Saturday, August 19, 2006

It’s not that We Don’t Care We Just Know that the Fight Ain’t Fair

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of . I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Waiting On the World to Change - John Mayer

Who would have thought it would be that would best sum up Generation X/Y’s thoughts on the current state of the world? But politics aside it’s cool how the blue tint syncs up John’s deeper decent into the blues. Though it is still a little weird looking at the New York skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge and not seeing the Twin Towers. The graffiti in the video but it was kind of cheesy that they put that disclaimer at the end. More on this song when I review his new album Continuum in September

Original Fire - Audioslave

Yeah, the video has been done many times before (but this time with red tint!) the video is cool, not as cool as the simplistic firework themed Cochise, but cool nonetheless. But what’s fun with videos like this is questioning who gets pictured (is that the dude from Quiet Riot near the end) and people who didn’t make the cut (did I miss Bob Marley somewhere). More on this song when I review ’s new album Revelations in early September.

Far Away - Nickelback

Yeah, still sands for everything that’s wrong in rock music today, but this is one of their songs that sucks the least. And music aside, the video is cool and hard not to get rapped up in the story.

Listen!!! - Talib Kweli

After review some extremely boring rappers lately, it looks like quality rap is making a comeback with The Roots coming out with an album soon as well as Ear Drum coming soon from Talib Kweli. Much like the Audioslave video, the graphics are cool, but just as the song title suggests you should just listen. Just shows you how bad rap on the radio has become.

Shelter - Kelly Clarkson

As I mentioned in my review of The Last Kiss Soundtrack (see All These Places Feel Like Home) may most be known for have cover one of his songs at a Katrina Benefit and here is that performance. I’m sure all the phone numbers running across the screen are still active and since New Orleans still looks like Hell even as we come upon the one year anniversary. Which is why I posted this video instead of the one of a drunken alcoholic Clarkson at a Metal Skool concert which is the funniest video I’ve seen in a while (and begs the question who took the bigger credibility hit: the dude from for hanging out with Clarkson, or Clarkson foe hanging out with the dude from Yellowcard). Well maybe not as funny as Denis Leary’s anti-Mel Gibson tirade at a Red Sox game. Or Neil Young on the Colbert Report. Or any interview Samuel L. Jackson has give for Snakes on a Plane. Okay maybe the Clarkson video isn’t that funny except when they rag on .

Friday, August 18, 2006

Obie Trice: Real Name No Gimmicks

Second Round's on Me - Obie Trice

is the only rapper worth listening to in Eminem’s camp ever since turned into the very thing that he grew an audience dissing, Ja-Rule. But in a bit of Murphy’s Law, Obie got little cross-over success even with the infectious and humorous Got Some Teeth off his first album Cheers. But a lot has happened in the three years since that album dropped first and foremost was when Obie was shot in the head while driving around his native Detroit last year and then his running buddy at Shady Records, Proof was also shot, but this time was fatal. These two events made Obie’s sophomore effort a more morbid album.

The production, mostly by and Obie himself, echoes the darker direction of the album. The beats are more sparse and grittier than their predecessors. But a few of the beats get too fast for Obie and just can’t keep up like on Lay Down or Out of State which sounds like a leftover beat from a nineties album. Obie is at his best when he has beats that bring out his laid back delivery. Aside from the darker themes, Obie even took a different approach to recording this time around as instead of writing his lyrics down he flowed freestyle much of the album and makes his already distinct voice even more distinctive.

As for the actual song, Obie slips into many rap clichés. The most annoying of which is the anti-snitching sentiment behind Snitch although Akon’s chorus does make the song almost interesting. Then he raps about the worst waste of money ever rims on 24’s. Someone really needs to sit these rappers down and have them listen to explain the difference between being rich and being wealthy. And when he avoids the typical rap clichés, the rest of the album is typically mediocre.

Aside from , the first half of the album is basically just Obie, but second half of the album is jam packed with other guest appearances. , who are quickly becoming the go to hook singers when a rapper can’t get a name R&B singer, bring down Jamaican Girl. The always reliable helps out on All of My Life. has hook duty on two songs one of which (Ghetto) is much better than the other (Mama). And Obie brings out the heavyweights with Eminem, along with Big Herk, on the Detroit anthem There They Go while 50 Cent, who much like his last two albums sounds bored on Everywhere I Go. Speaking of rap clichés, Obie even samples Scareface, the movie not the dude from the , on Kill Me a Mutha, and that is just way too many clichés for one album.

