Feb 26, 2003

np: "The Good Life" - Weezer
this song about sums up the way i feel about my life in general right now:

When I look in the mirror I can't believe what I see
Tell me, who's that funky dude starin' back at me?

Broken, beaten down can't even get around
without an old-man cane I fall and hit the ground
Shivering in the cold, I'm bitter and alone

Excuse the bitchin' - I shouldn't complain
I should have no feeling, 'cuz feeling is pain
As everything I need is denied me
And everything I want is taken away from me
But who do I got to blame? Nobody but me

I don't wanna be a old man anymore
It's been a year or two since I was out on the floor
Shakin' booty, makin' sweet love all the night
It's time I got back to the good life
It's time I got back, it's time I got back
'n I don't even know how I got off the track
I wanna go back, yeah!

Screw this crap, I've had it! I ain't no mr. cool
I'm a pig, I'm a dog, so 'scuse me if I drool
I ain't gonna hurt nobody, ain't gonna cause a scene
I just need to admit I want sugar in my tea
Hear me? I want sugar in my tea!
np: "The Dance" - The Music
wow. where the hell did these guys come from? this is one amazing album, finally released today in the states. i had heard decent things about it, so i decided the 7 bucks was worth the try. and holy shit is it a good album. reminds me a lot of the Stone Roses with a little bit of Doves stirred in. actually, this is exactly what i was hoping the Doves would have sounded like. more jamming, less electronica. i honestly had no expectations of this album to be so good... but i guess that's what the truly great albums do, surprise the hell out of you. i know its early, but i can definately see this being in my top ten for 2003. this one's going to be getting heavy rotation from me for the next couple of weeks for sure...

Feb 24, 2003

np: "The Pull" - The Microphones
ahh... Phil Elvrum. amazing stuff. i first got introduced to the Microphones by taking a blind risk based on Pitchfork's ranking of "The Glow, Pt. 2" as the best album of 2001. it was the first time since i started reading the site that i hadn't even heard their number one pick. so a few weeks later i picked it up at Record Breakers. it took me awhile to get into it, i really didn't understand what all the hype was about. then one night i played it while i was working late - it was quiet and no one else was around. something clicked. i can't exactly place my finger on what did it for me, but i was intrigued by this simple, yet complex, sounding music that was unlike anything i'd ever heard. Phil didn't have the greatest voice, but the sheer simplicity of the melodies mixing with the intricate tape tricks he came up with made for a listening experience that i can only compare to the first time i heard "Kid A". i sat at work totally engrossed until the album was over. later that night, i laid in bed and listened to it again with headphones on and that was all it took. i didn't get another Microphones release until "Mt. Eerie", but that finally provoked me to go back and take a look at the back catalog. "The Glow, Pt. 2" is still my favorite album as a whole, but "It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water" has some excellent individual tracks. I wonder what's next for Elvrum now that he's dropped the Microphones moniker, taking up Mt. Eerie instead. i'll be looking forward to whatever he does...

good news for the day: June release date for the new Radiohead. summer is going to be awesome.

bad news for the day: the 'check engine' light is on in my car, i'm taking it in on Thursday to get looked at. of course this happens 300 miles after my warranty is up. fuck. an expensive repair is the last thing i can afford right now.

Feb 23, 2003

np: "(This Is)The Dream of Evan and Chan)" - Dntel
god damn. this song is fucking beautiful. i mentioned the other night about hearing Dntel's stuff for the first time with The Postal Service Project. well, i liked it so much that i decided to hear the song that started that whole connection up. this blows everything on that album out of the water. wow. sometimes a song comes along that just throws you for a loop, leaves you wondering how the fuck the rest of the world doesn't know about it. they should. beautiful.
so tonight was the night of no success at Blockbuster. there were several things i wanted to get - The Sims or Tony Hawk 4 for PS2 and either The Rules of Attraction or One Hour Photo to watch. four Blockbusters later, nada. each one had less than 4 copies of Rules of Attraction and they were all out. One Hour Photo had more, but they were all out as well. and the PS2 selections were pathetisad. so i ended up with 2 games - Kingdom Hearts and The Getaway. thats how sad the selection was. i'm usually not a big fan of RPGs, but i wanted to check out this one. it's decent, seems way easier than most.. probably since its aimed at kids with the whole Disney thing. which is fine, since i have always sucked at Final Fantasy games. i haven't played The Getaway yet though. sad Saturday night, huh?
but there was some good news today. K called and i was able to talk to her. we're going out again next weekend. thats a good sign, and i'm looking forward to it.

Feb 22, 2003

np: "The Scientist" - Coldplay
amazingly beautiful song. this is rapidly becoming my favorite Coldplay song ever. i was into it since i first bought the new album, and i'm excited it's getting the airplay. a lot of times i'll disagree with the singles that bands will pick, but Coldplay has done really well with the last four they've released, "Trouble", "In My Place", "Clocks", "The Scientist" are all some of their best. and the fact that they released an album that was so great... they really managed to avoid that sophomore slump. i truly think this could be one of the most exciting bands to watch as they go, along with Interpol.

Feb 20, 2003

np: "We've Been Planning This For Years" - Division of Laura Lee
this one seemed to get lost in the shuffle last year with all of the Scandanavian band hype going down. i've found myself listening to this one and the Sahara Hotnights more often than the Hives. solid rock action. yeah, nothing more exciting than that right now. i'm hungry and tired, so maybe a little more later....

Feb 19, 2003

np: "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" - The Postal Service
i hadn't heard anything by Dntel before this album, but i'd read a few good reviews of his stuff. it took a collaboration with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie to get me to give it a chance. i'm only on the first song, but i'm really digging it. definately not what i'd expect to hear Gibbard singing with, but it really works. i'm not exactly sure how i would describe the music... IDM, maybe? but i really don't know enough of that genre to speak intelligently about it. it sounds like some Pro Tools/laptop beeps and blips, but in a good kind of way. i don't know. check it out for yourself.
np: "Ball and Biscuit" - White Stripes
shit, did this album surprise me. i was not expecting to be surprised by Meg and Jack at all with this release. but surprised i am. the candy-colored duo manage to expand their sound in several different directions at once with this one. going beyond the blues standards and 2 minute rave-ups, the Stripes have managed to bring in several "epics". Meg's drumming contnues to improve with each album, she manages to bang the fuck out of that bass drum on "Seven Nation Army". Jack's guitar work is as impressive as ever. my only gripes - the song with Holly Golightly is too cute for it's own good, and there's a reason Meg's behind the kit and not in front of the mic- let's keep it that way.

Feb 14, 2003

my happy fuckin' valentine's day mixtape:

side one:
superman - five for fighting
seein' red - unwritten law
still be around - uncle tupelo
why does it always rain on me? - travis
someday we'll know - the new radicals
yer blues - the beatles
somewhere out there - our lady peace
enjoy your day - alkaline trio
come pick me up - ryan adams
black star - radiohead
time & time again - counting crows
paint it black - rolling stones
side two:
hold on - sarah mclachlan
cavanuagh park - something corporate
story of a lonely guy - blink 182
excuse me while i break my own heart tonight - whiskeytown
everybody hurts - r.e.m.
something i can never have - nine inch nails
via chicago - wilco
lonesome tears - beck
one - u2
this bitter pill - dashboard confessional
jim beam - blues jumpers

Feb 12, 2003

np: "Big Day Coming" - Yo La Tengo
sometimes i think this band needs to break up or something to get the kind of respect they deserve. they never seem to get the press that bands like Pavement or Modest Mouse seem to get, but they've been making just as good of music for just as long, if not longer. they've just sat back quietly and released solid album after solid album. no controversies or anything, maybe that's the problem. oh well, regardless i'll continue to enjoy them.
i picked up the 50 Cent album today, only $9.99 and i've been hearing great things about it, so we'll see how it pans out. i haven't listened to it yet, and i don't exactly think it's gonna be good nighttime music. i've really liked the two singles i've heard so far, so i'm excited to hear it. there are few mainstream rappers i can really get into, but this may just be one of them.
still waiting for my Chavez cd's... dammit just hurry up. i want to hear those badly....
np: "Lapdance" - N.E.R.D.
i'm starting to think this album was one of the more over-rated of the past year. yes, it definately has some bangin' tracks on it and some damn good beats. but there are some songs on there... that just, phew, i can't get into at all. bland r&b singing with (for the 'tunes) half-assed production. granted, it's still better than 90% of urban pop radio, but i don't get all the adoration heaped on it by the critics. i enjoyed that Missy Elliot album a whole hell of a lot more.

