REVIEW: Robert Deeble’s “Heart Like Feathers”

Photobucket It has been awhile since Robert Deeble released new music, but he will be doing so in February with the long awaited Heart Like Feathers (self-released), and for anyone who enjoys the work of singer/songwriters who are true to their art by being introspective and retrospective at the same time, pick this up.

What I got from this album is a heavy Americana vibe, or at least using that will help him get a bit of attention outside of the United States. There are elements of country, folk, and pop that makes this music appealing, and a few of the songs reminded me of the works of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. While Seattle is generally known for its rainy days, it can also be a very cold place in the fall and winter months, so this is an album that will be a soundtrack for what many people in the Pacific Northwest will be feeling. “The Colors Of Dying”, “Scarecrow”, and “Hearing Voices Seeing Ghosts” are seductively eerie, and it’s my way of saying that you’re drawn to his emotional stories. That’s also a key factor: these are “stories” that you can unfold in your mind upon listening to this, and at the end, you’ll want to “read” these stories again, or at least to keep them in storage for future mental evaluation.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3000168609/size=venti/bgcol=8192a2/linkcol=ffffff/

REVIEW: Kate Reid’s “The Love I’m In”

Photobucket When I saw that Kate Reid had a new album, I eagerly awaited to hear it. The Love I’m In (self-released) is a continuation of her talents as a pianist and singer, and after enjoying her previous album, I was… let me just get to this point.

Those of you who keep up with my reviews here know that I’m not always fond of vocal jazz, but when I hear a voice that pulls me in, I want to stay there. The Love I’m In is music of someone whose voice is warm and comforting, and as I said before, there is a slight Diana Krall feel to what she does but the more I listen, the more I hear more of her own qualities. Her approach to each of these jazz standards is quite good, very respectable not only to the songwriters and artists who have made it their own, but to the sentiment of each of these songs. As for her piano work, it’s great when she gets locked in a moment after a chorus and I would not mind hearing a full instrumental project from her.

The Love I’m In may be emotional, but it’s very much musical, for the title kind of suggests that she is within what she loves the most, and that’s the songs that have moved people throughout the generations. Now it’s time for this generation to understand these songs, and to discover the talents of Reid.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Record Collecting For Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time” by Courtney E. Smith

Photobucket When I first became aware of Courtney E. Smith‘s Record Collecting For Girls (Mariner), I wanted to read it in the hope of absorbing a book that I assumed would be about collecting records from a woman’s perspective. Collecting vinyl is something I enjoy and have done since I was a kid, and while what brought me to the hobby was the fact that I could buy records as an investment towards tentative riches, I was always surrounded by music. It eventually becomes about accumulation too, where you either have a grip on how you buy and sell, or you become the obsessive. As I began the first few chapters, I realized the book was less about the actual collecting of records and more about using music as a metaphor for what goes on in ones life, the literal musical soundtrack that allows us to conceptualize the good and bad, from the first flick of the needle to watching the stylus go back to its resting place.

Or something like that.

In truth, Smith is very much a deep fan of music, which lead to her getting a job with MTV (which becomes a running theme in the book) and eventually writing this. The act of collecting records exists to a point, but it is not about record collecting for the digging purists. Instead, it’s a nice essay on how Smith has used music as a steering wheel in her life, whether it was childhood discoveries, high school angst, or the good and bad things that she has had to deal with in some of he relationships. Readers who are told that they are obsessive about music (and know they are) will relate to the mentions about finding the perfect break-up song, the perfect song that may open up a conversation in any setting, and something I had not read in too many places: a Top 5 list of songs you’d like to have played at your funeral. For casual music fans it might sound peculiar if not morbid, but Smith understands that if there are going to be family or friends left when you are no longer there to say goodbye and thank you, your elitist music snob-self will make sure to create a list that will salute you during the end credits. (For the curious, my songs are, to be played in this order: DJ Shadow’s “Midnight In A Perfect World”, Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky”, The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life”, and Sunday Manoa’s “A Hawaiian Lullaby”.)

One of the more interesting chapters is how being a Smiths fan will determine whether or not you’re worthy of being a companion in a relationship, or just someone to avoid. Or in Smith’s case, if she’s looking for a guy and finds someone to be of interest, she will eventually find out if you are a Smiths fan. There are a number of rules she has established, each one being pretty much final and absolute, and even if you’re not a Smiths fan, the music snob in all of us will probably understand this since we probably come up with a few dumb ideas on future partners and musical compatibility. The Beatles vs. Rolling Stones battle is also brought up too.

Before I started this book, I also assumed that this would be an advice book for women who may secretly be record collectors but may shy away from celebrating this because the hobby is male dominated. If there’s any advice for female music fans, it’s simply that you have your own musical tastes, likes and dislikes, and you’re allowed to make it fluid throughout your life, so that your favorite group last year may be something you never want to hear until another five years. You too can have your Top 5 favorite artists, but understand that there may be a few rules in order to make that Top 5 list valid, at least to Smith. In truth, it’s about having complete independence and freedom with your musical interests, and it’s also worth looking into music you do not see in TV shows or hear on the radio. There’s a vast world beyond the same 10 songs you hear on the radio, and as Smith indicates, women have bought more music in the last few years than men, and it may be women who are actually the secret weapon towards keeping the music industry alive. If women are indeed buying more music, then as a woman you should trust your opinion and share that with anyone who may want to have a discussion about groups and singers with you.

By the middle of the book, it almost seems the title Record Collecting For Girls has a double meaning. It may very well be about ladies who devote a section of their home or apartment to a crate of records or a box of CD’s, but that love of musics goes much deeper than the surface. The word “record” or the act of “recording” is a means to preserve an document a past event, or a memory. In many ways, what Smith is doing is documenting her life with and through music used as a means of continuity, so what you are reading is a diary of someone’s recollections of the good and bad, one that women of all ages can appreciate. However, this is not something that is female-centric. Consider Record Collecting For Girls an expansion of what you may have secretly read in Sassy magazine in the early to mid-1990’s, except now the young girl in those pages is grown, an adult who holds music close to her heart and now has her own stories to share. If the question “you wanna come in and see my records?” excites you, you’ll want to enter her world and see what her (re)collection holds.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=thisbosmu-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0547502230http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=thisbosmu-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B005GLGFCKhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=thisbosmu-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0816672830

BOOK REVIEW: “Surf Beat: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Forgotten Revolution” by Kent Crowley

Photobucket There are a few reasons why I wanted to read Surf Beat by Kent Crowley. Subtitled Rock’n’Roll’s Forgotten Revolution, I wanted to know the roots of a style of music I was raised on and grew up with. My dad was born and raised in Honolulu, loved the ocean and everything it offered. He was also a gearhead, loving the spirit of the road and fixing cars. With one uncle who loved to surf in the era of Gerry Lopez and go fishing on a regular basis, and another uncle who skateboarded in pools in the era of Tony Alva, it would not be uncommon for us to go to the movie theater, watch a surf movie and see everyone in the theater scream and yell when someone rode a wave, backed by some great music. One of my fondest memories is watching Hot Lips & Inner Tubes as one of the last films to be shown at the Kaimuki Theater on Oahu. Being close to the ocean was automatic, and also automatic was seeing Beach Boys records in my house. One year when I had good grades, I was given an ABC Goldies 45 pressing of The Surfaris’ “Wipe Out”. Yet I was also raised with a good amount of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. Having parents who allowed me to listen to anything and everything was essential to my own musical interests and what I ended up doing, so I think a part of me also wanted to be able to see if some of the seeds of my interests could be found in Surf Beat.

The subtitle may make people ask “what revolution did surf music create?” To the general public, surf music may seem more like an odd fad from the early 60’s involving beach blanket bingo movies and guitars that sounded like they were always dripping in hollow caves. While the music was indeed influenced by the power of surfing and hanging out at the beach with family and friends, it was the music that drove people into a frenzy, in more ways than one. Crowley looks at not only how the music became what it did, but traces its influences back to the early days of rock’n’roll and beyond. Surf music and surf culture still has the stigma of being “a white thing”, but musically it had taken elements of jazz, R&B, folk, different ethnic styles, and rock’n’roll to create something that was very distinct from one another. Its close proximity to jazz and R&B comes from the fact that many musicians involved loved the music, and if “going across the street” meant meeting different people, even better. If one was to go to the Mexican side of town and bring in sounds true to their culture, cool. In many ways, it was the first rock’n’roll equivalent of modern day sampling, or true to what happened when jazz musicians would pay homage to whatever came to mind at any given time. Surf music, at its best, is a sponge without shame and all of that is covered here.

Also covered here is the importance of music technology. Crowley interviewed hundreds of people for this book, everyone from the musicians to recording studio engineers and producers, to people involved in the creation of these then-new advances in music instruments. Up until the late 50’s, the guitar was used as rhythm accompaniment, and yet Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” and a number of musicians in country and rockabilly showed it could be much more. The sound of the electric guitar was thin and bare, the guitar solo in “Rock Around The Clock” is proof of this. What Surf Beat reveals is that while a guitarist like Link Wray would damage his own guitar amps to have his own sound of distortion, it was almost an unspoken means of support for guitar manufacturers to make things louder, bolder, and crunchier, which was unheard of in an era of sock hops and sweet harmonies. In the 21st century, one can find a blog or a video from someone who is into circuit bending, modifying an instrument to do something that it wasn’t meant to do. But in the late 50’s/early 60’s it was new territory, and to turn a guitar from a rhythm instrument to becoming the lead seemed freakish. In time, becoming louder and brasher became one of surf music’s endearing qualities.

The most endearing qualities were of course the songs, the music, and the musicianship. The book celebrates Dick Dale as the king of the surf guitar, and by all intents and purposes, the alpha and omega of a craze that became a worldwide influence. Dale’s guitar playing comes from his own ethnic mixture (Lebanese, Polish and Belarusian) along with the diversity around him in Southern California. He was also a surfer, so he played the music of his friends, for his friends, and having a need to be successful is what made him determined to keep at it, no matter what. Along the way, the book touches on the impact of songs like The Surfaris’ “Wipe Out”, The Chantays’ “Pipeline”, and The Tornadoes’ “Bustin’ Surfboards”, along with Dick Dale’s performance of a Greek folk song called “Miserlou”. These songs, all instrumentals, were created for fans of the beach and meant to be played furiously. Some of the musicians talk about how they would notice women taking off their clothes to the fast rhythms, which would often make them want to play faster and longer. What’s also covered is the influence of The Beach Boys and how their love of pop and folk music would create a new awareness of surf music, even though purists will tell you they played anything but the real thing. Within the history of the music are stories of Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Ritchie Valens, Bobby Fuller, Glen Campbell, and many others who helped make the music as loud as it wanted to be, for the kids, by the kids.

Two people mentioned in this book may surprise some readers, but Frank Zappa’s influence in surf music is a significant one. The studio he would turn into Studio Z was once Pal Recording Studio in Cucamonga, California, the home for countless recordings that would become popular surf music hits, where Zappa served as engineer and producer. Zappa eventually invested in and purchased it from its original owner, to where it also doubled as his home. Much of the studio trickery Zappa would become known for came from non-stop time in Studio Z, a fascination with sound that did not stop until he died in 1993. The other person mentioned is Jimi Hendrix. While his music, history, and persona is bigger than life 41 years after his death, people tend to forget that Hendrix was just a musician who was willing to play with anyone and everyone at any given time. While most know of his Seattle upbringing, what many also tend to ignore is the fact that California is only two states below Washington, so traveling up and down the West Coast is not an issue for someone who was playing music and looking for a way to make it. Hendrix’s experience in the chitlin circuit is well documented, with many stories of singers and bands kicking him out because he would dominated with his flamboyant playing. He was a student of the music and a bit of a geek too, wanting to know the capabilities of his instrument and equipment, but also understanding that bettering his style also meant learning from others. He would eventually find himself on stage and backstage with Dick Dale, and Hendrix was known for having late night jam sessions with many surf music musicians, playing in clubs and doing surf music. Some of the technological advances Dale and other musicians were making a daily habit was unknown to Hendrix, but he would eventually take a few hints and incorporate it into his sound. Hendrix may have said the words “and you will never hear surf music” in “Third Stone From The Sun”, but the book states that while that may have officially killed the first wave of surf music, a few (including Dale) felt it was nothing more than Hendrix saying he had found his voice, and was saying thank you to those who helped him along the way.

