Dec 032008

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.12.2

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Intro: I’m never sure what to put here and am decreasingly sure that I should even have this section in the column.

Listening: Okay, so this Silversun Pickups habit of mine?  I, uh, I think I need an intervention or something.  It’s the first thing I listen to when I wake up in the morning and usually the last thing at night.  I can’t seem to get through the day without at least a few listens of Carnavas.  I mean, I even have a copy of their Pikul EP and that gets usually several repeats a day as well.  I, I think I have a problem.

Hi, my name’s Aaron and I’m a Silversun Pickups addict.

It’s okay, though: I picked up a nice little dose of musical methadone this past week in the form of the latest Killers album, Day & Age.  It’s a glitzy, glam-poppy antedote, and I’m finding it to be a very pleasant occasional diversion of my grungy, noisy Power Pop addiction.  Especially nice are the single, “Human” (this week’s Song of the Week), “A Dustland Fairytale”, and “Losing Touch”.

I really hope that The Killers’ total and unapologetic embracing of their 80s Glam Pop roots on this album is the start of a trend.  This lighter, more synth-driven sound really works for them and they would do well to stick with it.

Also: apparently Brandon Flowers found a vocal reverb effect he really likes, because it’s all over the album.

Upcoming: Well, we’ve survived the first release salvo of the holiday season.  Between now and the holiday, there seems to be a pretty light field.  The long-awaited US re-issue of the Stereophonics discography is this next Tuesday.  All-American Rejects and Fall Out Boy have albums out the week after that.  I guess there’s also some Dave Matthews Band live discs coming out on the 16th, as well.

I kind of feel like I have to be missing some great upcoming releases, but I’m just not finding them.  If I’m missing something, please let me know in the comments.

Thinking: I kind of want to get a door-bell that is connected to an electric air-pump, which is connected to an Alpenhorn.  Either that, or just have my “doorbell” be a full-sized synthesizer hooked up to my stereo, just to see what visitors might play.

Yet another reason why I need to be a professional wealthy eccentric when I grow up.

News: Leading our news this week, Noel Gallagher can still say absolutely anything and get free publicity from the music press.  (Serious, look for next week’s headline: “Noel Gallagher says ‘Um, well…” and Looks Pensively Into the Middle Distance.”)

There’s some sort of, like, big music festival going on in Scotland right now.

Gwen Stefani’s in the family way once again.

And finally: Mick Jones is in a new band.  This excites me greatly.

Song of the Week: Here’s The Killers in all their synth-pop glory with “Human” off their new album.

P. S. – Universal music continue to disable embedding on all the videos on their YouTube channel.

Dear UMG,

Spreading your artists music far and wide is a GOOD thing.  Let the fans do the work for you.  Disabling embedding on your videos is good for you.

Plus disabling it is kind of dick-ish anyway.


P.P.S – Thanks to YouTube user SkidVid70 for posting an embeddable copy.

Nov 042008

Intro: Well, it’s election Tuesday, and that means that I’ve got a television and a six pack of Sam Adams waiting for me.  I figured I should probably throw my column together before I sat down to survey the political damage.  I also figured that I should steer clear of anything political in case anyone out there wants to stare at some non-election-related for a few minutes.

So here it is, your election-news-free Tuesday Playlist.

Listening: Okay, have you ever liked a Cure song?  In your entire life?  Do you think “Lovesong” was kind of awesome, or maybe think that “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” is sort of catchy?  Maybe, like me, you have a fondness for “10:15 Saturday Night” because it’s a fairly accurate picture of your social life?  If so, then drop what you are doing and go get a copy of the new Cure album.  It’s called Dream 4:13 and I honestly don’t think that Robert Smith & Co. have done an album this great since 1989’s Disintegration.  It’s exactly the sort of dark, melodic New Wave goodness that have made the Cure one of the best bands of the past few decades.

I mean, I’d go on and on about the tracks off of the album to which I’m addicted and which are being spun on constant repeat but, well, that’s pretty much all of them.  I mean, hell, “The Only One” was released as a single back in May and I’m still totally smitten with it.  It’s full of the sort of catchy musical quips that make the Cure so effortlessly listenable and enjoyable.  “The Reasons Why” is a perfect example of exactly the sort of hook-laden, spacey New Wave pop that made most of us fall in love with the Cure in the first place.

Also quite excellent is the the new album Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Cardinology.  My friend Trevor aptly described it as the upbeat version of Cold Roses. I haven’t gotten too much of a chance to listen to it thanks to the new Cure album taking up near permanent residence in my stereo, but it’s definitely Ryan Adams’ rich, well-crafted rock music, but with a more upbeat aesthetic than a lot of his previous albums.  I’m especially a fan of “Magick” and “Born Into a Light”.

Upcoming: Election day this year will sees the release of new material from Shiny Toy Guns, OhGr, and Travis, among others.  In the following weeks look for full lengh albums from Chris Cornell, Mudvayne, Nickelback, Beyonce, Sammy Hagar, and even a new project by Sir Paul McCarney, called the Fireman.

Thinking: Of late I’ve mostly been devoting mental run cycles to either work or thesis, so no deep, insightful thoughts regarding music.  So here’s a video of Bjork explaining how a TV works.  Hat tip on that one to Ann.

News: You’ve all seen these literally-lyric-ed music videos, right?  If not, then watch them immediately.  The one for “Take On Me” is brilliant, as is the newest one, for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge”:

Okay, so not really news, but, uh, brilliant.  And new, at least to me. . . .

Right, in REAL news: Snoop Dogg has apparently figured out that he needs decent musicians to prop him up these days and has collaborated on a track with UK Trip-Hoppers Massive Attack.  If you’re undecided even at this late hour but still have the chance to vote, you might want to consider that Akon has announced he’ll leave the US if McCain wins.  So, you know, not saying that on its own is enough to vote McCain, but it certainly does give one something to think about.  Finally, Noel Gallagher announces that he’s already written the next Oasis album and that it’ll sound like the Kinks.

Song of the Week: Here’s another of the singles off of the new Cure album.  It’s called “Freakshow” and I find it to be all kinds of groovy.

Feb 272008

"D’yer wanna be a spaceman and live in the sky?"

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Okay, two awesome things before I go to bed. First, courtesy of Neatorama, graphical representations of songs. (I especially like this one. And this one. (Though there is something of a case to be made for the whole song being ironic.) . . . Okay, and this one.)

Second, Noel Gallagher portrait tattoo. (Courtesy of ModBlog)