Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so it goes...

My dad got the Joe Strummer documentary, The Future is Unwritten, from one of his employees for Christmas. It's put together pretty well and really gives some insight into how important Strummer was to punk and pop music as a whole.
Watching the documentary also got me to dig out the records he made with The Mescaleros at the beginning of this decade. I loved these albums when I was in high school. Strummer was grabbing from numerous genres creating some great work before his untimely death in 2002.
They're certainly worth your time if you were a fan of The Clash or just well made rock 'n' roll.

did you really rush out?

It's guilty pleasure time folks. Here's a few that have been plaguing me over the past year. Don't even try and hate, these are top notch records through and through that I listened to near as much as the ones that made the year end list.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top 10 of the year

1. The Gaslight Anthem- "The '59 Sound"
The best record of the year is also the simplest, sonically, on the list. The Gaslight Anthem is not out to re-invent the wheel. They have produced a record steeped in punk and Americana ethos which many artists have visited before.
The result is a wonderfully honest record full of heartache and redemption.

2. The Hold Steady- "Stay Positive"
The best rock band in operation. On its fourth record in five years, the band's hooks are still as killer as they were from day one and Craig Finn's lyrics are just as introspective as ever.
The band stepped up its ballad game on this year's release, crafting gems like "Lord I'm Discouraged" to go along with fist pumping jams like album opener "Constructive Summer."

3. Kanye West- "808's & Heartbreak"
A cold, calculating turn of events from one of pop music's greatest artists. Basically stripping his sound of everything which made him the star he is today, Kanye has turned out an ambitious record full of icy synths and pounding drums. His decision to abandon rapping for the most part and sing through an autotuner only magnifies the record's pitiful, inward looking agenda.

4. TV on the Radio- "Dear Science,"
The most accessible record the band has produced is also a layered, sonically thick listening experience. Grasping the dance, funk aesthetic the band has hinted at over past releases has made their newest one of the most engaging records of the year. The band might be laying on the Bowie and Talking Heads influences a bit thick, but doing it with enough originality and musicianship to remain fresh as ever.

5. Blitzen Trapper- "Furr"
On the band's sophomore effort, it has fell face first into the Americana landscape. Borrowing heavily from folk, Southern rock and psychedelia from previous decades, the band has put together the exact opposite of a sophomore slump.

6. David Byrne & Brian Eno- "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today"
Those expecting a record full of Eno ambience and Byrne spitting nonsense over frustrating soundscapes need to check themselves.This is a pop record through and through. The hooks are sticky sweet and choruses sore over the two men's amazing penchant for crafting near-perfect pop gems. A rare, unexpected treat.

7. Bon Iver- "For Emma, Forever Ago"
Recorded in a secluded cabin in the bare, bleakness of a Wisconsin winter, "For Emma, Forever Ago" is a heartfelt, tear stained masterpiece. Guitars are sparse and when percussion and strings pop up from time to time the instruments are welcome additions to each song's torment. Justin Vernon's aching falsetto only adds to the record's turmoil. A great record for the winter months.

8. The Tallest Man On Earth- "Shallow Graves"
The Tallest Man On Earth is in actuality Scandinavian folk singer Kristian Matsson. His debut record has been tagged "Dylan-esque" by nearly every publication who has taken the time to give the record the publicity it deserves. The tag has been applied rightfully so. Each year an artist or two gets slapped with the tag but for few does it actually resonate. Matsson's plucking guitar and banjo and seamlessly engaging voice are the makings of a rich, elegant folk record which should not be missed.

9. Young Jeezy- "The Recession"
In the past, tough economic and political times fostered great music. I cannot and will not compare Jeezy's latest to Dylan or "Born in the U.S.A." or Public Enemy but it has its moments. The rapper shows his flow is more than just adlibs and and tough talk by discussing the perils of hood life and the importance of our new President elect.

10. Jason Anderson- "The Hopeful and the Unafraid"
Anderson's 2008 release is a great exercise in fun, anthemic rock 'n' roll. Grabbing from The Replacements, Springsteen and contemporaries The Hold Steady, this throaty, barroom stomping rocker is full of jams which are locks to be stuck in heads for days.


11. Langhorne Slim- S/T

12. Killer Mike- I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind Vol. 2

13. Okkervil River- The Stand Ins

14. Shearwater- Rook

15. Wild Sweet Orange- We Have Cause to Be Uneasy


16. The Mountain Goats- Heretic Pride

17. Q-Tip- The Renaissance

18. Frightened Rabbit- The Midnight Organ Fight

19. The Walkmen- You & Me

20. Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons- Cabin Ghosts ep
listen here


21. Ohtis- If This Country Had A Heart, That's Where I Was Born

22. David Vandervelde- Waiting for the Sunrise

23. Raphael Saadiq- The Way I See It

24. Anathallo- Canopy Glow

25. Cold War Kids- Loyalty to Loyalty


26. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Pershing

27. Jamie Lidell- Jim

28. Lucinda Williams- Little Honey

29. Loudon Wainwright III- Recovery

30. No Age- Nouns

best ofs

I just started typing a list and it rounded out at 35 albums.
Here's 35-31...
31. Vampire Weekend- S/T

32. T.I.- Paper Trail

33. The Week That Was- S/T

34. Spiritualized- Songs In A&E

35. Wale- Mixtape About Nothing

Saturday, December 06, 2008

you better watch out

It's Christmas time.
We're having a party at our house tonight, it's going to be a fabulous time.
Here's a couple great Christmas jams.

