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Feral (Boxed Wine)

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on April 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

“Feral” is an energetic a track from the debut EP of New Jersey band Boxed Wine.  This morning my friend send me a tune and said something along the lines of “Brady, listen to this, I think you’ll like it.” So I excitedly hit play, and then (sadly) didn’t love the music. As I said to her, it had too many electronic and computer noises, and to me, it distracted from the rest of the song. I’m guessing that’s the reason that I was really drawn to “Feral” when I listened to it.

This track has a really great, unprocessed sound. The electric guitars are powerful but not overbearing. The entire sound of the track is not too refined and not over-complicated. At the same time, its still crisp enough to sound cohesive and complex enough to be interesting to listen to. I also really love that opening guitar riff.

So, as an anti-thesis to computer blips and beeps (which admittedly, sometimes really do it for me), check out this tune by Boxed Wine and let me know what you think!

Happy Friday, music fans…

PS. I added “Shiraz” to the tags on this post because I really love a good bottle of Australian Shiraz…that’s all.

#136 – Tim (The Replacements)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

Tim (The Replacements, October 1985)

This album was released two years before I was released, yet somehow makes me feel like I’m in high school rebelling against my parents and having a blast while doing it. The beginning of this album draws me in though, and I’m not sure why. I picture myself hitting the road (somewhere in Arizona or Nevada, clearly). And driving fast. In a comfortable. And possibly myself, or someone else standing up screaming at the top of my lungs. There’s definitely this sense of doing whatever you want, right at the start of the album with the opening track, “Hold My Life”, letting lyrics like “If I want, I could dye…my hair” establish to mood. But there also seems to be this fine line between losing control, and getting control (“Hold my life/because I just might lose it”).

Track Listing

  1. Hold My Life
  2. I’ll Buy
  3. Kiss Me On The Bus
  4. Dose Of Thunder
  5. Waitress In The Sky
  6. Swinging Party
  7. Bastards Of Young
  8. Lay It Down Clown
  9. Left Of The Dial
  10. Little Mascara
  11. Here Comes A Regular
Track 2, “I’ll Buy” jumps in with a more punk/alternative-rock element to it, but again its got this theme of free-spiritedness and being being able to do anything you want – travelling, buying nice things. It also has this really classic sound to it, and the chorus makes you want to sing along.
There’s a familiarity to this album that I’m not sure if I can place. I guess it reminds me of a mix between R.E.M.’s alternative guitar with some of Elton John’s percussion and that kind of classic rock sound. It’s fun though. This album just continues to encourage screaming at the top of your lungs in wide-open spaces. In other words, its fun, its a bit rebellious, its playful and its classic. Tracks like “Bastards Of Young” and “Dose of Thunder” remind me of bands like The Rolling Stones and Starship, respectively (“We built this city on rock and roll…”)…and that’s cool!
Then there’s “Waitress In The Sky” which has the Summer feeling of The Beach Boys, combined with a guitar-drum lead-in that makes me think that Meatloaf might start singing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”…but doesn’t.
“Left Of The Dial” is a clear throwback to small-town bands playing small-town concerts. I also read that it pays homage to the fact that college radio stations typically are on the left side of the radio dial, and so this is actually considered to be somewhat of an anthem to college radio stations. Again, cool!
I hadn’t heard of The Replacements before a week ago. Had you? I wasn’t really looking forward to hearing this album, but I was pleasantly surprised. The album bursts with rebellious, youthful accounts of various experiences like convincing a young lady to let you steal a kiss from her, and the attraction and flirtatiousness of airline flight attendants, but it also has an element of determination and strength that pierces through the rest of the fun and party-life themes.
Check this album out. If you don’t know The Replacements, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

#140 – Parallel Lines (Blondie)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 17, 2011 at 1:00 am

The most well-known Blondie cover, in my eyes, is the album art for ‘Parallel Lines’, released in 1978.

Parallel Lines, 1978

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Hanging On The Telephone
  2. One Way or Another
  3. Picture This
  4. Fade Away and Radiate
  5. Pretty Baby
  6. I Know But I Don’t Know
Side Two
  1. 11:59
  2. Will Anything Happen?
  3. Sunday Girl
  4. Heart of Glass
  5. I’m Gonna Love You Too
  6. Just Go Away

Blondie has always been this mysterious band to me. I know of them, know nothing about them (except that they sing “Call Me”), and that’s about it. No wait, that’s not true. I’m having a revelation as I type. I know they also sing The Tide Is High. And I dig that tune too. So lies, all around! I know more Blondie than I thought! (and as I listened to the album, I recognized more and more, so that’s pretty great news)

For some reason I have it in my head that Blondie is like the 60s equivalent of Avril Lavigne and her band. Is that wrong? I don’t know. Maybe not. But anyway, ‘Parallel Lines’ definitely has an early punk-rock sound to it. It’s got a bit of rebellion mixed into the lyrics and the sound, too. The album also has songs on it that I didn’t know the name of and then was surprised to listen to and understand which song they are!! For example, I had no idea that ‘Heart of Glass’ was this song! What the…!!

Anyway, in terms of this being a top album, I really think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Blondie is early punk New Wave (I just did some more research and found out that New Wave music is similar to punk, and was considered to be the same for a long time, but is actually distinguished as more complex lyrically and musically, and often incorporating more electronic elements to it, which you can hear in this Blondie album – hence the strike out through ‘punk’). This album also has quite a few hits on it – ‘One Way or Another’, ‘Sunday Girl’, ‘Heart of Glass‘.

I’ve gotta say, as much as I like some of these songs, most of the album isn’t anything that I feel like I want to put on over and over. Some of these tracks are a great listen, but since I think of Avril, maybe I’ve got this hesitation to like it? I don’t know.

The album is cool to listen to, and has been informative for me to listen to, but I wouldn’t say I’m floored. Still (as usual), I see how this is on the list of the top 150!

Next up: U2.

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