Posts Tagged ‘2007’

Random song post, Volume 11

July 2, 2010

Mayday Parade – “Jamie All Over” (A Lesson in Romantics, Fearless, 2007): Combining the dual vocals of frontman Derek Sanders and former vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Jason Lancaster, and boasting a high level of production courtesy of Zack Odom & Kenneth Mount, the irresistably catchy pop rock of, “Jamie All Over, ” can’t be ignored, nor denied.  Jake Bundrick’s drums are simple, solid and laden with just the right amount of creativity without the tendency to overplay.  Rounded out with occasional bursts of half-time during the bridge and outro, “Jamie All Over, ” is yet another excellent entry into a genre that could use more songs like this.

The Swellers – “Fire Away” (Ups and Downsizing, Fueled By Ramen, 2009): Immediately coming out of the gate with a 6/8 attack of aggressive drums and guitars, this unrelenting burst of energy only briefly comes down during the verses, which itself is short-lived, bringing to mind early Foo Fighters.  Even more Foo comparisons can be found in frontman Nick Diener’s vocals and guitar, and his brother Jonathan’s fantastic work on the drum kit, similar to the chemistry found in Dave Grohl and his drummer Taylor Hawkins.  As a die-hard Foo fanatic, it’s easy to see this Michigan quartet filling their shoes one day-in fact, they might already have.

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Review: “Once”

April 16, 2010

Shot on a shoestring budget and starring two people who had barely acted before in their lives, 2007’s Once has gone on to develop an immense following thanks to its cinéma vérité style, honest storytelling and captivating soundtrack.  A simple story of an Irish street musician (Glen Hansard) who develops a musical relationship with a Czech flower seller (Markéta Irglová), the film is, without a doubt, one of the most honest films about the world of musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing.

Much like a standard musicial, the film allows the songs to further the story, delving into topics like break-ups (“Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy, ” and, “Lies”), a technique which not only showcases each song’s excellence in its entirety, but also provides great framework for show-stoppers like the Oscar-winning, “Falling Slowly, ” an emotional tune that truly gets me every time I hear it.  Even more skillful songwriting makes an appearance during a scene in a recording studio, where the two lay down several songs with the help of a backing band-it is here that we’re fortunate to witness the recording of, “When Your Mind’s Made Up, ” an unbelievable song in 6/8 that gives the soundtrack an additional boost.

As I obviously treasure these songs a great deal, I will not be posting links to videos or mp3s of any of the aforementioned tunes, instead recommending that anyone who reads this blog post take a few hours to watch Once.  I will, however, direct those same readers to the video below, in which Hansard does easily the most incredible cover of Van Morrison’s, “Astral Weeks, ” I’ve ever seen/heard.  Thanks to Tony Memmel for pointing this out!  🙂

At the risk of sounding like the host of Reading Rainbow, if you’re interested in more music from the talented duo that star in Once, do check out The Swell Season, who have released three LPs to date including last year’s Strict Joy.  Hansard has also enjoyed a successful career in his own right, as a member of Irish rock group The Frames and the mastermind behind a wealth of solo recordings.

Random song post, Volume 9

March 27, 2010

Songs I’d forgotten about, or overlooked, but now can’t stop listening to:

Augustana – “Boston” (All the Stars and Boulevards, Epic, 2005): At a time when so many bands are following whatever trend is current at the time (such as Owl City-esque electronica or Brokencyde-style crunkcore), it’s extremely refreshing to hear a band like Augustana, one that owes as much to pop/rock kings like Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls as they do to the trendy emo/indie genre.  “Boston, “ has made its way onto the soundtrack of many a primetime soap opera, and serves as background music to any TV advertisement featuring an emotional scene, all for good reason-it’s a well-written, piano-centered, pop/rock gem that never allows the musicianship to get too out of control, yet you know it has that potential.  The slow crescendo starts at the beginning, with just piano and vocals, eventually layering drums, guitars and bass on top as time goes by.  Before long, a string section joins the party, and the song has now hit a stellar high, instantly bringing to mind a group of talented musicians rocking out as hard as possible.  That simple beginning of piano and voice returns at the end, perfectly wrapping everything up, reminding the listener what’s it like to play music with more than just dollar signs in your eyes.  This is precisely what it’s all about.

The Get Up Kids – “The One You Want” (Guilt Show, Vagrant, 2004): In 2004, The Get Up Kids successfully rebounded from 2002’s oft-derided On A Wire with Guilt Show, which showcased a progression from On A Wire while bringing back many of the elements that made the band so special in the first place.  Lead single, “The One You Want, “ features a welcome piano part from keyboardist James Dewees, almost as if to remind the band he’s still a member.  Ryan Pope’s drums are big and wonderful, the guitars are loud but never dominating, and Matt Pryor’s voice sounds just as good as it did on 1997’s Four Minute Mile.  It’s another great representation of their classic rock abilities, while still showing the emo/indie world why these five guys from Eudora, Kansas, are true pioneers of the scene.

A Day to Remember – “Right Where You Want Me to Be” (2009): Released around the end of 2009, “Right Where You Want Me to Be, “ might be A Day to Remember’s best song yet, full of the punk-grooves-into-heavy-breakdowns the band is known for.  And yes, the gang screams that we’re all familiar with consistently show up throughout, perfectly rounding out a near-perfect song.

Hit the Lights – “Drop the Girl” (Skip School, Start Fights, Triple Crown, 2008): After losing frontman Colin Ross in 2007, Ohio pop/punkers Hit the Lights moved guitarist/backing vocalist Nick Thompson into the now-vacant slot and released a second full-length entitled Skip School, Start Fights in 2008.  The album’s second single, “Drop the Girl, “ perfectly represented a band that had not only underwent a massive change, but also taken two giant steps forward musically-kicking off with a simple techno beat and Thompson’s voice, along with a low-fi guitar riff, the song soon launches into a unrelenting series of verses and choruses that continually pummel the listener with sheer energy and entertainment.  Drummer Nate VanDame gives it his all, and the, “Whoa, “ chants in the choruses give it a Jerry Maguire sense of completion.  Yes, a typical emo breakdown is the basis for the bridge, but by that point the song can do no wrong.  Well done.