Exit #3 on The Road to I WRITE LOTS ABOUT 2007 ALBUMS

(lol no picture yet)

Ted Leo & The Pharmecists - "Living With The Living"

Post punk is a little bit of a nebulous term. It encompasses so much, as far as music goes, from the uncertainty of Mission of Burma, to the (mostly) joyous They Might Be Giants, and beyond. However, Ted Leo & The Pharmecists, with their latest release, have become my go-to for explaining Post Punk to someone. The music does, very much, have the punk spirit, but musically, it's evolved past what punk rock is supposed to be. There's a swagger to it, but it's not obnoxious. The falsetto does a good job of preventing this, and actually makes a good majority of the music rather uplifting (notable exception being "Bomb, Repeat, Bomb'"s frantic delivery, but it works for that song very well, so it's excused). The best song on the album, though, is actually a straightforward reggae song, entitled "The Unwanted Things." Ted's delivery is soft and perfect for what the song tries to be, and although the lyrics are a mite depressing, the way the music is constructed makes it easy to dance to and easy to get stuck in your head. After that song, the best post punk song on the album is "The World Stops Turning," an anthemic tune about not getting bent out of shape from all of the heavy news going around nowadays. It's a great album, and it's really easy to recommed to anyone who happens to be into modern rock, not just punk.

Exit #4(no, really)

Clutch - From Beale Street To Oblivion

Standings so far!
1. Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"
2. Ted Leo & The Pharmecists - "Living With The Living"
3. LCD Soundsystem - "Sound of Silver"

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Exit #2 on The Road to I WRITE LOTS ABOUT 2007 ALBUMS

For those expecting Clutch, I apologize. As it turns out, the album isn't actually out yet, so I'd feel weird reviewing it before it was out, as that would send a pretty obvious signal. However, I did listen to another 2007 album today.

(picture coming soon)

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

The LCD Soundsystem is the ragtag group headed by DFA Records owner James Murphy. In fact, from here on in, LCD Soundsystem will be referenced to as "him" or similar, as in reality, it's all his creation. Anyways, his prior effort, a self-titled double album, bore reasonable success and a cult hit, "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House." The album got high marks from a critical stance, but this album was, admittedly, my first experience with his music, as I used to be really closed minded to electronic music, before Midnight Brown (who pays homage to LCD Soundsystem with a lyric in "Like You're Gonna Write A Song About It"-- "The guy who wrote 'Daft Punk is Playing at My House' / is playing at my house"), Kraftwerk, and Tom Vek broke that wall down. The music bears obvious Kraftwerk influence, but most electronic music does, so that's not a strike against it or anything, even if the bassline of the opener "Get Innocuous" sounds way too much like "We Are The Robots." The vocals, and truely the rest of the music, takes more cues from Depeche Mode and the like as it progresses, but by the time "Us Vs. Them" rolls in, the music is really at state all it's own, slickly mixing punk, funk, and trip-hop, with strong instrumentation from synthesizers to even glockenspiels at one time. The highlight of the album is the solid closer, "New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down."A modern take on lounge singing if anything, with the most standard instrumentation on the whole album-- just piano, guitar, bass, and drums. While I did enjoy the album, I must admit that I wasn't really moved by it. It is what it is; a very solid electronica record, and a worthy purchase.

Exit #3 (probably)

(picture coming soons)

Ted Leo & The Pharmecists - "Living With The Living"

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Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"

I didn't originally "get" Arcade Fire. This was mostly the fault of those who tried to turn it on to me by comparing it to something. I also attribute this to not understanding alt rock roots, and after I had baptized myself in Talking Heads in 2006, then came back to "Funeral", it all made much more sense. With that all fresh in my mind, I was interested to see where they were going with their next album. I was not prepared, however, for just how good the album was. Start to finish, "Neon Bible" is an outstanding work, and an exciting ride. Artistic expression from talented artists, who are not pressured by commercial success (and they've hit #2 on the Billboard 200 as a new release, so there is most certainly commercial success). One could argue this album is more accessible than "Funeral", and I would be inclined to agree on some points. The musical direction is certainly more clear than it was originally, but that could be solved by repeated listening. The album itself starts subtly with "Black Mirror," which-and I apologize for my hypocrisy regarding comparing Arcade Fire to anything, even if it is comparing it to other Arcade Fire- seems like a musical answer to "Rebellion (Lies)", being dark and brooding instead of the uplifting march that the latter is. It starts in a minor key (can't tell exactly what) and is greatly dissonant, building an unsettling anticipation as it grows louder and louder. The crashing finale of the song is just as unsettling as the body. The album, from this point, continues growing in enormity and in quality, which is in no way saying that "Black Mirror" is the low point of the album, simply because the album has no low point. This is particularly impressive, seeing as one of the songs, the could-be closer "No Cars Go" is not exactly new material, but the material it's from is so obscure and hard to procure that it ends up becoming fresh all over again. The most exciting song on the album, though, is easily "Black Wave/Bad Intentions." I say exciting because it's prospects are wondrous. To my knowledge, it is the first experiment between Arcade Fire and unorthodox time progression. The song starts whimsical and high pitched, with RĂ©gine Chassagne leading an upbeat section, powered by synthesizer, violin, bass and drumming that is deceptively pop sounding, before the song crawls to a halt and Win Butler's voice acts as the beginning of a new movement within the song, leading the song down a more foreboding path, both musically and in tonal progression. The switch is absolutely perfect, and what it signifies is a brave experiment that could become even more prominent come the next album. Even so, the rest of the album is an excellent piece of modern art rock, and a profound achievement for the whole band.


Next time, on The Road To I WRITE LOTS ABOUT 2007 ALBUMS!

Clutch - "From Beale Street To Oblivion

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Prologue to my current project

Professional wrestling is an acquired taste that everyone is born with. It plays to a very primitive emotion, one shared over several millenia of human development. The competitive urge. Combat has been a part of humanity since there has been life. It is an instinct of survival. As life had developed, through whatever method you prefer to believe in, combat has become more and more refined. These refinements have come in primarily two places; the way war is fought, and the way war is portrayed. Weapons have evolved, and stories have improved to come with it. The shield and the symbolistic art of the Greeks; the katana and the delicate poetry of the samurai; the lance and the hymnals of the crusade; the gun and the folk song, and many more examples.

The greatest tribute to battle is battle itself.The fire of battle is an attractive warmth, and it draws many moths to immolation in this flame. Tributes to warriors are all around us, even if their spirit has changed. Immortalization is as much of a drive as the glory of victory is in this life. A friend of mine once said "There ain't no heaven. Only legend." It is for this that so many plunge into the flame. Whether they crackle as fuel for the fire or launch into the stars as a brilliant spark to be remembered is up to them. This work is such a tribute.

Wrestling itself is a tribute, to hand to hand combat and personal struggle. Hand to hand combat is seen as the most base form of combat. Anyone can partake, and anyone can win, if they know enough. It is the ultimate test of nerve, and of strength. Many cultures see it as a rite of passage. In modern US culture, it is strongly discouraged. As such, wrestling and other combat sports face a natural uphill battle, with wrestling facing it's own unique problems.

The only thing I can say to adequately prepare you for this work is only a request. Open your mind. This is naught but a tribute to my passion, and what I have determined to be the very best of it. I am going to do everything in my power to express just how much I adore this bizarre carnival attraction. In the case of the story I am going to try to tell, this battle, this conflict is waged beyond professional wrestling, and is a story of men's lives. It's not characters. It is livelihoods, changed in instants. Come, sit! Enjoy a tale of valor, of rivalry, and of inner strength!


Initial Impression Day!

We will keep this brief because it is four in the morning. I just can't sleep, but can't function well enough to do much more than this.

-Modest Mouse's "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank."

Aren't we chipper? On the very first listen, I am indisposed. It lacks that whimsical venom that "Good News" had, and I still don't like the single, but I'll give it another look. Modest Mouse is usually pretty subtle, so I'm probably missing a lot.

-The Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible."

I really didn't like "Funeral" at first. It took me more than a few listens, and I still think they're missing something in musical strength. First listen, though, is much easier. I know what to expect from Arcade Fire now, so it's not such a staggering, weird surprise. "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" is great.

-Bloc Party's "A Weekend In The City"

Two minutes in, and one thing immediately stands out; the music is not nearly as scatter shot and uneven as it was on "Silent Alarm." It's an interesting choice, because it was that shaky panic that made everyone all excited over them at first. There is more singing instead of wailing, and I was always really underwhelmed with Kele trying to howl. Okay, the second song has started, and it sounds like one of those tracks left off the "Silent Alarm" remix album. The mixing in of normal drums with computerized is definitely interesting. Conceptually, anyways. And the third starts with light, wispy chimes, and I'm done.


I Just Wrote A Song

I feel...I don't know how rightly to describe it.