The book also covers the renewals over the years of surf music, from it being revealed as a true form of punk rock and being acknowledged by punk bands as a no-bullshit way of playing rock’n’roll, compared to the bombastic methods of carrying out 40-foot bigs and 30-foot inflatable penises in 75,000-seat capacity stadiums. Punk was like an attack of the sense, but so was surf music. It was loud, raw, raunchy, short and sweet, and that spirit is what not only kept punk bands covering old surf music, but kept surf music on itself alive for the original creators to enjoy, along with new audiences who wanted to hear its origins. While Surf Beat heavily focuses on the rise and fall of surf music’s initial spark, it does a very good job at covering its lifeline and survival in the 70’s and 80’s, and of course also covers the phenomenon of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, which brought back “Miserlou” to the surface and Dale as a true innovator of not only surf music and guitar playing, but heavy metal. Without the distortion and volume tactics of surf music, much of the trippy, progressive, and far out sounds of the 60’s and 70’s may not have happened. The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement of the late 70’s/early 80’s, which would help to spark the thrash and speed metal movements (and its many sub-genres), would not exist without the unabashed attitude of “Surfin’ Bird”. Even Green Day showed respect when they would release an album under a surf band persona, showing the link between their Berkeley upbringing and the beach sounds of southern Cali.

Guitarists will love the fact that it also cites Curtis Mayfield, Freddie King, and Albert King as not only participants but major influences to surf music, even though some will say that the ocean is not one thinks of when hearing Mayfield’s “Superfly” on the radio. Movie buffs will enjoy reading about the influence of Hollywood in the music, for better or worse. When Hollywood wanted to cash in, so did major labels who rushed to get studio professionals to record surf music that sounded too clean for some purists, but knowing the difference between something with a lot of polish vs. a song that sounded as if it had taken five minutes to write and record. Recording studio enthusiasts will like reading the different angles of these recording sessions, and how it is felt that for the first time, the recording studio was used as its own instrument thanks to the techniques of Wilson, Zappa, and other producers who were involved.

Surf Beat is a very informative document about a music that for novices may have seemed like a mere bleep in rock’n’roll, but does an excellent job in proving how a music that may have only been of interest to those in the Pacific Rim would spawn and offshoot like hot rod music, and how that phenomenon would help get it into other pockets of the United States and North America that surf music could not too. It does very well in talking about how wanting more out of a guitar and amplifiers would change the way all electric guitarists wanted to be heard and eventually seen. Even the fashion sense of musician/singer Chris Montez was said to influence The Beatles when he went on tour in England in 1963, which lead to the group asking him about his clothes and eventually taking it as their own when they first arrived to the United States. The core of this book is build upon the creativity and ingenuity of what is described on the back of the book as sounds made “between the death of Buddy Holly and the arrival of The Beatles”, so while The Beatles are credited as being the group that brought rock’n’roll out of the doldrums, kids in California were rocking out to a style of music that was indigenous as a true American art form, without caring what anyone in the outside world thought. The spirit may have dimmed but has never died, proof with the countless surf bands in Japan, Australia, and Europe. Surf Beat is far from being a eulogy, and some will say it’s not even validation, because why validate something that had already showed itself to be worthy many times over? Nonetheless, while the music has moved in and out of different trends in the last 50 years, Kent Crowley shows in his book that as long as there are kids who want to play and get other kids excited, and as long as people of all ages still have youth in their heart, there will be a need to rock out in honor of the music influenced by the ocean and the sunshine.

Personally, reading about the different musicians and styles of music that blended and interwove with each other was in many ways reading about the source of some of my own musical tastes. I’m not able to ask my dad directly about what lead him to being a fan of everything from Indian classical music to the California sound of Crosby, Stills & Nash, but to read this book is almost in a way a bit of validation for my diverse tastes in music. Surf music may only be viewed as rock’n’roll, but like the book, dig a little deeper and readers will be able to find a more genuine fabric of America reflected in the sounds meant to duplicate the sounds of waves, covering and crossing all ethnic lines. It’s a true hybrid music as a reflection of the great American melting pot, perhaps better and more satisfying than the metaphor the pot is meant to represent.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution” by James Draper

Photobucket As a fan of the music of Prince Rogers Nelson for 32 years (“I Wanna Be Your Lover” was my formal introduction), I’ve read a number of books that have covered his complex and unique world, but not in a way that covers all bases. Author James Draper makes an attempt at just that and succeeds beautifully in his new book called Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution.