Feb 11, 2003

np: "Bible Silver Corner" - Rodan
this is a criminally overlooked album in my opinion. Slint's Spiderland seems to get tons of rave reviews, but this album flows along the same vein. members of Rodan went on to form bands like June of '44, Rachel's, and a whole slew of others that i can't seem to remember at this point. but this entire album is fucking brilliant - from slowly building instrumental pieces to scream-filled raging tracks, there's absolutely nothing bad on this one.
so i'm trying to work my finances right now, it's so not looking good. trying to move into a new apartment in April and a wedding i'm in in May are looking to completely drain me. so it looks like i will be all about the cheap living for the next several months. great. just when there's a lot of good album releases to come out too. guess i'll just have to start keeping a list so that i can start picking some of them up when i actually have some money. god, i wish soulseek wasn't still down..... ugh.
np: "Flutter Girl" - Chris Cornell
i hate being broke. especially when the being broke part isn't really my fault. i had to kick in extra money for my rent this month since the bastard that moved out was giving us the shaft by not sending his money. :mad: i wouldn't have paid it, but i don't want my credit being fucked up because of that white-trash loser. so now i'm left with like $20 to last me until this weekend. i guess that's not THAT broke, but still kinda sucks. it will suck even worse if i have to wait until monday to get my paycheck. good thing i'm single this weekend....
at least i should be getting my Chavez cd's i ordered from Matador. only $8 each, so i couldn't pass those up. much cheaper that i was going to find them around here, that is if i could find them. Record Breakers hadn't even had copies the last time i was there. so i've got that going for me. as soon as i do have some money, i think i'm gonna order the new Ted Leo & the Pharmacists album, i've heard nothing but good things and it's available from Lookout's site for only $9. yeah, i'm all about the cheap music....

Feb 10, 2003

np: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Joy Division
so i bought 24 Hour Party People on DVD the over the weekend, such a good movie. i was never very big into Joy Division or the Happy Mondays before, but i definately want to check out more after that movie. how lucky can one guy get though? seeing the first Manchester performance of Sex Pistols to signing to Joy Division to helping launch the Happy Mondays to kicking off rave culture to dating a model? come on, spread the love man.
nothing much else going on right now, just a whole lot of work. the last 5 days have just been crazy, with everyone needing everything. always makes for a fun day. i'm in the process of searching for a new apartment, but it's going slowly. damn, do one bedroom apartments just rip you off or what? but i really want to live alone, sometimes dealing with roommates can be just too much. hopefully i'll end up somewhere in the city, i'm ready to experience some of that while i'm relatively young and unattached. plus it'd be a hell of a lot easier to catch more shows that i do living out here in the shitty burbs. not to mention the kick-ass city records stores. although i will miss Record Breakers, although i'm sure i'll still make a special journey out for that place.

Feb 6, 2003

np: "Brimful of Asha" - Cornershop
i used to be so addicted to this song when it first came out. i know i annoyed the hell out of my roommates when i would put it on repeat. i used to dance around the room with this kinda side-to-side headswing/shuffle thing. good times, good times. it still manages to make me smile, even though it's probably been a couple years since i last heard it. i've been being a huge dork and cataloging all of my cd's into a spreadsheet. just because. don't ask me why. i don't know. anyway, i even went through an old binder that's been sitting untouched in my closet for around 2 years and i'm rediscovering all kinds of lost "gems". "Lucas with the Lid Off", Reacharound, Cypress Hill, just a whole lot of stuff that i really used to get into. can't forget the Bon Jovi and Kris Kross that was floating around in there.

in other news, a music review website i frequent it looking for new reviewers so i've decided to give it a go. i'm going to sit down tonight and write some samples and see how it goes. wish me luck....

