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".

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jim James and the sound of God. Plus Eels and Nick Cave.

3 records play in my head.
3 short "first impression" reviews magically appear below.
1 winner. You.

1 ounce of reverb: Not worth your time. Not even if its free streaming.
2 ounces of reverb: Ok, but still a little disappointing.
3 ounces of reverb: Good stuff. You might even want to buy the download.
4 ounces of reverb: People will buzz. You might even star listening to CDs again!
5 ounces of reverb: A modern day classic! 180 gram vinyl is not even good enough!

Jim's James "Regions of Light and Sound of God" 2.5 ounces of reverb.  Good but not going to become great.
 First off I'm not a huge My Morning Jacket fan.  I get them to a point.  Jim James is the lead singer and driving force behind MMJ and I've always felt their music was missing something.  It can be grandiose.  Sometimes rocking.  Jim's voice is strong.  I've always felt the songs just didn't grab me enough.  I can't remember a time I heard an MMJ song and felt like, "I need that song on repeat all day today!"  With that as a long and probably useless intro I have to say that JJ's first solo record is interesting.  The first song in the free stream I listened to (there is another song showing before it on the iTunes album.  I'm not sure why it is not in the streaming version.) "Know Till Now" had me thinking that Mr. James thinks that the sound of God is similar to a Flaming Lips record.  But for some reason "Dear One" hooked me.  I don't know if I like the record but it sure seems worth a listen or two.  Highlights: "Dear One" and "A New Life".

Eels "Wonderful, Glorious" 2 ounces of reverb. Where are the hits?
Spinner compares Eels to Beck and Sparklehorse and that is not a bad comparison.  So considering I like both Beck and Sparklehorse that means that I like Eels.  What Mark Oliver Everett cops from Beck and Sparklehorse is more sound then substance.  He is not as talented as Beck and is missing the deep sadness and beauty that Mark Linkous captured in Sparklehorse's music.  "Wonderful, Glorious" is just more of the same from Eels.  Nice production, some nice beats, and some cool sounds...just missing the songs.  Highlights: "New Alphabet" and "Wonderful, Glorious".

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Push The Sky Away" 4 ounces of reverb.  Cough up the dough Cheapskates!
I'm a late in finding Nick Cave.  I've only been aware of his music for the last couple of years.  Better late than... (CLICHE ALERT!)  I like what I'm hearing on this new record.  It's dark but not heavy.  Lyrically Nick Cave is the man.  It seems that he is telling stories but there's not really much more than images, details, and the truth.  Highlights: "Wide Lovely Eyes" and "Water's Edge".

Friday, January 11, 2013

When the cat's away the mice put on a play or some sh!t like that...

So my wife and kids are away at a party (I know I am such a Rockstar with a capital aaaaarrrrr!) That can mean only one thing! (Actually it just means they are at a family party and I get some Fiercely Me time!). Time to crank up the amp and hopefully write a song. To be continued...

Yes! The drought is over! "Whiskey Shoppers" the demo is started and finished! It feels so good to be a songwriter again! I haven't decided yet if I will share it with the world. I usually like to listen to a demo 3 or 4 hundred times before I decide if I like it or not.

Stay tuned.

Or not.