Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Random: Last.FM/ ScheduleTwo

7/24/07 - Hey, this isn't really much news but if you don't know what last.fm is, I'll fill you in. At the bottom of the page I have my "widget", provided by Last.FM. Last.fm runs a client along side your media player, a plug-in of sorts, creating a .rss feed of what you listen to. This information is then forwarded to last.fm where they keep charts, make recommendations for you. Also, last.fm can compare two users music compatibility based on what they listen to, along with letting you know when your "favorite" bands go on tour and whatnot. If your into music, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do, be sure to befriend me (username: tsnydermtg), check it out.

Another neato thing I recently ran into is a website by the name of scheduletwo.com, they post live videos of many great artists and bands. Recently, they posted a video by one of my favorites; Andrew Bird. It looks like they update it regularly and they get some great videos on there, you should check that out as well.

Thats all, Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Artist of the Week: Peter, Bjorn and John

7/23/07 - This week's artist of the week is the Swedish Indie Pop band Peter Bjorn and John. Aside from the overly creative name, the acronym that has come to abbreviate the band is PB&J. I first heard of the band while looking at the catchiest songs of 2006 list. I figured I'd give "Young Folks" a chance, so I did and wow, it was stuck in my head for probably a week. As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of whistling and thats about as good as it gets. After I heard the song I went and purchased the album ;)... Anyway, I was blown away at how much I enjoyed it. Although the rest of the album may not have that oh so catchy whistling, the are quite a few pop gems.

Recently I was watching TV and saw a Levi 501 commercial and I knew I recognized the song somewhere. I don't know if you watch much TV, but it's the one where the dude pulls up his jeans and a phone booth comes through the floor with some babe in it. Anyway, the room like explodes and the apartment turns into the streets of new york and "Up Against The Wall" begins to play...really made me wanna buy some jeans, pretty ridiculous if you think about it, but I don't think there is a better song to take a stroll to. Either way, I'm pretty sure Writer's Block will crack my top 20 at the years end, and I apologize for not knowing about any of their previous work, heh.

Weekly Picks
peter bjorn and john - young folks
peter bjorn and john - Amsterdam
peter bjorn and john - up against the wall
peter bjorn and john - the chills

Anywho, here is the "young folks" video, I hope it gets stuck in your head.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Random: inj00rEEz OH NOES!

7/22/07 - Hey there everybody, I come baring, or more precisely bearing, bad news. Your beloved blogmaster has injured himself. I was walking through the forest on a dark and dreary night, looking for a dropped contact with no light source. I was making decent progress when all of a sudden I heard a rattling in the bush. I was intrigued of course, having recently been trained in the Jedi arts. Before I could take another step, a rabid bear came charging out of the bush. The bear looked to be about ten feet tall with claws made of pure titanium, the most badass of all metals. I drew out my lightsabre and sliced off one of his legs. He then began hopping towards me, ever so swiftly. Suddenly, he began to smile, which caused me much confusion. He then tapped my shoulders causing me to take a step back. Little did I know his bear friend was on all fours behind me. This nasty trick caused me to tear my ACL. I then got up and slayed them both. Rough day, so I'll probably be updating this more as a result of being less active due to the injury.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Artist of the Week - The Mars Volta

7/16/07 - Well, I've kinda been slacking with the whole posting and whatnot but heres this weeks artist of the week. This one has been a long time coming as they are my favorite band, The Mars Volta. A psychedelic mix of rock, jazz, and Latin influence, they are something quite unique. The brains of the operation include Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez, who have taken part in another great band "At the Drive-In" and a lesser known dub band titled "De Facto". The Mars Volta's first full album, "De-Loused in the Commatorium" told the first person story of a person with a drug induced coma battling the evils of his mind. The Mars Volta later said that the story was based on a friend who awoke from a coma and committed suicide named Julio Veneges, or "Cerpin Taxt" as he is called on the album. The album received critical acclaim, and is one of my personal favorites. The Mars Volta then put out a more challenging album by the name of "Frances the Mute". The album tells the story of characters from a diary which late sound technician Jeremy Ward found in a car he repossessed while working as a repoman. The album also reached critical acclaim with a metascore of 75/100. In support of the album, the band toured with System of a down, which I was lucky enough to attend in Cleveland. While I'm on the topic of Live Shows, they have had a pretty negative feedback due to their ambient jams in support of more structured rock such as the red hot chili peppers and system of a down. The band has been recorded saying that they play ambiance rather than their songs in protest to their record label forcing them to tour with bands with such different followings than their own. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez is becoming famous for being the most ambitious man in modern day music, putting out a Mars Volta album out once a year along with solo albums and a film. The Mars Volta's third studio album came out early last year and it was titled "Amputechture". Amputechture focuses on the demystifying of modern day religion and basically the problems of the world today. Although it is a concept album, there is no narrative, like the previous two efforts.

