Tuesday, October 31, 2006

***** Merry Halloween Feldheimians *****

Monday, October 30, 2006

Whatup Now ITunes???!!! I said.....WHATUP NOW!!!!!!

From TMT

Some Guy Hacks iTune's FairPlay, Which Might Mean Something to You; Read On to Find Out If it Does

iTunes users, the days of tyranny are over, and your emancipator is named DVD Jon! Really! I don't necessarily understand the particulars of this great event — it has something to do with Apple Computers cock-blocking the masses and just generally being bad sharers — but I'll do my best to correctly paraphrase some articles written by people who do.

Whether you knew it or not, all of the music you have been downloading from the iTunes store is compatible with only one model of portable MP3 player: the massively ubiquitous iPod, which is also an Apple product. This is thanks to a witchy little program, or maybe a "bug" or something, called FairPlay. So in essence, if you wanted to carry your legally downloaded iTunes music away from your computer — and 88% of online digital music purchases are through iTunes — you would need an iPod. This is the type of arrangement that was just itching for a bypass of the fuck-the-man kind.

DVD Jon, properly known as Jon Lech Johansen, is a 22-year-old Norwegian national who first made waves among computer nerds when he reverse-engineered something about DVDs so he could play them on his Linux system. He was 15 when he did that. The Scandinavian computer whisperer is confident that his FairPlay bypass is legal and is exploring ways to make it commercially available. Eventually, the workaround could be licensed to companies that manufacture digital music players so they can take advantage of iTunes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's not a Sin

I think I've tried to no avail to get some of you to appreciate the Pet shop Boys. Now that I saw them live it makes more sense to my why it didn't take - you are not homosexuals. But, I saw the Pet Shop Boys last night and it was one of the greatest concert experiences of my life. I was youngest person among an audience composed predominantly of gay men between the ages of 30 and 60 who admire Neil Tennant for more than his ability to pair creative lyrics with electronic beats - and yes his voice really does sound like that outside of a studio. So where I guess I'm going with this is that I always enjoyed the pet shop boys for their electronic sound because I think it's fun. I like electronic music, I like synthesizers and I like dancing my affection for the pet shop boys or any new wave electronic band isn't that complicated. I never knew they wrote songs that became anthems to an entire subpopulation. But I discovered this last night. It was the first time I'd ever really seen a gay pride in Minnesota and it was really awesome because generally speaking I don't think people are that tolerant of it out here. Not to mention they played almost all of my favorite songs, and everyone was dancing -- a lot.

It was a much needed reminder of how infectious cheap beats can be and how much better music sounds when you are listening to it with people you like it as much as if not more than you do. Not only that but I think arguably a negative implication of being one of the listening elite is that one starts to take the act of listening to music too seriously. We become critics and forget to just enjoy it. If I may borrow an expression I encounter often in law school, music becomes "inextricably intertwined" with out identities so such that I think we become self conscious about how we project our musical taste to the rest of the world and might fear admitting that we like something god forbid for example has made it's way into mainstream pop culture. Don't we always get over the indie bands once they get more of a mainstream audience? Why? Have our tastes changed? Was it just a fad? Or are we too cool to like them anymore? That being said I encourage you all to put on your tightest jeans, your neon hooded sweatshirt and your puma sneakers, and indulge in some pet shop boys -- to be posted to the box soon. I sincerely hope you have fun not taking yourself too seriously for an hour such that you might consider trying it again.

Before I wrap up, however, I'd like to pose a three part question: what music was/is your guilty pleasure? Why do you love it? And why are/were you ashamed?
Mine used to be oldies, I would only listen to them while I was alone in the car driving places. I love them because my dad and I used to listen to them in the car when I was little and he would tell me stories about when he was young and now they remind me of being a little kid. Everyone who caught me listening always had some sort of backhanded comment to make. But I'm not afraid any more! I've matured tremendously

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Album Artwork: Not this Again

No, not the best, not the most shocking. Nor even a flash battler thereof.

We've covered all that.

The Knockoff Project has a user generated collection of album artwork that displays striking similarities between some disparate albums.

I, for one, never knew that Turbonegro's classic album Ass Cobra, (there is no other way to type Ass Cobra without it appearing in bold—It's simply impossible) was modeled after some album called Pet Sounds.

