June 13, 2009

Pitchfork’s semi-recent 5-10-15-20 feature is proving to strike a chord in the blogosphere.  The idea is simple:  recount the music you loved in five-year intervals of your life.  Its an excellent way to reflect, and get a better idea of the evolution of our personal tastes.  I think this is a great exercise for any music lover, and for this reason, I’ve decided to take a stab.

Age 5…

Land Before Time OST, James Horner

I just remember watching this movie, and being totally devastated by the sounds I was hearing.  When Littlefoot’s mother succumbs to death, and the Tree Star becomes his only artifact of her life, the strings and choir swell up and that’s the cue to let the tears start flowing.  I see the movie now and it still brings me back to that place.  Since then I’ve developed an intense love for Don Bluth’s films and James Horner remains one of my favorite film composers.

Age 10…

Tracy Chapman “Fast Car”

I had heard this song for the first time on the radio from the back seat of my mum’s car, and even then, I wondered what it was doing there.  It seemed so out of place alongside everything else.  So much more honest and sad.  I went years without knowing who it was, and when I finally find out, it was one of those rare exciting moments when you’re able to return to a very open and basic state.  I had uncovered a lost treasure.

Age 15…

Daniel Johnston’s Hi How Are You

Sample: “I Am A Baby (In My Universe)” mp3

When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I began my search for music that explored unfamiliar places, and I found a lot of stuff that would prove hugely influential later in my life.  Chief among the golden records I discovered were Nirvana’s Bleach and Incesticide, Pixies’ Doolittle, and Meat Puppets’ II.  But the one I remember most vividly, that had literally opened up an entirely new world for me is Danny J’s Hi How Are You.  Nothing, even still, has sounded so isolated, so lonely and delicate and absolutely true.  It wasn’t until then that I realized how deep into the soul a simple recording could plunge.

Age 20…

Beach Boy’s  Smile Sessions

Sample: “Heroes and Villains Suite” mp3

The Smile sessions are the holy grail of bootlegs.  In Wilson, we get a uniquely “American” story of a man who worked his way to the top, and inevitably endured a crushing defeat when his masterpiece was challenged by a world unkind to brilliance.  Pet Sounds had affected me in profound ways, but when I heard the rough sketches of Wilson’s rightful magnum opus, Smile,  it completely altered the way I viewed pop music.  Here was a man that, according to pop legend, undertook the greatest challenge of all – to top the Beatles.  Had Smile been finished in ’67, I have no doubt it would have changed the course of music history.  As it stands, it is, and will forever be, the great unfinished album of all time.

Here are a few other musical reflections I found.  Great stuff.

mog (really dig this one)

Premium Proletariat Expression

life is a playlist.


Spreading the Love – Comfortcomes

March 18, 2009

So I have recently begun writing for a music website called comfortcomes.com.  It produces a sizable amount of content daily and is generally quite respectful to up-and-coming acts, which makes it a great team to be a part of.

Last week my first review was posted for the latest release from indie pop darlings the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  Witness my tedious nostalgia as I recount the band’s glory days and wonder what the hell happened here.

Here’s a teaser, or more of a synopsis I suppose, for the lazy jerks who refuse to open a new window or simply hate reading 400 word reviews (I know I do):

For their latest, the band recruited producers Nick Launay (Talking Heads, Kate Bush, INXS) and Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio, who has been consistently involved in the band’s repertoire. The final result is perhaps the most uniform full length the band has produced, and as such, it maintains a pleasant – albeit unexciting – middleground.

Someone needs to tell this band that the ’80’s are over, and that when they were here, they weren’t all that great.

Be sure to visit the band’s website and listen to their new single here!