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Our Heroes Are Little Heroes

Little_heroesWe love it when Our Lady Billboard is invoked in the name of accessible pop/rock music. Most recently, we spotted a reference in the description of California rockers the Little Heroes and their debut album, "Cinematic Americana."

"'Cinematic Americana' presents... an array of impressive (and 'Billboard' worthy) tunes... this may sound like heresy to the ears of most music snobs, but we love it."

O.K., fine, so what you're trying to say is that your self-released album's got cred but -- hey! -- it'll be easy to like, you swear, maybe play it for your mom.


We really do. There's jagged pieces of Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups and Saves The Day poking through string sections and big crescendos, the kind of sweeping melodic Valium that makes our stone-cold hearts like Coldplay and (eep!) Toad the Wet Sprocket. Tracks like "New End Game," "Bridges and Tunnels" (which we have secretly re-named "Jersey and Philly") and "September Calls" (which you can hear on their MySpace) all have catchy melodies stuck behind snappy vocals.

Southern Califonians need to check out their show since we cannot. Then tell us about it, buy the record or face our wrath. "Cinematic Americana," which is hardly Americana, hit stores March 20.

March 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Idol Chatter: If We Could Escape...

Music_gwenstefaniRyan Seacrest started last night's "American Idol" elimination episode by trotting out onstage in a "pony-hawk" wig. "I've been Sanjaya-ed," he exclaimed. Great, now this kid has reached verb status.

And he'll be back next week. As will the still pants-less Haley. We've actually become pretty desensitized to all this "Idol" absurdity. Although we were disappointed, we can't say we were shocked to learn Sting got Our Boy Chris sent home (home to South Carolina, mind you, where he faces the wrath of Jesus for abandoning Christian rock). Hell, we don't even have the strength to comment on the Ford commercial.

On a happy note, Gwen Stefani, with her troupe of Harajuku girls and a "woo hoo"-ing and seemingly blazed Akon, performed "The Sweet Escape." We still hold on to our childhood fantasy of wanting to be Gwen Stefani. And not just because she's married to Gavin Rossdale, but, tell me boy, now wouldn't that be sweet?

March 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Laser Guided By God

Johnny5MICHAEL JACKSON WANTS TO SHOOT FRICKIN' LASERS OUT OF HIS EYES. Yes, Jermaine Jackson's brother Michael is reported to be planning a 50-foot robot version of himself to accompany a propsed Vegas stage show, according to published reports.

Jackson, who's planning a comeback that will fail like nothing you have ever seen, is said to be assembling a Vegas show in the vein of Celine Dion or Prince, neither of whom have dangled their babies off of anything. If built, the robot behemoth would be visible to incoming aircraft as it roamed the desert shooting lasers out of its eyes. No, really. Google it.

"Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them," said Luckman Van Pier, partner of robot designer Andre Van Pier, adding that Jackson also once liked the plans for "Invincible." The report goes on to say that the robot would eventually become self-aware and rampage through Tokyo on its way to a final showdown with Gamera. Jackson's last album sold 38 copies to people in Dubai.

March 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Idol Chatter: Oh, Make Us Over!

16idolTurns out the sobbing 8-year-old is actually 13, and sadly she wasn't mocked a guest on "Kimmel." She did nonetheless milk her 15 minutes of fame on "Today," and "Access Hollywood" gave her a style makeover to impress heartthrob Sanjaya at last night's "American Idol" performance.

And speaking of the boy everyone loves to hate (personally, we find this chick mildly amusing), we'll get our comments out of the way since obviously Sanjaya's "pony-hawk" will be the hot topic at the water cooler today. Seriously, it's like this kid is actively seeking out media ridicule. Even tonight's guest mentor, the ultra-fab Gwen Stefani, muttered something like, "uh, good luck to him."

Gina momentarily turned into the sobbing 8-year-old upon meeting Ms. Stefani, and by now Hot Topic should really be compensating her for all the free publicity she's giving to their merchandise.

Chris Sligh and Phil both tackled the Police, the latter of whom had on noticeably too much make up and out-sung most of the guys. Haley needs to invest in a pair of slacks, and Melinda, well, the discussion of her is getting somewhat redundant.

From there, Blake covered the Cure's "Love Song." J.I. remembers being pissed off a few years ago when home-state homeboys 311 covered it, and now we're even more pissed off because we can guarantee Blake loved said cover considering he already proclaimed 311 his favorite band of all time. We're just thankful he didn't bust out the beat-boxing.

Tomorrow, Gwen and Akon perform. Finally, a worthwhile reason to tune in.

March 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Camp Out For Campilongo

Campilongo "I used to just randomly buy records if there weren't that many songs on them -- I didn't care who the artist was.  A banner day would be discovering a double album that only had two songs on it.  So I ended up with 'John Coltrane Live in Japan' and John McLaughlin's 'Devotion' with Larry Young on organ.  I listened to those records until they melted and I still do to this day (on CD).  Eventually, I found Roy Buchanan's first album and all bets were off, I was going to be a guitar player."

So says guitarist Jim Campilongo, who we had the fortune of checking out at his Monday residency at the Living Room in New York. Fans would have recently heard the San Francisco native in latte-rock project the Little Willies (hey, we love lattes), the quintet featuring Norah Jones and whose self-titled record peaked at No. 48 on The Billboard 200 last year. Recently, Campilongo has been working on his millionth billionth seventh full-length album, for which he's seeking a label deal.

His live show was a mellow affair, a siren to the middle-aged ponytail set, but also an overall killer course on How To Play Your Instrument Putting All Others To Shame. The man can jam. His instrumental compositions are practically lyrical, mixing blues with jazz with country. A real treasure.

Just prior to his set, we caught Amy Miles, who has a positively mesmerizing Lucinda-lite purr. Her rock tunes were a pleasant surprise prior to an aforementioned ponytail scaring us out of the club.

March 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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