Sunday, July 26, 2009


When I was younger I used to buy up used CD's all the time. My dad and I would spend hours in record shops, scouring bins for some ace finds.
I remember getting home and popping my new tunes into my stereo and pulling out the insert to peruse the lyrics while listening. Most of the stuff I was buying was Fat/Epitaph punk or ska so these lyrics were TERRIBLY important. I would do this so as not to miss anything, get the whole experience.
Today I watched Armando Iannucci's latest, "In the Loop". I felt the same way watching this film as I did when putting on those used discs. The jokes and wit are flying by so fast I needed some lyrics, or a script would probably be a better service (there wasn't any singing involved to my knowledge).
The film is downright hilarious. Political satire funneled through British snark and some dark as midnight humor. I could sit here and try to pinpoint a favorite performance, but it would be a fruitless endeavor. Everyone is so wonderfully cast, from the main players to the bit parts.
I might just queue it up again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

i have seen God and his name is...

This is a very interesting read for anyone who has fallen in love with "Freaks and Geeks" before.
It is basically an extremely intricate pitch for those who would come to be involved with the show.
Apatow seems to get all of the credit from the show, but reading this really shows that Paul Feig was the brains behind most of its wonderfulness.

If anything it is an interesting read to see where Feig wanted to take the series had it gone on longer. I am totally content with the way it was wrapped up, but just getting to read where some of these characters would have ended up holds a sense of fulfillment.

ain't supposed to die on a saturday night

A few of my favorite things

Friday, July 17, 2009

does this belong to you?

The recent critical favor thrown Cass McCombs' way for his new work, "Catacombs" is right on.
The album drifts by as McComb's wispy vocals supplement soft instrumentation and dark, depths of the soul lyrics.
The album's highlight, "You Saved My Life" was the first track to immediately stand out upon first listen. It is a testament to McComb's songwriting to have created such an engaging song without letting the instrumentation explode, in say an Arcade Fire way, when the chorus hits.
The track seems to be begging for an outburst of strings or heavy percussion when McCombs belts out "Here I Stand" but the singer-songwriter is content to ride this waltz for five and a half minutes.
Any deviation from the woozy nature of the track would be to take away from its emotional effectiveness.
I know a lot of people are wary these days when Pitchfork throws its weight behind some new music, but McCombs has been doing this for a while now and "Catacombs" may just be his best yet.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

meant that much

I really was not expecting a new Jay Reatard record because over the past couple of years he has furiously released new material. It just did not seem like it had been that long since his last proper album, but "Blood Visions" is over two years old now.
"Watch Me Fall" may come as a surprise to those who were not keeping up with all of his singles in 2008, because the sound is much more polished.
It is still steeped in garage and lo-fi goodness, just with less "lo" in that "fi".
The songs are more pop oriented, straying away from the spastic punk leanings of his earlier work.
Reatard can craft a hook and most of the shouted choruses here are so repetitive and catchy they will be popping up in heads for days.
Even if the "pop" tag is something you feel should be nowhere near Reatard, give the record a shot.
The man has put out one pretty good, summer album.

while we were out

Back on that VICTORY tip

I don't have any excuses for my time away from this space.
I've been writing here every week and am taking a class but nothing crazy.
I have obtained a bunch of music over the past couple of weeks and it's time to throw some up here.
This week for the paper I've got a review of the new Owl City, the new Dead Weather and a write up of the season premiere of Entourage.

So, I'm back on it. Please keep checking out "The Block".

Monday, July 06, 2009

get up

This is wonderful.
I won't say too much in this space because I'm getting paid to write about it here.
This is the best film released this summer.
Get out and see it. Depp and Cotillard are amazing.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

between smiles

Idlewild is one of those bands that I always kick myself for never listening to more.
Every time they release new material I listen to the tracks for a few days and then they just fall by the wayside.
But whenever the Scottish rockers pop up on shuffle or something I am never reaching for the skip button.
Whether it be its early guitar-driven more aggressive sound or the melodic, hook happy newer material, the band is usually can't miss.
Its discography ranges from pretty good to great and the newest album, "Post Electric Blues" pushes the band's sound even further into the pop realm, nearly leaving the hard rocking edge behind.
But it works. Vocalist Roddy Woomble (what a name) has an amazing, distinctive voice that sends these tracks to another level.