oh yeah, i had other thoughts i wanted to get to regarding the new fall out boy record that came out on friday. i’m gonna be honest… their previous 3 records as a whole had been, well, wholly unimpressive. a few good tracks here and there, but for the most part the albums as a whole have been so uneven. and the biggest disappointment about them was the fact that yeah they are an alternative band or whatever, but majority of the songs were just layers and layers of effects, drum machines, vocal parts, so a big swath of the songs just come out as robot noise. but i keep buying them hoping they’ll get that weird stuff out of their system, and revert back to a semblance of rock and roll.
“hold me like a grudge, the world is spinning faster and i can’t keep up. faster and faster, can’t do it on my own. part time soulmate, full time problem, so hold me like a grudge.”
fall out boy at their peak are huge riffs, crisp and elevated vocals, lyrics with double entendres and juxtaposed ideas, etc. and the last 3 records were mostly missing the huge riffs, and the clean vocals. they were just hammering all these layers and effects the vocals lost their identity. so truth be told i was a tad bit reticent on this album because i was assuming it was more of the same. so i listened to it like 4 or 5 times through in the car yesterday, and honestly it’s a huge improvement over the last several albums. stylistically i would say it falls right between ‘infinity on high’ and ‘folie a deux’ because it has some of the orchestration they were using in like ‘thnx 4 th mmrs’ or the keys at the beginning of ‘disloyalist buffalo.’ as soon as the first track kicks off your immediately hit with huge riffs. the vocals are just one vocal track. so its easy to sing along with once you learn the words. and there’s drums! real, actual drums! i kept joking that i don’t even think joe or andy were even in the studio for the past few albums, because i couldn’t hear any of their work. just keyboards and drum machines.
to put it bluntly, this is easily the best collection of songs they have released since 2008. it’s astonishing that it took them that long to get back to the basics. now if i may go back a bit, so when they were really blowing up in 2005 and sugar we’re going down was the big hit, that song really did nothing for me. then dance dance came on, and that song *really* did nothing for me. it wasn’t until sixteen candles that i started to see something. in the summer of 2006 i moved to san antonio, and long nights led to musical exploration, so i grabbed from under the cork tree off of soulseek, and lawyers is a fantastic track, gin joints is a phenomenal track, baby in the corner is a phenomenal track… basically what i was seeing is for some reason, the 3 songs that were the singles, were the 3 most mediocre tracks on the record, and the rest of the album is just banger, after banger, after banger, after banger, after banger, on my ipod i removed dance and sugar, and the album at that point was a pop-rock masterpiece. i still say cork tree is their best album, because it’s just relentless and stupid easy to sing to because the vocals are the least modified of the entire discography. i’m not saying i want them to go back and make another cork tree, but… shoot ac/dc has released the same record for 50 years now, so sometimes when you have a winning formula you just go with it.
i’ve got love in my heart, so let’s sneak in from the cheap seats honey, and we’ll drive until the engine just gives up. feeling so good right now, til we crash and burn somehow. feeling so good right now.”
now this record is by no means a return to cork tree, but there are some really good guitar riffs, and very memorable lines of lyric. one thing i think is interesting is basically older fall out boy was all about hard times and heartache, but in recent years there are anthems about just good times, and this record has a few of those, most notably ‘so good right now’ as well as to a degree ‘what a time to be alive.’ and there are effects and what not throughout the album, but instead of it being walls of sound from keyboards that are busted through filters, they just had really really cool subtle guitar licks buried down in the chain of sound. joe said he was really proud of this record and how it came out, and i hear a lot of cool stuff on his end that i don’t think i’ve necessarily heard before on a fob record.
all in all, a very great effort from the band. i’m not sure what exactly happened with them during the pandemic, because we all kind of took it in different strides. but the songs on this album, if they were the product of the isolation and such, were the exact thing the band needed at this juncture in their career. you can feel a reinvigorated sense of awakening in the approach to the writing. if you haven’t listened to this album, i can’t recommend it enough. give it a listen wherever you consume music at today.
