Monday, November 17
Weekend = good.
1.) Went to m83 / school of seven bells show at black cat. SVIIB was amazing. Elizabeth bought their CD "Alpinism" and after a couple runs through it I've been converted. Where do I sign up for their school? M83 was great or at least exactly what I expected. I have strange feelings about them. At times I think its sublime, transcendent music that moves pop onto a stage where chords tell sweeping epic stories and drums beat out secret knowledge and rhythm in equal parts. John Hughes speaking directly to me. Other times it all seems like self-indulgent monotonous europop that tries way to hard to evoke the 1980s. Depends largely on the song... I think the show managed more of the first and less of the second. Even the over-the-top "Kim and Jesse" was fun. The concert was technically on Thursday but since I didn't do anything on Friday it counts as weekend. Pictures are from a sitting break during M83's set and the School of Seven Bells performance, respectively
2.) Went to see the new Bond movie with my pop. It was good. The reviews have been negative (they seem to think there wasn't enough classic Bond stuff) but I think the new, darker, antihero 007 is alright. I tend to like everything newer, darker and more antihero-filled so I may not be the best person to ask. Watch Casino Royale first. The new one picks up moments after the last one ends. I couldn't remember some of the finer plot points and was a little lost for a couple minutes. Not seeing the first Daniel Craig Bond will leave you scratching your head.
3.) Very little else. I watched reality TV, got stuck in traffic for almost two hours while protesters demonstrated against the G20 meeting on Connecticut Avenue. I got a wedding present for my cousin. There wasn't a lot to this weekend but that was what was so nice about it.
Oh. I got fired from my job too. The economic apocalypse and everything. I'm bummed but its cool. I didn't really want to work at a hedge fund for the rest of my life. The hours and pay kicked ass though. Like... a lot. So job hunting will begin shortly. My two best bets are nepotism or working in retail again. Don't you wish sometimes you could apply to be awesome for a living? Nothing to grand, just an entry level gig, say "Junior Consultant - Being Cool Department." I'd want to work my way up to middle management eventually though: "Lead Project Supervisor - Totally Boss Division." A man can dream...
In further music related news my monthly playist creation that I call "New Stuff: fill in the month" has been completed. November has born some sweet fruit. After culling through the music blogs for about five days here is what I think you should know about:
"Shotting Star" by Bag Raiders - The name of the band is hilarious and the song is great. Blips and glitches frame the uptempo melody while the vox sings out plaintively. I like the contrast. While nowhere near as good it reminds me of a sad Pet Shop Boys song that you can dance to. The build up and the song's climax changes the tone though and it turns into an above average dance track. Worth a listen if you're into that sort of thing.
"A Thousand Eyes" by Crystal Antlers - I read somewhere that "crystal" is the new "wolf" for band names this year. I like all the crystal bands: Crystal Castles, Antlers and Slits. These guys are a low fi guitar outfit from Long Beach. This song is my current fav by them. Slow guitar that quickly build as the chorus ramps up then crash back down works well for them. It has that grungy but layered quality that first attracted me to the White Stripes without really sounding much like the White Stripes...
"Lovesick" by Friendly Fires - Pop, pure and simple. Friendly Fires (along with Crystal Antlers) blew up at CMJ this year and a lot of people are writing about them both. Take this all with a grain of salt. They aren't doing much new but they do it so very well. "Paris" has been in rotation since I was alerted to their existence a while back in January. This newer find has everything "Paris" had going for it (catchy as fuck, fun vocals, great orchestration) but seems a little more "get-up-and-go." Just what the doctor ordered. One complaint: a little repetative at the end. You could trim by 45 seconds and lose nothing.
"Tuff n' Stuff" by Giantess - Epic synth got me to sit up and pay attention to this song on my first listen. It sounds like it should be sampled in a mainstream song... like a Chris Brown song. Then it turns into a rap song! By a group called Giantess. I was confused too. Okay it isn't Dr. Dre (there is an extended R&B breakdown and they sound white) but it all somehow comes off well. Okay. Its a little long and the R&B breakdown turns out to be the chorus which could be shorter but I stand by this song. Its too catchy not to.
"Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap - The plucky guitar at the beginning, the crooning totally gay club hit vocals, the drums pulsing away-- you think this song is going to be a cliche and then it surprises you. It turns into somethings sweeter, more sincere. The two voice harmony in the chorus and the reemergence of the opening plucky guitar divorce it from its reference points, the anchors that would have made it a cliche. I have no idea who they are but Temper Trap have made my favorite song of November 2008.
"Bathroom Gurgle (Filthy Dukes Remix)" by Late of the Pier - Electronic for sure Late of the Pier does interesting things with a genre that is quickly becoming overrun with overnight blog-fueled success. I can't exactly figure out what it is that have going for them. I like the tempo changes, I like that they don't seem to sweat the big names' style (i.e. sound like Passion Pit or Crystal Castles). I like the sassy vocals. But it isn't anything that hasn't been done before. They're just solid. This song in particular illustrates this I think. Check them out. The line "put your hands in your waistline and move your body to the bassline" is just good fun.
I seem to be listening to a lot of dance music lately and I can't figure out why. Usually I like light fun pop in the summer, mid 90s emo in the autumn, New Order and other 80s synthy goodness in the winter and for spring a smattering of grindy screaming and noise-pop. Or at least that has been to equation I've followed since freshman year of college. There are exceptions to every rule (I love listening to Joy Division in the summertime) but the past year has been totally out of whack. The spring was all about etherial pop or folk, this summer was full of indie dance tunes and rap, and fall has seen guitar driven rock, more folk a lot of dance-- indie or otherwise. I'm not complaining I just wonder why. If you have any ideas please feel free to let me know.
Listening to "Glad I Met You" by Cut Copy. The title is from School of Seven Bells. Find them, listen, thank me later.