Sunday, February 27, 2005

February's the shortest month so it gets the least amount of posting. Lots of stuff to write about yet so little energy to write. Anyway, here's a recap (with lots of links):

I saw Jens Lekman, Parker and Lily, and some other folks at the Mercury Lounge a few weeks back. Jens is the it boy of the indiepop list, where his latest album topped a bunch of best of 2004 lists. Not knowing much else about him or what to expect, I was really impressed. Maybe a little too earnest or precious (everyone in the band wore a flower in their hair, for example) but those are some really good pop songs. Unfortunately I spent the set standing too close to a contingent of drunk Swedes. They were really annoying.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Parker and Lily. Sometime between releasing an album I really like and appearing at the Mercury Lounge, they moved from New York to Georgia and doubled in size. Parker's suddenly sounding a lot like Willie Nelson these days. Their new songs were kind of boring but about halfway through, they played the ever amazing "Hello Halo" and turned the proverbial corner. The rest of the set was really good.

It was my birthday somewhat recently and Karol gave me a nicely large gift certificate to one of the local hipster record shops. I have no idea what I'm going to get with it yet, although as good fortune would prevail, Enon has a new album out. Sort of. This news inspired me to pull out Hocus Pocus and give it another listen. I don't remember being too kind to it on these pages but it's actually better than I remembered it. Random sidenote: Just looking around their website, I found the flyer to the show where I first saw them.
Back to albums which sound better the second time around, the Blood Group's Volunteers found itself on repeat for a few days recently.

There's a new link to the right. Echoplex is a mostly music blog from right here in New York. Besides noticing that he's (I'm assuming it's a he) been to a couple of the same shows as me, there's also a mention of the Dirty Projectors. I saw them, or really just Dave Longstreth solo, two summers ago at the now-defunct Fort Awesome. It was outside, everyone was sitting on the sidewalk and he just wandered around with the strapless acoustic guitar and sang, no mics. It was really something to experience and it was actually that show which kind of got me thinking about starting up this site in the first place. Anyway, I checked out some of the mp3s on the site and they're all really good. I'm particularly fond of "(Throw On The) Hazard Lights".

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Francis Scott KeyI met one of Karol's co-workers last night. Turns out he has a blog too and reprinted this article about one man's obsession with the national anthem. I thought it was pretty funny, somewhat informative, and I must say I admire the guy's dedication.

I tried looking around for any online recordings of "To Anacreon In Heav'n," the old English drinking song whose melody was borrowed for the national anthem. It'd be kind of interesting, I think, to hear it (as the article describes) with the different lyrics, 6/4 time, and slightly different opening. Alas, all I could find were midi files (I never understood the midi appeal) which were really of no use to me since all the tracks were instrumental and may as well just been recordings of the "Star Spangled Banner" anyway.

UPDATE: As it turns out, the "Star Spangled Banner" is also in 6/4 time. I never thought about it before but I began doing so after writing this post. I realized the song is waltz, so I guessed it to be in 3/4. Doing a quick search for "Star Spangled Banner" sheet music, however, turned up that it's also written in 6/4, just like "To Anacreon In Heav'n." I suppose that should've been obvious all along, but I somehow got the impression from the article that was a difference between the two.

Monday, February 07, 2005

JOLIE HOLLAND Catalpa (Anti-)
Quite simply, I'm in love. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally get this album. It's about a year since I first discovered her and many months since I saw her live, yet I never quite got around to picking it up. Shame. I love her voice, her phrasing, the way something so simple can sound so otherworldly. I love the timelessness of it, the arcane lyrics, the intimacy of what mainly sounds like one person alone in a farmhouse with just a guitar, a tape recorder, and the ghost of Billie Holliday. When her friends join in, it sounds like an old timey hootenanny some summer evening -- even when the wrong notes are hit, it still sounds right. It wasn't even supposed to be an album, just a single recording session to pass out a few tapes to friends and family. I really need to get Escondida now.

For more info:
Check out www.jolieholland.com. She's on tour now and was just in New York Saturday night. Unfortunately, I found out about the show about an hour before it started and it was already sold out.
Her All Music Guide profile

Listen to "All The Morning Birds". I know I've linked to it before, but it's worth hearing again. I feel like I've listened to it about a hundred times this week.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com