Archive for November, 2006


Can it get more rock and roll?

Say what you may about the credibility of Local H’s music, but there isn’t once where they have not brought it in a live setting. They’ve had their commercial success over the years with a few singles and various songs showing up in random places. (Jock Rock) It seems over the last few years though, they are about as obscure outside of Chicago as your favorite coveted band you never want to blow up. Regardless of what you may think about their aggressive rock sound they’ve decided to ride for years, this duo continues to day in and day out bring a show worthy of getting hit for. Watch this clip for entertainment and then if you’re fired up from that, checkout a b-side that is very reminiscent of their sonic sound.

Check it in Firefox or make sure your IE is updated, son.



Local H-Cooler Headz


Straight Out the Casket, Rising Up


OK.  Enough sleeping.  I’m not so sure I have a valid excuse for hardly posting.  Yes, I’m the new owner of an incredible dog.  And yes, he’s taken up lots of my time.  But I’m still able to listen to music in between the potty training and frequent puppy kisses. 

 Honeycut originally caught my eye a couple months ago just after they released their first full length album, The Day I Turned to Glass.  The song with the same name hit me first and made quite an impact. 

 The beginning beat resembles one of Dr. Dre’s patented West-Coast, G-Funk Era grooves.  It’s dark with a skosh of mysteriousness added to it that immediately causes a head to sway or a foot to tap.  It loops for 30 seconds before lead singer, Bart Davenport steps to the mic and croons his way through the cut. 

Incidentally, the band is signed to Quannum Records; a label famous for housing such reputable acts as DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Blackalicious.  The album slides all over the place and has flashes of R&B, soul and funk at the core with some electronics, synths and strings mixed in.  Davenport shows as much range with his vocals as well.

 Peep it if you dig it:

Honeycut – The Day I Turned to Glass

Honeycut – Exodus Honey


Back from the dead, just to mess with your head…

Have we just stopped listening to music? I really wanted to put a mellow, almost dismal song up today because that is how I feel when the status of our blog comes into my head. My fellow contributors have legitimate excuses for not posting about what I thought was our favorite pastime, but I just frankly, have not one excuse. Since I was struggling to find that one darker track, I settled for an upbeat song under three minutes. Now, this song is a quick little power pop jam by Imperial Teen with enough handclaps, ohhs, and ahhs to satisfy the average Moving in Stereo viewer. You exist, right? Please enjoy.

Imperial Teen-Baby


Too early for a best of 2006 list?


As the finale of 2006 rapidly approaches, and we anxiously await the last day of December (New Year’s Eve) a time like now is when I begin to ponder what few albums were standouts of this year. No offense to Damien Rice, but I don’t think he’s bringing loud guitars, bass, fuzz, and any other essential ingredient to concoct a rock record on 11/14. (“9” is highly anticipated by me) If I were to judge my favorite album this year based on the amount of listenings I’ve had with each of the records I purchased, then it would without a doubt go to “Carnavas” by LA’s Silversun Pickups. Earlier this year someone with similar musical tastes highly recommended a band that had the sound of Autolux, the Smashing Pumpkins, and HUM. Of course, it’s all been done before and those three bands were all influenced by greats before them, but that was maybe one of the better R.I.Y.Ls that I’ve ever heard. Hopefully in the near future, I will share with you all the best R.I.Y.L that I ever came across.

Right now though, this record is one that has practically followed me around everywhere I go. There are plenty of artists out there that put out amazing records and then to supplement that spectacular record, they put on a show so jaw dropping that you never want that set to end. My fellow contributors can name a few other artists that share that same similarity. The other song offerings on this site have been rather easy to decide upon, but to me, I could have shared any of the 11 tracks off this record, because I just do find it that good. Please enjoy.

Dream at tempo 119

Common reactor


Engine 88 flashes back…..and so do I


Sometimes I wonder about the earlier influences that helped lead me to to this point, pursuing my PhD in Journalism & Mass Communication.  In effect, making the study of popular music my career choice.  Some key bands immediately come to mind, especially during high school when I went from listening to my older brothers’ CDs to building my own collection.  Engine 88 is one of those bands, and one of the most, if not most, pivotal bands in the development of music becoming an integral part of my life.

They were the first band that put me on a guest list, that I met in person, and who I managed to see play two legendary D.C. venues: the old Black Cat and 9:30 Club in Washington (all in high school!).   I remember they contacted me before one of the D.C. shows, via e-mail from their van (they were also early adoptors) while headed to D.C.  I later wrote my most in-depth college newspaper article for The Daily Illini on the eve of their performance at the now defunct Blind Pig in Champaign, Illinois.     They performed with Jawbox and Nada Surf.  What a lineup.   J. Robbins of Jawbox (and Dischord Records) told me that night that my article on E88 was as good as anything in Rolling Stone or any other music mag…and he swore he meant it.  Surreal.  I’ll never forget that evening.  Following that show, lead singer Tom Barnes would mail me a record of his former band, Sordid Humor’s debut LP, “Tony Don’t.”

In years of exchanging e-mails, mostly with bassist Eric Knight, I was treated more as a PhD student than a high school student, who was still pretty clueless to music, culture, politics–you name it. 

So, color me bewildered and very pleasantly surprised when I happened to come across the band’s page at Wikipedia and read that the band had just gotten back together for a show celebrating the new book release of SF-based music photojouranlist Peter Ellenby (see pic above) a couple of weeks ago.   I had heard a month ago or so about the release party for Ellenby, but not that SF’s finest were going to reunite for their first show in YEARS.

It’s late/early here, so I won’t even begin to explain their music, lyrics, or why I think they’re great.   And, it’s not like you want to read all of that either!  However, I will link a song from the band’s website that captures their sound pretty well, somewhere between the feverish, pulsating of earlier “Funny Car”-material to their more polished, crafted, and occasionally slower later tunes. 

And, yeah, over the holidays it will be time to retrieve their early, self-released 7-inch records at my parents house.  Engine 88, thanks for the memories.

Engine 88: (link to band’s site)

Song link: Manuel, You Know

Reunion performance from the Bottom of the Hill!  Check out their last song (before encore), and my favorite, “Man Club” at 26:50 in….

Upcoming Shows:


November 2006