Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pretty fucking cool Stu. Just what I need. Another conduit for me to spend more of my hard earned coin on new music. I tried it with Tortoise first and it came up with Album Leaf, Do Make Say Think, Eleventh Dream Day and some other cool stuff that was new to me. I then tried the ol grandfather of skronk Albert Ayler and right on cue I got some Don Cherry and then a pretty wild band Cold Bleak Heat followed by Steve Coleman and the Five Elements. I'm going to have to give this another spin when I have more time to listen to the tunes all the way through.

While brian chews on the race issue for a bit, allow me to entertain you with a rant in the form of a question: does the world need another one of these?

Yes, that the Rolling Stones continue to tirelessly trek all over the Globe, singing the same damn songs they've been singing for the past 40 years, is in some respects admirable but in most respects lame, boring, enough already etc...But why oh why oh why oh why oh jesus please tell me why do is it news every time they announce a new concert?

I don't care if the Stones are set to play their first show in the colon of a 90 year old elephant, the fact that they are performing another concert, anywhere, is not news. And since every lazy-ass newscast and entertainment show will milk this 3-paragraph wire story for the next five days, I won't be able to turn on the television or flip through the radio or get on the subway without seeing or hearing a headline to announce this fact over and over and over again.

Are you with me, people? Or am I just cranky because it's cold, it's Tuesday, and I'm not used to being in the office for this many consecutive days?

Okay, here's something less crotchety, more amusing...comedian/actor David Cross using the 'shuffle songs' feature on his ipod and being asked to comment on each track.
very cool, stuart! i was so in need of another distraction at work :)
just found a new great website called http://www.pandora.com/ that goes as follows:
1) you type in the name of a band you like
2) the station automatically creates a custom radio station with set list of songs of a similar sound

I tried iron and wine and it seems to work...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Boys - Thanks for the comments.....I love this sort of lively debate (am I sounding like Michael Landsberg yet?), even if I did have to risk appearing closet-racist like. Not that there's anything wrong with that - oh wait, there is something wrong with that.

I will try to flesh out my thoughts in light of your (all very different but related) opinions on the subject, but can't do it today. Strangely, I am being asked to work.
I'm not sure that I see this polarization in terms of music critics. If you look at any recent 'Best of' polls in places like Pitchfork or Spin Magazine, you'll see a fair representation of black and white, hip hop and alternative bands, and there doesn't appear to be any tension or animosity between the two camps.

White artists appropriating black artists is arguably the foundation of rock and roll and probably much pop music that has followed. In that sense, it has always been 'black' but has traditionally only sold well to mainstream (ie. predominantly white) audiences when it came in a white package. We could go into a debate about how much of this is unspoken racism versus identification with the known vs. the unknown but I think we all might find this a little tiresome. What I think has happened in the past 10-15 years is an acceptance, by a generation that hasn't grown up with the same institutional racism as their parents, of artists who are not white and a further identification with these artists.

What's interesting to me, looking at the Billboard music chart (and aha, I recognize more than 1 song, which I'm not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed about, given the chart), and specifically the titles of the top 50 tracks, is the resemblence to disco era sexuality, be it implicit ('Lean wit It, rock with it', 'Sugar we're going down', 'We be burnin'), overt ('Touch it', 'Pump it'), or childishly overt ('My Humps', 'Ms. New Booty'). I think this is probably the main reason why 'black culture', with respect to brian's question, is at an all-time high.

Some might say this is a backlash to the puritanical political culture in the US at present but I think it’s actually quite simpler.

Look at the two bands that Derek mentioned--Nickelback and System of a Down. How best to describe their music? Angst-filled, whiny, angry, confused, brooding? Would you use the same adjectives to describe the music (not the figure, down boys!) of Beyonce or the Black Eyed Peas? Beyond the question of whether or not they are contributing anything positive to pop culture as a whole, their music sure is a lot more ‘fun’ or 'exciting'.

Other than the American/Canadian Idol contestants, who destroy the music of black and white artists with equal aplomb several times a week, I also can't come up with any near-credible white artists donning the 'street schtick' to any acclaim. I'm curious, though. Did you have any performers in mind when you asked the question?
I hate to agree with you both , but I think you're correct, in that, brian, the American Idol stuff ( for example) has this gloss of RnB often and it seems like painting a superficial gloss in the attemp to make it cool. lots of commercial radio has this goin on.

I agrree also with Derek that the current critics darlings tend to have a seperate world of sound ( at least in pop rock). Black vs White....I would add that I think that part of this separation of black and white influences in indie music ( as opposed to commercial) is due to the constant speciallization of musical styles in pop music that has been going on in a serious way since tyhe 80's . U2 being the last band to have captured more then 1 segment of the listening audience. Where I disagree is in that all black music is at a low, as Outcast and Kanye West are 2 of my current faves ....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Got to say that I can't see that black pop culture is having any significant effect on pop music these days. I think more than ever before really that the two sides of the pop coin are as far apart as they've ever been in my lifetime. If the UK pop kids are primarily digging bands like Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay etc I would have an extremely difficult time limning the "black" influence in these bands. Likewise on this side of the pond with Green Day ruling the roost with the likes of Nickelback, System of a Down and Fall Out Boy.

We only have to look back to "big" bands of the day like the Clash, Talking Heads and a bit later the Chili Peppers to see that there were smart creative ways to incorporate black beats (be they reggae, african rythms or funk) without co-opting the source as had been the case in much of the music of the 50's and 60's. Even lesser light indie bands like Durutti Column, Orange Juice and A Certain Ratio put their own special twee white indie-kid spin on some of the black music they'd listened to growing up. Who's doing anything in a similar vein these days?

I just took a quick glance over at the Billboard Pop 100 and I can honestly say that I don't recognize a single tune until we get to Kanye's "Gold Digger" still on the charts at #19 after 26 weeks. So if we're talking popular music Brian you're going to have to be more specific because I am so out of the loop where that's concerned and ain't I glad.
Quiet week this week boys. Kyle, no questions to consider for the weekend?

Let me lob one out there.

I'm thinking.......

OK, how about this. What do ya'll think about the influence of black (pop) culture on pop music. Personally, I think it's at an all-time high. In the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies (the eighties seemed to drop off a bit, Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J notwithstanding....I knowI missed about fifty seminal rap-sters) I believe the influence, perhaps because it was still relatively marginal (through jazz, soul, blues, etc) to have raised the level of pop music. Now I think it's hit its peak and has turned in on itself....I'm generalizing of course....

It seems to me that black culture has become the disco beat of the day - mix in a little "black" sound, or a little mysoginist body language, and the pop world sees your track as being more real, more more street-level, yadda yadda. I find it all a little "wrong" and see, primarily, the dilution of some fantastic musical pedigree and concepts.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I haven't looked at how the National Playlist thing works either but was wondering if there was a way to get something off the list. Hallelujah is a great song but does the KD Lang represent the gold standard? I'm thinking Mr. Cohen or the late Mr. Buckley's renditions far outstrip a live performance at the Junos. Perhaps there's a cover of Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Our Lady Peace played at an Edgefest event in the mid-90s that would an a certain je ne sais quoi to the list? Or Choclair sampling AM's Snowbird? Or Michael Buble reimagining Maestro Fresh Wes' Let Your Backbone Slide? I'll chip in for the beers if you make it to the radio, Stu.
Gee Stewart, I don't know if I can come up with something as inspired as "Heart of Gold", the current number one. Wow. Some of the other choices aren't bad I guess. I haven't looked at the site closely, but don't really understand how songs (once we suggest them) get listed for consideration. I'll take a look. And I will buy you a beer, but only for a non-whoring choice - with the prospect of multiple pints of cold frosty beer on the line it's be mighty tempting to suggest "Sundown" by GL, or "Courage" by those Tragic guys.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ok so Im a loser baby....I just email voted at the cbc national playlist site.
I assume you all are aware of this show which is basically a music geek show where you argue over what songs are really important, new and old. Its kind of pointless in a way, but fun nevertheless...Aside from voting for your fave song on the list ( to keep it alive), You are allowed to recommnend a song to be added to the playlist and you get credit for it on the air and on the site if its chosen. I thought maybe we should try as a mini competion since we like lists so much. If one of us gets their song on the list he gets free drinks out on the rest of us....Ok I know the odds are not good, and Ill shut up now if you like ( honestly!! it was just a thought,,,stop that cursing.....)heres the link if you are remotely interested

