Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is here!

Here's some music I recommend to get you into a festive mood.

This is first on the list because it's my favorite. I like every single song on all five discs, which can be purchased as a set for only 20 dollars. I've included the iTunes link, but if you're a Sufjan fan, I strongly recommend getting the physical set rather than downloading it, because it comes in really neat packaging and includes a booklet, a poster, and STICKERS. Oh man.
This one is a classic. You simply cannot have Christmas without Vince Guaraldi's famous music from the cartoon (which, incidentally, is also a classic.) I'm pretty sure it's against the law... or something. Anyway, get it. I remember last year I saw it at drugstores, Starbucks, and dozens of other places besides the usual record stores. They have it on iTunes, too, so you really have no excuse.
It's a cool indie version of Carol of the Bells, by The Bird and The Bee.

My Radiohead vinyl will be coming in the mail within the next week sometime (GLEE!), I will definitely be posting my thoughts on the album, as well as its companion disc. I still can't believe I decided to wait for the vinyl. Maybe I'll write my thoughts as I listen to it?? Who knows....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

pseudo-review: Hvarf-Heim

hi again.

I was going to review the new Sîgur Rós double EP Hvarf-Heim, but I don't really know what to say about it except:

It's incredible.

Hvarf really combines the best elements from their four LPs. 

Heim is six retellings of the songs you already love. Vaka and Samskeyti, in particular, hold some very good memories for me, and I adore the acoustic versions.

All of the new songs are fantastic, but my favorites are:
Hafsól (which just might be their best song yet)

and I couldn't possibly pick favorites from the other half.


of Montreal concert

so I saw Of Montreal at the ogden last night.

MGMT (opening act #1) pretty much bombed.

Grand Buffet (opening act #2) was much, much worse than MGMT.

Of Montreal then came on, and they pretty much rocked. There's something completely awesome about Kevin Barnes. I like his voice (lots).

The best song was Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse... but they followed it with a THIRTY MINUTE JAM SESSION. Not the good kind, either. This was the kind of jam session where the opening act comes up on stage with them, and play the same two chords over and over again. for thirty minutes.

besides that it was fun.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

( we don't really want freedom... )

...we want distraction.

and that's what we get.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

album review : The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

Before I start the review, I'll also recommend Beirut's first album, The Gulag Orkestar. It's really good, and it's built around the foundation of eastern European folk music. Awesome.
Where The Gulag Orkestar uses east Europe as inspiration, The Flying Club Cup uses France. This entire album is an homage to the French countryside, the French people, and French life. Automatically this made me very interested in listening to the album, because.... well, I love France. It also made me slightly worried, because I didn't want one of my favorite musicians to mischaracterize one of my favorite places. Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. Zach Condon does a splendid job of characterizing France in his music.
  In fact, I didn't even realize what a good job he had done until the third or fourth listen through the album. I then realized that the time I normally would have spent trying to analyse the instrumentation and songwriting style was completely occupied by just enjoying the music. Owen Pallett's string arrangements helped immensely in this area. The writing is so cohesive that I didn't even notice it, and instead the music just enthralled me.
Some standouts on the album are:
  • Nantes, a sorrowful chanson about someone seperated from his love
  • The Penalty, (embarrassingly enough, I'm not sure what the lyrics are about...)
  • Forks and Knives [La Fête], which is easily the best song on the album.
On the title track, there is an obvious Sufjan Stevens influence that made me smile, and the
pizzicato / xylophone ending of Forks and Knives is enough reason to buy this album. Absolutely
one of the best of this year.

album page, with INCREDIBLE blogotheque videos on it.