Friday, December 17, 2010

Song of the Week (Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair)

"Are you going to Scarborough Fair?" Seriously, cuz I need a ride, and my broadsword won't fit in my Mini-Cooper.

I walked into the office yesterday in this crisp winter air, and the security guard at my building (we'll call him Bob) was walking into the office at the same time. Here is the exchange:
JZ: Hey Bob, how's it going?
Bob: Pretty good. (Bob doesn't know my name)
JZ: Big weekend plans this weekend?
Bob: Well I MAY be going out to dinner this Friday."
JZ: Oh yeah? Where to?
Bob: Well, me and my family are TRYING to go to Medieval Times (dinner and tournament), but you know how Medieval Times is around the holidays...tough to get in.
JZ: I hear that. You know Medieval Times is a lot of fun if the whole group is into it.
Bob: Oh yeah! Well I am definitely into it. I go to Scarborough Fair every year!
JZ: Really?
Bob: Oh yeah, I get all dressed up and everything. Bob starts singing "Scarborough Fair" and then makes some battle axe motions with his mitten-covered paws. Clearly there is a story behind Bob a LARP'er (Live Action Role Play'er)?
JZ: Bob, do you LARP?
Bob: Do you?
JZ: I've dabbled...(I haven't really dabbled, but I had to learn more...seriously! I haven't! I watched this movie one time...whatever.) (Bob bring his hand across his chest and salutes me)
Bob: I'm a level 6 Dwarf Warrior (satisfied look on his face)
JZ: DUDE...that is badass!
Bob: I know.
JZ: Well, good luck at Medieval Times and watch out for Angry Dragons.
Bob: Oh I will!

This happened.

Which brings me to a question: Are Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel players of World of Warcraft? I would wager that they are. If so, have they ever teamed up with LeRoy Jenkins?

In all seriousness Simon and Garfunkel are 2 masters of chillwave. FYI Folk music is the original chillwave. I would go as far as to say, without S&G we wouldn't have the likes of Air or M83 which would just be a damn shame. This song reminds me of Christmas...and LARPing. Best listened to curled up in a large chair by the fireplace with a novel authored by Cormac McCarthy or Angela Steele.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Song of the Week (Dirty Money - Coming Home)

In keeping with the recent Hip-hop-sploration, I decided to take on "Commercial Rap". I forgot there was such a thing, until I was at dinner with some girl from Atlanta. I asked her what kind of music she liked. She replied: "Any sort of commercial rap, you know like Trey Songz, Akon, Drake, Rhianna, etc." She might as well have punched me in the mouth. The only thing worse than "commercial rap" is "commercial country," "acid showers," "battles with Sam the cat" and "the creepy guy who works at Starbucks in Oak Lawn".

Did anyone else see Diddy on SNL last week (not live, of course)? I mean, how much did that suck? The whole time I kept thinking, if the ghost of Biggie Smalls was in the audience, he probably just died again...for realz. I felt like I was watching the Black-Eyed Peas making out with Kanye (ex-Fergie).

In this song, Diddy/Dirty Money/Puffy/Sean (P.Diddy) Combs/D.Piddy, makes a series of proclamations and asks some puzzling questions. I would like to comment on a few:

1) "If you ever been lost in life before, this one is for you"
JZ: If you like things that are difficult to listen to, this one is for you.

2) "What if my twins ask me why I ain't marryin' Momz...Damn, how do I respond?"
JZ: Kids, I think you need to know the truth: P. Diddy like dudes.

3) "If you at home on your couch right now, wave your hands in the air!"
JZ: Seriously Dirty Money? Wave my hands in the air on my couch? Seriously Puff? If I ever go on SNL, I'm gonna say something like: "If you at home on your couch right now, I want you to write a check payable to JZ for $1,000, and then send it to this P.O. Box..."

P.S. I seriously wasn't drinking Hater-ade this week. See you at the klub.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Song of the Week (Bun B ft. Slim Thugga and Play-N-Skillz - Ridin' Slow)

Bun B's "Ridin' Slow" came highly recommended from a certain friend with the alias Ben Bunny...coincidence? Maybe.

Immediately comparisons were drawn to Lil' Troy's anthem "Wanna be a Balla, shot calla". I'll admit there are some similarities.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest "Rap" fan, and I would firmly classify "Ridin' Slow" as Rap, but this song offers something more than the typical "Dance undawatah and not get wet" fare.

1) Bun B reps Texas
2) Produced by Play-N-Skillz. Oh you don't know Play-N-Skillz? Thas a CHOP!
3) Filmed in D-town...SUN
4) I'm a dirty South representer, summertime, spring to the fall to the winter
O.G. in the game, no beginner
Don't take a loss (loss), get with a winner
Lobsters on my plate for dinner (dinner)
And your bitch is the midnight snack (snack)

I love how rappers let you know how good they're living. Next time my boss asks me how my weekend was, I'm gonna be all like: Well, basically I left work and

Snagged more Eatzie's than I could eata,
so I saved the rest up in my freeza.
Went to Cap pub spittin' game at ladies
Then Street Fighter 2 at Barcay-deez

You know, generally, just ridin' slow...

Hope you Dig,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Song of the Week (Some guy...maybe named ISA - Movin' Like Berney)

Not to worry babies, SOTW isn't going anywhere. In compensation for the absentee SOTW from last week, I bring you a very special dance craze that is sweeping the nation: "The Berney"

"WTF?" is what the layperson might say when viewing said dance craze. Yes, I know it's mis-spelled / awesome.

The truth is that Weekend at Bernies and the lesser-known but equally impactful Weekend at Bernies 2 came out (on vhs) at a pivotal time in my life circa 1990 - 94. The Member's Only jacket wave was cresting. By all accounts, Andrew McCarthy had a bright future. And towards the end of this time frame, dead people learned how to dance when music was playing.

"When it's da weekend, we movin' like Berney!"

You said it ISA! If I had a dollar for everyone I saw "movin' like Berney" last weekend, I'd probably have over $12! Although, I suspect the "Berney Movers" after the wedding had not likely heard of the "Berney".

Shout out to TBS and the USA network for showing Weekend at Bernies (I and II) endlessly throughout the last 20 years.

Shout out to Markus Turner for the video, who also stars as the white guy in the video.

"If it ain't about money, then it really don't concern Meh"

Hope you Dig,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Song of the Week (Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja)

The annual SOTW Halloween edition is taking a stop in the South of Africa, known as South Africa. I only wish I had more time to fully delve into the motivations of the 3-person wrecking crew known as "Die Antwoord". The three members consist of Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek. All I can say is that this band is an enigma wrapped in an anachronism cloak that was purchased at Kids R Us circa 1987.

Die Antwoord reps a cultural movement known as "Zef". It's a white trash style in South Africa featuring discarded cultural references. According to Yo-Landi, "Zef is associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you're poor but you're fancy." Fancy indeed Yo-Landi...fancy indeed.

For a better explanation see this (you won't be disappointed):

"Look at me now...all up in the Interweb!"

See you at Ghostparty Derailers.

Hope you Dig,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Song of the Week (Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad Kitty)

Does anyone else think the new Ghostland is kinda ghey? I mean it has it's moments, and I still went to the Halloween concert, but I expected more than "Kick Clap Speaker"? What the F is that garbage? While we're on this topic, have you heard "Body Shop"? I was pretty stoked when I heard the opening beat, then a robot voice came on and started saying stupid stuff. Then things start to get real sophomoric: "Wax It! Grind It! Work It! and Ride It!" 2006 JZ may have found this pretty badass, but 2010 JZ thinks it's kinda weak sauce.

For the record if any of my future songs contain a robot voice, that robot voice will NEVER utter the words: "Whatcha gonna do at the body shop?" It will be so much "Meow to your Sensai!" or "Prepare to die...seriously I'm about to kill you with LAZERS!"

Don't get me wrong, Halloween dominated. Both shadow and actual karate moves were employed at the concert.

Please observe the mystery that is Ghostparty Derailers:

Disclaimer: If I were going to be in Dallas for NYE, I would probably go see Ghostland again. I mean those guys reinvest every last dollar they have in lazers, capes and synthesizers. Maybe they should have reinvested in some decent songs for their new album. OHHHHHH SNNNNAAAAPPPP Ghostland!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Song of the Week (GnR - Welcome to the Jungle)

I know this isn't supposed to be an "Adventures of JZ" blog, but this is all I have been thinking about this week. Tomorrow (or today depending on when this is posted) I will be venturing with 15 other young snappers to that Desert Jungle known as Vegas for Tom-bone's bachelor party. We've been getting "all jacked up" about this weekend for months, and I've been thinking about the SOTW for this week for 7 days.
"Welcome to the Jungle" by the unmatched Guns N' Roses is THE quintessential bachelor party song. Runners up included:
1) Highway to the Dangerzone - Kenny Loggins?
2) Legs - ZZ Top
3) Creeping Death - Metallica (I'm just playin'....)

