Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away b-sides

Split Needles (alternate version)

Nothing at All

Monday, February 26, 2007

Muse - Black Holes and Revelations b-sides

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who is Butterfly Boucher?
Butterfly is a beautiful and petite woman from Australia with a knack for catchy rock songs. Her music has been picked several times for use in Gray's Anatomy (which I still have not seen because it's opposite of The Office). Her first album, Flutterby, holds a few songs you might recognize if you've ever paid any attention to the Muzak channel in your local retail shop. I Can't Make Me and Another White Dash were both successes, but rarely played Never Leave Your Heart Alone and Changes (WITH David Bowie) are equally crafted. According to her website, Butterfly has another song being used by Gray's, A Bitter Song, which will be available on iTunes February 27, along with a new album to follow this summer, tentatively titled Scary Fragile.

Changes (with David Bowie)

Life is Short

I Can't Make Me

I myself am a fan of her videos. Check these out too.

Another White Dash

I Can't Make Me

Monday, February 12, 2007

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not b-sides
The first ten minutes was all I needed to see. Nothing could have taken the permanent smile off my face as I was so thrilled to see a band I have longed to see live for decades open the show. The Police raised every hair on my body for four sold minutes as they blasted through Roxanne. Sting's retro hairdo combined with a black sleeveless shirt made the appearance look like 1985. They've never missed a beat and their settling of differences is long overdue. Quoting Sting's website, "No one on planet Earth was happier than Stewart Copeland on Sunday night. And it showed... The drummer of the newly reunited Police has been waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting ... for Sting to get done making adult contemporary music, saving the rain forests and doing whatever it is that Sting does and get back to Police business. The business that made them all famous." Yep. Pretty much sums up my feelings too. Overall, I have high hopes for the reunion of this threesome as it is so much more exciting than another Van Halen or boring Eagles reunion.

Equally as impressive was the second act, the Dixie Chicks, with their hit Not Ready to Make Nice, which would go on to strongarm nearly every category the song or album was listed in. Congrats to the girls. Natalie looked great with a reddish colored hairdo. I didn't watch more after that because Beyonce was the next live act and I had more important things to do from that point, like take my car to the car wash.

The only other thing I noticed about the opening minutes of the awards show is that Mary J Blige's eyelashes are two feet long.

Seriously, did she wake up this morning and say, "I need to get my nails done, my hair done, and my eyelashes? It's not humanly possible to grow them as long as hers were. When she walked up for her first award I thought I was looking at a well-tanned pair of Venus flytraps.

Monday, February 05, 2007

What's a brother to do?
Over the last year or so my friend who we will call "Randolph" has strayed away from alot of the good quality music that he and I could agree on and listen to. I've stayed true to my broad roots of rock n' roll, added some country/bluegrass, and a little tolerance for some punk/heavier stuff as well.

When I tried to introduce him to The Hold Steady he discarded the first song in less than 45 seconds. "I don't like his voice." After playing a couple other songs with no approval I give up and we then resort to listening to his kind of music. I've provided weblinks only because I need outside opinions.

We listened to Cartel (whose name sounds like a rapper to me), Motion City Soundtrack (which until today I thought was really a soundtrack, not a band named Motion City Soundtrack), Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Plus 44, and the new Incubus album. All of these except for Incubus fall into some teen emo-shit pop/punk category that Randolph should have outgrown by now.

I'm pretty sure that Fall Out Boy started it all. I would get stuck hearing Dance Dance and Sugar We're Goin Down over and over last summer. Then this Panic! at the Disco thing happened. This band completely annoys the shit out of me. Randolph admits that he's seen their live performances on television and talks about how awful they sound. But when they came through St. Louis a few months ago I was begged upon to go. Why? If they suck on TV, they're going to suck in person, right? Plus 44 isn't that bad because it's one or two of the Blink 182 guys. The sound really hasn't changed much from the Blink days so it doesn't bother me as much. But this Motion City Soundtrack and Cartel has got to go! My Chemical Romance is another band that he likes, and over the weekend he said something about The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Or maybe is was the sound of him sneezing. Can't decide. He claims to hate bands like Bowling For Soup and Good Charlotte, but what's the F@#$ing difference? They're all pop-punk that my thirteen year old cousin would be listening to. Incubus is a tough loss for me. From S.CI.E.N.C.E. through Morning View my ears were filled with exciting rock and even a DJ spinning some tables. I've missed the bus that explains what their sound is now because I can't stand their last two albums. By the end of the day I did get to listen to Sam's Town from The Killers, and Fiction Plane, but only because I hooked up my iPod to his stereo. Then the damn battery died. Or was it a signal that his music taste isn't going away?

