Thursday, October 27, 2005

If This Is A Plan-The Delgados

If you think this song is not awesome then I have a plan that involves waterboarding your Big Kat-eating muncher. Let us be serious for uno momento. The Delgados are a late and lamented Scottish pop band fronted by Emma and some guy, and her songs are awesome and people unfairly malign his songs, but his are awesome too, as evidenced by this stunner and show closer from their penultimate album Hate. They are two sides of the same coin and you should seek them out. All of their albums are superb, and I would recommend Hate as a great place to start. Hate being the album where they play with the full deal- strings and other delightful orchestration as it were.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rainbow in the Dark-Dio


This is a joke. This can't be Dio. The Dio I always assumed to be DIO (from t-shirts and what not) was the ultimate in total deviltry and beastliness, I mean, t-shirt-wise was up there with Slayer. This had to be totally heavy. None could be heavier. The man who replaced Ozzy in Sabbath had to be a TOTAL badass. He would probably have huge horns coming out of his head, artfully concealed under a rad hood, only to be thrown back with exploding pyrotechnics, slaughter of animal offerings and hordes of supplicant, lamenting hot babes.

"Rainbow in the Dark" tells me I was played by some t-shirt marketing geniuses. Oh, Lord, was I mistaken. None of the above is remotely suggested by this song. Instead, Meat Loaf with a unicorn figurine collection is conjured vision. Is that so lame, it is actually bad ass???

UPDATE: I just say "Only a Mystery" by Dio on VH1 Classic. My fears above were not fearful enough. -20 hit points, dude.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Aces High-Iron Maiden


Guitars in harmony, the standard metal preamble, staccato drum flares, ooh, then a time change- oh yeah, this is Maiden. Then it hits, urgent, propulsive description of preparations for a coming attack. This is Maiden in their patriotic non-Dune/Edgar Allen Poe phase. The third movement is where the songs really hits, you actually feel like Messerschmidts and Hurricanes and Spitfires are flying all over the place, tracers every which way, the Battle of Britain of course. The actual chorus part is too cheesy for me, but the movement (one of about ten) that hits at 1:55 is pure awesomeness, and this is one of the Maiden songs where you actually hear Steve Harris' bass, and actually appreciate it a little bit. The solos aren't even that over the top and ridiculous. Actually, what I like about this song, regardless of its cheese factor, is that it feels patriotic without being excessively jingoistic. Maybe its easier to be that way when the song doesn't come across like "Burn My Flag and I'll Burn Your Ass" style cobag sentiment. Also, when your country is not the biggest and most powerful on the block and was fighting for its life against NAZIS for goodness sake, you can have a little patriotic sentiment.

Additionally, if I may unbecomingly become serious pour un momento, when I hear this song I think about the Gregory Peck/Gary Merrill film Twelve O'Clock High. It's not about the Brits, but instead a Yank bomber squadron based in Britain. It details the bloody toll on bomber crews flying dangerous daylight long range bombing missions. They keep getting shot to hell. I won't ruin it for you, but the scene that gets me is the squadron member pedaling out to the deserted airfield after the war, they use the "Baa Baa Black Sheep" song and it just crushes you. Tonight, listening to Aces High, I am wondering if George W. Bush has ever contemplated what war does to our troops (no point in thinking whether he contemplates how Iraqis are affected) or it he's ever seen Twelve O'Clock High, or any other non-John Wayne (or Ronald Reagan) war movie. Perhaps he and his pappy, WWII pilot that he was, watched Gregory Peck unravel time and time again, but in a snarkily mocking way- "that's not how George Herbert Walker Bush was imprinted by the War, just Peck, a liberal movie icon." Maybe they just watched it for the flying footage, and pappy would say "one day you're going to fly planes just like me."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Prophecies of the Great Apocalypse-Dimmu Borgir

OK, I admit that photo's kind of creepy

METAL WEEK-DAY ONE

While recording with a symphony orchestra is the ultimate in Spinal Crapitude, it does not make a "Black Metal" band's music sound heavier, in fact adding orchestration that sounds like incidental music from A Very Harry Potter Christmas diminishes any and all chances of heaviness. For example "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" from Norway's Dimmu Borgir's Death Cult Armageddon sounds like John Williams and Danny Elfman getting together to cash in one last time to buy the world's largest pile of cocaine. And their route to Mt. Snowplow is to stroke the ego of a psychotic, Bach-loving, dungeons and dragons enthusiast with the idea of enslaving dumbed-down Dream Theatre metal goo, the cheesewad harmonies of System of a Down, minus the politics, and some paint-by-numbers scary sounding lyrics. Robert Plant singing about his nutsack is a million times heavier. We urge you to listen to this tune here. The band kindly provides a streaming sample of this, might as well crank it up work, if you are seeking new employment.

Monday, October 17, 2005

THROW UP THE DEVIL HORNS! IT'S METAL WEEK!

We are taking requests. No Death Metal. Cheese metal, prog metal, cobag metal all OK. Don't abuse your privileges. In comments please. We shall commence tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I Hate Scotland-ballboy

ballboy have that seemingly so Scottish kind of earnest smart ass routine. They have the awesome Scotch accent, and they can be humorous, but this spoken word electric guitar whistful contemplation of life, Scotland, how people are, and a white t-shirt, and a pair of shorts and jumping into a pool just hit you right there. A completely surreal yet real meditation on reality. Like Three Bulls!, except funny, sad and oh yeah, accomplished. This is available somewhere on the internets for download and is off their ineptly name (not somuch as lacking ept but lacking apt) Club Anthems.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I Believe in You-Sinead O'Connor

CONGRATS AND MAZEL TOV TO POP RENAISSANCE!!!!!!!!

Married somewheres around Oct. 1, we look forward to him getting back on the Three Bulls! train.

Three Bulls! dedicates the most romantic song we can think of to him and his bride. Originally sung by Bob Dylan, presumably about the big JC (from born again era Slow Train Coming), Ms. O'Connor just breaks your heart in two with a completely committed ode to her beloved, perhaps the same as Bob's, perhaps merely her mortal sweetheart. A B-side on the Fire in Babylon CD single. An absolute must. Three Bulls! plays this song when hiring henchmen, if they are moved, they clearly have hearts, and since the job description most certainly says "heartless" they are right out.

Friday, October 07, 2005

For Real-Okkervil River

OK, these kids have an eensy bit of an "emo" feel, whatever that means. It sounds like he's singing incredibly earnestly. What gets you is that the lyrics are odd, off-kilter, "Shins-ian" but with a sinister quality of despair or darkness instead of whimsy. The song is quite clean, so you hang on his words. And you actually want him to start screaming because you are caught up in whatever his deal is, and it actually feels good. Available for your listening here. And of course the electric piano.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Video Extra - "For Love" - Lush

Fairly average collection today. U2 was present for the second straight day, an "Alternative" rarity. Wire made their weekly appearance, as did Bob Mould (with Sugar), Frank Black (solo), and the Cure. Shockingly, today was both Sisters of Mercy and Weller free. Possibly the first time this has ever happened on "The Alternative".

Today's selection features something not often seen in alternative videos of the last 20 year. That, of course, is hot chicks. Yesterday's selection notwithstanding, if an alternative video has a hot chick in it, generally it's because she's in the band. Lush featured the oh-so-hot Miki Berenyi, and the not-quite-as-hot-but-still-attractive Emma Anderson, both on guitar, while the dude's handled the rhythm. Sort of the anti-Stratford Four.

There's really no story to this video. It's pretty much just the band playing their instruments, while Miki occasionally does something with some flowers. This is what I call "brilliant direction". When you've got hot chicks in your video, especially ones for which you don't need to pay extra, you use them.

As for the tune, this was the one of the singles off of Spooky (along with Nothing Natural and Superblast), the band's second LP. It's pretty much your basic shoegazer fare with a female vocalist, though not as crunchy and out there (and ground breaking) as My Bloody Valentine. With it's nice hooks and steady bass, this was one of the more radio friendly tracks on the album. They really wouldn't come out of this sound until releasing Lovelife in 1996, shortly before the suicide of drummer Chris Acland.

