New Music Releases – 7/22/14

 The List 

Aaron Freeman – Freeman
The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest
Bobby Patterson – I Got More Soul
Common – Nobody’s Smiling
Got a Girl – I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
La Hell Gang – Thru Me Again
La Roux – Trouble in Paradise
Neil Hamburger – First of Dismay
Obn Iiis – Live in San Francisco [Live]
P.S. I Love You – For Those Who Stay
Raveonettes – Pe’ahi

Rocknowski’s Reviews

Rocknowski is listening to and reviewing the opening track of every new release we find interesting or worthy, for as long as he keeps his sanity. These reviews are for the opening tracks only, and go by the following rating system:

1 star – Could barely get through the one song.
2 stars – Will not listen to the rest of the album.
3 stars – Might listen to the rest of the album.
4 stars – Will definitely listen to the rest of the album.
5 stars – Could not wait to listen to the rest of the album.Aaron Freeman – Freeman - “Covert Discretion”  - ***
- Freeman has not wandered too far away from the Ween philosophy with this self-titled solo record. The opening track, with it’s soaring, melodic refrain of “Fuck you…I’m never gonna die” is a Queen song. Albeit, with profane lyrics, the sort of which Mercury would have never uttered outside of a Saturday night trip to his favorite bathhouse. Of course, Freeman is neither Freddie Mercury nor Brian May, so “Cold Discretion” is not a great Queen song. Still, I’m willing to hand out 3 stars and tread a little further into this record.The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest - “Sunday Evening” – *****
There’s absolutely nothing new about this, and I’m not someone who believes there’s really nothing new under the Sun. So long as we all keep having different fingerprints, there’s gotta be hope, yes? That must mean, that if nothing else, we are new. This opening salvo on the new Black Angels LP is Who/Kinks/Donovan/Creation/Brian Jonestown Massacre etc. all over again. That having been said, I fucking loved it and I want more. The closest I can come to justifying my craving is that this song feels to me as if it’s the result of the band being possessed by an ancient sound. They’re not just doing some cunning impression. I’m starting to feel bad about not sticking around to watch the Black Angels headline when I went to see Roky Erickson in Houston this past Spring.

Bobby Patterson – I Got More Soul – “I Got More Soul” – ****
The recent death of Soul and R&B quasar Bobby Womack highlighted the steadily declining supply of cool old black guys in the music industry. Anybody of taste, with any kind of feeling for the tremendous cultural contribution of African-American music to our nation’s earholes, need only look at the record cover to want to root like hell for this guy. While listening to the steady, rollicking, organic groove of this opening track, I had to keep auditing myself to determine if I liked the tune for what it is, or for what it represents. Screw it, both make a strong case for themselves.

Common – Nobody’s Smiling - “The Neighborhood (ft. Lil’ Herb and Cocaine 80′s” – *
I have to be honest, I mostly think of Common as an actor. Years ago, I bought “Like Water For Chocolate” but I almost never listen to it. I respect Common for his spirituality and his social conscience. “Nobody’s Smiling” addresses the unprecedented wave of gang and gun violence in Common’s home city of “Chi-raq.” That’s all very noble. Unfortunately, this track sucks. The groove is suspect, there is no chorus. Yeah, the sample of news radio 780 just at the tail end made me a little home sick, but the whole mess sounds like it was devised by a guy who mostly thinks of himself as an actor. Actually, I’m not even sure I heard Common rap on this opening track. There are three credited voices, if that’s true, they all sound the same.

Got a Girl – I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now – “Did We Live To Fast” – **
Word has it that this group is a collaboration between a moderately successful actress and a moderately successful hip-hop producer. Assuming the actress is the one doing the singing, she can sing a little bit. And the production sounds competent enough. There’s skill and talent here. It’s just not particularly compelling. I bet this song would make for an appropriate sonic back drop for your next Latte purchase down at the local Starbucks though.

La Hell Gang - Thru Me Again – “Inside My Fall”  - ***
A gang of rock n’ roll Chileans, one of whom can play play some Neil Young-esque Ragged Glory on the axe, and another one who seems capable of generating some Nothing Shocking era Eric A. on the thunderbroom. I couldn’t make out any of the lyrics and I hope they have a few more stylistic moves in their repertoire, but I’m open to hearing some more.

