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Showing posts from May, 2007

To Whom It May Interest #8:
Struggling to Understand The Smiths – Part 4: “Strangeways, Here We Come”

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”I touched you at soundcheck/you had no way of knowing/in my heart I begged ‘ please, take me with you…I don’t care where you’re going...’” To Whom It May Interest, Tap, tap, tapping away at the keys, I’m only thinking of the word “transition.” Bands do it all the time: “transitioning” that is. A band will change their sound, incorporate classical instruments, work with Timbaland or Bono , fuel their bloodstreams with chemicals and “transition” from sober to wasted for the sake of art. Other bands, well…”transition” means “call it quits,” allowing each respective member to “transition” somewhere else in some other way. But, before the “transition” occurs, there’s always that one final album to consider: the “Swan Song.” ”Strangeways, Here We Come” is not only The Smiths ’ last chapter, but also the mark of a band that was trying to go somewhere else musically. Morrissey was still prosaically bummed out, as he should’ve been, (every band needs a distinguishing characteri

We Interrupt This Program...

...to bring you a couple things I'm really looking forward to in June. The Beastie Boys will be releasing an all-instrumental album called, The Mix Up . Below is a video for one of the tracks featured. Smooth grooves, lots of promise. This will be out June 26th. While we're on the topic of The Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch has produced the latest release by the mighty Bad Brains . Build A Nation is their first release in over 10 years, (since 1995's God Of Love as far as I know), and it's supposed to be somewhat of a return to their old school, hardcore roots. I heard a couple tracks and, if they're any indication, it should be an awesome album. And, like The Beastie Boys, expect this to hit the shelves on June 26th. And last, but certainly not least, I'm most looking forward to Era Vulgaris by the incredible Queens of the Stone Age . This will be out on June 12th and I will undoubtedly be rocking the fuck out of this one all summer long. June

To Whom It May Interest #8:
Struggling To Understand The Smiths – Part 3: The Queen Is Dead

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To Whom It May Interest, ”Oh, I didn’t realize you wrote poetry/I didn’t realize you wrote such bloody awful poetry…” The Queen Is Dead . It’s been difficult to think of anything to write about this album, mostly because there aren’t many all-encompassing adjectives that I can apply to it. It’s not a simple record to consider, though if there be one characteristic that seems to spread throughout, that would probably be “discontent.” It wouldn’t be implausible to consider that The Queen Is Dead ’s unsettling nature might owe more to the band’s then-tumultuous relationship (Apparently, a label dispute and exhausting tour schedule, not to mention the significantly large amount of music the band was writing in such a short time span, was beginning to have a negative impact on the band and would eventually lead to their break-up.) and less to their often smart-assed and critical views on society and politics, despite the overtly anti-monarchal album title and opening track. Morrisse

To Whom It May Interest #8:
Struggling to Understand The Smiths – Part 2: Meat Is Murder

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To Whom It May Interest, ”We don’t need no…education…We don’t need no…thought control…” It’s all I can think while listening to “The Headmaster Ritual,” Morrissey sorrowfully calling out the educators of Manchester as “belligerent ghouls” that “thwacks you on the knees/knees you in the groin.” Is it feasible that corporal punishment be brought back into the American school system? I know from listening to Morrissey that the Manchester headmaster seems to produce a surplus of miserable lads, but at least they’re educated. Here the kids are miserable AND stupid. So what if the kids are a little sore so long as they know something? Just a thought. Probably not what Morrissey was trying to get across but I guess I’m just being difficult. To Morrissey’s credit, I like the line about the administrators that are “jealous of youth/same old jokes since 1902.” The guy’s got a sense of humor hiding under that dramatically blue tone. Anyway, to listen to Meat Is Murder is to u

To Whom It May Interest #8:
Struggling To Understand The Smiths – Part 1: An Introduction

To Whom It May Interest, The Smiths : consider this a big step for me…because it is. As long as I’ve been aware of Morrissey , (most notably as long as I’ve remembered watching his lame, asexual ass posing Christ-like with his shirt blowing open in the wind to reveal a Band-Aid affixed over his fucking nipple), I’ve wished him ill. I’ve wished him very ill as a matter of fact. For me, Morrissey has lived as an example of what happens when you neuter rock music. His very being completely hikes the sack up before snipping it off with a pair of dull scissors, hence the pain that always seems to exude from his “oh so sad” exterior. Even his pompa-dou weeps. If you’re me, your reaction is “fuck that guy!” I will admit that this blinding hatred (okay, serious dislike) has probably led to some unfair perceptions regarding Mr. Morrissey. Most notably, I never really gave The Smiths a chance. I’ve heard some of their songs over the years and completely dismissed them as wimpy s

Shopping for records #2...

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To Whom It May Interest, Yet another exciting account of records bought. Enjoy. Amazon Purchases: Entrance Prayer Of Death Tee Pee Records Released 11.14.06 There is something amazing about the song, “Silence On A Crowded Train.” When I first caught this song, I was more or less transfixed and unable to concentrate on anything else. High intensity bass line blues and wah guitar are driven into the heavens with Paz Lenchantin ’s ( A Perfect Circle , Zwan , Queens Of The Stone Age ) violin and Guy Blakeslee ’s vocals. From start to finish, Prayer Of Death , is a sonic acid soaked dream, dripping with psychedelic strings and pensive meditations about our mortality. Amazing record. Please run out and find a copy. Various Artists Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 4 CD Boxed Set Rhino Re-mastered, reassembled & re-released 9.15.98 You find that certain people painstakingly do what they can to preserve history. One such individual is Lenny Kaye

Don’t cover your ears, don’t cover your eyes, don’t cover your mouth…

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Menomena Friend And Foe Barsuk Records Released 1.23.07 Rating: 10 out of 10 Throughout one’s musical explorations, one will figure out a few things. The first thing is that your favorite bands will fuck up somewhere down the line and release a shitty album. The second is that you’ll rarely hear an album you could label as perfect: there are always a couple tracks you could do without. Lastly, if you hear a perfect album, you better tell everyone about it. So, here I am, telling you with all certainty: Friend And Foe is a perfect album. Portland-based trio, Menomena , have done the unthinkable and injected a much-needed dose of credibility to “alternative” music by reviving what it originally stood for: the antithesis of everything MTV and everything radio. From its brilliantly conceived and executed packaging (thank you, Craig Thompson ), to its musical inventiveness and confident experimentation, Friend And Foe willingly challenges the notion that it’s all been done before. Y