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Archive for April, 2011

Although it has been nearly 16 years since the Smashing Pumpkins double CD opus, the debate lived on a few weeks ago when a bunch of us became heated over which of the discs was better?  The red one, which contains hits like “Tonight, Tonight”, “Zero” and “Bullet with Butterfly Wings?  Or the blue one, which contains “33”, “1979” and the either massively under-rated or much-maligned song “We Only Come Out at Night“?  Vote away!

Full track listings of each disc can be found here.

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Wax Idols on Myspace

This song is awesome- definitely has that nostalgic-psychadelic feel to it that is kind of prevalent these days, but I like it all the same. Can’t wait to hear more by this band.

side note: Let’s go Caps!

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I’m currently unemployed, and finally getting around to listening to a lot of the crappy albums that I didn’t even know had been taking up space on my external drive for the past several years. Why not write a weekly column about them, right?

Squirrel Bait – Squirrel Bait (1985): This album reminded me of that special magic power that only the greatest and most obscure indie albums possess: the ability to make me feel totally awesome for having heard it and act like I’m way cooler than anyone who hasn’t, even though I’m 30 years old, wear the same black hoodie every day, and still live with my parents.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light (2011): Has Foo Fighters finally become so corporate that they hire unpaid interns to write all their songs? At least it’ll look good on their resumes!  Oh wait, no it won’t.

Owl City – Ocean Eyes (2009): I hate it when people use the word ‘saccharine’ in music reviews. Instead, just close your eyes and imagine a naked Willy Wonka watching home movies of a 300-pound Sour Patch Kid raping Charlie Bucket.

The Strokes – Angles (2011): When I was 14 I had a weird lesion on my scrotum and I didn’t know why.  I was too embarrassed to tell anyone so I just secretly dabbed it with hydrogen peroxide every day after school for 3 weeks. Then one day I tried using Lubriderm. Turned out it was just dry skin! What a relief!!

Mew – No More Stories… (2009): If I were asked to direct a music video for any of these songs, I would film two attractive young female sales associates locked in a slo-motion late-night pillow fight in the bedding section of a dimly lit department store as swirling pockets of light reflect off a broken disco ball, dancing across the delicate elfin features of their perfect enraptured faces.  The big surprise twist at the end will be that it’s not a music video at all, but a JCPenney’s commercial for pillows.

 

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The first time I saw Explosions in the Sky was in October of 2001, when they played in an ex-frat house on my university’s campus. Their live performance gave me chills that night, and I’m happy to announce that nearly ten years later they continue to do so.

Their show at Radio City Music Hall on April 6th was great, and not only because I got to actually sit down the whole night (though this was a big factor in my deciding to go to the show, I’m not gonna lie). They played a good range of songs from all their albums, but the highlights were the songs they played off their first two (and in my opinion, their best) albums- “Yasmin the Light”, “Your Hand in Mine”, and the best of the night, “The Only Moment We Were Alone”. It’s one thing to hear their signature quiet-loud-resolution sound on recording, but to hear it live is really an intense and unforgettable experience (and one your eardrums won’t soon forget either- I had no idea the sound in Radio City could be SO LOUD!)

One thing I did notice from the new songs is that they seem to be playing around with the drumming a bit, stepping away from their standard march-like beat and loosening it up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with bands trying out new things, but the marching spirit of their songs was one thing I’ve always liked about them, so the new songs were just a little odd to me. The new album “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” comes out on April 26.

Set list according to Spin Magazine:

Postcard from 1952
Birth and Death of the Day
Yasmin the Light
Last Known Surroundings
The Only Moment We Were Alone
Catastrophe and the Cure
Let Me Back In
Your Hand in Mine
Trembling Hands

 

Though if I’m being honest, I was almost more excited to see Low open for them. My appreciation for Low is a recent phenomenon, partly because I like to play some of their quieter albums (“Long Division”, “Secret Name”) at work. It’s only recently that I’ve discovered that, despite their “slow-core” label, they can actually rock pretty hard- and that definitely came through in their set that night. (Side note: apparently I own eight of their albums. EIGHT. How does that even happen? I thought they were totally lame until a year or two ago!)

They played a number of songs from their new album, as well as a couple older “hits” (most notably “Silver Rider”). The new stuff was pretty good- “Try to Sleep”, “You See Everything”, but their closer “Nothing but Heart” was an absolute show-stopper. Eight minutes of building intensity with the words “I’m nothing but heart” repeated over and over, it is a stunning track that I haven’t been able to stop listening to since that night. I listened to it 11 times the next day! And I don’t want to stop! Now you can listen to it a million times too:

I was disappointed that their set clocked in at only a little over half an hour (I think- or maybe time just flew because of how awesome they were), but they’re headlining their own show at the Bowery Ballroom on April 27th, and I am definitely going to be there. I don’t get too excited about shows anymore in my old age (I have to stand all night? The show is ending how late? etc),  but I am very much looking forward to this one!

 

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