The Beach Boys? Who the hell are they?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Say Anything: ...Is a Real Boy

With chimps like Good Charlotte and Yellow Card throwing feces in our faces and calling 'em 'albums,' it's nice to know California still has a little punk left. OK. Maybe not punk. But at least pop punk.

Yeah. That's right. Pop punk. When did it become derogatory? Wasn't Green Day pop punk? Dookie was as full of hooks, vocal harmonies and syrupy bass fills as any third eye blind or matchbox 20 album. It's just that Green Day's songs were, uh, good. I suppose their non chalance in calling their album "poo," helped them out a bit.

Weezer was pop-punk. Powerchords and songs about youth-riddled angst, is what punk really is. And isn't that Weezer? Sure, Rivers' songs were more about girls than angry political juvenescence.

I think we have Blink-182 to thank for derogating 'pop punk.' Despite their penchant for brilliantly filthy album titles, Thanks to their efforts—or lack thereof—I will manually change the genre 'Pop Punk' when it DLs from the CDDB database. Blink achieved a status near that of the Backstreet Boys. Naked, instrument playing Backstreet Boys, but boy band nonetheless. Following their demise, they brought us the onslaught of crap that now passes as punk to the Hot Topic generation. There's no emotion, no vigor, no character.

Nothing like buying your rebellion at the mall.

Of course, as I approach my 25—uh, I mean 85—birthday, I am a bit remorse to listen to a band named after a movie that was released well into the stride of my lifetime. I am too old to be listening to this album. I enjoyed it and I felt guilty. I shouldn't still like music like this. But when Trent Reznor and The Corrs have a song that sahres the same title, I liked the refreshing strain of the disc. But, I could not help but to feel guilty. Like a lonely girl who gets depressed eats an entire pan of brownies in shameful self resentment.

Lead singer Max Bemis evokes a young Tim Kasher, unfortunately without the range, but he's definitely doing his own thing, not singing.... well, just that, not singing at all. He's almost chanting through verses with a monotone slur reminscent of Craig Finn, but with more swagger and lyrical style.

Contrasting the strained, yet strangely non-melodius vocals are over-dubbed chants, middle of the verse riffs, a touch of synths, and enough oohs, aahs and whoas, to make Trail of Dead roll over in their (proverbial) grave.

With all the production there's still a youthful energy over the distortion. Couple it with track upon track of noise laden harmony resulting in catchy hooks.

It's like the sorority girl found out all those brownies were fat free.

And were baked with a 1/4 of dank buds.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


I was having a music discussion the other day with my friend as to what constitutes the "coolest" music. Of course the silly conversation produced no definitive answers because the nature of the topic itself is so subjective that there will never be total agreement. The person who thinks that it is "cool" to blast Eminem from their Accord while driving through Ocean City, MD is not going to be convinced that seeing Steven Malkmus play a private show in a small bar is "cool." The abstract of the word "cool" itself is too broad and vague to really make for any meaningful musical debate.

But I'm talking specifically about the music. What are the songs that make you feel like you are fucking James Dean as you listen to your Ipod and walk down the street, the songs that you put on at the start of the party while everyone is sober and they start to question their choice in outfit because they do not know if they belong in such a hip presence, the songs that you play while you stare at yourself in the mirror, choke yourself, and masturbate.

I'm talking "Inspiration Information" by Shuggie Otis; "La Femme d' Argent" by Air; "Ghostwriter" by RJD2; "Corcovado" by Stan Getz, etc.

Anyway, the album that I'm posting this month, "The Edge" by David Axelrod is super cool. David Axelrod was an American producer/musician that bounced around between a bunch of different labels back in the 60's and 70's. This is a compilation of some of his greatest work while at Capitol Records. David Axelrod is by no means mainstream, nor is he really obscure. In fact, he is a big name among hip-hop heads as a lot of DJ's have sampled his work, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow, Madlib, etc. I had originally heard of his when he made a brief appearance in the indie-lounge scene with having "The Edge"(written by actor David McCallum and produced by Axelrod) on a Morcheeba compilation. This song, which you will instantly recognize and have to hold yourself back from screaming "Dr. Dre Motherfucker!" appears on this album as well. Anyway, he wrote half the songs and produced the others (which include contributions from David McCallum [actor in The Great Escape], Lou Rawls [cool soul guy, though had gotten cheesy through the years], and jazz workhorse Cannonball Adderley.

