Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Hear the Sound of a Gentle Word

Beach Boys Pet SoundsIf you haven't heard, which is unlikely, this year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the best pop albums ever, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. To commemorate the occasion, Capitol released Pet Sounds: 40th Anniversary this week. The new release includes versions in mono, stereo, 5.1 surround sound, jingle cats, hi-res stereo, and DVD. One of those might not be true. They've also released the Good Vibrations CD single.

The AV Club spoke briefly with mad genius Brian Wilson about it. Bring the love-vibes, Brian.

It truly is a stunning and legendary album, something everyone should have in their collection. Maybe on its 40th anniversary, I'll finally pick it up (oops).

Before the Cream Sits Out Too Long

Friends With MoneyI watched Friends with Money last night, that Jennifer Aniston movie that is not a Jennifer Aniston movie and is probably a chick flick but with better stories and better acting, which I rented for my wife with the intention of not really watching it but finding myself getting involved perhaps because I was bored or because the movie was good (I heard that).

Anyway, I found the soundtrack to be very nice. Craig Richey's score is very pleasant and simple, and it invoked the same pleasant feelings I had when I first heard Jon Brion's score for Eternal Sunshine. Just thought I'd share.

You can download Richey's work here. It was also featured in Lovely & Amazing, another movie featuring Catherine Keener. I've seen her in a few movies now, but nothing beats this. Both movies, by the way, were written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. She must have a thing for Richey and Keener and movies with lots of talking.

Number One Song After Number One Song

Photo of Ben Folds by Ben FoldsBen Folds is releasing a(nother) rarities collection featuring songs previously released (see below) on EPs, soundtracks, etc. and includes a couple different covers like Dr. Dre's Bitches Ain't Shit. For those of you like me, you likely already have most if not all the songs (hell, I even bought his tunes from the Over the Hedge soundtrack), but seeing them all on one album makes a pretty good BF album. Plus they're remastered.

He's also due to go into the studio in October to record a new solo album and will be hitting up colleges on a fall tour.

The new compilation will be released October 24 and is called supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp, a play on the EPs he released prior to Songs for Silverman. The tracklisting: 1. In Between Days 2. All U Can Eat 3. Songs of Love 4. There's Always Someone Cooler Than You 5. Learn To Live With What You Are 6. Bitches Ain't Shit 7. Adelaide 8. Rent A Cop 9. Get Your Hands Off My Woman 10. Bruised 11. Dog 12. Still. All the links are to get the songs now via iTunes. Kinda makes the concept of "rare" moot these days, eh?


Monday, August 28, 2006

I didn't ask, you shouldn't have told me

In support of their new album Major Lodge Victory, the Gin Blossoms played a set at the Apple Store in SoHo tonight. I'd say if you were in the area to definitely go check it out, but it happened about 3 hours ago. :-)

When I Get Older Losing My Hair

Zzz RecordsHappy 5.92 Anniversary, Zzz Records!

I'm a bit late on this one, but hey, they were a bit late in celebrating their 5th Anniversary. It's good to see an indie store doing well and sitting in the best location in town. Good luck for the next 5.92 years. Buy a shirt to help make it possible for them to survive in this Best Buy and Wal-mart infested world.

With All Your Power What Would You Do?

The Flaming Lips hit Iowa on Friday for the second date of their new tour, AND I DIDN'T GO! Just one of those things. Someday I'll get a chance to see them, but in the meantime, I have to live vicariously through Kyle Munson's coverage in the Des Moines Register. Here's his review of the show and a bit of an interview with one of the Lips in his blog.

Wow, Flaming Lips with Sonic Youth and the Magic Numbers, AND I DIDN'T GO! Que lastima.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Don't Be Afraid What Your Mind Conceives

This is uncanny: turn Muse into Gwen with a bit of simple knob-fiddling. Who the hell has the time to figure this shit out?! Courtesy of stereogum.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dance Like a Caucasoid Girl

Evidently, Osama is an occasional fan of Van Halen, B-52s, Whitney Houston, and Caucasoid Girl dancing. Why do I think we haven't heard the last of Caucasoid Girl?

It'll Change Your Life

I wonder if the Shins are stretching? Billboard and the band certainly think they are. Jesus, they say it like 20 times in this damn article! But if stretching really means true comparisons to Jesus & Mary Chain and the Beta Band, it'll be a very good thing indeed. Their new album Wincing the Night Away will be released in January by Sub Pop. I don't think there's a cooler record label than Sub Pop.

Watch the New Slang video here and download other Shins tunes here.

The Best Radio on Television

Back in my college days at Drake, I was music director and eventually general manager of KDRK, the campus radio station. We played excellent college alternative music, which in the early-mid 90s was fleeting fast. We worked hard to program it like a real radio station and even made the DJs follow some semblance of a playlist. After all, we were all learning how to work at a real radio station. The kicker is that KDRK really wasn't a radio station. We were only broadcast on local cable TV, hence "The Best Radio on Television," a slogan ahead of its day with Sirius now using "The Best Radio on Radio."

Ten long years after I graduated, today marks the day KDRK becomes a real radio station. Well, it's no longer KDRK and it's still a college radio station, but it's on the air and it's cool to see our dream become a reality for a new generation of geeky AV nerd students. In Des Moines, you can listen to "The Dog," KDRA-LP at 94.1. Online, you can listen here or via iTunes.

We may be past college radio's prime, but I know that decades of work went behind making this a reality at Drake. Congratulations to the profs, students, and alumni involved that helped make this a reality.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Wanna Get Close To It

Chad Vangaalen SkelliconnectionChad Vangaalen's new video for Flower Gardens has been tubed for you. You can also see it at stereogum and hisspace. Entertaining and the music is very cool is parts and so-so in other parts. But I am getting a little tired of the indie homespun animated video (see also). Cliche yet? Yes, but it doesn't get much better than this. I digress.

AV Club has a review of Chad's new album Skelliconnection, which was released yesterday. It's rated what turned out to be my favorite grade in law school!

You can also download an MP3 of Flower Gardens courtesy of Sub Pop here.

Previously... and previously...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Today is the birthday of Ray Bradbury. Bradbury is an American icon with more than 500 published works including short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse. Some classics include The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Although mostly described as Science Fiction Bradbury only claimed to write one Science Fiction book, preferring to describe his works as Fantasy as Science Fiction is a depiction of the real.

Some of my favorite Bradbury works include those for television. He wrote many Alfred Hitchcock Presents and possibly the best Twilight Zone episode the unbelievable I Sing the Body Electric.

I'm Fading Out, Everything I Know is Wrong

Keane Crystal BallKeane's singer is exhausted addicted, just in time to celebrate the UK release of the new single (Crystal Ball) from their latest album (Under the Iron Sea). It was one of the few tracks that really stood out for me upon listening to the album the first couple of times. Amazon has the import singles if you're interested.

North American tour dates have been postponed while Tom cleans himself up. Best of luck to him.


Friday, August 18, 2006

What's Your Name? Who's Your Daddy?

Too-cool-for-you Pitchfork wrapped up its 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s today with 20-1. I think music lists have become the conversational icebreaker for the hipster crowd. So instead of "nice weather we're having" it's "Beach Boys at #1?! Bwah ah aha hha hhah LMAO!" I've glanced over the top 60 and I gotta believe Waterloo Sunset should be higher and the lack of Time of the Season is a travesty. God Only Knows might be right at #1, although Day in the Life or Like a Rolling Stone are right there too. But seriously, no You Know My Name, Look Up the Number?! Ridiculous.

Eh, blah. Friday afternoon surfing for you. Now go enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No Alarms and No Surprises

Baby Rock RecordsAs our generation ages and starts growing families, we are on an eternal quest to make our kids cool. Do we want our kids listening to Barney or the Wiggles? Hell no. We want them listening to Radiohead, The Cure, The Beatles, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd. Hell yes.

Baby Rock Records understands our desires and has released a series of albums featuring versions of our favorites bands that are palatable to babies. My kids are no longer babies so they probably wouldn't appreciate it, but if you can, hook them while they're young. Still one of my favorite memories of my daughter is hearing her sing Yesterday at the age of 3.

Not so sure about Metallica and Tool though. Yikes.

You can hear No Surprises on the home page and listen to clips of many of the songs on the individual album pages. Thanks as always, Boing Boing.


It's All Inside Your Head You Know It

Sean Lennon Friendly FireSean Lennon is getting all artsy on your arse. Billboard reports his first solo album in eight years, which is released September 26, will be a multimedia release complete with "short films," which in the 80s and 90s were known as music videos. You can see a trailer for Friendly Fire here.

I couldn't care less about little pretentious movies with Lindsay Lohan and Asia Argento (remember her? She was the cover girl for the most unearned and ridiculous Rolling Stone cover ever). But the music sounds pretty good -- very good actually. It sounds like it surpasses the fey qualities of his debut and reaches more of a psychedelic vibe. That could be good.

It's fascinating that he worked closely with Harper Simon (Paul's son) on the album. Makes me think about what kind of Beatles' spawn supergroup could be put together with Zak Starkey, Dhani Harrison, and James McCartney, all accomplished musicians in their own right. And don't forget Julian. Poor Julian. Everybody forgets Julian. Although I've seen Julian and he's quite good.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

He Doesn't Look a Thing Like Jesus

The Killers' second album Sam's Town is out October 3. I've only heard When You Were Young from theirspace. iTunes is offering some free downloads if you pre-order the album, including the single. It's ok. I hope the rest of the album is better though.


UPDATE: Check out the trailer for the When You Were Young video. WTF?! A trailer for a video. Too much, fellas. Too much. Thanks, 'gum.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

If You Got Your Mind on a Revolution of the Soul

Gin Blossoms Major Lodge Victory
Can you believe it's been a decade since the last Gin Blossoms album?

Their "comeback" album Major Lodge Victory was released last week. If you're a big fan of this 90's power pop/adult alternative band, this will not disappoint. It's all there - the catchy hooks, the harmonies, the lyrics. The single Learning The Hard Way is strong, but to me is actually almost a cliche' Gin Blossoms song. The rest of the album is more sophisticated and mature, but still all Gin Blossoms.

