Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Currently listening to: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. Finally broke down and bought it after almost 40 years (holy crap!) of rave reviews. I really like most of it. Could do without stuff like Lets Go Away For a While. I got the version with the original mono mix and the 1996 stereo mix. The stereo mix is almost too cleaned up. When you have that first drum hit at the beginning of Wouldn't It Be Nice, the original has just a little distortion on it which gives it a nice kick, a little crack. The new undistorted mix with too much reverb on it looses the impact. I love the timpani, there just isn't enough timpani on rock albums these days. Sweet album, I could go over all the highlights but you already know them, and if you don't you should buy this album!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Just got back from Everyday Music (the one on W Burnside) and bought these...
Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Primal Scream - XTRMNTR
I'm so tired of music critics and supposed alt-indie-better-than-thou-hipster-rock-fans spewing off about how some new band or album sounds like their favorite band, and how they discovered the most original band first when they were only 12 and everything since is just a rip-off of that. Well, to all those folks, blow it out your ass. I don't care if something sounds vaguely like something else. Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin were just ripping off American Blues which was ripping of traditional African music so this is all a moot point, I just covered the history of pop/rock/rap/R&B/techno/soul/metal/punk in one sentence. Which brings me to Kasabian. I'm tired of people saying they sound like The Stone Roses and Primal Scream and then dismissing their album. Yes, if you look down a couple posts I do the same thing... or do I. Go ahead read it, I can wait a couple minutes.... no really go ahead, its short.... you done yet? ok, So you'll notice I DID NOT do the same thing. I used a little something I borrowed from CMJ: RIYL, that's right Recommended If You Like! Its a quick and easy starting place, lets you know if you like those bands you'll probably like Kasabian and vice versa. I tried to explain their sound before I even got to the RIYL, but used it as a nice little summation. So, does Kasabian's album have some resemblance to those other bands? Yes. But also, does Kasabian's album rock? Yes! Is it good? Yes! Should you buy it? Yes! If you'd rather worry about what your hipster friend thinks, then piss off, if you want a great album, whith great tunes, a swagger, some funk, a little darkness, some in-your-face groove, then go buy Kasabian!

Monday, March 14, 2005

On four.... FOUR! The thumping 4 on the floor rhythm kicks in. Burried layers of guitars and fuzzed synths hide behind Guy's smokey half speed vocals, and thus Fallen Angels by Elbow sucks you in to it's droning haze. You may not even realize for a few listens that there are extremely few chord changes in this song, but when they hit... its oh so rewarding... who's ever heard of a one chord chorus, then bam you get sucked in just as the chorus fades. Mid-way through after one such chord change, a slapped guitar 'solo', more like tasty specially chosen notes, signals an instrumental break with more layers of ooohs and aaahs. I gotta say I really dig this song. It is repetitive but never boring, straight forward but has many hidden angles. There are so many layers of sound in this song, you could listen to it 10 times in a row and find something new each time. Then at the end, you keep thinking you're gonna your reward and they drag you out, no chord change, you get nothing and you'll like, like a big tease, so you hit rewind and start all over and over and over!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Woah, saw Kasabian at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland last Wed. What a great gig! They had lots of energy. The set was a bit short as they were opening for The Music, who I found less exciting. Kasabian is a great mix of high energy rock and roll and techno. So many bands coming out right now are trying to outdo each other in how low-fi they can sound, but Kasabian bask in the technology, use it to their advantage. Pumping basslines, driving guitar, funky beats and catchy vocals, very sweet. Of course that's just the first song, they can slow it down a bit, make things a bit spooky, dramatic, darker, but always with a great beat and an underlying energy. Check out the long intro to ID, then the drums kick in, propelling the song forward. Recommended If You Like:: Pop Will Eat Itself, Primal Scream, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Chemical Brothers, LCD Soundsystem, Junkie XL.