Thursday, January 31, 2008

Concert Review: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

One of my favorite venues in the world in Mojo’s in Columbia, MO. It is a long and skinny bar. The stage, which is the size of a dorm room, resides at the far end. This set up has housed some of the most intimate performances I have ever experienced. The January 25th Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin show was just that: intimate. After watching the opening acts “warm the stage,” SSLYBY came on the stage. They were not what I was expecting. Will Knauer, the guitarist, appeared to be a Metallica fan/Kurt Cobain wannabe, yet he was a master of indie-rock guitar harmonies. The bassist, that is what he played first anyway, resembled a paler and more spaced-out Michael Cera. The other two were fairly normal, for an indie-rock outfit anyway.

The band had high energy the whole show, and therefore it is difficult to list any highlights. Being from Springfield, MO, the band were playing to a local audience, and knew several people in the crowd. In fact, the guitarist dedicated a song to his mom, because she was at the show. I applaud him, and his mother for that matter, for coming out to her son’s show in a dingy bar.

The band, like many others, switched instruments at various times. However, when SSLYBY changed it up, it didn’t seem contrived or hokey like I have experienced before. Going in to the show, I was not very familiar with their material, but since their high-energy, yet extremely pleasant act I have been listening to their 2005 album Broom quite a bit. And I am looking forward to their sophomore effort, Pershing, due out April 8 on Polyvinyl records. A definite impression has been made.


Oregon Girl – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (Off Broom)

Glue Girls - Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (Off Pershing)


Moustache Salad gives SSLYBY a Fu Manchu (4 out of 5).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Album Review: Field Manual

If you are reading this blog, then chances are that you have heard some Death Cab for Cutie. Well, today, the debut from Chris Walla, Death Cab’s guitarist and backup vocalist, was released. Field Manual was originally slated for a March 2007 release. Later it was pushed back to September, and then once again to January 2008. Not only were these two delays enough, it was almost delayed once again. Field Manual, as some of you may know, was confiscated by the Department of Homeland Security when crossing the US/Canada border in October via courier. Fortunately, the hard drive containing the tracks was returned to Walla, and now we have this album.

Death Cab is one of my favorite bands, and I tried to go into this album objectively and not compare it to the amazing albums that I have devoted so much life to, but I could not separate them in my mind. Musically and lyrically the albums are very different, which is not necessarily for the better. Despite the differences, the trademark Walla production is more than obvious. The ambient tones at the end of songs, guitar clarity and vocal production embody his style, and the style of a Death Cab record, but unfortunately this album does not live up. The first song, “Two-Fifty,” has a multi-track recording of Walla singing, which is hauntingly similar to the opening track off The Long Road Out of Eden, the new album by Eagles. “The Score,” the albums second track is a little stronger, but sounds like it could be a Foo Fighters song. Now, I don’t have anything against the Foo Fighters, but for some reason this song did not work for me.

The standout track is most definitely, “It’s Unsustainable.” Originally a title track (the album was first rumored to be titled It’s Unsustainable), it is the most powerful song on the album. Slow, but driving drums move the intro, moving into the most familiar sounding song on the album.


It’s Unsustainable – Chris Walla


If I were looking at the album through more objective eyes, it would seem better than how I see it, and for that reason I give it a Pornstar ‘stache (3 out of 5).

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Here's another music video that has been getting a lot of attention online recently. This is a video of Madvillain's "Accordion" off of their excellent 2004 album Madvillainy. I've listened to that album at least four times this week, marveling over the crazy sampling of Madlib and surreal lyrics of MF DOOM. "Accordion" is similar to Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" in its habit of busting in, shocking you with its ingenuity, then retreating back into the mystical haze it crept from. The video, just recently released, is pretty minimalist, featuring the masked DOOM rapping in a hallway. Madvillain is now at work on their second album, according to the website at Stones Throw Records.

Friday, January 25, 2008

International Player's Anthem

It's been a long time since I posted anything here on the Salad. I'm sure some of you have heard about the death of rapper Pimp C, one half of the southern group UGK. As a belated tribute I'm posting the video for their single "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)". UGK collaborated with Outkast on this track with spectacular results. The song is built around a sample of "I Choose You" by Willie Hutch, a 1970s Motown artist. Starting with a lovestruck verse by Andre 3000, Pimp C and Bun B later present a more cynical spin on love, incorporating Bentleys, hoes, and fairies into their warning. Bun B has perhaps the most memorable line of the song, "Easy as ABC/Simple as 1 2 3/ Get down with UGK/ Pimp C B U N B". Big Boi finishes out the song in his usual low key but brilliant style. The music video is excellent as well, featuring a kilted Andre 3000 and my man T-Pain as the choir director.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Singles Party - January 2008

Well, last night seemed to flow rather smoothly. Thanks to all of you who came out, or sent your music via the internet. Moustache Salad was really pleased with the turnout. Lots of great music was presented, and here it is.

Tracklist as played on 1/20/08:

1. "Playa Azul" by Los Amigos Invisibles (Josh)
2. "Never Meant" by American Football (Derek)
3. "Is There a Ghost?" by Band of Horses (Kyle)
4. "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard" by Paul Simon (Barbara)
5. "Stumble Then Rise On Some Awkward Morning" by A Silver Mount Zion (Igor)
6. "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan (Jacklynn)
7. "Who's Got The Crack?" by The Moldy Peaches (Clint)
8. "Fireworks" by Animal Collective (Ira)
9. "Loose Lips" by Kimya Dawson (L-Dogg)
10. "Cavaliers and Roundheads" by Bloc Party (Bo)
11. "Angeles" by Elliot Smith (Michael)
12. "Ain't No Reason" by Brett Dennen (Jeremy)
13. "Kill The Monsters In The Rain" by Steel Train (Matt)
14. "Harvest Breed" by Nick Drake (Nick)
15. "Pool Jam" by Shaquille O'Neal (Moustache Salad)
16. "On Judgment Day" by The Beautiful Girls (Aly)

Singles Party 1
Singles Party 2
Singles Party 3

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gregg, I Just Can’t Get Enough

I recently went back to my old high school to see one of my old teachers. While there I saw an assistant principal that I had made friends with by exchanging music. We became friends because I was wearing a Smiths shirt, and apparently he loves The Smiths. We traded music for the entirety of that year, and by far the favorite album that he lent me was Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too by New Radicals. You may be saying, “Aren’t they those guys that had that ‘You Only Get What You Give’ song about 10 years ago?” Yes, they were. The fact that most people ignore is that the song exists on an album; a really great album. Now, ten years after its release, I hope to re-introduce this band to whoever wants it. Ira says that Gregg Alexander’s voice reminds him of Bono, which I can hear. Other correlations between New Radicals and U2 are that Alexander criticizes popular culture with all its superficiality, although New Radicals was not as politically active by any means. Ironically, the single “You Only Get What You Give” turned out to be a huge commercial success, making it onto one of the NOW! compilation discs, and reaching #36 on the U.S. charts. After making this “hit” the band became a One-Hit-Wonder. Alexander couldn’t handle this, and broke up the band. Fortunately we still have this album.

Mother We Just Can’t Get Enough – New Radicals

I Don’t Want to Die Anymore – New Radicals

Jehovah Made This Whole Joint For You – New Radicals

Someday We’ll Know – New Radicals

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Coming off of recent movies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up and the past cult-hit television show Freaks and Geeks, Judd Apatow has become one of the biggest comedic writers in Hollywood today. After two amazingly funny and successful movies, it seemed that whatever he touched next would be gold. He began working on Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox story. The movie began to take off and was able to nab John C. Reilly (Chicago, Talladega Nights) as his leading man and Jenna Fischer (The Office’s Pam) as his leading lady. The movie is a parody of music bio-pics like Walk the Line and Ray. The movie follows Dewey Cox (Reilly) and his constant desire to live up to his brother’s expectations. The audience gets to see Cox’s entire life, from his years as a poor youth to his final days. Along the way, he meets music legend after music legend, including Elvis (Jack White), Buddy Holly (Frankie Muniz), the Beatles (Jack Black, Justin Long, Paul Rudd, and Jason Schwartzman) and more. Packing an acclaimed writer and two comedy veterans (not to mention an unbelievable list of celebrity cameos), Walk Hard was shaping up to be the comedy hit of the year.

However, a powerful team alone does not a good comedy make. Walk Hard, simply put, disappoints those who came in wanting the next laugh-til-it-hurts movie. By no means is the movie terrible, or even bad. It just wasn’t able to live up to its hype. The jokes are hit and miss. When some hit, they hit hard (the “dream” line towards the beginning of the movie was a personal favorite) and are gut-busting enough to keep the audience chuckling through the stinkers (of which there is no short supply). Most fall into the miss category, however, so be prepared to sit through dud after dud waiting for a big, or even decent, payoff.

The same is somewhat true about the music. Hit and miss, but with more being hit than miss. Some of the music in this movie is really incredible. It’s obvious that a lot of hard work went into the soundtrack for the movie, but it paid off. For being a fake artist who’s supposed to be one big joke, Dewey Cox is made all the more believable by his mostly stellar music catalogue. John C. Reilly really shows what he’s made of here, as every song uses the actors own voice for Dewey’s. While some aren’t exactly grade-A material, one, two, or maybe even most of these songs will somehow find a way into your own music library. The songs find a way to, for the most part, seamlessly flow into the movie and will have you tapping along with them, up until the surprisingly epic end song, “Beautiful Ride”. Again, while the movie is not exactly the best or funniest movie of the year, it is still far from the worst. Accessible to both fans of humor, fans of music, and especially those fans of humorous music, Dewey Cox will, at the very least, amuse you by the end of it. Hopefully Judd Apatow will find a way to bounce back to such sure-fire comedic hits, but the future is sketchy. For his next movie, he teams up writing with Adam Sandler for the movie “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”, starring Sandler as a Middle-Eastern agent (Sandler’s attempt at a “Borat”) who moves to New York to become a hair-stylist. Oh, and Rob Schneider’s in it, so hopes aren’t exactly high. Take this chance, don’t go in expecting too much, and enjoy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”, perhaps one of Apatow’s last, at least humorous movies before he totally jumps the shark.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Breaking News: Black Kids, Sufjan

Today Black Kids announced dates in the UK. Some will be free shows in the Vice Live tour. Others will be with Sons & Daughters in February, and wrapping up with the recently reviewed Kate Nash.
Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty have announced a DVD that will showcase the AK lineup, including four Sufjan videos. Read more at Pitchfork.

Album Review: Made of Bricks

Kate Nash has had lots of hype on blogs and in the indie genre in general. Her debut Made of Bricks was released back in August in the UK, but it dropped today here in the US. I was fairly excited to listen to this new artist that was receiving fairly good reviews from fairly reliable sources, but once I gave it a listen I realized it was just fair. This Regina Spektor wannabe failed to impress me. Almost every song on the album is about how she hates some guy, or she is in “love” with some guy, but she can’t have him. On the man-hater side of the album, she is just a bitch, and an inarticulate one at that. The first single from the album, “Foundations,” is an assault on a guy that she is with who annoys her and makes her completely unhappy. Some lyrics are quite shocking, “Then you’ll call me a bitch/ and everyone we’re with will be embarrassed/ but I won’t give a shit.” While others, like the chorus, are ill structured.

“My fingertips are holding on to the cracks in our foundation/ and I know that I should let go, but I can’t”

Why can’t you let go, Kate Nash? Is it because you love him? Because you are scared he will kill you? Because an eleven foot gorilla is holding you at gunpoint? Please, develop your lyrics before you sing them, Kate. Oh, and “Dickhead” has the lyric “Why ya bein’ a dickhead for?” as the oh-so-eloquent motif. Please.

