Thursday, August 30, 2007

yo herbs, win an autographed circa survive CD

the only person i know who doesn't like circa survive is ilene, so logically, one could assume that all my other myspace friends like the band. that said, enter this redefine contest and win an autographed CD. then you can have someone repeatedly step on your foot until you sound like anthony green.

win your CD NOW

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Rilo Kiley's new record = Ehhhh....

Rilo Kiley
"Under the Blacklight"
(Warner Bros.)

I'm not really sure what to write about Rilo Kiley that hasn't been addressed before. Let's state the obvious: Yes, they have a girl singer; yes, Joey the Rat from "Boy Meets World" is also in the band; yes, those two used to date. We got that out of the way, now onto the music.

The first two Rilo Kiley records are probably my favorite and it will take one massive awesome stab at rekindling the spirit of those albums for me to really get any joy from listening to their new jams. Not that 2005's "More Adventurous" was bad per se, but it did take me a while to listen to it before I started getting into the record.

"Under the Blacklight" may be of similar ilk, in as much it's a slow burn of an album. There are more "signature" R.K. songs in the form of the title track, "The Angels Hung Around," and "Close Call." But then their attempts to do more pop accessible tunes like the lead single, "The Moneymaker," "Give a Little Love," or the Klymaxxx/Pointer Sisters-influenced "Breakin' Up," is nothing short of annoying. They're not terrible ("Breakin' Up" may even be the album's high point) they just seem to trip up the flow of the album. It's kind of like putting Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" in the middle of a Roseanne Cash compilation.

At this moment, all I can really say about this record is that there are great songs on it, but as a cohesive album, it kind of stinks. But then again, I also said the same thing about "More Adventurous," so I might change my mind later, but probably not. Also, I wouldn't mind of Blake Sennett quit this band to do The Elected full time. That band is way better.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

make yrself sick: a cusack styled mixtape

i'm going through some life stuff right now and as a result, i slapped together a little mixtape for you kids to download. i hope that if you're going through a rough patch, you'll find these songs a little reassuring that life doesn't have to suck all the time.

track list:
1. autumn poetry "afternoon's in"
2. pedro the lion "i am always the one who calls"
3. silverstein "discovering the waterfront"
4. spitalfield "i can't hear you"
5. bill withers "let me be the one you need"
6. bayside "don't call me peanut"
7. breaking pangaea "worst part"
8. glassjaw "siberian kiss"
9. blackpool lights "unlucky (acoustic)"
10. miho hatori "crazy for you"
11. get up kids "newfound mass 2000"
12. limbeck "invisible"
13. last days of august "dead boys club"
14. death cab for cutie "tiny vessels"
15. alkaline trio "this is getting over you"
16. morrissey "i know it's gonna happen someday"
17. third try "last asshole on earth"

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Friday, August 24, 2007

stuff published and stuff

I'm working on a piece about Asian-Americans in local politics so I've been a little busy. Here are some interviews that will be in the new print (as well as online) edition of Redefine.

- Interview with Tegan and Sara

- Interview with Boys Night Out

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the obligatory birthday post

What's up faithful Chasing Coolness readers and non-fans! Today is my birthday and I thought I'd hit you up and a little hobbit gift of sorts. Now as anyone who's friends with me knows that I love hip-hop, and not just the overhyped Pitchfork/Village Voice/XXL gravy train of rappers, I mean real classic and gully material. Even though I've been listening to a lot of EPMD lately (contesting Corey Ball's argument that Erick Sermon is not one of the best rappers when he clearly is), I've decided to post on here every music video produced for the best Wu-Tang solo album of all time, Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..." Enjoy!

Ice Cream:

Glaciers of Ice:


Incarcerated Scarfaces:

Heaven & Hell:

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

MLIW = Best Hardcore Band Right Now...

Modern Life is War
"Midnight in America"
(Equal Vision)

Modern Life is War has more swagger than most of the bands that often get props in Alternative Press or "other websites." Often pegged as a working class hardcore outfit, MLIW stomps all the sheen out of the glossed out pretty boys who occupy space in many iPods, but how does their new album "Midnight in America" stand to 2005's breakout, "Witness?"

Unlike many highly touted aggressive bands (Underoath, Killswitch Engage), Modern Life is War doesn't fall into the trappings of an overproduced follow up. Most of "Midnight" is just as raw and immediate as some of "Witness'" finer moments. The poppiest song on the album, "Fuck the Sex Pistols" is sure to raise eyebrows alone based on its title.

I wish I had more to write about this record, but you'll just have to take my word for it: Modern Life is War > than most bands you're listening to. [1]

[1] I seriously would've written a better review, but I tripped running after the bus yesterday so I'm kinda feeling like shit.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

word to rafi kam

gracefully ganked from, who jacked it via

the best part is last 12 seconds....

