Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The novelty of a guitar-and-drum duo can go to a band’s collective head and cork it with unearned, fictitious indie merit. It’s equally capable of overwhelming an insecure group, prompting it to overcompensate for the empty space with hollow riffs and aimless rhythms. Bands that populate the latter category often use time against their listeners; they cosh them over the head with odd meters and indulgent noise throughout abrasively long or short songs, effectively hashing out a political statement about the traditional notion of a song and neglecting the intangibles that matter to listeners. These misled duos create the illusion of integrity by stressing the contrast of musical and structural limits against a conspicuous lack thereof. The other class of hair-brained half-bands conquers the Boston basement scene with arrogance. Clad in their most ironic Sunday’s best, they adorn their strange time signatures with irrelevant percussion and disjointed melody to bully those born with square, Western ears into feigning enthusiasm to fit in.
Monday, March 28, 2011
There’s a lot of “folk” going around these days, but Marcellus Hall’s new album, The First Line is some of the best. Hall is a sort of 21st century Bob Dylan- acoustic guitar, harmonica, minimal drums, a bit o’ organ, and storytelling lyrics. The biggest difference is in the vocals. Hall’s voice is just as strong and naked as Dylan’s, only it’s much more… palatable. If you like Dylan, or if you’re of the crowd that “would like him if only his voice wasn’t so ‘weird’,” check out “One Drop of Rain,” “Wishing My Heart Was Stone,” or “It’s My Life.” If you’re not hooked after one of those (especially “One Drop of Rain”), then this album probably isn’t for you.
Fun Fact: Hall is also an artist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, and Time.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
This past sunday 3/20, The Whitehaus Family Record presented a music-art showcase of DIY bands from Jamaica Plains. The lineup was a mix of poetry and music.
The whole visual theme of the show was really cool. The performances would alternate between a main stage and a fort-like tent on the other side of the room. The stage was decorated with quirky little artifacts and huge yellow boxes with smiley faces.
A band that stood out was Free Pizza. With a folk-rock new wave sound, they had great stage charisma. They seem like a band that time traveled from the early 90s to today.
Dressed like characters form Saved by the Bell, they were striking for eyes and ears.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
With a new single on youtube, and an upcoming return to the Middle East, Jack Beats is on the minds of Boston electro fans. A new remix of well respected DJ Skream, the track ‘All Night’ entices the listener with that signature Jack Beats twang, while letting the music groove away from typical floor shaking womps.
For anybody who attended their show, at the Middle East in October, you know how hard they can throw down, and for those who are curious, peep the moments caught and posted on youtube. On top of that show, I had the opportunity to see them again in November, opening for Crookers at Webster Hall in New York City. I can guarantee that these guys do not take nights off in serenading audiences with the ideal electronic atmosphere.
Check out the link, and keep following these guys as they make waves in the growth and productivity of modern electronica. If you’re willing to drop twenty bucks for the live experience, the show is April 7th in Cambridge.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Bullshit aside, I'll say what most music critics think but don't write when reviewing a Radiohead record: I probably would have given it a positive review if Thom Yorke shoved a mic up his ass and recorded 40 minutes of intestinal activity with string accompaniments.
So with that out of the way, I'll be blunt and forthright; I like The King Of Limbs. And no, I didn't have to persuade myself. But there were enough gnawing questions about the album to ball up in the pit of my stomach every time I thought about writing this review without at least a month of thorough listening. Namely, what does its uncharacteristic brevity say about Radiohead's intentions of continuing to produce traditional full-length albums?; and how can I possibly compare The King Of Limbs to Radiohead's back-catalogue of (almost) invariably shock-inducing records when, comparatively, it seems to lack that leading-edge that has defined the band since the early 90s? More importantly, should I try?
Ambient music is a reflection of yourself; it is an unconscious state of mind that you get lost in.
If you listen to Tim Hecker’s newest masterpiece, Ravedeath 1972, you will not help but see yourself through a mirror of sounds. With dissonant piano melodies over infinite synth beds, this album creates a weightless atmosphere of noise. Every song is highly synthesized which provides a huge sense of space. Each song creates echo patterns like waves in the sea. Some pieces are more oriented towards electronica while others are neo-classical. Yet the entire album is tied together perfectly with repetitive motifs and a theme of death. There is a sense of perish, like something beautiful is ending.
The power of this music is that it can make you feel anything and everything. At some points in a song you feel limitless hope in the world while other times it can make you feel so down it hurts. These songs can multiply anything you are feeling whether it is being nostalgic of a lost past, torn between love, scared of the future, or confused about the world. This album is the best soundtrack to accompany your deepest emotions.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
In this day and age it’s hard to keep making interesting guitar-singer music. Yet Kurt Vile does an amazing job with his new album Smoke Ring for my Halo. The album is filled with dreamy revered guitars and harmonic pickings that dance through your mind as you listen to his soothing deep vocals. Vile’s music creates a great blend between soft classic rock and newer folk. The whole album is incredibly easy to listen to and enjoy.
His voice reminds me of a mixture between Devendra Banhart and a tuned down Delta Spirit. You can hear a sense of longing in his lyrics and tone, like reminiscing of an old lover or lost past.
In “Baby’s arms” he repeats the same phrase throughout the song with the same guitar melody yet it could go on forever. Good music can be brutally simple and it doesn’t matter.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
p.s "The Words That Maketh Murder" clap happy?! Did you listen to the lyrics? But it's so catchy!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Lately I’ve been embarrassingly into reverb-y mixed down vocals (this might have to do with the fact I generally can't stand the vocals that have been coming out and it's just easier to ignore that way) and as a result I can’t help but really dig a bunch of what We Creeling’s got to offer. The Curious Mystery has a ton of 1960s/1970s influences and has this strong pull back to psych rock pulled off in a way I haven’t heard quite yet. At times it reminds me an awful lot of Jefferson Airplane with their apparent female and male dynamic, sitar, and soul pulling foreground of trippy instrumentals. On the other hand, it’s clear that these guys are a brooding bunch, and as far as I can tell, are kind of going for a some sort of modern spin on the Velvet Underground… a hard task, but they do pretty damn well for themselves. However sadly the guy in the band doesn’t sound nearly as cool as Lou Reed, and as a general rule I can’t stand Nicolas Gonzalez’s vocals. And because he’s got that trying-too-hard-to-seem-like-i-don’t-care indie jaded drawl which I’m just so sick of, instead of Lou’s effortless off handed semi-conversation (an unquiestionably difficult thin line to tread), I can’t stand any of the songs that he is prominently featured on... except "Blue Limits", that's a fuckn sweet song (i'm a serious sucker for that twangy guitar). However to contrast that, I really love the female voice from Shana Cleveland and pretty much all of the songs where she takes the lead. Some of those are “Early In The Morning”, “Night Ride Reeling”, and “From The Garden”.
|Lady Baby Miss & The Tigerman, NOLA|
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Adam & Naïve is a band of best friends from Long Island. Their music is simply AMAZING. Listen for yourself… you will be blown away.
check out their bandcamp:
download their music for free here: