8.29.2005

i think the change from "pathetic ho" to "sort of classy ho" is admirable

BTW, being home for a week allowed me to listen to the radio and watch MTV, which I rarely do otherwise. And, um, dudes... why haven't I bought The Emancipation of Mimi yet?! GOD I LOVE MARIAH.

in-head listening: shake shake shake shake shake it off

pretty good year

It looks like 2005 is shaping up to be the year that the great indie artists of this decade prove themselves to be the real deal. I mean, check it: fan-fucking-tastic records by Sufjan Stevens, Kanye West (okay, not really indie, but still damn good), Spoon, The New Pornographers, Deerhoof, and Sigur Ros (and may I say HOLY SHIT for Takk, because it's the most beautiful thing Sigur Ros has ever done, and quite possibly the best album of the year). Word is that the upcoming Broken Social Scene (ehhhhhhh) and Animal Collective are gonna be kickass as well. And I'm all for applauding the Gorillaz, The Books, and The Decemberists efforts this year, even though they're not really my thing. Even Missy and Phil Elverum whipped up some decent ear candy.

Thank god that the tried and true artists are representin', because all this "next big thing" bullshit that's been going on for the last four years has gotten tiresome as hell. (i.e. No, I don't want some new random band to kick my ass, I want the random bands that I already love to kick my ass. DAMMIT.) I'm thinking this is going to be my favorite year in music since 2001. No lie, no lie, no woman no cry.

***

Saw my 12th (!) Tori concert in Rochester Hills last night, and it was easily one of the best ones I've seen. Highlights: "God" with intro & outro of "Running Up That Hill" (!!!!!) by Kate Bush. Holy fuck that was awesome. She then followed it up with a cover of "Karma Police," and I almost went into cardiac arrest. Wow. Pretty Good Year, Barons of Suburbia, Parasol, and Baker Baker were damn good too. I love my fairy elven woodprincess goblin lady.

listening: "He Woke Me Up Again" ~Sufjan (in my head, because I can't listen at work. boo.)

8.19.2005

MTV hearts the gays

So, uh, who's watched MTV lately? Yeah, weird question seeing as that there isn't any new season of Real World or anything right now, so of course I wouldn't expect you to. But I was watching the VMA nominees videos yesterday (btw, the video for "Lose My Breath" by Destiny is so fuckin good), and my god, during the commercials they were making the hugest deal out of Kanye's little speal about gays. As if he were coming out of the closet or something (I'm giving him another two years for that one). Seriously, they showed the clip like, every other commercial break.

MTV, you crazy socially progressive bastards you, what's going on? I'm totes confused here. I mean, I'm not used to the media paying extra attention to these types of things. I still think half of this country's population is unaware that gay marriage was made legal in Spain last month. Hell, I doubt all that many homos know about it. So, like, MTV? Huh?

Well, maybe it comes as no surprise when you consider that MTV Networks is coming out with a new
all-gay cable channel. That's pretty cool. Hopefully it will be better than Bravo. Or Oxygen. Ewwww... Oxygen. Anyway, I think Viacom is now my new favorite corporate giant (sorry, Starbucks, I still love you).

I guess this is what happens when the crazy leftists control all the media. Well, not all the media, just the media targeted towards the under-30 age bracket. Well, not all of them either, just MTV and Comedy Central. Whatevs. In a television world where right-wing conservatives influence everything from CNN to 24, this flips my shit. Good job, MTV and Kanye. Perhaps I will actually buy Late Registration instead of just downloading it for free!


Also, the 2005 VMA logo is totes prettty.

mount me

See No Flashlight get a painfully mediocre review on Pitchfork. See me throw a fit because of Pitchfork's unwillingness to judge a record without holding it up to every previous work the artist has ever done. See me point out that Phil Elverum probably changed his artist name for a reason, probably because he doesn't want his new work to be compared with the old. See me grudgingly acknowledge that Ubl is still right on most of his points about the album anyway, though I don't think it all justifies such a poor review. See all the things that he totally missed about the album because he was so caught up on Phil's ugly vocals and the restrained musicality. See two reviews, review and no review.

Seriously, the TinyMixTapes dude LOVES Phil Elverum. Damn.

Okay, see more reviews. and no more reviews.

I'm still holding off any strong judgments on the thing until I actually get the LP/CD package-fucker-thingy in the mail. I am excited for Singers.

8.18.2005

boom boom bing dong

Roisin Murphy's new record Ruby Blue is ILL motherfuckers!!

8.15.2005

feel stupendous

omg... Wikipedia has some RANDOM SHIT.

like this
and this
and this
and this
and this

listening: OMG somuch new music...
Danger Doom - The Mouse & The Mask
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
Robyn - Robyn
Common - Be
Holopaw - Quit +/or Fight!

and right now: this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

mount sticky

I have the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song stuck in my head... it says I must perform zany antics!!!

Gave the new Mount Eerie release a listen last night. I enjoyed it, though I wasn't blown away. Not like I was expecting to be blown away on the first listen - these things take time to sink in, especially with Mr. Elverum behind the scenes.

