All posts tagged: Jellyfish

Desert Island Discs with Megan Slankard

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Megan Slankard, whose latest album, A Token of the Wreckage, is out now. Visit her official site for samples of Megan’s music — after reading her Desert Island picks, of course! 1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles I was about 10 years old when this album first blew my mind. I would sit in front of the stereo some nights with the CD or record cover (we had both) in my lap and stare at it throughout the duration of the album. It was absolutely magical. And, to this day, its chord progressions and melodies are part of the fibers that make up my being. 2. Graceland – Paul Simon …

The Getting-to-Know-You Megamix

Love stinks. Trying to get to love stinks more. Here’s the deal: there’s a woman I’ve been interested in. I only cross her path every other weekend, but she’s always been sweet and kind when I’ve had time to talk to her. Briefly, really briefly. Did I mention she’s gorgeous? Yeah, she’s gorgeous, but here’s the kicker. She doesn’t seem to know that, and if she does, she doesn’t act like it, which makes her gorgeouser. (Oh, cut me some slack, will ya?) Anyway, I’ve been mulling over in my head how I’m to try to get to know her. I’d like to impress her, of course, but I also don’t want to come off as creepy and kill off whatever minuscule opportunity I might have. Being a music nerd, I thought, “Go with your strength and make her a mix CD. You can try to find out about her by offering a little about yourself.” So I made the mix CD… that I will never give her. Putting aside the rose-tinted romantic flush and …

Uncovered: Jellyfish, “Spilt Milk”

Have you ever wondered what inspired the images on your favorite album covers? With Uncovered, we discuss the stories behind the artwork with the people who made them. This week, we talk with Mick Haggerty, the artist responsible for the cover of Jellyfish’s Spilt Milk, as well as a long list of other albums. You’ve worked on some classic covers for some well-known artists — including H2O and Breakfast in America. How did you end up working with Jellyfish? My friend Steve Samiof was the creative director at Charisma at the time, and one day the phone just rang …. We did Bellybutton together. I never really thought in “classic album” terms — it was more “how the hell can I make something half decent out of all this?” It’s like directing traffic with a blindfold on a lot of the time. I’m grateful I’m not a gambling man, because I would have put money on Jellyfish to be big. I certainly did everything in my power. Of course, it’s great when the covers you’re …

CD Review: fun., “Aim and Ignite”

fun. is one of those bands that take all the music that they love, throw it in a blender, and pour the resulting mixture into an album. In this case, the album is called Aim and Ignite (Nettwerk), and while the whole is a bit less than the sum of its parts, it’s an interesting and unusual listen. The band’s main strength is to be found in the songwriting. The production is another story. There’s nothing basic about this album, and Mies van der Rohe’s famous proclamation “Less is more” did not figure into this particular equation. There are strings galore, multilayered vocal harmonies throughout, horns, oboes, and accordions here and there, and even the appearance of a calliope on one track. I’ve never been much of a Queen fan. There were a few songs that I like, but I always thought they sounded, well, goofy. fun., on the other hand, are obviously big Queen fans, and while modern recording technology (and basic good taste) has allowed them to improve on Queen’s cheesier sounds, it …

The Friday Mixtape: 6/19/09

You guys give up, or you thirsty for more? Bobby Jimmy & the Critters – Roaches from Look at All These Roaches [12″] (1986) Bread – The Guitar Man from Guitar Man (1972) George Harrison – It Don’t Come Easy (unreleased) (1971) Matthew Sweet featuring Lindsey Buckingham – Magnet and Steel from Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Album (1998) Rocket Scientists – Gypsy from Revolution Road (2006) Split Enz – I Got You from True Colors (1980) The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime in Clerkenwell from I, Lucifer (2004) War – The Cisco Kid from The World Is a Ghetto (1972) Warren Zevon – Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song) from My Ride’s Here (2002) Jellyfish – Watchin’ the Rain from Fan Club (2002) Marshall Crenshaw – Laughter from Miracle of Science (1996) Sieges Even – Eyes Wide Open from Paramount (2007) The Smithereens – If the Sun Doesn’t Shine from Green Thoughts (1988) Vector – How Many Times from Please Stand By (1988)

Hooks ‘N’ You: Wonderboy, “Napoleon Blown Apart”

