Monthly Archives: January 2011

So…I got a little lazy there for a while.

I’m here now, though! With music, and everything! And maybe some words about the Andrew Bird show I went to with some pretty cool people on Friday, but those will come later.

The album that has most recently come into my possession has been an obsession since the first time I got around to listening to it. The album in question is Odd Blood by Yeasayer, and it is good. Like, crazy, in-your-head-all-the-time, ideal-for-any-moment-of-your-life good. So good that I could not come close to picking just one song off of it to show you. Because seriously, how do you pick just one song off of an album you’re listening to like three times a day? (Sorry, Kendal!) Hell, stopping myself at just two was a bit of a battle. The two songs I’ve settled on actually don’t include the song on this album I’m currently most obsessed with, but that’s just the way it had to be.

Before we move on to the two fantastic songs in question, let us first briefly discuss the very lovely band in question. Yeasayer is a Brooklyn band which was formed in 2006. Their first album, All Hour Cymbals is pretty cool and full of all sorts of dreamy introspection. They play live with all sorts of fun psychedelic visuals, which should be an insight into their sound. According to The Hype Machine, Yeasayer was the most-blogged artist of 2010, so I am not only late to the party, but un-original as fuck. Like its predecessor, Odd Blood is dreamy and introspective, but it is also what happens when you boil all that dreamy introspection in a stew with dancey pop-ness. Don’t get me wrong, this is a strange album, but it is also fun and poppy, and the two songs I have selected show off both sides of Yeasayer’s new sound. Put on your good headphones now.

Because everything is more fun when you jump right into the deep-end, I’m starting off weird. (Please don’t take that as indication that you should scroll past this part.) This song is awesome. It is hypnotic, rhythmic, and the vocals are…well, they were recorded through a fan, and then had pitch-shifters do all sorts of lovely things to them.  And there’s harmonies! Basically, the vocals are so fucking cool. The piano in this song makes me happy in the pants, both when it is the instrument performing the absolutely entrancing main riff, and in the ridiculously cool chorus, which, by the way, gets stuck in my head constantly. Also, the electronic aspects win at everything forever.  So, that’s about all there is to say besides THIS SONG IS AWESOME, and um, listen for the nod to Yeasayer’s old tour buddy MGMT in the lyrics. That brought me so much joy when I realized it was there. Without further ado, “The Children.”

Okay, so if that terrified you, I’m sorry, but I love that song an insane amount and definitely had to share it. Do not lose hope in me yet! This next one is massive amounts of fun. This song was the second single from the album, and I’ve actually been meaning to write a post about it since looong before I bought the album. It is fun, dancey, and upbeat. This song is pretty much guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The riff is great, the chorus is fantastic, and I really like the lyrics. This song best exemplifies the feeling this album gives me–when I hear it, I want to go somewhere and dance around out in the sun. Quite possibly, that is a bit specific, but if this does not make you want to dance, there might be something wrong. Also, watch for the really pleasing disco-tastic ending. This is a well-constructed song. And it has a really, really trippy music video. Here’s “O.N.E.” (Can you figure out what that stands for?)

But I thought you should know
You don’t move me anymore
And I’m glad that you don’t
Because I can’t take it anymore

There are quite a few more songs on this that you need to hear, so seriously, just go get this now. So worth it.


Happy New Year! (Snow and an all-time favorite)

Today is the first day of a new year, which is pretty awesome. Everything is sparkly and fresh and clean. How was your New Year’s Eve? I hope it was everything you wanted, and I hope this year is, too. I’m big on ritualism and specialness, and whatnot, so, I broke the 6000 mark today–a new music milestone for a new year. In the name of things being all ritualistic and special-like, the first post of the year shall be shiny. Namely, it’ll be a post about one of my favorite things on earth. (Note that I did not say “songs” or “bands”. That is not an accident and not because this post is about something other than music.)

So, I went skiing with my family last weekend, and it was pretty fantastic. We were there Thursday night through Sunday night, which mean three solid days of skiing–and the conditions were seriously perfect the first day and a half, until a storm hit and closed down the lodge. Luckily, everything was running again by Sunday, and we got some more skiing (and snowboarding, in the case of my brother) in, though this time with a loooot more powder. It was a really nice weekend–even though there was no internet at the rental. My parents’ friends have some cute kids that are energetic all hell, and since kids of a lift-up-above-your-head-and-spin-aroundable age love me, I wound up with a stack of kid drawings to take home. It was pretty cute.

So, where were we? Music. I decided on the song of the moment because when I was sitting in the ski lift with my dad on Saturday, watching the sky turn white, it was the first thing that came to mind. “The storm is coming.”  That’s fucking right, there is a band that is such a part of my life and my mind that they’re the first thing I think of when it storms. If you know me even a little, at all, you already know that the band whose awesome I shall be basking in today is Brand New. I am going to try and keep the rambling as short as  I can. This will be hard. I have seen this band six times. I know stupid amounts of too much about them.

Brand New have been my favorite band for like four years now, but I’ve been listening to them for something like eight. How I managed to get lucky enough to find this band when I knew fuck-all about music, I will never know, but I bought Deja Entendu when I was in 7th grade, and wore my copy of that CD out. My favorite tracks on it don’t play. However, today, we will be dealing with a song off the album after that,  The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, a third album that took three years to arrive.

The story is, in the wake of the scene-specific success brought on by Deja Entendu, and the onslaught of crazy-intense fans that came with, Jesse Lacey, lead-singer extraordinaire, was not, how shall we say, handling his shit. Combined with some deaths in the family and a bevy of stress-induced health problems, suddenlyfame kind of drove JTL (Jesse Thomas Lacey) off the rails. This resulted in the sizable gap between albums, which involved scrapping most of an album worth of demos largely because it was leaked (something JTL has expressed regret about), and various other such insanities. Once Devil and God was recorded, the video for the first single languished and eventually went the way of the demos. The list of eccentric behaviors displayed by Mr. Lacey is quiiiite long and shall be saved for another day, but all that crazy was not without purpose; it resulted in a fucking fantastic album.

The Devil and God is not the easiest of listens–it took me quite a few listens to get past the overpowering sadness of the thing, but once I did…That is a good fucking album. It is layered as fuck which means it sounds extra amazing with nice headphones, and it is just all sorts of beautiful. The lyrics are great. The melodies are great. The guitar licks are…let’s go with beastly. Like all their albums, it is completely distinct from any of their others, but still true to whatever the fuck it is that makes Brand New. This album is epic. This album brightened up out of one of the worst years of my life.

The song I have selected for your enjoyment is a good representation of the album. It’s got a cool intro, memorable lyrics, fantastic instrumentals–sweet guitar licks, a cool bass line, and drums that hold it all together. It’s got slow, pretty bits and super intense explodey bits with wailing guitar and screamy vocals. In short, this song has everything you could want a song to have. It is called “Degausser” and I love it with my soul.

Take me, take me back to your bed
I love you so much that it hurts my head
I don’t mind you under my skin
I’ll let the bad parts in the bad parts in