Under the Influence Vols. 7 & 8

Posted in covers, mp3, pop, punk, upcoming album, vinyl on February 4th, 2009 by Nick – Be the first to comment

LEMURIA / OFF WITH THEIR HEADS “Under the Influence” Volume 7
AUSTIN LUCAS / FRANK TURNER “Under the Influence” Volume 8

Vinyl Collective and Suburban Home are happy to announce the songs selected for Volumes 7 and 8 for our Under the Influence series.

On Volume 7, Lemuria cover “Alex Eiffel” by the Pixies and Off With Their Heads cover “Scarred by Love” by the Nobodys. There will be an edition of 2,000 copies pressed (300/700/1000).

On Volume 8, Austin Lucas covers “To Daddy” by Dolly Parton and Frank Turner covers “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. There will be an edition of 1,000 copies pressed (300/700). Yes, we know that Frank’s cover is also being released on a 7″ in the UK, but since it is out of an edition of 300 and won’t have Mitch and Amanda‘s incredible art. Speaking of Mitch and Amanda, they are currently working on the art for Volumes 7 and 8. We hope to have something to share with you shortly.

Lemuria – “Pants” (from Get Better)
Bruce Springsteen – “Thunder Road (live in Atlanta 12.02.02)

Interview: Mitch Clem

Posted in books, covers, interview, mp3, punk on October 9th, 2008 by Nick – 1 Comment

We’ve talked many times about Mr. Mitch Clem and his Nothing Nice to Say comic here at Rock Star Journalist. I interviewed him way back in September ’06, and there was even an aborted interview at a Kansas City comic book convention earlier the previous year (the image to your right is the proof of said aborted interview). Anyhow, being as how he’s got this neat little collection of NN2S strips that has been recently published by Dark Horse, as well the fabulous artwork for Suburban Home Records‘ “Under the Influence” series of 7″s, to say nothing of his record label Facepalm Records and his band the Tigermilks, I figured it was high time to speak with the man again.

Since the interview aired last night on KJHK‘s As Heard From the Hill, I can now share it with you all, in all of its awesomeness. This is the ten minute version. The full interview is nearly 45 minutes long and makes absolutely no sense. It will air in its entirety on Sunglasses After Dark this Friday, October 10 at 8pm Central Standard Time on KJHK 90.7FM.

Download the interview, as it aired on KJHK’s As Heard From the Hill on 10/10/08.

from the Tigermilks’ We Don’t Stand a Chance:
Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying

Drakkar Sauna – Wars and Tornadoes review

Posted in country, covers, mp3, reviews on May 20th, 2008 by Nick – Be the first to comment

Drakkar Sauna – “Wars and Tornadoes”
(Marriage Records)

Does Drakkar Sauna know how to make a bad album, really? Jeff Stoltz and Wallace Cochran seem to have this ability to put together songs that exist outside of time, that might just as easily been written in the dawning years of the last century as today. Wars and Tornadoes has as its billing as “Drakkar Sauna Faithfully Sing Songs of the Louvin Brothers.”

Stoltz and Cochran demonstrate their musical ability to the fullest extent on these songs written by Ira and Charlie Louvin, in that it’s quite difficult to differentiate any of the songs on this album from their originals on previous releases. Drakkar Sauna is a lot of like BR5-49 in that respect. Chuck Mead and company have always made their songs and covers nearly indistinguishable, and acquit themselves well in the execution of both. This could have quite easily been an affair with mandolin and guitar only, and would’ve been just fine. However, Drakkar Sauna is joined by a stellar line-up of help on this album, and that’s really what pushes it from “good” to “fantastic.” Betse Ellis of the Wilders on fiddle, Wayne Gottstein of Split Lip Rayfield on mandolin, and Kory Willis of the Midday Ramblers are only three of the folks on hand for this album and the diversity they bring makes this release a must-own. It’s wickedly twangy, and filled with mournful longing.