Standout tracks for me include Come On Hard, Jet Black Sunrise and the awesome End of the World. I've listened to the album a couple of times now and I feel 10 years younger. A solid 4 star album.

Monday, August 14, 2006

If You Feel You're Getting Bored

U2 NumbI just recently put U2 Zooropa on my iPod and I'd forgotten how good it is. Achtung Baby was really the first U2 album I fell in love with and when Zooropa was released, it really threw me a bit off. I thought Numb was too weird yet strangely appealing. Hearing it again for the first time in several years has inspired me to explore the rest of the album to hear what I might've missed then. I expect it'll be more rewarding than listening to Atomic Bomb, which was a bit of a letdown for me.
By the way, Billboard reports that Zoo TV Live from Sydney is getting the DVD treatment on September 17 and it will include a karaoke version of Numb. I think Edge is a much better guitarist than a "singer" so I bet we'll all be able to do comparable versions. And evidently U2 is in the studio as well. The band that keeps on going and going and going.

Check out the cool Numb video here at YouTube.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

There's Nothing You Can Do That Can't Be Done

After 23 years, the popular Breakfast with the Beatles radio show is scheduled to go off the air on September 3rd. And what in the genius of radio will they be replaced with? Infomercials and Football. Yes, you read that correctly.

Visit to try to save this great show.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Convince Yourself That Everything is Alright

Pete Yorn's third studio album Nightcrawler is being released August 29. Check out the first single here or here or download here. Good. Not quite as great as most of the songs on his debut musicforthemorningafter. Nonetheless, he's a dependable and interesting songwriter and I'm anxious to hear the full album.

Is There Something Wrong and You Can't Put Your Finger On It?

Remember Del Amitri? Unfortunately, most remember them as the band behind the little ditty Roll to Me, which evidently they don't remember fondly. Earlier this year, they posted an entry on theirspace explaining the top ten reasons why you won't find Roll to Me there. Highlights:

5. It may have bought us houses, and for that we respect it but as a worthy foe not a favoured friend.
6. It's too fast to catch any meaning. In fact it is so quick, it is positively glib.
8. Phonetically translated into Korean the title means "Arrive Those Bucket".
9. It lacks the imperceptible purring of a soul.

Del Amitri Change EverythingYikes. Roll to Me is certainly one of my least favorite Del Amitri tunes because it's the least representative yet their biggest hit. Don't you hate when that happens? Most of their tunes are much darker and much better. Change Everything is still one of my favorite (favourite?) albums of all times. Truly. It just so happened that it became one of my favorites while falling for my wife-to-be, so that may explain it. Too much, I know.

So it seems they're shopping around their new music. Too bad a veteran band can't find any label to release their new stuff. Who knows why. Maybe their wants and needs are too high. Maybe they're only looking for big labels, which, let's be honest, they're probably not going to get at this point in their career. It's obviously becoming much easier to release music independently and they have a strong enough following to probably make it worth their while. Until they realize this, though, perhaps these tunes are the only new ones we'll hear. Sounds ok. They're following up their 2002 album Can You Do Me Good? and continuing some of that album's synthetic stylings, which were interesting and fairly subtle on that album but a bit much on the new tunes. I'll keep listening, but I think they need to continue to polish them up. Nonetheless, good to hear they're still at it.

And lead singer Justin Currie is also shopping around a solo album. Sample some tunes at hisspace.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Like A Rolling Stone is the best song of all time? Really? Really?

Rolling Stone has released their 500 Best Songs of All Time issue. Apparently there hasn't been a really great song since about 1972 according to their list. Pretty predictable and lame if you ask me. Kinda like their magazine has been since the early 90's.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

They Cut Off My Legs, Now I'm an Amputee Goddamn You

Harvey Danger Little by LittleI missed this one. Harvey Danger released their newest album Little by Little as a digital download last year. It'll set you back ... nothing. The whole album is free. They just ask that if you like it, either purchase the actual disc or make a contribution. Interesting model. If you'd rather buy it the conventional way, Kill Rock Stars just released it last week.

By the way, you might remember Harvey Danger by their 90s modern rock "hit" Flagpole Sitta. They were one of those pretty good 90s bands that got stuck with one noveltyish hit and never garnered much attention beyond that even though they deserved it (Nada Surf is probably the best example of that -- Popular is an amusing tune but very unrepresentative of how great Nada Surf really is).

We See Things They'll Never See

It's not really news, but Oasis is releasing their greatest hits, as chosen by them, in November. I'm excited because there are two new tunes on Stop the Clocks and I still get genuinely excited about hearing new Oasis. I'm a fan that lasted through the severe mediocrity of Be Here Now to fully enjoy last year's underrated Don't Believe The Truth. Stereogum lists the tunes to be included, and I echo Scott's reaction: "How the fuck did you leave off Live Forever?" I don't really care because I have it anyway, but it is by far their best tune, a true modern day classic. Whatever.

Now Here's a Surprise

Matthew Sweet and Susanna HoffsAnother release from Sid 'n' Susie (Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs) with two unreleased covers: Pillowcase EP. Vinyl only. How aniquated.