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So its been a long time since my last post (April 15th to be exact).  So I decided to start a new segment about something that I am passionate about, music.  So here is the first in what I hope is a long line of Bands you should know!

So for the first installment of my Bands You Should segment, I am featuring one of my favorite UK bands that most people haven’t heard of.  Kasabian.  I first heard Kasabian back in 2005, the first time I went over the pond to London with my now wife.  We took a train to Guildford where we were picked up by her cousin.  As we drove through the Guildford streets to his place (where I would drink Guinness for Guinness with him for about 5 hours, till our train back) I heard a band that was unique, it was like nothing I had heard before, a mix of rock, electronic and 60’s pyschedelia, it was something that I wouldn’t have thought that I would like, but I did and it sounded great and had great guitar work and bass lines.  So I asked who it was and was told that it was Kasabian.  I should’ve bought the CD there when I had the chance, when I got back I couldn’t find it and ended up buying their self titled debut CD from Rhapsody.
Kasabian did have brief exposure in the US.  The first track, Club Foot, off of the debut album was used in Pontiac commercials, I believe for the Australian built GTO (Holden Monaro) and I believe it was also used in an episode of Alias.  Other songs from the album also made it to the videogame world.  Still they never quite got the recognition I thought they deserved. They’ve gotten some US recognition over the years and just recently played at the Coachella Music Festival, but still haven’t qiute taken off, which is why I’m writing this, I hopefully can at least get a few of you to check them out.  So now onto the band.
Kasabian was formed in 1997 in Leicester England by Tom Meighan, Chris Edwards and Sergio Pizzorno.  Meighan was the lead vocalist, Pizzorno was backing vocals and guitar and Edwards was bass.  At the time of formation, they had another lead guitarist, Christopher Karloff, who left in 2006 and was replaced by Jay Mehler.  Kasabian also used a whole list of studio drummers, until 2004 when Ian Matthews became the full time drummer.  As of now, May 2012, the lineup is Meighan, Edwards, Pizzorno, Mehler and Matthews.
Back in 1997 before they were Kasabian, they were called Saracuse, at this point they started recording at a studio in Leicester where Edwards was an engineer, Bedrock Studios.  The first public appearance they made was at the Viper Rugby Club, playing for Edwards own 18th birthday, soon after they were being noticed and decided to change their name.  The name they chose was Kasabian, it was a name that Karloff picked up while researching Charles Manson.  Linda Kasabian was his getaway driver.  For some reason Karloff thought the word sounded good and it stuck with him and the rest of the band.

Kasabian 2004

Their self titled debut album, Kasabian, was released in 2004 to generally positive reviews and good sales.  They have been described as being a cross of Primal Scream and the Stone Roses, I can hear the influences there, but to me they’re a bit more psychedelic and electronic then the other two acts.  During the recording of Kasabian the band decided to live in a farmhouse by Rutland Water so they could concentrate on the album undisturbed.  At this point Kasabian still didn’t have a full time drummer, they used various drummers including their current keyboard player, Ben Kealey on drums.  While they were recording in Bristol they met Ian Matthews who played on a few songs on the debut, notably Processed Beats, Beneficial Herbs and Butcher Blues.  When they decided to tour, they asked Matthews to stay, and he’s been with them ever since.  Tracks of of the album have been in numerous movies, commercials, TV shows and video games.  My most notable tracks off of the album are Club Foot, Processed Beats, Reason is Treason, L.S.F, Test Transmission, Cut Off and Butcher Blues.

Empire 2006

Kasabians 2nd album, Empire was released in August of 2006.  The band faced some issues during the recording of Empire, which eventually lead to the departure of Karloff, who was one of the main songwriters.  It was announced on their website that he had left due to creative differences.  Even so, he had contributed to at least three of the songs on Empire.  When asked why Empire in an article in NME, Tom Meighan said “Empire is a word used by the band to describe something good”.  The recording of Empire took a mere two weeks, allegedly while on tour with Oasis.  Empire was received well also and hit number 1 on the UK Albums Chart.  While not my favorite album, I thought Empire was good, it showed growth in the group along with the growth of their music and it did have some good tracks.  My notable tracks from Empire are Empire, Shoot the Runner, Sun/Rise/Light/Flies, and By My Side.

West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum 2009

While the third release, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum wasn’t released until 2009, there were signs of things to come when two tracks, Fast Fuse and Thick as Thieves were released on an EP in 2007.  The EP didn’t get much promotion, if any so no one really knew what was coming in 2009.
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum was Kasabians first album without Karloff as head writer, for this release Pizzorno took over and did a fabulous job.  This is the first Kasabian album that has a theme throughout also.  The name comes from a group of mental institutions that were constructed in the 1880’s across West Yorkshire England.  When asked by NME on June 12th 2009 why it was chosen as the title, Pizzorno said “The album isn’t about the place, I just heard it on a TV documentary, and the words just struck me.  I love the way it looked and the feeling it evokes.”  In another interview, with T4, the band mentioned that each track of the album is meant to represent a different inmate within the asylum.   Once again, they debuted at number one with West Ryder.
To me this was and is a great album, right up there with the first and far above Empire.  While I thought Empire showed growth in themselves and their sound, West Ryder shows another level of writing and musicality.  The basslines, keyboards, drums and even the guitar parts are to me more complex and the production is great.  This album to me sounds like it should’ve came out in the late 60’s early 70’s.  There are still hints of Empire and Kasabian in it, but its truly a great album.  My notable tracks are Underdog, Swarfiga, Fast Fuse, Take Aim, Thick as Thieves (which my father says reminds him of a McCartney tune a bit because of the begining melody), Vlad the Imaler, Secret Alphabets (which has a great bassline) and Fire.

Velociraptor! 2011

Work on Velociraptor, Kasabians fourth release, began in late 2010.  It was the second album written and composed by pizzorno. The first track released from the album was Switchblade Smiles.  It was made available as a free download for people that pre ordered the album from their own website.  It was also made available on the Kasabian facebook page as a free download.

Once again the new album continued to show growth and excellent writing.  The sound and style changed a little from the previous albums, but still has that 60’s and 70’s feel to it.  The album garnered critical acclaim with Antiquiet giving it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 while saying “Kasabian has found a way to channel everything you love about The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead while still keeping the unique sound that sets them apart from the contemporaries like Coldplay, Muse and The Killers.” and NME saying “Kasabian have lived up to expectations and believe the album is a huge step up from their previous albums.”

For me Velociraptor was definitely a good album, to me I think West Ryder was a bit better but still Velociraptor is a solid album with some really good tracks that makes me look forward to whatever Kasabian has coming in the future.  for me the best tracks on this one are Lets Roll Just Like We Used To, Days are Forgotten, Velociraptor!, Acid Turkish Bath (shelter from the storm) which is kind of an epic, I Hear Voices (which has a bit of 80’s synth pop in it) and Re-Wired.

Conclusion

For me there are few bands out there than can combine everything from psychedelic  60’s and 70’s rock all the way up to 80’s synth pop and get away with it.  Kasabian can.  They can hold their own with any of the big names out there today.  Their sound is different from anything I’ve heard in a while and unique.  They have great bass lines, guitar work and solid vocals and lyrically they get better every album.  I highly recommend checking them out.  I would start with the self titled release Kasabian and work your way up.  Check them out at their website www.kasabian.co.uk , http://www.vevo.com/artist/kasabian or at the online music store of your choice. You’ll hear the progression in their music from the begining to the end and it’s a musical trip well worth taking, your ears will thank you.  So give them a shot and thanks for reading!

-john

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So about an hour ago I saw a tweet about Davy Jones being dead, I have to say I was pretty surprised by it.  For those of you who don’t know who Davy Jones was, I’ll give a short explanation.  Jones was a member of a pop rock band that was put together for a TV show named the Monkees, I believe they were the first completely fabricated band, many have appeared since then.  The thing with the Monkees was that originally only one could play an instrument or write, Davy wasn’t that one, hey usually played the tambourine or sang.  By the end of the show, they were all playing their own instruments.  Funny, in today’s world of pop music, no one seems to play their own music, but back then it was kind of a big deal.  So, in tribute to him (I always liked some of his music) I thought I would do a little tribute.

