Ke$ha

February 8, 2010 at 4:10 PM | Music | No Comments

You can’t tell me that I’m the only one who was surprised when they saw an image or video of Ke$ha for the first time and saw a white girl!

Nutcracker / The Beef Song

January 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM | Music | No Comments

Does anyone else get Tchaikovsky’s Trepak (from The Nutcracker), confused with Aaron Copland’s Hoedown from his Rodeo ballet (used in the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner commercials)? Yes? Me too! I was thinking this during the Christmas music season not too long ago.

100,000 Scrobbles

December 28, 2008 at 1:24 PM | Music | No Comments

I have been a user of Last.fm ever since its early days as “Audioscrobbler” (member since April 14, 2004). I am quickly approaching the 100,000 play mark (99,284 at the time of writing). Much like the turning over of a major odometer number in one’s car, it is a time for both reflection and anticipation. Has my participation in this music analyzing experiment provided any value for myself? Have I discovered anything about my own musical taste? I can only recall a few times that I have branched out with their algorithm generated recommendations. I think the reason that this has happened is perhaps because I don’t enjoy discovering new music when it is spoon fed to me, even if it is a statistically safe, database-driven spoon. I become frustrated when the recommendations radio delivers three or four consecutive tracks which cause a “pssh, I already know about these guys, I just choose not to listen to them” reaction.

This is very similar to the reason why I detest the radio so much… although I have found recently that the combination of 6 presets on my car stereo can somewhat reduce this aversion. But still… with the radio, it is inevitable that six stations manage to synchronize with 6 shit songs, 6 commercials, or a steaming combination from both categories.

Still, I can’t say that I haven’t found new music through the site… it’s wiki-like setup has led me upon gems that I had not heard of before. Exploring friends’ profiles have also produced good results. And hell, even the recommendations work for me sometimes.

Returning to the topic of my convergence upon the big 100,000… I doubt that my profile will change much in 700 or so tracks, but I think it will still be interesting to see the summation and evolution of most of my music listening habits ever since the later half of my undergrad studies. By this, I mean that music played in my car, on my old iPod, or any other place which wasn’t actively contributing to my profile is a big mystery to last.fm.

Update: song #100,000 is The Smashing Pumpkins – Shame (live)

It’s Official

December 28, 2008 at 12:03 AM | Music | No Comments

Weezer is dead to me.

Summer ’08 Mix

June 18, 2007 at 12:05 AM | Art, Mixes | 1 Comment

Artwork’s done. It’s a simple theme on lines and dots:
Insert Front Insert Back CD

… and here are the tracks:

  1. Nine Inch Nails – Just Like You Imagined
  2. Smashing Pumpkins – Tarantula
  3. Bat For Lashes – What’s A Girl To Do
  4. Psapp – Hill of Our Home
  5. The Brothers Martin – Communication
  6. The Blow – Pardon Me
  7. Arctic Monkeys – You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me
  8. The Hush Sound – Wine Red
  9. Huskey Rescue – City Lights
  10. The Faint – Take Me To The Hospital
  11. Basement Jaxx – Take Me Back To Your House
  12. Tilly and the Wall – Bad Education
  13. The Chalets – Love Punch
  14. Röyksopp – What Else Is There?
  15. Kat Jones – The Great Scottish Hurricane
  16. The Postal Service – Be Still My Heart
  17. The Solids – Hey Beautiful
  18. The Elected – Would You Come With Me
  19. Wolfmother – Woman
  20. Feist – My Moon My Man

Turntable

May 12, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Music | 1 Comment

AT-PL120
I just ordered a turntable! The Audio-Technica AT-PL120, to be precise.

I should have ordered one of these things a long time ago, what with my occasional impulse purchases of vinyl-only releases over the years, with only my parent’s ancient combo stereo system (in Wichita) with which to play them. I look forward to spinning my MAP, SF59, And Academy, Cardigans, and Joy E records. Especially the unforgettable Goodbyes Are Sad by Starflyer 59. It will be brilliant.

Matchbox 20 – 3 AM

January 17, 2007 at 12:16 AM | Music | No Comments

OK, this is a quick one.  I recently picked up Matchbox 20′s 3 AM.  The song’s been out for a while now, but I heard it the other day at the gym and I just could not stop laughing.  People around me must’ve thought I was crazy or something, just laughing with myself.  You see, a while back on a team outing, all of us went out to Brass Rail after lunch.  3 AM came on the jukebox and Rob told me how a “yeeeah” could be inserted into the song after every line and have it sound like it belonged.  I don’t know if I did a good job of explaining this, but it’s true!  And it’s hilarious.  Every time I hear the song, I’m dropping “yeeeah”‘s in, laughing.  If you get it, you should give it a try.  True story.

Barney’s “Get Psyched Mix”

December 31, 2006 at 3:35 AM | Mixes, TV | 4 Comments

One of the first episodes of the show How I Met Your Mother that I ever saw was the New Years episode. The episode (S01E11), entitled The Limo, is also one of my favorites. So, what better way to prepare for New Years than to review said episode?

Now, if you have not seen this episode, Barney pulls out this CD that he calls the “Get Psyched Mix,” a mix CD that goes against the rule that a good mix has rise and fall. Instead, it’s all rise. It has led to my inclusion of the Bon Jovi track “You Give Love A Bad Name” on several of my mixes. But now that New Years is actually upon us, I thought that it might be nice to have the entire “Get Psyched Mix” at my disposal. Being too lazy to figure out the tracklist manually, I decided that it be best to consult Google to see if anybody else knew what songs were on Barney’s “Get Psyched Mix.”  It turns out, the contents of the mix are a topic under debate.

This is the tracklist, according to Barney’s Blog (maintained by the creators of the show):

1) YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME – Jonathan B. Jovi
2) THE HUMPTY DANCE – Digital Underground
3) COME SAIL AWAY – Stix
4) DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ – Journey
5) THE TRANSFORMERS THEME SONG – O. Prime
6) YOU’RE THE BEST AROUND – Joe Esposito
7) HIGH ENOUGH – Damn Yankees
8) JESSIE’S GIRL – Rick Springfield
9) ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE – The Scorpions
10) HIP HOP HOORAY – Naughty by Nature
11) CHANGE OF HEART – Tom Petty
12) RUN AWAY – Slade

… and this is the tracklist, as painstakingly transcribed from the episode by TV Squad through review of the tracklist seen on the show:

1) I Wanna Rock — Twisted Sister
2) You Give Love A Bad Name — BJ (Bon Jovi)
3) Lick It Up — KISS
4) Paradise City — GNR (Guns & Roses)
5) Dancing With Myself — Billy Idol
6) Rock You Like A Hurricane — Scorpy (Scorpions)
7) Panama – Van Halen
8) Talk Dirty To Me — Poison
9) Thunderstruck — AC/DC
10) Dr. Feelgood — Crue (Motley Crue)
11) Round and Round – Ratt

Now, I gotta say, there are good tracks on both, and I believe that the TV Squad one is accurate to what was written on the CD seen on the show, though I cannot and will not confirm this. I say just take your favorite picks from the two and make your own!

Have a safe and happy new year!

The Faint, Tilly and the Wall, Fourth of July

December 21, 2006 at 11:55 PM | Concerts, Music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I saw The Faint in concert at The Granada this weekend.

The first act was a local band called Fourth of July, who kicked the show off to a great start. There were many things of note with this band… first of all, my favorite was probably the guitarist who played this real interesting, slide-guitar sounding parts. I listened to the tracks they have up on their MySpace and I’m pretty sure they started the show off with the track “Purple Heart” (check it out, it’s hot), which really showcases the guitar part that I’m talking about. The next awesome thing about this band is the fact that they had the whole female/male vocals that recently stated that I enjoyed. And then the guy on the keyboards even played the trumpet on some songs! And finally, the bassist had this kick ass old school looking jazz bass from straight out of the 60′s (70′s?). It wasn’t an upright or anything like that, though, if that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t know a whole lot about bass guitars, but I know that what this guy was playing was not very common. In fact, if there is a missing link between the upright bass to the modern jazz bass, then this was it. Maybe.

Tilly and the Wall was the biggest surprise. I think that I had heard of them before, but I had never heard anything by them (seems to be the story with me and a lot of other bands), so I really didn’t know what to expect. It turns out, I probably should have heard of them, what with their being on Team Love Records, which has its connections to Rilo Kiley and The Faint, both top notch bands in my book. Anyways, their main lineup included 2 female vocalists, a guitarist, as well as… a tap dancer! The tap dancer was amazing. At first, I didn’t know what the point of having a dedicated tap dancer on stage was, but then I realized that she was very much an integral part of Tilly and the Wall’s sound, as her dancing provided the percussion for the songs! I was like “hold up, nobody’s on the drums… and yet… oh my godddd, it’s the tap dancing!” But their sound is some real upbeat, happy sounding stuff, like almost to the point of flowery, hippy-happy. But that may be an exaggeration… it was very happy sounding stuff and it made you happy to hear it and see them perform. The stage was lit up all bright, the booms from the tap dancing hitting hard, people singing together, the handclaps… it was so good. And the girls in the band were hot and stylish, that’s always a plus.

My only complaint about the show is that there was this fool in front of me, during Tilly and the Wall’s set, who kept clapping to the music, but waaaay off beat. It was extremely annoying when I was trying to watch this band that had caught my interest so. I feel bad for being harsh on this guy, because I know how it feels to be at a long-awaited concert of one of your favorite bands of all time, which is what I’m guessing this poor fellow’s situation was. When you find yourself in such a situation, the feeling is incredible. You do what you gotta do, my friend. I’m all for it.  But, please, just not at my expense.

I picked up two Tilly and the Wall records (Wild Like Children and Bottoms of Barrels) and while they are both excellent albums, I think their live performance was sooo much better. Check them out sometime.

And then The Faint. The motherfucking Faint. Now, I’ve seen them before, and I absolutely loved it so much, that it was a given that I was going to see them again, as soon as I got word that they were coming around. It was about 2 years ago when I last saw them, and their setup and show still follows the same format: the dual projector screens in the back, playing material in sync with the music, a wild light show display, and the band performing all crazy, for lack of a better word. And it was all just one big electro-punk dance party–people jumping around, moving to the music. This guy in front of us fell down. Twice. And it never ceases to amaze me the amount of sounds heard on their albums that are produced by guitars, you know, things that one might think were created by synthesizers, computers, or drum machines.

Partway through The Faint’s performance, this guy in front of me turns around and gets my attention. He pointed at something, as if he needed me to get somebody’s attention standing behind me. I turned around and looked but I couldn’t see who/what he wanted. But what he was really doing was pointing at the letters “SF59″ printed on the shoulder of my shirt. I looked back at him and he gave me the thumbs up. We had a Starflyer fan amongst us. That’s always a good sign.

And The Faint played some of their new songs. It’d been a few years, probably about 2 years, maybe more, since they put out Wet From Birth, so I would expect that they have some new songs to play. The thing is, I don’t recall really digging those new tracks that much. And the hottest tracks are still the ones off of Danse Macabre. But when they put out their new disc, I have confidence that it’ll be as hot as their other albums, I just gotta give it some spins.

The Hush Sound

December 2, 2006 at 2:56 AM | Concerts, Music | 1 Comment

The Hush SoundWaaay back in April, I went to a Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, All-American Rejects show at River Market. It was an OK show… I wasn’t particularly impressed with Fall Out Boy, the headliner (I find that they are a band best enjoyed in the format of a studio recording), but everyone else did alright. But what I was really impressed with was one of the opening acts… the trouble was, I didn’t know who they were. And it was killing me.

I remember there being a girl in the band. I remember her playing piano and singing, but there was a guy that sang too, doing the 2 lead vocalists thing. I remember them mentioning that they were from Chicago. I remember they were called ____ Sound. And I remember loving their sound–generally upbeat stuff, kind of a cabaret sound about them. Plus I’m a sucker for good male/female mixed vocals (The Postal Service, Stars, Rilo Kiley, The Kills, The Subways, etc.).

But, what is that?? That’s not a whole lot to go off of. You certainly can’t google “Chicago sound”. I know, I tried.

I had nothing to go on really and it was really frustrating because I have a fucking excellent track record for finding random music that I come across. If I just hear a little bit of the song, out at a restaurant, over a store’s PA, on a TV show, I can almost always find it. I once found the artist and title of a song some people were playing in a car across a parking lot on a ski trip. And why do I exert so much effort to do this? Why do I care? Because when a track strikes my fancy, I must have it. I’m always on the lookout for new music and I must say, random music exposure and discovery is one of the most gratifying ways to get it done.

My track record took a blow with this particular act though. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find this mystery group that I had liked so much… I started to think that maybe they weren’t big enough to have sufficient internet exposure for me to properly discover them. I tried again every now and then but my searches turned up nothing. And the further the concert slipped into the past, it seemed the smaller the chance that I would find anything.

Until last night, by accident. I was looking around some random people’s favorite music in Facebook and lo and behold there it was… “The Hush Sound.” A little research and it was confirmed that that was who I had seen at that show so long ago. It’s funny because I actually did a search for it and it turned up on Sam’s favorite music list. As a matter of fact, he was the only Facebook friend that had it in their music list. The answer, it seemed, had been right here next doors and I had been oblivious. And Facebook isn’t usually a place where I find new music. I usually get that sort of thing done over at MySpace. That and looking up people I know to find out if they have kids now. I tell you what, that MySpace, it’s a one stop entertainment shop.

But yeah, if you get a chance, you should check out The Hush Sound’s Like Vines. I’ve been spinning that disc (read: playing the MP3s) all day. They also have an earlier album So Sudden that I haven’t gotten around to yet, but from what I’ve heard on Like Vines and reviews that I’ve read on it, it’s probably OK to go ahead and recommend that you check that out too.


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