Podcasts and thoughts on blogging…

Brian BriggsSo, Brian briggs now has podcasts for BBspot! You can find them here. Warning: you WILL lol, so make sure you’re somewhere where people will not look at you strangely. I learned this the hard way yesterday, on public transportation. I got some odd looks. Just looking out for ya!

Other than that…it’s been fun! I’m getting a steady flow of views and I’m even on a few RSS feeds! So thanks everybody!

There is just one thing…

I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who have frequented the site and I get the comment all the time: “I didn’t know you could write!”. While I appreciate the flattery, the issue here is, really, I can’t. That’s what’s so sad.

In research for this blog, I have checked out a lot of other blogs and wow…really? Why bother to post it if it’s unreadable? I will be the first to admit that grammar has gone the way of the dodo, but basic spelling and punctuation, too!?

Example: I know damn well that when someone asks you, “How are you?” that the proper way to respond is, “I’m doing well, thank you, how are you?” or something similar. I was on the phone with a client the other day (twice my age, might I add) and said just that. He actually corrected me! He says, “Good, so you’re doing good?” I really don’t have a problem with this.

I do have a problem with not being able to spell if you’re going to be posting actual, informational content on the internet. Comments, chat rooms, email, IMs, tweets, whatever, that doesn’t count, but if you’re publishing something like a blog, something for public consumption, you should at least make an effort! Simple things like two, to, and too or their, they’re and there. We learned this in grade school kids, please remember!

I just think it’s amazing sometimes what people will publish. Not saying that I am the world’s best blogger or a grammar Nazi (I’m sure you’ll find your fair share of grammatical inaccuracies on this page) but I can spell.

So, has it reached the point that if you can compentently spell, you’re a good writer?

Also, I don’t understand the volume of blogs just posting a video or an audio track. You can’t even put a little blurb in there of why you chose to put that song or video on your blog? What made you put that there? What did you like or dislike about it? WHY, dammit, WHY!? Inquiring minds want to know!

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed blogging so far and I’m looking forward to many, many more posts (so many new albums coming out!), so stay tuned!


Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixExcuse me, I love this band.

I will admit that I am a latecomer to the glory that is Phoenix. I got their new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, yesterday, then promptly got the rest of their discography. Every single album is awesome, but I really do enjoy this one.

It’s really just a well rounded album. It’s similar to their prior efforts, but more polished with more layers of sound. Funky beats coupled with Thomas Mars’ vocals provide for tracks that you just can’t help but groove along to.

Songs that make me want to dance like Molly Ringwald include…well, most of the album, but specifically “Lizstomania”, “1901”, “Lasso” and even parts of “Fences”. The remaining tracks on this album include, “Rome”, “Girlfriend”, “Armistice”, and the two-part instrumental track, “Love Like a Sunset”, which are also awesome, but in their own way.

Technically, Phoenix went mainstream with their 2004 release Alphabetical, but I think this album will have them plastered all over the American airways this year. If we had more music like this in the mainstream media, I might actually listen to the radio. A

Phoenix’s Site

Marilyn Manson – High End of Low

Marilyn Manson - High End Of Low

It’s hard to be a shock-rocker when you’re over the hill, but Marilyn Manson seems to be plugging right along with his seventh studio album, The High End of Low.

Much like his last release, Eat Me Drink Me, this album has a first person perspective that his earlier albums lacked. While Eat Me Drink Me was the romantic, almost Shakespearean ideal of love and the heartbreak of the Manson/Dita Von Teese split, this album is…well, I think Manson explains it best with: “This record is more about: If you say you’ll be with me until I die, and then you change your mind, you should run very fast. Because I’ll kill you.” This album isn’t all doom and gloom though, you can still catch some glimpses of Manson’s personal life. During this time, Manson and Evan Rachel Wood were having their on again-off again romance, which is always fuel for a good album.

Manson’s original intentions after Eat Me Drink Me were to wash his hands entirely of the music industry in favor of painting and film making, a la Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, due out next year. Sometimes I hate to admit what a talented painter Manson actually is. I’ve always been a shadow-fan of his music, but his watercolors are so much more impassioned and personal. I honestly can’t wait to see Phantasmagoria! I think few people could do Lewis Carroll better than Marilyn Manson…

…but I digress.

The High End of Low has Manson working once again with Twiggy Ramirez and now with Chris Vrenna, former Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward member. Hell, Chris Vrenna has done just about everything, and has done it all well. Seems like Manson has quite the crew going on and I’m seriously considering attending the Mayhem Tour with Manson and Slayer this year for that fact. I’ve seen Manson before, it was good, but Chris Vrenna brings a whole new level of musical mastery to this set that I’d really like to see live.

All in all, this is a good album. It has it’s shock-rock titles like, “Pretty Like A Swastika”, and “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfucking-Geddon”, but also includes an almost blues-y vibe with, “Four Rusted Horses” and yes, he even goes acoustic on “Running To the Edge of the World”. Manson delves back into the glam rock tearing down of middle America with “We’re From America” and broods melancholy with “Unkillable Monster” and “Leave A Scar”.

It’s strange to finally see America’s favorite ghoul all grown up, but it’s okay, really. We all have to do it sometime. It’s no Antichrist Superstar or Golden Age of Grotesque, but a good, solid, album. B

Marilyn Manson’s Site

Tori Amos Two-Fer! Abnormally Attracted to Sin and Y Kant Tori Read

Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted to SinHoly shit do I love Tori Amos’ new album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin. Tori’s got her groove back, hardcore! I do have to admit that I was less than pleased with the last few albums. I mean, they were good, just not up to Tori standards. I think she was getting back into the swing of things with American Doll Posse, but this album takes the cake.

Tori’s 10th studio album brings her to…trip hop? Holy shit, I love this album. If it wasn’t for her distinct vocals, I would mistake this album for Portishead. (This album is definitely better than Third BTW.) Perhaps it was the jump from Epic to Universal Republic that allowed this new, electronically inspired Tori. Well, they did give her full artistic independence, so I’m sure it didn’t hurt!

It is said that Tori released The Piano as sort of a last round-up of her works before moving in an entirely new direction, but this record definitely has the ghosts of albums past. “Strong Black Wine” could just have easily been on Little Earthquakes, while “Curtain Call” could have been on To Venus and Back. It’s like Little Earthquakes, From the Choirgirl Hotel, and To Venus and Back had a little vinyl baby, but made only with the greatest parts of those albums. And I’m not really that big a fan of To Venus and Back.

This album finds Tori’s already amazing voice harmonized with symphonies of violins as well as curious, ambient, electronic noise. In two words: trip-hop goodness!

She does have a few throw backs to the olden days, intoning songs like, “Maybe California”, a whole new perspective from Tori on motherhood, done in the classic vocal style that Tori does so well.

All in all, this album is fucking fantastic! Hooray for Tori! A!

Y Kant Tori Read

While shopping for Abnormally Attracted to Sin, I came across Y Kant Tori Read! Yes, I finally found it! This album makes me smile. It’s amazing that Tori has had this musical path carved out for herself for over two decades! Granted, most songs sound straight from the final scene in a cheesy 80’s teen flick, but that’s how it was supposed to sound back then!

I don’t understand why this album was so poorly received. Hot chick, big hair,  killer synth…the epitome of great 80’s music! There’s even a song about PIRATES!!!! Everyone should have a song about pirates!

I love the dirty, little, religiously rebellious Tori of those days. Twenty-one years old, playing piano in smoky little bars, full of piss and vinegar. It’s amazing to see how far she’s come since 1985.

If you can find it, I highly recommend this album. And it’s kind of a necessity for any long-time Tori fans. This album also gets an A!

Tori Amos’ Site

Ben Harper – White Lies For Dark Times

Ben Harper - White Lies For Dark TimesApparently Ben Harper is getting a lot of flack for his newest album, White Lies For Dark Times. Why? I’m not so sure…

Yes, he’s made an album with Relentless7 instead of the Innocent Criminals…is it a bad thing for an artist to try something new? Absolutely not!

This album kicks ass. It’s an engaging mix of wailing blues guitar, borderline punk rock drums, and “shake your groove thang” bass lines. Coupled with Harper’s raw voice, this album makes a classic.

It also has it’s acoustic ballads, typical of Harper, like, “Skin Thin”, “Fly One Time”, “The Word Suicide”, and “Faithfully Remain”. The other seven tracks on this album are pure, unadulterated blues and damn it’s good. “Number With No Name”, “Why Must You Always Dress In Black”, “Lay There and Hate Me”, and “Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)” have that bluesy groove that will have Harper keeping festival-goers grooving this summer in his extensive tour schedule.

I’d definitely recommend this album, but I love Ben Harper. If you’re into bluesy goodness, check it out. B

Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

Bat For Lashes - Two SunsIf Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, and Stevie Nicks had some sort of weird lesbian love baby, it would be Natasha Khan.

Khan, otherwise known as Bat For Lashes, second album, Two Suns, has every bit of wonder and childish fascination as her first album, Fur and Gold, but this time around it’s  a little more masterful.

According to the press release, Two Suns is: “a record of modern-day fables exploring dualities on a number of levels – two lovers, two planets, two sides of a personality,” bringing reflection about “the philosophy of the self and duality, examining the need for both chaos and balance, for both love and pain, in addition to touching on metaphysical ideas concerning the connections between all existence.” I don’t think it can be said any better than that. She has this whole gypsy/celestial vibe going on and I like it.

Also, she has this alter-ego thing going on named Pearl, a personification of her clubbing, blond wig clad, New York days. From the press release: “a destructive, self-absorbed, blonde, femme fatale of a persona who acts as a direct foil to Khan’s more mystical, desert-born spiritual self.” Very much Tori in the American Doll Posse days.

This album does lose some of that feral, tribal quality of her first album but on the plus side, pushes her voice and musical ability far past what she was capable of on Fur and Gold. This album reaches from the poppy hits, “Daniel” and “Pearl’s Dream” to moody, ethereal, piano-laden tracks like, “Siren Song” and “Traveling Woman” (one of my faves from this album). She does hit on that carnal, tribal beat with, “Glass”, “Moon and Moon”, and “Peace of Mind”, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Bonus: I got to listen to this album coming into work today, sitting on a bus in competely dense fog, just zoning out. It’s good for that. Despite all of the heavy keyboard and autoharp, it’s an ideal  “need to space out” album with just a bit of a groove. I like it and think that Natasha Khan will only get better with age. B

Bat For Lashes

Vacation time!!!

MiamiIn 29 hours, I will be in Miami, FL, which is killer considering the five day forecast in Pittsburgh right now. I am super excited and I just can’t wait to be there! I hate flying, but have planned our flights around the times that airport bars are open, so at least I will be able to get drunk.


I am super pumped for the World Erotic Art Museum, which I missed last year. Hell, I might end up missing it again this year, we’ll just have to wait and see! With the amount of tequila consumed in Miami, you can never be sure of what is actually going to happen!

Key WestWe will also be spending a few days in Key West. God, I love that place. If it wasn’t so stinkin’ hot, I’d move there in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to be able to walk around in public with an open container of alcohol. Key West is simply awesome. It makes me full of happy!

I’ll be sure to post some pics and stories of silliness and fun. And most likely, of my wretched post-vacation sunburn.

So, see you in a week! <3!