Friday, July 28, 2006

Give a Little Bit

Blogathon starts up in a couple hours (or already has depending on when you read this), not that I’ll be participating on account that I need as much beauty sleep as I can get. Well that and the people over at Blogathon didn’t think the Scooter McGavin Is Poor Fund was worthy enough. But anyways. Just because I won’t be doing a post every thirty minutes, doesn’t mean you can’t donate to some of my favorite charities, oh, like:


Susan G. Kormen Breast Cancer Foundation

Leary Firefighters

Red Cross

Jimmy V Foundation

And of course if you are interested in donate to the Scooter McGavin Is Poor Fund, just shoot me an e-mail.

Now you may be saying “But Scooter, I’m so poor I make you look like Warren Buffet.” Well if that is the case, let me tell you a story. There was one guy who like us was so poor all he had to give at a recent Relay for Life was a quarter. He then said to one of the workers,

“I know twenty-five cents isn’t much, but do you know what a quarter can buy? It can buy a microscope slide and hopefully mine is the slide that is used when they finds the cure for cancer.”
So even if all you can spare is a quarter, that just may be the quarter that makes a difference.

Now like I said I won’t be participating in the Blogathon, but here are some of my favorite bloggers who will be, so you can check them out all day Saturday with a new post every thirty minutes:

Luka (National Down Syndrome Society)

All Night Org. (Maryland SPCA)

Katili (Planned Parenthood)

And maybe if you ask nicely in my comments, I may add you to the list if you are participating.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Know This Part Ain’t Pretty but You Know I’ll be Busy

In My Mind - Pharrell

In the past decade, no one has had more influence on what the radio plays than the Neptunes production team. After a couple years of making hits for other artists, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo decides to make hits for themselves and released an album under the moniker (for those keeping track at home stands for Nobody Ever Really Dies), but their two albums were heavily ignored. Now is out on his own for his first solo album, but unlike the N.E.R.D. projects that primarily used live musicians, relies heavily on the beats that made him famous in the first place.

Even though this is a solo album, Pharrell does call in some favors from artists he made hits for like (Excuse Me Miss), (Drop it Like it’s Hot), (Hollaback Girl), and (Hot in Herre). He also brings around some artists from his record label including , Pusha T, and Lauren. And let’s be honest, there is a reason why Pharrell is know for his production, so he needs all the help he can get with his vocals.

What Pharrell is know for is making beats, but compared to his résumé, the ones on In My Mind are pretty weak and unmemorable. The best on the album is the drumline sounding How Does it Feel? but it still wouldn’t rank in the top twenty-five of his career. Another problem is that one of Pharrell’s endearing quality was his nerd (he did name his label Star Trak, get it?), skateboarding raps were much different that everything else going, but on this album he spends a lot of time raping about his bling, but just ends up sounding like every other rapper on the radio, but Pharrell’s flow just isn’t as good, well except for Nelly, even can rap better than Nelly.

About half way through the album, Pharrell does give a try at being an R&B singer, but is about as successful as he is a rapper. Those song tend to be bogged down by cheesy early nineties lyrics like on Take it Off (Dim the Lights) where he tells us he’s a master at your bra. Um yeah, okay. He also occasionally tries to go with the falsetto, but unlike the Purple One, can’t hit one note. Word has it that Pharrell delayed the release of this album multiple times because he wasn’t satisfied with the outcome but put it out now to meet fan demand. But after listening to it, he should have kept on working. The only thing worth listening to is ’s verse on Number One.

Song to Download - Number One

In My Mind gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If You Don't Run You Rust

Highway Companion - Tom Petty

There isn’t a musician that better represent Americana than with the exception of (I am willing to listen to and argument for ). And with this being the thirtieth anniversary of his debut album, he’s still adding to his legacy with his latest outing . The album is actually a solo act, his third, but much like his previous solo records, this was see many of the making an appearance including guitarist Mike Campbell who produced the album. Jeff Lynne, of Petty’s “other” group, The Traveling Wilburys, also helped out behind the boards.

There are some high expectations with this album as Petty’s previous solo albums were among the best of his career and whether he’s by himself or with the Heartbreakers, he has yet to release that wasn’t at the very least listenable. Highway Companion doesn’t break that streak but it still doesn’t reach the heights of Full Moon Fever or Wildflowers. Instead Petty shows his age by making songs that are most comparable to during his mellow, folksy periods (think Harvest Moon).

The album starts off with the southern blues of Saving Grace. It’s interesting all the flack behind the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Dani California sounding like Mary Jane’s Last Dance when this song’s guitar lick sounds very close to Chris Isaacs Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing, which in turn owed a little to La Grange by ZZ Top. But anyways. The song is still classic Petty with it’s sitting on the porch and enjoy life appeal. And that’s really all you will hear of the electric guitar being featured on the album until the soothing closer, The Golden Rose. The atmospheric ending puts a great cap to the album.

In between the two bookends are sparse songs that like up to the title of Highway Companion as they would be a great soundtrack for a trip across America. Jack skips around and sound like a long lost song from the mod sixties. Turn This Car Around has the Petty’s trademark cockiness that can be heard on some of he greatest hits. On the other end of the spectrum, the album also includes the sweetest song in Petty’s storied career, Square One. But the album, much like when Neil Young makes these types of album, runs into some tedium near the album and lack diversity in the songs. But there is something to say that these artists are still able to make albums worth listening to thirty years later, or longer in Young’s case.

Song to Download - Saving Grace

Highway Companion gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tom Petty on iTunes

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You’re a Flower Blooming in the Desert Sunshine

Bird on a Wire - Toby Lightman

Sadly, ’s debut album was overlooked, but now she’s back for another try with a vastly improved and more mature sound. But doesn’t stray from the blue-eyed soul of her first outing. The opener Don’t Wake Me starts off with a gospel feel that turns funky quick drawing you into the album. Then Don’t let Go struts along and will make you tap your foot without realizing.

Throughout the album, the songs take you on different journeys like with Tripping which is reminiscing of the girl group era of the sixties. Round and Round lives up to its title as Lightman builds the song up only to have it come crashing down just to build it back up again. The acoustic guitar that starts off Alone sounds like a sped up version of Ryan Adam’s version of only to morph into a rocker that wouldn’t be out of place on a album while Holding Me Down starts off much like Devils and Angels from her last album, but then goes into a different direction.. Overflowing bounces along like something you make have heard in a cabaret.

Where Lightman shows off her voice is when she slows things down and strips away and softens the backing musicians. On songs like My Sweet Song and One Sure Thing it sounds like she’s channeling but still makes the songs sound modern at the same time. Then there’s Better which could arguably have the best bass line of a slow song in recent memory aside from Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and Toby’s toned down voice on the track blends perfectly with it. The album closes with two songs, I’d Be Lost and Good Find, that should be listened to at night with the windows rolled down while leisurely driving. Hopefully for Toby Lightman the second time will be the charm.

Song to Download - Better

Bird on a Wire gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Musings From the Back 9 vol. XI

- As a big fan of lists, sometimes the absurd are more entertaining than the serious ones like Blender’s 25 Biggest Wusses… Ever! And you know you’re in for some big girly-men when doesn’t even crack the top ten. But with every list there are the snubs the biggest being and it’s odd that (one of only two females) made the list yet the dude who’s dating Hilary Duff doesn’t. And what does it say about me that I own albums by five of the artists on the list, six if owning a album counts for .

- In more horrible music news, Nicole Ritchie is next socialite to record an album. And before you tell me this isn’t a situation because she is related to someone with actual talent, , let me remind you she was adopted. Adopted or not, I really wish Nicole would stop tarnishing Lionel’s greatness (and no, he didn’t appear on the Wusses list).

- In more wusses new, Big Head Ozzie is at it again when he ripped apart another pitcher for not retaliate for a teammate being hit properly. Who cares that Jon Garland went into the ninth for a win when he won’t participate in an arcane tradition. And of course the wuss of the story is Bud Selig who won’t suspend Ozzie Guillen even though this will be the second time he ordered a pitcher to throw at someone.

- In more oversized dome news, happy birthday to Big Head Bonds who got an early present when he escaped indictment for the second time. But thanks to his attorney taunting the federal prosecutor, it looks like he will try to make the third time a charm. Maybe this time, try catching Big Head Barry and the Monsters making a ham sandwich because I heard those were so east to indict.

- Expect a few album reviews this week as there are a few good, or at the very least newsworthy, albums being released tomorrow with something for everyone, a little rock, rap, pop, and maybe some R&B.

- The television season ended two months ago yet asides from Rescue Me there hasn’t been anything to watch even though I people continually talking about dudes singing karaoke, dudes dancing, dudes sitting around doing nothing, dudes embarrishing themselves in front of David Hasselhoff, chicks hanging out in Los Angeles. Yawn, yawn, and more yawning. Wake me up in two weeks when the real summer television season starts. Chek out this clip courtesy of for a preview:

And as an added bonus, here’s some casting footage (you may not want to play this at work, or really if there is anyone around):

- And lastly I will be starting up a fantasy football league soon so if you are interested in getting beat like red-headed stepchild participate, shoot be an e-mail,