Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quick Turnaroud: A Review of Yes, I Like Nine Inch Nails

aka, Jade doesn't do any work when she's the only one in the office.

1. Immigrant Song - destroyed by Karen O

I'm a bit of a sad case and I'm a big Zepplin fan (when I was in primary school, I called a local radio station to request D'Yer Mak'r - they played it. Score. Love a good dad joke / sad pun) and I've never liked Karen O / The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In fact, their very moniker shits me to tears.

That said, the music on this track is killer, but the whole thing is ruined by her horrible voice.

2.  Linoleum - Tweaker

Ok, I've been reading Paul's blog forever and I've never bothered to check out tweaker. This song is pretty swoonworthy. Am I alone in getting a bit of a Scott Weiland channelling moody, 80s future-industrial? Anyway, A+, would recommend, check out more of their stuff.

3. Growing Up - Peter Gabriel

You know, I am not a Peter Gabriel fan. In fact, I'm the antithesis of a Peter Gabriel fan, that song with the digging in the dirt and the bugs crawling and the sheer utter twattery of sledgehammer? Yeah, NOT a fan.

I like the slow burn on this one, but Gabriel is just so boring. Is he counting ducks? Without the bassline, well, he would have put me to sleep.

4. Madame X - Robbie Robertson

Buzzword for this mixtape: Haunting.

I haven't seen the film, but the opening of this track sounds SO familiar to me, like someone smashed up The Bee Gee's How Deep is Your Love and Sealed with a Kiss by anyone by Jason Donovan.

5. Pleasant Smell - 12 Rounds

No. Just no. Aural assault at 7 in the morning.

6. Banged & Blown Through - Saul Williams

I'll be honest, you nearly lost me at 'slam poet'.

I take issue with your use of the word 'rap', unless this track is an anomaly on the album, but I dig, I dig. Frankly, his voice is horrible and I think he needs to maybe take a lesson or two in things like... well.. tone and pitch, but yeah, really thought provoking. Very strongly Reznored, but it really adds something powerful in this instance (in every instance).

7. On the Wing - How to Destroy Angels 

Ok, so I get the impression that Atticus Rose is to the Rez what Warren Ellis is to Nick Cave, no?

This chick doesn't seem to have a powerful enough voice to not be entirely swamped by the music, but it's not bad.

8. Heartbeats - Sono Io

I'll admit that I thought this one was going to be a dirty sexy version of the Jose Gonzales song.

It's not, so I'll contain my disappointment.

I find the vocals really compelling, and find it a bit surprising that he's an Italian, because he definitely sings with a mad brit tone. Me likey.

9. No Fair Fights - Prick

I think I must be overtired, because I can only hear David Bowie in this one. But, like, David Bowie doing spoken word for 7/8ths of a song and then David Bowie doing Trent Reznor karaoke for the rest.

10. Victory - Puff Daddy et al

LOL. Where you at?

Nah, I don't hate it. Completely misogynistic, but I can get over that. When they get a bit overexcitied, I just remember the classic Luda lyric: 'watch out for my medallions, my diamonds are reckless, feels like a midget is hanging from my necklace' and then I laugh. A lot.

Oh Luda, you so crazy.

11. I'm Afraid of Americans - David Bowie

I'm just putting it out there that I don't like David Bowie (other than as the Goblin King, but that shouldn't need clarification).

Actually, so far this is the first song that I recognise, so it must have been EVERYWHERE at the time.

Don't hate it.

12. Chip Away - Jane's Addiction

I saw Jane's Addiction in my formative years, life changer, and this version isn't so different from the ridgy didge. Certainly, that marching band drumming is wonderfully familiar. Definitely see the electronic influence, but it's funny, because I had always thought of NIN being influenced by JA, rather than the other way around.

You didn't write this one up, but I'm guessing there's more of a connection than them touring together?

13. The Reflecting God - Marilyn Manson

 I just...nah. Can't get beyond the try-hardiness.

Although... does he round it out by shouting 'shoo, shoo, shoo, motherfucker'?

14. Passive - A Perfect Circle

I actually love this song, I've always loved this song.

No one ever gives James Iha any credit, so I'm going to put that out there. I really like Tool, I think I've mentioned that here before, but this just seems like it fits seamlessly into their cattle dog.

15. Forgotten - TV on the Radio

Nice background noise.

16. Shit Stories - Trent Reznor

Yeah, sorry, don't have time for ten minutes of poop stories right now.

All in all, the album feels really cohesive with that underlying dirty drum / synthy goodness that is such a Reznor trademark.

A few of these songs will find their way into my permanent rotation, so cheers for that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yes, I Like Nine Inch Nails

In case you have somehow forgotten who I am...I enjoy the music of Nine Inch Nails.
And, as this is, ostensibly, a mix tape club, I know a lot of you are probably concerned about being inundated by a lot of Nine Inch Nails music that you either don't enjoy or have no interest in whatsoever.
With these things in mind, I offer something that is all connected to Nine Inch Nails...but actually features no music by Nine Inch Nails.

P.S. I do plan on using Nine Inch Nails music in later entries because there is not an emotion that can't be expressed perfectly by their music god I luv tRent Rezzner SO MUCH Imgonnamarry him.

Maybe I'm being facetious...


Immigrant Song - performed by Karen O., music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
In 2011, Reznor and Ross created the score for David Fincher's remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Fincher told Reznor he wanted to do a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". After several different incarnations, this is the result. It opens the movie beautifully and works just as well here as an opener.

Linoleum - tweaker
Chris Vrenna, the mind behind tweaker, was Nine Inch Nails' live drummer for most of their live shows in the 90's. He also did some work on the band's seminal work, The Downward Spiral. I would be lying if I said I'd have ever given tweaker the time of day had Vrenna not been affiliated with NIN, but, I did and, unlike some ex-NIN band members' solo projects...there is a lot of really amazing stuff here. Thus far, Vrenna has released three albums as tweaker, The Attraction To All Things Uncertain (2001) and 2am wakeup call (2004) and, just recently, Call The Time Eternity. Their first album, (released September 18th, 2001) provided a strange sort of comfort after the events of the previous week.

Growing Up (Reznor mix) - Peter Gabriel
One of the only things produced by Reznor during the horrid drought between his 1999 album and his 2005 album. Reznor adds a lethality and sense of foreboding to what was originally a well-made but somewhat forgettable dance track. The painstakingly detailed electronic distortion and simple, harsh bass and rattling drum beat provide a depth to which some might not want to sink. After hearing this version, I find myself ignoring the original.

Madame X - Robbie Robertson
Anyone who's heard anything off The Social Network score will recognize the unsettling, jittering strings being chewed up and abused in the background of this otherwise sleepy, acoustic instrumental. You want to scare some folks from the Mid-West? Get T Rezzy on your shit.

Pleasant Smell - 12 Rounds
12 Rounds was Atticus Ross' band before he hooked up with Trent Reznor and made some of the best music of Nine Inch Nails' career. The vocalist on this track is the lead singer, his wife, Claudia Sarne. Her voice is so...specific. I'm thinking a lot of you are going to hate her and I understand. There's a reason 12 Rounds didn't take over the world. But I feel like her somewhat bluesy, cracked rasp works here. Reznor produced this album, My Big Hero (1998), and released it on his Nothing Records label.

Saul Williams - Banged And Blown Through
Slam poet Saul Williams had released two album of hip hop/rap/poetry before Reznor saw his bare bones and powerful video for his track "List Of Demands". After that, he contacted Williams and asked him to open for a leg of Nine Inch Nails' 2006 tour. After that, he offered to produce Williams' next album. What actually ended up happening was Reznor writing most of the music for the album and coopting bits and pieces of unfinished and unreleased tracks from his own 1999 album, The Fragile, in order to create something hard and dark and brave and amazing. The result was 2007's The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, and it is the most riveting, nuanced rap album I've ever heard. I almost don't want to call it simply "rap". While it isn't for everyone, it's unlike anything you've heard before.

How to destroy angels_ - On the wing
After touring for almost three years straight, Reznor announced, in late 2009, that he was taking some time off from Nine Inch Nails. One of the things he worked on was How To Destroy Angels, a band consisting of him, long time musical cohort Atticus Ross and his wife, Mariqueen Maandig with recent addition, Rob Sheridan, who had, up until that point, been in charge of artwork, design, web integration and other takss in that vein. Since the late 90's, Reznor had talked about wanting to start a side project with a female vocalist...HTDA is that project. The songs are written by and, for the most part, sung by Mariqueen while the music is written by and, for the most part, performed by Reznor and Ross. In June of 2010, the band released a free, 6-track EP and then, on November 13th, 2012, they released another 6-track EP, from which this is taken. Their first, full-length album is due out Q1, 2013.

SONOIO - Heartbeats (Jesper Drums Mix)
Native Italian, Alessandro Cortini, served as NIN's keyboardist for about 5 years until Reznor put the band on hiatus in 2009. After that, he started SONOIO (Italian for "it's me"). The fact that everything you hear is one man and a bunch of synthesizers always gets to me; makes me think, well, if he can do it...etc. Have I ever made anything as good as Cortini? Well, that all depends on if you like his stuff or not. Some of you might find his voice a bit grating, but there's real feeling there. Thus far, he's put out two mini-albums (not quite EPs and not quite LPs) entitled "blue" and "red". Hopefully his third, as yet untitled, piece of this project will be out some time in late 2012 or early 2013.

Prick - No Fair Fights
Prick (led by Lucky Pierre singer and guitarist Kevin McMahon) was another of the bands that Reznor signed to his Nothing Records label back in the early 90's when everyone gave him everything. Aside from signing Prick, he also produced and did backing vocals on a few tracks from their self-titled debut album. This is one of them. Anyone who knows Nine Inch Nails...which is none of you but Chris...will immediately think this is totally NIN with a different lead vocalist and less electronic distortion. I like how weird McMahon sounds on this and the flow and evolution of the song, even if it's a bit overly mid-90's industrial.

Puff Daddy feat. Busta Rhymes and the Notorious B.I.G. - Victory (Nine Inch Nails remix)
Okay. I'll admit, this is over-the-top and verging on ridiculous. But, then again, so is a lot of gangster rap. This remix was sort of Reznor's tongue-in-cheek response to the whole nu-metal/rap+rock bullshit of the time period. He later confessed that he did it for the money and the laughs.

David Bowie - I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1)
One of my biggest regrets (musically) was missing the David Bowie/Nine Inch Nails tour of 1996. Since then, Reznor has sung with a few other people, but never has his voice so perfectly melded with another than with Bowie. Check out their version of "Hurt" if you don't believe me...although why you wouldn't believe me on a topic such as this...well, I don't would kind of baffle me, that's all...anyway, when Bowie put out his Earthling album in 1998, he got Reznor to completely deconstruct and reconstruct his track "I'm Afraid Of Americans". The other five versions (V2 through V6) verge on unintelligible, ego-centric experimental pap (although V3 features a guest appearance from none other than Ice Cube), but this one got mucho radio play. It takes the glitchy, quirky original and makes it bigger and more dangerous. And yelling. Reznor adds some yelling too. This track comes with a video of Bowie being chased through downtown New York by Reznor. It's...kind of silly.

Jane's Addiciton - Chip Away
While touring (opening, actually) with Jane's Addiction on 2009's NIN|JA tour, Reznor and Ross got them in the studio to re-record some of their earlier work with Reznor as a producer. There was this and "Whores". Basically, they're darker than the originals, more Nine Inch Nails-y. Truthfully, I've never been a Jane's Addiction fan and, at both of the shows I saw on the tour, I left either before or just after they took the stage.

Marilyn Manson - The Reflecting God
As unlistenable and just awful as this guy has become in recent years, there was a time when Marilyn Manson had something going for him, and, as anyone who doesn't currently work in Hot Topic will agree, it was when Reznor was creating music with him. His first album and EP were produced by and featured Reznor here and there and his second and best album Antichrist Superstar was the apex of their musical collaboration. I'll spare you the details of the album's dark, apocalyptic concept and nutshell it thusly: Reznor took everything Manson did on the album and made it better. He brought depth and substance and texture to places where there was little or none. Manson came to Reznor with an album, and Reznor made it a masterpiece. This is the second to last track and I don't think any of you will make it a minute into the song. And I understand.

A Perfect Circle - Passive
All right **deep breath**...from 1995 to 2004, there existed the rumor of a supergroup called Tapeworm featuring Trent Reznor, Danny Lohner (NIN live bassist), Charlie Clouser (NIN live keyboardist), Alan Moulder (producer), Maynard James Keenan (lead singer of Tool) and Atticus Ross (programmer and half of 12 Rounds). Other contributors included Phil Anselmo (lead singer of Pantera), Josh Freese (super drummer for a shitton of bands, most recently NIN), Toni Halliday (lead singer of Curve), Page Hamilton (guitarist/singer of Helmet) and Tommy Victor (lead guitarist/singer of Prong). Over the years, two songs have (kind of) come out of this project. One is a song by the band Puscifer called "Potions" and the other is this song. In recent years, Reznor admitted that some material had been recorded but that none of the artists involved thought any of it was good enough to be released as its own thing.
Thank you...?

TV On The Radio - Forgotten
Aside from touring with them and remixing some stuff and doing a few songs with them and Peter Murphy (including an amazing version of the Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead") on the 2006 Nine Inch Nails tour, Trent Reznor has nothing to do with TV On The Radio...except for the fact the he got me into them, and I'm incredibly grateful. They have a unique and appealing sound unlike a lot of stuff out there and I hope you dig it. Check out their albums Return To Cookie Mountain and Nine Types Of Light for more great stuff by them.

Trent Reznor - Shit Stories
Back in the days of Napster, when I would search for "Nine Inch Nails" several times a day, every day, I came across a file entitled "Trent Reznor - Shit Stories". How...could I not...have downloaded it?
And,'s everything it promises to be: almost ten minutes of Trent Reznor telling stories about pooping. And it's fucking hilarious. I beg you to listen to the whole thing, as, buried in it, is Reznor accidentally doing an amazing Buffalo Bill impression.

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Disappointment" doesn't cover it...

Anyway, I'm going to post something soon, maybe next week.
And then no one will listen to it.
And then we'll all die.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Butter Jam

I'm nothing if not a trend-follower.
And so, I present my summer mix tape: the Hot Butter Jam!

Mika - Lollipop
Overplayed, you say? Well then Mika shouldn't have made it so god damn catchy.
Children dancing under a fire hydrant's spray having the kind of fun that we, as adults, can't (or aren't allowed to) have any more...until Mika comes flying out, playing the piano and leading the cast of Stomp in one of those stompy foot displays that are so obnoxious on the subway when you're trying to read.
What says summer more clearly (and loudly) than that?

David Bowie - Pablo Picasso
This man can do anything he wants, and that includes tearing this plodding Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers song a fiery new asshole with a huge, razor-sharp guitar lick. This song finds you flying over a shimmering desert, propelled solely by Bowie's voice and that god damn guitar riff.

Mickey Avalon - California Crack Cocaine
Okay, yes, the song is about drugs, BUT it's full of summery references and that chorus is so fucking catchy that it'll have you humming or, hopefully, singing the words at work, then having to explain them to your boss, then having him listen to it, then singing it HIMSELF!!! MAKE NEW FRIENDS!!!

Discovery - I Want You Back
You ever think there's something creepy about the original? About a little boy singing about all these big boy feelings? We'll these guys did and this is an excellent cover, so you'll just have to deal with it.
Pump this with the Turbo Bass® ON....actually, never mind, because this beat is MADE of Turbo Base®.

Flight of the Conchords - Foux Du Fafa
So breezy and ridiculous. And, come on, we've all faked a French accent to get some "summer lovin"*, haven't we?
No. We have not.

Gorillaz - 19/2000 (Soulchild remix)
One summer, I took a train from Orlando to Miami to visit Phil. I burned myself a mix CD that perfectly encapsulated the event: the anticipation of all the madness we were about to get up to, the joy of being with one of my best friends for days on end, and the cherished memories of when the trip, sadly, inevitably, had ended. This song was track number one. It takes the rubbery, dubby feel of the original and shines some sun on it, making it sparkle. Permission to shake your ass is granted, so long as you get the cool shoe shine.

Barry Adamson - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Laid back. Laid aaaaall the way back into Supreme Mellowness.
Also sporting a Hawaiian shirt and wearing sunglasses LONG after sunset.

