Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Concert Review: Weezer

The last time I had seen Weezer in concert I was less than pleased. It was a show at the Marcus Amphitheater where they were co-headlining with The Pixies. Weezer went on last, played about a 45 minute, uninspiring set, and left those of us in the crowd wondering what the hell just happened. I believe I read somewhere that they thought they were opening that night and it got switched or something (still a weak excuse for a co-headlining gig, but whatever). However, last Thursday night at The Eagles Ballroom made up for any ill will I felt towards a band that has shaped my life about as much as any band has.

The show started with Motion City Soundtrack taking the stage. We came in (the we is Reid, Mrs. Reid, and myself… Girlfriend of VJJ was supposed to be in attendance but was under the weather) just as they were finishing up their first song. Reid and I had previously seen about two songs of a MCS show at a Warped Tour, so we were excited to see what an entire set looked like. They were very good. The only complaint I have is I wish they would have played longer. They blew through a 30 minute (or so) set and left me wanting more. They played two songs off of their upcoming album due out in January. After hearing those two songs, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Jack’s Mannequin then took the stage for decent, but uninspiring set. I had heard about two songs by Jack’s Mannequin before and really didn’t know what to expect. They weren’t bad and they weren’t great. Reid and I didn’t have the distaste for them that Mrs. Reid had, but we didn’t thoroughly enjoy them either. After about 45 minutes (or so) they left the stage and the energy in the room began to grow. Everyone was excited to see what Weezer would do tonight. We would not be disappointed.

As we always do, we played the “Call your opener” game. I wanted to say Pork and Beans (which they used to open their encore) but I went with My Name is Jonas. I believe that Mrs. Reid called the new single while Reid called for… I can’t remember what he called for, but none of us were correct. Weezer came out and played an instrumental opening and then kicked into Hash Pipe. An interesting choice but it really got the crowd moving. I exchanged a couple texts with a friend about the choice and we both agreed that we didn’t see it coming, but that they were playing the crap out of it. This had to be a sign of good things to come.

It was around this time that I leaned over to Reid and said, “Is that the drummer playing guitar on stage left?” After looking that way for the better part of the second song we both agreed it was. Holy crap! What’s going on? It appears as if this move was made in order to free Rivers up to really rock out and be the front man he was meant to be. Rivers still picked up the guitar from time to time, but Pat Wilson only played the drums for a handful of songs in the middle of the set. Don’t doubt his ability either. He can flat out play the guitar. I will also say that the gentleman on the drums, Josh Freese, rocked the hell out of that kit. He has played with The Vandals, Devo, and a Perfect Circle. The guy is good.

Back to the music. The set that Weezer played was damn near perfect. Reid made the comment after the show that he really couldn’t have hand picked a better set. That is hard to disagree with. They played all of the hits and pretty much every song you could possibly want to hear. One of my favorite moments was when they played The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. This is such a great song and it really seemed like Rivers was channeling his inner Freddy Mercury. It was such a great example of every over the top, flamboyant, extravagant rock act ever. They also broke into a shortened cover of Song 2 by Blur. It was an interesting choice, but entertaining none the less. They also played Kids by MGMT. Once they started, we figured they would play a little bit and then go into another song of theirs. Well, not only did they play the whole thing, Rivers also threw on a blonde wig and sang some Lady Gaga for us. His rendition of Poker Face was pretty spot on, and damn funny.

They closed their set with Buddy Holly. They played Island in the Sun as part of their Encore and kicked big beach balls around. We got to hear Dope Nose, Beverly Hills, and Undone (The Sweater Song). The biggest surprise of the night (besides odd covers) was when they played Surf Wax America off of the Blue Album. It was also interesting when they played Why Bother off of Pinkerton. I’m glad they did because it was fun to hear those songs, but Why Bother was the only song they played off of Pinkerton.

I can’t complain about this concert at all since I classified it as probably the best “rock” concert I had ever seen. It was a blast and Weezer erased any doubts I had after the last time I had seen them. I will definitely see them the next time they are in town. I am now almost a thousand words into this review and I could easily write a thousand more, but I will spare you from that. Just know that if you missed this show, don’t miss Weezer (or Motion City Soundtrack for what it’s worth) next time they are in town. Or just go out for a beer with me and we can talk about it for hours at Caffrey’s while listening to Say It Ain’t So.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ski School...Need I Say More?

Just in case you missed it, Ski School now has a fantastic new and updated DVD cover that is quite attractive, check it out!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is This Thing Working?

