Monday, January 31, 2005

Saddam?

Just when i was getting excited about being the Godfather...



What the hell?

What movie am i?



I know it doesn't mean a thing, but i'm still pumped!

"Pump it up, even though you don't need it" - Elvis Costello

Coachella

The Brits have all the luck with their Reading and Carling Festivals. They get tons of great acts all on the same bill, with none of the shitty artists that litter the "Warped Tour" or any of that crap we have here. Then there's Australia's Big Day Out shows which are similarly stacked with great bands.

Fortunately for North America the Coachella 2 day festival in California has been rising year after year. They draw a wide variety of bands and have multiple stages, featuring the various genres. They don't limit their stages to big acts either, there's ample amounts of "alternative" acts. Ryan and our old co-worker Mitch were talking about going down for the festival last year, but things didn't pan out. I wouldn't mind going this year, as the list of bands has just been announced and i'm salivating.

Saturday April 30

  • Coldplay
  • Cocteau Twins
  • Weezer
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Wilco
  • Cafe Tacuba
  • Keane
  • Rilo Kiley
  • Doves
  • Armin Van Buuren
  • The Raveonettes
  • Bloc Party
  • Hernan Cattaneo
  • DJ Peretz
  • Zap Mama
  • Amp Fiddler
  • M83
  • Ambulance LTD
  • Fantomas
  • Four Tet
  • MF Doom
  • Josh Wink
  • The Secret Machines
  • Tiga
  • Spoon
  • The Kills
  • Sage Francis
  • Boom Bip
  • Katie Melua
  • Shout Out Louds
  • Donavon Frankenreiter
  • DJ Marky
  • Immortal Technique
  • Jean Grae
  • Razorlight
  • Swayzak
  • k-os
  • Buck 65
  • Eisley
  • The Sexy Magazines

    Sunday May 1st

  • Nine Inch Nails
  • New Order
  • Gang of Four
  • Bright Eyes
  • Prodigy
  • Black Star
  • The Faint
  • Snow Patrol
  • The Arcade Fire
  • Roni Size
  • Roots Manuva
  • DJ Krush
  • Junkie XL
  • M.I.A.
  • British Sea Power
  • The Dresden Dolls
  • Miss Kitten
  • The Fiery Furnaces
  • The Perceptionists
  • Jem
  • Matthew Dear
  • Sixtoo
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Diplo
  • Subtle
  • Aesop Rock
  • Stereophonics
  • Matmos
  • Beans
  • The Bravery
  • The Futureheads
  • Wolf Eyes
  • The Blood Brothers
  • Kasabian
  • Radio 4
  • Sloan
  • Autolux
  • Gram Rabbit
  • Zion I

  • Yay Sloan snuck in there!
    Lots of bands new to me as well. Even the bands that i'm not a huge fan of, such as NIN, would be worthwhile seeing live. The only problem with the whole event is the festival atmosphere. I"m not an outdoor kind of guy and i think all the substances of the weekend would eventually get to me. But with all these great bands... it seems worth it.

    "You were right about the stars, each one is a setting sun" - Wilco

    Daft Punk

    I just downloaded Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" again. I used to have it burned onto a disc but i seem to have lost it. Come to think of it, is that even the actual title of this track? Needless to say i'm sure you know the song i'm talking about if you've heard it. I just wanted to say that i think this song demonstrates mastery of electronic dance music. When the song really gets going it's just awesome. Alrighty.

    Oh yeah, Daft Punk have a new album coming out this year. I should have included it in my anticipated albums, but unfortunately the list i was using was not comprehensive.

    "If you need love, mmmhmmmm, will travel" - the Sonics

    Saturday, January 29, 2005

    Golden Slumbers

    I'm listening to the Abbey Road medley at very loud volume right now. I don't think it gets much better than this.

    "Boy, you're gonna carry that weight"

    Friday, January 28, 2005

    Ryan Adams again

    I've heard one new song from the batch of new releases that are on the way, and i have no idea what it's called, but i really love it. It just plays in the background of his webpage and i keep going back to hear it. It really has me hoping that he's returned to the stuff that made 'Heartbreaker' and 'Gold' such favourite albums of mine. Not that his most recent albums weren't good, they just weren't as good. Anyway, you can check out the song here.

    I'm trying to turn everyone onto this guy. As arrogant as he is, he's twice as talented. And that's saying something.

    "When you're young you get sad..." - Ryan Adams

    Ryan Adams

    Ryan Adams is one of the more consciously enigmatic artists in the realm of pop music today, as proven by his website which alternates between a fully functional site and a single page devoted to various non-ryan adams things, like mourning the end of the tv show "Friends" for example. The most recent update announces, in wedding invitation style, that there are 3 new albums on the way for 2005 from the already prolofic artist. The albums are entitled "Jacksonville", "29" and "Cold Roses". Frankly, i'm a little excited, as i'm a big fan, but i'm shaking my head a bit at the idea of 3 albums. But, that's the man's way. He just wants to be eccentric and have a huge catalogue i guess.

    "29" in particular i'm looking forward to, as it's returning him with longtime producer Ethan Johns, who also produces the Kings of Leon and will hopefully one day produce my band, lol.
    "Cold Roses" is going to be a double album. So that's basically like having 4 albums in one year. Geez...oh Ryan Adams.

    "Oh Girl I wish I knew you well, but i'm just saying hi..." - Ryan Adams

    Thursday, January 27, 2005

    Question:

    What cover songs would you like to see a band play live?
    This is kind of a question with practical implications but mainly for fun.

    "Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine"

    Critics and Razorlight and other things.

    Yay, finally some critical recognition for Razorlight other than the New Music Express. Rolling Stone finally got around to reviewing it online (it came out fall of last year) and they gave it 4 stars. This is an album that got panned by alot of snobby critics and despite my hatred of critics (usually) i'm glad to see this album get a very good review in a big publication. At least it might get Razorlight some recognition.

    There was some song i was going to recommend...oh yes, "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad" by Prince from his selftitled album is great. It's got a hot solo from the man himself that i'd been dying to hear all day so to soothe myself i listened to it twice.

    Watched "City of God" recently. Second viewing, it's a real masterpiece, but i'd forgotten how violent it is.

    "So rip me up, and break my heart" - Razorlight

    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Write this down.

    So my band has its first gig. We're playing in the battle of the bands at Louis on March 12th. Mark that day off in your calendars fellow bloggers. If you need a little convincing, check out some of our tracks at our newmusiccanada.com webpage here.

    You need realplayer to be able to hear those tracks and if you can hear them i'd love some feedback.

    "I'm such an Asshole, believe me i know" - Me

    To the future...

    I enjoyed Anders' post on the movies he was anticipating for this coming year, so i thought i'd do a music equivalent. There's plenty of stuff that's coming out this year, and usually it's the new artists that really get my attention, but there are quite a few releases that i'm already saving for.

    Chemical Brothers - Push the Button
    This comes out tomorrow and i'd probably get it if i weren't broke as a joke. Reviews are indicating that it's a return to their old form. I'm quite a fan of their Dig Your Own Hole album.

    Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze
    Their last two albums were very strong and this one's loaded with high profile collaborations (Dave Grohl, Brodie Dahl, etc.). At the very least, it should produce a couple good rocking singles.

    Beck - Guero
    Scheduled for the 29th of March, this one could be moved up earlier because of tracks being leaked onthe internet. This is probably my most anticipated release. Beck really took things to a new level with Sea Change, and Guero is supposed to be a return to my other favourite of his albums, Odelay. He's promising loud guitars, cameos by Jack White, and his trademark eclecticism.

