Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Final Fantasy is...Heartland!

Known for his string arrangements and work in many bands like Beirut, Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, and even The Last Shadow Puppets, Owen Pallett, the man behind Final Fantasy, has made quite a name for himself in the indie genre. He is now back with his third album, Heartland, which is apparently a full fledged concept album. Knowing his previous works, this has to be good. It's being released on Domino, so hopefully that'll mean it'll be actually possible to track down at a store. It's due out January 12th, 2010 (same day as Contra by Vampire Weekend), so get ready for alot of good listening!

01. Midnight Directives
02. Keep the Dog Quiet
03. Mount Alpentine
04. Red Sun No. 5
05. Lewis Takes Action
06. The Great Elsewhere
07. Oh Heartland, Up Yours!
08. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
09. Flare Gun
10. E Is for Estranged
11. Tryst With Mephistopheles
12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Friday Thing: Daddy's Gone by Glasvegas

I know nothing about Glasvegas. I'm not going to even pretend. The only thing I do know is that I'm in love with this song. I heard it on palladia (a music (mainly concert) tv channel) on a Glastonbury 2009 special. I thought it was perfectly performed and it was very effective at captivating the audience. I couldn't find the performance I saw, so I went with a Jools performance. It demonstrates the wonder that the song is, but it doesn't do it justice because you can't see how the audience is interacting with it, but it's good enough. I hope You enjoy (btw: I lied, Muse review out tomorrow)

Daddy's Gone

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Muse's Weird Forms of Protest

Muse were recently on a television show in Italy, and they must've been told to lipsync because Dom was the singer/bassist, Chris was the keyboard/guitar, and Matt was on drums. The host of the show even referred to Dom as Matt. This video reminded me of previous 'protests' that were equally hilarious.

Change for 'Uprising'.

Slight line up change for 'New Born' on Live and Kicking, they really make no effort to disguise that it's not live.

Rumor has it, Muse were told not to curse in any of their performances here. If anyone knows Muse at all, they never use profanity in songs (only in one b-side). For the normally clean 'Feeling Good' they decide to change a verse...

Muse were asked to lip sync this performance, but apparently Matt convinced the sound person to let him sing live. Big mistake and the picture says it all.

Aren't they awesome?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Time to Die-
The Dodos
Label-Frenchkiss Records
Status-Out as of 2009
3rd Studio Album
Rating-4 feathers

The Dodos have always been under the radar. Their first album went virtually unnoticed by the general public and the media, their sophomore album ‘Visiter’ gained them much deserved attention. Now The Dodos, a little over a year later and with new member Keaton Snyder on vibraphone, are back with their third album ‘Time To Die’. Perhaps this will give more sustenance to a band who is unfortunately known for a miller chill commercial.

The flow of ‘Time to Die’ corresponds with the transition from summer to autumn. The first half is embodied by bright guitar riffs and happy vocals. ‘Small Deaths’ starts off the album with heavy acoustic guitar and lightly intense vocals. The drumming might be a little to overpowering for the song, but it still helps to encase a summery feel. ‘Fables’ even furthers this tone. The acoustic guitar with a touch of vibraphone help lift Meric’s already optimistic vocals to an even higher lever. The whole song just puts you in a fantastic mood, and will leave you singing “I don’t wanna go in the fire” well after it’s over. They falter a little bit with ‘This is a Business’ which is a little too urgent. I mean, the craze in his voice adds a great effect, but the guitar seems way all over the place and the drumming is too frantic. They quickly restore themselves with ‘Two Medicines’, a song that gloriously encases all that is autumn. You can easily imagine yourself listening to the song’s galloping acoustic guitar and pounding drumbeat while walking down a leaf ridden sidewalk. It’ll make you instantly forget about summer and get you psyched for fall. ‘Troll Nacht’ and ‘Acorn Factory’ further this notion with uplifting vibraphones, twangy guitar lines, and somber vocals. The primitive drumming (like what was heard in Visiter) also makes a nice appearance, adding to each songs warmth. The titletrack ‘Time to Die’ ends the album a little weirdly. It starts out calmly, with just a light guitar and drums, but then it builds suddenly. When I say build I mean they just all of sudden pile on the guitar. It goes on like that for about four minutes, calms down just a bit, and then out of nowhere they end it.

