Jack Johnson at Merriweather 2010

Entertainment, music

Who knew Jack Johnson was this popular? Certainly not this guy. I was kind of expecting a kind of “half full Wolftrap” like crowd. But this was a SOLD OUT crowd, it was just an astonishing amount of people.

I guess that’s because Jack is some kind of non offensive surf-rock/environmental guru type that does music for kids movies featuring cartoon monkeys. There’s no way that anyone could ever be intimidated by this guy. So women like him and guys aren’t threatened by that.  This could be number one on Stuff white people like.  If there were a ‘Stuff hot chicks and douchebags like’ it would be number one with a bullet.  This must be the music they play at Hollester or Abercrombie, because they all seemed to be there.  I’ve also learned he’s big in the “we’re in our thirties and have kids but are still trying to be cool” crowd.

It’s not like I didn’t have a good time. It’s just that this wasn’t the kind of concert crowd I’m used to. I guess it’s because I’ve only been to Hippie Jam festivals or Rock Festivals in High School.

Schu-Review : Nas and Damian Marley – Distant Relatives

Entertainment, music

I was talking to a friend about the existence of this album and the first thing he said was ‘I’ve always wanted to like Damian Marley but he’s not hard enough for me.’ which I thought was strange because I’ve always wanted to like Nas but I thought he wasn’t ‘Musical’ enough. I like his lyrics, but sometimes his beats are kind of basic and his choruses are lacking. But he’s from the streets, YO. So this is the album for both of us.

It starts out with a bang. ‘As we enter’ is the classic hip-hop “who we are” song, with an interesting beat and lyrics. Lots of back and forth between the two. Marley really ups his lyric game on this track. Starts the album with a bang, really gets you going. I love this song.

[Damian Marley]
Masuri Sana
Switch up the language and move to Ghana

Salute and honor, real revolution rhymers

[Damian Marley]
Rhythm piranhas

Like true Obamas, unfold the drama

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but this is my favorite song on the album. The album as a whole follows a track where it starts out loud and fast and then each song gets more mellow. There are a few really good songs ‘Strong Will Continue’ , ‘Land of Promise’ , and ‘Friends’. But with the statement it makes when it first starts I wish that it could have maintained that energy level through the whole thing. But I guess that is the melding of these two styles. It’s still a great album, put it on and chill out for 45 minutes.

4 out of 5 Schus

Schu-Review : Cage the Elephant

Entertainment, music

Cage The Elephant.

I just became aware of this band a few months ago. I had heard the single “Back Against the Wall” on DC101 a few times and I’d always missed who it was by. Finally I was able to pull out the old Shazam app and figure out who it was. I got the album… It is awesome.

It’s full of driving bass lines and strong drums. Mixed with whining guitars and a distinctive vocal style. It’s a throwback sound to , and I can’t believe I’m saying this… The 90s. It remind me of STP mixed with The Strokes. The singles are a mix of almost nonsensical artsy lyrics with shoutable choruses over energetic guitar driven rock music.

In this age of Itunes singles if an CD has more than 3 listenable songs then it’s considered good. This one has at least 4, which takes it into classic territory.

I love it!

Best song – Three way tie!

4.8 out of 5 Schus

Gotta get up to Get Down or Burn Mother-Funker Burn American Dreams.

Entertainment, music

As a hyperactive child and often unfocused adult I am still working on my ability to express myself with words, but feelings are something that I’m intimately familiar with. There are just a handful of songs that when I listen to them I get that excited feeling that I just want to make things happen. What stuff? Just about anything! If I’m about to drop into a hard snowboard run it will get my feet moving in just the right way so I don’t end up in pieces on the bottom of the hill. If I’m thinking of an Art project it will get the creative juices flowing. Or if I have nothing in particular to do then it will just get me bouncing around like an idiot. They’re dangerous really, they should be controlled substances. I’m am not a good dancer either but there are some magical moments when a good beat and a couple of catchy lyrics will move my feet.

The list and audio after the break

Rhys Cooper – Them Crooked Vultures posters

Entertainment, music

The band Them Crooked Vultures may have rocked my eardrums this year, but I don’t think I’m ready to drop $80 on a 3 poster set. That said, these posters rock. Who can’t love vultures dressed in fur lined Victorian trench coats???  These sir, are fancy birds. The monocle clad JPJ top hat vulture is my favorite. Maybe if I didn’t have to pay $20 to get them shipped from Australia…or someone could just buy them for me…

Here’s to hoping!

via OMG Posters

Matisyahu delivers oppressive hope

Entertainment, music


This wasn’t one of those albums that grabbed me right away, but I knew that there was something I liked about it. I think he’s finally, in my mind, moved out of novelty act territory. He’s no longer “that Hasidic jewish guy” who raps and sings reggae, this is actual good music. Like much of the reggae genre the themes of hope and fun permeate the album. There’s just something about this music that makes me happy. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get out there and do something positive in the world.

The first track, “Smash Lies”, starts the album with a crowd pleasing energy and tempo and is one of my favorite tracks. The rest of the album is less reggae and moves into more reggae-influenced rock and pop, but it’s the peaceful attitude that ties it all together. The third track and possibly the radio single, “One Day”, is so hopeful for the future it almost crosses into cheesy. There are some songs that I might skip through if they came on by themselves, but they’re so much in the flow on the album that I don’t notice till they’re over. I know it’s just music and it wont “really” change anything, but it makes you think it’s possible, in a [W:Michael Franti] sort of way. The whole sound of the album is a bit like a jumble of Franti, [W:MGMT], and [W:SOJA]

Schu-Review : 4/5 Schus