08 November 2010
From allmusic (4/5):
"This L.A.-based band (originally hailing from San Francisco) came along just when they were needed most. This self-produced major-label debut boldly plunders a reverb-and-white noise course previously trampled underfoot by long-gone British bands of the late '80s and early '90s (the Jesus & Mary Chain, the Verve, Ride, the Stone Roses, etc.). It all sounds very British, on many levels, despite the fact that only one band member is an Englishman living in exile in the States. On some songs, however, the driving, over-amped guitars (often buzzing with "VU needles-in-red"-type feedback) and pounding drums have a swaggering primeval feel that rivals solid Detroit rock outfits, both old and new (including the Stooges and the Go, to name two). A few have dark, introspective lyrics, with subjects like impending death ("Rifles" at their heart, while others have a positive, more uplifting feel (cf. "Salvation"), but it's really the group's cohesive, solid production overall that captures a shoegazing, blustery rock vibe not heard for nearly a decade or more. Highlights abound on this astonishing disc, including the bitter opening salvo, "Love Burns," the diaphanous space pop of "Too Real," and the flurry of sawtooth guitar scree that is "Whatever Happened to My Rock n' Roll (Punk Song)," a track recalling the manic intensity of the Stooges circa Fun House."
I really like "Rifles"; the next track, "Too Real" is amazing, with wonderful lyrics:
"Don't want to see what all these people see
They all seem lost with what they've found
Don't want to hear what all these people hear
It seems to tell them there's no sound
Don't want to fight who all these people fight
It's only truth that's been denied
Does it feel too real
When everything you've learned to love seems to change?
Does it feel too real
When everything you love to fear seems the same?"
This has a few bonus tracks, my favourite of which is "At My Door".
11 May 2010
From allmusic (5/5):
"Entertainment! is one of those records where germs of influence can be traced through many genres and countless bands, both favorably and unfavorably. From groups whose awareness of genealogy spreads wide enough to openly acknowledge Gang of Four's influence (Fugazi, Rage Against the Machine), to those not in touch with their ancestry enough to realize it (rap-metal, some indie rock) -- all have appropriated elements of their forefathers' trailblazing contribution. Its vaguely funky rhythmic twitch, its pungent, pointillistic guitar stoccados, and its spoken/shouted vocals have all been picked up by many. Lyrically, the album was apart from many of the day, and it still is. The band rants at revisionist history in "Not Great Men" ("No weak men in the books at home"), self-serving media and politicians in "I Found That Essence Rare" ("The last thing they'll ever do?/Act in your interest"), and sexual politics in "Damaged Goods" ("You said you're cheap but you're too much"). Though the brilliance of the record thrives on the faster material -- especially the febrile first side -- a true highlight amongst highlights is the closing "Anthrax," full of barely controlled feedback squalls and moans. It's nearly psychedelic, something post-punk and new wave were never known for. With a slight death rattle and plodding bass rumble, Jon King equates love with disease and admits to feeling "like a beetle on its back." In the background, Andy Gill speaks in monotone of why Gang of Four doesn't do love songs. Subversive records of any ilk don't get any stronger, influential, or exciting than this."
Get it here.
