Hiatus

Posted in Music, Team SOS News on April 28, 2008 by J.B.Denver

Not much to write about at the moment. Taking a break from this for a bit until I can take time out to develop the blog some more. I leave you for the time being with a song I’m listening to at the moment.

“New Kind of Love” from Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue – 2008
http://tinyurl.com/57gvwl

wow…I just got censored

Posted in Music, Team SOS News on April 15, 2008 by J.B.Denver

Yeah so, my review of The Black Keys record Attack and Release I posted yesterday has just been marked private by WordPress so you can’t read it. There’s a notice at the top which says: “THIS POST HAS BEEN MARKED PRIVATE BY WORDPRESS.COM STAFF IN RESPONSE TO A DMCA COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT NOTICE.”
I had posted the mp3 samples for streaming, not downloading. I’m pretty surprised to say the least. So I guess I’m a pirate now…arrrr!
BTW- I thought the record was pretty good.

OMFG – “Sweep The Leg Johnny” video!

Posted in Film and TV, Music, The Interweb on April 15, 2008 by J.B.Denver

Last year I downloaded this track by the band No More Kings. Not a fan of the band but the song is damn hilarious! Well today I stumbled upon the video they made for the song and its completely brilliant! Look for the original Kirate Kid cast members in there (I think its the whole Cobra Kai team!). And is that Mr. Belding? Awesome.

What is the point?

Posted in Music, Musings on April 6, 2008 by buckstar

My family likes music. I like music. More like I love it really. Mom plays piano and fools around with flute. Her sister plays anything with strings pretty well. Their father and his brother and sister all played piano and guitar…sometimes for money…

My mom’s 1948 student piano is here with me. Its a bashed-up Wurlitzer. My Grandfather’s chromatic harps are here. He used them to play these great little jazzy, floaty, endless melodies…one of his guitars is here too come to think about it.

When I was a kid my family would go to the grandparent’s house on Saturday afternoon. We would stay late almost every time. My father would yawn at some point and it would be time to go. The thing that kept the grown-ups there late was music. They were playing music together. All of their favorite songs I guess. It was easy to get caught up in the good time they were having. Probably had a good little buzz going too.

The family had a couple of ringers. Uncle Jay had been on the road after WWII playing guitar with the horn bands. It was a union job. He liked it. He could play. Aunt Karen…well my parents never told me where she had been…neither did she…she was drunk though and she played what my family called hot fiddle. She could actually sing a little bit. But they all could.

If you went into Rich’s Department Store in the late 1940′s shopping for a record you would wind up in a place with records and sheet music. There was a brisk business in sheet music. More than the recordings! One of the things this meant was that the store would have tons of sheet music for which there was simply no recording. You might wonder what the sheet music would sound like…thats why there was a piano there for you to use. There was also a “music player.” Not a device, but a person…hand the music player the sheet music you want to hear and listen away.

Try to imagine with me…It is any Friday night…maybe its fall. Not too hot, not to cold. Its maybe 1880. But it could be any year before the turn of the 20th century. You and me we are friends. We like to have dinner and a drink and smoke it over. Sometimes we want to hear music. Sometimes the local bar or theatre has music. We get dressed for dinner and go downtown. We see other people and together we hear the music. The next day we want to hear it again. So we play and sing it…or somebody does… or we are left with the power of memory and imagination.

Not as easy as pressing the rewind button.

The point is…what is the point? We still go to the show right? So what if we don’t play music together as an afterthought? So what if we can hear the song a hundred times just by pressing a button? So what if we cannot play the music we listen to? So what if it seems like a strange idea? So what if the people creating the music never played it together? So what if they can’t? So what if they can, but it sounds funny? So what if they can’t play or sing that well in the first place? What do we care?

Greil Marcus said that the artist’s intent makes no difference because music is completely subjective. Each of us separately determines whether we like it or not…I agree. Sam Nunn was a senator from Georgia. He quit after being re-elected many times. He said he could no longer go on pretending that the electorate cared. Without an informed and educated electorate he could do no good. And so he quit.

The bands can do nothing without the listeners. The more educated, aware and active the listeners are the better the bands become. If we are in a lull (and it is much worse than that) it is the listeners who are to blame. How much intrinsic value does music have? None? All? Is it devalued by recording it? Or does technology always challenge us to stay human?

The only direction we can go is forward.

A reissue of “The Glow”…really, already?

Posted in Music on April 4, 2008 by J.B.Denver

the glow pt 2
In 2001, Phil Elvrum made a record as The Microphones. It was called The Glow pt.2. Its an exceedingly difficult record to describe. I can really only say it sounds kinda like a man locking himself in a room and vomiting his entire subconscious onto a tape recorder until whatever strange psychosis drove him to do such a thing in the first place, was trapped in those magnetic particles…kinda. A party record, it is not. However it is a startlingly artistic piece of work, and one I had forgotten about.

Until today. I happened to surf over to Pitchfork, and there it was. The announcement of a reissue of The Glow. Strange, considering the record isn’t even ten years old yet. I dunno maybe this is the thing now, we’ll just keep recycling our art over and over. Or maybe this is what’s necessary to keep certain pieces of work from fading away too quickly in the hyper-kinetic flow of new entertainment that’s here today and gone tomorrow. In that sense, I am glad that it drove me to listen to this record again. You should read their review of it, it does a far better job in explaining this music than I can.

Most of you that I know will probably hate this music. On top of that, its not encapsulated well in a little mp3 sample. But here it is anyway, some of the least harrowing parts:

“The Moon” from The Microphones – The Glow pt.2 (2001)
http://tinyurl.com/5rf368

“Map” from The Microphones – The Glow pt.2 (2001)
http://tinyurl.com/64zr45

http://www.myspace.com/elverumandsun

First Impressions: Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely

Posted in Music with tags , , on April 1, 2008 by J.B.Denver

Raconteurs - COTL
Well I finally got to listening to the new Raconteurs. I’d imagine most everyones heard about the idiosyncratic manner in which it was released. If not, you can read about it here, or here, or here.

My impression (so far) of the record is that its much more complex than their previous effort. In fact, in making comparisons to other work by The Raconteurs/White Stripes, you inevitably find yourself referencing classic rock icons by default. Such is the nature of the group, I suppose. However, COTL goes a long way in cementing the group’s individuality and, well…versatility. Instead of a handful of early ’70s reference points, you feel the group embracing, perhaps, the 1970′s in its entirety as well as host of other influences. Sometimes a hint of CS&N harmony, alot of early Punk attitude here and there, late 70′s Proggy Arena-Rock, Honky-Tonk Blues. And piano, it’s a prominant instrument on a number of tracks here. Track 3, “You Don’t Understand Me”, has perhaps the best one-note piano solo ever. Track 8 “Many Shades Of Black” apes a mid-60′s R&B sound. Do I hear Queen and Boston on “Rich Kid Blues”?
Don’t think those titanic guitar riffs have retreated tho, the guitar tones here are some of the best I’ve heard on record since…well, Broken Boy Soldiers. Acoustic guitars, organs and trumpets all play major rolls here too. I will say this about the riffs tho, the instantly gratifying, super-catchy hooks in the guitar lines are downplayed slightly in favor of more subtle interaction between the instrumentation, and in the arrangements, that should hold up well over multiple listens. Lyrically, we’re in much of the same territory as BBS. A lot of aggressive, defiant, first-person declaratives with themes of youth, sex, love, love-lost, sex-lost. You know, the stuff of good ‘ole rock and roll.
Overall, my initial impressions of this one is that has some weight and substance to it while still being a “fun” rock record. We’ll see how it holds up.

“Consoler Of The Lonely” from The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)

“You Don’t Understand Me” from The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)
http://tinyurl.com/33rjpz

“Rich Kid Blues” from The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)

You can download the record directly from the band at 320kb/s quality:
http://www.theraconteurs.com/

Introducing Buckstar!

Posted in Team SOS News with tags on April 1, 2008 by J.B.Denver

buckstar Mumble and Pace is the first contribution to Signal Or Sound by new associate author: Buckstar.

I have no idea what to expect from this singular literary genius, and neither will you. Perhaps his identity will be revealed in time… But for now the speculation is he’s a song-writer who has penned too many #1 hits to even list. His inspiration is rumored to come from a space alien. My research team is currently looking into this.

Welcome Buckstar. The public awaits your ruminations.

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