Mp3 Reviews

Indepth song reviews. One song at a time.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

10 Great Psychedelic Albums.

So I here some of the kids like the psychedelic music. Let's talk a bit about that today, why don't we?

Here are 10 psychedelic albums that I have enjoyed in that manner. Please enjoy.

*special note - "psychedelic" means different things to different people. Some music some people call psychedelic I just think is mostly boring - and a lot of the music I call psychedelic people will be like "oh that's just rock music that can't be psychedelic" or some such thing. But they probably haven't done enough good drugs. And for all of the crazy different things I've heard - I still kind of think The Beatles are the most psychedelic band I've ever heard - it's important to be good - whether you're eating drugs or not. Ya dig? Anyways my loose definition of psychedelic is music that stimulates your brains a bit and maybe makes you think "hmm... wait a minute? maybe i'm not a chipmunk at all! maybe i'm actually susie jones, mistress of the endearing king of the marble people Laudner M. Dellbottoms"

***no particular order - just 10 very groovalicious psychedelic albums***

and Yes I realize I've just completely changed all of my initial formats and whatnot. I'll get back to that. what are you a cop? This is what's happening now. deal with it. I know it's going to be hard. There's therapy. Drugs. for this t y p e of thing. Also - in case you didn't know. where is that guy?

also its like when 94.9 turned country except without as much suck I hope.

1. Primal Scream - Screamadelica 1991. glorious mix of dance & rock music. "Higher Than The Sun" and "Step Inside This House" being two immediate favorites but in some ways the album really hits it's peak with the more tripped out stuff like "I'm Coming Down" and "Higher Than The Sun (Dub Symphony In Two Parts)"

2. Jonny Greenwood - Bodysong 2004. Radiohead's lead guitarist's first solo album. This album is very very very far out there. Like no other album I've heard. mad scientist music to the 9th degree HUH? This album combines strange atmospheric strings & pianos with even stranger electronics and studio manipulations. This album is so psychedelic that I can listen to it while completely sober and begin to hallucinate. It's like a journey way far off or way deep inside. Stunningly intense music once you are able to wrap your head around it (which may take a very long time.) I'm just now starting to get the beauty of the album at first just blown away by the insanity of it.

3. Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat 1969. This double album may be my favorite Frank Zappa album. The first disc I especially like, although disc 2 is great too - I've always liked Zappa's songs more than the jamming - (although if anyone can get me into jam type stuff it'd be Zappa, he was one sick bastard of a guitar player.) Favorites include track 9 from Disc 1 - "Sleeping in a Jar" , track 12 "Electric Aunt Jemima", and track 22 "Cruisin' For Burgers." Disc 2 is a song called "King Kong" broke into 7 parts. If you really want to blast off into interstellar biz this may be the disc for you. Actually listening to the album now I may have to reconsider what I said before. Disc 2 may just be more sick than disc 1.

4. Ludwig Van Beethoven - Symphonies 1 through 9 1800(#1)-1824(#9). yo, check out those phat beats. Seriously listening to Beethoven (and other great classical music) can be some of the most psychedelic biz in the world. The complex beauty of the music is so completely engrossing if you are able to let yourself go into that world you may see many diagrams and glimpses of the future. One beautiful thought is to think of how you are listening to the imagination of a man from another time... I like to think about how his mind lives on now... 200 years later through the timeless beauty of his music.

5. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper 1967. Sure an obvious choice but sometimes choices are obvious for a reason, this is one of those times. I do not want to hear about how this album is overrated. You are a dick. Listen to the music. Suggested mp3s to check out if for some reason you don't already own this album "A Day In The Life", "Fixing A Hole", "Getting Better", and for something completely different "Within You Without You"

6. Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn 1967. Syd Barrett is the man. Listen to "Interstellar Overdrive", "Flaming", and "Bike." then buy the album by clicking on that underlined blue Piper At The Gates Of Dawn above, thank you. This album, maybe more than any other in the history of man, captures madcap psychedelic to perfection.

7. Spiritualized - Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space 1997. Holy God do I love this album? Yes. This one is timeless to me. I've been listening to it since it came out and it's still just as amazing. Sounds that pulsate. Noise thate inspires. Beauty that transcends. Eat this album daily till your head expands 10 times it's normal size. Suggested songs to check out you are not yet convinced to buy this album - "I think I'm In Love", "All of my thoughts", and the title track.

8. Olivia Tremor Control - Dusk At Cubist Castle 1996. I just recently discovered Olivia Tremor Control. They make me want to get back into eating loads of drugs. Damn these guys are good. The amount of sonic treasures packed into their songs is unbelievable. And they manage to mix in pure sonic insanity with some beautiful Beatlesesque melodies. 27 Tracks in all, 10 of them named "Green Tyepwriters." Some suggested tracks are "No Growing" & "Holiday Surprise."

9. Radiohead - Kid A 2000. I was trippin' balls when I first heard this album. It's been almost 5 years since then, but my brain is still recovering. Check out "The National Anthem", "How To Dissapear Completely" and "Idioteque."

10. The Flaming Lips - Zaireeka 1997. Zaireeka is the Flaming Lips very experimental album which includes four different CDs which are all to be played simultaneously. You can find versions of the songs mixed together on the 'net but to get the full experience you have to track down 4 CD players or find (or make your own like I did) a DVD 5.1 version of it. Listening to a "Machine In India" when it goes into the noisy section spaced out from 4 different sound sources made my floor melt right away. No use for the floor when something like that is happening.

Speaking of Zaireeka and 5.1 mixing (The Flaming Lips have released Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots in 5.1) this is one of the more exciting (and very psychedelic) recent advances in the world of hi-fi music listening. More and more bands are releasing albums in 5.1 --- if you are interested in getting a system for playing back 5.1 audio DVDs (also great for playing movies for that home theater effect of course.) Check This Out -> Sony 5.1 System.

Oh and if you don't get what 5.1 is - it means that the music has been mixed so that it's coming out of 5 different speakers - right front & left front, center, right back & left back - along with a subwoofer (the .1) - true surround sound music. I think it's especially great for very densely mixed or atmospheric music (both things which i associate closely to the term psychedelic) - if an album has an enormous amount of parts where it feels difficult to hear them all at once - 5.1 versions really allow the sound to open up.

Things have changed

Today is the new day. Tax Day in America. Let's talk about that for a bit. Let's talk about the end of the biscuit the begging macdonald. Some may write words because they know how they are spelled, others may write words that they can read, if we were to do neither we could create a way of understanding without communication.

Let's have some song recommendations.

1. Grandaddy - "Final Push To The Sum" - Sumday -------- the last track on Sumday. Beautiful, understated song with some cool surprising instrumental flourishes. what have i become?

2. Neutral Milk Hotel - "Oh Comely" - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea ------ this is the track that made me further inspect this album which I had heard a couple of times before it started to sink in (it's often like that with the great ones isn't it?) --- This album is now one of my favorite albums of all time.

3. The Beatles - "Paperback Writer" - There's a few CDs to get this off, it was a single so not included on any album. But this be a collection of biz, yo. -------- frere jacques.

The Mars Volta - "Pisacis"

The Mars Volta is like no other band around today. Their progressive psychedelic heavy rock sound takes one on a trip to another world. I'm still getting my head around their new album - Frances The Mute but this song "Pisacis" is one that jumps out at me early on. An instrumental with absolutely otherworldly mood, Pisacis is like being dropped in the middle of space. Beautiful guitars which sometimes turn absolutely spooky and possibly scary at times.

what the fuck. this song isn't even on the album. what is happening. stop reading and go back to what you were doing. you have entered another dimension.

Stevie Wonder - "What's The Fuss"

I heard this the other day on the R&B station at work. I thought maybe it was a track from the 70s I hadn't heard before. Then I learned it was a new song. I was very impressed by that because of the energy and how great Stevie's voice sounded. I had to get the song at home to hear it some more - on repeated listens it's a great song (don't get the stupid rap versions, make sure you get the original one)

The synth line is deep squelchy and funky. Real funky. How come this nearly 60 year old man is more funky than any one in R&B today? Shame on them.



The album that this new song is off of "A Time To Love" is to be released on May 3 but you can preorder the album Here.

Beck - "Earthquake Weather"

Off of Beck's excellent new album Guero

"Earthquake Weather" has been my favorite track off the new album so far. The chorus is quite beautiful, the soundscape is wild, the beats be hot. And there's some fantastic breakdowns. Screw PitchForkMedia and such other dispensers of "hip" points. For lovers of music - this should do the trick.

"i push, i pull, the days go slow, into a void..."

the song has a slightly eastern feel, yet is very funky as well. the amount of things going on sonically is almost overwhelming. the song works both as a funky dancefloor # and as a headphones headtrip.

great track. classic beck. get the album if you haven't yet.

also available in surround sound DVD.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pumpkin Buzzard - "Caring Gun"

This is one song from an album that was apparently recorded in a day. Obviously this is going to cause some sparseness to the recording - while this can be a positive thing with straight ahead rock or acoustic type tracks I'm not sure it's a positive with something like this (more electronic in nature) This song features the bass as lead instrument in front of some somewhat awkward sounding drum machine work. At 1:15ish things change a bit when guitar comes in. Then some sort of rapping type vocals come in. It's pretty funky during this time. I like the bass and the heavy piano chords.

Reminds me of early Ween.

Overall the song has some cool elements but it seems to be a bit lacking in fleshing out and I don't think I'm saying this just because I know of the rush job on the recording. It just feels like there could be more to it and that it could be a bit tighter.

Decent. 5/10

You can download this song and hear for yourself HERE

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Blur - "Caravan"

Track #7 from Blur's excellent 2003 album Think Tank. My favorite Blur album to date. Don't mind that 2 star AllMusic.Com review.

As with the rest of the songs on this album "Caravan" excels in atmosphere and mood. Heavy bass and interesting electronic drums power the song along with a dirty distorted guitar riff. The song feels deep and moody as it moves along. Damon Albarn's voice sounds excellent. "And it when it comes, you'll feel the weight of it, the weight of it."

Enchanting when the "la la la la la" comes in with deep otherwordly keys.

There are some strangely distorted vocal parts in the background. There's a lot of different parts moving underneath the surface on this song - but each is quite clear in the mix.


Unsigned Band Song Reviews?

Still looking for any submissions from some unsigned bands looking for some reviews?

No guarnatees of a review and definitly no guarantee of a positive review. still worth a shot, right kids?

also taking requests.

Ween - "Back To Basom"

A lot of people have the wrong idea about Ween. They think they are just a "joke" band or some such nonsense. Ween is one of the best, most original, and most inventive rock bands in the world. And while they can put out a "joke" song from time to time most of their stuff is just plain brilliant and what in some of their songs people may see as a joke - I see as absurdity.

This particular song "Back To Basom" is one of the many great tracks from 2000's White Pepper (a bit of a nod to The Beatles The White Album & Sgt Pepper)

Back To Basom is a bit of an outerspace pop song something like David Bowie's Space Oddity. It has some really wild synth breakdowns and shifting moods. Like most Ween songs there are some really absurd twisted lyrics and a really awesome and at time swirling soundscape which keeps the song indefinitly interesting to listen to and a real trip as the kids may say.

I'm not really sure what this song is about - but I think it's about some sort of space traveller who wants to return to Basom. Whatever that is. Anyways - that doesn't really matter. Just get a bit loaded and listen to this album. Highly recommended.


Wilco - "Ashes Of American Flags"

One of my favorite tracks on one of my favorite albums of this century - Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

"All my lies were only wishes, I know I would die if I could come back new."

The song subtly shifts textures - at times nothing but some strange warbling sounds and the vocals - at other times sturdy acoustic guitar strumming. Always the mood feels just right for the words & melody it is supporting.

Some electric guitar riffs that sound like they are coming from across the sea. Some radios going in out of tune across the street. Beautiful sonic textures surrounding a beautiful song.

The song eventually melts into complete chaos before going into the next track.

If you haven't heard Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - then get to it. My favorite Wilco album and I believe to be one of the essential albums of this decade so far.


More Mitch Hedberg

Here are a few of his comedy albums

Strategic Gill Locations

Mitch All Together (this one comes with a DVD as well)

really great stuff. seriously the funniest guy since Bill Hicks.

I'm still a bit shocked by his death as I was just going to see him a couple of weeks ago here in NYC. I mean with all of this hub bub about a brain dead woman dying after 15 years in a vegetable state and about an 85 year old Pope dying... well it just seems so much sadder to me that this 37 year old man on the top of his game got snuffed out too soon.

back to your regularly scheduled mp3 reviews.

RIP Mitch Hedberg

This message is for Mitch Hedberg who was one of my favorite comics. He died at age 37 on March 30th of this year. The details of why he died at such a young age are a bit fuzzy as of now. So I don't want to speculate on that... It's enough to say that it's very sad.

If you've never heard his comedy before - do a search for him on the mp3 file sharing networks (like as advertised on this page) because he was truly hilarious.

Link to Comedy Central's Mitch Hedberg Page.

Primal Scream - "Keep Your Dreams"

I wanted to review a song from Primal Scream's 2000 masterpiece XTRMNTR but with almost every track being a stand out it's hard to choose just one. I decided to with this one, track #7, "Keep Your Dreams" as it does stand out from the others as being the only laid back really pretty song on the album. While I love this song my favorites on the album are probably the insane jazz tinged tracks like #6 "Blood Money."

The mood is set with tinkling keys and somewhat underwater sounding noises and understated electronic drums. Over a minute in the vocals arrive lighter than air. "I believe that syphillis can burn your soul away" ... later "time will turn your bones to dust" ... all with an inssistant fast bassline underpinning the track. Not your average ballad - something much more interesting. Otherworldly and psychedelic while still sweet & pretty.

At just past 2 minutes in the first instrumental breakdown with some very nice sampled strings and some strange sounds (very Primal Scream) helping to create a feeling something like floating, maybe like falling.

"keep your dreams, don't sell your soul." I see this song as sort of being the heart of a very abrassive in your face album. The other songs will rip your face off - this one is there to show you sort of what it's all bout.

The song ends with the refrain "I'm going down to the underground" with some nice harmonies on "As Deep As I Can Go" --- I think this is about keeping your own dreams (as the song is titled "Keep Your Dreams" and not 'selling out' to fit in with others. For Primal Scream it seems their dreams are indeed in the underground.

Great song on an excellent album. This band is so incredibly underrated it's hard for me to understand why more people just don't get it.


The Killers "Smile Like You Mean It"

From The Killers album Hot Fuss.

A part of the very unfortunate 80s revival. It seems most of the people buying into this aren't old enough to remember how shit the 80s were the first time around. Is there really need for a revival of the 80s?

Synths used in a very new wave 80s sort of way. The drum sound is quite crap. I have to say I think this song is complete garbage.


Brian Wilson - "Surfs Up"

From the long lost album Smile released in 2004 after originally being set for release in 1967 as a a Beach Boys album. Smile became the most famous unreleased album in history so Brian Wilson's re-recording of it (all new recordings) with a new band as a much older man was highly anticipated. Most reviewers agree (as do I) that it was very succesffully done.

"Surfs Up" may be my favorite track (#10) from the album. This is an album where it's best listened to in order and where each song flows into the next, so a review of a single song may not quite be fitting for a song from this album. But maybe it's all the more reason to do so - sometimes the greatness of individual tracks can be overlooked when an album is taken as a concept.

As with most of the songs on this album the song features absolutely stunningly beautiful harmonies. Among my favorite moments is the "are you sleeping brother john?" part. After which the song changes moods. With about one minute left the a bit from another song "Child Is The Father Of The Man" is entered (as with most of the songs on the album, there are interplays from other songs) - this to me is the real highlight of this song. Just layers upon layers of beautiful vocal parts. When laying down - one could almost float off the ground - while listening to this music.

Truly beautiful music. A feeling of timelessness is conveyed. I must recommend Brian Wilson's Smile to any real music lovers out there to hear "Surfs Up" and the other 16 great tracks. Maybe the album of the year for 2004.


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