Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Specials Drummer John Bradbury Dead at 62

We end the year on a sad note. The Specials drummer John Bradbury has passed away. He was 62 years old. This comes in light of the death of Lemmy, and Scott Weiland this December. It's been a tough month for music fans. As a ska fan, I am saddened to hear of the passing of Bradbury. I hope you're skanking in the sky, and hopefully we'll hear The Specials again up there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lemmy of Motorhead Dead at Age 70

Lemmy of Motorhead fame died yesterday. He was 70 years old. Rest In Peace. Perhaps we will see you one day. Rock of Ages, show mercy!

Haven't listened to Motorhead lately? Pick up some records, support the band.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Top 10 Records of 2015 As Chosen by Sell Out Records

The year is ending, and that means that we once again will unlock the vault and pick out 10 of the best records of 2015. A ton of music was released this year, and a lot of it I covered, and a lot of it I didn’t. There was so much that you may find yourself wondering what was the best. Then again, you may not even know that I exist, and that’s fine too. Whatever the case is, here are the top 10 records in no particular order of 2015. These are chosen by popularity, frequency of play, and my criteria of randomness.

Murs “Have a Nice Life”

The first major record I recommend as the best, is none other than this one from Murs. Murs signed to Strange Music and dropped what very well may be the best hip hop record that Murs has put out in a long time. Every track on this one is a banger, and the music videos are absolutely grand. If you have yet to listen, go for it, it’s an incredible record with a lot of attention to lyricism, unique beats, and high quality production. Order it here, via

Czarface “Every Hero Needs a Villain”

You already know that I love Esoteric, so when he teamed up with 7L again for the second Czarface record, you knew I was all about it. This time around, however, I didn’t get into it as well as the first release from the duo. However, as you start to listen to the mix, and the guests on the album, you realize that this is a great record with a lot of hip hop flow from the mighty team. You can order it here, via

P.O.D. “The Awakening”

P.O.D. still has some powerful music behind them. This concept record is absolutely a rock powerhouse. Even though some people thought that this was a failure because it didn’t hit number one in the charts, I thought it was a great one. The musical approach is great. It’s an amazing album with some incredible drumming, backed by Sonny’s powerful delivery. A message heard, with conceptual storytelling, and great guitar notes. There are some great songs on this one. Order it here, via

Children 18:3 “Come In”

Children 18:3 was an incredible band that I first met at Tomfest or whatever it was called when I showed up. The bass player had me completely head over heels. I wish I had an opportunity to spend more time with her, and perhaps get to know her better. But alas, that’s what happens in life, we miss out on opportunities. Either way, this is by far the strongest effort from the trio. It’s a powerhouse of punk rock, and pop glory, with strong vocals, great rhythms, and a message of peace. It’s a beautiful record, and one of my favorites of this year. Order it here, via

Local Resident Failure “This Here’s The Hard Part”

One of my absolute favorite new bands coming out of Australia is none other than Local Resident Failure. These guys put on a showcase of punk rock and pop that no other band is doing right now. The drums are incredible on this record, and the lyrics are a mix of personal and political movements that are second to none. They supported Nofx and Pennywise in Australia, so you know they are not just another band of punkers. These guys really are great, and the record is absolutely fun to listen to. Order it here, via

Matisyahu “Live At Stubbs Volume 3”

As if you needed an introduction to this one, Matisyahu put on one of the best live shows of his career and it was recorded on this record. Live at Stubbs 3 is an incredible journey of reggae, roots, and hip hop from the amazing artist known as Matisyahu. Shaking the strict Jewish persona, to a more free formed spiritualist, this guy really shocked me once again. This is a record that makes you think, and love, and find peace. It’s a great one. Order it here, via

Against ME! “23 Live Sex Acts”

Well, well, another live album? Yep, Against Me put out a great record here, and I loved it. Some reviewers had negative things to say, but not me, I loved the interaction with the crowd, the sound of the recordings from various shows, and the great intensity of the mix here. 23 tracks that span the best of the band live, and I truly enjoy it all. If you’re a fan of the band, there’s no introduction needed, you already have this, and if you don’t, what are you waiting for? Order it here, via

Strung Out “Transmission.Alpha.Delta”

Oh man, this is one of the best punk rock releases of this year, and it still hits hard. The record has great production value, but it’s the fast guitar work and the drums that keeps you coming back for more. There are 12 tracks here, and it’s a tribute to the fans, or rather it’s just a record that feels so alive, you’re bound to want to listen to it on repeat. When it came out, I didn’t hear much from music critics, but now, people are starting to go back and listen to this surprisingly good record. Order it here, via

Faith No More “Sol Invictus”

It came and it went. Faith No More put out one of their best records, and yet I didn’t hear nearly as many people talking about it. Mike Patton and crew put on a showcase of production here, with great overall rhythm, guitar work, and the signature metallic sounds of the band. If you hadn’t listened to the band in a while, this got you back into the groove, as the band showed off just why they are legends in the metal and hard rock world. You won’t want to miss this one. Order it here, via

Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly”

Do I need to say much about this one? “To Pimp A Butterfly” is perhaps one of the best hip hop records ever put to wax. Kendrick pulled through a lot here, from fame to fortune to so much more of an inner struggle. There’s bravado here, but there’s also optimism, and there’s a lot to this record. The beats are fascinating, the song structures are crazy, and this is one of the best and perhaps the most debated records that you’re going to listen to this year. If you haven’t yet, pick it up, it’s a fascinating journey from start to finish. Order it here, via

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Jars of Clay Much Afraid (1997) Review

Jars of Clay "Much Afraid" - Available Here 
Even though Jars of Clay received platinum certification for “Much Afraid”, and was at the eight spot on the Billboard charts when this came out, this album was seen as disappointing for a lot of fans. I wasn’t so quick to judge it. I was 14 years old when this came out, and I needed something to help me through a life in the suburbs. My family moved 40 miles north of Los Angeles to a place that I was unfamiliar with. The home was in shambles emotionally, with abuse running rampant, and this record had me comforted. We stopped going to church, but I held a spiritual element to my world, and the words of Jars of Clay seemed to fit holes in my proverbial bucket. It’s a softer record than their previous one, and while the singles that they put out had electric guitar, it was the lyrical and spiritual blends that made this one a stand out for me in my collection, at the time. A lot has changed since I first heard this record, but the message remains, one of hope, amidst darkness.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Fury of The Aquabats! By The Aquabats (1997) Review

The Fury of The Aquabats (1997) 
From the very first thing that you hear on this record from 1997, you know you’re in for a fun time. The Aquabats are a ska band that got big in the 1990s and are still kicking today. They play a fun type of music where they are superheros and they take on the super villains. The songs all have a fun pace, mixing punk, third wave ska, and lots of great story telling. “The Fury of The Aquabats” was the first major exposure any of us punk kids got to a man by the name of Travis Barker. Surely, you don’t mean Travis Barker of Blink 182 fame, do you Jorge? Yes! That very same guy is on this record playing drums, long before Blink called him up, he was the drummer for this recording, and super group The Aquabats!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: The Vandals Oi To The World Review

The Vandals "Oi To The World" LP - Available Here
“Dude, how old are the goddamn Vandals? Are they in wheel chairs yet?”, now that’s a way to talk about punk rock. My friend Mike totally had me dying after he said that recently. While sipping the last of Dewar’s Honey Whiskey here in Indianapolis, we discussed this fine record, one of the classics from the old timers, The Vandals. “Oi To The World” is the premier punk rock record that you will have to no doubt talk about at one point or another. This originally came out in 1996 and it received a TON of negative reviews. In fact, All Music said it was completely stupid, and it was terrible. Well, a big middle finger to Stephen Thomas Erlewine, and All Music. You bunch of hacks. Then again, here I am writing to an audience of one, since no one seems to read this diatribe of mine. But that’s not what I write, right? No, I do need fans, come back, please, please…we’re talking Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: Richard Cheese Silent Nightclub Review

Richard Cheese Silent Nightclub - Available Here
Here we go, perhaps one of the coolest alternative Christmas records that you can play right now. You can play this with the whole family in place, and not scare your mom or dad. This is a lounge act from the past, but modernized. Richard Cheese is a singer that plays the hits kind of like Weird Al, but all lounge style. That being said, you can get an idea as to what you’re in for in this record. This is one of those records that has reworked classics, and then some personal touches on songs that you wouldn’t expect around Christmas. 15 tracks, and some incredible covers, and new renditions.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: The Almost No Gift To Bring Review

The Almost "No Gift To Bring" EP - Available Here
The year was 2008, and The Almost was splintered from the Underoath camp. This is a band that took a piece of Underoath and made a whole new rock and roll band. Now, with the release of this record, “No Gift To Bring” The Almost put on a showcase of holiday music that is nothing short of fascinating. The songs to me are sincere, and just beautiful. “No Gift To Bring” is a wonderful little record that features a whole heart of the Christmas season, especially if you’re of a religious inclination.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: James Brown The Christmas Album and The Complete Christmas Box Set

The Christmas Album LP - DL Here
The Godfather of Soul puts on a showcase for Christmas in "The Christmas Album". The aplty titled record is none other than a shining example of what you can do with the Christmas spirit, and soul music. This is 11 tracks and 44 minutes of James Brown pulling through the world of the holidays. The thing with this record is that it’s not all “traditional” songs. This is a soul record that seems a bit disjointed at times, and sometimes, just odd.

Take for example the song “Clean for Christmas”, which regales in the fact that Brown wants to be “clean” on Christmas. Like by taking a shower and dressing nice. Of course there are other moments on this record that are odd, but hey, who am I to say a think about alternative records for the Christmas spirit. James Brown puts on a showcase of his classic rhymes, singing, and spoken word. The production is a bit odd to me, though. The vocals are turned up way high compared to the music, and it seems like it’s more of a hip hop compilation in the way that some of the songs are put together.

Stand out tracks on this record are definitely the ones that are more “traditional”, if you can even call them that. The good tracks include, “Sleigh Ride”, “Spread Love”, “Not Just Another Holiday”, “God Gave Me This”, and “Reindeer on the Rooftop”.

But that’s not all!
James Brown Complete Christmas LP - DL HERE

In 2010, another collection of songs from James Brown came out in a box set. This was 37 songs and
over 2 hours of music from the Godfather of Soul. I found this at a Hastings in Moscow Idaho for a whopping 5 bucks. Now this record is something else. It has outtakes, it has singles, it has new and old tracks. Now this is the Christmas record that you want to pick up from James Brown. It collects all of the tracks that you may or may not know about, including some from “The Christmas Album” mentioned above.

Now here are some stand out tracks and better recording overall. Perhaps the earlier release was late in his life and the production had suffered. This however has that classic production and good overall tone that you’d expect from the Godfather of Soul.

Some of the stand out tracks amidst this 37 song release include, “Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year”, “Signs of Christmas”, “Please Come Home For Christmas”, “Christmas In Heaven”, “I’m Your Christmas Friend, Don’t Be Hungry”, and a lot more.

Ok, so there you go, 2 special records from James Brown. If you’re a big fan of soul, these two are very well worth it. If you don’t like soul, or you just can’t get over the stop and go traffic of James Brown’s delivery, you may not like these records.

You can pick up all the James Brown Christmas music you can handle by clicking here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Scott Weiland Dead At 48

If it weren't for the 1990s alternative music scene, I wouldn't like music at all. Stone Temple Pilots were one of the many bands that I grew up listening to. It's sad to hear that Scott Weiland has died.

I saw Stone Temple Pilots play the Harley Davidson festival in 2002, I think. I asked this girl out that turned out to be using me, and well with that I lost some friends that sided with her. There's no statute of limitations when it comes to these things.

In honor of this day, and to just remember how powerful of a singer and person Scott Weiland was, I want to share with you this clip of Stone Temple Pilots from 1994. The band was scheduled to do the song "Unglued" live, and before they did so, they played a stirring rendition of "Christmas Time Is Here".

R.I.P Scott Weiland. You'll be missed.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: Trojan Christmas Box Set - Various Artists Review

Alright, this is one of the most expansive of Christmas records that I will be reviewing this month. This is 50 tracks of alternative Christmas music from the Trojan record label. Trojan and Studio One are the most famous and iconic of labels from Jamaica. They specialize in reggae, ska, and dub music. These tracks aren’t new, they are from back in the day, and they all represent that Jamaican flavor that you would expect from reggae records. As far as I’m concerned, the Trojan Christmas Box Set is perhaps the best stocking stuffer you’re going to get today.

I first caught wind of this in Idaho. I was miserable one Christmas, and they had this for 5 bucks used, so you know me, I had to purchase it. It cheered me up that Christmas as 50 tracks of compelling Jamaican flavor came coming through my stereo. There are some traditional elements here, but for the most part, each single artist does their own rendition of the classics, and sometimes, they completely butcher what you would expect. That’s not done on purpose, it’s just how the bands and artists decided to cover the songs. There are a few originals found in here with a twist, like “Santa Claus is Ska-ing To Town”, “Santa Claus Never Comes To The Ghetto”, “Ding Dong Bell”, and so many more.

If you’re not familiar with any of the artists from the Trojan Christmas Box Set, don’t worry. These guys are household names when it comes to ska, reggae, and dub. No, not DUB STEP! Some of the artists found on the records include John Holt, Yellowman, Granville Williams Orchestra, Peter Broggs, The Ethiopians, Pablo Black, The Tamlins, Desmond Dekker, The Aces, Hopeton and Primo, and so many more. There are 50 tracks on this box set, and if you love Christmas and reggae together, this is going to be one of your favorite records to play all year long. I love it. It’s not for everyone mind you, but it’s awesome none the less.

If you’re going to pick up a seriously alternative Christmas record, then pick up the Trojan Christmas Box Set, it’s 50 tracks of reggae, ska, and dub Christmas songs from Trojan to you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: Falling Up Silver City Review

Falling Up put out a Christmas record in 2013, and most people I know were too old to care. In fact, what is it with people getting old and forgetting about music? I don’t know, it’s just something that I can never do. I know, I’m getting older, but I always strive to listen to the songs that people are putting out. That aside, Falling Up put through one of the most beautiful records for Christmas, and it’s definitely left of center. This takes on an approach of arranging Christmas tunes with a hint of rock, a hint of pop, and a reverence and care that the season certainly deserves.

Silver City by Falling Up LP
The compositions are layered with keyboards, drums, singing, and melodies that you expect from the band. If you’re new to Falling Up’s music, then you may not immediately understand what I mean. However, as you progress through the tracks, and the way the band has faithfully arranged many to fit both the traditional and alternative worlds, you will be captivated. If you like Christmas music, then you no doubt will love how “Silver City” pulls on your heart strings.

Some of the songs that continue to cloud my mind today, as I write this review include, “Emanuel”, “Oh Holy Night Reprise”, “Sugar Plum Fairy”, “Silver City”, “Silver City Sleeps”, and “The Little Robot”. It’s a shame that more people aren’t listening to this Christmas record, as it truly captures the spirit of the season in a whole new way. Falling Up has found a way to tap into the seasonal arrangements and make them all their own, without destroying the value of the notes. Sometimes with these alternative records, the songs get thrown into a trash compactor for the sake of having a Christmas record. That’s not what you get here, “Silver City” is a true gem of an alternative Christmas record.

I highly suggest that you pick up “Silver City” from Falling Up, as it is a stellar alternative Christmas record. You can do so by clicking here, so go for it, and enjoy the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Alternative Christmas Records: Jars of Clay Christmas Songs Review

Jars of Clay "Chrismas Songs" LP
In 2007, Jars of Clay put out a very cool Christmas record out. I actually was able to pick this up for free because I sent in a letter to a televangelist. Anyways, this is quite possibly one of the more traditional “alternative” Christmas records. I say that because Jars of Clay’s sound lends itself very well to the traditional sounds of Christmas. That’s not to say that this is a record that is full of boring music. That’s actually not the case at all. There are some great moments on this record. The arrangements of the songs are well structured, acoustic, full of instrumentation and absolutely grand.

What you’re going to find with some of these songs is that they stick with you. There’s a certain reverence that is paid to these songs. Jars of Clay finds a way to amaze, and create elemental music that is just amazing. Some of my favorite songs on this record include, “The Gift of St. Cecilia”, “Wonderful Christmastime”, “Winter Skin”, “Drummer Boy”, “Hibernation Day”, “Evergreen”, “Peace is Here”, and “In The Bleak Midwinter”.

As far as alternative Christmas records are concerned, Jars of Clay puts on a more balanced showcase than some of the other records that I will be talking about this holiday season. With the traditional arrangements and mix of instruments, it’s a much lighter solution than most.

If you’d like to pick up “Christmas Songs” by Jars of Clay, pick it up or download it by clicking here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Announcing 25 Days of Alternative Christmas Music Reviews

This year, Sell Out Records is doing something absolutely special. We will be reviewing as many Alternative Christmas music records as we can. These will be featuring genres like punk, metal, hip hop, hardcore, and so much more. These are NOT traditional records, they are alternative. You will hate them, you will love them, you will probably ignore them as you ignore a lot of the things that we post.

25 days of Alternative Christmas Music begins tomorrow or today, I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet.

Relient K Self Titled Review

Relient K "Self Titled" LP
Relient K put out their debut in 2000 and it was one of those records that I immediately gravitated towards. It was pop punk, and it had a slice of religious ideology that I had started to collect. At the time, I was going to a cult, er, I mean church that damned everyone that bought a secular record. I had a TON of them, but I wasn’t about to let anyone in on the massive collection of music that I had. The good thing about that period was that I would be exposed to a TON of great bands from the “Christian” scene. Relient K is one of the talented bands that I got stuck in my head all the time. The guys put out this incredible debut, and it still rings true today.

