Radiocures: because radio just plain sucks

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.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Music for Robots

Aphex Twin-4
I like to listen to Aphex Twin or just electronic music in general after I listen to a bunch of acoustic or laid back stuff, it's nice to switch it up every once in a while. Listen to this is like hearing hundreds muscle spasms at once. The so is wound so tight that every time you think the song is just going to lay back, the drum machine kicks in and twitches all over the place. Another thing about "4" that I like is the mix of machine and human sentimentality in the instruments, the synths provide the warmth and the drum machine feels like something out of a manufacturing plant. Oh and the title of today's post is actually the name of a terrific mp3 blog called music for robots that post everything from electronic music to indie stuff.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Fearless Freaks

Transmission from the Satelltie Heart- How have I never heard this album before? Almost everyone says that "The Soft Bulletin" is their best album but I was never blown away by that. This entire album kicks my ass. The insane sounds that they force out of studio effects and then paste them all over a song with a gorgeous pop melody blow me away. Right now I'm having a hard time deciding whether I like this album better or "Yoshi Battles the Pink Robots", another stellar effort.


The Flaming Lips-Turn It On
This is the opener to "Transmissions From the Satellite Heart". Dirty guitar beating the song ahead with tons of wierd sonic shit going on in the backgound. Excellent music happens when this paired with Wayne Coyne's strained voice. The best word I can think of to decribe their music is: bipolar. Theres all this disordley sound crashing throughout the song, manic energy, while Waynes' singing and his melodies are calming and beautiful. It creates an inimitable dynamic that makes me proud to wear my Flaming Lips t-shirt today(even though it has an ink stain right smack on the front).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

BuzzBin

Bloc Party-This Modern Love
So chances are you've at least heard of Bloc Party by now. But what are the chances of them living up to all the buzz surrounding them? For me they haven't, at least not yet. But "This Modern Love" was the standout track on "Silent Alarm". This song is all about tension. The singer/guitarist Kele Okereke's slurring vocals(I can't tell if its on purpose or because of his British) try and make the song drag while the drums try push on ahead. The lyrics gripe about modern romance, trying to get a hold of eachother, "I'll pay for you" etc. This makes for an intersting dynamic as the they combat eachother, the guitar seduces you into to nodding your head along with it's brilliantly simple two note melody. The best part of this song is at the end while Kele wails "This Modern Love" again and again as the waves of harmonies rise and fall. Then the instruments begin to organize some chaos only to tone it down in the end for a nice little outro.

"Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love.
Music is the Best." -Frank Zappa

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fuck Elvis Costello

Slowdive-Alison
This song is like watching a cigarette burn, following the blue smoke twist around itself. I'm not sure what "Alison" is all about but I love the line "Alison I'll drink you wine". Most of the time it doesn't even matter what the singers are saying-Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell. The sound of their voices fit so perfectly with the lazy beauty of the instruments circling them. "Alison" came out on Slowdive's second record "Souvlaki", named after their favorite Jerky Boys skit, and is better than anything Mr. Costello ever put his name on. Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friends Jillian and Mariah!