Jones was born in Manchester England in 1945.  His first acting gig was on Coronation Street, a very popular and long running soap opera, when he was 11.  Sadly, when he was 14, his mother passed away.  He soon left acting and due to his short stature, 5’3″, he started training as a jockey.

Eventually he returned to acting and played The Artful Dodger in Oliver!  After the London run of Oliver! he also starred in the Broadway version in the states, this led to him being on Ed Sullivan.  Lucky for him, it was the same show The Beatles were on, and as a young lad standing on the side of the stage watching The Beatles and seeing the girls go crazy, he decided that he wanted that.  Because of the Sullivan appearance he was noticed by Columbia Pictures who then signed him to a contract, also, at the same time he recorded an album for Colpix Records, while Davy couldn’t play instruments (well at least not well) he could sing.

Shortly after the record and signing with Columbia, in 1965, he joined the cast of the Monkees.  his popularity sky rocketed and girls everywhere loved him, giving him his wish from that day on the Ed Sullivan show.  The TV show that Monkees ran for 3 years and went off the air in 1968, but by this time the group including Davy could all play there own instruments and continued to record.  They even had there own movie, Head.  The movie was no where near successful, I’ve never scene it and I really don’t have plans to but apparently it has become a cult hit.

Davy continued to tour and record throughout most of his life, putting on a great show and playing a mix of classics from the Monkees catalog as well as from his own records.  I believe he even had a stint in Vegas.  There were multiple Monkees reunions also, some with others without the full line up.  There was even a new album in 1996.  The band reunited, all of the members, for the first time in along time, in 2011 for a North American tour and UK tour that was successful.  Sadly some dates were to be rescheduled for 2012, but with the death of Davy Jones, from a heart attack today, those shows may never occur.

So there it is, the short version.  Davy Jones accomplished quite a lot in his time, and both he and the Monkees influenced many current and past bands.  If you don’t know who The Monkees or Davy Jones are, why not give them a listen.  The most notable tracks would probably be, Last Train to Clarksville (one of my favs), I’m a believer (which was remade for one of the shrek movies by Smashomouth), (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (another of my favs) and A Little bit Me, A Little bit You.

Well, I hope you’ve read enough to be a little interested in The Monkees and Davy Jones.  RIP Davy and I’d like to thank everyone for reading.

John

So, what did we learn this week?  Let’s recap some of my favorite things.

Turns out the FBI had a file on Steve Jobs, that mentioned drug use.  What FBI profile doesn’t have drug use involved, anyway to read the whole story check out my good friends over at Danny Carbon.

http://dannycarbon.com/2012/02/09/steve-jobs-fbi-file-notes-drug-use/

Want to get out of violating copyrights on your illegal porn download stash? Just say you didn’t do it, then claim that porn can’t be copyrighted! Duh! Thanks to my good friend over at Pkrf1end’s Blog for bringing it to our attention!  Read the full story at

https://torrentfreak.com/you-cant-copyright-porn-bittorrent-defendant-insists-120206/

Once again showing the US customers that they don’t give a shit, Sony has announced that even though they have a discount program in Europe that is sort of a transfer program for UMD to Vita games. Sony this week gave US customers the finger and said nope you can buy some at a discounted price, but there will be no such program.  Thanks Sony!  For the details check out Contra237’s blog at

http://videogamenews4you.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/no-discounted-umd-transfers-to-vita-for-us/

From the, “Did someone really need to pay for this study?” category comes news that at least a quarter of tweets are useless!  Shit, I could’ve told them that for free!  Check out the full article at

http://dannycarbon.com/2012/02/08/a-quarter-of-tweets-are-useless/

Whats the oldest living organism on Earth?  If you said Jerry Lewis, Dick Van Dyke, Cloris Leachman or Betty White, you were close but wrong.  Scientists recently found a 200,000 year old organism in the Mediterranean.  It’s a seagrass named Posidonia Oceanica, named after Posidon.  Apparently this grass has a leg up on all of humanity and can reproduce by cloning.  you can read more about it over at Bisarebeat’s blog

http://bisarbeat.blogspot.com/2012/02/oldest-living-organism-on-earth.html#.TzPmOADDwY4.wordpress

For all you movie buffs out there that want more useless knowledge (like me) I found the best website for you, it points out hundreds of errors in movies! So Geek Ahoy and enjoy!

http://www.moviemistakes.com

Spiderman…Spiderman……yup us comic book geeks (or nerds if you prefer) all know that Peter Parker became Spiderman when he was bit by a radioactive spider…Well good news!  A white cobweb substance has been found in a radioactive waste pool!  So if they are spider webs, and you’re bitten by one just maybe……anyway the full story can be found here

http://bisarbeat.blogspot.com/2012/02/white-cobwebs-found-in-nuclear-waste.html#.TzU-2C6Eshw.wordpress

From the “DUH!” department comes a report by the BBC that CEO pay may not be linked to performance….really? whats your first clue? the 20 million they make plus bonus’s they get while running a company into the ground?!  Glad the BBC wasted the money on this one and not the US government…shocking right?  Anyway if you want to read more about people that make more in a year then most entire families do over 2 generations then head over to the BBC….

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16932043

What do you do when you find a note that daddies little girl wrote on Facebook?  Well if she swore like this guy’s daughter and insulted her parents, you take her laptop outside and give it the Old Yeller treatment!  Not sure if its true, but if it is, well then God bless rednecks and now enjoy!  Oh, and by the way there is a bit of swearing…..

Ever drop your phone?  Ever drop it into a pitcher of beer? into the toilet? or forget it in the pocket of your carpenter jeans then threw them in the wash? (yup that was me RIP Nokia 5100) Well then my friends the future is here for you! This company has developed a process that will waterproof your phone for 60 bucks!  So if you’ve ever dropped your phone into a hot tub full of call girls then go here….

http://www.liquipel.com/

So just to prove that they could still stick it to us after the failure of PIPA and SOPA Hollywood is raising ticket prices! Yup, granted it’s only 4 cents or so, but for 16 dollars for two tickets, plus drinks and maybe some popcorn, you might as well just buy the damned thing when it comes out.  At least at your house the floor isn’t sticky…..well most of you anyway!  Want to read all about it, check out 20POORANDFABULOUS’s blog over at

http://20poorandfabulous.com/2012/02/10/infuriation-movie-ticket-prices-on-the-rise/

If you think being married sucks and that your wife takes all your money, then be glad you don’t live in Indonesia.  Why you ask? Well, apparently the Gorontalo (wasn’t he the six armed guy in Mortal Kombat?) Provincial Government will now send the pay of married civil servants to their wives accounts, they think this will prevent infidelity, well at least the husband won’t be able to afford to cheat…..the wife on the other hand…..for the full story check out.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16959455

Follow that Timelord! So if you’re a Doctor Who fan, then this might up your alley, there is a spinoff audio show called The Minister of Chance.  It’s based off a character in a 7th Doctor audio play about another Timelord, so if you cant wait until fall for Doctor Who then check out…

http://www.ministerofchance.com

Anyway, I think that’s everything I’ve learned this week, or at least a few of the things I found interesting and thought I would share.  So have a great weekend.  If you have some time check out my beer show on youtube at

when you’re done there, give my friends at so you have a girlfriend.com a watch at

http://www.soyouhaveagirlfriend.com

Have a great weekend!

john

So I decided to finish the weeks off by trying to briefly go over a few things I learned this week, both on line and in real life.

Bamboo can make a cellphone

Well, to be fair, bamboo and a creative UK student can make a pretty slick looking prototype phone, hopefully it becomes a reality!  Here’s a link to a CNET article so you can learn more!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57370680-1/adzero-brings-students-bamboo-phone-concept-to-life/

The Edmonton Oilers (its a hockey team) have apparently perfected time travel.