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the dangers of ondemand

For the past few weekends, I've been crashing at my mom's place because I've had to and unlike me, my mom actually shells out the extraneous amount of money to get the Filipino Channel, so as to keep up on current events over in the P.I. (that's Philippine Islands, for you less savvy, non-brown people). Part of my mom's cable deal is that she also subscribes to Comcast's OnDemand service. It's kind of weird, I wanted to watch some nature shows on Animal Planet, which she doesn't get, but I was able to watch a similar themed show via OnDemand.

So while the baby was sleeping, I caught up on "The Two Coreys" and "Rock of Love," as well as getting my fill of "What Not to Wear" and "Miami Ink." It was bananas.

Unlike some of my peers, I'm not willing to bust out the extra money on top the stupid price I pay for high speed Internet to watch fine ass Stacy London sass some lame jerk with no fashion sense. With the incredible speed in which America is being dumbed down, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before the OnDemand feature will be affordable for working class stiffs like me, at which I'll be the first to subscribe to such a service and commence rotting my brain. For the many books I've read over the last few years, I need to make up for lost times and I can't think of a better way than with a marathon run of "The Hills."

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

for the grown ups

My story about the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma, WA. Enjoy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

oooh the horrors of victory records!!!

This is actually a couple weeks old, but a disgruntled former employee, Ramsey Dean, from Victory Records fired off about the company in a million-word tirade calling the label and Tony Brummel every name in the book.

It's a pretty good read, actually. Check it.

I'm surprised that Dean would even attach his name to this piece. That's pretty ballsy. If there's anything I've learned it's that a) Victory is a notoriously litigious label and b) no one walks away from a libel or slander lawsuit unless they're Oprah.

I'm not at all shocked by the contents of Dean's article, in fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any independent label that didn't model itself after major label excesses and such. This is especially true of pop-punk genre labels, as they are currently finding much of their rosters picked at and repackaged for mainstream acceptance.

This situation has me thinking, "Do bands even need labels anymore?" With the relevance of sites like Purevolume, Myspace and Facebook, bands are once again relying on word of mouth to get themselves out there. P2P sites are the new tape trading forums and blogs are the new zines. As the music industry is collapsing on itself, one has to wonder, is it even worth a damn to say, "My band is signed to ____."? The way I see it, it's more relevant to brag about how many MySpace friends you can get to go to your crappy show on a Wednesday night.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

these are the end times...

i don't think that an "access hollywood" poll was ever mentioned in "revelations" but i never thought i'd see the day where i was rooting for k "thug life" fed.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

new iron and wine

it's so good, i'm gonna pull a dick move and write absolutely nothing about it. i won't even post tracks. you're just gonna have to wait, party people.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

backed with updated for the last time?

i updated backed with this morning.

i've also been thinking about killing backed with and just posting mp3s on here. what do you guys think?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the problem with genre webzines

Earlier this evening I was cruising through the Interweb Superhighway and this post caught my eye. After I read the motherfucker, I've come to realize that it's self-important crap like that post that ruins music writing for every other person who can actually piece together a proper sentence.

Even though I'm an active participant in Internet writing, it's no secret that easy access to sites like Livejournal, Blogger, Myspace, etc. are single-handedly killing the idea of proper journalism. Any fucking kid with an Internet connection, an e-mail account and a computer can post on these sites and cultivate some ridiculous identity, albeit from behind a glass screen.

I'm starting to see that these kids who continue to post on sites like feel like they're deserving of a certain amount of respect, even though they're essentially the pop-punk versions of "Current Affair" or "Inside Edition." There's seldom raw talent to find in the musings of these children; only post after post of fucking hogwash.

Many people think that I'm being harsh, but having contributed to a genre magazine that remains nameless (Skratch, ahem), then I feel like I've earned the right to shit talk some poser kid who feels like they're the king/queen of the scene because they discovered Death Cab last year or started wearing Peta2 shirts that they bought at a Strike Anywhere show.

I'm pretty disgusted with the way that these kids feel like they're entitled to some sort of notoriety because they write random crap about some band that people will forget about in six months. I should know, I've been one of these kids.

Here's the difference, though. I went through this bout of self-importance really early on in my writing career. By the time I was 18, I was so jaded by the assholes in bands I had to interview, I didn't really give a shit about the article -- I just liked seeing my name on the byline. I think it's relatively sad when some dude in their 20's is convinced so much that their little website has changed the world to the point where they are deserving of free shows, free CDs and getting mentioned in shitty magazines. My friend Sarah once said the only thing you deserve in life is death, and I'm apt to believe her statement.

