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Seether – Disclaimer

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Seether
Artist: Seether
Title: Disclaimer
Label: Wind-Up
Rating: 5/10

Seether. Rock, mixed with the sound of a fellow label-mate Creed-minus the knack for big choruses.

Seething:
“Fine Again” – It’s not great, but not grating and typical.
“Fade Away” – Slower than the usual, but better.

Screeching:
“Gasoline”
“Pride” – Lots of screeching which gets annoying fast.
“Pig”
“Fuck It” – Unfortunately this will probably be a fan favorite.

Sickening:
“Needles” – what’s up with that vocal? Grrrrrrr.
“Sympathetic” – I’m not.

Bush called and they want their sound back! Or was that Silverchair? I haven’t figured out those accents yet.

+ rae gun

Blue Crush

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Blue Crush
Cast: Kate Bosworth
Studio: Universal
Rating: 5/10

Film Studio Synopsis: Nothing gets between Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) and her board. Living in a beach shack on Oahu with three roommates including her rebellious younger sister, she is up before dawn every morning to conquer the waves and count the days until the Pipe Masters surf competition. Working as a hotel maid to pay the bills, Anne Marie finds everything else she needs in the adrenaline-charged surf scene … until pro quarterback Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis) comes along. Like it or not, Anne Marie starts losing her balance – and finding it – as she falls for Matt.

The Good: Some cool surf shots. There are moments where you might bite off a hangnail. Also a few big boys who play NFL linemen are worth a couple laughs.

The Bad: Sure Kate Bosworth is hot, but can she act? I don’t know she never gets the chance. Michelle Rodriquez is underused.

Frankly: Critics are saying this is the best surf movie ever; either they were born in the eighties or too old to remember anything. The Endless Summer crushes Blue Crush. Even Point Break is better than this. Not to mention North Shore, which is on par with Blue Crush when it comes to dialogue, is a hell of a lot more exciting.

A good surf movie would have you revved up and ready to surf, even if you lived nowhere near an ocean. And after watching Blue Crush I just want to take a shower and meet a hot surfer chick.

+ charlie craine

Transworld Surf

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Transworld Surf
Game: Transworld Surf
Platform: PS2
Studio: Infogrames
Rating: 7.5/10

Look: The waves and water look good. The surfers and the way they move seem odd at times. Seriously, with games in recent memory that had water really kick this in the ass. There is no life in the waves or the surfers. The fall off from the Xbox version is unreal. What happened?

Feel: There are sparkles of fun. It’s extremely hard to pull off a combo move and worse yet just as you think the right wave is under you there seems to be no way to take advantage of it. Before you know it the wave has broke and you are sitting in the foam. There is a good amount of surfers and scenes to play. Cool. However the game feels a bit too much like Tony Hawk at the beach without all the clean controls.

Hear: The sound effects are terrible. The soundtrack are throwaway punk tracks.

Frankly: The best thing you can say about Transworld Surf is that it is the best surfing game out there for the PS2. That’s not really saying much unfortunately. There is a lot lacking here. Rent it.

+ bboy

Filter – Interview

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Filter

A chat with Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo

Today’s the day.

Yeah, the new record is out today.

Has it been a long time coming?

Yeah. But it’s a good day today. It’s finally out there!

Do you get as excited about the album coming out as you do for getting on the road?

I have to admit I’m really excited about this record getting out there and getting feedback from our fans.

When did you finish the record?

About eight months ago.

Was the tracks for the Amalgamut written before September 11th?

Most of them were, two were written after which were “The Missing” and “Where Do We Go From Here”. Some were written a year before that. The music for “The Missing” was written before 9/11 but lyrics were written after that horrible day.

Did the title come before 9/11?

Before. Richie drove from Chicago to L.A. and that is where he came up with Amalgamut. It’s basically this character and the melting pot coming to fruition. It’s basically Filter speak. It’s about unity and diversity. We travel a lot and we get to see a lot more than most Americans do. All the diversity is what adds up to the great thing that is America and that is what the Amalgamut is.

Do fans really like to tell you how Filter’s songs helped them?

