I wonder… does the future still freak them out? Or Motion City Soundtrack – I Am The Movie

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Box after box opened, pulling out the literary contents and placing them on carts to be shelved by other peons. Day after day, month after month, year after… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It’s good to work, but the isolation of a receiving dock can sometimes get a little, um… mind numbing.  So the 2003 version of me brought in a boombox with auxiliary for my first gen ipod to keep me company and I kept in search of energetic music to distract myself.  The second cycle of Brit-Pop with the Kaiser Chiefs leading the way helped a bit, but I needed more.

At lunch I started reading magazine reviews and a name kept popping up – Motion City Soundtrack. Like most Epitaph albums I Am The Movie started out with a flood of guitar but as things progressed it became something else, something really cool. A friend had a Napster shit download copy on a burned CD. Light synth backing up a dual guitar attack put together with lyrics that had tongue planted firmly in cheek emanated through crappy speakers and I smiled. Songs were sarcastic, confessional, and ridiculous. Like life they played through all the various range of emotions, but most all, it was fun.

So after my shift finished, I journeyed the suburban strip mall sidewalk to the big box record store and they of course looked at me like I was an alien.

“What soundtrack?”

“Not a soundtrack, a band! Motion City Soundtrack!”

“Why would they call themselves a soundtrack?”

“Not sure, but if I ever get to LA, I’ll ask?”

Eventually I ordered the thing online, because, well, the dead eyes of mindless big box suburban record store floor staff that see boy bands as high art really piss me off.

Fuck yeah – I’m a music snob. If you got a problem with that we can thumb wrestle.

It’s been more than a decade, and like most music I love have an attachment to, I want it on vinyl. With only two options open to me, the decision is pretty easy. Sealed copies of the now out of print original 2003 pressing run for about $35 and up on reseller markets.

Or

Hot Topic just recently released a limited orange translucent version of I Am The Movie. While I had thought it sold out back in March, it showed back up and is now spinning on the turntable. My 11 year old is even trying to “bust a move.”

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See what I did there… oh never mind. Buy the record and you’ll get the joke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Roller Coaster Ride! or The Vaccines – English Graffiti

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The Vaccines brand of rock ‘n’ pop has recently been conjuring comparisons to The Strokes but that is both a little obvious and not quite hitting the target. Like most bands that have a quest for timelessness in their music; they are roller coasters that shift left when you think right and ultimately bring excitement to both the peaks and valleys.

In the past they were using a bit of 60’s pop music reminiscent of the early hits of the Kinks, but with English Graffiti they seemed to have filtered it through the 80’s synth pop. “Dream Lover” is a hybrid of Brit-Pop that has more Duran Duran than Oasis in the sound. Then they get you thinking that they will let the good times roll with “20/20” which crosses the Kaiser Chiefs with Motion City Soundtrack.

With energy levels about to go through the roof they abandon it all for a Moody Blues moment in “(All Afternoon) In Love” and later in “I Want You So Bad.”

Lyrically they are pretty quick to turn a phrase and go for the biting one liner, rather than look for a character to drive the story. Album opener “Handsome” provides a pretty good case in point as they drop the line “you think that you look good in whatever they sugarcoat you in.”  The song is all sarcasm and snot with a big F.U. to whomever is trying to sell bullshit for image.

The real point The Vaccines make more than any other is that they want to keep rockin’. English Graffiti isn’t life altering or earth shattering it’s just a fun rock ‘n’ roll record that you play on your way to the amusement park… and really, what more can you ask for.