Peanut’s Playground is my bi-weekly verbal diarrhea. Every other Wednesday I plan to ramble about stuff I like (in my typically screwed up version of English) and hope you will like too. And in case you don’t… mweh.
The general consensus about Dutch music is that it sucks. Ok maybe not the general consensus, since there are a lot of people who don’t give a crap about Dutch music in general!
Whatever the public might thin,k my own opinion on Dutch music is well known. With the exception of a few great artists (most of which don’t record anymore) the majority of the tunes from the Nether regions sucks balls. I’ve always looked somewhat envious to our Belgian neighbors. The complete opposite of what is going in Holland is what’s normal over there. They have more great artists than sucky ones. At least it certainly seems that way.
Even though I think Dutch music sucks I’m still going to yabber a bit about it in this article. The reason for this is that somehow a bunch of very good artists have surfaced these past months, four of which I would like to introduce to you. All of them have ‘break-out’ potential and are definitely worthy of your attention.
I’ve written about them before, when they made my year-end list (top 5) with their second album Black Cat John Brown. They’ve just released their third long player called Unicorn Loves Deer on Excelsior Recordings, and although it’s completely different from their previous work, it’s an absolute winner! The melodies and instrumentation are both original and haunting. They might take some time to sink in, but when they do, they’re hard to get out of your head.
Dazzled Kid is the solo project of Voicst (alumnus of my 2009′ year-end list) singer Tjeerd Bomhof. Where his main band Voicst make fast paced rocking guitar pop, Tjeerd choose to tone it down a bit for this project, giving it a relaxed but still poppy singer-songwriter feel. Yes No Maybe is the lead-off single of his 2011′ debut album Fire Needs Air.
How does one describe a band that is totally indescribable? Because that’s exactly what the Nijmegen outfit De Staat are, utterly and completely unique and thus indescribable (to me at least). They call themselves ‘Musical Chameleons’ which sounds about right to me. You can stick any of a hundred genre labels on them and be right. There’s really only option left, and that’s to check out their second album Machinery asap.
I’ve been in love with Marike Jager’s music ever since first seeing her play live back in 2007 (which feels like ages ago). Her somewhat quirky stage presence combined with a great voice and fine songwriting captured my interest from the start. Since then I’ve seen Marike progress into an artist Holland has not seen many of over the years. With each album and each performance she fine tuned here craft, resulting in her finest effort yet, this year’s Here Comes The Night. You really really should give that album some well deserved attention!
Peanut’s Playground is my bi-weekly verbal diarrhea. Every other Wednesday I plan to ramble about stuff I like (in my typically screwed up version of English) and hope you will like too. And in case you don’t… mweh.
Number 13 in my series of Forgotten Classics:
Mental Floss For The Globe by Urban Dance Squad (1989)
Hi guys. Sorry that I missed my slot two weeks ago. Life suddenly caught up with me and well, that’s just how things go sometimes. But rest assured, I’m making it up with a whopper of a classic today! One that you’ve probably never heard of before but hey, what else is new.
Forget about mainstream acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rage Against The Machine. Urban Dance Squad were the true original crossover pioneers. The Utrecht (in the Netherlands) based group combined rock (guitars) with rap (vocals) and old-skool (scratching) and turned it into something completely new.
They actually had some moderate success too. Not over here in the Nether Regions, but in the States. Deeper Shade Of Soul from their debut album actually made it all the way to #57 in the Billboard Hot 100. Which to Dutch standards is really really fucking succesful.
Anyway, this band doesn’t do their thang no more (whatever the hell that means), so digging into their back catalogue is all that’s left now. And there’s no better place to start than here. Because if you don’t like this album, there is seriously something wrong with your hearing.
Hüsker Dü means nothing to me. Bob Mould means nothing to me either. That is to say, the music that the Dü and the Mould made/make isn’t really the music that I like the Bob to make. The music I love is this:
Sugar – File Under Easy Listening (1994)
1994 was a great year in music, and File Under Easy Listening (or F.U.E.L.) was one of its highlights.
Roaring guitars. Loud guitars. But also, beautiful melodies. A combination I’ve gotten to love, and few albums have gotten it better than F.U.E.L. Bob Mould’s voice has never been angelic or smooth or anything like that, but who knew how well it would fit melodic songs instead of just raging rockers. His gritty vocals over the infectious grooves and chords are exactly what keep this album interesting.
Every song is memorable. Memorable in such a way that even after listening to it only once it will have you singing along full force! The song structures are, without exception, simple and easy to grasp. But simple does not equal dull. It’s never dull! Better still, it keeps on surprising you, more than 16 years after its release.
All the traits of a timeless classic if I’ve ever heard one.
Kaloo-kalay, the new Rural Albert Advantage is finally FINALLY here. Sweet. Jesus. What took it so long? It was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in 2008 (which is 21.4 blog years, by the way) that we first heard of these lovely Canadians.
Back then they were unsigned and, for the most part, unheard of… But oh what a difference 21.4 blog years make, eh? They were eventually signed to Saddle Creek where they then re-released the album and started touring and video making and stuff and stuff.
Which is great and all that, but it also meant we music geeks in freaks down here bloggerin’ land had to wait, sit on our 30+ minutes of Hometowns, barely above the length of your favourite EPs, for what? Forever maybe? yeah… Forever for a new collection of songs.
And, my friends, Departing was oh so worth the wait.
In one sense, RAA picks up where they left off. Same awesomely whiny voice, same haunting female back-up vocals, same noise-acoustic guitar effect, and same balance of frenetic & folk/roots/whatever. That’s kinda their sound, so it all makes since. I think a half-hearted listen may get them the “Hometowns II” tag from a music cricket or two.
Who knows. Don’t care.
In the vacuum of it’s own existence, we have ourselves a beautiful & often woefully sad break-up album. There’s depth to the sound, depth in the lyrics… Like our friends from the great north not only got their collective hearts broke, but also saw it coming and didn’t or couldn’t do anything about it.
It’s wonderful. My only complaint is the same as before. It is so fucking short! God, I want more. So…. me being me, here’s what I think you should do. Make a playlist/CD (it fits)/whatever of Hometowns & Departing played back-to-back. You know what you get? 1.1 hours of Rural Alberta Advantage and one happy mother fucker…….
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! We’ll be doing some arts & crafts (and my first boudoir photo shoot for some awesome & beautiful friends), riding my bike, and (of course) hanging out with Baby.
Okay… I’m obsessed… like obsessed-obsessed over this new PJ Harvey album called Let England Shake.
I’ve had a crush on PJ Harvey ever since I could kinda see her nipples on the back cover of Dry.
Yep. That’s the one. She’s bold, brash, difficult, challenging, & strong. I love songs, I hate songs, it’s everything that comfort food isn’t to music.
I don’t always like her albums. But then Let England Shake shows up. I was already in love with “The Words That Maketh Murder”, but a song does not an album make.
Oh my. Oh man. This is so good.
It’s odd, weird — like “Revellie” during “The Glorious Land” — and it’s beautiful… Beautiful in that odd yet strong way Harvey herself is. It’s poetry (literally, from what I hear) meets quirk-rock music.
I’ve listened to it 10, maybe 15 times? And I can’t seem to stop. So, I’m going to shut up and listen some more…
“Take me back to England & the grey, damp filthiness of ages, fog rolling down behind the mountains & on the graveyards, and dead sea-captains.” – PJ Harvey, The Last Living Rose
I was going to write about The Dears’ new album Degeneration Street but I opted to do a forgotten classic post instead. This is number 10 in my ongoing series honoring wonderful and often underrated albums:
The Dears – Gang Of Losers (2006)
The reason I’m not writing about the new album is because I really need to listen to it some more before judging. I already know it’s good but I still have to decide how good it really is. For Gang Of Losers I already made up my mind back in 2006.
Of all albums released in the noughties only two have made my all-time top 20 list, and this is one of those two. And in contrast with how many of my favorite music has captured my attention, this time it was the lyrics that pulled me in.
Frontman Murray Lightburn sings about being homeless. Being discriminated. Being deemed a loser. But also about optimism. About the things that are good in the world. And what makes his stories all the more impressive, is the fact that he’s live through it all. He’s actually been there, living on the streets, getting shit dumped upon him. And somehow, someway, this man has managed to make a series of fantastic albums of which Gang Of Losers is (imo) by far the most impressive.
Every song here is memorable. Instantly. And while most of the time this is a bad sign; this time it’s not. I’ve revisited this album at average at least twice a month since its release. And even now, almost five years later songs like Death or Life We Want You and There Goes My Outfit still give me goosebumps, and this is the main sign of a classic if you ask me.
I’m kinda obsessed over three albums right now. It’s making it quite hard to do this whole bloggerin’ thing, you know? Three albums are dividing my heart and time right now. So which shall we write about?
You know, you gotta go with who got there first. It’s only fair, donchathink? Besides, with all the break-ups going on in music with the White Stripes & LCD Soundsystems and stuff, it’s kinda nice to see all the old-timers making a go of it this year, take charge, kick ass, take a few names and such. We saw Cake, Ron Sexsmith, and Social Distortion already light up our eyes and we know REM and PJ Harvey are in the pipeline, but today it’s Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker leadman’s solo debut that’s swooning our ears & brainicles.
Yep, David Lowery’s The Palace Guards is out and it’s fantastic. I find it interesting when people have multiple bands for multiple styles or sounds. Cracker was always his roots rock band — oh man, I need to hear “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)” like stat…
Ah… That’s better. Where were we? Oh yeah, Lowery’s got his original gig with Camper Van Beethoven as his quirkball band (Key Lime Pie is and will always be one of my favourite albums ever).
Considering that, as far as I know, both bands are still intact, Lowery doing “David Lowery” must mean these songs, on some level, just don’t fit with the C&CvB thing.
From an outsiders perspective, some songs like “All Those Girls Mean Nothing To Me” do sound like they could’ve fit elsewhere, but maybe it’s similar to the old axiom, “you can take the boy out of Florida, but you can’t take Florida out the boy” ’cause lard knows I tried… Lowery is Lowery so you could make a case for this whole solo thing being kinda silly. Hell, you could probably make a case that Cracker is Camper van Beethoven is David Lowery and vicey-vicey-versy.
So, yeah, the comparisons will come in all the reviews, for sure. Hell, I think I just spent a couple paragraphs on it. And for that, Lowery, I’m sorry.
This album is really wonderful. The wonderfully odd (see: “The Palace Guards”). It’s unabashedly kuntry (see: “Raise ‘em Up on Honey”). And dear jeebus on a stick it can be absolutely beautiful (see: “Deep Oblivion”).
Okay, enough with the “see: Song” crap, just get it, play it over and over again. We old timers still gots it mother fuckers!!
If there’s one lady in music who has swept me of my feet it’s this one!
Nicole Atkins – Mondo Amore
Besides the fact that Nicole Atkins is one great chica (check out her twitter if you don’t believe me) she also makes some bloody fantastic music as well!
Her 2007′ album Neptune City is among the very few albums from my year-end-list of that year that I actually still listen to. Listen to a lot actually. The combination of grand orchestration, lush arrangements and huge but lovely vocals has proven to be seriously addictive. That she’s able to add really memorable melodies to that mix makes her even easier to love.
Where Neptune City was like the pop-music version of a Vaudeville show, Mondo Amore is Nicole dragging the whole shebang over to the Jersey shores and kicking the crap out of the can-can dancers! Sure there’s her trademark swooping ballads to be found here (Hotel Plaster, Heavy Boots amongst others) but the majority of this album kicks ass and promisses to be just as addictive as her earlier work.
Go check her out if you haven’t done so before, you know you want to!
We here at TSURURADIO are hard at work preparing for the launch of our next zine. It’s going to be beyond epic… One might even say “super epic”. On top of that, we are working on a special little presentation for you here but be on the lookout on Friday, Februrary 4th at http://tsurufoto.etsy.com — STAY VIGILANT!!!
It’s going to be our biggest and baddest zine yet! It’s a lot of work but fortunately I’ve got a sweet new gem of an album by long, long, LONG time TSURURADIO fave Ron Sexsmith and his latest LP Long Player Late Bloomer to keep me on task!
There is only one word for a Ron Sexsmith album you need to know, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”…… It’s like soaking weary feet in small tub of hot water and Epsom salt.
