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Finally…sort of

March 10, 2009

So you know how I told you guys that I would have more reviews up soon? Well, no I am promising to have more reviews up by MARCH 20TH (That is exactly 1 week and 3 days from now, ladies and gentlemen). I’m not telling you what I will be reviewing, but lets just say that it’s…no, let’s not say anything. Have fun.

Update

March 8, 2009

I know that there haven’t been updates in a while…I promise you that they are coming…eventually

Update

March 4, 2009

Yes, I know it’s been a while. I’m working on some huge reviews and they’ll be up within a week or so. I’m also working on a huge project involving music reviews, which I’ll tell you more about some time this week. So just hold on tight to your chairs…unless you’re not sitting on a chair while reading this. Actually, even if you aren’t on a chair right now, go hold onto one. Chairs are important, you wouldn’t want to lose one.

Blink-182 Reunion?!?!

February 11, 2009
Blink-182 (Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus) circa 2009

Blink-182 (Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus) circa 2009

Yes, it looks like it’s true. Yes, blink-182 is reuniting…this is very cool. Now, I know I tend to review indie and jazz and jam and pretty much everything non-blink-182… but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like them.

I remember in 4th grade, my friend burned me a copy of their album Take off Your Pants and Jacket (get it, it’s a play on the word “jacket”).

But seriously, I have liked them for a while and I always thought that they were the coolest guys ever…and besides, they can write emotional “meaningful” music and still write songs about fucking a dog in the ass…they’re pretty talented.

Again, I am just using this  post to discuss my excitement for this reunion. It looks like it’s going to be a good year, between them and Phish…now let’s just see if we can get Nirvana The Grateful Dead The Beatles some other bands back in action

Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes – An Analysis

February 6, 2009
Conor Oberst at the ULU (Compliments of Andrew Kendall, all rights reserved)

Conor Oberst at the ULU (Compliments of Andrew Kendall, all rights reserved)

Now, a while back, I wrote a post criticizing Conor Oberst and all his indiemo-ness. Now, I am not here to recant what I said, but simply revisit it and see if my opinions have changed. So here is an official interview.

So, who is Conor Oberst and why do I care?

Conor Oberst is a musician. He plays the guitar and piano (among many other instruments) and can also sing pretty well. Oberst is also the front man (and only consistent member) of indie-folk-rock group, Bright Eyes. Oberst has also released two major solo albums, along with other solo demos.

I repeat, why do I care?

Well, last time, I believe I called Oberst something along the lines of one who would “lead the world into the land of pretense, bad haircuts tight jeans and quiet acoustic guitars” and quite frankly I would like to take all of that back. Oberst is slightly pretentious (but no more so than any other major musician), he does play an acoustic guitar, his jeans are not particularly tight and his hair really isn’t that bad.

So, you like him?

Not necessarily. I’ve never met him; erego, I don’t know if I like him. I do, however, like his music. Atleast Bright Eyes’ latest album, Cassadaga.

So, you like him?

I just said, I like his music, but as far as Conor Oberst the person goes, I am not able to make a judgement. Besides, who are you asking these questions, and why do you care?

I’m just your subconcious…you’re exploiting me for the sake of a false interview.

Oh, alright.

So, official verdict. Conor Oberst: Not as bad as I previously thought. Conor, if you lost any fans because they read my last post, then I guess it’s okay because you don’t want people to be your fans if they read this blog and take it too seriously I am deeply sorry.

Well, that’s all for me for right now. See you chumps later.

Phish – Junta

February 3, 2009

Phish - Junta (1989)

Phish - Junta (1989)

One of the most notable jam bands this side of the Grateful Dead, Phish was, to many, the sound of the 90s. Issuing their phirst major album in 1989, Phish continued their success throughout the 90s and into the new millennium, phinally calling it quits in 2004. Today, however, we’re going to take a look at the early works of Phish, namely 1989’s “Junta” (pronounced June-tah with the hard “J” sound).

Now, Phish was never phamous phor their studio albums. Yes, they did top the charts occasionally and, yes, seven of their albums were certified gold by the RIAA. But, as any true phan will tell you, the true magic of Phish existed in the live shows. Now, you’re probably thinking, “where are you going with this, aren’t you supposed to be reviewing the album”. Yes. Phish was known phor their live shows because no two shows were the same. With most artists, if you have a copy of one live show, it doesn’t matter where or when it is phrom; however, Phish phans go around collecting shows (whether released by the band or through LEGAL bootlegs). Many of the staples of these live shows can be phound on “Junta”. If you were to go to a Phish show, I would be willing to bet money that you would hear at least two (and up to all of) the phollowing songs: “YEM” (short phor “You Enjoy Myself”), “Foam”, “David Bowie”, “Fluffhead”, “Golgi Apparatus”, and “The Divided Sky”.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. What does Phish sound like? An always intriguing question. There is no real way to describe Phish other than good music. If you can, phor a moment, picture sitting on an island in a remote sea. The sun is shining, and you cannot pheel happier. That music, that you hear playing in the background, is Phish. Never afraid to experiment with their musical styles, Phish would often take songs that they had written phor an album and simply jam on it at a live show phor, sometimes, upwards of 20 minutes. phor example, the song “YEM” is almost 10 minutes long (9:50), not a short song by any stretch of the imagination; however, Phish has been known to play versions of YEM up to over half an hour. That’s over 3 times the length of the song.

What I’m trying to get across to you, the reader, in this article is that Junta is not one of the best albums ever made. It’s extremely catchy and, of the Phish discography, it is probably my phavorite. But the main appeal to Junta is that it created the basis phor some of the most memorable live Phish shows ever (a 32 Minute “YEM” at the University of New Hampshire in 1993, a 35 minute “David Bowie” in Providence, RI in 1994, etc.)

Overall, yes, “Junta” is a very impressive album. Complete with everything that a great album should have (10 minute instrumental jams, songs about a weasel named “Fee” and about psychopathic, homicidal dolls); however, the lyrics tend to be one of the least important aspects of Phish’s music. The pheeling that one gets phrom listen to their music, the smooth guitar licks and bass grooves, are enough to send anybody over the edge. If there is one album that defines Phish, “Junta” is definitely that album.

Overall: 9.7/10

Pink Floyd – The Wall

January 28, 2009
Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979, Columbia)

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979, Columbia)

The Wall ushered in the eighties, released on December 8th, 1979. After a recording session filled with increasing tensions, Pink Floyd produced what many consider their (or at least Roger Waters’) magnum opus, “The Wall”. Attempting to appeal to a generation much different than that when they began in 1967, this British progressive-rock band needed a hook for their latest album, something to really draw the kids in. The answer came after an incident on their 1977 tour promoting the album “Animals” released that same year. A fan attempted to get on stage with the band by climbing over the net that separated the stage and the crowd. Bassist and vocalist Roger Waters did not like this and decided that the best course of action was to spit right in the face of this adoring fan. While not much came of this immediately, Waters began to think about the “Wall” that had been put up between the band and their fans, literally and figuratively. With that he wrote a story about a boy-turned-rock-star-turned-fascist-leader. This story, about a boy named Pink, became “The Wall”


The story begins with a look into Pink’s present life, that of an unstable middle aged man sitting alone in an apartment watching video footage of a revolt somewhere in the world. This brings back memories and he wonders how he got to where he is today.


Cut to the boy’s infancy, a mother who cares far too much about him and a father who was killed in World War Two. Raised without friends, this boy begins to turn against everything in his life. At first it is his lack of a father. Without a father, Pink doesn’t know what to do with his life, as his mother only wants to protect him. This metaphorical “brick in the wall” represents the beginning of Pink’s social alienation by building a “wall” between him and everyone else in the world.

Next, he takes out his anger on the seemingly constant enemy among all children: school. In one of Pink Floyd’s best known singles, “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2”, this boy rages against his teacher and the confines that the school has put on his intellectual freedom.

After these episodes, Pink’s depression becomes more apparent in the solemn tracks “Mother” and “Goodbye Blue Sky” dealing with the overprotective nature of his mother and growing up in a post-WWII world.


Cut to several years later. Pink is now married but still has this half-completed “wall” built around him. He and his wife are having difficulties communicating due to this “wall”. The next part of the album deals with this relationship as it begins to crumble in “Empty Spaces” and is completely gone by the time “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 3” comes around. With this track, Pink has almost finished the wall closing him off from society and he has now dismissed everybody in his life as just “bricks in the wall”


Pink then loses all concept of sanity, leading to his complete mental breakdown. He begins to believe that he is now a fascist leader leading an exodus of sorts against anyone who has ruined his life, overbearing mothers, teachers and girlfriends whose only aim is to hurt him, and fathers who were never there.

Just before this breakdown is one of the most impressive, musically that is, songs on the album. “Comfortably Numb” contains what it arguably the greatest guitar solo in the history of rock music. With constantly changing moods, those between a mental patient who seems to think that everything is perfect and a doctor who knows that nothing is, and some of the greatest instrumentation on any Pink Floyd song, “Comfortably Numb” is a song to remember. Now, back to the story.


The next twenty minutes focus on this debilitating mental state of Pink as, in his mind, he is attempting to rid the world of all evil by becoming a skin-head fascist leader rather akin to the Nazis in Germany during World War II. He is killing everyone in sight now, whether they be gay, black, or simply someone who “don’t look right”.


After this tirade, Pink is brought before a judge (who is shown during their live concerts as a giant anus wearing a powdered wig) and is convicted of the crimes he has committed. As punishment, he is required to “be exposed before his peers” and “tear down the wall”.


The album ends with Pink, sitting alone, a fallen wall around him, now alone and clueless as to what to do.


While the story is impressive, the music is equally as astounding. From the heavy guitar numbers (In the Flesh, One Of My Turns, Young Lust) acoustic ballads (Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Is There Anybody Out There?) and the combinations of the two (Another Brick in the Wall, Comfortably Numb, The Trial), Pink Floyd has succeeded in appealing to a new generation who were fed up with society the way it; however, this generation was about 16 years too late to really start a revolution. So they created the next most chaotic thing, the 1980’s.