Tag Archives: weezer

Christmas Carolz IV

Well, it’s Christmastime again, and with Christmas comes my annual playlist of X-Mas choons. 4 years in a row! Check out the previous three:

2010

2009

2008

Hopefully this list will remind you of some old favorites, introduce you to some new ones and provide some mirth and cheer this holiday season. Thank you, and enjoy.

Matte Badde – “Black Friday Medley: The Christmas Song/White Christmas”

Cocteau Twins – “Frosty The Snowman”

Weezer – “Christmas Celebration”

The Killers – “Joseph, Better You Than Me”

The Pogues & Kirsty McColl – “Fairytale Of New York”

Belle & Sebastian – “Are You Coming Over For Christmas?”

Kate Bush – “December Will Be Magic Again”

Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”

Gruff Rhys – “Post Apocalypse Christmas”

Erasure – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

Flaming Lips & The Plastic Ono Band – “Atlas Eets Christmas”

Morning Musume, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy & Pluto – “Morning Musume Christmas Medley 2000”

See you back here this time next year for Christmas Carolz V!

G.

10 YEARS AGO: 2001

MUSIC

The Strokes – Is This It

Weezer – Weezer a.k.a. The Green Album

Gorillaz – Gorillaz

Ryan Adams – Gold

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

FILM

The Royal Tenenbaums (dir. Wes Anderson)

Ghost World (dir. Terry Zwigoff)

Mulholland Drive (dir. David Lynch)

Donnie Darko (dir. Richard Kelly)

Amelie (dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

COMICS

X-Men #114 marks the beginning of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s acclaimed run on the title.

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller’s sequel to his massively influential The Dark Knight Returns, begins its serialization.

X-Force #116 marks the beginning of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s acclaimed run on the title.

Marvel’s mature readers line Max Comics launches with Alias #1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos.

Starman by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Peter Snejbjerg concludes with #80.

TV

The Office premieres on BBC 2, July 9, 2001.

– Greg

Christmas Carolz III

Alright Sound of the Noising Machine readers, it’s that time of year again. Christmas Carolz time!!! Here’s my third installment of some holiday songs I like, some new, some old, some covers, some originals. And “Merry Christmas (Don’t Forget To Write)” by my band, Golden Veins! Here are the previous entries:

Christmas Carolz I

Christmas Carolz II

On with the show…

Golden Veins – “Merry Christmas (Don’t Forget To Write)”

Matt Goode – “Last Christmas”

T. Rex – “Christmas Bop”

Ride – “Like A Snowflake”


Weezer – “The Christmas Song”

Ryan Adams – “Hey Parker, It’s Christmas”

Cocteau Twins – “Winter Wonderland”

David Bowie & Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”

The Killers – “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”

Coldplay – “Christmas Lights”

The Walkmen – “Christmas Party”

Morning Musume – “Silent Night”


Please enjoy those, and enjoy these 12 Yuletide jointz below, one for each day of X-Mas. Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you back here this time next year for Christmas Carolz IV!!!

– Greg

TOP ELEVEN SINGLES OF 2009

Leave it to me to wait until the very last day of the year to upload my top ten of 2009 list to the blog….and for it not to even be a top ten. Here are my eleven favorite singles released over the course of the last 364 days; this list could easily be very different if it had been written last week or next week, but here’s where I stand as of today, December 31st, 2009:

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – “MY GIRLS”

This one is sure to be on many indie-ish lists this year, but I feel like I have to include it here, because I like it. It starts off  with Phillip Glass-esque arpeggios, includes massive handclaps and one of the best singalong choruses of the year. And it’s even emotionally resonant to boot. I remember hearing this shortly after it came out at a small basement show BP played in Boone, Iowa. It sounded really great then, and for me it confirmed this song as an instant classic.

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DEPECHE MODE – “WRONG”

I’m a huge Depeche fan, so there was almost no chance that I wouldn’t include a single by them on this list. But favoritism aside, I think “Wrong” is easily one of the band’s strongest songs of the last 15 years. It’s a bit of a grower, lacking an immediate hook like past DM hits, but its repetition, rhythm and forward momentum add up to a great, dark groove. With one of the year’s darkest videos, to boot.

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THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

“Watching The Planets” closes the Lips’ newest record in bombastic fashion; after journeying through Embryonic‘s weird experiments and strange interludes, the listener is greeted by this song, arguably the album’s most straighforward song. An insistent, pounding rhythm underpins Wayne’s chant-like vocals, while twinkly keys add a melancholy touch to the proceedings.

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GIRLS – “HELLHOLE RATRACE”

Girls are my favorite new band of the year, and “Hellhole Ratrace” is my favorite song from their debut album Album. A slow build song a la Spiritualized, “Hellhole” grows from its modest beginnings into a “Hey Jude” for the Noughties. The best chorus of the year, in my opinion:    “And I don’t want to cry my whole life through/I wanna do some laughing, too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and laugh with me/And I don’t want to die/Without shaking up a leg or two/Yeah, I wanna do some dancing too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and dance with me”. Simple, resonant and relateable, these lines become a mantra as wave after wave of sound is added, creating a cathartic effect that once experienced, is hard to forget.

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THE HORRORS – “SEA WITHIN A SEA”

When I first heard of The Horrors a few years ago, I grouped them in with all the other garage-rock bands NME was championing at the time. It wasn’t until Manic Street Preachers said the band’s new album Primary Colours was their favorite of the year that I actually listened. And I glad I did. Behind the haircuts and moody stares is actual musical talent and ambition, as evidenced in “Sea Within A Sea”. Starting as a dark motorik groove, “Sea” takes its time establishing a mood, gradually changing from its initial foreboding to a synth-strewn climax. 2009’s most pleasant surprise for me.

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IAN BROWN – “STELLIFY”

What I really like about “Stellify” is its minimalism. Based mainly around the same simple piano riff and a stomping beat, Ian Brown and his collaborators still manage to create and sustain interest in the song throughout its duration. Brown’s love of hip-hop is fully evident here, and the mid-song horn break adds an ebullient touch to an already uplifting song. When the two elements come together, it creates one of the greatest moments in the man’s solo catalog.

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LADY GAGA – “BAD ROMANCE

Yes, Lady Gaga. I love this song and I love this video. I like some of the singles from her first album, but I feel she’s kicked it up several notches on this one. It’s melodramatic, has a great melody and a big chorus. It almost reminds me of Erasure. I don’t care about the crazy costumes or any of that other crap; as long as she releases singles like this, that’s what really matters.

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MAJOR LAZER ft. RICKY BLAZE & NINA SKY – “KEEP IT GOIN’ LOUDER”

I discovered this song through the brilliant, deranged video directed by Tim and Eric’s Eric Wareheim. And though that was my initial reason for listening to it, I’ve come to love “Keep It Goin’ Louder” based on it on merits. It has a lot of elements that have turned me off of other songs: auto-tune, lyrics about clubbin’…but the way these elements are put together on this track work for me totally. I think it’s the sense of euphoria that underlines the entire song…it makes a line like “Girl I wanna party with you” seem almost life-affirming.

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MORRISSEY – “SOMETHING IS SQUEEZING MY SKULL”

Morrissey’s return to prominence after seven years in the wilderness was one of my favorite music-related stories of the 2000s. “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” was the final single of this decade of renewed activity, and it’s a doozy. A thrashy rocker, “Skull” becomes a classic when Moz’s lyrics of mental instability are thrown into the mix. He manages to make it sound exhilarating and hopeless at the same time.

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OASIS – “FALLING DOWN”

Upon its release in March, I had no idea that “Falling Down” was destined to be Oasis’ final single (at least for now). But if it is to be the band’s last release, it’s an appropriate one. Instead of a rousing anthem or a sing-along ballad, “Falling Down” is instead an uncertain, world-weary slice of psychedelia sung by Noel instead of Liam. I like the idea of the Oasis story ending on a note of doubt and ambiguity; and if this is, indeed, the end, it’s a fitting conclusion.

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YEASAYER – “AMBLING ALP”

Yeasayer is doing what I’d like to do musically – mixing experimental tendencies with pop sensibilities. Their debut album was quite good but I’m really excited for 2010’s Odd Blood if “Ambling Alp” is any indication.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS


– Asobi Seksu – “Familiar Light”

– Bad Lieutentant – “Sink Or Swim”

– Echo & The Bunnymen – “Think I Need It Too”

– eels – “Fresh Blood”

– Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”

– Julian Casablancas – “11th Dimension”

– Phoenix – “1901”

– The Prodigy – “Warriors Dance”

– Weezer – “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”

– Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Zero”

On to 2010…

G.

CHRISTMAS CAROLZ II

Last year, I provided a selection of Yuletide numbers to help make anyone’s Christmas better/less suicidal. Here’s my playlist for Christmas 2009…please enjoy and drive safe!!!!!

Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Julian Casablancas & The Roots – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

The Killers – “A Big Red Sled”

Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmastime”

Weezer – “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”

Pet Shop Boys – “It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas”

The Flaming Lips – “Silent Night”/”Lord, Can You Hear Me?”

Fountains Of Wayne – “The Man In The Santa Suit”

Band Aid 20 – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

The California Raisins – “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Morning Musume – “Christmas Medley”

G.

Noising Machine Singles Club: 12

U2 - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock (non-album single) [1980]

U2

“11 O’CLOCK TICK TOCK”

b/w “Touch”

Released 5/23/80

(U2)

A lot of people reading this entry probably aren’t big U2 fans. Actually, some of you might actively hate them. But there was a time before all the grand gestures and posturing when U2 was just a band of Dublin high school-age Joy Division obsessives. That’s the time that this single, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” hails from.

“11 O’ Clock” is certainly the U2 song most indebted to that Mancunian post-punk foursome. The single was produced by Joy Division and Factory Records house producer Martin Hannett, and even the sleeve was made by Factory Records house designer Peter Saville . The band first met Hannett during the recording sessions for Joy Division’s most famous song “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, which, for U2, must have been like if Ryan Meier could have watched Weezer record “Buddy Holly”, or if I could have watched Oasis record “Wonderwall”, etc.

1

Hannett was actually tapped not just to helm this non-album single but the entirety of the band’s debut Boy, an arrangement that fell apart upon the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis (an event that inspired the song “A Day Without Me”, found on the aforementioned album). Curtis’ death happened soon before U2 was due to record their album and the tragedy left Martin Hannett emotionally unable to begin the album at the neccessary time. Thus, producer Steve Lillywhite stepped behind the console and a long and fruitful relationship between he and the band began, one that continues to this day.

As for the song itself, it’s not a Joy Division xerox or anything…it definitely sounds like U2. Bono still sounds unmistakeably like Bono, albeit in his early, fake British accent phase. The Edge‘s guitar part is certainly reminiscent of Bernard Sumner‘s, but it also recalls the ringing tones of Keith Levene of Public Image Ltd. And the schoolboy choir vocal break is a technique that their heroes would be unlikely to utilize themselves. Its post-punk influence and muscular performance have made it one of my favorite U2 songs. Curiously, even though it ranks among the band’s top 20 most-performed songs (largely because it was including in almost all of the band’s sets from 1980-1984) and was included on their popular Under A Blood Red Sky live album, “11 O’Clock” remains relatively obscure. It’s never been included as part of a U2 best-of or singles collections, and until last year’s reissue of Boy (on which it was included as part of the supplements), it had never been widely available on compact disc.

Boatband

While it’s unfortunate that “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” has become obscured by the likes of  “Beautiful Day”, ultimately its quality remains remarkably undiminished. If one is inclined enough to seek it out it provides a vision of U2 before the pomp and stadium circumstance, when the band were still an up-and-coming concern and willing acolytes to a more idiosyncratic sound.

Video:

Live at Red Rocks:

And a live version of b-side “Touch”, San Francisco circa ’81:

G.

Singles Club: 7

life-goes-by-cover

THE SPECIAL GOODNESS

“LIFE GOES BY”

b/w “DAY IN THE AUTUMN”/”NATURAL” (DEMO)

Released 10/03

(Patrick Wilson)

You may know Pat Wilson best from his day job, drumming for Weezer. He’s been there since the beginning, Valentine’s Day 1992. But periodically over the course of the last 17 years, during various breaks and Rivers-induced hiatus periods, Pat turned his eyes to his other musical project, The Special Goodness. Acting as both songwriter and instrumentalist, the first Special Goodness record (known as the “Bunny Album”) was released in 1998 in Japan only during the long break between 1996’s Pinkerton and 2001’s The Green Album.

Three years later, At Some Point, Birds And Flowers Became Interesting was self-released and sold only at shows and online. In 2004, venerable punk label Epitaph picked up The Special Goodness (now augmented by former Offspring and future Angels And Airwaves drummer Atom Willard) and re-released their third album, Land Air Sea, which had come out the year before on N.O.S. Records. Prior to the move, N.O.S. issued the track “Life Goes By” as a single to promote their release of the album.

Having previously appeared as a different recording on At Some Point, “Life” appears on Land Air Sea in basically the same arrangement as its previous version, with minor instrumental changes. A song about living your life before it gets away from you, “Life Goes By” is served well by Wilson’s distinct singing voice and slightly off-kilter vocal melody; he also supplies a nice melodic solo that attests to his love of Britpop. Rivers has praised Pat’s guitar ability before, saying his playing on The Red Album‘s “Automatic” (Wilson’s first solo writing credit for Weezer; he is credited with co-writing “My Name Is Jonas”, “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” & “Surf Wax America”) was the best on the record. It was also, in my humble opinion, the only one of the songs contributed by the non-Rivers Weezer members that actually fit in with the rest of Red, largely because Pat shares Rivers ear for crunchy, melodic pop rock songs. Perhaps in the wake of Red, he’ll contribute more material to his day job. If not, there will surely be another Special Goodness album waiting in the wings.

Video (directed by Weezer right-hand man Karl Koch):

G.