Friday, February 16, 2007
I try not to miss the opening act of any concert I attend. Back in 2005, I saw U2 at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. Opening for them were "Kings Of Leon," a band that at the time was described as Lynyrd Skynyrd meets the Strokes. (Side note: Everything back in 2005 was compared to The Strokes.) I was already familiar with the band from their single "Molly's Chambers" and the accompanying car commercial it was featured in, but once I saw their live show, I was hooked. It smoked, and even as U2 fans were piling in to Staples, and the house lights were still up, the band played ferociously and demanded the audience to take notice.
Well claimers, after opening for such acts as Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, and the aforementioned U2, it's time to take notice again. The Kings Of Leon have released their first single entitled "On Call" from their upcoming release "Because Of The Times." The follow-up release to 2005’s Aha Shake Heartbreak, is not all that you would expect from the Nashville-based quartet. “I think people tend to expect a certain sound from us,” says Kings of Leon’s drummer Nathan Followill, “but on this record, we tried to throw them for a loop.”
The new album, their third major label release, finds the band exploring their musical talents; a feat often found in a group that has established a steady footing in the band's identity, the security of fan loyalty, and their record label's confidence. “We took the limitations off of ourselves,” says frontman/rhythm guitarist Caleb. “We went into the studio with an open mind, thinking let’s do whatever it takes to get these songs to the next level. Because we really have a lot of music inside of us and a lot of different places we can go.”
Such exploration can be found in the band's forst single off of the new album, "On Call." It's a track that features the already familiar "Kings Of Leon" slow burn to pounding beat, but builds upon that tactic by using vocal effects. See if you agree, for your consideration, you can listen to the track below.
"Because Of The Times" will be released stateside April 3rd. If you would like to hear other tracks from the band, visit The Kings Of Leon at myspace.
For Your Consideration:
Kings Of Leon - On Call Mp3
Kings Of Leon - Molly's Chambers (Live Austin City Limits Music Festival: 2003 Collection) Mp3
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Get ready for another British invasion. Only thing is though, this one ain't gonna be a musical invasion, it's gonna be a comedic one. In what could only be described as stunt casting of "Will And Grace" sized proportions, it looks like NBC's "The Office" is set to have members of the original UK cast appear as guest stars. Among those who could make cameos are "Pirates Of The Caribbean" star Mackenzie Crook who played Gareth (their version of Dwight), Martin Freeman (Tim, their Jim), and Lucy Davis who played Dawn (their Pam). American audiences might recognize Davis from her current role as comedy writer Lucy Kenwright on NBC's "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip."
Executive Producer Ben Silverman of the US version of the show has said that it will be a case of Slough meets Scranton, and that characters from both shows will finally get to meet. Unfortunately, the big cheese, office manager David Brent, played by series creator Ricky Gervais will not appear with his co-workers in that episode. There are plans however for the meeting of minds between Brent and Michael Scott played by Steve Carell in a later episode to be penned by Gervais himself, and I for one, can't wait.
So for now, enjoy the theme from the UK version of "The Office," a wonderful cover of "Handbags and Gladrags" performed by Stereophonics. It's a sad ditty, one that immediately set the tone for a show about the mundane lives of the working stiffs at a small paper company. Here's the video:
For Your Consideration:
Stereophonics - Handbags And Gladrags (Theme To The Office UK) Mp3
Stereophonics - Handbags And Gladrags Live Acoustic Version (Theme To The Office UK) Mp3
Later this year, around September, Revolution Studios will be releasing "Across The Universe," an original musical from director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus, and the Broadway smash hit musical "The Lion King") and writers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (The Commitments). The musical contains tons of Beatles music in it much like the recent "Cirque Du Soleil" production of "Love." Here's the trailer:
Also worth noting is that one of my favorite bands, "The Secret Machines" contributed music to the soundtrack. That's the good news, but I can't help but think this might be another Bee Gees "Sgt. Pepper's" rehash. My case in point? Here is a still of Bono looking quite familiar. Is it me or does he look exactly like Robin Williams in "Night At The Museum?" Uncanny.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Ok gang, it's time for another one of Totally Claimin's retro-posts. The Davy Jones/Brady Bunch posting was so popular that I figured it was time to return to the well. So, without further ado, it's Scooby Doo!
The original Hanna Barbera cartoon, "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" was broadcast on CBS from 1969 to 1976. Some people like me say that these were they glory years for Mystery Inc. But in those years since, Scooby has never left our collective conscious. The characters from this cartoon have been on television in some way or another to this very day, be it on the Laugh Olympics or the current Scooby-Doo series, "Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!" which airs Saturday mornings on The CW network. Repeats of the original series, as well as second-run episodes of "What's New, Scooby-Doo?", are broadcast frequently on Boomerang and the Cartoon Network.
"The plot of each Scooby-Doo episode followed a formula that would serve as a template for many of the later incarnations of the series. At the beginning of the episode, the Mystery, Inc. gang bump into some type of evil ghost or a monster, which they learn has been terrorizing the local populace. The teens offer to help solve the mystery behind the creature, but while looking for clues and suspects, the gang (and in particular Shaggy and Scooby) run into the monster, who always gives chase. However, after analyzing the clues they have found, the gang determines that this monster is simply a mere mortal in disguise. They capture the monster and have the criminal behind the mask or costume arrested. At this point, the criminal would utter the famous catchphrase, or a variation thereof: "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" Wikipedia
But to me, besides having a crush on Daphne (Wilma Flintstone wasn't my type), the cartoon was all about the groovy chase songs. When Shag and Scoob were being chased by those evil monsters, there was always some trippy song playing in the background. You don't know them by name, but you'll definitely know them by ear, trust me. My two favorite ones have got to be "Seven Days A Week" and "Love The World." They kinda have a Herman's Hermits thing goin for it, and whenever I hear them I have some sort of Pavlovian thing happening. I immediately want to eat a bowl of sugary cereal. You will too. For your listening pleasure at the end of this post, I have added a couple of those famous chase songs, Scooby's theme song, and bonus remix that can all be found on "Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection." Also included for ya is a great cover of the theme song performed by Matthew Sweet.
So, have you ever wondered how to make a Scooby Snack? Well, here is Shaggy's official recipe. Be sure to include the (Optional? Whatever!) 1 oz. of "finely ground herbal medicine," especially if you're planning to spend the night in an abandoned amusement park, a creepy mansion, or god forbid at Burning Man. (Click image for larger view.)
(For a larger view, click on the image)
For Your Consideration:
Hanna Barbera Music Studio - Scooby-Doo Where Are You! Mp3
Hanna Barbera Music Studio - Recipe For My Love Mp3
Hanna Barbera Music Studio - Seven Days a Week Mp3
Hanna Barbera Music Studio - Love The World Mp3
Hanna Barbera Music Studio - Scooby's Mystery Mix Mp3
Matthew Sweet - Scooby-Doo Where Are You? Mp3
Good news from the Black Crowes! Management for the band has confirmed that the Robinson brothers have been in the studio in New York and Los Angeles working on material for a new album. Pete Angelus, the band’s longtime manager, announced that the album is expected to be released sometime in 2007. It would mark The Black Crowes first album of new studio material in six years.
"From the inception of their reunion,” says Angelus, “Chris and Rich have written a substantial amount of material which they have been sorting through recently with friend and producer Paul Stacey. We expect to continue recording at the conclusion of the fall tour and are planning for a 2007 release."
To celebrate this news, here are some live Crowes mp3s... kinda. Taken from their Halloween show in 2006, as tradition, The Black Crowes open their show in costume as a cover band. Older shows had them perform as BC/DC, dressed as Angus Young and the gang performing AC/DC classics (pictured left). For their 2006 show, held at the Riveria Theater in Chicago, the Crowes came out as "The Bitch Boys" and performed a couple of Beach Boys tunes, climaxing with the classic late 80's "Cocktail" hit, "Kokomo!" Enjoy.
Here's the setlist:
2) Surfin' USA
3) Fun, Fun, Fun
4) You Are So Beautiful
For Your Consideration:
Monday, February 12, 2007
It literally took ten minutes into the show to make me recall how much I dislike the Grammys. Every year, it's the same old thing! It's almost as predictable as Dick Clark's American Music Awards. Actually, nothing is as bad as Dick's "Public Relations" award show, but it's getting damn close!
The Police opened the show with a smoking version of "Roxanne," and things were looking good. (In case you missed it, you can see the video below.) Then came the first award. Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder win for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals over the more worthy "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado & Timbaland, and the sinking feeling in my stomach of Grammy Awards shows past returned. So while Gnarls Barkley, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, and The Dixie Chicks were all winners, I won the award for "Best Traditional Upset Tummy." Wow, who could have possibly seen all of this coming? I did. See, I have a formula to predicting any winner for the Grammys. I swear to God, it works 90% of the time. Here is how it works: Look at the nominations, then find either the song or artist you are most sick of, or the song or artist that your parents most recognize. Odds are that the winner of the award will fit in at least one of those categories if not both.
Let's test this theory shall we? The actual winner of the category is in gold.
- Confessions On A Dance Floor
- A Lively Mind
Pet Shop Boys
- The Garden
Let's try another one, shall we?
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
(For established duos or groups, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
- My Humps
The Black Eyed Peas
Track from: Monkey Business
- I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Death Cab For Cutie
Track from: Plans
- Over My Head (Cable Car)
Track from: How To Save A Life
- Is It Any Wonder?
Track from: Under The Iron Sea
The Pussycat Dolls
Track from: PCD
NOTE TO THE ACADEMY: GIVING THE BLACK EYED PEAS AN AWARD ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM. PLEASE STOP BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT. SERIOUSLY, DO I HAVE TO REMIND YOU OF THEIR EMMY PERFORMANCE FIASCO?
HOW ABOUT MORE OF THIS INSTEAD? IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, THE POLICE LIVE AT THE GRAMMYS!
For your consideration, so you know what we're talking about, here are some Grammy Winning Mp3's. I've divided them up for you in two parts.
Part One Contains:
Bob Dylan - Someday Baby
Carrie Underwood - Jesus, Take The Wheel
The Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California
The Flaming Lips - The Wizard Turns On...
Wolfmother - Woman
Part 2 Contains:
Beyonce ft. Slim Thug - Check On It
Black Eyed Peas - My Humps
Chamillionaire Ft. Krayzie Bon - Ridin'
Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man
Justin Timberlake - SexyBack ft Timbaland
Mary J Blige - Be Without You
T.I. - What You Know
So there you have it, a full Totally Claimin Grammy wrap up. You can review a full list of the nominees and winners here Use my formula, see if I'm right. Disagree? Leave me a claim!
For Your Consideration:
2007 Grammy Award Winners Part 1 Mp3s
2007 Grammy Award Winners Part 2 Mp3s
If I told you that there was an original soundtrack of electronic music made where the tempo of the track begins at a slower pace to take you through a gradual warm up, then increases that pace over the course of the album, and then gradually decreases tempo as part of a cool down, what would you use it for? The dance floor or bedroom activities?
How about some exercise of a different, more literal kind? Running. Billed as a "45-minute continuous electronic music mix as a soundtrack for sport," one of my all time favorite electronic music acts, the Crystal Method's "Drive: Nike + Original Run" is an original soundtrack that can be used for just about anything you can think of, including those activities mentioned above.
"It's a challenge because usually when we create music, we're focused on what we like and what our fans will like. We're not accustomed to thinking about a particular activity that has to go with the music." Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland said. "For this project, we thought about the movement and the energy that goes into exercising and running and the sort of goal-oriented activity that goes along with working out. When I've worked out...it's always about goals: 'I'm doing the uphill now, I've got four minutes until I get to the goal.' So we created songs that have a lot of dynamic motion to them, songs that go places." And while listening to this 45 minute continuous jam, oh those places you will go.
As for the group itself, all is quiet on the new release front, but you can currently catch The Crystal Method on tour and on the radio every Friday night as they host their own show called "Community Service" on LA's own Indie 103.1. The show is dedicated to "delivering the freshest breaks, beats, and electronic music to the masses." Be sure to check it out.
For Your Consideration:
The Crystal Method - Drive + Nike Original Run (Full 45 Minute Version) Mp3
The Crystal Methed - Drive + Nike Original Run (3 Minute Sampler) Mp3