A Gang Bang of Music

Yesterday I went to the used record store, today I purused some blogs for some out of print music , and in the mail I got a phatt plan-it-x order along with some CD’s from my friend Mike G.

This is the haul that will end the year

The Out_Circuit – Pierce the Empire with a Sound (this came on new years eve techinically but I am including it anyway)
The Max Levine Ensamble – Okay Smarty Pants
Captain Chaos – Bloomington Vol 1.
Mos Def – Black on Both Sides
They Might Be Giants – Flood
Ghost Mice – Europe
The Devil is Electric – I’ve Never Trusted a Revolutionary that was Afraid to Dance
Matty Pop Chart – Everyone Does Everything
Eric Ayote – Everyone Does Everything
Cheeky – Choke on a Cheesburger (download)
The Coup – Kill My Landlord (download)
Roots Manurva – Run Come Save Me
v/a Rza Presents:Afro Samari
Rob Sonic – Sabatoge Gigantic
Pixies – Acoustic Set, New Port RI 8-6-05
Pixies – Portland, OR 5-27-05 (Early Set)
Pixies – Portland, OR 5-27-05 (Late Set)

So far I have only been able to listen to the Mos Def CD and the Rob Sonic CD and one track from Cheeky and one track from Roots Manurva. I am sweet that I have Flood again, I listened to that a lot as a young man but only have it on tape. Roots Manurva is something my friend Sara turned me onto in Chicago so that was cool. The Coup Kill My Landlord is long out of print and I found that shit on a blog. Next I am going to listen to the new Max Levine Ensemble because that shit is going to be delicious.

If you want to send me stuff please feel free. I love music. Basically music is awesome. Drop me a line. I love mixes, live stuff, out of print stuff and pretty much anything else people think is awesome.

Hope you are well and have an awesome new year. DC kids take note – Zagota on 1-5-08 with fucking des_ark and a band called Turboslut that is probably more awesome then anything ever (which I will confirm for you on that date).



So lets actually rap this year the hell on up

Wow, so for weeks now I have talked about this year in music in a lot of broken entries. Well I am kicking it at home today, ill with Kidney Stones and after finishing all my work for the day early I thought I would rap about 2008 in finality. You can see my list, some of my other writings and opinions this year on some stuff.

First, this new blog has been nice. Though I haven’t kept up on it as much as I wanted to, I think it’s been a pretty good start. Hopefully next year I can focus more attention on it. But I did manage to review a few albums, a movie, talk about some stuff I was into and write a bunch of best of lists. So to anyone that is actually reading this fucking thing, stick with me and I promise it will get better.

As for my top ten, pretty much El-P’s album scared the living fuck out of me. A record that was 5 years in the making I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead I think redefines underground hip hop. Dude got on the mic and brought in crazy collaborators this time around. And it all worked out well. This album is what music is supposed to be about and fuck if El-P didn’t deliver. Def Jux is in good hands so long as this dude is at the helm.

Modest Mouse really surprised me with this double EP as I like to call it. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is really really good. I never really got into this band (I even heckled Issac Brock years ago at a D-Plan show) but it seems the missing piece was Johnny Marr. Either way, while long winded there isn’t a group of songs I enjoyed more then the one’s on this album.

Baroness fucking rock the hell out. I wrote a review of this record on this blog, so you can check that shit out if you want. Basically Baroness got me really stoked on metal again and showed me that it still has artists that are innovative.

And yes Kelly Clarkson’s new album is indeed in my top 5 this year. Fucking SERIOUSLY. Besides being a great pop diva album (I love me some pop diva’s) Kelly Clarkson, as part of the dying record conglomerate stood up to the suits and said this is the album I want to put out. She wrote the songs with her backing band and the producer she picked out, sung about the things that were going on in her life and how she felt and didn’t take no for an answer. While Sony may have snow balled her in their promotion (they claim they spent millions on it) Kelly gets the artistic and moral victory on this one. The work far surpasses her previous sugar pop as the Texas Darling comes to rock the shit out of your face.

my top five dilemma is also captured below. SO check that shit out. 2007 was a good year musically. However you wouldn’t know that if you read mainstream press.

