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Archive for August, 2003

Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers

August 28th, 2003


Serious? Not This Time

Have you ever wanted to bitch about your stupid retail boss in a song, or sing in a smooth, rich voice about your friend’s hot mom, or have so much fun listening to an album, you want to jump around your poster-plastered room in your underwear? If you have, the boys of Fountain of Wayne have beaten you to it. Read more…

By Elizabeth Halvorsen Posted in Reviews

mxdwn Top 5 Best Songs 2003

August 26th, 2003

When we at mxdwn.com decided to do a top 5 list, we didn’t pretend it would be easy. But considering that so much good music has come out this year, and we are always ready to proclaim our favorites, we thought it would be a good chance for you – the reader – to look inside our combined heads.

We started by having each staff member submit his or her two picks for the best songs (so far) of 2003. The submissions varied from pop to metal, emo to ethereal. Then we compiled that list, and out of those songs each staff member chose their top 5 personal favorites. The votes were then distilled into what we have here, the Mxdwn.com Top 5 Best Songs of 2003 (thus far). While the results were surprising to us, they may not be to you, the reader. After all, some are singles, and most are radio-friendly. Still, we hope there may be one or two that you’ve never heard before. Read more…

By Thea Cooke Posted in Features

Thrice – The Artist in the Ambulance

August 25th, 2003


Once.. Twice.. Thrice.. Now We’re Rolling

It’s Thrice’s third album, and they just keep getting better. The Artist in the Ambulance shows us the band’s evolution as they continue to stitch together the jump and energy of punk and hardcore while avoiding the sloppy, ‘drowned’ sound of screamed vocals. Don’t think of them as too heavy though, as the guitars and drums are also clean and jam-able – without becoming poppy. From intense songs such as “Silhouette” or the slightly gentler but still dynamic “Stare at the Sun,” The Artist is never boring and gets more enjoyable the louder it’s played. Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

mxdwn Top 5 Best Songs 2003 Page 2

August 25th, 2003

#3 Tomahawk – “You Can’t Win,” from Mit Gas.
This was a surprise to everyone. If you haven’t heard of Tomahawk, perhaps you’ve heard of its co-founder Mike Patton, the man of many bands (including Faith No More, Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, Lovage, and more).

“You Can’t Win” has a funky fresh bass line coupled with a slowly droning guitar, a swinging syncopated drum line, and a crooner half-rap that all boils down to a fantastic frenzy. On top of it’s rhythm and disparate attitudes, the song contains the memorable lyric “We are the police and now we’re gonna start a riot.” While this lyric could be interpreted in a dozen different ways, Patton’s political leanings are always ambiguous. Yet Tomahawk has been known to dress in police uniforms for their live performances, and especially for promotional photos. According to Patton though, it sounds like he’s just playing dress-up: “Yeah the cop thing has been fun. Not sure what we are going to do next. It has been cool having cops give us things to add to the uniforms. The billy club comes in handy. It is mostly to amuse ourselves. It gives us power!” (Counterculture)

#2 AFI – “Bleed Black,” from Sing The Sorrow.
This was also slightly surprising, though when you hear the track perhaps not. “Bleed Black” has elements of rock, pop punk, and grunge. AFI stands for “A Fire Inside” (though it’s rumored that in their early days, it stood for “Another Fucking Idiot”). The song certainly has fire, as it slowly builds momentum more and more for its four-plus minutes. The band joins in with a full energetic sound and harmonic chorus, which later are shattered by the angelic vocals of the lead singer turning harsh, almost screaming. Their biography on DreamWorks Records calls it: “…imbued with alternately brooding and celebratory lyrical imagery of rebirth, resurrection, apocalypse, all somehow deeply personal – in other words, classic AFI.”

#1 The White Stripes – “Ball And Biscuit,” from Elephant.
While we all expected (and it’s no surprise) that this particular band would have a slot, most likely a #1 slot, we never expected it to be this particular song. Yet the fact remains that while it crept up behind the other singles, almost everyone on the staff found a place for it in their own personal top 5 lists.

This Mississippi-Blues influenced song is simple, old-fashioned, and just plain good. The song seems to pay homage to veteran blues-man Willie Dixon’s “The Seventh Son.” While the lyrics are ambiguous, Spin Magazine claims, “The ’seventh son’ line refers to the folkloric notion of such offspring having the gift of ’second sight’.” However White’s persona seems more inclined to use his status as seventh son to get a girl into bed, rather than foresee any future events.