I can still remember the first time I became acquainted with the band known as Wonderboy. I was writing for Flash Magazine – the Hampton Roads entertainment publication formerly known as RockFlash – and I’d stopped by their offices to shoot the shit with the editor in chief, Bonn Garrett. When I walked into his office, he handed me a copy of the band’s third album, Napoleon Blown Apart, and said, “Here, this just looks like something you’d like.” The best description of his tone that I can offer is that it was both boisterous and mocking – in other words, he was having fun at my expense (our tastes in music didn’t exactly run parallel) and loving every minute of it – but I have to give the guy credit: though I would come to grow very tired of being teased by him, Bonn generally did know what I’d like, even he himself couldn’t stand it. I’m still not entirely sure what it was about the cover of Napoleon Blown Apart that set him …

Hooks ‘N’ You: Phil Keaggy, “Phil Keaggy and Sunday’s Child”

If you’re a guitar guy, then all I have to do is write the name “Phil Keaggy” and you’re probably already prepared to offer up praise for his abilities. The man’s prowess with the guitar is legendary, so much so that he can’t turn around without someone bringing up the longstanding urban legend that no less an authority than Jimi Hendrix once declared him to be the best guitarist of all time. It’s been pretty well decided that such words never came forth from Hendrix’s lips…or, at least, Keaggy’s pretty sure of it, anyway…but God knows that plenty of other axe men have offered compliments along those lines. The reference to the almighty is an intentional one. Although Keaggy started in the more traditional rock world as a member of the band Glass Harp, he’s been a staple of the Contemporary Christian music industry since the early 1970s. But, c’mon, don’t freak out, okay? I’ve always been mystified about how music fans can be totally psyched to hear about an album, only to dismiss it …

Bootleg City: Jellyfish

According to an article I found on Magnet magazine’s website, Jellyfish’s lead singer, Andy Sturmer, wasn’t afraid to sting people. “I was told that Jellyfish would be an equal three-piece, with us writing and playing everything,” said the band’s original guitarist, Jason Falkner. “That turned out to be a total joke. I felt like I was duped.” And keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., whose 2006 song “You Were Right” will never leave your brain once you let it inside, had this to say: “Except for Andy, we all speak to one another. Some of us make music together. But nobody is interested in working with Andy in a personal or creative capacity. It would serve no purpose, but I don’t say that with any animosity or sadness.” Yeah, but it’s still sad, because the band’s second and final album, 1993’s Spilt Milk (an appropriate title, it seems), left me wanting more. Then again, a smart band is supposed to leave its fans wanting more. Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Andy Sturmer, Chris Manning, and Jason Falkner, …

Dw. Dunphy On… Everything That Happens, and a Little After That

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see David Byrne live in concert. It was purported to be a celebration of the work he did with Brian Eno, famed producer and musical renegade, encompassing Eno’s production on classic Talking Heads albums as well as their collaborations like My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and a new, currently digital-only release Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The show was composed of Byrne, a backing band, a trio of backup singers and a trio of interpretive dancers, and while that sounds like a bad, pretentious idea the whole thing came off very entertaining and ended up being a fine night of live music. Another big plus was the lack of squirrels in the road. Come on, if you go to see bands with an extensive and memorable back-catalog you know about the squirrels. A pace is building, the classics are rolling out and the audience is having a grand old time, then suddenly the performer announces, “We’d like to play something from our new …

Hooks ‘N’ You: The Merrymakers, “No Sleep ‘Til Famous”

Even since Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus first realized that they had a knack for writing songs together, it’s been an accepted fact that there’s something in the water of Sweden which gifts the residents of this kingdom with the abilities to write inconceivably catchy pop hooks. I mean, I’m not saying anyone’s actually done any sort of chemical analysis – or, at least, I haven’t, anyway – but given the sheer hummability of the average Swedish composition, it seems like as good an explanation as any. As late as the mid-1990s, however, my knowledge of Swedish pop was limited to two groups – ABBA and Roxette – and neither were exactly the height of cool – but, then, neither was I, which is why I had ABBA’s Gold and Roxette’s greatest hits, Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus! (Even if you don’t like Roxette, I think you have to admit that that’s a really awesome title.) It was right around this time that a man named Bruce Brodeen entered my life.

Desert Island Discs: Tim Smith and Michael Quercio

Tim Smith (ex-Jellyfish, current member of Sheryl Crow’s band) 1. The Beatles, Rubber Soul My favorite period for the band, as they were firing on all cylinders. Pre-self-indulgent, post-early-sugar-pop. “If I Needed Someone” 2. XTC, Black Sea Their last record as a true “band.” Full of experiments, sonically and musically. They are one of my all-time faves. “Respectable Street” has one of the most amazing guitar riffs. “Respectable Street”