*cking me....I didn't see that coming at all.  Yes, my friends, Beyonce is abandoning her curvaceous silhouette for a more maternal one and everyone is all aghast and buzzing about it.  Why this is the case is beyond me.  Anyone with any intuitive sense about people could've told you that Beyonce is the "mom" type -- and I think she'll be a good one, in spite of her massive fortune which gives her ability to hire an army of nannies.  I'm more interested in how easy it will be for her to get back into booty-shaking shape.  She had a great body and she was always moving and exercising, so if she loses that battle of the baby bulge, I am definitely opting for a surrogate.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

If Real Life were a Music Video....Ed. 1

I was at the supermarket today, buying Cream of Mushroom soup because my mom has a weird hankering for the Cream of Mushroom Chicken on the back of the can, when nostalgia wafted in through the sound system.  That's right, my friends -- The Macarena was playing in Food City.  To make matters worse, I couldn't shake the insane notion that everyone in the store was going to drop everything and start dancing, which -- I have to admit -- would be f*cking awesome.  Just for reference, I have disturbingly good visualization skills, so in my head, I could literally see the cashiers shaking their hips.  Suddenly, everyone was wearing neon spandex outfits, disco balls dropped down from the ceiling, and the linoleum tiles lit up every time I moved!  It was amazing! -- and I had to try extremely hard to keep from laughing.
Are instructions really necessary?

Of course, that isn't actually what occurred....but, somewhere, deep inside, I believe it could've happened that way.  All I needed to do was start it -- to be the catalyst, so to speak.  In theory, if I had just started doing The Macarena right there in the soup aisle, everyone would join me and then, it wouldn't just be an ordinary run to Food City.  No -- it would be a party!  On the other hand, I could start dancing The Macarena and people would give me funny looks which would lead to me immediately ceasing all movement and scuttling away like Dr. Zoidberg.  Perhaps that's the more realistic scenario, but I prefer my outrageous version to boring old reality anyway. 

The Macarena can't really be that terrible, right?  I mean, the bitches from Beauxbatons (see Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire) adopted it into a sort of cheer, so it must have its merits.  I remember when that was the biggest thing in 1996 and--being the coolest muthafuckas going into 4th grade--my friends and I taught a bunch of 5-year-olds how to do the moves.  Looking back, that definitely belongs in the Questionable Life Choices pile but it was exciting at the time.  And -- be honest -- you know you're going to jump in line when The Macarena is played at a wedding or a party because it's kind of like the Latin Hokey Pokey....it's fun because dancing is fun, anyone can do the dance moves, and it's really hard to f*ck it up.  Sure, to the aliens, it might look like a bunch of semi-intelligent humanoids flinging their arms around all willy-nilly, but to everyone else, it just looks like a hella good time....And I. Want. In.

Song du Jour: Oh Land

Son of a Gun
by Oh Land
How Dare He!?!

This one is from the weekly haul before last.  Warning -- It's catchy....I can't promise that it will get stuck in your head but it's statistically probable that it might.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Oh Land, she is a Danish transplant to New York--and by Danish, I mean she's really Danish...her name starts with one of those weird scandinavian Os with a slash through them.  I have no idea what the letter is called -- I searched an entire wikipedia page on the symbol and the most I could come up with was "slashed o" so if someone could help me with that, I'd appreciate it.  Back to Oh Land -- She's been around since 2008 and generally deals in pop electronica, so if you here me refer to Goldfrapp and Little Boots a lot, that's why.  This song typifies the idiom "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."  Basically, she's telling titular "son of a gun" (or bitch, as my brain is already replacing the lyrics) that he can go f*ck himself because she's not going to pull him out of the mess he's made.  Damn skippy.  Let the bastard fry....er...drown. 

I finished Foundation by Isaac Asimov and have moved on to Foundation and Empire.  I started the Zombie Apocalypse Drill website -- well, my hand was forced.  The Boyfriend decided to tell everyone on the Facebook Event page that the website would be up "in a couple days" even though he hasn't told me what he wants on it.  I'm flying blind here but I'll still be the one who gets the heat if something isn't put up soon.  So, if he doesn't like the dramatic spin I'm putting on it because that's just how I roll, he can go suck a bag of dicks.  Word to the wise -- don't settle for a lazy-yet-overzealous boyfriend.  Oh...and did I mention that I had to wait for my sister to get out of class in the Serial Killer Snatching Grounds on post.  For damn near a whole hour.  Seriously, I could've been stolen and they probably wouldn't have found my body for years. Oh sure....blame it on my overactive imagination.  Video after the jump, of course. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Song du Jour: My First Earthquake

Cool in the Cool Way
by My First Earthquake

Requisite Indie Photo Op in front of a mural
This is quickly becoming my new favorite song.  Why, you may ask?  Two words:  Sarcastic lyrics.  It's funny and serious at the same time, just like me on a good day.  Also, the keyboard breakdown at the bridge is epic, especially paired with the synthesized vocals -- Am I a dork?/I've got a robot name/ Like I care/Call me it just the same.  Hi-larious.  Bass-line also kicks ass, and serves as a strong opening, even when it's paired with an abrasive buzz during the introduction (similar to the one that begins "Can't Get Away" by Stardeath and White Dwarfs).  I'm sorry--I'm very sensitive to harsh sounds, so give me a break.  I've downloaded a couple more of My First Earthquake's songs just to confirm my diagnosis but I think we have a winner!

Remember that Zombie Apocalypse website I was supposed to work on yesterday?  Yeah, that didn't happen -- I got distracted by coloring books and a short story I'm writing.  Which is also why I didn't bitch about the VMAs in a timely manner.  Don't worry -- I'll have a rant up later today.  Video after the jump.

Wedding Bells for Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars

Sofia Coppola, director of films such as "The Virgin Suicides" and "Marie Antoinette," married Pheonix frontman and longtime beau, Thomas Mars in Italy on Saturday.  Quite possibly two of my favorite artists, this is another couple that I'd have to say it was about time.  They have two babies already and, just based on experiences my friends have had, married with children is better than being steady with children, if that made any sense.  From a legal point of view, that is--if you're not married, the father can end up having a really hard time just getting joint custody.  But without the financial, legal, and social benefits, marriage is completely pointless in my opinion -- just an excuse to have a big fancy party.  Although not quite as flashy as heiress, Petra Ecclestone's wedding, the Coppola shindig still managed to impress.  Sofia kept it classy and understated in a chiffon cocktail dress in a patterned lavender by Azzedine Alaia and Thomas worked a navy blue suit.  The wedding took place at Francis Ford Coppola's villa in Bernalda, Italy (where their family emigrated from) and, as expected, wine from the family vineyard was served alongside a fantastic wedding cake.  Good luck to them.

Italians do everything better...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Song du Jour: Rilo Kiley Day!

Science vs. Romance
by Rilo Kiley
 
Rilo Kiley is one of my top favorite bands so you can imagine how bummed I was when they split in 2009.  But, as a concession to their fans, they released a vinyl version of Takeoffs and Landings earlier this year.  Is that like a given for indie bands?  "Sorry, there is no way in hell we're going to get together again to produce new material but your consolation prize is a vinyl version of our old sh*t."  I call "cop-out!"  It's a great album, though, and I do want the vinyl version....because I'm an uber geek about my respective fandoms.  I have boxes full of Sailor Moon crap from when I was 9, which includes things like an alarm clock with the most annoying song-to-wake-up-to ever, a Sailor Moon RPG guide, and a few of those gauzy anime posters --I shit you not.  Back to the Rilo Kiley -- this song was stuck in my head this morning.  More confusing dreams involving people I should not think about anymore.  "Science vs. Romance" was Rilo Kiley's debut single, and it has fantastic lyrics laden with metaphors and whatnot and serves as a low-key indie rock ballad.  The first lines are great -- they describe rather accurately the disillusionment I feel on a daily basis.
Jenny:  WTF are we doing here again?
Blake:  I....have no idea...

My Life in a Nutshell for Today:  The Boyfriend was getting on my case about creating the Zombie Apocalypse Drill website (even though he hasn't e-mailed me any information about what he wants on there) so making a start on that is today's project.  Also -- I forgot how truly impotable unfiltered Arizona tap water was....I'm dying of thirst....Please, somebody save me.  Video after you click-clickety-click the jump.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Haul: August 28th Edition....Huzzah!

