I hate to say it, but I think I like this radio station even better than WFNX 101.7 out of Boston. Not to snub my hometown station, but I have never heard such a diverse station before. It really caters to all my likes (and guilty pleasures).
I got into my car last name and “Bro Hymn” by Pennywise was on.Â 14 year old me was stoked.
Then this morning on the way to work “Soma” by Smashing Pumpkins was on. I’m pretty sure they play every track off of Siamese Dream, which of course, I love.
Speaking of stations I love, we have this 90s Alternative station on at work lately. Not sure which satellite station it is, but its amazing. Yesterday I heard”
“Ready to Go” by Republica
“Undone” and “My Name Is Jonas” by Weezer
“Swallowed” by Bush
“Champagne Supernova” by Oasis
“Far Behind” by Candlebox
“Paranoid Android” by Radiohead
“One of Us” by Joan Osbourne
“Two Princes” by Spin Doctors
I mean come on, that is quite a selection in one day. Today I’ve heard Garbage, Sublime, and now Alice in Chains. Unlike a lot of 90s stations who swear that grunge was the only music that existed in the 90s, they really mix it up. I mentioned it to my roommate and she said “Well dude, it is the music we grew up with” and she is right.Â And it was quite a diverse decade. I think I’m proud to say I’m a child of the 90s.
PS I’m still waiting for them to play Better than Era… but “Got You (Where I Want You” by The Flys off the Disturbing Behavior Soundtrack just came on (does anyone remember that movie?).
If you too love your 90s “buzz ballads” please feel free to comment back with your favorite 90s songs.
Ok so here it is. My short list for 2008.Â It is a lot slower and sadder (for the most part) than last year’s list. Here is is, in no particular order:
Thrice- The Alchemy Index Volumes I & II: Fire and Water
I love Thrice. I do little to hide that fact. They are one of the most talented, diverse bands out there today. They can go from heavy to soft all in the same set without anything sounding out of place. Volumes I & 2 are a great example of that. Fire is the harder hitting disc, with tracks like “Firebreather” that really need to be heard live. The sound is too big to be contained. But of the two, I love the Water disc. Tracks like the electronic “Digital Sea” and the amazing somber storytelling of “The Whaler” really did it for me.Â “Atlantic” is my favorite song off of Vheissu and one of my favorite Thrice songs in general and now I have a whole EP of songs like that. Awesome.
As Cities Burn- Come Now Sleep
I never really listened to As Cities Burn before, but my friend Trevor gave me this album and I did not stop listening to it for days. I went back and listened to the previous albums and realized what a departure it was from their older material. The disc has an excellent flow and though it has some Christian overtones, nothing that is too overtly religious. It is more about questioning and realizing your beliefs, which I like. “Tides” and “Contact” are my favorite tracks.
I love this band. I have only seen them once, and I was literally moved to tears. Amazing. This record is amazing. It is truly beautiful and perfectly orchestrated. I love every song.
4) City and Colour- Bring Me Your Love
I am in love with Dallas Green’s voice. I love it in Alexisonfire and I love it in City and Colour. I’m a total sucker for anything sad and acoustic. I’ve been a fan ever since I head “Casey’s Song”/ My inner emo kid is fully satisfied by this record. The title track is my top choice.
5) Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
You want to talk about sad acoustic music, well here is the epitome. This record also made both Rolling Stone’s and Entertainment Weekly’s Top Albums of the Year lists. And for good reason. My boyfriend turned me on to Bon Iver right around the time we first met. He told me the story of how this guy basically locked himself in a cabin in the woods after he and his girlfriend split and wrote these songs.Â And you can tell. There is no fluff, just real emotion. “Skinny Love” and “Flume” break my heart.
Now lets compare to last year’s list-
The Receiving End of Sirens- The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi
Circa Survive- On Letting Go
Brand New- The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me
Tegan and Sarah- The Con
Therefore I Am- The Escape
The only record I could see fitting the vibe of this year’s list is probably Brand New’s.Â Athough more upbeat than this year’s list, it seems my tastes are still pretty similar.
Fuck it, I’ll admit it. I still like the same stuff I liked at 17. Get Up Kids and Saves the Day forever!
So it has been a little bit since I have written down anything. But it is not a product of laziness, but of being extremely busy. I spent the second week of this month in Massachusetts for my annual voyage back to the East Coast. It was quite a whirlwind of a trip. However, I’ll spare you the details but it involved family parties, home cooked meals, temperature changes (15 degrees one day and then 60 a couple days later!), lots of driving, an ice storm that somehow hit the town next to me but not mine, holiday shopping, Dunkin Donuts and of course, shows.
The Dear Hunter
I was lucky enough to be home during the Dear Hunter’s holiday shows. I caught their December 13th show at Club 939 with 3. 3 is a very talented band but really not my cup of tea per say. They are very reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria, which is probably due to the fact that one of their former members, Josh Eppard left to join Coheed on drums (however he is no longer in the band). I can definitely see how they have toured with Dream Theater. But I’m not all that into metal. I like a little here and there, particularly when I’m driving in traffic. I appreciate them as musicians, but I really there for the headliner anyway.
Now I haven’t seen The Dear Hunter in couple years. Not since their show 3 years ago with As Tall As Lions at the ICC in Allston, MA. At the time I saw them last, it was more in a “supporting my friends” capacity. Since then I have listened to both albums many, many times. And I was certainly not disappointed at this show. Casey Crescenzo, the mastermind behind the band, claims to be “awkward” while addressing the audience, but its that level of realism that just adds to the experience. I would much rather listen to his awkward banter with the crowd than hear someone else’s obviously polished “between songs” speech.
They played the three songs I wanted to hear most; “Black Sandy Beaches”, “Red Hands”, and “The Church and the Dime”. Their set contained both Act I and Act II in their entirety. But even better, they played some new music, including the full band version of the song in the video in my previous entry. As if I wasn’t already anticipating Act III, now I’m just downright excited for it!
On a more personal note, and I’m not name dropping or trying to look “cool”, but it was good to hang out with Casey and Nate (Patterson, formally of The Receiving End of Sirens) again. Andrew Cook, former TREOS drummer and now I guess Dear Hunter manager was also there, along with friend/occasional tour guitarist Ross and friend Anne Marie. I met up with one of my oldest and dearest friends (and Dear Hunter booking agent) Mike Marquis. We both spent the night telling people how we’ve “known each other for 10 years!” multiple times. I finally met Casey’s and Andrew’s longtime girlfriends Cassandra and Laura. This is where the story gets nerdy as Laura, Cassie, Anne Maria, Andrew, and I discussed our love for vampire stories (I’m not the only one!) including True Blood, Buffy, and Twilight. It was an amazing night!
This picture was taken back when Casey was in Receiving End of Sirens and they played Drifters in Nashua, NH with As Tall As Lions. I want to say it was winter of 04.
I finally made it to Paper! For those of you not from Boston, Paper is this sort of indie dance night put on by Mass Live Events. The format is: 2-3 bands then dancing until closing, which in Mass is 2am. I used to be a fixture there, but it seems that I have consistently come home either the week before Paper or the week after. Anyway, I made it this time.
And Vanna played! Vanna is a hardcore band from Boston on Epitaph Records. It was good to see them again and they still are just as amazing as ever. Chris, their front man, did not walk on the heads of/was not lifted above the crowd like in previous Vanna performances, but they did play new tracks off their forthcoming CD. It was produced by Steve Evetts (ETID, He Is Legend, Dillinger Escape Plan, Saves the Day, The Chariot, etc.) and I heard that guitarist/singer Evan does a lot more singing on this record.
For those of you who haven’t heard them, please check out their last record “Curses” and the one before that “The Search Party Never Came”. My favorite songs are still “Dead Language for a Dying Lady” and “I am the Wind, You are the Feather”.
Ghosts and Coastlines Update
I will start off by saying I did not record as much music as I would have liked to. I did not get to record with Joey due to our schedules and my limited time home. However, my friend Mikey O’Leary of the Juniper Clause and formally Pinewood Derby got in touch with me and I laid down some backing vocals for him. I also recorded a cover of “Table for Glasses” by Jimmy Eat World. Can’t wait to hear the final product. I’ll let you know when that goes up.
I have also decided I am going to learn to do my own music. I am going to invest in a Mac, a mixer, a better mic, and cables to connect my keyboard to my computer (because it has the capability). I am going to learn to record myself. I can make all the music I need on the computer itself and with my keyboard so I do not have to learn guitar or rely on others to help me write. I’m probably going to do one of two things: some poppy indie/electro type music a la Lights and Dear Solace and/or sad, slow, piano driven music. I will set a better timeline for myself once I get my new computer, whenever that may be. So, I guess keep an eye out and an ear open and hopefully I’ll have something for you sooner rather than later.
Bands mentioned in this entry:
Stay tuned for my “Best of 2008″ list coming soon…
News broke today via YouTube video that Nate Patterson, crazy legged guitarist from The Receiving End of Sirens has now joined ex-TREOS member Casey Crescenzo’s band The Dear Hunter on bass.
In Nate’s own words on TREOS’ myspace page-
“So, all I have to say is, life is really funny. Never would I have thought that I would be playing music with Casey and the rest of the guys in The Dear Hunter.Â I guess theÂ way I can say I came to the decision of playing with them is very simple, music and the desire to play songs that are forward in their construction. My relationship with Casey has always been him and I relating to music and life experiences together. We have gone through a lot, and learned so much about ourselves and each others life goals, what a better way to get there than playing together, touring, recording, etc.
I have all of you who have listened to TREOS to thank. Many of you have inspired me to keep playing and making music, my time with TREOS was the best time of my life and I learned so much about people, places and my taste in music.”
I’m looking forward to seeing The Dear Hunter on the 13th even more now.
Here is the video message. It contains new music from the upcoming “Act III”. If you have not heard The Dear Hunter, I highly recommend checking them out. Casey is an amazing musician and storyteller. Please check out Acts I and II, especially Act II. “Red Hands”, “The Church and the Dime” are amazing, but “Black Sandy Beaches” is probably one of the most beautifully composed songs both musically and lyrically.
Anyway, on to the video:
This totally made my day!
So the nominations for the 09 Grammy Awards were announced yesterday. Rather than a press conference, they basically had a show for the show to announce the nominations. I did not watch it, forgot it was on. I wonder which one will be better? The nominations show or the actual awards? Wouldn’t it be sad if more people watch the nominations than the actual show?
But anyway, I read the nominations this morning and was both pleasantly surprised and totally disappointed.
- All of Coldplay’s nominations. Honestly, who doesn’t like Coldplay?
- M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” being nominated for Record of the Year. She deserves it.
- Radiohead nominated for Album of the Year again for “In Rainbows”
- Daft Punk and Hot Chip nominated for Best Dance Recording
- Both “Violet Hill” by Coldplay and “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group
- Dragonforce for Best Metal Performance! I will be really upset if they don’t win.
- “Sex on Fire”, “Violet Hill” and “I Will Possess You Heart” by Death Cab for Cutie up for Best Rock Song.
- Every single album in the Best Alternative Music Album category!
- Death Cab getting the recognition they deserve
- Gnarls Barkley’s “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?” for Best Short Form Music Video. One of my favorite videos of the year. Although, every time I see the song title, that Jewel song gets stuck in my head. Honestly, the Grammy Awards’ choices in this category are better than any at the VMAs this year.
The Utterly Disappointing:
- Katy Perry for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance? For “I Kissed A Girl”? Are you serious? First of all, I’d hardly call that a vocal performance, let alone the best. Second, it’s a terrible song! Uninspired, unoriginal and a total lie! I’m actually disgusted by this.
