Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Top 10 Saddest Songs So Far

“Mother” - John Lennon.
This one is a killer. So real and honest you can't help but relate.
"Mother, you had me but I never had you. I wanted you, you didn't want me"

9) ”There is a Light That Never Goes Out” – The Smiths
The concepts of death and loss are very romantic and eerie.
“I never never want to go home
Because I havent got one

8) ”A Letter To Elise” – The Cure
Write the perfect letter to a girl detailing your failure as a man and replace “Elise” with her name.
“There’s nothing else I can really do at all”

7) ”Into My Arms” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
He touches on religion as usual but something about the pace and the vibe of this song sends me spinning.
“And I don't believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that's true”

6) ”My Way” – Frank Sinatra
Another creepy classic that makes you wonder how your grandparents felt.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.”

5) ”Sluttering (May 4th)” – Jawbreaker
Another bitter break up song, perhaps Blake’s best.
“This is a story you won't tell the kids we'll never have.”

4) ”Hurt” – Johnny Cash (NIN)
The original was corny but held together by really strong lyrics. J. Cash makes you feel his pain.
“I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel”

3) "Mercy Mercy Me” – Marvin Gaye
Marvin knew something was very wrong with the world and talks about it here.
“Ah things ain't what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?”

2) “Total Recall” – The Sound
Sad, sad comment on another relationship failure. Singer actually ends up tossing himself in front of a moving train over the same topic.
“But I can see
A distant victory,
A time when you will be with me.”

1) ”It’s Over” – Roy Orbison
I think this is the world’s saddest song. The tone, the vibe, the words, and the epic ending that sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.
“It’s over…”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4:13 Dream

It’s hard for me to pick up anything new by The Cure and actually be able to give it an honest chance. The band fooled with my head with “Wild Mood Swings” in 1996, then confused me further with “Bloodflowers” in 2000. The self titled 2004 record completely turned me off and convinced me that The Cure had traveled down a road that I was no longer interested in following. What really killed it for me was the production on their 2004 effort. Robert’s voice sounded too nice and the silly effects and production tricks stuck out like a sore thumb. This is exactly what I expected from their 13th, and most recent album “4:13 Dream”.
I could tell what this record was going to sound like just by looking at the cover artwork. It looks like a combination of their 1992 album “Wish” and their last release, self titled from 2004. The vocals are still crisp but not as processed as the tracks on the S/T album and the overall mix is pretty solid. The production effects are successful and buried within their original sound. The songs are pretty good, the lyrics are the best they’ve been in a long time, and the overall vibe left me feeling satisfied. The actual “punch” that The Cure delivered from 1976-1992 is still struggling to be noticed. I would say that this record is a very good move for the band. To me, it feels like a record for the fans, if the fans could only forget the disappointment with their last two releases.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Music

Download a free comp from one of NJ's coolest indie labels.
let me run, gaslight anthem, scream hello, the sirs, noun, the bloodreds, fanshen, the low end theory, give me danger!, bearing, we,re all broken.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jeffo's night off

I watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off last night for the first time in a long long time. It was more amazing than I remember. Partly because I was a teenager who talked my way out of attending many days of highschool, and partly because I love the music and music references throughout the movie. Start in Ferris' s room. He has a Cabaret Voltaire poster. I honestly had no idea that anyone liked that band in or around 1985. I sure never liked them. What a prop. You can also see some obvious references such as a Simple Minds poster. Well in 1985 their "don't you forget about me hit" was all over The Breakfast club and cult and pop teen culture around that time. So, it's understandable why that was there eventhough if you ask me, Simple Minds only had two good albums and they didn't happen in or around 1985. He rocks a Damned "Phantasmagoria" poster as well- so cool. There are a bunch of Beatles references which are always nice. He rocks out appropriately to "Twist and Shout" towards the end, one of my favorites that the Beatles covered oh so nicely (thank you Top Notes for the o.g. idea). Ferris does however make a comment in the beginning of the movie in reference to John Lennon's quote: "I don't believe in the Beatles, I just believe in me". referring to Ferris's discontent with people's beliefs in "isms". But he comments further and says: "After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus." I just found this highly debatable subject to be a little too complex for Ferris Beuller, simple highschool kid to tackle. Beatlemaniacs go back and forth on the notion that lennon claims in the song "Glass Onion" (1968 White Album) that "Here's another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul." And later on the 1970 Plastic Ono Band album's song "God" he says: "I was the walrus, but now I'm John." completely taking back his original explanation and claiming that his words in "Glass Onion" were created to confuse the public (which had been recently obsessed with John and Paul's relationship and Paul's alleged death - which had been first mentioned in 1969 in "Times-Delphic" a Drake University paper. The conspiracy lives on to this day). So I personally think it was a bold move to have Ferris make a comment like that.
The soundtrack is pretty decent. I love the Dream Academy's instrumental version of The Smiths ""Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" while the crew peruses the museum art. You can't say you don't love the Yello song "Oh Yeah". The lyrics crack me up: Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah
The moon... beautiful
The sun... even more beautiful
Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah

Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah...

Good time

Hilarious. What a movie.

Coldplay vs. Joe Satriani

Ok, I can hear a similarity in the songs. If you haven't checked this out yet, go to youtube and view the video that compares Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" to Joe Satriani's "If I could fly". First off, I don't think Coldplay listens to this guy at all, nor ever has for that matter. Secondly, the Satriani version is just a segment of one of his annoying, lengthy solos. Plus, Joe has all these dumb extra notes, bends, and tweaks to his song.

I think the court will decide the following:
Coldplay you are guilty of being music for jaded alternative radio fanatics and Satriani, dude, you just play creepy music that middle aged bar-going men think they can get laid for jamming along to.

You're both sentenced to LIFE as annoying musicians.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Breathe Underwater

I was at a local restaurant recently speaking to the owner about music. He brought up something interesting that I had already known about him but wanted to know more about. “It’s so great that you guys love music the way that you do. I mean, with the store and all, you guys are living and breathing this stuff. You probably know my cousin Daniel.” He said. He was talking about a man of many talents: Daniel Higgs.

Most notable as the lead singer/lyricist of the Dischord band “Lungfish”, Daniel is also an amazing artist who has done a ton of work including tattooing. When you first hear his music, it seems somewhat simple and repetitive. Upon further inspection, the genius of his technical arrangements strike you violently. Very biological, very organic, yet pulsing like urgent clockwork, Higgs’s music can entrance the most headstrong listener.

I had the luxury of witnessing one of his past projects “The Pupils” while attending one of the large, free, outdoor Fugazi concerts in Fort Reno, D.C. back in 2000. His stage presence is nothing like a real-life experience with him. His feverish convulsions and anxious spasms were surprisingly calming. When face to face with Daniel you find that he is actually a clam, collected “thinking man”; a far stretch from who he becomes before an audience.

Daniel’s upbringing really determined who he is now. The evidence of biology and medical references are a direct influence from his father, who was a surgeon at the Baltimore Hospital. Daniel also received a lot of his influence from his mother, who fell mentally ill in Daniel’s early years, causing Daniel to explore the outer boundaries of his thinking processes and develop the deep concepts found in his work.

As a fine artist and tattoo artist, Daniel is also phenomenal. A very distinctive style with a foundation of traditional art with an infinite “framework” of metaphysical, higher consciousness. I’ve heard two stories from people who have had the pleasure of being tattooed by Mr. Higgs. The first story was from my friend Don. Don brought a drawing of a butterfly to Daniel and asked him to tattoo it on the top of his wrist. Daniel went into the back and drew a butterfly over and over. He would sigh loudly and then crumble his work and throw it in the trash. After several bouts with his dissatisfaction, Daniel came out with a fresh drawing of a lighthouse and said: “Let me just do this for you”. Don accepted and received the tattoo in the spot he had saved for his butterfly.

Another story I heard was a second hand account of someone asking him for a tattoo of Jesus. Daniel went to the drawing board and came back out with a drawing of what appeared to be a “cosmic egg”. The drawing was of an egg with lightning bolts and UFOs surrounding it. The design was accepted and tattooed.

Daniel currently has no possessions and no ties to anything but a personal banker who keeps his money saved and makes his finances available to him whenever he needs access to them. Daniel travels and answers to no one and continues to be one of the most free, creative people around.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Green Ball Crew

So my band played a show down at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park over the weekend. It was a pretty amazing show. We played second but got there early enough to drink our fair share. I ran into all sorts of people over the course of the night. After we were finished with our set I talked to a few people and then I went to the mens room. Standing next to me at the urinal was Bouncing Souls guitarist Pete SteinKopf. I was pretty hit up and just started rambling to him. "So dude, level with me. You get mad baked before you play". "ha ha, uh what?"
he said half laughing half taken aback by my question. "I've seen you guys play and I've seen you in interviews. Are you really trying to tell me that you don't smoke an insane amount of pot before you guys play and interview?"I said, half slurring and beginning to wash my hands. "Umm... well I like to smoke but I don't do it as often as you apparently think I do.. ha ha" Pete responds. "Oh well, it was nice to meet you. My name is Jeff". "Nice to meet you Jeff, my name is..." says Pete as I cut him off with "Yeah I know dude.. remember?"