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486252 Posts in 16387 Topics by 2976 Members - Latest Member: jakeg1235 December 18, 2014, 03:24:11 PM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 7: Music From a Painted Cave by Robert Mirabal on: December 02, 2014, 12:09:06 PM
Unreleased Backgrounds is up next. Schedule probably just a little off, as we started last week late, holiday, etc. but I'm curious about what's next.
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 7: Music From a Painted Cave by Robert Mirabal on: November 29, 2014, 01:53:30 PM
As a Minnesotan, I've been fortunate to see several Lakota dances, storytelling, and other cultural events. I've enjoyed many of them. And the mission behind this sounds admirable.

My main critique of this album wasn't the actual non-pop content, but rather that it felt artificially shoehorned together. It reminded me of Christian rock, or a schoolteacher encouraging students to rap to complete some project: just sort of forced. Cheesy.

But I'm glad your choice--as has been the trend throughout actually--wasn't a dull, play-it-safe one.

53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 29, 2014, 08:21:47 AM
Wow, I think you like it more than I do--and I like it. But I don't go quite as far as "fucking great." Still, it is good. I wish I had Showtime, as I'd like to see that documentary. I'm a bit of a sucker for those sorts of things.

On the deluxe version, I'm particularly fond of roughly the second quartile / middle third. Some great songs in there.
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Trends (Arrangement, Production) on: November 29, 2014, 07:49:34 AM
As Maeby Fuhnke from Arrested Development would say, "marry me!" You are literally the first person I've ever heard mention Herman Dune outside the context of the few friends I have who, after me introducing them to HD, are now fans. Outside my circle, literally nobody I know has even heard of them, much less likes them. (Or in the case of DIHD, him.) In fact, for my week on Listening Project thread, I was thinking about picking a Herman Dune album to try to broaden the audience.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 26, 2014, 09:42:12 AM
(It's a really good track. Mystikal always had top delivery. So growly.)

I love it. Great track a la early '70s James Brown, and Mystikal is pretty spectacular. Sometimes he actually sounds like James, too.
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 26, 2014, 08:29:19 AM
Mark Ronson's single with Bruno Mars--performed this weekend on SNL, though I didn't know it--is out. "Uptown Funk" is good, good stuff. There's also a single with Mystikal out, "Feel Right."

"Uptown Funk" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqDm0

The album is due in January. I'm somewhat excited. The first quarter of 2015 brings (off the top of my head) Mark Ronson, Belle & Sebastian, Bob Dylan, and Of Montreal. Not a bad way to kick things off.

57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 26, 2014, 07:52:56 AM
Yesterday on my drive home from work I heard a single from OK Go--a band I've more or less ignored in the decade or so they've been around--and really, really enjoyed it. The song is the disco-influenced "I Won't Let You Down," from the 2014 album Hungry Ghosts. The producer is David Fridmann, who did a lot of albums I liked in the late 90s and early 00s with Elf Power, the Flaming Lips, and the Delgados. (His career is much bigger than that; I'm just saying those were the albums of his I liked best.)

This groove is really fantastic: infectious in the most positive sense. I've purchased this song.

Apparently they are known for their occasionally viral videos. (I had no idea, but did a little research this morning.) Here is one for the aforementioned song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZB_rGFyeU

As for the rest of the album, I'm listening to it on Spotify now and doubt I'll buy it. But I might get a couple more songs. The immediate grabber is "I Won't Let You Down."
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 7: Music From a Painted Cave by Robert Mirabal on: November 26, 2014, 07:21:22 AM
I really did not like this album. Those who did or do, don't take offense. This is just my opinion based on my taste. But just as a warning, I'll be pretty blunt.

This album largely reminded me of the worst Lou Reed music of the 80s and 90s, with bland, cleanish-tone electric guitars reiterating uninteresting patterns to a midtempo beat, but with kitchen sinks' worth of decoration around the edges--scratching, strings, cheese-guitar solo, and most of all the Native American soundscapes cheesed up with effects--all with Kalinichesque lyrics. The whole thing reminded me of something that might have received a grant to be produced and eventually broadcast as a PBS special concert for an audience of excited, well-dressed white people, semi-rocking out to the uptempo drum solo and believing they are becoming cultured because, hey, I mean, Native American guy, right?

Just my opinion, no doubt based on my own personal baggage. But there it is.

That said, thanks to Peter for yet another album in this project I had never heard before. I think all but one or two of the choices so far fit into that category, and that's the most fun part about this whole thing for me: listening to something I wouldn't otherwise have known existed, or would have passed over entirely anyway just out of habit. I believe the old saying is, "it's better to have listened and not loved than never to have listened at all." Or something like that...  Grin
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 6: The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse by the Bonzo Dog on: November 24, 2014, 10:35:53 AM
Is Peter still planning to participate? If not, are we skipping ahead?
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: November 23, 2014, 02:26:00 PM
It's rough here, too. While the start was encouraging--even losses were well fought early--we're not anywhere near deep enough to survive being down four starters... At least Wiggins is being forcefed.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 20, 2014, 04:01:55 PM
I just read that my beloved "Nude Beach A-Go-Go" is a Kim Fowley co-write (with A. Pink). That sounds about right.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 20, 2014, 03:35:47 PM
It almost pains me to admit it after I semi-trashed him in the thread dedicated to him, but I'm listening to and almost liking:


Ariel Pink, Pom Pom

Probably the only thing that even got me to pay any attention to the album coming out at all was knowing he worked with Azealia Banks on "Nude Beach A-Go-Go," which is undoubtedly one of my 15 or so favorite songs of the year. So when I heard it was out this week, I made a point of reading about it and listening to it, in that order. I read it was reminiscent of Frank Zappa, which turned me off immediately. See, I love Zappa, and just couldn't imagine anything Pink did as being close to Zappa in quality, so I figured maybe I was in for a superficial and annoying version of Zappa-lite.

Instead, this turns out to be a pretty fucking good album. As I said even in my criticism of the guy, Pink has what matters to me maybe most of all: the gift of hook/melody. You can work around other weaknesses, but that's what a song is, at least for me. Here he displays that talent indeed much along the lines of some later 60s Zappa: think Cruisin' With Ruben and the Jets meets Uncle Meat with just a hair of Hot Rats. There are comedic nods to simple rock 'n' roll forms, there are bizarre instrument choices, there is big-dumb-blunt playing, but it's mingled with deft, nimble passages. He even sings in a Frankish voice. As with Zappa, you can tell that he isn't mocking this stuff, he loves it deeply. (He's mocking you.)

I'm not sure what I'll do now. Because damnit, I've been really successful at not much listening to Ariel Pink or caring what he does. Now I will listen a few more times on Spotify and decide what, if anything, to buy. My best guess at the moment is I'll end up with 2-4 of these songs in my collection. There are worse ways to spend five bucks. For example, I paid $10 for a 6-pack of Schell's "Fresh Hop Equinox Pilsner," which is about $3 more than their typical 6-pack and $2 more than a standard micro. I overpaid. It's fine, but nothing great. That's a few songs right there! Commiserate with me. I'm washing down my sorrow with a Schell's "Fresh Hop Equinox Pilsner."
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 18, 2014, 03:59:29 PM
I've listened to The New Basement Tapes album a few more times and I'm really enjoying it. I've also been struggling to imagine what my reaction would have been had I not known these were '67 Dylan lyrics, but there's no way to know that.

Also, new Tyler, the Creator single, "Diapers," posted on the Odd Future Golf Wang tumblr: http://golfwang.tumblr.com/post/102981791418

Voice is buried in parts and I'm not the biggest fan of Tyler's rapping anyway (I'm sure he's really sad to hear that). I love the track, though, especially when it's laid bare about halfway through.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: November 16, 2014, 08:20:02 AM
Since losing Rubio to injury a week or so ago, things have been rough (to say the least). We've been rolling with Zach LaVine at the point, who is doing about as well as an athletically gifted but woefully underqualified replacement rookie teenage point guard can do... The best thing is, he's playing within the team concept as opposed to just running wild. But with Rubio, the Wolves were in every game no matter how overmatched. He defended, he passed, he ran, and he led. Without? Not so much.

Losing Thad Young, who is taking time off following the death of a family member, isn't helping.

