The Rum Diaries

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, December 30, 2006 - 04:47:03 pm
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Today while compiling a list of Depp movies that KJ and I need to watch together, I took a trip over to IMBd to see if there were any others we weren't thinking of.

This turned out quite exciting, seeing that The Rum Diaries is in pre-production and is scheduled for 2008. Too cool, I can't wait for this. The Rum Diaries as a movie will be fantastic in itself, and having Johnny Depp staring makes this even better.

The only downside is having to wait until 2008 for it.
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - Nixon Saves

Marc Norman School Of Stategic Marketing

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 22, 2006 - 05:07:28 pm
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From Jim Swafford's Music Myspace page:

Having learned a few things from the Marc Norman school of strategic marketing I have decided to post a few samples of songs from the upcoming release "Bonded by Tragedy and Greatness"
I want to go to the Marc Norman school of strategic marketing!!! I wonder how much tuition is. A half gram of love? [lol]
Now Playing: Piersons - Pink Dress

Top Albums of 2006

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 22, 2006 - 12:45:14 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Last week Get Out published a list of Top 25 albums by valley bands. Some are good. Some are bad (most of those aren't better than The Piersons "Humbucker", which came it at #24), but overall not a bad list. The important part being that they got #1 right, with New Miserable Experience. Damn straight!

Which prompts me to think of my favorite albums of 2006. Old ones and new ones too - that is, not albums necessarily released this year, but my favorite albums this year. Virtually chronologically. After all, it's felt like a good year for them.

Karma Covered Apple - Dead Hot Workshop (1998) - I've had this album for years, but only really got into it properly as a full entity late last year. The first few months of this year, I played it religiously before heading off to work every morning. Quite possibly my most played album of 2006. Sometimes I do completely stoopid things. Not getting into Karma until this year, that is one of them. Honorable mention goes to Dead Hot's Old Favorites And New Ones Too. Since some point this year, I've pretty much followed up Karma with this. And all the Karma stuff also applies to it.

Dante's Arizona Soundtrack - Various Artists (2005) - Valentine's Day present from Miss Katie. About half the tracks I otherwise have. The others vary in how much I like them, given the diversity of artists. But if for nothing else, Where's The Grey? (Hans Olsen) and Same Horse (Gloritone) make this a must to mention. I'm not a Gloritone fan, as a matter of fact, I couldn't give a rats ass about most of their stuff, but Same Horse is the most amazing haunting song. Certainly reminds me somewhat of Dead Hot's Demograph and...just love it. Same horse, just with darker hair. Additionally, although I didn't like it initially, the other Gloritone cut, Javier has also grown up on me. I can't imagine 2006 without this album.

Simple Minded Way - The Long Shadows (2006) - Rob Wilson's excellent side project. This album has kinda fitted a lot more than other side projects. And was responsible for Karma Covered Apple getting a bit of a rest around March. It's an album which has one or two songs which aren't necessarily chart stoppers, but it doesn't at all hurt the album being great as a complete entity. Sail On, To Saione, Wishing We Weren't So, Phoenix In Your Footsteps and Little Birds, just awesome. This album definitely has longevity that earlier side project albums don't necessarily.

This, in addition to Karma Covered Apple definitely reminds me of the anticipation for hitting Phoenix again, as it was played so much in the preceding months, right up to my departure. Listening to Simple Minded Way now also reminds me of Tempe Buttes for whatever reason.

Last Exit Live Vol. 1 - Various Artists (2006) - "Welcome to the last muther fucking exiiiiiiit! Come on, come on, come on!". How can anything the opens with the ridiculous excitement of one Josh Kennedy be anything short of amazing? That's right, it can't. Jam packed with awesome tracks recorded live from Last Exit. Definitely a favorite, and it's awesome cranked. There is a small skipping section (Vayden, Dimonet, Fred Green), but otherwise, such an amazing solid various artists collection. Even the tracks by the two artists I didn't know (Jordie and Andy Hersey) I really dig. And it made me reassess Let Go, as Bombs Away totally rocks. (When I saw them briefly on my last night in Tempe in 2005, I was kinda stressed, pissy, and wrote them off). But yeah, fucking awesome CD of Tempe rock, and certainly another one that's gotten a decent amount of spins from me!

Unhappy Hour - Beat Angels (1996) - Best Zia purchase this year, hands down! And the one that almost didn't happen. Standing at the back left corner of Zia on University (one of my favorite places in Tempe - the local music section, for those unfamiliar with Zia Record Exchange, I wasn't looking for the album. Actually, I think I was going through 'B' for the Black Mood's Laruel Canyon. I noticed Unhappy Hour, looked it over, and while having it in my hand thoughts of Shireen's advice many years ago about Brian Smith's writing having a lot of Hopkins references. I held onto while I kept looking for other CD's. And also thought about how I didn't know any Beat Angels stuff (except for Terminal Love on Scottistock, ehich admitadly, I love) and that it could be a total waste in preference of something else Zia might have. So, I put it back. Later on I came back to it, was indecisive, and then said "fuck it, if it's got Hopkins references, it's worth it, even if it sucks".

Thank god. Hopkins references (which I can't pick out many candidates necessarily, and that is completely fine) aside, it's the best $7 I spent at Zia this year. Even by the time I got around to listening to it for the first time (I was back in Australia), I remember thinking "as long as it doesn't suck, it will have been worth the money I guess". As long as it doesn't suck? By the end of the first listen I knew that I hadn't gone wrong going with my gut and buying it. One of my favorite albums of this year. I've played it to death over the last six months already, and I am nowhere close to stopping. Yeah, make a toast to the most (beautiful looser in town)!

Interestingly there are a lot of parallels with the Slingback's album All Pop, No Star. Not just that Shireen indirectly prompted me to pick it up, and the fact that Brian Smith co-wrote parts of the Slingback's album. But the fact, that just like with Unhappy Hour I got it primarily for the Hopkins references, and was hesitant that it was going to be too trashy for my liking. And then I got it and was overly impressed with the whole thing, and was really happy with my purchase above and beyond any Doug references. The exact same thing is true with the Beat Angel's record. Oh, and I Love You, Sometimes reminds me of Sometimes I Hate You and Jaded of Junkstruck Heart.

Along For The Ride (EP) - Mink Rebellion (2005) - I'd gotten totally hooked on Along For The Ride last year, and really liked the other Mink songs I'd heard, and knew that before I'd even left for Tempe that I wanted to get the Mink record. At Zia, I was definitely on the prowl for it. As it turns out the EP only has two songs I hadn't heard before. Both of which (Wasted and Bump On The Head) are awesome, and solidify it as a must have. Another one that reminds me a lot of Tempe Buttes. This makes sense though, it was the last thing I listened to before the whole shoulder fracturing incident of 2006. [wink]

Tramps And Thieves - Mill Ave. Cowboys (EP) (2005) - Come on, it's got "Mill Avenue" in the title! (Main street of downtown Tempe) [smile] I started to dig Tramps and Thieves towards the end of last year. That has done nothing but increase this year. Mill Ave was another record I was particularly searching out at Zia this year. While I still prefer live versions of Tramps, the EP has really been growing on me more over the last 6 months. I'm also anticipating getting this year's Spittin' In The Wind.

Reclamation - Muddy Violets (2005) - Believe it or not, I could have witnessed the CD release party for this record. I was there for Dead Hot's opening set, and part of Let Go's (as mentioned above) set. Having to pack, and not knowing the Muddy Violets we left instead. I'm kicking myself now, because I picked up the album for Katie at Zia, and it rocks! The album is plain and simple a great rock record (actually recorded live at last exit in 2004). Hey mister, do you think you might lend me your cigarette?

Major Lodge Victory - Gin Blossoms (2006) - The long awaited (and I do mean long [wink]) Blossoms record. Worlds apart from New Miserable Experience, and admitadly if Jesse Valenzuela wanted to be in The Rembrandts he should just join them, and there's no Stop!, but the album is just great. And y'know, I had no problem being critical of Congratulations, I'm Sorry, so... I really love this album.

Cracker - Cracker (1993) - After seeing David Lowery and Johnny Hickman in Mexico, is it suprising that I needed to get more into Cracker? Again, no, no it's not. It started out with downloading a bunch of live shows. And then Cracker albums. Of which, the debut self titled is definitely the best. What the world needs now is another folk singer! Honorable mention also goes to Johnny Hickman's solo album Palmhenge, and Cracker's Countrysides. 2006 wouldn't be 2006 (and Mexico wouldn't be Mexico) without Duty Free and The Great Decline.

