sábado, julho 30, 2005

360. Guided By Voices - hold on hope ep

originally uploaded by jrd550.
At almost 20 minutes this 9 track ep ends with you wanting more. The majority of tracks are produced by Ric Ocasek (another one for my series) - this collaboration results in tighter, more melodic tunes, near, near perfect.

A Crick Uphill

8.5 out of 10

quarta-feira, julho 27, 2005

359. Guided By Voices - mag earwhig!

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I have to quit doing these late at night, the thoughts don't come fully realized, and the fingers don't type as quickly or coherently. This disc is somewhat like that too - mental meanderings that at times end too soon, actually pick up and go somewhere and at other times get dressed up to only sit back down. There are 20 plus tracks on this disc and the album reminds me very much of a zine - so pages are turned over rather quickly, and others demand a little more time and attention..

Now to War

7 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 25, 2005

358. Guided by Voices - sunfish holy breakfast

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This is an odd, lo-fi record by GBV (a description which can be used probably for the majority of their releases). The tracks here are quiet, or seem like they are played from a far, and GBV solid pop form isn't always present. But when it is, the voices rock, as in the Kim Deal produced "Cocksoldiers and Their Postwar Stubble". Still those moments aren't frequent enough, for me at least.

5 out of 10

domingo, julho 24, 2005

357. Built To Spill - live

originally uploaded by jrd550.
My introduction to BTS was from watching, and obsessively taping, HBO's Reverb - a show that started with great bands and venues, and somehow fell victim to featuring rap/metal acts. Still, the Built to Spill episode was grand - amazing - this skinny, whinny, balding guy was playing guitar like no other modern day guitarist - at least in the indie world. So I figured that getting a live album by the band made the most sense. This disc features that set from Reverb, and two other shows in Denver and Seattle. The band is tight yet loose and the Neil Young cover must make Neil himself blush. I would have preferred an old fashioned live album, i.e. one continous take of a live show instead of a 'best of'.

Cortez The Killer

8.5 out of 10

356. Built To Spill - keep it like a secret

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This album is so well done that you don't notice how perfectly crafted and played these songs are until you've heard the album a dozen times. Doug's voice and brilliant playing fit perfectly with BTS's mesh of classic rock and solid pop melodies. A simple, great album.

Carry the Zero

9 out of 10

355. Buit To Spill/Caustic Resin - split cd

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This four track split contains tracks two tracks by both bands - the first two by BTS are mostly instrumental (the first is an epic nine minute classic opus). The two tracks from Caustic Resin are interesting too becuase the guitarist from that band also used to be in BTS, and the influences/stlyes tend to overlap. Interesting but not a must have.

6.5 out of 10

sábado, julho 23, 2005

354. Built To Spill - the normal years

originally uploaded by jrd550.
A great first or second record - i am not sure how deep or early this release is in their catalogue, but it contains perfect great BTS moments, with great songwriting and arrangements. The low production quality reminds me of early REM albums, great melodies played a tad lower and arranged a bit rougher, but still good.

7.5 out of 10

Spectacle Pop

A gay name again you might say - but the following bands compose and perform perfect pop with a bit more intelligence, a higher understanding of words and their instruments. Some of these bands may indeed not wear glasses, but they definitely play as if they do.

353. 764-Hero - weekends of sound

originally uploaded by jrd550.
These guys sound like a cross between Built to Spill and Love Battery. I know nothing about them - I think I first heard them on a split cd with Cursive maybe, I'm not sure. The album is solid, but not great, however there are enough inventive moments (as in the nine minute 'Left Hanging') to shed the Built to Spill comparison and cement this band its own place in indie history. Produced by Phil Ek, add him into my producer documentary.

7 out of 10

352. Jimmy Eat World - salt sweat sugar

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I bought this before I had any intentions on picking up the full length. Contains the lead single with revised title, a b side and demo of 'Your House'.

