Friday, January 30, 2009

Dig yourself LAZARUS!!! Dig yourself. . .

Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is the latest offering of Nick Cave and the Bad seeds and even though it's been out for a couple months now I only found it after reading Pitchfork's top 100 songs of 08. I am a huge fan of Nick Cave's work in his first band, the dark, twisted, sort-of-sick-in-the-head goth/post-punk group: The Birthday Party. I fell in love with his throaty, warbling voice after listening to the 1982 album Junkyard and up until a couple weeks ago never really listened to his work in the Bad Seeds. While nothing compares to the macabre and humorously screwed-up lyrics of the Birthday Party (especially in songs like Release the Bats) the Bad Seeds succeed as a more accessible and mainstream outlet for Nick Cave's creative genius.

Dig does a good job of mixing fast, catchy tracks like "Dig Lazarus Dig!!!" with slower piano driven tracks like those found on The Boatman's Call. The storytelling and odd images in many of the album's tracks are reminiscent of Frank Zappa and the Mothers or Tom Waits (two of the highest compliments I feel I can pay a rock artist). Lastly, the production is gritty enough to add integrity to the recordings and it doesn't feel overproduced. Dig is very satisfying album, especially after a hiatus of four years, which is normally enough time to really make me worry whether a band is finally going lose its edge.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Bought a wireless router yesterday. I've been in Rome since saturday without internet and it probably sounds pathetic, but at times the lack of wi-fi has been crippling. I've been barhopping and studying and smoking like a chimney since I got here and I feel so at home; especially now that I can blog etc. It took me four days with almost no internet access to realize the gravity of my Facebook addiction. When I discovered there was no wireless at the Villa I was cursing and clenching my fists and banging on my keyboard. But now, like a junkie who's found a fix after days of crawling through the gutters in search of tricks and dealers, my cravings have been satisfied. Now back to replying to the long quei of emails inquiring on where I am and if I'm dead or not.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I will be leaving for London at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and will return from Rome in the spring. Will she ever forgive me?

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Surprises (not really anyway)

Radiohead is rereleasing a couple albums with bonus material. But I wasn't too surprised when I saw what the bonus tracks were. Most of these songs have been floating around the internet for years but I'll probably buy one or two of the rehashed albums just to support the band. I was sort of bummed to see that there was no announcement of Kid A or Amnesiac rereleases though.

What I'm really waiting for is a price drop for the 2 disc box-set edition of In Rainbows. It costs eighty bucks US; so it would be nice to see it released just on CD or iTunes, minus the vinyl for those who can't afford it. I only know a couple Radiohead listeners who have even heard of the second disc and I think the high price tag is what has kept it from catching on. The second disc is amazing and I hope it gets more exposure in 09 than it did last year.

Hmm. . .

I was browsing iTunes yesterday and something strange occurred to me. Whether the phenomenon is new, or just something that I've never noticed, I'm not quite sure but it seems that many artists are releasing singles of songs that have already been released on full albums; which seems kind of redundant to me. I can understand the appeal of buying an EP with an already released song and one or more non-album tracks but what is the point of releasing a straight up ninety nine cent single for an already released song? Maybe this practice is a vestige of releasing vinyl singles but weren't those released before the complete album they were on? There are so many singles with either one old track or the old track plus a sub par remix of the original. I love B-sides so I'll still be combing itunes for singles and short EPs but now what I normally find are disappointing post-album singles.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Robots fucking in the middle of the Mini Mall

Ever since Dear Science came out I've been reminded once again of how good TV on the Radio is. I was able to get some of their older stuff, b-sides and bootlegs etc, and I dug up a really interesting concept album called OK Calculator. Self-released and distributed by band members, OK Calculator is a weird assortment of lo-fi demo tracks that vary in style and complexity.
There's an impressive amount of acapella singing on this album and none of the vocalists are afraid to make it freaky and discordant. Even though I really like it, some of the shit is on there just ridiculous, like Netti Fritti (just listen and you'll see what I mean). Amazing tracks include: On a train, Say you do, Hurt you, Freeway, Robots, and Bicycles are red hot. You might only be able to get this album via alternative methods. . . *cough cough bit torrent*

Awesome V

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sic transivit Gloria Mundi. . .

This is the last 2008-catchup-entry I plan to do, but on September 16th a very important person died: Rick Wright, keyboardist for Pink Floyd. I was sad to see that so few musicians and bloggers stopped to commemorate his contributions to one of the greatest bands of all time. With Rick died my naive hopes that Pink Floyd would stop feuding and reunite for a final world tour. He was an amazing musician but now he's finally gone to play the great gig in the sky.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

08 picks

These albums are in no particular order:
Cut Copy> In Ghost Colours
The Wombats> A Guide to Love, Loss, and Desperation
Ladtytron> Velocifero
Hercules and Love Affair> self titled
Sigur Ros> Whateverthefuck it's called, I can never remember any of their album names except for Takk
Wolf Parade> At Mount Zoomer
Secret Machines> self titled
Man Man> Rabbit Habbits
M83> Saturdays=Youth
Minus the Bear> They Make Beer Commercials Like This
Minus the Bear> Acoustics
The Presets> Apocolypso
Radiohead> In Rainbows
Slow Runner> Mermaids
Vampire Weekend> self titled
TV on the Radio> Dear Science
Metronomy> Nights Out
Margot and the Nuclear so & so's> Animal! (and the alternate version of the album) Not Animal!
Justice> Cross
Black Kids> Partie Traumatic
Bloc Party> Intimacy
The New Pornographers> Live from SoHo (iTunes Exclusive)
Black Moth Super Rainbow> Drippers
Tobacco> Fucked up Friends
Animal Collective> Water Curses
CSS> Donkey
Oxford Collapse> Bits

v Big Trouble

Thursday, January 1, 2009


With the arrival of the new year I've been thinking about what artists have been quiet in 2008 and who I'm waiting to hear from. One I am especially curious about is Daft Punk, who have not produced a normal studio album since Human after all in 2005. The release of Daft Punk's first live album, Alive 2007 , was very satisfying but it's not enough. Alive 2007 simply made me crave more original tracks and gave me false hope that a new studio album was imminent. Sort of in the same genre, electronic/dance, I'm also looking forward to some new material from LCD Soundsystem who have been strangely quiet since the release of Sound of Silver. The only news from them is a new single, not even on iTunes and an instrumental from 2006 that they recently made available in the iTunes US store called 45:33. It's a very long song with many movements that was commissioned by Nike; I recommend it to any hardcore fan of theirs. Lastly, I'm wondering what the White Stripes are doing; nothing from them since 2007 album Icky Thump. Of course I'm waiting for lots of new albums but these three artist have been TOO quiet.

Well hopefully 2009 will be a good year for music. I wish you and yours a happy new year.