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Minus the Bear – Highly Refined Pirates

10 08 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 27

I love Minus the Bear! Woody’s brother Glen introduced them to me. Their music is really catchy, pretty, and modern-sounding. But I have one beef with them – their album titles, on this their debut album, are freaking stooooopid. And, on top of that, have nothing to do with the content of the song. I give you:

“Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco Twister”

“Hey, Wanna Throw Up?”

“Booyah Achieved”

What the hell is that? Why must you sabotage yourselves this way?? No one wants to randomly buy an album with incredibly dumb names like that. Take yourselves more seriously!! Just a little?

Apparently they took that advice, because later albums have less dumb song titles. Thank god.

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The Vines – Highly Evolved

10 08 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 27

The Vines are one of those 90s bands of the moment that were hot for only one album and then disappeared. I had barely listened to Highly Evolved until now.

It sounds a lot different from what I was expecting. I thought it was all shouty pop. But a lot of it is really dreamy indie music, almost like the Shins(!) in parts (Autumn Shade). Then there are also the shouty parts (In The Jungle), so I wasn’t totally mistaken. Even the pretty parts aren’t that memorable after you’re done listening, though. Sadly, I don’t have a lot of desire to listen to this in the future.





Ben Lee – Hey You. Yes You.

10 08 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 27

Before the project I had barely listened to Hey You, though I had heard quite a few songs at Ben’s shows several years ago. I’ve figured out that I was mistaken – the modern slide downward in Ben’s music hadn’t started yet with this album.

There are a lot of good songs here (Dirty Mind and Chills to name a few) and he’s still funky and sweet without being cheesy and lazy like some of the later albums (though the album cover is a little cliche for my taste – ooooh, he’s such a complicated puzzle). I need to listen to this more and appreciate what’s here.





The Beatles – Help

10 08 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 27

After I was blown away by A Hard Day’s Night on PBS as a teenager, the next week they showed Help. While A Hard Day’s Night is very much a “serious film”, Help is just pure 60s silliness and fun. It was a great experience to get both sides of the Beatles coin so quickly.

The album shows even more maturity than A Hard Day’s Night and it’s only a been a year between the two. John, Paul, and George are all getting super strong as songwriters and singers (the harmonies are infectious) and the Dylan influence is creeping in on songs like You’re Got to Hide Your Love Away.

I remember listening to this in the mornings as I was getting ready to go to school when I was 16. It’s a reminder of a simpler time in my life.





Whipping Boy – Heartworm

10 08 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 27

Heartworm was another very cheap purchase I made because I had heard it was good. And it is! The music is of the Ned’s Atomic Dustbin style of 90s rock.

The singer is often very conversational in his lyrics. There are stories of mental illness, spousal abuse, and Bono, but it doesn’t come off as too much sharing, which is hard to do.