I don't know if this blog has been declared legally dead, but I'm going to post this anyway, since I'm kind of burned out on sports talk and I don't have anything to talk about on that other site:

I just downloaded the Them Crooked Vultures debut disc. TCV is what the kids used to call a "supergroup," in the mold of The Traveling Wilburys, Blind Faith, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and (my personal favorite) the Damn Yankees. (I'll listen to anything that involves the Nuge. I'm a sucker that way).

ANYWAY, Them Crooked Vultures features Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age on guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl (of projects innumerable and universally awesome) on drums, and fucking John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass. Upon learning this information, my brain almost exploded. Let's see: two of my favorite hard rock acts of recent vintage, plus the bass player from (in my humble opinion) the best hard rock band ever. Fuck and yes. Where do I sign up?

I'm halfway through the disc, and, as you'd expect with a band fronted by Josh Homme, FCV sounds quite a bit like Queens of the Stone Age -- it's got that distinctive Queens guitar sound, plus Homme's (sometimes monotonous) vocals. Grohl is kicking the proverbial shit out of the drums, which is always a treat, and -- I may have forgotten to mention this -- JOHN PAUL FUCKING JONES is playing the bass guitar. I don't know if it's good or not, and I'll defer to SVJJ on that one, but, FUCK, MAN -- it's John Paul Jones!

So far, we're off to a good start. Who's in for the tour?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's see what this does... testing... David Letterman extortion... test

Va Jay Jay, could you add me to Google Analytics on this blog?

Rubie... David Letterman, American Idol, Quevedo Day, Queef, Badgers, Minnesota, Favre, Tenacious D, extortion, midget pron.

If you've been linked to this by accident, THIS IS ONLY A TEST.

No More Sexiling

I'm sure Kirby (Is he around? Or is he still pouting about voting himself off of the Buffet?) and Gunt will appreciate this one; Tufts University has issued a policy banning "sexiling" as well as engaging in sexual activities while a roommate is present.

Just imagine what could have become of our group if Kirby hadn't come home to Black Kevin banging some chick tantra-style on a regular basis or if Fucking Bo hadn't had Easy-K around. Oh, the possibilities.

I'm still bitter at Benihana for bringing that annoying dance team chick, Death, back to the room multiple times to "study".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crispy Chicken Needs - A Comedy Review

Last night I had the chance to see my favorite comedian. I'm just going to start this post off by saying that this show was way better than I expected... and I expected great things from this show.

Mike Birbiglia played the Pabst Theatre last night. I am going to try and recall as much as I can about the show. This might be harder than I previously thought due to the large amount of alcohol that was consumed after the show.

The opening act for this show was great. He was a gentlemen by the name of Henry Phillips. I really wish I would have picked up his album he was selling. I will have to try and find it. Henry falls into the guitar genre of comedy. I really like comedy that involves songs and guitars and pianos and that kind of stuff. I highly recommend checking him out.

Now, on to Birbiglia. He opened the show by coming out and talking about his experience at Miller Park on Monday night. He got to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Brewers took on the Cubs. There is a very funny video of this available online and this moment was made even funnier by the fact that he was the third first pitch and that the girl that went before him, as he put it, threw like a boy which was bad because he throws like a girl. This was a perfect start to the show.

If you haven't seen Birbiglia, his comedy consists of telling stories from his life. These are all true stories which he makes sure to tell the audience right away. Even though I've heard his explanation of this, it is still funny and plays well. The title of this post comes from a story he was telling about using satellite navigation systems and how they are like a really pushy girlfriend in the car. He talked about pulling over to get food while the nav system kept telling him to turn around and get back on the highway. He then when on to say, "I've got crispy chicken needs." Or something like that, again, the booze is skewing some of the details.

He also told stories about his sleep walking. It was a hilarious story that involved a La Quinta hotel and jumping out of a window. I was crying at this point in the show because it was so funny. I believe I also have figured out that I might suffer from the same ailment that Birbiglia does. I also sleep walk and act out my dreams all the time. I need to remember what the thing is called so I can look it up.

I was crying because I was laughing so hard at several parts of the show. This comedy concert was probably the best one I've ever seen. Birbiglia brought it and was even funnier than I thought. Now, don't get me wrong, I think he is hilarious and I knew he would be funny, but he was even funnier than I thought.

I know that Birbiglia did a pilot for a network and I don't think it got picked up or they are still thinking about it or something, but I thought to myself last night that his act would translate perfectly to a sitcom. I can also see how his off-Broadway show did so well. I still wish I had the chance to get out to NYC to see it. Hopefully he'll be back and I'll have a chance.

I wish I could remember more of his stories right now, but the malted hops are still clouding my brain. Maybe Reid can fill in some of the blanks.

