I’ve been sitting on the fence for a long time now; do I or do I not really like The Appleseed Cast?  Last weekend I finally made the decision, I do in fact like The Appleseed Cast, a lot even.

Why did it take me this long to decide?  Usually I make up my mind instantly and it takes major brain trauma of some kind to make me change my mind.    We have several of their albums and ever so often I will play one of them and think “dang these guys are really good, why don’t I listen to them more?”

Then, there will be some kind of long, (excessive to my standard) overly repetitive non-vocal period and I remember why.

But we don’t always love everything about someone, yet we still really like them, and the same can go for bands.    I mean we do live in the grand age of the skip button, right?  I don’t mean to knock The Appleseed Cast about this, I have just never been a huge fan of any non-vocal stretches of music.   I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the long version of “Heavy Metal Machine” at the Pumpkins concert last month, as it went on and on without out Billy singing basically forever.   Even after enjoying it, I was relieved they didn’t play “Gossamer” as well.

Reasons to totally like The Appleseed Cast: they have great epic songs.  Even the song titles are epic, for example: “The Immortal Soul of Mundo Cani” and “The Waking of Pertelotte.”  These song titles have Beowolf qualities to them.  Also, they are great musicians and the vocals are nice and smooth.  I like the slightly dark mood they inspire in me.   I don’t listen to them when I feel like hopping around and doing cartwheels.

No more fence sitting for me, hooray!   I don’t care much for that sort of thing, I feel happier either liking something or getting it off or my ipod forever.   Come see for yourself, or revisit them if you have not listened in a while right HERE.

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Oct 272007
 

Me: “I have not heard any good new music lately, its kind of depressing”

Tac: “Have you been listening to that Indie Feed podcast I subscribed you to?”

Me: “No, I totally forgot about that.”

Two days later…….

Me: “Hey, I kind of like that band Maritime”…………….

Maritime; a band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has recently made a third album titled “Heresy and the Hotel Choir.” They are currently touring about, check them out right here for tour info and to hear their music.

A little something about them (straight from their myspace page):

“here’s why you’re looking at something through fresh eyes, and why Maritime is, too: Things settled, as things do. Justin Klug took the four-string slot, and longtime contributor Dan Hinz—he played guitar on Vehicles—became full-fledged member Dan Hinz. (He is known to his bandmates and the Japanese as “Chicken Dan.”) And the band started writing songs like bands should—in a room together, rocking like the young people they still are. When these four got done writing songs, they didn’t need to recruit people or scramble to get a lineup together. They just went out and played them, together, and shot them full of life. THEN, as is the proper etiquette for these things, they started recording them, enlisting the help of producer Stuart Sikes, who’s worked with lots of bands that don’t sound like Maritime, including Cat Power and Modest Mouse.”

They have a straight up guitars and drums and American boys kind of sound that I like. Also, every time I listen to the song “Love Has Given Up” I get this association from unknown origins to the movie of “Romeo and Juliet” (the cool one).

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Musically, nothing blogworthy happened to me at all last week. I did however manage to read a wonderful Victorian novel called North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell. Breathe a huge sigh of relief that my sister Jennette has already listened to me rave about this book (she’s read it also), thus sparing any of you, who otherwise would have received an eye full.

This morning when my three year old sat down to eat his raisin bran, he informed me he wanted to listen to music. ( We usually have music playing in the morning, but no one had turned any on yet) I asked him what he wanted, thinking it would be Phantom. “I want Death Cab To Cutie” he said. So we listened to “Transatlanticism” this morning while we ate breakfast together.

He is too cute(ie) and he has great taste in music.

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Oct 102007
 

If you love the Smashing Pumpkins, or just want some intelligent, thoughtful comments on what makes “alt rock” alternative; click here to read what Hipsters United has to say.

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I just downloaded Radiohead’s new album “In Rainbows” and I am so very happy to say that I like it… a lot even. In case everyone in the world is not already aware, they took the record business by surprise and announced they would allow people to download if from them and pay as little or much, or even nothing at all for the new album. ( you can read more about that here, if you like)

I will still probably let out a little sigh now and again as I listen to “OK Computer” or “The Bends” but those belong to bygone days now. This album is quite frankly very lovely.

The first song; “15 Step” has such distinctive guitars you would know it was Radiohead before you ever heard Thom Yorke’s voice.

“Body Snatchers” and “Nude” have lots of Thom’s beautiful voice as he sings in his sweet way.

“Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” starts with kind of a happy, fast little beat and just builds slowly throughout the song while Thom sings, until towards the end it breaks into something slightly harder with more guitars.

“All I need” is mostly electronic with slow talking/singing until piano comes in at the end playing against loud background music, Thom singing still. Its a great way to end that song, it all sounds so well together.

“Faust Arp” features nice simple guitars and what sounds like a violin perhaps playing slow and gentle, while the singing is quick. Its nice.

“Videotape” the last song, starts with a lone piano while Thom Yorke’s voice rings in mildly and yet very clear, creating a highly enjoyable song. As the song progressed, at any moment I expected it to just start rocking out, kind of like a last song on the album surprise, but it didn’t. That wasn’t necessarily a complaint, I just listened to Muse almost all day yesterday and I think I got used to mello beginnings that suddenly get very loud.

There are obviously more songs than what I just described, so pick your price and download them for yourselves.

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Its no big secret this girl can’t resist a good British band (or author) . While baking bread the other morning (theres something you didn’t know about me), I had my laptop out searching around for music. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong sounded interesting, I listened to them for awhile and then noticed they were opening for a band called Babyshambles.

I have since listened to the songs on their website many times, and keep going back for more. They have a new album coming out soon that I am excited to get called “Shotters Nation.”

I know people say this all the time, and I am saying it some more: don’t decide they are too mellow or that your’e not sure if you like them until you have listened to at least every song on their site. You totally owe it to yourself to take the time. Also be sure to watch the video for “Delivery,” their new single.

Tac and I both noticed that “Delivery” had sounds similar to one of our long time favorite bands, Blur. Then we read that Shotters Nation was produced by the same guy who worked with Blur and The Smiths.

Right now I’m listening to “The Lost Art of Murder” and I’m really enjoying it. So go check out Babyshambles and enjoy your day.

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When I saw the name of this band, I so hoped they would be good enough to blog about.  Hockey Night is not only the name of this band, but its also a movie that my family taped off of TV in the 80′s.  We watched it a lot, not because it was a fantastic movie but because its  funny.

One of my favorites is Evelyn singing: “people talk, people talk when I’m not there, people talk, people talk but I don’t care,    I DON’T CARE.”

Our other favorite is when the hockey announcer says: “it’s like kissing your sister; you’re still using your lips but the thrills all gone.”

Ok, so I just indulged myself in quoting an obscure movie that only 3 people reading this will even get, sorry.  Don’t judge me by this post.

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Look Down, a band from Chicago, formed in 1999 and according to their myspace page: “started ruling shortly after that.”

“Intellicode Juno” one of the songs featured on their myspace page is a pretty catchy song. However, the picture on the front of the album featuring this song is so bad its not even funny to me. I still remember my uncles looking like that.

Most noteworthy is their song “Wild Stallions” (add your own little air guitar and appropriate noise here :) I was a little disappointed they didn’t give it the original Bill and Ted spelling:

*Wyld Stallyns*

But the song is very cool, it reminds me of the Pixies; especially the guitars. Check out Look Down, and as a bonus if you are lucky you will have as much fun as I did playing the “link game” because I found an interesting band in their friends, then another one in their friends and then they were opening for a band that I have discovered I like very much. I’m so excited, I have lots to blog about this week.

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My brother Adam and his very pretty (even though she didn’t like this picture) wife Kimber

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Tac and I

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My sister Jennette and her husband Boo (Rich) and my brother Tyler with his girlfriend Katie who seems to have been cut off in this picture, but she is up in the picture with Adam and Kimber.

A funny little story about our drive from Boise to Orem, UT… Rich and Adam started a debate a long time ago about what animal they could kill with their bare hands in a cage match to the death situation. It was renewed in the car and I will tell you why; Rich claims that he could kill an orangutan monkey! And he thinks he could possibly kill a mountain goat as well.

The car got so loud as we debated. Tac is sure he could kill a wolverine. Apparently a co worker of Adam and Rich thought Rich could take on Adam, but only with the help of 50 bees. Animals that we thought were right out: hippos, anacondas, gorillas and baboons. I might be able to take on an anteater…….

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Friday night was spectacular as I stood watching Billy Corgan play his songs in the David O McKay theater. The Pumpkins came on stage and just started making music, they opened with “United States” from Zeitgeist and as hoped for, Billy played an incredible guitar solo of “The Star Spangled Banner” in the middle of the song. I have read about this, but I wanted to hear it live for myself first; it was beautiful.

The set list was awesome, I was never disappointed. I’ll admit I thought I was going to be when “Starz” began, that is my least favorite song on the new album, but it pretty much rocked live. I didn’t bring my little black moleskine notebook or anything so I have no written notes from the show. I just kept telling myself to remember everything, so big surprise that I can’t remember some very important details like names of songs.

However, during one song the keyboard sounded like an old church organ in a Dracula movie, it was very cool. Billy played some acoustic stuff; “1979″ and “Perfect” which I was elated to hear. Adore is one of my favorite albums, could life be as good without Adore? (no) Also from Adore: “To Sheila” and “Ava Adore.”

It amazed me every time they would start playing an old favorite, the energy level in the room elevated rather quickly, that is such a great feeling. At no point was I so in rapture as when the first notes to “Cherubrock” started playing, “tonight, tonight” and “Today” coming in a close second.

“Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “Zero” got us all pretty wired, Billy sang them so well. His voice is just as clear and beautiful as ever, and his screams were GORGEOUS! I have read several *opinions* stating that his voice (especially in these two songs) as of late was a little lacking in angst and feeling, it’s really not.

Some other songs I havn’t mentioned yet, but which inspired much pleasure and delight were: “Drown,” “That’s the Way (my love is)” “Tarantula,” “Stand Inside your Love,” “Starla” and an extended, intense and resounding version of “Heavy Metal Machine” (Billy had the greatest smile on his face during that song).

The night ended with “Muzzle.” Five years ago I wondered if I would ever see Billy Corgan live on stage again, and there I was in a room with him while he played “Muzzle.” I just swayed to the music and enjoyed it as much as I could.

As a side note, The Bravery did a great job opening. They must have, because I actually listened to and enjoyed their music instead of just being annoyed that they weren’t Billy. Tac and I think it would have been cooler if The Bravery would have played their cover of “Rocket” and Billy would have come out and sang with them.

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