16 December 2008

the end.

oh, not of this blog.

but blogger & me.

i'm moving over to wordpress to see if i can avoid the dmca issues that have become a major source of frustration.

here is where i'll be.

10 December 2008

here, in an incredibly rigid order, are my favorite tracks of 2008

55 sugababes, "unbreakable heart"
54 glasvegas, "geraldine"
53 nick cave & the bad seeds, "midnight man"
52 kanye west, "love lockdown"
51 tindersticks, “the flicker of a little girl”
50 kleerup, "on my own again"
49 guns n' roses, "shackler's revenge"
48 a classic education, "stay, son"
47 tony christie, "louise"
46 the aliens, "blue mantle"
45 the bon bon club, "lullaby"
44 The Pictish Trail, “I Don't Know Where to Begin”
43 TV On The Radio, “Halfway Home”
42 Justice, “Planisphère (Part 1)”
41 Joel Alme, “Always On My Mind”
40 Metronomy, “My Heart Rate Rapid”
39 Bears, “So Go”
38 Sam Sparro, “Black and Gold” (marcussen album version)
37 Britney Spears, “Kill The Lights”
36 Minisnap, “New Broom”
35 Keane, “Lovers Are Losing”
34 The Kabeedies, “Palindromes”
33 Summer Cats, “Christopher Wren”
32 Guillemots, “Get Over It”
31 Spiritualized, “Baby I'm Just a Fool”
30 Alesha Dixon, “The Boy Does Nothing”
29 Amadou & Mariam, “Sabali”
28 Bon Iver, “Re: Stacks”
27 Robert Forster, “Pandanus”
26 Sophie Ellis-Bextor, “Heartbreak Make Me a Dancer”
25 Mumford & Sons, “Feel The Tide”
24 Lykke Li, “I'm Good, I'm Gone” (Fred Falke Remix Extended Version)
23 Wiley, “Wearing My Rolex” (Extended Edit)
22 Portishead, “We Carry On”
21 The Wave Pictures, “Instant Coffee Baby”
20 The Shortwave Set, “Now Til '69”
19 Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, “Tickle Me Pink”
18 Lindstrøm, “Where You Go I Go Too”
17 Estelle, “American Boy” (feat. Kanye West)
16 Bryn Christopher, “The Quest”
15 The Ting Tings, “Great DJ”
14 Chairlift, “Evident Utensil”
13 Girls Aloud, “The Loving Kind”
12 Ladyhawke, “Dusk Til Dawn”
11 Oasis, “The Shock Of The Lightning”
10 Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”
09 Ebony Bones, “We Know All About u”
08 Late of the Pier, “Focker”
07 The Long Blondes, “Century”
06 Sebastien Tellier, “Divine”
05 Wild Beasts, “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants”
04 Goldfrapp, “A&E”
03 The Lodger, “The Good Old Days”
02 Hot Chip, “Ready For The Floor”
01 Little Boots, “Stuck on Repeat”

n.b. these are all songs first heard in 2008, the only criterion (& quality, too, i guess). that means no "i'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance w/ you" by black kids (2007), no "w/ every heartbeat" by robyn w/ kleerup (2006), no "kids" by mgmt (2005).

also, a bonus, in all likelihood incomplete guide for the perplexed:
pop (what you could, or should, hear on the radio):
55, 50, 38, 37, 35, 32, 30, 26, 23, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 07, 06, 04, 02, 01

adult pop (songs your mum would like):
47, 27, 25, 19, 13, 10, 04

rock (songs your dad would like)
53, 49, 11

psychedelia (FAR OUT. at times):
46, 31, 22, 20, 11, 09, 08

post-punk (remember how much we loved this, like, four years ago?):
34, 07, 05

indie (or "pop," real proper-like, w/ guitars & junk):
51, 48, 44, 41, 36, 33, 28, 25, 21, 19, 03

(what used to be called) alt:
54, 53, 51, 45, 43, 31

r&b (body moving):
52, 38, 29, 23, 17, 16, 09

electronic (button pushing):
52, 50, 43, 42, 40, 37, 29, 24, 23, 22, 20, 18, 14, 09, 08, 07, 06, 04, 02

dance (button pushing, body moving):
42, 40, 37, 30, 26, 24, 23, 18, 09, 07, 02, 01

28 November 2008

regarding my post on 7 nov, i have another song to add to the category i established therein: "let it rock" by kevin rudolf ft. lil' wayne. this time, the thing i enjoy about it is how it sounds like "blue monday" or, b/c i've been reading genette lately, how it sounds as if it is a text whose paratext is actually "blue monday" released b/w "the beach" by new order as fac 73 on 7 march 1983.

20 November 2008

songs to download & sing:
the new sins, "feelings (have changed)," feelings (have changed) 12".
britney spears, "blur," circus lp.
kanye west feat. mr. hudson, "paranoid," 808s & heartbreak lp.
guns n' roses, "shackler's revenge," chinese democracy lp.
the brighton port authority feat. emmy the great, "seattle," seattle cds.
mumford & sons, "feel the tide," love your ground ep.
jazmine sullivan, "dream big," fearless lp.
liechtenstein, "security by design," apathy 12".
amadou & mariam, "sabali," welcome to mali lp.
toddla t feat. serocee, "manabadman," manabadman 7".
guns n' roses are finally releasing chinese democracy on sunday.

your assessment of the album will likely hinge on the response to that statement. if the many years have been suffused w/ countless tears, if you found yourself getting he-motional over it--disillusionment may be in the cards. on the other hand, if you're like me and were just deeply curious then you'll find some things on it to enjoy.

i have to admit to being much more curious than i had imagined: i opted to listen to chinese democracy before circus.

after listening to the first six tracks, i really thought that axl had done it, that he had managed the inconceivable, releasing a really great record.

--at this point, i should mention that the 15 years involved in making the record did nothing, i think so at least, to color my reception of the record. indeed, it only came to mind twice
01 "enjoy" was such an odd word for me to employ above, b/c listening to c.d. one realizes that the last 15 years have not been a lot of fun for axl.
02 it seemed to take 15 years to move from track seven to track ten. while listening to "sorry," it occurred to me that the track had been on for three minutes--and that there were three more minutes still to go. it was at that point i switched to circus.

"there was a time" justifies its length; "prostitute" is great, epic unhappy axl (as opposed to the flat-out sad axl of "sorry" and "this i love"; "street of dreams" is basically a radio edit of "november rain" w/ axl at the piano & full-on guitar heroics; "shackler's revenge" is an ideal song for rock band 2, sounding as if it was actually written w/ the game in mind.

speaking of rock bands, one thing that limits my enjoyment of the album is my inability to visualize guns n' roses in 2008. or, rather, that my vision of guns n' roses is dreadlocked, stocky axl in a hockey jersey. forget about writing songs for rock band: guns n' roses *was* rock band, from their muppet-like appearance to the way each instrument established its unique part of the whole (recall the openings to "paradise city" and "sweet child o' mine"). there's a great solo in "street of dreams," but in 2008 we know there will be no equivalent of the crane shot of slash playing outside the church.

the album is good, there's nothing to be ashamed of. part of me feels, though, that it either needed to be greatest album ever or complete failure; being neither, i can imagine most people shrugging their shoulders and going about their business, far fewer holding their breath for the alleged trilogy of albums on the way.

12 November 2008

let me say a word about wild beasts, who have likely made my favorite album of the year.

they're good.

i haven't always thought so. they were receiving hype based on some early singles, including "brave bulging buoyant clairvoyants." you can hear the original version here, at last.fm; you can hear the album version here, at their myspace profile.

there isn't a huge difference, but it makes all the difference in the world to my ears. the latter version thumps instead of clangs; the vocal, taken up an octave or so, soars instead of scrapes. (hayden thorpe's vocals are, admittedly, an acquired taste, but he has improved. early on, listening to him was like the equivalent of the doctor taking a throat culture from you for three-minutes-plus.)

i think the best compliment i've been giving to bands of late is that they wouldn't sound out of place on the wanna buy a bridge? compilation.

further influences: early associates; a less tidy cocteau twins; late-period talking heads; meat is murder.

but, to paraphrase elvis, they don't sound like nobody. which is a hell of a thing in these times.

the album was v. quietly released domestically by domino last week. i think you should buy it.

07 November 2008

i listen to music exclusively on my ipod these days.

whenever i add something news itunes, it gets put in a folder called "to listen," which, given the intransitive quality of that verb, should technically be called "to listen to" but i don't like the repetition. (v. likely it will henceforth be called "to hear.")

there are songs that i keep; there are songs i remove; and then there are songs that remain in "to listen" limbo, e.g. novastar's "because." (n.-fucking-b. dmca fellow: the link goes to his myspace page, where one may hear the song.)

i suppose i should feel a little guilt that i still have his "b/c" on my ipod and not john lennon's.

(but i don't.)

what is to be done w/ this song? it's a bit coldplay going a-ha (but not the a-ha going coldplay of the former's last album), singer joost zweeger's voice full of i-can't-believe-it's-not-scandinavian-melancholy--he's belgian!--and the guitars responding in kind w/ plangency.

actually, if you go to the song's last.fm page, you hear the best part, the chorus. when the song plays in my head, not on my ipod, this is the part that i extend, that i loop, that i make into the whole, cutting it off right before the chorus ends w/ a falsetto swoon that is reminiscent of nothing so much as a minor key version of rod stewart's version of "some guys have all the luck."

i wonder if this is the same thought that went through the heads of the original samplers, who heard what was best in a song in five-to-ten second glimpses rather than in a whole.

a final thought: "b/c" might be the pop single equivalent of 2001: a space odyssey and, as my students tell me, waiting for godot, i.e. a work that is more appealing in the reflections of idle moments rather than while one is experiencing it.

none of this, however, helps me determine the song's fate.

30 October 2008

this was my first post back this time around. i managed to save it from google cache. the same, alas, cannot be said of my post on girls aloud, which is gone for good. (n.b. d.m.c.a.: links have been removed.)

but, really, passion pit?

it's enough to start me blogging again. why passion pit?

they're a v. v. nice band, and i will mildly disagree w/ anyone who doesn't think so, but admittedly wouldn't put up too much of a fight. i can't hate any band whose music consistently turn tangerine this synesthete's dream screen, or who namechecks scritti politti on their last.fm profile, even if it's a lie. (an aside: the lady & i briefly considered a website that put forth the worst images & text on last.fm profiles. it would have been called least.fm.)

"sleepy head" features a sample that would have been (would be?) at home on a just blaze production, but is utterly wasted by both a shitty-sounding recording and a tune of little consequence. the rest of the chunk of change ep or wtf/ever leads me to the following conclusion: indie types have finally finally found an electronic act w/ l train sensibilities & vocals.

i left the annex show last night after the little boots performance, before the 'pit played--an adjunct professor's job is literally never done. i love her; seeing her at the annex was great b/c i was so close i could have touched her tenori-on. & if i was as obnoxious as, say, the entire front row w/ their cameras, digital & otherwise, i might have shouted my genius suggestion that she cover o. newton-john's "magic" for her FUNTIMES!! series.

oh, about those cameras! oh, cmj! i had forgotten what the "c" stood for--the m & j for that matter, too, but that's less consequential. against a monolithic stack of evidence, it does not stand for "cock" &/or "cunt," although you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise. given the amount of cameras in her face, you'd think she was britney spears, & a baby fell out of her vagina, & it wasn't a baby but barack obama, who was allegedly in hawaii, but!

i thought i detected that a girl standing next to me was pissed off b/c she'd been squeezed out of the front row, and was saying as much to anyone who'd listen to her instead of, uh, little boots who was starting "stuck on repeat." i occasionally kept an eye on her; during the performance, which was v. good (after some technical difficulties--say what you will about guitar bands, but ... ), she was looking at the photos she did manage to get, while the rest of those around her w/o cameras, & some w/, danced. it's moments like this i'm glad i don't have a shitty website to flog.

... but maybe it made feel nostalgic? oh, i had intended on writing about oasis (!) a month or so ago, but it so happened that on that same evening my car was impounded and instead of writing about "the shock of the lightning" ("for the first 33 seconds, we've secretly replaced oasis w/ stereolab, good stereolab--let's see if anyone notices")--i say, instead of writing about their comeback single, i'm trying to suss out how it was that my insurance co. sent me the wrong plates.

let me say, though, to the girl in front of me at the annex: you're awesome. totally was into it, reminding me of why i love cmj. late of the pier, at music hall of williamsburg, also had this effect. it occurred to me that, live, they're a mix of saturday morning cartoons & 8-bit nintendo interstitials--& that if judd apatow ever wants to do a british version of freaks & geeks, well, there's his cast.

ok, so this wasn't a complete waste of time for you, and to continue a tradition that assured that this website never has, or ever will, hobnob w/ the buzzworthy--a real joe six-pack, me--apropos of nothing i post an AMAZING tearchoked cover of the human league's "louise" by tony christie, from his forthcoming made in sheffield album overseen by vs&l fave richard hawley, to be released in the uk on november 10, featuring songs by oakey, cocker, hawley, turner & others ("others" = "less famous--more likely still, you've never heard of them").

in other news, hi.
i know it's been two years since i last blogged, but my this is a new blog order.

two posts: two dmca notifications.

anyone out there dealt w/ this before? does one actually bother going through the counter notification process?