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What’s Playing Now October 28, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Music.
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Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (2008 )
Brooklyn’s Gang Gang Dance has always been known for their murky, tribal experimental music. But their latest album “Saint Dymphna” is such a unique and unexpected step toward experimental pop. What’s astonishing is how easily they make the transformation without losing any form of what they originally were. They’ve somehow made a weird, freak-dance album without compromising experimentation and not compromising what’s considered pop either. For example, they’re actually able to pull off a grime/rap song without sounding completely laughable. In the same breath, they then turn out a ’80s nostalgic pop track, which is then followed by a powerful manic-beating-girl-screeching jam out. It has to be heard to believe. Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year.

Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That(2008 )
After listening to Marnie Stern’s latest album, I realize there are few people out and about right now that are anything like Marnie Stern. I seriously can’t name one. From her overly quirky album title, to the awesome, rambling intro “Prime,” Marnie Stern shows a fresh view on music that’s not entirely new. The music here is actually vintage rock, but Stern knows how to flip it on its head, adding a quirky and sometimes muddled touch. Unfortunately, Stern’s greatest weakness is her overabundance. Sometimes there is such a thing as having too many good ideas in your head, and sometimes Stern just doesn’t know how to edit herself. Although there were several tracks that succeeded, most of the album was somewhat unlistenable. Sadly, for her sophomore album, it looks like Stern is back to her old tricks. There are awesome songs on this album; “Prime,” “Shea Stadium,” and “The Package is Wrapped” are some of the standouts. But other times the album sounds like it’s tripping over itself trying to find where its feet are. But of course, I shouldn’t expect Marnie Stern to create an album with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Overall, it’s an interesting effort.

Eleanoora Rosenholm – Älä Kysy Kuolleilta, He Sanoivat (2008 )
It seems like lately I’ve been so in love with Finnish music. But it’s no coincidence these artists just happen to come from the same label, Fonal Records. Apparently I’m in love with every artist on that label, and Eleanoora Rosenholm is one of the newbies. Her music is a unique blend of pop and throwback nostalgic experimental ’80s music (well, that’s what it sounds like to me). But her songs tend to be hit or miss. There is such a thing as spiraling too far off the deep end and sometimes her music can become a bit silly. But even though some tracks might have listeners thinking, “Oh, come on,” there’s a true, genuine feeling behind the songs. So hey, at least she can pull them off…somewhat.

High Places – High Places (2008 )
High Places’s Myspace page categorizes their music as “surf hardcore,” which sounds funny at first, but to be honest, I can’t think of a better way to describe this album. Psycho beach music perhaps? Not since Panda Bear have I heard an album that captured that same airy, nostalgic feel, but High Places does it in a strange and interesting way. But unfortunately, their album is more about being intriguing than having good songs. But they’re definitely a unique band to have on your radar.
(Edit: This album is actually a lot better than my review. I just reread it and realized I was being overly critical, but I’m too lazy to rewrite it.)


And yet another reason to neglect this blog October 28, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.
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After much convincing from a friend, I decided to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo, or better yet known as National Novel Writing Month. For those unfamiliar with the annual event, NaNoWriMo is a month long challenge where wannabe writers alike try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The “winners” are awarded with the personal satisfaction of completing such a daunting task, especially for the average procrastinating writer.

SO, since it’s been nearly two years since I’ve written anything creative or fictional, I decided to participate this year just for fun. Of course, that means I’ll have even less time to spend on this wonderful blog I created. But don’t fret, dear reader. I shall make it my duty to write one blog post a week. A big one. I promise!

Whatever happened to…your favorite ’90s alt-rock band October 21, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Music.
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A week ago I read about the ’90s band Letters to Cleo reuniting. My inner 11-year-old leaped for joy. Letters to Cleo! Remember them? Their catchy/obnoxious song “Here and Now” that used to play during the credits at the end of Melrose Place? Well anyway, I used to love them, as much as I could love any ’90s alternative rock band with a quirky, cool female singer. Of course, my love for alternative rock died somewhere around ’97 when I discovered Bjork, but regardless, I still have a fondness for that period. As a tribute, here’s a list of some not-yet-forgotten ’90s bands and what they’re up to now. (more…)

Megan Fox thinks being the perfect girl is being the perfect guy October 1, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.

“I like attention!”

An article at Starpulse .com has an interview with everyone’s desperately wannabe hot girl Megan Fox. In the interview, Fox says she gets along so swimmingly with her beau because she’s basically “a man with a vagina.” Ooo, what a turn on! Or is it? Do guys really want to essentially fuck a female version of themselves? As if stripping women of their femininity makes them seem more cool or down to earth?

This trend has been steadily increasing among female celebrities who just love to tout about how they’re “one of the boys.” She’s not stuck up, catty, or a bitch. She’s a “real” girl, which is why she can’t fathom the idea of being friends with them. This is almost as bad as models who swear they used to be ugly. The goal in both these situations is to appear relatable. Celebrities love to portray themselves as “everypeople.” They’re just like you except, you know, not. Lately this same ideology has been surfacing in politics where politicians downplay their intelligence and instead brag about how much they like beer and sports like the rest of the population.

I’m always wary when I hear women say they have no female friends. They like to brag about how they’re a “guy’s girl” and love sports and video games. Sure it’s great to conquer stereotypes and be something other than the status quo, but where’s the middle line? Why must liking stereotypical guy things mean a complete departure from femininity? Fox promoting herself as a “guy with a vagina” is essentially saying women are only good for their vaginas, which is always a lovely message to broadcast to the media. What do you think, invisible readers?