Thursday, June 30, 2011
It has been 15 years since Screaming Trees released their brilliant swan song, Dust, and 11 years since their last performance. In between, those four years, the band went into the studio to record a new album that was never completed. On August 2, former Screaming Trees (and Mad Season) drummer Barrett Martin will release the band's final sessions titled Last Word: The Final Recordings on his label, Sunyata. The recordings featuring Martin producing and Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney) mixing along with guest appearances from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and the band's then touring guitarist, Josh Homme of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age fame.
X, on record, is one of the greatest punk bands to come out of the late 70's/early 80's Los Angeles punk scene. Their first four albums, especially, have a certain magic to them from the instrumentation to vocal harmonies to the fact that a decade earlier, The Doors represented the L.A. in such a magical, hazy way that it seemed like the band's keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, was passing the city's musical representation torch by producing X's dirtier, desperate vision of the city for their first four albums. X, in concert, was and still are an amazing force aided by great songs and a solid musicianship. In fact, I considered walking away from guitar after watching Billy Zoom, with his trademark silver jacket and Gretsch Silverjet guitar, perform a mere 10 feet away from me because he is still is just as impressive now as he was 30 years ago.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Side One Piece and Trunks
01. Skin O' My Teeth by Megadeth
02. Skin by Oingo Boingo
03. New Skin by Incubus
04. Skinned by Blind Melon
05. Under Your Skin by Luscious Jackson
06. Skin by Nikka Costa
Side Two Piece and a Speedo
01. Shed the Skin by Onesidezero
02. Skinless Friend by Skankin' Pickle
03. Shfting Skin by On
04. Skin Divers by Duran Duran
05. Skin Receiver by Melissa Auf der Maur
06. Doll Skin by Toadies
If you find yourself in Chicago on June 30, then your time should be spent at Schubas checking out White Denim. The Austin, TX quartet's sound of a well distributed mix of garage, southern rock, psychedelia and prog have been impressing audiences in corner of the U.S. and their recent full-length, D, has received more than favorable mentions from various music outlets. Rolling Stone (yes, that Rolling Stone) awarded the album four stars and was recently listed as an editor's pick while online music bible, All Music Guide labeled it as a four and a half star "masterpiece."
Friday, June 10, 2011
Three years ago, My Morning Jacket released Evil Urges, an album meant to capture the loose feel of their live performances that ended up confusing a few critics despite it being no more experimental than their previous album, 2006's Z, was to the album before it, 2003's It Still Moves. While not as funky (or, in some cases, erotic) as its predecessor, the quintet's newest release, Circuital, returns the band to their roots, as so many critics have felt the need to mention and, in turn, feels more like the true musical follow-up to Z while containing the energy of Evil Urges. Then again, for a band that is known for their experimental sound and the songs that follow suit, what exactly constitutes their roots?
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Musicians are clearly the spokespeople for any business from restaurant chains (MC Hammer for Kentucky Fried Chicken) to filing taxes (Vanilla Ice for TurboTax). Why not? People love music and, furthermore, they buy products so it is a winning combination. The downside to this is that, usuallly, the ads are extremely cheesy and do very little to help the artist's reputation (see MC Hammer ads circa 1991-93 for any and all examples). In this case,it increases my love for a band and makes me hungry. This is an ad for an Atlanta restaurant, Elmyr, featuring Mastodon guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds that parodies pharmaceutical ads and is as spot on of a parody as one would need to be. The only thing missing is Hinds riding a motorcycle but still there is golf, yoga, fishing and the guitarist eating a deliciously huge burrito. Hands down, this commercial makes me love Mastodon even more than I already do which is close to impossible. Now if only I had a burrito in my hand.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Yeah...that is now the worst pun/joke ever made on this blog. This month provides a wide variety of new releases from the likes of Black Lips, The Coathangers, Hail Mary Mallon (Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic), The Black Dahlia Murder, Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce 5'9"), Neil Young and, best of all, Weird Al Yankovic. Weird Al Yankovic!!! With so many options, it is impossible not to find yourself singing or rapping along to any of these recordings. If you are interested in any of these albums, click on the link and purchase them. Remember, whatever you choose to listen to, play it loud.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
It has been awhile since I last offered a pick of the week post but this pick is far too excellent to pass up. In a week, highlighted by new albums from Black Lips and My Morning Jacket as well as a stateside release of Kate Bush's newest release, it a reissued pair of early 80's headbanging classics that truly shine this week. No matter which reissued variation you buy, the separate albums or the box set, the 2011 editions of Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman are worthy additions to your collection..