Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Band Discoveries

A 55 minutes audio version/podcast can be found HERE for those who don't mind babbling; or have a lot of TIME TO KILL/ARE BORED.

Kaddisfly - I can't get enough of this band's upcoming record SET SAIL THE PRAIRIE. If there is any justice, the band will receive an overwhelming response SET SAIL THE PRAIRIE will be the album that sets up their career. They have just written too good of an album to not receive some reciprocation. A ton of BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS went into composing and recording it.

Pure Reason Revolution - Very impressive and a pleasant breath of fresh air on Modern and Heavy Psychadelic Rock. Not really any other group out there today that uses complex Vocal harmonies like they do. Both editions of THE DARK THIRD flow amazingly well as if you wouldn't want to hear any of the songs without hearing the whole album in the same listening.

Klimt 1918 - DOPOGUERRA is one tremendously flowing atmospheric and melodic Hard Rock album. The layers and dynamics are superb. Their early stuff is not bad either. I am quite excited to see what they come up with next, likely in 2007.

Mew - Couldn't get into the vocal style, but with a 2nd assessment it and the band totally won me over especially when hearing FRENGERS. Their two full-lengths are both really good, but these guys I think may come up with a masterpiece down the road. Too much talent. Love the atmosphere and surreal layers and images including live and the videos they have done are a trip. Catheads in a dress floating down a road playing violins. How the hell did they come up with that?

Bend Sinister - This is totally great. They combine elements of Queen and The Mars Volta into their own brand of Progressive Indie-Rock. "Through the Broken City" their debut is a flawless debut album save for possibly is low production standards. The people unfamiliar with them don't know what they are missing. 2007 a new full-length is expected to come out.

Oceansize - I got won over by this band with their wall-of-sound, psych-metal. Like Mew, they could easily come up with a landmark record soon.

Anathallo - Quite original sounding band. Never really heard a group use horns and rock, in such an organic way. Almost like HS band-rock in a way. Great Vocal harmonies, Xylophone, percusssion. They may not want to, but if enough people heard them, they'd realize how talented this group really is. They recently released '"Anathallogy" which in my case, since I do not own anything from them other than their latest FLOATING~WORLD, is a great deal to get their entire backcatalog. Much of that is more guitar-driven but still great. I'm very curious where they go with their next release.

MuteMath - Poppy and atmospheric. Not a bad song on either the RESET EP or their debut record. They shine the most in concert. The singer crowd surfs playing the keytar and the drummer is tight as hell

Russian Circles - The best instrumental act I've heard since discovering Jazz-Rock a few years ago. These guys to me are very much like how Fates Warning would be if you took away the vocals and keys. Dynamics, muscular riffs and huge crescendos and HOOKS.

The Decemberists - THE CRANE WIFE is one of the most universally mentioned records of 2006. One of the best bands that writes folk songs like fables that include prog elements. "The Island..." is maybe the best Prog song of 2006. Their backcatalog is quite impressive as well. 2005's EP "The Tain"is a great 5-part suite epic. PICARESQUE and HER MAJESTY are two other albums I've enjoyed diving into this year as well.

The Receiving End of Sirens - This band is scary to me. They have something in their music I have learned to tolerate; Post-hardcore screaming. But their clean vocals are so good, especially when used as 2 and 3 part harmonies like Queen. And they write some of the most over-the-top melodies it's insane to believe they came on their debut record. Is their a "Prog-Pop-Emo" Genre?..these guys will scare you like Coheed or Ours if you're not careful. The day they end the screaming, is the day they become a staple group for me. The melodies are just too good to ignore.

Opus Dai - Great, fresh debut album. Crescendos are crazy at times, and the melodies stay in your head. They are even more crzay live.

3 - Great groovey and catchy Prog Metal band. They write some soaring melodies. The remastered WAKE PIG sounds even better than the original release.

Kiss Kiss - Truly going to be discovered in 2007 when their 1st full-length comes out (it's already on Itunes and I have it and LOVE IT). Progressive Indie-Rock's answer to King Crimson, Kansas, and Frank Zappa? Technical yet accessible?..I'm really loving this band right now, maybe than any new(er) band to me.

House Of Fools - Full length out in March, their S/T EP came out in October which had no bad songs on it. "Live And Learn" maybe being the best, but wait til more people hear the Queen-esque "Until It's Over." Some compare them to Keane or 10cc, but I just dig their pop-melodies and the crescendos.

