Saturday, April 28, 2007

Things I'd like to see, Part One

A storm over Lago Nordenskjold in Patagonia.

Video of the Day

If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, nothing will.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Man, this is that side of North Central London I Never Run Into

So there is this guy named Plan B. He is supposed to be the next Mike Skinner according to the NME. His album came out last year I think. He is ok. Believe me, he is not creating any Orginal Pirate Material. Apparently he has this mixtape out with a bunch of samples from noteworthy rock groups and artists such as Radiohead and Leonard Cohen. In the mixtape, the one song that I am obessed with samples Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne." Mind you, this is such an amazing Hip Hop track. The lyrics are totally ace. The lyrics are as if Damon Albarn and Nick Cave got together and did a hip hop flow. It is about a terrible murder in Camdentown. Now, I haven't been to Camden for some odd reason. I have been on the edge of it walking up Primrose HIll, but I have not been in the heart of it all like where the Good Mixer is. Mr. Peacock has failed on taking me there, but hey, it isn't totally his fault. I lived in Marylebone for over a month and I still didn't manage to make it over to that neighborhood, and it is across the park. Innit weird? I was everywhere but there, well not everywhere. I wasn't in South LDN, but boy do I wish I was after knowing about Dubstep since I was there last year and that is when it all exploded. I do regret a few things: not going to Camden, not going to the Notting Hill Arts Club for any of the nights like Death Disco or YOYOYO, not going to Fabric, and finally not knowing about Dubsetp. This is all besides the point. Plan B has made this utterly eerie song about this grotesque murder that sends chills up the spine like the scene in Seven when that dude who ate his own tongue starts moving about and makes you literally shit yourself. So here it is people: Plan B's "Suzanne"

Is It Love? This is Love.

Now, I apologize for that scatterbrained post below. It was late at night. I felt like I had to do something and I was listening to Tricky at the time, so that's what you get. But now, for a true love affair. I swear if I had one wish to be with one woman in the entire world I think it would definitely be Juanita Stein. Miss Stein is leader singer of The Howling Bells who made the number 1 spot on the Catalogues' 2006 End of the Year list. Now, I know she is a very very attractive woman physically, but there is so much more to this amazing Aussie. One, The Howling Bells are the best new bands around, period. They are of the same ranks as The Go! Team, LCD Soundsystem, The Arcade Fire and Interpol. Best new artists are Burial, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, and MIA, but.....that is another post. The Howling Bells are making the kind of music that I was waiting for someone to do. Joel (Juanita's brother) is one of my favorite guitarists in recent memory. He creates a wonderful soft texture under Juanita's rhythm guitar. The Howling Bells also have the ideal image going on. You can look at all these trendy bands in super tight jeans or someone in new NIke kicks (personally guilty of that one), but these guys are in a league of their own in terms of coolness. I am not huge on a the cool factor with bands because James Murphy is not your stereotypical hipster which makes him a hip cool guy. Again though, The Bells have created a wonderful Outback/ Western/ Southern Gothic image that just gets my blood flowing. The drummer looks so damn cool. He's got the cowboy hat going and is really tall (sticks out). Joel has the scarf (very Doc Holiday). The bassist, I tend to over look because well..... he's the bassist, but hey, that's cool. Nothing against bassists, Jah Wobble was practically the X factor on Second Edition. Then there is Juanita, usually in black, but not in a depressed gothic stupid way. She looks so classy and graceful. Now we know this band has some exciting music as well as a cool image. There is something that makes them stand out a little more. I love Miss Stein's lyrics so so so so so much. So many images come to mind, and the phrase "low happening" is a new favorite. I kid you not, if she were keen to me, I would convert to Judaism ( I assume she is with a name like Stein) and move to Australia. I don't think there is a person with a more angelic face. I could on and on about The Bells and how much I love them as well my love for Juanita Stein. Good people, good lyrics, good music, good image, cool as fuck, and the loveliest woman in the world as their singer. I love the Howlling Bells.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is It Love? No not love.

You know there is always some music writer who makes some list of the top songs or albums to play while doing tha dirty dirty. It is always some R&B stuff or the "Whisper Song." But this is all besides the point. I am trying to think of the albums/songs that give you that feeling of just feeling in love or just utterly sensually moved as cheesy as it sounds. You know the kind, When I really think about it, every time I listen to Tricky's Maxinquaye it gives me that warm feeling one might get. I guess, every listen always makes me happy. Maybe that's what I'm trying to get to. The top albums that every listen no matter what situation is makes you feel extemely good. I know it is, for a fact, impossible to listen to Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator" feeling sad, especially the live version. I hate the phrase "feel good." Yet, that is what this song does or that Tricky album, even as dark as it is. The one song, "Suffocated Love," makes me feel wonderful. It is hard thing to do, I'd imagine. I know the artist doesn't plan on creating that kind of song unless they are the people who did that "Steal My Sunshine" song, which actually makes me depressed when I hear it. What is it in the human mind that makes one react to something like Kraftwerk and always feel wonderful? I think when I listen to Dub I am always in a great mood. There is something is Dub that just really gets to me, especially at night and even more so while driving. Two songs in particular do it to me: Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" and Willie Williams's "Armagideon Time." These songs, I think, are so good. They just have so much texture. The vocal inflections are amazing. "Bam Bam" is my most listened to song on my Itunes along with "Mogadishu" by Baader Meinhof which is another prime example of song that is so cool and makes me feel so. What does this say about me? "Mogadishu," "Armagideon Time," and Tricky make me feel good? These are songs and artists that are associated with dark subject matter or textures. Not dark in the Joy Division sense of course. But these song evoke rainy images. Maybe this whole post was a complete wank with words and subject matter, oh well. I don't know how to even to describe this list, but here it is.

(List Title) No Order
1. Baader Meinhof- "Mogadishu
2. Willie Williams- "Armagideon Time"
3. Sister Nancy- "Bam Bam"
4. Tricky- "Suffocated Love"
5. The Passengers- "Theme From Let's Go Native"
6. Kraftwerk- "Pocket Calculator" (live)
7. Belle and Sebastian- "Lazy Line Painter Jane"
8. Panda Bear- "Bros"
9. LCD Soundsystem- "Yr City's A Sucker"
10. U2- Even Better Than The Real Thing

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When I Think the Guitar is Dead

The Twilight Sad are a band that I am really excited about. They bring that British Isle folk with white noise guitar and pounding drums. Good idea. It is like if The Pogues, The Walkmen, and Kevin Shields all started hanging out. This song in particular is just wonderful I think. Enjoy.


Sorry that it has been so long since I have posted. I have been lazy to be honest. Well, I thought I'd come back with a review of a return of one of my idols, Nick Cave. For you people who haven't been keeping up with the times, Mr. Cave has stepped outside of the Bad Seeds collective to create a little side project that still has Bad Seeds members in it called Grinderman. Grinderman released their album rather recently, and I oh so dearly love it.

From the very beginning I have been anticipating this album. Cave and the boys have certainly come through. It is filled with everything I expected and wanted plus more. I wanted a return of that dirty, crazy, and just plain fucked up Nick Cave. He certainly made this return, but did it with maturity and with a step forward. This certainly does not sound like any Cave album I've heard before. It certainly has the elements of other albums. Yet, there are some very different elements to this album as well. For instance Cave takes a step back from his beloved piano and plays guitar. Warren Ellis took a big role on this album with his violin. It isn't your usual playing either. Ellis comes in with some really crazy bombastic noises at times. Listen to "No Pussy Blues" and you'll know what I mean. The song "Grinderman" sounds just like its title. The guitar sounds as if it is grinding up scrap-metal. The song that wins the album is "Go Tell The Women." This lyrics seem to reflect the ideas of Cave and his men at this time in their lives. All I can say is when the song pauses and Cave just sings "Hey Hey Heyyyy" my heart sours. It just hits that spot. The whole album seems to be a representation of a man in his 40s dealing with sexual frustration (wife can't always put out), disillusionment with society and culture, and so on. In the end, Cave seems to want to bed his wife so so much.

Grinderman is a primal primal album. Cave and the boys wanted to do a departure from their poetic realism and noir. They wanted to scrape those feelings at the bottom of the barrel, when you are just having one of those "Ah fuck all you!" kind of days and just want to go home release any tension you have. The thing is Cave expresses these feelings so well whether they are described bombastically or very elegantly. Grinderman will knock you back and make you laugh out loud while at the same time really move your soul.