The Bird & The Bee - So You Say

Beck - Girl/Timebomb
You want an essay on why Beck is on here twice? I'll write you one, you know I will.
But, for now, an explanation: of my five favorite bands, none of them does summer music like Beck. Nine Inch Nails comes close with "March of the Fuckheads", but this isn't horseshoes, folks. I put these two tracks on here back to back because I could not decide which one worked better. On one hand, you have the tried and true "Girl", which is probably the best summer jam on here; it has the high energy acoustic guitar strumming, it has the soaring chorus, those hand claps and it's just made for listening to while driving along a coastline in a convertible. On the other hand, there's "Timebomb". It's also high energy, but more stark, a little dangerous, and not as well known as the former. Plus, it has the word "ziggurat" in it, and nothing is more summery than a ziggurat. Honestly, I would have been perfectly happy with just adding "Girl" to this here summer mix...but I'm lying. I wouldn't have been.
Let me put it another way: What did you have for lunch, fellow Bite The Musicians?
A Hot Beck Summer Jam Sandwich, hold the complaining.

Bush - Glycerine
That one of my first in Florida, all I did was watch MTV. In the evenings, it was The Maxx and The Head and The State and Liquid Television, and, during the day, the MTV Beach House. God damn how I hated all those people. Not because they were having fun and I wasn't, but because I knew, even back then, that they were worthless and pointless and on fucking TV. They played this song at least once every hour. I'm sure some folks at my high school lost their virginity to this...but I was not one of them.

Green Day - When I Come Around
Same summer...same MTV Beach House...same hour.
Hey, anyone remember The Grind? That show where you'd just watch idiots dry hump each other in MTV's pseudo-industrial studio?
Wow was that stupid.

Mali Music - Le Mogon
I'm going to shoot a video for this. It's going to consist of a family of sloths (arranged by height, the baby in the back) walking through the sun-dappled jungles of Costa Rica and bobbing their heads to the beat.
My Kickstarter launches soon.

Erasure - Chains of Love
Childhood summer of forever; this song: all day, every day. Endless Summer.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Walkabout
The images contained within this song are very summery.
Every time I hear it, I delight in picturing the band just wandering through a desert; some of them barefoot (Flea is definitely barefoot), some wearing sandals.

Ol' Dirty Bastard - Last Call
But the summer isn't just about cars and the beach and cook outs and sex with girls, no! It's about getting crunk (which is "drunk", but misspelled because you're too drunk to remember how to spell it correctly)! And who knows more about music and getting crunk than the Ol' Dirty Bastard. He continues to move our asses from beyond the grave, like some horny specter with a Ouija board, but, instead of a Ouija board, it's our asses This also serves as a fitting prologue...

The Streets - Fit But You Know It
And thus begins the Drunkest Night Triptych.
You and your friends hit a pub, maybe get some food (but not nearly enough to soak up all the alcohol you're about to ingest) and then begin to steadily drink, and drink, and drink until...

Gabin - Bang Bang To The Rock 'N' Roll're at a backyard barbecue and getting ready to leave. Whose house this is and where it is, you have no idea and it doesn't matter. You are so drunk that you can either speak or walk, but not both and neither well. Whose vomit is this, whose shirt is this? The one thing you do know is that you need to leave and why...because that cute girl said she's going to this other party across town...and maybe she'll see you there?

Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk To Fuck
Whoa. That got out of hand rather quickly. Bad luck, friend-o: you picked the girl with...issues. I'd get out of there as fast as I can, if I were you. And, once you do...the Drunkest Night Triptych ends in tragedy. But, there is a coda...

The Rapture - No Sex For Ben
It isn't Ben's fault. He was cock blocked by that crazy, French chick who started crying and waving a goddamn marlin spike around! She said it was for the limes...but no limes were in evidence..
Maybe next time, Ben.

The Flaming Lips - It's Summertime
Too easy? Wrong. YOU'RE too easy! Zing!!!
All the pussy/cock/ass chasing is over, the sun is setting. Sit back, relax. Take it is summertime after all...and, if you look inside, all you'll see is a self-reflected inner sadness.
Also, I like that the bridge at the end sounds like "Fuck Wit Dre Day" from The Chronic.

The Last Car - Firefly
Fireflies come out at night in the summer. And that's all you're gonna get.

*read: 'butt lovin'"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A review of "Wet Hot Australian Summer"

Sorry it took so long, but here it is...

"I Love It" - Aussie rap sounds so NOVEL to me. The Streets win when it comes to foreign rapperers but this is interesting. Not being Australian, I don't know these who would be these guys American counterpart and I think that might help me understand them better. Great opener.

"L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N." - Whoa. This is SO radio friendly; musically if not lyrically. The singers voice and delivery remind me of Lou Reed more than Tom Petty, specifically "Walk On The Wild Side", but I can totally hear the "Lola". Sadly, this is too sunshiney and sugary for my music teeth to properly bite. Undeniable good feel though.

"Heart It Races" - Love the beginning vocalizations, feels very summer, very exotic. Some of the least annoying steel drums I've ever heard. Vocals get a bit annoying though, bummer.

"Jump Into The Fog" - I love this. First excellent song on the album, in my opinion. Great synth and I dig the guy's voice. This seems very mainstream. I'm wondering how much of this album is from Triple J's weekly Top 10n...

"Even Though I'm A Woman" - Don't really love this. Can't say why...maybe because I'm not a woman? It's too...straightforward? Nice and sweet and sad and meh. I'm such a dick. Let's watch football and put ground beef on nachos and drink beers and stuff.

"The Signal" - Same feelings as "I Love It", but I liked that better. There's less going on here. Oh, and the fact that this is an "oldie from 2007"? Makes me feel creaky.

