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.

23 August 2007

New Animal Collective Video

The AC dropped a new MV on the YT, so CIO:
Yep it's the long awaited video for Peace Bone from their Sept. 11 album Strawberry Jam! (Spoiler Alert!)It's about a freaky girl having a picnic with a freaky monster and then they toilet paper a house and run away from the cops... what? Yeah!

But don't take my word for it:

Wait, it gets better. Not only was this crazy song and all its brothers and sisters recorded in Tucson over the past year or so, Animal Collective is gonna be playing at Tucson's Rialto theater on Thursday, September 20th! And knowing these psychos, don't be surprised if they don't even play any songs you know. I think we all owe Animal Collective a big thank you for never failing to remove us from our comfort zones. Ready? "Thank you, Animal Collective"


09 August 2007

Silver Platter: Phoenix is Getting it Together

From the Stinkweeds crew:

"OK all of our favorite people, SILVERPLATTER has been nearly a year in the works! It's not even officially launched yet, but we wanted you to see what we've been working on. WE ARE SO EXCITED WE CAN'T SIT STILL. Go to www.silverplatter.info RIGHT NOW and feast your eyes on what this city has been missing since the beginning of time: An honest to goodness music-only website that not only tells you what is going on, but where, when, how much, if tickets are available and where, and almost anything else we could think of. WE ARE STILL FINE TUNING, so this is like a sneak preview for you, our nearest and dearest. CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW COOL THIS IS?

Spread the word and visit often. There will also be a weekly email blast so you won't ever miss a show again. You can sign up now, but we're not officially launching until September 1st. Feedback is welcome. We are adding info daily, so keep an eye out as we grow.

Stinkweeds loves you!"

05 August 2007

Blonde Redhead - 23

Sometimes I like this video and sometimes I think it's really annoying. I guess I always sort of have beef with music videos because they detract from the music. Regardless, I really dig the song.

Really really.