That Girl With A Blog











So, I really didn’t discover She Wants Revenge until they covered “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” on the Nightmare Revisited album, but promptly got their two, full-length albums, She Wants Revenge and This is Forever, afterwards.

Unfortunately, those two albums got lost in the mess of music on my computer and sort of fell to the wayside. Well, they’ve certainly returned in full force in conjunction with their first full length album in nearly five years, Valleyheart .

Apparently, there is some sort of argument as to what genre She Wants Revenge actually falls into, which is a good thing. Too often, bands lump themselves into an incredibly limiting “genre” and do little to expand their horizons. Well, not this Californian duo. “Darkwave”, “Goth Rock”, and “Synthpop” get tossed around a lot, but you’ve gotta add “Dance”, “New Wave”, “Post Punk”, and plain ol’ “Rock and Roll” to that listing.

This album seems to be the magnum opus, thus far. Sexy and dark, it’s really a mood album more than anything. Pulling inspiration from bands like Interpol, Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, and even the Killers, they provide an eclectic yet cohesive sound across the board. Singer, Justin Warfield, describes their sounds as “dark dance“, which I can totally get behind.

This album has everything from sultry, goth tracks like the opener, “Take the World” to stadium rockers like “Up in Flames”. And while certainly clean and well-produced, there remains just the slightest splinter of raw, gritty edge to it. They’re taking a well traversed path and twisting it to get to their own destination, which is pretty cool considering how many cookie cutter artists are out there these days.

The only for-sure, skip-able, track on this album is “Must Be the One”, an almost sickeningly sweet, U2 inspired, flop. Other than that, in comparison, I think that this album is by far their most upbeat, their most electronic, and their best.  Here’s to hoping that their next one’s even better! B

Check it out for yourself, streaming for free on their Myspace. You can also get your She Wants Revenge fix on Twitter, Facebook, and their site.

Have a good weekend everybody, and wish me luck, because it’s that time of year again!

“Take the World”



You know, it’s hard to blog about music when you’re constantly bombarded by mediocre crap. Seriously. I’ve gone so long without blogging because there simply hasn’t been anything good to blog about. Where’d all the good music go!?

Case in point: Albums like Owl City’s new catastrophe, All Things Bright and Beautiful. It’s a ninth-grade notebook full of terrible, emo, poems, autotuned and overproduced. This is the kind of stuff that emo kids get made fun of for. What’s more than that, is that it tries to sound like Adam Young’s previous efforts, but falls decidedly short. At least Ocean Eyes had “Hello Seattle” and “Fireflies” (…and “Umbrella Beach” and “Saltwater Room”. Half of that album actually wasn’t too terrible). There is no definitive “hit” on this album, and while that’s not necessarily always a bad thing, in this case, it just means that you get 13 sub-par songs that all sound exactly the same.

I hate to say it (okay, maybe that’s a lie), but I think I was right with that whole “15 minutes of fame” deal. While a generally uninspired album as a whole, the song “Honey and the Bee”, in particular, makes me want to stick pens through my ears and directly into my brain. Breanne Duren’s voice in combination with the copious amount of autotune seriously gave me an instant headache. I hate that song so much, it seriously makes me physically ill. It also doesn’t help that it’s followed by “Kamikaze”, a track that almost sounds like Young trying to remix The Offspring. Yeah, it’s totally as awkward as it sounds.

Between the nausea, the headache, and the brain cell loss, this is about where I gave up on the album. The end of the album may be good, I doubt it, but I will never know. This album gets a big, fat, F. I don’t even know how anyone let this go to production.

I’m gonna go put Fitz and the Tantrums back on, take some Ibuprofen, and try to forget that this album even exists. 😦

Owl City – “Honey and the Bee”



Wow. When I first heard their new album, Speed of Darkness, I originally thought that the Celtic punk troupe, Flogging Molly, had found themselves a new singer for a few of the tracks. Apparently that really IS Dave King. I don’t know what to think about that, actually.

