Thursday, March 29, 2007

Adrenaline Indie Music

Adrenaline Nation Entertainment, which produces Adrenaline Nation TV, announced today its new line-up of Indie friendly music programs. Check out some of these programming blocks:

Independent Top 20 Countdown:
Top twenty independent videos counted down with lots of interviews,
exclusive concert footage and talk with the artists about how they
made the album and video.

Independent Artist Spotlight:
The top independent artists talk about what it's like being an
independent artist and taking it to the streets without the power of
a major label.

Pressure Block:
Showcasing the hottest new independent artists, music videos and
bands from around the world.

Ignition Coalition: Each 2 hour block brings you the indie music of
the most innovative unsigned rock and modern punk bands including
kid bands from all over the world. Features music of and interviews
with all the important underground modern rock artists.

Now that's a fix! Enjoy.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Girl Named Metallica

After seven months of wrangling, a Swedish mother and father of questionable musical taste have been given the legal right to name their daughter (the baby formerly known as Waiting For a Name) ... Metallica.

A tax agency was the evil name withholder and the parents was forced to appeal to their district court, which decided "use of the name wouldn't pose any problems for either the girl or anyone she comes into contact with."

One member of the jury objected to the ruling, suggesting the name probably would cause discomfort to the person who bears it. Ya think? The parents wanted to give their daughter a name that combined their first names ... no word on what those are. Meta and Lic?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hot Hot Heat - Elevator

Steve Bays has to be the luckiest singer in recent post-punk rock history - not the best - just the luckiest. His band produces music that cradles and propels and encourages the best vocals Bays can offer. With a voice that would get grating without this quality in the background, Bays would be just another wannabe garage band screamer. The music is incredibly full for a CD that sounds anything but overproduced.

All of the songs are catchy and immediately forgettable. Perfect for rock music in my opinion. “Running Out of Time” takes the people we all recognize and then gives us a little deeper look inside - and what’s there ain’t pretty.

“Hollywood waiter with a chip on his shoulder/ Only break has been his back and yet he’s just getting older/ He’s washing his clothes in a sink of self-pity.”

“Pickin’ It Up” is a great shout song with an irresistible beat. Over all, Elevator is a good party CD, more sing-along-with than many honest Canadian rock bands.

But… speaking of honesty, Hot Hot Heat did the nearly unforgivable.

The biggest bitch among people who actually buy CDs, not just burn them from friends, is that the music companies/bands do not provide enough quality listening for the retail price of CDs. Everyone’s bought an $18 CD to find one or, very rarely, two good songs. “Elevator” is different in that respect, the songs are consistent and worth the retail. What made me cranky was that the CD packaging states you’ll get 15 songs for the money. Not true.

No. 1: “Introduction” is listed as a full song - no matter that it’s only 17 seconds long. Hey, even my attention span is longer than that.

As for No. 13, the band is either superstitious - or hoteliers in their past lives - because they blow right to 14 after 12. Not cute. Really. On the disc, it’s a 4 second mosquito-like buzz, which Wikipedia explains as "the final four seconds of the ending guitar riff from 'Soldier in a Box'."

The worst part of this duplicity is that it was unnecessary. Bang out good songs, wait until you have a dozen or so, then record. How hard is that? When you’ve got something good - and Hot Hot Heat definitely has that - don’t try to pull it over on your listeners. These guys have been around long enough to know better.

Some background research on the band reveals Hot Hot Heat's deep links with the alternative music scene. After gaining exposure as a hardcore band with extensive tours in Canada and the Northwest, the band found love from the label Sub Pop, which was rooted in the indie music cradle of Seattle. This auspicious signing produced a connection with Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, who produced tracks on the band's EP "Knock Knock Knock." Further releases garnered attention and - even better - production from Sound Garden and Nirvana producer Jack Endino.

"Elevator" is Hot Hot Heat's first foray into the major labels' world of music and that may go a long way toward explaining my problems with the track listings. I won't go any more political than I already have. Suffice it to say, they aren't the first band off the boat that has had to follow a label's straight and narrow on their debut album.