Feb 072010

“You need a little time to wake up”

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I was listening to Oasis’ great (What’s the Story) Morning Glory album this weekend with some friends while driving down a bunch of back highways.  A perfect soundtrack for an awesome weekend.  I’m sure I’ve posted this tune before, but here’s a great live version of the title track off the album:

Jan 202009

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.1.20

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Intro: Happy Inauguration Day!  I’m a little bitter that I didn’t get today (or, indeed, yesterday) off from work.

Listening: I’ve been listening a lot this past week to two disparate artists.  On the one hand, I’ve been going through all my Sonic Youth albums with gusto (Rather Ripped = crazy brilliant!).  On the other hand, I finally got around to grabbing Lady Sovereign’s Public Warning.  So between Sonic Youth’s grinding, fuzzy Noise Rock and Lady Sovereign’s thumping, slurred Grime, I guess I’m just not digging clear sounds this week.

I have to confess, I’m really sort of digging the whole Grime thing.  I love the use of random, odd sounds, and the dark bass-heavy sound.  Combine that with the fact that I’m a sucker for a well-syncopated sound and Grime kind of hits all my “get up and dance” buttons.  Check out this track (called “Random”) off Public Warning:

Upcoming: Next week we get new albums from Franz Ferdinand and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  As far as I’m concerned those both qualify as Good Things.  The week after that sees releases from The Fray and The Von Bondies.

Thinking: Thanks to the magic of NetFlix, I finally got a chance to see The Future Is Unwritten, the biopic of Joe Strummer that Julien Temple put out a few years ago.  If you don’t mind Temple’s somewhat heavy-handed style of film making, then the film is really well done.  Probably the most compelling part of it are bonfire-side interviews with artists who played with Strummer (not only in the Clash, but in his other bands) and entertainers who had been inspired by him.  If you’re a fan of Strummer himself or of the Clash, it’s definitely worth watching.

News: Well, those clever bastards over at Microsoft have finally put an end to that annoying trend of music requiring actual work to produce.  Their new Songsmith software completely obviates the need for all that annoying “writing music” and “playing instruments” bullshit.  Just sing into a microphone and Songsmith will generate the perfect backing music for you.  And as long as you’re okay with your songs sounding like they were produced by a 6-year-old with some turntables and several pounds of blow, you’re all set.  Case in point?  Here’s Songsmith’s version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”:

In less appalling news, a journalist and filmmaker by the name of Alan Parker is set to release a documentary which attempts to exonerate Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious of the murder of his girlfriend.  It’ll be interesting to see what, after all these years, he’s been able to come up with.  The film is called Who Killed Nancy? and it’s slated to be released February 6th.  I’m quite intrigued to see what Mr. Parker has to say.

Song of the Week: Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”, the lead track off their Daydream Nation album:

Nov 072008

Friday Five

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Well, I’m off on a cross-country flight.  So in honor of being crammed into steerage class for hours on end, here are five songs that never fail to get me grooving in my seat:

The Clash, “Guns of Brixton”

Moby, “Flower”

The Lawrence Arms, “Faintly Falling Ashes”

Oasis, “Morning Glory”

Iggy and the Stooges, “Search and Destroy”

Nov 042008

Intro: Well, it’s election Tuesday, and that means that I’ve got a television and a six pack of Sam Adams waiting for me.  I figured I should probably throw my column together before I sat down to survey the political damage.  I also figured that I should steer clear of anything political in case anyone out there wants to stare at some non-election-related for a few minutes.

So here it is, your election-news-free Tuesday Playlist.

Listening: Okay, have you ever liked a Cure song?  In your entire life?  Do you think “Lovesong” was kind of awesome, or maybe think that “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” is sort of catchy?  Maybe, like me, you have a fondness for “10:15 Saturday Night” because it’s a fairly accurate picture of your social life?  If so, then drop what you are doing and go get a copy of the new Cure album.  It’s called Dream 4:13 and I honestly don’t think that Robert Smith & Co. have done an album this great since 1989’s Disintegration.  It’s exactly the sort of dark, melodic New Wave goodness that have made the Cure one of the best bands of the past few decades.

I mean, I’d go on and on about the tracks off of the album to which I’m addicted and which are being spun on constant repeat but, well, that’s pretty much all of them.  I mean, hell, “The Only One” was released as a single back in May and I’m still totally smitten with it.  It’s full of the sort of catchy musical quips that make the Cure so effortlessly listenable and enjoyable.  “The Reasons Why” is a perfect example of exactly the sort of hook-laden, spacey New Wave pop that made most of us fall in love with the Cure in the first place.

Also quite excellent is the the new album Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Cardinology.  My friend Trevor aptly described it as the upbeat version of Cold Roses. I haven’t gotten too much of a chance to listen to it thanks to the new Cure album taking up near permanent residence in my stereo, but it’s definitely Ryan Adams’ rich, well-crafted rock music, but with a more upbeat aesthetic than a lot of his previous albums.  I’m especially a fan of “Magick” and “Born Into a Light”.

Upcoming: Election day this year will sees the release of new material from Shiny Toy Guns, OhGr, and Travis, among others.  In the following weeks look for full lengh albums from Chris Cornell, Mudvayne, Nickelback, Beyonce, Sammy Hagar, and even a new project by Sir Paul McCarney, called the Fireman.

Thinking: Of late I’ve mostly been devoting mental run cycles to either work or thesis, so no deep, insightful thoughts regarding music.  So here’s a video of Bjork explaining how a TV works.  Hat tip on that one to Ann.

News: You’ve all seen these literally-lyric-ed music videos, right?  If not, then watch them immediately.  The one for “Take On Me” is brilliant, as is the newest one, for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge”:

Okay, so not really news, but, uh, brilliant.  And new, at least to me. . . .

Right, in REAL news: Snoop Dogg has apparently figured out that he needs decent musicians to prop him up these days and has collaborated on a track with UK Trip-Hoppers Massive Attack.  If you’re undecided even at this late hour but still have the chance to vote, you might want to consider that Akon has announced he’ll leave the US if McCain wins.  So, you know, not saying that on its own is enough to vote McCain, but it certainly does give one something to think about.  Finally, Noel Gallagher announces that he’s already written the next Oasis album and that it’ll sound like the Kinks.

Song of the Week: Here’s another of the singles off of the new Cure album.  It’s called “Freakshow” and I find it to be all kinds of groovy.

Oct 142008

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.10.14

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Intro: Well it’s been a pretty crazy week here, and I’m beat, so the column may be short this week, but it’ll be on time.

Listening: Okay, so the new Oasis album, Dig Out Your Soul.  I’m not going to go into too much detail, because I’m hoping to post a couple of proper reviews on it later this week.  One will be by yours truly and the other by my long-time friend and total Oasis fanboy Trevor.  (Some readers may remember Trevor from his review of the last Jimmy Eat World album.)  Spoilers: I really like the album, Trevor’s not such a fan.  Basically, I think it’s a hell of a good Rock album and, while it’s certainly not the best Oasis album, it’s their best release since (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.

I’ve also gotten a chance to give Everything Is Borrowed, the new album by the The Streets a spin, and I was a bit taken aback by it.  It’s much poppier and whimsical than the previous records.  I’m a fan so far (just got it a few days ago), but anyone expecting the gritty sound and smirking, self-aware, satirical style of Original Pirate Material or A Grand Don’t Come for Free will be be surprised.  Mike Skinner’s still making good use of his sharp wit and his accented-yet-agile vocals.  The highly-syncopated aesthetic is still there, but minor tonality has been swapped out for major and themes of the highs and lows of everyday street life have been replaced with more abstract themes and a more symbolic style.

A great example of this new direction is the hoppy, keyboard-heavy “Heaven for the Weather”, the chorus which is, at first blush, Mike Skinner’s take on the conundrum of hell sometimes seeming the better place to end up in the afterlife.  (The chorus observes “I wanna go to heaven for the weather and hell for the company.”)  In classic Streets fashion, however, there’s some depth to the song, which is also about temptation and discerning the right thing to do.

