Saturday, May 2, 2015

CocoRosie - Japan

CocoRosie starts this tune with a jack-in-box-esque melody and infuses it into a march that leads me on a journey like the pied piper. Their song, Japan, pulls sounds from a variety of different places and blends them together and it's this combination that seems to take parts of the world and parts of life and bridges them together into something mesmerizing.

It's lowbrow, it's highbrow, and at first it's a juxtapozition of the two, and then it's very distinctly a marriage between them. The variety of mood, tones, and instruments working in harmony makes me think "Yeah, okay, this could all work out."

CocoRosie on Myspace

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Icarus Himself - Digging Holes

I don't have much to say about this track besides I'm just enamored by it. It feels always on the edge of falling into a waltz, the carousel-like organ certainly helps the effect. The song starts with a quiet intro, but picks up at the 0:35 mark.

Please enjoy.

Icarus Himself on Myspace

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Puddles Pity Party– Royals (cover)

This amazing cover is part of a series of guest-star red cover pieces collectively called Postmodern Jukebox found on Youtube. Here, operatic-trained Puddles (the Sad Clown) belts out a masterpiece carried by the house band and a smooth down tempo beat.

Oh, and this isn’t trick photography, it’s a seven foot tall clown. I'm looking forward to more like this in the future from the Jukebox.

Puddles on Facebook

Sunset Rubdown - For the Pier

Spencer Krug’s vocals are reminiscent of those from Andrew Jackson Jihad’s Sean Bonnette, which left me to first mistake this as another project of his. Krug though, is also a musician of many projects (another being Wolf Parade which I too found through Pandora) and here he lends his vocals to this quiet epic. You’ll regret missing a single note, so I strongly suggest cranking it up.

This particular track is something that has moved me and I feel a deep need to share it because of that. I hope you enjoy and perhaps do the same.

Sunset Rubdown on Myspace

The Knife - We Share Our Mother’s Health

I don’t think this can be considered an oldie, coming from a 2006 album, brought to you by Swedish electronica duo, The Knife. The accompany video is bizarre and haunting in its simplistic but abstract representation of men, medicine, monsters, and BDSM. This track provides an unique landscape of synthesized pops, whistles, melodies and voices that accumulate into a wall of sound.

I’ve been told the way people are depicted in this video intentional reference to a real condition... just in case you needed more nightmare fuel.

The Knife on Myspace

Hedgehog – The Band

A documentary about Chinese punk rock in Beijing brought to my attention an indie group by the name of Hedgehog. Their wonderful sound is somewhere along the lines of the Pixies, combining fantastic melodies with great sensibility. I had to go out of my way to find somewhere to buy the 2012 album, Sun Fun Gun, where this song comes from.

I can’t understand the lyrics, but I don’t mind; I am nevertheless reminded of the spring.

Hedgehog on Myspace

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Kills - The Last Goodbye

The Kills seem like a throw-back to simpler day in music-making. Their songs are often basic in composition, as you might expect from a duo, though their raw talent is still ever-present and undeniable. Something near macabre is sprinkled over their sound, whether it be a rock song or something more subdued, like the following (starting at 0:45):

Well, I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll be hearing from these two songbirds. So, until next time, readers…

The Kills on Facebook

Hans Zimmer - You're So Cool

Hans Zimmer has a long history of Hollywood’s film scores, though they don't include the iconic third trailer for Inception. In 1993, True Romance came out with a mind-blowing cast of stars, however, Hans's score is the only part of that film that I would hold onto today. Cue the theme:

Here he lays an youthful, optimistic tone for a lovely journey that is still ultimately delicate. I think its exuberance only loosely fit the movie, but it's beautiful anyway.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Perfume Genius - Normal Song

I was introduced to Perfume Genius not long ago and have had the privilege to attend a concert. His voice is amazing, though unfortunately the sound system was too too poor to truly capture it that night. Often I feel like I need a song like this to carry me on. Might you rest your wary bones upon it. I always feel lucky to run across a song that I can find solace in, and there's a few on this album.

At the show I saw, a few people in the crowd pleaded he play a song twice... and he did! I'd never seen that before, so I'll just include that second performance.

Perfume Genius on Facebook

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Architecture in Helsinki - Escapee

While a bit of a turn from their previous styles, Architecture in Helsinki deliver a stellar performance in this clip. The song is like a compilation of the 80's disco scene, while the camera is placed on what also appears to harken back directly to the 80's New Wave band, The Talking Heads. Though it could just be me.

I can't decide whether the audience in the foreground add or detract to the ambiance of the obviously fan-made recording. I also am not so sure I normally go for something so influenced by what I would call "dance" music, but it's just too catchy not to drag me along.

AIH on Facebook

Devendra Banhart - Foolin'

Devendra hits a home run with this slow-ballad take on his normally reggae-rock tune Foolin'. While enjoy the original just as much, I felt like track hit a more universal note. I also don't think I could begin to explain that video, which probably gets the NSFW stamp.

This was among a few others recorded for NPR and there seems to be something special in those performances.

Devendra Banhart on Myspace

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sufjan Stevens - I Walked

You wanted a little dance, right? What we have here is the most somber track, and my personal favorite from an amazing album by Sufjan Stevens, Age of Adz. I suggest you check out the whole album, it’s a dousy. I pulled this live performance off a great list of songs from last year I found here.

There is some sort of indescribable cadence used to wrap Steven’s lyrics in something magical. Amazing vocals, minimalist synth, and a dash of drums; what else could you want in a song?

Sufjan Stevens on Myspace

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Austra - Lose it

Simple and sublime, this tune got caught in my head almost instantaneously. Amazing vocals and a solid saturated song have me hypnotized. It’s hard for me to believe the vibrato heard throughout isn’t digital driven, but upon hearing the spot on live version there is no doubt.

I feel the video actually takes away from the listening experience, but there is some raw moment captured in cinematography. If you liked it the first time, try again with your eyes closed.

Austra on Myspace