Monday, November 26, 2007


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

King of Prussia -- Save the Scene (Kindercore, 2008)

Here's anti-commercialism mixed in with nostalgia. The band's name could refer to the site of one of the US's largest malls, and the album titled coupled with the tv suggests a new reliance on remembering media sequences rather than actual life. The fact that the image on the screen is of an open, natural space reminds us of our postmodern life's separation from a traditional reality. It's a world of shopping and viewing, devoid of human contact (no one's watching this tv).

This stark view's presented through some seriously awesome wallpaper that predates me by quite a bit, and that's only suitable for ironically re-done family/party rooms in finished basements, with a lava lamp recently bought from Spencer's on a side table. The ancient tv fits in, and the appearance of one of those twin-knob sets makes me happy even if I never figured out the point of the bottom knob as a child.

The overall effect is disconcerting in its pleasant trappings and frustrated encoded message. The call to save the scene suggests we can recover a fading time, but the tele-visual suggests that idea's merely an illusion. B.B. King had "a good mind to give up living, and go shopping instead," and this album cover points to the moment of eternal entrapment; a scene frozen on screen, captured in art, in which we've ceased living but have not made it to the mall.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Every Album I Listened To

I know it sounds unlikely, but I'll confess that sometimes I don't just look at music. I actually listen to it. So, now that it's the end of the year, here's a list of all the music I listened to in 2007:

1. Oakley Hall - I'll Follow You
2. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
3. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
4. Marnie Stern - In Advance of the Broken Arm
5. Alan Pasqua - The Antisocial Club
6. Derek Webb - The Ringing Bell
7. Kanye West - Graduation
8. Nels Cline Singers - Draw Breath
9. The Mendoza Line - 30 Year Low
10. Cafe Tacuba - Si No

I reserve the right to listen to more music before, say, Pazz and Jop. For example, if I forgot that I listened to Helen Money and Bishop Allen, they might go on a later list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rings -- Black Habit (Paw Tracks, 2008)

I had to put a large copy of this one in to make sure you could see it:

I'm not sure why the cover's so dark; it doesn't have to be that black a habit, does it? The best I can figure out is that it's a picture of a Spartan warrior, like in 300. I assume that's what the music on a Paw Tracks release sounds like.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Barenaked Ladies -- Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan (Shout! Factory, 2007)

This one makes mee feel like I've been on one of those rides at the fair that you think's going to make you sick and dizzy but then it doesn't (which I never know if it's a good thing or not).* I suspect it's exactly what appeals to the Barenaked Ladies fanbase, though, with the big mishmash of stuff and the absurdly outdated references (even ironic use of "talk to the hand" is old). I do approve of the Hamburger Helper guy, though. And I have watched X-Files with no lights on, so it's not like I'm not feeling these guys.

Notice the little conjoined cherry-headed people. Somehow we've managed to post on album covers with conjoined beings twice in a row. I'm not planning on this becoming a trend, but who knows.

*One time at the fair, my friend swallowed some snuff on the Octopus and got sick. A couple years later he swallowed some during an AYSO soccer game and got sick. For that reason only, I hope he's quit chewing.

Apologies for the month-long vacation. Things should be back to normal soon. Both of you can resume checking this blog regularly again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mostly Bears -- Only Child (Funzalo, 2007)

This is probably my least favorite album cover of the year. I was waiting until I could scan the back of it (and gave up on getting to it), because as you follow the umbilical cord around to the back, the "only child" of the EP's title is depicted as conjoined twins. It's got the mock seriousness of seventh grade profundity (is it one child? or two?), and just looks ridiculous. The front's no better, though, where the mother's end of the umbilical cord comes out of her belly button. Perhaps anatomical accuracy would have made for an inappropriate drawing, but this one just makes no sense. And not in a silly kind of way, but just in a "why does this exist" sort of way.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Celine Dion - Taking Chances (Sony, 2007)

The world failed to inform me that Celine Dion recently became a man.