Feb 5, 2003

np: "If You Can't Rock Me/Get Off of My Cloud (live)" - Rolling Stones
ahhh, Love You Live. the only good live album i've head of the Stones. granted, i've only heard about four... but this is by far much better than No Security or Flashpoint. espically disc two when they kick out the old blues standards, especially "Mannish Boy". back when the Stones knew how to rock, before it became just time to make another paycheck. i didn't feel at all bad about missing them last year when they swung through Chicago, even though i've yet to see them live. admittedly, the review of their show at Metro was positive, but i would never have been able to get tickets to that one. i'd rather just not see them play live, i fear that would just spoil the experience. i like to think it's better to imagine the glory than to witness the less than mediocre shows they've been putting on from what i've heard.
thinking about live shows, i feel a top ten list coming on, the top ten live shows i've seen.

Pearl Jam/Bad Religion - Soldier Field, Chicago 1995
Smashing Pumpkins/Garbage - Assembly Hall, Champaign 1996
The Get-Up Kids/Ultimate Fakebook/At the Drive-In - Courtyard Cafe, Urbana 1998
Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson - Assembly Hall, Champaign 1994 (Manson sucked, but NIN was amazing)
Dave Matthews Band - Assembly Hall, Champaign 1995 (i think the seventh row seats helped this one)
Zwan - Metro, Chicago 2003
Aerosmith/Seven Mary Three - Assembly Hall, Champaign 1998 (i was fucking blown away by Aerosmith - great live band)
Phish - Deer Creek, Indianapolis 1997 (great venue, great crowd, all-around fun experience)
Dashboard Confessional/The Anniversary/Ben Kweller/Legends of Rodeo - House of Blues, Chicago 2002 (all four bands were in amazing form)
Blink 182/Green Day/Saves the Day/Simple Plan - Tweeter Center, Chicago 2002 (Green Day blew Blink off the stage, they should have been headlining that tour)
np: "Lyric" - Zwan
so the Zwan album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard charts, quite frankly i'm really surprised. i didn't think anyone outside of Chicago and/or hardcore Pumpkins fans was going to be rushing out to get it the first week. i figured it would do well, what with Reprise's marketing blitz in the last couple of weeks, but this goes beyond my expectations. it's good music and i'm glad it's getting out there. but of course, as with every new Corgan release, we have to deal with the Billy-bashing in the media. fine, he's an egomaniac, he's a control freak, he's a little eccentric. so what? move on. do the critic's bring up Lou Reed's drug habits everytime he releases an album? not usually. just shut up and let the music speak for itself. like him or not, Corgan is one of the best songwriters of the last 10 years. he and Vedder are the only ones to come out of the modern rock movement with their dignity intact. Cornell and Audioslave don't count, sorry. anyway, i'm not asking you to like Corgan, just quit needlessly bashing aspects of him that have nothing to do with the music he makes. even Scott Stapp bashing gets old after awhile.

Feb 4, 2003

np: "ELT" - Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot damn near made me forget just how good this album is. damn near i say. Being There made me fall in love with Wilco in the first place, but this album is what put me into it for life. such a good album for sitting up drinking the night away - starts out nice and upbeat, then slows down and becomes more introspective as the bottles start to empty. this is what music is all about. Tweedy is god. speaking of which, i don't know just what i think of Loose Fur just yet. there's a couple of killer tracks on it, but maybe there's just too much O'Rourke for me on that one. it's not bad by any means, just... hell, i don't know. one of those albums that i easily lose concentration with.
big music related news for me the past month. saw Zwan twice at the Metro. completely convinced me that this band is excellent. and it's much easier to appreciate Pajo and Sweeney's contributions when watching them live, they kind of get lost in the "wall of guitars" on the studio versions. i suggest you try and download a live version of "Spilled Milk", it's bordering on "Silverfuck" freak-outs. i also got to meet Pajo himself outside one of the shows, extremely nice guy. which reminds me, i also met Jay Bennett at a show downtown about a month ago. he was there to play the piano on a couple of songs for Elizabeth Elmore's band, The Reputation. he was inebriated, as was i, but a very cool guy.