Tag Archive: Alternative Rock


NeonTrees1

I did not like the new Neon Trees album. At all. “Everybody Talks” is admitted a pretty great song but one good tune does not an album make. I’ve never listened to their debut album, 2010‘s Habits, so I can’t tell if it is cut from a similar one good tune vein, but if you’re going to only have one good song on your record, you might as well make it their absurdly catchy “Animal.” I actually heard this song for the first time during the second season of Glee. Yeah. Yeah. Judge me. Long time readers know I’m a closet Gleek (and I used to review the series on here). I think I may actually prefer the Warbler’s rendition of this song to the original but the first version is pretty great too. Enjoy.

 

I’m sad to admit for the first time in almost 200 days (literally just 5 days shy), I forgot to do my Song of the Day. I’ve gone stretches without doing it before, but there was always an unavoidable reason. I.e., I was at Bonnaroo, or we didn’t have power for several days in a row. The power thing cock-blocked me twice over the summer. I just straight up forgot last night. I didn’t get off work til after 9:30 and I picked my sister up from her dorm after work. We got some pizza, and then a friend came over and the three of us hung out and watched TV/movies (a review of the excellent Cabin in the Woods is forthcoming). And i managed to just completely forget that I needed to do my Song of the Day. I realized I had forgotten at (I kid you not) 12:01 so it was too late to put up even a really quick post. Sorry long-time readers. I’m sure you were very disappointed to not get a random musical musing from my head (hoping people realize that last bit was sarcasm). Anywho, I’m in a very “The Cure” mood today so without further ado, I present “Lullaby.”

I’m not sure why, but that image above remains one of my favorite rock and roll pictures. It’s not even a picture of the whole band. I’m pretty sure that’s just Kim and Thurston rocking out on stage, but there’s just something about the image that captures the feel of Sonic Youth. I’m not a photography critic so I don’t really know what that is per se, but it’s just a great picture of the duo. Anywho, long time readers may know that I’m not actually all that crazy about Evol, but god I fucking love Daydream Nation. I’m shocked I haven’t used this song yet, but maybe I just haven’t felt very energetic in a while. But tomorrow, I’m going to my first WVU home football game in several years, and it’s making me feel young. I’m excited to see Geno Smith and crew run rampant over the Maryland Terrapins. Well, I hope that’s what happens anyway. Geno is the Heisman front runner right now. I’d hate to see him choke against what should be an easy opponent. Anywho, “Teen Age Riot” is one of the defining alternative rock songs of the 80s (and Sonic Youth were in turn one of the defining alternative acts of the 80s and 90s), and everybody should check it out. Enjoy.

First things first. Before some douche bag tries to correct me, this particular song was on Some Devil. That’s not a Dave Matthews Band album. It’s just a Dave Matthews album. Now that’s out of the way. I feel like I’m dying. It’s just a cold or a sinus infection (possibly a flu though and it becomes increasingly more likely that that’s the case) but I still feel miserable. I have a shit immune system. I’m probably not going to live to a ripe old age because the first time I get sick as a senior citizen, it will probably kill me. So, since I feel like death, what better way to use my Song of the Day than the tune “Gravedigger” by Dave Matthews. This is angry Dave. Which is honestly how I prefer the man. I’m actually shocked it’s taken me this long to use a Dave song. I know it’s not cool to be an indie music fan and say you like Dave Matthews or DMB but I do. DMB is one of the all-time great jam bands, and I just appreciate the way that Dave incorporates a great diversity of influences into his music from jazz to classic rock to world music to the blues. I would love to see him live some day.

 

this one goes out to my boss Josh Spurbeck. I’m sick today but I was scheduled to work. He sent me home and I definitely appreciate it. Plus, he’s the biggest Dave fan I know. He even has a Dave tattoo.

I’m feeling political today. Maybe it’s cause I just came from my political science class, but I’m fired up. I’m royally pissed to be more specific. I’ve made no secret on this blog that my political beliefs are fairly radically leftist. Reincarnation is horseshit but if it were real, I’m pretty sure I was Jack Reed in a past life. I’m a libertarian socialist. However, I am usually capable of understanding where conservatives come from, especially on economic issues. I’ve read Ayn Rand. I understand the appeal of getting to be a selfish dick and only look out for your own self-interests (or what Rand called rational self-interest). However, 95% of so called conservatives in this nation completely ignore the other half of Rand’s philosophy, which is individual liberty and rationalism. Paul Ryan talks about how much he loves Rand, but then he forgets that she was a militant atheist, and he’s essentially a theocrat. In the 21st century, there is no room and no cause for religiously motivated social conservativism. It’s fascism, plain and simple. My political science classes this year are full of neo-con assholes along this vein, and I leave there every day remembering why I nearly dropped out of school. I hate this shit. And there’s no reasoning with them because their entire belief structure is centered around anti-intellectualism and a dogmatic adherence to religious propaganda. Why can’t people think for themselves? Anyways, on days when my political collar is fuming, what better band to look toward than Rage Against the Machine. Here’s “Calm Like a Bomb” off their seminal, The Battle of Los Angeles album (their best record).

