Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DL: That Dog, "Old Timer EP"

I haven't done a post in BACKED WITH for a while now, but I'm going to bring it back. No joke. I have a ton of rare shit that I want to share with you guys. I can't promise that there will be constant posts, but I'm searching out quality out-of-print stuff for you cats.

To celebrate this, I'm putting up a rare and out-of-print EP by That Dog, a band that features Anna Waronker, Rachel and Petra Haden and Tony Maxwell. The quartet's super-cute brand of power-pop is something that I've found pretty comforting over the years and resurfaced when someone close to me reminded me of how awesome they were.

Anyway, here's the link. Enjoy (BTW, they're encoded as AAC files, so you'll have to convert them if you don't have iTunes).

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top 15 Records of 2008

Every year I do this stupid list and this year, I was hard pressed to find anything decent that I immediately fell in love with. There were some fairly decent records, though.

1. Nas, "The Dreaded N-World/Untitled"
2. The Loved Ones, "Build and Burn"
3. 2*Sweet (RIP), "Sleep without Dreams"
4. Brighten, "Early Love EP"
5. City and Colour, "Bring Me Your Love"
6. Wale, "The Mixtape About Nothing"
7. Jake One, "White Van Music"
8. Solange Knowles, "Sol-Angel"
9. Horizon, "Demo 2008"
10. LaGrecia, "On Parallels"
11. Anthony Green, "Avalon"
12. Empires, "Howl"
13. Crime in Stereo, "Selective Wreckage"
14. A Loss for Words, "Webster Lake"
15. Gaslight Anthem, "The 59 Sound"

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Review: Kanye West, "808s and Heartbreak"

Taking a page from Roger Troutman (R.I.P.), Teddy Riley and Snoop, Kanye "Ye" West's newest album, "808s and Heartbreak" recalls the pinnacle of 80s and 90s R&B, utilizing the titular 808 drum sounds that was perfected by the likes of Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Al B. Sure. That being said, this is probably the worst Kanye West record of all time.

I'm not sure how he went from being an underground sensation, producing for the likes of the Molemen to putting out a shit taco of an album. Now to be fair, the songs aren't terrible, but I think they would be better suited for dudes like Ne-Yo or Chris Brown, you know, guys who can actually sing.

West's voice is masked by autotune and a fucking vocoder so much that he totally sounds like a robot. I asked for an album, not "Wall-E," dude. Given the nature of the album and West's tepid attempt to be a hip-hop/R&B star (like R. Kelly), this album pretty much sucks. I don't give a shit what Pitchfork, EW or Newsweek or whoever says. From a hip-hop fan's perspective, this is on some "Blood Money" level of terrible. A turd with a bow tied around it is still a turd, guys.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Review: Twilight (Movie)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Riverdales Announce New Album! Screeching Weasel Fans Rejoice!

In light of the last post, a band that has broken up in the past, but reunited and has since taken long breaks in between records, The Riverdales, have announced that they're releasing a new record. So sez the Org:

"In his latest podcast, Ben Weasel has confirmed that he will be once again teaming up with Dan Vapid to record a new record as the Riverdales. The band, formed in the 90s by members of Screeching Weasel released a 1995's Riverdales and 1997's Storm The Streets before splitting up. They reunited in 2003 to release Phase Three.

The band has not yet named a drummer for the forthcoming album, but plans are for a release in 2009 with some live shows to follow."

The Ramones-inspired band is just one of the many reunions to occur (mostly of bands that I have given a shit about in the past), which leads me to believe that I should probably just start a reunion blog.

Anyway, I love Ben Weasel as a song writer and this reunion is one that is obviously not for the money, since very few people gave a shit about the Riverdales when they were semi-popular anyway.

[Related Video]
The Riverdales, "Back to You (Live)"

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thoughts on the Get Up Kids Reunion and Then Some

I posted about the Get Up Kids impending reunion and little while back and since then, the band has indeed reunited in an impromptu performance (which you can see here) and my personal feelings on the matter has changed very little.
I suppose the inner fanboy in me is completely elated, but chiefly because the bands of the pop-punk persuasion that have been coming out of the woodwork these last few years, particularly in the wake of the Get Up Kids demise, has been pretty fucking dismal. Metro Station? Forever the Sickest Kids? A collective groan is most welcome.

Then again, as a purist, I feel that the band should've gotten back together under better circumstances, such as a benefit, rather than the 10 year anniversary of "Something to Write Home About." That particular album to me is a seminal recording, probably more so than "Four Minute Mile [1]," and yet their attempt to become relevant just falls flat and seems to really be a grasp at gaining back their popularity after the missteps that has been their post-TGUK careers [2].

Of course, I'm not a member of this band and I'm merely a person who is half-cynic and half-fan, so the intentions of this band getting back together outside of milking the "STWHA" reissue is beyond me. But the video doesn't lie and it looks to me that they're actually having fun, which is probably the best thing about those performance clips on the YouTubes.

This all begs the questions that I posed when Ozma annouced their reunion, why break up in the first place if you're going to get back together no more than three years later?

[1] Though "STWHA" is a personal favorite, I believe that "On a Wire" is their best album.

[2] It sucks neither Blackpool Lights, nor the New Amsterdams became more popular. Blackpool Lights' debut is still a favorite of mine and I've never dislked the New Ams or Matt Pryor's solo record.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

SoulSchool Remixes

This morning I was listening to one of the most underrated winter albums (more on this later), The Beatnuts' "Stone Crazy," when I was compelled to find the video for "Do You Believe," when I came up something labelled as a "SoulSchool Remix." Like most videos and random remixes you find on YouTube and MySpace, I didn't expect much, but the remix was actually pretty awesome. I listened to more of these remixes and I was pretty impressed. In the last few years, my favorite hip-hop producers have been these bedroom DJs who've recalled the halcyon days of people chopping up their own beats on shitty Tascam and Fostex 4-tracks and not overhyped names that shall currently remain nameless. Anyway, here are my favorite of the SoulSchool remixes.

Nas feat. Q-Tip, "One Love"

Big L, "Put it On"

Alicia Keys, "You Don't Know My Name"

Masta Ace, Buckshot and Special Ed, "Crooklyn Dodgers"

Beatnuts, "Do You Believe"

related links:
SoulSchool Myspace

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