Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
When I was younger I was never really into Christmas music. I would hear it on the TV, in Wal-Mart, and when I would go up to this huge animatronics bear that used to be in the mall where I grew up, but it meant nothing to me. As I grow older I realize how important Christmas is, and to know that my favorite indie-rockers love it too, makes it that much better. There is quite a bit of Sufjan on here, but that can’t really be helped because his sounds lends itself to the yuletide, and also he released a 5 EP box set last year that was dedicated to Christmas music. Most of the songs are originals, but some are renditions of traditional holiday favorites. Although most of the songs on here are by Sufjan, my favorite is of Montreal’s song, “My Favorite Christmas (In A Hundred Words Or Less).” Despite Kevin Barnes’ atheism, the heartfelt love song is bolstered by the Christmas theme, and to me that is what Christmas should be about: getting together with whoever is special to you and telling them that you love them, because Jesus is love. So, essentially we can look at Christmas as the birth of love.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
After Tim Nordwind gave me the slip, I gave in to watching the high energy show that Office had for us. Impressed by their set, I decided that an interview with Office would be more likely, but once the interview started, I realized that it was going to be much more fun. The front-man Scott Masson, was very laid back, and helpful when talking to me.
Disclaimer: Masson’s answers are paraphrased because we had neither a tape recorder nor a stenographer
MOUSTACHE SALAD: How do you feel about playing a show with OK Go?
MASSON: We’re pretty stoked. It is nice to play with some different types of people. OK Go is more in the pop music scene, and we are more punk, so I think it is a nice contrast.
MOUSTACHE SALAD: You said that you were from Chicago, how is the music scene in that area.
MASSON: It’s great. There are a bunch of bands there that we all go to each other’s shows, and we support each other. Originally, I am from Detroit, and there the music scene is competitive in a bad way, cutthroats, and Chicago is much more supportive and we really dig it.
MOUSTACHE SALAD: Do you feel like the bands in Chicago have the feel of the Elephant Six Collective from the mid-90s?
MASSON: No, we support each other, but we like to make our own music, an define our unique sound. The most I would ever want to do is a collaboration.
MOUSTACHE SALAD: Your sound reminded me of Weezer mixed in with a little Fountains of Wayne. How do you feel about that?
MASSON: We get Weezer pretty often, and I like that because they are a great band. As for Fountains of Wayne, that is pretty weird because we just signed to a label that is partially owned by the bassist of Fountains of Wayne.
MOUSTACHE SALAD: Who would you say your influences are?
MASSON: The old stuff, like The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and there is this band that I am really into called Wire. Contemporary artists I like are this band called Black Lips and I also really like Deerhunter.
MOUSTACHE SALAD: What is your favorite venue to play?
MASSON: I’d have to say the Metro in Chicago. It is so big and the sound system is great. You just strum one chord and it’s like “BWAAAAHHH!”
Friday, December 7, 2007
Stepping out onto the gym floor, I quickly spotted someone that looked familiar in the sound booth. His funky glasses, chauffeur's cap, and sideburns marked him as one of the members of OK Go. Approaching the sound booth, I had to do a double take to make sure he was really the bespectacled member of OK Go, Tim Nordwind. He looked different in person; thinner and less jovial. I asked him if I could interview him for our blog, Moustache Salad. He said yes, but told us we'd have to wait until he got done mixing the sound. The interview was set to take place when the opening band took the stage.
Excited about the ensuing interview, a first for Moustache Salad, I returned back to the floor to formulate questions. The lights dimmed as the opening act, Office, started playing. Glancing back at the sound booth, I saw a fleeing Tim escape into the refuge of backstage to avoid our most intrusive questions, such as "How do you feel about playing to a college audience?" Angry and disappointed, I turned my attention back to the stage. Moustache Salad's first concert review was off to an excellent start.
For those of you who don't attend Truman State University, OK Go headlined the Student Activities Board Fall Concert this past Friday. The concert was held in the Pershing Arena, Truman's basketball gymnasium. Despite the seemingly poor venue, the concert was fun to watch, and most importantly, the sound quality was good.
I wasn't very familiar with Office, the opening band. This lack of familiarity didn't prevent me from enjoying their solid set. Office played an energetic show, bringing their pop-rock style to new ears. Their guitar sound reminded me of Weezer somewhat, with an interesting synth thrown in on some songs. Office featured two lead vocalists, both with strong voices that complimented their music well. I caught myself singing along with some of the songs, even though I had never heard them before. Office maintained a high level of energy throughout their set and received a very favorable crowd reaction when they ended.
Due to the prior events of the night, I had an unfavorable bias towards OK Go. Commanding our attention with their impressive stage presence, OK Go rocked their way back into my good favor. Front-man Damian Kulash's witty banter between songs provided a nice contrast between the distortion rich melodies of OK Go songs. Although OK Go may not be the most innovative or awe-inspiring band, their songs were enjoyable live. Highlights of the concert included OK Go's cover of Violent Femme's "Prove My Love", their hit "Here it Goes Again", and a cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down". OK Go also performed a two-song acoustic set out in the crowd during the middle of their set. This acoustic guitar and glockenspiel performance went off well despite some mic problems. OK Go also had an interesting video backdrop that alternated between stock video and concert footage. OK Go was better than I expected them to be, Office was an intriguing discovery, and both provided a pleasurable concert.
Moustache Salad gives this concert a Pornstar moustache (3 out of 5).
Also, be on the lookout for a new post tomorrow in which Moustache Salad interviews Office front-man, Scott Masson.
Get Over It- OK Go
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Rapper Snoop Dogg released a new video this week for the song "Sensual Seduction" in which he completely re-defines his musical style. However, despite his chronic gangsta posture, Snoop has been subtly shifting his style over the years. Here's a look at the evolution of Snoop Dogg's career from the beginning to the present.
First off, here's Snoop at the beginning of his career. This is the video for "Deep Cover", recorded for the movie also entitled Deep Cover. This marks the beginning of the Dre and Snoop Dogg combo that redefined rap and hip-hop.
Next, Snoop Dogg breaks through to the mainstream with Dr. Dre's hugely successful hit, "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang". Snoop takes the first verse on this rap classic from Dr. Dre's album The Chronic. This song also marks the beginning of the West Coast G-Funk style that dominated rap during the 1990s.
In 1993, Snoop released his debut album, Doggystyle. Propelled by the success of single "Gin and Juice", this Dre-produced album topped the charts in the US for a couple of weeks. I'm posting one of my personal favorites off of Doggystyle, "Who am I (What's My Name)". Snoop later released a sequel to this song on his 2000 album Tha Last Supper.
Snoop Dogg released a few albums over the next decade or so. His musical style during this period remained largely the same, although some say he developed an even more lackadaisical flow. In 2004, with the release of his album R&G (Rhythm and Gangsta): The Masterpiece, he altered his music significantly. Parts of the album were produced by The Neptunes, the producer duo that includes Pharrell Williams. Snoop scored a hit and sparked a catch-phrase with "Drop It Like It's Hot". This song features very minimalist production, a rarity in earlier Snoop songs, consisting of largely tongue clicks and base drum. The video also features a very stylish monochromatic aesthetic.
Finally, here is the latest from Snoop Dogg, the funky "Sensual Seduction". This song, which largely features Snoop playing a keytar and singing through a vocoder, is the first single off his 2008 album Ego Trippin'. The video has an eighties, almost Prince-like feel to it, with Snoop's obligatory rap only appearing during the final minute of the song. This new style presents a fresh take for hip-hop in 2008, and is hopefully indicative of the creativity to come later during 2008 in the rap genre.
So I have to take this test for my Theatre class that is 10 essays, and one of them asks us to compare and contrast postmodernism in the plays Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Assassins, so what do I do? I get on wikipedia and find this picture of Albert Einstein...rockin' the 'stache. I really like this picture because he is young, and hardly recognizable, to me anyway. It may be the excess amounts of Galaxy that I have been playing/watching, but he kind of looks like Mario. Now let's examine the correlations between Mario and Einstein:
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Although it was held nearly three months ago, facial hair enthusiasts are still discussing the results of the WBAMC. Held in London, competitors came from the United States, Britain, Germany, and other countries all across the globe. Bummed that you missed out on the most highly regarded moustache gathering in the world? Check out The Vancouver Sun's online article and you'll be able to view a gallery and see a few of the impressive 'staches. These pictures will have to hold us until the next championship planned for Anchorage, Alaska in 2009.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Also in Heima, are several interviews with members of the band. If you keep up with Sigur Rós, or just read a lot of blogs, you may have seen the interview of Sigur Rós on NPR, and wonder why anyone would want to film an interview with Sigur Rós, but these are nothing like the NPR catastrophe. Intimate, one-on-one conversations both funny and crushing, with members of the band and others to help tell the story of Iceland, because this is not just the story of Sigur Rós, but of the country, the landscape, and the people. One man creates marimbas from extremely raw materials. One marimba is made from these pieces of shale, a rock that breaks in flakes, that each have a very resonate tone when struck with a mallet. The whole band plays a song on this geological instrument, and with great intonation. While we never get to hear it, the man is also working on a marimba made out of 100-year-old rhubarb that his grandfather planted.
I only saw the feature film; I have yet to watch all the performances in their entirety, but from the ones in the movie I was extremely impressed. The fullness and the balance of the sound that they get live floored me. They are not only studio-like in their sound with their full line of equipment, but also acoustically in a friend’s home, a coffee shop, and a completely electricity free protest show in the highlands of Iceland.
My only criticism is that it is so peaceful that it put me to sleep. I had to split the movie up by a nap in between because it was so soothing and dreamlike. After my nap, I was energized, and their energy turned my thoughts to things as inexplicably beautiful as the Icelandic mist. Check it out, but be warned that nothing will seem as beautiful for quite some time.
Sæglópur- Sigur Rós