Noel Gallagher – The Death Of You And Me

Noel goes solo.


Oasis: Time Flies…1994-2009

RIYL: The Beatles, The Faces, The Beatles

Here’s the straight statistical dope about Time Flies…1994-2009, the new 27-track two-disc set of nearly every song Oasis released as a single: they had eight #1 singles in their native UK, and 23 Top Ten singles overall. In fact, only two of their singles didn’t crack the UK Top Ten. They were even huge in America for a while; their 1996 album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? went quadruple platinum, and the albums on each side of it, 1994’s Definitely Maybe and 1997’s Be Here Now, sold a million copies as well. Radiohead would ultimately steal their crown, but for a moment, Oasis were England’s biggest band by a mile and one of the biggest bands in the world.

They are also quite possibly the most overrated band to ever walk the earth.

Oasis - Time Flies - COLOR1

Which is not to suggest that the band had nothing to offer; principal songwriter Noel Gallagher came up with some genius moments of modern-day rock riffage when he put some effort into it, namely “Wonderwall,” “Champagne Supernova” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Most of Gallagher’s songs, though, are all pomp and no heart, tailor-made to get the festival crowds waving their arms but are otherwise empty, hollow attempts at Beatlesque grandeur. Rarely have songs tried so hard to sound so effortless.

Effort is only half the problem here, though; what Oasis really could have used is an editor. Was there any reason for “All Around the World” to be over nine and a half minutes long (two key changes!), or for “D’You Know What I Mean” – which is surely the inspiration for “You All Everybody,” the one hit wonder by “Lost” castmate Charlie’s band Drive Shaft – to clock in just under eight minutes? Even the songs that have a decent hook, like “Some Might Say,” don’t know when to walk the fuck away. Thirteen of the 27 songs here have run times over five minutes, and there is frankly no reason for it. A song need not be long in order to be epic; that’s a distinction Oasis never understood.

One thing working in the favor of Time Flies… is that it’s priced to sell, going for the price of a traditional single disc. Smart move, that, since anyone casually interested in the band will now get the songs they want plus a boatload more without spending much more money. If only the band had been as economical with the songs themselves. (Big Brother/Columbia 2010)

Oasis MySpace page
Click to buy Time Flies from Amazon


21st Century Breakdown: Overl00ked: James Eldred’s List of the Best Music of the 2000s That You Never Heard

A lot of music came out this decade, some might say too much. (Definitely too much. -Ed.) Definitely more than any one person could keep track of. So as a public service, in our ongoing series on Music in the 2000s, here are some of the best songs and albums that you most likely haven’t heard (especially if you live in America). Some of these tracks are by established artists that have waned in popularity, so no one took note of their new material no matter how good it was. Others are by up-and-coming young artists, so hopefully they’ll serve as a solid foundation for which to build a solid fan base off of in the future. But sadly the best of the bunch here has since disbanded, so way to go for not discovering them sooner.

10. Oasis: “Falling Down (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Remix)”
Most of latter-day Oasis was okay, but boring. And their last album (if their recent break-up sticks) didn’t really change that. However, this 22-minute remix of that album’s best single was a home run. Done by the guys from the Future Sound Of London, it transforms the simple Brit-pop ditty into a psychedelic freakout of epic proportions. Bring your own acid.

9. Polly Scattergood: “I Hate The Way”
Definitely an artist to watch in the coming decade, Scattergood lived up to her name on her debut, delivering a scattershot collection of piano-based rock that missed the mark as much as it hit it. And nothing on that record fulfilled the promise of this opening number, an seven-minute confessional that tumbles back and forth between “You Oughta Know” anger and “Landslide”-style sadness. If she keeps this up, she could be the next Tori Amos.

8. Division Day: “Ricky”
Beartrap Island was a perfectly fine record with perfectly fine songs. It was also boring as hell. The exception being this pulse-pounding trip into paranoia filled about one hell of a dangerous river (or something, it’s kind of vague). Since Beartrap Island, Division Day has changed their sound dramatically, so they’ll never record a track like this again, which is a shame since it’s what they do best, even if they don’t know it.

7. King Biscuit Time: “I Walk The Earth”
Steve Mason from the Beta Band seemingly had so many great songs in him during first half of this millennium that he released some solo under this awful stage name. The best of the bunch was this beautiful, minimalist track, which also had an awesome video. The Beta Band is gone, but King Biscuit Time remains, and Mason is still releasing amazing music under the moniker, but this track from the rarely heard No Style EP remains the best of the bunch.

6. The Young Knives: “Terra Firma”
Man, British nerd rock is way nerdier than American nerd rock. Check out the chorus for this wacky little number: “Fake rabbit, real snake, terra firma terra firma!” Wait, what? Don’t think about it too much, your head might explode. If you know a TMBG fan and you want to get them into post-punk, this track, and Superabundance, the 2008 album it comes from, is the way to go.

5. Ludo: Broken Bride
Ludo is a band on the rise for sure, and their 2008 album You’re Awful I Love You was one of the smartest pop-punk albums in recent memory (and you can read my interview with lead singer Andrew Volpe here). However, they preceded that record with this infinitely bizarre EP, a rock opera about a time-traveling scientist trying to save the life of his wife who died in a car accident in 1985. Instead his invention takes him to the time of dinosaurs, where he has to fight pterodactyls, and eventually to the Rapture. The subject matter is done dead serious and beautiful, if a little impossible to describe.

