Perfect: "Dry Your Eyes," The Streets
I'm not so great with memorizing things, but somehow music makes such an impression on me that I've got a nearly savant-like ability to remember the dates when albums were released. It makes sense I suppose: I'm a musical learner after all, and so it checks that I could remember that that STP album was 1993 and that Soul Asylum one was 1992 and that Flaming Lips album was 2002. This carries over to mean that I have to filter through what music was playing at the time in order to remember personal dates. So, I know that we were living in the house we built in Marengo because of the fact that I can remember listening to "Black Gold" while cleaning the garage. I know that 8th grade was 1991 because, hello Nirvana (plus Nate listening to Nine Inch Nails from the year before). So, that means that songs get tied to relationships, of course, of course. There are albums or songs that just naturally end up solidly meaning that person at that time in that place, and there's nothing I can do about that (nor would I want to, even). I remember how appalled I was when a friend said to me, "you can't do that you know." I can't not do that -- I can't fathom memories not filtered in this way. Maybe that's another reason why music just means so much. I'm a veteran of a few long-distance relationships, too, and those songs mailed off to each other, postage to other countries or continents? Even more weight. This also means, as you might imagine, when a relationship goes south, and stays there, whole albums or songs have to get deleted from the hard drive, figuratively and literally. This doesn't happen often, though it can be pretty significant. The Streets' "Dry Your Eyes" loosely fits in this category.
Other People's Words, April 8th
An overly bitter, shockingly honest list of 5 Karaoke Songs that Ladies Should Never Sing as an Attempt at Getting Attention. [via]
Darnielle posted a bit more about his illness; get well soon, eh?
The Sound Opinions South By Southwest wrap-up is always enlightening, plus it includes their take on the new REM.
Even livejournal is good for questions like Can anyone...recommend some more good music on the minimalist/ambient front? Soon, Casey, soon.
I'm trying to enter the world of CSS tweaking in order to make this place look a bit less boring than before.
A big thanks to Erin for putting up with me getting stuck on the desk for a few hours.
No love to the desk, though.
Anyway, if you know stuff about wordpress layouts, or have a good place to go to pick some up, let me know in the comments.
I might keep this theme for a while, or I might decide that I am annoyed and try another.
Rachel Taylor Brown: layering, piano, god
If you spend a lot of time reviewing local music, you hear a lot of the Chris Cornell guy singing over a "dunh dunh dunh!" guitar line, or those screamer-Kinney female vocalist clones, or the keyboard duos that Just! Want! Dancing!
As such, when something different comes along, it merits a further look.
So, what exactly is this warbling-but-better-than-that beautiful thing that has landed in my mailbox today?
It all starts off with with a sound collage full of clanks and bells, Brown's wordless singing setting the atmosphere before she pounds away singing about maniacs and radios in the third track, "Stagg Field." The vampy piano, quiet-loud dynamics, and bass instrumentation on recalls Ben Folds Five, especially in the beginning and ending sections of "Mette in Madagascar," when the band bounces along, propelling the song.
The layers of background vocals peppered throughout definitely continue the BF5 comparison, but where he often offered slices of life and tales full of characters, Brown dabbles throughout her album in religious imagery. It slows her down a bit, in that you start to wonder if she's a one-subject pony--though this album talks about God in Tori Amos way, not a god rock way.
All in all, I have to admit, Half Hours has got a bit of the same-y-itis, but I don't see that as a sign of weakness--I see it as a decent album from someone who has potential to make some great stuff happen on future releases. I bet her music will fill the room at Mississippi Studios, and I hope I can make it out.
Rachel Taylor Brown plays that official CD Release party on April 5th.
"Mette in Madagascar," from Half Hours With the Lower Creatures: