• A reflection on modern rock welded in time, and gifts from Anonymous.

    Set 24 2012, 20h35

    I was somewhat proud of this piece. Click here to listen to the songs I mention. They're good.

    Are You Driving Me Crazy??
    Here's an album that you probably haven't heard of. Seam's Are You Driving Me Crazy? is a gem from the 90s. Here's the artwork.

    Pretty blue, i'nnit? For me, album art tends to set the tone for the music, but maybe it's the other way around. Looking at Seam's other album artwork, I can see that they're all basically monochromatic. 4 albums, each with their own color. I believe it had to be a conscious decision on Seam's part to assign the artwork to what they felt represented the music, and I've got to say: in this case, blue was a great choice.

    "Two Is Enough" This song was my first taste of Seam. I was listening to it 'blind'. It popped up on, which is a website where 5 people share music by listening to the same playlist made by themselves. Each person is a DJ in their own right, just sharing great music. My ears were hooked on first listen, and I loved that I instantly recognized the era. 90s sounding guitar tone, 90s typical hushed vocals. It was great! The song creates a wonderful tone which brings a sense of nostalgia and joy. It sounds like the band channeled their feelings and now as a listener I'm ingesting their creative output. How interesting that these feelings are universal and purely human, yet the sounds themselves are trapped in time. This 1995 record is marked in its time by the guitar drive, drum progression, and vocal style. Still, the band found a rather unique sound that really resonates with me.

    And this would be the 'hit' off the album. It easily slides into any rock playlist and damn my ears if it doesn't give off that distant feeling of longing again. Actually, the singer makes it clear in the lyrics that he is in fact expressing the feeling of longing and love.

    I made it clear to you
    My sleep is restless
    My heart is divided
    Quarters, halves, & eighths
    I’m in love with this feeling
    This invisible feeling.

    What I wanted to say
    Would have sounded all wrong
    In that crazy pitch of my
    Pidgin stammering knotted tongue
    He gets over these feelings by the end of the song, however. He belts out a satisfied, "I'm used to it," alongside his triumphant sounding band. The resolve found through the song is a testament to Seam's songwriting prowess. The fact that I found this band through someone completely unknown to me makes the record a gift. One that I can truly be grateful for on a day as fitting as this. My birthday.

    Thank you.SeamAre You Driving Me Crazy?Two is EnoughHaole Redux
  • Toe - The Future is Now EP REVIEW

    Jun 30 2012, 8h46

    Please visit my blog to hear songs from the EP.

    Toe – The Future Is Now EP [2012] --

    Toe is a Japanese math rock band that has put out mostly instrumental releases. However, they’ve been known to have some songs recorded with vocals—usually Japanese and usually quite hushed and non-dominating. Instead of having traditional vocal styles implemented in a rock band, toe consistently relies on their expertly orchestrated instrumentation to transport the listener to their creative world. The signature sound that toe brings is highlighted by innovative and often surprising songwriting in addition to impressive instrumental ability, both backed by superlative production quality.

    The balanced production cues on the instrumentation for The Future Is Now really brings forth toe’s songwriting, engaging the listener to hear the intricate melodies the guitars provide. The drum beats which lead the songs are generally fast-paced and frantic, yet rather fluid and still follow a clear pattern which provides as a spine for the progression of the songs. Toe frequently let the songs build and tease before letting the songs erupt into a powerful climax which leaves the listener satisfied. This technique is found on “Ordinary Days” before the song simmers down to segue into the final track. On Future highlight “Tsuki Kake” the song snakes around fluttering percussion and travels through elegant acoustic guitar phrases, trotting bells, and even a synthesizer melody while female vocalist Aco provides an emotion-filled swoon. The song feels like a story being told despite the repetitive lyrics from the foreign vocals.

    The most impressive effort is found on the grand finale title track, however. Right off the bat, the fuse is lit with a complex counter-melody from the guitarists, and the song just keeps building and moving forward until exploding into a perfect climax at the last minute marker before smoldering to a finish. The last sound on the EP is from tired fingers sliding off a fret board.

