T is for Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

•December 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Another Tuesday has come and gone leaving us very little to show for it.  Allow me to demonstrate by listing today’s releases:

The Bravery – Stir The Blood [Most likely the best thing this week has to offer.]

R. Kelly – Untitled [Perhaps he couldn’t be bothered to come out of the closet and title this record]

Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom [I suppose I am kind of curious to hear this album]

This really is all there is for this week.  If somehow I have overlooked something feel free to let me know.

–Ben

Terminal Tuesday: November 24th, 2009

•November 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well people, it seems the well has run dry for the year 2009.  You may feel free to start drawing up those best of 09′ lists without fear of missing any significant releases.  Allow me to show you what I mean:

Bon Jovi – The Circle [Too epic for my blood]

Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream [ho-hum]

Lady Gaga – Fame Monster [This album title is truth]

Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment [Not me specifically]

NOFX – Cokie The Clown EP [I’m sure this will be better than most NOFX albums since it is shorter]

Rihanna – Rated R [QOTSA had that title first]

Shakira – She Wolf [So much dance pop this week. . .]

Timbaland – Shock Value 2 [If only Timbaland the artist were as revered as Timbaland the producer]

Tom Waits – Glitter And Doom (Live) [And the most interesting release of the week award goes to. . .]

Well there you have it.  Perhaps a big week for the Grammy’s but as far as interesting music goes its kind of a one note Tuesday.

Tepid Tuesday: November 17th, 2009

•November 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

For some reason, every Tuesday a whole slew of new CDs are released into the wild.  Here is a list of those that escaped this week:

Fall Out Boy – Believers Never Die:  Greatest Hits [Gotta cash in now that they are on hiatus]

John Mayer – Battle Studies [If this is as good as Continuum I will be very pleased]

Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City (Live) [Too bad its not a Beatles live album]

Rush – Working Man (Live) [Tom Sawyer? Live? ]

Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures [There is no way this could be bad]

All things considered this is a pretty solid week.

–Ben

Toejam Tuesday: November 10th, 2009

•November 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This Tuesday was sad for me. It was the first Tuesday in a long while on which I acquired no new releases. This is what was to offer:

AC/DC – Backtracks [I’ve got a ways to go before I can start buying AC/DC b-sides]

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Live [ I might get this later on]

Dashboard Confessional – Alter the Ending [This Tuesday wasn’t THAT sad]

Omar Rodriguez Lopez – Xenophanes [Trying to keep up with ORL’s solo work is too daunting a task for this guy]

Snow Patrol – Up to Now [Far from thrilling]

Switchfoot – Hello Hurricane [I’m gonna play hard to get on this one]

So there you have it. If it was a good Tuesday for you, tell us why.

–Ben

Tubular Tuesday: November 3rd, 2009

•November 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Best you stock up on CDs this week cuz the rest of the year is going to be uneventful.  Here are some suggested provisions:

Foo Fighters – Greatest Hits [Don’t need this]

Max Richter – Memoryhouse (rerelease) [chillin tunes]*

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over The Sea (180 g Vinyl) [There was no way I couldn’t mention one of the best releases ever coming out in this form]*

Nirvana – Bleach (20th Anniversary Edition) [I may get this since I still haven’t gotten the original]

Say Anything – Say Anything [By far the most exciting thing to happen this month]*

Weezer – Raditude [Expect the expected]*

If this week doesn’t excite you. . .better luck next year.

–Ben

Music Review (Halloween Edition): Dead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones

•October 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

deadmansbonesIn a recent post I had mentioned that we just don’t seem to get many alternative rock Halloween albums. However, 2009 is giving me something I didn’t see coming: an indie-rock Halloween album. Why I didn’t see this coming, I don’t know; considering everyone and their mother seems to have an indie/folk project going now. Now Dead Man’s Bones isn’t actually a Halloween album, but my god it’s the closest we’re gonna get, so I have dubbed it “A Halloween Album”. Topics referenced on the album range from monsters under the bed (not v-shaped mind’s hit song), to zombies, werewolves, and drowning in water. This album being released in October can’t be an accident; and if so, it’s a brilliant one.

If someone asked me to describe the sounds of Dead Man’s Bones, I’m not sure exactly what I’d compare them to. Most of the songs are driven by an acoustic guitar, but things like pianos, organs, and synthesizers do appear throughout the songs to spice things up a bit. They’re not dissimilar from many other indie-rock bands out there right now, they just happen to have the whole “horror” gimmick thing going for them.

The album winds up opening incredibly slow with an ambient spoken word intro leading into the slow, eerie “Dead Hearts”. I found the start of this album to be extremely off-putting. I understand the need to set a tone, but for a mood this dull it makes a weak opening. The album then takes an upswing when it kicks into “In the room where you sleep”. This song is an example of exactly what I wanted from this album. It manages to be catchy and creepy at the same time while portraying imagery of something living under the bed.

The next track is the first one on the album to feature a choir of children singing backup vocals; which becomes a repeating trend on later tracks. This is the real glue of the album. The innocent singing of children about topics like being buried under water gives every track they’re in the perfect amount of eerie.

deadmansbones_band_7809_g

Look under your feet and down six feet deep there's dead man's bones! Dig 'em up!

Personally, I think this album works best when things are in an upswing. Tracks like “My Body’s A Zombie For You”, “Lose your soul”, and “Dead Man’s Bones” are perfect blends of catchy indie-rock meets creepy Halloween music. One of my favorite tracks on the album “Pa-pa-power” almost feels out of place with every other track, because it’s almost too poppy. I mean, they put the stuttering in the track name for crying out loud. Another standout track would be “Paper Ships”, which is nothing but finger picked acoustic and vocals. There are doo-wop like backup vocals that really sell the song for me. I know I already mentioned it, but I feel I should emphasize that “My Body’s A Zombie” for you is a killer song (no pun intended).

Unfortunately, there are a few misfires on this album. After weeks of listens, the opening track “Dead hearts” has still yet to catch on in any way. It has no real rhythm, it’s just a longer than necessary ambient opening. Maybe if this track happened later in the album, I’d be able to ignore it more; but I feel it’s a piss poor way to start things off. Another track that loses me is the song “Young and tragic”. This song is sung all by the children’s choir. It’s got a nice slow moving vibe to it, but lines like “I wish that we were magic/ so we wouldn’t be so young and tragic” fail to impress.

All in all, I am very pleased with this album and I’ll definately find myself squeezing it into my Halloweens for years to come. Not every song is perfect, but it does set up some great potential for what’s to come in the future. Unfortunately, outside of the ghoulish season, I don’t see myself finding any need to visit this album.

Rating: 7/10

Tidy Tuesday: October 27th, 2009

•October 27, 2009 • 2 Comments

Once again it is Tuesday and packages from Amazon are speeding towards my house filled with the latest releases.  Maybe they contain some of these:

Between The Buried And Me – The Great Misdirect [Who doesn’t want spastic math metal with bouts of melodic brilliance?]*

Creed – Full Circle [I was hoping this band was more of a straight line segment]

Michael Jackson – This is it [10 to 1 odds it is not]

R.E.M – Live at Olympia [I still haven’t gotten around to buying all their studio albums]

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Lost at Sea (live) [Its that band Andrew Bird used to be in! Live!]

The String Cheese Incident – Trick or Treat (live) [Why all the live albums today?]

Tegan and Sara – Sainthood [I love these girls, I wonder if they love me back]*

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Night Castle [I will pick this guy up closer to Christmas]

Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg [Maybe they will give me something to remember besides ‘Woman’]

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As always, be sure to let me know about anything I missed in the comments 🙂

–Ben