New blog feature: Music Friday!
So, N____ sent me and some other friends an email:
now, my musicphile friends, i have a special request. ... in the spirit of spring cleaning, i'm trying to knock the cobwebs out of my itunes library. ... i think its time to expand my horizons. can you help guide me to greener pastures? what are you listening to lately? what should i be listening to?Once I'd written out my response, I realized it was extensive enough that I should also save it for posterity.
So the following is the first chunk of my email response (with added pictures, frills, etc. for blog purposes). I'm saving up some more to use for future Music Fridays. This first post will highlight a few singer/songwriter-based bands/artists; next week's will be about instrumental music of various ilks.
St. Vincent -- Based on the few 2007 albums I've heard, hers was far and away the best album of 2007. She's a seasoned indie guitarist who played with Sufjan Stevens and the Polyphonic Spree (under her real name, Annie Clark), but this was her solo debut. This is exactly the kind of genre-defying music I'm searching out right now, so I'm hoping this is the beginning of an amazing career for her. Marry Me" (which has a bridge with lyrics that were probably quoted in every review of her album) has already been drunkenly covered by the Dresden Dolls' singer, Amanda Palmer.
feel to them that's pretty rare in music -- the only way I can describe it is that you (or at least I) get this feeling of "This is it -- this is what it's all about." I plan to analyze this general phenomenon in a later post.
Goldfrapp -- Their new album, Seventh Tree, is one of just a couple 2008 albums I've heard in full, but it seems destined to end up on every "best of 2008" list. Their older stuff was very anchored in the '80s, but the new album is different -- more of a '60s/'70s vibe. There's something poignant about how earnestly retro they are. If you have any interest in buying physical CDs anymore, get Seventh Tree for the packaging (bonus DVD, nice artwork, etc.). Here are two great songs from it:
Mika -- Infectious! I have the sense that he's big in Europe but not that well known in the US. (He was initially raised in Lebanon, then his family moved to Europe to escape the conditions there.) Here's a song in which he totally rips off Queen (even alluding to it in the pre-chorus) but still comes up with something kind of original:
Stay tuned for next week's Music Friday ...