24 February 2008

"Your little hoodrat friend makes me sick." -- REVIEW ROUND-UP

Remember me? I've been writing reviews. In order of preference:

Born Ruffians
Red, Yellow, and Blue

What if Born Ruffians, the hyper-active Canadian four-piece, founded their own nation? A question bordering on inane, sure, but let us just conceptualize. If the band's music is any indication, things in this land might be rather anarchic. In this fantasy world a neurotic leadership would attempt to quell a population of equally high-strung, overmedicated wanderers ('Barnacle Goose'), basket cases ('I Need A Life') and dream-chasers ('Hedonistic Me'). Still, the higher-ups would be painfully unfit for the job, their primary concern being the flag's aesthetics ('Red, Yellow, and Blue'). There would be an insatiable thirst for nothing in particular ('Red Elephant'), but the revolutionary spirit would run deep, expressed in a series of public demonstrations in which vandalism would play no small part. Granted, this is all purely speculation – with the only certainty the national colours – but that is one world that could be imagined and illustrated on Red, Yellow, and Blue through pop-rock nuggets and waltzes, vigorous gang chants, and unsophisticated but endearing charm. READ THE REST

But more importantly, get the album. ^^^^^

Jason Collett
Here's to Being Here

The quest for the next Bob Dylan has always been inherently paradoxical. After all, the reason you'd even want another is because the first was never defined, never fully understood, and never pinned down. The man and the myth – so arduously defined in last year's Todd Haynes "biopic" I'm Not There – remains as elusive a legend as pop music has ever had, culturally camouflaged and bouncing between fake idol and true prophet, sometimes playing both simultaneously. Still, bits of Dylan's legacy can be found in Conor Oberst's wide-eyed idealism and sharp tongue, M. Ward's rustic timelessness, Elvis Perkins' quirky and winding wordplay, and here noteworthy, Jason Collett's vocal timbre. READ THE REST

Last and least...

Lightspeed Champion
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

Far too few music fans worry about the effects of the Indie Rock Machine. While McDonalds and Starbucks permeate every last inch of the globe, consumers cower in fear of the looming corporate shadow. Of course, they still line up for their decaf-double-tall-mint-non-fat mocha, but most will feel that itch of conscience about the big business invasion they're supporting. Are we paying for consistency or blindly backing homogeneity? Your answer depends largely on a semantic battle – a slight disparity in connotation. Apply this to music. What happens when an indie rock superpower starts drifting into monolith territory? What happens when your favorite midwestern basement startup-turned-empire colours the debut from a British near-sensation? READ THE REST

Born Ruffians This Sentence Will Save/Ruin Your Life

Jason Collett Roll On Oblivion

Lightspeed Champion Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk