Monday, January 26, 2009

Merriweather Post Pavilion; best album since Kid A

I'm going to make a bold statement. Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion is the most important, and best, album since Kid A / Amnesiac.

I toyed with this conclusion about a week ago but had to think about it before posting it on my blog. I have listened to the album through and through about 50 times now and my conclusion stands.

AC has broken new grounds, probably the most important characteristic of a great album. The sounds, built from keyboards, synthesizers, light guitars, drum machines, samples, and most importantly vocals, contribute to a new form of music that is unclassifiable. Every song on the album has its place, every song sounds great, all the songs flow together into one meaningful piece.

The intro 'In the Flowers': The distortion and peculiar sounds reveal a 3/4 time signature arpeggiating guitar, "If I just could lose my body for the night," overcome with an explosive beat and keyboard set on high resonance covering the same guitar riff with it's own twist.

'My Girls': catchy and has distint melodies and rhythm, which can easily catch main stream attention. The rounds and harmonies take turns rotating octaves as Avey Tare and Panda Bear sing over each other, as they bridge between verse and chorus.

'Summertime Clothes': a tribute to the humidity of a NYC summer, follows another arpeggiating keyboard as well as a catchy beat and bass line. The bass line follows, then drops, then follows, then drops. Mostly sung by Avey Tare with the occassional spurts of harmonies by Panda Bear at the higher octave that ring and resonate in the ear.

'Bluish': The distorted guitar (maybe keyboard?) that form the backdrop of the melody make you feel like you are underwater. The song is about being infatuated with love, "I'm getting lost in your curls; I'm getting crushed out on the things that only I should see; They're not for boys they're just for me."

'Guy's Eyes': the ability of the singers to play off of each other. The song is minimalist in instrumentals, and focuses more on the raw ability of the band to carry the song through their vocals. Avey Tare and Panda Bear sing over each other in rounds that take their own patterns, then harmonize, then take their own patterns again. The vocal lines overlap each other, break off, then join at different octaves, then explode, its beautiful. You can envision the music.

'No More Runnin': the song is the slowest on the album, mostly characterized by the two singers holding a single harmony.

'Brothersport': MAN (actually I looked it up and its "Matt," but it sounds like MAN). Begins with a funky vocal line, great harmony, then a long bridge with arpeggios and a defined beat. The song carries the bridge for some time, culminates to the end of the album, and breaks off into the conclusion, beautiful repetition. "Keep it real Keep it real Shout out."

I used to refer to Radiohead as the "last great band." A few weeks ago, I never even thought I would question this statement. Animal Collective have released their best album yet, an album that is epic. This album will be copied by many, and will change music. They are artists; They are the next great band.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Animal Collective @ the Troubadour

This is all I have

Jay Reatard @ the Echoplex

I just got back from a crazy 3 piece punk band from Tennessee. Mr Kelley introduced me to these guys a month back, I got one album, Matador Singles, then another, Blood Visions, and I was hooked. The band reminds me of a modern Buzzcocks but crazier, punk that's fun yet angry and makes you want to break your face. I don't know what that means...

This band made me rock out so hard my hair was a mess, my shirt was sweaty, my neck hurt, my ears rang, and I needed to catch my breath. They played one song after the other, no break, flawless guitars and bass, even more flawless drums. They were sweating and kept spitting on the floor. Or maybe that was sweat dropping.

I was up front, on the barrier, kind of by accident, but fighting to stay up there was worth it. I haven't been that into a show for a very long time.

I talked to a photographer Scott Schultz who works for LA Record and he took many pictures. I will ask him for some to post.

Jay didn't punch anyone this time around.

Monday, January 19, 2009

For Frezza

At work, on the holiday, not much trading going on, but much great music in my ears.

This new Animal Collective is excellent. They keep exploring new sounds and feelings with their music, I don't think I've heard anything like it. Original in many ways.

I can't wait for the show Saturday, I will take many pictures.

