Jack Kerouac, as Sal Paradise once said: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." And I think that's a rather apt description of my blog over the years, and perhaps the most perfect description of me in general that I've ever read. So that's what this blog is, a collection of the falling stars that are beckoning me at any time.

10 July 2006

This is probably why I don't write music reviews

As I'm a hopeless music addict I thought I'd also start doing a random set of reviews of things I've downloaded or listened to in a week. Thus providing content to this journal in these times when nothing is particularly going on in my life otherwise to write about. I'm so generally long-winded it's an interesting exercise to blurb like this.

This week's downloads (part 1):
nobody and mystic chords of memory-- tree colored see: what it is: Sweeping alt-country Americana mixed with electronic elements and hip hop that makes for a genuinely satisfying indie pop record, and a perfect addition to your summer soundtrack. Just listening to the tracks surrounds you in an aural version of hazy summer heat and floating idly in a canoe down the creek or lounging on a picnic blanket somewhere in a wooded clearing (or maybe I've been down the basement too long and I'm hallucinating the childhood I didn't actually live, but imagined I would have if only I could have lived in the books I read growing up.) I wouldn't be surprised if this album pops up on some year end best of lists.

Ed Harcourt-- the beautiful lie: Apparently, this chap is rather prolific. I don't know how I've missed him before, probably because I'm not the sort who usually downloads lush pop singer-songwriter type albums, mainly because that genre is full of utter shite (like James Blunt), but lately I've been more willing to give anything a shot, and this album is well worth it. What it is: the sort of sweet mainly acoustic pop album whose tracks you could imagine on a thoughtful gen-x romantic comedy's soundtrack. You'll likely like it if you like: M Ward, Tom Waits or The Eels My favourite songs: 'you only call me when you're drunk', 'I'm the drug' 'the last cigarette' and 'whirlwind in d minor'

Peeping Tom: You can always trust that a Mike Patton project will be different and interesting. They all sound slightly like an AM easy listening channel run through a perverterator, and would probably soundtrack a porn film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but that's interesting right? Of course it is. Peeping Tom is actually a soundtrack of sorts, the project was inspired by the 1960 thriller. Collaborators include Amon Tobin, Dose One, Massive Attack, Kool Keith and Norah Jones. The Norah Jones track 'sucker' is genius. Made to be listened to: while driving downtown at night or at any party where you want to invoke a slightly seedy stripclub that for some reason is where to too hip to trend hop congregate. Best tracks: 'five seconds', 'mojo' and 'sucker'

quasi-- when the going gets dark Quasi remains a darker more sonically complex cynical and bitter Ben Folds five. The music is harder and less twee than before, but still unmistakably quasi. Best tracks: 'I don't know you anymore' and 'death culture blues'

casiotone for the painfully alone-- etiquette Owen Ashworth is sounding a bit scarily like Connor Oberst on his new album, well minus that obnoxious tremolo. If you think I'm kidding, listen to 'young shields.' Etiquette is a much slicker, more produced effort than the previous albums, the lofi casiotone is still there, but it sounds more like an instrument rather than a gimmick this time. Overall a really nice progression musically and a worthwhile album. best tracks: 'young shields', 'I love creedance' and 'bobby malone moves home'

Gomez-- how we operate: Gomez is one of those bands that I never got into despite the many times they were supposed to be on the cusp of being the next best thing. They still sound like they're on the cusp of being big, but I mean they sound like they're on the edge of being great, not that this album could put them into the big. Don't get me wrong, it's an alright album, though I think it sounds like it could have come out 10 years ago as much as today it has a kind of bland 90s alt-rock timelessness about it.

Keane-- Under the Iron Sea Dear Keane, Why do all the songs on your new album sound exactly alike? And why do they sound like they could also be on a Coldplay album? Is it because someone told you that the world needed more coldplay songs, but Chris Martin could only write so many at a time so you thought you'd bravely step in to fill the void we all felt? To be honest, I like Keane more than I like Coldplay, mainly because as soon as 'Yellow' hit the airwaves I immediately loathed Martin et al for making me want to puncture my eardrums. I'll probably not delete the album from my harddrive just in case I ever have one of those days where I need to wear a thin floaty blouse and khakis and walk through the rain in the park distressed about fucking up and mucking up a relationship with my soulmate, because we all know this would be the soundtrack for that montage that ends in a profoundly revealing makeout session while the synths swell to orchestral levels, and I'm certainly not doing the makeup makeout to coldplay.

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