La Roux – Trouble in Paradise - “Uptown Downtown” – ***
This tune reminds this old warhorse of the sun sprayed ’80′s new wave pop-funk of Rick James‘ alter ego-ettes, the Mary Jane Girls, or Prince‘s Vanity 6. This song is missing something, sounds to me like it’s just a slight dose of semi-combustible children’s cough syrup away from FM radio Summer greatness. Unfortunately, with this sort of thing, a little is an awful damn lot. 

Neil Hamburger – First of Dismay - “Heckler, Mumbler” – *
Here’s something I learned the hard way. Comedy and performance art are not at all the same thing.

Obn Iiis – Live in San Francisco [Live] - “If The Shit Fits” – ***
100 pounds of high density garage rock in a 10 lb colostomy bag. Not bad.

P.S. I Love You – For Those Who Stay - “In My Mind At Least” – ***
Clouds Taste Metallic era Wayne Coyne jamming with Iggy Pop’s band from his Lust For Life LP. Once upon a time I would’ve thought that would be the perfect record. Even now, I’ll call it an awful damn good start.

Raveonettes – Pe’ahi - “Endless Sleeper” – ****
Not that this band has split the atom on the Steve Allen Show with Chuck Yeager riding shotgun, but I’m having trouble coming up with some sort of reductive, pithy, comment to describe what they’re doing here. All I can say is I found this tune as soothing as whale song (Or Enya) and as rocking as an evening with Linda Evans on the set of the 1974 Joe Don Baker magnum-opus, “Mitchell.” Ok, I’ll admit it. I watched the “Mitchell” MST3K recently, and I didn’t exactly know what to say about this band. I stand by my “as soothing as whale song” comments though.

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New Video Releases – 7/22/14

The Angriest Man In Brooklyn[SD Download]
Blue Ruin[DVD][Blu-ray]
The Congress - [HD Stream]
Divergent[SD Download][HD Download]
Dom Hemingway[Blu-ray]
Human Race[DVD]
The Internet’s Own Boy[SD Stream][HD Stream]
Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors - [Digital]
The Suspect[DVD][SD Download][HD Download]

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New Comic Releases – 7/16/14

God Is Dead #16, $3.99

Black Market #1 (of 4), $3.99
Clive Barker Next Testament #11 (of 12), $3.99

Doberman #1, $3.99

Dark Engine #1, $3.50
Wicked & Divine #2, $3.50

100th Anniversary Special #1 X-Men, $3.99
Elektra #4, $3.99
Magneto #7, $3.99
Ms Marvel #6, $2.99
Original Sin #3.2, $3.99
Original Sin #6 (of 8), $3.99
Savage Hulk #2, $3.99
Secret Avengers #5, $3.99
She-hulk #6, $2.99
Silver Surfer #4, $3.99
Ultimate FF #4, $3.99

Auteur #5, $3.99

Bryan Lee O Malley Seconds GN, $25.00

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New Music Releases – 7/15/14

 The List 

Anna Calvi – Strange Weather
Bleachers – Strange Desire
Honeyblood – Honeyblood
Jason Mraz – Yes!
John Hiatt – Terms Of My Surrender
Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business
Puss N Boots – No Fools, No Fun (Amazon Exclusive – 2 Track Bonus Version) [Deluxe Edition]
Rise Against – The Black Market
Trampled by Turtles – Wild Animals
Weird Al Yankovic – Mandatory Fun
SoundtrackWish I Was Here

Rocknowski’s Reviews


Rocknowski is listening to and reviewing the opening track of every new release we find interesting or worthy, for as long as he keeps his sanity. These reviews are for the opening tracks only, and go by the following rating system:

1 star – Could barely get through the one song.
2 stars – Will not listen to the rest of the album.
3 stars – Might listen to the rest of the album.
4 stars – Will definitely listen to the rest of the album.
5 stars – Could not wait to listen to the rest of the album.

Anna Calvi – Strange Weather – “Papi Pacify – **
I can’t front. Songstress Anna Calvi has more beauty and talent than I’m even really usually comfortable with. Her latest EP, “Strange Weather” , is a volley of covers that features a guest spot by Ex-Talking Heads co-conspirator, David Byrne. The only one of the selected songs that I was previously familiar with is Alan Vega‘s “Ghost Rider.” Vega’s tunes have hit me many different ways over the years, but I believe this was my first boner.There’s no denying the atmosphere of this extended play. I’d say Miss Calvi has made the social climber’s make-out record of the year. This slab would also make a nice back drop for some of your classier suicides. If you’re gonna top yourself with an overdose of Vicodin washed down with a glass of port inside the New York or San Francisco city limits, this is your shit.