so, i finally got to see vanessa carlton perform live. it only took me 21 years to do it. i was a senior in high school in 2002, and my friend and i had study hall, which was essentially us sitting in the library watching mtv and/or vh1 all hour. so one day we’re watching, and there she was. the video for a thousand miles started and i was immediately captivated. for those who don’t know, i kind of have a thing for the piano, and especially sad girl piano songs. and vanessa ticked all the right boxes:
the video was fun and imaginative, as it shows her sitting at a piano and with world landmarks passing behind her. i went a few weeks later and got the ‘be not nobody’ album on compact disc, and completely wore it out that summer. a thousand miles became my battle cry that may because in hindsight i was pretty infatuated with lauren, but i didnt have the guts to admit it to her, and that one slipped through my fingers. being as how she lived in oklahoma city, she may as well have been a thousand miles away. for graduation that year my mom got me 2 tickets to see britney spears. i invited lauren to go, but like a geek she mouthed off to her mom and got grounded. so i ended up meeting up with my sister instead. i was so unbelievably mad, and i listened to thousand miles on repeat like 6 times the way home. lol i know we weren’t right or each other… or at least when we were in high school we weren’t cause we both had very strong personalities, and sometimes they clashed. but i feel like i could have at least prolonged some of her life choices, or maybe by the way time works, being with me could have set her on a different trajectory in life to have avoided them altogether. she may still have been with us today. i miss her.
but back to the vanessa, when harmonium came out i went to walmart that day to pick it up. that came out the day before my birthday, which was the week that i met tori. that album is so tied up mentally and emotionally to tori. it’s another one of those things where it’s a single sided position though because she is not very impressed with artists who rely on acoustic instruments, and she is especially not impressed with sad girl songs. so where all these songs remind me of so many times being with her and talking on the phone with her, and planning for her next visit, these songs are just mere annoyances to her. where this album is larger than life, and a major component to the foundation of our relationship and everything that it means, to her its just a collection of songs that have no significance.
the show tonight was very intimate, and in a smaller room upstairs at the house of blues in dallas, tx. i had never been to the house of blues before, and i took the long way to get to the room because i went through the lounge, an elevator up, then an elevator down, but it reminded me of casa bonita in a way in how there were many smaller sections within the main building, and each section had it’s own theme and feel. once i finally found the room and filtered in, i was ‘rows’ back (there were 2 bodies in front of me) but they said that there would be no opening acts, so the show was vanessa, then go home. so that was exciting, because i’m too old to stand through 8 artists now. when she took stage she had crutches and a limp, to which she revealed later on that she had sprained and broken her foot 2 weeks before tour, and so was having to do the shows barefoot with some accessibility modifications. the rhythm section was made up of just a lone cellist which i can’t recall her name now, i think she said liz? but i could be wrong. it was cool to hear the songs stripped down and more raw than the versions on the albums with drums, guitar, and full orchestration parts. i was initially hesitant about how the songs would translate when i started seeing photos earlier in the tour on her socials, but once she started thousand miles, any doubts i had were quickly vanquished, because i was just overcome with joy and enamoration. speaking of the songs, here is the set list:
A Thousand Miles
Back To Life
House of Seven Swords
Tall Tales for Spring
Hear the Bells
Only Way to Love
Who’s To Say (Encore)
Love Is an Art (Encore)
when she sat down she said “ok, let’s just let the cat out of the bag” and went right into ‘a thousand miles’ and everyone cheered. it’s not often an artist opens with their biggest hit. the set was really well rounded and i can’t complain on any of it. i would have liked to have heard ‘i know you don’t mean it’ but what can you do? the encore was interesting because after ‘white houses’ she stated “normally i would leave the stage here, wait until the applause were just right at their peak and emerge back but since i have crutches, i’m not leaving. so, uh, the set is over” and everyone started cheering as she covered her face and looked away as the lights dimmed. then when the applause were at their peak, the lights came back up and she said “ok i’m back” and went into the encore. i was surprised that her last song was for all intents and purposes, just a random track from the current record. but it’s a good track so it’s fine, just an interesting choice is all.
