11 August 2009

HARD Summer Broken Up before Midnight

I heard at these 'rave' things, chicks get naked!- Murs

Well I heard at these 'rave' things, crowd-control happens.

I feel SUPER lucky that I didn't drop a Benjamin on HARD Summer. Rather than going to this poorly-planned rave-turned-riot, I had an epic night with my best friends in Hermosa Beach. Here's are some videos of some tripped-out kids talking shit about the promoters of the event and their poor planning, the riot police pushing a crowd out of THE MOTHER FUCKING FORUM in LA, and kids jumping off of the upper decks of the stadium. These are some HARD times for LA raves, hopefully HARD Halloween has some better planning.

Sources: TheFmly, The Scenestar

20 July 2009

Postal Service Covers

In confiding in our randomness theme today (one ehteral Coldplay track, one crunk-rock pop-and-lock FF5 track) I bring you two extremely different covers of the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." Take it away A.V. Club:

"It's a band called Confide. They're covering The Postal Service's gentle electro-ballad "Such Great Heights." I guess it's a testament to the song that it "works" both in this incarnation and the way that Iron & Wine did it a while back. Check 'em both out. If you play both videos at once, Satan will tell you to kill something."

Family Force 5- Dance or Die

Coldplay- Strawberry Swing

Upon my first few listens of Coldplay's latest effort, the most "experimental" track out of the bunch was "Strawberry Swing" towards the end of the great fourth effort from the Brits. It bounced and rolled with Afro-pop guitars, falsetto vocals, percussion faded in-and-out and perfectly complimented the dream landscape vocalist Chris Martin painted.

I always took the track literally, always painting the "sitting underneath the oak tree, possibly on a swing in the English countryside" loll that the Afro-pop guitars and swirling violons put you into. But what Coldplay (and the directive team behind the video) has done to in the mere context of words I cannot find --reimagine-- this song is one of the most beautiful, imaginative and heartfelt videos of our generation. We are swept into a childlike, playground/street fantasy that who knows, maybe Martin's child Apple came up with. This video not only changes your opinion/form on the song, but I think personally challenges myself to try and be as creative in my lifetime.

Think Up!, and remember, don't look down, because you're already there.

(Ed. note: This version is pirated, I know that sexpot Katy Perry is trailing behind the end of Strawberry Swing for some unknown reason (but I mean, who wouldn't want Perry trailing you right?). The video just came out today and LOP wanted to get it to you ASAP. I will update and embed a better version as soon it Coldplay puts it up on their channel in HD. Family Force 5's Dance or Die video should be coming around soon as well.)

14 July 2009

Brand New-Daisy Preview

Brand New's forthcoming album, Daisy, has been set to be release September 22 (an avid fan might use some vulgarity to explain their feelings of the continued postponement of the album). But this antsy fan can rest assure that the next album will be just as different as The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me. Jesse Lacey's comments on the new album alludes to the fact that this could be the band's last chapter in their musical odyssey. Let it be clear that the new tracks are meant to be experienced, meaning get your ass to a concert even if you don't have a job, rather than a merely repeated LP in the whip. Here is one of the songs off the new album at their July 11 show in Brooklyn. The song is more than mellow and the crowd reflects this mood, but at a Brand New concert most of the audience is swaying to simple tones that barely slide past the THC bouncers anyway.*

LOP Track Grade-6.5

This is a much better video of another new track, Gasoline.

LOP Track Grade-8

*See my pictures from the concert in Amsterdam

Kings of Leon- In Memorium?

Since the most recent news out of the good ol' countries of Scotland/Ireland suggest that Kings of Leon are either A)Breaking up, B)on the verge of a epic internal collapse that could lead to collapse or C)Just having one of their famous 48-hour drunken rages that leads to brotherly fighting-- I present to you two rare tracks from their earlier (and still drunken brawling) happier times, Youth and Young Manhood.
Talihina Sky (rare B-side)

Molly's Hangover (Wasted Time B-side, acoustic rendition of Molly's Chambers with a little splash of improv)

Coldplay- Billie Jean (Live Cover)

1. Coldplay has always been a victim of its worldwide mega-stardom and commercial success, one of the last real super bands to be tied down by a record company these days, and sometimes it hinders their artistic creativity. You know these guys are good, they sometimes just don't want to be better.

2. Having gone to a Coldplay show live (I was with a chick mind you!), they used to stick to their rock star formula-schtick, but ever since the experimental and needed change-of-pace Viva La Vida (Or Death and All His Friends) they have decided, "People are going to see us regardless, and they have probably already seen us perform, so lets change it up." And they have on their most recent world tour. Sure, yellow balloons fall from the sky during "Yellow," and the swinging light flies around during "Fix You," but filtered into their newest set is a more intimate experience with the fans.

3. During their last world tour, the encore was a stripped down, acoustic set allowed for a clap-along, jammed out ending with Kingdom Come, and has progressed into a middle-of-the-set walkout into the crowd jam session. One improvised song (in our case, "Billie Jean" from a few days ago," and one mash-up of crowd (and personal) favorite "God Put a Smile on Your Face" and "Talk." It allows the usually by-the-basics band to return to their more acoustic routes, and connect more with the ever-distancing audience in an arena tour.

4. Their "Billie Jean" cover is a great of improvised jamming, strumming, and overall you can tell the band in having a good time paying tribute to the King of Pop. The song lags a a tad bit (as given by parched audience participation) , but the duel guitars of Johnny Buckley and drummer Will Champion provide plenty of Quincey Jones' trademark funk on the track, while Chris Martin rides the falsetto rollercoaster in-and-out of the song. How long will it stay on the arsenal? Probably not long, but a fun change-up to throw at the giant crowds nonetheless.

LOP Track Grade- 7.5

5. The tour-long staple of the mash-up is a great little thing of brilliance however. When a band this large has released so many popular songs, how do you please the fans who come to see the ONE song that touched them more than any other? Mash-ups of course! Usually reserved for a Daft Punk of Justice concert, Champion uses an electronic drum pad to put up the tempo, and bassists Guy Berreyman and Buckley are hooked up wireless-amps to all jam around Martin's piano and produce both songs in back-to-back succession to perfection. It may not be the way the crowd wants to hear both songs, but I guarantee those people at "The George," I'd imagine that would be some silly arena in the middle-of-nowhere in the Dakota's, will be left with a different interpretation of the band's songs on that little perch. Those outfits they've been wearing for 1.5+ years gotta be stank by now though.

LOP Track(s) Grade- 9.0

Another Phoenix Post...

Yes, ok, I have a summer crush, but its warranted! Everyone else does as well. If you want to get cerebal and pretend you were whisked away to those GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) classes when you were in elementary school, try and figure out this coding offered to the single of the year so far, Phoenix's 1901.

12 July 2009

A Summer Band Fling

Driving down through Koreatown and into West LA, I noticed that Phoenix's upcoming (and now past) concert was placed right alongside a fitting tribute to "The King of Pop," Mr. Michael Jackson.

I think it is also fitting that as we will continue to have Mr. Jackson's legacy (good and bad) and his family's future legal troubles thrown upon us all summer long, I give you my media-attention whore at the moment, those French dudes from Phoenix. (I also found it fitting that they gave a tribute to the man at a recent concert in Denver, staying afterwards and throwing a huge "Thriller" album dance party, posted last.)

Phoenix is destined be the next "French fry" if you will from France. Their latest, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix," is by far their best, tightest and most productive/rewarding album to date, but I highly recommend you go back in their catalog to see how their friendships with both Daft Punk and Air (grew up in the same neighborhood) has heavily influenced the AM-radio/early 70's radio on the French quartet. (I'm 3-for-3 in turning my friends on to them.)

So as the summer hits its stride (and halfway point), the heat becomes sweltering and swampy-assed, remember that at the end of the day you can grab a cold one, throw a party, and have Phoenix as the background noise.

Enjoy some recent killer live performances and get litzomanic.

09 July 2009

Dirty Projectors- Stillness Is The Move

This fresh sextet hales from the streets of Brooklyn and are creating much steam on as the opening act for TV on the Radio's tour. Headed by Yale graduate, David Longstreth, This band bends the sounds of West-African guitar lines and the synth provides hollow beats to the angelic clamoring and high-pitched, euphoric sounds from the girl members. Bitte Orca is the new album in stores now. "Stillness Is The Move" provides a clear and catchy understanding of this progressive sound.

06 July 2009

Amazing Baby- Headress

Not quite sure how I feel about this light-on-the-feet Brooklyn band yet or their single. Its a mix of everything a quintet can throw at the art-rock genre (glam rock, power-pop, experimental stuff) and they even sound larger than they actually are, it's quite ambitious stuff. It's very unsettling at times but the barouque pomp-and-circ. of the whole thing leads me to believe their album will be worth of few spins.
Amazing Baby - Headdress

LOP Track Grade: 7.8

Boys Like Girls- Love Drunk

Dance-pop-rock darlings Boys Like Girls came onto the scene over 2.5 years ago after slowly smoldering on the sidelines. With a small record label budget and a DIY attitude, BLG was one of the great stories to come out of 2007/2008, when the tweens and TRL finally picked up on the working class-routed Boston quartet (even though there album was met with lukewarm reception in the summer of 2006).

Their self-titled debut eventually went has moved over 600,000+ copies to date, thanks to extensive touring and a worthy track-to-track "Soundtrack of the Summer" quality of the record, but was there any indication that these Nor'Eastern dudes had any staying power?

It's cliche to say "A debut takes a lifetime to write. A lifetime of memories, breakups, heartbreaks, etc. That second album? What is there to write about but good times, money and girls?" And yeah sure....BLG was a product of style and genre placement, a cross between Glamour Kills, Hot Topic and Fall Out Boy, something to make the kids dance and sing (but not too hard or loud), just pure power-pop. Producer Matt Squire probably didn't do much help, as he is known to basically just make the music himself and look how well that has turned out for media-darlings Panic! at the Disco.

Basically, BLG got received a ton of cash to make this album, and who knows, with all the touring and corporate tie-ins and commitments they have had to make over the past few years, things might have gotten a little hectic in ol' lead singer Martin's head. Lyrics and innuendo's like "Top down in the summer sun/The day we met was like a hit and run/And I still taste it on my tongue" just won't get it done in the big scheme of things, let alone The Edge wants hit opening riff back and Taking Back Sunday and All Time Low already did the chants with "Sink Into Me" and "Weightless" (again, a Matt Squire productions). (Don't even get me started about the "NaNaNas" at the end, completely pointless.)

With all that said, Martin and the boys still have that knack for blending in simple and subtle electronics into their work, which stands them apart from their peers in using it so well without being overdone. Martin's high notes are a little overdone on the chorus (no doubt he will have a cold when touring, like he did for two years because he can't hit them) and again, the lyrics go from trying to please 12-year old Hot Topic chicks to possibly passing as mature:

I used to be love drunk/But now I'm hungover....We used to kiss all night/Now it's just a barfight" So that's what they call fucking these days?

It's passable emo at best, but when BLG want to be playing like their lives depended on it (like on their amazing debut). The inter-wove stories of growing up and breaking up mixed with sometimes dark, moody and intense and uplifiting music, and now I guess, well they're stuck on rollercoasters love drunk.

LOP Track Grade: 5.6

29 June 2009

Wavves- No Hope Kids

Along with Abe Vigoda, Wavves is bringing lo-fi surf punk slowly into the light. Whether or not these bands retain their "lo-fi" status remains to be seen (and honestly, "No Hope Kids" would be a much better song if they someone behind the boards). Their DIY attitude is shown throughout the video as they embark on their first tour via-San Diego. And clearly, they had a little too much of an awesome time, canceling this tour a few shows in.

Must have been a helluva bender.

LOP Track Grade- 8.2

Jay-Z- D.O.A. (Death of AutoTune)

One of the many many conversations I had with my (sadly, now we're older) college friends on the balcony of our buddies pad overlooking all of Los Angeles (sadly, the bad parts) of course brought the attention of the Michael Jackson passing.

We slowly turned away from talking about Jackson (because of course, it slowly starts to get into the weird stratosphere) and moved into artists and album that we felt reflected our lives, and the levels of excitement they caused.

Surprisingly most of us agreed on Jay-Z's The Black Album as something we actually remember physically purchasing. To hear about one of the supposed "greatest rappers of all time" (certainly the most successful) retiring at the top of his game.

Myself, Nov. 14, 2003 was one of the first days I skipped a class. I was 16, had a truck and was willing to be the first person to blast the opening "Dec. 4th" as loud as the stock F-150 would allow. Best Buy opened first, and my mission was complete. A defining moment in my music fandom.

Well...we all know what happened after that breif retirement, and now Jay-Z brings us the long-awaited Blueprint 3 for LiveNation(?).

Jigga, the day you beat LeBron in streetball is the day I forgive you making me skip class.

LOP Track Grade- 6.5

Kanye West- Street Lights

A somewhat disapointing and half-assed effort from a man that probably has way too much money (but never enough time) to fully incorporate HIS OWN VISION(!!!), Mr. West's most cinematic, beautiful-yet-haunting track on last year's 808s and Heartbreak gets the video treatment from someone who has watched (and deeply loved) Tron for a few decades.

21 June 2009

Phoenix- 1901 (Live on Letterman)

Controlled rage. Gotta give it to these dudes, they are pitch f'n perfect in every aspect of their performance, and their performance at Bonaroo was supposed to be the stuff of legends.

Can't wait to spend a Sunday with the French!

Top Singles of 2009 and their remixes

I think one of the few actual positive to come out of the decline of the music industry is that techonolgy has allowed anyone and everyone to breakdown well....literally everything about music. Apple especially has done an amazing job to create and evolve their products such as Garage Band and Pro Tools to help even the coolest, most badass Haiwaiin emo-remix-rappers get their things heard stateside.

I bring this up because I am working on some reviews and lists for this site being we are officially halfway through this year and the seasons they bring. One of them is going through the best tracks of the year, and no doubt Phoenix's 1901, Animal Collectives My Girls and The Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow will top that list when it's done.

If you notice....these tracks almost borrow from each other in a good way. Popular music is picking up on the things band on the indie side (like a Phoenix and AC) have been doing for the last four years-- making dance music without it really being labeled in the techno/house. V-necks and jeans, not pacifiers and glowsticks.

And where I think this trend has picked up is YouTube. People (like our favorite Haiwaiin noted above) can take music and interpret to their own styles, likes and dislikes. You don't have to just throw on a uptemo time signature anymore. You can pick apart the pieces, throw it against a canvas and add your own paint to the mix, creating something highly unique and standalone as art. Here are my three favorite remixes of my three favorite songs (so far, but it will be hard to top-- here's hoping the Dr. comes out to play):

18 June 2009

3OH!3 & Kid Cudi- Don't Trust Me Remix

This is more of a mash-up than a remix, but check out this all-star pairing:


17 June 2009

Enjoy the Parade LA

"I can't stop thinking about Joey Buss. Granted, there's a chance I would have been just as tongue-tied on national TV at age 19. But who thought it was a good idea to have him speak extemporaneously in front of a worldwide audience? How did he become the "alternate governor of the Lakers," and what does that mean? Are people in Southern California frightened that two of their governors are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joey Buss? Did they throw him out there to answer the question, "What would have happened if Fredo had gotten control of the Corleone family?" Did they bring him out to make the Maloofs feel better about themselves as overmatched legacy kids? Has he ever been discreetly stared at by a bunch of country club workers and had one of them say, "Fifty bucks says the Buss kid picks his nose." Do I have to retire the Unintentional Comedy Scale now?

Where was Jerry Buss? Where was Jeanie Buss? How did this happen? How can I get more Joey Buss in my life? And why didn't I know about him before Sunday night? More importantly, when are they putting the Buss boys in charge of the Lakers????? I vote for right now. Like, today. This moment. Please. I am begging you. This would be like a cross between the Hank Steinbrenner Era and "Tommy Boy." I never thought there would be a silver lining with a Lakers title, but dammit, there was."

-- Bill Simmons A) always provides the opinion I have, better and B) reminds me why I love the intricicies of life, laughter and the shitshow that is the Los Angeles Lakers. Good luck with the "Demand of More" from everyone, including Sasha.

And once again may I remind you this guy (not Sasha) tagged along and will get a ring, and will likely have to fly in from some podunk European country where he is playing to collect it. He will hold it up to the crowd and get no response whatsoever except for the drunk middle-aged "WOOO!" women in attendance.

