Travelled out of the greyness of Beijing yesterday . . . into the greyness of Shanghai. As the weather in Shanghai has definitely sucked (terrible, terrible polution and haze), I decided that I needed a New Music Tuesday to cope with the endless travel boredom. As I had it, iTunes had a stack of new stuff to buy. I decided on a few choice songs: "Float On" and "Ocean Breath Salty" from Modest Mouse, some classic Social Distortion ("Story of My Life" and "Ball and Chain") and some pop metal from Hoobastank.
The Modest Mouse was really what I was after. Had heard a good buzz on the band, but really hadn't listened to them. Let me say first: this wasn't what I expected. "Float On" has been used on some car commercial . . . and it is very hard to classify. It's a little airy, a little laid back but still interesting. Think "Soak Up The Sun" from Sheryl Crow. That said, still quite good. I've probably listened to it 10 time over the past day or so. I rated it "****" on the iPod. "Ocean Breath Salty" is less accessible, but still a decent song. I gave it only "***".
I bought the Social Distortion as a fail safe in case Modest Mouse sucked. As they didn't, these songs were purely bonuses. Both rock, and have rocked for quite a long time. I gave both "****".
That brings us to Hoobastank. Not sure why I bought this. I occasionally like the nu-metal / rap -- say Lincoln Park or Limp Bizkut (Don't laugh, I know you listen to crap at your house. I have an excuse because I am far from home). "The Reason" is just plain crap. Should've listened to more than just the iTunes :30 preview. Rated "*".
BTW Sony Music now has some cool RSS feeds. Of course, most of the bands suck but getting RSS feeds for tour dates is good stuff.