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Let's Wrestle; Goofy Guitar Pop For Now Nerds

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Let's Wrestle - Nursing Home 

Pure fun is the perfect way to describe Let's Wrestle's new album, "Nursing Home." At first glance, the faults are apparent. Perhaps, it is a little too silly, a little too sloppy, and a little too schlocky brimming over with silliness and inside jokes, the kind that all the nerds in the room can relate to. Yet it is these qualities that endearingly make it a great album.
Like their fellow travelers on the jokey, but smart indie highway, Boat, Let's Wrestle knows how to have fun with a clever turn of phrase. An earlier song, "Music is My Girlfriend" took a tired cliche and made it seem new again. In a nutshell, this technique is the genius of the band. While "Nursing Home" never reaches the same heights, it is a fine attempt. The band is a little tighter, the jokes are more coherent, and the production values a hair better.
While not attempting anything as virtuosic as the new Boat album, Let's Wrestle s…

Who are the Ramones?: My favorite Ramones Songs From the Reagan Era.

I was recently thinking about how much I like some of the Ramones records from the 1980's. Just because their classic period ended in the seventies, it doesn't mean that they didn't still write excellent songs. As someone once said, every Ramones record has one or two good songs. Hell, some have five; this list was difficult because it is hard to gauge my favorite songs, let alone the best. There is much to take into account: who wrote the song, what album it is on, how popular it is among Ramones fans, etc. I have a special place in my heart for Halfway to Sanity, so it has an unfair advantage whether it deserves it or not. I was surprised at how many Richie songs I loved and how many fan favorites that I simply couldn't pass up.
I would love to hear what other people think. I would love to make an ultimate mix of the 1980's Ramones. They might have passed their prime, but they were still kicking ass long past the Reagan era.

The list (In no particular order)

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The Insects Rule: The Under-Rated Power Pop of Brendan Benson*

The new Brendan Benson album,My Old, Familiar Friendis somewhat of a revelation. After years of being under the radar, he finally made some headway by being the first mate in Jack White's side project, The Raconteurs. (I say side project, but the Raconteur's are as fully realized a project as any other White has been involved with, or for that instance Benson). They have become his full time paying gig. But those who listen to the Raconteurs as just a White side project are missing something; the classicist power pop of Benson adds new dimensions to White's music. Likewise, Benson sounds revitalized on My Old Familiar Friend gaining confidence from the collaboration with a real "rock star." The title works as perfect description, because the record does feel like an old familiar friend (fitting firmly into the classic ranks of the poppier side of power pop), even though Benson tends to rock out a bit more than most power pop artists this side of Cheap Trick. What…

A lost psych masterpiece from 2009.

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Stardeath And White Dwarfs: The Birth

The Birth is a veritable lost psych masterpiece that is possibly on the same level as Easter Everywhere by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators or Forever Changes by Love. If it came out in the seventies, it would rank right up there as a lost classic, though probably never gaining the cache that those two records have achieved in hipster circles. Once Lenny Kaye released the first Nuggets comp, the garage rock genre was redefined, and lesser-known psych and garage bands, mostly famous in their local scenes, gained national recognition. Some of these even became radio staples in the newer “oldies” radio format, even when they didn't break into the charts nationally. If “The Sea is on Fire” found its way on to that classic compilation, it would have found its place in this pantheon. Startled genre fans would have played the tracks over and over again raving about it like it was “I Had Too Much Too Dream Last Night.” Then it would have been relegate…

The Rich will succeed in all they do.

Since I last blogged, lots of ridiculous stuff has gone down. I'm tired of my life and its direction. This blog is an evident attempt to pull myself up by my boot straps and really get down to some serious writing. Mostly it will be about life, adventures, and, most important of all, records.
Yes, I am creating just another music blog. Hopefully, I can add something to this old and tired genre. My goals are many, but the primary one is to write about one "lost scattershot, genre-crossing classic" a week, more or less. Not all of them will be genre-crossing. Hell, not all of them will be classics, at least in a traditional sense. But they will be records, that if not genre-bending or mind-blowing, have added something to the musical landscape that was not there before. (Don't they all). I hope to pick my favorites that skirt the borders of all those indie genres (psych, punk, hardcore, post-punk, post-hardcore, etc.) Sometimes I might even dedicate a blog to an album …