Call it Friendo…

November 2, 2010

I heard this song in a video game commercial on TV. I googled the commercial and found the song name and band. Then I googled the song name and band and found a fan video made from clips of a movie made from one of my favorite books that I read when I was in Montana. Now a guy from the California knows about a band from Austin, Texas. Then I posted this video and the above information to this blog. This all occurred within the last 11 minutes. In ten years, that will be 10 minutes too long.

Good night and good luck.

Alex


Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

March 23, 2010

Coming soon to a theater near you. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. I know the Oscars just wrapped up but I think this should be a strong contender for next year. It’s time the world new the story behind one of music’s greatest geniuses. Here’s the trailer.


My Favorite Songs of the Year of the Ox

February 23, 2010

It’s about a week into the year of the Tiger. RAWR!!!

Lets look back at the year of the Ox.

Although many excellent albums were released during this most Bovine of lunar cycles, a few stand out in my mind as truly noteworthy. The nameless decade (I refuse to call it Oughts [fucking Steam Punks]) is over people! A new age is a brewin, three years ago I would have predicted a Grunge revival following the 70′s revival in the 90′s and the 80′s revival in the 00′s, a 90′s revival in the 10′s seemed logical. However, the fact that bands like “Nickleback”, “Creed”, and “Staind”, with the help of the corporate asshats at KROQ, managed to milk Grunge well after the teats of the Puget Sound’s sound shriveled and died off, the 90′s managed to morph into the early 00′s and it might be another 5 to 10 years until the flannel is flyin’ again. Frankly I hope I’m dead by then. I know Neil Young will be.

Well it’s time these youngsters came up with something new (as new as any modern Western music can be anyway). With that in mind, one album stands out in my mind that may help to define this “new” sound I’m looking for. Manners, the first full length album from the band “Passion Pit” was one of the first of what I hope will help to define this new sound that seems to be coming out of the East, hatched in dorm rooms, lofts, and Vermont hippie collectives on Macbook Pros by lovelorn lads and lasses (Passion Pit), Canadian Expats (Metric), College sophomores on LSD (MGMT) and plain old fashioned Freaky McFreaker’s like “Dirty Projectors”, “Animal Collective” and “Yeasayer”.

Anyway, that’s what the kids tell me and the last time I checked the kids are still alright.

Oh and just because it has synthesizers in it doesn’t mean its “80′s”. That’s a shortcut to thinking. How can a decade monopolize a musical instrument?

Passion Pit: Moth’s Wings

Yeasayer: Amblin Alp

Metric: Help I’m Alive


Dirty Projectors: Stillness is the Move

Animal Collective: Summertime Clothes

Enjoy, I’m going to eat some Nutella on Wonder Bread because I’m White.


Broken Bells

February 21, 2010

Jay Mercer front-man and lyricist for “the Shins” teams up with Danger Mouse of “Gnarls Barkley” for an blah blah blah(just listen to the song). I was able to get my hands on the album which will be released on March 9th of 2010 and it is excellent. Mercer, in my opinion, is one of the best lyricist around. His epically sweet and self-deprecating lyrics inspire sympathy and awe simultaneously such as these lines from “Pink Bullet” off 2003′s Chutes too Narrow: “since then it’s been a book, you read in reverse, so understand less as the pages turn, or a movie so crass, and awkwardly cast, that even I could have been the star”. I could pretty much quote the entire album as it was all I listened to for the entire year of 2004. Here’s a little taste. Let me know what YOU think it sounds like.

