Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thee Mysterious Asthmatic Avenger

For those of you who have an ear for the underground and bizarre this one's for you. Not much is known about Thee Mysterious Asthmatic Avenger, but he does have a Myspace. A masked one-man-band gypsy who records crazy hobo-folk in a tin can that resides somewhere in France is about all that anyone can say about this guy. You will either love him or be painfully annoyed by him. Dig it.

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Atomic Power In Nagazaki

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hall of Fame: The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.

** Hall of Fame is where we discuss our favorite albums of all time, they may not always be the most critically acclaimed, but they hold a special place in our hearts**

Where to begin with this one? It is one of the most critically acclaimed rock records of all time, from the greatest rock and roll band of all time. The Rolling Stones have release so many "classic" albums that it is easy for this one to get tossed in the mix. Other than "Tumbling Dice" and occasionally "Loving Cup" there are no big radio hits on this album. Yet it is still widely considered their best because as a whole, this album is their most expansive and ambitious. 
It is ambitious in the sense that it is the longest Rolling Stones record to date, clocking in at over an hour in length, it explores everything from country rock to murky blues. However The Stones put their own spin on each of these styles of music making it their own sound. 
What I find most interesting about this album is how it was recorded. When they went to record this, The Stones owed more taxes than they could possibly pay. So instead of recording in England they opted to evade taxes and record in a luxury villa called NellcĂ´te outside of  Nice in France. A lot of strange rumors came out of that place, considering The Stones were using a lot of drugs at the time and the villa had once been used as a Nazi outpost during the German occupation. 
However what we do know is the band used this house to its full potential. They recorded for days at a time without stopping in some instances. They also recorded in different rooms of the house which gave each track a different feeling to it. 
When I heard that Exile was to be reissued this year I was looking forward to what might be included in that second disc. Now that it is out, I can honestly say that this reissue is worth the money for the 2nd disc alone. You get to hear ten fabulous songs that did not make the initial release, including alternate versions of "Loving Cup" and "Soul Survivor." What I love the most about these b-sides is that a few of them served as templates that later became tracks featured on the record. For example, "Good Time Women" eventually became what we commonly refer to as "Tumbling Dice."
To celebrate this reissue I have posted not one Rolling Stones song, but an entire bootlegged concert!
What you are about to hear is one of the best Stones bootlegs around. Recorded in their 1973 European Tour, this is commonly referred to as The Brussels Affair. The quality is superb, and beautifully catches The Rolling Stones when they were in their prime, and is a perfect example of how much of a beast these guys were live. 
Brown Sugar
Gimme Shelter
Tumbling Dice
Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo
Dancing With Mr. D
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Honky Tonk Women
Midnight Rambler
All Down The Line
Rip This Joint
Jumping Jack Flash
Street Fighting Man

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Richard Swift

He's baaack. Last year, "Lady Luck" and "The Bully" were two of my summer anthems. However the rest of his album Atlantic Ocean was very bland and milktoast. Yet he appears to be back this summer with new material, kicking things off is "Drakula (Hey Man)." Swift, take note: you're better when you make kooky music like this.

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Drakula (Hey Man)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I am not going to let this release sneak by without being noticed amidst the heavyweights like LCD Soundsystem and buzz band Sleigh Bells. Phosphorescent recieved much critical acclaim last year with their stellar Willie Nelson cover album entitled To Willie. This year they return with original material. This album is slowly growing on me and much of it makes me smile because this is country-rock in the style of Graham Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Two tracks really stand out for me, the sing-songy "Mermaid Parade" and the horn blasted "It's Hard to be Humble (When Your From Alabama)." Even though the rest of the album may not seem as comfortable as these tracks do, what it does show is that Phosphorescent are starting to find their stride.

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It's Hard to be Humble (When You're From Alabama)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dirt Dress

I discovered this Los Angeles band the other day while listening to my favorite blog Aquarium Drunkard's radio show. Dirt Dress are a definite up and comer during a time where this kind of garage music is becoming all the more popular. This song "An Introduction" sounds like a cross between Link Wray's "Rumble" and The Velvet Underground. Dig it. 

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Friday, May 14, 2010

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

Every now and then there comes along a band that speaks to a sect of people, a band who's music and lyrics represent the times in which we live. To me, LCD Soundsystem is that band. Both Sound of Silver and their self-titled debut could be considered masterpieces. "All My Friends" alone is one of the best songs of the past decade. James Murphy has an uncanny ability to be poignant, snarky and sarcastic all while his band drives out beat after beat of infectious dance punk.
This Is Happening is LCD's third (and according to Murphy, their last) release. Does this album hold up to it's predecessors? Absolutely. In every possible way this album equals their previous albums, yet it doesn't surpass them. This Is Happening could be considered a third and final chapter in LCD's story. It starts off with the slow build of "Dance Yrself Clean" that explodes around the three minute mark. The shortest track on the album happens to be their only single at the moment, "Drunk Girls" which is a sarcastic comment on the party scene while at the same time glorifying it, with lyrics like "I believe in waking up together" it's hard not to smile at his lighting quick observations.
"One Hit" is a relentless floor stomper, while "All I Want" could be considered "All My Friends" cousin mixed with David Bowie's "Heroes." "Pow Pow" also has similarities to their epic "Yeah" jam.

