Monday, March 30, 2009

Merrill Garbus

I stumbled across this musician Merrill Garbus last week who goes by tUnE-YaRdS, and I think she is absolutely incredible. Her music is very layered and complex. She has a tremendous ability to build the song up to climax at the end. Her voice is unique and powerful.

Keep in mind she is the only person in the band and the songs only have guitars, a drum machine (I think), and her voice. To my knowledge, she recorded the album on her own.

Imagine what she could to with great production, full electronics and synths to play with, and maybe some help from other like-minded musicians? Also, she was a musical theater major in college, so is bound to put on an excellent show.

I have a feeling we are going to be hearing a lot about Merrill.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Night and Books

This reminds me of those fun college weekends-- studying on a Saturday night. I'm taking another bs (but necessary) government test to become a licensed equity trader, the 55. Taking a break here to post. Ironically I was watching Trading Places earlier today. Great movie, depicts how monumental Wall St. was in the 80s, it is way different today (aside from the crash).

In good timing, I received a great album today in the mail: Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. The album is one piece, very ambient, spacious, and minimalist, and served as excellent studying music. Reminds me of much of Eno's late 70s ambient work. I already went through it 4 times. The artwork feels like the album:

On another note, I updated my playlist, to add some new and remove the truncated songs (sorry AC).

I heard White Rainbow from the DJ that opened for Animal Collective. I called the guy over and asked him what it was, he handed over the record, I wrote it down, purchased, and love it.

The Fever Ray is pretty good, and I think this song kills it. We all know she has an incredibly seductive voice, but this song just grabs me. I'm not sure why she decided to leave her brother out of this one, because I could see this album killing it with a backup creepy vocalist, but I will take it for what it is.

If you follow the music scene and you haven't been listening to Wavves then you've probably been living in a hole. A friend at work told me that he likes them but feels like he will get sick of them quickly. I said that it's not often that we get great pop punk bands, and to appreciate it. This song is off the first album, it's my favorite song of theirs, reminds me of the Liars with the minimalist beat and sharp guitars. A great piece of work.

And back to the Replacements again. Or Paul Westerberg rather. A very emotional song, a B-Side off of Stink most likely because it was in stark contrast with the rest of the album.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Imeem keeps truncating my songs, pricks. I need my own url

Early 09 (and Late 08) Mixtape

I'm doing this for the following reasons:

1. I want to sharing the music I like in greater quantity--these posts are too slow

2. I'm copying Amoeba

3. the VU don't belong in the same playlist as the Zombies

So I'm splitting up my music into my favorites of all time (subject to change) and the music I've been listening to in early '09 (and some late '08).

Animal Collective's Merriweather goes into one of my favorite albums of the decade and probably of all time but it really took over my life this year so it belongs in this list, for now.

It's been difficult finding the Replacements' Let It Be on lp so I've kept myself busy by buying their albums that I don't own, one being Hootenanny. This song struck me as very non-Replacements or Paul Westerberg but pretty interesting.

This is a Pandora pick, on my MSTRKRFT station, its pretty sick.

Frank Black, this brings me back to high school, and my Pixies days (which will obviously never end).

I picked the wrong Pretenders song earlier so I'm replacing it with this badass fucking piece of punk rock in 7/4. Don't forget to clench your teeth.

Follow with some more Jay Reatard, these guys put on a great show, and if they can stick around for a while I'm sure will be releasing some excellent tunes.

I revisited the Battles album when I picked it up from Turntable Lab in LA. Great sound quality and musicianship, I enjoy listening while s'ing a b.

Squarepusher never struck me but I think this song does. The drum beat is really precise and overlaps the keyboards very well. I was hoping for a more fulfilled build up but I can't get everything.

This Boards of Canada reminds me of why hip hop artists are dumb. It took Kanye West over a year to rob Daft Punk, why haven't they discovered Boards of Canada yet? These guys put out the sickest beats and catchiest simple keyboard riffs.

I think this version of Jigsaw Falling Into Place is better than the version on In Rainbows, what a cool drum machine beat and vivid guitar sound. Thom's voice always a plus.

They rereleased all of New Order's records and I've been fortunate enough to pick up Brotherhood. Bizarre Love Triangle is the track that stuck out most on first listen.

I've talked enough about the Zombies, they're pretty good, but I got sick of it quickly.

Bon Iver, obviously a breakup classic, I played this for a friend who was going through a breakup and it made her cry. I mean it's pretty powerful but I didn't realize...

I wasn't the greatest Grizzly Bear fan, I think they are good not great. I think the D of E is a superiour album to Yellow House and furthermore gives me hope that these well dressed gents will be putting out good music for quite some time. I'm a huge fan of the interlude on the album, I think that song is gorgeous, but it's not on Imeem and I'm too lazy to get it from my car right now. Sorry.

The Walkmen's You & Me is one of the best albums of '08. I spent a lot of time with this one when I started training at my job, those 110 hour weeks were funnnnnn

I revisited Wolf Parade's first album after putting it down for two years. I loved this one in college and I think the song Dinner Bells is incredibly powerful and sharp. When the song slows down at the end and the guitar is screeching in the background and the keyboard bursting back and forth I feel inspired.

And back to Radiohead, again, with the song that never made an album yet is brilliant. You could make a album out of Radiohead's b-sides and it would be pretty solid, no?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Brian Eno - Another Green World

My first collector's item, I bought an original vinyl from the 70s and I'm framing it on my wall. Never to be played.

This is one of my favorite albums of all time, as evidenced by a song already appearing on my blog. The soundscapes Eno produces on the album are vivid and beautiful, and bring you to a totally different place. The album was released in 1975, and you can hardly tell.

I picked up this album at Caliban back during my sophomore year of college, per their recommendation. If you live in Pittsburgh and you have not been to this book/record store you are only cheating yourself. I remember marveling at the artwork on the cover before taking it back to my basement and playing it on repeat for hours.

The album tells a story, and flips between late 70s rock, ambient, singer/songwriter, and most importantly instrumental. The main word I could use to describe the album is colorful, and spacious. It truly does bring you to a separate place.

There are many notable cameos on the album. John Cale, known for his work with early VU, plays viola on a couple. Phil Collins, who played in Genesis, features drums. The most memorable is Robert Fripp, mainly known for his work in King Crimson, playing his signature guitar sound on "St Elmo's Fire".

I would not say this was my first introduction to ambient music, even though the album is not entirely ambient, but it was definitely my true introduction into this "type" of music. That is a hard statement to make because I don't think the album is classifiable. Kind of on it's own. After hearing the album I understood where this musical mindset came from that many bands have tried to replicate. You will understand too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

DJ AEIOU - Jeanjacket

This album is pretty sick. Of course recommended at Amoeba, it's a live DJ set from this underground dj that I've never heard of and can't find online unfortunately.

It's rock n roll, its funk, its soul, even some new wave, what a great piece of work. Not the best mixing, but I think that is hard to do considering its not electronic and each song is very different.

I have only heard one of the songs on this album, the second, and as I'm constantly looking for new music these dj's I've been hearing recently have showed me plenty. There is hope!

I want to find out more about this guy so that I can see him in LA one of these days. Would be a great time I'm sure.

Of course its a long mix, so if you're impatient go to the two songs starting at about 22:00. Those two are my favorites.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cut/Copy @ Club Nokia

This was officially the first time I have gone out during the week with my new job (sadly). But I did it for Cut/Copy because their last album In Ghost Colours is one of the better albums of the decade.

The show was originally supposed to be at the Henry Fonda, and when I got an email saying that it would be in downtown in the new LA Live complex at Club Nokia I had mixed feelings. I was happy because the Henry Fonda has the worst sound of any venue I've been to in LA, and I was pissed because I would have to drive to downtown, where the drive home would take another 15 minutes off my already to-be-deprived sleep.

First off, Club Nokia was awesome. Besides being brand new and having excellent sound, the design of the place was great. The pit was more of a dance floor and was spaced perfectly around the stage, and the upper seating section (where my friend Shir and I decided to sit) was extremely close to the stage. That is partly because we managed to get seats in the VIP section and also because of the thought that was put into getting the most people possible close to the performer.

And of course Cut/Copy put on a great show. They're so foreign and so nerdy and so 80s and they rocked the house. Everyone was dancing, everyone was having a great time. It's impossible to sit still when you listen to this band. Here were some of my favorites in the order they played them:

Nobody Lost, Nobody Found:

Sands of Time:

Out There On The Ice:

This was a riot, Lights and Music, I love the shot at 2:27:

My one regret is not recording So Haunted, because their 10 or so minute version of the song was the best of the night. Next time...

I got home at 1 am, and of course had to get up at 4, so you can imagine how I felt at work today. It's 7 pm in LA now, and I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

White Light White Heat

It took me probably two years until after buying this album to actually process it. Again, rewarding, but not for the faint listener. Very drug influenced and abstract.

I love this song. It is so. fucking. cool.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Animal Collective @ the Troubadour - Round 2

I quickly finished my work Friday and scrambled to get in line at 4:30 pm for the Animal Collective show at the Troubadour. I was the 4th person there, ordered a pizza in line, and waited for 4 hours until the doors opened. Lots of 4's.

I was leaning on the stage, right on the front lines, at this amazing show. They blew me away. I'm so happy they rescheduled. Here are some videos I took. Enjoy!

My Girls, go to 4:20:

Leaf House, a classic:

Blue Sky, a new song:

Fireworks, as with most of their live shows, extended to 15 minutes long:

I put myself out there to see them at such a small venue. Probably the last opportunity I will have to see them up and close. It was worth every second.