Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Best Songs of the Decade: #47-- "The End's Not Near" by The New Year

Who'd have thought that a song about the end of the world would end up on a list like this? And yet, here it is. Touch & Go residents The New Year released "The End's Not Near" as the (nearly) title track of their 2004 sophomore released "The End Is Near," and what a way to start off an album. The simple acoustic guitar picking and piano playing by brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane (formerly of slowcore pioneers Bedhead) offers a haunting beginning before the vocals bubble slowly to the surface; and what vocals they are. Matt Kadane sounds even more despondent than usual as he offers up lines like, "The end's not near/It's here/Allelujah, spread the cheer" without a hint that me might be kidding, not even a little bit. About halfway through the track he is joined by a heavily reverbed guitar that provides the song with all the desolation and despair one can imagine. (more business after the jump)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Songs of the Decade: #48-- "Good Woman" by Cat Power

Cat Power has had a relatively up and down decade. The two covers albums that she released were incredibly hit and miss, but the original material on 2003's You Are Free and 2006's The Greatest showed why Miss Chan Marshall is one of the best female singer-songwriters of her generation. Hell, why bother pigeonholing her like that? One of the best singer-songwriters of her generation. Over the course of her 15 year career she has had fewer highs than You Are Free's track "Good Woman."(More talk plus music after the jump!)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Best Songs of the Decade: #49-- "A Song for Starlit Beaches" by Yndi Halda

Man, another day and another British band that's on the best songs of the decade list. But Yndi Halda couldn't possibly be more different from Hot Chip. Taking their cues from the great post rock bands like Godspeed!You Black Emperor and Mogwai, Yndi Halda are a very young band. At the time of this (2007's Enjoy Eternal Bliss) album's release all five members were nineteen years old (or, in some cases, younger), and it shows. They wear their influences proudly, but have a hard time stepping out of their shadow. Most of the time. "A Song for Starlit Beaches," the albums twenty-minute long centerpiece, is the song where Yndi Halda stop becoming amalgamations of their influences and begin their own musical exploration and it is thrilling. The song has five different movements, starting with a lonely violin, guitar, and banjo melody which slowly give way to the darker second movement, which layers on pianos, more guitars and a healthy dose of drums. This would have been enough for most Mogwai songs, but Yndi Halda push on to a piano based third movement that functions more as interlude than movement. What is so remarkable about this track is how effortlessly these sections flow into one another. Unlike a G!YBE song, where the different movements are demarcated very clearly, Yndi Halda allows these movements to segue into one another gently, delicately. (more writing and music post-jump)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Best Songs of the Decade: #50-- "Over & Over" by Hot Chip

I need to be very upfront about something; I don't dance. I can't dance, I don't like to dance, and I am always in semi-awe at those who can and do dance. However, that being said "Over & Over" makes me want to dance. A lot. The big single from their 2007 offering, The Warning, "Over & Over" was a perfect concoction of guitars and synthesizers. Drum machines and bells. The song shot these Londoners from semi-obscurity to near the top of the indie electronica heap, and for good reason. You cannot hear the song without at least vigorous toe tapping. More (and music!) after the jump. 

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How's the Year Been Going So Far?

So, I've been away for a while. Like, nine months kind of a while. It's been a busy six months for me. Had my last semester. Graduated. Tried to find a job. Found a job. Not an edifying one by any measure, but it paid the bills. You know how it goes. But, anyway seasonal employment is a bitch, so now I find myself like 10% of the population. Unemployed.

Really, though I feel kind of bad coming back here. I feel like I broke up with someone and am now crawling back to that person, hoping they'll take me back after months of neglect. Well, I would feel like that if I thought that this was a heavily trafficked blog. If it was before it certainly isn't anymore. BUT my neglect is about to change. There will be no further neglect! I promise. In fact, I have a lot of fun things in store!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ryan Adams is done?

So, here is the link to Ryan Adams' most recent blog post wherein he says the this tour with the Cardinals will be his last. It's tough to say whether or not he is serious about his taking a step back from the music world, but in contrast to other blog posts he has written he doesn't sound defensive and, at points, absolutely sincere about his desire to move away from music. Although it comes with the caveat that he might play music again "at some point," this still sounds rather serious. However, I do feel like it should be said that starting to play music again at some point could simply mean a year or two off. Although I believe his sincerity when he says he wants to take some time to take stock of his life, I refuse to believe a man who is as prolific a songwriter as Ryan Adams is could simply put down his guitar and walk away from music.

That being said, his (potentially) last American tour begins February 20th in Connecticut and ends exactly a month later in Atlanta.

Here is the link to the blog post.

Just in case this is Ryan Adams for good, let's remember the good times, shall we?

The Shadowlands - Ryan Adams

Come Pick Me Up - Ryan Adams

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ron Ashton- Motherfucker will be missed

So, according to an article in some Ann Arbor newspaper, I'm not sure which one and when I update this post a little bit later I'll have a link to give you, guitarist and founding member of The Stooges, Ron Ashton, has died at his home in Michigan. According to the article the police found Ashton dead on his couch. Read the article, get the details. But what we should definitely do is remember just how badass Ron Ashton fucking was. Ashton, along with Iggy Pop and his fellow Stooges bandmates, plus bands like the MC5 and The Velvet Underground were the main groups of the garage-punk movement in the late 1960s. These were the bands that laid the groundwork from which punk rock could spring about a decade later, and Ashton and his axe were an integral part of that. And thank God he was. Without him rock history would be definitely lacking.

Ron, here's to you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Dan Deacon track

Whatsup kids? I hope your new year is starting off swimingly. If it isn't, well, this might cheer you up. A new Dan Deacon track! Everyone's favorite full-of-himself fat dude with a beard has a new album that is due out on March 24th, insanely creepy cover and all (go check out Pitchforks brief on the album to see the tracklist, if you want). Rumor has it the album will be darker and I personally think that he's moving toward M83 territory. Not necessarily a bad place to be, but it's definitely different from Spiderman of the Rings. Now, here's the track.

Get Older - Dan Deacon