So what's a brother to do? Do I need to hold an intervention? Break into his computer and just delete all of this music? I feel like the guy in the Miller Beer commercials, trying to save a friend from drinking a tasteless beer. Remember those serious "I can't taste my beer" ad campaigns? Only thing is, that guy succeeds.

So here are a few songs that help me deal with the pain.

The Offspring - What Happened to You? "I try to explain but you just don't understand Man you're really losin' it."

R.E.M. - Radio Song "It's that same sing song, and the DJ sucks. It makes me sad."

The Format - Tune Out "Haven't we heard this song about a thousand times before?"

Kathleen Edwards - One More Song the Radio Won't Like "Johnny little rocket star flashing the label's credit card His name is at the door but no one knew what for."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Farewell Mississippi Nights.

When I was at Ole Miss last November to see Old Crow Medicine Show and Wolfmother (separately) there was alot of construction going on just to the north of the building. Had me wondering whether I'd be seeing my last show there. Looks like St. Louis cares more about gambling revenue than supporting live music, which is supposedly an important part of St. Louis as well. The destruction of Mississippi Nights will leave one less venue to see middle tier bands with affordable prices. The Hi-Pointe stopped their live music schedule last fall as well. That leaves Blueberry Hill, The Pageant, Off Broadway, Pop's and not much else for choices.

There's a reason I'm not hyperlinking either one of these next two venues: They suck.

If you want to hear a high tier band but don't want to see them, then the big mound of grass called Riverport Ampitheater, no.... UMB Bank Pavilion, NO.... VERIZON WIRELESS AMPIDAMNEDTHEATER is the place for you. It will take you an hour to get out of the tundra that is their parking lot, the security are a bunch of damned nazis, and the big posts supporting the covered reserved seating block the stage well.

If you want to see a band in a climate controlled indoor facility that has to charge outrageous costs because their hockey team sucks, then the Kiel Center, no.... Savvis Center, NO..... ScottTrade Center is where you will go to get plowed over with $10 beers.
Way to go St. Louis!!!! Give all of the bands another reason not to come to St. Louis. Wipe out the variety, the choices. Only question remaining is: WHO'S NEXT?

These are the most appropriately titled songs I could find in my library.

The Hives - Closed for the Season

The Police - Can't Stand Losing You

Semisonic - Closing Time

Where has this past month gone?
My January four-pack of the month.
Wow. The month of January has FLOWN by fast. I've been busy settling into a new school, home, city, etc., but it sure hasn't felt like a month since I've posted something worthwhile.

I'm officially digging this new album from The Hold Steady. There are a couple, just a couple songs that don't really fit in for me but the rest of the album is really tight. I'll be giving a report on their live work in about six weeks. In the meantime I've got some tracks that I'm really hooked on.

Beck's new album has been out for a few months and I'm just now getting the chance to hear his work. The Information is another strange and experimental sound that Beck perfected years ago, and the catchiest song for me just happens to be the one on the radio so much right now. Please don't strike me down for listening to the radio. There isn't much else of a choice here in the frozen armpit of Western Illinois. Here's Think I'm in Love.

Last November the Silversun Pickups were supposed to open for Wolfmother at Mississippi Nights. Something happened, they couldn't play, and some crappy band got their slot and the Silversun's. Our loss. After listening to a few tunes they've got some talent and I like the guitar work. It's got an elegant way of blending in the sharp vocals and I approve of the song Lazy Eye. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to see them return to St. Louis, opening for Snow Patrol this time.

Much like the way I've been a fan of the Boondock Saints movie sooo much longer than the rest of the world I've also been equally fond of The Shins. I knew about them long before Garden State and Zach Braff plugging away at their music. Their new song about two lesbian girls, Phantom Limb, is a bit on the pop-friendly side but still manages to be shy enough that it won't get picked apart by the radio stations (hopefully). The album itself, Wincing the Night Away, is another pretty solid addition to their career and will likely be one of the best of '07. Yes they are a trendy band and it's cool if you like them, but it's even cooler to have been a fan of them before everyone else jumps on the wagon.

With recent word that Tempe-based Jimmy Eat World will be releasing a new album soon they've played a few new songs at recent shows. Big Casino is not only a new song but is also partially named after a side project lead singer Jim Adkins was a part of, named Go Big Casino. Their last album Futures and Stay on My Side Tonight EP are incredible works of musical craftsmanship. Both contain the usual mainstream-friendly songs but also include some very serious songs that you don't clap your hands to, and I'm hoping for the same results with their upcoming release. If you like Jimmy Eat World enough to listen to their live stuff, check out the Jimmy Eat World Media Archive. There you can download entire concerts with good sound quality. I was shocked to find the Kirksville, MO, show I went to 4.5 years ago was on the front page.