Bleachers – Strange Desire - “Wild Heart” – **
Apparently this is the side project of one the kooky young men from the band, fun., You know what? The kiddos have exalted way less talented, way more obnoxious and way less infectious pop music over the years. As far as the sins of the Top 40 goes, this really ain’t that bad. Ten Hail Mary’s, tops. Believe me, I know. I live in Country Jam um…country. It could be worse.
 - Honeyblood – “Fall Forever” – **
Lester Bangs, the closest rock criticism has ever come to legend, once described The Clash‘s dub foray “Bankrobber” as sounding like “Every David Bowie single played backwards and at the same time.” Ok, so here’s Fat Cat recording artists, Honeyblood. And Honeyblood sounds like every single female fronted college rock band of the nineties. Then what happens? Let us say that every one of those bands had their DNA pulverized into a fine paste, and that paste was poured into a turkey baster and used to impregnate a vintage dress purchased at a thrift store. Then, that same soiled dress subdivided into Honeyblood and made this record. Somewhere during all that, some guitars jangled. To the degree that concept appeals to you, by all means check this shit out. If not, don’t trouble yourself.

Jason Mraz – Yes! - “Rise” – *
Sit back, relax, lean back into the couch, close your eyes and imagine it’s 1987. U2 are heading into the studio to record their “Joshua Tree” album to be produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Are you there? Good. Now imagine that a young Oprah Winfrey has been tapped to write all the lyrics and the Edge has quit the band. Or, if you don’t want waste time with imagining, take a listen to the new Jason Mraz.

John Hiatt – Terms Of My Surrender - Long Time Comin’ – **
As I get older I tend to want to root for old guys more. I guess I want it proven by somebody that I’m not on the down side of relevance and vitality. Old ass John Hiatt doesn’t do much to help the old ass cause here. “Love can be so wrong, like a fat man in a thong.” Yeah, that’s kinda funny but it just seems like a lite parody of the late career, world weary crud Dylan’s been ramming down our throats for the last fifteen to twenty years.

Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business - “World Peace Is None Of Your Business” – ***
The former Smith‘s lead singer’s biggest fans tend to be writers, not musicians. If you ever had sex with an English major that had a Sylvia Plath fixation, chances are this now grizzled old Manc was rolling around in that same subconscious. You probably got birthday cards and mix tapes that looked as though they’d gone out in a Morrisey/Plath rain without a bumbershoot. Those quotes will stain if you don’t replace them with some new age witchcraft/pyramid scheme. Where was I? Oh yeah, the new album’s ok but it’s like you died and went to theater kid heaven. Not a heaven to which this reviewer will be welcomed.

Puss N Boots – No Fools, No Fun – “Leaving London” – **
Ok, let’s forget about the band bio. This is an all female country/jazz trio with one member who went ridiculously platinum with her debut album, and also almost killed me and my mother by putting us both to sleep on a drive home from aunt’s house in Harvard, one summer night twelve years ago. That was then. No hard feelings. This is a new venture. The production is tastefully under done. A pre-Civil Rights Act of 1964 Grand Ole Opry listener wouldn’t be shocked and appalled to have Puss N’ Boots spilling out of their Crosley. The songs sound like decent restorations of better, more ancient Americana, rendered by more talented but less inspired fans of the originals. Yes, sir. These girls can sing, and they can play. In terms of American roots music effectiveness, I’d put ‘em right at the la grange point between Emmylou Harris and Alannah Myles.

Rise Against – The Black Market – “The Great Die-off” – **
This is perfectly competent mall punk. I suppose, if you don’t already have any Bad Religion, Naked Raygun, or even Against Me! records, this platter might do the trick.

Trampled by Turtles – Wild Animals - “Wild Animals” – **
I’m what you call a non-traditional college student, so I can personally attest that TBT. is the closest thing this crop of young bloods have to a t-shirt band. What’s more, Trampled’s latest offering strikes me as proof-positive that the Flaming Lips are the most influential band around right now. Trampled By Turtles might channel Pink Floyd and Neil Young better than the current incarnation of the Lips but they have nowhere near the slow, crawl power and glory of the Lips (or Mercury Rev) in their mid-90′s prime. TBT’s website threatens that their gonna hit Red Rocks on August 16th. Which makes me wonder just how much cough syrup can one human being drink?

