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  • chad van women plants

    Abr 4 2009, 1h21

    this show was pretty rad, even though all the performers seemed a bit exhausted (end of tour/post-sxsw). some sound/feedback issues, but i've done enough sound to know that's a shitty job to have and i felt bad for the woman running the board.

    one cool surprise was chad playing his new animations for ten or fifteen minutes... they were demented and mindblowing and awesome.

    chad and women are both as talented live as they sound on album, and worth catching if you get the chance to.

    Thu 2 Apr – Chad VanGaalen, Women, Plants
  • fave musics list '08 edition

    Dez 31 2008, 23h11

    it's the END OF THE YEAR, which means that it's time for self-indulgent lists! of best things and etc. no order, little ranking. for those that asked. here you go.

    none of this is inclusive, and i'm sure i forgot stuff. i'll get the detritus out of the way first.

    things that weren't anywhere near as good as i hoped they would be:
    * Castanets - City of Refuge: what the fuck, ray raposa. really?
    * the continued existence of post-Let Go era Nada Surf
    * My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges: hard to follow up Z, i know.
    * Okkervil River - The Stand-Ins: these songs were stand-ins

    good fun/whatev, at least for a while:
    * Ratatat - LP3
    * Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night - reverb soaked fun; packed with almost too many good ideas for its own good. almost. super nice guys, too, did sound for them a couple months ago, they had the crowd dancin.
    * No Kids - Come Into My House
    * HILOTRONS - Happymatic: a hefty dose of under two-minute 'wheeeeeee!'
    * Little Joy - Little Joy: best release yet by a former member of The Strokes. sounds about, oh, 1958, in the best way possible.
    * Beck - Modern Guilt: who knew? danger mouse, obv.
    * Koen Holtkamp - Field Rituals: super nice guy, super cool soundscapes.
    * Dodos - Visiter
    * Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

    really good:
    * M83 - Saturdays=Youth
    * Arizona - The Glowing Bird: not as killer as their debut, but still a great album.
    * Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom
    * Desolation Wilderness - White Light Strobing: k recs/oly band. amazingly evocative, hazy album, really looking forward to the next record.
    * Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down in the Light: i guess you sort of get spoiled after so many good albums, but that is not a complaint.
    * Larkin Grimm - Parplar
    * Beach House - Devotion
    * Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago: took me awhile. i actually hated this when i first heard it back in late spring; i live in the northwest, and at that point in the year you want nothing to do with depressing shit because you just went through a frigid wet sunless winter and all you want to do is think about the sun and being outside. revisiting this album in the wintertime changed my mind. fuck the autotune, though.
    * Black Mountain - In the Future
    * Chad Van Gaalen - Skelliconnection (2006)
    * Arms - Kids Aflame
    * Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum (2007): sort of forgotten about after the summer (and arguably a bit one-trick ponyish), but i sure did listen to the fuck out of this album for a few months.

    amazing:
    * Chad Van Gaalen - Soft Airplane: one of my favorite artists that i discovered this year, great album.
    * Women - Women
    * Deerhunter - Microcastle
    * Phosphorescent - Pride (2007): discovery of the year. don't know how i missed this last year, but i listened to this album constantly from the end of march onwards. one of the best things i've ever heard.
    * Au - Verbs: some of the best of the PDX.
    * Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
    * Phosphorescent - Aw Come Aw Wry (2005): really, i fucking love matthew houck, he's like an unhinged version of sam beam. if i had known that the south could still make music like this i probably wouldn't have left.
    * Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP: song for song, a better album than the full-length. both were phenomenal.
    * Peter and the Wolf - Mellow Owl: warm stew and cuddle by the fire and this album

    some fav songs
    * Peter and the Wolf - Supermellofied
    * Chad Van Gaalen - Willow Tree
    * Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened
    * Phosphorescent - Wolves (2007)
    * Bon Iver - Flume
    * Arms - Shitty Little Disco
    * Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant
    * Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - For Every Field There's a Mole: 'best use of clarinet' award
    * Little Joy - Brand New Start
    * Phosphorescent - I Am a Full Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day) (2005)

    i know it's mostly stupid indie rock. fuck off.

    saw a bunch of amazing music, too... too much to mention/remember, actually, living in oly/norfwest spoils you pretty quick. started recording music, etc., doing live sound, other fun/amazing things... good times.

    lots of phenomenal music this year, just like every year... if you aren't finding music that moves you, look harder.
  • the best of whatever and ever amen

    Jan 20 2008, 22h10

    here's my month-overdue and (for some reason) heavily demanded hipster-prerequisite "best of" list for the music world or whatever in 2007 (phew).

    favorite favorites have album links.


