This ought to be interesting.
I guess I should start saying things like “see you on the playa” now.
In other news, today I am accomplishing very little, as part of my overachieving detox. I’m still itching and anxious, and I will probably be bugged tomorrow that I didn’t do more today. Well, it’s a step, anyway.
Music news recently:
First, I’m not twittering about albums. I have too much to say.
Second, here are some things I like:
Amadou and Mariam- Welcome to Mali. I was expecting another one of these world-music albums that I listen to so that I can be cool at cocktail parties but that I don’t actually like, but then the synth kicked in and I was all over it. Sometimes it’s in French. Sometimes it’s in a language that I don’t understand. Try “DJama”, track 4. Sometimes it’s in English, unfortunately. (“I follow you” at 12 is kind of comical.)
David Bowie- … Ziggy Stardust…- I guess David Bowie is not like the Beatles, where after you listen to their hits and kinda go “meh”, the deep tracks really surprise you and you love them. But I could still listen to “Suffragette City” and “Starman” all day. The concept is kind of fun, and “Five Years” as a concept album opener is epic! (“that’s all we’ve got!") See also: “8.5 Minutes” by the Dismemberment Plan.
Eluvium- Copia- Recommended by my Uncle Jim who usually likes things that are longer and louder and stargazier than I like. But this is really epic, kind of weighty, yeah, but real movie-soundtrack stuff, and I can listen to it while I work, no problem. Why do I like, say, “Prelude for Time Feelers” (which is just a piano and a cello or something) but not most classical music? Discuss. And put this on in the background.
TV on the Radio- Dear Science- ugh, can I just let every other critic do the talking on this one? I’ll say one thing: “Dancing Choose” is my second favorite song featuring the lyric “He’s a what? He’s a what?”
The Dodos- Visiter- did I not blog about this yet? It’s Animal Collective meets Death Cab. … meets… Dismemberment Plan? “Jody” is great for the more experimental of you, “Undeclared” is a great acoustic song.
Royksopp- Junior- okay, so I caught on to these guys about one album after everyone else, but they’re excellent “electronic popsters” (to quote allmusic). And guest vocals from Karin Dreijer of The Knife! (the more music I listen to, the more often I just wish I were listening to The Knife.)
Shugo Tokumaru- Exit- This is some Zelda stuff. Fun to listen to once. The fifth time, you’re like “are we in the clockmaker’s house again?”
Air France- No Way Down/On Trade Winds EPs- straight off a p4k recommendation, they’re the Broken Social Scene long lost relatives, except they actually finish songs sometimes and don’t just play for 19847893 hours.
Telepathe- Dance Mother- it’s like Tegan and Sara, but more grandiose and electronic. Devil’s Trident wins for being the song that made me stop working and listen up. The sort of half-spoken word stuff I just adore (see: Cake, Dismemberment Plan, even various emo stuff I’d hear on the radio)
Junior Senior- Hey hey my my yo yo- These guys are so fun. Even though they already made their best song ever (“move your feet”) I guess they’ve got another album in them. It’s nothing deep, but pretty catchy.
Things I don’t so much like:
Devotchka- a Mad and Faithful Telling- I love the Eastern-Europe sound, but I find I don’t often like much of the music. Same reason I don’t really like Gogol Bordello.
Robyn- Robyn- a blatant rip off of The Knife (“who’s that girl”) and a bunch of other pop that would be blasted by the same critics who love her, if she were American.
Dosh- Wolves and Wishes- never really goes anywhere. Which is too bad, because I guess he’s responsible for Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes” and “Simple X”? Boy! If he made an album of songs like that… although I guess you need Andrew’s dreamy voice, face, and whistle.
High Places- 03/07-09/07- weird and Unicorns-ey, I think, but a little high-pitched to continually listen to. Flighty and never that gripping. It’s like the Luna Lovegood of albums.
The Tallest Man on Earth- Shallow Graves- just not my thing. I should have known after three seconds of hearing his grating voice and acoustic guitar.
I can’t decide if I like:
Dan Deacon- Bromst
Fin for now. Anything you’ve liked recently?
Hey man. Yeah, you definitely got off on the wrong foot with Amadou and Mariam. Manu Chao produced one of their albums, Dimanche A Mabako, which is what I assume you have, and which has been a mainstay on my summer playlist for years. And Manu Chao doesn’t screw around.
Agreed on TVOTR. Though every time I hear “DLZ”, I get in this awkwardly-detached mindset that makes dealing with said quarter-life crisis that much easier.
Check out Royksopp’s “Melody A.M.” GEICO used one of their songs in one of those So Easy A Caveman Can Do It commercials. The rest of the album will hook you here and there.
I wasn’t sure about Dan Deacon either, until one of my friends from college and I listened to it while watching one of the Planet Earth DVDs with the volume down. It synced up pretty well together, astonishingly. Then, I listened to it again while driving from Portland to the Metolius River near Bend, Oregon, and you could say the deal was sealed. Thumbs up for Bromst.
You’re listening to some great music these days, I must say. I have some recommendations if you’re interested. And I’m also working on my west coast sensibilities from the City of Roses nowadays, plotting my next move, living the ellipsis.
Yours in fecundity,
Following up on Amadou and Mariam:
And now that I think of it, check out Susan Orlean’s short story, “The Congo Sound”. There’s a hell of a list to dig in to as far as African music goes:
I am so so so jealous that you are going to burning man.
Nick! Good to hear from you. I would gladly listen to more Royksopp and Dan Deacon. And don’t get me wrong, I really liked Amadou and Mariam overall. I’ve got “Welcome to Mali”, but I’ll have to check out “Dimanche a Mabako”.
I’d definitely be interested in any other recommendations you have.
You’re in Portland. Excellent. If you end up in Seattle at some point, give me a call.
Julie: no, hey, I’ll send you a bag of mystical enlightened playa dust. But I need a favor: while I’m there, Aaron’s apparently going to be burning down my house. Would you mind burning down his first?
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