Going to play around with lots of smaller posts again for a while. This one is about upcoming music.
M83.-Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011
I really like the new M83. album. I, like so many others, anticipated it greatly and Anthony Gonzalez (who is M83.) built it up as a great epic. Well it is and it isn’t. So it is that while I like the M83. album I wanted to capital L-Love it and I can’t say that I do. It has brought new rewards with subsequent re-listens. I’m aware of the tricks in the M83 bag so I know what changes Gonzalez has made from past albums.
The double-album clocks in at 74-minutes but feels incredibly compact. This is the fastest moving M83. album by far. Gonzalez has decides to use numerous 1-2 minute interlude tracks to build the dreamy landscape of HUWD. That is a huge compliment this album has a feeling of constructiveness and world-building that is enchanting if not, for me, entrancing. Past M83. song have had longer run times and these singles had very moving sweep. I compliment him for trying to translate that to an album length by inverting (is that the right word?) his formula. But it does lead to far fewer standouts as far as songs go. The “Intro” with Zola Jesus has this wailing evangelical choir chant that makes for a strong start. The lead single “Midnight City” will burn into your brain with its snoot trumpet rhythm and a Sax solo that 100 percent fucking lands. “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” is where Gonzalez finally creates a spoken word track that not only works but, where past spoken word efforts have been painful to get through/skip button worthy, works spectacularly well thinks to its Nintendo candy-coated rhythm.
But these all have standard 3-5 minute run times and I miss the long-form textures of old. Especially at the end where the standard 10 minute plus closer of old is nowhere to be found. Usually the most mesmerizing of M83. songs (the choir-riffic “Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun”, the subtle hum of “Midnight Souls Still Remain”, the intricate “Beauties Can Die”) I do miss it an opportunity for an epic close to an epic album.
That said it is an impressive, fast-moving, texture rich work whose ambitions I appreciate and whose value will definitely grow over time. But, I can learn to love you!
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011
Some stuff I’ve listened to in bite-sized snippets that get me a shit-load of hits. Some of these are from last year and I’m listening to them now because I didn’t know they existed last year because I’m not fucking the cool like you are and know about Three Eyes Blind and The Ghostbusters, you hepcats.
This is that sort of symphonic Euro-pop, like Camera Obscura or Belle and Sebastian, that is in no way manly to like as much as I do.
Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped
This is like my third favorite album this year. An album whose pop high flows are very, very high and whose ebbs are noble misses, which is the nicest way I could figure out how to say that.
Everything is Dancing
It’s like Vampire Weekend minus the douchebag college boy thing that makes everybody hate Vampire Weekend. Thirty minutes of this is the right amount.
Man, just read the Wikipedia entry on this band. They know a lot of people with stylish skinny pants and such. This is boring in spots like most of my encounters with anything called “lo-fi” but the opener is the straight-up shit, gang.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011
I do Music stuff so little , I feel that I always have to preface with the fact that I’m not very good at it. I can’t reference bands to other bands and name techniques all that well. So these will be very short impressions.
Gloss Drop, 2011
High energy and driving, rewarding if you can keep up with or match the enthusiasm here.
Bon Iver, 2011
Did not care for their 2008 debut as it was boring but I haven’t listened to it since then so I might like it better now. By comparison this seems better produced, maybe more produced. The instrumentals are more lush and play along better to the cadence of the vocals better. The last track is my favorite, a balls-out adult contemporary Peter Cetera jam.
Return of the Century, 2010
Apparently this is a revamped version of the line-up. I’ve only listened to bits of their 2007 debut material and this seems to maintain the same Belle & Sebastian-style with maybe the lyrics being a bit more subversive here. I’m a sucker for upbeat songs about being sad, what can I say?
Black Up, 2011
I can 100% understand why people like this. It’s very well-constructed lo-fi Hip Hop. But I just can’t put any skin into the game here and so can only respect what it accomplishes.
I Am Very Far, 2011
I was really anticipating this from the moment it was announced and it was pretty locked in for my album of the year at that point. Good thing it is actually Okkervil River’s best, most-cohesive as a whole, and successfully but not alienatingly experimental album. The high points are the highest they’ve reached, there are no low points, every song is progressive and hooky. Good fucking work, man.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011
1. So last week the mash-up mega dj Girl Talk came to town and I attended said event.
2. I really quite enjoyed it once it got going and the crowd really did too which is saying something because Charlotte crowds can be very constrained.
3. I read that Girl Talk’s on-the-spot mashing is kept to a small amount, a rehearsed show with a bit of freedom for innovation and a lower chance of, I guess, bad mashing. If I could remember where I read it I’d link it. Sorry.
4. That said it seemed like he was experimenting ALOT during the show, 95% of the material seemed to be new or re-mashed, different songs from the album mashed against other songs from the album.
5. He mostly stuck with All Day and Feed the Animals as his basis.
6. Some of the mixes worked very well quite a few did not. By that I mean it wasn’t up to Girl Talk standard. I say that understanding that the Girl Talk standard comes from two years of meticulous work and so how could it be as good spur of the moment. Anyway that just makes it really good DJ-ing.
Let’s talk about All Day for a second. This is Girl Talk’s longest album. 71 minutes and according to him meant to be ingested in a single sitting. That’s a hell of a task to begin with. Ingesting any Girl Talk album in a single sitting is very tiring. It may also be missing the point? It’s not the forest were here to see it’s the trees? That sounds like the right metaphor. Because were not here to take in the breadth, it’s not the scope that matters to us, though it can be admired. No matter what All Day can’t be seen as a single song, an opus of many many many many many many many movements. And not because it’s not good enough for it (it is HIS music, he MADE this, he COMPOSED this) but it’s so hard to reconcile a whole from the parts. It’s all about the little things when it comes to a Girl Talk album. The transitions. And here they get a little ignored for longer cuts, stretchier mash-ups longer chances for something to work or to not work. On Night Ripper and Feed the Animals there were several times I wished a certain cut would’ve lasted longer but having had that wished fulfilled on All Day it’s better that they didn’t. The taste is the best thing.
That’s not to say I didn’t like All Day. I like it quite a lot and there is plenty to pick apart and chew on and the long cuts that DO work (and a cut that works for me may not work for others, it’s very subjective) work very well and stand as his finest work. I would say that some whittling down is in order for next time and 3 minute song seems harder to me than a minute one. Feel free to school me on any of this though everybody, I’m not a musician or a music critic I could be waaaaayyy off about all of this.
7. You can’t hear the tiny transitions in a venue the way you can in your headphones, car, wherever and so rather he seemed to have an underlying beat that played across the entire time. Or it seemed so to me, I might be wrong, it was a big sweaty dancing time and this is all from memory.
8. And it was a big sweaty dancing time. That place was so fucking humid that steam was pouring out the door at the end of the show. He (Girl Talk) was complimentary of this fact.
9. I missed the opening band. I had a good dinner though.
10. Shit, Girl Talk is first and foremost party music. Mission accomplished there from an album and live standpoint.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011