October 2, 2006

September 17, 2006



The new SF59 album is out, and GREAT. Listen to four songs on the album by clicking on the banner above.

Check out the Dakoda Motor Co. Myspace site (that I run for the band).

My middle school cross country team is doing great! Check out my school's website for results and pictures. My boys' team is undefeated through three meets, defeating a total of over 20 teams.

Auburn 7, LSU 3. WAR EAGLE!

September 4, 2006


















Dakoda Motor Co. is playing a reunion show! And it is this Saturday, Sept. 8 in San Diego. And it is with Davia! Man, I wish I could go. For years I have dreamed about seeing DMC with Davia; the only time I saw them was in March 1995 after she left the band. They have a new Myspace site, you can view it here: www.myspace.com/DakodaMotorCo

August 4, 2006

My wife and I saw Fiona Apple in concert last night, at Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta. I surprised her with an early birthday gift, she was excited.

I became a Fiona Apple fan in early 2005 when I found the ‘Extraordinary Machine’ bootleg online. I had heard her over the years, but never really explored her music. My wife however has loved Fiona since “Tidal” was released in 1996.

(I wasn't allowed to take a camera into the venue, so I found this random picture online. Even if I had my camera, no way could I have even gotten one decent shot though, we were sitting so far away.)

Seeing Fiona Apple in concert last night gave me a completely new appreciation for her. She is one of the most passionate, expressive artists I have ever seen perform. Her music is generally filled with angst and passion, but as she sang her songs last night she appeared to be reliving the circumstances and emotions of the songs. She growled, screamed, yelled, cried, whispered and sang the words that she is obviously very connected to.

Many things surprised me about the show. First of all, her lack of speaking. I am used to seeing artists talk a lot in between songs and tell stories. Not for Fiona. Everything she had to say she communicated through her singing. She finally muttered a very sincere “Thank you” after an hour of performing.” She said “Thank you” a couple more times, uttered a couple of “Wow’s” and introduced the band; that was the extent of her spoken communication with the crowd.

The next thing that surprised me was that for about half the show, she did not play piano. She stood with a mic and sang while a member of her band played the piano. I had always pictured Fiona sitting behind (hiding behind?) the piano for her concert. It was weird to see her standing front and center behind a mic stand. But she definitely didn’t stand still. I wouldn’t call it dancing, but she was constantly in motion. She jumped, yelled, shook, and some points it appeared she was having a seizure.

Lastly, the setlist surprised me tremendously. Fiona started with ‘Get Him Back’ from the new album, but then played 7 or 8 straight old songs. I thought it was great. I am constantly wishing my favorite artists would perform more of their older songs live, because they rarely do. Typically when I see a band I like in concert 90% of the show is songs off their newest album. I don’t blame them, but I wish it wasn’t that way. Anyway, back to Fiona. She played two songs off ‘Tidal’: ‘Shadowboxer’ and the final song of the night, ‘Criminal.’ She played either 7 or 8 songs of ‘When the Pawn…’, almost the entire album. And she played 5-6 songs of ‘Extraordinary Machine’: the title track, which was the first encore song, ‘Tymps’, ‘Not About Love’, ‘Red Red Red’, ‘Get Him Back’ and I think one other. I would love to know the actual setlist, but I don’t know the names of her songs well enough to remember. The only song she didn’t play that my wife and I really wanted to hear was ‘Window.’ The show started at 9:00 and ended at 10:30 p.m.

Before I end this post, I want to say I am frequently entertained by comparing the two versions of ‘Extraordinary Machine.’ I heard the bootleg version (Jon Brion-produced, leaked to internet in 2004) first and fell in love with it. The real version (Mike Elizondo-produced) released in stores in October 2005. I initially was very disappointed with it, but now I love them both. With songs like ‘Not About Love’ and ‘Tymps’ I like the new versions better, but with ‘Red Red Red’ and ‘Window’ I think the original versions are tons better. Anyway, I recommend getting both versions. The Jon Brion one is all over the internet, you can download it for free. Then buy the Mike Elizondo version, I recommend getting it on vinyl (2 x LP).

