Friday, June 29, 2007
Ok, so lately there's been a wave of bands coming out influenced by the 80's. So why not bring in a band influenced by the 90's! Silversun Pickups is a band that's brought back some of the best sounds present during the mid to late 90's on their album Carnavas. For example, the track "Lazy Eye" sounds like "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins and "Cannonball" by The Breeders meshed together. At first listen, you may be fooled thinking that the lead singer is a girl. Actually, it's a guy named Brian Aubert who does a pretty damn good job carrying the album's polished grunge/alternative sound. It was hard to pick a favorite song, as there were a few I liked equally. If I did pick one, it would have to be either Lazy Eye, Future Foe Scenarios, or Waste It On. With albums like Carnavas and the new Smashing Pumpkins album out this month, could we be seeing a return to a 90's influenced rock sound? Keep your ears tuned in.
at 1:59 PM
Before last week, I never heard of the band Mobile. Then I got an invite to attend a listening party in NYC for their new album Tomorrow Starts Today that's being released this August. Before going, I checked out the songs on their site and liked the combination of alt-rock/synth noise by these guys from Montreal. So the other night I headed over to the lower east side and met with the band. You never know what to expect at events like this, but I have to say these guys were really down to earth and welcoming. With the sounds of their upcoming album filling the room of the party, we shared drinks, laughter, and insightful conversations. If you get a chance, visit the band's site by clicking here. Song clips, tour dates, etc are all there on the site, so check them out if they hit a city near you.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
"What if all that grows from the ground has eyes that look back upon us?"
That's taken from Mark Murphy's (Murphy Design) intro to his book of sketches titled Scribble. That question would be the recurring theme in this book containing his artwork. From page to page, you are introduced to a multitude of characters, most of them having one eye. Staring at you on every page, each of the little characters feel like they are going to come alive. From the tiniest of these creatures sprouting from the ground, Mark introduces you to his imaginative world with this collection of drawings. It's simple enough for anyone to enjoy, whether artist or not, and abstract enough to stimulate the creativity that lies within.
Oil is another book he created that contains similar creatures as the ones in Scribble, except this one has a different theme. As the title says, it's about, well, oil. Using slick artwork and sarcasm, this one questions our current predicament in society, showing that art can be a tool to provoke creative thought and social consciousness too.
at 12:08 PM
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Sold For Tomorrow
One late Saturday night, I was half asleep flipping through the TV (which I rarely do) and I stumbled upon a show called Fearless Music that was showcasing different bands. I suddenly awoke from my slumber as my attention was now pinned to this show featuring live new music. One of the bands that really stuck out to me was The Moog. If you're thinking, "What the hell is a moog?!?!?", I thought the same thing too. But, aha, thou shalt never judge a band by it's name! After seeing their performance, which was good, I now had an urge to check out their album Sold For Tomorrow. Coming from Hungary, The Moog brings a pop/punk sound influenced from artists like The Ramones and Elvis Costello. What I like about these guys is that they actually sound like they're having fun as they put out some pretty damn catchy tunes. Pop in this album, and you'll be hit with songs that will either move you to sing out loud, or get you off your ass to dance.
at 12:46 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Following up on my last post for Soul-Junk's "1958", I want to mention their latest release 1959. On 1959, the tight lyrical rap flow found on 1958 has been replaced with lyrics matching the book of Psalms, word for word. What's not missing is the spaced out sounds anyone familiar with SJ is used to hearing, making 1959 an album that could be a form of meditation, as much as an album to chill to. This would make Soul-Junk the only band I know who sings bible verses over music that sounds like you're having a mind-altering hallucination. Definitely an album to check out to hear something unique.
at 11:05 AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
While listening to Soul Junk's album "1958", I was reminded of the wide range of hip-hop I grew up on. There's elements of Redman's funkadelic spaced out style, to De La Soul's old school flow on here, all intertwined with spiritually conscious lyricism. Throw in a dash of trippy sound effects and you have an album that taps into another realm of hip-hop (I believe the correct term is "glitch-hop"). This one's not a new release, but it's definitely one to dig into if you haven't already heard it.
at 12:28 PM
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Heretics Guide To Eternity
I have to admit, I hate religion. As much as I have issues with religion, God is important to me. And when I talk about God, I talk about Him not in the way that religion has made Him out to be. For some people, religion brings up images of oppression and bigotry, while others find it as a comfort zone where they can feel secure. Religion to me is useless. To quote my friends at Revolution NYC, “Religion kills.” I’ve seen ways that it has intimidated people in the name of God. It makes me sick. The very things that you would think that God is for, like unconditional love and forgiveness for all people the way Jesus showed, religion twists to make it an exclusive benefit for “member’s only”. So it’s understandable how people get uncomfortable when the topic of God comes up, being that for so long God has been associated with religion. Rather than continuing this as one of my rants on religion, I want to mention a great book that I just read. It’s called “Heretics Guide To Eternity” by Spencer Burke. In it, he shares a lot of the views I just listed above, but going further by confronting the sacred cows in religion by using personal experience and the examples of Jesus. After all, Jesus was the original heretic. And not only does he challenge the status quo, but he says we need more heretics! We no longer live in a time where heretics are burned at the stake. But there still are people in religious circles that will condemn others that they think don’t fit their traditional mold. And it's those kinds of people that this book would drive ballistic. But for people that have issues with religion and still seek the mystery of God, you’ll find this book helpful. It’s a challenging read no matter what background you may come from, but well worth it. So, are all the heretics ready to come out and play? ;)
at 10:41 AM
Monday, June 04, 2007
Arms Around A Stranger
sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception: an acute observer.
Here's a band that's not too heavy to give you a headache, and not too slow to bore you to death. On their album "Arms Around A Stranger", Acute delivers songs that find a balance between being laid back and upbeat, without going to either extreme. There's an obvious Weezer-like influence, but you also find traces of an older punk sound, like in the song Take A Step Back. The strength in the album though lies in the faster paced tracks. It's here where the band really shines. Overall, this new album by Acute reminds us that it's not always the over-the-top production that makes a good album, but in the simplicity of it.
at 1:55 PM