Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogaholic weekend, part two
New music roundup

Three new albums I like a lot:

Crystal Stilts do the Psychocandy thing on their new Alight of Night, with songs that sound like 45s played at 33 rpm. Sludgy pop music, done very well.

[mp3] Crystal Stilts - "Prismatic Room"

School of Seven Bells, on the merits of Alpinisms, have been getting a lot of comparisons to Cocteau Twins. Yeah, they’re pretty ethereal or whatever, and while their singer of course can’t compare with Elizabeth Fraser, they compensate by pumping their songs full of dense world-y sounds. The band is opening for M83 (whose Saturdays=Youth is as fab as ever) at the Triple Rock in a couple weeks.

[mp3] School of Seven Bells - "Connjur"

David Byrne and Brian Eno’s first collaboration in 27 years is not another collection of groundbreaking rhythm tracks and weird voices (a la My Life in the Bush of Ghosts), but rather a lovely set of monolithic pop songs, called Everything That Happens Will Happen Again. Byrne’s voice will no longer leave you feeling jittery, and the whole affair recalls another smooth and easeful Eno collaboration, 1990’s Wrong Way Up with John Cale.

[mp3] David Byrne & Brian Eno - "Strange Overtones"

And some other good ones I’ve heard recently:

Jay Reatard’s music is way more palatable than a certain image of him in nothing but underwear and fake blood initially led me to believe. There are some garage rock gems (and a Deerhunter cover) on his new collection Matador Singles ’08, whose cover is a shrine to the 7” (floating in a bathtub) and Reatard’s vanity.

Times New Viking’s follow-up to this year’s fantastic Rip It Off is a very quick EP called Stay Awake. Even the poorest musicians no longer need to settle for such shitty production, but these guys insist that the lo-fi era isn’t over yet. They just like to sound that way, and I like what they do.

I’m From Barcelona had a collection of preternaturally cute pop songs on their nice debut, Let Me Introduce My Friends. You might get the impression they’ve gone all gloomy on Who Killed Harry Houdini?, but in fact it’s another set full of melody and togetherness. Opener “Andy” is sort of haunting, but only to the degree that a song by a band of two dozen Swedes can sound haunted.

Gang Gang Dance are rhythmically pretty complex, but they’re hooked on synth-pop synths, so the end result of many of the songs on Saint Dymphna is sort of like Erasure’s instrumental “Sixty-Five Thousand” or any of their 80s club remixes. Gang Gang Dance don’t bother with vocals, but they don’t make it easy for you to dance.

Note: All these albums are available for download from WMCN’s e-mail account, or can be found on CD on the new music shelves. I’ll try to burn copies of the good stuff for the booth ASAP.


Blogger Geoff said...

Oh wait, it's actually called Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The other would be too obvious.

7:23 PM  
Blogger aaron said...

the byrne/eno song moved me to finally check out that album, which is...alright. the middle third of the album is fantastic.

imo, crystal skulls or stilts or whatever they're called should be about 500x sludgier than they are.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I've never heard Crystal Skulls, Crystal Antlers, or Crystal Castles, but I can't imagine any of them are better than Crystal Stilts. The latter band are the only ones who earn the right to use "Crystal" in their name, because it is attached to such an unexpected noun.

In any case, Aaron, it seems nothing is ever extreme enough for you, like when Cut Copy were not enough like The Avalanches. If Crystal Stilts (who I like more everyday) were 500x sludgier, they would just be an unlistenable distorted rumbling. You should hear the song "Crystal Stilts." It's fab.

10:51 PM  
Blogger aaron said...

that's not true, i love the black box recorder and eels vids just the way they are.

but the fact remains that cut copy AREN'T enough like the avalanches, and that sonic youth have built a (pretty alright, i think you'd agree) 30-year career on almost unlistenable distorted rumbling.

i'm concerned that this blog is essentially a dialogue between you and me. comment, dear readers!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

It's not the first time this blog has served as a conversation between a small number of people. At least the people change, with time.

But yeah, I agree, we need more active bloggers. I can talk to you in person whenever.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha, i read this and thought the same. while i do little to diversify the conversation, i still enjoy this little blog. when you're ready to start the wmcn retirement home blog, do let me know.

nick (wmcn emeritus)

ps i do not actually like kate bush, with regrets to rick halogen

8:14 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I just want to say for the record that "Running Up That Hill" is the best pop song of the 80s (probably). But sorry to bend your listening to my cause with such reckless abandon.

Isn't your blog profile still active? You can post here anytime.

6:55 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home