Sunday, January 31, 2010

Break Up

Band: Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson
Album: Break Up
Best song: "Relator" is really good.
Worst song: "I am the Cosmos" should remain Chris Bell's, thank you very much.

As the Pitchfork review indicates, it's tough to try and recreate the fantastic Brigitte Bardot/Serge Gainsbourg pairings of the 1960s. The Pitchfork review also compares it to She & Him record (an album I hope to tackle here at some point).

I don't think either comparison is all that apt. The She & Him record comes from a totally different atmosphere, a Williamburg-meets-Silverlake hybrid. The Gainsbourg/Bardot records, of course, are of a completely different vintage and let's forget ever comparing Pete Yorn to one of the great songwriters of the 1960s.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Only By Night

Band: Kings of Leon
Album: Only By Night
Best song: "Sex on Fire" is listenable.
Worst song: The rest of the album is ass.

I'm 28 years old -- I turn 29 next month -- and with my next birthday, I'll be one more year closer to my mental age of, like, 40. I'm not an "old soul" in the "wise" sense. I'm an "old soul" in the "curmudgeon" sense.

Sure, I like whimsy and strange, kitschy shit. I have bobbleheadsand a plastic sauropod and a framed picture of a T-Rex wearing a cowboy hat (this lovely fellow) all on my desk at work. I wear little buttons on my jacket and I wear sneakers approximately 340 days of the year. My apartment is solely decorated with the work of a one Jay Ryan.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Live Phish Volume 13

Band: Phish
Album: Live Phish Volume 13
Best song: Of course, it's really hard to screw up the Beatles, right?
Worst song: Just about any of the band's original material is kind of crappy.

I've never been a particular fan of jam bands, so I guess I'm particularly unsuited to write anything about Phish. I respect the hell out of the band's musical ability; these guys can clearly play the hell out of their instruments.

But, like too much metal, a lot of the masturbatory soloing doesn't strike me as much more than that. A near-15-minute version of band favorite "Harpua" doesn't strike me as much more than annoying.

Nevertheless, I own three Phish albums. The first is Round Room, a studio album my ex-girlfriend left at my house and never asked for back. The other two are Phish live recordings, four-disc sets of the band doing its "musical costume" for Halloween shows. The one reviewed here and Live Phish Vol. 15, the band's cover of Remain in Light. I bought both out of curiosity and don't love either.

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Depression

Band: Uncle Tupelo
Album: No Depression
Best song: "Whiskey Bottle" is a classic. The title track is amazing. "Factory Belt" is awesome. "Screen Door" is top-notch. Even with all those, "Graveyard Shift" is probably the best song on the record.
Worst song: "So Called Friend" isn't great.

One of the things that surprised me so much about the Rolling Stone 500 list (to which I devoted an entire year, by the way) was the total and complete lack of respect the list gave to country music in all of its forms. I don't say that as a fan of country music -- I'm not -- but rather as someone who knows a tiny bit about the history of rock and roll. To say country music has not influenced popular rock music is foolish, at best.