Sunday, November 27, 2005

Some Of My Top Albums

Just off the top of my head – the faves

1. Whatever and Ever Amen – Ben Folds Five
2. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie
3. There Is Nothing Left To Loose – Foo Fighters
4. Is This It? – The Strokes
5. Remain In Light – Talking Heads
6. A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
7. Hot Fuss – The Killers
8. Odelay! – Beck
9. Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chili Peppers
10. Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin
11. Disintegration – The Cure
12. Room For Squares – John Mayer
13. Final Straw – Snow Patrol
14. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
15. Gorillaz – Gorillaz
16. Kid A – Radiohead
17. Elevator – Hot Hot Heat
18. Nevermind – Nirvana
19. Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings of Leon
20. Keep It Together – Guster

I feel like I left some out. Like “Something’s Missing” (classic John Mayer). Maybe I will post another one in the future. As for now, these are some of my favorite records.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Cardigans; For the Holidays


Has anyone heard the song Lovefool? I know everyone has heard the song Kiss Me. Kiss me… beneath the milky twilight. Lead me, out on the moonlit floor. With those guitars. Those trademarked 90’s pop guitars. It is one of those songs that you know, but you don’t know that you know it. You know? Exactly.

Not to discredit the other 4 male members of the band, but when you hear the Cardigans, if you have any interest in finding out anything about their lineup the first thing you want to know is who is singing with that angelic grace. Nina Persson is that pretty face. The pretty voice. Nina. The beautiful Nina; that no one truly knows, but everyone truly loves. She gives the Cardigans their "flare". She bassically gets the credit as well though. Which is a damn shame because the reason their songs are so damn catchy isn’t just because of the vocals. It’s because of the group-contributed lyrics written and amazingly clever arrangement put together.

But any reviewer or musical journalist could tell you that. What I am here to tell you, is that the Cardigans are just really, really good. Every song I have by them (which totals in the range of about 6-10 these days I believe) is now loved by me. Lovefool came on random the other day. You just can’t keep yourself away from them. “Love me, Love me, say that you love me/ Need me, need me, say that you need me.”

Songs like Lovefool, Kiss Me, Erase-Rewind, For What It’s Worth and (one of the best song names ever) “I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need To Be Nicer.” All those songs have been featured on movie soundtracks, from Romeo and Juliet to Never Been Kissed. Sadly it seems the Cardigans were destined to be a soundtrack band (weren’t all 90’s bands?) with such pop sensibility. This band is ironically genius. Seriously, I am going to go out and buy their greatest hits with utmost pride. My sisters probably know what I am talking about; they lived in the 90’s.

All this talk about 90’s semi-pop star bands with women at the head makes me want to look up Mazzy Star. I get a little emotional with Mazzy Star though. They (she) can be a little depressing. Anyone who has the Wicker Park soundtrack probably enjoyed her song Flowers In December, I did at least. Along with her other classics such as White Horses and Fade Into You. Like I said though I get a little emotional with them (her). But then again…who doesn’t kind of melt into their shoes and sway on the spot when they hear Fade Into You?

I guess on an ending note, winter is now here. Thanksgiving has now come and past and there are too few days ‘till our calendars strike December. The dreaded Christmas month. The dreaded holidays. Dreaded winter. It’s growing ever colder, so grab your lovers and some good old Cardigans to keep yourself warm. Happy Holidays.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Adam's Abcs of Music

Ambulance LTD
Ben Folds Five
Deathcab for Cutie
Foo Fighters
Hot Hot Heat
John Mayer
Killers, The
Louis XIV
Matt Pond PA
Of Montreal
Pete Yorn
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Saturday Looks Good To Me
Thrills, The
Velvet Underground
Walkmen, The
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Zutons, The

Aren’t Acronyms so much fun? This was actually a lot harder than it looks. It was hard choosing between bands with the first starting letters. So probably in t he near future I will post another one of these with all new bands. Just tell me if you like this one first of all, so I don’t annoy my viewers with these acronyms. See ya.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sub Pop Records

The Unknown Legend

I’m not much of a label man. Besides the fact I’m not big into wearing ABERCROMBIE stamped across my chest (I will wear the brand I just won’t advertise for them; I guess I just don’t want to sell out to the man.) I know the bare minimum of basic record label knowledge. U2 and the Killers are on Island records, along with the Bravery and Jimmy Eat World. An old record label trivia fact is that Led Zeppelin formed their own “Swan Song” record label in 1974 (before their own Physical Graffiti was released on it as their first Swan Song record and not Atlantic) and the first ever record released as a Swan Song was Bad Company’s self titled debut of ’74.

Now that right there seems almost impressive to know, but other than that about the last thing I will look up on a musical artist is their label. However, lately, I have been noticing (out of pure peripheral thought) that many of my favorite indie bands are on the label Sub Pop. Wolf Parade, The Shins, Fruit Bats, Iron & Wine, The Rapture, The Album Leaf, The Postal Service, Rogue Wave and Hot Hot Heat (their first album, Make Up The Breakdown) have all released on Sub Pop. Even Nirvana (yes, the Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic bearing trio turned legend) released early Eps and “Bleach” (the album before the legendary Nevermind) on Sub Pop records. This label is my favorite, and I’m not even a label guy.

Independently created music is exploding onto the musical scene as a genre and its because of labels like Sub Pop. Companies such as Sub Pop, Domino, Lizard King, Touch and Go, No Fun, and EMI (a division of Capitol records) are recruiting more and more barely known bands and becoming “for real” record companies.

Sub Pop is kickin’ out the jams, Rogue Wave becoming more and more recognized and Iron and Wine’s Samuel Beam (the main man behind I&W’s magic) is practically the spokes man for the label. Sticking the Sub Pop cute little black and white logo on every product he sells, or practically owns.

I know, that as soon as I get any of my own stuff recorded, be it solo, a one man band project, or a compilation with my buddies (you can bet The Swingers debut will be on Sub Pop) I will be sending anything I want to Sub Pop. This label obviously knows what they are doing and hopefully I could be at one of those lovely little indie band group events and meet my heroes. Either way, you have to look into Sub Pop for yourself, they are one of the biggest masked faces in the music industry as we know it. They have a website ( You can buy merchandise, find out tours and get directed to your favorite bands website.

This Is Me, Kickin' Out The Jams

Rock Out With Me

I have been finding so many bands lately. And buying their stuff, songs at a time through the I tunes store, enclosed is somewhat of a list of what I, myself, Adam Fitzgerald, have been jamming too. Now I’m passing them on.

Living Things just released a new album, Ahead of the Lions. The song Bom Bom Bom is one of the best of the year. Guaranteed. This song is so rocking it is insane. With a killer chorus, mad crazy guitar riffs thicker than molasses and percussion cow belling you up onto your feet and dancing like you got ants in your pants.

There is a new band on the rise, and I can grantee you haven’t heard of them. Death From Above 1979. These dudes aren’t messing around either. DFA just released “ You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine” (awesome album name in my opinion, better thought out than the band name) and there are a lot of hard “rock-your-face-off” songs on there. My favorite is Black History Month. Another great is Romantic Rights.

Other bands I have been following lately are as follows:

The Cribs- you know I love the Cribs, Hey Scenesters! is their best, that and You & I

Rogue Wave- a softie indie band, you should hear Kicking The Heart Out

Giant Drag- Another one of those indie bands I can’t get enough of, with one girl heading the band. Download- Drugs and This Isn’t It.

The Subways- a hard rocking band from Sweden or something like that. If you watch the OC you saw them perform on last weeks episode. Their best is Rock ’n’ Roll Queen and another great is Mary.

Ladytron- A great techno dance band, download Abercrombie and Seventeen. Blue Jeans is another good song.

Blackalicious- I’m not one for rap (these guys are actually more R&B) usually but this band just hits the spot for some reason, find the song Make You Feel That Way.