The book goes very deep into creating a close-to-accurate picture of who Prince is as a man and musician, from reaching into some of the troubles he dealt with as a child to bringing in the influences of his hometown of Minneapolis to help create a metropolitan, if not Neapolitan, outlook that helped him step out of his comfort zone (at least physically) and into the hands of an industry initially unsure of what to make of him. At the height of disco in the mid to late 70’s, the music and its creators were a well-oiled machine, everything incredibly organized from start to finish so that it would come off as flawless. When you watched bands like Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth Wind & Fire, or Brass Construction, it felt like you were watching families from lands unknown, and you wanted to join that family (or in the case of Parliament/Funkadelic, a three ring circus). While the book does touch on the fact that he was in bands during high school, his craft was primarily based on the fact that he did everything himself, from the singing, songwriting, and musicianship, to occasional album themes and perception of the music through the front cover photo. There was a time when true solo albums, such as Paul McCartney’s 1970 debut McCartney, was the exception. Most albums where there was one musician were either intimate acoustic pieces or freakish electronic and stereophonic bongo adventures. Draper touches on the fact that Prince was definitely a risk for any label, but when Warner Bros. looked at him, heard his music and saw potential, they would sign him. That would mark the beginning of his “strange” relationship between Prince’s music and personas, the public, and an industry that would end up changing as much as Prince changed outfits.

His music has been divided by a number of different eras, and Draper documents them very thoroughly. It’s great to read about some of the struggles he went through to make his first albums. Warner Bros. were still a bit iffy on whether or not their new artist could pull off making an album on his own, so his debut album (For You) was assigned an executive producer (a title which basically means “supervisor”). Warner Bros. did not have to worry, and while that album did not make an immediate impact, Draper states that those who listened were wondering how it was made and were convinced he had a lot of musicians in the studio with him. That would continue with this eponymous second album, which was structured a bit better and would help get him higher on the charts with songs like “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad,”, and “I Feel For You”, turned into a hit five years later by soul vocalist Chaka Khan. The questioning of Prince’s talents by the industry would eventually fall to the public, especially as they would begin to see him strutting on stage with nothing on but bikini briefs and a trench coat, singing in a sweet high falsetto. Had his career crashed, he might have been ranked as a freaky Village People reject, but there was a huge difference: as raw, sexual, and uncontrolled Prince might have seen by outsiders, he was someone who was not only talented, but in complete control of what he wanted to do, almost to the point of obsession, as expressed by the many musicians and music associates who have worked with him over the years. It goes through his formation as an artist who never forgot his first audiences, but found a reason to explore as his fanbase grew wider/whiter. Was he soul, was he funk, was he new wave, is he “black punk”? No one new, and even though many have asked many questions about him, it only meant people were discussing him, which allowed him to cater to his muse.

Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution also explains the impact of a fledging cable network called MTV, and while history has documented Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” as being the first video by a black artist to be on the network, it is Prince’s “1999” that beat him by a month (although deep trivia buffs will also cite Musical Youth’s “Pass The Dutchie” as a possible contender.) If Prince’s following had only been limited to audiences in large cities, MTV made it possible to hear him everywhere from Midlothian, Virginia to Waianae, Hawai’i. Two years later, Purple Rain came to be and finally made him a worldwide rock star. For a lot of casual fans who were introduced to him and his music with the 1984 album and movie, he reached success but seemed to crumble, but that would mean missing out on 27 years of an incredible discography that has a lot of ups and downs, some of which followed some of the personal, social and spiritual battles the artist went through in that time.

