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Sunday, October 31, 2004

October 31st, 2004

Song in my head:
"Like a Friend" by Pulp

The last time I gave out Halloween candy, I was in high school. In other words, it's been about six years. It was an absolute blast but it was a madhouse. Our seven bags of candy were gone in one hour. As a back-up, we gave out Chewy bars, Pop Tarts and Mardi Gras beads. Good times.

Watched Dawn of the Dead and Donnie Darko this morning. This was my first time to see Dawn and it probably won't be the last. Darko is always great (I think today's viewing is five in total viewings).

Ted Leo was right on the money Friday night. Great sets by him, along with Just a Fire and Engine Down. I walked up to Ted and said hi after the set. I felt like I was 16. As in, I didn't know what to say other than thanks.

Went to a costume party Saturday night in a button-down dress shirt and tie. It's different than what I wear everyday, so it's dressing up for me. I could have donned a British accent and claim I was from the Office. Alas, it was not meant to be.

More festivities to attend to now. More wrap-up and news tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2004

News of the TPE World October 29th 2004

EP listened to this morning:
Ben Folds Super D

I finally got it. Weeks (maybe a month) after it's been out. The final EP in the trilogy is now in my life. Having Ben's version of "Get Your Hands Off of My Woman" is worth the price alone. The other tracks are very worthwhile (especially "Adelaide"), but enough with all the teases of an EP! Until the new record comes out, I'll throw together a comp of all three EPs.

Feeling back to normal this morning, so I'm ready for the weekend. Shows to attend tonight and Saturday and Halloween is Sunday night. Should be the opposite of last weekend's lack of activities.

I got to hear some of the Arcade Fire last night. I liked what I heard and I want to hear more.

Pitchfork has a daily double of good news: Stereolab is releasing a new compilation and Mark Kozelek has some new material in the works.

Aimee Mann has a live DVD coming out next Tuesday. Rolling Stone has more info. I love this quote from her: "It's hard to put a greatest hits together when you don't have any hits -- you have to aim in a different direction. But there's songs I know that people request or sometimes there's songs I feel like playing."

Talked to a friend that saw . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead last night. I will definitely be seeing them next month. I saw them play on the Source Tags and Code tour and it was utterly insane.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Sun Hits the Sky

Album listened to this afternoon:
The Promise Ring Very Emergency

I was wearing sunglasses (part of the sky was sunny) and had an umbrella in my hand (the rest of the sky was dark and cloudy) while walking back inside. A cold front is coming in. Next week's high will be 70.

Holding off on buying the Franz Ferdinand record? Wait until November 23rd. Read why here.

Driving home last night, I listened to a record I hadn't listened to in a while: Supergrass' In It For the Money. I think it's still great. I'm curious about their new best of CD and DVD. The DVD looks very appealing. I still need to pick up I Should Coco not just for "Alright" and "Caught by the Fuzz" but also for "She's So Loose." I'm holding off because I think there may be a reissue forthcoming (seeing as how so many 10-year-old records are getting the treatment).

They're now giving gold and platinum awards for purchased downloads. Read all about it here.

News of the TPE World October 28th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Jimmy Eat World Futures

Still feeling a little congested, but not as bad as yesterday. I should be back to 100% by tomorrow. I better be since I'm planning on seeing Ted Leo/Pharmacists tomorrow night.

NME is talking about Band Aid III this morning. Sounds like a nice line-up.

I don't know if this is as earth-shaking as when Kiss took off their make-up in the early 1980s, but this sounds kinda interesting.

As a fan of commentary tracks, I find The Onion AV Club's Commentary Tracks of the Damned highly entertaining. I've heard a lot of good tracks but there have been ones that were very dry, slow, boring and downright silly. This is like a public service for film geeks.

I haven't seen or know very much about Primer, but I think it's cool that it was filmed around here. The Onion AV Club has an interview with the film's director, Shane Carruth this week.

Mike Shumaker of Hey Mercedes has a blog now. Very nice.

No big plans for Halloween. My neighbors have done an admirable job of decorating their houses. One has a large spider over the balcony. Another one has drapes with jack-o-lantern eyes in the front. I wonder what Christmas decorations they have up their sleeves.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

News of the TPE World October 27th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Right as I was thinking I was 100% well, I get a small case of the sniffles. Key word: small. More info on this story as it develops.

Pitchfork has some info about the next Bright Eyes releases. Jim James of My Morning Jacket is on the first track on I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Bravo!

There are rumors that a cold front is coming to town. Next week's highs are to be in the upper 60s. That's something to smile about.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

John Peel Tribute on NME

From NME:

When John Peel’s sad, sudden death at the age of 65 was announced today (October 26) BBC Radio 1, the station that had been his home for five decades, broke with programming and played Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’ – his all-time favourite song.

It was a fitting tribute to a man whose dedication and unerring passion for all that was fresh and vital and youthful and vigorous about music saw him reject the dictats and mores of broadcasting to pursue a singular path launching the career of hundreds of bands, and soundtracking the youth of millions of music fans.

