Friday, November 30, 2007

Video #30: Bone Thugs N Harmony, "Tha Crossroads"

Today is my last day at work. On Tuesday I will begin a completely new career and an exciting new path. Also, this is the final post for my one video a day for the month. I will say that there's a chance that I won't do this again because a) it's rather cumbersome and b) it was pretty much an excuse for me to be lazy. So with that said....

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Video #29: Smoking Popes, "Pretty Pathetic"

I haven't posted a live video yet, but I can't help but find this song to be more fitting in terms of my stupid life. Anyway, if you've been reading this for the last few years, then you know that I'm an old school Popes fan. Word.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crime In Stereo, "Crime In Stereo Is Dead"

Crime In Stereo
"Crime In Stereo Is Dead"
(Bridge Nine)

A few years ago, Crime In Stereo's "Explosions And the Will To Use Them" was THE jam. It was packed with tightly played songs and immediate lyricism. And then... nothing. Not to say that CIS's subsequent albums were bad (they weren't), but I just wasn't paying much attention to them. So I guess I'm at fault for that. For the 2K7, Crime In Stereo brings us "Crime In Stereo Is Dead," which might be the most indie rock hardcore album I've ever heard.

It's clear that there's a variety of influences in CIS's repartee, particularly from 90's Britpop, but with the East Coast hxc feel, it's surprisingly catchy AND brutal. Lyrically, the album is, for the most part, strong, though there are trite moments. That aside, I'd place "Crime In Stereo Is Dead" as the best hardcore album of the year.

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Video #28: Wu-Tang Clan, "Protect Ya Neck"

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Video #27: The Pharcyde, "Passin' Me By"

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Video #26: Lisa Loeb, "Stay"

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Video #25: The Cure, "Lovesong"

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Video #24: New Kids On the Block, "Please Don't Go Girl"

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Video #23: Rappin' 4-Tay, "Playaz Club"

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Video #22: HELLA VIDEOS!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Video #21: The Falcon, "The La-Z-Boy 500"

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Video #20: Tony Thompson, "I Wanna Love Like That"

So this morning, I was on the bus deciding what video I was going to post today. Eventually I settled on this track from former Hi-Five lead singer, Tony Thompson. As I was lurking around Youtube I noticed all these videos marked "Tony Thompson R.I.P" only to find out that home dude passed away earlier this year. This especially sucks because Thompson had reformed Hi-Five and was working on a new solo record. With that said....

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Alicia Keys, "As I Am"

Alicia Keys
"As I Am"

There's a reason why Alicia Keys was able to edge her way into the number one position on Billboard. There's a reason why Alicia Keys is one of the most recognizable R&B personalities at the moment. "As I Am" is an exciting record and is probably the best R&B album out this year. Even better than that Chris Brown record.

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Video #19: New Found Glory/Sixpence None the Richer, "Kiss Me"

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Video #18: The Beatnuts featuring Big Pun and Cuban Link, "Off the Books"

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Video #17: Brand New, "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades"

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Come Widdit: Colonies

Location: Tacoma, WA
Sounds Like: Indie Rock that is more Rock than Indie

I like the Decemberists, who've more or less taken over Death Cab's secure spot as the quintessential indie rock band (excluding the fact that neither band is currently on an independent label). Arty and sometimes bloated, Colin Meloy and his merry band are the archetype for any band that wants their music featured on any prime time television show and/or wants their CD available in Starbucks. My biggest beef with the Decemberists is the pretentious feeling I get whenever I hear them play. Whether its intentional or not is a different story.

What do the Decemberists have to do with a quartet from Tacoma? Very little outside of the fact that they might like that band, otherwise, Colonies is its own force. I only mention the Decemberists because I hope that a band like Colonies will be the new flavor for indie rock. They do, in fact, rock; they are also far less pretentious and, therefore, a far less guilty pleasure than any K Records band. For being a relatively green band, Colonies have a lot of really beautifully arranged songs and it's a shame that these guys aren't signed yet, especially when there are bands like Paramore who are making money hand over fist. It's a damn travesty.

Related Links
Colonies on Myspace
Colonies Official Site

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Video #16: Ghost Town DJ's, "My Boo" + Blink 182, "Feeling This"

It's Friday and just because I can do it, I'm -- once again -- posting two sweet videos that are basically shout outs to TGIF.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Video #15: The Stills, "Still In Love Song"

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Video #14: Double XX Posse, "Not Gonna Be Able To Do It"

...and a bonus video just because...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Video #13: Pretty Girls Make Graves, "All Medicated Geniuses"

That last post about Paramore put me in a bad mood. Here's a group that was fronted by a woman that was much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much better.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

a new generation of bands synomymous with $$$$

As and Idolator reported earlier today, my favorite band in the known world, Paramore (no Cam'ron peeing on the dude in the beginning of "Killa Season"), signed to Atlantic [1] and as a part of their contract, agreed to some arcane deal that allows the label to have their hands deeper into the band's pockets, as well as their touring profits and schedules, in exchange for a substantial cash offering (otherwise called a 360).

This all seems like a bad idea since labels are subsequently dumping large amounts of cash into a band and (probably) expecting to recoup their money as quickly as possible since the current model with major labels is turn a profit rather than turn out an artist. The good news is that if you like a band like Paramore, then you'll be hit with all kinds of aggressive marketing [2] to the point where you'll no doubt hear Haley Williams shrieking at your local Safeway, Lucky's, Albertson's or Kroger. Of course, one could assume that this plan will backfire because the record industry is known to shoot itself in the foot often.

The ironic thing about this whole ploy is that it reminds me of this gold plaque that used to hang in the bathroom at Tower Records that had pictures of EPMD, Cypress Hill, Redman and Pearl Jam which congratulated Tower in helping push the longevity of new artists. Oh far the industry has come indeed. Why savor your steak when you can eat an Arby's beef and cheddar sandwich now? [3]

Related Links:
The New Deal: Band as Brand by Jeff Leads (NY Times)

[1]: Why are bands still signing to the Warner Music Group? There's only one successful band on their roster (Death Cab), the rest seem to be disenchanted like The Format, who were dropped after one record.

[2]: See the original example of this model: Fall Out Boy

[3]: Yes, I did draw some long reaching analogy comparing Paramore to rubber tasting, cheesy ass sandwich. Like Arby's food, Paramore isn't very good for your digestive tract.

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Angels & Airwaves, "I-Empire"

Angels & Airwaves

If "I-Empire" had come out as Angels & Airwaves' (AVA) debut instead of last year's "We Don't Need to Whisper," I think the reception to the band would've been much more positive. But Tom DeLonge's now legendary knack for hyperbole and ego has nearly eclipsed his post-Blink 182 band to the point that it's difficult to listen to their sophomore record without mocking them for attempting to be the next "U2/Police/R.E.M/Depeche Mode/The Cure/insert influential 80s band here." That said, however, "I-Empire" is surprisingly good.

There isn't much of a sonic difference between "I-Empire" and "Whisper" save AVA's newfound ability to shave minutes off of their songs, thus making DeLonge's nasal vocal styling much easier to digest. The first half of the album is hit after hit: "Everything's Magic," "Call to Arms," and "Love Like Rockets" are among the album's stronger songs. Towards the end, the album begins to lose steam and you have to wade through a few filler songs to get to some more decent tracks.

If "I-Empire" is any indication, Angels & Airwaves might be able to dig themselves out of the hole of self-publicized greatness to just be a good rock band.

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Video #12: Shai, "Baby, I'm Yours"

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Video #11: Tegan & Sara, "Speak Slow"

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Video #10: MxPx, "Teenage Politics"

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Video #9: TLC, "Baby, Baby, Baby"

My favorite song from 1992. Seriously.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Video #8: A-Ha, "Take On Me"

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Little Brother, "Getback"

Little Brother

I've been sitting on this for about two weeks now. Yesterday, I took the GF to the airport and we bumped this album (because she likes the hip-hop, but it was also 6 a.m. so she probably wasn't too keen on listening to some Crooked I or Group Home) to get her amped for her trip.

I was a pretty huge fan of the LB's last official album, "The Minstrel Show." Even with all its flaws and people talking shit about 9th Wonder's beats, it was probably the best hip-hop album of 2004 (or was it 2005?). Even with the departure of 9th, "Getback" manages to steer Phonte and Big Pooh toward promising waters, offering up a whole album's worth of dope shit.

There are signature sounding Little Brother jams ("Breakin' My Heart" which features Lil' Wang), but there's also an early-90's influenced tune with "That Ain't Love," a vicious song that will overtake the Atmosphere standard of "emo-rap."

Despite the fact that, like most hip-hop albums, "Getback" is plagued with guests who aren't as good as Pooh or Phonte, it's still a pretty strong outing and I imagine as long as the dynamic between the two stay intact, Little Brother will still be putting out good records for a while.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Video #7: Nas, "The World is Yours (Remix)"

I'm surprised it took me seven days before I got to a Nas video. I was going to go with "Street Dreams," but this seldom seen clip of "The World is Yours (Remix)" deserves some shine, if not for Q-Tip's impeccable production, then for the scene where they shoplift Polo shirts.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Video #6: Morrissey, "Suedehead"

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Monday, November 05, 2007

edge of quarrel contest

So as some of you may or may not know, I'm a pretty huge fan of the movie "Edge of Quarrel." If you yourself are not familiar with this movie, take a few minutes and read this. I'll wait.

Done? Okay, so I have a tattoo inspired by this movie and apparently, director/writer, Dave Larson of Excursion Records is having a contest in which he's giving away the phone that is the basis of my tattoo. Totally fresh! Next month, Excursion is releasing this movie on DVD (finally) and I highly suggest you preorder that shit. The movie aside, there's also some pretty awesome performances by Trial, Murder City Devils and Botch (all R.I.P.).

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Video Nos. 3, 4, 5: Saves the Day, "Shoulder to the Wheel;" Al B. Sure, "Nite and Day;" DJ Shadow, "Midnight In a Perfect World"

When I started this, I totally forgot that I don't update on the weekends. The weekends are MY days, you see? So, I'm breaking you kids off with a three prong hit to make up for Saturday and Sunday. I think that's probably the way that it's going to go until month's end. Expect Mondays to be heavy video days. Word.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Video #2: Domino, "Getto Jam"

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Video #1: The Boys, "Dial My Heart"

For the first post of my attempt to feature a video every day on Chasing Coolness, I combed my mind trying to find the perfect song. Would it be some obscure indie rock clip? An obscene hip-hop video? No, I'm going with one of my favorite songs from 1989, The Boys' "Dial My Heart," which was released shortly before New Edition broke up, but way after they hit puberty. More than anything, it's just a really awesome song. Believe that.

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The Color Fred, "Bend to Break"

The Color Fred
"Bend to Break"
(Equal Vision)

Fresh from leaving the wildly successful Taking Back Sunday, Fred Mascherino finally goes for self with his long running solo project, The Color Fred. It's difficult to gauge what to expect since even though Mascherino holds a degree in Jazz Guitar, he's also spent years sinking his teeth into bands like TBS, Brody and massively underrated Breaking Pangaea.

For "Bend to Break," TCF's debut, there isn't much of a stretch in terms of experimentation. It's a very straight forward power-pop record, but for all his shredding, Mascherino is also an excellent pop songwriter, which makes "Bend to Break" a pretty solid record. This is very apparent on "If I Surrender" and "Empty House." The former could easily pass off as a commercial or buffer music on an MTV show, while the latter is a painful ballad that could be a surprise hit for TCF.

Moreover, it's Mascherino's themes throughout the album -- pain, disappointment, occasional bits of joy -- are fairly transparent and offer up more a troubadour vibe, versus the last Taking Back Sunday record, "Louder Now," which was more emotionally ambiguous when compared to earlier works.

"Bend to Break" doesn't really stumble much. There's a bit of monotony in terms of musical arrangement, but the catchy aspects of each track more than make up for it, particularly when you listen to a song like "It Isn't Me," and you really just want to give the guy a hug.

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