Monday, April 29, 2013
If it were not for Limp Bizkit’s fifth attempt at being relevant again, Fall Out Boy may have been the most unwanted comeback of the past year. Even worse is they called their album Save Rock and Roll (so when you look at the album, you will see Fall Our Boy Save Rock n Roll) even though they along with their whiney contemporaries destroyed the genre (good riddance My Chemical Romance, the world will not be anticipating your inevitable reunion at Coachella 2020). Apparently the band did not watch the Grammy’s this year which featured Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Jack White, and Fun., four critically and commercially successful rock albums, all fight for Best Album.
But I am not a Fall Out Boy hater, a couple of their songs made my Best of the Year lists. Despite the first single My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light em Up) and its pretentious long title the band is known for, Save Rock n Roll is the band’s grown up album. Besides Light em Up, the rest of the album has “normal” titles and less tongue in cheek lyrics (Courtney Love spoken word diatribe on Rat a Tat notwithstanding). This album reminds me a lot of Blink-182’s “grown up” albums, they may have been musically better, but their songs where they would make prank phone calls about sodomy were more entertaining. Same for Save Rock n Roll where the album may sound better, but the most entertaining song is the one that sound most like their older work.
Save Rock n Roll gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Taylor Swift set up the template for country cross-over success. Hook in that country crowd then slowly creep closer and closer to pop music with every subsequent album until you are making crappy dubstep songs with Max Martin. It look like The Band Perry is copying that blueprint to a T. Much like Taylor did with Teardrops on My Guitar, Kimberly and her brother released a “Pop Remix” of If I Die Young to pop and adult contemporary stations. And that turn to the mass center continues on their sophomore album Pioneer which dips one toe into the country pool and the other in the pop world. The album starts off with their best song to date, the banjo infused Better Dig Two which is as much pop-rock as it is country. They continue to go back and forth and combine the two for the rest of the album, but none of it is very memorable. Maybe the true key to Taylor Swift's successes is dating and writing about douchebags when they inevitably break her heart.
Pioneer gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Last year I became obsessed with who the record companies would try to pass off as the “Next Adele.” First out the box was internet lightning rod Lana del Ray who was maybe the most prepackaged “indie” act ever with her devil may care attitude, thin voice, pretentious lyrics that wanted you to think they were much more important than they are, and music that borrows as much from retro sounds as it does modern day hip-hop. Though we never did get a Next Adele (at least until Emili Sandi manages to break out here stateside) you could call Jessie Ware the Next Lana Del Rey but Jessie comes off much less pretentious, less annoying and has a slightly better singing voice. The music is still draped in as many rap references while it borrows from music from the sixties (Wildest Moments is the best here which will grow on you with every new listen) but most songs come off as a little too sleepy and boring. But that is what makes her debut Devotion a great bedtime album, whether that is a good or bad thing may depend on how much Ambient you take on a monthly basis.
Devotion gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Whenever asked the eternal question: The Beatles or The Stones? My answer is always, “Snitch please; The Beach Boys are much better than those hacks.” They made the catchiest pop music of all time with their surf infused harmonies before going on to make more profound music. Then mastermind Brian Wilson retired from touring and later dropped out of the band, not to be seen or heard from until he finally dusted of the abandoned Smile album and even managed to tour behind it. And just in time for their fiftieth anniversary, Brian reunited with his cousin Mike Love for a reunion album and tour.
Did we really need a new Beach Boys album? Probably not, but the group recently released That's Why God Made the Radio and it pretty much sounds what you would expect a Beach Boys album would sound like five decades later. Where their early records celebrated the exuberance on teenage youth, surfing and chasing girls on the beach, the new collection of songs is a mellow look at retirement with your toes in the sand and maybe a grandkid or two running around. None of the new songs are as catchy as their early hit singles (or even as catchy as Kokomo) or as profound as anything on Pet Sounds but the harmonies are still tight, the songs will put a smile on your face, and will probably get massive rotation in retirement home. That is if grandpa can figure out how to download it from iTunes, get it on his iPod, and then get it to play on the docking player you bought him for Christmas.