    The Future Is Now took me on journey that was fast-paced, explosive, and even melancholic. I constantly admired the instrumentation. The percussion is played with intent and ferocity, and the dual guitars were played synergetically, bouncing off each other and at times providing intricate counter-melodies. The beautiful clarity that the instruments were recorded with definitely adds to the overall effect. The EP comes highly recommended because it's completely satisfying and demands replays. 9/10

    Please share your thoughts in the comments!

    toetoeThe Future Is Now EPThe Future Is NowThe Future Is Now
  • Jamie XX Listens To Burial, And We Love Him For It

    Jun 4 2012, 9h52

    Jamie XX and Burial//go here for links to tracks
    Jamie XX Listens To Burial, And We Love Him For It.
    When I first heard his solo material, I could hear it immediately. Jamie XX has dabbled in making music that is like a modernized, club-worthy Burial sound. Since he does it with such originality and beef, he can claim the sound as his own. His production style is clean, loud, and shimmering. The Burial influences are apparent with Jamie’s choice to implement reworked vocal samples among harmonizing, soaring synthesizers. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them melodic, but they do serve some backbone to the beats. Secondly, Jamie XX uses a distinguishable beat style that is too similar to something Burial that cooks up regularly to not call them influenced. Recognize the syncopated nature of the beat, and then the repetition that is found in both artists. Of course, being a producer and beat maker, the sound is where the difference lies. Jamie XX’s solo material stays prominent in the bass music scene out of the UK because his bass is heavy and prominent, yet classy, and this style is just another factor that brings me back to his music. Moreover, his production is unique in the sound pallete for his beats. On songs like “Far Nearer”, the tropical sounds invoke imagery of palm trees and ocean waves. In “I’m New Here”, the vibe is more like walking through a rave. This idea could be dramatized by the pulsing beat, which gives the song a ‘slow motion’ feel. As if you’re squeezing your way, step by step, through a color blasted and laser lit room while everyone else is preoccupied.
    Either way, the impression I get is much brighter than the ‘light surrounded by darkness’ impression I continually get from Burial’s music. Burial’s music tends to be more stagnant than Jamie’s as far as the artist’s intent for impression goes. With Burial, when I first heard the beauty that is “Dog Shelter”, a deep and vivid ‘memory’ rushed to my mind’s eye. There I was, with good an empty construction site, kicking rocks and empty beer bottles. You know the kind; you've seen it on the side of the road or freeway, with the large floodlights blanketing the site and piercing the darkness surrounding. I’ve been there before, when I was much younger, but these images are reimagined, yet quite clear. Burial’s music obviously emulates the distant night life, and this daydream is what I get from his fully developed vision.

    BurialJamie xxUntrueWe're New HeredubstepGil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx
  • 2011

    Mar 5 2011, 1h07

    And now for anticipated releases :: In no particular order
    *Some ones I'd like to see :: Not sure if new content will come
    The Dodos :: No Color (7/10)
    Panda Bear :: Tomboy
    The Strokes :: Angles (7/10)
    Tyler, The Creator :: Goblin
    TV On The Radio :: Nine Types of Light (8)
    Gang Gang Dance :: Eye Contact (9/10)
    The Pains of Being Pure At Heart :: Belong (8+)
    Boris :: Heavy Rocks
    Boris :: Attention Please
    Julian Lynch :: Terra
    Fleet Foxes :: Helplessness Blues
    Battles :: Gloss Drop
    Blackroc :: Blackroc 2
    DOOM & Ghostface Killah :: Swift & Changeable
    Justice :: New LP
    My Morning Jacket :: New LP
    *OutKast :: New Release (? metacritic)
    *Phoenix :: New Release (? metacritic)
    *The Shins :: New Release (? metacritic)
    Wilco :: New Release (? metacritic)
    The Wrens :: New Release
    Memory Tapes :: Player Piano
    Junior Boys :: It's All True
    Woods :: Sun & Shade
    Tune-Yards :: Whokill
    Raekwon :: Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (7/10)
    *Animal Collective :: New Release
    Pictureplane :: Thee Physical
    *Gobble Gobble :: New Release
    Washed Out :: Within And Without
    *Fever Ray (or The Knife) :: New Release
    M83 :: New Release
    Burial :: New Release (please lord)
    Burial :: Four Tet & Thom Yorke (These songs are great 8/10)
    Four Tet & Daphni (aka Caribou) :: Pinnacles/Ye Ye (split single; both songs are wonderful)
    Bjork :: Biophilia
    Aphex Twin :: New Release (He already said he had 6 full lengths worth of material)
    Bon Iver :: New Release
    Grouper :: A I A (2xLP)
    *The Avalanches :: New Release
    *GZA :: Liquid Swords 2 (? please gza)
    Hyetal :: Broadcast
    Cults :: Cults
    Wild Beasts :: Smother
    Nas :: New Release
    They Might Be Giants :: New Release
    John Talabot :: Families
    The Antlers :: Burst Apart
    John Maus :: We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
    Deltron 3030 :: New Release
    Brian Eno :: Drums Between the Bells
    DJ Shadow :: The Less You Know The Better
    Neon Indian :: New Release
    *Some of the last ones I'm not sure about and are kinda shocking. Primus in 2011-12? Interesting. Too bad I didn't see Portishead on their list :(

    ** maybe i'll update this with some quick ratings of released albums
    ~~Music to remember
    Destroyer :: Kaputt
    Colin Stetson :: New History Warfare Vol.2, Judges
    The Four Tet Singles released in Spring
    Flying Lotus Track :: Caravan of Delight
    Kurt Vile :: Smoke Ring For My Halo
    The Pains of Being Pure At Heart :: Belong
    PJ Harvey :: Let England Shake
    Radiohead :: The King of Limbs
    Reks :: R.E.K.S
    Tim Hecker :: Ravedeath, 1972
    Tune Yards :: Whokill
    Glasser :: Mirrorage (Lindstrom mix)
    Gang Gang Dance :: Eye Contact
    Fleet Foxes :: Helplessness Blues
    Panda Bear :: Tomboy
    Grouper :: A I A 2xLP
    Battles :: Gloss Drop
    The Burial Releases

    May.11 Update: 2011 is gonna be that fucken year. I'm loving so much good songs so far it's incredible.
    Woods - Pushing Onlys
    The War On Drugs - Baby Missiles
    Junior Boys - Banana Ripple
    Gang Gang Dance - Glass Jar
    Destroyer - Suicide Demo For Sarah Walker
    Daphni - Ye Ye
    Burial - Stolen Dog
  • Albums That I Most Enjoyed Released in 2010

    Dez 7 2010, 0h35

    This Year I stayed on top of new music as best I could, next year I'll do a better job of that but out of 1597 songs total from 2010 in my library so far, I've made a list and I've checked it more than twice. Here I go and it is and it's subject to change:

    There. May 30, 11 Update.
    Some things should be said here about Gil Scott Heron
    I was introduced to him last year through his new album.There's a certain feel to it, maybe it's the soulful, nostalgic music in the background of the spoken word tracks, or maybe it's just his voice, but I definitely want to listen to his story, and I want to hear more. RIP

    I especially want to note Where Did The Night Go? because a lot of the lines I can sympathize with. Should have been sleeping instead of turning records over and over, so he wouldn't feel alone. I know that I've personally listened to music till dawn, the music keeping me company. He said he wants write a letter to a woman on that restless night. I'm sure you've been there, wanting to do this or that when you're alone at night..where did..where did..

    -------Albums That I Most Enjoyed In 2010----------
    1. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
    2. Four Tet - Angel Echoes
    4. Baths - Cerulean
    5. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
    6. Gil Scott Heron - I'm New Here
    7. The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
    8. Gonjasufi - A Sufi And A Killer
    9. Women - Public Strain
    10. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today

    Woods - At Echo Lake
    Beach House – Teen Dream
    Delorean – Subiza
    Twin Shadow – Forget
    OFF! – First Four EPs
    Forest Swords – Dagger Paths
    Matthew Dear – Black City*
    Owen Pallett – Heartland
    LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening***
    Janelle Monae – Archandroid
    The Radio Dept. – Clinging To a Scheme *
    Wavves – King of the Beach*
    Arcade Fire – The Suburbs*
    Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
    Girl Talk – All Day
    Diamond Rings – Special Affections*
    Pantha du Prince – Black Noise
    James Blake – Klavierwerke / CMYK
    Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    Flying Lotus – Pattern + Grid World EP
    The Roots – How I Got Over
    Toro Y Moi – Causers of This
    Brian Eno – Small Craft On A Milk Sea
    Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal**

    --------------HONORABLE MENTIONS----------------
    In No Particular Order:
    The Books – The Way Out
    Julian Lynch - Mare
    Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
    Fang Island – Fang Island
    Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
    HEALTH – Disco2
    Zola Jesus – Striduluum II
    Balam Acab – See Birds EP
    Liars – Sisterworld
    Das Racist – Sit Down, Man
    Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
    Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?
    oOoOO – oOoOO EP
    Ratatat - LP4
    Yeasayer – Odd Blood
    Woods – At Echo Lake
    Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks
    Vampire Weekend - Contra
    Nails – Unsilent Death
    The National – High Violet
    Salem – King Knight
    Teebs – Ardour
    Small Black – New Chain
    Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
    Mount Kimbie – Crooks And Lovers
    Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
    The Walkmen – Lisbon***


    Yeah, it's really long. Felt like I should put more than just 20 because all of these albums have warranted more than 1 listen