Song to Download - Cry Now

Second Round’s on Me get a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

All These Places Feel Like Home

The Last Kiss Soundtrack

When devising this site, early on I decided there were three types of albums I wouldn’t review, Greatest Hits, Live Albums, or Soundtracks. I put a moratorium on Greatest Hits because everyone knows all the songs anyways and really the only reason to talk about them is to discuss what was left off (think I’m on Fire missing from Bruce Springsteen’s) and Live Albums are pretty much Greatest Hits just, well, played live. Soundtracks are a different beast because they fall into two different categories, a collection of older songs that everyone knows then there are films will lower budgets who just stick nameless bands that record labels pay to put on for promotional purposes. Really there hasn’t been a soundtrack worth listening to in the past decade. Well except for one: the .

The soundtrack for Grammy winner was so good it turned a decent movie into a much better one. Who new the dude from was still making music and good music at that? Yeah, the song that was supposable supposed to change my life didn’t really do so; the soundtrack to his second movie, is still worth talking about. It does look like since the success of the last album, Braff got a little more money as he has a couple more visible names this time around. are back, but Braff dipped into there second album this time for one of the standout tracks from A Rush of Blood to the Head, their best album to date, with Warning Sign. Chocolate off of ’s Final Straw starts off the soundtrack and my favorite song not named Never Is a Promise, Paper Bag from the album whose name is so long it would double the length of this post also makes an appearance. Also the always solid makes an appearance.

Coldplay aren’t the only Garden State overlap as , who’s Blue Eyes was one of the better track, is back with the not as good Ride as he goes in more of a psychedelic way opposed to the more singer-songwriter vibe of Blue Eyes. Other notable tracks include Star Mile by that could have easily fit on the Garden State Soundtrack. deliver a great snooty English acoustic song, Pain Killer. El Salvador by sounds like if the were British. The sadly overlooked gives one of the best performances on the album with the piano driven Reasons Why. But the label of the best goes to , who may be best know for having the original karaoke queen, , sing one of his songs, Shelter, at the televised Katrina benefit ReAct Now: Music and Relief, or his great version of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy that is making it’s round across the internet and qorth hunting down. LaMontagne’s song here Hold You in My Arms sound’s straight of the singer-songwriters heyday of the sixties but without sounding dated. (Also look for a review of his latest album soon here on the 9th Green.)

is another Garden State holdover, but its nineties alternative rock track Prophesy, even though decent, doesn’t fit on the soundtrack. puts on a stellar performance with the stripped down Arms of a Woman, but it can be easily overlooked with the superior LaMontagne track, which has the same vibe, on the same album. Filling in the virtually unknown actress who also sings role of Bonnie Somerville is Schuylar Fisk, who you should remember as the female lead in finishes off the album with a duet with Joshua Radin which is neither memorable nor bad.

But the album is not without its flaws. delivers a weird acapella song Hide and Seek whose layered vocals just don’t stack together well. Then there , who I can never get into because I can’t get past his lisp/slurred speech singing style, with Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk. But overall the soundtrack makes me earger to see the movie which won’t be out until September 15th. But for those that want a sneek peek, check out the video podcast where Zack Braff talks little about the movie, but some of the segments prominently feature , who definitely isn’t , but is still easy to look at anyway.

Song to Download - Hold You in My Arms

The Last Kiss Soundtrack gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Wussiest Songs Ever

A couple weeks ago I brought to you a list of Blender’s 25 Biggest Wusses and now another publication has gone even further by listing the 111 Wussiest Songs Ever. I’m not sure what it says about me, but of the 111, forty of them could be found on my iPod (one of which I can even play on the piano, two bonus points to anyone who guesses that correctly), although I don’t have number one, Shiny Happy People even though I do have that REM album.. So I whittled those down to twenty-five for this month’s lyrics quiz. Now I won’t give you a link to that list as it would make things easier (but once all the songs have been guessed I will) and if you have come across this list, please don’t reference it to help yourself. Also please don’t use search engines as you don’t actually win anything, just pick your own brain (or a brain of a friend if you want). As always, put both the song title and artist in the comment section and if you are right, I will un-bold the song and give you credit. Be sure to come back later if you want the link to see the complete 111 song. Now onto the quiz:

As I mentioned in the paragraph above, the songs were compiled from a list, well here's the list and you are more than welcome to look at it to help you in answering the remaining songs,

1. But I wonder does he know, has he ever felt like this and I know that you’d be here right now if I could have let you know somehow. (
Every Rose Has its Thorn - Poison; guessed by Dane Bramage)
2. I’ll bring fire in the winters; you’ll send showers in the spring. (
Longer - Dan Folelburg; guessed by Dane Bramage)
3. If its love you want from me, then take it away. Everything’s not what you see, it’s over today. (Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club; guessed by Katy)
4. You know just what to say and you know just what to do, and I want to tell you so much, I love you. (
Hello - Lionel Richie; guessed by Monique)
5. No matter the distance I want you to know that deep down inside of me you are my fire. (
I Want it That Way - Backstreet Boys; guessed by Mel)
6. See I was on the verge of breaking down sometime silence can seem so loud. (
I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly; guessed by MC)
7. I wonder how we can survive this moment but in the end if I’m with you I’ll take the chance. (
Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx; guessed by Mel who also got the bonus question correct)
8. There’s something about the way the hair falls in your face, I love the shape you take while crawling towards the pillowcase. (
Your Body Is a Wonderland - John Mayer; guessed by MC)
9. I wish I could carry your smile in my heart for times when my life seems so low, you make me believe what tomorrow could bring when today doesn’t really know. (All Out of Love - Air Supply; guessed by Monique)
10. Only a man in a phony red sheet looking for special things inside of me. (
Superman (It Ain't Easy) - Five for Fighting; fuessed by MC)
11. What would you say if I took those words away, then you couldn’t make things new just by saying “I love you.” (
More than Words - Extreme; guessed by MC)
12. I used to think maybe you loved me now baby I’m sure. (Walking on Sunshine - Katrina nd the Waves; guessed by Dane Bramage)
13. Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime and never let go until we’re gone. (
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion; guessed by Dane Bramage)
14. I still can’t believe you’re gone, give anything to hear half you’re breath I know you’re still living you’re life after death. (
I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy; guessed by MB)
15. I’m trying hard to figure out just how I ever did without the warmth of your smile, the heart of a child that’s deep inside, it keeps me purified. (
God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You - *NSYNC; guessed by Dane Bramage)
16. People can be so cold. They’ll hurt you and desert you, they’ll take your soul if you let them, but don’t you let them. (
You Got a Friend - James Taylor; guessed by Dane Bramage)
17. I had to settle down, now I’m playing it real straight and yes I cut my hair. (Hip to be Square - Huey Lewis and the News; guessed by Natsthename)
18. Need to know that you will always be the same old someone that I knew. What will it take for you to believe in me the way I believe in you. (
Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel; guessed by RHCP)
19. There’s no love like your love, and no other could give more love, there’s nowhere unless you’re there, all the time, all the way. (
(Everything I Do) I Do it For You - Bryan Adams; guessed by MC)
20. You sing a sad song just to turn it around. (
Bad Day - Daniel Powder; guessed by Lisa)
21. Sweet Freedom whispered in my ear, “You’re a butterfly and butterflies are free to fly; fly away, high away, bye-bye.” (
Someone Saved My Soul Tonight - Elton John; guessed by Dane Bramage)
22. Hold on little girl, show me he’s done to you, stand up little girl, a broken heart can’t be that bad. (
To Be with You - Mr. Big; guessed by Lisa)
23. She was there through my incarceration; I wanna show the world my appreciation. (
Angel - Shaggy; guessed by RHCP)
24. I’m standing on the edge of time; I’ve walked away when love was mine. Caught up in a world of uphill climbing, tears are in my eyes and nothing is rhyming. (
Mandy - Barry Manilow; guessed by Dane Bramage)
25. Would you run and never look back? Would you cry if you saw me crying? Would you save my soul tonight? (
Hero - Enrique Iglesias; guessed by Mel)

Also for those who are interested, my sister site,
Scooter McGavin Takes Pictures has a press release on the latest season of America's Next Top Model, so check that out to see the names of this year's girls and a group picture.

Monday, August 14, 2006

It’s a Superhero’s Welcome When You Finally Come Back Down

Major Lodge Victory - Gin Blossoms

In a story I broke yesterday, this blog hit the big 5-0-0 and in the year and a half I’ve been doing music reviews there has seemed to be a resurgence of mid-nineties frat rock as in that time I have reviewed albums by , , , , , and as well another mainstay of the time (click the band’s name to go to my reviews). Well it hasn’t been that much of a resurgence because none of the bands seem to make much of a dent on the radio aside from a minor hit from BTE. Next up to try to revive their nineties dominance is the reunited with their new album . Now if only we can get and the back together and I’ll feel right back in high school.

Now of all the bands listed above, I’d put Gin Blossoms at the bottom of the list and really I’d only put them above from that time period although I seemed to amass a few of their earlier albums. When it comes down to it they were able to write a bunch of good songs, but they were lacking that one great song that I could latch onto. I’m sure we can easily list our favorite song from the other bands but how many can do that for the Gin Blossoms? Didn’t think so. (For the record, I’d go with Until I Fall Away).

It’s much of the same on Major Lodge Victory with a bunch of good songs, but nothing great. But that’s actually an improvement above some of the over nineties refugee’s latest who struggled to even write a good song. Whereas those bands can’t seem to find their signature sound anymore, the Gin Blossoms’ latest album southern rock with a modern twist sounds like it was a lost album that could have been released between New Miserable Experience and Congratulations… I’m Sorry.

Half of the songs here could have found its way onto the radio a decade ago with their breezy, laid back rock much like Learning the Hard Way or Someday Soon, but unfortunately you have to have a reality show to get on the radio these days. End of the World is a decent mid-tempo song they mastered earlier in their career. The band even expands on that sound as Come on Hard has a cool overlapping vocal in the middle of the song. Super Girl is where the band expands the most with a chorus that can easily get stuck in your head.

That’s not to say the album is perfect. Heart Shaped Locket is kind of cheesy with it’s lyrics about Cleopatra and Sandra Dee. Let’s Play Two sounds like it was commissioned by a minor league team and the band didn’t bother to put much time on it because it was for a couple hundred fans in Duluth. Jet Black Sunrise is a slow song that just gets boring after a while; in fact the last couple songs just fall flat. But when it comes down to it, if you never like the Gin Blossoms, this won’t be the album to change your mind, but if you find yourself hoping for a third volume of I Love the 90’s so you can here Hal Sparks wax poetic on Hey Jealousy, then you should pick up this album. (Did VH1 really skip over them or am I having a brain freeze and forgot the segment?)

Song to Download - Super Girl

Major Lounge Victory gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Big 5-0-0

This post you are reading marks the 500th post here at the 9th Green. Yippie. I really don’t have anything to celebrate the occasion even though I realized I was coming up on the milestone over a month ago. And in lieu of cards, presents, or money, really all I ask of you the reader is to take three minutes out of your day and watch the video below courtesy of . If you venture the blogs I do, no doubt you have seen it already, but this promo is more for people who haven’t seen the show the video promote. So everyone please give it a watch. And for those keeping track at home, the song in the second half is All These Things That I've Done.

Okay, I do have a small, but very cool announcement; “Weird Al” Yankovic has a new album coming out next month. Pre-order your copy of Straight Outta Lynwood from Amazon below. I’m a little worried about the quality considering he had to reference an almost two decade old record. But as long there is a polka or two on it, I’ll be happy. There is no track list yet but expect parodies of , , , (I’m not sure he can top ’s parody, link definitely not safe for work) as well as some karaoke winner and the duel disk also contains six new music videos. One parody you won’t here is one of , but you can still download it from ’s website. Oh, and if you really, really want to congratulate me by sending gifts or money, I guess there is really no way foe me to stop you.

Scooter Update: It just came to my attention after watching the latest episode of Flavor of Love that season one of the show will be available on August uncensored so you at home can watch the spit seen round the world in crystal DVD imaging rather than watch the grainy YouTube version (again link not safe for work or for people with class). “Weird Al” and Flavor Flav: what more can a man ask for? (And yes both are on my wishlist over at Amazon.)