We went to see The Killers at DU last night. A few stray thoughts, in no particular order of importance.
1: There are air raid shelters with better acoustics than Magness Arena. I’m guessing it makes for a suitably noisy hockey barn, but let’s just say that it’s sub-optimal for a concert. Still, the crew managed to make the band sound pretty darned good, all things considered. So a tip of the hat to the sound guys.
2: M83, the opening band, is good. Really good. Read more
Our Best CDs of 2008 continues today with a review of the super-premium Platinum Award winners for Excellence in rocking and rolling. As with last week’s Gold Awards, these are in alphabetical order. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. (Mike Smith of Fiction 8, in last week’s comments, recommended that you buy from the band’s Web site or Amazon, if possible, because the artists get a better cut of the proceeds that way. Duly noted.)
Speaking of Fiction 8, let’s get this out of the way first
Fiction 8 – Project Phoenix
I have a rule – I never include in my official ratings CDs that I had something to do with, no matter how great I think they are. And since I co-wrote “Hegemony,” the track that closes this disc, that means that Fiction 8 is officially disqualified. This doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what I think I’d think about the record if I weren’t laboring with a conflict of interest, though. Read more
A lot of bands have released pretty good debut records, only to follow them up with less-than-spectacular careers. The rule used to be (before the FCC, the recording industry and the radio industry conspired to destroy all music) that you learned what you needed to know about a band with its third album. Given how things worked, you often saw a pattern that looked something like this:
- Debut: Band (or solo artist) has been on the road for awhile, writing and building an audience and developing as a creative and performing force. Read more
He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
But he talks like a gentleman
Like you imagined
When you were young
2003 and 2004 brought us the front edge what I’ve come to call the Nu Wave – a new wave of New Wave, Post-Punk and Technopop-influenced bands. For a guy like me, who hit college in the late ’70s and has the music of the ’80s forever insinuated into the soundtrack of my life, it’s been wonderful to hear all these new bands working that particular audial terrain.
Of course, when you get a new wave of anything musical (especially when the scene owes so much to a specific influence) you’re going to get plenty of rubber stampers who are more about imitation than innovation. Read more