From the start of “Hello McFly” you get a sense of joy and fun from the band. These guys, to me, were like The Aquabats in many ways. Going through some jovial tunes, throwing down some interesting takes on being a good person, and overall, just having fun. There’s a few serious notes here and there, but the band put together a great record that was a step below Mxpx “Life in General”. While the boys in Mxpx were a bit more “punk”, these guys were like the younger brothers of Mike Herrera and the trio from Bremerton.

That being said, this record has a lot of highlights, before fizzling out towards the end. The first 8 tracks are killer, then it starts to become a bit boring, and it fizzles out at track 14. However, the strength of the first half of the record with songs like “My Girlfriend”, “Wake Up Call”, and “Staples” really does do well to get through the muddled second half. This is a record that is as good today as it was when I first heard it. I mean, what other band had the balls to say, “Marilyn Manson ate my girlfriend” in a repeating chorus? Come on, you know you like it.

Pick up Relient K’s Self Titled Debut for less than a cup of coffee here, or don’t, no one listens to me anyways.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Relient K The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek Review

Relient K "The Anatomy of The Tongue and Cheek" LP

Ah yes, 2001, the year that Relient K were seniors in the world of punk rock high school. Their first record was good, no doubt, but the guys came back with 17 tracks and nearly an hour of pop punk goodness. It’s here that the dual singing punkers really put on a showcase for the immortals. Whether you are a fan of punk in the Christian scene or not, you have to admit this this is a record that is well composed, easy to digest, and right on par with Screeching Weasel, and others. It’s poppy, it’s punk rock, it’s “safe”? Yeah, “The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek” took on a whole new world of punk rock when released, and I was thrilled to hear them put on a showcase on tour with the likes of Five Iron Frenzy and Mxpx.

This is a much harder record than the original, at least in regards to the guitar work. The lyrical elements are funny, then there are serious topics like that of “Down In Flames”, which talks about hypocrisy in the Christian world. But it’s not so serious as the boys lament about the “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, and lots of carefully crafted laughable tunes. Again, these guys put on a showcase of comedy, and serious notes here and there, but mostly through the lens of pop punk.

Stand out tracks on this record abound including, “Pressing On”, “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, “Down in Flames”, “Breakdown”, “May The Horse Be With You”, and “Failure To Excommunicate” just to name a few. 17 tracks, nearly an hour of pop punk glory, and the guys seemed to really jump far from their initial release. This broke down the doors to mainstream success because with the success of this record, the band really made waves with their 2003 release, and of course that went Gold. Then they hit it big with “Mmhmm”, which got them on Late Night Programs such as Conan, etc.

Overall, “The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek” is a stellar example of how good the “Christian” scene was for some bands. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some terrible records out there, but these guys have been putting on a great showcase of punk sensibilities and pop songs for so long, it’s hard to compare them to others.

For those that still buy records, pick up Relient K’s “The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek” by clicking here, and see why I’m so compelled to review records by them and others from my past.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Let’s Face It Review

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones "Let's Face It" LP 
Let’s go back to 1997 for a minute. That was when I was young and dumb, but loved ska music. A lot of my friends thought that the genre was dumb or lame. I didn’t care, I still love the world of ska music and will recommend a ton of records to people that ask. With that in mind, one of the most popular and outstanding works from the genre is none other than The Mighty Might Bosstones “Let’s Face It”. This is a record that absolutely skyrocketed the band from being a third wave ska act into the mainstream circus of music. In fact, it was their lead single that seemed to get the band the recognition that I had been trying to give them since I first heard their debut on cassette.

Whatever the case is, the band saw significant success in ska music and the mainstream as a result of this compelling record. The tracks that stand out here include “Noise Brigade”, “The Rascal King”, “The Impression That I Get”, “Numbered Days”, “Nevermind Me”, and “1-2-8”, just to name a few. If you got the Japanese version of this record you got a bonus track, and if you bought the vinyl you got another bonus track.

This is a great recording with a lot to offer. The horn section is great, the polished recording is good, and the 12 normal tracks are very much akin to the third wave ska music movement that took over the late 1990s. However, as fast as the guys saw success, they were discarded with the rest of the lineup of alternative ska music acts that were proliferating rock radio. Today, you will still hear the main single from this record, but honestly, you will have a hard time finding people that will sing the praises of this stellar recording. Most have forgotten.

Then again, the band still does shows, and will be performing with Rancid in Los Angeles for New Year’s Eve. So maybe I’m just wrong about it all. “Let’s Face It” garnered the band a platinum record, which is a lot more than most ska music bands were doing in 1997, that’s for sure.

If by chance you haven’t picked up this ska music opus, then you can easily find The Mighty Might Bosstones “Let’s Face It” for under a few bucks, sometimes for a penny. Click here to pick it up, and relive the glory days of modern the boom that ska received in the late 1990s.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Foo Fighters Drop A Free EP With Saint Cecilia and You Can’t Help But Love It

I’m not a big fan of the Foo Fighters, but the band did put out one of the first compact discs that I ever purchased. The first two discs that I ever bought were Foo Fighters and Nofx records, so there you go. With the Paris attacks that occurred recently, the band decided to pen a note to their fans and the world and released this EP for free. It is 5 songs, 18 minutes of the bands signature style of alternative rock. Each song has a different element to it that makes it grand, and you know what, it’s catchy, it’s poppy, and it’s a standard release for the band.

Would I have purchased this record if the band didn’t release for free? Probably not. But the songs on it, are getting stuck in my head right now. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I would have purchased the record because I’m still sinking a lot of money into buying music. Then again, maybe you agree with me. I don’t know, I am just rambling at this point. If you haven’t heard it yet, you should really do so. Foo Fighters “Saint Cecilia” EP is another brick in the Hall of Fame production that Dave Grohl and company are putting out. I like it. You’ll like it, listen up. My favorite tracks are “Saint Cecilia”, “Sean”, and “Iron Rooster” so far.

You can check this out via their website Go to it, listen, download pick up the vinyl.

Robert Plant Band of Joy Review

Robert Plant "Band of Joy" LP 
You already know who Robert Plant is, and if you don’t, then you are way behind in your music history. Robert Plant was a member of Led Zeppelin. If you aren’t familiar with this hard rock world, that’s ok, he’s done a lot more than just throw down some serious musical moments. In his solo career, he has transformed musical genres and created compelling compositions with thoughtful lyrics, and beautiful musical arrangements. It’s with “Band of Joy”, that I really started to love the solo work of Plant. I loved Robert Plant as a kid, as I even named my first pet hamsters Robert and Jimmy. They both died. I have cats now, they are well taken care of, though, so no worries there. As for “Band of Joy”, I was floored by how I missed this record in 2010.

I first started seeing this record out at Starbucks. I lived next door to Starbucks in Seattle for many years. I would drink it daily, and sometimes 3 times a day. I miss those days sometimes, and it’s hard to think about those times without connecting myself with the musical landscape that I was involved with. When this was released, I didn’t pick it up immediately. In fact, I didn’t listen to the record until now, 2015. This is a great, moody record. It’s a work of acoustic, and pop balance that you wouldn’t expect from this rocker. If you haven’t heard any of his work before, this is going to shock you.

The tracks on this record that got me hooked include “Angel Dance”, “House of Cards”, “Silver Rider”, “The Only Sound That Matters”, and the whole recording as a whole. It has guts, it has folk tidings, it has country elements, it has rock moments, and overall, it’s a record that has very important elements to it. Through the 12 tracks, you really get a sense of a larger sounding musical landscape. Robert Plant has found a way to balance so much with this album, that you really have a hard time not liking it. It’s compelling in a lot of arenas, it’s thoughtful, introspective, and downright good. I’m surprised by how much this record sticks in my mind, which is why I’m talking about it now.

If you haven’t picked up “Band of Joy” from Robert Plant, I highly recommend it. It’s a good pop and rock record that focuses on lyrical balance and composition that you may not expect from Robert Plant. I’m still floored by how amazing this record truly is.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Myke Clements Time Has Come For A Review on Sell Out Records

Myke Clements The Thunder Quiet LP
Excuse the terrible opening title, I didn’t know what else to lead in with. I guess I could’ve stated, “review”, but come I reserve that for unsolicited random thoughts on records that I have. Myke Clements shouted me out via my Scary Film Review twitter account, which I sometimes promote links for this page on. He’s a fan of Falling Up, and well he threw me a link, and now it’s time to talk about the record he’s put out, “The Thundering Quiet”. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I’ve never heard of Myke at all, and that’s a shame. I would’ve been trumpeting for him for a while now, but the good thing is that today, is the day we discuss his latest opus.

This record is fascinating. It’s a record that feels like a movie score. There’s so many ethereal elements at play. When you start to break down the pieces, you are driven through a lot of different arenas. Close your eyes and you can even find yourself skateboarding through the streets, jumping through hoops, dropping in on ramps, and creating a magical experience of frenetic musical landscapes. I found myself lost in the emotions of the music, and the impressive use of layered instruments and recording. “The Cold Open”, “A Meeting In Time”, and “The Dance”, are like connective tissue that unite the body of a record that is nothing short of impressive.

Instrumental music is always hard to peg, because most people assume it’s jazz or classical. That’s not the case here. There’s modernity to this, not too unlike some of the work that Joy Electric did when they went “unplugged” for a spell. There’s a magical sensationalism to this recording, and something that takes you on an 8 track journey through sight, sound, and well, imagination. If you close your eyes, and just listen, you can very well hear the concepts that Myke Clements puts out so well.

Overall, “The Thundering Quiet” is a magical record. There are only 8 tracks, but the precision that has been placed on each movement is spectacular. It features a lot here. It’s an important record of instrumental elements, and it really does start to seep into your mind’s eye. If you like instrumental music, here’s a record you should pick up, and listen to.

You can check out “The Thundering Quiet” via Myke Clements Bandcamp here, and follow him on Twitter here. This is really solid record, and definitely worth more praise, in my opinion.

Bootsy Collins - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Video

Amoeba posted an update to their "What's In My Bag" series. This is a video in which Bootsy Collins, famed bass player from THE FUNK, talks about what he's picking up at Amoeba Records. Check it out below.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Beauty To Ashes Reproduce The Common Practice Review

Beauty To Ashes "Reproduce The Common Practice" 
In 2002, I was delighted to see that one of the best bands in Southern California had finally inked a deal to release their first record. Of course, the band had done a few things on the independent tip, but they finally put out a full length and I was excited to see them grow. The band was Beauty To Ashes. The record was titled “Reproduce The Common Practice” and it blew the doors down on the hardcore scene, for about a few weeks. What happened to the band? Well, like a lot of other hardcore bands, money, family, and reality hit them hard. Not only that, this record is only 21 minutes long, which means that the band didn’t exactly put on the best showing.

The songs on “Reproduce The Common Practice” are a far cry from the initial EP that they put out. However, they were able to harness some of their best studio work and create a good overall sound. “Bystandards of a Lifestyle Obsession” for instance, is a definitive showcase of how amazing the band’s overall power was. They could turn subject matter into compelling arguments, they could turn riffs into strong powerful moments of hardcore and metal fused into a comfortable pop noise. They found a way to push the boundaries of the sound with a lot of tech, and lots of emotion.

Then there are moments on the record that aren’t so grand. It seems like it’s two different bands, and that’s the thing about this record. The band put a “best of” their studio recordings into this, and it wasn’t all the same production value. What should’ve been an EP turned into a full length, and something that doesn’t have the gusto that you’d expect from a full length record. That being said, this isn’t a bad one. It’s a solid release that focuses on a spiritual side that you already know was happening in the southern California hardcore scene. Beauty To Ashes has to be one of the best bands I saw live, and yet they did nothing more than go out with a whimper. Like many other bands in the scene, one solid EP and an exciting opening full length isn’t enough to sustain a career. I still love this record, and recommend it, for the lights of glory that come through on several of the tracks.

