Thursday, March 31, 2011

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues Mini-Album (2011) (2.0)

3/31/11 11:29PM

I know this a number of hours old as it was uploaded earlier today. But I didn't get home until a little while ago to see. I have no real take on it right now given I haven't listened to it, namely with headphones. But in due time hopefully.

one streaming option, or another of course:

2/28/11 5:11PM

1.) Specular Reflection
2.) Augment of Rebirth
3.) Lunar Wilderness

a 6+ minute sample is linked from the 1st track.

myspace blog



Globally celebrated progressive rock / cutting-edge metal innovators BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME (aka BTBAM) will release its new album The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues on April 12, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. The three-song strong, 30 minute tour de force was recorded at Canada's Metalworks Studios and Rattlebox Studios and produced / engineered by the Grammy award–winning David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, King Crimson, Dream Theater, etc.) with BTBAM.

The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues represents BTBAM’s musical and conceptual masterwork; the record showcases both the quintet’s vivid execution and ambitious vision. The otherworldly conceptual thread linking each of the songs is mobilized around two human characters that live in different planes of existence and are separated by millions of light years, each confronted with similar personal issues. Subsequently, both characters make decisions that will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe, forever. Musically, the release presents aura-rich atmospheres rife with roaring volumes, corrugated rhythms and trance-inducing intricacies. Cerebral and visceral, soft and heavy, melodic and abrasive, tender and brutal, familiar and strange and taut yet sprawling and epic, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has crafted a sound that is musically sophisticated yet primal and a disc where every new passage leads to the culmination of an epic adventure.

Track listing:

1.) Specular Reflection
2.) Augment of Rebirth
3.) Lunar Wilderness

The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues’ celestial cover art can be viewed at at this location.

A special landing page for the release has been designed and hosts a six minute edit of the new BTBAM song “Specular Reflection”. The hub, which also allows fans to pre-order The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is now live at this location.

Immediately upon the release of The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME will kick off a full-scale North American headlining tour. Presented by Peter Says Denim in association with Guitar World and, the tour will launch on April 15 and feature support from special guests Job For A Cowboy, The Ocean and Cephalic Carnage (on select dates). Tickets are on sale now at this location. The official BTBAM spring tour admat is available for viewing at this location. and will feature the following live dates:

Peter Says Denim Presents BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME In association with Guitar World &
With Job For A Cowboy, The Ocean & Cephalic Carnage (*on select dates)
Brought to you by PRS Guitars, Metal Blade Records, Good Fight Entertainment & ACTION! PR

* = support from Job For A Cowboy and The Ocean
+ = support from Job For A Cowboy, The Ocean and Cephalic Carnage

April 15 Farmingdale, NY The Crazy Donkey *
April 16 Worcester, MA The Palladium (as part of New England Metal & Hardcore Fest)
April 17 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club *
April 18 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar *
April 19 Williamsville, NY Club Infinity *
April 20 Montreal, QC Le National *
April 21 Toronto, ONT Opera House *
April 22 Toledo, OH Headliner’s *
April 23 Pontiac, MI The Crofoot Ballroom *
April 25 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom *
April 26 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre *
April 27 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall +
April 29 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre *
April 30 Seattle, WA El Corazon +
May 1 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre +
May 3 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades +
May 4 San Francisco, CA Slim’s +
May 5 Pomona, CA Glasshouse Music Hall +
May 6 San Diego, CA Soma +
May 7 Mesa, AZ Nile Theatre +
May 9 Dallas, TX The Door *
May 10 Tulsa, OK The Marquee *
May 11 Memphis, TN New Daisy Theatre *
May 12 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade *
May 13 Nashville, TN Rocketown *
May 14 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel *

2/21/11 2:01PM

some stuff was posted here hence the "2.0."

I have no clue what this video has/sounds like since I'm at work right now. But I'm sure some edits/bumps could happen soon and of course when the details of this thing are posted. But as the video says, it's being released on April 12th, 2011. An early 2nd quarter release.

Interesting title fwiw.

edit: here's a few write ups. Both announcing them signing to Metal Blade Records.

Metal Blade Bio
Between the Buried and Me's storied career began back in the year 2000. Since their inception, they've released six full length albums and one live album: Between the Buried and Me (2002, Lifeforce), The Silent Circus (2003, Victory), Alaska (2005, Victory), The Anatomy Of (2006, Victory), Colors (2007, Victory), Colors Live (2008, Victory), The Great Misdirect (2009, Victory). Between the Buried and Me (BTBAM) has thrived both with their albums and through their engaging and unparalleled live show. BTBAM challenges listeners with their ever-evolving musical style, juxtaposed compositions, ultra-long songs, and deep lyrical concepts, as opposed to giving in to the lowest common denominator to try and expand their fan base. This has resulted in a fanatically loyal following and albums that consistently make it onto the myriad of top 10 lists in any year BTBAM releases an album.

The next step in BTBAM's musical journey involves a new label home in Metal Blade Records and another trek into boundary and genre defying song-writing that is their new album, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues.

The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues serves as the first installment of a two-part story. Hypersleep introduces two human characters who live in different planes of existence, separated by millions of light years. We find that each of them is confronted with similar personal issues that they need to reckon with. Both characters make decisions that will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe, forever. The follow up album will pick up the story with our two main characters, with the help of near light speed travel, meeting each other and realizing together their purpose in the universe.

Musically, it sounds like Between the Buried and Me. Hypersleep has elements of aggression, beauty, quirkiness, and pure cacophony. Vocalist Tommy Rogers adds, "For Hypersleep, we establish several themes which I'm sure will be revisited in the next album, which is something we really look forward to. We love to expand on simple ideas and see where they take us."

Between the Buried and Me will support The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues with headlining North American tour dates in the Spring of 2011.
press release they posted on facebook


Celebrated progressive rock / cutting-edge metal band BETWEEN THE BURIED AN ME (also BTBAM) has inked a worldwide recording deal with Metal Blade Records. The award-winning North Carolina quintet will kick off the partnership with the April release of its new album The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues.

"We are delighted in the opportunity to join the Metal Blade family," commented BTBAM guitarist Paul Waggoner. "Their commitment to heavy music over the years is inspiring and we look forward to becoming a part of the ever-growing legacy of the label. Our new release, titled "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" will hit the streets in April. We are confident that our dedicated fans will appreciate it and hopeful that we will gain the attention of some new ears as well. In closing, I'd like to reference a quote from the illustrious Joe Dirt: "Life's a garden, dig it."

Further details on The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues will be made available soon. The LP will contain the first new music from BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME since the release of 2009's The Great Misdirect, which landed at #36 on the Billboard Top 200 in its first week of release. BTBAM supported the album with a full scale North American headlining tourand live dates across Europe, Australia and Japan as well as a U.S. tour as hand-picked support for like-minded rockers Mastodon.

Check out a teaser HERE.


Merging unparalleled musical bravery, prodigious musicianship, flawless execution and an angular landscape of forward thinking ideas, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME reinvent the rock 'n roll idiom while pleasing their harshest critics: themselves. Joining metal's dexterity and progressive rock's psychedelic, multi-layered experimentation, BTBAM (whose name was inspired by a line of lyrics from the Counting Crows song "Ghost Train") create spine-tingling sound that contains visceral power, labyrinthine arrangement, mind-boggling melody and majestic beauty. The band has released five full-length LPs since its formation in 2000 including Between the Buried and Me (2002), The Silent Circus (2003), Alaska (2005), The Anatomy Of (2006), Colors (2007) and 2009's critically acclaimed The Great Misdirect. The group has showcased its live prowess via a slew of world headlining tours and has participated in major touring festivals including Ozzfest and the Radio Rebellion and Progressive Nation tours. Since its inception, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has sold nearly one half million records and proven itself as a progressive rock pacesetter whose modernist clang pegs it as a paradigm to be followed and a yardstick by which other bands are measured.

In addition to Waggoner, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME features Tommy Rogers (vocals / keyboards), Dustie Waring (guitar), Blake Richardson (drums / percussion) and Dan Briggs (bass).

"daring, eclectic, and dizzying…serpentine guitar heroics…brilliance" - THE ONION

"Inspired equaly by Yes, Dream Theater and Dillinger Escape Plan, the North Carolina extreme-prog band Between the Buried and Me think nothing of combining furious death metal rhythms and complex math metal licks with neoclassical leads and airy, atmospheric interludes." – GUITAR WORLD

"This North Carolina quintet has made a career out of stirring prog, emo, jazz, electronics, and what-have-you into the metal pot...diverse would be an understatement" - STYLUS

"Between the Buried and Me have evolved into a progressive band in the truest sense of the word, an alchemic group who concoct innovative, multi-genre fusions rather than a metal outfit with experimental pretensions." – ALTERNATIVE PRESS

"Nearly 10 years and six albums in, these guys are still at the forefront…the main reason: their sheer musical talent. If you ever wondered what Dream Theater's prog-metal might sound like if they had been raised on Dillinger Escape Plan and Metallica rather than Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly, Between the Buried and Me have the answer…a jaw-dropping and cathartic sound that few bands can even manage." - CLEVELAND SCENE

"It's a half hour of it what you like! glad people are as stoked about this signing as we are." 

another quote from the band about it.