What I’ve always wanted to know about was the period post-Purple Rain, when he recorded some of the best work in his career, including 1985’s Around The World In A Day, 1986’s Parade, 1987’s Sign “O” The Times, and 1988’s The Black Album and Lovesexy. When he received the attention of the media, he became everything from the new Jimi Hendrix (when in truth he owed more to Carlos Santana) to the new Beatles, and while he could’ve repeated his own guaranteed formulas for success, he simply wanted to create. Draper looks at how his popularity and struggles with the industry would also create tension within the musicians who helped him in the studio and on stage, and how chasing his musical muses also meant putting his emotions on a pedestal for explanation and scrutiny,

What is also of note in this book is how Draper describes the expectations Warner Bros. had on Prince, and how he eventually became fed up to the point where he simply ignore the demands and played for (and with) himself, for better or worse. This lead to him “killing himself”, changing his name to a symbol, marking his face with the word “Slave”, and how he showed the world how to fight for your right to be creative. At the same time, he was one of the first artists to initially embrace the internet as a means of music distribution, and finding ways to use it as a means of promotion as a way to make money directly as opposed to working within an industry he feels was not working for him or anyone. It is during the discussion of his career in the late 90’s that the book starts to take a more critical approach, for it was a time when Prince fans were put to the test with a wide range of projects that some felt were incredible lows. It didn’t matter that a lot of times it was Prince creating music for Prince and only Prince, but Draper gets very harsh in his criticisms but never moves away from trying to describe the intent in these projects. It’s a nice objective approach, one that is critical of the bad but tries to find a way to find the good in it.

Outside of the music, the book touches on Prince’s spiritual path and how that has always played a major role in his music and life, even when it has been a bit of a struggle without him being direct about it. Then again, it was Prince who did sing the lyric “everybody’s looking for the ladder”, and his career has always been about him taking himself higher, or at least going anywhere but where he had been before. The music discussion here is equally balanced with his personal life but without it turning into a tabloid piece. What will also be of interest is the talk of Prince as a businessman, doing well in some aspects but at times showing that he needed a bit of business and financial guidance that could have put him out of the business for good. Prince has always been at his best when he’s self-contained, but the reason the public feels that is because he allowed the public to hear and see him, the essential interactivity of an artist. But he is also at his best with the right collaborators and associates, and he has worked with the best for over 30 years. He has always played with the sly and romantic with spirituality, and how you can be serious but still retain a sense of humor.

The one thing this book is not is exploitative. Draper researched the topic extremely well, taking in quotes from various interviews and sources and compiling it in a way that will make the book appealing to new fans who have been curious about Prince but uncertain on where or how to start. You can start with Prince, Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution and go from there. The title of the book describes his music and life perfectly: the internal and social mess his career would become, and yet the innovations in his music that continue to be measured and treasured. His name is Prince, and he remains funky, but this book will make new fans and old timers want to explore, and (re)discover someone who is one of the most gifted singers, songwriters, and musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, someone of whose caliber may never be experienced again.

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VIDEO: Forest Fire’s “The News”

Music Video For Forest Fire – The News from sophia peer on Vimeo.

Huey Lewis may not be able to do a song called “The News”, but Forest Fire could, and did. This is the band’s video, directed by Sophia Peer, in support of their brand new Staring At The X album on FatCat Records, and European fans will be able to catch a glimpse of these guy’s stage show when they hit the road in the next few weeks but fear not. They will return home to the U.S. and start touring early in the new year.

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SOME STUFFS: Sea Lions throw a ball back in the form of a full length album

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In different circumstances, when you see an album cover photo like this, you go “eh” and go home. But this is a band called Sea Lions, and perhaps their stale expressions may make you go “hmmm, I wonder what was in the air before this photo was shot. Maybe grandma farted?” It is uncertain, but I’d like to think there’s an alternate photo of all of them smiling and/or laughing.

This is the cover shot for the band’s forthcoming album, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask, to be released by Slumberland Records on November 22nd. You can listen to and/or download a song from the album for free by clicking the player below.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F26544549&
Sea Lions – Grown Up by Slumberland Records

Oh yeah, as for a photo outtake from the album cover session? Here are some smiles. Okay, well four out of five smiles.

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VIDEO: Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf”


Dumb song, very funny video. Or is that “good song, dumb video”? The possibilities are endless, and yet you probably will not be able to stop watching its dumbness, right?

Okay, it’s not dumb but it surely is something. Duck Sauce have created a video that involves having a big bulge and not being able to get it out of your pants. What this will do to the next generation, I do not know.

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