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Showing posts from September, 2008

Now available in physical form

The day has finally come: you can purchase POST: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 . Here are the links: Amazon Amazon U.K. Barnes & Noble Target Books A Million Borders U.K. Powell's Books AbeBooks Alibris If you're interested in carrying the book in your store, click here .

The Good in Everyone

With power pop fans, I've often found this kind of grouping. If you like Teenage Fanclub, you also like the Posies, along with Matthew Sweet, Jellyfish, and Fountains of Wayne, to name a few. Another one is Sloan , a band that, for some reason, has only now clicked completely in for me. Other than the enjoyment of One Chord to Another 's "The Good in Everyone" and Never Hear the End of It 's "Right of Wrong," I had yet to find the band's material worth checking out. Something rubbed me the wrong way when I listened to the A Sides Win singles compilation, and felt unmoved by my first listen to Never Hear the End of It . I thought I was supposed to like these guys since I liked all of their sonic power pop brethren. Where was the disconnect? I'm still not sure, but a light came on in my head right before I headed over to Ryan's place yesterday. I believed he had all of the band's material in his iTunes, so I loaded up on blank CD-Rs. When

Type Slowly

It's not like it wasn't going to happen, but I wondered when this was coming out. Well, details on the double-disc reissue of Pavement's Brighten the Corners have finally surfaced. I'm glad that it's set to come out in a couple of months, and I don't mind essentially re-buying an album I already own. Make no mistake, other than the Slanted and Enchanted reissue, the digital remastering was not why I got Matador's reissues. The extensive liner notes are nice, but the whopping amounts of extras have made every Pavement reissue worthwhile. Just having "Painted Soldiers" back on CD for the Wowee Zowee reissue was justifiable for me. I must admit, I haven't gone through every single reissue track by track, but it's nice to have way more material to sort through. Heck, I'm excited just to finally hear "Westie Can Drum," a song I read about in Rolling Stone while they were making the album, and I think the song was called "

That's Entertainment

At times in the last forty-eight hours, when I haven't wondered whether my parents have electricity again or felt woozie because of my Monday night food poisoning, I've thought about something Jason Heller wrote on From the Jam. Who's From the Jam? Well it's a band comprised of Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, formerly of the Jam, with two other guys, playing songs by . . . the Jam. Whether or not to call this a tribute act, cover band, or just a bad idea is not really my call. What I've thought about is this comment I left: I have no problem with Journey continuing without Steve Perry and Steve Smith. However, in the case of From the Jam, this is like Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Something about having the rhythm section from an iconic band with note-perfect hired hands replacing the still-alive-but-still-bitter-ex-members is a tad off. The Creedence Clearwater Revisited, not Revival, reference is to the band that bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford formed

New Orleans in the fall

I'm not usually one to blog and just say, "download this, now!" but this is a major exception. Plus, it's not by some young, emerging artist that has yet to release a full album. So there will be no tremendous praise quickly followed by a large backlash in the next few months. This week's edition of Popdose's Basement Songs features one of my favorite ballads by Tom Waits: "Kentucky Avenue." Scott's writeup on the song is pretty strong and very well-said. All I will add is that this song really touches me whenever I hear it. Even though none of the childhood stories Waits describes in the lyrics were nothing like what I experienced, I think about random scenes from my youth. The final line about "We'll slide all the way down the drain to New Orleans in the fall" especially resonates with me, being born in New Orleans and living there until I was eight years old. Like Waits's other ballads, like "Tom Traubert's Blues&qu

We live like astronauts and our missions never cross

With Best Buy announcing they are acquiring Napster, I present a personal timeline: Mid-1990s: Growing up on infrequent trips to Sound Warehouse, Sam Goody, and Camelot for CDs and cassettes, I went out of my way to go to Best Buy once the first store opened in Houston. They had a better selection, and the average price of a CD was $11.99. 1997 Best Buy was the place that I bought CDs, along with video games and VHS tapes, once the store in Humble opened. 1997 was the year I started working for them in their media department. I proceeded to work there off and on for the next four years. I learned a lot about myself in the process, and I can say without any cynicism that it was a good job for me at the time. I also realized that working retail is not something I should consider as a career. 1999 Hearing about a free program where I could find hard-to-find/unreleased material by Jimmy Eat World and Coldplay, I downloaded Napster and loved it. A few weeks later, I introduced the program

Better Than the Movie

Last Saturday the Tah-Dahs played their final show (or Roy's final show as a Dallas-ite before he and Laura move to Chicago), thus ending one of my favorite local bands' tenures. I can't say that I'm sad that the band is no more -- but I don't mean that in a negative way. I saw them play over twenty times in the last five years, so it wasn't a situation where I just found out about a great band who just broke up. Since the first time I saw them (Red Blood Club, when Ashburne Glen opened for them) to last Saturday at the Amsterdam Bar, I was never let down. Using terms like "nervy," "spastic" and "tight" only give a glimpse as to what it was like to see them play. Something about the mix of smart, albeit random, pop culture banter with these songs always made for a sight to see. Now, not to sound like some scene codger that says things just won't be the same, but things will be a little different for me. As great as Le Fun and

Ike update

Well, even they lost power for a few days, my family came out of the storm unscathed. Plenty of trees fell down and debris was all over the place, but no major damage. Haven't heard anything from my friends though. UPDATE: Heard from my friends, and they are fine. Whew.


Regular blogging is on hold at the moment because of Hurricane Ike . Because its projected path, I've got at least twelve reasons to be extra anxious for the next few days. Not only do I have family in Galveston, but Matt and his family are nearby. Plus, there's my immediate family, my brother-in-law's family, and over a handful of friends and their families, further north of the area. I hope the most I hear about is a lot of rain. As a result, we're due to get a lot of rain this weekend in Dallas. Regardless of the rain, the Tah-Dahs will play their final show. Anyway, here's to hoping for the best despite hearing about the possible worst.

When your mind's made up

I find it hard sometimes to get a full sentence out when someone interrupts me with his or hers negative feelings about an album, book, or movie. Be it a groan of displeasure or a bunch of harsh words, I tend to get sidetracked when trying to say something. Of course, this all carries over into internal conversations, and things can get very nerve-wracking. Why can't I say what I want to say and not be interrupted by a naysayer? I've long thought that why I love blogging is because people don't interrupt me when I talk about something that I like. I know there are plenty of people who absolutely despise Jersey Girl , St. Anger , and Journey (pre- and post-Steve Perry). But I don't have to worry about someone coming into my space, knocking my keyboard out of my way, and turning off my computer when I blog about how much I love these bands, albums, and movies. I have all the time and space to think and write what I want, but is this really conquering my difficulty? If I w

Three random bits

Some updates on stuff I've blogged about in the last few months, weeks, and days: --The mice situation is still in place at our house. They love Juliet's dog food, and will do anything to get it. We got a plastic container for the dog food, but still, they've tried to gnaw their way into that. So, based on a suggestion from a friend of ours, I took small baggies (smaller than sandwich bags) and put some dog food in them. I also put small shavings of Tomcat rodent poison in them. I placed the bags in the most highly-traveled spots for the mice (the utility room and behind the oven), but away from Juliet's reach. The bags have quickly disappeared, and if I find one, it's empty merely hours after I put it out there. I've had some success so far as our utility room now reeks of a dead mouse. --Still no release date or any word about the availability of Post . The last time I blogged about the book, I heard something the following day. Let's hope that happens tom

It's Never Too Late

With a lot of bands, I hope each album they release offers something that affects me. I don't expect each new album to be drastically different than the last. Rather, I like it when a band finds their sound and progresses from there with each ensuing album. So when a band starts to sound like they're not breaking any new ground (or going back to the proverbial well), I usually say no thanks and stick with their records I already like. In the last week though, two major excepts to this idea have become abundantly clear to my tastes: Metallica and Journey. Repeat listens to Death Magnetic , Revelation , and Generations have enforced this. And yes, I'm well aware I'm talking about one of metal's most respected titans and a reviled survivor of 70s/80s corporate rock in the same sentence. There's a deeper effect these records have had on me; beyond the question of whether or not these records have pure originality on them. You can argue both bands have thrown in the


Like the Bulgarian interpretation of "Without You," Jeff posted some rather unique (read, bad, or mildly amusing, or something else) interpretations of Beatles' classics. "Yesterday" is slaughtered quite well . . .

Judge Not

As I've given Metallica's Death Magnetic a few spins (and plan to do quite a few more in the near future), I must remind myself to judge an album itself, not judge an album based on crappy-sounding video and audio clips that appear online a year before the album comes out. When a band makes an album, they're trying to make a definitive version of a collection of songs. Of course things are going to sound different live, but bands try to make some sort of studio documentation to an era in the band's life. Even if Metallica did a note-for-note re-recording of Master of Puppets now, it wouldn't be the same as the original recording. Not even the best available technology can recreate and capture a band's past in the present. So the band worked hard on creating something they can be proud of and represents who they are now. And it takes years for them to create something, but I don't mind. As a fan, I'd rather have nine distinct and solid Metallica albums

Permanent Bedhead

I'm thankful that I have never had any part of my head stitched up. No bad cuts because of childish antics or bar brawls -- just a round head. However, a rather peculiar spot on the right side of my head between my forehead and scalp looks like a long, straight scar. And I've wondered how long I've had it. As silly as it sounds, but I believe all of my twenty-nine years of sleeping on my right side caused this. Call it permanent bedhead if you like. Well, since I've slept many a night on my left side as well, I wonder why I don't have anything on there. And there's nothing on the back side of my head since I've never been able to sleep for more than two hours on my back. On top of this, the only time the mark is really noticeable is when I wake up in the morning. Every time I look in the mirror, there it is. It's not like I want it removed or anything. I just wonder how in the world I got it.

Shell Beach

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never seen Rufus Sewell in a movie or TV show. Matter of fact, I had never heard of him. Since I watched him in Alex Proyas's Dark City , his face has popped up randomly in various spots and at random times. Not only is he in a new CBS TV show called Eleventh Hour , he was in a movie I'm sure would not be mentioned in his bio if he was a guest on Dinner for Five : Extreme Ops . CBS has been running a lot of spots for Eleventh Hour in the last few months, but I never took note of its lead. I never took note of Extreme Ops other than the fact that it was critically-massacred and it had Pete Sampras's wife in it. While reading an old issue of Rolling Stone at my parents' house over the weekend, I see a small ad for the movie, and there's Rufus. In some ways, this feels like what his character in Dark City thinks throughout the film: what's going on here? If you haven't seen the movie, I won't spoil the plot, but I'll