Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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