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Saturday, January 16, 2010

I love Andy Richter.

I really do! I've liked nearly everything I've seen him in. Andy Richter Controls the Universe is one of my favorite shows ever (theme song sung by original Weezer guitarist, Jason Cropper = extra dork points from me), and Andy Barker, P.I. was pretty darn good. Even Quintuplets was alright (if only because Andy was in it). With all of the stuff in the news about Jay Leno proving his love to himself and NBC showing that while they could put 30 Rock on the air, they don't know anything about TV, I feel that Andy Richter is more important than music (for this post's sake).

Conan O'Brien is great. If anybody could get me to watch late night talk shows, it would be him. That is important Adult Swim time (or used to be, I don't even know what their schedule is now, but it probably has a lot of Family Guy), but I am willing to give up cartoons for Conan. He's that good! This is a belief that I thought was pretty common, and in the real world, maybe it is. I wouldn't know though, for I don't look at ratings. While I feel like it's totally lame that NBC is tarnishing Conan's career, I think it's completely awful that NBC got Conan's staff to pack up their entire life and move across the country and is now going to fire them all (I assume, I don't know the details). Conan has money, and now he has way more money (I hear $30 million more, oh my goodness), but I don't think his staff has that same pillow. I'm sure they are getting something, but who knows whether it is something substantial or not. I know Conan stands behind his team, so I'm sure he wouldn't have screwed them over just to make himself richer. But still, boo to you, NBC.

Back to the point of this post! Andy Richter!

Andy Richter has terrible luck when it comes to television. And what's up with that? ...Controls the Universe was really good. Really! And what did the network (Fox?) do to mess with it? It ran the episodes out of order. So when you wonder why the story arcs don't make it sense and get worried that you missed something, it might take a while (took me six years to look up the production codes on wikipedia in excitement over the DVD release). And by that time, you'll probably have already stopped watching due to confusion of storylines, and then BAM no viewers. Then that leads to a canceled series. And there you go.
Quintuplets had 22 episodes (more than ARCtU [19 episodes] and Andy Barker [6 episodes]), and was a pretty basic sitcom. Not as good as CtU, but at least it was a TV show with Andy Richter. And that's always nice.
Most recently there was Andy Barker, P.I. The critics liked it, but it didn't pull in that many viewers and it ended up lasting only four weeks on the air (last two aired later). This aired on NBC, and while I can't say they put the show in a bad time slot (Thurs, 9:30), I can assume they didn't advertise it as much as they should have. I mean, they probably did promote it thoroughly, but since I can't remember--and because NBC has recently proved itself to be labeled as "a bunch of jerks"--one can only assume the channel failed in getting people to watch it's product.

But it's late and I have work in six hours. Let's just hope that Conan, Andy, and staff are able to find something that pays the bills. And also, let's boycott Leno's Tonight Show v.2. Maybe still watch Fallon just to show that it's Jay that is unwanted (or Craig Ferguson, he's always good).

And of course, I just want to note that while all of this is about people in the entertainment business, there are truly horrible things going on in the world. So I recommend sending whatever you can give to (a reliable) relief groups.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's Wrestle!

I just started listening to Let's Wrestle about a month ago. The first song I heard ("I Won't Lie to You") had an opening verse that fit the way I feel so well.
No matter how many records I buy, I can't fill this void
and no matter how I try and calm down, I can't help but feel annoyed.
Perfect! I can't think of any two lines that have hit me closer. Boy, I wish I wrote that. Every song seems to be so simple and condensed to a perfect piece of music.

The reason I brought this wonderful band up today is because I just found out Merge Records has signed them and is putting out their debut LP, In the Court of Wrestling Let's, on March 23. This record has been available in the U.K. on Stolen Recordings, and I have been very tempted to buy it . Unfortunately for me, that would cost somewhere between $30 and $40. I'm not entirely sure, I never found out the shipping price, and even then I'd have to convert that from pounds. But now, I just have to wait a couple of months and can buy it locally! Hooray!

And who knows? Maybe this means Let's Wrestle playing in the states? Sure, they'll probably skip Cleveland**, but I'm (sort of) willing to travel.

But, give them a try!
Here's a download from the Merge website for the song "We are the Men You'll Grow to Love Soon."
And here's a live video from two years ago:

I think they're awesome, and I hope you like them too.

remember to support your favorite bands. buy vinyl.

**Dear Let's Wrestle,

Please do not skip Cleveland. I really think there are some great venues here (Beachland Tavern/Ballroom, Grog Shop, and Now That's Class), and we have some really cool record shops (Blue Arrow Records and Music Saves). Plus, if you come anytime that isn't in the winter, the weather won't be horrible! But I'm pretty sure we'd love to have you here anytime. At least I would. Heck, come play in my basement if you'd like, there's nothing down there but carpet and my house mate's table tennis table. Perfect place for music. But congrats on signing with Merge, and I wish you all luck.


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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Concerts 2010

I need to make a list of this somewhere, so what better place than here?

2/23 Cold Cave
I haven't really listened to Cold Cave, but I've heard good things and the show is only $7. If I can't make it, I suppose it won't really be a big loss, at least until after I hear them and really like them. That way I can kick myself for it.
3/11 Ted Leo
I've missed the past two or three times he's come around, and it's really a shame. I saw him back in high school when a friend and I won tickets off of WRUW and it was very, very good. The energy was high, and even though there was a kid I knew doing the same slow, waving dance the entire time--and this annoyed me, because I'm kind of a jerk--it was a fun time.
3/13 Summer Cats / Afternoon Naps
I have Summer Cats' album, and I like it. I haven't listened in a while, but I know I liked it. But seeing the band live will hopefully hook me. The Afternoon Naps are opening, so that's pretty exciting.
3/17 Psychedelic Horseshit
I have not listened to this band, but it's at Now That's Class ($5) and I think they're from Columbus. I've never been to a shitgaze show, so I figure what better time than now?
3/23 Big Pink / A Place to Bury Strangers
Big Pink's album from last year was a big surprise. I didn't expect to like it at all, but that might just be because their name leads to thinking about the Band (whom I do like, but the reference scared me, not sure why). Anyway, it was fantastic! As for a Place to Bury Strangers, I have no idea. I have yet to listen to them. Soon.
3/24 Real Estate / Woods (@ Case Western, so I think that's students only?)
I liked the Real Estate album I listened to, but I haven't listened to Woods. I don't think it matters though, I'm pretty sure all the Case Western shows are students only. I am not a student there, so I'm most likely not going. What a drag though. Case gets some great bands. I think Fucked Up and Kurt Vile are going to Oberlin soon, but I'm not sure if that is students only either.
3/29 Miles Kurosky (Pittsburgh)
3/30 Miles Kurosky (Columbus)
Oh man, this is the show that I am the most excited about (the true Pavement excitement comes as it gets closer). Kathee just told me about it today. Of course, he's not coming to Cleveland, but I'm willing to travel. If you need to know why, listen to Beulah. What a wonderful band. Although (gasp!) I think I left his upcoming solo album out of 2010 releases list. I doubt I'll make it to both shows, as they are on a Monday and Tuesday and I have work. I'll definitely make it to at least one though.
3/31 Strange Boys / Prisoners
The Strange Boys are pretty good. I haven't listened to their album for a few months, but I know I was obsessed with it for a couple weeks. Prisoners are a local band that put on a pretty good show.
4/1 Henry Rollins
This is in Kent and is $20. I'm not sure if we're going, and I'm not sure what he'll be doing. But who knows? It'll probably be a great time.
4/5 the xx / jj
What a lineup! Two bands whose debut albums were both amazing. Of course, not coming to Cleveland, but should be worth the trip. The worst part about this show: having to pay Ticketmaster's goddamn convenience charges. Hearing "VCR" and "Ecstasy" live should make it quite an experience though.
4/6 Japandroids
I missed these guys last October at Now That's Class. Thankfully though, I woke up this morning to a text saying that they had announced a show at the Grog Shop. So hooray! 2 shows six months apart! Wonderful!
4/30 Yeasayer
I didn't expect to like their first album, but I did! Everyone has been saying their upcoming album is excellent, but I have yet to listen. That's all I've got.
9/24 Pavement
Holy cow! Can you believe it!? Pavement! Did I blog about this already? Pavement!!! I don't know how I'm going to get to New York, where I'm going to stay, or anything about the city. But I bought my ticket for day four of their stint in NY and now just have to focus on keeping it safe for another eight months. I'm still hoping the band comes to Cleveland (but come on, why would they?) so I can double the awesomeness that is 2010.

remember to support your favorite bands. buy vinyl.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

What I'm excited about in 2010

Without looking at any sites (I can't function on other people's laptops properly / I miss my desktop), I'm going to try and recall what I'm excited about in 2010. Then I will update this when I realize that there is more.

First of all, Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring. This leaked, and while I didn't download it, I did hear most of it in someone's car. This made it harder to pay attention, but sounded good to me (horns!?). My want to hear the new album led me to relisten to the first two albums (I've really liked ...Youngster, but never gave We Are Beautiful too many listens). Let's just say I am kicking myself for not buying the CD edition of We Are Beautiful with the zine and all that. What a fantastic album and what sounds to be wonderful packaging. After seeing the band in August for the first time, I was blown away. What a terrific band. I don't understand how they aren't huge. I mean, they are in a way, but they're so good and deserve any and all attention they receive. Can't wait. Comes out January 26th in the U.S. and February 1st in the U.K. I'm tempted to preorder, but there aren't any special vinyl packages, so I'm just going to buy it in person. But if you preorder it here, you get an mp3 from it to hear now!

jj - jj n° 3. I still don't have jj n° 2 on vinyl because, I guess, it was recently released and relatively rare (only place that I've found to have it is the Sincerely Yours website, which is asking quite a large price, or at least I'm afraid that's what it will be to ship to America). But that album is great. So I can only imagine what the third album will sound like. If I had to guess, it'd sound really good. Fair judgment, right?

you can find the CD and their first release here

LCD Soundsystem!!! I don't know what it's called, or when it's coming out, but it's coming. And that, my friends, is a reason for celebration. Sound of Silver is one of my favorite albums of the decade (perhaps of all time, we'll see next time I make that list), and for good reason. On top of the great singles, the entire thing flows so well. I listened to that album nearly every night for almost a year. Because of this, I am very excited for the new album. Also, I really hope they tour, because I am an idiot and missed them when they played with the Arcade Fire in Columbus.

If you haven't heard or own Sound of Silver, please buy it. I can't stress listening to this album enough.

Did you hear about Rivers Cuomo's upcoming Japanese debut? I have no idea what that'll sound like. Or well, I assume it'll sound like The Underdogs or Meri Kuri and be ten songs long. But I suppose that's a bit of a stretch to assume anybody who might read this would know those two Weezer tracks. One's a song written with a Japanese composer who might make video game music (can't remember), the other is a J-pop cover. Neither are on standard albums. But yeah, that's happening supposedly. The two demos Rivers posted online sounded really good, but had no lyrics. Either way, that's good news.

But on the reissue front, Pinkerton is being released in a deluxe edition. I'm not sure when, as the date has been pushed back multiple times. And I don't know what will be on it, but I don't see how it will be a disappointment (set your sights low, never be disappointed) as I already love the original and all the other tracks from that era. Now I'll just have them all in one collection instead of spread around on singles and mp3s. And if that isn't enough Weezer for you, there's also a rarities/demo/etc. collection called Odds and Ends that is supposedly on the way (been on the way for years now, I believe). So yeah, great year for that.

That's all I feel like writing about now.

remember to support your favorite bands. buy vinyl.

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An update about Ben Kweller

This is not news, this is simply an addition to an earlier post I made just to say that I hadn't heard anything about his new album, but I really loved Sha Sha and Radish. You know, they really are rather good. If you don't believe me, go back and check out the mp3s I posted. Or buy them. I'm not sure if you can find Radish anymore, but if you can, I recommend it.

So buy some records!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Review

I was going to make a Best of 2009 and the '00s post, but my computer crashed last week and I haven't been able to get it back up and running. Of course, this was just as I was listening to all the albums I missed that have shown up on lists all over. Out of the few I listened to, the ones that stood out were the Big Pink, jj, and the xx. So, I guess this means I'll just have to go by memory. Also, take note: no surprises here.

Top Five Albums
5. Yo La Tengo - "Popular Songs"
4. Let's Wrestle - "In the Court of the Wrestling Let's..."
3. Girls - "Album"
2. Dinosaur Jr - "Farm"
1. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "s/t"

PoBPaH are easily my new favorite band. I've seen all these people acting like they aren't supposed to like them because they sound just like older music, but I think their songs are downright fantastic and the sound is exactly the kind of music I like. While the album grabbed me right away, the Higher Than the Stars EP blew me away even more. "Falling Over" was a grower, but "Twins" is everything I could ever want in a guitar-based song. It is perfect.

Top Five Songs (not including anything from the Top Five Albums)
5. Thom Yorke - "All for the Best" (Miracle Legion cover)
4. Japandroids - "The Boys Are Leaving Town"
3. Hunx and His Punx - "You Don't Like Rock and Roll"
2. Jason Lytle - "The Ghost of My Old Dog"
1. Weezer - "The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World"

Now, as you may have noticed by looking at this blog, I am a Weezer fan. I don't necessarily hate everything post-Pinkerton, but it's just not the same. You all know that, obviously. The band is basically a part of my life, probably to an unhealthy degree (I am on at least three boards and have at least two versions of every album, even ones I don't particularly care for). "Prettiest Girl..." is an older song, from around 1998 when Rivers Cuomo was playing in Boston with his band Homie. The live version that I grew accustomed to has an excellent bass line and was, for a long time, my favorite Weezer-related bootlegged track. When I heard the song was going to be brought back for Raditude, I was a bit worried as to what might happen to it. But alas, it was wonderful. While it didn't have the heavy bass line, the second verse which is just the vocals (lead and harmonies) with an organ brings so much joy to me. It reminds me why I am so obsessed with the band (just as the last segment of The Greatest Man... did in 2008).

Top Five Shows
5. Built to Spill / Beaten Awake
4. Yo La Tengo / Cheap Time
3. Dinosaur Jr / Lou Barlow and the Missingmen
2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / Girls / Champagne Socialists
1. Los Campesinos! / Girls / The Smith Westerns

The only thing I was expecting at the LC! show was an annoying crowd. I had seen Girls in Portland a few weeks earlier, and they were fantastic then, so there was that to look forward to. I didn't even know who the Smith Westerns were (I guess their album was released the next day?), but was intrigued when the lead guitarist hit a pedal that made confetti pop out all over him as he played a solo while making the most Bolan-esque movements he could. They were pretty good, and I ended up really liking their album. I now hope to see them around here again sometime. Girls were excellent, again. As usual, I was annoyed with the crowd; this time, because a group of kids were acting out all the lyrics and talking loud enough where I had trouble hearing the band, even with earplugs in. Then LC! came on and blew me away. Before this, I had only really listened to their first album and EP, and my favorite song was their cover of "Frontwards". And throughout the set, I was only sure of which song was being played a few times (one of which was "Box Elder", so that barely counts), but I didn't care because it was so much fun. And while I usually hate fun and excitement and all that, this was an exception. Gareth and Tom or Neil (I'm sorry, I don't remember who) came out into the crowd, with the guitarist ending up on top of the bar at the Grog Shop.
It was wonderful.

Anyway, I'll post my Best of '00s eventually, maybe.

And of course, I recommend you support all of these artists (on vinyl, if at all possible).

So buy some records!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Raditude: Deluxe Edition leaked...

Here are my track-by-track initial reactions:

Here are my track-by-track initial reactions:

(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To - Same as it ever was, old news. Good, but not great. 4/5
I'm Your Daddy - I still love this chorus and bridge. But wish it had stayed "Here's Your Daddy" and was about caring for his daughter. 4.5/5
The Girl Got Hot - Meh for most, but I really enjoyed the harmonies. 3/5
Can't Stop Partying - Not into some of the effects, and think there should be more bass. I like the Alone II version better, but I dig Lil Wayne's part. 3/5
Put Me Back Together - Lyrics aside, I love this wholeheartedly. Awesomesauce. 4.5/5
Tripping Down the Freeway - Eh, not my cup of tea. Not bad. 3/5
Love is the Answer - Way better than expected. Felt it worked out quite well. 4/5
Let It All Hang Out - Really love the melody, so many squeedlies. 3.5/5
In the Mall - Biggest letdown. I really liked everything else I've heard by Pat. This just didn't work for me. 2.5/5
I Don't Want to Let You Go - Thoroughly enjoyed this. Natural closer. 4.5/5
Turn Me Round - Thought the verses were alright, didn't care for the chorus. Sounds like Maladroit, and I think it's from that era. So it makes sense. 3/5
Get Me Some - The screaming solo, enough said. Just, odd. 2/5
Run Over by a Truck - Very interesting. I really like the main piano riff. Furthest from anything Weezer's ever done. 4.5/5
PGITWWW - Silly intro. Really like the organ, and love the chorus after the second verse. Terrific. Always loved the Homie version, and now this might be the best Post-Pink song. 5/5
The Underdogs - So many movie montages will work with this. Better than clips led me to believe it would be. 3.5/5

