Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GIFTS

1) THIS SPOON BOOTLEG I FOUND. you want to download "64kbps mp3" under "audio files" corresponding to whatever you want to listen to. i am pleasantly surprised by their inclusion of they never got you and quincy punk episode! the recordings of don't you evah and my mathematical mind are reasonably spectacular as well. britt daniel's voice is so good live. i particularly like how everything is a little bit sped up.

2) RA RA RIOT'S SECOND DAYTROTTER SESSION. it boggles me still why they didn't put a manner to act on their album, however amazing the rhumb line is. the version of it here is very well done. i didn't know the "two stitches in my eye" part was a true story. if you haven't listened to their FIRST, it's equally good albeit a bit more rough-edged, and it's where i first heard them do suspended in gaffa.

3) i'm seeing andrew bird on thursday so get ready and get psyched for a nice big discussion on how awesome he is.

4) i need to get my hands on some more sam buck rosen before i die. seriously you have to download those songs from a few posts ago. they are devastatingly good although my dad compared his voice to that of chris isaac. don't even front dad ok.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

GET A HANDLE ON YOURSELF, SON


two years ago today i saw architecture in helsinki for the first of what is now three times. they opened for clap your hands say yeah at summerstage, where i have now seen two life-affirming shows. i knew three of their songs at this point, but i had been listening to those three songs for about eight months. they played a lot of stuff that eventually became my favorite album of last year. i waited patiently for these songs until they came to me on places like this eleven months later.

this sounds extremely lame to say but it is immeasurable how much loving and revering this band has changed me as a person, and some days i wonder if i would love music as much as i do were it not for architecture in helsinki. it says a lot about me that i have never questioned my adoration and consuming obsession with a band whose most well-known song is called IT'5. (indeed, the band i have been most devoted to recently centers their most popular song around the lyric "hey hey hey hey!" and i will see them a third time december 3).

i never got a chance to review this concert in a real sense besides talking to my friends about it, but it really is measurable how influential september 28 2006 was in my life. i used to spend at least a half hour every day listening to AIH. i still do the tongue-cluck thing that opens DO THE WHIRLWIND when i get nervous. when people ask me what my favorite band is i just spit AIH right out even though if you looked at my top played list on itunes they are not half as represented as they once were. when i hear new-sounding bits like THIS YOUTUBE CLIP i get irrationally excited. when i see things like their announcing four australian dates at the end of this year i start feeling all US TOUR????!??!?!?! i would see them a thousand more times. this is not a testament to my insanity, it is a testament to the sheer power and exuberance of their live show - and this feeling doesn't come from just me. there is an incomprehensible amount of energy in everything they do. maybe they are summed up best by the title of their DAYTROTTER SESSION.

i guess what you want out of this post is RARITIES (?):
LOVE IS EVIL, SOONER THAN SOON, LIVING WITHOUT YOU, BEEF IN A BOX, FIND YOUR POWER ANIMAL, LOVE IS THE DRUG.

Friday, September 26, 2008

SOUL SHAKEDOWN PARTY



everyone needs to get to know sam buck rosen. he did a bunch of songs for DAYTROTTER, thank god, because i am still hitting myself regarding my not purchasing any kind of recorded music by him when i saw him open for vampire weekend. i remember it seemed like he was intimidated by all of us being so young, although he's only nineteen. i still liked him though. his voice made a good impression on me - it's raw-sounding, like hamilton leithauser's, and he has this incredible accent, he spits out certain words in this wonderful way (ie. in the song that is the title of this post, "and i-i-i need a moment. let's take back the agreement!").

that said i think you should download all of those songs on daytrotter. i just did a bit of listening and i would definitely get yourself to TRENCHTOWN and AMESBURY GARDENS immediately.

this version of SOUL SHAKEDOWN PARTY is better.

HEY!! LEAH!?


PRICELESS. here are the walkmen doing ON THE WATER for fox 5 new york?

and also, they did my favorite song on the album FOUR PROVINCES for la blogotheque in san francisco. you might understand by now that i can't get over how good this album is in general, but this song is breathtaking. here's the MP3.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

YOU SWEAT LIKE A TEENAGER

i wrote a beautiful post about ottoman and it disappeared!


well, here's:
OTTOMAN --- VAMPIRE WEEKEND
this is on the soundtrack for a movie with george michael bluth. but i've been waiting for it a while.

this first came to my attention via youtube video very late saturday night. the sound quality is not good but i got that verse right away, the fingerpicked intro and the way the cello comes in, etc. ottoman's got that classic vw vibe right off the bat - that clean clean clean guitar, the harpsichord and the strings. i love right after the first verse when the harpsichord comes in, the drums here: especially the rhythm of the rimshots. i wish there was more bass but i'm nitpicking. i didn't like the chorus at first but it's growing on me. the verses are absolutely amazing, though. i didn't notice that bit about peter gabriel from cape cod kwassa kwassa is repeated here - that reminds me of architecture in helsinki with what's in store / feather in a baseball cap.

it struck me that this is sexier than the vampire weekend i'm used to. on their self-titled the sexiest they got was "do you want to fuck" and some afro-beat cooing. ottoman is very tender-sounding, especially the very beginning. that first line: "ottoman couch. how handsome your furniture" is so uncomfortable and nervous. ezra koenig's voice has got this emotional, confessional kind of closeness, and a lot of the lyrics he delivers are devastating: "love you now but dressed for a funeral," "begging you to wait for me at the door," and later five incredible words: "you sweat like a teenager." wow. does anyone else feel punched in the face by this? i was saying this to myself all day. to communicate that feeling of embarassing, intoxicating affection in five clever words is stunning.

god, i love this band.



additionally, dig this gem i found on you ain't no picasso!
ELECTRIC FEEL (MGMT COVER) --- KATY PERRY
hahahahaha. all along the western front!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PWND


after this piece of ridiculousness, A.T.E. owned pitchfork right back with this hilarious and disastrous open letter. "pitchfork doesn't so much critique bands as critique a band's ability to match a certain indie rock aesthetic." THAT'S RIGHT, THEY WENT THERE!
i have a whole bunch of respect for mikel jollet because he had a beautiful story in one of my favorite issues of mcsweeney's. i just gained even more respect.

here's my favorite song by this band... that intro is just breathtaking!
SOMETIME AROUND MIDNIGHT --- AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO TRUST FUNDERS, FROM BRITT DANIEL

WHO BACKS YOUR MONEY? --- SPOON
technically this is just britt daniel with sleater-kinney's janet weiss on drums, rather than spoon, the band, as a whole. it's disastrously good though - it's really hollow, minimalistic. the drums, the guitar, that voice and the echo. it doesn't have that pounding, head-shaking beat of writing to you in reverse, but it's almost as good. this really reminds me of reasonably old stuff, series of sneaks / girls can tell type stuff - just in how simple it is. so well done.

added:
MY MATHEMATICAL MIND (DEMO) --- SPOON. when i saw spoon i was dancing to this song in the way that i dance, which looks kind of like frosting a cake. britt daniel looked right at me and started dancing like frosting a cake. this is one of the proudest moments of my life. that said, this demo reminds me of who backs your money in its incredible simplicity! there's just that piano riff, the really rough voice echo.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

THE RAT



watch that drummer!
the walkmen also did on the water and in the new year for juan's basement; watch it on pitchfork.tv.
really breathtaking bunch of performances. i was glued to the computer screen the entire time. you & me is really worth buying.


unrelated --
due to their selling out terminal 5 in about 12 minutes, vampire weekend added a second new york date, december 4. i, however, got tickets for the sold out date, dec. 3, and will be there takin detailed notes for u.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

JAMS, OF LATE: PART II

1. SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT WITH ME --- COLD WAR KIDS. i think cold war kids were the first band i got into as a result of this thing called "hype," but this was a long time ago. at least three or four songs off their first album are mainstays for me in that they have not gotten old over these years. their second album, loyalty to loyalty, drops september 23. this track has got that really classic yelp to it, with this heavy bassline and steady percussion and that great hook.

2. BOOGIE DOWN! --- MGMT. i found this on pretty much amazing the other day and now i may or may not be addicted. almost as hilarious as electric feel, with ringtone-ready synth and lyrics like "you're driving in that tank like you own it."

3. CLOSER --- KINGS OF LEON. also september 23 we get kol's only by the night. this song is much more refined and sophisticated than the kings of leon i am used to, but that's what makes it stunning.

4. DONDE ESTA LA PLAYA --- THE WALKMEN. massively gorgeous. those soft drums, guitar, and bass in the beginning sound like a storm rolling in over the beach. there is an aura of separation to this - an album opener, this puts you in a place, distant and separate from any other things. then that smooth peace breaks with that guitar chime into this beautiful ecstatic thing, "eyes are so sore..." then back down. incredible.


unrelated:
vampire weekend have announced a new york date for wednesday, december 3. tickets go on sale friday.
bloc party are playing a free show at roseland ballroom thursday, september 18. you have to RSVP. i'm going to try to go, although i do have a swim meet. they also released a new song today called TALONS.

quasi-related:
AM I DREAMING? HOT CHIP + TRANSMISSION = UNPRECEDENTED GLORY. where can i find this mp3. i need it. i don't know how i feel about them doing cckk with peter gabriel, but i do know how i feel about transmission, and that is UNBELIEVABLE.

Monday, September 8, 2008

DON'T YOU KNOW IT BLOWS MY MIND

i had been avoiding listening to this because i'm easily embarassed but today i was in need of some cheering up (long story short, i am growing out my hair and i had this super brief vibe-crisis). one of the things that never fails to make me happy is joke/funny rap groups - check out local favorites HARDNOXXX, especially my personal favorite 'club anthem,' but everything on that page is good if you are in need of some joy.

BUT HERE'S WHAT I'M GETTING AT:


you recognize that qt on the left, that's ezra from vampire weekend. on the right is his buddy andrew, and i read somewhere that chris tomson (drums in vw) used to be the flava flav to their chuck d, and the public enemy that results is called L'HOMME RUN.
my favorite is 'bitches.' but i also like 'giving up da gun' and 'pizza party' with its fergie-style misspellings, jay-z nod, and welcome advice: "if you got a blunt, then we can get high." pitchfork had a little article on 'interracial dating' but i really think that it is much weaker than 'bitches' and 'pizza party', both of which i have played many, many times. also in the end of 'bitches' there is a little alien-spaceship type sound which makes me believe it was some kind of beautiful and divine intervention that brought me, the maintainer of a blog called majestic 12, to its glory. "i don't buy gucci, i don't buy prada. you look like a ho from a ranch in nevada." OH NO, HE DIDN'T.

by the way, i just realized that this EVEN FURTHER invalidates the 'college band' idea (look at me connecting themes!) these tracks are from when both these guys were in college, at an ivy league school, and one of the lyrics is "if you wanna fight you know i gotta / lotta shit to say so you better step off it." that doesn't even rhyme.

i feel so much better right now. if you want hardnoxxx or l'homme run mp3s there's magic i can work to get them for you. let me know.

Friday, September 5, 2008

WHAT IS THIS 'COLLEGE BAND' THING; OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND POST EVERY DAY


COLLEGE.
it's great.
i'm going to go. you're going to go, or you already went (hi dad). one of the nice things about college is that you meet a lot of new and intriguing people from all different walks of life, and you might make a lot of wonderful friends, and you might to do something amazing like start a band. i love this! go ahead, college kids! start bands! tell me your myspace address so i can listen to you! send me some mp3s! whatever! i am so for this it is unimaginable. i want people to go to college and start bands and i want to learn about all of these bands and love them. it is not this that i have begun to question as of late, it is this:
WHY ARE WE (by WE i mean MUSIC CRITICS and BLOGGERS) PUTTING SO MUCH FOCUS ON COLLEGE AS A FACTOR IN OUR ENJOYMENT OF MUSIC?
or you can phrase it like this:
WHY CAN I NOT READ ABOUT VAMPIRE WEEKEND WITHOUT SOME KIND OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT THEY WENT TO COLUMBIA?
or you can phrase it like this:
WHY DO WE SUDDENLY CARE ABOUT WHERE BANDS WENT TO COLLEGE?
(this is beginning to sound like sex in the city where carrie would pose a question in the middle of every episode).

what is a college band, then? obviously, they formed at a (let's say reasonably prestigious) college. because they went to a prestigious college they have smart music and smart lyrics. also, preppy kids (their college buddies) presumably get down to their music on a regular basis. what else can we say? i don't know what other effects college would have on a band's music. let's just consider the overall question.

