Archive for September, 2012

Setlist (Thursday, September 27th)

Posted in Setlists on September 28, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Setlists may seem shorter than usual… This is due to the fact that our show has been cut down to an hour (5-6 PM on Thursdays). Nevertheless, tune in and enjoy!

 

Green Day – “Fell For You” – ¡Uno!

Title Fight – “Secret Society” – Floral Green

The XX – “Angels” – Coexist

Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year” – Beacon

Radiohead – “No Surprises” – OK Computer

Modest Mouse – “Dashboard” – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

Owen – “No Language” – Ghost Town

Death Cab For Cutie – “Fake Frowns” – Something About Airplanes

River City Extension – “Down, Down, Down” – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger

Muse – “Supremacy” – The 2nd Law (Out October 2nd!)

Alkaline Trio – “One Hundred Stories” – Good Mourning

Motion City Soundtrack – “Fell In Love Without You” – Even If It Kills Me

Weezer – “No One Else” – The Blue Album

The White Stripes – “Rag & Bone” – Icky Thump

“Floral Green” – Title Fight / “¡Uno!” – Green Day / “Babel” – Mumford & Sons

Posted in Album Reviews on September 26, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Image

Floral Green kicks off with a bang. This record’s first three songs all punch you in the gut before slowing down for the catchy single, “Secret Society.” The album veers into a different territory next with the other single, “Head In The Ceiling Fan.” This is a slow song with ample feedback and Title Fight’s guitarist, Jamie Rhoden, crooning over a cadre of distortion. This album reminds me of bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, but mixed with Nirvana in some places. None of these songs sound like the Title Fight of the early pop punk days, nor the abrasive indie punk of Shed. However, this release is another sound that the band has mastered. They’ve taken the successful aspects of those earlier songs and matured them into their own sound. Certain tracks, like “Like A Ritual,” have an almost Radiohead guitar sound in the outro, as well as does “Lefty.” The record ends with a two-song indie crescendo that hearkens back to their live jams that they developed a few tours ago. It can be compared to Modest Mouse or Radiohead.

My only complaint is that I would have enjoyed more songs with Jamie’s voice on them. However, Ned Russin’s rasp holds this record together very well. Furthermore, he lends himself to far more poetic lyricism than prior releases, especially on the track “Leaf.” This record rocks and should be picked up in a hurry.

-Matthew Koerner

Recommended Jams: Numb, But I Still Feel It, Head In The Ceiling Fan, Make You Cry, In-Between

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Image

To be perfectly honest, I did not have very high hopes for Green Day’s new album, ¡Uno!, after their previous release, 21st Century Breakdown, did not go over well with their fans. But now it’s safe to say that I was gladly mistaken. ¡Uno! is one of those good old-fashioned rock albums we all love, with some interesting influences interspersed throughout. It’s produced by legendary Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, which means it sounds a lot like what we’ve heard in previous Green Day releases. On the positive side of this, I think it’s very American Idiot-sounding with some Foxboro Hot Tubs thrown in for fun. Plus, we finally get to hear some more shredding guitar solos much like the ones heard way back on albums like Kerplunk! I could do without the megaphone effect on Billie Joe’s voice on every song, but that’s just me.

“Nuclear Family,” “Stay The Night,” and “Let Yourself Go” have that classic Green Day sound, and they’re all big hits off the album. “Kill The DJ” takes Green Day in a completely new direction, with some electronic and disco influence the likes of which we’ve never seen from the band. “Troublemaker” is very 60s and actually reminds me a lot of The Kinks. “Sweet 16” and “Oh Love,” however, are the two cheesy songs off the album, and are nothing special.

All in all, if you had doubts about this album but loved everything Green Day has put out prior (with the exception of 21st Century Breakdown), definitely give this album a shot. I almost guarantee you’ll love it.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: Nuclear Family, Stay The Night, Let Yourself Go

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Image

Ever since the release of Sigh No More back in ’09, I had that sneaking suspicion that Mumford & Sons would become one of those bands with one or two big hits early on (“Little Lion Man” and “The Cave”) and then quickly die out. But overall, I knew this band had such a unique sound and such passion for their music that their next album would be just as fantastic as the first.

Good ol’ Mumford & Sons did not let me down they released Babel, which takes a lot of its sounds and concepts from Sigh No More. Seeing as how successful that first album was, it makes sense to follow the same formula. “Babel,” “Below My Feet,” and their first (already hugely popular) single, “I Will Wait” are all classic Mumford & Sons at their finest. “Broken Crown” reminds me of “Thistle And Weeds” off the first album, and Marcus Mumford even sings a very similar melody. Despite sticking to the regular stuff, the band also shows they are willing to experiment with new sounds, like on “Whispers In The Dark;” some atmospheric tones are mixed into the background, creating a very different tone. The band also tries their hand at using full-on electric instruments on “Below My Feet,” as they demonstrated as musical guests on Saturday Night Live (this also showed how much raw energy Mumford & Sons puts into their live performances). The more I listen to the album, the more I realize how great every song is. “Hopeless Wanderer” is probably the “weakest” track, but it’s the slowest, softest song on the album, so this makes sense. It only clocks in at just over 2 minutes anyway, so you can get right back into the action.

Marcus Mumford’s lyrics are all generally about the struggle we’ve come to know as love, and some tracks (especially “Ghosts That We Knew”) also discuss his desire to forget old haunts and to be able to move forward with his life. The way this plays out is that some of the songs end up being incredibly depressing while others shine powerful, uplifting rays of hope down upon the listener. There’s really very little middle ground.

If you love Sigh No More, then you’ll love Babel; enough said. Mumford & Sons experiments a little here and there, but they stick very closely to their original formula. And with a lineup consisting of an acoustic guitar, keyboard, upright bass, banjo, bass drum, and tambourine split up among four dudes, that’s a pretty damn unique-sounding formula.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: I Will Wait, Ghosts That We Knew, Below My Feet

Setlist (Thursday, September 20th)

Posted in Setlists on September 20, 2012 by occupyairwaves

The Front Bottoms – “Mountain” – The Front Bottoms

Matt And Kim – “Let’s Go” – Lightning (Out October 2nd!)

Animal Collective – “Bluish” – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Green Day – “Carpe Diem” – ¡Uno! (Out September 25th!)

Minus The Bear – “Listing” – Infinity Overhead

Ben Folds Five – “Do It Anyway” – The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind

Mixtapes – “Even On The Worst Nights” – Even On The Worst Nights

The Menzingers – “Even For An Eggshell” – A Lesson In The Abuse Of Information Technology

Appendix – “Strap You On” – Appendix

Cotton – “Aces” – In The Basement

Neon Trees – “Animal” – Habits

The Clash – “Train In Vain (Stand By Me)” – London Calling

The Cars – “You Might Think” – The Cars Greatest Hits

Brand New – “Degausser” – The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me

Radiohead – “Planet Telex” – The Bends

Turbo Fruits – “On The Road” – Echo Kid

Dinosaur Jr. – “Recognition” – I Bet On Sky

Owen – “O, Evelyn…” – Ghost Town

Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again” – Shields

David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who” – Love This Giant

Lady In The Radiator – “Purple Skirt, Red Hair” – Dreams Of A Rarebit Friend

Circa Survive – “Phantasmagoria” – Violent Waves

Muse – “Madness” – The 2nd Law (Out October 2nd!)

Jimmy Eat World – “Sweetness” – Bleed American

Green Day – “Nuclear Family” – ¡Uno! (Out September 25th!)

The Menzingers – “Taker-Morris Station” – Chamberlain Waits

Muse – “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” – Feeling Good / Hyper Music (Single)

PSY – “Gangnam Style” – PSY’s Best 6th Part 1

“Battle Born” – The Killers

Posted in Album Reviews on September 19, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Image

Honestly, I feel a little bad for The Killers. They put out their best album by far, Hot Fuss, as their debut album, and they’ve been unable to put out anything that even comes close since then. Battle Born is an okay album, but still not their best work.

“Flesh And Bone” is a pretty good opening song, although Brandon Flowers sounds a lot like Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. At first, I thought this was just a coincidence, but this comparison follows through for the entirety of the album. “Runaways” is the first single off Battle Born, and it actually got some airplay way back in July. The marching-style drums are pretty cool, and this song definitely has an 80s vibe to it. The next tune, “The Way It Was,” is 80s-sounding right off the bat, so it seems we have another theme for this album. And again, Flowers sounds a lot like Bruce Springsteen on this track (and therefore, sounds like Fallon as well). “Here With Me” is the first slow song off the album, and I don’t think it fits in very well this early in the track listing. “A Matter Of Time,” “Deadlines And Commitments,” and “Miss Atomic Bomb” aren’t anything special, just more of the same. Track 8, “Rising Tide,” already starts off with a better pace than most of the songs off the album. A guitar solo is nice to hear for a change, and the effect Dave Keuning uses is pretty unique. “From Here On Out” has some country roots (where did that come from?), and it’s short and to the point at 2 minutes and 28 seconds, which is another nice change of pace. “Be Still,” the next track, is pretty heavy on R&B, and by this point, The Killers are pretty much all over the place. The album closes with the title track, “Battle Born,” the longest song on the album. It’s got a great few opening bars and another guitar solo, and it’s a good song to end the album with.

Battle Born, though it has a few good tracks, is like every Killers album that has come out since Hot Fuss.  In other words, it’s just okay. Upon reaching the end of the album, I have come to the conclusion that Brandon Flowers is blatantly ripping off The Gaslight Anthem and Springsteen. In that respect, if you like Gaslight and/or Springsteen, maybe check this album out. If not, just keep listening to Hot Fuss.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: Runaways, The Rising Tide, From Here On Out

“The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind” – Ben Folds Five

Posted in Album Reviews on September 19, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Image

It’s definitely something special whenever an old band gets back together. When I first heard that legendary Ben Folds Five was reuniting, I was ecstatic to say the least. I can’t even remember how long ago that was, but it’s no longer important considering their new album, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, just hit the shelves today! It’s their first full-length album since ’99 – that’s a whopping 13 years! Luckily, Ben Folds has been incredibly active as a solo musician so the trio of Folds (keys), Jessee (drums), and Sledge (bass) are by no means rusty.

The album kicks off with “Erase Me,” and right off the bat you can tell the band has already matured a ton. You’ve got all the basic Ben Folds Five qualities in this tune: Fuzz bass (which coming from a fellow bassist is very bad-ass), silly but perfectly hit harmonies, and slight jazz influence with a modern twist. Following up is the song “Michael Praytor, Five Years Later” (if anyone can tell me who that is, I’d be glad to know). This is a great swing tune, completely different from the jazz tune that came before it. That’s another great thing about Ben Folds Five: every song has different roots (jazz, swing, post-disco, etc.). Robert Sledge also starts showing off in this one, and in a three-piece band with no guitarist, there’s nothing wrong with plenty of bass solos. The lyrics to “Sky High” were actually written by Darren Jessee, the drummer, and I have to say it’s one of the better songs off the album. The upright bass is a nice touch, and it keeps this song very much in the vein of Ben Folds Five’s older hit, “Brick.” The harmonies are very airy, which I guess is appropriate considering the song is called “Sky High.” The next song is the title track off the album, with the lyrics coming from author Nick Hornby. Hornby previously recorded an album with Ben Folds titled Lonely Avenue, and “The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind” is very similar to those songs. The lyrics have a completely different feel, as if a story is being told along to the music. Personally, I’m not a fan of this, but the chorus sounds like classic Ben Folds Five (call and response between Ben Folds’ lines and the harmonies). “On Being Frank” is a good example of how I think a lot of Ben Folds Five tunes could be used as show tunes. The strings and piano mix perfectly, and this is definitely another one of the more mature songs off the album. “Draw A Crowd” is a big standout on the album for me. It’s got a very serious post-disco groove to it and the ending is heavy and very fitting. This song also shows that although Ben Folds Five has gotten very mature over the years, they still throw in very immature but hilarious lyrics (“If you can’t draw a crowd, draw dicks on the wall”). Next up is “Do It Anyway,” the first single off the album, and my favorite tune. Ben Folds’ piano skill shines through on this one, and Sledge throws in some more incredible bass solos. I feel bad leaving Jessee out, so I’ll mention now that his drumming is very solid throughout the whole album. This is about the part of the album where Ben Folds starts throwing in all of his softer tunes. “Hold That Thought” is a very laid-back tune, but the snare rolls help keep the song lively and moving. “Away When You Were Here” is a radio-friendly soft rock tune, the strings are nice, and the melody is catchy. “Thank You For Breaking My Heart” is definitely the saddest song on the album (the title says it all), and it’s a pretty typical ending to a Ben Folds Five album.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Folds had the following to say about this album’s lyrical content: “People my age don’t have time for this shit. They’re doing other things. What I feel like I’ve always done is say, ‘Here’s where I am in my life. I’ve climbed up to this plateau or this precipice at the moment, and I’m looking down and telling you kids, ‘Here’s what it feels like where I am.’ I think that’s good information.” In essence, he sees himself as a life coach, offering up useful information from his past experiences.

All in all, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind has plenty of old school Ben Folds Five elements while sounding way more mature. It’s also produced a lot better, and I really dig the album artwork. If you’ve listened to old Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds’ solo stuff before, and you liked what you heard, I would recommend checking this album out. If this album is your introduction to Ben Folds, I would start at the beginning.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: Michael Praytor, Five Years Later, Do It Anyway, Draw A Crowd

Setlist (Thursday, September 13th)

Posted in Setlists on September 13, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year” – Beacon

David Byrne & St. Vincent – “I Am An Ape” – Love This Giant

Ben Folds – “The Ascent Of Stan” – Rockin’ The Suburbs

Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go” – Lightning (Out October 2nd!)

Dinosaur Jr. – “Watch The Corners” – I Bet On Sky (Out September 18th!)

The Gaslight Anthem – “45” – Handwritten

The Menzingers – “Good Things” – On The Impossible Past

River City Extension – “Our New Intelligence” – The Unmistakable Man

Flogging Molly – “Drunken Lullabies” – Drunken Lullabies

A Great Big Pile Of Leaves – “Great Fun” – Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?

Minus The Bear – “Empty Party Rooms” – Infinity Overhead

Muse – “Madness” – The 2nd Law (Out October 2nd!)

Blink-182 – “Up All Night” – Neighborhoods

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists – “The Mighty Sparrow” – The Brutalist Bricks

Turbo Fruits – “Sweet Thang” – Butter

Circa Survive – “The Lottery” – Violent Waves

The Henry Clay People – “Every Band We Ever Loved” – Twenty-Five For The Rest Of Our Lives

The Drowning Men – “The Waltz” – All Of The Unknown

The Downtown Struts – “Mexican Graffiti” – Victoria!

Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again” – Shields (Out September 18th!)

Motion City Soundtrack – “Stand Too Close” – My Dinosaur Life

Supertramp – “Breakfast In America” – Breakfast In America

Cake – “Short Skirt / Long Jacket” – Comfort Eagle

Matt Costa – “Sunshine” – Songs We Sing

The White Stripes – “Conquest” – Icky Thump

The Police – “Every Breath You Take” – Synchronicity

Alkaline Trio – “Continental” – Good Mourning

Tim Armstrong – “Hold On” – A Poet’s Life

“Coexist” – The xx

Posted in Album Reviews on September 12, 2012 by occupyairwaves

Image

Coexist, the new album from British rock band The xx, opens up beautifully, giving us tastes of their signature sound. The first song is “Angels,” and its subdued sound is surprisingly powerful for such minimalist arrangements. The sparse instrumentation merely accents the extreme emotion coursing through these musicians. Coexist masterfully crescendos into the second track, “Chained.” I just love the blend of their voices. This track highlights their knack for harmonies and paves the way for the rest of the album. The third track, “Fiction,” reminds me of Joy Division while track four, “Try,” sounds like Leonard Cohen singing for Tears For Fears. Don’t worry, it works. The xx won’t get you pumped up, and you surely can’t headbang to them. However, when listening to them, you will feel a tranquil peace washing over you. At times, you can even groove to them like on “Reunion” or “Sunset.” Mostly, The xx provide music for lying in a hammock with someone special, or at least their memory. This album is proof that good music ought not be rushed, coming out three years after their extremely stellar debut album. This record is sure to not disappoint fans gained from that effort, and it surely will help them gain new fans. In conclusion, if you like catchy minimalist dance music with Gothic overtones, check out this record!

-Matthew Koerner

Recommended Jams: Angels, Unfold, Swept Away