Hailing from a legendary music hot-spot, rock band Jet Lag Gemini is among hundreds of bands who travel the local touring circuit of New Jersey and other East Coast states, hoping to make a name which will reach across state lines like so many other Jersey bands before them. With the recent release of their first full-length, Fire the Cannons, under their belt, Jet Lag Gemini, made up of Misha Safanov (vocals/rhythm guitar),Vlad Gheorghiu (lead guitar/vocals), Matt Gheorghiu (bass/vocals), and Dan DiLiberto (drums) it would seem the band is set to go, but like so many of those fellow bands, Jet Lag Gemini simply doesnít cut it as a long-lasting or memorable band.
ďRun this CityĒ is a decent album-opener with a simple guitar riff which is punched with just enough volume and vigor to jumpstart the listener into a frenzy of anticipation for what is sure to follow. Unfortunately, the lyrics are rather boring and repetitive, garnering a barely sufficient degree of catchiness to make it memorable. Nonetheless, while this song is unable to be a stand-out track with its typical lyrical plot, it is still a worthy musical endeavour.
The following three tracks more or less follow the same formula with slight decreases in degrees of sustainability. Then, like a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day, track five comes along and woos one sweetly with its bittersweet lyrics and upstanding musical arrangement. ďStepping StoneĒ is the track one hopes will save an album. And how could it not be with its Transcendental chorus, ďIím winter cold in maiden fall;/ a beaten road where no one goes./ And thought Iíve left my post,/ The ones who meant the most./ Wrote you a song, a stepping stoneĒ and itís great homage to 1980s ballad riffs half-way through the song? As disheartening as it may seem (or perhaps one doesnít really care at this point), the succeeding six tracks lose flavor quickly becoming more predictable and lackluster as each track settles.
There isnít any doubt that at certain points, Fire the Cannons has moments, albeit brief moments, of musical composition worthy of a few finger-taps and real gusts of poetic expertise, the album as a whole is unable to have any significant lasting effect on its listeners.
I've run through this scenario
so many times,
forwards and backwards
over my tongue
and barely past my teeth
before I retract
my whispered confessions.
I drum my fingers to a
song that I hope
tells me how to write
my sordid declarations.
I wrack my brain,
fighting against the desire
to put down whatever
common, inelegant phrase
that plainly says, "I want someone, too."
I don't want it to be easy.
I want it to be difficult and beautiful.
I tend to stay away from the most recent trendy bands until they 'fall' into my lap. So, while lurking on Myspace today, I came across a myspace friend's picture of him and some really hot guy, with the caption "ohhai hannah montanna's brother," and I was confused. Miley has a brother? And a hot one at that? Being that I'm obsessed with Hannah Montanna/Miley Cyrus (that's right), I had to check this up. His name: Trace Cyrus. His band: Metro Station. Well! I've heard of them! I had never listened to their music before, but now I had to check out Miley's brother's band. And I did.
I MUST BE MISSING SOMETHING.
because as I listened, I found myself laughing. Who wrote their lyrics?! Oh, woooowwwww. Their rhyme schemes are similar to those you learn in first grade and they're just corny! Can someone tell me why this band is popular???? Please?!
Finch is back. They're going to be playing in Minnesota at the Triple Rock, February 6th. You're probably lame if you aren't going.
Panic at the Disco has taken the ! out of their name....Apparently, this makes a big difference??! Yeah, I didn't think so either. And, the name of their new album which will be finally released March 25th? Pretty. Odd. I have a feeling the name will fit the tone of the album. 'Odd', in that it will differ from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out significantly. For, if it didn't differ at least marginally, I believe the Panic guys would kill themselves--they sure do hate that album. They have a demo up on their Myspace, you should check out--I enjoy it, even though it's highly indicative of what they think of their popularity. If you want to hear another demo, you can check out this video that was filmed at their Honda Civic Tour Announcement. The opening acts for the Honda Civic Tour are set to be The Hush Sound and Motion City Soundtrack. I am not happy on either account [correction: I just gave The Hush Sound another chance, and I'm kind a diggin' 'em. Much more indie than I was aware]--but hell, I wouldn't pay that much for a concert anyway. Unless, of course, it was Something Corporate or Jack's Mannequin. Duh.
If you're a subscriber to AlternativePress Magazine, you probably know that Paramore was chosen as Band of the Year for 2007 by AP's readers. I understand that in terms of the 'music scene,' they hit it pretty big last year and are considered fairly important; however, I don't like it one bit. To me, Paramore is another band with popular hooks--the only difference is they have a female vocalist which many people consider some sort of novelty. Nevertheless, what pisses off the most, is that Jack's Mannequin was on the cover of AP only one month before Paramore. Jack's Mannequin should have been on the cover of AP long before that. God dammit.
Leave me some comments, and we can argue. Please?!
Yeah, it's pretty much the raddest shit I've heard all year in new muisc. I almost can't believe Four Letter Lie has managed to produce something that competes with Let Your Body Take Over. Let's hope this trend continues with the other tracks.
A close second to Four Letter Lie's new music, are the tracks currently being featured on The Audtion's Myspace. They're upbeat, a bit rebellious, and hook-a-licious (note, I just coined this word so don't steal it, mmk?). If you're interested, I'd recommend checking out in particular, Hell To Sell and Warm Me Up. They're both sure to induce a sexy time, if I do say so myself. One of the new tracks is called Have Gun Will Travel which is also the same title of one of my favorite Western television series. You're probably lame and don't know what I'm talking about, though. Lame-os.
Last night I saw Steel Train and The Starting Line, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Like, omgzz, such a fun show. While waiting between sets and the two bands I didnít like (Four Year Strong & Bayside), I began to formulate this blog in my head. So, here goes:
--Jack Antonoff of Steel Train is the best guitarist Iíve ever encountered. His fingers moved so fast across the strings, they became a blur of color.
--Antonoff is a spaz on stage. He convulses every part of his body, including his hair. And I love it.
--Last night, Antonoff wore a red sweatshirt. With a COW on it. HEíS MY NEW BEST FRIEND.
--Hands down, the guys of Steel train are nicest band dudes Iíve ever met. After their set, I went to the merch table where Jack and Merch Guy (donít know his name) were, and I told him that I love their set and how much I loved their album. He shook my hand and gave me hug. Everytime he saw me after that, he rubbed my arm. Then, later on I went up to Evan and told him that they did a great job. He gave me a hug as well. I told him I thought I was the only one who knew their songs, and he said I was--he saw me in the audience. Like Jack, he rubbed my arm everytime he walked past me.
--Evan said theyíre coming back next month. I canít wait. If you get a chance, go and see them. You will not regret it.
--THE STARTING LINE. Yep, thatís all for this observation.
--The Starting Line played two of the songs I was really hoping theyíd play: A Goonightís Sleep and Surprise, Surprise. Definitely two of my top five favorite songs from them.
--I love when you see all the band members leave the stage except for the singer because that means youíre in for an acoustic treat. And it for sure happened last night. Kenny played The Drama Summer. It was magical.
--I loved how when I looked around the crowd last night and almost everyone knew every song he played. It was as if I and the crowd had formed a special bond; singing all the words and swinging our bodies to the beat.
--Kenny showed the crowd his nipples.
--Kenny canít dance. And I love him for it. All his moves made me giggle.
--Favorite in-between-song banter quote from Kenny: Iím not going to make a gay speech, but Iím going to miss you guys.
--Encore song? Best of Me :)
--Girls who seemingly only go to shows in hopes of fucking merch guys/tech guys/etc. Thereís one in particular who was at the show who Iím not too fond of; however, Iím not going to talk shit on here about her.
--I know itís ridiculous for me to say it, but I hate that there were people who came to see The Starting Line and were only familiar with Based on a True Story and/or Direction.
--Kenny is really really cocky.
Thatís all for now--Iím sure Iíll be adding on to it, though.
Norwegian import Hanne Hukkelberg is sure to astound folk and indie music enthusiasts alike with her upcoming sophomore full-length, Rykestrasse 68. Equipped with a daring experimental repertoire not widely implemented, Hukkelberg vividly demonstrates a range of musical prowess through a variety of instruments and vocal incantations. A deft composer and masterful lyricist, Hukkelberg guides the listener along a glazed surface of poignant songs, occasionally surprising one with ironic bursts of ferocity. Delving into the rich sources of her environs, she creates willful masterpieces which simultaneously conjure reality and idealism.
In ďBerlin,Ē one of two highlighted tracks, Hukkelberg displays her remarkable ability to capture life within words. Subtly, yet decisively, she draws out a narrative set on the streets of Berlin. In the second track, and with an undeniable similarity to Billie Holiday, she plays upon this distinction in fan-favorite, ďA Cheaterís ArmouryĒ. Moving through the lyrics with an eye toward aesthetics, she pulses along delicate harmonies, retelling the age-old dilemma of living with liars.
Each track on the album stands on its own as a poetic force to be reckoned with. So itís no surprise that with the flow that comes from each track lined up together, Rykestrasse 68 will stand out as one of the best folk/indie albums of 2008.
In an IM conversation with a friend, I mentioned that a tentative track-listing had been released for Jack's Mannequin's The Glass Passenger. He quickly asserted that Something Corporate is better than Jack's Mannequin, and I responded with a quip of my own: Andrew's a genius. Period. A little later in the conversation, he wrote that, "Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin aren't really that different, [but he made better music with Something Corporate]." Now, the point to this blog:
The differences between Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin:
Disclaimer: Please remember that these are simply my observations....
Jack's Mannequin: Much more emphasis placed on musical than lyrical content. (i.e.: the hooks/melodies are brought to the surface in a much more prominent, pop-punk light.)
Something Corporate: In contrast, Something Corporate places(ed) greater importance on the lyrical content. (i.e.: The lyrics are possibly less-relatable for they deal with world at large and the socializations which humans, as a whole, must deal.)
Jack's Mannequin: Jack's Mannequin's lyrics, however, deal with the transitions, anxities, etc. that an individual must deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Jack's Mannequin: Without a doubt, JM (Everything In Transit as a whole) is much more radio-friendly (let's forget SoCo's "iF U C Jordan," "Pop Punk Princess") and definitely more pop-sounding.
I'm sure there's more, but that's all I could come up with.
Oh, how about one similarity?: Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin=Damn good music.
As a friend of mine said after I sent him this, the following 'review' is "poetic, but a bit harsh." And, so it is. Oh, well.
Note: Sorry that it's so informal--it was originally posted as a comment.
There is nothing unique about "Pretty.Odd." The only decent track on the album is "Nine In The Afternoon," while the rest of tracks suffer from too much thought and far-flung egos. The lyrics are panifully redundant, unappealing, and, to put it simply, downright awful. Seemingly, this band isn't about making music, but rather about making a name.
So, is it harsh? Yes. Is it well-deserved? Eh, probably not.