Monday, July 27, 2009

Round Two for Flight of the Conchords

Earning a place under the "reasons to dance" tag, Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie annouced the title and release date for their sophomore album. I Told You I was Freaky will hit stores October 20 courtesy of Sub Pop Records. TMI cannot wait.

But hey, if the suspense is too much for you, FotC has been releasing one single a week on iTunes, so you can appease your need for cheekiness until October.

Expect a review, kids.

The tracklisting is as follows:

01. Hurt Feelings
02. Sugalumps
03. We’re Both in Love with a Sexy Lady
04. I Told You I Was Freaky
05. Demon Woman
06. Rambling Through the Avenues of Time
07. Fashion Is Danger
08. Petrov, Yelyena and Me
09. Too Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor)
10. You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute
11. Friends
12. Carol Brown
13. Angels

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coldplay : Strawberry Swing Music Video

I meant to mention this a few days ago but forgot. Coldplay released their music video for "Strawberry Swing," off of last year's album, Viva la Vida. Honestly, it's one of the more inspired videos I've seen in ages. For one thing, it has a plot. That's always a plus. The gist is that Chris Martin is a super hero. The presentation is a mix of live action and animation, using giant chalk drawings on cement as a setting for Martin's do-gooder as he sets out to save a damsel in distress from a villainous squirrel. It's actually very well done, and looks like it must have taken a lot of work to plan and execute.

So far, the video is not embeddable (is that a word?) so I can only provide the link to the site. Seriously though, check it out. I can almost guarantee you that this is the coolest music video you've seen a long time.

If you're lazy or need more convincing, the trailer which was released a while ago is below.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TMI Turns Two

Well, it seems that another year has gone by, and we're still here. In the past few months TMI had some pretty cool posts, if I don't say so myself. Here are a few highlights.

The Musically Inclined...

As you can see, it's been a good time and this next year, hopefully, will be even better. Thanks for reading and stay tuned, kids!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rob Thomas : Cradlesong

Game face.
Four years ago, Rob Thomas released his first solo album, Something to Be, an album riddled with as much angst and identity confusion as any Matchbox Twenty album, but with an inch-thick coating of studio gloss. With a handful of really blazing tracks, Something to Be could safely be classified as a "strong" album and it's debut at no. 1 can certainly attest to that.

In present times though, Thomas's latest, Cradlesong, follows weakly in the vain of it's predecessor-- it's not a bad effort, it's just not up to par.

Welcome to middle age.

In the 90s, Thomas wrote about emotional and situational turbulence. He attacked every syllable with an exasperation-tinged anger. It sounded raw, even within the confines of 90's pop rock and any given song was more about his own catharsis than anything else.

And in 2009? Thomas is mellowing out and aiming right down the middle of the road. That's fine. Something to Be was a clear sign that Thomas was taking a more mature direction, but he did it well and he did it naturally. This time, Thomas' latest feels flat. Even his abilities as a songwriter are squandered on frequently vague, generic songs that don't hold much promise for an extended shelf life.

Take "Someday." With lines like "maybe someday we will live our lives out loud," the song is so vanilla, it's shameful. Or there's the robotically peppy "Real World '09." Considering Matchbox Twenty's "Real World" and how earnest it sounded, this new version shoots for the angst that Thomas used to channel with ease, but winds up sounding uncomfortably forced. "Welcome to the real world, nobody told you it was going to be hard, Hey ya, welcome to the real world, we barely started now we're falling apart." Barely started what? It would maybe be appropriate as an anthem for the class of '09 given the current economic situation, but Thomas is nearly 40. It's like a 50-year-old woman at a Jo Bros concert. And moreover, it comes off like some fusion of the theme song from Friends and "No Such Thing" by John Mayer.

That's not to say that every song is a dud, though. If more songs on the album had the mildly weird intrigue (thank you, toy piano) of "Her Diamonds," Thomas would be in better shape.

"Gasoline" and "Give Me the Meltdown" have some kick to them as well. "Gasoline"'s synth guitars have a smooth, vaguely 80s west coast sound that's actually really cool, while "Give Me the Meltdown" is radio-ready energy, complete with infectious hook.

Unfortunately it's hard to say if tracks like those are enough to compensate for something like "Fire on the Mountain," an attempt at being an epic (social? political?) statement amid angry guitars and Thomas' raw-throated vocals.

Really the underlying problem here is that everything is too intentional. The album covers a variety of sounds-- twang, dance beats, afro rhythms, but it doesn't feel as much like a natural evolution as it does a carefully planned project to appeal to those hanging up their Converse in favor of sensible shoes and doing the best they can to stay reasonably relevant.

If nothing else, Thomas's voice is still one of the most distinctive around and hopefully it's not that his style and talent are gone, but rather misplaced for the time being.

Start worrying when he releases his Perry Como tribute album.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Andrew Bird on the Tonight Show

Seems like I've been posting a lot of these lately. Anyway, on Wednesday Andrew Bird performed on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. At first I couldn't find it anywhere, but here it is now, so take a look.

I caught Andrew Bird last month at an In Store Performance at Grimey's New and Preloved Music. You can check that out here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DCfC on the Tonight Show

Props to mi padre for the heads up that "my guys" were perforoming on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien last night. Check out the video of Death Cab performing "Little Bribes" off their recent EP, The Open Door, and if you missed my earlier post about their new music video for "Little Bribes," check that biusiness out here.

The Killers to Release Covers Album

Who needs to write original material when there's so much out there already? NME reported today that The Killers are working on an entire album of covers that should be finished by the end of the year.

"It's something that we've always talked about doing and we're still talking about," our favorite feathered singer, Brandon Flowers told NME. "It's difficult for each of us to pick songs that represent us as individuals. I mean, I have a lot of personalities myself! I've gone through everything from Neil Diamond to The Cars."

Apparently, the band will work on the album in their new mobile recording studio while touring Europe.

Aside from Diamond and The Cars, Flowers and company have been throwing around some other names like the Fleet Foxes, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Waits, and Iggy Pop for possible covers.

Of course, already The Killers are no strangers to jacking (does that sound negative? My bad...) other people's material, having included Joy Division's "Shadowplay," Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet" and The First Edition's "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" on 2007's Sawdust.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rob Thomas on the Today Show

This morning Rob Thomas took the stage at Rockefeller Plaza as part of the Today Show Toyota Concert Series. Thomas performed the standard three-song set including, "Lonely No More," current single "Her Diamonds" and "Streetcorner Symphony" in between lame cooking segments and mindless banter attached to cute animal stories. Check out the video someone posted on Youtube (before it gets pulled) of all three songs.

Seeing the percussion on "Her Diamonds" was particularly interesting. Thomas discussed the decision to bring more of a world sound to his album, Cradlesong, which came out Tuesday.

"Streetcorner Symphony" never gets old, but the guitar was lacking some by virtue of not being played by John Mayer. In any case, Thomas put on a respectable performance that was well worth waking up at the crack of dawn (anytime before 9:00 p.m. in my book) to watch. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DCfC: Little Bribes Music Video

Death Cab for Cutie - Little Bribes from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Check out the music video treatment Death Cab for Cutie gives "Little Bribes" off their recent EP, The Open Door. It's pretty cool, very fast paced according to the spunkiness of the song. Basically, a lot of stop motion animation and the like is used to write out the key words in the song. Watch closely or you'll miss a lot!

R.I.P. Vibe

Ill tidings once again from the magazine industry. Vibe magazine, a publication centered around urban/hip hop music and lifestyle, announced today that it will be closing down, effective immediately.

Quincey Jones started Vibe in '93 and some 13 years later, Wicks Group bought the magazine. Vibe is just one more in a string of magazines-- from all genres, crumbling under the financial strain of a bad economy and a changing mediascape.

Well, that's one more music magazine down, folks. Who knows if anyone's going to be left when the clouds finally clear.