- The Jonas Brothers for Best New Artist? Really? Since when are the Grammys now the Teen Choice Awards?
- I’m surprised the Raconteurs didn’t receive more nominations. “Salute Your Solution” is a great rock song.
- No MGMT for Best Alternative Music Album? I thought their album was a breakthrough success.
- Is it a rule that if a band that has been around for like 20 years puts out a record, they have to nominate it? I could care less about the Eagles or Robert Plant. I think they are past their prime. Why are the Grammy Awards picking the worst of the new generation and the most washed up of generations gone by? The exception to the latter being AC/DC would still rock pretty hard.
- I hate Metallica and I do not think they should win anything ever. Its not even that they are bad musicians, but they are greedy and their backwards thinking when it comes to peer to peer file sharing is one of the reasons the industry has struggled with it so much.
- Best Spoken Word Album should not be a category. After elementary school, you shouldn’t get awards for how well you read out loud.
Apparently, the music industry is bailing itself out. THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!! Not to get political, but the more I hear about AIG and their super lavish retreats, it sickens me. If I cant pay my loans or my bills, I’m screwed. No one is going to help me out and no one should help them out. They made bad decisions. They are paying the price (I know it is more complicated than that, but that is just my personal opinion/summary of the situation).
In this news story, the music biz has bounced back by being innovative and coming up with new ways for people to hear music. Way to go Music Industry! Automakers, take note!
OK so I wrote this post a little while ago, and I believe I oversimplified the situatuon. I was misunderstood, which is my own fault for not better explaining what I means.
The only way any industry really succeeds is through quality, efficiency and innovation. If you don’t move with the times, you get left behind. The music industry took a serious hit with their reluctance to embrace peer to peer file sharing. BMG was sued for its initial investment in it! The music industry would be entirely dead if lets say, it decided that 8 tracks were the only format music should be on.
Japan kicks our ass when it comes to cars (though yesterday Toyota reported its first loss in 70 years). Honda and Toyotas are two of the most popular brands in the US. Everyone knows someone who drives an Accord (like me) ot a Camry, I swear. My point was, American car makers need to ditch the SUV model and get on the little car bandwagon.Â Even old Hondas are small, cheap, good on gas and have low emissions. And gas has dropped significantly recently, but with an nonrenewable resource like oil, American Auto Companies need to look towards the future. You would like it would suck and kill a company to make a care like a Toyota that lasts well over 200,000 miles when properly taken care of, but history has shown it does not. Honda and Toyota, while in trouble like all car companies, are in less trouble than Ford or GM. The need better cars (longer lasting, more fuel efficient, eco-friendly, etc) to compete with these because lets face it, that is the way its going.
I wasn’t trying to downplay the situation, only stress the point that an industry/company resistant to change will ultimately die.
Honestly, the state of the economy scares the shit out of me.
The Arcade Fire’s “My Body is a Cage” in a perfect choice for the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. It not only peaked my interest in the movie, but prompted me to listen to all of Neon Bible since I had not heard the whole thing. And I’m listening right now…and its making me very happy.
Again, thank you song chooser person. You’ve inadvertently brightened up my day.
I do not think I have said it on here yet, but I am a singer. I have fronted a couple bands in the past, but I haven’t done anything musical since I moved to San Diego last year.
However, I had an idea for a collaborative project, which I have called Ghosts and Coastlines. It is basically an opportunity for me to make music with different people under one header. I started it in Boston before I left, but it has been left untouched for past couple years.
However, I am returning home for a visit in a few days and I’m planning on resurrecting it. I already have some things lined up so hopefully I will be posting updates and photos from the writing and recording process. My good friend, Joey Campbell (ex Lucy Grace, currently in Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan, Glacier, Left of Space, Rotting Asshole, and X Stars Fell On X) has been kind enough to get this going with me. I am already actively writing in preparation for my trip.
I might have a couple other things in the works too, but its too soon to tell. I will know more when I get home.
But keep your eyes peeled for the new Ghosts and Coastlines coming soon…