I love Avi Buffalo! I love when a new band seems to come out of nowhere! They just suddenly jump into my life, changing it forever. I do tend to be a bit dramatic with my love of certain bands, but I do really love this band. I can't imagine my year without this album. I felt like I was destined to fall in love with this band months before I even heard the album. They are from Long Beach, California and on Sub Pop Records. What more did I need to know?! I grew up in the fantastic little big town of Long Beach and I have been patiently waiting for a really good band to make me proud. I got super sick of everyone talking about Sublime. I will always love Warren G and Snoop Dogg, but I needed more. Melissa Etheridge lived in Long Beach for a while. We have our share of actors coming from Long Beach, too. The great Brice Beckham from Mr. Belvedere, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen from Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, Sally Kellerman and Cameron Diaz. But I needed a Shins or Band of Horses type band to come from Long Beach. Everybody wants at least one great indie band to come from their hometown. Avi Buffalo might just be that band.
This album has really blown me away. So great! Really beautiful and fun! Avi met the rest of his band at Millikan High School in Long Beach. These guys are barely out of high school but sound like they have been playing together for 10 years. The record seriously sounds so much better than I could have ever expected. I give some credit to its producer, but at its heart are Avi and his bandmates. He has got one of those weird little voices that you wouldn't really expect to come out of him just by looking at him, sort of like Silversun Pickups. The album really is a big record full of awesome little songs. It is actually pretty short, but I mean big in the way it feels. I was out of town and missed their most recent show but I will be seeing them the next time I get a chance, I hope. My favorite songs are "What's In It For" and "Jessica." They do sort of remind me of MGMT a bit, maybe without the nostalgia retro feeling of that first album. Sub Pop is for sure the perfect home for these guys. The songs all sort of have a melancholy feel to them. I would have believed the band members were all approaching their mid 30's, but once I found out they were so young I tried to figure out if I could even notice it in the album. The lyrics might be a bit younger than I first noticed them to be...but it doesn't really matter. Like the XX, the music is mature way beyond their years. It makes me hopeful for the future of music. Not everything is going to sound like Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana, thank god! Get some Avi Buffalo in your life. You will not regret it.
Listen to "What's In It For" by Avi Buffalo from the album Avi Buffalo...
Free Download of "What's In It For" from Amoeba.com
Buy the new album Avi Buffalo by Avi Buffalo
Another band that sort of came out of nowhere is Ceremony. But I guess not really...before there was A Place To Bury Strangers there was Skywave, and Skywave sort of turned into A Place To Bury Strangers and Ceremony. I love those APTBS albums more than anything, so you can imagine, I was very excited to hear this album by Ceremony! It is brought to us by the great label Killer Pimp that put out the first APTBS album. Killer Pimp has also just released the amazing album from Soundpool. Soundpool is like the female cousin of Ceremony; it has female vocals and is a bit more ethereal but still is in the shoegaze genre. This new album by Ceremony is called Rocket Fire. If you were a bit scared by APTBS then this might be the album for you -- not that it isn't just as good, it is just a bit more accessible and easy to digest. This is not the Chaz Bono band with the same name. There actually seem to be about 4 other bands named Ceremony...not exactly sure how that happened. You'd think somebody would have noticed before now! But this is for sure my favorite incarnation. Rocket Fire is everything I love in an album -- it's loud shoegaze, it's dark and brooding, it sounds British even though it's not, it sounds like it was made in 1991 but it's not, and it has been one of my favorites of this month. I will probably wear it out soon, so I am trying not to listen to it every day, but it is that good!
Listen to "Stars Fall" by Ceremony from the album Rocket Fire...
Buy the new album Rocket Fire by Ceremony
There are those of us that love Courtney Love and there are those of us that hate her. There really is not any in between. Some of us blame her for the death of Kurt Cobain. Some of us think she has no talent and would be nothing if she had never married Kurt. I happen to be one of the fans. I still can't really think of very many albums from the 90's that are as good as Live Through This. The album was not only immensely popular at the time, but it still holds up as just as great now as it was back then. Most people of my generation can remember where they were when they found out that Kurt Cobain had died. He was the John Lennon of my generation. I was in a parking lot in a car in Santa Barbara when I first heard the news on the radio. I was already a fan of Courtney Love at the time. She had already been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone and she had already finished the amazing album that was Live Through This. I was a big fan of both Hole and Nirvana, but as soon as I heard Kurt Cobain was dead I felt like I had to start defending Courtney. I went completely into defensive mode. I am happy to say that now Hole is back! More than anything I was just glad to be able to go see Hole in concert again. I would have of course loved to see the original Hole line up, but much like the way Smashing Pumpkins is now just Billy Corgan, Hole is basically just Courtney Love and some new dudes. Anyway, I got to see Hole a couple of weeks ago at the Fonda in Hollywood. I may not be absolutely in love with the new album, but I do like it. There are some great Hole songs on there. And the show was fantastic -- It felt like the mid 90's all over again! I often wonder what the music world would be like if Kurt was still alive. Would Kurt and Courtney still even be together? Would they have put out an album of country duet covers? Would Kurt be dating Kat Von D or Winona Ryder instead? I am glad that Courtney is still around to keep us entertained, and I am glad she is still making music. I like the direction she is going in; she is sort of turning into the Stevie Nicks of the future. Her fans are now mostly the hardcore Hole fans and the gays that have stood by her, sort of like Stevie, but I was also happy to see some young kids at the Hole show. She can hopefully have an impact on young girls and gays now, just as she did in the 90s.
Listen to "Honey" by Hole from the new album Nobody's Daughter...
One of my favorite recent comedians is Brian Posehn. I have seen him perform a couple of times and got to meet him at Amoeba in San Francisco a couple of years ago for a Comedians of Comedy instore. I really fell in love with Brian Posehn because of Sarah Silverman -- he plays one of the gay bears on The Sarah Silverman Show. If you have never seen this show, then you must go watch it very soon! It is ridiculous and brilliant! His new comedy album, Fart & Wiener Jokes, is on Relapse Records, which, if you know anything about Brian Posehn, makes perfect sense. As a big metal head, this is the perfect home for him. I think everybody needs some comedy albums in their collection. I like to listen to them in my car. I am sure people think I am crazy when they see me laughing out loud in my car driving by myself! Singing to yourself makes sense, but laughing looks a little weird. There is a new David Cross album right around the corner as well! That makes me really happy! This new Brian Posehn album is funny stuff -- it's dirty and messed up just like a good comedy album should be. Fart & Wiener Jokes is mostly a comedy album, but it also ends with a couple songs.
Here is the amazing video for "More Metal Than You" from Fart & Wiener Jokes by Brian Posehn...
Buy the new album Fart & Wiener Jokes by Brian Posehn
also out 4/20...
Book of Songs for Anne Marie by Baby Dee
Swim by Caribou
Three Kings by Dead Meadow
Clinging To a Scheme by Radio Dept
Thing by Trans Am
also out 4/27...
This is Big Audio Dynamite by Big Audio Dynamite
DJ Kicks by The Juan Maclean
Holy Ground by Mono
What We Lose In the Fire We Gain... by The Mynabirds
Mirrors In Your Eyes by Soundpool