    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - TBA
    Their debut was better received than their follow up, but i still prefer the sophomore Take Them On Your Own. I'm hoping they can make another full length album worthwhile. They tend to rely on their huge amounts of distortion, which coats everything, guitar, bass, vocals, you name it. I love their sound, i just hope they have the songs.

    Coldplay - TBA
    The pressure to follow up A Rush of Blood to the Head has been giving Chris Martin a terrible time, but he assures that they've got the songs to surpass their past work. All eyes are on this one. I think they'll be ok, they've got 2 sucessful albums and they've had enough big singles to get them past the "sophomore slump" or "one hit wonder" stage. It's still got to be tough to make an album with the whole world waiting.

    The Darkness - TBA
    Permission to Land was a great record. Almost every track was fun to listen to, and it was better than the novelty i initially believed it to be. This follow-up is an important one for the Darkness, if they don't rise up from their novelty status, they will probably be headed for the where are they now file. Meanwhile, the Datsuns quietly keep grinding out great rock without the frills.

    The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
    I like the Flaming Lips, mainly for their last two albums. They're weird and inventive, but i'm afraid they may have run out of gimmicks. We'll see how this one works. I think they could go two ways: either too weird or not weird enough. Hopefully they'll lean towards too weird, which i think suits them. Judging from the title, i think that's where they're headed.

    Gorillaz - TBA
    Their first album was kind of uneven. "Clint Eastwood" was a killer single, and without it, this collective probably wouldn't make another album, but i'm kinda glad they are. Anytime Dan the Automator's involved i'm interested.

    Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
    Another i'll buy without hearing on its release day. I loved Make up the Breakdown and i'm fairly sure this will be more spazzy Hot Hot Heat magic.

    Oasis - TBA
    Noel Gallagher is assuring the press that this is their best album since their first two. Is he right? Who knows. The Gallagher brothers are so full of shit, but Noel is a good songwriter. This is a big uncertainty, but i'll be listening.

    Outkast - 10 the Hard Way
    Another Outkast album already? Well it's actually been quite a while since Speakerboxxx/Love Below came out (Fall 2003). This is supposed to be closer to their old material (more like Speakerbox, less like the Love Below) and features Andre's return to rapping. I say good, although i'm a fan of the Love Below, i missed Andre's presence on the mic. This will be a must buy, i'm a big Outkast fan.

    The White Stripes - TBA
    It also seems like Elephant didn't come out that long ago, but it did (summer 2003). I thought Elephant came short of a great album. For me, the Stripes have made 3 good albums in a row, and still have yet to put that great one together.

    The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - TBA
    Their debut was cool, they rode "Maps" seemingly forever, here's hoping they don't fall victim to the sophomore slump.

    There's lots of other noteworthy artists who are releasing new albums in 2005 (Weezer, Kanye West, and System of a Down among others) but these are the ones that have my attention. Again, the new artists are the ones that often provide the most pleasant surprises, but there's a lot of satisfaction when an old favourite comes up strong again.

    "Ram on, give your heart to somebody..." - Paul McCartney

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    Watching the Old Man Work

    Late Saturday afternoon, Shamus, Sam and I went to watch my Dad run a practice with the symphony. They were preparing his symphony and another piece entitled "Glenside", named for the suburb of Adelaide we lived in. The practice was in preparation to the recording of the 2 pieces that was done today. It had been a while since i'd heard my dad's pieces played live. The combination of hearing his works and seeing him conduct it himself was quietly moving. I observed with great reverance for the old man. I'm always in awe of his musical accomplishments.

    "Glenside" is rich with strings that really suggest the feelings of nostalgia for the old neighbourhood. Orchestral music often manages to provoke strong emotions in me, particularly when it's my old man's stuff. As good as pop music is, and i'm a huge fan, "classical" music will always be a superior genre. The great composers are true geniuses.

    "The effort in art comes from the heart" - the Bees

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    Taxi Driver 2

    There are rumours aplenty that DeNiro, Scorsese and Schrader (actor, director and writer, respectively) are talking about doing a sequel to Taxi Driver.

