You killed my Father. Prepare to die.

The man of the hour, every hour, El Brucio, finally reveals the meaning of life.

My Photo
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

I am the Greatest.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Woods

I bought The Woods this past weekend, the new album from Sleater-Kinney. This is my analysis...

The first thing I did upon playing this album was turn the volume down. "The Fox" opens full blast... heavy distortion pedal fuelled rock that hasn't been heard since... well, a long time. It struck me immediately how clean most rock records sound nowadays. In one sense, it reminds me of in that sense, though combinded with Corin Tucker's vocals (which range from sweet to screech, and a choppy delivery in between), it is more striking than the noise + dynamics formula of that Nirvana record.

This is, by far, the most intense record Sleater-Kinney have ever released. Though I have never heard their first self-titled record, their five records after that seemed to follow a bit of a cycle. Call the Doctor's focus on lyrical content and simple structure attracted attention, plus it's blasts of pure energy (the most notable, of course, being the very lovable "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone"). Dig Me Out continued in this vein, except for the notable addition of Janet Weiss on drums, making for a sharper record rhythmically. It also benefited from a bit of a loss of naivety, with songs becoming more personal, biting, and at times, dramatic. The Hot Rock blew the mold apart for the first time. Sharp two to three minute power pop was replaced by an art-rock approach. The band nearly broke up, and it sounds that way. All Hands On the Bad One saw a more rock and roll approach, the first such instance of any noticeable classic rock influences. One Beat became the group's political record, a rallying cry in a post-9/11 America, born out of frustration, fear, and a building sense of hope in the future. Musically, it was the band's best merger of classic rock influence, experimentation, and traditional song structure/writing. It probably was the band's most accessible, yet adventerous, record. I loved it. From the title track's thundering guitar/drum riff and scaling melody, to the Rolling Stones-esque powerful closer "Sympathy", they expanded their musical palette without losing focus.

The Woods, in one sense, is The Hot Rock for the second phase of Sleater-Kinney's career. The band pushes everything to its limit, be it volume, intensity, song length and at times, structure. The drumming is incredible. I would call it Janet's record if it wasn't for Carrie Brownstein's insane guitar work. Everything on this record is "in your face". That first reaction to turn the volume down was quickly followed by a need to turn it back up within a minute. This is a confrontational record. But more so musically than lyrically (though there is confrontation in the lyrics as well). It is a relentless record. The only drop in tone comes during "Modern Girl", which fools you for the first minute or so. Janet Weiss' drum set probably needed several skins during the recording. There isn't a track that doesn't crank the drums in the mix, and even when they aren't cranked momentarily, they are still being hit with brute force. Carrie Brownstein, meanwhile, is given the opportunity to show off, for the first time on record. In "What's Mine Is Yours", (this is a Moir observation) you can envision her burning her guitar a la Jimmy. At times, it seems like she could be playing with her teeth. Then, on the 11 minute epic "Let's Call it Love" (which in itself features a blues style call-response chorus), she rips a guitar solo for the entire last half of the song, possibly the climax of the record.

This record (Sleater-Kinney's first on Sub Pop), will not make the band popular. They have become, in my opinion, the greatest band to never have a hit song or album. This album is not for the faint of heart. I don't know if I can recommend it as a stepping stone for an unitiated Sleater-Kinney listener... I think One Beat is probably better for that. There aren't many hooks on this album. It is a full on assault. There aren't many bands that can make this kind of record, leaving very few points of comparison. But I will say this... it is blowing my mind. I'm serious. I usually us that phrase in mocking. I haven't even fully digested this album yet... but very few albums grab my attention in the way this one is.

And there still is no bass player! ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The invasion is soon coming...

Well, get ready Toontowners, because after my scouting trip to the city this past weekend, I will be coming with full force this coming weekend. Getting paid will do this to a person. You've all been warned. I will be calling some of you Thursday to try and map out a general plan, but all plans have to involve me getting shitfaced. I've been in need of this for a long time. If anyone that I don't normally hang with but read my blog nonetheless are interested, that's cool. I will generally just refer you to Joel or Brad for the answers to life's most pressing concerns. A good time is (hopefully) guaranteed.

Also, to all those involved in the now dead CD exchange, I stole my mix back from Joel to re-copy. If anyone wants a copy, just post on here. I like the idea of giving out copies to everyone that feels interested. I can't guarantee elaborate liner notes like Joel's copy had, because those have disappeared after a computer crash. I won't guarantee that I'll try to re-print those notes, which were both witty and informative, but I'll try to try.

