Radiocures: because radio just plain sucks

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cinematic Orchestra

Brian Eno-The Big Ship
This song is from Brian Eno's solo album "Another Green World" and proves that he is not only one of the greatest ambient/instrumental artists of the 20th century but one of the best period. Eno can evoke so much emotion with just his instrumental pieces than most artists can do with words. "The Big Ship" is a has so much drama and emotion in its short three minutes span that you get caught up in the song by the time its over you're left wanting so much more. That sort of begs the question, does this song go anywhere? It builds up with no real ending or resolution but I think that in this context the journey is much more important that the final destination. Its amazing, how this song can make you feel tense, foreboding, and euphoric all at the same time with the keyboards skipping all over the space while the organ provides the wave-like foundation for the track. This song would be perfect, if nobody's done it yet, for a key moment in a film because its such a cinematic piece on its own. Here's a nice little scenario: a woman in a long coat is waiting in line to board a train looking over her shoulder every so often. You can tell she's in a hurry to get on he train, as she gets closer and closer to boarding. Cut to a car pulling into the driveway of a picturesque two story home. Then cut to a man entering the home, taking off his jacket and hanging throwing his keys onto the table. There he finds a note. As he's reading the music reaches a climax as the camera cuts to a close-up of his eyes widening in disbelief. The last shot then shows the woman on the train looking out the window with a soft smile on her face. As the music fades out we see the train race into the distance. So what have we learned here? Brian Eno + cliche ending=Academy Award gold. sweet!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Chicken Soup for the Hypochondriac's Soul

Antony and the Johnsons-For Today I Am a Boy
So I haven't blogged in bit so this entry might be a bit rusty. Like a nail. Left sitting in the rain...enough of that. Man I need an editor.

Antony and the Johnsons. What's so good about this band you ask? Well, if you're asking me I'd say it's the fact that the songs sound spare and heavy at the same time. It's Antony's aching bell-like voice that immediately sends chills shooting down the back of your neck. It's only second that you realize there are other instruments creeping in and creating the shadows in the song. This is some of the most gorgeous music I have ever heard. I just love the way his voice has an insane vibrato that is exaggerated at the end of every emotion-filled line. "For todayayayaya I am a chiiiiiiiiild, for todaaaaayayaya I am a booooy". Pretty damn gorgeous. And let it be noted, I don't throw the word gorgeous around like an old leather football...man I need an editor. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

riotrrrrock

Sleater-Kinney-The Woods
Sleater-Kinney were never a "nice" girl band. They were part of the who riotgrrl(sic) scene, built up a cult following, and were loved by all the critics. I respected Sleater-Kinney but never really got what was so so great about them. Unitl now. This is one of the hardest songs I've heard since Refused's "New Noise". Its that heavy. The beginning of "The Fox" is one big FUCK YOU! and I love it! The drums are kick like mule as dissonant chords shift under the pissed off vocals. What's not to like about this song? Nothing thats what. Sleater-Kinney proves that a band can still rock-out without a bass holding down the low end(and no, The White Stripes never did prove that, if that makes any sense). Go out, buy "The Woods", you will not be dissapointed. Toodles.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Classical Gas

Letting Up Despite Great Faults-Maybe I'll Hide With You
Letting Up Despite Great Faults-If You're Here Today
You know, I don't really understand the name of this guy's one-man band. To me it doesn't make sense am I missing something. But who really gives a fuck if I don't understand the name, what's important is if the music is good or not. It is. Its not really anything new or pushing the limits. Its some nice music from a guy with classical backgrounds in guitar/piano who uses a sweet drum machine. The lyrics are forgettable but his voice sounds interestnig and comfortable in the musical context. Its really just another instrument adding textures to an overall sound and feel. My favorite song here is "If You're Here Today". The guitar is like a pendulum swinging back and forth while the keyboards and drum machine storm under it; creating a soft and sad atmosphere. Check out more of his music at his website. Its pretty stuff.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Hey Ma! Get-off the Roof!

Yo-Yo Ma-Libertango
Sometimes you just need some classical music. This tango composed by the late Astor Piazzolla is awe inspiring. The amount of drama that is shoved into these 3:10 doesn't seem humanly possible. The open of the song is already thick with tension but when Yo-Yo Ma's cello enters into the song, it just slices through all the other sounds smoothly but also draws them closer together. It feels like he's playing with the lightest touch, but it is filled with fury and intensity that sometimes when I listen to this I unconsciously clench my jaw. Also, note the understated guitar at the end ducking in out of the the viola, bandoneon, percussion, and the cello. It only adds to the jawesomeness that is this song. This is from the Yo-Yo Ma album "The Soul of the Tango" where he plays the compositions of Piazzolla. note: This is a great album and I must thank Ben for lending it to me for the last two...going on three years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Monsters?

Andrew Bird-Fake Palindromes
Why is it whenever I hear something that sounds Eastern/Indin my intial thoughts are of George Harrison? It's kind of annoying in a way because when I first heard "Fake Palindromes" all I was thinking about was "Within You, Without You" from Sgt. Pepper's. But then I got over that and realized that this was a great and succinct song, ending before it wears out it's welcome, I'm looking at you prog-rock. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Anyway, "Fake Palindromes" sucks you in with those shape-shifting layers of violin, mammoth and chaotic drumming and then meditates on an simple bass/guitar figure. It's this simple musical bed that's perfect for Bird's languid voice to rest on. And you know, I can't decide if it's the delivery that makes the lyrics great or visa versa. Whether he saying slightly paranoid "Monsters?" or almost passionately "She's got blood in her eyes and her eyes for you" it kicks ass and makes me laugh becasue it's so ridiculously well crafted. Although, sadly the album from which this hails, "The Mysterious Production Eggs", is not so great. I don't know if I'm missing something but nothing on the CD even comes close to "Fake Palindromes". The innovation and the energey found in this song are nowhere to be found. I'm gonna keep listening to this album though, and hope I (or it) comes around.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Corwood Industries

Jeff Tweedy-Crack a Smile (Jandek Cover)
I've been meaning to get into Jandek after reading about him for a while but never followed through. If you want to learn more than what I have to say about him go here. Jandek's albums, numbering at 40, are supposed to be diffcult, dissonant, and terrifying to listen to. This description matches up with what Jeff Tweedy has to offer for the Jandek tribute album "Down in a Mirror: A Second Tribute to Jandek. The out of tune guitar, Tweedy's whispery and cavernous voice(due to all the reverb), and his son Spencer on the drums, and that weird piano thing makes for one of the creepiest things I've ever heard. Certaintly its the creepiest thing from the Wilco frontman I've ever heard. Jandek's own recordings are supposed to be way scarier than this, "Crack a Smile" was the impetus I needed to get up and actually get a Jandek CD. Oh and by the way another of my favorite artists, The Mountain Goats, also contribute a track to this tribute album. Cool beans, enjoy.