Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen passed away today. I would like to take it as a sign and share three of my favorite songs of his. As a young adult, his art had a significant impact on me and it would be a disservice not to honor it. They are, in order:

1. Leonard Cohen - The Partisan


2. Leonard Cohen - Joan of Arc

3. Leonard Cohen - Sing Another Song, Boys

Cohen is perhaps best known for Hallelujah, and while I consider it one of his best, it doesn't make the top three. I have seen others posting on behalf on the singer/songwriter, but wanted to make sure these songs, which I found most dear, made their way into the lives of more folks. A contemporary of Bob Dylan (who was recently honor with a Nobel prize), I found Cohen writing to equally poetic, and his voice just as iconic. I regret not having shared his music before, but I remember him today.

Monday, December 28, 2015

You Won't - Ten Years Old

Short and sweet. Touching and bold. I can't keep myself from these cutting vocals and tender melodies, that is until a heart-pounding wall of sound kicks down the door.

I find the brass horn a fantastic addition to the middle of this piece, where elsewhere I have little taste for them. If you have some time, I recommend checking out more of their 2012 album "Skeptic Goodbye".

You Won't on SoundCloud

Saintseneca - Only The Young Die Good

I've found it helpful to "subscribe" to record labels on Youtube. Now and again, something amazing comes through I'd never have found otherwise. A couple months ago Saintseneca's album Dark Arc appeared in its entirety, and it was just that - amazing. (Song starts at 0:11)

This particular recording comes not from the album, but from a live session in the WPTS radio station. This is my favorite microphone recording I've ever heard (but only if you really turn it up), so hats off to their audio folks.

Saintseneca on MySpace

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Key is a Key - Jewel King

This ones comes from an eclectic Danish group, who cover an tremendous breadth of musical styles. I have a soft spot for where they've landed on this one of course. A slow-burning, pseudo gypsy-tune which invokes causes big and small.

I believe this band was together for some time before their guitarist grew into his own and began to lend his voice to their their songs. A pleasant surprise.

A Key is a Key on Facebook

Ramona Falls - Russia

I've been lucky to have several friends who are musicians, and are grateful when they share what they are passionate about. Ramona Falls was introduced to me by my friend Ian, by way of another Ramona Falls' video, the block-print, paper-crafted I Say Fever, which is most impressive in its own right. However, Russia is more up my alley, with its layered instrumentation and on-edge vocals.

I particularly love the photography of this music video, as well as the not-so-subtle message of chasing love only to have it taken away by heaven itself.

Ramona Falls on Myspace

Mariee Sioux - Buried In Teeth

Whether it is a terrifying dreamscape or a coalescing mysticism, one way or the other another world is painted by the lyrics chosen Mariee Sioux Sobonya.

I find the a razors edge between wisdom and fright laid bare by this tune. Yet, despite the complex imagery every chord is warm and inviting, like a new home.

Mariee Sioux on Myspace

Tammar - Yung Jun

I ran across Tammar about a year ago, and they have everything I like about shoegaze rock and yet, manage to transcend the genre (as I think of it) by taking the low humming rhythm and bringing it to a crescendo. What eventually comes is a true-roots rock'n'roll sound that pulls all my strings.

This song is one I could listen to again and again. The melody and beat captures me, but the vocals won't let me go. I'll leave you with another incredible performance from the same album, Visits - a song called Last Line. Bring on the encore!

Tammar on Myspace

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