“Sky High” – Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind” (2012)

Sep 28
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Holy Schnikees, look at the plethora – I sincerely apologize, I’m back to school and am trying to re-train my brain to use words in daily conversation that I can use on research papers so let me take another stab at that – man, is there ever a shit ton of new music that’s been released in the last couple of weeks. We’ve got the first act of Green Day’s three part, Mumford and Sons sophomore effort, The Killers, Band of Horses, P!nk, Lupe Fiasco, No Doubt, Muse. I love all of those bands, but I think I’ll listen to Ben Folds Five’s newest fist (actually second since I’ve already tried out Band of Horses).

… I just got done listening to “The Sound of the Life of the Mind” a couple of times back to back. Although I didn’t LOVE love it as a whole, there are a couple of nice songs that really stand out for me, of course, “Sky High” being one of them, and “Erase Me” being the other. “Sky High” is a really beautiful song full of relationship problems to almost a soul crushing degree. It’s the hurtin’ love songs that are always the real show stoppers for me and this one fits. I’ve been a lucky dog to have suffered very little of that type of emotion but even if you’ve only been there once, and haven’t we all, a little goes a long ways and it sticks with you. In the course of a life, bad relationships are one of the ways that you really know that you are alive and fully participating in life with the paradoxical element of it making you feel as if you’ve died a little bit.

Now, how was that for some cheery Friday evening chatter.

What next? How about the Green Day album?


I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” – Lupe Fiasco (featuring MDMA) – Lasers (2011)

Sep 26
Posted by admin Filed in Hip Hop

I’ve had Lupe on replay for about a week now. I downloaded this record, listened to it a couple of times and then kind of forgot about it for a few months. I had the Zune on shuffle at the gym a couple of weeks ago and “Till I Get There” came on and since then I’ve gone back for a daily dose pretty much everyday. It’s almost as if lately I’ve decided to become hooked on artists in alphabetical order as I spent all summer attempting to OD on The Lumineers. What would be next? Lydia Loveless. That could happen. I love the way that chick gets into it!


“Everything’s Gonna Be Undone” – Band of Horses – “Mirage Rock” (2012)

Sep 25
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I went to school today for the first time in over 24 years. It felt strange to walk onto campus as a student but after that it felt way more like riding a bike than I expected. The classroom felt the same – I expected everybody to be wired and digital but it wasn’t the case. The students look the same and although I’m probably older than a lot of their dads, I didn’t feel uncomfortable or out of place. The syllabus looked the same with tons of reading assignments, and the breakdown of how our grades will be calculated. School’s still pretty much the way that I left it. I very much have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with formal education – okay maybe not hate, more like love/kind of dislike – so we’ll see if that holds true as this quarter progresses.

While I was walking across campus after class, I start thinking about what the hot bands were when I was in school the first time around. The first thing that came to mind was Tears for Fears. I was listening to Bruce more than anything back then. My buddy who I used to commute with would play a steady diet of ELP, Asia, and The Who. I hated the first two partially because of the fact that I my ears were held hostage every day during our drive but regardless, I really don’t think I was or am a fan. I started to hate The Who, even songs that I had liked up until then but I got over that quickly and The Who is still one of the greatest bands in the world for me and millions of other fans.

Band of Horses just feels like a college radio type of band. I’ve been excited to hear this album for a couple of weeks and finally got to cue it up tonight.

It’s never too late to go back and I’m so glad that I did. I’m counting it as one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.


Tomorrow Night’s A School Night

Sep 23
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

For the first time in 24 years, I’m stepping foot in a classroom as a student on Tuesday.


I’m working on a little Radiohead-centric post that I’ve had on my mind since John Richards hit me with a triple play on Friday morning. I’m combing the City Arts line up to see who I want to see besides Lost in the Trees and David Byrne and St. Vincent. Interrupting these two ideas for tonight’s post was one of those ridiculous Facebook things where a friend says to do some random exercise to come up with a goofy status of the day.

This is how it works. Grab the book closest to you, turn to page # 54 and post sentence # 5 as your status for today.