No “Great Atomic Power,” tho’. Uncle Tupelo got it first.

River of Jordan

White kids on stage

Posted in covers, live music, mp3 on April 24th, 2008 by Nick – Be the first to comment

My son’s downstairs practicing for his chorale concert in two weeks.

Thus far, I’ve heard “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “Help!,” “Freeze Frame,” “Mr. Blue Sky,” and (most humorously) “All Night Long.” Yep, the Foundations, the Beatles, the J. Geils Band, ELO, and Lionel Richie, all in the same concert. Sung by junior high white kids.

I think the money I spent on tickets will be well worth it. However, I’m making sure that I don’t know if they do the African breakdown in the middle of “All Night Long.” If I know it’s coming, I won’t be able to hold back the giggles.

ELO – “Mr. Blue Sky
the Foundations – “Build Me Up Buttercup
Lionel Richie – “All Night Long

Ravi Shankar would be proud… probably Slash, as well

Posted in covers, mp3, video on January 4th, 2008 by Nick – Be the first to comment

Sweet Child O’ Mine” on electric sitar and Sufi-esque singing. Evidently this is an ad currently running on Channel [V]. It’s one of the best covers I’ve ever heard in my life, and probably the most I’ve grinned in ages.

Link courtesy GorillaMask.

Guns ‘n’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine


Posted in covers, electronic, indie, mp3, streaming audio / video, video on October 7th, 2007 by Nick – Be the first to comment

Play! Symphony does Mario
the Minibosses do Mario 2

Special awesome bonus Super Mario Bros. level wherein you beat it by doing nothing. Yeah, this has been linked a million times, but I never get tired of watching it.

Minibosses – “Super Mario Bros. 2

Give me you money

Posted in covers, mp3, punk, random ranting on March 14th, 2007 by Nick – Be the first to comment

It’s a rare occurrence here in Lawrence to hear a busker playing something quality. I work downtown, live within walking distance of downtown, and all my favorite stores are downtown. Basically, I’m a mallrat, only without the mall. Downtown bar rat, record store junkie, and java fiend. That’s basically the long way of explaining as to why I spend a good portion of my free time kicking around down here.

And, as I spend a healthy portion of my free time wandering here and there as I go about my day, I cover a good portion of downtown Lawrence on a regular basis. Now that the weather’s warming up, downtown brings something other than beer, records, and coffee – buskers.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, buskers are like panhandlers, but rather than just asking you for change, they do something to coerce you into giving them money. It might be singing, dancing, telling jokes, drawing pictures, or – more frequently – playing a guitar. Ah, yes… the singing troubador, playing songs and singing for his supper.

If it were only so wonderful as that description makes it sound. In all actuality, it’s usually some dishelved hobo knocking out bad covers. There’s one gentleman who specializes in classic rock: Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. Other folks like Johnny Cash or other such old school country. Nirvana seems to be popular with the younger kids, but whatever the artist or genre, the execution is usually warbling off-key and out of tempo with how he’s strumming.

Case in point: this morning, on my way to get change for work, there was a trustafarian young sir singing Nine Inch Nails‘ “Hurt”, but playing what sounded like the chord progression for Jewel‘s “Who Will Save Your Soul?” No lie.

In short, it’d be awesome if I could hear some crust kid knocking out Against Me!‘s “Baby, I’m An Anarchist” or Billy Bragg‘s “The Milkman of Human Kindness.” While I wait, however, there’s going to be quite a few guitar cases sans my change.

Against Me! – “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong

Friday Freebies

Posted in covers, mp3, punk, rock 'n' roll, ska, uncategorized on March 9th, 2007 by Nick – 1 Comment

Due to a massive lack of planning on my part, there’s no actual album to download this week. However, thanks to the fact that most of the bands and record labels that I like being clued in to this whole “free music” thing, we have an alternative. That alternative is the following ten-track comp I have put together featuring songs that are completely legal, easy to get, and actually good. It’s pretty much punk rock, with a little ska to get you dancing.

