quarta-feira, março 29, 2006

507. Sam Prekop - sam prekop

originally uploaded by jrd550.
As you'd expect Sam's solo debut sounds a lot like the sea and cake - but one does notice that he's not playing with his usual band. He's joined by Archer Prewitt, Jim O'Rourke, Chad Taylor and Josh Abrams... I of course know Jim and Archer but must confess I'm not sure who Josh and Chad are... Sam's record is smooth, less frantic than some of S&C's later stuff (and 'frantic' for the sea and cake does not mean the same thing when talking about other bands) - the disc is laid back, melodic and relaxed - a worthy addition to the chicago jazz/pop cannon all these guys hail from.

8.1 out of 10

terça-feira, março 28, 2006

506. The Sea and Cake - glass

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I've learned my lesson by now: no more sea and cake eps. The remixes are always pointless and never improve or enlighten upon the originals. I am keeping this cd for one reason and one reason only, for the song 'An Echo In'. In classic Sea and Cake style it pulled me in with the opening line 'I hereby give up all my...' and I can't seem to make out the rest but I'm in love with it...

3.3 out of 10

An Echo In

505. The Sea and Cake - one bedroom

originally uploaded by jrd550.
"One Bedroom'" sounds like "Oui's" sister or brother - the two are similar in that they both have the same palette - basically they sound like each other... which isn't a bad thing, just a shame I guess because as a big fan of the band you want to hear some sort of progression musically and I wasn't completely in love with "oui". With that said, I hope they return to their pre 'fawn' days for the next release.

7.8 out of 10

segunda-feira, março 27, 2006

504. The Sea and Cake - oui

originally uploaded by jrd550.
'Oui' is a very good album - there's never a boring minute on it, but there's something about it that bothers me, and it took a couple of listens to figure it out... the album feels distant, not as personal as other S&C releases. It may be due to the crisper production, McEntires subtle yet robotic drumming, the meandering of songs from one to another... I'm not entirely sure.

8 out of 10

domingo, março 26, 2006

503. The Sea and Cake - two gentlemen

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Ahhh, the first let down from the band. Thankfully it's an ep, five tracks total, three being remixes that are at times interesting but mainly pointless (compliments of Jim O'Rourke and a couple of other guys). The other two tracks, 'early chicago' and 'the sewing machine' keep the disc from being a complete loss.

4.2 out of 10

502. The Sea and Cake - the fawn

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The band introduces keyboards and even a drum machine, I think and the additions work well because, well, these guys know what they are doing... the sound is definitely polished and a bit more ethereal than on previous releases, far from background music, but instead somewhat cinematic or better yet, episodic. It also bothered me that for a very long time NPR would use parts of these songs as intros/outros to many of their shows - though it was NPR you still got the same feeling one gets when you hear a song you love on a commercial. Random point.

8 out of 10

501. The Sea and Cake - the biz

originally uploaded by jrd550.
'The Biz' sits perfectly somewhere between the self titled debut and 'Nassau'... the sound is crisp but solid and urgent - John's drumming seems to be propelling the band's sound as opposed to whisking it away. Sam's vocals still effortlessly breathe in and out of the songs. Archer's guitar plays nicely off of the solid percussion and Sam's vocals. Another solid, solid release by the band.

8.8 out of 10

sábado, março 25, 2006

500. The Sea and Cake - nassau

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I always thought that Nassau came after 'the s&c' but I guess I was wrong. The record isn't as clean as the previous release - it sounds grainier from Sam's vocals that echo in and out of songs to the instruments themselves that play with a certain sense of urgency and resolve. A welcome different sound from an always amazing band. "I Will Hold The Tea Bag" pretty much sums the record up.

8.7 out of 10

499. The Sea and Cake - the sea and cake

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This record has so many great memories from 1995... mainly they involve a van, a trip to grand prix race-o-rama, state troopers and Chloe. The main character though was really Alex, this tall curly haired girl from Boston, sitting in the front passenger seat - for some reason I had not seen her face before we got into the van, all I saw was this big mop of hair (akin to the album cover actually, or so it seemed)- suddenly, quite subtilely 'Jacking the ball' started and I was in awe with both the song and with Alex - I know it sounds obnoxious but for a complete stranger to catch me off guard with music isn't something I take lightly (every time I ran in to her I'd say thanks for introducing me to the S&C)... the next day Doug, Chad and I ran out to Sound Splash to buy this album, I think we had to order it... the record is almost perfect, quiet, pensive, responsive, relaxing, exciting, sad, hopeful, all the things a great pop record should be... just buy it.

9.3 out of 10

Jacking The Ball

domingo, março 19, 2006

now serving: bebop pop.

Yea, a new category. That last one was lingering towards the end. Basically the bands in this section aren't jazzy per se but do lean towards more adventurous/unpredictable arrangements. Plus they're cool. All warrant a good chair, dim lighting and playing with the ice in your glass. The timing is perfect too because the first band in here is 'the sea and cake' - EJ and I are going to see Sam Prekop/Archer Prewitt tonight in Brooklyn.

498. Sublime - second-hand smoke

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I hate reggae. Well hate is a harsh word - I strongly dislike it. I have this cd for one reason, and Meadows can back me up on this: Doug. He really liked this band so I thought maybe there was something there that I just wasn't hearing - granted the cd does have maybe three interesting moments that last about 20 seconds each but outside of that the disc is bad on so many levels. Has anyone seen Doug King?

1.6 out of 10

497. Barenaked Ladies - rock spectacle

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Well I'm not perfect. As a rule I hate jam bands - or any band that is even guilty by association... but I do try to keep an open mind. So, I got this for the song 'Brian Wilson' which is in its own right a solid little song, especially the live version found here. Unfortunately the rest of the disc drums up all the bad imagery one thinks of when listening to a jam band: frat bars, teva's, keychains that have long canvass straps... anyway - the cd is what it is.

4.5 out of 10

domingo, março 12, 2006

496. Toad The Wet Sprocket - something's always wrong

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I have no idea what this cd is doing here... my crazy college would only play certain cds in the rec room and for some reason they were allowed to play TTWS and I was never a fan but did, somewhat, enjoy this single... after many years the song is still cheesey and the live bsides still suck but it reminds me of a fun time, so I'll keep it...

5.5 out of 10

495. Tenacious D - tribute

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Finally a band that belongs in this section. If you don't know about the D then shame on you. Run out and pick up their DVD... for those of you who do know them you know there isn't much I need to say.

7.5 out of 10


494. The Chap - hats off to dror frangi

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I first heard of the Chap off of a music blog and immediately feel for their single 'i am oozing emotion' - so I ran off looking for this ep in hopes of including the track on my mix at the time... I found it and the ep is half good. 'Oozing' is a solid track as is '(Hats off to) Dror Frangi' but both 'My my Rock and Roll' and 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer' are instrumental nonsense. Also, this cd is in the wrong section.

6.5 out of 10

Oh, and I hate to send you to MySpace but the band has their track up on there.

493. The Folk Implosion - dare to be surprised

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The 'Kids' soundtrack introduced me to two bands: The Folk Implosion and Slint. I immediately liked Implosion and found it odd that it was Lou Barlow's project - I had just seen Sebadoh live and wasn't into it... first off this disc is in the wrong category, TFI aren't really funny - their sound can be odd, but not funny. Secondly, I feel you could grab all of the implosion's discs and merge all the best tracks into one great cd... there are an equal number of good and poor tracks, which is a shame because when the band is on, they're on.

6.4 out of 10

sexta-feira, março 10, 2006

492. The Dandy Warhols - welcome to the monkey house

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I had very high expectations for this record. Their last release was a pleasant surprise and I couldn't wait to hear the band further develop their layered fuzzy pop. But instead they drop my favorite moments from '13 tales' in favor of more synth pop. The results are mixed. Some tracks are genuinely good while others fade in and out of the listeners ear, not making any sort of impression - just taking up space.

5.8 out of 10

quinta-feira, março 02, 2006

491. The Dandy Warhols - thirteen tales

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The Dandy Warhols are a tough band to peg, especially from one release to another. On this album they stick to two categries pretty much: slow whispery fuzzed out pop melodies and basically alt country (it's not really that simple but for the sake of this review let's make believe it is). The 'whispery fuzzed' out stuff is great - catchy, interesting to listen to from begining to end. The country stuff just sort of sounds like lazy songwriting. I have the Japanese edition that contains the great ac/dc cover 'Hell Bells'.

7.7 out of 10

Hells Bells
(notice how the beginning of 'Godless' sounds like Promise Ring's 'Size of your life'?)