Saturday, May 19, 2007

Parenthetical Girls

MP3: Parenthetical Girls - One Father, Another

MP3: Casiotone For the Painfully Alone - Love Connection

Slender Mean Society owner Zac Pennington proves that his great ear for great music doesn't just stop at releasing it, but writing it. Parenthetical Girls might freak you out a little bit (look at their album covers, it's pretty much an audible version of that) but there is something really quite beautiful on the surface. "One Father, Another" was the song that struck me the most when seeing them live (both times). It builds and builds until it sounds like all the players exploded. It makes little sense but at the same time manages to sound together.

As a bonus, I've included Casiotone For the Painfully Alone's cover of PG's "Love Connection". A personal highlight from last years delightful "Etiquette".

{buy parenthetical girls recordings from slender means}

Friday, May 18, 2007

FUCK YEAH!: Parts & Labor

MP3: Parts & Labor - New Crimes

Fuck yeah Parts & Labor! Out next Tuesday, they deliver the follow up to 2006's "Stay Afraid" with the stellar "Mapmaker", 12 songs of brutal creativity. Everything that was fun and great about this band on the last lp is amplified on this one. The vocals flow better with the crazy guitars and electronics and the drums are even more nuts and exploding. I've had this record for a little while now and have been waiting to make a post because each song is great. It's hard to choose, because this is an ALBUM where all of it must be heard, for the sake of the flow. I hope that "New Crimes" serves as a good introduction of the band or album to you. I dig on it.

{buy parts & labor recordings from the band}

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Slick Rick

MP3: Slick Rick - Tonto

MP3: Slick Rick - Adults Only

MP3: Slick Rick - 2 Way Street

NOTE: Today's blog comes from a real pallie called Matt Giordano. Fuck yeah.

This week, I've chosen to do a triple, because in reality, everyone needs to have these tracks. In a pseudo-celebration of a new R. Kelly album, I'd like to pay tribute to the man who reinvented the sex jam for the 90s. His name is Slick Rick, and he's a legend that is sadly overlooked in the many areas when compared to really where those who have followed in his footsteps have been lauded. Here they are for your enjoyment.

The third track is really a bonus, and what real love is to Slick Rick. Oh sweet justification, if only we all thought like this.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Avett Brothers

MP3: The Avett Brothers - Paranoia In B Major

MP3: The Avett Brothers - Will You Return

I caught the tail end of "Emotionalism" while coming into work a week or so back. Then the Avett Brothers were recommended to me from another co-worker. Their newest lp required listening so I put it on and I haven't stopped since.

For dudes jamming out on acoustic guitars and stand up bass', they sure can rock. The lyrics deal with typical situations that bro's would sing about (girls), but do so in a very telling and poetic way. It's hard not to relate to any of these songs (except "The Ballad Of Love and Hate", which is a little too hokey for my tastes) and many of them seem to borrow from songs of the past so quickly you don't even have enough time to pinpoint what it was from.

Also worth a damn is their ep previous to this, "The Gleam", which I snagged after I discovered this gem. I know you're going to be buying the new Wilco tomorrow and that's all well and good, but if you have a couple of extra bucks, track this down. It's highly recommended from yours truly.

{buy the avett brothers' recordings from echotunes}

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cheese Metal - A Brief Memoir

NOTE: Today's blog comes from our bro Zach Hangauer, who is a world renowned hero of Lawrence, Kansas. Fuck yeah.

I'm trying to remember what my favorite songs were before I heard any cheese metal. "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" - that was hot. I think Madonna was rocking "Open Your Heart" and Huey Lewis had "Stuck With You". "Parents Just Don't Understand" - what a joint, especially to a 5th grader, and how true - they really didn't. I wonder what my parent's pillow-talk was like when the Poison posters started going up...?

Two songs reached out of the boombox speakers with polished nails and pushed me hard against the wall: "Shot Through The Heart" and "Talk Dirty To Me". Choicer cheese metal songs were to come, for sure, but these were the sudden, startling Paul Revere's. There in my bedroom, listening to the Top 10 countdown instead of doing Social Studies homework, "Shot Through the
Heart" and "Talk Dirty To Me" made the purpose of my life clear: I was here to Rock! (That and do cab-slides down the driveway.) It's funny how rocking gets funnelled down to air-guitaring - I remember air-guitaring to the point of exhaustion, jumping off the bed, working miracles out of the frets of my imaginary neon Ibanez like some miniature C.C. DeVille. Well, maybe not min-... nevermind. I have to admit: all told, Poison was my jam. In retrospect I wonder if it wasn't because they were so over-the-top, so corporeally confident at the same time they looked like cartoon characters. It never once occurred to me that their bag-of-tricks was suspect, that their tough-guy-tattoos and flouncy-eyeliner played a debauchee's game between testosterone and estrogen, or that I, by the time I was their age - early 20's, mid 20's - would see the world not just fundamentally differently but kaleidoscopically so. I have no memory of ever looking at my wall of Poison posters and thinking "Well that's weird - they all look like chicks..."

Maybe it's because cheese metal perfectly aligned with the "fast" crowd in middle school, circa 1987. All the hot girls loved their long-haired, ripped-denim Supermen. All the cool guys loved all the hot girls. Next thing you know there's some grassy funk wafting around your 100th row seats at the Ampitheater and your girlfriends breasts are pressed against you hard cause the lights just went down and Poison, yes Poison, glorious Poison is about to twist your middle-school brain out of a tight jeans roll into a zippo sprayed with Aqua Net. Was it just a dream or did I see Kiss, Faster Pussycat, Warrant, Slaughter, and Poison in the flesh - ok, not flesh, but striped spandex - (or, for the tough-guys out there, what in their baggier form became Zubaz) - and love every screaming, strutting, breast-pressing minute of it?

To be fair, Poison had a great melodic sense. They were unabashedly major chord. They rocked you, but not too intensely. They tugged your heart strings from time to time. They perfectly navigated around every small explosion, not missing a note. Which isn't to say that I was right when I got in an argument with my best friend's older brother about the greatest guitar players of all time. Maybe, by 8th grade, I was old enough to know better but my crown went to C.C. DeVille. My best friend's brother thought maybe "Hendrix" was better, though his words were hard to make out through his floor-dropping heaves of laughter. Whatever. He also got a pretty good kick out of being informed I had a bunch of cheese metal posters up in my bathroom. Literally had to see it to believe it. The moment he hit the ground laughing that time - at my own house, with his '67 Mustang left idling in my driveway - I think I got the picture: time to get me some Bob Marley and some Doors. Yeah, I still had a year or two of penance to pay...

But this isn't supposed to be about the crash and burn of cheese metal in my life. It's supposed to be about the lift-off and the majestic heights we hit. Like those babes flashing in the "Pour Some Sugar On Me" video. Or that boa constrictor Slash pimps in "Patience". Or the MTV countdown to the premier of the "Sweet Child O' Mine" video, which gave me a fucking sanctuary of butterflies in my stomach and which was - maybe objectively? - pretty fucking all-right. Sleep-overs and "Headbanger's Ball". "Kickstart My Heart" with Mick Mars on that weird microphone. Samantha Fox in Playboy. The Counting Crows - wait, that was later. How about all those power ballads that somehow bridged an adult's juvenility with a kid's wonder. What was the apex? In my corner, it's "Every Rose Has It's Thorn". "I know that you'd be here right now/ if I could've let you know somehow." That's exactly what I wanted to say to every girl I loved and lost in puberty. But Brett Michaels gets the credit. I just put it on a bunch of mixtapes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Chrysler

MP3: The Chrysler - Seven Wonders

NOTE: Today's blog comes from that guy I know who fills in the gaps named Matt Giordano. Fuck yeah.

Would you, the readers like a perfect song to bop to this springtime? I sure hope your answer is "fuck yeah" and I can guarantee this song will help catapult you the summer months. The Chrysler's new album came to me as a bit of a shock, and it is much less colder than their fantastic debut (mind you, I have not heard their second album). This is a bit of psych-folk-pop encompassing just flat-out awesomeness. Enjoy.

{buy the chrysler import recordings from parasol}

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dirty Projectors

MP3: Dirty Projectors - Two Young Sheeps

After the Dirty P's stellar performance on Daytrotter posted today, how could I not make a post? After finishing the 4 jams, I instantly went to my copy of "New Attitude" and became a fan all over again.

I first heard of Dave Longstreth and his music while doing some for Marriage, who put out the ep. He's one of the few people in modern music doing something exciting and original. That's really the best I can tell you if you've never heard. "Two Young Sheeps" is 8 minutes of pure fun and you'll find your head popping up and down the whole time.

{buy dirty projectors recordings from insound}

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Jets to Brazil

MP3: Jets to Brazil - Cat Heaven

Nothing new, simply a product of a good find while listening to music on shuffle. "Cat Heaven" is one of those perfect songs from a damn fine band. You may have this Jets to Brazil jam and you can easily get it online, but I figured it was a good way to a) celebrate a goodie and b) be lazy. Enjoy!

{buy jets to brazil recordings from insound}