Oct 092010

“so you’ve been to school for a year or two and you know you’ve seen it all”

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Merlin Mann on Dead Kennedys and Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables.

Amen. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (FFFRV hereafter) is not only a powerful, visceral album, it’s also an important one. And not just in the abstract, critical way of being influential, but also in the more personal way of “this album might just change or even save your life.”

I think I first heard FFFRV in probably my Junior or Senior year of high school. This was a period of my life when I desperately want to look like, think like, act like, feel like, be like Sid Vicious. Now, any of you who know me, know that I will never be Sid Vicious. I’m too large and too gentle, for two things. But I wanted to be punk. Which, in retrospect, is patently absurd, but human desires are nothing if not absurd.

But FFFRV spoke to me. “Holiday in Cambodia” put a big, fat finger on … something that bothered me that I still couldn’t even put into words and wouldn’t for years yet. “California Über Alles” spoke to the sort of hormonal anti-establishment streak in me that’s only possible at seventeen. “Viva Las Vegas” made me feel irony long before I actually ever understood it.

So go read what Merlin has to say. Then go and find a copy of FFFRV. Listen, dance your arse off, and understand that no matter how alone you feel, you never are.

Apr 052010

New Meat Loaf Single

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Meat Loaf’s releasing a new album (his 11th) in April. Here’s the lead single off of it, called “Los Angeloser”. The songs fun in the campy way that only artists like Meat Loaf can get away with. As for for the video? I really have no clue what’s going on there. It seems like he had about four different videos he wanted to shoot and, unable to make up his mind, shot them all and mashed them together:

The album’s called Hang Cool Teddy Bear and it’s due out April 19th.

Mar 272010


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If your music is simplistic enough that it can be easily and accurate represented in chart form, then you may want to exit the music industry as quickly and quietly as possible.

From autostraddle.com, via my friend Ann

Mar 212010

“I’m losing my mind, but I’m winning you”

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I’m up late supporting a deployment for work (oh the unhappy lot of the company man). Thankfully, I have a glass of whiskey and the Butchies for company. Check out the video for “Send Me You”. This is what power pop is supposed to be:

Feb 202010

Sasquatch! Festival 2010 Lineup Announced

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Great news which I’m a few days late in reporting, the lineup for this years Sasquatch! Festival has been announced.  Hooray!  The festival will, as always, be held over memorial day weekend.  The music will go from Saturday, May 29th through Monday, May 31st.  The lineup is pretty impressive, as always.

Some highlights for me personally include Pavement, Massive Attack, The Long Winters, The New Pornographers, The Mountain Goats, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Camera Obscura, The Hold Steady, She & Him, and Nada Surf.  If that list alone isn’t enough to make you want to get tickets, then there’s plenty more awesome bands where that came from.  Presale tickets are available through the weekend and run $170 for all three days of the festival.

Jan 162010

I’ve been meaning to blog this for awhile.  Well, I’ve been meaning to blog something, anything for awhile, and look where that’s gotten me.  Hacker, guitarist, and gadfly extraordinaire Zed Shaw has been working on a pretty cool project called Fret War.  From the About page:

Fret War gathers guitarists from all over the interwebs to a showdown for fame and glory to prove they are the fastest, most accurate, creative or unique players out there.

The idea is simple: Once a week the Conductor submits a round with a musical challenge. It could be based on a mode, a motif, a particular piece of non-copyrighted music, or something totally weird.

Once a player submits an entry for the round, they get to review and comment on other people’s entries.  The best reviewed entry wins the round, earning that player fame and fortune cowbells.  The next week it starts all over again with a new round and a new challenge.

I’m a fan of the concept, since it seems like an awesome way to build skills.  I’m a flat amateur when it comes to guitar, so I’d probably be massively outclassed by the talent on Fret War, but for someone with more skill and time to devout to it, the rounds seem interesting and diverse and the competition seems lively.  Here’s a few of my favorite submissions from the last few rounds:

A-Ron, “ok”

Chad Woolley, “Southern Weather”

Hank Marquardt, “Narc Oil”

EDIT: It looks like the above embedded objects aren’t working.  I’ve updated the artist/song names to be links to the applicable Fret War pages, so you can click through and hear the submissions.

EDIT: Fixed. Via Chad Woolley in the comments, it looks like Zed only implemented the feature today. I recopied the embed code and they appear to be working again. Thanks Chad and Zed!

Dec 312009

1. Bad Veins, “Gold and Warm”
2. Them Crooked Vultures, “Caligulove”
3. The Avett Brothers, “Kick Drum Heart”
4. A.A. Bondy, “I Can See the Pines Are Dancing”
5. Monsters Of Folk, “The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me”
6. Silversun Pickups, “Catch & Release”
7. Morrissey, “Something Is Squeezing My Skull”
8. Franz Ferdinand, “Ulysses”
9. Wilco, “Country Disappeared”
10. A.A. Bondy, “Oh the Vampyre”
11. Third Eye Blind, “Bonfire”
12. Jarvis Cocker, “I Never Said I Was Deep”
13. Neko Case, “This Tornado Loves You”
14. Silversun Pickups, “It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone”
15. The Dead Weather, “Hang You From The Heavens”
16. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, “Air Mattress”
17. Wilco, “Bull Black Nova”
18. Neko Case, “Magpie To The Morning”
19. Molly Lewis, “Poker Face (Lady GaGa cover)”

This was an incredibly hard year to narrow down to just one album. Also, this was the first year that I have had more than one artist with more than one track on my “Best Of” mix. (I’ve been doing these since 2005 so they predate the blog by a few years.)

Any songs not on my mix that are on your person Best Of list? Any songs I included that should be relegated without comment to the dustbin of musical history? As always, commentary and recrimination can be directed through the comments section.

Dec 242009

We’ll Meet Again…Shortly.

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Hey folks.  Updating to the latest WordPress version.  It should be trouble free, but if you notice any blog irregularities, please let me know in comments.  In the meantime, here’s Johnny Cash covering “We’ll Meet Again” by Dame Vera Lynn.

Nov 222009

So, I don’t know how many of you noticed, but there’s a problem with the new Morrissey B-Sides album, Swords.  It’s not a huge problem, really, but it’s one that gave the extended Fifty-Two Tuesdays family significant angst and heartache.  I dare say that, if we’d let the problem go unresolved, it may have caused us a sleepless night or two.  (We are, after all, the sorts of folks who overly concern ourselves with such matters.)  You see, in the album art for Swords, Morrissey’s not holding anything.  No Tommy Gun.  No baby.  Nuffin’.

Pictured: Morrissey.  Not Pictured: Anything in Morrissey's Hands.

Pictured: Morrissey. In Morrissey's Hands: Morrissey

So we here at FTT decided that we’d change that.  After some discussion amongst ourselves, we sent a request off to the FTT graphics department.  In short order, the problem was resolved to the satisfaction of all:

Fixed. Much better. Also, <i>holy shit it's Morrissey with a sword!</i>

There's a highlander joke here, but I'm not seeing it. Something something last of the gang to die, maybe?

Many thanks to our Chief Music Advisor, Ann, for bringing the problem to our attention and to our Art Director Meagan for solving it for us.

Nov 082009

“The Earth looks better from a star”

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Neutral Milk Hotel, “Holland, 1945”: