Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Flaming Lips -- The W.A.N.D.

This track from the Flaming Lips' soon-to-be-released album At War with the Mystics was put out on digital music utilities a few weeks ago. I've been listening to it way too much... And now I've found a streaming link that anyone can listen to instead of having to purchase a download, so I thought I should share.

Everyone: listen to this song. Just wonderful...

The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Architecture in Helsinki

I don't really know much about this band. I just listened to In Case We Die and enjoyed the majority of it immensely and wanted to put something up here. There's a few good ones, and there are all vastly different sounding from one another, so I'll give you a couple links here.

Don't have a lot to say about the songs themselves, either. But I find the band quite intriguing. From their slightly amateurish, yet endearing, sound... To the use of brass that would not work as well had they been professional horn players... And the 80's -ish keyboards don't bother me as much as I thought they would!

Give them a listen, I say.

Do the Whirlwind

It's Five

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus

Wordless Chorus (Real Audio)

(If you'd like another format, go here: My Morning Jacket Website)

Now we are going to look at a track from My Morning Jacket's new album, Z. This odd band from Louisville, Kentucky manages to cover so many different styles that there's no way to really classify them. On Rhapsody they are listed as "Alt Country", which I find extremely baffling, but I guess that's as good as any considering the band's variety of sounds.

The song is Wordless Chorus, and it opens the album with such a great sound that I have a hard time making it on to listen to the rest. The song is simple, and doesn't necessarily beg for your attention. Instead, it burrows it's way into your subconsciousness and becomes such a part of you as to be a soundtrack of life -- as if it's always existed in your head, but someone has finally recorded it. Am I making any sense here? Probably not, so just give it a listen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Of Montreal -- Penelope

Download the song! Penelope

I have just recently discovered Of Montreal. I can't even remember specifically how I first chose to spin them. That's the beauty of some of these online music subscriptions. At first I wasn't sure about the whole monthly fee and limited downloading and burning, but as it turns out I've discovered so many new bands that I've grown to love all because of hopping around on Rhapsody.

Penelope is from Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies: A Variety Of Whimsical Verse, a bizarre, yet incredibly catchy album from 2001. Of Montreal has released an album just this year entitled The Sunlandic Twins, and while enjoyable, I think Coquelicot and Satanic Panic in the Attic are better for the uninitiated.

This song, as well as the rest of Coquelicot, is very much based in the psychedelic pop of the 60s. What makes this noteworthy is they've managed to sound new and fresh at the same time; it's not psychedelic for the sake of being psychedelic, it just happens to be that way, if that makes any sense. While the lyrics are surreal, they are really a part of the larger concept here, so it's not nearly as random as it might seem taking it out of context like this.

I might revisit Of Montreal sometime later as while this is a great song, it's right in the middle of this psychedelic concept album, and that's not what all of their albums are about. Each album has it's own style and feel, in fact the most recent being "21st Century A.D.D. electro cinematic avant-disco"... seriously. For now, listen to Penelope and try to tell me that you don't find it catchy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

John Vanderslice -- Amitriptyline

This time I have a link! John Vanderslice -- Amitriptyline

If the link doesn't work, or if you are interested in hearing clips from other Vanderslice albums, go here: MP3s

This pick comes from John Vanderslice's Life and Death of an American Fourtracker. Yes, this is the second pick from Barsuk Records, but I can assure you that it's just a coincidence. I am not receiving any kickbacks for these. (Unless they want to give me some... Barsuk, you out there?) :-Þ

What brought on this pick is John Vanderslice's new album, Pixel Revolt. It just came out a couple weeks ago, and while it's pretty good, I can't help but feel it is missing something that all previous albums had. Maybe it's because all the other albums were so good, or maybe it's just that it takes a more mellow approach musically. Or it could be that I just haven't heard it enough, yet. Anyway, I still like it, and I wanted to share Vanderslice's goodness with a more traditional (at least for him) song.

Amitriptyline is all about textures. Yeah, usually I'd say something about being over-produced, but in this case, even if it was, it doesn't sound that way. This comes out of your speakers like a wall of sound, with so much for your ears to focus on that it's near impossible to just isolate one part (a practice I usually partake in -- I like to just listen to the bass, or drums, or something like that each time through to get a whole picture in my head). What keeps it from sounding over-produced is the focus on making this all work together. The extras weren't just thrown in for the sake of filling out the song, each little sound really has a place here.

"Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something." --Frank Zappa

Even though I don't think he was speaking on these terms, that quote came to my head while listening to this. There is substance here that you usually don't get with music. Almost like you can reach out and touch it as the sounds go past.

Oh, I really like everything about this track, but special mention to the bass chords leading into the chorus during "that's why I'm here." Just a great transition. *chills*

Friday, September 02, 2005

Abigail Grush -- Careful All The

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"Careful All The" is track number 10 from Abigail Grush's album The Phantom Beat. Overall, I really enjoy this album, and this would be one of the standout tracks along with "Time". I had a hard time picking which one of those to present, and finally chose the one I thought to be more singularly accessible.

At first this CD might sound like another Squirrel Nut Zippers kind of 50's folk swing or something. But what stands out for me is the darker edge present in most songs, with plenty of haunting passages reminiscent of The Residents. There is some unpleasantness to be heard here, but it's supposed to be that way as a kind of dissonant grittiness.

With "Careful All The" you get a little catchier and less dramatic song than, say, "Time", but there is still a lot to listen for in this short track. She manages to shift styles enough that it's hard to believe that after it's over it was just a little more than two minutes. Lyrically, well, I'm probably not the best to analyze inner meanings and whatnot, but there is some great imagery here. I especially like her use of sounds, as in her alliteration of "trying so sweetly to subtly sway you." In the end, rather than having the music and lyrics as separate entities, they are interwoven in such a way that the individual sounds are just as important as the melody she is singing with them.

If you are intrigued and would like to hear, just drop me an e-mail at fishbulb515@gmail.com.

Reformatting Time

Okay, I gave up on the whole review thing. I like talking about music, but I found it hard to write it all down like that as I tend to ramble. And even worse, looking back it seems I fail to make a point in most of that rambling. Added to that, I found it hard to choose what to write about as it had to be obscure enough that not everyone had heard it already, but something that people would at least be interested in hearing about.

So, I've decided to make a new format to do what I like to do best: introduce others to new music. I'm not sure the logistics of something like this yet, but I'll get started and figure that all out later. What I intend to do is start an MP3 blog where I will discuss a fairly unknown song and what I like about it. And then make it available to you to listen and then reply back with how wrong I am. ;)

We'll see if this actually works. Cross your fingers...