I think it’s time we took a serious look at Pennywise, a band that probably straddles the line between pop-punk and actual punk as any band in history and who gets praised and derided almost equally for straddling that line. Back in 1989 when they released their two EP’s back-to-back I was not listening to them, I was barely breaking into the punk rock scene thanks to my Dad’s copies of The Ramones and The Clash but I was starting to see the allure of listening to faster paced, hook driven music with lyrics that truly spoke to me as a pretty awkward adolescent. By the time the two EP’s were paired together and released as one in 1992 I was starting to really fall for the punk style of music and then Green Day struck and I was hooked.
As far as album sequels go we don’t have too large a list to go compare Okkervil River’s The Stand Ins to. This is the musical follow-up to last year’s brilliant The Stage Names an album that was beautifully written by Will Sheff about the world of fame and celebrity and all it’s potential pratfalls big and small. The Stand Ins continues along those lines with songs covering everything from the emptiness of a life spent standing on stage to the view of those performers from the cheap seats. It’s an honest and revealing look at celebrity but it’s also aided by Sheff’s amazing ability to turn a phrase and his band’s ability to back it all with sounds that fit.
So earlierwe got the leak of the first of the two EP’s coming from Final Fantasy. That one featured the members of Beirut and was a big orchestral album. Now to end the week we have the leak of the other EP, Plays to Please! This one is a little bit different from the first, at times it can be almost show tune like and is certainly very cinematic in it’s scope. Of course all the tunes on this second EP are in fact covers of Alex Lukashevsky’s with a full 35-piece orchestra, so suffice it to say this is pretty expansive too. I haven’t had too much time with this second EP so I hope you’ll pardon my brevity on the subject.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t the greatest video in the history of the world, but listen to the freakin’ music that goes with it! This is some crazy, hard hitting, insane shit, and it is the music of a trio of teenaged dudes that obviously just wanna rock!
Brooklyn’s Motel Motel isn’t quite what you’d expect from a resident New York band. Where most bands here come up with some sort of shtick or a sound that they believe to be new, Motel Motel instead toils in the realm of indie rock, perfecting their craft, and using superb songwriting to drill the point home. They are not flashy or showboats and they certainly don’t use shtick, they just allow their music to make the point that they are here to rock.
When YouTube was launched early February 14th, 2005, most musicians feared that it has come to seal the fate of piracy. But to the teenage and adult music lovers, this was the best thing that had happen to them. It also made it possible for the young and upcoming musicians, to market their talents and gain audience without too much hustle.