Sunday, July 30, 2006

Music That's Better Than You. Week 7

Elite Opinion- The T-1000 Thinking Computer of internet music blogs presents:

Music That’s Better Than You Week: 7


You never post anymore. Waahhh. You’re always posting on other blogs and working, I never see you anymore. WAAAAHHH.

Okay, okay baby relax. Everything’s gonna be fine. I’m home now. So go make me some dinner before someone has an "accident" down the stairs, again.

In the mean time...


Sounds Like:
Hot Cross, Ampere, Drive Like Jehu, Volta Do Mar, Minus the Bear

No really, sounds like:
Two roaring drunk, very wild strings of note-formations fighting to the death with rapiers.


Here’s a chicken-or-the-egg question for you: do I love complex music because my generation’s been sculpted by a society pushing for ever-faster sources of input and stimulation, and have my interests have been realigned by this society to feel specifically comfortable under the duress of as many voices, sounds, shapes and colors as I can possible withstand- or do I love complex music because I have attention deficit disorder and I am naturally (and almost chemically) drawn to forms of entertainment that provide layers upon layers of stimuli in hopes of satiating a brain that fires on about 26 cylinders, constantly?

And in the same vein of thought, do bands like Cinemechanica wield duel guitars and vocalists as a natural extension of society’s demand for more stimulating fare- or are the band members themselves attempting to satisfy their own deficits by relentlessly toying with time signatures, interwoven melodies and spastic notes structures?

Your guess is good as mine.

But while I’m waiting for the next Hot Cross album to get my guitar-duo fix (yes I know they are down to one- fuck off) Cinemechanica is a fantastic piece of mathy-screamo.

[MP3] Cinemechanica - I’m Tired of Paul McCartney
[MP3] Cinemechanica - Bruckheimer
[MP3] Cinemechanica - Braintarp

[HOME] Cinemechanica


Matthew Herbert
Pop-Electronica/Big Band/Hip-Hop/Jazz/Trip-Hop etc etc

Sounds Like:
Björk, Zero 7, Gwen Stefani, Kylie Minogue,Hooverphonic,RJD2

No really, sounds like:
A goddamn pop wizard took nearly a thousand samples of everything from Jazz to a socket wrench and then made it amazing.


You don’t have to be a big man to admit you enjoy some pop music. You just have to be an honest one.

And then, be a careful one.

Because there is a fucking gapping nebula of-a-difference between liking one or two of the year’s good pop releases, and then enjoying things like Snow Patrol or Frank Black’s trashcan scraping joke-of-an-album.

So yes, there is good pop- it’s just a bitch to find.

Well let me help you out: Matthew Herbert – Scale.

And belive me, this guy doesn’t fuck around, even when he’s fucking around. Understand that beyond the fact that this is simply one of the most easily listenable, surprisingly addictive and stunningly indepth records you’ll find this year, such feats are child's play when considering to craft this release Herbert actually manipulated around 723 different random items (like gas pumps, answer machines and coffins) to bring you this terrifyingly clever and well crafted pop heavy weight.

Scale is all of the following: jazz fusion, electronica, hip-hop, downbeat, disco, big band, blues, funk and soul and on and on.

Put this album in your car, play it through once or twice to get a feel for the songs, then crank the son of a bitch up and lose your mind to an album that is not only one of the best pop releases of 2006 but one of the best releases in of 2006, period.

[MP3] Matthew Herbert - Something Isn’t Right
[MP3] Matthew Herbert - Down

[HOME] Matthew Herbert

World’s End Girlfriend

Sounds Like:
Amina, Brian Eno,The Notwist, A Silver Mt. Zion, Boards of Canada, Mono, Sigur Rós, Set Fire to Flames, Dntel

No really, sounds like:
If Brian Eno was Japanese and he decided to do some work with Hanz Zimmer.


Oh, look another post-rock band. Weird.

I know that you probably don’t even care that this post-rock band is Japanese instead of some lost Euro lads. And I know you might not even care that this year World’s End did a five track 64 minute monstrously beautiful tour-de-force with Mono. And I bet it doesn’t make a difference to you that this isn’t some brand new trend fiending post-rock group, but instead an act that’s been active for nearly six years now…

That’s fine.

Here are two reasons that should make you care about World’s End Girlfriend:

1.) They employ more than just a few guitars slaughtered with reverb-run-the-fuck-amuck, as well as a drummer who has two modes. (Building for the crescendo and crescendo-man-fucking-crescendo!!)

Yes, this is something more: World’s End Girlfriend is the creation of composer Katsuhiko Maeda. Now for those of you not familiar with the difference between what a composer can do with an epic interest as opposed to a 23 kid who blew all of his money on delay pedals, try to decipher the difference between, oh I don’t know, let’s say Mozart and Buckethead.

And not only does World’s End employ a string section, but its effectiveness is absolutely complete and stunning. These arrangements seems to be politely asking groups like A Silver Mount Zion to take a seat at the damn kiddy table. And furthermore…

2.) Electronica. See Katsuhiko is not content to simply orchestrate some of the most epic and gorgeous post-rock this side of Tokyo, no, he’s interested in pushing his work far, far beyond.

This interest in electronic music soaring hand in hand with hopelessly majestic post-rock orchestration makes World’s End Girlfriend not only one of the best sounding outfits in the post-rock scene, but more importantly this bizarre marriage makes Katsuhiko’s project utterly unique amidst a exponentially growing genre of contrived formulaic illusionists.

[MP3] World’s End Girlfriend - Daydream Loveletter
[MP3] World’s End Girlfriend - Singing Under the Rainbow
[MP3] World’s End Girlfriend - We Are the Massacre

[LABEL-HOME] Noble World’s End Girlfriend

[LABEL-HOME] Nippop World’s End Girlfriend

Friday, July 28, 2006

Gettin' The Nod: Cursive's Happy Hollow

So Cursive's ditched the strings and Jenny Lewis cameos and while their fifth full-length release Happy Hollow may be light a cello; it's not shy a single ounce of ambition. Tim Kasher, Cursive's guitarist/vocalist centerpiece and self-styled Indie-Emo pasquinade certainly hasn't muted, or even mellowed his delivery; he sings, croons, shouts and even screeches throughout the album's thirteen tracks. And in lieu of the cellos that defined the sound of their last album- The Ugly Organ, Cursive's deployed a fresh battery of instruments expounding upon the core band's normal array: most notably Happy Hollow boasts the most ruckus and riotous horns you'll hear on any Indie album this year. And if the brass isn't enough to put Hollow on an instrumental level with The Ugly Organ, Cursive's guitar work has never sounded more monstrous. The strength of these two instruments in unison- blaring horns and huge guitars- is so wild, that the result dabbles in actual dissonance. This cacophonous tinkering is a true departure from the Ugly Organ's orchestral and ever-melodic appeal making Happy Hollow a resounding confirmation that Cursive is still hungry and interested in playful experimentation and musical progression.

Still, despite laudable instrumentation Hollow has a high mark to meet in a post-Ugly Organ world.

Not only was Ugly Organ an unerringly clever and poignant concept-album, but the level of song-craftsmanship coupled with Kasher's brutally touching and deft frontmanship pushed the entire release far beyond the precipice of a defining Indie Rock LP and into the stratosphere where you'll find music's instant masterpiece mingling in each other's respective glow.

So how does Cursive's 2006 release stack up against their 2003 opus?

Well, Happy Hollow does reach valiantly for the lofty precedent established by its predecessor. Actually it stretches, leaps and claws to be on par with
The Ugly Organ... but ultimately Happy Hollow it never attains the same magnificent elevation. That's not to say Cursive has failed- far from it. But they just haven't managed to over-achieved, again.

Organ was and still is a brilliantly cohesivene, multi-leveled commentary on not only the state of Kasher's personal life, but also his artistic life and the relevance of those dynamics in relation to the current Indie-Rock climate. In contrast Hollow strives for that kind of grandiosity, but never manages to shoulder as much sagely relevant weight or feel nearly as emotionally vast. But it's not like Tim and the boys shied away from heavier and direr material: the album launches savage satirical strikes at the foundations of Americana with Tim firing his always formidable analogies like artillery shells in a distinctly anti-theocratic bombardment. And while one can argue such topics are more socially pressing than the trials and woes of Kasher's personal life, this new subject matter lacks for exactly that reason: art is rarely as effective when it's consumed by a sense of social consciousness, as opposed to a feral need for emotional catharsis. The resulting album is in the same vein of its masterpiece precursor, but the highs aren't
ever as stirring and the lows aren't nearly as brooding.