“If I jump I can go through it like the pink lady in the circus, into the warm smelling, without having to wait.” For me, now that’s some funny shit!!!

I’m not supposed to reveal the book or author so I’m not going to but I’ll be mighty impressed if someone figures it out.

I’m sticking with the status of the day roulette wheel so that’s how I’m posting (Radiohead and City Arts will be here to dissect and peruse tomorrow). I went through my album collection in my Zune library and picked a line out of the 54th track that I counted off.

Darlin’ if you’re weary

“Land of Hope and Dreams” – Bruce Springsteen – “Wrecking Ball” (2012)


“Too Close” – Alex Clare – “The Lateness of the Hour” (2011)

Sep 22
Posted by admin Filed in UK

Every time I heard this song on the IE9 commercial, I thought to myself, “how is it that I’ve never heard that INXS song before?” I mean, doesn’t Alex Clare sound as much like Michael Hutchance as Michael Hutchance sounded like Michael Hutchance. I’ll leave it at that though. Alex Clare has got his own identity to stake out. Catchy tune, decent debut album. Move past the Explorer commercial (although I have to admit that I repeatedly forgot to look up the song and artist after seeing the commercial and was only reminded after “Too Close” got pigeon holed into my Pandora Black Keys station) and check out the rest of what Clare has to offer. I don’t see any proof that he’s ever subjected himself to a US tour so maybe that’ll happen lat this year or early next.


“Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Gund N’ Roses (1987)

Sep 20
Posted by admin Filed in Rewind, Rock Bands

I cast my votes today for KEXP’s compiling of the Top 20 Albums of the Last 40 Years. I wasn’t super methodical about it and just sat down a couple of times this week and listed the first things that popped into my head. It’s got a good mix to it, and is kind of heavy on the things that I used to listen to (that would be the harder/metal selections). I restrained myself from listing the things that I currently listen to non-stop (see: The Lumineers, The Kills, The Head and the Heart) as I figured that some of those needed to age in my musical core for a few years before I put them on any all time “Best Of” lists (the one that I was most tempted to list was The Kills “Blood Pressures”).

So here’s what I came up with, in no particular order:

Fear of a Black Planet – Public Enemy
Dear 23 – The Posies
Tea for the Tillerman – Cat Stevens
Into The Wild: Soundtrack from the Movie – Eddie Vedder
The Score – The Fugees
Appetite for Destruction – Guns ‘N Roses
The Bends – Radiohead
University – Throwing Muses
Midnight Marauders – A Tribe Called Quest
Isolation Drills – Guided by Voices
Vs. – Pearl Jam
Bringing It All Back – Bob Dylan
The Patsy Cline Showcase – Patsy Cline
The Seldom Seen Kid – Elbow
Funeral – Arcade Fire
The Clarence Greenwood Recordings – Citizen Cope
Thriller – Michael Jackson
() – Sigur Rós
Darkness on the Edge of Town – Bruce Spingsteen
Holy Diver – Dio

I think that my Patsy Cline pick might have been outside of the 40 year window, but I don’t care, it’s timeless and I’m including it anyways.

I am sure that I’ve previously posted at least one song from each of the albums listed above. I decided to go with the Guns N’ Roses classic and found this nice acoustic clip sans Axl. I don’t hate Axl or anything like that but the best part of the song for me is Slash’s solo which comes through very nicely in this unplugged version.


“Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” – Birdman & Lil Wayne – “Like Father, Like Son” (2006)

Sep 18
Posted by admin Filed in Hip Hop, Uncategorized

Let’s mix it up a little today, what do you say? I’m not going to go on with yesterday’s theme and tell everybdy how handsome Lil Wayne and Birdman are, not that they aren’t but yesterday was a one-off (I reserve the right to make it a two-off, three-off, etc. at a later date) on the facial symmetry of others of my gender.

Lil Wayne is a bad boy though, in so many ways. He’s never been the top of my personal heap of rappers but I’m still a fan.