    ...what the hell? First of all, it's a fantastic movie, a modern classic, a cinematic landmark, all that stuff. It's also my favourite movie of all-time (just slightly ahead of Singin' in the Rain). But not only is it a classic movie that is greatly admired and respected, the original was not a commercial sucess. Why would they want to make this sequel? A sequel will most likely be detrimental to the artistic integrity of the original, and it's certainly not likely to be a big draw at the box office. Even with the 3 main guys back at the controls, i can't see this being anything but a waste of time. Godfather III turned a near perfect duo of movies into a uneven trilogy. I sure hope they don't do this.

    "13 month old baby broke the looking glass" - Stevie Wonder

    The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire!

    Ewan Classic Songs (i'm shaking my head at this title, as this song is from 2000 and it just sounds so bloody pretentious):

    The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire - the Hives, from Veni Vidi Vicious

    Very fast, very loud, very dumb. That's how The Hives Declare... goes. But what a great time it is! That dumb, dumb riff that just keeps firing along, the cymbals that bash on every beat, the howling vocals from the appropriately named Howling Pelle Almqvist. He always veers in and out of tune, singing numbers like "5...7...9 and 11". But it doesn't matter, because his voice is loaded with enough attitude to see it through a minute and 35 seconds of some of best noisy, raucous and fun music since the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and the Beatles' "Helter Skelter".

    Had an atomic bore - in 2004
    Did some atomic tricks - in 2006
    Got out way late - in 2008
    Im gonna do it all again - in 2010

    Ewan Classic Songs:
    the Hives - the Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire
    Beatles - Please Please Me
    the Avalanches - Two Hearts in 3/4 time
    Beatles - Your Mother Should Know
    N.E.R.D. - Tape You
    Nico - These Days
    Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    Drop it like it's hot.

    Just when Missy Elliot's "Get Your Freak On" was making its claim as the best mainstream dance beat, she topped it with "Work It" (both produced by Timbaland). But then Lil' John's work on Usher's "Yeah" topped that. Oh, and don't tell me that these tracks suck. Say what you want about their musicality, lyrics, whatever. The fact is, they're club songs and they make you move. And i don't know about you, but i've had "Yeah" stuck in my head lots, and it's always got me dancing around (but maybe i'm just a weird loser).

    But the new king of the irresistable dance beats is Snoop Dogg's "Drop it Like It's Hot", which is of course produced by the Neptunes. Now, when my man Pharrell's involved, it's always worth checking out, and this track is very cool. The huge bass, the tongue popping, falsetto "Snoooooooop"s, big cheezy 80s synths, rattling "shhh"s, it's a unique track. It's slow and it's weird, it shouldn't work, but it does. If you've only heard this track in passing, i urge you to give it your ears. Even if mainstream club music is nowhere close to your tastes, i think you'll at least be amused. Yes, there's loads of shite in the genre, but occasionally creative talents will rise from the muck.

    "Left Angola, 1964..." - Captain Beefheart

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Crappy movies

    Went to the cinema on Sunday as well as tonight and took in a couple bad movies:

    the Grudge
    Another remake of a Japanese horror, this made "The Ring" look like the Omen and the Exorcist combined. The story was too stretched out, too many alternate timelines, too many characters, none of it made sense. I'm getting sick of horror movies where it's just a series of loud noises and something jumping out from the darkness before arriving at an ending where all we're left with is a series of loose plot lines. There's a skill to threading all those ends together, but apparently screenwriters don't have that skill anymore. This movie was a real waste of time.

    Meet the Fockers
    I really liked Meet the Parents. Having said that, i'm one of those guys who loves Ben Stiller (that is, when he's playing the loveable loser for whom nothing goes right). This flaccid sequel really had crap written all over it and sure enough, it delivered just that. Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand had their moments, but DeNiro and Stiller have seen better days. The jokes were not funny enough to lift this one above the formula it clung desperately to. I had a couple of laughs, but overall, i was waiting for this one to end.

    That's got me thinking, comedic sequels are rarely a good idea. Ocean's 12 was not too bad, but it was quite inferior to Ocean's 11. Men in Black 2 was terrible, while the original is a personal favourite of mine (what i often refer to as my generation's Ghostbusters). And speaking of Ghostbusters, its sequel was not to hot either. I know comedy isn't the only genre that proves to be a barren wasteland as far as sequels are concerned, but i can think of lots of good sequels for those other genres (Godfather II, Star Wars, the Bourne Supremacy this year wasn't too bad).

    Oh yeah, i just remembered that i read there's going to be a sequel to Big Momma's House! It's an awful, awful movie with Martin Lawrence (strike 1) as an undercover cop (strike 2) dressed in a fat, old woman suit (you get the idea). Michael and i loved it, simply because it was so appaling, and the trailer ran over and over, i think because we had it on something we taped off of tv (long story short, it's an inside joke). Also worth noting, is the supporting acting work of one Paul Giamatti, who now, given his recent critical success with American Splendour and Sideways, probably won't be returning for the sequel.

    "What did you do there? I got High!" - the Small Faces

    Monday, January 17, 2005

    The best movies of 2004.

    I sure haven't seen nearly as many movies as Anders, let alone his bro Anton (who is often my partner in movie crime), but as it stands, and as far as i can recall, these were my 3 favourite movies of 2004:

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    Combine the Ocean, Portugese covers of David Bowie songs, Wes Anderson and Bill Murray and what do you have? Well it's the premise for the perfect "Ewan" movie. It didn't exactly come out that way, the plot tends to race abit, but it was still a great time at the movies. Quirky, eccentric, all that stuff that goes along with Wes Anderson. I'm quite sure this will improve with every viewing.

    Badassssss
    Details the events that took place in the making of Melvin Van Peebles' "Sweet Sweetback's Badassss Song". I heard it got good reviews, and it looked cool in that 70s blaxploitation way, but it was much better than i expected. The movie really paved the way for all blaxploitation films and did alot of indie films in general. Plus, it featured a new band called Earth, Wind and Fire doing the soundtrack. Mario Van Peebles is awesome playing his dad and he also directed what I'm calling "The Black Field of Dreams". Thank god for no Kevin Costner though.

    Shaun of the Dead
    I'm not the biggest zombie movie fan, they're ok sometimes, but this movie kicks ass. It's mainly because of the lashings of British humour, which i almost always love, that this movie was so fun. Make no mistake, there's plenty of gore in this one, but it's nice to see ordinary folk using things like golf clubs and cricket bats, instead of shotguns and other heavy artillery items. It gets a little too into the love story for some, but i love these characters so it didn't bother me too much.

    Ok, so hardly Oscar caliber stuff, but of the movies i saw from 2004 these were the best. I really got to get out and see the Aviator sometime, but first I'm supposed to go with Aiden to see "Meet the Fockers". D'oh, i don't have that much money to waste on what looks like a shitty sequel.

    "And now i know that Spanish Harlem aren't just pretty words to say..." - Elton John

    Sunday, January 16, 2005

    Use me like a punchbag

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    One man's trash is another's treasure

    Hit up the CFCR record/cd sale yesterday. It was around 2 o'clock and things were beginning to already look picked over (it started just 2 hours earlier). There were lots of record nerd types there, and one very cute girl (who likes old and weird music? I love you!). I still managed to find some good stuff:

    Chicago - Chicago VII, Chicago XI, Chicago III, Chicago V
    Men at Work - Business As Usual
    Stevie Wonder - The Secret Life of Plants
    Wings - Wings at the Speed of Sound, Wings Over America
    Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill

    All but "Wings over America" and "Business as Usual" i already have on cd. I'm a bit of a dork when it comes to Chicago. They are known for their awful 80s pop hits, but they used to be a very cool jazz/rock band in the early 70s that i was quite obsessed with for about grades 9 and 10. When you play clarinet and love rock music, you can't help but be intruiged by this band. Nowadays i don't listen to them as much, but i still really dig alot of their stuff. Chicago will always have a lot of memories associated with their songs, and will always be one of my favourite bands, if only for sentimental reasons (although they are genuinely good).

    I also got a badge of Keith Richards looking very badass circa 1970. I put it on my guitar strap and my solos were especially good yesterday. Coincidence? I think so. Keith's solos don't leave me in awe, but his sense of badass style does.

    The Stevie Wonder album is a soundtrack he did for a little known documentary, but it's really quite good. It's the sounds of my childhood, once again, and my dad has it on LP. I can remember running my hand over the braille (sp?) that is on the cover.

    Oh yeah, all these LPs cost a buck, so they were all worth the price paid.

    "I got salt, you got pepper, maybe we could get it together" - the Bees

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    You should think of a lesson as a weapon in love...

    The Bees' "These are the Ghosts" is a song that on first listen i didn't give much thought to. Now i can't get its haunting sounds out of my head. It's the kind of song that early Pink Floyd might have made if Syd Barrett didn't do as much LSD as he did. It's got a great psychedelic feel, the harmonies, the ghostly organ, the dreamy lyrics. Aaron Fletcher, the Bees' lyricist, says he attempts to write lyrics that are at once kind of witty and fun, but also seem like they're out of a dream. It's a weird intent as far as lyrics are concerned, but he suceeds magnificently.

    You should think of a lesson as a weapon in love
    and teach your brother
    teach your sister
    think of a lesson as a weapon in love

    Of Course the lyrics don't mean a thing if the song isn't good, but it's really great. It takes a couple listens to get to you and it's really got a hold on me right now.

    "I need twice as much space and half as many things"

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Mr Churchill says...

    I don't really have much to say, but i like the idea of keeping regular posts so here goes...

    I'm filling out my degree with my electives now, so i've got some very easy/boring classes. Only 3 classes this semester:

    -psy 230 (criminal psych, it'll be fairly easy as i've already taken personality and abnormal psych which used to be the prerequisites for it)
    -music 101 (basic music theory stuff, i took this stuff when i was 6 and it should be fairly easy for me now, plus it's online!)
    -geology 109 (didn't want to do this one but i need the nat sci credits, looks to be boring but if i read the text i'll be ok)

    Listened to another of David Cross' standup routines during my shift at the library. He's got a great style, taking the observational comedy style even further. He basically recounts things he sees and then lambastes them with sarcasm. He can be quite offensive if your tastes are conservative (and he attacks conservatism in his routines) but if you like his stuff, you'll like it alot.

    Still really big into the kinks, can't seem to get enough. I'm really in dire straits financially, otherwise i would get more of their stuff. As soon as i have money that i can spend on that kind of stuff i'm going to get "Muswell Hillbillies", often referred to as their Exhile on Main Street. I guess that means muddy and american south influenced, which fits the Kinks perfectly. Their combination of English whimsy and American rock influences is what sets them apart from their contemporaries like the Stones or the Beatles. It's what i truly love about them.

    ...looks like i had something to say after all.

    "Yes Sir/ No Sir/ What do i do Sir?/ Where do i go Sir?/ what do i say?" - from "Yes Sir/No Sir" by the Kinks

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    do the Chicken Payback!

    Had a good lunch and afternoon with Tammie today. She got back in from Amsterdam and the U.K. just yesterday. She brought me the Bees' "Free the Bees" album!! Yay!! Very excited am i, as i was going to have to order it from the U.K. anyway. I'll still probably order their first album from there anyway.

    Song of the day is the Bees' "Chicken Payback". It's like a cross between a children's song, a 50s rock tune and an Elvis Costello rave-up (in the style of Pump it Up). In short- it's fantastic. Fun and silly, it's great head shaking rock, complete with the band members making animal noises.

