Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lou Barlow, Mike Krol, and Dan Auerbach fight to the death!

Three newish records.
       One listen through each record.
Five stupid ratings.
     One more educated music listener...You!

1 Miley-free day.  Nice but not really worth much.
2 Miley-free days.  Good.  Stream it once.
3 Miley-free days.  Better.  Stream it repeatedly.
4 Miley-free days.  Very good!  Download it illegally and consider a purchase a year or two down the road.
5 Miley-free days.  Excellent!  Buy it immediately on multiple formats.

Lou Barlow "Brace the Wave" 4 Miley-free days.
This is mostly Lou B. and some acoustic instruments.  So if you're looking for the rock...move along.  The weird thing that I noticed is that Lou's voice sounds different in some of the songs.  Like he is intentionally trying to not sound like himself.  Why is that weird?  Because it works!  I think 30 some odd minutes of more Lou sounding like Lou would be too much.  The songs are personal and some bare it all.  In fact, I say that the quietest and most personal sounding songs are the best on the record.  This is definitely worth some more listens and possibly even a purchase or two.
Highlights: "Wave" and "C&E".

Mike Krol "Turkey" 3 Miley-free days.
Let me say right off the bat I am a fan of this style of music.  Straight ahead, plug the vocal mic into a guitar amp, rock and roll with attitude.  The problem with "Turkey" is i feel like this style has been done better.  That doesn't make "Turkey" a stinker.  In fact I bet that a lot of these songs are going to sound great in a live setting.  I will check out that show and then decide if I want this record.  For now I will wait.
Highlights: "Neighborhood Watch" and "Cactuses"

The Arcs "Yours, Dreamily" 2 Miley-free days.
The Arcs started as a solo project for Dan Auerbach who also is the leader of the band the Black Keys.  If you think this record is going to sound like a Black Keys record you would be correct.  It sounds exactly like the Black Keys so if they are not your kind of band then this is not your kind of record.  I'm not a huge fan so I just think, "Meh, this is okay."  The latin touches are a stretch.  Cowboy music for a fake looking B-movie Western.
Highlights: "Outta My Mind" and "Stay In My Corner"

Monday, August 3, 2015

La Luz, Ricked Wicky, and Wilco walk into the Mos Eisley Cantina...

Where have you been?  I've been not looking all over for you!  3 records.  One listen. Reviews based on first impression.  On with the record reviews:

1 Donald Trump autographed toupe- Meh.  Not worth the time.
2 Donald Trump autographed toupes- Ok but what else you got?
3 Donald Trump autographed toupes- Nice.  Now this is something to email Mom about!
4 Donald Trump autographed toupes- This is breaking new grounds! Like might turn into love!
5 Donald Trump autographed toupes- The best thing ever!  Open a store and dedicate your life to turning people on to this record!

La Luz "Weirdo Shrine" 2 Donald Trump autographed toupes.  Seriously La Luz, what else you got.
On Weirdo Shrine La Luz plays surfy, dreamy, but mostly sleepy pop songs.  Key word in that review is "sleepy".  Yes Ty Segall produced the record and that alone should help this already good band shine, right?  Not so much.  The retro, reverby sound that Ty is known for is all over this record but something is missing: the strong songs that bring me back for repeated listens are not here at first listen.  The vocals are too dreamy.  Lulling me into a sleepy state.  There are some instrumental moments that are worth a listen or two...but not many.
Highlights: "You Disappear" and "Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine".

Ricked Wicky "I Sell The Circus" 3 Donald Trump autographed toupes.
Ricked Wicky is the newest project led by Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard.  The record starts out strong with two pretty good songs, "Well Suited" and "Death Metal Kid" but then soon starts to  spin it's wheels in some mediocre tunes.  "Intellectual Types" and "Mobility" bring back some nice moments of rock but overall I was not excited after listening one time through the record.  I'll give it another chance like I do with most Pollard releases, but if my instincts are correct I will not be buying what he is selling this time.
Highlights: "Well Suited" and "Intellectual Types".

