Sunday, February 22, 2009

Drum Tracking

Yesterday, half my band took over my apartment and laid down some drum tracks. Good times!

More like, Loud times! Good thing my neighbors are never home.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"everything's calm in the half-light of dawn...

but the morning will bring no peace."

Last night I dreamed that I was in my high school with my best friend, and we walked into the field house and the marching band was playing (including our friend Katie). I don't remember what they were playing at first, but then they started playing "The Crane Takes Flight" by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Then this guy with dreadlocks handed me a mic. So I sang. The next song they played was "Fields of Gold" by Sting, and this kid Ben started singing, and I was like, 'I'm outta here!' That's it.

What do you suppose that means?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm really digging this new Thermals song. "Now We Can See" is less manic and in-your-face than typical Thermals fare, but still totally rocks. It's the-Thermals-do-mellow. Love the "oh-way-ohs." Very catchy.

"Now We Can See" is streaming on their myspace. Their album of the same name comes out in April on Kill Rock Stars.

And just for fun, here's one of my favorite music videos EVER, "A Pillar of Salt." Look out for Colin Meloy!

Kathy Foster totally makes the list of hottest chick bassists. She's so cool it hurts.

[side note: I saw the Thermals when they played at NYU about two years ago (with the Hold Steady whom I have seen once, and skipped twice). A picture of Hutch from that show still shows up on my roommate's phone whenever I call. Isn't that cute?]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

that's more like it

Family Guy + A-ha = Favorite.

Enjoy. Fur realz.


The Jonas Brothers totally do a cover of "Take on Me" live!!!

Now, I waded through a lot of terrible, fan-generated concert recordings to find this one (i didn't know that white pants were back!). Shockingly, there is no screaming. Unshockingly, it is terrible.

Two thoughts:
1) Sadly, fans of the bothers most likely first heard this song from them. and were born at least a DECADE after it was released. AT LEAST. It's just so wrong.

2) Their bassist is ADORABLE!

All the goodwill they generated with that SNL short is gone.

Not true. That short is hilarious!

a promise is a promise?

I just watched an acapella group from Michigan State University sing "Take On Me." As promised, I have told you about it. I will not post the video. You're welcome.

And Christian pop punk band (?) MxPx does a cover that I GUARANTEE you don't want to hear.

Monday, February 16, 2009

If there's one thing i love...

it's the Jonas Brothers. that's a lie. BUT if there's one thing i really do love, it's a good metal parody. I don't know if you caught this past weekend's SNL (like Seth Meyers said, "to those of you watching at home, better luck next year"), but it featured a Digital Short starring the aforementioned lovable tots.

Now, you can say whatever you want about them (they are generic, and pandering, and played a surprisingly flat and lifeless performance, for instance?) but at least they have a sense of humor about themselves. Their enthusiastic participation in this brilliant short is enough to repair their image in my eyes (still not enough to enjoy their music) (also, don't watch the other sketch they were in). Honestly, this was probably the funniest part of the episode.

I don't know what part I like best! Andy Samberg calling them turds (ha. turds.), the oldest Jonas' handlebar mustache and tiger-print leggings, the other SNL regulars as the rest of the band (particularly Will Forte's ENORMOUS hair), the middle Jonas' leg-kicks and falsetto, the ridiculous yet totally plausible hair metal songs and video effects (as the littlest Jonas points out, "It really holds up"), OR Bill Hader as the Wizard.

Definitely Bill Hader as the Wizard.

Is is bad that I find the 16-year-old attractive?

Metallo Italiano

I don't know what it is with metal bands and this song.

Here's a cover by Italian "progressive power metal" band Vision Divine. Fairly faithful cover, actually. The best part is the singer's accent.

I don't hear "progressive power metal," but that descriptor makes me curious....

The Finnish band still totally wins for best metal cover as far as the TOMP is concerned.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'll be coming for you anyway

Two additions to the TOMP, both not really new.

First we have a cover by British boy band a1 (like the steak sauce), released in 2000. Now, "Take on Me" is a brilliant song and all, but should you ever release a cover of it as a single? No. The answer to that question is no. Because this is what happens:
(sorry, embedding was disabled. LAME)

This thing takes me straight back to 7th grade. That "metrosexual" boy band style is RAGING in this video; the waxed eyebrows, the dyed tips, the strategically gelled hair, the matching outfits. It doesn't help that they're European. I am proud to say American girls were never into these guys. (*Nsync forevs!)

Plus, they butcher the song. (But as hard as they try, they could never ruin it for me). It was a little hard to get through despite it's being visually HILARIOUS. It was worth it to see them fly in... i don' know, virtual reality? while fighting a deadly computer virus? what is going on here? And why does that one guy only have one sleeve???

We're obviously supposed to find these boys attractive. But I think it's telling that their upcoming reunion concert is being held at a venue called G-A-Y. I kind of wish I was kidding.

Glad that's over with. Moving on!

This one you may already be aware of: Reel Big Fish apparently did a cover of "Take on Me" for the movie Basketball? I'm not a fan of Reel Big Fish, and this cover sounds exactly the way you would expect a ska version of this song to. But it's fun, i guess. They obviously had a lot of fun with it, which I definitely appreciate. Though, the film tie-in makes it a bit dated. But I do like the vocal harmonies, and the horns playing the main riff (even if it's expected).

Honestly, I can only take so much ska at one time. It can be tiring.

Side note, I would kill for that one guy's leopard print blazer.

Bad News

My laptop is on its last legs. so to speak. I apologize if posts are infrequent until it can be replaced.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who DOESN'T love Finnish hair metal???

As part of the TOMP ("take on me" promise), I bring to you the Northern Kings, the Finnish, tux-wearing cross between Metallica and Meat Loaf. Make that Metallica and four Meat Loafs. (They play a lot of covers)

And they certainly put their own twist on our tune, including a puzzling, harmony-ridden mid-song slowdown. Enjoy!(?)

I quite enjoyed that, actually. If only for the novelty and my secret, ironic love of metal.


Do you like my mullet?

business in front, party in back.

So, these "literal version" videos are apparently all the rage these days. The first one I'd heard of/seen was of course the fore-posted version of A-ha.

But imagine my surprise and delight to find out that there is a literal version of "Head over Heels" by Tears for Fears! Now, anyone who's known me since high school can tell you about my love of Tears for Fears (beyond, even, my love of 80's music in general, which is quite a passionate one). Their The Very Best of album is probably still in my car stereo. So now you can properly imagine my surprise and delight!

Love the chimp in the Sox jersey. Also, "Is that Dave Coulier?" And "I saw Ghostbusters, this copied that." word.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I suppose you've already seen this, but...

...I'd hate to not deliver on a promise I've just made (see below). Plus, if you haven't seen it, it's pretty incredible.

Thus, I give you College Humor's "Take on Me," the literal version:

Isn't this promise going to be fun?

The Dinosaur in Brooklyn "Take on Me" Promise

Namely, whenever I discover a cover of A-ha's "Take on Me," it will be reported here. I've already gone on about my love of RAC's version of the song (so good!). It is undoubtedly, as RAC said, "by far the catchiest song of the 80's."

On that note, A.C. Newman has covered the timeless tune for (of all things) a Starbucks compilation album. I take back all my evil thoughts about Starbucks. If Starbucks is the reason this cover exists, than it's OK by me.

Being played by A.C. Newman (of New Pornographers fame), it unfolds in a more mellow and acoustic manner, ala Challengers. I really enjoy the keyboard bringing back the signature riff in a delightfully bright manner during the bridge. And unlike in RAC's version, A.C., while relying on an at-times-heavy reverb, there is no audible auto-tune. I like that.

Take it away, Carl!

Because as long as there is music, there will be "Take on Me."

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Note on the Grammy Awards

I don't actually give a shit. And I don't think they're really taken all that seriously by anyone. They seem to be celebrating excellence, but it's really just a facade as the industry implodes. The gaudier and more "star-studded" the ceremony is, the bigger the cry for help.

Also, I really hate Coldplay.

Nevertheless, I suppose there may have been some sort of value in watching the ceremony, if only to better understand Stereogum's liveblogging of the event. Here are some choice moments:

8:41: Song Of The Year goes to "Viva La Vida," written by Joe Satriani (Feat. Creaky Boards).
11:18: OK you guys. Alison and Robert totally did it. Right?
Of course they did. We have to believe it is so.

But honestly, the perfect example of everything that is wrong with the Grammys and the recording industry in general: Coldplay wins Best Rock Album over Radiohead*. Then Radiohead performs and fucking rocks it. with a marching band.

The obvious win of marketing over music is made all the more embarrassing by a stiff and smarmy introduction by none other than Mrs. Chris Martin herself.

Awards shows blow. But seriously, what did I expect?

* I swear I don't say this with bias. Even though I hate Coldplay, I'm not a huge Radiohead fan. But I think we can all can agree that Radiohead is more musically complex and progressive than Coldplay, who have openly admitted to stealing from their influences. Assholes. Ok, maybe I'm a little biased.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

There may be hope for the Grammy Awards

The Jonas Brothers did NOT win Best New Artist.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dear Bruce,

Thank you for putting on a genuinely joyful and ecstatic Super Bowl halftime show, and helping bring integrity and musicianship back to an increasingly ridiculous/tarnished tradition. (Prince helped too).

And thank you for sliding into that camera.

Love, Madelyn

And in honor of the Boss, here is a video Ted Leo covering "Dancing in the Dark." Jersey boys unite!

(from Head here for an interview with Ted talking Bruce and Jersey)

side note: I could have seen Ted play a solo show the night that video was filmed, but I had to write a final paper instead. I got an A, but I'm still not sure it was worth it.


So I had this great plan to do a photo diary post (of sorts) of my band's gig over the weekend. I had mapped it out in my head, and let me tell you, it looked good.

Of course, once I got there I completely forgot to take a single picture. Failed.

The show was killer though, I swear.

EDIT: To make up for my failure, here is our song "Starspun." We cool?

Starspun - Arvel