quinta-feira, junho 30, 2005

335. The Promise Ring - nothing feels good

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I didn't pick this up until September/October of 2001. I got it, along with 'Very Emergency' at Specs used. Honestly I hadn't heard them before then. It wasn't until earlier that year while revisiting one of my CMJ magazine cd's (does that pub even exist anymore?) did I discover 'Happiness Is All the Rage'. I was hooked. So when I found these used it was a no brainer. I listened to it on my drive up and was sucked in immediately by 'Is This Thing On?'. The album is peppered with perfect pop. My favourite track is easily 'Red & Blue Jeans' - I must have hit repeat a thousand times when I first heard that song (and still do) - it makes you want to fall in love over, and over, and over again. I also love how the chorus is instrumental - it ends up saying so much more than words could. This disc leans more towards an 8.5 than 9, but Davey and crew are genuinely nice guys, so what's half a point?

'Nothing feels good like you in red and blue jeans
and your white and night things'

Red & Blue Jeans

9 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 29, 2005

334. The Promise Ring - the horse latitudes

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I got into the Promise Ring late in life - more on that later. This an 8 track ep, but today's standards that could be a full length. I am on the fence about this one. It's really the beginnings of a great emo band - but for the most part they sound like a generic emo band, without the personality that TPR developed so well.

4.5 out of 10

333. Maritime - glass floor

originally uploaded by jrd550.
There are two things I can't argue with - pickles and perfectly crafted pop. I again, suffer from some sort of camaraderie with band members - I'm incredibly happy that these musicians are continuing their careers together. I always liked Promise Ring and loved the Plan, but it wasn't until this album came out that I realized how brilliant of a songwriter Davy is - I feel like he could bang out these songs out all day long - while riding up an escalator, waiting in line to get a cup of coffee or on the phone with his dad. Interesting too how ANTI didn't like the album and gave it back to Maritime to do with it as they pleased, later of course finding a home on The Plan's old label de Soto.
I'm Not Afraid

9 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 27, 2005

332. Maritime - adios ep

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Dena picked this up for me at Sonic Boom, numbered 996 out of 1000. I had mentioned it to her because she's a fan of the Promise Ring and my friend Scott was doing all the design for the band's site and packaging. This is a perfect summer ep, short but incredibly sweet - the songs remind me of high school mainly because I feel that the songs sort of sound like the cure and the smiths, not vocally at all, but lyrically ('Someone has to die' to me is Morrieseyesque) and musically (especially off of 'Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me'). Contains three non 'Glass Floor' tracks: Down To The River, Birds of Ireland, In Your Arms. Pick it up if you can still find any.

9 out of 10

sexta-feira, junho 24, 2005

331. Travis Morrison - travistan

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Not the travisty Pitchfork made it out to be (a harsh 0.0 rating) - but far from anything the Plan did - I think, to an extent, that was T's plan. It's like being single again and trying to figure yourself out. The disc bounces around with various styles, all though are funky and poppy and at times even 'serious'. I got it used and am pleased with what it is, but if you haven't picked it up wait to spend your money on his follow up due later this year - I am sure it'll be a bit more focused and stronger.
My Two Front Teeth
6.5 out of 10

quinta-feira, junho 23, 2005

330. The Dismemberment Plan - a people's history of the dismemberment plan

A good idea but not worthy of an official release. The Plan posted un mixed versions of their tracks for fans to download and create remixes - if these had been combined with remixes by professional dj's then it might have been a worthy document. There have only been a couple of remixes that have actually ever made me enjoy them as much as the source material (fila brazilia's and zero 7's takes on a couple of Radiohead tracks are good examples), but only 3 or 4 tracks really go anywhere interesting on this disc - and they don't stay long enough. Ideally these would have been posted on the band's site for free, along with all the others that didn't make the cut.

4 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 21, 2005

329. The Dismemberment Plan - change

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Perfection. An amazing album from beginning to end. Most of the band's more hyper, frenzied funk tracks are more controlled here, but all the energy is kept and used in perfect measures. The band is at their creative and technical peak as is travis' vocals. Buy it.

