Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hear Music, Taste Colors: Top 5 Sunny Day Driving Bands

This blog is a thing now, eventually Booze and Tunes will be on once the site is up (hopefully early may, our programmer and co-host Alan will be graduating May 1st and needless to say is a little preoccupied) but in the mean time I'll also be posting non-podcast related things here.

This past weekend was my birthday and it seems like the weather decided to take the week to recover from a hangover that was epic enough to effect us on a meteorological scale. This week was cold, dreary and wet but as we walked out of the house this morning to get breakfast in Mexican town I was greeted with a sunny, high 70's day. I tried my hardest to stay in Detroit and edit the show we recorded Wednesday night but the pull of the road was just too strong. Mid afternoon I threw my jacket over the back of my seat and hit the road. Nothing quite like I-96 on a Sunday afternoon, windows down and tunes on. Unfortunately with gas prices the way they are I can't spend the whole day driving, but I can write about it. So this week we discuss the top 5 Sunny Day Driving Bands.

5. Brite Futures
(formerly Natalie Portman's Shaved Head)
This is a feel good synth-pop band, originally formed with two guys who only had keys and a drum machine. They are quoted as saying their songs are about "Fruit snacks and partying" and that they started the band to get girls. And so I ask you, when you are driving down the road on a sunny day what would make it an even better experience? I can say in full confidence that of fruit snacks, partying and girls at least two of those things are appropriate for a car. Maybe even all three if you're in a truck. In the south.

4. Mika
Mika is what would happen if David Bowie and Freddie Mercury had a love child that later went on in life to record an album. Aside from a few slower tracks, most of his music has the big production sound that makes you want to sing obnoxiously in your car and dance around in a very choreographed stage show style. Though this may or may not be appropriate if there are other people in the car (depending on who, it might even be MORE appropriate) but it makes for a good time.

3. AC/DC
You're waiting at a red light, minding your own business when none other than some uppity kid with a trucker hat on driving a neon with stupid rims and a body kit (non-srt4 of course) pulls up next to you. You laugh for a second, but just then 'Thunderstruck' comes on the radio. I don't care who you are or what you are driving, it's on. Though there is no shortage of punk kids driving Neon's, this is the feeling I get whenever I put on AC/DC, red light show down or not.

2. Minus the Bear
With songs about boats, partying and drinking, naturally this is a band that comes to mind when you think of driving.
wait, what?
Though the theme might not quite match up, the atmosphere and feel is spot on. Entrancing melodies and catchy riffs embodies the mood of cruising down the road with nothing but limitless possibilities ahead of you. Where are ya heading? It doesn't matter when you've got a good song on the just makes moving forward feel right. Minus the Bear takes that feeling and pours it all over every song they make.

1. Cake
Cake is driving and driving is Cake. I've never heard a band that writes with the spirit that Cake does. It's a spirit that loves cars, driving and all things automotive. Sure there are the obvious examples of 'The Distance' and 'Stickshifts and Safetybelts' but Cake does it in so many more ways than that. Even if you look at their most recent release 'Showroom of Compassion' you'll find songs like 'The Winter' with lyrics like "It's all behind you now, you're moving on. They'll never find you now, you're moving on." So when you find yourself driving on that sunny day it doesn't matter if you're enjoying the ride with someone, trying to find a red light race or driving to escape something; Cake has the song for any occasion.

Disagree with my picks? Upset with my terrible spelling and grammar? Think I'm totally right (I doubt you do)? Good, tell me about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Booze and Tunes 4/4/11: The Internet Needs Us

A few weeks ago I mentioned to Josh that I had come up with a great idea for the podcast that would win over the internet and make us rich and famous.

Booze and Tunes

The idea was simple, pick an album and pair it with an alcohol. Similar to a food pairing but with music, and more booze. What is there not to love?

The show is still in the womb but we will be ready for recording and as we get closer and closer to the actual deadline of May 1st. We've done one dry run so far and will get at least one more in before we set things into stone with actual equipment and a full cast. Needless to say everyone involved is very excited that this is coming to fruition and the feedback I've gotten on the first dry run has been very positive while still helpful.

As with all things I set out to do, I want it done right. The best way to ensure our already guaranteed success is to scope out the competition and learn from their already made mistakes. With that said, on the way home I popped open the stitcher app and started looking for music review shows. Under "Music Talk Radio" I found primarily podcasts that showcasts music, almost like a radio show that focused on playing tunes and very little discussing of what was played. This may sound like a relatively cool idea until you realize one simple thing;

All of the music is garbage and the music nerds have the personality of a doorknob.

I don't want to be so petty as to list the exact podcasts or music they played but I can not state how bad it was. The music can be summed up as ambient music with no direction or inspiration and a musical cap of no more than 3 notes per 4 minute increment. After a painful 7 minutes or so of listening to one of the podcasts I found myself screaming in the general direction of my droid;

The personalities were straight forward with little to no factual use or knowledge. How that is even accomplished, I don't know. That is not to mention the content, which on the first three pages was composed of;

sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw sxsw

Which in case you don't know is a music (and film) conference in Austin. Yes, it is a very big deal. Yes, a TON of amazing bands are there doing a TON of amazing things however it happened three weeks ago. Three weeks is 1,000,000 years in internet time. This wouldn't matter if the real world was paying attention to your broadcast, but they're not. It's the internet and in one week things can change as if years had past by.

I only pray that my general distaste with Talk Music podcasts is terribly misdirected and misinformed. Prove me wrong, let me know what your listening to and lets pray to god that Booze and Tunes comes sooner than later.

Because the music is good, the people are phenomenal and the internet needs us.