Thursday, September 28, 2006

Notes on The Lemonheads

Just like Milo said: pretty good, pretty good. My prediction of the new Lemonheads album was generally successful. I was 0.4 off, and correct in assuming PF wouldn't be overly enthusiastic about it.

I haven't bought the album yet, but I listened to a song from it (Become the Enemy) on my way to work today. My immediate impression was "How odd, Evan Dando singning an All song at half-speed." Sure enough it is one of the songs written by Bill Stevenson.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sparklehorse review below

I blew this one! I'm disappointed in myself anytime I'm off by more than 1.5.

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America *

I'm seeing these guys in a few weeks. I'm pumped! Small venue. Lots of aging indie rockers. Some beers here and there. I'm going to predict an 8.4 for this album. Actual rating: 9.4. Point differential: 1.0.


Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire *

Who buys Sean Lennon albums? Even hardcore Beatles fans must realize that the only similarity between Sean and John is that their names rhyme. Has he done anything of note since he remade Give Peace a Chance? I honestly can't think of anyone who would find this album interesting. I must admit though, I did buy Valotte by Julian Lennon way back when it came out. If this gets rated it will be low; I predict a 2.4. Actual rating: 6.7. Point differential: 4.3.


Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain *

I've only every heard one Sparklehorse song, and I don't even remember what it was called. That said, I am confident that a 6.7 rating for this album is on the way. Actual rating: 8.3. Point differential: 1.6.


Friday, September 22, 2006

The Lemonheads - S/T *

Certainly lots of hype about this one. Like everyone else I downloaded the No Backbone cover a few weeks ago and have listened to it daily ever since. Gotta say the thing I enjoy most about it is J Mascis’ guitar, not that the whole song isn’t great. Also, it was produced by the world’s fastest drummer and the man who inspired me to perform many outstanding air-drum solos – Bill Stevenson. And Stevenson and Karl Alvarez are part of the band. AND Stevenson helped write some of the songs. Are you getting my point? Basically this is a must have in the Tower household.

I’m not sure PF will love it the same way. I’ll predict a 7.2. Actual rating: 6.8. Point differential: 0.4.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Emily Haines & The Big Sleep

These two were reviewed today; I was 0.9 and 1.5 off respectively. The Big Sleep prediction was so long ago I forgot about it.

Did you read The Big Sleep review? It is notably non-cerebral and hence completely unlike any PF review I can remember from recent days.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just in time

Some last minute predicting last night and I was off by 0.4 on the new Bonnie "Prince" Billy album.

Think I'll expand the Top 5 to a Top 10.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Kasabian - Empire

I tried to find the PF review of the band's album from last year, but got a message saying the page doesn't exist. Does PF remove certain reviews after a specific amount of time? Anyway, it got a 5.2. I can agree with that. I didn't think it was anything special. All signs say this new one is different, and not in a good way. 3.7. Actual rating: pending. Point differential: TBD.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go *

Good golly I just realized I better get cookin! I have a few predictions in the can, but nothing done for this week yet.

First up is this new Bonnie "Prince" Billy album, described using these words, among others, by someone at

"...a series of meditations and tone poems on love and mortality, with the autumnal strains of a chamber quartet..."

Love and mortality? Autumnal strains? I like that. Sounds interesting. But wait a second. Chamber quartet? Meditations? Tone poems? What the fuck is a tone poem? I bet PF knows. 7.8. Actual rating: 8.2. Point differential: 0.4.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I am tired of second guessing

I should have gone higher with the R.E.M. prediction. 0.2 is still respectable. Although technically, I predicted the album wouldn't get lower than 9.5!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Double review day

Two predicted new releases were reviewed by PF today: The Rapture and The Mars Volta. The Rapture prediction was closest at 0.5 off, but I'm prouder of The Mars Volta prediction. Even though I was off by 1.4 on its new album, I was right in predicting its level of wankerism would result in its trashing.

