Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Stream of Consciousness Big Star Review

Man, I hope this is good. I got into Big Star while in high school. This was even a few years after their Columbia, Missouri reunion. This is the first new anything I've heard from this band, ever. Uncharted waters, here I come...

Trashy guitars, thumping bass lick, very good. Wow, Chilton is sounding more like Elvis Costello nowadays. Of course, there's a sax solo....that's no surprise. The harmonies definitely make this song.

Lady Sweet
Did I get a Superdrag album by mistake? I had to check on something and my hunch was correct: this album was recorded in Memphis. Don't ask me how I knew.

Best Chance
Remember when Jody Stephens recorded with Golden Smog? It sounds like he picked up a few things from Gary Louris. Very bright and sunny Jayhawks/CSNY-esque. Boy the harmonies are really making this album. I shouldn't be surprised.

Turn My Back on the Sun
I read about this song in Pitchfork's review. They were totally on. It sounds so ridiculously Pet Sounds. Starts off just like Wouldn't it Be Nice. I mean almost exactly. I'm guessing that's a joke. Well played!!

Love Revolution
Now I'm thinking I picked up a Spoon/KC & the Sunshine Band split disc. I'm so confused!! I've got Elvis Costello, Superdrag, Jayhawks, CSNY, the Beach Boys, Spoon, and KC & the Sunshine Band so far. I'm only five songs in! This is a weird song, but it's really hard not to like.

February's Quiet
Awww, a very sweet song. Chilton is writing like Chris Bell did with Thirteen.

Mine Exclusively
Very Motown. I can definitely dig this jam!! Of course, it's a cover.

A Whole New Thing
Power pop, like nuts. This song would not sound out of place on a Jan & Dean flip side. Chilton sounds a little bored, though.

Aria, Largo
Um, I don't know how in the world to describe this one. It sounds like a band of ten-year-olds warming up. Strange.

Hung Up With Summer
Okay, things are getting a little boring.

Do You Wanna Make It
I had to check the liner notes to make sure this isn't a Bread cover before the song started. Nope. Once the song started, I definitely didn't need to check. Another crazy Motown jam.

You know, songs that start where the singer enters it with no idea what the lyrics are and makes them up as he goes alone rarely work. It doesn't work here, either.

All-in-all a very nice album. Unfortunatly, it really starts to trail off halfway through. It's not great, but I wasn't expecting anything like their previous material. The good thing is that it does nothing to tarnish the name "Big Star."


I still have the new Ryan Adams to go, but I need a break.

Road to Somewhere, I Don't Know Where

Okay just listened to Supergrass's Road to Rouen. It's great, but not perfect. I'm beginning to wonder if Supergrass will ever top In it for the Money. I doubt it. Pitchfork actually had it right, for once:

"...the last thing a band like Supergrass needs is maturity..."

Wow, very true. Supergrass is at their best when they screech songs about getting busted for pot and whatnot. Road to Rouen is definitely Supergrass's most mature album, but it still very hip. Very Manhattan (even though they're British). It's not surprising there is a song titled "Roxy." There are some tremendous moments on this disc, especially "Tales of Endurance (Parts 4, 5, & 6)" and "Kick in the Teeth." Then again there are some tremendous dumps too, like the worthless filler "Coffee in the Pot" and the very odd slow-jam "Fin." Why is Supergrass doing a slow-jam?!

I guess overall, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Very worthy release.

I'm listening to these albums today in an order, so that I'm not jarred by styles. First was the very trashy Wolf Parade, followed by super-chic punk Supergrass, next up on the plate is glam-rock gods Big Star, and closing with the countryish Ryan Adams. That seems right.

Next up is the new Big Star. Since I'm so excited about it, I'll go ahead and do a stream of consciousness review.

Goodbye, Don Adams

Don Adams has died. He was the star of my favorite show growing up, Get Smart.


Big Day Coming, 'Bout a Mile Away

Today was a nice big fat day for good music releases featuring:

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Jacksonville City Nights
Big Star - In Space
Supergrass - Road to Rouen
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

I had all kinds of errands today so I headed to Plan 9 nice and early to shop, then it was off to the DMV. I guess I was most excited about the new Big Star. First in thirty years, come on! The less-than-flattering Pitchfork review has only slightly lessened my excitement.

