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Archive for the ‘The Muffs’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: BEST COAST-Live at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC (2010).

Best Coast made Carrie Brownstein’s best album of the year accolades, but when I listened to the track she selected for the post, I wasn’t all that impressed.

But I have to say that live, Best Coast blew me away.  Bethany Cosentino, the lead singer and guitarist has an amazing stage presence.  She is charming and funny and very silly (and I guess she loves cats).  The band sounded tight and impressive and even though the songs are kind of dopey bubblegum pop, they are drenched in enough noise and rock to make them really wonderful

They seem like they should have come around during the 90s, when all those rocking female bands were all over the map.  And so this is like a wonderful blast from the past.  Best Coast is sort of like The Muffs (except they write love songs) and other bands that play really catchy pop but bury it under a layer of fuzz and rock.  This is a great set available on NPR, and will definitely get me to check out their album a little more.

[READ: March 28, 2011] “Seven Love Letters”

Six of the seven letters here were later collected in the book Four Letter Word which I reviewed in September 2009.  When I reviewed the book, I didn’t give very much in the way of detail, I just summarized the letters.  I’m going to copy what I wrote then (since my thoughts didn’t change all that much), and I’m going to include a few more lines about some of the pieces (original stuff is in italics).  I’m also including titles which (for some reason) were not given in the book.

I’m also not sure why Sheila Heti’s story did not appear in the book.  (It’s only 4 paragraphs and is, indeed, a letter so why not include it?)  If you enjoyed the book, think of this story as a Bonus Feature. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: BE YOUR OWN PET-Get Awkward (2008).

Be Your Own Pet are a bunch of young kids from Nashville.  Get Awkward is their second album.  According to the liner notes, two of them were born in 1988 and one of them in 1990.  1990!  They play three-chord punk music which focuses primarily on having fun and partying.  I like to think that Black Flag’s “TV Party” might be an influence, but really they sound more like The Muffs than anyone else.   Jemima Pearl is one of those surprisingly cute punk singers who explode in a gruff gravelly voice (although never TOO rough or gravely) which makes all the proceedings quite fun.

The songs are short (only 2 songs are over 3 minutes), fast, and generally fun.  Song titles like “Food Fight,” “Zombie Graveyard Party!” “Bitches Leave” and “Bummer Time” should give you some sense of what the songs are about.  I’m led to believe their first album was a bit more aggressive (enough to get Thurston Moore to sign them to his Ecstatic Peace record label).  But this one keeps pretty well to the three chords (and occasional guitar riff) and fun shouting and singing.

It seems like every few years there’s a new young punk band who takes up the mantle of punk rock and BYOP were the most recent (although their web site says the just broke up).  And it’s cool for young kids to have a new young band to look up to.  Much like the theme of the book below, if you’re over 25 you ‘ll probably just think that this band is ripping off [insert your favorite brash young punk band here] but really who wants to listen to 40 year olds singing about parties and whatnot.  So, if you’re looking for a new young band, then, check them out.  There’s not too much new about them, but then, that’s not the point, is it.

And according to Wikipedia, three tracks were removed because they were deemed too violent (!).  Maybe the album is well suited to this book after all.

[READ: September 16, 2008] Little Brother

I have to get this out of the way:  READ THIS BOOK!  It is fantastic and it will motivate you like nothing I’ve read.  READ IT READ IT READ IT.

Okay, I feel a little better.

I read an interview with Cory Doctorow in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association.  It was a short interview about this book, and he said such great things in a few paragraphs, that I immediately went to work and checked out the book.   And, wow, what a fantastic book.

This may be the kiss of death for any young reader, but Little Brother is an important book.  And everyone should read it.  And yes, I know it is fiction, but fiction can be a very powerful tool for waking people up to injustice.  Upton SInclair’s The Jungle was instrumental in the creation of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which established the Food and Drug Administration.  Not bad for a work of fiction, eh? (more…)

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