Okay, well I just am going to go with a couple of things. It's 30 minutes of music. Sometimes that length, or shorter is regarded as a full-length. But as evidenced by that previous entry with many videos and a few interviews, they were working on AN EXTENDED PLAY RELEASE aka an "EP."

Typically a shorter length record. And for these guys, a 30 minute album frankly, is MUCH shorter than they typically make.

It's really just semantics I suppose, but I and this blog, until it's truthfully put into stone, am still going with this being an EP, and not a full-length. Maybe the ole "Mini-album" category makes the most sense as a compromise.

And the fact is, one of the more recent quotes mentioned the band also working on another release for later in the year. So unless they are doing a System of a Down's Mesmerize/Hypnotize, Devin Townsend or Omar Rodriguez-Lopez kind of multiple-albums-the-same-year kind of thing (although back in the 60's and early 70's, bands might release an album every 6 months, but most of those albums only were 25-40 minutes long), odds are the next one will be longer and actually be considered a full-length and closer to the length LP they have released in the past.

But another thing about this news, with Metal Blade. I don't hate them, and they've been the label for many bands I enjoy/have enjoyed over the years. But the folks cheering hooray for the fact BTBAM signed with them might want to be aware of what kind of label they are. I just consider what so many of the bands on their label ended up doing. Most recently with 3. Sure, they did resign 3, but I can't forget how little promotion 3's last album received from Metal Blade.

Maybe some of that had to do with the fact Metal Blade knew 3 had signed with Road Runner even before it came out, but I was not all that impressed by their promotion of Revisions. 3 had that great momentum off the 2 Porcupine Tree tours and Progressive Nation, you'd think they would have reaped more benefits from that, but I look at the lack of help from Metal Blade as part of why they didn't entirely. But I suppose how much and how well their next album does, again via Metal Blade, may get a more accurate idea of how good of a job Metal Blade is doing for them and other artists.

And for BTBAM, Victory Records was pretty terrible. So, comparably, Metal Blade won't have to do a lot to improve upon their work. At least they likely won't get lumped in with so many of those scenester/'core bands on that label anymore. I guess we'll see. And it should be interesting to hear this record along with the next part of it that Tommy mentions in that bio.

Monday, March 28, 2011

House of Fools - Live in the studio every night this week!

Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV


ahh, this is super cool watching @houseoffools1 live in the studio, every day this week every evening! #houseoffools

this sounds awesome, and cool to watch. Sadly in some ways, I don't have time to stay and watch much of it tonight, but hopefully many nights this week I will.

I totally love this band, and getting to see and hear this new stuff, live, in the studio is just plain awesome. How many people get to say that? about a or their favorite band?

Battles - Gloss Drop (2011) (1.0)

3/28/11 11:45AM

Cover Art and Tracklist:

1. Africastle
2. Ice Cream (Featuring Matias Aguayo)
3. Futura
4. Inchworm
5. Wall Street
6. My Machines (Featuring Gary Numan)
7. Dominican Fade
8. Sweetie & Shag (Featuring Kazu Makino)
9. Toddler
10. Rolls Bayce
11. White Electric
12. Sundome (Featuring Yamantaka Eye)

3/22/11 11:40AM
new song "Ice Cream"

Ice Cream (Featuring Matias Aguayo) by BATTLES

2/24/11 2:04PM

*drops* June 6th/7th

Pre-Order link

Cover Art? or for that matter, who is singing, if there is one. Those "featuring" references in each song may refer to them, but I have no idea at this point. Perhaps some content on facebook, and twitter tells more. If/when I come across that and any more on this, of course an edit/bump shall occur.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cynthesis - DeEvolution (2011) (1.0)


myspace with a sample/edit of "Incision"


Jasun Tipton - Guitars and Keys

Troy Tipton - Bass

Erik Rosvold - Vocals

Sean Flanegan - Drums

Cynthesis - DeEvolution

The music of Cynthesis is created by musicians who love progressive, cinematic - Rock/Metal music. DeEvolution tells the story of an elite group of leaders from a heavily industrialized city who find, brainwash and then exploit an indigenous tribes shaman, believing he would be the perfect supreme leader. By propping him up as possessing all the answers to societies ills the elites use him in order to gain and keep more control over the masses. They plan to influence the masses on several fronts: Religion, Media, Consumerism, Government.

Twin brothers, Jasun and Troy Tipton along with Erik Rosvold released two albums with the Progressive-Metal act Zero Hour. Michael Rensen of the premier German magazine Rock Hard proclaimed, "Zero Hour is one of the five Best Progressive Newcomers in the late '90s!" The band's second album "The Towers of Avarice" (Released by The Laser's Edge/Sensory label) won sparkling reviews from nearly every magazine around the World. Such magazines included Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Bass Player and Sci Fi (US), Aardschok (Netherlands), Metal Hammer (Hungary), Rock Hard (Germany, France), Heavy Oder Was? (Germany), Scream (Norway), BW&BK (Canada), Hard Rock (France) and in countless webzines and fanzines. The band quickly established a solid fan base around the World. Zero Hour successfully toured Europe and performed twice at Prog Power USA, the largest prog-metal music festival in the World, in Atlanta. In 2003, fans were dissapointed when Zero Hour parted ways with Erik Rosvold. Both "Metamorphosis" and "The Towers of Avarice" were considered progressive-metal classics.

In late 2007, Jasun began writing material for Cynthesis. As the music developed Jasun could only imagine one vocalist to really connect to the material. " I've always been a fan of Erik's vocals and I knew his lryic writing would be a perfect match for the material." explains Jasun. After one phone call both Jasun and Erik were very excited to work together again.

The final piece of the puzzle was to find an amazing drummer. Jasun asked Troy what drummer he would like to work with. Without any hesistation Troy said "Sean Flanegan is the guy". Sean's been a long time friend and played drums on Jasun's 2000 instrumental release, Night's Pulse. Sean is best know for his amazing work with the Progressive Rock band, Enchant (Blink of an eye & Tug of War)

The band has completed the tracking of DeEvolution and is in the process of being mixed by talented Producer/Engineer Dino Alden. 

Um, wow. I noticed a topic over on about this earlier today. And for whatever reason, I only was mildly curious. Maybe due to the fact Zero Hour's recent music; well ever since Erik Rosvold left has really not done a lot for me. And Enchant I love, or used to really love, but still consider one of my favorite groups historically. But they've been on in-effect a hiatus for 7 years or more, save for a couple of festival appearances.

But the biggest deal about this is, it is Erik Rosvold singing with the Tipton brothers again. And the style seems rather in the vein of those 2 records Rosvold sang with them. Namely 2001's incredible The Towers of Avarice, which is really, one of the greatest "progressive metal" records ever made.

So, naturally, I am now very excited to hear this. And also the fact it's coming on April 19th, so becoming aware of it now is a great time. Although I am a bit surprised that there's been very little to no discussion about over even the last few months, let alone the last year when the idea came up.

Sean Flanegan's being involved I'm mildly curious about. Sean did play on Jasun Tipton's 2000 solo record Night's Pulse which I own. And while he's been a reasonable replacement for Paul Craddick with Enchant, I can't really say I've ever become infatuated with his drumming. But one thing is, I knew Sean had a relationship with the guys in Zero Hour. In fact, beyond Jason's solo record, I swear I heard about him playing with them at one point.

I had a discussion at ProgPower USA with a guy who used to live in the Bay Area where both Enchant and Zero Hour are from, and I actually have the discussion on tape somewhere. But having listened to that (among a number of other "man on the street" recordings I used to make for my radio show) a number of times, and my memory is he played with them previously. Before he was with Enchant of course. I want to say the band was called Chaos Theory or something.

I suppose I can try and dig up that tape soon and go back and hear more of the details of this.

edit: this article confirms part of the reference. The ZH members collaboration, maybe not. I just know he knew them. I talked to Sean at Nearfest in 2002 about Zero Hour I recall. And their definitely was a previous association, I thought beyond even him playing on Jason's solo record. But I'm talking about remembering something from 9 years ago, so some parts may be gray still.

No matter, this is something I'm already very much looking forward to. Rosvold I have always felt became an incredibly untapped talent once he left Zero Hour. And sadly, I'm not sure they ever have (or will) ever recover. But this project very well may be a way to change my mind.

Rather similar to the likes of Soundscape's return of sorts a few years ago, and of course the John Arch/Jim Matheos and the rest of Fates Warning save for Ray Alder project coming soon.

This Spring, not 1, but 2 potentially HUGE reunion records of sorts, that it was believed for many years, would never occur. What are the odds? But then again, the music will of course ultimately tell just how big a deal these reunions of sorts are. But with my love of them and their previous work, I want to be rather excited about them for now.

The Towers of Avarice Part 2? I am without question game for that, and in just a few short weeks even :D.

Belated Review: Menomena + Others The Whole Music Club 3/4/11 2011

Okay, another delayed review, which does sound like a broken-record. Maybe this blog should be called the belated allmediareviews :p?. But anyway, better late, than never right?

I love the band Menomena. I've gradually found them to be a definitive band of my taste, really since about 2008 or early 2009. I don't recall precisely when it was, but in 2007, I got into them with becoming attached to their debut record I Am the Fun Blame Monster. And then Friend and Foe, after not being as into it initially, began to grow on me after it's release year of 2007.

Then the past couple of years, I've begun to appreciate their all instrumental, 3-song a little less than 1-hour opus, aptly titled Under An Hour. And along with Brent Knopf's new and now current project Ramona Falls and 2010's excellent Mines, these guys pretty much have done no wrong to me.

But Brent left the band not long after I got to see them live with him last September. So Justin Harris and Danny Seim decided, at least for now, to continue as Menomena. Touring and presumably recording in the near future. this article explains a lot about it.

And only having seen them once, I was not going to miss them again when they announced this show at "the University of Minnesota." Which was not The Varsity Theater, where the show last September was. And TVT is located in Dinkytown on/near the University campus.

It was at "The Whole" in the Coffman Student Union, not far from Dinkytown. I had only been to the Coffman Union a few times, once or twice back in the day for a record show, and then in 2007 for Dethklok. But never the actual "The Whole" room, which is 3 floors down from the entrance.

And I can't stress enough how impressed I was with their setup there. There were couches all over, the acoustics were great, and INTIMATE. I kind of felt like, wtf, where have I been, or why I have I never been here before? It was like The Varsity Theater, but maybe better. It was sort of like if Menomena was playing in my living room. How cool is that?

So, getting into the performance and things. I must add a bit about the opening bands. 1 being this new project called The Cloak Ox. Which of course I'd never heard of. It includes Martin Dosh, whose pretty well-known not only in Minnesota, but in the college-rock circles in his sort of instrumental/jazzy/electronic at times group Dosh. Along with Andrew Broder, Mark Erickson and Jeremy Ylvisaker. Broder, I recall plays with Dosh, or another band. Why? and Fog both. I knew his name was familiar. Erickson and Ylvisaker I guess also have been with Broder in both? of those groups.

But more about The Cloak Ox. They are new, but man they impressed the hell out of me! They were going between genres exceptionally well. From Post-Rock, to Power-Pop, to Prog, to blues. I forget all the styles they incorporated, but it was rather jaw-dropping. All I knew is, right after they finished, I wanted to hear more! And in fact, in chatting with them, they have a record they are working on right now, which very well could be released later this year. They also had another gig, just last evening (March 26th) that I would likely have attended at the 7th Street Entry, but my plans to see Judgement Day (and Metropolis) forced my hand into choosing 1 over the other.

But hopefully they'll schedule some more gigs soon, and I'll get to remember why I was so blown away at that show by them again, at least until their 1st studio release is made.

edit: there are a few videos on youtube of "Artist at the Door"

So, I should also not forget the other opener, The Minute Intentions of a Boa Constructor, which their name is a mouthful, (maybe call them TMIOABC?), but their music almost fits their name. It was music that crammed in a lot of ideas in a short amount of time. "art-folk-pop-punk" is what I read on that fb link. I suppose how chaotic or genre-blending they were, might require more time. But I remember thinking, this is a little noisy and chaotic, but the end result seems to work.

I suppose groups like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kiss Kiss, or 1 group that came to mind even was Graph (who what they're up to, I have no idea, but I should try and check in with them soon). The way music can at times effectively combine genres simultaneously, I've seen it happen. It's not easy of course, but when pulled-off, I am totally into. And I'm hoping this group does that. In fact I may have, or they mentioned hearing their music online was available (on fb), and I need to still. In time, I should. As they say, so much music, so little time, etc, etc.

So, as far as Menomena themselves, I knew going-in, the chances of hearing many if any Brent-songs was low. And, there really weren't any. But the set list was extensive and save for a few hiccups (pun? :p), with 2 of the new touring members. 1 being Paul Alcott who played a lot of the keyboards and guitar parts Brent did, another I think was his 1st gig. I forget. The issues were minor and understandable, but not really forgettable.

I guess trying to recall the set list, I'll do my best.

Queen Black Acid
The Late Great Libido
Strongest Man In The World (maybe the biggest highlight for me, and a Brent song in some ways)
Muscle'n Flo
The Pelican
Five Little Rooms
Rotten Hell

Dirty Cartoons?

most if not the entire set was the same as the set from the show they did in Louisville, KY 1-week later shown here.

No Wet and Rusting of course, nor Rose, Killemall, Sleeping Beauty, The Monkey's Back, etc. Maybe in due time. I do feel bad for anyone whose never seen them, if they don't end up playing a lot of those great, melodic Brent tunes. But it's understandable why they may not. Paul Alcott or whoever else is with them has something to live up to, in playing Brent's parts. Even just vocally.

But I was still more than thrilled to see them again. Their future, I still hope goes on for a long time, as that article I posted above suggests. Justin Harris and Danny Seim are still 2 great songwriters, and I have belief will make a lot more great music as Menomena or doing something else. Lackthere0f for Danny as well.

But Brent's absence was felt still, I can't deny. And feel fortunate, like seeing Mark Zonder with Fates Warning and Neal Morse with Spock's Beard in 2001 (or Johan Langell and Kristoffer Gildenlow with Pain of Salvation in 2001, 2002, and 2004), to see Brent with Menomena, even just the 1 time last September. And I'm looking forward to the future work from Ramona Falls of course.

But this show will certainly be remembered for the opening acts and being at The Whole, as much as for Menomena themself. I just hope I will find my way back to The Whole and see Menomena again someday. Because if I don't (as I've been through that many times. See The Woman's Club Theater, Ritz Theater..As Tall As Lions last year..the list is endless), it certainly was as memorable a concert I've been to in 2011. Why it took me so bloody long to write about it in here? maybe I was testing just *how* memorable it really was. I think the test was pretty successful :p

Belated Review: Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore (2011) + live

This is a pretty long/delayed and belated review (1 of a handful that are due of course. But all I can do is give as much effort as I can. In due time hopefully, all this stuff will be caught-up and accomplished. Afterall, I am my own boss, hehe :p).

So, Nicole Atkins released this/her 2nd proper full length album Mondo Amore a little bit out of nowhere to me, in February. And I really hadn't thought about her since hearing and enjoying much of 2008's Neptune City I always thought of her as like Linda Ronstadt doing orchestral pop.

Well on Mondo Amore, I think she's more than that. Mondo Amore really is an eclectic, consistent, energetic, dreamy-at times rock record. And I guess she was thinking or aiming at making something sounding like a classic, Classic-Rock record. Led Zeppelin, Cream (maybe Heart or Springsteen?)..some others I recall she referenced in an interview I saw just after the show in St.Paul at the Turf Club.

edit: well she mentions The Doors, along with Nick Cave, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ennio Morricone, and George Harrison here. But there's another video interview I saw where she mentioned more of wanting to make a "classic rock sounding" record. That I'm not finding right now (the only artists I'd think of "classic rock" among those being The Doors and George Harrison anyway).

I guess I can say this album has many songs or sections I just love. Many of the guitar riffs, and even solos totally grab me. And her vocals even, are as good, if not better than on Neptune City. There's probably 2 or 3 times I was reminded of, of all singers, Janelle Monáe. The dreamy chanting and what not. Although I'll admit, I went back and checked out Party's Over and the Bleeding Diamonds EP recently, and the Monáe similarities seemed to come up there as well.

So I'm unclear what that means. Was Janelle listening to Neptune City when she wrote the Archandroid? lol, Or is it pure style of singing and coincidence?

Anyway, no matter how similar or not, this album is a big step up, and my interest in her has never been higher. I guess in terms of songs to namedrop: Cry Cry Cry, The Tower, My Baby Don't Lie, Vultures, War is Hell.

Memorable melodies and sections. Even just how she used piano in it, with the segues and transitions.

And for good reason, it's my 3rd favorite record at this point, in 2011. 4-stars, and an album I plan to go back to a lot this year. Hopefully to look forward to her playing live here again.

