The Anteater's Review: Music

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Interview on SquidU

About a week ago I got an email from the senior director of community development for Squidoo, Heath Row. He asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for a profile on his SquidU website. A week later, my interview has been posted. Since most of my lenses focus on bands or music related topics, I felt that I needed to post this story on my Music Blog as well as my Tech Blog.

Read my interview on SquidU.

I've also decided to take this opportunity to share a links list of my music related lenses on Squidoo.

My Squidoo Music Lenses

Warped Tour
The Warped Tour is a popular summertime punk music and extreme sport festival hosted by Vans (skateboarding shoes). The national tour generally has two main stages for
headlining bands while smallers stages provide a venue for local talent from the s...
Less Than Jake
Less Than Jake is a popular "pez" obsessed pop punk ska band from Gainesville, Florida. Their current line-up includes Chris (vocals, guitar), Roger (bass, vocals), Vinnie (drums, lyrics), Buddy (trombone) and JR (saxophone)....

This lens is dedicated to everything ska. For those who happened accross this lens out of curiosity and have no clue what ska is. Check out some of the links below and get yourself acquainted. As this is a new lense, any input is welcome and app...

Buck-O-Nine is a ska punk band from San Diego. They formed in 1991 and have recorded several albums including Barfly, Songs in the Key of Bree, 28 Teeth, Pass The Dutchie (ep), and Libido.

The Pietasters
The Pietasters are a Washington DC area octet that fuse ska, punk and soul. There influences include such British ska bands as The Specials and Bad Manners. The band has released a few albums including "Oolooloo", "Willis" and &qu...

MU330 is a "psycho" ska punk band from St. Louis, Missouri. Formed in 1988, the band gets it's name from the course code of a music class in which the the original members met. The band is known for it's high energy sound and stage antics i...

Dance Hall Crashers
Dance Hall Crashers is a pop punk ska band from California that was originally led by Matt Freeman and Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy and Rancid fame. Now the band is led by "frontwomen" Else Rogers and Karina Denike who create the bands si...

Pain is an Alabama punk band that is most well known for it's theme to the Cartoon Network show Jabberjaw. The band incorporates horns lik many ska bands however Pain is not ska. The group blends intelligent lyrics with catchy melodies to create song...

The Know How
The Know How, a seven piece ska punk band from Gainesville, Florida, was established in 1998 by University of Florida students. They have released three albums on various record labels including Stomp and Jump Up. The band is known for high energy sh...

The Specials
The Specials are a ska band from England that formed in 1977. They fused early punk with ska to create the ska movement known as Two Tone. They have been highly influential on the ska genre and many current ska bands have been inspired by The Special...

Bullets to Broadway
Bullets to Broadway is a five piece punk band from Nashville, TN that is made up of members of Teen Idols and Rehasher. Their debut album is Drink Positive.

Catch 22
Catch 22 is a 6 piece ska punk band from New Jersey. The band has six albums out and has recently promoted it's newest album, Permanent Revolution (Victory Records), at the 2006 Van's Warped Tour.

Rancid is a California band that blends hardcore, punk, ska, reggae, and rock. Formed in 1991, the band includes four members: Tim Armstrong (guitar and vocals), Matt Freeman (bass and vocals), Lars Frederiksen (Guitar and Vocals), and Brett Reed (dr...

Bob Marley
Bob Marley is the world's most widely know reggae musician. Born in Nine Miles, Jamaica, Robert Nesta Marley is one of the most influential musicians and activists of the second half of the 20th century. His most popular songs include "No Woman,...

The Aquabats
The Aquabats are a ska punk band from California known for it's off the wall antics at shows and it's silly lyrics. The band has recorded several albums including "The Fury of the Aquabats", "The Aquabats vs. the Floating Eye of Death&...

Toots and the Maytals
Ska and reggae legends, Toots and the Maytals, were known for their blend of soul, reggae, ska, gospel and rock. They have had a great influence on ska and reggae and have inspired such bands as Sublime and The Specials. Front man Frederick "Too...

The Usuals
The Usuals are a traditional ska band from Gainesville, Florida. Members include Julie Esbjorn (Lead Vocals), John Cotter (Trombone), Tom Falvey (Trumpet), Shannon Gordon (Bass), Alvis (Guitar), Mike Bovenzi (Sax), and Jack Rinca (drums). Their disco...

The Offspring
The Offspring is a punk band that has been around for more than 20 years. Their music became most popular in the 90s with their 94 release of the album Smash. Some of their biggest hits include "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem",...

