2: Resident Alien by Spacehog (Week of 10/2/11)

•10/03/2011 • Leave a Comment

Let me start by explaining the numbering, I number each post to show chronology; but also include the week the album was reviewed to show the seperate chronology of the reviews. This is so that you as readers can choose whatever path (but with some optional guidance). Anyways, this album was a larger release than I anticipated starting with, but I chose it cause of some exciting news I learned today.

Released in ’95, Download/CD

Certified Gold

Do you remember Spacehog? I do, and they asked me how I even knew who they where (cause of my age). Interesting facts, both girls from the cover of Spacehog’s “Chinese Album, The” and the pink haired one from “Lazy Town” are older than I am (I’m 18 at the time of writing this). Anyways… the news is that Spacehog as completed their new album (their first release in 10 years) a release date has not been confirmed.

Anyways, back to “Resident Alien” and more about the band. Spacehog was a product of the 90’s, long after bands such as Camper Van Beethoven, R.E.M. and XTC had laid the foundation of college rock which by the 90’s had become defined under the new label of “Alternative”. This explains about half of Spacehog’s sound, but ignores the larger contribution that “Glam Rock” made to help define their sound. I really do feel a strong David Bowie influence in this album. but at the same time it’s not a cheep knock off of any certian band, which many bands have made a comfortable living doing so (cough cough creed, sublime with rome, owl city, cough). I think a great example of Bowie influence was the hit single “In the Meantime”. As a single, it’s a great song that exploded in popularity due to the right time and right place. Keep in mind this was a time when Bowie wasn’t the constant chart topper he was in the 80’s and that for all intensive purposes, Glam Rock was dead. The flowing bass line is reminiscent Bowie’s “Golden Years”; its constant, flowing, interesting, keeps time and plays with the guitar at times but isn’t an identical copy or just playing roots.

The album as a whole takes after this bass line, it flows and feels like the complete package. It’s space, that’s what it sounds like, the awesomeness of space but not in a cheesy 80’s way, but in a Doctor Who space is fucking cool way (do you like all those high quality musical terms?). I really don’t feel like something is missing when I listen to the entire album, it feels like one complete session and not a collection of rarities or b sides. Even the hidden track at the end of “To Be a Millionaire…. Was It Likely” is spaced out with enough science to keep it from feeling as if it doesn’t belong. I do think it was slowly becoming rarer in the 90’s to find an actual album and not a collection of single put together randomly (which is now the trend, actual albums are now rare). That is something that really bothers me, why does the new format of music no longer being vinyl or CDs make it so the whole product doesn’t fucking matter anymore; Does it not make more sense to make a complete package, to entice buyers to get the whole product and not just the singles? Anyways….

As a live performer, Spacehog defiantly puts on a show. Now keep in mind I saw them in Columbus, 2010, nine years after their break up and they fucking rocked it. The guys as a whole have a great on stage chemistry, they’re funny, like to talk at all the right times and don’t go on unnecessary rants that are unrelated to their music. I went in not knowing much about them, then becoming obsessed with their music. It really does speak volumes about a band that they can captivate those not familiar with their entire catalogue. They played all the big hits and many from all three albums without anything sounding unrehearsed or forgotten, sounding just as inviting and awesome as the original albums. They don’t sound like they where gone for the 7 years (they started playing together again in 2008 after breaking up in 2001).

setlist

The setlist from the night I saw them, I wasn’t quick enough to grab it

Now onto the new stuff, Spacehog has posted three new songs on their myspace page that are presumed to be from the new album, they do sound slightly different, but I still enjoy them. It’s still Spacehog, it still rocks and I like what I’ve heard so far. Maybe it speaks to some new maturity that Ray might have gained from having a child and going through the divorce process, who knows. Like I said, they’ve only released 3 tracks thru myspace.

“Regret what I said to you, I can’t stop thinking of how you cried, You’re probably drinking tomorrow you’ll lie, I know myself, It’s something that I can’t control”

Try – God lives Underwater

P.S. God Lives Underwater opened up for Spacehog, but where kicked off the tour, rumor is that Spacehog got fed up with a lot people leaving after GLU’s set…

Photo credits: The cover of “Resident Alien” is used under the fair use doctrine; As part of the packaging, it is needed to identify the audio recording, which is being commented apron there for not making it copy right infringement. The pictures of Spacehog and their setlist where taken by me and must have permission for me to reuse in any form that is not fair use

1:Hitting the Ground Running… OWW! My Leg!

•09/28/2011 • Leave a Comment

Hello my name is Christian Taylor and welcome to my blog. This first post will just explain my goal of this project, why I’m doing this and so on. I think the best way to start is to explain the title.

1. Albums

After obtaining a record player about 3 years ago, it has helped cement they way I listen music as whole works, as opposed to a song or two I like on its/their own. I put Albums first in the title because album reviews at this time are planned as the most frequent and consistently posted part of this blog, occurring (hopefully) on a weekly basis. As to how I’m going to review albums; I’m going to pick albums I like/want to talk about. Mostly I’m gonna stray from major releases because even if I do love the album(s), or want to tear it/them a new one, it has probably been reviewed a couple hundred times already so it makes it almost impossible to have anything new to say about it. My style is more of a stream of conciseness; I like to write about the feelings the album makes me feel, mixed together with some light music analysis and some facts about the album that I feel is important or is needed to put the album in context. I’m not writing for an audience of Mozart, music ethnologists and professors, but I think basic music theory would help you understand some of the tangents I like to go off on. If you have a suggestion for an album you want me to review, feel free to comment, but also keep in mind my itunes library at this time has about 1,238 albums (keep in mind singles and eps count as albums), but your suggestion won’t be ignored (promise). Also note that I won’t hit new albums just cause they’re new and need to have some hype, just one’s that I like (regardless of their age).

2. Concerts

I’m an absolute concert junkie. In fact, concerts are what I spend most of my meager salary on (not counting albums/vinyl/etc). Most of the concerts I go to are local bands playing at the bar venues of Columbus (Ohio), as we have a music scene that is thriving and slowly growing to become on par with many of the larger (and famous) towns’ music scenes. Besides just posting the usual promo pictures, that are plastered in rolling stone and the others, I’ll also use photos I took (assuming I actually took any), even though I am no where near a professional photographer. This is because I feel that it gives a more genuine vibe, and also shows the musicians in their more natural habitat than at a photo shot. The concert review will be formated to not just hit the key point of the headliner; but will hit all the bands, the venue, crowd and the overall experience. But as I am attending college at this time, these will be less frequent.

spacehog at basement

Spacehog at The Basement

3. Playing

I like to call myself a musician and a composer, so these post, whenever they indeed occur, will mostly focus on my journey as both. It will also focus on the Columbus music scene as it evolves and changes around me and any music projects or event I a planing/working on. Like the concert sections, will also be less consistently posted.

About Me:

I’m an 18 year old college male student and I think I know everything, so there’s not much to tell. I play violin, bass and mandolin, while trying to teach myself how to play keys. Musically I’m extremely eclectic; for me, listening to Lily Allen’s “Alright, Still” then to Tool’s “10,000 Days” is not odd or off putting to me in the slightest, so the things I review won’t fit any one label. Some of my favorite bands include Tool, God Lives Underwater, Kate Nash, Maza Blaska, Karate Coyote, Watershed, Lotus, Deluka, Gorillaz and Pink Floyd.

mandolin

My baby, a 1920’s mandolin, scaled identically to a violin

I do know that I have a lot of potential and the ability to fulfill my ambitions, but at times can be my own worst enemy. As for goals I’ve accomplished, for my senior project in high school, I set a benefit concert and produced a live album from local band’s Mors Ontologica, with all proceeds being donated 50/50 to CD101 for the Kids and The Andy Davis Memorial Fund (a second album is to be released from one of the other bands that played the show at an unknown date). I hope achieve more and larger accomplishments thru the years and be part of future music as an audio engineer.

I’ll end each post with a random quote that I like
“For her, all seven deadly sins!” -Man in night club, Metropolis

P.S. I have a donations link in my side bar, these are 117.23% optional and are appreciated but not required, thanks

 
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