Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Jonas Sees in Color - Luck and Love
-------------This Thursday I'll be seeing Jonas Sees in Color for the first time, and I'm pretty excited to find out what they sound like live. If bands have more than roughly five members, I'm always interested in stage dynamics and how they all mesh together. Judging by their sound and their lineup of shows this fall, I have high hopes. "Luck and Love" drew my attention because of the chorus, mostly because it makes you stop and listen. Jonas has that grab effect - once you start listening you want to hear more.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Baths - Hall
-----------With all of the squeaks and blurbs and blips, Baths couldn't be classified in one specific genre. Their formula seems to be melodic and distorted, which happens to sound pretty creative in an ambient sense. The band from Chatsworth, California make music that evokes some of the same whimsical qualities of MGMT and the Flaming Lips (the lead singer sounds exactly like Wayne Coyne). They're going to be on tour throughout the U.S. and will even make a stop at a little local venue I used to frequent all the time. Check out their dates and their music.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Gucci Mane - It's Gucci Time
--------------Believe it or not, but SPIN magazine named Gucci Mane's upcoming release, The Appeal, as one of the 25 Albums that Matter Most this fall. If you like hearing hard, dirty south rap and prefer your rappers straight out of prison, this is an album for you. The beat of "It's Gucci Time" is minimal and pop-driven, which can be expected throughout the album. It matters because Mane has grown out of just doing party tracks, even though "It's Gucci Time" says otherwise.It includes collaborations with Pharrell, Rick Ross and Swizz Beatz and goes on sale September 28.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Colder - To the Music
--------A friend of mine who gets a weekly load of new music for his coffee shop introduced me to Colder this afternoon. It's catchy electro-pop is a product of French DJ and graphic designer, Marc Nguyen Tan. Take a listen to any tracks off Heat, especially "To the Music" and "Fade Away." Tan's music may attract fans of Joy Division and the like. Check it out on this shortened version on Youtube.
This is where we are now.
After a couple of days of moving and exploring my new home. Being a student affords me the opportunity to always move around and find new people to meet who have tons of new music. Lately I've been channeling my decorating skills and catching up with old friends.
Soon I'll be back to working shows and figuring out who's new in the music biz. I'll keep up with posting more frequently.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Marvin Gaye - Distant Lover
---------------Surprise, surprise, Marvin Gaye is responsible for more than just one song that makes girls scream so loud their vocal chords blister and snap. Gaye could very well be responsible for half of the procreation of the seventies with his hits. But why would today, a random August morning, be a day to recognize his music?
I saw an editorial in Elle magazine featuring Justin Beiber on holiday with a slightly older woman, a.k.a. Kim Kardashian. And while Gaye wasn't a small teenager when he made his name in the biz, the shrieks from his audience and Beiber's are one in the same, just different generations.
"Distant Lover" is a quintessential romantic slow-dance. Gaye croons and swoons over the woman that probably doesn't know he exists, and honestly, what better way to connect with the socially insecure thoughts of a teenage girl than nonexistence? The Beibs and Gaye totally get the ladies, no matter how old or young they may be.
More new things coming soon! I'll be getting into more concerts this fall and the drought of concert photography will be quenched soon.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Flogging Molly - Sentimental Johnny
------------I'm chalking the reasons for this post up to the fact that I just saw a program on PBS entitled "Celtic Thunder." I thought it would be some kind of MMA match filmed in Ireland or something, but it was a concert by the group, well, Celtic Thunder. They had mossy green digi-fog going over the stage and extremely attractive Irishmen singing about nautical metaphors and love.
So I dug around for my Celtic-inspired blog post and fell on Flogging Molly. They're from L.A. but their loud yells and outrageous energy keep crowds going as if they were bred and borne on Guinness. Get "Sentimental Johnny" from their debut album, Swagger.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
------------If my posts sound a little rushed and happen after 10:00 p.m., I apologize - I'm in the process of moving and it's been an extremely consuming task. But Jenny Lewis' "Acid Tongue" is a fantastic unravelling of my nerves.
