Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Original vs. Cover: The Mommyheads & Jenny Toomey

The Mommyheads originally wrote and performed the song "Needmore, PA". Jenny Toomey took this tune and ran with it.

The original:

The cover:

My verdict: Jenny Toomey wins.

The melancholy nature of this song deserves a mellow touch. The Mommyheads' whimsical guitar work is skilled, but does not offer a respectful backdrop. Instead of tossing the words out there and then having a jam session, Jenny Toomey holds the lyrics differently. Her voice emotes as though she both understands and empathizes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's Good: OK Go - Last Leaf

As if standard animation wasn't hard enough! Using toast is a challenging medium, to say the least.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Earth Program - INVADE!

Tastee Records

After only a few minutes into the album, I feel as though I am floating.
The Earth Program's debut album "INVADE!" resonates the way my favorite bands did back in the 90's. Music back then made me dance not only because it sounded good, but because it understood me better than anyone else. This is a rare and special find.

Describing themselves as a "cross-genre, multimedia band", The Earth Program reminds me of Sonic Youth, Sick Bees, Polaris, and The Pixies. These are heavy comparisons to make; I say with sincerity that this band has earned them. In a nutshell, I would describe them as bittersweet alternative rock with well-timed effects.

Listening to this album really throws me off. I can't help but reminisce about my teenage years when I should be concentrating on more important aspects, such as melody, cadence, and influence. Nevermind, I'm sixteen again! I've met the love of my life! No one in the history of the world has ever felt the intense love I feel right now!

Ahem. My favorite song is "Greeny", which demonstrates the best of everyone's abilities.
"The Mind & The Matter" reminds me of The Beatles' tracks played backwards ("cranberry sauce"). "Stay Tuned" is the last track and also the heaviest of the album. I like this direction.

If you're looking for a listening experience that is both fun and skilled, with a high chance of reminiscence, look no further than "INVADE!".

Offered for free, click here to listen to: The Earth Program - INVADE!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bill Tucker - Mythological Creatures

1980 Records/Reformer Records

Bare-bones acoustic guitar and relatable vocals are the heart of Bill Tucker.
His lyrics are both personal and political, with some storytelling thrown in as well. A sense of road trip Americana is driven with multiple track names referring to American states. Bill collaborated with an impressive community of friends in order to offer folk, rock, and ambient sounds with surprises in store. These musical surprises separate Mythological Creatures from other folk albums.

Aside from vocals and guitars, a variety of other instruments and techniques are used by Bill and company. Some of the sounds provided include: harmonica, flute, fiddle, violins, cello, bass guitar, saw, piano, synthesizer, melodica, tape manipulation, as well as candid spoken word captured from friends.

"Sleepy Tuesday" is radio worthy, with its confessional lyricism and nearly indie pop melody. I was taken aback by the trio of guitars in "Red Leaves"; this track is a must for anyone appreciative of classical guitar.
Imagine my surprise to hear the track "Majesty"; electric guitar, singing chorus, old synthesizer, and a saw! I wasn't expecting anything like this at all. Bill used a vintage Univox Minikorg 2 synthesizer, reminding one of Pink Floyd.
The politics, collaboration, and folk of Bill Tucker and friends is best manifested in their spirited cover of Woody Guthrie-Jonni Greth's "Your Land".
Bill Tucker's voice has a lovable cadence, though it pales in comparison to his explosive live performance. For example, "Westside Strangler" gave me chills at his live show; unfortunately, that same energy didn't translate over onto the album version of the song.

Overall, Mythological Creatures demonstrates an affable artist who values collaboration, politics, honesty, and experimentation in music.

Click here to buy: Bill Tucker - Mythological Creatures

Friday, April 9, 2010

My latest blog!

It's my personal belief that you can never have too many blogs/journals. This will be my personal blog to post thoughts, reviews, and ideas regarding media. Art, books, and albums will be a few of the things I cover here.

Thanks in advance, folks!
Jacquie P.