Erasing any dounts that I am a pop culture whore

by on February 8, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

Tonight, provided the wife and I get back from parent-teacher conferences in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll be watching the Grammy Awards. Yes, all the press has finally gotten to me. All of the articles hyping the event convinced me that it might be worth taking a peek.

Granted, I could watch all of the highlights on YouTube after work tomorrow and save myself three or four hours of boredom interspliced with five minute bursts of interest. But that Madonna / Gorillaz pairing with the holograms is just too juicy to pass up. The fact that they’re having the Material Girl open the show, even with no nominations to her name means that it’s gonna be something pretty fucking big.

Kanye West doing “Gold Digger” live with Jamie Foxx sounds pretty slick, too. The U2 / Mary J. Blige thing I could care less about, as well as Mariah Carey with a gospel choir. And the Jay-Z / Linkin Park combo? Seriously, Collision Course came out in 2004. Let it go.

I’d live-blog the whole thing, but I’m sure Stereogum and a slew of other blogs’ll be doing it. Plus, I have work at 4:30 tomorrow morning. If I make it until 9, I’ll be lucky. And switching over to watch South Park and Drawn Together if I’m still up.

A sampling of the nominees
Record of the Year
Green Day – “Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.

Song of the Year
Mariah Carey – “We Belong Together
John Legend – “Ordinary People

Send. Help. Quick.

by on @ 11:36 am

Thick Records just reissued the Blue Meanies’ Full Throttle a couple weeks back. Go buy it.

The disc is remixed, remastered, has three bonus tracks (including their cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy”), and the video for “Smash the Magnavox.” It is 10x more rocking than before. You should own it, if for no other reason than it is one of the best discs for living room dancing on the face of the planet. You can spazz out to your heart’s content, and Full Throttle will not disappoint.

In other Blue Meanies-related news, former frontman Billy Spunke has put together a music festival called Valley of the Vapors at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, Arkanasas. It’s four days, March 16-19. Visit their website for details. It promises to be an interesting event.

CD Review: Kaddisfly – “Buy Our Intention; We’ll Buy You A Unicorn”

by on @ 11:08 am

When a press release says you’ll like a band if you like a laundry list of styles, that says to me one of two things: either the group is in fact quite ecelectic, or they just threw everything at the wall and hoped it would stick.

Kaddisfly falls somewhere in the middle. They seem to be grasping at straws at the opening of Buy Our Intention; We’ll Buy You A Unicorn, but slowly and surely, the album’s diverse mixture of styles begin to come together. The opening five tracks or so come awfully close to aping A Perfect Circle, but by the time “Let Weight Be Measured By Merit” kicks in, Kaddisfly is standing strong on both feet.

I never thought a group could actually pull together jazz and hardcore, but this works. Sure, bands have worked in jazz drumming (Refused, anyone?) by the score. But never has jazz guitar noodling and hardcore riffs flowed into one another. And this fucking works. I’ll admit, it took me about ten listens before the album clicked with me. Once it took hold, tho’… man… this works.

To be honest, this is NOT for everyone. Someone expecting something like Thrice (this is Hopeless, after all) is going to be sorely disappointed. But if you put Buy Our Intention into your cd player with an open mind and open ears, you’re going to be in for a treat. It’s punk, but it’s not three chords and a sneer. More like bebop with a smile.

Hopeless Records

CD Review: Armor For Sleep – “What To Do When You Are Dead”

by on February 25, 2005 @ 3:48 pm

Armor For Sleep’s sophomore album, What To Do When You Are Dead, picks up right where their debut ended. It’s a really warm-sounding record, as was Dream to Make Believe.

Armor For Sleep has this amazing ability to take what is by now average and somehow manage to turn it into gold. A lot of this has to do with that aforementioned warmth. The band makes records that are the musical equivalent of laying underneath a blanket while on your couch. It’s a very cozy, relaxed sort of feeling.

There are screams, to be sure, but they come off as more cathartic, rather than angry. Armor For Sleep may play a variation on post-hardcore screamy rock, but it’s a variation that’s all their own. There’s some serious melody in their songs, but they seem to be comfortable with it, rather than struggling to “stay hard” like so many other groups in their genre.

I’m also impressed with the little booklet that came with the cd. It’s not much bigger than a credit card, but is this nifty little booklet about preparing for the afterlife that is a nice takeoff of that manual from Beetlejuice. It fits perfectly with What To Do When You Are Dead‘s themes of life, death, and what lies beyond. It’s a minor thing, but shows a commitment to a totality of vision that so many other bands lack.

Equal Vision Records
Armor For Sleep

VJ may as well stand for virtual jockey

by on @ 2:18 pm

So, the new issue of Wired showed up in the mail today, and it’s all about the death of radio. Y’know, vis a vis XM, Sirius, and the ubiquitous iPod. All fun and good to read, but the really amazing bit came towards the end of the issue, in a story entitled “You, Too, Can Be A Podcaster.

The amazing bit? “Adam Curry’s show, ‘Daily Source Code‘ was the first ever podcast.”

Yes, that Adam Curry. The MTV vj. The first host of Headbanger’s Ball. The guy with the long hair pretty boy look. And it seems he’s started a revolution. A minor one, yes, but it makes running a WinAmp ShoutCast stream look like small potatos.

Give peace a chance

by on @ 6:08 am

So, a man gets to Heaven. He’s talking with St. Peter outside the Pearly Gates, and St. Peter’s telling him all the amazing people who’ve made it to Heaven. He points out Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and is talking about how Heaven works when the man looks over and sees a guy with wraparound shades and a leather jacket lounging in a chair.

“Wow,” he says. “Even Bono’s in Heaven.”

“Nope,” says St. Peter. “That’s God. He just thinks he’s Bono.”

And now, they’ve nominated that Irish twit for a Nobel fucking Peace Prize? BONO? From U2? That Bono?