I was going to post a different Axelrod album that wasn't a greatest hits compilation, but this one is more soundtrack in feel to it and actually flows better than some of his other work. Listen to it while driving home late at night in your car or while making dinner for that chick that you met with the pierced thing below her bottom lip. It's mellow, it's jazzy, it's freaking cool man. Enjoy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Scarlett Johansson and Bob Dylan awarded Noble Prizes in Mathematics for the following formula: Bob Dylan + Scarlett Johansson + Music Video = : )

Band Name Origins

Every now and then a site comes a long that makes Feldheim look like a professional piece of work. This sorry excuse for an interactive experience has got, as the kids are saying these days, 'TeH C0nt3nTZ.' ReALly, i WaNna kNOW: dOeSnT wRItiNg LikE THiS PisS anYONe eLSe OfF? For the love of

But back to the matter at hand. The Content:

Did you know jethro Tull was named after great-great-great-great-great uncle twiced removed? No seriously. That's true.

I did not know that the Goo Goo Dolls used to be called the Sex Maggots. They just went up a notch in my book. Of course, getting that notch above Matchbox 20 doesn't say much...

I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I sure do find it funny.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Herman Dune Is Awesome

Here's Why:

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Out of Control

Apologies for the delay in posting. I had to put my Feldheim responsibilities on hold for a bit in order to met some deadlines in the name of the Minnesota's 4th Judicial District and the Journal of Law and Inequality. But enough excuses right. I hereby present you with Mad Professor - The Inspirational Sounds of Mad Professor.

Although he's been around for ages I first discovered mad professor a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine lend me a CD full of new music for me. I've never been one to listen to a lot of reggae and I've never had strong feelings about reggae either. Besides the classic Marley albums and such I just wasn't exposed to it and never really went looking for it. Needless to say I'll listen to anything once as I'm always one to be open minded about new music. I've always considers myself to be somewhat of a mad scientist so I was drawn to trying out Mad Professor. This album has got some great beats and I've been enjoying it as the back drop to my study efforts. I encourage you all to give it a listen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Best Music in Movies?

It seems ever since the approach of the year 2000, everyone began making lists. Top 100_________ of the millenium, Top 10 _______if ________, and so forth. However, in the apst 6 years it hasn't really ceased. I'm not big on lists, and few are rarely appropriate for feldheim. However, Bullz-Eye recently compiled a list of the top music moments in film history. OK, so it's contemporary film history cause there were few things hotter than Marilyn Monroe's singing scenes in Some like it Hot:

It's a fun read with lots of video for those of you with bandwidth.

And it's much cleaner than my last post.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Album Artwork: Shockingly Revisted, Now with Boobies

Glad to see Jafar giving us our dose of music related YouTube. I'd like to discuss album artwork as well. Browsing about last.fm—where tha Feldheim at, yo?—I came across the band Thee Shams.

Supposedly they have a 'gritty blues rock sound.' To me, that means they know neither how to play their instruments, nor how to produce a record. Still, looking at the cover of their album Please yourself, (NSFW!) I was impressed.

As an 85 year-old grandmother, I can appreciate a great rack better than anyone: I've years of experience with tits.

Just take a look a Murder She Wrote sometime. Full of boobs, that show was.

Surprisingly, the artwork itself is not shocking, not even really sexy. But I still want it in my collection to play on my XXX jukebox:

the MPR0N3 player.

Anyhow, the glorious mamms proudly display on Please Yourself, it got me thinking about other nudie albums. And then albums that have shocked and simultaneously delighted us across the years. To think Bow Wow Wow caused such a stir with their See Jungle! release 25 years ago. Now bunch of losers from Ohio plaster ta-tas across their album, probably in an attempt to garner press or attention.

Seriously, has anyone heard of these guys? Anyone in the Felheim?


Given the relative obscurity of the tuneage, this article is perhaps their most prominent to date. Which is funny cause I've never heard their music, and because this is the Feldheim. We're only a short step up from Blender. I venture to bombastically guess that albums have acheived fine artwork status. Basically, funbags are acceptable.

