Who buys CDs anymore?

Seriously. I know only a few friends of mine who still actually spend hard earned coin on CDs. I do. Even when there is only like $13.83 left in my bank account… I’ll probably spend that on a CD. That’s just how I roll.

There is something about a CD, or even a record, that gets me a little wet. The cover art, the smell, the photos, the lyrics printed, even the shiny disc. I like that shit. That magic doesn’t come from iTunes or downloading music for free.

Plus, I really like albums as a whole. I don’t just want to hear some shitty single on the radio. I want that and more. You can’t say you’ve heard a song until you’ve heard it in the context of the album. Artists write/make music with that in mind. A song is only a piece of the puzzle.

I asked my students one time what their favorite album was. They had no idea what I was talking about. Anyway, here is a list of the past 5 CDs I purchased lately, in no order at all:

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

Everything the YYYs did right with their last whole album (Show Your Bones) and EP (Is Is) has been wiped free from the slate. This new release is poppier, dancier, and less care free. The result doesn’t make a better listening experience, as I’ve given it two whole listens by now and I can’t say I am going back anytime soon.

2. Dan Auerbach Keep it Hid

The lead singer of The Black Keys does the world a solid by releasing his first solo album that is just about as good as any album the Keys kicked out. It’s a lot more bluesy than most but that’s what makes it so special. This is definitely a good bar album (to rock with brews).

3. Weezer The Red Album

Despite the fact that this band has been dead to me since they reformed in 2000, I can’t help myself from buying their albums every time they spit one out. After their last monstrosity (the Rick Rubin produced Make Believe), I wanted no part of them. But this album was a bit of a surprise. I think I may be alone when I say this but it is definitely their best release since the immortal Pinkerton. And the sad thing is, I actually spoke a lot of shit about this record upon its release. How the tides has turn.

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Jessica’s Owl (4/2009)

4. Jessica Lea Mayfield With Blasphemy So Heartfelt

Probably the most girly album I own, aside from some Norah Jones albums, but one you should seek for those not-so-happy days. I heard her on the last Black Keys record and it was enough to hunt this down. It was definitely worth it.

5. The WalkmenYou and Me

Not quite as effective as their last effort but still a decent enough one to merit a listen or to. This time the boys have calmed down a bit and worked a bit on their Bob Dylan impression. That doesn’t make it sucks.

**

Now if only Eminem’s new album would hurry up and get here. That would probably give me something to talk about, especially considering his last album wasn’t a very funny joke. I also need a new Clutch album…

Dear Weezer,

There was a time in my life when I was proud to say I was a fan of yours. Even with our rocky start, which I’ll explain in a few moments, your music flowed around the walls of my bedroom more often than not.

And it’s kind of odd too. When your first album (now dubbed The Blue Album) came out, I was going through this odd phase of music. Punk in Drublic came out that same year too, and since it was so different than most of the shit any 13 year-old kid had access to, I didn’t give a shit about that Happy Days song.

Then some kid on my bus told me I had to go home and listen to it. “Okay dude,” I said with an open mind. So I listened to it. Surprisingly, it rocked my balls. Especially that song about the garage. I even sent you guys a SASE, like the liner notes suggested, and received your photocopied lyric sheet 6-8 weeks later. I was that inspired.

Pinkerton was released a few years later, when I was in high school. The day it came out, I didn’t have wheels yet of my own, so I called this pink-haired chick I knew. She had a car. She came over and I was like, “Can you run me up to the store?” She replied, “What for?” When I told her I wanted to get the new Weezer album, she was a little less than enthused. She obliged anyway.

They only had it on cassette in this store I went to. “Whatever,” I thought. She didn’t want to listen to it on the way back to my house though. Instead, she played some Soul Coughing. Regardless, I gave it a good listen to when I got home and loved the less poppy/more lyrically inspired approach the group took. The press wasn’t so optimistic though, and Rolling Stone named it one of the worst albums of the year. Add that to the fact that no one actually bought the album, and you got yourself more than enough reasons for Weezer to call it quits. I was sad for the first year or two, until I forgot about it.

In 2001, there were rumblings about that the Weez would be back in full force (minus one of the pivotal members). I was somewhat curious but never gave it much thought until an album release date was posted. A few weeks before the album came out, I heard this awful song on the radio. The song was called “Hash Pipe” and I heard it more often than not. I was quite curious to find out what shitty new-school poppy alternative band sung this song. It sounded like the Local H of 2001.

I went to a midnight release party for the record and picked it up. On the way home, I popped the disc in my CD player and prepared myself for the good. Ultimately, the first 2 songs sounded exactly the same and in short, they were lame. It’s after the second song ended, when it happened.

“What’s this?” I asked. It was fucking “Hash Pipe”. “Unholy Lord,” I thought, “how can this voice-piercing shit be Weezer? Say it ain’t so!” But it was. This song was indeed Weezer – but not good Weezer. This was new Weezer. The rest of the album was just as disappointing and similar. In fact, to this day, I’ve only given that album 4 listens before ultimately retiring it to the bowels of my CD collection. I felt defeated.

Maladroit came out the following year and while it was a large improvement over the wretched Green Album, it still couldn’t hold a piece of deuce to Blue or Pinkerton. I listened to that album about 8 times before retiring it. It was about this time that I called it almost quits with the group.

I wouldn’t end up retiring the band from my mind and memories until 2005. They made an “album” (if that’s what you call it) called Make Believe. I was actually somewhat pumped to hear it, as Rick Rubin’s name was attached. Unfortunately for us, Make Believe was a giant piece of shit. Ever see that 2girls1cup video? That substance in the cup that these ladies were chewing on/painting with, was the new Weezer album. It was that stinky, wretched and awful. It would be the first Weezer album I wouldn’t purchase. They were dead to me.

Now, in 2008, it appears they have a new album coming out next month. I’ve heard about 3 or 4 tracks off it and all I can say is that if you thought Make Believe was awful, these tracks prove that Weezer have sunk to a new low. The Weezer we 90s kids grew up loving have long since been murdered.

What happened to you guys? You guys were so good. Did the Pinkerton fiasco really hurt you guys this much? How is it possible for a band to suck this much? You’re like the new Limp Bizkit but without the metal. So I have a proposition for you…

Your new album is called The Red Album, right (I guess your talents can easily be compared to your lack of album naming skills)? How about this. If I get everyone I know to buy a copy of it, will you then take that money and stop making albums? I am asking you to break up, forever. Would you be interested in that? If you keep going the way you are, everything you’ve accomplished in your early years will have been for nothing, like M. Night Shyamalan.

That is all I ask of you. Me, one of your ex-biggest fans, asking a simple request from one of his ex-favorite bands, like a dying cancer kid getting one last wish. Will you please just do this one thing for me? The songs on the radio suck enough without your awful imput.

Stop it… no, you stop it! (5/2008)

Take care of yourselves.

Regards,

Mike Bronson

Amy Winehouse has some crazy teeth…

I keep seeing these pictures of Amy Winehouse all over the place. With each new picture I see, there is an unpleasant feeling the lower region of my body. What is wrong with this chick? Why does she look like a raccoon? Why does she have less teeth than a group of semen on your little brother’s bedroom floor? My mind simply refuses to believe that any living human being has had any exciting feelings towards this girl as she lowers her clothes. She is indeed a hideous creature.

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All Out of Heroin: The Amy Winehouse Story (11/2007)

Serj Tankian’s “Elect the Dead”

“Who the Hell is Serj Tankian dude?”

Tankian is one of the crazy members of System of a Down. Back in 1998, when their first album dropped, I was at a friend’s house. He played this song for me, “Suite Pee” (the first track on the record), and I was mesmerized by the absolute frantic nature of it. I wasn’t a big metal fan anymore but this was way passed it – each song had enough musical changes in it to make it sound like 4 songs in 1. And the changes happened so fast, without skipping a beat. And Tankian’s vocal skills were insane to me. He can go from a deep growl, to a middle Eastern chant, to a piercing scream, all within a few seconds of each other, without skipping a beat.

I left his house that day, in my 1984 Dodge Charger that I owned at the time, and headed to the store. I think that album was in my CD player for the next 8 months or so. I was hooked to it like a priest to a little boy.

Then Toxicity (produced by Rick Rubin – who actually produced all their albums) came out a few years later (2001). “Chop Suey” was the radio cut and I remember the first time I heard it play. It was months before the album came out. I was driving around in my 1995 Dodge Avenger (I used love Dodge vehicles for some reason but that is a story for another entry). I was with a friend and she was in the middle of telling me this story, when I faintly heard what I thought to be Tankian’s voice. My brain said to me, “Could that be a new System song?”

The asshole in me told my friend to stop talking. I adjusted the volume and listened to the rest of the song. It was indeed System and they once again had me. I didn’t have a CD player in the Avenger but when Toxicity came out, I actually purchased one just so I could listen to it. I guess you could say they are my Beatles. To that statement right there, I am sure some of my friends (who are devoted Beatles fans) are going to make fun of me and think I am crazy. Whatever. Regardless, that record remained in my CD player for the next 8 months.

Now, in 2007, System of a Down are on a little hiatus. Truth is, from the mood their interviews give off, it may be that we might not hear another System record for quite some time, if at all. That saddens me to no end. Musically, their chaotic style is so addictive, only topped by their lyrical talents. No subject goes un-tackled.

Then I heard word that Tankian would be putting out a solo record. It finally came out a week or two ago, and you can bet your mother’s milk that I purchased it the day it came out. Part of me was expecting just another System-esque album, just without the rest of them. Another part of me was expecting the traditional acoustic album many singers tend to strive for with their solo projects.

Then I saw the Rolling Stone review. They gave the album 2.5/5 stars, which isn’t too good but they also gave the new Kanye West album 4.5, so what do they know about good shit?