Seriously, when those first echoing Slash guitar chords come on the know what time it is. It's a time that is much more serious than "Business Time". It's time to dominate. Like my boy Macho Man Randy Savage...OHHHH YEEEEEEEEAAH

When I tell people I'm going to a bachelor party in Vegas, I keep getting: "Oh! So, are you guys gonna be like the guys from the Hangover?" No Mom. It's not gonna be like The Hangover. Chinamen are not jumping out of trunks, and Mike Tyson is not going to reclaim his Tiger. I really don't think any of that would be awesome. I'm picturing something much closer to 1984 Tom Hanks' Bachelor Party. Clearly more fun than the Hangover.

Rest assured, when "Welcome to the Jungle" comes on at the club, and you know it will, prepare yourself for the most awesome Hi-Five of your life. It's gonna hurt.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Song of the Week (Ninjasonik - Bars)

1 word: Ninjasonik. As if the name alone didn't already signify awesomeness, these guys crushed all expectations (there were none) and put on what I would consider as the stand out performance of ACL. Sure Phish was expected to knock it out, and the collective pseudo-hipster populace is just now catching on to the trance/drum 'n bass-esque dub-step sounds of Deadmau5. But who expected 2 hip-hop artists and a DJ to absolutely control a crowd of ACL-skeptics at 1pm on Saturday? Not this guy. I mean people were h'd over, the sun was beating down, people were sneezing all over the place...gahroooosssss.

And yet, there's something about the anthemic: We are Ninja F*ckin' Sonik!...Sonik F*ckin' Ninjas! The crowd was captivated. Who are these mysterious Blipsters (Black + Hipsters), who seem to like tight pants and who harbor crushes on art school girls, and who proclaim: "Somebody gon get pregnant!"? Indeed, Messrs Ninjasonik, somebody IS gonna get pregnant...ya some point in time.

The clear highlight of the show was when Telli (the scarier rapper of the 2) started chanting: "Let dat boi cook Let dat boi cook!" At which point Jah-Jah combined would could only be described as a C-walk and a mime of cooking something, like a cake or something. Truly a sight to behold. I love it when seemingly innocuous phrases like this become anthems. Like "You go girl!" or "Deez Nutz!" Thanks to Martin and Snoop.

I give you: "Bars"

Pretty standard Punk/Hip-Hop N-Sonik fare.

Hope you Dig,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Song of the Week (Early Edition: Mark Ronson - Bang Bang Bang featuring Q-Tip and MNDR)

All right gang...I can't decide on a band to feature for the upcoming ACL weekend, so I'm going off the grid. Expect next week's pick to accurately reflect the starpower of Austin City Limits.

Supernintendo Tommers sent me this little gem earlier this week, and I was all like...OMFG! It's as if someone reached into my subconscious and pulled out all of my favorite stuff and built a song/video to capture it.

There have been a lot of attempted crossovers of rappers trying to capitalize on the Indie/Chillwave/Electronica genre:
Snoop Dogg - "Plastic Beach"
Kanye West - "I'm a big fat loser so TAKE ME SERIOUSLY...or I' m gonna cry"
P Diddy - "Some crap that totally failed cuz it sucked"

Q-Tip struck gold here. The guy is definitely talented, but this is some next level anthem sh!t. So much props for the Nintendo/Tron-themed visuals. And the kids break-dancing...also a nice touch.

This song reminds me of D.A.N.C.E but way better. I would recommend listening to this song:
1) at a party
2) on Friday as a key component of your fresh n' clean mix
3) while playing Nintendo (kinda makes we wanna play Megaman 2...I digress)
4) at Discovery Zone

Hope you Dig,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Song of the Week (TXvOU Special Edition: ELO - Showdown)

Just another SOTW...TXvOU SPECIAL EDITION! You know what time it's time for that Red River Showdown son!

First I will address the unexpected reality of UT coming into this game with one loss. UT lost to UCLA.

What's important is the spirit of the Showdown...and that the Horns are clearly going to dominate. Much like Smokey v Debo, the Horns have mind control over the Sooners. Regardless, when these 2 teams meet in's bidness time. I can't think of any better bidness time song than Showdown.

Not since that epic battle between The Nature Boy, Kid-stealin', wheelin' n' dealin', custom-made, Ric Flair v. Lex Luger has there been such a Showdown.

TX and OU fans have a long history of talking mad noise to each other leading up to the game. These noise talking sessions can quickly spiral out of control to personal attacks.

Why just the other day I was having one such noise session with a Dad who went to OU:

JZ: So is your squad ready for the game?
OU Dad: Yeah, we're looking pretty tough. You guys had a great game last week...(clearly he was referring to the UCLA game)
JZ: How about...go F yourself!?
OU Dad: How about I put my foot in your @ss?
JZ: How about your son is ghey and I know because I saw him walking into Zippers with one of the Hispanic Eatzies checkout guys!
OU Dad: Seriously?
JZ: Yeah
OU Dad: Why didn't he tell me?
JZ: Because he knew you wouldn't accept him.
OU Dad: How could I be so blind...I need to reevaluate some things...(tears)
JZ: Hook em biatch!

Take a look around the fair tomorrow. You're gonna see a lot of goatees, jean shorts, and crimson. Jean shorts or no jean shorts, tomorrow is gonna be a Showdown.

Hook em,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Song of the Week (Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire)

Kings of Leon or "KOL" for 13-year-olds, was in Dallas last night, attempting to rock. I'm not sure how it went down because I wasn't in attendance, but I'm sure several guys sporting Hoobastank and Nickelback Ts thought that it "totally kicked ass".

I'll admit, the first time I listened to Kings of Leon, I was like: I'll put this in the "Dece" category. Short for "Decent", "Dece" is not a bad category to be in, but it certainly doesn't imply ass-kicking. Fast forward 5 years...people are praising the Kangs as if they were the 2nd coming of the Rolling Stones. Has the whole world gone CRAZY! How many times can you listen to "Sex on Fire" with schoolgirl giddiness? If I told some girl that her sex was on fire you wanna know what would happen? I'd probably get bear-maced. And I would deserve it for talking like such a colossal D-bag. "Hey babe...did anyone ever tell you your sex is on fire?" MACED!

I don't wanna hear any defense of Kings of Pee-on. I'm entitled to my opinion. I know when I attend a Megadeth concert that maybe the majority of the populace doesn't like hearing thrashing guitars, lyrics inspired by a nuclear holocaust, and/or, in my opinion, good old fashioned ass kicking, and that's OK. I'm fine with that. I can sleep at night knowing Dave Mustaine is out there putting on clinics for how to rock. So what if there are a few Dungeons n' Dragons players in the crowd? It comes with the territory.

Hoobastank Bro: "Bro, you know that I could use some-baw-day. Someone like you bro..."
Nickelback Bro: "Oh Brosky...your sex is totally on fire bro."
Hoobastank Bro: "Bro!"...Censored...

At the same time Kings of Leon provide hope to no-talent-ass-clowns worldwide. Proof that if you do whatever a record label tells you and you religiously ess D, you too could win a few Grammys.

Bday shout out to a special 30-year-old Jody. I know you would never give these punks a Grammy.

Hope you Dig (the article, not the band of course),

Friday, September 17, 2010

Song of the Week (Hipster Special Edition)

It came to my attention that I neglected to send out my usual "reminder" email. My bad.

I hope SOTW loyalists will accept this double feature of awesomeness as penance for said transgression.

I came across 2 important songs over the last week. One song illustrates the growing counter-culture of anti-hipsterism. The other song illustrates the absolute worst kind of hipster: the Crunk Autotune Screamo Hipster. Is there anything worse? Seriously?

I give you: "Freaxxx" by Brokencyde (btw...the "xxx" was no mistake...)!
Let's take a dive into the world of Brokencyde. I'm not gonna lie. I f'ing hate these guys. And yet, I'm somewhat intrigued by the most pure form of terrible I have ever seen. This video looks like it was filmed at a party I went to in High School, and immediately regretted attending. I mean what made these guys think this is OK? Cuz it's not.

Just when you think it couldn't possibly get any more ridiculous, the word is re-defined when Mikl drops some serious screaming on several girls. Look girls, if you lie to Mikl, he's gonna scream at you. Oh what's that? You didn't get the memo? Prepare to get screamed at!

Oh snap...did Mikl just faux-strangle that girl?

