Skip navigation

Category Archives: Indie

ALBUM – Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop

ARTIST – Stone Temple Pilots

YEAR – 1996

I know.  What an idiot, their best album is “Core” or “Purple”.  FUck off!  I like “Tiny Music”.

Although, I do think Purple is their best effort – but I will get into that later, another time, another place.

It just so happens that I had this CD here in front of me and I said “WTF?!  Let’s give it a try”.  It does bring back fond memories and manages to distract my senses.  You see, I smell like doggie medicine; it fell all over my trousers.   But nevermind.

So, of course the best track is “Big Bang Baby”; video is also pretty neat.

But I really like “Seven Caged Tigers”, probably my favourite.

The day, today, had been going by quite slowly, then came traffic and then the afternoon.  Almost done, now.

Cheers…

 

 

ALBUM – Judgement Night

ARTIST – Various

YEAR – 1993

Ottawa, Ontario,  Canada.

It was winter, if memory serves (it doesn’t, but, whatever), and my friends and I (Jamie, Brendan and Mike) watched this for the first time.

Obviously, we thought the movie was cool, even though we didn’t really get the violence and the nonsense fiction of it all (you have to watch it again to realise that what happens in the movie is way far fetched).

What stood out the most, even back then, while we were going through our grunge, I love Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin phases, was the music.

This soundtrack should go down in history.  Not just because it is wicked, but because it brought acts together that not even in my wildest of dreams I would have thought of matching up, i.e. Teenage Fanclub and De La soul.

Particularly, “Fallin'” is probably my favourite track.  Although I must say a have a penchant for “Just Another Victim”, by Helmet and House of Pain.  I love the heavy metal/rap transition.  “…I’ll serve your ass like John MacEncroe”.  Cool.

So, kids, enjoy.

Cheers…

ALBUM – Brothers

ARTIST – The Black Keys

YEAR – 2010

I got this album a while back but have, so far, failed to give it proper attention until the past couple of days.

Too bad for me, ’cause the sound is great.

I had not really heard them before this album, so forgive me if some of you think previously recorded material is more inspiring.

I, however, have fallen in love with this band and, particularly, with this album.  The sound is hard to describe, rock n’ roll, bluesy, smokey and hazy pub-like.

I reckon an opinion will be better formed after listening to “Brothers”.  So, go right ahead.

Cheers…

ALBUM –Echoes

ARTIST-The Rapture

YEAR – 2003

Quick entry.  In a rush.

Best song is “Echoes”, yes.  It is also the opening song for one of the best miniseries I have seen lately, “Misfits”.

Ok, really like “Killing” as well, especially the intro.

A pleasant Sunday to all.

Cheers…

ALBUM – Lisbon

ARTIST- The Walkmen

YEAR – 2010

A great find!

As I went through pitchfork.com’s top 50 of 2010, I selected a few albums to get to know.  One of them was “Lisbon”, and I am not at all sorry.

A quick word about Pitchfork.  My sister – a bass player and on and off band member/(slash) music lover – said something curious: “I think it is pretentious for someone to give an album or band a fraction of a marking, like 8.7”.  Agree to disagree.  It is strange, I reckon, but then again, I will only comment after I figure out their mathematics for coming up with such numbers (maybe they get an average of the editorial’s votes or something).

Regardless, I like pitchfork’s website and more often than not I check in on what they are up to.  They are, a lot of times, too musically “erudite” for someone like me.  But I generally appreciate their taste and their recommendations.

The music.  “The Walkmen” are definitely indie, but a good indie.  Some of these “indie” bands of late have really gotten on my nerves.  On in particular: “Death Cab For Cutie”.  Say what you will, but they suck hairy nutsack!  So annoying.

Some, in my opinion, try way too hard.  What for?

“Lisbon” sounds fluid and rolling, nothing like I am used to hearing.  It is real and raw, true in nature to each of the band member’s influences and according contribution to the overall sound.

Very charming and melodic.  Well composed and yet it seems like they got together on a long weekend and put everything down right there and then, 13 tracks.

Have a lovely Wednesday.

Cheers…

 

 

ALBUM –Before Today

ARTIST –Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

YEAR –2010

Let me kick off the new year with something I have been listening to.

The album is something of a strange and beautiful creation, reminiscent of the late 70’s psychedelia and early 80’s progressive movement.  Although you hear – throughout the recording – hints of vintage 60s (Velvet Underground, Lou Reed style).

Mix all those ingredients up  and you bake up something along the lines of ‘Before Today’.

Pet Shop Boys, even.  Listen to “Round and Round” and tell me you don’t hear the Boys somewhere in there.  Right?!

So, moving right along.

The title, yes, of course.  A reference to the classic “Empire Strikes Back” (lots of people´s favourite, not mine; I’m a “Return of the Jedi” fan – love the Vader reveal) but also the name of Boston Terrier.  He just celebrated his 5th month.  He is the one in charge of keeping things in order at the apartment and keeping me company.

Hopefully, later on this year I will get a female Boston to keep Luke company – any suggestions for a name?!

Ok, the album is a celebration!  Abrupt topic changes; sometimes, if done correctly (not the case), it grabs the reader’s attention (again, I am probably the sole reader, so what does it matter).

Have a good Tuesday?!  Is that even normal?  I think Tuesdays are the worst day of the week; they are so dead, nothing to do, ever, and it is still only the beginning of the week.

Have fun with the recommendation.

Cheers…

 

ALBUM – Contra

ARTIST – Vampire Weekend

YEAR  – 2010

Well, well…

A Happy New Year to all, belated, of course.  I´ve been terribly busy since I got back from a few days on holiday.  And, let me tell you 3 (4, now that Phil´s a reader), what a year´s end.  I have actually taken up what I call “book-writing”.  Yes, indeed, I´ve started writing what I hope will be a book, someday.

But, on the book later, right?  How about a little bit more on the couple of days off work?  No?  Alright, then, I won´t mention anything else related to my New Year´s break, only that this new year has been very generous.  I have found love – the most unexpected kind.  The Love Story is somewhat complicated, but nevertheless, a “lovely” one!  See what I did there?  Pun intended. 

I have to seriously consider watching less “The Thick of It“.  I´ve seen Season 3, whole, three or four times already.  It´s brilliant, though, a good laugh.

But on to the MUSIC, for fuck´s sake.  This is a hot-straight-out-of-the-oven release.  I haven´t even heard it with careful ears yet.  But so far, so good.  It´s got a bit more of a “world music” sort of feel to it – it´s almost exotic.  Then, there´s the usual upbeat tracks, like “Cousins“. 

I really like this band, and I know this is very bandwagonny of me to say (write), but it´s true.  I always keep their debut album around  – it´s still a great listen.  This new release seems to be one of those “keeper-arounders”, too.  So, I hope you like it.  Cheers…

P.S: the post´s title was originally “Beirut” – some will get it, others will not.

ALBUM – xx

ARTIST – The xx

YEAR – 2009 (this one that ends, shortly)

A bad case of the mondays.  Yeah, Maria, you and your band, and the movie reference.

A bad case of “I haven’t posted in forever, so, being that I’m doing absolutely nothing, I might as well give it a try”.  So, here it is, probably my last entry this year.

I recently discovered this band.  Let me just clarify something: I am completely “out of it” as to what’s hot and what’s not in the music industry.  I’m out of the loop with contemporary good music.  I learned about The xx through Pitchfork and The Guardian online newspaper.  Both had really good reviews.  Actually, just this week, The Guardian closed out the week with a final Top 10 list – the best albums of 2009.  Guess which was atop?

So, given that the album has been in my iTunes library for some time now and all the positive vibe, I decided I’d really give this outfit a try.  To my surprise, I was shocked – obviously.  It’s a brilliant, brilliant effort.  I think I remember an adjective used in describing the album, which I feel fits perfectly: minimalist.  I would add “clean”.  Now, I’m not trying to jump on any bandwagon, but I think these guys and girls have opened up a new path.

There seems to be a perfect marriage of electronic with rock, something like that, anyways.  It’s really soft and subtle, yet powerful.  It’s bittersweet, like a cold, moist, hazy day, but as desolate as it may sound, there’s a warmth to it, a comfortable sensation – calm and soothing.  It’s hypnotic, eh?!

Trust me, I think The xx will leave a good impression, and a lasting one.  I can’t get enough of this.  It makes me feel as if I’m back in the eighties, but some sort of contemporary eighties.  There’s lots of that decade’s influence mixed in to this album, along with some new and very effective ingredients.  And the quality of the production is impeccable.

Really, if you haven’t listened to this, regardless of what’s trendy and “in”, take my advice and try this on for size.  It will not disappoint, you have my word.

In closing the post, then, and probably the year, I can only say that I love getting this feeling.  This little something that makes you happy, that comes from I have no idea where.  All I know is that it doesn’t come around often.  It’s the sensation you get when you come around something as good as this album.  Does anybody know what I’m talking about?  That “I have absolutely no expectations but have just been bombarded with positive emotions” feeling?  Well, I do and I enjoy it thoroughly.  This is a real holiday treat.  Just in time, eh?!

Some songs to consider: “Intro” (drums are wicked) and “Basic Space”.  All are incredible, these are just two that stood out.  Happy Holidays, New Year’s and all the rest.  Cheers…

sfwd-grizzly-bear-vecktimest-cover[1]

ALBUM – Veckatimest

ARTIST – Grizzly Bear

YEAR – 2009

I can´t believe I finally got a chance – given the small break I got at work – to write back to back posts.  Pretty neat, I almost don´t want to write.  I don´t want to come off as repetitive or annoying.  Plus, the drama of waiting for the next post is, I think, worth it.  Lastly, I don´t want to lower expectations – If they were ever high.  I hope this blog is worth the read and that expectations are low, so if and when you do come across it, it´ll be better than what you exepcted.

However, we must focus.  “Veckatimest” is a brilliant piece of music.  The name of the album, I just found out, is after an island in Massachussetts – I thought it was some crazy made up name.  If you think about it, it makes sense, I mean, the band are called “Grizzly Bear“, and they come out with an album named “Veckatimest”?!

The album was well recieved, and it should have been, by critics.  It was not by me.  I have a delayed reaction to things, very delayed.  So, it took me two or three tries before I really got into the music.  And, the thing is, that once you´re in it, it´s hard to pull away.  It´s really that good. 

The album has a crisp, morning dew kind of feel.  Very sweet and tender, almost gentle.  It is very melodic and has a nice pace to it.  It doesn´t rush, but most importantly, it doesn´t feel like a draggin on kind of album.  It´s got a good mix of material, both dense and rich with musical instruments and vocals and simpler tracks, with fewer guitars and poignant vocals. 

I really enjoy the band´s sound.  It is, again, good to know that there are bands out there that actually work to have a good sound, that are actually good musicians and put an effort into producing and recording it.  That´s what this album feels like, a genuine effort.  It is a pleasant listen, and pretty straight forward, but once you´ve given it a third or fourth or fifth go around, you´ll start realising how precious the music is, how much effort was put in to making this recording.  These guys are really good musicians and seem to have a grasp of what they are doing (something rare these days). 

Of course, the now popular “Two Weeks” stands out as one the catchier tunes.  It is a great song, but I´ve fallen for a certain “Cheerleader”.  I love it, just love it.  The other talked about track, “While You Wait For the Others”, is just as intriguing.  Overall, I reckon all tracks deserve a mention.  I´ve only expressed my personal liking and attachment. 

Cheers…

Animal-Collective-Sung-Tongs-455422

ALBUM – Sung Tongs

ARTIST – Animal Collective

YEAR – 2004

I remember, recently, my sister saying something about there being all these “collective” efforts out there at the moment, and how she’d seen lots of acts – mostly shitty – all aboard the bandwagon.  So, as silly as it may seem, as I was rummaging through my iTunes library looking for something to listen to, it dawned on me, the “something” my sister said; and then, as the connection was made, I hit play on “Winter’s Love”, my favourite track from Animal Collective‘s Sung Tongs.

As an album, as a band, I really can’t put my finger on these guys.  I’ve been reading up on their history and tendencies and influences and…  Nothing.  I listen to the album, over and over again, enjoy it, but can’t really come up with something to say.  What I mean is that unlike Led Zeppelin, a band you can say a million things about, with reasonable certainty about what you’re talking about, this arrangement of players leaves me a blank.

Fill in the gaps, if you please.  I like the band, I really enjoy their music.  It’s so different and out there – FAROUT, DUDE (yes, a reference to the Dude, from The Big Lebowski).  It actually feels like his dream sequence – crazy and very, very trippy.  It’s at times light and fluffy, like on “Sweet Road” and sometimes a bit dense, but never heavy handed.  Always a delight.  But also always very peculiar.  You really need to check this out.

Right, then.  Some songs come to mind, two already mentioned.  I’ll start with “Sweet Road” and say that, even though it’s got just over a minute of playtime, it’s a gem.  It feels like a warm, green, bright, humid, cozy, suburban (american-style), summer day.  Seriously, try it on for size.  It’s a happy, happy song.  The other mentioned track, “Winters Love” is also pretty happy, but it’s got a different feel.  Sounds like a big chorus or a whole lot of people got together to bang on things and sing and make a very sweet song.  Again, very trippy, but great, nonetheless.  There’s an abrupt break at around 1:51 into it, which is what I love about the song.  It’s hectic and melodic, great and captivating.  So cool.

I reckon most will have trouble with this – I actually hope people will, so I can at least feel as if I’m on the same page as you, my readers (the three of you).  Regardless, I recommend a listen.  Press play and let go.  Leave it be, from start to finish.  I guarantee you’ll have a good time.  It’ll feel weird at times, but get over it and try to finish up the album.  Then, and only then, make up your mind.  Also, maybe a second or third or fourth listen is necessary to “get” this album.  Cheers…