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Serj Tankian and the Ammunition (11/2007)

It took a few go-rounds in the old CD player (this time in a different ride) for me to decide what I thought about it. Was it the piece of shit Rolling Stone described? Well, comparing it to the shitty albums they do give good reviews to, it’s far from. Is it a masterpiece? Not by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s in the middle ground – it’s good. Nothing more, nothing less. Two songs on the album make the purchase absolutely worth it though… “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” and “Elect the Dead”

Top 15 Song Titles of Charles Bronson

“No dude, Charles Bronson can’t have song titles. He’s an actor.”

Charles Bronson wasn’t only an actor. That name was also used to name one of grindcore’s most lovable groups. Charles Bronson was infamous for their awesome song titles, short song durations, and their incredible dedication to one of cinema’s most iconic actors.

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This Jump-kicking Squirrel and the Wave of Vengeance (10/2007)

Their stuff is a little hard to find but not impossible. “Youth Attack” is the name of their most well-known recording but each song on this list can be found on a massive collection disc called “Complete Discocrappy.” You can find it on Amazon. The most notable thing about this collection is that the first disc contains 99+ songs. Insane in the membrane.

15. “The Only Time I Think of Romance is When I Wonder Why I Don’t Think About It”

14. “As Fucked as Gator

13. “I Can Never Write Too Many Songs About Morons Like You”

12. “Fuck Technology, I’ll Keep My Pocket Change”

11. “Average Run of the Mill Straight Edge Song”

10. “(Fuck Being) Positive”

9. “Marriage Can Suck It”

8. “Bible Thumpers Go to Hell”

7. “Obligatory Jock Slaughter Song”

6. “Phil Anselmo’s Pain Burns in the Heart of My Little Brother”

5. “Couldn’t Fuckin’ Care Less”

4. “Let’s Start a Revolution So I can Break Some Shit”

3. “Let’s Start Another War So I can Sing a Song About Stopping It”

2. “So What if I Puked Up McDonalds?”

1. “They Should Legalize Drugs So You Can Hurry Up and Die”

David Benioff to tackle Cobain

Cinematical reported yesterday that screenwriter David Benioff is going to pen up a story about everyone’s favorite shotgun victim, Kurt Cobain. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Nirvana when he was alive and they were still making music. Now, every time I hear them on the radio, I change the channel. I guess you could say I am a bit Nirvana’d out.

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With that said though, Benioff has a penned one of Spike Lee’s best films, The 25th Hour. It was one of the first real Hollywood films to focus on a group of characters living in post-9/11 New York City. Some of the clean up footage during the film is truly harrowing.

But then Benioff wrote that Wolfgang Peterson monstrosity called Troy. Man, did that movie hurt my anus. What will this Kurt Cobain adventure bring us? Even better, who cares anymore? Guy wrote sangs, made money, fucked Courtney Love, did heroin, shot himself. Not too much of a character to tackle.

More Titles of Doom – The Songs of Cannibal Corpse

I think this is going to be a new favorite subject of mine – crazy song titles. Yesterday’s entry about Anal Cunt really got me thinking, “What other band has awesomely awesome song titles?” Then I remembered a little band called Cannibal Corpse. They ran the death metal scene in the early-to-mid 90s. Why do I know that? I am not too sure. Actually, anyone who has seen Tom Shadyac’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective knows them too; the film featured them performing their immortal tune entitled “Hammer Smashed Face.”

In an ironic twist of fate, A.C. lead singer Seth Putnam and Corpse’s ex-singer Chris Barnes are involved in a little feud. Putnam even wrote a song about him for Anal Cunt called “Chris Barnes is a Pussy.” They are like the Jay Z and Nas or Biggie and Tupac of Metal.

Amazon has been a big help too. If it weren’t for their amazing catalog, I’d be rummaging their collection at Best Buy and that would take forever. So big props to them. And as with Anal Cunt, it’s really hard to narrow down their selection of great song titles to just 10, so I decided to give these masters of violence 15 chances to rock your mind. Grab your barf bags.

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No Flowers Today (10/2007)

Here are my picks for the 15 Best Cannibal Corpse Songs:

15. “Edible Autopsy” from the album Eaten Back to Life

14. “I Cum Blood” from the album Tomb of the Mutilated

13. “Dismembered and Molested” from the album Gallery of Suicide

12. “Compelled to Lacerate” from the album Gore Obsessed

11. “A Skull Full of Maggots” from the album Eaten Back to Life

10. “Rotted Body Landslide” from the album The Wretched Spawn

9. “Force Fed Broken Glass” from the album The Bleeding

8. “Hacksaw Decapitation” from the album Bloodthirst

7. “Orgasm Through Torture” from the album Vile

6. “Post Mortal Ejaculation” from the album Tomb of the Mutilated

5. “Necropedophile” from the album Tomb of the Mutilated

4. “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt” from the album Tomb of the Mutilated

3. “Mummified in Barbed Wire” from the album Vile

2. “Fucked with a Knife” from the album The Bleeding

1. “Meat Hook Sodomy” from the album Butchered at Birth

Again, I highly encourage you to look through their catalog. Their song titles (and album cover art) should not be missed by anyone.