Wednesday, February 27, 2008


the number of bands that have broken my heart out number boys by approximately one million to none. i know bands don’t last forever. they break up. artists “grow,” move on to other things, new things, and occasionally better things.

i’m not quite over the loss of Acceptance, and i doubt that i ever will be. but there are other ex-bands which I am willing to talk about. time heals some wounds.

Northstar were one of my late 90’s emo-indie rock staples. between "Is This Thing Loaded," and "Pollyanna," they had a pretty good run.

they have long since disbanded, but Nicolas Torres along with Tyler Odem moved on to a different and wonderful project. Cassino is quite the departure from their upbeat-emo past. (hello oxymoron.) the genuine acoustic/folk sound executed by this band provides a seemless guide for Nic’s distinct vocals. From harmonicas to trumpets, there is use of instrumental technicality throughout this album that shows maturity. the piano in "The Old Year," seems to drive the song against the vocals in an awkward but beautiful way. "Sounds of Salvation," indeed.

it is rare that i find myself happy over a disbandment, but i sincerely hope Cassino stick around long enough to make a sophomore effort. it is because of bands not boys that i always have ice-cream in the freezer and a box of tissues near by. there need to be more post-break-up projects like this one if I’m ever going to completely buy into all that ‘everything happens for a reason” b.s…

The Old Year - Cassino
Rigged and Ready - Northstar

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Socalled is hip hop. Socalled is Jewish hip hop. Socalled is wicked.

Socalled, is a.k.a. Josh Dolgin. the Canadian/Ottawa native is literally and figuratively marching to the beat of his own drums. eclectic is the most ideal word to describe his music. he is not just mixing religion into sound, but various languages and history as well. miles away from being the Jewish kid told to sing songs about some dude named ‘Jesus’ in choir. he has since crafted a genre for himself that he believes in. a range of collaborations include Wu Tang's Killah Priest, and Matisyahu. rooted in old Yiddish melodies, the messages he sends have purpose: giving his religions history a present voice. thoughtfully accomplished, and beyond the reasoning for the sound, the music rocks. yes, i said Jewish hip hop rocks.

give Ghettoblaster a listen. it is Socalled's 2007 release, decidedly more mainstream than the first LP, The Socalled Seder. but both are worth a listen. below is the video for “You are never alone.” it is a good song, a well done video, and a little on the creepy side. the opening lyric of “and frankly there is nothing so unusual about being a Jewish cowboy,” is a loaded statement. one brushstroke on the canvas Socalled is attempting to paint. get thinking friends.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why Bonnaroo is better than Coachella : 2008 Edition

  1. Pearl Jam is playing Bonnaroo. Jack Johnson is playing Coachella.
  2. Willie Nelson is playing Bonnaroo. Jack Johnson is playing Coachella.
  3. Driving to Tennessee is feasible and affordable. Driving to California is not.
  4. David Cross will be at Bonnaroo. Jack Johnson will be at Coachella.
  5. Kanye West will blow your mind at Bonnaroo. Jack Johnson will not blow your mind at Coachella.
  6. Fine, Jack Johnson is playing Bonnaroo, too. See reasons 1-4 for why it doesn't matter.

In conclusion, I'm not going to Coachella. But check out the lineups for yourself and decide.


After Indio, is Coachella headed east this year? If so, keep your eyes peeled for the lineup.

Hopefully it doesn't include Jack Johnson.