Monthly Archives: September 2009

Where do you see yourself in a year from now?

so tomorrow marks 1 year of nick thinks…

does it? ah I see, so…yes.

I don’t know what to do.

does anybody else know? will anybody notice?

it’s possible.

it’s unlikely.

does that matter?

well if they notice, they might expect us to do something, if they don’t notice then what does it matter?

do you have a message for the folks out there?

ehm…for those that have been reading from the beginning, you are very brave, the world needs more people like you.

if there were more people like you in the world maybe we wouldn’t be in the mess we are right now.

so you can tell your parents, your partner, your spiritual adviser, we think, no… Nick thinks you are wonderful.

and isn’t that what really matters?

well I think we need some change.

like what?

I’m not sure, the way I see it we only have a two options – stop it altogether, or change it. we have to progress no?

yes…we could add a check list, where we rate every CD we review on a number of predetermined criteria, like a star system. originality, musicality, recording quality, lyrics, melodics.

yeah?

yeah that could work.

it also gives us the opportunity to rate them quicker than we have up to now. like we wouldn’t have to say anything about them, just give it a mark or something.

we could even ask our visitors to suggest criteria.

well I think people come here because of what you say….they find it…

quaint? silly?

well then we can have it in addition to the quaint and silly things I say.

how easy is it to insert a visual?

very easy.

so here’s an idea – express every LP we listen to in a little drawing.

”if this piece of music were a painting it would look like this…”

I was actually thinking of something similar not too long ago.

I also reckon we should change the music we review…

like play it backwards?

no I mean, you know what I mean.

change the type of music? I think we cover a wide variety of music on the site.

yes but… y’see, I was talking to Lisa a while ago…

which Lisa?

from down the road.

oh ok.

and she said she really loved the blog, but she didn’t have a clue who any of the bands were.

isn’t that a good thing? we’re introducing people to new music right?

well, I’d say after reading most of your reviews no one would want to listen to whatever we’d just reviewed.

like…I think a lot of people get a kick out of reading about what you have to say about an album they already know.

so I reckon we should open it up to include stuff that isn’t ‘my record collection’.

like do some stuff that’s actually really popular.

Coldplay?

Jay-Z?

YES! I like him, it’s funny a lot of music appreciation is about attention. if you had played me some Jay-Z last week I would’ve had you turn it off right away. but then I watched that show about him last week, and heard him talk about his music and where he’s coming from, and I started paying attention to the lyrics and now…..well I reckon the man’s a genius!

So…ok let’s have a change of attitude.

either that or we shut it down.

are you fed up with it?

no no, it’s just that…a year is nice.

two years isn’t?

oh two years is fine too, but one year and three months? one year and eight months? bleurg.

well let’s go for another year and review the situation then.

ok?

ok.

I hope I don’t have to live at home for another year.

maybe I’ll die next year!

jesus.

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Seven Inch Showdown!

Ok so today we’re gonna review six 7”s released this year. six bands, two songs apiece, to see who you hate the least.

hahaha, ok.

ferg&gerg

Fergus & Geronimo – Harder Than It’s Ever Been bw/ Last Letter (Woodsist)

I don’t know if they meant for it to be like that, but it was recorded very rough, and as usual, I’ve heard it all before, nothing great about it but it’s fine-ish.


sicalmansion

Sic Alps – L. Mansion bw/ Superlungs My Supergirl (Slumberland)

sounds like a very amateurish rendering of early Beatles stuff.

are you saying they have the potential to become ‘the greatest band in the world ever’?

haha no! they are just imitating the early work of ‘the greatest band in the world ever’.

they have a lot to learn.

these guys are a school band, the guys from sixth form playing at the end of  year concert.

fratdad

Frat Dad – Greg the Nerd bw/ Freak in Nature (Underwater Peoples)

did they just record one of their rehearsals?

they haven’t decided which colour to paint with.

basically, what I’m saying is they don’t know what to do.

they’re hoping people can’t hear how bad it is under the muddled mess.

NEXT!

nodzzzttl

Nodzzz – True to Life bw/ Good Times Crowd (What’s Your Rupture?)

boring, dreary, amateurish, like….yeah? well, everything like that.

not good.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

caveweddingsThe Cave Weddings – Bring Your Love bw/ Let’s Drive (Hozac)

these guys are second best so far, after Geronimo and whoever.

again it’s all so totally predictable, school band stuff. no real musical ideas, no real… it’s derivative, all of it.

remember when I’d go see you playing at battle of the bands things? it’s like that.

it’s not surprising though is it? there are so many people making music these days, you can’t expect them all to be good.

it’s like when I used to teach in Dun Laoghaire, out of a class of twenty, you’d be lucky to have one real talent.

I wonder how many bands there are in America? tens of thousands surely.

in good times…maybe 1% would be good? and out of that 1%, 5% might be really excellent.

of course, we are….well we forget that the reproductive media have raised the expectations of our standards, you watch premiership football on the telly, and suddenly everything that isn’t premiership football is ‘crap’. even though it actually isn’t at all crap it just seems that way because we’re fed the best.

same goes for music.

and really, bands like this you should really listen to in context, and listening to it on record is wrong, you expect recorded music to sound professional, I should go see these guys play in their local village hall, with people having beers and just enjoying the music.

we’ve still got one more to go, maybe they’ll turn everything around for you.

realblues

Real Estate – Fake Blues bw/ Green River (Half Machine)

They are WAY ahead of all the rest.

are you just saying that because the recording is cleaner than the others?

no, no, they actually have ‘a sound’ they know what they’re about.

they also sound modern, all the rest sound so dated, they could’ve come from the early sixties or whenever.

Real Estate are the winners, I actually like that.

I don’t dislike Fergus & Geronimo either but Real Estate I would probably buy.

The others? if they came on the radio…I would switch it off.

http://www.myspace.com/fergusgeronimo
http://www.sicalps.com/

http://www.myspace.com/wearefratdad
http://www.myspace.com/
nodzzz

http://www.myspace.com/thecaveweddings
http://www.myspace.com/letsrockthebeach

Candy Claws – In The Dream Of The Sea Life (Indiecater, 2009)

cndyclwsNick: Candy Claws? as opposed to Santy Claus?

I never thought of it like that but yeah…maybe, probably not.

In The Dream of The Sea Life? strange but interesting title.

oh, I can hear the sea life already.

{later}

can we pause it? I’m going to the toilet.

are the water sounds affecting you?

no, the water has given way to esoteric drivel, which is what the whole thing seems to be.

unless this dramatically changes it wouldn’t even make interesting background music.

with the title and the way it starts, you’d think it would make decent music for a large aquarium, but they can’t even do that.

I always find it so amazing that people who are… no doubt… musical, can put so much effort and time into something so dull, this is just wallpaper.

albums are supposed to do something.

I always think that music has to have a certain amount of conviction. so that you’ll be able to hear that this is something that they really wanted to do.

and these guys didn’t know what they wanted?

I reckon they just tried to make something that was ‘up to date’ or ‘interesting’ but it doesn’t come across as… y’know…. it’s difficult to explain this but….I’m finding it hard to express.

maybe they had the same problem when they were making this?

haha, YES! they probably did.

if you compare this to the visual arts, like the exhibition we were at yesterday, all the best stuff has a certainty of expression, ‘THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SAY’, this has no conviction.

it’s like somebody making a speech and getting up and just going ‘ahhh..eh yeah uhh..’

know what I mean?

The first ever physical release from the always great Indiecater Records, ITDOTSL is a {WATER ANALOGY} trip through {SOMETHING ABOUT BUBBLES / FOAMING SEA} coming up for air every now and then to {SUNSHINE / BEACH} but always {DROWNING IS SUPPOSED TO BE A GRAND WAY TO DIE, ACCORDING TO LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER DIED FROM DROWNING}. It’s really lovely.

Stream / Buy the record HERE.

The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (Warner Bros, 1999)

the-soft-bulletinNick: This is a classic?

yeah, to some folk, lots actually.

I don’t know if I can handle a classic today.

{track 1: Race For The Prize}

strange, I’ve heard this numerous times before but I’ve never been so aware of the keyboards.

maybe you’re high?

you reckon?

you’re probably gonna find this a very strange remark…

ok.

it very much reminds me of David Bowie.

I don’t find that strange.

ok.

what about it makes you think of Bowie?

the…the sort of storytelling shape of the songs, if that makes any sense.

I think there’s a sort of…

again, I like it a lot but as usual, it’s all too similar.

like, it’s very interesting up to a point, but by now {track 5} I’ve heard it all before.

nothing new happening.

let’s hear something else.

in virtually every song he sings slow words with lots of space between.

”RAHHHH………..DAHHHH………..YLAHHHH”

come on guys!

on the other hand you could argue that that is their strength, it gives them their sound.

you hear something and you can immediately tell it’s The Flaming Lips.

in March of this year, Wayne Coyne said of the Arcade Fire:

“I’m a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness … We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. Whenever I’ve been around them, I’ve found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit. They treated everybody in their vicinity like shit. I thought, ‘Who do they think they are?’…I don’t care if it’s Arcade Fire or Brian Eno. If either of them walked into a room and treated people like shit I’d be like, ‘Fuck you, get outta here.’… They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ’em.

are you gonna let him talk about your favorite band that way?

haha, well they’re not my favorite band, but he could be completely right, what would I know?

I’ve never met them but they’ve never treated me like shit either.

{track 9 – The Gash}

ah! all of a sudden it sounds different.

it also gets dangerously close to soft, sentimental pop.

it doesn’t quite hit that but it gets close.

I’ve been on the ‘FLips’ website for a few minutes now, and I honestly can’t find the release date for their new album anywhere. Well, you can listen to it here and pre-order a ridiculous special edition hairy box type thing  here.

Oh I see it now, Embryonic will be released on the 13th of October.

http://www.myspace.com/flaminglips


Goodtime John – Dark Slipped It’s Cloak (Self Released, 2009)

gtjdarkNick: Nice photo.

Goodtime John?

yes

and is he? or…..has he?

has he a good time?

all the time.

he sounds like one of those old delta bluesmen, is he?

nope.

so he’s like Mumblin’ Deaf Ro then?

he wants to trick you.

is it your speakers or is his voice being drowned out by the music?

it’s just the way it’s mixed I guess, doesn’t sound too drowned out to me.

it’s quite nice music, nothing…..quite gloomy.

they bore me quite quickly if everything is at the same slow tempo.

and this tempo is not just slow but gloomy too.

it was recorded by Phil Elverum, last week you called his music gloomy.

I’m consistent.

there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, if you know what I mean.

obviously we’re in the…..

I guess we’ll never know.
This is Autumn music and it is free.

Go get it here: http://darkslippeditscloak.blogspot.com/

Taken by Trees – Open Field (Rough Trade, 2007)

tbtofNick: It’s very… nice.

it’s a bit… I mean, it’s nicely written, arranged and performed and very pleasant to listen to.

but it’s a bit precious, it’s the voice.

I would eh…

if this were a book it would be, very well written ‘chick-lit’.

who’s your favorite ‘chick-lit’ author?

ha, I don’t know any, I try not to read the stuff.

don’t get me wrong, lot’s of it is beautifully written, it just makes me sick.

it’s almost too pretty.

the main problem is there’s no contrast, sweet sweet sweet all the way through.

it’s like….ickkkg sickeningly sweet.

do you think she shoulda got Tom Waits in for some backing vocals, maybe a rap by Ol’ Dirty Bastard?

well, it needs something less sugary, anything.

{record ends}

oh is that it?

uh-huh, short and sweet, yeah?

heh, not short enough.

I hate to say that you know, because it’s very nice, beautiful voice and all that but it’s too much, after the third song it’s dripping with honey.

you start to gag on it.

does she have pig-tails? wearing a little gingham dress festooned with little yellow roses?

I could cope with one song a week, maybe.

I like to listen to this when I’m in the gym pumping iron. Victoria Bergsman has a new record out on September 7th on Rough Trade. Watch a ‘mini-documentary’ about the making of it here.

http://www.myspace.com/takenbytreesmusic

The Microphones – The Glow pt 2 (K, 2001)

glowpttoo

{track 2 – The Glow pt 2}

Nick: oooh, very abrupt ending.

it almost feels as if something went wrong there.

is this one person?

almost.

{track 3 – The Moon}

huh?

another track with a weird ending, this album is characterised by it’s strange endings.

it’s like they were listening back to it, and just cut the tape at a certain point.

it’s dark, and filmic.

not what you’d call uplifting.

for some reason, I don’t know quite why, it feels like a work in progress rather than something that is finished.

but I like it.

there’s some subtle experimentation in it, which I normally don’t like, normally it’s just for the sake of experimentation, but here it works.

there’s a lot of ehm…..sort of unexpected bits in it.

you discover things.

yeah, there’s something very theatrical about it, it’s very visual music.

what do you see when listen to it?

oh….. lot’s of things.

it’s contemplative, gloomy….which I find a bit of ehhh………

I mean actually he does sound like he’s suffering, as if he’s ill.

‘poooooor meee’ you know?

I still expect him to go into the studio one day to finish it.

there’s almost too much contrast, there’s bits where it sounds like it just him and his guitar, and then it suddenly goes to this huge…I wouldn’t say noise but this big….thing.

and you don’t like that?

well…..it’s quite strange.

{track 20 – My Warm Blood [almost ten minutes of fog-horn, heartbeats, static and buried treasure]}

is this still it?

yep.

well this is just silly, this is what I’m talking about, gloomy.

It’s getting to the time where people start compiling their ‘top ___ albums of the decade’, I’m gonna try to not get sucked in, I just wanna say that this was the best record released in the last ten years. It changed everything for me.

http://www.pwelverumandsun.com/