Archive for music

Join the Gun Club!

Posted in 80's, Culture, music, Music Video, video with tags , , , , , on March 18, 2008 by howsoonis08

What a great band! Originally I was a little bit frightened by them… but I learned to love. Please check out this link for more information, and check out the videos for music goodness!

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Dancing should get Rad again!

Posted in Culture, fashion, music, Music Video, rant, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by howsoonis08

People need to do awesome dancing again… dancing like the Charleston… It was popularized in 1923 and developed in African-American communities in the USA. At the time the Charleston was seen as quite a provocative dance… but compared to some the stuff that goes on now, it’s pretty clean! For me, the Charleston never really hit its peak till it was incorporated into American 1930s and 40s swing music.

Anybody know any other rad dances that should come back into fashion?

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Man… My grandma taught me how to do the Charleston… just not quite like this!

You’re Daddy’s Rich, and Your Mamma’s Good lookin’

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, Culture, fashion, Film, music, Music Video, rant, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2008 by howsoonis08

After reading break ends, it seems as though school takes the form of a drill Sargent beating you with a non-stop onslaught of work. I’m a bit behind on my blogging assignment, but that because I’m chin deep in a pile of assignments; probably caused by my own procrastination.

Because of all of my recent late-night cluster-fucks of essay writing and studying, it’s provided a great opportunity for listening to hours of music. For me, picking music to study to is as tedious of a task as it was for John Cusack to build the perfect mix tape in ‘High Fidelity.’ You want it to grab your attention (for keeping you alert and attentive to your work), but you don’t want it to keep your attention (you focus needs to remain on whatever your doing). You want it to fill the silence, but it can’t be intruding….

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Lately, I’ve found my music of choice in Sam Cooke. It’s perfect really… the music is beautiful, his voice is beautiful, they’re smooth pop songs so you don’t really have to pay attention to what’s going on, they make you happy, and (seeing as how the songs are only about 2 and a half minutes each) there is always circulation; you’re not hearing the same song for long periods of time (I find that it can make me tired). Another favorite has recently been Guided by Voices, ‘Half Smiles of the Decomposed’ in particular. It seems as if the whole album just floats by.

On that note, I’m going to leave you with some videos of the two artists mentioned above and I’m going to get back to school work. Enjoy the shit out of these.

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I appologize for the sound on this one…. but you’ll have to turn up your speakers. This is Sam Cooke singing ‘You Send Me’

 

This is Guided By Voices with ‘Bulldog Skin’. Not off of “Half Smiles of the Decomposed,” but off their 1997 release “Mag Earwhig.”

 

So give me Coffee and TV…Peacefully

Posted in 90's, cinematography, Coffee, connoisseur, Culture, Film, Indie rock, music, Music Video, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2008 by howsoonis08

In the early 90’s, Blur was one of the most popular emerging bands in the U.K., and carried on, as well as broke down barriers, in the Britpop scene!

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Why do I am including them in this post? Well, for one, they’re a great band…. I also just happened to stumble! Onto their Coffee and TV video from their 1999 release “13.” The song is sung by the band’s guitarist Graham Coxon, and the lyrics are apparently about Coxon’s attempt to give up drinking. It really reminds me on Blur’s earlier years, which I personally enjoy. As for the video, it features Milky (a milk carton with a mission) who is on search for Graham Coxon who has unfortunately gone missing. It’s a great video, and I’m sure that your just burning to find out how it ends!

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The video itself is great, the band is great, it has coffee in the title, it’s music… It should be incorporated into my blog… so here it is! “Coffee and TV”

Do you want to make your own Milky??? How About Miss Milky??? Click Here!It’s a downloadable layout that you can cut out and put together for your own personal enjoyment!

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It was all whirlwind, heat, and flash…

Posted in 80's, Culture, Indie rock, music, Music Video, Shoegaze, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2008 by howsoonis08

Layers of guitar, whirling puzzles of melodies, tonal bliss, subdued vocals, alteration after alteration of effects… I love shoegaze… and how could you not? With the ever-droning riffs, and the non-stop wall of sound smashing against your body, and mesmerizing your mind! I’ve never felt more encompassed by a sound then when listening to powerful shoegaze.

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Of course, watching them play live is usually as fun as watching bread rise, but I honestly believe that that’s not why you go to watch them. You’re not going to watch, you’re going to feel, and experience the creation of slab of sound that’s going to ram into your body like a 400 pound undulating mass of human flesh running towards some Cheesies.

It really is a shame that they never got the exposure they deserved… but really, I can see why… have you ever watched an interview with Kevin Shields?

Shoegaze came about sometime in the early 1980’s around the Great Britain area. Unfortunately, because it really was a scene the celebrated itself, shoegaze basically died in the England area. At that time Brit-pop started to become increasingly popular, and basically built criticisms towards shoegaze. Because Brit-pop soon became the dominant music structure in the England area, there was not much else the shoegazers could do but remain under radar, and eventual fall to its death. Just to clear up any confusion, they were labeled as shoegazer bands, because for most of the show they were huddled over their effects pedals and playing with enormous passion…

I’ve heard many of my friends say that at concerts such as Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, they’ve been so moved by the experience that they will go as far as to compare it to a religious experience…. Shoegaze would provide mine…

So, to end off my post for today, I’m going to allow you to indulge in some shoegaze sweetness…

 

The Telescopes – Flying – Off of their album “# Untitled Second”

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just like Honey – Off their 1985 release “Psycho Candy”

My Bloody Valentine – You made me Realize – From their 1988 Ep “You made me Realize”

My Bloody Valentine – Feed me with your Kiss – Quintessential shoegaze! Off their 1988 LP “Isn’t Anything

Ride – Leave them All Behind – From their 1992 LP “Going Blank Again”

Others you may want to check out: Chapterhouse, Lush, Slowdive, Swervedriver, The Swirlies, Spaceman 3, the Cocteau Twins, Even early Dinosaur Jr., 

All in all It’s just another _ _ _ in the wall?

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, Indie rock, music, video with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2008 by howsoonis08

Sometimes having an espresso machine and grinder on your counter at all times is a big pain in the ass. I’ve often wondered where else I could put my espresso machine, which would enable me more counter space for my cooking endeavors, but it’s hard to say goodbye to the big goof.

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Well… I’ve kind of found a solution… This is an espresso machine that is built into your wall… good idea…. too bad it makes shitty coffee. I guess personally haven’t tried the shots it produces, but every review I’ve seen has leaned to a not-so-good review. None the less, it’s a really interesting concept, and a design that I think will be worked on more and more in the future for home espresso users. As for this espresso machine… I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for.

However, this machine built into a wall got me thinking about something….Pink Floyd!! The good psychedelic Floyd! So for this post, I’m going to put up some neat videos of Pink Floyd at their finest; Syd Barrett and all!

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This also brings to mind last October when I saw the Sadies play in Calgary.It wasn’t the first time, and definitely won’t be my last! What a phenomenal show! They played for 2 hours, and played a double encore! This band is Toronto-based, and creates a distinct sound which draws on traditional country, surf rock, and garage rock as influences. If you like psychedelic and/or country-alternative, check this band out, they’re a fantastic listen! The show was for their ‘New Seasons’ tour, so they cranked out nearly all of their new songs, and blasted through random jewels from their other albums. What made me remember this show was that at the end of their second encore, they tuned to the key of ‘Barrett’ and played a tribute to a fallen hero. We were already floored by their performance, and to top it all off with a Syd Barrett tribute was amazing! So to end the post, I’m going to throw in a video made by east coast rock legend Rick White which features one of the new tracks off of The Sadies new album. Enjoy…or Die…

Just give me the East Coast

Posted in Indie rock, music, Music Video, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2008 by howsoonis08

Well it’s the end of the week, and I’m feeling really lazy… I’ve got an abnormal psych test and a contemporary sociology theory test next week…. I don’t want to study… And I’ve been thinking that it’s about time for an East Coast Power Pop revival… I mean… Why not right? It’s almost 2010, the 90’s can be revived! Anyway, the only reason I’ve been thinking about this is cause I’ve been on a huge east coast kick for the last month or so… It’s great rediscovering old favorites again and again! So for this post I’m just throwing down some videos I hope you all will enjoy! As for this post… Screw coffee, that can come next post again.

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The Flashing Lights – Elevature ——— This is a great video from The FlashingLights solid solid debut album ‘Where the Change Is’. Did you know that the drummer is now playing for Elliott Brood?? kinda disappointing…

Sloan – Loosing California ——— From Sloan’s 1999 release ‘Between the Bridge’. This was the first tour I got to see Sloan = Super Rad —— From outside the doors of the venue…… fuck.

 

Cool Blue Halo – 52 Pickup —– Cool Blue Halo is relatively new to me, I didn’t get into them until last year. See what you think!

Eric’s Trip – My Room —– I never got to see Eric’s trip… or Elevator when they came through Lethbridge…. But I did see Julie Doiron play at The Slice… does that count for anything?

Sloan – People of the Sky — Great song from Twice Removed. This album was Sloan’s ‘clean up’ album. They really nailed down the hooky pop-rock they wanted. Before this album was Smeared, and is still my second or first favorite Sloan album.

Sloan – Penpals (live on Rita & Friends) —– Again, off Twice Remove.

Thrush Hermit – French Inhale —— From their EP ‘Smart Bomb’

The Super Friendz – Up and Running

 

The Flashing Lights – High School

Thrush Hermit – The Day we hit the Coast

 

Sloan – Chester the Molester and If It Feels Good Do It

 

Sometimes Less is More – Dynamical music and coffee

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, music, percussion, rant, unique with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2008 by howsoonis08

Just recently I acquired the opportunity to take part in breaking in a new espresso machine! The parents of one of my friends decided to indulge their inner-kid and buy themselves a late Christmas present. Knowing that I would be very interested, my friend invited me over for the virgin voyage of the machine. What really interested me in this instance was that fact that the machine was a super automatic espresso machine; something I had never seen in action, nor tasted the coffee it produced.

Because this machine was new to them, I wanted to make sure that they had good beans to test the machine. They took my advice and chose to go with Cupper’s Espresso Zilla espresso blend (this is an amazing coffee shop in Lethbridge, and we are very privileged to have the opportunity to access such high quality coffee and high quality knowledge from owner and staff. Please visit their site!), what this also provided me was a good background for how the coffee should taste. I’ve been running Cupper’s coffee for a long time, experimented with different blends, done tastings with the owners, so I know how the coffee should turn out.

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When the time came down to tasting the coffee (something I will be mentioning in a later post), the shot just was not up to par… We did a number of runs with the machine (we had to! they just got it! it’s exciting!), adjusted the grind settings, and we got it to produce a reallly good shot, but still fell short. The shot was bitter, and a bit weak… I thought that it was due to a build up of excess coffee left in the machine between the shots (I’ve read about things like that happening before).

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that sometimes less is more. Having the ability to change little variables such as the tamp pressure, amount of coffee in the portafilter, warming the system, and really nailing down the grind for the roast can add such a difference in the espresso shot. Of course, you must take into consideration that economically the super automatic is fantastic! and produces a very substantial shot of espresso! This is perfect for many individuals, but for the purpose of linking this to music, I’m going to maintain my point by elaborating on the fact that less is more.

Being a percussionist, and constantly listening and applauding/criticizing others work, a pretty hard thing to not notice is the fact that a lot of the time…less is definitely more. A local jazz musician, and a very good friend, would always emphasis the dynamics of music and notion of musical time by saying “it’s not always the notes themselves that count, but the spaces in between the notes that you have to pay attention to.” I’ve always took this to heart, and after you take the time to consider it, and reeaaally start to pay attention to it, it’s a very powerful idea. I’ve listened to many drum solo’s, and I find myself noticing more and more that the ones that I really enjoy, ones that make you smile, are the ones where the drummer has total control over every dynamic point during the solo. I’ll post some good examples, and I hope you’ll enjoy them!

This guys got the best facial expressions ever!

So ‘in the pocket’ it’s not even funny!

Dave Weckl looks like a dink. But fabulous dynamics!

Coffee Shops – A cool place to Hang??

Posted in Coffee, music, percussion, unique with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2008 by howsoonis08

This post will concentrate mainly on the music side of my blog. I found this video while Stumble!-ing around the internet. To tell you the truth, I was quite dumbfounded when the video began to play… I had no prior knowledge of hang drums, and am very interested in percussion instruments. This video knocked my socks off, and led to an afternoon (and the majority of the evening) of research in the attempts to gather more information on hang drums, and how I could own one! So please, please look at the video! An musician or music lover will receive great pleasure!

As you can see, hang drums (pronounced ‘hung’ or ‘hong’) are very similar to a steel drum, and uses many of the same principals to operate. What amazes me is the variety of sounds you can generate! For more information, make sure you google search ‘Hang Drums‘, or you can check this site out here!

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I’d love to here something like this in a coffee shop! If you were interested in buying one yourself, take a look at this link here!

Misconstrued Perception

Posted in Coffee, Commercialism, connoisseur, Consumerism, fashion, Indie rock, music, rant, Symbolic interactionism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2008 by howsoonis08

Is consumerism and commercialism altering perceptions on the art of coffee and music? In my opinion…without a doubt.

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What is “indie”, or “indie rock” for that matter? I used to think that I knew. I used to think that indie music was short-form for independent music. The genre of indie rock is now more of a fashion for consumer culture and another way for capitalists to turn music into a commercialized product. They play with the label of indie rock, attributing it to underground culture and counterculture. Just another way to falsely assure the masses that they are “individual”, “unique”, and part of a countermovement to mainstream culture. It is used now to incorrectly describe the bands sound in affiliation with their independent label, or means of production. It’s a blanket term that covers many artists, grouping them into a category that appeals to a society who is constantly looking to rid themselves of characteristics of the collective; conforming to a symbol of individualism, despite the fact they are doing the exact opposite. Indie has been appropriated by commercialism to mean something that was originally not intended; it has new meaning now. It was only a matter of time before someone was smart enough to see that they could market this idea.

I’m not judging anything about the music itself. There are many artists coming out with the label of “indie” that are wonderful to listen to, and by no means should artists be judged by their label. Also, I’m not saying that there are not truly independent bands emerging from various music genres. I just wish that truly independent musicians wouldn’t get tagged under the genre of “indie”. Am I symbolically representing myself through the music I listen to? Most likely… but I would say that their is very few that could get away with saying no. Do I mean to? Not necessarily… I did for a long time, and now realize there are definitely more important things in life than defining yourself by symbolic culture. Althought I’ll never get away from it.

Now what about coffee? How have peoples perception of coffee changed? There are about 13, 000 Starbucks around the world, and in multiple countries; opening Starbucks every 6 minutes… About 44 million people a week go to Starbucks. Starbucks coffee is the most caffeinated coffee on the market. So what am I trying to get at? I want to argue the fact that Starbucks is altering people’s perception of coffee from something that is a taste sensation, to something to feed an addiction. Among other things that I think is horrible about Starbucks, this is what I’m going to try to argue. Usually when I talked to people about coffee, the response is usually something like this: “I really needed a coffee this morning, I had a horrible hangover and needed to get picked up.” Where is the enjoyment in that? Doesn’t it seem as if people are using coffee strictly for the caffeine, as a means for energy? I’m sure that symbolic imagery also has some sort of ties, but my opinion leans more towards coffee as a means of caffeine. It really is a shame that more people don’t take the time to appreciate all things that go into coffee and all aspects that change the qualities of coffee. We need to remember that we are trying to make something consistently that naturally doesn’t want to be consistent. Starbucks and other coffee chains have constrained coffee to something that can be repeated over and over again with very little frequencies of variability. So what Starbucks is doing is dealing caffeine legally and consistently. Of course this is just my opinion, and I would love to hear discussions!!

And for some neat indie rock picks, check out: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Built to Spill, Jesus and Mary Chain, Polvo, and solid old Sonic Youth

(Am I secretly representing myself symbolically through these bands?? Fuck… This just gets confusing.)

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