What I’ve been listening to, maybe give some of it a shot if you haven’t already.
Bon Iver- Bon Iver
This probably doesn’t need much explanation, as Justin’s music has been making headlines all over for a while— but I have a lot of thoughts regardless. Justin’s recent friendship with Kanye West probably comes as a surprise to a lot of people, but it’s hard for me to not find an obvious parallel here. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a fantastically operatic exhibition of rap-meets-everything-else, got most of it’s charm from how shamelessly huge it was. Bon Iver, while clearly in another corner completely of the spectrum of music projects, dabbles at times with this explosive perspective of making music. Joining together with some heavy-weights of the experimental and alternative world, (Colin Stetson on bass sax!!!) the album is littered with weighty, fleshed out moments that would have felt completely out of place on the spacious For Emma. Perth is offered as our introduction to this new world, and completely explains this with the riffs teetering on prog-rock. Justin’s lyrics are no less introspective, delivered for most of the album with the same falsetto that was so flawlessly expressive on previous efforts— but breaking into a lower register for some real gut-wrenching moment. And here’s my two cents on the somehow-controversial Beth/Rest, closing this self-titled album off. I’m in love with the jubilation, with the absence of self-conscious decision making. It sounds like an 80s throw-back, but what does that mean anyway? Certainly the influence of that style is evident, but from a strict textural standpoint this is just a culmination of what the record was already doing. This exists as a much-needed optimism, and there’s no question to the quality. It’s a challenge, in that respect; over-come your stigma and love this song, or don’t. I can’t stop listening to this album, if only in an attempt to better understand it.
Ludovico Einaudi- Divenire
This Italian composer has ascribed the label of minimalism to himself, if only as a philosophical idea rather than relating himself to others within that genre. This is much different than the repetitious wandering of Phillip Glass or Steve Reich. I can’t think of a lot to say honestly, other than there is something intoxicating grandiose about the way this stuff gets inside you. It’s mostly piano driven, with various string arrangements accenting the already-present music. Some electronic accents are present, but used so sparingly you might not notice on a first listen. I’ve been playing the tittle track myself, and I’ve often found myself laughing at how clever his progression tonally is. He’s not afraid to experiment, but manage to ground himself with a kind of “rule-set” that define these pieces throughout the entire word. This is an experienced composer at his best.
The Dear Hunter- The Color Spectrum
I already wrote about the album with select pieces from this 9 EP journey into songwriting, so I’ll just say, Casey pulled this the fuck off. Every song is a little different taste of energy growing from a man and his collaborators associations with colors of the spectrum. Not a second of this collection is irrelevant, and with a project this ambitious that’s a remarkable thing. Also, if you like Manchester Orchestra, listen to the Red EP and smile.
Swedish Post-rock you say? This is barren icy landscapes… in the summer… with a story. Some of the explosive post-rock staple tremolo picking is absent, but this record feels to me like a long journey. Rewarding in it’s completeness. The lyrics speak a lot of travel, and so does this refined type of shoegazy post-rock. And I’ve already used the bastard name for this great genre twice, dammit. The main reason I love this record is because it manages to do something that always gets my attention. The story conveyed by the music and lyrics is seamless. It never feels like the music is a blanket wash for whatever the lyricist was thinking that day, every moment is flawlessly cohesive and there’s always more to explore. The lyrics are the grim realities of life, and the music is the glorious fountain of human feeling and natural scenery. listen to this band.
It would be more decorous not to live. To live is not decorous, Says he who after many years Returned to the city of his youth. There was no one left Of those who once walked these streets And now they had nothing, except his eyes. Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them, On the light they had loved, on the lilacs again in bloom.
I don’t like the Monster video at all, I just think Fox is a little thick for giving a piece clearly going for shock value, and then justifying that by acting shocked. If ‘they’ are against this type of work, why draw attention to specific work this way? But I don’t really mind. Especially because that article mentions M.I.A’s video. If they are worried about their kids, hey, keep the internet filters and if TV channels don’t feel like showing it that’s cool. If they aren’t, they should keep acting shocked, and make sure these videos get more exposure.
I have no questions about Born Free by M.I.A. though, anybody who saw that and didn’t understand the very, very clear statement it made against genocide (or a more general statement if you prefer) must be incapable of rational thought. I mean, it can be interpreted a lot of ways, but the crazy ginger kid who actually thought he was part of a race that was under attack is not one of them. I can understand not liking the Monster video a lot more, but the point is misinterpretation is leading to censorship, and that’s not right.
really, really great about transferring money into my account I made selling music. Not much, but I’m so grateful even for the little I’ve made. Thank you anybody who listened to my little electronic EP. working on more music even as I write this.
There were those who brought out knives/ There were those who kissed the grey skies / There were people lighting candles / There were those who knew only the sound of their own voice / What war was this?