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.