That’s Why God Made the Radio gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
If we were playing the old Remote Control segment Dead or Alive and Bobby Womack came up I may have actually had guessed “dead.” Even after he showed up on the Gorillaz song a couple years ago I may have just assumed that it was vocals from a track I was unfamiliar with. But as it turns out Womack is very much alive and released his latest album in over a decade. Gorillaz’s mastermind Damon Albarn produced The Bravest Man in the Universe and brought his electro-beats that he used for his own band. Unfortunately sometime this distracts from Womack’s voice which has aged into a creepy haggered sound that does not need all the bells and whistles behind it Albarn adds. Even more distracting is the appearance from Lana Del Rey (presumably recorded in the month and a half between when she went from internet phenomenon to laugh stock) who’s voice does not mix with Womack’s at. The album is at its best when the studio magic is pulled back and it is just Womack and a solitary instrument like the acoustic guitar on Deep River. Love Is Gonna Lift You Up is the only overproduced on the album that did no made me wish I could hear an acoustic version of it. It is not hard to wonder how much better the album would have sounded if Rick Ruban had produced the comeback instead of Albarn.
The Bravest Man in the Universe gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
When you hear that Neil Young is singing kindergarten anthems like Clementine and This Land Is Your Land, you would probably think it is some lame sketch concocted by Jimmy Fallon. Nope, Americana is Neil Young singing these songs and other big among the Cub Scout set but adding some of the original darker verses routinely dropped out when sung by the youth. Much like the older Beach Boys album, Americana sound just like you would expect Neil Young singing campfire ditties with Crazy Horse (their first new album together in almost a decade) backing him up would sound. The sing-a-long choruses are there in-between fuzzed out guitar solos, some veering dangerously close to sounding like a Fallon parody. As weird as it sounds on paper, it probably does not even raking in Young’s top five weirdest albums. Do not fret Crazy Horse fans, after this album, Neil continued to work with them on new material they are writing.
Americana gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Playboy Club
When every critic bemoaned that The Playboy Club was simply just a simple Mad Men rip off, I came to the show’s (and the upcoming Pan Am, look for the review tomorrow) defense saying The Playboy Club was a rip off of Mad Men because they were set in the same time period would be like saying Mad Men was a rip off of American Dreams. But now that I have seen the first episode, Eddie Cibrian (Invasion) completely steal Don Draper’s cadence is really distracting and it is not a good sign for the show that Cibrian’s speech managed to be more distracting than Amber Heard (Hidden Palms) in, or out, of her bunny costume. Sure if there is anyone who can reach Don Draper level of douchebag, it is Cibrian who does not even need to act to pull it off, but he did not need to also copy his speech patterns.
It is also not a very good sign when Heard is your strongest actor on the show. The other bunnies range from bland to over the top to painful to watch. Jenna Dewan-Tatum (Melrose Place) falls in the latter category as a bunny that is dating the bartender who, surprise, is not happy that he has to watch his girlfriend get ogled every night. Laura Benanti (Starved) is the house bunny whose lip syncing was so distractingly bad, I thought I was watching an episode of Glee. Naturi Naughton (3LW) is simply the token black chick who says something sassy at the end of every scene.
Even though she came across as only a caricature of a Playboy bunny, Leah Renee (Runaway) started out by having the only interesting part of the first episode, hiding a deep dark secret from her co-workers. Was she some sort of Gloria Steinem undercover spy? Did she have some vendetta against Hugh Hefner and was using the job to get to him? Nope. Her husband is gay (and she may or may not be a lesbian, it is unclear at this point) and is the leader of some underground gay homosexual society. What?
The Playboy Club airs Mondays at 10:00 on NBC. You can stream recent episodes over at Hulu.com. You can also download The Playboy Club on iTunes.
2 Broke Girls
Ever since they broke up How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, neither has really shared a timeslot with anything else worth watch. 2 Broke Girls (when it moves to 8:30 next week) looks to break that trend. Kat Dennings (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist) is the queen of snark and if Beth Behrs (American Pie Presents: The Book of Love) can find some subtleties in her socialite character could be the breakout star of the television season. And who knew Garrett Morris was still alive? But they need to find a new cook because dude got annoying quick. Is Vic Tayback available for the role? (Wait, unlike Morris, he actually is dead? Nevermind.) But I really like the running tally of money at the end of the episode and I have a feeling that number will go down almost as many times it goes up.
2 Broke Girls airs Mondays on CBS. You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com.
Whitney Cummings (Comedy Central Roasts) created two shows on the schedule this fall and just based on first impressions only, she clearly chose to star in the wrong show. 2 Broke Girls was filled with laugh and set up an interesting premise for the future. Whitney is a bland relationship sitcom from the nineties that tries to update the format with unfunny crass jokes. The show is also reminiscent of crappy sitcoms that NBC usually orders for midseason but ends up burning off during the summer (100 Questions, Friends With Benefits). The only thing you can get coming away from the show is wondering just how bad is the Chelsea Hander sitcom that Whitney made it to air first is. A couple years back NBC tried to launch a Wednesday comedy block before it moved 30 Rock to Thursday about two weeks later and dropped the other one. I would not be at all surprised is either Up All Night or Free Agents (hopefully the latter) gets the Whitney timeslot before we start handing out candy to trick or treaters.
Whitney premieres Thursday at 9:30 on NBC. You will be able to stream episodes over at hulu.com. You will also be able to download Whitney on iTunes.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Listening to the debut album from Parachute is reminiscent to hearing Augustana for the first time: an Americanized version of Coldplay, lots of crushing chords and catchy melodies. But with Augustana, they had a few radio ready hit songs like Boston for anyone to latch onto but most of Losing Sleep sounds like the filler tracks on most albums that just blend into each other. Decent enough pop-rock songs, but nothing worth hitting the repeat button. The only song that comes close to being a stand out track on the album is She Is Love a sweet song that you get two versions of, the acoustic original and a Full Band version at the end of the album.
Losing Sleep gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Christian music can be a mixed bag. Most focus too much on overtly religious lyrics while forgetting to make memorable music with hooks and melody. Sarah Reeves does not fall into that category. Sure there are those obvious lyrics like when she begs “Come Jesus, come awaken us,” but there is musicianship throughout Sweet Sweet Sound that can make the album enjoyable to secular and pop fans alike. Reeves saccharine voice, sounding like the lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer, is a great compliment to songs such as the breezy title track, the lovely Come Savior, and the guitar heavy Fresh Anointing and Let Us Rise wouldn’t sound out of place on any adult contemporary station.
Sweet Sweet Sound gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Swan Feathers by Leslie Mendelson has such an old time feeling, you can almost hear the vinyl scratching even on a crystal clear CD. And the keyboards that start off the first couple songs put her right in the coffeehouses of seventies New York. The jazzy songs even conjure up comparisons to modern day folks like Norah Jones. Each song has a mellow smooth groove that may are perfect for Mendelson’s sweet voice. But sometimes the album gets too mellow as you might find yourself drifting off while listening to the album if you are not paying close attention. There is an extremely slowed down cover of Be My Baby that is so slowed down that it may take most people until the chorus to even recognize the song.
Swan Feathers gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Have you ever wondered what The Fray would sound like if there were fronted by Adam Levine of Maroon 5? Well if so you will want to check out The Script. Lead singer Danny O'Donoghue does his best blue eyed soul over the melodic music. But much like The Fray (or Maroon 5 to a lesser extent), their self-titled album is mostly mediocre with throwaway tracks a plenty. But also like The Fray, they are able to crank out one or two tracks that hit an emotional chord and on The Script, that song is The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, a song that follows a guy who hoped to reunite with a past love by camping out at the place where their first met.
The Script gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Mat Kearney busted on the scene three years ago thanks to some helpful television placements and a quirky half sung, half spoken word type delivery. The rapping Chris Martin set him apart from the other Coldplay wannabes that scattered the landscape during the middle of this decade. Which makes you wonder why he dropped all the spoken word delivery for his sophomore album City of Black & White. The result is none of the songs here really stand out especially after realizing Fire & Rain isn’t a James Taylor cover.
City of Black & White gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
There is nothing better in music than a great blues song. Even blues that isn’t that great is still pretty good and that is where the Blues Caravan: Guitars and Feathers falls into. The main problem with the album is most of the songs are nondescript and it is sometimes hard to distinguish one from another. Most songs are originals from Deborah Colman, Candye Kane and Dani Wilde with a couple covers thrown in from Ray Charles and Willie Dixon. But if you have some hankering for some blues, this disk will certainly be sufficient.
Blues Caravan: Guitars and Feathers gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
There is no bigger scam than the “Deluxe Edition,” a phenomenon where record labels add a couple songs onto a new album a couple months after it was originally released to squeeze a couple more dollars out of their investment knowing the fanatics will grab both. Coldplay has been nice enough to release the bonus tracks added to Viva la Vida as an ad on to the disk or you can buy it separately as Prospekt’s March.
The addendum features four new songs recorded during the Viva la Vida sessions (not including the forty-five second piano laced Postcards from Far Away), adds lyrics to Life in Technicolor II, adds a Jay-Z rap to Lost+ (that detracts the song), and a remix for Lovers in Japan (that sounds none different from the original). As for those four new songs it is not surprisingly that they were left off the album proper because none would have added anything to it and would have been inexchangeable with some of the filler that did make the album.
The closest thing to a stand out is the album closer Now My Feet Won’t Touch the Ground. A stripped down song with just an acoustic guitar with some weird sound creeping in near the end that balloons into a brass band that is reminiscent of the hidden track off of X&Y, but doesn’t quite have the gravitas of ‘Til Kingdom Come.
iTunes and Amazon MP3 has made compilation albums obsolete. Why buy a whole album when you can just buy the one or two songs that you know you like? But you can look at Sounds Eclectic: The Next One as more of a sampler as unless you are an indie music fan you may not now any of the artist let alone any of the songs as Spoon and The Shins lead the album in name recognition.
And the album does live up to its name with an array of different style from the sweeping epic by The Swell Session (you may remember them from winning the most recent Oscar for Best Original Song), the synthetics of Architecture in Helsinki, the quirky pop of The Ting-Tings, the hipster rock of Sea Wolf, and the haunting vibe of Bat for Lashes. All the songs were performed live at radio station KCRW and there are untouched from their original performance. So if you are looking for some new music, this may be the place to look.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
There has been a long standing belief of a sophomore slump that transcends all medium and is no more found than in music. Seal may caught on to the reason why when asked why he took so long to record his second he said it took him twenty years to record the first, he should be expected to take only a year to make the next. But in recent years, there seems to be a trend of artists being able to get two quality albums under their belts before falling into a funk, most notable Coldplay whose third album X&Y found the band in such a rut that the album sounded like it was recorded by a cover band, not a band on the verge of being the biggest band in the world.
Also on the cusp of the title was Snow Patrol, the trendy band in recent years for musical montages in television and movies. Like Coldplay, on their second album, they pushed the boundaries of their musical limits, but with their third album, A Hundred Million Suns, Snow Patrol has made the ten safest songs they could. Even the last track, the sixteen minute The Lightning Strike is just basically three songs just without a break in between. While the best song on the album, Crack the Shudders follows the blueprint laid by Run and Chasing Cars on previous albums. Hopefully Snow Patrol follows Coldplay's lead and just completely deconstructs their sound for the fourth album.
A Hundred Million Suns gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
The junior slump does not just apply to rock acts as John Legend has fallen into the category with Evolver where the R&B sadly does not actually evolve. And that can be heard from the start which is front loaded with guest stars even though his first two album shows he can command a song on his own. On Green Light Andre 3000 mentions he usually does not freestyle and if his rap on the song is any indication he should go back to writing his rhymes down first. And Kanye West really needs to give back the voice modulator to T-Pain because it just does not work for him on It's Over. Things are a little better when Legend is own his own like the slow burning Everybody Knows or This Time which reaches the emotional impact that Ordinary People did on is debut. But he over reaches on If You're Out There, an overtly sappy song that tries but does not hit the gravitas of Coming Home from his last album.
Evolver gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, October 20, 2008
There are very few voices in music these days than that of the raspy mountain man Ray LaMontagne and the whiskey soaked quiet yell of Nikka Costa. Their respective third albums seem like a departure from their pasts as both sound as if they are listen to classic Stax albums, with Costa going so far as to have her record being distributed by the label.
The influence on LaMontagne comes and goes throughout Gossip in the Grain but is collimated in the opening track You Are the Best Thing with all its upbeat horns and back up singers which would lead you to look at the album cover to make sure you popped in the right album if it weren’t for the distinctive voice that you swear was singing a Sam Cooke cover. Then there is the jug band groove of Hey Me, Hey Mama. And really, there just isn’t enough use of jug bands in pop music these days.
Maybe most bizarre is the ode to The White Stripes drummer, Meg White, a marching love letter that sounds like something right out a bad western movie, yet disturbingly works in a Meg better get a restraining order soon kind of way. But don’t worry, there are plenty of heart felt, heart wrenching, and love lorn songs sung over sparse piano, acoustic guitars and string section that surrounds that voice perfectly and led you to discover the bearded wonder in the first place.
Gossip in the Grain gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
On the other hand, for Pebble to a Pearl, Nikka Costa completely drenches herself into soul with little of the dance funk that she made a name for on her previous solo album. Costa’s horns infused Aretha Franklin moment comes on the second track Can’t Please Everybody. Elsewhere on the album she effortlessly blends that sound with jazz (Love to Love You Less), eighties R&B (Without Love) and even some Marvin Gaye type social responsibility (Bullet in the Sky). Few artist can successfully transition from a wild child to a more mature sound, but count Nikka Costa as one of the few.
Pebble to a Pearl gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
One has to wonder why some groups don’t just close up shop after scoring that one hit they know they are never going to top. Does Lou Bega actually think the country is clamoring for Mambo #6? You have to hand it to the New Radicals who disbanded after assaulting our ears with You Get What You Give. Yet some bound for one hit wonderdom actually do score that allusive second hit, but let’s face it, Beck is an exception to the rule. Her are a couple of artist hoping to some him by defying the odds.
The Plain White T’s scored their big hit with the prom anthem of last year Hey There Delilah, an ode to a steeplechase runner. No seriously, that is who the real Delilah was. While nothing on Big Bad World could ever reach the allure of the acoustic gem, what the T’s got for them is what seems to be unending well of sing a long disposable pop hooks and melodies. After just one listen to Natural Disaster, I dare to try and not emphasize the "Oh" in the chorus while you sing with the band. But the key word in the review is disposable, so buy the tenth listen you be wanting to movie onto something new. If you are hoping for the band to get back on upper part of the charts check out the charming 1, 2, 3, 4 (to answer your question, no it’s not) as sweet as Delilah but with much more depth. But stay away from Sunlight, an unnecessary try at Beatle-esque psychedelic pop.
Big Bad World gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Everlast is the rarest of all one hit wonders because to my knowledge he is the only act who managed to actually amass two one hit wonders in his career, Jump Around as a member of House of Pain then again with his solo outing What It’s Like. And if you have heard his previous three solo album there really isn’t much new ground to hear on Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford which just retreads his folk-hop hybrid that actually sounded fresh ten years ago when songs like Kill the Emperor and Tuesday Mornin’ may have sounded better. The only song of note is Folsom Prison Blue (to answer your question, yes it is) where Everlast sing the Johnny Cash classic over the beat of Insane in the Brain. I wish I were joking. Needless to say if the Kid Rock All Summer Long mash up of Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves of London made you queasy, you will want to stay away from this song too.
Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Most artists wait a few albums in before releasing a rarities album, but The Killers recently did so just after two albums, so why not the recent queen of the music montage Ingrid Michaelson. And as a plus part of the proceeds of Be OK go to the charity Stand Up to Cancer. Obviously her one hit Way I Am shows up here via a live recording the same for a rousing version of The Chain (to answer your question, no it’s not). As for actual cover songs, there are hits, a live piano version of Can’t Help Falling in Love, and misses, a way too slow version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The gem of the set is the title track that bookend the album with an acoustic version too, a upbeat song that is a fitting anthem to the cause it is supporting.
Be OK gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Friday, July 18, 2008
- Today was the funeral of former White House press secretary Tony Snow who lost his battle with colon cancer this past weekend. This year one out of four deaths in America will be cancer related, earlier this year E Street Band member Danny Federici also lost a battle with melanoma. Bruce Springsteen was released a charity EP featuring live songs from the latest Magic tour. The set features Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine on The Ghost of Tom Joad (a song Rage has covered), Alejandro Escovedo on Always Be a Friend and Danny’s very last concert on 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). The EP is available on Amazon MP3 (see widget below) and iTunes (see banner to the right) where you can also buy the video for each song. For this EP the artists, songwriters, and music publishers are waiving all of their royalties and Columbia Records is donating all of its net profits to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.