"This Heart Attack" - Almost completely and instantly turned off by the "aahh aahh's". By the time the chorus kicks in, I'm gone. Pass.

"Tongue Tied" - BIG 80'S HOUSE PARTY!!! JUMP ON THE BED!!! The beat and that sparkling keyboard just WIN. A lot. "Marmalade. We're making out." What?! WHO CARES???!!!  SLUMBER PARTY!!!! TRUTH OR DARE AND COCKSUCKING COWBOYS!!!!

"Rapunzel" - Yes. YES. This is the most summery summer rap EVER. That surf rock background is IT. I feel like Jade and Kaitlyn could make the best summer rap mix tape EVER.

"It's Nice To Be Alive" - This is also IT. So sugary sweet it's ACTUALLY sweet. Love the "don't stress, it's dumb" line. The rampant, baseless happiness here works great. Like Bobby McFarren but not retarded. And I'm not just saying that. He was mentally handicapped.

"Dreamshaker" - Ah fuck and god damn it! The ONLY THING wrong with this is the lead singer's voice. Like poison ass in my ears. Sad. Face.

"Vitriol" - Man, this track is ALL about those keys. Love that old haunted house organ and that funky guitar patch thing...distracts from the fact that this song is just a chorus repeated six times. SUPERGOODBURN!!!!

"The Festival Song" - SO the story and this guy's voice and HATE the Eels sample and that chick's backing vocals. Torn. In. Half.

But an excellent end to a fully realized and bitten musical endeavor. Listening to the Australian artists on here is like listening to summer pop from another dimension where everyone has funny accents, a very exotic and enjoyable sensation. Several teeth up, my Aussie friend, several teeth up.

I wonder if I should make a summer mix tape...?

Monday, August 6, 2012

TOot! TOot!

Some people didn’t get my original bite of the music, so here it is.

I was really happy to find this cd tucked into a box when I moved last year. It’s a nice slice of the music I was listening to all those years ago. The tenuous theme is modes of transport. It’s actually a little bit morbid, there are lot of crashes mentioned.  

Interestingly, a lot of these acts are ones that I never listen to anymore, so it’s been a nice rediscovery of a lost moment in time. This album was originally presented without comment, but below are some notes from 2012.

1. America - Horse with No Name 

Meh, I just like it.

2. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson

I really love BNL, can’t help it, and I’ve always loved Brian Wilson, misunderstood genius that he is. This song actually reminds me of San Francisco. The first time I went abroad by myself, I went out one night in San Fran and went to the big Tower Records and bought the album this is on, then walked back to my hostel listening to it (discman = instant musical gratification, take that ipod).

3. Ben Gibbard - Recycled Air

Obviously, I’m a lover of words, and this song is just unapologetically romantic and sexy to me. Something about Ben Gibbard’s lyrics (I watch the patchwork farms slow fade into the ocean's arms - GAH!) combined with his swoony, swoony voice… excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk.

4. Better Than Ezra - A Lifetime

Even after all of these years, this song gets to me. Better Than Ezra deserve more credit.

5. Cake - Stickshifts & Safety Belts

I dunno, don't really care for this one anymore.

6. The Decemberists - Apology Song

I just think that if someone got my bicycle racked, this song would go a long way towards making up for it. I’m not really one for naming inanimate objects (although, all of my vehicles are called Linnell and all of A’s are called Flans, but that’s different. I started by naming my Vespa Linnell because I ride him. Eh? Eh? No? Not really?), I think Madeline is a sweet name for a bicycle.

7. Eskimo Joe - Car Crash

I still listen to a lot of Eskies, and am working on another mix for you guys featuring them. Eskimo Kav, the singer, just has a killer voice. This is one of the morbid songs, I guess.

8. Gavin DeGraw - Chariot

GDG was MASSIVELY overplayed back in the day, and I think people think he’s a bit of a sell-out, but I saw him live around this time, and he blew me away. To be honest, I don’t really know what the hell this song is about, for me, Chariots are irrevocably linked with Christianity, so…yeah.

9. Groove Armada - Madder

Oh, Groove Armada, I’ve missed you. I didn’t realise it until I heard this song again, but I’ve missed you! This song takes me back to my club days. I used to go to this Britpop club on William St and although this doesn’t actually fit into the genre, they always played this song because it’s so much fun to dance to. My boyfriend and his friends used to make up funny actions to songs (Disco 2000 being the best example - I still can’t hear any version of that song without doing the actions) and this song works because of the way the story progresses.

10. Jason Mraz - Plane

Mraz is another one who suffered from massive overplay back in the day. Last year (this year? maybe) I went and saw him at the opera house. It was just him and another dude and they just played the shit out of his stuff. He has a shockingly good voice, when it’s just him and a piano, and he can kick it on jazz or even opera. Dude. So good.

I guess I have some familiarity with flying away from the people I love, so even though I’m not sure what he means by ‘taste these teeth please’, I can get behind this one.

11. John Linnell - South Carolina


12. Mike Doughty - Fire Truck

I don’t appreciate this song anymore, although I still have a LOT of time for Mike Doughty.

By way of proving that I can turn anything into a story about me, I recently picked up the last of my firefighting gear. I love the tough-girl boots they issue (although they're in men's sizes and the littlest ones are still too big for me) and everyone appreciates a good hard hat and flash hood.

I'm acutely terrified of being called out to a MVA and finding a smashed up motorcycle and having to try to save the rider, and I had nightmares for a week after doing overrun exercises, but probably the most immediately annoying thing about being a chick firefighter is being too short to get onto the back of the firetruck without assistance.
13. Neutral Milk Hotel - In an Aeroplane Over the Sea

I don’t really know much Neutral Milk Hotel, but I do like a song that incorporates the theramin. What can I say? It’s sweet and romantic, and I was pretty emotional in my mid-20s.