Wilco "Star Wars" 3 Donald Trump autographed toupes.
Wilco surprised everyone when they released this record as a free download.  Not only that but they called it "Star Wars" and the cover features a white cat.  This could easily be looked as a throw-away joke of a release.  Yes there are some moments that sound a little "throw-away" but overall this is a fairly strong record.  Okay, strong may not be the right word.  Let's just say there are some good songs to check out.
Highlights: "Where Do I Begin" and "Cold Slope".

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just Missed It: Tony Molina "Dissed and Dismissed"

Tony Molina is another artist I discovered through NPR's All Songs Considered Podcast.  With nods to Teenage Fanclub, Weezer, and Heavy Metal riffing, my only regret is I didn't know about this a year ago. 

Every song is too short.  "Leave them wanting more" must be Tony's motto.  "Walk Away" is the closest thing to a "normal" guitar hit on the record and at 1:24 it ends the record with one verse, one chorus, one solo...and...done.

"Don't Come Back" is my favorite on the record.  It sparkles with Indie pop shine through the first 35 seconds and at 36 seconds it morphs into a heavy instrumental rocker.

Even the short guitar "snippets" are worth a listen.  "Dissed and Dismissed" is what happens when Bob Pollard and Rivers Cuomo have a musical baby and leave him at the Alex Chilton Home For Wayward Records.  Lovely in it's ugliness.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

JUST MISSED IT (1st edition) Featuring Laura Stevenson

New feature alert!  I call it "Just missed it"!  I will be featuring records that I've recently discovered that may have been out for a while.  When I say "a while" I mean it could be a couple months to a couple of decades.  I've heard NPR's Bob Boilen say that there just is not enough time to listen to everything that is worth a listen.  This is from a guy who listens to music every day and goes to tons of live shows.  I tend to agree.

JUST MISSED IT    (1st edition)

Laura Stevenson "Wheel" (2013 Don Giovanni Records)
I first heard Laura Stevenson on NPR's podcast "All Songs Considered".  They played the amazing track "L-Dopa" and I was hooked.  For some reason I have a problem connecting with female artists (insert juvenile comment here).  They need to have something really special to grab me as a fan (insert even worse comment here).  Something in Laura's vocal delivery paired with her not-too-predictable songwriting and instrumentation has won me over.  I'm listening to the full "Wheel" record right now and right away I'm impressed.  At times grandiose and full and other times stark and solo, Stevenson has talent to spare in the songwriting department.  It also helps that she is a heck of a guitarist.  "L-Dopa" is still my favorite track on the record but there is not a clunker among the 12 others.  It also doesn't hurt that she is on tour right now with another of my favorite discoveries, the band Cheap Girls.  No stop in my town but I will definitely catch her the next time around.  Support talented artists.  Buy this record!
Favorite tracks:
#12- "L-Dopa"
#1- "Renee"
#9- "The Move"

Podcast in production

Hi kids!  Miss me?  Probably not.  So it's been almost a year since I've published a blog.  Does that mean I'm no longer a Blogger?  So what's been the holdup? 
A. I haven't been listening to new albums in full lately.
B. I have two bands again.  No longer just the one.
C. I have a life other than music.
D. I've been playing around with the idea of starting a podcast.

So what's up with the podcast?  Of course I've been thinking of doing a music podcast but I've been very disappointed in the copyright issues involved in using music for a podcast.  So I guess I will put the call out there.

ARE YOU A SONGWRITER?  DO YOU PLAY IN A BAND?  ARE YOU A PERFORMER?  I WANT YOUR MUSIC!  SEND LINKS TO YOUR ORIGINAL SONGS OR MP3S OR EVEN VIDEOS TO FIERCELYME@HOTMAIL.COM!  I WILL GLADLY SHARE YOUR MUSIC WITH THE WORLD!  However I do have the right to comment, criticize, or just plain bash your song!  But you don't have to worry about that right?  Your stuff is better than the other bands out there in the World!

So share this with your musician friends.  Send me your music.  Tell your brother and sister to send me their music.  THAT EMAIL AGAIN WINK?



Later peeps,


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mudhoney, Rogue Wave, and Oblivians. Which one wins the Rock N Roll spit cup?

I listen to a record one time.  I give it a rating.  I write a short first impression review.  Nothing earth shattering.

1 personalized guitar pick - lame
2 personalized guitar picks - below average
3 personalized guitar picks - pretty okay
4 personalized guitar picks - good stuff
5 personalized guitar picks - pretty damn perfect

 Mudhoney "Vanishing Point" 4 personalized guitar picks

I missed the Mudhoney boat the first time it came around.  I heard random songs but I was never blown away.  If "Vanishing Point" came out 20 years ago I would have been one of their biggest fans for a long time.  This record is fun!  Even if the lyrical topics are a little dark and most of the songs are minor key rockers.  I really like this new record.  Mudhoney is in prime form and even the screaming sounds great! Highlights: "I Like It Small" and "Chardonnay".

 Rogue Wave "Nightingale Floors" 3 personalized guitar picks
Dear Rogue Wave,
I am a fan.  I loved your album "Descended Like Vultures"!  "Asleep At Heaven's Gate" and "Permalight" both left me wanting something more.  I can't put my finger on it.  Wait...yes I can.  "Vultures" was a strong record full of strong songs.  At first listen "Nightingale Floors" sounds like "Asleep in the Permalight".  Very pleasant.  Nice Sunday afternoon dreamy nap and watch videos pleasant.  But with that comes some disappointment.  Mostly because I miss the rock.  I miss the strong songs that I can't stop listening to.  Highlights: "S(a)tan" and "Used To It".

Oblivians "Desperation" 5 well-worn personalized guitar picks
Tip of the day: If you find yourself driving a '67 Chevelle SS through the desert on your way to a life of leisure in Mexico make sure this disc is your soundtrack.  You will not fail in anything you try.  This is Rock N Roll with a capital R and N and R.  I'm intentionally avoiding the use of exclamation points but I think you can feel my excitement.  Can't you?  Highlights: "I'll Be Gone" and "Pinball King".

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Great records take time. Right Johnny Marr?

What makes a great record?
               What makes a great record review?
   Who cares?

1 free ride:   This record stinks.
2 free rides: This record is okay.
3 free rides: This record is pretty damn good.
4 free rides: This record is great.
5 free rides: This record is a work of genius.

Johnny Marr "The Messenger" 3.5 free rides. Better than pretty damn good but not great.
Johnny Marr is best known as the guitarist of the legendary band The Smiths.  I was never a fan of that band but man alive this album has made me a fan of the man.  His guitar playing and layering is quite remarkable all over this record.  Two songs are possibly the best two back to back songs I have heard in years.  "Upstarts" and "Lockdown" are so good they will make playlists all over the world.  It's saying quite a lot for a guy who has been playing for so many years to put out possibly the most promising album of his career at this stage in the game.  Highlights: "Upstarts", "Lockdown", and "I Want The Heartbeat".

Youth Lagoon "Wondrous Bughouse" 2 free rides.  This is ok but... zzzzz...
Much like the album cover the music inside is a little psychedelic, a little childlike, and only a little interesting.  Youth Lagoon is a one-man project spewing forth from the head of Trevor Powers.  Trevor shows much talent in finding and layering interesting sounds but shows some weakness as a songwriter.  There are not a lot of hooks on this record.  I can see how some will like this but it's just making me sleepy.  Highlights: "Dropia".

Suuns "Images du Futur" 2 free rides.  Good but needs something.
I don't know anything about this band and this record is really not making me want to do any research on them at all.  "Images du Futur" is the perfect title for these songs.  Moody, different, but for the most part it doesn't really come together and make sense.  Suuns needs to stop listening to Radiohead and crank up some classic AC/DC records.  A few righteous riffs wouldn't hurt this record.
Highlights: "Mirror Mirror" and "Holocene City".