You know what you are going to get… Chill-tempoed (yeah, “chill-tempoed”, it’s a word.. I just created it) pop/rock. Like sweet AM radio tunes from the olden days of my youth that just fill the room with expertly crafted songs about love & life.
SIDE NOTE: The new Edie Brickell showed up on the internettals recently as well. Someone should really get these two together for a sweet little duet, amirite??
1. Get In Line
2. The Reason Why
3. Believe It When I See It
5. No Help At All
6. Late Bloomer
8. Michael And His Dad
9. Middle Of Love
10. Everytime I Follow
11. Eye Candy 12. Love Shines + the viddy…. Looks so familiar, eh? Fuck who?
Everyone that has read more than one of my articles over the past 5 years will already know that this Swedish three-man-band has been one of my faves ever since discovering them.
So there should be no surprise to learn that I was extremely excited about their new album:
Peter Björn And John – Gimme Some
If you happen to be unfamiliar with Peter Björn And John’s music (which wouldn’t be that surprising), then I suggest you hop over to their website asap to get some free sample mp3s and videos: PBJ.com and then return here to read on a bit.
Oh hello! Welcome back!
I can only imagine that you’re just as amazed as I was when first hearing their music. If you aren’t, well frankly I think there’s something seriously wrong with you and you should stop reading this and every other future article I write.
Gimme Some is the band’s 6th album (5th proper one) since their start in 1999. Their first glimpse of fame came when their track Young Folks (the whistling song) from 2006′ Writer’s Block was picked up by a massive amount of websites and radiostations. To date they have yet to deliver a bad piece of music, although I will admit that their 2008′ instrumental release Seaside Rock was sub-par to say the least.
After the bit more adventurous Living Thing from 2009 for Gimme Some the band have returned to what their good great at. Making energetic guitar driven pop/rock with hooks that are all over the place. The album is filled with potential singles, the best one of which has just been released as just that. Second Chance is one of the best songs you’ll hear this year, trust me on that one, and the rest of the bunch ain’t too shabby either. Enjoy!
What? Wonderful indie-pop from Canada that I’ve never heard of? What? Been cranking out albums since ’07? How the hell is that even possible??? Seriously? It’s amazing what gets under the radar, isn’t it? There are just so so so many bands. You know, if we had as many bands available to us as we did back in the 80s/90s, we’d have a need for maybe 2, 3 blogs tops.
Though, I think music blogs are becoming obsolete — I mean think about it. Why do you need blogs when you got your massive massive social network of twitterers, facebookers, tumblrerers (assuming they can actually keep tumblr running), plus your pandoras, iTunes, last.fmers, various boards & forums, etc, etc, etc, etc, telling you, yeah YOU what to listen to? Blogs are becoming white noise. — the one thing keeping us in business is the sheer volume of bands out there your social group just can’t get to, that we music geekeronis suck in & spit out like dirty rapid-fire spit balls.
The commoditization of music meets the white noise of blogs and suddenly I can’t remember what I was loving the fuck out of just last week. Sad, eh?
But then you come across a little simple & simply awesome pop gem like Islands Disappear filled with one nugget after another of indietastic crafted tunes that apparently came out waaaaay back in ought-niner by Said The Whale and all that other bullshit just fades away……..
Everybody and his brother’s dog knows Queens Of The Stone Age. Well fuck Queens Of The Stone Age! There’s only band that Josh Homme should be known for and that’s:
Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley (1994)
There isn’t a band in history that has earned weirder tags than Kyuss. ‘Stoner rock’. Ehh what? Stones that rock? Sure. ‘Desert rock’. Last time I checked the desert it was quiet as fuck, so this makes no sense whatsoever. Oh wait, they had jam sessions in the desert you say? Well I sing in the toilet, so maybe that explains why I make shitty music…
1992′ Blues For The Red Sun might have gained the ‘classic’ label but this here Welcome To Sky Valley is truly the real deal when it comes to Kyuss. It hasn’t got anything close to something that could be considered a single candidate (although Demon Cleaner has appeared in the latest Guitar Hero game) but when it comes to fulfilling the potential that Kyuss had you need not look any further.
Sky Valley is split up in three ‘suits’, otherwise known as three Roman numerals on the back cover of the album. Seriously, there ain’t nothing more to it than that. And be glad for that! Most albums that work with ‘suits’ turn out to be pretentious and unlistenable pieces of crap, and this is not.
The sound is all over the place but at the same time it’s 100% Kyuss and unique in that way. Thrashing, laidback, psychedelic, rocking and thunderous. This has got it all. And all of this accompanied by the Southern wail of John Garcia and Josh Homme’s guitar played through a bass amp.
Welcome To Sky Valley is a unique and amazing album by a band that would’ve been completely relevant had they still existed today. In case you overlooked Kyuss back in the early 90′s, here’s your chance to redeem yourselves.
A duo from France (him) and Finland (her). If you like Beach House chances are you will love:
The Dø – Slippery Slope
The Dø (pronounced ‘Dough’) are a multi-culti indie-pop duo who took there name from the first letters of their first names (Dan and Olivia). Apparently Dø means all kinds of things in some languages. I’m not sure what, and if you’re interested just check out Google Translate. What’s more important then their name is their music, and that my friends, is pretty amazing!
I loved the duo’s 2008′ debut A Mouthful a lot when it came out, and still do actually. The band has managed to create a sound that is at times light and poppy, while at the same time there’s darkness below the surface and musical experimentation is all over the place. They remind me most of the lighter side (musically speaking) of Beach House, while the trippy- and weirdness sounds a lot like the latest work by (the wonderful) Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Fortunately, to help take us out for the week, we got another staple in the tsuru bin of awesome bands of since forever in a new Social Distortion album!!!
It’s interesting… it’s the same conversation we had the other day about Cake’s new album, only to be reinforced in my noggin’ today. What is it about some bands, like Cake & Social Distortion, that they basically can have a formula for pretty much every single one of their songs, make album after album of, essentially, barring any little blips & bleeps here, the same album over and over again, and it be completely okay?
I mean, think about some of your favourite bands. We expect “evolutions of sound”, where they are going next, we love or hate it as this band goes more electronic, more dance, more acoustic, more psychedelic, more whatever, but just cranking out the same shit is uh-uh, no way.
Except… I hear a Social Distortion or Cake album is coming out and I know, pretty much, exactly what I’m going to get and you know what? I still get as giddy as a school boy about to get a blowjob!
I mean, is Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes the exact same album as Mommy’s Little Monster? Of course not, the greys have definitely mellowed Mike out a curmudgeon and this time out, there seems to be a few ladies singing back-up here and there, but, listen to “Alone & Forsaken” and it’s the same guitar technique we know and love by Ness and the crew.
And you know what? It’s such a good thing.
Call it comfort food. Call it white gravy!
Mmm… white gravy, biscuits, fried chicken… Mmm.
But it’s delicious. There’s a reason why Bob Evans is still in business. And that Cracker Country Barrel whatever too! You know what you are going to get and it’s going to be delicious, filling, and oh so satisfying!
Makes you wonder… What other bands could’ve done this and made you happy? Me? Well, you know I love most weezer up to a certain point, but I wonder if, just what if, they did nothing but crank out one “blue album” after another?
Would we really complain? Sure, some people, some music crickets, would dismiss them, but man, what if they just did their one thing and did it well and did it over and over again? Would that really had been so bad? Certainly better than this:
So I say to Mike Ness & the rest of Social Distortion, to Cake and to any other comfort bands you and I may have. Brothers & sisters, don’t stop. Just keep doing what your doing. You seem to enjoy it, I sure as fuck do too. So keep on keepin’ on!!!
1. “Road Zombie” 2. “California (Hustle And Flow)”
3. “Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown”
4. “Diamond In The Rough”
5. “Machine Gun Blues”
7. “Far Side Of Nowhere”
8. “Alone And Forsaken”
9. “Writing On The Wall”
10. “Can’t Take It With You”
11. “Still Alive”
I like Cake. Who doesn’t like Cake? There are an infinite number of flavours of Cake, but in the end, Cake is Cake.
Side Note: That cake they shape with fondant on TV is not cake. That edible playdoh. Sorry, but it is.
