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Quick Fire Album Reviews

I think this’ll be a regular thing here at Blast-O-Rama, just a quick handful of thoughts about whatever albums I’ve been listening to lately.  Enjoy.

Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell (2008)
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Tokyo Police Club first bounced on the scene with their 2006 ep A Lesson In Crime.  They grabbed me immediately with their combination of disaffected vocals, handclaps, group yelling and catchy keyboard riffs.  Two years later, they’ve signed to Saddle Creek, and finally dropped a full length LP.  While it’s a painfully-short 32 minutes long, the album takes everything I loved about their ep, and kicks it up to 11.  The first single off the record, “In A Cave”, might just be the catchiest song of 2008.  Highly Recommended.

Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV (2008)
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I’m what you’d call an anomaly in the world of Nine Inch Nails fandom.  While I certainly respect what Reznor did to define the 90’s world of Alternative Rock, I can’t say I really got into him until the release of 1999’s The Fragile.  An amazing piece of work, that softer double album is considered by many of his fans as either his greatest masterpiece, or his worst misstep.  I fall in the former group, so suffice to say, I’ve been left cold by With Teeth and Year Zero, which emulate the thrash rock that gave him his fame, versus the intricate beauty seen in The Fragile.  With Ghosts, however, a 36-track all-instrumental album, Reznor returns to the sound which blew me away all those nine years ago.  Sure, the internet is all a flutter over the straight-to-digital release of the album, but it’s good to know that’s truly worth the hype. Recommended.

She & Him – Volume One (2008)
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I’m not going to lie.  I have a full blown celebrity crush on Zooey Deschannel.  It certainly wasn’t helped when I discovered (like most people) she had a beautiful singing voice in the Will Farrell Christmas vehicle Elf.  So when I heard she was cutting an album with indie-rocker M. Ward, my interest piqued.  Is it a worthy listen?  Sort of.  Deschannel goes to her strengths, doing songs of a more classic rock sound.  Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was a lo-fi rock album from the 60’s.  As it stands, however, the sound is a bit too much on the ‘cute’ side of things to really get into.  If I give the album a few more spins, I may warm up to it, but until then, I can only say….Download it.

Mario Makes Me Go Vroom-Vroom!

In what is some rather convenient timing, given that I’ve been glued to my Wii the past few days thanks to Smash Bros, and considering we were all pulled to the Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 machine at Dave & Busters this weekend, Nintendo insures their financial future with the announcement of the release date of Mario Kart Wii.

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Featuring the useless plastic cartridgeWii Wheel in box, 32 tracks, 12-player online play and the use of both karts AND motorcycles, Mario Kart Wii hits the US on April 27th, 2008.

Street Fighter 4 Gets Luchafied!

As the anticipation builds for Street Fighter 4, fans every where are foaming at the mouth with the reveal of every new character.

If the SF2-Gameplay-Meets-3D-High-Def-Graphics idea behind the game wasn’t enough to sell me, this latest character certainly has.

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As revealed over at Shoryuken.com…I give you EL FUERTE!~

The future is lucha, and the future looks good.

EDIT: (3/13/08) Capcom has released a higher rez image of El Fuerte on their blog. Now that’s classy. Get on it, cosplayers!

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Honestly, Is There A Better Creative Team Going Today?

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I know, I’ve hyped Wall*E enough…hell, I was sold with the first teaser last summer.

Today though, Disney released what’s apparently the final trailer for the flick, sending it over to our old friends at Apple.

Honestly…jaw agape, stunning stuff.  The epic level of scale is just humbling, and I cannot believe the quality of animation.  If you have the option, you need to watch this trailer in HD.

Click here for the trailer, then choose ‘Trailer 3’.

June 27th cannot come soon enough.

Location Is Everything

Being based in Baltimore, and so close to the DC Metro area, I’m really spoiled when it comes to seeing bands live.  We get an unusually high number of good shows in the area, and after a bit of a dry spell, it looks like another batch are coming through…check it out.

March

  • 19th  Georgie James @ The Ottobar, Stars @ Sonar
  • 23rd Del The Funky Homosapien @ 930 Club

April

  • 5th Georgie James @ The Black Cat
  • 9th Murder By Death @ The Black Cat, Minus the Bear @ Recher Theatre
  • 10th VHS or Beta @ The Ottobar, Yeasayer @ The Black Cat, Superdrag @ 8×10
  • 11th Spoon @ Sonar
  • 12th Nada Surf @ 930 Club
  • 21st Eisley @ 930 Club
  • 22nd Peelander-Z @ The Black Cat
  • 24th Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ The Black Cat
  • 25th Karmella’s Game @ Fletchers
  • 29th Tokyo Police Club @ The Black Cat

May

  • 11th Radiohead @ Nissan Pavillion (I got tickets!)
  • 16th Los Campesinos! @ The Black Cat

June

  • 7th Rilo Kiley @ Rams Head Live