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.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My odd fascination with Charles Manson

So back when I was on the dating scene, the conversation would inevitably turn to interests and hobbies. And it would come out. What did I like, besides collecting records and reading biographies and horror movies and hoppy beer and sketch comedy? Well, charming young lady I'm getting to know, I also enjoy serial killers.

It would be at this point that the date would come to a screeching halt.

I never meant this is a "look how spooky like Matt Skiba I am!" manner. I just find them endlessly fascinating. It's not anything beyond the prurient. I don't mean to fetishize it, either. I don't view real life serial killers in the same mental state as I view the weekly villain on SVU. I don't know how to explain it.

One of my favorites is Charles Manson. (I don't like him for "killing the sixties," but it doesn't make me angry either.) Helter Skelter, the book about his trial written by the man who prosecuted him, is an endlessly fascinating tome. Required reading if you can handle it.

One of the bits in the book that catches my attention is the part about how Manson was a failed pop rock songwriter. One can only imagine what would have happened if someone as charismatic, insane, and murderous as Manson had ended up a 60's pop star. (I can't tell if it's fortunate or unfortunate that he never succeeded in his ambitions of fame.)

Anyway, these things speak for themselves. The ravings of a madman, as it were. Would we care without the corpses? Probably not.

Look At Your Game Girl -

People Say I'm No Good -

Peace in Your Heart -

Devil Man -

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Here's the part where I blow all my saved up credibility

So a discussion on early 90's alt-pop made me drag out those old Gin Blossom albums. Goddamn those records hold up. And you can laugh all you want, but they were the first band I really loved. My dad got me their first album on cassette for Christmas one year and I was HOOKED. When I would help my mom do the shopping, I would inevitably be found wandering the base commissary pushing a cart and quietly singing "Lost Horizons" to myself. I had no idea where I was going (I did not and still don't have a lot of stock in Ambition, Inc.), but if they ever make a movie about me, a scene of nine year old me inspecting loaves of bread while singing "I'll drink of enough of anything to make this world look new again" is bound to be in the final cut. The malaise of early 90's music seems to have found it's way into my adulthood, and it seems only appropriate that miserablists like the Gin Blossoms hold up to my ears.

Of course it helps that a lot of their tunes involve stuff that ended up defining my musical taste - catchy songs, lots of guitars, slacker lyrics, country angst, and most importantly most of the songs are uptempo. They are also the first band that made me realize that the radio singles are not always the best songs on an album and a lot of the time you have to pay attention, otherwise you'll miss some great stuff. Songs like "My Car" and "Hands Are Tied" are, I think, way better than their radio hits (but those songs are still pretty rad).

So once again, laugh if you want (and Andrea would probably join in, but only because she hates me), but this band was my true introduction to rock 'n' roll. I'm sure you could listen to both New Miserable Experience and Congratulations, I'm Sorry and hear where a lot of my musical preferences come from.

/history lesson

Lost Horizons -

My Car -

Hands Are Tied -

Perfectly Still -

Competition Smile -

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gaslight Anthem and the new soul music

Today will probably be remembered as a momentous day. Today the Gaslight Anthem released a record called The '59 Sound, a slab o' wax that will likely be remembered along with Be, All Hail West Texas, Versus God, The Tyranny of Distance, From Here to Infirmary, Separation Sunday, and Searching for a Former Clarity as one of the true classics of the 00's.

It's a heartfelt kick in your spiritual nards and a pat on the back and a drink in the coziest, friendliest dive bar. It's confessing your secrets to a strangers, things you would never tell your wife or mother or brother or best friend. It's every dark corner of your mind and every triumphant celebration of life. It's the ringing in your ears when you're alone with your thoughts. It's holding on to your divorce papers 20 years after the fact and the mournful sigh when you see your dead best friend's favorite movie in the video store.

Gaslight is everything I love about American music. It's soulful and it kicks ass and it's happy and sad all at the same time. You can fuck to it and you can cry to it. It's perfect for drinking and hanging out and having a case race with your friends. It's a perfect front porch album. If you're twenty it'll make you feel like you're fifty, and vice versa.