We have entered a fall/winter of many new releases, a good number of which I'm very excited about. So That's Mr. Tower will be a busy place during the next few weeks. And let me be the first to predict the new album from The Shins will get at least 9.7!

Monday, September 11, 2006


I swear to you now faithful readers: I did not see the YLT review today when I checked PF earlier. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, when I'm at work I can only access the site in something that closely resembles a text-only version; no images, no album covers, etc. So when I scrolled down and saw the Black Keys review, I figured that it was the marquee review for the day. Had I scrolled up a bit, I would have seen the YLT album was reviewed ahead of it. So anyway, while my exact prediction of the new YLT album -- my first exact prediction btw -- would normally be reason to celebrate, it is tainted. And I guess in order to maintain my credibility as the world's No. 1 human online album rating predictor, I won't count it as a legitimate exact prediction and will keep waiting for that euphoric day when there can be no doubts raised about my special ability.

R.E.M. - And I Feel Fine: Best of the IRS Years 1982 - 1987 *

In 1987 I stopped listening to the radio and started listening to two bands: the Violent Femmes and R.E.M. They defined my teen years and when I think back about the real joys of discovering new music, those are the bands and days I usually think about.

R.E.M. helped open my eyes to a whole genre of music and is one of the reasons my musical taste ended up where it is today (good or bad). So I am a bit biased when I say there is simply no way this album could get lower than 9.5. The first disc includes, in my mind, many of the best songs released in the 1980s. The only way it could be better is if it included all of Reckoning, and Disturbance at the Heron House hadn't been relegated to the second disc. If you have young, impressionable kids and you care about their musical tastes, buy this album, play it regularly, and convince them that R.E.M. broke up around 1992. Actual rating: 9.7. Point differential: 0.2.

They're numbering the monkeys. The monkeys and the monkeys.


Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass *

Officially one of the world's dumbest album titles.

Anyway, as an indie rocker you can't not like YLT. It's totally against the rules, and people will accuse you of attempting to be too hip if you suggest you don't like it. I'll be honest: I didn't get into the band until a friend loaned me ICHTHBAO. I liked it, of course. Then said friend and I saw the band at a tiny venue here in town. I liked it even more. Nothing like a good concert to really make you appreciate a band.

I'm going to play it safe with this one and predict an 8.3. Actual rating: 8.3. Point differential: 0.0 (see above).

Black keys blues

PF went and gave me the Black Keys-album-rating-predicting blues. My baby done left me, my dog did done died, and I woke up and seen the Fork gone and gimme nuthin but troubles.

Seems the reviewer had similar feelings about the band though. I guess things are lookin up. Still, a difference of 1.8 is bad. Oh so bad. Oh so very very bad, feels like my baby just went and traded my ol' Cadillac for a Hyundai.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Rapture - Pieces of the People We Love *

This album won't get the amazingly high 9.0 that the band's first album received from PF, but I think it will still be up there, say 8.3. Actual rating: 7.8. Point differential: 0.5.


The Black Keys - Magic Potion *

I appreciate the blues. I am not particularly fond of the genre, but I understand its influence on modern rock and roll. I like bands that take classic blues sounds and update them; of recent bands, the White Stripes comes to mind, as does The M's. I like that stuff because it's not just straight on blues rock. In that sense, The Black Keys does not do enough updating of the blues sound for me. I find its songs a bit too repetitive, with no significant fun or interesting element to keep me coming back. In short, I like my blues rock served with major irony and introspection.

PF seems to like The Black Keys. I am predicting a 7.8 for the new album. Actual rating: 6.0. Point differential: 1.8.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Summer's over but...

It was a pleasant start to the week: I came back to work after the Labour Day weekend to find my Eric Bachmann prediction was 0.5 off. With this review, after 14 albums reviewed, I have been off by a cumulative total of 14.0 points. Meaning I'm off by an average of 1.0.

I need to get my ass in gear though, there are albums coming out and predictions to be made, and I've been slacking and drinking beer. Plus, I just realized that 14 albums in 3 months is nothing to be proud of, considering PF has probably reviewed around 250 albums in that time.