And now to talk a little about seeing Nicole Atkins and "The Black Sea" (maybe they should have gone to the great Turkish restaurant down the road from the Turf Club on Snelling in St.Paul? maybe they did even, lol :p).

Her band had consistent energy, playing I'd say close to 90 minutes, and I don't believe the whole Mondo Amore album, but more than half. Her band went back and forth between MA and Neptune City. Including probably my 2 favorite tunes, being the title track of Neptune City and The Tower from the new record.

And one clear thing is, The Black Sea is an awfully talented band, including Irina Yalkowsky, her rather melodic and precise guitarist. I actually got images of Theresa Wyman from Warpaint at times seeing Irina. Really good, virtuosic, wonderful tone and ability to change modes with ease. Well, not to mention, like Theresa, Irina is awfully pretty and brunette. Part of me couldn't stop focusing on her. Maybe I have a thing for the chick who can shred but is still sensitive? 2 things I'm attracted to in musicianship and beauty, combined. I think it would almost be impossible for me (or others for that matter) not to be :p

Irina I guess has played with a number of bands, namely The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and only recently has joined Nicole's band. And she plays many if not all of the solos on Mondo Amore I recall. It's cool and a bit unexpected, yet really refreshing to hear another female guitarist stand out in such a musician-oriented way, that I'll confess, I almost assumed was a guy. So, I'm glad she is part of Nicole's band, and look forward to seeing them again and whatever Nicole and her band do in the future on record.

I also recall asking her if she had some of her own music, and Irina told me she did, but I'm not clear if it's available, like on bandcamp or facebook even. But it's something to seek out. She may have told me she has written it, but not recorded it, I forget (belated entry-itis :[).

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

I went to see this Romantic Comedy yesterday afternoon (with fittingly, someone special), not really expecting it to be all that much more than a typical Hollywood RomCom.

Well, it was a little better than many of those.

For one, it did live up to its name, with 80's music. There were a ton of memorable, nostalgic songs included in it. In fact, almost to the point, the movie seemed like one long music video. Which I might be more critical of, but credit the director, editor, for synchronizing them well.

I guess, just take a look at the soundtrack. imdb link

INXS, Wang-Chung, The Buggles, NWA, and there's many in there that are songs I don't think of by name, but when I hear them, I totally remember hearing them on the radio on Casey Casem's top 40, or on Friday Night Videos.

So, right away, that ended up being a positive about this movie.

Another thing was the cast, namely Dan Fogler. He was definitely the funniest/most entertaining part of this movie. I know him best from his role in 2009's Fanboys. Although in this, he doesn't have a beard. But the guy reminds me at times, of people like Jack Black, Tyler Labine, or maybe a friend of mine described him best by saying he's this generations Sam Kinison.

The guy has great comedic timing, at times. And in a handful of scenes, he more or less made them work. The one on the dance floor, despite the joke of kicking his opponent in the balls a few times. The scene with Angie Everhart and her *other* partner "who likes to watch" lol. The jokes with the cocaine. Even just when he steals the car from his former employer.

Topher Grace, while I guess he can be a bit of a heal in real life, did a reasonable job in this, playing the guy you want to root for even though he doesn't seem to know how to root for himself. Many people can relate to his circumstances, myself included in some ways. Facing your old high school peers, years later. The lying part, I guess was understandable, given he would not have been taken seriously had he told everyone he was working at Suncoast Video.

His sister, Anna Faris, honestly, I kept thinking was Drew Barrymore until about the end of the movie. Why she was with the preppie guy she was, who knows. Maybe due to late 80's Southern California suburban stereotypes.

The same goes a bit for Teresa Palmer's character Tori Frederking. But the hot girl you have a crush on, seeing years later and getting your chance to say the things you never got to say. Definitely relate-able to a point.

It was nice to even see Michael Ian Black in a cameo, although the character he played, was not as typical with the sarcastic wit. He approaches Topher Grace's character at a party and asks him about working for Goldman-Sax. In a way, it was nice to see him do something a little different and straight-forward. But the Michael Ian Black fan in me still desired for him to go into comedic MIB-mode.

But this movie was not entirely without flaw. For one, being set in the late 80's, there would not have been Car Alarms. At least I don't recall car alarms becoming in vogue at least until the mid 90's. I know, given I went to private school with a lot of well-off families with children whose car would have those installed if available, and they weren't.

Even Suncoast Video, my recollection of that franchise showing up in malls, was not until Sam Goody was as well. 1988? I don't know if that was vaguely when those showed up in Minnesota. I worked at a Sam Goody 1 summer in 1993. Sam Goody and Suncoast were owned by the same company. Again, perhaps in Southern California, their history dates further back.

And this being X number of years after Topher Grace was done with not only High School, but college. His age makes sense, as he's probably around my age now (34). But being set in 1988, that would mean he went to high school in the late 70's or early 80's. I didn't notice much if any references to things of the 70's. But being "an 80's movie" maybe they didn't mean to.

The director, Michael Dowse, I don't recognize any of his work on imdb. The 2 screenwriters are related I'd presume. Jeff and Jackie Filgo. Their work includes the terrible Julia Luise-Dreyfuss Old Christine show, along with the Topher Grace-included sitcom That 70's Show. But this movie at times felt like a Judd Apatow picture. The line Teresa Palmer has "girls can always tell when guys look at their boobs" or the *penis* yelling game.

I suspect Apatow's influence is almost everywhere in Hollywood RomCom's now. Which overall, isn't a bad thing.

What is a bad, or at least surprising thing is, this movie opened like 2 or 3 weeks ago I thought. Yet, it was only showing at 1 theater in the Twin Cities this weekend, being Block E in downtown Minneapolis. Why is that? It got a lot of advertising as I probably saw the trailer for it about a dozen times on tv over the last month. So maybe it did horribly it's 1st weekend and the big multiplexes pulled it?

I guess I'm a little surprised by that. Or maybe its distribution got delayed, and it'll be in most of the large cinemas in April. It's unclear still, but whatever. Perhaps it'll do better on the Itunes/Netflix sales than it did initially at the box office. The 80's music fans certainly will be rooting for it.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

ERT - Epic Rock Talk

I don't have the time right now to elaborate as much as I mean to, but basically my friend Josh and I are doing our version of Used Bin Radio of sorts, recorded. We'll see. The write up I made in the 1st post with the 1st show explains some more.

but of course, it is a work in progress.

Jimmy Gnecco - Devil (live)

Jimmy Gnecco - Devil (live) from Momito! on Vimeo.

gotta thank Lisa617 and her twitter post that had a link here on her tumblr for letting me see this.

Awesome, Awesome fucking tune. I hate how all the SXSW stuff is everywhere for like 10 days every March. But videos like this, are a reasonable consolation.

Happythankyoumoreplease (2011)

Finally got to see this movie, How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor, as that trailer says, wrote, directed and starred in. And I can say it was at least as good, maybe better than I expected.

On the surface, it almost sounded a bit like HIMYM

imdb says:

Captures a generational moment - young people on the cusp of truly growing up, tiring of their reflexive cynicism, each in their own ways struggling to connect and define what it means to love and be loved.

but Radnor and the story isn't incredibly similar to his character and the situation he's in, in the tv show he's known for.

Radnor's character Sam Wexler (which by the way, is a name movies/tv seem to like to use more often than I'd expect. See The TV Set for example), one day on the subway sees a boy abandoned by his (Foster) mother. So he feels compelled to help the boy out by looking for his mother. The problem is, the boy doesn't want to go back to his mother or Foster family.

So, the boy hangs with Sam for a long portion of the movie. Sam's friends and daily activities end up encountering him with this boy, who we eventually learn is named Rasheen.

The women in Sam's life included. The weird thing is, the way Sam is watching over the boy is not seen by the women in his life as admirable really. The women being 2 friends who are women (Malin Akerman and Zoe Kazan), and a woman he meets with Rasheen and eventually proposes not a 1-night stand, but a 3-night contract.

Maybe it's trying to avoid being predictable or cliche, but the women see Sam's companionship with Rasheen as irresponsible almost. Although the girl he's having the 3-night stand into 1-week "playing house," whose name is Mississippi actually (Kate Mara), is told originally by Sam, that he is the "Big Brother" to the boy he's with. So she had extra motivation to find the situation irresponsible given Sam lied to her about what the boy really was doing with him.

But in a lot of ways, what Sam is doing is actually admirable. I mean c'mon, a boy needs help, Sam helps him. The boy isn't his responsibility, but he decides to help the boy out anyway. But he never says to these women, namely Mississippi, "what was I supposed to do?" It's sort of a self-conscience thing. Anyone with a heart and reasonable, rational, considerate personality would want to help a boy abandoned by his mother out, right?