Spunge is a four piece ska punk band from Tewkesbury, England. Formed in 1994, the band didn't release an album until 1999. Spunge has toured with several bands including Green Day, Bowling For Soup, and The Living End. Since their debut album in 199...

The Suicide Machines
The Suicide Machines are a four piece Detroit ska punk band that was formed in 1991. Their unique brand of fast paced hardcore, ska, and punk with lyrics that challenge the "establishment" have made them famous worldwide. The band has sever...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Warped Tour Sunburn and Freebies

I went to the Warped Tour yesterday (6/23) in St. Pete. Needless to say, it was a blast. This year had the most freebies ever. Despite my severe sunburn, price/quality of food (stale pretzels) and water, and my car breaking down as I approached the highway to leave, I had a great time. I left with memories of Less Than Jake spraying the crowd with toilet paper, drowning in the Nerf/ Supersoaker tent at the hand of my nephew, and not to mention, the freebies! I also came home to find that my lens on Squidoo about the Warped tour was Lens of the Day on 6/22!

Squidoo Lens of the Day!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Music Discovery Meccas

Lately I've been checking out many new and not so new music discovery services on the web. Most of them are either completely free or have a free version with option to upgrade. In any case each of the following has their pros and cons.

Yahoo Music - This one's been around for a while in some form or another. It uses a system of ratings based on other listener's trends to help find music to match your listening preferences. You can set up your account so that other members influence your taste. Yahoo's Music Player looks a lot like iTunes but it's integration of LAUNCHcast radio and the Yahoo ratings is nice. The big drawback, as with anything on Yahoo, is the commercial aspect. You can expect a commercial between every other song. What's worse are the commercials for the music video player. But, then again, what do you expect from Yahoo? To check out my station on Yahoo Music, click here.

Music Hawk - This service is currently beta but it looks like it will be a MySpace for music. There isn't much to it yet but it allows you to share your favorite bands. For people with webpages, you can easily set up a badge with cd covers from your favorite bands. To view my stage, click here. - is one of my favorites because of it's simplicity. After installing the player, you can simply type in a favorite band and it does all the work for you in finding similar bands or bands of the same genre. If you don't like a song, you can easily skip it. It also has some nice features for webmasters like a chart builder. I've included an example of the chart below.

Pandora - Pandora is just like only its player is entirely web-based. The interface also has a more step-by-step guided approach. I recommend this one to users who require a more user-friendly service.

LivePlasma - LivePlasma is a nifty music discovery tool that works like a mind map of the collective music preference trends of it's users. It also works with movies. Unfortuneately it doesn't include a player.

Musicovery - Here's an example of the potential of a service like LivePlasma if it included a player. Musicovery is a French site but it's easy for any anglophone to figure out. It prompts you to pick a genre or genres, tempo, and mood. Then it creates a mind-map like LivePlasma and plays a song by the artist in the center circle.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Less Than Jake's New Album, "In With the Out Crowd" Released!

... Or if you were like me and, in anticipation of the new release, pre-ordered the album, you probably got "In With the Out Crowd" in the mail yesterday. At any rate, I've had a chance to soak in the new songs twice and I'd like to give my first impressions. The album has about 5 really good songs. The opening track, "Soundtrack of my Life" sets the whole album up. It takes off with a slight unfamiliarity but soon the interjected harmonies step in and of course the "Woahs". Finally a surprise cameo of a "Gainesville Rock City" riff prepares you for a retrospective of the Less Than Jake anthology.
If you have already heard the tracks on "Absolution for Idiots and Addicts" you are probably already familiar with two of the hottest tracks they laid down on this album, "Rest of My Life" and "Overrated". "The Rest of My Life" was my favorite of these with it's somehow familiar tune and poignant lyrics. Despite the fact that "Overrated" has caught the most attention for this release, I think the song is great (don't get me wrong) but, well, overrated. Another favorite on the album is "Mostly Memories" for its tight, quick and bouncy horn parts. "Don't Fall Asleep on the Subway" reminds me of the songs on Hello Rockview or Borders and Boundaries. This happens a lot throughout the album. For instance "Let Her Go" seems a lot like a long lost track from Pezcore. It starts a little on the heavy side and breaks out into a two-tone-esque ska beat.
In With the Out Crowd captures the best aspects of trademark Less Than Jake: the catchy melodies, bouncy horn line, familiar harmonies, etc. While the album pays tribute to LTJ's past there's still that sense of innovation and evolution that comes with almost every album. This was definately a sigh of relief after Anthem.