Saturday, March 22, 2014

Song of the Day: "Nathaniel"

More Ben Watt mostly because it's about N8... I mean, obviously, "Oregon sky"... that's here.

Song: "Nathaniel"
Artist: Ben Watt

Friday, March 21, 2014

Song of the Day: "Terror in the Canyons (The Wounded Master)"

I'm finally spending some quality time with Phosphorescent and I'm liking it a lot.

Am I liking it because I'm hearing a lot of Graham Parker in it?


And also fuck yeah Graham Parker. I haven't watched This is Forty all the way through (the most fucking depressing "comedy" I can think of) but I love that it celebrates Graham Parker. LOVE THAT.

Seriously. Love.

Also Lisa Durnblat is in the movie. (I will never grow tired of intentionally getting Lena Dunham's name wrong.)

Just got distracted by this amazing thing. Shiny!

Song: "Terror in the Canyons (The Wounded Master"
Artist: Phosphorescent

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Song of the Day: "A Feather's Not a Bird"

Rosanne Cash is proud of her new album, The River and the Thread. I've streamed it, but haven't listened closely. Still, laudable work.

Here are some other things that a feather is not: a dog, the wind, citrus fruit, the Algonquin Round Table.

Here are some other things that also are not a bird: a dog, the wind, citrus fruit, the Algonquin Round Table.

But I might be wrong.

Song: "A Feather's Not a Bird"
Artist: Rosanne Cash

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Song of the Day: "If I Could Change Your Mind"

Clark sent me a new Eminem song to listen to and I hated it. Nothing of merit to it (and I totally could eat these words in 6 weeks, whatever). My response to him was to try this instead. There's an energy here, an embrace of the 80s that I think he'll enjoy.

It's certainly better than what he sent over.

Song: "If I Could Change Your Mind"
Artist: HAIM fuck it, they're Haim from now on

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 Albums of the Year

I made a list. I haven't really checked it twice, but it seems like I should post this if I'm going to post it. Inferring this from the singles list is probably pretty easy, although I don't think Bowie made the grade for the top 50.

David Bowie, The Next Day The album combines youthful exuberance with a veteran confidence and talent. It's both fleetingly wistful and brash and something else I'm missing, aloofness? Is that a thing? This might be that.

Haim, Days Are Gone One of my favorite albums (duh) and an album I have every confidence that I'll listen to in 10 years. This may be the album I'm most convinced of with respect to future listening.

Daft Punk, Random Access Memories It's difficult to live up to the hype, and I was swept up with the hype when I heard about Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. It lived up to the hype. And I love the fact that Chris Wilson and I both ranked "Get Lucky" at #3 on our singles lists. As did Paste.

Pet Shop Boys, Electric I've been enjoying the last decade of their work. This album got more acclaim than Elysium, and it probably has a better foundation than that or Yes, but ultimately it's a fine set of songs and this as good as any since Behaviour.

Local Natives, Hummingbird  It's rhythmic and lyrical and placid and somber. Placid? Placid. I'll go with that. Part of the rumination of passing and maybe the fact that a dude from The National, my go-to resource for emotionally-troubled-but-not-histrionic music, produced it might explain some of that.

Neko Case,  The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You  It is troubling in its dysfunction but the music is another solid entry into Neko's body of work. As with The National, both albums lack a tent-pole track as distinctive as "Bloodbuzz Ohio" or "People Gotta Lot of Nerve."

The National, Trouble Will Find Me  As with Neko Case, both albums lack a tent-pole track as distinctive as "Bloodbuzz Ohio" or "People Gotta Lot of Nerve" but there is nothing here to distract from The National vying strongly with Frightened Rabbit to become my favorite current band.

CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe  A distinct 80s bright synthpop sound juxtaposed with grunge/post-grunge negativity... what's not to love? As a companion to Haim, this is the album I acknowledge is most likely to feel faddish for me; the one I'll leave behind in 6 months or 3 years.

Kacey Musgrave, Same Trailer Different Park  Aside from my sense that a comma needs to split the title down the middle, there is no flaw to be found with this album. It's confident, clever, economical and musically solid. She's raked in dozens of other accolades (aside from this one) including a Grammy for Best Country Album so take that Kenny Chesney-Minelli and Liza Chesney.

Superchunk, I Hate Music  It's brutal and beautiful and anxious and toxic and a "celebration" of the life you curse yourself with. Right there with you dudes.

Songs of the Day: "Cycle/Morning"

Erin's enthusiasm for Morning Phase has me listening to Beck in earnest this morning. It's a companion album to 2002's Sea Change which is obvious as fuck the minute you bother to type those words.

What's not obvious as fuck, at least not to me until I was well into this post, is how much I appear to be needing a downbeat record like this.

Or maybe my eyes are all watery from the fucking seasonal allergies. YOU DON'T KNOW ME! (Except for those of you who do.)

It's difficult for me to hear this song and not think "mourning" when he sings "morning." But I'm sure that's just me. He's all happy and peppy and bursting with love, just JP Morgan style. Subtle pop culture reference, for the win.

Songs: "Cycle/Morning"
Artist: Beck

Monday, March 17, 2014

What does the fox say?

This is too cute. Nate Silver, the President of Statistics and also a gay homosexual gay (but not a witch), has taken the fox as the favicon for the reboot of his website.

Something about the fox knowing more than the groundhog.

But that song and this thing make me happy.

I'll let you know...

"Dead people have sex, then they murder"

Chozen on FX isn't a must-watch show, but it's a should-watch show.

If you don't like it after 10 minutes, eject.

Song of the Day: "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"

I'll save you from the shit I say every time I write about The Hold Steady. I'll say that comments Craig Finn made about the reasons for delays in the release of this, their sixth album, may or may not tell the whole story. His solo career doesn't seem to be happening and here we are.

Welcome back but it's a short leash. Nothing as compelling as Stay Positive... sigh.

Song: "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"
Artist: Craig Finn and The Hold Steady

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Song of the Day: "Love Don't Die"

"Is there a minimum musical threshold one must meet to earn a berth as song of the day?" some of you are probably possibly asking.

It is an abstract melange of qualities, any one of which might grant the coveted spot. One of them, apparently, does John find your band fuckable.  Which is how we get to The Fray but I have to believe John hasn't really seen Kings of Leon. Kings of Leon > The Fray.  And in the interest of fairness:

The Fray
Kings of Leon
Fuckability*: The Wanted > Kings of Leon > The Fray > The Avett Brothers

Musical talent: The Avett Brothers > Kings of Leon > The Fray > The Wanted**

Your respective mileages may vary. Get your own blog if you disagree!

Song: "Love Don't Die"
Artist: The Fray

* This is my estimate for John's rating. I'd probably put KoL ahead of The Wanted. [UPDATE: Okay, not any more but since I found pics that I could fit the way I want I'm not changing band references. John would go for The Fray ahead of KoL.]

** Or maybe not, The Wanted are totally tribal. I don't think The Fray can claim that.