Archive for the ‘music’ Category

My Top 3 Albums of 2007

December 29, 2007

Hey all.  I’m sitting here in the power plant in Antarctica doing absolutely nothing, so I thought I’d write up a little review.  Here are my top three albums of 2007:

3.  Between The Buried And MeColors

BTBAM is one of my favorite bands.  They are absolutely amazing live, and they are amazingly tight.  This album is pretty great in that it is essentially one long song with no breaks.  They are really doing some amazing things musically.  The main reasons this one was not number one on my list is that the track breaks are just too damn long (11 minute songs?), and they seems to throw in country & other styles just to show that they can be done.  I’m all for changes and trying new things in music, but I just think those don’t really work. 

2. A Wilhelm ScreamCareer Suicide

Holy crap I was excited to hear this album.  I got to see these guys open up for Strung Out in Portland, and they completely blew me away.  I absolutely love “Ruiner” (the album before this one) and Career Suicide just takes it up several notches.  Every song is fast and fun and singable.  Great lyrics, amazing breakdowns, and beautiful harmonies.  AWS is only getting better.  I can’t wait for the next album!  Also, I should be back in Portland to see them again in April.  Eeeeeeeee!

1. Smoke Or FireThis Sinking Ship

When I first heard this album, I thought it was pretty good.  However, after giving it a few more listens, I realized that it is tottaly fuckin’ rad.  I have fallen in love with it….and I thought I liked “Above the City”!  It’s fantastically great.  It rocks really hard, and the lyrics really struck a chord with me (having been in a band on tour and especially when leaving for Antarctica).  If you want an album with heart and the ability to make you drop what you’re doing and rock out, this is the one for you.

Honorable mention:

See You Next Tuesday – Parasite, They Might Be Giants – The Else, Full Blown Chaos – Heavy Lies the Crown, A Life Once Lost – Iron Gag

I’m sure there are more, but I’m blanking…maybe an update later. 


Room 101 Lives!

July 6, 2007

Found this today.

Captured! by Robots

May 18, 2007

I saw Captured! by Robots again last night, and it was amazing. If you’ve never seen them, GO! This is their 10 year anniversary tour. TEN YEARS. That’s madness. That dude is totally my hero.

The opening band was the Teddy Bear Orchestra. It was incredible. You can see a great video of them here. And you can see a C!BR video here.

Seriously, click here and find out if they are going to be coming to your town, ’cause they can’t be missed.

Today was a great day

May 1, 2007

1) Today while leaving the post office some dude with shoulder length hair and headphones came up to me and asked:

“You rock?”
(he then made a ‘hang loose’ sign with his pinky/thumb) “Ozzy Osborne!”
“Oh, yeah….”
“Right on.”

2) Today Nick was singing the following to the tune of “We’re Not Going to Take It”

The constitution has
Lots and lots of loop holes
You can do whatever
You want.

It was amazing.

3) I went to the 1-2 Go! Crew “Reunion Show” at Memory Lanes. It was amazing. For those of you who don’t know, 1-2 Go! Crew is a fantastic sXe hip hop group from the Twin Cities. The funniest part (besides hip hop covers of Gorilla Biscuits/Youth of Today/Minor Threat songs) was the cover of a xCarebearsx song. xCarebearsx was a band that I was in back in 1999 with CHZA, Franklin, & T-Bag. Ben Crew (the MC) started the jam off with the following:

Yeah …. Macalester College …. St. Paul ….. Eclipse Records ….. CARE BEAR STARE!

It was incredible. At any rate, I got a copy of the 1-2 Go! Crew discog, and if you wanna hear the CB cover, let me know and I’ll email you.

A quick update.

April 7, 2007

Here are a few things:

1) I saw the new Ninja Turtle movie this week. It’s not so good. I mean, the fight scenes are pretty fun to watch, but I had lots of problems with the movie as a whole. First off, not nearly enough Don, who is my second favorite turtle after Raph. Secondly, the soundtrack is unlistenable. It’s all this Rapcore bullshit and breakbeat techno. I couldn’t handle it. The song that runs over the credits is equally as laughable as Ninja Rap by Vanilla Ice, but it doesn’t have the charm of being written by Vanilla Ice. Thirdly, turdly, the dialog is just filled to the brim with horrible puns and cliches. I mean, “Hey, next time, I’m drivin'” made me wanna throw up. Lastly, I do like that they tried to do something new and not put Shredder in it, but the plot of this one was bad. Why have they not put Krang in a TMNT movie yet? I figured this one would the the perfect one, since it was all CG. Oh well.

2) I saw Cattle Decapitation, The Daughters, & The Locust last night. Cattle Decapitation, whose albums I kinda dig, got pretty dull after the first three of four minutes, ’cause all of their songs sound the same. Have the Daughters gotten a new singer fince their first album? Cause this new dude (or just the old dude nowadays) sucks….a lot. He’s terrible. They would have been better without a singer. However, I did like how the singer continued to spit into his underwear. The Locust was just amazing. If you have not seen them, get on that. They are amazing musicians and will fry your face off. Seriously.

3) For those of you who do not know, I’m moving to Portland, OR. …in two months. It’s going to be crazy and nutty, and I can’t wait. So, if you live out there and wanna give me some advice, do so quickly. If you live around here in Minneapolis and wanna hang out before I take off, do so quickly.

4) This week’s episode of Lost was pretty fantastic.

5) I just read the Ultimate Spider Man Clone Saga and it was wonderful. Much better than that turd from back in the 90s.

6) I’m currently reading Children of Men by P. D. James, which was then turned into one of my favorite movies of all time. The book, so far, isn’t very good…but I’m only about a third of the way in. I’ll be posting something in my “Books I’ve read in 2007” section when I finish. By the way, I’m pretty psyched that I’m keeping up with my average of two books per month. In fact, I’m ahead. I’m usually a slow reader, so I’m proud of myself.

Guitar Tab

March 15, 2007

I’ve never written a guitar tab before because I don’t really know how to play the guitar, or what the hell I’m supposed to do, but I just figured out how to play an amazing little ditty, so I’m going to put it up here. It’ll kinda be a contest of sorts. The first person to play it and figure it out will get my praise. Go for it. Also, bear with me if this tab sucks….if you’ve got other ideas of how to fix it up, let me know. Thanks.

e |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
B |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
G |=-=-=-16-16-15-16-15-13-11-13-11=-=-=-=-|
D |=-=13=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-14-14=-=|
A |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
E |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|

e |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
B |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
G |=-=-=-15-15-13-15-13-11=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
D |=-=11=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-13-14-13-11-13=-=-|
A |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
E |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|

e |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
B |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
G |=-=-=-13-13-11-13-11-9-8=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-|
D |=-=9=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-11-13-11-9-8=-=-=|
A |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-|
E |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-|

e |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
B |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
G |=-=-=-=-9-13-11=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
D |=-=8-11=-=-=-=-14-13-11-13-11-9-11-13=-=|
A |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|
E |=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=|

& Repeat!

Best of luck, sucka.


February 22, 2007

What the hell happened to that band? They just turned into turds. Anyway, I listened to “Make Your Self” for the first time in maybe five years. It’s actually pretty good. There are a bunch of things that irritated me, but there were also many moments I found myself singing along and loving it. I think that shortly after this album came out, I put it on my list of deserted island albums (meaning that I could listen to it over and over and not get sick of it…..HA!). So, if you have not listened to it in a while, do so. If you listen to it all the time tell me why. Ok. I gotta get back to work. I am working pretty much non-stop from wednesday at about 3pm (2/21) until monday at about 9pm (2/26). The boys’ parents are out of town, and I’m a single parent until they get back. It’s wild. I’m sure I’ll have stories. Tell me yours.

Concerto in Four Movements.

February 7, 2007

I did a crazy project for my Music Theory 3 final in college. It has become quite famous/imfamous. I happened upon this great retelling of the story told by an eyewitness, Curtis Gilbert. Here’s what he had to say:


Extended Mac Memories (Taking the shape of a long story):
Go into the men’s bathroom in Macalester’s music department. Open the door to stall number two. There, etched in the stone slab wall is a phrase that will mean very little to most people. But I know what it means. It says I was there when N8 puked. I wasn t the one who defaced the toilet stall, but I was there when Nate “N8” Duke puked…. in class… on purpose.

The class was Music Theory III — contemporary theory — and the reason was… Well, I’m not sure anyone could answer that, probably not even N8, himself. But I can tell you what I saw.

The assignment was to write a piece of experimental music. If there were any guidelines, I don’t remember what they were. Most of us wrote something comprised of weird noises, dissonant harmonies, funny time signatures and the like. It wasn’t the kind of stuff you’d tap your foot to, and I’d wager that no one in the class remembers their own composition, let alone anyone else’s, except of course N8’s.

N8, who graduated a year before us and may very well still spell his name like that, performed solo that day. His piece was in four movements, each labeled with a single word starting with the letter ‘B.’

Movement 1 – Board: “Board” was for keyboard, a little battery-powered Casio with a Latin-flavored demonstration tune. Press a button and the keyboard would begin playing the cheerful bosa nova in an endless loop. N8 entered the classroom, set the keyboard on a table in front of him and pressed the button. The demo began to play. This concluded the first movement.

Movement 2 – Bananas: N8 produced a bunch of bananas, five or so, from a brown paper sack at his feet. One by one, he peeled and devoured them. All five were gone in under two minutes. So ended the second movement.

Movement 3 – Beer: At this point in the story, it’s important to note that N8 did not drink alcohol. He was a straight-edge heavy metal kid from Indiana, and so in Movement Three, N8 produced from his bag one six-pack of O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer. N8 cracked the first O’Doul’s, tipped his head back and downed it. He paused, took a breath and opened a second one. It was gone like the first. N8 did not look well. He opened beer number three and put the can to his lips. He didn’t drink. He realized that Movement Three would have to end prematurely.

Movement 4 – Bile: N8 picked up the nearest wastebasket, and it came in a rush. The board chirped its merry tune as the bananas and beer spilled out in a smooth, foamy milk-white column. The fourth movement was over, and with it, the piece.

N8 took his seat, and we discussed the composition. Our professor said it reminded her of a commentary on bulimia. I remarked that the vomit wasn’t nearly as gross-looking as it might have been. I think I even said it was “pretty.” N8 got a ‘B’ on the assignment. As far as I know, he has not given an encore performance.


I wrote him the following email to clear a few things up:


1. I actually got an A on the project. I wrote out sheet music for this piece which consisted of four measures. A whole note for “board” in the first, two whole notes for “board” and “bananas” in the second, three whole notes for “board”, “bananas”, and “beer”, and four whole notes for “board”, “bananas”, “beer”, and “bile”. I also remember being called into Jan Gilbert’s “office” to discuss my piece. She told me that a lot of other profs were very angry about the whole thing and they they would have failed me. She also asked me if I’d like to tour around to elementary schools and perform the piece to raise awareness for anorexia. Seriously. I told her that if she set it up, I’d do it…but she never got back to me.

2. I have yet to perform the peice again. However, I was approached by a few mac students and asked if they might perform it at a talent show. I said yes. Click here and scroll down to the bottom.

Another funny thing is that my now former roommate was at a party talking it up with a few other folk, and they got to talking about crazy stories from college. She hear this story about a guy puking for a music class and couldn’t wait to come home and tell me all about it. She was pretty excited to hear that not only was I the one in the story, but I also had it on video. Anyone who would like to watch it is more than welcome to either a) come over to my place or b) help me transfer a VHS tape into some sort of file that I can post on youtube.