Born John Robert Parker Ravenscoft in Heswall, near Liverpool, in 1939, Peel was the son of the wealthy owner of a cotton mill. He was sent away to boarding school in Shrewsbury, which he hated, an ordeal made bearable when he first heard Elvis Presley singing ‘Heartbreak Hotel’.

"Everything changed when I heard Elvis," he said. "Where there had been nothing there was suddenly something."

In 1959, after National Service, Peel moved to America where Beatlemania soon took hold. The Liverpool connection helped Peel land a spot as DJ on WRR radio in Dallas. He moved back to England in 1967, where he first joined Radio London, before moving to BBC Radio 1 for its launch. He was to remain with the station for the rest of his life, the only original DJ.

His style was immediately different to other presenters. He played the records from start to finish without interruption – which later became useful if you wanted to tape the tracks - providing an informative commentary for listeners. During his early period, Peel was a friend and supporter of some of the biggest names in rock. Marc Bolan, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix all recorded Peel Sessions and Peel famously once showed up on Top Of The Pops miming mandolin for Rod Stewart on the chart-topping‘Maggie May’.

As the 70s progressed, Peel’s tastes evolved. He was in the vanguard of punk, pushing the sounds of The Ramones, The Clash, The Undertones, The Buzzcocks and the Sex Pistols, then latterly Joy Division. In the 80s, he kickstarted the careers of New Order, The Fall, Smiths and any number of other acts you care to name. We would never have heard the Pixies or Pulp or The White Stripes if it wasn’t for John Peel.

As the years rolled on, the scope of his radio show widened. He moved between gum-bleeding German techno, world music and the occasional Roy Orbison hit with ease – even if it was sometimes a little taxing for his legions of fans. Until recently, a place on his annual countdown of the best singles of the year – Peel’s Festive 50 – was a much sought-after berth for bands on independent labels.

In recent years, Peel built a new army of fans. His award winning ‘Home Truths’ programme on BBC Radio Four grew into a must-hear for middle-aged listeners in middle England. And his spots on the BBC’s ‘Grumpy Old Men’ – a series featuring irritated men of a certain age riling against the things they found most absurd about modern life – were frequently the funniest and most telling.

Balding, a little plump, a devoted father, grandfather and husband not to mention a big fan of genteel radio series The Archers, Peel kicked open the door for people like Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe, letting the mainstream programmers see that an audience existed for music that was not always a chart fixture.

His influence is immeasurable.

John Peel often told the story hearing ‘Teenage Kicks’ for the first time. He was driving in his car listening to the song on a demo tape. He was so overcome by the tune that he pulled onto the side of the road to have a cry.

There are thousands of people across Britain today who will have had a similar experience on hearing of his untimely death.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke said that he’d been an “inspiration”.
He said: "Who am I going to listen to now? He's been my inspiration since I was 14. I'm thinking about you. Thanks John Peel."

Supergrass were also a band championed by Peel in the early days. Singer Gaz Coombes said: “I was fortunate enough to meet him & play a session at his home. I remember we had a great conversation about Elvis that day & when I saw his record collection, it blew me away. He was the first to play our debut single 'Caught By The Fuzz' on the radio which I know brought us to people's attention. He was a big influence to so many. We'll miss him."

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Tony Blair added: "John Peel was a genuine one-off, whether on Radio 1 or Radio 4. He was a unique voice in British broadcasting and used that voice to unearth new talent and different subjects and make them accessible to a much wider audience. The prime minister knows he will be missed by everyone."

Other musicians to speak out in honour of Peel include Manchester legends The Smiths and New Order.

Ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr told BBC News that their success was down to the DJ, adding "we would try out new songs on the sessions and these often were the definitive version. John Peel was always the best around."

Bernard Sumner from New Order simply said that without his influence, the bands he helped form wouldn’t exist. He said: "This is dreadful, shocking news. If it wasn't for John there would be no Joy Division, and no New Order. He was one of the few people to give bands that played alternative music a chance to get heard. And he continued to be a champion of cutting edge music throughout his life. He will be genuinely missed by millions of music fans all over the world, both in and outside the music industry. Our thoughts are with his family."

John Peel Dead at 65

NME reports the following:

John Peel has died of a heart attack aged 65.

The broadcasting legend, who had a career spanning over 40 years, was on holiday in Peru when he was taken ill.

A statement has been issued by the BBC which reads: "It has been confirmed that BBC radio broadcaster John Peel died from a heart attack last night whilst on holiday in Peru. He leaves behind his wife Sheila and four children."

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said "John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death as are all who work at Radio 1. John’s influence has towered over the development of popular music for nearly four decades and his contribution to modern music and music culture is immeasurable. Hopeful bands all over the world sent their demo tapes to John knowing that he really cared. His commitment and passion for new music only grew stronger over the years. In fact, when I last saw him he was engaged in a lively debate with his fellow DJs over the state of new music today. He will be hugely missed."

BBC Director of Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky added "John Peel was a unique broadcaster whose influence on Radio 1 could be felt from its very first days. He nurtured musicians and listeners alike introducing them to new sounds. His open minded approach to music was mirrored by his equally generous approach to his audience when he went to Radio 4 to present Home Truths.

"He had a remarkable rapport with all his listeners. Everyone at BBC Radio is devastated by the news. John is simply irreplaceable. Our hearts go out to Sheila and his children."

Peel was born in Heswall near Chester and started his radio career in Dallas, Texas.

Throughout the 1960s he worked at a number of radio stations across the US, before returning to Radio London in 1967.

Over a career spanning 40 years Peel consistently championed new music, and in 1994 was given the NME Godlike Genius award for his services to music.

News of the TPE World October 26th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Jawbox Novelty

I saw Taking Back Sunday last night. The venue was totally packed, but it was a good time. I must admit, it was hard to see everything. My neck and feet still hurt because of all the contorting. Thankfully, it wasn't all 'staring at the back of heads.' There was quite a bit of movement in the crowd to see around. All in all, a nice intimate show with the 2,000+ in attendence. I didn't think "2,000+" and "intimate" could be used in the same sentence until now.

Simon and Garfunkel have a new live CD/DVD coming out. Read more about it here.

Attention Bad Religion fans: it looks like we can finally call him Dr. Greg Graffin.

Pitchfork said this today:
"Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe-- packed with top-quality extras at a low price-- was a near-perfect example of how to reissue an already beloved record. "

"Near-perfect?" What more could you put on it that would make it perfect? Live tracks with Gary Young falling off his drum stool mid-fill?

Info about the new . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead album was posted on Pitchfork last week, but I'm just getting to post it. I'm curious about this "second drummer:" double drumming or relief for Jason when he takes the mic?

I'd like to read a book about Elvis Costello. I didn't expect to get 2215 options from Amazon. Any recommendations? Shoot me an e-mail with the address listed under 'Contact'.

I had posted something about this earlier, but Rolling Stone has a great article about Bob Mould and Grant Hart's recent live duet.

Monday, October 25, 2004

News of the TPE World October 25th, 2004

Song in my head:
"Kill" by Jimmy Eat World

No blogging yesterday because I was busy with book stuff. Did a phone interview and revised a chapter over and over. As painful as revising may sound, it's actually good for me. It makes it readable.

MTV.com has an article on Keane today. I dig this band a lot. Yeah, people slag them for being a "Colplay ripoff" but I don't care. I believe "Bend and Break" is their new single. Great song.

Ain't It Cool News has some set pictures from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film.

I'm sure there's a good reason for this, but I still don't understand why this movie was released this past weekend.

I read this article over the weekend and smiled all the way through it.

I read this article this morning and smiled cynically all the way through it.

The 2-CD reissue of Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is scheduled to be released tomorrow. For a full tracklisting, click here.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

News of the TPE World October 23rd, 2004

Song in my head:
"We Might As Well Be Strangers" by Keane

The throat is on the mend and the fever has left, but I'm still taking today off from work. I don't think talking for seven hours straight will help it fully heal. So, the silent treatment continues for another day.

Adding to what I said yesterday, "I'd rather be working than being sick and at home." I really enjoy working at where I work. While I like to be at home too, I can't be at either all the time. I just felt yesterday's post was a little too vague and sounded a tad on a "I hate work" side.

While I've been laying low around the house, I did venture out last night and picked up the new Law of Inertia issue with interviews with Ian MacKaye, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Sparta. Good stuff and more info for research.

Grant Hart and Bob Mould played together recently. Read all about it here.

Today is Ryan Reynolds' birthday. While he may be best known for Two Guys and a Girl, Van Wilder, and the upcoming Blade: Trinity and the Amityville Horror remake, he got his first major start on a Nickelodeon teen soap opera called Fifteen. I remember watching this when it was on the air and thought he was cool because he was the drummer for Teenagers in Love.

Since the weather here has been rainy and overcast, I think I'll be spending most of today writing and doing some research between naps and playing THUG2.

Friday, October 22, 2004

News of the TPE World October 22nd, 2004

Song in my head:
"Get Your Hands Off of My Woman" by Ben Folds (originally done by the Darkness)

Wasn't feeling very well yesterday so I'm not at work today. Strange as it may sound, but I actually enjoy working instead of being sick at home. I think my voice just needs to rest for the day. I'll see how long I can go without saying a word.

To follow-up the recent announcement about who's playing Superman, here's a link to see what Brandon Routh looks like. An Undressed alum.

Rumors about when the first Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith trailer is coming is on Cinescape.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has her own website and the great thing about it, she actually updates it! If you haven't heard, she is going to have her third child next year, but she is still working very hard on the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. People I know like to speculate who the Half Blood Prince is. I have no clue.

I watched Sparta's performance on Late Show with David Letterman. They slayed. I'm really looking forward to seeing them in two weeks.

As much as I like hearing this song around Christmas, I think this version is one too many.

Thurston Moore is writing the liner notes for the Nirvana box set, With the Lights Out. Read all about it here.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

October 21st, 2004

Until today, I've never understood why people would want to celebrate a singer's date of death. I thought people getting together every year to mourn sounded a tad morbid. Now that it's been a year since Elliott Smith passed on, I don't think it's morbid to reflect and remember.

