Sunday, December 28, 2008

Darkhorse 2008: Bob Dylan

A few days ago I posted a list of my top ten favorite albums of the year, complete with the warning that I had not yet heard all of that great albums that were released this year and that my list could be subject to retractions over the next 5 or so days left. Well, lighting struck in the form of Bob Dylan's new release, "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs" , a collection of bootlegs, b-sides and the like from across his carrier. Consider my entire previous list to be moved down by one, because this little guy is the new star on the top of the tree. Well, maybe not over Harps And Angels, yet, but it is up there and I just got it today so we will see.

Anyway, the fact that these tracks were never released until now is unreal, almost as much as the fact that this bootleg series is 8 albums in and they can still fill a double disc with shit this good (To be fair, none of the tracks were recorded before 1982, so maybe some of the earlier tunes are tapped dry.)

Bob Dylan - Mississippi

So if you see this staring back at you from the shelf at your local record store, then be sure to pick it up.



It even has a track where Dylan cops U2. No joke, check out "Someday Baby".

On a totally unrelated note, you should all go and see Benjamin Button, it's great.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 5 Christmas Jams

I spent all yesterday wrapping presents and listening to some Christmas jams, and I decided that I would put together a list of my top 5 Christmas songs for you guys. Keep in mind these are just my favorite Christmas songs, not the best ones that there are because that would make number one probably... Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas? Judy Garland? Happy Christmas by John Lennon? I don't know. Anyway, this isn't that list, this is my list. Enjoy.

5)Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time! - Sufjan Stevens

4)Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) - U2

3)Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding

2) Santa Clause Is Coming To Town - Bruce Springsteen

1)That Was The Worst Christmas Ever - Sufjan Stevens

Congratulations to Sufjan Stevens for making the list twice. I highly recommend picking up his 5 CD Christmas box set, which you can get here. It's only 19 dollars so you really have no excuse not to. Also, remember to check out Idiot Pilot's version of White Christmas, which is available for free right here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sushi Snow Day

Oh, how I love Bellingham when it snows!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Ten Albums Of 2008!

Alright! It's just about that time when everyone is putting together there "Best Of" lists for 2008. I am going to throw my hat into the ring right now, but keep in mind, I didn't really listen to a lot of new records this year (Whoa, I always end up saying that don't I? What the fuck kind of musician am I?). I am including a sample track with each one, so if you guys like what you year then go pick up the record for yourself. Also, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts, or post a list of your own.

1) David Byrne And Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

David Byrne is one of the world's greatest lyricist and on top of that, these are some of his best lyrics, and Eno does a great job of controlling the ambiance that he so long ago pioneered. If you don't already think this is one of the best records either of these guys has made then just listen to it back to back with 1981s "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts", Yeesh.

Life Is Long By David Byrne And Brian Eno

2) Randy Newman - Harps And Angels

This is such an amazing return to form for Randy Newman. Most of the attention here has been given to the track "A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country," which is an amazing song, but where this album really shines is in the little gems like "Losing You" or the closing track "Feels Like Home."

Harps And Angels by Randy Newman


3) Nine Inch Nails - The Slip

It's pretty shocking to think that my second favorite record of the year could be recorded in a week short weeks and then given out for free, but that is the way that music is moving and this is what we have to show for it. Ironically, an album about the bleakness of the future is actually a sign of how great it can be.

Echoplex by Nine Inch Nails

4) Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Once again Brian Eno lends his brilliance to another of the years best records. I think that Coldplay get's a bad wrap for being derivative when really they just want to be a pop band and write anthems, and who can't relate to that? Regardless, there are more than enough creative choices on this album to turn that expectation on it's head.

Death And All Of His Friends by Coldplay

5) N.E.R.D. - Seeing Sounds

The production on this thing is incredible and once I get this on rotation it is hard to get it out. This record does an amazing job of keeping all of the songs in the same world, while simultaneously making sure that every track is different and distinct.

Spaz by N.E.R.D.

6) Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

How kick ass is it that Sigur Ros finally just came out and named a song Gobbledigook? Although not as shining as there other offerings, this record is great. What it really shows is that you can take off all of the reverb and slow tempos and Sigur Ros is still one of the best bands of this lifetime.

