Posts categorized “Music”

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Merry Christmas Eve Eve 2015

Merry Christmas Eve Eve from me and Totoro!

King of the forest? King of my shirt!

King of the forest? King of my shirt!

And, of course, Mary Christmas Eve Eve from Paul & Storm, the only musicians to my knowledge who have written a song about Christmas Eve Eve:

Categories: Christmas, Music, Pictures.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Julia Massey Songs

Photo by Gary Lappier

Photo by Gary Lappier

As a mental exercise recently I decided to see if I could figure out what are my favorite songs from my favorite musician. It took a while. Some of my choices might surprise you! But here is what I have:

10: Motorcycle Bong
An instrumental (a rarity for JM), this song is all funk and swagger and some great bombast. It’s like the Best 1970s Cop Action TV Theme Song Ever.

9: Here Is a Stone Wall
This is just lovely and heartfelt, with only Julia’s voice and a single guitar. The lyrics are meditative and celebratory, about small moments and well-lived lives. Just reading through the lyrics gets me all teary-eyed.

8: Aghadoe
Ugh, so catchy. A very distinctive synth hook anchors this song and the added choir effect during the chorus really elevates it into something special. The lyrics are about passing time and death and the impermanence of all things, but are also super-uplifting (so, pretty much the usual Julia Massey lyrics :P). But even if I’m just some ash that kicks up in the wind, I know I’ll find my way to fields of wheat in Ireland.

7: Spaceships
This song is just pure pop goodness. It’s peppy, it’s upbeat, there’s some really cool bass stuff going on from Geoff. Sometimes I picture Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount going on a late-night talk show to perform (usually Conan), and this is the song that they always play in my head. Also: you should listen to the previous song on the album (“#712” – an adaptation of poem 712 by Emily Dickinson) before listening to this one, because they blend seamlessly into each other and it makes “Spaceships” even better.

6: Skatepark
This one is just a masterpiece. It’s epic, it’s loud, it’s got awesome drums and bass and it just kicks ass. The intro and outro instrumental segments are some of the finest instrumental segments that JM+FFD have ever put out. And the lyrics are sweet and funny. It’s also more than five-and-a-half minutes long, but it’s so interesting a song that the time just flies by.

5: There Is a Song
This is an anthem. This is the most exquisitely-sung song on any of JM+FFD’s albums. Julia’s voice is full of power; she belts this song, and it is glorious. The swing tempo is delightful, and the sleigh-bell outro give it a magnificently gentle ending. The lyrics are very empowering; it’s like Julia is standing behind you and shouting, “You can do it!” while you’re trying to do something difficult. JM+FFD would often end their live sets with this song, and it is so complete and final a song that it’s sometimes hard to imagine anything else coming after it.

4: Montana Capri
This song is not high on this list just because it was written about my daughter. That’s right: we didn’t want to announce the baby’s name until she was born, so “Montana Capri” was the fake codename we used for the baby while my wife was still preggers with her. It’s not just because of that; It’s also just a great song. The first part of this song has such a strong, focused drive to it. It’s like a train speeding through a tunnel, chugging forward relentlessly. And then in the second part it completely opens up and becomes epic and spacey. It’s like the train comes out of the tunnel and bursts into a beautiful moonlight vista, all mountains and stars and valleys. It’s awesome.

3: Jenny Towner
A beautiful and funny portrait about a real-life person whom I’ve never met. My favorite lyrics are the adorable (and slightly creepy) “Got the goddamn cutest face / It’s already in my suitcase / She’s coming with me everywhere I go.” One time JM+FFD did a full-band, rockin’ version of this song for me on my birthday. “Jenny Towner” hasn’t ever been released on an album. There used to be a link to download it on Julia’s website, but I can’t find it anymore. Alls I can find is this YouTube video of a live version from a long time ago.

2: Don’t Worry ‘Bout Us
A loud, almost-bluesy, piano-banging romp with a fascinating time signature. It is nothing but unadulterated happiness for six full minutes. Gobs of solos show off each of the instruments, and the music is just so voluminous it’s hard to imagine that it was all made by just three people. This song is just joy, joy, joy.

1: Catacombs
This was no contest. Not even close. And it’s completely bizarre: I usually do not like repetitive songs at all, and “Catacombs” is basically just the same set of lyrics sung three times in a row. But this song pushes all of my musical buttons. From the opening drums to the opening piano riff, to the vocals coming in, then the strings and bass and backing vocals. It all just such a lovely build to the first time Julia belts out the chorus. I’m a sucker for songs that build like this. And the lyrics about “I know somehow you’re more than memory / ‘Cause I feel you in my bones, weaving caves in my marrow / Where I feel the echo of your memory / Where I feel the echo of your Earthly dream.” When Julia finally does belt out the chorus, “I’m not hollow” sounds almost like a statement of defiance. The world may take from us, but it cannot take our memories of each other. You fill me up. I’m not hollow. I would love this song to be played as a sing-along my funeral—I’m completely serious!—with everyone there belting out “I’m not hollow!” all together. Beautiful.

Honorable Mentions:

These are the songs that were all fighting to get the coveted #10 spot.

Turn It Into Everything
This song is a clever little pop ditty metaphor about games turning into something more. It’s just so catchy I can’t resist it.

Always Been There Anyway
An early song that was never put on any albums. Like “Jenny Towner” you used to be able to download it from Julia’s website, but I can’t find it anymore. It has a very different feel from any of her other songs due to a fascinatingly different choice of instruments like a sitar-sounding thing and some bongos. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Come Here, You
This one I can’t post any links to audio because it hasn’t been recorded yet! And I couldn’t find a video of it uploaded to the internets anywhere. But this song has a great part towards the end where the audience starts clapping along to the song, and then the song ends. And every time I’ve seen this song performed, the audience just keeps on a-clappin’ even after it ends! It’s very charming. If you go to a show nowadays it’s very likely that you’ll hear it!


And there you have it. What do you think? What songs would you add and/or remove from my list in order to make your own?

I’m very looking forward to Julia’s next album; there are some really good new songs happening in her live sets these days. If you’d like to experience more Julia Massey, you should come to her next show! It’s this Friday, November 20th at Columbia City Theater in Seattle!

JM+FFD are the 2nd band!

JM+FFD are the 2nd band!

Details:
MoZo (CD Release) // Julia Massey // Richie Aldente (Facebook Event)
Friday, November 20th 9:00 PM
@ Columbia City Theater
4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 (map)
$8 adv / $10 door

We shalle seee yeeee theeeeere!

Categories: Articles, Concerts/Shows, Music.

Friday, 6 November 2015

My Famous Friends: Julia Massey + FFD & Electric NoNo on TV!

Band in Seattle: JM+FFD&ENN

Hey, I know these guys!

Last Saturday a bunch o’ my friends were on TV!

That’s right: Jared & Dom of Electric NoNo (formerly The Jesus Rehab) and Julia, Dom (the same Dom), & Matt of Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount were all featured on the CW11/KSTW TV show “Band in Seattle.” Yes, the same “Band in Seattle” that just happens to be my TV Show of the Month right now. Coincidence? You decide!

You can watch the entire episode on the YouTubes. The behind-the-scenes interviews are rather charming. Mostly because my friends are rather charming.

If you’re interested in watching the entire concerts, and not just edited-down versions, you’re in luck there my friends! Here are the complete songs from each of the groups:

And as an added bonus, you can see me in the audience a couple o’ times:

Meee on TeeeeVeeeee

Meee on TeeeeVeeeee

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music, My Famous Friends, Videos.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

Or as Trevor Peach says, Happy Hallowwon’t!

Categories: Holiday, Music.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Triumphant Return of Trevor Peach

Trevor Peach

This is the end of rainbows…

Trevor Peach is the world’s best worst emo musician ever. Relentlessly depressing and determinedly low-tech, his music swings around the low end of crappy and comes back as something with some semblance of brilliance. I have a complicated reaction to his music; It’s so overwhelmingly down that it makes me laugh, and so frustratingly perfect that it makes me what to punch holes in walls… in a happy way.

I went so far as to make a peppy, chiptune cover of one of his songs once many years ago. Here is the original:

And here is my cover:

A problem with Trevor Peach is that his music has never been released in any serious way. If you were lucky someone burned you a copy of a copy of a copy of a CD that someone convinced Trevor to burn at one point. But recently my lifelong friend and birthday buddy Geoff moved to Canada, where he has little to do. So he has embarked on an important musical curating project: the collection and releasing of the song stylings of Trevor Peach.

Let Geoff tell you in his own words:

I met someone in 2004. Strangely enough, I met him in a dumpster, but that’s a story for another time.

In the 11 years or so that I’ve known him, he’s been constantly making music on a shoestring budget and sending out mixed tapes to close friends, but never a mass audience. I wouldn’t say it’s my personal cup of tea, but many people seem to enjoy it.

To this end, I’ve been trying literally *for years* to help him promote his stuff. Honestly, it’s been so long in coming because he’s terribly hard to work with; moody, sad, morose, and not at all deadline oriented.

But… I have managed to curate quite a collection, and it’s all going to be shared with the world now, since I have his blessing to do so.
So, without further ado, I give you (my friends of Facebook), the one – the only – Trevor Peach:

https://trevorpeach.bandcamp.com/

So far, the 4 EP’s are up. Next week I hope to have the 2 LP’s newly remastered. After that, well, I have worked out a weekly visitation to see Trevor and get him to record new music that no one has heard yet. If all goes well, I’ll be able to get a song a week from him – heck, maybe I can get some guest artists to work with him, too!!

Anyway, I’m sure the people that love TP’s stuff will be excited, and I’m just happy to help the guy out!!!

So all of Trevor Peach’s (known) recordings are now up on Bandcamp for all to “enjoy.” And yesterday, the first new song since 2011 was released. It has a surprisingly well-produced sound to it (most likely due to Geoff’s influence in mixing and mastering). Partake:

Geoff promises to get one song every week out of Trevor. Let’s see if he can do it!

Also, you can now like Trevor Peach on the Faced Book (Geoff runs his page for him) and it looks like he’s also back to tweeting again!

Categories: Music.

Monday, 13 July 2015

My Favorite Comic-Con Moments 2015

So San Diego Comic-Con is over, and there were lots of big announcements and blah-blah-blah Star Wars blah-blah-blah Batman v. Superman blah-blah X-Men Apocalypse blah-blah. You already know all about all of those, so I ain’t gunna get into ’em.

These are the things that happened at Comic-Con that I really enjoyed:

Junior Braves of the Apocalypse

A friend of mine had a comic book signing at Comic-Con. I still can’t get over that!

A FOOL DOES SOMETHING AWESOME: Congratulations to Michael Tanner, AKA the retired GREEN FOOL (on the right with the…

Posted by Fools Play Improv on Thursday, July 9, 2015

I mean, comicbookresources.com even did previews of this book. Hooray Michael Tanner! I <3 my famous friends.

Conan Goes to Comic-Con

The opening segment of Conan O’Brien’s week of shows filmed at Comic-Con was undoubtably the best part:

Joss Whedon’s Twist

Now that Joss Whedon is no longer the shepherd of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he has time to do projects for himself for a change! First up: an original comic book about an original character:

Joss Whedon's Twist

Joss Whedon’s Twist

Joss Whedon had (unsurprisingly) my favorite single quote of the whole weekend when he described the book:

Basically deals with the most important moral question facing us, which is, why isn’t there a Victorian Female Batman? [1]

Steven Universe Extended Theme Song

There was a Steven Universe panel. And this happened:

I made the mistake of watching that during my lunch break at work last week. Fortunately no one else was around, so I didn’t have to explain that I was crying about a cartoon.

Marceline Sings!

There was an Adventure Time panel, which also contained Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe. See, she worked on Adventure Time before starting Steven Universe, and she wrote a bunch of the most memorable songs for them. And she’s written a new song for Marceline. Whose voice actress, Olivia Olson, also just happened to be on the panel. So, y’know, she helped out:

Ash vs Evil Dead

I do believe this speaks for itself. Let me know if you’re confused about anything:

Wrongplayed

And, of course, one of my favorite Instagram accounts: Wrongplayed, that purposefully (and hilariously) misidentifies the various cosplay of the con:

I AM GROOT! #marvel #hookedonafeeling #vindiesel #wrongplay

A photo posted by Greg and Mike (@wrongplayed) on

So that’s what I enjoyed and/or am looking forward to. How about you?

[1] http://io9.com/joss-whedon-just-explained-the-meaning-of-life-to-us-1717277218

Categories: Articles, Cartoons, Celebrities, Comics, Music, My Famous Friends, News, Round-up, TV, Videos.

Monday, 16 March 2015

EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIER: “Too Bad We Met” by Three Ninjas and His Weird Old Tricks!

One Man: Three Ninjas!

One Man: Three Ninjas!

THIS IS VERY EXCITING! Three Ninjas himself has personally provided me with the exclusive world premier of the new song “Too Bad We Met” from his upcoming album The Sadness Will Last Forever!

That means you, my friends, get to have FIRST LISTEN before the album drops at the end of the month:

You should pre-order The Sadness Will Last Forever so that you can enjoy more songs like this the moment they are released!

Categories: Music.