If you can't tell, "huzzah" is my favorite ye olde-timed interjection.  I did manage to get the weekly haul done on time this week so Yay for me.  It wasn't too bad....a lot of the songs were surprisingly short.  Like last week, there's lots 'o' goodies and this week also has a delightfully diverse range of genres.  I didn't plan that, considering I had just under a zillion songs to choose from this week -- it just sort of happened when I picked a random sampling from my cache.  Anyway, there's a little bit 'o' country, a little bit 'o' rock 'n' roll, some rap, some dark cabaret/darkwave, and a reasonable amount of indie and electronica.  So, without much further ado, let's jump in it.
My First Earthquake...
And a Star-Spangled Rotary Phone

Hipster Pocahontas...Because the Internet Understands Bullsh*t

Some Girl I Ran Into at Starbucks
In case you were wondering, the Flood-In-My-Kitchen fiasco is under control now.  We're covered by insurance (Huzzah!), so the fact that they have to basically re-drywall our living room and re-carpet isn't a big deal.  In fact, my mom has embraced it and is considering tiling the bitch and adding an accent color for the wall they're going to re-do.  My sister out east survived Hurricane Irene -- Philadelphia may not have been directly impacted but they did get a sh*tload of rain -- enough to warrant shutting down Septa.  I imagine riding the underground trolley system can't be much fun, especially in Center City.  Weekly Haul will be up tonight, even if it kills me.  Dealing with our little situation turned me into a total blog slacker on Friday.  Whatevs.  It happens.

I was on the 3G Interwebs with my awesome smartphone the other day and I stumbled upon a bunch of hipster memes. The above picture made me bust out laughing because I've had people say that to me a lot.  By far the funniest thing about the hipsters is how pissed you get when you have heard of something (music, books, movies) they're talking about (which I do....I'm smart and have a wide variety of obscure interests myself.)  Bonus points if you can point out if something sucks and give them a detailed explanatory rant--regardless of your own personal feelings on the topic, of course.  It's okay to like sh*t that isn't up to rigorous standards -- they're called Guilty Pleasures or haven't you heard of them? Other favorite hipster meme images included a Gaston who critisizes Belle for reading something with an Oprah Bookclub sticker (it's not the sticker that annoys me so much as how much the book costs after it gets stamped with it) and a Princess Tiana who is saving up for Doc Martens.  I used to wear Docs all the time in high school and I didn't realize that, rather than a punk thing, they're now a hipster staple.  Again, whatevs.  They're still good, sturdy shoes that can take a beating.

Oh. My. God.....what if I am a hipster?!  Shit...I don't think my bank account will survive.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Song du Jour: Theory of a Deadman

Hate My Life
by Theory of a Deadman
You know....I didn't realize how long it had been since I had a true "Fuck My Life" moment until I woke up this morning.  And by woke up, I mean my mom barged into my room--some time before the sun came up....I couldn't tell you an exact time because I was all like (-_o) -- babbling about a flooded kitchen.  I didn't want to get up and see what she was talking about.  In fact, I seriously debated whether to get out of bed but my conscience won out and, sure enough, I walked into the kitchen and the floor was under a half inch of water.  The filter on our refrigerator broke -- apparently, there is something that keeps the water from leaking out? -- and, to my dismay, my efforts to squeegee as much water as I could with our mop were hindered by the constant trickle that came out of the bottom of the fridge.  We have professionals (cleaning crew and insurance claims adjustor) handling it now and they are doing everything short of tearing our house down because the leak caused a fair amount of damage in the short time before we discovered it, so I'll still be pretty miffed all day. 
Lesson Learned Today:  When you don't know where to begin, the most important thing is to just get started.
I couldn't think of a song off the top of my head that adequately embodies my frustration so I settled on "Hate my Life."  I'm trying to count my blessings, but I'm annoyed, tired, and I had to resort to McDonald's (I f*cking hate that place) for breakfast, so don't test me.  I'm already running on a paltry amount of sleep thanks to my insomnia problem without sh*t like this happening.  Fuck this game....Video after the jump.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Song du Jour: Dirty Vegas

Changes
by Dirty Vegas
This one is from this week's haul.  Every time I hear it, I like it more and more.  Sure, the lyrics are repetitive but Dirty Vegas is a House band and it's meant to be danced to, anyway.  I think this an excellent Getting Ready for a Good Time and I can already picture it playing during a makeover montage in a Bro-mance.  The video sort of gives that impression, except that the main character is more pathetic than the film version.  According to wikipedia, this song came out in 2009, which is odd because I was under the impression that it was relatively recent.  Whatever....it's still a fun song, even if it's got a few years on it.