Still, in a year riddled with bands releasing follow-ups to enormously significant prior work, Cursive's latest full-length album hits far closer to the mark than other artists who've garnered ten times the hype. Cursive remains a dependable Indie-Rock source of artistry and thoughtful creativity.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

This just in: Fuck Universal Productions. Fuck them so hard.

"If it's a sequal, adaptation or remake- we'll ruin it."

It has come to my attention that Universal Studios is either the most incompetent or just overtly evil institution on the face of the planet.

Al Qaeda does more good for the human race, in one week than this movie studio does in a fiscal year. By far.

This company has lost all control of it's development branch and is actually utterly incapable of saying "no" to anything that doesn't further spoil our species and lead all sane people into fantasies involving the sun careening into our pathetic sphere, obliterating all trace of our existence as well as The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

For those of you still skeptical, check out some of the gems awaiting our hard earned dollars in Universal's platinum pipeline:

-Nappily Ever After
-Jurassic Park IV
(Yeaaah MILK IT BABY- there's at least 30 bucks left in this franchise.)
-Knocked Up (This is exactly what you think it is.)
-American Pie 5: The Naked Mile
-Creature from the Black Lagoon (Gee I wonder if the creature will be 100% CGI and 200% fucking retarded.)
-White Noise 2: The Light (Why.)
-The Incredible Hulk (Yeah, no. This isn't a mistake. They are doing a sequel to a adaptation no one liked. And not even calling it Hulk:2)

If none of those titles have convinced you that Universal Productions is in fact, helmed by a crew of special-ed kids who have somehow locked all of the doors to the Universal boardroom and have discovered the magical "green light" button, then surely you must believe that the CEO and President of the company is none other that Lucifer, King of Hell and Prince of Darkness. Because if neither of those options seem like plausible explanations to you, well then most likely you're either struggling to read this blog through the plastic blast shield of your own tard helmet or you've already sold your soul to Beelzebub and you just can't wait for when Ang Lee directs The Fast and the Furious 4: Zero to Sexy, Speed=Blowjobs.

" You guys ever race for 'The Load' before? No? Check it: Our co-pilots domes the winner off. Now, are you man enough?"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Pain of Sub-Par Releases: Thom Yorke's The Eraser and The Mars Volta's Amputechture

DISCLAIMER: The Author acknowledges the two albums reviewed in this piece are both Good Albums. The Author's point is simply that in both cases 'good' is not good enough.

Know the old Hindu saying, “There are many paths up the mountain”?

Well guess what, there are twice as many paths straight back down right into the chasm.

The Eraser and Amputechture stumble over two totally different, and nearly opposite snags, and yet both records land side-by-side in a frustratingly similar pit.

For the duo of Yorke and Godrich their product seems to have been starved of creative nourishment behind self imposed walls of traditional song structure that have been (ironically) erected with non-traditional bricks.

On an absolutely inverted plane: the duo of Cedric and Omar have aimed their cannon at the walls of traditional structure and refused to leave any two stones upon one another. Oddly enough the cannon-shot they use is comprised entirely of classical rock, jazz and soul propellant.

Still, in an equally disappointing display, both albums suffer not only from inherent weaknesses, but also from an even more menacing foe: hopelessly lofty standards set by the pedigrees of their creators.

Certainly the lineage of both groups is not within the realms of sane debate.

The Eraser is a playful culmination of a decade’s worth of electronic music. The record is helmed by two of the most notorious men in the indie-rock universe: Thom Yorke- whose voice has made droning delivery and artistic ambiguity into one of the most recognizable and poetic sounds in the 21st century, and of course Nigel Godrich-Radiohead’s mad scientist producer, whose craftsmanship has served to temper and transform the British bands’ experimental and progressive pop-rock into a small series of modern masterpieces.