Friday, February 17, 2006

You can always count on me to get incensed about important issues like awards shows and hockey, Stuart.

On a less passionate, more administrative note, you may or may not have noticed that i updated the links on the right. I've separate the links into categories and added podcast feeds. For the unitiated, podcasts are broadcasts that have been saved into .mp3 files and that are automatically sent to your computer when you 'subscribe' to a podcast 'feed'. You can do this easily if you're using Itunes by searching for Podcasts in the music store.

To use the links on the right with itunes, you can click on the link, then drag the link from the address bar in the browser (click the mouse on the little picture to the left of 'http://') into the podcast section of itunes or to whatever other software program you may be using for podcasts.

Now that I've lulled you all into a quiet sleep...anyone planning on buying music this weekend?

Think I might head over to HMV today to finally use my Christmas gift card. Any ideas on how to spend it? I'm guessing it's loaded with $30 but of course I'll drop more than that.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

well ....ya dont check out metabeats for a few days and .......bamm..such vitriolic attacks against the junos.....Its good to see sir kyle so riled up....Im with you on this... but I am so tired of it all , its hard to get up the rage anymore, although it is particularely gauling givin the particularly hot canadian scene these days, I mean fuck there has to be at least 20 bands now that could get the nod ahead of blue rodeo and those other fuck nuts......Ok so maybe I can still get up the rage......
by the way.....didnt someone mention something about wine tasting, Ill be at a Marlie game w Rhys (he said nodding knowingly at Brians smug face) on the 25th but I think we can make the 11th....buy the way ...the new Cat Power is the greatest (pardon the pun).....at least this year...for me., Ill bring it along.....
Felt the need to ask around about the Junos and here's a response from my cousin Adam, who works for The Agency Group, which represents these artists.

Here's his two cents:

The Juno’s are picked by the board of directors of an organization CARAS. Everyone in the CAN music industry is a member of CARAS including me. We all get to vote for “Best New Group” but that is it, the board picks everything else. The board is made up of some old school-ers in the business. It’s bogus we all know it, but a couple of my bands are nominated and I could use some more hardware in my office. Oh yes, I have a Juno on my desk!
There you have it! Apart from the New Group category, a board of directors made the selections. They seem to be as on the ball as 'the board' of strategists who ran Paul Martin's election campaign.
Isn't Harper was more a Bif Naked man...

Jesus fucking H christ!!! And here I thought the grammy award nominations were beyond the pale. At least Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, who shouldn't really be nominated for any work after 1975 (some would say earlier for Sir Paul), are legends who will forever be remembered in pop history. But Nickelback? 2 lameass contest winners ? Jesus f...

Who selects the Juno nominees? It's not the National Playlist people, who can come up with from stinkers from time to time but wouldn't dare, on even their most self-indulgent, opiate-influenced days, advocate such a head-scratching, childish, cesspool of a list, featuring such outdated, unoriginal selections. I'm guessing it's a combination of music executives and their pre-teen offspring.

There was a time when very little Canadian music was played or heard or appreciated by Canadians. Often the Juno awards would celebrate mediocrity and I’d think, “Well, I guess they didn’t have much to choose from”. Nowadays, nothing could be further from the truth. Arguably, some of the best pop music in the world is being made in Canada, and I say this not because I’m rooting for the home team but because, well, it's true.

I guess it’s fair to say I won’t be tuning in for the broadcast but I guess the bigger question is, “Why?”

When you have so much depth from which to choose, why in the hell would you pick these nominations? And more importantly, who can I shake and maybe slap in the face to get a proper answer?

Here, by the way, is the summary judgment on Nickelback’s latest, which I looked up after wondering, “Is it just me? Or just me and Derek and the rest of the club?” Apparently not:


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wow, the Junos. Too cool for school or what? I'll go way out on a limb here and say that not a soul amongst you either owns or knows anyone who's come within 10 feet of any of these dead on arrival turkeys that are up for album of the year. And the Canadian RIA wonders why the purchase of music is on the wane. Drumroll please for these prestigious choices:

Nickelback - All the Right Reasons (the Allmusic review of this CD ends with: "they're still unspeakably awful.")
Kalan Porter - 219 Days (Canadian Idol winner for those out of the loop)
Michael Buble - It's Time
Rex Goudie - Under the Lights ( Idol runner-up for crying out loud)
Diana Krall - Christmas Songs (a fuckin xmas album!)

Since I'm assuming that neither of the Idol contestants wrote any of their own music that leaves only Nickelback of the 5 CDs above with any self-penned songs and where the anti-Nirvana is concerned that is not a plus.

Even funnier are the 5 bands up for "group of the year": Barenaked Ladies, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman. And here's deluded ol me thinking we had a pretty vibrant music scene here in Canada.

I see from the Junos website that both the Department of Canadian Heritage and Factor (which seems to receive most of its funding) from the DCH are listed as National Sponsors of the Junos. Why is taxpayer money going into encouraging this sort of rubbish? Anyone care to write to our new PM. I hear he's a big fan of Godspeed YBE.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hey you'll be crying out for more Sagittarius half-way through "Galveston". "Please, Brian, save us! Play more light derivative psychedelia!".

Kyle - nice clear thinking on a way around the whole downloading issue. Well done, and I'm on board. Have you ever though of selling educational software for a living?
I'm cool with bringing downloaded music. The only thing about putting your songs on to CD is that you'll likely be selecting songs from the 10-15 tracks on any given record to play back on the night of the CD club. Thus removing the opportunity for the rest of us to shout out drunken requests to hear track #4.

A print-out of some info on the music is a definite as it does help to have somewhere to hide your eyes when Brian puts on another track from his Sagittarius CD.
Interesting stat about Mats Sundin, Bri. Only 4 days? I'll fight the urge to insert a bitter 'joke' about his piss-poor point total or or overall ineffectiveness this year and instead will move on to your question about bringing downloaded music to the meetings.

I'd say that more than half my music purchases these days are downloads and I suspect this percentage will only increase over the coming years. It's just a hell of a lot easier to download then it is to find the time to make it out to hmv or soundscapes and most of the time the first thing I do with the disc when I open it is rip the tracks to mp3 so I can transfer to the ipod. Though I still enjoy owning a cd, and appreciate the artwork and the overall package, it's really all about the music, isn't it?

Though we call it the 'cd club', we have all brought some vinyl at some point and to me, the format doesn't matter, provided the sound quality is decent and I get to listen to everyone explain (or in some cases, defend) why they've brought what they've brought. The solution would be to burn your tracks to disc so we can play them on a cd player. My only caveat would be a request that, in light of liner notes that we can fumble with while listening to the track selections, you bring a printout from allmusic or an online review that you can pass around and satisify our need for tactile reinforcement.

Does this sound fair to everyone or should we give Brian a cold shoulder anyway, if only because his image approaches Beckham-like exposure in the transit system?
Hey boys, glad to see you're enjoying my noggin.

Kyle, good outing Saturday, though I can only imagine it got a little sloppier after my very early departure. Apparently you and Mats Sundin are only four or five days apart in age, by the way. Man.

Re wine tasting, always a fantastic idea. The D/W's are not 100% on either of those days, unfortunately only because we have baby-sitting type adventures already planned for this weekend and the 4th, so may be pushing our luck to do something on the weekend(s) in between (ahh, kids). I'll check with V and get back to you.

For the music club, how do you suggest we handle downloaded (iTunes) selections? I imagine they will constitute 20-30% of my purchases for the next little while, so am reluctant to also buy the disk (though I will likely do it on a selective basis).....but sharing a generic Memorex disk with the group will lack a little oomph. Everyone OK with that or will I get the cold shoulder?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Perhaps a good theme would be 'wines that pair well with large pictures of Brian's head'. Since you're off to South Africa, I'm thinking that would be a good country to use as theme as well. At some point, I'd love us to to an Italian wine tasting, perhaps with a focus on 1 or 2 specific regions or varietals. Either of those two dates you've suggested work for Sarah and I.

Thanks for reminding me about Steely Dan, which I actually enjoyed hearing on Friday. Though I'll cover this shortly in an email, a big thanks to all of you for coming out on Friday. I drank far too much and parts of the night are blurry, I do remember having a blast and I hope you did as well. Muchas gracias!!!
Mey and I ran into a larger than life-size version of Brian's mug this afternoon in one of the underground walkways downtown. He truly is the man about town.

Finally getting back to normal after having a few too many on Friday night. Good times even if the music was crap. Do I really need to explain to the uninitiated why hearing Steely Dan at full club volume in 2006 can't be a good thing.

Kyle mentioned on Friday night that we might be overdue for a wine tasting. I wouldn't mind hosting one before we take off on our vacation but there are probably only two Saturdays that would work. I'm thinking either February 25 or March 11. Any interest gents? I'm open to suggestions for a theme and Marc is only allowed to come on the condition that he actually sticks around long enough to taste the stuff.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

dammit Brian that damn ugly mug of yours keeps cropping up everywhere....
how much longer are we to endure this?

Friday, February 10, 2006

So 'Rhinestone Cowboy' is not GC's finest achievement? Very well, then I await March 4th and the coming Glen Campbell love-in.

Has anybody heard the new 'Destroyer' album? Heard a bit on the CBC Radio 3 podcast but was wondering if any of you Dan Behar fans out there had picked up the disc?
On the liner notes it mentions his gig w the beach boys, I suspect his good looks was a factor, but its not known aside from country music geeks that his guitar work is very good.......not that I think you will all be running off to buy yurselves a stack of Cambell discs.....
Speaking of Glenn Campbell, Derek and I got together for a little music listening the other night and I brought along a re-release from the under-exposed sixties band Sagittarius, which had a great psych pop song from 1967 called "My World Fell Down", which I knew from the original (and best) Lenny Kaye (the lead guitarist for Patti Smith) "Nuggets" collection from 1972. Anyhoo, the lead singer on this sparkling orchestral Good-Vibrations-era-Beach-Boys-inspired track was none other than....you guessed it, Dennis Wilson. I mean, Glenn Campbell. I'll bring it along to the March 4th gathering.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Is Stuart taking a piss or does he truly believe that Brian's doppelganger print-model is featured in the car show ads?

Also, Glen Campbell? Wasn't he the coach of the Edmonton Eskimos during their big Grey Cup run?
Wow look at that likeness!!

Stu, just to simplify your perspective on the world, I will say that there is only one BD.
I saw the same ad in the papers on the weekend, and even though I know it is not Brian, It is a perfect resemblance, I showed it to Yvette and she concurred...its very dishartening to think there are 2 of them out there, god ....perhaps there are even more, imagine Brian clones ruling the world....

I look forward to hearing the Belle & Sebastian, but im thinking do I reallty need 17 of their discs, well maybe I do......

finally, on a disc buying note, you will be interested to know that you can buy cds from Amazon.ca under the lising " new and used " waaaaay cheaper then under their regular listings,...After picking the album you want ( in my case a double cd Glen Cambell compilation I could only find for $38 after taxes in Toronto),click where it says items new and used, click on new and you get american independant cd store suppliers, click on one of the cheaper ones which has high customer satisfaction, and 2 weeks later I received a new sealed copy for $19 canadian including delivery and taxes ( 1/2 the price of the amazon listing and 1/2 the price if I bought it here)....
couse no one actually buys cds nowadays....especially Glen campbell ones at that!
Glad to hear that B&S are back in fine form. Perhaps you can send a disc to Matt Hasselback and the rest of the Seattle Seahawks, with references to track 2 as a potential tonic.

Having made a sports reference, I can now segue to my surprise this morning when I was reading an online article on Gretzky's gambling problems when I noticed an interesting ad.

Looking good, Mr. Doyle!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Belle & Sebastian hit the stores today and despite my lukewarm feelings towards their last album (Dear Catastrophe Waitress) I was still keenly anticipating this new record and I think the boys and girls in the band have come up trumps with this one. I've only given it a once through so it's early days but tracks 1-3 are probably better than anything on DCW and the second track has my favourite line "We're playing for our lives the referee gives us fuck all".

Track 4 "The Blues are Still Blue" is probably the weakest song on the record and then they tread water for a couple more songs until track 8 "Song for Sunshine" which sounds like an homage to Sesame Street and the 70's and is quite unlike most B&S songs. I like it a lot. Track #9 "Funny Little Frog" is also a keeper and it sounds like an old fave from their first record 10 years back but sounding just as fresh today. Nary a weak track to take us through the rest of the record with 14 tracks in all.

Whatever you do don't pick this up through e-music or any other downloadable option. Buy the disc, get the lyric sheet, enjoy the irreverent fan questions in the liner notes and revel in the three Scots lassies who adorn many of the come hither photographs in the CD booklet. Wish they were playing somewhere other than the Docks as I'd be more than happy to see them live a second time.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Everything I wanted to know about the current state of Norweigan electronica/soul but was afraid to ask. Very cool updates, Marc. Am now trying to locate some Eivind Aarset mp3s....

'Licensed to Ill' probably makes more sense if you're in your mid-teens and you haven't heard a lot of sampling, or rap, and you're driving around the suburbs, looking for a party and hoping somebody can buy you beer, which is how I first experienced this album. Lines like, "A lotta BEER/a lotta GIRLS/and a lot of CURSIN'/22 automatic on my PERSON" can only be fully appreciated while accompanied by loud shouting that reflects the nervous bravado of a burgeoning youthful male ego; some 20 years on, I can imagine it's a little dated. I know the 'Boys have since distanced themselves from some of the more overtly misogynistic lyrics that have tarnished an otherwise energetic and impressive full length debut. Still like the Zeppelin guitar line from 'The Ocean' on 'She's Crafty' demonstrates how sampling can really work well, and 'No Sleep till Brooklyn', if beat-mixed into any RunDMC track from the same period, takes me back to those (sorry) high school days.

'Post' and 'Debut' are the two Bjork discs to own, in my opinion. Though she's had some interesting releases since then, those first two discs are seem to gell more as complete albums, and offer some really great songs like, "Hyperballad" and "Isobel". I can't think of any of her subsequent releases that contain songs that match these efforts.

"This is Hardcore" is a bit of a grower. I thought it was a little overwrought when I first heard it, especially compared with "Different Class", but found that I came to enjoy it more with time. Also think "Help the Aged" is one of their best.

Questions as we head into the weekend:

Are the Grammy Awards the worst piece of shit awards show ever? If a certain Canadian band wins this award, will this change your opinion in any way?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Music? you ask… I think I’m a bit of a binge purchaser. Months will go by without my being able to find the time to swing by a store and browse or get on line to do some digging, but when I do it’s as if I’m consumed by irrational emotions and needs to possess. I think I might stem back to fantasies from years ago when stores used to have prize shopping sprees in which you could run around a store and grab all the vinyl you could in 60 seconds.

I dropped by a little used cd store on the north side of Dundas near Derek’s place and started browsing around. Picked out a few things and then came across the $5 bin…a lot of good stuff but I already had so much of it, but did manage to snap up a couple of good pieces including The Tragically Hips “Phantom Power” and “Beautiful Garbage” by Garbage. Two decent albums by two of some of my perennial favourites.

Amongst others I picked up:

-Bjork “Post” – lovin’ it!
-Bob Marley “Exodus” …figured it was time to dig deeper than “Ledgend”
-Beastie Boys “Licesned to Ill” told I should like it but don’t…but it helps to put perspective on “To the 5 Boroughs” that made it onto my top ten a couple of years back.
-Pink Floyd “Atom Heart Mother”…what the fuck?…I’ll give it a few more listens!
-Pulp “This is Hardcore” …to me, really lacks the playfulness that makes “Different Class” so fun….was not aware that they put out their first album in 1983!
-Gotan Project “A Gotan Project DJ Set” – Bullshit! …But if you do not yet have “La Revancha Del Tango” do yourself a favour and pick it up for those evenings you want a little sexiness happening in the background. It still gets slipped from the shelf on a regular basis after all these years around our place.
…plus a hoard of other crap that I won’t get into.

So new stuff that is coming to the next metaBeats gathering…

I searched out a bunch of stuff from the Jazzland label out of Norway from which you might remember I brought you Bugge Wesstletoft. I would still highly recommend his releases “Moving” as well as “FILM iNG” (sic.) …and “sick!” it is, as well. His grooves take me away…beautiful explorations of the boundaries of jazz and electronica and the lands in between. I just picked up two others of his…”Live” which as the name suggests was actually recorded live…direct to a two track recorder with the exception of one track that was recorded for the Gilles Peterson show on BBC. Again, a really nice groove that will get many, many more playings from me. I can’t say enough about this guy. Sweeeet!

I picked up a collaboration of Bugge with Sidsel Endersen “Out There, In Hear” Once again, well worth a listen (and a couple more on my part to do it justice) but I find that Sidsel’s at times inane lyrics and poetic form of address get in the way of the Wesseltoft’s music and the album as a whole. Pretty at times, exploratory at others, it’s a stretch as a whole. This album has a lot of quiet time…solo piano and a beautiful rendition of Neil Young’s “Birds” …just goes to show what you can do with a great song. As they say, if you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t taking enough risk! …a hard listen, but worth it.

From the SmalltownSupersounds label, you might recall a few sessions back I brought you “For the Ladies” by Kim Hiorthoy also from Norway(spelled with a slash through the “o”, but I have no idea how to get that on my keyboard and am not willing to find out!) …anyhow, it was shit…absolute crap…barely a note on the album, let alone any harmonics. Well, the album I was actually trying to get my hands on was “Live Shet” which is actually well worth a couple listens. Filled with a combination of sampled sounds from physical instruments as well as a hoard of clicks, blibs and samples, this album has a real jazz feel to it. Some may argue it’s not jazz, but to my ear it is full of improve and exploration.

And now for Something Completely Different! More Norwegian music from Jazzland…actually two albums I really love by Eivind Aarset…I really have to get some work done now…it’s not as if I’m employed after all! …to be continued.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Beyond 'Juicebox', I've heard little of the new Strokes. The reviews have been fairly subdued but of course this doesn't mean anything. I haven't been all that motivated to go out and buy it, though. Perhaps owning two albums is enough for now. Should I pick it up? Would I be a food not to? (Am I a fool now regardless, you may well ask, though please don't or at least don't answer in the affirmative).

Animal Collective continues to grown on me. The opening track, 'Did you see the words' was probably my most listened to song for January. Structurally, it reminds me a bit of the Arcade Fire's 'Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)', with its slow-build, quiet vocals giving way to almost a pleading desperation, joined by a harmony of 'oh's and 'woos', incessant drumming and...okay, i'm getting carried away but needless to say, I'm digging it.

Bands like AC and Deerhof tend to make albums that practically demand further listening. I never quite got my head around all the songs on 'Milk Man' or 'Apple O', but there are definitely some interesting moments on both. 'Four Runners' seems a lot more coherent than the former two, as well as being a little more cheerful.

The only other new stuff I've been listening to recently has been the High Dials and Quantic Soul Orchestra, both very different but both very good. The former has a Montreal-based, Teenage Fanclub pop sound while the latter is more rousing, funky party music, with some great vocals (from the UK I believe).