Saturday, July 2, 2011

Over to yer left

See that link for exploding in sound? Yeah, follow it. Hopefully when you do so, the video footage of the mighty Kylesa will still be up. They are seriously one of the most awesome bands going, right now. They get called stoner/sludge, metal, but I find they transcend that category. Awesome Psychedelic indie/Alternative/metal/Rock. If it's not still up, here's some links:
and more from the same set:
If this were investment banking, I'd put Kylesa in my "aggressive growth" fund...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Totally unrelated

So, besides watching TV, and rediscovering U2, I've been doing what I usually do. Here's the coolest from the past few days:
First, if you love QOTSA, check out this link. Well worth your time.
I just caught up to Germany's Ritual. Awesome band, and you should hear "Paper Skin" their new CD. Post-hardcore is becoming boring, with everyone referencing the same stuff- Fugazi and Snapcase, you know? But Ritual don't exactly sound like that. I can tell they've got some of the same influences as Fugazi and Snapcase, but... this is more like if early Refused rand head on into later Quicksand, with a yen to play "Revelations" era Killing Joke. In other words, you've got the punky-slayer hoarse screeching vocals and chuggy guitar breakdowns, mixed with strange layered rhythms covered in a frosty sheen of alternate-turned guitars. I could see them playing with Early Neurosis- to a draw, and that's saying something. Really excellent post-hardcore- and they're one of the few bands who I think are getting post-hardcore right.
Finally, I also have just got caught up with Ha Ha Tonka. Yes, they play Southern-fried Country-tinged indie rock, which is a sound you've heard before, but if Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket and the Arcade Fire sounded like Ha Ha Tonka, I'd like them, too. Instead, only Ha Ha Tonka have the punky-indie rock drive of the Arcade Fire, married to bluegrass influenced southern rock, with superb vocal harmonies. I don't know why it took me so long to find them, but they're really good. They're so good, I would suggest them even to my friends who don't care for either indie rock nor Appalachian country. Much, much better than the similarly-sounding Mumford and Sons. I just got Death of a Decade , but I'm sure I'm getting more by them, soon.

Now, yes, these three are suggestions, and that's the only binding tie between them. However, as always, I know my taste is no better than yours- if you don't agree with any or all, that's fine. However, I hope it expands your tastes just a little- that is, I hope that an indie rock fan can get a little something from Ritual, and I hope a hardcore Punker can get a little high lonesome harmony from Ha Ha Tonka, and seriously, who doesn't like Queens of the Stone Age?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

TV Eye

So, finally, my Television season is starting. Yes, I actually prefer mostly "summer shows". Now, for those unaware of the evolution, it goes something like this: all TV revolves around the school year working week. So, in other words, if you're a Network TV programmer, traditionally, you'd put your strongest shows mid week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and coinciding with the start of the American school year ( September). You'd shoot 22-25 episodes of your strongest stuff (Read= Stuff that moves units in advertising) and 10-15 episodes of stuff you're taking a small chance on, with only a pilot of stuff you're shotgunning ( that is, TV concepts you're entirely unsure will sell anything, but you're willing to throw out there to try for as broad a range of consumers as possible). That formula worked for many years- y'see, kids do their homework on Mondays, and are out on Friday nights. People are not watching as much TV on weekends and summers because that's when they're on holiday. However, technology, as always, wouldn't let that sit. With VCRS and TiVO and DVR's, and DVD boxed sets of TV Shows, and changes in the American work week (the traditional 9-5, Monday through Friday is all but a myth, at this point) alongside the creation of massive amounts of broadcast space ( I've got 400 channels, how about you?) really made programmers' lives much more difficult. In the new Millenium, premium channels ( that is, pay TV networks, that aren't included in a flat cable TV rate) getting into producing TV shows really has changed the game. In particular, HBO's The Sopranos completely changed the programming rules. So, now, TV seasons are stretched out, and episodes get divided, and so on and so forth. Basically, TV programming is almost "asynchronous" with Programmers filling in 52 week slots with two seasons of Reality TV shows, and shorter seasons of scripted dramas (17-22 episodes, often with a break- the break being an "innovation" brought about by the massive writer's strike of the mid decade). The only TV still clinging to the old schedules would be Half Hour Sit Coms on Network (regular broadcast) TV.
So, my individual season, since we can have those now, would start this year near the end of June, with Burn Notice coming back on the USA network, True Blood coming back on HBO, Rescue Me coming back on FX in the beginning of July, the re-broadcast of Boardwalk Empire on HBO in July, followed up by the second season in september. Add that to my regular watching of sports (both Fake- wrestling- and real- racing, boxing, and some Football) and movies, and News, and I've got a pretty complete schedule of TV coming up for me. Mathwise, this comes out to about 12-14 hours a week, which makes for about 1.5 to 2 hours a night, which is about how much TV I watched in the fall as a kid.
The only one I've seen so far has been the season opener of Burn Notice. Now, I'm not here to say that Burn Notice is particularly deep TV. I watch it for the pretty colors and witty one liners. However, I do like that they're trying to add a little depth to the characters. Michael, it seems, is not so much motivated by a desire to serve his country, as he is by petty revenge, and preening vanity. That's interesting. Likewise, Fiona isn't so blindly attached to Michael, as she is addicted to the action he can provide. Again, interesting. They even managed to tie Michael's personality to his Mother; a nice little twist near the end. I don't know that I'd want that every week, but it's nice to add just a little depth to our cartoon spies.
True Blood, which is on tonight is more my wife's thing than mine, but I am looking forward to seeing Sam go real dark. He's one of my favorite characters on the show, and I hope they let him be a real bad guy for awhile. He's got every reason to be bad, and no real reason to be good. I'm also looking forward to seeing more Eric Northman, and less Bill, err Lux Interior (What? I can't be the only one to notice the similarity?) . So, yes, my TV season has started....