“Waterfall” – The Fresh and Onlys

•December 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Two posts in a row?  Way to go!  I like you, Fresh & Onlys.

Here they are performing at Pitchfork.  Of course they are.  But please tell me that this audience is not representative of those found at Pitchfork.  Would it kill people to dance?  Look at the superfans who showed up early to get spots at the barricades so as to languorously collapse their bodies upon them.  Thankfully we do have one shirtless dude having apparent fun.  But to the rest of you, in the words of London’s best tour bus guide: “Are you on holiday?  Or did you come here to die?”

Great guitar work, great Grateful Dead shirt.

“August in My Mind” – The Fresh and Onlys

•November 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Fresh & Onlys, out of San Francisco.  I am surprised at their music’s inexplicably small online presence, though at least you can check out what’s in their bag.

As you may or may not know, I’m a sucker for some surf pop.  I want reverb all over the damn place.  Sitting on the beach, clinging to the last threads of summer, though you know it’s already over.  The sun has set, there’s a chill in the air, and dark clouds are rolling in.  I want to curl up in this song and let the waves wash over me.  Sonic lushness.

fao

“The Struggle” – Grizfolk

•November 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I discovered this band by matching with one of its members on Tinder.  Perhaps Tinder will turn out to be a useful resource for finding new music.  This of course being in addition to its already well-documented success as a way to have meaningless chats with strangers for a week or two and accomplishing nothing further.

“The Struggle” has been in my head all weekend, along with “Shipoopi,” but that’s a different story altogether.

Prediction: Tinder Music will be a thing.

grizfolk2

“Snakes in the Grass” – Sparrow and the Workshop

•September 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

They had me at “I’d like.”  That subsequent beat of silence is my everything right now.

What a delightfully different change of pace this song is.  It’s reminiscent of something that might have been heard on college radio circa ’95, largely thanks to 1) the prominent and excellent bass line and 2) the guitar solo which is basically just the melody with some mild embellishment.  I rather enjoy the video, too; it’s familiar and very ’90s in its low-fi weirdness.  This sounds like true alternative rock to me which I didn’t even think existed anymore.  Alt-rock lives.

I was unsurprised to learn that the Glasgow-based band’s members are originally from Wales and Scotland, with the frontwoman being Northern Ireland-born but raised in America.  This is not a record that an American band would ever do in this way.  It’s not that the song couldn’t exist but the production would be far different.  The sound is warm and a long way from being overproduced.  I can hear every part that makes up the sum.  So that’s it, then: solid UK alt-rock.  Hope you’re ready to have this stuck in your head all night.  I woke up this morning with it playing in my brain.  Now it’s your turn.  Suckers!

In summary: You’re welcome.

Bonus: If you enjoyed that, you are also likely to take a shine to this live version.

“Yeah, our sound is really cool.”

Checkin’ In

•July 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Yes, yes, yes.  I know.  I’ve been ignoring the blahg.  I simply haven’t felt inspired to write about any music.  Does this say more about the state of music, or the state of me?

 

Deep.

“Objects of My Affection” – Peter, Bjorn & John

•February 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Just because something starts differently

Doesn’t mean it’s worth less

Hands down, the hardest part of this blog is putting my feelings about music into words.  For me, music = emotions, and those are not things which I easily express concisely or coherently.  This issue is the main reason why I do not post more frequently.  I have a long list here of incredible songs about which I am simply mad, but I can’t just post a YouTube link and say, “I like this.  This is good.”  At least, not yet.

Anyhow, I suppose it’s been working so far, so let’s keep it up.  Quality over quantity.

I’m enjoying this one tonight.  It’s connecting with me on a very specific plane on which I’ve been recently, reflecting upon the lives I’ve lived in other places, how they’ve all culminated in me being here, now, and what it all means.  Well, as it turns out, I don’t know what it all means.  I suppose I will someday, and quite vaguely at that.  In the meantime, I am here, in one of the greatest cities in the world, and I am more myself than I have ever been.  And I do laugh and cry more often now.

