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WAYNE'S BLOG
REVIEWS: TIGGINS
2008-05-21 23:03:57
CDS:
 

THE B-52’S – FUNPLEX (Astralwerks)

Almost 30 years after their self-titled debut, the B-52’s are back!  They sound exactly the same, and not in the bad way.  Kate Peirson’s voice sounds as amazing as it always has, and they’ve got innuendo all over this bitch. It really makes me feel like I need to give a listen to their early stuff to hear if I was too young to pick up on it before.  I think Fred Schneider should be doing instructional recordings for just about anything (imagine the voice).  Take some ice. Blend it up with tequila. Triple Sec. Margarita YEAH!

RATING: FOUR STARS

 

BRAILLE – THE IV EDITION (Syntax Records)

I’m sorry, but who a entertainer collaborates with doesn’t make said entertainer better than said entertainer is.  I “collaborated” with Corey Haim once, and I still live in Milwaukee.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  The living in Milwaukee part, that is.  There are probably many things wrong with the Haim part though.

RATING: ONE STAR

 

THE DARBUKI KINGS – LAWRENCE OF SUBURBIA (Massive Music)

I don’t know if I should call it fate or a curse. The Darbuki Kings are back, ass-bags!  A wind picked up down my street. Castanets were heard in the distance and I knew what was going down.  “Hide the children! Gypsies!” I screamed.  Then I listened to the music. My soul swelled with the urge to pick pockets and steal from the elderly.  The Kings do have a great talent with what they do, not to mention a sense of humor for the whole family to enjoy.  There are some delicious tracks here like “Yasser Ubetcha,” a wonderful play on words, and “No Habibi No” a song about the wonderful gypsy pastime, rape.  I must say if I am lucky enough to get their next album to review…. I’m going hard-core gypsy.

RATING: TWO STARS

 

RUSS GLENN – A BRAND NEW EARTH (Aire Recordings)

Russ Glenn looks exactly what his music sounds like. A dirty hippie.  Not a honest to goodness hippie hippie, but one of those guys you meet in college who smokes weed all the time and can’t wait for Burning Man.  He covers Janes Addiction (“Jane Says”) horribly, and Jane’s Addiction should not be turned into granola.  I can’t handle it.  We got Dave Matthews and Willy Porter.  We don’t need more.

RATING: ONE STAR

 

REDCAST – THE EP (Anonymous)

Too bad there aren’t those after school specials I loved so much growing up.  This trio of brothers would have made a fortune writing soundtracks for the show.  Sick of the emo movement, they want the world to know how gay they are for retro pop.  It’s also too bad that when you try to look up their web page you get the link to the Communist Party of Australia’s pod cast. I’m feelin’ like it’s sunny outside already!

RATING: ONE STAR

EVERYBODY'S WORKIN' FOR THE VAMPIRE WEEKEND
2008-04-04 20:14:15

If radio stations and A&R folks have done their job, you’ve heard a track or two off of Vampire Weekend’s self-titled album.  Perhaps you’ve even gone out and bought the album (or downloaded it illegally).  And if you’re in the Milwaukee area, maybe you’ve even scored some tickets to their sold-out concert tomorrow night. 

 

If you’ve done any of the aforementioned things, and possibly even if you haven’t, you might have heard or read some of things being said about Vampire Weekend.  You’ve probably caught some key words or phrases here and there.  Things like “buzz band,” “the next big thing,” or (god help us) “rock ‘n roll saviors.”

 

Obviously, I have my own opinion.  But, as with many things, I initially realized that I’m usually wrong when it comes to things like this.  So…I started talking to some friends whose musical tastes are much more refined than mine.  I asked, in the most un-biased way I could, “Have you heard Vampire Weekend?  What do you think?”

 

Much to my surprise, none of their responses included any of the praise they’re constantly receiving.  In fact, almost everyone I talked to included the same word in their description.  And I’ll be damned; it was also the word that ran through my head after hearing them for the first time:

 

OVERRATED.

 

Now don’t get me wrong.  Vampire Weekend is a good band.  But it ends there.  Yeah, I know there are tons of musicians out there putting out CDs that I wouldn’t use as coasters.  But that doesn’t automatically make a halfway decent band like Vampire Weekend deserving of the stroke job they’re receiving from damn near every critic out there.  This is the kind of band that’s supposed to open for your favorite band.  They’re good enough to not piss you off about waiting for the headliner.  And they’re bad enough to comfortably ignore while talking to your friend about the hot punk-rock girl at the T-shirt stand.  Honestly, I could literally toss their CD out of my bedroom and hit someone in a better band.  (Seriously, my roommates are musicians.)

 

That being said:

Do I think that fans of Vampire Weekend have no taste?  No.

Do I feel that this band has been over-hyped and needs to be taken down a notch? Yes.

