Showing posts from April, 2008

Johansson Plays the Waits-ing Game...

Singers are a dime-a-dozen: I’m aware of this. At times, usually when I’m in some sort of self-flagellating mood, I’ll watch MTV and see how low the bar is set. And I’ll know, when I see Lindsay Lohan pouring her heart out, that everyone thinks they’re a fucking singer. And, it seems like it’s mostly actresses. Without boring you, because it really is a long list, and you know who most of them are anyway, these “singers,” and in a lot of instances, “actresses,” are so bad, so trite, so thoroughly laughable… … Scarlett Johansson decided that she was going to add herself to this immense list. But, and I don’t know if this was a strategic move on her part, HER album is a standout: A collection of Tom Waits covers called, Anywhere I Lay My Head . I’ve heard some the tracks and I find her efforts largely unnecessary. However, interest in this album is going to cancel out its quality because, and ultimately this is really all that matters, she benefits from esoteric tastes. Aside

Cambodians Don't Surf...

Dengue Fever Venus On Earth M80/Birdman Released: 1.22.08 Rating: 8 out of 10 Years ago, when American and British radio was pervading the war-torn landscapes of Vietnam, Cambodia was also on the receiving end of these broadcasts. Hearing the sounds of surf and psychedelic rock n’ roll, some inspired Cambodian musicians incorporated this Western influence into their own traditional music, creating a new form of Cambodian pop. When Pol Pot came to power in the mid-70s, the Western influence was eradicated and a lot of these musicians were killed. Luckily, some of the recordings survived. Los Angeles sextet, Dengue Fever , rises from these ashes. Venus On Earth is their 3rd LP. Listening to Venus On Earth , you realize that some of its credit is undeniably owed to the historic events from which this music is born. It doesn’t stray too far from an established rhythm at any time, nor does it seem to offer any fresh ideas to contemporize itself (aside from mentioning “ Ambien ” and “e

Shopping For Records #5: Sic Alps & Rollins Band

Just a couple things I’m pretty excited about. Sic Alps : Last year, I offered a little ink to the wonderful, but under promoted, Sic Alps . Their album, Pleasures & Treasures , offered a very real and raw interpretation of the muddily-amped garage band; an image that has been sort of misrepresented by “garage”-labeled acts like The Strokes or The White Stripes . Very distorted, very loud and VERY close to something as primal as Fun House or White Light/White Heat . At least, this is the case in my often-misinformed opinion. In the spirit of under-financed music of the past, Sic Alps’ Mike Donovan and Matthew Hartman seem to put out records left and right that often go out-of-print very quickly. I managed to procure myself a copy of the Semi-Streets 7,” (a white-label record that so lovingly reeks of yesteryear DIY), but found myself at a loss with the following Description of the Harbor 12” and Strawberry Guillotine 7.” Thankfully, Animal Disguise Records is putting

Diva Says: “Checkmate…” — Carey Surpasses The King

So, I had a couple thoughts on the latest revelation that Mariah Carey , probably the figurehead for all that I hate about pop music-diva-“Far & B it from the real thing” bullshit, passed by Elvis Presley in terms of total career hits. Following this news, I saw her on a commercial with Carlos Santana where they were pitching perfume and stiletto heels and I was wishing that the American public hadn’t forgotten Glitter and hadn’t been so easily fooled. Do you all REALLY think she makes good music? Evidently, you do. Ultimately, I think my reaction could be summed up in one small sentence: ”I hate America.” But, while scouring the Interweb for some likeminded assault and battery with which I could violently hurl toward little Ms. “ME ME” in the hopes that she would GOOGLE her name and find my vicious and relentless rant about how fucking stupid people are for giving her lame ass a lot of undue cash and attention, I found a perspective piece by a gentleman at The Los Angeles Ti


This morning the counter read "5150." An album of the same name brought Van Hagar to a populace that didn’t deserve the abuse. This is like totaling $6.66 at the cash register. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Indie Daytrips to the Land of “Eh”

The Magnetic Fields Distortion Nonesuch Released: 1.15.08 Rating: 5.75 out of 10 Evangelicals The Evening Descends Dead Oceans Released: 1.22.08 Rating: 6 out of 10 I know that I have a tendency to call out Indie music on the grounds that it’s by and large the product of an unevolved sect of musicians that wishes for the glory days of the 80s underground, but it’s not as if I’m given any reason to think otherwise. Granted, there were a few Indie-categorized groups last year that blew me away, but those bands succeeded in bringing their sound past the New Wave croon and passed the same twenty year old riffs that should be earning enough royalty-wise to keep The Cure ’s nursing home payments up-to-date. Please, for the last time, gargle with vinegar and sandpaper, plug your guitars into rugged, fucked-up amps, stop crying at sunsets, get pissed off and start fucking shit up. Trust me: you’ll get just as much pussy being badass as you will playing weepy and sympathetic. Which leads to