I know it sounds like I'm knob slobbin' these dudes, but take my word for it. Brian Fallon is a talent as distinct as Johnny Cash, Blake Schwarzenbach, Chuck Berry, Tom Gabel, Howlin' Wolf, Morrissey, and Charles Mingus. His punk rock blue eyed soul Americana can crack even the stoniest of hearts. His toothy grin, sleeve tattoos, and "aw shucks" humility hides the heart of an earnest, wounded poet who sings with an astounding amount of conviction. When he hits those notes on "The Backseat," I get goosebumps every fucking time and the urgent cries of "maybe I should call me an ambulance!" on "The Patient Ferris Wheel" once almost made me crash my car. This isn't the mechanized thwack-thwack-thwack robot parade intent on draining any emotion out of music in order to appear aloof and intellectual, nor is it the "dear diary" whining that passes for rock music these days. This is emotional and real and sounds equally good in bedrooms, convenience store parking lots, boomboxes, iPods, road trips, skating rinks, first dates, diners, school dances, baseball games, and drinking in the woods. It's universal and intimate in one gesture.

Mike Park once wrote that when he released the first Alkaline Trio album, he listened to it at least once a day for a whole year because it reflected his life perfectly at the time. This might be that record for me. I've listened to it several times a day for about two months now and it has not gotten old, even a little bit. It just seems to be all my feelings in a nutshell. This is 2008's must own album. Fuck, maybe even the must own album of the decade.

Tonight, I drink Pabst to salute them and my Org brothers.

Great Expectations -

High Lonesome -

Here's Looking At You, Kid -

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What the fuck are you doing back here?

Alright, we're back again for the time being. Yay and all that. Georgia was fun, but hot, as was Panama City, aka the Redneck Riviera. I found many great records. Killed by Death and Poison Idea are the shit. Also got some cool stuff on mailorder. Miss Andrea, though. Single life is fun for a day or two, but it gets shitty after a while. I'm terrible at taking care of myself. It is the only time I get to watch movies like Horror of the Blood Monsters or Zombie Death House, that doesn't salve the wound all that much. I'm probably going to end up doing something completely retarded without her around, like sending anthrax to Jared Leto or getting P-A-N-C-A-K-E-S tattooed on my knuckles. I already bought a box of cereal because it had a Batman-related prize inside, so it's all snowball down to hell from here.

So many good new albums out right now. I wholly recommend picking up copies of the new Gaslight Anthem (which isn't technically released yet), Hold Steady, Steinways, Sloppy Seconds, and Off With Their Heads records. Expect some noise from me on these in the coming days, in addition to fawnings over the Reverend Gary Davis, the dBs, and the Tranzmitors.

But for now, I just had to post about a band I am super late to the party for - the mighty ass-kickers known as KING KHAN AND BBQ SHOW. Considering these guys are right up my alley (har har) I have no idea how I slept on them this long, especially considering the dudes in the Black Lips called 'em the best rock band in America. I'm glad to see I'm not the only person in this fucking country who loves in-the-red guitars and doo wop. In my fevered grey cells, the Vogues' "Five O'Clock World" and Whatever it Takes' "Flesh Eating 9 to 5 Virus" all live in the same fucked up continuum of angst and sex and general fed-upness that define being American. There's just something thrilling about musicians who snub their noses to the world and go for broke with the needle in the red.

King Khan and BBQ Show sound like the Troggs and the Dell Vikings and the Cramps all fucked in the back of a van and spawned a tuneful, belligerent demonspawn that will FUCK YOUR ASS UP IN AN ATLANTA SECOND. (And shut the fuck up nerds, I know they're Canadian. They are a spiritually an Atlanta band, and everyone knows it.) Two demented, possibly evil men kicking out ungodly jams that are sure to piss off your neighbors no matter what time of day it is. It's loud and fuzzed out to the extreme and groovy and way better than that screamopowerviolencemetalcoreforJesus ear rape you fucking kids are listening to today. Nothing ruins music like the buying power of teenagers. Thank you for the popularity of Hawthorne Heights and Metro Station, you weedwhacker haircut dipshits. ( - this is the worst thing I have ever seen. It literally made me vomit. Dude in the vest is like 40 and thus should fucking know better. It's unknown how many fat girls have lost their virginity to this song, but the number is probably staggering. I never thought I would miss the Manic Panic Punks.)

In closing, Rev. Norb is god.

Waddlin' Around -

Lil' Girl in the Woods -

Zombies -

For those with more delicate sensibilities, I'm including two songs King Khan does with the Shrines. They slay.

69 Faces of Love -

Outta Harm's Way -