Well, not much else to say. I got into a big Sloan kick recently, and I don't know how many Sloan fans there are out there, but I decided to simplify my life greatly by making my own "Best of" mix for future Sloan kicks, and also as a celebration of their own Greatest Hits comp that was released recently (which I have no need to pick up). It is great, but I can't take all the credit for it, the band does deserve the praise. For those that are interested, and for those that aren't (stupid Lyla, somehwat indifferent Joel), here is the tracklist plus singer album and year:

1. C'mon C'mon (Jay, Navy Blues, 1998)
2. So Beyond Me (Chris/Patrick, Between the Bridges, 1999)
3. Deeper Than Beauty (Chris, Twice Removed, 1994)
4. Can't Face Up (Patrick, One Chord To Another, 1996)
5. Keep On Thinkin' (Chris, Navy Blues, 1998)
6. False Alarm (Jay, Action Pact, 2003)
7. Coax Me (Chris, Twice Removed, 1994)
8. Who You Talkin' To? (Jay/Chris, Pretty Together, 2001)
9. Everything You've Done Wrong (Patrick, One Chord to Another, 1996)
10. I Am the Cancer (Chris, Smeared, 1992)
11. People of the Sky (Andrew, Twice Removed, 1994)
12. A Long Time Coming (Patrick, Between the Bridges, 1999)
13. She Says What She Means (Chris, Navy Blues, 1998)
14. The Lines You Amend (Jay/Chris, One Chord to Another, 1996)
15. The Other Man (Chris, Pretty Together, 2001)
16. The Edge of the Scene (Chris/Jay, Don't You Believe a Word b-side, 2000)
17. Hollow Head (Patrick, Action Pact, 2003)
18. All By Ourselves (Chris, Between the Bridges, 1999)
19. Seems So Heavy (Andrew, Navy Blues, 1998)
20. The Good In Everyone (Patrick, One Chord to Another, 1996)
21. Snowsuit Sound (Jay, Twice Removed, 1994)
22. Nothing Lasts Forever Anymore (Chris, Action Pact, 2003)
23. I Can Feel It (Patrick, Twice Removed, 1994)

It's pretty kickass. I recommend downloading any of those songs, some of which you are porbably familiar with, others maybe not as much.

Pumped about picking up The Woods by Sleater-Kinney this weekend. It's getting top notch reviews, was produced by Mercury Rev's David Friddman (formerly of that amazing band The Flaming Lips, now their producer), and features an 11 minute guitar solo (!)... not bad for a 7th album. Few bands have this in them at this point in their careers.

Alright, now I'm just annoying myself with my gush-fest.

Friday, May 13, 2005

For Lyla's sake, mostly.

Black Eyed Peas and Talib Kweli at the CUC on July 16. The unfortunate part (and of course, there is one), is that it falls during the Ness Creek festival, which I do want to attend for once. Lyla would not be pleased with me attending Ness Creek instead of BEP/Talib, but we'll see what happens over time. Definitely plans will need to be made for one or the other, and not neither.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

You learn something new every day...

Rambling Dave from C95 is a poker champion? And, he wrote a book on poker. WTF?

Anyways, good news today, as I solved the mystery of my missing Grandaddy CD, Sumday. It was in a pile of Lyla's stuff, mixed with her important documents were a bunch of mix CD's without their cases, and my CD on the bottom. She tried to steal it. But I have thwarted her feeble attempt.

It is a very good spring/early summer album, I must say. Perfect timing. I am quite happy with myself about this discovery.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The magical powers of my sisters...

Been a while since my last blog...

Well, K & L, thanks to your presence, the Liverpool FC has done the unthinkable and made it to the UEFA Champions League Final. A phantom goal gave them a 1-0 aggregate victory over my semi-beloved Chelsea Blues, a team that had just captured the English Premiership title. It is amazing that Liverpool managed to not allow a single Chelsea goal... Chelsea are a team that routinely scores 2 to 4 goals a game. Liverpool finished 33 points back of Chelsea in the Premiership play... they are the worst team to ever make the European Championship final, based on their standing in their national league. AC Milan and PSV meet today, and then it's off to Istanbul at the end of May for the final.

Even without the SC playoffs, there are still plenty of good sporting events to watch at this time of year. The World Championships of Hockey have been pretty good so far from what I've seen, although the mighty Denmark team hasn't fared so well (lost 7-0 to a very depleted Swedish team). And Rick Nash... he's just been incredible so far. With MLB starting up and the NBA playoffs providing minor excitement sans-Lakers (though sans-Timberwolves as well, unfortunately), there's enough to fill the void, although no Champions league for the next 2 to 3 weeks isn't cool at all.

Got drunk in a flower shop the other night... pretty unique experience, I must say.

New Sleater-Kinney out on May 23. That's all that matters musically right now. Well, there are others, but I'll get to them another time.