September 27, 2005

Ryan Adams - Cold Roses, Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cold Roses: It took me a long time to finally buy this disc. I wasn't really a Ryan Adams Fan, I'd bought Rock N Roll upon a suggestion by a co-worker. It was okay but Adams vocals began to wear on me. I figured I would pass on his next release. Cold Roses came out and I ignored it. The same co-worker started playing Cold Roses at work and I liked what I heard. It was much more alt country and Adams voice seemed less laboured. This double disc is the first of 3 discs he's planning to release this year. Jacksonville City Nights is due out Sept. 27th and another by Christmas.

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois: I thought it would be a cool idea to listen to this CD when I was in O'Hare airport waiting to change planes. It was a 40 minute layover, I was only able to get through half of the disc. Some how watching people strip off their shoes and belts to go through security didn't really help me connect to this CD as I thought it would. I picture it being much more effective on a summer road trip popping this disc into the car as your cross the state line.

This is the second state covered by Stevens on his ambitious project of creating a disc for every state. Most wrote it off as a joke when he released the first in the series and even more when Stevens followed it up with another disc that wasn't in the series. If he continues releasing great disc's like this people won't be so quick to laugh off his plan and look forward to the next state.

Posted by hypnobee at 6:00 AM

August 3, 2005

Gorillaz and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Gorillaz - Demon Days: I've never really listened to the last Gorillaz album from 4 years ago but I loved the videos. When I first heard the new Gorillaz disc came out I thought, great some more cool videos. I've seen only seen the first video, Dare. It has a totally different feel from the first CD, it's much darker but still great. As for the CD it's a much bigger mixed bag than I thought it would be. There's a lot in there covering quite a few genres. I like Dare, Feels Good Inc and Dirty Harry, I'm sure you'll find a couple worth listening to a few times.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
: Despite having a ridiculous band name and it being ridiculously long, it also happens to make up title of the disc and half of the first song's title of this is a fantastic CD. I love the start of this disc. If you listen to this first song a couple times and don't find yourself coming back for more there is definitely something wrong with you. With a voice that could be entirely annoying I find it refreshing and fun to listening to. A great CD to pop in the car and head out for some open road driving. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth is another great track if the intro doesn't totally sell you.

Posted by hypnobee at 6:00 AM

July 19, 2005

Iron and Wine, Modest Mouse, The Weakerthans

Iron and Wine - Woman King EP
After picking up quite possibly the greatest movie soundtrack ever, Garden State last summer I went on to explore bands from that disc that I'd never heard of. I tried listening to Iron and Wine's latest, Our Endless Numbered Days but found it way too mellow for what I was into at the time, so I ended up passing on the album. When I read a review for Women King describing it as heavier and more rocking, I was immediately sold. I couldn't find the EP anywhere, so I eventual bit the bullet and ended up ordered it off of amazon blind. I added to an order with a book to make up the minimum required for free shipping. The book was back ordered and it took 5 weeks to finally get this disc. For a 6 song EP it was worth the wait, check out tracks 1, 2 and 6. I think I'll have to go back and check out Our Endless Numbered Days

Modest Mouse - Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks EP
Diving further back into Modest Mouse's catalogue I also ordered this at the same time as Iron and Wine's Woman King. I was trying to go backward in order but because of the back order I ended up picking up The Moon and Antarctica first. This eight song EP contains tracks that didn't make the cut for The Moon and Antarctica, old tracks from Out of the Sun (an out of print vinyl-only EP) and new stuff. If you loved The Moon and Antarctica you'll like this too. If you've only heard Good News for People Who Like Bad News I'd recommend trying other Modest Mouse stuff and you'll eventually find your way to it.

The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
This CD was released in late 2003 and I haven't stopped listening to it yet. I'd put it at the top of my 2004 list. The Weakerthans are closing out Friday night at the Hillside Festival in Guelph. Can't wait, The Weakerthans always put on a fantastic show and have never disappointed anytime I've had the opportunity to see them.

Posted by hypnobee at 6:00 AM

July 12, 2005

White Stripes, System of a Down, At the Drive-In

Get Behind Me Satan
I have all the white stripes albums, I even have Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose which was produced by Jack White. When I first popped this CD in I was sadly disappointed on how empty it sounded. I've been listening to a lot of different stuff that was jam packed full of instrumentation. It took a while to adjust and a couple of spins to come around. I haven't decided entirely if I like this latest effort. I think it may have been rushed and has too many sticky Van Lear fingerprints for my liking. Either that or I'm too distracted wondering what it would sound like if Jack White was backed by an entire band. I think the White Stripes' days are numbered but I think Jack White will be around for a while, which is a good thing.

One thing you gotta love about System of a Down is that they know how to make an album. If you don't think so listen to Steal This Album, it a collection of B sides. All very decent songs in their own right but it hardly flows together. After listening to Steal This Album you can appreciate it a little more. Listen to the Mezmerize and how they deftly move from one track to another.

This CD doesn't quite match up to Toxicity, there feels like there's something missing on this disc. It may be that it is the first half of a double CD with the second part being released this fall. Maybe the second half will fill what appears to be missing or it's just feeling like you've only got half of the total package. Knowing that you only have half seems to take away from this album.

This Station Is Non-Operational: Anthology
I caught on to At the Drive-In when I heard One Armed Scissor on the radio. It was shortly after that ATDI broke up. They later formed two separate bands Sparta and Mars Volta. At the Drive-In is neither of these two bands but if forced to choose would probably fall under the shade of the Sparta tree. This disc is not a greatest hits collect but yet a much more satisfying anthology. I recommend it you are into either of the two groups or were an At the Drive-In fan. It's a solid disc chronciling the group through their career. Shades of Mars Volta and Sparta can be heard. There are also rare and a few demos tagged on at the end if you already have the entire ATDI catalogue.

Posted by hypnobee at 6:00 AM

June 28, 2005

The Stars, BLOC Party & Modest Mouse

The Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
Another group out of the red hot Montreal music scene. Same kind of great stuff. Other bands from this scene include Sam Roberts, The Stills, The Dears and Arcade Fire. The Stars are part of the Hillside Festival happening in Guelph, ON on July 22-24. The Stars are playing before closers Arcade Fire on the Saturday. The Weakerthans and Sam Roberts headline Friday and Sunday respectfully.

BLOC Party - Silent Alarm
Think Franz Ferdinand but less of that gay vibe and a bit more dance. It just gets better with every spin. I can't get enough.

Modest Mouse - Moon And Antarctica
After being introduced to Modest Mouse with Good News for People Who Like Bad News, I stumbled upon their recent release live disc Baron Von Bullshit Rides again and was totally blown away. Now I'm hooked and working backward through their 12 year catalogue Moon and Antarctica was the next stop. as I try to tune up for the Olympic Island concert in Toronto they co-headlining with Broken Social Scene on Sunday June 26th at Olympic Island in Toronto and totally rocked!

Posted by hypnobee at 6:00 AM