Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The End Of The Year Is Coming Up...

I'm hoping to do at least few more reviews/recommendations in the next few weeks but expect next month to see me write a fairly ambitious "best of" blog. its going to be covering 2009 and my personal faves that have come out this year. I'm going to try to get fairly in depth covering not only national/international bands/albums, but regional acts as well. This is an attempt to share with you readers, from where ever you may be from, a little taste of whats going on musically in my neck of the woods. because lets face it, local bands and artists can often be just as important to a individual as bigger acts. so yes, I've talked it up. haha. be ready to see it. I think some of the stuff might surprise you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 9): Damages - Scars

The situation leading up to this review was safe to say one of the more awesome things to happen to me since starting my own music blog. as i think a lot of you who read my blog know, i used to write for a blog called Listen To This Once. Well, one of the members of Damages must have been a follower of that blog because I got a message in my myspace inbox asking if i would like to review their latest 7inch for L.T.T.O. I was really excited. No one has ever asked me personally to review their album. Up until this point I’ve just written about bands and albums i just really love. But I was really excited at the possible opportunity. So I told Andrew, from Damages, that that blog no longer existed but that i would be more than happy to write about their EP on here. And they said that was fine. To quote Wayne Campbell, “Excellent!” Now as I said, I'd never heard Damages prior to their offer, but what is so rad is, they are definitely my type of band. Maybe that's why I was asked to review this in the first place. They knew from my track record that I’d love it. Damages hail from Vancouver, British Columbia. But what they sound like, they could easily be confused with something coming out of Ottawa. Maybe in the mid-nineties? Okay, what I’m getting at is that, to me, Damages sounds like a direct musical descendant from Okara, Shotmaker, and the like. And that is honestly a very great thing, because I love those bands. Quick rant. Alot of times really shit bands will list awesome bands as a influences. and you think to yourself the band “Fall Out Boy are a bunch of fucking liars.” Check out the list of influences Damages has listed on their myspace, and know that none of them are bullshit…“Shotmaker, The Jesus Lizard, Swiz, Black Flag, Yaphet Kotto, Unwound, Shellac, Fugazi, 400 Years, Brito, Portraits of Past, Render Useless, Still Life, Embrace, Dischord, SST, Ebullition, Touch and Go” I KNOW RIGHT?! Fucking awesome. The two song “Scars” 7inch is very energetic and heavy. Both of the songs are fast and driving. Side A’s “Gears” starts with screamed/yelled lyrics and fast/dissonant guitar chords. next thing you know the bass kicks in, and it continues from there. If I had to pick one element from this band that is most close to the Shotmaker/Okara comparison, it might be the bass work. The basslines on these two songs are totally awesome. All over the place doing crazy shit, straight forward and heavy when the guitar is doing more intricate lines. The guitar has that buzzsaw sound, and style that you could say was influenced from everything from Shellac to Drive Like Jehu to Fugazi. Like i said, their influences don't lie. “A Failing Cell” on Side B is kindred to the energy of “Gears” but as some more breakdown-y, head bobbing parts. (Hold your horses stupid money grabbing jock hardcore kid. I think the Hatebreed concert is down the street.) It also contains more riff’s, which usually coincide with the aforementioned “breakdowns.” The song soon builds and builds till it hits a point at the end where its like it keeps hitting you in the face repeatedly. This is a good thing. This band is a good band. This EP is a excellent EP. I recommend anyone who is a fan of the brand of canadian post hardcore/mathy emocore/ hardcore/etc. DEFINITELY check this band out. I really love what they are doing musically and hope they continue forward releasing more awesome music. Many thanks to Damages for letting me review their EP!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sorry To Bands and Readers

ive been sick with a upper respiratory infection since last tuesday. im sorry about the lack of reviews and what not but when i wasn't in bed, ive been at work. yes, i worked a week solid sick before going to a doctor. T-U-F-F. I promise once I’m doing better I’ll get on my game. Just started the anti biotics today. So once again, sorry guys.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

new, interesting blog things

I'm going to be doing some reviews coming up that I'm really excited for. Pretty much because I was asked by the bands to review their albums. And they are bands that I am not friends with already. This never happens. And I'm really excited on the possibilities of this situation. I would hope that anyone that reads my blog knows, if you think I'd dig your band and would like me to review your album, I'm TOTALLY down with that. And the idea actually gets me really excited. I still plan on just writing about whatever I love and feel like talking about but I'm really excited on this new turn of events. :-D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tailings - Self Titled


I wrote about Tailings when they first came out (Well, at least when their demo recordings first made their way onto the interwebs) so I find it in special interest to cover their first, and what will be, their only album. I enjoyed Tailings. I consider all of the members of the band to be my friends and I've actually been in musical projects with 2/3 of them. I'll get right into it. I think what Tailings did musically for the scene of Syracuse, NY was very important. But sadly, i think it went unnoticed for the most part. Syracuse is a very big hardcore/metal town. fast beat. breakdown. chug chug. sXe. militant animal rights. "EARTH CRISIS!!!" etc. This is what our underground scene is based off of. And no matter how many bands come out of our scene that DO NOT conform to that standard, and try their hardest to do something else musically that ISN'T hardcore or any sort of core, it doesn't seem to change anything. Tailings were the one of the only indie bands in recent times in Syracuse, and i think historically they are the ONLY indie band to come out of Syracuse to play music in that style. Their music, for me, is reminiscent of bands like June Of 44 (and other ex-Hoover & Rodan "post rock" bands) while the guitar also has a lot of influence from more "pretty" guitar oriented indie bands like American Football and Sharks Keep Moving. Overall, the band's style screams a Chicago/DC bone session. In any given Tailings song, here is what you will find. The guitar playing some sort of pretty, reserved chord arpeggios with lots of reverb, the drums playing something interesting and different while still holding it down, and the bass acting as a anchor with heavy hitting straight away basslines that only so often deviate into lines. I liken the vocals to Sinaloa and that sort of shouty real "screamo" style of singing. Safe to say I LOVE this band and was very sad that they were calling it quits. Even though I think the members were skeptical when I told them. Oh well, they can believe whatever they want. I know how I felt watching them this last time and i know how I felt when I came home that night from their show and listened to this album. The recording quality of the album is okay. The whole thing was recorded pretty quickly a few days before their final show. I'm glad they recorded but am sort of disappointed that the recording isn't of higher quality. Just because with music like this, i enjoy hearing everything crystal clear. I was also bummed that they didn't rerecord all of the tracks from their demo. But these are just minor complaints of a fan. I'm definitely glad they recorded this stuff overall. There are 8 songs all together and only 3 recorded tracks that appeared on their demo. A few of the songs on the album even I was unfamiliar with. And I think I can say I've seen them live more than most (this is a band who's past shows can all be counted on one hand). So safe to say, definite pleasant surprises. And simultaneously, very heartbreaking. Hearing what a band created and where they were going musically is hard when you realize its suddenly over. I'm just glad I got to experience them while they were around and that they existed in the first place.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slingshot Dakota - Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours Is The Golden Ghost!


I first heard of Slingshot Dakota years ago. My old band, Ladies & Everyone, played a show with them and the now Alternative Press approved, Polar Bear Club. It was a show that to this day has made me hate kids in the scene. It was very unattended. But if this same show was to happen today, it would be shit packed full. But i digress. At that point in time, slingshot was a 3 piece indie group on the lighter side. Except off course for their drummer Tom who seemed to try to hit his drums as hard a humanly possible. Stewart Copeland what? I enjoyed the band and ended up traveling to Oswego, NY to go see a free show they were playing with Damiera a few weeks later. The surprise came for me when i went up to say hi, and there guitarist was no where to be found. It turned out, and i still don't know all of the info behind the situation, he had suddenly quit the band. That show was interesting to say the least. Watching a band perform that was abruptly forced from a 3 to 2 piece without warning can be nothing but interesting. But they made their way through their set despite a lot of the songs feeling like they were missing something. I left the show feeling uncertain about the band and their future. And i was really bummed. I even told Carly I'd move to NYC and play guitar for them. I think she thought i was joking. haha. NOPE! Anyway, Slingshot Dakota did not break up. And they didn't get a new guitar player or any other musicians for the band. They decided to keep it just the two of them. I don't know when it was that I first saw them as a two piece, but i know i was blown away. They were fucking TIGHT! Jazz players would say they were "in the pocket." I was so glad they stuck it out because it seemed like they were able to get to a new level of comfort ability together musically that was/is awesome to see. “Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours Is The Golden Ghost!" is the first album the band released as a two piece. And I love it. For those not in the know, Slingshot Dakota is a duo consisting of a drummer and keyboard player. Both of the members sing though Carly sings the majority. They play a brand of indie rock that is very heartfelt and passionate, while being very energetic and almost hardcore influenced at times with the crowd's participation. This is another time where my lack a knowledge leaves me scratching my head to who I would recommend this band for. Its so nice to have a "For fans of.." section. I am very bad at that if you havent noticed from past entries on here. I think another problem for me is, i don’t listen to any other duo's consisting drums and keyboards. I saw Mates Of State live and thought they were a fucking joke. So like i said, no comparisons. Personally, this album could be called "Soundtrack to a ongoing love affair" because my girlfriend and I tend to listen to it a lot when we are driving around going place to place. I took her to go see one of their concerts back in May and ever since, she’s been hooked. We are going to see them this upcoming Tuesday. Which is why I chose to write about this album. I’ve become quite found of the album since that May show because it’s one of the first things my girlfriend and I shared shortly after getting together. So yeah, fuck me because I write blogs with my heart. Haha. Just listen to the album. Its good, I swear.

Go and listen to some of their songs on their myspace
You can buy the album directly from them on their myspace page as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TUMBLR!

idk if i ever mentioned it on here, but awhile ago i started a tumblr blog. i had heard how the great the interface was and blah blah blah. initially, i had thought of switching this whole blog over to that, but after a short while of using tumblr, i realized it didn't have what i needed to do the same blog I do on there. (or i wasn't smart enough to do all the same things i am able to do on here, on there) but i kept the page. And where as this blog tends to go a while without updates, (i swear the reason for no write ups is that im still infatuated with Daïtro's Y album) I update my tumblr all the fucking time. Mostly with random shit I find. Movies, songs, pictures, whatever. So I'm not giving up on doing music reviews/recommendations on here. But if you get frustrated over the lack of updates, go to my tumblr page. I'm always posting some dumb shit over there. haha.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Daïtro - Y

Okay so listen, I've never done this before. First off, I don't think in my history of writing this blog (or listen to this once) have I covered two albums by the same band. And second, had I written about the same band more than once, I never would write about their albums this close to one another. But I am just too excited. Just last week I wrote about Daïtro's 2005 album "Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes." Briefly in that write up I mentioned that Daïtro was coming out with a new album that I was excited about. Well, that album is “Y.” And to say I’m excited is a major understatement. I bought the vinyl the other day. And honestly, thought I would have to wait till it arrived in the mail to hear it. Lucky for me it leaked. I’ve pretty much been listening to the album non stop since then. This album shows a change for the band. There are no song names and as I’ve mentioned, the album is just simply called “Y.” There isn’t anything out there as to why there seems to be such a minimalist approach to titles with this record. But I can only assume there is some meaning behind the band’s change. Don’t let those minor things scare you away. In a lot of ways, the lack of song titles makes a lot of sense. The album really does feel like the songs are all part of something greater. I don’t really know if this is on purpose. But I think there are a lot of reoccurring ideas musically that tie each song together. Musically, this album will not disappoint anyone who loves this band, or other French screamo bands. Everything they are known for is still there, with some new little things to interest you. Specifically, the inclusion of more singing. I really don’t want this to put anyone off. Since Daïtro have always been a genre bending/melding machine, I really don’t think it will put fans off to them. Basically because never on this album does it feel like they are overly trying to be different or forcing something new on the listener. It just sounds like Daïtro. A band that has matured over the years and honestly, has hit their fucking mark. The only thing I could see some fans disliking is the lack of longer songs. The longest song on “Y” clocks in at a little over 5 minutes. Being that this is their first full length release since "Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes" there is very little doubt in my mind that comparisons are going to occur between the two albums. Half of the songs on their previous album clock in at over the 5 minute mark. Their song structures and tendencies to have longer songs provoked much comparison to, or at least talk of inspiration from, post rock bands. I think I can explain some of the change in song lengths. Now maybe I’m completely wrong, and I’m just thrown off by the songs being so well connected musically, but It seems to me that the band is splitting up songs. I think that song VII(4:08)and VIII(1:40) could easily just be one song(5:48). The same could be said for songs V and VI (a combined time of 7 minutes and 19 seconds). But like I said, its just my opinion. And honestly, it doesn’t matter to me how long a song is as long as it is a good song. And well, every song on this album is good. Tracks II and VI are my personal faves. While I still hold "Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes" as their best album, “Y” is no slouch and is definitely on par with, if not better than, the amazing material they put on their split with Sed Non Satiata. Bottom line is, this is definitely one of my favorite albums to be released this year.

(Note: The album is only available on vinyl at the moment. These mp3's
were recorded from the record and you can tell. As soon as the CD is
released, I will up better mp3's)
If you like this album, you can buy it here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Harvey Danger - Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?

I suppose that I could easily start a whole other series based off of albums like this one. This is Seattle sweethearts Harvey Danger's debut album. This album features the hit song "Flagpole Sitta". The song was featured all over the place and was a alternative radio rock hit in the late 90's. What's upsetting is that, as great as that song is, it overshadowed this album, and ultimately i would say, the band's career. They were viewed as a one hit wonder from that point on. And honestly, its true. The band is a one hit wonder. But you know what? Who the fuck needs hits? It took me awhile to give this album a honest listen. Probably because I was, and still tend to be, put off by radio rock bands. Often times they seem disposable to me. And I would rather listen to some rare obscure shit (that I cant talk to anyone about) than give that stuff a chance. I think the present state of radio and what is popular now makes me feel like a dick for ruling shit out back in the day. This album is great start to finish. And its really too bad that, for whatever reason, this band didn't continue in the limelight. There are other tracks on here that I feel like would've made even better singles. But I don't really understand how major record companies work with choosing singles and stuff like that. This is a great alternative rock album. You can sort of tell that this band is from Seattle based off of their sound. Though they have a quirkiness that seems more influenced by Black Francis (Frank Black, whatever hes calling himself now) and the Pixies. I just feel like, you should hear this album if you are a fan of 90's alternative rock. This album is weird in that, if you hate the single, you can still really enjoy the record AND if you enjoy the single you can still really enjoy the record. Rarely does that happen. I'm glad I got over my bullshit and gave it a honest listen. I hope you will do the same.

Buy it from a local independent record store if you like it

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Daïtro - Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes


I have no clue how I came about finding this band. I went through a phase where "skramz", or real screamo, was my major cup of tea. I still do love a lot of the stuff I found at that time. Daïtro did a split with the amazing band Sed Non Satiata, and that is honestly probably where I first heard them. That album is amazing, and I suggest EVERYONE listen to it, BUT I really think, of what I've heard of them, this is their best release to date. They really shine. I love the straight up heavy nature of this band and how it is equally balanced with soft and beautiful parts. Their drummer is fucking outrageous and has a way of playing things that, while not on Neil Peart level of mind blowing, just sound so cool and different. Which is really a feat with bands of this nature. Keeping things feeling/sounding fresh. The band can go from full on heavy as shit to almost post rock-esc build ups and passages. Its really cool. Its often really beautiful. And usually really heavy. I love bands that are able to do that well. The opening/title track of this record is one of my faves. But at the same time, this record works so well as a whole. The French band just released a new record which I have yet to hear. So until then, I will listen to this album with heavy anticipation. Please listen to this band! For fans of screamy beautiful stuff.

Buy It If You Like It!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 8): Okara


I feel like it has been forever since I've posted a music recommendation on here. I guess I'm actually glad that life has been taking precedent over things like computer use. But anyways, I decided that as a return to the scene, if you will, I would FINALLY write about a band I've referenced numerous times in the ongoing "Oh, Canada" series I've been doing. Okara. Memory is such a strange thing. And I love that. I love that certain things tend to be connected to certain times and places in a person's life. I found Okara in a time in my life when I was continually searching for new music. And by new, I mean of course, new to me. For whatever reason, I got on a Canada kick. Honestly, it was probably because so many of the bands I was finding were truly spectacular. Independent record labels like Matlock Records and Blue Skies Turn Black turned me on to a lot of bands from Canada. Another label that helped me a great
deal in my search was Spectra Sonic Sound. I found the label in a completely backwards way. Matlock was probably the first of the Canadian labels I got really in depth with. Rockets Red Glare were one of the bands on that label that I really enjoyed. In reading, I found out that Gus and Evan of RRG used to play together in the band Blake. Blue Skies Turn Black was the label that put out the Blake full length LP, so that is what brought me to them. And then I heard about Spectra Sonic Sound because they were the label that put out a few Blake 7inch's as well as the Blake Discography CD. Whenever I found one of these labels, what I would do, is download tracks from all of their bands to see what I liked. Besides Blake, there were a lot of other great bands on SSS. There were the ex-Shotmaker bands Three Penny Opera & 30 Second Motion Picture. The sometimes post rock-y, sometimes straight indie rock, Kepler. And of course, Okara. The weird part about Okara was that they grew on me. I don't know if it was just me not getting them the first time through, or that I needed to hear more material, but I just remember that in my frame of mind at the time, I thought there was something very strange about the
band that I couldn't put my finger on. I remember sort of putting them to the side and checking out the other SSS roster before coming back to them. I'm so glad I did return to check them out more in depth. Okara is a band that as I heard more and more of their material, I fell harder and harder in love with them. The three piece hardcore/post hardcore band from Ottawa, Canada consisted of ex-members of the band Lockjaw. ( If anyone has a copy of ANYTHING Lockjaw recorded, could you for the love of god get it to me? I've been trying to get a hold of that stuff for years) Musically, Okara played a screamy, mathy brand of Canadian hardcore. Sort of like if Shotmaker got a little experimental with time signatures and guitar playing like Rodan. In a way, and this is apparent with my mentioning the band over and over again in this series, Okara set the standard for where Canadian post hardcore would go as a genre. As true as that is though, up until recently I had never heard of a band that sounded anything like them. The band Okara kind of sound similar to? Akarso. Okara existed in the mid 90's for what seems like a
short time. But in that time they inspired countless bands. In America, they are fairly unknown. Which is really sad because this is one of the best, most original bands I've heard from Canada.



Download Their First and Second EP's along with their split with Mothman here. (Note:included the Mothman portion of the split as well)



If you like the Months Like Years album, please buy a copy for yourself from Spectra Sonic Sound. Go here and buy the vinyl!

Monday, August 24, 2009

still...

hey guys. still here. no one really reads this anyway so its okay. i have a bunch of music i want to write about for this, and yet, i just haven't. life has been taking over time i would usually spend on here typing about whatever bullshit I think is good music. im looking into getting a netbook because alot of the time I feel inspired to write, I'm not at home at my computer. we will see if that ever happens. stick with me though.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mouse On The Keys


I used to write music reviews/recommendations for a blog called Listen To This Once. The thing I really disliked about writing for the site was we were limited to writing short blurbs about the bands & albums we covered. This rule was made by the guy who started the blog (His blog, his rules). But a lot of times I thought the bands or albums deserved a lot more than that. I will admit that often times I was a rebel and purposely wrote more than I was supposed to based off of my beliefs. My dislike of curt writing was not only limited to bands and albums I wrote about though. From time to time things were covered by other contributors that I thought deserved more than what they got. Mouse On The Keys is a great example of that. Mouse On The Keys is from Japan. There is definitely something to be said for that. I went through a period where I really Really REALLY wanted to move to Japan. The first reason was because I was fat and lonely and I had heard that 1) Japan is a the sumo culture and over weight men are viewed as sex symbols over there (not to mention I tend to find Japanese school girls cute) and 2) They love King Crimson, Prog, Math Rock, Etc. I used to play in a math rock band so Japan was like the promise land. And a lot of great bands have come out of Japan. In fact, Mouse On The Keys are label mates with another amazing Japanese band, Toe. This duo, live a 3 piece, plays a hybrid of jazz fusion that sometimes teeters on the verge being plain proggy. I love it. This band has the ability to do so many things. Some songs are straight forward and more along the lines of traditional Jazz. But other times they are off the wall. Interwoven piano parts and drum lines that could be described as insane. Another layer to this outrageous "lasagna" of a band is their funk and groove based/influenced compositions. I honestly cant say enough good things about this band. Their first full length, An Anxious Object, came out last month and its outrageous. Which is really great because they set the standard with, what I considered, the hard to follow Sezession EP. Fans of Jazz, Nu-Jazz, Fusion, Funk, Prog, Hiromi, and pretty much everything in between take note. Hopefully they come to America so I can see this craziness in person and shit myself. Haha.

I have no clue whether of not you can purchase these in the US
BUT, if you like them, please try to buy them & support the band!

"最後の晩餐 (Saigo No Bansan)" From The Sezession EP

"Spectres De Mouse" From An Anxious Object



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All Of Them Witches - Where's The Song?

Sometimes one of my biggest complaints with modern math rock, is that its too fucking busy. Too much B.S. with poly rhythms and other things that you have to be fairly knowledgeable with music to understand. Don't get me wrong I'm all for musicality. I just think there is also something to be said for being accessible. That having been said, I have to say that one of my main reasons for loving All Of Them Witches is specifically because they are busy. What? Yes that's right. Let me explain. Unlike alot of math rock bands that just stop sounding cohesive when they get really busy, All Of Them Witches always stay together. And unlike alot of these math bands out there, I can relate this to certain local acts & writers especially, the parts never feel like they are just thrown together. I hate that shit. This is the band's first release and it encompasses 10 tracks of awesomeness. Its very rare that you can find a new on the scene band so tight and so good, that can belt out songs, and all of the songs feel like they spent an eternity writing and getting solid. But once it is mentioned that guitarists Vic Lazar and Phil Freedenberg spent years playing together in the Buffalo, NY band Knife Crazy, it makes perfect sense how they are able to gel so perfectly. The set up is the same. Phil playing clean, tapping guitar lines for the majority. While Vic is wailing and sometimes using distortion and other effects to change the mood. Drummer Cameron Rogers is the odd man out in this equation, though you would never know that listening to the band. I will be honest, I had never heard of Cameron prior to hearing All Of Them Witches. So for me, hearing and seeing him play was like a slap to the face. The guy is a OUTRAGEOUS drummer. Zach Hill-esc drum fills, Lightning fast single footed kick work, and keeping everything together while simultaneously taking it apart and coming at it from new and different angles. One thing I really love about his playing is, as good as he is, he knows when to just lay back and just chill on the kit. There is something to be said for that, and honestly, it helps the band alot. I really love this band and I love this album. Phil was nice enough to give me a copy, and I am very grateful. I've been listening to it in the shower pretty much everyday. haha. As far as first releases go, this one is top notch above most. I hope the band will stay together and continue to put out more great music.

The album I got was a pre release. I didn't upload it because I'm sure the band has plans to release it in the future with some rad artwork and all that. For now, Please go to the band's myspace page. Add them, watch their videos, listen to their music.

Friday, July 24, 2009

True If Destroyed

So this is my first music blog entry since being back from tour. I had actually meant to post this before I left. But due to time restraints I was unable to do so. I thought this would be a good entry to leave on, but I think its probably just as good to come back with. Come back with a severe bang! That was what I felt the first time I saw this band. I was blown away. It was unexpected. The show they played was, for the most part, unmemorable. But when they played, mind blowing. This Philadelphia band played post hardcore in the vain of the greatest dischord bands. And they had that same intense energy of alot of those bands. It was alot like if Fugazi had a female vocalist who also played piano and guitar on occasion. I had the good enough fortune to be able to play a show with these guys. It was actually a amazing show that, for whatever reason, very few people attended. Sever The Hands, True If Destroyed, The Amateur Party and One Hundred Metronomes. Solid stuff. Anyway, years pass and memories stay strong. This band is still one of the best and most memorable out of town bands that played Syracuse in my opinion. Fans of the classic DC post hardcore sound take note.

Try to find these if you can!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Tour Dates

Rejouissance Summer Tour:

July 9 – Bloomington, Indiana@ Greek Pizza*
July 10 – St Louis, Missouri@ The Lemp Arts Center*
July 11 – Wichita, Kansas@ Mayhaps Festival*
July 12 – Denver, Colorodo@ 3 Kings Tavern*
July 13 – Tucson, Arizona@ Red Room at Grill*
July 14 – San Diego, California@ The Soda Bar*
July 15 – Los Angeles, California@ Echo Curio*#
July 16 – San Francisco, California@ Thee Parkside*#
July 17 – Sacramento, California@ TBA*
July 18 – Portland, Oregon@ Laughing Horse Books*#
July 19 – Seattle, Washington@ TBA*
July 21 – Boise, Idaho@ Grandma's House
July 22 – Bismark, North Dakota @ TBA#
July 23 – Omaha, Nebraska @ TBA
July 24 – Chicago, Illinois @ TBA
July 25 – ??, Ohio @ ??

* W/
Red Tag Rummage Sale (Buffalo, NY)
# W/
Attica Attica (Portland, OR)


Obviously, some of these dates are not finalized. I don't know if they will ever be at this point. But its still a cool tour overall. I doubt anyone reads my blog from out of state, but if given some strange coincidence that you are from one of these places, COME ON OUT! its going to be a fun time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

of firsts

we had the first Rejouissance practice tonight with Jeff. honestly, he and mike couldve been getting together. All i know is, all we need is Jim and we will be set. the majority of stuff i would've been comfortable playing at a show tomorrow with the two of them. I'm officially stoked. This past weekend was great. got to see the knife crazy reunion. hang with people i hadn't seen in awhile. bought a bunch of loganberry soda. ahh. good times.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dress Code Fury

I get to see my friends from Knife Crazy play again tonight. I'm way beyond excited.
In honor of this event, I will point you toward my entry about the band that has all their music for download. You can find that here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kings Die

This will probably ruin all sorts of "street cred" i may have had, but Michael Jackson died today. And I was really upset. On the verge of tears. I don't really know why. He hadn't released anything of note musically in a long time. And yeah, he had become a fucking weirdo over the years. But its weird. Music is a very powerful thing. And when I hear alot of his songs, I think of growing up. I think of my childhood. God damn anyone who tries to make me feel shitty with the "He was a asshole pedophile. blah blah" line. I will NEVER defend what he did, or what he became. But I can say that he created a musical legacy that surpasses all of that. If you cant see that, I feel sorry for you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

goodbye for (roughly) a month

so starting early July I'm going to be disappearing for awhile. I don't know if anyone checks this regularly enough to care. But I've been trying to post more, so i feel like i should explain why I'm leaving. Back in April, I was supposed to go on a week long tour playing guitar in my friend Jim's band Rejouissance. The tour fell through a day or so before we were supposed to leave. After everything, I was told that a summer tour would be in the works. I was down to play, and now the tours coming, and I am playing. I'm really excited. Ladies & Everyone was never able to even play out of New York state because of Anthony and Rachel and their "reasons". They ended up being bullshit reasons when Know Nothing later played all over. But i digress. I'm just wicked excited to finally tour. and what a tour. Here are the dates I've been able to wrangle up...
July 9 – Bloomington, Indiana@ Greek Pizza
July 10 – St Louis, Missouri@ The Lemp Arts Center
July 11 – Wichita, Kansas@ Mayhaps Festival
July 12 – Denver, Colorado@ 3 Kings Tavern
July 13 – Tucson, Arizona@ Red Room
July 14 – San Diego, California@ The Soda Bar
July 15 – Los Angles, California@ Echo Curio
July 16 – San Francisco, California@ TBA
July 17 – Sacramento, California@ TBA
July 18 – Portland, Oregon@ Laughing Horse Books
July 19 – Seattle, Washington@ TBA

and the tour is supposedly going all the way to the 25th. talks of places like North Dakota, a Chicago show. Idk. We will see what actually pans out. But I'm definitely excited. Ill try to post some music reviews before I go. And chances are, I'll give a farewell post. But I'm just so stoked I couldn't wait. Stuff gonna be nuts.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Check Engine


very rarely do I write about a band that was previously mentioned in a blog post the day before. But i don't know. I hate making reference to bands that not alot of people know about and not having anything for them to hear. plus, I really like Check Engine and i wouldn't mind some other people possibly diggin' on them. I heard about the band through their bassist Paul Joyce. He was the bassist of the band Lynx. And as I think I've probably mentioned in past blogs, I've pretty much followed everything he has done musically post, and pre, Lynx. He is easily one of my favorite bass players. Though I first heard of the band because of Paul Joyce, I later found out that it also consisted of two of the ex members of Sweep The Leg Johnny. Awesome? Yes. In fact, when I would try to tell my friends about Check Engine, I would usually describe them as if the members of Sweep The Leg Johnny were more into Chicago indie rock and not post hardcore. I mean, Check Engine isn't unaggressive by any means. But there is a obvious difference. If anything, Check Engine is easier for the lay person to get into then Sweep The Leg Johnny. And there really isn't comparison to Lynx, except for some of the guitar interplay. Really, Check Engine are a math rock band in the vein of Chicago math rock. Not that wacky shit coming out of Cali nowadays. Though sometimes, the guitar lines are likable to Rumah Sakit, which is funny because as the informed know, Rumah Sakit did splits, played shows, and even shared a member with Sweep The Leg Johnny. Enough of my blabbering.
Some songs on here remind me of the 80's. Yep. I'm a weirdo.
Buy it if you like it

Cougars - Pillow Talk

Ska. Its a four letter word to most of the kids that i know in the underground scene. This is usually not based off of where the style of music originally came from. It seems like with alot of genres, there is the real version of the genre, and some later bullshit being mislabelled. Emo is a good example. Ska is another. The original ska out of Jamaica represents very little of what would later be considered "ska" in bands like Save Ferris, Real Big Fish and all the other crap that was around at the same time, or went on to be influenced by said bands. (I actually enjoy some of the 70's and 80's British ska, so i wont attack that) Now, knowing this, I've purposely distanced myself from anything called ska or anything similar to this style of music. But every once in awhile something will sneak in unexpectedly and surprise. The first time I heard Cougars, I had no clue they contained ex members of a ska bands. Though it could be suspected due to them having a horn section, that was the end of any sort of comparison. I had heard of them because their drummer played in one of my favorite bands, the ex-Lynx/ex-Sweep The Leg Johnny powerhouse Check Engine. Being that Check Engine had a sax player, i wasn't really surprised by the horn section in Cougars. Call that limited, call it what you will. Now the musical styling of Cougars is completely different from Check Engine, and it has no resemblance to ska whatever. The band is a Chicago band. I know its unintelligent to say, but i think just listening to them, you can tell. It doesn't hurt that this album was recorded by Steve Albini. The band plays a style of rock that works quite well with Albini's style of recording. Big drums, powerful bass, angular guitars, and gruffy pissed off vocals. The band always stays on the cusp of straight forward hard hitting rock and Chicago math rock through out this whole album. I really love the horn section's role within this band. Its not too often that you find a horn section playing in a band that isn't a ska band. And I personally think its so cool to hear a horn section in what is a essentially a Chicago math rock band. It works and is refreshing. Here's a dumb, but also funny statement.
Cougars: The Albini Chicago Transit Authority.
Fight me.

Buy it if you like it

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Awake/Sever The Hands


Somewhere in life I've realized something tragic. And honestly, I don't know if this is a general truth, or just something that relates to me and my life. But often times, the bands that are the most important to me, go unnoticed. Either unnoticed or they don't reach their potential. Tamiroff, The Newlywed Intercoastal, Bad Cops, Knife Crazy, etc. Awake/Sever The Hands is in this list, if not right at the top. The first time I got word of this band was after a show Bad Cops, Ladies & Everyone and The Mandate Of Heaven played the day before Halloween. It was 2004 I believe. We were walking from the Westcott down to Munjed's and I was talking to Jim. In the conversation he mentioned his new band and ended up giving me a link to their website. I really liked Awake. It was cool to hear Jim doing music in Brooklyn. And it was cool music. A mathy screamy post hardcore type band. Definitely not like just another Bad Cops. Awake eventually ended up playing a show armory square, downtown at a bar (i cant remember the bar's name) that very few people went to. But i was there and I loved them. At the same time i started playing in the band One Hundred Metronomes. We played a bunch of shows with Awake. Later they changed their name to Sever The Hands. One Hundred Metronomes eventually went on indefinite hiatus, but L&E continued the band relationship up until the band broke up. The members went on to do more bands. Jim and Damian did Monolith with Bad Cops bassist Jon Peters while John did his solo project Explorer, Conquerer (eventually changing the name and becmoming known as Weightlessness). Monolith broke up because of distance issues. Jim got really into his solo project Rejouissance, Damian moved away and John continued with Weightlessness. Nowadays, Jim is still doing Rejouissance along with some other projects. Damian moved back to Syracuse and started the band Tailings. And John got married, though I'm sure he continues to make music. I guess what I'm trying to say is, time goes on and on, and this band is still important to me after all these years. They bring to mind a time in my life when things weren't that terrible. When things were fun and bands that were good musically were friends and played shows with one another. I'll never forget Sever The Hands. And I'll never understand why they never got the recognition and respect they deserved as a band. My only hope is that I can show Sever The Hands to people now, and have them enjoy the band. Here is everything they recorded...




If you like The Brown Record, you can buy it from Time To Operate Records
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Engine Down - To Bury Within The Sound


I recently purchased this album. But what is weird, is that its been one of my favorite albums going on close to 5 years now. i know that i am one of the few people who feels this way. one thing I’ve found with engine down and their catalog is that its split into 3 groups. The first group is people who like the band’s first album, and that’s it. This is because their first album has more of a resemblance to peers from around the same area. Bands like 400 years and Sleepytime Trio. The second group likes more material overall from the band but likes the “hit” album Demure more than any other. Now I don’t want to take away anything from that album, because it is a great album. Its just that it’s the bands most accessible album. The third group, as it tends to be with any underground/indie band, favors some obscure album/7 inch/etc. These are the type of people who are into it more so just because its hard to come by or because most people don’t know of it. Shit pisses me off to no end. Why aren’t their more people into “To Bury Within A Sound”? I really don’t know. I know a lot of people whose first introduction to the band is the song “Intent To Pacify” and that song is on this album. So I have a hard time understanding it. The album starts off with what is easily one of my favorite album openers EVER. “Retread” starts off soft and slow but blows up into full force. Ah I love it. Its pace follows right into the drive of “Trail Error”. I love the overall feel of this album. If I remember correctly, “Depth Perception” was the first song I heard off of this album. And for me it really encompasses the overall feeling of the album, with all of its extremes. Its starts off really moody with depressing sounding guitar lines intertwined mixed with cello. Eventually building and building till it blows up into a driving feel. The song eventually gets a more optimistic feel with its vocals and music and ends with a more ambient feel. Like I said, its got it all. This album is like if “Under The Pretense of Present Tense” and “Demure” fucked and had a baby. Its my favorite because it has the heavy driving elements of the first album, and the more laid back introspective songwriting of Demure. They blend and make a great album.

Buy it if you like it

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 7): Blake

Its sort of strange how I attacked this "series" from the get go. Really, I should've attempted to go at it in a chronological order. I just had a really hard time doing that for whatever reason. But I'm going to attempt to at least right one wrong, if you will. I've made reference to this band over and over again in the past. And after each time I would make a reference, I would think "I really should've written about them already." Especially considering that Evan Clarke started in this band and he is sort of a personal musical hero of mine. Its also important to note that their drummer was one Gus Weinkauf, who went on to start Rockets Red Glare with Evan later in band life. I love the music Blake created. Its young. And like youth, sometimes its aggressive, and other times its mellow. They followed suit with the style of canadian hardcore that Shotmaker played, but expanded further taking influence from Okara (who I also still need to write about in this series). The band could be tagged with the "math" label I suppose. Its funny, I hate throwing that term around certain times, even when it fits. Lets just say, when I say math in reference to Blake, its not relating them to Tera Melos or Giraffes? Giraffes!, its relating them to the original trinity. Slint, Chavez and Polvo. Musically, they dont share much with any those bands. But their concept of mathy music fits much better with what those original bands created. Do you like canadian emo bands from the 90's? Well, if so, you may already know of Blake. If not, give them a listen. For fans of all good DC post hardcore and all Canadain & Virginia screamy hardcore-ish stuff.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Red Robot

I don't exactly know how to start this off. Maybe just a history lesson of sorts. I used to be in the Syracuse NY band Amorous Radio. I wont get into much about that band. I will say that I was not a original member. The band existed for at least a year before I joined. Amorous Radio's drummer Anthony (who I went on to start Ladies & Everyone, Kaihoro, & One Hundred Metronomes with and who also played in Know Nothing & Cancer and now plays in Tailings. You've probably heard me mention him before.) told me stories about their US tour. (Besides being blacklisted by the Syracuse music scene, that band really did do things ahead of their time. Especially for the genre of music they played. A whole US tour before This Afternoon OR Long Since Forgotten, their supposed local musical peers, ever dreamed of doing such a thing.) On that tour Anthony met Mat Calderon who if i remember correctly was playing in the band Hand Over Fist at the time. Through the years, Mat and Anthony kept in touch, and it was later that i heard of The Red Robot through Anthony. In typical Anthony fashion, he talked the band up so much that, to be completely honest, i got sick of hearing about them. He eventually showed me some songs by them. They were early tracks but they were good. But i think Anthony always resented me because my immediate reaction wasn't one of shitting my pants. (I will say, as Ive said many times in the past, if a band is hyped to me on a constant basis, chances are, I'm going to judge them pretty hard.) But one thing was sure to me after listening to the tracks, I liked the band and was going to follow them. And I did. Their sound is the kind of thing i like, and it would be a surprise to anyone who knows me. Ian MacKaye-esc sounding vocals. Music that is definitely influenced by Fugazi, but could also be compared to At The Drive-In, Drive Like Jehu, and at times even Faraquet. Recently The Red Robot broke up. Which has left me heartbroken. I never got a chance to see them. Too my knowledge, they never did tour outside of their immediate area. Which is sad. I think about them playing DC and other places and killing. Early videos of them showed that they had a large following. And just personally, their videos reminded me of Bad Cops shows from when the Syracuse scene was in its prime. Crowd singing along, everyone smiling and having a great time. And its just so awesome when you see that happening at shows and to bands that aren't meathead hardcore or dumb MTV2/Fuse mallcore. I'll continue to follow the members new bands, but The Red Robot will always mean alot to me and hold a special place in my heart. I highly suggest everyone giving them a listen.

Self Titled (I included the songs "Modern Living" & "Wrangler Butts" in this download.  They may be from the Grun-Tu-Molani EP that I've never been able to get a copy of. These two songs are the songs Anthony showed me all those years ago. You can get a actual copy of the album here. If you're in Syracuse, you might also be able to get one from Anthony. I know he had some copies not that long ago.)
Memory (Their last album. Only released online.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Cancer Conspiracy


I liked this band from the second I heard their name. (The band name comes from the idea that there is a conspiracy to keep a cure for cancer hidden. This is perpetrated by members of the pharmaceutical community who would lose unimaginable amounts of money if there was a cure. The real money comes from constant treatment. Lots of expensive drugs for a long time, if not for the rest of that patient's life, makes a pharmaceutical company more money than a one off treatment that gets rid of the disease for good. The pharmaceutical companies use their influence in Washington and in the media (newspaper, tv, magazines, etc.) to keep treatments that could be a threat in the dark. That's the story. Go watch the movie "The Beautiful Truth" or the short Film "A World Without Cancer" for more information on the concept.) But then a awesome thing occurred, because besides just agreeing with what their name references, their music was right up my alley. Its always sort of been acknowledged that math rock took serious cues from progressive rock. But for my money, The Cancer Conspiracy might be the first band that can be both genres simultaneously. Its strange to say, but you can definitely hear it track to track. More so on the full length albums. Fripp guitar influence can be heard on some tracks. But I have to say that I'm sick of reading reviews of mathy bands and always hearing King Crimson mentioned. In this case, its actually accurate. But i don't dig name dropping that band unless it actually fits. end mini rant. I would suggest this band to ANY fans of progressive rock. I would also suggest any fans of instrumental math rock checking them out. Like the majority of what i listen to, they aren't together. They haven't been for a long while. The album "Ω"  wasn't released till years after they had broken up. The bassist went on to be in Daughters which doesn't mean anything to me.

Buy them if you like them

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Q and not U - No Kill No Beep Beep

I can safely say this is the only record this band released that I care about. There were a couple tracks off of Different Damage that were okay, but this is a great record. I know people who HATE this band, and they have never heard this record. Not trying to be a dick, but i can totally understand. With later releases, Q and not U got into all this keyboard based techno bullshit. I guess if you like that stuff, that's okay. But understand that there are people who hear that and cringe. I think that anyone who hears this record and falls in love with it, would have the same response to the band's later works. This is my favorite set up for a post hardcore band. guitar guitar bass and drums. You cant beat it. Especially when the two guitar players are able to play off each other so well. This is their only album as a four piece, which might also be why I like this album and not the rest. Essentially, to me, this album is like if Fugazi listened to more dance bands. It has a sound that fits right in with that Dischord post hardcore sound, but is different enough to keep you interested. I wish I had been able to see the band in this era. I saw them years later, and it was a very big disappointment. This is who they will always be in my eyes, even though i realize that is wrong.

Buy it if you like it

Monday, May 25, 2009

Piglet - Lava Land


I found Piglet because they were labelmates with one of my all time favorite instrumental bands, Volta Do Mar. As I honestly recall, Piglet were the only band on Arborvitae Records I did look into. Couldn't tell you why. I am glad I did. The Lava Land EP is immensely enjoyable. Chicago instrumental math rock all the way. At the time of me first hearing this, I hadn't heard a band that sounded like Piglet. Even now there really isn't a band that I can say "yep, they sound like Piglet." The only band that is at all similar is Dakota/Dakota. And as much as i enjoy that band, its just not the same. I've listened to this EP crazy amounts of times, and love it deary. I'm very sad that this is the bands only release. If you go on youtube, you can find videos of them playing later material, and that stuff just destroys. Hopefully someday they will either reunite, or at least get together to put that stuff out. sooooo good. i really doubt that if you are into instrumental mathy bands, you haven't heard this record. But if by some strange chance you haven't, well fuck, have at it!

Buy it if you like it

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rainer Maria - A Better Version of Me

the other night i went to a show with my girlfriend. it was slingshot dakota. i hadn't fucking seen those guys since they played a free show with Damiera at Oswego college YEARS ago. it was good seeing them again. anywho, the first opening band Scudworth was really not doing it for me. it was the simple case of, if they played better, they would be a better band. Lots of potential from a songwriting perspective but maybe a song in, i was just waiting for it to be over so i could see Mistletoe play. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a bright light in a dimly lit set. A outrageously untight cover. BUT, one that even with all of its flaws still had me singing along.  It was "Artificial Light" by Rainer Maria. NOW as pissed as I was that such a great song was getting paid such shit service, AND that this band would forever be known in Syracuse for covering Rainer Maria, it did get me thinking about a band I hadn't thought of in a little while. I was introduced to Rainer Maria in 2003. It was around when Ladies & Everyone was in talks. We had already got Rachel on board, and were just waiting till all of our schedules worked so we could get together. We had started with no thought of being instrumental. Both Rachel and I were going to sing. Anthony in a attempt to show me what he imagined the band would sound like, from at least a singing perspective, showed me a Rainer Maria song. It was "Tinfoil" off of the Past Worn Searching album. Besides enjoying the vocals, i really dug the music. I got more into the band, and would even get to see them for free out at Colgate college. They played a few songs off of this record when i saw them, including Artificial Light. Which was fucking excellent. I don't honestly know if this is their best record. But I know that for me, its the one I've listened to the most, and the one that has the most sentimental attachment. beginning to end, its a fantastic record. 

Download the album here (this is Dan Caf's upload from L.T.T.O. I only have the album on my zune)
Buy it if you like it

feel-ing

there has been alot I've wanted to write in my blog in recent times, but I'm having a hard time. i don't think its motivation. its more, "oh i want to write about this, wait, this, no wait this...." and then I cant decide, so i just end up not writing at all. :-(
I've been listening to Dasha in the shower the past few days. I really enjoy them. I wish they were huge. well, maybe not huge, but signed. I think they would do really well in places that aren't syracuse & the surrounding areas. chicago for sure. there have been bands I've known over the years that i really wish that for. the newlywed intercoastal was another band. they were so young, and so talented. 
i got this VHS that had old Ladies & Everyone shows on it. it was really cool to get, but massively depressing because, well, we aren't terrible on the tape. we weren't a bad band. massively under appreciated? yes. i don't want to rave that we were the greatest thing ever, because i don't believe that. I just know that we didn't suck, and actually tried to do something different in syracuse. something non-hardcore or punk. It blows to know the two people who led to me getting the tape were two of the only people that liked us and gave a shit. i hate that we don't play together anymore. i miss it. watching the video made me miss us more than usual. its also sad when i go to shows now with bands of similar style, bands that have admitted to our influence on them, and lots of people are there.  The last few times we played, we played to pretty much no one. hopefully some day (soon i hope) rachel and anthony can get over all of their bullshit. because it ruined a great band. as much as its the thing to talk shit on anthony now, and I'll agree that he gives much fuel for this, he was a great drummer then. and the 3 of us really had great chemistry when playing together. i realize I've made a few posts that get all sad like this. i can only blame that on what happens when things end unfinished. I've contemplated recording the last songs with anthony and having rachel come record her basslines at a later time. Maybe it would work. Idk. Ill have to see. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 6): Place Hands

