Monday, September 27, 2010

You are invited!

Feb 19, 2011 - The Metro. Tickets go on sale Friday.

Fuck yes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall(ing down), Getting Up

Fall's a weird season to try to predict. I feel like it's easy to hole up, throw on Joni Mitchell's "Blue" and drink coffee the whole time, wearing sweaters and scowling. Summer's over, winter's on the way.

No, I say! Fall is a season of renewal. You've got no high expectations, just crisp days full of sun, apple cider, corn mazes, time to make plans, time to execute them, long drives, time for yourself, for the people you love. This is a mix mostly for driving, but driving with people with the windows down and the cold air rushing in.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Metric w/Brie Larson - Black Sheep

Embedding is not allowed, apparently.

I was very impressed by the Scott Pilgrim movie adaptation's use of music, showcasing long running Canadian indie bands(Broken Social Scene, Metric), having the actors perform the music, and the way the music amplified the storytelling already present within the film.  Let's look closely at "Black Sheep" by Metric/The Clash at Demonhead as an example of this.

"Black Sheep" is a song designed to showcase Envy(Brie Larson) and also, subtly, Todd's(Superman) bass playing. Brie gets a breathy and sexy vocal line, Brandon(Superman's real name) gets a swaggering and dominant bass line. The Franz Ferdinand-ish bass line anchors the song, while the vocal line soars above.

Envy's played up as a threat to Scott and Ramona, but like the song, Envy's mostly window-dressing to Todd's muscle. I like that the bass line is simple, but commands attention. It's not overly flashy, but it's confident and undeniable as the main focus of the song. 

I'll also be honest, I think Brie's vocal performance might trump the Metric version that's actually on the soundtrack. The subtle electronic effects are awesome as all get out, and I think there's some slight emotional edge to the movie's version.  You can hear it at the link above. 

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is in theaters now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blind Guardian US Tour 2010!

Apparently there are opening acts, I don't fucking give a shit. Fresh off their strongest offering since "Nightfall in Middle Earth", Blind Guardian's touring the USA.


11/19 Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
11/20 New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre
11/21 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
11/23 Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
11/25 Quebec City, QC @ Theatre Capitole
11/26 Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
11/27 Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/29 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
11/30 Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
12/1 Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre
12/3 Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall Ballroom
12/4 Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
12/6 Seattle, WA @ Showbox at The Market
12/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
12/9 Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre/The Music Box
12/10 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
12/11 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
12/12 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
12/14 Dallas, TX @ Trees
12/15 Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
12/17 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
12/18 St. Petersburg, FL @ The State Theatre (Florida Power Fest)
12/19 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
12/21 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
12/22 W. Springfield, VA @ Jaxx

Will be at the Chicago date, and I'm already growing my hair out in anticipation. Holy fuck yes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Mountain Goats w/Kimya Dawson - Attention All Pickpockets/The Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton

I've always loved Kimya Dawson's soft, sweet vocals on "Attention All Pickpockets", and it's lovely to see her perform them live. Her addition to the end of "Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton" is charming and wonderful, and I shan't spoil it.

I asked the singer of Fishboy what the best ever death metal band out of Denton was, and he was only able to come up with some doom metal bands. We're now at the point where web-searching Denton death metal only comes up with this song. However, thanks to the obsessive weirdos behind the Encyclopaedia Metallum, we learn that there are a couple of recent contenders. Let's break it down:

Wrought of Obsidian
: These folks actually have two Encyclopaedia Metallum articles, as they used to go by Hyperion. They've got a new album out, and share a drummer with Devourment. They play polished death metal with a heavy melodic edge. It's not terrible, but I'm not impressed. There's no oopmh in the recording, no fire. Next!

The Cauldron Born: Man, I was so stoked for this based on the picture in the EM article! One man death/black metal band in sweatpants! Fuck yes! Unfortunately, there are some problems here. The myspace has the dude's location as Crosby, Texas. Disqualified!   However, this is actually some pretty ripping melo-death.  Minus points for the drum machine, major fucking bonus points for the furious vocals and the sweet meedly-meedly guitar riffs.  I'm actually really digging this right now.

Descendant: Holy shit. 'STACHE. Nothing else to see here.

Resigned to Fate: This is actually kind of rad! These guys remind me a lot of If Hope Dies or early All That Remains mixed with a bit of Creation is Crucifixion. Resigned to Fate plays the same sort of melodic metalcore that used to be huge in Massachusetts right before everyone decided to add over-produced clean singing. They mix it up a bit by adding some black metal-styled tremolo parts, and I'm digging this. This makes sense, since they share two members with Forever Mourne, a black metal band from Denton.  Not strictly death metal in the sense I was hoping, but hey, EM called this crust/thrash which is significantly more off the mark, so I'll allow it.

Rhome: Rhome is certainly the most brutal metal band out of Denton. Their vocalist switches between a piggish gurgle and a high-pitched screech while the band grinds competently behind him. Weirdly enough, this only applies to the first two tracks on the myspace. The rest sound like an entirely different, and much worse band. 

Overall, I'm thinking that Resigned to Fate might be the best band from ACTUAL Denton I've heard doing this short experiment. I really wanted to discover some filthy OSDM, but unfortunately, it looks like Denton is/was a hotbed of shitty melodeath worship. Resigned To Fate, good job! The Cauldron Born comes in at second, only because they appear to no longer really be from Denton anymore. Dude shreds.

Hail Satan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bjork/Robyn - Hyperballad

I've never been a huge fan of Bjork, but a friend posted Robyn's recent performance of "Hyperballad" at the Polar Music Prize ceremony, and I took a moment to investigate the original. Despite my overwhelming love for Robyn, I really think the original might take the cake here.

It's a song about the rituals we create that transform the unbearable into the bearable. The protagonist throws objects off the side of a mountain in order to make it through her days. There is the implication of a abusive relationship, and the statement of semi-suicidal thoughts, but the bulk of the song is focused on the ritual and the purpose of the ritual, as one must be in order for any magic of this kind to work. The skittering and burbling electronic background of the original emphasize the ordered nature of the ritual, then exploding during the chorus which showcases the unbearable nature of the situation, and the demanded and desired effect of throwing car parts from a mountain("So I can feel happier, to be safe again with you."). This sort of subtle nicety is missing entirely from the symphonic version performed by Robyn, trading the unstable feeling for a shallower "epic" feel. Robyn's vocal performance also lacks the nuance of Bjork's unique vocal physicality, again robbing the song of it's depth.

Most people put the pain first, and then the salve comes later. Bjork understands that the most effective way to deal with pain is to head it off at the pass, to create a self that cannot be affected by events to come. Beautiful song, and it is unfortunate that Robyn's version does not do it justice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

BB + HD = 4eva

Still just about the best thing ever.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



I get shit stuck in my head constantly. Today was, in order "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga, "Umbrella" by Rihanna, "Giant Steps" by John Coltrane, and then "Orange Ball of Hate" by the Mountain Goats. This website is a godsend. 

Oh, my goodness. It just played "Spanish Flea"!