But the actual depiction of events and dialog never really asks that question fully. Maybe Radnor didn't want to, I'm not sure. But watching it and seeing the situation, I couldn't help but do so myself. The Sam character really does nothing wrong with Rasheen, but it isn't quite portrayed that way. Especially when he goes to the Foster care office, and then ultimately is arrested.

However, it is well transitioned in the end. Maybe it's a little bit of a Hollywood happy ending feel, but I follow why the arrest and what transpires afterward happens in the end.

The other characters stories are interesting enough. Relationships basically. Malin Ackmerman's character Annie has Alopecia (she has no hair, at least on her head), and has her issues with the men in her life. Radnor it appears is her best friend who she goes to for advice about them. This guy at her work also named Sam (Sam #2, played by Tony Hale from Chuck) likes her, but it's understandable why she isn't too into him.

But eventually she does go out with him, a little bit on a rebound from trying to forget about her Ex. And while Sam #2 isn't always charming, there are some points where he appears a lot more appealing than you'd expect.

Zoe Kazan's character Mary Catherine is in a situation with her boyfriend Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) who wants to move to LA to go into business with a friend. But Mary Catherine doesn't want to leave New York City, and also finds out something she is hesitant to tell him about.

Both their relationship and Annie's status are supporting, but not incredibly different than a lot of plots you see in Romantic Comedies/Dramedies. But for what they are, they add enough to the story.

I guess my take is with Radnor, I've always enjoyed him on How I Met Your Mother, and been curious what he may be able to do, even just in other comedic work, and this movie does support his ability. He's one of those actors whose interesting to watch and hear speak. I'm not sure how else to describe it. Is it a man-crush? I don't think so :p, but I definitely enjoy watching him work and would certainly be interested to see him in more things (whether that be new movies or tv shows, or stuff from his past I've never seen).

As well with the kid, played by Michael Algieri, who I could not get past how much he reminds me of the kid who plays the Jabbar character on NBC's Parenhood (Tyree Brown).

I also might add the soundtrack is nice, including a couple of tunes from Cloud Cult. Being a CC fan, I can always be on board with that.

Plus in the credits, I noticed among the actors who helped read (auditioned?) for this, Ari Graynor, Sarah Chalke (on the set of HIMYM perhaps?), Jordana Spiro, Jenna Fischer, Jennifer Morrison and Eddie Kay Thomas, which was interesting.

Movie of the Year? no. But certainly one of the better movies I've seen recently with good dialog; but pretty puzzling as to why Lagoon Theater pulled it. Likely due to money, but it's sad given I think it's a movie more people would like and should be able to see. Maybe later this year with any luck.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Fair to Midland Periphery Scale the Summit March/April 2011 Tour

3/25/11 1:17AM

review should come this weekend. I can say, I do like Scale the Summit a lot more now after tonight. And the new Fair to Midland songs..specifically "Golden Parachutes" I am VERY anxious to hear.

3/24/11 11:44AM

this show is tonight. No Warpaint show last night. More should come soon about that and some kind of weird Twilight Zone/Voodoo/real-life unexplainable occurrences going on right now. Am I paranoid? no, I hope not. But, well I'll elaborate hopefully soon.

3/2/11 11:32AM

for those looking to attend any shows in Texas in regards to Fair to Midland.

wordpress blog link

Texas dates postponed
Cliff had emergency gall bladder removal surgery this weekend, and due to a couple of minor complications is not set to leave the hospital until tonight at the earliest. Needless to say this puts a damper on the first part of the I Am Not A Machine tour. We have unfortunately had to postpone the first week of the tour and are working to reschedule the dates to the end. The tour now begins on March 8th in Mesa, AZ.

The Austin and Houston shows have been moved to April 17th and 18th, respectively. We will announce the new Dallas date in the next few days. Your tickets will still be honored at the rescheduled shows, or can be refunded.

Thanks for everyone’s understanding and for keeping Cliff in their thoughts. We will update everybody soon on his condition and with new tour dates.
hopefully Cliff will have a safe and fast recovery.

1/17/11 12:22PM

here's 1 source

3/3 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
3/4 Dallas, TX @ Trees
3/5 Austin, TX @ Emo's Inside
3/6 Lubbock, TX @ Jake's Sports Cafe
3/8 Mesa, AZ @ The Underground
3/9 Victorville, CA @ VVEC
3/11 West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky A Go-Go
3/12 Bakersfield, CA @ Jerry's Pizza
3/13 Sacramento, CA @ Aces of Spades
3/15 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
3/16 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
3/17 Spokane, WA @ The A Club
3/18 Boise, ID @ The Venue
3/20 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
3/21 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
3/23 Cedar Falls, IA @ The Wheelhouse
3/24 St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
3/25 Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
3/26 Madison, WI @ The Annex
3/28 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
3/29 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
3/30 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
4/1 Hartford, CT @ The Webster Underground
4/2 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
4/3 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
4/6 New York, NY @ Santos Party House
4/7 Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
4/8 Knoxville, TN @ The Cider House
4/9 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
4/10 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
4/12 New Orleans, LA @ The Parish - House of Blues
4/13 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
4/14 Tulsa, OK @ The Marquee
4/15 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory

Let's see, there's 1 band I love in Fair to Midland, 1 band I wanted to like in Periphery but they changed singers and had bad compression on the cymbals among issues with their debut album, and 1 band who I found rather overrated even before they showed up on Progressive Nation 2009. However, I've never seen Periphery live and may want to give Scale the Summit another shot, especially with their 2nd album coming in 2011.

That all being said, Fair to Midland has/had a *big* announcement coming tomorrow, Tuesday the 18th. I wonder if this was it, but hope it was the album title and release date. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

This tour at a minimum can and should be a good way to get more people exposed to Fair to Midland and hopefully to jump start what should be a big year for them in 2011. And I can't complain as it'll be my 9th FtM concert in 4 years, lol.

I also just noticed this:

Fringe in jeopardy of being 86'ed Update: (there will be a 4th Season)

3/25/11 1:14AM
It got renewed for a 4th Season!

tvovermind report

no time to elaborate, but this is certainly good news to read about.

2/15/11 7:46PM

"Fringe is about to get cancelled, and it's all your fault!"

I have been rather negligent about including content on television of late. Or more or less things that are not music. I'm only one person, I wish I could clone myself. Maybe Walter could figure out a way to do that.

So, yeah, this story from some blogger on Zaptoit seems rather clear, this show is about to get the ax. Is it surprising? no, not really. It's a network show that is not a ratings winner. They just moved it to Fridays a few weeks ago. How often does any show on Friday or for this matter, getting moved to Friday Nights EVER get renewed? On Network TV: You could probably count that number on one hand.

The show itself, I guess early in the season with the Alternate Earth and everything, almost has re-invented itself and the show's story arc of sorts. Not that every episode is 5 or 10 times greater than the 1st 2 seasons or anything. And part of why this show stands out now, is with the continued lack of good, epic/episodic dramas on television. With Lost gone along with Battlestar Galactica, this seemed like one of the only newer shows to fill that void.

And it has somewhat well. It's not Lost, but it's still a rather engaging show. The writing is smart. You care about the characters. But apparently enough of the audience that has kept it on the air for 2 renewals, has jumped ship as it's time slot did.

We'll see if some miracle occurs, but I guess 3 seasons isn't bad compared to some other shows (recent Fox Scifi shows Terminator and Dollhouse); and it likely won't ever be accused of declining if it doesn't manage to come back for next fall/season.

I hope they at least are able to wrap it up well. Perhaps even bring back Mark Valley (Brad from Boston Legal) who was in the 1st season. And who knows, maybe Nimoy as well.

I suppose an afterthoughts kind of entry may appear when it's over (unlike a lot of others which are long overdue, but could happen I suppose, especially with cloning technology :p)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Warpaint Spring 2011 Tour Dates: MINNEAPOLIS FINALLY!

3/23/11 2:01PM

Their return/debut headlining show in Minneapolis finally is this evening at The Varsity Theater.

Assuming all goes well in a relative amount of time, a review should pop up in here in the coming hours/days. I do have Fair to Midland and Judgement Day later this week as well.

Plus, given the circumstance of a lot of snow and not wanting to head home in it, prior to heading over to the Varsity, I may find myself with some time to kill and do some catchup blogging. With the assistance of a decent Wifi connection somewhere between the hours of 3:30-7pm-ish.

1/18/11 8:18PM

Facebook Post

U.S. tour announcement: Warpaint will be playing dates throughout the United States in March and April. Tickets go on sale this Friday. Visit the website's tour page for a full listing of dates.

01/31/11 Auckland Laneway Festival – Auckland New Zealand
02/04/11 Brisbane Laneway Festival – Brisbane Australia
02/05/11 Melbourne Laneway Festival – Melbourne Australia
02/06/11 Sydney Laneway Festival – Sydney Australia
02/08/11 Sydney Oxford Art Factory Australia
02/09/11 Melbourne Northcote Social Club Australia
02/10/11 Melbourne Northcote Social Club Australia
02/11/11 Adelaide Laneway Festival – Adelaide Australia
02/12/11 Perth Laneway Festival – Perth Australia
02/21/11 London, UK O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire United Kingdom

03/16/11 San Francisco, CA The Independent United States
03/17/11 Eugene, OR WOW Hall United States
03/18/11 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom United States
03/19/11 Vancouver, BC Biltmore Cabaret Canada
03/20/11 Seattle, WA Neumos United States
03/23/11 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater United States
03/24/11 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall United States
03/25/11 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom United States
03/26/11 Toronto, ON Wrongbar Canada
03/27/11 Montreal, PQ La Sala Rossa Canada
03/29/11 Boston, MA Paradise United States
03/30/11 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl United States
03/31/11 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom United States
04/01/11 Philadelphia, PA Theater of Living Arts United States
04/02/11 Washington, DC Black Cat United States
04/03/11 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade and Tavern United States
04/05/11 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge United States
04/07/11 New Orleans, LA Republic United States
04/08/11 Houston, TX Fitzgeralds United States
04/09/11 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa United States
04/11/11 Dallas, TX The Loft United States
04/13/11 Tucson, AZ Club Congress United States

05/11/11 Cambridge Junction United Kingdom
05/13/11 Oxford O2 Academy United Kingdom
05/14/11 Manchester Gorilla United Kingdom
05/15/11 Dublin Tripod Ireland
05/17/11 Bristol O2 Academy United Kingdom
05/18/11 Birmingham HMV Institute – The Library United Kingdom
05/19/11 Leeds MET Students Union United Kingdom
05/20/11 Lancaster Library United Kingdom
05/23/11 O2 Academy New Castle United Kingdom
05/24/11 Sheffield Leadmill United Kingdom
05/26/11 Paris Bataclan France

Finally! This shall be interesting, as I've mentioned a handful of times, the last (and only?) show they played in town at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday September 19th, 2009 from speaking to a number of people there, I don't recall ONE person going to the show for Warpaint, let alone even knowing who they were. Their may have been a few people there who knew them, but also came for SVIIB.

Although here's one person who was there. But did they know who Warpaint were before the show?

I suspect this is going to be rather similar to really the last 2 Local Natives shows. Although this will only be my 2nd time seeing them, but I'm almost expecting dejavu. And more or less anyone I go up to and ask, so were you at the show at the Entry? Perhaps some will say they were, but also may add they hadn't heard of them.

I guess beyond that, the big deal about this is seeing them perform, and seeing the new songs live. And seeing Stella. That's all you need to know. Stella wasn't even in the band when they were last here.

And you know, hugs I can only hope (beg/pray)..hehe. It is awesome it's the Varsity Theater of course too. And the evening before Fair to Midland.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vuvuzela - (Kiss Kiss's Josh and James new project)

Vuvuzela Facebook page

Josh had this to say on facebook.

Hey Guys. Josh here. Been working on the Vuvuzela demos in order to prep for recording. Prog rock on Harp, Piano, Upright Bass, Drums and Accordion. Fuck yeah.

So, this is one of 3, 4, or maybe more projects from members of the on semi-hiatus band Kiss Kiss. A band I happen to be a huge fan of, and one of the 1st artists I ever wrote about in this blog (not the livejournal 2006-earlier) in fact.

But given Josh is a big part of the Kiss Kiss sound, being their singer and guitarist, this sample actually reminds me of Kiss Kiss.

But only along with James O'Keeffe on Upright Bass, they are not a group that includes the other members of Kiss Kiss, so, it's not Kiss Kiss still. Perhaps it may resemble them how Apparatjik resembled Mew to a point.

No matter, the sample sounds good, the stuff on their facebook page has me awfully curious. And if the next Kiss Kiss is still a ways away, this is certainly something to keep an eye on. Their debut release (EP or LP?)_may be coming this year in fact, so it's great to keep tabs on them as often as possible.

Talk Like William Shatner Day (3/22/11)

Thisvideoisgreat. ....But...whereis Samm Levine? Risssssk is Our Bizness. So....whereis Samm Levine?

Happy 80th Shat!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - All Out of Peaches (2011). (1.0)

TGCO music store

1 All Out of Peaches 3:45
2 Ruby 1:21
3 Paparazzi 5:13
4 Memo 9 7:22
5 Cajun in Spurs 3:00
6 Straight to the Top 4:25
7 Five up Front 3:30
8 Minion 7:13
9 The Blaze 2:41
10 Ragabilly 4:23
11 At Cross Purposes 6:04

Here's an early 1x's hearing review I just posted on my rateyourmusic page.

Impressive follow-up to 2009's debut record Lookin' For a Little Strange. I just saw them live this past weekend (3/19/11), and I'm starting to warm up to the songs on this album as well. Among them, "The Blaze" "Minion," "Memo 9," "All Out of Peaches" "At Cross Purposes" and "Five up Front" were the band at their most technical and progressive I suppose. Or "New Grass Art Rock" as they (and/or others) are dubbing their sound.

I suppose depending how much time I give this album, it could get rated a little higher, but for now, it's an album that maybe is start-to-finish a little better than Lookin' For a Little Strange, but I'm not sure it has any tracks quite as memorable as "Dark Matter" or "Odd Men Out."

If you like Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Dixie Dregs, Mahavishnu Orchestra or certainly John Wright's other main project Lehto & Wright; or even if you're a Rush fan (the band have covered YYZ, and namely Lisi Wright, TGCO's fiddle player, is a huge fan-of/is influenced by them), this band and album should be well worth your while to check out. And they're actually touring soon out East in the next few weeks (Philadelphia, North Carolina, New York City, maybe Boston even?).

edit: TGCO Calendar from their homepage
3/21 Rochester, MN
3/25 Geneva, NY
3/26 Hamilton, NY
3/27 Binghampton, NY
3/28 Scanton, PA
3/29 Philadelphia, PA
4/1 Winston-Salem, NC
4/2 Raleigh, NC
4/5 Atlanta, GA
4/7 IndianaSpolis, IN
4/8 South Bend, IN

But given recent history of incredible progressive albums from Lehto & Wright, Greg Herriges, Dean Magraw among others, I'm basically assuming this will be another terrific record that nobody outside of Minnesota and in this case, the Bluegrass and niche-jazz scenes will hear about. Why? I don't know, other than if people can't download it for free, they'll never check it out.

It's again, THEIR LOSS. Maybe years or decades from now, they'll be regretting it

I'll add more soon including just a link or 2.

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - @ The Dakota Jazz Club 3/19/11

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra on Facebook

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra homepage

Interview Jearlyn Steele of WCCO did with Lisi Wright last Sunday 3/13/11

So, this is just a (hopefully) brief review of the show I attended last evening at The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis (before heading over to The Kitty Kat Club to see Brute Heart).

I have been listening to a lot of Jazz and Bluegrass-incorporated music of late with The River Empires, Dean MagrawPunch Brothers, even Lehto & Wright to a point. And TGCO 1st album from 2009 Lookin' For a Little Strange.

Namely due to knowing about TGCO's new record All out of Peaches and the Double CD Release show at The Loring Theater, which I skipped due to weather/parking among other factors.

So, this next show they had, having felt bad about not making the Loring Theater show, I was certain I would attend. It was also a "DVD Release" show of sorts, as TGCO have made short films that are kind of amusing, from memory. And they decided along with their new record, and new covers album, to release a small collection of short films they've made.

But as far as the show itself, the performance was rather good, probably better than the 1st time I saw them. They played various tunes from both of their original full lengths Lookin' For a Little Strange and All out of Peaches, and the covers albums (they have 2, titled "Songs We Didn't Write" volumes 1 and 2). And a 1 or 2 not on them, namely Rush's YYZ.

Probably my favorites/highlights being "Dark Matter" "Odd Men Out" and the new tune "The Blaze"  among others.

And they performed 2 sets, which is always nice.

I guess I can't avoid adding some thoughts that were not as favorable. Specifically about The Dakota Jazz club.

I had already had dinner, and only desired to see the band play there. I walk in and ask to pay for 1 ticket, and they tell me "okay, we'll include that on your check." And then I end up sitting down, not on a table, but a seat behind the tables area. Kind of scrunched in to be honest. A waiter asks (more like suggests) if I wanted something to drink after giving me a glass of water.

I tell him, no, but I would like a plate of the french fries. he asks, "with the Béarnaise sauce?" and I say yes.

