Thursday, September 15, 2011

Song of the Week ACL edition (TVOTR - various)

It's that special time again: ACL! Thus marks the end of summer and one of the greatest weekends of the year. Needless to say, I'm on pinz and needlz.

The receiver of the coveted SOTW endorsement is clearly TV on the Radio ("TVOTR"). Seriously, who else could it be? Sure Arcade Fire are peaking right now, and who could argue the awesomeness of Death from Above 1979 (both previously featured on SOTW), but TVOTR is just too dominant. I've clearly been listening to them a lot lately. I'm just so in awe of how different they sound than every other band out there today. If there was a Venn diagram with Unique over one circle and Rad over the other, TVOTR would be firmly in the middle, capturing equal shares of each. I've been doing some graphing lately...

If you aren't traveling to Austin this weekend (I wish you would), fret not. TVOTR is playing in Dallas Friday (TONIGHT) at HOB! As an aside, Explosions in the Sky is also playing in Dallas tonight. I'm almost grateful that I won't be here because I would have to decide between 2 of the greatest bands of the last decade. I implore you: go see one of these if you are in Dallas, and you don't have to cat-sit this weekend. If you aren't in Texas this weekend...I feel bad for you, sun...

Here's a semi-old school fave (Wolf Like Me):
It's a quirky video, and baller. If only I was as cool as the least cool member in TVOTR...

Even older-school and the first TVOTR song I heard whilst living in Sydney (Staring at the Sun):
Yout tube comment: "damn. black people rule"

More recent (Second Song):

Bday shout out to Scarff...thanks for keeping me honest on the SOTW

Hope you Dig,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Album of the Week (M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming)

When I came across an advance copy of M83s instant classic album: "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming", you might as well have told me in your Maury voice that "I'm not the father!"

The Intro track alone, blew my mind. I implore you all to go out and get this album. My itunes tells me I've listened to at least 5 of the songs more than 20x. That's some pretty heavy rotation.

You know what I love about M83? They deliver every time. I've come to realize that I'm not a big believer in bands that "reinvent" themselves. M83 delivers the same lush, synthy awesomeness every time.

Think about it: would you continue buying Coca-Cola if one day Coke decided to make it taste more like high-end cat food? Probably not. This is how I feel about countless bands who had a winning formula and decided to "branch out":

Modest Mouse going Pop
Dream Theater trying to go more Hardcore/Screamo
Kanye West talking

People like consistency, and M83 is f'ing consistent. Let's not confuse this with a distaste for growth. Growth is a great thing. Metallica came a long way from Kill em All to the Black Album. Am I wrong?

In like fashion, M83 went from no vocals, to some vocals, to primarily female vocals, to primarily male vocals. But M83 never lost its sound. Sometimes radio-friendly 80s-ish, but mostly just good old-fashioned radio-phobic shoe-gazey dream-pop.

Sadly there aren't any decent new videos from the new album yet, but don't fret. Here's some audio for you:

As an aside, last week I went to Jackson Hole with my family. Shout out to my family. We saw some pretty sweet buffaloes / geysers. Anyways, I listened to this album when I was mountain biking in the Tetons...pretty much one of the most legit things I've ever done alone...until I fell end-over-end, which didn't really matter, because Track 5 was playing when I scrambled up.

Hope you Dig,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Song of the Week (Dragonforce - Through the Fire and Flames)

OK...I know most of you don't like metal. And that's totally fine...this week's post is not primarily about metal. Well, a portion of it is...oh man...

So, there we were in our ocean blue Toyota Camry cruising by Kreayshon through the Golden Gate Bridge in sunny Northern California to commence the road trip that would define a generat...errr...a week in our lives. We had caught the proverbial tiger by the tail and we were on our way...down the coast, through the mountains, through the forest. Oh what's that get extremely car sick?! Just one of a few bumps in the road to a higher purpose.

While on the road, we blew through hours of music. I created 4 Road Trip Mix Tapes:
1) Road Trip Chill
2) Road Trip Electro
3) Road Trip Nu School
4) Road Trip Old School

I tried to tailor it to my audience as much as possible. There was air guitar, there was air drums, there was singing out of tune (all from PT), and various iterations of head bobbing. On the coast, it was pretty laid back (M83 / Cass McCombs). In the Redwoods, upbeat and nostalgic (Soundgarden / TV on the Radio). For the mountains, we went a little harder...

If you know me and you know PT, you know we are in the minority (Chris and Wong, you guys are in here too) who care for the metal genre. So, on the way to Mendocino, PT asked me if I had ever listened to Dragonforce. I hadn't. It was as if I slapped his mother. He spent the next 20 minutes talking this band up to me. About how much they destroy. About how over-the-top awesome they are, etc., but he didn't play them yet. It wasn't the right time.

A day later, on a climb through some mountains, the time had come. PT put on "Through the Fire and the Flames"

I gotta say. It rocked. Hard.

The whole time I listened to it, I was thinking of that scene at the end of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey where Bill and Ted go back in time to learn how to rock. I think Dragonforce came from the future and traveled to the past (aka present day) a la Marty McFly in the Johnny B. Good scene.

This band has it all: fast guitars, double-bass drum mania, power stances that rival crabcore and a power vocalist that doesn't scream (more like Maiden...less like pain to my ears) and of course, mythical imagery (a must for any legit metal band).

So why now? The road trip was completed months ago. Well, much like Dragonforce (in the metal world), PT has achieved greatness through a different road trip (in the Philosophy world). That's right folks, through the fire and the flames, PT has become a doctor. He sits atop the mountain of intelligentsia with the likes of Messrs: Aristotle, Locke, Dre, Octagon and Pepper.

Shout out to Patrick Todd for this awesome achievement. As for Mt. Shasta/related bad, sun.

Hope you Dig,