 

I’ve been doing a lot of newer music lately so I thought it would be a good night to kick thing’s old school. I was at work telling my boss that I had a philosophy class tomorrow and almost immediately after the words philosophy came out of my mouth, I started singing the famous line from “What I Am” by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians. Apparently, this song came out in 1988. I had been under the impression that it was a 90s song. This song was definitely ahead of the curve in predicting where fem-rock was going to be going in the next five years or so. Anyways, this is just one of my favorite one hit wonder songs for sure. Here’s a really popular song from the late 80s that is smart and witty and well-constructed. It’s always refreshing when the public actually latches onto good music instead of the complete the shit they usually devour. I still can’t believe Adele sold as well as she did. Looking the way she does, it’s a testament to her immense musical talent that she was the success story of 2011. Anyways, I have to review the new Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti album for Baeble (anybody who wants to read my Fall Fest write up can find it here), so I’m going to keep this short.

 

Long time readers (specifically long time readers of my Song of the Day series) may remember that I interviewed seminal 90s pop-punk band Eve 6. I also reviewed their new album, Speak In Code, and I also caught them in concert. They were great but their openers were some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Just ever. The new album was actually pretty good. It wasn’t great or anything, but as a comeback album from guys making music that isn’t really relevant anymore, it was surprisingly fun. The nostalgia alone was worth the price of admission for anybody who grew up on “Inside Out” or “Here’s to the Night” (and let’s face it. “Here’s To the Night” was played at every high school graduation ever). They’ve got a new single called “Victoria” that was the best thing on the album, and it really just captured the energy of old-school Eve 6 while simultaneously placing their music in the context of modern pop-punk acts like the Killers. It’s silly, but in that good sort of way, and it’s absurdly catchy. Enjoy.

It’s weird that songs from the early 2000s are now either already ten years old or are slowly nearing their tenth anniversary. It makes me feel really fucking old. I’m only 23. By the time I’m in my 40s, I’m going to be a Woody Allen style neurotic mess (even more so than I already am). Although I didn’t actually listen to Guster back in 2003 (when the album containing “Amsterdam” was released), the band has certainly grown on me over the years. I’m pretty sure I first heard about them at Boys Nation when one of my fellow members of the Washington Section recommended them to me as we were having an in-depth conversation about our tastes in music (back in the days when the only thing I listened to was classic rock). Somehow, I stumbled upon a copy of the single of “Amsterdam,” and it’s been a great relationship ever since. Guster has a bit of reputation as being a college-rock band, and they definitely are. Still, there are much worse reputations you could have.

Sorry that there hasn’t been a real movie review in a couple days. I’ve been in the process of moving (again) from Philippi to Morgantown. So, between all of the packing and the drives back and forth among geographically disparate counties, my time has been less available than usual. I’m going to watch a movie tonight before I go to bed (and get the review finished tomorrow before I head to work) so there will be at least one movie review between now and tomorrow’s Song of the Day. Back to the business at hand. I hate Courtney Love, but god damnit, Hole was a great band in their prime. Case in point. “Celebrity Skin.” The only other chick who could rock as hard as Courtney Love back in the 90s was Shirley Manson with Garbage (whose new album is actually pretty good). I’m going to get started on watching some movie ASAP so I’ll leave you all with this short and sweet post.

So, I was playing Rock Band with my little sister today. We used to fight like cats and dogs but ever since I started college many moons ago, we’ve gotten along significantly better. Rock Band is one of the activities we can partake in together without eventually wanting to kill each other. One of the songs that came up during our jam session was “Feel the Pain” by seminal indie rock band, Dinosaur Jr. Of course, the age difference (and taste difference) between my sister and I showed up because she had never heard of them before we played the song. If there is one thing that Dinosaur Jr. is known for (besides epic debates on how to pronounce J. Mascis’ name) it’s their loudness, and “Feel the Pain” is one of their tunes that subverts that whole trend (at least partially). I’m not sure why I like the song so much. It’s just a great lo-fi indie rock tune. Enjoy.