Thursday, May 24, 2007

Emerald Eyes

So I got to see Sirens Sister play in Roseville last night with Lola Ray and Cavil At Rest. It was a pretty good show, Sirens Sister played great, but they had a short set. Next time, kick off the two opening bands and let these 3 play longer. Other than that, great show. If you have never heard of any of these bands, check out the links above and give them a listen. It's good stuff.

Shut your wicked mouth, bite your liars tongue, you can't hide from what you've done

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Kiss The Velvet Molten Lips

RIAA Radar has released a list of the top 100 indie records. I have to say, there's a few good ones on there. Anyway, check it out here. Also, I get to go see Sirens Sister tonight at the Underground, looking forward to that. Check out there page, unfortunately their best song ("So Long") isn't on their page anymore. That's the song that could break them into the main stream if they would make a video of it, but such is the life of an indie band. Anyway, check them out; they have one of last years best albums.

If all it took was patience, I'd be living in a perfect world with you right by my side.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Hitchin' A Ride

So I hate to admit it, but I am actually starting to enjoy the new record by Good Charlotte. The radio hit "The River" is by far the best song they have ever written, and it seems like they are taking themselves seriously for once. I agree whole heartedly that they are not punk, and their "we're punk, we're not punk" take on themselves is annoying, but whatever. Their young and stupid, so I can deal with it. In other news, don't waste your money on Linkin Park's new record Minutes to midnight. I shit you not; the first time I listened to it I thought I was listening to Limp Bizkit. Not a good way to start your day if you ask me.

I've done a lot of things wrong but I swear I'm a believer

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Album Review - The Used

Artist - The Used
Album - Lies for the Liars

It's been three years since the last record by the Used, and with Lies for the Liars, it's not hard to see that changes were made. The first and most noticeable change is the absence of drummer and founding member Branden Steineckert. His hard-hitting, chaotic style of drumming has been replaced with an amicable-but-nothing-exciting studio drummer. I always thought that the sound of the Used was defined by their drummer, and now it's plain to see that I was right. Add that to a collection of songs that doesn't quite sound like a full record but more or a forced effort, and you have Lies for the Liars.

Now don't get me wrong, when the record shines, it's bright as hell. The lead single "The Bird and the Worm" is one of the best and most interesting songs the band has ever released. The record has its rockin' moments, especially with the opener "The Ripper" and the greatest song Papa Roach never wrote, "Pretty Handsome Awkward". Those who liked the screamo-anger of the first record will be mildly disappointed, as the screams are held back to only a couple of tracks, and even then its presence is barely felt. Lies has the all-over-the-map feel of the The Used with the song structure and sound effects of In Love and Death.

The record really takes off on track 4, "Earthquake", which sounds like another song dedicated to Bert's late girlfriend Kate. "Find a Way" is another slower ballad in the same vein as "All That I've Got" from In Love and Death, and this record has a lot of the same production values and string arrangements as their previous record, which is good. I can't say it surpasses In Love and Death, but then again, Pink Floyd will never make another Dark Side of the Moon, so maybe I am asking for a little too much. Anyway, pick it up on Tuesday, you won't regret it.

7 out of 10

If you like this record, try:

The Used - In Love and Death
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
Senses Fail - Still Searching

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Weapon Of Choice

At the end of every Rolling Stone issue, there is a list featuring some musician talking about his top five songs. This made me think the top 5 records that changed my life, and seeing as how it is a slow news day and I haven't talked about music in a while, I thought I would share my top 5 records that changed my life and why. So, here they are:

1) Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
This was the first rock n' roll record I ever owned. My parents bought it for me when I was a kid, and it took my dad a lot of convincing to get my mom to agree with letting me have, mainly because of the song "Big Ten Inch Record", which I guess she thought I would assume it was about what it really is about but that I was too young to actually be aware of it, which I knew anyway so it was pointless. Still, this is the record that started it all.

2) Black Flag - Wasted...Again
Black Flag was the first punk band I ever heard. When I was about 11 when my uncle Dave bought this for me while I was in the hospital, waiting for my surgery. My mom's brothers were a huge influence on my musical tastes, and Dave was the one who got me into stuff like Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, Helmet, and the hardcore scene. This record totally changed the way I look at music. I no longer saw it as four-chord wonders and blistering solos. This is the record that made me realize that anger and frustration can be turned into a message for others who feel the same way, and it brought the first sense of a musical community to me through the punk rock and hardcore scene.