Okay, so... stripped instrumentation: I was not anticipating that move. Most of the songs on the album simply feature acoustic guitar and random drums. Only Phil on vocals this time. The songs seem more insular than those on all of The Microphones releases. That is to say, it's not the usual cinematic experience you'd get with, say, Mount Eerie (the album), where the album may well be one long song in itself; this whole album is more traditionally structured. Unification through instrumentation and thematic material moreso than production and song structure. Easily some brilliant moments (the tail end of the second track is GLORY I'm telling you). And it's more obvious than ever that Phil is the master of unorthodox drum/percussion tracks. He sets up the most bizarre, unlikely grooves over and over, every weird song, which is quite the feat considering that's not usually where the innovation happens in any pop record. Random. Oh yeah, and the lyrics... well, um... yeah. They go from the usual Elverum musings ("The world is in me and I am in the world") to totes meta ("Knowing no one will understand these songs/I try to sing them clearer/Even though no one has ever asked/What does Mount Eerie mean?" also see: "No Flashlight means there's another world and it's inside this one/No Flashlight means the lake at night." Ohhhh!).

One main gripe: now that Phil seems to be going with a slightly more traditional approach to song conception, his decidedly unkosher (see: out-of-tune) voice doesn't pair up with the music quite as well as it used to. True, he obviously has no aspirations to be played on the radio (save Ann Arbor's college indie station, on which I actually have heard a Mount Eerie tune... weird), but I still feel like the songs would jive better with some more standard vocals.

So then, no verdict (no lake! no moon!) on No Flashlight just yet. But I get the overall impression that Elverum is only starting to get a feel for his new Mount Eerie outfit. This album is clearly only the beginning of something much bigger.

8.11.2005

lists are the best

From Ian's livejournal...

"list ten songs that you are currently digging. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog."

Holler:
Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version)
Patrick Wolf - Tristan
MF Doom - Rap Snitch Knishes
The Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha
Mount Eerie - I Know No One
Mariah Carey - My All
Weezer - We Are All On Drugs (although for some reason, Pink Triangle has been stuck in my head for WEEKS)
Andrew Bird - Fake Palindromes
The New Pornographers - Letter from an Occupant
Nick Drake - River Man (solo version from Made to Love Magic)

heh heh... heh....

Whoa, okay, last post just a touch extreme. Sorry y'all, that's what happens when my rabid Toriphilia and my rabid Pitchfork hateration combine into one, I guess.

So, I wonder about those who don't like Tori Amos (or, Torn Anus as I like to refer to her) all that much. My musical tastes have shifted quite a bit since high school when I was first introduced to Tori. I am no longer pubescent and angsty (just angsty), and I realize that the angst naturally fueled my obsession with Tori. But I am still convinced that several of her 90's releases really are "Top 100" material. Am I just blinded by my fandom, or do you think she deserves more credit than she gets nowadays?

* * *

Along those lines (those lines being my growing irritation with a certain website), what's with Pitchfork being all selective and shit with the mainstream releases reviewed? They usually fall into one of three categories: (1) Indie artist that gets picked up by a major label (the majority of these get poor reviews. Surprise!!), (2) Rap or hip-hop artist, (3) Older artists that have established themselves by releasing good material in the past (see Weezer, Beck, Ben Folds). 1 & 3 are fairly self-explanatory, I guess, but what's with #2? Are the Pitchfuckers just not as hip to the indie hip-hop scene as they should be? Or do mainstream rap releases tend to be better than the underground stuff anyway?

Now, why should they cover albums by R. Kelly and Jay-Z while ignoring legit mainstream pop/rock acts such as System of a Down and Madonna? I mean, I don't care if they get godawful reviews, but they at least deserve the same coverage as, uh, Liz Phair. What gives, Pitchfork?

8.10.2005

pitchfuckers

My love-hate-loathe relationship with Pitchfork grows ever more complex. LOOK AT NUMBER EIGHT. That's right, your eyes are not deceiving you. It's TORI! Sitting pretty in the Top Ten of Dickfuck's Top 100 Albums of the 90's. And rightfully so. Little Earthquakes is one of the essential albums of the 90's, whether the indie-cred seekers are willing to admit it or not.

Well, that was their old list. Check out the revised list. Where's Tori? WHERE IS SHE ASSHOLES??? She's not even in the Top 100. What, Bitchdorks, didn't want to tarnish your obviously-better-than-thou image by including an album (that's not Radiohead) whose importance most mainstream music critics actually agree on? I mean, Bonnie Prince Billy is good, but WTF. Duh, obviously it's not cool to like Tori, but what the hell man? How can she just disappear out of the top fucking ten into nothing like that?

And, once again, indie cred takes precedence over the actual music. So gross.

good, good... now smell her a little

SLSK is the best and worst thing to happen to me this week. It's an amazing program, it really is, but I think I just shot myself in the ethical foot by using it. There really is no excuse; I mean, could easily endlessly justify the wrongness of it all, but in the end no explanation would make me any less of a bad person. So I'll just accept the fact that I'm a mercenary bastard with a Soulseek but no soul.

I finally got Xiu Xiu's Fabulous Muscles the other day, and I find it delightfully pretentious. Of course, I expected that, so it doesn't change the fact that it's fuckin good. Yeah, he's sometimes so oversensitive that you just want to wail on him, but it don't matter when he warbles, "Cremate me after you cum on my lips." Ohhhhh god.

other acquisitions: Messiaen's organ works (50% utterly awesome, 50% wha?!), Nick Drake's Made To Love Magic (charming, obv), MF Doom Mm...Food? and Viktor Vaughn Vaudeville Villain (Z, your contributions to my rap repertoire just get better and better and better. This stuff fuckin rules.)

next up: some thoughts on every culturalist's favorite mortal battle, MO vs. POMO! That's right, I'm taking Boulez and Ferneyhough to tha STREETZ.