Archive for May 2009

Zap Mama “ReCreation”

May 31, 2009

I guess this is what they call “world music.” It’s very good for what it is. I am just too uncultured to be able to appreciate it fully.
“The Way You Are (featuring Bilal)” is a solid R&B effort with a twist. I think my mom would enjoy this record because she took a bunch of Afro dance classes at a junior college in the 1970s. They were free. All junior college was free. And then Proposition 13 passed. And now the state is bankrupt. I am sure that is just a coincidence.
A lot of these songs are featuring somebody. A bunch of somebodies that I don’t know, for the most part. But “Drifting (featuring G. Love)” features G. Love! It’s not just a clever name. No Special Sauce here, but it’s still nice to see some accompaniment by such a big name.
There is another big name contributor on this album. “African Diamond (with Tony Allen and Meshell Ndegeocello)” has a nice beat. Maybe it’s because it’s with those guests and not featuring them. There is a difference, you know.
“Chill Out” ends the album and has some fun little keyboards. This album is fairly well constructed, and I would play it at a cocktail party when all the guests have nicer cars than I do (which isn’t hard to do by the way).

Headless Heroes “The Silence of Love”

May 31, 2009

This is a disappointing album because so many tracks are misses when they should all be hits. It’s as if half of them have vocals mixed by one producer, with the rest mixed by another.

“Just Like Honey” is an example of a great song. It’s a step above farmers market folk song singer/songwriter crap. The singer has real range, and she sounds relaxed and confident. I suppose you could say her voice sounds, well, just like honey.

“See My Love” is just a little too crazy for me. It sounds like Halou in a squeezebox. I can see why it’s buried at the end of the album. “To You” is a little whiny and self-piteous.

There are plenty of good tracks though. “Blues Run the Game” has that same relaxed sound. “The North Wind Blew South” is exceptionally lush (and Lush) in its sound. It also has the best musical accompaniment on the album.

Casper & the Cookies “Modern Silence”

May 31, 2009

More male-female harmonies but with more of an edge. Maybe not. This isn’t edgy music, but there is more attitude than what you’d expect from a name like “Casper & the Cookies.” “You Love Me” sounds like it should be in an Old Navy commercial, except if it did all the clothes would jump off the racks and revolt against the store’s security guards.

Sometimes you don’t know when an act has made it until you hear other acts like it. And if you’ve ever heard a Ting Tings song, then you will begin to have an idea of what Casper & the Cookies bring to the table. “Sharp!” definitely could be covered by them. Or maybe they are covering them. You just don’t know.

Sometimes a keyboard takes over the song in that “not a dance song but can be danced to” way. “Song Across the Sea” does this. I think the Steve Winwood-inspired vocals tell us that this song is going to be played in a Macy’s by 2012.

And sometimes a song takes over an entire album so much that you could care less about the other tracks. And that’s what happens with “Little Lady Larva.” This song must be fantastic live. They should open for Liz Phair. Her fans would love this.

But you can’t care less about the other tracks because they’re good too. “Moldy Flower” is a fun little number, but it gets lost amid the competition. Try to seek this one out. It sounds like a white guy pretending to be Prince, but that makes it good, promise. “Meredith” is Fastbacks meets Rush. These songs are all a little different, and they’re all good.

“Sunshine Girl” has nice keys and strong female vocals. It’s also very solid.

Hands and Knees “Et Tu, Fluffy?”

May 31, 2009

Lots of jingle-jangle semi-alt country here, the kind that makes me think of Club Cal-Neva in Reno. “You Thought It’d Make You Feel Better” stands out. It has a little more passion than the other tracks. “A Great Pain” sounds more modern but also less inspired. It’s still a decent song.

“Blue Day Moon” only works with a microbrew. You could never listen to this on your front porch with a Bud Light in your hand. “Anywhere But Here” seems like a bit of a departure for the band, but it would be good for fans of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “The Killing Jar.”

If you want to hear the man sing a good song, pick “We Are the Man Who Cannot Fly.” Otherwise I’m sticking with the female-led tracks. At any rate, there are some fun tracks here, but nothing that goes too far off the beaten path.

Fantasy Baseball Strategy Guide and News for 31 May 2009 (Issue 56)

May 31, 2009

Matt Joyce is here! Give him a look.

Mike Fontenot has remembered how to hit and now gets to start with Aramis Ramirez on the shelf. Maybe it’s time to give him another chance. Andruw Jones, too.

Gregorio Petit is back with the A’s. Expect him to get some at-bats so the club can see what they have with him. They’re going to be looking at a lot more kids, if such a thing is even possible, if they continue to lose.

Fantasy Baseball Strategy Guide and News for 29 May 2009 (Issue 55)

May 29, 2009

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Randy Wolf can help you. Help him help you help your team. Want to take a chance? Tommy Hunter starts against Oakland today. It’s a good matchup for him. Any pitcher against Oakland’s anemic offense is a good matchup. Jeremy Bonderman is rehabbing and will soon be worth adding as well.
Speaking of rehab, Marcus Thames is finishing his up. Think about it if you need power.

Episode 1042 is up

May 29, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Strategy Guide and News for 28 May 2009 (Issue 54)

May 28, 2009

There are two ways to look at Kevin Slowey. Either he’s better than his rate stats indicate and will build on his 7-1 record, or he’s been lucky to get seven wins so far. When a pitcher wins 25 games, it’s because he was lucky a few times. Is that the case with Slowey? You can’t really predict luck, but if he is available in your league, it’s worth adding him because sometimes bogus stats such as wins can give the guy the confidence he needs to consistently perform at that level. This is what makes Matt Cain so extraordinary, incidentally. You can see Tim Lincecum turning into Barry Zito, but Cain? Barring injury, he’s baseball’s last 300-game winner. If you’d like a safer option, maybe Erik Bedard is available in your league. Want something riskier? Derek Holland is your guy.
If you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on Luke Scott, it’s time.

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 23, May 27 2009 Playlist

May 27, 2009

Vaselines, Molly’s Lips
!!!, Hello? Is This Thing On?
Civet, Closet Death
Rubies, Stand in a Line
Jenny Choi, Prometheus
Chop Chop, Serial Killer
Secret Lover featuring Delanna Protas, Who Do U Think U R?
Cinnamon, Missing Persons File
Chicklet, Shark’s Smile
Immaculate Machine, Neighbours Don’t Mind
Catatonia, Mulder and Scully
Cat Power, Aretha, Sing One for Me
Joker’s Daughter, The Last Laugh
Neko Case, Hold On, Hold On
Call and Response, Map
The Wooden Birds, Hometown Fantasy
Camera Obscura, Number One Son
Cadallaca, Your One Wish
Gun Outfit, Work Experience
Corrin Campbell, Keep Movin’
The Butchies, Anything Anthology
O+S, We Do What We Want to
Bratmobile, I’m in the Band
The Breeders, Son of Three
Mika Miko, On the Rise
The Bran Flakes, Stumble Out of Bed
Brassy, You Got It
Spc Eco, Shine on Down
Boyskout, Everybody Knew
Blonde Redhead, Mother
1090 Club, Itson
Bran Van 3000, Drinking in L.A.
The Blake Babies, What Did I Do
Fischerspooner, The Best Revenge
Golden, Gray Sky, Morning Sea
Black Box Recorder, New Baby Boom
EeL, E Simples
Bis, This Is Fake D.I.Y.
Ladytron, Tomorrow
Wire Daisies, Leaving So Soon
Bikini Kill, Jigsaw Youth
Bird and the Bee, My Love
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Zero
Dealership, Just So
Red Aunts, MOTA
Bjork, Innocence
10,000 Maniacs, Big Star
Bjork, Hunter
Maps of Norway, Webs
The Rocking Horse Winner, Miss You

Episode 1041 is up

May 27, 2009