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 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.