Oh, hey. Sorry I've been gone. I've been thinking about putting something up here for a while, honest, but a whole lot of issues were making me second-guess this whole thing. Also the fact that since posting about Shoppers it's all I listen to, so I couldn't really think about other music. Sorry.
Anyway, I want to put up info about some cool people who write music (Laura Stevenson, Kate Ferencz, Butterscotch Stanley), but I know them well enough that I'm not sure if they'd think I was being a dick for putting their music up available for free? So I'm backing off? If you guys read this let me know if I can? Either way, people reading, you know, google those names to hear some other tunes.
But I don't know Mean Jeans. They are from Portland. I went to Portland once! Stayed at a dude's place through Couchsurfing, and he was ambassador of Couchsurfing in Portland, which is like a thing, it means you are really into Couchsurfing, so while I was there other people crashed, too -- this awesome Australian dude who recognized my Lucksmiths shirt, this girl who had been a counselor at an anarchist summer camp in Albany, some other Couchsurfing ambassadors who were in the middle of traveling. We went to a strip club and everything. And I even went to Stumptown Comics Fest and made an ass out of myself in front of Pete Bagge! Hell of a town.
The Portland aspect of these guys, though, it's an afterthought, because Mean Jeans don't sound Portlandish. They sound too fun. I mean, Portland was fun, but there was this sincere idealism underneath everything. And these guys don't sound like idealists. They sound like some fun dudes who shoot off fireworks in basements.
If you like Marked Men this is basically another Marked Men band but a little funnier and wackier, enough to detach themselves from the Reservoir Dog punk genre I invented on this site. Check it out.
I never really got how someone who likes rock and roll can dislike girls in rock and roll. I mean, I always thought of rock and roll as the ultimate medium of expression for people who are pissed off about bullshit, and who trudges through more bullshit than a lady? Bratz dolls, Barbie dolls, tanning guns, super-model Tyra Banks hosting a show that's supposed to be "empowering" but is in fact a super-model on television telling you how to wear make-up, constant fashion change-ups encouraging you to buy more clothes, Sex and the fucking City. Jesus, man. Have you ever seen Sex and the City? Here's the way the dialogue works on that show:
Girl 1: I make a statement. Girl 2: I comment on the statement in a way that all too perfectly typifies my character Girl 3: I comment on the statement in a way that all too perfectly typifies my character Girl 4: I comment on the statement in a way that all too perfectly typifies my character
(Repeat ad nauseum until one of them wants to get married/pregnant)
So every time I hear about a new band with any sort of female inclusion, I get pumped, simply for the fact that they have so much more to work with than some dude does ("I have anxiety" "Why doesn't this girl like me" "All my problems are self-inflicted"). And shit, man. Shoppers delivers. The guitars provide a steel wool blanket of noise and the vocals are high pitched pissed off. The lyrics can teeter on some Xiu Xiu shit, but the music is much more approachable, you can play this at a party and not scare away a bunch of your friends.
The dudes over at the record label website describe this band as "queer noise punk," but I can assure you that you don't need to be queer to like this band. I've had the record on at work all day and I cannot get enough. Link goes to aforementioned record label's site, where you can download the album for free.
Hey you crumbums. You know I know nothing about music, right? Glacier can attest. A few weeks ago we were in a kitchen listening to the band Orange Juice, and he said "Orange Juice is so good," and I said, "Yeah, it's great," because I thought he was talking about the delicious beverage. I don't know anything about Pink Floyd except that that Dark Side of the Moon record kind of pisses me off and I heard a Syd Barrett song I liked a lot once but I never followed up on it. I only got into Black Flag after college, and by "into" I mean I listen to that album with "Rise Above" on it like once every three months. I listen to Rainer Maria more than I listen to Black Flag, for God's sake. And The Stooges? Without knowing anything, I proclaim "FUCK The Stooges."
I just wanted to go out of the way to say that so that next time someone talks to me and references some artist or song or dude they assume I know about and I just blank out for a little, like I look like I'm about to pass out when you say it, don't worry, it just means I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. It's not a strike against you, better not be a strike against me, and it might just be a good cue to take a big drink of whatever drink you have in front of you. I like my music like the way I like my coffee: un-canonized and thoroughly clusterfucked.
Anyway! Mina! What a specimen. Through my limited research of this lady she appears to be Italy's Madonna, except she's been around since the Sixties, and she has a much better voice. This is the only record of hers I have, and I only got it after years of listening to "Se Telefonando" on youtube and not being able to find the record online for free. No song on this record gets close to that one song, but it's a nice 60s variety-hour record you can play at anytime for anyone. I got the album off iTunes so I have no idea if this download link will work, but if it doesn't, I'd say this record is worth the brief humiliating act of having iTunes' penis in your mouth.
A band with all the right stuff to carry the next generation's "awesome powerpop band" title. These guys do all the same things as Piebald, and you gotta be grateful for that, especially when "innovational" these days can mean hardcore/screamo bands using autotune. The first sentence of this review says it all. The second was me trying to come up with more filler. The third sentence was me trying to wrap things up. The fourth was when I realized I dug myself into a hole.
What is the etiquette on blogging about records that have already been blogged about by other blogs. Someone should write a "Gentleman's Guide to Music Blogs," though I'm not sure how many of the people blogging about music are actually gentlemen. I imagine most of them as overweight men married with children who still wear Those Glasses even though they don't really complement fat-old-man face as well as skinny young college kid face.
But enough about our miserable futures. This is a great 90s girl group cut in the same vein as Juliana Hatfield or Elastica. There's a classy smattering of strings throughout the record (opener "Ms. Wrong," "She Doesn't Know How"), two sad acoustic songs that sound like Rivers Cuomo could've sung em and plopped em onto Pinkerton, and a bunch of rocking songs in between.
There. Check out that image. If I'm reading it correctly, it's telling you that pouring beer on a brain tumor fixes it. How can you not want to take that logic home and snuggle it till you jizz in your pajama pants.
Idunno. Good punk hardcore stuff from Minnesoda. Guitars are crunchy and gnarly. Sort of reminds me of The Dicks, a band you are sort of obligated to like even if you don't care for the tunes.
The Bright Lights are friends with punk lo fi noise indie pop brats Boyracer, and you can sort of tell it immediately. Fast catchy guitars, off-putting morose lyrics (the first song's refrain is If it wasn't for you/I probably would've killed myself), and lotsa feedback. I can't find a photo of the record online so instead that's a fucked up illustration by Alain Le Saux (courtesy of drtenge.com).
I really like this band. They do the same stuff as bands like Coachwhips, Lightning Bolt, Le Shok, Wives, except without all the obnoxiousness. With Double Dagger, there isn't that extraneous effort, their music isn't clamoring for the spotlight. They keep it cool, daddy-o. Nice rock songs about boring people and wanting to fuck your best friend without wearing fucking jock straps on their heads and saying ridiculous things just to "blow people's minds." That being said, you might prefer the other four bands if you're still in college and think superfluous use of ethnic slurs is the most insane shit in the world. It's a coming of age thing.
Why are Scottish bands so good at humor? This record keeps you on your toes, you're never entirely sure whether you're in on the joke or you're laughing at a man's heartfelt musings, though song titles like "I Wonder if You're Drunk Enough to Sleep with Me Tonight" can help give some direction.
This is a weird one to talk about. "Europewide Search for Love" might be the only completely heartfelt song on here, and it's a really really pretty listen, "Sex Is Boring" and "Avant Garde Music" are about making fun of people who think knowing a lot about useless shit carries any clout in the real world (You've read more books than I could ever read/and you've seen more films than I could ever see/so why is it that you don't know any more than me?), "Meet Me at the Shooting Range" sounds like the guy's making fun of the acoustic ballad he's performing.
Yeah. Do yourself a favor and download this and listen to it a few times. It's a good conversation starter, like how to spell Mohmar Gadhafi's name, or a coffee table book about dongs.
Pretty music by a Spanish band. What else do you want me to say? Get off my back.
Great listening while in bed falling asleep next to a sex partner, and when I say sex partner, I don't mean the one you pay money for, I mean the one you see in all those rom-coms, like Garden State, or Juno.
Huntington, New York (thanks, Chris!) rock and roll band writes an incredible record about time spent in New Orleans and how it sucks to live in a hurricane. Has that blue-collar punk rock vibe. Good God/Bad God transitioning into the next track, Birdbath, is the way all midpoints of records should sound. Like, if this was on vinyl, it'd be like Birdbath ends, Side A ends, you go, "Fuck," and the silent period where you flip the record over is your own little intermission, let's you get excited about what's going to happen next.
I am having a difficult time trying to describe this album without sounding cheesy, but I can't. This shit is fucking beautiful. Johnny Hartman has a smooth and strong bass voice that keeps the normally I'm-on-fucking-heroin-I-just-played-thirty-different-notes-in-a-millisecond John Coltrane a lot mellower, more appreciative of the standards he's sharing with such a good conventional voice.
All the songs are jazz ballads in the sense that they capture a mood that not many other music genres can. And if you don't want to try the whole record, at least listen to Lush Life, and introduce yourself to the song you should listen to after a long night of drinking and you're feeling sad in a good way.
By the way, if anyone out there plays jazz and is reading this, I am willing to concede that I have no idea what the fuck I am talking about so long as it helps you keep your cool.
Great 22-minute record of, yeah, this I'd call indie pop. Guitars are nice and jangly, songs sound a lot like a sad dude in flannel with a sweatshirt tied around his torso. Spent a good couple of months listening to "Picture Perfect" over and over. Sorry for keeping this under wraps for such a long time.