Aimee Mann – The Forgotten Arm

September 27, 2006 at 11:13 PM | Music | No Comments

Aimee Mann - The Forgotten ArmThis is one of my favorite finds of the year. I came across this one because I was actually listening to a VBM music sampler and came across the track “One More Second Chance” by Kat Jones. I was floored by that track–it was so amazing I had to find out more about her. I don’t remember where I exactly read about it, but somebody said that she had a Aimee Mann sound about her. I was pretty sure that I had heard of Aimee Mann, but I wasn’t familiar with her music at all. So I went and found her latest album, which happened to be The Forgotten Arm, and gave it a listen.

Their music isn’t really that similar, but I could feel some resemblance there. But then again, I know it’s often the case that female artists are so often compared to only a few well-known female artists… Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and the suchlike. I don’t know, I’m probably guilty of it too.

But I liked what I heard. It has a country vibe to it, but it isn’t flat-out country. As a matter of fact, it’s not really country at all, it’s just got a hint. I’m not a fan of country music–the most country that I’ve ever really listened to is Jenny Lewis’s Rabbit Fur Coat… and some would say that album isn’t country. Anyways, about The Forgotten Arm… all the songs are catchy and the album is tied together in this story about a boxer. She calls it a “concept album.” And you know what else about this album? It is quite possibly the most stereo album that I have ever come across. The channels are so split up, usually piano on the left, guitar on the right–it’s a great album for headphones. (Other fun stereo albums of note: Starflyer 59′s Old, The Postal Service’s Give Up, and The Beatles’ One.)

You can actually listen to 3 of the album’s tracks here and look through the story with pictures and everything. I recommend that you check it out.

Evanescence – Call Me When You’re Sober

September 18, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Music | 1 Comment

I think it’s an OK song, but I think the problem with it is the fact that she tries to pull a P. Diddy on everybody, by rhyming the word “me” with the word “me.”  You’re not fooling anybody, Amy Lee.

This n That

August 9, 2006 at 10:27 PM | Music, Nostalgia | No Comments

This n ThatI used to know this kid back in middle school who went by the name Jesse Loudermilk, who later became known as Jesse Evans, for some reason unbeknownst to me. We used to hang out back in the day. Matter of fact, we all used to hang out–a group of kids that I have pretty much lost all contact with. Anyways, one day in the 8th grade, all of a sudden, he up and leaves. I mean this was years ago, but I still remember that day. Vaguely, though.

And then I didn’t hear from him again, in person, anyways. A couple years later (I don’t remember if this was during high school or college), I got word about Jesse singing in this band called “This n That”. I picked up some mp3s from somewhere and I think they sound pretty good. I can’t really find any information about them on the internet now (save for this review from 2002) and I have no idea if they are even together anymore.

I’ve had these songs sitting around on various computers over the years and I thought I’d just put them out there, in case anyone wants to check them out:

Update: Thanks to Ryan’s stalking skills, here’s This n That on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thisnthat86, where it says they broke up in the summer of 2003. Guess that answers that question.

Old News?

August 6, 2006 at 10:11 PM | Art, Music, Nerd, Nostalgia, TV | No Comments

Sam & Max, 3DSam & Max, your favorite canine detective and rabbity-thing are back!! Telltale Games will be releasing an episodic video game series of the duo in the fall. This is all very exciting news since LucasArts disappointingly cancelled their Sam & Max: Freelance Police video game a few years back. And it looked so cool, too. And it was going to be in the same vein as such classic adventure games like the Monkey Island series or the genius Grim Fandango.

Sam & Max, if you are not aware, is one of my favorite comic entities that even enjoyed a brief run as a cartoon on Fox many years ago. The art is amazing and the humor is borderline inappropriate, just like I like it. You should pick up some of their comics if you get a chance.

Anyways, the site is chalk full of stuff related to the game, including a trailer, a semi-interactive webcomic, t-shirts, wallpapers… all kinds of fun Sam & Max type stuff.

Smashing PumpkinsIn other news, I just read today that The Smashing Pumpkins are back in the studio, getting ready to drop a new album. I’m not sure how I missed this, because I read that this was announced around the time of Billy’s TheFutureEmbrace release a while back. At the moment, only Billy and Jimmy are back on board with the reunion, so I’m not sure how I feel about it, because James Iha had a lot to do with the sound that I liked about the Pumpkins. Will it be the same without him? Or D’Arcy? I know a lot of people have the opinion that Smashing Pumpkins started going downhill after Mellon Collie and that Mellon Collie was their greatest work of all time, but I actually like the stuff post-Mellon Collie more than the earlier stuff. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the early stuff, either, there were some hot tracks back then, but Adore? My god, that album was brilliant. And so very underrated. I would play it sometimes and people are like “whoooa what is this!? This is fuckin’ awesome, how come I haven’t heard of this?” It’s like the album wasn’t given enough airplay to make it well known, I guess. To me, it’s kind of like The Smashing Pumpkins’ equivalent of Weezer’s Pinkerton–one of their best (if not the best) albums, yet somehow obscure to the mainstream.

Anyways, Adore was all electronic and wild with the absence of Jimmy Chamberlin, but then when Jimmy came back for Machina, that album was just as brilliant, if not more so. No, I think the Pumpkins were onto something. But then they broke up and for a while there was Zwan, some kind of a bizarro-Smashing Pumpkins lineup that sounded alright, but not as good as the real deal. I’ve also grazed through TheFutureEmbrace too, and I like it… it’s kind of Adore-esque, but again… missing something. And I’m glad that Billy realizes that too.

Summer ’07 Mix

August 4, 2006 at 1:54 AM | Art, Mixes | 1 Comment

  1. LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
  2. Elkland – Find Me
  3. The Faint – Dust
  4. Starflyer 59 – I Win
  5. Arctic Monkeys – When The Sun Goes Down
  6. The Afters – Beautiful Love
  7. Muse – Recess
  8. The Flaming Lips – Seven Nation Army
  9. Pernice Brothers – Clear Spot
  10. Placebo – Infra-Red
  11. Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push
  12. T.I. – You Don’t Know Me
  13. Rudye feat. Savage – She A Poppa
  14. The Rapture – Olio
  15. Joy Electric – The Ministry of Archers
  16. Death Cab For Cutie – Photobooth
  17. Pepper – Dry Spell
  18. Bloc Party – Pioneers
  19. Taking Back Sunday – MakeDamnSure
  20. Damien Rice – Volcano
  21. The Subways – Oh Yeah

  1. The Kills – Murdermile
  2. The Knife – Heartbeats
  3. Hooverphonic – Wardrope
  4. Love Psychedelico – Wasting (live)
  5. Venus Hum – Yes and No
  6. Shiny Toy Guns – Le Disko
  7. Blonde Redhead – Melody
  8. Nina Persson – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
  9. Rachael Yamagata – Reason Why
  10. Imogen Heap – Speeding Cars
  11. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Melt Your Heart
  12. The Cardigans – I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer
  13. Kat Jones – One More Second Chance
  14. Stars – Ageless Beauty
  15. Veda – Song For a Friend
  16. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Dudley
  17. Petra Haden and Bill Frisell – Yellow
  18. Nelly Furtado – Maneater
  19. Schuyler Fisk – Hello

The Last Kiss

July 22, 2006 at 10:16 PM | Movies, Music | No Comments

Speaking of Rachael Yamagata, I found out that she has a track on a soundtrack for the upcoming Zach Braff movie, The Last Kiss. Incidentally, Zach had some hand in picking out the songs to go on the soundtrack, much like he did for the wildly popular Garden State soundtrack.

The story of how I came to discover this bit of information is actually quite lengthy in itself and a few months in the making, but I’m gonna tell it anyways. I am, as you may or may not be aware, quite smitten with Alexis Bledel. She has a lead role in an upcoming movie, I’m Reed Fish. Of course, I watched the trailer as soon as I found out and this is when I discovered the musical workings of Schuyler Fisk, an actress who is also a singer/songwriter. It looks like she stars in the movie as well plays some of her own songs for the movie. I’d seen her before in movies, but I didn’t know that she did music too. Anyways, I went and listened to all of her songs on her website and her myspace and I loved it all. She is currently working on an album and so I’m guessing that she puts out new demos and stuff every once in a while. When I was checking up on her to see if she had any new material available, I found out that she’s contributed a song to the aforementioned soundtrack.

I checked it out and there’s actually a lot of stuff on there that I dig. Here’s the tracklist:

  1. Snow Patrol – Chocolate
  2. Joshua Radin – Star Mile
  3. Turin Brakes – Pain Killer
  4. Coldplay – Warning Sign
  5. Cary Brothers – Ride
  6. Athlete – El Salvador
  7. Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek
  8. Rachael Yamagata – Reason Why
  9. Ray LaMontagne – Hold You In My Arms
  10. Remy Zero – Prophecy
  11. Fiona Apple – Paper Bag
  12. Aimee Mann – Today’s The Day
  13. Amos Lee – Arms Of A Woman
  14. Rufus Wainwright – Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk (Reprise)
  15. Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin – Paperweight

It’s almost a little too good. Or familar? My initial thought was, hey this looks like a good one. But then I realized that the selection is pretty similar to that of Garden State in terms of the artists found on there. Coldplay, Imogen Heap (in Frou Frou), and Remy Zero all made appearances on Garden State. But with the inclusion of artists like Rachael Yamagata, Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, and Schuyler Fisk, chances are high that I will like this one even better.

And it’s not like you have to wait for this soundtrack to drop before you can hear these songs (for the most part). All of these tracks, with the exception of the Schuyler Fisk song, already come from existing albums. If you’re resourceful enough, you can probably throw together your own compilation. Alas, its ironic that the only reason why I began looking into all of this was because I wanted to hear the new Schuyler Fisk song. Ah well.