14. They Might Be Giants - Destination Moon

I will always love this song. Always.

15. Radiohead - Killer Cars

‘Don’t die on the motorway’. 

Sometimes I think that the late 90s was the best time for music, ever, handsdown. But then, I also legitimately worry about all of the amazing new music that is released every year, because I already listen to music for several hours each day, and still don’t have time for everything that I love, let alone all of this new stuff. 

These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night.

Also, does anyone else hear this song and think of the Monty Python skit with Long Cat?

16. Rhett Miller - The El

Did anyone else notice that Rhett Miller got SUPER, SUPER HOT for the duration of promoting this album, and then went back to normal? So weird, right? At least once a year, I become obsessed with The Instigator and Pete Yorn’s Music for the Morning After (the two are linked in my mind for some reason), and listen to them on repeat for a week or two.

I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago. Maybe next year.

17. Darren Hanlon - The Kickstand Song

Oh, Daz. DAZ!!!

Daz always tells the story of being in Canada and meeting a guy who told him all about his uncle inventing the kickstand. Heather and I were once at Kareoke and we met Jimmy Barnes’ nephew and it has always stayed with me as strange that someone would think that the most interesting thing about themselves is someone that they are related to. It’s a good song, though, and DAZ!!!

18. TISM - Greg! The Stop Sign

TISM (This Is Serious Mum) are one of the greatest, most unappreciated Australian bands of all time. There are at least 58 people in the band, and they always perform in masks or balaclavas. Sometimes, they will wait until everyone is in a venue and then trundle a small stage out to the back of the room and perform there.

This song has an hilarious faux-techno thing going on that I find really endearing.

19. Tripod - Astronaut

At the time this CD was made, my flatmate and I were mad about Tripod, and listened to this song constantly, singing along at the top of our lungs. 

I suppose you should know that Tripod are three comedians who sing. At their live shows, they take themes / phrases and preferred song style from the audience, go backstage for an hour, and then come back and sing a song using those phrases. This is one of those songs. I can’t exactly remember, but I think the phrases are ‘Red Herring’ ‘Japanese’ ‘Astronaut’ and ‘Boxing’.

Anyway, they’re still around and they’re still hilarious.

20. Ben Lee - Float On

My goodness, I have so much love for Ben Lee. When I was a teenager (and he was too, I guess) his band had this video for one of their songs (16) where they beat the crap out of a wilderness society koala. Man, I loved Noise Addict.

This song is a cover, but I think BL nails it. From memory, it’s pretty similar to the original (Modest Mouse?), actually, Ben Folds also did a great cover of this, with Walter Meanie playing the DVD cover for percussion. Ah, good times in Australian Music.

It’s a bit sad, but I like the bit when he’s counting in and screws it up.

21. The Bluetones - Autophilia or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Car

I do love a good musical Kubrickian reference, and as already established, the 90s and Britpop are where my heart lie. That and 2000s Ausmusic, but that’s another story.

This song checks a few boxes for me - audible breathing, check, doo wah doo’s, check, no attempt to americanise singing voice, CHECK.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wet Hot Australian Summer

It's the middle of winter here in Country NSW, so I've been making summersong playlists to get me through the rainsoaked days. There's something delightful about sitting in front of a roaring fire listening to festival music.

Into it:

1. Hilltop Hoods (feat. Sia) - I Love It.

What can I say, I DO love it. It's just a quintessentially summerish song to me - an ode to living your dream, being true, wank, wank, wank. Hilltop Hoods are, IMO, Australia's premier Hip Hop act, plus I really like Sia's voice, and I love her attitude and personality, but I don't really love her music, so for me, this song is full of win.

2. Noah and the Whale - L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.

This song is totally The Kinks' Lola sung by Tom Petty, but I don't care. If you compress a few of the letters, you can spell my name in the chorus. Go on, try it.

3. Architecture in Helsinki - Heart it Races

I actually had a different AiH song in this slot (Contact High) but I woke up this morning with this song in my head, which is weird because I didn't think I actually liked AiH. They're the kind of pretentious twats you only find in Melbourne (or, I'd wager... Williamsburg or something) but this song is catchy and they avoid their usual 'we can play 18 instruments, ask us how' trap.

4. The Wombats - Jump Into the Fog

I have a bit of a thing for Northerners, let's just get that out of the way straight off the bat. I saw The Wombats at a festival last year and they kept cracking jokes that very few people got. We thought it was weird, but thoroughly enjoyed their set anyway. Later, when a well-known wanker xmax Skip Hop act came on, the crowd realised that the womblebats were taking the piss out of them. Appreciation tenfold.

Even without that, you have to enjoy a song that uses phrases like: 'I just hope it's your brains that splatter, not mine', 'I feel the day deserves a truly sordid end' and my personal favourite, this sexy little number: 'I believe in these dirty little wicked games.' Enjoy, foreigners, enjoy.

You should probably check out their song 'Let's Dance to Joy Division'.

5. Seeker Lover Keeper - Even Though I'm a Woman

We've all been there, right?

This is kind of an Aussie Indie Lady Supergroup, incongruous as that sounds. I'm not that into ladysingers at the best of times, but the harmonies and shit are really pretty, and, well, the song speaks to me.

6. Urthboy - The Signal

This is an oldie but a goodie, this is from 2007, but it has a real old school feel to me, probably the scratching (haha!) but really, it's just a chilled out skipsong. Yeah.

7. Faker - This Heart Attack

If you don't like Robert Smith's voice, probably skip this one. The heart stopping conceit kind of shits me, but I guess if the theme of this mix wasn't Summertime, it would probably be Catchy as Fuck.

8. Grouplove - Tongue Tied 

Can you believe these guys are Yanks? Me, neither. Unapologetically retro-sounding, this song is another celebration, doesn't it just transport you back to your suburban teens, screaming around in the back of your mates' car, singing along to the radio at the top of your lungs, thinking that you'll be doing this exact thing with these exact people for the rest of your life, and that it sounds like a pretty radical plan? No? Just me, then? Moving right along... 

9. Drapht - Rapunzel

This song brings about much more recent memories. D-rapht closed the evening at the abovementioned festival featuring The Wombats. It was in Canberra and it redefined the meaning of cold for me, and at the very tippy top of the night, Drapht (not the wanker skip hop act) was playing in a little tent. It was completely packed out, but I squirmed and boob-shimmied my way to the front where I jumped around until circulation was restored to my idiotic converse-shod feet.

The song? It's catchy and clever (if you can understand all of the Aus references) and, well, my nickname in High School was Rapunzel. Never threw any phones, though. 

10. Ball Park Music - It's Nice to be Alive

Another charmingly retro number, it's easy to be seduced by the sweet sing-a-long vibe and positivity and, frankly, it IS nice to be alive, especially in the summertime. Plus, the opening line is a cracker. 

11. Redcoats - Dreamshaker 

For me, a lot of the music released in 2011 was really derivative. No one really agrees with me on this, but i get a mad Tool circa 1996 vibe from this song. If you ignore the vocals and sing 'I don't want it, I just need it' a la Stinkfist, it rocks a bit harder. 

12. Blue Juice - Vitriol

All of Blue Juice's songs kind of sound the same, and I guess this is the first one that penetrated my skull. Their sound is fun. 

13. Pez (feat. 360 & Hailey Cramer) - The Festival Song

This one is a few years old now, but it's a keeper. I think I would like this one for the sample alone (I guess it's a sample of a sample?), but Pez has managed to encapsulate not only the experience of a Falls Festival, but the mood, smell, feel as well. 360 is a mega douche, but still... two thumbs up.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A review of "Blackberry Jams"

First things first: Kaitlyn, way to go for starting us off with an excellently themed selection of songs.
You clearly have not let your music biting teeth grow dull during this seven year hiatus.

Now, enough jerking off...let's do this...

Love them or hate them, Journey is catchy as fuck and will always start off any sort of mix tape spectacularly; they even managed to make Usher tolerable.
Nailed it.

"Jumanji" is fun as hell. I always appreciate a talented female rapper and rap with interesting instrumentation and this track has both.

"Summerscent", with its drums, guitar and those Nothing wrong with on the nose, Kaitlyn. It's like the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote the background for these guys to rap over. Great stuff.

Kaitlyn, I'm apologizing now because I plan on biting this song for every party I have from this point on. Take comfort in the fact that it was you who delivered this jam unto me...but also know that I'm going to deny even knowing you if someone asks me about it. Just a heads up, boo.

You lost me a bit with "High For This" (I think it has something to do with being on drugs for sex, which, sorry, tends to make me think the sex isn't going to be that good...because you need to be high to enjoy it), got me right back on track with "Jungle". While not as energetic as the first part of the album, it still has a very good energy to it.

"Golden Train" is a really good remix. I would pump this in a club, if I owned one.

"Closer Than This" was a tad more retro than I enjoy, but that's just me. Good addition, even I didn't love it.

Okay, I have never, ever liked any R&B ever. So I'm just going to not say anything. I am glad to hear you and Frank are dating though. Congrats.

One of my problems with rap is the endless boring litany of the things rappers have/want/covet/would kill someone else for, but the focus of this track, the laser like focus...on brilliant. I'd like to think that A-Trak might be taking a shot at these more typical rappers who would love to take a moment of your time to tell you how many Bentleys they own and in which colors...but I don't know his music well enough. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though, as this was a really fun song with a cool arrangement behind his lyrics.

"Treading Water" has a wonderfully summery feel and some pretty funny lyrics. Excellent addition.

"Wedding Crasher" - More R&B...enjoy.

There's something a bit creepy about "Je Pense A Toi" that makes it feel less summertime and more...I don't know...dying in the summertime...maybe it has something to do with the image of these two blind people singing it. Thanks for that Kaitlyn.

I didn't hate "It Fees Good To Be Around You", but I certainly didn't love it. This is going to sound weird, but I notice these things: the samples used in the song bugged me. They threw me out of the groove they were going for and that is unfortunate. Not awful, but I'd like to hear a version without the samples.

Surprise, surprise, not a fan of Reggae BUT with all that annoying plonky dub shit removed from this version, I actually found myself enjoying the unforced ebullience of Marley's voice. He really had something. I think of the saw-toothed synths make this track a little darker than it should be, based on its subject matter, but, hey, that may have been what they were going for. Interesting track, nice choice.

While a perfectly acceptable ending to a really solid album, "Next To Me" was a bit overly sappy for my angry, cynical music tastes. I'm sure people less hateful than I will completely enjoy this.

The first four songs on this album are rock solid, the perfect placement of the perfect summer songs and there is a hearty handful of other great tracks on here as well. I understand that people like R&B and that people listen to it a lot in the summer, but, sorry, it's as inaccessible and annoying to me as Country music. Again, that's my problem, not yours.
Overall, I'm happy to pump most of these tracks throughout the summer and consider this an excellent reintroduction to what it truly bite the music.
Way to be, Kaitlyn.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Playlist: Blackberry Jams

Sorry Paul, but I didn't want to wait.  It's been unseasonably chilly in New York this June, and I'm trying to do my part in bringing on the sunshine.