Despite the content of this blog, do I realize that I’m giving free press to an already overexposed band?  Shit, maybe I shouldn’t have written this.

 

-James, TLC

REVIEWS: JAMES DOLATA
2008-03-11 18:27:13

CDS:

 

BAND MARINO – THE SEA & THE BEAST (Street Parade Records)

With one of the best band names I’ve heard in a long time, Band Marino throws banjos, mandolins, violins, and cellos into the mix with all the other “typical” band elements; all in an effort to take your grandparents’ old-timey music and give it a fresh kick in the bottom.  Outside of capturing the grittiness of that era, they really do a pretty good job, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t seen this kind of thing done better.

RATING: THREE STARS

 

DUB TRIO – ANOTHER SOUND IS DYING (Ipecac Recordings)

If you dumped a two-liter of Mountain Dew down my throat and put a Scarface-sized mound of blow up my nose, I still don’t think my attention span would get any worse than it already is, so instrumental albums were never really my forte… until I first heard Dub Trio.  Mixing elements of punk, metal, hip-hop, and of course dub, Another Sound Is Dying makes for anything but a boring listen.  And even if the monotony of the instrumentals does happen to get to you, it is beautifully broken with a vocal appearance by the incomparable Mike Patton.  So put the coffee and cocaine to the side for this one. You'll probably need it to deal with the new Panic! At The Disco album.

RATING: FOUR STARS

 

THE HARD LESSONS – B & G SIDES: VOLUME 2 (Quack!Media)

After the release of B & G Sides: Volume 1, I was really hoping that Volume 2 would redeem the band and return them to the dirtier, Detroit indie-rock I fell in love with.  Instead, I popped this in and heard the same old sentimental poppy crap that fits better in a Kate Hudson romantic comedy than my CD rack.  I really do hope that one day this band makes me regret writing this, but for now I have some advice for the valued reader: Go out and buy The Hard Lessons’ Wise Up EP, and stay the hell away from their later releases.

RATING: ONE STAR

 

IN FLIGHT RADIO – THE SOUND INSIDE (Last Broadcast Records)

This female-fronted quartet provides a melodic and atmospheric guitar sound that does nothing short of inspire the music lover…to gaze at their album collection until locating their old Radiohead records to listen to instead.  Seriously, if Thom Yorke had a sex change just before recording The Bends, you’d probably get this album.  Sure, it’s decent, but I’ve heard it already…over a decade ago.

RATING: TWO STARS

 

A THIRD WISH GRANTED – THE LOST ART OF CONVERSATION: VOL. 1 (Self-Released)

As I look back, I realize that I have a tendency to listen to really good music during really bad times.  I’ll throw in Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, Johnny Cash, or something like that.  In hindsight, I discovered what a bad decision that was.  Now, when I hear those bands, I associate their music with some random horrible moment in my life.  But that will never happen again, and I have A Third Wish Granted to thank.  Because the next time my life is in major turmoil, I’m gonna play the shit out of this album.  Perhaps you’re wondering why.  Well, this EP is so disgustingly atrocious that I know I’ll never listen to it at any other time, thus saving me from associating yet another great album with a bad experience.  So thank you, A Third Wish Granted, you’re repulsive brand of rock has saved good music for me for years to come.

RATING: ZERO STARS

 

TOBY THE FUGITIVE – PROXIMA DISTORT (Chamberlain Records)

This band of 18 to 21-year-olds does exactly what a band of that age should do; they bring the piss and vinegar into rock.  And sometimes that’s all you need.  Some may scoff at how much they seem to be trying to sound like At The Drive-In.  Those people probably don’t have listen to some of putrid shit I have to critique (see the A Third Wish Granted review).

RATING: THREE STARS


DVDS:

 

KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON (Shout Factory)

For those of you waiting for the big-budget bio-pic on Kurt Cobain, you’ll thankfully have to wait a little longer.  I don’t hold a lot of things sacred, but Nirvana is one of those rare subjects that I don’t think should be tackled lightly.  It’s for that reason that I appreciate the unconventional treatment that About A Son is given.  The film follows Kurt Cobain from childhood to the rise of Nirvana, using only filmed images from cities in Washington (Seattle, Olympia, and Aberdeen) and previously unheard audio interviews between Cobain and journalist Michael Azerrad.  Rather than using Nirvana music, an original score from Ben Gibbard and Nirvana producer Steve Fisk is featured, along with tracks from some of Kurt’s favorite artists (Leadbelly, Melvins, and The Vaselines to name a few).  For fans, this is probably the closest you can get to knowing who Kurt Cobain was, simply because you are hearing his words and seeing what he may have seen.  So if you’re looking for Hollywood’s telling of the clichéd rock ‘n roll lifestyle, keep on moving.  But if you’re craving an extremely creative telling of the life of one of the most influential musicians ever, look no further.

RATING: FOUR STARS

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