Archive for March, 2012

March 26, 2012

Talkin’ bout my generation: A John Hughes Mix

Among the writers and directors that manage to capture the angst and confusion of being a teenager (and a kid, and an adult, and well, life as a whole, actually), John Hughes is arguably one of the best — especially for kids who grew up in the ’80s. Sure, the man’s not infallible. I am not a fan of really anything that he participated in after 1989, but I know plenty of you have affection for Home Alone, and I forgive you for that. Mostly.

But during my John Hughes years, I got to enjoy a bunch of awesome things he wrote, like Vacation, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful, as well as all the great stuff he directed including Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, She’s Having a Baby, and of course: The Breakfast Club. And whoever was in charge of the soundtracks for each of those films managed to pick songs that matched Hughes’ kick-ass skills, so naturally I own almost every soundtrack to accompany each DVD in my collection.

And so, I made for you, dear hearingade readers, a mix of some of my favorite John Hughes movie tunes. Please enjoy them while quoting memorable lines and doing the Molly Ringwald dance.

If You Leave – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD)
Everyone remembers the end of Pretty in Pink: the pivotal moment at the Prom where Andie has to choose between Duckie and “Blaine.” She chooses unwisely, but whatever. Duckie totally ends up with hottie Kristy Swanson — and it’s all set against OMD’s pretty love song.

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: For me, this song will always be associated with Cameron and the art museum.

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March 22, 2012

One of ‘The Voice’s’ most adorable contestants looks to make an album

One day last month, I was flipping through channels looking for something to settle on while crocheting on the couch. The next thing I remember was absentmindedly stopping on a station when I saw Cee Lo Green petting a furry, white kitty cat. As I went about my crocheting, I left it on and it took me several minutes before I turned my attention to the television to take notice of what I was watching. It was “The Voice,” a show which I’d heard of but never seen. It didn’t take long before I became swept up in the ridiculous banter between pop stars (that’s code for “Christina Aguilera’s sweater puppies”) and found myself invested in some of the people singing on stage. That is the story of how I inadvertently became a fan of “The Voice.”

This was during a phase in the show called the “Blind Auditions,” where the four judges select singers to be on their teams based only on the sound of their voice, with their chairs turned toward the audience instead of the performers. There were a lot of singers I liked, and a lot that I didn’t. Most of the ones I didn’t like, the judges seemed to not like either, which was pretty cool. Some stood out more than others, such as Jamie Lono, a sweet blonde sandwich-maker from Chicago who put his own little spin on Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues.”

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March 20, 2012

Gorgeous Bully gives away a gorgeous EP on Bandcamp

I fell in love with UK outfit Gorgeous Bully when I discovered their latest full-length album, The Young Obese, on Bandcamp earlier this year. They’ve got this lo-fi surf-punk vibe going on that’s very big these days in indie rock, but their delivery is especially captivating. The band is on Art Is Hard Records, a little label you may want to put on your radar if you’re into the great obscure as I am.

Anyhow, not long after Gorgeous Bully’s February release, the band followed it up with a raw little six-song EP, You Can’t Fight the Sickness with Tea and Biscuits. You can currently “name your price” for this little treasure, so grab it while it’s hot.

And even though our Bandcamp Picks of the Week are intended to show you what you can get for free, I’d be remiss if I didn’t urge you to order yourself a full copy of The Young Obese, because that album is where this band really shines. However, if you can’t shell out the dough, you can at least get the full-length’s opening track, “Never Cry,” for completely free! So do that if you dig it (as if there’s any way you couldn’t!).

March 19, 2012

Feel up Wenatchee with The Felts’ EP

Most of you guys probably don’t know much about Wenatchee, Wash., but it’s where I live, and have lived nearly continuously for almost 15 years. Every so often, awesome things happen here musically. Not sure if you’ve heard of these dudes Ghost Power!!! yet, but you ought to. Not sure if you know about this great Seattle band SHIM, but some of those dudes actually got their start here. So this town isn’t quite a big deal, but it’s no slouch.

Some self-professed “middle-aged guys” who “play loud music” might pique your interests. They’re called The Felts and they’ve got a pretty rockin’ Self-Titled EP you should check out. At seven songs, this album is a hefty EP of melodic hard rock that’s a generous reminder of the ’90s Seattle scene. Reminiscent of some of my old Excursion Records favorites from back in the day, The Felts deliver monster wails and crunchy guitar chords fit for a dimly lit barroom.

The Felts seem to cover the rock spectrum, with equal doses of grunge, prog, metal and punk filtered into the Self-Titled EP. On the tune “Loosely Felt,” you hear a little bit of everything. The hair band fan in me is even fully satisfied by the electric guitars on this beast.

It’s not every day the world gets a chance to experience Wenatchee’s occasional awesomeness, so keep an eye on these guys when they blow up your speakers with more truly boss tunes. Sometimes it just takes some “middle-aged” guys to remind us how to properly rock.

March 15, 2012

Video Raid: Scout, ‘So Close’

I’m not sure how it is that I haven’t heard about Scout yet, but if this video is any indication of what they do, I’m already sold. I love lead singer Ashen Keilyn’s throaty, Joan-Jett like vocals, and while the lyrics border on cheesy (hey, I love Lisa Loeb too, don’t judge!), it’s still a nice, breakup-mix tune that’s easy to bop along to — and easy to remember. I’ve run through it twice, and it’s already stuck in my head!

Ashen says, “It’s a song I wrote after one of many arguments. The line ‘So I’m stuck down here with my heart in a splint / getting so close to calling it quits’…well that’s exactly how I felt at the time.”

Nice. This version of “So Close” is apparently an “Ole” remix of the original on Scout’s new album All Those Relays, which will be released March 27. It’s sometimes easy to dismiss a newly-found band based on a catchy single, but I’m kind of excited to give the whole thing a listen…

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March 14, 2012

Albums You Should Own By Now: Pixies, ‘Doolittle’

In 1994 I was a thirteen-year-old kid so painfully shy and awkward that it must have been difficult for adults to look at me without showing their pity. In hindsight we all know that eighth grade is like that for most of us, but when you’re going through it, it is the single most isolating feeling ever. I’m not even sure why they force children to go to classes during the early teen years. We were all so focused on trying to find our social identity and figure out how we fit in that we really didn’t absorb much else. Most schools re-teach all of the same stuff in ninth grade that you were taught in seventh and eighth.

I bring this up because that was the year that I began to find my social identity and figure out how I fit into it all. It was that year, just across the street from my junior high, that a pretty girl with pink hair gave me a cassette tape with a colored pencil drawing of a cheerleader with X’s over her eyes on the cover and one simple, beautiful word across the top: Pixies. That tape changed everything.

I had never heard of them, but Anna was really pretty and she smoked cigarettes. She had pink hair and she always looked like she’d just woken up … but in really hot way. So when she gave me the tape and said, “Check this out, this band always reminds me of you,” I pretty much fell in love with her and Pixies immediately.

For the longest time I thought the tape was a sort of “best of” that Anna had put together. It wasn’t until a year later when I started hanging out at punk shows that I found out the truth. The tape I’d been listening to non-stop. The album I’d nearly worn out in a year was in fact, in its correct order, the album Doolittle.

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