How the hell people can even consider Radiohead’s new album as even good not only with in the context of the band’s own cannon but next to everything else that came out this year is fucking silly. In Rainbows is essentially Radiohead’s answer to Bad Religion’s New Maps Of Hell. Both albums establish that the bands are still out there making music, but you have to wonder if they will ever find the inspiration that sparked their brilliance or continue to rehash old themes and concepts. The rest of Pitchfork’s top 50 just proves that they are more into being scenesters or tastemakers then actually listening to music. Jay Z puts out another Jay Z record that isn’t any different then anything he’s done in 10 years and he makes the list, EL-P puts out a horrifying album and doesn’t make the list. An overbearing WuTang album makes the list but they can’t even find room for anything from the punk rock genre that remotely excites them? Hell they should be ashamed that their #1 album of the year was Spin’s #3. I thought you were the alternative guys? I thought you were covering culture and art, you sure prop yourselves up that way. Stupid fucks. If it weren’t for the news feed your site would be worthless.

As for SPIN putting Against Me up as the best album for 2008 I think they are just trying to support the dieing dinosaur called major labels. Against Me didn’t sell out so much as just put out a really boring record. Tom Gabel’s insane attacks on punk rock aside (dude get some self confidence, so what if a bunch of fucking kids on the internet said you sold out) New Wave just isn’t that well executed or exciting. It meanders down the most sterile roads that Searching for (a former) Clarity introduced us to. It’s better to rock out then fade away into mid-tempo, uninspiring pop crap. Really, guys, I love you, I had such high hopes for you. When you went to Fat I thought it was the beginning of something awesome. When you signed to Sire and got Butch Vig I really thought I was gonna get a balls out record that would destroy me. Instead I got a bunch of light rock music that didn’t move me at all. I don’t want another Reinventing Axel Rose, but the reinvention of Against Me just isn’t compelling.

So that’s it for me now. I am gonna sit on my butt for a while, ride out the year with my various illnesses (kidney stones) and maladies (no teefs). I will be comming at you in January with reviews of Bomb The Music Industry! and Defiance Ohio, a look ahead into 2008 and hopefully some other writings. Thanks for checking shit out and being awesome.

mad love

Top Ten

So Check it out, I am sick and I have no time this year for a crazy year end deal so here are my top tens for the year

1. El-P I’ll Sleep When Your Dead
2. Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
3. Baroness Red Album
4. Kelly Clarkson My December
5. The Good The Bad and the Queen
5. Pash – The Best Gun
5. Elliot Smith – New Moon
5. Lifetime – s/t
5. Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City
6. World/Inferno Friendship Society – Addicted to Bad Ideas

1. None Shall Pass – Aesop Rock
2. Bakin’ Soda – Hangar 18
3. Demon(s) – Darkest Hour
4. England – Bloc Party
5. Bottle of Buckie – Ted Leo
6. Foundations – Kate Nash
7. Girl in a Slayer Jacket – Pig Destroyer
8. Airport Monday Morning – Lifetime
9. I Still remember – Bloc Party
10. Don’t Sleep – New Idea Society

Movies worth seeing
1. Control
2. The Future is Unwritten
3. Superbad
4. Hot Fuzz
5. something else maybe, movies kinda suck these days.

maybe i will get more into my top four CD’s later on. Cuz like i want to but I wanted to record this list. Get into it.

#5 – ?????

5. The Good The Bad and the Queen
5. Pash – The Best Gun
5. Elliot Smith – New Moon
5. Lifetime – s/t
5. Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City

Talk about a tough year to pick a number five. Frankly, looking at this list, it could have been my top five for the year. Every one of these albums was something I anticipated, all of them were albums I listened to multiple times and enjoyed as much as I thought I would. The problem is, none of them really stands out above the others, and did not reinvent my interest in a genre, surprise me or make me feel like the artists at hand were challenging the status quo as the remainder of my top five did.

So lets do this list from top to bottom, in no particular order.

The Good the Bad and the Queen features, among others Paul Simminon from the legendary Clash and Damon Alburn the master mind behind Gorillaz and part of the awesome English group Blur. So there is no doubt that the Good the Bad and the Queen is a fucking awesome band/project. The cool, calming songs are easy to relax to, but offer more then just back ground music. With guidance by uber-producer Dangermouse this album exceeds most of the the muck the major labels are giving us today.

However, it doesn’t exceed the history of both men’s prior output. Perhaps that is an unfair sentiment, but when two geniuses get together, you expect something that is unlike anything you have heard in the past and are likely to hear in the future. While this record is a worthy accomplishment, I am looking for something more. Perhaps energy is the key componet I’m just not finding. Just a hint of the fury of the Clash or the bratty brashness of Blur might have done this album some good, given it the fire to make it untouchable.

Rumor is the group is heading back to the practice pad for another session. Perhaps we will have the answer to what we are looking at on their next go around.

Pash are a virginia band that don’t get their just do. If they existed in the time of The Promise Ring or Braid’s hey day when good, clean fun music had a chance Pash would be one for the history books of what was horribly called emo. Today however, they are a hard working band trying to find an audience filled with disaffected youth and sarcastic indie rock twenty and thritysomethings. The Best Gun is a fine record, showing a young band progressing, pushing their own limits of sound and making a great rock record.

Maybe it’s the atmosphere of the day, maybe it’s that they haven’t found their audience, maybe it’s a lot of things. I haven’t wanted for a band to succeed in a long long time and I want Pash to succeed. Their jangly rocking pop songs about love, breaking up and making it happen should be heard and they deserve this place among the greats.

I miss Elliot Smith. I miss his records. I miss his precense as a musician in this world and I think that his abscence has had a profound effect on the musical climate we are in. Pretty much if you don’t own New Moon get it now. It’s not exsclusively #5 because it is a collection and a double album and it wasn’t put together by Smith himself. Who knows what we would be getting if the man was here, certainly not what we have, but I am thankful for the work of KRS and Larry Crane. Get New Moon NOW!

Lifetime came back in the OhSeven, dragged in by the falling through of Hellfest in 2007 and deciding maybe they had one more in them, and they did. The self titled, Pete Wendtz released and fan approved full length is an 11 song ride into the best melodic punk rock you will ever hear.

I can’t help feeling like this is a side project record. Which isn’t that upsetting in and of it self because I love the record. It’s a good time and reminds me why I love this band but I get the feeling that this will be the last good record they do (hopefuly the last one that they do) and this is pretty much it. The magic for me has finally set. I am no longer anxious about this band having a bookend, and that’s what this album is for me. Perhaps that’s just it too, I am finally settled about this band and for me there is nothing to look forward to.

Finally, A Weekend in the City by Bloc Party is a very nice follow up. For the sophmore slump that plagues many bands Bloc Party stuck with what made them great and built upon it with new sounds and a new approach to how they make music. With so much going on this year in music it’s hard to say what floats to the top. This record was touching, truthful and vulnerable and there aren’t a lot of artists out there willing to take this risk so early in their career.

Well I’ve been writing this shitty summary of the five albums that make up the number five for my 2007 favorites. So now I am gonna rock the laundry and finnish watching SUPERBAD for the second time in two days because I am hip like that. Peace.

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Here is the begining of the end of the year wrapp up from your old friend Rollins. Lots of awesome songs. So lets get into it.

1. None Shall Pass – Aesop Rock from the None Shall Pass CD on Def Jux Records
While I’ve had a difficult time fully compressing the None Shall Pass full length the leading single pretty much kills any song that was released this year. I mean this song is what hip hop is all about as far as I am concerned. Head nodding, rapid fire freestyle feeling lyrics that just utterly destroy over a smooth sonic jam and catch hook. Aesop is not known for being catchy or accessible, and the album is certainly in line with that but this song can not be forgotten or ignored. Aesop is a master behind the mic and knows how to use his voice, imagery, beats and music to draw you in. He drops the science on growing old on this album and with in this central track that he builds around we find a frustrated Aesop spitting the madness of growing out of juvenile bullshit while others linger with in. Aesop kills and scores the top spot of the Dynamic Def Jux who had a great 20008.