All in all, though, despite its wit, the album isn’t on par with Skinner’s earlier works.  Skinner seems musically out of place without growling samples and gritty, tongue-in-cheek recollections of urban life.  The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living was not only satirical, incisive, and quick-witted, it was also musically rich without the music distracting in any way from the lyrical focus of the songs.  Skinner obviously knew how to weave his unique vocal stylings in with his Garage-influenced Electronica sound.  With a lighter, more pop-oriented sound, his gruff Mockney accent seems out of place, as does his stuttering cadence.  The result is a sort of aesthetic dissonance which, in places, doesn’t the album a real disservice (especially on track like “The Way of the Dodo” and “The Strongest Person I Know”).

Diehard Streets fans will certainly find some stuff here to like.  There are still clever turns of phrase and some nice beats to be found here and there.  Unfortunately the album is often too disjointed and stylistically dissonant to make for a very rewarding listen.  (E.g. the clash between the light, folksy piano lines and Skinner’s unmelodic, nasally, heavily accented voice on “The Strongest Person I Know” is almost cringe-inducing.)

Upcoming: If you like foppish Mope-Rock, there’s a new Keane album coming out.  If you like overwrought pop versions of Christmas songs, then Sixpence None the Richer has your covered.  If neither are really your thing, well, next week you can get new albums from Kenny Chesney, Electric Six, Brett Dennen, or Of Montreal.  There’s also an EP from Matisyahu due out.  And if none of that appeals to you, well, maybe new music just isn’t your thing?

And they just announced an album by some old timey rock back.  The band’s called Guns and something?  Roses, maybe?  Oh well, their album Chinese Democracy (which has been “in the works” for over a decade) is finally out in November.

Thinking: So all of you need to carve out 90 minutes of your day and listen to this twopart, 90-minute interview with Lester Bangs.  Bangs was THE rock critic 70s and early 80s.  If you want to understand the formation of modern rock music, listen to this interview and then go get a copy of Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader.

The interview is essentially 90 minutes of Bangs’ random musings on the state of the music industry at the turn of the 1980s.  He dwells quite a bit on what’s good and bad in punk/new wave and why they’re important.  It’s a must-listen for Stooges and Velvet Underground fans for that reason if for no other.

News: Björk, Yorke, and Pitchfork, Oh My!  Turns out that Nordic songstress (I use the term loosely) Björk is teaming up with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke on a new single.  The song, “Nattura” will be released next Monday and Pitchfork Media (who broke the story) are already creaming themselves over it.

Of course, they’ll have tough competition, from that 7-year-old who’s tearing up the charts in the Europe and Asia.

From the “It’s About Damned Time” file, the last venue played by Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valen’s is being declared a Rock and Roll landmark by the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

I think that’s about it.  Oh, save for the stunning news from the EU that loud music  still bad for your hearing.

Song of the Week: Well, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of John Lee Hooker.  I ran across this recording of him playing “Serves Me Right to Suffer” a few days ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.  The man was definitely one of the greats.

Oct 072008

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.10.06

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Intro: Hi folks.  The Tuesday Playlist is back after an unintentional week off.  I’d like to say that it’s back and better than ever, but I’d probably be lying.

Listening: In the past couple weeks I’ve pick up both Chris Walla’s solo album, Field Manual, and the new Thievery Corporation release, Radio Retaliation.  The short of it is: get Field Manual, pass on Radio Rataliation.

The longer version is as follows.  Walla, the multi-instrumentalist and producer who most people know from his work with Death Cab for Cutie, is a creative and evocative songwriter.  Combine this with his years of experience on both sides of sound board and you have the makings for a truly awesome album.  Between evocative, boppy pop ditties like “Geometry &c.” and more pensive, emotive songs like “A Bird is a Song”, Walla demonstrates an impressive command of a wide variety of musical styles.  And those who fear that Field Manual might be a Death Cab for Cutie album minus Gibbard et al., need look no further than the noise-pop, politically concious “Archer v. Light” to disabuse themselves of that notion.  Admittedly, the strains of Death Cab are all over the album, but whether they are representative of what Walla took away from the band or what he brought to it remains an open question.  In all, the album is easily one of the best of the year.