I never knew him and I never saw him in concert. I did walk by him on an incredibly hot day in Austin. Even though I was more familiar with his name and face, I had yet to get into his music. While a lot of people I know had been introduced to his music through Good Will Hunting and/or Either/Or, my full introduction to his music was with XO, his first record for DreamWorks. My friend Matt had suggested that I check out XO and without ever hearing a note, I picked it up on a rather gray winter day. It took me a couple of listens to really get into it because most of the music I was into at the time was harder, louder and faster than Elliott's folk-tinged songs. But I kept listening and got really into songs like "Waltz #2," "Baby Britain," and especially "Bled White."

From there, Figure 8 came into my life shortly after it was released and I enjoyed that record even more as a whole than XO. Still, I think it's a grand swoop of songs that never lets down. However, the fact that the last song on the record is called "Bye" never really sat well with me. At the time I thought it was just a simple little way to end the album. It was just a small hint that certain things would end.

Getting more into his back catalog, I had made friends with people that were into his music as much (and in some cases, even more) as I was and it was this great bond. Like myself, these friends were not entrenched in gloom or misery, as others think people who like slower songs with a melancholic side are. We enjoyed the happiness and sadness in the music, so how could we be all 100 percent, stereotypical sad?

Years would pass and there were rumors about a possible new album or a double album. Hearing the story about a new song that featured two drumkits being played while Elliott was on a skateboard and jumping up during the changes sounded exciting. There was the plethora of new material he was playing live and my friends and I kept wondering when we were going to hear the studio versions of these songs. We kept waiting to hear the word for the go ahead on a release date, but things kept getting pushed back over and over.

When I heard of his death, I was angry, sad and felt betrayed. I couldn't listen to his records for months. Here was a guy singing about getting through dark times yet it felt like they never left him. As someone trying to deal with being in a bubble (as in, not a college student but not an adult filled with responsibilities), it felt like I had been lied to. When the details about his death alluded to murder over suicide, I didn't care. He was gone and finger-pointing would be useless. All I could do was try and understand it and maybe get back into his music.

How I've been able to listen to his music is knowing that when he made his music, he was in better spirits than he was on this day one year ago. Getting back into his records and listening to From a Basement on the Hill, the feelings of resentment have withered away. I enjoy his records but it's a little strange to put some distance from the way I felt over the years.

Life continues and as much as others may write him off as a sad guy that came to his "inevitable" end, I will continue to be optimistic and get something meaningful from his music.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Shake the Sheets

Album listened to this afternoon:
Ted Leo/Pharmacists Shake the Sheets

Ted Leo is the man. I know this has been said before, but I think it should be said more. I was introduced to his music when he and the Pharmacists opened for the Dismemberment Plan a few years ago. Very rare is it that I get wowed by an opening band that I've never heard of before. Red Animal War was one and Ted Leo/Pharmacists was another one. It's a little hard to put into words other than just listening and seeing him play live. I plan on seeing him play next week.

If you've never heard Ted Leo's work, I would describe it as having shades of 1977-1979 era the Jam and Elvis Costello, but that's just a start. I can't think of a lot of other current bands out there that are like his, but if you like either the Jam or Elvis Costello, check him out. Shake the Sheets is his fourth proper LP and it is on Lookout! Records.

News of the TPE World October 20th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Jimmy Eat World Futures

Pitchfork had mentioned this recently, but MTV.com checks in with an article on . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead's next record.

Punknews.org has some good news about the Screeching Weasel back catalog:

Starting in February of `05, Asian Man Records will be re-releasing the out of print Screeching Weasel catalog. They'll be putting out BoogadaBoogadaBoogada, followed by My Brain Hurts, Wiggle, Anthem For A New Tomorrow, How To Make Enemies and Irritate People and finally Kill The Musicians. Word is that Asian Man will also re-release The Riverdales self-titled debut and Phase Three full lenth. All the releases will be re-mastered with new artwork new liner notes by the band members, and other extras to be announced.

Rolling Stone.com has an article about a documentary on the late-great Jeff Buckley that recently premiered in New York. By the way, Buckley's Grace recently got reissued with a remastered version of the album, a bonus disc with b-sides and unreleased songs and a DVD featuring videos and interviews. More info and tracklisting is here.

Sweet Adeline has this nice picture up on their page celebrating the release of From a Basement on the Hill.

I watched Gods and Monsters last night. Good flick: a nice character study of James Whale without being black and white about conflict. Plus, it was interesting to see "Jenkins" from the Taco Bueno commercials in a movie.

Still trying to look for my VHS copy of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Should be in some box around the house. I just hope that I don't leave it in the VCR when I tape Sparta's performance on Letterman tonight.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Futures

Song in my head:
"Storytime" by Channels

So I picked up Jimmy Eat World's Futures with the bonus disc this afternoon. Turns out, the bonus disc is a collection of all of the songs in demo form. Nice touch for an alternate view of the record. While not radically different from the LP versions, it's good to hear an album in progress. Also sweet are some song-by-song comments from the band.

Nice little headline in The Onion today: Drummer Unwanted




The Big Takeover

Jack Rabid checks in with an update on the next Big Takeover issue:

Interviews with:
Wilco (cover)
Franz Ferdinand
Nick Cave
Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz & Greg Graffin
All three surviving members of the reunited MC5
American Music Club
Sloan
Chris Stamey of the dBs
The Libertines
Hope of the States
The Diodes and the history of 1977 Ontario punk
Stiff Little Fingers
Jeremy Enigk of Fire Theft and Sunny Day Real Estate
Dr. Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesiser
The Rezillos
and more, along with tons of record reviews.