End Times Festival

June 26, 2006

So this weekend I spent a huge portion of my time at the End Times Fest at the Turf Club. I saw way too many bands…some great and some terrible.

I got to meet and talk to Gregg Turkington (a huge hero of mine). I was really WAY more star struck than I thought I’d be, and I think I came across as mentally unstable. I also asked him to bite my arm so I’d get super powers (which didn’t help me in the mentally unstable department), but he said he’d rather not.

Franklin and I ran into the singer for Husker Du, which was funny, ’cause I’m totally not a fan and I had no clue who he was.

I will now do a one sentence review of each band I saw.

Magik Markers – This band (with a female “singer” who basically rolled around on the floor and screamed into a guitar) sucked, but in that kind of way that’s fun to watch

Steve Mackay & Radon Ensemble – I only saw 30 seconds of this saxophone noise group, but that was plenty for me.

Death Sentence: PANDA! – I was really excited to see this trio consisting of a drummer, a flutist, and a distorted clarinet player, and they didn’t disappoint.

Yellow Swans – It was interesting how this electronic noise band from the great state of Oregon never seemed to match up with what they were doing.

Rusted Shut – If Brandon King were 50, drunk, and in a shitty noise band from Eastern Texas, this is how they would sound (I know it sounds fun, but it blew….no offense, Branny).

Oxbow – The singer for this sludgy metal band was not only the largest most muscular human being I’d ever seen, but he also got naked and masturbated on stage.

Neil Hamburger – The funniest man alive does it again!

Lambsbread – This band walked up, said nothing, made noise, and left.

Nate Denver’s Neck – Nate Denver, who not only is my new hero, but also one of the best bands I saw at the fest, played amazing poppy songs about death and a few Deicide covers.

Cherry Blossoms – Terrible hippy inspired noise played by senior citizens.

T.I.T.S. – I really liked about half of this all girl punk/noise/improve group’s set, which included some creepy poltergeist-esque vocals.

Noel Von Harmonson – This hair farmer opened up a suitcase and made some great electronic noise that sounded like a mad scientist’s lab, a lawn mower, and a small child masturbating.

Smegma – Apparently this group of old geezers has been making this John Zorn inspired music for 30+ years, or had John Zorn been making Smegma inspired music?

Flying Luttenbachers – Holy fucking shit these amazingly brutal prog guys were 1000 times better than any of the recordings I’ve ever heard.

Borbetomagus – Shit sandwich

Total Shutdown – Because it was their last show (or so the rumor goes), this band (who included Nate Denver on bass!) screamed, broke shit, threw shit, and just generally caused a ‘rawkus’ which ended in a crazy moshpit and broken turf club equipment.

Zip Code Rapists – They were just as awful, hilarious, and awesome as I thought they’d be (which translates into one of the most fun bands I’ve ever seen live).

Portable Corners – Terrible music played by stinky hippie/crusty punks in an awesome converted bus in the alleyway behind the Turf Club makes for a fun but hot time.

Nmperign – Bratwurs’, next time you’re in Boston visiting your woman, you need to go hear these guys make the quietest noise I’ve ever heard on a trumpet and sax…you won’t be disappointed.

Yowie – Amazingly tight “sloppy” prog punk played by two lumberjacks and one very french looking mustachioed weirdo.

Burning Star Core – Who knew that a violin run through a zillion pedals would sound so great?

XBXRX – The dancing for this band (by the audience and the band members) was by far the craziest with people flying through the air, climbing support poles, throwing guitars, tackling each other, and just general tom-foolery.

Taiwan Deth – If I’ve learned one thing from this fest, it’s that the saxophone is the new guitar, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

Bordems – I had not seen the Bordems since 1994, and this time, even with three drumsets, they never missed a beat, and just by and large “wowed” me.

This fest was seriously amazing and I think people will be talking about it for years to come. It was maybe the best fest I’ve ever been to.