Monday, August 31, 2009

apologies for the spelling this time , see below, but I think i prefer the name metabeast, what do you "louts" think. Clearly there is a greater chance girls will stumble onto the site with that name ......
Ivebeen checking out the picks from you lout from the last few weeks shown on metabeast and it occurs to me that seeing a new track for the first time as a youtube video is quite different from only hearing the audio. Not sure this is a good thing as it is a distraction from the music itself....
ok so I should just get over this, but still.....
In the spirit of Brian , I will now nominate a lesser known act that I think ranks up there.
Cody Chestnut- the headphone masterpiece This track is typical of about 1/4 of the album.. it ranges from R&B like( the artist formerly known as)Prince to hip hop with the lyrics ranging from love songs to very humourous takes on relationships to the very profane....the range is great. Derek will know one track that is on the soundtrack to You me and Everyone we know by Miranda July which would make my top 10 movies of the decade, but I digress ..Definately the cd is one of my top R&B / rap type albums....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Continuing with the endless saga/slow steady stream of decade faves, two more gem tracks for me are:

The Streets - Well Be In

Sweet little story, nice looped beat, and especially love the invocation of a documentary observation about human mating cues in the chorus.

Midlake - Roscoe

Everything I like about old America and Fleetwood Mac albums in one song.

Monday, August 24, 2009

not surprising....tramps like bruce...
sorry brian, i checked with bruce and he is too busy to accomdate us...
When i first looked through that list I thought it looked like a pretentious self laudatory music scholar walk through critically acclaimed americanna music ...until i realised that this is exactly the sort of music that i love and listen too.....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty great list. I note the regular inclusion of the fave band of my youth The Byrds. Bruce and I should chat over a beer sometime. Stuart, maybe he could come out to a CD club?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

On a new topic - a friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting list of songs. These are songs that Bruce Springsteen hand selected as the "walk-in" music for his latest concert tour. It's a list of 250 or so songs covering a large number of different rock, folk and blues artists. It includes lots of songs that I know, and more enticingly, lots of songs that I don't.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Since you ask, Brian:

Yes, my brother did give me KoB many years ago, and no, I didn't like it very much. At the risk of incurring the derision of all of my fellow metaBeaters, I will admit that I still don't find it compelling. I did read the article, and it was interesting - I didn't know anything about the history of jazz improvisation, and the inflection point that Miles and the boys caused, or at least exemplified with this record. But that is the whole problem with jazz from my perspective – to me it's an intellectual exercise rather than an emotional response. I can't really enjoy a solo just because I know that it represents a particularly clever application of a mixolydian mode. I find that I can't really connect with a piece of music if it is too freely structured. I don't want every song to have a “verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus” structure, but I have difficulty with the “establish a loose theme - wander off and jam as the mood takes you - briefly revisit the theme” approach. It all starts sounding the same to me. Part of the issue is that I'm not a huge fan of instrumental music to begin with. I don't like really long extended jams in rock music either. Nonetheless, having read the article, I did give KoB another listen to see if my newly enhanced knowledge of the history of jazz would help make me a convert. It didn't.
Mo' KoB. Plus, I saw an ad for this book in the Sunday paper. Perhaps something you could gift to Mr. Gaines, Bri.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thanks Kyle. Kind of Blue, and the theory behind it, is something I've always found fascinating. It's not completely removed from the (generally much reviled) Schoenberg twelve-tone system of composition. I have a bunch of George Russell records, and while they are more difficult listens than KoB (almost all jazz is) they are very interesting, and come alive with careful listens. Honestly (it's a bit of an illness of mine) I get excited just reading about that music. Not excited excited, you know....just...never mind.

Mike, not to put you on the spot, but (and I appreciate that you are not a jazz fan) I recall you many years ago describing KoB as "mindless jamming", when your brother Brian foisted it upon you. Have you warmed up to it at all over the years? If no, will this article convince you to give 'er another try? (I think I know the answer to that one....:) )
Your Monday morning read: Kind of Blue.

Friday, August 14, 2009

That was so disappointing when you opened up the album, expecting to find some lyrics or pictures on the inner sleeve, and ended up with a white sleeve with clear plastic middle. Made me kind of hate the artist/band just a teensy little bit. I always used to like to buy those music mags with song lyrics so maybe I was just fixated on knowing what the artists were singing about.

You raise a good point about digital content and the fact that most of what would likely be compelling in a digital album--artist info, artwork, videos--is already widely available at the click of a mouse or the tap of a touch pad on a smart phone. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

As for your emusic frustrations, Bri, I hear you. Emusic has been bad about surreptiously dropping previously downloaded stuff or even pretending they never offered them in the first place. This happened recently with the Dirty Projectors album, which i grabbed in early July but is now 'No longer available in my country (Canada)'. With the first Ladytron and Jose Gonzales albums, they don't even acknowledge that they ever sold them to me. Almost makes me want to cancel the service until I remember that I'm still getting approximately 7 albums per month from them for an average of $3 a pop.
I'll be surprised if the new digital album concept takes off. While it is true that downloading a track or an album offers less tactile pleasure than the old vinyl records did, the on-line experience is actually much richer and deeper. As I listen to a newly-downloaded album, I can easily access the band's bio, reviews of this and all previous releases, song lyrics, album artwork and anything else that is posted on the web. Any package that they put together is going to be a subset of all of that - probably nicely formatted and heavy on graphics, but all of that content will be posted and available for viewing very rapidly. Unless they find ways to protect it all, which will require cumbersome and irritating security devices that will raise the ire of music fans yet again.

I do remember the vinyl album experience fondly though. Whenever I bought a new record, there was always that moment of anticipation - would the inner sleeve be full of lyrics, photos and other interesting bits - or would it be a disappointing plain anti-static sleeve?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well, admittedly, it's just possible that I got a bit edgy when Stu suggested I had to opine on why his choices weren't on my list.

Kyle, it's early, but I fear you have an insurmountable lead in the Wittiest Blogger Award again this year. Nice job on the levity.

Re digi albums, I'm much less troubled by it then I am by digi's a far more obvious fit, for one. In my case, I'm about 95% digital these days anyway, and wouldn't know at this point whether I was buying "real" releases or not. In terms of rights, that's a whole different issue. For example, emusic has started eliminating some music that I purchased from the site a couple of years ago, so that if I haven't stored them all permanently (mea culpa), I can't go and download them again for free....which is one of the attractive features of the site. I have yet to figure out why they've eliminated the music, perhaps a break with the label in question.

OK, that's not really a rights issue, it's just annoying.

On another non-list related topic, but one I think I referenced a few weeks ago, what do you think about the idea of a digital album? Compelling or not really worth the extra dosh if you can't really touch or hold it in the same way as a real album or cd?

My concern, which extends to ebooks--especially in light of the recent controversy of the Amazon Kindle deleting content it no longer thinks you should have--is less about the attractiveness of the product offering than about the issue of who actually 'owns' the music once it has been bought. In the past, this has always been the consumer, more or less. There have always been copyright restrictions but no retailer has ever walked into my house and grabbed an album, claiming that I no longer owned it. Digital downloads make this intrusion possible. Just wondering if we're heading in that direction.
stuart, stop posting choices that don't speak to brian! though i must say, i'm simultaneously awed and disappointed by your blow the whole wad in one shebang (self-referential aside question: is this a mixed metaphor?) approach. impressed that you got all this out ahead of others, so you don't come across as a copycat later on but also wondering how you're going to make future posts relevant.

advance warning: there's a good chance radiohead and arcade fire will appear on my list as well, though i'll save their inclusion and rankings until the very end to limit the eye-rolling to one read.

also, i just googled eastern armenian mutes and stuart's post is the number one result. should it strike the fancy of any other human being on the planet to string these three words together and type them into a search engine, they will be brought to our website. well done, mr. watson.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yes yes yess!!!
well the arcade fire will be top 5 , but I am actually choosing the chick corea box set of his IS Sessions sung by eastern armenian mutes.....including alternate versions....
So your top two favourites of the decade are Arcade Fire and Radiohead. Fascinating choices.

Monday, August 10, 2009

thought I had better put some noughts albums out there since you are all picking my favorites as it is...I am pretty focused on the albums rather then songs as generally that matters more to me....
no question to some previousl;y mentioned albums , namely
- band of Horses -debut album
-Beck -Sea Changes
-badly Drawn boy - -debut album
Cant see how Arcade fires debut isnt included , I think any metabeats members not selecting this (as has been threatened) , willl have to have a lengthy reason as to why not...
Another obvious one that will be on mine and Im sure many of yours is Wilcos yankeee foxtrot, which still stands as the album most loved that took the longest to get, but proved the worth of perservearance with a difficult album
a couple less of obvious would be the Strokes ( wait for it brian) second album, ( he really does have to get over this) because few albums make me smile from start to finish and that one still does it every time for me.
Also Sigour Rios Takk , I thing a superior album to the debut and it just keeps gettign better every listen.. Intense, intense stuff only equalled in that department by .....radiohead...Rainbows may in fact be my favcorite album of the last 10 years , and I think i have to admit I like it better then ok computer which was my favoritwe album from the last decade... Ok computer is more uni-dimensional in its sound whereas rainbows has more of a range of depth to the songs and though still bleak there is a sense of redemption in some of the songs that contrasts the despair making the sound richer and more apt to repeated listenings without running the risk of killing yourself...
more later....

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I think among my cohort, by the time "Some Kind of Wonderful" came out, the Hughes' clash of the classes narrative was starting to feel a bit played out, with the director having mined the territory extensively already in both "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club". Think "Feris..." stands out as his best, and for me, "Sixteen Candles" the most fun, with a soundtrack to perhaps rival "Pretty". I'm surprised you didn't nominate this track over Flesh For Lulu, Deeman. Perhaps it's because you never got to enjoy a birthday pizza dinner while sitting with your hunky beau on a table.

Agree with you on Band of Horses...great debut disc and great followup as well. Odd that they didn't select 'Funeral', though they do give it some props, suitably describing it as anthemic, in the disc narrative.

Onto a few other tracks from the 00s...allow me to nominate:

"Fortress" - Pinback

Slightly laconic verses give way to a slightly more strident chorus, and the song steadily to build to a knee-clapping dance number, as a warm rhythmic bass offers a steady backdrop groove. No idea what the song is supposed to be about but it's catchy and very danceable.

Another nominee is "Master of None" by Beach House. This is a kind of cool, drone-y number, with a detached female voice floating over space-age organ and drum music...think a slightly more stripped down Stereolab (sans distortion, francais).

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hey Kyle as a big fan of OMD and Simple Minds pre their Hughsian fame I'd rather not listen to "If You Leave" and most especially "Don't You Forget About Me" ever again. Now I'll have that damn song in my head for days.

Loved the man's movies and his soundtracks had many great tracks. If I had to pick one movie and one song I'd go with "Some Kind of Wonderful" (produced by Hughes) and "I go crazy" by Flesh for Lulu. I suppose his movies were aimed at your generation (13-19? at the time) but I saw most of them in the theatre and looking up most of the main players I see that they are all slightly older or marginally younger than the rest of the old farts who post on this blog.

Back to the best of the noughties for a moment. You could do a lot worse for the best songs of the decade than 3 tracks from one of my faves from the last 10 years. Band of Horses debut album with the fairly obvious choices "Funeral", "The Great Salt Lake" and the less obvious "Wicked Gil". I see on allmusic that none of these songs receives the coveted tick mark. Do they use a random number generator to make these selections? You'd have to be comatose to not select "Funeral" as a standout at the very least.

Friday, August 07, 2009

As the metabeats poster whose generational affiliation makes him most affected by this news, allow me to suggest this song as the 4-minute most embodiment of not only the director's oeuvre, but also arguably of the decade itself, pop-culture wise.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Stuart: thanks for your latest pic, which will soon become my new desktop wallpaper. also, we asked for your top 100 albums so 10 isn't going to cut it.
Derek: think the last show I was was Plants & Animals at the Horseshoe last December. Pretty sad that I'm now living my concert going experiences vicariously through my father-in-law, who caught the Decemberists show at Kool Haus on Sunday, and will likely tell me about it this weekend. As for upcoming shows, couldn't help but notice that Likke Li is playing this Sunday night down at the former Docks, now Sound Academy down off of Cherry St. but the tix seem a little steep at $26.
Brian and Mike: these days, i'm usually good for 3-4 albums tops for any band or artist. at some point, even if the songs are good, i'm probably going to lose interest if the sound doesn't evolve or change in any way. CCR is an example of a band where, 5 or 6 songs into a listen, I'm about ready for something else....pretty much every one of their songs is a re-working of 'Down on the Corner'...great song but still ....for a more recent example of 'okay i get it' 5 songs in, see Sunset Rubdown.

Apropos of nothing department: Broken Social Scene covering, "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
I for one am glad to see the back of you, you eejit. And lay a hand on me and I'll get my big brother to kick your megalomaniacal ass.

Now that we've seen the last of Stuart "Whipper" Watson have any of the rest of you seen any live shows over the summer?, in 2009?, since you left university? I haven't seen a thing and since I still have 3 weeks left on my vacation would be up for seeing almost anything. Wouldn't even rule out a gig at the Zaphod.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

....and thus it was that he was cast out, shunned forever for he had no sense of blog decorum.....and they said unto him will come a curse, and no longer will we write upon this blogsite for he hath forsaken more we say, be gone..... banished...for he is unworthy of our laughter.....and so it was to be.....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I thought I should drop a picture of myself in here so Mike knows what he is up against...

Monday, August 03, 2009

looking at that link Kyle on the best of 2009 so far I have to say either a) I am getting too old ( highly unlikely) or b) that list is simply the top most written about bands who are really shiit..( ok neko excleded) ...I dunno , but I have listened to a lot of them over the course of this year and none of them rings my bell much....on another note Mike I agree with you that as long as the songs are great I am fine with not reinventing a bands sound... CCR a great example, hundreds more we can name ( although referring to Wilco with the quote " I dont dislike them" is a luttle off the scale in my books and I really want to kick your ass but unfornately I have broken my collarbone so I will get Brian to do the honours have not met me Mike but i am 200lbs of sheer muscle 6'7" tall so you are one lucky boy)
Finally I have to say I originally thought a top 10 list of the noughts woyld be extremely difficult but I have pretty well nailed 9 of the 10 easily by simply applying the following criteria
- must truly seriously love 90% of the album
-must listen to it still this year and still love it to death
its amazing how few albums fit this category... there are another 20 or so where I love 4 of 5 songs (half the album) but to get it to loving almost every song is a tough category for me...