Dead Hot Workshop - Heavy Meadow (2006) - What can I say? Plenty, just look at blog archives for November and December! [smile] Without regurgitating everything I've already said, one of, if not the best album released in 2006.

So it's been a really good year for music. The only disappointment is Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dixon not getting their album out this year. But fingers are crossed for 2007.
Now Playing: Beat Angels - Hungover With Jenny

Wake Up And Scream

The Whole World Is On Fire

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosThursday, December 14, 2006 - 12:27:47 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Well, Victoria at least. For at least the past week, the sky has been constantly filled with smoke. It was actually a change on Tuesday morning to see some blue skies briefly. The wind must have died down temporarily, because before long the blanket of smoke from the fires north once again blanketed Melbourne.

Yesterday afternoon seemed like it was the worst so far, and I believe it was according to the EPA. It did however provide a spectacular sunset last night, provding a great photo opportunity.

Firey Sunset

I can't deny that I've been waiting for such an opportunity once the bush fires started, and I was quite pleased with the photos I took last night. It also made me think about how much I'd love a balcony. There are often such good views from the upstairs window facing west, but shooting through a window with fly wire, while works, isn't the optimal conditions. Sitting out on a balcony facing west, smoke, Corona and camera in hand - oh man, that is a nice thought!

All Hail The Three Minute Pop Song

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 11:20:12 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
It's funny, I listened to All Pop, No Star, (including Hey Douglas and All Pop, No Star) yesterday, without too much notice that we were at that time of year again. The time of year when the three minute pop song, and all the b-sides, need to be hailed. The day proved to be fairly lame to that end, which I wasn't too happy about. That, however, was remedied tonight.

Despite the lack luster effort during the day, I was reassured immediately that is completely effortless to breath it in. Crank the amp, kick over the tune, that's all it takes. It seems like in days gone by we used to have to go under, as more of a conscious act (which may or may not be true), but over the last few years, it's such an effortless thing, with just those ingredients. With that, all the rest just flows. (Which admitadly may have been the case all those years ago, and the feeling of it being more seemless these days could failing memory.) Breath in the reckless abandon. Fuck perfection. It was never about that, and never will be. And most certainly, not on this day, moreso than any. It never will be. And tonight came the ephiphany. When I go out, take me out playing one of the b-sides. Hold me down, and fucking take me out. At a climatic moment, just do it. If I get to choose how I go out, that's what I choose. Nothing could be better. Dripping sweat, thrasing the strings at the climatic end solo of Hold Me Down, a white flash and the curtins go down....God, if you're taking orders, then sign me up for one of those!

As a side note, particularly playing the solo of Girl's Can't Wait, it really dawned on me - and hasn't really before, at least in this way - that those guys, back then, might as well been in bed with Paul Westerburg and Co. Seriously. Just too cool noticing the trademark Replacements perfectly crafted pop delivered as crass punk juxtaposition in there.

Afterwards, after the physical session came to a close, I retired outside with a mandoritory cigarette and beer (the breeze really helping the situation of pouring sweat from the previous 2 hour frenzy), and was really hit with the fact that this shit doesn't change - one single bit. Every single other thing can (and does), and it makes absolutely makes no difference to the constant that this is. It hasn't changed in 16 years. Everything around it has, but it just hasn't. Similarly it hasn't change (though has possibly become stronger with experience over the years) that everything can fade away, and it'd be fine, just like in the beginning. It still remains the absolute solace.

I also noticed how effortlessly it is entwined with, and get's me back to April, when I was reborn. Y'know, I often - more than often - attribute, and consciously associate the ghetto with that; the time of April and rebirth. As opposed to this, which has been around for much longer than the ghetto was even thought of, let alone witnessed by myself, and hence I instead tend to immediately associate this with porn stars, hangs overs and sardonic mistresses with jet black locks and pale faces. But I guess I forget - how integrally entwined with April the muse is, and how it can get me back to April, serve it up to me on a platter against the dark cool December sky just as, and maybe more seemlessly, than the even the ghetto does.

Your dizzy sugar's never wasted here.

Those Calculations Work

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, December 2, 2006 - 02:58:52 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
My friend, those were big bad dreams that we shared. I see those calculations work.
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - Exit Math

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