Saturdizzle Mizzle

This is going to be a weird one, but I wanted to start a little list of the things I like about music, and what I think makes a good song.  I think the definitions are somewhat objective in the sense that the qualities all need to be there for it to be fully “great,” but subjective in as far as whether people understand or are attracted to it.  Let me explain:  To have a good (objectively good, not “good” in the sense that everyone will like it, even if they should) song, you need these qualities:

Originality (stand on the shoulders of your heroes, pick a new fruit off of the tree)

Honesty (this is a tricky one; there’s a thin line between fabricating a loss or a break-up just to have something to whine about and to have an excuse to front a black-haired band, and using an example of it to speak some universal truth about loss, even if it didn’t necessarily happen to you.  It all rests in motivation, and since You Never Can Tell what people mean when they say what they say, or what their reasons are behind it, you have to sometimes either suspend disbelief in order to enjoy a song, or built a sort of relationship with the songwriter based on whether they’ve been honest in the past.  Does that make sense?  Earn my trust!) 

Catchiness (sounds superficial, but what I mean is, it’s got to have substance, something that makes it stands out and helps the song grab the attention of the ear.  Great songs don’t always do this on the first listen, sometimes it takes 3 or 4 or 5 or more listens to pick up on it)

Self-Serving (written for the song-writer, not an audience; meaning, you would write the song for yourself, even if no one else was around to hear it.  The best musicians love to make music, and I know that sounds silly, but there are so many bands out there who seemed to be motiviated by everything but actually creating a decent instance of music). 

Finally, there has to be the willingness of the listener to meet the song halfway.  What I mean is, everyone loves the Blue Album from Weezer- why?  Because the songs on that album are so great and also so catchy, the listener has to do very little to meet those songs and appreciate them.  Those songs practically come to your doorstep and make out with your mom.  And you dad LOVES it.  He sings along!  Meanwhile, there are far less The French Kicks fans than Weezer fans (at least in the US) because The French Kicks are definitely a band you have to meet more than halfway.  You’re at least going to have to drive to the midway point, which happens to always objectively be Ceresco, Nebraska.  It just is.  Then, finally, there are bands like Sigur Ros.  Now, I am still on my way to meet this band.  I can see them off in the distance, and let me tell you, they are shredding.  I can see that they are good.  But they are so far away, and I keep getting sidetracked by Nada Surf and Superdrag, who are in the car with me, singing songs I learned on the second listen.  So while it’s not impossible to go all the way to meet Sigur Ros, it’s tougher because they are farther away on the “originality” side of the spectrum, and it takes actual effort to get to them.  Meanwhile, “Say It Ain’t So” is still making out with my mom.

HOWIE-  Please do your best to comment/add to this, if you have anything: I would love to hear what you say on the matter.  I remember one time we were talking about someone who believes a song is an objectively “bad” song arguing with someone who likes this “bad” song, and how they are arguing past each other.  Maybe expand?  It’s a profound concept that I didn’t get at first, but leave it to Baby Beaver!  

Space Lord Mother Mother

It’s been a little while since I’ve added any blogness to the Mister Pister Albums Records web-log site

and so it’s time to do so!

The Beach Puppy is getting closer and closer, and frankly, I can’t wait.  I’ve heard some just-about-finished products and it’s a lot better than I could have even imagined.  Echoes of Beach Puppy, the backing vocals are amazing and wow can we say weird creepy grandfather’s suit and piano-butter?  Can we?  I think we might.  But all seriousness aside, it’s going to be flippin’ sweet.  Yikes!  That’s for you, H-Murder!  Okay, well everyone who’s heard the almost-finished mixes has been impressed with the production and musicianship, so I think we got ourselves a winner.  And also, Bike came over to my house, and he forced me at broompoint to have a tea party with a robot and it was so awkward because my tie didn’t fit (it was size extra medium) and the robot didn’t have much to say, except for the fact that he loves Bike. 

So Bike, Echoes, Beach-Puppy, Blackbeard and Mr. Furious are at a bar, listening to a live recording of Tucci spitting sesame seeds at a cowbell while wishing they were listening to howieandscott, and Heavens to Betsy Me Martha, it was awesome.  And for the first time, they all consciously realized they were part of one big happy family.  Congratulations to them. 

