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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bon Iver and James version of the Postal Service?

As we found out a week ago via James Blake on twitter he has been working on something with Bon Iver with today's date attached along with "Fall Creek Boys Choir." Staying true to said tweet the song was premiered today on BBC Radio 1 and is now pretty much available anywhere on the interweb (including in this post).

They collaborated on the track via email (hence the Postal Service mention if ya didn't pick up on that one). It is a very pretty song and does mesh their styles well. I might have been expecting a little too much out of it though considering I am a little disappointed. Maybe I was paying too much attention to that odd straw vs plastic lid noise that occurs throughout. Granted, I have only listened once but wanted to share since I do love me some Bon Iver and enjoy James Blake as well. It appears there are more tracks on the way so we'll see what else they have up their collective sleeve but this is enough to at least wet my appetite.

2 posts in a row involving the same that legal?

Here is "Fall Creek Boys Choir"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bon Iver - Holocene Video

The video for "Holocene," the latest single from Bon Iver's sophomore effort Bon Iver, was recently released and just brought to my attention. As you may recall from my review of the album and ranking it as my top album of 2011 so far I kinda dig this LP. "Holocene" is one of my favorites from the album and also one of the most beautiful in recent memory.

How do you match the beauty of the song? By not including Justin Vernon (the man behind Bon Iver)? Just kiddin, Justin! No, you have a young boy named Hilke (got that nugget of info from Stereogum, btw) wandering around and exploring the gorgeous landscapes of Iceland. Justin seems to have a love for this area between this video and his recent live covers of Iceland's own Bjork.

You can check out the video below and this all but confirms what I'll be listening to next time I am adventuring my way through a gorgeous landscape.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Artist/Album/Song Rant: Radiohead/King of Limbs/Codex

Radiohead's most recent LP King of Limbs seems to be, at the least, a polarizing album. I have heard people speak of it as the greatest album in the history of the world (paraphrasing an actual conversation). And also that Radiohead has lost it with Limbs as well as 2008's In Rainbows being far less than the standard that Radiohead has set for themselves. Granted, neither of these albums are OK Computer or Kid A but neither of those albums were Pablo Honey or The Bends. Radiohead IS Radiohead because of this. They don't have a definitive sound. You cannot lump them into a specific genre of music, they created their own. Every album is different from every other album.

I am not the biggest Radiohead fan out there by any stretch of the imagination but I thoroughly enjoy their music and their creativity. In Rainbows was one of my favorites from 2008. I really liked it at first and then it slipped into the background only to be re-discovered and fell in love with all over again with a rejuvenated level of respect. It has been similar for me with Limbs. Really liked it after I listened to it about 3 times in a row. The 1st couple of listens nothing overly stood out besides the beauty of it. The 3rd listen was similar but it started to feel like different layers in a dream. Then, going previously unnoticed and like the climax of the dream that turns it from ordinary into one that sticks with you, "Codex" happened.

At the very beginning when I heard the split second of his voice it felt as if it would go into this epic song of twists and turns and beats like something from Kid A. It abruptly stops before a keyboard comes in softly like it walked into a room it had never been to before but has always belonged there.

The lyrics are just as haunting as the music, which you can read below.

Sleight of hand
                                             Jump off the end
Into a clear lake
No one around

Just dragonflies
No one gets hurt
You’ve done nothing wrong

Slide your hand
Jump off the end
The water's clear and innocent
The water's clear and innocent 

Is it about guilt? Is it about trying to make the wrong things right? Is it about suicide? Maybe that's why it's called "Codex."

Check out, this, one of my favorite songs of the year below.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cults - Cults

Just to be safe, there's no Kool-Aid at their concerts
Cults are a duo from Manhattan (New York incase you really don't know) that specialize in the throwback rock/pop sound of the 50's and 60's. I started getting into this genre last year with Best Coast but I feel Cults are more accessible, which is saying something. As I mentioned in my first post, I grew up listening to "oldies" so I relate well to this style of music.

Just about everyone has heard the single "Go Outisde" and it's hard not to fall for its catchiness. It's when you really pay attention to the rest of the album do you realize the throwbackedness of their music. From the guitar strums in "Most Wanted" that could have been pulled straight out of an unreleased Herman's Hermits song to the hooks throughout the album, sometimes it feels like Doc Brown was just shot by the Lybians and you took off in the Delorean and now find yourself trying to avoid a younger version of your mom getting fresh with you while attempting to set her up with your peeping tom dad and causing Biff to crash into a truck of manure. That sounds heavy...

Basically, if you like the throwback sounds of 50's and 60's pop then I say check out Cults. They are another of those bands I kept reading about and putting off and when I finally broke down and listened I wondered why I never did before. Weird, that's what a lot of people say shortly after joining a cult....

Check out "Go Outside" below. (by the way I was going to post the video for the song since it looks like it's from 50-60 years ago but I think it might have taken away from the music, seems a little politcal. just a sidebar there for ya)


Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Barry Brothers - Yawnin' in the Dawnin'

From the start of the short opening title track to The Barry Brothers debut EP Yawnin' in the Dawnin' you can tell these guys like to have a good time. There is a lightheartedness and fun element to the song that is hard to resist. "For Your Own Good" follows and gives an idea of what this band is made rock with strong folk and classic rock elements. I say "bar rock" in a very good way, as in the likes of The Hold Steady. It's the kind of music you hope to hear on any given night when you go to a bar because that means it's gonna be a good night. It's doesn't take long to realize there's no way you can attend their live show and not have a good time.

The Barry Brothers band consists of 3 brothers from Western New York, all with the last name Barry (like The Shitty Beetles, it's not just a clever name). Ben, who plays bass, and Pat, who handles the guitar/harmonica along with lead vocals, were previously in the alt-rock-country band NAVAR. The band split so they picked up Bradford, their drumming younger brother, earlier this year. While Pat's voice is the most featured all 3 brothers have a voice throughout the album, especially on "Drink One More." If you close your eyes while listening you'll find yourself at a bar full of people singing along with drinks in the air as the song closes out the night. Just better hope the bar isn't closed so we can all do one more shot of whiskey!

Check out the video for their 1st single "Carnival(e)" below.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Band I Hate to See Break Up: The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy

When Awesome and Creepy Collide
Well, I had to change the title of this post because I was doing a little research and read that they split 2 days ago. They announced this mid-set playing at Splendor In The Grass in Queensland, Australia, which is from where the band hails. I have had this album for a couple of weeks now and planned to do a regular review talking about how much I dig it so this was quite an unpleasant surprise.

I Want That You Are Always Happy, the debut LP from The Middle East, was released on July 12 of this year. It is the follow up to their debut EP Recordings of The Middle East which was originally released in 2008 prior to their 1st breakup. It was released in 2009 and started to garner more attention in the US. That is about the time they stepped away from playing mostly Christian festivals and started hitting more mainstream ones and opened some shows for Grizzly Bear.

When I put 'Always Happy on for the 1st time and heard the opening track "Black Death 1349" my initial thought was they reminded me of Fleet Foxes pre Helplessness Bues. The 2nd song started a trend of songs that brought to mind the aforementioned Grizzly Bear. You've got the weirder darker GB side on the 2nd track "My Grandma Was Pearl Hall." Then you have the poppier side of GB on "As I Go To See Janey." I listened a little more and started to notice an old school pop-folk flavor in there as well, especially in "Jesus Came To My Birthday Party." Obviously, the religious element is still present in some of their lyrics and song titles.

I am sad to read of this band's demise. Would have been interesting to see if they would have gotten lost in the shuffle with the likes of Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter and the folksters out there popping out of the woodworks. Or maybe they would have done so much more.

Check out "As I Go To See Janey" below (and you get to look at the cover again! bonus)