Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Age - Middle East Downstairs November 24, 2008

The review I did for the No Age show is up. You can find it

Kudos to Joshua for the great pictures on the site as well. Hope you will stop over.

Friday, November 21, 2008

FDF Volume 2 Issue 117 : Singles - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

By: March

Album - Singles - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Artist - Various
Key Players - Various
Produced By - Each track had their own producer, but the final was produced by Danny Bramsona and Cameron Crowe

Release Date - June 30, 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Was actually organizing cds and this one was out of place. Realized it had been quite some time since this was played.

Overview - Fans might be surprised to know that the movie and soundtrack were actually about year before the grunge movement really took off. With images from the film, and the music it is said to have formed the "Seattle Scene". The sound track was released in June while the movie was released in September. The film did okay, but the sound track did really well.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Due to it being various artists we can break it out track by track.

Deep bass guitar brings up "Would?" by Alice in Chains. A guitar and percussive instruments swell up before singer Layne Staley's haunting, yet powerful vocals, rise over everything. The chorus contains the vocal hook with the instruments holding there own before Jerry Cantrell solos. The song concludes with Staley forcing "If..I Could..Would..You? and the band accenting each word. Pearl Jam doing "Breath" is next. The bass is high in the mix on the track. Overall, it holds very true to the formula that has worked for so many years for Pearl Jam. The great vocals and strong instrumental fills. Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell shines in a solo track "Seasons". Keep in mind, this was Cornell before the band really exploded with the Superunknown album. The acoustic guitar was played by Cornell and his voice is just as strong in an intimate setting as it is when he is fully in the rock star mode. The man has a an incredible set of pipes. Paul Westerberg was busy on this sound track. His first track is "Dyslexic Heart" which starts off on a relatively quiet manner before the drum brings every one up. The "Nah Nah Nah" sing along into the first verse are instantly recognizable. Westerberg also wrote the musical score for the film. Members of the band Heart are in the group The Lovemongers who appear next doing a cover of the Led Zeppelin track "The Battle of Evermore". Ann and Nancy Wilson sounds terrific vocally on this track (it is actually a live version). It may not be Zeppelin, but they do very strong and credible version. A solo piano starts off "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" by Mother Love Bone. Singer Andrew Wood is the focal point along with the piano before the drums come in lightly at almost the two minute mark. There are some quiet guitar fills and Wood sings another verse where it remains calm to about four minutes before the band comes in full. It is a quick burst before they retreat once more, but they are not in full retreat mode, as they come back up a minute later. There are some good instrumental moments, where the band calms before opening up once more. The final minute and a half the band is really rolling. It is heavy, but within the context of the song, they really do not over do things. "Birth Ritual" by Soundgarden begins with a delayed and distorted guitar that fads from speaker to speaker for the first forty five seconds then the band comes in hard. It is easy to hear the band was influenced from other Seattle natives "Tad" on this track. It sounds like something they'd have done. Its a heavy track with Cornell really getting the spotlight for his banshee screams. Kym Thayil ha a great guitar solo and Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron keep everything together nicely. The Pearl Jam track "State of Love and Trust" is next. To this day the band still plays this song in a live setting on a pretty regular basis. One of the bands that never got there real shake with the "grunge" movement was Mudhoney who contributed "Overblown". It would be wrong to pigeonhole them as a grunge like Ramones..but the track is a straight up, in your face rock track. Pounding drums and in your face guitars make this one of the shortest, and most effective tracks on the sound track. A second Paul Westerberg track "Waiting For Somebody" follows. Again, Paul shows his pop sensibility with a catchy "ooh/ahh" sing along. As a nod to a person that has everyone on the sound track admires "May This Be Love" by Jimi Hendrix is next. For the ferocity at which Jimi could play it was always odd to hear him sing in a hushed manner and play the guitar like a guitar and not like something he wanted to destroy (of which he seemed to manage just fine to do both depending on the setting). A very pretty song none the less. If your headphones, or stereo was up after this track, be careful as "Nearly Lost You" by the Screaming Trees will shake your foundation with the intro. Gary Lee and Van Conner are the bassist and guitarist and with the pounding drums and singer Mark Lanegans horribly under-rated rock vocals soaring over it all. Why this band was never way bigger remains a mystery to me. The album closes with the 8+ minute "Drown" by The Smashing Pumpkins. The track was written around the time of the Gish album, and before the band would go on to release the record "Siamese Dream" that would make them more household names. This was (and still is Billy) the best time of Pumpkins music. The track concludes with an extended feedback solo which was cut back on the bands best of collection released years later. The band really gets rolling about two minutes in with Corgan doing what he does best..not singing and soloing like a mother effer. If the band could ever capture moments like this I'd be all ears. We mellow again at about the three minute mark for about 45 seconds before the band fires off once more and then the long feedback solo begins and runs for the next 4 or so minutes to close the record.