Years ago, I had become aware of Canadian musician Heidi Hazelton. She was (is?) label mates with two of my favorite Canadian bands, Rockets Red Glare and Burn Rome In A Dream, on DIE!venom Records. Oh Evan Clarke, you can do no wrong. Anyway, as was my way in the days of Canadian exploration and discovery, if i found a label with one band I liked, i would listen to all the artists that were on the label. Hazelton's songs I'd heard then, and since, were touching, heartwarming indie sample folk. i don't think that's a real genre but oh well. haha. Very sweet music that makes boys like me get crushes. FLASH FORWARD TO A WEEK AGO. I cant remember what i was doing, or where I was. I think I was on thebluehouse.org looking into the Rockets Red Glare LP they have on there when I came across Place Hands. I clicked the link for their album, Inscribed In Glass, and was immediately treated to a clip of one song off of the album. It was enough to be like "WTF?" and start my search for more of their songs. The brief bio on the site mentioned Heidi Hazelton was in the band. Which was a awesome surprise for me. Her vocal style is completely different from the majority of her solo songs I've heard. Idk. I can honestly admit I don't listen to many female fronted bands, and the majority of the ones i do listen to don't yell or scream. (Uzeda and Bellini being the exceptions) So my basis for vocal comparison might be massively off. I apologize in advance. The Fall On Deaf Ears was the band that I thought of when i heard how Heidi sings in Place Hands. Like I said, probably terrible. Fuck me, right? Vocal duties are shared by Lee Sheppard, who often reminds me of Okara (who i still need to do a "Oh, Canada" about, I know.  One of my favorite bands period) when he sings. Vocals go from switched off back and forth between the two to being shouted together, which I love. Musically this band is Canada all the way. They follow in the footsteps of Canadian bands like, Shotmaker, Rockets Red Glare, Blake, Three Penny Opera, blah blah blah. As you may know from reading past installments, i hate comparing bands. Mostly because I don't think I'm any good at it. Canadian post hardcore at its finest is a real easy way to put it. haha. I have no doubt that fans of the Dischord, Touch and Go and San Diego styles of Post Hardcore would enjoy this as well. So all you Fugazi fans take note. I love the lyrical usage on this record. There are lines that just pop out. I'm sure the authors would rather you look at the lyrics in whole, but some of these lines are just gold to me. "I dreamed my arms were tentacles. I dreamed my fingers were seaweed. You were the life preserver!" UGH. so fucking good! "Streets" might be my favorite song off of Inscribed In Glass. You can thank Heidi for that with her opening and closing sections of the song. GUH. its gets me man. I regret having accidentally bought this via Zune Marketplace (dont ask. guhh) because I want to own a real copy of it. Its that good man. Trust me. I hope they are still together. I cant believe I havent heard of them until now. Fingers crossed. Maybe I can book them in syracuse. :-D
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Shellac - 1000 Hurts

I've been listening to this album alot lately. so much so, that i brought it in my mom's car and made her listen to it. haha. To me, Shellac is what the Chicago sound is. Just like Fugazi will forever be D.C. to me, the same goes for Shellac. Granted, they really only apply to the post hardcore genre. Cause like, Tortoise is Chicago to me, but Post Rock. haha. Well anyway, I'll quit my blabbering. I love this album. Alot of people rate it lower than "At Action Park" which I'll never understand. I think they are AT LEAST equals. Though I personally would rate this higher. "Prayer To God", "Squirrel Song", and "Watch Song" are my favorites. I just really like it beginning to end.

Please buy this record if you like it. 
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Mogwai - Mr. Beast

Mogwai is one of my favorite bands. And I finally get to see them tomorrow night in Buffalo. I'm so excited! Mr. Beast is my favorite album by them. I often get flack for this. I don't know why. Most times I cant explain why I really love something. And idk. "Happy Songs..." is great. I love the "Government Commissions" comp record. "The Hawk Is Howling" is a solid, awesome record. I really dig everything I've heard by them. But this record just does it for me. Ive listened to it so many times. It has a pattern to me. Odd number tracks seem to me the more mellow or ambient numbers. While the even tracks are the ones that really rock. Maybe this isn't even accurate and its some sort of personal bible code I've devised for the album from listening to it over and over again and going crazy for it. haha. I have no clue. Glasgow Mega Snake may be one of the heaviest songs ever. I know that much. haha.

Buy it if you like it

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 5): Weights & Measures


I've decided that since I do write in this blog fairly consistently, I would revive my old Listen To This Once series "Oh, Canada". What better way to make a comeback then with one of my faves.

I owe alot to Matlock Records. ALOT. It all started with me finding out about Rockets Red Glare, and went from there. North Of America, The Plan, Kepler, and of course Weights & Measures. Of all of those bands, Weights & Measures really stick out as being different. The Canadian underground sound was highly influenced by the emo/screamo sound of legends/grandfathers Shotmaker. Later bands like Okara and Blake would take that basic idea, and add mathematical elements making a sound similar, yet unique, to the Drive Like Jehu mathy screamy post hardcore sound. Alot of Canadian bands would continue following that sound and style for years after. What Weights & Measures seemed to do was to take the Mathy portion of the equation, without fully leaving the post hardcore sound. What you end up with is a unique math rock band. I cant honestly think of another band that really sounds like this band. They aren't prog influenced like The Cancer Conspiracy. They aren't spazzy like Hella. They aren't non coherent like Don Caballero could sometimes be. They play together well and they rock. And not in that dumb meatheaded "I'm going throw the horns up brah!" way. Their drummer now plays in The Arcade Fire. I don't know the conditions for which this band broke up, BUT, if it has anything to do with him leaving to be in that band, well, I think people know what I have to say to him. haha. If you like instrumental math rock bands, give a listen to these guys. They were fucking great and utterly unique. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Criteria - En Garde

Stephen Pedersen is a unsung musical hero of mine. I don't know why don't I throw his name around when talking influences. I really should. The White Octave is one of my all time favorite bands, and he was the brains behind them. He was also in Cursive. I really could give two shits about that band though. Because the only albums I've heard by them that i liked, had Stephen Pedersen on them. So yeah, get more cellos dOOdz! I listened to this album in full the other night after god knows how long. I remember waiting for its release. I was so excited to hear it. The realization that I had listened to this album a hell of alot hit very quick the other night. And it was awesome to reminisce. I don't remember being so fond of there follow up to this album. But maybe ill have to go back and listen. Criteria was a band that I aloud to fall out of my favor. And it wasn't even because of the music that band was making. It was because of my usual bullshit. I mentioned White Octave too many times to Criteria fans who responds with a unanimous "huh?" Enough to make a man vomit. The kids who did know of White Octave, didn't like them because they had gone backward from Criteria to discover them. I started my usual hate think. Where I start thinking of more accessible bands as inferior. Criteria gets a pass. I love this album. "Me on your front porch" was a lovey mix CD staple of mine for fucking years. And "Rescue Rescue" is fucking outrageously out of place and beautiful. I don't even know if they exist anymore as a band. well, hopefully Stephen Pedersen is doing something musical.

Buy it if you like it.