One word of advice to Brokencyde: get some cooler looking friends. Some of these guys look like you picked them up from a 24-hour Jolt Cola-infused World of Warcraft marathon.

Brokencyde, I hope you get beat up.

I now give you: "Being a Dickhead's Cool" by The GrandSpectacular

OK...I know what you're gonna say: JZ, don't you have a synth? Didn't I see you wearing a V-neck the other night? Yes I have an f'ing synth, and it's f'ing rad! The hipster culture does not own the synth. Brian Eno owns the synth. Also, my V-neck was not deep-cut. Everyone knows that hipsters only wear deep-cut Vs...FACT.

With that out of the way, we can get to the task at hand: anti-hipsterism. Where did this come about? Why get angry at hipsters? They didn't do anything to you...except silently judge you for being so square.

The Grand Spectacular obviously gets it. It's tough not being a hipster in a hipster-dominated world. I mean who here hasn't worn normal fitting jeans and been scoffed at by the likes of the faux-tux shirt and jean short wearing, ironic haircut sporting, cigarette/cocktail combo hipster? Man I hate that guy...(taken in front of the Granada at the Dinosaur Jr. Concert)

There is middle ground here. You can have unique style and even be slightly ironic without being a dickhead. But the catch have to stop being such dickhead all the time. Brokencyde...there is no hope for you.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Song of the Week (Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise)

"As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life
And realize there's nothing left."

When you hear those lyrics you think 2 things:
1) Sh!t's about to get real
2) Coolio is about to get Ice'd

Can you believe Coolio got Ice'd by a bunch of frat daddies? I've heard of selling out, but geez some self respect. Whatever happened to homies watchin' how they talkin' and where they walkin'? I figured those Ice-ors would have been lined in chalk by now. Coolio, thou hast lost thine edge.

Gangsta's Paradise gets the nod this week for a funny reason. One of my buddies started "hollerin' at" a hipster chick with a full back tattoo scripted with song lyrics. I asked another buddy what song lyrics she had tatted on her back. He replied: "I'm pretty sure it's Gangsta's Paradise". At the time (we were at Barcadia), my mind couldn't even comprehend the depth of how preposterous this was, so of course I bought it.

I'm not gonna lie, a part of me likes girls with tattoos, so I can totally understand the interest here. I have since learned that the lyrics are not those penned by Coolio, but of some other poet whose identity I've yet to discover. Maybe it's Shel Silverstein or Daryl Hall.

What if you were forced to get a tattoo of song lyrics on your back? What would you choose? I'm pretty sure I would pick something silly like "Bananas in Pajamas" (it's catchy) or "West End Girls".

Hope you Dig,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Song of the Week (Rhet - Top That)

Oh "Top That!"...thou mightest be the greatest rap video of all time.

For the longest time, I never knew what true rap skills were. I thought guys like Biggie and Andre3000 and Mike D had it figured out. Clearly, these guys had already seen Teen Witch before they even thought about rapping.

Even the title "Top That"...genius. Seriously, what can you say to "Top That"?

Stop that?

Get the F outta here with that noise!

"I'm hot, and you're not. But if you wanna hang with me, I'll give it one shot!"
Rhet, you are KILLING ME! How did this lyric gold not thrust you into epic rap battles with the likes of Coolio or that guy from Nappy Rootz. Instead, you were forced to battle a Jappy little girl on a bike who tips the binary scale at ZERO...FACE! We all know that this would never happen without the use of witchcraft. I mean Rhet's funkiness rivals that of George Clinton riding a hoverboard in outer-space.

And the dance moves...Rhet...your dance moves changed my life. They are...un-top-able. Who would dare to top that? F'ing NO ONE! I can't wait to bust out my new "Top That" dance moves at the Slip Inn.

Video quality: not so good, but you need to watch the opening sequence to capture the true top-thatedness:

Shout out to Adriane for introducing me to this hidden gem.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Song of the Week (Ween - Trandermal Celebration)

This week's song of the week is called "Transdermal Celebration". I saw this video when I was in Australia, and I thought it was the raddest video of all time.

Ween gets the nod this week because they are the house of blues! Ween is admittedly a strange band. From "Ocean Man" to "Voodoo Lady", these guys have successfully (in this guy's opinion) crossed and bended the genres of pop, prog rock, broadway showtunes, and as much as I hate to admit it, schlock rock. Although the broader listening public has largely overlooked the awesomeness of Ween. I'm baffled. What does Katy Perry have that Dean and Gene Ween don't (aside from the obvious talent...)?

