Mar 082006
Authors: Hailey McDonald

Complete originality is a nearly impossible goal to meet. That is, unless you only perform a song once, and it is comprised of completely spontaneous selections of several instruments surrounding you that you just happen to know how to skillfully play.

The Boulder-based group Zilla embodies all the aforementioned. They are classified into the electronica genre of music, but to label the group into a specific section of music is difficult. Their new album, "Egg," which was released in summer 2005,will give you a taste of their unique style. Using every musical instrument from guitar to conga drums to the hammered dulcimer, the trio produces music that sounds like a blend of smooth jazz and techno with some Asian influence.

The description I offer doesn't quite do the band justice. Their music is more of an experience rather than the manufactured three-and-a-half minute sideshows of pop culture force-fed to us by music industry giants. Zilla offers a product for you to make your own, much like a Grimm's fairytale. You will take what you want out of their music.

It is very easy to listen to the album and deem it crap after about 45 seconds into the first song, or you can appreciate it for being true art and its masters for devoting themselves to a craft that has been polluted by stars of diluted talent claiming to be making "modern" music.

The sound is laid-back for the most part, and it is fairly easy to tell the entirety of the album is completely improvisational. I would probably never listen to Zilla on a road trip or at a house party, but I imagine that they are quite interesting to see in a live performance. In their own element, I would be phenomenal to see the group make the music the way they do.

If you are looking for a new group to chill to or to follow on the road, Zilla may be just what you are looking for. The group comes to the Aggie Theatre on April 22.

Foo Fighters' drummer learns to fly without flock

3 out of 5 rammies

"My name is Taylor Hawkins. I play drums in a band called the Foo Fighters. I really love my gig, but like a lot of drummers I am a frustrated songwriter." This sentence is the first of many in the "about me" section of the MySpace profile for Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders.

As most bands do, the Foo Fighters have developed a case of "I'm not the lead singer, and I don't get enough attention to satisfy this never-ending craving that all started with the first taste of fame so I have to start my own new, cool band in order to prove to the world, that I, too, have talent."

All this, or Taylor Hawkins just loves music.

His new side project aims for a blend of classic rock with a twist of alternative sound. The Riders' debut album (release date set for March 21) throws out some hints of James Taylor and Tom Petty, but misses the target.

The CD is enjoyable, yet Hawkins fails to escape the Foo Fighters sound and the songs turn out sounding exactly what you would count on from a drummer running his own show. Fortunately, I don't think many will hold up high expectations for the band.

If you are a die-hard fan of the Fighters, then I imagine Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders will be to your liking, but don't get your hopes up for Hawkins to produce the next Nirvana.

3 out of 5 rammies

Hailey McDonald can be reached at

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