So, he does bring me the fries eventually with the Béarnaise sauce. Failing to mention the price being $5 for the fries and $3 just for the sauce, lol.

Now, I used to go to The Dakota often back 5-10 years ago when it was in St.Paul in Bandana Square. I really liked it there. It was intimate, usually not crowded, and very welcoming. I even went once on my Birthday and they let me in for free. But ever since they've moved to downtown Minneapolis, it honestly does-not-seem-the-same.

They're even booking non-Jazz artists (Keri Noble, Jazz?), lol. They seem more $-driven than ever before. I'm not sure why, other than to survive. But Lowell has always come across as a great stand-up guy. But, my feeling about his venue is not what it once was, just on costs of shows and the food. And to add to that specifically, the French Fries are not even made or the same kind of french fries they used to serve in St.Paul. They're not even CLOSE to as good as they used to be.

Again, why is that? I suppose I could ask, but I never considered it.

Also another less than desirable situation last night, at least for part of the show, the women next to me were chatting it up pretty good. Fine. Maybe they weren't even there to listen to the music? I have no idea. But I wished I had said something to the staff to seat me in one of the tables. Now, maybe the tabled seating has some kind of minimum bill or extra cost, I dunno. Or maybe they were all reserved, but the open tables I saw were for people who were coming later.

I just consider the fact I spent $24, for a concert that was $10 + a less than tasty plate of french fries and a glass of water. Does that seem reasonable? I guess if/when I ever do see another show at The Dakota, I am refusing to order anything unless something is stated I am required to, which I may just skip the show or possibly just order 1 soft drink and that's it.

The Artist Quarter doesn't expect you to order food or a drink, at least I don't recall. Neither does The Cedar (or Celtic Junction or Dreamland Arts for that matter). And the sound issues have never been a problem there. Nor are there typically *reserved* tables or chairs, at least if there are, there aren't as many.

Not to mention how I feel about Downtown Minneapolis, lol (or how I failed to get Wifi there, but that's a minor issue, not so much having to do with the club I suppose).

I guess until I have a better reason to believe, The Dakota may have found the "how the mighty have fallen" category to a point, which I suppose I can't say is really new, given I recall having a similar experience there seeing Hiromi a few years ago.

I mean it's not the sound itself, nor the actual performances by the artists. And it is nice how The Dakota books artists I like. But their prices, the tables, being downtown Minneapolis, and pushing the food thing, at what is to me, 1st and foremost, *A Concert*, and not necessarily supposed to be a dining/after-dinner-drinks experience, just doesn't leave me with the most desirable reasons to go back there. Maybe I'll feel differently, but for now, I do not.

Related - The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - On Kare11

note: a review of The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra's new record All out of Peaches should come soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Short notes

I finally published a 2011 movie list on rateyourmusic here. Mostly anticipation. But if time permits, I'll try and post a few comments about it. Although a lot of those I've already talked about before.

-2nd Quarter Music Preview could come soon. The goal is around the 3rd or 4th week of March. I guess we'll see.

-Lehto & Wright and The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra both at the Dakota within days of eachother. Especially considering the price, I probably will attend both, March 17th and 19th. I want to hear that new TGCO record ASAP after hearing some samples the other night when Lisi Wright was on WCCO Radio.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Painted In Exile - TBA (2011) (2.0)

Facebook announcement
bandcamp page

This is a teaser/trailer of sorts, that they announced they would be putting up on "Pi Day" (3/14/11).

And the title of this full-length debut record, I'm not clear on, but wonder based on that, if it could be a Self-Titled record.

I like what I hear, even 1 of the clips reminds me of the crazy technical band Brain Drill a bit. The rap section, the acoustic clip, the varied vocal styles, etc. There's still a lot of reason for optimism for this.

However, they need to be able to actually release it in some format of course (digitally via bandcamp? or maybe a label like Summerian would sign them?). That hasn't actually been announced at this point that I know/or have read.

Also the fact they are even allowing fans (or hoping they will?) pay $1.49 to download it from their bandcamp page raises an eyebrow.

Also the fact 2 of the members left the band recently raises another red flag.

But I am still rather optimistic about this album and their future, as they are one-of if not the most promising progressive extreme metal bands right now (along with What's Left of Her and a few others).

related - Painted In Exile - Revitalized (Official Video)
related - Painted in Exile - TBA (2011 projected) (1.0)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Exotic Animal Petting Zoo - The Tree of Tongues (2011) (1.0)

Release Date
"The Tree Of Tongues And Four AlphaBets" 2011 3rd Qtr

Facebook post

ATTN FRIENDS: After being 2300 miles away from home, numerous sleepless nights, being completely broke, living off of Ramen everyday and completing the last night of vocal tracking at 4am, "The Tree Of Tongues..." tracking is complete. IT IS VERY REAL. Official song titles will be posted soon. thank you guys for all your support!! Can't wait to share it with all of you!

In 2008, this band released their debut record I Have Made My Bed in Darkness which having gone crazy for Between the Buried and Me and some other bands combining Extreme Metal with progressive rock, within the last year, I was totally in love with them and that album.

For about 2 weeks maybe.

But then the vocals kind of hit me as being a little too high-in-the-mix, the Screaming/Punk/Core vocals specifically. Which sounds odd given I had/have learned to tolerate and even enjoy a lot of those kind of vocals. But I think they never were so high in the mix of the music, they didn't ruin or distract my ears.

I can claim to have had the same problem with bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, Thrice. And to an even worse degree Circa Survive (and I'll include Darla Farmer with them, but DF never repulsed me as bad as CS has, but maybe that is partially due to how annoying CS fans are).

But, I was just thinking, it may be worth revisiting IHMMBID again, just to see if I run into the same issues. Because before I did, I was totally into a lot of that record. Namely with the harsh -> beautiful sections.

So, what happens here, I guess has me curious. If the vocal style continues to fail though, I probably will forget about them. But they haven't gone that far under yet.

Klimt 1918 - Die Sentimentale Jugend (2011) (1.0)

their tumblr post

How Will Be Called the forthcoming Klimt's 1918 album?

For months, I am haunted by "The Sentimental Jugend", or "Die Jugend Sentimental." This is a clear reference to the homonymous band formed in 1981 by Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke and Christiane Vera aka Felscherinow Christiane F. author of the book "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo". This is not a musical tribute to language infatuation But Rather (Sentimental Jungend played cacophonous noise). I'm in love with the cold atmospheres Described in the novel's Felscherinow. I long thought of Berlin, I thought the memories That tie me to this city. There is enough material to write a concept album.

For now, I Wrote These Words in huge letters on my Moleskine notebook: Sentimental Jugend. The images from the words flow. The notes with how the remembrance.

It will be a Solemn and cold album, like a winter walk along the icy Karl Marx Strasse.

As the new album will be titled Klimt 1918?

For months, I am haunted by "The Sentimental Jugend", or "Die Jugend Sentimental." This is a clear reference to the homonymous band formed in 1981 by Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten and Christiane Vera Felscherinow better known by his stage name Christiane F. author of the book "We the children of the Berlin Zoo."

This is not a musical tribute or stylistic (the Sentimental Jugend sounded cacophonous noise rather noisy), but simply linguistic. I love the cold conditions described in the book of Felscherinow. I thought long and hard in Berlin, the memories that tie me to this city. There is enough material to write a concept album.

For now, I wrote these words in huge letters on my Moleskine: Sentimental Jugend. The images derive from the words. The notes accompanying the remembrance.

Album will be a cold and solemn, like a winter walk along the icy Karl Marx Strasse

Back in 2006, I became pretty obsessed with this band's 2nd LP, 2005's Dopoguerra. Great energy, catchy, double-bass, etc. Kind of reminded me of dredg or like a heavier/hard-rock version of U2 at times. Although most people said they were a poor-man's Katatonia, which I couldn't agree with in much if in any way.

So, in 2008, they released Just in Case We'll Never Meet Again (Soundtrack for the Cassette Generation) which while it had some good music on it, didn't quite compare to Dopoguerra. Although I did go back to it after purchasing a copy, and enjoyed it a little more than I did initially. But I still feel it was a disappointment, mainly due to how great Dopoguerra was.

I even would say I like their 1st LP Undressed Momento more than Just In Case....

But that all being said, I and I'm sure many others are looking forward to hearing a new record from these guys.

The title Die Sentimentale Jugend aka "The Sentimental Jugend" doesn't give much. And that quote above from their tumblr blog is a google-translator translation from Italian to English.

When this is released, track list, artwork, etc, I imagine may be still a few months away. But bumps and/or 2nd/3rd entries will be put in here at that time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Even the Rain (2011)

Gael Garcia-Bernal, without question, is one of my favorite working actors right now. I honestly have never seen the guy do anything bad (nor a movie he was in, be bad). And namely stuff like Y Tu Mama Tambien and even more so, The Science of Sleep and The Motorcycle Diaries, the guy has shown how incredibly talented he is. So, like Kate Winslet, just his name in a movie, pretty much forces me to want to see it.