Tristan Prettyman- This girl is beautiful and smart. It’s not often you find a woman like this. Download her cover of Toxic. Yeah, the Britney Spears song. She does an acoustic cover of it and you love it for some reason.

We Are Scientists- a cool all-over-the-place rock band that does a lot of different stuff, a good song is Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt and The Great Escape.

Feist- Mushaboom, awesome song. One lady with a lot of techno, kind of like a bunch of Zero 7, In The Waiting Line. Fiest is good, check out her stuff, such as the various “Piste” numbers.

Dirty On Purpose- I randomly found this band and I am now obsessed with their song, Mind Blindness.

Ben Taylor- Yes, this guy had it made from the start. He could of made a record when he was two years old and got publicity if he wanted to, being the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. But instead Benjamin too the indie route, and I respect him for that. Download "Surround Me."

Umphrey’s McGee- a local college jam band. I found them through a friend and these guys kick O.A.R.’s ass any day of the week. Find, In The Kitchen.

Also, some bands you probably know or I might have mentioned sometime in the past.

The Strokes have an album on the way. And they just pumped out a single. I’m thinking their Junior album is going to be something to rock the boat, still maybe not as good as the 2001 debut (Is This It?) but probably better than the sophomore, Room On Fire. Download their single, Juicebox. You will love it.

Wolf Parade has some unreleased songs that are awesome. It’s A Curse, Disco Sheets, and most importantly, The National People’s Scare. All great songs you won’t find on their recently released debut LP, Apologies To The Queen Mary.

Bloc Party must have a new album underway as well. They have a new single, Two More Years, download it, it’s pretty good. No Banquet, but its good. Speaking of Banquet, there is a hones disco remix that was just released. You can find this through the I tunes store, it is pretty freakin’ sweet. It’s even more danceable than the original, and if you are a Bloc Party fan in any way shape or form, you must download this.

Blink-182, the boys of this band must never sleep. In between Transplants, Boxcar Racer and other side projects they still find time for good old Blink. Check out their new single, Not Now.

Interpol just released an Ep (which I really want to get my hands on) and amongst individual band members own remixes of songs off of 2004’s sophomore release, Antics, there is also a new song, titled, Song Seven. Definitely worth the download.

If you were ever curious what I had been listening to besides good old John Mayer (John Mayer Trio’s live album, TRY! Is now out!! If you don’t want to get the whole thing download Vultures, immediately.) And jamming to my regulars such as The Killers and Foo Fighters and all that, now you have some newbie bands to check out. I love kickin’ out jams for people to rock out too. Enjoy!

Musical Television...?

I Want My Mtv

In August 1981 music as we know it was forever changed. Some people discriminate against Mtv. Most people you will encounter in life however, simply want their Mtv.

On August 1st, 1981 Video Killed The Radio Star aired on cable accessed “Mtv” in the U.S. Most people think that Money for Nothing by Dire Straights was the first song/video aired on Mtv. They would be partially right, because Money for Nothing was the first song aired on Mtv Europe. Just a little Mtv 101 for you.

People say Mtv promotes violence, sex, and drugs, amongst other things. Some of the real intelligent folks around say that this television channel even sends subliminal messages into kid’s brains telling them to disobey their parents.

I’m not saying I agree with Mtv, or that I wear big Mtv labeled t-shirts and I am completely pro-Mtv. I do think, however, that Mtv has been one of the biggest factors in musical history since the Beatles came to the states.

Mtv is immature and truth be told I honestly think that half of the time they don’t really know what they are doing. There are true journalists working for Mtv, which makes me happy but their biggest stories to always seem to be on 50 Cent. Yes, 50 Cent is a musical artist, but we know he was shot we don’t need to hear about a million times.

Where were the big stories on U2’s new album? The Rolling Stones tour? The literal explosion of Independent music as a genre into music? Mtv seems to know jack shit when it comes to actual Rock ‘n’ Roll these days.

Not exactly saying they ever knew anything, with Head Bangers Ball and what not. But they did know Pop music. 80s Mtv knew what it was doing. So did 90s Mtv. My favorite shows of all time are Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Death Match. You may call me immature for liking such shows but if you can watch an hour of those shows and not laugh then you obviously don’t have a soul.

I’m not trying to just bitch about Mtv, I guess I am just asking, what happened to real musical television? Because honestly, I miss it.

I think soon, in days to come, Rap music will see its downfall again. My friends and I have decided this, and that in turn, Country music will rise again. Which basically sucks because I hate country even more than Rap.

Then again, I listen to about everything though. I just want to be able to watch and listen to some good stuff, some good musical television.

Mtv does influence our generation a lot. The average age at which teens start coming into sexual contact is 15. Most teens smoke cigarettes or marijuana before the age of 18. Am I saying that this is Mtv’s fault? No. I’m saying it doesn’t help though.

I enjoy watching some Real World once in a while, Jackass was the most immature show that ever hit the airwaves but it was hilarious. Shows like Laguna Beach, I’m not a fan of, but most people love that show.

Are people getting progressively worse off? With drugs and all that jazz? Is it because of Mtv? I guess that is up to the future to decide.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lords Of Dogtown

Who the hell are the Z boys?

Some time ago a documentary called Dogtown and the Z-Boys was released. This was a documentary about a few boys who lived in Venice, California in the 1970’s and who discovered their own skateboarding skills. Some boys to name a few were Jay Adams, Tony Alva, and Stacy Peralta. Dogtown was the name bestowed upon their local area of Venice, suburbs and ghettos that were controlled by “locals only”. All these boys were rather close friends who were all equally talented as skaters and were picked up by a local surf shop called Zephyr. Thus, the “Z” boys are born. I have never seen the documentary but I have heard many good things. Apparently the documentary was cold, gritty and truthful. The teen Z boys were told for what they were, young, self-righteous kids with bad attitudes. The boys were surfers and didn’t do much other than committing random acts of vandalism and sneaking into backyards to skate in drained pools.

When the kids were picked up by Zephyr they turned skating into something real, a sport, a sport to be taken seriously. A lot of people even say they are the fathers of skateboarding. Responsible for the reality of all extreme sports. Some would say they were a bunch of immature boys with a little bit a talent and a lot of luck. Either way, after the documentary was released, Stacy Peralta decided to write his own somewhat factual screenplay for the Z boys.

Lords of Dogtown is a decent movie, but only decent. If I would rate it I would give it a 3 out of 5. It is shot exactly like a documentary, and the movie tries way to hard to be cold and edgy. Stacy Peralta is played by John Robinson, Tony Alva by Victor Rasuk and Jay Adams by Emile Hirsch (the guy from The Girl Next Door.) Hirsch is the best actor of the group, portraying his badass character with style. Then there is Heath Ledger, the somewhat well known actor; from recent Brothers Grimm and somewhat old 10 Things I Hate About You. Ledger plays the Zephyr surf shop owner, Skip. Who is a surf bum, drug addicted alcoholic. He forms the skate team and creates the Z-Boys and Ledger does a great job as portraying his character as well, making him seem l aid back but at the same time skittish when nervous.

All around like I said I would give it 3 of 5 stars, maybe. It is good, but just good enough to hold your attention. It is interesting to know this information (however useless) and it is fun to watch the skate moves being performed. I am a fan of the Tony Hawk games (even though I myself cannot skateboard worth a damn) and I do somewhat enjoy viewing others skate. Of course the time period in which this movie takes place is before the actual Ollie (which is a jump on a skateboard) was invented (it was invented by Tony Hawk in the late 1980’s, a little skateboarding 101) so all tricks are ground based, and no ridiculous airtime. My favorite part in the movie is when Tony Hawk makes an appearance as an astronaut, and attempts skateboarding on Peralta’s board and falls. The original Peralta being Hawk’s mentor this is comedic in more than one way, seeing the now middle aged Tony face to face with the young Peralta. Anyways, if you like skateboarding it’s definitely worth a rent, if not, it can still be entertaining to an extent.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Activision’s answer to Red Dead Revolver

In 2004 Rockstar games (Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Midnight Club) released Red Dead Revolver. A game that followed Red, a cowboy in around the 1880’s whose parents were killed by a civil war veteran turned crime lord. Red seeks out revenge by going on an adventure and eventually killing the crime lord.

GUN is a game released by Activision (Tony Hawk, True Crime) just recently (2005). GUN follows Colton White, a cowboy in the 1880’s, whose father was killed by a civil war veteran turned crime lord. Colt seeks out revenge by going on an adventure to kill the crime lord.

Picking up any similarities? I am. There are about as much similarities between these two games as there are between Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar) and True Crime (Activision). There is a war between these two companies: and the best part? The one who benefits most is I, the consumer. If I was forced to pick sides I would pick Rockstar, because according to me every game they pump out is awesome, and my favorite games are Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear. But I am not forced to pick sides, I can buy whatever I want.

However, GUN is a very good game. If I had to rate it I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a decent length, great graphics, and very, very good game play. You can go from town to town, doing main story missions or side missions to get cash to buy up grades, you can ride horseback as well as firing with your pistol, shotgun, rifle, bow and then you can through a stick of TNT or a whiskey bomb (these are all ground use weapons too). And for times when you are in close combat, if someone gets a little too close, you can slice and dice them with your melee weapon (such as a knife or axe). Did I mention while on horseback, besides going fast (you can make your horse sprint by spurring it) and shooting people, you can also trample people? GUN is very well put together. The story is a little predictable but that’s to be expected, I mean, it is a western.

There is a definite difference between GUN and Red Dead Revolver and Grand Theft Auto and True Crime. Because unlike True Crime, GUN doesn’t suck compared to the Rockstar product. It is actually better, if anything. GUN accomplishes a little more than Red Dead and is a little better put together. So, go out and rent GUN, you could probably beat it within the five days but it is a damn good play through.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Cribs

A Band of Brothers

When twin brothers Gary and Ryan recruited their younger brother Ross to play with them in 2003, the Jarman brothers had created the Cribs. Hailing from Yorkshire, England, the trio had always played music together, ever since they were kids, but in 2003, they got serious with it.

Starting to play around at local clubs and achieving a name for themselves, the brothers were picked up by Wichita records by the end of 2003. In 2004 the Cribs began work on their debut album as well as touring with the Datsuns. Before the year was over the band had already started work on their second album with Glasgow'’s legendary Orange Juice member as producer, Edwyn Collins. In early 2005 The Cribs was released, the debut album. The album was a hit, but a very underground, "“indie"” success.

The Cribs are a very indie band, with good hard rocking punk influences such as the Clash and the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols drummer was even brought in to help them work on their second album, The New Fellas, which was released in august, 2005. According to them they usually just recorded their songs on a four-track at their home, but after some convincing done by the lead man of Orange Juice and the drummer of the Sex Pistols, they decided to step foot in London'’s Toerag Studios.

Both of the Cribs 2005 releases turned out to be great successes, (both albums being quite critically acclaimed) the band acquiring more of a reputation, more fans, and even more momentum. The Cribs are doing pretty damn good and the three brothers are grateful for their success.

I personally don'’t own either album, but I have purchased a few songs, and I hope to get my hands on their albums soon. Because the 8 songs I do have on my i tunes have been blaring through my speakers and headphones for about a month now. Also making the Cribs my band of the month, if you are a fan of my space.

But on an ending note, the Cribs are my favorite newest band. I really enjoy their great indie rock sound and I can'’t wait to get at least one of their albums, and I suggest you at the very least down load some of their stuff; you got to see what I am talking about.

Download: Hey Scenesters, You & I, and The Lights Went Out (a very Strokes-esque number)

Friday, November 11, 2005

My Morning Jacket - Z review

My Morning Jacket – Z – 2005
4 stars out of 5
Download – Wordless Chorus, It Beats 4 U, and Anytime

My Morning Jacket formed seven years ago in Kentucky, when Jim James decided to pursue his passion for music. Carrying a perfect contemporary, indie/ alternative sound, MMJ has been a band to watch for quite a while. I have heard a lot of ..Jacket’s songs, but this is the first album I have bothered to purchase, to see what all the fuss was about. Especially since European press will not let this band’s popularity die down (sound like another alternative-folk rock band to you? i.e. Kings of Leon) Many compare Mr. James too Neil Young himself; and the bands also get many comparisons with the Flaming Lips (another band I enjoy, and also a connection I immediately drew). My Morning Jacket has gone through many, many line-up changes, but all of which have circled around Jim James. Bassist Two-Tone Tommy has stuck through and through, and then most recently added members (after other members decided to retire the toll taking business) are Bo Koster (keyboards) and Carl Broemel (guitar) and close friend of James, Patrick Hallahan (drums).

My Morning Jacket’s fourth full-length album, Z, was released in early October of 2005. The fourth album is very, very well done. Calming and at the same time exhilarating when it gets to that certain point in every song where it just brings a smile on your face.

Opening up the album is one of the best track 1’s I have heard in a long time, since Smells Like Teen Spirit or Death Cab’s “New Year” opening up 2004’s Transatlanticism. The song is Wordless Chorus, and it is my favorite track on the record. The song starts off very low key with a dull ring of bass-synthesizers coming in. And then, that voice. The voice that could make Satan weep, keys in with slight cymbal crashing behind him. Then the wordless chorus comes in (it wasn’t just a clever song name) of all 5 members aaaaaah-ing and James later howling. It is an ingenious song, original in almost every aspect even though this song is very, very (in my opinion) Flaming Lips-esque. Immediately download this song if you don’t have (or intend on having) this record. My other choice tracks are; It Beats 4 U and Anytime.

Basically this whole album is wonderful though. Definitely worth a good listen if you like music. If you enjoy such bands as the Flaming Lips, Wilco, or the New Pornographers this band is definitely one to check out.

Thursday, November 10, 2005



Why you ask? Because it is the the greatest path to salvation. My heart lies with music. In the words of the deformed Dave Navaro accompanied Chili Peppers of '94; "Music is my aeroplane". It is all about the music. It being, of course, life. At least my life. This is why I truly want to be a musician. Yet, I lack musical talent so at the very least I hope to become an accomplished music journalist. Music is the blood that pumps through my veins. It is what I love, Its what I want, Its what I need.

I might sound a little crazy but come on, don't deny that you would go crazy if your car didn't have a radio so you could flip on some tunes, even just once in a while. Music really is the greatest thing in the world. It's there for you like no parent or boy/girlfriend, or sibling or friend could ever be. There are all different genres, for everyone. Rock, Country, Rap, Pop, R&B, Alternative, Funk, Acoustic, Indie. Whatever. There is a billion different genres, different bands, different artists. Old and new.

If you don't listen to music, that's basically a crime against nature and you need to go out and buy a CD player and the Beatles greatest hits or something.

But what I am saying is that music is one of the biggest parts of my life, and this blog is mostly going to revolve around that aspect of my life. With music reviews, bands of the day, week, month and year. Suggested songs to be downloaded (legally of course) and maybe some magazines or stores you should check out. Up coming concerts. Everything. Hopefully I will be a pretty good source for maybe some usefull (as well as use less) information. See ya soon.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm Brand New

My name is Adam Fitzgerald. I hope to use this blog to propel my career in journalism. What better way of getting the word out about myself then posting my writings online. I am a high school student (I want to start writing free lance) I write for my school newpaper (and yearbook). I'm tall with red hair, I am pretty cool and nice, I have friends, I play sports, and get good grades. I like people, i like giving advice and helping people (so if you have a question on anything just shoot) and hopefully I can lend my opinion to the world and they will make good use of it. I will also use this blog to write personal opinions (anything from a sweet new TV show to my view of the world as a teenager) and write music reviews. Leave me some comments, whether or not you think I right or whether I suck. Enjoy my blog.