• Punk Revival

    5 jun 2010, 18:22

    No, I don't mean there's this big revival out there... well if there is, I haven't seen it go mainstream yet, and that's a good thing.

    I meant that I'M on a big punk rock kick lately. I'm 41 now, and been listening to punk since high school, and no matter how my tastes change and evolve, I keep coming back to punk. There's something about 3 or 4 chords, snotty vocals, and a quick tempo that keeps my heart young.

    Lately I've been listening to bands like Dear Landlord, Nothington, Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, Paper Arms, North Lincoln, Small Arms Dealer, The Copyrights, and so on...

    Then I heard Banner Pilot. I have to say (at this point) that "Collapser" ( is almost making me as excited as I was when I heard "Strong Reaction" or "Don't Turn Away" for the first time.

    Yeah, I'm gonna hafta listen to this more. I can't believe this has been out for so long and I haven't heard it until now. Damn.
  • Last Pandora

    10 okt 2009, 21:20

    Two music sites that I love: (great way to listen to music online), and (duh).

    I was thrilled to find out the other day that someone created a site that MERGES the two: Now I can play my Pandora stations and the site submits ('scrobbles' is what they call it) the songs I play to my account.

  • Soul Control

    7 jul 2008, 21:46

    I've always been a quiet fan of hardcore. There are sooooo many bands I could name here that would give you an idea, but here's a couple:

    - Quicksand
    - Sick of It All
    - Hatebreed
    - CIV
    - Snapcase
    - Strife
    - Agnostic Front
    - Minor Threat

    There are so many, some of them straight-edge, some post-hardcore. But no matter what the label was, the music's aggression and a sense of striving for unity, responsibility, respect -- it all spoke to me. I'm almost 40 now, and hardcore's come a long long way. It's no longer a common thing for me to get excited about a new hardcore band. But just the other day I got a sampler that had a song that grabbed me and made me want to check out the band.

    Here's that song: Soul Control - "On Survival"

    Check out their Myspace page too if you're interested.

  • Pandora Internet Radio

    4 jul 2008, 19:11

    Internet radio has been around for a long time, and I'm tried my share of sites / programs streaming music over the 'net.

    Remember MusicMatch? Spinner? Live365?

    Well, my favorite place for online radio as of late has been

    Pandora is based around something called the Music Genome Project® -- and essentially you tell it what you like -- a song, or an artist -- and it starts playing. You then tell it what you like and don't like by giving a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" to each song.

    You really have to try it. Creating your own customized station is SO easy. I have 5 differents stations; two are based around the bands Anberlin and Hot Water Music, and the others are "genre" related: , , and .

    I've turned so many people on to this site I should get spiffed. Hey Pandora, how about a referral program, huh?
  • My pre-teen geek-out album

    29 dec 2006, 23:32

    When Rush's Moving Pictures came out in 1980, I was 11. I was already that kid who sat in the corner of his grandmother's house -- headphones on -- listening to his cool aunt's Kiss and Alice Cooper records, so the intricate music of Rush was just a natural progression for me.

    My vinyl version of Moving Pictures in particular saw loads of quality needle time, as "Tom Sawyer" was practically a hard rock anthem for kids my age, and "Red Barchetta" fueled many a daydream of racing furiously down country roads.

    As is the case with many of Rush's early albums, there isn't a lot of songs here, but each song was so strong in it's own identity and story that you don't feel shorted.

    I urge you, put "The Camera Eye" on your iPod, slip the buds into your ears, and TRY not to get caught up in it. I dare ya.
  • "Air Stereo" by The Damnwells

    28 sep 2006, 18:37

    It's late September here in Arizona, and although summer's over, it's still sunny and warm. My poor friends and family back East wish they could say the same.

    I just bought a new cd. Why is this newsworthy? Because if you know me, you know that I rarely buy a new cd. I think they are severely overpriced, and for someone like me who looks for new tunes like a junkie does a fix, purchasing cd after cd is just too damn expensive.

    But with The Damnwells, it's different. I had bought their last cd, "Bastards of the Beat" and absolutely LOVED it. So when their latest, "Air Stereo" came out, I took a chance, bought it, took it home, and played it all weekend.

    "Air Stereo" is the kind of cd where your favorite track will likely change by the day, a sign of a consistently great album. Songs like "Sell the Lie" (my favorite song right now), "Accidental Man", "You Don't Have To Like Me To Love Me", and "I am a Leaver" have more than enough hooks to make me want to hit the road, open up the sunroof, and crank the stereo as loud as it will go.

    It's still sunny here in Arizona, and "Air Stereo" just sounds like a perfect complement to this beautiful time of year.

    Check them out for yourself: Of The Beat
  • My favorite heavy albums

    1 aug 2006, 18:42

    It's so easy to argue what is and what is not "Metal" -- I'm not interested in that. This is just a list of heavy albums I like, and they're in no particular order:

    1. Metallica - "Ride the Lightning"
    2. Slayer - "Reign in Blood"
    3. Anthrax - "Among the Living"
    4. Megadeth - "Peace Sells"
    5. Cro-Mags - "Best Wishes"
    6. seputura - "Chaos A.D."
    7. S.O.D. - "Speak English or Die"
    8. Iron Maiden - "Killers"
    9. The Accused - "Grinning Like an Undertaker"
    10. Pantera - "Vulgar Display of Power"
    11. D.R.I. - "Four of a Kind"
    12. Testament - "Practice What you Preach"
    13. Crumbsuckers - "Beast on my Back"
    14. Fear Factory - "Obsolete"
    15. Agnostic Front - "Liberty & Justice For..."
  • Riding the wave of a great crowd

    29 jul 2006, 00:30

    Every once in a while, I get a CD that I just freak out about, and I squeal and cry like a 15-yr-old Dashboard Confessional fan.

    Well, no, not really like that. More like I love it so much that the first few times I play it, I get goosebumps, there's this swell of emotion in me, I play it over and over, it becomes like the soundtrack for my life at that time.

    A few years ago I was just coming out a dead relationship, and for me, the end was quite sad and more than a just a little bitter. After the months of anger and pain and general "I want to crawl into a deep dark and filthy HOLE" subsided, I started to feel better. I eventually got back on the horse and started dating again.

    I got to the point where I felt so alive, like a seedling coming out from a layer of dead leaves and dirt. It's hard to even describe it, but that type of euphoria, that must be what crack addicts experience, because if I could purchase that feeling, I'd buy it by the fucking truckload, buddy.

    So anyhow, at that same time I discovered a singer-songwriter by the name of Matt Nathanson. His CD, "Beneath These Fireworks" had a lot to do with it. On the surface it's a shimmering pop-rock record, but underneath the amazing melodies is something deep and substantial, like a lament — sadness mixed with hope, pain blended with pleading and desire.

    Rare these days is the CD that I know all the words — that can bring tears to my eyes as easily as it makes me smile. "Beneath These Fireworks" was one of those cd's.

    Fast-forward another year-or-two, and I'm here now, in a different place than I was then — not quite sure how long I will be where I am, and really not sure where I am headed.

    How fitting that another Matt Nathanson cd is figuring pretty heavily into my day-to-day existance right now, one that gives me the same chills as before.

    "At The Point" is a live cd. I know people who hate live cd's. Personally I LOVE live cd's -- ones that capture the spark of of good performer, and the thrill of an enthusiastic crowd. If you've ever been on a stage and had people cheer for you, it's one of the most a-m-a-z-i-n-g feelings ever.

    I'm totally in love with "At The Point" right now. It really shows the Matt behind the glossy studio recordings -- it showcases the guy who's witty as hell, who cracks up his audiences with his between-song banter, and on top of that he swears like a fucking sailor.

    Here's the reviewer's take:
    "It's a testament to the unstoppable drive and resonant artistry of Matt Nathanson that this new live album came to be. After releasing five albums independently from 1993 to 2002 he signed to a major label for 2003's Beneath These Fireworks. Not happy with the alliance, he extricated himself from his contract after a couple years and recorded this set live in front of fans. The venue in the title is the long-running club outside of Philadelphia and the entire house is in his hands. They delight at his anecdotes and comedic asides, sing along when prompted, and, in general, fall under the spell of one man and his acoustic guitar. Having built his fan base from extensive touring, a live performance on disc is an apt and welcome addition to his discography, both pleasing those already familiar with Nathanson, and providing a fine starting point for those just finding out."

    Here's some quick lines from Matt's liner notes:
    "I like your records, but you're SO much better live!" I hear this a lot after my shows and I'm sure all you glass half-fullers see it as a compliment. As something that should fill one with a sense of pride and validation. Oh, that would be so nice... but no. I, like 98% of all other musicians in the world, hear the above sentence like this: "I used to be satisfied by your records, but now they're just kind of a limp reminder of something I like better"...

    ...I ended up taping a couple of solo shows and putting out a live record... The shows literally sold out in minutes, people flew in from all over the country... the coolest part for me, was how the audience made the shows feel like an event; something to be anticipated, something to get wound up about, something to connect with. But I guess that's what a great show is, the audience raising the artist above what they can do on their own...

    ...And I think that's people mean when they say they like my records, but love my show. For me, getting transcendent performances in the recording studio is a challenge, but riding the wave of a great crowd feels second nature."

    So, here's the MP3, check it out:

    If you don't like it as much as I do, and don't get it, that's cool. People love Paris Hilton, and I just don't get that shit, soooo, it's all relative I guess. :)
  • Obscure college radio from the 90's, Vol.1

    9 jul 2006, 17:12

    I have this habit, a personal weakness of mine, where I collect CD's/mp3's of stuff I used to play back when I was a college radio DJ in the early 90's.

    Sometimes I can't find the songs on Limewire, or on other blogs, so I break down and spend the $5 or $6 to get a used CD from

    Since I pilfer so much of my music collection from other people, I thought I'd give back a little. My true hope is that these songs are songs that other people have been looking for, and I've just helped them discover an old gem that brings a smile to their face (much like Dave at YuppiePunk recently did for me when he was gracious enough to send me an old Big Drill Car mp3)

    So, anyhow, since my A.D.D. already has me bored with this post and ready to move on to other things, I'm not going to post any history on the bands or the songs, just the songs themselves. Again, they are songs I played on my radio show back in the day. If you know them, great. If you don't. check them out.

    Muzza Chunka - Float

    The Buck Pets - Pearls

    Oh, and I have the Buck Pets cd, "Mercurotones" — and I'd be happy to sell it to anyone for $3 postage paid.