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Friday, February 15, 2008

Annuals "Frelen Mas"

What is it with bands these days? When I was a kid, bands released their double-live gonzo extra bonus length LPs with great fanfare, 216 page booklets inside their plush gatefold album covers. Nowadays I'm seeing all these EPs. For you kids, EPs used to refer to "extended play" vinyl records that were not full "long play" album length, but were "extended" when compared with singles. In the modern age, EP stands for "not long enough to call it an album, but that's all yer gettin' you losers! And another thing.. get off my lawn!"

So today I'm reviewing the download only EP "Frelen Mas" from Raleigh's sextet Annuals. When I asked drummer Nick to translate the titles of the non-English sounding song titles (both the title track and "Nah Keseyi"), he would only say that they are "curses", but would not tell me more than that. This must be an exercise for the reader. Anyone?

"Frelen Mas" is comprised of tracks that did not make the "Be He Me" album, so in a way they are Annuals "red-headed step-children", but there are still some goodies to be had here. My favorite track is "Such a Mess", which my manager off-handedly labeled "acoustic industrial", a pretty good description of this bass heavy layered confection, though it's not really acoustic. The rest of the tracks range from an Annualized version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" with just enough synth noise to make it interesting, to the farm life inspired title track. Overall, this EP has lighter alterna-folk feel than their album "Be He Me", which was one of my favorite albums of 2006. Definitely get "Be He Me" before you buy the EP.

If I had to put a finger on what stands out with this band, it would be the intricate layered sound, Adam Baker's all-out vocal abandon, rich harmonies, and overall outstanding musicianship. Look for their forthcoming album this spring, but in the meantime you can find "Frelen Mas" at iTunes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hilarious Movie Dubs

Spongebob voice actors do classic movies! (h/t Boing Boing)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Out With the Old

I had a yard sale this weekend, deciding that it is finally time to say goodbye to my vinyl collection. Sniff. I had the idea (once upon a time) that I would break down and buy a turntable, one of the cool ones that do MP3 conversion, and just convert the whole lot of them. ..but it became clear that this was one of those "someday" projects that I don't know if I will ever pursue. It's just not a priority, meaning I will never get around to it. If you are interested in any albums, I still have some autographed albums for $10 apiece, and about 50 others ($2.50 + shipping)--drop me an email. Anyway, the unexpected fun was in meeting people who are real collectors, particularly our local infamous collector Dave, and being able to share the good stuff with them. It's especially cool to meet someone who knows so much more than you do, who knows his DK's, from his Pere Ubu, and his Beefheart. He's like, "Oh yeah, all the Dead Kennedy's albums were pressed overseas." Really? Part of me wants to then snatch "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables" from his hands and shout "NO! YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!!! SOMEDAY I'LL GET A TURNTABLE..." But no, time to move forward. Fun fact: my son had actually NEVER seen an album out of the sleeve before. He's 12. Their kids will have the same experience of CDs. Oooh, shiny, very shiny CDs.

In other news, I still have a couple of EPs to review as I promised in my last post. Over the weekend I was working on technical crap due to the move to the new server, which I see has apparently crashed! Ha ha! Gee, I hope it wasn't something I did. I still have some geeky bug fixing to do in the next couple weeks, which is good, because my next soon-to-be-grammy-nominated artist has not yet sent me his CD (hi Hank!).

Oh yeah, the Grammys. Yawn. As much as I respect awesomely talented musicians, I just can't get too excited about the whole thing.

One thing I did get excited about this weekend though was seeing the movie "Cloverfield". Oh. My. God. If you can deal with the handheld vomit-inducing camera work, this movie is the most amazing horror/action movie I have ever seen, bar none. A couple weeks ago we saw "No Country For Old Men", another amazing film.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Email WAS Down, but Now It Rocks..

Hi there. If you have sent me an email in the past week, I have not received it!

However, it is back to "normal" now that I have been switched to a new server of awesomeness. So don't just sit there, email me or something!

More music reviews coming soon...