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Showing posts from January, 2005

You are forgiven

Songs in my head: "A Quick One (While He's Away)" by the Who "Good Times" by Jim O'Rourke No kickball today on account of rain. Rats. Good time for blogging! Here's a weekend overview: Friday night, after I got off the afternoon shift, I went to my favorite local pizza place. For about $7.50, it's all-you-can-eat with all kinds of great-tasting pizza. Well, due to the fact that it is right next door to a popular singles club, they want to make sure that clubgoers don't park in their parking lot. So after I find a parking space in front, I get out of my car. I'm then approached by a parking lot patroller asking if I'm going to the club. For some reason, I got really offended. I told the patroller in a very stern voice that I was going to the pizza place. I walked off in a huff. Now, I have never been into the club next door but to me, I don't think it would be a place I'd like to go in. I'm not somebody that likes to

The Drowners

Songs in my head: "The Drowners" by Suede "Love is Hell" by Ryan Adams As of late, I've really been enjoying Ryan Adams' Love is Hell album. I know it's a really dark record: so dark that even the upbeat songs are sad. However, given all the rainy and chilly weather we've had here, it's been a good soundtrack for it. Ryan always has more songs in him and after reading this , I'm looking forward to a few new releases from him this year. On one hand, this article is very simple. On the other hand, it's very right-on. Here is more ammunition for my book. Here is some info about the next three Cure reissues. I know somebody that will be very excited by this news. I plan to see Aloha tomorrow night in Denton. I don't know much of their stuff, but what I have heard sounds very good.

Rosemary, Heaven restores you in life

Songs in my head: "Evil" by Interpol "Filthy Way to Lose Yourself" by Retisonic Good news for those that bought Wilco's A Ghost is Born : just like what they did with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot , they are offering a free download of the bonus EP that will be on the overseas version of the album. It's not available for download on the band's official site just yet, but there is some tracklist info here . has the good word about Horace Pinker's next record. After reading this , I get the feeling that Fiona Apple is in a similar situation to what this woman through a few years ago. Look what happened to her career after she got out of it. I heard a song by this band a few months ago in a record store. It was just one song from their debut EP and I liked what I heard. It reminded me of shades of Dismemberment Plan-like freak-outs and Braid's melodicism. However, I keep reading in publications like NME and Pitchfork that they a

Here I am, comfortable

Songs in my head: "And the Rest Will Follow" by . . . and you will know us by the trail of dead "Caterwaul" by . . . and you will know us by the trail of dead "Will You Smile Again" by . . . and you will know us by the trail of dead Yesterday was a very good day for music that I like. I picked up Worlds Apart , I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn yesterday. Sounds impossible, but I feel Worlds Apart is many notches above what TOD has done before. The overall sound is clear and powerful. This time out, they don't sound like they're playing at the back of a hall. They've moved on from just build-ups to explosions to softer parts. Melodies that tug at you are all over the place. As for I'm Wide Awake , I really enjoy it upon first listen. It's not as bombastic as Lifted , but it just works. Digital Ash is a different-sounding record than what I usually listen to, but I like it. I think of it like

Serious, serious now

Song in my head: "Serious" by [DARYL] Here are the nominees you've been waiting for! Turns out one of my favorite authors gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday . Watch out for Fountains of Wayne portraying the Hollies on NBC's American Dreams . Here is more info. I watched Miller's Crossing last night. I thought it was a well-developed story and looked beautiful. However, ( Matt , start typing your hate e-mail or comment) I found the gangster lingo and the nicknames to be a little confusing. I got the basic plot down but maybe I need to refer to the book I have on the Coen Brothers for more info. You mean to tell me that this record has yet to be released across the pond? And I thought us Americans had it bad with hoping for a US release for the new Manics or the new Idlewild records. Speaking of the next Idlewild record, Chrome Waves has some info: "Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover has confirmed (though a contact at Capitol) that Idlewil

That's not the way it feels . . .

