Z Rock – Season One (DVD)

The premise is funny enough that it’s amazing someone hasn’t thought about committing it to film before. A struggling metal band at night plays kid’s parties during the day to pay the bills. The best part about it is that it’s based on a real band. IFC picked up this original and surprisingly addictive half-hour TV series. Continue reading “Z Rock – Season One (DVD)”

Dipsomaniacs – Social Crutch (CD)

Likely the bastard child of The Replacements and Cheap Trick, New Jersey’s Dipsomaniacs play boozy bar rock and power pop stripped of any pretention. On Social Crutch, their sixth full length, there are few surprises, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Sure the sound is a little closer to power pop than the garage rock most associate with the band, but the group’s central themes of booze, partying and regret are still front and center – like Jimmy Buffett, but with better musicianship and lot better lyrics. Continue reading “Dipsomaniacs – Social Crutch (CD)”

True Blood – The Complete First Season (DVD)

Stephenie Meyer’s fawned-over vampire soap opera Twilight may have been stealing all the press this Spring, but HBO’s True Blood is hands down the far more interesting vampire saga. The first season, told over 12 episodes, comes off like a cross between Twin Peaks and Six Feet Under (whose creator, Alan Ball, also happens to be the man behind True Blood). Continue reading “True Blood – The Complete First Season (DVD)”

Fanboys (DVD)

Fanboys is just as much an homage to writer/director Kevin Smith as it is to Star Wars, the Holy Grail the characters are chasing throughout the movie. Set in 1998, the movie centers on a group of post-high school friends, still obsessed with Star Wars and working in a comic book store (kind of like every other character in a Smith movie). A friend is dying of cancer and likely won’t live to see the release of The Phantom Menace, so the gang decides to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and steal a print. The premise is great; the execution, not so much. There are some interesting cameos including Seth Rogen, Smith (naturally), Will Forte, William Shatner and a handful of Star Wars alum (Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams). Continue reading “Fanboys (DVD)”

Tinted Windows – Self-Titled (CD)

Tinted Windows’ debut is getting here just in time. Every pop-punk/emo band that was too late to jump onto that bandwagon as it was heading out of town, is now calling itself a power pop band, despite not knowing their Cheap Trick from Their Raspberries. With Tinted Windows, there’s finally a stellar super group with the perfect pedigree (including a member of Cheap Trick) to remind the kids exactly what the genre should sound like. Comprised of members from Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, Fountains of Wayne and Hanson (yes, that Hanson), the group turns in a fantastic record of tight pop songs, with sing-along choruses that stick around for days – 11 songs in just over 30 minutes. Continue reading “Tinted Windows – Self-Titled (CD)”

Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your favorite Music Scenes – From Punk to Indie and Everything In Between by Leslie Simon (Book)

Ever wondered exactly which Haagan Dazs Henry Rollins used to work at in D.C.? Or, how about what San Francisco collective local punk rockers can visit to take classes on underwear making? Neither have I, but thank God Leslie Simon has. In what has got to be the best guide book on punk rock… well ever, rock journalist Simon answers a slew of questions never asked about punk rock and indie scenes across the U.S. in her latest book Wish You Were Here. Simon, who coauthored Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture, brings back the same snarky tone that made her last guide such a fun read. Continue reading “Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your favorite Music Scenes – From Punk to Indie and Everything In Between by Leslie Simon (Book)”

Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe (CD)

Depeche Mode, one of Britain’s best known synth bands, has been slammed by fans and critics for abandoning the sound that made them one of the few late 80’s/early 90’s bands that managed to be both cool enough for the hipsters and accepted by the broader public. Continue reading “Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe (CD)”

Pulling – The Complete First Season (DVD)

Coming off like a British version of Sex and The City, without the obsessive comments about shoes, Pulling does a far better job of appealing to members of both sexes. The first season of the show, originally aired in the UK in 2006, is finally making it to the U.S. via DVD. Continue reading “Pulling – The Complete First Season (DVD)”

The Casting Out – Go Crazy! Throw Fireworks! (CD)

Though The Casting Out is led by former BoySetsFire singer Nathan Gray, don’t expect this new outfit to sound anything remotely like the post hardcore band he used to front. On the band’s debut, Go Crazy! Throw Fireworks!, the angry guitars and angsty bellows have been replaced by a more pop/punk sound and a few song-along choruses. Continue reading “The Casting Out – Go Crazy! Throw Fireworks! (CD)”