30 December 2007

Benny the Brute's Top 10 Albums of 2007

  1. Do Make Say Think – You, You’re a History in Rust
  2. Say Anything – In Defense of the Genre
  3. Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
  4. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
  5. Eluvium – Copia
  6. The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
  7. LCD Soundsystem – The Sound of Silver
  8. Battles – Mirrored
  9. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  10. The National - Boxer

28 December 2007

Laura's Top 10 Albums of 2007

1. Menomena- friend and foe
2. the shins- wincing the night away
3. Okkervil river- stage names
4. Blonde Redhead- 23
5. Tapes n' Tapes- the loon
6. The Rapture- pieces of the people we love
7. the chemical brothers- we are the night
8. Tegan and Sara- the con
9. Illinois- what the hell do i know?
10. Deerhoof- friend opportunity

it's been a great year, musically speaking! i hope 2008 will have as many promising bands!

p.s. if you dig on hearing some awesome new music...check out antsy pants...if you have seen Juno...you will know this beautiful, heartwarming, weird music.

18 December 2007

M.I.A. Paper Planes Vid

So hey, M.I.A. was a little peeved over the weekend because there was an "official censored" version of Paper Planes floating about the web. Apparently the gunshots, which are what make the song great, are absent from the censored video, which is not even sort of official.

Don't forget, you can totally hear Paper Planes, complete, with all of its gunshots on The Blaze 1260 AM.

08 December 2007

Andy’s Top Ten Albums of 2007

Andy’s Top Ten Albums of 2007
1) Wilco Sky Blue Sky: This one’s pretty obvious. If you aren’t completely satisfied, destroyed and optimistic by the end of this record, you clearly missed the point.
2) Jimmy Eat World Chase This Light: This is the record that was supposed to come out after Bleed American. Now that Futures is in the past, JEW fans have something to cheer about again.
3) Radiohead In Rainbows: As much as I didn’t think this was that great of a record, it undisputedly had a huge impact in the music community.
4) Between the Buried and Me Colors: Between the Buried and Me shows their stranglehold on the genre by releasing Colors as a complete symphony of metal/prog rock, rather than just another metal album.
5) Rocky Votolato The Bragg and Cuss: Rocky again shows his prowess as the best singer/songwriter of 2007.
6) Explosions in the Sky All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone: Explosions proves again that vocals are no necessity for a top ten finish.
7) Comeback Kid Broadcasting: This album shows all the scene kids hardcore at it’s roots and that hardcore with substance is always better than a whiny, but polished breakdown.
8) The Good Life Help Wanted Nights: Saddle Creek does it again. Go buy this album.
9) Saves the Day Under the Boards: Chris Conley proves that through lists of labels, members and some harsh criticism, the music will stay honest, singy and always worth the listen.
10) Dustin Kensrue Please Come Home: Kensrue (of Thrice) gets to explore this Americana and singer/songwriter side as he takes a step away from his heavier roots, and does it with style. Honorable Mention:
1997 A Better View of the Rising Moon: Once again, Victory succeeds in helping to break a band that might not have been discovered. Here’s to the Midwest.
Deas Vail All the Houses Look the Same: Brave New World Records takes the initiative to start the career of possibly the most authentic and appealing Christian band out there right now.
Kanye West Graduation: An alright album, but here’s to the end of 50 Cent!

Becky's Top 10 Albums of 2007

These are in no particular order, because I love all of them too much!

  1. M.I.A Kala
  2. The Little Bicycles Broken Hearts And Tired Legs
  3. Battles Mirrored
  4. Feist The Reminder
  5. Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew Spirit If...
  6. Baby Guts Gasoline
  7. Albert Hammond, Jr. Yours To Keep
  8. Blonde Redhead 23
  9. Radiohead In Rainbows
  10. Tegan & Sara The Con

07 December 2007

CHAD'S TOP 10 of 2007!!!

My name is Chad, and although it has been some time since I have posted anything...here is my top 10 for 2007:

1.) Caribou, "Andorra"
 I'm a huge Caribou fan, and this album is the perfect follow up to 2005's "The Milk of Human Kindness" If you like ambient, warm, poppy goodness...check it out.

2.)Interpol "Our Love to Admire"
 Another band that I am a huge fan of. Some say that this album is to similar to the band's first two albums. On the one hand, yes, the sound is very similar. On the other, it is more brilliant music from one of the greatest bands playing today (my opinion of course). Say what you will, but at least give it a listen.

3.) Spoon "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" 
 More Indie rock greatness from this Texas based band. If you happened to buy the vinyl you also received over 10 bonus tracks, sure they're short, but it's pretty cool too!

4.) The Chemical Brothers "We are the Night"
 The Chemical Brothers are always a good call, and this album is certainly up to par.  'Saturate' 'The Salmon Dance' and 'The Pills Won't Help You Now' are some of my favorites. 

5.)Battles "Mirrored"
 When I picked up this album for the first time I didn't quite get it. There is so much to listen for. Rhythms layered on top of more rhythms with synth and drums scattered everywhere. Its really whacky, but its also really cool. I'd describe it something like the sound of chaos. 

6.)Radiohead "In Rainbows"
 A new Radiohead album? Awesome. A new Radiohead album where you can name your own price? Even more awesome. My most played Radiohead album since OK Computer and equally as good. Most of the album is pretty depressing  but that's okay. 'All I need' and '15 Step' are my two favorites. 

7.) Modest Mouse "We were dead before the Ship Even Sank"
Modest Mouse+ Johnny Mar= Awesome. It's no "Lonesome Crowded West" or "The Moon and Antarctica" but its great, and certainly worth a purchase. 