Songs in my head: "Operator" by Jim Croce "Have to Say I Love You in a Song" by Jim Croce "Pounding" by Doves I'm still a little bummed about Hey Mercedes breaking up, but I'm proud of them for doing it for so long. I look forward to their final EP on GTA. I'm glad "Warm Chords" will be on it. Maybe a live version of "That's Right, I Said It" will be on there too . . . I don't know how we did it, but we played two games of kickball with a total of eight people. Having two teams of four meant that some people stepped up to the plate twice in an inning. Maybe our turnout was low because of the fact that yesterday's high was in the lower 40s. However, it was mostly sunny. I've said it before, but it feels like you're in a Wes Anderson movie in that kind of weather. Good times. Pitchfork has a great interview with Q and Not U. I love this quote: "Dischord to us is about freedom. And most rel

It's been a blast

I remember the first time I read about Braid. It was spring 1998, as my freshman year of college was wrapping up. Between the monthly trips to the local Bookstop, I read Alternative Press religiously. I forget which issue it was, but I remember reading Aaron Burgess' article on Braid and their newest release, Frame and Canvas . I think what really caught my eye was seeing their friendly expressions on their faces. I thought Damon was the frontman because he looked a little different from the other guys (the usual test of deciphering who's who didn't apply). I think I became very interested after reading that their sound was inspired by Jawbox and Shudder to Think. Reading about how much they toured also sounded exciting. Just my luck, the only locally-owned record store in the Kingwood/Humble area had a copy of Frame and Canvas . Without hearing a note, I picked it up. I still remember hearing the opening of the record (with the hum and distorted drumbeat) in

And all the boys and all the girls . .

Songs in my head: "The Drowners" by Suede "New Generation" by Suede After making a Suede singles anthology mix CD, I decided to move my Suede records from the 'L' section to the 'S' section. Here is why: Suede was always Suede, but in the US, they had to be called the London Suede. Apparently there was this artist in Washington DC that claimed the name Suede first. So the London Suede it was. But as far as the American Suede, I have never heard or seen a record in a shop. Putting two and two together after seven years, I decided to make the move. This was mentioned on the Shaun of the Dead commentary track by Edgar Wright, but I had to check it out to make sure it was true. The actor that plays the disgruntled roommate of Shaun of Ed's (Pete) is also the actor that supplied the voice of Darth Maul. Listening to Wes Anderson's commentary track on The Royal Tenenbaums last night, I realized that the actor that plays young Richie

Come Pick Me Up

Songs in my head: "Hello Hawk" by Superchunk "Cursed Mirror" by Superchunk "Good Dreams" by Superchunk Last night, I wrote and laid down a bassline for "Four Corners" in a little over an hour. The last time I played a bass, I didn't realize how effectively bass players like Bruce Foxton, Bruce Thomas, Sterling Morrisson and Peter Hook played. I still can't play like them, but I try to emulate their approaches. Jason coached me on ideas and I think what I came up with sounded good. More info about the upcoming Ian Curtis biopic is on NME . Jude Law may work as Curtis, but I think they should find an unknown. It's one of those cases where it's better for Ian Curtis to be the spotlight, not some well-known actor. You never know: Jamie Foxx nailed Ray Charles down . . . Remember the Eels? They're now on Vagrant Records. Read all about it here . Here is some very cool info about Ash's upcoming American release o

I want to ride my bicycle . . .

Songs in my head: "Bicycle" by Queen "You're My Best Friend" by Queen I have a friend named Mark that is really into music. So much so that I would not be surprised if he would have to move into a bigger place to accomodate his ever-growing vinyl/CD/video/DVD collection. To those that think I'm a little too much into music will think he should be admitted to a mental ward. To those that understand the power of music, you know that music is not just some cheap and disposable thing to put on in the background. Every week, Mark sends out an MP3 via e-mail of a song that rocks his world. You never know what he'll send, but it's almost always a good track. It may be brand new, a few months old, a years old or many years old. Always something I look forward to every week. Now he's expanded his discoveries to the web on this website. Let the hype on the Rakes begin ! What is the deal with band gear getting stolen, especially in Texas? Campe