As a whole, this album was very well done. It showed that The Dodos can build upon their old sound without succumbing to the third album syndrome, but still have it feel completely new, not like you’ve heard it before. Sure, the album doesn’t affect you mentally or emotionally like Visiter did, but it successfully helps get your mind around the fact that summer is over and autumn is coming. The Dodos have a lot to show, especially with a new member they will definitely create an even better version of their sound by album number four. It’s not their time to die quite yet.

“I’m glad that we were able to keep things simple on this record because when your band gets a little popular, there’s this tendency to say things like, ‘Let’s add an orchestra on this one!’ That works for some people, but it would detract from this band.”-Meric Long

Two Medicines

Recommendations: Fables, The Strums, Two Medicines
The Dodo's Official Website
NOTE: Yeah, I was supposed to have this out yesterday, but I have it out today so. I will have the review for The Resistance out within the next few days, but before Friday (I hope). On that note, who else is jazzed for fall?

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Friday Thing: Suzanne by Beck's Record Club

I was looking at random blogs, and many of them are writing alot about Beck's Record club. Beck's Record Club is this idea that he and group of fellow musicians are going to get together and record a covers of a 'classic album' in one day. For this installment, they are doing "Songs of Leonard Cohen", picked by Andrew VanWyngarden. So far they've only released two covers from the album, and this one is absolutely brilliantly performed by Beck, his crew, MGMT, Devendra Banhart, and few others. Though very different from the original, they give a really nice flair that even Leonard Cohen himself would approve of. Enjoy!


NOTE: I will have a review of Time to Die or The Resistance out on Saturday, stay tuned to find out which one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vampire Weekend is...CONTRA!

Vampire Weekend have (finally) announced their 2 album entitled Contra! It's due out January 12th, 2010. So far, I'm liking the fact that their 'style' doesn't look like it's changed too much from their first album, but I think the cover is a reeking too much like Ivy League preppy. I'm stilldefinitely itching to see how this one sounds.

1. Horchata
2. White Sky
3. Holiday
4. California English
5. Taxi Cab
6. Run
7. Cousins
8. Giving Up the Gun
9. Diplomat's Son
10. I Think UR a Contra

Also, The Dodos's 'Time To Die' and Muse's 'The Resistance' are out today. Go get them!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Friday Thing: Across the Universe by Rufus Wainwright, Sean Lennon, and Moby

I used to see this performance all the time on this channel called 'The Tube', and the first time I saw it, I thought it was beautiful. Rufus's voice gives something different to the song, and I personally love this performance because of that. They could've just had Sean sing it solo, but they didn't. The 3-part harmony by the end is just a perfect touch. It's a really great tribute to John Lennon and I hope you enjoy!

Across the Universe

(Next week 'The Resistance' by Muse and 'Time to Die' by The Dodos comes out so I'll be reviewing both of those next!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Video for Yomp by Thenewno2

I decided to check up on Thenewno2, and it turn's out a little more than a month ago they came out with a new video for their song 'Yomp' featured on their album You Are Here. I would've never guessed this video for the song, but I have to say, the creepiness works quite well. Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Samuel Stewart

So, while looking at a few music blogs, I've noticed someone called Samuel Stewart being mentioned. Just by his name, it occured to me there was someone named Sam Stewart in the now defunct Blondelle. So, I looked Samuel Stewart up, and what do you know: Sam Stewart is Samuel Stewart! I don't know how I feel about his music, and I prefer his work in Blondelle, but how weird is that? You can see a huge similarity in the vocals, but the style's are way different. I hope that Sam, or Samuel, Stewart has a successful solo career and that it work out better for him than Blondelle ever did.

A taste of Sam's solo stuff.

Video for Wonder by Blondelle. Sam 1st comes in about 22 seconds in.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Friday Thing: Wires by Athlete

The other day, something amazing happened. The music television channel 'Palladia' had a 9 hour marathon of Glastonbury 2005, 2008, and 2009. As one would guess, I watched some of it. Halfway through the first hour, they showed Athlete performing their hit 'Wires', and they did a great performance. This brough me back to the first time I heard this song, which was when watching Later With Jools Holland some time ago. When I looked it up, I legitimately cried when I read the lyrics, which are about Joel Pott's daughter being born prematurely and the heartbreak that comes with it. Joel Pott is a brilliant man for conveying his emotions in such a sincere way. I hope you enjoy!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

HUMBUG-Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2009
3rd Studio Album
Rating-3.5 feathers

The third album for many bands seems to be the time where the band decides “Hey, let’s completely change our sound”. This either tremendously helps or hurts that band. Why should Arctic Monkeys be any different? Well, apparently they aren’t. Known for their guitar-heavy fast post-punk sound, these four Sheffielders decided to leave their classic sound for a significantly slowed down and darker ‘Humbug.’

