Archive for January, 2009

Awesome Album Covers!

January 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

“C’mon! What? Not MAN enough to fight a shirtless dude with a tattoo of a unicorn-whale on his chest?

Awesome Album Covers!

January 20th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Also, feel free to post your own witty comments.
And you thought your sunday hangover was bad…

Jim Carroll

January 18th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

This week’s artist of the week is a New Yorker who was part of the CBGB scene of punk intellectuals that included Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith and Richard Hell. Though his name isn’t as well preserved as the aforementioned artists, his legacy lives on in movies and books in addition to his music. This week’s artist of the week is…


Like all those guys mentioned above, Jim Carroll was a hard rocking intellectual punk poet influenced primarily by the French surrealists Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine (Tom stole his last name, in case you were confused). Musically, he’s best remembered now for the song “People Who Died” which has appeared in movies like E.T. (for some reason) and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. At the time of its release it was a “near hit”, according to AMG. True, the song probably is his most visceral and affecting musical accomplishment, but he also released several albums with plenty of other great tracks, like “Catholic Boy” and “Three Sisters”.

As great as some of his music was, he is best remembered as the author of The Basketball Diaries, an autobiographic work detailing his experiences with sex and hard drugs from the ages of 13 to 16. The book was made into a movie of the same name in 1995 and starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.

Though his music sounds a little aged in 2009, Carroll’s great lyrical writing still holds up wonderfully and should be checked out by anyone interested in the CBGB intellectuals or people who just like great song lyrics.

The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours

January 17th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Lou Reed was once asked what he thought of The Band in an interview. His reply was something along the lines of, “sure, they’re great, if you want to sit on your porch and pretend it’s 1832.” In some ways, that statement could apply to The Deep Dark Woods. Unlike bands like My Morning Jacket, Wilco and Fleet Foxes, TDDW make no effort to bring their brand of Appalachian folk music into the present, with the melodies, instrumentation and lyrics all doing their best to hold up the illusion that it’s still 200 years ago…only it isn’t.
However, if I were judging the album as someone living in the 19th century, I might think differently. In terms of construction and song composition, Winter Hours is as solid as the evergreen wood the album’s rustic sound evokes. While most songs are gifted with a sort of classic kind of sad backwoods beauty, at times a poppy element buried within the songwriting bubbles up to the surface, most notably in the strikingly Band-esque “Polly”, with its sticky, 70’s bar-band guitars and woozy melancholy.
Like The Band did on their classic 1969 self-titled album, TDDW are able to make music from the past by writing from the perspective of a person living from that time. The most memorable example of this off The Band was “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, the story of a Southern general watching his side lose the civil war; on Winter Hours it’s “The Gallows”, a song about the hanging of a young man for murder. Lyrically, TDDW principle songwriter Ryan Boldt has a novel-like ability to tell a story, with a knack for creating poignant characters and situations.
The way that Winter Hours holds together stylistically, in addition to it’s highly literate lyrics, makes listening through it an almost conceptual experience. While the album lacks the charm of The Band or the majesty of the Fleet Foxes album needed to make it sound vital in 2009, Winter Hours is still a thorough and engaging listen. At least from the perspective of someone from 1832.

Awesome Album Covers!

January 16th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Hey, this is the first of a new feature I’ll be starting called “Awesome Album Covers!” in which I find really bad, awesome or weird album covers and just right a funny little caption below them. This will be a regular feature and I’ll probably post one at least once a week. Here’s this week’s, Warren Zevon’s 1989 Transverse City.

Bill Nigh The Science Guy’s been going through some tough times lately