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   Matters Of Dire Importance

5 -13-05 A Few Sounds
I think I am finally done making any major aesthetic changes to the site so basically what you see now is what you get, at least until I get around to any more features. Thanks to those who have offered suggestions and advice, <sarcasm>your free iPods will be in the mail</sarcasm>.

On a much more interesting note, I'd like to plug a few bands that I have checked out recently. I'd like to do this maybe once a week or so. I wish I had the time to do it more often but for now it feels like I am basically having conversations with myself. Until then feel free to feast on weekly scraps.

-The Autumn Thieves play a nice mix of ambient shoegaze/dream pop. Click on the artwork on the left to grab some mp3's. I'm pretty anxious to hear their new EP due out this month.

-Cosigner has been a favorite of mine since their (his) first album Center Rise Solo. It's rockin in that introspective indie pop kind of way. I didn't see any recent updates or mp3's up on their website so I took the liberty of hosting a few sample mp3's from the latest album.
1 - Sorry
2 - No Longer Sentimental

-Elvyn reminds me a bit of TFC with the occasional twang, you can grab a few mp3's of their first album here and stream a good bit of the new EP over at CDBaby.

-Kirlian Crossing features loopy and warped pop, a variety of meshed samples that sound fairly refreshing and original to these ears.

-I checked out the Binary Dolls over at CDBaby and really loved what I was hearing. So much so I bought the album after only hearing the few mp3's on their site. That says a lot as I usually prefer to download and listen to the entire album first before spending cash on a new CD. They like to compare themselves to Broken Social Scene and Radiohead and that's not too far off. Good stuff. Expect a review of the album soon.

5 -11-05 Additions, Shout-Outs
Today I added a few more reviews and tidied up the links section a bit more. I've also rounded up a few friends to help out with reviews. (Thanks guys and gals!) Also, be on the lookout for an interview with Mike from Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records in coming days. He's been busy releasing indie-pop/twee/found sound albums on his fine label and distro for a few years now. Stop by the site and say hi.

In other news, I received a First Coat album in the mail today. The band was kind enough to send me a copy of their newest album Move Like Sparrows. Also included was a fantastic compilation from Mr. Hyde Records, a label featuring a collective of local musicians from the Chicago area. Not only did this comp feature a wide variety of (mostly excellent) tunage it came packaged with awesome artwork. Be sure to look for reviews of both sometime in the next few days.


5 -10-05 The Mixtape
Anyone who knows me is hip to the fact that I am a mixtape whore. My brain functions along a mixtape plane. I am folding clothes and putting them away and immediately I begin to think of odes to housewives or dirty laundry etc. Living on a military base it is safe to assume that not many people are diggin' the same tunage as I. So when I finally meet someone who can name a Death Cab, or hell, even a Shins song I begin to process possible candidates for making a mixtape for said person. If my wife and I are taking a road trip I will create mixes just for the occasion whether it be a vacation or a quaint family visit. Pick the situation and I am already on the march.

This mode of thought has been in full effect ever since I was 10-11 and had begun to amass quite a few mixtapes of recorded 80's hair band ballads off the radio. How angry I would be when the damn DJ would open his/her big mouth near the end of the song. Thankfully the local radio station tended to a fairly close-minded audience so that particular song would likely be played the following hour. At that age I was obviously skint for cash to renew my blank cassette reserves on a regular basis. But that certainly didn't break my spirit or resolve. I would simply steal cassettes from my father's collection that he rarely ever played, like John Denver's non-greatest hits albums and Pat Benatar. Some of you will know what happened to those, the old scotch-tape-over-the-top trick.

So this infatuation would lead me into my quest to hear new music, in turn molding me into the mad, driven music hound I am today. I would scour magazines for info and watch MTV's 'alternative' shows. It's not like I had any other outlets living in Shittown, USA where AC/DC's catalog was continuously being relived on a year-to-year basis. I began to make a collection of mixtapes simply entitled 'Matt's Alternative Music Sampler Vol. etc.'. Each edition was maxed out at full capacity, 120 minutes, and from what I can remember I stopped around Vol. 45 or so. I proudly cleared a space on my nightstand to display my wondrous creations. They featured everything from Slowdive to the Dead Kennedys to Sentridoh to the Pixies and so forth. Almost 15 years later, I still have a sizeable amount of those in my possession and every now and again I like to pull them out and listen. They are excellent time capsules or kaleidoscopes, if you will, of a period and time in my life where the shape of my future would begin to take form.

So yes, even to this day, I have a fond appreciation for the art of the mix. My desire to spread music amongst the people of the world through mixtapes, whether they be complete strangers or close friends, is not only an obsession, but a necessity. Thus, this website and all of its current and future content.

This rambling was brought on by a piece written by Bex Schwartz over at, a cheeky, but very interesting take on mixtapes versus the current trend of mix cd's. Go ahead, be curious.

5 -06-05 More Additions and the New Mix
So I've spent the last few days tweaking things, applying my magic wand to broken links, adding a few reviews etc. I will continue to do so until I feel comfortable with navigation, content and good looks. Some new tips have been bestowed upon me regarding server-side include files. It appears those will make my life MUCH easier once I can figure them out. So if you come back to the site and everything looks scrambled I've probably gone and done messed things up. Hopefully that will not be the case.

I intend to include more reviews that I have offline in text files plus I plan on retrieving reviews I've written over on Rate Your Music. I also added May's mixes, you can check those out here.

I am also looking for a few reviewers to help get that section steamrolling along. My policy will be very loose - review pretty much anything outside of Top 40 pap, no less than 100 words/no more than 500 and maybe a few other small things that will eventually come to mind. For now I do not have CD's to mail to you so it would basically be you plucking stuff from your collection. I don't have big plans to take over the planet with this website so I am not going to be anal retentive regarding this feature. Please do e-mail if you are interested.

5 -02-05 New Design!
Finally, the site has a nicer look and feel to it. Let me know what you think...

3-25-05 Top Albums of 2000:
I had some trouble for a while trying to get these webpage titles to show up properly live. Thanks to Jeff of the Gifted Children the problem has been solved. Isn't he swell? Be sure to check out the GC website for many wonderful empeethrees. I've been singing praise unto them for quite some time. Also, check out my top 100 albums of the 00's if you're really bored. I know you're bored, you're staring at this page.

3-23-05 Mp3 Blog?
So, I've been pondering taking all this WYSIWYG boredom and transforming it into a somewhat visually pleasant mp3 blog. It is, afterall, basically what this site has become and I've enjoyed several mp3 blogs on the internets, most notably Mystery and Misery . I don't always agree with what this fella has to say about the world of P2P/file-sharing but he does have some nice mixes to download and sample. Check it out. Ciao for now.

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