What I’m trying to say is: gorgeous song.

In summary: I like this.  This is good.

peter-bjorn-john

“Que Sera” – Wax Tailor

•February 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This is the type of song that invites you to dive head first into a warm sea of hip hop.

I am no Doris Day fan.  Wax Tailor takes her adequate (some might say exquisite) rendition of “Que Sera Sera” and weaves it into a luscious phonic delicacy and, lo and behold, her grating voice is rendered sage and comforting.  She knows about life.

This is how you sample, son.

How about you just listen to 1:01-1:12 and tell me that something special didn’t happen in your heart or your or head or some combo thereof?  And now you know your life’s purpose.

In summary: I have the key in my hand; all I have to find is the lock.

Wax-Tailor

“Don’t Move” – Phantogram

•February 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’ve neglected the blog!  Bad, Blogmistress.  Bad!  Let’s get back on track, on this, the first of February, 2013.

This is what I’m liking this evening.  Big thanks to a very good friend of mine for putting this onto a mix CD.  Phantogram is phantabulous.  Oohhhh!!  See?  With the “ph” = “f” thing?  You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning…

What is this song “really” about?  I don’t know.  Let’s ditch that whole thought process moving forward.  Do you know people who are in perpetual motion?  Maybe you’re one of them.  I know a few.  For someone like me, she of the contemplative respites, they’re exhausting.  I am always trying to focus more on living in the present, but the group to whom I am referring could benefit from living anywhere but.

It’s like trying to reason with a crazy person with whom you have never been on the same plane and with whom you never will be.

I don’t want to get crazy here myself, but…this is close to my idea of a perfect song.

In summary: I get it.

phantogram_arrival_686x320

“Flagpole Sitta” – Harvey Danger

•January 7, 2013 • 1 Comment

 

Happy 2013!  This is my first post of the new year.  As we look to the future, let’s start things off with the smooth sounds of this optimistic ode…from the past!

I was all about this song when it came out in 1998.  Tongue piercings!  Exciting and dangerous and oh so au courant.  The very essence of this song appealed to me.  “I’m not sick but I’m not well.”  That sums up the bulk of the adolescent experience quite succinctly.  This songs lets you rant and jump around and ultimately have a wonderful time, even if the world is falling apart all around.

I still enjoy this one greatly.  And it’s stuck in my head now and will be for the remainder of the evening.  Late ’90s alt-rock is my New Year gift to you.

In summary: Did you always assume that the lead singer was Harvey Danger?  I did.  It’s the Blondie syndrome.

Harvey+Danger+harveydanger

 

“Einstein Buys a Monkey” – Ugly Duckling

•December 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There’s a hip hop act from Long Beach, California called Ugly Duckling.  I love them and have for some time.  They’ve been around since the mid-’90s, and I first learned of them in the early ’00s.  Apparently they released a new album last year.  I did not know this.  But now I’m a music blogger so nothing of that sort will escape my notice again.

Ugly Duckling’s deal is that they have fun.  They don’t take themselves too seriously.  I’m pretty sure that they aren’t making millions doing this, so my understanding is that they straight up love making music together.  Things take a somber turn on occasion (which I also enjoy), but for the most part Ugly Duckling’s music is a blast to listen to.  They make some great funky beats, horns and all that, super energetic and still smooth.

I just listened to this song for the first time and enjoyed it way too much.  We’ve got a bossa nova thing happening (the sampled Walter Wanderley track is here) and it gets elevated from the realm of elevator music with a sick beat and scratches.  This is precisely the music that one should play when driving around Hollywood in a convertible with a pet monkey.  I assume his name is Fritz and he wears sunglasses and has a smoking habit.

If you like this you should check out more from UD.  This track showcases the group’s DJ, Young Einstein, but you also need to check out their rapping, which is just as fun, skillful, and unique.

In summary: Get a monkey.  This has proven to be poor advice in the past, but maybe it’ll work for you.

Ikea monkey in Toronto stsore