Category: Random


The 21st Birthday

In a little over seven hours, I can officially say that I will never be denied entry to a show again. I’m stoked; New year, new friends, new opportunities, and plenty of shows to keep me busy, in addition to a schedule that has me working 9-5 on a mixture of class, my on-campus job and my internship with The AV Club. To celebrate, here is the music video for “In The New Year” off The Walkmen’s 2008 album “You & Me.” I’ll see you all on the other side of 21.

-Ryan

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School is officially back in session, and I couldn’t be more excited. The advent of new classes, meeting new people, and continuing to hone on my skills as a writer with this blog and my other projects should be enough to keep me busy until the end of the calendar year. And, of course, there are a slew of good shows coming into town that I plan to write about in some sort of capacity. In short, it’s going to be a hectic four months.

Lately though, in terms of music, I’ve been listening to a lot of bands and albums that got me through my high school years. With the exception of the awkward emo/Warped Tour phase in 9th grade (though I still listen to several of those bands, i.e. Thursday, Brand New, etc.) it was a time of fervent musical discovery that really inspired me to research music and becoming a music journalist. Many of these bands I’ve have been listening to for the better part of 5 or 6 years now, and while (most of) their new stuff is high quality work, there is a certain magic about those first few albums that have stuck with me as time goes on.

Because of that, I have compiled a string of videos from the 2004-2006 time span, when I feel I really started to look at music more seriously and search for quality over what was simply given to me on the radio. These groups showed there was more music out there than I could have ever imagined, and that a set of open ears was all that was required to ignite a passion that will (hopefully) last my entire life. To each of these bands, and the others not on display here, I thank you.

Scarily Similar


A friend of mine pointed out something out last night that made me laugh hard at first, but then marvel at how true it is. He said that Bobb Bruno of Best Coast, who recently released a great debut album, looks like a younger version of Dinosaur Jr. singer/guitarist J. Mascis. Looking at more pictures of the two, it’s eerie how much alike they are. Maybe it’s the glasses, the long hair, the heftier build, who knows. Do you see a semblance?

Best. Album. Cover. Ever.

That’s right, this is the actual album cover of the sophomore release from Klaxons. The English band, who made a splash in 2007 with their Mercury Prize winning “Myths of the Near Future” are slated to release their second album, “Surfing the Void,” on August 23.

Happy Tuesday!

(Image Credit: Stereogum)

Settled In

I know it’s been over a week since I last updated, but it was for good reason. Last week was a very stressful and busy week for me. In between getting into the swing of things with my two (hopefully soon to be three) jobs, going to Houston for my brother’s high school graduation and my mom’s birthday, and finding time to be social, I have had very little time to post. However, that will change this week, as I now feel like I can put forward the time necessary to update 3-4 times a week. Here’s what I plan to accomplish over the next ten days:

-A review of the self-titled debut from New York buzz band The Drums

-An article in which I discuss several bands who were gone before their time. The criteria will be that they released only one album and that there is no chance of them getting back together to record in the distant future.

-A live review of the Lou Barlow show next Monday at the Mohawk

-Reactions to some of this week’s top music news stories.

As always, nothing is set in stone, but I am going to do my best to make sure that I remain dedicated while the lazy days of summer do their best to tempt me. Until next time, Happy Listening!

-Ryan

(Photo: Lou Barlow at Music By the Slice; SXSW 2010)

Being Sick Is No Cool

Since Monday night, my body has been infected with some sort of virus that at it’s best has caused my throat to be extremely sore and at it’s worst made it hurt to stand up. As such, I’ve been focusing more on catching back up with school and feeling better than posting here. The goal for this week is to change that.

I plan to have a new review of Hot Chip’s album “One Life Stand” this week, as well as a few more posts that will reflect on the headlines of the music world. If time permits, I may even release a new list. There are a few anticipated albums being released this week, including Field Music’s double album “Measure” and Peter Gabriel’s weirdly titled covers disc “Scratch My Back.” However, this week also has it’s share of oddities, as Story of the Year has an album dropping on Tuesday. Who knew they were still around? That’s a serious question.

Anyways, since I am, for the most part, out of the woods in terms of being sick except for a ridiculously sore throat, you can expect more exciting posts this week. Until then, happy listening!

-Ryan

P.S. Extra points to whoever figures out what the title of this post is alluding to!

I Just Can’t Stop Listening

This has got to be one of the best songs of the last decade. In the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” the song “I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow” was performed by George Clooney in his group made for the movie, the Soggy Bottom Boys. In actuality, the song, a cover of a 1913 song by Dick Burnett, was sung by folk singer Dan Tyminski. The song instantly gained Tyminski fame, and rightfully so. It is a simple, yet stunning track, of heartbreak in the Deep South. When thinking of songs from movie soundtracks, I can think of few that compare.

That Was a Close One, UT…

I think we can all breath a sigh of relief. The University of Texas pulled off a last minute miracle to beat the University of Nebraska in the Big XII Championship Game. With one second left on the clock, Hunter Lawrence kicked a 46 yard field goal to give the Longhorns the win over the Cornhuskers. Talk about hanging on by the skin of their teeth…

Snow In Austin? Two Years in a Row?

Last year around this time, Austin received a nice helping of snow. Any snow at all is a nice treat, but we were able to have snowball fights and make snowmen. It was quite a memorable night. Now, there is supposedly a 60 percent chance that it may snow in Austin tomorrow. It’s definetely cold enough to warrant snow. All of this cold talk makes me reminisce about some of my favorite holiday movies. I remember particularly liking “A Muppet Christmas Carol.” The Muppets have always held a special place in my heart, and all this snow makes me think that i should go out and rent it before the roads are too dangerous to drive on.

There is something about overeating on Thanksgiving and College Football that goes perfectly together. Perhaps it’s the fact that both are about as American as apple pie, or that it’s a time when families come together and spend time with each other. Or, it could be the fact that when done right, both have a capacity to please many people to no end.

Such was the case yesterday when, after eating until I could barely walk, sat down with my dad to watch the University of Texas Longhorns play the Texas A&M Aggies.

It was a spectacular game. The Aggies kept things close for a while, but the Longhorns proved why they are the #3 team in the country by winning 49-39. There were many long runs on both sides, and there were many miraculous plays. As always, the announcer’s commentary ranged from insightful (in a football sense) to flat out banter.

However, there is one thing about college football that really stands out on Thanksgiving. It is the fact that all of these players are willing to be away from their families on one of the most family oriented days of the year to play football. This can be especially tough on college students, since if they go to school far away from home they rarely get to be with their families in the first place. Of course, they are very much aware of this; they use almost every interview they get as an opportunity to say hi to their families.  It’s always a very nice thing to see, and coupled with the hard action on the field, it makes the perfect antidote for that turkey induced hangover.