(this is the part where this concert review turns into a xanga blog from 2003) speaking of the new record, the album was released march 27, 2020, and for those who forgot your history, you should be reminded that the pandemic in american officially started on march 11, 2020 when the okc thunder cancelled their game against the utah jazz after jazz player rudy gobert tested positive that evening, and the lock downs and cancellations began. carlton just releasing her first record in 5 years was faced with the inconvenient reality of having a record release with zero live promotion. she would occasionally play live streams from her living room, but she mentioned tonight at the show that during this time she took up substitute teaching at her daughter’s elementary school. but all that aside, i know i’m not competently up to the task, nor connected enough in the industry, but i would love there to be a documentary the covers artists who released records in march of 2020, and what it meant for each of them, and how they came to terms with the fact that their records would not have any live promotion, because in most cases, that’s essentially sending your record out to die. HUNTINGTONS would be a great candidate for this doc as well, being as their record was released january 31st, they played a few record released shows, the following week (which i attended) and then they were left with no other live promotion on what should have been a huge record.
the trip gave me time to reflect. i don’t really expect her to anymore, but it would be nice to be able to go to shows with tori, but majority of the artists i want to see, she has no interest in at all, and the few she is interested in, she has no interest in actually seeing them. i always feel like a giant geek constantly going to shows by myself. shows are always a group activity. i always see couples or friends, or whatever and i’m always left a little bit bummed out in the fact that i’m always just standing completely alone, eavesdropping on conversations around me, but having no one to talk to. so for the entire night i’m just looking around at everyone trying to not make eye contact with strangers. before tori came along, my sister and i always went to shows together, and we developed quite the code of looks, glances, and whatnot. and it was nice to have someone to talk to between sets and in lines and what not. but she’s married, and so am i, so yeah. but like i said, i don’t at all want tori to do things shes not interested in, so i get it, i just wish she was just interested in it is all.
on the drive home i passed by the president george bush turnpike, and it jogged a memory that i had completely forgotten about. so in late 2003 i was talking with this girl named anna on xanga, and we started im’ing on aim. and in january of 2004 she was like “you should come over” she lived in fort worth, and i was girl crazy, so i was like eff it, i’m going. so i literally jumped in the car with my atlas, and i stole mom’s cell phone, and i went. i ended up taking the bush turnpike to get from dallas to fort worth, so that’s where the memory came from. i just remember we watched some tv, then i slept on her couch (she lived with her aunt i believe?) and the next day when i woke up we went to some stores, then i came back home, and then mom blessed me out for taking the phone and leaving without telling anyone. and i was like “well, a) you were in bed” lol anna came up to see me a few weeks later i don’t recall much from the visit, just that i remember mom making pancakes for us the next morning. the last time i saw her was when i went to see the tooth and nail tour in dallas in feb of 2004. she met up with me there, and we spent the weekend. we werent dating. we never dated. but it was fun spending time with her, but i just never pursued her because we were very different politically, because she was democrat, and i aligned more with republicans, and sometimes that fired up debates because i was 20 and didnt know how to just let stuff slide. she may have even asked me to date, but i can’t fully recall if she did or did not.
thats what was wild about the xanga days. i was talking to anna, she said “come over” and i came over. there was no stranger danger. there was no catfishing. i was talking to holly in the summer of 2003. she said come over, i came over. her mom worked a paper route, and so at like 3 am when she left for work holly asked me to come over. she lived in inola, which is a small hick town between tulsa and pryor. we hung out in her room watching nick at nite… until her mom came home and said i needed to leave before her dad woke up. “if your dad wakes up and catches another boy in your bed he’s gonna kick all our a**es!” her mom was a riot. lol but it was just cool that after talking for a while on aim, she was like “you should come over” and so i did. same thing with tori, instead i told her to come over. she recalls how weird it was that i wanted her to meet me at my house, but it didnt seem weird to me, because girls on xanga were always giving me their address and i would go to their house. their literal house to meet for the first time. it just didnt seem weird to me because i had done it several times. that just seemed what you did. but it was a different time back then. you would talk to girls on aim, and you would hook up when their parents were asleep or gone. and we trusted each other a lot because we were literally going to each other’s houses at midnight or whatever.
i realize that this concert review has turned into a full blown blog, but thats just how it goes sometimes. i miss being able to come home from a show and typing out all of my thoughts and people read and comment. no one reads anything long anymore, but in 2004 there was no youtube. there was no tiktok. there was no spotify. there was no twitch. there was no netflix or hulu or disney+, so basically reading years long blogs *was* the entertainment for us early 20-somethings… reading mile long blogs, and typing mile long blogs. so whereas now we would spend all our time watching like an elden ring let’s play on twitch, in 2004 you just read all your friends blogs. maybe i should start blogging again, but it’s always an empty promise that goes nowhere, because the only time i have the mental clarity to type is at 4am when the world is dead. thats when i always typed on xanga. but since i didnt have internet, i would type at 3am after i got off the phone with tori, save it to a floppy disk, then the next day go to the library and post. when times were simple.
“no simple scheming, you should be sleeping, sometimes you just can’t think it through. that’s the way it is, love. go whichever way you need to go. nobody can tell you how to build your house of seven swords.”
i just finished watching a live stream of alexa bliss and her husband ryan, as they were raising money for a charity. they had some musician friends on to play, and ryan also played some songs as well. i have never heard any of his music before, but for a first impression, his stuff is actually pretty decent. his vocal style is *very* close to that of dan haseltine from jars of clay. i’ve always really liked dan’s vocals, so ryan was also as equally enjoyable.
after that i had such a hankering to listen to the first jars of clay record. i have a lot of nostalgia for this album. not because it was an album i owned, but my sister owned it. i want to say she got it for either christmas or her birthday in 95, the year of it’s release. i do recall grabbing it a few times and listening in my room, but i also remember her listening to it in her room and going in there and laying on her bed and thumbing through the booklet. as a side note, that was easily the best christmas i have ever had. i have *so much* nostalgia of christmas 95. it was just a perfect christmas. once the dust was settled and all was said and done, she and i came away with 10 cds all together from that christmas, and i listened to each voraciously.
this jars of clay record though just takes me back to simpler times…. back to playgrounds, and sega, and math homework, and youth group, etc. i started youth group the fall of 95 because you had to be in the 6th grade. i remember being pretty amped cause of the girls. lol there was one girl in particular. i want to say her name was brandy? andi? i think it was brandy. she was pretty hot. brown doc martins, lucky jeans the fit her like a glove, braided belt, mossimo shirt, and her hair was brown and about armpit length. i mean.. you get it. the stereotypical mid 90s “shops at the brass buckle” type of girl. a lot of times she would take up the offering each week, so i tried to get an aisle seat 🙂 i’m almost certain she had to be my sister’s age, and with that i know for a fact we never shared one single word. i just thought she was hot.
these albums take me back to those types of memories. riding in the car with mom and sis on her way to cheerleading practice at 9am. we get to the gym and there’s still dew on the grass. mom and sis go in, i just stay in the car and listen to cds. this is the summer of 96. after i had already discovered tooth and nail records. i have very vivid memories of listening to plankeye ‘the spark’ album in the car one morning while they were inside. anytime i listen to that album i get distinct memories of being in that parking lot. just enjoying the music.
mom and dad both listened to full albums most of the time. they rarely listened to the radio. in the 80s they always played tapes. in the early 90s when they got a cd player installed in the car they just listened to cds. there’s something special about putting in a cd or record or tape or whatever, and just letting it play, and finding enjoyment from each track. there’s a very real and special connection to the full album you can make, that to me just can’t be beat with a playlist or shuffle or whatever. i’d like to say because of their listening habits is how i listen as well. they were *always* playing cds or records in the living room on sunday morning. and dad would just put on albums every now and again just to listen to. i’m glad they weren’t the type who just listened to the radio, and just took whatever a dj told them was serviceable. because i probably wouldnt have the same listening tastes today.
it’s been years since i’ve gotten a release from ronnie martin on release date (the last one was the covers album from 2009.) i missed the 2012 kickstarter because it was just a bad time for me financially, and i hadn’t made the effort to purchase any of the said fantasy stuff, instead relying on streaming for those selections. so when ronnie’s new record “from the womb of the morning the dew of your youth will be yours” was announced last year, i was immediately on board.
set to release on january 28th, 2022, you can only imagine my surprise and joy when the mailman left a record shaped parcel on the doorstep this morning. after listening a few times, i have to say that anything he releases, to me, just fits like a glove. his music is like coming home on holidays and being able to once again indulge in grandma’s pumpkin pie. it just feels right.
now that’s not to say that he is retreading old ground here, quite the contrary. there are fully arranged percussion, which i’ve never heard that before in his work. and from images showing his workshop on social media, he is using a pc, with i’m assuming is protools. which is a hard deviation from the joy electric material. but regardless of the circumstances of the recording, it still feels patently ronnie martin.
"adrift on the brink of a shivery winter rink
foxes flee in spades
low glance undressed, mysteries woeful, unconfessed
You might hear the means of a melody
that will tease the seams of threads unwoven"
-Snow Like Wool
that is instantly made clear when you hear the lyrics, which to me takes elements from what he was doing on the otherly opus, the white songbook, and we are the music makers and pushing those ideas even further in new directions. the record definitely has a familiar feel to it at moments when you feel like there’s a subtle callback to these eras, but also so much of the record is brand new ground technically and from a production standpoint.
for this record he used a moog one polyphonic synthesizer, a moog dfam, moog mother-32, moog minitaur, among various moogerfooger and other effects pedals. which is quite a detraction from the legacy series where the entire record was made with a roland system 100, or a minimoog voyager. He took what he started with dwarf mountain of having lush chords and what not beneath the music and taking it a step further in this release. the tracks definitely sound much fuller, and its nice to be able to finally hear that in his work. i can not overstate how cool it is to hear such definite percussion and drums on these tracks. i was never a fan of him insisting on using live drummers at shows back in the day, but this on the other hand, is exactly what the dr. ordered.
the record comes in with 7 tracks clocking in at just over 30 minutes of playtime. it’s a very easy listen, as it doesn’t require as much of your time as, say white song book. for that it makes it easier to listen to with commutes to work, as i prefer to listen to an entire album in my commute, which is about 15 minutes each way. so this record is perfect in that regard.
‘from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours’ is available on January 28, 2022 at all major streaming platforms, and is also available in physical format from velvet blue music on vinyl, audio cassette, and compact disc (as of the time of this publishing.)
it was summer of 1999, i was getting my driving learner’s permit, and songs from the penalty box was a compilation franchise i had already grown highly attached to with vol. 1 in 97, and vol. 2 in 98, so naturally when vol. 3 was announced for the summer of 1999, i had to be there. my sister and i went to tulsa to pick it up i would assumed if not release date, at least release week.
the very first track completely blew my mind. now i knew that HUNTINGTONS were releasing a new record, of new material, they released a live record that feb, and a ramones cover record that april, but we hadnt heard brand new material since may of 1998 when High School Rock dropped. Once the opening riff for American War machine hit, i knew that we were in a whole new era.
Track 3 was a demo of new material that squad five o had been working on… i had heard on internet forums they were changing their sound, i was not prepared for this. i was not ready for this. this track… completely changed the trajectory of my entire summer.
The final track was “i’m not going downtown” by HUNTINGTONS and that was an entirely new level of aggression i had not heard from them before. once the cd was said and done… saying i was entering uncharted territory musically is an understatement. up to this point, my wardrobe had consisted of jnco’s, kikwear, xl band shirts, colored hair, plaid suits, dog collars, etc, because that was the look i had really settled into in 8th grade, and for 9th grade it just went a little further deeper into that look. there was no rhyme or reason to this.
after picking up the pieces of my sanity, the rest of that summer was an immediate shift in my look… plaid pants? gone. hawaiin shirts? gone. jncos? gone. shorts? gone. cause shorts aren’t rock n roll. dog collar and bracelets? gone. super long wallet chain? gone. colored shoes? gone. basically over the month of july i started to distill my appearance to the absolute most basic. black jeans. black converse. black band shirts. and that fall a black leather jacket. i went from wearing XL shirts in 9th grade, to wearing S shirts in 10th grade.
this compilation just changed how i processed what made punk rock, rock. up to that point i just hadnt really been exposed to this style of punk before, mostly because it was really just starting to come up. from here i started getting into RAMONES, sex pistols, misfits, the classics, then thanks to squad i started expanding more into the hair metal with motley crue, poison, ratt, etc. this simple dumb $6 compilation just opened so many doors at a time when i really was needing a change. jr high had been rough, 9th grade was mostly rough, i just needed to reinvent myself in a way that was more mature, and would lend more seriousness to my appearance because i was going into 10th grade, i was getting a driver’s license, i was getting a job, it was time to grow up.