If you aren't already a huge fan, do yourself a favor and check out Mike Birbiglia.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Videos or Songs That Were Awesome When I Was A Kid

I figure this can be a fun feature and reinvigorate Medium Pace a little.

I have been surfing around the youtube during boring parts of my day and rediscovering great videos of songs that I thought were totally kick ass when I was a young white boy growing up in Northeastern Wisconsin.

The first installment includes Green Jelly and their song Three Little Pigs.

Watch and enjoy...

My favorite part might be when they refer to the 3rd little pigs dad as Pig Nugent. Very funny

Monday, September 14, 2009

U2 360 Tour... whoa!

While the rest of you were enjoying the Packers/Bears game, I attended the U2 show at Soldier Field where my crappy AT&T's service was jammed by so many people trying to use their iphones to send photos of Bono to all of their friends. Thankfully my special lady friend has Verizon so she was able to get score updates. BUT back to the issue at hand... U2 360 Tour. This was my first U2 concert and enabled me to mark another "must see" band off of my list.

I have to say, the stage was massive and over-the-fucking-top impressive. Initially, I thought it was some sort of mechanical spider like in "Wild, Wild, West" (a wiki wiki wild wild) but it turns out that it is supposed to be a spaceship and eventually I realized that it was based off of the alien ships from "Independence Day" (Will Smith movie reference count: 2). It had all sorts of moving parts and a crazy amount of speakers. It was so big that the top of it actually popped out of Soldier Field and could be seen from Lake Shore Drive. Enough about the crazy stage, on the the music.

Snow Patrol opened and surprisingly they were not terrible. That's not to say that they were great but going into it I was bitching and moaning about having to see Snow Patrol. Kaiser Chiefs and Glasvegas had opened some of the European shows so I felt kind of jilted. BUT they actually kind of rocked. Maybe I give them a hard time because all I ever hear on the radio by them is the kind of sentimental crap that gets played on "Grey's Anatomy" during an operating room death montage. Anyway, the lead singer was pretty amusing and basically admitted that he had been shit-faced every night since he arrived in Chicago. Plus, he played to the locals by sporting a Bears t-shirt.
There was a brief changeover which was about enough time for me to grab a fresh beer and then I knew it was on when they cutoff MGMT in the middle of "Time to Pretend" on the house system and started playing "Space Oddity" by Bowie over the crazy spaceship system. They played the whole song as the stage/spaceship came to life and U2 finally appeared (Bono must be the biggest individual holder of Bowie Bonds or something... it was freakin' sweet!).

U2 started with some crap from their new album which, I might add, is terrible. Then they played some of their more recent hits which the crowd loved and of course some stuff off of Joshua Tree and War that was greatly appreciated by 25+ crowd (the two 16 year olds in front of me were like "what the fuck is this?"... good music, a-holes).

Of course, it wouldn't be the U2 marketing/cause machine if Bono didn't take advantage of having a captive audience to spread the word on his latest cause (What don't we eat? Red meat! WHYYY don't we eat it? It's murder!). In addition to the standard AIDS in Africa cause, Bono wanted to make sure we all knew about Aung San Suu Kyi, the Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar?), who was elected in 1990 and has spent the majority of her time under house arrest.

After several encores, U2 left the stage and the house lights came on to "Rocket Man" by Elton John.

Death Watch!

While "At A Medium Pace" is slowly approaching death rattle status... I thought it should be announced that Patrick Swayze has passed.

Swayze starred in the followings hits:
"Road House" (if you like gratuitous boobage and violence, check it out)
"Point Break" (playing a villanous surfer/bank-robber opposite a young Keanu)
"Donnie Darko" (as a pederast)

And... some movie that inspired Fall Out Boy to write this:

BTW, did anyone else notice how douchey Fall Out Boy look?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We're not dead yet!

I know things have been slow over here at Medium Pace for a while. FPMKE was the only one keeping two blogs alive for a stretch there because the rest of us were either too busy, forgetful, or out of town. Now that school is back in session I have found that my "free" time is nowhere to be found. I did however find time to check out a new show. Tool Academy.

If you are not currently watching Tool Academy, be sure to set your DVRs to record this immediately. Seriously. Stop reading right now, turn on the TV, and push record after searching for it. This show is fantastic!

A bunch of tools are basically competing to see who can become not that much of a tool. Their girlfriends signed them up for this and they were lead to believe that they were on a show to find the biggest party guy. Now they know what's going on and they know they are all tools. There is nothing quite like seeing a room full of guys crying when they confess to cheating on their girlfriends or how just minutes after that, they can be seen doing shots and getting drunk and talking about awesome it is to cheat on their girlfriends. This show is awesome!

Wanna know the best part about this show? If you have a girlfriend/fiance/wife, simply show her about 5 minutes of this show and you will seem like the best boyfriend/fiance/husband ever. All of these guys are such big douchers that they make normal guys seem like Prince Charming.

Tool Academy is on VH1 and I believe new episodes air on Sundays. The last episode is on like 10 times in the next two days so there are plenty of opportunities to check it out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Frampton Comes Alive!

It seems like Medium Pace has died off a bit since SBTG decided to start taking names and kicking asses (off) the Buffet. I'm pretty busy at the office today but thought I should take some time to remind you all of a great album, Frampton Comes Alive.

I generally listen to my ipod at work and had fallen into a rut of Indie Rock lately so I decided that I should start listening to some of the other 20 gigabytes of music. While sorting through my extensive selection of artists, I came across Peter Frampton and realized it had probably been years since I had listened to his music.

Frampton Comes Alive took me back to a Summerfest long-ago when Rubie Q's pops first introduced me to Frampton. I think he was playing the MGD Stage and I remember standing on a picnic table for most of the show. I was completely blown away by the talent displayed by Peter Frampton... great performance.

My favorite part of the night was when Rubie Q Sr. asked, "do you smell that?"

My answer, "It smells like weed to me."

His response, "If you find it, we can smoke it."

Of course, I didn't find it since I thought it was a trick like the first time he offered me a beer at the Rubie Q Ranch. In retrospect, it probably would have been a lot cooler if we did.

Anyway, I was YouTubing for some classic Frampton and stumbled upon him covering "Black Hole Sun". I thought this was pretty awesome and I appreciated the posters comment on the video: 'Peter Frampton, a flippin' legend, drops Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" on an unsuspecting and remedial Chicago crowd. Good times (and confusion) ensue!'

Dead-on analysis!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Chayce is headed to the zoo tomorrow....Really the zoo...What in the world could possibly be there that could be all that exciting? Wait a minute....I know.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jamesons Irish Whiskey Is Crack...

The only way to settle the Score...

Is a NERD battle royal of
Risk and Stratego!!!

Blog Throwdown.

It's time folks. This is something that has needed to be done for quite some time.

The blogosphere is a very interesting place. It is made out to be way cooler than it actually is and it is probably more like a bunch of high school kids in a basement playing Magic the Gathering.

Today a shot was fired across the nose of this here, innocent, blog.

I am now calling an all out war against Rubie and his Buffet.

So what if they have over 800 posts and we only have 22.

So what if we all read and contribute on that blog.

So what if Weird Al's "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" just cam on the iTunes.

Okay... maybe forget about this war. I feel better now.

I like Rubie Q.


So I found myself staring at Shaq's new show last night on channel 12 and the entertainment brought me back to the days of Kazaam and Blue Streak, although I actually thought Blue Streak was ok. Fun for about 5 minutes unless you don't have cable, so you may be better off going hurricane hunting and watching Jim Cantore and the weather channel.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lolla Review 2009

Wet, loud, and awesome sum up my experience. While I was a little damp for the first 5 hours of Lolla on Friday, I have to say that it was preferable to the 90+ degrees days of Saturday and Sunday (I was happy to spend those in the AC). Grant Park is quite large so making it from the South End to the North End or vice versa between shows is tough. After my first show, I kept exclusively to the North End.

A quick run down and review of the bands I made it to...

2pm - The Gaslight Anthem: a punk rock/emo band from New Jersey. They put on a good show and the crowd was into it despite the rain; however, I was concerned about making it back to the North End for a 3pm show so I only stayed for about 35 minutes.

3pm - Bon Iver: a indie-folk band from Wisconsin. I was surprised to see the crowd that they were able to draw and they sounded a lot better than I thought they would playing such a large space.

4pm - Ben Folds: does anyone know what happened to the Five? Anyway, Ben drew a large crowd and sounded like... well... Ben Folds. This was purely a function of me being lazy; plus, I had never seen him before. I would not pay to see him again.

5pm - Fleet Foxes: an indie-folk band from Seattle. I aready knew that I liked these guys and they sounded great. BUT I suspect that the large crowd they drew was a function of The Decmeberists playing on the stage kiddie corner from them at 6pm.

6pm - The Decemberists: a rock band from Portland, Oregon. They performed the entire The Hazards of Love album and it rocked. The crowd went bonkers. I was impressed when they had 5 people playing drums during the "The Rake's Song". Great perfomers... I highly suggest you see them if you have not already.

7pm - I ate some pizza and peed in a bush.

8pm - Kings of Leon: a fucking rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The North End late show was packed. I suspect that the organizers may have underestimated the draw KOL would have... I really believe they should have played the larger Chicago 2016 stage on the South End but Depeche Mode won that battle. Anyway, KOL rocked out and the crowd loved it.

Having attended Day 1 of Lollapalooza, I'd like to make two comments/suggestions that might help Perry Farrell improve the event...

Beer - only one spot serving draft imports and shitty one's at that?! I don't like Stella or Beck's. Otherwise, my options were Bud, Bud Light, or Bud Light Lime... like a homeless person, I drank several 24oz cans of Bud-diesel. Which I guess was fitting since I was wet and dirty. This is Chicago! Where was the Goose Island or Old Style?

Stages - I was really close for both The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes but I struggled to see. I know you want the bands to be close to the crowd but since Grant Park is flat, you need to elevate the bands a little bit so people like me who don't wait in front of a stage for hours watching crappy bands we don't want to see just so we can be in the first 5 rows of people and see the band whose t-shirt we wore (Note: I did not wear the t-shirt of any band to Lolla) can actually see them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

80's Teenage Angst Icon Dead

Wow, I was trying to kill a couple of minutes before leaving the office and discovered that John Hughes died.

Talk about a major contributor to pop culture. Hughes was involved in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "The Breakfast Club", "National Lampoon's Vacation", "Uncle Buck", and several other highly notable 80's flicks.

Without Hughes, skipping class to go to a baseball game would not have been as glorified. We wouldn't have Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago. And, all those classic movie quotes.

You left this world a much better place than when you entered it Mr. Hughes. We bid you adieu.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back to the Dave Grohl(s) Spooge fest

I never knew that Dave Grohl played with the D so I was YouTubing this morning and found the live performance which rocked. I just love Tenacious D and and Grohl looked like he was having a really good time.

Then I found this crazy shot of him playing "Tiny Dancer" on the Craig Kilborn Show... hilarious.

And, I linked from there to a video of him playing a set of kids drums. It's classic because the guys have funny accents and encourage Grohl to try them out... he rocks... and they totally get into it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Watching Movies Made

I'm sitting here in my new office, ground level on Market St. facing City Hall, watching the new movie No God, No Master being made right outside our doors. There are 1920 era cars parked all along City Hall that have been brought in on trucks all morning. There are ladies walking around in long dresses and big hats, and dudes in suspenders and knickers. I don't know what that has to do with anything, but it's pretty damn cool watching this transpire right in front of me. This is the 2nd time I've bumped into this flick, which is apparently being shot entirely in Milwaukee. I ran into the other day over in the Brady & Farwell area as well.

This has been a little less publicized than the Johnny Depp, gangster flick, Public Enemies, but it does sound like it has a little more promise in terms of quality. (Note: I have not seen Public Enemies, but I have not heard good things) In this movie, the MKE is being used to recreate late teens New York City. And the film is centered around a federal agent that is caught up in the world of the post WWI Red Scare, and the violence came with it. It stars David Strathairn who was in Good Night and Good Luck as well as the Bourne Movies.

I don't have much insight, other than "this is pretty damn cool." Especially for a history dork like myself. For a little more insight, check out this article.

Today's Challenge:

Listen to Kings of Leon's "Red Morning Light" (off of Youth & Young Manhood) without playing air guitar/tapping your foot/bobbing your head/singing along (if you can understand what Caleb is saying).

What a great fucking song. Thanks, iTunes Genius thingy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Billy Joel & Elton John

So, I was able to score a free rooftop ticket to "see" Billy Joel & Elton John at Wrigley Field. I'll start with the fact that while I respect and admire both of them for what they have managed to contribute to the music industry, I would not buy a ticket to see them and I considered it an opportunity to mark two legendary musicians off of my checklist. Plus, since the Badger-lady was invited by a vendor we got free tickets, free food, and free booze on the rooftop.

My only complaint is that (as pictured) we ended up behind the stage a bit. Admittedly, it was still really cool to be able to see how crazy a concert crowd could get at Wrigley and to be able to hear both Billy Joel and Elton clearly. I saw the Police from inside Wrigley and it was awesome but to be able to see the crowd from a rooftop was a real experience. Plus, free food and free booze.
In summation of the concert, Billy and Elton put on a great show. I was very excited when "Rocket Man" was played and found it rather amusing when one dude on the roof repeatedly explained how pissed he was that he missed "Rocket Man" due to some work-related mingling. I actually ended up being able to see Elton leaving the show from an exit in right field; he was wearing an Adidas track suit... classic.