As I drove around I listened to the new Wolf Parade. I'm almost done with it now. It seems like when any new indie band that gets any hype comes around, there is a formula. Have a singer with a wavering voice, mix in some rustic keys and some clangy guitars, and voila you are heralded as indie gods. Hey it worked for the Arcade Fire. Wolf Parade is no different. It also doesn't hurt that Isaac Brock produced it. Don't get me wrong, it's great stuff. I really like it. It just seems like it'll be very easy to start an indie band with this formula and get some instant cred. My only problem with Wolf Parade is that their name is too close to fellow "indie gods" the noise-band Wolf Eyes. Small complaint. More reviews coming.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

And Speaking of Owls.....


A Month In

As of today, I have lived in Richmond for one month. Can't say it's been too exciting of a month, as you would expect, but it's been a ton of fun. Still don't have any hangout friends, but plenty of pals at work. Actually today I was supposed to meet up with an anchor at a sports bar downtown. I went and had a great burger and a couple beers, but never saw him. The bar was pretty sweet and I watched most of the Rams game, but then I realized I might be parked illegally so I promptly split.

Work's still kicking ass. This morning I directed my second animal segment. This one didn't go quite as well because the owl freaked out right as we were coming back from break. Then the monkey almost jumped on the anchor the moment it was let out of the cage. We were just rolling in laughter in the control room, but I think the floor crew was a little freaked. I used the owl for a bump shot once and it just glared the hell out of the camera. I think the op was a little scared. I like directing animal segments. They're pretty unpredictable and hard to script, and that's what I like. All I had like that back home was the rodeo.

Oh by the way.....if you want to check out a cool site devoted to Richmond, go to Richmond City Watch. It's mostly photos of the town, including a section on my workplace. It's a great site. I still intend to keep taking pictures of the town and post them, but I've still been pretty busy outside work. This is my weekend, but I've got to work on getting my license transferred over to Virginia. After that, I'm pretty much set and will have more free time.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Hey I finally got the internet set up!! It only took, what, 3+ weeks?? I'll say this.....don't ever get anything with Verizon. They suck.

I'm going to keep this brief since I literally just got the internet and am all excited to catch up on the sites I've missed. Things here are going great. Work is great. My co-workers are great. The city is great. Things are going just fine. My hours kinda suck, but that's okay because I'm done at 1pm. Can't complain about that. Plus I got to meet Jack Hanna last week! That's pretty sweet. I've also met Aries Spears (Mad TV) and Ralphie May (Last Comic Standing) through work.

I don't know too many people here yet, but I've kept myself plenty occupied. Of course, I found a sweet record store to hang out at. And of course, I've make several purchases. Let's briefly review, in the order purchased:

Son Volt Afterglow 61 EP
Whatever....it's Farrar, so just whatever. I think I've covered this in the past.

Portastatic Bright Ideas
Portastatic is great because I love just hearing Mac sing. Then again Portastatic sucks because it just makes me want more Superchunk. Still a very solid release, but Mac is always best with Superchunk.

Death Cab for Cutie Plans
Probably the most disappointing release of the year. Transatlanticism was just so brilliant that I wanted more, but this is definitely not what I meant.

Autumn Defense The Green Hour
Eh, nothing special. Just something to fill out the collection.

John Vanderslice Pixel Revolt
Good, but not Cellar Door good. Lays on the blips and bloops a little too thick, but not enough to ruin it. Go buy it.

Calexico/Iron & Wine In the Reins
Exactly what it should sound like: a cross between Calexico and Iron & Wine. That's great because both are favs of mine. The EP kinda suffers from starting off with such an incredible song ("He Lays in the Reins"). Everything after that song isn't as good.

New Pornographers Twin Cinema
Good. Great. Whatever, just go get it and enjoy. Great stuff.

That's all so far. Tuesday sees the release of new stuff from Ryan Adams, Supergrass, and Wolf Parade. I'll definitely be getting all three. Plus every time I go to Plan 9, I walk around holding the latest Smog but haven't bought it yet. I really need to.

Well, I've got so much stuff to see now that my internet's hooked up. I plan on posting a-plenty coming up. Plus I'll have a few pictures to post.