Tag Archives: Fun

Album Review: Electric Six – Human Zoo

Electric Six - Human ZooI remember the very first time Electric Six (E6) hit my ears.

I was working at a Borders Books, Music & Cafe in some fancy Cleveland suburb one night just minding my own business.  One of my co-workers was unpacking all of the promotional CDs for the listening booths and asked me to help him out.

Flashback Memory: As I am sure many of your remember, there was a time when CDs were the staple of the music industry and at Borders, we literally had to manually input CDs into the CD players that were locked below the CD shelves.  This was done so all you consumers could come in and check out an album prior to its release.  Duh.

Anyways, I remember seeing a copy of E6’s debut release Fire sitting out on the counter.  For whatever reason, I picked up the CD to see what it was all about and soon flipped it over to see the track titles.  I decided to sneak in a listen after I put the CD into the listening station.  I have been a fan ever since.  I just sat there on the floor of the music department loving every song on that title.  Needless to say, I snagged that CD the day it officially released and have had it in rotation for years.

I can’t say every release since Fire had as huge of an impact on me, but I have always appreciated what Dick Valentine and crew have done for 10+ years now.  Last years Mustang left a pretty good impression on me, but I just was not blown away completely.

The Detroit garage/rock/funk/disco/jam/electronica/jack-of-all-trades genre-bending act just dropped an all new album titled Human Zoo.  I am happy to say I mostly enjoyed the living hell out of it and I am pretty confident any E6 fan out there will too.

“Karate Lips” opened with an enthusiastic chant of “Electric Six” that quickly changed to “karate lips”.   The song, clearly about some tough-ass women, was heavy on the funk with an electric indie rock style that closely resembled stuff you might hear from the The Faint.

“It’s Horseshit!” was almost too much for my brain to compute yet I loved it.  It was like listening to a late 80s boy baElectric Sixnd infused with Daft Punk.  Definitely a track that people can get weird to.  The music and just overall feel of this song really resembled that vibe I first felt on Fire.

Valentine swooned beyond senselessly in “Alone With Your Body”.  I listened to this track a couple of times over because I liked it so much.  This was like the working man’s love jam.  Valentine sang as a simple man with plenty of Detroit soul backing him up.  I adored the back up singing as well as candid lyrics like “I’ll be there in a jiffy with a stiffy”.

“Satanic Wheels” grew on me after listening to it a couple of times.  I loved the synth throughout.  I felt like I was listening to typical E6 but with keyboard playing taking queues from 80s arena rock bands.  It was psychedelic yet indie if that makes sense.  I guess what I am trying to say is that this song ruled and was one of my favorites on the album.

“Gun Rights” was bizarre and unexpected.  I thought I was listening to Ween mashed with Mike Patton.  “Don’t take away my rights, my gun rights” repeated over and over with a fun Mexican folk melody.  The quick spoken-word of Valentine in the middle just kept things even more interesting.

“I Need A Restaurant” just did not do it for me.  The song seemed to just downgrade from all the craziness I previously was engulfed in.  Sadly, I skipped this track halfway into and barely made it through “Worst Movie Ever”.

“I’m the Devil” sounded more like something Tenacious D would have done one of their albums.  It was not terrible by any means but seemed more of a skit than a song.  I almost wish Dave Grohl would have jumped in on this track dressed as the devil.  I did like the Young Guns-like guitar playing style.  The best part of this track was at the very end when apparently Jesus Christ had a speaking roll.  Who knew he was such a burnout?

“The Afterlife” ended with a synth-pop tune that thankfully did not let the album end on a bad note for this listener.  I wish it were a little more sped up but for what it is worth, it was not a terrible listen by any means.

Human Zoo overall was a blast.  E6 continues to entertain but I will admit the latter portion of the album kind of fell short.   Regardless, most of the release got me all sorts of excited just like their debut did over 10 years ago.  This band in my opinion still entertains on a higher level.

All I Want For Jesus Day Is Expensive Gear

Yeah Jesus Day…  It’s coming.

I am going to skip the commentary about everything Jesus Day related and get to the point of this post.

Guitar Center has found a really unique way to tell your loved ones what toys you want for the holidays.  Now normally I am not one to dish out retail giant superstore selling techniques but I really got a kick out of this.  Imagine a wish list turned into something actually interesting to look at.  People are able to take items off their wish lists on Guitar Center’s website and slap them onto a personalized concert flier.

Thanks to a genius idea music lovers can visit Guitar Center’s website, pick out what instruments or accessories they desire for the holiday of their choice, and then incorporate them into a concert flier of sorts.  The flier can then be printed out or better yet added to Facebook or Twitter.

HERE is my wish list for Jesus Day 2009

Pretty cool huh?

Of course I am not totally serious about mine as I am not much the musician but I am not going to complain if someone buys me anything off that list…

Here are what a few of them look like default-wise…

What’s So Great About The Grates?

I love it when I hear a song that I have to listen to over and over again because I like it so much.  I put it on replay so that each time it plays though I can find something else about that song, perhaps a certain beat or a lyric that I might have missed around the first time.

This is the case with a song titled “Burn Bridges” that my pals over at Thirty Tigers sent me this afternoon to check out.  The song is by an Australian band called The Grates who will actually be releasing their sophomore album titled Teeth Lost, Hearts Won through Thirty Tigers.

One listen to this song and there is a pretty good chance you are going to think The Grates are great too.  It has this Mates Of State positive-makes-you-want-to-smile feel while at the same time being edgy and aggressive.  I can hear hints of female driven 90’s bands as well as current indie rock style providing for a great listen.  With the lead vocalist Patience sounding a lot like a young Gwen Stefani (before the solo crap) this band exempts a lot of energy and aggressive raw fun.  I am really looking forward to hearing the rest of Teeth Lost, Hearts Won.  The album drops on September 15th.

To add to my excitement the band is actually going to be playing some shows with my favorite ladies Those Darlins.  Sadly they will not make it to the Cleveland show next week when Those Darlins return but I guess I will live.  Hopefully they will make a stop here sometime soon.  They sound like they would be a lot of fun to see live.

DOWNLOAD THIS!The Grates – “Burn Bridges”

So seriously, did you dig that song as much as I did?  Do you want more?  Well head over to their MySpace page for a bunch of other tracks.

Better yet, have some fun and watch their videos:

The Grates Live (More Dates TBA):
September 3rd – Boston, MA – The Middle East Upstairs w/ Viennagram
September 4th – New York, NY – The Mercury Lounge w/ Tiger City
September 13th – Morrison, CO – The Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks
September 18th – Phoenix, AZ – The Rhythm Room w/ Most Serene Republic
September 19th – Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland w/ Most Serene Republic
October 8th – Little Rock, AR – Whitewater Tavern w/ Those Darlins
October 9th – Norman, OK – The Opolis w/ Those Darlins
October 10th – Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall w/ Those Darlins
October 14th – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court w/ Those Darlins
October 16th – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern w/ Those Darlins
October 18th – Eugene, OR – Sams Bonds Garage w/ Those Darlins
October 20th – San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Stop w/ Those Darlins
October 27th – Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad w/ Those Darlins
October 29th – Dallas, TX – The Cavern w/ Those Darlins
October 30th – Austin, TX – The Continental Club w/ Those Darlins

Band info:

Australia’s The Grates are set to release their anticipated sophomore album Teeth Lost, Hearts Won on September 15th via Thirty Tigers/Dew Process. The 13-song album was produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut and features guest appearances by Kori Gardner of Mates of State (vocals on “Milk Eyes“) and Tim Fite (vocals on “Not Today”). On this album, the follow up to their 2006 Interscope Records debut, Gravity Won’t Get You High, The Grates have brought a depth and density to the songwriting – the lyrics are raw and poignant and the sonics more biting and aggressive.

“If Teeth Lost, Hearts Won was a beast, I imagine it’d be like something from Where The Wild Things Are,” lead singer and front woman Patience says. “They’re big and scary, but they’ve also got this sensitivity, and pick up the little kid and protect him.” Drummer Alana adds, “Or maybe like the griffin In Alice In Wonderland. He’s like a lion and eagle together, but a really gentle creature.”

The band, who have recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY in order to make American touring easier, have confirmed a co-headlining tour with Those Darlins in October. Fresh off a completely sold out residency in New York City and various dates supporting Passion Pit, the band have also confirmed a performance at the Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks on September 13th (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Mars Volta, etc) with additional live dates with Most Serene Republic.

In Australia, The Grates have played numerous sold out headline tours, played major festivals such as Big Day Out, Homebake, Falls Festival, Southbound and stole the show at Splendour In The Grass. Gravity Won’t Get You High has gone Gold in Australia while Teeth Lost, Hearts Won is well on its way to Gold status as well.

The American record release follows a highly successful trip to the U.S. for the SXSW Music Festival in March. While in Austin, the band played five buzzed about shows in four days and gained a massive amount of recognition for their highly energetic performances.

What The French…Toast? – Endless Soybeans

Once in a while I come across something so strange on the internet that I just need to share it with everyone.  In doing so I will start a new random posting called What The French…Toast?  The post will be aimed at making you scratch your head and think WTF???

Endless Soybeans (found on www.japantrendshop.com)

Mugen Edame Soybean Keychain
Mugen Edame Endless Soybeans Keychain
 From Bandai, the makers of the immensely popular PuchiPuchi Virtual Bubble Wrap comes the adorable and no less addictive Mugen Edamame Keychain. The edamame (soybeans) can be popped in and out of their pod, evoking the sense of eating one of Japan’s favorite snacks while satisfying pop-happy fingers at the same time.

I want.  This is awesome…