Let me start with a little background of Flogging Molly and I. We go way back. I first got into them with their debut album, Swagger, back in 2000. Once I heard that album, I was hooked. I’ve seen them somewhere around 30 times, now, and I’ve seen them at their best and at their worst. The particular show that comes to mind, the vast majority of the band had terrible food poisoning. George Schwindt straight up passed out and fell off of his drum set, Bridget Regan even had to take a break, but the plus side to all of this is Dave King coming out at the very end, sick as a dog himself, and doing “Grace of God Go I” a capella. Seriously, probably one of the best shows I’ve seen, considering the circumstances. At their shows, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been bitten, I’ve had Tony Duggins’ (The Tossers, and seriously, I’m going to go home and track down some of these pictures! Pics or it didn’t happen, right?) tongue in my ear, I’ve met (ex) boyfriends, and generally had a pretty awesome time all around. They hold a very special place in my heart…a place usually reserved for fist fights and whiskey, but I guess they kind of go hand in hand.

Speaking of Dave King and Bridget Regan (the fiddle player), I found out today that they got married in Tokyo while touring for Float. And now they live in Detroit. Pretty awesome, akshually.

As for the album, I think it’s mostly “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down”, a radio-friendly (in the most grievous usage of the word), punk-pop catastrophe that throws me all off-kilter. It sounds absolutely, positively, undeniably, NOTHING like Dave King. It’s actually a little frightening when you’re not expecting it. Coming in a close second for the worst song is “Heart of the Sea”, a weird, pseudo folk-inspired track with almost indescribably bad lyrics. Seriously, “don’t fornicate with the one you love to hate”? I’m disappointed in you Flogging Molly. For every listen of those songs, though, I also get a slew of good ones. Trading in their tales of being “seven (drunken) pirates, they’ve gone for a more mature and modern approach, giving us tracks like “Revolution”, their take on the economical issue, whose chorus is worthy of chanting fans worldwide and “The Power’s Out”, in a similar vein as “Revolution” on subject matter, but a little more home-grown with King singing about Detroit and the fat-cat CEOs with their bottomless greed. It’s got a lo-fi, blues aspect to it and this is one of the very few times where you will see me refer to something as “lo-fi” and not following it up with “pretentious”. Perhaps it’s was the move from sunny LA to, well, Detroit. What can you really praise in Detroit besides (and, god, I hate to say it) hockey?

The shining example of classic Flogging Molly is nestled right in the middle of all this mayhem. “So Sail On”, with its harmonized chorus, classic fiddle, and feeling of traditional Ireland, this is what I think of when I think of Flogging Molly. Despite all of those heavy, punky, hard tracks, this is what the band does best. Another delightful unexpected track on the album is “A Prayer for Me In Silence” with a rare Bridget Reagan lead. Well, I suppose it’s a duet, but she really takes the cake for this one.

The album does have a balanced mix of the usual traditional Irish-inspired songs, slow tracks, and upbeat, punky numbers, the latter of which is the only vein in which they fall flat. Perhaps it’s my love for the band speaking, but it’s a pretty good album when all is said and done. I was more disappointed in my first listening, but upon repeated listenings, it’s beginning to sound more and more like the Flogging Molly I’ve come to know and love. It gets a B.

Check it out for yourself, streaming for free over on their Myspace. You can also check out all the latest news over on their site, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Speed of Darkness”

“Revolution”

“A Prayer For Me In Silence”



*le sigh* I just don’t think I’m hip enough to like The Fleet Foxes. I got their EP, Sun Giant, and their first full length, self-titled album back in ’08 on the recommendation of a friend and didn’t really “get it” then, and I certainly don’t “get it” now with their sophomore album and newest release, Helplessness Blues.

From what I’m gathering, people are considering this album a masterpiece of sorts and I’m not sure why, really. Perhaps it’s the “cool” thing to do. Frankly, I don’t find wasting $60,000 dollars on studio time, then scrapping it because it wasn’t imperfect enough a reasonable thing to do.

From the Wikipedia:

“They got together to rehearse new songs in February 2009 in a rented house outside Seattle, but the sessions were mostly scrapped. As a result of those wasted sessions, the band lost $60,000 of their own money.”

Then, from a late 2009 interview with The Guardian:

”I want the recording to be really fast. I want to do all the vocal takes in one go, so even if there are fuck-ups, I want them to be on there. I want there to be guitar mistakes. I want there to be not totally flawless vocals. I want to record it and have that kind of cohesive sound. [Van Morrison’s] Astral Weeks, to me, is the best-sounding album because it sounds like there were only six hours in the universe for that album to be recorded in. So I want it to have that feeling.”

Doesn’t really make sense does it? Robin Pecknold lost SIXTY GRAND of his own money, his girlfriend (apparently when she heard the “brilliance” of the album, they reconciled), and apparently pissed off a lot of other people just to make this album, which I think is just a little bit ridiculous, especially the girlfriend part. Seriously, she leaves you while you’re completely invested in making this album, but now that she sees that you’ve hit the gravy train, she’s back on board? In the words of Dan Savage, “DTMFA”.

Anyway, as for the album, it’s pretty boring, actually. In comparison to their relatively sunny debut album, I guess this is supposed to be “deeper”, but it just comes across as melodramatic and self-indulgent.

I mean, check out the press release:

“Hey, my name’s Robin and I’m a singer in and songwriter for Fleet Foxes, here to write the promotional biography meant to accompany and explain Helplessness Blues. I’m just going to write down some thoughts I have about the album and give you some context. Let’s do this.

So, for a bit of background: we’re from Seattle, and the members of the band are me, Skye Skjelset, Josh Tillman, Casey Wescott, Christian Wargo, and now our buddy Morgan Henderson, who helped out on the album and will join the band on tour. The band began as just me and Skye in Junior High, playing songs in his bedroom, until we moved to Seattle, settled on a name, and began meeting other musicians and playing with different people until we met all the guys currently on board. Casey joined in 2005, Christian in 2007, and Josh joined shortly before our first album was released, but after we’d recorded it. So, that’s some background information. Good luck working that into something intriguing.
We released our first album in 2008, had a lot of unexpected support from people and the press and we ended up on tour until October of 2009 (we’d expected to do one or two U.S. tours and hoped to start our next album in the Fall of 2008!)

Recording started with demos at a building in Seattle that’s been multiple recording studios since the ‘70s, from Triangle, to Jon & Stu’s, to Reciprocal Recording, to the Hall of Justice. A number of incredible albums have been made in that building over the years, including Bleach by Nirvana. So we were lucky enough to take over the lease when Death Cab for Cutie moved out in October 2009, and I started writing songs more seriously again. A couple months later, Joanna Newsom asked me if I would open some shows for her. As a huge fan of hers, I was completely honored and flattered that she’d want me to open her shows, and I felt like I needed some new songs that I could play alone. So, a number of the songs that ended up on this album came from the writing that preceded those tours. Having to play the songs alone meant I was really focusing on having a clear lyric and a strong melody, which ended up being a great change of focus for me as a writer because I’d spent a lot of 2009 messing around with non-songwriter type music and not always finding it satisfying.

After the first Newsom tour, we all went up to Woodstock, New York, to record at Dreamland Recording, where our friends in Beach House had had a good experience recording their last album Teen Dream. We were there for twelve days recording the drums and acoustic guitars. As an aside, I think Josh did an incredible job on the drums on this record, writing really inventive parts without a lot of instruction, and having such good tempo and “feel” that we were able to record all but one song on the album without a click track.

From there began a long stretch of recording in Seattle, from May of 2010 to November of 2010, where a ton of shit happened at numerous studios including Reciprocal, Bear Creek, and Avast. I could get into it, but basically it took a long time due to illness, scheduling, creative doubt, reassessment, rewriting, new songs being written, etc., etc ., etc. It was at times difficult to make this record. We ended up mixing at Avast in Seattle in December of 2010, with the record finally finished, even though we were recording vocals and guitar and rewriting lyrics up to the 11th hour. Not even the 11th, more like the 13th. So here we are, almost three years after the first album, finally done with the second one. Now I’ll talk about the actual music a little bit.

I think this music draws influence and inspiration from popular music and folk rock of the mid ‘60s to the early ’70s, folks like Peter Paul & Mary, John Jacob Niles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Neil Young, CSN, Judee Sill, Ennio Morricone, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Zombies, SMiLE-era Brian Wilson, Roy Harper, Van Morrison, John Fahey, Robbie Basho, The Trees Community, Duncan Browne, the Electric Prunes, Trees, Pete Seeger, and Sagittarius, among many others. I’d say it’s a synthesis of folk rock, traditional folk, & psychedelic pop, with an emphasis on group vocal harmonies. Astral Weeks was a big inspiration on this album, if not always in sound then in approach. The raw emotion in Van Morrison’s vocals and the trance-like nature of the arrangements were very inspiring for this album!

Musically it leans on country music a little bit more, in the slide guitar of songs like “Grown Ocean” and “Bedouin Dress” or “Helplessness Blues.” We used a number of new instruments including the 12-string guitar, the hammered dulcimer, zither, upright bass, wood flute, tympani, Moog synthesizer, the tamboura, the fiddle, the marxophone, clarinet, the music box, pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, Tibetan singing bowls, vibraphone, along with more traditional band instrumentation.

OK! I think that covers most of it. The last thing I’ll talk about is the title. It’s called Helplessness Blues for a number of reasons. One, it’s kind of a funny title. Secondly, one of the prevailing themes of the album is the struggle between who you are and who you want to be or who you want to end up, and how sometimes you are the only thing getting in the way of that. That idea shows up in a number of the songs.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the record!
Robin”

That’s not a press release, that’s a novel. Instrumentally, I guess it’s impressive. Lyrically, it’s okay, too. There’s just something about the way that they put it all together that makes me cringe a little bit when I listen to it. From what I hear, it’s a “grower”, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to listen to it anymore. On the plus side, the cover art is neat and the one track, “Sim Sala Bim” isn’t entirely terrible. For the most part, the album is just pretentious, and I just can’t deal with pretentious. It gets a big ol’ “meh” from me. D

You can make your own, informed decision and check it out for yourself. You can also check out more news at their site (where you can also listen to the album), Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter (Robin Pecknold deleted his personal account…guess Twitter’s too mainstream now).

“Sim Sala Bim”



Well, Ben Harper is back, again, this time with a return to his solo work (the first since 2006’s Both Sides of the Gun) and his tenth studio album, Give Till It’s Gone. It’s been a rough year for Harper…first the breakup with Virgin Records, then the breakup with his wife, actress Laura Dern. You’d think, under these less than desirable circumstances, that this would be a fantastic album, but while I wish that were the case, it simply isn’t so.

Can someone please tell me why an album like his last effort with The Relentless 7, White Lies For Dark Times was so poorly received, while this one is getting rave reviews? It’s just a little bit ridiculous. I rather enjoyed WLFDT, while most critics tore it apart. Now, Harper gives us a whining, droning, waste of bandwidth and everyone seems to go batshit crazy for it. It doesn’t even have a negative review on Metacritic, yet, and that’s almost unheard of. You’d think there’d at least be someone out there trolling on it. Well,  I guess this time, that someone happens to be me. It seems like this album just never actually gets off the ground, despite the assistance of heavyweights like Ringo Starr and Jackson Browne.

