Friday, August 26, 2011

Now She's Taking Off Her Dress

On Tuesday, Red Hot Chili Peppers will release their 10th full-length album, I'm With You, which is notable for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the band has not released an album since 2005's Stadium Arcadium which, subsequently, has been the longest gap of time between albums. The second reason is far more notable seeing as it is the band's recording debut of new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. With a lot of anticipation and excitement surrounding the release, here is a look at five quintessential songs from the band once known as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kittie Failed No One With New Release

Four albums into their career and Canadian metal quartet Kittie were showing very little signs of slowing down or taming (yes, that is a bad pun) their sound. Something, however, was lost in the mix after their sophomore release, Oracle. While the following albums, 2004's Until the End and 2007's Funeral for Yesterday, were enjoyable for their content, the overall mixes felt off and resulted in albums that were somewhat muddier and glossier than the live versions of their songs. Furthermore, the band were still developing a sound with an ever-changing lineup as well as finding a balance between the more melodic elements of their sound that was growing with those releases.  Then, 2009's In the Black happened.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lost At Sea

Ninety-five percent of the time, I find myself awake late at night. Lately, I have been watching re-runs of Clarissa Explains It All and Doug but usually it is because, unlike most people, I have a horrible sleeping schedule and tend to run off three to five hours of sleep a night. Due of this, I started a periodic online show called Lost at Sea.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black Cab Sessions With Electrelane

This past Spring, Electrelane announced that, after a three-year hiatus, they were reuniting for a festival tour. In June, the British quartet filmed a piece for Black Cab Sessions prior to their performance at Field Day. For the session, they performed an acoustic version of "On Parade" from their Steve Albini mixed, sophomore album, The Power Out. The performance can be viewed below and, just because of a personal tie-in, here is an article written about my day job by Electrelane guitarist Mia Clarke.

Racism And The Brazilian Princess...The Forbidden Dance

Yes...I am writing about a film that features a dance craze and one not starring S Club or Mariah Carey. In all fairness, there is very little of The Forbidden Dance that falls under the category of a film. I like to think of it as falling under the failed early attempts at an early 90's Latin Explosion alongside its rival lambada film, the impressively named Lambada, and "Rico Suave." Better yet, I prefer to look at it the least sexy sequel in the Emmanuelle series and an exploitative take on how very little Americans knew about Brazilians in 1990. I mean, they are all tribal, from the jungle, have a "witch doctor" and a princess, right? Right?

Busy Beaver Button Co. Interviews Wolf Gnards

Wolf Gnards is one of the coolest and funniest blogs chronicling pop culture around. Whenever creator Mark Hing  is not discussing television vortexes, the level of Johnny 5's reading comprehension or the cuteness of Danielle Fishel (which I am in total agreement on and, by some chance that she reads this, am willing to give her my phone number), he can be found answering questions about comic books and, apparently, our 27th president, William Taft, as he does in this interview with Busy Beaver Button Co.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mad Decent Block Party This Saturday

Summer is winding down but the festival season is showing very little signs of slowing down. This weekend, there  are various conventions, food festivals and art exhibits throughout the city but only one festival is filled with great sounds, guaranteed to be a true party and, for the financially conscious, totally free.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On A Ferris Wheel With Bone & Bell

Earlier this year, I came across a very talented artist named Bone & Bell whose debut EP, Loom, was (and still is) one of the most beautiful recordings I have heard all year. Currently, she has been working on songs for a followup and will be opening for Peter Bjorn & John at Schubas on August 28th. In between this, she found time to record a performance of "Sweet Queen Regina" for Rooftop Sessions. This performance, however, does not take place on a rooftop but in a Ferris wheel at Navy Pier which further adds to the coolness of this video. In summary, a baritone ukulele, a Ferris wheel and a very beautifully performed song makes for one incredible performance from one very talented artist whose EP you should already own.

Video Graveyard

Mr. Biggs, you really have to keep your ladies on lockdown. The first second they come into contact with R. Kelly, the game is over and it results in you having to threaten or beat him with your bodyguards. The videos that I am referring to are a pair of videos featuring R. Kelly as a young Lothario-type incapable of following orders and Ronald Isley as Mr. Biggs, the smooth older gentlemen with a problem of keeping his women faithful due to a penchant of hiding swords in canes. In a way, these videos are a much more logical and semi-humorous precursor to "Trapped in the Closet" as they both tell stories of infidelities and involve some form of violence. Unlike "Trapped in the Closet," there are no dwarfs hiding under sinks, people with food allergies to cherries making cherry pie and people who should know each other yet they somehow do not. Yes, these videos are the more logical version. That is a truly scary thought.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In Rotation (August 2011)

Side A
01. By Your Side by Sade
02. Red Line Season by These Arms Are Snakes
03. A/B Machines by Sleigh Bells
04. Sky Diver by Eyedea & Abilities
05. Runaway by theSTART
06. Sad Song by The Cars

Side B
01. In the Company of Wolves by Incubus
02. Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks
03. NYCNY by Daryl Hall
04. Chicken: 30 by The Coathangers
05. Mellow by Tricky
06. Best by Cheyenne Marie Mize

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Deftones And Far Members Debut Free EP As Crosses

Crosses is the latest side project from Deftones frontman Chino Moreno in collaboration with Far guitarist Shaun Lopez and Giant Drag frontwoman Anne Hardy. The new project will consist of a series of free downloads with an option to purchase the higher quality files, artwork and lyrics for five dollars here. Overall, the project will consist of 16 tracks, which are near completion. For now, however, drool over and enjoy the free five-track EP of electronic goodness posted below and check out their website for more on Crosses including video clips and future updates.

Foo Fighters Garage Rocking Documentary

In April, Foo Fighters went out on an small garage tour in honor of their newest album, Wasting Light, which was recorded in frontman Dave Grohl's garage. A contest was held, winners were drawn and it was a unique and awesome way for them to give back to their fans. The tour was documented and released earlier this week as a short 40-minute documentary showcasing the love the band has for their fans in their performances and by guitarist Pat Smear autographing and giving one lucky kid his guitar. It is the perfect companion piece to the band's documentary, Back and Forth. Watch the video below and in a non-nude, Mr. Skin moment, there is boner reference around the 12:36 mark.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wind Down The Summer With These August Releases

August is a great month as my birthday is in it but this August is great because it features new releases from Kittie and Red Hot Chili Peppers, two of my favorite bands. It also features the debut collaboration album from Jay-Z and Kanye West. Even a new releases from Sparta's Jim Ward, Tom Morello and Marachi el Bronx will see store shelves. As much as I like gifts, I'd rather you pick up a new release for yourself, enjoy it and play it loud.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pick Of The Week: Lollapalooza Aftershows

It is that time again where during the first weekend of August, crowds of people descend upon Grant Park for a weekend filled with music from countless bands known as Lollapalooza. This particular year is a special one as it is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the festival. Is there a better way to celebrate the festival than by attending it? Yes, there is and it is the Lollapalooza aftershow. Each year, artists performing at the festival also perform at various venues throughout Chicago and this year's offering are so excellent that they are the pick of the week. Here are only but a few of them.

Five Reasons Why The 120 Minutes Relaunch Does Not Work For Me

The last few days brought forth two noteworthy events for MTV. The first one being that the network turned 30-years-old on Monday. Sure, many thought it would fade away but it expanded like Mark Goodman's hair and became a major force for entertainment and pop culture as well as helping to launch several notable and several forgettable careers regardless of charisma, talent and musical ability (ex. Mike Judge and Madonna vs. The Situation and Jimmy Ray). Congratulations to MTV and all the network has accomplished in its 30 year career despite dropping music videos and, mostly, music altogether in favor of the horribly stereotyped and idiotic reality shows that have plagued the network for the last six years (The Hard Times of R.J. Berger is an anomaly there...a humorous and pleasant anomaly).