That's what I really enjoy about this record, the songs on here sound like they have used templates from previous LCD songs but Murphy has perfected them. If LCD does break up, that would be a shame but I could understand why they would. After This Is Happening I cannot see where they could go from here without trying something drastically new.
If I had to pick two favorite songs from this record they would have to be the opening song, "Dance Yrself Clean" and "You Wanted A Hit," the longest song on the album, that keeps the same beat the entire way through yet never gets boring due to Murphy's unapologetic lyrics.

LCD Soundsystem are a band that illustrate places, people and the feelings that they share. James Murphy has successfully done this twice before, and he does it beautifully again. If this is LCD's last record, then it would be comforting to know that they went out on top.

So yeah, this is pretty much my favorite record of 2010 thus far.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

With Rumors as my favorite Fleetwood Mac album, Tusk would have to be a close second. Mac are one of those bands that I arrived very late to, for the longest time, and on certain songs I still do find Stevie Nicks very annoying. However, it wasn't until I discovered how amazing Lindsey Buckingham is at guitar and crafting memorable songs that I truly started to appreciate this band. While Rumors may be a perfectly executed album, Tusk is beautifully all over the place. Tusk finds Fleetwood Mac exploring new terrain while still staying true to themselves. 

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The Ledge

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jacuzzi Boys

Garage rock and or roll. Enjoy

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Island Avenue

Monday, May 10, 2010

You're Gonna Make Me Cry

I recently included this song in a compilation I did not too long ago. It's a very old song that has been performed by several artists, but no one does it better than O.V. Wright. Wright was one of the most respectable southern soul singers. He never quite reached the acclaim of Otis Redding, and sadly died of a heart attack when he was only 41, however his music still leaves an impression on all who listen. 

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Drive-by Truckers @ The Avalon

Tonight I will have the esteemed pleasure of seeing one of my favorite acts, the current lords of southern rock, the infamous Drive-by Truckers. Having seen a setlist database of there's there is no way I could possibly be disappointed. They play an even spread of old classics as well as deep cuts and new material. Plus it doesn't hurt to be touring behind their most successful record ever. I am so glad that The Big To-Do debuted at #22 on the Billboard 100, sometimes truly great bands to get popular. Recently I have been listening to my copy of one of their earlier records, The Dirty South. That album is an absolute modern masterpiece. Songs like "Where The Devil Don't Stay" and "Puttin' People on The Moon" are extremely poignant lyrically while being grounded with gritty rock guitar. Check out "Lookout Mountain" a guitar-solo swapping fist-pumping anthem. There are still tickets available for tonight's show, so if you are in Los Angeles and are looking for something to do on a Friday night. Come down to The Avalon buy yourself a whiskey and enjoy the sultry sounds from the dirty south.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Radio Dept.

A few weeks back The Radio Dept. released their new disc Clinging to a Scheme. I've listened to it once and I'm really quite impressed with what I've heard, however I have not fully absorbed it yet. Pitchfork loved it though, who knows maybe I'll give it 8.3 too. I do really like the first single "Heaven's On Fire" though.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever

Following up 2008's terrific Stay Positive, this album could be seen as a disappointment. The Hold Steady have been known for loud bar lounge anthems, filled with complex didactic lyrics provided by front man Craig Finn. However, after a steady career of the same solid stuff, they felt the need to explore their terrain more. They didn't change their sound, but they changed their pace. Heaven is Whenever is still booze-soaked but is also toned down and reserved. This approach works in some songs, the swampy "The Sweet Part of the City" and "The Weekenders" could be seen as some of their best work. While I have to commend them for attempting to break the norm, there is too much filler in this album to make it seem really a great album. Who knows, like most Hold Steady albums they tend to grow on me after awhile. I am extremely excited to see them perform tomorrow night at The El Rey Theatre in LA. For those of you who are going enjoy.   

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The Sweet Part of The City

Monday, May 3, 2010

Avi Buffalo

Oh Sub-Pop, how your label keeps churning out solid record after solid record I will never fully understand. Recently released, Avi Buffalo have been making waves with this song. I don't know much about this band, nor have I listened to the full record. However after reading a few glowing reviews, and hearing their lead off single, I will definitely be giving this a spin.

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What's It In For?