the seed of this question was planted in my head the other day when i listened to a band i'd been hearing about called chester french. the only interesting thing about chester french is that they graduated from harvard. also pharrell (sp?) likes them, which is awkwardly incomprehensible to me. anyway, i listened to them. i suppose you could categorize this kind of music as 'r+b' or 'hip-hop' or maybe push it a little with just 'pop' but it was all fuzzy and with reasonably stupid lyrics, and i didn't like it. (notable and lol-tastic stupid lyric: "if you wanna meet a girl you should go into a grocery store." they also have a song entitled 'jimmy choos.' like the shoes.) this disqualifies the notion that college bands can be defined by a certain smartness to their music and lyrics. the only thing smart about chester french is, to some extent, how they dress, and je ne comprend pas the winged suit. however, i can see a whole bunch of preppy coeds grooving to this while clasping red solo cups at a hot-chicks-with-douchebags-ready frat party.

another 'college band' is MGMT: they went to wesleyan. i really do like MGMT, i think they have a pretty cool and refreshing sound. however it is easy to dismiss their music as obviously for people who are on a great deal of hallucinogenic drugs. and are their lyrics smart? "i said ooh, girl, shock me like an electric eel"? awesome, but not smart. is their music smart? it is, in a way: i think the synth is very well done, and the lyrics and even the attitude of the band when i saw them fit so perfectly with the vibe of the music. here, a college band doesn't have to have smart lyrics, and they don't have to appeal solely to straight-edge popped collar kids. they also appeal to cool-bong-purchasing hippie-revival free-love type kids.

on the basis of two up-and-coming 'college bands' we have entirely thrown out the definition of college bands that we made up above! WHAT?!? i truly believe that we can't use the phrase 'college band' to describe any band, because the only definition of college band that we can agree upon is that the members went to college, and so many people in the world go to college! this definition makes nearly every band a college band! by putting so much emphasis on the collegiate chops of a band we totally ignore the music, or dismiss the music, or take the music into account only through the screen of the college band idea - what does this do to our appreciation of music? we, as people who love music, have tried on our blogs or wherever to judge it fairly, to love it if we love it, to hate it if we hate it, based on the power of the music alone. with this focus on the level of education of a band we totally ignore this basic tenant!

i think we started thinking about college bands because of vampire weekend. i really do think that were it not for vampire weekend no one would care about where bands went to college. i think it's very ironic and kind of strange for people to understand (i know i was one of these people) that four white kids from new england who went to columbia university would want to write african-influenced pop music namechecking peter gabriel and with lyrics like "english breakfast tastes like darjeeling." since i like vampire weekend so much i don't really understand why they would make people so focused on the idea of education in a band. the point is, people have a right to make art about whatever they want to make art about. while it might be ironic or strange, that might be part of its appeal. school - high school and college - teaches you, hopefully, to make your own mark with whatever you desire. maybe a college band is a band that uses its education as a driving force behind its creativity. i like this definition. chester french can use their harvard degrees to appreciate high society. MGMT can use their education to match their lyrics and music with an equally trippy aesthetic. vampire weekend can use their education to write more songs about grammar.

that said, i don't like chester french. i don't not like them because they went to harvard, and i don't not like them because of their winged suits. i don't like them because i don't like their music. there! if i want to listen to 'college' r+b i can just listen to discovery.

because this is a MUSIC BLOG and i have sworn to give you MP3Z, here is my favorite track off vampire weekend's only album, appropriately titled:
CAMPUS --- VAMPIRE WEEKEND.
here is a chester french song, "for the lulz":
SHE LOVES EVERYBODY --- CHESTER FRENCH.
those strings in the beginning are so arrows it's not even funny.
and here's some MGMT:
WEEKEND WARS --- MGMT.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

WRITING TO YOU IN REVERSE

dear lord in heaven, this song. i have been rendered awestruck by this song. it has the sexy thirst of i turn my camera on, the badassery of back to the life, the dizzy discordant piano of the ghost of you lingers, the careless yelp of all the negatives have been destroyed. britt daniel's scream around 2:06 sounds like my mathematical mind live.

but it has that kind of thirst overall: please tell me i don't want you anymore! scorned or abandoned. "someone better call a hearse."

WRITING TO YOU IN REVERSE --- SPOON

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

LOYAL TO THE KINGDOM

i am going to be a senior in high school starting tomorrow. let's celebrate with a number about the folly of youth, complete with namecheck to my favorite food ("a blt. that's all i want right now. with some juice. no. coffee.")

THIS SENTENCE WILL RUIN / SAVE YOUR LIFE --- BORN RUFFIANS.


i want to write a big post about the recent 'college band' thing. this might be because i listened to chester french today and do not understand what/why. je ne comprend pas!! be aware: when i have time... you will get a novel.