Archive for August 2009

Episode 1128 is up

August 23, 2009

Major Lazer “Keep It Goin’ Louder”

August 23, 2009

It’s another one of those Wild 94.9-style voice distorting Akon knockoffs. This is a maxi-single in the classic sense: the radio edit and 11 other versions. The Tommie Sunshine Radio Edit is extra obnoxious, and it’s what the car ahead of me in the Jack in the Box drive-thru at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning is always playing. It makes me wonder how their order was even taken, but perhaps the workers use fancy headsets purchased from headsets.com.
With 12 versions, one is sure to stand out. I like the Superchumbo Louder Mix, because it uses a lot of the style found earlier this decade. The problem is that hook has no soul, and every remix obviously has to use the hook. The most ambitious DJ still has to keep the basic premise of the song intact. But at least this version has enough other distractions. Even at nearly eight minutes in duration, it’s pleasing to me. It’s like when you eat cake because of the frosting. The Superchumbo Harder Mix is a bit, um, trancier but also good. I like this Superchumbo guy.
The Diplo Mix has similar synths to “You’re Not Alone” by Olive, but then doesn’t every song? Still, it’s nice to hear it again. No wonder sampling is such a successful template for cutting a track. The Mixin’ Marc Mix and Dub have it too, but it sounds better in the Diplo Mix. The Mixin’ Marc Mix has a more modern club feel to it. The Diplo Mix sounds dated enough that it could sneak onto the turntable at the Edge in Palo Alto.

Telegraph Canyon “The Tide and the Current”

August 23, 2009

When you submit your stuff to a radio station, the little things sometimes determine whether it gets reviewed. The Tide and the Current hand wrote at the bottom of the onesheet, “Small label. Small band. GREAT record. Help us! Thanks. Jeff.”
Jeff must work for the label, because there are no Jeffs in Telegraph Canyon. At any rate, it was enough to make me decide to review the album. Chuck Brown goes along and sings on tracks the way a lot of late ’90s indie bands did. Megatron Jones and The Dambuilders comes to mind. The band is from Ft. Worth, Texas, and that does not surprise me one bit. “Safe on the Outside” personifies this best.
All the songs accomplish the same thing. They’re as dependable as McDonald’s. “Captain” stands out a bit if you want a slower song. The strings or whatever those are give it just a hint of an alt country feel.
“Dressed in Fight” is my favorite song on the album. Musically, it sounds like a classic Rilo Kiley song, and the male leads work wonderfully.

The New Up “Better Off”

August 23, 2009

These San Franciscans are a fun bunch on this five-track EP. “Dear Life” gets things off to a good start, although an instrumental section or two could have been removed to shorten the song, and no one would have been hurt.
The second track is the title track. The band sounds a bit like another local act, Lackadaisy. Maybe it’s the same singer. There’s no time for fact checking when reviews are due in less than three hours.
“Bitch” is fun. The harmonies really make the song go. F.Y.R.U.F.N. slows it down a bit. Perhaps it is because they keep stopping to find a vowel. It’s bad enough to only have one, but “u”? That’s the worst of the bunch. Sure, “y” has commitment issues, but at least he does a good job when he shows up.
“Wait (for Danny G.)” is slow and reminds me of another local band from the ’90s, Honeypot.
This EP is a good start, if that’s what it is. If they go in the “Bitch” direction, they could be on to something.

Lightning Dust “Infinite Light”

August 23, 2009

An album of ballads, Lightning Dust know how to mix up the men’s and women’s vocals to give the listener some enjoyable tracks. Everything is very deliberate, and the effort is easy to spot when spinning the disc.
“Honest Man” is amazing. It has subtle synths in the background and delightful singing. It’s very well mixed.
Many of the tracks answer the question “What would happen if Hope Sandoval sang with a dude?” Amber Webber’s voice is more textured than Sandoval’s, but it works just fine here. “Waiting on the Sun to Rise” has several layers to it, and it plays well with Webber’s strengths. I cannot get over the fundamental strength this album has!
“Take It Home” is last and is slightly downtempo. Definitely something for fans of Portishead and Morcheeba. But regardless, every track is a gem. I can’t wait for these Canadians to visit us.

Jemina Pearl “Break It Up (College Edition)”

August 23, 2009

It’s the lead singer of Be Your Own Pet. Some of the tracks really hit home. “Heartbeats” has Dollyrots vocals, but the music is not as action-filled. “Band on the Run” is not a cover, but it is easy to listen to. There’s not a lot of passion in these songs, but if this is the formula you’re into, you’ll be happy. Clearly she has her fan base, but I don’t see how she is going to add new followers with this effort, or lack of.
“I Hate People” has special guest Iggy Pop doing backing vocals among other things. Perhaps this partnership had more to do with his lust for her. One never knows. It is a key track regardless.
Thirteen tracks is acceptable because the tracks are short, but it’d still have been preferable if she had spent more time writing. The whole effort feels rushed. The hand claps in “D Is for Danger” are a nice touch, though.
Really, she is at her best when she just lets it all hang out. “Selfish Heart” is a lot of fun and has a frenetic pace that will make you want to do shots and tear shit up.
Put another way, Jemina Pearl seems to be having an identity crisis right before our eyes. Does she want to be cutesy? Does she want to be hard? Similar to our president when it comes to healthcare reform, she is trying too hard to please everyone, and instead she is going to please no one.

Episode 1127 is up

August 23, 2009

Episode 1126 is up

August 20, 2009

Episode 1125 is up

August 20, 2009

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 34, August 19 2009 Playlist

August 19, 2009

Pre, The Junk
Frida Hyvonen, Djuna!
Husbands, Sha La La Daniel
Tiny Vipers, Eyes Like Ours
Danielle Howle, Lullabye
Lida Husik, Fly Stereophonic
Squirrelhouse, Fours
Horrorpops, Ghouls
Hot Lava, Mummy Beach
DM Stith, BMB
Hooverphonic, 2Wicky
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, On the Low
Amanda Blank, Make-Up
Jolie Holland, Mad Tom of Bedlam
Lauren Hoffman, The Cannibal Ed
The Black Tales, Mr. Right Now
His Name Is Alive, When You Fall for Someone
The Hissyfits, Bloodsugarsister
Shoe, Howl at the Moon
Kristin Hersh, The Thin Man
Helium, XXX
UUVVWWZ, Hum Jam
Heavenly, Me and My Madness
Headless Heroes, Blues Run the Game
Sally Shapiro, Save Your Love
Juliana Hatfield, I See You
PJ Harvey, Cat on the Wall
The Jezabels, Disco Biscuit Love
Hanne Hukkelberg, Midnight Sun Dream
Tami Hart, Brian Adams
Royalchord, The Good Times
Gemma Hayes, Home
Petra Haden, Miranda Sex Garden Song
Gay Beast, White Diamonds
Halou, I’ll Carry You
Larkin Grimm, Anger in Your Liver
The Do, Unissasi Laulelet
Gringo Star, All Day Long
Gravy Train!!!!, Ghost Boobs
Summer Cats, Christopher Wren
Tom Tom Club, L’Elephant
The Gossip, Sleepers
The Nocturnes, I Was the Light of Day
Diana Krall, Evidence
The Rocking Horse Winner, Horizon