Jack is also proud to announce Pink Frost/Big Takeover Records. First release is from Doug Gillard of the-band-name-soon-to-be-changed-back-to-Robert-Pollard, Guided By Voices. Second release is from Jack's own band, Last Burning Embers. Very cool.

News of the TPE World October 19th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
A homemade mix CD of songs from Nuggets II (including "Cathy Come Home" and "Going Nowhere")

Today's weather is supposed to reach record highs for October: 93 degrees. Geez, wasn't I talking about light jacket weather last week? Apparently there is going to be a slight cool front coming in this weekend bringing the temps down to the low 80s. Why do I talk so much about the weather? Because I dig fall weather (read, not hot but not freezing cold) a lot and it's a tad frustrating.

Regardless of the weather, there are some really good records being released today:
Jimmy Eat World Futures
Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill
Ted Leo/Pharmacists Shake the Sheets

Kevin Smith wants your short film. Follow this link.

Meet your new Superman: Brandon Routh. I doubt anything from Kevin Smith's script (under the suggestion of producer Jon Peters) with the fighting polar bears and giant spider will be in the new Superman Returns.

Mission Label now has a website for Dogme 95. I don't know how long this has been up but I think it's cool.

I got to read most of the interviews with Fred Armisen, J. Robbins and Adam Lazzara in Punk Planet #46 last night. Very good and informative. I had never heard of the video/short film, Fred Armisen's Guide to South By Southwest. Sounds hilarious and I'm sure it's available online somewhere.

Buddyhead reported this earlier, but the official word is out: guitarist Dante Decaro is out of Hot Hot Heat. Click this link for the official statement.

I heard this band on Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and judging by their sound, I thought they were some Darkness-like, tongue-in-cheek metal. I guess they're actually serious.

Finally, Sparta will be on David Letterman tomorrow (Wednesday) night. I hope I can work my VCR to tape it.



Monday, October 18, 2004

Burn Last Sunday

Songs listened to this afternoon that aren't by Budapest One or on Left of the Dial:
"Burn Last Sunday" by Superchunk
"Watery Hands" by Superchunk
"Every Single Instinct" by Superchunk
"Song for Marion Barry" by Superchunk
"Guiding Light" by Television

I picked up Punk Planet #46 and it gets a thumbs up from me. Maybe I should get around to buying a subscription from them. I have really enjoyed going through older issues and I hope they publish another collection of interviews like they did with We Owe You Nothing.

I still have yet to watch Student Bodies but I thought I should watch this first. I have it on tape somewhere in all these DVDs.

Summer weather is back: the sun is shining and today's high has reached 92. Average high for the week is between 88-92 degrees. Humidity is also back so, in the words of Charlie Brown: Good grief!

Under Pressure

In 2002, Second Nature Recordings released a split EP with members of Small Brown Bike and the Casket Lottery. On it, there is a cover of the Queen with David Bowie classic, "Under Pressure." Great cover even though it's not that much different from the original. This makes me think about some of my other favorite covers (like "Walk On By" by the Stranglers).

The Good Show recently had a show completely dedicated to cover songs. Nice batch of tunes always played on the good ol' college radio station on Sunday nights.

The Good Life have two releases out this year on Saddle Creek: the Lovers Need Lawyers EP and Album of the Year album. Album of the Year is not a complete replication of Faith No More's Album of the Year. Two totally different albums.

News of the TPE World October 18th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Budapest One This Town Just Gave You a Dreamer

Played 1.5 games of kickball yesterday in some of the best weather we've had in months. It was partly sunny, but mostly cloudy and windy. It felt like being in an outdoor scene from a Wes Anderson movie (especially Bottle Rocket and Rushmore).

Speaking of Wes Anderson, his next film, The Life Aquatic is scheduled to be released in America on December 25th. As much as I was complaining earlier last week about going out to the movies, this is a film I will definitely see in a theater first.

Fred Armisen is on the cover of Punk Planet #46. You may know him best from being a regular on Saturday Night Live and as Fericito on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late World With Zach and I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. He was also in a Chicago-based band Trenchmouth that I know that Q and Not U often list them as a big influence. Shall be a very good read.

Also in Punk Planet #46, there is an interview with J. Robbins, so I will be looking for this at a local bookstore maybe as soon as tonight or tomorrow. J. is in a new band called Channels and they have an EP called Open out on DeSoto Records. Highly recommended listening.

Law of Inertia #21 will be out next week with the Dillinger Escape Plan on the cover along with features on Sparta, Ian MacKaye and Steve Albini. Another magazine I'll be picking up.

Finally, I don't have a ship date for this but the next Big Takeover will probably be out later this year. Reportedly, there are interviews with the surviving members of the MC5, Mr. Brett and Greg Graffin from Bad Religion, among many others. Always a good read.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

News of the TPE World October 17th, 2004

Now playing:
Budapest One This Town Just Gave You a Dreamer

Two Sheds Music is releasing a Jawbox tribute album early next month. Here is the track listing:

Actionslacks - "Iodine"
The Actual - "Static"
Black Cross - "Tools and Chrome"
Colossal - "Spit-Bite"
Fate Heroic - "Consolation Prize"
Heros Severum - "Whitney Walks"
The Life and Times - "Green Glass"
Ourselves (members of Snapcase) - "Breathe"
Pilot to Gunner - "68"
Red Animal War - "Cutoff"
Retisonic - "Cooling Card"
Riddle of Steel - "U-Trau"
Traindodge - "Tracking"

Punknews.org has a nice blurb about some upcoming Bright Eyes releases:

Bright Eyes will release two singles simultaneously on October 26th in anticipation of two forthcoming full-lengths. Both full-lengths will be released simultaneously on January 25th, 2005. The full-lengths, as well as the singles, will be vastly different in style. While one full-length and single (I'm Wide Awake It's Morning and "Lua," respectively) will be reminiscent of the band's more traditional folk stylings, the other full-length and single (Digital Ash In A Digital Urn and "Take It Easy," respectively) will be more poppy and electronic-based. Saddle Creek is now taking pre-orders for both singles.

Punknews.org also has a pretty cool interview with Rick Burch of Jimmy Eat World.

About a year (or so) after the DVD was pulled from shelves, Ed Wood is finally coming out on DVD on Tuesday, October 19th.

Finally, this is always fun to look at from time to time.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Left of the Dial

Now playing:
Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground
Disc 1

I picked it up last night and I'm happy to say it is all that. For someone that was plugged into the Top 40 music growing up in the 1980s, this is a wonderful alternate universe of music. Rhino does another great job of representing such a vast body of work while introducing all sorts of bands to newcomers like myself. Recommended listening, especially while reading Our Band Could Be Your Life. The sticker on the plastic says it all: "Music that mattered from the decade that didn't."

Due to the fact that there are so many songs spread across four discs, I'm going to make a mix CD (or two or three CDs) of the ones that really catch my ear and go from there. This is what I did with Direction Reaction Creation, Nuggets and Nuggets II and No Thanks and this helped me get into all represented on the set.

Definitely worth checking out.

Friday, October 15, 2004

At the Movies

As much as I am into movies, I must confess, I haven't been to the movies in a few months. The last movie I saw in a theater was The Village. I really enjoyed the movie myself, but seeing as how 1) The average movie ticket price is $8.50 (aka, almost half of the price of buying it on DVD) 2) The turnaround from screen to rental is in the span of weeks to about four months these days 3) The amount of commercials and previews are like a 20-minute serial itself. So I ask myself: "Why bother?"

There are movies I'd like to see (Shaun of the Dead, Baadasssss! and Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut top my list) but it's hard for me to get out and see them. Thankfully, I have Netflix. Because of them, I've been able to see movies that I would not have been able to rent from anywhere else. So, in other words, believe the hype on this company. It gets my approval.

Recently, I've been enjoying Clerks X, Jersey Girl, the Star Wars trilogy box set and Fahrenheit 451 on DVD. I still have to watch a couple of movies I checked out from Netflix (Gods and Monsters and The Ice Storm). I just need to find the right time to watch them.

Us Americans will probably have to wait a while for this to come out. Apparently it has a commentary track with the director and fellow director, Kevin Smith.

It's a long wait until May 2005 for this.



News of the TPE World October 15th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
Further Seems Forever Hide Nothing

Still chilly with a temp of about 54 degrees. Today's high is supposed to be in the 80s.

The Force.net has a couple of descriptions of the upcoming Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith trailer. Sounds crazy, but I just peeked a little at the first couple of lines and then stopped. I've decided that I want to see this movie not knowing anything more than I already know about it (the Anakin and Obi-Wan fight, Anakin becoming Darth Vader and Luke and Leia are separated at birth). Why? I read so much about Episode II before it came out that it kind of spoiled a lot of surprises for me.

Yesterday I bought four bags of candy for Halloween. Two bags of Snickers Crunch, one bag of Reese's and one bag of Smarties. Hopefully the neighborhood kids will enjoy and I don't think we'll have problems eating whatever we don't give out.


Splendid has a very nice review of Mission Label's Demons and Rare Meat compilation. First it was a profile in Inner View, then a one-sentence mention in Pitchfork and now this. The good word is getting out.


MTV.com has this article on Jon Brion on his work on film scores. If the name sounds familiar, look on the back of the Magnolia soundtrack and Aimee Mann's Bachelor No. 2 for starters.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Chris Rock to Host Oscars

MTV reports the following:

He might want to leave the R. Kelly jokes at home.

Chris Rock, who has been brutal to celebrities as the host of several past MTV Video Music Awards shows, has been tapped to host the somewhat more conservative Academy Awards.

"I am a huge fan of Chris Rock," Gil Cates, the producer of the Oscars telecast, said in a statement Thursday (October 14). "He always makes me laugh and he always has something interesting to say. Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics. Having him host the Oscars is terrific."

The Academy Awards ceremony, now in its 77th year, will be broadcast live February 27 on ABC.

>I will definitely watch this.