It's not like it matters though. Most of these kids won't ever understand the rush and excitementto see your name in print media. Once the Internet collapses on itself, they'll have no proof that they wrote shit.

What does this have to do with my usual rants about shitty bands? Well nothing and everything. I make no bones about what I do via this forum. I write about bands that I like or dislike, songs that I think are fire and I occasionally post a video on here. Earlier this week, I was asked to contribute to a publication that has very little to do with art or music and it was the first piece that I've written in years that had nothing to do with a band or a movie. And I liked it.

I don't ever think that there will be a time in my life when I don't want to discuss music or pop culture, but writing something completely different than what I'm used to made me realize that I am not a one-trick pony and that these kids can have their free shows and shit. I'll have piece of mind.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

for joel...

your heart may break a little....

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big things poppin'

i'm contributing to another publication, so research and phone calls have taken up much of my primo blogging time. however, i did have enough time and spunk to do this:

why hasn't anybody else called out the obvious? (she also looks like aaron from underoath too)

paramore sucks.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Come Widdit: Fauxliage

Location: Canada-land
Sounds Like: Leigh Nash Meets DJ Food

Leigh Nash, Sixpence None the Richer's ubiquitous voice, is at it again with her new group, Fauxliage, which also consists of Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb of Delirium. Their self-titled debut is an atmospheric gem, recalling the haunting sounds of genre mainstays like Portishead and Morcheeba. Whereas her solo album, "Blue On Blue" drew heavily from adult contemporary pop and jazz, "Fauxliage" is a clear juxtaposition, boxing in Nash's vocal range within blips, beeps and beats.

[Related Links]
Fauxliage on Myspace

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

you! go buy the superbad soundtrack!!!!

[buy the soundtrack or Jonah Hill f**k you the f**k up]

I don't do this too often, but I'm telling you to go out and buy the "Superbad" soundtrack. See here's the thing: most people who read this blog are probably into bands on Fueled by Ramen, Jade Tree or whatever the hot hip-hop label is nowadays (let's just say Rawkus). But if you grew up on shit like Parliment, Ohio Players, Isaac Hayes or the Dazz Band, do yourself a favor and buy the "Superbad" disc. Why you ask?

Well, as I began working on it, I realized that all the tracks on the original score are played by some pretty top notch dudes, though most of them would go unrecognizable because kids these days don't appreciate the funk [1]: Bernie Worrell, Catfish Collins, Luis Conte, and Bootsy Collins.

The songs themselves aren't half bad either. I'm actually surprised that Steven Soderbergh didn't try to get these players on the soundtracks for "Out of Sight" or the "Ocean's" flicks. But his loss, which will be yours too if you don't buy this disc and get your head straight [2].

[1] For whatever reason, kids don't give a shit about the historical and revolutionary sounds of the funk, which is a shame if you ask me. I mean, who do you think Dr. Dre, Dilla and a handful of other producers milked their style from? Also, just because you listen to Aiden or My Chemical Romance doesn't mean that you can't open up your mind and listen to some Stylistics or The Spinners. What the hell is wrong with you?

[2] That is, if you like the funk.

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who you gonna call?

Broadway Calls
"Broadway Calls"
(State of Mind)

Back in the summer of 2006, I called Oregon's Broadway Calls the Rookie of the Year. Their debut EP, "Call the Medic, We're Begging Please" was an unapologetically great pop-punk record. Well, the onslaught of melody continues on to their proper self-titled full-length.

Crammed with introverted songs about relationships (mostly), touring and politics, "Broadway Calls" is nothing new, but what distinguishes a band like this from other terrible bands of similar ilk (Cute Is What We Aim For, Daphne Loves Derby, etc.) is how undeniably catchy and unpretentious these songs are. The record begins with "Call It Off," which may be one of the best opening tracks on any album. The track itself is heavy on the palm-muting, but once singer Ty Vaughn hits the "Whoa" part, you know you'll find yourself singing this jam in a few minutes.

"Suffer the Kids" is the kind of song that finds a justifiable cause to compare Broadway Calls to Jawbreaker. An anthem about apathy (no doubt amongst the eems and Hot Topic kids), the track is a reminder that not all bands of this persuasion have to embrace a shallow existence.

The only stumble is when the band takes a stab at The Smiths' "A Rush, a Push and the Land Is Ours," which is relatively unchanged, yet when paired with Vaughn's throat-y vocal style, sounds suspiciously like an Against Me song. Then again, I'm not real big on anybody else other than Morrissey doing Smiths songs.

I haven't really been into any pop-punk bands in a while, but I'll put my money on Broadway Calls, whose debut is both of substance and hooks. So while most kids will be more than happy wearing $30 Fall Out Boy shirts and having a convoluted sense of community, Broadway Calls is playing basements and giving you the real deal Hollyfield.

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