to this day, every time i hear “american war machine” i am instantly transported back to my bedroom, where i’m just bagging up armloads of clothes, stripping everything down, and reinventing myself. god bless the 90s.
we’ve all been there… either a heated discussion, or maybe you went over the line and said something on your own that an online acquaintance didn’t agree with, but the results can be scathing. The block. out of nowhere, with no warning, you haven’t heard from them in a few days so you go to their page, only to be met with a message that essentially says “i’m taking my ball and going home”
after you gain your composure, you remember “wait, i’ve liked their tweets. i’ve retweeted their tweets, i don’t want a permanent link to them hanging on my page for all the world to see” so you go to your likes and retweets to remove these, only to find out they are no longer visible. well, of course not. you’re blocked. so what do we do? how to we break this forever bond between 2 scorned lovers?
the answer lies in a free app in the mobile app store called circleboom. simply download the app, register an account, link to your twitter account, then once in the app at the bottom there is a button for “my tweets,” after selecting that you would choose “unlike” at the top of the screen, and then you can just scroll through and swipe left on the tweets you want to remove. the beauty of circleboom is it even shows retweet and likes from users who have blocked you, so you can easily remove the constant reminder of them from your page. brilliant!
ah well. last night we watched “the tape” and did a feature length audio commentary of “the pimpin’ crew” hah. it was great. and then dave came by to give us a pizza. and so we got the pizza guy in on the action. so yeah. what elllsseeee… i dunno. can’t think of much else. the tension is tightening for the new Starflyer album. we have some pee-on in the JE message board saying he bought one today… i dunnoooo… but he says its excellent. 🙂 hmmm. dunno anything else. bleh. -keithy
ok this is my first post of hopefully MANY to come heres a few things you need to keep in mind…
a) yes i know my typing is bad….my spelling is great though =)
b) yes this first post is boring. think of it like the first few chapters of ANY novel…. pointless but they set it up. well thats about it actually =) ok yeah. first off so you’ll know what your dealing with heres some crap i like:
Xbox, Zombie Movies, my leather jacket, my car, Moog, the little amount of friends i have, and music.
What kind of music you ask? ALOT. im very versatile, heres a list of bands i prefer in no particular order:
Don’t Know, Huntingtons, Joy Electrical, Training For Utopia, Spitfire, *Nsync, Britney Spears, Danielson Family, Johnny Cash, Michelle Branch, Ramones, Luxury, Joe Christmas, Havalina Rail Co., White Trash Incorporated, Stryper, im too lazy to list them all but basically i liek ALOT of crap. from country, to pop, to metal, to punk, to synth pop. its all good. as long as i can pump my fist. 😛
Right now i just moved into an apartment with my cousin. We’re doing good so far. We need to keep up bills and all will be good. Basically all we do is watch dvds and play video games all day and night. its pretty redundant but im ok with that. moovviinngg on…. i normally go to the rock n roll show probably about 4 times a month? or more now that sandy bugs me evry week “go to this, go to that” and youd have to see this face, its too hard to say no to. since there are no shows in town i gotta C-O-M-M-U-T-E so since my car is a gas guzzler i only go to like the really necessary shows. I tell everyone i dont care about the local scene but i just say that to get reactions. WE do have some good bands around here. Muddy Chucks are good….Agony Scene f’in kick me in the groin. Electronic Church is great. And soon hopefully ill have an electronic thing going on too and FWTA will be up taking the stage. my goal with FWTA is to get signed to solid state and rock n roll a lil bit then put out a concept album….there will be a Joy Electrical cover on this album. We will all study modes of propaganda and through this album…and its supporting tour… every solid state fan and band will “mysteriously” buy all teh Joy Electrical cds they can find. itll be a feeding frenzy at the stores. crazy stuff. i hate musical barriers. so what he uses a keyboard and they sound liek they dont know how to play their instruments….its all music. Zao, Joy Electrical, its all rock n roll. so theres that. FWTA will start out as a noise band on the local scene and slowly mature and re-invent ourselves to be a pretty decent band i hope. that is if i can ever get to the point of not being scared and actually bring one of my ideas to fruitation =) never happens. oh well im out, The rest of the posts will be better. like that novel thing again or whatever =)