Saturday, January 31, 2009

Desolation Row

I cannot impress upon you enough how much I want to see these boys live.

The song is maybe not the best cover ever. But the energy. The video. It's fabulous. Zack Snyder is amazing. I didn't know this before. I love the plays with time. Speeding things up and slowing them down. Gerard's face slamming against the police car. The man jumping from the balcony. Mosh pits. Guitars. Hair.

My Chemical Romance - Desolation Row

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Paperface

I'm waiting online to buy presale tickets to the FOB/Cobra Starship concert at four (the benefits of being a long time fan), and have been listening to the new album by Rivers Cuomo.

My birthday present to myself on my 19th birthday was the deluxe version of The Blue Album, and I fell in love with the song "Paperface." The screaming guitars, the emotion of just throwing everything away and driving across the country, and the raw vocals of the demo version resonated with something in my head or heart. Cuomo's newly released home recordings, Alone II, include an even earlier version of the song. The liner notes explain that Amy Moore, the song's protagonist, was an actual person who went to high school with Rivers. Though she didn't shoot a cop, she did steal a car and drive to New Orleans. She just got away and left and ran.

New Orleans isn't my destination. Los Angeles is. I've already got a car, and I really don't want to shoot anyone, but I want to get out and go.

"Amy Moore blew her top, stole a car, shot a cop. Sped away two thousand miles, didn't stop until she hit New Orleans."

If any part of you has ever wanted to get out, do yourself a favor and check out at least one version of the song. It's pretty awesome.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blast From the Past

Anyone remember Steriogram? They used to play this video on The N in between episodes of "Degrassi" and "Radio Free Roscoe."

Extreme knitting and some awesomely fast vocals:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Steven's Untitled Rock Show

I hate posting twice in one day. But.

Steven's Untitled Rock Show is amazing. I've found bands through Mr. Steven Smith. I've seen fabulous interviews with amazing musicians. I've learned that sometimes even VJs with their own show don't get to choose the videos that they show. I got to watch full videos, not shortened edits. It's the one thing I Tivo at home to watch over breaks (because I don't get Fuse at school.)

I went home last weekend, expecting 4 new episodes. But they were all lacking a certain important figure, Mr. Smith himself. I was confused, but figured that everyone needs a break. Maybe he was just on vacation. But hadn't he been on vacation a little while ago for his honeymoon? I brushed it off as just a glitch and figured I'd catch up on some more the next time I was home.

I read the news today (apparently weeks too late ) that SURS has been canceled. Which is appalling. To be honest, I've been worried about it for a few months. First, they started with the "SURS Night Out" where you could send in pictures of yourself with band members. Then they moved to texting Steven during the show. They'd also moved to a time slot when most of the audience (teenagers in high school) would be in class, and started repeating videos day after day. But I never thought it would end so abruptly. It just stopped.

Fuse in general had been the last hope for music TV. MTV and VH1 are full of reality shows now. What do shows like "Next" and "Room Raiders" even have to do with music? Fuse still shows countdowns and music video slots, but things like "Redemption Song" are slowly creeping in. With the loss of SURS comes the loss of fans and the loss of a full hour of alternative videos, but more importantly the loss of an amazing VJ.

Steven posted a blog about the end, and it's heartbreaking in how much he didn't want to leave us hanging:

''But it's you fans I owe it all too. Every. Single. One of you. If I could hug you individually I would. And many of you I have whenever I saw you out at a festival. You all made my day, my life, my career and I salute you for your love of music, your passion, and your dedication to a television show devoted to music and to those who craft it.

Until now and always, I'm Steven and this has been Steven's Untitled Rock Show."

Quick Snippets

It's been over a month since I've seen live music, and I'm getting twitchy. Bring on too loud guitars and the crush of an adoring fanbase!

I was going to go see Brian Fallon (of The Gaslight Anthem) play an acoustic set this Sunday night at the Middle East, but it's already sold out. Which is very disappointing.

Cobra Starship set up a stickam in their cabin in PA. It vacillates between them working on music, silly stick figures, and them talking to the camera. I've only caught them playing a couple times, and once they were just sitting there. And then someone took out the garbage. And it felt very creepy to me, as though I was staring in on them and stalking them. It's not my cup of tea (I really don't like being a stalker) but you can check it out here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fangs Up.

Today is an important day.

It's the one year anniversary of the very best concert I've ever been too.

A small club, a great band, good food, and fabulous friends. I've been to concerts that were better musically, but I've never left a concert feeling as absolutely amazing and excited about the music as this one. I've spent the last year trying to recreate the pure awesome that was January 20, 2008, but I've never succeeded.

The video is old (and low quality because it's from my youtube account), but it still makes me smile. It also features some of my friends and I making fools of ourselves, as well as a very poor editing job in Windows Movie Maker. Excuse all that and skip to 1:45 if you'd just like to see the music.




(Fun fact! January 20th, I found out that night, is also Vicky-T's birthday, and the day she joined the band. Happy 2 years as a cobra!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Music is Your Soulmate

There's something that sounds like a very upset cat in the hallway outside my dorm room right now. I don't even want to know.

I saw this video on Fuse over the summer and loved it. I found it online, took a screen capture of the last shot, printed it out, and hung it on my wall. I also put another in my journal (yes, I actually keep a paper journal too. It's very emo. Don't judge.) I love the music and the tone and the sentiment. I thought I'd share.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For the first time in 14 months, I was without concert plans. That's been fixed.

Friends or Enemies just announced a spring tour featuring Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low, and Hey Monday.

That crowd is going to be the biggest bunch of scene kids ever. Holy Goodness.

The Boston date is, of course, a Tuesday night. Because every concert I want to go to is on Tuesday nights, and Tuesday nights are organic chemistry quizzes and tests. Last semester the Weezer concert was on a Tuesday night, and I took the test as fast as possible, handed it in to the TA, and literally ran out of the building. I must have looked like a crazy person. In the end, I missed Tokyo Police Club (I was very disappointed) but saw Angels in Airwaves (not very impressed) and Weezer (I almost died of happiness.) Luckily, the "Believers Never Die" tour is on the night of just a quiz, and the professor drops the lowest quiz grade. I guess I'll be missing the last quiz of the semester.

As a side note, I'm slightly disappointed with Folie a Deux. You can't really write two records in a row about being famous. "What a Catch Donnie" sounds like the funeral of the band and I still can't get the stupid dancing bears out of my head whenever I hear "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet." Add that to mirror image song titles and the same lyrics we've been hearing for years, and I'm not impressed.

There are some good points though. "She's My Winona" has some terrific vocals. I love the way they shift up and down and change slightly throughout the song. "I Don't Care" is the epitome of a great pop song, with a catchy beat and a narcissistic message. "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" is probably my favorite off of the CD, due mostly to Brendon Urie's added vocals. (Side note: They spelled his name incorrectly in the liner notes. Again. Which makes me wonder if it's a running joke and not a mistake.) It's not a bad album, but I expected more from them.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Children of Winter

You just wish you were this awesome:



I hope this isn't the cut of the song they use as the radio single - the edit at the beginning is very awkward and cuts out some of the best lines of the song (because who can resist Rivers Cuomo describing himself as a a rock star sex god? It's just so ridiculous and fantastic.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One Day Closer

A truck cab on the highway last night had "One Day Closer" painted on the back.

Closer to what?

Very Short List (if you aren't subscribed, you should be) sent me a link this morning to a video directed by Ringan Ledwidge. He's a commercial director from the UK, and I'd seen one of his videos (a Hovis bread ad) before. He loves to play with time in his commercials - a Levi's ad has a couple progressing through the decades as they strip pair after pair of jeans off each other and an ad for a French DVR service has an entire city convinced to rewind in order to reunite two lovers. Occasionally, his commercials seem only loosely related to the product (a dancing marionette advertising bottled water and a gymnast-like woman advertising cell phone internet) but they're always interesting and worth a few minutes of your day.

