Showing posts from April, 2009

Smashing Pumpkins: Cherub Rock

As news of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain 's recent departure from the Guns N' Roses of 90s alternative rock surfaced a month ago , the words "Smashing" and "Pumpkins" found themselves coupled together and tied to some noteworthy relevance. Thinking about Billy Corgan and realizing that I'd only ever thought of the Smashing Pumpkins as an act whose welcome had probably been overstayed, they did a couple things right, namely "Cherub Rock," whose thick, arena amplified riffs still give me a nostalgic jolt whenever I hear them. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #14: Revolution 09.09.09 Remastered, or How I Justify Putting My Family In The Poorhouse…

For Rock Band enthusiasts, 09.09.09 carries different weight. The Beatles ’ catalogue, the single most celebrated and cherished discography in pop music, (no matter what you think), will be available to butcher with fake instruments on that day. The rest of us can celebrate 09.09.09 because said catalogue is being digitally re-mastered, repackaged and re-released into two different collections: A stereo set with mini-documentaries and a “mono” set of the Beatles’ albums that had initially been mixed as such. As the write-up can explain everything probably better than I can, click here for more information. So, this will replace your 1987 CD mixes. I can only assume that Capitol, who’s already squeezed every drop of blood out of Radiohead ’s past catalogue this year , will be benefiting from the update. It’s interesting to see how extravagant the reissued CD package has grown, fear of the impending move for a digital file-only marketplace demanding high-quality for tangible media

No Ripcord: Psapp

Psapp The Camel's Back Domino Released: 2.17.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Wavves

Some lighthearted noise pop to crowd your head and make you go "huh, that's kind of cool." Wavves "So Bored" Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #13: 4.18.09

By now, I’m sure I’ve annoyed the shit out of you with my incessant ramblings about the current trials of the independent record store and the devaluing of music through technological “advancement.” If that’s the case, I apologize, (kind of). If not, I’ll tell you how I spent this year’s Record Store Day . First off, I’ll admit that I was expecting more of an “event.” Deciding to spend my sunny Saturday around the vicinity of A.K.A. Music , I awoke in anticipation around 8AM. I’d rallied some of my friends together to meet up for the occasion, picking up my brother before heading over to Olde City, armed with a wad of cash, a full tank of gas and a 20 oz. of Wawa coffee. Around 10AM, the store looked deserted… at least, from the outside. Realizing we weren’t missing anything, we decided to get some lunch and basically kept an eye out for any tents or local bands setting up. 11AM, it still looked pretty empty… once again, from the outside. Walking in was a different story. “’Scuse

No Ripcord: Pink Mountaintops

Pink Mountaintops Outside Love Jagjaguwar Releases: 5.5.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

4.18.09: Now it's definitive...

A while ago I tried to come up with a comprehensive list of all the goodies being released for this year's Record Store Day . The good people running the show have finally compiled the list on their site . The day is almost upon us. Excited? Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #12: Read Silence EP

By itself, TV On The Radio ’s Dear Science wasn’t worth the hype it received. Now, it’s been remixed. Read Silence EP 1. “Shout Me Out” (Willie Isz Remix by Jneiro Jarel ) 2. “Stork & Owl” ( Gang Gang Dance Remix) 3. “Red Dress” (Remixed by THE GLITCH MOB ) I can’t imagine that this will improve anything, but what price mileage? Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Cobain’s Fifteen Years Are Up...

Admittedly, though I felt progressively embarrassed about it as I grew into my subsequent twentieth decade, I remember feeling affected by Kurt Cobain ’s suicide, his way out the splattered manifestation of an obvious disdain for whatever he was and however people perceived him. Nirvana was and is still one of those monumental occurrences, sparking something visceral in my teenage brain, leading me to seek out new life and new civilizations. Once it was determined that Cobain was indeed the faceless burger meat at the other side of the shotgun barrel, Nirvana was no more and the 90s lost its footing. It’s assumed why he died: his drug addiction, stomach ailments, increasing dislike of fame and his well-publicized depression… ad nauseum, etc. The only certainty around his death was what it signified: This was our generation’s Altamont, a violent event that knocked the wind out of any renaissance and basically marked the end of an era. Candles were lit; albums were played in mournin


BLK JKS Mystery EP Secretly Canadian Released: 3.10.09 Rating: 9.25 out of 10 As of the last three or four days, it’s been the waves of vocal harmony that wash over BLK JKS single, “Lakeside,” that’s occupied my mind, a sound to defeat all sounds. Pairing tragedy with momentary breaks into joy, “Lakeside” demonstrates the rock n’ dub capabilities of the South African quartet, an impressive combination of reggae bounce and rock fury. Guitarist Mpumi Mcata passionately strangles his guitar strings like a pre- Rob Thomas Santana over drummer Tshepang Ramoba ’s hyped sticks, singer Linda Buthelezi the storyteller. The four-song Mystery EP is as impressive a debut as any packed LP that’s come out in the last year, exhibiting a band with a unique grasp of harmonic and noise possibilities. Some may hear TV On The Radio , but who cares? From passion comes creation, the album’s title track an explosion of unplaced tempo and expansive freeform dub-rock jamming ( Molefi Makananise ’s ov

No Ripcord: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead The Century Of Self Richter Scale/Justice Released: 2.17.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #11: High Ate Us 4 A Tapehead (Looking at the Past)

I'm exhausted. As much as I have pending, it's easy to get a little burnt out and I apologize for having lapsed on the update end. The hours in the day bestowed me lately have required effort and attention elsewhere in terms of work and home. As of now, I have about four or five reviews in the works, an upcoming interview and an all day event that I'm going to attempt to cover. The next couple weeks will see what I hope will be a wealth of mentally stimulating and entertaining material that all will love, cherish and adore thusly leading yours truly to eventual superstardom and an influx of dolla, dolla bills, y'all. And while I’m dreaming, cancel American Idol , put an end to present-day R&B and make The Jonas Brothers disappear forever. While the new releases continually require attention of an analytic nature, lately I've been seeking out older albums that I can just listen to. And, though I really haven't had much time to devote to listening eithe