Archive for January, 2007

Mesa Love on AOL?

January 28, 2007

So, I just found out that AOL Music has linked my review of Annual’s Be He Me on their site. Pretty neat, yeah?

I just listened to the new Bright Eyes EP and I wrote a review. Not sure when I will post that, but hopefully soon. Also I may have a new podcast up soon. So check back or subscribe.

– ian


Indie labels combine to form a “virtual fifth major”

January 25, 2007

Independent music labels from around the world joined forces this week to create a virtual record label that can compete with the Big Four, and they’ve already signed a deal with SNOCAP to sell music on MySpace.

read more | digg story


January 25, 2007

I will be back soon. Busy with other projects and being an outlaw.

Tilly & the Wall – Bottom of Barrels

January 14, 2007

Tilly & the Wall – Bottoms of Barrels {7.3/10}
Team Love Records 2006
by Ian Cruz

Tilly & the Wall could be seen as being Park Ave. if it is looked at as if the name was changed, and if there were a few new members. But let’s not, and just say that Tilly & the Wall is a more mature version two of Park Ave. For one, they’ve grown older, and as you grow older you progress to learn and learn. Not to mention, they’ve also learned their instruments instead of being complete “newbs” like before. Jamie returned from London, and we got back together. Tilly & the Wall released their first full length in 2004, Wild Like Children, which was also the first release on Conor Oberst’s (Bright Eyes) record label Team Love.

Now, back with a more optimistic sound, Tilly & the Wall’s second release, Bottoms of Barrels, has the right direction in organization in the use of instrumentation from the horns and percussions displayed throughout the record. Instead of just being the fun and cheery band that was last heard on Children, Tilly & the Wall has a more genuine feel. Influence from a more traditional Mexican beat, and folk melodies are vivid on this album. Lyrically, things have gotten brighter. The love song on the album, not coincidentally, is titled “Love Song”. Vocalized by Derek Presnel, who also plays guitar in the band, “Love Song” has some of the best lyrics on the record, painting a beautiful picture with lines like “And as we removed each others clothes, I thought I would sing some notes so that maybe you would slow dance with me.”

Commonly, the only bad thing about this album like most albums that have been coming out lately, is the staying power this album has. A few listens at first, and then tucking the record away after that is bound to happen. No offense to the band, but this album won’t be remembered in the next twenty years.

Rightfully, this album deserves a good listen. Containing a few real charmers, Bottoms of Barrels is a good direction for Tilly & the Wall. They were kids once, playing some instruments they didn’t know how to play. They recorded an album by themselves with the help of friends, and now they’ve released a record that was a step-up from its predecessor, Wild Like Children.

Annuals – Be He Me

January 13, 2007

Annuals – Be He Me {7.6/10}
Ace Fu Records 2006
By Ian Cruz

Annuals is a band most people have not heard of. Being from a small town in North Carolina, this band has brought something new to the scene of music dealing with the sort of “indie/pop” sound with their debut album Be He Me. But not to worry about those elitists running around. They have not really found out about Annuals yet. If they did, their views on what good music is, and their “superior” ways would most likely change many minds; making opposing views on this album grow. So if a cowardly feeling overwhelms you right now, don’t worry about it. It will be gone soon enough.

The sounds of crickets among other insects begins Annuals’ Be He Me, with a quiet acoustic guitar that is followed by a string section. Being the albums first track, “Brother” makes for an impressive tune having a strong, and most certainly powerful, overture which the album’s poetic lyrics and melodies. Annuals have a very alluring tone, but their lyrics can be horrific with lines like “Well, it’s just my way of coping with this bleary-eyed baby girl dying on my kitchen floor” (“Bleary Eyed“).

Annuals seems to change styles of music with almost every song. Ranging from contemporary melodic songs to smooth reggae. It can be a little bit off at the reggae part in “The Pull and the Goat”, making their album a little less stand able. There are at times a loud, annoying howl from another vocalist in the band, but it doesn’t ruin the atmosphere of the album. In fact it does go well at times when it is done correctly on Be He Me.

Overall, this album is fantastic in almost everyway. It’s produced nicely and organized in a way that fits well. Every song is placed in the part of the album that enhances its’ being, placing Annuals’ Be He Me above the rest of the albums that have came out this past year in 2006.

I hope to write soon

January 9, 2007

There has been a lot going on these past five days. As you may or may not have noticed, I have not posted the last podcast to our three part “Songs To Get Lifted To” podcast. I don’t want to play you the last five tracks on the list. Instead, I think that you should go out and listen to them for yourself. It would be a nice time, ya know?

Anyways, I’ve been working on a documentary/film thing for a friend and one for myself. Both are turning out all right, and I hope that everyone watches them and gets some entertainment out of each. If you would like to watch some old shorts by a few friends and I, check out Concerta Films. But you don’t have to watch anything. Some of it is complete trash anyways.

I hope to write again soon, and I hope that you all have a nice 2007.

ian cruz

Anticipate the Glorious 2007 – a few downloads

January 4, 2007

According to the “Top CD’s to Ask For For Christmas” article that was posted back in ‘06, you should have asked for some albums from the greats like Cursive, the band that lost to Stephen Colbert in the Guitar Solo Challenge on The Colbert Report, The Decemberists, and Beck. But let’s face it. Even though Beck had a pretty pimp “make your own album design” cover, and Tim Kasher filled the whole Cohn left with a few brass players, these albums aren’t even close to the magic their predecessors hold. That’s why we have another year to look forward to with more hopeful, and high anticipated releases from some of our old favorites like Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse, and Jimmy Eat World. I’m not expecting much from some of these bands after hearing a number of the new songs that have been floating around on the net. But I will give each release its shot at being a break or bust.

Here are some tracks from a few albums that I have been anticipating since I heard their release dates.

I was planning on writing something

January 2, 2007

But you may have to wait for later tomorrow, or keep checking back. We’ll when I get around to it.