That wraps up the weekday episodes of the Alternative. It will air again Sunday at 10:00 am and pm. Videos not selected include the Hindu Love Gods' "Raspberry Beret", B.A.D. II's "the Globe", the Waitresses' "Make the Weather", and James' "Say Something".
[Ed.- which Lush had "Shake Baby Shake"? That was a mean spririted album, especially the duet with Jarvis Cocker.]

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Seitz Video Extra - "When She Begins" - Social Distortion

So Pinko gave me a key, inspired by this post on my own small piece of internet real estate, and since today was the first showing of VH-1's "The Alternative" since that momentous occasion, I thought I'd break the ice. It's a long one today, but as I'm "into the whole brevity thing", I'll try to keep them shorter in the future. I'd explain how this is going to work, but I a) havent' really figured it how I want to do it yet, and b) wasn't given instructions. So I'm on my own, and you all get to live with the results.

Today's episode was a bit on the weak side for my tastes. Rest assured, we had a Style Council video. Can't let a show go by without Paul Weller. There were the weekly appearances by Fishbone, Peter Murphy, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. As much as love JAMC, I'd appreciate something other than videos off Psychocandy once in a while. Don't get me wrong, it's a great album, but throw me some Honey's Dead once in a while. Maybe even a little Automatic. A guy like me really appreciates the occasional showing of Blues From a Gun.

I chose today's video not because of it's cinematic brilliance, but rather because it was a weak show overall, and I've always really liked this song. I'll be honest, I could have sworn this album, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, came out a long time after their self titled album, but apparently it was only a couple of years. I guess it just seems like it took them a long time considering both albums are pretty much full of the same song.

The setting is the Hollywood Palladium, where the band is playing a sold out show. The band is rocking, the crowd is rolling, and outside, on a surprisingly empty Sunset Blvd., a lone rockabilly chick (who, admittedly, is quite the spicy little number) stands outside with a rose, presumably to give to Mike Ness if she can talk her way past security. One wonders, if she's such a big fan, why didn't she just buy a freaking ticket? Cut to the crowd surfing fans, the inked up Ness, and back to our poor soul, who keeps on knockin', but can't get in. Just an aside, I saw these guys once at the Sun God Festival at UCSD around 1997 or so, and I don't remember any crowd surfing. Anyway, the big mean security guards keep shuttin' the door on her, and for some reason, they never think to offer her entrance in return for a blow job. More band shots, more mean security guards. Surely, you're thinking, this must end happily. Someway she'll sneak in and hand her flower to Ness, both literally and figuratively. Well, it does end happily...for Ness, who likely would have subjected himself to all sorts of communicable diseases, not to mention sloppy seconds, had the girl been allowed backstage. The girl is denied entrance, and moseys down the walk of fame, dropping her Rose on a star that probably has some significance, but frankly, I couldn't read it. Seriously, I went frame by frame on a 50" wide screen TV and couldn't make out the name.

I should probably rate this video on some sort of scale with a funny measurement device, like "I give it two meatballs" or something, but I'm not funny enough to think of a unit, so feel free to make suggestions. Videos seen but not reviewed from this episode include Pere Ubu's "Waiting for Mary", Ween's "Push th' Little Daisies", the Thompson Twins' "King For a Day", and Tom Verlaine's "Town Called Walker".

[Ed. -did they show this video?]

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Test Transmission-Kasabian

Derivative in the way that only certain derivative English bands can be, like they never put a foot into the wrong influence- these guys have Primal Scream, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Kraftwerk and Neu! on their iPods, that’s for sure. What I like about this song is it is like a Krautrock/Madchester mix-it’s got that feel like is was made for a dance floor that you’d never see in the US, and it is filled with exquisitely produced sounds, and immaculate hand claps. Designed for that orgy scene on CSI before the pervo ritualistically kills the stripper. You might hate your cool self for liking this song, but it’s OK, it’s that good. The one I hate myself for liking is “Reason is Treason” but it has this perfect Krautrock beat in the middle, and I’ve only heard 30 seconds of one Neu! Song ever, and Kasabian steals it in this one from 2:35 to 3:20 in- for a brief time you are transported to some disco called Der Xanadu and the wind machine is blowing your girlfriend’s hair around all crazy sexy and there are like snowdrifts of cocaine everywhere.