Soundtrack - Wish I Was Here - “So Now What” by The Shins - ***
A decade ago, sitcom star Zach Braff made half of a great film. Braff packaged said film with a sound track that really spoke to the hooded sweatshirt and skinny jean set. Four years into the digital genocide of the traditional record industry, the soundtrack to Braff’s Garden State sold one million tangible units and pretty much gave the world the Shins, and vice-y versa. Allegedly, Wish I Was Here is a sequel of sorts to Garden State. and Braff the filmmaker has once again chose to lead with a Shins tune. The song sounds like Facebook era Beach Boys, as per usual with the Shins. It’s not bad. I mean, it doesn’t make me wanna go out and buy the album but it does make mildly curious about the film, despite the reviews.


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New Comic Releases – 7/9/14

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New Music Releases – 7/8/14

The List 

BraidNo Coast
Judas PriestRedeemer of Souls (Deluxe Edition)
Sia – 1000 Forms Of Fear
Ted NugentShutup&Jam!

Rocknowski’s Reviews


Rocknowski is listening to and reviewing the opening track of every new release we find interesting or worthy, for as long as he keeps his sanity. These reviews are for the opening tracks only, and go by the following rating system:


1 star – Could barely get through the one song.
2 stars – Will not listen to the rest of the album.
3 stars – Might listen to the rest of the album.
4 stars – Will definitely listen to the rest of the album.
5 stars – Could not wait to listen to the rest of the album.

BraidNo Coast – “Bang” – ***
I’m of two minds on this track. I was a casual acquaintance of one of the band members 20 plus years ago. I can’t decide if I’m giving this track too much credit because I can still vividly see the tattoo on his mother’s ankle in my mind’s eye, or not enough credit because he blew me off when I sent him some song demos a couple years back. I almost wanna recuse myself but I’ll just quote old Monty Burns (“I know what I hate and I don’t hate that), give the track 3 stars and move along.

Judas PriestRedeemer of Souls - “Dragonaut:
I’m gonna come clean. I am, at best, a casual Judas Priest fan. Point of fact, I think that their greatest song is “Dancing After Midnight”. It’s fun, it’s danceable, it’s only like 3 minutes long. I am fully cognizant this statement could afflict the sort of dour young men that usually take a liking to Priest with acid reflux. They, like the band itself, are much more in their comfort zone with a gloomy double LP about Nostradamus. Those aforementioned dour young men should be fairly pleased with this latest offering. Whatever charm the aged “new wave of British heavy metal” stalwarts once had, they retain, let’s say, 65% of it.

Sia – 1000 Forms Of Fear – “Chandelier” – ***
I’m quite taken with the song but I hate the overblown production like a sickness. I seem to wanna hear the broad from Concrete Blonde or a young, breathing, Kurt Cobain‘s take on the material. Or, maybe, I wanna hear Sia cut this jam at open mic night in a divey bar, devoid of studio gimmickry, accompanied only by a pianist who’s got a year chip from Narcotic Anonymous in the breast pocket of his best and only suit.

Ted NugentShutup&Jam! - “Never Stop Believing” -
Sometimes it’s really easy to forget that Ted Nugent used to play guitar for a living. And, that if Nugent is relegated to purely guitar input (Or, if he unknowingly collaborates with Biz Markie) as he was on classic rock tracks like “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by the Amboy Dukes or his own “Stranglehold” , the results can be spectacular. Based on this track from “the Nuge’s” latest studio album, this reviewer suggests that if Ted is completely quarantined from microphones and lyric sheets and the song lengths are cut by half, they might really be on to something.


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New Comic Releases – 7/2/14

Caliban #4 (Facundo Percio Regular Cover), $3.99

Robocop #1 (Cover A Goni Montes), $3.99
Woods #3 (Cover A Ramon Perez), $3.99

Swamp Thing #33, $2.99

Clone #18, $2.99
Field #3 (Of 4), $3.50
Lazarus #9, $2.99
Sheltered #10, $2.99
Southern Bastards #3, $3.50

100th Anniversary Special Fantastic Four #1 (Joanna Estrep Regular Cover), $3.99
Black Widow #8, $3.99
Captain America #22 (Carlos Pacheco Regular Cover), $3.99
Daredevil #0.1, $4.99
Figment #2 (Of 5), $3.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1 (Jee-Hyung Lee Regular Cover), $3.99
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #4, $3.99
Legendary Star-Lord #1 (Steve McNiven Regular Cover), $3.99
Magneto #6 (Declan Shalvey Regular Cover), $3.99
Moon Knight #5, $3.99
Original Sin #5 (Of 8)(Julian Totino Tedesco Regular Cover), $3.99
Punisher #8, $3.99
Rocket Raccoon #1 (Skottie Young Regular Cover), $3.99

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