Archive for July, 2012

30
Jul
12

You remind me of home…

The E.P., or the extra play, is an ideal length. Even if you love the act, variety in artistry and genre is a beautiful thing. When a new record is released, and it contains an excess of 10 songs, I sometimes scoff. Yes, even at a well plugged act on MiS. Post-Parlo, an independent defunct (?) label out of Austin, TX, is responsible for one of the stronger EPs of the ’00s: The four song split between Bright Eyes and Britt Daniel as part of the Home series. With Conor and Britt teaming up on two tracks; then contributing their own individual piece, too. 13 minutes of excellence. Around go time, this was rumored to be a 10 disc set, but to my knowledge, it didn’t exceed past the 5th — would love to know if all were released?!

The 5th in the series was a stripped down set, one where the weapons of choice were an acoustic and a voice. If used accurately and with skilled precision, the combination of the two is unstoppable. Take one part Ben Gibbard, the distinct voice behind DCFC and the Postal Service; add one part Andrew Kenny, the man behind American Analog Set, an Austin act interweaving calm and hypnotic- like rhythms. Here, Kenny brings a light and airy delivery across his no frills melodic tapestry.

Possibly the true brilliance behind this series was its time period. Digital music existed, but by no means as ubiquitous as today, where anything you want is a click or stream away. As far as I remember/know, this series never saw any type of digital release; if you wanted to spin these, you had to have the discs or have a connection willing to rip them for you. The releases were truly limited, so not everyone heard these. And if you did, consider yourself fortunate; if you’ve yet to be acquainted, realize the potential a voice, minimalist melodies, and a subject like home can bring forth…

Home Volume V

28
Jul
12

The Now Sound From Way Back…

A “cow town” just doesn’t draw like some cities. Even though Denver isn’t too small, at about 611,000 people, its location I think holds it back from really drawing any bands/acts I crave. If you and your outfit rolls into town, you have a long haul to any major cities for your next gig. But then LCD’s mastermind is spinning records here in a week — Nancy of that same act spun ALL vinyl here in May. Regardless, Nick Waterhouse, who’s been burning up my charts with his classic 50s r&b sound channeled through a hip and energetic showman, has yet to grace this area.

Thanks to the always excellent KEXP 90.3 outta Seattle, Nick Waterhouse and The Tarots rip through a set of five songs; each one laced with another sweet swagger and coolness to bring a sound of yesterday to me today. In live video form.

“That’s my sound; it’s the sound that came through me.”

Setlist:

I Can Only Give You Everything

Trouble

Sleeping Pills

Some Place

Is That Clear

Take in the five song set and learn a little about the hippest boy I’ve yet to witness live.

Rumors are he’s on a massive tour come fall.

26
Jul
12

Since it’s my time….

If I asked you, the dedicated music fan who lives it, if your car had an AUX input, you’d know, right? Recently I was out of town and a friend and I needed to borrow a way to drive north. We asked my friend’s sibling if he’d lend us his car. Without hesitation, his response was, “Sure.” Without missing a beat, I fired back to him, “Does your ride have an AUX input?” I was rolling with a friend, one who our conversations could become my soundtrack to this trip; eventually though, things need to be changed up and something has to be on blast to further amp me up for our arrival. The loaner’s response was, “I think I do.” What?

Either this individual is of the odd type, or someone like myself that thinks about access to MY music before anything else, is abnormal. What I’ve come to realize is a lot of people don’t give a damn. The radio is fine. Driving in silence works, too. For me, the radio takes away that freedom we’re provided to spin what we want, when we want, how many times to repeat it, etc. The radio from Chicago to the upper part of Michigan doesn’t meet my approval. But then I’m willing to try the randomnity of digital radio…

Since it’s all quantified and based on some algorithm more complex than trying to fathom not knowing if you have an AUX or not, I’m willing to spend time with Spotify’s radio service. See, it’s based on an artist I dig.  This feature, while not always spot on, has given exposure to artists new to me. It’s made semi-stale genres fresh again. With what I consider eclectic tastes, I can’t always be up on styles I only spin occasionally; in comes Spotify. My experience with Pandora is minimal; from what I remember though, Spotify’s option seems more diverse, meaning I won’t be repeating too many songs, a la Pandora. While spinning Tesla Boy, the Russian innovator of 80s brightness in 2012, Spotify turned me onto a plethora of Junior Jack meets Daft Punk happy house. A truly missing genre from my listening habits.

24
Jul
12

Total Ghost from Denmark, Colorado…

Total Ghost is a movement. A German outfit that evokes fun. An act that begs to be heard; then immediately experienced in a chaotic, euphoric state where you lose your shit. The beats are a plenty, with nods to the 80s when you were surrounded by a hypnotic state via Casio and Yamaha keyboards that cost less than your bar tab. But the pulsating sounds cause an insatiable desire to move, jump up, and onto things, bum rush the stage; and whatever else happens when their Euro-trash sound takes control of your body.

The catch? Live they aren’t plugged in. No, not Unplugged and nasty as you wanna be; more, it’s only a gimmick, or almost like a play, one where the stars create so much awesomeness via their music and energy, you can’t help and act a fool on the strobe lighted dance floor. If something gets smashed, Total Ghost only further proves why they are the one and only German dance sensation igniting Denver, Colorado…

Total Ghost :: Forever Midnight (featuring Chello Negro)

23
Jul
12

Beyond just a listen…

What has your favorite band done for you? No, not in the sense they personally sought you out and fulfilled your grandest desires. More so, because of that band, what type of experiences were brought your way? Acts have made me friends; led me to new, faraway places I grew to love, or sometimes despise of; most importantly, brought people together to enjoy the music and create vivid memories that continue to be as fresh in my head as the day they transpired. This blog was unfortunately in hiatus during the announcement of LCD Soundystem’s last show at Madison Square Garden. As a fan, one who’s been in for the long haul, I knew that this show was an absolute must. A small excuse to take a quick excursion to the capitol of the world doesn’t hurt either.

For those that missed this monumental musical event, or those that wanted to relive a weekend for the ages, their final gig was made into a documentary, Shut Up and Play the Hits. Not sure if it was the opportunity to see a 29 song setlist, being part of something historical, or simply coming together with 20,000 like-minded music folk, but upon taking in the initial trailer, goose bumps arose. This would recapture the MSG set, it would also let us peer into the mind of James Murphy.

This medium we live is so much more than something to aurally take in. It’s one that is limitless — think about it — on what it can do for us. Any band I cherish, has embellished my life in endless ways. Some more than others. It’s experiences like LCD afforded me that make me realize that anyone just casually listening, and not bringing music into your social circle, are missing out on opportunities. Ones that done right, are as timeless as other vivid memories you revere. And for this, I thank any act that created something that became an experience, one that went way beyond just a listen.

09
Jul
12

I invited Matt Mahaffey to sing you some songs…

In Chicago, people truly covet and take advantage of nice, comfortable days because mother nature doesn’t release enough of those to take any of them for granted. When one graces you, it’s not one to spend inside. Doing nothing. The refreshing and sunny skies entice you to get out and enjoy what’s been presented to you. And with Matt Mahaffey, it’s no different.

The one man jam virtuoso only lets us come out to aurally play so often with his rather long hiatuses between releases and live gigs. But when we do receive one of his gifts, it’s a breath of fresh air that wafts out of my speakers; a sound that makes me stop doing whatever it is I should be doing. I become engrossed in his quirky pop sound usually in a cycle of loops. Endless ones. Thanks to Nashville’s Lightning 100, Mahaffey invites us to a session, one that feels casual, a session amongst friends, one that like always, begs to be not taken for granted.

Over 21 intimate minutes of Matt, a retro sounding piano, and what sounds like your very own sElf session. In what we’ll call your family room meets swanky piano bar.

Track list

Coming Over

Sucker

Metrosexual Cowboy

Better Than Aliens

Could You Love Me Now

Donating to Science

Crimes on Paper

“Could You Love Me Now” in visual form:

08
Jul
12

Looks and Money…

Who doesn’t like fast woman? If that’s not your bag, perhaps you can easily digest a “a fun, new, distorto-diity about fast women.” That’s how multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Matt Mahaffey describes last year’s — yes, this blog was sleeping one off — “Looks and Money”. Last year was the first release since 2010’s “Could You Love Me Now?”

Before unleashing this playful number upon our ears, Matt’s bass-tastic track appeared in Dicki, an original web series featuring  Mary Lynn Rajskub — her character yearns for more digital friends; what else is there to do than snap provocative pictures while bouncing around to sElf?  In more concise pop fashion than normal, Mahaffey struts his ability to bomb your sub-woofers with “Looks and Money”. Playful and upbeat, the bass bangs throughout as Matt trades off on styles of vocal deliveries. And if this hasn’t turned you onto a lifestyle of fast women, you best at least be banging and bouncing around….




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