    I'm Slowly working my way through the alphabet still. Hendrix and the Herbaliser are the most recent two artists to find their way onto the ipod. School is pretty sweet with that little machine, although still no "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart". I did listen to it at 3 am on Sunday night however.

    I have all kinds of really great reccomendations for music (from joel and the like) but i'm no longer downloading because of the most annoying viruses that inevitabily accompany kazaa or whatever. Surely these viruses are devised by the music industry?? Any conspiracy theorists with me on this?

    I've read alot of the year end lists for albums of the year and i'm kinda sad by the over-heaping that critics put on fairly lame indie artists. I'm all for supporting them, but overhype is no good. I've downloaded the Arcade Fire and i'm just not impressed. It is nice to see Madvillian's "Madvillainy" get some recognition. It's a very cool hip hop album in the vein of Deltron 3030 (which is among my alltime faves).
    As far as lists matching up with mine, one guy from Entertainment Weekly had N.E.R.D.'s Fly or Die as his number one, so he's my new favourite critic, lol. I just like a critic who isn't afraid to praise something that is seen as "mainstream" if it is indeed good.

    "I would like just one glass of water" - the Bees

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    Please Please Me

    Ewan Classic Songs:

    Please Please Me - the Beatles; from Please Please Me

    "Love Me Do", the Beatles first choice for a single, is quaint little song. It's very nice and cute. But it pails in comparison to their next choice, the fantastic "Please Please Me". It's 2 minutes of pop/rock perfection. A great lead vocal by John coupled with vintage Paul harmonies make for very rollicking verses that give way to the rising tension of the chorus. Paul and George answer John's calls of C'mon before boiling over into the warbled falsetto of "please please me, oh yeah, like i please you". Just listen to the way John sings "Oh yeah". He sounds sincere, but without sounding passive. He sounds tough, but all the while maintaing the sweet sentiment. That's great rock, singing about feelings, emotions and all that sappy stuff, all the while sounding cool.

    "Last night i said these words to my girl, i know you never even try girl"

    Ewan Classic Songs:
    Beatles - Please Please Me
    the Avalanches - Two Hearts in 3/4 time.
    Beatles - Your Mother Should Know
    N.E.R.D. - Tape You
    Nico - These Days
    Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    Whatever Happened to Eric Clapton

    There are quite a few artists that were truly great before really fading badly. I don't think any can really match Eric Clapton though. I'm currently loading Derek and the Dominoes "Layla" album onto my ipod and i'm reminded of how great the guy once was.

    I'm not too familiar with his Yardbirds or John Mayall's Bluesbreakers stuff, but he really kicked out some sweet stuff with Cream. "Sunshine of your Love" may be the greatest guitar riff ever, and his live performances of "Crossroads" and "Spoonfull" are awesome. When Cream broke up, he did good work with Blind Faith and made a fantastic album as Derek and the Dominoes. Not only did he do more fine guitar work, he also sung and sounded bloody good doing it. He sounds really heartbroken on "Layla" and "Bellbottom Blues". His 70s albums i don't think too much of. "Cocaine" is a really lame song. The riff is so ho-hum, and the singing is downright boring. The 80s? i'm not sure what he did, and the 90s featured a bit of a comeback. His unplugged album is kinda interesting, the slow Layla is nice and "Tears in heaven" is a good song but i was always ruffled by the overplay of it. It became a really commercial venture, kinda sad considering the subject matter and the true events that inspired it. The 90s also had "My Fathers Eyes" which got a lot of play and might have won a grammy? And boy did it suck. Very very lame stuff.

    And that's just the musical decline. Clapton used to be a long haired, bearded guitar god. A serious heroin user, he used to tell people he'd be dead before he was 30. Now, he looks like an accountant. Short hair and glasses? Fuck, it's hard to tell this guy used to be cool.