If you want to pick up a solid metallic hardcore record with pop sensibilities, “Reproduce The Common Practice” isn’t half bad. You can get it here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Tribe Called Quest People’s Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm (25th Anniversary Edition) Review

“Can I Kick It?” is the stand out song that I recall from Tribe. It has been 25 years since the hip hop group threw this out to the masses. With the anniversary here, the group has decided to re-release the record and has been received very well. You may already have this record, as I have purchased it several times time in my day. However, today, it just feels like a new day, because the recording is a bit crisper than I remember.

Perhaps it’s due in large part to the fact that A Tribe Called Quest has grown up, or my audio recording devices are light years away from where it was in 1990 when I first got a hold of this record on cassette tape. With the release of this special edition, you are going to get the original release, plus a few remixes, new artwork and more. There are 17 tracks found on this record, with over an hour of samples, rhymes, and the thing that you expect from the guys in tribe.

This is a classic hip hop record as it showcases the power of a laid back sound that the group put together. This is the type of hip hop that doesn’t spend a lot of time throwing up gang signs or anything like that. Tribe was never like that, they were more chill about life, rhymes and thoughts. With this release, you really get a sense for the art that broke through back then. Even today, a lot of rappers try to emulate what these guys put together with their release on this record. Of course, the group would put out some classics after this, but it’s still as solid of a recording as it was way back when. The production and samples on this record are stellar, and stand out above all else even when the rhyme schemes seem a bit “easy” to put together in my view.

I’ve always loved the production value of these early hip hop records, and “People’s Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm (25th Anniversary Edition)” is a reminder of just how far we’ve come, and stalled in terms of musical production. If you put this on, turn it up, and listen to the beats and rhymes, you’re going to be taken back to where you were in the 1990s. This is a great record, even after all of these years. Stand out tracks remain the same, “Push It Along”, “Luck of Lucien”, “Footprints”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?”, and so much many others.

If there are any cons in regards to this release, it’s that the special features leave a little to be desired. I don’t really know what to expect. But this doesn’t seem like others in terms of extras, but I guess it’s ok. I’m not a big fan of the remixes, but I guess that’s ok for a re-release. Is this an essential record to pick up? Perhaps. Do you still have a good copy of this on vinyl? No? Then what are you waiting for?

It goes without saying, I highly recommend A Tribe Called Quest “People’s Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm (25th Anniversary Edition)” just because it’s amazing.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Goo Goo Dolls A Boy Named Goo (1995) Review

The Goo Goo Dolls "A Boy Named Goo 
Let’s rewind to the year 1995. It’s the year that I purchased an alternative rock record in cassette form that would end up breaking over time. It was none other than the Goo Goo Dolls release “A Boy Named Goo”. The band was riding high on the release of “Naked”, but I picked up the record when I first saw the movie “Angus”. If you remember that movie fondly, you know that these guys had a track on the record that would go platinum. Right? I think it went platinum, I’m not sure.

Whatever the case is, “A Boy Named Goo” is a strong contender for the best alternative record of 1995 in my opinion. It embodies the slick production, and killer guitar work with distortion, solos, and vocals that were prominent at the time. Even though I’m not a fan of the band’s work past this album, this record had me tripped up and my cassette tape was on replay non-stop. The opening track alone is enough to get any rock fan interested, as the guitar work is solid, the drums kick nicely, and the bass guitar work is right on par with some of the better punk stylings that you heard coming through the late 1980s. “Long Way Down” has pop sensibility, but it’s the driving vocals and guitar riffs that made this one of the best openers of all time. The drumming too is solid here, which I can always appreciate.

The record doesn’t immediately launch into a heavy laden track of epic proportions, however, as “Burnin’ UP” switched the singers. Yep. When I was a youngster I didn’t like that, but with cassettes, you couldn’t just fast forward easily, so I powered through the track, and waked for the hit single “Naked” to start. That being said, I am different now, I’m an adult, and I appreciate the bass work and drums on the tracks with Robby Takac singing. Plus, this let Johnny work his guitar magic, which is a highlight of “Burnin’ Up”.

Of course I can go on and on about this record from 1995, but I won’t. Instead, I encourage you to go back to listen to this record and see why it sold so well, and became a standard in alternative music circles. Again, I didn’t really get into the records after this one, but I feel that it’s still one of the best examples of mid 1990s alternative rock music. It features some great guitar work, solid bass, and standout drumming in 13 tracks and 42 minutes of good rock music. If you haven’t heard this in a while, go ahead and buy it for the 25th Anniversary Set HERE, which I recommend.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Eddie Vedder Into The Wild (2007) Review

Into The Wild by Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder’s voice is one of those iconic rock elements that you can’t really compare. I have heard a lot of bands try to emulate him, but no one has he’s garble at times, and strength at others. The lyrical elements that Vedder has been able to place through music is also grand. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie “Into The Wild”, I did find it to be fascinating enough to pick up the soundtrack. Mainly for Vedder’s solo work, and I was blown away at the time. This is a very mellow Vedder at times, but the lyrical companions work towards pushing you into a Pearl Jam kind of mood.

Over the course of several tracks, you swear that some of the songs must be Pearl Jam B-Sides, but I assure you, they are not. The lack of gusto in some of the rock compositions is proof of that. “Into The Wild” plays so well if you combine it to the movie’s central themes of adventure, isolation, life, and death. Without that companion piece in the back of my mind, I’m not sure that this record would get such a big push.

The songs are solid on this release, and some of them are things that I recall fondly as I set adrift to Seattle long ago. I found myself at a crossroads, after graduating college. College was a weird world, as I went to an art school, had no friends, and managed to pull a degree in something that no one pays for. All that aside, this record could very well be the soundtrack for my life, and of course, your life as well. Some of my favorite songs on this one include, “Rise”, “Setting Forth”, “Tuolumne”, “Hard Sun”, and “Guaranteed”. This is Eddie Vedder at a vulnerable stop. It’s a beautiful recording at times, and it’s an urgent one at others, and I can’t find a better time to review, reflect, and listen to it.

If the measure of a record today is the price that it costs used, "Into The Wild" is one of the better releases you can purchase. I recommend it, especially if you find the Vinyl release. You can buy it here, if you'd like.

Slowly Going The Way of The Buffalo Mxpx Review

When Mxpx jumped to A&M Records, I heard a lot of rumblings about how they sold out, and they weren’t Christians any longer. I didn’t care. I first heard a single from this record on KROQ in Los Angeles during Jed The Fish’s Catch of the Day segment. Released in 1998, produced by Steve Kravac, and the major label debut of the band, this is a solid outing. It’s not “polished” completely, it’s raw, it’s more interesting than “Life In General”, and it had a great treble to the bass sound. What I find cool about the history of this record, is that it took the band 2 years to get certified Gold (500,000 sales) for this one. That’s a sizable accomplishment for the trio from Bremerton, Washington. Stand out tracks here include “The Final Slowdance”, “I’m Ok, You’re Ok”, “The Downfall of Western Civilization”, “For Always”, “Self Serving With A Purpose”. The treble is too high in my view, but that’s what the band wanted. It’s a shining moment for them.

You can pick up “Slowly Going The Way of The Buffalo” by Mxpx new for $9.99 here, or you can get it for $0.01 used by clicking here. I love the artwork on this one, so get the physical release. The vinyl is rare too.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Renaissance EP Mxpx Review

I remember when Fat Mike of Nofx announced that they signed Mxpx for a release. That’s what happened in 2001, which you got a 9 track EP that really changed the pace of the band. This came after “The Ever Passing Moment” that netted the band some MTV and Radio Play as well as a Pepsi commercial. With this EP, the band toned down a bit, and you hear it with the raw sound. Yuri and Tom played producers on here, with some great tracks, including “Lonesome Town”, and “Party II (Time To Go)” as highlights. It’s short, 9 tracks for 18 minutes, but it’s an interesting release from Fat Wreck Chords, none the less. “The Renaissance EP” is one of my personal favorites from the band, as it really was a bridge between full length releases. Classic West Coast Punk rock, with a DIY style of production, you’ll hear it when you hear it.

You can pick up “The Renaissance EP” from Mxpx for $5.75 new here, or you can get it for $0.01 here. It’s a great one, but look for the Vinyl LP, which I prefer.

Secret Weapon Mxpx Review

I was living in Seattle when Mxpx decided to put out “Secret Weapon”. It was officially put out July, 2007, and I had just moved in March. Living in Seattle was grand because that meant the band was doing a lot of in-store appearances. It was one hell of a record, and I had the special edition, plus the double 12” vinyl. The CD version was also grand, and I had them all signed when I met up with the band at Silver Platters. Anyways, this is a strong record with a lot of great songs, and possibly the best from the band since their 1996 record. Some of my favorites include “Secret Weapon”, “Shut It Down”, “Angels”, “Drowning”, “Chop Shop”, and “Bass So Low”. Overall, these songs are great, but the whole record is a huge release that deserves a lot more attention. It’s polished, it sold well, it’s a favorite, what can I say? Produced by Aaron Sprinkle, this is a killer sounding album.

You can pick up “Secret Weapon” from Mxpx for $5.99 new here, or you could pick it up used for $0.23 here. It’s possibly the best from this band.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Buddy Rich The Roar of 74 Rare Vinyl LP Review

Lore City Kill Your Dreams Elevates Your Perception Through Spatial Musical Flight

I got an email out of the blue about Lore City. Usually people don’t email me, or find me through this blog. It’s not that I’m elusive, it’s just that I’m not writing for Alternative Press or Spin. Believe me, I’ve tried several times to get there, but for whatever reason I always get passed up. That’s neither here nor there, I’m just making it a point to say that it’s rare to get an email about music. All that aside, Lore City “Kill Your Dreams” is my introduction into a unique duo of music that has surprised me. I haven’t been this surprised since I saw Talk Demonic play in Silverlake, California with The Velvet Teen. (Ha, hipster references)

There’s a fascinating quality to the record, something that you would definitely pick up on the first sounds. Lore City finds a way to get into your head. Take the beauty of Mazzy Star and mix in Denali, a little Portishead, and you may get a sense for what this musical duo is doing. You’ll find that it’s hard to peg them into one genre, but if you’re going to box them in, you’ll find that this is the kind of stuff I was recommending to friends from Jade Tree Records long ago. There’s a prowess here that is evident, with singing, piano, drums, and elemental sound.

Lore City creates a kaleidoscope of music that can be quite cerebral at times, and translucent at others. I know what they are doing, as a musician and a music fan, but yet they surprise me, the layers, the emotion, the thought process, all works so well here. Stand out tracks include “Gone Past”, “Hush”, “Glitter on the Garbage”, and “Big Intersections”.

This is definitely a unique, and transcendent record. “Kill Your Dreams” may be ahead of its time, because many won’t connect the dots that I have to try and explain this. But then again, isn’t that always the case with genius? Sometimes you just can’t explain it. Just listen to the record, chances are you’re going to love it. I know I did, do, or something. My vocabulary isn’t doing so hot these days, back to the dictionary I go.

You can learn more about Lore City via their Twitter here, Facebook here, and Their Official website here.

Nevermind Colbie Caillat Here Comes Electrets With Try

Terrible title, aside, “Try” is the latest single from Electrets and guess what? It’s amazing. I’m not a fan of Caillat, but I am a fan of this punk rock cover that absolutely blows me away. I threw this on and immediately was floored by the semi sonic sound coming through my Marshall. (yeah I have a Marshall rig for my music) I don’t need to sell you on this do I? You have ears, so let them hear the magic of this cover. I truly think this band has something special. If I still had my record label, I’d sign them, and send them on the road to punk rock celebrity status. Listen to the track, and wake up from your music slumber.

Check out more from this band by hitting their Sound Cloud page here. Also, remember I talked about them before Right HERE cause they're rad and that's that.

Hepcat Right On Time Review

Hepcat "Right On Time" LP 

Hepcat is a band that should be on every jazz fans list. This is a jazzy ska record that doesn’t get enough respect, if you ask me. There’s something special about “Right on Time”, from the introductory phone call from one of the member’s father, to the way that the music flows through time. This was released in the 1990s, and yet it sounds like something that you’d find on a juke box from your favorite 50’s diner. This is a very intriguing ska record because of the way the vocal harmonies work. If that doesn’t grab you and take you back in time, then at least consider the way that the music works.

Hepcat’s “Right on Time” presents a lot of jazz momentum. The trumpet alone is beautiful, and the horn section just puts on a showcase of interludes, bridges, and moments that are too much like jazz to call ska alone. Through the record you get a feeling that these guys are traditionally trained, and not just a rag tag grouping that were picked up on Hell Cat Records. Tim Armstrong really knows how to pick up bands, as this record is such a great one for the label.

With “Right On Time”, you are treated to a lovely wave of ska mixed with jazz and reggae for good measure. Even though the way the band plays is slated as “first wave” style, this record came out in 1998. I’m always astonished by how good these records are from the genre. I spoke about Hepcat in the past, but this time around, I am listening with fresh ears. There’s just something so grand about this record, and yet so many people don’t even listen.

I’m always surprised by prices on records, and if you want to pick this up on CD, the original 1998 release, you can do so for under a buck by clicking here. Overall, Hepcat’s “Right On Time” is a lovely, soulful ska record that deserves far more attention than it received.

Punk Rawk Christmas Mxpx Review

One of the shining lights for me in 2009, was when I picked up this record from Mxpx. This is a collection of Christmas tracks from the band. “Punk Rawk Christmas” is a very awesome record, and if you’re savvy, you can find the limited edition 7” record that has a couple of acoustic B-Sides. Other than that, you can get 14 tracks or 16 tracks on the bonus edition. Either way, the record is a compilation of tracks that were released to PxPx members, but other than that, 2 extra tracks came through. Ok, this is a punk rock Christmas album, and it’s one of the best alternative Christmas records that you’re going to find today. I love it. The fun mix of punk, and even hip hop is great. Mxpx does amazing things with the traditional and non-traditional songs. My favorite is none other than “Christmas Night of the Living Dead”, which is rad.

If you like alternative Christmas records, Mxpx Punk Rawk Christmas is $9.99 new and used, it’s out of print. It’s worth it!

Few Left Standing Regeneration of Self Review

Few Left Standing "Regeneration of Self"

I’m not sure what it was about the late 1990s that made so many Christian youth pull together some of the most incredible music. There hasn’t been a time before or since that I’ve followed music as a whole and had so many amazing records hit my desk and speakers. One of the many records that I remember being floored by was Few Left Standing’s 1999 release on Takehold Records. It is called “Regeneration of Self” and it is by far one of the most complete metal core records that can be labeled Christian and still be very much heavy. Yes, there are other bands that put out great records, but nothing really coalesced with the spiritual side as much as it did with the heavy sound of Few Left Standing. The flow of this record and the all-out onslaught of progression through heavy gut wrenching speech is second to none.

Chris Stafford goes to nail down some of the most outright religious lyrics, while maintaining a signature sound that cannot be mistaken for any other band. It’s tough to be unique when you’re playing heavy music sometimes, but Few Left Standing is one of those bands that is very recognizable. This first full length from them is by far one of my favorites from the time frame. There’s a lot to digest with this release, and if you’re a fan of heavy metal, hardcore, and the fusion of the two, you’ll love the way this album hits you in the chest with pure noise. Stand out tracks on this one include, “Scourge”, “Blistered Spirit”, “Fruitless”, “Tears of a Fallen Man”, “Prevail” and “Solomon”. If you have yet to listen to Few Left Standing, pick up “Regeneration of Self” by clicking here. It’s one of the strongest heavy records to ever get released from the Christian music scene.

Max Roach Drums Unlimited Rare LP Review

Max Roach Drums Unlimited (LP) 1966

Drums Unlimited” is one of the key releases from the Max Roach catalog of records. It came out in
1966 via Atlantic Records, and it’s one of the essential records that you should be purchasing right now. There are 6 total tracks in the original vinyl release, and an extra take when you pick up the Rhino Records reissue on CD. This is a rare one, and it’s one of the better records that you’re going to hear for melodic, logical drumming. Even though there is some improvisation on the record, it’s really good overall, focusing on Roach’s killer drumming approach.

“Drums Unlimited” isn’t going to break the bank, go ahead and buy it by clicking here.

Who The Hell Is Max Roach?

Max Roach is one of the most iconic jazz musicians. He died in 2007, but before he left us, he worked in civil rights, education, and created some of the most iconic jazz records of all time. People talk about his influence in bebop, but I like to stick to the defining line of just jazz. In the coming posts, I will be recommending you listen to and pick up some of his best iconic jazz records, as I’m finding them to be quite amazing.

You can learn more about Max Roach via WIKI Here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Move To Bremerton by Mxpx Review

In 1996, Mxpx put out what would become their insanely popular “Life in General”, and with that came a few singles. One of the singles that I really sought out was “Move To Bremerton”. Now, this was a time before you could hear this band on the radio, and before you could get the songs from YouTube, or Napster or anything. So I read about this release, and sought it out via mail order. The record features 5 songs, with 4 of them being ones I hadn’t heard. “Rock and Roll Girl”, “Circumstance”, “Easier Said Than Done”, and “Chick Magnet (live on KNDD)”, are the stand outs, aside from the title track single. “Circumstance” alone is the reason to pick up this EP. If you check out the video, you get a good look at the band’s home town. I know, this is an odd pick up, but if you’re a record collector, this is no doubt one of the pieces to the Mxpx discography you should pick up.

You can pick up “Move To Bremerton” by Mxpx for $6.99 new, or you could get it for $0.01 by clicking here.
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