Monday, December 01, 2008

she's just a LA girl

Hey, I have a blog.

If the new Kanye is getting you down, here's some throwback treats to those simpler chipmunk soul times.

Friday, October 24, 2008

but she sure talk good, and she move so fast

Last weekend a discussion ensued between my friends Chris and Hannah and myself.
A heated debate over the best Radiohead record developed.
My money is still on OK Computer, electronics be damned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

we came to dance with the girls with the stars in their eyes

Classic status
If you haven't watched Freaks and Geeks yet, what are you waiting for dummy.

I slept on the newest Plies record, Definition of Real. I'm enjoying it so much more than Real Testament. Real gritty and I can even stand it when he drops a jam for the ladies. Something I can't say for most of his other peers so far this year *cough*T.I.*cough*

Thursday, October 09, 2008

bumpin some Stones over djembe drums

Man, this was good. Richard Jenkins is excellent. I just hope the Best Actor category isn't too saturated so that he misses out on a nomination.

Friday, October 03, 2008

wanna go out tonight, wanna find out what i got

Great first episode of the third season of Friday Night Lights. After they hastily wrapped things up from the second season, this episode got rolling. Some really great scenes like Buddy trying to connect with Tami in her office and dropping a "Clear eyes, full hearts..." and her just shutting him down. The one scene that really got me was the racquetball one at the end of the episode. It was tied up in all the right drama the way this show did consistently in its first season.
Here's to hoping they keep getting better.

I want to urge you again to check out Gaslight Anthem's record from this year, "'59 Sound." A great, blue collar (I guess) punk record. A whole mess of working man tunes wrapped up in some quick punk jams and slow burner ballads. Really one of my favorites so far this year.
Here's the title cut from the record.

Friday, September 26, 2008

bigger than the mayor

Some Ohtis real talk right here.
Get familiar kids.

Here's something else that popped up this week that made me happy.

Galfianakis is on point as always on last week's Tim and Eric. The man consistently makes me want to pursue comedy.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

i'm gonna be somebody

It's been a pretty great week for music. I'd been in somewhat of a rut, nothing new was peaking my interest since the Okkervil leaked a while back. Then came the new Blitzen Trapper first. Their sophomore release, Furr, is parts Wilco, parts The Band, parts The Kinks, let's just say it's pretty wonderful. It's neck and neck with the Okkervil for my favorite record so far this year probably.
Also, the new Kings of Leon leaked today, Only by the Night. This time around KOL gets a little epic on us. A lot of U2 influence floating around on this record and that's not a bad thing. Whereas Coldplay did not exactly pull that off, this new KOL is incredibly enjoyable. The lead singer just keeps getting better and better too.

Kings of Leon- Sex On Fire
I have not got to the new TV on the Radio, but I sure expect that to be all kinds of awesome.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

always be closing

I apologize. It's nearly been a month and I've been mad busy with moving, newspaper stuff and a new school year.
Some quick things that I've been digging.

Bloc Party- Intimacy
The band's third record has been getting crapped on for the most part but I find it quite enjoyable. It's a step up from Weekend in the City.

The Game- L.A.X.
It sucks we had to wait this long into the year for some great rap records. This is one of them and here's to hoping the new Jeezy and T.I. live up to my high hopes.

Seeing The Hold Steady in Chicago, November 14th. Meet me there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

who's the man, who's the boss

I've been slacking heavily on here. The past few weekends I've been out of town (Pitchfork one week, I'll do a post on that sometime) and just doing school and newspaper stuff that's been keeping me occupied.
Right now I just want to give some space to the new A.B.N. album. It's two of the most consistent southern rappers, Trae and Z-Ro doing what they do best. Spitting real fast about depressing aspects of the hood and a whole lot of talk about beating yo azz. This is out on Rap-A-Lot and is getting little to no shine on rap blogs and it's a shame. So far it's probably my favorite rap album this year behind Killer Mike's new one.

I move out on Thursday then I'll throw up Pitchfork and Mad Men Season 2 posts.

Monday, July 14, 2008

i spoke in tongues, i took all of my clothes off

The new album by Wild Sweet Orange, "We Have Cause to be Uneasy" is quite the enjoyable indie rock record. With vivid lyrics and a great soft,loud,soft dynamic, this band should get some buzz in the coming months.

Friday, July 11, 2008

solace is in the fabric of sweatshirts

You need this in your life.

(spanish subtitles for Nick Birky)

Monday, July 07, 2008

country ass boy, country like leanne rimes

Fresh Top 5

1. Holiday weekend,
Started the weekend off right by heading home for the Fourth and getting down to business at the McGregor Estate. Good times with great people and Chris breaking his face.
It was also my Dad's 50th birthday on Sunday so my family trekked to St. Louis to enjoy the Cubs/Cardinals games on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a total bummer but the Cubs rallied and made Sunday's game worth the whole trip. Also, going to Busch Stadium with the p's and not having to pay for my own $9 beers was ace.

my man

2. David Banner- Greatest Story Ever Told,
I've been waiting for this joint for a while. Banner Southern growl is in full effect and these jams sound great on my humid morning runs. I could have done with less club tracks and more of Banner's political/hood talk but the album's pretty solid. "Get Like Me" is that jam by the way.

3. Alex Idleman,
Big ups to this man for picking up my Dark Knight ticket for the 12 a.m. opening. I'm trying to black out everything having to do with this film until that night, I can't wait.

4. Mission Hill re-runs,
1 a.m. on Adult Swim, Mission Hill has been getting some play. A really witty cartoon with fun, colorful animation. I vaguely remember this from it's WB or MTV run in the early 00's. Good stuff.

5. Michael Chabon- Mysteries of Pittsburgh,
I started reading Chabon's first novel over the weekend and I'm totally engrossed. I've read Wonder Boys and Summerland, and this one doesn't dissapoint. The man is one of my favorite living novelists.
Mysteries of Pittsburgh reads like a better Bret Easton Ellis novel stripped of that man's inflated ego.
The book has also been made into a film that I'm anticipating. Peter Sarsgaard plays the character Cleveland which is some perfect casting.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

cruise some chicks and get a suntan

I've been putting some work into the entertainment section at our school's paper this summer. It's great to be getting paid to do something I love and I'm really starting to enjoy the editing aspect of my job. If you've got some free time, stop by and give some of the stories a read.

i was blacked out, i was cracked out, i was caved in

Here's something new instead of "here's what I like right now" posts. I guess it'll end up being a lot of the same actually but in a different format. It's late and I'm tired, those last two sentences probably don't make a lot of sense.

Top 5 smile generators

1. My trip to Champaign last weekend,
It was wonderful to get together with some people I haven't seen for a while and just straight tear things up. Also, parties are just so much better when myself, or someone with similar music tastes (Dylan) runs the stereo.

2. Not having class at 11 a.m. over the summer,
This is noteworthy because I can finally watch Homicide re-runs on WGN. I haven't been able to do this since last year and it's usually one of the best parts of my day. Man, this summer has been lame.

3. The Hold Steady- Stay Positive,
This leaked about a month ago and I've been listening to it a couple times every week. It didn't grab me immediately as their first three releases did but it's a logical next step in the band's sound. The big bar-rock guitars have been turned down and the pop sensibilities have been turned way up. I'm really looking forward to their set at the Pitchfork fest this summer, they kill live.

4. In Bruges,
I really had no expectations going into this film. The trailers made it look like some second-rate crime thriller, but it's really one of the best comedies I've seen this year. Ralph Fiennes brings so many laughs when he shows up for the second half. The movie also successfully had me caring about a Colin Farrell character for the first time ever I think.

5. Angelina Jolie,
I sawWantedover the weekend to review it for Tuesday's paper. While it's not really a good film, it's certainly great stylized violence. Jolie steals the whole thing, she's bigger than the movie, a force all by herself.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

gettin' nailed beside dumpsters behind townie bars

R.I.P. Status Ain't Hood.

On Monday Tom Breihan announced that his M-F Village Voice music blog "Status Ain't Hood" would be ending as he moves onto unannounced greener pastures.
When I moved to college three years ago this was one of the first music blogs I started checking regularly. Whatever Tom was commenting on I had interest in reading. It's really sad to see it go and I'll miss checking it on the daily for updates ranging from Project Pat to a minute by minute rundown of the CMA Awards.
I've got a link to the blog on the side of mine, take a few minutes and run through the posts he lists as some of his favorite from over the years.

Friday, June 27, 2008

going into a self-induced coma until july 18th

if i can move a few packs and get that hat, then that'll be dope

For those of you disappointed in the new My Morning Jacket album (you shouldn't be, it's great), give the Fleet Foxes LP, "Ragged Wood" a spin.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

we grind for the letters on our fitted caps

Tracks have slowly been leaking off this for a while now. The best of the bunch being the joint "Dope Boys" with Travis Barker on drums. It bangs, real hard.
Here's to hoping L.A.X. is as good as I expect it to be.

tote big guns like i'm still playin' contra

I usually don't go for the psychedelic 60s jams, this album's a classic though and perfect for sunny days.

Friday, June 20, 2008

ms. pacman, she don't even do no trappin'

Besides the music I've been reviewing for the DE I haven't been listening to a whole bunch of new stuff. I have however been listening to a whole bunch of Fleetwood Mac for the last two weeks, up until the new Three 6 popped up the other day and kind of re-ignited my hip-hop listening.

This post on metal lungies made me construct a playlist of the songs mentioned and some of my other favorite Kanye beats. A pretty great selection of songs for walking back and forth to campus on a sunny day (let me know if you'd be interested in the playlist).

If you find yourself having nothing to do during you weekend, just hop on that Amtrak and come down to Carbondale for the weekend and help me enjoy the most boring summer of all time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

i make the trap BOOM BOOM

New Three 6 today. Sounding real grimy through the first few tracks, good to hear they didn't switch things up after all the pub a few years ago.

Friday, June 06, 2008

i'm unbeatable ya'll

New Nas track hit the internets today. It's called "Hero" and is produced by Polow Da Don. Polow can't miss, this beat is just nuts. Nas sounds great too, the best thing he's done that doesn't have Jay-Z on it in the past few years. Listening to this track I'm just envisioning a video with Puffy and the two speeding around in million dollar cars and popping bottles, late 90's Nas ish.
I really haven't got into the drama surrounding Nas' new album and its title, but if there's more like this on it, it's time to get excited about him again.

This past week was my first as Pulse (entertainment) editor for the Daily Egyptian down here in Carbondale and I've been keeping pretty busy. I'm currently the only member of the Pulse staff so I haven't had time to give my thoughts on the new Hold Steady and Wayne albums on here. I'm reviewing the Wayne for the paper next week, so I'll throw that review up on here when I get it done.

If anybody's getting bored in the coming weekends, buy yourself and Amtrak ticket (gas is crazy) and head down here.


Monday, May 26, 2008

tripping is for teenagers

I haven't been posting because I've been at home, not really on the computer that much.
Since I've been home, we get this channel called Ovation and they have this wonderful show called the Artist's Den.
It's an hour long program of some pretty great musicians. Today I watched Josh Ritter tear through a set of mostly songs from his newest album and another episode featuring The Swell Season.
I've made a couple of posts this year about The Swell Season, or Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who starred in last year's wonderful film Once.
You can track down the other two posts to read up on the music and the film, but these two are creating some wonderful heartbreaking music and it was great to watch them in a live setting.
Also, the new Hold Steady leaked and I'll hopefully put up a post real quick on that.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

it's goin' down, like it always do

second rap release (album, couple of hot mixtapes out there) worth a second listen this year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

his head was a city, of paper buildings

I've completed my first semester in Carbondale.
I'd feel terrible if I didn't mention some good folks who made it quite worthwhile, especially those who are leaving town for good with their degrees.
Kyle Fisher, Matt Shapiro, Bryan Menke, Bryan Darger... thank you all so much for making me feel welcome right away. Without all of you guys the transition to a brand new school would have been so much harder.
I wish all of you guys the best of luck in your future endeavors, I know you'll all do wonderful in your respected fields.

Real Talk,


Thursday, May 08, 2008

I don't play when it comes to money, guess that's why i'm okay when it comes to money

So this is where Juelz has been hiding? The only real relevant member left in Dipset pops up in some indie movie trailer. Why can't he give us another full length? TIP did ATL and American Gangster and still put out an album (albeit hit or miss). Get back in the studio please JuJu.

dry your eyes mate

Darger just finished up the series and as I was reflecting on the final episode my thoughts gravitated towards this scene.
It's so heartbreaking if you've followed these characters over the past two seasons.
Now as always when I make a post about The Wire, here's my obligatory recommendation to get to watching it already !

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

my faith in the buzz cut has been restored

Robert Downey Jr. pulled down May's GQ cover with the release of Iron Man and is rocking one clean buzz in his layout.
I wonder if he uses the same Remington beard trimmer for cleaning up his dome as I do for mine?

tryin' to catch up with this girl like some 57 heinz

After being at home all week and not being on the internet at all I just got the new Wayne track, California Love.
Just like Lollipop before it, Wayne's on his autotune game. My initial reaction was worrisome. I was thinking that Wayne's going to get stuck in this sing-songy vocoder schtick that he's been riding for a while and The Carter III is just going to be a massive disappointment (if it ever drops).
But dammit if Wayne's autotune jams don't get stuck in my head after a few spins.
Now, after listening through a couple of times the only thing that's ruining the track is the weak Tyga guest verse, which Wayne thankfully relegates to the end of the track.
The track's slow burn is really clicking for me, even though Wayne's verses aren't really anything to get excited about. However, this is the first new rap song I've listened to more than once in a couple of weeks.
Here's to hoping The Carter III comes out before Wayne either A.) dies or B.) gets locked up.

Monday, May 05, 2008

i'm packin' up and i'm runnin' away

Charlie Wilson's War is a highly enjoyable film, with some pretty tame performances from some wonderful actors.
Word on the street is that director Mike Nichols strayed pretty far away from Aaron Sorkin's script. Having not read that original script myself, I find it quite disheartening that Nichols felt the need to chop this film to a speedy 97 minutes instead of including, what is by all accounts, a darker story.
Hanks and Hoffman are likable enough, but their characters just don't get fleshed out. Supposedly the real Charlie Wilson had quite the drinking problem, which caused the man some serious problems as he was fighting communism behind closed doors. The only evidence of this is Hanks constantly having a drink in his hand. We don't get to see the ramifications of his problem.
Also, around the time of the film's release there was some talk over how there was no mention as to how America supplying these weapons lead to 9/11 and the rise of intense fundamentalist groups. There is mention of this covert operation backfiring and the film ends with a quote from the real Wilson saying, "...we fucked up the end game." But it's a few scenes towards the end of the film were Hanks' eyes are just filled with guilt and despair over not getting to finish what he had started in Afghanistan.
Now I don't want to sit here and just crap on the film, I'm glad I took an hour and a half to watch it. It's a funny 90 minutes and doesn't do much pulling on the heart strings. Totally worth your $2.50 at Family Video or $9 at Blockbuster.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

you give it a name and baby, that's how it stays.

I was watching The Insider tonight, probably my favorite Michale Mann film, and there's a scene between Pacino and Crowe that was particularly striking to me.
Crowe's character is a former scientist for a large tobacco company and is contemplating blowing the whistle and Pacino's character is a 60 Minutes producer hoping to facilitate the whistle blowing.
There's a piece of dialogue from a conversation they're having during dinner in the first half of the film, where Crowe is still on the fence about coming forward. Basically, Crowe's character is nervous about breaking a confidentiality agreement with his former employer and what that might do to his family's well being.
His nervousness has transformed into anger as he tries to belittle Pacino's chosen profession, journalism.

Jeffrey Wigand: I have to put my family's welfare on the line here, my friend! And what are you puttin' up? You're puttin' up words!
Lowell Bergman: Words? While you've been dickin' around at some fucking company golf tournaments, I've been out in the world, giving my word and backing it up with action.

This piece of dialogue hit home as I'm nearing the end of the year and am so busy with school work and writing up stories for the newspaper here at school.
I've certainly had moments where I contemplate if I'm doing the right thing, if I've chosen the right major, the right profession.
Now, I know this a line from a fictional character, but Pacino's line and overall aggressiveness at Crowe taking a shot at him merely "puttin' up words," made me feel good.
I know I'm not going to make any money as a journalist but I do feel that journalism and the news are important to our society.
Recently as I've been working the Campus desk for my school's paper, more and more I've begun to feel that I'm in the right place as I sit down to pound out a story or trek across campus to conduct an interview.
A friend recently said she would probably read this blog more if I included some more personal things and watching this film tonight, these thoughts started to pop up.
Expect more entertainment thoughts in the coming days though, the new Wolf Parade leaked and it's sounding real good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

she said those kids she's with were sellin' it

This is something to get excited about.
It comes out July 29th and features a new commentary by Roger Ebert, who had one on the original release.
Dark City is one of my favorite Sci-Fi films and it's a shame it got lost in the Matrix shuffle around the time of its release.

Monday, April 21, 2008

code of the ocean

If you went and saw that Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie instead of Forgetting Sarah Marshall this weekend you deserve a punch in the face.
What you missed out on was one helluva romantic comedy.
As we were leaving, my friend Chris was remarking that all of the scenes with Jason Segel after his breakup that were so awkward or painfully funny really hit close to home and I couldn't agree more.
What makes this film so totally enjoyable is a lot of what made Knocked Up great and that's the sense of reality that the film creates surrounding the relationships in them.
A lot has been made recently about this stable of actors that Apatow has been utilizing and how they aren't your normal Hollywood leading men. Most of them are chunky and unshaven and look like regular dudes.
I'd like to think that what makes these films (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Marshall) work is that watching these guys on screen you're getting the feeling that they've lived through this stuff that's happening to their characters.
Even though it's a bit hard to believe that Seth Rogen would sleep with Katherine Heigl in real life or Jason Segel would just jet off to Hawaii and Mila Kunis would fall in love with him, it's not the kind of "out there" premises of these relationships, the thing that makes them work is that a lot of this stuff has happened to most guys, and they get Paul Rudd in the movies which makes any film better actually.

The performances are all top notch also. Everyone I went with agreed that Russel Brand was seriously great and Mila Kunis was drop dead gorgeous and held her own with a cast of really funny men.
Going into it I was a bit worried that it wasn't going to live up to my favorite Apatow related projects, but this one is truly hilarious and deserves your 7 dollars. So go buy some candy and a soda at the gas station, hide them in your pockets and head to the theater.
(Even though Kunis was stunning I'm still sticking to my guns and saying that Kristen Bell is on another planet. I'm not buying that she looks "infantile" Darger)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

in and out of homes like the orkin man

I haven't listened to anything else the past 24 hours.
Where No Age's first record was a collection of songs from a string of ep's they had released and sonically, was a definite grower, Nouns has grabbed me right away.
The sound is much more immediate and accessible, but still maintains that fuzzy DIY aesthetic of Weirdo Rippers.
A truly wonderful record that I'm enjoying more and more with each listen.

it's all relative

Wednesday was a good day.
Got some studying done, won our first softball game, new No Age record leaked (it's great) and I finally got to watch the new Lumet film Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

It's nice to see Sidney Lumet, now in his 80s I do believe, crank out a wonderful crime drama in the twilight of his career.
The man is responsible for two of my all time favorite films, Dog Day Afternoon and Network. So when this film was getting talked up last year I was pretty excited.
A superb cast, Hoffman, Hawke and Albert Finney.
Finney's performance here is something to behold. It's full of heartache and confusion. The man can really do no wrong.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hey Jason? Are you still waiting?

The new Jason Anderson record, The Hopeful and the Unafraid, is better than whatever singer-songwriter you're listening to right now.
Anderson's been around for a minute, doing his poor man's Springsteen for a few years now.
Now when I drop that Boss comparison, I'm talking Asbury Park and The Wild, The Innocent and The E-Street Shuffle Boss.
Anderson's vocal inflections don't do a bad job of aping early period Springsteen. The quick-fire vocals, the occasional harmonica and sax solo and stuck in your brain for days sing along choruses are making this one of my favorite releases of this short year.

Dylan's in town this weekend and we're going to make it one for the books.
Also, my Columbia, MO people, I'm coming down next weekend. Clear your schedules.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

bang, bang, bang went frankie's gun

As I was walking to class today I realized I've been listening to the same playlist on my ipod for the last three weeks or so.
Everything on the playlist is "folk" related and relatively new.
(I throw quotes around the term folk because I'm using it pretty loosely. The playlist I mentioned contains Tallest Man on Earth and Bon Iver, but also some Loudon Wainwright,Andrew Osenga and Murder By Death and I wouldn't classify those guys as folk perse).
I started thinking about how my musical tastes are beginning to change.
The new Cut Copy leaked a couple of weeks ago and people on the internets were freaking about it and I snatched it up the moment it dropped.
It didn't click.
I've felt this way about most of the "electronic" music that's been getting positive press in the blogosphere lately and I think I've been so drawn to more stripped down, "folk" music because it just feels real to me right now. I'm connecting with it.
I don't want to sound pompous saying some type of music isn't "real" to me, but there's been a few new releases that have been getting serious burn and they all feel connected.
I think what's connecting these records (Bon Iver, Tallest Man..., The Felice Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Jonathan Richman) is the lyrical content on each.
Each artist has so much passion rooted in their music that it has been hard for me to give any long term play to other genres that I would usually be turning to.
The chorus to "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver slays me each time I listen to the song. I just want to give dude a hug when it kicks in.
Congrats if you made it through all of that, just a thought I had today

Sunday, March 30, 2008

you're never far from my heart

The new Langhorne Slim record is mad fresh. It drops at the end of April but is floating around the internets now.
It's reminding me a great deal of Josh Ritter's Animal Years and that's one helluva record.

Other stuff I've been digging on,
Spiritualized- Songs in A&E
David Crosby- If I Could Only Remember My Name
Murder By Death- Red of Tooth and Claw

Monday, March 24, 2008

in your eyes babe

Bon Iver- Skinny love

Tallest Man on Earth- I Won't Be Found

There's some superb folk music coming out lately.
The full lengths put out this year by these two musicians have been in constant rotation for weeks now.

Friday, March 21, 2008

go ahead and analyze me. i bet you can't surprise me

Ain't It Cool is often times unreadable, mostly the readers who send in reviews from early screenings they just saw.
This one is for a screening of the new Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder.
Even though the review is laughable (the guy uses a "thin red line" metaphor) what he has to say excites me.
Just like the AICN guy wrote, I certainly hope the film retains its hard R rating.
If anything Robert Downey Jr. is in it and you can't go wrong with him. The guy says its his funniest performance but I'm sure that's just a knee-jerk reaction.
Also, Jay Baruchel is in it which is wonderful. That young man is seriously funny and needs to get on screen more.
Now I'm going to go pop in Wonder Boys after all this Downey Jr. talk.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter.

Also, I can't say enough about the new album from The Tallest Man On Earth, it's called Shallow Graves. I've been listening to it all week and it's been the perfect soundtrack to the 532 inches of rain we got this week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

those smug lovers, might as well just rub it in my face

Southland Tales was a bit too ambitious for Richard Kelly's own good.
Back in like freshman year of high school I rode pretty hard for Donnie Darko. Downloading all the songs from the movie off of soulseek, listening to the director's commentary and all that.
Where I still find that movie enjoyable, Kelly's latest was a mess.
The cast is quite interesting, as he made some risky choices with The Rock, Timberlake, Gellar, Mandy Moore, Sean William Scott.
I actually didn't mind The Rock for the most part, but I've never really seen any other movies he's done, so I don't have much to judge him on.
Timberlake and Scott were serviceable, neither had as much screen time as The Rock.
It was also nice seeing Wood Harris get a bit part, since it seems he's not around much after playing kingpin Avon Barksdale in The Wire.
As for the movie in whole, the premise is interesting. It's an apocalyptic film set in 2008 (?). I know it was delayed a bunch of times so the timeline would have been easier to digest if it came out in '06 or whenever it was originally slated to drop.
There is just so much going on and feels jam packed, even though it ran over two hours.
A director's commentary would have been nice to hear Kelly's vision for what he was really going for.
The kid's who love Donnie Darko are going to have a hard time digesting this one I do believe.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

when's the last time

Big Mike and I hit up the jukebox at the Pub tonight and payed for Clipse- When's the Last Time.
It never got played...
I've been gone for a bit, but here's a quick run down of what I've been listening to...

Jamie Lidell- Jim
Tokyo Police Club- Elephant Shell
The Tallest Man on Earth- Shallow Graves

I have seen the last ep of the Wire, but Andrew hasn't yet, so I won't post my thoughts until he's got caught up.
It's wonderful, enough said.

Friday, March 07, 2008

tell me anything you want, any ol' lie will do

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was finally in when I hit up Family Video today. It came out on DVD like a month ago and has been out consistently since then.
I highly doubt that so many people enjoyed this movie. Probably renting it on Pitt's name being attached and being hit upside the head with a slow burning western is not what most were expecting one could assume.
The movie itself was quite wonderful.
It is quite long but does not really drag. The beautiful cinematography and the ace casting hold everything together. Surely one of the best films of 2007.
Pitt is remarkable, if even acting a bit understated at times.
The real cornerstone of the film is Casey Affleck however. He basically hit it out of the park twice last year with this and Gone Baby Gone.
I feel he deserved a best actor nod this year instead of a supporting nom for the role. The range of emotion he portrays throughout the film is something special.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

bada bing

I trust Chase to only make this if the material furthers what the series did.
If it does, well I can't wait.

Monday, March 03, 2008

so i do it over snares and bass

Always excited for new Roots material.
Game Theory was mad underrated.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've decided to drop out and run to Hollywood and act. I blame this movie.


one of the best records of the new year

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

don't make me have to relapse on these hos

I shouldn't let the Oscars piss me off. I know the Academy is out of touch with reality and even though this year i was okay for the most part with the winners, I got some beef.
The one that got me was supporting actress.
Tilda Swinton won for her role in Michael Clayton, which Was a good performance.
However, Amy Ryan's turn in Gone Baby Gone was heads above the rest in the category.
I think it's a shame that she was overlooked, giving it to a more recognizable face like Swinton is a shame.
Also, Ryan plays Beadie on The Wire, so being involved with the greatest TV show of all time should warrant some kind of award.
Her speech to McNulty in ep. 8 (I think) of this season is priceless.

