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Archive for February, 2009

SPOTLIGHT – Patrick Wolf.

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Patrick Wolf is an English singer/songwriter from South London. He plays many instruments including harp, clarinet, harpsichord, guitar, piano, autoharp, organ, mountain dulcimer, clavichord, harmonium, accordian, theremin, ukulele, viola, and violin. (wikipedia)

Patrick Wolf

Anyone who has ever asked me my favorite artists has no doubt heard me spout about this man. He has enough talent in his little toe than in most popular bands today. Not only is he classically trained in the instruments you see above, but his voice, while unique and at first maybe hard to handle, is rich and deep and capable of holding pools of emotion. Needless to say, I’m a fan, and I think you should be too.

myspace
last.fm

“Tristan”
Patrick Wolf in one song. It’s bold and daring, but it has so much power behind it. I might even say it’s beautiful…. (single off the album Wind in the Wires)
“Bluebells”
One of my favorites. It’s off the most recent album, The Magic Position, and it has all the electronic elements Wolf is known for without losing the loveliness.
“Godrevy Point”
This isn’t actually a song off any album at all. It’s a b-side, and if I could marry a song, it would be in the running. But I think I’d rather have a wonderful affair with it, and it would bring me fresh flowers everyday and whisper poetry in my ear. Then it would break my heart. And I would still do it all over again.

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FEATURED SONG: “Earthquakes and Sharks” – Brandtson.

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Brandtson is an indie rock band formed in 1996 in the great americana that is Cleveland, Ohio. Their music is very poppy without being sugary, and in each song the beat bounces along in a way that makes them perfect for any sort of extended period in a motor vehicle. The song “Earthquakes and Sharks” off the album Hello, Control is a perfect example of the beachy rock style Brandtson does so well. It was featured in an episode of The OC back in the day, which shouldn’t deter you as much as tell you what sort of song you’re in for. It cheekily makes fun of Mexico and California, but if they give us half as good of a time as promised, I think I’ll just ignore the warnings.

Brandtson

myspace
last.fm
website
“Earthquakes and Sharks” – Brandtson.

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FEATURED ALBUM: Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple.

February 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple. (2005)

Fiona Apple

“Her music is rooted equally in early jazz, pop, and alt-rock and is fundamentally based on very personal poetic verses backed up with progressive production often featuring instruments such as the french horn, optigan or even a full orchestra.” (Wikipedia)

I have to thank my roommate for this one, and maybe by proxy my neighbor across the hall. Of course, I had heard of Fiona Apple before, but I never bothered to listen. However, by virtue of constant playing, I have discovered the values of a certain piano-playing fruity-named woman.
Apple conjures up smoky images of an old jazz age, with tumbling waves of blues and rock and pop washing over the listener. As she pounds on the piano keys, I think of shadowed corners and all of the time we might have missed.

myspace
last.fm
buy Extraordinary Machine on amazon
– try –
“O’Sailor”
“Please Please Please”

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YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO: The American Analog Set.

February 25, 2009 Leave a comment

The American Analog Set.
Indie rock band from Austin, Texas.
Also known as The AmAnSet.

American Analog Set

“The group is led by singer and guitarist Andrew Kenny. Additional members include or have included Lee Gillespie, Mark Smith, Craig McCaffrey, Tom Hoff, Lisa Roschmann and Sean Ripple. Their name derives from their preference for analog rather than digital recording media. Formed in 1995, the group has released six full-length albums.
In October 2005, rumors began spreading across the internet that the group was on the verge of disbanding. The band quickly refuted such rumors, but added that they may not tour again due to their obligations with other projects.”
(last.fm)

Why more people aren’t listening to them boggles my mind. You may know Andrew Kenny from a little compilation album he made with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. On it, Gibbard covered an American Analog Set song, “Choir Vandals,” and it has since been falsely labeled as a Death Cab song. Kenny’s voice is very much like Gibbard’s in its simple and lilting intensity, but AAS has a slightly more rock feel.

myspace
(from the album Know by Heart)
“Punk as Fuck”
“Choir Vandals”
(from the album Promise of Love)
“Hard to Find”

SOUNDTRACK: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
This past weekend, I saw this movie for the first time.
Not only did it entirely blow my mind, but I still fall asleep at night going over the relationship between Joel and Clementine. Did he love her because of her spontaneity? Did she hate him because he was boring? Can they be together in spite of that? Maybe it’s my hopeless romanticism, but in my head, it’s as complex as a modern Romeo and Juliet. The characters are so messed up that their only redeeming quality is that they love each other. I guess that makes it more like Wuthering Heights. Anyway. (This is also relevant in light of Kate Winslet’s recent Oscar win. She has said that this is her favorite role she’s ever done, so that has to mean something.)

While containing other artists that are definitely worth a second look, to me the soundtrack is made up mostly of Jon Brion. He has not only scored movies such as I Heart Huckabees, Punch Drunk Love, and Synedoche, NY, but contributed music to the movie Boogie Nights and has been nominated for the Best Score Soundtrack Album Grammy for his work on Magnolia and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Brion has also produced albums by Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, Spoon, Keane, and Kanye West.

Eternal Sunshine

I suggest getting your hands on the whole album. While a few tracks show the genius that is Jon Brion, it’s the compilation of an entire album that takes it to another level.

Jon Brion on Wikipedia / Myspace
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Wikipedia / IMDb
soundtrack on Amazon
“Theme” (instrumental)
“The Strings That Tie to You”

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FEATURED SONG: “Right Light” – Sarah Russell.

February 23, 2009 1 comment

Sarah Russell is a singer/songwriter from England, and I’d describe her voice as some sort of act. By that, I mean that when I listen to the song “Right Light” I feel like getting up and acting happy, even if I’m not. She has a melancholy side, one that I’ve in a way come to expect from female singers, but it always makes me a litte bit more cheerful than when I started.
Considering the weirdness of that, feel free to contradict me. Whether you need a sunny or rainy day kind of song, this will be exactly what you’re looking for.

Sarah Russell

Her four-song EP, You Are, is available on iTunes.

“Right Light” – Sarah Russell.

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SPOTLIGHT: Radiohead.

February 22, 2009 1 comment

Radiohead needs no introduction, no explanation, no elaborating. They’re arguably the most influential British band on modern music today, and their songs have been covered to within an inch of their lives.

Yesterday I just was in a Radiohead mood. Not just any Radiohead mood, but a sloooooooow Radiohead mood, where the songs radiate tension and angst and build to a heartbreaking crescendo unlike anything else.

So? I decided to share two of my favorites.
Because sometimes, you just need the classics.

Radiohead

myspace
last.fm
Street Spirit (Fade Out)” – from The Bends
Fog (Again)” – from Com Lag

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