06 May 2010
03 May 2010
From allmusic (5/5):
"The Stooges' first album was produced by a classically trained composer who dabbled in rock & roll and the avant-garde; their second was supervised by a guy who had once been the keyboard player with the Kingsmen, and if that didn't make all the difference, it at least indicates why Fun House was a step in the right direction right out of the gate. Producer Don Gallucci took the sensible approach that the Stooges were a powerhouse live band, and his best bet was to re-create the group's live set with as little fuss as possible. As a result, the production on Fun House bears some resemblance to the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" -- the sound is smeary and bleeds all over the place, but it packs the low-tech wallop of a concert pumped through a big PA, bursting with energy and immediacy. The Stooges were also a much stronger band this time out; Ron Asheton's blazing minimalist guitar runs had gained little in the way of technique since The Stooges, but his confidence had grown by a quantum leap as he summoned forth the sounds that would make him the hero of proto-punk guitarists everywhere, and the brutal pound of drummer Scott Asheton and bassist Dave Alexander had grown to heavyweight champion status. And Fun House is where Iggy Pop's mad genius first reached its full flower; what was a sneer on the band's debut had grown into the roar of a caged animal desperate for release, and his rants were far more passionate and compelling than what he had served up before. The Stooges may have had more "hits," but Fun House has stronger songs, including the garage raver to end all garage ravers in "Loose," the primal scream of "1970," and the apocalyptic anarchy of "L.A. Blues." In 2005, Rhino Records released a deluxe edition of Fun House that gave the album a long-needed remastering for CD, and included a bonus disc of alternate takes from the original recording sessions. The additional disc isn't especially revelatory for hardcore fans, since everything on it (except for a very raw demo of "Loose") appeared on the box set 1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions, including the hilarious single mix of "Down on the Street" (with a neo-Ray Manzarek keyboard part clumsily overdubbed over the top), two songs that didn't make the final cut of the album, and Iggy imitating his favorite wrestler. But given the fact the 1970 box is out of print (and commanding big bucks on eBay), the bonus disc does a nice job of condensing its material and summing up how this Fun House took shape, and the remastering of the original album makes it sound as loud and proud on CD as it deserves. Fun House is the ideal document of the Stooges at their raw, sweaty, howling peak, and this expanded edition only adds to the album's glorious fury."
Get it here, before it most likely gets taken down.
02 May 2010
I don't feel like re-writing the details of the whole thing, so here's the facebook post.
This blogging thing was looking kinda like it was going to end soon, but standing in line with a hundred other people to get into a record store, talking about new releases and such...well to put it shortly, it rekindled my interest in this blog thing. Well, that, and the closure of one of my favourite blogs, Radiobutt Music. The final post there was depressing, and made me want to continue a blog in the wake of Blogger crucially shutting these down. An excerpt from RBM's last post:
"..There is much more to life than music. There is much more to music than pop music...Music takes away our precious time from thinking, reading, and living a real life. At a certain point one should decide to stop entertaining oneself to death..."
So yeah, I'm going to try to do this when I can. There will be periods of no posts, but the second I listen to or rediscover something special, I'll make sure to let ya'll know.
But I digress. Back to this record fair.
I'm gonna go. I couldn't get too much crate-digging done on Record Store Day, as everything I wanted had already sold out (e.g. Gorillaz' "White Flag" single, some Exile on Main Street-era 'Stones demo or something, etc; at least I got the pink vinyl reissue of Sonic Youth's EVOL).
If you're going, leave a comment or somethin'. Maybe we could meet up, trade mix cds or something.
30 April 2010
hprill's review on Rate Your Music (4.5/5):
If MBV ever released a collection of songs that doesn't even carry an ounce of pretentiousness in it, this is it; this is as straight as MBV ever were. The five tracks on this EP aren't artsy, dreamy or shoegazey; they are great pop music without all the bubblegum and the polish.
Everything is as tight as it can get. The title track is urgent, powerful and noisy; "Slow" is, well, slow and heavy on the bass. "Thorn" surprises with acoustic guitars and a post-Smiths attitude that other British bands must have envied well into the early 1990s.
Don't expect anything like Loveless -- there are no blobs of sound on this album, even though traces of the band's future sound are noticeable. But here the drums are still pounding, the lyrics still understandable, and the songs are compact and don't flow (or float) around the room.
As fantastic as British indie pop ever got in the late 80s."
Or, you can go with my review on the same site (5/5, though I'd give it a 6/5 if I could):
"Amazing that in this transitional period the band managed to release the most cogent and concise work in their œuvre. The songs come on, whoosh past you; ephemeral.
Now time to start hunting for this on vinyl."
Get it here.
28 April 2010
As some, most, all, or none of you may know, Guru, the legendary MC of Gang Starr (whose albums have been posted before; younger readers may know him as 8-ball in GTA III) passed away last week from multiple myeloma. He was 48.
I'm not going to go into the circus surrounding his death, or how his new producer, Solar, most likely penned a letter slamming DJ Premier. You can google all this yourself, and I'd like to just let the music speak for itself.
Here's allmusic's review (4/5):
"Gang Starr came out hard on their 1994 album, Hard to Earn, an album notably different from its two predecessors: Step in the Arena (1991) and Daily Operation (1992). While those two classic albums garnered tremendous praise for their thoughtful lyrics and jazzy beats, Hard to Earn seems much more reactionary, especially its lyrics. Guru opens the album with a tough, dismissive spoken-word intro: "Yo, all you kids want to get on and sh*t/Just remember this/This sh*t ain't easy/If you ain't got it, you ain't got it, motherf*cker." While this sense of superiority is undoubtedly a long-running convention of not just East Coast rap but rap in general, you don't expect to hear it coming from Gang Starr, particularly with such a bitter tone. Yet this attitude pervades throughout Hard to Earn. Songs such as "Suckas Need Bodyguards" and "Mass Appeal" take aim at unnamed peers, and other songs such as "ALONGWAYTOGO" similarly center on "whack crews." The best moments on Hard to Earn aren't these songs but instead "Code of the Streets" and "Tonz 'O' Gunz," two songs where Guru offers the type of social commentary that made Gang Starr so admirable in the first place. Yet, even though Hard to Earn is a bit short on such thoughtful moments, instead weighed down a bit with harsh attitude, it does offer some of DJ Premier's best productions ever. He's clearly at -- or, at least, near -- his best here. There isn't a song on the album that's a throwaway, and even the interludes are stunning. Given the subtly bitter tone of this album, it perhaps wasn't surprising then that Guru and Premier took some time to pursue solo opportunities after Hard to Earn. You can sense the duo's frustration with the rap scene circa 1994. The two didn't return with another Gang Starr album until four years later when they dropped Moment of Truth, a succinct comeback album that reaffirmed their status as one of New York's most thoughtful and artistic rap acts."
Get it here. And while you're at it, get the following:
Step in the Arena (1991)
Daily Operation (1992)
Here's Preemo's official statement on Guru's passing:
IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME TO GET CONFIRMATION ON THE DEATH OF A MAN WHO I WILL CONTINUE TO CALL MY BROTHER, KEITH ELAM, BETTER KNOWN AS GURU OF THE LEGENDARY GANG STARR.
FROM 1988-2004, WE EXPERIENCED SO MUCH SUCCESS TOGETHER THAT WE WERE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR BUSINESSES INDEPENDENTLY AND GIVE EACH OTHER WHAT GURU CALLED “CREATIVE SPACE”, BEFORE PLANNING TO REUNITE FOR OUR 7TH LP WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT. TRAGICALLY, WE WILL NEVER REACH THAT DAY.
I’VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM. ONE THING I WOULD NEVER DO IS PLAY AROUND WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS LIFE.
I WILL CELEBRATE GURU’S LIFE… I WILL HONOR HIS MEMORY… I WILL GRIEVE WITH THE ELAM FAMILY OVER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH… I WILL REMEMBER THE GANG STARR FOUNDATION AND ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF GANG STARR WHO CAME BEFORE ME – WE ALL KNOW EACH OTHER… MOSTLY, I WILL CHERISH EVERYTHING WE CREATED TOGETHER AS GANG STARR, FOREVER. I’M GONNA MISS HEARING HIS SIGNATURE MONOTONE VOICE WHEN HE WALKS IN THE ROOM, BUT THE SONGS WILL ALWAYS BRING IT BACK TO ME….HIS RHYME FLOWS WERE INSANE, AND I WILL NEVER REMOVE HIM FROM MY HEART AND SOUL…….REST IN PEACE TO THE MAN WHO FELT “SATISFACTION FROM THE STREET CROWD REACTION” … I LOVE YOU GOO…….DJ PREMIER
18 April 2010
This is the original version of the album. Two tracks, ripped from vinyl. Just give it a listen. If I had to stress one word while listening to this album, it'd be "patience". And man, if you do any psychedelic/dissociative drugs, this is a GREAT album to trip to (well, at least SWIM says so).
"the car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
and a dark wind blows
the government is corrupt
and we're on so many drugs
with the radio on and the curtains drawn
we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
and the machine is bleeding to death
the sun has fallen down
and the billboards are all leering
and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles
it went like this: ...
the buildings tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
and pulled out their hair
the skyline was beautiful on fire
all twisted metal stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze
i said: "kiss me, you're beautiful -
these are truly the last days"
you grabbed my hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a fever
we woke up one morning and fell a little further down -
for sure it's the valley of death
i open up my wallet
and it's full of blood"
Get it here.
17 April 2010
16 April 2010
Believe the hype when I tell you this is one of the best releases so far in 2010. Beach house’s Teen Dream is just one of those albums that sound good at first listen. I was quite skeptical when I heard this was a great album considering their other releases have been kind of lacking imo. When it comes down to it, a lot of the songs are just catchy as hell and have substance as well. It’s a very layered sound, so you are going to have to give it a couple of listens to analyze all the sounds. At the same time you can listen to this without really thinking and truly take pleasure in it. Give it a download and enjoy it on these fine spring days.
09 April 2010
03 April 2010
Well, I apologize for the lack of posts lately. My job leaves me too tired to post anything, and the clinical depression robs me of what little energy I have on my days off.
I thought my friend(s) would be helping out on this blog, but I suppose I was wrong. You know what they say: if you want something done right, do it yourself (or, as I like to say: don't ever depend on other people, as they'll only let you down time after time).
Maybe there will be a post in the future. I dunno. As of right now, I just don't have the time/motivation/etc. to do it.
I mean, what's the incentive, really? People have dl'ed over a terabyte of music, and have left probably a grand total of 30 comments over the past 1+ years.
01 March 2010
I just checked my mediafire account and saw that you guys have downloaded over 1TB of music. This is a thank you for the milestone.
Leaked today I think. It's good. surprisingly modern, with a lot of unexpected guests (wtf Lou Reed). The title track, "On Melancholy Hill," "Some Kind of Nature," "Rhinestone Eyes," "Empire Ants," and "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach" are highlights. The rest of the album is good too, with few filler tracks. I'd give it a 8.9/10. Form your own opinion before rushing to Pitchfork.
get it here in 320kbps (quickly, before it gets deleted)
14 February 2010
29 January 2010
From allmusic (4.5/5):
"Described by Jerermy Enigk as a "wake-up call," Sunny Day Real Estate's fourth album (and their first for Time Bomb) The Rising Tide presents the most accomplished version of their gripping, anthemic sound yet. Appropriate to its title, The Rising Tide comes in sweeps and swells, ranging from searching, uncompromising rock like "Killed By an Angel" and "One" to gentle, beautiful ballads like "Rain Song" and even pop-tinged songs like "Television," which sounds a bit like a more propulsive version of the Police's early '80s singles. Though the album was recorded with a trio lineup (Jeremy Enigk, Dan Hoerner, and William Goldsmith), it's some of the band's fullest-sounding work, rich with strings and keyboard flourishes that add extra depth to the shimmering, Eastern-inspired drones of "Fool in the Photograph" and "Faces in Disguise." Lou Giordano's production gives The Rising Tide an unabashedly big, clean sound that frames Sunny Day's detailed songwriting and arrangements perfectly, giving the restrained, reflective "Tearing in My Heart" and "The Ocean" as much impact as driven tracks like "Snibe" and "Disappear." Best of all is the title track, which blends a beautiful melody, heartfelt vocals, and an insistent rhythm into a sweeping, affecting finale. Expansive and complex without compromising the band's focused, impassioned style, The Rising Tide is one of Sunny Day Real Estate's -- and 2000's -- most impressive albums."
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary (1994)
Sunny Day Real Estate - How It Feels to Be Something On (1998)