- People with HD computer screens rejoice, CBS.com is offering most of their streaming episodes in HD now including The Big Bang Theory, The Late Show with David Letterman, and How I Met Your Mother (one would assume Survivor will be added to this list next fall when its first season ever in HD premieres). New summer shows Swingtown and Flashpoint are also available in the format. Now if only I had a computer that played regular definition shows. But anyways. Interesting choose in promo pictures for The Big Bang Theory (click to enlarge):
- Some news out of FX including the return of show The Shield in its seventh and final season premiering Tuesday September 2nd at 10:00 and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returning for it fourth season Thursday September 18th at 10:00. There is also a new show on the lineup, Sons of Anarchy which is set to premiere Wednesday September 3rd at 10:00. Check out a promo below.
- Earlier this week I implemented a new comment system where the comment form is embedded in the individual post page. This currently part of Blogger in Draft so there may be some kinks to be worked out before it becomes official. The only drawback is that you currently cannot subscribe to individual comment pages like before where it would e-mail you anyone that comments after you. But if you look at the sidebar on the right, you can subscribe to all my comments. Hopefully this new method will encourage some of you to comment more. (hint, hint)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis may seem like a weird pairing because, well, it is. But after Willie hooked up with Snoop Dogg on his country song My Medicine, every other pairing just seems a little less odd in comparison. Recorded live at Lincoln Center with Marsalis’ backing band, the two blend the jazzy songs with the country vocals seamlessly with Willie knowing just when to step back and let Marsalis and his band go on extended solos. And if the two genres weren’t enough, Two Men with the Blues live up to the title, because really, who better that Willie Nelson to sing the blues, and even a little New Orleans flavor seeping into a couple track. Most novice music fans will most likely only recognize Ray Charles’ Georgia on My Mind on the album, but that just means more for them to discover on the album.
Two Men with the Blues gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
It is pretty safe to call the Los Lonely Boys a one hit wonder. Heaven was just one of those songs that just doesn’t go away and is hard to top. There was nothing close as good on their second album Sacred, and same for their third outing, Forgiven. And if you heard Sacred, you have already Sacred then you have already heard Forgiven as the band doesn’t deviate from the brand of south of the border blues. There are some great riffs like on the album opener Heart Won’t Tell a Lie, and current single Staying with Me is somewhat catchy, that suggest that they could go on to be this generation’s Santana without the revolving door of singers, and maybe even get a second hit, but that hit won’t be coming off this album.
Forgiven gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
You really have to try to dislike Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They take pop, R&B, and country songs and turn them into punk anthems. Their seventh album Have Another Ball! is a bunch of outtakes from their first album covering songs from the sixties and seventies from artists like Hall and Oates and Diana Ross. Yeah that can get old quick and the entertainment value decreases exponentially with each listen, but for that first listen these songs are thoroughly entertaining especially the Blitzkrieg Pop-ified version of Carol King’s You’ve Got a Friend. Too bad the band did not bring in a George Michael to help them out with the Elton John classic Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
Have Another Ball! gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Just how predictable have you become when a magazine gives you a negative review without actually listening to your album? In The Black Crowes defenses, how can you take a music review from Maxim seriously when they are best know for bringing you pictures of a half named Avril Lavigne? Still, you are not going to be too surprised with what you hear on Warpaint, the first album from the brothers Robinson is seven year, first since Kate Hudson tried to Yoko Ono the band. The band gets you right back into the fold with Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution which could have been created out of the same template of Jealous Again which itself pulls from classic southern rock of the seventies. The band does stretch its boundaries a bit like on the spacey Movin’ on Down the Line, the old time blues stomp of God’s Got It, and the eastern influences that creep into Whoa Mule but there isn’t here that will bring in any new listeners, but it won’t disappoint those that have waited on a new album from the band.
Warpaint gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
When you hear the phrase These Are Good Times People spoken by someone under the name The Presidents of the United States of America you may think it is another George Bush spin job as purported by Fox News. But it is just those Seattle goofballs who brought us such nineties classics as Lump and Peaches. Instead of silly songs about Boll Weevils and Dune Buggies we get to be entertained by songs about Ladybugs and French Girls. The highlights include Mixed Up S.O.B. which puts the pop in power-pop, the instantly catchy Sharpen Up Those Fangs, and More Bad Times, the happiest song about not being sad enough you will ever hear. Knowing that their sound can get old quick, the Presidents knew to keep the album at as listenable forty minutes with only two of the fourteen songs going over 3:15 mark.
These Are Good Times People gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
- Yesterday after writing about the Hall and Oates Christmas album, I thought I’d hunt down the Jingle Bell Rock video to see if it was cheesy as I remember (it was, click the link to see for yourself) but on the sidebar I noticed another video that caught my eye: Do They Know its Christmas - Band Aid 20. How did this get released in 2004 and I’m just finding it now? And the video is disturbing on so many levels. There is the cringeworth guitar solo from the dude from The Darkness, who has already fallen into obscurity. The weird Thom York sighting. I think I could name more people in the orginal than this one. And most importantly, how could Bono ruin the most iconic line ever, one that he created? But this begs the question, where’s an updated version of USA for Africa? Can we start on that right away so we can have something ready for the twenty-fifth anniversary in 2010?
- The Mitchell Report came out today (click on it view it in its entirety in a PDF file) and conspicuously ran against the Democratic Iowa debate which was announced much earlier than the report. Someone apparently didn’t want the new coverage to be as big with the news channels carrying the debate instead. The report itself was pretty anticlimactic because the names came from two people and previous court cases and nothing will come out of it because Mitchell himself said none of the players should be punished. They should be punished in that none should be allowed in the Baseball Hall of Fame and sports writer who votes for any of them should be fired by their newspaper or magazine. And what is really odd, and somewhat telling, was that Miguel Tejada, who was on the list, goy traded just yesterday as well as Eric Gangé got $10 Million from the Brewers a couple days ago which goes to show how much owners and general managers cared about the report knowing there was going to be a good chance both would be on it.
- Also announced today were next year’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and disturbingly Madonna got in on her first try and no Beastie Boys. Also making the list are John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen, The Ventures, and the Dave Clark Five. I’ll have more on them when the ceremony goes down I think in March.
- With no end in sight to the writer’s strike, there will be very little scripted shows at the start of next year, but one of them will be Kyle XY and I have a press release for its return. Also I may be getting my hands on another Kyle XY prize package, though the contest most likely will not start until sometime in the New Year. But that is something to look out for in 2008. Here’s the press release:
THE MYSTERY CONTINUES ON ABC FAMILY’S
HIT ORIGINAL SERIES ‘KYLE XY’ WITH TEN ALL NEW EPISODES BEGINNING JANUARY 14TH
Kyle looks towards the future while the Tragers finally learn his secrets in the first of ten all new episodes of ABC Family’s original hit series KYLE XY set to premiere on Monday, January 14 (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT). Matt Dallas (“Wannabe”), Marguerite MacIntyre (“The Days”), Bruce Thomas (“Legally Blonde”), April Matson (“Quintuplets”), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (“Ill Fated”), Chris Olivero (“24”), Kirsten Prout (“Elektra”) and new comer Jaimie Alexander (“Rest Stop”) all star in the hit drama.
After his journey with Jessi ends, Kyle returns home and is ready to tell the Trager family the whole truth. With every sordid detail out on the table he wonders if they will be so willing to take him back. Once they hear everything the Tragers only support him more and rally around Kyle to take on Madacorp. With a plan in hand, the family heads to the company picnic to help Kyle take down the corporation’s secret machine.
Meanwhile, torn between her instructions from Madacorp and growing affection for Kyle, Jessi was last seen leaping from a cliff into a raging river…but was it a fatal leap? And if she lived, will she help Kyle, or is she more dangerous than ever?
- Another interesting e-mail I got recently was from an anonymous source about a scene from the upcoming Judd Apatow flick Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story that was recently leaked to the internet, but not in its entirety. Well here is that full scene. Check it out while you can before the powers that be remove it (and if it doesn’t get removed I guess we know who “leaked” it in the first place)
- Just in time for Christmas, the price for Veronica Mars 3.x dropped below $30 and I’m sure you can find someone who would enjoy finding that underneath their Christmas tree in two weeks (i.e. me) and the first two seasons are still dirt cheap (see below for ads):