Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rock Criticism from the Beginning: Amusers, Bruisers And Cool-Headed Cruisers the name of the book I am now reading in preparation for my culminating degree project at PLU, known as the capstone. My intention is to read the book, do further research on a specific part, write a paper, and present my findings in April or May. The book is very dense (written by three PhDs) and is about much more than history. Only fifty some pages in, I've gotten a healthy dose of Kantian taste theory as well the "field logic" of Pierre Bordieu. I'm having to deal with the paradox of scholarly study in the fairly anti-academic world of rock, but what the heck. That's nothing new to me. This book is sure to inspire new thoughts about this critical world I'm engulfed in and I'll try to explore them right here.

Things are going swimmingly at SSGMusic, thanks for asking. Here is a link to all I've done for them thus far. I plan to review my first concerts in October. Most exciting part: getting to present press passes to the bouncers and turn brawny ogres into obsequious gnomes. Okay, this may be an exaggeration but I am indeed stoked for going free to shows. SSG is also responsible tons of help with my writing skills. Specifically the brutally honest album review supervisor Justin Spicer.

This weekend should also kick off two of my favorite musical pursuits. I've been saying this for awhile but I AM going to start recording an album soon. I've plenty of songs in the tank; I just need to open GarageBand, turn on the microphone and say no to distractions. My second commencement will be for the second and final season of my radio show, "Disconnect the Dots." If you read these words, you better tune in this and/or any Saturday at 6:00. Let me know if you're going to listen and I'll give you a shout out!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Gold Medal: Hail to the Thief by Radiohead

Let's face it. If I keep up with this blog, Radiohead is going to be at the top of a whole bunch of these lists. They are so far above any other modern band and Hail to the Thief is just one more momentous achievement. The longest Radiohead album, this is a glorious combination of Kid A-esque electronica with guitar brilliance present throughout the quintet's career. It isn't the best Radiohead record but it contains some of the best songs they've ever recorded. "There There (The Bony King of Nowhere)" is just about as good as it gets. Thank God for Radiohead.

Silver Medal: Dear Catastrophe Waitress by Belle and Sebastian

Though clearly not trying to change the world like Radiohead, Belle and Sebastian is one of the most consistently great bands of the last 15 years. This record is filled with indie pop gems, recorded with the sort of high fidelity lacking on If Your Feeling Sinister, and nearly as phenomenal as that 1996 twee landmark. This is an album that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face without coming across as naive. "I'm a Cuckoo", "Stay Loose", "If She Wants Me" are all easily in the top ten B&S songs.

Bronze Medal: Magnolia Electric Company by Songs: Ohia

The all-American album of the decade, this record is a powerhouse. Jason Molina's project is the soundtrack to the landscape of the heartland. Eight songs that never resemble filler, Magnolia Electric Company is a blueprint for every guitar-slinging, Neil Young worshipping, rebel-rousing, prospective rock star. Guided by the visionary Molina, the band just nails everything. Every slide guitar lick, every drum fill feels so perfect. Get this gem.