Monday, November 27, 2006

bastards of $$$$$$$

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had the chance to sit down and watch "Bastards of Young," a 70-odd minute documentary about the contemporary pop punk (read: emo) scene. If there was ever a movie that made me feel slightly old, then this would be it. "Bastards" almost exclusively follows bands that have somehow wound up on a major label: Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, the Starting Line, Midtown, Armor for Sleep, Jimmy Eat World, Something Corporate, blah blah. The bands that are interviewed and featured reads like a "Greatest Emo Bands from 2003" list on Amazon.
It begins its focus with New Jersey basement shows, guided by Geoff Rickley of Thursday, and ends at one of Thursday's huge theatre shows. Even the music writers involved in the film, Jonah Bayer of Alternative Press and Jessica Hopper, throw their two cents in of the importance of the eem, yet none of them disputes (at least in the footage that made the actual video) the stagnant nature of the genre. In fact, one of the best moments of the DVD is the extended interview with members of Fall Out Boy, in which they openly admit to ripping off Lifetime.
Yet Lifetime isn't even mentioned on the actual feature itself. No band that largely contributed to modern punk (mall, pop, emo, et. al) like The Replacements, Jawbreaker, the Promise Ring, the Get Up Kids, Cap'n Jazz or even Face to Face are given a mention. Rites of Spring, Embrace and Mineral are talked about, but not extensively; they are more like a footnote.
If this is meant to be a video companion to Andy Greenwald's excellent book, "Nothing Feels Good," it's pretty bad by comparison. Greenwald's book is researched well, as well as hitting all the right watermarks of the culture. "Bastards of Young" seems really hastily put together, not unlike some of the bands that exist today.

Labels: , ,

short, but sweet

"Accidental Gentlemen"

Back in the late 90's and early 00's, Piebald made a name for themselves by constantly touring with likeminded bands such as New Found Glory and Saves the Day. Then they found their inner power-pop with 2002's "We Are The Best Friends We Have." Their newest album (and second for Sideonedummy), "Accidental Gentlemen," sounds like a Billy Joel album with balls. This is my new favorite record.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

fuck the AMAs

With the exception of the Myspace kids who tuned in to see Fall Out Boy play their new (read: fucking terrible) single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," the American Music Awards may have only been watched by a handful of people. I caught bits and pieces of it as I was kept flipping back-and-forth from the new episode of "Gilmore Girls."

Does anybody watch this shit? The AMAs is pretty useless anyway. They're supposedly decided on by music buyers, but I don't ever get a ballot. And if it were based on sales, then wouldn't they be ripping off the Billboard Awards?

The little bit that I caught was a pretty big mess. My wife and I kept noticing that many of the award winners weren't present; also, Jimmy Kimmel's been on television for a decade now, can't someone teach that guy how to read a cue card or teleprompter without looking so obvious?

Anyway, award shows in general are pretty stupid. I didn't even enjoy Nelly Furtado's performance and I like that broad. Fuck the AMAs; they owe me at least seven minutes of my life back.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


backed with has been updated for thnxgvn with rare songs from nump, saves the day, smoking popes, blah blah blah. there's 8 songs thurrr!!!!!!

album of the year? maybe?

Brand New
"The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me"

The day is here. The arrival of the new Brand New album. Self-processed emo kids can finally breathe. And the album itself?

There's much to be said about the album that took nearly three years to be released. For one thing, following bands such as Switchfoot and Eisley, it's a decidedly very Christian rock album, particularly the imagery in the song "Jesus Christ," which has more to do with the iconography of the man and his message.

Then there's the vast stylistic growth from 2001's "Your Favorite Weapon" and 2003's "Deja Entendu." In a preview post from last week, I labeled the band's music as "bombastic, escapist pop" and now having heard the entire record, I think I may have coined some sort of review cliche to be used from here on out.

One of the most powerful elements of the band was their lyrics, which still appears to be as strong as before, but the music has gotten a complete overhaul. The aformentioned "Jesus Christ" has an intro that is basically lifted from Death Cab for Cutie's "Technicolor Girls;" "Not the Sun" is a faster ditty that refines the rapid punk moments of The Pixies. Yes there will be many comparisons to various bands that've shaped music culture within the last two decades, but Brand New has successfully borrowed from all of them.

At its musical core, "The Devil and God..." is a frantic album -- while loud and fast in some parts, it's quiet and reflective in others; it follows your standard pop trappings of catchy choruses, while other tracks have hardcore breakdowns. It's obvious that the guys in this band have a broader musical palette than your typical pop-punk fan.

In a lot of ways, this record will change the way that message board kids and Fall Out Boy rip off bands make music, just as "Deja Entendu" got them listening to Bright Eyes, "The Devil and God..." will cause a rise in pedal sales and dozens upon dozens of bands will cite Failure, Mineral and Owen as their primary influences, though they probably never heard of them before 2006.

Of course, my predictions could just all be hyperbole and I may be overpraising a record that I'll get sick of in a few months. But for this moment, this is the best album I've heard in a long time.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

sweetness!!! rockstar supernova!!!!

Rock Star Supernova
"Rock Star Supernova"

In a lot of ways, Rock Star Supernova has more in common with The Monkees than most people would assume. In addition to being a band forced together under the circumstances of a television show, they also have other people playing on the record (Butch Walker of Marvelous 3 fame and studio musician extrodinaire Jason Freese among them), and their sound is indictative of a particular time frame. For example, The Monkees were playing the contemporary style of the '60s, but Neil Diamond's songwriting is a watered down take on 1950's R&B and Doo-Wop, with its complex vocal harmonies. Rock Star Supernova is a bastard child of early-to-mid '90s rock. I can hear this sandwiched between Silverchair and Cake on someone's mixtape.

For all the hype, the lawsuit, and my personal enjoyment of the "Rock Star" reality show, this is everything I expected it to be: a shit burger. I didn't really expect much from the combination of Tommy Lee, Gilby Clarke (seriously, dude didn't even play on "Appetite For Destruction," therefore, he has no right to claim the Guns 'N Roses thing), Jason Newstead and rookie singer, Lukas Rossi. There are a few catchy numbers like "It's All Love" and Rossi's show-winning song "Headspin," but for the most part, this is really generic.

I don't think that if Dilana won, it would've made much difference (other than the fact that she was a pretty bad singer and a shitty lyricist) since many of the songs were already written while the show was still in production. With all its numerous flaws, Rock Star Supernova's debut isn't terrible, but it's nothing to hoot and holler over, either. I'd imagine that if someone paid money for this CD, it would be out of pure novelty, not unlike the band itself. At least it makes for decent background noise.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

countdown to a brand new brand new album

Long Island's Brand New is either the smartest band in the world or the dumbest. We've seen enough of the VH-1 Behind the Music specials to realize that if a band takes more than a year and a half to make a record it's going to be a great album or an unmitigated disaster. I'm willing to give Brand New the benefit of the doubt and say it will most likely be the former.

After demo tracks leaked online a year ago, it seems as though the new record, "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me," could be a quiet hit for the quartet, not unlike Death Cab for Cutie's "Plans." This, of course, is based on the strength of the first two tracks from the final pressing of the album that have been posted on sites like Myspace and Purevolume, "Sowing Season" and "Degausser."
Surprisingly, Interscope is releasing the album in the fourth quarter, a time that is usually reserved for greatest hits compilations, holiday themed albums and surefire platinum albums. Since "The Devil and God..." is neither a best-of or a Christmas record, then we can assume that Interscope has some pretty high hopes for the album.

Post "Deja Entendu," Brand New has managed to wander away from the pop-punk/emo soundscape altogether and place themselves in a general rock-defined genre with their brand of bombastic, escapist pop.

The only downside to all of this, however, is that Brand New has taken such a long time making a new record (it's been three and a half years since their last studio recording) that people may have already forgotten about the band. After all, bands that are considered to be heavyweights in the genre such as Taking Back Sunday, From First to Last and several others have released two albums in the time it's taken Brand New to make one. But then again, it is about quality, not quantity and if there's anything to be said about Brand New's commitment to releasing an album, I don't have a doubt in regards to its potential greatness, but will the kids still care?

Labels: , ,

lessons in regret presales!!!

we have presale tickets available now for our show on sunday, november 19th...$7! instead of the $9 you would pay at the door. hit up our myspace to get in touch with myself, greg, sean or andrew so you can get your groove on.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

so wack....

Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death
"Dead Rhythm"
(Go Midnight)

Featuring Spencer Moody and Dann Gallucci of Murder City Devils, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death is the kind of record I'd expect Calvin Johnson to be a part of, as well as release on K Records back in 1998. In short, this is a terrible, terrible record. The only people who would ever understand this are the three who made it and artsy fartsy people who felt that they "get" Spike Jones.

Friday, November 10, 2006

minus 44?

Plus 44
"When Your Heart Stops Beating"

Apparently there's a bit of a Blink 182 war in various media outlets such as Spin, Larry King Live and that pits Tom DeLonge's arena rockin' Angels and Airwaves versus Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker's emoin' Plus 44. I never would've guessed.

DeLonge's album was a little disappointing since he did a year's worth of press proclaiming that his new band would change the world. And while AvA has managed a few MTV awards and Gold status, there's still a war-torn Iraq, a politically divided nation, etc.

Like Blink 182, Plus 44's debut is more in tune to matters of the heart and, for all its faux Postal Service moments, it's quite catchy.

The title track and single, "When Your Heart Stops Beating," is hands down the poppiest song of the year. I would vote it to be the single of the year; that's how much I dig that song. But unfortunately the rest of the record isn't as strong. There are a few great moments such as "Lycantrophy," "No It Isn't," and "Make You Smile." Then there are snooze-worthy tunes like "Little Death," "Baby C'Mon," and "Weatherman."

The record isn't as eclectic as you'd imagine. There are electronic drums and keyboard parts and interesting guest appearances (Dan the Automator!), but for the most part, you're getting the spit-and-shine Blink 182 pop treatment. Not bad, though.

shameless self-promotion...again!

Who: Lessons in Regret with Onesidezero, Charlie Drown, Down in the Fifth, Under the Given
Where: Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St. Seattle WA
When: November 19th 2006, 7pm.
How much: $7 adv/$9 at the door
Why: Because we rawk!

It's the official Lessons in Regret debut performance that's not taking place in Andrew's basement (R.I.P.). We'll have copies of our EP, "It's Not Worship Music, It's Worse Hip Music" which features the bonus track "The Sun Couldn't Melt You." For the first 20-odd people who buy the EP, we'll also be handing out a limited edition L.I.R. mixtape featuring some summer jams and a sweet cover.

Tell all your friends!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

jumping the proverbial shark with the gilmore girls

Did you vote yesterday? Yes, no? Whatever. What's done is done and now we have to move on to more pressing issues, such as how bad the new season of "Gilmore Girls" is. How Amy Sherman-Palladino still has her name attached to the credits (granted it's as creator and executive producer by title only), I'll never understand.

The season started off well-enough, but as we delve deeper into Lorelai and Christopher's relationship, the show is coming off more stale. What was great about the show before were the off-center secondary characters. Anchors such as Lane, Jackson, Taylor, Kirk , Miss Patty and even Luke have all but a few minutes of screentime.

Last night's episode was completely boring as it centered around Lorelai and Christopher's getaway to Yale's Parents Weekend. Most of the episode was about Christopher sulking about how he missed out on Rory's life. Yo, asshole, that's what you get for steppin'. I can't feel sorry for some dude who pretty much as an infinite amount of cash, good looks and almost no redeemable qualities. In fact, the best part of the show was Luke's attempt to date again, as well as his blossoming relationship with his freshly discovered daughter. Fuck the rest. Oh, by the way, there were spoilers.

Anyway, for November sweeps, "Gilmore Girls" is pulling out all the stops with their advertised "Proposal" episode, in which Christopher asks Lorelai to marry him yet again and she'll probably say yes because -- thus far into this season -- she's an idiot.

I can't believe I've spent this much internet space writing about a fictional television show. Joke's on me, I guess. Do something productive like listening to EPMD's "Strictly Business."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

finally, a new review

"Saturday Night Wrist"

Sacramento's Deftones have been kicking out the melodic-punk-metal-hardcore hybrid (otherwise known as "screamo") longer than most of the kids who populate the genre have been alive. Still, they have managed to evolve into a larger-than-life entity, whose fanbase salivate with every release, not unlike Weezer. Yet, the band has seldom has misses with the exception of 2003's "Deftones," which wasn't bad per se, just lazy. After many false starts, a few years and a near break-up, Chino Moreno and gang have returned to top form with "Saturday Night Wrist."

The lead single and album opener, "Hole in the Earth," is probably the poppiest song, as well as the most boring. It smells of a rip off of 2000's "Change (In the House of Flies)." Skip that track and that's where the album really begins.

"Rapture" embodies some of the same ol' same ol' (raucous guitars, sing/scream vocal changes) but manages to sound a little refreshing. "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B, Select, Start" is an insturmental jam that sounds like it belongs with Moreno's Team Sleep project, but it's still a nice interlude between the rest of the album's metalriffic moments. "Wrist's" closer, "Riviere," is a moody song that captures the heaviness and beauty of the band's songwriting.

While it's not as strong as "White Pony," is more enjoyable than their self-titled record. Hopefully, the Deftones will continue to release more of these art-metal records before the band self-destructs. Then again, it seems that their best records are built on that type of internal strife.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

backed with updated

i updated "backed with" with new mp3s from total, the controls and glassjaw.