It took me longer to put this together than it probably would have to just track down something available online, but once I got the idea in mind, it was pretty much necessary to get the fucker done. Hope you like it.

Rock Star Journalist’s Amazingly Legal Sampler

01. Clorox GIrls – “Flowers of Evil
02. Slapstick – “There’s A Metalhead In the Parking Lot
03. Sixgun Radio – “Culture Crave
04. Angel City Outcasts – “I’m An ACO
05. Radio One – “Pipebomb Rebels
06. Valient Thorr – “Man Behind the Curtain
07. Rancid – “Salvation
08. INDK – “Off the Scope
09. Leftover Crack – “Gang Control
10. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – “The Longest Time” (live)

If you want to learn to play electric guitars then a first good step might be to take a guitar lesson or two before you go out and choose between guitars to buy one. You may find out you’d prefer to play the drums instead.


Posted in covers, mp3, podcast, punk, random ranting on February 28th, 2007 by Nick – Be the first to comment

Sweet merciful Christ. Another Clash tribute album? Yes,indeedy, and this time for their triple-LP / double-CD epic Sandinista!

Dammit. What asshat dreamed up this idea? And, when I say “asshat”, I mean just that – some idiot with his head so far up his keister that he may as well just have it permanently placed on top of his head, a la chapeau. That is the sort of mind-bogglingly idiotic individual who would decide that world could stand to have its what – fifth, sixth, seventh tribute album since 1999?

There was Burning London, Backlash, City Rockers, Police State, Punk Tribute to the Clash, and the simply-titled The Clash Tribute. Now there’s The Sandinista! Project, and I just don’t get it.

If you took the time and money required to buy all these compilations, you’d have yourself seven cds (technically eight, as the new one is two discs) and probably one cd’s worth of listenable songs. Hell, you’d have both David Lowery projects, several poorly-thought-out hip-hop tracks, and some seriously unlistenable, utterly banal, out-and-out shit.

This is to say nothing of the various tracks that litter other artist’s b-sides comps. Dropkick MurphysSingles Collection Volume 1 has three, fer cryin’ out loud.

So, for the love of god – no mas. Please, I love the band as much as anyone else, but I’d rather see some serious effort into somebody making an official release of Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg. All the original demos that became Combat Rock? Fascinating… with some liner notes and behind-the-scenes photos, it could be even better than Super Black Market.

Download Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg

Coverville‘s Clash show.

Taking a series of music classes can help almost anyone improve.

Covered from your head to your toes

Posted in covers, mp3, punk, random ranting on August 30th, 2006 by Nick – Be the first to comment

Ponder this, as I did…

What the hell is up with punk bands covering arena rock acts? How did music that was a response to a certain style of music- specifically, prog rock, which was and is incredibly detailed and requires a great amount of skill to play- end up playing the very same songs that the musical movement was started in response to? Is it irony? Is it a purposeful ruination, in that a song is played sloppily and poorly to show how much said song is despised? I really want to know.

What brought this about? Two songs. I bought the Vagrant compilation West X North-South, whicyh features the Meices covering Blue Oyster Cult‘s “Burning For You.” Then I heard some local station play the Ataris‘ cover of “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley.

What happened to the Clash playing “I’m So Bored With the USA” with Don Law in the audience and dedicating it to BOC? What, for that matter, happened to “Don Henley Must Die”?

When I think of all the shit the Circle Jerks took when they recorded “Jerks On 45″, I’m amazed that bands today can do this and not be heckled within an inch of their lives. Maybe it’s the pop in the pop punk that gets them the leeway from the punks… but if that’s the case, then why did the Ataris change the lyrics in “Boys of Summer” to “Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac”?

Don Henley – “Boys of Summer
the Ataris – “Boys of Summer
the Clash – “I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.