Wolfmother has a great set of jubblies on their record cover, and no one cares. However, years before, Pink Floyd released A Nice Pair to much oppositon from Americans. Jane's Addiction released the aptly titled Nothing's Shocking in '88 with 2 sets of milk balloons on the cover. The Pixies' Surfer Rosa was also released the same year. Also with little lungwart showing.

Since nudity is now suddenly OK, it has ceased to shock. But leave it to a punk band to make nudity shocking: almost all of Dwarves' (NSFW!) albums feature nudity and make it filthy enough it seems even Amazon won't display the image of their masterpiece, Blood, Guts, and Pussy. Although definitely NSFW, it's not so bad: it's just two naked women. And a naked little person. All covered in Blood.

Now for logical purposes—given the title of their record—the album artwork is a propos and quite representational of the title.

Discussing shocking albums would not be complete without a nod to Nashville Pussy, who's Let Them Eat Pussy album borders on the ridiculous. I mean, it's cool they have chicks in the band, but just imagine what they went through to come up with that name:

Backwoods Tennesee, late 1991
Bassist: "I like Chatanooga Snatch."
Drummer: Too long. Clarksville Clit? Jackson Hole?
Guitarist: No, no. The Monkees did Clarksville already. And Jackson hole is just a little TOO dirty. What about Memphis Cock'n'Balls?
Lead Singer: Uh-uh; no way. We agreed on female gentalia. I thought that's why everybody voted down Louisville Grundle.
Guitarist: Grundle doesn't even count. Besides Louisville in in Mississippi
Lead Singer: It's an erogenous zone, isn't it?
Guitarist: I always thought Mississippi was a commonwealth.
Lead Singer: You're a commonwealth.
Bassist: Hey! C'mon, fighting won't get us anywhere. For the record, Louisville is not in Mississippi. It's in Alabama.
Drummer: To the matter at hand, hows about Tri-Cities Twat?
Guitarist: For the love of...we're gonna be here all day with our 'Tenessee metropolitan area + vagina' formula. We could go on and on: Knoxville Labia, Nashville Pussy, Murfreesboro Cunt—
Lead Singer: Wait...what was that second one?"

Interestingly enough after racking my brain, Wikipedia has a list of album covers with nudity. But not all of these are shocking. While we covered great album artwork, so many album covers have been deemed offensive Amorica? Electricarryland? Nevermind? Aren't some of the covers that shock us also the great ones?

Battle of the Album Covers

Fire At Will...

White Pony: Disc Two

So some of you have heard the wondrousness of disc one. Is wondrousness even a word?

Fuck yes it is.

You will not like disc two. It is rife with tumult: distorted vocals, over crunched guitars, and simplified yet poignant percussiveness makes disc two the metal portion. Disc one was far reaching, with it's digital beats and forthcoming guitar tracks. Disc two is more raw than hardcore porn.

While tracks like Feiticeira and Passenger have the same yearning, somewhat sharp vocals heard throughout disc one, it is tracks like Elite break through like the Kool Aid man and kicking the tranquil asses of Teenager and Digital Bath.

For the pure genius, listen to Back to School. I know, I know, rapcore, g-punk, whatever you want to call it is a tired genre. But surely one cannot write off greats like Rage Against the Machine, the Beasties, or Body Count, simply because of genre association.

Radiohead was hailed as genius for (among other things) dual versions of Morning Bell on Amnesiac and Kid A. How can anyone take a song as somber and expansive as Pink Maggit and turn it into Back to School? I dunno. Despite the tempo and the disparate vocals, I think each version evokes the same emotions in the listener, a subdued yet focused yearning for more. More of what?

That's up to you.

As I'm sure you'll notice, disc one is mostly even tracks, disc two mostly odd. The album as a whole is a paradox; each track contradicting the one that came before it. After listening to disc two, listen to White Pony as it was intended.

Lemme know your thoughts

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gift from a fasting Jew

Hello Feldheim!

I promise that to be the last exclamation point I will ever use! Exclamation points are for the grammatically puerile and the socially insincere. I will refuse the temptation to mire in the debasement of exclamations, but I indulge just this once like a teenage Myspacer to emphasize my eagerness in expressing musical eclecticism and elitism with such fine fine company as yourselves.

That said, I must present myself, and my Prada briefcase of Apse to Feldheim:

Apse is a homegrown Brooklyn band whom I discovered while researching musical performances at the Pussycat Lounge—a squalid stripclub in Manhattan’s financial district whose clientele include old Cornell Pi Kappa Fi brothers and fellow Fidelity and Goldman Sachs twenty-something I-Banking millionaires.

Irregardless of the discovering venue, a band making music in a room that looks like this:

must be cool as shit.

“Sonic Landscapes”

This phrase describes the kind of music that makes Hippies weep because it syncs so well with the Visualizer on their media player. Many bands nowadays love to exploit the phrase when self-proclaiming their music. I believe Creed stated that their music depicts “sonic landscapes mimicking the surroundings of Jesus while condemning the Pharisees.” Cat Power claims she creates “sonic landscapes illustrating a moody, bitch-ass chick playing piano and crooning.” And Nickelback proselytizes “sonic landscapes of Nicholas Cage playing a PRS reminiscing about how he misses his drunk dad’s beatings.”

But Apse stays true to the “sonic landscape” phenomenon by making sounds that travel, sounds that eerily choose moonlit cirrus and cumulus over domestic and high school sorrows, sounds that are mists over moors. Maybe this is an amateur first EP with a lot of potential talent; maybe this is pure shit genius.

One thing for sure is that having this band’s name in your iTunes will always look cool.

I give my sincerest thanks for the honor of my petition to join the Feldheim. I believe I can look down my nose at the world and utter words of monosyllabic arrogance to par with you who have come before me. Thank you for creating such a place, such a haven for asses caped in velvet, cuff linked in sterling, and accustomed to the “finer things in life.”

Your hopeful equal,

Blossom -- (what the fuck kind of avatar is this? But I'll take it.)

What's Next

Ritter you do pose the most interesting questions

What music style is gonna be aped next?

I don't know if this will be the next big thing,

Men Women and Children are one of the phoenixes born of the ashes of Long Island hardcore outfit Glassjaw. Listening to the first track of their self titled disc, the rattled guitar riff, the descending bass, the driving beat, you think it's going in the same direction as the funereal dissonance that made Glassjaw a household name.

Well, at least in my household. I like my coffee black like my metal, baby.

BUt just as you're rotating your neck to start head banging, you hear you the synth strings. You struggle with the difficulty to comprehend what you are hearing.

Yes, that's right.

It's disco.

Disco is perhaps one of the most reviled eras of musical history. It's as if we want to forget we ever danced. Though I wasn't alive then, I think I know what the disco era was about. I've seen Forrest Gump.

And I've seen Boogie Nights.

Disco was about carefee cocaine fueled fun. It didn't matter. It was carefree senseless pop music.

That is, I think, where Men Women and Children differ. Although their tracks are fun, I don't believe they are carefree at all. There is a certain precision and deliberate sound to the record. You don't just drop the beat and overdub chants on digital hand claps without mustering intent! Songs like Photosynthesis high lighting the Band's synth memeber, while drawing from from Freddy Mercury's stable of vocal range, everything from breathy 'another one bites the dust' baritone to belting out clear 'Don't Stop Me Now" tenor.

Interestingly enough, a refreshed rejuvenated Screech just commented:

"Hmmmm, the Bee Gees saw a brief resurgence with the Fugee's Stayin' Alive some years ago.

With the fad of bellbottoms and aviators, I would not be surprised to find a disco wave washing through. The tide will likely start flowing from Europe. Outfits like Dmitri from Paris or Boris will start the trouble in Ibiza, and it'll flow down from there. "

Sure, some tracks like Who Found Mister Fabulous and Monkey Monkey Mensound a bit like they're trying out-gay the Scissor Sisters.

And by the look of their press photos.....

It would seem that these guys are just about to be doing the french mistake.


Anyone get the reference?

But Messy and At Night I Like to Fightfire right back with their mathematical riffs and a David Lee Roth sensibility with lines like "take off that attitude, but keep on those high heel shoes."

Besides, nobody out-gays David Lee Roth.

I mean nobody!

Nice neckercheif diamond Dave. Soon you'll be wearing ascots to family reunions, drinking old fashioneds. Proclaiming, "I just haven't found the right girl, OK?!"

Kinda like Woody circa 2017.

This is not an earth shattering development in music.

MWC, not neckercheifs and scots.

Sure, Franz Ferdinand and the Killers wanted people to dance, but they just made rock with a dance beat. And monotone vocals. No one want to dance to that crap.

MWC don't want you to dance. They tell you on the first track: "You don't need a reason..." I think some of the Feldheim members will take a first listen and write this disc off. I know I did, when I listened to the first single nearly a year ago. I probably wouldn't even have given it credence if I didn't know that Todd Weinstock was involved. But the more I listened the more I liked it. I knew that is was over-produced with meaningless lyrics. I knew Pitchfork would never review this groovy LP.

But I also knew that it was fun as hell.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy Yom Kippur

To the Jewish majority of the Feldheim:

May 5767 be a blessed year.

Joanna Newsom - YS

Joanna Newsom’s latest album is an indisputable work of genius.

It’s also album of the year.

Stop your internal dialogue.

Harmonies, melodies, compositions, collaborations, sonic landscapes, majors, minors, chords, whole notes, scales, 4/4, 8/4, 4/5, 67/30490358345…….

Once every couple years an artist/musician/band will contribute something to the world that not only changes the face of music, it serves as an inspiration, affirmation, and vindication of something that shouldn’t be described with words. Joanna has created this album, and then some. Emerging as the greatest contemporary female songwriter, YS is a breakthrough album.

Originality in musical composition is a goal for every artist - To create your own “sound” or your own “style.” The hopes are that your musical accomplishments will inspire your fans and colleagues, that your music will be respected, and that you, in the long run, provided the world with a timeless contribution. Joanna has achieved all of the above.

Now, it is important to note that this album is not for everyone. You can’t take BC calculus without taking Algebra 2. The fact of the matter is though, that it is so good that it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it. It is beyond the realm of opinion…..god am I embracing this whole elitism thing.

Here’s how I feel when I listen to this album:

I feel like I’m on a planet made of marbles, and I have stepped into a pool of velvety quicksand. Instead of panicking, I find myself comforted. Black clouds turn to white, and it rains cherry blossoms. Meteors break off and float around the magic hour sky, and I am being massaged by the hands of god herself. Then god whispers into my ear in elvish, and guess what, I now somehow speak elvish.

god: velvista humiero continlastigo
jafar: cantilo superiftestic lumincafigarowilben
god; jeeejeeboogbooga


god: joanna has given you the gift of good tunes
jarar: I know, this album is the shit
god: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddddddddddddd!


Named after a mythical city, the entire album was recorded in analaog, and then transferred over to the digital medium. Perhaps, no, fuck perhaps, this is why the album is warm, why it is alive, why you can give it a hug if you want to. Mixed by Jim O’Rourke, (who is the fucking man by the way), and recoreded at Abbey Road studios, the album’s production values are flawless. Bill Callahan, or (smog), also throws down some vocals on the album. He’s also the one deflowering joanna. Steve Albini recorded and engineered the album.

Van Dyke Parks is responsible for all the arrangements. (Those not familiar with O'Rourke, Albini and Van Dyke Parks should do a quick google search, they are responsible for some of your favorite albums).

With a ridiculous production ensemble, the expectations are automatically high…….good thing Joanna pulls through.


So yeah, Joanna maybe had some issues with her control on her last album, Milk Eyed Mender, well, those issues have disappeared. It is scary how remarkable her voice is. She does it all. Incredible.


Many people would characterize Joanna Newsome’s lyrics and style as whimsical weird freak-folk. I can see where they are coming from, but there is much more beyond this depiction.

With a range reminiscent of Bjork, Joanna’s use of imagery creates a world that we have never known.

And there was a booming above you
That night, black airplanes flew over the sea
And they were lowing and shifting like
Beached whales
Shelled snails
As you strained and you squinted to see
The retreat of their hairless and blind cavalry

You froze in your sand shoal
Prayed for your poor soul
Sky was a bread roll, soaking in a milk-bowl
And when the bread broke, fell in bricks of wet smoke
My sleeping heart woke, and my waking heart spoke

Then there was a silence you took to mean something:
Mean, run, sing
For alive you will evermore be
And the plague of the greasy black engines a-skulkin'
Has gone east
While you're left to explain them to me
Released from their hairless and blind cavalry

With your hands in your pockets, stubbily running
To where I'm unfresh, undressed and yawning
Well, what is this craziness? This crazy talking?
You caught some small death when you were sleepwalking

Dylan, Fitzgerald, these are the names one must use to draw comparisons.