Where are they now? - Check the links for most up to date info. Many of the bands are still recording and they are still finding Jimi Hendrix demos to release to this day.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - In reading, I actually have been lucky enough to see Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Paul Westerberg (when he was in the Replacements), Screaming Trees and the Smashing Pumpkins..heck I think the only person I haven't seen on this list is Jimi Hendrix.

FDF Overall Take - To me personally, this era of music had a profound effect. It might be cliche, but this was one time I really remember being excited about music, and where it was in the world of pop culture as well. A lot of crap followed for sure as the industry over did it, but we were also left with some gems.

In scanning the archives, three of the artists on this sound track have had their own records featured on this site. They were:
Mother Love Bone, Screaming Trees, and, Pearl Jam. I am sure there is more to come.

Links -
The movie on IMDB

Alice in Chains official
Pearl Jam official
Chris Cornell official
Heart (the lovemongers) official
Mother Love Bone on Wiki
Soundgarden on Wiki
Mudhoney on myspace
Paul Westerberg
Jimi Hendrix official
Screaming Trees on myspace
Smashing Pumpkins

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3s have been taken down.

May This Be Love by Jimi Hendrix
Nearly Lost You by the Screaming Trees
Dyslexic Heart by Paul Westerberg

Songs were taken from the soundtrack which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some cool news to share...

Murder By Death
w/William Elliott Whitmore
Cafe 939, Boston, MA
Saturday, November 15, 2008

I have some exciting news. After a few years of reviewing shows I have caught the attention of a great music based web page.

A few weeks ago, they asked if I'd like to write for them. I happily accepted for many reasons (one being the site looks great) and a series of other reasons.

So, I will use this blog at times to let you know if I have written something, not to say you should not check out the site anyway, but you get the idea.

Link to the direct article is here, but the main page is here

I am excited about this opportunity. Thanks to Josh and Josh at for this chance, and Mike at Cafe 939 for the pass to review the show.

Friday, November 14, 2008

FDF Volume 2 Issue 116: The Mightly Lemon Drops - Laughter

By: March

Album - Laughter
Artist - The Mighty Lemon Drops
Key Players - Keith Rowley - drums. Marcus Williams - bass. David Newton - guitar. Paul Marsh - lead vocals/guitar
Produced By - Mark Wallis

Release Date - September 20, 1989

What caused me to blow off the dust? - This was the first band I ever got in to after knowing nothing about them, and seeing them live as a support act. I loved their look and sound and followed them for their "duration" from 1988 thru 1992. I used to spend a lot of time with their records and this one always seemed the strongest to me.