As a long-time Thievery Corporation fan, I wish I could say the same about Radio Retaliation.  Unfortunately it lacks the sexiness of Richest Man in Babylon and the musical maturity of Mirror Conspiracy.  What’s left are beats and themes that any Thievery Corporation fan has heard dozens of times before along with pseudo-reggae crooning of political lyrics so dry they might as well be written on a debater’s note cards.  Admittedly, even at their worst, Thievery Corporation still lay down some pretty cool tunes.  The title track is about as good as the album gets.  It features the sort of chill, laid back beats and rhythmic lyrics at which TC really excel.  Unfortunately, even at it’s best the album is less-than-spectacular and at it’s worst it’s not exactly cringe-inducing.  Thievery Corporation fans won’t find any “Lebanese Blonde” or “Meu Destino” on this album, but at least they won’t find anything to really shake their love for the band’s work.  At least that’s something, I guess.

Upcoming: Now before anyone asks – no, I’m neither ill nor have I been replaced by a body snatcher.  I DID, in fact, order the new Oasis album.  I opted for a physical disk, however, so I have yet to receive my copy.

So if you buy one album this week, it should probably be the new album by The Streets.  Mike Skinner makes Brit-Hop that puts most of the Hip-Hop on this side of the pond to shame.  Few artists manage to be as simultaneously intelligent and base as Skinner.  I just grabbed it off Amazon, so you’ll all no doubt hear next week what, exactly, I think of it.  Alternately, if a member of the mullet-and-‘vette set, you can pick up a copy of Tesla’s new CD.

In coming weeks, there’s new material from Keane, Brett Dennen, Kenny Chesney, Lucinda Williams, Ludacris, and Matisyahu and a Christmas albums from Sixpence None the Richer.  AC/DC are also releasing a new album, which will be available only at Wal-Mart, indicating that AC/DC has a pretty keen understanding of their target audience’s shopping habits.

Thinking: I recently went and saw Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.  It’s highly recommended.  It’s a smart, music-centric love story about a couple of indie kids in New York City.  Well worth the cost of admission.  Plus it’s got a pretty awesome soundtrack.

In other news – I really need to restring my guitars.  Anyone got recommendations for good acoustic strings for playing folk/pop and strings for playing rock, industrial, and punk on a Strat?

News: Nick Reynolds, one of the founding members of the Kingston Trio, passed away this past week at 75.

And honestly, that’s all I got for this week.

Song of the Week: Chris Walla covering “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz – does it get any more music-geek adorable?

Sep 192008

Five of my favorite b-sides, in no particular order:

Pulp, “Deep Fried in Kelvin”

Loudermilk, “Pancake Batter”

Arctic Monkeys, “Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts”

Oasis, “The Masterplan”

The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”  (Yes, believe it or not, it began life as a b-side.  It was one of two for the comparably forgettable single “William, It Was Really Nothing”.)

So how about it: anyone care to share a few of their favorite songs from the back sides of singles discs?

Sep 172008

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.9.16

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Intro: Back from the hiatus.  Sorry for the delay in this week’s column.  In this installment there are ramblings about opening tracks and radio stations and another sad note of passing for a musical great.

Listening: So I have a working radio in my car for the first time in several years.  (Rather than replace the radio I went the slightly more expensive route and replaced the car; the dealership through in the radio for free.)  I had forgotten how much I enjoy having a constant stream of singles at my fingertips.  And while radio ads and announcers are as annoying now as they’ve ever been, I love the feeling of suddenly stumbling across a brand new tune that I’ve never heard before.  (Perhaps this makes me a bit strange but I think the words “here’s the new single from…” are some of the best in the English language.)

So in the past week I’ve heard new material from Ben Folds, Puddle of Mudd, and a few other bands I remember from my last stretch of radio listenership.  It’s also spurred me to renew my old habit of keeping a notebook in my car so that I can write down the name of bands and tunes I like.  (There’s an interesting story about how I learned the importance of waiting until I got where I was going before trying to write, but that’s perhaps left for another column.)

It’s also interesting just how little some of the stations I remember from my youth have changed.  97 rock (97.1 in the Tri-Cities area) still plays all the big names of late-90s rock, and not much else.  The NPR affiliate out of WSU still favors Smooth Jazz over Bop and has a fond affection for the Delta Blues.  All the Christian Rock stations still think that playing POD makes them “hip”.

Upcoming: So the new Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls fame) album is out, and it’s supposed to be brilliant passing unto sublime.  I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m planning to snag a copy first chance I get.  Also out this week are a live Avenged Sevenfold CD/DVD combo and new albums by Nelly and the Pussycat Dolls.  Also coming soon is new material from Kings of Leon, Mogwai (who apparently think that hawks howl, strongly indicating that none of them have ever actually heard a hawk), and Thievery Corporation.

