Jay Bennett Dies at 45

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I was so sad to read today that Jay Bennett, the former and controversial member of Wilco, died in his sleep this Sunday. While he may be best known for his tumultuous and strained relationship with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, he was nonetheless a talented artist and feel fortunate to have seen him perform with Wilco and as a solo artist. R.I.P., Jay Bennett.  

For the full story, see the Chicago Sun Times article.

Album of the Week: Cymbals Eat Guitars

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Artist: Cymbals Eat Guitars
Album: Why There Are Mountains
File Under: Indie Rock
Recommended if You Like: Pavement, Built to Spill meets The Polyphonic Spree
Featured Tracks:

“And the Hazy Sea”

One of the drawbacks of travel when you’re a music snob is losing control of your musical destiny.  Such was the case the other day as we were sailing around the Aegean Sea being force fed hefty doses of Cheap Trick. (By the way, if that’s the worst form of suffering I have to endure on this trip, I’ll take it.) After the third listen, I couldn’t help help but kindly suggest that maybe the captain might like this new band called Cymbals Eat Guitars?  The band name is certainly kick ass enough for his classic rock sensibilities anyway.  And their sound kind of has that Cheap Trick meets Polyphonic Spree meets Built to Spill vibe.

I don’t know if he’ll follow up on that suggestion but he should.  Cymbals Eat Guitars’ debut release Why There Are Mountains is likely one of the best ‘Indie’ releases this year.  And I say Indie in the true sense of the word because the album was actually independently released.  I’ve been listening to it repeatedly on this trip and it’s really grown on me.  A real grower, not a shower as they say.  This is indie rock at it’s finest, folks. Their songs are ambitious and epic (most tracks clocking in at more than 5 minutes each), with waves of smashing guitars and distortion that ebb and flow as effortlessly as the Agean Sea we’re sailing on.  Brilliant.

Postcards from the Edge

No island in Greece has wowed me more than Falengandros. A tiny, remote and foreboding outpost, Falengadros was once known as the Alcatraz of the Agean. A place where exiles were sent to eek out an existance.  Now no more than 600 people call the island home and landing here was a welcome respite to the tourist atrocities of Santorini. Sheer cliffs, white washed walls and a stark yet colorful landscape make it a photographers paradise. The subtle shades of red, orange, yellow and green shrubs that dot the hillside looks like a giant bowl of Trix to me.  And the sunsets…amazing!

All throughout our stay here I’ve had this song from Here We Go Magic stuck in my head.  The song is ‘Fangela‘, but it sounds so perfect when I sing it ‘Falengandros’.

Here We Go Magic, “Fangela

Radiohead In Studio

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Hey all you Radiohead disciples, BBC Music News reported that the band is in the studio working with famed producer Nigel Godrich on the follow up to their acclaimed “In Rainbows” release.  Good news! But before you get too excited, they have not yet confirmed an album release date, title or even if the music will be released in a similar ‘pay what you want’ format as “In Rainbows”. As bassist Colin Greenwood was quoted,”It’s at the stage where we’ve got the big Lego box out and we’ve tipped it out on the floor and we’re just looking at all the bits and thinking what’s next?”

What’s next indeed.  I’m sure we all can’t wait to find out.

Radiohead, “Paranoid Android”

Happy Birthday OCMD!

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It was exactly one year ago today that I posted my first entry on The OCMD.  And this entry represents my 365th post exactly.  So tidy and neat how that worked out, isn’t it?  I wasn’t sure where this venture would take me or how long it would last, but one year, 365 entries, 35,000+ page views and 515 Twitter followers later – it appears I’m in this for the long haul.  And do I love it! It’s given me purpose and structure to dive headlong into my OCMD state of mind.  (Thanks Adam and Ryan for getting me here!) But most of all, I’ve really enjoyed connecting with all of you like-minded music geeks around the globe – from Aimee in Austin to Cian and Chalky in the UK, Mike in Montreal, Oz, Anna, Adrian and all the SF music bloggers.  It’s been great to meet you – albeit virtually in most cases.

Plans are brewing for the next phase of The OCMD, but I would love to hear from you what you like, don’t like and want to see more of.  Thanks for reading!

It’s Festival Season – Let’s Talk MDMA

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With the summer music festival season approaching, we thought it was high time to talk drugs, particularly that festival fave, ecstasy.  Born in 1912 but popularized in the late ’80s Manchester rave scene, MDMA has now clearly moved into much wider circles of use.  Part stimulant, part hallucinogen MDMA seems to be everywhere.  As with most drugs purity can be a real issue, but even in its purest form the research is mounting, E can be dangerous.  Acutely MDMA may cause thirst and many have wound up in the ER with seizures due to a low blood level of sodium (a result of drinking way too much water).  Overheating is another potential danger and the most common factor in E-related deaths.  Most users know too well the “terrible Tuesday” phenomenon, where emotions crash a few days after use, often to some serious depression.  Most alarming is data suggesting long term nerve damage and serotonin depletion.

There are several cool websites with oodles of info:

  • www.clubdrugs.org –info from the National Institutes of Health
  • www.erowid.org — “a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues”

As with all risky ventures, the best plan is risk reduction. If abstinence is not an option, the experts would suggest the following:

  1. Check purity –  above websites have pictures of different types and their purity and test kits are available
  2. Drink fluids like you normally would, don’t drink gallons of water
  3. Avoid overheating: take dance breaks, sit and rest, seek fresh air and shade
  4. Don’t mix ecstasy with other drugs (including prescriptions, alcohol and marijuana)
  5. Don’t repeat doses
  6. Don’t drive!
  7. Most importantly, have a trusted, sober person around to keep on eye on you.  They can guage better than you can, if you need to rest, cool down, drink or stop drinking!

Have a safe festival season.

Listen to Neon Indian Should Have Taken Acid with You”

[Guest post by Mike]