Even with just one listen, you can tell these are not the same teenagers who wrote ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. The starter song, innuendo heavy ‘My Propeller’, takes on a heavier and darker tone from the first drum hit. It shows promise, but after 6 seconds, it takes a dive for the worse, leaving behind a heavy-set slow paced rhythm section and vocals that offer no punch, at all. To be honest, it really does not make you want to hear what follows. What does follow is a trip through the good and the ugly, the brilliant and the lifeless. ‘Dangerous Animals’ offers both, sort of. It is instrumental section is powerful and the main riff is reminiscent of ‘Teddy Picker’s’, but the lyrics are terrible. Alex Turner, the man who wrote ‘A Certain Romance’, now writes a song where the chorus spells out the song name. It is admittedly catchy, but come on! It just seems like a major step back. ‘Potion Approaching’ is even worse. The main riff is alright, heavy like ‘Dangerous Animals’, but it doesn’t give the song anything. To make matters worse, the lyrics and vocals are even more of a drain. The thing they consider the chorus sounds more like a sorry excuse for a bridge, and the verses are simply forgettable. A song like ‘Secret Door’, however, is like the light at the end of a tunnel. It is calmer than what Arctic Monkeys usually do, but shows their musical skill. The song’s sweeping guitars and melodic vocals work so well to create a beautiful masterpiece. The chorus is cheesy, but the verses are sung with just enough punch to make the song purely brilliant. ‘Cornerstone’ brings you a tune similar to ‘The Bakery’, but with immense comic relief (e.g. “She was close, close enough to be your ghost/but my chances turned to toast”). Its instrumentation is lovely, utilizing their psuedo-slide guitars to encase a bright yet regretful tone that subtly builds to a wonderful fulfilled ending. Unfortunately, ‘Pretty Visitors’ is the last great song on the album. The keyboard intro sets it up for awesomeness. It frantically dives into a mess of pounding drums, speedy vocals, and intense guitar, making the only legitimately fast-paced song on the album. It is the perfect follow-up to their last singles ‘Teddy Picker’ and ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’; it is what I had hoped the album would sound like. What’s separating these 3 songs from each other are the drones that are ‘Fire and the Thud’, ‘Dance Little Liar’, and ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’. To be honest, nothing happens in any of them; they just come and go. ‘Fire and the Thud’ features Alison Mosshart on vocals, but it has a royal trainwreck of an ending, and the ‘Jeweller’s Hands’ is just a tired, tired ending.

As whole, this album was tired. The majority was uneventful, whereas the minority embodied pure genius. Though substantially disappointed with the album, I have come to terms with the fact that they are maturing and trying new things. They did not fail at conveying their new sound by any means, but they just went a little too over board doing it. I had hoped this album would be more like a continuation of ‘Da Frame 2R’ and ‘Nettles’, both which encompasses a darker sound but still sounds like trademark Arctic Monkeys. They surely won’t gain any fans based on this album, but fans will still find something to cling on to. Bah Humbug.

"We're so lound now. I just don't think we could handle a little stage now because we'd struggle to keep from blowing your head off."-Alex Turner

Video for Crying Lightning

Recommendations: Pretty Visitors, Secret Door, Cornerstone
Arctic Monkeys Official Website
Note: This, in my opinion, was Arctic Monkeys worst album. It's not bad, it's not. It's just not any where near as amazing as the 1st two were. The 1st couple of listens I found it very uninspiring, and only my 3 recommendations stuck out (and they're still the only ones). If I rated it as a diehard fan perhaps it would've been rated way worse, but I rated it removing my fan mentality. Anyway, I bought the album the day after it came out (a week ago), so sorry for not getting the review out faster, I needed processing time. I'll have a Death Cab for Cutie review or that Tapes 'n Tapes review I've been talking about out next. Enjoy and stay tuned!
EDIT: Originally I had my review at 3.5, and then I changed it to 3, but now I've rechanged it to 3.5. Sorry, very unprofessional, but I slept on it, and methinks it deserves a 3.5.