Speaking of getting music over the internet, the new Jeremy Enigk album, ‘World Waits’ has leaked and I have been listening to it a lot. It will be released on October 3. It is tons better than the Fire Theft album, and I personally like it much better than Jeremy’s first solo album, ‘Return of the Frog Queen.’ But, as you can expect, it does not touch the four Sunny Day Real Estate albums. Oh how I miss Dan Hoerner.

June 2, 2006

I have been pretty terrible with updating this blog, as usual. I got more into it in the Spring, mainly posting on my 'take back the radio' blog, but I have done nothing with either of my blogs in forever.

First of all, I should probably comment on the Pistons. They have been playing like crap for almost a month now. The Cleveland series was horrific. Typically winning a 7-game series should be fun and excited, but it was excruciating to watch. The Heat series has been just as bad. The Pistons will probably play their last game of the 05-06 season tonight. I believe they can win, but they have to play at a different level, a level they have not played at in a month. If they lose tonight, they should fire Flip Saunders and re-hire Larry Brown. They should have never fired Larry Brown to begin with. Game 5 was mostly fun to watch, the Pistons playing like themselves for some of the time. This is the play of the series for me:

(can't get image to import right now)

X-Men: The Last Stand. Pretty big disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed some of it, but overall it was just ridiculous. The strength of the X-Men series, whether it has been the comics, the cartoon, or the movies has been the stories and character development. X-Men 3's story was dumb and predictable, and there was no character development. One of the best parts about this movie was that they introduced tons of new X-Men, but unless you read the comics you wouldn't have known who any of them were. The first two movies did a great job of explaining who each mutant was, and what their powers are.

The two very short ending scenes redeemed the movie for me. Magneto moving the metal chess piece showed that "the cure" is only temporary, and then the final scene, after the credits, showed that Professor X is still alive, in a new body. Cyclops is probably still alive as well, since they did not show his death, the characters just assumed it. I could care less about him dying though. He is a great leader in the comics, but pretty much worthless in the movies.

Jean Grey in some ways really did die at the end of X2, and the Phoenix is a force, not a person, so she is still alive as well. Visually I was not impressed by the Phoenix, she looked more like a demon than anything. The dark eyes and face, with the protruding veins was just disgusting. They should have used the same visual effects as in X2, when it just appeared Jean/Phoenix was on fire.

The main lose ends that need to be tied up for X4 is showing me that Mystique and Rogue have regained their powers. I know they next movie plan is for Wolverine and Magneto prequels, but those do not interest me anywhere near as much as X4.

Lastly, the new Fair album comes out this Tuesday! The four songs I have heard off of the album are amazing!

May 3, 2006




















About a month until FAIR's album is released. I am more excited about this album than any other in a very long time.




The Pistons advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs tonight with a 116-83 destruction of the Bucks. The Pistons won the series 4-1 and next will play either the Cavs or Wizards. Detroit will kill either of those opponents, it really doesn't matter. I guess beating LeBron will be more fun though.

Listening to: Brandtson- Hello, Control

March 25, 2006

Eisley
March 24, 2006
Exit/In
Nashville, TN


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Mister Pine
Marvelous Things
The Escaping Song
My Lovely
Telescope Eyes
Golly, Sandra
I’ll Could Be There For You
Memories
Invasion
Sunfeet
Plenty of Paper
Like the Actors
Many Funerals

My wife and I drove up from Georgia to see Eisley on Friday. We considered going to the Atlanta show, but we live an hour and a half outside the city, and on a Thursday night we wouldn’t have gotten back until too late to then have to work Friday morning. And I have family in Nashville and have been to at least a dozen shows at the Exit/In over the years. I have always thought it to be a nice venue with great sound. I have seen Sixpence None the Richer, Vigilantes of Love, and numerous others there. My opinion of the venue changed dramatically last night.

