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May 22nd, 2010

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 12:37 pm
This lovely man is Anthony Green. (He's also in my icon.)



He sings in a band called Circa Survive. He also supports breast cancer research, and foundations like Keep-A-Breast. Here he is, making a plaster cast of his rack. Or rather, of the rack he no doubt wishes he had.



Anthony's side project is the whole reason I pushed for this week's theme. In 2008, he put out a solo album called Avalon. I heard about it via an e-mail update from My Chemical Romance and I kind of scoffed. Why the hell would I go and buy your friend's album? Also, it's pretty lame to use your fan base like that. Well, I was a fucking idiot because the love I have for this man knows no bounds.

I don't even remember how I ended up hearing a song from Avalon, but I suspect that I came to Circa Survive first. I'm pretty attached to Act Appalled (Juturna) and The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is the Dose (On Letting Go). Chiodos was playing Warped Tour the last time I went and since I'd gotten a magazine with both Craig Owens and Anthony Green on the cover, I decided to check out some of his stuff, too. I like Circa Survive well enough, but Anthony's solo stuff is golden, in my opinion.

His voice isn't for everyone, which is something that drives me nuts because people are way too quick to brush him off. If you give him a chance, you'll probably really enjoy his music. While Circa Survive is pretty loud, Avalon is full of slower, calmer, songs - though that's not to say that it's all a bunch of ballads. It really isn't. I can't really compare it (or him) to anyone in particular because I have no clue who he might sound like. Now that I've said that, someone will no doubt school me with a list as long as I am tall, but I don't really care.

To record the album (and later to support it), he played with Good Old War, another favourite of mine. (He later returned the favour on Weak Man, off GOW's Only Way to Be Alone.)

The best song on Avalon also happens to be the shortest. Slowing Down (Long Time Coming) clocks in at 1:44, but it's an amazing little song.





It also has lovely lyrics. ).

Along with Avalon, you get the High and Driving EP, which includes several demos of Avalon songs. It's always interesting to see how songs may have changed from that starting point. Between the demo and the album versions, I've listened to Slowing Down (Long Time Coming) 150 times. I'm still not bored of it. I'm still not 100% sold on the Colin Frangicetto remix album, particularly on my favourite song, but I'll give him another listen and try to be objective.

There's another Circa Survive album coming soon, but after that Anthony plans to work on his next solo effort, Beautiful Things. I'm pretty excited for that.

Links:
- Last FM (with performance video)
- MySpace (LOL, username used to be moshtradamus)
- Twitter
- Facebook
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 04:58 pm
These two dorks are Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz and they're fucking awesome.



So these two guys are the bassists in their bands (Blink-182 & Fall Out Boy respectively), amongst other things. And they decided to make some pretty music together for the Almost Alice not!soundtrack.

Listen to "In Transit" on Grooveshark.
Or here )


Looking at the lyrics I'm going to guess these were mostly written by Pete. Which is awesome, because I love the way he has with words. And these words are a great example of that. You can feel the pain and longing in the words.

Lyrics )

And match that up with the hauntingly beautiful music and the way Mark sings the song? Absolute perfection. It has just the proper feel for a song about Alice, but at the same time able to stand independent of that. Which I think is important.

I admit that I didn't out and out love it at the very first listen. But, on the second listen, once I sat still and really paid attention it just grabbed me by the gut. Gave me that awful/wonderful feeling of need/want and loneliness. It has this feeling of contraction/expansion, pulling in close and then flying outward across the distance. And for all that the loneliness and want permeate the song, there's something to it that doesn't feel like all hope is lost.


Mark and Pete have mentioned that they may be doing other things with each other musically in the future. I sincerely hope they do, because they really seem to mesh well.

Links:
Mark: blog, twitter
Pete: blog, twitter
AmazonMP3: In Transit
iTunes: In Transit (as is often the case, iTunes is more costly than Amazon)

PS: If you feel inclined to look at the rest of the Almost Alice not!soundtrack, I can very enthusiastically recommend Welcome to Mystery by The Plain White T's and The Lobster Quadrille by Franz Ferdinand