So what about the movie itself? I’m not sure… I have my reservations about Zach Braff projects. OK, you have to admit that the Garden State soundtrack was hot shit and Natalie Portman is always a treat. I didn’t care much for the movie itself though… I just didn’t. That’s right, I went there. The first time I watched it, I actually fell asleep partway through. I thought I didn’t like it because I thought that I might have missed something. So I got up the next day and rewatched the whole thing. Still didn’t like it. Apparently I didn’t miss much. I know it’s not fair for me to compare The Last Kiss to Garden State. But I really don’t have much else to go on. I watched the trailer, it looked interesting enough. And it’s got Rachel Bilson (of The OC fame) in it, though she’s no Natalie Portman… shite, there I go again.

Anyways, hopefully this one won’t disappoint, the soundtrack looks promising enough though, if that means anything to you.

Abusing Amazon Images

July 22, 2006 at 9:15 PM | Music, Nerd | No Comments

This is a good one. I’ve messed around with Amazon’s image URLs before to do some pretty tricky things before, but not quite like this guy: http://www.aaugh.com/imageabuse.html. I actually came across this when I was looking for an image of the cover of Rachael Yamagata’s EP and found that the image on Amazon had this extra white border around the image. Simple URL manipulation took care of that one pretty easily, but still, it’s interesting to see all of the things that one can do with Amazon images.

MySpace Does Some Good, For Once

June 19, 2006 at 8:29 PM | Music | 1 Comment

Without a functioning computer to call my own, I haven’t really had an opportunity to see what my favorite bands have been up to. But last night, I made the rounds on the MySpace pages of some of my favorite bands and to my surprise, it seems as if everybody’s coming out with new music!

First, Starflyer 59 has a new EP entitled “I Win” coming out. The title track is so hot, it’s not even funny. I can’t wait to hear the rest of it and the new album when that drops. Joy Electric‘s got a new track “March of the Toy Drums.” It’s kind of a strange song… very spooky sounding, very The Ministry of Archers-esque.

All this is good and well, but I’m actually more excited about some other new music that I checked out on a MySpace page… in all of these ventures, I discovered this little bit of information: Goat Explosion is back!! I really dug Goat Explosion’s old stuff, but it was a shame that not more of it got recorded before they mysteriously disbanded/reformed/changed into Elkland. I’m not sure what everybody’s problem with Elkland was, but I liked them too. But now that Goat Explosion is back, I’m hoping that they finally put out a full length studio recording. It already sounds like they’ve got some songs down and they’re fucking unbelievable. Be sure and check out: “We’ve Arrived.”

The Legends

April 23, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Concerts, KCMO, Music | No Comments

So last night, a group of us went out to The Legends, which is a new shopping mall out at Village West. I saw something about it on the news, I guess the place is going to be like part museum, part shopping center. The place is called Legends because it’s in honor of the historical figures of Kansas, something that I have grown to appreciate since living in the hellhole known as Missouri (known as “Misery” by many). Anyways, that area is just blowing up… they got Dave & Busters out there (which we’ve hit up a few times already), they got some pretty good restuarants out there, Nebraska Furniture Mart, the Speedway, Cabela’s, and now all these new stores. For their grand opening, they had a free Counting Crows concert. I’ve never seen the Counting Crows before, but I really dig their music… I find myself listening to them off and on quite a bit. The concert was outdoors, the weather was perfect, and they played a pretty good show. Afterwards, there was a fireworks display. And then it started raining and hailing pretty hard, but that was after we got back to the car, so I suppose it was alright.

Upcoming Shows

April 12, 2006 at 8:46 PM | Concerts, Good Times, Music | 1 Comment

Through a strange twist of fate, I have suddenly found myself going to a number of concerts in the near future. In the very near future (AKA tomorrow), I have the Fallout Boy/Hawthorne Heights/All-American Rejects show. And then next month, another show with The Subways (who I actually saw not too long ago), and Imogen Heap… both shows in Lawrence.

That last Subways was so fucking hot, I can’t wait to see them again… I never got around to writing about that show, but let me tell you, it was a good one. I ended up going to that one with Kyle and this girl in one of his night classes. I have to be honest, it was probably one of the funnest shows that I’ve ever been to. The venue was just the perfect size, the band played a great set, and we were all nice and tore up. Here’s hoping the next one is just as good.

The Imogen Heap show, I really wonder how that’s going to go… I’m thinking it might be kind of a little different format than most shows, being a solo act and all. I’ve never seen any footage of her playing any shows but I did see the video of her performing live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, hosted by Nick Harcourt. She did all of the music by herself on there. Now, I guess this really isn’t too far fetched, considering the number of Joy Electric shows that I have frequented over the years. While I enjoyed every JE show that I’ve gone to, the Ronnie Martin solo act just did not compare to the first time that I saw him perform with live drums. That was the same show that Ryan and I saw Goat Explosion… that was a good one. I’ve seen pictures of Jeff Cloud playing with Ronnie too, on the key-tar, if I’m not mistaken. A solo act is cool, but a couple more people on stage doing their thing is probably even a better time. Anyways, Imogen’s music is amazing. I enjoyed everything that she put out with Frou Frou and her solo albums are just as good if not better than those. I thought that she’d never come around these parts, but then again, I thought that I would never see The Cardigans either.


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