    favorite albums

    Akron/Family - Love Is Simple
    Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
    Beirut - The Flying Cup Club
    Castanets - In The Vines
    Chromeo - Fancy Footwork
    Deerhunter - Cryptograms
    Feist - The Reminder
    Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
    LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
    Low - Drums and Guns
    Menomena - Friend & Foe
    Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
    The National - Boxer
    The New Pornographers - Challengers
    of Montreal - Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer
    Okkervil River - The Stage Names
    The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
    The Snake The Cross The Crown - Cotton Teeth
    Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
    Stars of the Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline

    biggest disappointments
    Air - Pocket Symphony
    Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City
    Caribou - Andorra
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
    Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
    Rogue Wave - Asleep at Heaven's Gate
    Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist

    happy discoveries from years past

    Arizona - Welcome Back Dear Children (2006)
    Hayden - Skyscraper National Park (2003)
    Midlake - Bamnan and Slivercork (2005)
    Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther (2006)
    Mountains - Sewn (2006)
    Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon (2006)
    Vetiver - To Find Me Gone (2006)

    ...still processing/haven't given enough attention to (yet)...

    Radiohead - In Rainbows
    Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
    anything else that I may get shit for not including

    some thoughts...

    - The Mountains album Sewn was and is my favorite musical discovery of the past year. This album changed the way I listen to music, what I take away from it, and what it means to me. Maybe not for everyone, but I've found hints to some secret of the cosmos in the sounds of this album.

    - On a similar note, I find myself gravitating more and more towards atmospheric, organic sounding musiks, and having a far greater understanding and appreciation for textures in sound. Not sure why this is... maybe it's because I'm becoming an old man, my ears are more experienced, whatever.

    - I'm gonna have some hearing loss by the time I'm old. If I can notice it now, I'll be in trouble in forty years.

    - I really enjoy artists who know when and how to use brass effectively. Beirut, Spoon, and Akron/Family, this means you.

    - I was lucky enough to see some really awesome live music last year, with the highlights being Band of Horses in March at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC, and Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Okkervil River, and Damien Jurado at NorthWest MusicFest in Portland, OR. Lytle gave me a number of weird looks for my 'Sweat of the Alps' hat, which I got for free off the old (now-defunct) Grandaddy website. He put on a good show, though.

    - 2007 was a phenomenal year for music. Every year is a phenomenal year for music; something awesome is always happening somewhere. If you're unhappy with the music you've come across, then you're not looking hard enough.
  • songs that have kept my body warm and my soul clean

    Abr 19 2007, 4h26

    Thought I'd sit down and share my favorite albums of the past 3.5 months of mountain livin'... some of it's new stuff, some of it's older... it's all special. That, and I am bored and burned out on essay writing at the moment, so... here's a handy list for your list reading pleasure.

    Also, I organized this chaotically because it was more fun that way.

    awesome new things

    Nature Anthem (2002) - this song is absolutely fucking precious! Seriously.
    To Find Me Gone (2006)
    Been So Long (2006)
    Wincing The Night Away (2007) - not perfect, but still a way cool album
    The Ham and Its Lily (2002) - "I called around to different barbers, and asked, um... if they could make me look like Danny DeVito...but with more hair... but younger!"
    The Trials Of Van Occupanther (2006)
    In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country (2000) - appropriate 'cause I live in a beautiful place out in the country...
    Collective Dreamwish Of Upperclass Elegance - same as above, but broke instead of rich
    Sewn (2006)
    Love Vigilantes (2006) - somewhat hard to find... an excellent cover of a New Order track, really worth track
    Live at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI - 02/07/2007 - if possible, get your hands on this set... Sam plays a bunch of new songs that are probables for Shepard's Dog...
    Love Song Of The Buzzard (2007) - ...including this gem.
    Spitting Venom (2007)
    No Cars Go (2007) - a lock for one of the five best tracks of the year
    Control (2002) - don't know how I never heard about this album until FIVE YEARS after its release
    Magazine (2002)
    Band of Horses at The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC - 03/16/2007 - last show of their tour; I was fucking ill, but still thouroughly enjoyed the show, got to hear a bunch of new songs
    This Too Will Pass (2007)
    Skyscraper National Park (2002) - same excuse as with the Pedro above
    Drums and Guns (2007) - another great Low album


    second timers, old friends, and speaker sluts

    Iron & Wine - Somehow, I cannot tire of Sam Beam
    Everything All the Time (2006)
    The Sophtware Slump (2000)
    Hewlett's Daughter and The Crystal Lake (both 2000)
    Kid A (2000)
    The Animal World (2006)
    You Are Free
    Hard Life (2003)
    Springtime spacerock - Windy & Carl, , Stars of the Lid, Hammock
    Superwolf (2005) - fits cabin life, yes
    It's Good to Be King
    Fortress (2004)
    Hummer (1993)
    Our Endless Numbered Days (2004)
    My Morning Jacket
    Blonde on Blonde (2003)

    Okay, this mess is plump enough. Dig for long enough, though, and you might find something incredible and what-not. Happy aural hunting expedition.

    -Ben