(On the drive up we listened to Poor Old Lu’s “Mindsize.” For those of you who don’t know Poor Old Lu was Aaron Sprinkle’s first band, and “Mindsize” was their album. That was 1993, but the album is still great, and Poor Old Lu is still my favorite band. Aaron Sprinkle’s newest band, Fair is opening for Eisley on the West Coast. Oh how I wish I lived on the West Coast!)

When I saw on the Exit/In’s website that the show time was 6:00 p.m. I immediately questioned it, NO show starts that early. My guess was that the doors would open at 6:00, the first band at 7:00 and then Eisley would be around 9:00. My sister and her friends were going as well, so I just had my sister call me when the first band starting. She called just after 7:00 and that is when my wife and I headed over.

We entered the club about 7:45 and an unknown band was playing on stage. I soon learned it was Simon Dawes. I thought they were terrible! They definitely had fans present, but my wife and I could barely stand them. The highlight of their set for me was a cover of “Burning Down the House.” We missed Brighten, who I would have liked to see, I think they would have been more my style.

At some point during the Simon Dawes set the lead singer said the club asked him if they would extend their set by 20 minutes. Seemed pretty strange to me, I just figured Eisley wasn’t ready.
During the set change the crowd erupted when Stacy’s Rhodes was placed on the stage; I don’t think I have ever heard so much applause for a musical instrument without someone playing it. Right before Eisley went on stage, the lights went out and loud music came on. I had never heard the song before, but it was upbeat, and apparently was being played to get Eisley pumped for the show. There was a random laptop on stage cycling through pictures and the only other thing I could see was some people dancing backstage through a small crack in the curtain. If none of this makes sense just think about what it is like at an NBA game when the starting line-ups are announced.

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Eisley started with my favorite song of theirs, “Mister Pine.” If any old songs appear on their new album, I hope this is the only one. The guitar parts were different than the recorded version of the song, and from the previous two times I had heard the song live. Part of it may have been technical difficulties with Chauntelle’s guitar, but I thought it sounded great.

They next went into “Marvelous Things” which rocked much harder than I remember (a good thing!). During this song I took an amazing picture of Sherri, as you can see below. It looks like she is screaming at the top of her lungs; I benefited from a well-timed flash from someone standing right below her. I didn’t take many good pictures, it was too dark and I was standing too far away.

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Later in the show Sherri accidentally introduced “Telescope Eyes” as a country-twanged song, thinking that was what they were about to play “Golly, Sandra.” Stacy pointed out that she read the set list wrong, which resulted in some friendly sibling banter.

The first new song of the night was one I had never even heard mentioned before, “I Could Be There For You.” It was AMAZING! I got video of the entire song, which I have been watching today. Sherri introduced it as being about Indiana Jones, but I haven’t yet grasped the connection. It is mid-tempoed Stacy song, and sounds more like a love song than any other song Eisley has ever written. Pretty short too, less than three minutes.

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The next new song was the one I have been looking forward to the most, “Invasion.” Kim got me excited when she first mentioned it on the board, and the resulting comments gave the song even more hype. It doesn’t disappoint! It is a very fast Sherri song, highlighted by the chorus, a sustained high note of “You…….” They introduced the song as being about aliens, and during the bridge Stacy sings “Call me crazy, but they are after us, one by one, one by one…” I got about half of it on video as well. I just have an average digital still camera, and the video is definitely lesser quality than Boyd’s, but it is not bad.

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“Invasion” was followed by “Sunfeet.” I have the live mp3 on my computer, but the song sounded nothing like I remember. It was great, and now I am much more excited about hearing the studio version. It is a longer and slower Eisley song. It was about this time that the girls first mentioned that they were going to have to end their set early because of the fire code. They were confused, I was confused, it made no sense. But Eisley was sounding so good I didn’t care and just enjoyed the moment.

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Eisley finished with two more new songs, “Like the Actors” and “Many Funerals.” Both of these songs I already knew thanks to Boyd videos, but hearing them live was totally different. Sherri played acoustic guitar for “Like the Actors,” unlike the Australia videos. (Probably didn’t take the acoustic on that trip?) Before the song she said to Stacy, “Let’s do the new song you sing, rather than the new song I sing, because I am tired.” So apparently there was a different new song on the set list. “Many Funerals” was the perfect way to end the show; it is fast becoming one of my favorite Eisley songs. It is so intense! The song has already changed quite a bit since the videos Boyd gave us. Musically it is about the same, but lyrically it has changed and they sing in some new parts where before it was just instrumental.

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All that said, Eisley’s performance was incredible. I thought they sounded much better than the first two times I have seen them. They played 13 songs, which is pretty impressive for a shortened show. And I always love hearing songs for the first time in concert.

But I can’t write about last night without mentioning the problems with the venue. Like I mentioned, Stacy and Sherri both were told they had to end the set by 10 because of the fire code. This makes no sense, and I didn’t understand why until I read Boyd’s post about the show. Not only that, I overheard a conversation about how some people were being turned away at the door who had tickets. When the show ended, my wife and I were headed to the merch table, we probably would have purchased at least one, if not two t-shirts. But the Exit/In’s manager started yelling, “We are closed! Get out! We are closed! Get out!” And the employees started herding everyone out the door.

I had planned to talk to Boyd after the show, as well as get my copies of EP1 and EP2 autographed. Jonathan, Weston, and Stacy signed them last year; I was trying to get Sherri and Chauntelle’s signatures this time. I guess I could have hung around outside afterwards, but it was below freezing and there was basketball to be watched!

I still don’t understand the 115 people figure, every show I have ever attended at the Exit/In had more people than that. I am trying to figure out who to contact about the actions the manager took, maybe the police or the Better Business Bureau. In the mean time I have also emailed the management requesting a full refund. Anyway, it was an upsetting ending to what was otherwise a great night.

Listening to: Eisley- Final Noise EP (iTunes)

March 23, 2006

I have been doing a lot with my MP3 blog lately, but I have forgotten all about this one. Big win for Detroit last night over Miami. The Pistons have been playing bad for about a month now, and the Heat have been the hottest team in basketball. Miami dominated the first half and led by 12 in the 3rd, but going into the 4th the Pistons were up 1 and won 82-73. Very important game mentally for Detroit.

The NCAA Tournament is in full swing, I love all the upsets. I am in two groups for picking the games, and am doing awful. I picked tons of low seeds this year. The only positive thing is that my championship game scenario is still possible, with Boston College defeating West Virginia for the title. Very unlikely, but if it does happen I will win both of my groups by a landslide.

I recently found advance copies of the new Brandtson and Stavesacre albums online. I have found a ridiculous amount of albums online in the past few months that have not been released, I don't know where they are all coming from. The nice thing about it is that I get the mp3s early, then buy the vinyl when the album is released, and never even have to get the CD. So then I listen to the album on either my turntable or my iPod.














About the albums, the new Brandtson, "Hello, Control" is pure dance. I have known this for months, but nothing prepared me for my first listen. I don't like it all that much, but I am very impressed the band could change directions like this. The song "Earthquakes and Sharks" is the highlight, and is one of the catchiest pop songs I have ever heard. If heard by the right people it could be (and should be) a huge radio hit. I elaborate more on the new Stavesacre album, "How to Live with a Curse" on my other blog. In short, it is outstanding, the best thing the band has done since the 1990s.

My wife and I are going to see Eisley tomorrow in Nashville at the Exit/In, we are excited!

Listening to: Brandtson- Hello, Control

February 20, 2006

How 'bout those Pistons in the All-Star game last night?! I typically am pretty bored by the NBA All Star game, and don't watch it. But last night I was pretty interested because Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, and Rasheed Wallace were all in it. The East was down by 21 in the 3rd quarter, but then come in all 4 Detroit players and shut down the West. The East ended up winning by two.

In other Pistons news, they finally gave up on Darko Milicic and traded him to the Magic. He and Carlos Arroyo for Kelvin Cato and draft pick. I don't know what Detroit is going to do with Kelvin Cato besides sit him on the bench. Carlos Arroyo is going to be a big loss. Not that he is a great player, but he is definitely a good back-up point guard. The Pistons need to get another PG, because injured Lindsay Hunter isn't going to cut it. I hope Darko does well in Orlando, I am just glad he will have a chance to play. There just wasn't room for him in Detroit.

I've been posting a lot in my new mp3 blog, so check it out.

Listening to: The Appleseed Cast- Peregrine

February 10, 2006

I am starting an mp3 blog here:

TAKE BACK THE RADIO

February 9, 2006

Through some strange turn of events I am unable to forward www.turnofftheradio.com to alanparish.blogspot.com. I own the domain, but I do not have control over it. Makes absolutely no sense to me, something about registrars, etc. I don't have time to figure it out right now.

Over the past few days I have been scouring blogs contstantly for unreleased and rare music. I have been amazed at what I have found, reading at least 50 mp3 blogs with significant content. (Go to www.blogger.com and just do a search for whatever you want to download for free.) I am definitely against sharing full albums, but I do think sharing individual songs helps the artist. So maybe I will turn this into an mp3 blog, since it really has no purpose otherwise.

My first songs ever are from the band Fair, fronted by Aaron Sprinkle, formerly of Poor Old Lu and Rose Blossom Punch. Their debut album will be released this summer on Tooth & Nail, and they recently put their first two songs on their Myspace site. So you can stream these two songs there, but if you want actually mp3s of the two Fair songs, here you go:

Carelessness

Pause










In other news, I recently attended my first NBA game. I love the NBA, but somehow it was the only major professional sport I had never witnessed in person. I have been to 7 or 8 NFL games, 5 or 6 MLB games, and 1 NHL game.

Being a Pistons fan, I was especially excited to see them this year, they almost never lose. Well, of course, I get to witness one of those rare losses. They are now 40-8, and I saw loss #8, against the Hawks. It was still fun, but man. Here is the last picture I took before Joe Johnson hit the game winner for Atlanta:



















Just found out four of the Pistons starters made the All-Star game- it's about time! Too bad for Tayshaun Prince though, especially since he has led the Pistons in scoring the last two games.

Listening to: Mates of State- Bring it Back

January 30, 2006

Best of 2005



















Turn Off the Radio's Top Albums of 2005:
1. Eisley- Room Noises
2. Sufjan Stevens- Illinois
3. Thrice- Vheissu
4. Luxury- Health & Sport
5. Starflyer 59- Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice
6. Over the Rhine- Drunkard's Prayer
7. Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine
8. The New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
9. Rosie Thomas- If Songs Could Be Held
10. Death Cab for Cutie- Plans
11. Coldplay- X & Y
12. Nada Surf- The Weight is a Gift

January 2, 2006

I just returned to Rome after being gone for two weeks to Nashville, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. It was a wonderful holiday that I had no need to end.


















HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
They amazingly won their last 5 games to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs for the first time since 1999. I credit it all to Joe Gibbs. And Brunell deserves some credit as well, I did bash him a few weeks ago. He was solid and I am glad he is the Redskins QB. But it was nice to see Patrick get some playing time against the Giants and throw a TD pass. But these last three games, 35-7 over the Cowboys, 35-20 over the Giants, and 31-20 over the Eagles were pure team efforts. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss has incredible years, breaking the Redskins season records in rushing yards and receiving yards, respectively.

I am working on my top 10 albums of 2005, I'll post it soon.

Listening to: Thrice- Vheissu