Everybody ready to buy some tickets to Rihanna’s spring ’13 tour. They go on sale this week. Her tour from last year got good reviews and I might bust open a piggy bank or two and score some floor seats.


“Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan – “Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

Sep 17
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Bob Dylan is a handsome man. I’m not making a move and getting ready to go all bromance on him or anything like that, I’m just saying, the dude is, and always has been pretty good looking.

I have a side project/artistic, quasi-academic endeavor filed away in my cranial future file that basically finds the center of modern day pop music’s universe. I’ve got to chart it all out, tape about a ream of paper together (I’ll tack it all up the side of my house until all of the neighbors are forced to keep shades drawn 24/7 to avert eye contact with the second coming of Russell Crowe’s character from “A Beautiful Mind”) so that I can get it all laid out and build genre constellations and post-genre solar systems… it’s going to take a lot of work and a project management class or two to sort it all out but when it’s all done, I am about 93% sure that Dylan is the hub from which everything pop, emits or recedes back into.

I just finished reading the Dylan interview in the latest Rolling Stone and came away not surprised at some of the kind of half crazy sounding metaphysical ramblings. Observation # 2 – maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised but then for some reason it kind of made sense; man, he sure sounds like a cantankerous sum beach. I haven’t picked up his new album “Tempest” yet but it’s probably stellar, even if he is getting on to just about hoarse and toneless these days. The execution doesn’t seem like it should matter anymore as the words that he constructed and wrote down on paper all of these years are just as much of a marvel when they are read as when they are sung by Robert Allen Zimmerman.

“Rio” – Low Cut Connie – “Get Out The Lotion” (2011)

Sep 16
Posted by admin Filed in Indie

I’ve now downed a six pack of Head and the Heart (Crocodile – 1, Showbox Market – 2, WAMU Theater – 1, Capitol Hill Block Party – 1, Paramount – 1) and can easily see myself converting that into a half case in the next couple of years. Although, I have to admit that heading into last night I was doing a little self check and wondering if I was over these guys. I have seen them five times in less than two years. What were they going to do for me that they didn’t already do by about round # 3? They’ve got some new material but not a full album, and of the stuff that I’ve heard that wasn’t on the debut, I haven’t loved anything, so how was last night really going to push me to some new level of fandom that I hadn’t already achieved? And then I walk into the building and there are all of these newbies who think that they’re all cool, and I’m wondering who’s a bigger douche all of the new kids, or me, Mr. Head and the Heart super fan, who’s sooooo cool and has been there from the beginning (okay, maybe not the beginning but closer to the beginning than the new crew).

The show was perfect. An hour and a half long sing-along in a perfect hometown venue with the six piece on stage and the several thousand ticket buyers all doing their best to soak up every note of the band’s 15 or so song set. I’m going to have to admit that I was the bigger douche in the foyer but once I stepped inside, the lights went down, and I heard and saw how much everyone else was into one of my favorite bands, I was happy for every fan – new and old – and glad that they were all able to see what a great live band The Head and the Heart are.


I’m predicting that these Low Cut Connie, crazy bastards will be spending a lot of time on blast for me over the next couple of weeks. They’ve got a new album coming in a week but in the meantime, “Get Out The Lotion” sounds like a party that I’m kind of pissed that I didn’t get an invitation to. Really? You guys have a song called “Shit Shower & Shave?” How about a shot to make it a four Spot?


“Bruises” – Band of Skulls – “Sweet Sour” (2012)

Sep 14
Posted by admin Filed in UK, Uncategorized

The loud-quiet element of this song is pretty dang close to Nirvana-quality. These kids have been racking up the miles all summer and are pretty much booked up through the end of the year. I missed out when they were up in these here parts which is too bad for me. These guys, and gal, are noisy fun. I kind of think that I should have worked them in this summer to balance out all of the sentimental harmonizing that has been my go-to. More to come tomorrow with my personal Round # 6 of The Head and the Heart.

I included two versions as the album version (first up) rocks your socks off and is such a stark contrast to the rather touching semi-unplugged tour bus version.