Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Night They Saved Christmas

They don't make TV movies like this anymore, yet the message of environmentalism is as fresh as Al Gore's green necktie. Follow your typical nuclear family circa 1983 of fed up, pilot license possessing mom (Jaclyn Smith) and stereotypical children (the bully, the brain and the girl) as they are pitted against geologist Dad who is totally going to blow up the North Pole if he continues with his oil drilling! Santa sends his head elf Ed (played by tiny freaking genius PAUL WILLIAMS) to win mom and kids over with a harrowing trip to the North Pole. Of course nobody believes them, and the theory of them being dosed with mind altering drugs is postulated several times by dad's
grumpy boss. This will rise like froth on eggnog to the top of your
Christmas movie viewing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Top Ten of the Last Ten Years Part One!


I was not working at Laurie's Planet of Sound in 1997. I had just turned 21 and was still stuck in Jacksonville, FL. With the gift of hindsight, I present to you:

Sam O'Rama's Top Ten Albums of 1997!

10. Flaming Lips - Zaireeka

In an awesome exhibition of the excesses of the uber-crummy mid 90's I give you an album you have to listen to 4 cds at once to experience it correctly, and whilst I own it, I have never listened to it in its intended form. Hooray, 1997!! Good start!

9. Smoking Popes - Destination Failure

I would be fired for not including this one. Last studio album, yet 10 years later we are hoping for a new one! Come on Caterers!!

8. Matthew Sweet - Blue Sky On Mars

Probably his worst, which gracefully exhibits what a crummy year this was. Aw, hell, still better than a lot of crap happening then. Matthew makes an amazing pop song under TWO MINUTES!

7. Jayhawks - Sound of Lies

First post Olson offering, hell yeah! One of the best albums you can sometimes pick up for like $2.99 in a cutout bin. We know better, if we have it used it's a mere $6.99, and a damn steal!

6. Ween - The Mollusk

Spend some time with this one, I once poo-pooed these fuckers, but now I'm in awe.

5. Stereolab - Dots and Loops

I cannot recommend this enough, especially in the Drag City-made vinyl version. The music is incredible enough on its own, but once you pull out the white and aqua vinyl from the lime and aqua sleeves you are just consumed by this entire entity. Beautiful all around.

4. Will Oldham - Joya

His first non-Palace album, and a really incredible entity. Nothing by this guy sucks. I was put off for so many years because of his reluctance to pick a moniker, now I could care less what he calls himself, so long as he keeps doing what he has to do.

3. Pavement - Brighten the Corners

Not the most popular from the beloved Alt-rock posterboys of the days of Alternative Nation, but the most rewarding if you give it a 16th chance. So very rewarding. Everybody wants one, everybody needs one, oh my god. oh your god....

2. Sloan - One Chord To Another

Wake Up America! Go out and buy every single Sloan record!! This one holds a special place in my heart as the first one I ever purchased (not until 1999, mind you) and dang, no, it's just that good, please buy it!!!

1. Radiohead - OK Computer

Well duh. Also purchased 2 years after release. What was I doing in 1997? Oh yeah, listening to crummy "ska" music. Seriously, this will be the one you play for your rugrats 10 years from now. They will HATE it, but maybe when they turn like 17, they will embrace it in a fit of rebellion.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Baby Teeth The Simp

You know an album is good when you can invision a montage to a few of the songs. Anyone can write an anthem, but a good montage song is hard to come by. This is music for a summer camp underdog story, the geeks vs. the jocks, the stoners vs. the matheletes... Did I mention the disco strings? It's perfectly paced too, with a good cool-down period right in the middle, just when you think you might explode from all the joggin' in place. Oh! They are playing Schubas on Saturday July 28. I highly recommend the live show, but come in and buy the CD first!

Friday, April 13, 2007

This DVD Will Change Your Life, I Promise You.

The premise of Tom Goes To The Mayor is easily summed up in that title: Every episode, Tom Peters, Jefferton's resident entrepreuer goes to see the Mayor of the town with an idea for improving life in Jefferton, an abysmal burg of strip malls and chain restaurants.

The animation style is unlike anything you have seen before: photos of the actors are taken and treated with a photoshop filter, the background are drawn, and the food is photorealistic. Some things are completely live action though, like Jefferton's Married News Team. Oh and like every episode has some special guest: Tenacious D, David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Brian Poesehn, Zack Galiafinakis, John C. Riley... It's a surreal absurdist comedic entity of geniosity that may never be matched again. The complete Adult Swim-run series is on 3 DVDs, and every episode has commentary and tons of bonus stuff. I cannot recommend this more highly if you are in to "indie" comedy. It's that amazing.

P.S. - The creative team behind Tom has a show currently on Adult Swim - Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job that is also very very good.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why Keith Richards is a legend.

"I snorted my father."

Also, on the state of modern music:
"Everyone's a load of crap," he said. "They are trying to be somebody else and they ain't being themselves. Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party? Load of crap, load of crap. Posers, rubbish."

edit: now he's changing his tune. boooo.

Friday, February 23, 2007

VH 1 Classic's Top 20 of the 80s.

So far 2 videos in a row have featured a band member wearing the t-shirt of their own dang band. I always thought it was bad enough when fans wear the t-shirt of the band they are seeing, but can you imagine like the guy from the Shins wearing a Shins t-shirt? Maybe that would be some cosmical ironic paradox and the world would implode and we'd live out existence in the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams" video instead. When that video came out, I was 5 years old I think and I drew a picture of the Eurythmics and a cow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I'm pressing stop now...

Fishbone doing a song based on "It's a Wonderful Life".
Crowded House! So far Neil Finn is the only person who can actually sing. They did "Don't Dream it's Over" and played a smidge of "World Where You Live" actually live, and now "Now We're Getting Somewhere". They are making it obvious that they are not actually playing, with over the top solos and windmills.
Bon Jovi are being piped in via satellite. They are all live, but Jon cannot sing for a damn. Whoa oh, living on a prayer. They are also a very sparkly bunch of guys. OOH! Pyrotechnics!@!
Wow, I think most everyone involved in this show was on something. Especially MTV personality Kevin Seal.
The Bangles are REALLY badly fake playing "Walk Like an Egyptian" but obviously are really really singing, as it's NOT GOOD. Oh, and there are midgets in the crowd doing the dance.
An MTV promo just aired about how people want to see less heavy metal, so they are putting it on mostly on Headbangers Ball. Currently the MTV logo is in the corner of the screen while old time movies of things blowing up. Glenn Fry is talking to a VJ from MTV Australia, and now he is introducing Cyndi Lauper who is wearing an awesome dress she might fall out of. She is presenting the "Experimental Video" award, and i think she just made a Captain Lou joke. Peter Gabriel beat out Huey Lewis's "Hip To Be Square". Tina Turner is presenting best male video via satellite from Chicago, I think she may have had a few bumps.
oh no Bryan is doing a second song, which I recognize. The power ballard "Victim of Love". It is getting more and more difficult to not fast forward, but I am determined to stick this out. He may be lip synching.
Oh lord. Bryan Adams is singing and not playing a song I have never even heard. It's the most non hit song of his I have ever heard.
Peter Gabriel is receiving the "video vanguard" award. I wonder where he keeps that statue?

Monday, January 29, 2007

The "pre show" was hosted by Penn and Teller. The opening performance was Los Lobos singing but not really playing "La Bamba". Julie Brown just introduced a Michael Jackson-dressed Howie Mandell who is now doing miserable stand up and giving the award for best new artist. Crowded House managed to beat Timbuk 3 and Bruce Hornsby and the Range!!

I will now provide a play by play of the 1987 MTV awards

Remember when MTV used to show music videos? Those were good times. I found a VHS tape marked "1987 MTV Awards" and will now provide you a written commentary. I had to fast forward through a first run airing of Cheers and Night Court. It then came on at the very end of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" followed by U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" which was marked "exclusive". Mark Goodman told me to stay tuned for an airing of Michael Jackson's "Bad"... all 16 minutes which was proceeded by an ad full of 1-900 phone numbers to vote for the viewers choice. Oh good, the song just started. Sha-mon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thank You Indie Record Companies...

that give out a download code when you buy an album on the vinyls. Companies that come to mind are Matador, Touch and Go/Quarterstick, Polyvinyl, Saddle Creek, Merge (did I miss any?). Sub Pop, Drag City, Yep Roc, Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguar: You need to get on board! I imagine there's some kid out there who is going to have this amazing collection of indie rock records of the 2000's and has never actually played the vinyl, just the downloads, like some archaic 12x12 calling card from another dimension from Robert Pollard.

Monday, January 01, 2007

This is It! The Top 5!

5. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
This is the best album to come home really fucking drunk to and listen to and scream along with made by a child actress this year. No, I am certain of it. Dolly Parton for the 00's.

4. Decemberists - Crane Wife
Remember how disappointed I was with Picaresque? Rebound! They took everything I loved from the first two albums and EPs, added a little ELP and hooray! Prog rock with a lot of syllables. Done right.

3. Calexico - Garden Ruin
Calexico confused people with this album. There's something going on with it though that people just don't want to pay enough attention to, which is a shame, because it's really rewarding, or something.

2. Califone - Roots and Crowns
I never disliked anything they did, but the last two just never seemed as immediate and warm as Roomsound. They nailed it here though, with a respectful nod to what made them so amazing there and an astonishing display of Califoney of here and now.

1. Scott Walker - The Drift
Nothing could really touch this album this year, because they were all scared the fuck away. I do not recommend this album unless you have an overextended sense of well being. It's tough, bleak, frightening. It's 2006 and it's over!

I'm Gonna Keep Going!

10. Magnolia Electric Company - Fading Trails AND Jason Molina - Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go
Gods, I almost don't want to talk about this. It is hard to love a man like Jason Molina. He's one of those bands that's a dude, a dude that's a band, and it just never makes sense. He has made many great albums, one perfect album, and then in one year give us 2 pretty good albums that you know are just covering up one really fucking awesome album and they are theoretically from 2 different entities. I think he's afraid to give us the best possible album he can, which he has probably already made, because it would wipe out humanity.

9. Detholz! - Cast Out Devils
This album would have made the top 10 even if they hadn't played in the Hotel SnS basement this year. HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT IS REALLY AWESOME!!! I wish these guys were playing at Allstate Arena with Weezer and some pyrotechnic bullshit. For Reals... FREAK OUT! FREAK OUT! FREAK OUT! I think they are the earliest rock band I saw this year too, at 9am ish. Which makes #9 even more appropriate.

8. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
If You're Feeling Sinister is one of the most perfect albums that ever happened, so it's pretty hard to live up to that. After a lot of Eh albums and Way fucking great singles they finally put it all together to deliver this one, a perfect balance of hit singles, deep album cuts, and a gatefold for the stems and seeds.

7. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
I used to hate this motherfucker on principle. Something happened recentlyish though and now I swoon when I see his hairyness and or hear the voice. It gets mucho bonus points for being DC 420 when the Drag City matrix is actually in the 300s.

6. Howe Gelb - 'Sno Angel Like You
Here's a dude who has made a lot of records under a good handful of names and will sometimes do the same song a bunch of times but he always manages to make it worthwhile. (OMG, one time I saw Howe Gelb and Jason Molina on the same stage!) So yeah, Canada, choir, old songs, new songs.

Intoxicated Next 5!

15. Joanna Newsom - Ys
This could have been #1. I never got my hands on a physical copy of the vinyl though, so I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked with it. It is a really beautiful amazing singular record, but it really requires a commitment, and I never got to give it what it deserves.

14. Centro-matic - Fort Recovery
I love Centro-matic. Another band that can phone in a record and still score pretty high in my book. I'm not saying this one is phoned in though. There are some bands you want to keep doing the same thing though, and they are one.

13. M. Ward - Post War
Another case of good, but just not as good as the last one in my book. He's got one magic trick, and that's it?

12. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
A completely underrated album. I listen to this thing way more than the last actual Wilco album. I stand by the statement I made when I heard it the first time: awesome like (EARLY) Steve Miller. There is nothing wrong with being awesome like Steve Miller.

11. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
This is the type of hypey thing I usually avoid, but it's difficult to avoid really well done beautiful music. Let the "Hype" debate begin!