Monday, July 31, 2006

We Are Hipsters, You Are Not.

clap yr hands

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away"

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth"
[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

When bands become an "it" band, I'm usualy hesitant to listen to them. Or if i do hear them I immediately write them off. Something about a band becoming immensely popular make me have disdain for them immediately. I don't know why, I guess its just the snob in me. So when Clap Your Hands Say Yeah became popular last year, I pre-judged them without even hearing them. The many comparisons to the Talking Heads or The Arcade Fire (another band I refused to listen to) only sealed the deal.

It wasn't until much later, thanks to the glorious human achievement that is last.fm, that I decided to give Clap Your Hands Say Yeah a spin. And of course I immediately liked it. I hated myself for it, because they DID sound just like the Talking Heads of yore, and fit in the same scene as the Arcade Fires (yes I eventually broke down and listened to them too, although only because they recorded a live EP with David Bowie, anything he likes is okay with me).

One (among many) reasons I think pop music has gone astray is the fact that there are no more rock bands playing pop music anymore. It's all over-produced Pro Tools greased, singing over the phone with the digital interference filter effect on the singers' voice. In the car the other night, I pulled up along side a guy who was rocking out to John Cougar Mellencamp's "I Fought Authority". Although this is a song I never really cared for, the guy was really putting a lot of passion into it from behind the wheel. This is where I got the notion that pop-rock doesn't exist anymore. Music that had a universal appeal played with guitars, drums and bass had died in the 1980s, and it's a shame because there isn't a purer form of music.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah somewhat achieve the level of pop rock that John Cougar's "Authority Song" does. Although you won't see me rocking out to it behind the wheel just yet. I prefer to rock out to Cheap Trick, thank you very much.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tres Bien, Pac-Man!

Normally Sunday is TV Theme song here at Pop Zeus! But today I've got something a little different for you.


French "Pac-Man" song!

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

Here is an mp3 I've been kicking around for a while now. That is, I never listened to it until today. What I always assumed was the theme song to the short lived Pac-Man saturday morning cartoon (yes, that existed) was actually some sort of French ode to playing the Pac-Man video game. It's pretty ridiculous, and although I don't speak french, i can only guess the "mademoiselle" the singer refers to can only be Ms. Pac-Man.

Just to prove the Pac-Man cartoon DID exist, here is a great episode review from x-entertainment.


By the way, when ARE they going to get married anyway? Mr. and MS. Pac-Man have got to be tired of living in sin.

Oin't It Fun?


Oizone "Arms Of Mary"

Oi-Vey "Saturday Night"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

Since this has become an unofficial Oi! week, I figured I'd put up one more. I present to you Reading's Oizone. What I at first thought to be a shitty pun on the word "ozone" is actually a play on a popular British boy band called Boyzone. Now I've never heard of Boyzone before, but I have to say I thought the Backstreet Boys was fucking stupid name for a pop group. That was before I knew Boyzone existed.

Oizone existed in the London area in the late 90s. According to their label, Damaged Goods, press release on the band, their shows were basically an opportunity for the lads to get as drunk as they could and get on stage to perform four songs. Poorly.

To solidify the end of Oi! week, I thought I would also add Oi-Vey's cover of "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers. Unfortunately, I don't have anything by Shitter ot Oi-asis. If anyone knows a good place to download Oi! music, please let me know.

Until the next Oi! week, OI! REVOIR!

Too Fast For Love


The Fastbacks "K Street"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

The Fastbacks are really a curious case. Although they disbanded in 2001, they were a rock band from Seattle that had been around since 1979. And yet thru the record industry's raping of the city's entire music scene from the 90s on, the Fastbacks were always passed over. What it makes it so strange is that they're a better band than anyone else who came out of there. Perhaps it was their age. If that was the case they should have just started selling their songs to younger, better looking bands like Candlebox back in the day. Hey at least radio would have improved!

"K Street" comes from the Fastbacks' 1991 Sub Pop release "...And His Orchestra". An interesting tidbit I found about the Fastbacks: one of their many ex-drummers was Duff McKagan of Guns N Roses fame. I'm surprised that dude is still able to stand up and play the bass, much less sit down and play drums.

Sexy Fellas


The Exploited "Sex & Violence"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

Since Tuesday's post was about OI! rockers Hard Skin, I thought I'd take a little trip down mOImery lane, with a track by The Exploited.

The Exploited came out of the second wave of UK punk bands in the early 80s, and according to some sources were an important piece in the OI! puzzle. After reading up on OI! on wikipedia, I learned that's its embraced by most racist and non racist skinheads alike, as well as pub crawling soccer hooligans. So while I am still trying to figure out exactly what OI! is, I already know I like it. Sub-mental lyrics and rudimentary guitar lines? Right up my alley. Respect for no one including yr own audiences? Count me in.

The Exploited later went on to become a sort of punk/trash band, but as illustrated in "Sex And Violence", they kept things quite simple back in the day. Once while I was playing this song a friend of mine misheard the lyrics as "sexy fellas", which I think might be a better lyric. A good song to play before a night at the Roxbury, you sexy fellas you.

Protractor Rock

live L

Cinemechanica "Brain Tarp"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

Say what you will about "math rock", I've never understood the term. Are we supposed to believe that young, skinny indie guys with crew cuts and horned rimmed glasses are banging out rock tunes that are pre-planned out with protractors and TI graphic calculators? Do these bands incorporate sines and cosines into their chord progressions? If so, I hate them already, because if there's on subject I always hated in school, it was math. That and science. Well, that and science and relgion. Oh, and gym.

Cinemechanica fall under the "math-rock" category, whether they like it or not. The complicated schemes the employ in their songs seem to invite the branding. But I see Cinemechanica as more of an art-punk thing, like Sonic Youth if they ever decided to just balls out rock instead of wanking around all the time (don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of that wanking). Bands of the past like Thumbnail come to mind when I listen to this high energy type of rock.

So don't worry, you don't need to memorize the Pythagorean Theorem to enjoy Cinemechanica (I really hate typing that!). Unless you think it will help, in which case SOLVE AWAY, NERD!

Have A Say, Then!


Hard Skin "Beer & Fags"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

I feel I haven't shown much love to the OI! community here at Pop Zeus, so to remedy that, here's a cut by Hard Skin, a ridiculous OI! outfit from the UK. As you can tell from the lead in to this live track, this song is about drinking, smoking fags and having a fucking laugh. Oh yeah, it's about havin' a say as well, whatever that means. This powerful intro is then followed by the artist and audience antagonizing each other, which is quite common in the world of OI!

Obviously the members of Hard Skin are not straight-edgers, as a member of that community surely would never pen an ode to cigarettes and alcohol. So turn it up, and have yourself a ciggy and a Pabst. and while yr at it, have yourself a SAY!

The Sky Is Falling


  • HERE

  • Thom Yorke's latest solo record (although he refuses to call it that. Well what is it then Mr. Artsy Pants?), 'The Eraser', is a minimalistic exorcism of the Martin Short lookalike's many demons. It could be compared to his full time band Radiohead's 'Kid A', MAYBE, but it's more stripped down than anything that band ever released. Instead, we're left with simple beats, synth lines and Yorke's haunting voice left high up in the mix, and it works.

    "Harrowdown Hill" is the immediate standout track from this non-solo album (let's call it an "offshoot"). It's quite obvious that much of what is currently happening in the world terrifies Yorke, and much of 'The Eraser' voices that fear. Plain and simple, he's convinced that the world as we know it id coming to an end, and he doesn't feel fine about it. Instead he heightens the tensions by trying to scare the listener shitless as well, and although songs like "Black Swan" are chilling (as the songs says it is "fucked up"), it's not enough to make you bury your head in your moldy Y2K shelter.

    "The Eraser" is a standout effort, solo or not. It's better than what most try to achieve in their musical lifetimes, and the depressing part is that it seems to come so easy to Yorke, as if this is just something he tossed off in the back in between stadium tours.