As for the rooftop experience... I've always wanted to do one for a game. I'll say that the food, booze, and access to a bathroom were all key; however, the view for a game would totally suck . Once people get set up in the bleachers you would have zero chance of seeing any action in the outfield. Unless the total package was less than $100 (or the game was sold out and this was your best/only option), I would not suggest doing it.

Two Songs From Bands You Don't Like

Sorry to interupt the Dave Grohl(s) spooge fest, but I have a couple of songs that I like, but I'm sure the group won't like. (I had to add the "s" to his name b/c everyone seems to add it, which pisses me off)

Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
I know that FPMKE has heard Grizz and didn't like it, but give it another shot, it's really growing on me.

Levon Helm - Tennessee Jed
He's a member of "The Band" who recovered from throat cancer a couple years ago. His first album back (Dirt Farmer) was a classic and his new offering (Electric Dirt) is quite good as well. Dude's like 80 and smokes my weight in bud every month.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rubie Q, Esquire, Pee DUI Extrodinaire

So, I was out for happy hour with some co-workers and had to take a mean yes (that's a oui in French) and I was highly amused by the urinal advertising.

The pic is of poor quality, due to me not having a fancy iphone (hurry up November... fvcking contracts!), but that's an attorney who is adverstising in the urinal at a bar to represent people with DUI tickets. What a genuis!
I think my favorite part is that the company that produces this fine marketing product is MVPee.com. Their slogan, "Make a splash!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

On Dave Grohl.

During the move this past weekend, I unearthed my copy of the Godzilla movie soundtrack -- the Ferris Bueller one, not the Mothra/Mecha-Godzilla/Giant Octopus ones. I'm not sure why I own a copy of the Godzilla movie soundtrack, since (1) I never saw the movie, and (2) the headlining tracks on the soundtrack are Jakob Dylan's weak cover of Bowie's "Heroes" and Puff Diddly's bastardization of Zeppelin's "Kashmir," which I'm still not ready to talk about. (In fact, now that I think about it, I think Brother Q bought that soundtrack and it somehow got stuffed in my shit at some point. That makes more sense.)

ANYWAY, buried on the disc is some Foo Fighters filler, a mostly-forgettable song called "A320." The track meanders around for a bit, there's some singing about aeroplanes looking like people in the sky, and then there's a semi-decent instrumental for the last two-and-a-half minutes, which includes a crunchy guitar riff that I think would serve as pretty good at-bat music.

In fact, that last two-and-a-half minutes lifted that song from "really mailed this one in" territory, and I listened to it three more times for good measure. It's not a great song, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not a completely worthless track, either. And that got me thinking: Is there a single Foo Fighters song that I can't stand -- that I would change as soon as it came on the iPod? And after paging through the 'pod, I think the answer is 'no.'

Now I'm struggling to articulate why, exactly, this is. I'm as far from an expert in music as you can get -- witness the fact that Nickelback still holds a spot in my iPod library -- but I'm pretty sure that, from a technical standpoint, Dave Grohl's best instrument is not the guitar. I don't know that I would call him a transcendent drummer, and it's kind of hard to gauge just how good he was with Nirvana because their music wasn't given to complicated drum beats or solos, but he does kick the shit out of the drums on Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows." His guitar work doesn't quite measure up to that standard.

OK: there really wasn't a point to this post, because -- obviously -- no one can tell me why I like a band. But maybe somebody (and it'll probably be somebody whose screen name ends in "VaJayJay") can tell me how good a musician Dave Grohl is. And everybody else can talk amongst themselves.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

White People Dancing at a Wedding

The Franciscans at the Basilica would kill me if I did this in a couple of weeks. Then again, I dance even worse than these folks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Decemberists - Crazy On You

I have a major love for the Decemberists and killer chick singers. Mix those things together and you get this fantastic Heart cover. They nailed it in Milwaukee in May and this is a great recording in Minneapolis. The shorter girl with the better voice is Shara Worden and the taller one is Becky Stark.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fine, If No One Else Is Going To Do It.

I'm gonna say something about Michael Jackson -- not the pederast, Peter-Pan-nose, slowly-turning-into-an-albino shit, but his music.

I dig "Wanna Be Startin' Something" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." "Thriller" is pretty bad ass, as is "Billie Jean." For some reason, I'm into the video for that "Scream" song that he did with Janet.

That's all I got. (I told y'all I wouldn't be very good at this.)

Concert Review: Reel Big Fish

Summerfest has come and gone, and with it the sweet, ska fueled sound of Reel Big Fish.

