Thursday, December 28, 2006

Johnny Drama's Resume

From one of the best shows on TV, HBO's Entourage. Here is the world famous Johnny Drama's Resume. Click on Resume to ENLARGE.

Source: Entertainment Weekley

Tapes N Tapes- Live on Letterman

The indie Milwaukee band makes it TV debut from this past summer Live on "the Late Show with David Letterman." A great hypnotic track and performance of the best song on the album "Insistor".

2007 Albums To Look Out For

So 2006 has come and gone and as we approach the new year, here are some of the most anticipated albums coming out in '07 to look out for.

The Good, The Bad, The Queen - Self Titled Debut
The ultimate super group arranged by musical genius Damion Alburn (Blur, Gorillaz) is an ambient, English rock band featuring bassist Paul Simonon of The Clash, Verve/ Gorillaz guitarist Simon Tong (aka Noodle from Gorrilaz), and legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen. For me this is the most anticipated record to come out next year and in a very long time, I simply cannot wait to hear what these guys can do for a full length. Not to mention the whole album is being produced by Danger Mouse. Happy New Year it truly is. You can preview tracks at the bands website . The album hits state-side Jan. 22.

Bloc Party- A Night in the City
England's new wave, elctro-rock and my 2005 obsession fire back with their sophomore album, a follow up to 2005's critically acclaimed Silent Alarm. Seven of the new tracks have already leaked on-line, they are unpolished demos and if that is any indication of how the rest of the record will be, Bloc Party will reach new heights and even more acclaim. The lead off single, "The Prayer" is available for download on iTunes and on 45" (yes, they still put out 45' records). The album is slated for a Feb 12 release.

The Shins- Still Untitled
Natalie Portman told the world to take a listen "because this band will change your life, I swear," in the film Garden State. For most people it really did, for others it was some obscure band that will never go anywhere (and those are the people that really have no business talking about music anyway), the West Coast band is slated to release their third album in the forthcomming year and after previewing some of the tracks myself, it is some of the darkest and heaviest sounding music The Shins have done. Album is slated for an Jan 30 release.

Velvet Revolver- Liberated
Ok lets look at the list:
Cut up demiem-check
Old school faded GNR T-shirt-check
Bottle of Jack-Check
Mullet-Look for someone else

White trash makes its way back into the ears and hearts of the supergroups core fans. I wouldnt expect anything diffrent from the GNR thrash rock and Scott Weilands perfect rock vocals. Fans of 2004's Contraband, like myself, will really enjoy the sophmore effort from the 1990's favorite sons. The album is rumored to be produced by The Neptunes and long time STP producer Brendon O'Brien. Look for it early summer.

Scott Wieland-Still Untitled
Former STP frontman, and current Velvit Revolver frontman follows up his 1998 solo debut 12 Bar Blues with a sophmore effort 10 years, many visits to rehab, a new band, new girlfriend in the making. I absolutly loved 12 Bar Blues, the Bowie influenced record proved Wieland to be more than a singer but an artist. Like his current bands effort the album is also rumored to be produced by The Neptunes and Brendon O'Brien. Look for it Late Fall.

Portishead- Still Untitled
The Kings and Queen of ambiant electro are excited and hard at work to release their third record, probably because it took over a decade for the English band to deminish its hiatus to return to making the seductive, sexy and moody music. Look for it this summer.

Duran Duran-Untitled
The follow up to 2004's Astronaut finds the legendary Austrialian band back in the studio with first time producer Timbaland. Simon LeBon and Co. are hoping Timba can work the magic he brought to resurrecting Nelly Furtando's carreer and the number one spots he provided for Justin Timberlake. Should be one of 2007's most interesting releases.

Other records to keep an eye out for in 2007:
Bright Eyes -Cassadega- Spring
Arcade Fire- Neon Bible-Spring
Nine Inch Nails- Summer
Radiohead- Summer

Friday, December 15, 2006


Great Commercials U2 did to endorse this years World Cup...aka best sporting event ever.

This is a highlight Video from the last game when Italy beat France and took home the Worlds Greatest Prize.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

2006 The Albums-Top 10

Here it is, what I have been stringing all of you along for...My top 10 list of the best albums of 2006, you have seen the Honorable Mentions, you have seen the League of their Own, now in full, short and long list of the best of the year....

For those with ADD here is the short list:
10- Brand New-The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me
9-The Streets- The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living
8-Protest The Hero-Kezia
7-Patent Pending-Save Each Other, The Whales are Doing Fine
6-As Tall As Lions
5-Richard Ashcroft-Keys to the World
4-The Loved Ones-Keep Your Heart
3-Gnarls Barkley-St. Elsewhere
2-Bouncing Souls-The Gold Record
1-Pearl Jam

In Long Form:

10. Brand New- The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me

Could this be the soundtrack to Donnie Darko? Or just a subliminal S.O.S.? You decide, I reviewed the record in full on my first post (see Nov. 2006). It is the first of three Long Island bands on my list.

Key Tracks: Millstone, Archers

9. The Streets- The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living

The idea of the white rapper has never really received much praise and especially when you are British. However, The Streets (aka Mike Skinner), has conceived a record so honest, so overt that every rapper in "the game" should take note. Before their was Lady Sovereign, there was The Streets, the group that made British hip hop listenable. On Skinners third disc, he drops the bravado and stops trying to sound like Dizzie Rascal and becomes himself. Its a full on poetic diary of what its like being on cocaine, making music, touring and oh yeah getting millions of dollars (or pounds) to do it. Skinner makes hip-hop emotional, much like his American counterparts, Atmosphere and Sage Francis, he does a grassroots hip hop record that not only transcends but translates across the pond, and leaves you wanting more.
Key Tracks: Prangin Out, Never Went to Church

8. Protest The Hero-Kezia

If Cedric Baxter (during his At the Drive-in days) fronted Killswitch Engage, the result would be Protest The Hero. This stellar debut from this Canadian Quintet is the only concept record you should buy this year, it tells the story of a female religious and political protester during the French Revolution named Kezia. How the record is presented is another story, it plays like the greatest soundtrack ever conceived, the album is broken down through three stories, the story of the girl Kezia, the Priest who tries to help her yet ends up falling in love with her and the executioner who is ordered to pull the slipknot and have her life taken, yet he even ends up believing in the protests Kezia has displayed. Its an album thriving with emotional angst, confusion and anger.
Key Tracks: No Stars Over Bethlehem, Heretics and Killers

7. Patent Pending- Save Each Other, The Whales are Doing Fine

The most fun you will have listening to any band or album this year. Patent Pending packs more energy than a case of Red Bull, this Long Island band (the second of three on my list) creates a high energy and originality that if this formula could be sold on shelves they would already be millionaires. However, the album does not do the band justice, it is a fantastic fun voyage, yet it is missing one thing...what their live shows are like. Out of the hundreds of bands I have seen in my day, no one goes on and takes the stage and turns it into a full on traveling McDonalds playground quiet like Patent Pending, just ask anyone from WQAQ or who caught them on this summers Warped Tour, or opening for Gym Class Hero's this fall. Every up and coming punk band should take note on how these guys perform, market themselves and make records. Save Each Other, is a must own.
Key Tracks: Los Angeles, Cheer Up Emo Kid

6. As Tall As Lions

Beautiful, ambitious and astounding are three words that sum of As Tall As Lions sophomore record. The last of three Long Island bands on my list, make their way into the minds and hearts of everyone that presses play to begin listening to the album. It opens up and closes like a crashing wave hitting the beaches of their native Long Island. Its a disc for fans of Coldplay and early Radiohead and one that will certainly not disappoint.
Key Tracks: Love Love Love (Love Love), Ghost of York

5. Richard Ashcroft-Keys to the World

The former lead singer of the Verve, fires back with an album comparable to his namesakes first two records. On Ashcrofts third album, he takes what made the Verve so popular and perfects it on his own. Fantastic song writing and arrangements and it doesn't hurt that he had a little push from Coldplay for hand picking him for the third leg of their "Twisted Logic" World Tour.
Key Tracks: Keys to the World, Why Not Nothing

4. The Loved Ones- Keep Your Heart

This Jersey based super group, yes an indie-punk super group so-to-speak featuring members of Kid Dynamite, The Explosion and touring musicians of the Bouncing Souls. This trio caught listeners attention with their self titled Jadetree E.P. that mixed the rockabilly of The Clash, the emotional value of the Bouncing Souls and the thrashing guitars of The Ramones made listeners and fans wanting more and knowing that a full on L.P. will be great. Their Fat Wreck Chords Debut was released in March and has practically not left my CD player, it contains a new version of 100K which also appeared on the E.P. . Its a fast, furious and fun album.
Key Tracks: The Odds, Jane

3. Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere

One reviewer said it best "If Marvin Gaye had the ability to sample, Gnarls Barkley would be it." The genius of Danger Mouse, fronted by the soul of Cee-lo created the most ambitious and hypnotic record of the year. The fact that the hit single "Crazy," which has stolen the radio air-waves world wide is my favorite song this year and is the worst track on the record speaks volumes to how fantastic St. Elsewhere truly is. Its the best produced, creative and assembled musical journey this year, in other words....its a trip.
Key Tracks: Go-Go Gadget Gone, Necromancer

2. Bouncing Souls- The Gold Record.

Before Joe Strummer passed away, he stated "I wake up everyday and thank God for Punk Rock." Strummer would be smiling down from the gates of heaven with this legendary Jersey bands latest effort. Its the most polished the Souls have ever been on wax, they keep to their roots, a record full of heart, love and of course fast punk rock. What the Souls do on The Gold Record that they have never done before was have someone else write their lyrics, its only done on the track "Letter From Iraq," written and sung by a former U.S. military personal it tells the story of the Living Hell and the mess that Bush has created. In all else, what is in a name says it all, this record is Gold.
Key Tracks: So Jersey, Letter From Iraq

1. Pearl Jam

Break out your flannel, grow out your hair and cut up your denim cuz this records for you! The legendary Seattle quintet are back and better than ever on their eighth record and the best they have released since 98's Yield. Vedder and Co. take on everything from the Bush administration, to FEMA, to the economy and of course make it sound so good, that no other band has made you want to stand up and raise a fist in the air and take action since Rage Against the Machine. Pearl Jam return to their punk roots with that legendary grunge sound that made them what they are today. If their is one record you own, listen to, or buy before the end of 2006, this is it.
Key Tracks: Unemployable, World Wide Suicide.

So that's it, my list in full of the best of 2006. You read everything elese. The next few posts wont be as long and will probably be videos or MP3's or something I promise. Thanks for reading...

Saturday, December 2, 2006

2006 The Albums- League of Their Own

When Radiohead released Kid A back in the fall of 2000, one reviewer said it best..."The Greatest Things In Life Cannot Be Talked About, They Must Be Experienced." That sums up Kid A and some music to come out after. Kid A, much like their previous effort Ok Computer, were albums ahead of their time and generation. Still to this day I cannot even describe the genius quality of these discs. So with that, and as mentioned in a previous post, at the end of each year on "All Things Rock," I would give away a special award to a band that has released an album light years ahead of anything we are ready for now, or has resurrect a new genre much like what The Strokes did with their debut Is This It, and something that is far greater for any list and needs it own category. That is "The League of Their Own." In the past I have given it to the following:

2003-The White Stripes- Elephant
2004-The Killers- Hot Fuss
2005- The Mars Volta- Francis the Mute

and now for 2006, it goes to a stellar band and a group I am proud to say is from New York (Brooklyn Make Some Noise!) TV on the Radio- Return to Cookie Mountain.

TV on the Radio, a favorite amongst the indie, ambient, music nerd crowd (much like myself), broke out onto the scene in 2004 with their critically acclaimed debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. Their sophomore effort, this years recipient of "The League of Their Own," delivers a sound so unpolished, so futuristic and so dope words cannot describe. Its a record mixed with Bjork style beats, hip-hop inspired ryhthems and garage rock agression. It is an album that needs to be listened to by all and will take a very long time to understand and figure out what is going on, because lets face it, its music for the next generation, we may not comprehend it now, but our children and our childrens children will eat it up down the line.
Key Tracks: Wolf Like Me, I Was A Lover.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

2006 The Albums-Honorable Mentions

For some odd reason I find myself making list most of the time, lists of pretty much anything, categorizing and prioritizing, music is no exception. So as of now I am going to start my end of the year music wrap. Maybe Ill do one with movies and live shows as well.

