Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2080 or how my conscience cost me $15

After work Tuesday I made my way down Franklin Ave to do something I have not done in a while, which was buy a new CD. The band that has caused this cataclysmic event was none other than Yeasayer. After snooping around the Electric Fetus, I finally asked one of the hipsters who work behind the counter to put his skinny jeans and ironic T-shirt to work and help me find my CD. He was ever so kind and ventured off to the bowels of the store to find a newly arrived copy of All Hour Cymbals, the debut CD from the aforementioned band that had piqued my jaded interest. The seed that had set off this desire was the first single from this album, the magnificent 2080. It first reminded me heavily of Animal Collective, but soon had me thinking of a mix between AC and TV on the Radio, which to me is a satisfying musical wet dream. The song had so much......tribal drums, far out vocals, rhythm, soul and an outro that peaks at just the right point. It builds and builds with chanting vocals until it maxes out near the 4:30 minute mark and ends with children singing the chorus. Great shit.
There were many reasons to buy this record, but I have embraced on a new musical mantra. If I like a CD and it is on a independent or at least semi-independent label....I will support them by purchasing their CD. If a band puts a CD out on Capital, I will lose no sleep over finding their music from other sources(screw you RIAA). Now be certain that I will not avoid or boycott bands who are on major labels, and I do not think of this as an unavoidable character flaw, I just don't make a lot of money, so I am not going to support the Grey Goose habits of square record execs who try to promote "music" when they also put out Britney Spears, Nickleback, Fergi and other products that insult me(and they should insult you too). My point is, you do not need a major label. If you want to be rich and famous, then it is a different story, and I would not be against the argument that wanting these things are contrary to the entire spirit of music(and art in general), but I am not actively engaging in a "indie cred" contest. If Interpol wants to get their videos on MTV and play Madison Square Garden, good for them. I just will not be buying their CD(but I will download the hell out of it....what can I say, they make some good music). Back to my point. The reason I decided to spend $12 on the Yeasayer CD were three fold. 1.They rock
2.They are on an independent label (We are Free) that supports new and different music. If I support them, their label can help promote other bands who are as interesting and diverse as Yeasayer.
3.I really do want to support musicians, and major labels do not support musicians(except the 10% who sell 5 million copies). I know that Yeasayer is not getting all $12 from my cd purchase, in fact I would assume they don't even get half of it, but I would bet that they are getting 4-5 times more from my cd purchase than Interpol would have gotten had I bought their $12 cd(at Walmart, yuck).
Walking to my car on the cool fall afternoon brought back many memories, albeit mostly foggy images from days long passed. I had an excited feeling in my stomach, and hands casually fingered the CD case that was still wrapped in the womb of plastic. I sat in my car and unwrapped the CD (seriously though, I forgot how annoying opening a CD is....free advice, don't open them while driving down Franklin during rush hour with your knee guiding the wheel, you will almost destroy the dirty beatnik biker who feels there bike is as important as your car and deserves an entire lane) and put it in for the drive home, excitedly listening to each new song and reading the packaging (again, wait until you get home, 94 is for driving folks, not reading who plays trombone of song six of your new Yeasayer CD). I felt good about what I did and think I will continue (in moderation, I really am poor), although as much as it was enjoyable.....having $15 and a burned copy would be pretty sweet too....oh well. I'm working on it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bon Iver

I saw the band Bon Iver last night at the Uptown Bar, and I have to say that he lived up to the hype. Whether he wants it or not, the spotlight will be shining brightly on this Eau Clair, Wisconsin band in the coming months after a glowing review on pitchfork. The album is quiet but moody, which does not always translate well into a live setting, but it came across as warm and forceful live Friday night. Justin Vernons' voice is commanding and the instrumentation allows for his voice to captivate the crowd. It was one of those shows where there really were not people talking during the set, which is always impressive. The band's setup for the majority of the show was just Justin and the drummer. He switched between a telecaster and a resonator guitar. The resonator was used for the more folky, subdued songs, while the telecaster was melded with his row of effects sitting at his feet. He does a good job of mixing his wobbling falsetto with a rich texture of noise, often venturing into My Bloody Valentine esque soundscapes. The highlights including a moving take on his song "Skinny Love" and the closing number "The Wolves (Act 1 and 2) when the members of Megafaun joined him on stage and beat on anything they could find.

