Headphones 9th and 10th graders review promos for us

This summer I taught a class on music, culture, and
journalism for ninth and tenth graders in Houston. We listened to Brian Eno and
talked about sound poetry, and it was great. Then I got the idea: I write for
TMT... why don't I ask Mr P for some promos for my kids? Although my students
may be very much familiar with mainstream music and some of the more well-known
characters of the Houston rap scene, it sort of goes without saying that they
don't (yet) have a favorite track on Ege Bamyasi. Different age group,
different backgrounds, different tastes. I wanted to see what they could do.

I gave each student a relatively esoteric promo, i.e., a CD that they would not
come across on their own, and I gathered the results. My co-teacher and I did
some light editing, but we mainly helped the kids achieve the reviews that they
wanted to write. While they all had trouble identifying similar artists, they
each chose on their own how they would articulate the experience of listening to
their CD. They might not be as "qualified" as some of us who know a few more
bands, styles, etc., but they have provided a unique voice that does not often
get heard.

According to some, our mass-mediated culture, even with or especially because of
the internet, is increasingly "narrow-casting" the masses. The theory suggests
that our socially constructed tastes and interests are segregating us. Different
demographics are growing more and more self-contained and polarized as the TV
subjects us to distorted, over-simplified, and false-reality images of other
class-members and races. Advertising agencies have become experts at creating
brand cultures and their own "sign-systems." We remind ourselves of who we are
by visiting our bookmarked web pages and our online community profiles. We wear
headphones. Or, maybe we don't?

I invite you to consider the following questions as you read these reviews: are
these reviews any more or less effective than those written by "qualified
writers"? Do these reviews provide some kind of insight that your more
traditional review would not?



styles: alternative

others: n/a


Hyrdahead 2006

rating: 2/5

reviewer: chibunna

Knut's CD Alter is a combination of different sounds and beats. The
sounds range from car engine stuttering to a rocket taking off, and they are all
very unique to each artist. The weird and unusual sounds make the listener feel
amped and energized. There are a few tracks on the CD that are slower and will
put the listener in a gloomy mood.

The main purpose of these artists as I see is to surprise the listener and keep
him/her on the edge of his/her seat. All in all, this CD was OK for the goth and
heavy metal fans.

1. Dither – dither vs Knut
2. Dalek – deadverse remix
3. JK Broadrick – h/armless
4. Mick Harris – 5 turn grinner mix
5. Ad's – Repressed Babylon
6. Spectre – Pyschopathic Engine
7. Oren Ambarchi + Robin Fox + Anthony Pateras – Karn Boys
8. KK Null – Dekompozition Kknutll
9. Francisco Lopez – Untitled #154
10. Asmus Tietchens – Not Swiss Made
11. Lucas Tamarit + Julien Sauser – Whacked Out (Un Espirit Dans Un Corps Sain
12. Lad + Andres – Engine Pillsmix
13. Seth Svollensen – El Nino (collage Mix)
14. Ontayso – Reknutcut



styles: Hawaiian, Classical, "Mexican ‘Cops'"

others: Dave Matthews Band


Recall, 2006

rating: 3/5

reviewer: OMG

Since he was a child, Jehro has always dreamed of being an artist, but at the
age of 20, he left home ready to make his dream come true. His first solo album,
L'arbre et le fruit, was released in 1999 after making his way to Paris,
but I'm here to discuss his latest album, which he decided to call Jehro.

Jerome's Jehro has a total of 13 songs including 2 bonus tracks. His
songs can relate to people in ways you could not imagine. They are the stories
of ordinary people like yourself, a fact which may help you to connect to his
music more. Jehro has a voice distinct form every other artist I've heard. His
first track "Everything" describes how he had a dream and was faced with
challenges, but he kept pursuing his dream. In "I Want Love," the beat is
consistent, and the lyrics tell a story of how he wants to feel needed and how
everybody needs to feel love. The track "Shantytown Carnival" is my favorite.
Jerome describes a regular carnival which ends with strangers in love. This
album's sounds are easy to listen to, and the beat keeps you wanting to hear
more. Jehro has a unique style that can be listened to while doing pretty much
anything besides dancing.

1. Everything
2. I Want Love
3. Long Is The Way
4. Sweet
5. Continuando
6. Stand On
7. Mama
8. Rock You Tender
9. Shantytown Carnival
10. Salima
11. All I Want



styles: electronic natural sounds

others: n/a


Onitor, 2006

rating: 4/5

reviewer: martin

Relaxing. At home, laying on your bed, dreaming about your life. That is what
this CD is. It is what your mind needs when it is stressed out. To calm it down.
This CD has a natural sound to it. As for "Twilight Zone," it opens up with
ocean waves. It reminds you of the Virgin Islands. Now, you might think that
music like this might put you to sleep, but it doesn't. Like on "True
Connection," there are subtle beats that I related to and that kept me in touch
with the music. On "The Old Man Looks at the Window," it puts you back into that
solemn mode. "Seventh Heaven / After Life" was a nice outro that ended the CD,
now that one might put you to sleep.

1. Twilight Zone
2. Araki's Dream
3. True Connection
4. To Dance With the White Dog
5. Lost Land
6. The Old Man Looks at the Window
7. Memory of John Astor
8. Kotodama
9. Maboroshi
10. Pilot Fish
11. Seventh Heaven / After Life

So Many


styles: alternative rock

others: Kaki King, Green Day (sound and voice) / Ashley Parker Angel
(voice), AFI (lyrics)


Skrocki, 2006

rating: 5/5

reviewer: allhail

After a hectic tour promoting their 2004 album, When I Explode, the
alternative rock band So Many Dynamos released their newest album,
. This new album is electrifying with many captivating, pulsating
beats that demand foot-tapping. After about the first ten seconds of the album,
the reader is yanked from their surroundings to another place.

"Saturday Night, Sunday Morning" begins with a beat that resembles techno. The
first time I heard it, I wasn't sure of what to expect. However, when the first
notes dropped, I was sucked from my bedroom into a techno club. I could feel the
music running through my veins while someone asked me to dance.

From the rough rock notes of "Progress" to the abstract lyrics of "How High the
Moon," Flashlights is certainly the best album that has been released by
the group yet.

1. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
2. Search Party
3. Progress
4. Home is Where the Box Wine is
5. How Hight the Moon
6. In Every Direction
7. Inventing Gears
8. This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
9. We Vibrate, We Do
10. In Our Sleep
11. Let's Move Mountains



styles: pop, electronic, techno, soft electronica

others: n/a

Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

Drive-Thru 2006

rating: 4.5/5

reviewer: ariel

hellogoodbye's Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! is techno-pop mixed
with a touch of Hawaiian flavor. While some songs sound like electronica, others
are a lot slower. Their first single, "Here in Your Arms," is a very fun, up-tempo song. You would hear it in dance clubs across the nation. The group's lead
vocalist Forrest Kline says the album is about his previous or current
girlfriends, so most the songs seem to be love songs. "Figures A and B (Means
You and Me)" is my favorite song because it's a very catchy pop/soft-rock song.

1. All Of Your Love
2. Here (In Your Arms)
3. All Time Lows
4. Stuck To You
5. Homewrecker
6. Oh, It Is Love
7. Baby, It's Fact
8. Figures A And B (Means You and Me)
9. I Saw It On Your Keyboard
10. Touchdown Turnaround (Don't Give Up on Me)
11. Two Weeks In Hawaii



styles: n/a

others: n/a


Mutek, 2006

rating: 4/5

reviewer: alexis

What would a recording of space sound like? Pure silence or a sequence of
unanticipated booms and squeaks? Eco suggests the latter. The tracks
range in speed which may give you a feeling of an "ultra-high." Great for
"me-time" such as when you are trying to relax and gather yourself. Each track
adds heavy bass, piano, soothing rhythms, and unusual sounds on top of one
another to create ultimate pieces.

1. Abstracciones En Reversa
2. Rastafari Droids
3. Dilatacion Neuronal
4. Nacimiento De R2D2
5. Macrosecuantico
6. Virus En La Red
7. Doctor Silla
8. Compressin Infinitesimal
9. Micorbios
10. De Silicio
11. Vida Zencilla
12. Mucha Latencia

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