Feb 22, 2011

Tuesday YouTube Treats

Alright, really really lame title for tonight's entry, but this has already been a long week and will only feel longer by the time Friday gets here. That's my excuse. With that said, here are a couple YouTube links to songs I've been hitting 'repeat' on lately.

Radiohead - "Lotus Flower"

Young Galaxy - "We Have Everything"

Tyler, The Creator - "Yonkers"

Feb 16, 2011

Random Catching Up Post

There has certainly been a lot going on in the music world over the past couple of weeks, February has turned out to be a busy month and there are a few things I'd be remiss if I didn't address here.

First up are the two biggest stories of the week, involving Arcade Fire's Grammy and Radiohead's new album. The Arcade Fire win is old hat by this point, but the reactions from the world at large are still rippling through the internet and around watercoolers all over. My office certainly wasn't short on the, "who in the world are Arcade Fire?" comments Monday morning, but it all seemed to come from a place of genuine curiosity rather than the bitter condemnations that certain Justin Bieber fans were throwing out. As far as I'm concerned, it's a great thing for "independent" music. I mean, how cool is it that a (relatively) tiny label like Merge won a Record of the Year Grammy? And, hey, even if The Suburbs isn't their best album, the attention and accolades are well deserved by the guys and gals of Arcade Fire. They are a fantastic live band and I think they'll have a lot more good work in store. But, for now, check out the hilarious Twitter and Facebook reactions over on the Who Is Arcade Fire tumblr.

And, Radiohead. In a surprise announcement that seemed to come out of nowhere, the band's latest album, The King of Limbs, will be released this Saturday - yep, in just three short days. At least digitally the album will be out, but you'll have to wait a few months for any kind of physical product. At this point, the band is offering up two options for purchase - the digital only version ($9.00 for mp3 files and $14.00 for wav files) or the "newspaper" version (vinyl, cd, digital download, and plenty of extra art for $48.00). Obviously the band has done away with the "pay what you want" model that they used for In Rainbows, but who can blame them? I think nine bucks is a very decent price for an album, and perhaps that is the price point the band came up with based on the previous experience. I'm leaning towards the $48 box, just because I ponied up almost double that for the beautiful In Rainbows box that I still love to look at, plus, it's Radiohead and they've not steered me wrong yet. Order your copy here. I can't wait to hear this on Saturday.

In more sad news, February has so far seen fit to bring with it the final chapters of three bands that I really love. The biggest and least surprising of these was Jack White's announcement that the White Stripes are formally calling it a day. Given the complete dearth of news about the band and Jack's numerous other projects, everyone was kind of expecting this, but it's a bummer nonetheless. I'm mostly disheartened because I never got to see them live. But to be completely honest, I see a Coachella headlining reunion show circa 2014. Shortly after that particular announcement, we got another one that was more of a surprise - LCD Soundsystem will be playing their final show ever at Madison Square Garden on April 2nd. Even though James Murphy had hinted around about This is Happening being the band's last album, I thought he meant that he was going to focus more on single releases and not that he was going to retire the touring version of the band. Apparently he wants to explore other opportunities to produce other bands. Can't say I blame him, but I'll be sad to see this project fall by the wayside. I can't imagine that we won't be hearing new music from Murphy in one form or another. Finally, legendary British doom metal band Cathedral announced that they will be disbanding after releasing one final album in 2012. Considering that they've been around for over 20 years and released more than one essential doom record, this one is a little easier to swallow.

Great news today though, Electrelane are back:

"This summer we're going to play some festivals, including Field Day in London, and a few gigs. We're still confirming everything, so will be announcing dates soon. It's very exciting for us to be playing together again after more than three years, and we're just sorry that we won't be able to make it to the US this time. At the moment our plan is just to play live this summer, so we hope to see you!"

Shame about that "no US this time" though!

Feb 14, 2011

Now Playing:
Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil

I've been struggling with this album for the past several weeks, hoping to find that little nook or cranny that will completely draw me in and make me fall for it, the way I have with each of Deerhoof's previous three discs. Normally I wouldn't work this hard on something that just isn't clicking, but each listen makes me feel like I am just on the cusp of really falling into their world... even if it never happens. Perhaps it never will, some albums just don't rub me the right way, but that would make this album one of 2011's first disappointments. Of course, Deerhoof is a hard band to love for many, between Satomi's yelping delivery and the band's tendency to throw as many curveballs at the listener as possible. But what usually makes them such a great listen, are the times when all the "weirdness" (for lack of a better term at this late hour) gels into something you just can't get out of your head. For a group coming from such a different angle of attack, they manage to pack in some great hooks and truly memorable moments. Unfortunately I'm just not hearing many of them this time around. There are a few spots that stand out, "Super Duper Rescue Heads!" comes immediately to mind, but not enough to rank it among the group's best work. Maybe the problem is more with me than Deerhoof, maybe I'm not just in the right head space, but I was hoping for something that would win me over a whole lot easier. It might end up a grower but, as it stands now, I can't see myself reaching for this over any of their last three discs.