He's also done some music videos, like "One Day Like This" for Elbow. Not that that should surprise you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fall Apart at the Seams

If I fell apart at the seams, what would fall out?

Falling Apart at the Seams from Alex D on Vimeo.



(The answer, apparently, is hershey's kisses, guitar picks, black ink pens, photos, cds, concert tickets, car keys, film, and love. The song is "97 Called" by Barely Blind)

Also, I think I have now officially switched to vimeo. I like it's uploading process better than youtube's, and I prefer the formatting.

Pop Music and MTV

I'm not a huge fan of pop, but this is fabulous. It's a mashup of the top 25 songs of 2008, and it is great for two reasons. The first is that it is a very well done mix of the songs, which is cohesive and flows into something that is actually more enjoyable than any of the songs on their own. It's timed perfectly with the video and is a polished final product. The second reason is for how well it highlights the similarities and overlaps between all kinds of pop music - Rhianna's beats fit perfectly with Coldplay's, Alicia Keys flows into Chris Brown which flows into Sara Bareilles and OneRepublic. Everyone chooses their own niches in music, but what makes one form so very different from another?

Also, MTV is falling. They were the first and the greatest display of music videos, but reality TV and fewer and fewer music videos caused their ratings to drop. So what is their great new plan for resurrection? Fewer music videos and more reality TV. Great. Just what they need.

Also, they've labeled me a part of the "Obama Generation." This isn't a blog for politics, but really? Keep my politicians out of my music, and my musicians out of my politics.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 was the year of concerts

After 3 video hosting sites, 4 days of failed uploads, and 3 compressors, I finally caved and compressed this video down to a lower quality than I wanted in order to upload it.

I've seen a lot of live music this year. This is a mash up of just a portion of the footage I've taken, which was taken at just a portion of the shows I went to.

Bands include:

Motion City Soundtrack, Panic at the Disco, Jukebox the Ghost, The Hush Sound, Cobra Starship, The Academy is..., Weezer, Plain White T's, Phantom Planet, Dashboard Confessional, The Cab and Jason Anderson and the Best.

Don't just watch the lead singers. Sometimes the shots are there for the fabulous things the bass players or drummers are doing that people don't notice because they focus only on the front man.

The heads, hands, and camera phones blocking your view just give you a taste of what it's like to be there :)


2008 in Concert from Alex D on Vimeo.

Blue screens gone bad.

As a quick addition to my last post:

Fall Out Boy uploaded a behind the scenes video for "Americas Suitehearts" on Friends or Enemies. I love behind the video shoots, but this one just highlights how ridiculous the video was.

I get that that's part of what they were going for, how over the top and ridiculous Hollywood has become, and how it can change you from a normal person into a frightening caricature. But the video is so "bizarre" as Patrick Stump puts it, that you can't really get past the cartoons and leprechaun outfits to see what's underneath.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009?

I still occasionally date things as 2007. It just recently hit me that 2008 was here and now it's gone. I rang in the new year with movies, Chinese food, and 6 inches of snow.

The new Fall Out Boy video for "America's Suitehearts" came out today. I personally don't like it, especially the animation style. The grotesque cut outs seem to be popping up a lot lately, most notably in Anthony Green's video for "Dear Child." I'm not a fan. FOB's habit of throwing their pet bands into their videos hasn't disappeared either, with Hey Monday's Cassadee showing up near the end. I don't necessarily have a problem with bands putting their friends into videos, but I feel like Fueled By Ramen (and Decaydance to a certain degree) have started filling their ranks with more and more identical scene bands, with very little to distinguish one from the next. What makes The Friday Night Boys different from This Providence? And VersaEmerge seems to be Fueled by Ramen's version of Hey Monday.

Oh 2009. You've already made me cynical and critical, what with my college tuition soaring above 50 grand a year (thank god for scholarships) and the fact that everyone around keeps reminding me that my career choice of music video directing is irresponsible given the current economic climate and my apparent lack of video skill.

Well. That was happy. And totally off topic. Here's a link to America's Suitehearts and to my feelings on graduation and careers, as proposed by the sometimes amusing xkcd.

Happy New Year.