3) Pearl Jam - Ten
The record and the band that made me want to create music. The opening few seconds to the song "Once" captivated me. The moment I put that record in, and heard those first few chords before the drums hit, it was like the door to my mind just got kicked open and this flood of new and exciting and dangerous sensations flew in. This is the record, and "Once" is the song that made me pick up a guitar.

4) Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
The first songs I had ever heard by Tom Waits were all covers, and I didn't even know it. Luckily, my good buddy Kwid told me it was actually a Tom Waits song the Ramones were singing ("I Don't Wanna Grow Up") and not in fact a Ramones song. Once I bought one of his records, I was introduced to a whole new world of music. Tom Waits is an original, nobody sounds even remotely like him. This is the first record that taught me that music doesn't have to be hard, fast, and loud to be amazing and beautiful.

5) Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
The first Pink Floyd record I ever owned, courtesy once again by my uncle Dave and my dad. My dad was a hardcore Pink Floyd fan, but since I was young and stupid, I assumed I would not like them because my parents did, and of course now I listen to most of the stuff they do (I wasn't a very smart kid, was I?). This record is what got into classic rock, and more importantly, into my fascination with album artwork. Storm Thorgerson created a lot of graphic designers without knowing it. The first time I understood how art and music go hand in hand was because of this record and this band.

Once, upon a time, I could control myself

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


in the face of change
that's when she turned to me and said,
"I'm not sure anymore..."
and there amidst the waves
and the cloudless skies
that blanket the year before
I watch my life wash a shore

have you ever been a part of something
that you thought would never end?
and then of course it did
have you ever felt the weight inside you
pulling away inside your skin?
and then something had to give

now the lines are drawn
is this feeling gone?
the best parts of this have come and gone
and now that is all this is
with the reasons clear
we'll spend another year
without direction, full of fear
and now things will be different

there's nothing simple when it comes to you and I
always something in this everchanging life
and it probably always will
now that time is getting harder to come by
the same arguments are always on our mind
we've killed this slowly fading light

now the lines are drawn
is this feeling gone?
the best parts of this have come and gone
and now that is all this is
with the reasons clear
we'll spend another year
without direction, full of fear
but now things will be different

and now something has kept me here too long
and you can't leave me if I'm already gone

make the same mistakes we're always hanging on
break the promises we're always leaning on
all this time spent waking up
keep this line open to get this call from you
speak the words that keep me coming back to you
now this time it's all different

now something has kept me here too long and now I'm gone...

Comfortably Numb

Jerry Falwell is dead.

Shhhh. Don't ruin this for me.

Ok, after achieving what could only be described as euphoria, I am now ready to continue. Yes, Jerry Falwell, the hate-mongering bigot who masked his prejudices behind a facade of semi-religious political activism is finally dead. Rare is the occasion that one should be happy that another has died, but I believe that today is such an occasion. This is a man who blamed the 9/11 attacks on homosexuals and pagans. This is a man who stated that when the Antichrist comes, he "must be, of necessity, a Jewish male", so he was probably a little anti-semitic. This is a man who supported segregation. But above all, what bothers me most about him is that right now, somewhere somebody is shedding a tear for this fucker.

Anyway, in other news, apparently the creator of the Virginia Tech flash video game is holding the game ransom. The creator, Ryan Lambourn, is refusing to take the game down unless he is paid $1000. Or something like that, I dunno, read the article, once I saw that he had to be paid to issue an apology or take the game down I kind of ignored the rest. What an asshole.

PS - Bonus points to anyone who can explain to me the cognitive dissonance in this post.

You threw the bricks that built this wall

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Have You Ever Seen The Rain

There comes a time, so few between occurrences that it is rarely seen by the average human, that the levels of anger must be balanced within the delicate fabric of containment of which they are currently a prisoner of. In this case, I am the container, and the anger is mine, and mine alone. So allow me to start this rant with my first of numerous honest questions to what will inevitably be asinine and borderline pathetic answers. First off, why the fuck are they still putting cassette players in car stereos? Does anybody even own any cassettes? They are no longer manufactured, have not been for years, and with the exception of specialty stores and indie music chains, you can't even buy a cassette. It's ri-god-damn-diculous, I tell ya.

