Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Won't Thank Myself. I Made A Fine Display. I'll Raise My Hands And Yours To Sing This Song Or Any Other One. `Cause They're All The Same.

Listening to Fields, I can't help but feel slightly disappointed. Not in their music mind you. But with the fact that they're not fucking huge right now. Imagine The Sundays with a slightly heavier but more hopeful sound or a more focused My Bloody Valentine and you're halfway there. Throw in some gorgeous vocal interplay by keyboardist Thoruun Antonia and guitarist Jamie Putnam and stellar production by Michael Bienhorn (Soundgarden, Hole, Herbie Hancock) and voila: you've got one heck of a stellar major label debut. Sorry for the brief review but I'm out of town in Philly and short on time. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Fields: Song For The Fields

Fields: If You Fail We All Fail (highly rec'd!!)

Fields: Skulls And Flesh And More

Fields: You Don't Need This Song (highly rec'd!!)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stop And Wait A Sec. Oh When You Look At Me Like That My Darling, What Did You Expect? I Probably Still Adore You With Your Hands Around My Neck.

I miss your laugh. That deep throated cackle that wore thin on some people, you told me once. How that's possible I have no idea. I adored it. The reason I bring this up is that I magine you laughing when I tell you how much I dig the new Arctic Monkey's album. "The Arctic Monkey's? You trendy prick" is how I imagine you responding. "But wait," I plead,eager to to change your mind. "This isn't the sophomore album you'd expect. It's dark and full of substance. A real leap forward for the group. No longer are their lyrics permeated with second hand recounts of mates nights out and rubbish birds. This is the real deal. Life through the eyes of of a band thrust unexpectedly into the limelight. Failed romances. Fleeting dailiances." I imagine you'd nod your head and slip the album into your stereo, eager to see if I'm preaching bullshit or the truth. But you know better than to second guess me. For your listening (dis) pleasure:

Arctic Monkeys: 505 (highly rec'd!!)

Arctic Monkeys: Fluorescent Adolescent (highly rec'd!!)

Arctic Monkeys: Brianstorm

Arctic Monkeys: Do Me A Favour (highly rec'd !!)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Five Alive Mix

I know that the new album doesn't drop until mid-July but I can't help myself. I've been Spoon-ified as of late. Between previewing the phenomenal new tracks and digging through their back catalogue I just can't seem to get enough. Enjoy this mix of new tracks and rare gems. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Spoon: You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (new and highly rec'd !!)

Spoon: My First Time Vol. 3

Spoon: Revenge! (highly rec'd!!)

Spoon: I Didn't Come Here To Die

Spoon: I Turn My Camera On (John McEntire remix)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I Haven't Wanted To Do Anything For A Long Time. But Whatever You Got Right Now Would Probably Suit Me Fine.

It always ratchets me down a couple of notches but I can't help it. I love listening to Elliott Smith. The twin doppelganger voices, the piercing guitar, the intense and hushed melodies. It's a fucking bummer but I do it anyway, like a lovesick junkie. In our house Sundays are always reserved for record store excursions and today proved bountiful with the purchase of Smith's second posthumous release New Moon. A double album that mines through Elliott's vault of unreleased gems, NM comes across more as an unearthed full album and not like a handful of tracks hastily cobbled together for mass consumption and dollar wasting. Seaching through record bins for that tiny kernel of aural joy isn't unlike spending time going through an artist's unreleased material, and you can feel the time and love put into this project. Perfect for those lazy days when the only thing that can bring you comfort is the sound of an old friend's voice. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Elliott Smith: Angel In The Snow (highly rec'd!!)

Elliott Smith: Going Nowhere

Elliott Smith: Whatever (Folk Song In C) (highly rec'd!!)

Elliott Smith: Miss Misery (Early Version)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Got A Cricket For A Conscience, Always Looks The Other Way. A Cocaine Soul Starts Seeming Like An Empty Cabaret.

There is something spectral present on Bright Eyes new disc Cassadaga. That much I know. While attempting to detox/record this new album, main BE Conor Oberst was directed to the album's namesake; an area of Florida known for it's tremendous psychic community. It's mark on Oberst is evident, because the minute you cue up the first track you literally feel the auras seep through your speakers, covering you like a warm afghan. If it's at all possible to physically transmit emotions through music then Cassadaga could very well land up as research material for a senior thesis. Working once again with longtime producer (and now full time BE member) Mike Mogis, Oberst has crafted an insanely cohesive record; a literal hybrid of the sounds found on his last two dual releases I'm Wide Awake It's Morning & Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. Looking to shed his boy wonder image, CO's work on Cassadaga represents a huge step forward for the band not only in terms of songwriting but also in the maturity of the band's sound. A definite contender for album of the year. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Bright Eyes: Make A Plan To Love Me (highly rec'd!!)

Bright Eyes: Coat Check Dream Song

Bright Eyes: If The Brakeman Turns My Way (highly rec'd!!)

Bright Eyes: Cleanse Song

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Won't Close My Eyes. When I Know That I'm Right. When I'm Drowning In Tears. I Won't Turn Off My Light

Before they started hocking commercialized (albeit pretty damned good) cover versions of Neil Diamond and Jimmy Cliff songs, UB40 were actually a fairly formidable act in the UK. Mixing culturally concious yet dub laden tracks, UB40 stormed the charts in the late 70's early and 80's with snapshot songs about the dreary state of affairs in England. I'm not sure if they were specifically looking to break through in the states with Labour Of Love but whatever the case their reggae sounds flooded my 5th grade bedroom and haven't really left since. Delving into their back catlologue, I was intorduced to this gem of a compilation which expertly chronicles their pre-red wine days with singles and extended versions and remixes of some of their better singles. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

UB40: One In Ten (highly rec'd!!)

UB40: Food For Thought

UB40: I Won't Close My Eyes (highly rec'd!!)

UB40: I've Got Mine (Extended Version)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It Doesn't Matter If We All Die. Ambition In The Back Of A Black Car. In A High Building There Is So Much To Do. Going Home Time, A Story On The Radio

Before Radiohead took permanent residency as my favorite band, it was all about The Cure. Specifically, the "unholy trio" of 1980's Seventeen Seconds, 1981's Faith, and finally 1982's Pornography. While I freely admit that Disintegration changed my life, it was Pornography that resonated the most with me. Combining stark production with a droning wall of murk, this was the album that showcased Robert Smith's burgeoning talent behind the boards and his ability to create such a riveting landscape of gloom. Listening to the album today, one can distictly pick up the sounds of a man unravelling; totally confident inside of his music but utterly off the rails in his personal life. Smith's made no bones about the fortress of booze he and the band hid behind during the recording of this album and it shows. Insular in sound but still a giant leap forward for the group, Pornography is a snapshot of a young band struggling to come to grips with their direction. And succeeding. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

The Cure: One Hundred Years (highly rec'd!!)

The Cure: The Figurehead

The Cure: The Hanging Garden

The Cure: A Strange Day (highly rec'd!!)


The Cure: One Hundred Years (live in D.C. 1984)

The Cure: The Hanging Garden (live in D.C. 1984)