Mar 302008

“But here I dreamt I was an architect”

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For you Decemberists/Tarkio/Colin Meloy fans in the audience, Mr. Meloy has recently announced dates for his upcoming 2008 tour.  Alas, I doubt I’ll be making it to the two shows here in the Pacific Northwest (he’s hitting Seattle and Portland, no surprise there), but if you can make to one of his gigs, I’m sure it’ll be worth the trip.

4/7 – Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa
4/8 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
4/10 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
4/11 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
4/12 – Charlottesville, VA – The Satellite Ballroom
4/13 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
4/15 – Somerville, MA Somerville Theatre
4/16 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg
4/17 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg
4/18 – Buffalo, NY – The Tralf
4/19 – Toronto, ONT – Phoenix Concert Theatre
4/21 – Chicago, IL – Park West
4/22 – Milwaukee, WI – The Pabst Theater
4/23 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theater
4/25 – Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
4/26 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
4/28 – Los Angeles, CA – Henry Fonda Theatre
4/29 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Rio Theatre
4/30 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
5/2 – Seattle, WA – Showbox
5/3 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom

His new solo album (which includes original material, as well as Decemberists and Tarkio tunes) is out April 8th.  Preorder info here.

Mar 292008

Hey folks, looks like there’s a new version of WordPress out, so I’ll be updating the blog. If things go well, you won’t notice anything different with the blog and may safely disregard this post. If things go poorly, well, there’s a chance you won’t be able to even SEE this post.

Really, this post is pretty useless.

Anyway, here goes.

Update: Okay, after somehow managing to botch it once, I got the thing upgraded, so it should be all good to go.

Mar 292008

“Okay, this is how it’s gonna go”

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Good news for all you Moby fans out there.  The scrawny, bald genius has put the entirety of his forthcoming album Last Night up for streaming from his MySpace page.  Check it out.  I haven’t listened to the whole thing, yet, but I like what I’ve heard.

And if you aren’t reading it already, you should definitely check out his blog.  It’s pretty brilliant.

Mar 272008

Well, I haven’t quite got everything set up yet, but it looks like the post-migration was successful. Feel free to kick around the new site and let me know how it works for you. If anyone has any problems leave a comment here or shoot my an email at the (dot) tarquin on the gmail (dot) com server. (*Paranoid grumbling about spam bots*)

Mar 272008

"Click…Off…Gone"

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Well, Blogger. As my good friend Matt used to say: “it’s been real, and it’s been fun, but it hasn’t been real fun.”

Actually, that’s not true. It’s been a blast. It’s just, well, I have my own place now. And, uh, there’s this other blog that I’ve been kind of been thinking of writing on and… Well. Sorry, Blogger, but I’m moving out.

The move will take awhile and hopefully nothing will get broken or lost on the way. (Oh, who am I kidding, things ALWAYS get lost or broken during a move.) Anyway, if all goes as planned, but the time I’m off at No Excuses Thursday tonight, this blog (and its archives), should be all up and hosted at my new site.

What new site is this, you ask?

TheTarquin.com!

There isn’t much there, at the moment. And right now I’m planning only on hosting two blogs there, this one, and my new personal blog, The Blag Switch.

So it may take a bit, but hopefully in the next hour or so, this blog should be available at http://www.thetarquin.com/FiftyTwoTuesdays

Be sure to also check out my other blog, recently started at http://www.thetarquin.com/BlagSwitch

See you at the new digs!

(Major hat tip to my new e-Roomie, Heather, who’s letting me share her spiffy Dreamhost account.)

UPDATE: Now with the proper address for my new blog.

Mar 262008

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of my favorite songs of all time. And I realized today that, of all the powerful lines in it, the one that gets me the most is “you don’t really care for music, do you?”

And, after a brief discussion with one of my housemates last night (and to occupy you all until I get this site switch done and get on top of things enough to resume regular posting), I think it’s musical meme time.

So, in the comments, list:

1.) Your favorite version of “Hallelujah”. If you’re not familiar with many versions, there are good ones by Leonard Cohen (the original artist), Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, and others. A YouTube search should turn up plenty of versions.

2.) Your favorite lyrical line (or lines).

3.) One artist you’d like to hear covering it that hasn’t.

My answers:

1.) John Cale. More expressive vocals than Cohen’s original, better piano playing than Wainwright’s, and Buckley’s has always sounded mopey to me.

2.) “All I ever learned from love is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.”

3.) Regina Spektor. She has the perfect voice for it, and definitely has the piano chops to do a very cool piano-accompanied version of the song.

Update: The brilliant, wonderful and all-around fantabulous Heather has informed me that Regina Spektor has, indeed, done a cover of Hallelujah. She also points me to this blog post, which links to a number of other covers, many of which I never knew existed.

In short, Heather is made of pure, uncut win.

Mar 252008

Blog Hiatus/Moving Time

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Hey folks. I’m sorry to do this to you, but I think I’m going to be delaying this weeks review until next week.

I know, I know. But this time it’s different because a.) I’m telling you in advance and b.) I have good reasons!

Basically I’m massively behind in thesis and job work and this week is going to be a catchup week. I’m also planning to move this blog over to my spiffy new website that I’ve recently acquired (thanks to the generosity of my new cyber-roommate, Heather, who’s letting me share her Dreamhost account with her.)

So, catchup week and a move, and hopefully I’ll be more on top of things next week.

In the meantime here’s some creepy, but groovy video goodness, courtesy of The Toadies:

Mar 202008

Well, with a tie in last week’s voting, I’m casting my deciding for Yael Naim. Not only does her single get firmly wedged into my brain whenever I hear it, but it’s been awhile since we had a flat-out pop album reviewed around here.

Your voting options this week include the latest from Counting Crows (their first in 6 years), fop rockers Panic at the Disco, and indie super-group the Raconteurs.

And with that. Options!

Counting Crows, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (LINK)
Crash Romeo, Gave Me The Clap (LINK)
Panic At The Disco, Pretty. Odd (LINK)
Pennywise, Reason To Believe (LINK)
The Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely (LINK)

Mar 202008

Artist: Flogging Molly
Album: Float
Label: Side One Dummy
Release Date: Tuesday, 2008.3.4
Score: 8.5/10

Flogging Molly’s fourth studio album, Float, is a return to form for the band, after 2004’s more slightly more experimental album, Within a Mile of Home. Float features the same sort of solid, energetic Celt rock that fans will be well familiar with, minus some of the genre-blurring goofiness of their last album. This gives it an overall feel much closer to Drunken Lullabies than their more recent Within a Mile of Home.

“Lightning Storm”, for example wouldn’t sound out of place on Swagger or Drunken Lullabies, with its fast-paced, snare-driven drums and sweeping, brogued vocal lines. It effortlessly combines Gaelic-sounding violins with thick guitar power chords and shows off the band’s ability to seamlessly combine the two disparate styles. “On The Back of a Broken Dream” makes good use of rattling, energetic drums and smooth vocal lines to create a similarly effective combination.

As with previous albums, two the band’s biggest strengths are Dave King’s powerful, expressive voice and his distinctive lyrical style. As with previous releases, the lyrics often have a political theme, and usually a fairly straight-forward one at that (“there’s a government whip cracked across your back”). Where the lyrics aren’t political, they cover themes familiar to Flogging Molly fans: love, loss, alienation and the ex patriot experience.

Musically, while sounding closer to their earlier work than their last album, Float seems to make heavier use of Flogging Molly’s Celtic folk roots than previous albums. On most tunes, the electric guitars are relegated to harmonic support and musical texture. Melodies are primarily carried in the vocal and violin lines and the drums are syncopated and snare-heavy. The net effect is that Float is decidedly more of a folk album than it is a rock album, and much more so than its aesthetic predecessors, Drunken Lullabies and Swagger.

Overall, Float, feels like a much mature album than Flogging Molly’s previous works. All of the elements which seemed to be at times at odds with one another come together remarkably well in this latest effort. Swagger‘s blustery rock enthusiasm, Drunken Lullabies‘ political bend and lyrical emphasis, and Within a Mile of Home‘s decided folk slant have all been woven together in a much better crafted manner. Whereas Drunken Lullabies often feels didactic and Within a Mile of Home strikes many as just flat goofy, Float is a well-crafted, well-executed album that brings together a lot of different elements and makes out of them a whole musical cloth.

That being said, Float will not break new ground for fans, but it will give them exactly what they love about Flogging Molly: energetic, well-crafted Celt Rock. Those not familiar with Flogging Molly may want to start with their (in my opinion) superior debut, Swagger before grabbing Float. That being said, Float is a fantastic album which any fan of the genre is likely to enjoy.

Mar 202008

"Put a little grease on my axle now"

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And speaking of songs that I’ve been throwing on repeat, here’s the latest Black Crowes single, “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution” off of their new album Warpaint:

Took me forever to find a copy that allowed embedding. Why the HELL would labels turn off embedding for their videos? They’re preventing fans from spreading their music hither and yon. *Sigh*

Anyway, check it out before this one gets yanked or gets embedding turned off.