Author Archive

Some thoughts on albums from 2007

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Thought I might join in with a few albums that I liked, that were generally overlooked.

Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
What can I say about this album? I remember first listening to the opening track “While You Were Sleeping” and just being completely entrapped in the music. I now wake up everyday to “While You Were Sleeping” and it always provides a great start to the day. The album has a great flow of ups and downs throughout, and is perfect for any mood. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes fuzz-folk, although this is more on the folk side then the fuzz. One sad fact about this album is that it was written after both of Perkins’ parents died. His father died of AIDS when Perkins was young, and his mother died in one of the September 11th planes. This definitely shows up on the album, but it’s more of a sad overtone then a sad direction that the album takes on. This is album definitely is one of my favorites of the year, and it’s a debut album to boot.

The Rakes – Ten New Messages
I can’t remember where I heard this, but I remember hearing someone call The Rakes “the real Arctic Monkeys.” Well this is their second album, and it’s a good one. As the title suggests, it’s ten new tracks in that post-punk/art-rock British style that The Rakes are good at. With a nice consistent sound throughout the whole album, it flows really well all the way from “The World Was a Mess But His Hair Was Perfect” to “Leave The City And Come Home.” Really a decent album. And when you have a track called “When Tom Cruise Cries” how can you go wrong?

Tullycraft – Every Scene Needs A Center

What more could you want from an album? With themes like punks, and goths and Dracula, UFOs all crushed up, put into a big old blender and then doused in pure essence of happiness, I don’t know what could go wrong. It’s not often that you find such an enjoyable 7+ min. pop song, but Tullycraft did it with Dracula Screams of Tiger Style (Parts One and Two). This is one of the only albums this year that I’ve listened to twice in a row. One of the happiest bands I know of, yes even happier then I’m From Barcelona, Tullycraft is also one of the funniest. The review at KWUR says something along the lines of “Great music, and witty lyrics that Pitchfork writers wish they could have written.” Reason enough to go and listen to Every Scene Needs A Center right away.

White Flight – White Flight

Most people haven’t heard of White Flight. What they’re missing is the solo project of Justin Roelofs, who you may know as a member of the now defunct ban The Anniversary. And let me tell you, it’s a terrific album. The album is a complete, beautiful work of art. The best way I can describe it is as a collage of poppy sounds and hooks. Sometimes it’s electronic, sometimes acoustic, but it all flows so well together. And over all of this you have some great lyrics and vocals. It really creates this complete experience that just sucks you in for the length of the album. I’ve heard a rumor that the album was inspired by Roelofs trip to South America where he experimented with a lot of local psychedelics. This would definitely explain quite a bit, as the album is really a strange album. And not everyone will like it because it’s so strange. But if you give it a listen, you might come it enjoy it as much as I have.

RFT Writes to Jeff Tweedy

Monday, December 17th, 2007

If you haven’t already, check out what the RFT did. It’s a letter to Jeff Tweedy about how he’s been forgetting his roots here in St. Louis. Even if you don’t like Wilco, you have to admit that the RFT is doing a good job of trying to make St. Louis a better place.

Why Rock Band is still fun (even if it’s not real)

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

So Sleater-Kinney’s guitarist did this awesome review of Rock Band. It’s a really good read, so I thought I would be nice enough to post it here.

A New Use For Those New-Fangled Moving Pictures

Monday, November 26th, 2007

So music videos have been a big part of music in the past couple of decades, but most really don’t serve that big of a purpose. I mean MTV and VH1 hardly shows music videos anymore, and even when they do, its mostly bigger name (read:shit) songs. Well now-a-days artists don’t have to even be on MTV to be popular. YouTube sparked things like the OK Go music video, and record companies and artists have started to take notice. And while music videos have been on youtube before, most of the time they’re grainy and not great quality. Well now record companies have started to post the music videos themselves, in good quality. I can’t complain, there have been countless times when I’ve wanted to watch a music video, only to not be able to find it anywhere, let alone in good quality. It works out for everyone; I get to watch the videos, artists get out there, and the record companies get a slightly better return on their investment. Just another way that the internet has helped rather then hinder music.

Here’s an example: LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends