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Friday, December 31, 2004
  K.K. Downing

Oh, what a freaking good year for music, and my boss is out today. The love in my heart! I have really enjoyed my relationship with music over the last couple years. If I had attempted to make a top ten list between the years of say 1998-2002, I would've only gotten about three albums deep. In fact, I remember the only other time I've tried to make a top ten list I only could muster three albums. I don't know what my problem was then, or what my lack of a problem is now, but this year and last I could probably even make a top fifteen or twenty. I know one reason is because I can download stuff that I read about all day at work, but that wasn't the case last year, which was a great one too.


10. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
This one slips in at ten because I only JUST heard it about a week ago, so I would feel guilty putting it any higher. At any rate, I've been jamming this one hard and I suspect that, given different circumstances, it would rank much higher than ten. What is this shit, you ask? Fucking would-be, could-be TV show theme songs. A-Team, Thundercats, G. I. Joe, Peanuts, Mr. Belvedere, Jake and the Fatman- you get the picture. Most of the songs are instrumental all-out jams, but some employ vocals that sound like 13 year old black girls. The songs with vocals have a more 80's rap/shout/singing thing that sounds something like Technotronic/ESG/SaltNPepa, I guess. Bottom line, this is the type of album that you can just put on at party and everyone will be forced to start dancing. No worries about making some mix cd. I'm actually probably going to bring it to the place Still Flyin' is playing at tonight for a dance party after the show.

9. Lil' Flip Scoldjah - Out Francin' Yall
What can I say, other than I almost got my mind truly blown. I'm talking blown like... well, I can't really remember the last time my mind got a blowjob. Maybe when Dark first told me he was engaged. Anyway, so I'm in a shit-talking club that plays fantasy football, and you know the story from when you read OJ's top ten. If I hadn't caught wind of it DAYS before I received it (these dudes obviously don't understand the postal system, i.e. it might take longer for the mail to get to San Francisco from Athens than it does Atlanta from Athens), I would have been thunderstruck. Fuck the stress. I almost made this a shared spot with Wee Turtles - Fantastic Four to tha Floor, but that's a lame thing to do to begin with, and it's not officially out yet. It'll be on next year's list.

8. Futureheads - s/t
You want to hate them. That name sucks. You see it and you think "what is this shit?" If I didn't have a computer, I would never have heard them. Well, I like to attempt to know what's going on, and at least hear the "hot" bands (not to mention half of the songs were produced by Gang of Four's Andy Gill), so I downloaded their album. First song- hmm.. this is surprisingly pretty good.. for about ten seconds, then the main vocals come in... yeah, okay, that's what I thought it would sound like for about ten seconds, then the chorus comes with the barbershop quartet shit... this is strange. Well, I thought the second song was legitimately good on first listen, and the fourth and fifth songs are fucking hits. These dudes can make some catchy, catchy, fucking catchy songs, and I can't fight that.

7. Panda Bear - Young Prayer
So this is the year of the Animal Collective. This is the solo album of the drummer/singer made for his deceased father. Panda Bear, Young Prayer, made for dead father. That is EXACTLY what this sounds like, actually. I was just trying to figure out how to describe this, and that's perfect. There are no song titles, it could be argued that there are no songs, but this has great, vulnerable singing and gentle droning acoustic guitars and piano. It's much closer to classical music than pop, and obviously I mean that in a good way.


6. Bugs Eat Books - Another Ghost of Tom Joad
I wish I could cut a tune like Rob Derrick. I've always been a big fan of his songs and his band, and have been chomping at the bit for what, like six years, for this god damn album. They know how take their sweet, sweet time. Well, I'm glad it's out finally. You thought I was going to say "well, I'm glad they did". Fuck that. If they'd have gotten off their asses and went to the fucking studio it could have come out at least two years ago, but then it wouldn't have included my favorite song of theirs, one of the runners up to song of the year: whatever the hell the first song is called. That's another thing: Rob likes to make it so the song titles are pretentious and hard to remember for dumb people like me.


5. Sun Kil Moon - Ghost of Tom Joad doin' It Again
Okay, so this came out last year, but I'm sticking it on here for two reasons. One, I've actually spotted it on other top ten lists for this year (which leads me to believe that maybe it came out at the very end of last year), and two, it contains the song of the year for me: Glenn Tipton. I know all the words and I know how to play it, even though I never have tried to. I jammed it so many times, and it was in my head even more than that. I can't understand why, but the lyrics of the song just really do it for me. I really really like the lyrics and Mark Kozelek's voice. And I'm always a sucker for a spare beginning that keeps adding instruments as it goes along (in this case, another guitar, then stand up bass, then another guitar, and then the drums come in for the very end). And here's the kicker- it sustains the quality level after opening with "Glenn Tipton". Every single song on this is good.

4. Electrelane - The Power Out
I haven't heard this in a while, and I think it came out almost a full year ago. The first time I heard it, I didn't really think one way or the other. Then they played a show with a friend's band, and I liked them pretty well. My girlfriend, who seems to like almost any music made by women (side note- I asked her the other day to name one band with a girl singer that she didn't like. She said she didn't like Ani DiFranco and Life Without Buildings' vocals. That's all she could come up with.) bought the album, so I heard it in her car a lot. Next thing I knew I was borrowing it from her and jamming it on the way to work. I may have listened to this album more than any other this year. What do they sound like? Sort of like Stereolab, but not as self-consciously lame (or more so). Their songs tend to start with some sort of cool restrained riff, and it become more and more unhinged throughout the song, which is just the same riff over and over, with vocal changes. And the vocals! I really like them; they manage to be abrasive, powerful, and pretty at various points and sometimes all at once. And she sings in three languages. Normally that type of showing off would be a negative strike, but with her singing style, you don't really even notice it; you're already lulled into the center of the earth.

3. Dungen - Ta Det Lungt
This one blew me away, which isn't to be confused with getting my mind blown. Getting your mind blown renders you devoid of speech and more importantly, thought. Getting blown away is like getting your ears and mind and groin knocked down and you immediately bouncing back up, licking your lips for more. I've already talked about this on the mez ext, but shit, I'll talk about a little bit more. I was just chilling out, talking to some buddies, drinking a cold one, smoking some drugs. My buddy's messing around on the computer, and then he unleashes dungen out of nowhere. No "hey guys, check this out". No nothing. He was just noodling on the computer and then I got blown to bits. That thirty second drum solo into an awesome song- that's the sign of a BRUTE of a record. It feels weird to put this so high up when I've only been intimate with this for a few weeks, but that's just how much this shit blows me away. I only got the actual CD a few days ago, but I've been jamming the illegal downloads at work over and over and over ever since I found out about it.



[huge gap]



2. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
This is like nothing I have ever heard before in my life. Like ewoks on drugs. That's the best I can come up with. I read a couple rapturous reviews of this album and did the download thing. For how weird this thing is, surprisingly, I was engulfed on the first listen of the first tune. By the time it got to song 4 (Winter's Love- another runner up for song of the year), I decided I was buying it on the way home. The singing is mystical and beautiful and quite simply amazing. The drumming is so original and works so well. Fuck, EVERYTHING does. I honestly became obsessed with this album for a stretch. Embarrassingly obsessed, like I wanted to quit playing pop music, even though I knew I couldn't do stuff like this, but I just had no interest in doing it anymore. Well, that subsided, and I actually haven't listened to this in a long time, but writing this is making me long for it once more.

1. Brian Wilson - Smile
I suspect this will be Smile's only appearance on a mes ecl top ten list, and what a crock of shame. I understand maybe some you just don't like the Beach Boys anyway, some have grown tired of listening to Pet Sounds and Smile bootlegs, or some just don't think Brian Wilson re-recording Smile thirty some-odd years after the fact sounds appealing, but shit. If you haven't even HEARD this, you are missing out. Seriously. People say that all the time, but I can't think a more appropriate instance. This is, matter of factly, one the the pantheon of huge, legendary pop or rock or whatever albums EVER. Of ALL TIME. It's like Sgt. Peppers coming out and people just being "ahh. whatever. Let's listen to Chk Chk Chk."
Sorry, enough lecturing. Let's get to the soundz. First I'll say that I'm pleased to see on metacritic that it is the the best reviewed album of the year, when of course it should be. I've had the bootlegs for years, and this trumps it. Easily. Brian Wilson can't sing like he used to, which is the only thing keeping this from being cemented as my favorite album of all time. One of my favorite songs of all time, Surf's Up, loses a little bit of sorcery because he can't hit the high falsetto notes anymore, creating a harmony for himself, enabling one the backing vocalists take high road on a few lines. "Columnated ruins DOMINO!" That part. He can, however, still sing better than almost anyone, and that's good enough for me. What elevates this so far above the bootlegs, aside from some of songs actually being finished, is the sequence. I've always been sort of obsessed with sequencing, believing that it can make or break a record, and that belief is solidified here. He throws every bootlegger for a loop, dividing it into three seamless suites, and ending it not with the melancholy Surf's Up, but the ebullient smash hit Good Vibrations, changing to tone of the whole album. I can't fathom how he could come up with something as simultaneously weird and catchy and flowing as this, and I am so thankful that he did, even if it was thirty years late.



Honorable Mentions:

1. Deerhoof - Milkman
2. Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
3. Magnetic Fields - i
4. Tussle - Don't Stop ep





Disappointments:

1. Ted Leo - Shake the Sheets
First song is great; the rest purely mediocre in my opinion.

2. Wilco - Tom Joad forever
Sorry OJ, but this was a HUGE let down for me. The things you mentioned- the guitar solo in the first song, and also the krautrock song- those are the only things that really do it for me. This would be number one, but I didn't really like the Ted Leo album at all, whereas this has some good stuff. This is nowhere even within the realm of YHF, possibly one of my favorite albums ever.

3. Magnetic Fields - i
Yes, they got an hon. mention, and they're on the diss list. That's how high my expectations were for this. I was really looking forward to him getting away from the 69 Love Songs nuttery and putting out a short, quality-laden, every song is awesome album. Nope.



Best Album That Was Totally Last Year But I Really Got Into It This Year:

M83 - Tom Joad Encore Set




Wow. I really just took up a lot of time at work. I bet most of you are off. Thanks for reading this far if you did. And Hillary and everyone else who write in the comments sections, please post a top ten at some point. We need your lists for mes ecl 2004 mix.


 
Thursday, December 30, 2004
  Please, please, please, please



I'm sure you guys are going to be getting a lot of calls from me tomorrow night. Live via Chicago....the minute the band gets back together!
 
  we haven't forgotten that other thing

The Extension will be returned to after the New Year. I'm waiting on getting one of them jump drive things, which will most assuredly make the home-to-work file transferrence easier.

In the meantime, Vinyl Mine linked to a couple of songs by an Asian group called Furniture yesterday. The second mp3, “Please”, sounds like something you maybe could’ve heard on 120 Minutes in 1991 or so. Shoegazer-type stuff is inherently self-limiting, but when it’s done well, as with “Please”, it can be hard to deny. Maybe “Please” doesn’t transcend its influences, but it does come close to matching them.
 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
  the site of Twilight Delirium 2005

I wish I had read about this a week ago, before returning to Boston.
 