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - Debut record is infectious as hell. A large ensemsble group with a horn, violin, 2 drummers, male and female vocal harmonies. They are quite diverse and have a lot of variety to their style. Folky at times, technical at other times, poppy as well. I really am loving this band right now. 2007 a new record is expected out. Very excited for that.

Under The Influence Of Giants - Retro that is updated. About half of their debut album is really catchy and strong. The Bee Gees are echoed perfectly in "Mama's Room."

Men, Women And Children - Another updated retro sounding band that has 3 songs on their s/t debut album that are really great. "Dance In My Blood" "Lightning Strikes Twice In New York" and "Celebracion!" Similar to Earth, Wind And Fire but more guitar emphasis.

Portugal the Man - The 1st half of their debut album is very influenced by The Mars Volta, but without the experimenting. The 2nd half is just plain good. The Mars Volta fans not satisfied with AMPUTECHTURE may want to seek out this band's record. Opening for dredg in Santa Cruz didn't hurt them either.

Janus - Chicago based Progressive Indie Rock group. Their new stuff on their myspace is great, their debut record "Armor" from 2004 is inconsistent. The song "Severen" though is one killer song with some heavy riffs. The vocals are higher, but may remind people of as much of Rage Against the Machine as much as Coheed and Cambria. I'm looking to hearing their next full length hopefully in 2007 sometime.

Archive - Psychadelic, Atmospheric, and yet at times song-oriented and retro. I have been mesmerized by this band of late. Really blending a bunch of styles into one. Some Porcupine Tree fans could fall in love with them.

Kaura - Their 2005 S/T debut EP shows promise, but the myspace stuff is up to another level. Ethnic layers and heavy riffs. May remind people of Tool or dredg. 2006 was getting their name out there, 2007 could be getting their album in regular rotation.

Doves - Psych and Pop. Not too excessive, almost too subtle at times. They have some great songs that got me going back to them, especially their album "Lost Souls."

Aviatic - Great poppy hardrock. They should be on every adult contemporary station on the globe, and at times their song "Goodbye Beautiful Day." About half of their album "Arrival" I tend to go back to regularly.

The Appleseed Cast - I really like this band, yet I haven't become addicted quite yet. They are quite consistent, writing songs with a lot of textures and layers, yet never too longwinded. A band I 1st got into this year, but may get more into next year.

Vedera - Opening for dredg, MuteMath, and then Mae (and outclassing them a ton imo), really speaks volumes for this group. Their 2005 album "Weight of an Empty Room" has some nice moments. Kristin May's soaring vocals standout. And the new music they have played recently also raised my interest level in this band.

Brazil - The 2004 record "A Hostage and the Meaning of Life" has some incredible moments on it. The 2nd half of it especially. In a sense, they do what The Receiving End of Sirens do without the screaming on that album. Their newest "The Philosophy of Velocity" wasn't quite as consistent, but had moments as well. However, the stuff I heard were highly compressed mp3's and I haven't gotten around to hearing a better recording of it.

Between Two Skies - The local MN band with I foresee possibly the most potential. I 1st found out about them from a local dredg fan I met via myspace. These guys are spacey, yet technical enough to appreciate their skillfull musicianship. Upon a later exposure to them live, they really seemed to have honed their sound. Adding vocals, and maybe a bit more heaviness. Their singer reminds me of Maynard from Tool or Eddie Vedder to extent, but at the same time he's a bit more accessible. Definitely a band I look back on 2006 as a good discovery.

Bought their album/Listened To/Saw in Concert/Sampled (to varying degrees)
Aina, Aireline, Ambulette, Amity, Amplifier, The Autumns, Building Karma, Calexico,
Carpark North, Caspian, A Chinese Firedrill, Citay, Cog, The Cooper Temple Clause, Facing NewYork, Jason Falkner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Matthew Good, Gruvis Malt, James Hall, Head Automatica, David Hess, In Reverent Fear, Tyler Jakes, Jetliner, Katatonia, L.E.O., Roger Joseph Manning Jr, Adam Marsland, Matisyahu, Midnite Movies, Minus the Bear, The Mocha Nights, The Modern Skirts, Mogwai, Moon Safari, The New Pornographers, Joanna Newsom, Of the Hour, Oh My God, Ohm, Okkervil River, One Republic, One Thousand Pictures, Julia Othmer, People In Planes, Pineapple Thief, Polyphonic Spree, Protest the Hero, Red Sparrowes, Revere, Sam Roberts, Rogue Wave, RPWL, Sans Seraph, Screaming Headless Torso, Shiny Toy Guns, Sigur Ros, Sarah Slean, Solarcade, Super Furry Animals, The Sword, Talk Talk, Tortoise, Tortured Soul, TV On the Radio, The Underwater, Vast, Vocoder, Waiger, Woodwork, Wolfmother, World Leader Pretend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Young Love

