Archive for the ‘Album Review’ Category


Interesting question: Are there punks in Oklahoma? As it turns out yes, yes indeed. Black Cop is a three piece hardcore band from Stillwater, OK, and its fucking brutal. As in extremely fast, thrash, hardcore, violent, angry, all around quality stuff. They’ve just released their first full length CD off of Torn Shoe Records this January. You can download one track for free off their bandcamp, and honestly, you could pirate the rest really easily from their bandcamp as well…if you’re a soulless bastard.

I would pay attention to these guys, the recording quality on the CD might not be the best, but they’ve got a great 80’s hardcore-thrash kind of sound, which judging by their videos is amazing to see live. If you’re into that kind of thing. Plus! They’re playing this year’s Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW). I had no idea what that is either… but,  a simple google search revealed its kind of a big deal in the South/Southwest world, so that’s got to count for something. So if you’re like me, i.e age < 30, and wish you had a chance to see any 80’s hardcore bands, then these guys would be exactly the opposite of Herpes:  a great thing to catch. (Darion totally added this last part fuck that guy)

This is the video for their track “Unearth,” which you can download for free off of their bandcamp.

Andrew

P.S.

-YAY! This is our 50th blog post. I raise my glass to you, my dear readers!

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First of all, thanks to the folks at Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever for letting me contribute to the fun with articles and music-talk.  I just moved back to Olympia after a long hiatus and I am anxious to participate in anything musical that could be going on around here.

I spend a lot of time searching out and listening to new music that I would like to share with people to spark interest and discussion.  Stuff that may not technically be new but is new to me counts in my book, so if I talk about something that has been out for a while, well, don’t get all up my ass about it, okay?

I tend to find something I like and crack out on it for a couple of weeks until I find something else that gets my attention and then the cycle continues, so I should always have albums I’m all about for any given period of time.

So what do I love right now?

Okay, so we are deep in the throes of another northwest winter and won’t be seeing much sunshine for a few months, and for me that means it’s time to find some great winter, crappy-weather melodic music that I always crave come January.  Luckily, I have found just the thing.  The Lower 48, Minnesota transplants to Portland, recently self-released their debut album Where All Maps End.  I have been cracking-out for the last couple weeks and still going strong.  It evokes that timeless feeling I get when I listen to past winter favorites where it can just play on repeat for days and I never get tired of it.  It’s definitely a folky sound, and done really beautifully with some gorgeous instrumental interludes, a couple of super catchy tracks such as “The End” and “Come Awake” always demand that I sing along and do a little dance, and on the whole displays a versatility that keeps it interesting.  All of the songs are really good actually.  They are original enough so that I don’t feel like I’m just listening to recycled garbage.  Beautiful, melodic, atmospheric, intimate, innocent, and just plain good fucking shit.  Have a listen to “The End” and if you don’t find yourself wanting to hear it over and over again, well then, that’s fine, this is just a suggestion, y’all can do what you want.  But if ya like it you should definitely get the album and support these guys, I think they are gonna do good things in the future.

-Leah

Rarely has there been a band that has disappointed me. There have been bad albums, poor career choices, and “selling out”,  but I’m a forgiving listener, and I hand out pardons where they are deserved. But now, someone has gone too far.

Today I have been exposed to something so heinous, so fowl, that I still feel physically ill thinking about it. My hero, my favorite singer/songwriter of all time, has gone to the Dark Side; And to him I say: “Ben Gibbard, what the FUCK?”

FACEPALM

What I’m referring to is the EP “Codes and Keys” recently released by none other than Death Cab for Cutie. Now mainstream indie kingpins, they were once just the little group from Bellingham that sang in small clubs and captured the hearts of many. This album of “dance remixes” sounds like someone threw the once beautiful sounds the band makes through a wood chipper time portal. There are cowbells, kitschy snare beats, and repetitive stuttering at the beginning of phrases. One song, “Underneath the Sycamore Tree,” remixed by the (surely) renowned Dillon Francis, is like “Party Rock Anthem” vomited all over indie music. I’m reminded forcibly of Skrillex.

WHY? WHY? NO! PLEASE! is all that goes through my head as I listen to these remixes. I’m so disappointed in my idol. I feel like he was approached to do the deal, heard the dinging cash register noises in the background, and signed the deal without even listening to the songs or approving the artists set to do the deed.

I am not alone in my opinion of this album, either. Evan Sawdey (writer for PopMatters) had the following to say: “this is the sound of Death Cab at their most generic, disjointed, and disinterested. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is this: Codes & Keys is the worst album of their career”.

What happened to Ben Gibbard? Surely there is not a single touch of his art in these sad, mangled songs…

I refuse to even rate this album on a scale of 1-5.

This album receives a rating of NEGATIVE TWO, and a drop in the nearest nasty trash bin.

~Catdog

Recently at Le Voyeur in Olympia, Washington I had the pleasure of viewing Admiral St. Grey as the artist I Feel Awesome. This outlandish Brooklyn based artist comes with a sound that I guess could be called music. According to what some really high kids told me, it’s called “futuristic progressive minimalist.” I would definitely describe it as better than being stabbed, but that’s still debatable.

Ms. Grey’s music transcends both genre boundaries, and for that matter logic and reason, all with some proudly with unsolicited gusto. The first EP by I FEEL AWESOME comes with some minimalist drums similar to a an African beat, with a techno backdrop reminiscent of being in a refinery, then lovingly wrapped together with vocals sounding oddly similar to the musical styling of  Tsim Fuckis (look it up).

Grey also recently released an EP with her band, Glass Lamborghini, the bands music making about as much sense as their name does. All I can really say about that album is the best song, titled “Make It Sparkle” (linked here), is comprised of a generic synthy beat, with once again minimalist drums. Accompanying Ms. Grey at Le Voyeur were three other “experimental” artists, entitled: Chains Isabella, Cult of Zir, and finally SQURM. I use experimental in these terms the same way mustard gas started as an “experiment.” To be honest a child with a chemistry set would have been more interesting than this dribble. I even walked out of SQURM’s set when the music dropped and there was literally eight straight seconds of him just screaming (I wore a watch).

I must say the one saving grace of this boondoggled catastrophe you could maybe call music was the venue. Le Voyeur has a visually magnificent show room, not to mention a very pleasant restaurant/bar area. The staff are awesome and the foods not half bad, I recommend the fries. All this greatness is accompanied by an excellent bar tender and an extensive list of fine imported beers from around the world.

So in conclusion Le Voyeur in  Olympia Washington gets an A rating for Awesome bar/venue. Grey and her experimental posse get a F for Fuck you, and your wasting of my time.

Neff

If you are anything like me, then the chances are you appreciate a good cartoon. I grew up on a variety of great cartoons, one of which was Dexter’s Laboratory; a show that will always remain in my personal top five animated series.

Let’s start with some quick background info:

Dexter’s Lab was the creation of the amazing animator named Genndy Tartakovsky (Notable for creating Samurai Jack as well as  many other awesome cartoons). The show was originally cancelled in 1998 after only two seasons, though the popularity of the re-runs caused a revival of the show in 2001 with two more season before finally being cancelled permanently.

Most unexpected album I've ever found.

It was during this revival that magic happened. In 2002 , Warner Bros Records released an album titled Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip Hop Experiment  as a promotional tool for both the network and the show it’s self. Cartoon Network had been trying to push music into their programming at the time (I would speculate that the album was also a “fair-well” to this beloved series which was cancelled soon after). The album was a compilation of six Hip-Hop songs inspired by the show, written and performed by various famous artist at the time. This type of music project isn’t completely unheard of. The Aquabats (and many many other bands) have been featured on shows like Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street had some big name performances aswell, and I’ve even seen promos for cartoon shows by artists like The Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants; but it’s not every day that you see a compilation of songs by multiple artists about one specific show.

Since this particular compilation is about a cartoon show targeted at children, the songs remain relatively clean in lyrics, (I swear I heard reference to smoking chronic) but there’s nothing wrong with that. For some reason the overall concept of this album blows my mind, here we have famous hip-hop artists like Will.i.am and De La Soul writing catchy songs about a red-headed boy genius. Most of the tracks on this album are highly repetitive and I have a sneaking suspicion that the artist didn’t put all of their effort into writing these lyrics. Despite all of this, the songs remain damn-catchy (especially “Secrets” by Will.i.am) and given the target audience, I don’t blame them for not writing epic hip-hop ballads. Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment is a great album if you’re a fan of the show and are looking for some nostalgia,  if want to annoy your friends with useless trivia, or want to experience a “what the fuck?” moment. If you ever find yourself in any of these circumstances, then look to this album.

Note: This album might actually be more “obscure” than I thought. Contributions to this project are not mentioned on any of the artist’s discography or Wikipedia pages. Furthermore, I could only find two tracks that could be heard online, the rest have to be downloaded from a few specific sites that for one reason or another happen to have a copy. This being the case, I have taken the liberty of posting the songs below for your listening pleasure:

Dexter’s Lab Theme  

Secrets -Will.i.am  

Dexter (What’s his name?) – Coolio  

Love According to Dexter- Phiphe Dawg feat. Slick & Rose  

Sibling Rivalries- De La Soul  

Mandark’s Plan- YZ

Back to the Lab- Prince Paul  

~Darion  

 

Update: I found this freestyle rap a while ago, I think it belongs in this post: