Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4y-Records : The Left Rights Special

Very rarely will I work with anyone... like never actually, but since Jimmy Urine of Mindless Self Indulgence & The Left Rights asked for a video...I was like... "Hey, this man does not suck. Let me hook a brotha up"... so he got hooked up with a music video....It's sort of a music video... at least the way I would do one in my wacky head. The Left Rights are a side project of Jimmy Urine & Steve Righ? of Mindless Self Indulgence. The tracks in the toon are from the upcoming album "Bad Choices Made Easy". If you don't know either of the bands mentioned, you should really check them out. M.S.I. are one of the few bands that makes me have a little hope for the music industry and The Left Rights are a unique and fun listen. So there ya go. ENJOY!!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weezer : Hurley : 4y-Records Review (Cartoon)


It's the mini-audio-toon version of the Hurley Review. Joy! (I'll probably do a lot of the reviews already here as toons and new ones as well)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4y-Records : Reading is Difficult.

Since a lot of people are a bit lazy when it comes to reading, I'm going to try a few 4y video reviews. It'll be a simple image that will have an audio review track attached to it... so you'll be able to hear how pissed off an album makes me rather than just reading the 4y-blog. More info as it develops. Should have a review posted in a few days.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weezer : Hurley

I've had little patience for Rivers Cuomo since "Ratitude" witch is audible junk in my opinion. "Hurley" isn't really much better. Yeah, the songs are tighter, but the geeky lamenting of years gone by and simplistic rhymes that would make a 3rd grader seem like Robert Frost have grated on my last nerve. Weezer has come out with some classic tracks over the years that will be listened to for quite some time, but this album comes off like a compilation of B-sides from "Make Believe" & "The Red Album". I don't subscribe to Rivers being a brilliant song writer as most people like to tout. He's average at best at this point and each album is chipping away at that geek cred armored Snuggie he so comfortably wraps around himself. This is deffinetly not an "essential album" or a "return to form" or whatever. It's just a mediocre album Weezer fans will buy blindly. I need fans like that. Stick with Weezer's singles if you want to hear the best Weezer has to offer. Albums like this are strictly for fans in my opinion. Though Hurley on the cover is pretty cool... and I would have cut them more slack if the album actually had something to do with Lost. A whole concept album about Lost from Hurley's perspective. I'd buy that. This, I shouldn't have.

Bad Religion : Dissent of Man

30 years of Bad Religion and what does one get? Consistency for the most part. I mean, anyone familiar with Bad Religion knows they don't tend to deviate from their formula much. Which is a good thing. The songs are all standard Bad Religion tunes however the album does lack a "single" in my mind. "Won't Somebody" would be the memorable track here, but frankly the acoustic version off the deluxe version of New Maps of Hell far outshines the version here, giving it more gravity and urgency. So it is what it is. A tight punk album from a band good enough to still write songs that convey passion for politics, religion and the ongoing Dissent of Man.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digging Through The Crates : Is This it?

Ok, so for the last 10 years of my life I've been digging through the crates of various genres of music. Punk, Alternative, Indie, Soundtracks, Rock, Metal, etc... no stone or dingy record store bin was unturned. So here's my thing; I've kinda tapped out the music past. "How is that possible?", you ask? Well, after working in a few record stores I've absorbed more music than any normal human being should be allowed to. Which is both good and bad. I had a chance to listen to everything my fingers could touch and did. The downside, what's left? For Christ's sake, I dug up and listened to an old Kerbdog single just because it had a Husker Du cover as a B-side.

Not that I claim to know everything, or have heard everything, but I've pretty much listened to anything related to, or similar to everything I already like. So now I'm stuck in, what I like to call the "Amazon Recommends Cycle". ... "If you like Soundgarden, you'll like Chris Cornell, If you like Chris Cornell, you'll like Temple of the Dog, If you like Temple Of The Dog, you'll like Pearl Jam, which leads to Eddie Vedder, Green River, Mother Love Bone, Mad Season, Screaming Trees, Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrel,... eventually leading back to Soundgarden. So computer recommendations are useless at this point. Pick a genre and listen to it long enough and it'll happen to you as well.

The question is, is this it? Are there no more treasures to be unearthed from years gone by? Have I truly maxed out my listening experience? I haven't come across many older albums I've found interesting, and there are few newer ones worth mentioning. The newer stuff just sounds like the older stuff, so why deal with imitators when there are originators. The problem with that philosophy is that you do run out of originators. Sooooo.....

When I listen to new bands, I look for certain things. 1: Do they sound like a watered down version of a band I already know... ex. Godsmack sounds like a watered down Alice In Chains.... skip it. 2: If they do sound like a certain band, do they improve upon that sound? Ex. Mindless Self Indulgence improves on both the sounds of Marilyn Manson & Information Society creating some weird trippy hybrid of the two by my ears. So MSI gets a 4Y seal of approval because they push boundries. 3: Is it gimmicky? Lady Ga Ga. The songs are catchy, but we're dealing with nothing more than a Madonna/Cher update that adds nothing to the mix. More flash, less substance, accepted by all. Skip it.

So far it's been pretty bleak. There are a few exceptions but for the most part, the art of music has churned out band after band of psuedo-indie, mega star, disposable looptastic, pro-tool, mini-masterminds and/or Gruntry (my own genre for Country music that sounds like Grunge... i.e. Nickleback). And don't get me started on the Cookie Monster Metal. Try singing your lyrics rather than grunting them through a microphone that sounds like it's buried in human waste.

With all that being said, my view turns towards the future, waiting for something to create a ripple in the vast creatively still pond of music we now swim in.

I'll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dark and Story Night : DVD Review

For folks who don't know, I'm a big fan of old horror movies and golden age comedies. So I'm always keeping tabs on the few film makers who like to do the occasional homage to the genre. I first got into Larry Blamire with 'The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra", a hokey romp through a bad B-movie for a new generation. The follow up "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra Returns Again" has the same spirited handling for depicting bad b-movie acting and inane dialogue that will have you scratching your head saying... "what the hell am I watching". Dark and Stormy Night, in my opinion is the perfect parody of the "old spook house" film. The acting is spot on for the majority of the cast and really resurrects some familiar character types from years gone by. The script is fast, fluid and has all the silliness you'd expect from a Blamire production but has an authentic quality that feels as if it were actually written in the 40's. Someone certainly did their homework and hats off to 'em for it. Hell, even the filters used to create the old film textures is near flawless. For folks not into the genre, this will be useless, but for folks who laughed when Abbott & Costello met the Mummy, you're right at home here. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4y-Records : Blog Status

Just a quick note on the whole 4y-Records Blog. Obviously I haven't been posting a lot, but hey, I'm working on 3 animated series at the same time and a comic strip. So I can only post so much. When I can free up some time to listen to or watch some stuff, I'll continue bitching about it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wolf Parade : Expo 86

I started listen to Wolf Parade with "Apologies To The Queen" in 2005. I liked their quirky potential and their approach to making music but I was kinda underwhelmed with Expo 86. The first track, and single, "Cloud Shadow on the Mountain" is an excellent song. It's catchy, disjointed, and spirited, but the rest  of the album feels like a neo-Talking Heads tossed in with Modest Mouse. Not sure if that's good, but there ya go. Props to Wolf Parade for recording all the music direct to tape rather than Pro-Tooling the hell out of it. That deserves some sort of appreciation in this age of music production where loops reign supreme. I do think this album needs a few listens to really be absorbed properly, so I'm not going to pass judgment quite yet. For what it is, it's a nice change of pace for those who are use to over processed music production... though if you're listening to a 128bit rate MP3... you're probably not too worried about production. There's an organic feel here that the attentive listener will appreciate. Everyone else... just listen to the samples and make up your own mind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hole : Nobody's Daughter

On first listen, I kinda drop kicked this album across the room. I put it on the shelf pissed off that Courtney Love failed to deliver a decent Hole album after being on hiatus for like, 8 years or whatever. After listening to Korn's "Remember Who You Are" album, I tossed this one on again to try and wash out my ears of Korn's crap with a different type of crap. Meh, it's not too bad on a fresh listen with no expectations and having Korn as an opening act. Those variables aside, the album gels together somewhat well for those looking for a Courtney Love fix. You're not gonna find another "Doll Parts" or "Miss World" on this album, but "Nobody's Daughter" & "Skinny Little Bitch" do evoke some of Love's mid-90's rage. So for nostalgia, it's worth a listen. Just don't walk into it expecting her version of "Nevermind".