Record Geek Heaven’s Favorite Albums of 2014

December 24, 2014


This year was a pretty crazy one for me, personally. I put out three albums with three different bands, and started preparing for my biggest adventure yet – moving to China with the love of my life. We are scheduled to leave on January 1st. Literally and figuratively, 2015 will be a whole new year. Read the rest of this entry »

Record Geek Heaven’s Favorite Songs of 2014

December 20, 2014

20. Andrew Jackson Jihad “Temple Grandin”

One of the strangest, catchiest songs I heard all year. Sean Bonnette’s lyrics are wildly inventive, often hilarious, and they always offer up a buffet of grotesque imagery. He paints a picture of an insane little world that you can’t help but want to visit. Read the rest of this entry »

Record Geek Heaven’s Top 20 Albums of 2013

December 13, 2013
Drag City

Drag City

20. Ty Segall – Sleeper
I find it interesting that this Bay Area garage rocker received so much attention last year with his noise-rock albums Slaughterhouse, Hair and Twins, and this year when he releases the all-acoustic Sleeper, hardly a peep is made. It sure doesn’t take people long to pigeonhole you, does it? Granted, the album was aptly titled in that it was a very quiet release – there was hardly any promotion, and literally, it is Ty Segall’s softest album ever. The fact that it was released so swiftly after so many 2012 releases makes me think the songs on Sleeper represent a sort of puttering out point of Segall’s dam-burst of inspiration that resulted in last year’s slew of awesome. This makes it sort of appropriate that the songs would be acoustic, almost as if they were afterthoughts quickly laid to tape, perhaps out of frustration or perhaps in the spirit of things. Whatever the story is, it yielded some fantastic tunes – particularly the first half of the album. The title track has a haunting sing-song-y melody, and the sudden electric guitar solo on “Man Man” is mind-tearing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Record Geek Heaven’s Top 10 Cheap Trick Songs

February 1, 2013


Last week, a certain publication that focuses solely on classic rock published a list of the “Top 10 Greatest Cheap Trick Songs”. The list – which named several mediocre Trick songs, excluded tons of classics, and frustratingly named their most overplayed song (“I Want You to Want Me”) as their greatest – was an outrage to my band, The Dead Girls. Personally, I was outraged enough to actually make my own list. Though I realize this will probably shake things up even more, I could not let that list be, as far as I know, the only top ten of Cheap Trick songs in existence. It excluded so many songs that for me define Cheap Trick and make them stand so far out from the pack of everyday “classic rock” bands. I felt it had to be done. Read the rest of this entry »

Record Geek Heaven’s Top 20 Albums of 2012

December 19, 2012

Thanks to the fact that 2012 was my busiest year ever as a musician, my routine for listening to music changed pretty drastically. As you may or may not have noticed, there were not a lot of posts this year. However, I was still listening to as much stuff as ever, though it was all in little chunks of time, rather than straight on through the year. As a result, RGH’s 2012 list is a little different from previous ones…but I think you all will appreciate it. I have divided the list into four parts to represent what I was listening to the most during the spring, summer, fall and winter. Let’s begin! Read the rest of this entry »

New Music: The Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made the Radio”

September 4, 2012

2012 Capitol Records

Most of the interactions I have had with people concerning That’s Why God Made the Radio (the 30th studio album from The Beach Boys and the first in 20 years to contain original material) have been carbon copies of the one I had with the guy working the record store where I purchased the album. He seemed to be surprised that a new Beach Boys record would be worth buying at all. “I just assumed it would be really bad,” he said. “I mean, that’s usually the case in situations like this, right?” Of course, he meant situations in which a band already older than your parents reunites after a 20 year absence to make new music. He’s right – very rarely does this kind of experiment produce quality material. Usually, it only serves to solidify the geezer status of the people involved, and considering people have thought of The Beach Boys as geezers for quite some time, the end result could potentially be even worse for them. Read the rest of this entry »

New Music: Joyce Manor “Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired”

August 31, 2012

2012 Asian Man Records

Recently, I posted this article in which I was not shy about my opinions toward modern music and its current state of affairs. I wrote it very quickly and posted it right away so I wouldn’t have time to think too much about it. I guess it is good news, then, that even as I read it now, there isn’t a whole lot I would change. Much of it consists of thoughts and feelings I have been having about the industry for years. For a while, I was worried that posting this stuff may give some people the wrong idea about me. Maybe it has – I do sound pretty bitter.

Soon after I posted this article, I saw a random Facebook post from Wake Mitchell, a musician and DJ well known to the Lawrence, KS scene. He periodically posts songs that he finds great and inspiring, along with these motivational messages of sorts. I see one almost every day, but this quote hit me just the right way right after I posted my article/rant. It seemed too perfect.

“Those who choose to work hard and strive for internal excellence inevitably experience stints of overwhelming pain and uncertainty. If you’ve ever felt such before, you’re on a beautiful path, for you are alive and conscious of all around (and within) you!”

After I read this, I felt better. I left work and began my commute back to Lawrence. It was Friday and it just felt awesome that the weekend was finally here, and whenever I feel like that, there’s nothing like some good, loud music for the drive home. I threw on a record that I’ve been listening to somewhat obsessively lately, a 9-song, 13-minute punk album called Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired by Torrance, CA’s Joyce Manor. Read the rest of this entry »

“But if no one cares, then why are you doing it?”

August 22, 2012

I realize that I have been pretty M.I.A. on R.G.H. since about March or so, so here I am, returning once again. Unlike the previous posts that so far resemble this one (this isn’t the first time this has happened), I will not apologize to my few very awesome readers for my absence. First of all, I know they don’t want or expect an apology. Most of them are big kids and can fend for themselves out there in the music world, and usually only frequent R.G.H. to compare their recent listening to mine. The other portion of them, it seems, only come around to slag on what I have written (which, believe me, only makes the job all the more worthwhile). Read the rest of this entry »

Mission Immersion 16.2 – Stage Fright and Cahoots by The Band

June 18, 2012

Capitol 1970

“Strawberry Wine” (from Stage Fright) reminds me of the theme song for the hit 90’s TV sitcom Blossom. There is something inherently wrong with this, but it’s not my fault – no one has control over when they are brought into this world. I happened to hear the Blossom theme before “Strawberry Wine”, and I will never be able to reverse it. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions. Read the rest of this entry »

Mission Immersion 16.1 – The Band by The Band

February 27, 2012

Capitol 1969

Just pretend for one moment that you have never heard of The Band. Erase all the history you have come to learn about them as a music fan, and entertain the idea that they never existed, just for one moment. Or, think back to the time when you first heard the name. What was your reaction to hearing about a band called The Band? For me, I think it was a mixed bag of “Wow, these guys are really lazy” and “Wow, these guys are really cocky.” The latter may have been true, but the former could not be further from it. If there was ever a band that deserved such a simple yet high-status moniker reflective of the indescribable hard work and marrying of minds required to bring the individual ideas of a bunch of people together into a tangible whole, it was these guys. Read the rest of this entry »

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