Nov 30, 2003

np: "cadillac pussy" - kid rock f. hank williams iii

this is what beer-drinkin', four-wheelin', flag-wavin', chick-shaggin' rock n' roll is supposed to sound like. i've mentioned Kid Rock before, so i'll save the ramblings, but y'all need to give this one a listen.

so i think i've completed my preliminary Top 50 albums of 2003 list, although there's still about a month to go. but first of all, there's really not anything new coming out in the next month that i'm hyped on and secondly, what with the Christmas shopping and all i'm not rolling in the extra ducats for new music right now. but i'm pretty happy with the way my list is shaping up. the top album of the year wasn't really a surprise for me, but whittling down the top ten was a bigger chore than i thought it would be. a lot of my early favorites dropped in the final list, some of them significantly. take Zwan for example, that one isn't even going to make the list at all. yeah, i was hyping it to holy hell early in the year, but i can't think of a single time i've pulled it out to listen to since March. i did pull it out last week for another listen while compiling my list, and it just hit me that it's really not all that good. looking back, i think i was still coloring my opinion of the album with the excellent live shows i had seen by the band. live Zwan > studio Zwan. as if it even matters anymore, word has it that the William Patrick Corgan solo machine is rumbling away and rearing to go.

but as i said before, i was going to put up some thoughts on the albums i've been re-listening to in preperation for the year-end list, so here you go with the first installment.

Holopaw - S/T (8.9) a very strong debut album from Ugly Casanova co-conspirator John Orth. the little twists and turns this album takes over the course of a single song keep this one fresh and sounding just like the countless other near-country crooners flooding the indie scene lately. standout tracks: "teacup woozy", "abraham lincoln"

Something Corporate - North (3.2) yuck. that's my simple, one-word review of this trash. this album lacks the killer hooks that made the debut one of my not-so-guilty pleasures of last year. there's really nothing positive i can say about this one, very disappointing release from a band that had some initial promise. there aren't any standout tracks to recommend, so instead seek out the stunning live track, "konstantine".

peaches - fatherfucker (6.9) peaches, peaches, peaches... how long can you keep up the schtick about your crotch and shocking sexual lyrics? the first time through it was fun, the second listen started revealing the weakness, and by the third i couldn't get through the whole thing. a couple tracks might be fun to hear at a party or in a club, but overall the album falls flat. and Iggy should be ashamed of his contribution, it makes Skull Ring sound like fucking Raw Power by comparison. standout tracks: "back it up", "shake your tits"

Jewel - 0304 (7.9) i think this is a surprisingly not so bad album, considering all the negative hype surrounding it. yes, she's gone embarassingly into Britney/Xtina zone in the promotion of this one, but if it was anyone other than Jewel i think it would have been seen as a pretty decent pop album. the problem was the production was nowhere near the quality of a Beyonce or a Brit, and the long-time Jewel fans couldn't embrace the triteness. for a decent sunny-day pop album though, it's not all bad. standout tracks: "intuition", "sweet temptation"

cex - being ridden (8.7) this was the first album i'd heard by Cex, and to be honest i wasn't expecting much based upon what i had read regarding some of his earlier works. i was almost expecting a sort of Atom and His Package that took himself a little too seriously. i was pleasantly surprised by this though, as his lyrical flow is pretty good and the beats and prodcution kept things interesting. standout tracks: "earth-shaking event", "its not working"

Nov 25, 2003

np: "since the beginning" - the flaming sideburns

why the flaming sideburns? why not? actually, i've begun my task this week of going over some of the albums from 2003 that might not have gotten many listens in order to complete my best of list for the year. this particular one probably won't be gracing the upper ranks of my list, though it's a decent little rock record. but for the record, dude has probably one of the worst "i'm going balls to the wall" primal screams ever heard in a rock song. shudder. i'll be posting short capsules of the albums i'm going through, along with my rating in a 0.0 to 10.0 range. i like it.

but for today allow me to partake in a little Pitchfork bashing for a minute or two. so now that it favorable for the hipsters to admit liking hip-hop from the beginning, they've decided to do a little creative editing of history by re-writing their Top 100 album of the '90s list. now i'm all for people's changing muscial tates, i'm sure many of my older lists would be quite different now. but this one smells of re-establishing street cred or some shit. the original list had, if i remember correctly - i haven't combed through the old list lately, ONE hip-hop record - Beasties Boys' Check Your Head. so far, of the eighty albums posted on the new list, there have been no fever than FIFTEEN hip-hop albums. as The Hurrican might say, "what up wit dat?" back in 1999 these albums made little impact on the 'Forkers, but all of the sudden 4 mere years later they've become imporant enough to crack the top 100? shiiiit. i'm all for more people respecting the impact hip-hop has made over the years, but this just reeks of a bunch of johnny come latelys shouting "look! we like the hippity-hop too!" that and the sudden reviewing of Jigga's, Fiddy's, and Obie's albums on the site. four years ago you wouldn't have seen a mainstream hip-hop album getting reviewed on the site unless it was part of an April Fools' joke. end rant.

Nov 13, 2003

np: "sad" - pearl jam

remember when i said i would be more regular with the updates? shit, me too. that was cool. i wonder what ever happened with that. oh yeah, right. anyway, i'm still alive and kicking... barely after battling off a 102 degree fever earlier this week. but now i'm back in full form and ready to write a little something. November is out to break me, fo' real tho. The Two Towers Extended Edition, new Jigga, new G-Unit, new Kid Rock (yeah, i'm serious), two new Ryan Adams releases, GBV's greatest hits, and the big purchases of this week - Pearl Jam-related. first things first, Pearl motherfucking Jam. i've managed to stay a huge fan of this band over the years... in fact Ten is still the only album of theirs that hasn't been bought at either a midnight sale or first thing the day it was released. naysayers abound for this band these days, but as i've mentioned before Riot Act is another in a string of solid rock albums. PJ has pretty much found it's niche with the cult audience it has and really doesn't seem to care about breaking out into the mainstream anymore. and why should they? consistent sell-outs in arenas and outdoor amphitheaters, a rabid fanbase, and pretty solid album sales. what more could a band want? TRL? shiiiiit. but this week saw the release of a long-awaited B-sides and rarities compilation, Lost Dogs, and the brand spankin' new Live at the Garden DVD. and both are fucking excellent. sure i had been one of those guys scrambling to get the singles for the always quality B-sides the Jam put out, but having them in one nice package with a plethora of unreleased stuff is aweome. except the damn harmonica solo they added on "Footsteps". wack. seriously, if you are one of those people that preferred the first two or three album era, check this set out. lots of songs from the early years and some of the newer ones that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Ten or Vs. i've only watched bits and pieces of the DVD, but this weekend i plan to sit and soak in the whole thing. and check it - the easter egg with "Hungerstrike" live in Mexico City featuring Corrin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney doing the Chris Cornell part is crucial. fo' sheazy. and she's so damned cute too.

GBV? what can i say about this band that hasn't been said? to be honest, i've never really been a huge huge fan of thiers, but i've always been struck in the head by a lot of the songs over the past decade - "Official Ironman Rally Song", "Chasing Heather Crazy", "My Valuable Hunting Knife" and "The Best of Jill Hives" to drop a few names. for me the new best of collection is fucking unbelievable. from start to finish it's packed with gem after gem after gem. i'm not gonna nitpick over what songs should have been included like many GBV fans have been doing, i love the damn thing. in fact, i'm gonna go ahead and say it's the most solid poptastic hits collection since 1 by those four shaggy lads from across the pond. for real, this band deserves mass respect. if you've wondered what the hype is all about - get this album. now.

Kid Rock. i hear you snickering out there. but damn, i've always had a soft spot for the long-haired redneck Son of Detroit. not the Bullgod, rap-rock spoutin' son of a bitch, but the raspy voiced country-blues singin' Rock. "Only God Knows Why", "Lonely Road of Faith", and even "Picture". this new disc dumps the rap-rock shenanigans and jumps full on into Skynyrd/ZZ Top/country mode, bringing Hank Williams III, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and the Mr. Gibbons from ZZ along for the ride. it's decent stuff. it sure as hell ain't breaking any new ground... but if you like to let your hidden mullet fly and pound some PBRs while listening to a country boy rock out under the southern sun and cry his heart over the girl who done him wrong, this is it. and sad to say, but this disc is closer to "country music" than you are gonna hear on your local Nashville sponsored station. one more thing on the topic of Kid Rock... one reason i've always liked him is his honesty. he's never been ashamed to show his redneck roots, and he's always been upfront about wanting to be successful and merging all his tastes in music. i'll always give him more respect for keeping it real than an asshole like Fred Durst who's trying to pretend there's actual depth behind his songwriting.

alright, that's enough rambling on for tonight. i know this hasn't exactly been a post on the hipster trend, maybe i should be droppin' some knowledge on the excellent new Shins album or whoever the NYC flavor of the minute is, but sometimes i just gotta give some rep to the bands and artists out there who aren't getting the props they deserve right now. and if you think i'm a loser for liking Pearl Jam or Kid Rock, fuck it. that's me.