Cigarettes and Red Vines

Songs in my head: "Red Vines" by Aimee Mann "How Am I Different" by Aimee Mann Richard Kelly's next film, Southland Tales , has a rather interesting website . I don't mean to rag on this band, but when I read this article, I just cringed at the artist/label naivety. I found this quote especially scary: "We don't know what [the new record label's] long-term recording plans are yet, but we know we'll be heading out on a quick U.S. tour pretty soon, and then, of course, we have Ozzfest." Think I'm out of line or blowing smoke? Just ask one of these guys . Still no word on a release date for Ben Folds' next proper solo record . . . I don't know if iTunes has even considered this, but it would be very cool if they sold imports. I don't know if there is something about import taxes or whatnot, but I think it would be beneficial. I did find the Ordinary Boys record (which has not been released in the US) on i

See me age nineteen . . .

Songs in my head: "Even If You Don't" by Ween "Either Coast" by the Reputation "We've Been Had" by the Walkmen Kickball kicked my butt yesterday. My ankles are sore . Just pointing my feet up (as in, while walking) is not fun at the moment. But this is all the good pain: I had a lot of fun. I actually caught a pop fly, but my sunglasses broke upon impact. No big deal: I found a replacement (the exact same size, brand and color) at Target last night. Speaking of Target, they have a new TV commercial using the Concretes' "Say Something New." Pretty cool song and commercial if you ask me. Pop Matters has this very cool article about indie bands' songs used on TV commercials, TV shows (especially the OC ) and movies. For all the cynics about this form of marketing, just remember that this band was once featured on this show. By the way, that band's next record is called At War With the Mystics, according to NME .

When I'm in the crowd, I don't see anything . . .

Songs in my head: "English Rose" by the Jam "In the Crowd" by the Jam "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen Yesterday was a crazy afternoon and evening with problems on the roadways. I always use the adage that I'd rather talk about them to others rather than sit in the back-up of them. Kev rang me up and provided a very useful tip as he was heading north. To use Sam Elliott/ Big Lebowski -talk, it was much-obliged. I ended up not going to the Granada last night. I went to the Cavern to see [DARYL] . The Cavern is small and the stage is almost nonexistant. A trio could play it no problem. But when there are six people in the band, you have to be crafty. Three set up on the stage and the other three set up in front of the stage. In other words, they were eye-level with the audience. When you have an animated band on the same ground floor as you, it's special. I've always had this bizarre feeling/fear of having a guitar tuning peg hi

Don't Stop Me Now

Song in my head: "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen "Motown Junk" by Manic Street Preachers Call it effective advertising: I am very tempted to get this because of their songs used in this movie. I'm in the final stretch of Everything . I have about forty pages left. Since it was published in 1999, it stops at This is My Truth Tell Me Yours . I wonder what Simon had to say about Know Your Enemy . . . No definite plans for the weekend. May go to this tsunami relief show at the Granada Saturday night. I haven't seen Centro-matic in a while . . . .

Dawn of the Shaun

Song in my head: "Operator" by Jim Croce Two mornings of Jim Croce songs in my head. Nice start way to start the morning. " Remember my name / Fame / I'm gonna live forever . . . " I watched Shaun of the Dead yesterday. I give it high regards. Very funny, very touching and very cool with all the George Romero, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter movie references. It really does live up to its tagline of "A romantic comedy. With zombies." Jeff Guin at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote this great article predicting things to come in the next two Harry Potter books. I know, I know: it's all speculation. But speculation is part of the fun about reading Jo Rowling's work. One of the longest-running alternative rock stations in America flipped formats yesterday: WHFS is now a Tejano station. No worries about people forgetting its power as a rock station. Since it was an important FM station (especially in the 1980s and 1990s) and had ti

That's not the way it feels . . .

Songs in my heads: "Operator" by Jim Croce "Photographs and Memories" by Jim Croce "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce Last night was the first recording session for our next album. The overall plan is to record the basic tracks on the four-track at our practice space and then record the rest on a friend's eight-track. We got a solid drum track and acoustic guitar track for "Four Corners" an hour after we all realized that my original drum track wavered too much in tempo. We first tried laying down a drum track and then the guitar, but I sped up and slowed down too much. So Jason did an entire take on the guitar (he tapped his foot so his tempo wouldn't waver). Then I played my part in one take and we had it. The lesson learned: the next time you hear somebody say, "I got it in one take," add at least two hours of trial and error. NME got to hear some of Coldplay's next record. Why is it I get the

Memory Lame

Songs in my head: "Memory Lame" by Jim O'Rourke "Picture Book" by the Kinks NME has a lot of info about New Order's next album, Waiting for the Sirens Call . Pitchfork sheds a lot of light onto Yo La Tengo's forthcoming retrospective. It will be out in March and I will definitely pick this up. I've been a casual fan of the band for quite a while. Maybe this comp will help me jump headfirst into their back catalog. This band has a rather long and hard-to-remember name. Longer and harder-to-remember than this band's name. We watched Fellini's La Strada last night. Really cool movie. Not the most cheeriest topic and tone, but still very effective and enjoyable. I'll shut up now so I don't start sounding like that guy in Annie Hall that rambles about a Fellini film . . . One of my favorites films from 2004 is released on DVD today. Now I can enjoy this movie at home without having that bonehead who sat behind me in

We've Been Had

Songs in my head: "Either Coast" by the Reputation "We've Been Had" by the Walkmen "Ladies and Gentlemen, We're Floating in Space" by Spiritualized "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie Had a really good Sunday. No flag football but I took the dog for a long walk in the afternoon. Maybe it was too long: she was pooped afterwards and didn't really get off her pillow for the rest of the day. I couldn't help it: the weather was amazing. Sunny, warm but not muggy. Like a Spring day, only in January. After seeing it on Christmas day, I still can't get moments from the Life Aquatic out of my head. There's the slow motion part with "Life On Mars?". There's Seu Jorge and his acoustic renditions of Bowie songs in French. Then there is final scene, which according to the the IMDb , is an intentional nod to the final scene in Buckaroo Banzai , one of my favorite movies as a

Please Drive Faster

Songs in my head: "Please Drive Faster" by Braid "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" by the Four Tops "Sister Surround" by the Soundtrack of Our Lives Did a little research and found out the two people in my dream are not married in real life. I just don't understand why these people turned up in a dream. I had not seen either one in years. So this is what having sinus congestion does to your brain . . . I picked this up last night just for the At the Drive-In performance. There are a lot of great bands and performances on here (Ash and Foo Fighters especially pop out), but seeing "One Armed Scissor" is a great reminder as to why this band was just so incredible. I already jotted some notes in paragraph form last night . . . We saw The John Sparrow again last night. The Shapes opened with a mostly acoustic set since Chuck couldn't play with them, but it was a nice alternate view. TJS kicked a lot of ass and even more t

Somebody shake me, wake me, when it's over

Songs in my head: "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" by the Four Tops "MacArthur Park (Part II)" by the Four Tops This morning I dreamt that I was back in Kingwood, walking by an auto store/car wash. In a glass window I saw a face I had not seen in a long time: a girl I knew from elementary school named Cheryl. I didn't really know her very well but she seemed very thrilled to see me. I soon was to find out after our greetings: she's married to an old friend of mine named Jeff. He walked in and said hello. I thought this whole meeting was random but what was crazier was that the two of them were married. Anyway, I'm next at the office where they worked (which looked very much like the office that I used to work in) and I see an old co-worker of mine with a military-style haircut (short on the top and clean-shaven on the side). Then I woke up with the Four Tops' "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" stuck in my head. I think

I'm Afraid of Everything

Songs in my head: "I'm Afraid of Everything" by Braid "Motown Junk" by Manic Street Preachers Ashlee Simpson just doesn't get any respect . My six-year-old cousin wants to know how she can "sing on the radio" (as in, be a famous singer). I have yet to sit down with her and tell her there is a difference between wanting to sing and wanting to be famous because of singing. Yes, I'm paraphrasing Bruce Campbell here, but it's a valid point. Taking shortcuts to stardom often leads to a lack of credibility (something you'll need in order to have a long-lasting career). I'm not sure if she could understand what I mean if I told tell her to listen to Blood on the Tracks , Pet Sounds, OK Computer or Grace . Kev reports of iTunes selling silence. cNet has the whole story.

