This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You feel it in what bone again?

I spent a great portion of tonight looking at a picture of us and listening to Atmopshere's "Painting." I don't even know what the words are - the crying slide guitar is all I need. Tomorrow won't come soon enough.

So what else am I rocking tonight in the midst of my drunk loneliness? I spent yesterday curled up on the floor drinking cheap beer, calling people I never call, and listening to REM until I was almost unconscious. The first person to say the word "Kurt" gets a kick in the shins. Tonight is Chuck Ragan. Figured it'd be something she likes too. Well, she likes Rumbleseat and tolerates Hot Water Music, so Chuck's solo stuff is a halfway point that more than placates her.

We've seen him twice and dude hasn't let down. It's stark folkish music that grabs you by the shirt collar and won't let go. Both times we've seen him I have been virtually unable to take my eyes off the man. Some people were birthed to be entertainers and some are meant to be charasmatic, and Ragan was meant to be both. If you can listen to "The Boat" (especially the part that goes "I feel it in my bones when the storm is close!" bit) without getting chills or at least being a little fucking affected, well, I hope you enjoy being too jaded for life.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm a little drunk. Maybe it's that Chuck rules. Maybe it's the fact that these songs can cut you right to your core and are as raw as an open wound. If I ever pull a Luke Wilson, I'd definitely want some Ragan song playing instead of some Elliot Smith mewling. (Man, fuck that guy. He's worse than Conor Oberst.)

Holy crap I'm wasted. Remind me and tomorrow I'll post shit from before AFI were all dressing like girls. It's quite good stuff, in all honesty. The video for "Third Season" proves they weren't ridiculous. Mostly this will just be a reflection on how a band I've followed since basically the beginning would become a Top 40 phenomenon.

Chuck Ragan! Shit rules. Go to bed, America.

The Boat -

Hearts of Stone -

God Deciding -

Fixin' to Die -

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just what the bastard karma doctor shoved down the throat

Something's eating at me like cancer I can see, and I don't know what to do about it. Watched two batshit awesome stupid movies (The Tripper and Invasion USA) with one of my best friends, and that was a fun distraction. There's nothing I can do and nothing that won't turn my brain off. I've got hella meetings tomorrow and I don't know if I'm going to sleep. I'm a little drunk. Dave was better than Scott. I preferred the first Steve Holt. I'm probably being paranoid over something someone is taking care of all on their own. I wish I could find her weed. I'd give anything for a flask of rum, a loud $2 cheapie escapist movie, and the person who laughs when I do.

How many emo-ska kids does it take to screw in a light bulb? Four. One to screw it in and three to suck it up suck it up suck it up.

So I tried listening to the new Atmosphere album as a form of cheap escapism. "Fuck You Lucy" and all that. No such thing found here. It's jazzy and quiet and depressing. Any anger found here is slow burning, like a vengeful ember keeping itself alive out of spite until you step on it with a bare foot. I had entirely different expectations when they offered up a free party album for download months before their new album dropped. It was a far cry from the lashing out Slug we found on You Wouldn't Believe. It was raunchy and battle-ready, like a solo take on his records with Felt. (See "YGM.") But on the new shit, it's like a kid in the corner telling you a story because he doesn't know how not to. Even realtive ravers like "Dreamers" is quiet, minor, and claustrophobic.

Maybe it's what I'm feeling now. Maybe it's the fact that Atmosphere made the most devastating record since the last ballad-heavy Lucero album. Get a joint, get a quiet room, get an open floor, get down in the sad way, and queue up When Life Gives You Lemons. Some of you should make it out alive.


Like the Rest of Us -

Dreamer -

Painting -

Your Glass House -

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fuck your Copyrights law

Pop punk gets such a bad rap, which is not fair at all. Well, I guess if you worship at the altar of Fallout Boy or H20, I guess you'd think it was the realm of tatted-up douchebags who will not ever shut up about melodramatic actions or who their fucking friends are. (Other than Agnostic Front's "Public Assistance," has there ever been a worse NYHC song than the H20 one that goes "crazy fuckin' summer hangin' out with Madball/People got their ass kicked, people got hurt/I accepted it for all it was worth"?) But the Copyrights are a band that while sounding ready for prime time and deals with Geffen, kick major amounts of ass and stick with indie radness Red Scare Records. Not that I would begrudge them a seat at the major label merry go round, but still.

This is the kind of music that doesn't warrant much over explaining. Since my card was maxed out, I made Andrea order me the copy of Make Sound on green vinyl despite the fact she's not down for the band. Apparently she's selling out or something. She's lucky she's so damn pretty.

To try and analyze it too deeply would be to ignore the appeal of Bo Diddley-ripped vocals and that drumbeat that makes EVERYONE dance and the 1-2-3-4 guitars that win you over with sheer melodic sensibility. Good straightforward rock music is easy to ruin with words and hard to explain with the same. Suffice it to say that they're a band perfect for getting high and drunk then then running around in circle until you pass out from exhuastion. They're a reminder that if you have X's on your hands, the only reasonable excuse is that you're underage at a club.

Appreciate this shit for what it is and make sure to check them out if they're coming to your town. Hit up DC, dudes!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The dead eyes of the city have got me reeling

It's very rare that I find a band I connect with on every level. Not since Against Me! was bashing out lo-fi seven inches about drinking and politics and fucking have I heard a band that fucking SPOKE to me like a voice out of the darkness, grasping my head like smoke fingers from an old Daffy Duck cartoon and drawing me into a world of its own making.

The Gaslight Anthem are one of the few bands that can sound traditional and HOLY FUCK DID THEY JUST PULL OFF A SOUND THAT AWESOME all at the same time. They take a Bruce Springsteen template and drag it kicking and screaming into the punk age, stripping all the excess hoo-ha and leaving the kicking, hoarse corpse behind to toast you and push you off a cliff all in one fucked up and demented show of bug-eyed love. It's like a sad drunk looking in the mirror at the bar and dimly seeing the future in some weird bastardized take on Dante, who himself was the original sellout because he had this awesome story but hey the Catholics were breathing down his neck like a major label and he was like FUCK IT I'M GOING ALL THE WAY DOWN THE WHORE TRAIN TONIGHT, ASSHOLES!

Brian Fallon is one of the greatest songwriters of his generation and if you don't think so you can go back to listening to crap like Xiu Xiu and Battles and remember to not say a fucking word to any of us about what you think music is because obviously your opinion carries no more weight that a decrepit refugee woman limping along when by rights she should be sitting on a porch drinking lemonade. YOUR OPINIONS MEAN FUCKING DICK ALL. This goes for everyone.

(Where the fuck was I? God bless word processors.) Dude can write a song like a smiling, goofy savant sitting on the porch in some suburban hovel, making the most beautiful fucking thing you've ever heard. From the records you expect him to be old and grizzled and smelling of Night Train, but he's a fresh-scrubbed neophyte who would play you a song then look at you smiling, waiting for you to say something. Goddamned does this guy cut to the fucking quick.

Gaslight Anthem remind me of the redemptive power of rock 'n' roll, of those moments when you're too drunk and sad and stoned and exhausted and don't feel like you can take one more step in the death march we call life, and then the melodies and wild drum hits remind you to keep putting one foot in front of the other, there's better times ahead, and if you stop you're going to miss the beef stew and beer maids just down the road. They can remind you of the balls-forward blasts and the nights you spent in shithole towns like Fredericksburg, Virgina, drinking and looking at stars, and lines like "my first sin was a feat that made me old" make you just want to curl up and die immediately because nothing else will suffice.

So you can take your haircut bands and your quasi-emo rockers and metalcore fucktards and posturing and blow it out your ass like a potato gun. This band is a true guiding light and one that will stay with you as long as you need them. If we ever needed a new band to take the hair rockers out back and shoot them, this is the group to do it. This is the antidote to all the crybabies with weedwhacker haircuts passing for underground these days. For every band more concerned with t-shirt design than writing songs, Gaslight Anthem is here to show you what the fuck rock n roll is all about. Give a copy of Sink or Swim to your little brother and maybe he'll sell those Yellowcard CDs for weed money. And that will be a beautiful thing.

For the hardcore GA fans here, I'm including two songs Brian Fallon recorded with This Charming Man, which was basically the precursor to the band I've spent too many words writing about.

Wooderson -

Navesink Banks -

We're Getting a Divorce (You Keep the Diner) -

Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis? -

Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts -

This Charming Man - Sometimes You Eat the Bar -

This Charming Man - Cut the Rope (Before It Hangs Us Both) -