Friday, July 31, 2009

okkervil river - 'for real'

this song imagines our inner darkest thoughts. i remember my dad setting me aside and lecturing me that all of us have dark ideas, but it's really important to never let the dark side of us come out. i don't know if i agree with the sentiment to never let it out, but i do agree that all of us have sinister thoughts, whether it be considering how an airplane crash would feel if we were aboard in row F with the window view or some crazy perverted thought you would never explain to someone.

okkervil river was a band i really never had looked into. one night at a friend of a friend's house, i was played this song and it immediately reminded me of the speech i had from my father. 'for real' understands the suppression behind the emotions and moreover realizes the release when we acknowledge our darkest depths. the stark contrast between the soft verses and the rough, jagged prechorus sent chills down my spine indicating the songs powerful pull. find your darkest spots and don't be afraid. as the song labors, "you can't hide".

creepy video...

Monday, July 20, 2009

thom yorke - 'the present tense' (live at latitude)

if i could count the amount of times i've wondered if radiohead are angels/aliens, i'd be able to count myself to sleep for many nights. thom yorke, et al, have such dynamic musical abilities, i find it challenging to not sit in wonder if this will be the greatest band i will ever experience in my lifetime. this recording is from this year's altitude festival and thom plays a new song entitled 'the present tense' all by his lonesome.

breaking down the elements of the song, the guitar is something quite similar to 'reckoner', fingerpicked loosely in lopsided succession. yorke's vocals are restrained in the beginning, singing lightly of weapons and self-defense. implicitly, his soft vocals mirror the folky nature of the song and lyrics ("don't get heavy, keep it light, keep it moving"). following the second verse, he shifts into jeff buckley's vocal range with a fervent, yet calm demeanor. briefly, there is a definite feel of 'you and whose army' mixed with the break from 'reckoner' as the chord progression changes in a familiar sense. as the guitar shifts back, the bossa nova roots becoming more evident, as he coos, "in you i'm lost;" leaving just enough time to breathe deeply and it abruptly ends.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

elbow - 'some riot'

i'm so fortunate to have a wonderful twin who shares so much with me. i'm not always into his music suggestions, but sometimes he recommends music which it takes a while to digest but is amazing. he recommended i relisten to elbow recently and i'm surprised they didn't catch my ear the first time.

elbow is a seasoned group out of england who has been around for over 15 years i believe. 'some riot' is off their most recent album the seldom seen kid.

this particular riot is built on a tinker piano which sounds like it should be in a music box. a cello, (i believe), shifts like a top nearing the end of it's dance. the piano and the cello shift back and forth, as if
in a slow waltz, swelling and ebbing. the vocals are soft and gentle, but grow to a strained, saddened call. as things progress, an church organ creeps up and looms heavily in the air, framing the song. there is also a spectacular live version with the bbc orchestra on youtube if you want to check it out. (by the way i think he says 'booze' rather than bruise)

i'm ready for some fireworks