Skip navigation

Category Archives: Post-Punk

ALBUM – You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine

ARTIST – Death From Above 1979

YEAR – 2004

My sister got me listening to this back in ’04/05.  I do not remember the context, I mean, I do not recall how she got a hold of them.  I am just glad she did.

Like many bands before, during and after DFA1979, they were composed of two (drums/vocals and bass guitar).  I think this became a fad after “The White Stripes”.  I could be wrong.

Coincidentally, they are from Toronto, Canada and while my sister was up there I think she managed not only to catch their show but to run in to them frequently at shows.  Just a thought: I do not know for sure that she went to their show, I have to check with her.

The duo, in a way like the Stripes, bring a powerhouse sound.  Very big bass, distorted and nasty, and fast, hard-hitting drums, moved along by scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs vocals.

Very big sound.  Very good, very hard and very loud.

I hope you check it out.  They broke up, obviously, so no more albums or shows.

Cheers…

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…

 

jd

ALBUM – Unknown Pleasures

ARTIST – Joy Division

YEAR – 1979

Breathless.  Really.  I mean, could a band be any cooler?  And I´m a late comer.  I only began listening to Joy Division later on in life – although their tunes have always been a part of my growing up in the 80s.  Nevertheless, the impact they´ve had on me these past years is, well, difficult to put into words. 

Although the band´s history is tragic, I think their legacy and, more importantly, their lifetime, is something that should always be taken into consideration.  They rose to stardom relatively fast and, just as they were “making it big” they lose their front man, Ian Curtis.  It was a tragic event, his death, and untimely.  I really don´t want to get into personal history or matters that tend to be sensitive or polemic.  You can check out the 2007 movie, by Director/Photographer Anton Corbijn. Control (it´s mindboggling how much the actor resembles Ian, and the movie is pitch-perfect).  But this is all about the music, damnit.

So, to it then.  The music is revolutionary, unlike anything prior or following the band´s demise.  Their unique sound and ways was something that drew me to them.  The songs are nervous, tempestuous, but can also be quite melancholic and depressing.  I personally like the more fast-paced rhythms and crazy drums and guitar riffs.  One more thing to take into account is the writing.  Joy Division´s lyrics are excelent.  They´re not just some “chorus, chorus, repeat chorus”, POP, one-hit-wonder shit that we get today.  It feels like they were meticulously elaborated and are at times very personal. 

Enough sentimentalism.  My favourite track, of all of Joy Division´s songs is number one “Disorder”.  I wish I could somehow translate the introduction into words.  It´s the coolest.  “I´ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand… Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man…”  Brilliant, just brilliant.  The other track I´m really keen on is “She Lost Control”.  I loved it before I saw the movie, and I love it even more now that I´ve seen it.  According to the movie, Ian bases his lyrics on a young woman he met while working for the government, who, like him, had epilepsy.  So, it makes it that much more personal.  Beautiful song. 

One last thing, before I finish, is another movie – not focused on Joy Division, but that captures them in a very coherent manner and the whole Manchester scene of the late 70s, early 80s – is “24 Hour Party People“, a gem by Michael Winterbottom. 

Cheers…