So even though I am a self proclaimed geek and nerd, I still like some mouth breather things, like hockey.  I’m a huge Blackhawks fan and when I see them allow 17 goals in 2 games against the Edmonton Oilers, I assume its because Edmonton has perfected time travel, went back to 1985 and brought Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier forward in time and gave them Gagner jerseys to wear.

It’s the end of an era, McDonalds discontinues the use of “Pink Slime” as a filler.

Well to be fair, everyone said “slime” to me it looked like pink toothpaste but eh, still.  Apparently they were taking all the leftovers from processing meat and using some chemicals to make it “safe” to add to meat.  Granted I never heard of someone dyng from it, but still kind of gross.  If you want to read more check it out here…

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mcdonald-confirms-no-longer-using-pink-slime-chemicals-171209662.html

Nicole likes farts….yup

So yeah, apparently Nicole over at http://soyouhaveagirlfriend.com/ likes farts! you don’t see that everyday from a woman.  Head over and check out this weeks episode!  If you haven’t heard about http://soyouhaveagirlfriend.com/ give it a try!

Felicia Day is a internet pioneer……and an awesome red head!

Yup those of you that know me already knew that i thought that, but what the hell I thought I’d give a short overview of her and why I think that.  You can get more info on my blog https://johnsbluebox.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/whos-that-girl-felicia-day/ or at… http://feliciaday.com/

Long wait for new sci-fi…..

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you may have to wait until mid year for your favorite show to come back, maybe even longer.  Check out my blog entry about it for more info.  https://johnsbluebox.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/what-the-wheres-my-sci-fi/

Achievements….for working in an IT department?

Yup, it was inevitable, eventually someone was going to combine their love of video games, IT and perhaps The IT Crowd into one awesome list of real life achievements to accomplish….  find it here!  http://evilrouters.net/achievement-unlocked/  See how many you can unlock!!

The Hunger Games are almost here!….and I feel fine…

So the long awaited Hunger Games are coming to the big screen and sadly I couldn’t really care so far.  I tried reading the books a couple of times and they just didn’t work for me.  The plot isn’t bad, I like the idea, just didn’t care for the books, maybe I’ll give them another chance in a bit.  Maybe I’ll like the movie though, I mean I didn’t like the LOTR books either, but the movies are some of my favorites….only time will tell…

You can punch a co-worker……if one’s  a douchbag and the company farms out its HR department…..

At a company a friend of mine works at, there are two sales guys.  One is a complete and utter ass.  I mean he makes horrible jokes to the customers and everything.  The other guy is a good guy and a good sales guy, he doesn’t bring in as much money as the jerk though.  Also, just an fyi, I’m not talking about like a store here, these are corporate accounts.  So the jerk was talking to an executive assitant and said, “I should have (other guys name here) file these papers!” and laughed.  Then guy number 2 said, “HEY! I’m standing right here!”  there was some other snide remark from the jerk off, then the nicer guy punched him in the back of the head!  Now all of us have had to deal with this jerk and the other guy did what we all wanted to do.  We thought he was going to get fired.  Now comes the fun part! The company doesn’t have a Human Resources department! It’s farmed out! So after two weeks or so of going through paper work, the HR company said that whatever happens to one guy has to happen to the other, so instead of reprimanding or firing anyone, they both walked away! so if your going to hit someone, make sure they insult you first, and that your HR department is off site so they don’t see it!

Want to break old printers and fax machines? I’ve got the soundtrack for you!

I know its old but no other soundtrack is better for destroying office equipment, well and office’s in general, then the Office Space soundtrack.  God its awesome to wreck stuff to that one, especially the Scarface track that’s on it.

Well that’s what I learned this week and I hope you learned it as well!  So stay tuned for more blogs and hey please check out my Beer Show over at my youtube channel….  http://youtu.be/QlHziuQCDNM  and if you’d like check out the rest of them also at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF257ED14691B4177

So once again thanks for reading!

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