6 out of 10

351. Jimmy Eat World - bleed american

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I know I just got done saying I am not a big fan of Jimmy Eat World, yet I have this (and a single too!). Well I picked this up because the collector in me found a disc with the original 'Bleed American' title on it, that was taken off after 9/11. Listening to it for the third time or so, I must admit it is a decent pop album. Funny how four years ago this was considered somewhat of a crossover hit for the band, but listening to it today it sounds like mainstream fodder - but good fodder.

8 out of 10

sexta-feira, julho 22, 2005

350. Jimmy Eat World - jimmy eat world

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I never really got into Jimmy Eat World, never fully absorbing what the band had to say. Meadows loved Clarity and by the time Bleed American was going to come out they were supposed to be the second coming. I still don't really know the band's musical personality. This disc, which I picked up used, is a collection of 7 inches and compilation tracks. And it feels as such, throw away tracks are mixed in with more experimental outings, but I am still sort of left not fully 'getting' the band - maybe I don't have to.

5 out of 10

quinta-feira, julho 21, 2005

349. Starflyer 59 - the fashion focus

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Christian music - does it rock or does it blow? Back in the day that was a simple question to answer - but now with Sufjan, Pedro the Lion, and god knows who else, our lord's music can be pretty decent instead of just pretty. My faith in this genre had been cemented by PTL' s 'Winner's Never Quit', so I picked this up used at Sound Splash after sampling the first track - and I must admit it isn't that bad. It is sort of emoey, and shoegazing'ish (that comparison may and will offend some) and well, part gay Jesus rock. Still, light years ahead of Jars of Clay.

We're The Ordinary

6 out of 10

quarta-feira, julho 20, 2005

348. +/- you are here

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Ahh, a much better, more developed sound, at times sounding like brit pop crossed with NIN. +/- contains some members from the band Versus, having never heard any of their stuff before I am not sure to what extent this disc pulls from them, but it is a surer footing in this bands musical direction. That just sounded like bullshit.

Trapped under ice floes

6.5 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 18, 2005

347. +/- self titled

originally uploaded by jrd550.
How is it that I like this band's second album so much, but am just mildly amused by this release? Well, I got 'You are here' first, so first impressions count, but the main reason I feel lies in the fact that the two albums seem like cousins, not siblings. This disc is more moody, less songy if that makes any sense - it's filled with glitches and beeps, done long before the postal service, but just not as well. While the disc isn't bad, it just isn't that good for me to hold onto and revisit.

4.5 out of 10

domingo, julho 17, 2005

346. Joan of Arc - live in chicago 1999

originally uploaded by jrd550.
First off, the disc isn't live, and it sucks. I don't know much about these guys - a friend of mine in design school loved them, and I had heard a couple of tracks by them that I honestly enjoyed, but this concept album is either too highbrow for me or just bad. The liner notes claim 'best experienced from beginning to end, and with headphones'. I do enjoy musical journeys and concept albums, but they have to be good. This is just a mish mash of poorly developed crap.

1 out of 10

345. Brandston - the fallen star collection

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Solid, unremarkable emo/indie from this release by Brandston back in 1999. There's a reason why emo didn't last that long, and I think it's because it's a genre that is easy to play poorly and very difficult to play well. Brandston have a couple of great, well thought out moments, but overall the album falls into bland territory. If you do pick it up or check it out listen to 'As you wish' for one of the highlights.

5 out of 10

sábado, julho 16, 2005

344. The Gloria Record - the gloria record ep

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The Gloria Record sounds an awfully like a Sunny Day record, just not as musically developed, or structured in the same awe inducing manner SDRE perfected. With that said, the record's strength lies in its simplicity, where deja vu like emo sounds are enveloped in cleaner, prettier arrangements than any of the later spoon fed emo bands - it is also light years ahead of say Dashboard Confessional (not a difficult thing to achieve I suppose), but still many steps behind Sunny Day (another easy thing to achieve). Worthwhile to keep, but not to run out and buy.

