Wednesday, December 9, 2009 conversation with Paul Shirley

So I figured we'd go with something a little bit different today. I woke up this morning, went to to get my morning sports news fix, and saw a link to this article, which is presented in the context of a conversation between Todd Gallagher and Paul Shirley about whether music (and, especially, popular music) today really sucks, or whether that's just an illusion.

one especially relevant five-paragraph chunk (because, obviously, anything that can't be said in five paragraphs shouldn't be argued... goodness, I'm reifying the prevailing educational structures)

My sadness, then, comes from the realization that you've given up on finding good new music. And obviously, that's where someone -- the program director at a radio station, the head of your favorite label, the manager at Best Buy -- has erred grievously. That person, or group of people, has decided that it's better to go after the dollar of the person who responds to the music of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks by attempting to reproduce their sounds. (Or by continuing to tour those acts.)

That's why the music on rock radio is made by Shinedown and Nickelback. But that's a losing battle, because people eventually get tired of Shinedown and Nickelback, throw up their hands and say, like you, that they'll be happier listening to Tom Petty.

It's nearly the same on the alternative or indie stations. The music continues to get sissified, because that's what sells, and the result is a huge gap. No one's hearing Manchester Orchestra because it doesn't sound like The Rolling Stones, and it's just a little too heavy for 14-year-old girls, so we're left with a gaping chasm that should be filled by, say, Crystal Castles.

But it won't be, because people like you -- and I'm not saying that in a condescending way; as we've discussed, you're normal -- have given up on anything new. If you hear the name Crystal Castles, you think, "Eh, never heard of it."

Don't you see, Todd?! (I'm winding down, losing steam, pleading with you.) Of course you've never heard of it. That's what makes it interesting. But you have to be ready for it to sound different, just like our forebears were, for whatever reason, ready for Chuck Berry to sound different from Glenn Miller.

I find that very interesting.

In response to one of the bands that Paul Shirley mentions here: I've heard of Crystal Castles, but I think they kind of suck; a lot of their sound feels sort of stuck in the 1980s, and I don't feel like they're really pushing anything forward or doing anything (a) innovative or (b) better than has been done before.

No music in this post, you say? Never fear! YouTube is always here!

Crystal Castles - Vanished

If you're looking for something that is pushing at the edges of rock conventionality, here's a couple of posts you might take a look at:

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

The pAper chAse

God is an Astronaut

If you're looking for music that flat-out rocks (in, perhaps, a more traditional sense), try one of these posts:

Jarvis Cocker

White Rabbits

Have a great day, everyone!

(note... I've been looking for a witty sign-off, lately. Something along the lines of "you stay classy, San Diego." Any suggestions? I don't think "life is beautiful, and so are you" has quite enough snark to it, and the "have a great day" I've been going with is a little bit conventional.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Clock Opera. They're British.

Out of London, actually. Here's a video:

Clock Opera - White Noise from Killer on Vimeo.

I think that's pretty cool, myself. I have this hunch that the video, as of right now, is a little better than the music... then again, I'm the guy who's partial to post-rock, acoustic hip-hop, and jazz metal. So this isn't necessarily the sort of thing I usually go for. It's nice, though.

Dinner time! Have a great evening, everyone!

(note: it's frigging COLD out here! like, below 0 Celsius! wtf?! there's ice on the sidewalks! I almost busted my highly toned @55 returning from class this afternoon. It's nice, though, because there's sun. And also warm drinks. I understand now why the Russians make vodka.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Night Spotlight: Thumbzo coming in with a longo mix

Hey y'all!

Hope you're not getting too stressed out as the end of the fall semester, quarter, period, whatever approaches...

If you are, though, here's something to cheer you right on up: a hour-plus mix from Ramsgate, UK artist Thumbzo. If y'all remember some of the remix and mashup posts from earlier this year, this has a lot in common with some of those, albeit (1) it's a bit more dancey, and (2) you probably won't recognize most of the choons. Get off your collective tails and get to dancing, eh? Burn off some of that nervous energy, get yourselves recharged and up for the weekend! And if you decide that a solo cup full of a delicious beverage should be part of that, hey, I won't hold it against you.*

*Note: By delicious beverage, I of course mean soda. We here at AAH would never, ever, ever condone the underage consumption of alcohol. Never. Of course not. We certainly wouldn't.


Thumbzo-Rolldabeats 92 Hardcore Mix-October 09 by thumbzo

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Liam Finn: not just 90210

Can y'all believe that it's December already? I mean, seriously... this last quarter has just flown by. It's already just about finals time, which means it's almost Christmas time, which means it's almost time for the new year.


Anyways - I've been listening to Liam Finn for a little while now, kind of saving him up for a time when I hadn't found anything new in a little bit. Then... this morning, I found out that one of his songs was featured on the new 90210 series. That bummed me out like whoa.

I guess it doesn't change the fact that his music is pretty awesome. I guess.

Tunes! ...or, more accurately: Videos!

Liam Finn - Second Chance

Liam Finn - Better to Be

I'd also like to note that this past weekend was the 10th anniversary of the WTO protests in Seattle. For any of you who like to style yourselves as activists... that's big stuff. Now, I'm no activist, but there's something about community and solidarity and belief to be said coming out of that.