4. Tub Ring: “Bite the Wax Tadpole”
Mr. Bungle inspired (and produced) hardcore metal about a guy who dreams about a formula for cold fusion but is disappointed with its texture and flavor. It’s twice as awesome as it sounds. This Chicago-based act opens for Mindless Self Indulgence a lot, but they might even be weirder than that lot. Which is really saying something.

4. Bran Van 3000: Discosis
Best known for their minor-hit “Drinking In LA” from their 1997 debut Glee, Bran Van 3000 (aka BV3) really knocked one out of the park for their 2001 sophomore album. There was the brilliantly funky “Astounded” (which featured an unused Curtis Mayfield vocal), the spacey pop of “Speed” and the crazy two parter “Go Shoppin’/More Shopping,” which featured dub-style rap and Pet Shop Boys-style singing all at once. Unfortunately what they didn’t have was American distribution, since their label, the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal, folded right before the record was due to be released.

2. Air Traffic: “Charlotte”
Where the hell did this one come from? Air Traffic’s debut album Fractured Life was good but bland, with the sole exception being this brilliant piece of Brit-pop so good that it not only rivals anything Oasis and Blur did this decade, but last decade as well. This was a hit single in the UK, but not nearly as big as it should have been. In America I think it’s a safe bet that next to no one has heard it. Damn shame, since it’s probably one of the 10 best songs of the decade.

1. Vaux: Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice
One of the greatest musical tragedies of the 20th century so far is that no one has heard of this now-defunct Denver rock band who truly defied all genres with their brilliant (and entirely unheard) second album. The band was signed to Atlantic in 2005, but the label refused to release the album for reasons beyond me (they must not want to be associated with commercially viable rock music with artistic merit). The album sounds like a hardcore version of Muse’s Black Holes and Revelations, which is really amazing when you consider it was complete (if unreleased) a full year before that record.


Liam Finn & Eliza Jane: Champagne in Seashells

RIYL: Crowded House, The Beatles, Oasis

Liam Finn, son of Crowded House’s Neil Finn, is back with a five song EP that is somewhat of a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2008 release, I’ll Be Lightning. And when Paste says that 2008 project “could be an Abbey Road outtake,” quite honestly, where do you go from there? So Finn did the smart thing and teamed up with band mate and fellow Aussie singer/songwriter Eliza Jane Barnes to create something of a diversion. The result is Champagne in Seashells, and it’s not totally what you might expect by pairing a male and female singer/songwriter together. In fact, “Long Way to Go” is more like bouncy hipster fare – you know, the kind of thing you might hear in a clothing store in New York City and think to yourself that you have to find out what that ear candy is you’re listening to. But there is also rainy day brooding as on “Won’t Change My Mind,” and Eliza proves she is every bit worthy of being in Finn’s company when she takes the lead on “On Your Side.”

Liam Finn Eliza Jane

Side project or not, this is a damn good EP and proof that the Finn genes are also, well, damn good. (Yep Roc 2009)

Finn/Jane Website


Your favorite band sucks: bands and artists the Bullz-Eye music writers just “don’t get”

Every music lover has been there – in front of the television or a set of speakers, listening for the first time to the work of a critically revered artist whose songs are supposed to change the way you look at the world…only to come away wondering what all the hype was about. For the iconoclastic among us, these moments are opportunities to prove what independent thinkers we are; for everyone else – a group that often appears to include virtually every name-brand music critic on the planet – they’re opportunities to turn off your ears, nod your head, and smile. What kind of self-respecting music writer doesn’t love the music of Bruce Springsteen? U2? Elvis Costello? A total hack, right?

Your favorite band sucks Maybe. Or maybe we tend to forget that one of the most wonderful things about art is the utterly objective way we respond to it. One establishment’s treasure can be one lonely listener’s source of constant befuddlement, consternation or outright rage – and with that in mind, your Bullz-Eye Music staff put its heads together and drew up a list of all the bands and artists we’re supposed to love…but don’t. Each of the writers who contributed to this piece is speaking solely for himself, and you’re sure to disagree with some of the names mentioned here – and, of course, that’s sort of the point. But enough of our introductory babble – let’s break down some critical idols!

The Doors
“…don’t even think about describing their sound as “timeless”; you’ll be hard pressed to find music as trapped in time as these peyote-fueled dirges, and no one summed up the life and legacy of Jim Morrison – whose death was as brilliant a career move as you’ll ever see – better than Denis Leary: ‘I’m drunk, I’m nobody. I’m drunk, I’m famous. I’m drunk, I’m fucking dead.'”

Bruce Springsteen
“Perhaps Jello Biafra put it best when he referred to Bruce Springsteen as ‘Bob Dylan for jocks.’ But I can sum up what I dislike about the majority of the Boss in one word: Glockenspiel.”

Pink Floyd
“If you’re 14 and discovering pot, Pink Floyd’s a must. Hell, Dark Side of the Moon is practically a gateway drug in and of itself. If you’re out of high school and still into ’em, you’ve got a problem.”

Conor Oberst
“…his songs are duller than a steak knife in a prison cafeteria. I’ve tried repeatedly to ‘get’ Oberst’s work, but each time, I come away further convinced that his music is an elaborate prank hatched by the editors of Pitchfork.”

To read the rest of the bands Bullz-Eye doesn’t get, click here.