2. Bakin’ Soda – Hangar 18 from the Sweep the Leg CD on Def Jux Records
This song should be all over MTV, droping out of every car in the city, getting remix treatment by Pharell or whoever the hell hip hop thinks is hot now and pretty much making you understand where hip hop comes from, which is of course PARTYING. This song is straight up fun to listen to, funny to think about (it’s a euphemism for crack, but not neccessarily the kind you smoke) and makes me want to go balls out and just freak out in my house. It defines as far as I am concerned the ethos of Hangar 18 which is to smile, have a good time, get down and love life. This is what Hip Hop can be, what hip hop is and what hip hop should be. Def Jux takes the one and two spot with the dance tracks of the year. It’s fucking scary.

3. Demon(s) – Darkest Hour – From the Save Us CD on Victory
Darkest Hours are from DC, I’ve watched them from the very early days when I went to school with some of them and have always hoped for their success and it appears this melodic death metal band is getting their due with their new album. Demon(s) finds the band working with in their genre but putting out a catchy songs that even the casual jock rock listener could get into. And what’s more John Hennry rocks a little melody into the mix as Schleibaum and Co thrash eternal behind him. This album was the album I have been waiting for Darkest Hour to make and this song is the the sweet necter that has made the harvest of the last ten years worth it. Jump around and break shit and sing the bro hymms with these DC destroyers. You’ll feel better I assure you.

4. England – Bloc Party – from The Prayer EP on Vice Recordings
This gem of a song was left off of A Weekend in the City and I think it’s a real shame and does a great disservice to that record. It’s abscence in my opinion really weakens the album as a whole because this song is just so beautiful. It is simple, lush with clean, shimmering guitars shining over a simple beat and Kele Okereke’s wet voice. The song was written as a snapshot of the ugly violence and racism that scratches at the surface of the English culture describing the beating of a youth by a gang of bored kids. It’s one of the most touching, emotionally evocotive songs I have heard in a long time and hopefully more people will find this song stateside, because while it is England specific in it’s delivery the horror is univeral and true of the ugliness that plauges modern global cultures.

5. Bottle of Buckie – Ted Leo – from the Living with the Living CD on Touch and Go
So I truly couldn’t follow a lot of Teddy’s new full length but damn if this song is not one of the best songs this guy has ever written. Hands down this song just kicks ass. It’s a fast driving song, that is perfectly tempered and just gushes the obvious influence of the Pouges that only someone as awesome as Ted could do. If you love Ted Leo and his work, this song reminds you why it’s okay to keep the faith despite some of his odder decissions (I mean a reggae song dude – it just doesn’t make sense) after all it has a pan flute solo in it but it still sounds awesome. I can’t even get over how fun this song is and how it was an example of why sometimes you just have to give artists the benefit of the doubt. Plus it goes out on some awesome Billy Bragg esque soloing. I mean the dude knows.

So those are my five favorite songs for 2007. I am gonna do a top ten compliation for you folks at the end of the year. Hopefuly this week I will get a chance to write about Album #5 (which might be about three different albums because the #5 position was a difficult one to choose this year). I am checking out Hangar 18 tommorow at DC9 (begrudgingly – that club is uncool but not in that hipster way, though the hipsters probably think it’s uncool for other reasons). Also I finally got Definace Ohio’s THE FEAR THE FEAR THE FEAR and it sounds great. If The Great Depression sounded this good that album probably would have been one of my favorites but THE FEAR THE FEAR THE FEAR is just what I was hoping it would be. So here is the first entry for 2008 (I know it’s 2007 still but I’m gonna let this one have a shot at being the first 2008 entry). Looking forward to the new Paint It Black album which after one track is getting me so hyped. Del The Funkee Hompsapien is dropping science on us via Def Jux which has me pumped. Pop Punkers Lemuria have a new album out in the OhAte as well so the begining of 008 is looking pretty boss if you ask me.

Top 5 albums dropping soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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