Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The State of the Toaster

Mister Toaster presented the following address this evening to both houses of Toast:

"The state of the Toaster is strong. After the first meeting of the Toaster Talks Music Appreciation League this weekend [minutes below], I feel we are ready to enter the unknown with our heads high and our hopes for world peace and indie rock ever-so-slightly lower."

>> Featured Artist: Voxtrot

With three highly enjoyable EPs under their belt, Voxtrot head into 2007 readying a full-length, or so we're told. As frontman Ramesh Srivastava sings on "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives," the title track from their May 2006 EP, "Listen, I've come to rock this boat."


The Voxtrot prescription for pop music is airy, catchy lead guitar riffs over a thick, driven rhythm sectio and all tied together with a vocal delivery that appears at first unremarkable, but quickly proves irresistible. (Maybe throw a little 'verb in there for good measure).

There's a reason theirs is among our most-looked-forward-to releases of 2007.

>> Album Lookout: Meet the Smithereens

The Smithereens - Released: Jan. 16, 2007 KOCH

We have an idea: Why don't the Smithereens take eight years off and come back as Beatlemania? Oops. Once again, reality beats sarcasm to the punch.

Even as resident Beatle maniacs, we're more than a little taken aback by this self-described "homage" to the Beatles' second album and first U.S. smash.

Don't get us wrong: It's not that it's bad. It's not. To the contrary, they faithfully recreate this classic 1963/1964 release. Aside from a few seemingly uninspired flourishes, it's note for note the same album, which is perhaps why these flourishes and a slight difference in the vocal mix on songs like "I Saw Her Standing There" give us the heebie-jeebies.

We don't want to sound anti-recreation of classic rock music...actually, scratch that. We do. New Toaster adage: Don't recreate an entire living work unless there's good reason (among them: artist is unknown; you've formed a one-of-a-kind band to do so, etc.). At the very least, if you must completely recreate something, do something interesting with it. Pull a Petra Haden. I mean, we're probably not going to buy that art student's recreation of "Starry Night" on Ebay. Unless that art student is our granddaughter.

"OK," you're saying, "Settle down. It's just the Smithereens here. They're just having fun. They didn't mean any harm."

Yeah, you're probably right. They probably didn't mean anything by it.

>> Reverting to: 1985


Word on the street is that Dan Aykroyd still has this on his resume (see 4:18).

>>Minutes: Mister Toaster unveils 100 songs. Crowd rejoices, cries with joy. Songs end. Peace becomes the night.

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