6.5 out of 10

343. The Anniversary - your majesty

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Part Pixies, part Decemberists, and part Weezer all mixing in and creating a solid pop album, not exceptional, but more solid than a lot of stuff coming out today... I don't know much about the band outside of the fact that this was their second and final album, they were on Vagrant and this disc came out in 2001 which places it in my Indie category and not in one of my several pop categories I have concocted for this blog. Pick it up if you want something more old school, looking to revisit that old crush or love you had back then.

8 out of 10

quarta-feira, julho 13, 2005

342. The Get Up Kids - guilt show

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I have to give these guys some credit for truly pushing themselves to try harder/something different with each release. This album returns to the more common Get Up sound, but not always bouncing around in pop bliss like on 'Something to write home...', or the folkie melancholy of 'On a wire'.There are some dark, heavy moments that are very unlike anything they have done. Worthwhile for a seriuos fan to hold onto - I'll keep it because it has enough good moments - at least until I am 50 and I do this blog all over again and get rid of more stuff.

Is There A Way Out

6.5 out of 10

341. The Get Up Kids - on a wire

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This is the Kid's 'Wood/Water' if you will. Produced by Scott Litt (REM, Pixies and a world of others) - the emo here has been surgically removed and replaced with straight forward chords and vocals. It's still the GUK and the results aren't all that bad, just sometimes boring. But when the Kids are sweet, they are doing what they do best.

"if i told you, were you listening?
did you know this from the start?
do the dates match exactly?
your plan when we would part?
if i won't wait for another year
i guess you'll break my heart"

6.5 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 11, 2005

340. The Get Up Kids - eudora

originally uploaded by jrd550.
A charming album of bsides (covers and alternate versions). As I said earlier what got me interested in the band was their excellent cover of 'Alec Eiffel'. The Replacements and New Order covers are pretty good, the Motley Crue track was originally bad, and I think it was made slightly less worse here. The alternate versions of tracks are decent too.

Alec Eiffel

6.5 out of 10

339. The Get Up Kids - something to write home about

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This is more like it. The songs have a greater personality, and are more dynamic musically and lyrically. Though many may think songs like 'The Company Dime' sounds cheesey and shallow, to me it sounds sweet.

The Company Dime

8 out of 10

domingo, julho 10, 2005

338. The Get Up Kids - four minute mile

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Sophomoric. Sort of one dimensional, flat. It sounds like a bunch of kids in a basement rockin' out to their own tunes, which is fine and I appreciate, but just not a necessary disc unless you are a really big fan. I was introduced to TGUK through a cover of 'Alec Eiffel' on the Pixies tribute disc, which was brilliant (a difficult task mind you). So I was pretty disappointed when I picked this up before I left Florida, it seemed like the band that had done a great cover of a Pixies tune no less, was nowhere to be found on the disc.

4 out of 10

terça-feira, julho 05, 2005

337. The Promise Ring - wood/water

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Wait where's the snap, crackle and guitar pop? It's there still but just a little lower. I was recently talking with a friend how at one point, all of a sudden, it seemed like emo bands were desperately trying to re invent themselves (these guys, Get Up Kids, even the local West Palm emo band, Legends of Rodeo). Maybe it was a natural musical progression bands make or a response to copy cat acts like Taking Back Sunday (or whatever they are called). Here the band drops J Robbins in favour of Mario Caldato Jr. (didn't he do Beasties stuff or am I confused) and Stephen Street (blur and smiths). This is a great, quiet album - a perfect send off I think. I understand why some fans were upset, longing for the usual unique lispy power pop the band normally makes. I suppose, for once, this would have been a good argument for a band releasing a double album - this plus a more approachable disc.

"She looks like heaven I feel like the devil
In my Sunday whites"

8 out of 10

domingo, julho 03, 2005

336. The Pomise Ring - very emergency

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Great design again, and steady pop once more. There is no specific rhyme or reason, but I prefer their previous release to this one. It does contain great, great tracks ('Happiness is all the rage', 'Emergency! Emergency!', 'Things just getting good', 'All of my everythings' just to name a few) - but it doesn't hold me like 'Nothing feels good'. Really it just boils down to a personal preference, so pick this up.

'And Jason, oh Jason, look now what you've been chasing'

8 out of 10