Tag Archives: music

Giddy like a school girl

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new Radiohead album coming out next week. Wait, let me repeat that: THERE IS A NEW RADIOHEAD ALBUM COMING OUT NEXT WEEK!! HOLY MONKEY FARTS!

As you also probably heard, ol’ Thom and Co. have finally accumulated enough hard currency and devout followers to DIY the thing (yes, “DIY” is a verb). They’ve even gone so far as to outsmart those who were just going to steal it from a P2P site anyway. In what could prove to be a new trend in digital rights (mis)management, the googly-eyed scare bears are allowing you, me, and everyone else we know to pick our own price.

Personally, I think the concept is genius. First, consider the number of people who will order the album for download, just because they can pay $2 or $3. Now, consider the percentage of those people who would have ripped “In Rainbows” from his/her P2P site of choice. I would be willing to bet Radiohead make more money selling the album on Radiohead.com for $2/head than they could possible make through a $9.99 download at the iTunes store (you know, that place where sad sots like myself go to not-steal music).

In the words of Devendra Banhart, “I feel just like a child”

Does your Bible glow in the dark?

I’ll first say I haven’t written a music review/critique in a long time. At one point in time I was convinced I could make a career of borrowing from Lester Bangs. Eventually, however, reality set in and I realized I don’t have anything close to Bangs’s tolerance for amphetamines, bourbon, or poverty. Nonetheless I recently was lucky enough to pick up a copy of Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible and it has shaken me so deeply I am giddily dancing atop a bail of hay on their bandwagon.

A few years ago I was pretty ensconced in the North American post-rock sound. Pretty much everything I bought either came from Canada’s Constellation label or Chicago’s Thrill Jockey. Both labels specialized for a while in grandiose swelling crescendos and a collective gazing-at-shoes due to incessant droning and concentration on abstractly (intertextual, maybe?) inserted field recordings.

I loved and still love the theme and variation model of composition, building intensity with incessant layering of percussive pulses. This style was perfected by bands like Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, and Trans Am. Yet I sadly longed for a band who could add a note of accessibility to this genre.

And then there was Arcade Fire.

I initially shied away from AF’s media buzz due mainly to their consistent association with fellow Montrealers, Broken Social Scene. While I think BSS has an interesting ethos and correspondingly big approach to sound, the romantic in me wanted a crooner to step up to the mic and usher in a new musical paradigm.

After seeing some YouTube videos, I picked up Neon Bible. Now I can’t put it down. I have honestly listened to the whole album (cover to cover) three times a day for the last 2 weeks.

The production is fantastic. Somehow all 7 members seem to get ample say in the mix, while vocalist Win Butler chews the mesh off his microphone out front. Each track swells with intensity, encouraging listeners to stand up and lean into the wind until it abruptly stops and they fall flat on their faces.

The band relies on acoustic instrumentation for the most part, illustrating the potency of their collective fingers and forearms with each track’s pounding bridge. Yet, on the rare occasions when an electric guitar floats to the top, it does so with tingling, morbid effervescence as in the chorus of track 6, Ocean of Noise. This repeated guitar wail, has me repeatedly welling up as the violin helps to hold it up.

As yet, I haven’t quite cracked the egg that is the title track. On an album of repetitive swellings, the irony of a title cut being not so is perfectly fitting. I can’t wait to taste that yolk.

rolling along

I seem to have fallen in to a comfortable stride recently. Despite being sick for the better part of the past week, things are clipping along at a good tempo. Coughing late at night has left my sleep schedule in shambles, but that’s neither here nor there. Though it has given me ample time to tighten some of the screws on my personal site, and finally collect artifacts for my portfolio.

I have a pretty big job interview in a couple of days. The results of said interview will have some pretty lasting effects on how Tammy and I pursue the next few years. I know, it seems like a lot of weight to put on an interview. But the position seems like it would make purchasing a living space and giving Gainesville the ol’ college try (again) a worthwhile investment.

For those of you who missed the show on 2/17, the opening band put together a short film about the evening. Have a gander (said the goose).

Back in the saddle

Personal News

It’s been a while since I have sat down to add an entry. Hopefully things will get rolling again here soon.

I recently had a run in with the pesky little fairies that make my computer turn on and talk to the web. Apparently they weren’t very happy with the Bloglines subscriptions I have maintained for the past 6 months or so, and they decided to get rid of them. I emailed the nymphs in CA that maintain the Bloglines servers, but I think it may have been too little too late. We’ll see.

My old band, Edward the Bear, will be getting back together for another famous reunion show Saturday, Feb. 17, around 10 or 1030pm. Any and all are welcome. I believe the cover will be a 5 spot. Hope to see you there.

I am in the process of changing jobs. I fell in to a bit of a financial hole last semester and decided I was better off working full-time, and going to school part-time. I can’t really see any problem with slowing down the progression of school if I can get hands-on experience in the mean time. All of that should be straightened out in the next couple of weeks.

In other news

I was pretty excited to see Barack Obama declare his presidential candidacy via a live web cast this past Saturday morning. He is quickly mounting a strong campaign presence on the web. The site devoted to his campaign, BarackObama.com, actually provides a portal to a social networking community developed specifically for interested voters. One can develop a personal profile, network with like-minded individuals, and create a political blog.

I think this is pretty ingenious and it shows quite a bit of connection with contemporary trends. And probably a well-recruited group of advisers.