So when this movie, Even the Rain was announced coming to town a few weeks ago, I planned to see it. The premise is a tad dark, being about a movie being made in Bolivia about Christopher Columbus and the immigrants settling in a native american part of their country. But really, the making-of the movie ends up being secondary and almost metaphorical to what is actually going on in the present.

The water supply being controlled by the Bolivian government, restricting the access to a lot of the lower-income natives there. And some of the native Bolivians cast being more involved than the people who cast them realize.

One key character, Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) is the biggest culprit, so much so, it begins to affect his ability to act in scenes and make the movie. It ends up getting more political at that point. Daniel ends up being a leader for his demographic in forcing the government to supply water. The director (Bernal) and his staff are not happy, but ultimately side with him.

"You don't understand. Water is Life" as he says to him after he is bailed out of jail from his arrest as a result of a protest.

Juan Carlos Aduviri was rather good as Daniel, however, the biggest performance here was given by Luis Tosar who plays Costa. He befriends Daniel and his family, and ultimately takes a large leap of faith/risk at the point where the Bolivian government takes action against the citizens who desperately need their water supply from the government, back.

Tosar really showed a lot of heart and backbone, as at the beginning of the movie when him and Bernal's character Sebastian arrive in Bolivia, he wanted nothing to do with citizens problems or cause for needing the water. It wasn't his problem, he was just there to make a movie.

But in the end, he can't live with himself without helping them out, specifically Daniel and his family (wife and daughter who gets involved in the protest).

Bernal is pretty good along with some of the other cast; Karra Elejalde who played Anton, looked familiar, and now scanning his imdb, he was rather good in Timecrimes a few years ago. So his face and work in this movie being good doesn't surprise me.

But Tosar really made this movie for me, at least giving the best performance. And this movie, like I said, even with it's slightly dark nature, really was as good if not better than I expected. And probably the best movie I've seen in 2011, early on.

Although foreign language movies I tend to appreciate more consistently, so I shouldn't be too surprised. Along with Bernal's track record.

I guess it may be influenced or even based on a true story:

edit: It was at least somewhat based on events that happened in Bolivia in the year 2000, known as the "Cochabamba Water Crisis."

Also just scanning Wikipedia, it was included in a short list (among 8 others) of movies nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture for the 2011 Academy Awards. But it didn't ultimately get included in the list of 5 nominations. That fact doesn't surprise me, although Dogtooth was included. I suppose I can understand that, but in terms of accessibility and appeal, Even the Rain would get my vote 1st every time.


The Exploding Girl (2010)

This movie I noticed nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards a few weeks ago, and namely the scene where Zoe Kazan's character says to Mark Rendall's character "do you want to have my babies" got me curious.

Zoe Kazan, is awfully cute. Hmm, maybe even I should say, I would have no ability to resist lusting after her. And given the fact she stars in this, and the way it looked, I was totally optimistic about this movie.

The premise, like Tiny Furniture focuses on a girl in her late teens/early 20's, trying to figure out what to do with her life. She is in college, although the movie is set during a break.

Ivy (Kazan), has this friend from college named Al. I don't recall if they knew each other for many years, or just from college. But what happens is, he can't stay with his parents (they conveniently for the story, rented out his room. How often does that happen?), so he stays with Ivy's family.

Ivy has a boyfriend who she keeps trying to call, and rarely gets a hold of. The boyfriend I guess is staying back at school? or maybe he went back to his hometown during this break from school. I forget. The point is, they are not together, and she doesn't seem to be receiving the attention from him, like she is giving him.

And meanwhile, she hangs out with Al, and they do seem to grow close. But it's amazing how the story doesn't have them go anywhere really, on a romantic level, even though on-screen it seems almost obvious they should. He likes her, and she definitely likes him.

A few other points about Ivy being that she has epilepsy. While I'm not sure this fact plays that big a part in the story, it is one thing that adds to her character's subtle/subdued approach to her life.

I read an interview with Zoe Kazan after watching it this weekend, and she talked a lot about how Ivy hides her emotions pretty well. Because I've seen many examples of characters who melt down or even over-emote, going through those kind of emotional experiences. Her boyfriend ultimately breaks up with her, and her relationship with her mother being a bit distant I guess.

I appreciate that to a point, although I am sucker for a (beautiful) girl showing (human) emotion. And Mark Rendall's character Al, is rather fancy-free and happy-go-lucky, so she could easily have shown that to him. And actually, the crying scene outside, or the scene with the seizure I suppose she did to a point.

But overall, she ends up hiding a lot of the emo-side that you come to almost expect from someone that age (especially women).

I kind of felt a tad disappointed in this movie, in what I got from Zoe. But I suppose that's maybe a bit harsh. But like Tiny Furniture, I think it didn't quite capture everything I got from Funny Haha a few years ago. That sympathetic, introspective, seeing-myself-in-the-character element. To a point, I guess, but not as clearly or deeply in this movie.

However, Zoe Kazan and Mark Rendall are 2 actors I want to keep an eye out for. Zoe especially, as not only is she extremely easy on the eyes, but she does show some range here (just not the kind of range I yearned for I guess :p).

Also the fact I liked her in Me and Orson Welles, along with wanting to see things like The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and Bored to Death the tv series, my interest in her work continues to grow (despite any issues some may have with her Hollywood nepotism).

Also I just realized how much she reminds of, in some photos, of Alessandra Torresani (from Caprica). The two of them could play sisters, easily.

Mark Rendall does need to play Jeff Buckley in Mystery White Boy assuming it gets made before he's too old, because he's like a splitting image of him. And apparently he's a musician (you hear a clip of him in this movie even).


Tiny Furniture (2010)

So this review, is many weeks old as I think I saw this movie nearly a month ago. But so be it, I'm forced into catchup mode, because, simply put, I don't always have the time or energy to review stuff right away. And if I was actually earning any income (or for that matter, perks/comps of some sort), the motivation to get this done in a more timely fashion would be there.


So in 3-4 weeks post seeing this, I can say this was definitely one of the better movies I saw in the past 12 months. Although I doubt I'd consider among my top 5 or whatever (or as good as the 2010 IFP winner Easier With Practice). But it or the screenwriter (and actor/director) Lena Dunham did win a Independent Spirit Award (for best first feature) for it a few weeks ago, and for good reason.

It's a coming-of-age sort of movie, about a girl who comes home from college to live with her single mom and sister. Although those 2 were slightly less significant in the story as just what Aura (Dunham) goes through. She just ended a relationship with a long-term boyfriend, along with trying to figure out her life professionally, socially, romantically.

She meets 2 guys, 1 named Jed (Alex Karpovsky) at a party whose a bit awkward, but ultimately has his charm. The 2 of them end up having pretty much purely a platonic relationship, despite Aura's advances. Maybe some of that was a rebound thing?

The 2nd guy, named Keith (David Call), is this guy she meets at this restaurant place she ends up working at, whose not single nor really interested in her like she is in him.

Now I remember a bit of what I thought about driving home. Aura really comes off like a lot of guys in this movie. A bit desperate for something or someone. Maybe she does poorly in solitude. But it is ultimately given that her mother actually needs her, maybe more than she needs her mother.

At one point, Aura plans to move out of her mom's flat in NYC, and in with her friend from college who remained at their school in Ohio for awhile. It's odd how at the beginning of the movie, Aura talks to her friend on the phone, more or less like they were rather close. Eventually said friend comes to town and Aura sort of blows her off. I was a bit disappointed in that. It was in a circumstance where she was to meet Keith who she can't resist.

I actually think her friend from college's role was a bit downplayed. Maybe the point of her character needing to figure out her next move in her life added to that, but it's a bit sad when you are connected to a friend and then you don't see them for a few weeks, and suddenly their priorities and interest in you seem to have changed.

It is pretty noteworthy how not only is Dunham (and her family?) from Minnesota, but also how her mother and sister are played by her real family members. So, in a way it was almost a documentary in that sense. And if I recall from this interview Dunham gave on NPR, a lot of the story is based on her real life.

I would say this is hardly my favorite movie of this type (see 2010's Fishtank for one, or maybe more so Funny Haha which the more movies I see in this ilk, the more that movie stands out as being one-of- if not the best), but it definitely was good and impressive for a 1st feature.

Lena Dunham I guess is now working with Judd Apatow (it's mentioned in that NPR interview) to develop some kind of black comedy for HBO. I can't deny, I'm rather curious about that, as I think she showed enough with this movie not only as an actor and director, but screenwriter especially, to add interest in her future.

That's something to keep in mind in the coming months/years.