8.)The Shins "Wincing the Night Away"
I love it, I love it, I love it. Enough said. 

9.) As I Lay Dying "An Ocean Between Us"
As I Lay Dying has changed its sound completely, and it is even better than before.  The intro to 'Separation' is amazing. Certainly worth a purchase, even for non-metal fans. 

10.) The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Self Titled
One of the first albums of 2007 was probably one of the best. Its the super band of all super bands: Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong. All hail from historic bands (ie: The Verve, The Clash, Blur, etc.) For some most of the music may be too soft and too slow. I like the sound, and Albarn has a great voice. Check it out.

There they are. My top 10 of 2007. 

06 December 2007

0W3N'5 T0PPP Tr@XXX of ZOO7!!

It's times like this that I realize how narrow my taste is (Panda Bear is in two of these bands) and how few new (as in made in 2007) albums I really bought. But here's my top 5:

1. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Music this good yet also completely ridiculous is very rare.
2. Akron/Family - Love is Simple
The Family turned jam band on everyone, but the songs are still beautiful.
3. Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs
Track 5 - 1:53
4. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
This one's on here for personal reasons.
5. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
See #1.

Top songs of the year, annihilating my previously top-played song with 71 complete plays:

"Snare Hangar" off Mirrored by Battles.

About 2 minutes long (that means I've spent a full two hours and 20 minutes listening to this song); sounds like it was made completely by accident; forgoes the silly voice effects that, frankly, kept the album off my top 5 list (I'm a luddite); the last half of the song is like a bunch of robots in communal orgasm (I wish there was a more elegant way to put it).

In Rainbows News

As of December 10, Radiohead lovers will no longer be able to name their own price for In Rainbows! So either snap it up asap, or be at the mercy of iTunes... most likely. Additionally, once the discboxes run out, Thom and co. will refrain from making more! Order or die! Or just wait to buy a physical copy when it's released on January 10. But seriously, how could you miss out on naming your own price?! How?!

05 December 2007

Motion City Soundtrack/Mae/Anberlin/Metro Station @ The Marquee

Metro Station was an alright band. We missed the first couple songs due to the (usual) gigantic line outside the Marquee, but still caught over half the songs. In that portion of the set though, there was only one song that really stood out to me, and one song that was pretty good, and the rest were all rather average. The band has the nice stereotypical modern Pop Punk image (aka "emo") and the songs certainly fit the image. I wish I had more to say about the band but the band didn't really stand out to me much. I might listen to a few of the recorded songs to see if they work better on CD, there did seem to be some potential.

As much as I like Mae, Anberlin really should have been after them for several reasons. One, Mae is a lighter, more atmospheric band and playing after such a dynamic band as Anberlin, they seem to fall flat at first. Secondly, there was not a more energetic cry of "one more song" after any of the other bands finished tonight, including Motion City Soundtrack. Anberlin was definitely a hit with the crowd. They played two pretty mediocre songs from Cities early on in the set, but the latter half of the set was all amazing. This band has great energy and is a blast to see.

Mae ended up playing for a pretty long time, which was good because initially they were pretty flat and I was wishing I had a chair, becuase Mae is a good band, but they're also a sit back and relax band more than they are a stand up band. By the end I was re-evaluating though, as they continued to pick up energy and by the end they were definitely rocking the crowd well. They weren't the best fit for this lineup still, and I'd like to see them with a more fitting lineup where I was more in the right mood to listen to their music. They were still quite enjoyable, if a bit less energetic than Anberlin (of course).

Motion City Soundtrack was a lot of fun as usual, though the crowd surfing was substantially less pervasive than the last time I saw them. Justin was almost assuredly totally wasted, but he was pretty fun interacting with the crowd as a result. The tradeoff was that he fucked up a fair number of songs, not terribly, mostly just lyrics. Oh well. Pretty good set list and like Mae and Anberlin it got progressively better as it went on.

The funny thing about this show was that among Anberlin, Mae, and Motion City Soundtrack, there all seemed to be fans there for just one of those bands. So unlike most shows, by the time the headliner was on, there was not a huge crowd. In fact amog the different band, crowd size seemed to be about the same for all of them due to the number of folks leaving after a band played. That was too bad because small crowds have less energy and are not as fun.

03 December 2007

Vince's Weekly Charts

29 November 2007

Beck's Digs

24 November 2007

Efterklang - Mirador

Here's a wonderful video from Danish group Efterklang for their song Mirador. Watch as the little bird thing navigates its colorfully Escheresque space island!

18 November 2007

I Think We Should Have a Moment of Silence For Grunge...

i would like you all to bow your heads and indulge yourself with as much grunge as you can get a hold of. it's the holidays, you need to get out your deep dark feelings of angst before you have to face your family. so dig in! put on some nirvana and wallow in a bath...the year is almost over.

Annuals at The Clubhouse 11/17

Annuals killed last night. I wasn't sure if they'd top the last time I saw them at the Rhythm Room, but they've only gotten better. The electric atmosphere that this North Carolinian band crafts onstage absolutely has to be experienced. And when four people start playing simultaneous percussion parts, you'll feel happier than ever before. Truth be told: I have a massive crush on Adam Baker, the leader of the Annuals pack. But, honestly, listen to Be He Me, it's an epic collection of angsty musicianship, with so much depth. Every time I listen to it, I find something new to love. They just released a digital EP, entitled Frelan Mas, a collection of eight b-sides from Be He Me. It's available on the Ace Fu website and on iTunes.

Brooklynite Kevin Devine played first and was pretty intense, up onstage all alone with just his guitar as company. Manchester Orchestra, who played second, came out for the last half of his set as his backup band. Devine covered Neutral Milk Hotel, which was my favorite part of his set, probably because I've never listened to him with much fervor. It was a good set though, lots of girls are in love with him, I guess.