Exhibit A: "Bananas and Blow"
Disclaimer: I don't endorse the use of blow... I mean, I like Led Zeppelin, but I don't condone the use of black the way, should really stop using black magic.
This little number is about as catchy a pop song as I've ever heard:
"Bananas & Blow (oh - oh), Bananas & Blow
Stuck in my cabana, living on Bananas & Blow"

Personally, I've always wanted to rhyme banana and cabana. Stuck in your cabana indeed Messrs Ween.

Exhibit B: "Roses are Free"
"Eat plenty of lasagna 'til you know that you've had your fill
Resist all the urges that make you want to go out and kill"

One word: Genius

I mean seriously...who has urges to go out and kill? That's crazy! You would be crazy to have those thoughts! Unless that person was your arch-nemesis...I'm just playin'...not really.

Exhibit C: "Transdermal Celebration"
Just watch the's rad.

If anyone wants to go to the show tonight, holler. Buenos Tardes Amigos.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Song of the Week (Arcade Fire - Suburbs)

It's official: the 2010 Concert Calendar is en fuego. Why couldn't this have happened over the Summer? Is there some sort of conspiracy, perpetrated by the likes of Ticketmaster or Live Nation, that caused this to happen? Many a Thursday night was spent at home...longing for some sort of live music to stem the tide. Don't get me wrong...there were bright spots, but the Summer calendar lacked coherence and/or consistency.

That, my friends, has changed in a big way. I just want to get this out there: I in no way endorse all of the bands on this list, but some of you might, so I narrowed it down a bit...but not too much:

Monday, August 23 – Heart @ House of Blues
Tuesday, August 24 – Billy Idol
Thursday, August 26 – Meat Loaf @ House of Blues
Thursday, August 26 – Hot Hot Heat @ The Loft
Friday, August 27 – Ween @ House of Blues
Saturday, September 4 – John Mayer @ Center
Thursday, September 9 – The Wailers @ Trees
Saturday, September 11 – Dave Matthews Band @ Center
Tuesday, September 14 – Crystal Castles @ House of Blues
Sunday, September 19 – The Pixies @ Verizon Theater
Tuesday, September 21 – Tom Petty and ZZ Top @ Center
Wednesday, September 22 – O.A.R. @ House of Blues
Thursday, September 23 – Kings of Leon @ Center
Thursday, September 23 – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ Palladium
Friday, September 24 – Charlie Robison @ Granada
Saturday, September 25 – Drive By Truckers @ House of Blues
Sunday, September 26 – The Black Crowes w/ Band of Heathens @ House of Blues
Thursday, September 30 – Michael Franti & Spearhead @ House of Blues
Friday, October 1 – Shakira @ American Airlines Center
Friday, October 1 – Citizen Cope @ House of Blues
Saturday, October 2 – Citizen Cope @ House of Blues
Wednesday, October 6 – Vampire Weekend with Beach House and The Very Best @ Palladium
Wednesday, October 6 – Local Natives w/ The Love Language and The Union Line @ House of
Friday, October 8 thru Sunday, October 10 – ACL Festival in Austin @ Zilker Park
Saturday, October 9 – The National @ House of Blues
Thursday, October 14 – Blitzen Trapper @ House of Blues
Wednesday, October 20 – Sufjan Stevens @ McFarlin Auditorium (SMU)
Wednesday, October 20 – Gorillaz @ Verizon Theater
Monday, October 25 – Jonsi (from Sigur Ros) @ Verizon Theater
Wednesday, October 27 – Interpol @ Palladium
Wednesday, October 27 – Widespread Panic @ Verizon Theater
Satuday, October 30 – Ghostland Observatory @ Palladium
Saturday, October 30 – Galactic @ Granada
Monday, November 1 – Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation @ Palladium
Tuesday, November 2 – Of Montreal @ Granada
Thursday, November 4 – Mumford & Sons @ House of Blues

Crystal Castles, Massive Attack, Mumford & Sons...OH MY! I get jacked up just thinking about how much Massive Attack is gonna dominate the Metroplex.

Enough of this...on to SOTW:

The SOTW is clearly "Suburbs" by Arcade Fire. If you haven't heard of Arcade Fire by now, then you are one step behind my Mom...FACE! Even my cat, Sam, has been known to jam a little "Crown of Love" on his keyboard...and you f'ing know my cat has a keyboard!