One writer stated: “I’m really not into the White Stripes that much, but damn this is just a cool song. A nice bluesy feel with some screamin’ solos. Badass.” And badass it is, as Jack White himself takes on another, less modest, persona: “I think ["Ball And Biscuit"] is going to be popular on the tour…I’m experimenting with that cocky asshole persona and that was an adventure for me. But it should be seen as like a scene from a movie. It’s not me. I don’t consider myself cocky.” (Q)

The List:
1. The White Stripes – “Ball And Biscuit”
2. AFI – “Bleed Black”
3. Tomahawk – “You Can’t Win”
4. Radiohead – “There There”
5. Audioslave – “Like A Stone”

Resources:

Audioslave
Counterculture
Green Plastic Radiohead
MTV.com
Rolling Stone Magazine
Spin Magazine
The Unofficial Tomahawk Website
Triple Tremelo Read more…

By Thea Cooke Posted in Features

Vendetta Red – Between The Never And The Now

August 25th, 2003


Seeing Red In Seattle

When one thinks of Seattle, three things usually come to mind; Starbucks, Rain and influential rock bands. The cities’ latest inception of the latter is Vendetta Red – a group who draws upon a plethora of musical qualities from the sheer energy of punk with the soft sensibilities of emo to the drudgery of metal, all the while glossed over with a easily accessible pop glaze. The bands debut album, Between the Never and the Now, showcases their broad musical spectrum with a youthful energy that commands attention. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews

Fischerspooner – #1

August 23rd, 2003


Let’s Hear it for Art!

Open the CD/DVD case to Fischerspooner’s May 03’ Capitol release, #1 and study closely the credits. Where most bands credit a vocalist, two guitarists, a bass player and a drummer, Fischerspooner lists a dramaturge, a wig master, filmmakers, choreographers, actors, and M.A.C. cosmetics. A band, yes, on a fundamental level: they make music. But if the art movement we are currently building is the mastering of multi-media and mass production, Fischerspooner is it. Above the basic fact that they are a band that makes good music, they are an art conglomo that rivals in production Cirque du Soleil. Radio is not their format and music is only about an eighth of their medium.
Read more…

By Brian Small Posted in Reviews

Verbena – La Musica Negra

August 22nd, 2003


La Musica Mediocre

Are you ready to kind of sort of maybe rock? Neither is Verbena on their third album La Musica Negra. La Musica Negra lacks the kind of force in any direction to make it a great record. It has elements of soul, blues and rock but never utilizes enough of any of them that much real heart comes across. Verbena was once christened four short years ago as a new hope for rock and roll by everyone from the major music magazines to Dave Grohl, who coincidentally produced their last album, Into the Pink. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews

Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won

August 21st, 2003


How The World Was Won

The boys of Zed Zeppelin finally did it right. This was the live album that the world has been waiting for. As opposed to the studio, “Best Of” quality that The Song Remains the Same had, and the BBC Sessions straight-forward “We rock the house” style, How the West Was Won truly captured the essence of this hard-rocking band’s nature. Three discs, brimming with adrenaline-fueled jam sessions, each song taken from its original context, chosen for its exemplary show of talent and raw power make up this addition to any good collection. Read more…

By Elizabeth Halvorsen Posted in Reviews

The Used – Maybe Memories

August 19th, 2003


We Are The Used

Maybe Memories has taken the souls of The Used and thrown them out on the table for everyone to see. In thirteen well-mixed live and previously unreleased tracks, the band’s second full-length album gives you a personal and sincere look at who these guys really are. Songs such as ‘On My Own’ (live) and ‘Just a Little’ (prev. unreleased) give you a taste of their energy on stage – jumping around, or letting loose a scream – while ‘Sometimes I Just Go For It’ shatters the solid Deftones-style-punk with a piano instrumental to make this a musically varying, engaging, and very personal album, as it gives you a glimpse of why they play the way they do. Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

311 – Evolver

August 18th, 2003


The Road Less Traveled

311 have always been synonymous with their own crafty blend of rap, rock, and even reggae with an energy that electrifies fans of every genre. That being said, this Omaha based five-some have created an alarmingly dedicated worldwide fan base, without losing much artistic direction in their storied 11 plus year career. And while their earlier albums such as their 1995’s self-titled “blue album” were mainly rock driven, the band has infused acoustic and funk elements into their later work. Evolver, their new self-described “concept album,” is a perfect example of the evolution of 311’s current sound. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews