Archive for punk

I and Love and The Avett Brothers

Posted in music, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by JD

avetts_1_2I know, I know, it has taken me way too long to sit down and finally write a review of the Avett’s newest release. After 8 albums or so (not including live ones), the Avetts were “discovered” by producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin, who threw them in the studio and put his magic touch on their punk-grass sound.  A 3 song EP was released a few months back and gave fans their first taste of new Avett’s in about 2 years, and  of what was to come when the full album is released.  I think it is safe to say that many fans had the same reaction as I to the new Rick Rubinized Avetts…… “Track 1 – I and Love and You: okay, some piano,  the cello a bit more pronounced, overall a great mellow opening song.  On to the next tune – Kickdrum Heart: “Uhhhhhh……ummmmm…..what the hell is this? Did iTunes mess up and download the wrong band? No, these voices definitely belong to the brothers.”  Track 3 – Laundry Room:  “Okay, we’re getting back to the Avett’s I know, even a good old fashioned ho-down right at the end of the track.”   So the hooping and hollering aren’t really there and some other band’s song got downloaded by accident, but I’m looking forward to the full-length.

Judging by what I was reading online and by the 3 song EP, many fans were apprehensive as to what they would hear when I and Love and You finally came out.  I have to admit that I did not download the album the day it came out.  I was about a week late and was getting bummed out, as one of the terms I was hearing used quite a bit about this new album is “sell-outs”.  I was imagining and entire album of Kick Drum Heart.   A week after it’s release, I finally added it to my iPod and listened to it completely through several times to get a good feel for it and really hear it…and all I have to say is, “Are you f*cking kidding me?!?!” I and Love and You is nothing short of amazing!! This album shows even more what truly gifted musicians the Avett’s are.  Sure it’s more produced and more polished, but how in the hell does that mean sell-out?  If there is any band out there who deserves getting “discovered” by a mega-producer, getting major distribution and becoming huge, it is the Avetts!! They have stayed true to who they are and their music is still amazing.  It might not be the knee slapping, jug band, stomping on the porch music that the annoying fans refer to when they scream out “play some old stuff” at their live shows, but it shows an amazing progression and true growth as musicians, and the heart of what they have always been is  still there.  The banjo is a bit less prevalent but still there, and the piano has definitely come out a bit more in many songs.

Three highlights from this album for me:

  • I and Love and You
  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise (this is one of 2 goosebump, tear to my eye songs on this album)
  • The Perfect Space (this is the other)

I and Love and the Avett Brothers! Nothing disappointing about this album in the least bit.
And as I’ve said before, if you ever get the chance to see these boys live…..DO NOT MISS IT!!!
One of the most amazing and crazy live shows you will ever see. My wife had never been to a show until this past summer, never really even listened to them much….the show (one of the mellower ones even) is now “the best show she has ever seen” and she hasn’t stopped listening to them since.

Make Noise!!

Summer Essentials – “Beat This!”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by JD

English Beat The Best of English Beat – “Beat this” is the first of many essential summer albums I recommend picking up.  In case you think you don’t know English Beat (or The Beat), if you have ever seen any movie with Jon Cusack in it, you’ve heard them and you just didn’t know it. You have probably heard some of them in one of their many projects since leaving The Beat as well, such as Fine Young Cannibals, Big Audio Dynamite or General Public. Mixing reggae, ska, punk, soul and pop together into one great sound, these boys from England have the perfect sound for your summer parties.

“Beat This” is a greatest hits album, so there aren’t really any bad songs on it, but there are a few standouts for hanging out around the BBQ and playing badminton with friends.  “Hand Off She’s Mine” is a bouncy little tune with a bit more of a reggae influence, complete with the steel drums any good summer song needs in order to make your guests feel like they have been whisked away to a desert island.  “Rankin Full Stop” is another essential on your summer soundtrack; a perfect classic ska bouncer. But the one song on this album that you cannot forget to put on you ultimate summer soundtrack…….a cover of Smoky Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown”  If you don’t catch people shakin’ their butts to this one, then you really need a new group of friends.  In my opinion, this is one of the happiest damn tunes ever, despite what the lyrics actually say if you listen to them.  Somehow the English Beat has made crying clowns one of the happiest damn things ever!

There you go…..the first essential summer album and some primo songs from that album to add to your ultimate summmer playlist.

Make Noise this Summer!

Quicksand Reunites for Summer Tour!!

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by JD

quicksand-slip-coverThe music world has been set abuzz today with word that what was probably one of the most quietly influential bands of the 1990’s is in the rehearsal studios practicing for a worldwide summer reunion tour. Rumor has it there are also discussions of releasing the long lost album recorded just before they broke up.

No dates have been released yet, but all news is pointing towards a June/July tour through North America and then August and September overseas. Apparently they are not going through major promotions companies to book this tour.  All shows will be at small venues and booked by small local promoters. Walter has been cited as saying, “We want to get back to our roots and reconnect with all the fans that were there from the beginning. We want an intimate environment full of friends with local bands in each city opening for us, just like it was in the beginning.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but this news just made my entire year. I just hope the rumors about releasing the long lost album end up being true as well.

Make noise!!

Not really creepy, just damn good

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2009 by JD

creepy_1There are those albums which you don’t listen to for a while and you remember them as being incredibly good, but you don’t realize exactly how incredibly good they are until you pop them on the stereo after a long hiatus.

Into another’s “Creepy Eepy” is one of those albums. Although it is only a 4 song EP, you could technically call it Into Another’s sophomore effort, as you can definitely hear a huge difference between what is on this album, what appeared on their initial release and what they put out on the album to follow this one; Ignaurus.

In my opinion, these 4 songs are some of the best material Into Another put out.  Just straight-forward pure post-hardcore goodness.  You can’t beat Richie’s voice and Peter takes his guitar to a whole new, almost metal level. Tony has one of the craziest bass solos you have ever heard on “Absolute Zero”, which closes out the song; and Drew…..the most fashionable drummer you have ever seen….lays down some of the craziest beats.

One of my favorite lines of any song ever comes off of this album, from the song “I’ll Be Damned”: “We call earth mother, but we are all mother fuckers. We drink her blood eat her flesh, take her love for granted. We feed her poison and in return we’ll reap what we’ve planted rest assured.”

This album started my weekend off on the right foot today.  What album is your Creepy eepy? That album you know is good, but sometimes you forget just how good.

Make Noise!!

Make Me Cry Dallas

Posted in music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by JD

Two things to say about Dallas Green (aka: City & Colour):

1) the above song quickly earned it’s way onto my top 10 of 2008 and also became the theme for the birth of my daughter.  It damn near brings a tear to my eye everytime I hear it.  The man is a true musician.

2) If it weren’t for the other singer’s guttural screaming all the time, Dallas’ other band, Alexisonfire, would probably make it’s way onto my “great new post-hardcore” bands list (and yes, “new post-hardcore” is a genre) . Dallas, can’t you just sing? I know you guys are huge Quicksand fans (which is another reason you have my respect) and I’d have to say that if you were the sole singer, Alexisonfire could possibly be right up there as well, but just when you get a good rhythm going and one hell of a beat, I get a damn banshee screaming in my ear.   There is nothing wrong with a good screamer (Darryl Taberski), but someone that sounds like a dying cat going through puberty can ruin an otherwise amazing song.

Make Noise!

p.s. – Despite me really wanting to like Alexisonfire, but just not being able to; anyone who names their label after a Quicksand song has my undying respect and adoration (Dine Alone records).  Oh….and signs Walter himself.