Anyway, although the Mars Volta may not fit your taste, I'd say they are definitely worth a shot, as I have truly enjoyed everything they put out and I can't wait for their next release.

Weekly Picks
1) The Mars Volta - L'Via L'Viaquez
2) The Mars Volta - Roulette Dares (the haunt of)
3) The Mars Volta - Day of the Baphomets
4) The Mars Volta - Cicatriz ESP
5) The Mars Volta - Televators

The Widow Music Video

Monday, July 9, 2007

Artist of the Week: Bloc Party

7/9/07 - This weeks artist of the week is a band you most likely have heard of, Bloc Party. They've had some successful singles, however, I decided to make them my artist of the week after watching their performance at Live: Earth, which took place on 7/7/07 to spread global climate awareness. I had been a fan before, but ignorantly dismissed them as just another indie rock band. The band reached favorable critic acclaim with their debut entitled "Silent Alarm". I really enjoyed the album when it came out, but it grew old for me after a few months of consistent spinning. Then, this year, they released "A Weekend in the City" which at first I wasn't quite satisfied with. However, like I said, I recently felt the urge for some bloc party after their live performance, and I gotta say, I have a much better appreciation for their new album, and have been on a Bloc Party listening spree since. To be honest I spent some time on SongMeanings.net and read a little about the meanings behind the lyrics and about the band in general. As a result, they are no longer just some indie pop band with a few catchy tunes to me, something I quite enjoy. Anyway, if you haven't heard their stuff yet, you should, if anything it will at least make you wanna get up and dance a bit.

Weekly Picks
Bloc Party - Banquet
Bloc Party - Helicopter
Bloc Party - Waiting for the 7.18
Bloc Party - I Still Remember
Bloc Party - This Modern Love

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Random: Transformers

7/7/07 - First off, that's an awesome date, take a moment there and realize how cool that is...ok enough of that, on to the subject matter ...TRANSFORMERS. Yep, I said it, a live-action transformers movie, been waiting for this one for quite some time, and today I found the time to go out and finally see it, and yes, it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. The movie was funny, action packed and full of entertainment. Oh yeah and those cheesy action movie lines that everyone should adore. That's what movies are all about right?...entertaining? This one has a little bit of everything and something no other movie has to offer...flippin' transformers, 'nuff said. Oh ok, so I'm a bit excited, I relived a bit of my childhood today.

I have two promises for you: Micheal Bay isn't stealing your money this flick, and Anthony Anderson topped his career making achievement of "Kangaroo Jack". That in itself should be enough, so get off your ass, scavenge for $2.25 and go to carnation mall and see it. Now. In conclusion, Optimus Prime is perhaps one of the most bad ass characters of all time, hes like the robot version of John Marshall who just cracked open a can of freshly brewed whoop-ass.

Here is a taste...Enjoy.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Review: The Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist

7/5/07 - Hey there, Hi there, happy forth of July, well i guess its the fifth now but w/e. Today I come today bringing very good news, the rumors have come true, The Smashing Pumpkins finally reunited, well, sort of. Anywho, the album leaked on 6/30/07, however, I just recently gave it a listen today, well quite a few listens. I think I was on some type of pumpkins high due to all the hype, or something of that nature. The album is titled "Zeitgeist", which as everyone clearly knows, means "the spirit of the age" in the lovely language of German... Zeitgeist is the first album SP have put out since the year 2000, and they have been greatly missed. But, just like anything else, whenever something or someone comes back from a hiatus there will be an incredible amount of doubters and negative attitudes. Being a casual pumpkins fan I figured I would set aside all their previous work and give the album and the new band members a fighting chance to impress, and I gotta say, me likey. Its definitely a bit different than past efforts but still touches upon The Smashing Pumpkins everyone has come to know and love.

When reviewing an album I like to go through the track list and take a few notes so that I can easily track down what I did and did not like. I have to say that there is not much I didn't like but there are some things that defiantly stood out. The album opens up with the song "Doomsday Clock" which features the trademark of grundge-y layered guitars that made the pumpkins who they are today. At this point my expectations grew tremendously, as they should, I mean come on, Billy Corgan has been talking this up quite a bit. The album continues to impress through the dream pop single "Thats the Way (My Love Is)" which has been tagged as "Zwan-esque", which is, in my opinion, is not a bad thing at all. Then, at the number five spot, the listener gets what they really came for in "Tarantula", the first released single of the album. However, at this point in the album, Billy and friends throw the listener a bit of a curve ball with the mid-CD alt-punk epic "United States", in which wailing guitars take over during the 9:53 journey, and although new for the pumpkins, came off as a good surprise and happened to fit right into my listening style.

Overall, I really dig it. The "new" Smashing Pumpkins created a very well put together album that shouldn't disappoint old fans and should hopefully create new ones. Oh yeah! ...Here is the music video for the new single "Tarantula", check out Billy's cheesy costume, heh, pretty awesome. Enjoy :)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Random: Flight of the Conchords

6/30/07- Being a non-HBO subscriber, I miss out on quite a bit of "quality" television, but recently a friend of mine tipped me off to a new comedy titled "Flight of the Conchords", a show about a New Zealand Folk Band trying to make it in America. The show definitely requires a certain sense of humor, but as do most comedies. I've been lucky enough to rake the first episode via youtube, along with some of their stand-up performances at various venues. Their witty lyrics and utter stupidity amuse me.

The show plays at 10:30 on Sundays on HBO.
This clip is a rap battle between the hiphopapotomus and the rhymnocerous, a folk rap crossover. Without further ado I introduce to you New Zealand's fourth most popular folk parody duo, Flight of the Conchords...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Artist of the Week: The Electric Soft Parade

6/25/07 - This weeks artist of the week is The Electric Soft Parade. A very underrated band in my opinion. They have a very unique vintage sound, and the vocals remind me of the sound of Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips, well to an extent that is. Although I have not listened to their entire discography, I've found my way into two of their Cd's so far and they get my vote. I would start with "No need to be downhearted" and then work your way into "Holes in the Wall", at least thats what I did.

Anyway, they are from Brighton, England and are headed by brothers by the name of Alex and Tom White, who take care of the majority of creativeness for the band. Anyway, aside from all this bs you dont care about, you should go check them out.

Tony's Picks
1) The Electric Soft Parade - Life in the Backseat
2) The Electric Soft Parade - Woven By a Kiss
3) The Electric Soft Parade - Cold World/ Starry Night #1
4) The Electric Soft Parade - Misunderstanding
5) The Electric Soft Parade - Somethings Got to Give

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Review: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez: Se Dice Bisonte, No Buffalo/ Paul McCartney: Memory Almost Full

6/21/07- Recently, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's new album titled "Se Dice Bisonte, No Buffalo" has been released. The album features members of The Mars Volta as well as Money Mark Ramos-Nishita. Unlike previous albums, the new release features vocals on three different songs. The vocals are produced by The Mars Volta's own Cedric Bixler Zavala.

The album begins with an intro, leading into a jazzy psychedelic instrumental beauty. Then Omar introduces the listener to the much awaited "Rapid Fire Tollbooth", which has been teasing Volta fans for some time, as he is accompanied by Cedric. The album continues in its psychedelic feel leading up to the title track in which Cedric is featured again during a spacey piano based volta-esque jam. However, the pinnacle of the album becomes evident as the listener is introduced to the Rodriguez-Lopez instrumental epic titled "Please Heat This Eventually", featuring many jazz aspects, as well as Lopez's signature onslaught of psychedelic guitar riffs. The album comes to an end with another strong vocal driven tune which does this well crafted album a great bit of justice.

Track Listing
1) The Lukewarm
2) Luxury of Infancy
3) Rapid Fire Tollbooth
4) Thermometer Drinking the Bussness of Turnstiles
5) Se Dice Bisonte, No Buffalo
6) If Gravity Lulls, I Can Hear the World Pant
7) Please Heat This Eventually
8) Lurking About In a Cold Sweat (Held Together By Venom)
9) Boiling Death Request A Body To Rest Its Head On
10) La Tirania De La Tradicion

Despite being a great piece of art, psychedelic rock is not very easy to access able to the common listener. However, with some patience, the beauty of this record can be obtained. If I was trying to get a friend into some new music, I would not quite rec commend this album, as it may not appeal to someone right away. Having said that, I hope that some of you can enjoy this album, as it truly is a well put together record that not doesn't necessarily need the traditional pattern of most music to flourish. I definitely think this album deserves a spin, especially if you enjoy anything Omar or The Mars Volta has done in the past.


6/21/07- Paul McCartney has released a new album titled "Memory Almost Full". This album was released on the newly formed Hear Music Label, owned by the Starbucks Coffee company. The new album has been labeled as having a "wings-esque" sound. Also, the single "Dance Tonight" was featured in a recent Ipod commercial.

The album begins with the happy-go-lucky sounds of the pop masterpiece "Dance Tonight", a song that instantly creates a feel good sensation for the listener. The second single of the album, "Ever Present Past", quickly follows as a nice pop companion. The sunny sounds continue throughout the whole album building upon one another creating a fun, easily accessable album for all to enjoy. Many people questioned the album due to the newly founded Starbucks Label, but there is very little wrong with Paul's most recent creation. Memory Almost Full makes an excellent edition to McCartney's musical journey, as well as a spectacular album to put you in the mood for summer.

Track Listing
1) Dance Tonight
2) Ever Present Past
3) See Your Sunshine
4) Only Mama Knows
5) You Tell Me
6) Mr. Bellamy
7) Gratitude
8) Vintage Clothes
9) That Was Me
10) Feet In The Clouds
11) House Of Wax
12) The End Of The End
13) Nod Your Head

The album is full of easy listening pop songs that are incredibly hummable. If you have ever enjoyed any of Paul's early work ranging from the Beatles to his numerous solo attempts, then this is the album for you. Give it a spin, you cannot help but feel good listening to it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Artist of the Week: Andrew Bird

6/18/07 - This week's artist of the week, one of my favorites of all time, is the one and only Andrew Bird. Andrew Bird is known for his exceptional violin playing, actually a bachelors degree, I did my research. My personal favorite aspect of Andrew's music, however, lies in his signature whistling. Also, Andrew also plays the guitar quite a bit on his new album "Armchair Apocrypha", which will definitely find a nice spot on my year end list. Another interesting thing about Andrew Bird are his live shows, he will record snippets of violin samples and play them in a loop during his show to emulate the sound of a band rather than just a solo artist. Whether its a catchy song or just a tune to chill to, I'd say your best bet is Andrew Bird. I've included a few of my favorites that you should check out, if you like them, check out the albums, I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Tony's Picks
1)Andrew Bird - Heretics
2)Andrew Bird - Simple X
3)Andrew Bird - Tables and Chairs
4)Andrew Bird - The Naming of Things
5)Andrew Bird - Lull

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review: The White Stripes - Icky Thump

6/17/07 - Recently, The White Stripes new album, titled Icky Thump, has leaked on the web. The Album shows the bands ability to play around with some funk, rock, and blues, hitting that note right on the head creating a stellar album.

The album starts off with the head banging title track, which is easily one of the most catchy songs on the album. However, unlike many hyped up rock releases, the album doesn't revert to filler tracks and playing it safe. The album picks right back up with an equally powerful "you don't know what love is". The rockers dont stop there as things get pretty heavy with a song called "little cream soda", which is both catchy and accessable.

Although, what would a blues inspired rock band be without a little blues to slow you down, then explode with a bit of wonderful picking and splashes of the guitar. Jack White does just that during songs such as "Effect & Cause", "a martyr for my love for you" and "catch hell blues". There are few weak spots on the album, such as the song "St. Andrew", which is almost an intro, lasting only 1:49, however, having only listened all the way through twice, I can easily say that it just isn't as good as the rest, leaving it an exceptable song.

Track Listing
1)Icky Thump - 4:17
2)You Dont Know What Love Is (you just do as your told) - 3:54
3)300 M.P.H Torrential Outpour Blues - 5:28
4)Conquest - 2:48
5)Bone Broke - 3:14
6)Prickley Thorn, But Sweetly Worn - 3:05
7)St. Andrew (this battle is in the air) - 1:49
8)Little Cream Soda - 3:45
9)Rag and Bone - 3:48
10)I'm Slowly Turning Into You - 4:34
11)A Martyr For My Love For You - 4:19
12)Catch Hell Blues - 4:18
13)Effect & Cause - 3:00

Many people who are not fans will argue that Meg holds the band down with her lack of drumming skills, however on this album, it is not the case. Although she might not be the best, she does an adequet job at supporting the wonderful riffs and jams produced by Jack White. This album is easily accessable, very catchy, and an excellent place for newly acquired fans to branch out towards the great blues inspired rock of The White Stripes. You should definately check this one out.