Saturday, October 8, 2011

Odds and Ends

Each week I use this space to post some mini-reviews, cool tracks, random thoughts, neat news, or whatever else I damn well please.


Alpine White “The Hale” [EP] – The band did not take its name from the at-home teeth bleaching system, but rather the Gibson guitar. Colin Denker (lead vocals, guitar, piano, drums) is the mastermind behind this San Francisco quartet, which is rounded out by his brother Ian (bass, vocals), Ivan Wence (guitar, vocals), and Javier Benavides (drums). “The Hale” EP consists of four songs, the first half being superior to the second half. The gentle yet bright acoustic strumming of “When She Gets Home” serves as a fine introduction to this mellow rock band that straddles indie rock and power pop. “When She Gets Home” is memorable and moving, with enchanting backing vocals providing a sobering warmth. “The Evidence” picks up the pace a bit, practically floating with its soaring harmonies and crisp guitar line – another winner. “Days and Nights” is plagued with a lumbering introduction, but even when the vocals finally kick in, the song just doesn’t seem to get out of second gear. The record ends on a decent note with the steady “All The Weight” – lyrically strong, but musically less exciting than the standouts. Check out Alpine White if you like Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys, or Band of Horses. The EP is due out November 1 – learn more here.

Surprise of the week
Science has spoken – what are the catchiest songs ever? Some of them might surprise you…

I think this one will be a contender against the Lou Reed/Metallica collaboration for worst record of the year. Listen to William Shatner covering Black Sabbath here.

It has been a long time since we’ve heard from Alien Ant Farm (remember their awesome cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”)? I’m looking forward to the new record from these guys due early 2012. Details here.

Def Leppard discusses the state of music business: "The music industry went from being an art form to a business, and then to an industry." Read more here.

Butch Walker autobiography details here.

It’s confirmed: Jani Lane died of alcohol poisoning. Story here.

Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman has announced the release of a new solo album and a supporting tour this fall.

And finally, in memory of Steve Jobs – a man who changed the face of the music business as much as he did computers.

Random iPOD song of the week
The Jayhawks
– “Blue”

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