Saturday, September 30, 2006

The 101

Putting labels on music is always difficult. For instance, the term poppunk can be used to describe bands with a very thick production and instantly contagious songs, but with low staying power (think Fall Out Boy). Poppunk can also be used to describe bands that write excellent head boppin', rockin' pop songs with a punk feel to them that sound great no matter how many times you play these songs. Bands like Samiam and All are good examples. The 101 from NYC are a nice addition to this group.

Formed by singer Eric Richter (formerly of emo legends Christie Front Drive), the band recently released their 2nd full length album (Numbers). Keywords? Melody, hooks and most importantly plain good songwriting! This band is probably not fashionable enough to become popular with the kids, but I know there are lots of persons out there who will eat this up! If you're into bands like Samiam, Jawbreaker, Hey Mercedes, All and (the fast songs by) Jimmy Eat World, this band is for you! Check out 'Never In' (from the first album Green Street) and 'Dancing' from the new album. You can also download their complete (!) debut EP here.

The 101 - Never In
The 101 - Dancing

The 101 on MySpace

Friday, September 29, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part III

Oh my! What a week. The last days I've been so busy, that I did not find the time to post on this blog. Let's see...wednesday was filled with graduating, thursday with aging (I'm 26 now)...and to top all that: today I worked from 8am to 6pm! I see you stare in disbelieve; I guess you're gonna have to take my word for it.

This last minute post to the 'Finally Friday video' series is done with the sleep already haunting my eyes. I'm too tired for a party song, so it's a good day for a powerballad. Every self respecting (Hair) Metal/Hard Rock band had at least one powerballad on their albums. Guns n' Roses had 'Patience', Europe had 'Carrie', Aerosmith had 'Janies got a Gun' and Poison had 'Every Rose has its Thorn'. Still, my favorite powerballad has to be '18 and life' by Skid Row. I remember staying at my brother's place in my early teens. watching MTV in the morning, which was kind of magical because we never had cable television at home. I already knew the song (thanks to that same brother), but I still remember seeing that video. Singer Sebastian Bach was besides a very charismatic frontman one of the best vocalists in metal. I guess that really appealed to me in that period, but they were definitely not a one hit wonder to me. Their Self Titled album and Slave to the Grind are still one of my favorite albums of that era. Skid Row were seen as the next Guns n' Roses but they never became that big, but that doesn't matter. At least Sebastian Bach can claim a succesful acting career in the tv show Gilmore Girls. Eat that Axl Rose!!!

Final note: I can't believe I forgot what a great song Janie's got a gun is. I've put links to this video and the others in this post. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Graduation Day

Is graduation day supposed to feel like having a dental appointment? Today I become a Master of Science. Four years of studying succesfully that went by too fast and now I'm thrown into an uncertain future. What will become of me? All these question from people which are meant well, but just add pressure to uncertainty. Then again...change is a good thing. When you get too comfortable in a certain place, you lose your edge and sharpness. We can't have that! Discovering new surroundings, learning new things...these are actually good things. Let's see what the future brings!

There is no key, there’s no plan; I discovered that. And, truly, I don’t think you'll find a happier man. (You’ve never earned your soul.) I know, but I’m gonna try, though, I’m gonna try. You float up high and it isn’t a sin. And there isn’t a hell where we’ll be sent. There’s only now, and there isn’t then. So just breathe it in. (Okkervil River - No Key, No Plan)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Clinton vs Fox news

So how about that Fox news interview with former US president Clinton? I was trying to find it yesterday on youtube, because I wanted to see the whole interview. For some reason, a lot of video's were removed because of copyright issues (I'm actually wondering how long the clips in this post will stay online). This is kind of curious because you can find lots of other FOX news clips on youtube. Censorship is a bitch... Today however, I found the interview. You can skip, the first four minutes of the first part of the interview, but then it gets interesting. Clinton explains in clear and passionate words what he has done to fight terrorism and Osama Bin Laden in particular. He states some interesting facts and even admits that he made mistakes. While he's at it, he also stands up to FOX news' right wing conservative approach and their dubious practices (the documentary Outfoxed is recommended if you want to find out more about this!). Basically Clinton slaps interviewer Wallace and FOX news around with facts and passion and wins by K.O. Watch the interview yourself:

How did FOX news reacted to this knock out loss? In typical Fox news the clip below. Instead of discussing or even mentioning what he said, they focus on how he said it, diverting the attention of the strong points Clinton made.

The sad thing is that other news stations also focus on Clinton going berserk instead of focusing on the words spoken. Because of this, Clintons important message seems to miss its mark. Thank God for objective journalism... end on a more humorous note. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently had a hilarious item on the use of question marks by news stations.

By the way...don't worry...tomorrow we'll talk music again!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Five O'Clock Heroes

When a band cites Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and The Jam as their main influences they have my attention. Five O'Clock Heroes is certainly influenced by these bands, but they succeed (where others failed, Kaiser Chiefs for instance, but some might disagree) in taking these influences and creating a sound of their own. Their debut album Bend to Breaks, which was released this spring is filled with solid postpunk/poprock songs with some standout tracks on it. Time On My Hands (see video), with an awesome bassline and a great chorus (The Jam would be proud), might be the bands best shot to stardom, but there are more songs on it that could do well as a single. White Girls (video) and Head Games (video) were also released as a single.

Don't expect anything revolutionary or original, but that's no problem when it's done this good.

Five O'Clock Heroes - Corporate Boys
Five O'Clock Heroes on MySpace