Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Ponys got their break the old fashioned way, relentlessly touring the Chicago indie scene showcasing their garage rock sound. Word of mouth eventually led to quite a following, and they soon signed a record deal, releasing their debut album in early 2004. The album wasn't a huge commercial hit, but it did well with the critics, which earned them another trip to the studio that same year. The follow up was called Celebration Castle, which is where todays song is from. The record once again brought them critical acclaim, even though it was recorded in a span of only four days. After a few lineup changes, the band continued to tour, and released their third album, Turn the Lights Out in the spring of 2007. The band remained quiet for a while, but has recently released a new EP entitled, Deathbed + 4.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Smashing Pumpkins are definitely 90s icons, always being newsworthy during that time. Unfortunately, it wasn't always for music, as Billy Corgan established himself as quite a jerk, and one of the worst frontmen ever. Even though the group endured the occasional bad press, they were immensely popular with most of their records going platinum, and receiving various Grammy nominations along the way. And while The Smashing Pumpkins name still lives, it's pretty much just a Billy Corgan solo project. The records they've released since 2007 have gotten very mixed reviews, some really enjoying the reemergence, others not so much. (Yeah, that's me) Today's song though is an old favorite off their 2001 greatest hits record, Rotten Apples, Drown.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Yesterday was the ugly side out British fame, todays is a lot lighter scenario. VV Brown has seemed to take the negative experiences in her life and channeled them into a great record. She manages to combine many different sounds on her album, yet without going to far over the strange line. She does keeps the sound grounded to mostly indie pop, and a little bit of funk, with the results just being an overall fun record. Her debut album was just released this year in the states, receiving generally positive reviews.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Amy Winehouse now has a reputation of a professional train-wreck, which is sad since she is immensely talented. It seems like the downward spiral began shortly after the release of her second album, Back to Black. Many considered her record to be one of the best records to have emerged from the UK that year, which I agree with wholeheartedly. If you've been keeping up with her personal life though, you'll notice the disturbing pattern of hers to one up her own madness. Her husband being jailed, her developing emphysema, her continuing to smoke crack, a divorce, botched plastic surgery, this list just goes on. Lately though, there's been a promise that she's making a comeback, a healthy one too. I'm taking this one with a grain of salt, but here's to hoping for the best.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Smiths will definitely go down as one of the most legendary bands of all time, especially since they only released four studio albums. Not to mention the fact that two incredible musicians embarked on solo careers stemming from this groups breakup. One being Morrissey, the other Johnny Marr. One of the bands greatest strengths comes from Morrissey's ability to write such a depressing song, and sing it to such fun music. I'm not sure why that musical ability is so well liked, but for some reason, we all love it. Todays song though is Girlfriend In A Coma, off their fourth and final record - Strangeways, Here We Come.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Just got back from Houston last night, home of todays featured band, Deep Ella. Deep Ella is quite reminiscent of another Houston born band, Blue October. Both carry a sound of a very emotionally driven alternative rock, but they will always have a few surprises in store on their records. Todays song is definitely one of those surprises, the incredibly upbeat - Summer Love. Deep Ella just released their third album, You, me, and the Spider, which I would recommend you check out. Also, stop by their website to cast a vote and help choose what their first single off the record will be.
Friday, August 13, 2010
In 2005, Beck kind of reemerged as a new artist with a familiar swagger. He's always been king of the strange, leader of lonely, most well known in the 90s for his song, Loser. In 2005s Guero though, he revisited some of his earlier sound, using an odd assortment of interesting instruments to make quite a funky record. Todays song shows off an alternative hip-hop side of the album, a sound that he carried over to his follow up record, The Information. Both of Beck's next two LPs were well received, and as far as new material, he recently revealed to Pitchfork that he plans on releasing a new single later this year.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
One of the many things my dad and I can debate about for hours is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He maintains that all their songs sound the same, while I actually love their diverse collection of songs. Seriously dad, didn't you notice anything different between One Hot Minute and Californication? Californication had one of the biggest hits of summer 1999, Scar Tissue, which is also todays song of the day. This band has continued its great album streak with 2002s, By The Way, and 2006s double album, Stadium Arcadium. Plenty of hits, plenty of awesome, and definitely more to come with the bands upcoming 2011 release.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This song is pretty much the dream project of ambient indie music, featuring Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, and Noah Lennox who is also known as Panda Bear. If this type of music is one your preferences, then this record is most likely one of your favorites. The low-fi experimental melodies are quite catchy, and enjoyable enough to make this album one of the best of 2009. Since the album is still relatively new (October of 2009) there is no new material planned now, but Deerhunter is set to release a new album next month.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
VHS on Beta are about on par with the fabulous glam bands of the 80s. Their debut album wasn't actually that great, more amusing than anything. There are about two quality tracks on the record, the other mostly instrumentals that seem a little out of hand and unnecessary. The talent is there, but it seems like the band is focused on imitating the music they grew up listening, taking the crazy guitars of Zeplin or Van Halen, and mixing it with a Robert Smith impersonation on vocals. But one of the quality tracks on the album was definitely number seven, Alive. It seems like all their strengths aligned on this track, showing the impressive nature of this group.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Before the solo albums, before Gorillaz, before The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Damon Albarn was the frontman to the brilliant alternative rock band Blur. The band made four great albums before their self-titled 1997 release. The fifth release is significant because it had two of their most well known songs on it, one being todays song, Song 2. Oddly quick, yet loads of fun, the song dominated the radio that year and kinda became a cult classic of sorts. While the band never officially split, their last LP dropped 2003, their musical departure, Think Tank. The band did however release a new single in April, and hope to record a few more soon. There aren't any plans though for a new record.
Brightest Day promised answers this week, answers that are supposed to give us an answer to a very important question. The question is simple: Why were the twelve resurrected by the White Light? The answer was pretty anti-climatic since it was held for so long, so be warned that it's a little disappointing. (At least to me)
After Boston, Dove, and Hawk meet for a burger, the ring takes the three to Silver City, New Mexico, the site of the White Lantern. The White Lantern now intends to reveal its grand plan, which seems to revolve around Boston Brand. Boston and Hawk are zapped by the White Light, their costumes being transformed into an all white version. The Light begins to speak to them now, revealing itself to be the White Entity. The surprise here is that the White Entity is dying and looking for a replacement, a new champion to guard, watch, and protect the Universe.
The book now jumps between the main characters here, as all of them receive a vision from the White Light showing them a future of sorts. Quick recap of a couple characters visions.
Martian Manhunter: His vision shows him setting fire to a forest, presumably the Star City forest that the White Light created.
Firestorm: Black Lantern Firestorm is shown holding a black lantern, and the White Lantern instructs Jason and Ronnie to come together and stop the evil lantern.
Hawkman: His costume is transformed into white version, which look pretty lame, almost like something THe Village People wore. The White Light tells him to "Stop the Queen."
Shiera: She sees Hawkman being murdered by Hath-Set. The Light warns her that if that future comes true, there will not be another resurrection for either her, or Hawkman.
Aquaman sees the new Aqualad, and is told to find him first before "they" do. No idea who "they" are though.
The next scene is a two-page spread showing the vision of the remaining resurrected characters. Digger Harkness sees himself murdering Dove as the Light tells him to throw the boomerang. Jade sees her brother Obsidian, with the Light telling her to balance out the darkness. Osiris is told to free his sister Isis. Max Lord is instructed to save the world from Magog, because he will lead the world into war. Eobard Thawne's mission is complete, his being to release Barry Allen from the Speed Force. And most puzzling, Hank Hall is told to stop the boomerang that will kill Dove. Finally, Boston is told to find to replacement protector of the White Light.
It seems strange that the White Light would give them missions that contradict each other, and I get the feeling that it isn't at all what it says to be. And while I did find the reveal a little disappointing, the writing team did do a great job of setting up the next waves of stories. So as always, more answers bring more questions, and more mysteries. But it seems like Brightest Day will start to tie in very well with the books that carry its banner, so hopefully the story will progress quicker this next time around.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Things were looking on the up and up for Mumm-Ra when they suddenly announced their split as a band in 2008. If you turn back the clocks a few years before the announcement you'll see how unexpected it really was. 2006 had them opening for the Kaiser Chiefs in large venues in Germany. In 2007, they not only opened for The Killers across Germany, but they also released their debut record which received very good reviews. Even though much speculation as to the reason of the split ensued, one wasn't officially given. Oddly enough though, 2009 was a good year for them as well when their second single "She's Got You High" appeared on the soundtrack to (500) Days of Summer. Various members of the band have started musical projects since the split, namely the UK based Mirrors which has at least one former Mumm-Ra member. Who knows, such an open ended split always leaves room for a reunion.
Monday, August 2, 2010
It's a shame that their UK success has not transitioned to the states yet, because this is such a fun, energetic band that they could really do some damage over here. The only Wombats release that the US has seen is a six-track self-titled EP that didn't even contain todays song, Let's Dance To Joy Division. That's the song that won The Wombats a NME award for best dance floor filler, so the exception off the US introduction is definitely puzzling. Their record was full of great party songs though, leaving a lot of us anticipating a new release.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Blink-182 definitely hit a departure of sound with their 2003 self-titled release. Usually known for their self described "toilet humor," the band seemed to write songs that actually meant something to them on their last record. Absolutely the highlight of the album though was them teaming up with one of their idols, Robert Smith of The Cure. Surprisingly, the song actually sounded a lot like something The Cure would make. The pining over a girl named Holly was the point of this song, and it was made very clear between Smith's great singing and the whiny chimes of DeLonge. Travis Barker really showed his mettle here as well with the overdubbed drums that gave the percussion a cool effect.