Also, apparently Tom Morello has already already tired of his “The Night Watchman” alter-ego, as his next solo album will be released under his own name.

Of course all of this pales in comparison with the release on Oct. 7th of the latest album from one of my all-time favorite bands: Dig Out Your Soul, by Oasis.

Thinking: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is that makes a good single and what makes a good opening track.  Opening tracks have always been particularly interesting to me, since they can easily make or break an album.  While singles go a long way towards selling an album, the first track on the disk goes a long way towards coloring the listener’s impression of the album as a whole.

I was thinking about this today when, after a particularly long Monday, I got home and put on Harvey Danger’s Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?.  The opening track, “Carlotta Valdez” is an energetic, groovy pop-rock tune that makes great use of Sean Nelson’s unique voice and clever way with words.  It sets the listener up for a lyric-driven, guitar-heavy aesthetic with a solid pop aesthetic, and that’s largely what the album delivers.  If the same album had been reshuffled to start with a slower, more shoe-gazing track like “Problems and Bigger Ones”, the listener would be presented with a track that, while good, is simple unrepresentative.

Or take the brilliant single-and-opener “Radio Nowhere” off of Bruce Springsteen’s magic.  It’s chock full of the sort of effortlessly catchy rock hooks that The Boss is known for.  It’s a perfect Springsteen song and a fantastic opener.  (In fact it’s, in my opinion, the best track on the album.)  It’s perfectly tailored to stick in the listeners head.  By the time it’s done, Springsteen and his E Street Band have completely hooked the listener not only on the tune itself, but on the album.  That the rest of the album is quite as engaging as the opener is unfortunate, all the songs on the disc are likely to get a more favorable response, since they were preceded by an exceptionally good opener.

News: Well, more sad news to relate this week: Richard Wright, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, has passed away.  Wright was an excellent musician and composer and his talents will be greatly missed.  Rest in Peace,  Mr. Wright.

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

Two of the bands that my brother Bruce introduced me to at a young age that have had a huge effect on my musical aesthetic were Yes and Pink Floyd.  The three members of Pink Floyd who have always captured my imagination are Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright.  And while none of them have done anything particularly noteworthy with their music in the past few years, it’s sad now that two of those three (Barrett passed away a couple of years ago) are gone for good.

Song of the Week: One more for Wright and Barrett – “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond”

Aug 312008

Ryan Adams and Oasis @ the Wamu Theater, 2008.8.26

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First of all, I’d like to congratulate Tickets West for continuing to create innovative new ticketing technologies. I had no idea they had tickets that would change to reflect changing show times, for instance. Or at least that’s the only explanation I can think of for why I could have sworn the show started at 8 when I bought the tickets but then started at 7 when I checked the tickets again day of…

Okay, okay, so maybe I’m just getting a little senile in my old age. At any rate, thanks to the new show time, we (my friend Trevor and I) got out of Spokane an hour later than we really needed to and into Seattle about a half an hour after the show started. Ryan Adams had already taken the stage, but had apparently only played a couple of songs when we found our way to our seats. (Side rant: there’s NO reason that it should have been a seated show. The “high-school-band-concert” folding chair thing just doesn’t work for a rock show.)

As semi-expected, Adams and a few of his bandmates appeared to be exceptionally stoned. (I’ve heard that this is pretty much par for the course for him.) This meant that, as entertaining as the music was, it was almost equally fun to hear his rambling, surreal commentary between tunes. (Bison, apparently, “aren’t, like, unicorns, they’re like, multicorns or some shit.”) It’s a strong testamony to Adams’ musical abilities that, despite being too stoned to talk coherently, he still sang and played pretty well. He played a good spread of material off of his various albums, with surprisingly little material off his latest album, Easy Tiger. (Though I will say that by far his best tune of the night was the Easy Tiger cut “Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.”)

