Amoeblog

Studio "West Coast"

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 1, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
It is always interesting to go back and think about the first time you heard a certain band or certain song. As it happens, you may not always realize what an important moment it is. It may be months or years later when you look back and reflect on that pivotal moment when you first heard some song that you are now obsessed with. I can still remember the first time I heard certain songs. I remember exactly who I was with and if it was on the car radio or in someone's bedroom. I remember certain songs being played to me over the phone when talking with friends late at night. I also remember seeing a music video for the first time of some band that I had never heard before. This does not happen so much anymore. But I still do get introduced to new bands all the time. Most of them are not so memorable. I already like a lot of bands so I spend most of my time listening to those bands old albums or getting excited by their new albums. But the best thing about music is hearing a new band for the first time. There is really nothing like the excitement of hearing a song and immediately getting obsessed with it. Knowing that your life will now be better just because of this one new band.

This just happened to me again last month. My friend was given a CD from Sweden of this new  band "Studio." Her friend bought it for her just knowing that she would love it. It then made its way to me. The album "Yearbook 1" was only available in Sweden at the time. The UK version called "West Coast" was out in a couple of weeks. As I listened to it the first time, I knew I would remember the moment forever. I knew I loved the album before it was even over. By the time I bought the UK version, I had already listened to the other version a dozen times. They changed the artwork and got rid of the first two tracks. While the artwork was a bit better on the Norwegian CD, the album does not really miss the missing songs. It is easily one of the best albums of the year already.

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out today 7/31...the 1990s...bat for lashes...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 30, 2007 09:08pm | Post a Comment
The new album by the new band the 1990's comes out today. I am a bit surprised there is not a band called the 1980's. There is for sure enough bands copying and sometimes reinventing the sounds of the 80's. But since it is now reaching the late 2000's, it has come time for bands to start reinventing the 1990's. Very soon there will be a whole bunch of bands sounding just like Nirvana and L7. There are already a group of bands reinventing the sounds of 90's rave. Shoegaze and Britpop never really stopped existing. The indie rock sound that sort of came into existence in the 90's is still as strong as ever. The new album by the 1990's is called "Cookies." And it actually is sounding a bit 90's. But in a good way.

The 1990's are from the great town that is Glasgow, Scotland. This great little town, which I recently found out is not really that little, has already brought us Franz Ferdinand, Belle & Sebastian, the Fratellis, Bis, Mogwai, and The Yummy Fur. Two member of the 1990's were in the Yummy Fur. Lead Singer, Jackie McKeown and bassist, Jamie McMorrow. This should remind you a bit of Franz Ferdinand. Both Paul Thomson and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand were in The Yummy Fur. If you like Franz Ferdinand, you would probably like the 1990's. But they really don't sound that much alike. They are reminding me a bit of Imperial Teen. Imagine a British or Scottish Imperial Teen or maybe Sloan or Phoenix. They also remind me of that other 90's band Pavement. They are one of those bands that create wonderful little catchy pop songs. It is very easy to get addicted to these songs. The same thing happened with me and the band Sloan. All I wanted to do was listen to Sloan after I first heard them. This could easily happen to you after listening to these guys. It was what I liked so much about the fun music that was 90's britpop. Bands like Blur and Supergrass were just fun to listen to.

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TALES FROM THE CRYPT

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 26, 2007 08:53pm | Post a Comment
Tales From the Crypt. Do you remember that show? I sure do. This was before HBO became the best place to watch television shows. But they still had some good programming. Long before we were all addicted to Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. Tales From the Crypt ran on HBO from 1989-1996. The show would have probably not survived and for sure not been as good if it were just on regular network television. Shows like the Twilight Zone were able to still be amazing on network TV without showing any nudity or graphic violence. But these were different times. We were all accustomed to seeing a lot of blood and violence with our horror at this point. And HBO could get away with that. The great thing about this show was its guest stars. Each episode had a new batch of guest stars. So it sort of was like "The Twilight Zone" or "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" of the early 90's. I tried to watch the show whenever I got a chance. But I have started collecting the DVD's since they started coming out in 2005. Season 6 was just released this week. And the final season comes out October 23rd.

I am not sure where my fascination with horror came from. It probably started before 1989. But this show definitely helped to cement it into my consciousness. I remember the excitement I would feel whenever I could catch an episode. The opening sequence really set up the show every evening. The Cryptkeeper was sort of the Rod Serling of the show. Maybe Rod Serling mixed with Sophia from the Golden Girls. He used a lot of those horrible jokes and puns we have all heard a million times. He was basically a sickly little skeleton voiced by  Josh Kassir. Josh has done a ton of voiceover work. But this was his shining moment. He also did the voice for the cartoon "Tales from the Cryptkeeper" which was on from 1993-1997.

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the return of winona ryder...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 25, 2007 05:34pm | Post a Comment
So I was just talking about how excited I was that "The State" would be coming out soon on DVD a couple of blogs ago. If you forgot, you can look at it here. I finally got to tag my own blog! So I mentioned that the entire cast of The State was in David Wain's new movie "The Ten." My friend just happened to let me know about the special screening last night at the Lumiere.  I, of course, ran over there after work to meet some of my great special friends to go see it. The movie comes out August 3rd, so I was especially excited to see it early. I had already watched the trailer a bunch of times. And I am obviously a huge fan of the creator of the movie and not only the cast of "The State", but almost everyone else in the film.

 
I will just start by saying that the movie is unbelievably awesome. I really don't want to give too much away. So just watch the preview at the bottom of this entry and check out the website. It is better than any comedy you have probably seen in a while. Please go see this movie instead of the horrible movie that is "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry." Just like the world of sitcoms, they really don't make comedies like this anymore. The movie is basically broken into ten parts, with each part about a particular commandment from the bible. The cast pops up in multiple connected stories all put together by Paul Rudd, who narrarates in between each section. It is sort of like 10 skits from "The State" or "Kids in the Hall." But even better. In addition to Paul Rudd and the entire cast of "The State", the cast includes Jessica Alba, Gretchen Mol, Adam Brody, Liev Schreiber, Justin Theroux, Oliver Platt, and Winona Ryder.

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what is coming out today 7/24...U.N.K.L.E...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 23, 2007 10:47pm | Post a Comment
I had almost forgotten about Unkle. It seems so long ago that "Psyence Fiction" came out. I guess 1998 was almost 10 years ago. If you remember correctly, this album was huge. These were the years when Electronica was breaking through to the mainstream. This was one of the albums that really put the genre on the map and made people start noticing electronica acts as artists. One of the reasons they got so popular is because they combined all these different genres into one album. With the help of DJ Shadow they incorporated sounds of hip hop with dance. Trip Hop had already been created and this had been done before. But Unkle also brought in major popular rock vocalists such as Thom Yorke from Radiohead and RIchard Ashcroft from The Verve. Like many new fans, this is what first made me check out the album. I was obsessed with Radiohead and The Verve. So I was obviously going to check out anything that they were attached to. I did not pay much attention to their second album out in 2003. But I am again finding myself listening to Unkle.

The new album is "War Stories." There is also a larger special version that comes in vacuum sealed plastic. I think they made it with one of those vacuum sealers that they advertise on infomercials. This time, we have vocals by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Gavin Clark, 3D of Massive Attack, the Duke Spirit, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. Ian Astbury is actually on two tracks. "Burn My Shadow" and "When Things Explode." So far they seem to be my two favorite tracks. Maybe this is because I have been a big Cult fan for a very long time. I sort of keep it a bit of a secret. But I really do love myself some Southern Death Cult, Death Cult, and Cult. His vocals, especially here, sound a lot like Jim Morrison. He has one of those voices that is very recognizable. I could not really imagine these songs working until I actually heard them. It ends up working beautifully. His voice fits in nicely with the orchestrated electronics on the album.

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