And last night, Nikola Pekovic was limited to 12 minutes because of pain in his foot. That's a recurring issue that led the Wolves to ask him to take the summer off, to get newly created shoes specially designed for him, and to limit his minutes to basically splitting time with Gorgui Dieng. Here we are, 10 or so games in, with all that caution for naught: he's hurt regardless. I've said for a year or two, he might just become our Arvydas Sabonis. Sabonis was one of the greatest big men in the history of the game, but sadly by the time he got to Portland, injuries meant he had to play something like 20 minutes or less a night. He was wildly effective ... just not for long. Pek is nowhere near as good as Sabonis, but as a pure post scorer, he is one of the best in the game. I think we might be stuck with a 10 ppg, 18 mpg Pekovic.
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 6: The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse by the Bonzo Dog on: November 16, 2014, 07:16:42 AM
This was entirely new to me and now is a challenge to appropriately describe. Maybe the best way is to say I don't have a hole this shape to be filled. Whatever it could have done for me was done by the Mothers of Invention 20 years ago. Rather than whet my appetite along those lines, it sated it. So for me, it doesn't much matter that the Bonzo Dog Band is good--which they are. Or that they're funny--which they are. The listening experience (two-plus times through) was a good one, but one that is unlikely to be repeated unless I find myself in some situation where they could be a reference. (You know, some drunken rabbit-hole music discussion or other.)

So Dudd, thanks for the new listening experience.



66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: people that claim they dont care for the BBs.. on: November 15, 2014, 06:33:52 AM
Are unappreciative of music in general and when asked what they do listen to its always somethin AWFUL, anyone notice this?

No.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 14, 2014, 03:13:15 PM
Never apologize for an opinion! (I know it's just convention or turn of phrase, but even so...)
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Cover songs better than their original on: November 14, 2014, 12:21:52 PM
"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" goes to Chuck.  He did many of his songs better than others, he's just not remembered for doing so.  "Words of Love" to The Beatles.  "Well All Right" to Blind Faith.  "That'll Be the Day" to maybe Linda Ronstadt.  I could go on all day with who did Holly better than Holly.  Holly was one of the artists who didn't do his own songs as well as others.  That's My Opinion.  Many would disagree.  I don't own any of his records, but I do have a comp of others doing his.  Damn, now I'm making lists.  I'm not trying to come off as angry, but sometimes I feel baited.  Just my choices - same as all of you.  Did it change your mind?   

Interesting, I'd have never picked a single Buddy Holly cover as better than the original--at least not any that come to mind or that you mentioned. But then again, I really love Buddy Holly, and heard him on my dad's records in my formative years. (I tend to think sometimes experiential things like that play into our tastes as much as their pure sound, for what it's worth.) It doesn't bother me whether anyone agrees or disagrees, really, so I definitely don't mind your opinion. Just surprising to me, is all. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say they generally prefer Holly's songs by other people in the way that you do with, say, Bob Dylan (where the next sentence is inevitably along the lines of "he writes great songs, he just can't sing." With which I also disagree, by the way.).
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 14, 2014, 10:56:06 AM
While I was playing "Isn't she Lovely" someone posted on youtube that Stevie did a show incorporating the whole of Songs in the Key of Life recently.


Damn! Would be amazing to see.

I'm pretty sure he's doing an entire Songs in the Key of Life tour. The tickets were pretty expensive, and I'm not sure how many are left at this point, but there's hope for you yet.

You're correct. The NYT just did a review of a show within the past week or so.
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: November 14, 2014, 10:55:35 AM


The New Basement Tapes, Lost on the River

I had heard of this project a few months back but entirely forgotten it: a batch of musicians were given access to some Basement Tapes-era Dylan lyrics and, under the supervision of T-Bone Burnett, wrote and recorded an album around them. Elvis Costello is the most well known, with other participants including Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, and Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The album, i assume by no coincidence, was released just a week after the Bootleg Series Basement Tapes albums. There is also apparently a Showtime documentary about the making of the album, which sounds interesting. I'd like to check that out.

I listened to the 20-song deluxe edition. And from it, I think there is really one helluva good standard-length album to be had. I was working while listening, but took note of a few songs in particular. No fan of Dawes on the whole, I really enjoyed Goldsmith's vocal on "Florida Key." Giddens' "Spanish Mary" was another highlight. There were at least four or five other songs I really, really liked. The album is in that territory for me of waffling between buying half a dozen songs, or just getting the whole damn thing even though I'll never bother with maybe another four or five songs again. Some of the good ones are really good, and the styles, while all pretty firmly planted in the expected environment of "roots," are diverse enough to cover a lot of ground.

The diversity of voices is also a nice treat for me. Even my favorite voices can make a group wear on me; not coincidentally, I'm a longtime lover of bands like the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Band, Queen. This, a minor-league Traveling Wilburys (doing Lucky Wilbury's lyrics, no less!) isn't a bad album at all.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 14, 2014, 07:13:21 AM
I lied and bought the whole EP, as it was $3.99. I figured the extra dollar or so above what I would've spent on the couple songs I really wanted would be worth it in case it grew on me.
72  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 14, 2014, 06:36:39 AM
Gallant, Zebra

The calm intro, "Intro," is a nicely set mood. And it gave me hope in the form of falsetto that this listen wasn't going to be wholly wasted. Whatever was to follow, the guy at least could sing, that register some cross between Prince and Frank Ocean, piercing sometimes fully, sometimes a squeaked fissure.

Speaking of the Purple One, on the plus side Gallant also calls him to mind with the mingling of typically disparate sounds. (A distorted lead guitar line is still somehow half a surprise over a smooth R&B base.) On the negative side, Gallant in "Sirens" and the "Interlude - Keep U" that follows it, uses the same kind of modulated voice that, for me, detracts from Prince's work. An octave up, an octave down, those kind of character voices are just novelties for me.

"Sienna" is a highlight. The contrast between the slowly delivered vocal over sustained chords and the jittery beat got my attention on the first listen and still keeps it on this, my fourth or fifth. The synth bassline isn't a tone I'd choose, but the part itself is great, like a planned out recreation of something that began an improvised jazz line. And the singer's delivery of the hooks shows a real feel for nuanced rhythm: it isn't the simple repetition a casual listener might assume.

"Manhattan" is the highlight, though, shimmering in echo and the sharp Oceanic falsetto. The background vocals are gorgeous. All the vocals. The hook of the EP is one word: predicament. Or maybe "this predicament," to allow for that glorious interval up. It's evocatively vague, but to me also a sad reflection of something not just pathetic, not just gone wrong, but seedy. Maybe it's just my mind, but I immediately associated the song with Ocean's "Novacane," sung by a sympathetic after-the-fact friend to (as they called it in The Music Man "the sadder but wiser girl." (The Music Man didn't refer to homemade porn, I don't think. I haven't seen it in a while, though…) I love this song.

It's no secret that I'm more a song guy than a sound guy, than a vibe guy. I love harmonic and melodic development, resolution (or the tease of such). That might be where Gallant didn't go as far as I'd have liked. There are some good songs, but there is more of a mood. There are soundscapes that set the scene but don't always drive the plot. The reason it disappoints me is that there are more than enough hints that the guy could be building something more to my taste.

That last bit, of course, is the key. He isn't--or shouldn't be, anyway!--working toward my taste. But that's why Zebra, despite being enjoyable, isn't something I'll buy. "Sienna" and "Manhattan," however, are songs I'll buy.
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 14, 2014, 05:35:26 AM

Wait stop.  Stop the Post!  It just started snowing out.  Our first snow of the year.  A little after 1:oo am. here in Ulster.  neat.  We're supposed to get about an inch.

...I'm back.  Had to go outside. I love snow, big wet fluffy-flakes swirlin' around.  Damn if one of my neighbors hasn't already got a tree up.  And on.  Some people can't wait til next week.
Beat you by a week.  Grin

 
 Yes, even you captain can get noticed.  

Even...?? How rude!  Wink Anyway, that would be a nightmare, no thank you.

I'm working from home today and will listen to Gallant a few more times. My thoughts should follow.
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week 5: Zebra by Gallant on: November 12, 2014, 06:43:55 PM
feelsflow -- nice post. And it also makes me want to keep talking about I&W, though this isn't the thread for it. I'm not ready to talk intelligently about Gallant yet, but I'll try to add something worthwhile in the next day or two.
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Pet Peeves on: November 11, 2014, 05:35:15 AM
My point wasn't related to the relative merits of the convention, but of the fact it is one. So that you don't want to compare them is moot. Hang that on your wall. And on mine I'll hang a reminder not to waste my time on trolls.
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