the Saturday Evening Post-up (12/6/08)
Hope everyone had a relaxing break. No charts this week because of there was basically no one here last week, so instead I've got a ton of new reviews, the last part of the Neutral Milk Hotel review, and a LISTENERS POLL OMG OMG OMGGGG anyway check this shit out first:
The Decemberists - "Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series (vol 1-3)"
Colin Meloy is back with the Decemberists on this new compilation of singles. Pretty standard Decemberists stuff - horns, hooks, awesome chorus, Colin's voice, strings, etc. Pretty good tracks overall, though not exactly innovative given their previous releases.
Play: 1, 5 (Velvet Underground cover), 6
Three Second Kiss - "Long Distance"
Italian deconstructed rock trio puts out a trebly, dissonant, angular disc that offers more raw energy than darkness typical of the "math" genre. Produced by Steve Albini (!), this band bears resemblance to a busier Shellac, a more organized U.S. Maple,, or even a late Fugazi. Vocals are a groaning ESL stew. Hear!
Play: 1 (militant with distorted vocals), 2 (develops well with some classic mathy guitar riffs), 5 (clanging chords with rumbling close bass harmonies opens wider than most), 6 (chanting, minimal)
The Gentle Guest - "We Are Bound To Save Some Souls Tonight"
Combines a lot of sounds for a rhythmic, folksy, and fun album. Sounds like Reel Big Fish meets Drive-By Truckers at times, other times more like a raspy ballad of Tom Waits or Bob Dylan. The stripped down feel is like early Ray LaMontagne, only not as tender and more upbeat.
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - "Cardinology"
Pretty subtle album, definitely one of the better ones in the huge amount of music under his belt. Solid lyrics, nice hooks. Takes a couple of listens to appreciate the details but I'd definitely give this a try. A bit predictable though, not as edgy as "Heartbreaker," but still good overall.
Play: 2, 4 (a bit radio pop-esque), 7
Megapuss - "Surfing"
Devendra Banhart, Gregory Rogove (drummer of Priestbird), and others - including Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes and many from Little Joy - combine to create an all around groovy album. One of my favorites of the year.
RIYD: MGMT, The Black Keys, Devendra, Little Joy
Play: 1 (good for lovin), 5 ("too much fun..." so catchy), 9 (rockin), 10 (disclaim but rocks)
Part 3/3 of the NMH interview:
Sample: In regards to the CD (On Avery Island), all the songs run together and you can tell that there's an ongoing theme. Two or three of the songs sound rather similar in parts. I know it's not a rock opera, but is there an overriding concept? Or is it entirely subconscious?
Scott: I've got a really good answer!
Jeff: You're going to give some bullshitty... alright.
Scott: Okay, but don't put this answer in unless he wants it. He only knows two chords!
Jeff: It's more like a story than a concept in the sense that a concept can be overly done. I'm not "conceptual" in the full sense of the word. It's not supposed to be a book where the opening song is page one and it works up to the end. There is definitely a story, but at the same time, there's not a very rigid structure. Do you understand?
Sample: Well, although there's a story, I have no idea what it's about. Any explanation I've come up with is by virtue of just making something up to find something.
Jeff: I write lots of songs that relate to each other and some of them end up being released and others don't so it's an ongoing thing where the same story is continued in my songs... I just keep writing until it's finished and they cut it up into different parts. Because people are going to relate to songs and relate them to their lives, it's not just a one-sided, either you get it or you don't, story.
Sample: Are the different styles on the album used to convey or correspond with different moods? Something will be lo-fi and folky, the opening track is more pop-oriented...
Scott: It's because you forgot how you mixed and got that sound earlier...
Jeff: Each song has it's own mood... that's why I was trying to record at home. I'm into home recording, not lo-fi. Home recording gives the freedom to deal with something for a long time, not so much "Let's make the song sound shitty."
Sample: Were some of the songs on the album recorded in the studio and others at home?
Jeff: They were all recorded at home. But we had a reel-to-reel four track and a little board console.
Sample: Isn't it hard to hold down a job and tour?
Jeff: Every time I quit a job, I would say, "My mom fell down the stairs. I have to go. Sorry." And then come back in two weeks and say, "She's better," and get my job back... my mom got really mad and tired of it.
Scott: That's bad karma.
Check back tomorrow for the completely unofficial, done on the fly, KWUR LISTENERS POLL FUCK YEAH ALRIGHT!