Red Fox/Grey Fox
Absent I
Far From Falling
Living Spoon
A Violet Desire
Broken Noise
Stellar Vector
The Hollow Point
Cue the Doves
Down and Above

Saturday, December 30, 2006

FANBOYS: New Star Wars Parody

Free Enterprise was a cult favorite of many William Shatner and Scifi junkies like myself. A funny and somewhat biographical film about two average guys who were very into Science Fiction and movies. The film was well written, funny, and maybe best of all, it didn't take itself too seriously. It also came out before people knew who Eric McCormack was and WILL AND GRACE had aired.

A sequel to FREE ENTERPRISE had been talked about and posted on imdb many years ago, and it looked like it may finally happen about 18 months ago with the end nearing for WILL AND GRACE and some other factors. However, it never did, or has not yet. And even it's sad to say just recently, the listing on imdb was removed. Hopefully it will comeback at some point.

So William Shatner does not have that coming up, but for those looking for something vaguely similar, he appears in the upcoming 2007 comedy "Fanboys."

IMDB listing

Plot Outline: Four guys from the Midwest drive across the country to honor the wish of their dying friend: to watch "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch before the movie's worldwide release

Quicktime Trailer


Along with VERONICA MARS star Kristen Bell , STAR WARS, and some other notable hollywood cameos (Carrie Fisher, Christopher McDonald) this new film could be one to remember looking for in 2007. From the trailer it seems like it could be using the mocking humor that exists in the rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek fans. And just the plain geek-mocking that can be done really well in the right context with Science Fiction fans.

FE 2 may or may not happen, but FANBOYS atleast potentially, could makeup for those down about no plans of a FREE ENTERPRISE sequel.


Kiss Kiss (no not the makeup wearing "Kiss" we all know)

1. Janet
2. Iris and Eyes
3. Sixth Sense
4. A Conch to the Ear
5. Machines6. Satellite
7. Dress Up
8. The Friend Who Bends His Bolts At
9. The Cats In Your House
10. To the Most Beautiful Birth Ever
11. Vagabond
12. Stay the Day

Homepage (currently defaulting to myspace)

This anticipated semi-Full Length is set to come out in early February, but was made available on Itunes finally this week. I gotta tell you, if you want to hear a band who has grown and matured, somewhat like dredg or Kaddisfly recently, Kiss Kiss may be one of those bands. This new release is very polished. Not a bad moment on it. The only thing new listenors may be a bit weary of is the small hints of screaming, but for some reason it really doesn't matter in Kiss Kiss's music. In fact in some ways it adds something. "Machines" is a potential single..the same could be said about the opening track "Jane." The last 2 tracks, "Vagabond" and "Stay the Day" have some incredible moments..the use of strings works perfectly. The group stands out with their use of violin, vocal harmonies, percussion, dynamics, and time changes worthy of Frank Zappa. Lyircally from what I heard in a recent radio appearance, the title "Reality Vs. the Optimist" comes from the idea that partly the band wants the whole Rockstar fantasy to come true, and that part is fighting the "Reality" that it's no gurantee, especially for an Indie-Rock band like Kiss Kiss. One whose music is eclectic and progressive, but doesn't seem to be totally unaccessible. With many newer rock bands emphasizing musicianship, hopefully the Optimist will win out.

I don't think I will end up being wrong when I anticipated Kiss Kiss as being one of the breakthrough bands of 2007. Their new record already seems to be supporting that.

2005's S/T EP

1. Says My Doctor
2. Thoughts You Spoke
3. College Film
4. Drifts and Pulls
5. Killing the Son

This 1st release from NY-based Kiss Kiss is really worth checking out as well. If you combine the two releases, you have what adds up to about one average length album. Although the new record seems longer than the 32 minutes it clocks in at.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Roger Waters - In the Flesh Live (DVD)

With nothing new forthcoming from the Pink Floyd camp, I've been on a bit of a side project binge lately. I chanced upon Roger Waters' 'In the Flesh' DVD today at best buy and snatched it up. I am happy to say that I was very pleasently surprised with the content.

The concert is made up of mostly Pink Floyd material, and mostly the hits at that (with a few nice nuggets tossed in for some fun flavoring... "Southampton Dock" in particular is incredible!), andthe musicians that adorn the stage alongside Roger are extremely talented.

As the band play through such classics as the overplayed "Another Brick In the Wall, Pt. 2", a fiery rendition of "Comfortably Numb", "Welcome to the Machine", and a version of "Dogs" that could actually rival any PF boots I have heard, I was held enthralled by the sheer talent of the act.

There are also some Waters solo tunes in the set, like "Perfect Sense", "Amused To Death" and a personal favorite of mine "The Bravery of Being Out of Range". From start to finish the show is top notch.

Also of note are the extras which include a very cool Behind the Scenes documentary, some photgraphs, and lyrics, and band biographies as well.

The production on the DVD is fantastic, with a crisp clear sound, and a stunning picture, this is one you have to see to believe. If you are in need of a Pink Floyd fix, and sick of holding your breath for anything new, check out this disc (that is, if you haven't already).


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Michel Gondry...

Plot Outline: A man (Black) whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store. In order to satisfy the store's most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films, which include Back to the Future, The Lion King, and Robocop.

I just downloaded a podcast the other day on Creative Screen Writing Dot Com that interviewed director Michel Gondry about his newest film "The Science Of Sleep" personal film of the year (haven't seen the Globe-nominated LITTLE CHILDREN yet though).

Anyway, I remember reading on his imdb profile earlier this year about his next project being a film with Jack Black called "Be Kind Rewind"

Mos Def, Mia Farrow, Danny Glover among others star in it as well. Even though Jack Black has really nosedived since THE SCHOOL OF ROCK. But I think if he has a good writer and director, he still can excel.

This along with another project Gondry may be doing with Daniel Clowes, writer of GHOST WORLD..who actually is working on something right now in a similar vein to BE KIND REWIND, UNTITITLED RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK PROJECT
Plot Outline: Three young men make a shot-by-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in their hometown. ).

I gotta admit, after THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP and ETERNAL SUNSHINE..Michel Gondry is a film-making savant right now to me. I am very curious about his upcoming movies.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Rob's Album of the Day: Sammy And the Wabos - Livin' It Up

Sammy Hagar has been around, and has played with arguably some of the finest musicians in the world, most prolifically of course within' his tenure with the mighty Van Halen. Sammy has many faces and talents, and the newest Wabo's disc features every one of those.

The album as a whole is a bit more laid back than Sammy is known for, but he pulls out all of the stops and makes a genuine, and fun record. With the unlikely Toby Keith cover "I Love This Bar", Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women", "One Sip", and "The Way We Live" the vocalist proves that it doesn't have to be heavy to be classic Hagar.

That's not to say that the rockers aren't in evidence. The disc opening "Sam I Am", with it's electric slide guitar, and the mid tempo rockers "Mexico" and "Let Me Take You There", while not blistering hard rock tunes, show yet another side to this incredible disc.

From country tunes, to rockers, a heart-wrenching ballad ("Some Day") and a very healthy dose of the blues, it's apparant that Sammy Hagar is still livin' it up, and is just as vital to music as he was in that other band.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Rob's Album of the Day: Guns 'n Roses - Appetite for Destruction

For this review let's forget all of the controversy that seems to follow this band wherever they go these days (and there is a lot) and just focus on their phenomenal 1987 release 'Appetite for Destruction'.

Unlike some of the bands releases, 'Appetite' contains not one moment of un-inspired playing. From the opening notes of "Welcome to the Jungle" right to the fade out of "Rocket Queen" this album is a bona-fide classic.

There is a little bit of everything within' the grooves of this album. From the crunch of "Nightrain" to the melodic beauty of "Sweet Child O' Mine", Axl and the gang churn out hit after hit for nearly fifty-five minutes.

I put this disc in tonight after at least a few years of "CD shelf obscurity" and was pleasantly surprised with how well it has aged over the years. So many albums from the late 80's to mid 90's have just grown stale, but this gem can still please.

The band were able to release two more rather pleasing discs in the form of the 'Use Your Illusion' set before dumping the drivel that was a rather unfortunate "incident" and, for all intents and purposes, disbanded... at least the band did anyhow.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Top 10 of 2006 Lists

With the end of the year approaching it's time for people to start compiling "Top 10 of 2006" lists. If you are not a member of this blog but would like to share your list, shoot us a message and we'll get the lists up shortly after the start of the new year.


We are still setting things up here. This blog will be for reviews of music, movies, television, books, etc. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer send us a message at:

In the future we are also looking at setting up a myspace page, and maybe even website. Check back often for updates and new reviews.

Thank you!