Friday, May 9, 2008


I have compiled a playlist of songs with 0 plays on Itunes, shuffled them, and I will now review some in real time.

1. Link 80 - "Nothing New" Link 80 was one of my favorite bands around seventh grade, and this was my favorite song on The Struggle Continues. The horn melody is undeniable, and the verses rule too. I could do without the chorus, and the lyrics are kind of ridiculous, but those are minor complaints. I can't believe I haven't listened to this yet, it's probably been more than two or three years.

2. Dave Holland Quintet - "The Balance" I don't know much about Dave Holland except that I have a lot of his music on my computer, and I haven't listened to much of it yet. I think he's a trombone player. This song is nine minutes long so I'll write slowly. I like the vibes more than I like the soprano sax or the trombone at this point. The trombone solo became pretty interesting around 3:15, and now I'm hearing a vibes solo. Awesome, I love these. The mix is strange, but it's probably my speakers. The vibes sound too loud. Soprano sax solo. Not a great start, but I really dig the rock section around 5:40. This is the best solo from the song so far. Bass solo. This is a pretty standard solo with a good lick at 7:00. The drum solo followed by trading is a standard way to end a song. This song was good, but not great. The soprano sax solo was the highlight for me.

3. 2Pac - "Wonda Why They Call U Bitch" This should be rough. I'm not a huge 2Pac fan. His music screams nineties, and I can rarely make it through his choruses. Misogyny will probably ruin this song. The chorus sucks, as expected. The verses aren't bad. They're bouncy and fun. The beat is mediocre. I probably won't listen to this song ever again. I spent the last minute of the song taking a piss.

4. N.W.A. - "Dopeman (Remix)" Ice Cube opens with a verse, and in true remix fashion, the DJ has interfered a little. I have no idea what the original "Dopeman" sounds like. I like the chorus! Haha, funny. I believe MC Ren is doing the verse now. I don't like the way he ends his lines in this song. The rhymes are really obvious. What rhymes with snitch? Easy E's verse is the best. I don't need to hear this song ever again. I'll take "Straight Outta Compton" any day.

5. Infest - "Seen it All Before (Live)" Yes! Starts with a radio interview. They sound totally unenthusiastic. This song is fast and chaotic. That was great. Infest rules.

6. Cro-Mags - "Death Camps" This is from Best Wishes. The beginning is great. I like the drums, and the guitars sound good. The palm muting is hard. I forgot how strange the vocals sound on this record. Really echo-y. The breakdown around 1:50 is terrible for about ten seconds, and only after does it become decent. I feel like this song should be done now, but I have to wait two minutes. Probably why I prefer Age of Quarrel. Guitar solo. This song is metal. Second guitar solo. Not necessary, and he uses pretty much the same licks. Third guitar solo. The last note of the guitar solo brought me back to hair metal. This is not better than "Hard Times".

That was fun.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Verminators: Boom or Bust?

Reality television is a two-headed beast that can be very ugly or very awesome. The running joke is that The Real World, the show that spawned it all, is not “real” anymore. With shows like A Shot at Love, America’s Top Model, and Nashville Star, I don’t care about reality, I just want them off the air.

Reality television took an unexpected turn when the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, A&E, etc. began to air their own programs. They cater to people that want more content and less teenage drama. I am talking about Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch, and Intervention. All great shows, I found one that might top them all. It’s called Verminators, it’s on the Discovery Channel, and it’s good.

The name says it all. Cameras follow a team of exterminators as they encounter pests in Los Angeles. In the episode that I watched, the team removed bee hives, killed rats, and fumigated a kitchen with a serious roach problem. It sounds gross, right? The catch is, you’re watching from your comfortable, presumably pest-free house. Each call is like a detective mission to find the source of the pests and take them out. At the end, you root for the exterminators and their clients.

Verdict: Boom. I recommend Verminators if you have even a mild tolerance of vermin. It’s fascinating work that makes for good television.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vinyl news #1 - The Format

The Format is a rock band from Arizona. They have released two full lengths, a slew of EPs, and a live DVD. Their 2006 record, Dog Problems, is still one of my five favorite records from 2006, a year that saw releases by Saves the Day, Spitalfield, The Lawrence Arms, Fucked Up, Yo La Tengo, and Brand New. The Format sound like the Elected, Neutral Milk Hotel, and the Starting Line tossed into a blender with a better singer.

Dog Problems generated a ton of praise and hype on the internet, so it came as a shock when the band announced that they were going on indefinite hiatus earlier this year. They released some new vinyl in the webstore that you should definitely pick up. The Snails EP is a seven song gem released before Dog Problems. It has a couple original songs, including the favorite, “Janet.” I don’t know much about the “Time Bomb” single, except that it’s namesake song is pretty darn good. Merch Store