Saturday, April 29, 2006

Riding On Coattails: The Man Behind the Drumstick

Geoff Trainor

We've all heard the cliche, "The grass is always greener on the other side". This may be true for many drummers. There's no denying that there's a large gap in the level of fame carried by the frontman and the drummer. Few drummers manage to successfully scale the fence to greener fields. Phil Collins (Genesis) and more recently Dave Grohl (Nirvana) come to mind.

Apparently Dave Grohl has been a great role model for his Foo Fighters bandmate, Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins first starting getting notice as the tour drummer for Alanis Morissette when she toured Jagged Little Pill. He's been at home behind the Foo Fighters drumkit since 1997, but now is taking frontman Grohl's lead and branching out with his own band.

Taylor Hawkins
...Maybe Taylor Should Stay Hidden Behind His Drums?

Taylor Hawkins is by no means new to being in front of the mic. He previously appeared on the M:I-2 soundtrack for the Foo Fighters cover of Pink Floyd's 'Have A Cigar', and more recently appeared on the Foo Fighters' In Your Honor with his own track, 'Cold Day In The Sun'.

Much like Grohl, Hawkins remained behind the kit for the recording of his debut album. Unlike Grohl, he enlisted the help of two other people. Chris Chaney of Jane's Addiction was brought in for bass, with friend Gannin on guitar. The end result, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, is a good, but could be great, band.

Despite the fact that has the drummer in the band fronted by a man who came to fame behind the drum kit of Nirvana, he holds his own in the Foo Fighters. He has been known to do some amazing drum solos and from time to time likes to show off with moves that Grohl hasn't mastered. That said, the drumming on this album is subpar.

Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders
Taylor Hawkins (center) & the Coattail Riders

Okay, maybe that isn't fair, he isn't just a drummer in a band anymore, but the fact remains that he is the drummer. In fact, the entire debut album has a feeling of being restrained. They can just never reach the point where they let themselves become immersed in their sound. Speaking of their sound, it makes you think Hawkins drummed with Queens of the Stone Age for Songs For The Deaf, and not Grohl. Think stoner rock.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the band quite a bit, and I hope that they release another album, a more solid album. They have a great formula, they just need to let go a little bit. This was a good start for Hawkins, with a little fine tuning this band could end up in high rotation in my CD list (or iPod, had I one).

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Louise
Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Better You Than Me

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders

Friday, April 28, 2006

Full Album Friday 10: Dead Heart Bloom

Casey Dorrell

Dead Heart BloomMost people drift aimlessly through life. Some successfully, some less so, but the meandering luck-driven nature of our lives remains a near-universal. Luck, fate, whatever you put your faith in, it's generally out of our control. Or at least, most of us don't care to do the work required to control it. But there are some, some brave souls who rise above the rest of us, taking ownership of their lives to achieve real greatness. These people are usually single-minded about their goals, driven to the point of compulsion to mold the world to their needs.

Boris is one of these people. Many great men have attempted it before and failed. Most thought it impossible. But Boris has grown the perfect beard. Where those before him failed, Boris refused to give in, refused to accept that creating such impressive facial hair was impossible. And Boris did persevere, growing a beard like no other and then . . . and then what? What to do after you've done the impossible?

Start a band.

Dead Heart Bloom is Boris Skalsky (formerly of the band, Phaser). DHB's self-titled debut is shockingly good. Essentially a one man, one beard, project, he enlisted the help of two drummers, a guitarist, and a string quartet for the recording. The fact that everything else (writing, production, instrumentation) is all done by one person is remarkable, especially considering how many artists it's taken other groups to make less interesting music.

Describing Dead Heart Bloom is tricky, considering Skalsky's apparent reluctance to name off influences and the varied nature of the album's songs. He references artists like Conor Oberst in an interview, but points to the general approach to creating music, rather than the sonic results. The best lazy-journalism comparison one can produce is Beck. Dead Heart Bloom sounds little, if anything like Beck, but both artists manage to produce wildly different songs, while still managing to maintain a general coherence that makes them immediately recognizable.

The word indie-pop is sometimes thrown around in reference to Dead Heart Bloom, but it seems misplaced. Clearly this is, above all else, a perfectly crafted pop album. And, clearly, it's independent and fiercely DIY. But so many of the songs feel larger-than-life, bigger than the intimate twee-tinged sound most associate with indie pop. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. But it is likely to get the band more attention, separating it from the huge sleu of indie bands currently fighting for myspace adoration and major-label interest.

Dead Heat Bloom
A Little Bit of Photoshop Can be a Dangerous Thing . . .

Fans of dischordant feedback and heavy experimentalism will undoubtedly be somewhat bored the very clean album. This isn't necessarily due to an actual lack of experimentation, it's simply that Skalsky seems to have almost too good an ear for pop; he shaves off all the rough edges. Still, while the end product might be a bit too "shiny" for some of you, he does perfect many familiar sounds, making somewhat of an eclectic, albeit slick, masterpiece.

Skalsky has made the entire album available as mp3, free of charge. It's hard to choose which songs to place here, as they're all worth listening to, and little on the album is redundant. I'll be lazy, then, and select the ones he's said best represent the album. If you like them, head over to his site to download the rest of them. If you like it all, buy a copy for your CD collection.

Dead Heart Bloom - I Hope I Stop Fading
Dead Heart Bloom - Saint Henry
Dead Heart Bloom - Letter to the World
Dead Heart Bloom - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

Dead Heart Bloom - Dead Heart Bloom

Full Album Friday 9 (Sunday Edition): Emm Gryner Live @ The Point
Full Album Friday 8: Wolf Parade on CBC Radio 3
Full Album Friday 7: Catholic Gaydar
Full Album Friday 6 (Sunday Edition): Hole Unglued, Unbootlegged
Full Album Friday 5 (Monday Edition): Illegal Art
Full Album Friday 4 (Sunday Edition): American Edit
Full Album Friday 3 (Saturday Edition): Thrush Hermit - Nobody Famous
Full Album Friday 2 (Saturday Edition): The 8Bits of Christmas
Full Album Friday 1 (Saturday Edition): Sufjan Christmas

Thursday, April 27, 2006

This Is A Long Song For Someone With Nothing To Think About: A Mocking Music List

Calum Marsh

Godspeed You Black Emperor!Musical lists based around single words aren't hard to come by on music blogs - hell, even we do them once a week - but lately they've not particularly interested me. The whole process of collecting songs and jotting them down for you, even, seems a bit silly to me. Let's face facts: the whole exercise is usually nothing more than an excuse to show-off what hip bands you know and how many rarities you can scrounge together (credit to Geoff, though, for unabashedly adding Weezer and the Foo Fighters to his themed lists). Art Brut sums the condition up nicely: "He no longer listens to A-sides /He made me a tape of bootlegs and B-sides!".

Yes, I'm making a list. Bearing in mind what I've just said, am I going to attempt a collection of songs free of ostentatious showiness, comprised exclusively of well-known A-sides by universally well-regarded folk-art rock groups? No, I'm afraid, to this end, pretension-free listing is nearly impossible: I'm writing this list with you, the reader, in mind. I'm aware while compiling that you're going to be reading - and judging, to some degree - my choices, and that awareness turns what would be an otherwise normal grouping of tracks into something self-aware and, by extension, purposefully played-up.

Okay, but what if I don't care that people are reading and judging? What if I choose songs which are normal and well-known, and choose them without considering how they'll be thought about by you? I doubt anyone has that much self-control - I certainly don't - but even assuming someone could choose not to show-off with hip bands and rare tracks, the choice to not do so would be purposeful, and that intention, in it's own little way, is pretty damn pretentious. Sure, it'd be easy for me to slyly announce that, hey, I don't care what songs I pick, I could care less about looking cool, and so on, but that easy way out is yet another pretentious trap, isn't it? By specifically announcing that you don't care, you're making it painfully clear that you do.

I guess the only option, then, is to go right ahead and get comfortable with the undeniable fact that this is going to be one hell of a pretentious piece of crap. Yep, that's how it's going down, folks: I'm picking cool bands and, whether I like it or not, I'm kinda trying to show off. We'll all just have to deal with it, I guess. So, continuing in this vein, I present this week's theme:

The Five Most Pretentious Songs . . . Ever!

Fiery FurnacesAh, self-reference. How refreshing. The following five songs are, like all good lists, incredibly pretentious. Some of the artists are decidedly aware of their own self-absorbed intellectualism, others are not - either way, these haughty smart-guys ooze pretension and love it. Oh, and just so there are no doubts about the ridiculousness of this list (or my awareness of its ridiculousness), I've taken the liberty of matching these tracks with similarly pompous drink recommendations - the sign of a real intellectual (but honestly, isn't that a great idea?).

Extravagance abound:

5. The Fiery Furnaces - Chief Inspector Blancheflower [MP3]
The idea: song as film. Separated into three wonderful acts, Chief Inspector Blacheflower sort of follows a bitter male protagonist as he visits Micheal, his younger brother, who has been secretly seeing his ex-girlfriend Jenni. Ever-lovable Furnaces Matt and Eleanor recount the tale through sing-song dialogue and novel-like description, shifting musical gears to signify scene-changes and exchanging quotations as if a conversation were really taking place. Sure, it's showy and flamboyant, but it's a hell of a lot fun, too.

Best heard with: Long Island Iced Tea
Long Island Iced TeaIt's no Bitter Tea, but it's close. This preposterously elaborate concoction is only worth the effort if you're really willing to give it your full attention - just like the Furnaces. Fill a Martini shaker with ice, then add 1oz Absolut Vodka, 1oz Bacardi Light Rum, 1oz Tequila, 1oz Tanquery Dry Gin and a half-ounce of lemon juice - shake well. Strain the result into an ice-filled tumbler glass, add a garnish (lemon wedges work well), and enjoy.

4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Providence [MP3]
Seriously, 29 minutes? That'd definitely be pretentious, were it not the most rich and glorious thirty minutes of music ever recorded (a slight exaggeration, to be sure, but still...). Godspeed are very highly regarded, especially by me, but their reputation for being arty to an almost ridiculous degree is probably warranted. Regardless, it's difficult to fault the group for such a quality. Artists will always be arty, and there sure isn't anything wrong with that (especially if the result is a gorgeous as this).

Best heard with: Manhattan
ManhattanWhy Manhattan? Two reasons: it's very classy and it'll take you a long time to get through. Infamously known as symbol of manliness (in the classy, suit-wearing sense, not the 'drink beer and watch football' one), this is probably the most difficult drink you'll ever consume. Incredibly stiff but strangely rewarding, it's perfect for standing out as the most hip (or, possibly, idiotic) gentlemen at the party - maybe not for keggers or jock-fests, though. Combine 3/4 oz of sweet Martini vermouth with 1 1/2 oz of Crown Royal Whisky (or, if you're feeling saucy, Mount Gay Rum) in a Martini shaker - shake well and strain over ice in a Martini or Rocks glass.

3. LCD Soundsystem - Yeah (Pretentious Version) [MP3]
Now, I know what you're thinking: how could this be pretentious? But seriously, I had to include the DFA somewhere on this list, being that they have the most pretentious discography in the history of recorded music, and this seemed like the obvious choice. When it comes to making pompous work, James Murphy is the unquestionable king - 'Yeah' is aware of its own prentiousness to such a degree that you can't possibly fault if for being so, though it most certainly is. The same formula applies to most of James's work, in fact: 'Losing My Edge', for instance, examines artistic arrogance more accurately and enjoyably than any music critic ever could. It's this sly self-awareness that allows LCD Soundsystem and the rest of the DFA to toe the line between sounding satisfyingly intellectual and contemptible .

Best heard with: Guinness Draught
Guinness DraughGuinness toes the same line that the DFA drew out: on the one hand, it's a beer - an everyman beverage designed for parties and wild times - but on the other hand, it's hard to get and most people hate it, which immediately establishes it as something of an extravagant treat. The Guinness drinker of the party is accepted with leery caution, seen by domestic-drinkers as questionable but non-threatening and by spirit-lovers as the same - in a sense, he's straight-forward enough for the normals and interesting enough for the weirdos. Just like the DFA. Open and quickly tip upside-down into a pint glass - let the head sit before drinking.

2. M83 - Car Chase Terror! [MP3]
I won't lie to you, I love this track. I know a great number of M83 fans who can't handle Car Chase Terror's theatrical cheesiness, but for me, it just adds to Before The Dawn Heals Us's sense of moody mystery. It's amazing the range of emotions M83 were able to evoke simply with digital sound on their previous record, and although Before The Dawn's move into more David Lynch-like soundscapes translates into fewer emotional moments, it reaches interesting levels which the former album did not - chiefly among them being a sense of subversively amusing mystery. It's not supposed to be taken lightly, mind you, but Car Chase Terror is definitely aware of its cheesiness and wants you to be too. By foregrounding their potential cheesiness, M83 prevents their music from being cheesy - it's so over the top that it no longer is, in a sense, and although that's incredibly pretentious, it's also a bold artistic decision - one that I feel worked out well.

Best heard with:
CosmopolitanSure, this is an infamously "girly" cocktail, but consider this: a Cosmo is such a girly drink, there's no possible way a guy could drink one without having that in mind. Like M83, self-awareness saves you from looking silly. Pretentious drink for a woman, but, because of the clear awareness, even more pretentious for a man. Mix 1oz of Peach Schnapps with a tablespoon of sugar in a tall glass (not a martini glass, as certain sexy shows will have you believe). Fill with pink lemonade and stir.

1. Xiu Xiu - I Broke Up (SJ) [MP3]
I do love Xiu Xiu, but I can't deny the pretension. His discography is stuffed with intellectual, avant-garde art that screams grandiloquence, but I Broke Up, probably more than any other, takes the Number 1 spot. Shouted out lines like "THIS IS THE WORST VACATION EVER!" and "DON'T FUCK WITH ME! DON'T FUCK WITH ME!" are obviously said with black humour in mind, but still, it's a bit much. Don't get me wrong, I love Xiu Xiu and I love this song, but how can this not take top honours? "I'M GOING TO CUT YOUR HEAD OPEN WITH A ROOFING SHINGLE!"

Best heard with: Absinthe
AbsintheOh, Absinthe, easily the most pretentious drink ever created. It's abrasive and extremely hard to handle, but if you give it a chance and really let yourself get into it, the results are quite incredible. You can probably find a watered-down version of the stuff at your local liquor store, but for the real thing your best bet is to search online. Note: I do not endorse purchasing or consuming Absinthe from or in European countries, and I won't be liable for any personal harm that comes to you if you choose to follow my drinking recommendation.

The Fiery Furnaces - Chief Inspector Blancheflower
Godspeed You Black Emperor - Providence
LCD Soundsystem - Yeah (Pretentious Version)
M83 - Car Chase Terror!
Xiu Xiu - I Broke Up (SJ)

Xiu Xiu - Knife Play
Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

Sunny Day . . .
Who Are You Calling a Narcissist?
Jesus, Mocking Music Loves You Too
Yes, But is it Heart?
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
No Pan Troglodyte Business Here
Everything Is Automatic

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Guess That Art: A Mocking Music Contest (Pt. 4)

Calum Marsh

Before we get down to business with this week's Guess That Art contest, I'd just like to take a moment to share with you an exciting (albeit slightly area-specific) piece of news which I just received word of: The 2006 Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest (long titles are so in right now) lineup has just been confirmed and announced.

If you live in or around Ottawa, you know this is huge news. Ottawa, despite being a reasonably large city, suffers from a deplorable lack of interesting concerts. Of course, in comparison to Casey and Geoff's native Charlottetown, Ottawa is visited by a fair number of indie groups - but you'd think Ottawa, being, you know, the capital of the goddamn country, would have a little more presence on the music map.

Yet the fact remains: nobody wants to play here. It's not all their fault, either; Ottawa's largest concert venue, The Scotiabank Place (formerly 'Corel Centre', before bankers bought the name), is far too large for indie acts, while the next smallest, The New Capital Music Hall (formerly 'Club Surface'), is much too small. Downtown clubs offer provides reasonable venues for the smallest acts - Xiu Xiu, The Hidden Cameras, et al - but anyone larger won't fit in. Hell, when Metric came in March they had to book two consecutive shows, and both sold out.

Enter Ottawa Bluesfest, an annual concert festival held downtown in July, which always manages to book class acts. An outdoor festival allows indie acts too big for our small clubs to play to the crowd sizes they demand, and the Bluesfest offers just that. Last year we were graced with the likes of Stars, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Final Fantasy, and The Dears (oh, and, uh, the Black Eyed Peas...), and there presence at the festival made for an unforgettable week. This year, though, the folks in charge of the Ottawa Bluesfest have managed to outdoor themselves. Here is a partial list of this year's players:

I expected - quite anxiously, I might add - to see a number of exciting acts when I read their press release this morning, but I hadn't prepared myself for such an incredible lineup. An interesting thing seems to have happened here: this is no longer a handful of interesting indie artists randomly playing in Ottawa - no, this has become something more important. Ottawa now has a festival of such strength that it not only rivals festivals of similar stature in Toronto and Montreal, it outdoes them.

Is this the first step toward establishing Ottawa as an important area on the map of Canadian music? It's doubtful. But what I think it does suggest is that bands are more than willing to play for an Ottawa crowd, were there areas that could support them. I hope this encourages growth and development on the Ottawa music front, provoking apprehensive music lovers with money to bloody well get on with it. Build a bigger club, Ottawa's ready for it.

Moving on. This week's Guess That Art picture is, I'm well aware, very easy. But judging by the number of entries we received last week, the previous picture was too tricky. We know you love a good challenge, but nobody wants to feel stupid - that's why we're dumbing things down for you idiots (kidding!) by throwing this dead give away at you. But seriously, it isn't that obvious, and if you don't know it, stop reading this site - er, I mean, don't worry about it. God, I'm mean today.

Same deal as before, folks: shoot an email our way (once again, either or calummarsh@gmail - but how about sending some to me this time, eh?) with "Guess That Art" as the subject line and the answer and your mailing address in the body. Also like last week, we ask that you please do not ruin things by revealing the answer in the comment window. You were all very good about that last week, and we expect the same manners this time around.

Original (1) and Mockery (2)
1. 2.

Last week's winner was ________ from ____, ____, who correctly recognized that my mockery was of Hot Chip's unfortunately underrated Coming On Strong. Congratulations, ______. This week's winner will receive _______________.


Yes, you all (but one) emailed mocking, so I've got the winner. He is none other than Mocking Music local (PEI resident), Andrew Breeze. He's spent many hours in the Mocking Music office, so we're already busy looking into allegations of cheating. Mr. Breeze will have the distinct pleasure of having his prize hand-delivered by local celebrity, me.

Now before I tell you all what prize you'll be hoping to win this week, the excellent festival news gives me an idea. It's always the money that gets to have their name slapped on, not the creative talent. I'm clearly the money here on these contests, while Calum does all the work. Therefore, I dub this The Casey Dorrell Guess That Art Contest. Or, possibly, I'm just insanely jealous because that's an amazing line-up.

Prize, right. Next week marks the release of Pearl Jam's hotly anticipated and cleverly named new album, Pearl Jam. To help you flex your grunge superiority, we're giving away an amazing seven used Pearl Jam CDs! That's Pearl Jam's complete discography to date (excluding the upcoming release). They come out of my personal collection, and were all bought used, so condition varies, but any with significant scratches will be resurfaced before going out. The albums will be mailed in more than one package, to save on costs.

To summarize, if you live in Ottawa, and have the chance to go to the festival, I hate you and will do everything humanly possible to stop you from winning the contest (Ottawa residents may want to use Calum's email).


And, like promised, I've included yet another rare Death Cab B-side. Amazing? Wonderful? Great? They're just different names for the same thing: our site.

Death Cab For Cutie - Sleep Tight (Rare B-Side)
The Fiery Furnaces - One More Time (The Clash Cover)
Pearl Jam - Better Man (w/ South African Choir)

Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
Cisco Systems Bluesfest 2006 - Tickets

Cisco Systems Bluesfest 2006 - Official Site

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sunny Days . . .


It reached 22 degrees in Ottawa today (that's around 70, for any yanks out there), I've been done of class for about a week, and I'm currently sitting on my balcony with a bottle of Keith's and some tunes playing. This can mean only one thing: it's summer.

Or at least close enough that I can get away with drinking outdoors to cool down, instead of to increase circulation to my extremities.

To celebrate this change in seasons, I'm presenting my first attempt at a Mocking Music list, and if you haven't guessed the theme yet, you've spent too much time on someone's balcony. It's summer, stupid.

Exploding Dogs in Summer

10. The Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes The Summer [MP3]
The entire point of this post is summed up in title of this track. The only difference is, I refuse to wait until it's June.

9. Sublime - Summertime [MP3]
Of the bazillion covers of this song that, I'm sorry, but I have no idea who actually recorded the original, this track made the list because it does what I think is so necessary when recording a cover. That being maintain the integrity of the song while leaving your mark. Sublime does just that, and maybe it also made it because it sounds a little like Snow, and he makes me laugh. Inforrrrmer!

8. Kathleen Edwards - Summer Long [MP3]
One thing you'll notice about me if you follow my writing is that I'm a sucker for an alt-country chick, and local (to me, and apparently two other mockers) Ottawa artist Kathleen Edwards rises to the top of the heap of Neko Case wannabes. I'm ashamed that I'm living in her hometown and have yet to see her perform live. Expect a review if I ever do.

7. Death Cab For Cutie - Summer Skin [MP3]
Like so many songs about the season, this track reflects the carefree approach we all hope for, but with the signature pretty, flowing sound of Death Cab that has been ripped off by many aspiring OC artists.

The Bravery - Swollen Summer [MP3]
This list was looking too mellow, but this song is a good pick me up after all of the easy-going acoustic-on-the-beach kind of tunes. This could be the closest thing to an indie tail-gate anthem I've found. But, much like the back of a dodge ram, I'm open for suggestions.

5. Belle and Sebastian - A Summer Wasting [MP3]
The greatest summers are when you don't even know how you passed it. Murdoch captures this perfectly, speaking of a summer wasted, but the accompanying freedom. Mmmmm youth.

4. Jason Collett - Almost Summer [MP3]
This is perhaps the most fitting track of the list, since it's only April, but I have no problems jumping the gun. I can only assume this song reflects the summers of many high school students, and if you replace the turned corn fields with potato fields and the lemon gin with cheap beer, I suppose it's not too far off from mine.

3. The Flaming Lips - It's Summertime [MP3]
Starting with the sound of birds chirping and the line "it's summertime", it's hard to doubt that 'tis the season for this song. Although the lyrics aren't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere, it's an important reminder that you can't ignore the world and play frisbee on the beach the whole time.

2. Wilco - Summer Teeth [MP3]
Another great track with the easy-going, melodic sound that suits a backyard BBQ perfectly. Sing along, chat over it, play some football in the middle of your street, it doesn't matter. Just chill out.

1. Islands - Jogging Gorgeous Summer [MP3]
This track is summer incarnate. The calypso drums lend a tropical island feel, and with a catchy beat this tune could almost convince you flower patterned shirts are a good idea. Almost. Fashion faux-pas aside, with lyrics like "millions of sunsets, but the one I'll remember is the one where you told me you'd love me forever," it will stir up memories of summer nights and fall goodbyes for all of those hopeless romantic scenesters.

The Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes The Summer
Sublime - Summertime
Kathleen Edwards - Summer Long
Death Cab For Cutie - Summer Skin
The Bravery - Swollen Summer
Belle and Sebastian - A Summer Wasting
Jason Collett - Almost Summer
The Flaming Lips - It's Summertime
Wilco - Summer Teeth
Islands - Jogging Gorgeous Summer

Wilco - Summer Teeth
Islands - Return to Sea
Jason Collett - Idols of Exile

When Mel comes in off the balconey, you might find her on her new blog, lower case m (which has 47.99% Mel-approved content).

Who Are You Calling a Narcissist?
Jesus, Mocking Music Loves You Too
Yes, But is it Heart?
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
No Pan Troglodyte Business Here
Everything Is Automatic

Monday, April 24, 2006

Confession of a Music Blogger

Casey Dorrell

I feel bloated.

This is traditionally how I feel on Sundays. That's the day I typically head out to my mother's house and stock up on (read: eat copious amounts of) free food. Groceries are so expensive, and when someone else is footing the tab, so cheap. It helps that she can cook, and that she often has unhealthy food sitting around that's sadly absent in my apartment. My other time to gorge is the day I buy groceries. I tend to leave off buying them for so long that I've had little to eat in the days leading up the new food's arrival. Unlike those clever WWII survivor's whose instinctual post-war attitude is to hoard all preservable food, mine is to consume as much as possible when it first arrives, afraid it might dematerialize.

I bought groceries this Saturday, so my two ocasions of over-eating combined quite unpleasantly. Very rarely have I felt this full. Yes, if you know me, you're probably laughing since I'm not a terribly big person and have been known to talk of my ritual daily slice of toast with peanut butter as though it were a meal (with enough peanut butter, it is!). Or maybe, you'd just like me to to divulge the secret as to how I keep my girlish figure with these questionable eating habits. But that's not what I'm here to discuss. No, I'm here to talk about the musical equivalent of over-eating, I'm here to make a confession.

I like Ashlee Simpson.

I don't often over-eat, it just happens sometimes. When it does, I'm aware of what's going on, but can't help it; my inner-fat man takes control. Afterward, aflood with guilt and remorse, I do a few token sit-ups and lament my bloated state. Ashlee Simpson is something I'd hear at work, where a co-worker and close friend was an unabashed fan. Oh, I would cruelly mock her, deriding her horrific taste, but secretly I hummed along to "La La" in my head, enjoying the music and loathing myself for that enjoyment. After work, a long shower, tears, obscure Japan Noise-rock, and a promise of never again hearing Ashlee followed. Yet, a few days later I'd be back, humming along.

There's something about her faux-rawk, faux-punk, faux-hard chick production that I respond to. Her voice sounds like Courtney Love if she'd never met Kurt Cobain, and had hollywood parents. Also, both Courtney and Ashlee are both in touch with their inner-male, fascinated with their own female anatomy. The former likes showing everyone her chest, while the latter thinks her mammary glands are stimulating conversation fodder. I know, appeals to Courtney Love similarities are hardly helping my case. I'm making a confession here, though, not trying to defend myself. I'm leading a deviant lifestyle, and the first step to working through this is admitting to it.

That's it. That's my confession. "I am me and I won't change for anyone." I like Ashlee Simpson. Not only do I dig her music, I think she's kind of hot too. I know that's what the marketing is telling me to feel, but it works nonetheless. And, yes, I'm quite aware her music doesn't meet any objective standard of "good," nor should it meet any subjective standard of the same. And, yes, I'm aware she isn't terribly attractive. Yet, I'm stuck. I don't own any of her CDs, nor do I have a single downloaded mp3, but should I accidentally hear her music, it'll be a pleasant surprise, not an unwanted nuissance as it ought to be. I beg of you, dear reader, your forgiveness, your support, and your guidance through these, my troubled times. And I hope you find it in your heart to, some day, respect me again.

Here's my user page, and here's Mocking Music's official group. Please, join the group and keep an eye on me. Don't let me listen to Ashlee Simpson.

I'm counting on you.

Weirdojace - A. Simpson (Pieces of Me)
Courtney Love - Codeine (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
Courtney Love - House of the Rising Sun
Hole - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (Leadbelly)

Hole - Live Through This

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Week End MP3 Blog Wrap Up 8

Casey Dorrell

Starting this week, the plan is for Mocking Music to have a post every day with specific content. Whether that'll happen or not, only this blogger knows for sure. The tentative schedule? (He said, implying that someone, somewhere, cared enough to ask the question)

Monday: Delightful article from a Mocker
Tuesday: Themed List
Wednesday: Mocking Music Cover Contest
Thursday: Mocking Interview
Friday: Full Music Friday (renamed from Full Album Friday, which was renamed from Free Album Friday, all a retarded attempt at political correctness)
Saturday: Another delightful Mocker article
Sunday: MP3 Blog Wrap-Up (e.g. This post)

News posts and reviews (hopefully) to be interspersed throughout.

This week's wrap-up features inexplicably and uncharacteristically pleasant commentary by myself in the link descriptions. Apologies for that. Actually, the links are really more of a concert collection than notable posts. Call it lazy blog reading on my part if you must, but there's a lot of great live recordings you ought to have. And the old Kitten picture? That's not laziness, that's a clever pictorial representation of Mocking Music's ascent to (greater) greatness!

1. Matt (Ear Farm) has something for those excited about Red Hot Chili Pepper's upcoming release. Ok, so I doubt that describes many people here. But the live concert Matt has up will at least give you an idea of what to expect from the badly named album, Stadium Arcadium. A return to Californication greatness, or early funk-infused white guy rock? Probably not. Let's quietly move on. [Link]

2. Greg (Captain's Dead) is alive and well, and offering up two posts well-worth looking into. First, he has a concert that really should be on your harddrive. It's not Neutral Milk Hotel's best concert but, recorded in New Zealand in 2001, it's probably their very last (before being taken away by extraterrestrials as Calum uncovered). Next Greg has some songs by the less modest 80's punk group, The Mice. [Link] [2]

3. Jennings (rbally) continues to threaten his blog's demise, yet continues to have a blog just the same. Drama Queen. While he also has a Neutral Milk Hotel concert up (which, in fact, inspired Greg's upload - incestuous lot, aren't they?), he's uploaded a much more interesting concert: R.E.M. More to the point, R.E.M. when they were THE indie band, c. 1984, live on WLIR. [Link] [2]

4. Eddie (Another Form of Relief) has a partial concert of the Bens (Ben Kweller, Ben Lee, and Ben Folds) available at his website. I happen to have the full concert so maybe that'll appear here at some point. Until then, head over to Eddie's and make sure you check out Ben Kweller's cover of BK Baby. [Link]

Sean (A Reminder) has yet another concert worth checking out. This time it's Sigur Ros from July of last year in Amsterdam. Scratch that. He has Sigur Ros, but he also has The Smiths. Please don't send me hate mail, but I'm a bigger fan of Sigur Ros than the Smiths, and I'm not a huge Sigur Ros fan. That said, given our own Mocker's past with Morrissey and the Smiths, I'm torn over which to recommend. Or at least I was until I found out that the Smiths songs are already expired. [Link] [2]

6. Jeff (DIY Rockstar) offers a reprieve from this week's concert onslaught. Now, on with the interview onslaught! Jeff sent out a questionnaire to a huge number of great indie labels and, for three weeks will feature the answers he got back. So far he's featured JagJaguwar, Suburban Sprawl, FatCat, Polyvinyl and Merge. Next week includes Kill Rock Stars and Saddle Creek. [Link]

7. Bethanne (Clever Titles are So Last Summer) has a blog that's all about themes, probably music too. Her last was one of the most entertaining yet. Sure, Jesus did it first. But, what didn't he do first? Sin I guess, but then he did go missing in that desert for an awfully long time . . . I digress, Betthane: For the last week she had a Q&A, not with bands, not with labels, not with other bloggers, but with herself. A Narcissist after our own heart. "Ask Bethanne" is a witty pseudo-advice column feature, each Q&A with its appropriate soundtrack. [Link]

8. Eric (Marathon Packs) is a fan of XTC. So Am I. He has some demos. He is articulate. I am articulate. He says things about these demos. You download said demos. You enjoy them. You think fondly of Marathon Packs and Mocking Music. You bookmark us. For our writing. [Link]

9. Matt (You Ain't No Picasso) has yet another batch of live recordings. Me pointing readers to "You Ain't No Picasso" is like Canada demanding its citizens start watching some American movies, I know. Regardless, if you haven't seen it yet, check out Matt's Wolf Parade set recorded earlier this month: Live standards and a few new songs. [Link]

10. Tim Young (The Face Of Tomorrow) started a podcast a little while back. The basic idea: Get other people to do the work. It's a great podcast that features themed submissions by other mp3 bloggers (in addition to Tim). Themes so far: Me and You, One, and three minute songs. [Link] [2] [3]

11. Ben (Ben Loves Music) has a post about the new NOFX album. If you were curious about it, like me and (I'm sure) Calum, he has a few songs from it available. Unsurprisingly, it sounds like NOFX. [Link]

New Blog Alert:
Videoteque ("A Music Video Blog") is the best argument I've seen so far for owning an iPod video. The blog run by Ben (See #11) and Eric has tons of videos in iPod-friendly format in posts that don't skimp on text. They could easily get by just offering the downloads, but the additional commentary make it worth recommending.

The Merry Muses of Caledonia is like Take Your Medicine with a Scottish focus, rather than UK. Eschews the typical blog habit of only focuses on the newest groups and featuring shoddy writing.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California (Live)
Neutral Milk Hotel - Mother (John Lennon - Live)
Neutral Milk Hotel - I Love How You Love Me (Phil Spector - Live)
Sigur Ros - Takk (Live)
R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe (Live)
R.E.M. - So You Want to Be a Rock n' Roll Star (Live)
The Bens - I Touch Myself (Divinyls - Live)
Wolf Parade - Things I Don't Know (New Song - Live)

Week End Blog Wrap Up #7
Week End Blog Wrap Up #6
Week End Blog Wrap Up #5
Week End Blog Wrap Up #4
Week End Blog Wrap Up #3
Week End Blog Wrap Up #2
Week End Blog Wrap Up #1

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Seth Puts Two Hours Traffic In The Limelight

Geoff Trainor

Let's admit it. A lot of indie kids watch the O.C. We try to pretend that it's just the fact that the show features great indie acts. The truth is, we really do care whether Seth and Summer get back together, and if Sandy is slowly turning into the father-in-law he so despised.

Tonight there's another reason for this resident of Prince Edward Island to watch. PEI locals, Two Hours Traffic, will have their song, Limelight, featured in tonight's episode of the O.C. The band's self titled debut, released last year, was produced by Mocking Music favourite Joel Plaskett, so you know that is must be good.

This isn't the first time THT have been featured on a "hit" television show. While looking up the song I discovered they have had at least a couple songs featured on the show One Tree Hill. I've seen a couple episodes of the show, and I can say that the OC news is much more exciting. So be sure to check out tonight's episode to hear Limelight and to see just how Seth will make amends with Summer.

Two Hours Traffic
THT on Myspace

Two Hours Traffic - Limelight (Featured On The OC Tonight!)

Two Hours Traffic - Two Hours Traffic

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Guess That Art: A Mocking Music Contest (Pt. 3)

Calum Marsh

Look at you, sitting at your computer, waiting anxiously for this week's (late) Guess That Art contest. "Oh Mocking Music", you'd say, if you thought we could hear you, "the contest picture from last week (and from two weeks ago, too, in fact) was far too easy! Since the contest has been easy in the past, I can only assume it will be easy today, too!"

Ah, but that's where you're mistaken, dear reader: there is a serious fallacy in your arguement! Logically speaking, the events of the past are not conclusively indicative of the events of the future! Consider the rooster: he has seen the sun rise every morning, and so concludes that the sun will continue to - actually, forget the rooster. My point - and honestly, I do have one - is that this week's contest is slightly more challenging than you've been getting used to. I've merely been preparing you, dear readers, for the challenges which are to come. Things are about to get a whole heck of a lot harder. Sorry.

Rest assured, this isn't bad news: for, as competition tradition dictates, when the challenge increases, so too does the reward. And as such, this week's lucky winner will receive a most glorious prize (concert tickets? Casey, what the hell are we giving them?), but that lucky winner will have to work for it.

Good question. I feel like the corporate sponsor. Alright, first, appologies everyone for the lack of updates lately, but we've been making secret plans behind closed doors, and starting Sunday, we'll have regular, set posts for every day. And then, if it's possible, we'll be even more awesome than presently.

This week's prize will be two mix albums, one made by myself and one made by Calum, both full of new song goodness. In addition to that, we plan to offer the winner a choice between free tickets to a People in Planes show (dates here) and a copy of the new album. I stress plan because we haven't yet confirmed whether we'll be able to get that to you. Assume that's our awesome prize. If it falls through, we'll hook you up with something equally exciting.

Who are People in Planes? Well, a band with a really great PR machine to start. They've just released their first album and have been compared (sonically, that is) to everyone from Radiohead to Kings of Leon. I'd say more the latter, vocally, the former (circa first two albums) instrumentally. The band hasn't really grabbed my attention, honestly, but I did play it for my test audience (a hundred people or so in the store where I work) and it appeared to induce a lot of toe-tapping.

Original (1) and Mockery (2)
1. 2.

Finally, last week's winner is . . . Kirsten Rutherford, who correctly recognized our mockery of Sonic Youth's brilliant album Goo. Congratulations Kirsten, you as well as the previous week's winner's prizes will be in the mail shortly. Didn't win? Try again this week.

Like last week, we ask that you don't ruin the fun for others by giving the answer away in the comment box. Email your answers to us (either or, and we'll randomly select one person to be our winner. We won't announce - or even select - a winner until next wednesday, meaning you have an entire week to send in your answers. Sending in more than one email won't increase your odds of being selected, so don't bother spamming our inboxes.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this week's
artwork is that I didn't add myself into it.

Also like last week, I've included, for your listening pleasure, a special Death Cab B-Side. Will we share a new Death Cab B-Side every week? Let's put it this way: We have the tracks and we're voting yes - ho ho.

People in Planes - If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)
People in Planes - Dead Vine (Acoustic B-Side)
Death Cab For Cutie - Gridlock Caravans (Rare B-Side)
The Arcade Fire - In The Back Seat (Alternate)

People in Planes - As Far as the Eye Can See
Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
The Arcade Fire - Funeral

Monday, April 17, 2006

Interview: Final Fantasy

Jonathan Migneault

For the last couple of years Owen Pallett has been mesmerizing audiences under the name Final Fantasy with only his violin and some effect pedals. Everyone's favourite solo indie violinist (sorry Andrew Bird) has been on tour promoting his upcoming album: He Poos Clouds. The album not only has a great title (admit it) but great songs to boot.

Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing Final Fantasy in concert with Wyrd Visions and Grizzly Bear. The next day I caught up with Owen on the phone as he was heading to a new venue in a new town. He talked about the upcoming album, atheism, Dungeons and Dragons and his name. At the very end of the interview Owen made a revelation will likely interest many, please some and shock others.

Mocking Music: I'm sure you know that your new album leaked earlier this month - does it bother you that people are hearing it before it's supposed to come out?

Owen Pallett: No. Since we had that thing mastered-out I was burning CD-Rs and giving them to everyone. You know, whatever, I'm happy with it and if many people want to hear it it's fine with me. The way I see it the show last night [Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield, Quebec] was like $10 a ticket and it's like $12,50 to buy an album. For every leaked copy somebody comes back to an album and from a financial point of view it doesn't matter. You know what I mean? I dunno, it's bad for record companies but it's totally good for musicians.

MM: I've listened to He Poos Clouds and I find that it has a more classical sound than Has A Good Home.

OP: Yeah, you think so? I don't think it's any more or less classical. I just think it's the fact that there are no drums on it and there's only bass on one song and it's actually not even a bass.

MM: Well it just seemed a little less "indie-pop" than the first album. Was there a conscious decision to go a little closer to your classical roots?

OP: Well, no. The only decision that I made was that it was going to be a string quartet. There was going to be a string quartet on the entire album. Honestly, it's not really something that a musician would think of when they're sitting down to write an album. Unless they're some sort of an asshole they're not gonna be like, "Okay, now I'm gonna pay tribute to my Latin roots." So I wasn't thinking, "Okay, this is gonna be more classical."

The three big influences for making the record were Destroyer's Your Blues, Galina Ustvolskaya, who's a Russian composer I've been listening to constantly, and strictly on a functional level, the Bartok String Quartet. It took a long time to make because I was trying to compile only the best ideas. I tried to avoid writing pop songs and focused on making more of a cohesive record.

MM: Yeah, I did find it was more cohesive than Has A Good Home.

OP: Yeah, thanks.

MM: Do you think of the difficulties in performing songs live when you write them?

OP: Well most of them are written live -- are written for live performance.

MM: I've heard rumours that you're thinking of changing your name because of that recent Myspace fiasco [Myspace cancelled his account due to his name and his website has also been taken down].

OP: People criticize me for choosing Final Fantasy as a name. When you're playing your first show and you're a bunch of dudes just playing music in a basement and you come up with a shitty name it's like it doesn't matter. But then, if you go and change your name after you've started to become more popular, you have no testicles. You've gotta stick with it, right?

MM: So you are sticking with it?

OP: Of course. I realize that it's kind of a stupid name but I chose it for very specific reasons. Changing a name would be a very spineless thing to do. So no, I'm not changing it.

MM: Do you know if Square [the makers of the Final Fantasy video games] has even heard of you?

OP: I'm sure they have. I dunno, maybe not. Who cares? I'm not actually breaking any laws. If they decided to actually press the issue, and I don't think they will because it's not really in their interest to kind of shut it down. The whole sense of the Final Fantasy games is decidedly anti-corporate. I mean for the last six Final Fantasy role playing games you're playing either a rebel force rebelling against the government or you're playing a member of a band of thieves. If they're like, "Oh, what are you doing?" Well it's just directly inspired by the lead characters in their video games.

So yeah, I think there are definitely some anarchists at the story writing department. I think they'll probably be okay with it.

MM: On the note of role playing games, you said in an interview with the New York Times that the song cycle on He Poos Clouds is based on the eight schools of magic in Dungeons and Dragons...

OP: That's right.

MM: What did you mean by that? What are these eight schools of magic?

OP: The eight schools of magic, according to Dungeons and Dragons, are-- and in order that they appear in the album?

MM: Sure.

OP: Abjuration, which is magic relating to protection of oneself or other objects, illusion, conjuration, necromancy, enchantment, divination, evocation and transmutation. Transmutation is turning one thing into another.

What attracts me to writing songs about these things is that people who play Dungeons and Dragons -- who I'm going to stereotype and say that they're probably mostly a bunch of either pagans or atheists -- will have this incredibly codified and developed system of negotiating the relationship of themselves with the subliminal, with the phenomenal-logical. These people have ways of describing these things and expressing them, and attributing to them mystical qualities just like the fact that they actually don't believe that is the real reason for them existing. It's kinda like Catholicism except without the priest part of it. I find that very interesting. Not as a practical use but from a sort of anthropological use.

For this record I was trying to pick each of these schools of magic and write songs about day to day phenomena which could classify as these particular things. So, for example, the song about necromancy is about my godfather plunging in and out of well... His bowels exploded, basically he had a stroke and his intestines ruptured and his abdomen was filled with shit. They gave him so much morphine -- because he was basically gonna die -- it was an amazing experience to have to watch him plunge in and out of being dead. He would just fall in and out of consciousness and every time that he would come out of consciousness the look on his face was such that you knew that this was not him just simply regaining consciousness and passing out again. Rather, it looked like he was being dipped into nothingness and then pulled back out again. So that for example is just like necromancy, perfect, you know what I mean? Even though it's not technically necromancy. Necromancy doesn't really involve reconstitution and rather involves reanimation. At the same time I felt that was kinda the basis of the album; that experience.

I started to realize two things. First, that there were a lot of things in that in your day to day life that you could chock up to being explainable by Dungeons and Dragons' magic. The second thing was that being an atheist is a pretty dark and scary thing. When you have to witness something like your godfather dying and you're not the sort of person who believes in God and you're actually face to face confronting your own mortality, it's fucked. You're like, "Whoa! I didn't even realize how scared I was of death." And then all of a sudden the existence of something like Dungeons and Drangons' magic becomes a lot more explainable.

MM: So was writing the album sort of a cathartic experience?

OP: You know, catharsis is like... fuck it, no. I have nothing to do with catharsis. I hate catharsis. If there was anything cathartic on the album I would of killed it. The last time that I listened to something cathartic and enjoyed it was when I was 13 and listened to Me and a Gun by Tori Amos. Since then I've totally not fallen for it. So anyways, no it's not catharsis it's an examination of the fact that atheists do need something to believe in and that it's gonna be ridiculous to do so but those weird phenomena that we're going to simultaneously believe in but not believe in -- actually not even believe in -- we don't believe in them but we're gonna talk about them and codify them is a very interesting aspect of atheism. And of nerdiness too. A lot of atheists either float through life not thinking about these things or have very decided non-beliefs. There is a codification of atheism that does not involve Dungeons and Dragons, obviously. It still means that these people worship celebrity or America's Next Top Model or art or any certain thing.

MM: On another note, the last time I saw you live was at Ottawa's Bluesfest last year. Do you think it's fair to say that you've become more confident as a performer since then?

OP: Yeah, I mean, I don't have other band members to be like, "This is good, that's bad." If something is really obvious to the audience that it's sad, it takes me a long time to realize it. Ever since last year I realized that as much as I would like to go through my set and be like, "What song do I feel like playing now?" in a very whimsical man in the forest sort of way, it would be more in my interest to practice nine songs and play them pretty much every night. I've just been practicing a lot and skip from song to song quickly and deliver. In the end that will make people more satisfied, I think.

MM: Have you been pleased with the fan reaction to the new stuff on this tour?

Yeah, it seems like people are really into it. I mean I've actually been playing two new songs on this tour. Well, that's not true, there's been I guess four or five songs that you guys haven't seen but there's only two brand new songs that I haven't played on any tours before.

What I'm most excited about is that people seem to be reacting so well to Wyrd Visions and Grizzly Bear. It's nice to have them out on tour and to have people exposed to how great I think their music is.

MM: I think Grizzly Bear, especially, were really great.

OP: Yeah, they absolutely are. And I'm a big fan of Wyrd Visions as well. If Collin will have me, I want to actually stop playing Final Fantasy and join Wyrd Visions because I think he's way ahead of me artistically.


Final Fantasy's sophomore album, He Poos Clouds is set to be released May 2006. His first album is available now.

Grizzly Bear - Don't Ask (Final Fantasy Remix)
Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds
Final Fantasy - 01 Spell For a Weak Heart (Live WFMU)
Final Fantasy - 02 The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead (Live WFMU)
Final Fantasy - 03 If I Were a Carp (Live WFMU)
Final Fantasy - 04 What Do You Think Will Happen Next (Live WFMU)
Final Fantasy - 05 This is the Dream of Win and Regine (Live WFMU)

Label Site

Final Fantasy - Has a Good Home
Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds

Interview: Xiu Xiu

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Who Are You Calling A Narcissist?

Geoff Trainor

Those of you who read this and knew me in high school (Hey Casey!), might remember I spent a lot of the senior year with hot pink hair. This resulted in some of the most intelligent insults that I've heard. Yes, I am related to Pink.

It had been a while since I had dyed my hair, but recently I put expectations of a professional appearance at work aside, and said to hell with it. While my hair isn't exactly pink (more of a red), I have been inspired. I present to you, our dye-hard (Sorry...that will be the last of my lame jokes on Mocking Music, for this post at least . . . maybe) fans, the 20 best songs with the term "pink" in it.

Xiu Xiu - Pink City (MP3)
Um, well. I'm not really a big fan of Xiu Xiu, but I know a lot of you hipster kids out would miss it's inclusion. I could see this song making decent background music to some anime fight scene or something. No?

19) Ex-Models - Pink Noise (MP3)
Well, I can say there is a lot of noise going on in this song, so they definitely have it labelled correctly. With that said, it is an interesting song, and not necessarily bad. I certainly like it more than the noise that Xiu Xiu makes.

18) Nic Garcia - The Black Turn Pink (MP3)
The lo-fi sound combined with the scratchy vocals make for a great song. Sadly, I am tired and my ability to leave witty comments dried up about . . . 17 songs ago. Still, this is one of the better songs on the list. It just had the unfortunate fate to be last added.

17) Unbunny - Pink Lemonade (MP3)
This song has sort of an Oasis feeling to it - Or maybe that's just me, but it makes me want to listen to (What's The Story) Morning Glory? I suppose it isn't a good sign that it makes me want to listen to another band, but I assure you the song is good. Besides, it's not like it brought Heathen Chemistry to mind . . .

16) Caravan - In The Land of Grey & Pink (MP3)
This song has great lyrics. Still, I go back and forth as to whether or not I like the sound of the song. It does sound good, but has an almost generic indie sound to it. I do enjoy the range of instruments heard though. I'll have to think about this one further.

I must say, this is a damn pretty album cover

15) The Promise Ring - Pink Chimneys (MP3)
Here is a band that got lost in the back of my mind. It's been a couple years since I've even listened to them. This is definitely the high school era entry of the list. Which I suppose means it should be higher, given that this list is sort of dedicated to my hair in high school.

14) The Recital - Pink on Black (MP3)
This song is so simple, yet so catchy. Usually when I do these lists, I find someone that I end up looking into more, and this is that band. My only complaint is Ohh Ooh Ohhs at the end of the song. That part just doesn't do it for me.

13) Headphones - Pink & Brown (MP3)
I've always thought that the colour pink and brown go very well together. In fact I recently managed to get my girlfriend to buy a brown and pink jacket. Sadly, there were none in my size. A pink band t-shirt definitely could have made up for it though. But who do I know that has something like that?

12) Dillinger Four - Fuzzy Pink Hand-Cuffs (MP3)
I've never been a huge fan of the Dillinger Four, but I have always enjoyed them to some degree. This is one of their better songs, so it's worth the listen. It also has one of the better song titles on the list, so that puts it up a notch or two in the ranking.

I Took A Picture Of These From Casey's Bedroom...Weirdo

11) Shooting At Unarmed Men - The Pink Ink (MP3)
Shooting at Unarmed Men bring you tunes you can whistle, dance or fight to, depending on your preference, consumption or I.Q level. Taken from the label's website, this sentence describes the song perfectly. Very fun song. I guess that's a shorter way to describe it . . .

10) The Flaming Lips - Yoshima Battles The Pink Robots Pt 1 & 2 (MP3) (MP3 #2)
This time out I will not be putting down the band at all. I have to say I really like these songs, and it actually makes me want to head out and pick up the album again. Great songs which I've put up as one entry. That way I can cheat to bring you more songs. I'm tricky like that.

9) Thunderbirds Are Now! - Pink Motorcycle Helmet (MP3)
I've liked this band since before I'd ever heard them. The name is just too cool, luckily the music is great too. This song is no exception.

8) Kathleen Edwards - Pink Emerson Radio (MP3)
Almost any female artists doing lo-fi songs are instantly compared to Fiona Apple in my lists, but I won't make such a comparison this time. Definitely more of a Sarah Harmer sound to this one. In fact, she does Harmer better than Harmer, at least in this one song.

7) Johnny Headband - Pink Clouds In The Sky (MP3)
The song opens with a great beat that you can't help but tap your feet or nod your head to...and then the vocals starts. The song is then instantly transformed from good to great. You know, I don't know why I pretended to sound negative when I have a big number next to the song ranking it anyhow.

6) Blood Brothers - Pink Tarantulas (MP3)
How could you go wrong with the Blood Brothers? Like the Hives, I have yet to be disappointed by them. Although the same could be said for Weezer at one time, so only time will tell. This is probably the fastest-paced song on the list, which makes for some great contrast.

5) Nick Drake - Pink Moon (MP3)
I almost didn't include this song based entirely on the fact that it had already been on the site earlier, and there was a lot of great songs I had found for the list. But I figured that it deserved to take its rightful place on this list.

4) Stephen Malkmus - Pink India (MP3)
Ahh, I listened to this song directly after Xiu Xiu's, and it's quite refreshing. I'm not sure if I like it this much, or if it as just the contrast that got it so high on the list. Either way, it is a great song that deserves to be in the top ten.

Look Out Chief!

3) The Shins - Pink Bullets (MP3)
You know I've always liked The Shins, and it had nothing to do with Garden State. Actually, I only just saw the movie for the first time a month or so ago. In the Supergirl comics pink kryptonite turned straight kyrptonians into homosexual kryptonians. Do pink bullets have a similar effect on humans? Oh yeah, and this song is real good too.

2) Mike Doughty - The Pink Life (MP3)
I really love acoustic songs, so anyone that picks up an acoustic guitar already earns some point in my book. Speaking of which, I was at a pawn shop of sorts today, and a pink acoustic guitar caught my eye. I could definitely see myself playing a pink guitar.

1) Weezer - Pink Triangle (MP3)
What's this? Weezer used to make good music? I'd almost forgotten with all the air play their latest album's been receiving. Pink Triangle comes from Pinkerton which is,without a doubt Weezer's finest, which used to be saying something. I think I will need to open Pinkerton up, it's been a while.

Alex F. - pinkFerdinand (MP3)
I've always had the opportunity to put mash-ups in my lists, but kept them off because the just didn't stand up against the other songs. This time, I am offering this mash-up of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In the Wall, and Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out as a bonus mp3.

Well, there ends the tribute to my hair. Still, I wish a certain someone would have hooked Casey and I up with some sweet pink t-shirts last February. Next time I see that someone, I may have to show him the awesome power of my pink lightsabers (as seen in my picture above).

Xiu Xiu - Pink City
Ex-Models - Pink Noise
Nic Garcia - The Black Turn Pink
Unbunny - Pink Lemonade
Caravan - In The Land of Grey & Pink
The Promise Ring - Pink Chimneys
The Recital - Pink on Black
Headphones - Pink & Brown
Dillinger Four - Fuzzy Pink Hand-Cuffs
Shooting At Unarmed Men - The Pink Ink
The Flaming Lips - Yoshima Battles The Pink Robots Pt. I
The Flaming Lips - Yoshima Battles The Pink Robots Pt. II
Thunderbirds Are Now! - Pink Motorcycle Helmet
Kathleen Edwards - Pink Emerson Radio
Johnny Headband - Pink Clouds In The Sky
Blood Brothers - Pink Tarantulas
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Stephen Malkmus - Pink India
The Shins - Pink Bullets
Mike Doughty - The Pink Life
Weezer - Pink Triangle
Alex F. - pinkFerdinand

Weezer - Pinkerton
Mike Doughty - Haughty Melodic
Blood Brothers - Crimes
Thunderbirds Are Now! - Necks EP
Dillinger Four - Versus God
Caravan - In The Land of Grey & Pink

Jesus, Mocking Music Loves You Too
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
No Pan Troglodyte Business Here
Everything Is Automatic