While she has her many weak points, I can find some light in her catchy, radio-friendly music. She also has some more mature songs. The first is a song about a misunderstood little girl, who does not fit into her world at all. “Mariella,” tells the story of a rebellious young girl, who is too mature for her own good. Another high point is the gentle, earnest, but also selfish “Nicest Thing.” Nash sings about a man, who she knows would be perfect for her. Her vulnerability is palpable in her lines  “I wish the way I smile was your favorite kind of smile,” but her love is almost suffocating, “I wish without me you couldn’t eat.” This genuineness is what makes the song work however, because she is singing what she really feels, and not what others think she should. The highlight of the album musically is the closer, “Little Red.” This song is truly beautiful. Told from the point of view of Nash’s perfect man, woos this girl who is disenchanted with her current state. This new man comes to rescue her from her mundane, moldy life.

“Come on with me and we'll have a little fun/ It's not too dangerous, yeah, and we won't hurt anyone/ Yeah, we'll cause some havoc between the birds and the bees/ We'll paint the  town red and we'll shake the trees.” 

With her easily digestible lyrics and pop-culture whetting melodies, I am sure Kate Nash will find her niche in high school drama queens and mix stations across the country.

Nicest Thing - Kate Nash

Little Red - Kate Nash

I give Made of Bricks a Thin Frenchman Moustache+ (2.5 out of 5)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Moustache Party.

Yay it's a Moustache Party featuring our favorite Moustache Clad foursome. Well, maybe Kele or Matt have a moustache every now and then, but that's neither here nor there.
What party we are celebrating are some of my favorite remixes of Bloc Party songs, starting off with none other than the classic, Banquet. A Moustache-ified Banquet, to be precise.

Banquet (Black Moustache Remix)

Two More Years (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Plans (Remixed by Mogwai)

Helicopter (Whitey Version)

Where Is Home (Burial Remix)

The Prayer (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix)

Hunting for Witches (Crystal Castles Remix)

Helicopter (Allen Breakneck Mix)

It's hard to restrain myself from posting many many more remixes, but these should do (for now). Bloc Party is one of the most tempting bands to remix, and I'm glad so many electronica artists love to remix Bloc Party as much as I love to listen to the remixes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Every Time Is The Last Time

Better time than ever to wrap up the music of 2007.

Worthwhile honorable mentions.

No World For Tomorrow – Coheed & Cambria
Boxer – The National
Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon – Devendra Banhart
Hvarf-Heim - Sigur Rós
Plague Park – Handsome Furs
Scary Kids Scaring Kids – Scary Kids Scaring Kids
The Bird of Music – Au Revoir Simone
You, You'e a History in Rust - Do Make Say Think
Yours Truly, Angry Mob – Kaiser Chief
Fantastic Playroom – New Young Pony Club
Sky Blue Sky – Wilco
Downtown Battle Mountain – Dance Gavin Dance
The Reminder - Feist
Andorra - Caribou
Cease To Begin – Band of Horses
I-Empire – Angels & Airwaves
The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga – Spoon
Riot – Paramore
Yours To Keep – Albert Hammond, Jr.
Colors - Between The Buried and Me
Plagues - The Devil Wears Prada
Justice - †
Burial - Untrue

now the big money

20. Pocket Symphony – Air

19. Sound Of Silver – LCD Soundsystem

18. Icky Thump – The White Stripes

17. Writer’s Block – Peter, Bjorn & John

16. Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? - of Montreal

15. The Shepard’s Dog – Iron & Wine

14. Some Loud Thunder – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

13. Robbers & Cowards – Cold War Kids

12. All of the Sudden, I Miss Everyone – Explosions In The Sky

11. Worse Than A Fairy Tale - Drop Dead, Gorgeous

10. Mirrored – Battles

9. Because of the Times – Kings of Leon

8. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank – Modest Mouse

7. On Letting Go – Circa Survive

6. Wincing the Night Away – The Shins

5. Our Love to Admire – Interpol

4. In Rainbows- Radiohead

3. Bone Pallace Ballet – Chiodos

2. Neon Bible – The Arcade Fire

1. A Weekend In The City – Bloc Party

It was a great year for a lot of music. This list is mostly arbitrary, with its highest emphasis on Album playtime and my general demeanor towards the band.

Granted there are plenty of albums not on the honorable mention that are great additions to any library, and there are plenty albums I have yet to intensely give a chance, but will continue to. Its only been a year, and significantly less for many releases.