15 June 2009

Kasabian- Fire

Have yet to divulge in the British band's third effort that came out last week, but so far the singles have been very promising from the quasi-electro psych band. Britpop (Oasis) meets Hot Chip.
Kasabian - Fire

--Via Subterranean

Animal Collective- Daily Routine (Phaseone Remix)

This was the remix I was hoping for off their tremendous new album. "Daily Routine" has an amazing organ-tape crazy synth f*** that opposites perfectly with Panda Bear's Beach Boy dream vocals. One of the few "letdowns" or comments I had to make about the previous album was the last half of "Routine" is very polar opposite of what the entire Merriweather Post Pavillion and its dance-trance-pop tendencies and attitude stood for. This remix captures the first half of the songs deep bass and drum vibe without the letdown.

White Rabbits- Percussion Gun/ It's Frightening

At present, NY-via-Mizzou sextet White Rabbits have more buzz about them than a honey farm (pssst, bees make honey). They’ve got the songs, the looks, the swagger and now the video.

White Rabbits "Percussion Gun" Music Video from White Rabbits on Vimeo.

Their new album, It's Frightening (judging a book by its cover would seem so) is a perfect blend of the sparse punk and multi-instrumentation/genres they displayed on their debut and an added touch of rhythm from Spoon's leader Britt Daniel. Frightening goes from Spoon-style acoustic grooves to menacing crack-hop beats (like "Percussion Gun" above) to Radiohead-esque influences on piano and percussion ("The Company I Keep," "The Salesmen").

Frightening is one of the best "out-there"/indie/non-mainsteam releases so far of this mid-way point of 2009. While it won't make most Top 10s (probably including this one), it is certainly not a sophomore slump, as WR have found a producer (Daniel) that is at the point right now, better at their type of music than themselves.

All they need now is for a major media outlet to give them some exposure, so hopefully someone else will pick this up. (They have: Letterman, posted below)

Mickey Avalon- F****n Em All

Mickey Avalon's new single off his yet-untitled new album, which was co-produced by Travis Barker of the newly back together Blink-182 and +44.

But you already new that.

It's said that the 2nd album is the hardest to write, because you've had your whole life to write the first. Has fame gone to our boy Mickey's head? Sure seems so. Will the tales of his hard-knock life and upbringing be forgotten in exchange for some production value? Sure hope not.

12 June 2009

Animal Collective- Summertime Clothes

--Via Pitchfork

Waie'hee Walkways

--Taken from a shitty old Verizon. (The bridge, known as the "swinging bridge," is one of two that follows 100+ year old channels & ditches through the West Maui rain forest to the 5,800-foot summit of Puʻu Kukui. The bridge is over 1,000 feet long that literally hangs--or suspends-- 80 feet above the river below.) It was fucking scary.

09 June 2009


As the wind died down on yet another atypical day in the tropical Pacific, I found myself heading back to the ocean for one more round. I spent the day searching for the unknown, the unattained-- in the vast un-tourist explored land of the Maui Upcountry. (Of course, I did the most touristy thing possible before this and snorkled with Japanese tourists. Gotta wash your hands clean sometimes, right?)

For me, it is home away from home. California with an ever-expanding coastline. Redwoods, fog, ranches and even the occasional vineyard speckle the "countryside" between 2,000-6,000 feet edging along the giant Haleakala mountain and crater that forms one half of the island. It is home to Cafe 808, arguably (and in my mind) the best damn plate lunch a Hawaiian can offer, deep in the heart of Kula and literally a point of no return on the island 3,500 feet above the sandy beaches and the resorts that inhabit them. I would love to live here. To be in California without the hassle of being in California. The 405 at 5 p.m. could be 5,000 miles away!

But as I desended back down into the reality of my comfy little shack on the dry side of the island, I was beckoned back to the water and the ocean much like any local seems to be at this time of day. Whether it be surfing, fishing, drinking, etc. it seems all Hawaiians find their way to the sea that surrounds them at some point during the day. It is as much social as it is a emotional grapple. A stress-reliever. A dependency, much like some of their forefathers were dependent on it centuries ago.

Speaking of centuries ago, the last lava flow on the lsland of Maui was in the late 18th century, on the south-south=east (the Dirty South if you will) side of the island. Two of the resulting lava flows are situated at Āhihi Bay on the southwest shore of East Maui. Here, lava rock clashes with an almost seregenti plain of dry wood and brush. The two landscapes coincide with one another yet struggle in beauty in the naked eye.

I had some time to kill and had never been past the touristy south side of Wailea (I had been through the treacherous "pot farm" route on the south that comes after Hana), and heard of a good surf spot through a bartender the night previous. My father and I drove out through the lava fields and came upon a rather acne-laden teenager biking his way to the same spot, and he gave us further directions. I strapped on the fins and prayed that lava rock would not be present. Of course, it was.

By the time we got there it was already 6:30 in the evening. But the 4 other locals (2 white, 2 hawaiian) in the lineup warmed up to me and accepted my presence after my first few lines, that consisted of just a semi-tiny left-handed break. It was just the hour I needed to cap off a day where I saw almost all the sides of an islands culture and topography in a single day.

By the way, not the hunky dude surfing....this is me....(the Doug took the photo from his phone in the car...lazy ass)
Tomorrow.....The Hangover review and the Taking Back Sunday review. Promise jah.

07 June 2009

Paradise Deferred

Since I am posting up in a little shack on the beach for the week (ok, so it has TV, wireless internet, a sports bar a block down). I am going to be finding a good place to skim board here this afternoon, then watch game 2 of the NBA finals, then continue to drink my XXs in the hammock.

You can get all the analysis of the Finals that you need over at Rather Red's new blogspot, because well-- he just loves the NBA more than me and it takes two hands to dissect game 2, and my beer-in-hand policy for the rest of the weekend will not allow this to happen.

Things to look forward to:
  • Taking Back Sunday album review
  • Grizzly Bear album review
  • Phoenix album review
  • The Hangover review (if you haven't seen it, don't wait for any review)
  • Animal Collective concert review/ D-Rock and his friend Brenden's Excellent Adventure
  • An excerpt from my book about this summer (which will eventually turn into one of those backdrops for the Dodgers winning the World Series
  • Some form of breakdown of the Finals after they leave L.A. I smell JJ Reddick shutting down Kobe today. (Article 2)

Dead Snow

This movie debuted at Sundance earlier this year, via the IFC (partly which is owned by Robert Redford's Sundance organization), and wow-- this is going to be trashly amazing.
Spring Break? Check. Snow bunnies? Check. Foreign languages? Check. Nazi Zombies? Triple Check. NAZI-FREAKING-GOLD!?!?! Done.

--Via Will Leitch

Empire of the Sun- Standing on the Shore

By now you know I love the Australian answer to MGMT in Empire of the Sun. And of course, there would be no way in hell this duo would let the other American bred duo outshine them on the video-spectacle scale, as MGMT just released a rather puzzling, scary, then scary-funny, then animated video version of their song for the uplifting and wonderful "Kids." (the singer's eye makeup is very EOTS-esque!!)

You decide who wins the battle of theatrics. You know where my vote lies (hint: its the title of the post). Here, everyone wins in 70's disco, marlin-women and aboriginal landscapes.
-- Via Subterranean

Empire of the Sun - Standing on the Shore (low res)

New Ratings Systems

Good afternoon fellow LOPers. Its been a while. Too much school has gotten in the way. I will be writing reviews for you, since my mass texts and word-of-mouth skills can only reach so far into the blog-o-sphere.

And in helping you not read a Bill Simmons'-esque 10,000 words on everything (I haven't still quite figured out how to "jump" posts, so they just go on-and-on-and-on) I will try and stick to a straight format that will hopefully get across everything your heart and mind desires when looking to purchase/steal an album, go see a movie, possibly see a band when they pass through the LA area again, eat at a certain restaurant, etc. Heck, I'll even review your mom if you want me to. Just email me ideas for things and I'll do them/find them for your reviewing pleasure.

5 points of interest on each thing, a rating out of ten (with decimals!). So anyone that is pro-whole numbers, get the f*** out. Now, lets kindly (maybe even almost too politely in Brooklyn hipster circles) make our way.

12 May 2009

RR's Best Albums of 2009 (Thus Far)

1. Falling Up- Fangs! - Way more experimental and airy than their previous stuff. They started out as an immature but catchy rap rock outfit and have morphed into something much more creative. In this way, they're a lot like the Christian Linkin Park. The songwriting is too powerful. The album is based on a story that the main singer is writing. It takes a few listens to "get", but then you'll love it. Highlights: "Lotus and the Langorous", "Streams of Woe at Acheron", "Goddess of the Dayspring, I".

2. The Prodigy- Invaders Must Die- The title track and leadoff song begins this fast-paced intergalactic, apocalyptic adventure. The energy level doesn't let up until the very end. I'm going to see these guys at the end of the month, and I'm very excited. Highlights: "Invaders Must Die", "Thunder", "Colours".

3. Eminem- Relapse- His flow is unmatched. Other good rappers may have, at best, 3-5 lines in each verse that make you shake your head. Eminem gives you line after line of pure filth and never lets up. That, and he is literally insane. Just listen to Track 4, "Insane" and you'll see what I mean. He's gone from rapping about homophobia and killing his mom on the then-controversial The Marshall Mathers LP to getting raped by his own step father and kidnapping and eating victims Jeffrey Dahmer-style on Relapse. God help us all. Highlights: "3am", "Medicine Ball", "Beautiful".

4. RED- Innocence and Instinct- A powerful collection of mainstream Christian rock songs that are much more questioning than most of the other stuff in the genre. I don't see this style continuing much longer, so this may be the pinnacle for this sort of Tooth & Nail record. Highlights: "Fight Inside", "Mystery of You", "Never Be the Same".

5. MSTRKRFT- Fist of God- They basically tried to commercialize their genre, and they went a little overboard. The beats are almost too good. They get pretty repetitive. That's not to say I won't party to this stuff and techno headbang by myself in my car. Highlights: "Bounce", "Vuvuvu", "Fist of God".

6. Flo Rida- R.O.O.T.S.- Yes, it's over produced. Yes, he cops beats. But it's so infective and fun! Highlights: "Finally Here", "Mind on My Money", "Never".

7. A Love Like Pi- The Atlas and the Oyster- They have their own style. It's melodic electro-pop-rock, but not the annoying, overplayed kind you can find on purevolume's front page every day. It's original and crafty. These guys are going places, but only if they want to. Highlights: "The Oyster", "The Atlas", "Innocent Man".

8. Asher Roth- Asleep in the Bread Aisle- He impressed me with this. When it comes to white rappers, Eminem is for Type A's and crackheads. Asher Roth is for Type B's and potheads. Highlights: "La Di Da", "As I Em", "Lark on My Go-Kart".

9. Silverstein- A Shipwreck in the Sand- They haven't morphed much in their style over their four studio albums, but they have gotten better at what they do. This one is much more powerful. Nobody's gonna say that Silverstein sold out with this one. Highlights: "A Great Fire", "Vices", "I Am the Arsonist".

10. Papa Roach- Metamorphosis- They may tell themselves that they're in it for the music, but they're as label-tailored as it gets. The new Hoobastank album is the same way, but the new Papa Roach actually has some quality tracks. Highlights: "Change or Die", "I Almost Told You That I Loved You", "Had Enough".

I gotta give shout-outs to: Kelly Clarkson- All I Ever Wanted, Holiday Parade- Tickets and Passports, A Day to Remember- Homesick, And Then There Were None- Who Speaks for Planet Earth?, Julien K- Death to Analog.

I'm currently listening to: The Audition- Self-Titled Album, Madina Lake- Attics to Eden, Peaches- I Feel Cream.

I'm looking forward to: Family Force 5, Taking Back Sunday, Marilyn Manson, AFI, Brand New, Linkin Park (hopefully), Chester Bennington (hopefully).

30 April 2009

I only have one rose left....

Yes, I have made a desicion on my basketball love of choice. But sadly, I cannot reveal it until the reunion show (and finals are over). Should be fun hijinks! Until then, I'm rooting for this guy...the Jewish Jordan.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

11 March 2009

Derek Sedam in... The Basketbachelor

Welcome to The Basketbachelor Season 1. Our bachelor, Derek Sedam, has become a depressed wreck after these years of disappointment by his Los Angeles Clippers. After last night's 4th quarter comeback by the Cavs (led by the object of Rather Red's nut-sucking: LeBron James), he has decided enough is enough, and Derek and the Clips have officially broken up. It's all but Facebook official.
So Season 1 begins. Thirteen teams have been chosen from the NBA. They must fulfill, and continue to fulfill, the following requirements (as modeled after Bill Simmons EPL league team-choosing requirements)
1. Avoid "jumping the bandwagon" (Cleveland, Miami, and Boston are out, Orlando barely makes it in)
2. Avoid a team that's too tortured (that would make this exercise pointless... so Sacramento is out)
3. Gravitate towards vacay spots (points for New Orleans and Orlando, detriments for Minnesota and OKC, Detroit is out)
4. Not too many "hooligans" (This is fine because the Blazers are no longer the Jail Blazers)
5. Pay attention to celebrity fans (Freddy Muniz is a Clippers fan, part of the reason for Season 1)
6. Pick a team that might get on TV from time to time. (Points taken away from OKC and Memphis)
Phoenix and the Lakers are already taken. The Warriors and the Sixers are out because they are cock blocks. The Spurs, Mavericks, and the Rockets are ugly and from Texas. So here are the contestants...
The Orlando Magic (led by their sexy big man, Dwight Howard)
The Atlanta Hawks (young and agile... in bed)
The Indiana Pacers (Granger can shoot in my basket anyday)
The New York Knickerbockers (so much potential, and very exciting... wink wink)
The New Jersey Nets (Jay-Z is married to Beyonce, but his Nets are single and looking)
The Toronto Raptors (led by Chris Bosh and his dinosaur-sized manhood)
The Utah Jazz (so good at home, so good in bed)
The Portland Trail Blazers (we all winced when hunk Rudy F. went down)
The New Orleans Hornets (cute Chris Paul looks to steal Derek's heart)
The Denver Nuggets (the addition of Chauncey was like a successful boob job)
The Minnesota Timberwolves (Al Jefferson needs to be nursed back to health)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (they have a reputation of bolting from relationships)
The Memphis Grizzlies (grizzly men... along with USC college sweetheat OJ Mayo)

Let's get it on!

26 February 2009

SMC @ Pepp- The Live Blog Returns

7:59- Ok show I might have shown up to the game 20 min late, but traffic people! Its a problem in The Bu. Not to mention the few Fuzgin's I had

8:01- St. Mary's hits another 3. I'm assuming they hit another 3 because they are up 20-9, and if Patty Mills' injury they inserted one Aussy for another in white boy Will Hunter, who just hit the three. I'm Sherlock Holmzin' boys.

8:02- Mychel Thompson is going to the rim early. Maybe it's his 33% shooting, or his 30% shooting in conference, or his 26% shooting after the first 8 games, but trying to take layups seems like a great idea.

8:04- The Waves have now committed 4 straight 20-loss seasons, and the student sections seems to reflect that notion. No chants, no rememberable lines, no nicknames, nothing. They are doing the dice move to much.

8:05- If you have to hold a blue sheet and then yell out opposing players.....you might not be a fan. "HEY, NICE JOB.......#12!! YEAH!! FUCK HIM!"

8:13- SMC has such a balanced offense. Samhan and Simpson average around 27 points and 20 rebounds inside, and with our lack of post presence inside.....Then their guards shoot so well, especially the fellow Patty Aussie's Hunter and Hughes, they have almost what the Orlando Magic have in the inside/outside game. Its an offense on percentages, but when effective, its extrememly hard to stop.

8:15- HALFTIME- 27-20 Saint Mary's...Hasn't really been to exciting. Both teams have been shooting poorly (under 36%) and you don't even want to know from 3 (both under 23%). But has it been a defensive battle. Well, not really, just really poor shooting and a very VERY boring half. SMC has not made themselves the team that they are made out to be, and there is no reason the Waves (ok...Keion Bell and his newfound child) can't go on a tear at home behind a half-ass crowd and win this bad-boy by 1, who knows lets go crazy even 4.

8:31- And we're back...with another week attmept from our student section to upset SMC center Omar Samhan. I believe I said it best before the game when he was going out for shootaround...
"Hey Omar!"
"Yeah my man whats up?"
"Eat a fucking dick."

8:35- Mike Hornbuckle has probably had 1,359 picks set for him in his two year Pepperdine career, and did he pass to the roll once? No, no man that drives a Range passes to the roll. Lets be real.

8:37- Pepperdine gets two stops and two consecutive layups from Corbin and Darby to force a timeout by SMC. 32-36 with 15:28 left.

8:40- The momentum really seems to be shifting right now. Pepperdine so far has made great halftime adjustments, forcing a turnover right before the media timeout, 32-36 with 15 min left to go.

8:47- After a little scoring lowl, Bell hits a jumper from the elbow to cut the SMC lead to 4. Good times!

8:52- The 4th traveling call against SMC, but then they go on a 4-0 fast break-esque run to extend the lead to 8 with 9 left to go.

8:55- SMC's momentum now, Hunter and Hughes are dishing and shooting at will, 34-45 with 8 to go.

8:59- 13 down with 7 to go....its looking more unliklier by the second here in Malibu. The senior play and veteran coaching of SMC is proving too much down the stretch of this second half. Keion is forcing up bad 3-point shots, in turn leading to easy open-spacing offensive sets for the Gaels.

9:05- We finally break our dry spell with a Lorne Jackson jumper, but Simpson and Samhan finally proving too much for us to handle, and this blog is signing off, 38-55 SMC with 4:12 left to play. I know it when I see it.

SMC/Pepperdine Live Blog tonight!

Stay tuned here to LOP for a LIVE Blog (not Blogooo, Goo's new American Idol column coming soon) between Saint Mary's and Pepperdine. The game will be televised on FSN West, but Paul Sunderland, the worst announcer in the history of any form of basketball broadcasting, will be helming the Titanic of a watch tonight.
The Waves are 15-point underGods (see how I flipped that??!?!) tonight, so hopefully that creppy sailor on the left with Balto can find the strength to keep us from crapping in Keion Bell's daughter's crib.

22 January 2009

Pepperdine/Gonzaga Live Blog

6:12- Gonzaga has gone out to a 12-0 to start the game and this is just getting out of hand. Like shooting fish in a very, very tiny barrell.

6:14- The Zags have taken a comaning lead in the game, thanks to the inside-outside of Heytvelt and Matt Bouldin. The Waves have no chance as Austin Daye made it 15-0.

6:18- My boy Mychel Thompson makes a bucket to make it 2-17, with 13:39 left in the first half. Nothing has gone well with the Thompson family, as his dad Mychal just got cut from his radio show

6:21- Pepperdine finally showing that they have more life than Brett Michaels ladies tits, quick scores have the game at 1/4 of what it is (forgive my math) after Dane Suttle hits a three with 11:25 remaining to keep the score somewhat close at 10-21

7:05- 2nd half has started, the D-League chants for Heytvelt have begun. Yes. Oh ,and the "Yes, We Can" for the 'Dine.

6:51:- Gonzaga didn't nesessarily "pullout" of this game, yet. The beatdown that we have recieved the last three years has been a lot more than what we have revcieved today. The Zags have done a great job spreading and attacking our zone, as well as constricitng us the first half of the first half (too much?). There is no doubt in anyone's mind that they are a top team in the nation, and they are proving it.

The question is, can Pepperdine prove them wrong?

6:26- Gus Clardy comes into the game. Yeah, its that bad.

6:32- Things are starting to go Pepperidne's way, reserve center for the Zags Will Foster mised a dunk and Keion Bell just drew an offensive foul with 7 min remaining in the first half. My god this has gone slowly.

6:38- The crowd has ever-so filled out, thanks to Los Angeles traffic, and we are looking at about 80% capacity. The game has slowly turned into a turnover crowd, with 3 back-to-back turnovers. Daye just made a tough layup for the And-1. Does Pepperdine have a chance. As much as a chance of you betting on the Arizona Cardinals a month before the season started to make the Superbowl.

6:42- So has the 'Dine been succesful in destroying my horrible bet against them. Well, yes. I took the spread. I'm not gonna lie. They have the 3 points at home that I thought they weren't going to. The spread is officially 27 tonight, and my faithful Waves are cheating on me my nine almost at the half. They are playing somewhat well though, considering Gonzaga is (what I think) a great tournament team.

6:48- Keion Bell hits a tough jumper in the lane and suddenly we are somehow down 11. I BET ON GONZAGA. Jesus. Why do i constantly dissaprove Jesus?!??!

6:55- The first half! Well, so far, so good...in my sports book. Look, we knew we weren't going to beat the Zags, but at the same time we hope for something competitive. The Waves have done a great job staying in this game, as opposed to the Saint Mary's game which we essentially over by the 16-1 run SMC had to start the game with.

We are down 19, there is no doubt, but once again, I will make sure. We cover the spread, I will rage.
Half-time score- 45-26.

It's really been Keion and Mychel keeping us in this game on O and D. Once again we have more turnovers than assists, and I think the only chance we have at winning a game is if we change that stat to the positive.

7:09- We are only down by nine. Let me say that again, WE ARE ONLY DOWN BY NINE. Hard to believe, but Keion and the greatest name to say in sports, Mike Hornbuckle, have gone on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to nine, 34-45 (now 11, 34-48), and the Waves might MIGHT have some life in them. High tide anyone?

7:13- Only down by 14, the Waves need to get a stop every time down the court.

7:18- The game has gotten signifigantly quicker, as both teams are running and gunnin' up and down the court to make everyone in the Fieldhouse excited. Lets put it this way, I BET ON GONZAGA TO COVER 27 POINTS. I will except my defeat, its worth the $10 a threw on the game.

7:21- A blue shirt with a blue tie Asbury? Really?

7:23- The rebounding for the Waves has just become a "who can tip better" matchup. The Waves are never rebounding solidly, just tipping to each other, I and fully believe that is causing the margin of score, somewhat.

7:27- answer for answer, the Zags have been step for step, (another close analogy here) and are just plain better, apparently not enough to cover my $10.

7:33- 7:59 remaing in the 2nd half, and once again I am losing $10, becuase of the spread. Although I am very VERY excited the girl found the gift check on the floor during a media timeout. SUPER EZxcited!.

I just tried to talk to an ESPN Magazine reporter and he really wasn't as excited as the former ones to be here at the Fieldhouse. I wonder why? Maybe because this game hasn't been exciting since 2003?

7:35- We get some help form Micah Downs on a tip-in, but then he hits a jumper ten seconds later to totally redeem himself (as opposed to 40 mpg on this hog). He still got a girl preggers in WA, I know this.

7:40- Micah realizes that he has to tend to his bench warmer duties, something he needs to get used to in the NBA, as Taylor Darby shoots a 1-and-1 to once again KILL MY BET.F!.

7:45- This has been by far the most competitive game I have seen the Waves play against Gonzaga. To say that I have hope for the future is like saying the Yankees will sign someone for another $100 million contract in the next 5 years. I have hope for the cheerleading squad, the events, the new Fieldhouse to be filled with people. YES WE CAN!

7:49- 63-78, there goes my bet.

7:53- Final score: 69-83. The Waves kept it close throughout the game. I think this is a stepping stone that they can build on to at least keep their spirits high with this "loss," considering a loss was expected to be in the range of 30 points.

09 January 2009

Bloc Pary- So Here We Are

If you're staying in like me tonight -- whether it's because your car can't withstand the 70mph winds outside, you didn't real feel like flying or the Clippers just keep your spirits down yet again (you know what my case would be), a classic 2005 song has reminded me, without getting all nostalgic, about why we do stay in sometimes on a weekend.

We reflect.

We all need time to ourselves. Check emails, read something non-school related, etc.

Brit dance-rockers Bloc Party came onto the American scene with this song in Saturn and Ford ads in the late '05. I think the music video is just as important as the song itself, because they both play off one another in a "above the clouds, yet down on the leaves" kind of way. "So Here We Are" is one of the finest ballads in the punk-dance-rock revolution that we have experienced in the past few years.

It sings of love. Just love. Whether it be of friends, long lost or up-and-coming. Sometimes it's all we need.

Or you could just watch "Cocktail" like I did, and watch Cruise just ball it up on-screen.

08 January 2009

Animal Collective- Merritweather Post Pavillion

To most in the mainsteam, Animal Collective has been written off as a freak-folk band. I sometimes tend to agree. For every beautiful peace of music they put together, there is abrupt noise, instrument thrashing, 10-minute pieces of one guitar chord. Then came Noah Lennox's (aka Panda Bear) Person Pitch, Pitchfork's best album of 2007.

Released shortly after AC's 7th studio album, Strawberry Jam (itself a disjointed effort of beauty and freak-noise), Panda Bear's new take on Beach Boy's-era Pet Sounds was a crash course in minimilast electronics and Brain Wilson-esque voice inflections, grooves and hymns. From that success grew Lennox as the head of the now 3-member Animal Collective (they have a "open door policy" that has seen 4th member "Deakin" come and go, more go than come), and I knew he would take control over the band of guiaritst/vocalist Avery Tare.

Soon, AC was playing Person Pitch songs in their live sets, and I knew their next and highly-anticipated album would be one closer to Panda Bear's style than anything else. And much like Radiohead's latest release, In Rainbows, much, if not all the material is road-tested for some time, letting them tweak, provoke, and inspire themselves to finally lay down the tracks on record.

Juding from the initial reviews, songs, and my first listen to the album last night, this is by far their biggest "pop" record to date, meaning almost everyone, AC fans or their most experimental work, to the people who haven't heard them yet, will be able to listen along. The two intial tracks that will take everyone by surprise are both Panda Bear songs, "My Girls" and "Brother Sport." Both have amazing vocal harmonies and danceable beats, courtesty of Geologist. "Girls" pairs Tare and Panda Bear sing-songing along above the synth and bass heavy, almost M.I.A.-like beat, while "Brother Sport," a live staple for over two years, finally gets the right treatment, recorded to perfection over a quick snare and several loops and sample throughout the track.

Brother Sport (live)

My Girls (from the album)

This is a dance record, no doubt. It is a cullmination of all the good things AC does so well. They have finally put aside their differences and their "art for art's sake" style of freak-folk to make their first perfect album.
The album title comes from the Frank Ghery designed concert venue in the Baltimore suburban woods, where the three attended concert in there youth. They will have no trouble at all playing these songs on a cool, clear summer night.

Spin Article on the band


(Ed. note: Full album review will come in Pepperdine's newspaper next week and be posted on this site.)

Empire of the Sun- Walking on a Dream

Its always great to be in college. On one hand, you have your times and experiences at base camp, your campus. Then eventually, everyone goes their separate ways throughout college. Some study abroad. Some do summer internships in far off places. Some even follow their significant other, tail between their legs, to wherever that leads them (usually to a demented twist of relationship Facebook status).

Lucky for us, every brings their stories, cultural learning's, and music along with them. Now I'm not saying this post is going to change your life (please keep reading even after I said that), but this is one of those fortunate passings that has graced the blog today.

A friend who is studying in the land down under, where the toilets flush the wrong way and its full time summer break there right now, sent me the "Aussie MGMT" as he calls them. Empire of the Sun, taken after the outstanding novel, and Steven Speilberg adaptation (starring a very young Christian Bale) is like the MGMT in many ways.

For one, they take the psychedelics in their music waaay to seriously, inside and out of the music. Their theatrics, storylines, and background just oooze decadence and indulgence on themselves. But, at the same time, their music is a breath of fresh air. The snappy hooks, beats, and falsetto vocals breath light. Their promo posters and look are a cross between Star Wars and Captain EO, and their sound and lyrics isn't much different. Like MGMT, they look how they sound.

Their debut, Walking on a Dream, is also the title track and debut single, which is burning up the Australian Charts, clubs, bars, parties, etc. Like most dance/indie artists, it has taken some time to infiltrate the main-scene, thus of course finally coming across the Pacific to yours truly.

Is it as big as their epic space-filled posters, makeup and music videos (shot in Shanghai)? No, but it will make you dance in your underwear.

Empire of the Sun (Official Website)