Tuesday, March 25, 2008

You Think That You Can Do Without Me. I Can't Do Anything At All. You Think That You Can Do Without Me. But I Don't Believe In Sundays...

I’m probably not the best candidate to review a Counting Crows album; only because my opinion would most undoubtedly be biased. See, Adam Duritz writes about a lot of my favorite things in life: women, falling in love, falling out of love, unrequited love, urequited lust, drinking, and the West coast. And when I explained this to my sister in law, she just kind of shrugged because she doesn't really condone that kind of mentality anymore. Sadly, she must have forgotten all those times we drove around in my car with the windows down and the AC blasting while we screeched along to August & Everything After, wasted out of our minds. While I don’t think Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings is their best album (that would be This Desert Life) I do feel that it’s the album they’ve always been striving for. Utilizing the spot on idea of splitting the album into “halves” ends up suiting their style quite well because it eliminates the need to create a perfect tracklisting. CC are most definitely an "album" kind of group and SN&SM's continues on their quest to perfect it. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Counting Crows: 1492 (highly rec'd!!)

Counting Crows: When I Dream Of Michaelangelo (highly rec'd!!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Think Too Much. The Alphabet, They Dance A Pirouette In My Head. A Chance Remark, Becomes The Spark. And Maybe Luck Has Come Again.

This really had all the makings of a stellar album. Melancholy subject matter, languid melodies, and a yearning for paradise lost. After all, Time On Earth is Crowded House's first album of new material in over 11 years. Spurred on after the untimely death of founding Paul Hester, Neil Finn & Nick Seymour decided to take their pop legacy for another spin and while slightly uneven, TOE isn't quite the reunion album CH fans had hoped for. After all, Finn has been on a successful run as of late, what with his two amazing solo and one live album showcasing a more darker, window stained sound that seemed like a naural progression for his trademark dreamy pop. So, while not exactly a throwaway collection by any means, TOE assembles a batch of songs that don't immediately grab the listener as quickly the way past albums reached out for you. Also sorely missing is the humor Hester brought to the equation, leaving the rest of the band trying to deal with a glaringly obvious hole in their sound. Still though, if you were ever a fan of CH in the past, you guranteed to find something to latch onto. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Crowded House: Say That Again (highly rec'd!!)

Crowded House: Nobody Wants To

Crowded House: Silent House (highly rec'd!!)

Crowded House: Transit Lounge


a) Finn wrote "Silent House" with and for the Dixie Chicks. Here's their version off of Taking The Long Way:

Dixie Chicks: Silent House

b) Finn sang back up on one Sheryl Crow's most popular tracks. Really. She's since returned the favor on his 2nd solo effort One Nil.

Sheryl Crow: Everyday Is A Winding Road

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Half Of You Is Heavenly, Showin' Off Your Purity. The Rest Of You Is From The Stream, Like A Land Where They Both Meet.

Sometimes. coming back to something you love is hard after you've been away for awhile. An abundance of questions begin to swirl in your fervent mind; like do I still have anything worthwhile to say? Does anybody even care that I've been gone? And more importantly will what I say be as good as the things I've said in the past? Feel free to jump into the nightmare...the water's warm. I've discussed many times before the sophomore slump that artists face after encountering the unexpected runaway success of their debut album and I can only imagine singer/songwriter KT Tunstall going through at least some kind of ego torture exercise while recording her follow up album Drastic Fantastic. Sometimes coming across as over eager, DF still manages to balance and showcase Tunstall's strong talents in melodies and saccahrine sweet choruses. There are plenty of melancholic moments on display, chronicling her loopy rise from virtually unknown coffee house strummer to VH1's It Girl. Stronger tracks like the mellow tear jerker White Bird capture this expertly, while more uptempo songs like the "I'll show you!" of If Only keep the album from wallowing in self pity. While not exactly the pitch perfect follow up fans might have been expecting, Tunstall definetely shows that while she stumbled slightly in her ideas with this one, she's still going to pick herself up and try again. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

KT Tunstall: White Bird

KT Tunstall: Little Favours

KT Tunstall: Saving My Face

KT Tunstall: If Only


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Did You Never Call? I Waited For Your Call. These Rivers Of Suggestion Are Driving Me Away.

I know someone who once accused Michael Stipe of being a fraud. As she recounted her story which mainly consisted of her razzing R.E.M.'s lead singer through a hole in the fence backstage for forgetting the words to Find The River while performing in Las Vegas I thought to myself; is this kind of behavior something I would've condoned when I was younger? Or rather when I was more naive? I used to think that musicans were untouchable. The images force fed to me on MTV led me to believe that my heros could do no wrong, that whether they fucked up or let some poor fan down they could and would be excused. I'd like to think that in my formative years I would've done the same thing as the hero of this story: called someone out on their obvious fuck up and not relented until they rectified the situation. Even though she didn't know me back then, she'd probably pat me on the head and, with a sly smile say "sure you would've tiger. Sure you would've." For your listening (dis)pleasure, songs off of R.E.M.'s Eponymous collection:

R.E.M. : So. Central Rain (highly rec'd!!)

R.E.M. : Fall On Me (highly rec'd!!)

R.E.M. : Talk About The Passion

R.E.M. : The One I Love

::BONUS TRACKS: Favorite songs NOT on Eponymous::

R.E.M. : I Am Superman

R.E.M. : Perfect Circle (highly rec'd!!)

::Video for So. Central Rain::

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Y'know, I Feel Like I Could Assasinate You By Boredom Or Something. I Need Some Adventure, Some Of That Je Ne Sais Q'uois. I Need Some Fishbone.

I'm not sure if they know it, but Cory White and Monster Zero are directly responsible for fostering my deep love of Fishbone. Confused? Let me explain. Flip your yearbook pages back to 1989. I was a sophomore in high school, playing drums in a Cure cover band called Oed's Cat. One afternoon as we lolled around our rehearsal space, in walked our intrepid lead singer Cory White. Late as usual. Gone was the long blonde hair and paisley shirts we'd grown accustomed to. In their place were black Doc Martens, flat front black pants and a short, angular haircut. After our initial shock subsided, Cory announced we were no longer going to be covering the mopey, English pop we'd slaved so hard to ape over the last 6 months and instead would be playing Ska music. As he popped in The Specials debut album and the intials strains of Nite Klub filled the room, I knew right then and there I was hooked. Hearing that album led me to The English Beat, Madness, early Bob Marley, and Toots & The Maytals. But it wasn't until later on that year, summer to be exact, that I heard Fishbone. My friends and I were a pretty lucky lot; growing up in Southern California, ocean at your doorstep, sunshine almost year round. We also had access to a house band of sorts; several seniors who played together under the Monster Zero moniker. With a setlist comprised of Primus, Madness, and a host of their own ska inspired originals, MZ turned our young ears onto bands that to this day still see regular rotation on my stereo. Especially Fishbone. With their version of Ma & Pa still ringing in my ears, I made the trek to my local record store and began to devour their back catlogue. Armed with an explosive mix of ska, reggae, rock, and punk Fishbone managed to alter the musical landscape of a young, pasty red head who thought the sun rose and set to the strains of New Wave. I got to meet Fishbone years later when I was DJ'ing in college. They palyed a show at the bar I was spinning in and I recounted the story about Cory and his overnight transformation to lead singer/sax player Angelo Moore. We shared a laugh and a beer over it and even though I considered myself a huge fan of the band, I couldn't help but feel like Cory and the members of MZ would have appreciated the moment much more than I did. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Fishbone: Ugly (highly rec'd!!)

Fishbone: Cholly

Fishbone: Ma & Pa (highly rec'd!!)

Fishbone: Everyday Sunshine


Fishbone: Fishy Swa Ska (highly rec'd!!)

Fishbone: Love And Bullshit

Fishbone: It's A Wonderful Life (We Gonna Have A Good Time)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Heaven Is A Feeling I Get In Your Arms.

Instructions for Saturday night:

Step 1: Draw the curtains and light some candles.

Step 2: Pour some red wine.

Step 3: Put on Bat For Lashes Mercury nominated debut album Fur & Gold.

Step 4: Sink into a comfortable, hazy oblivion for the rest of the evening.

For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Bat For Lashes: What's A Girl To Do? (highly rec'd!!)

Bat For Lashes: Trophy (highly rec'd!!)

Bat For Lashes: Sarah

Bat For Lashes: Horse & I

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Five Alive Mix

Welcome to another edition of Friday Five Alive here at Indoor Fireworks. Here are 4 (sorry!) tracks guaranteed to get you ready for the weekend. Dig the post new wave/psuedo LCD Soundsystem stylings of Calvin Harris. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Calvin Harris: Merry Making At My Place (highly rec'd!!)

Calvin Harris: Certified

Calvin Harris: Acceptable In The 80's (highly rec'd!!)

Calvin Harris: Love Souvenir

::Video for Merry Making At My Place::