Totally. We get people who tell us a certain song changed their life and that is just amazing. Most of what we hear has been positive and that is what its all about. Ultimately we write the music for ourselves, but when fans tell us how much they love it, it means everything. I can remember when I would listen to Led Zepplin II or an entire Beatles record that’s what its all about. It did change the way that I thought and it really taught me something. In that sense its great to have a positive impact.

I remember the same thing with records like the Beatles Sgt. Peppers and even Pearl Jam’s second record where I’d get home with it the day it came out and do nothing but sit in front of the stereo and listen to it like nothing else in the world mattered.

I know, isn’t that awesome?

What’s it like for you to know that kids out there are emulating your guitar riffs?

That is awesome too. I went into the studio and an engineer was like ‘hey how do you play “Take A Picture”?’ and then they play it there way and I’m like ‘well, that’s not it, but its cool’.

I read you went to school for music.

Yeah I went and learned engineering and then got a job at Chicago Wax Trax Recording and hanging out with the guys from Ministry and I was having a good time in the industrial scene. That’s where I met the guys from Chemlab and eventually went out on tour with them. I kind of crossed from just being a guy who is an engineer and then ended up going out on the road. It turned out to be a great thing. That is how I got the Filter thing. I met Brian Liesegang, who used to be in the band (and one of the founding members) and we became friends and he told me he was working on this project and that it was really great song writing with heavier stuff. He said ‘the guy I’m working with needs a road warrior to go out on the road with us’. I heard “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and some other tracks and it was great.

I know you’ve had a hand in some of the recording, but is there a part of you that always wants to be more involved?

Yeah, I always want to be involved. For Short Bus I toured for the record, but I felt disconnected from the music. I actually ended up leaving Filter for about five months and then Rich and I had a talk and I told him that I thought what he was doing was great, but I didn’t want to be a hired gun. I told him I wanted to be a songwriter. Rich could understand that because he left [Nine Inch] Nails to song write and pursue his vision. But he said you don’t just get handed it, the music had to be good. So I wrote a few tracks like “It’s Gonna Kill Me” and it ended up on Title Of Record and its grown from there.

Before learning the process of music were you always experimenting with guitar as a kid?

That and I’ve always been recording since I was in high school. The recording and the writing was all bound together in the same thing. I didn’t just sit there and try to learn guitar, I wanted to learn how to record guitar well. I was learning every riff I could get my hands on.

Did you ever lay guitar in the studio for other artists?

Not in Chicago, mostly just engineering. But right now I’ve been on a few albums like the Curve album.

Is it tough to go on the road today for long periods of time?

The shows are great, but all the traveling can make you weary. I have a family now and it’s harder than ever to be away from home. I have a five-year-old son. If I could do what I do and have him in my life everyday it’d be perfect.

So what do you do on the bus to keep your mind off everything?

Listen to music, but mostly we play games on the Xbox.

What’s your favorite game?

Playstation 2, it’s Medal Of Honor Frontline. You storm the beaches of Normandy. You are in Saving Private Ryan. It’s fantastic.

+ charlie craine

Alice Peacock – Alice Peacock

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Artist: Alice Peacock
Title: Alice Peacock
Label: Columbia
Rating: 6.5/10

Minnesota native Alice Peacock brings her brand of simply warm and comforting songs to each of us from her past of being a folky.
Reminds you of: Sheryl Crow.

Warm:
“Alabama Boy” – Makes you feel all warm inside.

“Leading With My Heart” – She takes a chance as we seldom do. It pays off.

“Bliss” and “I’ll Start With Me” – Sure to inspire.

“Boy In The Backseat” – Lovely.

Chill:
“Imagination” – Nice, until she tries to spread the title out over a few beats.
“Parallel Life”

A few tracks fall somewhere in the middle. They aren’t bad, but they don’t hold their own against the first four tracks. Even then a handful of great tracks are better than most can say these days. Alice Peacock hasn’t abandoned folk music, instead she’s taking the basic ingredients and incorporated some long-hard rules of making music accessible to the public. It works and works damn well.

+ rae gun

xXx

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xXx
Cast: Vin Diesel
Studio: Columbia
Rating: 5/10

Film Studio Synopsis: Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander “xXx” Cage, notorious for his death defying public stunts. Betting he can succeed where other conventional spies have failed, Xander is recruited by a NSA Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) to become a different kind of undercover agent. Enlisted for a dangerous covert mission, he must use all his extreme skills to combat a clever, organized, and ruthless enemy far beyond the scope of his experience.

