Is this record worth a spin? Should I buy it? Will it add to or detract
from my credibility? Should I care?
I wish someone could break it down for me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Aid Kit- The Lion's Roar

A Swedish version of the Indigo Girls with a Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash fetish. Two sisters, one barely twenty and the other still in her teens, mine classic Americana territory, adding youthful exuberance to a fairly tired genre.  The album straddles the line between country and folk, and even when the lyrics veer toward darker subject matter, the sisters harmonies remain uplifting. Just last week The Lion's Roar was #1 on the Swedish charts and Jack Black, of White Stripes fame, wrangled the sisters into recording a single for his Third Man Records while they were in Nashville, so expect to hear a lot more from these young troubadours in the future.

Buy this record if you wanna whistle while the conductor runs his train off the track.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ghost- Opus Eponymous

Note: Not to be confused with the psychedelic Japanese band of the same name.
Calling themselves black metal, this Swedish band is closer to an 80's hair metal version of Metallica than the Venoms and Celtic Frosts of Satan's domain. A lot of it has to do with the vocals, which are not remotely intimidating or mush-mouthed, as is the norm, but rather melodic, although not forceful enough to augment the chunky riffs. The chorus effects on the guitar solos remind me of Aldo Nova's hit single "Fantasy".  Some black metal conceits are firmly in place though; the anonymous figures in hooded robes stage persona and the illusory Satanic lyrics, but it's not a fair assessment to call this band black metal. This is definitely pop metal. The marketing of the band's cross-pollinating music styles has been useful in gaining them a wider audience, but if you're serious about Lucifer's lifestyle you'll be disappointed with Ghost.

Buy this record if you plan on some devil worship after a breakfast croissant and a cup of decaf coffee.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fed. Gov't Lashes Out After SOPA/PIPA Get Squashed

 Let me make this clear. The federal government DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT about protecting copyrighted material on the internet. If they did Youtube would have been shut down years ago. They ARE PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY LOBBYISTS to protect the interests of their clients (clients here being movie and music industry heavyweights). I find it very ironic that the these industries exploit the artist for their financial gain then turn around and blame a blogger for posting this artist's work on the internet. A majority of artists benefit from the exposure they receive from music blogs. There are a myriad of artists who only receive wider distribution through the word of mouth hype that these increasingly influential blogs provide them. Some record labels may cry foul but most smaller independent labels are also happy to have these additional marketing avenues. Additionally, a majority of music made available through on-line sites are out of print, forever unavailable to the listening public, but get a second life through the work of these blogs, who happen to be run by music lovers, not money-grubbing leeches seeking only to exploit the artists' talents for their own benefit.
After SOPA and PIPA got two giant thumbs down from the American public, the FBI, at the government's whim, embarked on a campaign of harassment against individual blogs who have posted content to Megaupload, the site that was originally targeted after the Stop On-line Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Acts (PIPA) took said whipping from the American public, by doing the political equivalent of a "3 year old throwing a temper tantrum when they don't get the piece of candy they want". Many wonderful blogs are being unfairly targeted, including one of my all-time favorites Holy Warbles. You can read more about that blog below.
These are some of the main supporters of this ill-thought out legislation: The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Directors Guild of America, the American Federation of Musicians, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Screen Actors Guild, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Songwriters Guild of America, Viacom, Institute for Policy Innovation, Macmillan Publishers, Acushnet CompanyRecording Industry Association of America, Copyright Alliance , NBCUniversal, Ford Motor Company, Pfizer, Revlon, NBA, MacMillan US, Nike, and L'Oreal.
I'm not going to tell you what to do, but the best way to show your disapproval with these companies/organizations/corporations is to hit them in the only place they care about, their wallets! You can also voice your displeasure at the voting booth. 
Ultimately, this has been a divisive issue. Buy Your Record? would like to know what you think about it.


Soul Train 1972

We present Soul Train 1972 in honor of Soul Train's founder and creative force Don Cornelius, who took his own life today at the age of 75. Don had his personal demons and was arrested on domestic abuse charges so I don't want to glorify him, but his contributions to music are undeniable. He gave black artists a platform, offering an opportunity for mainstream success that was largely unattainable to them in the past. The show was a cultural barometer as well, establishing clothing trends and igniting dance fads. Soul Train started as a pet project for Don in his native Chicago back in 1970 but the show moved to Hollywood a year later, where it lived out its duration. Soul Train was a weekly show, black culture's answer to American Bandstand, that showcased a who's who of soul, funk, and disco acts throughout its 35 year history. As the name implies, this collection features acts that appeared on the show in 1972. The disc opens with The Main Ingredients mid-tempo hit "Everybody Plays The Fool", who were notable for the smooth tenor vocals of Cuba Gooding, father of actor Cuba Gooding Jr. A laundry list of hits follow, "I'll Be Around" by Detroit's The Spinners, The Staple Singers rousing gospel-inflected "I'll Take You There", the silky AOR-friendly hit "Too Late To Turn Back Now" from Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, the irrepressible Curtis Mayfield with the theme song from Superfly "Freddie's Dead",  Betty Wright's breakout hit "Clean Up Woman", a righteous romp with New Orleans R&B inspired swagger, and the Don Black penned hit from the Willard sequel Ben, a lullaby for killer rats performed by a young Michael Jackson. Every week Mr. Cornelius reassured his audience with his parting words, "I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace, and soul". We wish the same for him in eternal bliss.

Buy this record to commemorate people who made a difference, who opened doors of opportunity, and who had cool hair and a cooler name.