Carry That Weight…

May 16, 2008 at 5:06 am (dull real life stuff, Horse Racing, upcoming stuff I might blog about)

….hey, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or anything, just winding down the last two days of 11 days straight at work (the middle of which featured a crazy-ass Mother’s Day and resultant holocaust when the power went out and wiped a bunch of sales data at the end of the day Sunday…not good times, bad times.)

At any rate, Imma try to get Dave’s kickass Derby mix posted before Preakness (personally, I’ll have it in rotation with Whitey’s “Weakness For The Preakness” mix). I’ll also mention that the new Bellrays album is fan-damn-tastic. I’ll further add that Jason Isringhausen has caused me more anguish in the last three weeks than any human has caused me in nearly five years. Seriously.

One last observation: the race for the Democratic Nomination for president ended today. Didja notice what happened when President Bush rather inelegantly attacked Senator Obama while addressing The Knesset today? The Democrats closed ranks beautifully, with Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and yes, Hillary Clinton leaping to Obama’s defense. If anything signaled where this nomination process was heading, that reaction said it all.

I’m rambling. Back soon.

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Crash Into June.

April 24, 2008 at 6:40 am (new releases, reviews, upcoming stuff I might blog about)

June 10th is looking like a treee-mendous day for new releases. As mentioned elsewhere, The Telepathic Butterflies emerge from 3 years of silence with a new disc, and samples available at their myspace page and on the Rainbow Quartz page sound pretty good.

…and then there’s this, posted last week on Sloan’s official site:

Sloan have completed work on their ninth studio album, “Parallel Play”, which is due to be released on June 10th. In Canada, the album will be available on Sloan’s own murderecords, distributed by Red Ink Music. In the USA, we are once again working with our friends at Yep Roc Records.

The album was recorded this winter at Sloan’s studio space and features 13 new songs.

We will soon have news about our summer and fall tour plans. We’ll also have some brand new audio and video posted before long, so be sure to check regularly for updates.

The good folks at Yep-Roc have the whole freakin’ album streaming right here. Impressions later, but my first take is that there’s more Patrick Pentland on this disc than on Never Hear The End Of It…and more Patrick Pentland is always a good thing.

Oh….and then I note that the long-anticipated new disc by The Modfather is due to drop on June 24th. Too. Much. Great. Music.

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On The Horizon

April 17, 2008 at 4:01 pm (new releases, upcoming stuff I might blog about)

Stuff I’m listening to and digging and may or may not write about in the next few days/weeks:

1. The first For Against record with original guitarist Harry Dingman III since 1989.
2. The new Telepathic Butterflies disc (I’d worried they’d broken up, but new disc out soon!)
3. The Foxboro Hot Tubs (I’ve become a Green Day fanboi, and an unapologetic one.)
4. The Constantines
5. etc. (not a band.)

I’m also simultaneously attempting to read:

1. the first-ever collection of Michael Chabon essays (“Maps & Legends”, published by McSweeney’s with a pretty kick-ass cover/coverlet),
2. Jonathan Barnes’ The Somnambulist
3. Lauren Goff’s The Monsters Of Templeton

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What Rock and Roll Sounds Like.

March 10, 2008 at 11:14 pm (cool band alert, rock and roll, upcoming stuff I might blog about)

Perhaps it makes me an oddball (watch it, buster), but I occasionally wonder how I’d define rock and soul music for someone who by some oddity had never heard it before. Would I talk about the boring academics of the music like Greil Marcus on a Ken Burns bender, or would I be a little more direct?

I’m a little more sold on the latter approach, mostly ’cause I think I’ve found the very definition of the genre distilled into eleven and a half minutes of sonic roar. Last week the long-dormant-but-still-kickin’ Prisonshake posted 3 new songs from their long-awaited (We’re talkin’ Lee Mavers/Kevin Shields/Tom Scholz long-awaited here) forthcoming new record, and I’d be hard-pressed to come up with three songs I’ve heard in the past few months that’ve moved me as much as these three.

So first off, crank up your speakers or ‘phones and go have a listen, Cheese.

If you need to boil it down even more and have too short an attention span, give “Obviously” a shot. Specifically, about the 2:50 mark, the oft-unheralded killer ‘Shake rhythm section (which I presume is still Scariano & Patrick) roils into this Memphis soul-stew snare ride over a monster bass riff with a tambourine backing the beat before the Griffin/Enkler guitars come snarling back into the fray. The whole song is bloody glorious, but from that section onwards, “Obviously” becomes the most kick-ass genre-defining gloriously abandoned rock and roll moment since the end of Cobra Verde’s “Here Comes Nothing”.

Not that “Obviously” is the only treat–it took me a bit to warm up to the snarly “Begin the Begin” guitar figure on “Cutout Bin”, but as the song revs up it has one of the most killer hooks of any ‘Shake song I’ve heard. “Dream Along” needs no warming up to–it’ll grab you from the get-go and then confound your expectations with an amazing coda.

Here’s the deal, really. I’ve been an observer for 12-13 years or so while Griffin, Enkler, Skitch, and Patrick have recorded, scrapped, re-rerecorded, scrapped again, and then repeated on trying to get a worthy successor to Roaring Third finished. I’ve been skeptical too; the longer the wait, the higher the expectations. After the ten year mark, it’d be natural for doubts to creep in. My first reaction after finally hearing these songs? “Holy shit. They actually did it.”

The new album will be called Dirty Moons and–barring something unforeseen–should be out on Scat Records sometime this Spring or Summer.

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