As for song selection, Bluish is probably my favorite song on the album (so far), although I love the In the Flowers -> My Girls intro and transition. I'll probably post another.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I missed this one...

Between graduating from college and working 70 hour weeks, I seemed to miss this guy. Apparently his songs have made it on House and Greys Anatomy, but I don't watch either. What a great album.

I've been on a music binge lately, trying to pick up all of the music I missed while adjusting to the job.

On another note, two great shows coming up: Jay Reatard at Echoplex and Animal Collective at the Troubadour. I saw AC in London at the Astoria in 2006, their at-the-time biggest show yet, they were incredible, now I get to see them up and close. Probably the last time in a while this band will play at a small venue.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Alternative & Punk

I started upload my music at work and realized that about 70% of my music iTunes classifies as 'Alernative & Punk.' I agree that I listen to mostly music that is alternative, and a lot of music that is punk, but it was interesting to see the proportion.

Although I like all types of music, I really like bands that explore new realms. Bands that can make songs sound incredible without a preset mold are bands that last. the Beatles and the Beach Boys for Pop. Miles Davis jazz. Bob Dylan singer/songwriter. the Rolling Stones rock and roll. Pink Floyd psychedelic. the Clash punk. David Bowie and Marc Bolan glam. David Byrne and Brian Eno new wave. the Pixies and Nirvana grunge. Radiohead. I'm leaving out dozens of great bands, probably on purpose, but I apologize in advance.

One band not only broke many new grounds but so happens to define my musical taste. They are the fathers (and mother) of Alternative, and they are the designers of Punk. the Velvet Underground.

The amount of new ground that this band broke is hardly surpassed by any other band. It's difficult to think of rock, punk, alternative, blues, psychedelic, glam, grunge, experimental, songwriting, poetry, rhythm, overlaying guitars, pain, revelation, feeling like shit, feeling badass, wanting to party, wanting to be in love, all your victories, all your regrets, wanting the day to be over, loving the day for just beginning, fucking everything without this band. Their albums will last forever. They are everything that is beautiful about music.

If you don't have their music get something, anything. If you don't like Lou Reed's voice listen again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Amoeba Music Recommends

I made a trip to my favorite record store Amoeba yesterday. Amoeba has the best selection and very knowledgeable staff. The only problem is that I don't really have a person I go to there for music recommendations, I just usually ask a random person filing disks.

I found a younger guy with some pretty badass 50's glasses for a recommend, and he threw me the Zombies Odyssey and Oracle, and album I had heard about and meant to get but never got to it. He described them as pop, but not soft, ie Belle and Sebastian, with balls. I really like Belle and Sebastian, but sometimes they're just too sappy, so I was sold.

A pretty cool description. I'm not sure if I agree with that completely, but I definitely agree with the reference. They remind me of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and thats mostly since it was the same era.

It's a great album, I recommend it if you have not heard it. Here is a track that I think I have heard in a movie or commercial, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pounds of Coffee

I've been out for a week. Took a 1 day vacation to spend new years in vegas, got back, and I have too much work to explain.

Before I left, Wednesday the 31st, I saw one of the most ridiculous things in the market since I started to trade. The GBP book got swept and moved 350 pips in 30 mins. 350 pips. For those that aren't familiar, a pip is .0001, so a 350 pip move is pretty significant.

The pound moved from 1.47 to 1.435 in 30 minutes. Imagine studying abroad in London and leaving your dorm in Kensington to get to the office in Canary Wharf. If you chose to buy your 2 pound coffee before the trip, it would have cost you $2.94. If you waited until after the trip you would pay $2.87. Talk about inflation.

Moves like this aren't normal, and while we're all waiting for the markets to calm down, which admittedly they almost have, there are events like these that are hard to explain.

I leave you with a song I heard today at work. This didn't make it on Kid A / Amnesiac, a testament to how talented this band is and how good the two albums are.

I'm going to log my songs on the right and create you a playlist. Hopefully I make these posts more regular.