Saturday, July 2, 2011

Odds and Ends

Each week I use this space to post some mini-reviews, cool tracks, random thoughts, neat news, or whatever else I damn well please.

Golden Bloom “March To The Drums” [EP]Shawn Fogel, the mastermind behind Golden Bloom is back with a new six song EP (3 “proper” songs really, the other 3 tracks are short interludes). The EP follows his excellent 2009 effort, “Fan The Flames” (reviewed here). With “March To The Drums”, Fogel keeps us hungry for another full-length release with these teaser tracks, the most impressive of which is “You Go On (& On)”. “You Go On” has a tasty melody that suits Fogel’s smooth vocal delivery flawlessly and is instantly likeable, sounding like one of the better songs recorded by Guster. “Rhyme The Reason” is another strong effort, possessing a more pronounced indie vibe than the radio-friendly “You Go On” – very Ben Kweller. “We Have Grown” features the best lyrics and Fogel’s music perfectly balances melancholy with optimism. And, while just an interlude, “Passing” is a beautiful acoustic piece with soft harmonies that serve to relax and sooth between tunes. The EP is due to be released August 16. Learn more about Golden Bloom here.

Venice Sunlight “Vs. the Rabid Rabbits” [EP] – Here is a great new 4 song effort from Philly band Venice Sunlight. Their sound blends a bit of the post-grunge pop that emerged during the late 90s with more contemporary indie rock songwriting. What results is something along the lines of Foo Fighters mashed with Fountains of Wayne. “Annabel” and “Arms” are excellent pop rockers that offer instant gratification, while “The Green Room” takes a little longer to grow on you – but the stomping chorus is worth waiting for. The only track that sounded a bit too nondescript was “Bridges”, but it isn’t bad by any means and does have a wicked solo. These guys hold a lot of promise and if they stay focused on keeping the melodies strong and hooks sharp, they could be the next big thing. More about Venice Sunlight can be found here.

Surprise of the week
An amusing surprise…Michelle Bachman can’t catch a break trying to find a theme song for her political campaign! First Tom Petty filed a cease and desist for her unauthorized use of his hit “American Girl”, and now Katrina and the Waves refuse to let her exploit their hit “Walking On Sunshine”. Maybe she should try “Crazy” by Aerosmith! Read about here.

Cool article on Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. Interestingly, he calls musicians who give away their music “stupid” and “careless”. Read it here.

Has it really been 20 years? U2 will mark the 20th anniversary of their classic album “Achtung Baby” by re-releasing it in a deluxe package. Regarding the bonus material that will appear, The Edge said: "There's some very interesting alternative versions that we discovered of songs that wouldn't have seen the light of day" and described them as being "like 'Achtung Baby' out of focus". U2 is also working on an app for iPAD to tie into this release! Details here.

Not quite the masterpiece to rival “Achtung Baby”, but the Spin Doctors are also marking the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough record, “Pocketful of Kryptonite” with a glorified reissue. Read the details here, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong…

New Tesla record called “Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions...” coming July 25th in Europe…details here.

Lou Reed on collaborating with Metallica: “The music I've done with Metallica is the best thing done by anyone, ever.” Read all about it here.

Random iPOD song of the week
Eddie Brickell’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”.