Posted by: Phil | November 12, 2009

Wolfmother’s Cosmic Egg is 40 Years Rotten


Wolfmother at the 9:30 Club. Picture taken by wumpiewoo.

Andrew Stockdale is trying to sell you the 1970s all over again, except this time without the ploy of some underlying originality.

Wolfmother's sophomore album, Cosmic Egg.

Cosmic Egg does absolutely nothing to build on what was a fun, if somewhat derivative album in Wolfmother’s first self-titled full-length. Not only does it strip away the sense of pop-sensible garage rock that made their debut interesting to so many people, it goes so far in the other direction that you could name the artist, time period and sometimes even the album where their songs originated from.

A lot of fuss has been made over 2/3s of Wolfmother leaving after their tour in 2008. Mainly, what direction Stockdale, the lead guitarist and vocalist, would take the band in after bassist/keyboardist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett left. Rather than allow his new band members, guitarist Aidan Nemeth, bassist/keyboardist Ian Peres and drummer Dave Atkins, to explore a new dynamic in being a four piece band, he uses the same conventions as all his major influences by diluting the imagery from ’70s heavy metal.

Every song sounds like they took the same basic ideas from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and reinvented them into smug rhymes that paint Stockdale as less of a narcissist and more of a willing exploiter of what was already popular. Even the tones that Stockdale uses when belting out his soulless lyrics sound like he was smiling behind the microphone knowing exactly how many albums he was going to sell. This is one of the most glaring flaws with this album. Even when the band had its original lineup, Stockdale’s lyrics were steeped deep in the ’70s sexual revolution and heavy metal’s story-oriented psychedelics. However, he dives so far deep into the well that has already been dug; he comes up with bottom feeder lyrics like “White Feather’s” pre-pubescent attempt to create subtle sexuality.

“Dancing feet, I compete now with your dancing feet now.
Some people say, they can’t compare, when you’re not over here your there.
You see coz girl, she say oh no, another boy would you like to know”

Not to mention the emotionless imagery painted by his attempts to equal the metaphorical landscapes that Ozzy created. Rather than use lyrics that have specific meaning or reference to anything with real world grounding, Stockdale’s lyrics are as vague as you can be without actually reaching any actual meaning behind them. “10,000 Feet” uses clichés from all over the ’60s and ’70s to create a colorless history lesson devoid of any actual description as to what revolution he’s talking about or if he’s simply babbling about revolution in general.

“They came from ten thousand feet, on a possibility street
It was the law of the land, turned castles into the sand”

The saddest part is that a lot of these songs have drips of substance. “Sundial” might have been a song that appeared on Black Sabbath record if they hadn’t already produced work that was at least five times better. “In the Morning” sounds like a Houses of the Holy-esque ballad that would’ve thrown on as an honorable b-side if Physical Graffiti wasn’t the stellar double album that it ended up being. However, with the context of time and relevance surrounding the album, it’s hard to part yourself and look at it in an utterly subjective light. It’s as if Stockdale expects people to view everything inside of a bubble completely shut off from the rest of the world and its progression.

The worst part is that the illusion of originality is completely stripped away with the way the album is mixed. It sounds as if they went to an audio forum and asked for amplifier settings to get the exact distortion and level settings that Sabbath used when recording Paranoid in order to give those heavier songs exactly the same punch that threw them into the spotlight in 1971. “10,000 Feet” is the biggest perpetrator of this particular crime as you can almost hear Tony Iommi in the background shouting “Mutiny!” Not to mention “Eyes Open” and “Back Castle” sound like songs that came out of Led Zeppelin’s IV with some electric guitar choruses. Hell, “Back Castle” sounds like Stockdale was just introduced to “Stairway to Heaven” recently and he decided to give the whole “epic ballad” thing a try.

There was one point when listening to this record that completely sums up my feelings. While listening to “In the Morning,” the subdued ballad of the album, I thought “If I wanted to listen to this kind of music, couldn’t I just throw on Led Zeppelin’s III?” And I did. I suggest you do the same.

Cosmic Egg gets 1 “Castle of Sand” out of 5.

Posted by: Phil | November 9, 2009

Stream Them Crooked Vultures Debut Album


Them Crooked Vultures self-titled debut album.

Stream it here. I have no idea how long it will be up, but it came directly from Them Crooked Vultures twitter account, so it’s legit.

Posted by: Phil | November 7, 2009

Interview with Neil Cotter from Awful Waffle

Neil Cotter is the keyboardist for a local Jersey band, Awful Waffle. I sat down in his apartment to discuss about being in a band and his favorite concert. The two songs in the interview are from his band, Awful Waffle.

Awful Waffle – “Cry on You”

Awful Waffle – “Ten Times Better Than the Kevin Hay Two-Stop”

Posted by: Phil | November 4, 2009

EMI to offer new live Recording Service

EMI announced earlier today that they would be releasing “Abbey Road Live,” a live music recording and production service. In a press release, EMI stated that the service will provide fans with high quality video and audio recordings of live shows mere minutes after the show ends. The productions will be provided in a number of formats, including CD, DVD, artist-branded USB drives and even secure digital downloads or streams to your computer or cell phone. EMI also announced that high definition streaming videos will be made available to fans online in real time, giving fans without the funds or means to get to the concert another avenue to see their favorite bands live. There’s no word as to when the service will take full affect, but it has already been implemented at some Blur concerts with ten percent of fans visiting Blur’s website after a concert to download the live recording.


The Decemberists, an EMI signed artist. Picture taken by starbright31.

I’m personally looking forward to watching a Decemberists concert in high definition as their shows have been known to be fantastically epic.

Posted by: Phil | November 4, 2009

New At the Drive-in live Performances Compiled


At the Drive-In live. Copyright Fearless Records.

Shaky cam footage, non-soundboard quality audio with levels to make your ears bleed and late 90s level VHS video quality. But, thanks to the filmmakers at unartig, we have yet another six views into the world of the last 3 years of At the Drive-In, including their second to last performance in February 2001.

Everything from Omar’s opiate induced sporadic guitar solos to Cedric’s berating of slam dancers; it’s all on display in this series of compiled videos. These videos give a new perspective for those who, like myself, were never able to see At the Drive-In live before their infamous breakup. They span from 1999-2001 and serve as almost a visual and aural timeline showcasing the band’s energetic and often uniquely flawed live shows from the In/Casino/Out tour to the Relationship of Command tour. They were never the tight pop rock shows that larger, more commercial bands would put on. However, their shows were renowned for the band’s on-stage presence and improvisation within songs. These videos simply further the legacy of the punk band that helped to create post-hardcore as we know it today. The band’s second to last performance in Bremen, Germany is below. Be sure to check out the article at unartig for all the videos and unartig’s profile for individual videos and larger size.

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Them Crooked Vultures

After teasing for months, Them Crooked Vultures now have two full tracks available for free to listen. Now available as a free download from the iTunes Music Store, the Vultures’ “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” is their second single release off of their self-titled debut album. It’s a bluesy romp that treads through both Josh Homme’s and Dave Grohl’s back catalogue from their other bands, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters respectively. It sounds as though Homme has the most control, as the song has the riff-oriented feel that helped defined the Queens as one of the premiere hard rock bands. The album hits stores November 16th in Europe and November 17th in North America.

Posted by: Phil | October 29, 2009

Foo Fighters to perform live on Facebook


Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. Picture taken by techmeister.

Tomorrow at 10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, the Foo Fighters will play a free live performance from Studio 606 that will be streamed live on Facebook.

It will be Grohl’s first performance with the band since he started touring as the drummer with his new supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures, with Josh Homme and John Paul Jones.

The performance looks to spur on some support for the Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits release coming out this coming Tuesday, 11/3.

For more details and to “RSVP” to the event, check out the event’s page here.

Posted by: Phil | October 29, 2009

New Dead Weather Live EP


The Dead Weather at The Forum in June. Picture taken by aurélien.

It’s been a busy year for Allison Mosshart, Jack White and company. After a relentless tour over the summer in the US, their debut album, Horehound, releasing in July and their European tour still ongoing, you’d think The Dead Weather already have their hands full. But even after announcing that they’d be going back to the studio sometime towards the end of the year, the band has released another EP with no fanfare outside of the blogosphere, Live At Third Records West.

The EP is essentially a five-track release with four of the tracks being accompanied with a video release. The main standout on the album is the band’s cover of Pentagram’s “Forever My Queen” which first premiered at the band’s live performance on From the Basement. The rest are live performances of songs off of Horehound.

The full tracklist:

Forever My Queen (Cover)
Hang You from the Heavens
I Cut Like a Buffalo
So Far from your Weapon
Treat Me Like Your Mother
Hang You from the Heavens (Live Video)
I Cut Like a Buffalo (Live Video)
So Far from your Weapon (Live Video)
Treat Me Like Your Mother (Live Video)

Them Crooked Vultures. Picture taken by megathud.

After announcing their album’s release last weekend, Them Crooked Vultures have finally released their first full single from their self-titled album, “New Fang.” You can use the link or listen to the mp3 stream below.

With a guitar riff and vocal track that sounds like vintage Queens of the Stone Age, but with a tinge more pop sensibility, the single sets the stage for a promising album. It almost sounds as like a reimaging of 70s hard rock through the eyes of both the modern and vintage rock musicians. Homme, Jones, and Grohl’s album drops on November 17th through Interscope Records.

It’s also been confirmed that the Vultures will be playing Wiltern in Los Angeles on the day of the album’s release. Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10:00 AM from Live Nation.

Posted by: Phil | October 24, 2009

Musical Evidence

Music is one of those fundamental parts of life that you can’t escape. It’s a language that everyone eventually has to learn at some part of their life. Which dialect you choose, whether it be rock, rap, country, salsa, or skiffle-beat, you develop your own voice behind what you choose to listen to and what your culture exposes you to. However, music is present in more aspects of our life than simply waking up to your alarm clock set on 106.5 FM, “Playing all your favorite classic rock hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.” The culture of music is something that has a physical presence and leaves evidence behind in your daily travels. It could be something as simple as leaving your CDs strewn out by your living room stereo or something as deeply engraved as the amplifier wire you trip over every time you try and get out of bed in the morning.

In the age where you can carry around an entire library of music in your front pocket, it’s easy to forget how much music influences the decisions you make just on a daily basis. Everything from the clothes you wear to the friends you associate yourself with can all be influenced by music and the imagery left behind by it. This photo journal is an exploration of trying to understand exactly how music and its influences on my culture has become almost a given in my life. This journal is a collection of photos of things that are a part of my life, whether I passively or actively interact with them, that have to do with music. Hopefully, the idea will give some better introspection as to why I do care about music so much.

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