Ryan Adams and co. played for a solid hour after we arrived, stopping only to lament the goring of “Ray” by a bison and to talk bad about math for awhile. (“Once you count to, like, 4 or 5, everything else is just ‘a lot’. Or as we say South of the Mason-Dixon Line, ‘eleventy’!”) Unfortunately, I think Mr. Adams’ pharmaceutical habits may have been sapping his energy by the end of the set, because he definitely didn’t have quite the expressivity left in his voice that he started with.

Once the Cardinals vacated the stage there was a fairly short change-over before Oasis took the stage with high-energy renditions of “Fucking in the Bushes” and “Rock and Roll Star”. And oh man do those Mancunian rock geniuses do “high energy”! The whole show had the crowd on its feet and dancing. They played a fairly wide spread of material, giving the audience a healthy mixture of singles, b-sides, and tracks off of their upcoming album, Dig Out Your Soul. They played about half of the “must-play” crowd favorites (including absolutely amazing versions of “Wonderwall” and “Cigarettes and Alcohol”, which both featured truly excellent drum work from Chris Sharrock).

Interesting side note: Sharrock (who only first appeared with the band earlier this month) apparently got his start with Robbie Williams. Liam Gallagher, who apparently isn’t a fan of Mr. Williams, was, uh, “disinclined” to accept Sharrock because of that. In an interview with MOJO magazine, Noel said “I went home and thought about it and it was just too much of a temptation to piss Robbie Williams and Liam off in one phone call.” If this show is any indication, they made the right choice: Sharrock gave one of the best performances I’ve heard from a drummer in years. The rhythms were solid and supportive, the fills were interesting and impeccably timed, and he effortlessly gave the audience that classic, tom-heavy Oasis sound that we all know and love.

Some other highlights of the set included Noel Gallagher’s acoustic version of “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, a great one-two closer of “Champagne Supernova” and “I Am the Walrus”, and the cacophony of the entire audience trying to sing along with “The Masterplan” despite the fact that, apparently, no one actually knows all the words.

In summation: brilliant show. Two great bands, two great sets. As Trevor and I fought our way out of the city and back onto I-90 for the trip home, we both agreed that the soundtrack for the drive would be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants followed by Love is Hell. Nothing says “great concert” like driving away tired, hoarse, and still wanting more.

Jul 302008

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.7.29

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Intro: Probably another short one this week. Work continues to be mad-crazy, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it’s the other end or a train is both undetermined and largely immaterial; either way, it means not having to debug serial communications code anymore.

Listening: This week’s been work-intensive, which means that I’ve spent most of my concious hours tuned in to Pandora. The three stations that have been getting the most airtime this week have been my California Punk station (Bad Religion + The Dead Kennedys + The Vandals + Social Distortion + Black Flag), my Industrial station (Nine Inch Nails + Orgy), and a random station I put together out of bands that I just had a hankering to listen to. (The Raconteurs, The Rakes, The Flaming Lips, and Echo & the Bunnymen). Needless to say, that last station’s a bit of a head trip.

Upcoming: Wait, you mean they’re STILL making MORE music? I can barely keep up with the stuff that was new a month ago much less anything that’s still coming out. Only thing I’m looking forward to music-wise at the moment is hitting up the Ryan Adams/Oasis show later this month with my buddy Trevor.

News: Well, the news from the UK is that the Mercury Award Nominees have been announced. No surprises there except that…wait. Wait a minute. There’s been a mistake. The new Portishead album isn’t on the list. That has to have been an oversight. I mean, admittedly, I haven’t heard all the albums on the list, (though there are one or two on there that I’ve been meaning to grab), but how can Third not be among the nominees. It’s BRILLIANCE! Dark, groovy, barely-sensical brilliance!

I expect this heinous act of nominatory (it’s a word now!) incompetence to be rectified shortly.

Thinking: I sure do blog a lot about British music, don’t I? I mean, maybe there are certain elements of the British musical aesthetic that just mesh nicely with my own, but if you figure out “FTT blog space per capita”, I’m pretty sure it’s probably way skewed towards stuff from the UK. Interesting, that. I mean, I’m a fairly unapologetic Anglophile in a lot of ways, but it never occurred to me that my ear might be biased in that direction. Definitely something that bears further consideration.

Song of the Week: Apologies for the short columns two weeks running. The work craziness will be sorted out soon. In the meantime, here are the Raconteurs doing “Steady As She Goes” off Broken Boy Soldiers: