Sleigh Bells/Cloud Nothings
Sometimes/I Feel I Gotta Get Away/Bells Chime/I Know I Gotta Get Away
I'm happier than I would have figured that they've cut down on their distortion-flaunting pile-of-sound shtick. Several times, in fact, Derek Miller makes me love guitar sounds as bell-like as Alexis Krauss's crystalline soprano, as tapered as her gorgeous gams. Then there's the dying siren that repeats addictively through "You Lost Me"‑-the one that makes me say, So what if the lyric is about singing from the grave, death is real, and anyway, I really want to hear that sound again right about--yeah! After all, "Comeback Kid" does stay positive no matter how brutally Miller pummels his own riffs with that drum sample. That's nice, right? Elsewhere it's just sweet sensation. Succumb‑-succumb. A MINUS
Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory (Carpark)
Although his voice is lower and his guitar solos are longer, the idea that Dylan Baldi has therefore achieved some sort of maturity is silly. Come on‑-the guy's 20. His attack on memory isn't a young hero jousting with history, it's a callow confusenik trying to forget: that It's all been done before, sure, but that's the least of it. How about: Life is hard and then you die? Or: Old people have all the stuff? Or: I don't have a clue what the world will be like when I'm 40? Or merely: 40‑-that's two times 20, God!? These are all honorable thoughts that have required reiteration and adjustment for as long as I've been alive. Slight individual recalibrations of the noize-toon continuum have oft proved useful in getting them under control. Such recalibrations are harder than they look and much harder than most confuseniks assume. Congrats to Baldi for getting one right. A MINUS
"Even though the brothers have split up and gone off on their own endeavours, they still have reunion tours as openers for other bands because many of them are often short on cash."
"Baluyut usually tells his friends and students that he graduated from "a small liberal arts school in Manhattan, practically in Harlem," instead of saying he graduated from CUNY. He struggled to get through Community College, dropping out to pursue his music career and then returning when his career failed to become a teacher."
This sent me to Wiki out of weird curiosity. Says there that the Baluyut brothers' b-days are 4-26-66, 4-20-68, and 2-6-72 for James, the one who plays in +/-, so he would've recently turned 40. No page for Fontaine Toups. More amusingly, middle brother Edward is apparently a high school English teacher in Great Neck, and his page reads like his students edited it, including the lines:
(Note: there were some funny lines here, but The Everwatching Eye didn't like them. Do Wiki quotes displease it?)
Favorite scream? For matched medium and message, it's hard to beat Corin Tucker in Heavens to Betsy's "Terrorist": "IIIIIIIIIIII'M. GOINGTOKILL. YOU."
No one's mentioned Kurt Cobain
I was going to bring up "Scentless Apprentice" and "Tourette's" but then I decided I didn't want to be Captain Obvious (like that usually bothers me, right?)
Is it Lou Barlow screaming in Dinosaur Jr's cover of "Just Like Heaven"? That's one hell of a scream. Oh dude... John Cale's "Heartbreak Hotel"... that's some spooky sh!t there.
or Paul McCartney, who when motivated could scream almost as great as John Lennon.
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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