And then there is Amputechture, the third full length release from Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez; who were not only two of the most prominent members of At the Drive In, but are currently the prog-rock demigods that form the epicenter of The Mars Volta. Each man has a nearly supernatural mastery of his craft. Omar is the kind of guitarist whose skill provides a standard of measurement for young aspiring guitar prodigies in their soul-bartering with Satan. And as lead singer Cedric threatens to be a frontman worthy of a legend in keeping with Jim Morrison’s poetic nonsensical daring while being armed with a voice that could have made Freddie Mercury grab his balls and wince.

So where did The Eraser and Amputechture go awry with such prestige?

Well, from across the pond Yorke and Godrich have recorded an album that takes a few steps back before it charges rabidly at an end product of cleverly constructed brilliance, however at the last second, when that conclusion seems not only forgone, but glorious- the dash falls short.

There is no axiom in art truer than, “less is more.” And yet within the digital halls of The Eraser, less is not more, its, well… less. It’s easy to speculate at the cause. The album’s song length and format are strictly traditional. Now, why two men, who have built their entire careers by deftly forcing ‘traditional’ out of the goddamn window, would confine themselves to such a limited canvas is beyond me. But their work suffers for it. Every song on The Eraser promises to explode at any second into a symphony of transcendental genre-bending sonic delight- but it never happens. The storm clouds slowly gather and thicken overhead until you can almost run your hand through their layers, and yet the rain never comes. And maybe that’s where the other four members of Radiohead have always triumphed. Sure, Yorke and Godrich are talented visionaries, but without the right toolset they are only two shades of a painting that’s nothing but a black and white snapshot in contrast to Radiohead’s mural of a thousand colors.

And if The Eraser is a release that wanes in its grey-scale composition, back on U.S. soil Cedric and Omar have just launched a savage campaign of prismatic overload. Where The Eraser is spare, Amputechture has enough color to cinder your retinas. Now complexity is the silver bullet of music: too little and you’ve got a yawn inducer, too much and you lose coherence and definition, but the right balance will birth a work that can not only defy the passage of time, but possibly redefine the standards of sound for the rest of the planet.

Unfortunately that careful balance is utterly absent on Amputechture. The boys of Volta desperately lack just a touch of the structure and definition that chokes The Eraser into sterility. Instead, Cedric and Omar stepped up to a paint-by-numbers canvas with a small squadron of fire hoses, each swollen with a rainbow’s array of paint and then they closed their eyes and brought the storm.

And rage the storm does. And rage. And rage.

Amputechture rages until there is nothing left but a thick morass of sound and concepts that wander from minute to minute like stoned rock-stars stumbling back and forth, from one masturbatory performance to the next. And somewhere into your listening task, when you’ve lost track of the myriad of bridges, intros, outros, solos, refrains, pre-choruses, choruses, crescendios, diminuendos and endless ambling and noodling-effect-drunken sound, you’ll be begging for one of these:

Or at least you’ll be begging for the War on Drugs to finally win a victory or two, anything to sober these guys up long enough for them to ask each other ‘what the fuck are we really doing here?’

But as anyone, with half an honest bone in their body will tell you, if there is any real shame to these two sub par releases it is the simple fact that both of them regularly toy with absolute goddamn genius.

The moments when The Eraser and Amputechture manage to work, they really, really work. Yorke’s voice has never been stronger and more versatile, and when his tracks dare towards their full creative and epic potential there is no mistaking the fingerprints of brilliance. Equally, during the sustained and tempered instances of clarity and control on Amputechture, the album achieves breathtaking heights of sonic majesty. And on both records, it is these brief flashes of intense and soaring musical mastery that make the dismal depths of their accompanying mediocrity so viciously hard to bare.

The Eraser and Amputechture are albums that should have been not only the best releases of 2006, but possibly this decade, if not longer. However while both LPs will certainly hold zealously defended high-ranking positions on many music fans’ ‘best-of-lists’, for many others the albums will remain an example of overwhelming potential gone good, but not great.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Well, yes. I’ve been MIA.

A few weeks ago, something hijacked my personal life. There were a few different culprits: first there was a techno-obsession (the PC type, not the music genre) then there were several heavy drinking episodes, rounded off with a few hints of procrastination and finally a little game called Elder Scrolls: Oblivion IV, which happens to be about as inductive to productivity as a spat with heroin.

