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June 2005

54-40 - Stop Line
Acceptance - Different
Audioslave - Your Time Has Come
Augustana - Stars and Boulevards [Stream / WMA]
Bloc Party - Little Thoughts
Boy - Up in This Town
Features - Blow It Out
Foo Fighters - Friend of a Friend
Foo Fighters - No Way Back
Fountainheads - Perfect [Download]
Gorillaz - Feel Good, Inc
Guillermo Sexo - Silver Threads
Matthew Good Band - Generation X-Wing [Download]
Oasis - Part of the Queue
Offspring - The Meaning of Life
The Party - In My Dreams [Watch Video]
Robert Cray Band - Poor Johnny [Download]
Something for Kate - Souvenir
Strip Music - 24 Hrs [Download]
Tord Gustavsen Trio - Curtains Aside
Tri-Polar - If This Wreck Will Roll

Dave Genn (formerly of the Matthew Good Band) joined 54-40 a few months ago. I took a spin through their new album, Yes to Everything, and was immediately struck by Genn's familiar guitar noodlings. Can't say that I like the album much, but I think "Stop Line" is a great tune.

Yeah, I keep downloading the free iTunes downloads. Some of them are catchy. Acceptance's tune isn't bad, but I think Augustana's is better. (I just found out that Augustana's record was produced by Brendan O'Brien, he of Pearl Jam, Incubus, etc, fame, which explains why it sounds so nice.) But it's especially nice to catch a future single, like the Features' "Blow It Out", before it hits radio.

The first few times I sampled the new Audioslave disc, I didn't like it. But the second single is pretty fair.

To me, Bloc Party sounds like a number of different bands, and not in a good way. Stereogum stuck "Little Thoughts" on his site recently, and I thought it was pretty decently catchy.

I heard "Up in This Town" on a Canadian sampler. Nice. Kinda Jet meets The Bravery, for lack of a better description.

As big of a Foo Fighters fan as I was in the 90s, I'd never bothered to grab Grohl's pre-Foo recordings. Honestly, I was a fan early enough to buy the Pocketwatch tape from Simple Machines, but I never did. The night that In Your Honor went on sale, I couldn't help but notice that the "bonus tracks" were available as individual downloads, so I picked them up. I like the raw feel of Grohl's original 1990 take of "Friend of a Friend". It just sounds like a guy and a guitar in his bedroom.

I want to buy In Your Honor, but I'm officially boycotting the American version of the disc because of the copy protection. I really like "No Way Back", so it's going to be a struggle to figure out how to put the song on a mix without screwing the boycott. (I may end up purchasing the UK version of the disc online, since it doesn't have the copy protection.)

Fountainheads' "Perfect" is stunningly good. Just really emotive, with really strong vocals.

Sha, shop, shop, shop-a-top, feel good.

Guillermo Sexo. It's great having friends that make good music.

I still haven't picked up Last of the Ghetto Astronauts, but it was nice getting a preview of the album via Matt's site.

I sampled Oasis' new album, and just can't get into it. But I like "Part of the Queue", even if (or perhaps because) it reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Breaking the Girl" (and something else I can't place).

Recently, "The Meaning of Life" popped into my head for no apparent reason. I couldn't place what song it was, and discovered it wasn't on their recent Greatest Hits.

Okay, here's where it all goes wrong. Back in 91/92, I had a minor crisis of sorts musically. I'd spent several years with my ear to Top 40 radio, and, while I was starting to get sick of it by the summer of '91, I still liked some of the random dance-pop-ish tracks they played. There was a certain style to that summer that's hard to explain now. When Nevermind came out, I latched onto it hard, and put my focus pretty solidly on alternative music. However, part of me still wanted to like the Top 40 junk that I'd spent years listening to. The epitome of my struggle was "In My Dreams", a dance-pop Dokken cover that I heard while at Disneyworld on vacation in January of 1992. I liked it, but didn't want to like it. The harmonies are just seriously catchy. Thirteen and a half years later, I found myself spinning the crap out of it. The sixteen-year-old in me is ashamed, but the thirty-year-old is telling him to eat it. (At the time, I could place it as a Dokken cover. Now, this is the only version I can think of.) I've linked the video, but try to ignore how terrible it is. Yeah, right.

Robert Cray's "Smoking Gun" was one of my favorite tunes of 1987. I just really dug it, even if it was out of the realm of my usual tastes. "Poor Johnny" is off his new album, and it's a nice bit of reminiscence. It's good to see that he's still around.

I wish I could buy Something for Kate's The Official Fiction in the States.

"Curtains Aside" was a free iTunes download, and is an example of why I like the free downloads so much. It's a neo-jazz tune. I never would have had any reason to listen to it had it not been on iTunes, and I really like it. The "chorus" element is really catchy.

Tri-Polar is ex-Everclear bass player Craig Montoya's new project. Very straightforward rock (a la Velvet Revolver). Rumor has it that Montoya was actively discouraged from writing songs while in Everclear, but several of the songs on this self-released album are surprisingly solid in terms of songwriting. It's not cerebral, just music to stick on the cd player, crank up, and rock out.

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