Acid Tongue is the slow-dance after the more uptempo sounds of Rilo Kiley. The album characterizes Lewis as an open-diary-with-extreme-metaphors kind of gal. Her voice epitomizes the lyrical fluency of a songbird, and each note is a lullaby that indie folk babies would totally dig over Mozart.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Yashin - Get Loose!
----------------Take a look through AlternativePress.com's AP&R section and you'll definitely find some hit and miss acts making their way through free shows in church halls and local gigs. Depending on your mood or what you haven't heard in a while, you could find some nifty treasures.
Yashin sounds as if the music beeps like an orchestra of robots and has an interestingly pretty indie girl at the mic, but not quite. The six-piece shredders from the U.K. have a dynamic sound incorporating anthem-friendly guitars and intense, energetic vocals. Yashin have released a full-length entitled Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them. Check them out and give us your thoughts.
And by the way, their album cover looks like my blog background...odd.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Even with all of the new music picked up at the library a few days ago, today was a day for vinyl shopping. I explored a little outside of my usual section which should be called "Anything Older Than 1983," in favor of a newer artist. That usually means spending more on the record and surprisingly fewer options, but it's a risk worth taking if you find the perfect missing piece to your collection. And today it was a corner piece: The Black Album.
This is the only the third album I've bought wrapped up and scratch-free. Sometimes I can't understand why a $23 new album could be pitted against an $8 copy that's been opened and played once. But Jay-Z's Black Album was offensively on sale, and it seemed too easy to pass.
The top pictures are pulled from the photo collage included in the album. Seems a little cheesy for Jay-Z, a little too thug-scrapbooky, but appealing to dweebs like me who want to know more about the people behind recording and producing.
Middle pics: the list. With the help of Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke, Hova produced one of his most successful and appreciated albums of his career. You might recognize a couple of hits with "Change Clothes," "99 Problems" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," which make any hit off "The Blueprint 3" seem like mixtape throwaways.
But the real stuff, typical with any rapper, is found on B-sides. "Justify My Thug" and "My 1st Song" along with "Lucifer" are some of Jay's crowning achievements. Take a listen to the whole album, including interludes. The progression is remarkable, the themes dark and unashamed.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This itty bitty image uploaded from my phone is what can happen if you decide to get music from the library. It's a humongous stack - a four-year old girl helped me carry them! It's free like illegal downloads, but you're using resources beyond your own computer that won't give you a virus.
So far I've uploaded Ledisi's Lost and Found and Muddy Waters Mannish Boy. In the stack is a variety of artists like Neko Case, Gregory Isaacs, John Mayer and T.I. It's going to be quite the challenge finding today's song; I've got lots to sift through and still need to get stuff done today.
If you're a student like me, college libraries usually have killer CD libraries kept with the DVDs and recording equipment. It couldn't hurt to try it out, especially if you're the type to procrastinate.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
For those of you who have never seen Moogfest on the lineup of festivals in the past, it's because it's never happened before. In the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, artists ranging from Thievery Corporation to Big Boi and MGMT will perform in a three-day festival in honor of Bob Moog, inventor and genius behind the Moog Synthesizer.
The festival is happening the 28th, 29th, and 30th of October. Ideal in comparison to summer fests that destroy the ozone and make you die of heat stroke, right? Check out the lineup and more FAQs about the festival at moogfest.com.
Tim Cohen - Let's Black Out
------------Don't check out of the post just because of the Jersey Shore-esque song title. Tim Cohen isn't a house-music airhorn blaster. On his second solo LP, Cohen sounds like Fleet Foxes on kush, with droning vocals and harmonica lumbering slowly and beautifully through songs like "Let's Black Out." With other songs like "Haunted Hymns" that have bopping piano and bells, there's no wrong move for Cohen on his new album, Laugh Tracks. Anyone who enjoys Bon Iver and the likes will like Tim Cohen's everything about Laugh Tracks down to the notebook-doodle album cover.
Monday, August 9, 2010
One Republic - Secrets
------------------It's a shame One Republic made their names over "Apologize." Not that it's a terrible song that was played over and over again on the radio and remixed 20 times...but they have other, and frankly better, material.
"Secrets" is what every artist wished they had in the throes of writer's block. Songwriter Ryan Tedder asks his audience what they want to hear in a song in form of a slow-rock anthem. It's a confession of confusion and hope that people would understand the "lack" of creativity Tedder is experiencing. Take a listen to the song from their 2009 album, Waking Up.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
India Arie - Beautiful
----------------I was left a sticky note on my laptop that said "India Arie...check out her music!" with a little music note next to it. So I thought if this person went through the trouble to leave a lavender-colored pencil message, I'd check it out.
Fifteen Grammy noms. Impressed? Arie has kept her soulful, sunny and melodic writings under the mainstream radar.
In 2001 her debut album Acoustic Soul went multi-platinum. The New York Times calls her an artist of substance, a complimentary understatement to describe the expansive success of this artist. "Beautiful" is the perfect first-taste of Arie's simple, open-hearted writing.
Friday, August 6, 2010
John Lennon - Watching the Wheels (acoustic)
-----------------"Imagine" is great, but John Lennon did, in fact, write other songs in his career after the Fab Four. This one in particular is a pleasantly content tribute to his independence, released one year after his death in 1980 from the album Double Fantasy. Lyrics of not being "on the ball" anymore and deduced to a case of insanity make Lennon sound perfectly sane.
"Watching the Wheels" may very well be the ideal retirement song of a man who's moving to Florida to a bungalow on the beach - no malice, just mellow. Get "Watching the Wheels" from Double Fantasy.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Caribou - Odessa
-----------------There's not too much that I've liked so far in the new season of Project Runway. For those who don't know the show is basically about a mom-supermodel and an old man judging the designs of dramatic and overly charismatic designers. They always feature the designs of the week in a runway show, and I couldn't help but think "Odessa" was a perfect choice for some kind of Alexander McQueen show.
It's edgy and upbeat with an animalistic cawing, which is pretty much the world of fashion. Get "Odessa" from the canadian band's album, Swim.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Justin Levinson - Waiting for Someone to Love Me
--------------Occasionally the most uptempo song I'll listen to collects dust and moves faster than paint drying. But that's alright, especially when a whistle and meandering piano are the culprits. Justin Levinson sings "Waiting for Someone to Love Me" as if a child of Bob Dylan; intentionally whiny, but bruised enough to be taken seriously. Listen to the song at a recent live performance in July.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Arcade Fire - Month of May
------------Arcade Fire's new album, The Suburbs, unexpectedly jumped from ragtime piano in "The Suburbs" to hard-knock punk riffs in "Month of May." But I suppose with a group of seven playing all types of different instruments from piano to glockenspiel, the overall creative zen will be paradoxically off-balance.
All of Suburbs melds together without much of a stumble. Suburbs hosts songs that sound like lost relics from CBGB (Month of May) to burlesque rock live bootlegs (Modern Man).
Arcade Fire made an album that sounds like a Pandora station or a compilation CD playing over v-necks and floral-patterned sundresses at Urban Outfitters.
The Quietus magazine said frontman Win Butler's efforts on the album suggest "forward momentum and maturity" in the lyrics. The album sounds like a kid growing up in a world of brick houses and fences, green grass and dogs, and the variety of sounds in the album indicates each member's different experiences growing up in suburbia. As a result, there is something for everyone on The Suburbs, you'll just have to hear it to find your address.
Suburban War (Live at Sherbrooke)
Ready to Start
Month of May
We Used to Wait
Monday, August 2, 2010
Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I am
------------I was on the road today and had a lovely chance to explore Sirius radio. I've obviously not been living under a rock and have heard of satellite radio, but since the mean machine I drive doesn't have it, I never get to hear stations like CoffeeHouse. I wrote down song after song to upload in my library, old and new, like "The Way I Am." This songbird selection of oohing and aahing devotion is a pop favorite of 2006. Michaelson spends most of her time collaborating these days, but this one is her own, timeless jem. Get it from her album, Girls and Boys.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Welcome to the new month! Alright, so the posting has seemed pretty infrequent this summer, and admittedly, this year. Lots has been going on in 2010, but never fear - you'll be hearing some killer stuff from here on out.
Expect lots of concert photos, album reviews, new songs and hopefully some artist interviews. I hope you're just as excited as I am for a new month of music!