At Least That's What You Said

Song in my head: "At Least That's What You Said" by Wilco

I had oatmeal for the first time today. It was Quaker's Banana Walnut and it was fantastic.

While the weather is rather chilly today, it's supposed to get up to 88 degrees by Saturday. My house's AC is still on auto, so it feels like an ice cube in here.

Off to shoot pictures of a parking lot where every other space says, "If You Park Here and Cross the Street, You Will Be Towed."

News of the TPE World 10.14.2004

Album listened to this morning:
My Morning Jacket It Still Moves

Breezy and windy with a temperature of 52 degrees. Double-light jacket wearing weather for me.

Kevin Smith is talking about a possible Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back follow-up to MTV.com:

"He's hard at work on a Clerks sequel, and now Kevin Smith is thinking about a Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back follow-up. 'So many people ask about it — I'm just like, 'Where were all you mother----ers when they were in their own movie in theaters? I could have used your help!' Smith said. 'That makes me think every once in a while, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back did really well on DVD. I'm like, 'Wow, if we made a Jay and Bob movie now, we might clean up.' But I don't know, that's not a reason to make a movie.' A sequel would be a few years off, regardless, as Smith is committed to The Green Hornet after The Passion of the Clerks."

I support whatever Kevin does, but talking about a follow-up to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back will probably end up in his ever-growing "Talked About in the Public But Never Got it Off the Ground or Completed It" file (including the Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall comic, Clerks cartoon movie, Clerks 2: Hardly Clerkin' and reviving the the Brave and the Bold series, among other things). Good to know he's keeping busy though.

"Wandering" by Ben Folds was featured Kevin's most recent flick, Jersey Girl and it is featured on Ben's Speed Graphic EP. Speed Graphic was the first in a trio of solo EPs for Ben and while I also have the second EP, Sunny 16, I still haven't picked up the third one, Super D. Excuses, I know, but I'll pick it up soon.

While Ben Folds is helping out William Shatner right now and will eventually finish his new own solo record this year, his ex-Ben Folds Five mates, Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge, are in other bands. Darren is in Hotel Lights and Robert is in International Orange

My Morning Jacket has an EP of live tracks called Acoustic Citsuoca. It was recorded last Halloween at the Startime Pavilion. Should be worth picking up, but I must confess that other than It Still Moves, I tend to neglect their other releases like The Tennessee Fire and At Dawn. I've totally neglected (but I don't know why) their My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style EP. I gave my brother-in-law a copy of It Still Moves for Christmas and I think he dug it.



Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Nirvana Box Set Details

NME comes through again today with some details on the new Nirvana box set. With the Lights Out features 3 CDs with 81 tracks and one DVD filled with all sorts of stuff and it will be released on November 22nd. Hopefully one of these 81 tracks is their version of "D-7" originally done by the Wipers.

Going Underground

During band practice last night, the clear bottom snare head split in half. I've never had this happen before in my 10+ years of playing. I continued to play on it but it sounded like I was hitting a beach ball. Maybe this is how Billy Joel, Liberty DeVito or Phil Ramone got that snare sound on "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me."

I'm currently reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Jeph Loeb's Batman: The Long Halloween, Please Kill Me and Live From New York. When I finish one I think I'll start reading High Fidelity or Hot Water Music. My mind wonders too much to settle on one book.

While I have barely played my Playstation 2 in months, I'm back with it thanks to Tony Hawk's Underground 2. The last game in the installment, Tony Hawk's Underground, took me about two weeks to beat on the Normal difficulty. Well, I'm nowhere near beating this one and am really enjoying playing it over and over again until my fingers hurt. I can't play it too long if I want to write some stuff for the book, blog and write e-mails.

Left of the Dial (see more details below) has a lot of great SST material digitally remastered. Maybe this will lead to reissues of Flip Your Wig, Zen Arcade, Damaged, Double Nickels on the Dime, Milo Goes to College, etc.

From a Basement on the Hill

I can't believe it's been almost a year since Elliott Smith died. His final album (or first posthumous collection) From a Basement on the Hill will be released on Tuesday, October 19th. The album is pretty incredible. Anti- is releasing it and there are two MP3s available for download from its site.

News of the TPE World for October 13th, 2004

Album listened to this morning:
The Dismemberment Plan Change

Even though the first day of autumn was a couple of weeks ago, yesterday was the first day it was actually chilly. I believe the overnight low was in the upper 50s. Knowing the weather here, I'd except it to heat up to 90 in just a day but it only got to 78 yesterday. This morning was 62 degrees with some wind chill. I dig the light jacket weather.

NME is reporting that a new iPod is on the way. Now with a color screen and 50 percent more storage than before. While my experience with an iPod has been limited, I think it's a whole lot more inviting to use after worrying about my portable CD player skipping on family car trips.

Rhino Records released Left of the Dial yesterday. I'll definitely be picking this up soon. It's like Our Band Could Be Your Life was made into a box set. I'm sure a box set with 1990s alternative rock is being prepared. Then I'll feel really old.

On a related note, I found this on the Paul Westerberg page from Harp Magazine

"Next fall, Rykodisc-which now owns the Twin Tone catalog- will finally reissue the Replacements' first four album albums in expanded form, remastered with bonus tracks and loads of unreleased songs. Rhino Records plans to do the same for the group's Warner Bros titles. A proposed 'Mats box would combine material from both periods, but will likely wait until 2006. Meanwhile, Shout! Factory records is currently compiling a solo Westerberg "best of" for a spring '05 release."

I guess I'll be holding off on buying a used copy of 14 Songs so I could get a digitally remastered version of "World Class Fad."

Halloween is on a Sunday this year. So I'm curious if kids will be trick-or-treating Saturday or Sunday. Either way, I'll watch Student Bodies before the end of this month. Also, I think I'll watch Halloween in widescreen for the first time this year.

Enjoy this apartment hunting guide from the Onion

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

At the Drive-In Reissues

From Punknews.org
We checked in with Fearless to get some information about the At the Drive-In reissues due out on November 9th. Relationship of Command - which was originally released via the Beastie Boys' defunct Grand Royal label -will be reissued with two bonus tracks: "Extracurricular" and "Catacombs."

But more important for At the Drive-In fans will be the anthology record planned for release in Spring 2005. While the details haven't been confirmed, our contact at Fearless tells us that "it'll probably have a companion DVD with music videos, live footage and some interviews." as well as the bulk of the unreleased and live tracks from the band.

>I'm curious if "Incetardis" from the "One Armed Scissor"/"Pattern Against User" teaser EP will show up on this anthology.

Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Album listened to this afternoon:
Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News

This album just constantly amazes me.

This interview with Isaac Brock is great too

Capitol Boxes Up Early Beatles Albums

From Billboard:

The Beatles' first four U.S. albums -- "Meet the Beatles," "The Beatles Second Album," "Something New" and "Beatles '65" -- will be bundled together in the boxed set "The Capitol Albums Volume 1," due Nov. 16. All were originally released in 1964 as Beatlemania swept the United States.

"In the '60s, American record labels often chose to reformat British records to suit the needs of the U.S. market," says Capitol president Andy Slater. "In America, singles were generally included on current albums, where in the U.K. albums and singles were most often separate releases. Higher music publishing costs in the U.S. also made it impractical to include as many songs on American albums. In addition, in the case of the Beatles, some of the recordings on the American albums were given more echo than the British versions, to 'Americanize' their sound."

The albums, which have been remastered from the original tapes, include stereo and mono versions of each song. Each album is housed in a miniature replica of its original album cover, while the box will feature a 48-page booklet chronicling the Beatles' unprecedented 1964.

More info and tracklistings

My First Mix CD

I can't believe it but I've never made a mix CD just for myself. I guess this would be like if I still had a modern rock show on the radio. Here's the tracklisting:

1. "Me and the Bean" - Spoon
2. "Hover Near Fame" - the New Amsterdams
3. "Up All Night" - Creeper Lagoon
4. "Measure 3" - Matt Pond PA
5. "Dance of Days" - Embrace
6. "Kicking the Lights" - Girls Against Boys
7. "Surgical Focus" - Guided By Voices
8. "Filthy Way to Lose Yourself" - Retisonic
9. "Good" - Better Than Ezra
10. "For Ivandell" - Mineral
11. "Under Pressure" - Small Brown Bike and the Casket Lottery
12. "High" - the Cure
13. "A Life Less Ordinary" - Ash
14. "Where Do You Get Love" - Matthew Sweet
15. "Rapture" - Pedro the Lion
16. "68" - Jawbox
17. "You're Lucky to Be Alive" - Braid
18. "Nothing At All" - Horace Pinker
19. "Houses" - The Fire Theft
20. "Regret" - New Order
21. "Johnny on the Spot" - Texas is the Reason
22. "Smile" - Flickerstick

News of the TPE World for October 12th, 2004

Record listened to this morning:
Sparta Porcelain

In the world of Sparta, they have posted a non-LP track called "Farewell Ruins" for download on Apple's iTunes store. It's a great song and I believe the lyrics are about "a song about someone I never knew but who affected me," Jim Ward told Billboard. Previously, the song was only available on the UK version of Porcelain, so $.99 cents is a lot more cost effective than $17 for import. This is what I love about iTunes.


Sparta labelmates Jimmy Eat World will be releasing their new album, Futures, on October 19th. Amazon is listing it as coming with a bonus disk. I'm curious if it's going to have non-LP tracks. I have heard the record and I think it's really powerful. You could say it's like Bleed American, but it's heavier in spots and in other spots it's even more melodic and catchy than anything they've done before.


As far as BBC's The Office, it turns out us Americans will be getting to have the Christmas special on DVD come this November. It's the two-part episode covering what has happened to the folks a few years after the events of the second season. Wonderful show. On top of that, Amazon is listing a box set of both seasons of the show along with the Christmas special, so that's even more spectacular news for the WH fan in me.


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Extended Edition 4-disc set is to be released on December 14th. Apparently there's 50 extra minutes of footage back into the film. While it may take me a month to watch all the supplemental material, it will be worth it.



Writing continues on my book. There is a lot of thinking, researching, reading and writing that goes into a project like this but I feel this will be worth it in the long run. Watch this space for future details.

10.12.2004

This is the first post of future postings about what's going on in my life. Enjoy.