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April 2004
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June 2004

I've got The Fever

You’ve got to love it when you make one of those great CD discoveries…you know, when you stumble onto a CD or a band you never knew existed and it’s so good, it’s exactly your kind of music...it’s exactly the type of release you love. Well, The Fever is that find for me. I discovered them by accident while surfing the net on another great new band that I discovered called “Athlete” and they’re another new find that is worthy of further consideration.

The Fever have released their first full-length CD called “Red Bedroom” and it hits all the right notes with me, sounding like a mix of early Devo, early Talking Heads and The Cars, fronted by a frenetic Gary Numan-like vocalist. This 70’s and 80’s new-wave sound is a favorite of mine, but very few can pull it off like this. There are even some similarities to be drawn between “Red Bedroom” and DA’s “Alarma” and “Doppelganger” …perhaps some early XTC in there as well. Regardless of the influences, The Fever makes a strong and fresh full-length debut. They incorporate the staccato guitar and bass lines under quirky melodies and that classic Ocasek / Numan new-wave vocal style. At times you’ll swear the singer is British, but this band hails from NYC. This is without a doubt one of the best CD’s I’ve heard this year…so far! For more info check out their label's site: http://www.kemado.com/
You can also click on the album cover in the column to the left to listen to samples or to order it from Amazon.


New Release Tuesday - 5-25-04

The new album “Hopes and Fears” by Keane comes out in stores today. I’ve had the pre-release for a while now and I love it. It’s drawing comparisons to Coldplay and Ben Folds, and even though I’ve never been a huge fan of those bands, I love Keane. Lots of real piano and great melodies from this alternative pop band.

Also hitting shelves today is a new album by, dare I mention it here, Wilson Phillips (gulp!). There. I’ve said it. Now, I haven’t heard it, but I feel it’s note-worthy because it features Roger Joseph Manning Jr. of Jellyfish fame on farfisa organ and mellotron, as well as a performance by daddy Brian Wilson. The CD is called “California” and it consists primarily of cover tunes that are songs about California or written by artists from there. I’ve read a couple of intriguing and positive reviews. I’ll check it out and let you know.

Other noteworthy releases today include the new Pedro the Lion “Achilles Heel” and the official US release of the latest from Komeda, “Kokomemedada.”

DVD’s: “The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King” and “Wizards”

Please click on the comments link below to let me know if I've missed anything.


Let’s Go Surfing!

It’s always fun to discover new and interesting websites. Look no further! I’ve been turned onto some good ones lately and thought I would pass them along. I’ll list a few here and if you have any comments on these or would like to recommend others, please click on the “Comments” link at the bottom of this post.

http://www.silentuproar.com/
There are a million online music magazines and stores, but this is one of the hippest. Like a quirkier more alternative version of PasteMusic and PasteMagazine, it features bands like Pedro the Lion, Aireline, The Postal Service, Kenna and more. The kicker is the free downloads page. Check it out.

http://www.melodicrock.com/
Can’t get enough cheese? Then this is the site for you! Packed full of info about arena rock, 80’s hard rock and more. This is where you’ll find the latest info on bands like Rush, Van Halen, etc.

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/
This is a blog for thinkers. It has fun with current events, pop culture, theology, etc. I love the way they pick apart the bad theology of Left Behind.

http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/napoleondynamite/
Napoleon Dynamite is already being hailed as a classic comedy and it’s going in peoples all-time best lists for movies. This is the site. It hasn’t been officially released yet, but if you go to the site now, you can sign up to attend a free screening in your area. The movie is being compared to Rushmore and the like. I can’t wait!

http://www.lebowskifest.com/
Did you enjoy the movie The Big Lebowski as much as I did? Even so, you may not have made it a way of life for yourself…but apparently there are those that have! Check this one out…they have a festival every year! Fun stuff!

http://www.harry-hill.tv/
You like the lining, don’t you? It dazzles you doesn’t it? Now THIS guy is funny. Hopefully you were fortunate enough to catch one of his appearances on David Letterman’s show, check out the site …Harry is a very funny comedian from England. Very odd, but very funny.


The Features Begin Again

I got some flak for recommending the new Ben Arthur. I like it, but was a bit too quick to suggest others get it as well. It didn’t stand up over repeated listens, and isn’t nearly as exciting as I first thought it to be. I still think there are a couple of great songs on there though.

To redeem myself, I’ve held off on posting reviews on a few of the new CD’s that I’ve gotten recently. I’ve been itching to post about one in particular, and it’s only gotten better with repeated listens. I’m talking about the new EP by The Features, “The Beginning.” Does anyone remember The Features? Late last year the band released this new EP independently. Universal Records picked them up and just released it with a bonus track. Just a side note, they were on Spongebath Records (R.I.P.), that great label that gave us Self, Fluid Oz. and more.

“The Beginning” really took me by surprise, as it far surpasses The Features previous work. The songs are heavily influenced by 60’s pop and the new wave style of the late 70’s, early 80’s. There are moments of Talking Heads, Suburban Lawns, and the underlying influence of the Beatles. This EP is a cross between the best of Grandaddy, the Sugarplastic and Pulsars. There’s diversity too, with the song Bumble Bee, they sound like Simon and Garfunkel if they’d been in a new wave band. I really like the songs and the instrumentation on this disc. They use the Farfisa style organ sounds that I love so much and combine these 60’s, 70’s and 80’s sounds into a unique and modern blend with guitar bass and drums. This one is not to be missed. I’m redeeming myself here by recommending this one. Get it now…you’ll love it.


Aireline

A good friend of mine recently turned me onto Aireline, an independent band from Murfreesboro, TN. Their latest CD is called “Ocean Songs From the Year of the Horse.” I love that title. The music is even better than the title. They’ve got a modern rock and pop sound that has a unique classical sensibility in the arrangements and instrumentation. They blend alternative rock with lush pop, using organs and piano to set them a part from the norm. They may be from the Nashville area, but they don’t have any resemblance to the country and contemporary Christian vibe that’s so prevalent there. This feels more like something from the U.K. or Seattle…and that’s a good thing. This band has it all, a good sound, great lyrics and huge potential. Thanks to Jim Worthen for turning me onto yet another great band. Check out the bands website: www.aireline.net