Manchester followed and by far had the biggest crowd of the night. I saw them over the summer at The Brickhouse with Piebald and mewithoutYou, but singer Andy Hull's voice seemed a little weary this time around. It's crazy how many people were singing along and dancing around, probably because Manchester doesn't strike me as something to dance to.

Hey Phoenix, how are you going to leave right after Manchester Orchestra plays and totally miss out on Annuals? I think half of the crowd left by the time Annuals played, which is cool for me since I'm sort of miniscule and didn't have to fight to see the action... But all you dorkburgers who left missed out on a beautiful set.

17 November 2007


1. the same critics say the same things about the same bands...i didn't care then and i don't care now (Britney Spears naked on the cover of several magazines...need i say more)

2. Peter Travers

3. glorification of over-produced bands that were once good (i.e. the Decemberists with the Crane Wife)

4. they only promote glamazon would be pop artists because they are payed to. (where are your moral standards?)

5. finally, Eldar. (have you seen the latest CMJ?)

13 November 2007


You can officially buy the Spice Girls Greatest Hits album as of today, November 13. In the states, the album is being sold exclusively at Victoria's Secret stores, which is horrible because it means I'll actually have to drive to some type of mall to purchase it. The ladies also have a new single entitled "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" which you can download here. Physical copies of the single will be available in the UK on November 19.

11 November 2007

Brand New/Thrice/mewithoutYou at The Dodge Theater

To begin with I will admit my extreme bias in this review because when this tour was announced I was pretty sure it was the best tour announced in years.

mewithoutYou is such a fun band. It is wonderful to have seen them at The Mason Jar just a few years ago, and now here they are as an opening act at The Dodge Theater. Granted, it was much nicer to see them at The Mason Jar, where they invited everyone out to dinner as they left the stage (about half the audience did leave to catch dinner with the band), it is still a tribute to what a hard-working and good band they are that they have progressed so quickly. In the time since that first show, this band has gotten a little bit flashier, but they still stick to the simple but energetic show they have mastered for the most part. Not many fancy light tricks, this band relies on the power of their music and the energy of their band to involve and speak to the crowd, and it seems to work quite well for them. Aaron has evolved from the shy frontman with a shirt over his head into a more confident leader on stage, though some shyness does remain (that's a good thing). The only bad part of their set was the length: 30 minutes.

Thrice is my favorite band, ever. So obviously I loved their show. I have seen them several times and this might have been my favorite show they've ever put on. Perhaps it was the superior sound quality and stage set-up (I'm not a fan of arena-style shows but there are admittedly some perks, like a good soundboard), but I think a large part of it was their fantastic set list. Although nothing from Identity Crisis slipped into the mix (as expected, unfortunately), a couple songs from all of their other albums slipped into the set list along with more recent music from their just-released album and, if each disc from The Alchemy Index is taken as a seperate disc, I think one of the most remarkable things about their set list was its incorporation of an approximately equal amount of material from all of their discs except for Identity Crisis. That sort of balance is rarely seen in bands which have just released an album and in fact has not even been characteristic of Thrice at other shows I have seen them play. As a fan of all of their material though, it was a welcomed aspect of their show. Songs from the Water disc seemed to fall into the same trap songs from Vheissu fell into when it was released, which is a more awkward incorporation of the songs into he set due to their more comparitively mellow nature. The songs from Vheissu sound great by now though and I expect that Water songs will integrate better with time.

Brand New was the only band on this tour I had not yet had the pleasure of seeing live. Perhaps because they were headlining over my favorite band, or perhaps due to the rave reviews of my friends who have seen them, I had very high expectations for their live show. As they started out I was initially wary. Jesse is an incredibly passionate vocalist live, but in the first song he sang, his preference for screaming parts normally sung began to worry me that their live renditions would be too different for me. Add to that the 7 or 8 people on stage for several songs throughout the evening and I was starting to feel an impending disaster. But then it turned around in the course of a song. I don't even recall which song it was, but all of a sudden the live music clicked with me, and I really got into it. Their stage setup was surprisingly spartan and mellow. The use of fairly dim white lights was the only lighting for their entire set and kept a more laid-back mood in place, which was further accented by their choice to play The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in its entirety (though not in order). In fact, the only songs they performed that were not on that album were Sic Transit Gloria and Good to Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have to Do Is Die. Jesse also played one cover song by himself on an acoustic, which was surprisingly good, coming from a music fan who rarely enjoys the singer/acoustic guitar soloist approach. The most disappointing part of their set was not actually part of the set but rather the encore. Having closed the set with Sowing Season and Degausser (excellent choices) the band chose to come out and jam for about 10 minutes and then leave. Although it was a good jam and enjoyable in itself, it is usually wiser to close the night with your strongest material, so as not to leave audiences complaining as they walk out the door (which I heard plenty of). Otherwise this show was fantastic and I wish I were able to follow it around and see it a few more times, because it completely met the high expectations I laid out for such an impressive band line-up.

10 November 2007

09 November 2007

New Why? song out! - if that sentence made any sense to you at all, you're probably excited.

Why? Yoni Wolf's solo project turned four-piece turned three-piece Malkmusian rock meets hip hop band has a new album coming out! It's called Hollows, and the title track is available for download from xlr8r's site.

As with most of Wolf's songs, the lyrics range from pathos to pithyness (I can't help my alliterative self) as he recalls interesting anecdotes involving gypsies and homosexual Berlinners on basketball courts. Any song that uses the phrase "loose tooths" probably deserves your attention, so check it out!

I'm going to brag for a sec.

Remeber when MIA and I were BFFs?

In light of Owen's Last.fm Shyness...

...I decided to post my charts because that way no one can be ashamed about having worse taste in musc than me!

08 November 2007

Throw Yer Diamonds

I'm a sappy girl for liking this commercial. But, Cat Power covering Cat Stevens! C'mon how could I possibly resist?

On a separate note: What would Kanye think of Chan Marshall singing for blood diamonds? On another separate note: Is Celebrity Death Match still on t.v.? I'd like to see Chan and Kanye duke it out as claymation figures.

Why I'm not posting my last.fm digs - the case against Skrobbling

If you subscribe to my fan club newsletter (and pay the exorbitant dues required to do so) you have probably been asking yourself something along the lines of "Owen, why don't you post your last.fm top five like all the other cool TMAs? Do you think you're too good or something?"

The answer is a bifurcated one. On the one hand I have serious problems with my song data not getting through to the grand old skrobblin' machine. I more often than not have a little red tied eighth notes where a black one should be... or stranger yet, a little # sign. What do these things mean? Last.FM is silent! It only occasionally seems to upload my listening habits and when it does it is rarely representative of my actual taste in music.

Which leads me to my second problem: my charts are consistently either unrepresentative of the music I like or overly representative of music I don't like OR don't want people to know I like.

Three artists in my list of 50 top artists overall and FIVE of my top ten artists in the last week are either bands I was/am in or various silly garageband/protools projects I made and listen to out of vanity. I'm clearly biased in this regard. These should not be in my top artists list! On top of that, it can't be true that I listened to myself half the time in the past week. Skrobbler, you're incorrect.

The non-me artists in my toplists are even weirder. "Spor" takes the number 7 slot in the past week. I don't know who the hell Spor is! my friend Jake sent me an mp3 and I've listened to the song maybe once. Jesu is on there- I have one song by Jesu that I'm not sure I've ever listened to all the way through.

I don't know if it's a problem with firewalls or modems or whatever, but Last.FM has to get its act together if it's gonna continue to profess to "represent" my music taste in any accurate way.

So no, I'm not posting my digs.

Shut up.

Why Pitchfork Media Sucks.

Pitchfork Media sucks.

Although they are indisputably one of the biggest, and most well known indie media outlets, someone has to come out and say that they are in fact just another indie snob trying to get out its name, by destroying the name of some of the greatest albums of the last ten years.

Lets start off with a local favorite, Jimmy Eat World. Arguably the best Jimmy cd is Clarity back from 1999 (Bleed American wasn't reviewed, probably because it actually charted) . This is not only a great cd, but one of the quintessential emo discs of all time. Pitchforks spends days in a commercial dialect type review to drone on how the cd is sub par, giving the disc a 3.5/10. No more need be said.

Another quintessential disc, again in the emo realm, would be Saves the Day's Stay What You Are. Whether you like this type of music, its not hard to see that there isn't much more to be asked for on this type of album. But Pitchfork displays itself as another indie elitist rating the disc as a 2.9/10.

Moving to heavier music, the progressive/hardcore/space rock disc Jupiter by Cave In was also reviewed. This album, which is widely regarded as another of the best of its kind is still rated below a 5 by Pitchfork with a 4.9/10.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that Pitchfork pretends to have knowledge outside of its small portion of the indie landscape and goes on to review Jay-Z and Rihanna's latest albums. Both discs received an 8.6 and 7.4 respectively. Nothing against either artist, but apparently originality and straddling several genres in one disc are not an important factor in the reviews done by Pitchfork.

So Pitchfork, next time you want to legitimize yourself as an indie reviewer, stick to your Saddle Creek, don't venture out of your comfort zone, and for the sake of indie remember one thing:

Indie is not limited to acoustic guitar, overbearing synth lines and artists that will never appeal to a demographic larger than the standard mismatched American Apparel and Ray-Ban wearing indie elitist.

07 November 2007

Flobots at The Paper Heart

For those of you who, like me, have never been to The Paper Heart before, I am going to take just a minute to suggest you do so. If the average night there is anything like tonight was, there are few things that are so inexpensive and simultaneously entertaining anymore.

The first 4 or so bands consisted of a group of perhaps 10 people rotating in and out of the various "bands" and playing a pretty wide assortment of instruments. Considering the band would yell out chord changes during the song, it was remarkably good improv. I've heard rehearsed bands play less challenging music and do a worse job of it than these guys did jamming on stage. Not to mention they had great energy and interaction with the crowd (granted most of the crowd was composed of their friends). Some highlights included the accordionist diving off the stage and falling into one of the audience members' lap, the kid who played in all of the bands and just soloed the whole song, and the first kid who handed out percussion instruments to get the crowd to interact with him. None of these guys was tht great, but they were good enough that the evidence of their having fun was ample entertainment in itself.

Then there was the Flobots. Of course I love this band on CD so it's no surprise I liked them live, but one thing I wish more bands did is to change their songs live and not jsut play what's on the CD, and they did this very well, from the Rage Against the Machine cover in the middle of one of their songs to the rap battle between the two emcees, it was a very good show. The lack of an audience (despite my best efforts) was pretty depressing but the band was still really gracious anyways. I only met Mackenzie but they seemed like a very friendly bunch (Coloradans usually are really) and they seemed really glad to be playing for us even though there was about 20 people there total...which is sadly less than my band pulls sometimes. Usually bands aren't so gracious to such a small group. If you are unfamiliar with the Flobots, listen at http://www.myspace.com/flobots or listen to The Blaze, we play them (or so Becky tells me).

Hooray for fun shows.

05 November 2007


31 October 2007

This Sigur Ros interview will blow your mind.

30 October 2007

Cansei De Ser iPhone

CSS's "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex" is now featured in an iPhone commercial. It's bizarre.

29 October 2007

Sam's "Digs"

If I were nice I'd post MP3s, but I'm not.

"Bonafied Lovin", Chromeo [video]
"Pro Nails (Remix)", Kid Sister featuring Kanye West
"Phantom Pt. II (Soulwax Remix)", Justice
"Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Soulwax Kyluss Remix)", Kylie Minogue
"45 and Rising", Midnight Juggernauts
"Kingdom", Dave Gahan
"Is There A Ghost", Band of Horses

26 October 2007

Man Man at the Rhythm Room

Weeknights are not good for concerts, but Phoenix's square-state-in-the-middle status often means the best touring bands come through on nights when most of us should probably be doing work of some sort. Man Man came to the Rhythm Room on a Monday night.

Not that I didn't have I should have been doing instead, but I had missed Man Man coming through my town literally three times beforehand and I was afraid that if I didn't catch their much-talked about live show soon, the feast would become a famine and I could never say I saw Honus Honus' sweaty mullet in person.

So I went. By myself. It was awesome.

Openers Sleeping States played sleepy (yep) British sleepcore that would have made me sleepy if they didn't keep interspersing the reverby guitar chords and mellow ladydrumming with screeching distorted children's toys sounds and radio static. When guitarist/singer Markland Starkie sang he did a sort of small-mouthed yawn that made his singing sound very nice. Good simple songs.

Man man took the stage and began adorning it with drums, christmas lights, keyboards, steel bowls and colanders and a rubber snake in the most professional way possible. They left briefly to don their matching white outfits and white warpaint and then began one of the tightest and loosest sets I've ever seen.

The thing is they didn't really stop or talk to the crowd at all. The crazy gypsy songs flowed into the R&B psych ripoffs and right on into the lunatic 5/4 drum circle sessions. Honus Honus was the master of ceremonies, leading the songs and handling most of the non-falsetto vocals.

An anecdote worth sharing- Honus pulled an old-fashioned shallow steel bowl full of spoons from his dented red toolbox/shouting stump, threw the bowl in the air and then threw the spoons at it, picked up the bowl, poured water into it from a jug as he held it up to the microphone and set it aside. Ridiculous.

Ok gots to go. See Man Man if they come through again, they probably will and I'll see you there.

23 October 2007

Beck's Digs

22 October 2007

The End of CMJ!

I'm back in Arizona!
We made a pilgrimage to Strawberry Fields at Central Park and the Dakota to pay a little homage to John Lennon.
I saw Justice for the secondish time on Sunday night! Midnight Juggernauts opened and wowed everybody. They're a three piece that like a hybrid of The Faint and The Strokes.
Sunday was spent almost entirely at the airport, although we did have breakfast at Petite Abeille. So good!

I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to attempt a nap.

20 October 2007

Holy macaroni, we met MIA yesterday and it was pretty sweet. Actually, it sucked for the majority of the time because she arrived at borders about 40 minutes late, but she was really cool to talk with while she signed stuff. I told her I was really excited about seeing her show at Terminal 5 last night, and I asked her how the show the night before went. MIA said, "It was hell. The craziest thing I've ever done." Now, I wasn't sure if this boded well for last night's show, MIA Terminal 5 Round 2, but ohhhh man did it ever.

First off, Terminal 5 is definitely one of the best venues I've ever been to. It's brand spankin' new, literally, MIA's show on Thursday was the first performance at the venue. There are three levels, killer lighting, things to lean on, plus a coat check, and it's clean. I know, dang.

DJ Blaqstarr opened and blew. I really couldn't dig it. But Ry Ry sang and danced a bit, and sort of made up for Blaqstarr's bologna. Afrikan Boy, who had never been to the states before, came on stage during the set, too. He made the set even worse. Either dj, dj with an emcee or emcee. Don't get up there and do some pathetic improvisation where all you yell is "DJ BLAQSTARR DJ BLAQSTARR!!!" Seriously, it got so old so fast.

Ah! Then my new boyfriends, The Cool Kids, who we saw at Studio B on Thursday, did their sweet set and I loved it even more the second time around. So talented. So fun. They have a song about riding bikes around Chicago. I'm sold.

MIA came on around 10. Before she got on stage, there was a video of a man giving a speech about destroying the government and the pointlessness of voting, which was cool but a little to schticky for my taste. Her show was amazing: great dancing, tons of energy and flashy video. I started wondering, though: Why was last night's show hellish? Well! During Bird Flu, MIA goes, "Hey New York, I want you to come dance on the stage with me. Come on." What? Yeah. Like 50-some people hopped on and danced like discombobulated lunatics, trying to grab MIA, take pictures with her and pretty much have bragging rights for life. It was annoying and I get that it's involving the crowd and edgy or whatever, but it seemed like so much unnecessary stress. Everybody went crazy during Galang and Boyz, too. Jimmy and Paper Planes were rad to see live. I want to know where MIA buys her leggings, because I'd rock them if I could find them.

Oh, if you want to represent the World Town, put your index finger and thumb together, kind of like the "okay" sign. That is all.

19 October 2007

Last night we trekked back to Brooklyn for the Modular party at Studio B. There was a dance floor with a legitimate disco ball and a huge sitting area with terribly comfy couches. The majority of the party was d.j.'d, but The Cool Kids rocked a sweet set, followed by Muscles, who's pretty much the equivalent of Treasure Mammal, and then New Young Pony Club. I wasn't super into NYPC, but I was super tired, so we left pretty early on in their set... which didn't start until like 2 a.m.

Today we're going to meet M.I.A. at Borders and then line up for a million hours so we can get in to see her at Terminal 5! Ole!

18 October 2007

Woo! Here's a recap of what the eff I'm up to:


We went to Bowery Ballroom and caught the end of The Shaky Hands' set, The Most Serene Republic, who totally killed, and Dean & Britta.


I slept until noon and it was miraculous. Then we went to see Thurston Moore perform stuff from his new album The Trees Outside The Academy at the Apple Store in Soho. After that we went to Brooklyn and ate falafel at Oasis and hung out at a park.

We got to the Music Hall of Williamsburg crazy early, so we meandered around Brooklyn for awhile and ended up drinking a million Thai iced coffees at Chai, which led to us leaving the camera there and taking somewhat crappy phone pictures of Cadence Weapon.

Cadence went on a bit late, but totally made up for his tardiness with dance moves. He was wearing a Daft Punk Alive shirt. I'm in love with him.

Music Hall of Williamsburg is exactly like Bowery, except in Brooklyn. Pretty rad.

We tried to get into the Bowery after that for Dan Deacon, but there was a long line and we left since they were limiting how many CMJ badges they were letting inside.

We actually got to some panels today. The Lit Rock panel was really interesting! They had Michael Azerrad, who wrote Our Band Could Be Your Life, and some other writers discussing the interaction between the music world and the publishing world. Then we hit up the Music Directors' Summit, which was a freaking joke. Whatever.

Ah! We went to see Q-Tip at the Apple Store! Dude, we were in the front row and I danced with Q-Tip, not once, but TWICE. Yeah, he sang Bonita Applebum to me. You don't even know. His band was intensely good. Hooray for hip-hop.

Tonight we're going to trek back to Brooklyn for New Young Pony Club, Muscle and Simian Mobile Disco.

Love ya!

16 October 2007

Okay, so we flew in to New York overnight. I didn't really sleep on the plane. I met a guy from Russia who wanted to buy me stuff. It was weird. Once we arrived, we went to get breakfast at a little French cafe called Petite Abeille next to The Chelsea Inn, where we're staying. The coffee was amazing and I would marry the man who made it if he asked me. We tried to check in to the hotel early, but no dice. We got our badges at the Puck Building at NYU, moseyed around some of the booths, chatted with some of our fellow CMJ-goers, and then went back to the hotel to check in and take naps. My nap was fulfilling but only lasted an hour. Sam's still sleeping and now I'm using our ten-dollar wireless internet. Additionally, we are on the third floor of a hotel with stairs that lean desperately. I hope the building doesn't collapse into itself. It's cute though, I guess.

Tonight we're going to Bowery Ballroom for the Brooklyn Vegan Showcase featuring Bon Iver, Shaky Hands, Miracle Fortress, The Most Serene Republic, which I am most excited about, duh, Dean & Britta, The Rosebuds and Voxtrot!

14 October 2007

Across The Universe

Julie Taymor's Across The Universe is the musical equivalent of an abusive boyfriend. He lures you in with songs you love and then punches you in the face repeatedly with a silly, forced screenplay and lame characters. Ouch. Then he sings another song, and you think it'll be okay... but you are so mistaken. Prudence? Seriously?

11 October 2007


The Devendra Banhart show tomorrow night was moved from Marquee to The Clubhouse!

07 October 2007

Beck's Weekly Digs

04 October 2007

Necronauts Show!

Local rockeronies The Necronauts are playing at Modified on Saturday! It's only five bucks, plus it's all ages. Ahhh, if not for good music, at least go to see guitarist/vocalist Billy's unbelievable head of hair.

30 September 2007

New Radiohead Album

Is everyone wearing their catheter? Radiohead is coming out with a new album folks. BE SURPRISED! Not only is Radiohead coming out with a new album, it will be available in TEN DAYS! It's called In Rainbows and you can apparently purchase it for however much money you want to spend. Once again, on 10/10/07 you will have something new to obsess over. It will be available for download only on that date and the tangible (expensive) material will arrive in December.

Check it out Here

28 September 2007

Becky's Weekly Digs Courtesy of Last.fm

24 September 2007

Animal Collective at the Rialto 9/20/07

Let's See:

The Rialto Theatre is located across a done-tore-up street from the Congress hotel where John Dillinger was caught. Tore-up'dness is not special around this part of Tucson, with the whole block looking fairly post-apolcalyptic- the only structures left standing in an apparent re-everything-ing of 4th street being a few "historic" (read: maybe 100 years old) brick buildings. Road work occurring under bright flourescent lights at 10:30 at night. It was a typically restless orange-lit Arizona weekday, made all the more Mad Max-esque by the roaming packs of Animal collective fans emerging from the dark alleyways adorned for a night of freakfolkin': peasant dresses, silver trenchcoats, tie dye, beards and bandanas.

Part 1B: The Opening Act
Early fans collect in front of the stage in down-sloping standing-room where theater seats once sat. A white fabric screen held up by geodesic scaffolding stands front and center stage, getting hopes up for a repeat of the pre-set shadow puppet show witnessed at Solar Culture their last time through Tucson. Not a puppet show, per se, we find out, as Wizard Prison takes the stage behind the screen with their cloaked and hooded silhouettes blocking psychadelic projections on the screen. They stand at their laptops like altars, I guess. They guy on the right moves his hand incantation-style over the keyboard and summons screechy big synth noises while the other wizard prisoner (the more charismatic, perhaps, but less subtle of the two... which one's your favorite?) screeches into a microphone in the darkness to the side of his screen. "WIZARD PRISON" announces the projector as a big distorted beat puts the first of many sinister psych jams into motion. 10 minute song, 10 minutes of noise, then it quiets down and out come the stratocasters. "Animal Collective!" shout some drunk assholes in the front (seriously... big drunk assholes) and the WP let out the loudest distorted power chord you can probably remember hearing and it hurts everyone's ears but they made their point. From here on it's basically like Sunn o))) except not, which is cool with me since I've never seen Sunn o))). Not bad. Oh and they said "thank you" with their projector in big bloody death metal letters with their projector. Friendly guys, Wizard Prison.

And then there was Animal Collective. Geologist, Avey Tare, and Panda Bear from left to right, with their personal array of twelve or so PA speakers and attached multicolored light panels arranged behind their three synth/sampler/percussion stations. They opened with "Unsolved Mysteries", if memory serves, with Tare taking a (for this show) rare turn on the guitar and giving the crowd an early (and even rarer) taste of familiar material.

From there it was a full-on drone trance two hour set that was as challenging as could be expected and as hard to translate into writing as you can probably tell from this account. Oh, and maybe I'm going crazy, but they totally lapsed into a remix of "A Paw in My Face" by The Field. Did anyone else notice that?! Tell me I'm not alone. I definitely heard a sample from this.

So they played all your unreleased youtube-only songs like "walk around" and a couple others. Wound down the evening with a wonderful rendition of Album closer "Derek" (30 minutes of confusion and then those shaker sounds started up and it was like seeing your friend's face in the middle of a crazy dream... Hi Derek!... y'know?) Finishing up in considerately nostalgic form, the played Leaf House, thanked Wizard Prison and wrapped it up... encoreless. Some of the front row kids were pissed, reminding us that, despite the pop monster Animal Collective has become, it has still reserved its right to rub people the wrong way.

Within Temptation show review

Attitude was the opener for this show, and apparently they're a local band so it was sort of exciting to have them up there with a national tour. These guys has a really entertaining live act. Not the friendliest of folks, unfortunately, but the show was definitely well worth watching. Music shows a lot of promise but it's not there yet, the band had more energy than the music.

The Dear and Departed was a decent band, but seemed unfitting for this show. Music was generally sort of a Pop Rock feel with an Indie atmosphere to it. The drop in energy from the first band was palpable even among the crowd, though the music was pretty nice. Very relaxed and chilled out. Unfortunately, this was a Metal show (more or less).

Within Temptation was a lot of fun. They played for about an hour and a half which meant I didn't know a fair amount of the material played. This was their last show for their first headlining US tour, and you could tell they were thrilled to be here. The entire band was smiling the whole set and fooling around and acting like this wasn't work, this was just something they do for fun, a refreshing view because the crowd feeds off this energy fabulously. In addition, Sharon is absolutely adorable. Not in the sex-icon way most fans probably see her, but in person she just has this really charming and friendly vibe. The whole band did in fact, always nice ot have bigger bands that are that friendly. Worth seeing again.

23 September 2007

Between the Buried and Me says, “What the Hell Are you Lookin at?”

The North Carolina based Metal/Progressive Between the Buried and Me released Colors, the band’s fifth full length last Tuesday. Before even opening the disc, the band made its intentions clear as Colors was intended to be a symphony of metal, progressive rock and the intensity of a bar fight all blended together. While immediately coming off as pretentious, the band stands its ground and delivers exactly as promised. Flawless transitions between songs and different moods, the journey starts off with a piano serenade followed by BTBAM’s signature kick in “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack.” Throughout the middle of the disc, the listener is greeted by not only the sounds of heavy metal and lush prog rock, but also an audible bar fight and the occasional accordion. Finally, the metal leaders take a moment to build a climax in “Viridian” and kick hard again to close the disc with “White Walls.” At the close of Colors, it becomes immediately clear exactly what the hell the listener is looking at. BTBAM demonstrates their position as a band capable of spanning genre, tone and many colors to create a technical masterpiece that any metal fan can enjoy.

High on Fire Show Review!

Coliseum started out, which was disappointing in that the band after them was the band that seemed to be the least successful. They put on an alright show but the crowd was pretty dead and not hugely into it, but that's as much as I expected for more of a Hardcore Punk band at a Heavy Metal show. I think the band would have a much more fun show at a Hardcore show. They did have a few people nodding head by the end though.

Panthers was up next, and unfortunately they weren't hugely exciting live. They seemed to lack that extra ingredient to really spice up their show. The vocalist also didn't fit the music very well I thought although my opinion might change if I heard them on CD.

Mono was AMAZING live. Amazing. The music started off pretty and sweet, and I'm pretty sure half of the bar didn't realize this band was even playing music for the first few minutes they were playing. It was a nice and slow build, but assuredly, by the end of their first climax, the entire room was captivated and clapping fervently in any break that seemed appropriate. The line for merch after their show probably consisted of half the audience there. they were that good. Go see this band live. Period.

High on Fire was very entertaining live. They had a huge emphasis on sound that many bands don't bother with when they play live anymore but it really made for a better show. The guitarist/vocalist is a super friendly guy and very energetic and charismatic. Fun to be around, and he was around almost the entire time he wasn't playing, socilizing and even buying people drinks at the bar. Their live show wasn't as good as Mono's, but it was still quite good and fun overall.

17 September 2007

My Pinback interview is up on azcentral! You can read it here!

16 September 2007

WTF Regina?!

Okay, the new J.C. Penney's commercials use "Music Box" by Regina Spektor as the background jingley music. I thought I was okay with musicians selling their souls for retail purposes, since, you know, Feist has those iPod mini commercials with "1 2 3 4," plus a few others that I can't readily recall. And there's probably some decent money in it. But, seriously? J.C. Penney and Regina Spektor? That's like Ryan Adams pairing up with Kohl's, or Blondie backing up some freaking Doritos ad, or Cat Power modeling for Chanel, or Wilco with Volkswagen... oh wait. But honestly, I actually really like this song and now it's forever tainted.

EDIT: Not ten minutes after writing this, there was an ad with Vera Wang for Kohl's. Just a friendly notification.

14 September 2007

Holy crap!

Ghostface Killah playing at ASU?


October 17th. Witchdoctor supports; tour is sponsored by Adult Swim. No word yet on where on campus, but just follow the stylishly-dressed screaming kids with backpacks. Or the sound of loud bass. Or the sound of awesome music.

13 September 2007

Most Serene Republic Streamage

You can stream the new album from The Most Serene Republic, entitled "Population" right here right now!

09 September 2007

Hey guess what!

Who's going to see Kings of Leon at Marquee tomorrow night?!

26 August 2007

Super-exciting News!

In spite of super shows frequently overlooking us music-loving Phoenicians, Moscow-born Regina Spektor is set to make an appearance in the Valley! She'll be at The Orpheum, as in Phoenix's Orpheum, on November 4. That's right! Phoenix plays host to the classically trained pianist known for quirky stop-starts and silly sing alongs. Yes, much different from the last time Regina stopped in Arizona and played Tucson. Bahaha, in the ongoing battle for better shows Phoenix scores one point, still lags by many, but this one may be the turning point, if I may point that out. Here we go Phoenix, let's pack The Orpheum with all the awesome we can muster, so that maybe, just maybe, the coolness kick will last. In the mean time, check out Miss Spektor's vid for "Fidelity," the biggest single from 2006's Begin To Hope.

25 August 2007

PawBox - PawBox

Release Date: 8/07

PawBox is from Los Angeles, meaning that they’ve probably had a decent amount exposure to a respectable rock music scene. They are a talented group with an apparent comprehension of melody and appropriate song structure. Influences certainly show on their self-titled EP, but PawBox does little outside of generic rock and roll. The problem with the music is that it’s stale, generic, and can drag on for a bit too long. The heart of the EP has three songs over four minutes in length, challenging the listener to keep attention to drawn-out vocal harmonies and intermittent breakdowns for soft piano work. With only five songs on the entire EP, it’s puzzling as to how such a listen can be cumbersome. With a burning necessity for originality and vivacity, PawBox should probably get out of Los Angeles, go on a long drive, and discover their own personality.

Aiden - Conviction

Release Date: 8/21/07

I don’t like when I have to struggle through listening to an album. It becomes frustrating and I become distracted. It also ends up with me writing very offensive reviews. This time around, I might take it easy (though probably not). When I listened to Aiden’s Conviction, the opening line “Close your eyes, the rain won’t wash away” signaled the fastest time in my personal history to have ever hated an album. I was only 15 seconds into the first track! Competing with Sufjan Stevens’ Enjoy Your Rabbit for the prime ranking on my “Least Enjoyable Listens” list, the album remarkably manages to sound like a boys choir in a musical about broken hearts in a juvenile hall, as well as having the same effect as a thunderstorm that ruins a camping trip. The boys choir definitely needed more lessons before taking the stage. The lead singer, whose ego manages to be so massive that he requests his name be spelled wiL, has many troubles in maintaining a decent pitch throughout Conviction. The sound of rain may stem from the overuse of drumrolls or continual hi-hat smashing. The dull piano work, absence of musical integrity, and repetition on the album disappoints with every listen. Eventually, every song feels like filler. On the final track “The Sky is Falling,” wiL sings “Bring me back to life,” though in all honesty, he just needs to be brought back to reality. You can find better paper weights for less than half the price.

The Pietasters - All Day

Release Date: 8/21/07

It would be quite a stroke of luck to guess that The Pietasters’ latest release All Day was a product of the year 2007. With its intentional production quality hindering a vivid sound, The Pietasters seem to take a dip into a pool of 60s soul music. Most ska bands come over the top with powerful horns and repetitive, springy guitar hooks, but All Day rocks like a soda shop jukebox and cranks out relaxing and refreshing numbers. You can’t take ska music too seriously these days…or ever. The Pietasters use that fact to avoid serious songs, and embrace the simple grooves well within their creative capacity. Since the music can’t be taken too seriously, and it feels very simple in its design, The Pietasters are forced to succeed with traditionally catchy rhythms and brisk tempo changes that give the album a more inspired feel. The guitars on “Keep on Lyin’” and “So Long” break out of the mellower consistency that plagues the album, skewing the tuning and picking up the beat. With a few high points and a very leisurely pace, All Day isn’t supposed to change your life, but it should make your day a little bit easier.

Chuck Ragan - Feast or Famine

Release Date: 8/7/07

Chuck Ragan left the post-hardcore band Hot Water Music to focus on his personal life. Apparently his connection with music is so personal that Ragan has decided to release two solo albums within a little over a year since his departure in 2006. His works include a live effort entitled Los Feliz, and as of August 7, 2007, a full-length studio album called Feast or Famine. Armed with an acoustic guitar and surrounded by a musical atmosphere of violin and harmonica, Ragan strums along, creating folk-punk that addresses cliché subjects of suffering in life and love. The solitary pleas enhance the appeal of his approach, allowing his worn voice to shed wisdom from a broken man. The highlight of the album, “Don’t Cry,” features Ragan providing encouraging messages through an empathetic tone. Though Ragan doesn’t break any ground on Feast or Famine, he manages to deliver sensible warmth that makes the album an enjoyable listen.