Archive for October, 2002

  • Rob Spectre
  • 30
  • Oct
  • 02

This week’s unedited music review by moi… Did I just use French? Christ, I better go shower…

In our tech-savvy 21st Century, the ease with which to pick up new, quality tunes from unheard of bands is never more than a click away. However, the battle for your ears is also being waged on the airwaves with the stalwart last bastion of good radio coming from college campuses. Hastings’ own KFKX is certainly no exception with several shows giving bands a three minute shot at winning your heart both local and nationwide. The X’s wise investment in the nationally syndicated “mp3.com Download Show” is perhaps the most accessible to the Bronco poor in pockets and picky in CD purchasing. Creating a playlist off the popular artist-direct website mp3.com, The Download Show picks up unsigned and unheard of bands and deliver their tunes to hundreds of college campuses all in the pursuit of breaking the next big thing.

Perhaps the finest success story of The Download Show and mp3.com is Lucky 7, a San Diego pop-punk quartet that has seized rockstardom by the mouse with a business model giving the band 1.5 million downloads long before they even considered a professional studio recording.

Released on California’s latest punk indie label Omega Records, Lucky 7’s debut self-titled album is representative of the Southern California punk scene, not too hard and not too soft. Bringing balls to the Blink 182 earache, Lucky 7 demonstrate with their hit single “California Girl” that it is in fact possible to produce mainstream emo that gets heard without losing soul and without a major label deal. “Be The One” and “Come Monday” further forward the band’s mainstream thesis, combining a sound that might be likened to Lit with the percussive punk punch of Green Day.

Though the praises of these SoCal independent rockers are easy to sing, “Lucky 7” is not a straight forward listen. You’ll find yourself guiltlessly foregoing poor attempts at sensitivity like “2000 Miles” and “Gray Summer Day.” Though the record does have a few decidedly pretentious excuses for ballads that kill repeated listening, the weighty 15 track album gives plenty quality for the mere $12 pricetag.

Who Should Listen: If you’ve always wanted to give punk a try but never had an ear for Newfound Glory, Lucky 7 is a quick and inexpensive introduction.

Who Should Buy: Good Charlotte fans, there’s more where that came from.

Where to Go: www.mp3.com/lucky7, select Hot Topic stores, Monday 5-7pm KFKX 90.1.

Grade: B-

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 29
  • Oct
  • 02

I hope you find some time to drop a note.

But if you won’t, then you won’t.

And I will consider you gone.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 27
  • Oct
  • 02

Those on the port side… are going down…

Tonight was the (r)ocktober finale. Looking back at the month, it seems really goddamned long. But, perhaps that is because I’ve been measuring time in terms of shows. In the past, shows would have weeks, even months apart. Tonight was the 10th show we’ve had this month, so in rockstar time almost a full year has passed in a single lunar cycle. It just feels like its been forever since we started this thing. In terms of experience and musical expression, perhaps it has been as it has been an amazingly educational adventure that taught me a lot about the business of rocking as well as rock technique. This is the sort of boot camp that I think we should put ourselves through to become serious musicians.

Those starboard side… are going down…

Fiber Optic Pumpkin reared its technologically gourdial head again tonight, with much success. The take of “Thunderheads and Regrets” that has been eluding recording since its authorship was finally achieved tonight; a meaning the song has never possessed. Perhaps that is the true lesson to be learned from (r)ocktober… That finding something new in music is vital to keeping us vital, keeping us sharp and new and fresh and fun and everything that people want in a good song. If you witnessed tonight’s show, it was a conceit yet again. But, fortunately, I think it was a conceit that was also very entertaining as all the songs sounded great and it was very clear both Howie and I were having a fun time.

I don’t know what we were thinking but we’re going down…

Many thanks to howie&scott and, more importantly, Howie and Scott for doing this. This has been the best electric mayhem to be had anytime. May the road rise to meet us in the future… and hopefully the road be shared by both us.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 22
  • Oct
  • 02

Spent a good portion of the last couple hours doing some production work for the double live record due to the website before 25 December. Our Christmas gift to our fans, it will be an official mp3-only release for all our allies in rock who have helped us along the way. What’s that? You want more? Well, the other half of the double live will be firmly occupied by our colleagues, friends, and brothers in rock howie&scott. Some really cool cross-blending is going on, and particularly from the Shaft side, it is sounding damn choice.

So, my MP3 player caught on fire like 2 months of ago, so I’ve been without tunes in my car for the entire tour. That’s right, some 1000 miles driving around the Midwest with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company. Not precisely a fun time. The hope is that I am getting it back this week, though the UPS man seems to have difficulty delivering it to the College. I can certainly understand that, since its only the biggest fucking recipient of packages in the entire town! Jesus. You would think I was living in fucking Afghanistan with a horde of Taliban militants in a goddamned cave fortress built expressly to keep packages from arriving to their intended destination. All I want is music in my car.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 20
  • Oct
  • 02

Show #8 was a bit of a selfish jaunt, allowed only because we have rocked so much for the masses this month. Being that I was without JC and Howie was without Scott, we formed for the night a dynamic duo of blend rock dubbed “Fiber Optic Pumpkin.” Being the inaugural incarnation of this ill-fated group, it was marked by playing exclusively covers… both from howie&scott and Arturo Got The Shaft. However, some history is in order.

Last night, after the killer Blue Moon show and saying good night to Scott, we came back to Casa del Rob and proceeded to do some production work on the double live record. After a bit, it became clear that we needed some fuel to power our decisions in rock, so we took a long jaunt around town in search of some chow. Somewhere between the discovery that Sun-Mart is no longer 24 hour (damn!) and the use of a lego cockpit for a spoon (rock!), I asked Howie if he’d play drums with me for my set at the show, to which he replied we should just play together and switch back and forth. The decision certainly was for the better.

Certainly one of the highlights of my evening was our collective creeping of the stoners who showed up for the show. Seven people were gathered around with totally dazed looks on their faces, clearly indicating they were all high as kites. Never one to pass an opportunity, I told Howie to play as creepy as humanly possible and we went into a scary rendition of “Happy Happy, Joy Joy” from Ren and Stimpy. Three people ran away scared, two people cowered in paralyzing fear, and one person laughed so hard I thought he was going to pee. It was one of many fantastic moments.

However, the real treat for me was hearing Howie’s contributions to some clear Shaft songs… It was a gift of music that really touched me, and I sincerely hope that I get to share some of it with you soon. Three down, one to go. (r)ocktober finale the 26th in Omaha… Forewarned is forearmed.

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