    So in summary, Eric Clapton used to be really, really badass. Amazing guitarist, strong singer, icon of the blues/psychedelia. Now, pretty lame.

    Too bad, but i guess we all have to grow up sometime (unless you're Keith Richards).

    "If you lost your woman, great god don't lose your mind" - Cream

    Nearing 3000

    I've just about got 3000 tracks on my ipod. I began by loading on the cds that i felt were in my most regular rotation, then started at A and began loading them on alphabetically by artist. I'm currently putting on my Cream cds. So i've done all the Beatles, Bowie, Chicago, Air, Ryan Adams, Beach Boys, etc. It's taking forever, but the end result will be very sweet. I've been dying to hear Whiskeytown's "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart" so i may have to bump that one up in the cue, as i won't be loading the W's for a long time. Oh shit, that means no Stevie Wonder for a long time. Damn this alphabet thing.

    So needless to say, i've got to arrange all my cds again (a mammoth of a task). Thank god school isn't in full swing just yet, i'm really not ready for it. But then again, i never really am. I always fly by the seat of my pants on just about everything i do. At least i'll make a good rock star.

    "Bang Bang Maxwell's Silver Hammer made sure that she was dead"

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Don't Make the Mistake of the Laughter of Hate

    One of the many things i've enjoyed over the break has been watching the dvds of the BBC comedy "the Office". What a truly brilliant series. It takes a couple episodes to get into it, you have to get to know the characters to really appreciate the humour. I'm really hooked, Ricky Gervais (writer/main character) is masterful as the office boss who thinks he's the funniest guy around but really isn't. He's constantly bullshitting his way through everything and it's absolutely hilarious.

    If you like Fawlty Towers or other great British sitcoms, do yourself a favour and check this one out. I really can't get enough of it. When i get some money (that i don't immediately have to fork over to someone i'm in debt to) i'm going to buy this series, because i'd watch it over and over.

    And for those who like something new, this series has its dose of originality. The character of David Brent, the office boss, is similar to many characters that have been done before, but he's also an original. It's hard and not particularly interesting to describe it in words, all i can say is that you must check out this series!!! Ricky Gervais is fantastic!

    "I'd like to stay here and be normal, but that's just so overrated" - Blur

    The Life Aquatic

    I'm a big fan of Bottlerocket, Rushmore and the Royal Tenenbaums, so i was really looking forward to this one. It took me a while to finally see it, and i enjoyed it last night. A quick run down:

    -even more eccentric than the other Wes Anderson films (which i like, his eccentricity it marvellous)
    -pacing is a little too fast, there is less chance for poignant moments
    -great casting (Bill Murray obviously, but Noah Taylor, Jeff Goldblum, Seu Jorge)
    -David Bowie covers done in a bossa nova style? Holy Fuck i'm in heaven!

    At first viewing I did not really feel totally relaxed watching the movie (i was on a bit of a date) but it's the day after and i'm really starting to warm up to it. I'd like to go see this one again and really soak it up a bit more.

    "Gimme Danger Little Stranger" - Iggy and the Stooges

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    New Years Resolutions.

    I know new years is just another day, but any excuse for self-betterment...

    2004 was probably the greatest year for me in terms of personal growth. It was my most difficult year in almost every aspect: romantic, educational, football, etc. But i certainly feel more mature than ever before. Plans for 2005:

    1) Turn school around (finish the psych degree and start working towards journalism)

    2) Give Football One more go (getting a bit tired of the routine pounding and huge time it takes up)

    3) Get the band going (we've learned to play together, we've got good songs, time to start playing live)

    I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the new year. I figure i'll concentrate actively on these 3 things, as they are the things i can actually control with my own efforts. The rest will hopefully fall into place naturally.

    Alrighty, off to shovel the sidewalk.

    "This is a brand new problem/ a problem without any clues/ if you know the clues/ it's easy to get through" - the Futureheads