Continuing with the Fountains of Wayne, I've been listening to their b-sides album, "Out of State Plates" a bit this week. You have to be a completist nerd fan to buy this two-disc album, because it's very hit and miss. The good stuff is really great and the rest can be rather forgettable. However, the regular releases ("Fountains of Wayne", "Utopia Parkway", and "Welcome Interstate Managers") are all good albums.
What I like about FoW are their super catchy hooks and the often amusing and sometimes self-deprecating lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics seem to work against them because it makes them look like a novelty band, but it's just cool that they sound like they're having a good time and that they don't take themselves too seriously. They're also fun to see live. Adam Schlesinger also doubles as a member of the band, Ivy, and writes a lot of their songs. I'll do something about them sometime soon.
The Girl I Can't Forget (from Out of State Plates)
Denise (from Utopia Parkway)
Can't Get It Out of My Head (Live ELO Cover from Out of State Plates)
Radiation Vibe (from Fountains of Wayne)
A couple tracks I'm thinking of:
Fountains of Wayne > Stacy's Mom
I really like this song. It's got handclaps, crunchy guitars, a catchy chorus, and Rachel Hunter in the video. What more could you want?
Faye Wong > Unstable
Mmmm. Faye Wong. So goddamn pretty and a lovely voice. I don't know the exact story, but The Cocteau Twins wrote a couple songs for her on this album ("Impatience") and I think Robin Guthrie did some production work. Either way, I think it's a cool album.
The White Stripes > The Hardest Button To Button
"Elephant" is my favorite White Stripes disc. This is probably my favorite track, with "Little Acorns" running a close second.
Good trip. Went to HDIF last night, slept in a hallway afterwards. Woke up,
had breakfast, walked around London a bit and that's about it. I'm leaving
for home tomorrow morning. Good stuff.
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So there's some kinda bus strike today, which fucks up my Stonehenge plans.
I've been walking around the Thames, went to the National Portrait Gallery
(free admission!) which was really cool. Walked over to Big Ben, might head
over to the House of Parliament. It's been really windy here, though, which
has really set off my allergies. I think I might go sit in a pub and have a
few pints til I need to catch the train.
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So here I am, sat up in Edinburgh. Had a great time in Glasgow last night, I
think I registered an 8 on the drunk-o-meter. Anything more and I probably
would have been sick all over Kristin's car. Oh, and I went with Sharon and
Thom to an 80s party last Saturday in East Ham (I think that's what it's
called), that was fun. So far on this trip, I've met a ton of peeps who I'll
attempt to list when I get home. My hosts, Sharon and Thom in Datchet and
Kristin and Jonny in Edinburgh, have all been exceedingly kind. I'm gonna
catch up with Debbie in London tonight. My plane leaves in about 4 hours so
I gotta start getting ready. I have to bus it to the airport as Kristin and
Jonny are working.
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I've been listening to the "Beg, Scream & Shout" set lately and I have a new favorite song. It's the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger". Man, this song is fun. I love the way they keep shouting, "Soul finger! Soul finger! Soul finger!". It's like there's a party in your speakers. Awesome.
Here's part of their biography from allmusic.com, it's pretty interesting.
Initially a funky instrumental soul combo on Stax/Volt, the Bar-Kays were nearly destroyed when most of the band perished in the same plane crash that claimed Otis Redding. Amazingly, the Bar-Kays not only regrouped but prospered, evolving into a popular funk ensemble over the course of the '70s. They continued to score hits on the R&B charts through much of the '80s as well, making for a career longevity that no one would have predicted for Stax's formerly star-crossed number-two house band.Listen:
Bar-Kays > Soul Finger
I just peeped Tilly and The Wall's "Wild Like Children" for the first time last week (and it was released two years ago) and I can't get it away from my playlist. This is the catchiest, sunniest, poppiest album ever. They've got a new album, "Bottoms of Barrels", coming at the end of this month and I'm betting it'll be well worth the time.
The whole album is shimmering pop goodness, but I'd have to say my favorite song is "Nights of the Living Dead". They sound so exhuberant and ecstatic near the end of the song, practically shouting "I wanna fuck it up! I wanna fuck it up! I wanna fuck it up! And I feel so alive! And I feel so alive! And I feel so alive!" It's like falling in love with pop music all over again.
Check it out:
Nights of the Living Dead
myspace site #1
myspace site #2
I'm guessing that myspace #1 is the "official" site since that's the one that's linked on their site. Also check out this vid for "Ice Storm, Big Gust, and You". (Can you tell I'm digging this youtube.com embedding tool?)
I posted some of my Coachella pix on my Flickr page if anyone is interested.
Starting off with the crap, I was really disappointed with Sigur Ros. I was looking forward to them, as they are one of my faves. I don't know what it was, but their show didn't translate for an outdoor festival like this. They're much better indoors.
Gnarls Barkley, I really dig that song "Crazy" and they weren't too bad. It was just that it seemed like everyone was hyped about them and the tent was absolutely packed. We were actually hangin' outside, about 20-30 feet from the entrance, so they kinda got lost in the mix.
A couple other dudes who were okay were Common and Kanye West. Common's DJ was pretty cool, but the rest of the set didn't do a lot for me. Kanye was slightly amusing when he played A-ha's "Take On Me" (claiming it was one of his all-time favorite songs) and busted out some 80s style moves, but that was about it.
Luckily, Seu Jorge didn't have that kinda crowd and we were actually able to get into the tent. If you're like me, you first heard of him from watching him do David Bowie covers in portuguese in the film, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. He's got an album of his own tunes, called "Cru", that's very worth checking out. His voice is excellent and he puts on an energetic live show.
If there had been a roof on the Outdoor Stage, Mogwai would have blown it off. They were simply amazing. I love these guys and they didn't disappoint. I kinda wanted to check out Madonna, but she and Mogwai were playing the same time slot. You know who won out that one.
I popped my Depeche Mode cherry, and they were excellent. More guitars/bass/drums than I expected, although I've heard that they were strictly synths way back when. I'm a casual fan, and I have a handful of their albums, but now I can say I've seen them at least once. I liked the stuff they played from Violator as that's my favorite album of theirs.
Massive Attack pretty much fit Stef's description. I like their albums but their live show is pretty fucking dull. It was nice to hear "Angel", though. That song is gorgeous.
Tool, well, what can I say, I'm a fan. They can do no wrong to my ears. They played a tight, but short, set. The musicianship is great, the songs are great, the new album is great, I love it, BLAH X3.
Anyways, that's all I can think about at the moment. It'll probably be quiet around here for a bit as I'm going on vacation starting this week.