Welcome to the world of Joanna Newsom. Welcome to Greatness.

Thank you Joanna.

Authors Note: This month it was going to be either Joanna or Mastodon. Joanna wins, but be sure to chk out Mastodon's new album, Blood Mountain. It's the best metal album in a long time......

Authors Note #2: Please find the songs linked in a word document on the box account. Box doesn't allow songs more than 10MB to be stored, and Joanna, being a badass, wont fit into this limitations. If you have problems downloading it, send me an e-mail, and I'll provide you with the appropriate link.
Testing Testing

I'm writing this post with my new blogging software called ecto. It was a gift and I must say I prefer it to the blogger interface. Am I as big a computer geek as Angela for having this?

Anyway, besides testing this out to make sure I set it up properly, I also wanted to let you know that while I do have a busy week ahead of me, new music will be posted within the Fortnight.

We Will Meet Again

So in between cataloguing my predilections for the Dirty Sanchex and saving my house, I've been awful busy. (that, and I've had time to fix/upgrade my computers)

However, this month we will visit a somewhat reclusive guitar stylist named Jon Crosby. At the age of 13, he was heralded as an up-and-coming guitar prodigy by Guitar Player magazine. He formed VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theatre) three years later, with the title album released on Elektra in 1998. By his 23rd year, in 2000, he had produced his second studio offering - a magnificent creation entitled Music for People. Some speak of the 'sophomore slump' in their music reviews, others of their maturation. Crosby most assuredly is the latter.

Music for People is so named for its accessibility. Although VAST has not (yet) made it as a truly national act - nor does it seek to - the content draws roots from Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Ozzy Osbourne, and some Brian Transeau as well. Jon Crosby most likely wrote much of the album in contemplation of a painful breakup.

The opening track - The Last One Alive - sets a tone not only for the album, but for much of the music scene to follow. "Sweeping orchestral backdrops" had not yet come into sickening overuse in 2000, and we have VAST to thank for that, in part. This is one of my favorite tracks written by Crosby, however its placement as the album opener does not cause a musical premature ejaculation. (That is, the best track is the first) The music is uplifting - grandiose piano complemented by background strings; haunting, subtle bassline, familiar chord progressions - yet the lyrics are otherwise:

You left me high and dry it changed me
You lied to me now I am angry
And if the sun comes in your room
And awakens you from your vanity
You won't find me 'cause I'll be
On top a mountain pissing on your grave

Crosby takes time setting up the mood, drawing from Black Sabbath for the second track. Here we see his metal influence showing - I double-checked several times to ensure he didn't have a younger Ozzy overlaid on the vocal tracks. Again, he expresses his bitterness like so many young American males. He rocks out, proclaiming like a 16-year old in his new Camaro, that "you can't tell me what to do anymore." After I left my ex following a particularly nasty fight, I blasted this from car outside her window at midnight. Given that none of the neighbors complained or threw things at me, I took it as approval.

The album's intermezzo - Land of Shame - adopts a beat you can waltz to, with rock guitar interspersed, complimented by some of the best trombone I've heard on a rock album. If you like good trombone backups, you'll find Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Phat Phunktion, and Tower of Power high on my list. This is another one to add.

Coldplay, as far as I'm concerned, owes its cut-and-paste philosophy towards music to this entire album, particularly ninth track, Song Without a Name. Hard-charging piano, panoramic orchestrals, a background choir, and vocals that, admittedly, are sometimes hard to take seriously. Crosby occasionally chooses to shout, rather than sing, which does poor justice to his otherwise fine singing voice.

The album finishes with a quiet track, Lady of my Dreams. Appropriately, he tones things down to a lullaby. The scratch of a 33rpm LP slows us down, with classical guitar and violins to wind down after an album that may be interpreted as a marital feud.

I recommend this album particularly because Jon Crosby is a true student of music. He cares not for critical acclaim, national attention or money, hence his relative anonymity amongst the backdrop of the contemporary music scene. He quietly released a new album this year, after a three-year hiatus. After a thorough review of his discography over the summer, and in light of the study necessary for this review, I look forward to it eagerly.


In the interests of supporting the artist directly, I recommend visiting his online store, because going through middlemen means paying The Man, which is always a pain in my ass.

Even more of a pain in the ass than putting a finger in there.

Damn I love making my videos.