The Good: The stunts. Some are actually pretty cool. Vin Diesel is also a very cool customer; too bad the writers couldn’t help out his character.

The Bad: The truly unbelievable stunts. I know why they called this movie xXx. Because in case you didn’t hear the first word extreme they wanted to say it two more times just to pound it in your head that this film is EXTREME!

xXx is so over the top you wonder if it was shooting so far over the spy genre that it wanted to be a farce or that it was so full of itself that it is truly attempting to take on the James Bond franchise. I’d say the latter. Too bad there is very little in the way of sequels except for a certain big box office number.

The jokes are a thin attempt at making up for a lack of good dialogue. And the complete attempt at updating James Bond was a bad way to go.

Frankly: Please Hollywood don’t make Vin Diesel a sarcastic, action figure like those of the past. Can’t we get some depth with our heroes? Diesel has talent; maybe one day we’ll see him in something that proves it.

In the end xXx is trying too hard, and yes trying too hard can be a bad thing.

+ charlie craine

Loudermilk – The Red Record

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Loudermilk
Artist: Loudermilk
Title: The Red Record
Label: Dreamworks
Rating: 5/10

Tri-city band Loudermilk once drunk on Guns ‘N’ Roses show us what they’ve got.

Hot:
“Ash To Ash” – Has a distinct Smashing Pumpkins vibe, the good vibes.

Not-sure:
“Estrogen Oxygen Aches In The Teeth Again” – Weird title, good hook.
“Kreates A Presence To Blush” and “Elekt” – Motley Crue called and they want their first album back.
“The Twisting” – Good beat, often good melody.

Cold:
“California” – Sounds like bad metal.
“97 Ways To Kill A Superhero” – They should call the Manic Street Preachers for a guide to how to use big words and write a good song at the same time.
“Mai”

I’m not sure what is more annoying, the bad metal or the bad song titles. What is bizarre is that when they rock they sound like early Crue and when they slow it down they sound like the Pumpkins. Can’t decide whether that is good or not. I do know the album goes from average to bad with quickness.

+ rae gun

Darius Rucker – Back To Then

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Darius Rucker
Artist: Darius Rucker
Title: Back To Then
Label: Hidden Beach
Rating: 3/10

Darius Rucker was one time lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish.

Good:
“Exodus” – Surprisingly sparse on the Hootie vocals and focuses more on the melody at hand.

Not Hootie, thank God:
“Wild One” – Not all that interesting.
“Sometimes I Wonder” – Jill Scott ups the anti, but Hootie can’t take it to her level.
“Amazing Grace” – Rucker can sing, but not good enough to fully tackle this standard.

Too Hootie, that’s bad:
“Back To Then”
“Butterfly”
“Sleeping In My Bed” – featuring Snoop Dogg – Lame.

If the back of Back To Then is any indication of Rucker’s style you know you are in for trouble.

+ rae gun

Rosey – Interview

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rosey

A whole lotta Rosey!

Is life getting more hectic?

Well, yeah. (Laughs)

Is it what you expected?

No matter how much you think about something or dream about it, it’s still surreal. I still trip out all the time. This is my life and I can’t believe it. I expected it, but I still get off on it.

I read you had some insight into the industry already.

Yeah, I interned at some record labels, I worked for concert promoters, so I definitely had some insight on everything else, but I’m constantly learning.

When did you realize that you could sing?

My parents are both singers. Basically what happened was my roommates boyfriend was hanging around our apartment when I was a sophomore in college and I was singing in the shower and when I got out of the shower he was standing there and was like ‘you are going to sing in my band!’ So I started rehearsing with the band and doing gigs and I was surprised that I wasn’t nervous at all. I still wasn’t sold on the whole idea of being a professional singer until I picked up the guitar in my senior year of college. The second I picked up the guitar I started to write a song and I was like ‘wow!’ I found something different in my voice and that is when I really thought about doing something serious about it.

When you were putting the demo out there and went to a record label did you tell them you wanted to have control over your songs?

