Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Jason Collett


Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett will be releasing his third solo disc, "Here's to Being Here" on Feb. 5, 2008. The follow up to his excellent "Idols of Exile" will include a guest spot from Andrew Whiteman of Apostle of Hustle and features his touring band, Paso Mino.
Jason Collett - Out of Time
Jason Collett - Charlyn, Angel of Kensington

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Review: The Pageant

So last night I got to experience The Pageant for the first time. I was there to see Regina Specktor, who was amazing, and now I want to give my thoughts on the place.

First off, the way they deal with minors there is horrible. I had to pay $2 just because I was under-21. That's just a stupid idea in general. Does the Pageant have to pay for each minor in attendance? I highly doubt it. It seems to me they just want to make some more money off of the people who won't be buying drinks. And while the design of the place is kind of cool, pit by the stage, raised seating areas on the side, bar at the back centered to the stage, and a balcony on top, it sucks for minors. Last night I came in on one side, but my friends were on the other. Now I couldn't cross by going upstairs or across the back of the room, those were 21 and over, so I had to cross through the pit. The pit was full, and thankfully a security guard still let me through; but I still had to force my way across, pissing off plenty of other concertgoers in the process. Now this sucked, alot, but it didn't entirely ruin the night.

The Pageant puts on a good show. The atmosphere in the seated section is nice. I actually got to sit down and stay seated for the show. The shows started as expected, the lighting was good, and the seats were comfortable. But in addition to the whole being lame when it comes to minors, The Pageant also has a few other flaws. First off, the merch table was awkwardly located in a side room off of the hallway you walk through to get to the stage. Second, while they did have a water fountain, if you wanted a cup you had to pay $2; another way to squeeze money out of us. Neither of these was really that bad though.

So overall, I'm going to give The Pageant a grade of C+

I loved the pit/seat thing they have going, and I give them props for the overall look of the place, both inside and out (it looks like a renovated theater), but the whole way they treat minors at the place just really bugs me. I really shouldn't have to pay $2 to get in, just because I'm under-21, and thats that. If they change that, they would be a much better venue.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I wasn't really there but...

So I wasn't in town this weekend for it, but apparently the girl talk show was just crazy. I guess a guy got tazed, and then girl talk went to go play at sammy. I don't know everything, but heres the link to the stud life article about it here

Friday, November 9, 2007

Well...

I know it's been awhile since anythings been posted, but I know I've had a lot of work as of late, and I think something big has been going on at Michaels campus. Hopefully he can fill us in eventually. I'll be posting some mp3s of my shows eventually. In the meantime, enjoy this article I wrote for Eleven, the music magazine here on campus at WashU. The magazine itself isn't that great, not that my article is, but it really seems like a way for the founder to stroke his own ego. But hopefully it will get better, I can see it happening. So heres the article:




Something frightening is happening to music today - the album is dying. Yes, the album, the novel of music, just isn’t what it used to be. You used to have people sitting down and listening to things like “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Now all people listen to is “Crank That” or “Gimme More” or whatever the latest single is. Now some people may think of “Crank That” as great music, but listening to it instead of a good album is like reading a single chapter of a novel instead of the whole thing. Most artists still release albums, but these “albums” are best described by John Darnielle in his cover of “The Sign”: “They wrote a song, and then they wrote nine other songs to surround that one song.” And not many people listen, and I mean like sit down and make an effort to listen, to the decent albums that are out there.

So what’s caused the decline of the general population listening to albums? This is something that has a lot to do with the format that music is delivered now. With vinyl, if you wanted to skip songs, you had to get up, lift the needle, find the track you wanted (maybe even flipping the record), and then cueing the record at the start of the song. That’s a lot more work then just simply listening to a 3-4 minute song. The vinyl format as a whole is more conducive to actively listening to music. On vinyl an album is more then just the music, it’s an experience. You have this cover, 4 times the size of a CD jewel case, with art on it. There can be inserts and colored or even etched vinyl. It’s a more manageable time commitment; Vinyl only holds up to about an hour, with each side only being about 20-30 minutes. Albums were shorter, because they had to be. With vinyl you have to pay attention when you listen, if you don’t you end up having the needle stuck in the center groove of the record.

CDs are a completely different story. A CD (mind you not a DVD-CD or dual-sided CD) can hold 80 minutes of music. That’s a whole 33% more. And a lot of times artists feel compelled to fill as much as they can. This usually means songs that wouldn’t have found a spot on a vinyl album easily make their way onto a CD album. This usually translates to an overall not-so-good quality song quality, and who wants that? Not really that many people, and that’s where a few “album killers” come into play. The first is the skip button. Don’t feel like listen to a song, or get sick of it half way through? Press the skip button and poof; you’re at the next track. But even here, a CD only holds so many songs, and who wants to switch CDs every other song? So people will listen to more, if not all of an album.

It’s things like the iPod and iTunes music store, which have truly done albums in. Now before I continue, this is not to say that these aren’t great wonderful amazing tools, they just changed the way people listen to music. With an ipod, you can have hundreds of albums, thousands of songs, all at you fingertips and ready to be played. So the laziness factor is gone. You can skip around to different songs, albums, artists, and genres, all you want. You can even put that extensive library of music on shuffle. I can’t stand shuffle; it’s just a bunch of (almost) random songs from your library. It has no idea how to find songs that go together; it’s missing a human quality to it. Still, a lot of people just though on shuffle and don’t even care about albums. Even Panda Bear of Animal Collective uses shuffle (that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing). There’s even an ipod that all it does is shuffle. What the "bleep" is up with that? But the biggest nail in the coffin for the album has to be the ITunes store. With the iTunes store, you don’t even have to buy a full album to get the song you want anymore. You can buy only the single, and never even think of the rest of the album ever again. And unless the album that you want to buy has eleven or more songs, you don’t even get a discount for buying the album.

So some one might be thinking, but I don’t really like all of the songs on any single album. This could be for two reasons, one the albums you listen to suck, and two you haven’t spent enough time listening to the albums. A good album has its highs and its lows. You’re not going to have an album with each track being as amazing as all of the others. But you will find albums with songs amazing compared to other albums. And sure you may not like one song on an album as much as the rest, but you wouldn’t skip a chapter in a book, so you shouldn’t skip a song on an album. The whole point of the album is that it’s the way the artist wanted you to hear it. So you should keep it that way.

If you’ve made it this far, you probably will fit one of these categories: You already listen to albums and want to see if you agree with me, you don’t listen to albums but now you kind of start, or you don’t listen to albums, don’t want to, and you only read this far to see how pretentious I am about music. No matter why you’re still reading I’ve decided to help out. I’ve made a list of some good full albums to start you off with. Some amazingly good albums: Neutral Milk Hotel “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”, My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”, Manu Chao “Proxima Estacion: Esperanza”, Radiohead “OK Computer”, Neil Young “On The Beach, The Mountain Goats “All Hail West Texas” and “Tallahassee”, The Long Winters “Putting The Days to Bed”, The Hold Steady “Boys And Girls In America”, and Jeff Buckley “Grace”.

The moral of the story here is that you should dedicate more then just three or so minutes to an album, artist, and music in general. Music is meant to be an experience. So make it one, find an album and listen to it with friends, it’s what’s known as a listening party. If you’re really adventurous try to get a copy of The Flaming Lips “Zaireeka” going. No matter what, just sit down and get immersed in an album; it’s truly a beautiful thing to experience. Oh and try to actually pay for the album.