Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shanies: Comeback

This was a big year for revivals. There were a sea of bands who many considered to be one foot in the grave who jumped back into the limelight for one last hurrah. Whether it be Axle's "Guns n Roses" return (which is bullshit without Slash), Metallica spending more time with their therapist, or ACDC proving that they're still cooler than everyone, the pie had a lot to share.

However, my comeback award is going to a group which one could even argue, didn't leave, they just took 11 years to make an album. That group is Portishead and the wait... was worth it. Simply titled 3, they proved that they did not have their finger on the pulse of music, they are the pulse. Originality is a difficult thing in the world of music but to make an album which is both original and accessible, therein lies a task for the greats.

The album of the year is that last award remaining! While I may write it tomorrow, being in-transit will likely prevent me from posting until I settle nicely into a hangover back in Oxford on the 1st.

Until then... fuck '08! I'm ready for something new!

-Write your mind on my palm and tell me your tune

Monday, December 29, 2008

Shanies: Best Concert

I know, I know, it's like fucking cheating. However, when bands like Pennywise, Flogging Molly and MXPX are in the so fine you have to squint to read it font size, you know you have a bit of a lineup on your hands.

I did not attend this concert, however I watched nearly the entire weekend at home, being broadcast on the BBC. For me, the highlight of the concert was The Raconteurs, however with that many big names, it really is hard to support just one. If you catch the reunion concerts of both RATM and Metallica, you've done something right.

Just two days left, and the big one coming up (album of the year)

-Question what you want, I'm still going ahead

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shanies: Best Song

This is one of the two categories this year that I was not looking forward to (the other being album) for two reasons. First, anything I say is going to be picked apart by all 3 people that read this thing and secondly, I'm probably going to be picking apart my own decisions and second guessing myself the entire time my mouse hovers over the 'publish post' button.

I'll remind you once again, these are the Shanies: my fucking awards and I'll cry if I want to. Still, my musical taste transcends space, time, and the American way, so this should be pretty close to perfect.

Runners up this year were plentiful (I even had to cut down the runner up list) and included:

The Trews - Hold Me in Your Arms
One Day as a Lion - Wild International
The Black Keys - Psychotic Girl
Sweatshop Union - Gold Rush
Bronx - Knifeman (what a fucking drum beat!!)

However, in the end, this year's award went to an old favorite. The Black Crowes once again blew my mind with the second track off their latest entitled, Walk Believer Walk.

What is it about this song? Put it up against some of my usual favorites and you notice it's a drag-your-feet, half-stoned, warning of a ballad. However, as soon as you let your head bob to the slow, soothing beat, you can feel the soul of Chris Robinson screaming through the speakers at you. Rich's once again brilliant riff sets the stage for a song which grabs you and makes you pay attention through every dragged beat, every solo, and every pouring out of mind and soul.

In short, this song's got fucking heart, which, as a rarity in this day and age, needs to be acknowledged and supported.

-Lay back and let your body do the talkin'

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shanies: Most Annoying Song

It seems just about every year has one. You know exactly what I'm talking about. A song which is specifically written to be infectious and get into your mind, however all the while making you want to see if the katana will make it all the way from your butthole to your brains, proving that samurai were a bunch of pussies. Those songs which seem to get months of radio play, dominate every single club in town, and become the anthem for every teenie-bopping cum receptacle in the world.

Ok, so this is a touchy subject with me.

While I've never done this formally, I can think that past winners would have been groups like Black Eyed Peas, Soulja Boy, Right Said Fred, and that stupid fucking animated monster thing that they made the Beverly Hills Cop ring tone song with.

This year, there was an obvious front runner. I heard it in bars, I heard it at Oktoberfest, I heard it everywhere and it filled my veins with bile and shrunk my heart two sizes too small. I'm sure we all have tried lobectomies trying to forget about Katy Perry and her one-hit-wonder-please-go-die-under-a-school-bus-song, I Kissed a Girl.

I could say a lot about this song. I could comment on it's lack of depth, it's simplistic chord progression, it's neanderthalic marching beat in the rhythm section or even just the fact that her voice sounds like a velociraptor in a feeding frenzy. However, really I just need to say one thing:


-In case you hadn't already noticed, proceed on these links at your own risk

Friday, December 26, 2008

Shanies: Rookie of the Year

As I wake up this morning (once again around 5... luckily got back to bed for a bit) my mind wandered to the newcomers. I'll let you do your own digging and figure out why Cage the Elephant took this award feet down. (why does it have to be hands?)

Back when I was on crutches, I had bought a ticket to a Cage show. While any normal person would have likely just eaten the 8 pound loss and stayed at home whining, I don't fuck around when it comes to music. I stood in the back the entire time, writhing in pain every time someone bumped my leg, but the show was more than worth it. These boys have energy, originality, catchy hooks and are accessible. In short, keep an eye open in 2009.

-You aren't the only one who knows your way around me

Thursday, December 25, 2008

An aside

Twas the morning of Christmas and here in my bed
I lay here not sleeping but blogging instead
The stockings were hung last night while drunk
And I wrapped all my presents which mostly, are junk

My stomach still grumbled from meatballs and cheese
Zucchini, bruschetta , nachos and tea.
Some beer, some wine, a whisky or six
And my head now reminds me, never to mix

So here I am awake, at five in the morning
Not from excitement, but jet-lag and snoring
I woke like a child and down the stairs I snuck
To wait for my family to hurry the fuck up

-Merry Christmas to all, and to all, good morning

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shanies: Video of the Year

If you don't know who the Distillers are, go stick your punk rock cock, under a punk rock anvil and drop punk rock all over that shit. Fronted by Brody Dalle, the punk rock wife (formerly Brody Armstrong, ie Tim, and currently Brody Dalle Homme, ie Josh) the Distillers had a hell of a run, but broke up in 2005.

But I'm not here to talk about the Distillers. No, after Brody left, she went on to form Spinnerette with Jack Irons (RHCP, Pearl Jam) and Alain Johannes (QOTSA). In other words, before Spinnerette even had their first practise, they were already a thousand times cooler than you.

And they win for the coolest video of 2008... and yes, it did help their nomination that Brody makes me feel kinda funny.

-Death defying axe

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shanies: Biggest Rip Off

Most people would see this title and immediately jump at the current Coldplay - Joe Satriani lawsuit. Apparently, when you rip another band off, you can actually sue them.

La vida loca was a pretty blatant copy, however, Coldplay this year is given the runner up status; that's saying something considering how much I hate them. No, the true champs of thievery this year are involved in their own lawsuit. It's The Hives and their latest single Tick Tick Boom. They're being sued by Jason Shapiro of The Roofies and Celebrity Skin. Does he have a case? I'll let you be the judge, but to summarize... fuck yes he does.

-Driving is dangerous while sleeping

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shanies: Best Live Act

That's right ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and the roughly 20-30 people that google analytics tells me actually read this thing daily, (oh yeah, I'm watching you... who the fuck is the person that lives in Oslo?) it's time for the SHANIES! My holiday officially started on Friday (and my hangover hasn't slowed since) and I'll be counting off the best and worst of 2008 for the next 2 weeks (that is when I don't feel completely lazy).

Today's choice was an easy one, which is why I started with it. I'm waking up in London and I still have to do some xmas shopping before catching my Atlantic flight, landing in Calgary and driving to Edmonton to allow Mr. Ritchie the opportunity to violate my liver. The best live act this year was unquestionably Israel's Monotonix.

I didn't need to see these guys live to know they were the real deal. Watching some of their videos, one could detect the energy of the crowd, the insanity of the show, the fucking fun being had man! This was all capped off when I read a review about their Halifax pop explosion concert: "when the show moved outside, where Shalev hung from traffic lights while guitarist Yonatan Gat wailed on top of a van." You can't make that shit up.

-I have to pee... really; I held it in the entire blog

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My penis plays wicked sweep arpeggios

Cock rock is a genre which is often avoided like the plague because of it's association with beer swilling, low-IQ ridden jocks and other such personas which kicked the shit out of the likes of you and I when we were little. Far too often, this music conjures up visions of swirlies, and most of the time, it's predictable and rather dull.

However, to every rule, there is an exception. LA, of all places in the world, would be the spawning grounds for mysterious and mythical Sasquatch. We're not going to fuck around; what it is is what it is. This is power chord driven, amps to 11, catchy as all hell, rock. It doesn't even roll... it just rocks.

Where we have to pay respect however is in realizing the difference between a band like this and something like Creed. Cock rock in its proper form is trying to emulate the 70s forefathers which made it cool (ACDC, Sabbath, Maiden). The catch is that most musicians suck, and end up producing something which sounds like any one of those bands, without a heavy drug influence (read: absolute fucking bollocks). However, I assure you: people from LA know how to do drugs.

Check the video below, and also take a trip over to their myspace and check the song The Judge.

-PS: Sorry about the missing post this week... crazy times leading up to my travel home and next week's start of the Shanies!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

And the award for best name ever goes to...

Let this post be a preface, warning, and apology. I, just like anyone else who writes about music and has an opinion, will be publishing a week long set of awards over the holidays which I will call 'The Shanies". That's RIGHT everybody, I'm drunk with power... and whiskey and I've got a blog!!! Awards will range from the very serious (best rock pose) to completely inane (man I would give a reach around to).

While I realize we still have a week until I'm off on holidays, I thought I would give a quick preface of what to expect... which is of course going to be NOTHING like my actual implementation since I have no continuity, journalistic integrity, moral sense of right and wrong, libido, ability to work with human emotion in sensitive situations or bow-staff skills. Anyway, beyond just 2008, the award for greatest name of all time is being laid down to Jersey's own The Atomic Bitchwax.

There's not too much to say about these guys (hence the painfully long intro). They're a 3 piece from Jersey who formed in the mid 90's and have producted 4 albums to date. One notable note would be that their founding guitarist was of Monster Magnet fame (remember them?).

Otherwise, it's a Monday morning. It's rock n roll. What more do you want from me?

-I feel like a fucking addict whenever I scream 'I NEED SNOW' on a British street

Friday, December 12, 2008

I want fucking snow, man

So, I go home in just over a week, and I have to be dead honest; I'm getting a bit homesick. I miss the family, I miss the friends, I miss the people... hell I even miss the cold. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune once I get back, but for now, I can think nostalgically.

I've brought them up before, but I'll keep doing it until I work my way through that thick skull of yours... GO LISTEN TO INWARD EYE. If Winnipeg hasn't had anything to offer since the Guess Who, I'd say we're about due.

This power trio is simple enough to talk about because it's rock. No ifs ands or buts... straight up, beer swilling, peel your face off, clap along and shake your ass rock. For any of you who know Winnipeg, this makes perfect sense. Manitoba is a wonderful little slice of heaven with little to no personality and what culture we have left, has effectively frozen under sheets of ice. However, what we lack in originality, we make up for in talent. And sucking dick.

My MB heartstrings are being pulled perfectly in alignment with Eye's new EP release. Check the video below for some riffin' good times, but if you're looking for something a bit more telling, go listen to Blind Paranoia on their myspace.

-Who needs a government anyway?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Must be high as a kite

I've been wading through a lot of stoner rock this week. Starting from my roots of Kyuss, QOTSA and Clutch, I've just kind of branched outwards and struck a number of veins of gold. However, if this is what I'm going to show you first, I must be high as a kite.

This has nothing to do with the fact that it is a bad choice, however to truly appreciate Colour Haze, I think you need to be down with some heavy hallucinogens.


Seriously, this German trio AVERAGES around 10 minutes per song, with some epics reaching past 20. They are a bit of a 70's throwback and really pay homage to psychedelic rock. Initially, when they started out in the mid nineties, their sound was very influenced by Black Sabbath. However, as time went on they evolved into their own unique, trippy jam band.

Below, I've picked a shorter song called Moon for your listening pleasures, however take a chance to visit their site and listen to songs like All and Love... just don't plan on having anything to do for a while.

-I spy through my eyes as large as the sky

Monday, December 8, 2008

Japanese, not Russian

I had a weekend in London during which my ankle swelled up like a grapefruit. I think this was my body telling me to settle the feck down. So, I'm back to blogging.

Boris is a japanese experimental 3 piece. I'd love to say just listen to the track below and you'll have a pretty good idea of what's going on, but they range through everything from pop to ambient doom, to lord only knows what. They've been around since 1996, but have earned very little attention in western media, likely due to the fact that most lyrics are in Japanese.

They're another rare band who has a female lead guitarist, and again, even rarer; can really fucking rip it. Currently, they're touring the US and Canada, trying to muster up a bit of support, so if you check their page and see a show nearby, go check it out.

-I play the mind

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'll level with you

I have a ridiculously busy day, I have an interview for my C. Eng in an hour, I'm WAAAYYY too hungover (thank you Mr. Wills and Mr. Wozny) and one more thing:

I CAN WALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Albeit, with a wicked limp, but I can walk; no cane, no stupid boot.

So, today, all I'm going to ask of myself is to be a good boy and walk. All I'm going to ask of you is to fast forward this video to 5:00 and let your mind go POOF.

-I used to fuck people like you in prison

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The title is both accurate, and will hopefully increase my search redirect hits. Go me!

Righto, this one's going to be breaking the mold a bit. Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, has been defining our generation's music for a long bloody time now. While one would think he might eventually start to get dated, he seems to keep coming up with crafty ways to encapsulate his fans.

This time, it comes in the form of a super group. He's pulled together a team for his new project Brighton Port Authority, of which you might recognize a few names (Iggy Pop, David Byrne, Pete York, Dizzee Rascal). Up to this point, very little has been released from the project with the exception of a couple of tracks; one featuring Iggy Pop and one with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. Based on the current record, it is looking like Cook is intending to release an album of electronically backed pop songs, similar to what the Gorillaz did.

Another thing that the fat man is doing is wisely using internet viral media to hype the project up. It helps that he has a BRILLIANT video of a bunch of naked people dancing around. In short, if you didn't like this song before, you will after seeing a bunch of TnA. Oh, not to mention, the wheelmill bit at the end is fucking hilarious.

-The doctor better have good news tomorrow, for Bill Pullman's sake.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More from the Brass Section

I was at a formal dinner down in Oxford on Friday night and I determined something rather sinister. This dinner, filled primarily with academics and a few unholy gate-crashers such as myself was served with miniscule portions of food, and ridiculous servings of wine. Now, I'm all for getting right pissed, but when the catering company forces it on you just to cover up how bad their main course is, I feel somewhat cheated.

I played rock and roll yesterday though, so the weekend wasn't that bad. This morning, I woke up hoping to see absolute bedlam in the morning markets (since this is the day RBS is diluted by the UK government) however so far, things seem stable.

And the world turned, and Pearls & Brass rocked. Once again, I'll warn you that supposedly as of Oct. 2008, these guys are on hiatus. Me thinks they just couldn't handle that amount of rock, because believe me, there is a lot. Keeping true to the words 'stoner metal' these guys fit right up there with Priestess, Wolfmother and many of their 70's heroes. Plus, they're from Nazareth, PA, which I always just thought sounded cool.

-You just see half my mind; I've got half a mind to leave

PS: I just found the coolest Christmas gift idea ever.