Overview - Woverhampton, England band, The Mighty Lemon Drops began as a band a few years prior to a 1985 single release. The UK press (NME) and radio host John Peel were early fans of the band that played a mixture of alternative and pop rock. The band would release a total of six studio records with "World without End" having the bands most well known single "Inside Out". The band would have only mild success in the states and would be dropped from their label and disbanding in 1992.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- A long ebow swirl slowly builds "At Midnight". The song slowly builds with the ebow and then the bass and guitars come up before the guitar comes over it all. Its a mid tempo track with Newton and Marsh harmonizing at times with the ebow swirling back up at times. The bass rumbles under it all and the drums are hit with authority. After the band all comes together repeating a series of notes the drums bring it back towards the end where it crashes to a halt. Its a strong opener, and was always a great live show opener as well. A single guitar brings up "Into the Heart of Love", that is almost compressed and in "mono" before the whole band joins in. During the verse the band sort of sits back while Marsh sings but come the chorus the Rickenbacker guitar wall comes over. After the second chorus the vocal track gets heavily compressed for the "shoot shoot shoot you down" before the fun, uptempo music returns. "Where do we Go From Heaven" follows and it utilizes some of the same drawn out fade ups, but we are greeted with acoustic guitar instead of electric as the primary lead. The first verse is done almost totally acoustic and then the band comes in, but the acoustic is high in the mix. There is call and response chorus', but they are not yelling at one another. Marsh repeats the chorus, and the band does a full run of the chorus an octave higher than before. They repeat the title a few times as the song fades and there is a series of delays on the vocals as well the song fades out, and right back up with a single that bring in "The Heartbreak Thing". The drums are marching band like, the guitars chug on simple chords until the pre-chorus when the we let out the "chime" of the guitars once more and by the chorus the drums bang out the 4/4 beat on the snare drum. Its a quick song that retains all alt rock pop hooks you can stand. Some delayed drums work up "One In A Million" before a single guitar joins in. Marsh sings a full verse with just the guitar and drums holding down the same pattern, before the guitar line changes, and then we bring it back to the ebow guitar with drums. At the chorus (it doesn't seem like a chorus yet) the bass comes in with a few single notes, then we hit it down. The band is full and the mix is perfect, you can hear all the instruments perfectly and the chorus has a wonderful vocal hook. Marsh goes high on the final few passes of the chorus but never waivers vocally and it slowly comes down but then Rowley brings it all back together for a wonderful closing few moments. "Written in Fiction" starts with guitars right off and blends in some horns. It is a decent sounding track, but at the outset sounds a little out of place. The lyrics are given choppy, but there are some great guitar effects thrown over Marsh at times adding a unique touch. "The Real World" is a little more back to the feel of the earlier tracks. Williams gets a chance to show off some of his bass work before the band comes together at the verse. There are horns once more, but they feel a little more in place on this track. A slightly compressed single guitar starts up "All That I Can Do" and Marsh comes in with the vocals soon after the track begins. The band is always strong with their choruses and this is no exception. "Second Time Around" is another strong track that follows a lot of the same formulas of the record, a solid bass line, drums that are not "overdone" and catchy choruses. An acoustic and electric guitar start off "Beautiful Shame". To this day, one of my favorite songs by any band. It is one of those songs that just "does it for me" every time. The bass underneath the guitars and the way the chorus is sung, it just is a perfect match. See for yourself, in the download section. You may not dig, but my glowing smile when it plays speaks bounds. The album closes with "Rumbletrain?" a track that has heavy bass and, as you'd imagine, a train like chugging drum line. A decent enough closer, not too flashy but not dull either.

Where are they now?
- The band was dropped by their label and disbanded in 1992. Dave has gone on to work in recording and has an interview on myspace (account needed)you can read. He also played guitar in a band called Fonda who released two records. Paul, Marcus and Keith I did not have much luck finding out what they are up to on line. If anyone knows, shoot a note to the comments and I will add (and give you credit o'course).

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I was introduced to the band when they opened for Love and Rockets at the Orpheum Theater in Boston on April 16, 1988. I remember being WAAAAAY in the back and just falling in love with the band right away. The black outfits, the Rickenbacker guitars..ahhh it was love at first listen. October 4, 1988 I saw them at the Paradise in Boston. The best part of that show, fans were up on stage dancing along to "Inside Out" with your blog host leading the charge. Somewhere around the time of this record (well touring under the "Laughtour" name) I saw the Lemon Drops with John Wesley Harding and the Ocean Blue at the Living Room in Providence Rhode Island (some dates point to 1990). I have a promo record that has the dates on it..I'll have to check. I checked the date was January 26, 1990. October 13, 1992 was the last time, when they played the Rat in Boston. Very few people were at this show, and my buddies and I actually went from the Ned's Atomic Dustbin show at Axis, over to this (well we stopped for a slice of pizza before hand). We ran in to Dave at the Neds show and said "We are coming to see you next!" He gave the thumbs up and walked away (probably a good thing)

FDF Overall Take - This is a decent band for the late 80's "alternative" rock scene. They are similar to bands like the Church and Echo and the Bunnymen, with a focus on guitars. Honestly, this particular record may as well have burn marks in it from the laser on the cd player. It was played all the time and brings back a lot of fun/great memories. For the casual fan, or someone new to the band, since a lot of the stuff is out of print, go with the "best of" collection. Don't be shy, if you like what you hear in the mp3's or myspace, you love it all..honestly.


The band on myspace, a decent, although in need of an update fan site. This is the myspace for Dave and a link to the studio he works in/for.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Mp3's have been removed...
At Midnight
One in a Million
Beautiful Shame

All the tracks were taken from Laughter which you can buy here


This is gone too...
Perhaps the most well know track from the band was "Inside Out". This is a live version taken from a live cd of theirs called "All the Way. It was recorded live in Cincinnati Ohio on April 6, 1990.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whoa..this blog is legit?

I've been served...odd. I got an email regarding the Depeche Mode FDF done months ago..they deleted it because of the mp3's...but I usually remove them after 2-3 weeks anyway. Oh well. My bad..sorry.

The downside is the whole post is gone..not just the mp3s.

Friday, November 07, 2008

FDF Volume 2 Issue 115: The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good

By: March

Album - Life's Too Good
Artist - The Sugarcubes
Key Players - Guitars: Þór Eldon Jónsson. Vocals and Keyboards: Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Bass: Bragi Ólafsson. Drums: Sigtryggur Baldursson.
Vocals and Trumpet: Einar Örn Benediktsson.
Produced By - Ray Shulman and Derek.Dirkett

Release Date - April 1988.

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- I had this on tape and remember listening to it over and over on my long commutes in to Boston. I never got it on cd until I stumbled upon a used copy of the re-issue about a month ago. It had been a LONG time since this record was played.

Overview - This was the debut record from the Icelandic band The Sugarcubes. Considered one of the bands that put Icelandic music on the global map, the band would go on to release two additional records, a remix record and a best of collection all in under 20 years.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- The record opens up with "Traitor" that begins with a slow fade up and some harmonica. The band comes in about 25 seconds in and Einar speaks while Bjork comes over him vocally. It has a very cool deep bass groove to the track and the drums are hit really quite hard. The odd tempo that is "Motorcrash" follows. There is a nice jangle to the guitar but the tempo feels off a little, yet the band holds it all together. The drums are simple and Bjork does both the main vocal parts as well as the harmonies via over dubs. The up tempo track has splashes of horns and a musical break down before Bjork comes back as strong as ever. The first single to US Radio was "Birthday". It has some deep bass work once more and its a little confusing to the ears even today (imagine 20 years ago). Musically its very atmospheric in its feel leading up the chorus where Bjork really pushes herself vocally. The track really showcases her vocals and the drum work, with the bass run being a close second. Bringing up with guitar and a scream from Bjork "Delicious Demon" follows. Another up tempo track that Bjork sings some lines while Einar chants at points. Toss in some cowbell and we swing right in to the catchy chorus. "Mama" is a slower and darker feeling song, as is "Coldsweat" in which the latter focus on softer percussion work. It gets more up tempo with "Blue Eyed Pop" as what appears to sound like two guitars and long single bass notes before the song gets rolling. Einar takes more of the lead vocal duties on this track, at least at the outset. We mellow out again on "Deus" with clicky drums and an overall slower groove. Bjork goes solo on the first parts of "Sick for Toys" before the band comes down hard. Drums are really crisp as Einar returns backing vocally on the track. Almost feels odd to type this, but an alt country feeling "Fucking in Rhythm and Sorrow" follows. It has a 12 bar blues bass line and light chime to the guitars, it is not acoustic based it just feels sort of out of place, yet perfect with the record showing the bands diversity. The original record (reviewed here) wrapped up with "Take Some Petrol Darling" a mid tempo track that features a lot of "growling" for the vocal portions. It is sort of a throw away track honestly.

Where are they now? - The band went on and indefinite hiatus in 1992 when they decided to try other things. In November of 2006 they did perform live together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut single. Things went well, but the band has not committed to anything "collectively" since. Einar has worked as a promoter and has recorded under the moniker Ghostigital. Sigtryggur is currently a member of the band that carries his name. Bragi is currently working as a writer. According to Wikipedia he a novelist and playwrite and poet. In searching on Þór the only thing I was able to find was he appears to be working in a project called Punk Rock Iceland. Bjork is probably the most noticeable person with success outside the band. She has released a six solo records many which critics and fans adored. The continues to write and perform live, and is rumored to be in the studio at the time of this writing, but has said she plans to take her time.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I did see the Sugarcubes live one time. They were the opening band for New Order and Public Image Limited. The show was Great Woods in Mansfield MA on July 10, 1989. I remember the Sugarcubes being overly animated on stage, doing what they could to get the early arrivals in to the show. Honestly, it worked. They were great.

FDF Overall Take - Like many records, the tracks I really like I still really like. Some of the other tracks are okay, but don't hold me for long. As a collective the band really brought some new ideas to "alternative rock". Casual fans would probably opt for the best of collection, and three tracks on this cd are on it.

Links -
Bjork official page. Check out Ghostdigital as well as Steintryggur on myspace. Finally check out Punk Rock Iceland.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

(**mp3s have been removed) they were:

Delicious Demon

All the tracks were taken from Life's Too Good which you can buy here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.