Monday, February 7, 2011

So, I'm breaking up with Google...

So, after 6 months of nothing but trouble with Google, I'm quitting cold turkey. This blog will remain up for archiving purposes, but the blog will be relocated back to

So long, Google!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Red Umbrella - "Get Off Your Seat"

What is up with Ohio making awesome bands? Case in point: Devo. Also, now My Red Umbrella. Comprised of Matthew "Lig" Knabe (formerly of the MotorFlys and maybe still doing the Ligion thing?), Batman, Papa Smurf, and Fergie's Body Double...

Alright. I'm just gonna stop right here because that was probably the best thing ever typed in the history of the universe.

Well, long story short...they're a band. They're from Ohio (close to The Husband's hometown, actually) and employ awesome artists like David McDowell (aka: The Sprayfoam Genius), Ron Copeland, and Steve Ehret for their videos.

You can pick up the single for less than a cup of coffee on Amazon or iTunes.

Here! Check it out! Also, Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

"Get Off Your Seat"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They're remaking Drop Dead Fred!?

So, Hollywood decided to make another remake. Who'da thunk it, huh?

The paparazzi-smacking, football-loving, Katy Perry-marrying lunatic, Russell Brand will be playing Fred with no mention of who’ll be playing Lizzie. On the other hand, I keep hearing whispered "Zooey Deschanel"s. If this is the case, I don't think I'll ever be able to watch another movie again. While I'm devastated that they would remake this movie in the first place, I'm kind of glad it will at least be Brand. Fred should be vile, disgusting, lewd, inappropriate, and lovably insane, which is how Brand brings home the bacon most days.

Drop Dead Fred is one of my childhood favorites and it will be incredibly sad to see someone else singing the "Dirty Dirty Poo Poo" song and sinking houseboats. Especially because it won't be Rik Mayall, my second favorite Young One.

To make matters more interesting (read: worse), not only will Universal Studios be ripping off Drop Dead Fred, they'll also be taking a crack and Beetlejuice while they're at it. "The first Fred was critically drubbed and commercially unsuccessful. But it did achieve a certain cult status and is considered a film that fell short of its full potential. The take for the new Fred is to make a film in the tone of Beetlejuice, building a universe around the concept of imaginary friends. Brand would play the trouble-making pal."

How dare they talk about Fred that way! I loved him for being "critically drubbed and commercially unsuccessful", dammit. All I can really do right now is bitch, moan, and sigh until this movie comes out. Until then, I'll be hoping, wishing, and praying that 1.) They don't butcher it and 2.) Hollywood comes up with an original story soon. Hopefully, at the least, it will introduce a new generation to the wonder that is Drop Dead Fred. Also, it's rumored that Phoebe Cates will be in the movie somehow. Could she be the next Polly? We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Decemberists - The King is Dead

Well, I hate this album less that I did originally. In fact, now I can say that I kind of even like it. It's just such a drastic change from their last album, The Hazards of Love, it took me a minute to get used to.

The King is Dead, The Decemberists' sixth studio album is a completely different world compared to their previous efforts. Long gone are the days of whimsy as found on Castaways and Cutouts, Her Majesty, and Picaresque, as well as the narratives heard on The Crane Wife and the Hazards of Love. This one's something completely new.

What's crazy is the fact that now that this album's been released, all of those critics who praised it last year are now tearing it apart. The King is Dead does not make Hazards of Love any less of a fantastic album, people. They're completely, utterly unrelated.

This album was a slap in the face, but the stinging's subsided. It's "country" in the way that the Old 97's are country (read: not terrible). It absolutely wasn't what I was expecting from the band. However, it really is just the same old Decemberists. You'll still find a plethora of unconventional instrumentation including 12-string guitars and accordions, but you'll also find a whole new set of sounds including heavy harmonica, fiddle, and saloon piano. While I miss Meloy's vivid storytelling, I must applaud them for trying something so incredibly different from their usual tastes. The roots rocks is more inspired by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Tom Petty than modern country.

I'm hearing a lot of REM and The Smith's references being thrown around in reference to that album, but that's nothing new. Meloy has always openly admitted to being heavily inspired by both. I guess part of that has to do with the fact that Peter Buck and his guitar actually make guest appearances on this album.

This album is no less musically or lyrically impressive, just in a different format. There's still lush instrumentation and Meloy's patented wordplay, but rather than antique subject matter, they've traded it in for a dose of Americana. Rustic and cozy, The King is Dead is slowly but surely growing on me. There's something about that twang of country that saddens me, but just when you're getting down, there's a track to lift you back up, like "Rox in the Box" ominous tone following the weepy acoustic, "Rise to Me". So, "Down By the Water" is supposed to be the first hit off of this album, which doesn't necessarily make it the best song. "Don't Carry It All", "Calamity Song", and "This is Why We Fight" are right up there with it, and have far less of that twang, which I approve of. There's only so much harmonica and banjo that one girl can handle.

I've been listening to this album for two days and I'm still pretty undecided. I know how much it's grown on me since that first listen and can only imagine where it will go from here. For now, it gets a B, but that is subject to change. It's really a great album, musically. Perhaps it's just my hesitance to enjoy anything even remotely related to country. Who knows? Check it out for yourself, streaming for free on their Myspace.

"Calamity Song" 

"Don't Carry It All"

"This is Why We Fight"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cake - Showroom of Compassion

Well, after nearly seven years, the boys of Cake have done it again. Their sixth studio album, Showroom of Compassion hit stores last week and man, I'm diggin' it. I didn't realize that it had been so long since Pressure Chief! Crazy!

This album is awesome. It's Cake, so I find it hard to believe that it could have been anything else. It's nice to see that they haven't lost their affinity for unconventional percussion, horns, esoteric lyrics, and funky ass guitar. In additional to all those Cake classics, you also have the introduction of piano on "The Winter" and "Teenage Pregnancy", which sounds incredibly like a funeral march. Appropriate. It's also the sole instrumental out of the 11 tracks a la "Arco Arena". 

While Cake has always been a little spacey, this album is by far the most psychedelic. There's also a drastic lack of "oh no"s and "all right"s, in favor of extended notes, which is pretty rare from singer John McCrea. While I enjoy his typical half sung/half spoken vocals, this is a nice departure from the norm. It something different, yet refreshingly familiar. It's also delightfully lo-fi without being pretentious. Recorded in their own, solar-powered studio, it appears this album was nurtured to it's full potential. This album could have come out in between any of their other albums and fit right it.

While Cake usually employs the same methods of making music, it never becomes boring. It's not six albums of the same song, just songs with a distant cousin. Songs that see each other once a year at the family reunion, but still get along. Hence that familiarity.

Yes, I'm a general Cake fan all around, but I always appreciate a good, upbeat track and there's plenty to go around on this album including the devastatingly catchy "Sick of You" and the incredibly funky "Mustache Man".

Long story short: I love Cake. I love this album. You should, too. They even get an A. Check it out, streaming for free on their Myspace now. You can also find the over on Facebook or over at their site. Also, happy Tuesday...have some videos.

"Sick of You"

"Mustache Man"

"Federal Funding"