Oct 14, 2007

One Year On; Whalebones and Stuff; Radiohead (They Seem Popular); La-La-La-La-La-La

This is actually a day late, but what the hell. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of myself starting this blog. It's been quite a ride and I have received so much pleasure and joy and I have many people to thank. First off, my nephew basically built this thing and this wouldn't exist without him. There are also a few close friends who encouraged me and pushed me into starting this. I am so glad they did. The basic idea that I would just write about my passions in life has been quite thrilling for me. The best thing though is the fact that I have made many friends through my humble writings. Some in person and some through the World Wide Web. This has been so gratifying on so many levels. To live and work in basically mainstream society you sometimes wonder if you are only one who listens to the music you do, sees the movies you do, have similar outlooks on life. Now I know I was not alone. I feel that I have become part of a bigger community that appreciates creation, originality and beauty. Animal Collective, not Australian Idol. Half Nelson, not Harry Potter. So to all those people who have linked to me or left comments or just passed by, I sincerely thank you. For regular readers you probably realise I have quite a fixation for all things Spencer Krug. Well I have been thinking lately, thanks to a very special person who I met through this blog, that "I'll Believe In Anything" is quite possibly my favourite song ever. It encapsulates everything I want from a song. Thrilling beyond belief, lyrically heart stopping, profoundly original, musically inventive and just basically an affirmation of life. I just wanted to share this with you. I actually think a song this good, deserves its own post, something for the future.

So anyway, Spencer is touring Sunset Rubdown again on the back of his opus genii "Random Spirit Lover" and he has already produced a new song (pictured above, lyrics sheet from a show this week in Brooklyn). It could be called "Icarus" and it is understandably magnificent. A fantastic site called Trendwhore has a recording of their show at Pop Montreal. This is a great site for wonderful recordings of so many great artists. The recent taping of a The National show is especially breathtaking. When are they going to announce a Sydney show by the way?
MP3: Icarus (live) -Sunset Rubdown

Whalebones are from Seattle. Quite frankly they are very exciting. Raw and rugged, wild and woolly. Big sounds, big ideas. I have just ordered their second EP "Morning Man" from Lucky Horse Industries. Here are a couple of tracks that you should like if you desire music with passion and grandiosity.
MP3: Blood Bank-Whalebones
MP3: Don't You Know-Whalebones

Bon Iver is a name I have been seeing pop up on many blogs lately. After doing some further investigation I found Bon Iver is Justin Vernon and he recorded his album "For Emma, Forever Ago" recently in Wisconsin. What I have heard of the album is starkly beautiful and extremely tender. The album is currently unavailable, but with all the good press he has received recently it looks like hopefully a wider release is on the way.
MP3: Skinny Love-Bon Iver

This is just a recommendation. Ariana Lenarsky is a young singer from California. Her recent history includes singing some vocals on "Ash Wednesday", the wonderful album from Elvis Perkins. She is currently unsigned, but has some wonderful songs up on her Myspace. Worth checking out if you like music in the style of Joni Mitchell or Fiona Apple.

Unless you live under a rock or in a cave you would realise by now that Radiohead have released a new album "In Rainbows" this past week. It has been quite exciting to read all the reactions and I do admire the band's original idea of producing and distributing their music. It does seem that is has obliterated most other music news this week. Which I think is a shame for an album like "Random Spirit Lover" which I believe is a vastly superior piece of work. My reasons for saying that; I think "In Rainbows" is very good but not the masterpiece that it seems to be getting praise for. I am what you might call a Radiohead admirer but not lover. I do have all their albums, except "Pablo Honey", and I seem to have different opinions to most people on their body of work. I think "OK Computer" is a seminal album of lasting influence but I think "The Bends" is better (It contains my favourite RH song, Fake Plastic Trees). I find "Kid A" a cold and distant listening experience but I love "Amnesiac" (Pyramid Song is amazing). And "Hail to the Thief" just did nothing for me. So my thoughts on "In Rainbows". I think it doesn't contain a bad song, but I don't feel there are many great songs. The two that I think are great are "Videotape" and "Reckoner". I was told "Nude" was unbelievable but it's not living up to the billing at the moment for me. I think for me, the album lacks that earthly, soulful, gritty feeling that I search for. Probably a song like "All I Need" approaches that feeling and it continues to grow on me. So I will probably look out for rocks through my window for criticising the critic proof Radiohead, but this is my considered opinion. A fine album from a landmark band, but not one that is moving me deeply. Just my opinion, but if you want revolutionary sounds pick up a copy of "Strawberry Jam".

Oh, one last thing. The new Panics album is seriously good. I can recommend you buying "Cruel Guards" when the chance avails itself. Make sure you catch them on their national tour with the wonderful Whitley.

7 Comments:

  • At October 14, 2007 , Anonymous James said...

    Congratulations on the blog anniversary mate. Here's hoping for many more to come!

     
  • At October 15, 2007 , Blogger Lawson said...

    Yeah like James said, congrats! It's been a quality year, cheers.

    Just on 'Nude' - don't get me wrong I'm a huge Radiohead fan (who isn't?) but I actually found it the worst track on the whole album, I have no idea why people are banging on about it. It's one of those one's they pull on every album, with Thom's voice muffled and all drawn out and useless, mid-tempo instrumentation - it's a bore.

    Thanks for the op to get that off my chest!

     
  • At October 15, 2007 , Blogger James said...

    Wayne,

    CONGRATS!!! I'm approaching a year myself (started right after New Year's). I check in to see what you're writing almost every day - hope Year 2 is as great.

    Kid A took me a long time to get into. I always liked it, but didn't love it until about 3 years ago. And I think The Bends is every bit as great as OKC too, if just not quite as thematically tight.

    I'm trying to get into Random Spirit Lover, but I don't have the feelings for it that you do....not sure if anyone does. :~)

     
  • At October 15, 2007 , Blogger ryan the duke said...

    congrats on the milestone, and thanks for the nice words about our site.

    very nice site.. we'll add you to our blogroll shortly.

     
  • At October 16, 2007 , Anonymous Ro said...

    Love ya work wayne! Looking forward to another year of amazing music!

    It's funny that James, Lucky, you and I all have our blog anniversaries around the same time.

     
  • At October 16, 2007 , Anonymous ben said...

    congrats on a year of your blog!

    i have been visiting regularly since january when i stumbled upon it looking for pics/review of modest mouse at the enmore (great show!).

    thanks for all your excellent recommendations - i have followed up many!!

    and yeah, completely agree with your review of random spirit lover - i am lost for words describing this cd and have been absolutely thrashing it for the last 2 months.

    p.s i also agree with your review of cease to begin .. i dont like it as much as the first - although i probably have a new favourite BoH song in 'window blues' (i prefer their slower stuff like 'boat to row')

    cheers, keep up the good work

     
  • At October 16, 2007 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Thanks to everyone who has left such nice words. I do this it put my thoughts out into the world, but it is really gratifying that people actually read it and perhaps enjoy it. Thanks again and I hope I have a few more posts left in me.

     

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