Jul 29, 2003

np: "blind" - tv on the radio
so the 'fork does it again. the Young Liars EP is really fucking good. not at all what i was expecting, much more laid back than i was expecting with the YYYs boys involved in it. give me a couple more listens to get a better feel for it, and hopefully i can put some words to my feelings towards it. the hidden track at the end, an acapella cover of the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves" is pretty damn cool though.
and in a more vain moment, i switched my pic from a few posts ago to a much more flattering one. enjoy.

Jul 27, 2003

np: "november" - azure ray
i picked up the Saddle Creek 50 comp the other day, and so far i'm enjoying it. i mostly wanted to check out the unreleased tracks by Cursive and Desaparecidos, but there's a lot of other good stuff i'm finding. Azure Ray has been the most enjoyable new band to me, i'm definately up on hearing more from them. a friend from Atlanta has been talking them up now and then, but i think it's more from having met one of the girls before. as for the unreleased stuff, i'm liking the hell out of "Take Me to the Hospital" by The Faint and "Popn' Off at the F" by Desaparecidos, the latter of which features some interesting clips from a reported talking about the beauty of a nuclear explosion.
this weekend was quite interesting, at least last night was. i got a call from a friend at about 10 saying that a mutual friend was coming out from Cincy and i was to meet them out. we went to a couple favorite Wicker Park spots and i had a great time. it was just one of those nights where everyone seemed super-friendly and out to have a good time. yeah, it helped that i met one of the most engaging girls i've met in a long time. she was out celebrating the completion of a dance program she helped put on at the Atheneum here in Chicago. we talked about our work and of course, music. she's quite the Radiohead fanatic and one of the few people that still genuinely loves Pablo Honey. anyway, i wasn't really trying to hit on her or anything, just enjoying the conversation. but she gave me her number hoping she wasn't being too forward. not at all. if nothing else comes out of it, she's an amazing person to spend an hour or two just talking with.

Jul 25, 2003

np: "neon golden" - notwist
one of the more creative ways to try and make it to the United States, but what disturbs me is that the truck was "sent to the bottom". typical American response, we don't want to deal with it so send it to the bottom of the ocean and it becomes someone else's problem. i can't help but think of the damage that a gas engine is doing down there.

Jul 24, 2003

np: "obstacle 1" - interpol
so i'm a very visual person. i like to associate images and faces with words i'm encountering. so just in case any of you are like me, here's a face to associate with this blog.

np: "knees on top" - bikeride
i had heard these guys on a comp years ago, but i never really got around to checking them out at the time, as i was not so much into the shimmery pop stuff back then. but in the years since, i've learned to appreciate the '70's nostalgic summery-goodness of stuff like this. today has been a pretty good day for some happy pop - Fountains of Wayne, The Tyde, The Shins, and Bikeride. it's enough to even put me in a good mood tonight.
or maybe it was from finally getting to see Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. i'm really surprised that NBC took a chance on a regular programming night after just one episode, but then again it is a "reality" show and we know the networks just can't get enough of them. but honestly, this is the only one i've seen that is worth watching. just seeing the effect those five guys had on Brian was amazing. i wasn't exactly sure about the fashion choices, then again i'm straight and i cold probably use the service of them just as bad as Butch. and i just loved the catty little comments. i'm sure they could have a field day fixing me up. any chance you want to come out to Chicago boys? let's just hope NBC does the smart thing and continues airing this show, for those of us without cable.
np: "know your onion" - the shins
longer update tonight, but for now i just had to share the results of this quiz. normally i hate these things, but this one was pretty fun:

You are Brian Molko. Can we sleep with you? Sexy
and in control, you don't exist for the
critics. Visit http://xrrf.blogspot.com - no
rock and roll fun to discover yourself more

which indie schmindie superstar are you - yes, you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Jul 23, 2003

np: "laid" - james
love this fucking song. the Best of James was one of the albums i picked up for a buck at a garage sale last weekend. it was well worth it for just this song. i never get tired of it. i had a version on a mixtape from years ago, but it was the "she only (sings) when she's on top" radio edit though. the song just doesn't work like that.
i've also been listening to a lot of Papa M stuff lately. i first heard some solo Pajo stuff on a bootleg of an open mic night with Billy Corgan, Sweeney, and Pajo did here in Chicago awhile back. it led me into checking more of the M stuff, which took a bit to grow on me, but now i'm really liking it - especially Whatever, Mortal. there's just something warm and inviting about the album, like Pajo just invited you in to sit on the couch and sip a beer while you listen to him play. this comes across quite well on "Krusty", when you can hear the TV in the background tuned to the Simpsons and even get a chuckle from Pajo himself at the show near the end of the track. good stuff. and some of the lyrics that come out of nowhere, such as "i could feel something growing between us / that stopped you from going down on my penis", from a lesser talent it would come across as childish and stupid. but Pajo turns it into an honest reflection on the relationship. or maybe i'm just reading way too much into it because i'm enjoying the shit out of the album.
and in other news, i am now the latest member of the ever-growing Friendster community. seems like a pretty interesting way to get to know people you might not otherwise associate with. we'll see how it works out.

Jul 22, 2003

np: "sidewalk serfer girl" - super furry animals.
love this album. and i'm very excited to hear Phantom Power as well. somehow i completely blanked on this one even coming out so quickly. sometimes albums seem to do that on me. i caught the very tail end of the video for "Golden Retriever" on M2 the other night, but not enough to really get a feel for the song. i've been hearing good things about it so far though. i really wish the SFA/Grandaddy tour was coming through Chicago, that would be a great show to see. maybe they will add some additional shows, since i missed Grandaddy the last time they were in town. of course, they were opening for Pete Yorn at the time, so it probably wasn't a huge loss.
today was another good day for a trip to the library, except this time it was all about the movies. the DVD selection isn't the greatest, but the VHS one is excellent. thank god i still have my VCR. up for viewing this week: Happiness, Night of the Living Dead, and The Tao of Steve. none of which i have seen, so it should provide some quality entertainment.

Jul 21, 2003

no music right now, as i have some sad news to share. 3 members of the Exploding Hearts were killed when their van rolled over en route from San Francisco to Portland this weekend. my thoughts go out to families and friends. this kind of death is always a great shame, but even more so when it's to such promising youngsters.

here's the story.

Jul 17, 2003

np: "california waiting" - kings of leon
quote of 2003:
"enemies are friends in reverse."
- gary busey
i'm with busey
np: "don't do me like that" - tom petty
work radio. meh. although i had an interesting experience on hold with Gateway tech support this morning. i was put on hold and i immediately blocked out the hold music and focused on my work, 99% of hold music is either jazz-lite or crap AOR music and not worth my time. but as i am sitting there, the slow realization that i am listening to "Obstacle 1" by Interpol hits me. nice. more companies need to have hold music like that.

those wacky Japanese are at it again. wonder if it will be a bigger hit than the six-day underwear?

Jul 16, 2003

np: "step out (live)" - oasis
yes, yet another guilty pleasure. i really got into Oasis back with Definately Maybe. i was just starting to discover Britpop - the Stone Roses, Blur, and the like. i heard "Live Forever" on the student station down in Champaign, The Planet, back in the days before it became a shitty Q101 clone. i was enthralled. it reminded me of the way the rock and roll used to sound when my dad was playing it around the house. no real angst, just rock and roll. i went out and bought the album right away, and it played a great foil to all the Seattle grunge i was playing at the time. then i discovered the magic of the import single and the magical Oasis B-sides. i think "Supersonic" was the first one i purchased, quickly followed by the other singles off of Definately Maybe, including the "Whatever" non-album single. i found most of the B-sides to be just as good as, if not better than, many of the album tracks. then, of course, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? dropped. even better than the first album. i'm sure i annoyed many people on my dorm floor that year with the amount of spins it got. i was hyping them so much to my friends that they were already sick of them before the radio overplayed "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova".
Don't Look Back in Anger" even became the song i HAD to put on the jukebox everytime we went out to Flanagan's to drink. i gobbled up each of the imports as came into the local record shops. it even got to the point that a guy at Record Service would hold a copy for me when the shipment came in. of course my musical tastes were growing all over the map in college, but Oasis was always a steady presence in my life. through all the sub-par albums that followed, i was loyal to a fault. so yes, i still get every import single that comes out, even now that they've dropped to two or even one B-side per disc. and as before many of the B-sides are even better than the album tracks. which hasn't really been that hard to do. but Heathen Chemistry was a step back in the right direction, even though it's no return to form. definately an underrated album though, i just think the band's rep was ruined so badly in the public's eyes that no one really cared. that's fine. i'll endure the taunts and teases and sub-par releases, as long as Noel keeps dropping me a gem or two, no matter how hard they are to get ahold of.

Jul 15, 2003

np: "every day is a child with teeth" - liars
most likely still my favorite of the whole arty-punk thing sweeping through music over the last couple of years. there's just something off about these guys that makes them more exciting than 95% of thier current peers. the twists and turns through each and every song, let alone over the course of an album, leave you in a constant state of anticipation. Fins to Makes Us More Fish-Like has been getting a lot of rotation lately, and it's easy to see why. a version of "Grown Men Don't Fall in the River Just Like That" that towers over the album version with it's extened coda and further sonic trickery. i am very much looking forward to anything new these guys put out.
yesterday was a decent day for some cheap Best Buy albums, Poison the Well's You Come Before You and Motion City Soundtrack's I am the Movie each for less than 9 bucks. the Poison the Well major-label debut is wonderful, striking the perfect balance between hardcore chaos and gentle melodicism. i've never been a huge fan of hardcore - especially the more recent "screamo" stuff, but PtW and Glassjaw have managed to break through the din and suck me in. i think it's the fact that both bands have loads of musical talent and are able to float between rage and calm several times over the course of a single song. i guess i just like balance. all acoustic saccharine can get boring and a full half-hour of screaming gets just plain tiresome, but a nice blend of both will keep my interest. i haven't had a chance to listen to the entire MCS album yet, but it's one of the few albums i've bough in the last several years that i bought simply on the basis of hearing one single on the radio. i've heard "The Future Freaks Me Out" several times on woxy and enjoyed it every time. i saw the album for $7.99 yesterday and figured, what the hell.

Jul 14, 2003

np: "every time i look for you" - blink-182
a guilty obsession. sounds like the rumors are true, and Robert Smith is in the studio with Blink to add some vocals to Use Your Erection I and II. that could just be the best collaboration ever.

speaking of Fat Bob, i saw the Trilogy DVD at Tower this weekend. very tempting, but there's so much other stuff i need/want right now.
np: "b is for bethlehem - the promise ring
first the Pixies, and now this. wow. credit due to nerdball for this tidbit:

My Bloody Valentine Back in the Studio after 12 Year Hiatus

Sometimes news comes down the grapevine that's so good you have to spread the
word. Otherwise it would be an injustice to humanity. When word came to those
of us at Under the Radar that My Bloody Valentine have been holed up in a
Berlin studio we couldn't quite believe it. After all, the band hasn't released
anything in twelve years. Being the dutiful rock journalists that we are we
sought confirmation on the rumor only to be foiled again. Our source on this
bit of breaking news wishes to remain strictly anonymous. But he did confirm
the buzz.

My Bloody Valentine is finally back in the studio. As it turns out an MBV box
set is due out sometime this winter and Kevin Shields, Colin O'Ciosiog and
Bilinda Butcher are back in the studio to re-record a few songs for it. No,
there will not be a new MBV album, but the band is re-recording 5 songs they
had abandoned for the Glider EP. Originally the Glider EP was to be a full-
length album, but due to pressures from the record company Shields decided to
only release five songs as an EP because the other material wasn't ready to see
the light of day. The left over Glider songs were shelved and Shields and
company moved on to the never-ending Loveless sessions. As many of you know,
after Loveless the band went their separate ways (for whatever speculative
reason) and those leftover Glider songs remained on the shelf....until now.
Although there has been no confirmation on whether or not vocalist Debbie Googe
is also in on the new sessions it is a bona fide fact that My Bloody Valentine
will release Glider as a full-length album contained within the new MBV box
set, if all goes well.

Is it possible the seeds for a comeback are planted?

God, let's hope so!

By Marcus Kagler

Jul 13, 2003

np: "take it off" - the donnas
so yeah, i had to post again to tell you that i am in love. if anyone could hook me up, i would be forever in your debt. any of the four really, i'm not picky.
np: "hang on to your IQ" - placebo
yep, still on the Placebo kick. can't be helped. in bigger news, i just got back from Lollapalooza. i found out late yesterday afternoon that a friend was giving away free tickets she had won, so i took my little brother for his first concert. i had no intention of paying that much for a sub-par lineup, but for free... i had a great time. Queens of the Stone Age were VERY impressive, they rocked the crowd long and hard. as did The Donnas. yeah, the music is on the intelligence level of Motley Crue, but sometimes thats what rawk music needs to be. they put a lot of energy into the show, plus they played their cover of "Strutter" which i fucking love. Jurassic 5 was also really impressive, especially DJ Cut Chemist on the wheels of steel and the live drummer. Rooney was tolerable at best, they really didn't do anything to get the crowd going as openers. Incubus was also pretty tolerable, for as much of a non-fan as i am. they stretched out some jams and put on a decent show. we also snuck over to the second stage to see The Distillers put on a sub-par performance for them. Brody was fighting both illness and equipment problems, so they can be forgiven.
on the down side, my 14 year old brother was way tired and starting to get sick, so we left before Jane's Addiction came on. i am a little disappointed by that as it was my main reason for wanting to go, but since it was free and he was looking pretty ill - i'll get over it.

Jul 11, 2003

np: "summertime" - janis joplin
The Hardest Button to Button gets just this much more difficult with broken fingers, heal quickly Jack.
np: "how soon is now?" - the smiths
I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

There's a club if you'd like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
well, when exactly do you mean?
see I've already waited too long
and all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

i'm far from the first to say this, but goddamn. this song could be the theme to my life.

Jul 10, 2003

np: "black eye" - placebo
to put it simply - great show. i admit that i didn't know as much as i would have liked about the band going into it, but they put on one hell of a show. it's great when you don't expect a lot out of a show and then you just get completely blown away. Brian and Stefan both played with so much energy and they played up to the crowd without going overboard or becoming just plain boring. and Brian gave some of the most priceless facial expressions, especially after this guy in front of me yelled out "I love you Brian!". they played a great mix of stuff, but nothing off the first album. some of the high points were excellent versions of "Black Eye", "Special K", and "Taste in Men", but my favorite moment of the night was thier cover of the Pixies' "Where is My Mind?" to end the second encore and the night. great cover of a great fucking song. if you've ever been on the fence with Placebo and get the chance to see them live, go for it - you will be converted.

Jul 8, 2003

np: "ceremony" - new order
Substance was just one of the many quality finds at my library recently. i'm simply amazed at the selection in the cd department. i also managed to get:

Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City
Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes
Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow

not too bad at all.
i'm hyped for the show tomorrow night, not so much because of Placebo, but more just because i always have a good time when Parker manages to come up from Atlanta. i really wish i had the time and money to go down there and visit him soon, i've always wanted to go there anyway - this just gives me all the more motivation.

Jul 7, 2003

np: "ladyfingers" - the fever
loving this song. another great track i heard on woxy this weekend.

just wanted to share the tracklisting that will get us through the drive from O'Hare to the Metro for the show on Wednesday:

1. Placebo - Taste in Men
2. Electric Six - Gay Bar
3. Placebo - Nancy Boy
4. Cex - Earth-Shaking Event
5. The Fever - Ladyfingers
6. Placebo - Special K
7. The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers
8. The Faint - Glass Dance
9. Placebo - Pure Morning
10. !!! - Me & Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard
11. Placebo - Every You Every Me
12. The Rapture - Olio
13. The Kills - Fuck the People
14. Placebo - Bitter End

Jul 5, 2003

np: "golden retriever" - super furry animals
so this song really doesn't get me all that excited for Phantom Power, not like anything off of Rings Around the World. i'm sure i will still check it out, but that song just really didn't do all that much. i've been listening to a lot of WOXY on the net lately, and enjoying it immensely. The Decemberists, !!!, Starflyer 59, The Black Keys... i really wish Chicago could get their shit together and get a station like this. of course they had to go and ruin the great run with fucking Evanescence. but i guess no single station is ever perfect. anyway, if you are ever looking for a great station to listen to on the net... check out WOXY.

Jul 4, 2003

np: "the authority song" - jimmy eat world
guilty pleasure. here's a pretty interesting article about changing our National Anthem. just when the 'Fork starts to lose my interest with badly written reviews, they throw something up there like this that reminds me why i continue reading the site. definately time well spent reading and some interesting suggestions.
i think i'm skipping the Taste of Chicago this year and instead spending my afternoon at the less-populated and far cheaper Taste of Mount Prospect instead.

Happy 4th everyone...
np: "stabbing a star" - guided by voices
so since i've gotten ahold of Earthquake Glue, i've been on a huge GBV kick over the past couple of days. i've got all the major albums and EP's since Bee Thousand and i've come to realize that everytime i listen to them i discover something else to love about each one. some albums may have fewer gems than others and you may have to do a little digging, but they are there on each and every release. Mr. Pollard simply amazes me. more prolific that even Mr. Cuomo, but without the insane level of self-editing that plagues Rivers. seriously, some of the best Weezer songs have never been released... instead we get half-assed albums like The Green Album and Maladroit. i used to think they were both pretty damn good, but i still find myself listening to them less and less often as time goes by.
so i had the date, and it was.... meh. she looked really cute and we got along fine, but i just didn't feel the usual "date" vibes. if that makes any sense... oh well, maybe she was just having an off night. we'll see, she really seemed to want me to call her again, so i will and see how it goes from there. Finding Nemo was awesome, very likely to be my favorite Pixar movie yet. i laughed out loud several times, especially at the Ellen Degeneres fish's whale talking. i usually can't stand Ellen, but she damn near stole this movie. but overall the movie harkened back to the glory days on Disney... great story and wonderfully developed characters, but with enough humor to keep the older audience members enjoying it. and i'll be damned if it didn't even make me feel empathy for the characters. since i've gotten older i've felt myself becoming more and more detached from the stories in kids movies, but that wasn't a problem. the story was developed nicely, and i found myself really pulling for Nemo and his dad. i highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good flick, not just Pixar or Disney fans.

Jul 1, 2003

np: "my paper heart" - the all-american rejects
yeah, i like this album. no really, i do. it's like emo gone sugar-coated pop and there ain't nuttin' wrong with that. not overly whiny, no ridiculous lyrics... ok, yes there is, but not THAT bad. it's just a decent album for listening to on a nice summer evening such as this. i'm in too good of a mood to let something depressing take me down, and i don't want anything particularly challenging right now. i listened to the Mars Volta twice in the car on the way to and from a meeting today, i need to give my brain some rest time. i mean:

Cursed are they who speak its name
Ruse of metacarpi
Caveat emptor to all that enter here
Exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed
Exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed

come on. that's some $5 word using right there. not to take anything away from it, but i'll be very glad when they release the book that's going to explain the concept behind the album. i know it has to do with a friend of the band that died some years ago, but i want to dig a little deeper. lyrics courtesy of the comatorium.
np: "blueside" - rooney
quick update. this makes me happy. not so much for the music, but any increased exposure of Susanna Hoffs is fine by me. and she looks a little too happy to have been busted.