I get it. It’s supposed to be this post-break up confessional, especially with tracks like “Don’t Give Up On Me Now”, the first hit of the album, but it simply falls flat. He tries an attempt at genuine angst, but it just comes out from disorganized, noisy, and full on messy in tracks like “Clearly Severly” to merely clumsy with songs like “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Free” to a misguided attempts at psychedelia with the Beatles’ inspired, “Spilling Faith”.

What a bummer, because I really do like Ben Harper. This album really wasn’t even worth the download time. Apparently a lot of other people are loving the shit out of it, though, so you never know, you might still dig it. For me, though, I can bring myself to give it anything over a C. Hopefully he gets through whatever the hell this phase is and goes back to making inspired, inventive, and classically Ben Harper-styled tunes.

You can check it out for yourself, streaming for free on his Myspace. You can check out more on his site, Facebook, and Twitter, as well. Well this was certainly a down note to start the weekend. Hopefully, the rest of my new albums are better!

“Don’t Give Up On Me Now”



So, to be quite honest, when I first listened to this album, I wasn’t a fan. It’s out there. Like way out there. Maybe not on par with Gaga out there, but definitely on par with Modest Mouse out there. I listened to it once and I must have heard something in there, because I kept on trying it again and again. And another time after that.

The Australian garage-rock trio will be releasing their second, full-length album, In Loving Memory, on June 17, 2011. From their site:

“In the age of 3:30 digital singles, The Paper Scissors are cutting against the grain with their new album In Loving Memory. A creation for lovers of long-form albums, the record brings together a range of influences and topics to create a truly international rock soundscape.

The songs were written during the band’s travels; from home in Sydney to as far away as Queens, New York, in various studios and via email through numerous long sessions. Jai Pyne has written lyrics about a range of topics from family, love, drunkenness, alcoholism, death, sex, the ocean, weather, isolation and more, bringing a disparate collection of musings into one of the most coherent and focused collections of songs from an Australian band this year.

“We’ve shed any insecurities and have pieced together an album that embodies us as a band,” explains Jai. “The way our sound has evolved and the fact that it reflects our learning and growth explains why it’s taken so long to realise this album.”

Discovered by underground radio including FBI and Triple J, the band’s first single “We Don’t Walk” captured the playfulness and self-assured outlook of youth developing a loyal fan base which was cemented with national touring .

The first taste of the new album showed a remarkable growth in the band with the single “Lung Sum” released in late 2010. With a deeper outlook, but a solid basis in pop melody, the track took the listener on a journey, preparing for what was to come on “In Loving Memory”.

Mixed by UK producer Tom McFall (REM, Weezer, Snow Patrol), the album is a clear artistic statement. Part UK, part US and totally Australian, “In Loving Memory” is a reflection of urban Sydney and the influences, contradictions, loves and pressures inherent in a complex life.”

It certainly is. It’s certainly a unique album and unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of people will give it the second (and third and fourth) chances that it really deserves. There’s a depth to it that’s not readily available in today’s music meat market. I think someone chose the term “soundscape” quite correctly when writing that blurb there, because that’s exactly what this is, and until you immerse yourself into it, I don’t think that it can really be appreciated. The songs kind of just slide on past, until you take that moment to stop and actually listen to them.

This time around, they’ve lost a little of that playful attitude of yore (just a little, mind you) in favor of an emotive and laid-back sound. From chanting hits like the first single “Lung Sum” or airy, floaty numbers like “On Your Hand”, or the almost Gorillaz-esque “Wrong”, its really a pretty good album. It’s got a spacey, indie vibe, perfect for a chilly, autumn evening. They really are like Modest Mouse meets Gorillaz…in Australia.

From what I hear, they’re stellar live, and touring! So if you hear of The Paper Scissors in your neck of the woods, definitely check them out. In the meantime, though, you also check out all the latest other news on their site, Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Lung Sum”



{May 27, 2011}   Lady Gaga – Born This Way

I’ve spent the last five days pretty much listening to Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, non-stop (with just a little bit of Fitz and the Tantrums thrown in…I know, weird mix, shut up). Anyway, The mere fact that it’s gone through so many listenings is a good sign, but I must admit that there are a few songs that I skip over. I did this with The Fame Monster, too, in the beginning, but that didn’t make me any less than a fan. I’m sure those few tracks will grow on me eventually, because they always do. It’s simply the power of Gaga.

I was beginning to wonder how many songs she was actually going to release before this album came out, because it was getting a little bit ridiculous. If you take the plain edition of the album, there’s only 14 tracks and she released at least four (five if you count “You and I”, also what’s up with the umlaut on that one? There’s supposed to be one). Granted, the deluxe edition has 17 plus five remixes, but still.

Only once I listened to the album did I really get it, and it was a great marketing scheme. People always buy that album for that song that they heard on the radio. Well, you’ve already heard (and most likely enjoyed) about a third of the album, so why not just buy it? Also, that whole Amazon/$1.00 thing really helped out, too. That dollar goes a hell of a long way when you consider the fact that this album is projected to sell 800,000 copies.

We expect Gaga to be (and this has become my new favorite word) “a weirdy”, but she’s really gone all out on this one. I mean, have you seen the video for “Born This Way”? If not, check it out. There is not enough LSD in the world to make that video “normal”. David Bowie would be proud. While previous albums were all about disco sticks, gettin’ drunk, and generally being fabulous, she’s gone off on an entirely different tangent. This time it’s religion and I still can’t tell if she’s genuinely into this whole religious thing or if she’s just being facetious. In one way, you have the uplifting, eponymous, anthem, but then you have songs like “Black Jesus/Amen Fashion”. She’s been going in this direction for a while, with the whole “Mother Monster”/”Little Monsters” situation and even with the Haus of Gaga, in a sense. Lady Gaga is no longer just a musician, she’s a brand, an entity. It’s easy to forget that this album entailed the assistance of 60+ people.

Even when speaking about the album in an interview with the BBC’s Newsbeat Gaga stated, “It’s finished and all, it’s just fine-tuning everything. It’s kind of like the post-operative stage of the album. I’ve already done the full heart surgery. I’m just sewing myself back up again. I think that lyrically this album is more poetic. It’s really written by the fans, they really wrote it for me because every night they’re funneling so much into me. So I wrote it for them. Born This Way is all about my little monsters and me, mother monster.”

Perhaps I’ve thought far too deeply about a pop album. That’s also quite possible. Apparently other people get this, too, though. From the EW review:

“The gospel of Gaga, as told in Born This Way, goes something like this: Humanity will be damned by its own self-doubt until Gaga the Savior delivers us with the might of her music. On the album’s first two singles, the messianic “Born This Way” and “Judas,” our muffin-bluffin’ Lady of yore is reborn as an earnest dance-party evangelist, retaining the beats but trading in her disco stick for a splinter of the Cross.”

Hilaaaaaaaaaaaarious.

In addition to that reoccurring theme, though, Born This Way is just as much about equality…in religion, freedom, sexuality, race, and pretty much anything else. Kind of an All American ideal over a euro-dance beat. Oh, and don’t forget the slutty parts like “Put your hands on me, John F. Kennedy” in “Government Hooker” or “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blond south” in “Heavy Metal Lover”. In a world of standard, radio-friendly pop hits, Gaga’s imagination is a welcome change.

The vast majority of the album is very good. “Marry the Night”, reportedly an homage to her love of New York opens the door to a fantastic pop album. Perhaps not the “album of the decade” like Lady Gaga promised, but pretty damn fun none the less. Minus the weird, diva-like aria at the beginning, I’m also really digging “Government Hooker”. Something about this song makes me think of a female Tim Armstrong. Maybe it’s her weird ass, almost drunk sounding “chorus”. That is a distinct possibility. For as weird as this song is, I can’t stop loving it. The perils of going Gaga, I suppose. It’s got a pretty fun, late 80’s inspired goth hook though, which also has elements present in “Highway Unicorn (Road 2 Love)”. Alright, I just want to stop to mention that that’s a ridiculous fucking song title. Gaga has managed to make everyone love her, from pre-teens, to teens, to twenty and thirty something party chicks to frat boys, to soccer moms to everyman. No everyman is going to be caught dead listening to a song called “Highway Unicorn”, okay? Other than that, it’s actually a pretty badass song.

The song that has really just fucked the shit out of my ears, though, is “Scheiße”. Gaga goes straight up German Hardcore. Well actually, she doesn’t speak German, but she will if you want her to, and in her own brand of quasi-fantasy German. That doesn’t make it any less hot, though.

Songs that I’ve been skipping are “Americano”, an in your face knock-off of “Alejandro”, except in female form, “Hair”, disappointingly self-explanatory, and “The Queen”…just can’t get into that one. This does not mean they won’t grown on me. Chances are they will in just the same way that “Dancing in the Dark” and “Monster” did.

All in all, I can admit that I expected more from Gaga, but I hold her to pretty high standards. At this point, I feel like this album is already over. With all the pre-releases, it’s like we’ve all been listening to this album for a year. Now, it has me eagerly awaiting her next, strange adventure. It still gets an A, but in the lower percentages. You can check it out for yourself, streaming for free on her Myspace.

Have some videos and a great holiday weekend, everybody!

“Scheiße”

“Government Hooker”

“Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”



You guys! The new Lady Gaga album is available for digital download on Amazon today for NINETY NINE CENTS!

Go get that shit! And while you’re at it, go thank BNac for letting me know about it!

Click below for the link. Happy Monday!



Two things that I love include pop music and Canadians. Amy Heffernan has ’em both. The Canadian radio darling has just released her second album, Friggin’ Little Know It All and it’s a mix of everything I love and hate about pop music and female vocalists in general. Some of the songs are right at that “mediocre” level, but there’s this cluster of pure pop gold in the middle of the album that completely makes you forget about that sub-par song that you just heard two tracks ago.

From the press release:

“Amy Heffernan has never doubted music is what she was born to do. From the moment she saw the video for the No Doubt’s “Just A Girl,” she declared “That’s it – that’s what I want to do!” Years later, she is living out her childhood dream.

After receiving a 10K20 Grant from Rawlco Radio, Amy began work on her second full-length album, Friggin’ Little Know It All in late 2010 along with her brother Doug Heffernan and writing partners Steve Giles and Cal Curtis. [Released on] May 3, 2011, the album features everything from party anthems like “Friggin’ Little Know It All” and “Crap” to upbeat love confessions in songs like “Perfect” and the Boney M cover “Rasputin”. The spunky first single “Dance Ourselves Sober” is already making waves at radio.

Starting out as a drummer and touring North America with Juno-nominated artist Janelle, Amy then packed her gear, left her oil city home, Fort McMurray, AB, and headed south to Los Angeles to team up with her older brother, Doug.

“My debut EP is my baby, but it’s way too serious,” Amy explains. “I can be serious, but not ALL the time”. Amy immersed herself in the music scene of L.A. going to as many clubs to watch as many different acts as she could. Steering away from the typical singer/songwriter artists, she and went to watch such acts as Lady Gaga, Robyn and Juliet and The Romantiques.

The music industry got their real first taste of this emerging pop artist in spring 2010 when Amy was invited to perform at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Ontario, catching the attention of several label, music and radio tastemaskers. Canadian radio responded immediately to the infectious single “Being Awesome” and its follow-up “Dance Ourselves Sober,” building momentum on playlists from coast-to-coast.”

As for the album itself, you have tracks like “Friggin’ Little Know It All”, a No doubt flavored tune with the anger of Liz Phair and the syncopation of Fiona Apple along side songs like “Perfect”, an infectiously catchy tune (seriously found myself singing along after two listenings) easily from the end credits of a teenage rom-com, next to songs like karaoke anthem, “Being Awesome”. All three of those are definitely “singing in the shower” worthy.

But, then you have some tracks that, while not entirely falling flat, have just been done to death already like “Dance Ourselves Sober”, a slightly cleaner version of Lady Gaga‘s “Just Dance” and “Creepin’ Me Out”, a younger man’s version of Ke$ha‘s “D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R.”.

I’ve been hearing a lot of “Pink” thrown around while referencing this album, and I’m just not hearing it. I think more “Shakira” (though I do not know the status of Amy Heffernan’s hips). She’s got a unique inflection that is certainly not for everyone’s tastes, but happens to be for mine.

Heffernan seriously has so much potential and I’ve been trying to keep in mind the fact that this is only her second album. It’s right around that high C, low B range, but because the she has the potential to be super ultra awesome, she gets a B. She’s definitely one to watch out for, though. Check out some of the tracks below and you can find out for yourself. You can also find out more about Amy on her Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.

“Perfect” (Oh yeah, did I forgot to mention how adorable she is, too!? I guess I did.)

“Being Awesome”

“Friggin’ Little Know It All”



Sometimes it amazes me how much I genuinely enjoy Dave Grohl considering the amount of hatred I have for Nirvana. In fact, I think you should see this, right now.

Alright, now that that’s done, Foo Fighters have yet another album, Wasting Light, making a grand total of seven full length albums in sixteen years. It’s almost impossible to keep tabs on these guys anymore, they’ve got so much going on. You have Dave Grohl with the whole Them Crooked Vultures thing in addition to helping out Slash on his self-titled album, making cameos on tour with Tenacious D, and hanging out with Paul McCartney. Then there’s the rest of the band reportedly getting back with Sunny Day Real Estate (Nate Mendel), making their own home-style side projects (Chris Shiflett), and doing MORE stuff with Slash (Taylor Hawkins), you wonder how these guys have time to sleep, much less make new albums and tour.

Well, however they do it, the seasoned veterans of rock have managed to crank out another solid album. By far the heaviest that I’ve heard from the guys, it’s a full 180 from Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace. While ESPG was made of the stuff that sells out Wembley, it seems that the Fighters have made an album that they wanted to make.

A throw back to the early days, Wasting Light could have just as easily come out in 1994. Produced by Butch Vig (Nirvana’s Nevermind) with a surprise appearance by Krist Novoselic and the full-fledged return of Pat Smear, I feel like I should be looking for my old flannels and Docs somewhere. Also incredible, is the fact that after all of these years and all of that hard work, this is the FIRST Foo Fighters album to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Crazy, right? It’s about time, though, the boys deserve it.

As for the album itself, this isn’t the Foo Fighters that you hear on the radio. Opening with the guttural growl of Grohl on “Bridge Burning”, you don’t get a break until track ten, “I Should Have Known”, with it’s Kings of Leon-esque vibe. You also get tracks like the beautiful “Arlandia”, a haunting and melodic nursery rhyme side by side (literally) with tracks like “White Limo”, another heavy track with a little help from Motorhead’s Lemmy. Perhaps a gift to the fans of the old Probot days? It certainly sounds like it. While I hate to admit it, the first single “Rope”, is my favorite song so far. What can I say? I love Dave Grohl’s voice and this is the highlight of it on this album. It also has just the right amount of pop-song catchiness, without being overdone.

While most rock bands would have at least plateaued (if not dive bombed) by this point, Foo Fighters are still out there making consistently good records, which gives me hope for music in general. This album is downright satisfying. It’s everything a quintessential rock album should be, so it gets a resounding A from me. Check it out for yourself…it’s streaming for free on their Myspace now. You can also check out their site, Facebook, or Twitter for more news.

“Rope (Deadmau5 Remix)”



et cetera
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