Track 1: The High Road

Go down to wait all night
She’s bound to run him out
The rest of the nothing of any how
To each his own
The garden is sorting out
She curls her lips on a bar
I don’t know if you’re dead or not
If you’re anyone

Come on and get the minimum
Before you open up your eyes
It’s all being served in your hands
Your addled eyes
Come on and get to open yours
Collected at the borderlines
They want to get up in your hair

[Chorus]
Cause they know, so do I
The high road is hard to find
A detour in your new life
Tell all of your friends getting warm

The dogs who ran all night
The son who hoped it would
Break from the warfare in your house
To each his own
The soldier is bailing out
And curled his lips on a bar
And I don’t know if the dead can talk
To anyone

Come on and get the minimum
Before you open up your eyes
It’s all being served in your hands
Are you one of us
Come on and get to open yours
Collected at the borderlines
They want to get up in your hair

[Chorus]
cause they know, so do I
The high road is hard to find
A detour in your new life
Tell all of your friends getting warm

It’s too late to change your mind
You let laws be your guide
(repeat)

Track 2: Vaporize

What amounts to a dream anymore?
A crude device; A veil on our eyes
A simple plan we’d be different from the rest
And never resign to a typical life

Common fears start to multiply
We realize we’re paralyzed
Where’d it go, All that precious time?
Did we even try to stem the tide?

Why should we waste it on
Buying into the same old lies?
The longer we wait around
The faster the years go by

It’s not too late
To feel a little more alive
Make an escape
Before we start to vaporize

Doubtless, we’ve been through this
So if you want to follow me you should know
I was lost then and I am lost now
And I doubt I’ll ever know which way to go


The Hotrats cover (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)

February 20, 2010

I just picked up “The Hotrats” aka “Supergrass” album Turn Ons featuring all covers. Unfortunately, I was expecting some Zappa given their nome de plum, alas, not this time. However, I do dig their version of “The Crystal Ship”.

Here’s the track list.

  1. “I Can’t Stand It” (Lou Reed) – 2:40
  2. “Big Sky” (Ray Davies) – 3:00
  3. The Crystal Ship“(Jim Morrison/Ray Manzarek/John Densmore/Robby Krieger) – 2:34
  4. (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” (Adam Horovitz/Adam Yauch/Michael Diamond/Rick Rubin) – 2:41
  5. “Damaged Goods” (Dave Allen/Hugo Burnham/Andy Gill/Jon King) – 3:07
  6. Love Is the Drug” (Bryan Ferry/Andrew Mackay) – 3:42
  7. Bike” (Syd Barrett) – 2:42
  8. Pump It Up” (Declan MacManus) – 2:41
  9. The Lovecats“(Robert Smith) – 3:03
  10. Queen Bitch” (David Bowie) – 3:02
    • Originally recorded by David Bowie
  11. “E.M.I.” (Steve Jones/Paul Cook/Glen Matlock/John Lydon) – 3:24
  12. Up The Junction” (Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook) – 3:21

Michael Jackson is Dead

June 25, 2009

mjsmilegk8
After a few sketchy reports within the last 45 minutes. It’s being confirmed by multiple reports that Michael Jackson, The King of Pop is dead at age 50 after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center in a deep coma as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. As of right now, the most extensive information is being updated by the LA Times.

Update (GW): We have an in-person report from the memorial service here. We also have a look back at MJ’s musical legacy.


Kanye West is a Gay Fish

April 15, 2009

kanye_west

If you happened to catch South Park last week, you saw a hilarious send up of Kanye West’s massive ego. If you haven’t seen the whole episode check it out here. If you are to lazy to watch it and/or your parents won’t let you, here is a synopsis. Jimmy comes up with the funniest (4th grade) joke of all time. Question: “Do you like fish sticks?” (pronounced fish dicks) Answer: “What are you a Gay fish?”. Eric Cartman (and Carlos Mencia) steal credit for the joke and it turns into a media phenomenon. Everyone on the planet gets it except for Kanye West. Eventually, Eric admits that stealing the joke was wrong and goes off on soliloquy about overinflated egos (directed at Mr. West). At the end of the episode, Kanye, still unable to comprehend why people keep asking him if he is a Gay fish, comes to the startling conclusion that he must himself be a Gay fish and dives into the ocean to a hilarious parody of his song “Heartless” where he proceeds to get his freak on with various male fishes.

Kanye surprisingly responded positively to this this episode on his blog the next day in a post titled “South Parked Murdered Me Last Night”. Mr. West, in a rather humble and thoughtful way, gives his reasons for the perception that people have of his ego and vows to try and be a more humble super-star in the future.  See the blog response and the entire, unedited Gay Fish song in the video below.

