Archive for September, 2011

Pretend – Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil

Posted in Rock on September 23, 2011 by

 2009; Post-rock / Math Rock


I surprise myself when I don’t talk about my life on this blog. I mean that’s the whole idea for blogging right? A public journal (there’s a paradox there. This concept is inherently wrong) to permanently document whatever thoughts I find important. Maybe this just means most of the thoughts I find important are about music. That’s probably accurate on a lot of levels. But. Here’s a little about me. I’m a piano performance major at APU, a private, Christian college in Southern California. I’ve been absent the past two weeks cuz school just got into full swing again and I’m working on finding that delicate balance that allows me time to listen to new music in between playing piano for what should be a minimum of 6 hours a day, being over my unit limit, around 9 hours of work a week, accompanying for the Men’s Chorale (Man Choir) here, homework, and maintaining relationships with people.

This is mood music. My Friday evening consisted of hanging out with my kind of ex and some really close friends. I’m a little still in love. Or maybe a lot. I have no idea. Like at all. I was unfortunate enough to be at her place when her new boyfriend came in. I hung out for a bit and it wasn’t like awkward but I was hurt. And so I left a bit later and came back to my place to wallow in despair a little bit. My Friday night is shot. Only jangly guitars and lengthy instrumentals are worth listening to. So I came here. To a band I found less than a week ago. A combination of Post-rock and Math, but mostly Post. There’s vocals, surprisingly. Math Rock rarely has vocals and Post-rock rarely has vocals so a combination of the two shouldn’t. But it does. And they’re great. I’m listening through this for only my second time so I can’t tell you which songs they appear in and which are entirely instrumental, right now I only remember them in Track 2. But I’m still on Track 2 so… yeah. My first playthrough of this album, I stopped around 6, because jangly guitars and harmonies worth crying over do get tedious, unfortunately, especially if the guitars jangle and sparkle at the same tone, which they do here. Also it’s pretty long. But it’s beautiful. I expect that if I wasn’t gonna go to bed as soon as I finish writing this, I’d be able to listen to it all since I’m in the right mood. My first listen I was playing Halo and it just wasn’t the perfect backdrop. Oh. Track 3 opens with some vocals. This album has really good drumming. I wish their bass was a little louder cuz there’s some good bass lines.

If you were just in the same room as the girl you love(d) and you got to watch her and her new boyfriend cuddle during Star Wars Episode 2, this is the album for you. Otherwise, listen to it anyway. It might seem uplifting if you listen to it with ears that want to hear that.

1. Two-Too High
2. Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil
3. Alive in the Tone
4. Those Luminous Noises Are God
5. Legs to Walk Us, to Drop Us
6. Holy Destination
7. Dream Shiver
8. Flairs
9. Guided Spirits – Guilded Souls
10. Spiral Born Black into the Upwards Night

Stand-out tracks:
Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil
Those Luminous Noises Are God
Holy Destination


Béla Fleck and the Flecktones – Little Worlds

Posted in Jazz on September 11, 2011 by

 Jazz Fusion; 2003


In this you get three discs, two with ten songs and the third with nine. Mr. Fleck is the first name that comes to anyone’s mind when the jazz banjo scene is a topic of discussion. He is a master of the craft. Jeff Coffin plays every wind instrument that matters and quite a few more that don’t. Future Man (that’s not his real name, in case you were wondering) plays drums on his invention: the synth-axe drumitar (youtube it). And VIctor Wooten is an electric bass virtuoso. He’s in another band, SMV, which is him and two other bass virtuosos shredding on their electric basses all at the same time. It’s pretty cool. So when you get a bunch of dudes who are too good at very unnecessary things, you know critics are gonna pan it for elitism. And maybe it is elitist, considering it’s a 29-song album that runs over two and a half hours. But who cares? They called King Crimson and Yes and Emerson, Lake, & Palmer elitist. Jazz as an idea is elitist. Jazz exists for performers to show off their technical skill. These guys have a TON of technical skill. Like ridiculous amounts. So listen as these guys all make it painfully clear that they’re better than you at life. And enjoy all of it.

Disc One:
1. Bil Mon
2. The Ballad of Jed Clampett feat. Bobby McFerrin & Sam Bush
3. Puffy
4. New Math
5. Longitude
6. Latitude
7. Centrifuge feat. Derek Trucks
8. Off the Top (The Gravity Wheel) feat. Nickel Creek
9. Off the Top (Line Dance) feat. Nickel Creek
10. Follow the Line

Disc Two:
1. The Fjords of Oslo
2. Sherpa
3. What It Is feat. Bobby McFerrin
4. The Leaning Tower feat. Bobby McFerrin & The Chieftains
5. Mudslingers of the Milky Way
6. Captive Delusions feat. Brandon Marsalis
7. Costa Brava
8. Poindexter
9. Prequel
10. Return of the Mudslinders feat. Brandon Marsalis

Disc Three:
1. The Cave
2. Next
3. Pineapple Heart feat. Derek Trucks & Sam Bush
4. Snatchin’
5. Reminiscence
6. Sleeper feat. Bobby McFerrin
7. Flunky
8. The Last Jam feat. Derek Trucks, Jerry Douglas, & Bernie Williams
9. Untitled

Stand-out tracks:
Bil Mon
Costa Brava



Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2011 by

I just bought this beauty for $240. I’m in love. Just thought I’d let you know.

The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Mongrel

Posted in Rock on September 2, 2011 by

 Mathcore; 2007


I love this band. They just recently broke up but they were truly great. It’s all so fast, so crazy. Experimental, like all Mathcore, but there is so much more melody in their music. They aren’t JUST a display of virtuosity and speed on all instruments. They’re too musical for that. “Experimental” recently has come to be defined more by unique rhythms, and the actual tonal parts of most experimental bands amount to atonal clusters. And while I really love a lot of that stuff, 12 is refreshing in their Latin music-inspired interludes, and their sensible chord structures. Still, their line up includes Jon Karel, as underrated as any drummer since Zach Hill, he’s as musical as Stewart Copeland, has as much sense of rhythm as Steve Shelton, and has as much speed as Brann Dailor. The vocals may be harsh for some but there’s sections that are sung and talked as well, maybe people will find those more enjoyable. In Jay Walking Backwards, the mandatory “pretty intro” isn’t just a nonsensical part of the song that lessens the unity of the song as a whole, it’s actually an important part of the song, about a third of its length, and it leads into something greater than these things normally do. Grandfathers’ “pretty intro” is a bit more unnecessary. These vocals are actually really good if you have an ear for it. One more great thing about this album, it stays consistently good the entire way through. You may think that El Pinata Del Muerte will be the album’s high point when you hear it but The Weekly Wars is far better and the last song, The Try, has some really interesting 90’s Prog Metal (think Spastic Ink) melodies. I’ll rephrase, this album isn’t just consistent, it starts off at a high point and finds ways to get higher. I highly suggest looking up Jon Karel’s drumming on youtube. Your mind will explode in a good way that doesn’t make you die.

1. Imagine Nation Express
2. El Pinata de la Muerte
3. Jay Walking Backwards
4. Grandfather
5. Alright, I Admit It… It Was a Whore House
6. Paper Weight Pigs
7. Sleeping with the Fishes, See?
8. Cradle in the Crater
9. The Weekly Wars
10. The Try (Thank You)

Stand-out tracks:
The Weekly Wars
The Try (Thank You)
Jay Walking Backwards