Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I’m not gonna muck this up too much. The album "Sorry Sam" comes from, Born Ugly Got Worse, in all its 12-song glory, is a somewhat gruff pop-punk blast of catharsis. It works, you know?
Pay what you want for The Slow Death’s new album, Born Ugly Got Worse, at Kiss of Death Records.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I’m not sure what I was looking for tonight, and I’m not sure if I found it, but I had a realization this afternoon that I spent most of my 20s being as lazy as humanly possible - this despite working 50- and 60-hour weeks at several jobs, being married and having three children, and working on and off on other stuff. Just because you are busy or working a lot does not mean you're actually accomplishing anything. I've done some stuff. I'm not sure I've gotten anything done though.
The on and off part is what bothers me too. That’s the part that isn’t good enough. Sure, I’m a bitter, ah, Millennial or late Gen Y or... It doesn’t matter. The point is, I’m one of these young people that isn’t happy. I know how much of it is my fault, and from the work I've done, I also know that the greedy schmucks a generation before me have sucked everything dry. I blame both, also knowing full well that if my personal version of lazy had not been so well engineered, I might be better off.
So, as I let the Radiohead discography flow, the “what happened” of “15 Step” is the perfect alternative to “Just” insisting that “you do it to yourself.” But there’s more, because being lazy is not just something that magically happens, without you noticing. It’s that you let it happen, you let it consume you, and by the time you realize it, it’s done.
“A Wolf at the Door” feels like cold water in the face. Or the alarm. Better yet, it's your car hitting the back of the one in front of you because you refused to look up from something far less important than driving. Maybe I've got Thom Yorke's lyrics all misunderstood and turned them into something for myself. I don't care, and hopefully he'll understand that I don't care.
Since the track is from Hail To The Thief, everybody can sound like a Radiohead genius for knowing it, because so many love to dump on what was essentially a superb album completely unlike what people wanted to hear from the band. Actually, it’s better than that. I’m not going to make the case for Hail To the Thief at this point though.
Anyway, there it is. Thanks for the insight, Radiohead.
Drag him out your window
Dragging out your dead
Singing I miss you
Snakes and ladders
Flip the lid
Out pops the cracker
Smacks you in the head
Knifes you in the neck
Kicks you in the teeth
Steel toe caps
Takes all your credit cards
Get up get the gunge
Get the eggs
Get the flan in the face
The flan in the face
The flan in the face
Dance you fucker dance you fucker
Don't you dare
Don't you dare
Don't you flan in the face
Take it with the love is given
Take it with a pinch of salt
Take it to the taxman
Let me back let me back
I promise to be good
Don't look in the mirror
At the face you don't recognize
Buy Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief at Amazon.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The crowd, which felt to be about the same number of people from start to finish, though I was up against the stage the whole time so I can’t be too sure, stood through The Bam Bams, who were intense, especially their super-focused drummer who smiled through the entire set, and Friends, who channeled parts of the 80s I’m glad I wasn’t all that into during my single-digit years of life.
Coco, Poni and Jem finally took the stage after this mix and proceeded to pound the shit out of the audience. Like, whoa.
When it comes to pounding, really, Poni is an animal. By “is an animal,” I mean she has certain qualities that set apart her favorite drummer, Animal, from the rest of the pack. Hanging over her set, while abusing the kick drum especially, she supplies a backbone that most bands would kill for.
The bassist is often the sane guy in the band - Flea notwithstanding - and Gem covers that. His playing also often has a guitar-like quality. He looks like the coolest mother fucker in the room. The band obviously has something to do with it.
Which brings me to Coco. When she howls, and her eyes roll back in her head before she starts pounding her guitar again, it’s hard not to fall in love for a second. The woman is fronting a ferocious punk band, and she sounds like the kind of “let’s fuck and move on” rock star that Robert Plant embodied. And like Plant, she’s got a few lyrics that cover that exactly.
This whole beat punk thing, that's their word, and which seems pretty accurate, finds the band’s albums progressively mellowing in speed, but maintaining heaviness. And everything is faster in concert anyway, resulting in a now two-month obsession over the full four album discography of The Ettes.
What I’ve come away with - full disclosure, I’m listening to their third album, “Do You Want Power” for the third time today, of which “Red In Tooth and Claw” is the first track - is that The Ettes, with Coco as their center-piece, are ahead of all the rock bands aping old sounds. They’ve taken from punk, 60s whatever, and country just enough to turn out a sound that doesn’t really sound like anybody else. Which is probably why their discography has remained on repeat since that night in DC.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Let's get this show back on the road, yes? It's been a minute since the Mop has cleared a floor as your (not so) humble record pusher worked himself through a word block of sorts. I know writer's block is BS to people who don't write but when you're just writing the same thing over and over and even you stop finding it interesting, well... Anyway, having been kicked in the face for weeks as two of my closest people lay down some great words for the masses, I think it's time. There is nothing more inspiring for a writer to get at it than being surrounded by other writers.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
First flyer is out for the 23rd Annual Swing for Seniors Golf Tournament at Woodmont in Tamarac. We've got a new venue and lots of stuff on tap for this thing. Save the date NOW!
The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps educate seniors on services and assistance they are eligible for (and also my employer), is gearing up for the 23rd Annual Swing for Seniors Golf Tournament at Woodmont Country Club in Tamarac, FL.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Comedy rap seems a little repetitive considering that a lot of the best lines to come out of any MC's mouth are the hysterically funny ones. In the case of The Lonely Island, though, since there's nothing serious about them, at all, and it works. Hard.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I didn't detect any of the "have they still got it" or "have they still got anything" or "I fear it's going to suck really baaaaaaaaaad" in the lead-up to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two's release three weeks ago. That's what I heard for weeks leading up to the release of To The Five Boroughs in 2004, and then "it's way better than I thought - like, really good" almost universally. After the release of two tracks on the Super Surprise EP last year, and especially "Make Some Noise," the potential for a good Beastie Boys album turned into an expectation this time around.
More than one review has pointed out places that Hot Sauce Committee Part Two sounds like Check Your Head but it's hard not to hear echoes of Hello Nasty throughout too. For all the effects and live-playing a la 1992, what a lot of it adds up to is the bouncing, playful sound of 1998. The combination works well on an album that finds the Beasties sticking to a single subject: Just how bad-ass they are.
"Nonstop Disco Powerpack" has a refreshingly familiar "Pass The Mic" vibe, and "Make Some Noise" is perfectly in line with "Intergalactic" and "Ch-check It Out" as lead singles from a new Beastie Boys album meant to get the party started. For any reminders of Beasties history, and, as always there are plenty, this is no rehash - and not even in the Check-Your-Head-and-Ill-Communication-sound-the-same kind of way.
Aside from distorting their vocals way too often - I mean, really, it's going to take twice as long to memorize the lyrics now - this could be another instrumental album. Unlike the uber-jazz of The Mix-Up, this is a hip hop album in every way, from samples to scratching to outros that are often better than the beat actually rapped over in the song. Even if the rhymes weren't as referential as they are, and it's often references that are old school, or just old, but in a good way, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is perfect for those hung up on the instrumentals of Madlib, Diplo or Oh No, among others.The only reason the Beastie Boys aren't still the tastemakers they were throughout the 90s is because it's been six years since their last album and this is a very different world. The Beastie Boys are still the Beastie Boys though, their universe is still vastly more cool than anything we live out here, and the occasional glimpse still makes some of us hope to get halfway there one day.
Buy Hot Sauce Committee Part Two directly from the Beastie Boys.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have a friend who bought the Sublime classic 40 oz To Freedom on the strength of their cover of Bad Religion's "We're Only Gonna Die." He was disappointed in the record - the expectation was for hardcore, not the ska-reggae-punk hybrid Sublime did so well - and returned it to Sam Goody in exchange for the first Goldfinger album.
While I came around to 40 oz..., to the point that it's a desert island album for me, that Goldfinger album remains a top party record. That's a smiling, dancing, let's get moving kind of album. And there's nothing groundbreaking about Goldfinger. Goldfinger is some ska, some punk, and just poppy enough that the masses understood it enough to buy at least that first effort.
As ska's few moments in the limelight faded, so did the attention lavished on Goldfinger. It's sad, considering that the band has continued to pump out great records, including 2008's Hello Destiny, which is what this track comes off of. In the meantime, they've become more involved in working with other bands (lead singer John Feldmann has worked with The Used, Story of the Year and Good Charlotte, among others), and they've got some social awareness now as well.
"Get Up" is pretty clearly about animal rights, one of the bands chief causes. That being what it is, I think it's a pretty good rallying cry too, especially on a suddenly slow-moving Tuesday afternoon when a shot of espresso and snappy ska-punk track is the only thing that'll do...
Buy Hello Destiny from Amazon.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I've spent a lot of time making the case that Dave Grohl is the bet drummer alive. Now, I know there are all sorts of metal drummers that have sick proficiency, and there are guys like Vinnie Paul, Travis Barker and this guy (and yes, the guy from Rush too), but give me a second here.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Black Lips are America's party band. Sure, most of the country doesn't know who they are, but nobody objects to the Black Lips. Nobody. Test it out. Put on a record and see what happens.
My introduction, like many, I'm sure, was via their Vice Records debut, the exquisitely messy Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, - was a bit of a brilliant move cause the record sounds like a party, which actually makes their studio efforts sound livelier.
This new track, the first single off the forthcoming Arabia Mountain, is notable not only for the rock and roll jangle and a saw as an instrument. It's also doing drugs and, it sounds like, enjoying them. To erase any doubt, they put it in the video.
"Modern Art" is a strong first single. Let me rephrase that - it's not like this is a Rihanna album and radio has to like it enough to play the shit out of it. This song makes me expect something good on June 7.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I don't know what it is but for much of the last decade Long Island has pumped out a stream of great punk bands from Brand New to Latterman to Bayside. Really, there's a killer scene out on the island, even if it gets slagged off by those hardcore kids who don't dig on melodies. I say those kids can suck it.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Yesterday, I heard CJ Bolland's classic-to-me "Sugar Is Sweeter" on the Joe Shockley Podcast after, as Joe put it, it regifted itself to him on one of those wonderful shuffled playlists. I don't know how many years it's been since I heard the track, but it's definitely more than one, and probably closer to two or three or four. So as I piled mp3 backups to rip and load onto my Amazon Cloud, the site of Squarepusher on a playlist caught my eye.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I've been crowing about how Times New Viking was writing great, hooky pop songs and then playing them sloppy and distorted, with an extra layer of distortion put on to make sure you really wanted to hear what they were doing and were willing to put the work out. With Dancer Equired, I got my wish that they'd clear some of that slush out, but now I don't know what to think of it.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I could have waited for the PR company to send me Sleepy Vikings debut album, They Will Find You Here, but after it got me to stop streaming the new Beastie Boys album (which is fucking stellar) for half an hour cause I just let "Calm" repeat over and over, I decided not to even bother emailing first and just this post tonight.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Why aren't BRMC huge? Maybe their lack of a massive audience is just further proof that people don't want fuzzed out led-heavy rock and roll every day. Which is loss for them, cause this trio has spent the last decade alternating heavy and fuzzy with country-tinged and introspective, sounding like Jesus and Mary Chain had been ripped right out of the late 60s instead of the 90s, and melded with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the occasional Stones reference (just like every other good band). Oh, maybe that's the explanation. It's a limited audience.
TV On The Radio announced that bassist Gerard Smith lost his battle with lung cancer today. Before the release of the album, the band said that Smith would sit out at least part of their current tour in support of the band's just released fifth full length album, Nine Types of Light, while undergoing treatment for the disease.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
There are two cases of these sitting in my office. It's like they knew exactly what they were hiring.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
This song made it onto more than half the mix CDs I burned from the first CD burner I got in 1999 up through at least 2005, if not later. At this point, it's one of several hundred random songs that I just leave on iTunes and migrate from iPod to iPod and now from cloud service to cloud service.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
It would have been easy to dismiss the new Prefuse 73 album during the first listen as ambient noise, almost the way Radiohead's The King of Limbs can easily be dismissed for not being loud at any point. Like the Radiohead album, I think that would be stupid. The Only She Chapters is a whole new plane of existence for Scott Herren and his main alter ego, however, to dismiss as minimalist what really is a complete redefinition and exploration of a new area actually feels like I'd be cheating myself.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It's been a few years since the prospect of a new Foo Fighters album really got me moving. Not that all the TV specials and live performances don't deliver - they do, everything single time. It's just that the albums, basically everything since 2002's One By One, haven't had me freaking out. And I know that Dave Grohl has more than once said he hated the album but "All My Life," "One By One" and "Come Back" are among my favorite tracks ever by the Foos.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I started a new job today. While I'm a big believer in paying your dues - that is, working hard at something for no money in order to gain skills with the expectation of gettin' that cheese at some point - this song just a good mantra for life. "If it don't make dollars, then it don't make sense," sings Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach between verses from Pharoahe Monch and RZA. Yeah, he's got a point.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The new album from Skull Tape, The Invisible Hand and The Descent of Man, has been part of my regular listening most of the last month. I'm pretty sure these guys are my Surfer Blood for 2011 - out of left field pop songs that are catchy and I can't stop listening too. I fell in love when Pitchfork posted "Trans Anthro" and, well, you just read those two sentences so you know what happened.