The album 'Suburbs' is a stellar concept album based guessed it...the Suburbs, and Suburban life. Interestingly, Win and William Butler, the lead singer and his brother, grew up in a rather familiar suburb in Texas known as The Woodlands. In my opinion, this makes the album, that much more badass. Similar to how Dazed & Confused struck a chord with us in our youth.

I can picture a young Spencer English cutting his teeth on the not-so-mean-streets of suburban Houston. This song/album is neither anti-suburbs, nor pro-suburbs. It's a pre-apocalyptic view of the pinnacle of suburbia - Suburban-TX. So, to the rest of Urban and Rural America...go F yourself!

Although this video is fan-made, I really enjoyed it:

Shoutout to DP...same page.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Song of the Week (M.I.A. - XXXO)

Unicorns, leopards, swans, swords, technology and M.I.A. Now THAT is a party I want to be at.

This new album has been a long time coming. Similar to the first album, I like about half, and I'm not too stoked about the rest. However, I ended really liking Kala after several listens, so I will reserve ultimate judgment for another day.

"XXXO", or more literally: Kiss Kiss Kiss Hug, is a pretty stellar dance track from a respectable artist. I think it's a commentary about social injustice. Regardless of the meaning, this is a killer song that warrants several plays on the "Get Ready for the Night Mix"...don't act like you don't have one. If I heard the DJ at the Slip Inn spinning this, I'd probably be like: "F yeah!" To be honest, I just feel a lot more comfortable attempting complex robo-dance moves to M.I.A. than to Rihanna...I'm just sayin'. Once Rihanna builds a little street cred (i.e. she gets a Tamil Tiger freedom fighter for a father), maybe I'll change my tune. I'm just playin'. F Rihanna.

Full disclosure: I've had a crush on M.I.A. since 2004. Why?
1) She is smokin' ballz (explanation:
2) She does all of her own artwork
3) She's from Sri Lanka (Do you know anything about Sri Lanka?)
4) All her videos are awesome

Hope you Dig,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Song of the Week (Aerosmith - Living on the Edge)

I went with my amigo PT to see Aerosmith at Superpages Center this week. It pretty much kicked ass. And that's saying a lot for a band that is as dependent on Steven Tyler's stage presence and vocal wizardry as it is on simply rocking. Steven Tyler is 62! Are you f'ing kidding me? Most 60-year-olds I know (in particular, the ones that make me feed their cat when they are gone for 1 day) are fast asleep by the time Aerosmith is going into their 1st Encore. FYI...they had 3 encores.

Aerosmith gives me hope that the guitar solo isn't dead. Listen to any Aerosmith song, and you'll hear a smokin' Joe Perry solo. Specifically, Living on the Edge holds a special place in my formative Elementary School Chronicles. "Get a Grip" was my 2nd tape ever. Preceded by MC Hammer's "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" and followed by Weird Al Yankovic's "Off the Deep End". That'll take you back. I think "Get a Grip" may have saved me and my Sister from killing each other on family vacations circa 1993.

"Living on the Edge" brings back memories of headbanging on the way to Rapid Revolutions (a skate park guessed it...we roller-bladed). Roller-blading wasn't so gay in long as you paired your roller-blades with black Francois Girbaud jean shorts and a No Fear shirt.

This video touches on just about every contemporary moral problem a teenager faced in the 90s, and you can tell which of these Aerosmith endorses:
1) Vandalism (F0r)
2) School shootings (Against)
3) Teacher - student extra-curricular relations (Gray area)
4) Train accidents (Against)
5) Pre-marital sex (For)

It also may suggest what John Conner was doing before the T1000 came looking for know...for Termination purposes.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, July 30, 2010

Song of the Week (Timbuk 3 - "I Gotta Wear Shades")

Just a few short weeks before school starts...OMG. The carefree days of sitting poolside, chasing girls and playing Final Fantasy into the wee hours is coming to an end. Don't act like you didn't play Final Fantasy...

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job teaching at our old High School: Lake Highlands. He'll be the Speech Teacher / Asst. Wrestling Coach. This, of course, got me thinking about all things High School. More specifically, songs about High School. From The Police's epic - "Don't Stand So Close to Me", to Hall & Oates' cautionary tale "Adult Education", artists of the 80s loved singing about school.