I really ought to add something at least a little not worthless to this blog, so I will say that my favorite DJ is DJ JoshO, from SLC.  Heiruspecs (spelling?) are playing in Lincoln soon, and I am going to go to that.  Howie turned me on to them, yes!  And what’s more, I am trying to get a show booked for Beach Puppy in Lincoln or a surrounding area fairly soon, so keep your little weird eyeballs peeled!

Yikes, again! 

Favorite MCs of all time

These are my favorite MCs ever and why:

Kanye West: although he doesn’t floor me with his rapping skills, I am a big big fan of his beat production and most importantly I enjoy that he doesn’t take himself too seriously or talk about killing people or anything. He’s somewhere in between KRS One and Dr. Dre, and I pretty much just really like his sense of humor and the way he can write a hook. “Jesus Walks” is one of my all-time favorite rap songs ever for this reason.

Blackstar (Mos Def/Talib Kweli): These two are the epitome of what hip-hop is supposed to be all about, a uniting force that focuses on equality and togetherness. Mos Def’s voice and delivery is frankly just badass, it just seems to pour out of him. Talib’s delivery is a little more herky-jerky but it gives him character and also he has some of these best wordplay and use of metaphors and similes I can think of. I enjoy them both as solo MCs but I love them best when they are together. The best alliance in hip-hop (whooa-oooh!)

Eminem: Although he doesn’t always rap about things I can relate to, the biggest reason I like Eminem is because he’s got the most sincere, honest and caustic style ever. I think he is arguably the best MC ever, and he’s one of the only MCs that gives me the chills when I am listening to him because of how harsh his lyrics are and how totally badass it sounds.

Chali 2Na of Jurassic 5: I like him a ton not only because of his voice and because of the fact that he always says “Yo” in a super deep voice right before he starts rapping, but most impressive is the way his words flow out in a constant stream and he hits the syllable right on, keeping a steady rhythm with the way he accents his rhyme. Awesome.

The Streets (Mike Skinner): I almost wouldn’t really call Mike a rapper, since his music is more like some sort of contemporary “geezer” poetry over some very very unique beats. However, he is an excellent storyteller and I always find myself paying close attention the plot he lays out in a song. Also, a lot of his songs are about the things that most guys my age go through: girlfriend stuff, getting too wasted all the time, hanging out with your best guy friends, trying to have as decadent of time as possible, etc. Plus, the music he composes is awesome.

Honorable mentions go to Jay-Z and Nas, but they kind of cancelled each other out nyuk nyuk nyuk and also Blackalicious although I don’t know them well enough to put them at the top quite yet

All for now-
Cory Alan

Fall and Winter Months

The next few weeks are going to be pretty intense.  They will include (in chronological order) these things:  resigning from my job, getting a visit from Jaimie Tucci, hanging out with Matt Wisecarver, going on a cruise, and packing up and heading back to Nebraska for real.  Musically, this means a couple different things (I am sure I could ramble on about this n’ that, but musical topics are what this blog is about…).  First, there will be a definite reunion between Jaimie and me.  Hopefully also between Annie, Jaimie and me.  Even better would be Annie, Jaimie, Eric and me.  All together playing music on keyboards, guitars, basses, cellos, and such.  The absolute best combo would also include Howie, but he told me he’s got a lot more snow-shoveling to do before he’s allowed to come back to Nebraska for good, whatever THAT means. 

And, I have a new goal when it comes to music.  I mean, relatively new, since this summer sometime I guess.  I used to want to make it big, or at least make it big enough to be able to have music as a low-paying job that I could live on, but now I have a better idea that involves a lot less stress about “the biz.”  Talking about “making it” in music sucks.  Side note, I know, but worrying about things like money and exposure and image and selling yourself is an awful but usually necessary thing to worry about when it comes to “making it.”  I digress, but my new goal in music is to make the most beautiful music possible.  “Duh,” you might be thinking, but I’m not talking about catchiness and sing-along-ability or anything like that, although of course if those things are included, that’s fine.  But I want the main goal to create a wonderful sound, and I want the sound to be so wonderful that if no one ever heard us play besides ourselves, we wouldn’t care because we’d be so into what we were doing, it would be more than good enough for us.  It may seem obvious, like “of course that’s what it’s all about,” but we’ve gotten so far away from that, it’s too bad.  I apologize if this overlaps with my first blog too much, but it was something on my mind.

Sick bro!


Just today, CDs containing both the Pro-Tools files and the songs of Beach-Puppy were sent to H-Murder in Minnesota.  He’s going to mix them, kiss them, dip them, dine them, and possibly even make a sweaty movie on them.  Yikes!

Am I right?

But what does this mean for you, loyal Mr. Furious visitors?  It means that you get to put your weird little i-tunes and/ or winamp-loving fingers all over FIVE NEW SONGS by Beach-Puppy, which is just ridiculous!  The name of the EP is the Creepy Eepy (EP).  If you want to be a Miles Standish (the first person who writes Mr. Furious and guesses who Miles Standish was gets a blog-prop in my next blog) about the whole thing, you can call it the Creepy Eepy EP.  But Creepy Eepy sounds better.  I think.  It all started when Beach-Puppy decided that he wanted to start drifting towards softer, more subtle acoustic music while still keeping a very short, sweet and simple pop-ness about the whole thing.  Beach-Puppy adores melody, tight little chord progressions, and catchy choruses.  All I can really tell you for now is that they are short little ditties that are some of Beach-Puppy’s most sweet efforts yet.  They include the crackling of an old classical guitar that he BP used to record.  And Beach-Puppy hopes you like them.  The track listing is as follows:

1. Rose-Colored Glasses
2. Nature Versus Nurture
3. There’s Something To Be Said
4. Save Your Breath
5. Taking A Break

There you go- and even at this point in time H-Murder hasn’t heard but maybe one of these songs, so it’ll be a treat for everyone! 

Until Later,
Beach Puppy Spokesperson,
Cory Alan

Remnants of milk that is neither positive or negative

First of all, I would like to say that quite possibly the coolest band ever is a band out of Athens, GA called Neutral Milk Hotel.  The singer/songwriter, Jeff Mangum, writes the most surreal lyrics about people sticking forks into other people’s shoulders, people with white roses for eyes, and playing pianos filled with flames.  I have their two most popular full-length albums, On Avery Island and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and although On Avery Island is brilliant, I think that In the Aeroplane… Is probably one of the best records I have ever heard.  If you get anything out of this ramble of a post, it’s that you should GO BUY THAT RECORD.  Its brilliance has to do with Mangum’s ability to take open and power chords and create these completely unique, beautiful melodies with his vocals.  When I listen to the record, the moment of “God, I wish I had written this song; it seems so obvious” happens quite often, but the truth is that while these songs seem to have been destined to be written, Mangum is the only one who could have pulled it off properly.  There are accordians, fuzzed out classical acoustic guitars, harmonicas, horn ensembles, all of which add greatly to the basic wonder of the record.  The most striking part about the record though, is Mangum’s vocals.  He’s got one of the most unique, eerie voices I’ve ever heard and writes some of the most honest, disturbing lyrics evern written.  He also apparently has his shit together- if you go to and check out his interview from 2002, he offers some of the most insightful perspectives on life that I’ve heard in a while.  I’d cut and paste it, but hey, this is, I mean, come on!  Am I right?

The person who turned me on to NMH is someone who sort of haunts the past of Mr. Furious, namely, Josh Oberndorfer.  Josh is a friend of mine from way back and Josh and I both became friends with Howie during Freshman year.  We had plans to start a band and get our stuff together musically, and it worked out perfectly, in a way- Josh and I both played guitar and Howie was a drummer, and we were able to find a bassist in fellow Doane Tiger Matthew Wisecarver.  Matt, from Omaha, now works as an engineer at a recording studio in LA, the birthplace of fear and everything caloric.  So we started this band, The Remnants, and it turned out to be the weirdest, rockinest mix of people ever.  Josh and Matt and I were all heavy partiers, and Matt would often have a friend pour beer in his mouth while he was playing a show.  Howie, with a smile, would nod his head as if to say, “I think Matt is secretly from Oklahoma.”  We were also a weird party band in a way, but the irony is that when we did record songs, they were recorded acoustically and filled with delightful flaws that make them the songs they are today.  To paraphase The Streets, in 500 years they’ll play The Remnants in museums.