Tegan, X Chromosomes, Unwanted Touching, Sqatch, And – Of Course – Sara

With Memorial Day and the Sasquatch! Festival approaching, I’m left to ponder my past experiences at the Northwest’s best music fest. Tegan and Sara’s is one of my must-see acts for this coming installment. That said, as great as they were two years ago at Sasqautch!, it’s hard for me to think back to their set without thinking of the ummm… unique experience I encountered last time they took The Gorge’s main stage.

Heading into the 2008’s edition of the Squatch!, I had become a moderate fan of the Canadian twosome of Tegan and Sara. My friend had supplied me with a copy of So Jealous and I had just begun to familiarities myself with their delightful brand of folk-pop. They’ve since become one of my favorite groups, but at the time I really didn’t know what to expect as I trudged down to the mainstage pit.

The first thing I noticed as I made my way through the throngs of people was the mass exodus of Y chromosomes. Cold War Kids had just finished up a solid afternoon set, it appeared many of the guys in the crowd were ready to get up and go before the gals took the stage. When I finally made it to the center-ish part of the pit I was surrounded by the most female heavy crowd I’ve ever seen.

As Tegan and Sara took the stage, everything seemed to be fine. The girls started riffling off cuts from So Jealous and The Con that sounded terrific. It seemed like this was going to be just another stellar set, but not tremendously different than a half dozen other ones from the weekend.

Then Drunk Sorority Girl started acting up. Continue reading

My Dinosaur Life – Motion City Soundtrack

So yeah…don’t judge an album by it’s cover.

I cannot deny that when I first heard Motion City Soundtrack’s newest album would be called My Dinosaur Life and saw its kiddie cartoon-y cover, my heart sank a little. I fear that MCS might have jumped the musical shark (a la Weezer) and had decided to regress in emotional maturity and overall quality.

Thankfully, I was wrong. My Dinosaur Life not a sign of musical decay. In fact, it’s the band’s best album since their fabulously stellar debut LP I Am The Movie, and the band’s most mature album to date.

To say My Dinosaur Life is kind of catchy is akin to saying LeBron James is kind of a good athlete. The hooks on the album burrow into the listener’s skull like a diamond coated drill bit. Oddly enough, it’s not an immediate impact. On first listen the album seemed pretty unspectacular in this sense, but by the third listen I knew all the choruses and couldn’t shake them from my noggin.
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My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Harden not your hearts to the Biebster.

While it’s easy to be cynical and try and take down the teen pop star for being so popular – to the point that he trends on Twitter on a daily basis – but there’s just no reason. Kid has a decent voice, some slick production, and innocent to the point of “awww shucks, that’s adorable” tunes. If you are the type of person who can passionately hate Justin Bieber…well…you might not be a good person. There is nothing to warrant that kind of vitriol on My World 2.0.

Look, My World 2.0 is not designed to be listened to by anyone over the age of 18, that needs to be accepted from the get go. That said, Beiber’s songs are a lot better than most of its intolerably vapid contemporaries. In an age where most mainstream pop is either moronic (Black Eyed Peas), trashy (Ke$ha), or just plain bizarre (Lady GaGa), Bieber’s sweet voice belting out simple and squeaky-clean pop is actually somewhat refreshing. Sure the Bieber empire is run like a finely tuned machine, but it lacks the hollowness and “look at me!” factor that seems to be prevailing among the aforementioned artists.

At it’s best, My World 2.0 rolls out ditties like “Somebody To Love,” which sweetly shine with the bliss of young love and beats that would get any junior high dance floor bouncing. Speaking of which, the production is what ones expect from the digital age, but it sure would be nice if a track or two featured some real instrumentals instead of only a barrage of smooth computer-generated bleeps. The lyrics stay very mild, but it’s beneficial to the album’s feel. The world has plenty over-sexaulized teenybopper pop as is. Bieber spouting out about nothing more than hugs and kisses reminds that there can still be some incorruption of youth in the modern age. Sure some lyrics, like “Stuck In Moment”‘s lament, “I don’t want to be so old and gray, reminiscing about these better days…” seem ridiculous for a 16 year-old to say, but in songs about puppy love leeway needs to be granted. Continue reading