Kanye, for the record, I don’t think you’re huge douche. Keep it real, dog.

Your friend,

Alex


Guitar Hero: Metallica

April 13, 2009

I finally got around to playing Guitar Hero: Metallica for the first time today. Yes, just like you thought it would be, it is amazing. After shredding your way through all nine minutes of “Master of Puppets” you’ll feel like the Nazis after the Ark of the Covenant was opened.

metallica_date

For those of you who think that Metallica has “sold out” by allowing their songs to be used in a video game, you are wrong! Metallica sold out a long time before this. I was hoping against hope that there would be a secret code that would allow to use Cliff Burton as a playable character but alas, even Metallica is not that crass. That rhymes, you know it does.

Here’s the set list:

Metallica tracks
All Nightmare Long
Battery
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
Dyers Eve
Enter Sandman
Fade To Black
Fight Fire With Fire
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Frantic
Fuel
Hit The Lights
King Nothing
Master of Puppets
Mercyful Fate (Medley)
No Leaf Clover
Nothing Else Matters
One
Orion
Sad But True
Seek And Destroy
The Memory Remains
The Shortest Straw
The Thing That Should Not Be
The Unforgiven
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Wherever I May Roam
Whiplash

Other tracks
Alice In Chains – No Excuses
Bob Seger – Turn The Page
Corrosion of Conformity – Albatross
Diamond Head – Am I Evil?
Foo Fighters – Stacked Actors
Judas Priest – Hell Bent For Leather
Kyuss – Demon Cleaner
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesdays Gone
Machine Head – Beautiful Mourning
Mastodon – Blood And Thunder
Mercyful Fate – Evil
Michael Schenker Group – Armed and Ready
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Queen – Stone Cold Crazy
Samhain – Mother of Mercy
Slayer – War Ensemble
Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
Suicidal Tendencies – War Inside My Head
System of a Down – Toxicity
The Sword – Black River
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town

burton

So far, there are no reports of any zombie Cliff Burton attacks (yet).

hetfield

The real joy in this game is that unlike Guitar Hero: World Tour, the last installment of Guitar Hero, there are very few songs that appear on Rock Band 2 which is great. This game has a great set, fun tracks, and they did a bang-up job on the graphics. I’m just hoping they’ll come out with an extra kick drum soon. Have fun and don’t forget to wear your black wristbands.

UPDATE:

There is an extra pedal for the drum kit! Unfortunatley for me, it won’t work with the Rock Band drum kit that I use but it will work with the Guitar Hero drum kit (as if one peddle wasn’t hard enough already. be carefull what you wish for kids).


Watchmen: What’s with the Hatin’?

March 10, 2009

*Warning, this review contains no spoilers, no character studies, no plot analysis, no discussion of acting, special effects, or cinematography.

I hate comic books.

I think the only comic book I ever read when I was a kid was “Sgt. Rock” because it was about army guys and I was obsessed with army guys from age 8 to 11. That being said. I loved the film “Watchmen”. First off, the only reason I’m writing a “reveiw” of the film is because of the bad rap I feel this movie is getting from these so-called “critics”. It’s seems about 50% of the critics who reviewed “Watchmen” totally slammed it. I actually find this statistic interesting. People often use the phrase “you’ll love it, or you’ll hate” which is a glib way of saying, that the percieved quality of a film is polarizing. However, it is rare that this polarization runs right down the dead center of the people that “got” or “did not get” the film.

Like I said before, I hate comic books, which is why I loved the “graphic novel” “Watchmen”. I’m not some old school fanboy from the eighties, I’ll admit, I saw the “Watchmen” trailer when I saw “The Dark Knight” and I was intrigued. I bought the graphic novel and read it (twice). It was hard going at first, as I’m not used to the comic style format. Once I found the trick of reading and looking at the same time, I started to flow through the novel like rain. After I read it I came to a conclusion. This work is the basis for all of the New Hollywood superhero treatments that people have been raving about since the new “Spider-man” movie came out almost 10 years ago and seemed to culminate with “The Dark Knight”. Folks waxing poetic about the crazy concept that superhero’s aren’t these 2-D characters. That it’s “genius” to give the dark, brooding, conflicted, morally ambiguous treatment to the classic idea of “superheroes”. The greatest irony of this critical backlash against this film seems to stem from the fact that it’s already been played out a half dozen times before, the superhero has emotions, duh we get it. This feeling that we’ve seen it all before. It’s true we have seen it all before, however, Alan Moore single handedly invented this superhero treatment when he wrote, what I now consider to be one of the most groundbreaking novels ever written. Groundbreaking in the sense that the nerds who “got” Watchmen back in the eighties are guys like Sam Raimi, Zack Snyder, J.J. Abrams, and “The Dark Knight” director and co-writer Christopher Nolan.

So the irony is that the graphic novel that changed superheroes forever, spawning a decade of dark intense superhero films was finally created and released and is received as a played out concept that movie critics no longer find “groundbreaking”. That being said, the film fucking rocked my ass off. See it in IMAX. There is no more humbling experience than seeing a gigantic blue penis floating around on an 3000 square foot screen. (Plus you get to see the new Star Trek trailer).


Man Robs 7-11 Using Klingon Bat’leth

February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

In a scene that could be taken out a Kevin Smith move, an man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt held up a Denver 7-11 using a Klingon Bat’leth.

Here’s the article from USA Today:

Investigators say the man took an unknown amount of cash from a 7-Eleven store Wednesday but left empty-handed when he tried to rob another store about 25 minutes later.

Police Lt. David Whitlock says no one was injured.

The StarTrek.com website says the double-pointed sword used by the Klingons on “Star Trek” is crescent-shaped and about a yard long. Police did not specify what material it was made of.

No one has been charged in the incident.

furries vs. klingons

Furries verses Klingons at a Bowling Alley.

Apparently, one of the clerks at the store was a trekker and knew that the sword was called a Bat’leth which is probably the first (and last) time that knowing Klingon actually helped anyone in the real world. Q’apl!


Impossible Germany, Unlikely Japan

January 5, 2009

There’s this random grocery store down the street that plays your typical grocery store easy listening music on it’s P.A. However, yesterday I was shopping for limes and I heard “Impossible Germany” by Wilco from their 2007 album, “Sky Blue Sky”. I wandered aimlessly around the store so I could listen to the guitar solos at the end of the song.

That’s one of the great things about music. It can make you feel special just listening to it. Here I am in this supermarket wandering around with a bag of limes and a shit-eating grin on my face nodding like a lunatic. Everyone else in the store is fully absorbed in their shopping and here I am listening to Nels Cline’s Fender Mustang during his epic guitar solo towards the end of the song.

I don’t know if it was the mood I was in, the fact that it was unusual to hear a Wilco track wedged between Michael MacDonald and Carly Simon. Maybe it’s a testament to the fact that Wilco is one of the the best American band to ever exist in the history of Rock and Roll.

Here I’ll prove it. Watch this.

Happy New Year.

Oh, you don’t agree that Wilco is the best American band that ever existed? Watch I’ll prove it with fancy words. How about this, 6 studio albums: A.M., Being There, Summer Teeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost is Born, Sky Blue Sky. Not a stinker in the bunch. Each one is equally powerful and unique in it’s own right. Each album they put out, I hated at first because I was convinced that the previous album was the best album they ever made. After a few listens, that album became the best album they ever made.

I think Tweedy figured it out. He cracked the key to Rock and Roll staying power. He came up with his own solution to what Neil Young came up with back in ’78 when he posited that it’s better to burn out, than to fade away (A line that was later co-opted by the villain from Highlander and Kurt Cobain). I think Tweedy figured out that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you don’t don’t have to burn out and/or fade away. You just have to keep doing what your doing at the core of your songwriting, experiment with the variables (not too much), don’t listen to what anyone else in the band tries to tell you, and to up and fire everyone in the band except your bass player from time to time. Why always keep your bass player? Why not. Unless you’re Weezer and your bass players go nuts, always keep your bass player.


SNL DIGITAL SHORT

December 17, 2008



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