Also, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won for Best Song. When they accepted the award, Hansard did his piece and as Irglova stepped up to the mic the music started and she was ushered off.
I was sitting there thinking how nice it would be if Stewart gave his next time on the screen to her, so she can have her moment and make her thanks.
He did that exact thing and I'd like to think it was all his idea. He did seem pretty jacked to see them win.
High-five Jon Stewart.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

my neighborhood's a sauna

I had a hard time keeping interest in tonight's Lost. The reason being I watched ep 8 of the fifth season of The Wire right before it.
Just in case one of the four people who check this blog is caught up with The Wire I won't reveal what happened, but a cornerstone of the show got got.
I've seriously just been sitting here for the past couple of hours wondering what the hell just happened in the episode.
This fifth season has been wonderful, even though it's not as slow burning as the others and might feel a bit rushed or in your face compared to the first four.
Simon is still doing a marvelous job.
Clark Johnson has been consistently wonderful all season as Gus, the city desk editor of The Baltimore Sun. This episode was no different as he truly shines.
Also, McNulty and Greggs at the FBI serial killer profile meeting was one of the best scenes of the series.
I can't stress enough, you need to start watching this show. Go get season 1 and hole up this weekend. You won't be disappointed.

must've been late afternoon

If she would have done this with Vampire Weekend the blogosphere would have imploded. Klaxons just don't carry the weight they did a year and a half ago.
It's still pretty interesting.

(yes, the post title is a dishwalla reference)

let fall your soft and swaying skirt

Fincher, Avary and Gaiman? There's three names I don't mind seeing attached to a film.
Fincher is always attached to so many projects let's just hope this one actually happens.
I really hope he does this one right and doesn't try and make a "hollywood" hit after the lackluster audience reception to last year's stellar Zodiac.
For reals, it's so good. Go watch it again, RIGHT NOW! I don't care that it's 2 a.m. You can stay up until 5, no big deal. You're in college, have a caffeinated soda while you're at it too. That's right, have one before bed!

quit being difficult

I watched Baumbach's latest tonight, Margot at the Wedding. I'm a big fan of The Squid and the Whale, so I had high expectations coming into this one, even though the cast didn't have me excited.
I knew it was a family drama and Baumbach knows his stuff when it comes to dysfunctional families.
I really struggled to enjoy Kidman in her leading role here. I'm not usually a large fan of her work and I know her character is supposed to be a calculating bitch, but I just didn't connect with the character the way I did with Jeff Daniels' in S&W.
I don't know if it's the way the character was written or just how she went about her portrayal.
Also, the kid in this one wasn't as affecting as the the two in S&W.
Oddly enough, Jack Black was probably the highlight of the movie for me, minus Turturro's quick role, I was glad to see him. Black was funny, but a subdued funny. He didn't have to make goofy faces or noises, he kept it pretty dry and had some good lines. His crying scenes were another thing though, dudes gotta work on that aspect of his craft.
I don't want to totally hate on this film, I did enjoy it. It's uncomfortable, funny and crass just like the rest of Baumbach's work. If you enjoyed The Squid and the Whale this one is worth your time.

I had kind of a slow week school-wise and watched a couple of other worthwhile films, so I'll try and throw up some posts on those tomorrow.

I'm coming home this weekend, so let's meet up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


If I had a valentine today I woulda dropped this classic on her. I wouldn't sing it or anything, just que it up on my computer. Nothing like some serious harmonizing to let her know fellas.

wolves, oh wolves, oh can't you see

As I made my way across the frozen tundra that is Carbondale today, I switched up from my normal iPod playlist for walking to class. I was freezing and didn't want to end up hearing something too upbeat on my chilly walk. As I scrolled through the artists I stopped on this gem from a couple of years ago.

I'm sure I wrote about this way back in my xanga posting days, but it's the best work he's done yet. Having "Idaho" come on during my frigid walk today was just perfect.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

breakin' hearts

I know I've been gone for a minute. We had that Polar Bear deal here over the weekend and it got mad rutty. Big ups to Lance and Alex for helping me out when my car got towed.
After not having much new tunes heading out the last few days have been plentiful. New Tindersticks, Constantines and Re-Up Gang (which I'll hopefully get around to having a full post on later).
This post is for something that's not really new but it's just so wonderful.
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are the two main characters in last years amazing film Once. To go along with the soundtrack for the film they also have released The Swell Season. It contains some songs used from the movie and some other tracks they have collaborated on.
Irglova is on the keys and vocals with Hansard handling the acoustic guitar and vocal duties as well. Irglova's voice is so beautiful and just hearing it makes me want to watch the film daily.
However, it's Hansard that makes these songs so gut wrenching. The way it builds up to the crashing crescendos in these choruses, makes me want to cry. Then I man up and listen to The Stooges or something and punch a wall.
But in all seriousness, these two are creating somes beautiful music together and you'd be doing yourself a favor by checking them out.

This is taken from the film and is also included on The Swell Season.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

haterz everywhere

A good deal of Kings of Leon gets jammed at the house I've been hanging out at on the weekends in Carbondale so far. The record they put out last year got kind of passed over I feel. It's probably the best work they've done to date. Get familiar.

love's gonna live here again

This song comes from Yoakam's Owens covers record from last year, which sadly got looked over for the most part. I guess this video got directed by Fred Durst? These two in the same room is almost as jacked up as when Beanie Sigel decided it was a good idea to use a James Blunt sample on his album last year (Beans must've been on some serious weeds).

when you're drunk and the kids look impossibly tan

I bought this film for my dad over break as Christmas present because of the buzz it had and the wonderful single it had running around AAA radio.
I finally watched it one of my final nights at home before I made my way back to real college in Carbondale and I really loved it. It's almost perfect, in a minimal way. It's not your typical hollywood romance, with big name actors and actressess, but the cast feels so real, and as a viewer a connection is almost immediately made.
As I sat there watching this film alone in my basement, I was just looking forward to the next time I had an oppurtunity to share this wonderful romantic/musical with a lady of significance.

rock n roll,


Thursday, January 31, 2008

ya gonna die charlie

Lost premiered tonight and I for one am happy to have something to look forward to on tv. Since I don't have HBO and have seen the first seven eps of this season of The Wire online (I'd watch them anyway if I had the channel) I'll be flipping on ABC every Thursday to get my Lost on.
The second half of last season was really great and I was pretty jacked for this new one. I am also glad that after an 8 month hiatus they had that replay of last season moments before the premiere tonight.
I felt good about this episode. It seemed to move pretty quickly and has me looking ahead to the flash forward sequences that are upcoming.
Some things that I was left pondering...
Whose face was it in the window when Hurley went up to Jacob's cabin?
I've been reading a couple of places that it was Jack's dad.
Also, when Jack visits Hurley in the mental hospital, was it really Jack or just another one of Hurley's hallucinations?

I'm going to try and hit the sack now and not read fan speculation all over the internet.

rock n roll,


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

i'm drivin' a stolen car

I was doing some youtube scouring tonight.
Since I've been down to Carbondale I haven't been using my car much. So when I do I'll listen to The Score if it's coming in that day, country radio or the one cd that's still in my car. I don't bring my ipod since when I do drive it's not going to be for more than ten minutes.
The one cd that's still in the car is a burnt copy of the Mountain Goats- Tallhassee with some Kristofferson, Waits and Wainwright to fill up the blank.
So, more often than not I'm listening to this album when I'm driving around and it's one of the band's best. Darnielle is a true lyricist.
The video I posted is one of my favorites from the album and probably one of the saddest songs currently occupying space on my hard drive.
I think what's so effecting about this song is that nothing about it sonically fits the lyrics. On the surface, it's almost got a feel-good vibe, until you take the time to listen to what Darnielle is singing. Every line is full of anger and heartbreak (but mostly anger).
Great song, great album, great band.
Get familiar.

rip my heart right out

Then I got mary pregnant and man that was all she wrote.
And for my nineteen birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.
We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest.
No wedding day smiles, no walk down the aisle.
No flowers, no wedding dress
That night we went down to the river.
And into the river we'd dive.
On down to the river we did ride.

you'll be comin' down now baby

I finally got a chance to watch Danny Boyle's Sci-Fi film from last year, Sunshine. Taking advantage of my half price rentals for the next month at Family Video I got this and Shoot 'Em Up. The latter being a real fun action flick, nothing special.
Sunshine was a wonderful experience though. I know some people don't buy into the whole, having to see certain movies in theaters to get the full experience. However, while watching this one in my living room, I was just wishing I had seen it on the big screen.
The visuals are something to behold, especially any scene with the sun.
The scenes where the sunlight did come into the picture were especially wonderful because of the rest of the film being in such darkness. The rest of the ship having little light and no real starlight to speak of in shots.
Cillian Murphy is the lead and is wonderful as usual. I hope he continues to work with Boyle as he's two for two (28 Days Later being the first triumph).
I think it's a shame this got lost in the shuffle last year as it is a compelling piece of science fiction film and stands up with some of the better science ficiton fare of the past decade.

Monday, January 28, 2008

hella tubby

I don't think I've voiced my love for the online comic strip Achewood on here before. The current thread of strips with Ray Smuckles running for President of the USA is ace though. If you haven't started reading this yet, hit up and start right now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

simpler times

This record came out last year. I feel like I'm in seventh grade listening to it. Might as well put it in the discman and listen to it on the bus on the way to school. Pop punk at its finest.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

it comes back like karma

some clipse love after i've been listening all day to the new song off of we got it for cheap vol. 3.

cop bricks like sneakers
(the quotes they got from Weezy "fans" are priceless in this article)

Wayne got popped again, this time by border patrol searching his bus.
They turned up 4 ounces of weed, an ounce of blow and 41 grams of ecstasy.
From the reading up on the arrest I've been doing, it seems that Dwayne wasn't holding and he is currently out on a $10,000 bond.
I'm going to assume that out of all the people on his tour bus, it won't be Weezy taking the rap for the bust.
I'm not saying he should be riding around with all this work, but I want me that Carter III !

Monday, January 21, 2008

cooler than a polar bear's toe nails

I never really watched The Food Network or got into chef shows over the past few years as they've gained popularity.
I have started watching No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain however, and it's wildly entertaining.
It's on the Travel Channel so it's strictly not him working at his restaraunt turning out dishes and yelling at staff. Instead he takes his culinary prowess around the world and tastes dishes from the locale he's filming at. All the while experiencing the sights and scenes.
Bourdain has a great sense of humor and wonderful ego that keeps him speaking his mind into each episode.
He drinks and smokes like it's the 1950's and despises Rachel Ray and chefs(if you can call her that) of her ilk, bonus points in my book.
It's one of tv's redeeming reality series and a bright spot in this year's writer's strike plagued tv viewing universe.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

i love the way she move any time a song on

Remember Test Icicles?

I barely do either.
They had that blog buzz working a couple years back and then broke up. Nothing special and a godawful name.
Well, former testicle Devonte Hynes has a new band, Lightspeed Champion.
Gone are the Death From Above jams, they have been replaced by some seriously nice near-alt/country.
Now you might be opening up that google search and see that he recorded this with a bunch of Saddle Creek dudes. If that's not your bag, don't let it sway you from checking out this release.
Falling of the Lavender Bridge fits nicely in a Saddle Creek realm (Champion is signed to Domino Records) but this release is more exciting then the next Cursive output or something.
I have to believe that listening to the skills Hynes displays here, that he was just biding his time in his former group.