Back in the day I used to cohost a radio show called "All Things Rock," on 98.1 WQAQ, and we always used to have theme shows or special programming, every year the one episode we always did that I looked forward to was the end of the year wrap up. We would discuss what happened the past 12 months in music and it was always the best show we did and the most fun I had on air, all three of us had different opinions and different records we really rocked out.

So to begin my list, here are my "honorable mentions of 2006", albums that were really good but not good enough to crack my top 10.

For those with a ADD or cant stand to have me ramble on, here is the list without explanations.
In no particular order:

-The Killers-Sam's Town
-Bruce Springsteen and the Seager Sessions Band-We Shall Overcome
-Bob Dylan-Modern Times
-Joseph Arthur-Nuclear Daydream

Now with explanations:

We all know the story by now, its members of At the Drive-In that didnt go to Mars Volta. That is old news and in case you lived under a rock for the past six years, thats the update. This is the bands third disc and probably their most fluid and concreate effort to date. Mixing the soul of U2 and the sound of early Radiohead (back when they played with fuzzy guitars and bass), Threes is a record of looking foward, whereas the last two efforts from the San Antonio quartet have been of rememberance and looking at how things could have been. The band nearly broke up before they entered the studio, orginal guitar player Paul Hinjaor, left to go join, unsurprisingly, The Mars Volta. However, the band pushed foward, got a new man on axe and delivered their most mature and surprising effort to date.
KEY TRACKS: Atlas, Untreatable Disease.

The Killers-Sam's Town.
Ok, its not funny anymore, stop making fun of this record--that goes to you as well Brandon Flowers! After a few spins, Sam's Town plays like an Americana Opera. Maybe not a very good one, but one that is enjoyable after it grows on you. Arena rock meets synth-pop on the Las Vegas group’s sophomore effort. What Sam’s Town seems to lack, that made The Killers debut Hot Fuss such an entertaining experience is the cleaver lyrical satire, for example, from Hot Fuss the single “All These Thing’s I’ve Done,” lines such as, “These changes ain't changing me. The gold-hearted boy I used to be,” and “I got soul but I am not a Solider.” However, what makes The Killer’s sophomore effort stand out from their debut is the how the band has grown as musicians. Singer Brandon Flowers projects his voice to ranges his audience has not heard and we attend to the rhythm section provided by drummer Ronnie Vannucci and bassist Mark Stoermer has gotten much stronger. Sam’s Town seems to be concentrating more on a musical journey, where Hot Fuss was a fun, rambunctious record that brought snyth-pop back to the mainstream. It is defiantly worth a listen, the record features guest appearances by members of Louis XIV and is produced by Flood (U2, Brian Eno).
KEY TRACKS: When You Were Young, Sam's Town

Bruce Springsteen and The Seager Sessions Band-We Shall Overcome.
I know its wierd that this record is not in my top 10, but its an album of covers. A record that took me a little while to even respect, but once I got into it I realzied how important this is for our state of the union. New Jersey God (There is only one), Springsteen has this funny way of making America remember its roots, after 9/11 The Rising was released an album dedicated to the idea of the American Dream and what the world is like with something missing from the New York skyline. He does this again with We Shall Overcome, a record of bluegrass and country tracks orginially done by Pete Seager. Now this record, more important than ever living in a post-Katrina society and trying to rebuild on the music an lifestyle N'Awlins gave to the United States.
Key Tracks:Pay Me My Money Down, Old Dan Tucker

Bob Dylan-Modern Times.
There is nothing modern about this release, its a stripped down rockabilly rock and roll record with production not up to par, or something else Dylan would say about the current state of recorded music. But it is a worthwhile album to check out, Dylan fans will go crazy over it, where as the casual Dylan listener like myself will find themselves just enjoying the music, or just smug assholes will play it at Starbucks and think they are cool with there double decafee late and mocha sprinkles. Something like that, its an album that affirms Bob's time has come and gone, he has written everything he ever needed to and not that he should stop making music, but just keep having fun.
Key Tracks: Rollin' and Tumblin', The Levees Gonna Break

Joseph Arthur-Nuclear Daydream.
I just absolutly love this record from start to finish. My take on it is, if John Lennon and George Harrison were alive today and wanted to do something really cool and unique with a fresh new band..say The Shins..Nuclear Daydream would be the end result. On Arthurs sophmore disc he spans the creative energy that some indie rockers wish they had or are just too smug to be energetic. His influences are obvious, they are Beatles, the solo works of Lennon and Harrison and the works of his peers today. It is a fantastic album that is totally worthwhile to pick up and really fun to listen to.
Key Tracks: Slide Away, Too Much to Hide.

Comming Soon: 10 best albums of 2006 and League of Thier Own

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stay Tuned

In Mid September I worked on a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for HIV/AID's Awareness. The spots were directed by Liev Schrieber (Manchurian Candidate, Everything Is Illuminated and soon to be starring in CSI) and Rosie Perez (White Men Cant Jump, Do The Right Thing) and were shot by Matty Libatique (Inside Man, Requiem for a Dream). You will recognize many faces from this all-star campaign. Much fun to have worked on and getting to know the talent.

The spots will be airing nationally on cable TV starting Dec. 1. A Documentary was also produced, I will let you know when that airs.

Here is the link. Check it out, let me know what you think:

Online and In Print

The Dynamic Duo of Bill Reese and Myself joined again to review (Bill) and Photograph (Me) another concert. In late October we shot Sparta/SoundTeam/As Tall As Lions at New York's Irving Plaza.

Here is the article and our work together...and we made the front cover again (First time was when we shot this past summers AmsterJam).

Bill gives the show justice, As Tall as Lions another fantastic band to come out of Long Island stole the show. While Sound Team was unlistenable, Sparta opening with high energy and faded away, one of the weaker performances I have seen of that band, yet, still pretty good.

Here are some more pics of the night:

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Hello All,

So why am I doing this..hmm..basically what this blog is for is to post album reviews, movies and things that are going on with me. I think its the easiest way to keep everyone posted on what I'm into and whats going on. So, why should you care?....A lot of people have been asking me for music and movie updates, whats good, what sucks and what you need to hear, see and discover and thats cool. Well, the best way to display that is through this and reach as many people as I can, and if you decide to click on the little link in my profile and check out what I gotta say....Thanks...if not, piss off :). I will try and update this as often as I can. I think I can include photo's to this as well, so as soon as I learn how to navigate and use this better, the content will beef up.

Also, for those of you that know me best, my spelling and grammer will be terrable as always. Thank God for the person that created spellcheck.

As for now check out:

Brand New's new album "The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me." Fellow Long Island natives of mine have grown up and gotten out of the "emo" genre that they helped launch to the mainstream. Singer Jesse Lacey has written some of the darkest and deepest lyrics this past year. From the track "Millstone," Lacey expresses:

"I used to pray a God was listening.I used to make my parents proud.I was the glue that kept my friends together,Now they don't talk and we don't go out.I used to know the name of every person I kissed.Now I made this bed and I can't fall asleep in it."

Just a taste of what the rest of the record is like, it sounds like the slower songs from Deja Entandu mixed with a spiritual edge and division not herd since U2's "War." Lacey is a divided soul that cant make up his mind about anything, hence probably why the record took almost three years to make.

Unfortunaly the creative work of this band is on tour with the uncreative Dashboard Confessional this holiday season. They make a tript MSG on Dec. 8, its worth it to see Brand New (who put on one hell of a live show), and their new material. Then get up and leave after their set is done so you dont have to suffer through the 13 and 16 year old girls screaming at Chris Carrabba (Emo"s Nick Lachey).

So thats what this blog will be about. Until next time.