This. This is Cake.
You got vanilla, chocolate, lemon, devil’s & angel’s food, poundcake, white, sheet, coconut, and then you got today’s…. red velvet. The luscious & rich deep moist blood red cake bread, topped & layered with that cream chesse icing or butter cream, whichever and either. It’s a subtle twist on the most simplest and classic of desserts. That’s what Cake is. It’s always the same, but it’s the slight changes in flavours and icings that make each offering unique & delicious in their own way.
Well, no. But it certainly starting to feel that way as the leaks of 2010 start to dry up and we start to see the sign of the corduroy show up in our album release dates — 11, corduroy, think the wales on the fabric, get it? We talked about this a bit yesterday, how the coming of US Thanksgiving marks the beginning of list-making season, and boy oh boy, before we head out to vacation, I shoooould be ready to present our very special list to you (with accompanying mixtape, as always).
That’s going to keep me uber busy this week (and force this to be a rather quick post, sorry), but that’s not now, that’s then and until then, we’ve got now and now is the new release from where-the-fuck-have-you-been Oh No Oh My called People Problems!
You can take the debut album genre out of the band, but you can’t take the band out of their debut genre, is what momma always said. And yeah, Oh No Oh My has done an “about face” musically or something, but you know what… They are still Oh No Oh My and that makes this boy very very happy…
1. Walking Into Me 2. You Were Right
3. Again Again
4. No Time For Talk
5. I Don’t Know
6. So I Took You
8. Not The One
9. There Will Be Bones
10. Should Not Have Come To This
11. Circles And Carousels
What a TSURUFOTO-tastic weekend! Holy crap! 4, count ‘em, 4 photoshoots! Two with Tyler & Meiko (the results of the first one can be seen above in our first foray into videoeoeos). And then a 2nd shoot in the morning and 2 more on Sunday for our soon-to-be award winning seires / calendar oiseaux retros de tsurufoto!
Hot damn, eh?
Been crazy, but not nearly as crazy as the intertubals have been with the leak/release of Kanye West’s new album…
To ignore this album would be wrong. I’m no fan of the raps, but I am a fan of music and pop culture and etc. According to Kanye, this is possibly the most important album of the year/decade/existence of all music. It only seems fair that we listen & discuss the whole album, together, organically, and share our inner-most thinkerins, right? So, here we go! Let’s push play and see what the good lord Kanye giveth, and what we taketh away….
1. “Dark Fantasy”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.. So, Kanye eshews de rigeurs of an obligatory “Intro” bit to the traditional rap album, instead puts out a somewhat anti-climatic song to lead us off. The rap & the rhythm is smooth and the singing (Kanye’s) is off but I kinda like that fact, using the auto-tune for the chorus bits… One track down and I’m left intrigued!
2. “Gorgeous” (featuring Kid Cudi & Raekwon)
A repetious retro-guitar is running the show along with some lo-fi-styled vocaled rap. He’s singing about himself & hip-hop, it’s very “me-centric”, but it’s Kanye so you don’t worry about it. Musically, it’s still pretty chill, and the chorus sounds like a bunch of guys who shouldn’t be singing choruses singing a chorus. This one is pretty meh. On 2nd thought, as this is a long one, yeah, the “me-centric” part is starting to get old on this one. Ready for “POWER”.
3. “Power” (featuring Dwele)
Oh yeah, we are bringing the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack feel on this one. Was this pulled from some battle-related period piece? Not bad! Oh shit… did he just sample King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”???? Okay, you just got an extra star on that…. But note to Kanye, if you want critics to love you, do NOT go prog. Critics do not like prog. Period.
Back to the song… pretty good! Powerful & moody, but yeah, gives you visions of something grand, battlefields, wars, etc. Nice.
4. “All of the Lights” (Interlude)
Oh no, is this a ballad? Oh, it’s a pretty interlude. Sorry.
5. “All of the Lights”
Here we go, bay-beh. If you removed the beat, you have a pretty basic Top 40 radio song, something VH1 would play the video of starring whoever the guest female vocal is, all morning long – do they still do morning videos? But you can’t remove the high-pitched beat and it’s the curve ball to an otherwise okay song, bay-beh. Oh wait, we are on the bridge now, bay-beh. Nevermind, back to the song, but a miminaled version with a woo-woo in the background. Yeah, okay, bay-beh, it’s alright now, bay-beh, let’s turn up the lights now, bay-beh, and get on with track 6…
Monster, and my ipod says that Bon Iver is on this, as well as Jay-Z, and other famous people. I think we are back on a me-centric song, I think. It ain’t easy being Kaney, apparently. Okay… I can see people thing this song is their jam. I can see people playing this in the car on the way to or from “the club” sing along, emphasizing “mother-fuckin’” every time someone says it, etc. But meh. Even Jay-Z (yeah, I recognize his voice) is bitching about his own creations. ugh. This song would’ve been better if Flight Of The Conchords had performed it. Damn it, 1 and 1/2 minutes to go?? Moving on…
Oh wait, I’ve heard this ree-dick-kull-less song before. I think I gave this a 1/2 wheelie or something…. God, I’m sorry, I’ve got to move on. Ree-dick-kull-less indeed.
8. “Devil in a New Dress” (featuring Rick Ross)
Unh! Unh! I hear some vinyl snap, crackle, pop, this could be something. Sweet sampling action going on here. I like it when Kanye actually sings, it’s so flawed & childish, I love it. I like this song. I’m not a big fan of the current rap over someone singing, everyone mixed up nice and loud, thing going on these days, but if you are going to do it, this is the way to do it… This song is rough, off, and I like it.
Making our way, already to track nine, the one with that ree-dick-kull-less music video / mini-movie. Okay, I forgot what the song sounds like and without any visuals, it’s just me and my brain. Here we go….
Ooo… nice start! LOL, have a toast for douchebags? Love it. For the jerk-offs even? Nice! Okay, I officially love this song. Yeah, it’s still me-centric, but it’s the way it should be, not just how hard it is to be so god-damn awesome, but about him when you bust down those ree-dick-kull-less-lee over-compensating shells & bravados he puts up.
I could be completely wrong, but this sounds like the real Kanye, the one he never puts out on twitter. The one that uses lower-case letters…
Yeah, I love this song. I kinda don’t want to move on to track 10. Fortunately, I got a 2 minute instrumental ending going on.
10. “Hell of a Life”
Pretty cool, ee-lectronic retro-y kinda goodness about pussy & religion. Sure, why not? I’m in! A bit over the top over the end with the cliche choir add, but still, pretty tight!
11. “Blame Game” (featuring John Legend)
Ipod says Legend is on this one and hey, sure enough, there’s the piano & breathy vocals. “I’ll call you bitch, for short”? Huh? Interesting. Sometimes I feel like Kanye’s got a South Park-like obsession with dropping cuss words, almost feeling forced sometimes, but over 11 tracks (so far), I think I’m beginning to see that’s just how he rolls. Alright, now they got some guy in a pitch-modified voice — is that Kanye? — bouncing from left to right to left to right ear, jibber-jabbering about or to some girl.
12. “Lost in the World” (featuring Bon Iver)
Auto-tune. I got to tell you, I’m reeeeeally starting to hate auto-tune, even when it’s done so prettily as it is here on the intro to this song. Seriously, it’s beautiful but I’m over it. That’s wrong to think, of course, a tool is a tool is a tool and using the tool, regardless of the popularity of it to achieve a desired effect, as long as artistic integrity is held in check, should never be rebuked but here I am, being a hypocrite, even on a song I’m enjoying, wishing beyond wishing that Bon Iver would’ve just sang the fucking intro normal style…………
13. “Who Will Survive in America”
The end, here we are, interesting trip we took today, it had it’s up and it’s downs, but as it is in today’s musicsphere, a Kanye West album is an event, even if it’s only an event because he thinks it’s an event and by me, reviewing it now, I’m only adding to the pile of ego.
Is it a good or bad album? Depends on who’s listening and what your expectations are. I imagine this will be a polarizing album though as Kanye is a polarizing person. Most everyone, myself included, have an opinion of him which is an odd thing when you think about it.
Even with all his PR crap, his own tweets, his albums & rants & etc, we still only “know” about 1% of Kanye and it’s that 1% we judge the other 99… Human nature I suppose. But, (ir)regardless, it seems fitting I should let Kanye have the last word, so with this and with that, cheers! T.
Busy boy these could o’ days, but it don’t mean we ain’t listenerin’ to the musics!!!! But, being busy DOES mean we may have to make this one quick! It’s a shame too becaues it’s quite the gem. This one come via recommendation by good friend Kyle on the twitters… The deliciously awesome Meet Me At Muster Station by PS I Love You!
A noisy rocker of sorts! Kinda reminds me of Wolf Parade at their noisiest at times, but a heaping helping more distortion added in for flavour crystals! Now, I know what you are thinking, “Noise? Le sigh”. C’mon now, you don’t have to be all Snooty McSnootyPants about noise, you know? All noise means is that you’ll need to turn it up loud. Like really loud. Like to where the noise & distortion & fuzz drown over, not just your ears, but down your neck and all along yer body WHICH, I hear, is a bit like a wonderland.
The Old 97s are back, baby! Though, honestly, I never really looked too deep into where they went in the first place! I was a big fan of Fight Songs and I know there were solo albums and, I’m assuming, break-ups and whatnots? But whatever the drama (or lack of), they are back and with a fresh pep in their step, bite in their swagger, and some thrust in their gut with The Grand Theatre Volume One!
What is “thrust in their gut”? Use your imagine, man! *Oomf! Oomf!* As I thrust in your general direction!
Where was we? Oh yeah, The Grand Theatre Volume One.. Volume One, eh? Careful, always trick to start off with a Volume One unless you know for a factoid that Volume Two will see the light of day. See the Traveling Wilburys, as much as I love Volume Three, no Roy Orbison and no Volume Two was a sad dog-ear to one of the best “supergroups” in all of anything.
But, also, Volume One means that Volume Two will most likely be much of the same as Volume One and, if you love this album, awesome, but if that is the case, why not just release it all as The Grand Theatre, a massive honky-tonk inspired double album?
Unless it ain’t recorded yet, then shouldn’t your next album be a move on? A snapshot of where The Old97s are at that point in time, not this point in time? Or are you consciously going to try to make a sequel?
Guess you could do like the movies and make it a trilogy. The first one would be smaller budget, kinda finished at the end, but slightly left open juuuust iiiin case, but it does well, gets a budget and then the second comes out and it’s a bit darker, the “bad guys” get more of an upper hand, but then the 3rd one is the big one, the finale, big budgets, big explosions, big pay-offs, everything wrapped up with a bow??
Our expectations for albums are different than movies. Or are they? Do we all want that slight move on but not too much moved on, but not to be samey at the same time?
(Ir)regardless, The Grand Theatre Volume One is all we got for now and musically it’s tight & to the right. Sounds a bit like Cracker at their more honky-tonk rockin’… It may be a long long time since the days of No Depression / alt.country big hay day, but these guys got their “The stars at night shine big and bright! *clap-clap-clap-clap* Deep in the hearrrrrrrrt of Texas!” embroidered firmly on their jean-jacket sleeves.
Mmm…. Bees and on my favourite day, Thursday! Why Thursday? Because Thursdays are like being next in line, you know, where you are waiting in some line, say at the airport, then suddenly you are next, the next open teller, the next available person, etc, is for you.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it can be super-frustrating as well, as some Thursdays can be… Ever become Next and suddenly one of the reps finishes with a customer, you think it’s your turn, then BLAMO they inexplicably leave their station????
Ah, tis life, I presume… But (ir)regardless, it’s Thursday, word is there’s snow pending (say WHAAAA?) for tomorrow, but right now, the sun is shining and my soul is in a happy happy place. One of the big reasons for the pleasin’ is Every Step’s A Yes by Bees!
Okay, these guys are kinda-psych folk guys, but the album is pretty easy to digest, leaning more toward the 60s than some fucked up 2010 noise-fest. Honestly, that’s quite the good thing. It’s all 8mm films & hippie-styled thrift store clothes in these songs, without sounding contrived as some of these retro bands can tend to be on occasion… i.e. more this:
I think these guys are major label (really? huh?), so I’m just sticking with their single. Enjoy!