Yeah, I think a lot of artists do that. They are your songs and you want them to stay. I had to prove that the songs were good and they wanted to put me together with writers, but I was against that. What was great was that the label really just set me free in the studio and let me go at it and that is where I really shined. That was really cool.

I remember I had a demo like last year. What happened in the last year?

That is a good question. The record took two years to finish. I was sitting around a lot because my producer was working with Macy Gray on The ID at the same time. The mixing of the record took a long time. Everything takes a long time. (Laughs) You learn to be very patient. That was another thing that was good because I had the insight from working in the industry and saw how long things take. I knew I had to be ultra-patient. So things don’t happen when you hope or want. There was a lot of waiting. (Laughs) The date of the release kept changing. I didn’t care as long as it came out before I was thirty. (Laughs)

What happened to the Melissa Etheridge concert this summer?

Yep! (Laughs) That’s another part of it. I got this band and was told how great it was going to be and then they took it away. So I’m going to do a radio promotion tour instead. I guess we are trying to save money. I guess once I sell some more records I’ll have more money, so if I sell twenty or thirty more copies. (Laughs)

What is the feeling you get when fans tell you how great your voice is?

It’s awesome. It’s so hard in this industry to feel good about yourself so when you have people that like you its so good and important. It’s important for me because I give so much of myself so when I get something back it feels so good. I feel so blessed because people have been so nice to me. I know that it’s because I put out so much nice-ness myself. (Laughs) I just hope everything keeps going like it is because I know how it is in this industry, one second everything is fantastic and the next everyone forgets.

Have you ever thought about doing old standards of jazz or blues songs?

Yeah. I want to do a lot of different things from trip-hop to jazz and more. Can you hang on?

Yeah.

(Rosey gets another call)

Sorry about that, it was my carpet cleaner. I have plumbing problems. (Laughs) It’s so funny one day you’re being shot for a magazine cover and the next day you’re scrubbing shit off the floor. (we both laugh)

Good to know you can always go back to being human.

I know. (Laughs)

Were the songs on the record all new or have some been around a bit?

Some have been around since ’95. I have some from the last few years. It’s a pretty good representation of my work and me. I have some new, there are some things I wish I could have brought out but it might have been too much too soon. I didn’t want to freak people out. I really wanted to make a rock ‘n’ roll record, but no one wanted me to do that.

Think if you were a guy you wouldn’t have that problem? As well as the problem with the media looking at you as some sexy chick they can put on their cover?

(Laughs) They definitely like to tart me out in the magazines. You’ll read about these other artists and they get some really witty quotes, but mine always seems to be about some dude that I like or something about my ass. (we both laugh) I think maybe they think because I’m older they have to pull the sex side out of me. I don’t care really. The truth is I’m very, how do I say this, sensual. That is part of my personality. I think people focus on that too much.

If you were a guy think anyone would mind you rocking out?

No. And I could probably gain ten pounds and no one would complain about it. (Laughs) I’m always up for a challenge so being a woman in this industry I know I have to work hard and take good care of myself. At least I know I’ll live longer and happier. (laughs at herself)

One day when you aren’t being a singer are you going to go back to the record industry and be in charge of the knuckleheads who make the decisions for you now?

I just might. Or I might start my own label. But I think I’ll just disappear somewhere, have a few kids and grow some vegetables. (laughs)

+ charlie craine

Bree Sharp – More B.S.

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Bree Sharp
Artist: Bree Sharp
Title: More B.S.
Label: Union
Rating: 6/10

Bree Sharp had a minor hit with “David Duchovny” a few years back. Here the previous album was interesting, but never sparked more interest in others.

Yes:
“Galaxy Song” – Sort of silly, but still lovely.
“The Ballad Of Grim And Lily” – Finally a track that sticks with you.

Hmm:
“Lazy Afternoon” – Catchy.
“Boys Of Summer” – Decent cover.
“Dirty Magazine” – Too silly.
“Sleep Forever” – Please spare me the dude in the background.

No:
You don’t need to say no to anything.

Bree Sharp is still an interesting singer/songwriter. Sometimes you have to take the good with the occasionally funny. If you can deal with that you’ll deal with this.

+ rae gun