When I was a kid there were blackberries that grew in the woods behind my house, and one summer my mom and I picked about a million of them and made jam. It was the BADDEST ASSEST JAM of all time.  We and everyone we knew ate like kings for an entire summer.  This playlist represents my audiological recreation of that experience.

Cover image was jacked from  Sweet original content theirs; janky modifications my own.


1. Journey Without You (3LAU & Acetronik Mashup) – Journey & David Guetta feat. Usher
Allow me to usher you into this journey with a mashup.  I can’t claim to know who 3LAU and Acetronik are, but this song is so brilliant I don’t actually care.

2. Jumanji – Azealia Banks
My favorite filthy-mouthed New York rapper rants in lyrical circles about everything summer’s all about: steel drums, cabanas, and a long weave out the limo.  Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah.

3. Summerscent – Kids These Days
This one’s a little on the nose for a summer playlist, but the dippy, jazzy instrumentals on this track blow through the frenetic lyrics like breeze through a break dance circle.

4. This Head I Hold – Electric Guest
Electric Guest gives you something to bop to at your next block party.  Try to keep up with the handclaps, and ignore the lyrical lamentations about how empty you’re gonna feel tomorrow morning.

5. High For This – Ellie Goulding
Another drug ballad!  This song is off the Weeknd’s first mixtape from two summers ago, but Ellie Goulding takes the foggy, predatory lyrics and flips them into something deeply sexy.

6. Jungle – Emma Louise
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.  Emma Louise is from Australia, a country with spiders the size of dinner plates.  If she leads you into the jungle, bring extra mosquito netting.  And a bat.

7. Golden Train (Royal Palms Mix) – Penguin Prison
This song is the audio equivalent of pastels and popsicles and San Francisco in the late ‘80s.

8. Closer Than This (Viceroy Remix) – St. Lucia
Fun fact: St. Lucia is actually from Brooklyn.  Also, synths are cool again.

9. Back – Frank Ocean

10. Ray Ban Vision (feat. CyHi da Prynce) – A-Trak
Full disclosure: I have little respect for CyHi “different exotic fishes” da Prynce as an artist, but this A-Trak collaboration is hilarious.  It is for serious all about sunglasses.

11. Treading Water – Alex Clare
It’s hot out there!  Let’s go for a dubswim.

12. Wedding Crasher – Terius Nash
Summer weddings are supposed to be joyous, but The-Dream has something to get off his chest.

13. Je Pense A Toi – Amadou et Mariam
Amadou and Mariam are a blind couple from Mali.  They have been thinking about you.

14. It Feels Good to Be Around You – Air France
Air France has been thinking about you too, but they're a bit too summer-sleepy to get into detail.

15. Sun Is Shining (Brand Blank Dubstep Remix) – Bob Marley
A new take on a classic.

16. Next to Me – Emeli Sande
Sometimes summer love has staying power.  Let’s end on a high note.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dropbox It Like It's Hotbox

All right friends.
I've created and shared a Dropbox folder enetiled, fittingly, "Bite The Music".
In it, you'll find a folder for each of you and all the submissions (with art) from the original version OF Bite The Music.

Next step, scheduling, unless anyone has any other great ideas...?

P.S. The old stuff is currently uploading (slowly), so it's not all there yet.

Friday, June 8, 2012


My idea has been stolen already. Damn.

Wu-Tang’s GZA Teaming Up With Neil DeGrasse Tyson To Make A Hip-Hop Record About Space

Who spilled the beans?!?

PS - I do love how Paul transitioned us from LiveJournal to Blogger about 2 years after everyone else in the world transitioned from Blogger to Tumblr. Trust me, it's much better this way.


You guys like?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I'm totally in. I've got a least 2 leftover ideas from the old days that I've been burning to create.

I'd like to suggest these guidelines for submission, going with the idea that we are using Dropbox:
1. All tracks must be titled (song title and band) and numbered in the order that you want them to be heard.
2. A cover image must be created and included with your tracks.
3. But liner notes and/or additional images/art/video/etc are optional.

I also happen to use Spotify on a daily basis and would be happy to post any albums I make on there as well. Does anyone else use this? Or would anyone else like an invitation to Spotify?



All right, I just sent out seven invitations: Chris, Phil, Will, Gia, Jade, Josh and Kaitlyn.
If you don't see the invite in your e-mail, contact me some other way.

A Decision...Perhaps?

After speaking with some folks, I'm suggesting that, since we are all busy and grown up and taxes and etc. (except for me) that we use Dropbox to present music to one another BUT, in an attempt to keep this more interesting than "listen to these mp3's I put in a folder" themes and custom art and anything else you want to throw in is still required. That sound fair to everyone?

And, speaking of everyone, everyone needs to get in touch with me to I can make them authors...anyone know how I can do that?


Going off Kaitlyn's suggestion, I've added a link to Dropbox to the right.

I've also added a link to, a really cool art creation tool that should help out with...well, art creation.
If there are any other helpful links you think should be there...become an author and fucking put them there yourself.

Aaaaaawwwwwww SHIT! (air horn)

Well, folks...let's get bitin'...

First order of business, contact me so I can make you an author on the site.

Next, perhaps a rough schedule of release?
I understand that, in the years or so some things might have shifted in our lives, but that is no excuse...Kaitlyn.

Third, any suggestions for new members?
No fattys, please.

All, let's DO THIS!