Friday, September 15, 2006

Welcome To The Drama Club

Welcome To The Drama Club
2006, Eleven Seven Music


I must say, I didnt really like the title of the new Everclear album when I first heard it. But thinking about those words, and getting my first close up look at the album art today, it finally hit me. I could see the cover art online, but since everything I had seen before today was low resolution, I didnt notice the the reflection in the mirror that sits behind the bed. Upon further review, you will notice the reflection of a woman, putting her pants back on.

Aaah yes...drama....Welcome To The Drama Club is the first album from Everclear since the departure of Craig Montoya and Greg Eklund. Art Alexakis, God bless the man, has continued on. And I couldnt be any more grateful. The new band is made up of 4 new members, most of which have been with Everclear to some extent over their entire stint at Capitol Records. I was fortunate enough to see Everclear when it was just Art, Craig and Greg, and they were spectacular. I also got to see Everclear twice 2 years ago, when the current members had come in to back Art on their tour. The thrill of a lifetime came for me, when i got to meet Art twice on their last tour...once in Philly and then a few day later in D.C. For those of you who don't know, Art Alexakis is my personal hero. Musically and otherwise. The man has done it all. Been to hell and back. I think he is perhaps the most genuine musical artist of his time. If he sings about it, he has been through it...and not many musicians are as honest, or wear their heart on their sleeve the way he always has.

Back to the album. I was worried about what this one was gonna sound like. I mean, you just never know. Its been 3 long years since the last album Slow Motion Daydream, and now the formula of the band has changed. But not to worry. Everclear is at it again. If i had to compare it to another Everclear album, i would have to go with Songs From An American Movie Volume One: Learning How To Smile. The "pop" that Everclear has churned out over the years doesnt seem to exist here...though I will say that a few of the tracks sound like they were meant to be played in the background of an iPod Nano commercial.

The lyrics are just as Art as they have always been. He hasnt missed a beat. The songs are the perfect mixture of feel-good, and serious. Art has perfected his formula. Nearly 2 years ago in D.C. the band performed a just written song which was then titled "Glorious", and is still titled Glorious, which appears on this record. I enjoy it as much now as I did then. Another stand out for me so far is "The Drama King" and the album opener "Under The Western Stars".

Not any hard rock going on here. This album brings out a lot of new sounds that you are not really used to hearing from Everclear, including a lot of keyboard and synth sounds. Its very "grown man adult rock". Not this soft and dreamy sap that most artists are putting out today...which don't get me wrong...I do love.

The album is great. If you are an Everclear fan its a must have, and if you have never really been an Everclear fan, this is a perfect album for you to come in on. Its just right.

So check it out.
And don't forget to look for the booty on the cover....welcoming you to the drama.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Agaetis Byrjun (A New Beginning)

And so it goes.
Im going to be using this page to write reviews of everything from concerts to new albums, to any random need to discuss any topic involving music.

My first thought, being that today while listening to Sigur Ros, I decided that its official....they are one of my favorite bands of all time. I dont know where they fall on that list....but if its a top 10 list....theyve certainly cracked it.

My first experience with Sigur Ros was back in 2001. I first heard of them while following the changes in the music that radiohead was making. I had heard somewhere that the albums radiohead was putting out...Kid A and Amnesiac....had been inspired (at least musically) by an Icelandic band called Sigur Ros, which I also came to find out in that moment Sigur Ros translates to Victory Rose.

When I went into Philly for school the next day I went to Tower Records to track down the Sigur Ros album titled Agaetis Byrjun...which they did have a copy of.
So to say that my life was changed musically that day would be an understatement. I never looked back. I was also luck enough to see them September 22, 2001 at the TLA on South Street in of the most amazing concerts I have ever attended. It was roughly 3 hours of standing in awe.

The latest album ...Takk is amazing. I saw them at the Tower Theatre this year on tour in support of the album. It was a much bigger venue, but the show was wonderful. I think ...Takk is Sigur Ros playing to the greatest of their ability. Is everything you loved about Agaetis Byrjun, and the brilliant gems from ( ) that just make it an amazing and explosive album.

What could possibly be next? How much more of this genius is possible from these guys? I certainly hope it keeps coming, but even if it doesnt, I will always have these albums, and the memories and thought that come from listening to them.

Because thats what the music of Sigur Ros is all about. Its all about an individual translation.
Its about a personal feeling. Your own personal feeling and mood. Not like other music where someone else is telling you through their lyrics what they feel.

Sigur Ros is YOU.