Gobbledigook by Sigur Ros

7) Weezer - (The Red Album)

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" is the sickest song ever written, and if you don't get it then that's your problem, not the Weez.

The Greatest Man That Ever Lived by Weezer

8) Narrow Stairs - Death Cab For Cutie

I tend to really not like Death Cab's choice in singles and so I always come into there records thinking that I am going to be bummed, and I am consistently proven wrong. "Cath..." is a really beautiful song and reminds me so much of seeing them play really tiny little shows here in Bellingham.

Cath... by Death Cab For Cutie

9) Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation Of Niggy Tardust

Some of the tracks on this album are hit or miss to me, but the lyrics are pretty consistently amazing, and the pissed off irony of The Ritual is enough for this to land a spot on my list.

The Ritual

10) Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst

This record is awesome. Thank god that there are still people writing country music with a heart instead of the disturbing "Crossover" stuff that you see on CMT. The really sad part, though, is that Country is so diluted and fucked by now, most people wouldn't even notice that that is what Oberst writes. Yee-ha!

Souled Out!!! by Conor Oberst

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Word With The Dungeon Master

So the Dungeons And Dragons campaign that I have been doing is fucking rad. Last night everyone killed the fuck out of some hobgoblins hiding out in the ruins of an old jail. Yes! Anyway, I got some sweet video footage of Karl the wizard having a word with me. See if you can spot Karl, Mike, Haylee, Ryan and Little Steph. Oh wait, nevermind, most of you don't know them, but they are there, trust me.



Also, I just found this documentary that is online about D&D. It's in multiple parts and is pretty long so I haven't gotten a chance to watch the whole thing but it looks rad. It shows what an amazing experience Dungeons and Dragons is in the minds of so many people...



And then I found this video that shows what it's really like...



SWEET!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You Think You're Glass Fucking Jaw

I don't even listen to half of the heavy bands that I used to. It's not that I feel out of love with heavy stuff, not at all, I think it's more that at this point I can't really see anyone who has creatively stepped up to the plate like band's I love. Norma Jean still rips, The Blood Brothers still rip (even if they broke up), Dillinger Escape Plan still rips, Deftones still rip. The thing that ties all of these artists together is innovation and a firm understand that volume doesn't necessarily mean emotion. Regardless of the genre you still need to be a good songwriter and no amount of "junn junn neer neer" is going to save you from that.



Another innovative hardcore band that has been out of commission for a while is Glassjaw. I absolutely love Glassjaw and I think that Daryl Palumbo is one of the most emotive singers I have ever heard, especially on the record Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence. Imagine if you took Mike Patton, made him incredibly pissed, and then gave him a possibly terminal illness. If anything about Glassjaw sounds derivative to you I would say that, nine times out of ten, your are actually hearing someone else being derivative of Glassjaw (The tenth time being Faith No More because, yeah, they do take a lot from them.)



Anyway, there is a new Glassjaw track that showed up online a while ago and it is pretty sweet so I wanted to post it. I also wanted to post another track by them just so those of you who haven't heard the band before can get a better idea. If you like what you hear then I highly, highly recommend getting there records.

You Think You're John Fucking Lennon - Glassjaw

Motel Of The White Locust - Glassjaw

Note: If you want to know what it sounds like to hear someone vomit there still-beating heart up out of there stomach and into a microphone then stab it to death an a blind misogynistic rage of utter emotional transparency, then check out 1:49. Not for the faith of heart or those prone to fits of epileptic seizure, but definitely for those who want to see art at it's finest. You have been warned.

One last thing of note. Something that nearly all of the artists I mentioned above have in common (The Blood Brothers, Norma Jean, Deftones, Glassjaw) is Ross Robinson. I am fortunate enough to call Ross one of my dearest friends and, first and foremost, that is what he means to me. In a more universal sense, though, the things that Robinson has done to promote the survival of a heart and soul in heavy music are so vast that they may never fully be understood. There is little I can say here to really touch the tip of the iceberg that is Robinson's influence, but what I can say is that if you have been moved by a metal or hardcore song in the last 10 or 15 years you can give just a little bit of thanks to Ross Robinson.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Mist

Speaking of the end of days, I finally got around to watching Stephen King's The Mist last night. I had been avoiding this movie for quite a while to nothing other than the fact that based on the previews I had seen, the CGI looked terrible.

Well, I watched it last night and yes, the CGI, still looks terrible, but other than that it is a great, great horror movie. What I liked the most though, is not just that it was a great horror movie, but a great monster movie.

I miss monster movies. If slasher movies are the horror equivalent to a cheeseburger (Sure, sushi is amazing, but sometimes you just want a big dumb cheeseburger), then monster movies are the hot dogs. Does that make any sense? Well, it does to me. And the great thing about The Mist is that, yes, it looks like a hot dog, but when you bite into it you suddenly realize that, oh hey, this is some sort of rad polish sausage with artichoke and herbs mixed in.



Anyway, The Mist is actually great, and to the few of you that haven't yet seen or already decided to completely write it off, I would suggest going out and renting it. One word of warning (and actually, maybe this is why I liked it so much), be ready to use your imagination and suspend disbelief a little bit, because the CGI is BAD. If you can get past that then the monsters are beautifully disturbing and creative, and if you can suspend belief even more than the eventual explanation of what is going on is a nice little slice of science fiction wonderment. The characters are great, serving as a nice little microcosm for all of humankind, and the films overall statement is interesting. It also doesn't make any cop out's at all, and in that way it is surprisingly brutal because once you've seen it you would think that the studio's would have a fucking fit. Fortunately, Director Frank Darabont has enough pull from doing The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile that that didn't happen.



Stephen King's original story is very well respected in this adaption, as well, and his whole "we're just a bunch of townies up in the middle of nowhere, Maine" thing is in full effect. It really made me miss reading his stuff, which I haven't really done in years. Another thing I noticed while watching this is that this is King's attempt at the world of H.P. Lovecraft, but I guess without giving too much away that is all that I can say about that.

Anyway, The Mist, there ya go. If you like weird beast's then you should start getting stoked.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The End Of The World

Stu posted this in the Idiot Pilot forum...

I dearly hope that I had nothing to do with the influencing of this band. God, shoot me now. This is the most unbelieveibly dismal thing that I have ever seen, and no, it's not a clever joke, kids actually think this is cool.



It literally sends shivers down my spine. The End Of Day's has offically started.

Star Trek: The Wrath Of Me... Getting Stoked

I know that it has been a little while since this first made it's way online, but better late than never.

I am so fucking stoked for the new Star Trek movie, even despite the fact that it is original series and not Next Generation. I'm going to miss Data, but I think that Simon Pegg playing Scotty is going to blow my mind enough to make me forget eventually. Anyway, check this out:



And speaking of things that J.J. Abrams does, yes, Lost is coming back. More on that later...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oversexed

I have made a lot of art in my day (I guess I am still only 22, so it's more like a morning or an afternoon at this point, not really a full day), and that art has offended people on more than one occasion. Musically, Idiot Pilot has combined a lot of styles and genres that some people can't handle or understand. We have done and said things on stage and in interviews that some mothers would probably cover their children's ears over. Nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand, my paintings have had there moments of gore and violence, but even the most visceral ones have left me feeling comfortable. No longer. After finishing my newest, three piece series, I have finally created something and thought, "Whoa, that is a little over the top, don't you think?"

Well, yes, I do think so, but that is kind of the point. Besides, some of the best humor thrives in excess.

Anyways, I proudly present to you, "True Love"



Details of part 2...



More detail...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Top Three Falls Of The Moment

One thing that I love about watching people fall down is that it is truly, a timeless form of humor. I bet the first time someone ever laughed, you know, some caveman somewhere, was watching someone else fall down. From then, to Charlie Chaplin, to Kramer and beyond, slipping on a banana peel or whatever else you have laying around will always be one of those great jokes. In honor of this I have decided to, tonight, post my top three falls of the moment.

3. Column Climber



2. Escalator Faceplant



I know that this guy was just trying to do a cool trick, when you imagine that he wasn't trying to do anything other than dive down a whole flight of stairs onto his face, the hilarity reaches new heights. Just try it.

1. Big Lady Sings Her Way Off Table



My god, that was a hard fall.