Secondly, and this one really strikes my nerve, why the hell hasn't there been a decent new record to come out all fucking year? I mean honestly, look at the latest releases, not one has been worth the sticker price. The whole idea of selling your songs online has become the reason to create an album of shit with one hit song that will get a million downloads on iTunes. The whole convenience of iTunes is so you can buy the tracks you like, and forgo the rest. And this is now influencing policy when it comes to making records. A message to The Used; this new album better be awesome. It had better be so awesome that it makes me want to smoke crack and fuck a hooker and kill a puppy. I have high expectations for you.

And lastly, why does this scare me? I just don't know, but the idea of Nelly Furtado and Timbaland, two of the least rocking people I can think of, forming a rock band makes me frightened of the future of music.

I miss the person that you were but I don't miss you

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nervous Breakdown

For those of you who read web comics, you probably know who Matt Boyd is. For those of you who don't, he was the previous writer for MacHall and is the current writer for Three Panel Soul. I bring this up for two reasons; the first is that both comics are quite wonderful, although very different from one another. The second reason I bring this up is because of the situation Matt Boyd has found himself in. It seems that he was talking about buying a gun to one of his coworkers, and that actually got him fired. But that is not the amazing (pathetic?) part. What makes this story worse is that after he published the comic in the link above that refers to him getting fired, the God damn cops showed up at his door because making a comic about his firing counts as making terrorist threats. I wish I was joking.

Now I will grant you that maybe Boyd could have kept his comments for after work or when no one else was around, if only due to the recent events at Virginia Tech. Maybe. But the idiocy of all of this only solidifies what is wrong with this country and the people running it into the ground. We are being forced into a world of fear. We are being trained to turn on each other for exercising their right to free speech just so we feel safer about a threat that was never there to begin with. Do you not see what these people want? They want us to be afraid. They want us to question each others motives, to question our own motives, and to live in fear. Thomas Jefferson said "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it", and I agree with him. It is starting to look like George Orwell may have been right all along.

You got what you came for, now I think it's time to move on

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Clove Smoke Catharsis

Bjork has a new record coming out pretty soon, and I have to say I am looking forward to it. I have always viewed Bjork as a sort of avant-garde female Tom Waits. She has written some truly amazing music, and her songs can be either pain-stakingly beautiful or so far left field that it makes vaudeville seem boring. Anyway, here is a link to check out some info on her new record, Volta. Please try not to destroy my feelings by yelling at me for not inserting the umlauts in her name, as the application I am using to type this does not allow for really cool literary features that are generally there just to tickle the fancies of hipsters and literature elitists alike. The article also talks about some upcoming unreleased tracks by Elliott Smith, who is also worth checking out if you haven't yet.

Also in the world of shockingly asinine news that should not be news due to its high contamination of idiocy, there are apparently more and more states that are looking to thumbprint people who sell used CD's to record stores. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for id'ing people who sell CD's just in case they get a batch of stolen music, but thumbprinting? Big Brother apparently is watching us.

Lean against the night and laugh as I try to scale the walls

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Monday, May 07, 2007

A Drug Against War

Yes, it would seem that one of my favorite bands, KMFDM, is releasing a new album this year. And I also know that they tend to release a new record every few months, but that is no reason not to celebrate. Also, go Wings!

Parental advice leads to mental erosion

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Deus Ex Machina

I apologize about the recent emo-fest of posts lately; the past two weeks have not been kind to me. However, I am back! And better than ever! Ok not really, but its fun to pretend. Anyway, I saw this on TV and I felt that I should not have to be the only one who suffers the mental shit brick this will cause once viewed upon. I feel obligated to warn you, this is not a pretty sight. Possible side effects include headache, nausea, mild death, chronic death, anal leakage, chicken pox, scurvy, insanity, depression, anger, Henry Rollins Disease, and/or homosexuality. You have been warned.

I also went to the midnight showing of Spider Man 3 on Thursday night. Now, I don't want to tell you what I thought, because I don't want that to influence your opinion. However, if you are really clever, you will figure it out...think harder.

And it feels like I'm on fire

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