Monday, June 29, 2009

kent - 'things she said'

kent is another band from sweden.
fairly obscure in reference until rock band came out with 'vinternoll2' on it.

this song is off their classic isola back from the year 1998.
the back beat is driven by a hollow tom sound from behind a thick curtain of acoustic guitars reminiscent of the flaming lips.
the bass guitar shifts underneath the rhythm and joakim berg's vocals stretch vowels in an unnatural way. guitar harmonics float above berg's falsettos at the crescendo, where it fades away. fitting that kent was formed to try and emulate my bloody valentine.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

sneaker pimps - 'bloodsport'

i've loved the sneaker pimps since becoming x, which sadly is their only recognizable album to most folks. followed by the more complex and acoustic feel of splinter, which is probably my favorite album by them. when bloodsport was scheduled for release, i was anxious to get my hands on it. there was a debacle and tommy boy records cut the british band off the label, although i was lucky to get my hands on a cd, (i would have waited over 6 months if i wasn't able to grab that copy).

the title track immediately drew me in with the complex, dancey rhythms and squawking synthesizers, (the sexiness of the female moans probably didn't hurt). the song grinds like a stripclub anthem, but still has that edge which comes with the lead singer, chris corner, who is very likely to pick up a guitar on even some of the most techno sounding tracks, (although he doesn't pick one up for 'bloodsport'). he feigns an innocent boyish charm, ensnared in some complex and kinky sex act, but you can be sure it was his idea all along.

this is the song i can put on late at a party and even though i've got no energy left, (or dance moves for that matter), i will go strong to this song.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

tv on the radio - staring at the sun

beginning with an urban hymnal feel, synths boil to churn out the bass line. 'staring at the sun' has always been bone chilling due to the stark contrast between the howling of the backup vocals and the choppy bass; the vocals being smooth and polished opposed to the grinding of the synthesizer. the lyrics are poetic and deliberate, not stopping due to breathing, but exaggerating the depth of field. the twittling guitar buzzes with energy, but rather than sprinting towards a refrain or chorus, it jogs in place idly. a standard high hat emerges from the ruckus in synthetic fashion, very close to a typical trance high hat. subsequently, the guitar dies down in spastic nature, picking a random cluster of notes on the way down to pick itself back up. the instrumentation fades away as the song shifts into an anthemic dance.

"note the trees because the dirt is temporary"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

deerhunter - agoraphobia

cryptograms was a fascinating record, but deerhunter's microcastle, just blows it out of the water. when nick gave me the record, he told me he wanted 'agoraphobia' to be played on his retrospective video... it's that good.

remember that hippie girl in high school, who would always request grateful dead songs at the dances? you know, the one who would bust out the 60's snorkel and throw scarves around in faux slow mo to half the tempo? deerhunter has apparently channeled that ora on microcastle; it's the beach boys without the beach. with heavily saturated guitars and bradford cox's dreamy vocals
, 'agoraphobia' is layered comparably to the six socks the hippie girl wore to make rainbows dance around her ankles. i'm puzzled as to how the song sounds so spotlessly clean in production, even though i'm positive i hear a tremolo'ed guitar in the back. when i play it back, i can never actually find the guitar; maybe it's only present in spirit, not totally unlike the girl from high school. i love the placating nature of the song despite the fact that i believe cox is asking to be thrown in jail in a solitary confinement chamber... so that's where all the hippies go?

and if the song wasn't erie enough, then they had to go and do a video with slow motion tango dancers?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

radiohead - gagging order

so i'm another year wiser, akin to this track.
'gagging order' is one of my favorite bsides by radiohead.
so simple for a band of such complexity.

in this one take miracle, a lone acoustic tinkers in a country style hammering technique. perhaps it's slightly off in timing because thom yorke didn't want any remixes. the vocals are slow, meditated, and reassuringly disarming. yorke's vocal presence marks him a worn out performer, maybe a magician whose 'illusions' have all been torn apart and discovered; yet for unknown reasons passers by continue to prod him for an song/act he performed years ago. instead of spitting in their faces, as he did in younger years, he only musters enough force to raise a hand and wave them away. while coursing through his routine
self-administering medication 'just to take the edge off' his normal day, he assures them, he is 'just a body, there's nothing left to see.' the most powerful thing to me about this song is despite his exhausted tone, you can still literally feel the much larger capacity and depth just below the surface.

apologies for the lack of posting, if you are reading

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

brand new - jesus christ

this track means a lot to me right now. i was honored when my guitar played this song on stage in front of me. thank you, jesse.

beginning with the solidarity of constant chords being plucked like worn out stairs, walked up and down in an almost death march pace. a hopeful lead emerges and gives the feel of the sun emerging from torrential rain. jesse lacey's vocals are almost uttered in poetic rhythm, somber and alone. as harmonic shards fade in and out of the song, nothing can break the momentum of the seemingly canned drums. this is the feel when you've lost control on the unfamiliar dark road you are speeding down. the look of your eyes straining to find where you will fall eventually as everything slows in a fatal slow motion blur. as the music builds, lacey's screams haunt you like the smell of the dust off the airbag. did you evade death or have you changed from the first person to the third?

where's my phoenix now?