This week we focus on Timbuk 3's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades".

The first time I heard this song was when I watched a little movie I like to call "Kuffs". The buddy cop movie features a potentially peaking Christian Slater as George Kuffs. In a Risky Business moment, Slater is jamming this song while dawning the alleged shades in the song. I immediately needed to wear shades, as I thought Christian Slater was the coolest thing since Original NES.

I often find myself asking: what the F happened to Christian Slater? He was such an important component of my early film identity. Case and point: "The Wizard". When they debuted Super Mario Bros. 3 in the movie, I nearly lost it. How genius of Nintendo to capitalize on Christian Slater in such a subtle way. I was too young to watch "Pump Up the Volume" and "Heathers", but my sister wasn't, so I watched em. After watching "Heathers" I had a dream that I was playing croquet with my sister's head at the end of one of the goals. I was 10.

The video for "I Gotta Wear Shades" is pretty underwhelming. I think I filmed something of superior quality in 7th grade when me and Ryan Miller filmed ourselves rapping about Tom Sawyer to the tune of Sabotage. "Listen all Y'all it's a Tom Sawyer!".

Although it became an early 90s graduation anthem, "Shades" is actually a critique about Nuclear Holocaust. Thanks for nothin' Timbuk 3.

Shout out to my boy T-Y. Baby boy is all groweds up.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Song of the Week (Led Zeppelin - Ramble On)

Below is a submission from a music luminary, and close friend of mine: Spence-Dawg

Led Zeppelin is one my favorite bands. Lately I have neglected to lavish upon them the appropriate attention that a group of such stature deserves. I blame this on my multi-year infatuation with the following musicians:

· Wilco

· The Band

· Shakira

But no more will I forsake thee, Led Zeppelin! For I declare this: THE SUMMER OF LED ZEPPELIN!!!

“Why”, might you ask, “Are you devoting an entire summer to Led Zeppelin?” Because they are that damn good…Need proof? Led Zeppelin has sold 200 million albums to date. They also dominated the 1970’s from start to finish. Reputable academic research performed at TABC and the Loon has proven that the top five most important influences in the U.S. during the 1970’s were:

· Led Zeppelin

· Tom Landry

· Warren Beatty

· Richard Nixon

· Harvey and Stephanie Zimmermann

Led Zeppelin members’ roles within the band also became the template for all aspiring rawkers. A quick breakdown:

· Robert Plant: lead singer who’s provocative dance poses, anguished banshee vocals and golden tresses caused women’s clothing to spontaneously disintegrate

· Jimmy Page: mysterious guitar virtuoso who dabbled in sorcery (no joke). Jimmy also developed innovative musical techniques that still provoke impassioned monologues from drunken guitar nerds…

· John Bonham (“Bonzo”): animalistic, alcoholic drummer. In full musical fury, Bonzo hammered the drums so fast that he appeared to grow extra arms and thus resembled a hairy octopus.

· John Paul Jones: played bass. And all bassists are boring – except for that new gun slinger in Parachute Addams!

Led Zeppelin’s catalogue of music is vast, thus choosing just one “Song of the Week” is daunting. At gunpoint, I’m going to select “Ramble On”. Admittedly, “Ramble On” is not Led Zeppelin’s best song, but it is their most stereotypical song, and thus a good starting point for any Led Zeppelin neophyte. Allow me to explain:

· The melody consists of Led Zeppelin’s patented blend of chillin’ & rawkin’. The song begins with a mellow, acoustic tone similar to a hipster Renaissance Fair band. But then, “Boom goes the dynamite!” and the electric guitar and drums kick in.

· The lyrics are also classic Zeppelin’ian: the song is about a protagonist who “rambles on” from girl to girl, absolutely crushing it with ladies all over the globe. But secretly he feels melancholy because he hasn’t found “the queen of all his dreams”. Single tear drop…

· Plot twist! At the end of the song, Led Zeppelin transports the narrative to the “Lord of the Rings” universe. (Whhaaaatttt?!) Turns out that long ago the protagonist was hanging around the darkest depth of Mordor, “when he met a girl so fair, but Gollum and the evil warg crept up and slipped away with her”. Translation: Robert Plant’s true-love ditched him for a handicapped hobbit and a werewolf creature. Harsh! Guess that explains his fear of commitment…

Here’s the link. Hope you Dig©.


PS: Shout out to my boy Turner who will be rambling through the GMAT tomorrow.