The daunting task of following Bon Iver was left to previously mentioned North Carolina band MegaFaun and local electropop band Digitata. Megafaun were a nice transition from Bon Iver. They took his whimsical folk and added some rocking to it. They sounded like late period Uncle Tupelo and late period Wilco, and it was not that they were Jeff Tweedy mimics at all. Their songs were back-porch country songs with epic meltdowns thrown in. It was if you took the folk/country/bluegrass/traditional music that Uncle Tueplo did so well and had the Ghost is Born era Wilco play them. Many songs would start out with banjo and acoustic songs and suddenly be transformed into multiple minute feedback laden romps, only to be returned to crowd participation clap and stomp dirven songs that sounded like drunken church anthems. It was an interesting experience to say the least, and they did a formidable job continuing the buzz Bon Iver had left.

The last band of the night was the Minneapolis based band Digitata. They played danceable rock songs sung by a Wurlitzer playing singer who bore a striking resemblance to Fiona Apple(maybe only to me). They also had a guy who had a Animal Collective type setup who was doing samples and a live drummer. I was getting tired and did not stay for their whole set, but they had very tight, well structured songs that would be suggested to anyone who is a fan of electro pop.

Overall, I can very comfratbly jump aboard the Bon Iver bandwagon. I was hoping that his live set would live up to his great CD For Emma, Forever Ago, and it did. I hope that he rides the glow of his great internet reviews and continues to wow people on his upcoming national tour.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I suck

So I knew moving home would have some negative qualities, but I also thought I would be able to go see shows on a regular basis. This plan was fool-proof....except for I forgot that I would be working 8 plus hours every day and getting up at 7am. This allows for me going to shows, but it does not live up to the lush, Lester Bangs type concert orgy that I was hoping to partake in. In the last month I have missed....Besnard Lakes, Handsome Furs, Blitzen Trapper! (TWICE!!), John Vanderslice, the Black Lips(not my fault), and countless cool local shows. OH! THE HUMANITY. Just kidding. I do get to see quite a few shows, so I should probably stop complaining, but isn't complaining to strangers and voyeurs the reason you write these things? Oh yeah, the reason I wrote this is because I am being lazy and skipping Dr. Dog tonight. Shame on me, but I am just too tired, even for a glorious band like Dr. Dog. PS shame on you for not going too....

Rethinking Girl Talk

Apparently Girl Talk is now popular among the crowd of frat kids and assholes who are willing to push you over and trample on your back to get to the stage. So to all my friends wearing hollister and being idiots at the show....thank you for being present at the the last girl talk show I will ever attend. If my beer and or fist hit you and you happen to be reading this, I am sorry....that I was not able to do more to you. My next point is that the kid who sang "Chocolate Rain" should not only be barred from performing ever again, he should be stripped of all rights and sent to some remote detention facility in Eastern Europe. What he did Friday night was certainly a crime against humanity and therefore there should be a price paid. I'm not saying hurt him, I'm just saying a single cell with 24 hour flood lights with Barry Manilow playing 24 hours a day.....maybe then he will realize that shitty music is not funny/ironic/acceptable ANYWHERE or ANYTIME. Especially when I have paid money to see Dan Deacon and Girl Talk and I am being molested by the former back-up quarterback of the Edina football team on a 80 degree night. Overall....my streak of amazing concerts came to a screeching halt. I was rolling along nicely after Animal Collective, the National, and the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem shows, but now I am going to be starting again from ground zero. Oh Well. You win some you lose some.

I am currently listening to the new Radiohead album.....sounds good so far. I hope this is the nail in the coffin of the antiqued business plan of the out of touch record companies.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Girl Talk TONIGHT!

Tonight is going to be a sloppy drunken mess that will feature me making a complete ass of myself....see you there.

This is my first post

Brace yourself for unknown levels of rocking that will be coming in the near future. HOT DOG.