In other news, I really need to stop watching the History and Science channels.  They exacerbate my already grim outlook for the future.  I'm not a 2012 believer, but I'm not clueless enough to think that nothing is happening right now.  There's been a noticeable increase in environmental disasters, the stock market is doing backflips, and our government is literally getting nothing but sh*t done.  Not to mention the influx of disaster films being made and advertised.  I believe that Hollywood reflects the pulse and psyche of America and it's pretty clear that, in general, we're pessimistic about the state of the union.  That, and the films coming out -- like "Contagion" -- actually look frighteningly good.  That doesn't necessarily mean they are; it just means that those trailer editors are definitely earning their paychecks.  Perhaps it's because I watch too much TV and the photons are warping my brain, but a lot of these End of the World specials -- like "Earth 2100," the Curiosity episode about an Alien Invasion, and "Prophets of Doom," which is what I allowed to scare the bejeezus out of me this morning -- the logic presented makes alot of sense to me.   But, to tell the truth, a tiny, deep, dark part of me is kind of looking forward to an apocalypse scenario.  That is how boring my daily life is right now.  Anyway, the "Changes" video is after the jump. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CMJ Line-Up Announced

The line-up for the CMJ festival -- set for October 18-22, 2011 in New York City -- has been announced.  It has some good ones from what I can see -- EMA, Dum Dum Girls, Datarock, and CSS to name a few.  I live nowhere near NYC, so it's pretty safe to say I won't be there.  But, for those of you who have the option, you can see the whole list here, as well as watch a Dum Dum Girls music video. 

I think I'm done for tonight.  I'm hella tired from waking up early to play chauffer for everybody and their weird uncle.  Oh, hello, semi-comfortable queen-sized bed....fancy meeting you here....

Will the real Justin Beiber please stand up?

This is NOT the droid
your looking for...
Yesterday, I dropped my little sister off at her Restaurant Finance class and was driving home when I heard a rather....erm....amusing advertisement.  There is a Justin Bieber impersonator and he is coming to my hometown for a spectacular one night engagement!  I shit you not!  But really, the funniest thing about the radio commercial is the way they were advertising it -- telling people that they could almost meet Justin Bieber; they could almost hear him live in concert.  Very tongue-in-cheek...I almost didn't think it was a real event.  I'm very curious to see how many people actually go to see this kid -- J.B. is what he calls himself -- but my main reaction is....Really America? Really?!

I'm going to be honest -- I am one of the few in my city who hasn't succumbed to Bieber Fever and I realize now that not everyone is immune.  Even one of my dad's friends is a Bieber-ite and he's a 50-ish-year-old former fighter pilot!  And he has a jazz musician for a son!  What the hell?!  The only performance I've seen was the one at the Grammy's and I was not particularly impressed (did any one else hear him hit those sour notes? No?  Just me then...).  Musically, I agree, he might be very talented -- I've seen the videos of him drumming at age 5 or whatever, so I won't even argue the point -- but he is a total factory boy and I'm not buying the story that he was lucky enough to just happen to run into Usher at a supermarket and Usher felt like listening to his music.  It's a lovely fairytale, but this is America, so excuse me if I'm skeptical.  And the sh*t that he's released on the radio -- well, I believe he can give his fans better, even if he is a corporate confection.  The question is, though -- Do his fans (the tween age group, who hold, ironically, the most commercial buying power) want better?  Meh...I think they're happy with what they've got.  And that's why I'm not very hopeful for the future of pop music. 

Back to our boy, J.B.  He is a real person and he is making a decent living pretending to be Justin Bieber.  From what I understand, the demand for Bieber performances is so great (and expensive) that when J.B. shows up in town, parents tell their kids they're going to see the real deal because they won't be close enough to see what he really is....AN IMPOSTER!!!!  Fantastic scam, really.  Wish I had thought of it.  I've watched a couple youtube videos and the kid is amazingly life-like in his make believe.  And, honestly, how hard is it to get that haircut?  Half the teen stars on Canadian television had it before it was popularized by the 16-year-old "heartthrob." ::cough:: Really, America?::cough::

You know what I consider this?  Terrorism.  Pure, unadulterated Canadian terrorism.  And The Biebs must be stopped.  Who's with me?!!!

Song du Jour: Foster The People

Pumped Up Kicks
by Foster the People
Here's the band...loitering...
I've been hearing this song on our modern radio station a lot, which surprised me because they often don't play music this cool or interesting and they rarely, if ever, play indie music.  If they do, they play it only when someone requests it.  As you know, I live in a small town and the radio station usually only gets the mainstream stuff right away and if they play something that veers off the beaten path, it's at the DJs discretion because -- I'll say it -- the station managers don't give them alot of leeway when it comes to playing something other than what's popular.  Anyway, this song has a sort of zen, laid-back vibe-- of course, when you listen to the lyrics, you realize that the song is about a kid who is either about to shoot up the whole neighborhood or is seriously thinking about it.  Hardcore shit, man -- how the hell can Foster the People sing about that and then have whistling in the background?!  I know, I know-- sardonic social commentary, blah blah blah.  And really, who am I to talk -- I wrote a few chapters in the book of Cynicism myself.  Video after the jump and a short b*tchfest about my morning.

Here has been my day so far, dear friends.  I've been up for like 3 1/2 hours already after only 5 hours of sleep...I had to drive my dad to the airport because he had a last minute business trip.  I must be some sort of expert on driving to the Tucson airport --this entire summer, I've driven him to and from the airport on average of about once a week and that's a conservative estimate.  You know what dismays me the most about these weekly excursions?  I can be speeding the entire way -- going 10 miles over the limit, at times -- and it still takes me over an hour one way.  Relax -- it's Arizona....the only people who give a sh*t about the speed limit are the out-of-town drivers. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Haul: August 22nd Edition

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't do it ever again but....I did it again.  I went on a massive free downloading spree and ended up with pretty damn near 60 songs and no plan on how to make time to review them all.  I know....I'm a bad, bad girl.  I decided to break them up into more manageable groupings.  Needless to say, I'm set on weekly haul material for a couple weeks and, if this week's bunch is any indicator, most of them are going to be incredible.  This week was a great haul and most of them I believe I got off Spinner's "MP3 of the Day" so you should be able to find them easily over there if you would like to download them yourself.  They backlog them, too, so you'll find a lot more than what I mention here.  Happy Listening, my Music Slut brethren!
This is Young Buffalo....Um...
Just hanging out on an ugly couch, I guess...


A Rocky Horror Homophobe Incident

I'm just going to lay this out nice and simple:  homophobia is downright repugnant to my sensibilities.  I don't find it attractive, I don't find it justified, and I certainly don't think it's acceptable.  And yes, it is a deal breaker for me.  I'm still with The Boyfriend 6 years later because, after one of his oldest friends came out to him, he had to analyze his beliefs and he found that he didn't actually believe them anymore so he changed his behavior.  I find that commendable and I wish more people would take the time to do as much.  Now, time for the rant.  My sister's boyfriend, I've noticed, is homophobic.  Alot more homophobic than I originally had guessed, just based on our conversations, but I let it slide because he's not my boyfriend and my sister can make her own life choices. 

The other day, however, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was on television and I was like "Hey, I haven't seen this in a while...." and nothing else was on TV so I was like what the hell.  My sister and her boyfriend were schmoozing on the couch -- which annoys me but my sister refuses to heed my requests to be more discrete so what can I do? -- so I figured they wouldn't care what I watched.  I changed the channel and, since it had already started, the movie was at Tim Curry's entrance as Frankenfurter.  An awesome musical number, by the way, and one of my favorite parts.  But, the minute he noticed what was on the screen, my sister's boyfriend was wailing "What is this?  Why are we watching this?" -- clearly, he was upset by the crossdressing Tim Curry, despite his dead sexy crooning about Transexual Transylvania.  I'll be honest -- I wanted to slap him but instead, I obliged him and changed the channel because I was brought up in what can ostensibly be considered The South and you have to keep your guests comfortable -- even if the "guests" are practically living at your house and aren't very courteous. 

Song du Jour

The Roller
by Beady Eye

I have no idea why, but I always feel like I'm supercool when I'm listening to this song.  Doesn't make any sense but there it is.  Beady Eye, for your information, is basically what Oasis turned into after Noel Gallegher left in 2009.  If you didn't hear, Liam and Noel are still duking it out in civil court, so don't expect a reunion any time soon.  "The Roller" was released earlier in the year as the band's first commercial single, which is about when I snapped it up for free at Fuse.  Now, in my head, when I hear the song, I picture this cool guy from the 60s -- suede fringe and all -- showing up in a small town and basically inciting an orgy at a school dance or something.  Don't question why my mind goes there, just accept that it does.  Regardless, it does have a great vintage feel to it, vaguely reminiscent of The Beatles, and, you'll see in the publicity stills, the band is rocking a Mod look.  Groovy, Man.

Friday, August 19, 2011

5 Great Zombie-Related Songs

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?  Apparently, according to the CDC, Americans are horribly under-prepared for such a contingency.  To ameliorate this issue, The Boyfriend and his friends (with technical support -- which means the actual event planning and website creation --provided by myself) have planned a Zombie Apocalypse Drill for sometime next spring.  Why next spring instead of right now?  Elementary, Dear Watson!  We're all broke and to be prepared for basically TEOTWAWKI  (acronym for "The End of the World as We Know It" in SurvivorMan speak), we need to acquire the essentials needed for fleeing civilized society.  I've interpreted this as First Aid Kits, camping gear, and honing the necessary survival skills and fitness levels; my male counterparts have focused on the weaponry aspect:  Swords, crossbows, guns, and -- my personal choice -- ninja throwing stars. 

They took away her iPod...Poor thing...

The Zombie Apocalypse is just about everyone's favorite Worst Case Scenario -- mostly because the possibility of it actually happening is slim to zilch.  Everybody has their own plan -- you've heard of the Wal-Mart forts, the fortified shopping malls, the extra homes in Freeze-Your-Ass-Off, Saskatchewan, and the High-Tech McMansions with their Titanium Gates of Flaming Awesomeness.  Personally, I would take the Keep On Moving approach but that's because I don't have children and the people I love are in more-or-less good physical condition.  My question is, though --Does everyone have their own playlist?  I didn't think so....but fret not-- I am here to help.  I'll keep updating on the Zombie Drill situation until it actually happens and will be periodically adding to this playlist but I thought it would be best to start on a solid foundation of zombie-themed songs.  Just 5 for today and, hopefully, they won't be the ones you expected.  Remember:  Even during the Zombie Takeover, the element of surprise is your greatest asset.  Unless the zombies can run.  Then we're all royally f*cked.

Song Du Jour

I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend....
by Black Kids
Are those bunny ears or are you just happy to see me?
The weather is uber gloomy outside because it's monsoon season in Arizona, so let's have something (relatively) happy.  This song has a great melody to dance to and, coincidentally, it's about a guy saying he's not going to teach his crush's boyfriend how to dance with her.  I wouldn't either -- theoretically, if the only reason the girl is hanging out with you is to dance then teaching her boyfriend how to dance would basically wipe out all of your options.  Of course, I really shouldn't condone trying to steal someone else's chick but this song is catchy enough that I'll let it slide....but just this one time.  Black Kids formed in 2006 but released their studio debut, Partie Traumatic, in 2008.  This song was the first official single.  They jump a couple of genres -- namely indie pop and alternative dance--and this particular song has been making the cinematic rounds.  It was used in the trailer for "Fame" and is on the soundtrack of "Jennifer's Body," which I haven't seen yet and, despite awful reviews, I still want to see because I can't help myself when it comes to horror films. If you like them (Oh, I do, I do, I do-oo), take heart in knowing that they are working on a second studio album and have been doing mini-tours in Florida. Which in nowhere near here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lady Gaga Will open VMAs

She's been hinting at a big announcement on twitter for a while but today, she finally let the cat out of the bag:  Lady Gaga will, in fact, be opening the 2011 VMAs.  The announcement was made while debuting her new video for "You and I" on MTV -- the message she hoped to convey in the video is that it "is a metaphor for wanting to make something work with someone you love but sometimes there is a boundary that you just can’t overcome.....that shouldn’t stop you from imagining something more."  That's basically what I got out of it.  ::sigh of relief:: Lady Gaga first performed at the VMAs only two short years ago, and this year, in addition to the honor of being the opening act, she is also nominated for four awards, including Best Female Video.  The artist is very excited, saying that she has been "planning it for a week."  Lady Gaga, who never fails to stun with her outrageous fashion statements and eye-popping performances, is sure to top herself this year.   The VMAs will be on aired on MTV on August 28th.
Screen Capture from "Judas"

Review: Mister Heavenly

Out of Love
by Mister Heavenly


Impression:   It seems like supergroups are a trending musician side project -- example: Tinted Windows which has Taylor Hanson, James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins, Adam Schlesinger  from Fountains of Wayne, and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick....I know....weird group but, trust me, it's working.  Mister Heavenly is comprised of Honus Honus of Man Man, Nicholas Thorburn of The Unicorns, and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse, with Michael Cera of "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" fame as their touring bassist.  Sounds super awesome to me!  Out of Love is their first album and it kicks off with "Bronx Sniper" which starts off all sweet and indie and then immediately busts out into a raw, powerful anthem.  The whole album has that indie sound you'd expect mixed experimentally with influences from Doo Wop, Reggae, and sometimes, a dash of Grunge.  This makes for some interesting tracks that aren't always what you expect.  Great lyrics throughout, so I'll just highlight a few of my favorites -- Is it too late say that I want you/More than a man should ever admit to/Is it passe to say that I need you/More than a man should ever commit to -- the first line from "Reggae Pie" which, as you might have guessed, has a cool laid back vibe in addition to telling words.  "Harm You," in my opinion, channels Chris Isaac a tad at the beginning but -- come on -- who doesn't love Chris Isaac, my friends?  All in all, great freshman album -- it definitely has variety and that is always a plus in my book.

Check Out: "Bronx Sniper," "Reggae Pie," and "Wise Man" to get a sampling of all the different flavors they are trying out but the whole album is worth a listen and, for what it's worth, made it onto my Buy list. 

Sounds Like:  Supercool Indie Rock not constrained by the boundaries of genre

Buy it Here:  Amazon and iTunes

Song du Jour

This is a Trick
by Chino Moreno
Remember that awesome free EP I downloaded a couple weeks ago....well, I felt it was time to share some of it's goodness with you.  That and I had really weird cryptic dreams involving The Muse and this proved to be an accurate accompaniment because....indeed....those dreams must've been a trick.  It's darkwave/ambient electronica and you know how I feel about that.  This is my favorite track on Crosses and, if I could describe the aura, it would be haunting with a little bit of repressed anger/angst.  Perfect for a horror movie soundtrack, especially one of those artsy ones that make me feel like an uncultured idiot.  I'd also like to note that I love Youtube and it's myriad of contributers -- this EP has only been out a couple weeks and someone has already made a video for it.  A simple video, but a video nonetheless.  Just FYI, I'm trying something different -- as you may have noticed, I rely heavily on videos for this blog, which, although helpful, affects the scrolling speed on my laptop (which is kind of old and slow).  So, to combat this problem, I'm going to put videos after the jump so you all won't have to deal with the slowness--even if you're not encountering it yet.  I hope that helps somewhat.  :D

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lady Gaga's New Down Home Artistic Vision

Jo Calderone, Gaga's male alter ego
Well, she's done it again.  And this time, she's in full-on male drag and a rather elaborate mermaid costume.  True story.  Not very surprising.  We all know she has a truly unique artistic point of view, especially when it comes to her wardrobe and music videos.  What I find interesting is the song....I haven't heard "You and I" before (I'd be a better lil' monster if I could spare the dough) and I really like the slight country twang of the track.  And the thoughtful lyrics remind me of my own life and my small town roots.  I know most people only know her for the electronic dance music that brought her into the spotlight, but she has an immense talent which is can is showcased spectacularly when she breaks the mold the industry has built for her.  Sure, the video features outrageous fashion, a sexy guy (not Gaga's male alter ego...although, I'm not gonna lie, she makes a pretty decent-looking guy), and plenty of glitter, but when she breaks it down on the piano in a Nebraska cornfield, you can understand why she's so popular.  Great video.  Check it out after the jump.
 

Song Du Jour -- Double Dose

The Suburbs (Arcade Fire Cover)
by Mr. Little Jeans


Here's a great cover of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" which, as you know, was on the album that won the Canadian-based band Album of the Year at the Grammy's.  I like it because, aside from the singer's voice, it captures that wistful vibe of the lyrics that is so fantastic about the original and presents it in a way that is both similar and unique.  Highly synthesized, so you lose the fantastic instrumental parts, but Mr. Little Jeans hopes to make up for it with her beautiful-disarming-and-soothing voice.  Just FYI -- Mr. Little Jeans is well-known enough to have a last.fm page but not enough to have a wikipedia.  You'd think that would be the second thing an artist would do after establishing their presence on the Internet....Facebook, Twitter, then Wikipedia....okay, third thing.  Anyway, I love this song.  It makes me think of simpler times.  Running through the sprinklers, making forts out of couch cushions, eating s'mores.  Now, I walk past all the cookie-cutter tract homes and just feel....resentment.  ::sigh:: I guess bitterness is the price of experience...probably a bad attitude.  Some doctors just published a study about how bitterness fucks up your life in more ways than one.  I haven't read it, but I'm sure it's legit.  I'm on a tangent, so I'll stop now.  Just because I love the original so much, you can watch it after the jump.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bush announces Tour

Now that Bush has reunited once more, they are kicking off a tour starting tomorrow!  This coincides with a new album release -- The Sea of Memories -- set to come out on September 13th, 2011.  The band has been recently putting themselves out there for television and public appearances, which will continue throughout the tour (most notably, an appearance on "Chelsea Lately," which is my favorite late night talk show that isn't political in nature--you guessed it....I get my news from The Daily Show).  Most dates cite Chevelle and Filter as opening acts.  The American tour starts tomorrow, August 17th, in Austin, TX and ends October 28th in San Antonio, followed by several European dates.  I am sad to report that, as of today, no concerts are planned for AZ.  Thus is my life.  Check out the rest of the dates here.

Memorial for Stage Collapse Victims

It was a terrifying day for country music fans in Indianapolis who were present when the stage collapsed during a Sugarland concert.  Although the band, who was playing at the time, weren't injured, 5 fatalities have been reported, among which were fans and stagehands.  The incident was caused by unforseen extreme weather-- 70 mph winds which were not expected at all during the Indiana State Fair.  Sugarland will perform a private concert in memorial for the victims and the proceeds from a concert already planned for the Indiana State Fair -- a double headliner with Maroon 5 and Train -- will be donated for a fund created for the those affected by the incident. 
AP/The Indianapolis Star/ Matt Kryger

Song Du Jour

Eyes Like Yours
by Shakira


This song is off Shakira's first crossover album, Laundry Service, and is my one of my favorites.  For those of you who didn't know, Shakira comes from a medley of different ethnicities -- Spanish, various Middle Eastern countries, and Italian -- which she tries to blend into her music.  This song is heavily influenced by her Middle Eastern background (there is even a moment when she sings in Arabic...at least, I think it's Arabic) and gives the artist plenty of time to showcase her belly dancing talent.  I like it because there is something very primal about the music and I have often considered one of the best songs for which to form a heathen dancing circle around a bonfire.  It's dramatically different from what she has been releasing lately as singles.  It's probably one of her lesser known songs here in America, and in my opinion, the Spanish version ("Ojos Asi") is better because something gets lost in translation.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Song du Jour

I Can't Get Away
By Stardeath and White Dwarfs


I got this song from a Nylon playlist a few years back....the same Nylon playlist, in fact, that led me to Of Montreal.  When I hear this song, I image a garage band playing in a seedy pub in the bad part of town.....3000 years in the future!  You know that scene in Star Wars where Obi Wan and Luke go in to find Han Solo, and that band was playing that crazy song.  This sounds NOTHING like that....come to think of it, that bar didn't look too shady in my opinion, either.  Too much light.  I like to need nightvision goggles when I'm going to a place I shouldn't be.   Sets the mood better.  This song has a very raw feel (hence garage band) but it also incorporates synth elements, which gives it a rather unique sound.  Anyway, I'm pretty sure this song is about a prostitute....or a really flirtatious girl.  Take your pick.