Odds and Ends 009
The Kills: Blood Pressures (Domino)
Love still hurts, but they understand it better ("Heart Is a Beating Drum," "Pots and Pans") ***
Dum Dum Girls: Only in Dreams (Sub Pop)
Pretty darn good Pretenders ("Wasted Away," "In My Head") ***
The Shins: Port of Morrow (Aural Apothecary/Columbia)
Problem's less the precious lyrics he attaches to his premium melodies than the increasingly precious way he sings them ("Simple Song," "September") **
Imperial Teen: Feel the Sound (Merge)
"Too many songs we sang are left unsung"--that about sums it up ("Last to Know," "Out From Inside") **
Cloud Nothings: Cloud Nothings (Carpark)
Sincere ex-brat faces mortality and/or sexual insecurity without whining or fronting about it ("Nothing's Wrong," "Been Through") **
The Coathangers: Larceny & Old Lace (Suicide Squeeze)
The meat remains, the sauce does not ("Go Away," "Jaybird") **
The Wax Museums: Eye Times (Trouble in Mind)
Brat-punk lives in Denton, Texas, and that's a good thing ("Midlife Crisis," "Mosquito Enormo") **
Dengue Fever: Cannibal Courtship (Fantasy)
Not only are their English lyrics easier to understand than their Khmer lyrics, they're easier to understand than your English lyrics ("Cement Slippers," "Mr. Bubbles") *
Wussy just confirmed their West Coast dates. The are 4 shows within 200 mile radius. Call me crazy but why not catch all four. What are vacation days for anyway? Besides going to India next January that is.
Edit- I think one of the 2 shows in the Seattle area is an unplugged one. How cool would that be.
'Since no one has ever heard of it, maybe a description would be more helpful than a grade?'
Well, I could give you my review, but I haven't written it yet. It's Weeknd-esque music but more produced--almost like slow clips from My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy--overdubbed with an Auto-tuned woman's voice. Drums build up (solo style), rim shots take over, bass kicks in, etc. I think the drumming could be the most interesting part of the act, but the vocal melodies can be inspired, too. If you like chill out music, or, like me, you want to hear everything 2012 has to offer, check it out on Spotify/YouTube. I think it's too good musically/production-wise, to be an HM, and nowhere near good enough to be an A minus; B+ concluded. It's better than anything The Weeknd brought out, IMO.
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Thank god-anything but more Katy Perry. I'm with the guy who finds her boring.
Allen B., keen observations re Allo Darlin', and helps explain why it still sounds much more like the Go-Betweens than a Grant McLennan solo album.
Somebody please tell me that they have a killer box set
If only ....
Being a big tease is part of a Motorpsycho thing, far as I can tell from this distant seat. Which, as far as I can tell, is one of the things they most enjoy -- admiration from distant seats.
Tonight's Ar an Imeall is now at http://i.mixcloud.com/CBUHem.
My final 1992 show, featuring Utah Saints, Ministry, Shanté feat Kool G Rap, FU Schnickens, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Cesaria Evora, Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique feat Mingas, the Roches, the Robert Cray Band, Chris Bell and Cornershop.
Utah Saints was a 1992 album in the US, but not released till 93 in Europe, strangely enough.
I saw the Magnetic Fields in D.C. a few weeks ago. Merritt hates performing live, or so he tells interviewers, and the evidence that night confirmed this. He sighed visibly several times during the show, and halfway through kicked over the music stand with notebook that he was using for occasional help with the lyrics - poor lighting on the notebook apparently brought out his frustration. Claudia then asked him if he was “going off book” - the music stand and notebook lay on the middle of the stage until the encore. I have to say though that Merritt’s a professional regardless, which is what bugged him about not being able to read his cheat sheets. He gave his best, as did the rest of the band.
Peter G - Merritt's definitely a professional. Second time I saw them (2002 or so) he was recovering from food poisoning and looked terrible but played, sang and joked brilliantly. He made a great joke the first time I saw them, early 2001, just after the prolonged vote count. Claudia was talking about Florida, and Stephin asked the audience, "Do you even know where Florida is? Oh, now everyone knows where Florida is. It's in Chad."
"Langford's more militant and cerebral, but he's not long on professions of hope either. For both these artists, hope is too squishy -- a by-product of soft-headedness that'll let you down in the end. Laughter makes you happy with fewer compromises and complications. In a world where the big war hasn't gone our way for decades now, it's something to rely on."
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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