  How to Survive the Looming War of Armageddon

A co-worker told me that the Asian tsunami is the beginning of the end-times. Like in the days of Noah, God used a great deluge to punish the wicked (because we all know that the most wicked in this world are the impoverished residents of coastal Third World villages, followed closely by those who vacation in Thailand). Also, the earthquake apparently shook Earth ever so slightly off its axis, and now the planet is spinning a little bit faster than before. This is one of the Biblical signs of the impending Apocalypse, she says. She also says that we're all so wrapped up in our own business that most of us haven't even recognized this sign for what it is. Her case is very convincing, I think. I have to wonder, though, why does God like Jet Li and Helmut Kohl so? Is it because they're so rich and handsome and ethnic? Or because they can both kill a man with one foot?
 
  back at work

Since we got engaged, and especially since we moved to Massachusetts, I've had to immediately follow up most references to my fiance Allyn with the disclaimer that she is, in fact, a girl. My life has been greatly simplified now that I can refer to her as my wife.

The wedding was pretty amazing, and I'd like to thank everybody who came and helped make it so memorable, and also apologize to those we were unable to invite. We had a pretty tight guest list, and we couldn't invite everyone we've ever partied with, or those with whom we have shared paddle boats in the past. Sorry, but the economics of matrimony are prohibitive.

We drove home, which is about a 36 hour voyage, round-trip. We don't have a cd player in our car, and we couldn't find our diskman adapter stuff, so we had to rough it with the radio and whatever tapes we had lying around. Listening to the radio on a cross-country jaunt is one mighty poker in the behind, though, as you'll hear roughly the same thirty songs over and over. Even songs I like, like "Drop It Like It's Hot", for instance, became massively annoyingly by the sixth or seventh listen. I heard that Nelly / Tim McGraw song for the first time an hour or so in to our trip, and thought it was surprisingly great. Six hours and five spins later I came to hate it (albeit temporarily). We found a few good college stations along the way, and some of the tapes were fine, but the music situation was largely a source of great consternation. As usual, classic rock stations were the best bet, but when you're swapping them out every forty minutes or so you wind up with a greater rate of repetition than you usually find with any single station. It did lead to an interesting debate, though, as to who has the more classic rock radio staples, AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. I know that it must be Zep, but we heard twice as many AC/DC songs on this journey. Also, we learned that no state rocks as hard or as insistently as West Virginia. We found no less than eight different classic or hard rock stations on the dial during the twenty or so minutes we were in West Virginny, and we were able to pick up all of them simultaneously. I'm sure some (if not all) were from Virginia or Maryland, but still, there's a couple of fuck-tons of rock regularly plopping down upon the barren hills and hopeless populace of our most unfortunate and unnecessary of states.

 
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
  DJ's Top Shit of 2004

This might be the first "fucking serious official for skreel" top 10 list that I have made. I don't think I ever got around to it last year and I may have done one for Flagpole when I first started working there, but for the most part I have just made the list in my brain. This year the idea is for all who contribute to Mezzy Eclipse to post their lists, then we will make the Mez Ecl Mix 6 be a burned cd of highlights from all the picks. Im sure there will be some overlap. Or maybe there wont be, lets hope.

10a) The Kingsbury Manx - Aztec Discipline: Fuck it if this cd really came out in '03, I didn't know about it until this year. I really wish these guys got more press, because they are truly an amazing underdog band. This summer saw their first trip to Athens (after several attempts) for the Orange Twin weekend. They were playing at sunset which was almost a perfect setting for these "Kings" of lush. They have two singers who trade off so seamlessly that it only leads the listener to further get caught up in their warm sounding songs. "Plez Komet" starts this record off and by the end of the 5 minute + song you are bouncing your head like a fool. Great arrangements and a really mature what I think is their third proper release. This North Carolina band should be on the top of world soon.

10) The Streets - A Grand Dont Come For Free: I ran into Mike Skinner in the Atlanta Airport the day after his Atlanta show. He was holding a Nike bag full of stuff that was almost bigger than he was. Soon to be big time player. From the beginning of this record you can tell its more mature than his first (down beats with drunken ramblings overtop - brilliant). Best song is "Blinded By The Lights" - fucking great sound production with this throbbing keyboard riff that guides the song for its entire length. The song tells about his near overdose(?) waiting on his friends at the club and his mental battle with his own jealousy. Another good topic on this record - His CELL PHONE! Hilarious, he nearly name drops it in all but one song! Good shit, oi oi oi.

9) The Liars- They Were Wrong, So We Drowned: Came out in early February and I instantly thought it was going to be my top cd of the year. Glad I listened to more music, but still that says nothing ill about this record. A concept record about WITCHES!!! How much better can you get? Ok, a concept album about Beer's date with Space. This is a fucking dark record, and almost impossible to initially listen to. The Liar did this on purpose though, each listen draws you into these songs more. They have definitely separated all ties with the NYC lame ass no wave scene and forged ahead into uncharted lands or should I say uncharted brews. With songs like "There's More Room On The Broom", "They Dont Want Your Corn, They Want Your Kids", and "If You're A Wizard, Then Why Do You Wear Glasses?" you are sure for the mind fuck of a lifetime with each listen. Grab your fucking brooms laddies, this shit is a bumpy ass robo-tripped flight.

8) Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse - Seeing one of your favorite bands on your birthday is a fucking cool experience. Thanks to my lady, I was able to do that this year when Sonic Youth played on the best day of the year, August 21. It was tied for the best time I have seen them, because they just brought the fucking pain. Oh you want to hear Teenage Riot, done. Oh 20 minute drones? Ok. A kick in the nuts with Expressway To Yr Skull. Fuck you. That's what makes Sonic Nurse so good...they give you all the best parts of the Youth. The fucking hits, the long noisy pieces and the cooled out jams. "Unmade Bed" might be the best song that the Youth has written since "Diamond Sea". Actually, it is. Nothing less than the best and the coolest from these GODZ. (another good band)

7) Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere: Fuck if these dudes didn't come out of nowhere. Ho har. Seriously though, they pretty much just fell into the laps of everyone who discovered them this year. Imagine John Bonham drumming with tree limbs for Pink Floyd who are on tour with their additional backing band Neu! This shit fucking slays. The opening track pretty much lays everything out on the table, a 9 minute epic deep groove that will rock your ass for the full time. "First Wave Intact" - fitting with the current events - has pretty much everything that the Secret Machines deliver, a great mid tempo rhythm with odd changes, dream like vocals, and a sense of direction that never quits. See this band live sometime soon. They will literally light your ass up.

6) RTX - Transmaniacon : I'll be the first to admit that I thought this record was going to be absolute sheit. Suck fat like. Jennifer from Royal Trux's first release after her and Neil broke (every)thing(s) off. The story goes that he sold her the rights to the Royal Trux name and she then got high as fuck. Which is probably why he left her. Anyways, she recruited two new noname dudes and made a damn incredible album. Transmaniacon (which I later discovered is the first song on Blue Oyster Cult's first record) is a collection of very warm, honest and real songs from someone who can be known for her cold sensibilities. All the cock rock moments you missed from Pound for Pound and Veterans of Disorder with some added zing. On almost ever song Jennifer's voice is fed through some wicked voice modifications. Vocoder, Cher machine, phaser...everything under the sun. And it makes the raucous songs come together to groove a little better. I was lucky enough to see one of their few shows in the Southeast and everything transferred live perfectly. It was great to see the best front woman in rock back on stage to fuckin whip the crowds collective ass. She is nice in person too.

5) Acid Mother's Temple - Mantra Of Love / The Penultimate Galactic Bordello Also The World You Made: AMT released seriously like 20 records last year. Eps, full lengths, splits, 7" records, 12 inches...you name it they put it out. With that in mind, most people categorize all their music under one pile of - weird ass space music shit that all sounds the same. I don't blame them, because even some fans of the band think that too. That being said, the this year AMT really started to experiment a lot more with not only their sound but their structure. Still noisy, but during the bookends of this year they grew a lot. Mantra of Love is without a doubt their most developed recording to date. Very subdued in points during their version of "La Le Lo" a traditional Japanese hymn (I think). This shows the softer side of these new troubadours of the Grateful Dead torch run. But like no others, AMT can fucking turn on you. Literally at the drop of a hat they can unleash a gong slap that would wake Zeus. This brings me to "The Galactic Bordello" - pep this. Its a 4 cd box set that is only 4 songs long. Each SONG is over 60 minutes long. Total running time about 420 minutes. Coincidence? No. These are what you call deep fucking jams. I just wonder how in the fuck they have a tape machine that can run for over an hour?! Amazing. These songs you put on and just enjoy. One sounds like Jerry has been resurrected. Others sound as if they are jamming on Saturn's rings and the music takes the form of a Viking horn that invites the entire solar system in for a listen to the world's most awesome soloing Japanese hippies. Most will probably hate the 4 cd box set, but shit if it doesn't flat out show that these guys know what the fuck they are doing and have taken the helm on navigating the galaxy's first ever mindfucking machine.

4) Lil' Flip Scoldjah - Out Francin' Yall: It was a Friday, I thought I had the shit talking championship on LOCK THE FUCK DOWN, and I knew there was no way the fools on the Cylindaz could touch deez...especially after I mailed them autographed underwear. Who could top that? Jon Fucking Croxton can. I was late for a weekend trip to some North Georgia cabins when I opened my mailbox to find this gem awaiting a spin. I put the cd in on my way to the vantage point and literally had to pull the fucking car over twice because I was doubled over laughing. I was squealing like a little girl. The absolute greatest piece of shit talking ever. Lil' Flip transcends song, he is a fucking art-tist. Knowing him, he will probably be pissed he is #4, but damn if I don't hold this record among the absolute elite. All the songs revolve around a fantasy football league, but what is so great about it is that people who don't know shit about the league, or football for that matter - still LOVE THIS RECORD. Everyone who hears it agrees that this is one of the most creative records of all time. He raps, he sings, he pontificates, he fucks you in the ear hole. You laugh your ass off AS he is making fun of you on the record. "ExcaliBRAH (truly the best) stuck his dick in a stoney, Oneness jacking off a one trick pony"!! What the fuck, should be pissed - but I aint. The songs seem like they took years to craft, try 1 month. Amazing. This record is balls out funny, BUT you can listen to it over and over without it getting old. Without it getting trite, without it getting unfunny. Jon nailed it. I can only hope that my remix album is 1/4 as good as this golden nugget he has so kindly bestowed upon us.

3) Animal Collective - Sung Tongs: Everyone who likes music should be forced to see this band live. I have several records by them, but over the course of the two hour concert - I recognized maybe 13 minutes of it. Seriously. AC is a homegrown, and unmeddled with treasure that I only wish put out 20 records a year. As creative as they come, AC can lull you with Brazilian melodies or soothe your ears with an acoustic nature drone that will leave you naked running in the woods if you aren't careful. "Winter's Love" is my favorite song of this year, hands down. Their manipulation of simple acoustic tones and simplistic rhythms has helped them etch out an area where they can do what they do best, create music that pleases themselves. They aren't hippies, they aren't noise freaks (frequently play shows with Wolf Eyes, Black Eyes), they aren't folk dudes, they are however 4 guys who can make you feel completely comfortable with sounds that are not normal but do come from deep within them. Go buy this record.

2) Wilco - A Ghost Is Born : People who say that Wilco fell off after Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are damned idiots. People who say A Ghost Is Born is a piece of rambling shit are damned idiots. Wilco has found themselves. They have been so fun to watch change and morph into what they are today, America's best rock band. Don't get me wrong, this is a very complex and hard to like record, but with each listen you catch a glimpse of what they are trying to accomplish. Wilco is their own band and doesn't really have to answer to anyone other than the people on stage and the sounds in their heads. Its almost as if after YHF came out, they thought to themselves - lets engage the listener more. Lets make them work to see where they are going. A good example of that is "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" - an obvious nod to German krautrock, Wilco grabs hold of a groove and rides it and rides it and rides it and rides until you are about to explode with anticipation and BLAM - there is one of the most amazing choruses they have written...then back to the groove. Amazement. I listened to this record probably 10 times the first week I had it. Just excited about trying to hear new things with each spin. Trying to figure out what made those sounds and how in the fuck they thought to put it there. What about on the opener "At Least That's What You Said" when you are perfectly content with it being a pretty piano ballad to start the record off and Tweedy rips this solo out deep from within himself that speaks better than the lyrics that came before it. God, I hope Wilco never quits making music, they have it so right and a base of fans that are lucky enough to be along for the coolest ride of a lifetime.

1) Comets On Fire - Blue Cathedral : Why don't all bands sound like Comets On Fire? Seriously, why? What don't all bands sound like the grand potentate wizard is rocking his ass off from deep within the organs of mother earth as she cries and fucking launches off fucking lava out the green volcano to try and release some of the pressure building up within her bowels from the riffin solo that is connecting with the alien's outer space bass? Get what I mean? A band with album names like; "Bong Voyage" and "Field Recordings From the Sun" - you know you are in for something good. On Blue Cathedral, COF land on Sub Pop and release their most adventurous record to date. I think what also makes this record so fun to listen to is that it is a lot more accessible to your average listener. Yes, they are hard rockin wizard style for 6+ minutes but those along for the ride sit back and let the shit slow burn. I think its fitting that they are on Sub Pop because I haven't heard a Big Muff solo like that since Steve Turner of Mudhoney. COF are like a more smoked out psychedelic madness Mudhoney. One minute you are taking a beating from double drum madness, the next you are rocking back and forth in a tribal circle. Key word: Echoplex. The deepest of deep space echo. Its on literally everything. They are on top of my list, because they made a record that from front to finish is completely SOLID as fuck. Tracks like "Antlers Of The Midnight Sun" pummel you like there is no end in sight, no tomorrow to cry to grandpappy, like Oneida parked it right next to your bed and woke you from a slumber with the thunder...then you wake up and grandpappy hands you a bottle to pull from as "Whiskey River" covers your bruises with flowers and the medicine man rubs you the right way. I can not wait to see this band live cause I know I will witness none other than the most righteous mesmerization eclipse of my life. Comets On Fire are surfing (the cosmos) and holding hands with the most clear vision of a Cali mind.

New Additions: "I CANT BELIEVE I FORGOT THESE 10 TEN WORTHY RECORDS" LIST:
Ghost - Hypnotic Underworld
Oneida - Secret Wars (thought it came out in 2003, but I was dead wrong!)


Honorable Mentions:
Talib Kweli - The Beautiful Struggle
All Night Radio - Spirit Stereo Frequency
Vhs Or Beta - Night On Fire
The Fucking Am - Gold
R Kelly - Happy People
Wolf Eyes - Burned Mind
Bugs Eat Books - Ghosts Of Leaves
Interpol - Antics
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album


BEST "NOT SO GUILTY PLEASURE":
Keane - Hopes & Dreams


Disappointments:
Acid Mothers Temple / Gong : Acid Motherhood
Bob Pollard - Fiction Man
Guided By Voices - Half Smiles Of The Decomposed (second half of the record)
Phoenix - Alphabetical
Trans Am - Liberation
Mystic Chords Of Memory - Mystic Chords Of Memory
Lil Jon - Crunk Juice (I KNOW!!!!)


Hope you enjoyed the trip. Hope I didnt forget anything. Let us know what you think. Adios.
 
Monday, December 27, 2004
  Holidaze

so yeah, we are bums and havnet written in over ten days.
But hey, Dark got married - and the jam was awesome.

Dark is back to Boston today/tomorrow based on snow drifts (drive carefully) and work is back bright and early today (yeah the annoying coworker is still suckin even after a decent vacation). So more posts to come.

Including all our Top 10 Records of 2004 lists and probably pictures of the Lil' Flip Scoldjah/Still Flyin' show in my living room...

As I said, the jam was tight.
 
Thursday, December 16, 2004
  BRAVESSSSSSSSSSSSS

Just read that the Braves got Hudson for Charles Thomas, Juan Cruz, and hott prospect Dan Meyer.

So much for complaining about the Mets, Dark.
 
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
  Surprise Office Wedding Shower



 
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  Could Crog or Hillary or somebody please explain to me why George Washington (the movie) is supposedly so great?

We watched it this weekend. Allyn absolutely hated it. I'm a bit more conflicted. Some of it was beautiful, and deeply affecting. Much of it, however, was arbitrary, unrealistic, and (I know some of you dislike this word) pretentious. The death scene was well done, the children were generally good actors, and many of the scenes between the children and the black girl and her sister felt natural and unforced. Green does have an eye for wonderful landscapes, and his soundtrack selections are inspired and excellently utilized. Some of the humor worked, but having unnecessary (albeit funny) shots, set to goofy music, of a shirtless guy driving a dirtbike around town, so soon after the disturbing and realistic death of a twelve-year-old, is a bit off-putting. At some points I couldn't tell if a scene was supposed to be serious or not. If the scene where Damascus tells George why he hates dogs is supposed to be serious, it's a failure because it's completely ridiculous; if it's supposed to be funny, it's a failure because it's too cynical, condescending, and (simply) unfunny. The annoying voice-over is a bad art-school / indie-film cliche, and George's costume is an overly quirky contrivance. Allyn was most offended by the insistent ugliness of the characters' surroundings, and by the arrogance and condescension she perceived in the (white, affluent, intellectual) film-maker's attitude towards his subjects and their environment. Allyn grew up in a small Southern town, she had friends and classmates who lived in poverty, and she felt that the desolation and squalor of George Washington is overexaggerated and unrealistic. Of course Dalton is propped up by a relatively stable industry, and is a far cry from the towns devastated by the closures of textile mills and the hits the tobacco industry have taken. Still, I do believe that, for a person raised in the upper middle class to create a realistic and believable depiction of modern poverty and dying-town desperation, a wisdom and maturity well beyond the grasp of David Gordon Green's then-25 years of age is requred. Compared to All the Real Girls, which felt almost effortless, George Washington is severely disappointing.
 
Monday, December 13, 2004
  "Best Of"...2004 Woah, and YEAH!

So, fuck yeah, we like music here at Mezzy Eclipse.
And while they are sometimes lame as hell, we are going to all do "Best Of" lists this year. Sometime within the next three weeks, every one of the writers for this page will post their list with explainations if they feel justified (not on my list). We encourage each of our dedicated readers (all 3 of you) to post their best ofs in the comments section of any one of our posts.

After all of the lists are posted, we will then compile the most bad ass Mez Eclipse Mix yet by picking and choosing some of the highlights from each list. This is where it gets good...after the song list is compiled, the 'clipse will burn the cds and send them to whomever reads this that wants em...

So keep your eyes gooched over the next few weeks and let the songs rule....
 
  goddamned Mets

I'll lose a lot of interest in the Sox if Pedro leaves, and even more if they trade Manny for fucking Cliff Floyd.

Damn. Why do the Mets always have to sign away my favorite players from my favorite teams?
 
Sunday, December 12, 2004
  Back to the Front

So the Braves wised up and are putting Smoltz back as their number one starter. I'm sure he's tired of sitting on his ass in the post season as the Braves annually fold. Kolb is an awesome closer, and the fact that we gave up Capellan doesn't concern me too much. He was less than impressive in his opportunities this year. There was no way in hell the Braves were going to give up Giles for Hudson, when it was very possible that the Braves would be unalbe to resign him next season. So we gave up Ortiz, who gives a fuck that guy never stepped up in big games. The D-Bags paid him waaay too much money and continue to show how retarded of an organization they truly are. Drew, have fun playing in Detroit buddy, you won't be missed by me. Take you Scott Boras ass else where. Try staying healthy for longer than a season before you ask for $10 mil a year. I certainly don't think the Braves are all of a sudden going to contend for a Series title, but they continue to show that they are willing to be creative and not make stupid personel descision and end up like the Mets and afformentioned D-Bags. Oh and as far as Jaret Wright goes, I hope the Yankees are ready to be significantly disappointed again, just as they were with Vazquez and Loaiza. Hmmm, maybee ther is a precident there, good pitchers going to NY and then totally falling apart. Had the Braves aquired Vazquez, we could have been looking at a CY Young contender, not a young, washed up piece of trade bait. As I sat at Turner Field as Houston celebrated on our home turf, I couldn't help wondering what was going through Smoltz's mind. What I assumed is that he was through with the bullshit, and was either going to retire or demand to be a starter. Looks like he got his way. Go Braves!
 
Thursday, December 09, 2004
  RIP Dimebag Darrell

 
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
  Tree Wave

Any of you ever heard of these guys?

They make pretty good techno-pop, using nothing but an Atari 2600, a Commodore 64, a 286 pc, and an Epson printer.

They've got two mp3s on their site, and Music for Robots posted another one today.

It's some good stuff.
 
  Me, lame and not giving a hot shit...

But does anyone else watch Laguna Beach?
 
  and yet I still have faith

AOL really needs to sell the Braves. Not that I'm all that attached to Drew, Wright, Ortiz, or any of the guys that are free agents this year, or anything. It's pretty disheartening, though, to see that, in addition to apparently not being in on any of the free agent action yet, they can't even keep their own free agents. I don't think JD Drew will be a wise purchase this year; I'm sure whoever gives him $10 million a year for the next four years or whatever will probably regret it. Still, though, it would have been good for the fans to at least attempt to make an effort to resign him. This is the second year in a row they've let their MVP walk after a surprisingly exciting season. It almost seems like AOL wants to kill off whatever fan interest is renewed by the team's continued unexpected success.

Ted Turner's insane, we all know that, and we all love and respect him for that. He spoke at my graduation, and he told us to enjoy ourselves and our successes while we can, because who knows, China could blow us all up next week. It was an amazingly awesome speech. So why the hell hasn't he gone on some crazy-ass murdering spree at an AOL Time Warner board meeting yet?
 
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  not just a baby elf with down's syndrome

Burned a copy of Joanna Newsom's The Milk-Eyed Mender alb last night. I've been listening to it all morning. I'm surprised - it's every bit as good as everyone says it is.

Addendum: another recent college radio / mp3-blog sensation, the Fiery Furnaces, have not impressed me in the least. Not that that has anything to don with Newsom, really. Just sayin'.

And S'More: also burned the Futureheads record last night, based partially on the recommendation of friend/compatriot Jerkwater Johnson (aka SA). He sez of the 'heads: "like billy bragg fronting a typical early 80's post punk band who like barber shop quartet music". I say they sound like the Jam playing the angular post-punk. They like the four-part harmonies, yes sir. And it's pretty damn good, if kind of ridiculous in spots.
 
  I like forcing my tastes and opinions upon people

I got to dj an hour on WZBC 90.3 FM last night. I think I'm doing my "aircheck" next week. Here's what I played yesterday:

Snakefinger, "Jesus Was a Leprechaun"
Sightings, "Infinity of Stops"
Thighpaulsandra, "Joyful Misuse of the Gomco Clamp"
Olivia Tremor Control, "Green Typewriters"
Volcano the Bear, "Shake Your Crow"
Evan Parker, "Five of Six"
Erkki Kurenniemi, "Hana"
Christina Carter, "Going Down"
Wolf Eyes / Black Dice
, track six
Pylon, track five from the Not Cobras album (this is the Finnish Pylon, not the one from Athens)

I hope to have a regular show next semester.
 
Monday, December 06, 2004
  Saturday Night's Alright...

Luke Skywalker drinking with Elvis.
At least that was the nametag that the DJ at the work christmas party I attended slapped on my back - Saturday evening. After dancing to some killer Eric Clapton, I promptly hauled mortal ass straight to Athens to see one of the only RTX shows in the South on this entire tour. Thinking they would go on by 12:30 - I arrived in plenty of time at around midnight. I get to Tasty World and unfortunately, the booker was up to his old tricks...there are 4 damn bands on the bill. The Trux thought there was only one other one I found out from the merch dude. They were ready to play for almost 2 hrs, that night they would not. The lady from that band The Swans was onstage taking a really long time to set up for what her sound was like. One guitar, minimal drums and a keyboard. I know a lot of people liked that band, but this shit sucked AND she played forever. Imagine a female US Maple that was just terrible.

So finally the Trux were ready to start at almost 1:30 (sound familiar?) and they seemed somewhat pissed onstage about it. Didnt stop them from devouring the place. Cut the shit and commence to RIP! They were on it from the getgo. Tearing ass through several of the more straight forward sounding rock songs from the Record. With much more production changes, the new songs pretty much pick up where the real Royal Trux left off with songs like Waterpark, Sunshine and Grease, and Yo Se! Classic rock riffs and nasty over the top chord changes with Thin Lizzy-esque solos. Due to the time constraints, they could only play roughly 6 or 7 songs which sucked, but I was happy to see ol' Jennifer back up on stage (first time in 4 years since that top 5 show at the 40 Watt during the ice storm back in 2000). It was as if she never left. I think most Trux fans can make a serious argument about Herrema being the best female lead pretty much EVER. She just has something that is hard to explain. She knows exactly how over the top nutz she can get and nudges right close to that line without crossing it. She had her vocals running thorough this Digitec pedal that added a mind fucking "Cher" effect to most songs. That snarl running through about 40 octaves and two phasers and 3 distortions...was like Jesus talking to you over a couple of beers. If they would have had more time Im sure they would have gotten into more of the trippy jams off of Transmaniacon, but as it was the versions of Joint Chief, PB&J, and Low Ass Mountain Song had the what seemed like a crowd full of die hard Trux fans going nutz. Andrew Reiger was going ape shit banging his empty pint glass on the monitors. The other really cool thing about these guys was that they transferred the sound of the record almost perfectly. Which is hard, because Transmaniacon is a very overly produced record. Metal-lite with a cosmic monster grumbling on and on.

AFter it was all over Jennifer was walking around chatting with folks and i was lucky enough to talk to her. Totally opposite than the persona she puts on for interviews. I figured it would slightly difficult to talk to her seeing that she goes on record as being one of the toughest interviews around, but she was incredibly personable and nice. After explaining how the club kinda fucked them and how they added a show at MJQ in ATL on Sunday night, she offered to put my name on the guest list. Couldnt end up making it, but damn that was a fucking nice thing to be offered from someone whos music you have followed and loved for a long ass time. Tried to get them to go to the after party at Zieg's but they had a hotel out of town. Just think about the absurdity of that - knowing them, it just might have worked. I think a lot of people dont give a fuck about this band nor did they about Royal Trux either, but fuck- give them a try. This shit truly is some of the most creative music that I have ever heard and just its just flat out fun to listen to. There is nothing to get other than the fact that the band knows how to whip your ass with a belt. Or a damn lightsaber for that matter.

 
  So what's the big deal?

We watched the first season of Dave Chappelle's show this weekend, and man, was it disappointing. I expected more than a sketch-show variation on the old "white guys drive like this, but black guys drive like this!" jokes. That's basically all it was, making fun of white people for being white, and mocking and/or embracing black stereotypes. The reparation skit and the black Real World stuff are just subpar, poorly done attempts at Pryor/Rock-style "relevance". They weren't really clever and, for the most part, weren't even all that funny. Most episodes weren't even eighteen minutes long. I can't even imagine watching this thing on tv, as the commercials must be almost as long as the show itself. Also, Chappelle makes too much use of his recurring skits. The "Great Moments in Hook-Up History" and "Ask a Black Dude" skits pop up too frequently in the second half of the season, and to be honest aren't even all that funny to begin with. The two pieces with Tyrone the crack head were both pretty good, and the HBO commercial and Real Sex interstitial parodies were funny, but for the most part this shit's weak. Probably the best thing about the whole show is the look on Chappelle's face when the model in the car commerical ad parody's breast pops out. Breastuses can stop a man cold.
 
Friday, December 03, 2004
  My Dentist Likes Blue Cheer

To start things off right...a direct quote from the dental hygienist cleaning my teeth yesterday:

"I'm going to cover your eyes with a tissue while I give you this salty blast to the face."

Dentists have new teeth cleaning technology you see. Sand blast your teeth.
It took all of my being not to laugh at that statement while Michael Bolton christmas blasted in the background. My actual dentist has always been weird ever since I started going to him as a wee lad. Like 7 I think. Yesterday we finally bonded, not really. He asked me what I was doing for New Year's Eve and I explained how I was headed to Chicago to see GBV's Last Show. He then asked who GBV was and I regaled him with a tale of my days at WUOG. This sparked his eye. He went on to tell me that he fondly remembers his day as one of the founding fathers of WVEE 103.3FM - V103. Not what you think. V103 was the FM station for Georgia State before they had WRAS. Anyways he fucking talked and talked and slobbered and slobbered about his days "behind the mic" (a phrase he used like 5 times) and kept me at the office for a good 30 minutes after my checkup (no cavities!). His workers were about to slaughter me as these stories of hearing Blue Cheer and them totally altering his thinking state were keeping them from their reruns of Will & Grace. So yeah, maybe the fucker is still a weirdo.
 
Thursday, December 02, 2004
  newish post at mezeclext

A new post and two new mp3s went up at the Extension earlier today.

Unlike this one, it's not redundant.
 
  This is Not to Ascribe Any Great Significance to the Ridiculous Crap I Listen To

I think that people who are too dumb to work the fryer at Long John Silver’s all get jobs as pop culture critics for daily metropolitan newspapers. The Boston Globe’s own Renee Graham is one of the best/worst of them; her inane “Life in the Pop Lane” column brightens my lunch break every Tuesday. Her latest piece, arguing that Jude Law and Colin Ferrell are celebrities and not actors or movie stars, and that their movies bomb because people don’t want to pay to see celebrities when they can just stay home and watch for free on Entertainment Tonight and Extra, is blissfully asinine. I like how the people paid to take stupid mindless pop culture bullshit seriously always take the wrong stupid mindless pop culture bullshit seriously. Not that I can say what the right stuff would be, of course.

Perfect example of the repugnant brilliance of Renee Graham: in her review of Eminem’s Encore, she writes, “Eminem, to borrow a line from Ricky Ricardo, comes across as a man with ‘a lot of 'splainin' to do.’” You have to appreciate the complete idiotic ridiculousness of a thirty-something African American woman referencing I Love Lucy when talking about the sordid lives and horrible music of asshole rappers.

Renee Graham’s articles are generic, lazily written, intellectually stillborn, and only occasionally humorous enough to be worth reading. She's foolish or dishonest enough to treat popular music as if it has any great relevance outside of entertainment and the bank accounts of those who try to profit from it. There is some room for serious, intelligent discussion of the role popular music plays in our society, but Renee Graham has proven incapable of entering into such a discussion. She's banal, bland, and completely unnecessary. And yet she’s still not nearly as horrible as any of the regular contributors to the Boston Phoenix’s music section. (We’ll exclude Franklin Bruno – he’s pretty okay).
 
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
  New Addition

Always up for the completely arbitrary and unncessary, I've decided to create a seperate site for MP3s and other assorted media downloads. The Mesmerization Eclipse Extension can be found here, and it will be updated daily, starting now. The first two posts will be redundant to regular MezEcl readers, but tomorrow we'll start fresh with some new stuff previously unlinked to from here.

Thanks for the support. Together we can make the next seven years as memorable as the last!
 

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MESMERIZATION ECLIPSE RADIO:
Elliott is on AM 1690 the Voice of the Arts on Monday nights from 7-9PM for Radio Undefined
Crews is on WXDU on Tuesday mornings from ten to noon

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email

Dark doesn't want to own her, but he can't let her have it both ways.

Cocaine Bref is proud of his island heritage & will riff with you.

Elliott is sufficiently breakfast.
PS3 ID: ATLbloodfeast

Crog works in the bullshit industry in Hollywood. He was born on May 7th, 1978.

Jerkwater Johnson (friend to CT Jake Motherfucker) lives in San Francisco. He likes snacking, and the Mets, and is the proprietor of a bar called Duck Camp.

NOTABLES
some twitter things:
je suis france
still flyin'
reports (a band with dark in it)
elliott
crog
dark
crews
LD
MB
cgervin
scarnsworth

some weblogs:
unrealized scripts
oceanchum
hillary brown
shazhmmm...
garrett martin
old man crews
microzaps kindercore
talking radio towers
corp. hq of the san antonio gunslingers
crabber
overundulating fever
ryanetics
blunderford
dehumidifier
big gray
unwelcome return
day jobs
maybe it's just me
captain scurvy
movies stella has not seen

je suis france
still flyin'


wzbc
wuog
wfmu
wmbr
wxdu




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