Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mouse on the Keys - Sezession (2007)

Very few bands I've heard recently have had such an immediate and pleasing effect quite like this one has. My good friend Josh sent me this music video of theirs earlier tonight and I was immediately hooked:

They provide a unique blend of jazz and upbeat funkiness with undertones of math rock that really shine through with the preposterously solid drumming. The dueling keyboards keep things frantic and exciting while there are also other instruments like a blazing saxophone on track 3. All in all, It's almost like a fusion between The Bad Plus and Toe. This band is so refreshingly good that even if you arent a fan of 'nu-jazz', this is definitely an EP worth checking out. Also, when I found out that they hail from japan, I chuckled to myself. I don't know what's in the water over there but they consistently pump out some of the greatest bands.

1. 最後の晩餐
2. toccatina
3. RaumKrankheit
4. a sad little town


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thrice - Vheissu (2005)

Vheissu is where Thrice really broke out of their shell. I'll admit, I haven't given any of their albums previous to this a chance, but from what I've heard, It's all pretty sophomoric and shallow in terms of concept and content. With their brand new direction, some of the first things you notice are more complex song structures, more experimental songwriting and deeply insightful lyrics inspired mostly by Thomas Pynchon's book V.. One of the reasons this album stands out to me is how they implemented unorthodox methods in the songwriting process. Just listen to "The Earth Will Shake" and how the intro creates a feeling of desperation with a jangly guitar and a more lo-fi sound before bursting into the first verse. Later in the song, all of the music is cut out and there's what appears to be a whole chain gang chanting the chorus and stomping out the beat. It's all very epic and creates a very atmospheric and immersive listening experience. I highly recommend this album along with Thrice's newest project, The Alchemy Index which I posted earlier this year in four parts, Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

  1. "Image of the Invisible" – 4:14
  2. "Between the End and Where We Lie" – 3:56
  3. "The Earth Will Shake" – 4:29
  4. "Atlantic" – 4:02
  5. "For Miles" – 4:27
  6. "Hold Fast Hope" – 4:01
  7. "Music Box" – 4:46
  8. "Like Moths to Flame" – 4:26
  9. "Of Dust and Nations" – 4:50
  10. "Stand and Feel Your Worth" – 5:52
  11. "Red Sky" – 4:17


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Man Man Extravaganza Post

So, If you've glanced over to the right of the page where my last.fm widget things are, you might've noticed that I've been listening to the band Man Man a lot. They take vaudevillian, folksy European music to a whole new level. I constantly find myself bobbing my head to the beat or attempting to sing along with the rugged, manly choruses along with the high pitched and extremely goofy background vocals. Any way you look at it, this is fun music to listen to with other people or just rocking out alone. Seeing them live drastically changed my perspective as well. Before I saw their videos at La Blogotheque, I dismissed them as just some other goofy band trying to jump on the obscure folk bandwagon. I was so damn wrong. These guys love every second of what they're doing and do it with such gumption that its difficult not to really get into it. Just watch these awesome videos and check out the discography.

Medeski, Martin & Wood - Electric Tonic (recorded in 1998 released in 2002)

Another of my favorites from MMW. This album was recorded from a 100% improvised show at the now defunct NYC club, Tonic. Its a mixture of free jazz and the usual MMW brand of funky, experimental jamming. And please...don't run away just yet because you saw "free jazz". I know its one of the less accessible genres but this really takes it to the next level. I used the term because of this bands jazzy nature and the total improvisation that takes place. It's far from John Coltrane's Ascension or Ornette Coleman's greatest hits, but it still roots itself in that intensely jazzy plane. This album specifically reminds me of fall because of an amazing free jazz performance I saw up at Bennington College in VT and today was particularly cold so it brought back some memories. Definitely open your ears for this one.

Electric Tonic

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Venetian Snares - Rossz csillag alatt született (2005)

As you should all know by now, Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares, is a genius. In the last album I posted, Detrimentalist, there was a much more electronic and synthetic feel. In this album, many of the melodies are samples of classical music. This fusion of two totally different styles is beyond anything you'd ever imagine. The fact that the two are on total opposite sides of the musical spectrum only makes it more confusing as to how it could possibly meld so well and in such an intense manner. The songs are so melancholic and dark that they just don't let you go. My favorite track has to be Öngyilkos Vasárnap. It takes samples from Billie Holiday's cover of Szomorú Vasárnap, a song by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress, and alters them to the strange meter that Aaron made his version of the song in. It's so beautiful and sad at the same time, mixing violin melodies and synth bass lines over wild jungle beats. This album is truly something everyone should give a chance.

1 Sikertelenség (0:40)
2 Szerencsétlen (4:55)
3 Öngyilkos Vasárnap (3:26)
4 Felbomlasztott Mentökocsi (3:44)
5 Hajnal (7:46)
6 Galamb Egyedül (1:36)
7 Második Galamb (6:01)
8 Szamár Madár (5:49)
9 Hiszékeny (1:39)
10 Kétsarkú Mozgalom (8:50)
11 Senki Dala (2:16)

Rossz csillag alatt született

Kickball - ABCDEFGHIJKickball (2005)

Oh, Hi there. It's been a while. I've been pretty lazy but that's enough of that. I think I'm just gonna post a bunch of albums now to make up for my absence. Here is a perfect album for autumn. I've posted a Kickball album before, Huckleberry Eater, which I love even more since I posted it and feel like everyone who loved it and even people who never heard it, should check this album out. This is only two years after Huckleberry Eater came out but you can hear how much they've matured as a band. They still have the same style and the same feeling but they really grew into their sound and you can definitely hear that on this album. I really wish that they would make their way over to the east coast from Olympia, WA. Also, if anyone from there is reading this by any chance...tell them to get their asses over here.