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After struggling with LiveJournal and formatting issues for 4+ years, I've finally made the leap.

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Rock Band

Explosions in the Sky - 09/03/11

Word on the street is that my good buddy Joe is back in town.  Joe has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, but has returned for a visit since one of our mutual friends is getting married tomorrow.  He's been away so long, that he's never seen me work at the Tugboat.  He's never seen me with this beard.  He's never even met Erika.
Joe lived with me here at my place, back in the early days not long after I first moved in.  Though I can't claim we were particularly close before he moved in, our shared living environment definitely brought us together, and we had many adventures in this house.  At some point, for reasons I can't remember, we decided to set up both of our computers
here in the same room (maybe I didn't have network access anywhere else).  This meant that we were playing video games (Half-Life 2, as I recall) back to back with each other, and it also meant we had to take turns playing music. Joe generally had good taste in tunes, though I seem to recall teasing him for his obsession with certain bands.  One of those bands was, undoubtedly, Explosions in the Sky.  They only had a handful of songs at that point, and most of them were 10+ minute long explorations in Post Rock.  I recall Joe telling me about "Post Rock", and me thinking that the term was without any actual meaning, even going so far to mention it in the fix multiple times (all, I should add, when I was featuring Explosions in the Sky).

Now I have to say that I've finally come around on this genre, embracing the term to mean "Music featuring traditionally rock oriented instruments, but which doesn't follow traditional rock formats."  It's music that sounds at times like it could be rock, if the band would just do something a little more expected.  Thankfully, however, Explosions in the Sky does not do that.  They take their electronic guitars, bass, and drums, and playing epic-feeling music which builds in intensity and
keeps your attention with its regular shifts and evolutions.

Today's song, Last Known Surroundings, is off their most recent album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.  It modestly clocks in at just over 8 minutes --- about average length for this group.  It is a good example of how Explosions... can build a songs intensity with each pass, and then step entirely out of that musical idea completely effortlessly.  This is great music, even if it isn't the sort of thing I'd like to play in the bar where I work.  This is music for listening to, and will not accept a place in the background.  Intense, powerful, post-rock --- I love it.

Looking forward to seeing ya Joe!

Last Known Surroundings - Explosions in the Sky
2011 - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Track Length - 8:22
Right Click to Download


Charles Bradley & The Bullets - 09/02/11 I know that there's an awful lot of negative energy at the steady stream of remakes which seem to be coming out of the major studios in  Hollywood.  I'm not sure where this trend started, but I'm pretty firmly in the camp that doesn't think that the one thing The Smurfs were missing was fart jokes.  Though there have been a handful of decent reinventions in the past 10 years (Batman Begins and Oceans 11 come to mind) I can't say that I don't for most of the pop-culture from my youth being turned into blockbusters.
That being said, I'm happy that I tuned into a couple episodes of the new relaunched Thundercats cartoon.  The animation and character design for the show was clearly heavily influenced by Japanese animation, and that helps me disconnect it from the classic 1980's animated series.  One confusing addition to this new series is the unlikely word the characters use instead of cursing.  Check out this 20 second clip of the main characters attempting to gain access to a trapped temple -- tell me that's not unintentionally hysterical!

I guess I'm feeling retro, cause I reached for the soul category today, and pulled out this wonderful single by Charles Bradley and his short lived group, The Bullets. The song is just dripping with 1970's soul and funk.  Between Bradley's James-Brownesque vocal delivery, the classic wakka-chicka guitar, and that groovy-ass bass line, it's amazing to think that I might have missed a song as sweet as this one.  Course, there's a simple explanation. This cut is called Now That I'm Gone, and it was recorded in 2008!  It is another fantastic production by Daptone Records, the talent behind the re-emergence of Sharon Jones, The Budos Band, and Amy Winehouse (back when she was alive, anyway).  Bradley may be an unfamiliar name,  but that doesn't mean he hasn't been around.  He spent much of his 60+ years playing music in small bars and local but it wasn't till this year that he managed to record his first album, No Time For Dreaming.

Now That I'm Gone - Charles Bradley and the Bullets
2008 - Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection, Vol. 2
Soul - Funk
Track Length - 3:35
Right Click to Download

Girl Pop

Florence and the Machine - 09/01/11

First order of business --- Archives have been updated.  March has been removed, leaving April, May, June, July, and now August up in large 100 meg zipped RAR packaged.  Enjoy a whole summer's worth of music with a couple short downloads!

2nd order of business --- No, I do NOT play yesterday's Semisonic song in the bar for last call.  I was merely suggesting that it was an option, even if not one that I was likely to exercise.  General consensus is that I should keep hollering out "Last Call", because doing anything else wouldn't fit the nature of the bar.

Finally, have you guys heard any Florence and the Machine yet?  I featured their hit single Dog Days Are Over, back in January, but after listening to their album for most of the year, I think my favorite track off of it is actually Cosmic Love, a beautiful escalation of sonic elements.  I love that it makes heavy use of the band's harpist as a compliment to the often other-worldly  vocals of Florence Mary Leontine Welch.  The song builds slowly at first, but by the time it comes to a close, it's been a real roller-coaster of a time.

In fact, some clever person used the song to score a video compilation of  outrageous and amazing stunts, culled from footage of skiers, skaters,
climbers, and the like.  It's called Adrenaline, and it lends the song a delightful video accompaniment.  Take a moment out of your Thursday,  and feast your eyes and ears on this.

Cosmic Love - Florence and the Machine
2010 - Lungs
Indie Pop
Track Length - 4:16
Right Click to Download

Emo guitar

Semisonic - 08/31/11

Ok. I've got a question for you. 

Is it better for a bartender (namely me) to yell "Last Call!", or to walk table to table to indicate that I'm taking last orders?

I have to admit, I kinda relish the opportunity to elevate my volume to such a point that there can be no claim that I haven't been heard.  It
is a joy. But I realize that some people might prefer a less dramatic indicator.

What do you think?

Perhaps you'd like to present a different alternative?

Closing Time - SemisonicCollapse )


Rosetta Howard & the Harlem Hamfats

Someone brought a box of Fiddle Faddle to the party, on Saturday and left it here.  I'd never tried the stuff before, I can't say I ever even knew what it was.  It held a place along with items like Pink Berry and Tamaguchi which I've heard mentioned, but had no idea about. I found the said box in the pantry, and curious about the quality of a product with such a ridiculous name, I gave it a try.  Carmel covered popcorn (with a handful of nuts) is certainly nothing extraordinary, but it sure was delicious.

I looked at the ingredients.  Did you know that there is actually more sugar in Fiddle Faddle than there is popcorn?  And sugar actually comes in 2nd, after Corn Syrup!  SO, essentially, there is more than TWICE as much Sugar in Fiddle Faddle as there is Popcorn. 
That's astonishing.

Still, delicious ---- now I need a toothpick.

Read more...Collapse )
Guitar Duo

The Police - 08/29/11

There's something delightful about having the day off after a big party.  Although there was quite a bit of cleaning to do, it wasn't
overwhelming and we were able to relax for most of the day.  I spent a good chunk of the afternoon watching a new series of documentaries about the planet.  Now that I've watched just about every geology based documentary I could find, I've turned to a slightly different off-shoot:
the disaster scenario documentary.  It's really a minor leap, to go from a series about the nature of the San Andreas Fault, to one about
the extreme possibility of a dramatically destructive earthquake up and down the west coast.  Similarly, you can't talk about the creation of
the planet and the moon, without discussing asteroid impacts, but a number of stations are airing programs which are precisely about what
could happen if a large asteroid hit our modern day world.

Ironically, the station which seems to relish these destructive Armageddon-style scenarios most is The History Channel.  As far as I know, this channel was exclusively for documentaries about old wars, with shows like "History of the Gun" and "Mustard Gas and the horror of World War I" --- I don't know when the History Channel shifted programming, but now there's virtually nothing along those lines.  It's all shows about cars and mega-quakes
I don't know how where they get off predicting apocalypse on a station called "The History Channel" but I guess I don't make the rules.

When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What"s Still Around - The PoliceCollapse )


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