Sunshine the Werewolf

Song in my head: "All Downhill from Here" by Jim O'Rourke Yesterday I wore shorts because it was 68 degrees outside. Today, it's remained at 46 degrees all day. Go figure. Monday night, while I was at my weekly pilgrimage to Freebirds , I heard "Sunshine the Werewolf" by the Dillinger Escape Plan. I know they have XM on their loud speakers but they usually have the classic alternative or modern rock stations on. This was a very interesting thing to hear while I was chowing down on a Monster chicken burrito. Last night, the band got back together to practice. I think the last time we played together was in August, in other words, it was a long time. It was great to play drums again but the months of no playing made me a little stiff on rolls and beats. Whatever: we plan to record a lot of the new songs we've been working on for the last year. I haven't recorded in ages and I haven't recorded using my new drum set. Shall be interesting.

I was on your side Bill . . .

Song in my head: "Wedding Bell Blues" by the Fifth Dimension Three cheers for Kev ! The mix of honey and tea has taken away the scratchy throat for the time being. One of my favorite documentaries, Hype!, is now available on DVD. It's a great look at what the early 1990s Seattle music scene was but it's been kinda hard to find in stores for the last few years. I wonder if there is any bonus material on the DVD . . . . Ever wonder whatever happened to Daniel Johns of Silverchair? Click here .

Size of Your Life

Songs in my head: "High as the Moon" by the Get Up Kids "All That I Know" by the Get Up Kids "Forever Got Shorter" by Braid "Jesus, Etc" by Wilco "Size of Your Life" by the Promise Ring "Heartlight" by Neil Diamond I'm up earlier than normal this morning because of my darn scratchy throat. Shall be taking Kev's advice and looking into getting some honey from the grocery store. Still, nothing else in my body is sore. Sometimes I talk just too much. Maybe this is a good thing. Having a scratchy throat doesn't stop me from writing though! Well, I finally caved in: I got a MySpace account . Yes, after months of dismissing it as a cheesy waste of time, I now feel it's a great thing to have. No, I'm not trying to find love through this, post sad/poorly-lit pictures of myself, complain about how my life sucks, politics suck or how I feel about sports teams. This is a great networking tool and the main

Don't need to talk to my doctor . . .

Songs in my head: "When My Baby's Beside Me" by Big Star "Down the Street" by Big Star "The Ballad of El Goodo" by Big Star "Thirteen" by Big Star Guess which record I listened to this morning? It wasn't Columbia or the Big Star Story . . . Either I talked too much this weekend or I ate too many dry fruits and nuts but my voice is dry and scratchy this morning. Vanilla tea and cough drops are on the menu until I can get some OJ. Jim DeRogatis comes through again with an interview with Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard. So after watching the Extended Edition of The Return of the King with the cast and director/writers commentary tracks on, I finally watched all 4 hours and 10 minutes sans a commentary track. I had to split it up between Saturday night and Sunday morning (yes, cue your chants of "loser" now) but I thought it was great. The stuff that was removed from the theatrical release was for pacing but

Life on Mars?

Songs in my head: "Mystery Hours" by the New Pornographers "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie First post of 2005. I will turn 26 this year and I plan to have my book finished. At this time, I have no resolutions for the new year. A few years ago I tried to do what Bob Nanna did and see 365 movies in one year. No such luck: I think the most I've seen in one year is around 80. New Year's Eve was interesting: I had the Dismemberment Plan's "The Ice of Boston" in my head off and on through the night. We saw the Deathray Davies play at this rather large pub-style place across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. They played two sets and a lot of songs sounded familiar even though I had not seen them play in about a year. Before they played, I heard a rumor that may be very true about one of my favorite local bands breaking up. I don't know if I'm in denial, but I don't believe it just yet. Anyway, we then went to a place in the Fair