And to compound all of these distractions, I ran out of interesting new music.

Sorry. It happens.

But I still feel I’ve wronged both of my regular readers, so here is my apology and a peace-offering: A complete break-down of all of the note-worth releases in June.


I will admit, due to monetary, logistical and chronological limitations I haven’t given all of the following releases extended listens. In some cases, I did nothing more than sample the albums in question- and even that was more than most of them deserved, a lot more. You see MOST of the music that comes out in a month really, truly does suck sack. So if I disparage the holy name of one of your favorite little groups or albums- and you feel it was unfair, just remember that this is the internet my friend and formulating and promoting unwarranted,uneducated and utterly biased claims are what we do here.

So here is The Elite Opinion “Le JUNE!!” breakdown: a short running commentary on the albums released in the month of June, 2006.

Oh, one last item before I start, I would like to comment on the Tom Ze reviews that continue to drown “Estudando o Pagode” with sickly glowing praise:

This phenomenon is either the absolute and definitive proof that there is no god and that we are utterly and completely alone in an increasingly insane universe-


There is a god, and he loves to fuck with the music industry.

Both options are unsettling- the latter seems more believable to me.

Anyway if you haven’t guess by now; take the kids out of the room.


06/06/06 Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence

One of the first releases of June, this product shares tonality with Nick Drake, only the sharing stops a little short because midst this LP's production someone must have turned the ‘good’ way down in the mix and cranked the “Christ this is boring” waay-the-hell up.

06/06/06 Be Your Own Pet - S/T

Sounds like…
House of, jealous Lovers
House of, Jealous Lovers
Album of, contrived songs

This is the story of how derivative albums killed the dance punk movement.

06/06/06 Boards Of Canada -Trans Canada Highway EP

Ok, now this is technically a re-release but it’s fortified with a new version of its opening track. And what’s more this EP generally blows most of the ensuing CDs of June clean out of the goddamn water. If you’ve got a thing for some sweeping lush electronic bliss, this new edition of Trans Canada Highway EP is very worth your time.

06/06/06 Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record

About as punk as I never was at the age of 17

06/06/06 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country

Scotland exports two things that make me angry enough to start fights with inanimate objects: this band and Johnnie Walker Red

06/06/06 Genghis Tron - Dead Mountain Mouth

We’ve plugged this album already on EO and while it’s not the hardcore masterpiece I had hoped for, it is monstrous and devastating. It’s been a slow year for hard music and this is still one of the brightest spots on the map.

06/06/06 Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High

Oh!Oh! I know how this goes: Play the chord progression once, now again, now with the drums. Oh a loud thin obnoxious lead singer, weird.

06/06/06 Josef K - Entymology

What, no Myspace Joe? Haha okay thanks for playin’, idiot.

06/06/06 Kieran Hebden/Steve Reid - Vol. 2

I had to sign up for Domino’s mailing list just to hear a song from this album. Know what I got? Bitches Brew minus Miles fucking Davis. I’m real close to being done with Domino just because their website is such a massive pain in my ass.

06/06/06 Micah P. Hinson - The Baby And The Satellite EP

Jade Tree is a label swollen with bands that are all really close to being really good. This release proves that if nothing else, Jade’s consistent. (This basically blows.)

06/06/06 Mojave 3 - Puzzles Like You

Apparently this is what happened to Slowdive. It’s always nice to see good post-rock bands turn into bad pop rock bands.

06/06/06 Oakley Hall - Gypsum Strings

This band is a 2 out of 4. However the label releasing their album, Brah Records has an attitude scoring an incandescent 5 out of 4. You kids are fun.

06/06/06 Paper Chase - Now You Are One Of Us

Sounds like Mike Patton meets Say Anything with a touch of The Streets. If I kept it ANY less real I’d tear this band to shreds. Course I DO keep it real. And this album might be better than me.

06/06/06 Portastatic - Who Loves The Sun OST

Haha holy Christ this sucks. I can’t even be clever about it.

06/06/06 Psapp - The Only Thing I Ever Wanted

Not horrible. But not good enough for me to work on enjoying. This is like a glitchy zero 7 that aggravates instead of soothes.

06/06/06 Robot Ate Me - Good World

Kind of like nobukazu takemura on an 808. This could be cooler, but it could be a lot worse too.

06/06/06 Sound Team - Movie Monstor

I’ve already reviewed this album on our site- and I highly suggest it. One of the few neverwave bands I support since The Stills fell off.

06/06/06 Stuart Staples - Leaving Songs

I’m sure someone out there is losing their mind over this pseudo soulful acoustic shit. And I’m equally sure that they have a family who wishes them dead.

06/06/06 Zero 7 - The Garden

While the UK duo continues to mastermind a steady stable of relaxed and pleasant songs, none of them have the charm, wit or soul of their first release. The highlight on this album is obviously the tracks with Mr. Jose Gonzalez, but beyond that there isn’t enough to propel this cd drastically beyond a decent mid-year product. Having said that, The Garden is superior to the group’s efforts since their original ’01 album.

06/13/06 2up/Yip-Yip - split 7"

I don’t review bands with names I’d be embarrassed to pronounce. I’m pretty damn sure this sucks though.

06/13/06 Dabyre - Two/Three

I’ve been lamenting the state of hip-hop for a while now. I think the genre is has far surpassed traditional rock as the most whored-out sound on the planet. However, then there is the nerd-rap movement gifting us with intensely progressive production and thoroughly cerebral mic wielding. This release marks one of the first fluid unions of hip-hop and true electronica. It ain’t The Roots and it sure ain’t ’50. It’s Board of Canada meets MF Doom, and that means it’s worth notice. Worth a lot of notice.

06/13/06 Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens

Some bands just need more time to A.) Develop their personality and B.) Develop their skill. These guys could be really interesting if they were a little more creative and little more talented. This is pleasant Shoegaze fuzzy warm music that feels like driving along a beach road. Of course it’s also something you’d expect from your little brother’s high school band to record in their ‘studio’, deep in your parent’s garage.

06/13/06 Futureheads - News and Tributes

This band’s Myspace site was a goddamn train wreck. From what I could hear they sound like The Proclaimers. If that name doesn’t sound familiar I could give you the title of their big single- but that would ruin your night. No, please just trust me. Move on.

06/13/06 Good Riddance

I honestly don’t feel qualified to make a judgment about a 10 year old punk band that hasn’t gone the way of Greenday. If you hit the scene in ’95 and your not writing pop ballads in ’06 you’re alright with me.

06/13/06 Hot Chip - The Warning

This is the best thing Astral Works has release this year. Which makes it mildly more entertaining that cervical cancer.

06/13/06 Mae Shi - To Hit Armor Class Zero 10"

This is as abrasive and experimental as the confines of the ‘pop’ moniker will allow. Basically it’s a juggling act comprised of jangling, sweating, crooning, whining drunken giggling and screaming. I like.

06/13/06 Scanners - Violence Is Golden

It takes a lot for a female lead singer to stand out from the crowd. And when I say, “a lot” I mean more than this.

Oh, and I wouldn’t let the rest of the band play a set at the Special Olympics.

06/13/06 Sonic Youth - (in progess)

06/13/06 T-Tauri - Infinite Motion

Just another confirmation that Strictly Amatuer will sign anyone or anything. Wasn’t T-Tauri the Thundercat with boobs? I can barely hear the lead singer in the mix- and the band hardly carries his almost nonexistent droning.

06/20/06 Awesome Color - S/T

Ever wonder if Hendrix would have been any good if he stole every lick he played and was um, white? Well if the answer is yes, than listen to the Awesome Color… and then realize the answer is of course, no.

06/20/06 Black Helicopter - Invisible Jet

Black Helicopter is one of the most recent graduates from the new(old) rock-out with your cock-out school of noise. It’s too bad they didn’t do this before Queens of the Stone Age made the sound big and before bands like Riddle of Steel made is posh and clever. And better. P.s. Ecstatic Peace is a horrible goddamn label.

06/20/06 Brightblack Morning Light - S/T

This album is an organic sultry chill session that’s only detractor is that it’s almost too mellowing. Still this is some late night blunted-out straight-up down south blues-rock fusion that would make Robert Johnson grin. Here’s a jam that’s way classier than most of its listeners will be. Recommended.

06/20/06 Caribou - Start Breaking My Heart [Deluxe Reissue]

It’s on Domino records huh?

06/20/06 Fatboy Slim - Why Try Harder

This release is billed as ‘Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits.’ I’ll start reviewing when we both stop laughing.

06/20/06 Frank Black - Fastman/Raiderman

The Pixies were one of the most innovative and impressive bands of their time. They fused a laundry list of genres into quirky avant-garde joy marking the music landscape with an influence that has sustained it’s prowess to this day.

So what about Pixie frontman, Frank Black’s solo project?

Remember The Pixies song “Where is My Mind?”

Well the only thing I hear when I listen to this album is the simple refrain,“Where is My Talent?” Shortly followed by the closing track “What happened to my career?”

06/20/06 Keane - Under The Iron Sea

Every once in a while I run into a Keane fan. No, literally. Every once in a while I drive my car into the legs, mid-section or upper body of a Keane fan. Sure, my insurance doesn’t cover that kind of collision- but really, can you put a price on laughter?

06/20/06 Kyle Andrews - Amos In Ohio

OH GOODY!! More creepy, singer-songwriter, folk-indie garbage. What’s with this bubble-gum kiddy pop bull shit? It’s like Blues Clues: The Miserable Album, only without the dog or the clues. No wait, there is a clue here, it’s that Kyle Andrews should be put to death by a firing squad while Raffi plays him through the gates of hell.

06/20/06 Smoosh - Free To Stay

A band on Barsuk, by the name of Smoosh. This couldn’t possibly be good. There is a better chance of zombie Hitler returning from the grave and playing Ben Stiller’s long lost gay uncle Alfy in Meet the Parents 3, then this being any good.

Now you gotta ask yourself, ‘am I the bettin’ type? ‘

06/20/06 Submarines - Declare A New State This band is basically 2 people. One of them is a hot blonde. Which would be the only reason I listened to them considering that their Myspace page lists both Camera Obscura AND Noam Chomsky as friends. Ok, Honestly, even as I write this I can’t remember what these guys sound like- I’ve become wholly consumed by trying to determine who I hate more: Camera Obscura or Noam Chomsky.

06/20/06 Tam - S/T

Ecstatic Peace is the worst goddamn label on the face of the planet. They has taken the crown; they are officially the new reigning champion of relentlessly tasteless, depraved and banal performers. This means that Iran’s # 1 label, Jihad-me-at-hello has been dethroned. You hear that sand bangers? You got a real threat now, and this time it ain’t horny camels.

06/27/06 Balun - Something Comes Our Way

I don’t know if it’s because ANYTHING sounds good after listening to a few Ecstatic Peace bands, but I like Balun. It looks like they are from San Juan, The West Indies and Puerto Rico. God knows the U.S seems utterly incapable of putting out a single good release this month- so sure, why not! Well thank god for the international music scene (NOT YOU TOM ZE) because this entirely instrumental group sounds like a cross between Amina and Dntel. For those of you who don’t know either of those bands just imagine raindrops falling across an infinite digital canvas and every new square inch struck by droplets gives off a new and beautiful note, all of which culminates in a glitch-pop meets post-rock glory. Very nice.

06/27/06 Dr. Octagon - The Return of Dr. Octagon

Doc Oc gets a lot of hype for being a classic underground hip-hop force. And the production on his latest release doesn’t miss a single beat. In fact any of the beats, samples, loops or sounds on this album could provide the backing for a phenomenal rap track. Unfortunately the MC work is rarely on par with the accompanying sound. Still this is a solid release and it’s impact is only heightened considering the sad state of the genre at present.

06/27/06 Punchline

Fueled by Ramen Records is still in business?

06/27/06 Takeovers - Turn To Red

You know what, seriously, bands who can’t bother to get a Myspace page don’t get review by asshole music elitists with a massive chip on their shoulder. Your loss.

06/27/06 Yip-Yip - In The Reptile House

I think we’ve covered how I feel about bands with names that are this pathetic. I don’t care if Jesus Christ was fronting this band with Darth Vader on bass, The Statue of Liberty on drums and action superstar Chuck Norris on guitar – I still wouldn’t listen- wait. Chuck Norris on guitar…