It is no secret that I think RBF is possibly the greatest band to ever live. This is a well documented fact. Despite this man-crush I have on Aaron and the boys, I will still give an unbiased review.

The concert was awesome! (how's that for unbiased?) I have seen RBF too many times to count in my life. I was at this show with Reid, Mrs. Reid, and another friend we'll call CPA. Reid has also seen RBF a number of times. We both came away from this show completely satisfied and spent.

The start to a Reel Big Fish show is always interesting. They have a few standards that they like to open with, "Alternative, Baby" being one that I have seen them open with a couple of times, but usually it's kind of a crap shoot. When you have so many songs that would make great openers, it is hard to pick one. This time they decided to open with one of their more popular songs, their cover of "Take On Me." We all know this song from Baseketball and this is the song that probably opened up RBF to a larger audience. It was a song in a movie and a cover. That usually broadens your fan base a little bit. It was a good opening number and set the show off on the right foot.

Every RBF show is different, and this one was no exception. They played the songs you would expect to hear like "She Has A Girlfriend Now" and "Beer," but they really dug deep for this show. They played songs that I have either never heard them play before or that they haven't played for a very long time on tour. They played "You Don't Know" off of the Why Do They Rock So Hard album. This is probably the first time I've heard this in concert since just after that album came out. And I'm not even sure when they played it before that. It might the first time ever that I've heard it live. They pulled out a couple others like this when they played "I'm Her Man" off of their Monkeys For Nothin' And the Chimps For Free album as well as "The New Version of You" off of the same album which I had only heard once before. Although, this is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen them since that album has been out.

RBF played up a fan favorite when they did their many styles of "S.R." (Suburban Rhythm). If you've seen them before you know they play this song in their normal style and then switch it up by playing a punk rock version, country version, blues version, death metal version, emo version, disco version, and old school hip-hop version. The added bonus this time around was in their explanation. They said that they were masters of all musical styles. Whenever Aaron said masters, Ryland on the drums and Derek on bass would play a bit from the Metallica song, "Master of Puppets." It was a simple, "Master, Master," but it was hilarious. Scott then even got in on the action. They then played every version listed above except the emo version. Oh well.

Their encore was great too. They came out playing the soccer chant song thing (you know, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole... whatever) and then went in to "Another F.U. Song." I was really glad to hear this song. It was my pick to open the show, but at least they played it. They then played a couple more and ended with "Sellout."

This was a great concert, but of course there are things I wish they would have done. I'm still waiting to hear them play the three songs they re-recorded from the Everything Sucks album, "Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat," "Hate You," and "Call You." These songs appeared on the Monkeys album and I have always loved these songs. I also wished they would have played one of my all-time favorite songs, "The Set Up," but I have heard them play it several times before.

All in all, I have nothing to complain about. It was probably the best way I can think of to end a mediocre Summerfest line-up. I'm not thinking we'll get Less Than Jake at next year's fest. That would seem to be the way we are trending based on the past.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hardees taste test...

I was laughing my @ss off at this one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Concert Review: Maritime

This isn't just a concert review, this is also a look at society. That society that we will look at gathers in a place called Bayview. We'll get to that in a second though.

I'm going to assume that no one I expect to read this has ever heard of Maritime. If I am expecting you to read this and you do know who Maritime is, I'm proud of you.

Maritime is something that a lot of people might call emo. They are probably considered more indie-pop. This is also something that is stated on their wikipedia. We all know that place doesn't have any non-truths on it.

They are fronted by a man named Davey von Bohlen. Davey is no stranger to the indie scene or Milwaukee either. He is from our fair city and has fronted influential groups such as Cap'n Jazz and The Promise Ring. He also is friends with the boys in Jimmy Eat World and appears in the song "A Praise Chorus" in which he is also mentioned. The group also includes members of former bands The Dismemberment Plan and Milwaukee's own The Benjamins.

The music is energetic as are the men who play it. You could tell that they really enjoyed playing the music and being on stage together. While I did not know most of their songs outside of what I had heard on myspace, I throughly enjoyed myself. I wasn't surprised as I had always loved seeing The Promise Ring in concert. I highly recommend checking out Maritime as well as dipping into the archives and checking out The Promise Ring.

Now... the Bayview folks. This is exactly what you have expected from the area of Milwaukee they call Bayview. I'm pretty sure I saw every kind of person that lives in Milwaukee. That's because all groups live in Bayview. There was the straight crowd. There was the gay crowd. There were well dressed people. There were people who looked like they... well like they lived in Bayview. There was everything. It was fun and there were tallboys of PBR for $3. Besides Maritime, that was the best part.

Other bands called Maps and Atlases (from Chicago) and Stephen Malkmus & The Jinks also played. They were okay but I didn't pay too close attention as the people watching was extreme.

Coming soon: Reviews of Reel Big Fish as well as No Doubt and Paramore.

Check out the link:


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Album Reviews: Phoenix, Dinosaur Jr.

Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: I really like this album and gave D3s a copy when I was up for tailgate 2k9.

Phoenix is a French (yeah, I hate France too) alternative rock band that originated from the same town as Daft Punk. Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz was previously in short-lived band called Darlin' with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (that's a mouthful). After the split in 1993, Laurent joined Phoenix and his former mates went on to become very successful as Daft Punk (cue LCD Soundsystem). Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the bands first album to garner worldwide critical acclaim and has resulted in appearances on SNL and Letterman.

As I put it to D3s, the band is a touch poppy but they mix in some sounds that I've never heard together before and it makes for some good listening. I'd say, it's like Interpol where after a second listen you notice there is a lot more going on in the background than you initially heard. It is one of those rare albums that I can put on and listen to straight through. Early tracks to get radio play include "1901" and "Lisztomania". I highly recommend this album.

Dinosaur Jr Farm: I have only given this album one listen so far and wow!

We all know Dinosaur Jr. from the late 80's and 90's, then they fell off the face of earth. I downloaded thier classic "Feel the Pain" a few months ago which has some awesome guitar work and received very positive feedback from people when it popped up on my ipod playlist. It evoked memories of times long ago for some and shock from others that they had never heard such a great song before. As such, I was very excited to give Farm a listen.

For me, Farm brought back everything I remember from the alternative music heyday: loud guitars, great drumming, and haunting vocals. This album is alternative in its purest of forms... no added sound... just a band rocking out. I believe "I want you to know" is the only track that I have heard receive radio play but I also enjoyed "Pieces" and "Over it".

Fxcking right I'm a doctor!

I was going to post this at the Buffet but obviously it is more fitting for a Medium Pace. Not too slow. not too fast. But, shit, this is really going to cause some issues with my work-flow. Good thing I'm taking a long weekend; hopefully the novelty will wear off by Monday.

Regarding The Fray's Epic Suckitude.

Lemme preface this by saying that my opinion on music, movies, TV shows, etc, is even more worthless than my opinion on baseball, basketball, football, and semi-pro curling. After all: we're talking about a guy who thinks Pearl Jam's No Code is a terrifically underrated album, who watches Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network every Saturday morning, who owns all three Jurassic Park movies and insists upon watching them (consecutively, of course) at least once a month, who went through an Incubus phase (fine: I still think Incubus is OK), who has no idea what a "Spencer Pratt" is, and who once walked down to Summerfest from Marquette's campus to see Lit.

Which is all a long way of saying: take everything here with a grain of salt.

That said: I am firmly of the opinion that The Fray is one of the most epically, awe-inspiringly shitty bands in recent memory -- and not just because I imagine the members of The Fray write their songs by saying, "OK, what type of song would work best for the climactic moment in How I Met Your Mother this week?", and not just because of that ridiculous MTV commercial (from a few years back) where one of the dudes in The Fray was talking about the experience with the band's fans and said something hideous like: "This experience, this is The Fray," and not just because the name of the band allows rags like the Journal-Sentinel to write punny headlines like this: "The Fray is a tight-knit group."

While all of those are contributing factors, my dislike for this band was cemented by an answer given by the band's drummer, Douchelicker McFuckhole, in response to this question:

Q. Greatest drummer who ever lived?

A. Ringo Starr.

Now, if the question was "luckiest drummer who ever lived," I would heartily agree. (And, in the interests of full disclosure, I did once make Mrs. Q find me a copy of Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy" after hearing the tune on Conan O'Brien's show.) But to say that the dude who wrote fucking "Octopus's Garden" is the best drummer who ever lived? Your tongue better have been planted firmly in your cheek on that one, drummer from The Fray.

Welcome to the blog...

It is finally time to unleash this blog upon the world. We have had to wait for just the right time and that time is now.

I had planned on doing some big Summerfest review for every day that I attended, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I have only been to one day of Summerfest. That day I saw Rancid and Rise Against. It was a great show with mosh pitting and everything.

On this blog you will find reviews of music, movies, television, and anything else we feel like talking about. I'm sure it will only be a small circle of friends that reads this blog, but oh well. It beats working on productive stuff.

We'll let the great Rubie start off this blog properly talking about The Fray. That post to come soon.