Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't get any big ideas, they're not gonna happen

Here's the thing: I like Radiohead. I appreciate them. But I can't say I love them. And that's partially why it took me almost a month and a half to download what is essentially a free album (and yeah, I paid null set for it; I fully expect to buy the physical packaging when it comes out next year). Honestly, I'm not even sure how to talk about the new album because it's more an idea than a collection of songs, and that idea so overwhelms the content, it's impossible to give an honest appraisal. I'm constantly looking for some line to tie it all together, to link the big idea to the music, when they are most likely two totally separate things. And musically, it's status quo: Chilly emotionalism, dread, icy technology, Thom Yorke disconnected from the world, etc. (Also: tape farts.) We know the score: it's been the well-worn path at least since it was writ large on OK Computer, each time with varying results. It's too early for me to separate concept from actual execution and say whether the album itself is any good. I mean, it's certainly not bad and on a scale, I'd certainly rank it as a lot more pleasurable than the parking ticket I got yesterday (and a happy holiday to you, Philadelphia Parking Authority.

That being said, it has its moments. "Bodysnatchers" squeezes every last bit of excitement out of one musical idea. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" is kind of... I don't know. Haunting? "Videotape" is disarming after what precedes it.

What do I know? I'm on about my seventh consecutive listen of "Mr. Brightside" right now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We want you here at home with the masters that you own and your comfortable headphones

That Georgie James album is great on an early afternoon drive back from D.C., the window open despite the temperature. I'll say this much more about the album: its charms are obvious, but I'm wondering if they're more than just superficial. I've left a wake of albums that sounded great on the first few listens but didn't really hold up past then. I wonder if its trextured enough to hold up over time. But songs like "Cake Parade," "Need Your Needs," "More Lights," and "Cheap Champagne" have been treating me well, so why analyze it more than necessary?

Monday, November 12, 2007

"'Clown College?" You can't eat that!"

It's been a productive weekend. Not only did I find the perfect wine to go with a candy apple, but I got Season 6 of the Simpsons for $15. Thank you, Target! But the bitter to that sweetness was showing up late for the Pipettes in-store at Sound Garden. By a day. I blame it on daylight savings. Damn you Benjamin Franklin, you one-trick pony.

Also... Thanks to Bitchfork (zing!) I spent a sweet little part of today listening to Okkervil River's Daytrotter sessions. Some great covers, including one from Papa John Phillips. Is this from the mythic unreleased Phillips album, the one that is continually being threatened to be released, and may actually have been? I'm too lazy to find out, but I remember being semi-obsessed with it when I had fewer hobbies.

(There's a story about Mick Jagger locking Phillips out of his own house so that Mick could "make the beast with two backs" with Mackenzie Phillips. So yeah... I just wanted to throw that out there.)

On a totally unrelated note, I picked up the Georgie James album, seeing as how I couldn't stop listening to their songs on Hype Machine. I can't say it's anything that's going to cure cancer(or as great as this candy apple I'm eating), but right now, on a few listens, I'd say it's one of the better albums this year. Honestly, I haven't found anything on it I like more than the songs on their MySpace page, but it's solid from start to finish. Like cookie jars, a solid B.

Friday, November 09, 2007

This is radio nowhere

So that Springsteen-Clear Channel controvesry alluded to below? Turns out its pure BS. This is why I'm in law, not journalism. So, uh, Clear Channel overlords? I apologize. AndI'm a huge Nickelback fan. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

We need more lights in our neighborhood

I'm a sucker for songs that sound like indie rock domestic bliss. Good musicians can make settling down so perfect. I'll have to come up with a list when my brain is functioning better (or at all), but for now, Georgie James - More Lights.

P.S. I am drunk

Monday, November 05, 2007

You in the back: can you hear me? The siren's on.

The crazy girl with the cape outside Black Cat told us the Thermals had a great song and it went like this: "Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh." Turns out she was talking about "A Pillar of Salt," which the band did play. Two points: that is a hell of a song and that girl was bat shit crazy. She wore a cape. And a note to her boyfriend: I'm not sure why you were giving me the hairy eyeball; it wasn't my crotch that she grabbed at the bar.

Bands like the Thermals, you know what you're gonna get. Energy, tunefulness, and yadda yadda yadda. And for that reason, it's hard to get into details. It was a good show, we'll leave it at that. So instead:

Top five songs right now:
1. Okkervil Rier - A Girl in Port
2. Band of Horses - Is There a Ghost
3. Bat for Lashes - What's a Girl To Do
4. The National - Mistaken for Strangers
5. The Thermals - An Ear for Baby

Oh yeah, and... anyone else see this Springsteen-Clear Channel controversy? Like the post's author, Will Bunch, the last few years have really left me exhausted, politically, and anymore it's hard to work myself into a lather. So I won't do it. I just think its prescient that the new Springsteen starts out with "Radio Nowhere."

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