What was at first an underperformer on this young man’s album packed an emotional punch for me with its key melody repeated just once - the “We can be Orion in the air tonight,” I think is the correct lyric? At first the song was too slow, too guitar-heavy in this annoying new-school style of playing. But then, starting with that aforementioned melody (that I dare say borrows from Book of Beach Boys Harmony), “The Thrill” started to unfold itself to me, actually becoming thrilling in its own prodding way. Its starry-eyed energy contrasting an impending-doom feel somehow captures something key about our time…or at the very least, my own life!
I was feeling frail and sick and I had little to sustain me physiologically, but I was so pumped to hear a new work from my favorite artist of this current age. It was quite the test; I was essentially asking these two Frenchmen to alleviate me of my physical ailments.
What? No samples?? Well, okay then…but these live musicians had better play well, and the darned songs had better be darned good.
It all comes together pretty damn well. Unlike the retro futurism of Discovery, this work seems more futuristically retro, at times seemingly too self-consciously indebted to its influences (come on: “Giorgio by Moroder”?). But then again, these are “memories.”
And besides all that, the songwriting is sharp and well-done. I look forward to these songs’ sort of joyful melancholy - or is it melancholy joy? - impacting me in big ways down the line. As it stands now, one track truly blew me away: “Touch” and its middle-to-end passages: there I found an extremely moving melody building into something so appropriately epic, never crossing the line into the over-the-top.
I must say there’s something this album has that previous Daft Punk albums didn’t: a maturity cultivated through many years of life lived, and the reverent looking-back upon them.
There is probably no other sonic ethos that I see more reflections of myself within than that of the Cocteau Twins. Now more than ever I find myself running to this and other music that simply feels as though it defines those parts of myself that I hold most dear.
This now defunct group in particular holds an even greater place in my heart because I’ve been fortunate enough to work with one of the minds behind it. Robin Guthrie, who was the band’s guitarist / co-songwriter and has continued his career as an amazing solo artist / producer mastered the digital tracks from my band, Uwue’s first record. Among all the other wonderful and exciting relationships my work has brought about, working with Robin has definitely the most exciting and personally affirming so far. I mean who doesn’t want to collaborate with an idol. My gratefulness to that dude knows no bounds.
So here’s a track from his former band’s ‘91 album Heaven or Las Vegas.
If you’re into that stuff you should also check out his more recent work, both solo and in collaboration with ambient music legend Herold Budd.
A mix of SOTDage and blatant self promotion…this band will be playing at the Tree House on THURSDAY! We’re pretty excited to be hosting these guys. Check out the track and you’ll see why, they’ve got their sound on point. A great mix of airy melodicism and in-pocket rhythm topped off with killer production from Inner Ear in D.C. Definitely not a band to be missed this time around as they may be playing fewer and fewer $5 donation shows in the future.
Here’s a fbook event link for the show. Invite your friends and hope to see you there..
There’s something quite mesmorizing about Mr. Kweli when all of the elements work together: his higher-range voice meshing with epic kind of production, creating a unique sense of urgency. He raps as though more is at stake than what I might typically want to believe. Maybe he believes in more than I do? Unfortunately, on this album this sweet spot of transcendence isn’t nearly a constant (it’d be no easy feat, but I believe it is achievable). Sometimes that production is overwrought and sometimes it’s underwrought, not letting his rapping really bloom and flow as fully as they could. But when he is on, check it out:
Apologies for the glut of ‘85-‘95 SOTDs but I figure I may as well stick with my strong areas…
Another one of those terribly overlooked bands, Insides was labeled as ‘post-rock’ in their day probably because critics couldn’t come up with a better silly genre tag (though I’d use ‘ambient trip-hop with strong minimalist leanings’). This is one of the stand out tracks from their ‘93 lp Euphoria, an album that’s very slowly but surely grown on me since first discovering them a few years ago.
ALSO: If you’re into deep listening (and you really should get into it), check out this song I incidentally just found from them and am being fairly blown away by as I write this
Somehow I feel like if I saw this video today it would be really annoying but since it’s the Cure it’s not…they look like they’re not really taking it seriously. If they looked like they were taking it seriously it would be annoying. Then again the sentiment is there…the emotion is real, the aesthetic is absurd. Today I feel like it would be the opposite…maybe just nostalgia. Or maybe my generation just sux. Agnst agnst agnst…
Song O The Day: Mint Condition - Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)
Guess we’ll keep Jake’s middle of the night SOTD habit going with this beast of a slow jam that he turned me on to. There’s really no better time to be playing this song. So light some candles and turn your lights down cuz we’re going deep with this one.