Sunday, March 20, 2011
March 2011 Album of the Month
Eisley "The Valley"
Listen for free here on Grooveshark
Some folks may remember that a million years ago I used to have a CD Of The Month club where I would let folks know the album that most struck my fancy that month. I've started that up again.
I have a real soft spot for vocal harmony, and doubly so when it comes from siblings. The Beach Boys, The Dinning Sisters, the Louvin Brothers, Great Lakes Myth Society, The Mills Brothers...all of their close harmonies weave together and take a seat right in my soul. Alt-Pop act Eisley (consisting of three sisters, a brother and a cousin) fit into this niche nicely, adding in some youthful innocence and a wide-eyed earnestness that can only come from being weirdly religious or home-schooled.
On their 2011 album "The Valley" the DuPree family dig into some darker territories, stemming from some relatively public break-ups (two of the sisters were either married or engaged to indie rockers and the dissolution of these relationships fuel a lot of the themes on the album). Still, the album never feels maudlin or depressing. The songs have more of a growling punch behind the sweetness than they've had before, which makes them feel more mature and less teen-cute than their previous releases. Like they're growing up or something.
keeping with my theme of bands in fields near trees from last month
The standout track is definitely "Smarter" which slowly burns with its tock-tock rhythms, growling guitars and a chorus that sounds like the Heavens are raining down on your ears.
Written in the wake of several failed relationships -- a broken engagement for the eldest Eisley sibling, a divorce for the middle sister, and a split with Warner Bros. Records -- Eisley's third album features some unexpected dark moments. Much of the aggression comes from Sherri DuPree, whose marriage to New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert came to an abrupt halt after ten months. On Eisley's 2005 debut, she sang ballads about star-crossed lovers and enchanted forests, but Sherri ditches the storybook romance during The Valley, whose sobering song titles -- "Sad," "I Wish," "Ambulance" -- paint the picture of a girl's broken heart. The Valley isn't necessarily a gloomy album, though; most of the anger is funneled into Chauntelle DuPree's guitar riffs, whose rawness is balanced by the girls' sweet, dreamy harmonies. Co-vocalist Stacy helps even the tables, too, taking the mike during some of the album's brightest moments and offsetting her sister's pinched, emo-influenced voice with a womanly alto. Barely a teenage at the beginning of Eisley's career, she's steadily become the group's creative centerpiece, and it's appropriate that The Valley both begins and ends with her songs. But the best part about The Valley is the emotional spectrum it covers, from the Veruca Salt-ish sneer of "Sad" to the lush title track, where harmonies and strings swell in parallel motion. There's a happy ending, too: Sherri remarried two years after her divorce, followed in 2010 by Stacy, Chauntelle, and drummer/brother Weston. - Andrew Leahey
Are they old enough to drink coffee?
Maybe buy it at Amazon MP3 or maybe on the iTunes?
Friday, March 18, 2011
Outer Space Tallboy
Best joke from BrianSleeper:
"The joke’s on Luke. That can is empty. There’s no way Carrie Fisher ever gave a full beer away."
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Speaking of Stan The Man, here's a terrific Vanity Fair interview with Stan Lee:
Q: Are you going to be one of those guys who doesn’t quit until they find you dead in your office, face down in a pool of ink, surrounded by storyboards?
A: I don’t intend to die.
This Local Natives acoustic concert at NPR's offices was quite nice.
It also inspired this angry diatribe:
I don’t like anything about this. Not one thing.
This reminds me of the crap I hear played by street musicians and then quietly think to myself “man, this is as far as that crap is gonna take them,” and then pretend I had no change in my pockets.
Their arrangements are more like chaotic chanting than anything pleasant to hear.
I realize this is acoustic, but even so for having so many musicians, they all suck at playing them. Watch them play their instruments. Hell, I play better than they do.
I know there’s only so much you can do with one drum, but the repetition in the drumming style is brutal.
They look like a bunch of band dudes that spent every Friday in the dorm growing facial hair.
Don’t know what’s thicker. That dudes mustache or his eye brows.
Nice to know that Oates’ and Yanni’s mustache has found a home.
Based on that Neville-esque ‘noma on his neck, this band will be shopping for a new lead singer by next fall.
The guy on the right is like a fat girl waiting to happen.
Wearing that shirt is embarrassing enough, but to then roll the sleeves?
Everyone knows this (‘specially the fat ones), if you’re doughy, don’t roll your t-shirt sleeves.
The guy in the beard is by far the most annoying. He’s TERRIBLE at singing, yet he seems to sing the loudest.
This is why drummer shouldn’t sing (see Don Henley).
People at work were coming into my cube to see if I was alright when the third song was playing.
Jean vest? Jesus Christ.
Let the Wookie Win
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Charlie Sheen has become the perfect celebrity in my opinion.
I don't really care about him. He was good that one time:
But two decades, an awful sitcom, and a fat paycheck later, something within him has snapped...
...or possibly elevated him to an accelerated life form.
His maniacal mentality makes me firmly believe he is operating at a higher level of functionality than the rest of us.
visit Cats Quote Charlie Sheen
He is bulletproof and indestructible.
He has re-appropriated our language and made it his own.
visit this NY Mag Glossary
He is not Bi-Polar, he is Bi-Winning.
And his constant use of the phrase "Winning" is the ultimate punctuation to a statement.
You say something completely batshit-insane which aggrandizes yourself in a superhuman way.
And then you inform your interviewer (which is everybody listening) that you are "Winning."
visit Charlie Sheen Quotes as New Yorker Cartoons
Remember this moment folks.
History is unfolding before our eyes.
He will clearly be dead or Christian soon, and we will be sad.
So cherish this moment while we can.
Remember us Winning.