Sunday, August 31, 2008

Top Ten Reasons You Should Adore Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

1. Their band is called Natalie Portman's Shaved Head.
2. Their debut full-length is called Glistening Pleasure.
3. This is the album cover for Glistening Pleasure.
4. They're as kitcshy as CSS, but less likely to put out a vomit-inducing, sellout sophomore album.
5. The boys really fit in at parties.
6. It is impossible to listen to 'Beard Lust' and not immediately begin popping your booty while simultaneously wishing you had a full, thick beard.
7. They put out awesome videos.
8. They want to play a show for ancient Egypt.
9. 'Look at my facial hair! / Oh man, hot damn, it's everywhere! / Where'd you get that beard? / I grew it! / How'd you get is so clean? / I SHAMPOO IT! / YEE-AHHHHHH!' - lyrics from 'Beard Lust'
10. Dude...They're called Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. Sweet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Track Review: PJ Harvey - The Piano

Polly Jean Harvey's eighth LP is probably my favorite. She's really driven away from the usual alternative rock sound that is PJ Harvey, and don't get me wrong, I enjoy her other albums as well, but in a different way. The songs on White Chalk predominately involve the piano. One of my favorite songs from this album is appropriately titled, "The Piano".

Her lyrics are truly haunting. The chorus, "Oh God I miss you" over and over several times... It really sticks with me. The acoustic guitar really ties this track together nicely. The whole song has this really solid rhythm. All of the instruments blend together and feed off one another. It's like being able to see a waterfall move in slow motion right in front of you.

I hope to here more like this from PJ Harvey. Check out White Chalk, out now.

PJ Harvey

Album Review: Akron/Family - "Love Is Simple" (2007)

The fourth, and most recent album released by the American folk-influenced experimental group, Akron/Family, is a wonderful thing. From the joyous jumpy beat of "Ed Is A Portal" to the calming, soothing sound of "Crickets" this album definitely does not disappoint as each track flows into the next. A mixture of field-recordings, white noise, and psychedelic sounds reminiscent of the sixties, alongside the vocals of Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky, and Miles Seaton, makes this album one to get your hands on.

The opening track, "Love, Love, Love (Everyone)" combines beautiful vocals and lifts you right off the ground, as the song flows perfectly into the second track, "Ed Is A Portal". This is an album I would recommend to anyone, regardless of their musical tastes. The whole experience of the album is very human, and easy to enjoy.

1. "Love, Love, Love (Everyone)"
2. "Ed Is A Portal"
3. "Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead"
4. "I've Got Some Friends"
5. "Lake Song / New Ceremonial Music For Moms"
6. "There's So Many Colors"
7. "Crickets"
8. "Phenomena"
9. "Pony's O.G"
10. "Of All The Things"
11. "Love, Love, Love 2 (Reprise)"


A few other bands to check out, if you enjoy Akron/Family:

- Animal Collective
- Panda Bear
- Band Of Horses

Track Review: Bloc Party - 'Mercury'

I've decided that Bloc Party has to be pulling some kind practical joke on the indie world. I, along with many others, praised Silent Alarm. I forgave them for A Weekend In The City, a truly horrific sophomore effort that happened to have enough cool moments to keep me moderately interested in the possibility of a return to form on their third album.
So now said third album, Intimacy, has arrived (at least in digital form), and I'm officially done with this band. Here's where the practical joke comes in: first single 'Mercury'. Are we really supposed to take this seriously? Containing the most unappealing vocal hook this side of [insert awful vocal hook here] - complete with 'Gimme More'-esque pitch shifting, I might add - I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about the song. Is this dance music? Is it supposed to ellicit some kind of emotional response with lyrics like, "I'm sitting in Soho / trying to stay drunk"?
I just don't get it. Maybe I'm a hater, but this song is terrible top-to-bottom. It's pretentious, annoying, and thoroughly unenjoyable. I want to continue to have hope for you, Bloc Party, but I think I'm moving on at this point.
Clicky that title way up thurrr, or just listen here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Track Review: Department Of Eagles - No One Does It Like You

If you enjoy the music of Grizzly Bear, then you will enjoy Department Of Eagles. Probably because it's fronted by Grizzly Bear's own, Daniel Rossen.

The melodic layering of voices carries on from the traditional Grizzly Bear sound as Chris Bear and Chris Taylor (also members of Grizzly Bear) lend their talent to this track. The folkish, poppy guitar sound by Rossen accompanied by the "doo bop" back vocals, the fantastic bass line by Taylor and the always perfect drum work of Bear make this song an instant favorite of mine. Not to mention the vocals which I assume were written by Dan. It's one of those songs that I've just left on repeat for a very long time.

Look for their new album which will be released on October 7th titled, "In Ear Park".


Department Of Eagles

Track Review: T.I. Feat. Kanye West, Jay-Z, & Lil Wayne - 'Swagger Like Us'

Yeah, I know. This track has more big-name rappers on it than there are shitty 'A Milli' freestyles, and it reeks of too many cooks in the rap kitchen. It's also produced by Kanye West. He's a world-class rapper, but when it comes to production, I think the only name that fills me with more fear is
Those are all the reasons you should be terrified of this song, and here's the reason you shouldn't: it's fucking bomb. Sampling M.I.A.'s Pineapple Express-induced chart smash 'Paper Planes', Kanye sets up a simple beat and lets some of the best rappers in the known world do all the heavy lifting. Wayne and West continue to feed their T-Pain autotune fetish, which sounds like it's getting old until you actually listen to it.
'What the fuck you boys talkin' 'bout?/I know it's us cause we the only thing to talk about' Lil Wayne spits on his show-stealing verse, which is followed by T.I. embarassing himself on what's supposed to be his own song (to appear on forthcoming album Paper Trail). He just can't hang with the stars he's brought in, which is fine because said stars carry this track without T.I.'s help.
Click the title or listen to the song here.

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

I'm not a very spontaneous person. Well, occasionally. And I guess most wouldn't even call this a spontaneous action, given that I've considered this for a while. But here we are: I've finally cracked under the imaginary pressure and created a music blog for your reading pleasure. It's nothing special right now, since I know absolutely nothing about site-making or blogging. However, one day I aspire to be Pitchfork without the stench of self-entitlement. Or maybe just a music lunatic who writes sporadic blogs to no audience in particular while hungover and eating Kraft dinner. Either works.
So, the idea here is that I'll hopefully get a few other people to contribute to this, and we'll bring you commentary on new (and I'm sure some old) music in as many genres as possible. I'm an indie kid with a soft spot for a lot of Top 40 pop and rap, so at least there'll be variety. I hope y'all enjoy.
And before things get too serious, here's some Cazwell.