10 out of 10

sexta-feira, junho 17, 2005

328. The Dismemberment Plan - split with juno

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I enjoy a good split, especially when two bands from different labels get together, combine 3 or 4 tracks a piece and release a unique offering on a completely different label. Here Juno and TDP, labelmates on DeSoto, offer 2 tracks a piece. Each contribute a cover (Juno with DJ Shadow's 'High Noon' and TDP with Jennifer Paige's 'Crush'). The covers are amazing, Juno plays DJ Shadow's collage to a T and the Plan's version of 'Crush' reveals the cruel brooding lyrics behind a mediocre pop tune). The original songs are also worth the price of the ep.
High Noon
7.5 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 15, 2005

327. The Dismemberment Plan - emergency & I

originally uploaded by jrd550.
A small masterpiece - only small because 'changes' is pure genius. Here TDP perfect their 'two' sounds; the more stoic tracks ring with a seriousness and edge that was lacking on the band's previous releases - the funkier tracks are elevated to greater pop level that left many scratching their heads trying to figure how they played it. Travis is, for better or worse, somewhat of a pop culture enthusiast, and here, both vocally and lyrically, he reigns supreme.
The City
9 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 13, 2005

326. The Dismemberment Plan - the ice of boston

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Named after the track and crowd pleaser from 'terrified', the Plan made their major label debut and exit with this ep on Interscope. I am not sure if the track was re recorded or if it was from the same sessions but what makes this disc stick is the 'serious' side TDP displays with 'anniversary' a track every heartbroken guy would like to sing and the brilliant 'spider in the snow', later appearing on 'Emergency'. Pick it up if you are fan or collector (or hairy).
The First Anniversary Of Your Last Phone Call
7.5 out of 10

quinta-feira, junho 09, 2005

325. The Dismemberment Plan - the dismemberment plan is terrified

Not a classic album per se, but a 'classic' amongst fans - contains 'Ice of Boston' (I swear at one point Travis sounds like Sam Kinison), 'Do the standing still' and 'Respect is due'. Here the band is clearly maturing in all possible ways - mixing their 'free for all' tracks with some more conservative (bad word, I know) ones which we would later hear more of on 'Emergency' and almost exclusively on 'change'. The band is as tight as they are innovative and Morrison's voice is starting to tread on firmer ground.

6.5 out of 10

324. The Dismemberment Plan - "!"

originally uploaded by jrd550.
'Emergency and I" was my first Plan album, thanks to Chad, and I slowly worked my way back. This was the last Plan cd I bought (outside of the remix disc), and I actually got it at their show jus when they announced they were breaking up. I got Eric to sign it (who is genuinely a great guy) - so it's a shame I am not crazy about it. The band is tight, the sound quality is average and Travis' signing is horrid. He fairs well on the funky shit kicker songs, but once the songs go into the more serious world his voice cracks - it would clearly take him a couple of more records to find his voice. I considered trashing it, but it has enough interesting moments to make the most devout fan keep it. If you don't own it, don't buy it.

4.5 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 07, 2005

323. Pedro the Lion - achilles heel tour

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I hate to complain especially when something is free. This came off the official PTL site, a gift from Bazan. Though it is loaded with 22 tracks, David seems to sleep walk through most of the set - as if the band is playing too quickly or his mouth is suffering from a dental numbness. I know that the legible slur/mumble is part of his style, but at this show he seems unenthused and sloth like. Normally I love cover songs, obessively tracking them down - needless to say I was let down by the version of 'let down'. It was to be expected since it is my favourite Radiohead tune and probably the most perfect song ever recorded. But I still want to see them live.

6 out of 10

322. Pedro the Lion - achilles heel

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I was excited for this when it came out - 'control' had won me over, it featured some great artwork by the guy who did the shin's disc, Jesse LeDoux and the preview track David had up on his site was decent. David curses on a couple of songs and unfortunately that's the highlight of the disc. It's like an old friend that you used to have great times with, comes over after a couple of years and he is just flat out tired, the spark is gone (I am not talking about you at all Meadows). There are some classic PTL moments; 'I do', 'Forgone Conclusions' and 'Bands with Managers' - but just not enough of them. Still worth picking up if you are a fan. My disc has clean versions of 'forgone conclusions' and 'keep swinging' so that I can play them for my kids or to my wife on our wedding night.

7 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 06, 2005

321. Pedro the Lion - control

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This album crept up on me. 'Winners' was always my number one PTL album, but now 'control' has taken over, I think. It doesn't have the charm or sense of intimacy that 'winners' does, it's much angrier and hopeless. With a heavier, fuller sound, David takes us through the lying, cheating and death of a couple - it makes everyone else's relationships look perfect.

8.5 out of 10

sexta-feira, junho 03, 2005

320. Pedro the Lion - bumbershoot seattle sept.1999 (bootleg)

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I got this off of www.indiepoplive.com, I'd link you to it, but it's gone. At one point I went crazy downloading bootlegs. Fucking nuts. If you have the time and patience I recommend www.furthurnet.com, and download anything that says soundboard, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, I got rid of a lot of stuff, and only kept boots of high quality. I kept this because it was off of one of my favourite PTL albums. David plays an intimate, quiet show and the quality is so good it does sound like you are there, with all the imperfections and poor audience participation. At one point the sound even switches between instruments, playing only the drums then the bass, etc... anyway it is the perfect companion to 'Winners never quit'.

8 out of 10