Little Lies and Massive Dreams

My name is Bear. I play in a band called Talking About Commas and live and work in Providence, RI. I like music.
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Oct 24, 2006

Talking About Commas release new EP.... for free!

So I can't really review this EP, because I made it. But I thought I'd mention it anyway. Go to to download the new 5 song EP from Talking About Commas. Let me know what you think.

Oct 18, 2006

Countdown to Vegoose

Well its only a week away. They just released the schedule yesterday ( Looks like this is what I'm seeing:


Cat Power
MMW w/ Maceo Parker
The Racontuers
The Mars Volta
The Black Crowes
Jurassic 5
Tom Petty

Band of Horses
Built to Spill
Fiona Apple
Phil and Trey
Jenny Lewis (pictured)
The Roots
Jim James (solo)
Widespread Panic

Looks like my only conflict is Jenny Lewis at the same time as Phil and Trey. That's right, god hates me. Stay tuned for pics and a full review after the festy! Hope to see some of you out there

Oct 7, 2006

Review: Trey Anastasio's "Bar 17"

Let me start by saying that I love the band Phish. Trey Anastasio is the guitarist that made me want to play the instrument as a 14 year old pup. Not Jimi, not Jimmy, not Eric but Trey. That said, this man is getting too old or out of touch to make any relevant music. The once edgy, atonal, bliss filled composer has turned into a guy in his mid-forties who writes terribly cheesy, predictable wank-pop.

Bar 17 is Trey’s new album, it dropped (not because it’s hot, because it’s a bomb) last Tuesday. It features a dazzling array of almost every musician Trey has ever shared the stage with from Phish’s Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman to the Benevento/Russo Duo to John Medeski. Despite the all-star cast, the album refuses to accomplish anything noteworthy. There a few flashes of classic Trey but most jams are just mindless meandering ("Goodbye Head" and "Bar 17"). A couple decent moments are the poppy, vocal-layered outro to "Let Me Lie" and the Story of the Ghost-era funk of "What’s Done"’s verses.

I must admit that my problem with Bar 17 is mainly the vocals, both the singing and lyrical content. Trey’s voice seems strained on rockers like "Dragonfly" and "Mud City" and he can’t quite pull of the pretty falsetto style of "Empty House". Also, Trey seems to be borrowing more than just musical ideas from his daughter (Eliza helped write the music to "Goodbye Head"). Lyrics like "The skyrockets are alive and breathing", "Dance all night with your boots and your dragonfly", and "Gonna take my bike out, Gonna take my bike. Gonna ride it slowly, ride it just how I like" makes me think he and Tom Marshall need to have a serious talk. And no, I don’t want to go to Mud City, Trey, and how the hell can I "sail away to Cincinnati?". I will be seeing Trey at Vegoose in a couple weeks, part of my yearly Trey fix, let’s hope he plays a lot of cover songs.

Key tracks: "What’s Done", "Goodbye Head", "Cincinnati"’s intro music. (Rating: single)

Bonus disc 18 Steps’ key tracks: "Dark and Down", "Discern". (rating: double)

Oct 4, 2006

Review: Beck's "The Information"

When I first heard that The Information was produced by Nigel Godrich (who also produced Beck’s Mutations and Sea Change) I figured it would be a mellow album full of faux-string soundscapes and beautiful melancholy. To my surprise, this thing is an all-out dance party as if Odelay and Guero’s love child got a little too drunk one night and made out with Midnite Vultures. “Elevator Music” gets things going with a Guero-espque space-bass-trash-rap-funk that is as groovy as anything he’s done. “Cell Phone’s Dead” has two magnificent changes that shouldn’t be in the same song, but Beck makes it work as he always does.
The famed Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, lets his presence known on tracks like “Soldier Jane” and “Movie Theme” both of which he co-wrote. “Soldier Jane” has Beck experimenting with fast, dirty drumbeats under slow, pretty changes a la Godrich’s work on many Radiohead songs like “Morning Bell” for example (although if Radiohead wrote this song, I bet it’d be in 7/4). “1000BPM” proves to be this record’s club scene infiltrator a la Guero’s “Hell Yes” and Midnite Vulture’s “Hollywood Freaks”. Unfortunately, after a strong start the record seems to ramble on a bit and probably doesn’t need to be 15 tracks long. All of this culminates with a ridiculous rant about space travel that shows although Beck makes amazing music, he can still be an egomaniacal (so I’ve heard) Scientologist (sadly, a fact).
There are 2 amazing bonus’ to this disc (if you don’t burn it like a chump). One is the album comes with no artwork. The listener can decorate the entire sleeve, cover and back with stickers that come in the CD. I’ve posted my version above, the top is my back, and the bottom, my cover. Also, Beck has attached a bonus DVD that includes low-budget/high-art music videos for each song on the album. It is a definite must-see.
Key Tracks: "Cell Phone's Dead", "Strange Apparition", "No Complaints" (Rating: triple)