Raditude - 3.65/5
Raditude: - DE - 3.63/5
I did not see that coming. Could this be the third best? We've been waiting...

Of course, all leaks and downloads aside, I believe you should always support the bands you enjoy. And I recommend buying on vinyl (even though in this case, you won't get the deluxe tracks...PLEASE CHANGE THIS PATTERN, WEEZER).

So buy some records!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today's Date!

Back from Portland. It was alright. Didn't get to see much, but I did get to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Girls, and Champagne Socialists. While the sound wasn't too hot (especially for C.S.), the show was good. I spoke to Kip of the Pains after the show and he said they were coming back to Cleveland in September and to check the website, but I'm afraid he was mistaken. I really hope they do come back sometime soon though, and still play a smaller venue (they were at the Beachland Tavern last time). There are two new Pains releases coming soon, and three of the songs were played from them at the show. Kip said they were going to play more, but he broke a string and felt it sort of killed the flow of the show. Oh well, hopefully next time. Girls was also very enjoyable, and I am very glad that I'll be seeing them again when they open up for Los Campesinos! at the Grog Shop in a week or so. Their album comes out on September 22 (I think) on Matador, but I'm really hoping they have some sort of record for sale at the show. The Champagne Socialists...I can't say much about. I didn't have earplugs at the time, and the guitar was the only thing that I could hear, except for a screech from the lead singer every once in a while. Again, this is nothing about their music, they continually asked the sound guy to fix the set-up and he continually ignored them, so it's just a shame. I should have bought their 7".
In other news of bands I like, Weezer played a few new songs in Korea and Japan this past week. Their rendition of "Can't Stop Partying" (a very good song written by Jermaine Dupri and released on Rivers' Alone II), and the debut of "The Girl Got Hot" and "I'm Your Daddy". All I can say is that I stopped really listening to Weezer lyrics after the Green Album. The band added "whoa", "oh yeah", and "oh oh oh"'s to "Can't Stop Partying", and that only mostly changed it for the worst. The big downer, as most Weezer fans on the internet agree, is the bridge that was tacked on. "The Girl Got Hot" is...I don't remember. I haven't heard it since earlier this afternoon, and had heard it before a couple days ago. It just doesn't do anything for me. Out of the three, it is my least favorite, and not just because of the um...sub-par lyrics. "I'm Your Daddy", while still maintaining what seems to be Weezer's status quo of lyrical quality, contains music that I totally dig. So, that's a plus! People have compared it to "Diamond Rings" (a Weezer song that was played live once or twice that I totally dig; check out my What Happened? post, it should be there; and if not there, check musically, although I haven't compared the two. If they are alike, then that would explain why I like the music as "Diamond Rings" is one of my favorite Weezer songs of that era.
I have to thank Paul, and through a game of telephone, Tim for turning me onto the Strange Boys. While it seems it is impossible for me to find their record And Girls Club in stores, it is good enough that I am going to order it online.
At the moment I'm listening to the new Yo La Tengo album, Popular Songs. So far, I really enjoy it. I'll finally be seeing them in October, so that's pretty exciting. That entire week is full of shows I'm going to! I just saw that Built to Spill is playing the night before Yo La Tengo, and then the Japandroids are that Thursday, with Dinosaur Jr in Columbus on Saturday!
It's late, and I still have to cut my hair, so I think I'm done.

Click all the links above, and buy records from bands you like.

Or just click right here:

And buy some records!

Oh, yeah! And check out this picture from April 29:


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Buy it at Insound!